Maritime Authority of Jamaica receives data to enable safer ship navigation
The Maritime Authority of Jamaica has received data from a hydrographic survey of Kingston Harbour and the Portland Bight area, which will provide much-needed information for updated charts and safer navigation of ships through waters surrounding Jamaica.
The document, provided by the United Kingdom Hydro-graphic Office (UKHO), was handed over on November 12 during the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme Data Handover and Workshop at the Marine Pilots Building in Newport East, Kingston.
Head of Partnering and Engagement, Eastern Atlantic and Caribbean, UKHO, Chris Thorne, presented the data to director general of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica and chairman of the National Hydrographic Com-mittee, Rear Admiral Peter Brady.
Brady said he was grateful for the survey and the updated nautical charts that will be handed over to his organisation.
"We asked the UK Government, through their Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme, to help us to do some hydro-graphic surveying around Jamaica, which, basically, is the measurement of the seabed, primarily for the safety of ship navigation," he told JIS News.
"This is very important for us. It's very important for people who want to come and invest in maritime operations and in maritime works. Having modern surveys will make us more attractive and will make not only navigators of ships more confident in coming into Jamaican waters but also show the people who may have an interest in coming into Jamaica to invest in such things as marine oil and gas," he added.
Old nautical charts
Brady noted that shipping around Jamaica has increased over the years. (He added that) surveys of Jamaica's nautical charts are old, ships have got bigger, the levels of water have increased with greater depths, and data is needed for efficiency. Thus, there was a great need for the new hydrographic survey.
Earlier this year, a team from the UKHO conducted a hydro-graphic survey around the coast of Jamaica to bring the country's charts up to date with the most modern surveying methods. Information from their survey was presented at the technical workshop before Thorne handed over the data.
The UKHO will also be handing over equipment in 2019 to the Maritime Authority of Jamaica for its to undertake its own surveys with Jamaica's own hydrographic surveyors from the National Land Agency.
Thorne said he hopes Jamaica will benefit greatly from the assistance being extended.