In the maritime Blog gCAPTAIN® this morning there was an interesting report about the Project Horizon at Warsash Maritime Academy. Warsash is the alma mater of NAUTICAL LOG who attended in the 1960's when it was called the School of Navigation, University of Southampton, Warsash, Hants. and one had pints of draft Strongs at "The Riser" served by Myles and Diana Formby. Happy Days!!
The concern is about tiredness at sea particularly for watch keepers who actually fall asleep when on watch in the Bridge. These days being able to sit down at the controls of course encourages this to happen quite easily. Crews generally are at a minimum and in spite of masses of IMO Rules and Regulations there are insufficient persons on board to properly mann the Watchs. This is particularly the case in the vessels on passage coastwise - the very area where the risks are highest for something to go wrong.
When NAUTICAL LOG first went to sea in the 1950's there was a Bridge Watch of one Officer and three Ratings when NAUTICAL LOG left sea going for ashore there was one Officer during the day and one Officer and one Rating from sunset to sunrise on lookout. Unfortunately there was only a Master and two Officers so in addition to all the other duties in Port, Piloting, preparing for, dealing with Port Authorities, bad weather and emergencies, the Master had to stand at least one Watch a day at sea. Is it any wonder that tiredness was normal?
It is a foolish and pointless "saving" of costs not to have on board three Bridge watchkeeping Officers in coastal vessels. By that extra person most if not all the IMO R.& R. can be met instead of being circumvented as at present because the personnel are simply not available to a Master.
Volumes can and no doubt will be written about the subject matter of Project Horizon but the answer is simply to put the necessary personnel on board so that effective Bridge Watches can be set up, the masses of IMO stuff met and safety increased, which is what really needs to be achieved.
Under each of our Posts we write about our fellow seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia. One wonders do any of you actually care enough to try and have something done about the situation or in this age of self-centered entitlements do you actually care at all? One wonders!