Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Navgard™ BNWAS Approved by United States Coast Guard (USCG)

If your vessels operate in US waters or if your fleet is owned/managed out of the USA then when you look to install BNWAS (Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System) you should consider selecting a system with US Coast Guard approval.

Navgard™ BNWAS
Navgard™ is the first and only system approved by the US Coast Guard (as of the time of publication). This gives you the ‘peace of mind’ that your vessel has the highest quality of BNWAS installed and that it is compliant with the rigorous standards of safety and performance required from the US Coast Guard Authority.

US owners and managers will want to ensure that the BNWAS they choose has passed their own coast guard approval process.

Even if your vessels are not currently operating in US waters, having a system with such a wide range of approvals will ensure that your vessels are attractive to all charterers for all trading routes in the future, including US territorial waters.

Navgard™ – The World’s No.1 BNWAS

Approved By All Major Classification Societies
Easiest, Quickest & Lowest Cost System to Install - Guaranteed!
3-Year Warranty - Built To Last on Your Ships
Worldwide Service & Sales Partners

Find out more about Navgard™ BNWAS

Friday, 2 December 2011

New Singapore Office Enhances Martek's Presence in Asia Pacific Region

Martek Marine is strengthening its presence within the all-important Asia Pacific market by opening a regional office in Singapore.
Martek Marine (Asia Pacific) Pte. Ltd, which was incorporated in August this year, will be headed by Simon Whitaker, regional director, who has many years of experience delivering business growth in Asia Pacific. He will be supported by regional sales managers, Soon Young Tan, who will focus on South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and Clayton Thomas, who will be responsible for markets in North Asia.

Martek is recruiting additional members of the sales team who will be in position by the end of December, as well as a technical engineering resource to augment its technical support resources in the UK. This will provide the platform for the company to offer repair and calibration services for gas detection and other devices in Singapore.

Mr Whitaker says: “We have decided to set up a regional presence based in Singapore in order to get closer to our many customers in this part of the world. Asia is a market rich in potential and this direct presence will help Martek further increase its share in this region.”

Simon Whitaker
Regional Director - Asia Pacific
Currently around 65% of Martek’s business is generated by customers based in Asia Pacific, with a growth rate faster than in Europe and the Americas. Mr Whitaker adds: “The shift in business that Martek has seen in the past 18 months or so has made it vital to have a direct presence in the region. By being in the same time zone, and having sales staff who speak the same language, we will have better connectivity with our customers.”

Martek Marine (Asia Pacific),  based in western Singapore close to the Jurong port and industrial zone, will be the initial point of contact for customers across a wide geographic region, stretching from the Indian Sub Continent  to South East Asia and onto Australia and New Zealand, as well as the key North Asia markets of China, South Korea and Japan.

While the new company will offer the complete range of Martek products and services, for both newbuilding and retrofit projects, initially it will focus on two areas of business: the Navgard BNWAS system and the new Fastcalgas calibration gas supply service.

Mr Whitaker says: “With impending regulatory changes we are seeing a major upturn in interest from Asian shipowners and operators in our BNWAS technology, which we will be able to respond to much quicker from Singapore. Furthermore, we see great potential for the Fastcalgas service introduced earlier this year, for which speed of response is of the essence."

The new Martek Marine Asia Pacific team has already achieved notable success. Recently the company secured two important orders from a leading Singapore-based shipmanager. As a result Martek Marine will equip 60 vessels with the Navgard BNWAS system and will also supply up to 500 bottles of calibration gas for use across the company’s fleet.

“These business wins are just a sign of things to come,” suggests Mr Whitaker. “By having a presence on the ground in Asia Pacific we will be much better placed to capitalise on emerging opportunities and support our clients in the area.”

Monday, 21 November 2011

Bahamas Flag Accept PIRs for BNWAS Compliance

The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) has until now held the view that passive infra-red motions detectors were not an acceptable technology for compliance with BNWAS requirements. However, following a review of the available technology, the BMA has changed its stance.

A statement from the BMA reads:

“As you will be aware, the BMA stance on PIR as a reset method for BNWAS has always been that they are not acceptable. However following a review of the performance standards of Intelligent PIR and review of IMO NAV 55/20/2 and 55/21 papers, we are now of the view that 'Intelligent' PIR are acceptable. Therefore, we will be changing the relevant Section of The Bahamas National Requirements to reflect this view and allowing BNWAS with PIR to be fitted providing that the IMO performance standards are met.” 

In a later communication the BMA advised:

“The BMA will accept motion sensors approved to industry standards or by one of our RO's as a valid reset method.”

Navgard™ BNWAS

The Navgard™ BNWAS from Martek Marine uses unique Type Approved dual technology infra-red & microwave motion sensors solving the problems of false reset by air-conditioning systems or objects moving on the bridge which affect conventional sensors.

We also use digital temperature compensation to automatically adjust sensitivity ensuring sensors maintain detection range & reset function, even when the temperature on the bridge is near to body temperature.

Find out more about Navgard™, the only BNWAS approved by all major classification societies.

Study Shows Defibrillators are Easy for Ship's Crew to Use

A study called 'implementation of automated external defibrillators on merchant ships' published in the Journal of Travel Medicine has looked into the ability of ship's officers to successfully deliver an effective defibrillation shock.

Here is a copy of the abstract from the study:
Background. In contrast to cruise ships, ferries and merchant ships are rarely equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Germany is the first flag state worldwide that legally requires to carry AEDs on seagoing merchant vessels by September 2012 at the latest.

Objectives. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of training ship officers in the handling of AEDs and to explore their perceptions concerning the user-friendliness of currently available defibrillators.

Methods. Using four different AEDs, 130 nautical officers performed a total of 400 resuscitation drills. One group (n = 60) used only one device before and after resuscitation training; the other group (n = 70) used all four AEDs in comparison after training. The officers' performances were timed and they were asked by questionnaire about the user-friendliness of each AED.

