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Ships Without Sailors?

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  #26  
Old 18th May 2017, 23:17
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[QUOTE=Ian Lawson;2480234]. Ultimately, the fleet managers and sector managers are drawn from either deck or engine. QUOTE]


Ultimately there won't be anyone from deck or engine that can fix or manage the damn things!


If you want to get a good job at sea? Start the towing and salvage business! You find crewless (clueless) ship, grab it and tow into port. You will get a fine salvage award! All you need to is watch the AIS Tracker. If it stops or goes in circle... head forphen it.

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  #27  
Old 19th May 2017, 07:30
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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#26

A most profound observation!
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  #28  
Old 19th May 2017, 08:30
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I would suspect that autonomous ships would add a whole new dimension to piracy. After all, there must be a means of communication with the ship by the owners and maritime authorities, and communications can be hacked -- perhaps by something like the current ransomeware WannaCry that has crippled half the world's industries and authorities. Imagine contacting your ship only to have a message appear on your computer screens saying "We have control of your ship, and unless you immediately pay us $10m we will run it into the nearest solid land and sink it."

The pirates would never need to take the risk of putting to sea and being taken out by naval vessels; they could simply sit in front of a computer miles from the nearest ocean and be completely untraceable. In fact, one individual teenage hacker could become very wealthy!
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  #29  
Old 19th May 2017, 10:11
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One way round that is to make the ships fully autonomous, self determining, maybe even self aware ? Give it a couple of Phalanx Gatling Guns and send it on its way.

Would call for some pretty advanced AI admitted. Quantum Computers are on the horizon

Might make the pilots and mooring crews a bit nervous when boarding though.
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  #30  
Old 19th May 2017, 10:24
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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#29 What pilots?

What mooring crew?

It's all fully automated, isn't it?
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  #31  
Old 19th May 2017, 10:39
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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The statutory definition of a pilot is "Any person not belonging to a ship who has the conduct thereof" (Section 31, Pilotage Act 1987).

A shipmaster belongs to his ship, within the meaning of the Act; and cannot therefore at the same time be a pilot within the meaning of the Act. (The Anna Merryl, Grimsby Magistrates' Court, 2002.)

If a statutory pilot with a mooring crew boards a wholly unmanned ship, who then is the master of the ship?
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  #32  
Old 19th May 2017, 10:45
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The ship's cat ??
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  #33  
Old 19th May 2017, 11:02
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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As you see the run for the vessel is coastal which is more or less the same as the American vessels test although the American is not carrying cargo, the way the Americans have the set up is that Mooring Crews are placed on and off the vessel when required usually by Boat or Helicopter.
In the event of breakdowns the Engineers and Computer bods are placed onboard and there is Food Packs available if required.
If I remember correctly the American vessel is G/T Electric and there is built in redundancy.
In regards to Piracy, it would seem that the Routing is not through Pirate infested Waters at the moment, not unless the Vikings remerge.
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  #34  
Old 19th May 2017, 11:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrie Youde View Post
#29 What pilots?

What mooring crew?

It's all fully automated, isn't it?
Well if the pilot gets blasted we can put in the log: "Phalanx units tested and OK"
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  #35  
Old 19th May 2017, 12:58
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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By definition, an unmanned ship has no master; and, likewise, a fully automated motor-car has no driver.

Because each one of these two statements is merely a half-truth (as common sense dictates), the legal consequences of clinging to the untrue half have yet to be determined.

Plainly, a human-being somewhere will remain responsible for the control of the speed and direction of each one of these two technological developments.

The questions of Who? and Where? remain some distance from any answer.
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  #36  
Old 19th May 2017, 13:21
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Engineers build bridges that fall down, aircraft that fall out of the sky, ships that break up and sink in minutes. The legal ramifications then go through the roof.

Chicken and egg thing.
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  #37  
Old 19th May 2017, 14:38
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Engineers build bridges that fall down, aircraft that fall out of the sky, ships that break up and sink in minutes. The legal ramifications then go through the roof.

Chicken and egg thing.
And it is radio officers and their ilk who communicate and allow their transmissions to be hacked!
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  #38  
Old 19th May 2017, 14:42
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And it is radio officers and their ilk who communicate and allow their transmissions to be hacked!
But all in the name of Queen and Country ....

Never for personal gain.
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  #39  
Old 19th May 2017, 15:12
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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The Insurance implications are interesting but as many are aware at least one Shipping Company in the past ran their vessel's providing their own insurance cover.
Bearing in mind the above then it will be up to the Shipowner to provide the Competent person to look after the vessel (remotely) rather than an outside Insurance Company determining what the Terms and Conditions are.
I have no doubt that on entering and leaving Port the vessel will be crewed and a Master along with a Ships Pilot will be aboard as I would suggest that Harbourmasters would not be happy having having a crewless ship moving around in the confines of the Harbour.
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  #40  
Old 19th May 2017, 16:04
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the way the Americans have the set up is that Mooring Crews are placed on and off the vessel when required usually by Boat or Helicopter.

