Monday, February 3, 2014

RETURN TO PORT FOR SURVEY

NAUTICAL LOG has studied the raw footage supplied by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) of their vessel MS Bob Barker in collision with the Japanese Whaling Fleet (JWF) vessel MS Yushin Maru No.2 severe damage to the frame of the MS Bob Barker occurred and is clearly shown.

Severely damaged frames, beams and connection plates of the 1950 64 year old MS Bob Barker
 
The force of the impact can be seen from the violent motion on the Navigation Bridge with personnel being thrown about.  The main frames forward are crushed inboard, bent and possibly fractured with possible further damage to the athwartship beams and the connection plates.  This damage renders the vessel unseaworthy under the International Construction Rules.  It is therefore now the duty of the Master, whether licensed or unlicensed, to bring the vessel to a "safe port" where she can be surveyed as to her seaworthiness.

The MS Bob Barker is an old ship that has been hard used, her keel was laid down in 1950 so that today she is 64 years old and under SSCS usage has been in numerous collisions with largely amateur repairs already made to her main frames and plating.  Having been through several Flag States she is currently under the Netherlands Flag State and registered in Rotterdam.  Thus she is subject to the Safety Rules and Regulations of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and should proceed to an Australian Port for an approved EMSA Survey.

If this is not done then the Master is placing his vessel and crew in possible great danger should they encounter the very heavy weather of the Southern Ocean and even in the course of daily normal sailing.  Violation of this EMSA Survey is a criminal act.  Therefore should any crewmember now suffer injury or death by continuing to sail in an unseaworthy vessel the Master can be criminally charged with being the cause of such an injury or death. 

In the past the SSCS has shown little concern for their crewmembers, in fact they sign a phony release (see below) when joining these vessels in an attempt for SSCS to avoid lawsuits and penalties.  Since the SSCS Australia is now managed by a former Australian politician it would seem to NAUTICAL LOG that he would be well advised to recall the MS Bob Barker to an Australian Port for a EMSA Construction Survey.

The phony release is listed on the Application Form under Crewmember Expectations of which one paragraph states:

"I agree that I am fully responsible for payment of all medical expenses and other damages arising if I am injured or become ill while volunteering for Sea Shepherd."

How the Netherlands is willing to register a vessel under the conditions of the Sea Shepherd Application Form is beyond the understanding of NAUTICAL LOG.  This medical statement paragraph alone is a complete violation of Maritime Law and the Rules and Regulations of both the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and EMSA.

The Netherlands should be ashamed to see their Flag State Ensign flying on such a vessel without crew medical care.  The EMSA should step in to detain this vessel as well as any other vessel's flying the Netherlands Ensign under these conditions.

Good Watch.

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