Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The mystery of shipping

So much of shipping can be a mystery. How about IMO numbers. What are they? What about Protection and Indemnity Clubs. What are they? How does AIS work? What is a NAVTEX? What is the Box Club? The Box Club is the International Council of Containership Operators and even its address is a mystery!

What's not a mystery?

Amver isn't a mystery. Some people might think its a bit dated, and it does have its roots in the vacuum tube computer world of the 1950s, but today Amver is a modernized search and rescue system capable of receiving thousands of ship messages a day and saving hundreds of lives a year.

How does it work?
  1. A shipping company enrolls their ships (this can be done on the vessel or entire fleets can be enrolled by folks in the operations department).
  2. The ship sends periodic position reports to the Amver system (using a variety of methods including the Amver/SEAS program partnership with NOAA or Pole Star).
  3. A distress is received by a rescue coordination center (either from DSC alerts, VHF, EPIRB, or other methods).
  4. Rescue authorities begin going down a checklist of response procedures which may involve launching boats and aircraft.
  5. Rescue authorities may also request Amver data to see if any commercial ships are in the area. If a ship is identified, it is requested to divert.
  6. An Amver ship diverts, saves a lives, continues on its journey.
If you're part of this process we're thankful. If you're not part of our system we would be honored to have you join. There's no cost, no greater responsibility to respond than you already have. Now that you know Amver isn't a mystery, will you join?

Photo credit: Fotolia

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