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|FLASHLIGHT - October
(Past editions can be viewed on http://www.asiaconference.biz/)
JOB OF THE MONTH
Technical Director for major shipmanagement company in Hong Kong
The appointee will be a member of the Board of Directors,
reporting only to the Managing Director.
Package would include a generous salary (to be decided upon depending upon experience), housing allowance, pension contribution, private medical coverage, annual holiday flights to home, childrens school fees, annual bonus dependant upon performance etc etc.
Interested persons should contact the editor at the email address below.
CONFERENCE OF THE MONTH
The 2005 Asian Marine Insurance and Surveying Forum will be held at the Shangri-la Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Thursday/Friday 24/25 November.
CPD Certificates, accepted by all Marine Surveying Professional Institutes, will be issued upon request
Those interested in attending should contact Ms Astor Tsang at Asia Conferences: email@example.com
Who will win The PETER LAMBERT "THERE'S NO FLIES ON ME' AWARD for the most significant contribution to the conference?
The programme may be viewed at http://www.asiaconference.biz/confinfo/ciindex.htm
CONTENTS (for full stories, select a headline)
FLASHLIGHT is a free monthly emailed newsletter circulated to more than 5,000 people involved in marine surveying around the world. It is circulated to anybody who wishes to receive a copy, eg, Marine Surveyors, P&I Clubs, their correspondents, Underwriters, Professional Institutes, Admiralty Lawyers, etc. It is a collation of articles relevant to our profession taken from various publications together with contributions from readers. Please pass it on to any of your contacts who you feel might be interested in receiving it. If you do not wish to be included in the circulation list, please contact the Editor at the email address below. Letters, opinions and articles relating to our profession are welcomed for the newsletter.
New readers this month:
Allan B Hart and Peter N Strathdee, Coast Claims Service Ltd, BC.
Engineer charged with obstruction of justice
ACCORDING to the US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, the chief engineer of a container ship has been indicted and charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, false statements, and violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (which implements the MARPOL Convention).
The allegations revolve around the apparent use of a by-pass pipe to circumvent the oily water separator and fraudulent entries in the oil record book. If convicted of all charges, the chief engineer faces up to 40 years in prison.
(with thanks to Maritime Advocate on Line: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Singapore rejects bunker alert claims
SINGAPORE has rejected claims in a recent bunker alert that some
supplier samples had revealed the presence of aluminium and silicon in
excess of permissible limits. Re-testing of official samples from three of
the affected deliveries have shown the levels to be "well within" the
maximum limit of 80mg per kg allowed under ISO 8217, MPA has told
Fairplay. A bunker alert issued by Singapore headquartered testing agency
DNV Petroleum Services on 19 October had drawn attention to levels in
excess of permissible limits. The re-testing was done at Intertek Caleb
Brett and Maritec, under the aegis of MPA's newly formed Bunker Quality
Advisory Panel. Samples tested by DNVPS were not collected based on the
Singapore Standard for Bunkering (SS CP60) where seal numbers have to be
recorded in Bunker Delivery Notes, the MPA says. The MPA has reminded
IACS, Greeks find common ground
IACS has adopted a number of Greek recommendations on finalising its Common Structural Rules for tankers and bulk carriers. The move follows a two-day meeting last week between IACS representatives and the Union of Greek Shipowners in Piraeus. A joint statement said that the two parties would endeavour to work out their remaining differences through further consultation, adding that that process would not influence the scheduled date of 1 April 2006 for entry into force of the rules. Greek owners expect the IACS common rules to eliminate competition among the class societies and produce maintenance-friendly ships with large corrosion allowances and with a life span of at least 25 years. On several occasions they expressed disappointment at the draft rules the IACS experts have produced so far.
US to open new Philippine repair site
SUBIC Bay in the Philippines is to have a new shiprepair facility, having signed an agreement with Carbras Marine of Guam, US. Subic Drydock Corp, a subsidiary of Cabras, will now bring back the two US Navy floating dry docks that were towed to Guam in 1992 when the US withdrew its naval base from Subic. The new venture will target both domestic and international repair work. Subic Drydock is also aims to win ship repair contracts from US naval ships, which normally go to Yokohama in Japan for drydocking and repair.
Owners sore as crew ID costs soar
ASIAN ship owners have expressed concern over what has been described as 'slow progress' on the ratification of the convention relating to issue of biometric ID cards. The Seafarers Committee of the Asian Shipowners’ Forum, which was chaired by Li Shanmin of China Shipowners’ , has drawn attention to what it called 'high costs’ of purchasing equipment for the production of inter-operative identity cards. “This government responsibility should not become an additional burden for ship owners or seafarers,” the committee stated after its 11th interim meeting in Wuhan, China on 8 November. Gilbert Feng, secretary to the committee, revealed to Fairplay that current costs are in the region of about euro100,000-200,000 ($117,000-$234,000) for each workstation depending on printer and computer technology used. Members have been asked to 'encourage' respective governments to expedite the process of issuing the cards to facilitate seafarers’ shore leave and transit to and from vessels. Feng also noted that only four countries France, Jordan, Nigeria and Hungary have ratified the convention, but none is a major labour supply source.
(With thanks to Fairplay Daily News: email@example.com)
News in Brief
Golden age: the shipping industry is now in 'another truly golden age', the head of the International Maritime Organisation said last month. Speaking on World Maritime Day 29 September secretarygeneral Efthimios Mitropoulos called for a greater realisation of shipping's role in society and for increased efforts to 'promote the notion of seafaring as a viable and attractive career for people of the highest calibre'.
