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Navy and AIS?

Jan 4, 2010
983
Farr 30 San Francisco
With the spate of recent unfortunate incidents I wonder. Does the Navy monitor AIS?
I understand they may not want to broadcast on AIS, but a $1k Raymarine setup would likely have saved $3B of embarrassment and 17 lives.

USS Porter, USS Fitzgerald and now the McCain. In all cases the other ship was broadcasting AIS so perfectly visible. In the Porter case I think the other ship was in the radar shadow of a closer ship so sort of cloaked, but should again have been visible on AIS.

I ask this because I am adding AIS -B to the new boat with the expectation that I will be easily visible to commercial traffic, but I am wondering about the Navy
 
Jan 4, 2010
983
Farr 30 San Francisco
This is a serious question. If I transmit AIS-B will yonder destroyer "see me"? There is some significant evidence that the answer is no.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,122
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
John
Adding AIS will give you more but not 100%. It still requires you to be alert.

I was hit by a fishing boat this past May. I had AIS, VHF, Radar, fog horns etc... All operating and I am practiced with all of this gear.

The action that saved my boat was being on watch and changing direction when 4 headlights came at me out of the fog doing 35 mph. No radar signal, no AIS, I am pretty sure no one at the wheel of the fishing boat.

So AIS will help you. And then be alert for all the other boat owners.

With the capability on those Navy ships they should be able to see the Captain on the other bridge pick his nose.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,122
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Well on my cruise in August, again fog on the Sound... (They call it Faugust for a reason up here) I spoke with 2 Ferry Captains, and the Coast Guard regarding marine traffic and my intentions. Each time they called me by boat name on channel 16. They could see my boat and knew my speed and track. I also knew there position and track from my AIS data, provided by AIS (Vesper XB-8000). I confirmed my intentions and we agreed on the plan for the safety of both our boats.

I am pleased I put the AIS on my boat. Still I keep watch.
 
May 20, 2016
2,992
Catalina 36 MK1 94 Everett, WA
I've read where folks claim the bigger boats squelch (filter out) the AIS-B signals because there is just too many of them damn pleasure boats out there. The do look at the AIS-A signals. I think it criminal of the AIS vendors to allow the B signals to be squelched like that.

I do turn off my AIS alarm when coming into port because it alarms like crazy from all the folks who leave it on while moored in there slip. Anchored I understand - but in a slip???

Les
 
Jan 4, 2010
983
Farr 30 San Francisco
So the Coast Guard transmits AIS, the Navy doesn't, do they listen? My old boat had AIS and it was a real help in understanding what was happening specially at night or in fog. Receive only is $200
 

WayneH

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Jan 22, 2008
866
Tartan 37 Pensacola Shipyard, FL
Try moving across the Houston Ship Channel on the ICW. There are usually 3-5 tugs tied to the western dolphins. Add in the traffic from the HSC, Galveston and Texas City harbors which varies a bit. Then on the east side of the HSC is the Bolivar Marshalling Roads. One time, crossing the HSC, my AIS reported 48 targets within one NM. And I was the only class B in the area.

On the Gulf Coast, there are few enough Class B transponders that it's not a nuisance factor. The newer systems even blank out transponders moving at less than 0.2 knots. Which is about how much you move tied to a dock. My Vulcan 7 MFD has 4 displays for AIS. Sleeping, Moving but Safe, Dangerous and Lost.

But yeah, the Standard Horizon GX2150 AIS receiver will alarm for ANYTHING within its detection range. Which is pretty fricking annoying with 48 targets.
 
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Jan 11, 2014
7,840
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
gCaptain.com is a site follows commercial mariner issues. A few years back they did an excellent job covering the sinking of the Bounty.

Here are a few links from their site covering the Fitzgerald accident:
The USS Fitzgerald Is At Fault. This Is Why. – gCaptain
USS Fitzgerald: Destroyer Ignored Warnings from Containership Before Collision -Reuters – gCaptain
Why The USS Fitzgerald Is At Fault, Part 2 - Questions And Answers – gCaptain

There may be other coverage on the site, these are the articles I recall.
 
Jan 4, 2010
983
Farr 30 San Francisco
With the Fitz the interesting thing is everybody on the planet with internet access could see the ship that collided with them. Why couldn't the Fitz see it?? Because they don't monitor AIS??
 
