Home at last Member tells of hostage ordeal in Nigera 19
Conway recalled Marking the training ship’s 150th birthday 27-29
SED latest Teaser heading Union 00 meets minister on seafarer tax 03
Volume 42 | Number 07 | July 2009 | £2.85 €3.00
‘Hebei Two’ released by Korean court
Slump hits maritime charities
Aeconomy is having a seriously adverse impact on maritime
Captain Jasprit Chawla and chief officer Syam Chetan are pictured right being welcomed home to Mumbai last month after almost 550 days of detention in South Korea after their ship, the Hebei Spirit, was struck by a drifting crane barge in December 2007. The tanker was holed in the collision, causing South Korea’s worst ever oil spill. But a global shipping industry campaign was mounted to call for the release of the two officers when they were jailed on charges of negligence and causing environmental damage. Owners, unions and managers have welcomed the release of the pair, and Nautilus says the case has shown the urgent need for countries to adopt the international guidelines for the fair treatment of seafarers following accidents — see page 2.
A ‘seismic shift’ in the world
Picture: Rajanish Kakade/Empics
Alarm at fresh fall in UK seafarer totals Study shows the need for government to act on employment package, Nautilus warns
Nautilus has voiced alarm at new ﬁgures showing a marked fall last year in the number of certiﬁcated UK ofﬁcers. The Union says the latest annual UK Seafarer Statistics report, published by the Department for Transport, underlines the urgent need for the government to act on the proposals for improved support for employment and training submitted by the industry. New shipping minister Paul Clark has assured Nautilus that the industry plan is being examined by the government. But he also cautioned: ‘It remains the case that funding remains a key issue; there are signiﬁcant pressures on departmental resources, now and in the future.’ The report reveals a 6% decline in the number of certiﬁcated ofﬁcers in 2008, and shows that the total number active at sea has fallen by around 20% since 1997.
It warns that, on current trends, the number will decline by almost one-third over the next decade and by almost 40% by 2028. According to the report, there was a total of 25,210 UK seafarers working at sea last year —up from 23,470 in 2007. The total — assuming a retirement age of 62 — included 11,420 certiﬁcated ofﬁcers (down from 12,130 in 2007), 2,760 uncertiﬁcated ofﬁcers (up from 1,760), 9,330 ratings (up from 8,150) and 1,700 ofﬁcer trainees (up from 1,430). The biggest decline in the past decade has been among engineer ofﬁcers — down by 30%. Deck ofﬁcer numbers have fallen by 9% since 2007, while the report notes that technical ofﬁcer numbers have remained relatively stable at about 700 to 900, since 2003, and the total of hotel and other uncertiﬁcated ofﬁcers has ﬂuctuated from year to year.
The UK ratings total has dropped from 9,510 in 2002 to 9,330 in 2008 — including a 12% fall in deck and engineroom ratings and a 22% decrease in general purpose/technical ratings, against an 11% increase in the number of catering/hotel ratings. The total number of seafarers with qualiﬁcations related to ship and engine handling was down 10% from the ﬁgure of 2002. The good news is that the number of ofﬁcer cadets in training topped 1,700 in 2008 —against 1,430 in 2007 and 780 in 1999. In 2003, a total of 600 ofﬁcer cadets began training. The number rose to 880 last year and looks set to top 960 this year. But the increase in trainees has failed to make a signiﬁcant dent in the UK ofﬁcer age proﬁle. Some 77% of masters and deck ofﬁcers and 68% of engineer ofﬁcers are now aged 40-plus — and the pattern for deck and ratings is similar.
Based on these trends, the report forecasts that the total number of certiﬁcated ofﬁcers will fall to fewer than 9,400 within a decade and to below 8,300 in 2028. General secretary Mark Dickinson said he was pleased to see the evidence of signiﬁcant growth in training. ‘The cadet numbers for this year and last year are particularly encouraging — even though still somewhat short of the 1,200 target that is needed just to stand still,’ he added. ‘And that ﬁgure is probably more like 2,000 by the time you adjust it for the repeated failure to hit the target in previous years. ‘The ﬁgures demonstrate the pressing need for the government to adopt the employment and training measures proposed by the industry to ensure that we have the skills base required for the long-term survival of the UK’s maritime,’ he added.
charities at a time of increasing need among seafarers and their families, a welfare conference was warned last month. Captain David Parsons, chief executive of the Merchant Navy Welfare Board and chairman of the Maritime Charities Funding Group (MCFG), told the annual Maritime Charities Seminar at Trinity House, that ‘blue-sky thinking’ is essential to meet the challenges created by the economic crisis. As a result of the credit crunch, the leading maritime charity Seafarers UK has been forced to cut the level of grants by almost £1m against an increased number of bids, he said. And the Merchant Navy Welfare Board has seen the value of its investment portfolio fall from a peak in January 2008 of over £15m to around £10m now. ‘This time is a challenge for all of us,’ said Capt Parsons. ‘We cannot drift along pretending the changes will all go away if we close our eyes and do nothing. We will all have to look at maximising our assets and opportunities to provide the highest quality of service to those in need of our help.’ In the face of the downturn, Capt Parsons said the MCFG — whose members include Nautilus, the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, Seafarers UK, the Seamen’s Hospital Society and Trinity House — has been making important progress on a work programme launched in response to a 2007 report on maritime welfare needs. g More reports — pages 2 & 10
F Night shift: Nautilus is part of a major
new European research programme that seeks to ﬁnd solutions to the problems posed by seafarer fatigue — pages 24-25 F Port state control authorities have raised
alarm over an increase in the number of deﬁciencies being found and warn that the problem could get worse — page 21
02 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
NAUTILUS AT WORK
Help is just a call away i
Nautilus is backing the launch of a new free telephone referral service which aims to ensure that seafarers and their families get help in times of need. Seafarer Support — which is launching early this month — will direct callers to the seafaring charity that is best placed to help them. The service will also tell welfare professionals who work with seafarers where to ﬁnd specialist help. The Freephone service will be operated by the Merchant Navy Welfare Board and will be available between 0930-1630, Monday to Friday, on 0800 121 4765. Messages can be left outside these times, and the service can also be accessed through the internet at: www.seafarersupport.org Calls and emails will be responded to within one working day. The service has been set up in response to research that found that seafarers are more likely to face poverty, homelessness, bereavement, loneliness, debt and marriage breakdown than other occupational groups and are often unaware that there are charities dedicated to helping them.
The service is being funded by the Maritime Charities Funding Group (MCFG) — a partnership of seven maritime charities: the ITF Seafarers Trust; Merchant Navy Welfare Board; NUMAST Welfare Funds; the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity; Seafarers UK; Trinity House; and the Seaman’s Hospital Society. The group is working together to deliver a range of efficient welfare projects across the entire UK maritime sector. ‘Nautilus International welcomes the launch of Seafarer Support (part-funded by the Union and the NUMAST Welfare Funds) since it will provide a signposting service to help seafarers and their families through to the organisation/s which can best help them,’ said Peter McEwen presently responsible for the Union’s welfare work. ‘The service will be particularly helpful to those (mainly British or Commonwealth) members who are eligible for help from the wide range of maritime charities in the UK,’ he added. ‘Dutch (and other nationality) seafarers and their families can continue to contact the
Warm tributes to former GS A
Warm tributes have been paid to former NUMAST general secretary John Newman, who died last month at the age of 77. Mr Newman, pictured right, had worked for the Union for more than 30 years and was general secretary between 1989 and 1993. He served at sea as a purser, working on ships in P&O’s cruising and liner services between 1954 and 1961. Mr Newman joined the Merchant Navy & Airline Officers’ Association in 1963 as administrative officer, and quickly moved into industrial work — ﬁrstly on behalf of pursers and then more generally. He was promoted to national secretary in 1967 and in 1975 was appointed senior negotiator, with overall responsibility for national and company negotiations across all sectors represented by the Union. Mr Newman was heavily involved in this period as a member of the National Maritime Board, the Merchant Navy Training Board, Merchant Navy Welfare Board and the Merchant Navy Officers’ Pension Fund, which he subsequently chaired from 1993 to 2000, having originally joined the Board in 1968. He served as assistant general secretary from 1978 to 1985, and deputy general secretary from 1985 until becoming general secretary in August 1989. During this period, he was also involved internationally with the ITF and the ILO. When Mr Newman retired in 1993 the then incoming general
International Seafarers Assistance Network (ISAN), with which Nautilus International is also involved. This provides a global 24-hour service covering all nationalities and languages. ISAN can be contacted free on: +800 73232737 or www.seafarerhelp.org.’ David Parsons, of the Merchant Navy Welfare Board and chairman of the MCFG, emphasised that Seafarer Support provides an outreach service to seafarers and their families who are looking for ﬁnancial or non-ﬁnancial help and guidance. ‘We have been concerned that too many within the maritime community, whether of working age or retired, are slipping through the net,’ he explained. ‘This service is a means by which we can place those people in touch with the organisation best suited to help.’ Seafarers UK director-general Barry Bryant described the services as ‘a much-needed tool to help seafarers access the charitable help that is out there for them’ and added: ‘We want to make sure that seafarers know that there are organisations dedicated to helping them tackle the huge spectrum of problems that they often face.’
On call: Sally Oliver, Merchant Navy Welfare Board and Seafarer Support Welfare Officer, launches the new telephone advice service
Hebei Two are freed at last
Nautilus says industry must continue united campaign to ensure there is no repeat of the ‘worrying’ treatment of officers following accident
secretary, Brian Orrell, paid tribute to him, saying that he had ‘transformed NUMAST from an organisation managing decline into one that was positive in thought and action and rigorously proactive rather than reactive’. The Chamber of Shipping described him as a ‘doughty ﬁghter for NUMAST members and a strong and effective negotiator who had developed links with the shipowners to ﬁght for a Merchant Navy we would all like to see — with modern ships, well-trained British officers and, we hope, under the red ensign’. Nautilus International general secretary Mark Dickinson commented: ‘There is no doubt that John had a major impact on the Union and laid down solid foundations for which the organisation continued to grow.’
Nautilus head office staff are pictured last month after presenting a farewell gift to recently retired general secretary Brian Orrell and his wife, Dianne — a portrait of their dog, Riley
Nautilus has welcomed the release last month of the ‘Hebei Two’ — the master and chief ofﬁcer of the tanker Hebei Spirit who have ﬁnally been allowed to return home to India after an 18-month legal ordeal in South Korea. At the end of a lengthy appeal process, the two men were cleared of destruction of property charges arising from an oil spill which occurred when their ship was struck by a drifting crane barge in December 2007. However, convictions of failing to do enough to prevent oil leaking from the ship were not overturned and Captain Jasprit Chawla was ﬁned Kwon20m (£9,500) and chief ofﬁcer Syam Chetan Kwon10m. Speaking on their return to India, Capt Chawla said: ‘It was a nightmare. I’m glad it’s over. I am very happy as justice has eventually prevailed. Although I did not have any physical problems, the months in prison were a big mental trauma.’ Their release came after concerted campaigning by maritime unions and shipping industry organisations, and both men said they were grateful for all the support they had received. Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson said the release was good news. ‘However, the way in which they were treated has highlighted the worrying way in which seafarers are often criminalised following accidents at sea. ‘It demonstrates the urgent
Criminalisation ‘think-tank’ set up g
Nautilus International has welcomed the launch of a new inter-industry ‘think-tank’ to come up with proposals for combating the criminalisation of seafarers. The initiative has been taken by InterManager, the international trade association for ship managers, which hopes to develop a package of measures that can become international law. The Criminalisation Workshop will bring together experts from all areas of the shipping industry — including owners, managers, P&I Clubs, maritime unions and regulators — to consider ways in which seafarers can be protected from ‘scapegoating’. Headed up by V.Ships director
Brian Martis, the workshop will produce proposals that will be presented to the International Maritime Organisation in the hope of stopping the trend towards hardline legal action against seafarers following incidents. InterManager said the move underlined its determination to defend seafarers’ rights wherever they are in the world and from whatever nationality. General secretary Guy Morel said: ‘We are very concerned because we need to protect our crew. They are “our people” — our colleagues and also our responsibility. We also want to ensure that new regulations will demonstrate to potential seafarers and youngsters that they can
consider this industry for a career without fear of unfair imprisonment.’ InterManager — whose members employ more than 125,000 crew — said it believes the plight of the Hebei Two has already had a detrimental effect on recruitment at a time when seafarers are in short supply. ‘How can we encourage young people to take up a career in shipping when they see experienced and innocent crew criminalised in this way,’ said Mr Morel. Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson said the Union welcomed the initiative and had offered its active support to the working group.
need for governments around the world to adopt the IMO/ILO guidelines on fair treatment,’ he told an International Maritime Industries Forum meeting last month, ‘and it is essential that all sides maintain the united campaign to prevent such a situation from developing again.’ Abdulgani Serang, general secretary of the National Union of Seafarers of India, commented: ‘What happened was totally unfair, they were victimised.’ The V.Ships crewing agency said it remained determined to work to have the charge of causing
pollution removed from the ofﬁcers’ records. ‘The verdict will be welcomed by everyone in the shipping industry and beyond who saw the jailing of the two ofﬁcers last December by the Korean Appeal Court, after already having been detained in Korea for a year, as a gross miscarriage of justice and a case which should never come to court,’ it added. International Transport Workers’ Federation general secretary David Cockroft said: ‘Everyone is pleased to see these men’s innocence upheld. But, like everyone in shipping, we ﬁnd it unaccept-
able that the lesser charge against them was never removed.’ And the shipowners’ organisation BIMCO warned: ‘The Hebei Spirit incident and the subsequent treatment of the two ofﬁcers will have severe and long-lasting repercussions in the industry. The resulting uncertainty whereby seafarers cannot be sure what the consequences of dealing with a pollution or other incident are, means that one cannot possibly question any reluctance potential seafarers might have in pursuing a career at sea — not least that of the Hebei Two.’
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 03
NAUTILUS AT WORK
Industry given pledge on SED Nautilus welcomes government’s commitment to seafarer tax scheme
UK government ministers have assured Nautilus that they are committed to the future of the special income tax regime for British seafarers. Ofﬁcials from the Union were part of an industry delegation meeting shipping minister Paul Clark and Treasury minister Stephen Timms to discuss the Seafarers’ Earnings Deduction scheme last month. General secretary Mark Dickinson said the ministers were responsive to concerns over the way in which eligibility for the concession has been restricted. ‘They told us the government stands squarely behind SED and remain supportive of its original objective,’ he added. ‘They also assured us that there is no desire on their part to reel it back or to water down the commitment to seafarer tax concessions.’ Mr Dickinson said the ministers had agreed that the impact of the new guidelines issued in response to last year’s Pride South America ruling would be monitored, and that any problems arising from their interpretation at a local level would be examined. The government has also issued a response to a petition to Downing Street launched in response to the controversial new guidelines. More than 1,950 people signed the petition, which urged the prime minister to reverse HM Revenue & Customs’ decision to tighten the SED rules following
Union seeks talks with new minister A
The UK has a new shipping minister — and Nautilus is seeking urgent talks with him on a number of key issues, including the need for action to tackle the maritime skills crisis and to boost the training and employment of British seafarers. Following a government reshuffle last month, The Hon Paul Clark MP, right, has taken over the shipping portfolio from Jim Fitzpatrick, who held the post since June 2007 and who spoke at the Union’s BGM in May. Mr Clark, MP for Gillingham and Rainham since 1997, was previously Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Department for Children, Schools and Families and also served as PPS to the former deputy prime minister, John Prescott. Before being elected as an MP he managed the TUC National Education
Centre in North London. In a letter to Mr Clark, Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson welcomed him to the post and
requested an urgent meeting to discuss a wide range of maritime policy issues, including the exploitation of foreign seafarers serving on UK ships or within UK waters, the dangers posed by fatigue and excessive working hours at sea, piracy and armed attacks on merchant shipping, ‘green’ transport policy, and the urgent need to provide better support to encourage more freight to be moved on water, and what the UK is doing to implement and enforce key international maritime agreements, including the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention, the ILO/IMO agreement on protecting abandoned seafarers, and the IMO/ILO guidelines on the fair treatment of seafarers following maritime accidents.
the Pride South America judgement. The petition warned that the HMRC decision and its retrospective application to SED claims ‘will have a devastating impact on the British Merchant Navy, the UK offshore Industry, offshore sectors around the world and, more importantly, the personal lives of the thousands of families involved’. In the response published last month, the government said it continues to support the role played by the SED in enabling UK
seafarers to continue working in the industry. ‘The Special Commissioners, an independent tax appeals tribunal, made a decision in respect of ﬁve seafarers that the vessel they were employed on — the Pride South America — was not a “ship” for the purposes of SED,’ it added. ‘Therefore the appellants were not entitled to SED.’ However, the government argued, the ‘vast majority of seafarers who presently claim SED will not be affected by the Special Commissioners’ decision’.
It said SED can only be claimed by seafarers who carry out their duties on a ship, and that the statutory deﬁnition of a ‘ship’ explicitly excludes ‘offshore installations’ — a term that includes vessels that are engaged in exploiting mineral resources and are not mobile whilst doing so. The government said HMRC has consulted closely with the Chamber of Shipping, Nautilus and the RMT union to revise its guidance on SED to reﬂect the Pride South America decision in a ‘fair and practical way’.
First meeting of Nautilus inspectors A
Nautilus International officials pictured with the Union’s ITF inspectors after last month’s meeting
Nautilus International’s Dutch and British ITF ship inspectors held their ﬁrst joint strategy meeting in London last month. The ﬁve Nautilus inspectors form part of a global network of more than 130 ITF inspectors in ports throughout the world. They play a key role in the campaign against substandard shipping, by visiting ﬂag of convenience ships and monitoring the payment of wages and other social and employment conditions. In a presentation to the meeting, general secretary Mark Dickinson said the inspectors would have a very important part to play in the enforcement of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006. Assistant general secretary Paul Moloney said the meeting was very successful, discussing issues including the future of the FoC campaign, and it is planned to hold a similar seminar early next year.
shortreports CRUISE CALL: cruise shipping companies have been urged to adopt a ‘best practice’ standard for securing furnishings and equipment on their vessels. The call comes in a Marine Accident Investigation Branch report on a heavy weather incident involving the Princess Cruises’ vessel Pacific Sun off New Zealand last year, in which 77 passengers and crew were injured. The report also urges Princess Cruises to review the role of active stabilisers in ensuring passenger safety. BULKER BOARDED: environmental campaigners have been criticised for an ‘incredibly dangerous’ protest in which they boarded the UKflagged bulk carrier Sir Charles Parsons as it approached Kingsnorth power station in Kent, UK. Greenpeace activists swam in front of the 22,530dwt vessel, forcing it to stop, before climbing aboard from inflatable speedboats in a protest over plans to build a new coalfired power station. CONTAINER SLUMP: the world’s 11 biggest container shipping companies have suffered 35% slump in revenue over the past year, according to a report by shipbrokers Barry Rogliano Salles. The average decrease in volumes over the period was 20%, it added, and rates dropped 15%. The Chinese operators CSCL and COSCO suffered the steepest fall in revenues of all the companies surveyed. SUPPLY SURFEIT: the size of the global orderbook for new ships is posing a real danger of longterm over-supply in most sectors of the shipping industry, a new report from Drewry Shipping Consultants has warned. It says the number of orders so far cancelled in response to the economic downturn is insufficient to reduce the size of the orderbook by a significant margin. MISSION EXTENDED: the European Union has agreed to extend its Operation Atalanta anti-piracy mission off Somalia for a further year, when the current mandate comes to an end in December this year. NATO has also agreed to send another task force to the area this month following the withdrawal of the existing fiveship fleet. IMO ALARM: concern over the number of seafarers being killed has been raised by International Maritime Organisation leader Efthimios Mitropoulos. He told the IMO’s technical committee that more than 800 lives have been lost at sea already this year, compared with 1,930 for the whole of 2008. ECDIS MOVE: the International Maritime Organisation has agreed amendments to the SOLAS Convention under which mandatory carriage of electronic chart display and information systems and bridge navigational watch alarm systems will be required from January 2011. CAPSIZE PROBE: the Marine Accident Investigation Branch is looking into the causes of an incident in which a Dutch-registered tug capsized just outside Peterhead harbour last month. Three men were rescued by a lifeboat when the Ysselstroom sank whilst assisting a barge. SHIP RELEASED: the Dutch-owned general cargoship Marathon was released by pirates last month, some six weeks after it was hijacked off Somalia. The Dutch defence ministry said one Ukrainian crewman was killed and another injured during the hijacking. REFUGE PLACES: following a series of audits, the European Maritime Safety Agency says it has determined that all EU member states have plans in place for designated places of refuge for ships in distress. REDUNDANCY WARNING: unemployment in the UK will continue to soar until at least autumn next year despite tentative signs that the economy is starting to recover, the TUC has warned.