Irish alarm: Irish seafarers could disappear within the next five years unless the government introduces measures to encourage their employment, a new report has warned. The Irish Maritime Development Office said income tax concessions should be introduced as an incentive to prevent the use of lowcost crews from other countries.
MARPOL warning: ship managers are increasingly facing court action for breaches or suspected breaches of the MARPOL Convention, the International Transport Intermediaries Club warned last month. It said many authorities are holding managers responsible even in cases where discharges were the result of negligent action by crew.
Boom and bust: a spate of optimistic orders by shipowners is sowing the seeds of another 'boom and bust' scenario in the industry, the International Union of Marine Insurance conference heard last month. Michael Parker, of Citigroup, told the meeting that containership building costs are rising at a time when freight rates are starting to fall.
Amateur alert: the Royal National Lifeboat Institution has warned amateur sailors that they will face legislation on seamanship and boathandling skills unless they undertake proper training. RNLI chief executive Andrew Freemantle made the warning last month after a series of incidents involving leisure craft.
Ferries recover': signs of an end to the decline in passenger and car numbers on ferries to the Continent are evident, the UK Passenger Shipping Association said last month. The organisations annual meeting heard that companies have invested some £1.25 bn in new or refurbished tonnage over the past five years.
CP takeover: a US$ 2.3 bn takeover bid for CP Ships from TUI, the parent of German container line HapagLloyd, looks set to go ahead after the CP board 'unanimously' recommended that shareholders accept the allcash offer. The combined group will have a fleet of 139 ships and total capacity of 400,000 TEU.
Antwerp grounding: the United Arab Shipping Company containership Fowairet ran aground in the river Scheldt in the approaches to the Belgian port of Antwerp last month. The 3,802 TEU vessel which was under pilotage at the time was refloated on the high tide after getting stuck in mud.
Canadian call: maritime unions in Canada have called for an inquiry into the operations ofthe Vancouverbased BC Ferries fleet following a series of breakdowns during the busy summer season. Ferry workers' union president Jackie Miller said the investigation should examine'a wholly unrealistic mandate to compete against itselfwith an ageing fleet, ageing workforce and ailing infrastructure'.
Killer fumes: three crew members were killed and 20 others had to be given medical aid after a sewage pipe broke during repairs onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in the Port of Los Angeles last month. Crew were trying to repair the pipe in a section ofthe propeller shaft tunnel when deadly levels of hydrogen sulphide gas were released.
Rubbish warning: a new report from the environmental group Greenpeace has voiced concern at the increasing number of cases of environmental pollution, especially of rubbish throvvm into the sea. According to ihe study, some 6.4m tonnes of detritus are thrown into the sea every year.
Indian increase. Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines says it is upgrading its Indian seafarer training centre to increase the supply of sea staff for its expanding fleet. Originally opened in 1995, the expanded centre in Mumbai will boost the number of trainces from 220 to 350 a year.
Eco boxes. French containership operator CMA CGM has purchased 400'ecological'containers with bamboo floors. The operator says that by providing an altemative to the exotic woods generally used as flooring, these allnew containers will contribute to efforts to prevent destruction offorests.
New life: interisland operator New Zealand Ferries has taken delivery ofthe former P&O ferry Pride of Cherbourg. Renamed Kaitaki 'challenger' in the Maori language the vessel will operate between Wellington in the North Island and Picton, South Island.
Barbados crackdown: the Barbados ship register has implemented a second annual inspection to ensure tighter assessments of the condition of ageing vessels. The average age of Barbados registered tonnage is 19 years.
Spanish boost: Spanish ports handled 216 m tonnes ofeargo in the first half of 2005 8.9 % up on the same period last year, putting them on track to beat 2004's record 410m tonnes.
Asian checks: port state control authorities in the AsiaPacific region are staging a threemonth concentrated inspection campaign to target SOLAS and MARPOL convention 'operational requirements' Running from 1 September to 30 November, the Tokyo MoU checks will cover such areas as maintenance and operation of firefighting systems and lifesaving appliances, crew familiarity with emergency duties, GMDSS, navigational safety arrangements and procedures, and pollution prevention.
Cruiseship grounds: the P&O/Princess cruiseship Pacific Sky was refloated with the help of two tugs after running on to a reef in New Caledonia last month. The ship was allowed to continue its voyage to Vanuatu after an inspection showed that no damage had been suffered, other than a block of coral wedged in the propeller shaft.
Australian levy: Australia's government is set to increase a shipping levy to fund emergency towage and its national plan to combat pollution. Legislation to impose a tonnagebased tax on visiting ships was introduced in the country's parliament last month and is expected to come into force some time next year.
Cruise boost: the cruiseship industry contributed some US $30bn to the country's economy last year, a report from the Intemational Council of Cruise Iines claimed last month. The study said the sector employs 316,000 people in the US and its economic value had grown by almost onefifth since 2003.
Hurricane aid. US emergency authorities last month chartered four cruiseships three owned by the Camival group to provide temporary accommodation for people who lost their homes when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city ofNew Orleans.
NYK trains: the Japanese shipping company NYK has announced a joint venture scheme to establish a new training centre in the Philippines. Due to open in 2007, the college will train some 120 'highly skilled' deck and engineer personnel each year.
