There are various ways in which deviation is identified by the Monitoring Center. In addition to visual detection, there are “geo-fences” designed for each area within the Western Alaska and Prince William Sound Captain of the Port zones with region-specific routing measure zones to give near real-time awareness on the status of hundreds of vessels. Detecting a vessel that is deviating from the Network’s Operating Procedures can be due to a vessel entering the IMO approved Areas To Be Avoided for the Aleutian Islands or entering into the Network’s other risk reduction routing measure zones.
DEVIATION NOTIFICATION AND FACILITATION
When non-compliance is detected for routing measures, the Monitoring Center will make an initial query to the vessel master, Owner/Operator (O/O) and Coast Guard of the situation as agreed to in the Network enrollment application. This deviation notification will include a reminder of operating procedures for the specific zone in which the vessel is operating, a screenshot of the 24-hour track line for the vessel showing non-compliance, the ATBA and/or routing measure zones overlaid on the chart, and a list of questions if the vessel intends to request Coast Guard approval for the deviation. Once information on the vessel status and intentions is received back from the vessel, if the vessel alters course to comply with the Network’s routing measures, the Monitoring Center will confirm the intentions to all parties.
In cases where a deviation is deemed necessary for safety of ship, cargo, and crew due to weather or other circumstances, the vessel is requested to provide information on vessel intentions, type and amount of cargo onboard, type and amount of fuel oil and lube onboard, structural integrity and seaworthiness of the vessel, and other information essential to the deviation request process. Once the information is received back from the vessel, the Network will then forwards the deviation request to the Coast Guard.
During any point of the process, the Coast Guard or the Network may request further information clarifying intentions and other aspects of the request. The Network then awaits Coast Guard approval or denial for the deviation request and promptly notifies the vessel of the decision. The vessel will be closely monitored during the deviation due to the distance offshore and to ensure compliance with the restrictions from the deviation approval of the Coast Guard. If a deviation request is granted, the vessel shall notify the Network and appropriate Captain of the Port upon deviating from the approved route and upon resuming the approved route when the deviation is no longer necessary for the safety of the vessel and crew. The Network will close out the event with a notification to all interested parties including the Vessel,Owner/Operator (O/O), and U.S. Coast Guard that the vessel has resumed normal routing measures.
Offshore routing is one facet of reducing the risk of marine casualties. Distance offshore provides more time for repairs to be effected by the vessel’s crew if a hazardous condition develops, provides time to respond to navigational errors and time for an assist vessel to arrive on scene before a vessel approaches the shoreline.