Wednesday, February 29, 2012


UPDATE: March 01, 2012.

Well done FV Trevignon you 'cured' the tow nicely and MS Costa Allegra is safely in Port.  Now for that big money Award.

As NAUTICAL LOG stated in our Post SALVAGE RIGHTS about Lloyds Open Form (LOF) what we suspected when the tugs arrived has now happened.  Costa Line is not using the tugs because of the LOF agreement with the French fishing vessel Trevignon.  The Seychelles government is not happy because they think that by using the tugs the MS Costa Allegra would arrive at Mahé faster.  Clearly the Home Affairs Minister Joel Morgan is not familiar with LOF or is interested in getting tugs from Seychelles into action.  However this is not a matter for the Seychelles Government to get involved in as it is a case of salvage between Costa Cruises and the FV Trevignon which is a 300 ft French tuna seiner using her powerful engines capable of towing huge seine nets, she is moving the MS Costa Allegra at 6 knots.

As we stated in the original Post the Captain of the FV Trevignon does not have to hand over the towline and knows his LOF, good for him and one hopes he gets the Award for a "Cure" - bonne chance mon capitaine.  Under the present rate of the tow the vessels should arrive at Port Victoria, Seychelles on Thursday and the passengers can then be landed ashore.  Already the planes to take them home are lined up ready to take off straight for Italy where things may be further sorted out.

Good Watch.

There are some 300 of our fellow seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  They are under threat of mutilation or death at any time.  It would be great if something was being done to rescue them - regretfully it is not.


Once again lies and childish behaviour, how anyone can support and contribute to the SSCS seagoing Cult is beyond the understanding of NAUTICAL LOG but then we are just a simple retired seafarer.  In his latest break-of-wind Press Release "Windy Wats-his-name" now says the whole refuelling story at Auckland Island was just a ruse to lead the Japanese Security vessels away while the MS Bob Barker raced (his words) towards the JWF off the coast of Antarctica.

The MS Bob Barker is under the 'command' of one Peter Hammarstedt who has no recorded certificated qualifications to command whatsoever and certainly not in the sensitive waters of the Southern Ocean.  Hammarstedt is a Swedish National, therefore NAUTICAL LOG would suggest that the Swedish Maritime Administration investigate this person for acting under false pretenses and bringing an international crew to the Southern Ocean.  This pretend 'captain' of Swedish nationality is sailing under The Netherlands Flag State which according to contacts in Holland has not issued him any certification to command an ocean-going vessel in any waters let alone the Southern Ocean.  It should be pointed out that PH receives a salary from the SSCS seagoing Cult for this 'command' and NAUTICAL LOG has received documentation from a member of the SSCS seagoing Cult confirming that fact and a possible salary range.  This means under both International and National Maritime Laws this person must be "duly qualified to execute the command of an ocean-going vessel."

So once again this SSCS seagoing Cult is putting the environment, the vessel, the crew in great risk.  It is away past time for this collection of nautical thugs to be detained, charged and tried on numerous violations of International Maritime Law.  Their unacceptable behaviour has occurred in Iceland, Norway, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Mediterranean, and Antarctica.  They operate vessels with unqualified crews following no Laws, Rules and Regulations of either the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) or National Maritime Authorities with complete impunity. 

If we Certificated seafarers did the same we would end up in Court charged with maritime violations as the Master and Navigation Officer of the MS Rena are in New Zealand at present.  One might point out that New Zealand is the same country that just refuelled the SSCS seagoing Cult vessel MS Bob Barker in its Capital City and Port of Wellington.  A navigation mistake as with the MS Rena is one thing but deliberately resupplying a pirate vessel the MS Bob Barker manned by nautical thugs and treating them like 'environmental heros' is beyond the nautical pale.

Good Watch

Also beyond the nautical pale is the lack of interest in rescuing the 300 of our fellow seafarers held hostage by pirates off Puntland, Somalia.  They face mutilation and or death every day and NAUTICAL LOG has nothing but complete contempt for those holding positions in both Governments and Maritime Authorities involved.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


French fishing vessel Trevignon towing the MS Costa Allegra towards the Seychelles.

Salvage - that lovely word, it can be tricky to get the money but usually worth the wait.  NAUTICAL LOG has been lucky enough to get a small share of the overall amount awarded on two occasions during our sea career and most welcome they were too.

