AIS keeps traffic away from dangerous wreck

Vesper Marine’s AIS-based Guardian:protect system was used to protect vessels from the hazardous shipwreck and salvage operation Vesper Marine’s AIS-based Guardian:protect system was used to protect vessels from the hazardous shipwreck and salvage operation
Industry Database

Vesper Marine says its Guardian AIS solution has helped alert more than 8,000 vessels over 9 months to navigate around a dangerous shipwreck in the port of Singapore.

The salvage operation team was able to conduct a safe and cost-effective salvage in the busy waterways managed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). The operation was a significant success, considering Singapore is one of the world’s busiest ports, with particularly dense and hard to navigate waters and a constant stream of ships crisscrossing the passage to pick up loads or refuel.

The dredger Cai Jun 3 sank on March 12, 2017 in shallow water in the entrance to the Singapore Strait Traffic Separation Scheme, a critical area within one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. This had the potential to disrupt operations at a port that manages more than 2,500 vessel calls and unloads more than 11 million metric tons of cargo each week. Worldwide, only the Port of Shanghai is busier. As an immediate safeguard to warn vessels entering the Strait near the sunken vessel, two guard vessels were stationed at the site while salvage operations and inspections were underway. The running cost of two guard boats was significant.

Brand Marine Consultants (bMC) was appointed by Hanseatic Underwriters to manage and oversee the salvage operation. Vesper Marine was contacted by bMC to determine if their subsea hazard protection solution – Guardian:protect – could increase safety and reduce costs during the salvage.

“We needed a solution that was proven to successfully mark offshore hazards and automatically alert vessels,” said Captain Dennis Brand, managing director, bMC. “Vesper Marine had extensive experience in this specialized area and had deployed their solution all over the world.”

Vesper Marine’s AIS-based Guardian:protect system was used to protect vessels from the hazardous shipwreck and salvage operation within the Singapore Strait entrance channel to the harbour. The ability to have the system operational in one day eliminated the need and expense of a second guard vessel, thereby reducing the cost of the salvage operation. The solution had the additional advantage of minimizing human error through automatic notifications to vessels and the salvage operation team if a ship of sufficient size or draft was on a collision course with the wreck. The Guardian system created virtual concentric cordons at 5 nautical miles, 2 nautical miles and 500 metres around the shipwreck using its analytics capability and smart rules to determine alert escalations.

By Jake Frith

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