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  • mattwright31

Keeping it together!

Life at sea can present problems and unexpected situations for me to deal with at any time. As the ETO, I’ve done my job well if the owner is blithely unaware of the small incidents that crop up on our journey which are never allowed to escalate into a situation that warrants concern for anyone other than my team.


On this vessel, my job is made much easier through the excellent technical support of VesselWatch integrated with the Dekeizer alarm control system. These systems, together with calm and controlled teamwork, help the crew keep everything ship-shape.

It goes without saying that not everything goes smoothly all of the time, and the best teams make sure that situations never get out of hand, or at least not as far as the host and their guests will be aware. However, there will be times when an alarm call is signalled. That alarm could be coming from the engine room, or some other potentially primary concern and quite rightly, every alarm is responded to as if it is an emergency. When that 'emergency' turns out to be a blown light bulb fitting at the opposite end of a sizeable vessel, and three people turn up to investigate, that's a lot of disruption and downtime for an already fully occupied crew to absorb.

Late in the evening, and throughout the night, it's particularly useful to know with confidence, that an alarm has been triggered owing to a low oil level and not because of a fire! An alarm system that tells the engineer what the alarm trigger is, precisely where it is and, which team needs to be alerted gives me all the information I need to deal with the situation swiftly, safely and appropriately. Once the alert has been issued, and a crew-member has signalled that they will attend, the alarm will not escalate further.

This filtering of information is a key benefit of the Dekeizer alarm control system, integrating with VesselWatch intelligent two-way radio technology.

By having alarms automatically sent to the most appropriate person or team radio, disruption is kept to a minimum and response times improved. Dekeizer, integrated with the VesselWatch system, handles multiple alerts and alarm situations. Further refinements are possible through assigned keywords, for example keyword FAULT dispatched to the engineering team, FIRE to trained fire officers and even STATUS OK to log a potential or developing fault without sending an alarm call.

In many cases, small issues do not become more significant problems through pro-active monitoring and notification of potential problems, with discreet pre-alerts allowing personnel to determine the cause of the possible malfunction before it can escalate into a full alarm situation.

A three-stage notification system based on specified individual radio, specified team radios and all radios, depending on the response to the first alarm, can deal with any situation from minor inconveniences to incidents involving a potential threat to life.

Together, Dekeizer and VesselWatch have it covered.

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