Tuesday, December 14, 2010

OVERKILL SECURITY - MAYBE







Looking around the maritime blogs this morning as usual NAUTICAL LOG came across a Post in BITTER END Blog. Rather amazed by its content we rushed to comment, which really is not always fair and balanced when one could write opinions in NAUTICAL LOG - so her goes!!

With the continuing urge to offer protection to its citizens our government is increasing security and frankly is making rather a mess of it. Many of us know that flying has become a most unpleasant experience. Most airlines could care less about the passengers, which is strange since we are the ones that pay them to take us from airport "A" to airport "B". No longer to they feed us, even if its just a stale bun and a piece of mystery meat, now they charge us a second airfare for our bags. So much so that one airline uses some reverse advertising to lure us into taking their airline by offering "free" baggage transport as if this was the manna from heaven that saved the Israelites. Which reminds NAUTICAL LOG if the TSA would learn about security from the Israelis the abusive system currently being called 'security' at our nations airports could be mostly avoided.

Now it was too much to hope that there would not be 'bleed over' to the maritime industry and the USCG have come up with a gallant new plan. From Seattle KOMO-TV comes news and we quote:

"The Coast Guard is adopting a new method for warning boaters away from the security zones in Puget Sound that's sure to grab anyone's attention - firing a flash-bang projectile that emits a burst of light and a loud sound. Coast Guard officials announced Monday that the projectiles will be used to warn "non-compliant boaters" that they are about to enter a security zone like those set up around Navy ships, state ferries and cruise ships---------If boaters see or hear a flash-bang round, they should slow down, establish voice communications with the Coast Guard Patrol, Commander on VHF channel 16 and follow the direction of the Coast Guard."

This is the same Seattle Coast Guard that does a "Stability Test" and passes a listing ferry so one is not inspired to read of their latest venture. How does all this apply to the "Rules of the Road -Inland and International." We are now Channel 16, which is where we should have been in the first place to receive a polite advisory to keep outside the security zone and perhaps a suggested heading which will accomplish that. NAUTICAL LOG has received full US military security training and was in charge of shipboard security and safety in cruise ships. This seems to be an extremely heavy-handed approach to a relatively simple task of redirecting a straying boater. It is the same heavy-handed approach as the TSA takes in airports, a better approach is that taken by Israeli airport security. It is effective, relatively unobtrusive and works with the public to make mutually safe travelling.

Our country is becoming more and more divided by the "them and us" approach and at least as far as NAUTICAL LOG is concerned it is causing resentment. Rather than reporting anomalies to the authorities one tends to just pass by and let things slide - dangerous, poor citizenship, but in many cases happens because of the overly aggressive approach by the authorities themselves. We are the UNITED States so lets ease up this macho attitude, find a better system that is truly effective, identifies and targets the terrorist not a boater with too much beer sloshing around or who could use a good boaters course.

Flashbangs - you have GOT to be kidding me.

Good Watch.

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