04 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
NAUTILUS AT WORK
shortreports BLUE STAR MOVE: Nautilus International has received assurances over members’ jobs following the announcement last month that the Hamburg-based shipping group Komrowski is taking over AP MollerMaersk’s German ship management subsidiary, Reederei Blue Star. Assistant general secretary Paul Moloney said that while management had given assurances that there will be no implications for members’ jobs, the Union has reminded the company of the commitments that were given at the time of the split in 2005 — in particular, that in the event of redundancies, the first priority would be for RBS members to obtain positions within the Maersk fleet. MANX CHANGES: Nautilus is awaiting the final version of proposed changes to terms and conditions for members employed by Manx Sea Transport (Guernsey) serving on Isle of Man Steam Packet vessels. Industrial officer Steve Doran has met liaison officers, and will stage ship consultation meetings with members once management makes the details known to the Union. ORKNEY PRESSED: Nautilus was striving late last month to progress the Orkney Ferries pay situation overhanging from last year. Industrial officer Steve Doran said he had now received a copy of the confidential Ashworth Black report on conditions in the ferry sector, which will help the discussions. BP OIL OFFER: Nautilus has had further talks with BP Oil UK on the pay freeze proposals rejected by members. Industrial officer Jonathan Havard said the company had offered further negotiations, and members have been urged to submit comments. UNION AWARD: members serving with Union Transport have been consulted on the company’s response to this year’s pay and conditions claim — an increase in the leave rate to 12 days per month served. RED CONSULT: members serving with the Red Funnel group are being consulted on proposed new contractual terms drawn up following talks between the Union and management. CEFAS SETTLEMENT: members serving with P&O Maritime Services onboard CEFAS Endeavour have agreed an pay and conditions offer giving increases of between 2% and 2.2%.
Improved offer for CalMac members Caledonian MacBrayne A Crewing (Guernsey) are being Members serving with
consulted on an improved pay and conditions offer tabled after a majority voted in favour of an industrial action ballot. Talks between management and the Union following the four-to-one majority vote resulted in conﬁrmation of a revised three-year offer, which would give a 5% pay rise in the ﬁrst year followed by inﬂationlinked increases in the following two years. The offer would also give a
performance bonus worth up to 1.5% based on the company’s proﬁt before tax. The company has also offered to add an extra one week of rostered leave, backdated to the anniversary date of 1 October last year. Improvements in ticket payments will also be made, along with additional increment service payments for all ranks. Results of the consultation are due early this month, and industrial officer Gary Leech said he was hopeful the improved package would be accepted by members.
P&O Irish harmony members last month voted C overwhelmingly in favour of a deal P&O Irish Sea (Gibraltar)
that brings to a conclusion the harmonisation of contracts process that was begun two and a half years ago. Prior to the ballot, Nautilus International consulted extensively with members on the new contracts — including a series of ship visits. ‘Members followed our
recommendation to accept the new terms and conditions, which we feel offer signiﬁcant beneﬁts,’ said national secretary Paul Keenan, who has been helping industrial officer Jonathan Havard in the last part of the harmonisation procedures. ‘The ﬁnal stage in this process offered us the opportunity to reﬂect best practice in the design of the contract and associated documents,’ added Mr Keenan.
Jobs risk ETF conference backs as Fisher ships go ‘seafarer charter’ call to lay-up A members serving in the James F Fisher/Everard ﬂeet following the Nautilus is consulting
announcement last month of redundancies arising from a decision to put ships into lay-up as a result of the economic downturn. The company told the Union that the Asperity and Seniority are to be the ﬁrst two vessels to be sent for lay-up in Birkenhead, alongside the Sarnia Liberty, with another vessel — probably Superiority — joining them later. Industrial officer Gary Leech said the ships are to be kept in ‘warm’ lay-up conditions, with a standby crew of chief and second engineer, second officer and two ratings looking after all four vessels. The company has warned that the ships are unlikely to leave lay-up this year, and as a result a number of redundancies will be made. Initial losses of 27 seafaring jobs have been reduced to 14, and the company said it was seeking to ‘retain quality and experience within the ﬂeet, which will be essential when we get an upturn in business’. Mr Leech said the company is seeking views on the selection process, and has offered to meet to discuss the issues.
Nautilus International ofﬁcials Rob Pauptit and Paul Moloney are pictured at the European Transport Workers’ Federation conference in the Azores last month. They were among the 400plus delegates from 32 countries taking part in the ETF Congress — the ﬁrst external conference that Nautilus International was represented at since its launch in May. Held under the theme ‘Strong unions for sustainable transport’, the Congress debated issues ranging from social dumping to transport liberalisation and privatisation. Also under discussion were recent European Court of Justice rulings on the rights of workers to take industrial action and the campaign to protect seafarers’ working conditions within the EU. Delegates debated 24 motions — including one calling for the harmonisation of regulations for European inland navigation vessels, one calling for a charter for EU seafarers, and another for EU representation on international bodies such as the IMO. Mr Moloney said the conference had endorsed the continuing campaign to promote the employment of EU seafarers and to revive the proposed EU manning directive to regulate the terms and conditions of seafarers
on intra-EU ferry services. ‘We fully support the ETF’s attempts to regulate competition within Europe,’ he added. ‘It cannot be right for companies to base their costs in developing economies outside the EU whilst making their proﬁts in the developed economies of the region.’ The Congress re-elected former Nautilus general secretary Brian Orrell to the ETF executive board and elected a new president, Graham Stevenson, national organiser at the T&G section of
the Unite union. Brigitta Paas, of the Dutch union FNV Bondgenoten, was one of two newly elected vice-presidents. In an opening address of the congress, ITF general secretary David Cockroft warned of the challenges facing unions in the EU as a result of four European Court of Justice decisions taken last year which meant that ‘the rights of employers within the single market trump the rights of workers to organise internationally and to stop social dumping’.
LD Lines hits out at red ensign protest Company warns of legal action if French demonstrations continue
The French ferry ﬁrm LD Lines has criticised French seafarers who have staged protests against the company for putting vessels under the UK ﬂag. Members of the CFDT union working for the rival operator SeaFrance have demonstrated against the use of the red ensign on the new LD Lines fast ferry service between Dover and Boulogne and on some of its other routes. LD Lines’ MD Christophe Santoni described the attempts to disrupt sailings as ‘totally irresponsible’ and warned that it might take legal action if any further attempts were made to disrupt sailings. ‘We are a company that believes in free and unrestricted competition and ﬁnd the attitude of the SeaFrance (CFDT) unions utterly disgraceful and totally misguided,’ he added. Mr Santoni rejected the union’s claim that the red ensign was a ﬂag of convenience. ‘This totally discredits the work and representation of the two English unions — RMT and Nautilus — the very unions with whom the salaries of crews of our British ﬂag
Pictured above, left to right, following the Norman Arrow’s inaugural crossing to Boulogne last month are: Andy Lamb, chief engineer; Mark Gentle, chief engineer; David Hutchinson, mate/master; Nick Dunn, master; and Bernard Richardson, chief officer Picture: Eric Houri
vessels have been negotiated and approved,’ he added. LD Lines, has created around 80 jobs with the introduction of the fast ferry Norman Arrow, with further jobs being created in the ports of Dover and Boulogne as
the new route has rapidly expanded since opening in February this year with a conventional ferry. Mr Santoni stressed that LD Lines’ parent company, Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, is France’s
largest employer of French ofﬁcers. ‘The company therefore does not accept any kind of judgment with the fact that we operate some of our ferries trading between the UK and France, under the British ﬂag,’ he added.
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 05
NAUTILUS AT WORK
Nautilus wins owed wages
shortreports RFA ALLOWANCES: Nautilus is continuing to press for an improvement to the living ashore allowances paid to members during Royal Fleet Auxiliary refits and similar work. Industrial officer Gavin Williams said the issue had been raised at last month’s quarterly meeting with management. Union officials also met members serving on the RFA Fort Austin during a ship visit last month. AWS APPROACHED: Nautilus is seeking assurances from Bibby Ship Management over the jobs of members serving on four Andrew Weir Shipping Bank Line vessels, following a decision by Swire Shipping not to renew their charters. Industrial officer Gavin Williams said the Union was concerned at the move, and has sought clarification from the company.
£75,500 secured after long struggle for former Speedferries members
Collaboration between the Nautilus International legal and industrial teams has secured the recovery of more than £75,000 in owed wages for members who lost their jobs when the Dover-Boulogne operator Speedferries collapsed last year. The low-cost operator went into administration last November, after its only craft was arrested by port authorities in France in a dispute over unpaid port fees. Following the collapse, about 130 employees were made redundant. The Nautilus southern industrial team then began detailed correspondence with members concerning monies owed to them by Speedferries for elements including wages and outstanding leave. Members provided the Union with details of their claims and a wealth of supporting documentation. Following the arrest of the Speedferries’ vessel SpeedOne, the legal department ﬁled cautions with the Admiralty Court so that members’ claims could be pursued through their maritime lien over the vessel. A maritime lien gives seafarers the right to pursue their claims against the vessel (as opposed to the insolvent com-
IMT IMPROVES: Nautilus has secured an improved pay and conditions offer for members serving with International Marine Transportation. Industrial officer Jonathan Havard said the package included a 1.5% general increase and additional contractual awards, and the Union would be recommending acceptance. PNTL PAY: following talks on this year’s Nautilus claim, PNTL management has told the Union that it is not in a position to offer a pay increase. Industrial officer Gary Leech said the company had indicated that leave could be improved, and proposals were awaited last month. HEYN REJECTION: members employed by Heyn Engineering on RV Corystes have rejected the company’s 2009 pay offer. Industrial officer Steve Doran is seeking further dialogue with the company to achieve a settlement.
The SpeedFerries vessel SpeedOne is now undergoing work at Tilbury, under the new name Sea Leopard
pany) and to seek payment from the proceeds of sale. However, under a maritime lien, the monies recoverable are limited to wages earned in the service of the vessel. At a hearing on 5 March in the Admiralty Court, the vessel’s mortgagees — the Bank of Scotland — applied successfully for an order for sale. Charles Boyle, the Union’s director of legal services, appearing on behalf of Union members, informed the court that Nautilus had no objection to the vessel
being sold — so long as its members’ maritime lien was observed. SpeedOne was sold by the Admiralty Marshal on 8 May, for £8m. The vast majority of the money will go to the Bank of Scotland. However, from those proceeds the Union was able to recover £75,500 for members — which represents the lion’s share of their claims and all monies recoverable under a maritime lien. ‘This case is another example of the value of being a member of Nautilus,’ Mr Boyle pointed out.
‘It would be difﬁcult for an individual to enforce their claim in these circumstances without access to legal advice. However, in this case the members only had to respond to correspondence and let the Union do the work for them.’ Industrial ofﬁcer Gavin Williams said he was delighted the case had been resolved. ‘A number of members have thanked us for our work, and one made the very good point that this shows how it really can pay to be in Nautilus,’ he added.
TRINITY OFFER: members serving with Trinity House are being consulted on a 1.5% pay offer, with a commitment to undertake a benchmarking exercise later in the year. NOCS TERMS: Nautilus is set to begin consulting members serving in the NOCS NMFD fleet shortly on the proposed revised terms and conditions agreement. WESTERN TALKS: Nautilus was due to meet Western Ferries’ management late last month following members’ rejection of the 2009 pay offer of 3%.
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Demonstration over threat to Humber dockers’ conditions Molloy and Chris Jones were C among more than 300 people who Nautilus/ITF officials Tommy
joined a demonstration in Grimsby last month to protest at Associated British Ports’ plans to change dockers’ working conditions. Unions have expressed concern that the slump in maritime trade is being used as an excuse for moves to change working practices, erode terms and conditions and to cut jobs in ports around the UK — with the Humber in the front line. Unite spokesman Dave Monaghan said the union had recognised the need for a small number of voluntary redundancies among its Grimsby and
Immingham members in the face of the economic downturn. However, the workers objected to the proposed removal of lieu days for working bank holidays and changes to shifts which would ‘greatly affect our members and their families’. Mr Monaghan said workers felt as if they had a gun being held to their heads because of the threat of up to 18 redundancies if the changes are not accepted. Speakers at the rally included local MP Austin Mitchell and Unite regional secretary Davey Hall, who said the event had been ‘a fantastic opportunity to show that our members are determined to protect their terms and conditions and jobs’.
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06 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
Wave-piercing support vessel learns from Dolphin loss
MAERSK IMPROVES: members serving on Maersk Offshore (Guernsey) supply vessels will vote this month on a revised pay and conditions package, following their overwhelming rejection of the company’s previous offer. The consultation closes on Friday 17 July on a new offer that includes a basic pay increase of 2% and a doubling of the higher certificate bonus payment, from £500 to £1,000. Maersk is also offering to increase increment pay and to introduce an 11-year increment scale, to raise pension contributions, and to reduce overseas tour lengths, with payments revised to reflect this. FARSTAD MOVE: members serving with Celtic Pacific Ship Management are being consulted again on a 5% pay offer. Management refused to improve the package after it was rejected by a 44 to 29 majority. Industrial officer Gary Leech said the Union had pressed the company hard, but it is important that as many members as possible participate in the consultation process. DELIVERY SUSPENDED: the French firm CGG Veritas — the world’s leading international geophysical company — has delayed delivery of two vessels due to lower demand for offshore services. Norwegian yard Ulstein Verft was building two seismic survey vessels for Norway’s Eidesvik Offshore that were due to be chartered to CGG Veritas until 2022. TECHNIP CUTBACK: Nautilus is consulting members on Technip Offshore proposals to reduce electrician and instrument technician numbers on the vessel Deep Blue. The company says the move is required because of difficult trading conditions and poor charter rates, and has assured the Union that individuals will be redeployed within the fleet. SUBSEA SUBMISSION: Subsea 7 members’ aspirations for the 2009 pay review were presented to the company at a meeting on 19 June. Nautilus industrial officer Steve Doran was given an in-depth market breakdown on the challenges facing the company, and is now waiting for management to make a formal offer. BPOS PRESSED: Nautilus International has been seeking further talks with Seacor Marine after the company announced that it would implement a 2% pay increase for members on Boston Putford Offshore Safety vessels. The Union has challenged management’s assertion that the offer is in line with its competitors. DSV OFFER: Nautilus was continuing late last month to press Bibby Ship Management for a response to its pay and conditions claim for members serving on the company’s DSVs. Industrial officer Gavin Williams said he had been assured an offer would be made very shortly.
SBourbon Dolphin disaster have helped spur the development of Lessons learned from the 2007
Vroon fined over safety shortfalls £280,000 penalty imposed for deaths on Viking Islay
The owners of an emergency response and rescue vessel on which three seafarers died in an oxygendeﬁcient compartment have been ﬁned £280,000. Judge Robert Moore said the safety shortfalls onboard the Viking Islay probably contributed to the deaths of the three men in September 2007. The ship’s master, Captain Don Fryer, had earlier been cleared by the court of causing the deaths of the men as they tried to lash an anchor chain. Judge Moore told Shefﬁeld Crown Court that if Vroon Offshore Services had made sure the vessel had an oxygen meter onboard the deaths may have been prevented. The master had requested a meter some six months before the accident. ‘If an oxygen meter had been provided, with the usual supply period of 28 days, after the written request, it would have become the usual thing to use it when opening the chain locker,’ the judge said. However, he added: ‘There
remains a possibility the men may still have opened this dangerous space and gone into it without using the meter.’ The company was ﬁned £160,000 for failing to provide an oxygen meter, and a further £80,000 for failing to evaluate the efﬁciency of its safety management system would mean a ﬁne of £80,000. Vroon was also ordered to pay £40,000 for failing to ensure the third engineer had the appropriate certiﬁcate of competency. Simon Phillips, prosecuting, told the court: ‘The company had the tools and materials at its disposal to ensure compliance with its safety management system. ‘It could have provided an oxygen meter. It could have provided an oxygen monitor,’ he added. ‘It could have explained that it had decided upon a policy of not supplying either and also of forbidding enclosed-space entries at sea. It did none of those things.’ Ian Lawrie, defending, said the company admitted its thorough but complex safety system was at fault. ‘If there’s any criticism of
IMCA issues a new guide for Member dies work fitness in AirFrance P plane crash
SWIRE TALKS: Nautilus is continuing negotiations with Swire Pacific on improvements to a 5% pay offer. Industrial officer Gary Leech said progress had been slow because one of the company’s management team had been ill.
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this company, they are trying too hard rather than not trying at all or not trying enough,’ he added. Following the case, Vroon issued a statement saying it would be considering the judge’s comments. ‘Vroon Offshore Services has and continues to strive to be one of the highest safety performing organisations in the ﬁeld,’ it said. ‘The company notes that the judge accepted the measures implemented by them as appropriate to ensuring that there can be no re-occurrence of such an accident,’ it added, ‘Also that the company had not tried to cut costs, had a safety-conscious culture and had not tried to shirk from its responsibilities by pleading guilty to the charges laid before the court.’ The company said it would pay particular attention to the judge’s comments that the safety management system was too complex and had generated too much paperwork. Vroon said it offered ‘heartfelt condolences and sympathies’ to the families of the dead men.
what Rolls-Royce hails as ‘the next generation of offshore vessels’ — its new UT700 CD vessel, pictured left, introduced last month. The ship utilises wave-piercing technology — a concept well-proven with high-speed catamarans and trimarans, but new to the offshore market — as well as incorporating a number of features to improve stability. ‘With the UT 790 CD, we can support offshore exploration and production further and deeper, while at the same time improving safety and minimising the impact on the environment,’ Svein Kleven, RollsRoyce offshore chief design manager, explained. The Ulstein A102 AHTS vessel Bourbon Dolphin capsized some 75nm NW of Shetland, with the loss of eight lives. A Norwegian accident investigation found that the vessel had struggled to cope with the lateral forces of winds of up to 35 knots, 7m waves and a current of up to 3.5 knots. Among the factors that led to the accident, investigators identiﬁed that in certain conditions, Bourbon Dolphin did not have sufficient stability to handle lateral forces. Rolls-Royce spokeswoman Ellen Kvalsund told the Telegraph that recommendations made after the Bourbon Dolphin disaster formed part of the design considerations for the UT790 CD. Rolls-Royce has positioned the engineroom astern, with the distance from the engines to the exhaust outlet ducts reduced to a minimum. The 360-degree view signiﬁcantly improves safety, the company says, and also helps to improve stability.
The Isle of Man-ﬂagged support vessel Far Samson, above, has won the Offshore Support Journal’s 2009 ship of the year award. Built for Farstad Shipping by STX Europe, Far Samson is claimed to be the most powerful offshore vessel ever built and has demonstrated a world-record breaking continuous bollard pull of 423 tonnes using all available power.
ERRV market ‘stable’
The emergency response and rescue vessel sector is ‘probably one of the few shipping markets showing any signs of stability for the moment,’ according to a report from Offshore Shipbrokers last month. It said availability has been tight over the past few months
and the market has remained relatively strong. ‘With the majority of newbuild deliveries being for ﬂeet renewal rather than ﬂeet expansion, we have not seen the over-supply of tonnage experienced in the PSV and AHTS markets applying downwards pressure to day rates,’ it added.
New guidance covering the health and work-ﬁtness of non-marine crew working on offshore construction vessels has been produced by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). Marine crew will continue to be examined to ﬂag state seafarer medical standards, but IMCA said it was important that all individuals working on offshore support vessels should be examined periodically and assessed as being ﬁt to work in the offshore environment. IMCA has also published new guidance for ﬁrst aid arrangements onboard offshore support vessels. The publication First Aid and Other Emergency Drills is designed to assist with the ongoing competence of ﬁrst aid personnel, and includes a variety of ﬁrst aid and emergency drills that can be used as part of on-the-job training for all staff — not just appointed ﬁrst aiders.
PNautilus member Captain Graham Gardner, above, who was Tributes have been paid to
one of 228 who died when an Air France aircraft crashed on a ﬂight from Brazil to France last month. Capt Gardner — master of the Subsea 7 pipe-laying vessel Lochnagar — was returning home to Scotland on the Airbus 330-200 when it disappeared in the Atlantic. Aged 52, he had joined Subsea 7 in July 1998 and served as ﬁrst officer and chief officer on several vessels before being promoted to the post of master of the Isle of Man ﬂagged vessel in February this year. ‘Graham was a well respected and highly regarded employee of Subsea 7 who has made a valuable contribution to the company over many years,’ the ﬁrm said.
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 07
MCA boss tells MPs he has no staffing crisis A
Pictured above passing through the Channel on a delivery voyage last month is the UK-flagged newbuild Tor Fionia. The 25,609gt ro-ro cargo vessel was built at the Jinling Shipyard, China, and has gone into service on the DFDS run between between Immingham and Gothenburg Picture: Fotoflite
IFSMA backs call for O2 meters onboard ships
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency is not suffering a skills crisis and has sufﬁcient resources to do the increased volume of survey and inspection work required of it, chief executive Pater Cardy told MPs last month. Giving evidence to the House of Commons public accounts committee, Mr Cardy rejected accusations that the Agency had failed to act on previous calls to increase surveyor numbers in response to the growth of the UK merchant ﬂeet. ‘It is true to say that there were predictions about the changing shape of the maritime workforce over the course of the last decade, but we have been able to retain surveyors and we are still able to recruit surveyors,’ he said. Committee chairman Edward Leigh pointed out that the MCA had, for the ﬁrst time, missed some of its UK ship inspection targets in 2007-8 and was likely to do so again in 2008-9. ‘Why
did you not do more to understand the implications of the tonnage tax?’ he asked. ‘It seems you have managed to cope more by luck than by design or by judgement.’ Mr Cardy argued that the MCA had ‘done better than cope’ by being ﬂexible and adaptable. And he also rejected concerns expressed by Labour MP Geraldine Smith over the growth in the number of foreign seafarers serving on UK ﬂag ships. ‘It is not speciﬁcally our job to increase opportunities for UK seafarers,’ he told the hearing. ‘What we are doing is making sure that UK ships can only be run by people who have equivalent qualiﬁcations to those of the UK.’ The public accounts committee hearing was called following a report by the National Audit Ofﬁce on the way in which the MCA has responded to the growth of the UK merchant ﬂeet following the introduction of the tonnage tax.