Nov 26, 2012
2,315
Catalina 250 Bodega Bay CA
This is way simpler than you guys are realizing. Having stood watch on the flying bridge as a seaman and serving as a lookout on the USS Kidd DD661 I can assure you that these ships should be spotted well before impact. Just let the pilot house know by headset and your job is done. As both an Electronic Engineer fostered by my US Navy background and a 1st class Electronics Technician I will surmise that these problems are being caused by enemy radar interference and other such electronic disruptive approaches. Chief
 
May 24, 2004
6,794
CC 30 South Florida
I guess it does make sense for a warship in time of conflict not to advertise its identity, position and course. Maneuvering in close quarters requires for ships to coordinate with each other.
 
Jan 4, 2010
983
Farr 30 San Francisco
I get that they don't transmit AIS, but they act like they don't receive AIS. In the Fitz incident the container ship was running right down the middle of the TSS visible to all the world but not the Fitz? When you were in the Navy did they have AIS? I am sure the Navy wishes it was some very sophisticated enemy electronic attack, that looks way better than rank incompetence. I don't think the darn thing was spotted well before the collision. If it was the Fitz could have easily dodged it, the ship was what 100 ft wide, and the Fitz is 500 ft long so you only had to move 600 ft in the right direction and you would have been good.
 
May 24, 2004
6,794
CC 30 South Florida
I would think that a tour of duty aboard a Navy vessel hardly qualifies for seamanship awards. What they need is full time professional crews to operate the ships.
 
Nov 26, 2012
2,315
Catalina 250 Bodega Bay CA
Benny: You obviously don't know //// about the US Navy! What do you think boot camp trains you for ,plus your professional school training? We really need a bunch of union guys running our war ships! Sorry Skipper I don't want to fight today! You just insulted a ton of old sailors! I am disgusted! Chief
 

Gunni

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Mar 16, 2010
5,937
Beneteau 411 Oceanis Annapolis
Yes, you should have an AIS transceiver and preferably have it overlay your chart plotter. But AIS is not secure and has known vulnerabilities, so it should only be another point of reference for figuring out what is going on. The new multi frequency, low power radars are a great add but you have to practice on them. You still stand a watch, and if you have any questions AIS can be a great source for call sign to contact the bridge of another ship. Having said that I have never received a radio response from a Navy vessel. Even the trainers that putt out of Annapolis. I have seen them alter course, but there was no acknowledgement. It was always my impression that with a significant bridge crew and multiple layers of command the OOD was calling the course and keeping us apart.
 
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Jan 4, 2010
983
Farr 30 San Francisco
Well to be fair to the USN they have more to do than a merchant. The merchant sailor really only has to worry about not bumping into things. So nobody here is going to say " I was in the Navy on the bridge and we always monitored AIS" or " My daughter is in the Navy on the bridge and she always monitors AIS" we have conjecture and a belief in what the should be doing.
 

jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
I was contacted by a US Navy vessel once, a submarine. We were sailing out of the LI Sound at the height of ebb, in heavy fog. I was doing about 14 kt. over the ground. I was making security calls every 15 minutes or so, and the sub, waiting southeast of Montauk, asked for a visibility report at the Race. I had just measured this on the radar, as Race Rock Light flickered in and out of visibility, as 1/8 mile. He thanked me and said he was coming to all stop on the surface 'til things cleared up a bit. I assume he was bound for Groton. I asked for his position and he only gave me degrees and minutes, not decimal minutes. I found him on the radar. At our closest point of approach, about 1/5 mile, he wasn't visible to us (I guess the fog had worsened), but he blew his fog horn, which shook our rigging! The kids were thrilled, but disappointed they couldn't see it.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,840
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
A question for you retired (and maybe not retired) Navy guys. One analysis I read of the Fitzgerald accident suggested that the Chain of Command on the Fitzgerald did not allow for a timely maneuver to avoid a collision. The watch stander had to report his findings to his supervisor who reported it to his supervisor who then reported it the officer in charge of piloting the boat who then had to issue a command to maneuver. (Or some process roughly similar to that.) The analysis argued that the length of time and the number of people involved introduced delay in the response and introduced potential error as the reporting went up and down the chain.

Does that sound plausible?