At present the French fishing vessel Trevignon has the MS Costa Allegra under tow, once that towline was passed and accepted the standard maritime salvage rights were established for the FV Trevignon.  What happens when the tugs arrive  tomorrow is another story and no doubt the maritime lawyers of everyone involved are working overtime to get a contract in place.  The French fishing vessel does not have to hand over the towline to the tugs, however the tugs may have their additional towlines accepted by the MS Costa Allegra on a contract basis. 

This can get complex and no doubt the French Captain is as familiar with Lloyds Standard Form of Salvage Agreement as is NAUTICAL LOG - but are you.  Even though the 'tower' is French and the 'towee' is Italian English Law will apply.

Briefly Lloyds Open Form (LOF) is an international long accepted salvage agreement for all seafarers.  It is a "No Cure No Pay" agreement which was put in place in the 19th. Century by Lloyds Insurance of London, United Kingdom. No amount of money is quoted in LOF which is about a page and a half and quite basic.  Once the salvage is successful that is "Cured" then an Arbitrator sits down and assesses the entire operation to come up with an Award amount for the "Cure" based on the value of the ship, its cargo and or passengers, risks involved, dangers involved and the overall degree of difficulty.

Usually the Arbitrator is a Queens Counsel of the English Admiralty Bar who follows English Civil Law on Salvage and decides on the Award to the tower vessel.  Clearly in the current case of towing the MS Costa Allegra, a passenger vessel, this award could be considerable.

Good Watch.

Not so lucky are the 300 seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  They are now under threat of mutilation or death at any moment.  NAUTICAL LOG hopes that some day they too will get the consideration offered the passengers of MS Costa Allegra and  be taken home to their families.  Would that the concern for them was as great as for the Costa Cruises passengers who have to put up with a few of nights without air-conditioning.  Some of the hostage seafarers are now in the third year of captivity with no rescue attempts in sight.

Monday, February 27, 2012


MS Costa Allegra

UPDATE:  Tuesday February 28, 2012

The MS Costa Allegra is being taken in tow and will move towards Mahe in the Seychelle Islands some 155 nautical miles away.  There are facilities to land and take care of the passengers in Mahé.  Air patrols are being conducted by the Indian Navy and French Government.

Mama mia not again! -  one can just imagine the call coming into the Costa Cruise offices routed to the Designated Person Ashore (DPA).  Now in addition to the debacle of the MS Costa Concordia they have the MS Costa Allegra with a fire on board.  This fire was controlled before it spread to other areas of the vessel and passengers are being kept together in the Public Rooms NOT their cabins - so at least that lesson has been learned.

The initial word is that she had a fire in the engine room, it turns out to be a generator fire which knocked out all power to the vessel.  Once the emergency generators kicked in the power was restored to essential areas of the vessel such as the Bridge for Communications, Navigation and Emergency Equipment.  However the air-conditioning, lighting and catering services would not normally be included.

The MS Costa Allegra 28,596 tonnes has on board 636 passengers, of a possible 1400 capacity, with 413 crew.  She is currently drifting some 200 miles south-west of the Seychelle Islands and about 20 miles from Alphonse Island a known pirate base.  However the vessel has an armed Italian Marines Security Team on board capable of responding to any attempts at piracy.  Tugs in the Region have responded and a French ocean-going fishing vessel should be the first to arrive.  The vessel will have to be towed to the Seychelles, its damage assessed and passengers landed ashore for transportation to their home countries.

This emergency seems to have been handled professionally, it is reported that when the fire broke out the "General Alarm" was sounded with passengers and crew proceeding to the "Muster Stations".  They are being kept in the Public Areas and can "Abandon Ship" following proper protocol should that become necessary.  The vessel is upright and stable drifting in force four (4) seas.

Of course this is another serious blow to the Costa Cruise Line and indeed the Carnival Group based here in Miami, FL.  The Group cannot continue to sustain these incidents and it would seem unlikely that the Management of Costa Cruise Line can remain in place after this second affair within a few weeks.  The entire maintenance schedule of all its vessels will have to be reviewed, and investigated as will the qualifications and ability of the Officers both aboard its vessels and in supervisory positions ashore.  A disturbing pattern within Costa Cruise Line seems to have emerged which must be identified and corrected.

Good Watch

It is on this same East Coast of Africa off the coast of Puntland, Somalia that 300 of our fellow seafarers are being held hostage.  They face mutilation and or death every day in captivity unfortunately there are no plans to rescue them.


