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Old 10-01-2016, 05:04   #1
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Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

This is a sad, but not unexpected story:

https://www.gov.uk/maib-reports/coll...ast-of-england


The bridge of a fast moving bulker did not bother to watch their radar or use ARPA. In the Dover Strait!! Encountered a small tug towing a barge and not broadcasting AIS. Saw it apparently only already in close quarters, turned to port, collided with the tow, snagged the towline, and would probably have killed the crew of the tug had the tow line not parted.

A lesson for all of us to keep a sharp watch on radar and do NOT assume that every target of interest must be broadcasting AIS. I have caught myself leaning too hard on AIS and thought how easy something like this would be to happen.
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Old 10-01-2016, 05:28   #2
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

Someone should get hammered for that!
Quote:
Rickmers Dubaiís OOW was alone on the bridge and he did not see Walcon Wizard. He did not keep a visual lookout or monitor the radar. Instead, he relied solely on AIS information for collision avoidance, which neither Kingston nor Walcon Wizard were transmitting.
From solas ch5
Quote:
a.) Collision avoidance must be carried out in strict compliance with the COLREGs. There is no provision in the COLREGs for use of AIS information therefore decisions should be taken based primarily on visual and/or radar information.
And agree, it's easy to forget the screen isn't the real world. Same with chart plotters, though less likely to get you into serous trouble it's still a problem living inside the instruments and forgetting to check the real world.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:00   #3
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

Seamans fault. Not the fault of technology.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:04   #4
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Seamans fault. Not the fault of technology.
+1

Busy area? I can't see 3 miles? Standby goes off... Always...
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:15   #5
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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Seamans fault. Not the fault of technology.
don't think anyone said it was?
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:17   #6
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Seamans fault. Not the fault of technology.
Of course it is.

But human beings being what they are, I take away the following from this:

1. Don't let yourself over-rely on AIS. Not everything out that which goes crunch in the night, broadcasts it.

2. Everyone really needs to be broadcasting AIS. Imagine if that tug had been a yacht. Everyone would be dead. It's just human nature -- you don't broadcast AIS, you don't exist. I have found myself slipping into this (and gave myself a good bullocking for it).
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:19   #7
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
+1

Busy area? I can't see 3 miles? Standby goes off... Always...
Yes, and in this case it was the bloody Dover Strait, right in the TSS!! Of course an egregious screwup by the OOW of the bulker.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:37   #8
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

This is a bit scary from the report...

Quote:
The importance and use of AIS as an aid to collision avoidance and navigation
safety has increased significantly since its introduction. Indeed, the use of AIS on
board Rickmers Dubai and on board other vessels shows that many OOWs are
using it as the primary aid for collision avoidance. Therefore, notwithstanding the
obligations of OOWs to maintain a proper lookout and use all available means to
determine if a risk of collision exists, in some circumstances the carriage and use of
AIS by vessels that are not required to do so, potentially has significant benefits.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:42   #9
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Yes, and in this case it was the bloody Dover Strait, right in the TSS!! Of course an egregious screwup by the OOW of the bulker.
You know it's funny... Traffic in places like "Dover Straights" conjures up images of mayhem of the first order with a pair of shorts on standby...

But thinking about how often I cross the busiest shipping lane in the US seems old hat???

Weird huh??? Guess it's simply the unfamiliarity of the scenario...
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:43   #10
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

The OOW of a 15,000T ship was alone on the bridge in the early hours of the morning in the Dover straights, FFS.

Wonder if this implies something more: "The OOW was relatively inactive throughout his watch and did not take note of safety broadcasts issued by Dover Coastguard"

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Old 10-01-2016, 06:50   #11
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
The OOW of a 15,000T ship was alone on the bridge in the early hours of the morning in the Dover straights, FFS.

Wonder if this implies something more: "The OOW was relatively inactive throughout his watch and did not take note of safety broadcasts issued by Dover Coastguard"

Pete
It means that there was a notice to mariners about the tow.

I imagine that's the end of this guy's career, but how many more are out there? Don't go out without broadcasting AIS.

And Rickmers is not some third world rust bucket fleet! That's a fine old German shipping company which surely pays well, trains its crews well, and has good procedures.

Sent from my D6633 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:52   #12
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

I think it's time to add a new term to the maritime technology dictionary:

We already have, "GPS-assisted collisions".

Now perhaps we should add, "AIS-assisted collisions".

The basic problem isn't the technology, it's very human and is reflective of the fact, not opinion, that many mariners these days lack basic navigational and situational awareness skills.

It's senseless to try to cast blame for why this is. It just is, and we have to live with it.

AIS is NOT synoptic, i.e., it doesn't show EVERYTHING you can hit or which can hit you.

