Seafar’s remote vessel control comms system gets class approval

Antwerp-based Seafar NV, operator of Remote Operations Centres (ROC) for unmanned and crew-reduced inland and coastal vessels, has been granted Approval in Principle (AiP) by class society Bureau Veritas (BV) for its communication system for remote access to ships.

The synchronous control communication system supports the transfer of onboard functions to shore and enables captains to transfer between ROC desks during periods of ship inactivity, removing the need to physically move between vessels.

The company says that the technology should help to improve manning efficiency and increase the competitiveness of waterborne transport.

Designed to support fully remote operations at Degree RC3, as defined in BV Guidance Note NI641 Guidelines for Autonomous Shipping, the system has been demonstrated to operate with low stable latency, protect against message errors, and follow outage contingency processes.

Seafar says it has now equipped more than 40 ships with its communication system.

“Receiving the Approval in Principle from Bureau Veritas marks a significant achievement for Seafar NV,” said Louis-Robert Cool, CEO of Seafar NV.

“This endorsement validates our commitment to pioneering advancements in semi-autonomous and unmanned shipping technologies. Our new communication system, designed to enhance manning efficiency and ensure safe operations, is now recognised for its robustness and reliability.”

“This AiP not only reinforces our position at the forefront of maritime innovation, but also underscores our dedication to driving the future of remote vessel operations.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

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