The count down begins for all existing vessels to have the BNWAS retrofitted onboard at the first survey after 1st July 2012. A BNWAS is essentially a ‘dead man’s alarm system’ intended to ensure the officer on watch is alert and competent to carry out his duties. It is, in effect, a timer, which counts down, with the device triggering an alarm if the Office of the Watch becomes incapacitated.
It is reset at timed intervals, and if this does not occur, then an audible alarm will then sound on the bridge, followed by a remote audible alarm in the back-up officer’s quarters, with an additional remote audible alarm to alert all other crew members.
In line with the resolution, SOLAS Chapter V (Safety of navigation) Regulation 19 (Carriage requirements for ship borne navigational systems and equipment) has been modified to read: Passenger ships irrespective of size constructed before 1 July 2011, not later than the first survey after 1 July 2012;
Yacht crew and owners should be aware that the first survey may not happen at the same time as a dry docking and that as such owners should note that considerable work might be required for retrofitting a BNWAS.
This could take a vessel out of service for an unnecessary amount of time. This amount of time could be dramatically reduced with the Net-Logic wireless Watchkeeper, hence why Net-Logic are so proud to announce that they have gained MCA Type Approval for WatchKeeper and WatchKeeper+ systems. The WatchKeeper+ is now the world’s first Type Approved wireless BNWAS. The wireless aspect is a huge benefit when it comes to installation with far less disruption.