Results. Without resuscitation training, 81.7% of the first mentioned group delivered an effective defibrillation shock. After a 7-hour resuscitation training with special regard to defibrillation, all ship officers (n = 130) used the AED correctly. Among all AEDs, the mean time until start of analysis decreased from 72.4 seconds before to 60.4 seconds after resuscitation training (Wilcoxon test; p < 0.001). The results of the questionnaire and the differences in time to first shock indicated a different user-friendliness of the AEDs. The voice prompts and the screen messages of all AEDs were well understood by all participants. In the second mentioned group, 57.1% regarded feedback information related to depths and frequency of thorax compression as helpful.

Lifeforce Marine AED

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the world’s biggest killer, killing over 3 million people worldwide every year. Even on land the chances of the emergency services reaching a victim in time are slim, at sea the chances are zero.

The only proven way to treat SCA is by delivering an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal heart rhythm. This is called defibrillation and can make the difference between saving a life and having a victim die. If a victim receives defibrillation within the vital first 3 minutes the chances of survival are increased by up to a staggering 70%.

The Lifeforce Marine AED is the easiest to use defibrillator on the market and is the only defibrillator tested and Type Approved for use in the hostile marine environment.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

MOL commits to Martek BNWAS

Mitsui OSK Line has made a firm commitment to install Bridge Navigational Watch and Alarm Systems (BNWAS) on board its ships ahead of regulatory requirements.

MOL to install Martek Marine's Navgard BNWAS
The company has taken the opportunity of the drydocking of 17 of its vessels so far this year to install the Martek Marine Navgard BNWAS

MOL said it was likely that all of its existing vessels would be fitted with BNWAS before the end of 2011.

Under the terms of the revised SOLAS regulations new passenger vessels and cargo ships greater than 150gt have had to implement BNWAS since July 2011. However, existing passenger ships and cargo vessels greater than 3,000gt can wait until July 2012 before BNWAS becomes mandatory, while existing cargo ships of between 500gt and 3,000gt can wait until July 2013, and those between 150 and 500gt until July 2014.

Alan Stewart, MOL Tankship Management (Europe) Ltd Deputy General Manager explained that the carrier had already witnessed an increasing frequency of comments by SIRE inspectors regarding whether or not a BNWAS was fitted. He said that MOL had decided on a course of “being proactive and not waiting until the last minute, as is usual in the marine industry”. 

Navgard BNWAS
Martek’s Navgard system was able to demonstrate that it had all necessary approvals, Mr Stewart said, while the company had been able “to solve any challenges that arose”.

The latest deal follows hard on the heels of a contract through which Martek is supplying its Navgard BNWAS to Seacom Electronics, the UK subsidiary of global ship management services giant V.Ships.

A number of serious maritime accidents continue to be attributed to issues relating to tiredness, and to the situational awareness of officers on the bridge, leading to widespread calls for owners and operators to act well before they must install BNWAS.

The International Chamber of Shipping has carried out a detailed investigation into accident reports in the Malacca Straits which are transited by more than 70,000 vessels each year. It identified ‘loss of situational awareness’ as one of the most significant factors that need to be addressed as a cause of accidents. Of the incidents examined, 68% resulted in collisions and all could have potentially caused harm or pollution incidents.  

BIMCO has issued advice to its members urging them to consider fitting systems at drydockings before the mandatory implementation date, and not to wait until annual surveys within the compliance window.

A BNWAS monitors bridge activity and detects any operator disability that could lead to shipping accidents. Under revisions to SOLAS, the regulations specify that the system has to be reset either manually or automatically through motion sensor devices at intervals of between three and 12 minutes.

Paul Luen, Martek Chief Executive, said: “There have been a number of incidents recently which show a lot can happen in three minutes, let alone 12 minutes, and so it is vital these systems are installed on vessels as soon as possible. Owners delaying implementation until the last minute are risking the lives of their crew and the safety of their vessels. Where is the sense in that?”

The Navgard system comprises either a bulkhead-mounted or console-mounted control panel with an onboard Passive Infra-Red (PIR) movement detector that offers a 10m range. The system is highly modular, enabling it to accommodate any bridge size and layout. Navgard is the world’s first BNWAS system fully type approved by all major classification societies. 

Mr Luen says: “The vessel’s next dry docking is an ideal time to install BNWAS. But, such is the ease of installation of Navgard that the work could be done while alongside or during passage.”

Find out more Navgard - the World's No.1 BNWAS - and its benefits to you.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Guidelines for ROs when recommending an exemption for a BNWAS installed Minimum requirements

The Estonian Maritime Administration has issued Guidelines for ROs when recommending an exemption for a BNWAS installed prior to 1st of July 2011 requirement which are not in full compliance with the MSC.128(75) when the following minimum requirements are fulfilled:

1. The BNWAS operational modes can be selected between

  • Manual ON (in operational constantly) and
  • Manual OFF (does not operate under any circumstances);

2. The selection of the operational modes is protected by a key switch or password;

3. Once operational the system remains dormant for a period between 3 and 12 min;

4. At the end of this dormant period a visual indication is initiated on the bridge;

5. If not reset, the system sounds additionally a first stage audible alarm on the bridge 15s after the visual indication is initiated;

6. If not reset, the system sounds additionally a second stage remote audible alarm in the back-up officer and/or Master's location 15s after the first stage;

7. If not reset the system sounds additionally a third stage remote audible alarm at the locations of further crew members min. 90s and max. 180s after the second stage;

8. The audible alarm for the third stage is easily identifiable by its sound and indicates urgency. Moreover the sound must clearly distinguish itself from the fire alarm, general alarm etc;

9. The reset push buttons are only available in positions on the bridge giving proper look out, i.e. conning position, workstation for navigation and maneuvering, the workstation for monitoring and the bridge wings;

10. The BNWAS is connected to a distribution panel supplied from Main Switchboard.

Navgard - The World's No.1 BNWAS

If your current system does not meet the minimum criteria or you do not have a system in place then the Navgard BNWAS from Martek Marine can provide you with the easiest and most cost effective route to compliance. Find out more...