Master fined: the master of the Turkish gas tanker Aygaz 4 was fined
some US$4,000 in Croatia last month for failing to report that the ship
had suffered engine failure and had dropped anchor off the country's coast
Employer division over fatigue
DIVISIONS of opinion between leading shipowner groups over the need for
new measures to
Arthur Bowring, MD of the Hong Kong Shipowners' Association, said his members are extremely concerned at the increasing demands being placed on seafarers and the rising number of accidents blamed on fatigue.
While the majority of the world fleet is responsibly manned, he argued that shipping needs to rid itself of substandard operators particularly when one incident could 'tarnish the entire industry'.
International Maritime Organisation requirements are vague and open to interpretation, Mr Bowring pointed out. The way in which registers could compete on crewing numbers to attract ships to their flags is a very worrying situation.
Prescriptive rules are required to close loopholes and ensure consistency between flag states. 'We should not continue down the road of competition on reduced crewing,' he added. 'It may bring shortterm benefits, but in the long run it will bring chaos. '
And he warned owners that they need to act now, before regulations are imposed upon them. We cannot just sit back and resist
change,' he stressed. 'It will be forced upon us anyway and we need to take notice and get involved now and create an environment that benefits all seafarers for the good of the industry as a whole.'
However, Tim Springett, of the UK Chamber of Shipping, said there was no pressure from European owners for new measures on crewing levels.
He said European owners recognised that 'skimping on safety is not smart and is the falsest of false economies'. They also agreed that increased paperwork is making it harder for masters and crew to concentrate on the prime objective of safely sailing a ship from A to B.
However, he claimed, there is plenty of existing regulation to address crewing and hours of work and better enforcement was preferable to new rules. Imposing a onesizefitsall policy on manning scales will not help good operators; he argued.
Alternative solutions should be explored, Mr Springett told the
meeting. These could include the use of former radio officers to handle
administrative matters, the use of North Sea pilots to reduce workloads in
European ports, the development of electronic ships' documents to cut
paperwork and the use of resource management to make better use of
existing crew complements.
ITF calls for cooperation
The head of the International Transport Workers' Federation has urged shipowners to increase the level of cooperation with seafaring unions. Speaking at the International Shipping Federation's annual manning and training conference last month, ITF general secretary David Cockroft said that the world's shipping industry is at a crucial stage in its long history.
While standards of technical safety and pollution prevention adopted by the International Maritime Organisation have been taken seriously for many years, he argued that there is a gaping hole as far as seafarers are concerned'.
However, in February next year the specialist United Nations agency, the International Labour Organisation, is set to
adopt a 'bill of rights' for the world's seafarers replacing more than 30 existing conventions and 22 recommendations with a new framework 'superconvention' covering working conditions and employment standards at sea.
This new agreement 'will be of crucial importance to the maritime industry' ' Mr Cockroft argued, and would serve as 'a model for the effective social control of globalisation.
Both the ITF and the ISF should build on this 'to develop an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence' he suggested.
Cooperation between employers and unions could deliver results, Mr Cockeroft pointed out. Joint campaigning against restirictions on shore leave and the 'fast track' introduction of the seafarers' inteimational ID card showed how effective a united approach could be.
But, he wamed, the recent followup report by the International Comniission on Shipping had demonstrated how much work remains to be done not least reform ofthe system of crewing agencies, measures to reduce excessive workloads, action to end the evil system of blacklisting of seafarers, and the eradication of job scams promising nonexistent jobs at sea.
Mr Cockroft said the ITF is also particularly keen to see agreement on measures to protect abandoned seafarers before shipping suffers its next downturn. 'While the industry is in good economic shape it is our duty to work for a system which is effective, safe and sustainable and will still work when things go bad; he stressed.
Lub oil shortage warning
Shipping companies have been warned of a potentially severe global shortage of marine lubricants. International supplier Total Lubmarine said last month that the marine lubricants industry is facing'a new and deepening supply crisis' compounded by a period of unprecedented raw material price increases.
Unexpected problems at a plant in Singapore have added to existing
supply and demand difficulties to create 'a serious situation which will
agect deliveries of marine lubricants, cylinder oils in particular, in
ports in the Asia Pacific region', the company said. Lubmarine also
warned that the very tight supply position and regular product shortages
are likelyto remain for the foreseeable future.
Motion seeks action to stop seafarers being treated as scapegoats
Which job could land you in jail for trying to prevent a major environmental disaster?
'What job could put you in prison for 70 days for possessing prescribed sleeping pills? What job could see you deported for carrying out a safety cheek?' he added.'The answer to each is the same seafaring.'
All these cases were recent exainples of the way in which shipmasters and officers are increasingly being treated as criminals simply for carrying out their job, he explained.
These questions were answered by NUMAST General Secretary, Mr Peter McEwen who was moving a NUMAST motion highlighting concem over the increasing trend to criminalise the maritime profession and calling for support for moves to develop intemationally agreed and enforced rules on the fair treatment of seafarers following incidents.
He told delegates of the way in which Captain Mangouras, of the tanker Prestige, risked his own life in battling to connect a towrope to take his stricken ship to safety in stormy weather, but was arrested by the Spanish authorities and held in a topsecurity prison for nearly two years while the courts sought to assemble a case against hiin. His bail was set at £3 million more than that for someone accused of murder.
'NUMST does not seek to defend the deliberate flouting of the law, but some laws are clearly wrong,' he added. 'A new European directive on shipsource pollution exposes seafarers to huge fines and prison sentences even for accidental or nonintentional oil spills. The Commission seems driven by the belief that oilsoaked seabirds deserve more protection that the bloodsoaked corpses of seafarers.
