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BNWAS - a necessity or yet another distraction.

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  • BNWAS - a necessity or yet another distraction.

    So BNWAS has been mandatory on vessels for almost a year now! what are your opinions on it. Necessary? Waste of time? Another distraction?
    11
    Necessary
    27.27%
    3
    Unnecessary
    54.55%
    6
    It's not used onboard
    18.18%
    2
    ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

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    myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

  • #2
    On single watchkeeping ships I can see the benefit. Where I work where we never have less than 3 people on the bridge at all times....Nothing short of a nuisance.

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    • #3
      I agree with EH75 , and too often I've seen it switched off so ...

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      • #4
        I had no idea these were becoming mandatory, and didn't even recognise the abbreviation. Does it have to be a standalone system or can it be part of an IBS? i.e. so long as you press a button somewhere on the IBS within the time period it resets. That's the implementation I've seen before (though disabled, of course ).

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        • #5
          must be standalone now I think... fortunately my company managed to convince the powers that be (Bahamas) to fit motion sensors, but on UK ships you have to press a button - and as EH75 - on the bridge of a large pax ship with at least 3 people there, that is ridiculous.
          Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

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          • #6
            As far as my interpretation it is not standalone but it is only required to be on when there is a single person on the bridge, ie a bit like the patrolman for the duty engineer doing his night rounds. Obviously companies can write it up differently in their SMS so that it is on all the time, like mine. But it is connected to all the Bridge equipment so operating the radar or ECDIS resets it, also if you engage hand steering it switches off (sort of assumes there is more than 1 person on the bridge so it is not needed). I think both the OOWs and the lookouts are pretty good at hitting the button regularly anyway so it very rarely goes off to remind them.

            With regard to those switching it off, is it the Captain switching it off? As it should be locked and not accessible by OOWs!?

            As to answer to the OPs question. I can answer Yes and No to all 3 questions depending on which scenario I want to apply it to. If you are awake and doing your job it's not necessary, if you work on ships where you are constantly knackered and not rested enough/short handed/coastal it probably is necessary! Which is likely why it was brought about.
            If you can't laugh, you shouldn't have joined!!

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            • #7
              Yeah the captain onboard a ship I worked on before had a key and turned it off.

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              • #8
                We have it, but we don't often use it, even with lone watch keeping. We have motion sensors and all the usual bridge equipment interactions as well so it isn't that much of an effort or distraction.
                To be fair anything that prevents watch keepers from falling asleep is a good idea. I have had to alter for vessels not following the rules because I'm sure the watch keeper is asleep too many times.
                They told me I was gullible and I believed them.

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                • #9
                  Aye no integration, motion sensors etc here, we have to press the button to reset it. The key is generally left in though so it has been turned off on occasion (even though it technically shouldn't be).

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                  • #10
                    Yeah, the captain should remove the key at sea I suppose, but I never bother - when we are in busy waters the bridge is always doubled up anyway.
                    I suppose I agree with Silvertop in that you can answer the question any of the three ways depending on the situation - from my own experience, in the past I have on occasion found it really difficult to stay awake on the bridge and anything which helps keep you alert in those situations must be good - so long as it does not end up being like a snooze button on an alarm clock!
                    Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by EH75 View Post
                      Aye no integration, motion sensors etc here, we have to press the button to reset it. The key is generally left in though so it has been turned off on occasion (even though it technically shouldn't be).
                      You say no integration!? What size/type ship are you on? It should minimum be connected to the autopilot, then optionally other equipment, plus various stages of alarm. Might be worth checking to ensure you comply. Unless of course you have an early version that is several years old you might have some exemptions.
                      If you can't laugh, you shouldn't have joined!!

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                      • #12
                        I've always seen the BNWAS integrated to at least the radar ... move the ball with your foot , SIMPLES!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Silvertop View Post
                          You say no integration!? What size/type ship are you on? It should minimum be connected to the autopilot, then optionally other equipment, plus various stages of alarm. Might be worth checking to ensure you comply. Unless of course you have an early version that is several years old you might have some exemptions.
                          A really really big passenger ship. I mean that it's not integrated as in moving the trackball for the radar or other actions which show you are awake don't reset it, it can only be reset by pressing the button. As far as I am aware there is no way to change this, and it is something we discuss on a regular basis regarding the ridiculousness of it.

                          It is probablyintegrated into the system in other ways, I'm sure whether or not it's turned on will be recorded on the VDR for example (everything else is).

                          As far as I know this particular BNWAS was only recently installed (before I joined the ship though) so I assume it meets all the requirements.

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                          • #14
                            Good thing on a cargo ship, may be an annoyance but its there to protect lives primarily. First ship I was on chief mates watch and he fell asleep once, the AB didn't notice and I had to wake him up. Not a slur against him, he was a good chief but fatigue does take its toll. On a cruise ship its a more contentious issue with being additional officers.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Silvertop View Post
                              With regard to those switching it off, is it the Captain switching it off? As it should be locked and not accessible by OOWs!?
                              Quite an old system, 10yrs+, software controlled through IBS. Password to turn it off IIRC, but it has never been turned on. Some of the class may have had the cabin sounders disabled too. As well as the watch alarm they ring if an IBS alarm isn't answered within a set period (5mins?).

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