From: Colin Mulvana
Date: 10 February 2003
Ref: CNIS 2/1/10/2
Channel Navigation Information Service
This is the 22nd year of the Channel Navigation Information Service at MRCC Dover on Langdon Battery. The figures steadily increased year by year but levelling out over recent years since the introduction of Mandatory Reporting in July 1999.
That statement is perhaps a little misleading, the figures have increased in terms that more vessels on passage through or across the Dover Strait are known due to the introduction of Mandatory Reporting. However, the exact number of vessels utilising the Strait for passage may never be known, certainly vessels have become larger in capacity and size, the Berge Stahl is testament to that and quite a frequent visitor to these waters.
This report covers the period 1st
January 2002 until 31st December 2002, a
real year, not one of those financial ones, to show the increase mentioned above,
in 2001 there were 96,388 reports from vessels on passage, which you have to admit
is quite impressive.
However, this year's total number of ship reports
processed by CNIS operators is an amazing
This figure has never been reached before and approximately
9,000 increase on last year.
There's more... that number equates to a Deadweight
(DWT) tonnage of:
This is an approximate increase of 200,000 on the
2001 figure, a figure that just seems to grow and grow.
CONTRAVENTIONS OF THE COLLISION REGULATIONS - ROUGES
A significant reduction on 2002 figure of 392, there
were 134 vessels reported for Rule 10 contraventions, of these 106 were identified,
plot sheets, letters and analysis reports were completed and forwarded to the
respective Flag states for investigation.
Some Flag states have responded quickly with any action
they may have taken, this action varies from state to state, there have been,
'slap on the wrist' and warnings, to fines and even dismissal of the Master and/or
OOW, primarily depending on the severity of the contravention.
On the other side of the coin, a response or acknowledgement
has never been received from some Flag states, so it is not possible to ascertain
if any action has been taken.
Fishing vessels have accounted for a considerable
number of rogue reports, at least one third of the total.
The EITZ saw its fair share of rogues in 2002 there
were 23 in total who thought it necessary to contravene rule 10(d).
MANDATORY REPORTING NON-COMPLIANCES - ZOMBIES
Another successful reduction in numbers, 2001 saw
618 zombies, 2002 has 413 actuals with 298 identified, this may seem quite a substantial
number, but it is only 1% of the total SW bound traffic, a number that it is hoped
will reduce in 2003.
During 2002, a chartlet was dispatched with zombie
reports to the owner/managers and the Flag State, this shows the line by which
time they should have reported. It is quite probable that vessels read that the
line is when they have to report, hence the sometime 'grid-lock' at the Mid Falls
buoy of those vessels trying to contact CNIS.
A bridge card has also been devised this year and
submitted to the Staff Suggestion Scheme, it is hoped this would be sent to Owners/agents/managers
and Flag states to circulate around their fleet. It contains a pictorial representation
of the TSS and indicates when vessels can report and when they should have reported,
it also shows what details are required and on which channel to call. It is hoped
there will be a marked reduction in Zombies in 2003 with the help of this card.
The new system is AIS compliant and this will be another
method of vessels reporting into the scheme, this will alleviate some of the VHF
calls but not others. AIS is only as good as the operator entering the information
on board so VTS operators will still have to be as vigilant and observant as ever.
45 incidents have occurred in 2002, these include
collisions and HAZREP's, not all HAZREP's were reported by the vessel(s) involved,
but were deemed to be in a situation that the CNIS operators observed and thought
worthy of a report.
There have been 5 collisions in the Dover Strait in
2002, that does not include the TRICOLOR, out of radar range of Dover, and in
the West Hinder TSS, not Dover, again a significant reduction on the previous
years figure of 11.
Of those 5 one, actually the first of last year, occurred
on 6th January in fog and involved a HSC
and a RORO ferry, SEACAT DIAMANT and NORTHERN MERCHANT, this could be considered
a minor bump, but the potential for a major disaster is obvious. This case is
still ongoing and is due to be dealt with in court during April.
The other four collisions involved the following vessels:
18.01.2002 PRIMROSE & CORNELIS VROLIJK
In the SW lane, ferry and fishing vessel, glancing blow, no injuries, PRIMROSE continued passage, fishing vessel returned to Ijmuiden for PSC inspection.
07.02.2002 GUDRUN & YANN MARIE
A French and Belgian fishing vessel, it transpired that it was the fishing gear that had become entangled in the SWL, no structural contact between vessels.
18.08.2002 SLOTERGRACHT & CATHARINA OLDENDORFF
SW lane near the SF buoy, a glancing blow and both vessels continued on their passage, no injuries to any person.
11.11.2002 DOCELAKE & SOUTHERN STAR
Entirely in French Waters, both vessels were bulk carriers, no injuries and both vessels continued passage.
Thankfully none of the collisions in 2002 were, or
could be, considered major, bumps and scrapes but no loss of life and no sunken
Of the 40 HAZREP's, some were more serious than others,
details collated and remain on file until requested by Communications and Innovation
Branch. MAIB are sent plots and analysis they require, this mainly for UK registered
vessels in order to conduct their impartial investigation.
Results following MAIB investigations can be found
on their web site or the Safety Digest.
There has been considerable disruption during 2002
with the refurbishment programme, this includes a new radar system supplied by
Norcontrol IT to replace the existing EDS system which is nearing the end of its
Operations of CNIS has been conducted in the mezzanine
level, not the best work area and operators have had their work cut out as there
is only sufficient room to use two, rather than three, radar displays.
The operations room has been completed, with the exception
of ancillary equipment, and has ten, yes ten radar display 18" × 24" flat screens.
This equates to two CNIS operator workstations each with three displays, the other
four screens are for general use by other watch members, in particular the Senior
Watch Manager who is able to oversee operations.
The system also allows the operators to import a SAR
plan overlay, this will sit on top of the electronic chart of the radar screen
and will allow the operator to monitor the SAR resource covering the search area.
The whole operations room, SAR and CNIS, will be going
live on 24th February 2002, the mezzanine
level will then be refurbished to incorporate a new Emergency Planning Room and
a VTS simulator, which is due for completion in March.
The simulator will be available to train new operators
at Dover CNIS and continuation training for existing operators.
It has been a busy year, operators have coped very
well, working around the building site, putting up with exceptional noise levels
at times, hopefully next year will be quieter, in more ways than one.
If there are any questions regarding the report please
do not hesitate to call or e-mail.
Tel: 01304 218500
DDI: 01304 218503
FAX: 01304 218505