Skip to main content


Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu

The IMO Conference of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) 90th. Session, May 16 - 25 2012 has been opened by IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu.  The High-level segment of which is arms on board merchant vessels.

In his opening address the Secretary-General mentioned various points and no doubt as in the past there will be numerous speeches and high moral statements.  Like UNCLOS Nations will eventually sign or not sign (as the United States has not) but will still vigorously enforce the laws of UNCLOS (as the United States does) when it suits them.

Of the points that were covered in the Opening Address the one that interested NAUTICAL LOG because of our viewpoint on it was  Resolution A. 1044 (27) which states:

"Resolution A. 1044 (27) on piracy and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia endorses the position of this Committee that seafarers should not carry firearms and that the carriage of armed personnel on board ships for enhancing their protection should be left to the Flag State to decide, once a through risk assessment exercise has been carried out and following consultations with the shipowners concerned."

This Resolution has given the "green light" to all pirates that it is now quite unlikely they will meet with any resistance from vessel crews.  As a result NAUTICAL LOG believes this has encouraged the spread of piracy out from the Horn of Africa to all over the northern Indian Ocean.  In addition the West Coast of Africa piracy is in full swing again and appears more spread than in the 1980's when NAUTICAL LOG sailed those waters for two (2) years.  Our ship carried arms and on occasions we worn sidearms publicly by this display all the locals knew we were dangerous to mess with.  We had the full support of the charterers and our owners left it to the ship personnel.  In addition we hired Northern Nigerian tribesmen armed with bows and arrows (!) who kept an excellent watch while on that coast.  Whatever the decision made by others in our case we were boarded only once in those two (2) years.  That occurred in Lagos at Tin Can Island and our NN tribesmen watchers quickly dealt with that incident. 

We shall have to wait and see what is said and more importantly what, if anything, is done as a result of this Conference of the MSC.  Judging by past experience do not expect to much!!


Another viewpoint which is worth reading is an interview with the DPA and CSO of GARDLINE MARINE SERVICES in gCaptain®

A packed room !!

Good Watch

And while the MSC makes speeches some 300 of our fellow seafarers are being held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  Some are in their third year of captivity many in their second year.  The talk goes on but no action is ever taken to rescue and free them.


Popular posts from this blog


A popular U.S.-based cruise ship style
A popular European ferry style

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


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…


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.