Enhancing Maritime Safety: Leveraging Vessel Monitoring and Alert Systems (VMAS) for Energy Providers—Conventional or Renewables


As the global demand for energy continues to rise, maritime operations have become increasingly important in the energy sector's supply chain. 

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However, ensuring vessel safety in complex waterways is a top priority for energy providers. Cutting-edge tech like the Marlin Vessel Monitoring and Alert Systems (VMAS) are essential for protecting assets and fostering safe practices at sea. Recently, a dramatic incident highlighted Marlin VMAS's vital role. A vessel bound for a planned offload with an FPSO unit veered off course unexpectedly. This seemingly minor deviation threatened a catastrophic collision, endangering lives and assets. (see Fig. 1) 

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Fig. 1: Planned voyage vs. actual voyage with an early alert from Marlin VMAS

Fortunately, the vigilant eye of Marlin VMAS, deployed by the energy operator, promptly detected this deviation from the vessel's intended trajectory. Leveraging real-time data and advanced analytics, the Marlin VMAS instantly flagged the anomaly, triggering immediate alerts to the operator's control center. This timely detection empowered the operator with crucial insights, enabling swift decision-making to mitigate the impending threat.

The FPSO bridge followed the procedure and attempted to hail the vessel using standard VHF protocols, but without success. Unbeknown to the vessel’s watch officer, replacing the VHF handset in previous use had inadvertently engaged the transmit key, effectively silencing the unit. The vessel’s second VHF unit, having been set to low volume, was also unable to attract the watch officer’s attention. 
Having already been alerted to the potential incident through soft alerts predicting vessel time to enter the exclusion zone, the operator was standing by to escalate the urgency of the situation. The energy operator swiftly initiated a series of proactive measures to avert the looming collision. With access to the vessel's name and contact details, automatically generated alerts (emails, SMS) were sent to the vessel’s bridge and master. Additionally, as the vessel was engaged by the energy operator, their satellite provider’s vessels directory provided contact details to the operator who contacted the vessel, alerting them to the impending incident. The entire process was completed within two minutes of the vessel entering the exclusion zone.

Through established protocols facilitated by Marlin VMAS, directives were relayed to both the deviating vessel and the FPSO unit, orchestrating synchronized manoeuvres to restore safe separation distances and prevent any potential collision.
In this high-stakes maritime environment, every second counts. The integration of Marlin VMAS not only enabled early detection of deviations, but also facilitated rapid response capabilities, ensuring the safety and integrity of critical assets at sea. By harnessing the power of cutting-edge technology, energy providers are not only safeguarding their investments but also upholding their commitment to environmental stewardship and maritime safety.

Beyond the immediate resolution of the crisis, this incident underscores the transformative impact of Marlin VMAS on maritime operations. By proactively monitoring vessel movements and detecting deviations from planned routes, energy operators can pre-emptively address potential risks, fostering a culture of safety and compliance across their fleets.
Looking ahead, Marlin VMAS promises even greater advancements, including predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms, further enhancing the predictive capabilities and operational efficiency of energy providers. Through continuous innovation and collaboration within the maritime industry, we can collectively strive towards a safer, more sustainable future at sea.

The incident serves as a poignant reminder of the indispensable role of Marlin VMAS in safeguarding maritime operations. By leveraging these advanced technologies, energy providers can confidently navigate the complexities of the marine environment, ensuring personnel safety, protecting valuable assets, and preserving the delicate balance of our oceans. As we navigate the seas of uncertainty, let us chart a course towards a safer, more resilient maritime industry, empowered by the transformative capabilities of the Marlin Vessel Monitoring and Alert Systems.


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