Question: If the helicopter is unable to put the crew on board? Like as in weather. The pirate can use the same boat or helicopter as the Mooring Crew. See lower.



In the event of breakdowns the Engineers and Computer bods are placed onboard and there is Food Packs available if required.

Question: Lat 50 South, Long 160 West. The ship is out of range!


If I remember correctly the American vessel is G/T Electric and there is built in redundancy.

Question: An extra whole engine?


In regards to Piracy, it would seem that the Routing is not through Pirate infested Waters at the moment, not unless the Vikings remerge.

Question: Pirates can follow the ship to anywhere the ship can go. Pirates could find a ship in North Atlantic or South Atlantic or Pacific.
I think the Pirates after one of these unmanned ship is not going to be half dozen of beach 'natives', they will be fully manned and qualified to take the ship over. Take the whole ship or talk part that you want and leave the ship drifting... until it can be found!


If your ship is as valuable you think, then you better have a good crew and pay for the maintenance. Might work out cheaper in the end.


[/QUOTE]
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  #41  
Old 19th May 2017, 18:41
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I am reminded again (just to annoy you I will repeat it here) of the Kongsberg tech commissioning the IAS on Umm Bab. My usual commentary on single failure prone semiconductor population life and lack of forwardly planned renewals elicited the comment that "Not only will this be expensive to support in ten years time, iy will be fabulously expensive".

Turning then to avoidance he pointed out that Kongsberg had obtained and still produced Autronica KM type monitoring systems (as with most other discrete systems most failure modes involved only a single channel failure. They did this, he said, for customers in remote parts of the world where support was difficult to obtain.

Where I wonder could there be anywhere more difficult to get to than along most sealanes once a few hours into FAOP?.
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  #42  
Old 19th May 2017, 19:02
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen J. Card View Post
the way the Americans have the set up is that Mooring Crews are placed on and off the vessel when required usually by Boat or Helicopter.

Question: If the helicopter is unable to put the crew on board? Like as in weather. The pirate can use the same boat or helicopter as the Mooring Crew. See lower.



In the event of breakdowns the Engineers and Computer bods are placed onboard and there is Food Packs available if required.

Question: Lat 50 South, Long 160 West. The ship is out of range!


If I remember correctly the American vessel is G/T Electric and there is built in redundancy.

Question: An extra whole engine?


In regards to Piracy, it would seem that the Routing is not through Pirate infested Waters at the moment, not unless the Vikings remerge.

Question: Pirates can follow the ship to anywhere the ship can go. Pirates could find a ship in North Atlantic or South Atlantic or Pacific.
I think the Pirates after one of these unmanned ship is not going to be half dozen of beach 'natives', they will be fully manned and qualified to take the ship over. Take the whole ship or talk part that you want and leave the ship drifting... until it can be found!


If your ship is as valuable you think, then you better have a good crew and pay for the maintenance. Might work out cheaper in the end.

[/QUOTE]

At the moment the American is just a test and is a former Warship which I am sure will have good security and is of little value to any Pirate action, it is also on a fixed coastal route, like any vessel that cannot get into Port it will just lay off till a Crew can be placed aboard.
In regards to maintenance Crew it is unlikely that the vessels will be routed 'out of reach'
I would have thought that the design would have two separate Enginerooms with independent systems so if there is a problem one Engineroom can be completely shutdown.
The Norwegian is on a fixed route and will be manned for two years in order to iron out any problems, perhaps the problems will highlight that the idea is impractical only time will tell.
As an Engineer who was on vessels with the first UMS I was not keen on the idea then but technology has moved on a pace, going as far as having no Crew onboard is indeed a big step and may be a step too far.

As an after thought in regards to Pirate action, no Crew, no ransom demands and no problems worrying about Crew being injured if the Special Forces are called in to take back the vessel
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  #43  
Old 19th May 2017, 20:19
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Quote:
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As an after thought in regards to Pirate action, no Crew, no ransom demands and no problems worrying about Crew being injured if the Special Forces are called in to take back the vessel
Surely if there is no need for any crew, there need be no pirates aboard either.

If the owners/operators of the vessel can direct the vessel from an office ashore, there is no reason why hackers/pirates cannot take over and control it from a different location ashore. Your Special Forces might not then be physically prevented from boarding but, once there, they would have to be capable of isolating the vessel completely from the command. This would involve disconnecting all automatic control and operating functions and the shore-ship communications and then taking over the vessel under manual control for the remainder of the voyage.

Those forces would need to be special indeed.
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  #44  
Old 19th May 2017, 22:16
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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Surely if there is no need for any crew, there need be no pirates aboard either.