Friday, 14 October 2011

Martek lands BNWAS deal for V.Ships’ fleet

Martek Marine has secured a contract to supply its Navgard Bridge Navigation Watch Alarm System (BNWAS) to Seacom Electronics, the UK subsidiary of global ship management services giant V.Ships.
Navgard BNWAS
Southampton-headquartered Seacom has placed an initial order for a Navgard BNWAS compliance package comprising a Navgard panel with two weatherproof external resets, an internal reset, three cabin alarms and four high intensity audio visual alarms.

Martek will also deliver items including an illuminated push-button reset for the bridge, a bridge wing reset button, officer cabin alarm and a high intensity corridor audio-visual alarm.
The initial contract is expected to be followed by orders for further packages to be installed on V.Ships’ vessels during the next three years.
Martek’s Navgard system is designed to comply with SOLAS Regulation V/19 as amended by MSC.282(86), which requires a BNWAS to be installed on all new and existing cargo and passenger vessels. The system also meets the requirements of the performance standards set out by MSC.128(75) & IEC 62616.
The Navgard system comprises either a bulkhead-mounted or console-mounted control panel with an onboard Passive Infra-Red (PIR) movement detector that offers a 10m range. The system is highly modular, enabling it to accommodate any bridge size and layout, and has been designed to facilitate and speed up the installation process.

Navgard is the world’s first BNWAS system fully type approved by all major classification societies, and this was a particularly important factor in Seacom’s decision to opt for Martek’s technology, according to Neil Sayce, managing director of Seacom Electronics.

“This saved us from the hidden costs and risks associated with getting additional approvals,” he said.

Under the terms of the SOLAS amendment all new cargo ships over 150gt and all new passenger ships of any size constructed after July 1 2011 have to be equipped with a BNWAS. Furthermore, all existing passenger ships and cargo vessels over 3,000gt have to be equipped not later than the first special survey after July 1 2012 and all existing cargo ships over 500gt by the first survey after July 1 2013. The final category of vessels, cargo ships over 150gt, will have to comply by July 1 2014.

“The importance of this agreement with Seacom cannot be overstated,” said Paul Luen, chief executive officer of Martek. “Seacom expects to order significant numbers of further ship sets during the mandatory compliance schedule for BNWAS.”

Based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, Martek Marine is one of the world’s leading suppliers of safety and environmental monitoring systems to the marine industry. As well as BNWAS, Martek Marine offers systems for engine emissions monitoring, gas detection, water level detection and cargo tank monitoring.

Seacom Electronics installs and services a wide range of communication, navigation and entertainment systems for all vessel types. Its parent company, V.Ships, is the world’s largest supplier of ship management services, supporting a fleet of over 1,000 vessels. The managed fleet comprises a broad range of vessel types including tankers, bulk carriers and containerships as well as specialised ships, such as offshore vessels.
Find out more about Navgard - the World's No.1 BNWAS

Friday, 9 September 2011

New Egyptian Agent Gives Martek Presence in Suez

Martek Marine has recently appointed a new agent to help them meet the needs of potential and existing customers in the Suez region of Egypt.

Egyptian Bureau of Shipping (EBS) was established in 2003 in the city of Suez, a strategic location for all vessels passing via the Suez Canal. Since then they have built a reputation for quality engineering service and reliability. In addition to Suez, EBS deliver their services for ships in all the Egyptian ports by offering a team of highly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable personnel.

EBS' Nabawy Mostafa Nabawy with some of the Martek Marine team members
In addition to representing all of Martek Marine’s range of marine safety products, EBS will also act as a hub for Fastcalgas, Martek’s calibration gas supply service. Having a constant supply of our range of calibration gases in this important shipping location allows us to get calibration gas to customers in Suez on time and cost effectively.

EBS’s Nabawy Mostafa Nabawy, has recently visited Martek Marine’s head office where he met with the whole Martek team and undertook extensive training on all Martek systems including Navgard™ - the World’s No.1 BNWAS.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Hamburg Training Event Sees Martek Marine Expand BNWAS Support Network

Martek's Regional Sales Manager Jonathan Love (2nd right) with Engineers
at the BNWAS training course in Hamburg.
Following the increased demand for Martek Marine's Navgard™ - The World's No.1 BNWAS and the success of previous BNWAS training events in the UK and Singapore, Martek have held a BNWAS installer training course in Hamburg, Germany.

The event saw 16 engineers from 9 companies, representing 8 different countries.

Attending were engineers from ROKO Marine Services (Latvia), UEG Marine Electronics (Latvia), Baltic Marine Contractors (Estonia), STT International (Turkey), SIRM S.p.A. (Italy), Aage Hempel (Spain), Lammers (Germany), Electro Radio Navigational Chamber (Russia) and existing Martek representative ELMAR (Lebanon).

In addition to Navgard™, Martek’s leading BNWAS, there was also a great deal of interest in Lifeforce marine automated external defibrillator, Marine QUATTRO portable multi-gas detector and Marine EXTREME portable single gas detector.

If you are interested in becoming a re-seller or an installer for Navgard™ - the World’s No.1 BNWAS then email us at webenquiries@martek-marine.com.

See Martek’s current sales and installation/service partners.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Paying Tribute to Seafarers - What would happen if every ship on our seas suddenly vanished?

It’s International Day of the Seafarer this week (Saturday 25 June) which aims to pay tribute to the world’s 1.5 million seafarers.

A survey carried out by Seafarers UK, the charity that supports seafarers and their families, today shows just how little we as a nation know about this industry.

The majority of respondents weren’t aware that Sunderland (80%), Glasgow (75%) or Belfast (50%) were even seaports. And yet one in five incorrectly named Calais as a British seaport.

