With the growing traffic load on inland waterways the issue of navigation safety is becoming more and more urgent for river transport workers. Russia has established a digital disaster communication system which transmits precise coordinates and type of incident, including on rivers. However, the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation is in no hurry to approve the development.
There is still no system of transmitting a distress signal with reliable coordinates on Russian inland waterways. The old system used in the USSR – by direction finding – is no longer supported by the coastal situation. Therefore, the shipmaster can only send a distress signal by voice over the radio channel. However equipment for transmitting distress signal in digital format with reliable coordinates and type of accident was developed in Russia – digital distress communication system (DSCS).
Ministry of digital development of Russia believes that DSCS is relevant and it should be implemented. And the Ministry of Transport of Russia sent the following reply to the developer of the system, the company “NavMarine”: “The proposal to create DTSC on inland waterways is not unique, because this algorithm can be performed using the transceiver of digital selective calling (under the condition of allocation to all inland waterways two frequencies in the range of marine mobile service) which are produced in series, including by Russian manufacturers”.
The proposal of the Ministry of Transport to use the frequency range of the maritime mobile service on inland waterways contradicts the decision of the State Commission on Radio Frequencies No. 09-03-01-3 of 28.04.2009, noted the creators of the CCCB.
Rescue on inland waterways in our country is carried out by the Centrospas detachment together with the State Inspectorate on Small Water Vessels of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia (GIMS). Developers of Tsentrospas found out that rescuers only use radio stations of the “river frequency range”, they do not know about any other ways of notification of disasters, including those mentioned by the Ministry of Transport
“The river navigation industry in Russia is facing the task to increase the capacity of transportation on inland waterways of the country. This means that on a single river section there will be more water transport. As a result, more ships automatically increase probability of emergencies. To ensure safety in navigation, it is necessary to modernize equipment. The majority of countries in the world practically do not use analog resources for distress signaling on inland waterways. On the rivers of Russia we need digital radio communication”, – says Alexey Migalin, General Director of NavMarine Ltd
The radio station designed by NavMarin specialists has a system of distress signaling in the frequency ranges assigned for VHF radio communication both on inland waterways and marine mobile service. When it comes to inland waterways, it is the only radio station in Russia that can transmit a distress signal with reliable transmission of coordinates and type of distress: “fire”, “flood”, “grounding”. However the mass production of the new system has not been started yet.