If the owners/operators of the vessel can direct the vessel from an office ashore, there is no reason why hackers/pirates cannot take over and control it from a different location ashore. Your Special Forces might not then be physically prevented from boarding but, once there, they would have to be capable of isolating the vessel completely from the command. This would involve disconnecting all automatic control and operating functions and the shore-ship communications and then taking over the vessel under manual control for the remainder of the voyage.

Those forces would need to be special indeed.
As you are aware the biggest problem with Piracy was the ill
treatment and ransom demands in regards to the Crew, that has been eliminated.
In regards to the vessel and cargo that would be up to the Insurance and Government to make a decision on any military action to be taken. The proposed vessel is a container ship so it will have to Dock somewhere to unload the containers.
The Crew are more important than ship and cargo.
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  #45  
Old 20th May 2017, 02:29
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Surely a purpose designed un manned ship could be made safe against pirates or illegal boarders . A release of mustard gas, a rain of acid or a hail of bullets if attempts to enter the control room eventuates.

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  #46  
Old 20th May 2017, 08:07
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When you read the posts in this rhread and then read the threads asout the two ferries that ran amock in different ports this week it sort of makes you think that the unmanned ship may take a little longer to develop than anticipated by some. I was brought up on the old adage that if it can happen it will in the most inaccessible place and at the most inopportune time.
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  #47  
Old 20th May 2017, 09:17
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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When you read the posts in this rhread and then read the threads asout the two ferries that ran amock in different ports this week it sort of makes you think that the unmanned ship may take a little longer to develop than anticipated by some. I was brought up on the old adage that if it can happen it will in the most inaccessible place and at the most inopportune time.
Like yourself I am sure that there will be malfunctions, there was with UMS, transferring what were/are land based systems on to a juddering ship along with a bit of Salty atmosphere soon shows any weakness which is most probably why the Vessel in Norway is going to be Crewed for two years to see if all or part of the concept is viable.
Who would have thought in 1950's that in the future most Merchant Vessels would not require an R/O and they would be made redundant or that large piece of glowing kit stood in the Radio Shack would be replaced by something the size of a cornflakes box.
Like most Engineers I do have concerns about full automation however it has to be said that even with a manned Bridge ships have collided with each other or run aground.
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  #48  
Old 20th May 2017, 09:23
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The whole point of merchant ships is to make money.
Ok the crew costs are huge but set against the costs of developing this technology, operating it, insuring it, and keeping it 100% reliable for its operating life.
Remember the 'Savannah' nuclear powered cargo ship?
Great on paper but most countries did not want the risk of nuclear waste/contamination anywhere near their waters.
What happens when the first of these ships has a collision or is wrecked and pollutes pretty beaches or results in some deaths.
I can't see it happening on any significant scale for a very long time.
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  #49  
Old 20th May 2017, 10:51
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Who would have thought in 1950's that in the future most Merchant Vessels would not require an R/O and they would be made redundant or that large piece of glowing kit stood in the Radio Shack would be replaced by something the size of a cornflakes box.
Somewhat later than the 1950s but, soon after I went to work at Marconi Marine's head office in Chelmsford in 1967, I got into an argument with my boss, George Gardiner (a kind and very knowledgeable and experienced radio engineer who was involved with many ground-breaking marine radio projects) about the need for R/Os on merchant ships. He was outraged when I cockily forecast that by 1980, the radio room and all its kit would be replaced with communications equipment that was as simple to use as that found in offices ashore - which could be operated by a girl receptionist. He dressed me down in no uncertain fashion (citing, amongst other things, the lack of suitable technology, the permanence of essential international radio regulations, the over-riding need for safety and the Luddite resistance of the shipping industry to new ideas) and made me, the newest and youngest recruit to his department, feel about 6" tall. Not a good start in my new job.

George died long before my "absurd futuristic claims" came to reality and I was about 20 years too optimistic about the rate of progress, so I never got to say, "I told you so!"
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  #50  
Old 20th May 2017, 12:06
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OK, large unmanned container vessel owned by XXX Lines. Their ship trades to ports A B C & D. Average say three days between ports.

For the ship to arrive safely they need at least a dozen men to bring the ship into the port. Dozen men come aboard and safely tie up. Another two dozen will be required to service the vessel. Then another dozen to take the ship. That means 48 men to on shift work, 8 hours. Then multiply the other three ports that the ship will trade. That is getting up to 200 men. Perhaps XXX Lines have seven ships on the run, so those 200 men will be working 7 days a week... on ONE shift. Allow for a second shift, another 200 that come to 400 men. These people will not come cheap. Way about the other ships coming into the port from different owners. It will require hundreds of people to run these ships.

It will be cheaper to run with foreign-flag crews as in the old days.
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