Furthermore, when asked how far they live from the coast, a fifth of adults estimated they were 76 miles or more away from the sea, even though there is no part of Britain that is further than 70 miles from the coast. That’s possibly the reason why 80% of people have not been on the sea as a passenger on a ship or boat for over a year, with over a quarter saying they haven’t set sail for more than 10 years.

We also massively underestimated the dangers that fishermen face at work, with less than one in 10 adults correctly identifying it as the most dangerous career in the UK.

And we clearly aren’t passing on our maritime history to our children either with a quarter of children in the survey naming Captain Jack Sparrow as Britain’s most famous seaman.

To mark the campaign, a thought-provoking video has been commissioned by Seafarers UK. It paints the nightmare scenario of what would happen if every ship suddenly disappeared and highlights just how important seafarers are.

For more information visit www.noships.com

“Thank You Seafarers” – Martek Marine Supports the IMO's Day of the Seafarer

Day of the Seafarer - 25th June 2011
Saturday 25th June 2011 marks the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Day of the Seafarer – an opportunity to educate the public about the issues facing the modern-day seafarer. But, most importantly, it is the occasion for everyone to say “Thank you, seafarers.”

The aim is to pay tribute to the world’s 1.5 million seafarers for the unique and all-too-often overlooked contribution to the well-being of the general public.

In 2010, IMO Member States agreed that the contribution made by seafarers from all over the world to international seaborne trade, the world economy and civil society as a whole, should be marked annually with a ‘Day of the Seafarer’.

This year, the celebration will take the form of an online campaign, in which the IMO are asking everyone to voice their support using social networks. On the Day of the Seafarer, you can show your support by saying “Thank you seafarers” on Facebook, via tweets, by posting a video on YouTube, discussing on LinkedIn, or even writing an inspirational blog.

By generating interaction on the web about seafarers, you can show respect, recognition and gratitude to seafarers everywhere. The universal outreach of social media will raise awareness of the vital role that seafarers play in the world economy and, in many respects, in sustainable development, enabling ships to carry than 90% of world trade safely, efficiently and with minimal impact on the environment.

Martek Marine will be promoting this day on our website, blog, twitter and facebook page. If you use any form of social media then we encourage you to participate in this worldwide effort by celebrating and promoting the day on the web.

Martek Marine's Operations Board give their backing to Day of the Seafarer

If you would like to take part then go to the Day of the Seafarer page on the IMO website and download a toolkit with ideas of how you can get involved.

In addition to showing our support for the Day of the Seafarer, Martek Marine has also chosen the Mission to Seafarers to be our main charity for 2011. Each year Martek raise money for good causes by holding a number of events. The Mission to Seafarers provides help and support to those in need, working in more than 230 ports caring for the practical and spiritual welfare of seafarers of all nationalities and faiths.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Martek Marine opens a new Calibration Gas Hub in Suez

New hub supplies Suez Canal shipping
One year on from Martek Marine’s launch of the Fastcalgas calibration gas supply service and the business is going from strength to strength, so much so that in response to customer demand a new hub has been opened in Suez.

Steve Coulson, Director at Martek Marine explains:

“Last year we launched Fastcalgas with the aim of taking the pain out of the process of buying calibration gas and making the whole process a lot simpler for our customers. The business has grown rapidly over the last twelve months and the next step towards ensuring consistent levels of fast service was to increase the number of stock holding hubs.”

This new hub brings the total number to 6, with locations already set up in the UK, USA, Shanghai, Singapore and Dubai.

“Feedback from our customers told us that getting calibration gas on time and cost effectively to The Suez was particularly problematic. By having this location established we can now guarantee next day delivery in this region and ensure the most competitive pricing levels” added Mr Coulson.

Click here to find out more about the Fastcalgas calibration gas supply service.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Bermuda Ship Registry Give Advice for Continued Use of Existing BNWAS

The amendments to SOLAS Chapter V, regulation 19 which were introduced by MSC.282 (86) allow for Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm Systems (BNWAS) fitted before 1st July 2011 and which may not meet the IMO Performance Criteria to be accepted after 1st July 2011 at the discretion of the administration on the basis of an exemption.

The Government of Bermuda Department of maritime Administration has issued a shipping notice to set out the essential requirements for such a system to be accepted in Bermuda ships and the procedures to be followed.

Requirements for acceptance of existing BNWAS

Any system fitted before 1st July 2011 and which does not meet the IMO Performance Standards for such a system, or which cannot be demonstrated to meet them, may still be acceptable in a Bermuda ship provided that the system has:
  • A manual ON/OFF facility protected by either a key switch, password system, or a location in the master’s cabin,
  • A dormant period of between 3 and 12 minutes once switched on,
  • A visual indication and an audible alarm in the wheelhouse at the end of the dormant period, but the first 15 seconds of alarm may be visual only. The visual alarm should be a flashing indication visible from all operational positions on the bridge where the OOW may reasonably be expected to be stationed. The colour of the indication(s) should be chosen so as not to impair night vision and dimming facilities (although not to extinction) should be incorporated,
  • A first stage audible alarm which sounds on the bridge at the end of the visual indication period which has its own characteristic tone or modulation intended to alert, but not to startle, the OOW. This alarm should be audible from all operational positions on the bridge where the OOW may reasonably be expected to be stationed. This function may be engineered using one or more sounding devices,
  • Arrangements so that if the alarm is not reset it is transferred to the backup officer’s cabin and/or the Master’s cabin within 30 seconds,
  • Arrangements so that if the alarm is not reset within 30 to 90 seconds from the first visual indication in the wheelhouse, (3 minutes for larger vessels) the alarm sounds in public spaces such as mess room, ship’s office, conference room etc.
  • An alarm which sounds in the locations of the Master, officers and further crew members capable of taking corrective action at the end of the bridge audible alarm period which is easily identifiable by its sound and should indicate urgency. The volume of this alarm should be sufficient for it to be heard throughout the locations above and to wake sleeping persons,
  • An alarm reset function provided in the wheelhouse which may be either a push button, and / or movement detector or similar in positions providing a proper lookout,
  • An emergency call facility which activates the final alarm stage.
  • A timing accuracy of the system within 5% or 5 seconds whichever is less,
  • An indication of any power supply failure to the system with means to provide a repeat of this indication on any central alarm panel if fitted.
  • Means of activating the reset facility which is only be available from positions on the bridge that provide a proper lookout and preferably adjacent to visual indications. Means of activating the reset function should be easily accessible from the conning position, the workstation for navigating and manoeuvring, the work station for monitoring and the bridge wings.
  • The operational mode indicated to the officer of the watch,
For more information and to find out how to submit a request for exemption then read the full document on the Bermuda Ship Registry website.

