Skip to main content

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.

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…