The last stage of work to remove the wreck of the containership MSC Napoli from the Devon coast began last month. Pictured above is Paul Glerum, from the salvage ﬁrm Global Response Maritime, showing the operation to Hugh Shaw, the
secretary of state’s representative in maritime salvage and intervention. In what has been described as a unique project, more than 1,100m of heavy duty 76mm chain has been laid under the hull of the vessel in preparation for the removal work.
Conference endorses Nautilus motion on oxygen testing equipment
Nautilus calls for all ships to carry oxygen testing equipment have been backed by the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA). The IFSMA annual meeting last month approved a motion submitted by the Union expressing concern about the continued loss of life in enclosed spaces and the need for mandatory carriage requirements for atmosphere testing meters on all ships over 500gt. Nautilus International assistant general secretary Marcel van den Broek told the meeting that regulatory shortcomings have
not only created a situation in which seafarers are dying, but also shipmasters can be criminalised as a result. ‘Apart from the tragedy of the loss of life of so many seafarers, the second biggest tragedy is the fact that despite our high-tech knowledge, despite our safety systems, despite our good training, and despite loads of information being provided, we seem unable to stop it,’ he said. The meeting voted unanimously in favour of the Nautilus motion, which also calls for mandatory education and training in the use of remote oxygen analysing equipment and a re-
evaluation of all onboard safety equipment and safety procedures to ensure they are ‘ﬁt for purpose and compatible with use onboard vessels’. In his report to the conference, IFSMA secretary-general Captain Rodger MacDonald expressed concern at the increasing criminalisation of shipmasters, their increased security-related workloads, and at problems arising from inadequate manning. Other motions adopted by the conference included: z a call for new STCW training requirements to be introduced before the implementation of enavigation
z a demand for a new approach
to reviewing the STCW Convention, to reﬂect rapid changes in technology at sea z a call for IMO member states to oppose proposed changes to the STCW Convention that could permit a maximum 96 hours of uninterrupted work z a call for the IMO to end the process of allowing EU block votes, without all 27 EU member states being present at the meetings z an appeal for countries to promote the establishment of a ‘noblame’ culture by introducing mandatory maritime resource management training
Slump is a threat to safety, EMSA warns F
Fears that the slump in shipping will lead to increases in the number of shipping accidents and seafarer fatalities have been voiced by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). According to the Agency’s annual review of maritime accidents, loss of life and accidents involving ships operating in and around EU waters remain signiﬁcantly higher than three to ﬁve years ago. EMSA said a total of 82 seafarers lost their lives
last year — the same ﬁgure as 2006, but up 76 in 2006. More than one-third of the lives lost were on ﬁshing vessels, while around 25% were on general cargoships. A total of 754 vessels were involved in 670 accidents (sinkings, collisions, groundings, ﬁres/explosions and other signiﬁcant accidents) in and around EU waters during 2008. This compares with 762 vessels involved in 715 accidents in 2007, and 535 vessels involved in 505 accidents during 2006.
The report suggests that the decline in overall accident numbers during 2008 was partly attributable to a slump in shipping movements towards the end of the year. And it warned that whilst accidental pollution has substantially decreased in recent years, deliberate pollution remains at high levels. ‘This year’s review again shows that accidents in EU waters lead to enormous costs and signiﬁcant loss of life,’ said EMSA executive director Willem de Ruiter. ‘There are also major concerns that, although
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the shipping downturn will give owners and operators the time to carry out much needed maintenance that was delayed during the boom period, many will not do so because they have reduced funds to pay for such activities. ‘The ﬁght to reduce the number, severity and cost of accidents must continue unabated if seriously negative consequences on human activities, the environment and the European economy are to be avoided in the years ahead,’ he added.
08 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
LARGE YACHT NEWS
Isle of Man to stage seminar
Abramovich vessel lays claim as world’s largest the Blohm & Voss shipyard in P Hamburg is the new holder of the Pictured left emerging from
title of the world’s biggest superyacht — the 170m Eclipse, built for the Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich. Costing a reported £288m to build, the 13,000gt vessel is some 10m longer than the world’s previous biggest yacht, which belongs to Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai.
September will see a special superyacht conference being staged by the Isle of Man Yacht Forum in association with the Isle of Man ship register, and described as the ﬁrst event of its kind to be organised by a ﬂag state. Taking place on Wednesday 2 September, at London’s Canary Wharf, the event is designed to showcase the Isle of Man’s attractions as a centre for large yacht registration and management. The conference — which will also address aircraft registration issues — will bring together intermediaries, lawyers, brokers, insurers and builders in both sectors to discuss the outlook in the current economic climate, as well as the challenges and opportunities for businesses. The programme of the conference will cover subjects including: choice of registry and ﬂagging, crewing, corporate structuring, VAT and tax, and aircraft registration and management. Case studies will be used to give detailed examples of possible problems and solutions. Keynote speakers will include: Martin Redmayne, chairman of The Yacht Report Group and Dick Welsh, director of Isle of Man Shipping Registry.
Hot off the heels of a major
launched a scheme in which wouldbe buyers can visit a private yacht show at any time they wish — avoiding the crowds and inconvenience of a public show. Branded as Easea>show, the company has set up a permanent exhibition of its line of yachts at the Cattolica Marina on Italy’s Adriatic Coast. Initially displaying Ferretti, Pershing, Itama, Mochi Craft and Custom Line yachts, the display will expand in the autumn when more yachts are added. Having the yachts on permanent exhibition will mean that they are always on standby for potential buyers to take out for a sea trial in total privacy, the company says.
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Welcome signs of recovery in the large yacht sector Crewing agency reports huge increase in job hunters by Michael Howorth
Ferretti sets A up private yacht show Fﬁnancial restructuring, the Italian builder the Ferretti Group has
Eclipse features two helipads, a cinema, a sports complex, two swimming pools and a disco — as well as a German-built missile defence system. Due to be delivered to Mr Abramovich next year, the vessel has 11 guest cabins and will operate with around 70 crew and will join the rest of his ﬂeet — the 115m Pelorus, the 86m Ecstasea and the 50m Feadship Sussurro.
It seems hardly credible that in early 2008, the global ﬁnancial crisis had hardly affected the large yacht industry. Back then, yacht brokers and builders were conﬁdent about the resilience of the large yacht market. There was little talk of crew lay-offs and not a single yacht was laid-up. But as the summer began to end, the impact of the downturn began to bite, with millions slashed off the prices of brokerage yachts almost overnight, yachts laid-up and crews reduced. Yachts that were timetabled to cross the Atlantic to enjoy their winter cruising grounds in the Caribbean remained where they were in the Mediterranean. Yet with the advent of spring and the charter yacht show in Genoa, a new air of conﬁdence began to appear. The recession may not be over yet, but in the large yacht market there are signs that things are at least becoming a little less fraught. Fraser Yachts CEO Hein Velema says that sales are much stronger now than in the previous six months, particularly in the market for vessels over 24m.
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There have been many accounts of luxury yacht owners laying up their vessels with a skeleton crew in order to limit costs in the short-term. Yacht managers suggest that while this can have an immediate impact through savings on fuel, wages, consumables, and communication costs, owners should proceed with caution. Alan Armstrong, who joined Fraser Yachts as a manager after years of experience with V Ships, said: ‘Whilst sitting dormant large yachts face safety and security risks. Certiﬁcates, surveys and even class can lapse, with signiﬁcant costs to reinstate.’ When this happens the asset can begin to depreciate and its reputation in the charter market can be lost, he pointed out. When the time comes to start sailing again owners will face the recruitment costs of ﬁnding a new crew with little or no knowledge and experience of operating a particular yacht. While the news for much of 2008 was all about a lack of experienced and qualiﬁed crew across the industry, this is certainly not the case now. Many yachts limited their operations and reduced their
crew during the last quarters of 2008 and the ﬁrst quarter of this year, so that literally thousands of crew — from highly qualiﬁed captains and senior crew members to stewardesses and deckhands — are now struggling to ﬁnd available positions. The Crew Network, an international crew agency specialising in the placement of crews aboard large yachts, says it has witnessed a huge increase in registrations from crew members seeking new employment — with up to 1,500 new applications per week. However, the over-supply of crew may only be temporary. The total number of large yachts entering service continues to increase and availability of good candidates remains limited. Sadly, the same cannot be said for some parts of the superyacht industry, where the situation is best described as difﬁcult. With Ferretti, the Italian manufacturer and designer, having recently secured approval from its creditors for a debt restructuring, and France’s Rodriguez Group seeking a similar safeguarding procedure, times are indeed providing challenging prospects for the large yacht industry in the year ahead.
The motor yacht Pari on the rocks off Cap Ferrat, France, last month after dragging the anchor in high winds
Fears for yacht after grounding in France claimed Mirabella V, when she g took the ground on the Cote d’Azure, In almost the same spot as
the 39m motor yacht Pari was swept ashore after having dragged her anchor last month. Strong winds from the east are said to have caused the incident, which prompted a major counterpollution operation, with booms placed around the boat to contain spilled fuel.
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The yacht’s Russian captain, ﬁve further crew and two guests were onboard Pari during the incident. Three crew members were taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure, but were released soon after. Professional yacht crews who have seen the damage have given the unqualiﬁed opinion that there seems little chance of the 1989-built yacht being successfully recovered.
Axe-bow hull for new 43m design from Swiss firm superyacht design from the Swiss company P Messerschmitt.
Pictured above is the MTT Bulwark — a new
The 43m vessel features an axe-bow hull and a large afterdeck area and is capable of operating at up to 18 knots. The yacht has four guest cabins, can accommodate a maximum of 12 passengers whilst at
sea, and is claimed to offer high degrees of sea-keeping and stability. Featuring a steel hull and an aluminium superstructure, the Bulwark is designed and constructed to meet Bureau Veritas classiﬁcation society rules and Det Norske Veritas or MCA classiﬁcation society rules for yachts to class notation.
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 09
ETO training is boosted by degree course
Terminal opens The P&O cruiseship Ventura provided a dramatic backdrop for the official opening last month of a ÂŁ19m new passenger terminal at the Port of Southampton. The state-of-the-art terminal is the ďŹ rst purpose-built cruise facility to be constructed at the port in more than 40 years and comes on the back of a 20-year contract with Carnival UK. Southampton now offers four cruise terminals â€” and the Passenger Shipping Association says the extra investment is needed to cope with the growing numbers of British cruise passengers. One in every 12 package holidays booked in the UK is now a cruise, compared with only one in 26 in 1999, it points out.
No let-up in lights row Revised dues increase fails to staunch shipowner calls for GLA cutbacks
UK government moves to backtrack on plans for big increases in light dues have failed to satisfy shipown-
ers. Following strong lobbying from the industry, new shipping minister Paul Clark last month announced that the proposed higher charges will now be phased in over two years. The dues will be raised from 35p to 39p per net registered ton from July 1, followed by a second increase to 43p next April. The maximum number of chargeable voyages each year will also rise from seven to nine, with the upper tonnage threshold of 35,000 increasing to 40,000nrt in 2010-11. Announcing the new charges, Mr Clark said: â€˜These are the ďŹ rst light dues increases since 1993, and much lower than we proposed in the consultation. â€˜Even after the second increase, the 43p rate
will be no higher than 16 years ago â€” in real terms a drop of 32%. â€˜Contributions from light dues play a vital role in keeping our waters safe,â€™ he added, â€˜but this is a difďŹ cult time for shipping, which is why we have also found ways to make savings â€” reducing the burden on the industry, without compromising safety.â€™ But the announcement failed to stem the criticisms being levelled by owners, who have warned that increased charges could lead to a reduction in vessel visits to the UK. Mark Bookham, chairman of the Independent Light Dues Forum, accused the government of failing to grasp the scale of the problem faced by the industry â€” with the extra charges adding â€˜another huge burdenâ€™ at a time of recession. He said ministers should tackle the â€˜three bloated general lighthouse authoritiesâ€™ service
streamsâ€™ and end the subsidy for Irish Lights. â€˜We strongly feel there is genuine scope for amalgamation of the GLA support functions to release the obvious savings,â€™ he added. Mark Brownrigg, director-general of the Chamber of Shipping, said the increases could mean extra light dues payments of up to 43% for shortsea and ferry operators, and could undermine efforts to shift freight from roads to water. And Michael Everard, chairman of the Lights Advisory Committee, said the government should subject the GLAs to â€˜the same ďŹ nancial discipline as commercial shipownersâ€™. Nautilus senior national secretary Allan Graveson said the costs of navigational aids should be met by public taxation or contributions by all users, and not just commercial shipping.
Owners in emissions row A
Accusations that the UK shipping industry is ignoring its impact on global warming were rejected as â€˜unfoundedâ€™ last month, as the Chamber of Shipping reacted angrily to criticism from a Parliamentary inquiry. Launching a report by the allparty parliamentary environmental audit committee, Tory MP Tim Yeo criticised the â€˜prevarica-
tion that has prevented global agreement on how to reduce emissions from international shippingâ€™. The report calls on the UK government to work harder to secure inclusion of international emissions from shipping within European climate change reduction targets, but not wait for EU or international agreement before taking action.
But the comments were rebutted by the Chamber of Shipping, which claimed that UK shipping â€˜has led the way in industry debates with proposals for a capand-trade mechanism to encourage emission reductionsâ€™. Nautilus senior national secretary Allan Graveson said he was concerned the debate was missing the health risks associated with particulate matter.
Nautilus has welcomed the go-ahead for a new electrotechnical officer (ETO) foundation degree course following validation of the qualiďŹ cation by Northumbria University. The two-and-a-half year course â€” which includes a range of electrical and electronic academic units, as well as ETO workshop skills â€” will start at South Tyneside College this September, opening up a new training route for the industry. Students will undertake a Maritime & Coastguard Agency oral examination and complete an ETO training record book to achieve certiďŹ cation. Gary Hindmarch, head of the marine college, said: â€˜The scheme provides a further option to shipping companies who may require dedicated ETOs to meet their speciďŹ c business needs. We are urging anyone interested in enrolling students on this exciting new option to contact us sooner rather than later.â€™ Developed in conjunction with the Merchant Navy Training Board and the MCA, the course is a response to the demand from some UK-based shipping companies for a dedicated ETO programme to provide skilled and competent seafarers to work with
Training Record Books backed by the Union Aby the Merchant Navy Training Board of a new Training Record Book Nautilus is backing the launch
(TRB) for UK deck, engineer and electro-technical officer trainees. The TRBs will ensure that full evidence can be provided to demonstrate that trainees have followed a planned and structured onboard training programme as part of their studies for a ďŹ rst certiďŹ cate of competency. It is planned that the vast majority of UK trainees will be using TRBs from next year when following MNTBapproved certiďŹ cation programmes. The books provide detailed
ITF hits back as UK moves to crack down on fishing crews A
tor and promised to â€˜remove those who are in the UK illegallyâ€™. A spokesperson said: â€˜We will not tolerate the exploitation of vulnerable workers from overseas, and the viability of the UKâ€™s ďŹ shing ďŹ‚eet cannot be delivered on the back of such exploitation.â€™ Its crackdown follows the publication last year of an ITF report on the exploitation of migrant ďŹ shing crews in the Scottish and Irish ďŹ shing industry â€” highlighting conditions of â€˜modern day slaveryâ€™. Mr McVicar said Mr Salmond had failed to take up an invitation from the ITF a year ago to discuss
migrant ďŹ shing crews â€” â€˜even though the main abuses were perpetrated in his own constituencyâ€™. The ITF is pressing Westminster and the governments of Scotland, Ireland, and Northern Ireland to review the application and procedures for work permits and/or transit visas for non-European Economic Area migrant ďŹ shing crews. Where it is necessary to employ them, they should be given full rights within the current work permit regime. Vessels and crewing agencies involved in their â€˜exploitation and humiliationâ€™ should be identiďŹ ed and exposed, it argues.
guidance for officer trainees and those responsible for their training and supervision, as well as information on MCA requirements. They also contain the traineeâ€™s contact details and records of progress and assessment, along with details of training tasks and guidance on completing workbooks. Information on the marine national occupation standards is also provided for guidance to training officers. Nautilus is helping to distribute a leaďŹ‚et that gives more information on the TRBs â€” in particular for onboard staff who have any involvement in training and supervision.
Available 1st July 2009: Scottish ďŹ rst minister Alex Salmond has voiced â€˜serious concernsâ€™ about crewing shortages caused by UK Border Agency plans to deport Filipinos working illegally in Scotlandâ€™s ďŹ shing sector. But Norrie McVicar of the International Transport Workersâ€™ Federation (ITF) has responded by expressing his concern that the ďŹ rst minister has taken so long to notice the conditions under which migrant workers are employed in the industry. The UK Border Agency said it had decided to clampdown on illegal working in the ďŹ shing sec-
increasingly complex and high voltage electrical and electronic instrumentation and control equipment, machinery and systems aboard vessels of all types, sizes and motive power. The programme will be available at South Tyneside College in the ďŹ rst instance. It will be of approximately three years duration and will incorporate: z a non-mandatory UK ETO CertiďŹ cate of Competency at operational level z a Foundation Degree (FD) qualiďŹ cation z a ďŹ ve-phase model of three college phases, interspersed with two sea phases. The programme will be supported by ETO workshop skills, an MNTB ETO Training Record Book and will include work-based learning in line with that included in existing FD programmes for deck and engineering officer trainees. Following successful achievement of the FD and the MCA oral exam, an MCA UK CoC will be awarded. A further 12 months sea time as an ETO and success in the MCA oral exam will provide the management level CoC. SMarT funding will be available for MNTB-approved programmes.
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10 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
Check your health in the docks Pilot scheme at Immingham centre
Mrs Blair launches Apostleship appeal Cherie Blair is pictured with Fr Patsy Foley, Apostleship of the Sea chaplain for the port of Tilbury, as she helped to kick off the charity’s annual Sea Sunday appeal last month. Mrs Blair — whose grandfather served at sea — joined seafarers and AoS volunteers at the port’s seafarers’ centre and accompanied Fr Foley on a visit to the Filipino and Burmese crew of the vessel Clipper, which regularly calls at Tilbury. The UK depends on seafarers for 90% of all imports, she pointed out, and it is vital that they are not taken for granted. ‘I remember my grandfather
going to sea back in the 60s on the mv Auriel, on the regular route between Liverpool and Nigeria,’ she added. ‘He was away for six weeks at a stretch, then home for only 10 days. As a child, those six weeks away seemed like an eternity. It’s hard to believe that all these years later, seafarers are now away from home for up to 10 months. There’s no doubt that this must be a real sacriﬁce for the families concerned.’ Sea Sunday is AoS’s annual, national fundraising and awareness campaign, which this year takes place on Sunday 12 July throughout Catholic parishes in England and Wales.
In response to recent seafarer health statistics reported in the Nautilus Telegraph, a series of special dockside health checks are to be offered to seafarers in Immingham in what is hoped will become the ﬁrst of a series of similar initiatives. The Seamen’s Hospital Society (SHS) and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) have teamed up to offer health checks to seafarers at Immingham docks during the week beginning 29 June 2009. The partnership is the ﬁrst of its kind, and is intended to be a catalyst for further initiatives supporting seafarers to stay healthy. The service will consist of two BHF nurses working from the Humber Seafarers Centre, where they will be able to provide conﬁdential one-to-one health checkups and basic advice on how seafarers and dockworkers can stay healthy. The service is offered on a voluntary, drop-in basis. SHS health development manager Nick Adlington commented: ‘Being at sea raises particular challenges for seafarers in their quest to stay healthy. We hope that by offering check-ups in partnership with the BHF, seafarers will be
able to monitor their health during the period between their biannual ENG medical examination.’ The latest Maritime & Coastguard Agency report on seafarer medicals showed a worrying increase in the numbers failing the examinations or being given restricted certiﬁcates on the grounds of obesity and associated conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. Such conditions can lead to heart attacks, strokes and other health problems. The BHF currently has two teams of nurses providing free health checks in the North of England, complementing the new NHS Health Checks programme by offering health support to those that need it most. Project manager Michael Shann said: ‘We are delighted to partner with SHS and offer any support we can to those working at Immingham’. SHS — a member of the Maritime Charities Funding Group — is keen to emphasise the scale of the wider programme. ‘We recognise that this is very small step towards supporting seafarer health,’ Mr Aldington says. ‘However, we believe it signals the intent of the society to do more in this ﬁeld’.
