The solutions enhancing passenger safety at sea

CFR showcases some of the companies that are keeping guests and crew safe

The solutions enhancing passenger safety at sea
Technology from Kongberg Maritime has enabled Bastø Fosen VI to undertake the first automated journey across the Oslo fjord

By Richard Humphreys |

Operating safely during and post-Covid-19

Ankaa Marine and Recruiter platforms have enabled Scottish operator NorthLink Ferries and Clyde Marine Recruitment to conduct their crewing operations throughout the crisis.

The platforms allow for secure remote access to all personal data, certification and next of kin information, as well as the ability to gather and share information, and to provide auditors remote access on a read-only basis for mandatory audits.

“Operational safety looks different as we emerge post-Covid-19,” says Ian Livingstone, managing director at Clyde Marine Recruitment. “Home working and remote audits are now the new norm and require the ability to access data remotely and provide relevant third parties access.”

Protecting against fires

CBG Systems’ latest development, Rapid Access Composite Plus (RAC Plus), is a structural fire protection system that features advanced technology developed in partnership with Australian government agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

The system is installed flat across the stiffeners of the vessel and does not need to be wrapped around the steel or aluminium structure. It is self-sufficient and does not require additional wall cladding. Maintenance is non-sacrificial, and panels can be removed and replaced quickly, allowing access behind the structural fire protection system for inspections and repairs.

RAC Plus has been extensively tested and is strong, light and efficient, saving the vessel owner time and money, while providing a clean aesthetic finish.

Delivering effective training

Marine distress signal company WesCom Signal and Rescue has introduced a new range of dedicated training assets for passenger ship operators across all of its branded Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and non-SOLAS products. Delivered through partners and distributors globally, this includes a series of training animations and dummy products which have been provided to over 120 training establishments in the past 12 months.

These assets provide ship operators with a highly effective method of training crew, significant savings on training costs and they reduce the need for live exercises.

WesCom supplies these training assets to the UK’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), where they have been extensively trialled and accessed by all of the RNLI’s more than 6,000 volunteer crew members.

Remaining vigilant at sea

Sonardyne International has developed Vigilant, its new forward looking sonar. Vigilant builds a live, easy to interpret 3D terrain map of the seabed and the water column ahead. This eliminates the risks of navigating in unknown, dynamic or congested waters. It also makes finding an anchorage easier and, as the data is stored, it’s simpler to back out of a confined area.

Vigilant also sends automated warnings when a submerged or semi-submerged object or obstacle – which could be otherwise hidden from sight, radar or Lidar – is detected in the water column, out to 1.5 kilometres ahead, which provides ample time to take avoidance action. Automated warnings can also be set for water depth, to avoid unexpected sand banks, reefs or even wrecks.

Crossing and docking at the push of a button

This year, Kongsberg Maritime’s adaptive transit technology enabled the Bastø Fosen VI ferry, loaded with passengers and vehicles, to carry out a completely automated journey across the Oslo fjord between Horten and Moss in Norway. This was the first fully automated journey to be carried out in regular service.

The ability to repeatably and accurately enact crossing and docking functions at the push of a button improves timekeeping and frees up ferry crews to concentrate on issues such as passenger safety and collision avoidance.

Over the coming months, Kongsberg will be equipping the ferry with additional sensors that enable the system to provide the captain with collision avoidance advice in real time.

Rapid detection

MARSS – developer of systems for asset protection and life-saving – has introduced MOBtronic, an intelligent Man Overboard (MOB) surveillance system designed for cruise vessels and super yachts.

MOBtronic automatically detects man overboard incidents, alerting crew within 300 milliseconds for search and rescue, and tracks fallen passengers in the water for up to three kilometres. The system combines micro-radars, infrared cameras and video analytics, and is integrated with other security systems and sensors – accessed through a single platform – for crew to monitor, control and react.

MOBtronic is the only MOB system that complies with ISO and Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act requirements, and will also detect climbers attempting to scale the sides of a vessel, protecting cargo, crew and passengers from intruders.

Improving tugboat safety

Danish marine safety equipment manufacturer Daniamant has recently launched DanEI-300T, a tugboat version of its electronic inclinometer. It has been designed for ease of use with a traffic light system, meaning that the captain of the vessel and the crew can continuously see the heeling of the tug. If this goes from green to amber, a clear audible alarm sounds and the same happens for the transition from amber to red.

Combining new technology like very advanced electronic devices and sophisticated mathematical algorisms with new rules and regulations, it allows for increased safety and operational awareness for escort and other tugboats.

Collecting data to benefit all mariners

FarSounder is crowdsourcing bathymetric data – information about the depths and shapes of underwater terrain – from ships that have transited areas such as the Northwest Passage and a cruise from Boston to Antarctica.

The data collection will be used to help develop new processing methods and algorithms. Users reap the benefits of these engineering efforts, fed by their contributions, through no-cost software updates. In addition, FarSounder’s goal is to offer a system where ships can share the data they collect with the rest of their fleet.

As a participant in the joint International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) working group for crowdsourced bathymetry and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-trusted node, FarSounder submits its findings to the IHO/NOAA data centre for Digital Bathymetry’s crowdsourced database.

Responding rapidly

U SAFE’s system is an auto-propelled, remote-controlled watercraft designed to be a fast and precise ‘aquatic drone’ that can reach a person in need, quickly. One of the unique things about the system is that the turbines are designed to enable the device to operate regardless of which side is facing up when thrown into the water.

Operation is simple and intuitive, allowing first-time users the immediate ability to reach a person in need. Its mobility and controllability allow first responders to operate in all conditions including rough seas and in close proximity to rocky areas, without endangering themselves or their vessels.

Providing a safe escape

Liferaft Systems Australia (LSA) has signed several contracts to supply Marine Evacuation Systems (MES) for vessels under construction around the world.

An MES will be supplied to two American vessels, with both having 20-metre slides installed. The second contract has been placed by a shipyard in Asia to supply an MES for a large, high-speed ferry, which will operate in Europe. This vessel will be fitted with a 22-metre slide and a number of additional 100-person liferafts.

LSA has also been contracted to supply a shipyard in Turkey with an MES for a ro-pax ferry that will operate in Scandinavia. The vessel will be fitted with a 14-metre slide and additional 128-person liferafts.

The fourth contract recently secured is to supply 20-metre MES for a vessel under construction in Poland for a North American ferry operator.

Designed for performance

With passenger vessels typically carrying more than twice the number of life jackets mandated in the Safety of Life at Sea requirements, stowage space can be an issue. As such, operators have long been looking for ways of improving safety without compromising on lifejacket performance or space.

Survitec has met the challenge by enhancing its proven Premier life jacket range with the new Premier Compact, which delivers increased buoyancy without making the life jacket bigger. Nearly 20,000 Premier Compact life jackets were recently supplied in just seven shipping containers instead of nine. Ten stowed adult Premier Compact jackets take up just 0.182 cubic metres of space.

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2020 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Review for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox or your door.

Contact author


Subscribe to the Cruise & Ferry newsletter

  • ©2024 Tudor Rose. All Rights Reserved. Cruise & Ferry is published by Tudor Rose.