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NAUTICAL NOTES is a new feature of NAUTICAL LOG which will be added too from time-to-time.

  • There is a M-Notice MIN 417 (M) issued by the UK-MCA regarding the survey of carbon fibre masts and spars in Large Sailing Yachts.  NAUTICAL LOG would suggest to Operators of such vessels to inspect this equipment prior to an official survey.  The standards of managing and operating STV's is clearly in need of Auditing.  The knowledge of STV Masters and Officers in Ship Stability and its associated calculations from the vessel Stability Book is clearly in need of assessment and testing.   Operators, Managers, Masters, Officers and crews would do well to read, study and take-to-heart the Report on the knockdown and sinking of STV Concordia by TSB Canada.  Lack of a Designated Person Ashore (DPA), as required by the ISM Code, for the Operators caused complications after her abandonment. Lack of Stability knowledge by her Master and Officers led to her knockdown and sinking off Brazil.  Those Organizations planning to place persons in STV's for sea experience and training must conduct an Audit of each individual vessel prior to doing so - these are human lives we are dealing with not playing "sailor-at-sea" games.

PLAN Daishandao 866

  • The Chinese hospital ship PLAN Daishandao/Peace Ark has crossed the Pacific and arrived in the Gulf of Panama on Friday October 14, 2011.  She is on a mission to several Caribbean Nations and will transit the Panama Canal.  The hospital ship refuelled from the coastal tanker MT Lorenzo Sea in the Pacific side anchorage area. On the evening of October 15 she transited the Panama Canal to the Atlantic side.  She is now in the Caribbean on "Harmonious Mission" which includes a visit to Cuba and several other Caribbean Nations.

  • The U.S.Government is making arrangements to inspect the Spanish oil rig which will be conducting operations off the northern coast of Cuba.  In the event of any incident that requires response the USCG will have to able to conduct its response to protect the U.S. coastline.  Due to the Gulf Stream spills will quickly be swept along the Florida Keys and up the Florida coastline with the possibility of disastrous results.

suspect speedboat

  • In a first attempt by Somalis and African Union Officials to restrict piracy off East Africa a speed boat with seven (7) aboard, AK-47's, RPG's, and ammunition was arrested at sea.  We shall await to see what happens now.

  • As always please remember that there are 400 of our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates both ashore and off the coast of Somalia.

Good Watch.


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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…