Project to keep port chaplains mobile A
A major programme to support seafarer welfare work around the UK has got under way with the presentation — pictured above — of the ﬁrst in a series of new vehicles to help port chaplains deliver services to visiting crews. The Maritime Charities Funding Group (MCFG) project will provide substantial grants towards the cost of replacing more than 80 vehicles — including minibuses, MPVs and cars used by port chaplains, staff, volunteers and centres in and around UK commercial and ﬁshing ports — over a ﬁve-year period. Organisations beneﬁtting from the project include the Mission to Seafarers, Sailors’ Society and Apostleship of the Sea (Great Britain), who coordinate their port welfare activities to ensure all aspects of seafarers’ welfare needs
are met, regardless of gender, race, nationality or faith. ‘The importance of a seafarer receiving an onboard visit from a trained port chaplain or simply being able to come ashore and experience a change of scenery, no matter how short the break, should not be underestimated,’ said Sailors’ Society principal chaplain David Potterton. The project is seen as a positive move in support of the future implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, and MCFG chairman Captain David Parsons added: ‘The funding charities understand that port-based welfare vehicles are essential to the provision of frontline welfare services to those assisting both visiting and locally domiciled seafarers around our coastline.’
Do you know a Merchant Navy Medal candidate?
Nominations are being invited from Nautilus members for suitable candidates for this year’s Merchant Navy Medals. The organisers of the awards – which have been made annually since 2005 – say they are made to honour ‘signiﬁcant contributions’ to the Merchant Navy, whether in the private, public or voluntary sectors. Reverend Mike Keulemans, secretary of the Merchant Navy Medal Fund, told the Telegraph: ‘We are looking for people who have made a particularly worthwhile contribution to merchant shipping or commercial ﬁshing, their operations, development,
personnel, welfare or safety, or who have performed an act of courage aﬂoat.’ Up to 15 medals are awarded to British-registered merchant seafarers each year, with a further ﬁve presented to non-seafarers who are judged to have made a signiﬁcant contribution to the maritime sector. The deadline for nominations this year is 1 August, and full details of eligibility and the award process can be found online at www. merchantnavymedal.org Forms may be obtained from the Merchant Navy Welfare Board at 30, Palmerston Road, Southampton, SO14 1LL, tel: 023 806 3444.
Double honours handed out by MN Welfare Board Pictured above is Mrs Gladys Eaton — a volunteer for Floating Christian Endeavour — receiving the annual Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) award for services to seafarers’ welfare. For over 30 years — and now at the tender age of 89 — ‘Auntie Gladys’, as she is affectionately known, has sourced and wrapped more than 3,000 Christmas presents annually for seafarers
visiting Avonmouth, Portbury, Southampton and Tilbury. This year saw the MNWB present the award to two people for the ﬁrst time, with a second presentation being made to Rev Canon Bill Christianson, who is retiring from the post of secretarygeneral of the Mission to Seafarers, in tribute to his ‘outstanding contribution to seafarers’ welfare over 40 years’.
New role for Marine Society director A
Britain’s oldest maritime charity, The Marine Society & Sea Cadets, has appointed Brian Thomas — pictured left — to the new post of director, professional seafarer operations. Mr Thomas — previously director of education at the charity — will continue to lead the life-long learning provision through the College of the Sea, but expands his role to include the administration of the JW Slater scholarships, the Nautilus-funded scheme to assist ratings seeking to train as officers. He will also oversee the ships’ library service,
supplying 120,000 books to ships and installations across the globe every year. College of the Sea student numbers are growing rapidly, with more than 600 currently studying at GCSE/A Level. ‘The consolidation of these two areas into one new directorate of professional seafarer operations will enable us to reach a greater number of people,’ said Mr Thomas. ‘With far better resources than ever before, it’s an exciting time for us and we are looking forward to building on our successes and championing the seafarer cause.’
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 11
Containership converted to anti-pirate auxiliary
‘High-risk’ zone to continue to end of the year
The Malaysian shipping company MISC has converted one of its containerships into a naval auxiliary vessel to help protect its ﬂeet against pirate attacks. A ceremony was held at the Marine & Heavy Engineering yard in Johor last month to mark the completion of the work on the 699TEU Bunga Mas Lima, pictured left, which was modiﬁed for its new role following the hijacking of two MISC ships in the Gulf of Aden last
Nautilus has welcomed the outcome of talks with UK shipowners last month which will extend the existing ‘high risk’ agreement in the Gulf of Aden until the end of the year. The agreement covers Chamber of Shipping member vessels operating in the Gulf of Aden between 45E and 53E, and the western tip of Socotra island and sets down special payments for seafarers whilst transiting the area. ‘We welcome the extension of the agreement, as the evidence shows that attacks are continuing in the area,’ said assistant general secretary Paul Moloney. ‘There is, in fact, an argument to extend the area, and it was agreed to look at this issue in the next few months once more data is available.’ Mr Moloney said Nautilus also welcomed the owners’ agreement to a national warlike operations area committee statement rejecting the arming of merchant ships in response to the threat of piracy. ‘The committee considers that the arming of merchant shipping, whether ships’ crews or private third-party security companies onboard ships, is more likely to exacerbate the risks to shipping than alleviate them and, ultimately, will place ships’ crews in greater danger,’ it notes. ‘Nautilus is aware of the ongoing debate on this issue, but we are ﬁrmly of the opinion — strongly endorsed by the debate at the BGM — that arming ships is not the solution to the problem,’ Mr Moloney added. z The Dutch shipowners’ association, KNVR, has welcomed a statement from defence secretary Eimert van Middelkoop on the possibility of placing armed marines onboard vulnerable Dutch merchant ships. KNVR said it believes that as military protection against pirate attacks has not always been available for merchant ships, there is an increased chance that owners will use private security companies — of which KNVR disapproves. The Netherlands has also backed calls for the establishment of an international tribunal to bring pirates to justice.
IMO upholds ‘no guns’ policy Unions call for action on the welfare of attacked crews during debate on piracy guidance
Maritime unions have urged the International Maritime Organisation to do more for the welfare of seafarers caught up in piracy attacks. And last month the IMO’s maritime safety committee also upheld the principle of protecting the civilian status of merchant seafarers by urging ﬂag states not to allow the carriage and use of ﬁrearms. In a debate on the revision of IMO guidance on preventing and suppressing piracy and armed attacks on shipping, the issues of arming seafarers and using armed guards proved highly controversial – but delegates agreed that the IMO should maintain its previous recommendation to
‘strongly discourage’ the arming of seafarers. However, the committee also agreed that the use of unarmed security personnel was a matter for individual owners and operators, whilst the carriage of armed guards or soldiers under military command on merchant ships was a matter for individual ﬂag states. The meeting heard that the number of attacks reported to the IMO had risen to 306 last year — an increase of 8.5% from 2007 — and that 157 incidents had been reported within the ﬁrst four months of this year. But Giles Noakes, chief security ofﬁcer
for the owners’ organisation BIMCO, told the meeting: ‘Armed guards on ships are inappropriate and an admission of failure by the international community to guarantee the safe passage of merchant ships under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.’ The meeting also agreed the wording of new advice for seafarers who may be kidnapped by pirates — with special guidance on how to act if taken hostage, based on current United Nations guidelines on ‘surviving as a hostage’. International Transport Workers’ Federation delegates told the meeting of concerns over the lack of proper welfare sup-
port for seafarers — warning of cases in which former hostages had attempted suicide or suffered nervous breakdowns. They urged the IMO to ensure that seafarers are given professional assistance to handle possible traumas arising after hostage incidents, and not forced back to work before they have recovered. The Ukranian delegation put forward a proposal from the crew of the former hijacked vessel Faina that a doctor be allowed to board captured vessels to assess the health of the crew. The new guidance includes a series of ‘best management practices’ to protect ships from attack.
Navies warn over new tactics A
Somali pirates could be shifting their attacks from the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea and the Seychelles, and are increasingly operating at night, allied naval forces have warned. In an updated Special Maritime Advisory message, the Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) urged merchant seafarers to beware of changes in pirates’ tactics following bad weather and the intensiﬁed naval patrols in the region. The advisory provides several new recommendations — urging merchant ships to use the weather to their advantage, plan-
ning new routeing off the east coast of Somalia due to the start of the SW monsoon season. The message warns that pirates have used ‘mother ships’ to extend their range of operations off the eastern Somali coast, stretching all the way to and beyond the Seychelles. It also highlights ‘a new area of potential risk’ following a conﬁrmed pirate attack in the southern Red Sea, at the northern end of the Bab Al Mendeb. The advice says pirates have recently increased the number of attacks during the hours of darkness — stressing the need for
heightened vigilance of merchant mariners during both day and night time transits through the high-risk areas. ‘The prior preparation and vigilance of merchant mariners at all times of day and night is more important now than ever,’ said Vice Admiral Bill Gortney, CMF commander. ‘In this environment, the importance of merchant mariners as ﬁrst line defenders against pirates is absolutely vital,’ said CMF deputy commander Commodore Tim Lowe. ‘The crews of those merchant vessels that have employed evasive manoeuvring
Masters fined for collision
Protests at PC piracy game
and other defensive measures to protect their ships and their cargoes have proven to be more successful at evading attack.’ The advisory provides routing advice to minimise the risk of attack during the southwest monsoon, noting that the sea conditions off the East coast of Africa during the period from end of May to early September will reduce the likelihood of successful attack. Mariners are encouraged to take advantage of areas of heightened sea state, it says, but should continue to remain at a high state of alert.
Crew clothing for a
Seafaring unions have reacted with dismay at a ‘distasteful’ new piracy computer game which they claim trivialises the threats faced by members. US company Kuma Games has cashed in on the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama by launching a multiplayer PC game called Somali Showdown: Pirates on the High Seas. Henrik Berlau, coordinator for the Maersk Network of unions, said: ‘We call on the producers to withdraw this game in respect to the more than 200 seafarers presently held hostage off Somalia.’
year. Bunga Mas Lima is being crewed by MISC personnel sailing as navy reservists. Royal Malaysian Navy seafarers will also be onboard to carry out security-related operations. According to international law, an auxiliary ship is a ship other than a warship which is owned or under the ruling control of the military. It is operated by the government and thus, the ship is accorded sovereign immunity.
Pictured above is the 114,500gt cruiseship Costa Paciﬁca, which was named in the Italian port of Genoa last month in a double ceremony with the 92,600gt Costa Luminosa. The two vessels are the ﬁrst of ﬁve presently on order for Costa Cruises at Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente yard. The Italian-ﬂagged
Costa Paciﬁca is capable of carrying up to 3,780 passengers and will be followed by the sistership Costa Deliziosa, which is due to join the ﬂeet in January 2010. Costa Cruises currently has a ﬂeet of 14 ships and reported a record total of 1.2m passengers last year. Picture: Eric Houri
Two French ferry masters have been ﬁned following a collision in foggy conditions off the Brittany coast. A court in Lorient ruled that the two masters of the inter-island ferries île de Groix and Saint-Tudy were responsible for the accident. The court found that there had been a succession of unexpected events, negligence, inadequate coordination and no radio contact between the two vessels. The île de Groix was off course while the Saint-Tudy was navigating too fast in the conditions of reduced visibility. The île de Groix captain was ﬁned €3,000, half suspended, while the Saint-Tudy master was ﬁned €2,000, with a one-month suspended prison term.
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12 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
Year-long competition seeks to find the world fleet’s fittest seafarers A
A year-long competition to ﬁnd the world’s ﬁttest seafarers is set to kick off next month. Organised by The Physical Initiative preventative health service, The Seafarers’ Challenge aims to encourage crew members to compete amongst themselves, within their company ﬂeets and against other ﬂeets by gaining points based on time spent exercising at sea. Physical Initiative director Andrew Neighbour told the Telegraph: ‘I have been planning to launch a competition like this for some time, initially with just one company, but the feedback we have been getting from our travels around the industry led me to believe that this could capture energy from all quarters.’ ‘Designing our website to accommodate the results was the key to starting such a challenge, and that has taken some time and
On your bike: seafarers keeping healthy at sea
ﬁnance to complete,’ he added. ‘Having a database to collect and publish the information was necessary, and as nothing like this has been tried before to my knowledge it is all new territory...let’s hope it works!’ The Challenge is open to all ships irrespective of nationality,
type, and wherever they are in the world. Seafarers can be entered by their ships’ captains who will need to authorise their participation and coordinate the results to be emailed to Physical Initiative, who hope to persuade ships’ crews to enter as part of a team
rather than as individuals. The top scoring seafarer will be recognised monthly and at the end of the Challenge, along with the top scoring ship’s crew. The Challenge will run for one year, at the end of which a ‘reward weekend’ will be held for the leading crews and individuals to celebrate their successes. ‘The nature of the Reward Weekend is yet to be ﬁnalised, as it will depend on the amount of contributions we can persuade maritime organisations to make’ said Mr Neighbour. ‘Our ambition is to send the winners and company representatives to a major sports training and leisure resort for a long weekend. The location will depend on how many companies we can attract to the Challenge. So the more seafarers take part, the better the prize!’ fFor more information, visit www.physicalinitiative.co.uk and go to the Seafarers Challenge tab.
New centre to watch over ships
A new ship monitoring centre, capable of tracking around 10,000 ships and generating a minimum of 40,000 position reports every day, has been opened by European Union member states. Launched on 1 June, the EU Long Range Identiﬁcation and Tracking of ships Data Centre (EU LRIT DC), administered by the European Maritime Safety Agency, presently covers between 20% to 25% of the world ﬂeet subject to LRIT, and can track EUﬂagged ships and any vessel operating within a 1,000nm zone of a participating state’s coastline. A total of 32 countries —including all 27 EU member states — are presently part of the EU LRIT system, and the number may increase if other third countries join in the future. gMCA offers advice on LRIT — see page 46.
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Cork course on BRM for pilots now attended a special bridge resource A management course held at the National Maritime
More than 80% of marine pilots in Ireland have
College of Ireland (NMCI). The college has been delivering the Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (BRMP) courses since December 2006. The course lasts just under three days and includes lectures, case studies and ship simulation. BRM elements are included, but are customised to complement the work of the pilot. Pilotage superintendents and harbour masters are also encouraged to attend. The BRMP is a key element of an overall package of
courses for the port sector that will be delivered by the NMCI in partnership with the Port of Cork. Drawing on the expertise of port professionals and college lecturing staff, the partnership will deliver training to the industry through the use of modern simulation equipment, port facilities and the state-of-the-art instruction environment of the NMCI. Pictured above on a recent BRMP course are, left to right, front: Port of Cork pilot Nicholas Burke, Port of Belfast pilot Richard O’Shea, Port of Belfast pilot Marc Verhoeven, Port of Waterford pilot Victor Whitty, and Port of Belfast pilot Philip O’Brien; and rear: NMCI lecturers Bill Kavanagh, Peter Walter and Rod Cooke.
Company challenges ISM Code withdrawal A
A long-running dispute in Denmark over the withdrawal of a company’s International Safety Management document of compliance (DoC) is poised to go to the country’s highest court. The dispute began when the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) withdrew the DoC from Copenhagen-based owner H.Folmer, following a series of warnings over the company’s safety record and, in particular, several port-state control detentions of its general cargo vessels.
Folmer appealed against the DMA decision but — even before it was upheld by a tribunal — had transferred the ISM management of its ships to another Danish company, Erria. Folmer then took the DMA to a higher court to get the DoC decision reversed and win compensation, but lost that appeal in March this year. Now the company is planning to take the case to the Danish Supreme Court. If the DMA were to be over-ruled, it could have worldwide implications.
Flagstates have to tread warily when considering the withdrawal of a DoC, widely regarded as a licence to trade. Arne Ulstrup, the DMA’s chief ship surveyor, says a ‘110% watertight’ case has to be made, — putting a heavy demand on resources. In 2005 the UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency suspended the DoC of Wightlink Fast Ferries, an operator of high-speed catamarans, after the company failed to report two engineroom ﬁres. Other ﬂags withdraw DoCs but rarely publicise the fact.
Alarm over number of ‘hit and run’ cases Report says seafarers need to be reminded of ‘moral obligations’
Accident investigators have raised concern about the number of ‘hit and run’ cases involving merchant ships. Following an investigation into a collision off the Queensland coast last January, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has urged the industry to take note of the international requirements to stop and render assistance to those in danger on the sea. The ATSB said the third mate of the 1,939TEU Antigua & Barbuda-ﬂagged containership Northern Fortune had ‘disregarded his legal and moral obligations’ to ensure the safety of a crew after colliding with the ﬁshing vessel Allena. In a report on the incident — which left the ﬁshing vessel badly damaged — the ATSB criticised the lookouts on both ships for failing to spot that they were on a collision course for more than 10 miles. It said the Northern Fortune’s Serbian third mate had failed to contact the trawler or stop to render assistance to the Allena’s crew – claiming that he believed a lastminute course alteration had averted a collision. ‘He could see the ﬁshing vessel’s lights astern and he considered that his actions had prevented a collision, resulting only in a close quarters passing, so he did not report the incident to the ship’s master,’ the report said. ‘Therefore, he disregarded his
legal and moral obligations to ensure the safety of the ﬁshing vessel’s crew. ‘In such circumstances, assumptions about the welfare of the smaller vessel should not be based on scant information or incorrect observations by which the watchkeeper hopes to conﬁrm that a collision has not taken place.’ At the very least, the ATSB said, watchkeepers should positively establish by radio or other means that the other vessel has safely passed and the crew are in no danger. The third mate told investigators he had not heard any distress signals sent from the ﬁshing vessel – even though it had made a series of Channel 16 VHF calls and a Mayday over a 10-minute period — and the ATSB said watchkeepers should assume the absence of such messages is a sign that another ‘near-miss’ vessel is damaged or its crew are in danger. The report says that a number of similar cases in Australia and other parts of the world shows a need for ﬂag states to do more to address the issue. ‘In addition,’ it adds, ‘it is clear that ship operators and maritime training institutions need to reinforce the need for ships’ ofﬁcers to act responsibly, inform the master of any collision or near miss, and by so doing fulﬁl the UNCLOS requirements and their moral obligations to render assistance to fellow seafarers in distress.’
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July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 13
Inspection â€˜black listâ€™ is revealed
Tanker grounds on the Dutch coast Pictured left is the Liberian-
ďŹ‚agged tanker Akti N which ran P aground on the Dutch coast last
Aâ€˜top threeâ€™ ranking in the port state control performance league The UK ďŹ‚ag has returned to a
table, issued last month. Based on the results of inspections carried out by the European and Atlantic countries belonging to the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on port state control, the league table shows Bermuda in top place, followed by France, the UK, China and Germany. The Netherlands came in twelfth place, just behind the Isle of Man. In response to the ďŹ ndings, the MOU authorities have revised their lists of ďŹ‚ags to be targeted for increased scrutiny â€” with three new registers being placed on the â€˜black listâ€™. The Paris MOU said a â€˜hard coreâ€™ of problem ďŹ‚ags continue to ďŹ gure among the 21 registers on the blacklist â€” including North Korea, Cambodia, St Kitts & Nevis, Honduras, Mongolia, St Vincent, Belize and Panama. On a rolling average over the past three years, the worst ďŹ‚ags saw as many as 30 to 35% of inspections on their ships resulting in detentions. In contrast, just 2.2% of Dutch ships were detained after inspections and 1.43% of UKregistered ships. There are now 41 ďŹ‚ags on the â€˜white listâ€™ and under proposed new inspection rules, their ships will increasingly face fewer and less rigorous inspections as a reward.
â€˜Greenâ€™ first for CalMac ferry Canna A
The Caledonian MacBrayne passenger/vehicle ferry Canna has become one of the ďŹ rst ships in the world to be issued with a Lloydâ€™s Register â€˜green passportâ€™. The 69gt vessel â€” which operates between Rathlin Island and Ballycastle â€” has been awarded the certiďŹ cation following a training workshop for CMAL staff and a comprehensive audit process managed by the classiďŹ cation society Lloydâ€™s Register. The â€˜green passportâ€™ is an Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) to accompany ships throughout their operational lives, being brought in as part of the new international Ship Recycling Convention. It will be a few years before the convention takes effect, but all 30 ships in the Caledonian Maritime Assetsâ€™ ďŹ‚eet are being audited for the issue of green passports to ensure early compliance with the rules. The green passport aims to ensure that measures can be taken to ensure safe and environmentallyfriendly decommissioning of ships at the end of their lives. IHMs issued to the Canna and other ships in the ďŹ‚eet will be reviewed by LR on an annual basis, and renewed and re-certiďŹ ed every ďŹ ve years. CMAL MD Guy Platten said: â€˜The green passport is a great example of proactively working with industry colleagues to take action now to help assure environmental protection in the future.â€™
month, close to the popular tourist attraction Vlissingen Boulevard. The 42,450dwt vessel was in ballast and inbound through the Wielingen Channel, with a Belgian pilot onboard, when it reportedly responded to a change of orders and swung onto Flushing Roads. The turn proved to be too tight, and the tanker ended up on the beach at Vlissingen at ebb-tide. The ship was reďŹ‚oated by teams from the Dutch salvage specialist
Multraship Salvage and the Belgian ďŹ rm URS Salvage & Maritime Contracting, who used six tugs contracted under a Lloydâ€™s Open Form of salvage agreement. Following the incident, Multraship MD Leendert Muller commented: â€˜Once again we can see an example of the ability of the salvage industry to respond quickly to a maritime emergency â€”mobilising extensive resources at short notice and working in close cooperation with the local authorities, who were on high alert because the incident occurred in a heavily populated area.â€™
Maersk told to tighten up accident reporting
Investigation finds that fire and hull damage were not reported to MAIB or company DPA
AP Moller-Maersk has been urged to tighten up its accident reporting procedures following an investigation into heavy weather damage and a subsequent ďŹ re onboard one of its UK-ďŹ‚agged containerships last year. The 25,888gt Maersk Newport suffered ďŹ‚ooding in ďŹ ve compartments after the port anchor banged against the hull and holed the bow thruster room plating when the chain lashing released in heavy weather off Guernsey last November. And during repairs to the damage in the port of Algeciras ďŹ ve days later, a ďŹ re broke out, causing three oxygen and oxyacetylene bottles to explode, causing damage to the forecastle area. Accident investigators found that neither incident had been reported at the time to the
The Maersk Newport, which suffered heavy weather and fire damage in a few days last November Picture: MAIB
companyâ€™s designated person ashore or to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. Although AP Moller-Maersk has taken a number of steps in response to the case, the MAIB recommends the company to â€˜review internal and external communication procedures, control of contractors, hot work arrangements and accident reporting proceduresâ€™.