Navgard - World's No.1 BNWAS

If you do not already have a BNWAS onboard your vessels or if you find that your existing system is not exempt from the BNWAS regulations then Martek Marine can help you comply.

Navgard is the World's No.1 BNWAS with Type Approval from all the major classification societies ensuring that you can fit the same system across your whole fleet, irrespective of who your vessels are classed by.

Find out more about Navgard BNWAS.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Fleet Wide Defibrillator Order Highlights Trefin Tankers’ Commitment to Crew Welfare

Trefin Tankers Equip Fleet With Lifeforce Marine AED
Trefin Tankers (GR) recently equipped their entire fleet of vessels with the Lifeforce AED from Martek Marine to provide effective treatment in the event of any of their crew suffering a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) while at sea.

SCA is the world’s biggest killer claiming the lives of around 3 million people worldwide each year. Using a defibrillator to restore a normal heart rhythm within the first 3 minutes can improve survival rates by up to a staggering 70%. For every minute after this that elapses, the chances of survival reduce by 10%. Without an on-board defibrillator the chances of surviving an SCA at sea are zero.

The Lifeforce AED is the only defibrillator in the world to be Type Approved specifically for use in the hostile marine environment, offering confidence that it can be relied upon to give life saving treatment when it’s needed most.

Trefin place a great deal of importance on the welfare of the men who serve on their vessels and view the provision of a marine approved defibrillator as an important piece of equipment in ensuring their safety.

Speaking about the decision to equip their vessels with the Lifeforce AED, Chartering & Operations Director Mr Efstathiou commented:

“Trefin Tankers are proud to equip their fleet with Lifeforce – the world’s only marine approved defibrillator for treating Sudden Cardiac Arrest at sea. SCA kills three million people every year. By investing in Lifeforce, Trefin have demonstrated their commitment to crew welfare across the globe.”

Find out more about the Lifeforce marine AED.

Find out more about sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Does Your Existing Dead Man Alarm Comply With SOLAS BNWAS Requirements?

There are a number of companies who already have a simple dead man alarm or similar type of system installed on some of their vessels and are unsure whether or not this is sufficient for compliance with SOLAS Regulation V/19 BNWAS requirements.

In some cases they may be able to get an exemption from the BNWAS regulations but this is not always the case. The existing system still needs to meet certain requirements and so we have produced a checklist of required features to help give you determine whether your existing system is compliant.

The following is only a guide and if you are at all unsure then you should check with your relevant class society or flag authority.

  • System should have 3 operation modes - Automatic - system comes into operation when ships heading or track control system is activated; Manual ON and Manual OFF.
  • Alarm system to have a configurable dormant period of 3-12 minutes.
  • The reset function or alarm cancellation can only be located on the bridge. 
  • First level Alarm - Initially a visual indication on the bridge followed 15 seconds later by an audible alarm if system not reset.
  • Second stage Alarm - remote audible alarm in Masters(compulsory) and other Officers quarters(as required).
  • Third level Alarm - remote audible alarm at locations designated general crew areas.
  • All alarms should be easily identifiable by its sound and should indicate urgency. Volume should be significant enough to wake people up and be tone selectable.
  • The reset function should, by single operator action, cancel all visual and audible alarms and initiate a further dormant period.
  • Resets should be tamper alarmed and designed to prevent continual activation.
  • System should have an emergency call function which will activate Level two and esclalate to Level 3 alarms in remote locations.
  • System should be security protected so that access to the system configuration is only available to the Master.
  • System should be powered by ships main power but MUST have a battery back up giving a minimum of 6 hours usage.
  • Inputs should be available for additional reset devices for connection to bridge equipment capable of generating reset signals as verified by the appropriate approved bodies.
  • Output(s) should be available for connection to bridge visual and audible alarms and equipment.
If you find that the above checklist shows that your current deadman alarm system does not fully comply with the requirements of SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 19 then we would be delighted to discuss your requirements with you to see how we can help.

Navgard™ – our bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS) – was designed specifically for compliance with these regulations and is Type Approved by all the major classification societies to meet the performance standards outlined in MSC.128(75) and IEC 62616:2010.

You can find out more about Navgard™ by visiting the BNWAS product page on our website.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Martek Launch Portable Gas Detectors

Since the company was founded, Martek Marine has always been specialists in the field of fixed gas detection systems, developing products for monitoring pump rooms, ballast tanks, accommodation air conditioning inlets and refrigeration plants.
More recently we have developed Fastcalgas, a calibration gas supply service especially for the marine industry designed to give you a simple service with a single price for delivering your calibration gas to any available destination in the world.

Now Martek are taking the next step in providing a complete gas detection service with the launch of a range of marine portable gas detectors. Carefully selected packages for both multi-gas and single gas detection provide you with reliable, affordable portable gas detection.

Single and Multi-Gas Portable Detectors

Martek provide two main types of portable gas detector. Firstly, a four-gas detector - MARINE QUATTRO and also a single gas detector - MARINE EXTREME.

Unique and patented sensor diagnostics mean that you only need to calibrate our multi-gas detectors every 12 months and the single gas detectors never need calibration during the lifetime of the instruments.

