A day with Cork Harbour Operations

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There is IT everywhere, whether we like it or not, computers are serving us no matter where, in your car, your kitchen, in school, at work, at sea. Cork harbour runs a state of the art Vessel Traffic System (VTS), a network of computers spreading across the harbour with sensors such as radar, AIS, CCTV keeps monitoring 365/7/24 the traffic. The sole fact a cargo enters Cork harbour limits trigger a pile of actions ranging from crane, docks, pilot and launch, taxi drivers, invoicing, and much much more.


Cork harbour is a well oiled mechanic I always wanted to observe in action, so I could relate to it during my class when teaching Marine ICT. Harbour Master Pat Farnan is one of the champion of our Marine IT Course who lately offered I would observe the VTS in action. Cicero said, if you like the idea of learning, then teach (Si vis doceri, doce) and this is exactly what I did today.


My day started bright and early in Cobh, with VTS Operator Sean Donovan, together we spent a few hours looking into the hardware and software involved for the VTS. Later in the day, I escorted the launch and thanks to the generosity and the Arklow Faith skipper, crew and harbour pilot I was invited on bridge as observer. Since I was a child I have always been fond of observing people in their work.