It also calls for the company to issue instructions on the preservation of voyage data recorder information for accident investigation purposes. Investigations revealed that anchor lashing had failed because it had not been sufďŹ ciently tightened and the windlass brake had not been fully applied, nor had the hawse pipe cover been ďŹ tted before the
Class V checks call A
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency has been urged to improve inspections of Class V passengerships following an investigation into a fatal accident on the Thames last August. A passenger died when he fell into the river while trying to disembark from the passenger vessel Hurlingham after an evening party on 17 August. Investigations revealed that no gangway was being used at the time, and that passengers had been allowed to continue getting off the ship while attempts were being made to manoeuvre it into position at the pier. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch report on the acci-
dent said it was â€˜inappropriateâ€™ that the vessel had been secured with just a single line when disembarking 121 passengers, but added that the mooring instructions issued by the operator, Thames Cruises, had â€˜given a confused view of what was requiredâ€™. It also highlighted shortfalls in the effectiveness of the Domestic Safety Management Code â€” pointing out that whilst the company had produced sufďŹ cient DSMC paperwork to satisfy surveyors over a seven-year period, it â€˜employed crew that had not done sufďŹ cient effective emergency drills, knew nothing of the risk assessments, and had not signed to record that they had read the safety manualâ€™.
The MAIB urged the MCA to improve the targeting of its checks on Class V passenger vesselsâ€™ compliance with DSMC procedures and to promote the adoption of measures such as the 2009 Code of Practice for Passenger Vessels on the Thames. London River Services was urged to assess the risks associated with the movement of passengers on its piers at night, and Thames Cruises was urged to review and amend its safety management system to comply with the 2009 code of practice, including systems to record accidents and near-misses and procedures to ensure that crew work in accordance with hours of work and rest regulations.
ship left Le Havre for the voyage to Algeciras. No heavy weather precautions had been taken, even though conditions were forecast to worsen. The MAIB said the ďŹ re was probably started by a discarded cigarette when repairs were being carried out in Algeciras. Flammable clothing was left near a bank of 15 acetylene gas bottles and there was â€˜a strong
possibility that this ignited and caused the ďŹ re to escalateâ€™. Because of poor communications, no shipboard permit to work control measures were in place for the planned hot work, the report added, and the contractorâ€™s safety watchman had no emergency communication link with the crew â€” impacting on the masterâ€™s ability to discharge his safety responsibilities. However, the MAIB noted that the crew had reacted promptly to the general alarm and the response had shown the beneďŹ ts of conducting ďŹ reďŹ ghting drills. It also noted that the company had taken steps to ensure that instructions on how to adjust windlass brakes were held onboard, and systematic checks were carried out to ensure that anchor security pins were available and in good order.
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14 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
shortreports CLIPPER CUTS: Clipper Marine Services is under fire from the Danish officers’ union SL for its cost-cutting plans to save around DKKK2m (£230,000) a year by replacing more than 40 Danish officers on its seven tankers with Latvians. The company says the move will be made without compulsory redundancies, but SL chairman Peer Bøje Brandenborg says the decision is short-sighted. He accused the company of lacking loyalty to the principles established when the Danish international ship register, DIS, was brought in to guarantee Danish jobs, recruitment and training on vessels flying the Danish flag. GREEK TAKEOVER: the Greek passengership market has been consolidated with closer ties between Crete-based ferry operator Anek Lines and Grimaldiowned Minoan Lines following Anek’s purchase of its rival’s 33% shareholding in leading coastal ferry operator Hellenic Seaways. Anek again suffered a loss in the first quarter of 2009 but said the situation was looking up in newly operated subsidised public service routes. SIMULATION TRAINING: the French containership operator CMA CGM is spending €400,000 over two years in state-of-the-art training for 200 masters to serve on new 11,000TEU-plus vessels being introduced into its fleet. Four to six officers at a time will undergo a weekly training course organised by the Marseilles-based National Merchant Navy Academy. BALTIC BOOST: Grimaldi, the owner of Finnlines, has announced a series of new services in the Baltic with five Star Class ro-pax vessels, currently the world’s biggest, each with a capacity of 4,200 linear metres and 500 passengers. The new links involve Helsinki, Gdynia and Travemunde (Germany). CORSICAN LEAD: Corsica Ferries has maintained its place as the leading operator between the French island of Corsica and the French and Italian mainlands, with 62% of the market share. In 2008 its 14 vessels carried almost 2.5m passengers. TANKER THREAT: a report from Frontline states that up to one-third of the orders for new tankers could be delayed or cancelled. The company recently cancelled orders for two VLCCs and four Suezmax vessels at Chinese yards. STENA VENTURE: Stena Bulk has launched a new joint venture company with the Japanese operator Asahi Tanker. Asahi Stena Tankers will invest in tonnage of varying sizes, with an initial focus on Suezmax ships.
Survey shows scale of union repression Annual report reveals that 76 activists were murdered worldwide in 2008
Last year was another difﬁcult and dangerous year for trade unionists around the world — with 76 murdered because of their work defending workers’ rights, according to a new report. The annual International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) survey of trade union rights violations, published last month, details abuses in more than 140 countries and warns that in addition to those killed, many more trade unionists were attacked, subjected to harassment and intimidation, or arrested. Although fewer union activists were killed last year (deaths fell from 91 in 2007), the number of killings in Colombia — the most dangerous place on earth to be a union member— reached 49, an increase of 10 on 2008. Elsewhere, nine trade union-
ists were murdered in Guatemala, four were killed in the Philippines and in Venezuela, three in Honduras, two in Nepal and one each in Iraq, Nigeria, Panama, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. In a number of cases, governments were either directly or indirectly involved in the killings. During the year governments in nine countries — Burma, Burundi, China, Cuba, Iran, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey and Zimbabwe — threw trade union activists in prison because of their work to win better rights for working people. UK TUC general secretary Brendan Barber commented: ‘‘At a time of global economic downturn, when employers are shedding jobs and putting pressure on workers to accept less pay, employees need a union more than ever to stand up for them.
‘Yet in some parts of the world, simply becoming a union member and ﬁghting for a better deal for colleagues, can be enough to see individuals thrown into prison, beaten up and at worst, murdered.’ ITUC general secretary Guy Ryder said governments in every region of the world are failing to protect fundamental workers’ rights, and in several cases were themselves responsible for heavy repression of these rights. ‘Certain countries, such as Colombia, Guatemala and the Philippines, appear year after year on the death list — which shows that the authorities are, at best, incapable of ensuring protection and in some cases are complicit with unscrupulous employers in the murders,’ he added. In Burma, China, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam, only ofﬁcial
state-controlled unions were allowed to operate, while in Saudi Arabia, genuine trade union activity is still effectively impossible. Heavy government interference in union affairs also continued in Belarus through much of the year. Disturbing trends in labour rights in the industrialised countries are also evident in the survey, with increasing recourse to contract labour and ‘third-party’ labour agency employment eroding incomes, conditions and rights at work. On a more positive note, the survey concludes that there was cause for optimism in Burkina Faso, Kenya and Mozambique, with the adoption of new legislation allowing unions to recruit new members, while in the Maldives, the country’s new constitution guarantees the freedom of association and the right to strike.
Pictured right is the 122,000gt cruiseship Celebrity Equinox seeing daylight for the ﬁrst time during a ‘docking out’ ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Capable of carrying up to 2,858 passengers and 1,500 crew, the 315m loa ship is the second in Celebrity’s Solstice Class ﬂeet and is due to make a maiden voyage from Southampton at the end of July. Celebrity Equinox will undertake a series of cruises from Southampton and Rome this summer before switching to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to carry out Caribbean cruises from November. The company will add three more Solstice class vessels to its ﬂeet over the next three years, and will deploy a dedicated Solsticeclass ship out of Southampton for the summer 2010 season.
LE HAVRE LINK: CMA CGM has launched West Coast Feeder 2, a new feeder route to link Le Havre with Greenock and Bristol. The company is using the 280TEU vessel Victoria for the weekly service.
US$2.2m dumping fine for Korean firm
SURVIVAL SCHEME: the Dutch company JR Shipping has launched a €8.2m ‘survival plan’ to secure funding for its fleet of 19 feeder containerships in the face of low charter rates.
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A Korean shipping company has been ﬁned some US$2.2m in the latest oily waste dumping case in the United States. STX Pan Ocean was ﬁned and placed on four years probation by a US district court after being found guilty of conspiring to fal-
sify and falsifying environmental compliance records. The chief ofﬁcer of the vessel Ocean Jade was sentenced to time served and three years of supervised release, while the chief engineer was sentenced to three years of probation and ﬁned $1,500. The two ofﬁcers had ordered
MedCoa moves into ownership ro-ro containership MedCoa A Lome, which has become the ﬁrst
Pictured above is the 17,016gt
vessel owned by the French operator MedCoa to be deployed on its services between the Mediterranean and West Africa. Built in Brazil in 1994, the Gibraltar-ﬂagged vessel — formerly the Danish-owned Frederiksborg — is running a 25-30 day service linking
the Mediterranean ports of Genoa and Marseilles with Lome, Togo, and Cotonou in Benin. MedCoa was set up in 2007 by the French maritime agency Navitrans and the shipping ﬁrm Nordana, which provides technical and crew management for the MedCoa Lome. It operates around 40 chartered vessels between the Mediterranean, North America and West Africa.
crew members to dump oily waste water from the ship using barrels and a plastic hose draped over the side of the ship. They also presented false oil and garbage record books to Coast Guard investigators in the port of Tampa in October 2008. ‘This sentence should make
clear to the shipping industry that the Justice Department, along with our federal partners, will continue to prosecute companies and crew members if they fail to abide by laws protecting the environment,’ warned acting assistant attorney general John Cruden.
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 15
Gibraltar upgrades facilities for seafarers Pictured left are Merchant Navy Welfare Board chief executive Captain David Parsons, Gibraltar Port Welfare Committee chairman Captain Jimmy Ferro, and MNWB deputy chief executive Peter Tomlin at the opening last month of a new seafarers’ reception and communications room next to the Cammell Laird dry docks at South Mole. Also opened last month was the refurbished Flying Angel seafarers’ centre at North Mole — both projects being part of a strategy to improve
ITF pay win for stranded ship’s crew A
A three-year battle to secure compensation for seafarers stranded onboard a ship in Morocco came to a successful conclusion last month. The four Ukrainian seafarers were ﬁghting for back wages owed to them by the owner of the Russianﬂagged vessel Baltiyskiy-21, abandoned in the Moroccan port of Casablanca in 2006. Tar-Trans Co, the owner of the Russian-ﬂagged vessel, and Ran Denizcilik, the shipping managers, left the crew without amenities or pay. Members of the local dock workers’ union had been meeting the seafarers’ daily expenses, and also covered legal costs so that the matter could be taken to court. Following the intervention of the port authorities and the Ukrainian embassy in Morocco, the court ruled that the seafarers should receive compensation totalling US$251,000 in differing amounts to each of the four — the seafarers have agreed to split the sum equally between them.
Union attacks Broström ‘dry ship’ policy A
Swedish seafarers have complained about a new ‘dry ship’ alcohol policy brought in by one of the country’s key tanker ﬁrms, Broström. Introduced last month ‘for safety reasons’, the alcohol ban initially covers product and chemical tankers managed from the company’s Göteborg office and managers say they plan to extend it to all ships in the ﬂeet eventually. The SBF officers’ union has complained that the policy had been ‘dictated’ and not negotiated. Union spokesman Bent Lundgren says: ‘SBF has nothing to say on the policy itself, but it is a point of principle that an employer requests MBL negotiation before an important change is made. This has not happened in this instance.’ Broström — which was acquired by AP Moller-Maersk in January — rejects the union’s complaint. Senior HR manager Kenneth Thoren says the union was informed.
Appraisals alarm SBF has expressed concern at A a new Stena Line appraisal system, The Swedish officers’ union
in which members are asked far-reaching personal questions.
‘front line’ welfare provisions for visiting crew members as a result of increasingly close work between the MNWB and the Gibraltar PWC. ‘When you consider that approximately 250 cruise ships with potentially over 200,000 crew members visit North Mole every year, as well as numerous other visiting ships, many undergoing reﬁt at South Mole, the MNWB is only too pleased to support the new and refurbished facilities in Gibraltar,’ said Capt Parsons.
SeaFrance unions reject new plans Officers and ratings remain opposed to job cuts tabled in revised ‘survival plan’ for cross-Channel operator by Jeff Apter
Unions representing seafarers working for the cross-Channel ferry operator SeaFrance have rejected management’s revised rescue plan. They remain opposed to the company’s proposed cutbacks — even though management tabled new proposals to the works council to reduce the number of job losses from 650 to 543. And last month the unions reacted with concern to SeaFrance plans to withdraw the 15,612gt ropax Renoir from service with effect from 1 July. The 1981-built vessel has been used as a stand-in ship. Management also told the works council meeting that it intends to reduce the number of weekly crossings carried out by the freight ferry Nord Pas de Calais, from 60 to 24. The company had already proposed reducing crewing levels on
the Nord-Pas de Calais and the three biggest of its four ro-ros as part of the revised package. Management said the plan would involve axing 400 jobs by July 2010, the remainder following later. The unions have dismissed the new plan — but do not agree on the way forward. CFDT, the majority ratings’ union, walked out of the meeting before any negotiations. Northern region secretary Didier Capelle said management’s position had not changed. He said that the ﬁndings of a ﬁrm of consultants hired by the unions shown that the French rail operator SNCF — which owns SeaFrance — does not need to dismiss any employees and could manage with 150 fewer jobs due to early retirement schemes. Four of the operator’s ﬁve ferries would be needed, with the ﬁfth kept as a replacement vessel or for use during peak periods, he argued.
Both the CGT union, which represents a majority of SeaFrance ofﬁcers, and the CGT ratings union stayed in the meeting and slammed the new plan — and in particular the proposed lower crewing levels. CGT ofﬁcers’ delegate Jacques Brouyer accepted SeaFrance has to restructure, but said that the consultants showed the SeaFrance plan did not justify the number of redundancies it proposed and could keep four ferries. He said the company was viable, although it was still unclear when the economic situation would improve. All sides are remaining very discreet, but it appears that negotiations on the future of SeaFrance continue — with the Nord-Pas de Calais freighter, which represents 100 jobs, apparently at the centre of discussions. Meanwhile, speculation continues over the potential for rival operators Louis Dreyfus Armateurs or Brittany Ferries to have a role in SeaFrance.
shortreports SWEDISH SETBACK: a Swedish government minister has told the country’s shipowners that they will have to continue their wait for a tonnage tax scheme. The head of the Swedish Shipowners’ Association has warned that no new vessels will be put under the national flag for as long as the policy prevails, and several Swedish owners have announced plans to switch to neighbouring registers — including the Netherlands, Denmark and the Faeroes. GREEK LOSSES: new figures show the Greek register declined by some 76 ships, totalling 4.3m dwt, over the past year. But the national register remains the most popular choice of flag for the country’s owners, with some 27% of Greek-controlled ships on its books — 1,121 vessels totalling 89.5m dwt. A boost to the register had been expected when the government gave the goahead in 2007 for foreign nationals to work on Greekflagged ships. CONTAINER SLUMP: Hamburg-based Kuene+Nagel, one of the world’s largest sea freight forwarders, has warned that global container volumes could fall by 10% this year. The worst hit sector is in trans-Pacific shipments — but all east-west trades are negative and will probably remain so in 2010 with a small increase in 2011, the company said. HAL UPGRADES: five Statendam-class cruiseships in the Holland America Line fleet are being upgraded as part of a US$525m programme. The 57,092gt Veendam is the first vessel to undergo the initial work, followed by the Rotterdam later this year and Maasdam, Rijndam and Statendam during 2010 and 2011. Further improvements will be made during a second docking period in 2012 and 2013. CREW PAID: five remaining crew on the Panamaflagged cargoship Captain Tsarev, detained since the end of November in the port of Brest following major engine deficiencies, have received their unpaid salaries and have been repatriated to Kiev, Ukraine. The Greek managers paid €58,000 owed wages and flights home after intervention by ITF officials. TEEKAY TALKS: Norwegian maritime unions have had further talks with Teekay management on controversial plans to switch ships from the national register. Capt Hans Sande, of the NSOF officers’ union, said assurances had been gained on Teekay’s continued commitment to Norwegian maritime skills. AID APPROVAL: the European Commission has ruled that shipmanagers can be allowed to benefit from tonnage tax — even if crewing and technical management are provided separately for the relevant ships. The ruling follows a review of the 2004 state aid guidelines for shipping. TAIWAN TAX: Taiwan is planning to become the latest country to introduce a tonnage tax scheme for its shipowners in a bid to boost the national flag. At present, more than 500 of the 767 Taiwanese-owned ships fly foreign flags.
Talks avert CMA CGM stoppages serving with the giant French A containership operator CMA CGM A major strike by seafarers
has been averted following an agreement between unions and management. Unions were concerned that proposed changes in owned ship management arrangements would threaten the long-standing practice of hiring former officers to
management posts and following an overwhelming vote in favour of action, unions representing more than 500 seafarers and some 630 shore staff planned a programme of 48-hour strikes to take effect as ships arrived in port. But the action was called off following talks between the unions and CMA Ships, the company in Paris that manages the group’s
owned French-ﬂagged vessels. The unions’ main demand — for the post of ﬂeet director to be ﬁlled by former officers rather than shorebased managers — was accepted. The position of ﬂeet captain — which CMA CGM intended to drop — has been retained and will remain at Le Havre, drawn from former officers working in the group. Picture: Eric Houri
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16 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
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[ STAR LETTER
Just how will the MCA manage to tackle the scandal of our hours? I have just been reading through the latest edition of the Telegraph, and a number of items have drawn my attention. Firstly, page 3 — ‘Nautilus warns IMO on security... failure of the ISPS Code to protect seafarers and ships’. I don’t understand what the surprise is here. As an active seafarer, I am sure I am not the only one who has realised that the ISPS Code has only two purposes; one is to protect (American) ports from the well recognised and documented threat of rogue merchant shipping and suicide seamen, and the second to provide a mountain of people with employment-creating, verifying penalising non-compliance of regulation of what, at least in my opinion is common sense, and has done little if anything to improve shipboard security in any way! Secondly, again due to personal experience, I was pleased to note on page 13 that the ‘MCA promises action on seafarers’ hours’. I was recently on a ship when we had an external audit for ISM renewal, carried out by an MCA surveyor. Congratulations are due to the gentleman in question, as — for the ﬁrst time in any audit I remember — I was actually asked if I was getting enough rest. On examination of my rest hours record, it showed that I had exceeded my hours nearly every day in the previous three weeks.
