Maritime Authority of Jamaica receives data to enable safer ship navigation

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Maritime Authority of Jamaica has received data from a hydrographic survey of the 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 Hydrographic 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, Maritime Authority of Jamaica and Chairman, National Hydrographic Committee, Rear Admiral Peter Brady.

Rear Admiral 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 (CME) Programme, to help us to do some hydrographic surveying around Jamaica, which, basically, is the measurement of the seabed, primarily for the safety of ship navigation,” he said.

“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.

Rear Admiral Brady noted that shipping around Jamaica has increased over the years, surveys of Jamaica's nautical charts are old, ships have gotten 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.

Additionally, there is need for a new survey because the last time surveys were done was some 40 years ago.

Earlier this year, a team from the UKHO conducted a hydrographic survey around the coast of Jamaica to bring Jamaica'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 them to undertake their own surveys with Jamaica's own hydrographic surveyors from the National Land Agency.

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