Case Study

Cayman Islands Monitors New AtoNs with Star2M

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The Cayman Islands is a trio of islands in the Western Caribbean Sea. They average over 500 vessel calls and over 1.5m annual cruise ship visitors annually, with more than 450,000 tons of cargo passing through their ports. The busy waterways are also home to commercial fishing fleets and hundreds of pleasure boats.

Safe navigation for all vessels is a priority for the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands (PACI).

The Challenge

For decades, PACI had used metal poles topped with marine lanterns to mark inner channels through reefs and waterways. These AtoNs effectively worked to improve channel visibility, but they required frequent replacement since the poles rusted and broke.

Pole and lantern replacement was time-consuming and expensive. The replacement process required specialized equipment and personnel to redrill into the seafloor.

The Acting Port Director sought an alternative AtoN solution for all three islands. The new solution had to improve reliability, reduce ongoing maintenance, and cost of ownership over the AtoNs life cycle.

The Solution

The Harbour Patrol and Facilities Maintenance Departments of the Cayman Islands developed a unique AtoN solution for their waterways.

Five ton concrete blocks were locally produced. Each block holds a non-metallic pole fitted with Sealite’s Solar SL-75 Marine Lantern. This new AtoN requires minimal maintenance and eliminates the need for specialized deployment vessels.

The new AtoN solution eliminated seafloor drilling and simplified deployment. But it still required physical checks to ensure all AtoNs were on-station and performing, per IALA requirements.

PACI subscribed to Star2M® for remote monitoring of their new AtoNs. The cloud-based portal and mobile application uses the Iridium® satellite network to provide critical data.

This data includes alarm conditions, performance history, real-time lantern reporting and maintenance records.

The Star2M secure communications and hosting service has helped PACI proactively assess and maintain the operational status of all enabled AtoNs.

The Outcome

Physical AtoN checks have been eliminated, reducing labor and equipment expenditures, and increasing staff safety. Star2M’s Remote AtoN Monitoring has allowed PACI to boost navigation safety for all vessels and operators in the Frank Sound and South Sound Channels.

The complete AtoN solution from Sealite has been so successful that additional channel upgrades continue on all three of the Cayman Islands.

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