Wishing you a relaxing festive period and a peaceful New Year.The Nautical Institute office will be closed for the holiday season from 1200 (UK time) on Friday 23 December 2016 and will reopen at 0900 on Tuesday 3 January 2017.
Navigation Assessments – get your copy
The Standard P&I Club said recently that it has noticed “a worrying increase in incidents relating to navigation”. Many might have been avoided if a thorough navigation assessment had been carried out. Until now, there has been no clear, concise guidance available on conducting such assessments.The Institute’s latest book, Navigation Assessments, authored by NI Technical Manager Captain Harry Gale FNI, fills this gap. It explains how an assessment conducted in a positive and constructive way can provide tangible benefits for maritime safety and add to the professional development of bridge team members. Thirty case studies provide valuable learning points.The book was launched at a seminar at the Royal Institution of Naval Architects on 30 November, where Captain Gale emphasised: “An assessment should be much more than ticking off boxes. The assessor needs to observe the officers and bridge procedures over time. The aim is to identify any knowledge gaps and to provide advice that will improve navigational practices.”Navigation Assessments is available from The Nautical Institute at £40 or just £28 for NI members. Visit the Institute’s bookshop now to buy your copy and listen to Captain Yves Vandenborn AFNI of The Standard Club (pictured), speaking about the findings of the Club’s own navigational risk reviews.
New Chartered Master Mariner scheme
A new scheme of professional recognition for outstanding Master Mariners has been launched. The award of Chartered Master Mariner (CMMar) is intended to be the gold standard defining those who have benefited the industry, improved their own professional capability and helped others.The Nautical Institute is partnering with the Honourable Company of Master Mariners (HCMM) to introduce the new professional standard which the UK Privy Council has approved under the HCMM’s Royal Charter. It ensures that the shipping industry will finally have the status and recognition it deserves, putting experienced Master Mariners on a par with other professionals.The Institute and HCMM, with guidance from a number of national and international bodies, including the Merchant Navy Training Board, have been developing Chartership for the past two years and set up a Registration Authority to oversee the vetting of CMMar applicants. Candidates will be interviewed and must provide evidence of their work and achievements.For the first year pilot scheme, applications are being invited but later the scheme will be opened to all Master Mariners worldwide. Please visit the Institute’s website for more information.
Calling all NI members who are DPAs
Member exclusive: Designated Persons Ashore (DPAs) often receive little support or mentoring. Many companies employ only one DPA across their fleet, and the role can be awkwardly positioned between operational staff such as superintendents and senior managers.The Nautical Institute feels it is time that DPAs had their own confidential facility where they can discuss professional issues, establish best practice and identify training and professional development issues.To take this forward, we are developing a DPA Forum and are starting a six-month pilot project for Institute members engaged in this role.By restricting participation to certified DPAs, you can be confident that your post will be read by and discussed only among other DPAs. We will allow you to post under a pseudonym should you wish to protect your identity. To participate in the pilot project or to find out more, contact Captain Harry Gale FNI, Technical Manager at The Nautical Institute, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Accidents are not inevitable
The latest issue of Seaways magazine has some good advice about managing shipboard safety. Much of it is, as author Captain R K Singh FNI admits, common sense, but it is the little things that so often catch us out ignoring standard operating procedures, not using PPE, employing poor technique for manual lifting, or simply rushing. In the hazardous onboard environment, a small slip can have devastating results.Accidents are not inevitable: but you do need to create a safety culture on board in which every member of the team adopts appropriate attitudes and values.That means paying attention to the task in hand, using the correct safety equipment and maintaining lifesaving appliances in good condition. No one should enter an enclosed space without an entry permit and the correct safety equipment lives depend on it.Slips, trips and falls are an ever-present hazard. Capt Singh advises: “Slow down and always keep one hand for yourself and the other for the ship”.
And if something should go wrong, remember to let others know about it. Near-miss reporting, through the MARS and CHIRP schemes, can help prevent others from making the same mistakes. Read the article here.
Experts reveal challenges of car carriers
Member exclusive: the challenges of operating pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs) formed the subject of the London Branch’s evening seminar on HQS Wellington on 7 November.Ole Jørgen Eikanger (pictured), of Norwegian Hull Club, accentuated the positive by sharing pictures of an incident that had been successfully dealt with. A van had caught fire on a ro-ro but thanks to prompt and effective action by the onboard crew, the fire was contained and merely scattered smuts on other vehicles. It could have been so much worse. Fires on ro-ros and PCTCs represent the most costly claims and are becoming more frequent.As it departed Southampton on 3 January 2015, Höegh Osaka provided a very public demonstration of what happens when you get your stability calculations wrong. John Southam, of Braemar Shipping Services, explained that the cargo loading plan was not revised after the sailing schedule changed, leaving the vessel top-heavy and listing severely. Accident investigators also highlighted misdeclared cargo weights, broken ballast gauges, poor communication and a Chief Officer who made inadequate use of the loading computer.Commercial pressures mean that over-sized and heavy cargo often has to be placed high in the ship, explained Mark Fysh, a serving PCTC CO. The problems this causes are exacerbated by tight turnarounds, making it impossible to verify weights of vehicles being loaded. Cargo details are sometimes incomplete or late, while dirty, leaking second-hand vehicles can increase the risk of fire.
Weather is among the seafarer’s most formidable adversaries and it’s wise to adopt a conservative approach to it, advises a recent MARS report.The report, based on a UK MAIB accident investigation, reveals how a small cement carrier, along with its crew of eight, was lost off the north of Scotland.The vessel entered the Pentland Firth as gale force winds opposed a strong ebb tidal stream, which created “extraordinarily violent” sea conditions. At the time of its last AIS transmission, the vessel’s speed through the water was under 1kt, making the heavily laden carrier unmanageable in such heavy seas. Some 25 hours later, the vessel’s inverted hull was spotted by a passing ferry, but despite an extensive search and rescue operation, no survivors were found.The Master had sailed through the Firth on previous occasions and knew the tidal risks. It was never established why he decided to continue with the passage in such unfavourable conditions. Read the MARS Report here.
The Institute has a network of over 70 branches and development contacts worldwide and many organise local events, some of which may not be listed below. Check with your local Nautical Institute branch for details of their activities.
CPD certificates are provided at many Nautical Institute events – please check with the event organiser.