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CESMA News, March 2017 PDF Drukāt E-pasts
Otrdiena, 11 aprīlis 2017 22:09
THE EUROPEAN UNION SHIPMASTER INFORMATION CHRONICLE
 
ONFEDERATION OF EUROPEAN SHIPMASTERS’ASSOCIATIONS
Opinions expressed in articles are those of the sources and/or authors only
 
WE KNOW BETTER THAN YOU
 
Professional shipmasters who, still, retain all the legal responsibilities they have ever had, even if their authority is constantly eroded, often complain about the attitude of those ashore. I have been in command for many years but everyone ashore knows better than me, a senior shipmaster memorably complained at a recent conference.
 
It must be very frustrating when young bossy boots, sometimes in uniform, march aboard with clipboards to question the master’s professional judgement. Port State Control may be very necessary in some cases, but it has arguably gone beyond reasonable needs with so many areas which the men or women with clipboards need to check on.
The fact that security requirements treat a ship with suspicion and even overt hostility, does not lead to a friendly or co-operative relationship between ship and shore. These people, marching up the gangway, are seen as a confounded nuisance, creating neither safety nor security aboard a well run ship.
Already there have been signs that the master’s responsibility for the operation of his ship, is being threatened by people who allegedly know better than he. The Caldwell seminar, in London last year, which CESMA attended, gave a good impression of all dangers which are attacking the authority of the master. There are politicians or judges who have not the foggiest idea of how to operate a ship but who are sounding off about the authority how to handle a ship in confined waters, being given to some person ashore who then will direct its course or speed.
cepureAlready there have been signs that the master’s responsibility for the operation of his ship, is being threatened by people who allegedly know better than he. The Caldwell seminar, in London last year, which CESMA attended, gave a good impression of all dangers which are attacking the authority of the master. There are politicians or judges who have not the foggiest idea of how to operate a ship but who are sounding off about the authority how to handle a ship in confined waters, being given to some person ashore who then will direct its course or speed.
   There are also worrying developments with people who perhaps ought to know better, playing with the idea of shore pilotage, so that the assistance given to a ship will emanate from a Vessel Traffic System (VTS), rather than from an on board pilot. If we look at the outcome of the investigation into the collision of a gas tanker and a general cargo ship near the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium, last year, we can learn that even cooperation and communication between on board pilots and VTS leaves sometimes much to be desired, bringing the master in a more and more difficult situation. Lesson learnt therefore is to supervise any action of an on board pilot where ever and when ever. The responsibility remains with the master or his capable navigation officer who should have no reluctance to intervene when necessary.
Why is this frenetic activity taking place? It is partly politically sponsored, with local politicians, managing to get their names in the newspapers after a maritime accident. And there are also commercial pressures, with some owners always happy to dispense with the cost of pilotage. But it is also a factor of ignorance and the ever widening gulf between what goes on ashore and what is happening on the bridge of a ship. Comments which reach us from seagoing masters on board ships are not very reassuring in this respect. As shipping companies grow bigger, understanding between ship and office is not improving, apart from the ever growing pile of paperwork that has to be completed. Ships are ships, not only “things” to earn money with. (FVW)
 
For more CESMA News click on link: CESMA news March 2017