Skip to main content


At the beginning of this two Post series NAUTICAL LOG mentioned a proposed change to the IMO 'Guidelines'. This Proposal is based on passage planning data currently being developed, the NTSB Report on the MS "Cosco Busan" incident, and the unique professional knowledge of the various Port Authorities Pilotage Services around the world.

Currently it is required by IMO that a vessel develop their Voyage Plan coverage from berth to berth. Now while this is possible it may well be that, as in the case of the MS "Cosco Busan", the Master and Officers are not familiar with the Port in question. In their case it was the Port of San Fransisco, certainly not the easiest Port to enter with its strong currents and tides. Once the vessel arrives and picks up the Compulsory Pilot they have on board an expert in every detail of the Port. The vessel's Bridge Team has to integrate the Pilot, exchange information and monitor his/her every manoeuvre without having a fraction of the Pilots knowledge of the Port to make their judgements. This does not seem to be an expression of 'good seamanship' or even common sense.

NAUTICAL LOG would like to propose that each Port develop with its Pilotage Service, and its Coast Guard/Harbour Police, Traffic Monitoring Service, as they shall decide, a port data CD. This CD would contain all the port charts, tracks, courses, speeds, drafts, navigation aids, communications, et cetera and the procedure used by the Compulsory Pilot. It would cover from Seabuoy/Pilot boarding station to all berths in a Port. This could be obtained by a Shipping Company and supplied to the vessel for incorporation into the Voyage Plan. Thus when a Pilot boarded he/she could see immediately that Pilot and Bridge Team were using the same navigational data. There would be thus no confusion with the 'Exchange of Information' (which would be as per Port CD) regardless of language barriers or perceived 'cultural differences', such as those stated in that disgraceful NTSB Report.

One example NAUTICAL LOG has seen is already in place from Jeppesen Navigation for the Chilean Fiord's thanks to their agreement with the Armada de Chile. Marine Pilotage Charts (MPC) are available with the tracks and courses laid out through the Chilean fiord's overprinted in green. This could become a standard for all the close water and harbour charts on CD's that would become available from each and every Port. NAUTICAL LOG hopes this Proposal is given serious attention because without a doubt it will at minimum be an excellent example of 'good seamanship' and we can certainly do with more of that these days. Also due out in Autumn/Fall 2009 is the Admiralty e-Navigator from the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office This could prove to be a powerful Voyage and Passage Planning tool.

With the development of these Port CD's particular to a specific Port and the application of their navigational data to a Voyage or Passage Plan we can achieve navigational standards instead of the current

Good Watch.


Popular posts from this blog


A popular U.S.-based cruise ship style
A popular European ferry style

Several times during the year NAUTICAL LOG has had visitors searching for lifejacket instructions. With two just over Christmas we decided to publish something for everybody to see and read.
Choose a Coast Guard approved life-jacket and make sure it is undamaged. Make sure life-jackets are readily accessible, never locked away. Check the fit, there are adult, child and infant sizes, the correct one MUST be used. Choose bright colour life-jackets so as to be seen easily by Search and Rescue (SAR).Put your life-jacket ON BEFORE you leave the berth. Make sure you have a light and whistle attached AND they BOTH WORK.
Good Watch


Ships now operate under the International Management Code for Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (ISM Code).  Since this is a Post on Auditing NAUTICAL LOG, who is a Trained Auditor, will not go through the requirements as these can be found on the Internet and in your local nautical bookshop - you do have a bookshop hopefully as they are a dying breed.  There are two types of Audit an External Audit and an Internal Audit.

The External Audit consists of the Flag State or an outside Auditing Firm coming into the Company and going through all the Protocols, Procedures and associated Manuals.  They may also hold a drill simulating a situation in one of the Company's vessels and observe the results of the Shore Staff dealing with it.  NAUTICAL LOG has been through this experience with two very different Companies and believe me it is a long, difficult, trying day not made any easier by the subsequent debrief.  The External Auditor then prepares a Report which causes a…


This month saw the commissioning into the Irish Naval Service of a new Class of Irish Naval vessel more of the Frigate size than the previously Corvette size.  However they are all classed as Patrol vessels, the new vessel is LÉ Samuel Beckett P61.NAUTICAL LOG wishes her well and a successful service.

The older vessels saw unbelievable service and value for money the first being commissioned in 1979 and continued through the '80's and 90's into the 21st. Century.  During those years in addition to patrolling the stormy seas around the rugged Irish coast they made passages across the Western Ocean to the United States and Canada, south to South America as far as Argentina, and east to Asia as far as Korea.  Such passages are really remarkable for such small vessels and show the competence of Irish seafarers who as Naval Officers and Merchant Marine Officers train together.

Good Watch.