Skip to main content

THE SILLY SEASON ?

A generic Corvette-sized Ocean Patrol Vessel
A generic Corvette-sized Ocean Patrol Vessel

A couple of weeks ago NAUTICAL LOG received some information that frankly we thought was a bit far out in left field. This being the time of the year when we hear of preparations for the coming whaling season in Southern waters on both sides of the issue. Then came some other announcements from Sea Shepherds that their anti-whaling patrol vessel MS Bob Barker had completed a major refit in Hobart, Tasmania. Also that there would be a Hollywood event October 23, 2010 to announce their new Darth Vader 2 "interceptor craft". While there has been no Press Release to date about the MS Steve Irwin she is due soon to voyage from the Mediterranean to the Southern seas once again. So where does all this leave the Japanese and what can they do to protect themselves. We turned to that information received to see what could be put together.

According to the data there is an organization named Oceans Guardians, they offer private maritime security to protect vessels from piracy and defend against terrorists. It appears they have acquired three vessels which are described as "Ocean Guard Vessels, corvette sized ocean patrol vessels with fast response capability". Named OGV Defender, OGV Protector, OGV Preserver they are available by charter agreement for unit or fleet protection. While the data was rather vague we did manage to get an answer on whether the vessels are armed. NAUTICAL LOG was informed that suitable modules could quickly be loaded aboard in preassigned positions similar to the procedure used for the armed merchant vessels and famous Q-ships of World Wars 1 & 2.

So something is available to the Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR) that operates the Japanese Whaling Fleet (JWF). The problem that the ICR has is Japan's Constitution does not allow its Armed Forces to engage other than in defensive mode. This is why the Japan Armed Forces are always described as 'Self-Defence Force'. How this applies to the Japan Coastguard is a little vague under both Japan National and International Law. The last two seasons one of the JWF vessels was operated by the civilian whaling crew but had a Japan Coastguard armed team on board. There was considerable discomfort in many circles in Japan about this being done. Now it appears a possible solution has emerged by the hiring of non-Japanese private maritime security and the chartering of their OGV's.

So silly season - maybe not.

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.

STANDING DOWN PROBLEMS CONTINUE

In addition to the recent "Standing Down" of training voyages for its Midshipersons the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) has received warnings about the quality, or lack thereof, of its training programme.  The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE) report stated that accreditation was in jeopardy for non-compliance in certain areas.

Coupled with the continuing problems requiring disciplinary actions including dismissal from the Navy the United States Navy (USN) has had in recent years this does not bode well for the professionalism of the seafaring community of the United States.

It is clear to this writer, an International Master Mariner with 50 years of experience, that the training sources for both Officers and Ratings need an immediate complete examination and review.  Currently the Officer commanding riverine craft based in Bahrain has been dismissed.  Another nine Officers and Ratings are under disciplinary action as a result of the capture by…

FINALLY AN ATTEMPT TO RECOVER

NAUTICAL LOG has on previous occasions discussed the SS El Faro VDR in a Post titled RELUCTANCE TO RECOVER and two other Posts about the VDR (Voyage Data Recorder) of the SS El Faro

The Ship sank in Hurricane Joaquin on October 01, 2015 off the Bahamas.  There has seemed to be a reluctance by all parties involved to continue the attempt to recover the VDR from some 15,000 feet - admittedly a considerable depth.  However because of the importance of possible data on the recorder such an attempt must be made.

Finally the NTSB has contracted with the USN Supervisor of Salvage to assist in the recovery of the VDR.  The USNS Apache will depart in early July 2016 together with USCG, Phoenix International and an underwater operating vehicle the CURV-21.

Once the VDR is recovered it will be brought ashore to the NTSB laboratory and thoroughly studied to download and analyze the information.  With these results in hand the USCG will conduct a two hearings to investigate the sinking and questio…