VLCC Takamatsu Maru Recognized for Contribution to Marine Weather Forecasts

NYK-operated Takamatsu Maru, a very large crude oil carrier (VLCC) has been awarded the Meteorological Agency's Director-General Award for the contribution the ship has made to meteorological business development by observing marine weather conditions and transmitting observation results over an extended period of time. On June 3, a ceremony was held in Tokyo, and Kazumasa Okazaki, corporate officer of NYK, received a letter of appreciation from the director-general.

Receiving letter of appreciation

Front row, left, Kazumasa Okazaki, NYK corporate officer

Every year, Japan’s minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT), together with the director-general of the Japan Meteorological Agency, commend vessels that have participated in observing and reporting marine weather conditions. In fact, NYK-operated three vessels received the MLIT's Minister Award and the Meteorological Agency's Director-General Award in 2005 and one ship received the Meteorological Agency's Director-General Award in 2018.

Takamatsu Maru, which was recognized this year, has been in operation since 2012, annually transporting about 2 million tons of crude oil mainly from the Middle East to Japan.

NYK will continue to provide information on marine weather conditions to help ensure ship safety.

Takamatsu Maru

--Vessel Particulars
Length Overall: 333.00 meters
Breadth: 60.00 meters
Designed Draft: 21.04 meters
Gross Tonnage: 157,961 tons
Deadweight Tonnage: 311,087 tons
Ship Management: NYK Shipmanagement Pte. Ltd.

- Reference

Announcement on December 21, 2012, “VLCC Takamatsu Maru Arrives at Port of Kawasaki for the First Time,”

- Observation of Marine Weather Conditions

Because oceans cover 70 percent of the earth's surface, they greatly affect world weather. However, meteorological data on oceans is limited, which creates "blind spots" in the meteorological observation of the world.

Meteorological data collection by vessels sailing oceans helps compensate for the shortcomings of meteorological surveys. Not only is data collection encouraged by the UN's World Meteorological Organization (WMO), data collection is also stipulated in the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS Convention) of the UN's International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The underlying concept is that vessels navigating oceans help collect information on weather conditions in the oceans, and in exchange, oceangoing ships receive weather data from meteorological agencies around the world.

The method for ships transmitting weather data is standardized. Observation results of wind direction, atmospheric pressure and temperature, water temperature, the height of sea swells, and the types and heights of clouds, are all converted into numerical codes. This information is then distributed throughout the world via WMO's international weather-data communication network. Based on such information, meteorological agencies around the globe compile meteorological data, such as weather charts, which are then fed back to traveling vessels.

Even vessels equipped with computers and other state-of-the-art devices need to be warned of dangerous weather conditions, such as typhoons and thick fog. On the other hand, even cutting-edge weather-forecast technology using the most sophisticated computers is of little use in the absence of meteorological data for vast oceans around the globe.

It may be said, therefore, that our day-to-day life on land, not to mention the safety of oceangoing vessels, benefits immeasurably from the ongoing cooperation between land and oceans in the observation of weather conditions.

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