Inmarsat has launched its new Fleet Safety service following the successful conclusion of sea trials, a successor to the industry stalwart Inmarsat C safety system that has been in operation since 1991.
Fleet Safety has already been granted International Maritime Organization (IMO) approval under Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) requirements following assessments by the International Mobile Satellite Organisation (IMSO).
Following the launch of RescueNET and SafetyNET II, Inmarsat has updated documentation and created training material for the service, as well as adding a new data reporting service called Fleet Poll for Long Range Identification Tracking (LRIT), Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) and asset tracking, as well as Ships Security Alert System functionality.
The next stage is to gain Flag State approval for adoption across the maritime industry, the company says.
“To this day, Inmarsat C forms the backbone of the GMDSS, with more than 100,000 marine terminals having safeguarded the lives of seafarers for over 30 years,” notes Peter Broadhurst, Senior Vice President of Safety and Regulatory, Inmarsat Maritime.
“However, as we move further into the digital era of shipping, technology can be used for enhanced safety and also provides new ways of tackling emerging challenges. The launch of Fleet Safety marks a turning point in the way satellite communications ensure the preservation of life at sea.”
Delivered via existing FleetBroadband or Fleet One voice and data services with the addition of a Maritime Safety Terminal, Fleet Safety offers a new interface that allows seafarers to communicate with a network of over 60 global Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs) by voice or instant messaging at the touch of a button, in seconds.
Fleet Safety also includes a Maritime Safety Information (MSI) interface and a Distress Chat function. The MSI feature allows users to control the stream of MSI broadcasts and download historic broadcasts, which include meteorological, navigational and search-and-rescue warnings. The Distress Chat capability enables the creation of chat rooms between ships in distress, assisting vessels and MRCCs to support quicker response times.