Humberside-based Rix Shipping has made its first commitment to Martek Marine's Navgard, following the installation of the Bridge Navigation Watch Alarm System (BNWAS) on the tanker Liz Rix.
The decision was made after considerable research by Rix Shipping, which operates a fleet of ten tankers and dry cargo ships, mainly in UK coastal trades.
James Doyle, Rix Shipping managing director explains, "We spent a lot of time investigating which BNWAS system we should install. We decided on Navgard because it covered everything we were looking for in a system. It had all type approvals in place that we needed and we established that we would not incur additional costs from flag authorities. But by far the most important requirement for us was the ease of installation.""Martek's Navgard involves a modular installation process, eliminating the requirement for more complex interfaces, as the alarms are linked directly to the control panel. The system can accommodate any bridge size and layout.
Mr Doyle continues, "Commissioning and set up was very simple and the installation engineer guided us through the initial set up menu so we were ready to use the system straight away."
Navgard complies with SOLAS Regulation V/19 as amended by MSC.282(86), which requires a BNWAS to be installed on new and existing ships. The system also meets the requirements of the performance standards set out by MSC.128(75) and IEC 62616.
The Navgard system comprises a bulkhead-mounted or console-mounted control panel and an onboard PIR (Passive Infra-Red) movement detector with a 10m range. For vessels under Lloyd's Register classification, the system is also available with just manual reset functionality rather than PIRs, to comply with LR Type Approval requirements.
Steve Coulson, nusiness development director at Martek Marine adds, "Navgard offers a number of other benefits for ship owners and operators. The control and alarm panel is fully self-contained with no need for additional interface modules, saving the vessel owner valuable space, while battery back-up comes as standard. Navgard, also incorporates an SD-card to log all alarm event data in real time, giving the operator a permanent record of bridge activity."
Mr Coulson says Navgard is the world's first and only BNWAS system to be fully type approved by all major classification societies. "This means that if your fleet has ships of different class, there is worry about the risk of a classification society rejecting equipment approved by another society, or incurring additional certification costs that can be more than the cost of the equipment itself."
Under amendments to SOLAS new cargo ships over 150gt and all new passenger ships of any size constructed after 1 July 2011 have to be equipped with a BNWAS. Implementation will then be phased in, making BNWAS mandatory on all existing tonnage above a certain size over the following three years. All existing passenger ships and cargo vessels over 3000gt have to be equipped no later than the first special survey after 1 July 2012 and all existing cargo ships over 500gt by the first survey after 1 July 2013. The final category of vessels, cargo ships over 150gt, will have to comply by 1 July 2014.