Have your say online In this month’s poll we want to know: Is the IMO right to rule out the arming of seafarers in response to the threat of piracy? Vote now, at nautilusint.org Nautilus conditions at sea survey: while you’re online, why not take part in the Nautilus conditions at sea survey? Give us your views at nautilusint.org
Now, I know you won’t believe this, but it actually had NOTHING to do with my love of the job and desire to work continuously for my employer’s gain, simply it was the basic hours required to do my job. Forgive me if I misjudge people here, but to me human nature is to work as little as possible for the maximum gain. For this breach, the company were given a deﬁciency and 14 days to investigate and resolve the matter. Three weeks later I left the ship and nothing had changed other than the matter being pushed back to the MCA to chase up with the company who had taken no action to the knowledge of the vessel. As I have been on leave since, they MAY have concocted some scheme to resolve the problem. However, I would have considered that even a basic management system would have pointed someone in my direction to make enquiries about the cause. Of course I have heard nothing, so expect there will be no change on my return. So what I want to ask is, just what do the MCA intend to do about it? From my view, I and most seafarers are perfectly capable of managing their hours of rest — it is only once outside parties become involved that things go wrong; waiting around for pilots and ports, terminals advising incorrect completion/ departure times making for mistimed calling of crew, and one of the ones that annoy me the most, port schedules planned/organised by the ofﬁce that
make it simply impossible to keep within your hours. To me, this should also fall within the company ISM and relevant audits to ensure they don’t effectively cause a breach of regulations. As the related article on the BGM states, until masters feel they can take control of hours without retribution from above, the problem will continue! What happens to the lorry driver who exceeds the hours on his tacho, and is the airline pilot allowed to ﬂy on another week or month once his hours are up? So what difference is it for me? Oh yes, I’m a seafarer — out of sight, out of mind — so let’s talk about if for another couple of years! Finally, the report on the incident on Maersk Kithira. Before going on, obviously my thoughts are with the family of the deceased, and this is no reﬂection on his part, but to me highlights another fault in company SMS. As usual, in our ‘no blame culture’, the blame has been laid at the feet of the ship. I am a little rusty on employment law, but I understood that the employer was supposed to provide a safe system of work. To me, the Maersk system does not. It provides a means to create a risk assessment, but they have passed the actual task and responsibility onto the ship and, for my part certainly, personnel untrained in any way for that task — other than maybe an audio-visual CD, (but it’s practically free and can be done in your
spare time — see above!). Kithira, and the related class of ships have a history of ﬂooding of forward compartments. Surely a prudent manager/operator would therefore initiate some risk assessment for such an incident and the investigation of it? It is always easy with hindsight to say one task should not have led to another without further consideration — but that is also not always prudent/possible. It is interesting to note that future precautions again fall to the ship, not the company, such as installing CCTV in obscured areas to prevent the need for on site inspection of suspect danger areas, simply banning access forward in certain sea states and taking the consequences of damage, or blanket instructions on speed limits in certain weather conditions rather than leaving the decision to the master and then kicking him when he’s down. It has been acceptable to remove his decisionmaking authority on much lesser matters! Finally, and we are back to management again, in 1980, a much larger ship sank not so far from the Kithira incident and that loss has been partially credited to ﬂooding from a foc’sle hatch. I’m certain few if any making the investigation into the fatality would have any recollection of that incident with the Derbyshire, but maybe it was in the mind of the CEO. RIP. mem no 179029
Film shows why we need to save our ﬁsheries A ﬁlm has been produced which I would like to recommend to readers of the Telegraph. End of the Line, which runs for 80 minutes, is a visual feast shot around the world’s oceans, ports and restaurants. It shows Charles Clover, author of the book of the same name, investigating the world’s ﬁsheries and their markets. Footage of the blueﬁn tuna ﬁshery and the associated marketing is so trenchant that several supermarkets have already taken the ﬁsh off their shelves. The species is being ﬁshed to extinction, and one large shipbuilding company holds a huge frozen stock. The ﬁlm also shows issues to do with various other ﬁsheries, which have one thing in common. The fact that they are ﬁshed out, one by one, is supported by statistics. Farming ﬁsh is no solution if they are fed from wild stocks which themselves are declining. Advice to the viewer of the ﬁlm is to buy
former GS It was with great sadness that I learnt of the death of the past general secretary of NUMAST, John Newman. He was a real gentleman who had a passion for the industry, compassion for the membership and a rugged determination when dealing with shipowners and government to secure the best interests of professional seafarers. Serving on Council with John was an absolute pleasure with his warmth of character, his understanding and patience with those around him and his ability to transmit their concerns and aspirations where it mattered. His stature and many achievements in the Union will be fondly remembered. RUSS GARBUTT Retired ships master mem no 071248
Titanic trip is bad taste I wonder if anyone else finds the idea of the Balmoral’s 2012 Titanic ‘replica’ voyage and indeed the whole presentday Titanic ‘circus’, mawkish and ultimately disrespectful? The loss of the Titanic was at best a tragic muddle and at worst a professional disgrace. Apart from serious study and genuine remembrance, it may best be consigned to history. In the interests of the mirrored authenticity, can we expect the Balmoral to leave half her lifeboats ashore prior to The Voyage? Capt J.A. GRAHAM mem no 063985
Time barred I have just read in Healthy, the Holland and Barrett magazine (May/June): ‘Researchers from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health investigated 2,214 civil servants and discovered that those who worked more than 55 hours a week had poorer mental skills than those who worked a 40 hour week.’ And how many civil servants are in charge of a merchant ship? ROSE KING mem no 428796
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only ﬁsh that you know is from a sustainable source, and to support the Marine Bill now going through Parliament. They need to lobby their MPs soon, because the draft Bill’s provision of no-ﬁshing zones and marine parks designed to regenerate the environment is weak. One per cent will not sufﬁce. The ﬁlm includes scenes shot in the marine park at Exuma Cays, the Bahamas. There are brilliant views, especially
contrasted with shots taken of the seabed with a trawl going over it. End of the Line shows that unless action is taken, such as the above, all the world’s ﬁsh stocks could be gone by 2048, with predictable environmental, economic and social consequences. It is pitched at a good level and avoids sensationalism. I am convinced. CLIVE RAYMOND mem no 147295
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July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 17
Different ideas for dealing with pirates Many years ago I recognised the fact that pirates cannot be stopped by warships, as is clear now. Even Vice Admiral Bill Gortney, commander, Combined Maritime Forces now understands this. I am strongly opposed to arming ships’ crews and propose a different way to address the problem: This plan proposes to help protect shipping vessels from pirate attacks. Because shipowners and governments will not arm their ships, pirates are given a free-for-all opportunity. Because piracy occurs mostly off the shores of countries with widespread corruption, some authorities cooperate with the pirates. Overlooked or assisted by the authorities and preying on unarmed vessels, attacking pirates have nothing to fear and can act without peril. See the article www.msnbc.msn.com/ id/21318999/. By contrast, when set upon by pirates, the towing vessel London’s crew ﬁred distress rockets and the pirates ran for cover. Protection provided by naval man-of-war ships is not effective because the seas are vast. The Strait of Malacca is between 25 and 80nm wide. Nor can ships rely on assistance from shore radio stations. When the Dutch vessel Frans was on ﬁre off Dubai her emergency call was not answered. See the article www.ibiblio.org/ maritime/Scheepvaartnieuws/ Pdf/scheepvaartnieuws/2003/ juni/076-21-06-2003A.PDF on page ﬁve. ‘A proper pirate is a dead one’, is an old Wijdenesser saying. Yet arming sailors is not the answer. Handling a gun properly takes months of training and, after all, sailors did not choose a ﬁghting career. Vigilance is key. These days, only fun-loving yachties ﬂy the Jolly Roger. Pirates may disguise themselves as peaceful ﬁsherman until they suddenly attack. Guarding the ship against piracy cannot be left solely to the ship’s crew. Dedicated ship’s duties leave little extra time for patrolling, nor do crew members possess the proper training. Defending against boarding pirates with charged ﬁre hoses and a prayer is not effective against heavily armed attackers in the middle of nowhere. The ISPS (International Ship & Port Facilities Code) does not offer enough protection. Seven to ten well-trained and heavily armed marines should be stationed aboard ships transiting known perilous passages. Marines have but one objective; guard and defend. Three marines should be on continuous watch duty; one on the port bridge wing, one on the starboard bridge wing and one on the stern. This applies at sea as well as in port. Training will be needed for best cooperation between merchant sailors and marines. Of course,
his engine casing and set him on ﬁre. He drifted astern. The second boat came in quickly along the port side and the crew heaved cargo blocks onto the people in the boat. Screams and cries came up, and that craft also drifted astern. The third pirate was now helping his mates who were on ﬁre. The helm was put over and we went round in a circle, and they apparently lost us. An hour later course was resumed. OK, we were lucky. There were no other ships in the area and we got away with it. No reports were sent in, but all onboard were well satisﬁed with a good night’s work. Do merchant ships carry arms? We always used to have at least six riﬂes locked in the captain’s lobby on the China coast, and the accommodation was wired in. Today, with modern weapons it would be possible to arm ships. There may be casualties to start with, but eventually I think such action could have positive results. And if you see a ship with no lights on, don’t moan — get out of the way. Capt J.R. INNISS mem no 047651
THE VIEW FROM MUIRHEAD
language and cultural differences will need to be addressed. TNO-FEL, a Dutch research institute, developed a training module to teach sailors how to deal with pirates peacefully. Lack of interest from shipowners put an end to it. Capt JAAP STENGS mem no 1156012 I have read with some interest the recent letters in the Telegraph concerning the problem of piracy and the argument for and mainly against arming merchant vessels. Many of the negative attitudes of over 30 years ago still prevail today, and the world has become a much more dangerous place since then. The story I can now tell after 30 odd years has never been broadcast before, especially to the ship’s owners, for obvious reasons. Piracy was prevalent, especially in the Malacca Strait and off west Africa. At that time the bad guys always kept well clear of Israeli ships — Zim Line — and Russian vessels. Both were well armed and used the weapons. The Zim ships would sail along with the funnel lights on in piracy waters. The ship I was on had a sprinkling of British and Indian
ofﬁcers, with a Pakistani crew. We had been lying off Singapore for a week undergoing engine repairs and the crew had purchased a fair quantity of goodies ashore. TVs, fridges etc. Because of the piracy threat most of these items were locked up in an unused cargo hatch. At least three ships were boarded whilst we were in Singapore, so on sailing it was decided amongst us all that we were not going to be the next victim. Large heavy cargo blocks were laid out under the bulkheads down aft. The puerile idea of putting lights over the side was dispensed with, though the ﬁre hoses were charged and made ready. On leaving the Horsboro light on a clear moonless night, all the ship’s lights were turned off, including the navigation lights. A very thorough lookout was maintained. Expired parachute ﬂares were placed ready down aft. At 0200 in the morning three very fast launches could be seen on the radar off on our beam. They swept about for 20 minutes or so looking for us, then two of them made a run in on our starboard quarter. The ﬁrst was almost under the counter when a ﬂare was ﬁred directly into him. It ignited on
There is some very interesting debate in the June issue of the Telegraph re arming of ships... the words ‘responsibility’ and ‘escalation’ being essential to the argument. Here is my take on the subject: We are not going to stop piracy by discussing issues of responsibility. We have an expensive, reasonably effective force patrolling the Gulf of Aden and that is all we are going to get. At some point in the near future it will disappear for economic or political reasons. When Somalia is sorted out, pirates will move elsewhere. The ships that feed the consumer world are part of a huge commercial supply chain, which is oiled by proﬁt. Piracy disrupts this essential process but private security can provide a cost-effective solution. If, for example, a town is plagued with a spate of burglary, the local bobby cannot stand outside every house. We can pay for
telegraph STAFF editor: Andrew Linington production editor: June Cattini reporters: Mike Gerber Sarah Robinson web editor: Matthew Louw
an extra patrol car, or install cameras. These will only facilitate response to a crime after it has been committed. They do not necessarily prevent it from happening in the ﬁrst place. They may cramp the burglar’s style but they won’t stop a determined and well organised criminal gang. So what to do? Put yourself in the pirate’s shoes — you have a few old weapons, but that’s all you need to intimidate and stop a hugely expensive ship. You have no military training and you are no marksman. So what? These big fat ships have no weapons! Not only that, but their owners are insured up to the hilt and will readily pay you millions for the safe return of their ship and crew. You make money, the negotiators make even more money, the company gets their kit back. Now ask yourself, with this scenario and with the high volume of trafﬁc transiting the Gulf, what would be the point in attacking a ship with a very visible bunch of Royal Marine types armed with .50 calibre sniper riﬂes and high-velocity weapons with night-vision sights? None whatsoever! The question of escalation doesn’t even ﬁgure here — that has already been initiated by the naval ﬂeet. They started using helicopters, so the pirates went out and bought Manpad groundto-air missiles. We need to adopt a ‘Wells Fargo’ approach to ship protection. If companies want to safeguard their assets they must pay for someone to ride ‘shotgun’. Until the international community regulates security companies offering armed deterrence, shipping companies should choose only those security providers who know the rules and can demonstrate strict standards of selection, training and vetting of their operatives. These companies will provide highly-disciplined and keen-eyed former soldiers who know more about restraint, ‘rules of engagement’, close-quarter combat and ship protection than the government, IMO and insurance companies put together. They have, after all, been there and done it. JIM COWLING Managing Director Shipguard Limited
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GENERAL SECRETARY Mark Dickinson MSc (Econ) HEAD OFFICE Oceanair House 750–760 High Road Leytonstone, London E11 3BB tel: +44 (0)20 8989 6677 fax: +44 (0)20 8530 1015 www.nautilusint.org NETHERLANDS OFFICE Schorpioenstraat 266 3067 KW Rotterdam Postbus 8575, 3009 AN Rotterdam tel: +31 (0)10 4771188 fax: +31 (0)10 4773846 NORTHERN OFFICE Nautilus House, Mariners’ Park Wallasey CH45 7PH tel: +44 (0)151 639 8454 fax: +44 (0)151 346 8801 DEPARTMENT EMAILS general: firstname.lastname@example.org membership: email@example.com legal: firstname.lastname@example.org Telegraph: email@example.com industrial south: firstname.lastname@example.org industrial north: email@example.com central services: firstname.lastname@example.org welfare: email@example.com professional and technical: firstname.lastname@example.org Nautilus International also administers the NUMAST Welfare Funds and the J W Slater Fund, which are registered charities.
18 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
Scope to sail is curbed by certiﬁcates I was reading in the June Telegraph a letter from a chief engineer about the problems he is facing with the limitation on his CoC. I have similar issues. I have a Masters Unlimited Tonnage NC certiﬁcate which, after re-training from the ﬁshing industry, took me sixyearsofvariousstudiesandfouroralexaminations to qualify. Just let me explain the process — and at nearly 50 years old it wasn’t easy: z1st NVQ for OOW Unlimited + MCA oral, passed ﬁrst time 1999-2002 z2nd MCA oral exam Ch Mate <30,00t Unlimited Area, Passed 1st time 2002 z3rd SVQ Ch Mate Unlimited Tonnage NC + MCA oral exam passed ﬁrst time November 2003 zMCA oral exam Master Unlimited Tonnage NC, passed ﬁrst time May 2005 So you see the time and process involved and by then I was 54 years old, but the problem is that when I started my retraining I was looking to get a Limited European Area (LEA) or even an Extended European Area (EEA) certiﬁcate, not a Near Coastal. While I was doing all this I was not made aware that the rules had been changed, or I would have more than likely chosen a different route, ie Class 1 ﬁshing, and then completed the modules to get any restrictions taken off. I have been in touch with the MCA, the local MP, local MEP and the IMO. Now my MP and MEP have both written to the MCA, which in turn was referred to the shipping minister, who in turn seeks advice from the MCA. Now correct me if I am wrong, but I have issues with the MCA and that is why I involved my MP etc — so why does the man at the top (shipping minister) ask the very people I have issues with for advice? It is farcical and makes a mockery of the whole system. I know our minister has no maritime background because I have been on his website, so how can he do a job he knows nothing about and also make ministe-
rial decisions on such matters? The MCA have told me that if I want to command a vessel outside the NC area then I must go back to college and study for my Chief Mate Unlimited which takes about 10 months and also pass another MCA oral exam, and once I have done that I have to get one year’s sea time from then, which takes two years on a one-off/one-on rota which we work. By then I will be 61 years old, plus I will have to come ashore for a year and also all the course fees etc. Now does that make sense? I do not want a foreign going unlimited area certiﬁcate, but I would like to have the scope to sail more than 150nm from a safe haven in the UK. To quote the MCA, I am competent to command a vessel of any tonnage up to 150nm from the said safe haven but not 151nm, yet I can go anywhere in the world in charge of a watch on any size of vessel. We all know there are more dangers in near coastal waters than deepsea, so the rules seem a bit backward to me. I have spoken to a number of seafarers and they were not aware that the rules had been changed and some are in the same predicament as myself and the chief engineer I mentioned earlier. So I think Nautilus should invite its members who have these issues to get together and challenge the MCA and the government to change the rules that will beneﬁt the seafarer and not just change them without the consideration of the people it affects. Capt ANTHONY ROACH mem no 193930
Senior national secretary Allan Graveson replies: At the start of this member’s ‘conversion’ from the ﬁshing industry, all that was available was a Near Coastal Voyage Certiﬁcate or an Unlimited Certiﬁcate. The route followed conﬁrms this. There was substantial information provided in the Telegraph. In addition, the MCA published M Notices.
Shots of sea life Good day, Nautilus! Maybe I’m too late with my pictures for the Life at Sea photography competition, but I still want to represent them and to have your comments back. SERGEY GRIB Second mate
MN goes on parade at Broadstairs The Broadstairs RNLI is organising Sea Sunday in the town, on 5 July 2009. This year the theme is Merchant Navy, and for this reason the Marine Officers’ Society of Thanet (MOST) is assisting the RNLI by encouraging MN organisations and individuals to lead a parade through the town, with their standards where applicable, behind the British Legion Youth Band from Brentford. The parade will go to the harbour jetty, where a service will be held at noon, near high water, to commemorate all those who lost their lives at sea. For those in the parade, which is
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Collect up to £15,000 to help your studies… Are you a Merchant Navy rating considering career progression? The JW Slater Fund, administered by Nautilus International, offers awards of up to £15,000 to help ratings study for a first certificate of competency. And there is a discretionary bonus of £1,000 on obtaining an approved OOW Certificate. Over the past decade alone, Slater Fund awards have been given to more than 800 individuals. Named in honour of former MNAOA general secretary John Slater, the awards are made to selected UK-resident ratings aged 20 or over.
The money can be used towards the costs of any necessary full- or part-time education, and to provide some financial support during college phases for those off pay. Nautilus International is now inviting applications for the 2009 awards. If you want to make the next move, don’t leave things to chance — fill in the form on the right, or apply via
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due to move off from the Pierremont War memorial at 1130, free light refreshments will be available at the end of the service. Also in the Pavilion, at 1400, the Merchant Mariners’ Federation is arranging for a presentation of MN veterans’ badges to approximately 25 men. A number of ships and boats will lie off the end of the jetty during the service including the Calais lifeboat and the historical William & Kate Johnson, which was the RNLI’s largest sailing lifeboat, originally based in Liverpool. The local HM Coastguard aircraft will drop poppies into the sea.
Avoidable accident First, and most of all, my sympathies go to the Ross family for their tragic loss (‘MAIB warns of heavy weather risks after fatal accident probe’ — June Telegraph). I served with P&O Containers for some time, leaving while they were P&O NedLloyd. I find it hard to believe this happened; you only have to look back a decade to a similar incident on board the Singapore Bay involving again the tragic loss that time of a senior, well respected and equally liked bosun, in chillingly similar circumstances. Bad weather, ingress of water foreword, crew going out on the exposed fore peak and being hit by a wave. This should have been remembered by these guys and the captain. It may sound harsh, hindsight and all, but the experience of what the risk was, was there! The captain should have acted, and no access to the open deck there granted. A sad, sad day and a sad, sad loss. Again, my heart, sympathy and prayers go to the Ross family. EX-P&O CONTAINERS ENGINEER
MOST is also organising a dinner/ dance in the evening, with any profit to the RNLI. Both in the parade and at the dinner/dance, we are hoping for a good turn-out of MN and ex-MN. It is a rare chance to meet up with old pals or make new ones, and put the MN on show. Please encourage any of your MN friends or organisations to come. g For more information or dinner/ dance tickets (£30 each) contact me on 01843 863381 (or jaygeebean@ yahoo.co.uk). Capt JOHN BEAN MOST President mem no 312752
Horror at advert It is with horror that I find in the appointments section of June’s Telegraph a company advertising candidates from the Ukraine. The company concerned is Lerus Limited and are offering to provide ‘comprehensive recruiting services for international shipowners. We can help with any aspect of recruiting qualified seafarers and offer all the assistance you require to employ the best candidates available from Ukraine’. Have you no vetting system for this type of advertising? I do not wish to sound prejudiced, I am sure that Ukraine has some very good seafarers, but surely we need to protect our own jobs. I seem to remember a while ago you published a company advertising foreign crews and there was an outburst then. I guess that there will be another now. I also refer you to the letters section and the point made from member 184705 headed ‘I’m fed up with hearing about officer shortage’ which I totally agree with. BRIAN HUTSON mem no 178294 The editor replies: We apologise for this mistake, which arose because of a recent change in the advertising management arrangements for the Telegraph. Steps have been taken to ensure that such advertisements are not accepted in future.
