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Once again the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has let down those it is responsible for, the seafarers and passengers in vessels at sea.  The purpose of the IMO is to regulate vessels sailing and to see that they are well maintained - ok! fairly well kept (lets be practical here) and manned in accordance with IMO and Flag State National Standards (if they actually exist).  The IMO are not doing their job at any level large or small as can be seen from the MS Costa Concordia "sail-by" with grounding and now the loss of the MS Rabaul Queen.

This latest accident is the sinking of the MS Rabaul Queen on passage around the coast of Papua New Guinea with once again numerous loss of lives.  This is a pattern of these local ferries whether it be in Africa, Asia or the Pacific Islands, overloaded vessels 350 instead of 300 as designated in the case of Rabaul, poor maintenance to old craft and who knows what if any qualifications in crew manning skills.

The point of the IMO is to assist and supervise in  these areas which are known to all professional international mariners to have a load of old rubbish floating, mostly and operating on occasions.  They are supposed to help these nations to acquire decent vessels training locals in their upkeep and operation.  They have not done and are not doing that job. 

It is much more fun to have a comfortable office in a principal EU city, visit decent ships in Ports across Europe filling out voluminous paperwork and get a free lunch on board.  It is not fun to live in some grubby hot tropical Port trying to deal with local politicians whose family run the ferries anyway and who are making lots of money directly into their own pockets from all those overloaded passengers. 

So we can look forward to more of these accidents and Costa Cruises "sail-bys" once the current pressure  on them has eased a bit.  Why should it change if nobody from the IMO did anything about it before?  But rest assured that NAUTICAL LOG will continue to nag, even rant on occasions, about it all just as we do about the pirates seafarer hostages. 

Well catch that early train home again this week and maybe we will see you Monday.  Have a nice weekend!!

Good Watch

Not having a nice weekend are the some 300 seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  Sorry guys still no rescue in sight due to cowardly governments.


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