The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Capacity Building Sub Committee (CBSC) and Meso American and Caribbean Sea Hydrographic Commission (MACHC) recently executed an Introduction to Hydrographic Surveying and Nautical Cartography training course in St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda. The purpose of the Project, which took place from May 30th to June 10th, was to establish hydrographic capacity in the region so that maritime authorities can begin providing necessary products and services to comply with basic requirements for safety of navigation in the area.
The United Kingdom Hydrographic Organization (UKHO) developed the basic course curriculum, with industry participants CARIS, Kongsberg Maritime and Fugro contributing to the successful implementation of the training. Attendees to the training included representatives from Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and the host nation Antigua and Barbuda.
The course provided a double benefit to the region. In addition to the classroom sessions in hydrography and data processing, the at sea training was an actual data collection operation. This resulted in data being acquired in St John's harbour to allow charts of the area to be produced.
The organizations involved were the key to the success of this dual-purpose operation. This collaboration allowed hardware, software, training needs, and expertise to be brought together. Kongsberg provided an EM 3002 MBES suite and engineering support, Fugro and CARIS provided hydrographic expertise and data processing support, the UKHO provided classroom instruction, and Antigua and Barbuda provided the survey launch.
In 2009, CARIS, Kongsberg, and the UKHO worked with the Port of Bridgetown in Barbados to execute the first capacity building and demonstration event in which data collection operations and a training mission were conducted to provide data to charting authorities. The data was successfully delivered to the UKHO as a result.