Skip to main content

SNAFU

NAUTICAL LOG has now recovered and is back writing Posts.  During a months illness there was not much to do other than watch the News and keep abreast with events.  It was not edifying!!

Between the take over of the Crimea and a Civil War in Ukraine, flight MH 370, and the Korean ferry disaster one was not really encouraged to recover.  But NAUTICAL LOG is still around in this 21st. Century which is not going at all well. 

The problem basically is Leadership or more precisely the lack of it.  In the United States it is clear that the Administration is totally incompetent, its leader overwhelmed by the job and lacking in ability to project himself as a world leader which in recent decades has been Americas position.  The Europeans and its European Union are unwilling to face the realities of its failed and costly socialist system, regroup and assume responsibility for dealing with Russia's advance into the Ukraine.  This is one fight that America should remain well clear of particularly under its current Administration.

This morning the news came that the South Korean Prime Minister had resigned but had been instructed by the Korean President to remain in office until the ferry had been recovered.  It is becoming more clear each day that this disaster was not just the fault of a bad captain and a crew lacking in training, drills and an effective protocol - they could not even launch the liferafts.  The photos show the vessel capsizing and sinking with the liferafts firmly clamped in their racks.  Surely there must have been "quick-release" fittings that would have deployed them automatically.

Now after the event everybody connected with shipping in Korea is being arrested or having their Passports detained for travel.  Even the Korean President has made prejudicial statements which under the Korean judicial system forgoes a fair trial for the ferry Master and any crewmembers put on trial.  The Vice-Principal of the school the children were from committed suicide and the Korean PM has resigned.

However it is also clear that the blame for this accident lies not just with the Master and crew of the ferry.  The Korea Register of Shipping (www.krs.co.kr) based in Busan, Korea is also at fault for approving an unstable vessel to sail after its recent conversion.  Haewoon, the Korea Shipping Association (www.haewoon.or.kr) based in Seoul, Korea is further at fault for not supervising the proper training of the ferry crew under IMO-STCW requirements.  Both these organisations have glowing websites touting their wonderful maritime safety abilities which is clearly not true.

The greater tragedy of all this is that not just in Korea but all over the World roll-on-roll-off ferries are operating 24/7/365 similarly unstable and with cargo unsecured - all accidents waiting to happen.  Writers of other blogs have expressed concern most particularly one written by a naval architect who knows professionally how dangerous this is.   The calculation for finding a vessels GM and seeing that it is within safe limits is quite simple but that safe GM is defeated if the cargo is not properly secured in the cargo decks and is free to move in a seaway or navigational turn.

 

Covering the good as well as the bad on Friday morning a Spanish ferry had a fire in the car deck.  It was handled properly with the ferry returning to port escorted by a vessel from the Spanish maritime safety agency.  Passengers were called to lifeboat stations wearing lifejackets as seen above..

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…

PAINT LOCKER FIRES

The photographs above are revealing in several ways, lets have a look. Clearly the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) vessel JS "Kurama" impacted the Korean container ship MS "Carina Star" just aft of the turn of the fo'cs'le on the Starboard side. Please note that's the Starboard side, thus it appears JS "Kurama" would have shown "Carina Star" the red port sidelight and "Carina Star" would have shown JS "Kurama" the green starboard sidelight. This impact point would tend to suggest that JS "Kurama" was the 'stand-on' vessel and the MS "Carina Star" is the 'giving-way' vessel. Until there is a complete plot of the tracks made good of both these vessels and the position in the Kanmon Strait of the point of collision no determination can actually be made.
As a result of this impact there was severe bow damage to JS "Kurama" and in addition a massive fire occurr…