It is mandatory for the ship’s officer to manually plot position of the vessel frequently to avoid over-reliance on the equipment and to have better situational awareness, should the system fail anytime during the passage. Under-mentioned are possible failures of ECDIS:
1. Power failure
2. Sensor input failure
3. Hardware failure
4. Software failure
Master should refer to the manufacturer’s instructions when handling the above listed failures.
Following are instructions in the event of breakdown of the ECDIS equipment (primary or backup or both):
i. Master to inform technical superintendent about the breakdown of the ECDIS equipment and contact manufacturer for fault finding & trouble shooting.
ii. When breakdown occurs at sea, vessel can proceed to her next port using the backup system and arrange for necessary repairs at that port. Inform flag state about the breakdown through office.
iii. In case the repairs/ spares can not be arranged at next port then technical superintendent should seek permission from flag state and arrange appropriate coverage paper charts as replacement/ backup in accordance with flag state requirements; for the period vessel is permitted to use the paper charts.
iv. Risk Assessment to be carried out assessing the risks of navigating without ECDIS.
v. In the event of failure of both ECDIS, Main engine to be put on notice and vessel to proceed at safe speed in congested waters and areas of heavy traffic.
vi. Refer to the available small scale paper chart and plot vessel’s position. In case the breakdown is noticed at the time vessel is preparing to sail from the port, vessel should inform technical superintendent, port state and flag state authorities. Vessel should try to repair the defect using spares as available onboard. Permission to be sought from flag state to proceed to next port using appropriate coverage paper charts in accordance with the flag state requirements.