'Too often seafarers are getting thrown in jail around the world simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Mr MeEwen argued. 'Too often seafarers are merely a convenient scapegoat for those with the real responsibility who hide behind offshore brass plaque companies and flags of convenience. The law cannot find those with real responsibility, so, to appease outsiders, the law deals harshly and with full force on those it can see seafarers.'
Changes in the international shipping industry meant many seafarers now have no permanent employment and serve on ships flying the flags of countries that are incapable ofogering any social or legal security and lack the political influence, or even the will, to stand up for the crews of their ships.
'Shippingis avital industry and seafarers help to keep world trade
flowing and every aspect of
Left unchecked, the trend will drive skilled and experienced personnel from the job and will undermine a genuine safety culture, he warned. International rules to prevent seafarers from being treated as secondclass citizens are essential because of the often highcharged and complex legal situations in which they can be placed after accidents.
The motion which was overwhelmingly carried by the conference was
seconded by Jackie Darby, of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association.
She said the issues raised by NUMAST were of wide relevance because they
demonstrated the broader theme of finding easy targets to'carry the
Yacht Skipper mistakes Calais for Ramsgate
COASTGUARD officials have expressed concern over a case in which a confused yachtsman who thought he was off Ramsgate in Kent had to be rescued by a lifeboat when he was discoveredto be just 10 miles from Calais.
The man and his wife had been sailing from Southwold, Suffolk, and called Dover coastguard to report that they had become lost in the approaches to Ramsgate.
But after Ramsgate port control were unable to locate the yacht, coastguards told the skipper to sail towards a nearby flashing light and tell them what was written on it. The buoy was marked Sandettie and was 10 miles off Calais.
Coastguard officer Gary Brown said Dover RNLI crew, who towed the yacht to safety, had found the yacht had a compass with 'a very significant error'.
He added: 'The skipper of this vessel was crossing some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world without, it would appear, much navigational knowledge or experience.'
The MCA urged leisure sailors to ensure that their navigational
equipment is working and that they undertake some navigational trainin
before setti out to sea
MAIB urges national standards for pilots
CALLS for improvements in the quality of information exchanged between masters and pilots have been made in a report on the grounding of a product tanker in the approaches to Holyhead last year.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch also recommends prompt action to introduce rules requiring national occupational standards for ship pilots.
The 3,206 gt Cayrnan Islands flagged Stolt Tern suffered a 2.3 m split in the hull after running onto a patch of shoal water off the end of the breakwater at the entrance to the port last December. However, there was no pollution and the vessel was refloated with the assistance of a tug.
The MAIB report on the incident said the tanker's tum to starboard while approaching the breakwater could not be checked because of the manoeuvring characteristics once speed had been reduced quickly, the differential effects of the tidal stream in the vicinity and the initial use of the bow thruster and helm to adjust course.
The vessel grounded at a speed estimated between two to six knots and investigators said inadequate communication and teamwork meant the pilot was unaware that the ship's speed had been reduced to below the level he requested or that the bow thrtister had been used.
Stolt Tern was operating with a crew of 13 Filipino seafarers and the
master, who had never
The MAIB concluded that the pilot had not been integrated into the bridge team and the master had either misunderstood the advice of the pilot or acted on his own initiative in rapidly reducing the ship's speed to dead slow.
It pointed out that the master had also ignored the pilot's advice to put the engine astern.
'Better teamwork and a more effective working relationship between the master and the third officer, and the pilot, might have helped to recognise what was going wrong in the (passage) plan in sufficient time for corrective action to be taken' the report added.
The MAIB recommends that port authorities reinforce 'the need to ensure a meaningful exchange of information between pilots and masters rather than merely the completion of a checklist'.
While the report noted the pilot's experience, it pointed out that he had never undergone any formal assessment in his role. It said a requirement for all pilots to have a qualification based on national occupational standards would provide a reliable base for harbour authorities to monitor their pilots and recommends that the Maritime & Coastguard Agency speeds up work on the introduction of such standards.
The MAIB said the incident had raised questions about the effectiveness
of the company's safety management systems and recommends that these are
reviewed and that Stolt carries out a programme of bridge resource
management training for its European coastal fleet masters.
Club tells Owners to invest in crews
A leading P&I club is warningthe world's shipowners that safety is set to decline unless they increase their investment in crewwelfare.
Bill Thomason, chairinan ofthe North of England Club, said reduced crewing levels, more paperwork, and increasing criminalisation are all destroying seafarers' self esteem and professional status.
He questioned whether the rules on safe manning are adequate: 'Does the mere act of compliance in this vital area now sulfice given the sheer intensity of modern vessel operation, the stress of navigating in heavily trafficked waters and the evergrowing reporting burden? In short, we may now be asking too much of our seafarers.'
Mr Thomson argued that higher crew costs must be accepted as part of the broader drive for improved quality. 'Never has investment in people made better sense.' he added.'lf we want to develop a more positive industry profile, there is no better place to start.'
He also urged members of the International Group of P&I clubs to continue to support industry opposition to the EU directive introducing criminal sanctions for seafarers caught up in marine aeddents and spifis.
The North ofEngland said it is now placing a sharper emphasis on human factors including seafarer recruitment, health, training and general awareness of shipboard best practice. Investment in high quality sea staff and riskmanagement systems are aJso now pre requisites for any owner or operator wishing to enter ships in the club.
(With thanks to the NUMAST Shipping Telegraph)
Alcohol - Friend Or Foe? by Kraft D'Souza who is a quality management system consultant based in Wellington, New Zealand. He has a long and intense interest in matters pertaining to health.