I'd guess that in the Dover Strait perhaps 50% or more of the vessels have AIS transponders. But there are many areas of the world, including high traffic areas, where perhaps 10% of vessels are so equipped. Yet, some sailors persist in relying heavily on their AIS and being mesmerized by the little screens.

Bill
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:08   #13
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

"We currently have the Standard Horizon GX2200 with the cockpit remote onboard which works just fine. But last season while heading North along the Western Corsican coastline, we had a very close call encounter with a dumbass traveling directly towards us at 20 knots on his powerboat with 10-12 foot swells behind him. Nobody on watch on his boat.... it was like a 30 ton knuckleball heading straight for us... the dope was totally relying on his AIS alarm. We saw him visually and with our receiver, but since we weren't transmitting, he didn't see us. He finally came up from down below to hit reverse throttle and **** his pants just 50 meters off our starboard bow at 2:00.

There's more and more of this idiocy going on along the coast. So now we either upgrade or modify our travel routes to further offshore."
. Kenomac

More from the same thread:

To clarify, our Standard Horizon unit is only able to receive AIS, it's not designed to transmit a signal.

Hence, the need to upgrade to a transmit and receive unit. It's unfortunate we have to spend money to protect ourselves against other people's boneheaded behavior. We were keeping a vigilant watch on radar and visually at the time... The other guy wasn't. We'd steer to starboard to avoid him, the next wave would knock his boat in our direction... We'd the steer to port... The same thing, his boat would again turn towards us.
. Kenomac


The above is from my recent thread asking for reviews on the Vesper Watchmate Vision. We've been seeing more and more of this over reliance on gadgets happening, so we'll be purchasing the Vision shortly to take into account the incompetence of other knuckleheads out there.

'Been warning about this for a while...

Ken
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:10   #14
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
I think it's time to add a new term to the maritime technology dictionary:

We already have, "GPS-assisted collisions".

Now perhaps we should add, "AIS-assisted collisions".

The basic problem isn't the technology, it's very human and is reflective of the fact, not opinion, that many mariners these days lack basic navigational and situational awareness skills.

It's senseless to try to cast blame for why this is. It just is, and we have to live with it.

AIS is NOT synoptic, i.e., it doesn't show EVERYTHING you can hit or which can hit you.

I'd guess that in the Dover Strait perhaps 50% or more of the vessels have AIS transponders. But there are many areas of the world, including high traffic areas, where perhaps 10% of vessels are so equipped. Yet, some sailors persist in relying heavily on their AIS and being mesmerized by the little screens.

Bill
I have made this point before (nice to hear from you Bill)... we see more and more reliance on electronics to navigate, and steer a vessel. Unfortunate these electronic devices don't stand watch and are not "paying attention" to anything by some electrons! Their computational power allows seamen to become lazy, occupy themselves with other things and put everyone around them in peril.

Why can't these vessels have the radar and the AIS on the same screen so ALL targets are visible... at least electronically? Presumably the skipper might see non AIS targets which would be hazards. And doesn't it seem odd that there is only one person on watch on these huge vessels? To me it does.

When my wife and I are sailing.... she's very paranoid and sees every vessel on a potential collision course even quite far away and demands I evaluate it. Of course you can't even see if there is anyone on these vessels in command or on watch... they are just moving toward us. I always assume they are not under command and alter course... because.... we see too many boats moving with no one visibly in control. This is of course true for large vessels with "inside/protected" steering stations... less so for smaller recreational boats.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:18   #15
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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Originally Posted by Sandero View Post
I have made this point before (nice to hear from you Bill)... we see more and more reliance on electronics to navigate, and steer a vessel. Unfortunate these electronic devices don't stand watch and are not "paying attention" to anything by some electrons! Their computational power allows seamen to become lazy, occupy themselves with other things and put everyone around them in peril.

Why can't these vessels have the radar and the AIS on the same screen so ALL targets are visible... at least electronically? Presumably the skipper might see non AIS targets which would be hazards. And doesn't it seem odd that there is only one person on watch on these huge vessels? To me it does.
The Dover Straits are the world's busiest seaway. It is insane to go barrelling down there at 15 knots with one guy on watch, who is neither looking at the radar nor keeping a sharp visual watch, nor paying any attention to notices to mariners.

Let's not blame electronics, however. Correct use of electronic equipment would have greatly enhanced awareness of the watchkeeper in this case. Radar is your best friend on a dark night. When I'm offshore at night I keep my plotter on radar view, and I have guard zones set, two different guard zones. One sector-shaped one at two or three miles (or four or five miles, depending on conditions), and one circle at one or two miles. I don't rely solely on the alarms; I watch the radar screen and I keep a visual watch, but the alarms are an extremely useful safety net.


Note that in really bad weather with a sea running, you might not be able to pick out a radar return from some vessels out of sea clutter. Another reason to broadcast AIS.
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