NYK Group, MTI, and Japan Radio have carried out a ship-to-shore connection test of a new ship navigation support tool, J-Marine NeCST.

In order to conduct the test, the partners ignited a fire on-board NYK Cruises’ ship, Asuka II.

Following the presumed fire, a pair of J-Marine NeCST tools, one on-board Asuka II and the other at NYK’s Crisis Management Centre situated at the company’s head office in Tokyo, Japan, was connected via the internet.

This led to the activation of the emergency fire button on the on-board ship navigation support tool, as well as the immediate sharing of an emergency checklist and fire control plan on synchronised screens.

NYK Group and its partners then tested the communication capabilities of the tools through their chat functions and confirmed their potential.

Japan Radio validated the effectiveness of the tool’s functions.

“J-Marine NeCST allows us to bridge ship and shore and thus drastically reduce the burden placed on the crew.”

In a statement, NYK Group said: “During an on-board emergency, particularly one involving fire, immediate and accurate communication between ship and shore is vital.

“Currently, on-board crews must report on the ship’s condition by phone, fax, email, or the like while engaging the fire, which should be the crew’s utmost priority.

“J-Marine NeCST allows us to bridge ship and shore and thus drastically reduce the burden placed on the crew.

“In addition, professional advice from land allows for an understanding of the real progress of the fire-extinguishing work on-board.”

J-Marine NeCST has been jointly developed by NYK, MTI, and Japan Radio. It is designed to enable users to easily plan routes using the handwriting function of the electronic navigational chart.

The tool is also capable of managing and sharing operational data using integrated information, including meteorological and hydrographical predictions.