Monday, March 31, 2014

NLIN #3 - 2014

The following M - Notices are available at www.dft.gov.uk if you have problems call 023 8032 9391


MIN 475 (M+F) UNESCO Commemoration of the First World War Centenary.

MGN 501 (F) Codes of Practice for Fishing Vessels of 24 metres and over - Standards which may be used to prepare for your MCA Surveys.

MGN 502 (F) The Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Fishing Vessels - Standards which can be used to prepare for your MCA Inspection.

MGN 505 (M) Human Elements Guidance - Part 1 Fatigue and Fitness for Duty: Statutory Duties, Causes of Fatigue and Guidance on Good Practice.

Good Watch.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

C S I (CONTINUED)


Passenger Boat Drill with Officer checking off those assigned to his Boat

As the second day of the NTSB hosted cruise ship safety forum continued cruise line executives described what steps have been taken for safety.  NTSB Chairperson Deborah Hersman asked how would this work in real life?  It is a much needed question which past experiences by NAUTICAL LOG, a former cruise line Safety Officer and the industry itself in more recent times has shown not too well.  The attempted abandon ship when the MS Costa Concordia was put on the rocks through careless navigation being a recent example with the loss of 32 persons both passengers and crew.

During the second day NTSB Deborah Hersman pointed out this evacuation did not even begin until the ship was listed.  Most passengers managed to escape, some in lifeboats and life rafts some by jumping into the water and swimming ashore.  She asked the question:

"Do we have the capability to evacuate, launch and rescue the number of people that can be on a cruise ship?  The simulations are good but we had real-life scenario and things did not go as planned."

From the cruise line executives in reply there were the usual high-handed statements about safety and protecting the environment and that the responding team is under absolutely no commercial pressure whatsoever.  This as anyone working at just about any level in a cruise ship or for a cruise line is absolute nonsense.  There was further talk, and that is just about what it is  in practice, about electronic system loudspeakers and video screens all over the ship and on the Bridge.  If passengers do not pay attention to these and more importantly understand what is being shown and said then it is largely a waste of time.  RCCL which operates the currently largest passenger carrying ships with some 5,400 yes that's 5,400 persons on board claims they are safer than the smaller cruise ships that NAUTICAL LOG was a Safety Officer in.  Clearly that is not a realistic but commercial statement and there is not the slightest proof based on evidence, that this is true.

In the opinion of NAUTICAL LOG there is the capability in equipment to evacuate the number of persons on board the ship.  However whether there is the capability to execute that capability is an unknown factor.  As an example in the last cruise ship NAUTICAL LOG sailed in we had 35 nationalities in a crew of less than 550 speaking 8 languages and today the crews are 3x that number and more.


NTSB Chairperson Deborah Hersman


NTSB Chairperson Deborah Hersman wrapped up the first-ever NTSB forum on cruise ship safety by questioning whether the industry regulators and investigators are truly prepared to handle a massive catastrophe at sea in an era of megaships.  She closed with remarking:

"As we have said about other industries the lack of a major accident is not an indication of safety."

Good Watch.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

CRUISE SHIP INSPECTIONS

 

Always of interest in South Florida is the Cruise Ship Industry and of particular interest to NAUTICAL LOG is cruise ship safety.  As a result of numerous incidents in the Carnival Group vessels not least of which was the tragedy of the MS Costa Concordia the Harmonized Verification Program (HAVEP) was initiated for passenger ships.  This program was carried out between January 01, 2013 and December 31, 2013.  The results showed that:

  • Two passenger ships were detained over the 12 month period as a direct result of HAVEP for deficiencies related to operation control and emergency preparedness.
  • While the results of HAVEP indicate reasonable overall compliance with SOLAS requirements for passenger ships, both from an operational point of view and hardware it should be noted that:
    • in 19 out of 232 inspections a deficiency was recorded against a fire drill
    • in 20 inspections a deficiency was recorded against an abandon ship drill

The objective of HAVEP was to obtain a view of emergency preparedness on passenger ships following the MS Costa Concordia incident in January 2012.

The results of HAVEP indicate that Masters and Operators must pay attention to carrying out regular realistic fire and abandon ship drills.

The HAVEP questionnaire was completed during the 232 inspections on 225 individual ships.  A total of 130 HAVEP-related deficiencies were recorded and 2 ships were detained as a direct result of the HAVEP.

By Flag State:

Bahamas:  67 inspections and 1 detention

Malta:  40 inspections and 1 detention

Turkey:  24 inspections.

The HAVEP results will be presented to the 47th. Meeting of the Port State Control Committee in May 2014 and then submitted to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).


