VOS Recruitment - What and Why? Recruitment is the process by which a ship becomes part of A National VOS programme The International VOS Scheme And by being recruited a ship is contributing to The Safety of Life at Sea - SOLAS Forecast models Climate science etc
Identifying suitable recruits Liaise with Headquarters & as required by PMO work instructions Do you have resources/budget to supply/maintain the ship? Will the observations meet your user requirements and observation targets? Check the E-SURFMAR (or WMO Pub47) website to see if the ship is already recruited to the VOS Scheme and to avoid duplicate recruits [ Note -the database has to be up to date to be effective ] [ Note the ESURFMAR ‘dubious duplicate list’] Liaise with overseas PMO if uncertain about a ship’s status A VOS should be answerable only to one country, and the NMS of that country should provide the metadata, monitoring and QC for that ship
Suitability - Factors to consider Owners/Managers Are they supportive of the VOS Scheme Need for meetings at company level Size and type of ship The trading pattern or route Liner trades Tramping Visits to data-sparse areas Percentage of time sailing in desired areas Length/Type of charter party Likelihood of returning to home port waters How long the vessel is likely to stay in port Ability to regularly inspect and service the ship Local Agents assistance
Officers and Crew Nationality ‑ must speak reasonable English Where crewed from - do crew return to the same company/ship Master(s) response - MUST be willing or the equipment could be lost. Crew response – must be willing to participate Likelihood of crew achieving/maintaining required number & quality of observations How long is their tour of duty ? Have they observed before ? What company ? Ongoing training requirements Some Cautions Some masters may want the barograph, without the responsibility. Officers may be leaving the ship soon and their reliefs may not be willing participants Equipment may, on occasion, be requested in the master's cabin Check whether met equipment has been on board before ‑ if so why was it removed ? Specialised offshore vessels may want the barometer for helicopter Ops, with little intention of observing. Suitability - Factors to consider ctd..
Communications Method of Transmission – code, Sat C 41 or other The availability of a suitable communication system on the ship to send the observations; Can the officers use the communication systems - is code 41 in the system The availability of a computer on the Bridge on which to install electronic logbook software Instruments Bridge suitability ‑ where can the gear be located ? Exposure of the instruments Spare gear stowage, mercury thermometers (spillage kits) The availability of certified NMS instruments for installation on the ship The suitability of the ship to carry and care for the loaned NMS instruments Suitability - Factors to consider ctd..
Approaching a ship to join VOS Sometimes responsible ship owners/managers will contact the NMS or PMO requesting recruitment. If not the PMO will need to arrange a visit to a suitable ship to Explain how VOS works - win/win Explain their role, no costs, just time Learn something about ship & personnel Build rapport with the officers and owner/managers Discuss their weather experiences, forecast products used Ask what they know about VOS already Officers may have done VOS on another ship If necessary give them time to consider, follow up with , another visit Make use of supporting information e.g. VOS Brochure, VOSClim brochure, SOT presentations, MSC Circular 1293, and the VOS website quick reference guides (http://www.bom.gov.au/jcomm/vos/quick_reference_pmo.html ) et
PMO Responsibilities When a ship is recruited to a National VOS it is answerable to the NMS and the PMO is responsible for the following: ensuring there are no dual recruitments collecting and collating the metadata assigning the ship to the correct VOS Class providing E-logbook software and stationery providing calibrated instruments to make observations Regular monitoring of observation numbers, quality and timeliness Providing feedback & training to the ships officers
VOS Classes Determine the most appropriate meteorological reporting class to recruit to Selected, Selected AWS VOSClim, VOSClim AWS Supplementary, Supplementary AWS Auxiliary, Auxiliary AWS Ancillary Class ( pilot project ) To ensure ships are assigned the correct VOS Class the following factors need to be taken into account Trading pattern – visits to data sparse areas Quality/calibration of instruments Ship or NMS supplied instruments We need to work towards upgrading as many ships as possible to VOSClim Class standard.
Some Practices to Avoid Competing with other PMOs to recruit the most ships Counting ships not observations Trying to recruit more ships than you can manage or are needed Impromptu Recruitments without formal consultation or agreement where A ship is given a logbook and an address and told to get on with it No proper observer training is given No thought is given to follow up and future servicing No metadata is collected Instruments are poor and resultant data is suspect Remote recruitments ( unless at the specific request of the owner/manager/master and with their support) Requesting ships to do more observations than is realistic ( e.g. for coastal ships), or at the expense of safe navigation