Risk Moment: Any USB Port When Needing to Recharge


By Captain Richard Madden 04-24-2016 06:38:01

The Standard P&I Club recently hosted a contest where mariners could identify hazards in different parts of the vessel. A conversation with a couple of deck officers started with a discussion of music on the bridge - a hazard identified on one of the posters. While a consensus was not reached on the idea of music overall, it's certain that there are times when it is highly inappropriate: times such as traffic, coastal navigation or pilotage.

While talking about portable media players on the bridge, another point was raised. What happens when crew members want to charge their portable devices on the bridge?  

Apparently, the closest USB ports are sometimes used - including those on such vital pieces of equipment such as the ECDIS. While anecdotal evidence has shown that difficulties in updating ECDIS charts and licenses ensued, it can be certain that this is a potential vector for computer viruses or malware.

It may seem like low-hanging fruit in terms of hazards, but perhaps it's time the bridge officers or master addresses where these devices might be charged. It's all fun and games until your ECDIS fails at a critical juncture.

Let's be safe out there.

Additional Reading

Improving Hazard Awareness - provided by Standard P&I

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.