Tuesday, 27 November 2012

What is ECDIS?

An Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) is a computer-based navigation system that complies with IMO regulations and can be used as an alternative to paper navigation charts. Integrating a variety of real-time information, it is an automated decision aid capable of continuously determining a vessel’s position in relation to land, charted objects, navigation aids and unseen hazards.

An ECDIS includes electronic navigational charts (ENC) and integrates position information from the Global Positioning System (GPS) and other navigational sensors, such as radar, fathometer and automatic identification systems (AIS). It may also display additional navigation-related information, such as sailing directions.

ECDIS is defined in the IMO ECDIS Performance Standards (IMO Resolution A.817(19)) as follows:

Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) means a navigation information system which, with adequate back up arrangements, can be accepted as complying with the up-to-date chart required by regulation V/19 & V/27 of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, by displaying selected information from navigation sensors to assist the mariner in route planning and route monitoring, and by displaying additional navigation-related information if required.

IMO - Solas Chapter V Regulation 19.2

At its 86th session from May 26 to June 5, 2009, the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee approved new regulations for the mandatory carriage requirements of ECDIS.
2.1 All ships irrespective of size shall have:
2.1.4 Nautical charts and nautical publications to plan and display the ship’s route for the intended voyage and to plot and monitor positions throughout the voyage; an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) may be accepted as meeting the chart carriage requirements of this subparagraph
2.1.5 Back-up arrangements to meet the functional requirements of subparagraph 2.1.4, if this function is partly or fully fulfilled by electronic means.

The amendment to SOLAS Chapter V regulation 19.2 will require ships engaged on international voyages to be fitted with ECDIS according to the following timetable:

ECDIS Compliance Timetable
For more information about the ECDIS regulations and requirements visit www.ecdis-info.com.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Martek goes the extra 18,000 miles in the name of customer service

Martek Service Engineer Mick English

Martek Marine prides itself on always meeting its customers’ requirements, but service engineer, Mick English, went beyond the call of duty making a 40 hour 18,000 mile round trip to Malaysia to hand deliver spare parts to ship management company  V Ships.

“We’d promised to get V Ships their parts on time and the only way to do it was to do a hand-over at Kuala Lumpur. It was pretty exhausting, but worth it,” said Mick

V Ships manager Mohammed Haque said: “it was the best service we've ever received!”

Friday, 9 November 2012

Marine Tankscape offers automated on-board tank reading certificates for 7 gases

Marine Tankscape™ - Inert Cargo Tank
& Confined Space Gas Monitoring 

Martek Marine has released Marine Tankscape™, a new gas monitoring system for tankers and reefer vessels which removes the need for seafarers taking hand notes on deck by producing a certificate for Port State Control and other inspectors as well as storing the information for download. The new Marine Tankscape™ system incorporates seven instruments for confined space and cargo monitoring and inert gases into one instrument and allows up to five gases to be measured and displayed at the same time.

Marine Tankscape™ can detect Oxygen, Hydrogen Sulphine, Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide levels. The hydrocarbon range, which uses the latest infrared technology for inerting and purging operations, can be calibrated with Butane, Propane or Methane gases.

Martek Marine director Steve Coulson said:
“The tragic deaths this week of five Indian seafarers aboard the LNG tanker MV Maharshi Krishnatreya, apparently due to asphyxiation by poisonous gases, sadly highlights the importance of robust gas detection systems. Marine Tankscape™ has been designed after extensive consultation with shipowners, ship managers and shipping personnel and have come up with a product which is versatile and simple to use. By using infrared technology, the system is able to take accurate readings from the atmosphere within the tanks.”
The Marine Tankscape™ also comes complete with an impressive and practical suite of application software. The bespoke software not only allows simple on-board calibration, but crucially provides the ability to print calibration certificates. In addition, complete data-logging software comes as standard allowing logged gas readings, with vessel locations, to be uploaded to a PC.

The system has ATEX and MED approval.

Find out more about Marine Tankscape™.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Martek Marine wins >$1M in Korean orders for emissions monitoring system

UK maritime equipment manufacturer Martek Marine has won a series of large orders for its MariNOx Evolution™ on-board emissions monitoring and engine efficiency system with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Hyundai Heavy Industries.

MariNOx Evolution™
Amongst the seven orders is the world’s largest and most complicated emissions monitoring system ever to measure SOx, NOx, CO2, CH4, NO2, THC, H2S, Benzene and N20. MariNOx Evolution™ is the world’s leading ship emissions system designed to enable simple and automated Marine Equipment Directive (MED) certified compliance with the MEPC 177(58) NOx Technical Code 2008, as well as MARPOL Annex VI and MEPC 103(49).

