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"Pirates on deck"
INS Kalpeni (T75)
USS Nicholas (FFG47)
Finally there seems to be some cases of positive action and results for us long suffering seafarers against the pirates. In Norfolk, VA five Somali males were convicted of attacking a Navy ship and in accordance with U.S. Code Title 18, Chapter 81, Paragraph 1651 sentenced to life in prison under the law of nations. This is the harshest sentence to date as more serious efforts are made to halt piracy off the Horn of Africa.
The federal prosecution in Virginia relied on the 19th. Century maritime laws and it was the first piracy case to go to trial since the Civil War. This is of course as it should be, the fact that the law has only rarely been used is meaningless. It was enacted to deal with piracy when and if it occurred, as we seafarers know only too well it has flared up in the last decade off the Horn of Africa (HOA) and is spreading across the Indian Ocean to within 600 nautical miles of India.
The convicted pirates had at first admitted their crime but later when they saw they were not just going to be released they claimed to be innocent fishermen. Their attack on the USS Nicholas (FFG 47) which is homeported in Norfolk, VA was when she was part of the anti-piracy patrol off HOA. Stated U. S. Attorney Neil MacBride:
"Today' sentences should send a clear message to those who attempt to engage in piracy. Armed attacks on U.S. flagged vessels carry severe consequences in U.S. Courts."
In other good conter-piracy action the INS Kalpeni (T75) captured a pirate mothership and along with 61 pirates and freed 15 hostages. Those of you who follow piracy news already know that the Indian Navy and Indian Coastguard are doing outstanding work in fighting the pirates. They are just about the lead nation in effective counter-action to prevent piracy and in capturing those involved.
A popular U.S.-based cruise ship style A popular European ferry style
Several times during the year NAUTICAL LOG has had visitors searching for lifejacket instructions. With two just over Christmas we decided to publish something for everybody to see and read. Choose a Coast Guard approved life-jacket and make sure it is undamaged. Make sure life-jackets are readily accessible, never locked away. Check the fit, there are adult, child and infant sizes, the correct one MUST be used. Choose bright colour life-jackets so as to be seen easily by Search and Rescue (SAR).Put your life-jacket ON BEFORE you leave the berth. Make sure you have a light and whistle attached AND they BOTH WORK. Good Watch
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.
Ships now operate under the International Management Code for Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (ISM Code). Since this is a Post on Auditing NAUTICAL LOG, who is a Trained Auditor, will not go through the requirements as these can be found on the Internet and in your local nautical bookshop - you do have a bookshop hopefully as they are a dying breed. There are two types of Audit an External Audit and an Internal Audit.
The External Audit consists of the Flag State or an outside Auditing Firm coming into the Company and going through all the Protocols, Procedures and associated Manuals. They may also hold a drill simulating a situation in one of the Company's vessels and observe the results of the Shore Staff dealing with it. NAUTICAL LOG has been through this experience with two very different Companies and believe me it is a long, difficult, trying day not made any easier by the subsequent debrief. The External Auditor then prepares a Report which causes a…