The three General Lighthouse Authorities for the UK & Ireland, Trinity House, the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Commissioners of Irish Lights, have outlined their strategy for the next 15 years.
Launched by the Trinity House executive chairman Rear Admiral Sir Jeremy de Halpert in July, the strategy document, ‘2025 and Beyond’ (pdf download here), considers an already complex coastal environment, with the Dover Strait one of the busiest concentration points in the world, strong tidal currents in the Pentland Firth, and large tidal ranges in the Bristol Channel.
There are also 255 offshore oil and gas platforms as well as plans for up to 7,000 offshore wind turbines and other tidal or wave energy installations.
The GLA said: “These reduce the available sea area for shipping, against a long term trend towards larger ships relying primarily on GPS in coastal waters. With smaller crew sizes and a severe shortage of mariners, evidence links the rise in the number of accidents at sea with human and navigational error.”
The GLA say e-Navigation, the integration of all charting, communications and navigation information into a coherent bridge presentation, data-linked to the shore, is seen as the solution but, with GPS the primary navigational system and vulnerable to interference, there is a need for terrestrial back-up.
The GLA’s choice for this is enhanced Loran (eLoran), and they continue to participate in a pan-European Loran network on a trial basis in the belief that it or an equivalent terrestrial back-up is a key building block of e-Navigation.
More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - October 2011 Issue
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