(NOTE: The views expressed below are not necessarily those of the editor!)
If the thought of leading a life without alcohol keeps occurring to you, then read on. This article may challenge you and help you to make up your mind. The benefits of an alcohol free life are huge and the rewards could make a significant difference in your life.
For the twenty years that I smoked cigarettes, not a single day went by when the thought of giving it up did not cross my mind. I could say the same about alcohol, but am more embarrassed to do so, because it took forty years to say a total NO to alcohol.
The alcohol contained in commonly used alcoholic drinks is ethanol CH3-CH2-OH. It is an addictive drug but is not thought of in that way because of its constant and regular use in both social and religious circles. It is the most widely accepted drug in our society today and those who do not participate in its consumption are the exception rather than the rule.
After a hard day's work, meeting your deadlines and exceeding the firm's expectations, what could be more rewarding and pleasurable than a few stiff drinks with the team, a hot shower, and off for a good night's sleep.
The facts are quite different. Alcohol is a diuretic that depletes your body of fluids. So even if you have had small quantities you will need to wake up during the night to urinate. Drinking water helps to re-hydrate the body but further aggravates the problem and disrupts your sleep. It is also believed that booze helps you sleep deeply, suppressing the REM-phase of sleep. This is not so because as the night progresses and the level of alcohol in your bloodstream decreases, your brain will compensate for the deficit of REM sleep, resulting in dreams which are vivid enough to wake you up.
Alcohol is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream from the small intestine. In proportion to its concentration in the bloodstream it diminishes the senses by decreasing activity in parts of the brain and spinal cord. Even the very first drink (which gives the feeling of warmth and well being) has the effect of starting the process of decreasing inhibitions, impairing judgement, slowing reflexes, reducing muscular performance and lowering one's alertness and coordination. Because of the reduced inhibitions and the ethereal promises that now start flashing across the brain it is usually almost impossible to stop there. Thus making it easier not to have any, than just have a few.
When alcohol enters the body 95% of it is metabolised in the liver. Inside the liver cells, alcohol turns to acetaldehyde, which is even more toxic to the liver than the original alcohol itself. The alcohol and its metabolites cause the liver to become inflamed. Long-term drinking causes the inflammation to become persistent and leads to fibrosis and cirrhosis. Inside the liver the alcohol turns to acetaldehyde which is actually a poison for living cells and can cause damage to the liver, brain and heart.
There is a general misconception that alcohol promotes passionate sex. This is not true, as intoxication can lead to penile dysfunction and reduces the probability of maintaining a sustained erection during sexual intercourse. Also, alcohol is known to diminish the senses and steal some of the heightened sensuality that one would normally experience from sexual activity. Shakespeare cynically observed that though alcohol 'provokes the desire' it also 'takes away the performance'.
Perhaps the Alcoholic Advisory Council (ALAC) is responsible for the greatest disservice to drinkers. I was stunned to read on their website that a male should not exceed 6 standard drinks in the first hour. Goodness, gracious, in all my years of drinking I have never ever drunk at such an accelerated rate. What signals does that send to the public? The medical profession is the other respected body that keeps advising patients to drink a couple of glasses of red wine to protect their hearts. I was recently sitting next to a woman at dinner who had previously never drank alcohol, but had now started in order to save her heart, on her doctor's advice. Have you ever seen a composition chart of contents on a bottle of wine? Does any one really know what it actually contains? The one certain ingredient is sulphites, which are a poison and bound to take their toll on your health and these are superficially glossed over. Also the beneficial effects of antioxidants contained in consuming a glass of red wine are well negated by the free radicals which are generated during the process in which the alcohol content is being metabolised.
If you are considering becoming a non-drinker, be prepared for the extensive internal dialogue that will take place during the preparation process. You will be afraid of being considered an odd ball who is pretending to be virtuous and somehow superior to others in the team. Also, that it would have a damaging effect on team building by cautioning other members in the team to be on their guard as their inhibitions are being steadily eroded with the consumption of alcohol while the evening progresses. How and with what are you going to reward yourself after slogging all day long? Don't you deserve some kind of gratification? Will you have anything to look forward to while you put in a hard day's work? How are you going to de-stress yourself without some kind of aid/support? What are you going to spend that personal disposable income on, if not on expensive French champagne, rare Scotch whisky and boutique bottled wine. At the top of the list may be you are going to be apprehensive about removing what you consider is a formidable pleasure from your already shrinking list of goodies.
So how did it go, once I made the move? Remarkably well. As soon as I declined the very first drink, the rest of the team accepted and never even asked why. Also I was surprised to find that there were two others among the team of eight, who did not drink alcohol that night. I had past the first corporate hurdle and all the others have been even easier to cross. Now almost a year later most of my relations, friends and colleagues know that I am a non-drinker and do not even offer me an alcoholic drink. I have a wonderful feeling of well being that I do not have to be apprehensive of being breathalysed or judged about my state of intoxication by others in and outside my company. I have a permanent feeling of elation which perhaps is an integral part of self discipline and the resultant admiration that it generates.
