NAVTOR has teamed up with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to integrate AMVER into its digital chart table software NavStation, to widen access to safety information at sea.
Launched in 1958, the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) system is operated by the USCG and encourages ships to participate in a voluntary reporting scheme that details sailing plans, positions, deviations and arrivals to pinpoint locations and routes.
If AMVER receives a distress call from a vessel outside the reach of the USCG, or other participating coast guards, it can then alert nearby ships to come to the rescue. With over 11,000 vessels currently involved and around 6,600 reporting on a daily basis, the system has sent ships to 1,889 incidents in the last ten years, saving a total of 3,572 lives, according to USCG.
“AMVER represents the very best of what seafarers have to offer, the highest tradition of mariner helping mariner,” said Benjamin Strong, Director, AMVER Maritime Relations, USCG.
“A hugely powerful tool for search and rescue, but one that relies on ship participation to succeed. It can only ever be as strong as the network of vessels it attracts, so we have to continually grow that pool of volunteers.”
“The feedback we receive from seafarers is they want to ‘find a way to eliminate manual reporting’, easing an administrative burden which, we have to admit, adds to existing duties. We obviously wanted to help and were keen to leverage any available technologies or partners to do so.”
The NavStation digital chart table layers voyage information over ENCs to provide different data sources within a single, integrated platform. With the new tie-up, instead of having to manually enter data in standardised language and codes and then email it to AMVER, the information already available through the NavStation Passage Planning module can be automatically collated and sent directly from the software.
“This is a real step forward,” Mr Strong says.
“Firstly, the integration makes AMVER reporting easy and allows participating vessels to continue their tradition of enhancing safety at sea. Secondly, it eliminates the risk of human error in reporting, making the system more accurate, reliable and robust. Thirdly, it makes it even easier for ships that are not enrolled in AMVER to participate.” “If a ship uses NavStation, and wasn’t an AMVER participant, then there’s now no reason not to get involved. All it takes is the push of a button to be part of this life saving network. As such, this is a win for the ship’s crew, a win for search and rescue personnel, and it’s an obvious win for anyone in distress at sea. We are delighted to partner with NAVTOR on a project that delivers such clear benefits for all AMVER stakeholders.”