BNWAS Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System

Why install BNWAS?

Regulations from IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) requires carriage of a BNWAS Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System complying with IMO performance standards.

The purpose of a bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS) is to monitor bridge activity and detect operator disability which could lead to marine accidents. The system monitors the awareness of the Officer of the Watch (OOW) and automatically alerts the Captain or another qualified OOW if for any reason the OOW becomes incapable of performing the OOW’s duties.

This purpose is achieved by a series of indications and alarms to alert first the OOW and, if he is not responding, then to alert the Captain or another qualified OOW. Additionally, the BNWAS may provide the OOW with a means of calling for immediate assistance if required. The BNWAS should be operational whenever the ship’s heading or track control system is engaged, unless inhibited by the Captain.

Deadlines for installation of BNWAS

1 July 2011: New Ships > 150 GT and all new passenger ships.
1 July 2012: Existing passenger ships and ships over 3.000 GT
1 July 2013: Existing ships over 500 GT
1 July 2014: Existing ships over 150 GT

IMO performance standards for BNWAS
In February 2010 the new performance standard IEC62616 was adopted. IEC 62616 specifies the minimum performance requirements, technical characteristics and methods of testing, and required test results, for a bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS) as required by Chapter V of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), as amended. It takes account of the general requirements given in IMO resolution A.694(17) and is associated with IEC 60945.

This means that from July 2011 all new ships over 150 GT has to be fitted with a type approved BNWAS complying with the new standard. Only a few systems have this new approval. Our new generation of BNWAS is called BW-800 and is Wheel mark approved and has several Type Approvals.
NEW! June 30th 2014 The IMO has issued interim guidance (contained in IMO circular MSC.1/Circ.1474) that the automatic operational mode on bridge navigational watch alarm systems BNWAS), if available, should not be used on a ship conforming with regulation SOLAS V/ which requires the BNWAS to be in operation whenever the ship is underway at sea. Read more here >>>
IMO MSC.1 Circ1474

IMO MSC.1 Circ1474