Well then, what are the benefits of giving up alcohol? These are so numerous that one could write an epistle on them. However, I will be brief and summarise. The time that I originally allocated to drinking is now spent on activities that enhance my health like walking and relaxing with a good book. I do not get drowsy any more and keep doing the many things I always wanted to do at the end of the day - thus extending the conscious and useful hours of each day. Once I decide to go to bed that's it. I am asleep within a few minutes (yes I can actually sleep at will) never to wake up until the morning. No more hangovers, no hallucinations and no more interrupted nights with waking up to go to the toilet. I do not have to pretend to be sober any more because I always am. Being in absolute control of your thoughts, speech and actions is being responsible, mature and professional. I do not get irritated at the least excuse as I used to when I was a drinker, and my tolerance has increased immensely. My breath is always clean and fresh and is not only a pleasure to my partner but also to myself. As for sex life - the benefits are enormous both in frequency and strength and there are never any instances of humiliation because of failed attempts to complete the acts. The quality of my life has improved beyond all recognition and I feel and act, like a new human being.
Do I have any regrets? Yes, just one. I wish I had made the
decision a long time ago.
The President of the Society of Consulting Marine Engineers and Ship Surveyors (SCMS), Chis Spencer, in the latest edition of NewsLINK, the (not so often) quarterly newsletter has asked the membership to express their opinion on the future role and position of SCMS. He has listed the various options open to the membership, including merging with such organisations as IMarEST, IIMS, BACS, RINA, NI and YDSA. I believe this to be a brave and logical move by the President.
I am a Fellow of SCMS and member of IIMS, and like many others, believe that the future for SCMS is to merge with IIMS so that both organisations can benefit from each other's strengths. I also hope that this could be the first of other such mergers to ultimately bring together all of the world's marine surveying organisations so that we can benefit from the strength of numbers. IIMS have clearly shown that they have the right approach to how marine surveying should develop and operate. It is now up to the office bearers of the other organisations to see the benefits for their members and to work out the mechanisms to bring us all together under one umbrella organisation.
More encouraging signs
Your editor was privileged to attend the 37th Annual National Marine Conference West from 2-4 October 2005, at the Red Lion Hotel in Seattle, USA (see report later). I manage to attend far more conferences than most other surveyors each year. This year I will have attended three, one in London in April, the second in Seattle in October and the third at the end of November in Kuala Lumpur.
There is a noticeable difference between those in London and Seattle to those in Asia. Whilst attendance numbers are similar, the age group at the Asian conferences is far younger. This confirms that marine surveying in Asia is a young and developing profession. It is good to see that those marine surveyors in Asia wishing to learn are joining our professional institutes and attending such conferences. They are also getting the benefit of the excellent publications which such associations produce on a regular basis. But it is even more encouraging to note that those attending conferences in the developed world are also still keen to learn, even later in life. After all, the joys of our job are that each day holds a new challenge and we are sure to learn something new.
For almost 15 years your editor has been travelling into China from Hong Kong. In the inital years life was hard as there were many hurdles which had to be jumped to get the job done and get home. One of the longest enduring hurdles is that of having to have a letter of introduction from a local agent which must be taken to the local Border Control office to obtain a ship's boarding pass which costs next to nothing. Unfortunately the two offices can be separated by many miles taking hours to complete. Local surveyors do not have to fulfil this requirement.
For many years there have been only two survey companies, CCIC and CCIB, which were Government operated companies. Some 10 years ago, the marine surveying market was freed up with many smaller local companies starting up. Many of the larger non-PRC companies have also established offices in Shanghai. Whilst some of the local companies may be reputable, many which I have experienced have few staff with any marine related qualifications or experience. Consider then my indignation when, during a visit to Longkou, about an hour from Yantai in the North of China, I was asked to submit myself to a staff member of CCIC to check out my credentials and qualifications to carry out an off-hire survey on a ship in the port before I would be issued with a boarding pass. This is something which I have never experienced before in any of the many ports I have visited all around the PRC which begs the question as to whether Beijing is aware of the collusion between CCIC and the Border Control office in Longkou
After I had satisfied him of my suitability for the job, I asked him if he had ever been to sea or had any marine qualification. Surprise, surprise, none whatsoever.
ISPS (affectionately referred to by many as the ISSPISS Code!)
Conflicts continue to develop with respect to the implementation of the ISPS Code. Each month, we will be listing some of the ways that the code interferes with normal ship operations which in some cases could be considered as hazardous together with transgressions of interest.
We would be pleased to hear from our readers similar incidents.
Pressure rises against Malacca Strait premiums
Shipowners are making new moves to persuade insurers not to charge extra premiums related to the risks of operating in the piracyprone Malacca Straits.
The owners are urging the insurers' Joint War Committee to rethink the 'war risk area' status for the Straits and several Indonesian ports after new measures intended to protect ships and seafarers from attack in the area were agreed last month at a top level meeting in Jakarta, hosted by the International Maritime Organisation and the Indonesian government.
Attended by representatives from 34 IMO member states, the meeting ended with the declaration of an agreement by Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore 'to ensure that the Straits remain safe and open to international shipping at all times, and to address the concerns at the number of incidents of piracy/armed robbery against ships and seafarers'.
The tanker owners' body intertanko welcomed the agreement 'and the resolve of the littoral states to strengthen their cooperation on the important matter of ensuring the safety and security of the Straits as well as protecting the marine environment'.
Intertanko said it hoped that 'the real progress and spirit of cooperation by the littoral states demonstrated in the Jakarta Statement will lead to the Straits being taken off the Joint War Committee's list of areas of perceived enhanced risk.
But some are disappointed by the shipowners' attempts to declass the Straits as a highrisk area and would have liked to see some suitably serious consideration of the way in which the risks to ships and seafarers can be reduced rather than sterile debate about the nature of the assessments.
Some believe that the Straits'high risk status should remain until there is evidence that antipiracy measures are being effective.
