Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
OMC International (OMC) is a specialist company providing consulting services and operational systems to the international maritime industry.
OMC has developed award-winning e-Navigation technology to improve transit for large commercial ships in draft restricted entrance channels and waterways, the Dynamic Under-keel Clearance System. DUKC® determines and manages a ship’s Under Keel Clearance dynamically and in real-time, and is the only independently validated and widely operational real-time under keel clearance management technology.
DUKC® has assisted more than 120 port facilities, terminals, and waterways safely and efficiently conduct more than 160,000 deep draft transits. Utilising state of the art modelling, forecasting, and data assimilation techniques that have been proven against more than 550 full scale vessel measurements, DUKC® is the world’s most comprehensive and extensively validated UKC management system.
DUKC® is also used extensively for channel design and dredge optimisation. Integrated port planning, real-time operations, and dredge optimisation through DUKC® has allowed ports to realise dredging cost savings of up to 90%. Overall dredge volume requirements, and the associated environmental impacts, are also minimised. A recent example combining an operational DUKC® with DUKC® optimised channel design allowed a client to reduce their dredged area by 90,000m2, and the channel depth by 0.6m to 1.4m.
In addition to DUKC®, the services and systems provided by OMC to our clients include:
The IMO has agreed to address maritime corruption by including this important issue in its work programme for the Facilitation Committee. The decision to include an anti-corruption agenda came at the latest meeting of the IMO’s Facilitation Committee (FAL 43 held 8-12 April) in response to a submission from Liberia, Marshall Islands, Norway, UK, US and Vanuatu. The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) co-sponsored the submission along with a number of other non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (illustrated) commented: ‘Corruption erodes trust in government and undermines the social contract. Corruption impedes investment, with consequent effects on growth and jobs. This is a global issue but we all need to work to eradicate corrupt practices. We are pleased that the IMO will be working to address this important issue and we will support the member states in stamping out this scourge.’
A mass rescue operation – indeed, any incident beyond everyday capability – is a challenge for any State and any SAR organisation; but this is particularly so for small States and organisations, whose planning and response capabilities are naturally limited. A cruise ship accident in the Caribbean, for example, where many such ships trade, is a very rare event, but still a possible one. Rarity is part of the problem.
Thus the scene is set by the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF see: www.international-maritime-rescue.org ).
This then begs a question
How do you prepare for such huge, once-in-a-career challenges?
In the UK IMRF Member the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), an executive agency of the UK Government, takes this question very seriously.