By running your portable gas detectors in collaboration with Fastcalgas – the first global calibration gas service – you will make huge efficiency on how you currently procure your calibration gas.

Choice of Fleet Deals to Best Suit Your Needs!

Doing business with Martek is all about giving you the best product, best service and best deal for your needs. That’s why we have a range of bespoke packages available when contracting with us for your fleet of vessels. With offers including free gas or free portable devices mixed with our unrivalled service and products, then Martek is the clear business partner of choice. Contact us now and we can discuss how Martek can best serve your needs.

Find Out More!

Martek Marine's range of portable gas detectors
Fastcalgas - world-wide calibration gas supply service

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Airport Drama Highlights Importance of Defibrillators

A recent tour of Germany by Martek Marine to promote a piece of equipment to save the lives of crews at sea got off to a dramatic and eventful start with an unscheduled real life demonstration in the airport.

Jonathan Love, Martek Marine’s Regional Sales Manager for Southern Europe, had not even left British soil when he was called on to use the equipment for real.

Jonathan explains:

“I was queuing at my local Airport to catch a flight to Hamburg where I had five of the largest German Ship owners lined up for a demonstration of our LIFEFORCE Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Little did I know I would shortly be called upon to test the simplicity and ease of use of this life saving piece of equipment for real!”

Wisely, Steve Coulson, Business Development Manager at Martek Marine, had taken an earlier decision to invest in live units for these demonstrations instead of the usual low cost inactive samples that are commonly used by the competition. Jonathan continues:

“A lady in front of me suddenly keeled over in the queue. Aware that Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is one of the world’s biggest killers (taking over 3 million lives per year) I went straight to her and began to administer first aid.”

The casualty was placed in the recovery position after Jonathan cleared an obstruction in her airway allowing her to breathe more freely.

“Applying the LIFEFORCE defibrillator to the casualty who was now unconscious and breathing erratically, I feared the worst. It is critical to administer treatment for SCA as soon as possible as any chance of survival lowers after the first few minutes of such an incident. However, the system reported in detail that the patient’s heart was functioning normally and the cause of the collapse was not related at this stage to any issue with her heart. In such cases, the LIFEFORCE unit will not administer a shock in a further stage of casualty protection. With her condition still deteriorating however, I kept the unit in place as advised by my training in case the primary condition, now believed to be the result of a head trauma from several years ago, triggered an SCA event.”

“The casualty remained unconscious for well over thirty minutes until the paramedics arrived. Calming her travel partner during this period, the casualty slowly regained consciousness in the airport concourse while still attached to the lifesaving equipment. I was glad when the Paramedics arrived and took over the duty of care.”

“I urge you to consider securing a LIFEFORCE unit whether you are on a vessel or simply in an office as you will never be given a warning when you may need to use one for real. SCA will strike without any prejudice at anytime. Our aim is to have every vessel equipped with this life saving equipment”.

In a stark reflection of the wide reach of SCA in the population, the reason it took Paramedics 30 minutes to attend to the woman was that they had actually been delayed because they had been treating an SCA victim in another part of the airport.

Find out more about Martek's defibrillators for your ships and offices.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Working Safely in Confined Spaces

What is a confined space?
Confined spaces have a number of key attributes:

• The space must be large enough for a worker to enter but be too small for continuous occupation

• The space should feature limited openings for entry or exit

• The space may be poorly ventilated

• There may be inwardly sloping walls or floor

Many confined spaces exist within a variety of industries including marine applications. Depending on the type of ship and the cargo, dangerous gas concentrations can form in the atmosphere at any time. Liquid gas, fuel, chemicals and other fossil fuels harbor a risk of explosion and there is a danger of suffocation from lack of Oxygen when using Nitrogen or other non-flammable gases for inerting. It is also important to be aware of dangers presented by toxic gases such as Carbon Monoxide from exhaust fumes, or Hydrogen Sulphide from the decomposition of organic compounds found in the briny water inside the ballast tank.

Likely hazards encountered in confined spaces

Typically, confined spaces can contain a variety of hazards including Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Methane (CH4) and Oxygen deficiency.

H2S - H2S is a toxic gas that is produced as a bi-product of microbial activity. This gas is highly toxic and at concentrations less than 30ppm is identifiable by its strong odour of rotten eggs. At concentrations higher than 30ppm, H2S paralyses the olfactory nerve, stopping the sense of smell. At concentrations of 500 to 700 ppm, death will occur within 30 mins to 1 hour.

CO - CO is a toxic gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal. During normal combustion, Carbon Dioxide is produced (CO2) but when ventilation is inadequate, CO can be produced instead. CO is absorbed by haemoglobin in the blood and prevents Oxygen being absorbed, causing the victim to die of asphyxiation. At concentrations of 400ppm, CO will start to cause nausea, dizziness, headache and sickness. At concentrations of 800ppm, death will occur half an hour after exposure.

CH4 - CH4 is a combustible gas that is produced by the decomposition of organic materials. CH4 is the main constituent of Natural Gas and as a result, leaks in gas pipes can be another source of Methane.

Oxygen Deficiency - Normally Oxygen makes up 21% of the atmosphere and an Oxygen deficient environment is described as being one where Oxygen levels are 19.5% or less. Oxygen can be displaced by toxic or inert gases and microbial action, oxidation caused by rusting metal and combustion can also cause an Oxygen deficient environment. At 19.5% Oxygen the operator will feel drowsy. At 17% and less cognitive processes and coordination will be severely compromised. At levels of 6% or lower, death will occur quickly.

Although these are the most likely gases to be encountered in confined spaces, other gases can also be found.

Dealing with marine confined space entry

Before an operator enters a confined space, they will need to make a pre-entry check to determine the hazards in the area.

The use of a multi-gas portable gas detector, capable of providing simultaneous monitoring of H2S, CO, Oxygen and combustibles (%LEL) is essential for safe confined space entry (please note: the sensors used with any portable device must reflect the known hazards likely to be in the environment).

