Skip to main content

OF SHIPS AND SEA


STV Fryderyk Chopin

This year has seen several accidents, some fatal, in sail training vessels (STV). While it is an excellent way to teach people of all ages about ships and the sea it requires considerable planning. Just this week there have been two maritime incidents in the same general area namely the English Channel Approaches. First there was the FFV Athena which caught fire and the Master wisely evacuated the crew to survival craft keeping a small team aboard to fight the fire. The second incident was of much greater concern to the maritime community even thought things worked out well.

The UK Coastguard had to launch a rescue operation in response to a distress call from the Polish sail training ship STV Fryderyk Chopin which had lost one of its two masts in severe weather and was in danger of losing the second one. Ships in the area headed for her and helicopters were launched from bases in Cornwall and Devon. The ship was located about 100 nautical miles southwest of the Scilly Isles and had 47 people on board. So far so good one might say however of those 47 persons 36 were teenager cadets between 14 and 16 years of age - children at sea.

NAUTICAL LOG thinks this is beyond unwise with so many young persons on board it is irresponsible behaviour. Autumn storms are common in the area and the weather forecasts are superb both long range and short term. The operational planning of this training voyage leaves a lot to be desired and one wonders about a Master who proceeds with this type of voyage when the forecast is bad. With 14 to 16 year old cadets aboard there are plenty of places within the Baltic and southern North Sea to gain adequate sailing experience. In the event of poor weather there are plenty of ports and areas to seek shelter.

With the background of 60 years seafaring, including command experience, of which some 30 years involved training of both officers and crewmembers ashore and afloat, NAUTICAL LOG would suggest a complete overview of the Operational Command both afloat and ashore of those associated with the STV Fryderyk Chopin. There has been some very bad decision-making in this Passage Planning.
It is now understood that the vessel is under tow to a UK Port for assessment and possible repairs. There is a comment today from a CAPT. Jan Dobrogowski to OLD SALT BLOG, a highly respected maritime blog, that her Master is 100 years old and that the STV Fryderyk Chopin was on passage to the Caribbean. NAUTICAL LOG has asked that he comment here to explain and clarify this statement. If this is true it is extremely disturbing that 14 year old children are in his care, we should be thankful the voyage has ended as it has - safely in the United Kingdom.
Updating: CAPT. Dobrogowski did not comment to us but did to OLD SALT BLOG in which he stated that the Master was not 100 years old. His comment continued that if the ship had been dismasted in the Baltic or southern North Sea it would have been much more dangerous. Indeed no doubt, however if they had been in those areas they would not have suffered the dismasting from a Channel Approaches storm in the first place. NAUTICAL LOG would suggest his logic to be a little confused.

Good Watch.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PERIGEAN SPRING TIDES

It sometimes happens that one is going to write a Post on a subject when lo and behold there is already an excellent one.  Such is the case today; so rather than repeat everything let me refer you to the source of that Post

At present we are experiencing Perigean Spring Tides which occur when the Moon is at perigee on its oval path that is the closest point to Earth.  One of the principal results are higher than usual Spring Tides as against the Neap Tides.

Should you be interested in the full explanation of this phenomenon then you might like to reference "Old Salt Blog" which has an excellent explanation of this event and uses all the correct terms - quite unlike our Media here in South Florida.

Good Watch.

FAKE NEWS

In recent years there has been a steady decline in the professionalism, accuracy and quality of the various Media outlets and the social media.  In the rush to get there first with a story the shoddy Media - lets call it the really shoddy social media - have resorted to making up stories.  When growing up in the late 30's and 40's this was called lying and got one punished in our house.

Fake news includes inaccurate and unsupported stories all of which in the last year have been published without correction or apology.  Now it seems this attitude has spread to the maritime blogs.  One blog which was generally pretty good about its posts has slipped in accuracy lately including quoting from European tabloids.  A recent post was about H.M.S. Vengeance and its missile launches off the coast of Florida part of its programme to Certify boat and crew  The story was an ill advised, inaccurate choice in subject matter as to what happened and how the incident was reported to a Foreign N…

AN tSEIRBHIS CHABHLAIGH

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.