Kelvin Hughes Leads the Way for Navigational Safety

From: Image Line Communications
Published: Mon Feb 22 2010

"It is not surprising that out-of-date navigational charts are a significant contributory factor in maritime incidents," says Nigel Mellors, Area Salesman and ex-navigator with Kelvin Hughes.

"Although the vast majority of ships do carry the correct charts, we do sometimes get requests for a new or updated set of charts after a ship has already sailed into the area concerned," he says.

With the current economic conditions, more ships than ever are being switched onto new routes or adding new ports to their current routes at short notice, so the need for quick delivery of new and up-to-date charts is paramount.

Luckily, Kelvin Hughes, the world's largest distributor of navigational, legal and technical information is able to respond rapidly to such requests and keep its managed fleets legal and safe.

Mr Mellors was commenting on reports by a leading P&I Club citing out-of-date or missing navigational charts as contributory factors in two accidents. In one incident, a ship had unwittingly laid anchor on a submarine telecommunications cable it did not know was there.

The London P&I Club said: "The ship surveyor identified that the ship had used an old edition of the chart, which predated the laying of the cable. Apparently, on preparing the passage plan, the second officer had not checked that he had the current edition of the chart."

"This kind of incident does not have to happen," says Mr Mellors. He explains that if ship owners and managers want to ensure that the crews always have up-to-date charts, they should use an expert service such as the Kelvin Hughes Outfit Management (OMS) programme.

Through this programme, which it has operated for 50 years, Kelvin Hughes monitors new editions and updates of the charts and publications carried by each ship and automatically supplies these on a regular basis to the each vessel – keeping the outfit up-to-date and legal.

"Using our OMS means that the crew does not have to remember to ask for up-to-date charts because they are sent automatically, and because they are sent regularly, a culture is developed on the bridge of continually implementing the updates," says Mr Mellors.

"The update process is key to both safe and legal navigation and remains just as vital as we move towards the mandatory carriage of electronic charts for many vessels. Managing the change and ensuring that vessels remain legal and safe is key to the service that Kelvin Hughes offers."

In the early 1990s, the company pioneered electronic distribution of chart updates with the creation of ChartCo which was set up to deliver digital corrections and tracings directly to ships via satellite broadcast.

ChartCo continues to develop its services and last October announced it was now able to deliver updates to the UKHO's AVCS cells across both its Broadcast and Select delivery services. The AVCS service will help complete an already comprehensive range of electronic chart update services, currently available to ENC and ARCS users. It will be added to the existing ENC service at no additional cost to subscribers.

Steve Mariner, ChartCo Manager said: "We have watched the launch of AVCS and the subsequent growth of subscribers with great interest. In the last few months it has become very apparent from our customer base that an update service through ChartCo was urgently required.

"The growing interest in electronic charts, fuelled by the ECDIS mandate, means that all vessels must consider how to implement a suitable policy that addresses both electronic and paper products for the bridge. With the launch of a service for AVCS users, ChartCo is again at the forefront in supplying update services to satisfy the most demanding of ship owners."

Notes to Editors:

Kelvin Hughes

Kelvin Hughes is a world leader in the design and supply of marine navigation systems. It has a highly innovative product range, which is designed to provide mariners with the most advanced navigation solutions and services available. Its products include radar sensors and display technology, voyage data recorders, electronic chart displays and highly advanced integrated bridge systems. In addition, through ChartCo, it provides a unique means of data supply to ships at sea via satellite. Kelvin Hughes is also the world’s largest supplier of nautical charts and publications for commercial and leisure use.

Recently Kelvin Hughes has designed and produced the world’s first commercial solid-state marine radar, SharpEye™. This innovative product represents a step change in commercial radar development and brings military grade performance to the commercial marine marketplace for the first time. Kelvin Hughes products are in use in a wide range of commercial vessels, luxury yachts and cruise liners, including the new Queen Mary 2. They are also in service with over 30 navies around the world, including fittings on every United Kingdom Royal Navy warship.

Kelvin Hughes has its headquarters in Hainault in the East of London, and has subsidiary offices in other parts of the UK, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, USA and China. With this global presence, Kelvin Hughes provides a first-class sales and support capability for customers world-wide.

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