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Free electronic charts will boost jet boat safety in HK, Macao, mainland area
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08:32, December 25, 2007

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Maritime authorities fromGuangdong, Hong Kong and Macao jointly issued the latest-versionof electronic charts for one-year's free use for jet boatsshuttling between the three sides.

The China Communication News reported Monday that the GuangdongProvincial Maritime Bureau, the Marine Department of the Hong KongSpecial Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the MaritimeAdministration of the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR)produced the 14 pieces of electronic chart display and informationsystem (ECDIS), which are available for free use for more than 100jet boats carrying passengers in the sea area near the Pearl Rivermouth.

Such service will charge after the first year's free use of theECDIS, the authorities said, without saying how much it will cost.

Hong Sixiong, an official from Guangdong, said the ECDIS, aspecific form of computer-based navigation information system thatintegrates a variety of information that is displayed andinterpreted to mariners, will greatly improve navigation safetyand operational efficiency, the newspaper reported. The area nowsees nearly 300 departures and arrivals of jet boats every day.The annual passenger departures and arrivals are about 20 million.

The newly-developed ECDIS provides seamless coverage of the seaarea of the Pearl River mouth and corrects a few errors ofseparate electronic charts previously prepared by the threeauthorities, Hong said.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) lately issued aregulation, requiring jet boats, manufactured after July 1, 2008,must be equipped with ECDIS receivers, and all jet boats inoperation must use the ECDIS facilities after July 1, 2010.

Source: Xinhua

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