Any Idea Seafarers

vasco
18th November 2008, 09:02
how the Sirius Star was tracked.

I think the answer may just be in the the Title of this thread.

If so will some-one somewhere finally admit that as a security precaution this is one piece of technology we could do without? At least in certain parts of the world.

Vasco

James_C
18th November 2008, 12:32
Vasco,
I think you're right. I'd be surprised if the Pirates are attacking that far offshore without the knowledge that 'something' was there...

Bill Davies
18th November 2008, 12:40
Vasco,
I think you're right. I'd be surprised if the Pirates are attacking that far offshore without the knowledge that 'something' was there...

Is the Pope a Catholic!

AncientBrit
18th November 2008, 17:01
For those of us not of the MN persuasion and having been away from salt water for a number of years, would someone explain what the @#$%^& this thread is not saying is the trouble?
Please explain and not just assume that members know what you are talking about. You know what happens when you assume. I presume.
AB

samuel j
18th November 2008, 17:11
The use of AIS
The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a system used by ships and Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) principally for identification and locating vessels. AIS provides a means for ships to electronically exchange ship data including: identification, position, course, and speed, with other nearby ships and VTS stations.
Hope this help
brgds
John

AncientBrit
18th November 2008, 17:46
John,
Thankyou. Myself and untold numbers of members are now much wiser than we were a while ago.
Surely common sense would indicate that this system be turned off when in areas with high probability of piracy.......which unless things have changed over the years, means that is the last thing they will decide to do.
AB

Dave Woods
18th November 2008, 17:47
I have just been into WWW.oceanweather.com and they show the present position and call sign of weather reporting ships! There are other sites which can show, with the correct passwords, the current position of all the ships in a particular company. The company I worked for used such a system, and the ships position was updated every hour via the SAT C.

samuel j
18th November 2008, 21:19
http://www.shipais.com/index.php

You know of this one gents...handy site

AIS works on VHF, The International Maritime Organization's (IMO) International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requires AIS to be fitted aboard international voyaging ships with gross tonnage (GT) of 300 or more tons, and all passenger ships regardless of size. It is estimated that more than 40,000 ships currently carry AIS class A equipment.

Have it on Samuel J and it a gift, link to chartplotter so overlays other vessels on the chart, have been in dense fog and it with radar just fantastic, especially in an area where i had alot of high speed ferry traffic coming at me.
But you should be allowed turn off in such area as AC says.
Our navy turn off theirs generally once past roches point/harbour entrance so if it causing a sitting duck situation off somalia they should get an official exemption to switch off

Hazonline
18th November 2008, 23:01
The Somali pirates have a long chain of info suppliers they bribe, people with access to shipping information, and find out when they are coming, and make a rough guess.

This is what I heard.

vasco
18th November 2008, 23:16
For those of us not of the MN persuasion and having been away from salt water for a number of years, would someone explain what the @#$%^& this thread is not saying is the trouble?
Please explain and not just assume that members know what you are talking about. You know what happens when you assume. I presume.
AB

Yes. Assume makes an Ass of u & me.

This thread was meant as a little bit of quiz and also a quite serious topic. It was also intended for all Navigators of recent times. It would, as you correctly,if rather offensively, state be useless to the uninformed or 'junior' enthusiast.

To start a thread off explaining the whole topic would be tedious for the author and reader. I feel that no matter what forum I belong to, there will always be questions, threads I do not understand.Indeed, there are posts on this site I do not understand. If I need further info I would politely ask.

So, an explanation.

The quiz, a bit cryptic, the initial letters of my thread title are A I S. This was picked up by at least 2 people.

The AIS is a system that is subject to much misuse, unfortunately. There are other threads on this site about that.

The IMO resolution says it shall

The regulation requires that AIS shall:

provide information - including the ship's identity, type, position, course, speed, navigational status and other safety-related information - automatically to appropriately equipped shore stations, other ships and aircraft;
receive automatically such information from similarly fitted ships; monitor and track ships;
exchange data with shore-based facilities

however, it also states

Maritime security - AIS ship data
At its79th session in December 2004, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) agreed that, in relation to the issue of freely available automatic information system (AIS)-generated ship data on the world-wide web, the publication on the world-wide web or elsewhere of AIS data transmitted by ships could be detrimental to the safety and security of ships and port facilities and was undermining the efforts of the Organization and its Member States to enhance the safety of navigation and security in the international maritime transport sector.

The Committee condemned the regrettable publication on the world-wide web, or elsewhere, of AIS data transmitted by ships and urged Member Governments, subject to the provisions of their national laws, to discourage those who make available AIS data to others for publication on the world-wide web, or elsewhere from doing so.

In addition, the Committee condemned those who irresponsibly publish AIS data transmitted by ships on the world-wide web, or elsewhere, particularly if they offer services to the shipping and port industries.


