What are those ships?


Ever wondered what  ships are in the Tor Bay area?

As from December 2004, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires all vessels over 299GT to carry an AIS (Automatic Identification System) transponder on board, which transmits their position, speed and course, and some other static information, such as vessel’s name, dimensions and voyage details.

AIS was originally intended to help ships avoid collisions, as well as assisting port authorities to better control sea traffic.

AIS transponders on board vessels include a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver, which collects position and movement details. It includes also a VHF transmitter, which transmits  this information periodically on two VHF channels and make this data available to the public domain.

Other vessels or base stations are able to receive this information, process it using special software and display vessels locations on a chart plotter or on a computer.

For a taste of what AIS can show, have a look at Torbay AIS info (this site may not always be available) or, for a more in-depth look, go to the Marine Traffic web site.

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