Commenting on the order, Martek Marine’s Managing Director Paul Luen said:
“Korean yards continue to choose Martek over other fledgling competitors because of our vast experience and the unique features of MariNOx Evolution™. Over 100 of our systems have already been installed and have clocked up millions of operating hours. None of our competitors can even come close to this level of critical application experience across many different ship types, hence the confidence our customers enjoy in their choice. Yards are building more fuel efficient and less polluting ships and so are turning to our world-class solution to help them achieve this. We have a team of local experienced Korean MariNOx engineers who are able to install and commission MariNOx Evolution™ systems and have developed a particularly close working relationship with the Korean yards.”
MariNOx Evolution™ is the simplest, quickest and lowest cost system to install for shipyards because all engines are monitored via a single sample line without the need to install a complex dilution arrangement requiring dry air supplies at each engine.

MariNOx Evolution™ was introduced to the market in 2010 following further development and engineering from the original MariNOx system launched in 2005 and is based on millions of hours of application experience.

Learn more about MariNOx™

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

BNWAS Switched Off - Grounding Probe Blasts Lack of Safety Compliance

A UK accident investigation by the Maritime Accident Investigations Branch (Maib) into the grounding of the containership Karin Schepers has revealed a series of failures by the ship’s officers to implement recent industry safety measures and the safety-management policy of its operator.

Karin Scheper after grounding
Ship’s Master Was Asleep and Intoxicated

It was found that the ship’s master was asleep and intoxicated at the time the 803-teu vessel grounded on the UK’s Cornish coast on 3rd August 2011. The sound of music and his snoring could be heard on the bridge.

The master had relieved the second officer of the watch but fell asleep a short time later. No lookout was posted, and with no-one awake on the bridge the vessel continued on for over 2 hours before running aground.

Previous Grounding

This wasn’t the first time that the vessel had been involved in a similar incident as it had grounded in Danish waters in March 2009 when the chief officer was intoxicated and fell asleep on the watch. The vessel’s operator at the time, HS Schiffahrts, introduced a zero-alcohol policy but as implementation of this onboard the vessel would have been entrusted with the master, in this case it would not have been effective.

BNWAS Switched Off

In both incidents the Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System (BNWAS) - intended to monitor motion on the bridge and prevent the watch from falling asleep – had been switched off.
Karin Scheper's BNWAS was turned off

BNWAS became mandatory under SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 19, adopted by the IMO in June 2009.

Afterwards, the master was asked by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to back up the voyage data recorder (VDR). He was also asked a second time by the vessel’s owner to do the same thing. However, the information was not saved, although the Maib was able to recover data from the VDR.

The Maib describes the safety-management system on the Karin Schepers as “ineffective”. Audits of the vessel’s safety management system, by the owner, had failed to detect that important safety requirements were being ignored.

Reduce the Risk of Crew Tampering with BNWAS 

Whereas most BNWAS systems use a key switch for turning the system on and off the Navgard™ BNWAS from Martek Marine requires a master password to switch it off. This means that, provided the password is kept confidential by senior crew, it is not possible for any crew member to turn the system off whenever they want.
Navgard BNWAS

Although this would not have prevented an incident like the Karin Schepers grounding if it was the master who turns off the BNWAS, it would at least be able to highlight the system being turned off in safety audits by the owner thanks to logging system events onto an integral SD card.

By checking during safety audits that the system has been in continuous operation owners can ensure that this important safety measure is being followed.

Navgard™ is the World’s No.1 BNWAS and is approved by all major classification societies.

Find out more about Navgard™ BNWAS.

Read the full Maib report into the grounding of the Karin Schepers

Friday, 15 June 2012

Strong Interest in Martek Products at Posidonia 2012

Martek’s Anthony Freeman and Panagiotis Sochos of AGV 

Martek Marine attended the recent Posidonia 2012 exhibition in Athens where the Greek shipping Market seems to be gathering some pace.

Martek’s Anthony Freeman was present for the week long event and commented:

"We have been incredibly busy seeing both old friends and new customers along with our Greek agents AGV Commercial & Technical Services.

We have taken over $2M of enquiries for products as diverse as portable gas detectors right up to our flagship emissions monitoring system Marinox™".

There was also a strong interest in crew welfare products at the show including Lifeforce™ - the world's only marine type approved defibrillator.

View the full range of Martek Marine's products.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Accident Report Concludes BNWAS Could Have Prevented Grounding

A ship's mate who had been drinking the night before and was probably sleep-deprived didn't notice the ship had gone aground for at least 10 minutes, a report has found.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission's report into the grounding of the Anatoki off the coast of Golden Bay in May 2010 also found a navigational and alarm system should have been fitted on the bridge to mitigate the risk of one-man bridge operations.

