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The United Kingdom Office of Foreign Affairs has done an analysis of the Piracy 'catch and release' policy over the last four (4) years.  The above chartlets show the results for two (2) years 2009 and 2010.

Generally NAUTICAL LOG is supportive of 'catch and release' programs - in recreational fishing but not as regards Piracy.  We believe most professional seafarers would agree the policy is asinine, of course the elite yachting community do not care in the least, their expensive toys are transported in barbed wire defended vessels with armed guards on board - no catch and release for them!!

Let us take a look at what the attitude of the International Maritime Organisation (dis-organisation perhaps?) towards Piracy has done. 

We have the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) a seagoing Cult.  They travel around the world quite freely, rarely stopped by the Immigration Authorities, busy fund-raising, wrecking silly non-seagoing toy craft, and boarding vessels on the High Seas.  Yet these SSCS Cult vessels are resupplied and refuelled by any Nation they visit with no questions asked.  In fact National Government Elected Officials visit these SSCS Cult ships and get photographed with Admiral "Wats-his-name" all in the name of saving whales or Bluefin tuna or sharks or Sea lions or anything else that the SSCS can think up to raise monies for their Cult.  Wake up!! these people are nautical thugs committing acts of piracy, read and understand Maritime Law, apply it, arrest and try these persons, cut out the bovine scatology (thanks once again GEN. Schwarzkopf).

The attitude of the IMO with this 'catch and release' program has now led to a terrible tragedy off Puntland, Somalia where the FV Shiuh Fu #1 held by pirates for over two (2) years with no demanded ransom paid cut the right arm off CAPT. Chao-I Wu earlier this week.  This is the same IMO that can pass Rules and Regulations Ad Nauseam to supposedly control the operation of vessels on the High Seas but allows Costa Cruises and indeed others to sail cruising megaships 200 metres off rocky dangerous shores in complete violation with its own 'close approach' policies.  These dashing-Italian-movie-star-like Masters can thus show off their skills or lack thereof.  At least until something goes terribly wrong, then they tell multiple stories about the incident to confuse the issue.  These backed by ships dancers (holding Italian Masters Certificates no doubt) coming to their defence and the Staff telling passengers, all recorded on video, to go back to their cabins the worst place to go in an emergency.

So as you finish up your week at IMO HQ London and go down the road for a pub lunch at perhaps "Old Father Thames", which replaced one believes "The Red Cow", before heading home (early) for the weekend.  NAUTICAL LOG hopes that at least some of you IMO persons feel badly, perhaps even disappointed in yourselves for the job you are NOT doing.  Rest assured that many and increasingly more professional seafarers hold the IMO in the greatest contempt.  Being retired NAUTICAL LOG no longer has to be concerned about renewals of professional qualifications so expect more critisism when it is warrented. 

Have a really nice weekend, think about CAPT. Chao-I Wu without his right arm to navigate or much more importantly hold his wife and children in both arms ever again.

Good Watch.

Even if you are employed by the IMO do try and remember the 300 seafarers held captive by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  Perhaps over this weekend some one of you will feel badly enough to commence arranging a rescue of our fellow seafarers.  The precedent has been set by the United States and SEAL Team 6 for an effective action, even with the European Union railing against the U.S. policing the World Denmark did not object to the rescue of their national enough to send him back.


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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.
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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…