Bearing these results in mind the United States of America Government in addition to the United States Coast Guard (USCG), which has responsibility for Flag State and Port State Inspections, usual Quarterly Inspections wants additional unannounced inspections.  Organized through the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) which has jurisdiction only out to 12 nautical miles offshore to decide what changes should be made.  The NTSB would like to have authority to inspect cruise ships on an unannounced basis.  It also wants to see more transparency in publishing findings from NTSB investigations by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).  So it seem that NAUTICAL LOG is not the only body not particularly impressed by the IMO.

Good Watch.


Monday, March 24, 2014

MEDIA MADNESS

With the tragedy of flight MH 370 the Media has had flights of fancy indeed at times madness led by CNN which has nonstop 24/7 coverage.  There are a few experienced pilots who try to give accurate information.  This is almost immediately overridden by some bimbo reporter determined not to be educated by the professionals.  So the most incredible speculation has taken place since there is nothing else available.

To this is added the incompetence of the Malaysian Government which does not normally have either press conferences or a public relations department as usually the Malaysian Media uses only the government press handouts since all media is government controlled.

This Ad from Malaysian Airlines introducing the Boeing 777 two years ago landed on my desk this morning and it is to say the least unfortunate.  It is an example of carefully wording an advert so as not to find oneself in this awkward position at a later date.  However a further e-mail from a resident in France informed NAUTICAL LOG that the aircraft illustrated is in fact an Airbus A 380 - so the poster it appears is contrived unless Malaysia Airlines got it wrong which would not surprise NAUTICAL LOG.

 
 
 
Boeing 777
 
 
 
Of course NAUTICAL LOG hopes that one day the world will know where flight MH 370 went and in spite of the local incompetence and politics the families will find some peace of mind.

Good Watch.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

FLIGHT MH 370

 
For those of you who are following the at present very confused search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 here is a list of United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) marine navigational charts covering the apparent area of searching.  Since NAUTICAL LOG is not familiar with aeronautical chart numbers these can be researched on Google®.  However for this type of search tracking NAUTICAL LOG believes the nautical charts of the 4700 Series would be more practical to use.

There is a link in our list of blogs to the UKHO website which has full information about their products.  It also has some excellent links to its other websites and partner websites well worth a look.

Sailing Charts: (these cover broad areas)

UKHO 4706  Bay of Bengal

UKHO 4707  Maldives to Sumatra

UKHO 4708  Indian Ocean Australia West Coast

UKHO 4710  Cape Leeuwin to Southeast Indian Ridge (this one covers the debris area)

UKHO 4713  Ile de la Reunion to Ile Saint-Paul

UKHO 4714  Cocos (Keeling) Islands to Ile Saint-Paul


General Charts: (these cover sections of the Sailing Charts areas)

UKHO 827  Bay of Bengal Southern Part

UKHO 829  Bay of Bengal Northern Part

UKHO 830  Andaman Sea


Viewing the Media, in particular CNN which is covering ad nauseam  the mapping has been dreadful in spite of them talking about every possibility no matter how far-fetched except alien abduction.  NAUTICAL LOG hopes that the above paper chart list will prove useful to you.  Remember one can also use electronic charts.  Enter the UKHO website and find any chart in the SPICA catalogue, in addition any UKHO chart agent can assist you.

Good Watch.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

UNTIL NEXT YEAR

The Southern Ocean whaling season of 2014 is over. 


JWF factory ship MS Nisshin Maru
 
As the weather conditions decrease the Japanese Whaling Fleet (JWF) has left for its home port in Japan with the MS Nisshin Maru seen on AIS crossing 60° South latitude at just after 0200 AEDT March 13, 2014.

As to the number of whales slaughtered this season as of yet there is no published count. However it would seem to be a from the Japanese point-of-view a reasonably successful season.  The anti-whaling efforts were less than effective with a poorly led, highly confused, disorganized, preventative operation.  One of the anti-whaling vessels left early and is already berthed in Australia with the other two still at sea on passage. 


NAUTICAL LOG has learned from a source within the anti-whaling community that there was strong conflict between the ships captains as to the leadership of the anti-whaling operation.  No doubt in the weeks ahead as those on board the vessels talk to friends and Twitter® and Facebook® it will, as it always does, come out what their problems were.  From their own reports it was clear that the leadership was grossly incompetent and lacking in basic nautical knowledge and skills.



Good Watch.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

NLIN #2 - 2014

M-Notice Notification

The following M-Notices are now available at www.dft.gov.uk/mca If you have any problems call 023 8032 9391 for assistance.

MIN 474 (M) Training and Certification - Changes to IAMI Officer of the Watch Written Examinations.

MIN 476 (M+F) Codes of Practice for Controlling Risks due to Noise and Vibration on Ships.

MGN 504 (M) Maritime Passenger Rights: Role of the National Enforcement Body.

Good Watch.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

INDIAN POWER

Many times when one needs assistance or help with computer problems one finds oneself talking to India.  They are always most gracious and helpful though it often takes rather a long time to get things solved.  Understand however that their concept of the computer hardware may just be a little different than our concept of computer hardware and feeding power. 

