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Showing posts from January, 2017

AND SO IT CONTINUES

Once again  NAUTICAL LOG has a boating tragedy to report from Asia in our continuing monitoring of the lack of maritime safety in that region.  This time the incident has occurred in Malaysia with the loss of a "tourist boat" from Kota Kinabalu to Pulau Mengalum with 28 passengers and 3 crewmembers most of whom are Chinese celebrating the week long Chinese New Year of the Rooster.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) reports it is engaged in a "search andrescue" effort hampered by bad weather.  From this one might conclude that the missing catamaran departed on its passage in bad weather or with bad weather forecast.  The boat is reported to have left at 0900 local time on Saturday for the 60 km trip to the popular tourist island offshore. 

MMEA is covering a 400 nautical square mile search area where storms are common at this time of year.  It is always interesting when "safety agencies" title themselves as "Enforcement" yet in the c…

FAKE NEWS

In recent years there has been a steady decline in the professionalism, accuracy and quality of the various Media outlets and the social media.  In the rush to get there first with a story the shoddy Media - lets call it the really shoddy social media - have resorted to making up stories.  When growing up in the late 30's and 40's this was called lying and got one punished in our house.

Fake news includes inaccurate and unsupported stories all of which in the last year have been published without correction or apology.  Now it seems this attitude has spread to the maritime blogs.  One blog which was generally pretty good about its posts has slipped in accuracy lately including quoting from European tabloids.  A recent post was about H.M.S. Vengeance and its missile launches off the coast of Florida part of its programme to Certify boat and crew  The story was an ill advised, inaccurate choice in subject matter as to what happened and how the incident was reported to a Foreign N…

OUT BUT NOT GONE

Well now here we are in the last couple of days of the 44th. Presidents term of Office and the end of his Administration.  One recalls his Inauguration speech full of hope about all people and races in the United States of America working together - hmm that didn't last a week before he was dividing the Nation by blaming the opposition  Party and previous Administration for the Nations ills.  So it continued whinging and whining for the next eight years with lowering standards and governmental stagnation.  The new 44th. President turned out to be quite unable to make timely decisions and develop an effective foreign policy. He continued to blame Congress and the Republican Party for being unable to get things done.  Of course it is hard to win support when you continually blame your mistakes on other people which he did.  Last week he made a farewell speech which referred to some imaginary country not the one he has attempted to administer these last eight difficult years.

This is …

FINALLY - ACT 3

Yesterday came the rather surprising news that President Obama, who leaves office next week, had cancelled the "wet foot, dry foot" policy that applied only to Cubans trying to get into the United States of America.

What on earth was this "wet foot, dry foot"?  First some background to understand this discriminatory policy.  Back in 1966 under a very different World political atmosphere the United States decided to create and pass into Federal Law the Cuban Adjustment Act which included the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program  it was signed into Federal Law by President Johnson that ultimate politician.  Act 1 was thus on stage.

This policy being unique to Cubans led to the influx of Cubans into Dade County Florida and in a very short time they had taken over the County in business, politics and language which led to the present state where 65% of the Miami-Dade County population now are Spanish speaking and indeed in business one is expected to speak Spanish a…

PROFITING ON TRAGEDY

It must be a slow time for writers.  Once again the tragedy of the R.M.S. TITANIC has been dragged up for profit.  The National Geographic Society has apparently made a "documentary" based on writings by an Irish author with supposedly "new evidence" pertaining to the loss of this Trans-Atlantic liner over 100 years ago.

It is not new evidence at all merely a repeat about the bunker coal fire in the forward starboard portion of the lowest decks where the coal trimmers work.  These bunker fires were all too common in steam powered ships using coal and caused by spontaneous combustion.  It was one of the jobs of the trimmers to keep these from spreading. Then in turn feed the burning coal down the coal shoots to the firemen below who in turn fed it into the boiler fires - nice job - in absolutely appalling conditions.

There were no doubt several parameters which caused the loss of this passenger ship these include a poor lookout being kept, placing the ship on a course…

A PATTERN CONTINUES

Here we are in a New Year 2017 and once again a pattern continues - that of Asian ferries catching fire, burning to the waterline with terrific loss of life.  Sadly this is a pattern which continues unabated in spite of lots of talk about inspections and safety from principally these same countries Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The latest is one of the interisland ferries in Indonesia when a ferry caught fire it appears in the engine-room and spread rapidly.  Its manifest listed 100 passengers but in fact there were at least 250 persons on board.  Belatedly the "captain" was arrested and we are told faces 10 years imprisonment.

When one reads the reports from both Media and occasionally the relative Government the sequence of events is repeated time and time again.  During the many years NAUTICAL LOG spent in cruise ships we had both Indonesian and Philippine crewmembers.  Later some Junior Officers from these countries were employed, all had to be carefully moni…