Monday, November 30, 2009

NLIN #8 'M' NOTICE ERRORS

There seem to be problems and mistakes being made by the United Kingdom Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) regarding the issuing of 'M' Notices. Here at NAUTICAL LOG we have just received an e-mail correcting MSN 1734 (M+F) issued November 06, 2009. This notification of an error is some three weeks after the Notice was issued - better late than never. In the past there have been multiple transmissions of data and broken links to download sites.

We have suggested to the Agency that they review their 'M' Notice system and procedure, so hopefully these mistakes will not occur again. After all they are the United Kingdom Government Agency that represents both the Flag State and Port State with powers of Inspection and Detention of vessels entering United Kingdom Territorial Waters.

Good Watch.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NLIN #7 - SOUTHERN ICEBERG ALERT


A report came across our NAUTICAL LOG desk this morning regarding icebergs. The Australian Antarctic Division sighted icebergs heading northwards from Antarctica towards the South Island of New Zealand. About 100+ icebergs, some over 600 feet across, are passing Auckland Island, elevation 556 feet, at South Latitude 50 degrees 46 minutes and East Longitude 166 degrees 05 minutes.

A 'Notice to Mariners' has been issued. While shipping is infrequent in this immediate area since the icebergs are moving northwards they could affect New Zealand coastal shipping and transit vessels.

Good Watch.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

WALRUS AND CARPENTER

In the famous poem the Walrus and the Carpenter walked along the beach chatting about many things - not least amongst them oysters!! So it is with NAUTICAL LOG we see our visitors questions about many things thanks to our 'Sitemeter' record of visitors. At present the most popular questions are about the MS "Oasis of the Seas" lifeboats.

Some answers to questions asked;

1. The free 'Passage Planning Guide' is available just by sending an e-mail to
boucp@hotmail.com and it will be sent to you immediately, with the exceptions of requests from the following countries - Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Somalia.

2. MS "Oasis of the Seas" has a total of 18 lifeboats, they are 9 on each side of the ship. RCI states they hold 372 persons each of which 16 are the lifeboat crew and the remaining 356 are passengers. So with all the 18 lifeboats filled they can evacuate a total of 6408 passengers.

3. No RCI has not made a statement or report, that we know of, other than the original 'Tweet' about the lifeboat damage during the transatlantic passage.

4. No NAUTICAL LOG has no idea why not and yes the Company has visited our Blog twice to date.

5. Yes we have had numerous visitors from Finland several from Turku where the MS "Oasis of the Seas" was built and yes all asked about 'the lifeboats'.

6. Yes NAUTICAL LOG learned that the lifeboats do have a head (nautical for toilet/restroom/loo). Now THAT is planning ahead (no pun intended) with 372 persons in the boat.

7. As regards NLIN #7 NAUTICAL LOG thinks that the climate 'cycles' rather than 'changes'. For example the ice and glaciers have retreated and then later advanced several times since first positions were plotted during original explorations and recorded discoveries. However NAUTICAL LOG believes that the natural cycles have been disrupted due to human pollution.

8. A comment was made regarding lifeboat size on MS "Oasis of the Seas". However the visitor sent it to NLIN #2 instead of here. Since it is worth reading may NAUTICAL LOG redirect you there !!


As other questions by our Visitors are asked we shall update this Post. So for now -

Good Watch.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SAFETY FIRST AND ALWAYS

With the arrival in Port Everglades, FL, which will be her home port for now, the MS "Oasis of the Seas" has generated lots of attention from the media and public. Of course with Port and Ship Security firmly in place there is not any chance of visiting the ship for a tour. Thus the owners RCI have complete control over what is reported and only its wonders and superlatives are being talked about. Though with the media continually repeating that the vessel is 'five times larger' than the "Titanic" (one hesitates to even write that word) does not really inspire confidence. Following the NAUTICAL LOG post of a "tweet" by "Twitter" from a Senior Company Executive on damage to the lifeboats during the transatlantic crossing, not a word has been said or reported in the media.

This is not a good idea and RCI should put out an explanation of just how the damage occurred, to what extent and how it is being repaired. Our Post was picked up by other worthwhile nautical blogs such as "Old Salt Blog" and "Kennebec Captain" and indicative of the interest is the fact that two-thirds of our visitors have asked about the 'lifeboat damage' as can be seen from the 'SiteMeter' reports.

NAUTICAL LOG believes it would complement and enhance their stated concern for Safety aboard their ships if RCI would publish a full report. Flag State (Bahamas) and Port State (United States per USCG) can be required, under International Maritime Organization (IMO) Passenger Ship Regulations, to publish such a Report. So why not make it, after all there is nothing to hide - or is there?

Good Watch.


UPDATE November 20, 2009:

Our Visitors Log shows some interesting visitors today. Always nice to know our opinions are getting read particularly those in the area of Shipboard Safety. This is why feedback in the form of comments are so important as there is always more than one side to an incident and an explanation. Enjoy a nice weekend though for the Cruise Ship Industry this is their really busy time of the week.

Good Watch.

Friday, November 13, 2009

NLIN #6 - NO TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA

Today we had our 5000th. visitor that's a further 500 since October 26, 2009. Now compared to other sites this is not a huge quantity but look at the quality !!

Many have been with regard to the reported lifeboat damage that was incurred by the MS "Oasis of the Seas" on her transit from Turku, Finland to Port Everglades, FL. Over a dozen of them were from Finland including the shipyard that built the lifeboats.

