Thursday, February 11, 2010
LORAN-C Shut down - Not Prudent Seamanship
Towmasters has a good post regarding the shutdown of Loran C. - Lots of Eggs, One Basket Loran-C Signal Shut Down.
Various safety organizations have pounded into mariner's heads now for years various versions of the message "Safety First". Most senior mariners by now have internalized safety concepts such as the error chain - in my post Error Chains and Swiss Cheese I wrote that identifying weak points in safety systems was basic seamanship.
So, the Coast Guard is shutting down Loran C and we are now going to depend entirely upon GPS, a system that relies upon satellites spinning around in outer space? Complex systems fail in unexpected ways. A big whiskey tango foxtrot on that one.