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Pictures courtesy of Lloyd Julian (2003)

OMC’s DUKC® e-Navigation technology is the safest solution for pilots wanting greater certainty when transiting depth-restricted waterways.

Science-based DUKC® removes ‘guesswork’ from pilot decisions

DUKC® removes the ‘guesswork’ from a Pilot’s decision about when to sail because it defines the safest absolute limits for tidal windows and maximum draft – which reduces the potential risk of grounding in shallow waters. It gives Pilots greater certainty because it scientifically predicts, in real-time, how much under keel clearance (UKC) ships have as they transit depth-restricted channels.

DUKC® has speed control functionality to ensure that the Pilot’s speed is always consistent with safe UKC as it is the most influential factor because it affects squat. It also allows for contingency planning in the event of an unforeseen delay or an emergency.

As the DUKC® system produces absolute tidal windows, the Pilot can offer the final transit time for the Master to consider. This information helps remove the commercial pressure from the Pilot by providing a sound scientific basis for a decision to delay a particular sailing and to be able to communicate this to the relevant stakeholders including the Master, charterers and shippers . Pilots are seeking greater certainty as the pressure for greater efficiency increases, due to bigger ships and reduced UKC.

DUKC® Chart Overlay

Today, transit planning can be enhanced with the optional DUKC® Chart Overlay which provides DUKC® integrated within a compatible Electronic Charting package carried onboard on a PPU (Portable Pilot Unit). Both horizontal and vertical aspects of the navigation of the channel are monitored in real-time. As well as conveying whether it is safe to transit a particular area now, it predicts, before the transit, whether it is safe when it reaches the particular area – a world first. This risk management tool displays in red ‘no go’ (unsafe) areas where, due to dynamic ship motions, the ship would have inadequate UKC and it provides pilots and shore-based operators with a significant risk mitigation measure in the case of an unexpected emergency such as a delay, engine breakdown or a channel blockage.

“Use of the DUKC® system removes ‘personal estimates of safety’ by providing ship’s masters and pilots with accurate information regarding the maintenance of a safe under keel clearance for a planned transit of the Harbour approach channel.”

Ian Niblock, Regional Harbour Master, Northland Regional Council NZ, 2009.