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Science-based DUKC®offers greater certainty to  a regulator’s decisions

Before DUKC® ships previously sailed under fixed static UKC rules which are necessarily conservative and, while based on experience and calculated as a proportion of the ship’s draft (generally 10%), are UKC “guesses” only as clearances are influenced by the environmental conditions on the day of sailing.

The unexpected grounding of two oil tankers within three months in New Zealand’s Marsden Point channel, after no accidents there in the previous 30 years of operation under the static rule, demonstrates there is really no certainty that this approach to UKC will always be safe.

That is why a year later, in 2004, Marsden Point regulators installed a DUKC® system developed by OMC. There have been no groundings in the channel since then and it was later demonstrated that a DUKC® system would have advised that the two tankers which grounded not sail on those days due to inadequate UKC.

DUKC®, by integrating dynamic variables such as tides, waves and currents directly into the UKC decision making, removes the “guesswork” and is always safer than static UKC rules. It is particularly valuable to Harbour Masters in deciding when a ship may safely sail in draft restricted shipping channels under more extreme conditions.

DUKC® has an unblemished safety record of more than 22 years. It is estimated that a DUKC® assisted sailing occurs somewhere in the world every hour and that there have been more than 130,000 such safe transits.