Motu Maha, Auckland Island, NZ

Carnley Harbour, Auckland Island, NZ

The latest breaking of wind from "Operation Divine Wind" is an at sea refuelling between two ships manned by amateur crews under questionable command abilities.  The SSCS seagoing Cult has announced that the MS Bob Barker and MS Steve Irwin will meet up at Auckland Island, NZ to transfer fuel at sea.  Replenishment at sea between two vessels is a complex operation requiring knowledge and a fairly high degree of seamanship to execute safely without causing a spill and pollution.  From what we have seen over the years in "Whale Wars"® not much seamanship has been in evidence from the SSCS seagoing Cult crews.   Their fearless leader makes some amazing decisions even more so than his windbag statements - this could be a combination of the two and a recipe for disaster.

The MS Bob Barker recently resupplied at Wellington, NZ and is now going to transfer fuel to the MS Steve Irwin, they have chosen to do this at Auckland Island which is part of New Zealand and is situated at 50° 44' South Latitude and 166° 06' East Longitude.  It is therefore some 10° North of the 60° South Latitude limitation for refuelling under the Rules for Antarctica.

There is of course an SSCS Press Release and a story about all this, so NAUTICAL LOG quotes from it under DMCA Protocol:

"Captain Paul Watson has decided to redirect both Sea Shepherd ships to Auckland Island where it will be more difficult for the Japanese ships to approach because they will not be allowed inside the twelve mile limit and Sea Shepherd will be able to use the bays of Auckland Island to move out of radar range of the ships."

What a fascinating statement fellow seafarers, read that a couple of times, can you imagine an experienced ship Master even thinking like that let alone writing and publishing it.  The second quote is even more fascinating and less logical - where is Spock when one needs him?

"The New Zealand authorities have assured us that the Japanese whaling ships will not be allowed inside the New Zealand Economic Exclusion Zone, Auckland Island, therefore, is a more secure location for a fuel transfer."

Are you kidding us?  Are you telling us that the NZ Government gave two non-New Zealand Flag State ships permission to transfer fuel with all its spill and pollution possibilities within the NZ twelve mile limit.  Secondly that NZ is going to keep the Japanese Security Ship, not currently a Whale Catcher mind you, out of that twelve mile limit.  How is it going to do that one might ask and with what since NZ is not patrolling their own claimed waters.  The Japanese vessel has the clear right of "Innocent Passage" to go sightseeing to Auckland Island, NZ should it wish too do so under International Maritime Law.

It seems to NAUTICAL LOG that once again the Chief Windbag "Wats-his-name" is creating a situation  so that if the New Zealand Government acted against the SSCS they will appear to have gone back on their word of agreement which, according to sources in New Zealand, such an agreement does not exist and permission was never given to use Auckland Island in this manner, the whole being a figment of "Wats-his-name" fertile imagination.  Since by their own Press Release "Captain Paul Watson decided" should a spill and pollution occur it will be entirely his personal fault.

Good Watch

Continuing to remind readers that 300 of our fellow seafarers are held hostage by pirates off Puntland, Somalia.  They face the possibility of being mutilated or murdered 24/7/366 this Leap Year. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012


The Elbe Pilot Station vessel and its Pilot cutter

This morning we learned through the maritime Blog GCaptain of the death of an Elbe Pilotage Service, Germany Pilot as the result of a fall.  There is often tension between Pilots, Masters and Officers of vessels and they are sometimes regarded as "prima donnas".  However in our heart of hearts we know that they are fine seamen with extraordinary knowledge of their Ports.  They step aboard vessels often completely strange and unknown to them to bring them safely into the berth assigned at their Port.  Surprisingly there are very few accidents and even fewer deaths as a result of a dangerous profession. CAPT. Rudi Pape sadly was one who died while under medical care as a result of his fall. 

NAUTICAL LOG would like to express our sincere condolences to his family and his fellow Pilots of the Elbe Pilotage Service.  We remember their skill on the many occasions over the years when calling at their Ports.

Good Watch.

A brief reminder that 300 of our fellow seafarers are held hostage by pirates off Puntland, Somalia.

Friday, February 24, 2012


1.  This has been a busy week and NAUTICAL LOG has been rather quiet - sighs of relief all round!!  There have however been some events which are worth reporting on unlike the SSCS which is no longer worth reporting on as they are unable to accomplish anything in the Southern Ocean in defence of whales.

2.  The Italian divers searching, as weather allows, the wreck of the MS Costa Concordia found eight (8) more bodies this week which included the remains of the female child missing since the incident.  Fuel continues to be pumped off the vessel and a survey shows her caught at the bow and stern only.  There is a possibility the ship could crack between these points and or slip off into the deeper water near the cliff edge.