So to help you understand here are three photos sent to NAUTICAL LOG this morning with that in mind.  They may also explain that while the software may come from India the hardware thankfully does not.

Good Watch.




 


Sunday, March 9, 2014

THE WRONG SIDE

Amongst the Ukrainians fighting in the streets of Kiev to change their government and the violence between the elected government and the protesters there were many groups each with their flags of which most noticeable were the black and red of the OUN and UPA .  Then finally Russian troops without insignia entered the Crimea with the clear support of most of the peninsula residents.  These Russian troops were supported by local defence forces and the Cossacks.  Now it seems the Crimea will return to the Russian Federation where it actually belongs.  It was in a political moment given to the Socialist Republic of the Ukraine by the Soviet Union under Khrushchev for economic reasons in 1954.


The current United States Administration should step back from its current position on the politics of this region.  In fact if they have any real understanding of its history they will realize they may well be on the wrong side. 

The history of the Ukraine is one of changing sides in mid-stream.  In the 1930's violence and military action was approved if it resulted in the formation of a Ukrainian Republic.  The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) formed to achieve this end was divided into two sections OUN  B and M.  There was also the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).  When the Germen Nazi military entered and captured the Ukraine these organisations accepted the control of the Reichkommissariat Ukraine.  Over 61% of Ukrainians trained under this government and were formed into the Shutzmannschaft and as concentration camp guards.

 
 
 

As the records of the concentration camps show the Ukrainians were amongst the most brutal and most used as camp guards in the extermination camps.  There were of course several of these camps in what is now the territory of the Ukraine.  Some Ukrainians who settled in the United States after World War 2 have been deported to stand trail for these crimes in Israel.

As can be seen daily on FOX and CNN the various groups, which grow more violent each day, fly the black and red flags from those days and have much the same attitude.  So the United States would do well before taking sides to consider both the former history of the Ukraine and its current political situation.  It might be that it would be wiser to stay out of any association be it economic support or political sympathy with the Ukraine.  Allow the Russian Federation to resume control of the Crimea as a section of its own country which was mistakenly given away in 1954 under the Soviet Union. Then allow the Ukraine to sort out its path with the European Union and the Russian Federation. 


Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A MAN OBSESSED

 

When Pope Benedict resigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church a year ago there was great surprise outside of the Vatican.  Not so within the Vatican.  With the election of this Argentine Jesuit who became Pope Francis in a great rush within two weeks of Pope Benedict's Resignation  there was great excitement outside the Vatican.  Once again no so within the Vatican.

Amongst many of the clergy and lay persons of the Roman Catholic Church there is a wariness of this too quickly elected Pope.  There is also a realisation that Pope Benedict did not Abdicate, still wears the Papal white and is now Pope Emeritus.  As it turns out today, this second day of Lent, thankfully so.  Recently when the new Cardinals were chosen to replace those retiring from electing a Pope, when this next becomes necessary, to observe Canon Law both Pope Emeritus Benedict and Pope Francis were present together.

The man Francis is so obsessed at being popular that it seems he will go to sensational lengths to achieve this end.  This vain priest has committed one of the Seven Deadly Sins of the Roman Catholic Church doctrine. In his statement he confessed that he:

"And immediately there came to mind the thief we all have inside ourselves and while arranging the flowers I took the cross and with just a bit of force I removed it"

He then goes on with sanctimonious words to excuse his actions - totally incredible.  

How dare this vain priest accuse me of being a thief when I have spent from childhood to my current 78th. year trying my best to follow the path suggested by the Rabbi Yesu known to Christians as Jesus Christ.

As a Knight of a Sacred and Military Order one of our duties since foundation 900 years ago in the 12th. Century is the defence of the Christian Faith, which today includes the Orthodox Church's, Roman Catholic Church and Protestant doctrines, against all enemies.  It is therefore my opinion as a Lay Person of that Christian Faith that the College of Cardinals should demand the Abdication of Francis from his position as Pope immediately and if he does not comply they should impeach him. They should further consider his unfrocking for the heinous crime of forcefully stealing from the dead as he himself has admitted to doing in the above statement. 

This sensationalist priest in his vanity is not deserving of the traditional Papal obedience of his clergy, knights or the general lay persons of the Roman Catholic Church which he seems bent on destroying not rebuilding.  We are fortunate to still have Pope Benedict resident in the Vatican.  He should be asked to rescind his resignation and resume his Papal duties, albeit on a limited scale with respect for his health should he wish it, immediately to save the Roman Catholic Church from further desecration.


Once again one is reminded of the Irish Archbishop of Armagh, Máel Máedóc Ua Morgair  (Malachy) 1094 to 1148  and his Papal predictions which cease with Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict XVI 2005 to 2013 .



Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM.