NAUTICAL LOG is an activist blog and publishes Posts on mostly maritime with some non-maritime subjects. We are open to receiving comments and will publish those which are about the subject matter using appropriate professional language, anonymous comments are not published.
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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.
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.
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…
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…