||N. Baileys, N. Ellis, H. Sampson
||LR Educational Trust Research Unit
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The application of new technology has long been utilised to achieve safety and or efficiency improvements. This is very much the case in the maritime industry with ships' bridges and engine control rooms regularly being fitted with new pieces of equipment, many of which seek to improve safe and efficient operations. Recent introductions have included ARPA radar, digital electronic charts, GMDSS, stability programmes, dynamic positioning systems and remote engine machinery monitoring and operating systems. Much new equipment is voluntarily introduced on board. In December 2004. however, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) was made mandatory for all merchant ships over 300 gross tonnes undertaking international voyages. The effectiveness of such systems depends upon the competence of those who operate them. Nevertheless anecdotal evidence suggests that crews are often inadequately trained in the use of equipment installed aboard ships." Indeed, in January 2008 it was reported that the severe listing of the passenger ship Crown Princess and the subsequent injury of 298 passengers in 2006, was due to 'The inadequate training of crewmembers in the use of integrated navigation systems" (NTSB). This report is based on research undertaken as part of a larger study to determine the extent to which crews receive appropriate training when new technology is introduced aboard ships. In particular, the study focuses on the case of AIS. In so doing, it raises questions in relation to maritime training more generally.