First the operator must perform a full test of the environment prior to entering. Once the area has been cleared for entry, continuous monitoring must continue to ensure the area remains safe from gas hazards.

Pre-entry check:

Testing at various levels of the confined space is essential because of the differing nature of gases and the fact that some are heavier than air, whilst others are lighter, than air.

Naturally, until the hazards are known and evaluated, it is not safe for the operator to directly enter the area. The use of a confined space gas detector kit makes stratified testing easy and generally includes a multi-gas monitor with pump, 10 foot sampling hose for pre-testing (longer lengths available).

Continuous monitoring

After initial testing is complete, the atmosphere within the space must be continuously monitored to ensure the area remains safe. If a hazardous atmosphere is detected during entry, employees should exit immediately, re-evaluate the space and take corrective measures.

What portable device?

The ideal portable device needs to offer simultaneous monitoring of 4-gases, and be rugged and suited to tough environments; especially when working in marine applications where water is likely to be present. This makes an IP66/67 rating preferable. Audible and visual alarms are also necessary to ensure that the operator is alerted to an issue, even in noisy environments.

The MARINE QUATTRO - portable multi-gas detector is ideal for the job being rugged and reliable with the World's longest continuous operation battery life.

Find out more about the MARINE QUATTRO.

The Importance of Portable Bump Testing

Bump Testing: The simple test that could save your life!

It’s important to do a bump test before you use your portable device, even if it has been recently calibrated. This is the only way to ensure accuracy and ensure that the device will alarm when exposed to specific quantities of gas.

Why bump testing?

Imagine the following scenario; an operator picks up his portable device, which has just been calibrated. He is scheduled to undertake some sandblasting of rusted pipe work in a confined space onboard a ship.
The area he is working in poses a potential hazard for H2S, Oxygen depletion, CO and flammables and his portable device uses catalytic bead detection to monitor for flammable gases. Whilst undertaking the sandblasting, his device is bombarded with minute particles, and some get forced into the sensor’s sinter, partially blocking it up. This means that the sensor is no longer working correctly.

According to his usual equipment maintenance schedule, the engineer does not plan to re-calibrate the device for 3 months. When he next uses the device, he assumes it is working well, but in reality its ability to detect flammable gases has been severely compromised.

Bump testing explained

As the previous example highlights, regular bump testing is essential to ensure that a device is online and able to do the job it is designed to do every time it is used by an operator. There are two main ways to bump test a portable device:

1. Manual method: This involves using a 4-gas mix cylinder (four gases that are being monitored all contained in one pressurised cylinder) and a bump testing kit, consisting of a gas flow regulator and tubing. The operator uses the tubing and regulator to expose the device to the mix of gas from the canister.

2. Automatic method: This involves using a device that provides automatic portable test and calibration. Typically these devices contain an integrated gas supply and easy dock aspect that allows a portable to be tested and calibrated in a few minutes, at the touch of a button.

What’s the benefit?

The table below provides a good comparison for manual testing and automatic testing, but how does this translate into customer value in terms of cost savings?

When it comes to time management, even the smallest changes can equate to considerable savings over time. A small change such as reducing the bump test time from five minutes to two minutes can translate into a labour cost reduction of 60%. When additional aspects such as auto data logging and auto calibration are also included, this percentage rises to an approximate saving of 75% by making small time efficiencies.

Monday, 21 March 2011

MPA Singapore Rule Out Use of Motion Sensors on BNWAS for Their Vessels

The Maritime and Ports Authority of Singapore has clarified the issue of use of motion sensors as a method of confirming OOW activity to reset a BNWAS on Singapore registered vessels.

MPA Singapore has taken a similar viewpoint to Lloyd’s Register in that they do not see motion sensors as providing an indication of the awareness of the Officer of the Watch (OOW).

MPA Singapore state:
“A motion sensor would not meet the design criteria for reset function in accordance with MSC.128(75). As stated in paragraph 6.2.2, "Reset devices should be designed and installed so as to minimise the possibility of their operation by any means other than activation by the OOW.
In the case of BNWAS, the OOW may not be the only trigger for the motion sensors, in particular, in consideration that the ship is moving, and in rough seas the rolling could be severe, resulting in curtains swaying, falling objects in bridge, etc, all which may trigger the motion sensors. Also, having motion sensors would add an additional device to the alarm system, which would then require testing and approval that they can function properly in a shipboard environment as part of the alarm system.
The intent is also clearly stated in the above para 6.2.2, that the activation by the OOW positively is preferred, not via a passive means such as motion sensors. The resolution also actually provides an example of where the reset button could be located, eg chart table or ECDIS, where the OOW would be for considerable periods of time and therefore could easily reach out to reset the alarm. The aim is to include simple reset devices which would not be prone to false resets or failure and for the OOW to have complete awareness of the need to actively reset the alarm. Motion sensors will take away this awareness.
Please refer to our shipping circular no. 21 of 2010 on BNWAS.”

Navgard™ - Lloyd’s Register (LR) Type Approved BNWAS

The LR Type Approved version of the Navgard™ BNWAS has been designed and approved to operate without the use of motion sensors. Instead, the system operates with manual push buttons to reset the BNWAS at the prescribed intervals to meet with LR requirements.

The criteria that the systems meets for Lloyd’s Register Type Approval also means that it is ideal to meet the requirements of the Singapore MPA.

Find out more about Navgard LR Type Approved BNWAS.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Lloyd’s Register Requirements for BNWAS

An updated version of this article is now available - click to view updated article.

Anyone who has any of their vessels classified by Lloyd’s Register of Shipping should be aware of one very important requirement that the classification society has stipulated for BNWAS.

While many BNWAS use passive infra red (PIR) sensors to detect movement on the ship’s bridge as a way of automatically resetting the BNWAS, LR do not recognise this technology as an acceptable method of determining the awareness of the OOW.