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 19
Nigerian militants last month released the second of two British hostages they seized from an offshore support vessel last September. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said it had decided to release diver Matthew Maguire as a ‘gift’ to mark his birthday on 1 June. Nautilus member Captain Robin Hughes, who was released two months previously, talks to the Telegraph about the experience... Capt Robin Hughes and Matthew Maguire during their captivity in Nigeria Picture: Reuters
Shipmaster tells of his long hostage ordeal Security procedures A “ were of little use against heavily armed pirates ” Prime minister Gordon Brown welcomed the release last month of the second of two British men seized from an offshore support vessel off Nigeria last September. Nautilus member Captain Robin Hughes is now recovering at home after spending seven months held hostage after his vessel, the HD Blue Ocean, was attacked in the Niger Delta. And last month diver Matthew Maguire was freed following nine months in captivity. The prime minister said the news was ‘a great relief to all concerned’ and he extended his thanks to ‘all those who have worked so hard on this case’. Capt Hughes and Mr Maguire were among 27 people seized from the ship some seven hours after it departed from Port Harcourt on 8 September last year to go to another vessel working offshore. ‘We were to supply her, do a small crew change and carry out an underwater survey for class,’ said Capt Hughes. But, some 14nm SE of the Bonny Fairway Buoy, the HD Blue Ocean was approached from the stern by a speedboat carrying eight heavily armed men. Capt Hughes told the Telegraph there was no time to take defensive or deterrent actions to try and prevent the ship from being boarded. ‘At the time of the boarding we were in a very heavy tropical downpour and visibility was poor,’ he explained. ‘The lookout who would normally be looking aft, was with me keeping a good watch forward. We did not see the pirates coming from aft. ‘We did carry out security procedures onboard,’ he added, ‘but they were of little use against heavily armed pirates. They each
carried AK47 assault riﬂes, some had knives. They also had RPGs.’ After being taken ashore, most of the 29 crew were released — but Capt Hughes and Mr Maguire remained in captivity — initially being moved regularly to avoid government troops who were searching for them. Reports suggsted the kidnappers had demanded a ransom, and the release of the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Henry Okah, who has been held by the Nigerian government on arms trafﬁcking charges. Capt Hughes said he had been held with Mr Maguire because they were British. ‘They said that the British government was in control of Nigeria, not the Nigerian government. They thought our being held as hostages would inﬂuence the British government to put pressure on the Nigerian government to secure their demands,’ he explained. ‘We were originally held for ransom but the Nigerian government’s policy was not to pay one penny, so it became political. We were being held to secure the release of Henry Okah, MEND’s leader. But we both knew that we were not important enough to secure his release, and prayed that the Nigerian government would release him or MEND would release us.’ Capt Hughes said they had been treated relatively reasonably during the captivity. ‘We were not physically abused, but some MEND militants enjoyed giving us verbal abuse and threats of physical abuse. Living conditions were very primitive. We got two meals a day, sometimes only a bowl of boiled rice in a 24 hour period. ‘We were given bottled mineral water when they had money. We
used to collect our own rainwater as we knew this was reasonably pure. The militants used to drink well water which was green in colour. We also drank this when there was nothing else. I have to say it did not do us any harm. ‘When there was no money we had to beg for a squeeze of toothpaste and borrow someone else’s soap to wash,’ he added. Capt Hughes — who has served at sea for 43 years, starting as an apprentice with the New Zealand Shipping Company — said his seafaring experience had eased him through the ordeal. ‘The sometimes tough life at sea and the training this job gives you certainly helped,’ he added. Throughout the period, he was unable to have any contact with family and friends. ‘I was offered the use of a cell phone once, but declined as I did not want the militants to get my home number in case they would hassle my family.’ And he always believed he would be freed eventually — despite fearing for his life at one stage.‘After we were kidnapped for ﬁve days the Nigerian Joint Task Force attacked the barracks where we were being held with two helicopters and ﬁve gunboats. The main ﬁghting was not near where we were being held, however, in the afternoon,the Joint Task Force gunboats got very near. ‘The militants said if they got too close they would shoot us. We ended up lying in mud on our stomachs with gunboat bullets ﬂying above our heads and two militants behind us with their guns pointed at us. I thought I was going to die that day. For some reason the gunboats suddenly stopped ﬁring and departed. That night we were moved to a small village and felt a lot safer.’ Although Capt Hughes and Mr Maguire were unable to get much news from the outside world, ‘we always knew that everyone was doing their best for us’. Around Christmas, the quality of the food and water being given to the pair declined dramatically and both men started to suffer adverse health effects. Mr Maguire said he had been so
concerned for Capt Hughes that both he and local villagers had begged the militants to release him before he died. Capt Hughes said he is now feeling much better since his release in April. ‘I have a large ulcer on the top of my right foot which is healing slowly,’ he told the Telegraph. ‘My health was OK during the captivity, only at the end when I got the infection in my right foot and lower right leg. ‘I suffer from hypertension and take tablets for this. These ran out and nobody was interested in getting me replacements, so I went four months without this medicine,’ he added. ‘I lost about 17 kilos, which really was no bad thing. We sat all day looking at the jungle and got very little exercise.’ Despite his experience, Capt Hughes is planning to go back to sea and Nautilus has helped him to get replacement certiﬁcation which was lost when his ship was seized. ‘Working again in Nigeria depends on the situation there,’ he added. Capt Hughes wants to see more concerted action taken to tackle the threat of attacks against merchant ships. ‘Governments should do more to ﬁnd the beaches and rivers where these pirates operate from, and set in motion programmes to stop extreme poverty and unemployment which are the root cause of piracy,’ he said. ‘Owners should do more to improve security onboard. I can only suggest more crew so that security plans can be executed properly. I am not in favour of armed military personnel onboard (unless they are British) as I feel a gunﬁght between them and the pirates will put the lives of us seafarers at serious risk. ‘One company I worked for on low freeboard vessels used to put four ex-Gurkhas onboard when transitting piracy waters. They were not armed with guns but their training would make them fearful adversaries to anybody trying to get onboard. They are also useful as gangway watchmen in port, freeing sailors to other essential duties.’
20 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
NAUTILUS AT WORK
Phil Edwards and members of the Mallorca-based dovaston crew agency, which has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Nautilus International
Nautilus seals first partnership agreement for large yachts J
Nautilus International has secured its ﬁrst strategic partnership agreement in the superyacht sector. The Union is signing up with the Mallorca-based dovaston crew agency in a partnership agreement that seeks to deliver beneﬁts for all sides — with new members for Nautilus from personnel already employed in yachting and new opportunities for merchant crew to move into the world of the luxury superyachts. Nautilus national secretary Garry Elliott said he is delighted with the agreement. ‘We wish to develop mutually beneﬁcial relations with quality crew managers in the large yacht sector,’ he added. ‘In doing so, Nautilus wishes to work in partnership — a philosophy, which we believe, should underpin our relationship with progressive crew management companies in the large yacht sector.’ Garry ﬁrst met Phil Edwards — dovaston’s managing director — at
the Antibes yacht show. Phil was so convinced of the advantages of a partnership that he followed up with a visit to the UK to ﬁnalise details. ‘Yachting is an industry that is being more affected by IMO and ILO regulation,’ said Garry. ‘dovaston is the foremost agency placing engineers and professional deck crew, and we could see that our common philosophies could contribute to the welfare of crew members. We felt there was a real value in forming a strategic partnership to bring the beneﬁts of Nautilus to a new sector.’ dovaston crew has been established for over 13 years. It was founded by its namesake Fred Dovaston, who was a professional yacht captain for many years. Fred knew from experience the needs of the industry for both owners and employees. Recognising and fulﬁlling those needs made the company a world leader in the ﬁeld, placing more engineers and ofﬁcers than any other agency.
Many seafarers we note are under the illusion that to qualify for the 100% foreign earnings deduction, all they have to do is spend 183 days out of the country on foreign going voyages. Many have found to their cost, when investigated by the Revenue that it is not that straightforward and of course it is then too late to rectify. Make sure you are not one of them by letting Seatax Ltd plan your future claim step by step.
z Professional representation at the highest levels with government and including the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and within the European Union social dialogue process z Legal protection, including personal injury z Certification protection and cash benefits z Individual support and advice z Free subscription to the award-winning Nautilus Telegraph Since Fred’s death last year, another ex-captain, Phil Edwards, has taken over as dovaston MD. As well as his experience aboard, Phil brings a wealth of knowledge from the commercial world of yachting. He was the founder of the innovative brand leading Yacht Help Group. Phil is determined that the company will rise to the new challenges faced by the industry and has moved the company to new centrallybased ofﬁces in Palma which use the latest technology to support its unique database. Twelve full-time placement agents work to ﬁnd the perfect match of crew and jobs. Specialising in senior engineer and ofﬁcer placements, dovaston is keen to recruit suitable candidates from the merchant ﬂeet.
Yachting is an industry that is being more affected by IMO and ILO regulation
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‘Yachts are getting bigger,’ says Phil, ‘and are increasingly subject to commercial rules and restrictions. Owners recognise that the superb training and professional standards of the merchant ﬂeet produce a highly skilled workforce. ‘It is important, though, to acknowledge that private yachting doesn’t suit everyone,’ he stressed. ‘Yes, you get to travel to the glamour spots of the world and live in all expenses-paid luxury, but the commitment that accompanies the glamour is not always appreciated by potential candidates.’ The dovaston team pride themselves on their unique interview and selection process, which allows them to ﬁnd the best match for both boat and crew. As Phil points out: ‘Being aboard a yacht, however big, means being in close contact with your co-workers for long periods of time, a bit like an extended family. We try and make sure that the crew we place have a positive experience, and that’s why our clients stay loyal to us.’ One of the advantages of the strategic partnership is that it opens up this world to a wider audience. Over the next few issues of the Telegraph the dovaston team will report on the possibilities open to the Nautilus members in the superyacht sector, and advise on the best approach for success. Nautilus wishes to develop mutually beneﬁcial relations within quality crew managers in the large yacht sector. In doing so Nautilus wishes to work in partnership — a philosophy, which Nautilus believes, should underpin its relationship with progressive crew management companies in the large yacht sector.
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 21
Inspectors raise alarm at deficiencies increase Europe urged to step up cooperation on maritime safety European Union member states must work more closely together to improve maritime safety in the area, a top Brussels official warned last month. Urban Hallberg, from the European Commission’s DG Energy and Transport’s maritime transport policy and maritime safety unit, called on European countries to collaborate to improve the effectiveness of vessel traffic monitoring in their waters. ‘Although member states are obliged to share information about vessels that pose risks to both humans and the marine environment, these procedures are not always synchronised,’ he told a shipping safety workshop in Riga. Mr Hallberg said budget problems had initially prevented the widespread adoption of the EU data exchange platform SAFESEANET1. But the conference heard that the next phases of the EU’s e-Maritime platform development will begin this month. DGTREN and the International Maritime Organisation aim to cooperate in developing a consistent approach to the e-Maritime information technology initiative and e-Navigation respectively over the next two years, delegates were told.
This ship was detained when its lifeboat launching system failed during a port state control inspection
Nautilus International has voiced alarm at new ﬁgures revealing a 34% increase in the number of serious defects being found on ships checked in European ports over the past three years. According to the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control — which represents authorities in 27 countries, including all the EU members, Norway and Canada — there has been a ‘worrying’ upward trend in the number of deﬁciencies found on ships since 2005. ‘This implies that on average the condition of ships is deteriorating rapidly,’ the secretariat warned in a statement announcing the details. ‘With the global economic recession gaining momentum at the end of 2008, the prospects for 2009 are worrying,’ it added. ‘Commercial shipping operators, as in other industries, are seeking to reduce costs. If wrong choices are made this could impact on the safety of shipping.’ And, the statement added: ‘There is some concern that a relaxation in the regulatory regime by some ﬂag states and some recognised organisations could impact negatively on shipping.’ The MOU’s annual report shows that the proportion of inspections resulting in detentions appears to have stabilised over the past four years, at around 5%. ‘This is a serious matter,’ it pointed out. ‘In one out of every 20 inspections a ship is not allowed to proceed to sea.’ More worrying, it added, is the increasing trend in the number of
deﬁciencies — up by 34% between 2005 and 2008. In nearly 60% of inspections last year, surveyors found an average of six deﬁciencies — and 458 inspections carried out in the area during 2008 uncovered more than 20 deﬁciencies. ‘In reviewing the 2008 ﬁgures, it appears that ships older than 15 years account for 75% of all deﬁciencies,’ the secretariat noted. ‘There is a concern that with the economic downturn, ships’ working lives will be extended — which could result in greater levels of deﬁciencies with a resulting decrease in safety.’ The 27 members of the agreement carried out 24,647 inspections in 2008 — up from 22,877 in the previous year. The number of ship detentions dropped slightly — from 1,250 in 2007, to 1,220 in 2008. But while the detention percentages for most ship types decreased in 2008, the ﬁgures for gas carriers and tankers increased — something the MOU described as‘an area of concern, which needs to be closely monitored’. The number of deﬁciencies discovered during the inspections last year totalled 83,751 — compared with 74,713 in the previous year, 66,142 in 2006 and 62,434 in 2005. The MOU secretariat also raised alarm at certain categories of deﬁciencies which increased during 2008, including: z safety of navigation (29%) z MARPOL Annex IV, V and VI (17%) z security (23%) z equipment and machinery (19%)
z stability and structure (19%) z working and living conditions (18%) Not surprisingly, the statistics showed that over the period 2006-2008 ships ﬂying ﬂags on the Paris MOU ‘black list’ chalked up the highest detention rate — with almost 12% of inspections resulting in the ship being held, against 6.3% for ‘grey list’ ﬂags and 3% for those on ‘white list’ registers. Eighteen of the 19 ships banned from the Paris MOU region for consistently poor standards were ﬂying a ‘black list’ ﬂag at the time of the banning. A new inspection regime is set to introduce incentives for the best ships — with those determined to be low-risk being rewarded with a 24 to 36 month inspection interval, whilst highrisk vessels will be subject to more rigorous checks every six months. A concentrated inspection campaign carried out between September and December, concentrating on SOLAS Chapter V requirements, revealed navigation deﬁciencies in one out of every ﬁve inspections. The most commonly found detainable deﬁciencies were related to charts, nautical publications and voyage data recorders. Nautilus senior national secretary Allan Graveson described the ﬁgures as disturbing. ‘This will continue until there are meaningful penalties that truly act as a deterrent to substandard shipping,’ he added. ‘What is particularly worrying is that these ships have already arrived at a port in an unsatisfactory state.’
Above and below: leaking fire mains, dirty enginerooms and severe corrosion — just some of the deficiencies discovered by European port state control inspectors last year
GMDSS Radio Maintenance 11 week course for candidates requiring an MCA recognised GMDSS On-Board Radio Maintainers Certificate. Designed to enable those who have knowledge of electrical and electronic principles to apply it to a range of radio and communications equipment. It covers the principles of operation of each piece of equipment and interfacing with other items of equipment. Personal safe working practices and safety of the vessel are covered. Equipment and principles covered: M/F, H/F and VHF Transmitters and Receivers, Amplitude and angle modulation, principles of electromagnetic and transverse radiation and propagation. Navtex, EPIRBs and satellite communication systems.
The course duration is 11 weeks with approximately 50% of the course devoted to practical work. The successful candidate will gain a GMDSS On-Board Radio Maintainer’s Certificate which is a mandatory qualification for a certain class of vessel.
Electronic Navigation Equipment Maintenance Course 12 week course leading to an MCA recognised ENEM certificate. Designed to enable those who have knowledge of electrical and electronic principles to apply it to a range of electronic navigation aids. It covers the principles of operation of each piece of equipment and interfacing with other items of equipment. Personal safe working practices and safety of the vessel are covered. Equipment and principles covered: ARPA and Radar, principles of operation of radar systems, polar and raster scans. A functional approach to target acquisition and synthetics. Ships steering equipment and autopilot operational controls, 3 term controllers - functional analysis of system diagram. Doppler and Electromagnetic logs – interfacing with bridge equipment. Echo-sounders and Sonar equipments Gyrocompass, operation and maintenance – interfacing. Satellite Navigation, GPS and AIS systems. Hyperbolic Navigation with Loran C, principle of operation and integration of systems.
The course duration is 12 weeks with approximately 50% of the course devoted to practical work.
For further information on marine courses, tel: +44 (0)191 427 3568 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.stc.ac.uk/marine South Tyneside College, St. George’s Avenue, South Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE34 6ET and Mill Lane, Hebburn, Tyne & Wear, NE31 2ER.
22 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
‘Hands-on’ training with the Royal Navy’s facilities New courses at Portsmouth centre seek to address critical safety issues
You’d expect a city bustling with maritime heritage to produce high quality seamanship — but in the case of Portsmouth it’s not only the natives who are conquering the oceans from the historic shore. Utilising Royal Navy facilities, other commercial venues and in-situ onboard vessels, VT Flagship — based in the north of the city — is training seafarers from across the UK and around the world to operate efﬁciently and effectively. Delegates include crews from commercial shipping, passenger liners and private vessels, and courses range from the statutory STCW Code to the highly specialist such as high voltage competent and conﬁned spaces entry — the latter being highly relevant to Nautilus International’s concerns over safety.
VTF’s relationship with the RN began in 1996, and over the last 13 years the company’s exclusive use of the Navy’s simulators for commercial training has seen clients such as P&O Cruises and V Ships experiencing the best of equipment for maritime training. This includes the Damage Repair Instructional Unit (DRIU) — a sinking ship simulator used for developing damage control skills — and extensive ﬁre-ﬁghting facilities at the Portsmouth Fire Fighting School. As training manager Keith Austin notes: ‘Nothing can beat experience when it comes to emergencies at sea and while we can’t sink a ship, we can do the next best thing with the DRIU. Water ﬂoods into compartments via several damage points and crews have to work as a team to shore up the holes while smoke, noise and a rolling ﬂoor make the whole experience extremely realistic.
Many delegates are daunted at first
Fire-fighting training takes place at HMS Excellent, where there are eight ‘hot’ training units over three storeys
‘You can never predict the way in which emergencies will develop, but at least the people who’ve been through this know what they are doing,’ he adds. A quick scan of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s reports underpins his point — ‘crews weren’t trained’ is an all-too often read conclusion. The ﬁre-ﬁghting school at HMS Excellent houses eight ‘hot’ training units over three storeys. In this facility (operating with environmentally friendly propane gas ﬁres), the emphasis is ﬁrmly on learning ﬁreﬁghting skills and procedures in a safely controlled environment. With ﬁre balls, ﬂames licking across the ceiling, high temperatures, and smoke billowing, controlled but total realism is achieved. The fact that ﬁre brigades train here is testament to the capability and power of the facility. ‘Many delegates are daunted at ﬁrst,’ says Keith. ‘But when they’ve learnt the procedures they discover that they can deal with the situation. Their levels of conﬁdence rise, as do their levels of respect for ﬁre precaution principles in general.’ Developing its underlying theme of a ‘hands on’ approach to training, VTF has initiated a three-day electrical power management for operators and watchkeepers (EMPOW) course and an electrical power management for emergency distribution (EPMED) course for advanced engineers.