We watched her arrival this morning, she waited off the entrance to allow MS "Maasdam" to pass into her berth first. The contrast stunned all of us, in comparison to the Holland America Line ship one really saw how enormous MS "Oasis of the Seas" actually is.

Good Watch.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NLIN #5 - VIDEO SERVICE

We have added in a Video service which is placed just below our Blog List. Here you can watch an excellent selection of videos from RCI about their latest cruise ship MS "Oasis of the Seas".

Her transit to Port Everglades, FL. is just about completed and she is due to enter that Port at 0800 tomorrow Friday 11/13/2009 to berth at Berth 18, which is now Cruise Terminal 18 built for MS "Oasis of the Seas", at 0900.

The videos are well worth a look and the Bridge tour and Safety Center tour are excellent and informative. The amount of thought that has gone into this vessel is considerable. As NAUTICAL LOG is only qualified to judge the navigational and safety aspects but from those the entire vessel seems to be truly outstanding or as RCI likes to say - WOW.

Good Watch.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

LIFEBOAT DAMAGE

Here at NAUTICAL LOG we do not 'Twitter' or 'Facebook' and we do not intend to start doing so!! As a result however it is only today that we were able to independently confirm that MS "Oasis of the Seas" sustained damage to two of her lifeboats. As can be seen from photographs of MS "Oasis of the Seas" the lifeboats are exposed over the side ready for immediate launching. Usually lifeboats are set inboard on the Embarkation Deck and must be released from securing lashings known as 'gripes', swung outboard, evacuees embarked and then lowered to the waterline. The MS "Oasis of the Seas" has a different system, largely experimental for a passenger ship.

This damage apparently occurred on November 06, 2009 during her crossing from Europe. It is claimed by Royal Caribbean International (RCI) that '60 foot seas' were experienced during a storm in the region of Bay of Biscay. The international weather reports estimated the seas at 30 feet so we seafarers can adjust as necessary. The information was stated to be taken from a Twitter message - is that a Tweet ? - sent by a Senior Company Executive aboard the vessel for its transit.

As a result of the heavy weather the vessel will arrive in Port Everglades, FL on Friday morning November 13, 2009, a date generally not favoured by seafarers.

At that time it will be necessary for the lifeboats to be surveyed, tested and a USCG drill conducted prior to allowing passengers to board. It is possible that the lifeboats could be repaired by a team from the European manufacturers as Fort Lauderdale, FL has numerous boating facilities. Once this is done the lifeboats will then be surveyed, tested and again a drill conducted by USCG.

Good Watch.

Friday, November 6, 2009

NLIN #4 - M NOTICES

The following -M- Notices have been issued by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency;

MGN 399 (M)
MIN 352 (M)
MIN 358 (M+F)
MIN 361 (M+F)
MIN 363 (M+F)
MIN 364 (M)
MSN 1734 (M+F)

These are available in PDF format from
www.mcga.gov.uk/. If there are any problems contact the -M- Notice Administrator at 023 8032 9391

Good Watch.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

CHUTE AND SCOOT


Here at NAUTICAL LOG we have been asked what is "chute and scoot". Well here is the answer to the maritime version of "chute and scoot", pretty neat actually. These are from Australia and the link http://www.liferaftsystems.com.au/ should find them.
The basic idea is that trained personnel, as few as two persons, can deploy the system and then persons on board slide down the chute into the rafts. These can then be paddled or towed clear of the vessel. Evacuation time is minimum if the persons on board cooperate.
This may be similar to the system for crew evacuation in MS "Oasis of the Seas". Hopefully with all the video coverage from RCCL/RCI about their newest ship we shall have some coverage about the crew Safety Training. To date there has been only a brief video about the Lifeboat design and construction by the Start-Up Master CAPT. William S. Wright.
For those of you who would like to see a system in operation there are several on "YouTube" - were else - a series of videos of tests and drills. These have been conducted by various vessels and ferries. Generally the deployment times are very good, however sliding down into the rafts is a bit scary. As you can see from some evacuees it is important to just slide down freely and it all works well.
Good Watch

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NLIN #3 - LITTLE GIRL LOST


Mariners get to many different Ports and in many different places in those Ports. Here at NAUTICAL LOG we would ask that you keep your eyes open for the young girl seen above. This an age progression picture based on those produced by the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Madeline McCann has been missing from Praia da Luz, Portugal since May 03, 2007 when she was 4 years of age. A video is also available in English, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Madeline is shown both natural and tanned as it is possible she is in North Africa, she is of Anglo-Irish ethnicity. The video can be viewed at http://www.ceop.police.uk/ it is being supported by Police Agencies around the world including Interpol, Europol, Australia, United States, Canada, and United Arab Emirates.

If you have any information please contact your Police Service, Embassy or Consulate.

Good Watch.

Monday, November 2, 2009

NLIN #2 - BALLAST

Today at NAUTICAL LOG we start a new service to alert mariners to points of interest. As we read or hear information that we think is useful we shall Post a 'Nautical Log Information Note' (NLIN). We back-dated to the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency -M-Notice Post and corrected the website address because of link problems to download the PDF.

So then here is NLIN #2.

When handling ballast, if you operate in U.S. Waters and your vessel has ballast tanks, you will need to install and operate a USCG approved ballast water management system.

Contact your USCG District and/or marine chandler for complete requirements and equipment available.

Good Watch