The firm stresses the urgent need for training in the use of ECDIS devices, with the timeline for implementation already underway, describing in incorrect ECDIS operation as “a causative factor in a number of recent grounding accidents”.
“It is essential that the navigator is not only effectively trained in the proper use of ECDIS, but also understands the limitations of the equipment and its primary role as a decision-support system.”
“The IMO ECDIS Model Course 1.27 should provide the navigator with the required level of understanding, competence and confidence for application in all aspects of navigation. However, with a vast array of ECDIS manufacturers, there is a challenge for the navigator to reach an acceptable degree of competence in a specific onboard system.
“The additional challenge is to ensure that the quality of both generic and familiarisation training is sufficient to reduce the risks associated with this transition to new technology, whilst satisfying the scrutiny of external parties, such as Port State Control, where the focus will be on demonstrating operational competence on the ship’s ECDIS equipment.”
The announcement comes in the wake of a warning from International Hydrographic Organisation president Robert Ward at IMO’s World Maritime Day symposium last week that the digitisation of charts had created a culture of “incredible overconfidence in the data that is presented.”