3.  There was a time when the sun never set on the British Empire and Britannia Ruled the Waves with her powerful navy.  Those days are long gone and now it seems the Royal Navy cannot even build her own ships anymore.  A recent announcement from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) states that DSME Korea has won the contract to build four (4) Royal Fleet Auxilary (RFA) supply vessels under the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) programme.  The RFA is similar to the USNS where the vessels are manned by civilians working for the USN.  NAUTICAL LOG has had that experience with USNS in his long and varied career as a Master.  Some design sketches of possible designs have appeared on the Internet and are reproduced below.

Good Watch.

Remaining as hostages of the Puntland, Somalia pirates are 300 of our fellow seafarers, still no rescue in sight for them.   But then seafarers being considered second class world citizens who would care about us?  However it seems Puntland is trying to deal with the pirates by forming the Puntland Maritime Police (PMP) - at least its a start!

Refuelling underway

Sunday, February 19, 2012


NAUTICAL LOG made a change to the Blog appearance today.  We are still trying to find a more nautical looking template but so far Blogspot® has not really produced one that quite fits the NAUTICAL LOG concept of itself.

Good Watch

In spite of our contacting the International Court of Justice and various National Maritime Authorities there has been not the least attempt to rescue our fellow seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  It seems at present any Authority and or Government is unable to make decisions on how to proceed in their responsibilities.  Does one have to resort to street riots as is happening in Greece?  Not much point in that because it achieves nothing whatsoever.  The problem, as NAUTICAL LOG heard today, is that the European Union failed to build in an exit strategy for Member Nations when the Common Market was first formed decades ago.   As that organisation became the European Union the situation was never corrected.  The result is today nobody knows how to leave the EU or even the Eurozone.  So it would seem that those EU Members who did not join in the Eurozone and continued with their traditional currency actually made a good decision.  Now lets hope those same Nations can work together towards the release of the seafarer hostages. 

Frankly NAUTICAL LOG is quite frustrated in what else to do except continue as at present and keep adding remarks under each of our Posts.  As to the various Seafarer Unions they especially have never even acknowledged our efforts let alone given NAUTICAL LOG the least encouragement - which is rather hard to understand.   We have put it down to  union socialists raised in the entitlement atmosphere unwilling to consider their fellow seafarers in case they spoil their own comfortable entitlement socialist union world - for which of course the Union Membership pays for.  All quite disgusting really.

Friday, February 17, 2012


1.  This morning we had a visitor, for the first time ever, from the Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan 202.88.83 welcome to NAUTICAL LOG.  It has been quite a few years since we were in your area back in the early 1960's if memory serves in a British cargo ship of Andrew Wear's Bank Line.

2.  Oops!! this looks like a mini Costa Concordia accident.  One could note that this is the same company that was trying to operate a ferry between Port Everglades, FL and Grand Bahama last Christmas.  Not too much success at that either.

3.  The Miami International Boat Show is this weekend at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, FL.  Well worth a visit if you are in town, and an added bonus is the fantastic weather.

4.  The video from the Bridge of the MS Costa Concordia has been released and is available on YouTube® - where else?  It is nine minutes long and shows a capable group of Officers receiving reports from throughout the ship and processing the data.  This information is passed on to the Master who seems overwhelmed by the situation, unable to accept its severity and does not make the necessary decisions to "Abandon Ship" early in the incident to get all the persons on board safely off the vessel.  As a result an hour is lost before the "Abandon Ship" order is finally given - an hour that would have made a significant difference.  It is also perhaps a lesson in how a weak Command can negate all the training done by Officers and crewmembers for just this type of situation.  NAUTICAL LOG firmly believes that a complete review of all passenger ship Masters is immediately required as to their ability to keep personal stability and thus situational control in a shipboard emergency.

Good Watch

No we have not forgotten our fellow seafarers held hostage off the coast of Puntland, Somalia - more later in the day.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Jet Ski battered by fire hoses
BS swimming back to Jet Ski after falling off

After weeks of sullen silence the SSCS seagoing Cult has send out a Press Release.  Once again the Chief Windbag "Wats-his-name" has risked someone else's life to do his dirty work for him.

The report states that Beck Straussner of Maui, Hawai'i who is apparently the Second Mate of the MS Steve Irwin set off  on a Jet Ski to attack the MS Yushin Maru #2.   Yes! fellow seapersons seriously a Jet Ski, can you imagine the insane person who would develop such tactics, certainly not someone fit to command a vessel operating in the Southern Ocean.

