Skip to main content

CRY WOLF

Time to change to my nautical hat and write a Post not on Papal Happenings, important as that is to  the Roman Catholic Church Lay Community.


One of the links listed in MY BLOG LIST is a website of a Miami, FL maritime lawyer.  While up to a point it is informative in his anxiety to show up every little thing that goes even slightly wrong on board Cruise Ships he is like the little boy who cried "Wolf".  Since much of the stuff published is of relatively minor importance the major incidents tend to get lost or as one former shipmate said to NAUTICAL LOG over the weekend "more petty nonsense just to make trouble".  Well that is somewhat harsh because from each incident we should learn something and perhaps make seafarers lives if not completely safe at least less dangerous.

NAUTICAL LOG personally does not like the fact that lawyers are allowed to advertise and clearly this lawyer website is the epitome of self-advertisement.  So be it then its allowed!! 

One particular report is tragic because a life was lost and importantly addresses safety issues - lets take a look from a seafarers point of view.  The report is titled "death on NCL's Norwegian Jade" during a mooring operation in a Greek Port a mooring line parted and struck a seaman knocking him overboard, resulting in his body being recovered deceased.  The lawyer states that "the crew member was not fitted with either a harness or a life vest (jacket) nor wearing a hard hat".  The mind boggles at this statement !! 

The latter part of the statement does not seem to be correct because a hard hat was recovered from the water which leads one to believe he was wearing a hard hat.  Work gloves are not addressed and these should be worn by all members of the Mooring Party including the Officer-in-Charge of that Mooring Party. Now as to the items this lawyer does list:

Harness:  NAUTICAL LOG is not quite sure how this would be used working around a mooring deck and since we are trying to make people safe this could be more of a hazard than a help.  Where and how would it be attached.  Our conclusion is that this is lawyers talk for the benefit of a nautically uninformed Jury to develop sympathy for a big award and thus a big fee!!

Lifejacket:  Again NAUTICAL LOG has doubts that this would actually be of assistance in handling mooring lines and could end up being a hazard.  However in fairness there are many designs available and some would not be a hazard so by selection they could be worn.  There are legal issues with IMO and USCG as to types and classification of lifejackets, and the lawyer would jump all over that fact as well for the Jury.

Hard Hat:  One was recovered and so it appears the seaman was wearing one. The lawyer report states this fact.

Now how could such an accident happen that a mooring line parted while berthing a modern ship fitted with twin propellers, bow and possibly stern side thrusters.  The winches which handle these lines are usually self-tension so should slack off before the load on the mooring line is sufficient to part it.  If not designed to slack off automatically it is the duty of the Officer-in-Charge to signal "slack the line".  Good seaman do not try to stop the motion of multi-tonne vessels with mooring lines because all too easily they part - Ahh - one wonders.

The theory of mooring lines is to hold the ship in position once the engines are shut down, therefore using combinations of these engines and thrusters the ship is positioned, once in place the mooring lines are pulled taut and the ship thus secured in place.  If there is a tidal effect at the berth then the mooring lines must be monitored and adjusted by the deck watch during tidal level changes.

It is possible therefore that the mooring line that parted could have been used as a brake to stop the ship and under this extra strain parted in turn causing the death of the seaman.

Good Watch.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

HOW TO WEAR A LIFEJACKET

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

ISM CODE - AUDITING

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…

AN tSEIRBHIS CHABHLAIGH

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.