As mentioned in Annual Summary of Notices to Mariners : What is NP 247(1)?, NP 247(2) is one of the two publications issued by Admiralty (UKHO) annually. The second part of Admiralty Annual Summary of Notices to Mariners – NP 247(2) contains updates on sailing directions and miscellaneous nautical publications.
Similar to Part 1, this publication also contains corrections up to the last week of the previous year. It also contains text format updates of all the publications which are published in sections of Weekly Notices to Mariners. As the admiralty sailing directions are continuously kept updated in form of new editions and corrections, the first section of NP 247(2) contains list of latest editions of admiralty sailing directions applicable throughout the globe.
The second section of the publication refers to the updates in force which are applicable only to admiralty sailing directions. These updates are until last week of the previous year. For e.g. NP 247(2) 2013 edition will contain updates to sailing directions till 31 December 2012 or week 52/12.
Acting as a complete database for the Admiralty sailing directions this publication is very useful in two ways:
- By providing the latest and applicable information on editions of sailing directions in use for all the areas covered by them, the publication forms a very essential part of voyage planning. Sailing directions contain vital information with respect to navigational dangers and other data such as weather, tides, anchorages, approaches etc. Thus the latest editions and information play a vital role in a ship’s passage planning as this data are continuously updated and changing. A minor neglect in this data can lead to an error in passage planning and cause danger to the ship.
- They provide a database for the corrections applicable to various sailing directions, making it less time consuming for mariners to have access to latest amendments without much efforts or referring to week by week editions of Weekly notices to Mariners.
Both the parts of annual summary NP 247(1) and NP 247(2) are of prime importance in passage planning of ships as they are efficient tools in accessing the comprehensive and updated data, which contain full information which mariners require in order to check for the previous corrections or amendments which are either in force or already cancelled.
Importance Notes: An alternate method used by most of ship’s navigating officers in passage planning involves referring to the soft copy of database (for e.g. Digitrace) of chart and publications corrections on board or by referring to the online chart correction software popularly known as Chart co. These services provide information similar to Annual Summary of Notices to Mariners. However, the Annual Summary is convenient while verifying the corrections together or individually.
Real life Incident: In Oct. 2012 while planning a passage from Malaysia to Indonesia, transiting Singapore straits, the temporary notices for navigation related to presence of submarine cable laying ships were promulgated. The notices were in force till the End of Nov. 2012 and were to be cancelled from 1st Jan 2013.
The notices required vessels to pass at least 8 miles from cable laying vessels and also suggested some vessels to take an alternative route which increased the distance of the passage from 90 miles to 150 miles. In Jan. 2013, a navigating officer while planning the same passage was not aware about the date from which this notice ceased to be in force and planned the passage considering the notice that were in force. The ship thus followed a long passage and the vessel had to steam extra 60 miles consuming more time and resources. Referring to Annual summary of notice to mariners for this passage could have saved extra efforts, fuel and time of the owners and ship’s staff.