The Report further states that Second Mate BS took a hit from a MS Yushin Maru #2 defence system water hose (looks like an ordinary fire hose to NL) and ended up in the freezing Antarctic water.  He was able to swim back to the jet ski and travel nine miles to the MS Steve Irwin.

Now can any of us who have commanded vessels imagine sending a crewmember on his own to attack a fast whaling vessel on a jet ski.  Further having done that then standing off nine nautical miles from the scene.  It becomes more clear each season that "Wats-his-name" should be removed from Command by the SSCS.

Good Watch

Held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia are 300 of our fellow seafarers. They are under continual threat of mutilation or death.  Just a reminder in case you actually DO care.

Monday, February 13, 2012


On our journey of maritime activism the NAUTICAL LOG Blog has received its 65,00th visitor.  The reader was from Lexington, Kentucky.  As we look each day at the list of our visitors provided by SiteMeter® we see they are from all over the World. 

Of course this only encourages NAUTICAL LOG to continue writing and keep up the pressure on the infamous International and National  Maritime Authorities for the release of our 300 fellow seafarers held hostage off the coast of Puntland, Somalia some for over two (2) years.  They continue to face mutilation or death at any moment.  It is very hard to understand why there is so little interest for them but then it is the same attitude displayed regarding Syria.  In the socialist and entitlement atmosphere developed by the European and other governments of dubious capability in the last decades the caring concern of people has just about been erased.

Good Watch

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Muster Drill on the Lifeboat Embarkation Deck.  N.B. Above the heads
of the passengers to the right of the window can be seen one of
the green International Safety Information Signs used in all ships.

In the NAUTICAL LOG Press Folder this morning there was some very encouraging information.  What is being described as a "new policy" but actually is not, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has voluntarily adopted a policy on Muster Drills.  The policy adopted has been in place for many years as a recommendation to meet the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requirement of conducting a Boat Muster Drill within 24 hours of leaving a Port.  In many passenger vessels this made little sense due to the nature of the passage often less than 24 hours to the next Port.  When NAUTICAL LOG was sailing as Safety Officer we usually held the drill just before departure, in fact many passengers were still wearing lifejackets as they waved their good-bys heading out to sea.

This is a result of the MS Costa Concordia disaster, an internal investigation and report released on January 27, 2012 by the CLIA supported by the European Cruise Council (ECC) and the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA).  To meet the SOLAS 24 hour requirement and avoid a repeat of the MS Costa Concordia situation where passengers did not have any Mustering information and indeed where given the wrong information by crewmembers, a Mandatory Muster Drill will be conducted for all embarking passengers prior to the vessel departing from a Port.

This policy is now in place as a "best practice" to be effective immediately. In addition other "best practices" will be shared throughout the Industry when identified as a result of the Costa incident and other sources by CLIA, which has 26 cruise line members.

As a former cruise line Safety Officer one hopes that all crewmembers will be immediately clearly instructed in what information and the correct information to give to passengers in an Emergency.  They should clearly understand not to direct them back to their cabins.  Directions only to Passenger Lounges and or Muster Stations, often the same areas in many vessels.

Finally if you are a passenger in a cruise vessel which DOES NOT conduct this pre-departure Muster Drill  NAUTICAL LOG would like to hear about it.  Please e-mail   with the vessel name and the date of your cruise.  We will follow-up on why the Drill was NOT conducted.

Good Watch

There still remain some 300 of our fellow seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  They are living each moment under threat of mutilation or death.  Do you think they will ever be rescued? Do you actually care? Because your National Government does not.  As for the IMO, as you can see from above Post instead of taking the lead on Mandatory Drills as they are supposed too it was the CLIA that took action.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


News comes today from Rome in our Press Release folder and local newspaper that a Law Firm would file suits against Miami based Carnival Corporation the parent company of Costa Cruises.  Costa Crociere, SpA., is named as the cruise line whose MS Costa Concordia was put ashore to prevent sinking after hitting a reef on the Italian coast.  17 persons died as a result and 15 are still missing.  The lawyer is John Arthur Eaves, Jr. and he has said his 70 clients from United States, Italy, Germany, Britain, Russia and Switzerland want to sue Carnival.

Mr. Eaves said he would lobby European politicians and international maritime authorities to tighten regulations and increase safety laws.  Also he is pressing for better training of crew members and to develop and implement new safety-oriented technology.

