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Why cruise ship and ferry communication systems can’t be ignored

Why cruise ship and ferry communication systems can’t be ignored
In the event of an emergency, ensuring proper communications between the crew and passengers of a cruise liner or ferry is critical. That’s why besides video surveillance, ferries and cruise ship communication systems are also a key part to the ship’s overall security.
Thomas Aas, Maritime Marketing Lead at Zenitel, said some of the most preferred communication systems they deliver to cruise and ferries include two-way communication systems, public address, general alarms and radio communication for security and firefighting, adding systems should conform to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which sets minimum safety standards in the construction, equipment and operation of merchant ships.

Two-way communication systems should follow operational requirements according to SOLAS, and so should public address and general alarm systems,” Aas said. “Distribution of emergency messages ensures critical communication between vital locations such as wheelhouse, engine control room, steering gear control, thruster control and emergency stations.”
Given the important role communication plays on cruises and ferries, choosing a solution needs to take certain factors into consideration. “Well-known brands and reliable products are critical. Spare parts and service need to be available worldwide,” Aas said.
Thomas Aas, Maritime
Marketing Lead, Zenitel

Integration between systems

Given the fact most security systems on cruises and ferries are IP-based, integration between them has become possible and carries many benefits. “Easy integration between systems is crucial,” Aas said. “Our Vingtor Stentofon and Phontech systems are easily integrated with other security devices and systems such as video surveillance, UHF, digital enhanced cordless telecommunications and voice over Wi-Fi.”
“There are a number of ways that video is integrated with other systems, such as intrusion alarms and access control in places that are considered off-limits to passengers where crew typically goes, like the machinery storage areas, kitchens and other staff-only rooms. This is typical of both on-land businesses and cruise ships,” said Jumbi Edulbehram, Regional President for Americas at Oncam.

A word on security setup

What sets cruise and ferry projects apart from others is the fact they are governed and regulated by a completely different set of standards. “This can be a challenge for companies that are not familiar with these rules and adherence with regards to video technology. This must be taken into account when designing a comprehensive security plan for this market,” said Edulbehram.
Robert Watts, VP of Global Facial Recognition Solutions at Digital Barriers, offered the following tips on how security should be set up.
  • When in port the management needs to consider access the vessel in a controlled way. Are the people on board authorized to be so? This can be managed through facial recognition tracking at point of entry and point of exit. Sterile zones such as cargo bays, car parking areas, engineering and crew-only facilities on board can be managed through creating alerts if movement is detected. Thermal cameras may be deployed for detection of a person’s body heat in freight vehicle or car’s trunk area.
  • The scale of some vessels is not to be dismissed, and deploying security personnel with real-time body-worn video technology should be considered if staff are patrolling remote areas of the vessel or they come into conflict with a passenger or need to report an incident quickly and stream the data they are viewing live back to the control room, giving the geo-position of where they are on the vessel so that aid can be dispatched swiftly.
  • Below the water level there is a security risk of attachment of mines, and penetration from marine devices or divers. This is not considered with our technology but will be considered through other technologies and analytics.

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