Author Topic: Seven Safe Practices  (Read 2881 times)

Lost Soul

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Seven Safe Practices
« on: November 25, 2013, 03:49:05 PM »
The world of professional Marine Navigation is becoming increasingly exercised about the fallibility of GNSS and the over reliance on it for the navigation of ships.  Particularly in congested seaways and near hazards to shipping.  The consequences of a navigation failure can be disastrous on many fronts. 

The Nautical Institute in association with The Royal institute of Navigation has just started publishing a slim monthly magazine called The Navigator.  In the latest issue it deals with positioning and the potentially catastrophic consequences of an over reliance on GNSS.  It concludes with a list top 10 points that a marine navigator should seriously consider in respect of ensuring effective, reliable and accurate positioning at sea. 

Based on the advice given in The Navigator I have generated a list of 7 points of Safe Practice for use in this technological age that us foot slogging navigators might want to consider in respect of ensuring effective, reliable and accurate positioning / navigating on land. 

All for your consideration of course.  Discuss, and please don't shoot the messenger.

1. Be Aware and Alert.

Good situational awareness requires continual checking of your position, knowing the lie of the land around you along with a good understanding of the actual and forecast weather.  Stops you becoming lost, prevents accidents, saves lives.

2. Multiple Choices - Safety in Numbers.

There are numerous methods of fixing your position / navigating, ancient and modern.  Use them, but know each has its strengths and weaknesses. No one system has proven to be entirely good enough on it's own.

3.  Avoiding Over Reliance.

Over reliance on one means of position fixing / navigating can lead to complacency and poor decision making. Know the limitations of each method you use and plan and act accordingly. Never rely on a single means of fixing your position / navigating.

4.  The Human Element.
Whilst different positioning methods may be complimentary they need integrating.  This is down to the skill of the navigator.  A skill that is acquire through training and practice.

5.  Beware of Over Reliance on GNSS.

All GNSS systems share a common weakness and are therefore all are equally susceptible to signal corruption and jamming; intentional or unintentional. Therefore the degradation and loss of GPS is a real risk so donít rely on it. Be prepared for it to corrupt and have back up plans in place.

6.  Technology.

Learning how to use GNSS and other gadgets needs to be much more than how to use the knobs and buttons ( knobology).   Be very aware that technology can fail due to a myriad of reasons (not just jamming) including flat batteries, water ingression and just because - - - .  Most importantly its about using technology to support good decision making with a full awareness of its inherent weaknesses.

7.  Share Your Knowledge.

Mentoring is the key.  Experienced navigators should mentor less experienced navigators.  And those who understand modern technology should help those who don't.


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Re: Seven Safe Practices
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2013, 09:52:05 AM »
Looks to me like very sound, reasonable advice (so no bullet for the messenger from me at least!)

'Knobology'... like it!  ;D


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Re: Seven Safe Practices
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2013, 08:16:51 PM »
I agree with Batesy's reply. Although I kind of wonder whether I should take the word "gadget" literally, in the list of safe practices.

gadget (dutch) => relatively superfluous object  :D

Lost Soul

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Re: Seven Safe Practices
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2013, 09:00:47 AM »
Yes,  the differences in meanings across languages,  In English Gadget is colloquial term for a small mechanical or electrical device irrespective of its usage and utility.  An i Phone, a swiss army knife and a compass all qualify for the label of gadget. Although these days the term is more generally associated with electronic devices.

We even have a TV Programme called the Gadget Show which reviews technology and the latest devices to hit the market.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 09:03:11 AM by Lost Soul »

captain paranoia

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Re: Seven Safe Practices
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 06:21:17 PM »
It's a good list, but, at a push, I think I might reduce the list to two items:

1) Pay Attention
2) Question Discrepancies

This is what I try to din into the DofE groups...