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HMAS Broome
MS Vega Fynen
The Broome that brushed

The PR folder brought lots of interesting news this morning as NAUTICAL LOG catches up on things after a busy day and tropical downpour yesterday.

The HMAS Broome went 146 miles at best speed (25+ knots) to assist the MS Vega Fynen which had lost power and drifted towards Ragelapra Reef, Papua New Guinea.  On arrival the C/O and Master conferred, it was decided to take the drifting vessel in tow by passing a stern to stern towline.  At that time the Phillipine crewed container ship was 700 metres from grounding on the Reef.  The tow effort lasted six (6) hours until the arrival of a commercial tug better suited for the task at hand.  HMAS Broome then returned to berth at Alotau, Papua New Guinea having averted a brush with an environmental disaster.

MS Schelde Trader
Not again!

It seems container ships are not having a very good time in New Zealand.  At the Port of Tauranga, NZ the MS Schelde Trader also lost power and went aground on the rocks off Mount Maunganui.  The vessel had a Port Pilot on board and an escort tug at the time.  We wonder how escort tugs escort in NZ - no doubt the investigation will reveal their secret system - and yes we are being sarcastic.  The vessel was refloated (perhaps by that escort tug?) and berthed at Mount Maunganui wharves.  No oil leaked and there will be an inspection and investigation.  This incident occurred at a Port near where the MS Rena is aground and breaking up on Astrolabe Reef, NZ.

Voith Steam Trac
Operating principle graphic
Back to the future

Voith have announced a steam engine which can be operated in connection with diesel engines  using the heat to raise steam.  Using a waste heat recovery system it acts as a turbo connecte to provide additional driving power to the vessel.  The application seems to be directed towards smaller vessels and ferries.  NAUTICAL LOG is still learning about the system from Voith.

PLAN hospital ship heading to berth at Kingston.
Harmonious Mission progresses

The Chinese hospital ship PLAN Daishandao/Peace Ark left Havana, Cuba on Thursday 10/27 and arrived in Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday 10/29 for a six day visit.  During this time she will offer medical services and interact with the local Chinese community who welcomed the vessel with traditional Chinese greetings and dragon dancers.


Finally some good news Mr. Cameron the British PM has authorised armed teams and response in British Flag ships due to the ever increasing attacks by pirates off the Horn of Africa.  Hopefully this will lead to other Flag States following the British Merchant Navy example.

Good Watch

As usual we remind you that 400 of our fellow seafarers are being held captive by pirates off Somalia.  By this time we had hoped that they would have been rescued and released.


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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.

Good Watch.


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…