The report says the mate consumed four or five pints of beer on shore before returning to the Anatoki about 10.15pm the night before, 45 minutes before he went on duty.

He was relieved shortly after midnight but was back on watch shortly after 4am.

Data shows the ship ran aground at 5.06am. The mate used a buzzer to call the engineer to say the engine “sounded different”.

When he tried to turn the ship around shortly afterwards he realised it was aground. He informed the master at 5.25am but the ship could not be refloated until after 1pm that day, with the assistance of a workboat and a charter fishing vessel.

The report said the mate, who had been in the fishing industry for 18 years, didn't recall falling asleep while on duty, but the events suggested it was a strong possibility.

"If he had not fallen asleep, he must have been doing something other than monitoring the progress of the vessel."

It also noted that he would have had a maximum of 3.5 hours of sleep in the previous 21 hours, which was likely to adversely affect his performance.

The report also said had the ship been fitted with a working bridge watch navigational and alarm system, the mate might have been alerted in time to prevent the ground.

Maritime New Zealand said it agreed it was desirable to make these alarms mandatory.

BNWAS Regulations

The requirements making it mandatory to have a bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS) fitted to all passenger and cargo vessels can be found in the amendments made to SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 19 that were adopted by the IMO on 5th June 2009 in Resolution MSC.282(86).

The changes see the following subparagraph is added to paragraph 2.2 of the regulations:

.3 a bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS), as follows:
.1 cargo ships of 150 gross tonnage and upwards and passenger ships irrespective of size constructed on or after 1 July 2011;
.2 passenger ships irrespective of size constructed before 1 July 2011, not later than the first survey* after 1 July 2012;
.3 cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed before 1 July 2011, not later than the first survey* after 1 July 2012;
.4 cargo ships of 500 gross tonnage and upwards but less than 3,000 gross tonnage constructed before 1 July 2011, not later than the first survey* after 1 July 2013; and
.5 cargo ships of 150 gross tonnage and upwards but less than 500 gross tonnage constructed before 1 July 2011, not later than the first survey* after 1 July 2014.

The bridge navigational watch alarm system shall be in operation whenever the ship is underway at sea;
.4 a bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS) installed prior to 1 July 2011 may subsequently be exempted from full compliance with the standards adopted by the Organization, at the discretion of the Administration."

BNWAS Compliance Timetable

Navgard™ - The World’s No.1 BNWAS

Navgard BNWAS from Martek Marine.
Navgard™ BNWAS
Navgard™ is a Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System (BNWAS) manufactured by Martek Marine, designed specifically as a solution to the requirements of SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 19. The system meets the performance standards outlined in MSC.128(75) & IEC 62616.

Navgard™ is the only BNWAS approved by all major classification societies – ABS, BV, CCS, ClassNK, CRS, DNV, GL, IR, KR, LR, PRS, RINA and RR. In addition, Navgard™ was the first system to achieve USCG approval.

If you have ships of different class in your fleet, you don’t have to worry about your classification societies rejecting a BNWAS that is only approved by a single different society or incurring additional certification costs that are generally more than the cost of the equipment itself.

Find out more about Navgard™ BNWAS.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Martek Offers Extended Warranties on Range of Fastcalgas Gases

Martek Marine is pleased to announce new extended warranties on a number of the reactive gas products offered through Fastcalgas – our calibration gas supply service.

 As a result of using state-of-the-art equipment during the manufacturing process and implementing a continuous improvement program, the products that we supply to you continue to be market leading. Now, after the completion of extensive, long term stability testing, we are so confident in the results of these improvements that we are increasing the warranty for a large number of our products.

Gas Mixture
Previous Warranty
New Warranty
Hydrogen Sulphide - H2S
13 months
24 months
Sulfur Dioxide - SO2
12 months
24 months
Nitric Oxid – NO
12 months
18 months
Hydrogen Chloride – HCL
8 months
12 months
Ammonia – NH3
12 months
18 months
Hydrogen Cyanide – HCN
12 months
18 months
Phosphine – PH3
12 months
18 months

In addition to the extended periods being offered on the above reactive gases, we are now also extending the warranty on our non-reactive gases from 36 months to 5 years.

About Fastcalgas

Fastcalgas - World-wide calibration
gas supply service
Fastcalgas is a calibration gas supply service from Martek Marine Ltd, available exclusively to shipowners and ship managers. 

The service is designed to make it quicker and easier for you to source and buy calibration gas and have it sent to a wide choice of destinations around the world to meet your vessel.

We stock a range of gas mixtures available at all of our Worldwide stocking locations. Alternatively, if you cannot find the mixture that you need in our stocked gases then we can make bespoke mixtures for you on request. 