The full article is here http://www.imo.org/Safety/mainframe.asp?topic_id=754

more info can be had here http://www.imo.org/Safety/mainframe.asp?topic_id=754

and this site will find you any ship around the UK for free. http://www.aisliverpool.co.uk/index.php

for instance the Saga Rose, a passenger ship of 25,OOOt, was leaving the Needles 1 minute ago (2208 GMT) bound for Cadiz. Nice news for a terrorist?

Thus, anyone,anywhere, can find any ship within the limitations of the equipment, which is about VHF range.

It is possible that the pirates hung around the shipping lanes waiting for a juicy target to pop up on their AIS. Of course,this is all assumption I would not presume to know the truth of the affair.

Hope this helps,

Vasco.

Outlawtorn70
20th November 2008, 18:37
Hi everybody,

Do you think that an organization which demands 25 M$ ransom relies only on a 400 AIS receiver?
I remember that around the beginning of the nineties, piracy had been growing around Malacca Straits, and also that a cargo vessel of the company I was working with has been attacked and the Master seriously injured with a kind of sword that pirates used against him.... AIS?
Probably a good network of informers 'cause the said vessel had already been provided with cash in S'pore and was heading to Suez.

McCloggie
20th November 2008, 18:52
Well Vasco it is certainly possible.

Outlawtorn - you do not need an AIS receiver. You can pick up the AIS plots on a cheap laptop! While hard information (paid for) is indeed useful I reckon a kid on a computer could probably find the intended passage plan of most ships today.

AIS was originally set up to be an aid to safety, an aid to VTS schemes and to provide timely warnings to potential environmental damage. All very laudable but it does seem to have had the reverse affect.

McC

Sheddy
20th November 2008, 20:04
Nowadays schedules of ships, arrivals departures and positions are readily available via the internet, sitting at home, miles from any port I can access a vast array of information from anywhere in the world.
This information is also be available to a fairly sophisticated group of pirates.

Answer:-
1). turn the information tap off, I presume the AIS system has an on/off switch,
2) and ports/agents in this area stop publishing arrival/departure schedules.

3)Other option available for Western countries is send in the SAS , US Marines or whoever and wipe these people out. Looking at earth google it's just a desolate desert area where these pirates are based.

ddraigmor
20th November 2008, 20:12
Are we paranoid slightly here or what? AIS is in - the member who suggested that it should be turned off when in 'dangerous' waters has it right.

You can purchase a radar set that lives on your PC and which plots aircraft movements in real time - cheap as chips, as a certain broadcaster would say: http://www.hamradio.co.uk/kinetic-sbs-1e.shtml.

Dear Lord - with the coming of 't internet the Devil's Lantern went techno and you can get what you want out of it. Blaming AIS for the hijacking is a bit strong. You need a radar and a radio, a copy of the latest intelligence newspaper or access to 'net - and there you go. AIS just looks like the most likely suspect!

Jonty

sidsal
20th November 2008, 22:52
Yesterday I was at the bi-monthly lunch of old HMS Conway boys at Liverpool marina. What a lot of old codgers we have become ( the Conway closed in the 1970s !)
One of the few masters still at sea told me that these pirates normally approach from dead astern - usually at night. I can well imagine that they could suprise crews in this manner particularly as these days the OOW is inside the wheelhouse looking at screens whereas in my days it was frowned upon to be anywhere other than out on the bridge wing keeping a sharp lookout !
( I am 82 - s you may have guessed !)

vasco
21st November 2008, 09:33
sheddy

The AIS does have an off switch but according to International Regs we are not supposed to turn it off.

Outlawtorn70

I am not saying the AIS was all that was used. The ship was, however, well away from the coast and having done that route myself I would guess pretty isolated. The AIS would have been at least the final tracker used. There has always been concern with AIS as a security problem.

Comparing a hi-jack in the Mallacca Straits is, in my opinion not accurate. Who needs to search for a ship when they are all running the gauntlet through that bottle-neck. Which no doubt is why piracy is so popular there.

Although not trading seep sea myself, I used to run from Brazil to Indonesia and never see a ship. I wonder what would show up on the AIS now?

John Campbell
21st November 2008, 16:33
sheddy

The AIS does have an off switch but according to International Regs we are not supposed to turn it off.

Outlawtorn70

I am not saying the AIS was all that was used. The ship was, however, well away from the coast and having done that route myself I would guess pretty isolated. The AIS would have been at least the final tracker used. There has always been concern with AIS as a security problem.

Comparing a hi-jack in the Mallacca Straits is, in my opinion not accurate. Who needs to search for a ship when they are all running the gauntlet through that bottle-neck. Which no doubt is why piracy is so popular there.

Although not trading seep sea myself, I used to run from Brazil to Indonesia and never see a ship. I wonder what would show up on the AIS now?

Today this article appeared in Safety at Sea International and may help:=

SPOOKED by the piracy surge, South Korean companies are adopting new measures to pre-empt attacks.

The maritime ministry is requiring ships to turn off their AIS power in pirate waters to make them harder to detect and to hide log books.

