Half the reason is that old wankers on these forums denigrate the new technology like AIS preferring paper, sextants and baring compasses. Quite obviously if both boats had AIS this situation would not have occurred.
But it's not extraordinary. All ships have it, all fishing vessels that go well off shore have it... It's only $500 for a transponder.... But it's the cruisers who are the last up takers of it!
If you don't have AIS buy one.
I'd be interested to see if you can find any poster here who has "denigrated" AIS... I, for one, think it's one of the greatest things since sliced bread, particularly for a singlehanded sailor, offshore. And while running down the Chesapeake yesterday morning in heavy fog, I sure wish the boat I'd been on would have had it...
However, how would AIS resolved/avoided this particular situation? Seems from the account that the other boat, apparently not monitoring VHF, did not understand that they were the burdened vessel? A DSC call enabled by AIS apparently would have gone unanswered. What would AIS alone have done to make their responsibility understood to them? All it would have done, is make clear what was already obvious - that the two boats were on a collision course... I just fail to see how the technology of AIS in itself "quite obviously" would have prevented this close encounter from having occurred...
No more than your iPad's spellchecker prevents you from typing unintended words...
Frankly, I dread the day when every single boat on the water is equipped with an AIS transponder... The clutter in certain waters will be unimaginable, the alarm will be sounding continuously, and that's when the Big Boys in steel ships will likely begin in earnest to filter out us recreational sailors in our tiny plastic toys...
Clutter likely to become a significant distraction
Clearly as more and more leisure boaters invest in low cost AIS transponders, the problems of Class B clutter on navigation displays for those navigating large vessels is likely to be a significant distraction.
Under such circumstances, filtering of all AIS Class B targets and supressing alarms might be necessary to avoid distracting those on the bridge. It is a fact that the Class B AIS Update Rate is too slow and recreational craft frequently navigate too closely for Class B information to be useful to larger vessels in busy, congested and confined waters.
However, it is at these times that when the most pairs of eyes will be looking out of the bridge window!
AIS transmissions from small craft | Current Issues | Cruising | RYA