From paper charts to ECDIS

Nov 30 2013

Advice and practical assistance to help with the extra risks posed by the transition from navigating by paper charts to using an ECDIS are given in a new book published by The Nautical Institute (NI).

The second edition of From Paper Charts to ECDIS* offers practical guidance on equipment, training and operational practices. In the four years since the publication of the first edition, members of NI’s ‘sea going correspondence group (SGCG)’ have gained additional experience of using ECDIS and that has been assessed and distilled into this latest volume.

Author Captain Harry Gale FNI said: “As well as supporting its members through this fundamental change, The Nautical Institute wants to ensure that the best practice encapsulated in this second edition, incorporating experience at sea, reaches as wide an audience as possible throughout the industry. Bridge procedures have to be amended to accommodate the very different working practices needed for using ECDIS and failure to instigate the discipline of being alert and engaged when using ECDIS may lead to distraction, complacency and ultimately accidents.”

Speaking at the launch, the NI’s CEO, Philip Wake FNI, described the second edition as timely. “When we brought out the first edition four years ago, the industry was just beginning to realise that it needed to provide training for crews in the lead-up to the mandatory introduction of ECDIS. The members of our SGCG have helped us offer practical strategies for those who are faced with dealing with the transition from paper charts to ECDIS.”

He pointed out the scope of the Institute’s work to support those involved in this transition. “Many of you will be familiar with Dr Andy Norris’s book ECDIS and Positioning. The checklists in that book have provided the substantive element of the industry’s recommendations for ECDIS training and familiarisation.”

These recommendations were drawn up by a group co-ordinated by the NI and are included as appendices to the second edition of the latest book.

He expressed the hope that the book would take people right through to 2018 and that by then everyone would have got their training right, especially in support of experienced mariners who trained originally on paper charts.

*From Paper Charts to ECDIs is available from The _autical Institute price: £20; ISB_: 978 1 906915 17 9

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