Sunday, 16 August 2009

AIS gone wrong

AIS (Automatic Identification System) is a system which logs the location, course, destination and speed of most ships over 300 tons. I am an avid user of its reflection on the Internet,, particularly to find out about ships in my area. Stornoway is not a busy port, so any unknown vessel has my attention. This afternoon, nothing is coming or going (apart from the ferry), but AIS shows the following - the boat I'm on about is highlighted in yellow.

It looks like this:

My attention was on the large yacht, the Gundamain, which you can see against the backdrop of the hills. Its description as a 2,159 gross tonnage oil products tanker is patently wrong.

The IMO number refers to the tanker Janet C, pictures of which now feature on AIS in connection with this yacht.


  1. At work, we would call that a Cockup.

  2. Where does AIS get its information from? Do the ships transmit? (I was wondering about that ship that went missing and seemed to be untraceable.) Your post certainly seems to indicate that the system is not infallible :-)

  3. I think, in the forces Harry, that they call that a SNAFU ... :-)