The measures are to apply when ships pass the Sri Lanka-Gulf of Aden route in the approach to the Suez Canal. The AIS power is turned off when ships sail within 500 miles of coastal regions on the route.

But ships have also been warned to turn the AIS back on in the event of any attack.

The ministry is also urging ships cruising at less than 15kt to post security guards on deck, although other authorities view that move as likely to endanger crews in firefights.

There has been no debate as yet on the effectiveness and legality of equipping such vessels with sonic cannons, which create ear-splitting noises. A cruise liner used them in 2005 to deflect a pirate attack.

Tam Broon
21st November 2008, 19:17
Why would pirates need to "track" a vessel in this area using AIS or any other means? The course that the Sirius Star was taking must be one of the worlds busiest Crude Oil trading routes between the Middle East and North America. From my experience over a number of years trading on this route there must be four or five if not as much as ten or twelve VLCCs passing any given point on this route every day. All they would need to do was wait somewhere along the way and one would pass close by sooner or later. Vela alone must have one or two ships passing south on this route each week.

Having said that, the pirates off Santos were known to target specific containers because of the high value goods that they contained. The only way that they could get that information would be from shipping agents or other agents such as receivers etc.

Tom

AncientBrit
21st November 2008, 19:54
With the navies of the world being made to look like toothless giants by their politicians, all of whom, with a few surprising exceptions, seeming to prefer to do nothing about piracy.
How long do you think it will be before the world-wide major crime organizations perk up their ears at the money being made by pirates and step into the role of organizer and benifactor?
This latest trend may also serve to make the ship owners do a major rethink on flags of convenience, I am sure that the navies of the world and their controlling politicians would be singing a different tune if the vessels involved were flying their national flag.
No doubt some company bean-counter somewhere has figured it all out on the computer. Whatever action is finally decided will entail just one factor.
Profit!
AB

James_C
21st November 2008, 20:52
AB,
What about the present day Red Ensign? Over the years successive Governments have removed the requirement for British Nationals to be aboard a British ship. So in the not too distant future you may find the absurd situation of UK Forces coming to the aid or guarding a British Registered and Owned vessel, yet they will find themselves the only British subjects onboard because the crew are all foreign!

AncientBrit
22nd November 2008, 02:15
Jim.
I dont think we need to worry about the not too distant future, by then the RN as a means of protecting the homeland will consist of a few guys in RN uniform checking passengers off the Chunnel trains.
I doubt they will be capable of guarding or protecting anyone or anything.
I guess those die hard "Rule Britannia" group among our members will get all antsy at that statement, but look at the facts, current government is building lover-boats for the decreasing number of recruits, more I believe to keep the Scottish unions off their backs than for any perceived practical purpose.
Lets be honest here, for the price of a couple of those floating gin palaces, they could buld a large fleet of missile armed FPB's and the British Isles would be safer than it has been for years.
At least a couple of those would give the pirates something to think about, but that of course would mean those gutless turds in Westminster would actually have to allow their forces to fire at somebody. What a joke!
AB

AlexBooth
22nd November 2008, 05:52
Come on guys, let's get oractinal here, if its pirates or bum boats they always come up from the stern.


Equipment?

1/ 24/7 deck watch - for'd & aft.

2/ Full pressure on deck with hoses stragically positioned.

3/ Some 2 x 4's readilly
available.

4/ A few pieces of **** steel from the E/R.

5/ A well sharpened machete.


Action

1/ Grappling hook =
Machete + hose + steel
from a great height.

2/ Hands on the gunwhale = 2 sharp blows with a 2 x 4, + hose + steel.


It worked in practice in the 70's in the Malacca straights and going up the Hooglie and whatever the river was caled going up to Chittagong.l

Anyone have any other option besides doing a G..Dubleyew and amouring every ship to the financial benefit of the 'private' security firms, homeland security et al etc..l etc.

Hey - wasn't life easier before Gw8. Jr & Sr. ?


Cheers all
Alex

Tam Broon
22nd November 2008, 18:53
Nice one Alex. You reminded me of discharging alongside at Chittagong where the shore based "security guards" came onboard armed with buckets of stones and that was only ten or twelve years ago. I'm not suggesting that we throw stones at Somali pirates but it seemed to work in Chittagong.

Tom

Ron Stringer
22nd November 2008, 22:46
Alex,

Not too sure how effective your precautions would be against guys in a speedboat a couple of hundred metres astern, armed with RPGs and Kalashnikovs. Would you be the first to out on the deck with your handy-billy to wait for fingers to come over the gunwhale. Or stand ready with the firehose waiting for them to come in range. Damn sure I would stay behind as much steel as I could find. No danger of me being a hero to try and limit the losses for the shipowner or his insurers.

I don't believe the Chittagong guards, or their bucket of stones, would have stayed aboard too long if they had been facing the sort of weaponry being displayed by the Somalian pirates.