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Now that the acts of terrorism in Boston have been solved - up to a point anyway - the legal arguments have started.  All the talking heads on TV are expounding their opinions on what should be done.  None of them of course are directly involved in the investigation and build their pontificating on "sources" which in the case of one TV Network last week turned out to be entirely wrong.  In fact that error by the Network and its "source" may, from one point of view, have been a contributing factor leading to the death of a police officer and the serious wounding of another.  The language used by these talking heads is "legalese" or the selection of and playing with words based on legal maneuvering to build a case.

In 'My Blog List' we have a link to the website of a local Miami maritime lawyer.  Some readers find his continued, very petty on many occasions, Posts most annoying reporting every negative trivial item from cruise vessels.  We wrote about that in a previous Post 'Cry Wolf' and NAUTICAL LOG has been asked why do we have this link.  When we first saw and read it we decided it was a good example of how incredibly childish lawyers can be to make their points.  To them it is all a game conducted in the legalese language.  They are not stupid and are building an approach and setting a tone before asking questions in Court to which of course they already know the answers.

An example of setting this tone is a Post entitled "Celebrity crew member arrested for cruise ship theft" which you can read for yourselves.  In this Post he states "The FBI will not even respond to reports of cruise ship thefts under $10,000.00"  The key here is the usage of the word "even".   This gives an impression that the FBI are not interested in responding when the facts are this is a parameter of Federal Law governing the behaviour of the FBI. 

Now as he and NAUTICAL LOG both know there are several parameters which come into play here.  First U.S. Federal Law forbids taking $10,000.00 out of or into this country without reporting it, so it appears one can take $9,999.99 but not $10,000.00 which may activate an FBI Inquiry.  Secondly on the stern (back) of a vessel is a flag and a name, these are the Flag State and Port of Registry of that vessel.  Once one steps aboard the vessel, regardless of where it is docked, one is in the Flag State's country and its National Laws apply to all persons on board.   International  Diplomatic Procedures then come into play if law enforcement agencies are going to board the vessel for law enforcement reasons.  This same lawyer, if it suited his case, would be the first to jump all over a boarding by a U.S. law enforcement agency on a non-U.S. Flag State vessel.

In our years in passenger vessels NAUTICAL LOG has found the FBI and other U.S. Agencies very courteous, knowledgeable of these Rules and helpful.  In fact an FBI Agent was the one who explained these parameters to NAUTICAL LOG when we first started sailing in South Florida based cruise vessels in the 1960's.

We shall of course continue to publish the lawyers website referred to in this Post as it is an indication of how maritime lawyers behave towards cruise lines, their crews, their vessels and most importantly their clients.  Should one find the need to hire one of these persons it is most definitely a case of Caveat Emptor - let the buyer beware.

Good Watch.


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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.
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.