Friday, 20 April 2012

Martek Marine Expands BNWAS Installation Service in USA

Following on from previous events in the UK, Singapore and Germany, Martek Marine has held another of its Navgard™ BNWAS training days, this time in Houston, USA.

Martek's Tim Holt demonstrating the Navgard BNWAS
The Houston event was hosted by Tim Holt, Martek Marine’s Senior Service Engineer who gave comprehensive practical training to 3 new reseller/installation companies who will add an even greater US presence to what is already the biggest BNWAS reseller/installation network in the marine industry.

Attending the training session was representatives from Complete Marine, Sperry Marine and Offshore Inland.

Martek Marine now has a BNWAS reseller and installation network of over 60 companies spread across the world, able to provide installation services where our customers need them most.

Also present at the event, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in River Oaks, Houston was Matt Roberts, Martek’s Regional Sales Manager for USA.

Speaking about the event, Matt commented:
"All of the attendees were particularly impressed with the ease of installation offered by the Martek system, especially with the fact that it could be installed with a single cable type."
The Navgard™ BNWAS from Martek Marine is the World’s No.1 BNWAS with approvals from all of the major classification societies, an impressive reference list and testimonials from some of the best known companies in the shipping industry.

Find out more about Navgard™ - The World’s No.1 BNWAS.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Update on Lloyd’s Register Requirements for BNWAS

As outlined in one of our earlier blog posts Lloyd’s Register (LR) had initially not accepted the use of passive infra red (PIR) sensors to detect movement on the ship’s bridge stating:
‘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…’
However, more recently LR has modified their position on the use of PIRs to say:
“LR does accept the use of reset arrangements based on the detection of movement for vessels where Flag Administrations accept the use of them.  However, LR does not accept the use of reset arrangements based on the detection of movement for vessels with the additional optional ‘NAV1’ or ‘IBS’ class notations.”
So, provided that the Flag Administrator of your vessel approves of their use as a method of resetting your BNWAS and your vessel does not have additional ‘NAV1’ or ‘IBS’ notations then you are able to use PIRs as a more convenient reset method.

Read more about how the Danish experience of BNWAS shows the benefits that using a system that incorporates an activity reset method has over a manual reset system. 

Friday, 6 January 2012

Grounding of Karin Schepers highlights the importance of a fully functioning BNWAS

This year sees the compliance date for cargo ships of 3,000gt and over to ensure that they have installed a type approved bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS). Whilst this is yet another regulatory headache for many ship owners and managers, it is worth considering the case of the Karin Schepers to see the importance of a fully functioning BNWAS on your vessels.

Karin Schepers Grounding

Karin Schepers is a 7,852 GT, 9,340 DWT Container Ship, built in 2007, registered in Antigua & Barbuda and classed in Germanischer Lloyd. It had a crew of 12 including a master, a chief officer, a 2nd officer, 3 able bodied seamen and 2 ordinary seamen.

Karin Schepers departed Helsinki, Finland, on 20 March 2009 at 1730 bound for Teesport, England with a cargo of containers.

However, on 22 March at 0935 Karin Schepers grounded in position 55°39’44 N - 012°42’15 E, 0.9 nm north of Drogden dredged channel in the Sound. The speed when the ship grounded was 12 knots. The draft was 6.40m fore and 6.60m aft before the grounding. After the grounding the draft fore was reduced by 1.90m and the draft aft was increased by 0.80m.

At highest water in the morning of 23 March at 0820 the ship was refloated by help of a tug and towed into the Port of Copenhagen.

Causes of the Grounding

Following the grounding an accident investigation was carried out by the Danish Maritime Authority – It found that the grounding was caused be the following:

  • The chief officer was incapacitated due to intoxication.
  • The chief officer fell asleep during his watch.
  • There was no look out on the bridge.
  • The Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System was off.
  • No crewmembers reacted on the various attempts to draw attention to the dangerous path the ship was taking.

In the report the shipping company was recommended to introduce procedures ensuring that watch keeping on the bridge always is optimal in the prevailing circumstances and conditions including the use of lookout and Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System.

In this incident it was not the fact that there was no BNWAS that contributed to the grounding, it was that the crew were able to easily turn off the installed system, making it useless.

Protect Your Vessels - Prevent Your Crew from Turning off BNWAS

Many systems available on the market use simple key switches which make it far too easy for anyone to turn the BNWAS off, removing vital protection for the vessel.

To prevent this happening on your vessels and to deter your crew from switching the BNWAS off, Navgard™ BNWAS from Martek Marine requires a master password to switch it off and also confirms continuous operation by logging to integral SD-card. Navgard™ also logs all alarm events in real time, giving you a permanent record of bridge activity.