As a former Cruise Line Safety Officer NAUTICAL LOG is in full agreement with Mr. Eaves with one proviso that we seafarers are presently awash in regulations and adding more would be self-defeating.  Let us fully enforce the ones in place which the International Maritime Organization (IMO) clearly did not do by permitting the Costa "sail-bys" in the first place. It is the opinion of NAUTICAL LOG that this is a policy developed by the hotel industry personnel who currently manage cruise operations instead of Seamen Branch Officers who understand both the sea and operation of ships on it.  Having said that one might point out that it was a Seaman Branch Officer who abandoned his Command leaving crew and passengers without Command guidance.  CAPT. Francesco Schettino was clearly not of the character to Command any ship at sea much less a passenger vessel, yet there he was selected by that hotel industry management.  He failed completely it would seem in both his personal behaviour and in the training of his crew.

As we saw from the videos published the crew needed basic training in evacuation.  As a former Safety Officer one was appalled to see and hear that female crewmember telling passengers to return to their cabins. This is a basic taught in the first period of the first class of Evacuation Training NEVER to direct a passenger back to their cabin in an emergency.  The point being they may get confused or trapped there, as tragically happened aboard MS Costa Concordia as some dead were found with their lifejackets on but in the cabin areas.  Passengers must always be directed to the passenger lounges and or the Muster Stations, which in some vessels are the same areas.  From there they can be led to the Lifeboat Stations for evacuation.  The crewmembers MUST know this protocol regardless of whether the Master or Officers are around to guide them.

It will be interesting to see what if any action comes from the IMO however one can count on long-winded excuses as to why action was never taken against Costa or indeed other cruise lines that do "sail-bys", in that the Alaska cruise industry comes to mind.  NAUTICAL LOG spent three seasons in that service and while by the nature of the cruises one sails close to the land there were occasions when the ship was sailed closer than necessary out of the recognized pilotage transit course.

Good Watch.

As some 300 of our fellow seafarers remain hostages of pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia under threat of mutilation or death they can expect no action from the IMO or their National Maritime Authorities to rescue them.  The situation is away beyond disgraceful and one holds those who have the audacity to manage maritime organizations in the greatest contempt.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


The following M-Notices are available at  If assistance is required call 023 8032 9391

MGN 435 (F) Declaration of Maximum Continuous Engine Power (MCEP)

MGN 442 (M) Alternative Training Standards for Crew Taking Part in Helicopter Operations on Large Commercial Yachts

MSN 1735 (M+F) Type Approval of Marine Equipment (UK Nominated Bodies) Amendment 5 Correction

Good Watch

There are some 300 of our fellow seafarers who do not have to worry about any of the above.  They are held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  At any moment they could suffer mutilation or death at the hands of their captors.  It is away past time for these seafarers to have been rescued.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Once again the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has let down those it is responsible for, the seafarers and passengers in vessels at sea.  The purpose of the IMO is to regulate vessels sailing and to see that they are well maintained - ok! fairly well kept (lets be practical here) and manned in accordance with IMO and Flag State National Standards (if they actually exist).  The IMO are not doing their job at any level large or small as can be seen from the MS Costa Concordia "sail-by" with grounding and now the loss of the MS Rabaul Queen.

This latest accident is the sinking of the MS Rabaul Queen on passage around the coast of Papua New Guinea with once again numerous loss of lives.  This is a pattern of these local ferries whether it be in Africa, Asia or the Pacific Islands, overloaded vessels 350 instead of 300 as designated in the case of Rabaul, poor maintenance to old craft and who knows what if any qualifications in crew manning skills.

The point of the IMO is to assist and supervise in  these areas which are known to all professional international mariners to have a load of old rubbish floating, mostly and operating on occasions.  They are supposed to help these nations to acquire decent vessels training locals in their upkeep and operation.  They have not done and are not doing that job. 

It is much more fun to have a comfortable office in a principal EU city, visit decent ships in Ports across Europe filling out voluminous paperwork and get a free lunch on board.  It is not fun to live in some grubby hot tropical Port trying to deal with local politicians whose family run the ferries anyway and who are making lots of money directly into their own pockets from all those overloaded passengers. 

So we can look forward to more of these accidents and Costa Cruises "sail-bys" once the current pressure  on them has eased a bit.  Why should it change if nobody from the IMO did anything about it before?  But rest assured that NAUTICAL LOG will continue to nag, even rant on occasions, about it all just as we do about the pirates seafarer hostages. 

Well catch that early train home again this week and maybe we will see you Monday.  Have a nice weekend!!

Good Watch

Not having a nice weekend are the some 300 seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  Sorry guys still no rescue in sight due to cowardly governments.