- Further measures to improve navigational safety in the Straits are expected to result from agreements on the implementation of the proposed Marine Electronic Highway (MEH) project.
The project will lead to a resurveying of the Straits and the production of electronic navigational charts, along with the introduction of'an innovative and integrated system that will ensure that mariners have accurate charts with real time information on weather, tides and currents'.
One ofthe agreements aims to ensure that sufficient ships with electronic chart display information systems will participate in the demonstration project.
- Recent incidents have included a spate of attacks on ships in Ho Chi Minh City port, Vietnarn, several attacks on bulk carriers at anchorages in Indonesia, the theft of equipment from a bulk carrier in Xingang port, China, an attack on a tanker in port in Jamaica, and an attempted attack on a containership 19 nm off Lagos, Nigeria.
None this month.
Why not attend a conference? It could be beneficial!
IIMS Introduces New Short Courses
The IIMS have launched a new Distance Learning Course for Draught Surveying. The course based upon seven lessons and a practical training session leads to an Institute Certificate. (This course is accredited against Module K of the Cargo Surveying Diploma) Any member, who would like more information, should contact the Admin Staff for a briefing sheet.
Upcoming IIMS Short Courses
Theory of Surveying Wooden Craft 9th December 2005
This course will take place at Portsmouth and will have Paul Stevens as the tutor. There are still some places left on this course and all members interested in taking part are advised to contact the Institute Admin Staff as soon as possible.
Theory of Surveying Steel Craft 3rd February 2006
This course will have Ian Nicholson as the tutor and all members are advised to register as soon as possible, as places are going fast. More details next month.
Theory of Surveying FRP/GRP Craft March 2006
The last two courses are new and available immediately, any member who would be interested in attending either course should contact the Institute Admin Staff as soon as possible.
None this month.
Euan Davidson has stepped down as Editor of NewsLINK, the SCMS quarterly publication. Andy Holder has taken over as Editor. He can be contacted via the SCMS Secretariat at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dredgers of the World
Now in its fifth edition, this well respected register is becoming well known to all those involved in the dredging industry. With the on-going assistance of the IADC and many of the world's best known dredging contractors we have been able to compile an even better register yet.
This fifth edition as you would expect is bigger and better than ever -
more pages, more vessels and more specification and performance data than
ever. It has also been completely updated because we've checked every
piece of information directly with owners, so that when we say that this
is the definitive register, it is. Check the sample pages shown below and
we think you'll see what we mean.
For further information feel free to write us at: email@example.com
'Music of the Sea' by David Proctor (ISBN 0 948065 61 3) Cost GBP16.99 published by the National Maritime Museum, London SE10 9NF.
The band playing as the Titanic went down is one of the most haunting and enduring images of any disaster and it is a demonstration of the potentially powerful interaction between music and the sea. This book does a grand job in telling the story of seafaring from a slightly different angle, concentrating upon the way in which seafarers have used music in all aspects of their work from the ancient Egyptians and the Vikings throught the Crusaders and the early explorers.
'An Illustrated History of the Royal Navy' by John Winton (ISBN 1844860078) Cost GBP30. Published by Conway Maritime Press, Chrysalis Books, Bramley Road, London W10 6SP.
First published in 2000 and now expanded and updated to include such recent events as the war against Iraq and th Asian Tsunami, this is a lavish and well structured book that provides a visual treat as well as an academically sound account of the Royal navy's role in the development and defence of the nation.
'The Cairn Line of Steamships Co Ltd' by Gilber T Wallace (ISBN 0
9550078 0 1) Cost GBP17
37th Annual National Marine Conference West, 2-4 October 2005, Red Lion Hotel, Seattle, USA.
The Sunday afternoon and evening were taken up by the Board of Directors Meeting, followed by the hospitality hour where members and delegates could socialise.
The Conference Theme was given as 'Expanding The Boundaries of Knowledge'.
The conference was divided into three specific areas representing the
membership of NAMS, ie, Yachts & Small Craft, Hull & Machinery and
Cargo. Some sessions were combined for two or more
disciplines. A luncheon speaker was also included in the programme
on the subject of
Yachts & Small Craft
Wood Care Systems, Jim Renfroe
Aluminum Construction of a Hovercraft, Keith Whittemore, Kvichak Marine
Marine Electronics, J. Mark, The Offshore Store
An Update On Tooling, Jim Payant, Janicki Tooling
High Tech Materials in Modern Design Practices, Paul Bieker, NA, Rip
Restoration of the GLORY BE, Betsy Davis Ms. Davis discussed the restoration of the classic yacht GLORYBE that was badly damaged in the Seattle Yacht Club fire in 2002. It was originally built at the Taylor/Grandy Boatyard on Bainbridge Island in 1914.
Hull & Machinery
Cutting & Welding Issues in the Marine Industry, Seattle Fire
Speed and Angle of Blow Assessment, Mike Wall, Kiwi Marine Consultants
Ltd, Hong Kong.
Oil Analysis, Andy Murff &Art Pickering, N C Machinery
Bearing Failure Analysis and Turbocharger Matching, Herb Roeser, Trans
Fishing Vessel Safety, Alan Dujenski.
How To Manage A Major Maritime Loss, Ed Travers, Edward F. Travers
Cargo Information Systems, Gregg Blanchfield, Maersk Equipment Service
Legal Considerations in Cargo, Rivers Black and Chris Nicoll, Nicoll,
Black, Misenti & Feig
Challenges for Today’s Ocean Marine Underwriters, Sean Dalton, CPCU,
AMIM, St. Paul Travelers
Sprinkler Systems Use in Loss Control, Annette Ackerman, Fireman’s Fund
Hull & Machinery and Cargo
The Role of the Marine Chemist, Don Sly, Sound Testing
Corrosion Testing, Dick Troberg, Marine Corrosion Surveys
As usual, another excellent opportunity for networking and meeting with old friends.