In their Rules and Regulations for the Classification of Ships, Part 7, Chapter 9, Section 4.2 – Navigational Arrangements and Integrated Bridge Systems, LR state:
4.2.3 Acknowledgement of any alarm is to automatically reset the time interval between warnings. Manual adjustment of controls may also be used for this purpose. Manual adjustment of controls and navigation equipment is to automatically reset the watch safety interval timer. Reset arrangements based on the detection of movement in the bridge are not considered to satisfy this requirement or to confirm well-being and watch-keeping awareness.
In further clarification on this issue Lloyd’s have said:
“Paragraph 4.1.3, 5.1.4, 6.2.2 & 6.2.3 of the performance standard adopted by IMO by its MSC. Res. 128(75) provides the requirement on the reset facilities of BNWAS.

We understand these requirement as such that the reset functionality may be provided by either physical reset push buttons at Officer of the Watch(OOW)’s proper look out positions, e.g. conning position, navigation operation & watch station (radar & ECDIS workstation), wings, etc., or by input from other equipment on the bridge capable of registering operator’s action in positions giving proper look out, e.g. operation of radars or ECDIS.
Movement of OOW (or other thing) detected by the motion sensors in wheelhouse is not sufficient to demonstrate the OOW’s mental alertness as required by

The BNWAS is required to be of a type approved by the Flag administration, therefore the justification of using motion sensors as reset facilities for BNWAS is to be given by the relevant Flag authority.”
Navgard™ - Lloyd’s Register Type Approved BNWAS

Navgard LR Type Approved BNWAS
Martek Marine’s Navgard™ BNWAS is available in versions both with and without PIRs. The version of the system that does not use motion detectors uses manual reset buttons instead and is fully Type Approved by Lloyd’s Register.

The version of the system that incorporates PIRs has Type Approvals from a range of other classification societies who have not interpreted the performance standards in the same way as LR and as such allow motion detection as a simpler and less stressful form of indicating activity on the bridge.

By having a system available in versions that can operate with or without PIRs and that has a full range of Type Approvals from all the major Classification Societies it means that you can source your BNWAS from just one supplier even if you have a variety of classed vessels. This can save you a great deal of time and effort.

Find out more about the Navgard™ BNWAS.

Monday, 7 March 2011

What Can You Learn from the Danish BNWAS Experience?

While the international shipping community is starting to turn its attention to how it will comply with the latest amendments to SOLAS V/19, Denmark has had a national requirement of a BNWAS on Danish ships for some time. The Danish implementation started in March 2003 for ships with gross tonnage below 500 and thereafter gradually for larger ships. By 1st March 2006, the national requirement was in force for all ships.

At the fifty-second session of the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation looked at the human aspect of BNWAS. The Sub-Committee was asked to look at how they could enhance the safety of navigation while still taking into account the human element. In response to this, Denmark has taken a look at the use of BNWAS on Danish ships and on how navigators view the system they use.

In the winter of 2006-07, the Danish Maritime Authority issued a questionnaire to get feedback on the use of BNWAS on Danish ships. 237 responses were received from OOW’s familiar to the use of BNWAS.

Summary of Results

• 93% of the navigators answered “Yes” to the question: “Do you regard the BNWAS to be part of the safety equipment on the bridge protecting the ship and her crew?” This clearly indicates that the OOW’s generally regard the BNWAS as a factor that enhances the safety of navigation.

• In most cases the procedures and routines for Bridge Resource Management on board the ships had been changed to ensure proper use of the BNWAS.

• The number of times the BNWAS had been activated varied according to the way the alarm was reset. Approximately half of the received answers were given from ships equipped with reset button system only. A reset button must be activated manually in order to reset or postpone an alarm.

• On ships with a reset button system, an innumerable number of alarms were seen or heard.

• BNWAS was in many cases only reset after the alarm was activated. The OOW on such ships generally felt the BNWAS to be a source of irritation and distraction. In total, approximately 20% of the OOW’s found the BNWAS irritating due to the many alarms.

• On ships with a system including activity sensors that detects movement on the bridge, the BNWAS gave very few alarms. Furthermore, the OOW on such ships generally viewed the BNWAS to be reassuring. No element of irritation was found in the answers in connection with this type of BNWAS.


Based on the views expressed in the questionnaires, a BNWAS that incorporates activity sensors rather than only a reset button should be installed on your vessels. This will reduce the number of alarms and avoid unnecessary stress and inconvenience to the OOW. This, however, is not an option for any of your vessels that are classed by Lloyd’s Register who have advised that the use of passive infra red (PIR) motion sensors is not acceptable for compliance with SOLAS V/19. All other Classification Societies will accept this form of activity detection.

Only 0.1% of all alarms went to the second stage giving audible alarm in the back-up officer’s and/or master’s locations. No alarms went to third stage giving audible alarm in the locations of further crew members.

How Can Martek Marine Help You?

Navgard, Martek Marine's fully Type Approved BNWAS, is available either with or without the use of PIR motion detectors. This gives you the choice, should your class society allow it, of the most convenient method of compliance for your ships and their crew.

The system is Type Approved by all of the major classification societies, including Lloyd's Register, meaning you can find a BNWAS for your whole fleet from one supplier, even if your vessels are classed by a variety of societies with differing rules.

For more information, click on the links below:

Navgard - Fully Type Approved BNWAS

More information about BNWAS

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Martek's Sales Director Answers Salestarget.co.uk's 20 Questions

Anthony Carter - Sales Director, Martek Marine
Anthony Carter - Martek Marine's Sales Director - has taken part in the 20 questions feature on sales recruitment and career advice website Salestarget.co.uk.

Anthony, who joined Martek in July 2010, answers questions about his experiences starting out in sales part-time while a student and his views on various topics connected with a career in sales.

To read Anthony's answers in full visit 20 questions with Anthony Carter, sales director at Martek Marine.