THE International Chamber of Shipping has published a new guide to help seafarers navigate bridge technologies in the digital age.

The sixth edition of the ICS Bridge Procedures Guide reflects the rapid technological advances taking place in the shipping industry.

It was developed to provide crews with the knowledge and confidence required to deal with the digital transformation taking place within the world fleet.

Widely recognised as the principal industry guidance on safe bridge operations, the latest edition aims to outline best practice approaches to watchkeeping through effective use of modern technology.

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement Group technical manager Nick Rich, a member of the publication’s expert panel, said navigation technology has evolved rapidly, equipping officers with vital information.  

“I’ve seen navigation equipment that I sailed with on display in Hamburg’s maritime museum. Now you walk onto the bridge and it’s like Star Wars,” he said.

“Navigation has become so much more accurate and straightforward in many ways, as officers have an incredible amount of information that guides their decision-making.

“Today’s navigator uses ARPA (Automatic Radar Plotting Aid) and ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) to track everything in real time, from their ship’s position and nearby traffic to how the current and tide affects the vessel.”   

International Maritime Pilots’ Association president Captain Simon Pelletier, who contributed to the guide as an expert panellist, said the guide is essential reading for any seafarer.

“The environment in which pilots and bridge teams work is changing rapidly, making it essential to ensure ships’ officers on the bridge understand the latest systems and procedures – which is why the ICS Bridge Procedures Guide is such a valuable resource,” he said.

“Mariners can take it off the shelf in the middle of the ocean, go through a chapter and remind themselves about the fundamentals of the environment they work in, such as bridge resource management or the process for when a pilot comes on board.”

Aligning with the standards adopted by the IMO, the guide complements the ICS Engine Room Procedures Guide, and provides readers with a comprehensive understanding of the latest practices in the industry.