(ED: If you intend to attend a conference which you believe would be of interest to our readers, we would be grateful to receive a short synopsis.)
IMO regularly updates its web page with new and amended conventions: http://www.imo.org/
Here you can browse through the various publications that are available and buy those which interest you. To navigate the publications you can either select one of the categories or use the advanced search.
For those of you who might also be interested, UK M Notices are available at: http://www.mcagency.org.uk/
If you have a marine related conference coming up, let us know so that we can mention it below:
SCMS holds a series of Buffet Lectures each year. The lectures cover a wide range of subjects that are of interest to Members and their guests. They are held in London usually starting at 18:00 hrs. The winter programme will be published on the SCMS website http://www.scmshq.org/ Those interested should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included on the announcement list. CPD certificates are available for those attending.
24/25 November 2005. The 2005 Asian Marine Insurance and
Surveying Forum. Shangri-la Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
China Maritime, Exhibition and Conference, Hong Kong Convention and
Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong, 28 Feb - 2 March 2006.
9-11 April 2006, 44th Annual NAMS National Marine Conference East, Loews Annapolis Hotel, 126 West Street, Annapolis, MD, USA.
6-10 March 2006, World Maritime Technology Conference, IMarEST, London.
15th/16th May - IIMS European Surveying Conference 2006
15-16 May 2006. IIMS European Conference, AGM & Dinner, Antwerp, Belgium.
24-26 April 2007, Cruise & Ferry 2007, ExCeL London, London, UK
Some maritime conference web sites for you to keep up to date:
If your (marine surveying) company has a web site, let us know and we will try to mention it. Below are some web pages we believe might be useful to marine surveyors:
International Bunker Industry Association
Those of you who use Equasis may also be interested to hear of three other web pages with similar information:
www.imo.org/ - International Maritime Organisation web page. Keep up to date with new conventions.
If your readers know of any companies with sites that we do not list (or that we have an out-of-date address for) we would like to have details to update the database.
www.iims.org.uk/ - International Institute of Marine Surveyors
NEW WORDS FOR 2005
TESTICULATING. Waving your arms around and talking Bollocks.
BLAMESTORMING. Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.
SEAGULL MANAGER. A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.
ASSMOSIS. The process by which people seem to absorb success and advancement by sucking up to the boss rather than working hard.
SALMON DAY. The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die.
CUBE FARM. An office filled with cubicles.
PRAIRIE DOGGING. When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see that's going on. (This also applies to applause for a promotion because there may be cake.)
SITCOMs. Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids or start a "home business".
SINBAD. Single working girls. Single income, no boyfriend and desperate.
STRESS PUPPY. A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.
PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE. The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.
ADMINISPHERE. The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the "adminisphere" are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve. This is often affiliated with the dreaded "administrivia" - needless paperwork and processes.
404. Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located.
OHNOSECOND. That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake (e.g. you've hit 'reply all')
BEER COAT. The invisible but warm coat worn when walking home after a booze cruise at 3am.
BEER COMPASS. The invisible device that ensures your safe arrival home after booze cruise, even though you're too drunk to remember where you live, how you got here, and where you've come from.
BOBFOC. Body Off Baywatch, Face Off Crimewatch.
BREAKING THE SEAL. Your first pee in the pub, usually after 2 hours of drinking. After breaking the seal of your bladder, repeat visits to the toilet will be required every 10 or 15 minutes for the rest of the night.
BRITNEY SPEARS. Modern Slang for 'beers', e.g. "Couple of Britney's please"
JOHNNY-NO-STARS. A young man of substandard intelligence, the typical
adolescent who works in a burger restaurant. The 'no-stars' comes from the
badges displaying stars that
MILLENNIUM DOMES. The contents of a Wonderbra, i.e. extremely impressive when viewed from the outside, but there's actually naught in there worth seeing.
MONKEY BATH. A bath so hot, that when lowering yourself in, you go: "Oo!Oo!Oo! Aa!Aa!Aa!".
MYSTERY BUS. The bus that arrives at the pub on Friday night while
you're in the toilet after your 10th pint, and whisks away all the
unattractive people so the pub is suddenly packed
MYSTERY TAXI. The taxi that arrives at your place on Saturday morning before you wake up, whisks away the stunner you slept with, and leaves a 10-Pinter in your bed instead.
NELSON MANDELA. Rhyming Slang for 'Stella' (the lager)
PICASSO BUM. A woman whose knickers are too small for her, so she looks like she's got four buttocks
SALAD-DODGER. An excellent phrase for an overweight person
SWAMP-DONKEY. A deeply unattractive woman
TART FUEL. Bottled premixed spirits, regularly consumed by young women
(With thanks to Sam Ignarski's Bow Wave: email@example.com)
Disclaimer: Articles and reports reflect the views of the individuals who prepared them, and, unless indicated expressly in the text, do not necessarily represent the views of the editor. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this publication is accurate, the editor makes no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness or correctness of such information. The editor accepts no responsibility whatsoever for any loss, damage or other liability arising from any use of this publication or the information which it contains. The contents of the publication are the responsibility of the editor alone.
News, views, enquiries, suggestions, articles and letters for inclusion in future editions of FLASHLIGHT may be sent to:
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