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.