Navigational Warnings On Ships

In earlier days because of limitations of a communication system within the maritime trade the navigational safety of ships was troublesome to get promptly on time. As technology advanced with relevancy time, the situation also has improved to an excellent extent. Currently, the standard of sea communication equipment has improved providing higher navigational warnings and aiding prior to the voyage. The Worldwide Navigational Warning Service (WWNWS) was established in 1977 for obtaining data concerning worldwide hazards to navigation in international shipping. The navigational warnings system provides early information about the hazard so that dangerous incidents can be prevented. Many warnings are temporary, but others remain in force for several weeks and may get noticed by the seafarers.

What are navigational warnings?

In support of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), Broadcast Warnings are promulgated by the Worldwide Navigational Warnings Service (WWNWS) to supply speedy dissemination of knowledge important to navigation and the safety of life at sea.

Navigational Warnings are issued frequently and contain information about persons in distress, or objects and events that cause an instantaneous hazard to navigation.

The five types of Navigational Warnings are: – NAVAREA IV, HYDROLANT, HYDROPAC, HYDROARC, and NAVAREA XII which are categorized by their location. As of 26 January 2017, maritime security alerts and advisors are issued by the US Maritime Advisory System, replacing Special Warnings and MARAD Advisories.

Importance of navigational warnings

Navigational warnings are one of the most important things in chart correction while in passage planning. Main importance can are mentioned as below –

1.It reveals weaponry or fire exercise areas and underwater activities in a chart.

Navigational Warnings

2.Reveals changes within the depth of water that helps in passage planning.

Navigational Warnings

4.Reveals dangerous wrecks or obstruction to navigation.

Navigational Warnings

4.Shows dangerous floating containers, drifting buoy & icebergs.

Navigational Warnings

It reveals Vessels aground in approaching port areas.

Navigational Warnings

Where should you list Navigational Warnings?

Navigational Warnings are issued in response to SOLAS V/2.b and carry necessary data which have a direct relation to the safety of life at sea. It is the absolute nature of the Navigational Warnings that they will often be based on incomplete or unconfirmed data and the mariners will need to take this into account when deciding what step to take on the information contained therein Navigational Warnings. The Chief Hydrographer of any country is responsible for issuing Navarea Warnings and Hydropac warnings. The availability of Navigational Warnings on the web does not relieve the Master / Captains of the requirement to receive Navigational Warnings via IMO/IHO approved broadcast systems. To list Navigational Warnings, we must always file in a separate file and should be readily available. We should attach them with a passage plan too for quick reference.

What Is Radio Navigational Warning?

The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) contains a group of international laws and standards that governs all merchant shipping operations. The convention has been notified by all major maritime nations which operate through the IMO. Amendments in the 1974 SOLAS Convention concerning radiocommunications for the GMDSS were published in 1989 and were put into action from 1 February 1992. All ships over Three hundred gross tonnage (GT) on international voyages, and thus are subjected to the 1974 SOLAS Convention, have been required to obey the carriage requirements of the GMDSS since 1 February 1999. However, WWWNWS are involved with NAVAREA and coastal warnings which are broadcasted internationally using NAVTEX, the principal suggests that of transmission.

Basic Concept of Radio Navigation Warning & GMDSS: –

  • Equipment carriage

A major distinction between the GMDSS and the previous wireless telegraphy (W/T) and radio telecom (R/T) systems is that the equipment that can be carried by ship should be determined by its area of operation, instead of its size.

  • Search and rescue

The GMDSS and Radio use modern technology together with satellite communications and digital selective calling techniques within the MF, HF, and VHF bands (the latter known as terrestrial systems) sanctioning a distress alert which is to be transmitted and received automatically over short and long distances. The system permits search and rescue authorities onto land, as well as shipping in the vicinity of a ship that is in distress, to be rapidly alerted so that they can assist in a well-informed search and rescue operation with the lack of delay.

  • Maritime Safety Information

Additionally, the Radio Navigation Warning provides for urgency and safety communications and the dissemination of maritime safety information (MSI) (navigational and meteorological information) to ships. Two systems are used for broadcasting MSI.

They are given specifically to match the requirements of Chapter IV of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, as amended, in the areas covered by these marine systems:

NAVTEX — That uses MF radio to provide coastal warnings

SafetyNet — That uses Inmarsat satellites to supply coverage from concerning 76 degrees north to 76 degrees south latitude. In addition, some national meteorological services might issue warnings and forecasts for transmission by using HF narrow-band direct printing (NBDP).

Radio Navigation Warning & GMDSS
Radio Navigation Warning & GMDSS

What Is Navigational Safety?

Since the origin of IMCO (former IMO), existing international rules have been inherited by it and a whole new series of measures have been introduced, within the sort of conventions, recommendations, and different instruments. The simplest noted and most important of these measures are conventions, three of which are particularly relevant to navigation. These are International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974; the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREG), 1972; and the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW), 1978 for Seafarers. 

Measures coping with the safety of navigation are prescribed mainly in SOLAS chapter V. In December 2000, IMO adopted a revised version of chapter V, modernizing it and incorporating new requirements which entered into force in 2002. Since then, a variety of more amendments are introduced.

Besides Conventions, IMO has also issued some numbers of resolutions and codes, including guidelines on navigational issues and performance, which are standards for maritime navigational and radiocommunication equipment.

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