Skip to main content

RULES REVISION, Part 2.


Continuing the question of whether the maritime Rules of the Road need a review and revision NAUTICAL LOG thinks Rule 19 should remain unchanged, however Rule 35 needs addressing.

This is the Rule that lays down the Sound Signals in Restricted Visibility which currently are dependent on how the vessel is employed. Does this employment really matter and could these signals be made more effective by simplification and supplementation by electronic visual signals. As was suggested in '1st. of a Series' is there a way to move from 18th. Century thinking to 21st. Century thinking. NAUTICAL LOG suggested that it was unlikely in very many modern vessels that someone was actually standing out on an open Bridge listening for possible fog signals. When we did this, many years ago, the person on look-out was often deafened by the blast of their own vessel's foghorn. Also in fog sound is distorted and there is no good way to assess the direction of any foghorn from another vessel that the look-out was lucky enough to hear. Many would probably agree that the look-out was really there to fulfill the legal obligations required by Rule 5 rather than effectively contribute to the prevention of collision, being wet and thoroughly miserable did not help. One may disagree of course and it would be interesting to hear just what it was thought this 'look-out' actually contributed.

Rule 35 Sound Signals in Restricted Visibility could NAUTICAL LOG believes be greatly simplified and supplemented by electronic signalling. It is therefore suggested that Rule 35 section (a), (b) and (c) be retained. Section (d) be discarded and these vessels use (a), (b), (c) as appropriate. Section (e) could be discarded and again (a), (b), (c) used as appropriate. Section (f) is superfluous, can be discarded with (a), (b), (c) being used as appropriate. In addition to sound much more important will be a radar transponder beacon which will signal on screen the particular vessels action or non-action and the AIS signal. By doing this one would have two independent electronic signals being displayed at the Bridge Console being fully and accurately monitored by the OOW.

Now lets address vessels at anchor and vessels at aground. NAUTICAL LOG would suggest that these Sections of Rule 35 namely (g) to (j-ii) are the most ignored and abused. Again it is suggested that this entire Section of Rule 35 be discarded. Instead each Port will set aside an anchorage area divided into a dangerous cargo anchorage and a non-dangerous cargo anchorage. Vessels anchored in the Area during restricted visibility will not sound fog signals just active their electronic beacons to confirm their position in the anchorage berth assigned by Port Control. Then instead of a cacophony of conflicting foghorns, bells, gongs and whistles, which nobody in the anchorage has any idea as to meaning, each vessel would be clearly and effectively marked. In the case of a vessel calling at a Port which has no anchorage area designated then that vessel must remain underway at sea or request an anchorage berth at a nearby Port which, under international maritime law, will be required to assign such a berth if one is available.

NAUTICAL LOG looks forward to your comments on this Series most particularly those of serving seafarers who face these problems daily.

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…

SS EL FARO VDR TRANSCRIPT

NAUTICAL LOG has published Posts about this tragic ship sinking since the very first report of her loss.  Today the NTSB has released her VDR data in particular the Navigation Bridge voice recorder - it is not good.  This Post is compiled from multiple Media sources.

On October 01, 2015 the SS El Faro a freighter sank with all hands, 33 crewmembers lost their lives and no bodies were ever recovered though one was sighted by the USCG in a survival suit but not picked-up.  By an extraordinary search, resumed at the insistence of a U.S. Senator from the State of Florida, the VDR was found  and now after months of investigation some results have been released. 

The ship left Jacksonville, Fl. bound for San Juan, PR and sailed directly into the eye of a Category 4 hurricane named Joaquin.  Why the ship was where it was in the first place is a question yet to be fully answered but it seems that the Master was more focused on fuel consumption than plotting the path of the hurricane Joaquin an…