Using the switchboard on the VT Flagship electrical power management for emergency distribution course for advanced engineers
Reﬁned and developed after a pilot in January, the four-day advanced course offers simulator-led instruction in what to do if a blackout occurs at sea. Blackouts are an ever-present possibility and aside from loss of propulsion, dealing with frightened passengers who are liable to panic — especially if the incident takes place at night — is not a situation which any seafarer wants to ﬁnd themselves within. Both courses have been designed to show mechanical and electrical engineers how stepping back from the switchboard can speed up solutions. It all sounds fairly straightforward — but deconstructing incident patterns into small chunks allows the engineers a better understanding of the way in which automatics work and therefore how to work with systems rather than against them. Says Alex, a second engineer from a crude oil tanker, and a recent attendee on the course: ‘It’s an excellent opportunity to refresh your knowledge on the electrical side of a ship. It certainly will help communicating issues with the electrical ofﬁcer onboard. It offers a practical, realistic experience in dealing with a range of scenarios that could happen on the ship and the equipment is excellent as is the opportunity to work in small groups.’ VTF’s maritime courses are proactive — looking at preventing crises getting out of control, or even starting in the ﬁrst place. Keith can recite accidents waiting to happen, in the same way as children recite times tables. And it’s not hard to ﬁnd the evidence to support his worries. Two examples are the ﬁre which destroyed the large charter yacht Lady Candida (almost certainly started with lint from the tumble dryer and quickly spread due to lack of emergency preparedness) and the Explorer of the Sea’s sinking in Antarctica. ‘Those crew members probably thought it wouldn’t happen to them, as do most people’ says Keith. ‘We all believe in our own infallibility and that, in maritime terms is the most fallible place to start from.’ While solid training comes at a cost, the dividends — lives and vessels saved — illustrate what a good investment it is. g For more information, contact: VTFlagship@VTPLC.com Tel: 02390 339000 or go to VTFlagship.co.uk
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Battling the elements: damage repair training in a sinking ship simulator, above, and fire-fighting below
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 23
MEMBER’S STORY A Nautilus member is upholding a proud family seafaring tradition, recently qualifying as a chief engineer officer Shane Coveney, pictured left at school and, inset, today. Below, the Stena Line fast craft where he met his wife, Karen
Shane upholds the family line I
When Nautilus member Shane Coveney qualiﬁed as a chief engineer recently, his mother Hilda — a retired seafarer — was so proud she called the Telegraph to share the good news. Of course, members are qualifying for higher ranks all the time — but Hilda, who recently turned 77 and who lives on the Springbok Estate Merchant Seaman’s War Memorial Society welfare complex in Alfold, Surrey, felt her son’s story was special. And she wasn’t wrong. ‘I want to buy him a really good watch and have it engraved to mark what he’s achieved, because he’s had no father since he was four and a half,’ Hilda said. Shane was a beneﬁciary of the Royal Merchant Navy School Foundation — the charity whose stated objective is to provide ‘educational support to the orphans and needy British children of all grades of Merchant Navy Seafarers’. It does this via 25 educational establishments throughout the country, and in Shane’s case, the Foundation funded his education through prep school near Southampton, then through Bearwood College, a secondary public school in Wokingham, Berkshire, which is fee-paying for the education of scholars whose parents have no seafaring connections. In the Coveneys’ case, the seafaring connections run deep. Hilda met her husband Stuart in the 60s when they were both working for Cunard on the passenger liner the Carmania, she as a laundress, Stuart as a cook. Stuart’s father and father’s brothers had also been at sea, says Hilda. ‘The men were dressed like Cunard Yanks, that’s what they used to call them.’ Stuart’s mother had an American fridge and other items brought across the Atlantic. Hilda’s family weren’t seafarers. She grew up during the second world war, on the now notorious Norris Green council estate. ‘I was very lucky because I lived on the outskirts of Liverpool and I’d only ever seen one bomb.’ After Stuart and Hilda married in 1969, Hilda left the sea. ‘I was only married nine a half years when he died.’ The cause was cancer, diagnosed after Stuart returned from a world cruise on the QE2. ‘After two years,’ Hilda continues, ‘I happened to go past the union ofﬁce in Southampton and I got the urge to back to sea again. I asked and they said go to Cunard.’ She worked on the Countess, cruising the Caribbean, and when that ship was being reﬁtted, Hilda did a trip to New York and back on the QE2. Hilda wound up as a stewardess. Among the other companies she worked for were New Zealand Shipping Company liners, and Sealink, Thoresen Car Ferries and P&O on ferries. She retired in 1983. ‘I have a recollection of Dad coming home bringing toys from cruises and things,’ says Shane,
Shane and Karen Coveney
who was born in 1972. The Telegraph catches up with him on leave; he had just returned home from working eight to nine months off the coast of Ghana for Dolphin Drilling. Home is in Seaford, east Sussex, where Shane lives with his wife Karen — who was also at sea — and their daughters Jessica, 7, and Sophie, 4. Once leave ends, he’ll be off to Brazil working on a semi-submersible drill rig for Dolphin Drilling, again for eight to nine months. Shane acknowledges his debt to the Royal Merchant Navy School Foundation. ‘From the age of eight, these people took me through private school; without them I don’t know what I’d be doing — driving a taxi or something. The Foundation’s still there, looking for children of seafarers who are hard up, or a single parent through loss, for it to fund.’ The Foundation’s origins go back to the Merchant Seamen’s Orphan Asylum, created in 1827 and based
in Bow Road, east London. It only started to provide education in the late 19th century as a result of the 1870 Education Act, by which time it had moved to Snaresbrook, near where Nautilus’s head ofﬁce is now based. As the Royal Merchant Seamen’s Orphanage, the move to Bearwood came in 1921. By 1961, the number of orphans cared for by what was by now the Royal Merchant Navy School had diminished because of the smaller size of the British merchant ﬂeet. So the school’s name was changed to Bearwood College, which began taking in fee-paying scholars. Girls were admitted for the ﬁrst time when Bearwood became co-educational in 1996. Today, students from seafaring family backgrounds — ‘foundationers’ — are a minority, but recalls Shane: ‘Because of the Foundation, you were not made to feel inferior — quite the opposite.’ He reckons there were around 20 or 30 other children at the school with seafaring connections. Another pupil in Shane’s year had lost his father when the Bibby Line bulker Derbyshire sank in the South China Sea in 1980, and he has also gone on to become a chief engineer, says Shane. ‘I was in the process of doing A levels, badly. I got offers from kids with rich parents, saying come work with us, work in the City. The school had a careers person, and they said “Merchant Navy employment — Warsash — have you ever considered it?” Up until that stage, not really, but I went to have a look. ‘When I was there, I saw that with the sponsorship and as a cadet you’re more than just a student, you had an income of sorts, and a good transition from being in school to training in something speciﬁc.’ His cadetship was initially with Cunard Ellerman, then with P&O when it bought out Cunard Ellerman. ‘I competed my cadetship in 1993, then went to sea for year or so with P&O cargoships, then branched out into ferries with Stena Line. ‘After that, I moved toward fast ferries with Stena, then with Hoverspeed for three years, then Transmanche Ferries. I put myself through college to do my second engineer’s ticket, then moved to
work for LD Lines ferries. While working with Transmanche and LD, I put myself though college to get the chief s ticket. That took me to July last year, working for Dolphin, and I got the result of the chief’s ticket in January.’ Shane has no regrets about turning down the career openings that his Bearwood classmates’ connections could offer. ‘I don’t regret seeing a lot of the world, and I’m glad I chose to be engineer rather than the navigation side. I believe that now for a qualiﬁed engineer, and to some extent for the deck department, is the best for a long time because of the opportunities out there.
It’s certainly a job to be proud of
‘Obviously being away from the family is quite difﬁcult, but it’s certainly a job to be proud of — even if people don’t understand it, saying, “When are you going to be captain then?” At the present moment, with the time off, the leave schedule, and the salary, being at sea isn’t such a bad proposition.’ And, despite the time away from the family, Shane owes that family to seafaring, because that was how he met Karen when they were working together on Stena fastcraft, she as a stewardess. They married in 2000 and Karen continued at sea — the couple now working for Hoverspeed — until she had children. Shane anticipates the next question, about his daughters: ‘Would I recommend them to go to sea? Probably not. I still don’t believe the industry is enlightened enough for a girl to go to sea. The struggle girls have to go through; I’m not sure I want them to go through those.’
STCW95 basic training (PST, EFA, FP&FF and PS&SR) PSCRB, PFRB, GMDSS, Advanced Fireﬁghting, First Aid, Medical Care on Board, Efﬁcient Deck Hand, MCA Approved Engine Courses, RYA Qualiﬁcations, Ship Security Ofﬁcer Courses. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Courses available from the Hall Training Centre. All Superyacht courses undertaken.
Maritime Open Learning Courses: NVQ Level 3 Deck and Engineering courses leading to STCW. 95 ofﬁcer of the watch certiﬁcates. Surveying courses available through the school of Marine Surveying. Distance Learning courses for Marine Surveying, Ship Management and Ship Superintendency, offered in partnership with Lloyds Maritime Academy.
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24 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 25
The engine, deck and liquid cargo simulators at Warsash Maritime Academy will be used to provide realistic tests of performance on typical watchkeeping patterns
Research will take fatigue to a new level
US survey examines workers’ sleepiness
A wealth of marine expertise behind the study Graham Clarke
The teams involved in Project Horizon include many key personnel with extensive maritime experience. Project leader is Graham Clarke, who trained as a naval architect and worked in shipyards in Southampton, Gosport, Hamble and Barrow in Furness. He has worked in the marine industry for more than 40 years, with increasing involvement over the past 20 years in European issues. Mr Clarke ran the EU Maritime Industries Forum for 17 years, where he also coordinated for the MIF Human Resources Group. He has been involved in research projects, studies and consultancy at regional, national and European levels, and has successfully developed and managed two EU-funded projects in the research field (ship repair operations and shipyard supply chains), as well as an inter-regional project involving EU port cities, before working on the bid to fund the Horizon Project. Two former ships’ officers are heading the research work at
Warsash Maritime Academy. Mike Barnett, professor of maritime safety and head of postgraduate studies and research, is a former chief officer who started his academic career at Warsash in 1985, as a lecturer in tanker safety. David Gatfield, senior lecturer and unit manager of the machinery space simulator, served as an engineer officer and technical superintendent with Shell Tankers before joining Warsash in 1996. Leading the Swedish team is Margareta Lutzhoft, associate professor at Chalmers University of Technology. Ms Lutzhoft is a master mariner, who served at sea for 13 years before studying for a degree in cognitive science and a Master’s in computer science. In December 2004 she received a PhD in the subject of human-machine interaction on the ship’s bridge. She was the project leader for the three-year ‘fatigue at sea’ field study for the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, VTI.
Nautilus International is involved in a major multi-partner European research project aiming to tackle the problems posed by seafarer fatigue, which was launched with a two-day inaugural meeting at Warsash, in the UK, last month. The European Commission-funded Project Horizon brings together 11 academic institutions and organisations with a broad range of interests from the shipping industry in a 30-month research programme to examine the way in which fatigue affects the cognitive performance of ships’ watchkeepers. The €3.78m project will make extensive use of bridge, engine and liquid cargo handling simulators in Sweden and the UK to produce real-time, realistic scenarios in which the impact of fatigue on decision-making and performance can be assessed. Launched in response to concern over aspects that lead to seafarer fatigue, the project seeks to improve safety at sea by developing a fatigue management toolkit for the industry, as well as recommendations for improving work patterns at sea. ‘Whilst we now have evidence to show the scale of the problem associated with fatigue amongst seafarers, this project will take the understanding to a new level based on robust and reliable empirical data that can be used to make concrete fact-based recommendations for avoiding or mitigating the dangers’, said project manager Graham Clarke. ‘All the partners welcome the support shown by the European Commission in this important area through the funding of this research,’ Mr Clarke added. The project brings together academics from Southampton Solent University in the UK, Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, the Stress Research Institute from Stockholm University and Bureau Veritas Marine Division, along with representatives from the European Community Shipowners’ Associations, the European Transport Workers’ Federation, the European Harbour Masters Committee, the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, the Standard P&I Club, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency. Sixty deck and engineer ofﬁcers will be taking part in the project, with their performance being measured by researchers as they undertake typical watchkeeping
Fatigue, not alcohol, was a key cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989 Picture: US Coast Guard
A US dentist has launched an online survey of transport workers to determine the extent to which they are affected by sleepiness at work. The survey enables participants to test themselves under the Epworth Daytime Sleepiness Scale, and involves a short series of questions. The results are displayed on the website, and comparisons with other professions can be made. The survey is being run by Dr Laurence Barsh, a dentist who has been involved with sleep medicine since 1992 and who now works full-time on public education about the role of dentists in the recognition and management of snoring and the condition of sleep apnoea. Dr Barsh says the anonymous survey forms part of a campaign to
establish a confidential anonymous nationwide US screening and treatment programme for sleep apnoea — with names hidden from employers, insurance companies and the government for people in those industries that affect the public. Some transport workers are presently reluctant to discuss the problem because of fears about repercussions for their jobs, he adds. ‘Because of this lack of testing and follow-up treatment, the problem continues to get worse as excessively sleepy people drive our trucks, fly our planes, engineer our trains and captain our ships, resulting in an ever-increasing accident and death rate.’ f The survey can be found on the website: www.SnoringIsntSexy.com
Seafarer volunteers will be a key part of studies The Project Horizon team members meet at Warsash last month
duties on simulators over a succession of seven-day periods. Experts will use a variety of scientiﬁc methods to measure the fatigue levels experienced by the ofﬁcers and any resulting degradation in performance during a wide range of regular onboard operating conditions. ‘This is a highly signiﬁcant project, and we hope it will result in a better understanding of the problem of fatigue and effective measures to improve the safety of shipping and the health and welfare of seafarers,’ said Nautilus senior national secretary Allan Graveson. ‘We believe this work has the potential
to deliver huge beneﬁts to the industry, and the wider community,’ he added. ‘The programme documentation notes the MAIB study of casualty ﬁgures, which showed that fatigue was involved in around one-third of accidents over a 10-year period. ‘A conservative extrapolation of those ﬁgures would suggest that more than 125 ships would have suffered the same fate, around the EU coastline over the same period. In Europe alone, the costs involved in fatigue-related losses could total at least US$1.7m per year, not to mention the costs of the adverse effects on the health and wellbeing of seafarers,’ he added.
Project Horizon will involve some of Europe’s leading fatigue and stress experts, who will be working in a six-stage project to assess the impact of fatigue on the decision-making performance of watchkeepers and to determine the best ways of minimising risks to ships and seafarers. The project will begin with a research, design and development study, which will utilise literature on fatigue obtained from maritime and other relevant sources. A range of fatigue measurement tools and procedures will be examined and selections made. Experimental scenarios will then be designed that will allow for the observation of certificated watchkeepers, undertaking watchkeeping routines, under realistic conditions in bridge, engineroom and liquid cargo handling simulators. The project will seek to replicate realistic seagoing conditions, with sufficient experiments and candidates to ensure the statistical validity of the results. The science involved will be to take various means of measuring fatigue and the performance degradation it causes, and relate them to the operating circumstances
of the candidates. A total of 60 volunteer experienced seafarers will take part in the simulations, which will run for seven days at a time. The candidates will be recruited in exactly the same way as if they were going to sea to fulfil the same functions that will be required under simulated conditions. They will be checked for their health and suitability for the research. Data collected from the experiments will be analysed using mathematical and regression modelling techniques to determine the effects of fatigue on the cognitive performance of maritime watchkeepers under different watch patterns. Applied to all of this will be the overlay of significance of operation — enabling an assessment to be made of the seriousness of impact of lost performance, and whether it can be tolerated or mitigated. The results of this data analysis will lead to the development of a fatigue management toolkit for use by interested parties such as ship managers, maritime regulators, flag states, port states and the International Maritime Organisation.
Project seeks to deliver ‘toolkit’ for safer work Researchers will build upon growing evidence of danger
Project Horizon aims to build upon a growing body of evidence of seafarer fatigue problems gained from accident investigations and academic studies. One of the most extensive pieces of work was the six-year research programme carried out by Cardiff University, with support from Nautilus, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, and the Health & Safety Executive. The ﬁndings drew from a survey of more than 1,850 seafarers, and objective testing onboard, with results including: [one in four seafarers said they had fallen asleep while on watch [almost 50% of seafarers reported working weeks of 85 hours or more [around half said their working hours had increased over the past 10 years [almost 50% of seafarers considered their working hours present a danger to their personal safety [some 37% said their working hours sometimes posed a danger to the safe operations of their ship [many reported that they had worked to the point of collapse Similar research in Sweden has also reinforced the way in which work patterns at sea — and the six-on/six-off rota in particular — can result in dangerous levels of sleepiness being built up by seafarers. In 2003, the Swedish researchers found that 73% of ofﬁcers taking part in a closed voting session had admitted to having fallen asleep one or more times whilst
on watch. When the question was repeated last year, the numbers were even higher. A 2004 report by UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch showed that one-third of the incidents it investigated between 1994 and 2003 involved a fatigued watchkeeper alone on the bridge at night, whilst a US Coast Guard study showed fatigue to have contributed to some 16% of critical vessel casualties and 33% of personal injuries. And whilst the 1989 grounding of the Exxon Valdez tanker is often linked to alcohol, the US National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable causes included ‘the failure of the third mate to properly manoeuvre the vessel because of fatigue and excessive workload’ and ‘the failure of the Exxon shipping company to provide a ﬁt master and a rested and sufﬁcient crew for the ExxonValdez’. However, the Exxon Valdez disaster resulted in stringent new controls on drinking at sea — but little in the way of new regulations to combat fatigue. In fact, studies have shown marked similarities between the effects of fatigue and alcohol. Research in Norway, for instance, has shown fatigue to be a factor in around 29% of road accidents — a greater proportion than alcohol-related incidents. Another research project showed that after 17 hours of sustained wakefulness, cognitive psychomotor performance decreased to a level equivalent to the performance impairment
observed at a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%. After 24 hours of sustained wakefulness, cognitive psychomotor performance declined to a level roughly comparable to the effects of a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10%. Whilst working weeks of up to 98 hours are permitted under international maritime regulations, the hours of airline pilots are strictly controlled — with the International Civil Aviation Organisation setting a limit of between 70 and 100 hours of ﬂight time allowed over a period of a month. Project Horizon aims to build on this knowledge, setting the following objectives for its work: [to provide a realistic, high ﬁdelity, voyage scenario in which watchkeeper cognitive performance can be measured [to provide various watchkeeping patterns which will lead to fatigue in the watchkeeping ofﬁcers [to capture empirical data on the cognitive performance of the watchkeepers undertaking these watchkeeping patterns [to analyse this empirical data to determine the effect of fatigue on the cognitive performance of the watchkeepers [to develop a fatigue management toolkit for use by ship managers, maritime regulators, ﬂag states, port states and the International Maritime Organisation to derive a set of recommendations that maritime regulators and ship managers can use to improve the safety and reliability of vessels
26 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
The seamen who took to the streets... South Shields riot dramatised in stage play
It is now nearly 80 years since a clash between Yemeni and white seafarers in South Shields that has been portrayed — somewhat erroneously — as ‘Britain’s ﬁrst race riot’. Peter Mortimer, whose play Riot — recently published by Five Leaves Publications in a single English- and Arabiclanguage edition — is a ﬁctionalised account of the event, comments in his foreword: ‘…this painful and at times shameful history had taught the town a lesson which I think it hasn’t forgotten. South Shields is probably now among the most racially harmonious towns in the UK, and I submit that the incidents of August 2, 1930 have their part to play in this state of affairs.’ Mr Mortimer, who lives in North Shields, has also written the book Cool for Qat — A Yemeni Journey, which grew out of the commission to write the play. In Riot, the issues of the time are played out against a ﬁctionalised love story between a Yemeni man and a South Shields girl. The play quotes from The Shields Gazette, the ratings’ union journal The Seaman, speeches by members of the Seamen’s Minority Movement (SMM) — a group of ethnic minority and white left-wing seafarers — an appeal letter by Yemeni seamen for ﬁnancial aid, and ofﬁcial replies. There is also a boiler-stoking passage cited from The Men of Merchant Service, a 1900 book by F.T. Bullen. On the printed page, Riot comes across as fast-paced and witty. The staged version was directed by Darren Palmer, a third generation South Shields Yemeni whose grandfather was involved in the SMM at the time of the confrontation. Mr Palmer
contests its depiction as a race riot: ‘It was a riot for economic problems,’ he tells the Telegraph. ‘The press at the time played it up as a race riot. I’m against that.’ The riot took place during the 1930s economic depression, and in a letter to South Shields Gazette — quoted in the play — a seaman wrote: ‘A very big reduction would be made in the number of unemployed if white men were given preference on British ships. At the present times there must be thousands of Arabs, Lascars and Chinamen doing the work on vessels that could be done by our own unemployed. There must be hundreds of Arabs sailing out from our town alone.’ The situation undoubtedly exacerbated racial tensions. Another letter in the Gazette, referring to the old National Union of Seamen, asserted: ‘The union was built up by white sailors and ﬁremen and a going concern long before the Arabs came here to deprive white men of work and gain for South Shields. My advice to these gentlemen as they are too thickskinned to see that they are not wanted is to get out while the going is good. I don’t merely dislike Arabs. I hate them.’ Yemenis had been settling in South Shields since the 1890s – Britain’s oldest settled Muslim community. They were drawn over by work on British merchant vessels, typically as engine room ﬁremen and stokers, toiling in hellish conditions. In Cool for Qat, Mr Mortimer notes: ‘As in other centres, such as Southampton, Cardiff and Liverpool pre-First World War, the Yemenis and others were openly encouraged to come to Britain since the expansion of the merchant navy demanded ever-bigger supplies of labour. This was heightened during the war itself
Peter Mortimer’s play has been published as a book
Above, top: police patrol the streets of South Shields during the August 1930 riot Below, six whites and 20 Somalis were arrested during the event Left: an injured demonstrator is led away by a policeman Pictures: Shields Gazette
when the Royal Navy also required big labour pools.’ Racial discrimination meant it was difﬁcult to obtain accommodation, and in Shields in 1909, Ali Said opened the ﬁrst Arab seamen’s boarding house. During the ﬁrst world war, many more Yeminis were recruited to serve on British ships out of Aden, which was then a British protectorate. Around a quarter of the Shields-based merchant seafarers who perished in the war were Yemini, but by the end of the conﬂict the Yemini community in the north east had expanded to well over 3,000 and disputes over jobs precipitated the so-called ‘Arab Riots’ of 1919. So the 1930 riot, however one understands it, was not in fact the ﬁrst such set-to.
Although there were instances of racial integration, including intermarriage, the 1919 riot impelled the authorities to crackdown on Muslim seafarers. Hassan Mahamdallie, in an essay about British Muslim working class struggles published in the journal International Socialism, records: ‘In 1921 the Cardiff Town Clerk recommended that destitute seamen “be repatriated forthwith, or accommodated in a concentration camp”, and in 1922 hundreds of Adenese were repatriated out of the city. ‘Seamen, including numbers of Somalis and Yemenis in South Shields who had lived in Britain for a long time, many with white wives and British-born children, were told that they had to prove their citizenship rights from scratch, and many had their British status removed for lack of documentation or ﬁnancial resources to register it.’ Mr Mahamdallie continues: ‘The National Union of Seamen seized the opportunity to do a “British First” deal with the shipping owner. The government and Home Ofﬁce issued new restrictions in 1920 and then 1925 under the Aliens Act which had been targeted in the ﬁrst place against poor Jewish immigrants.’ By 1930, the issue had come to the boil, with the NUS granted an ofﬁcial sanction order specifying that: ‘A white card shall be issued… to any Somali or Arab who satisﬁes the Port Consultants that he is a bona ﬁde seaman and lawful in this country. The white card shall only be issued after being stamped by the National Union of
Seamen and the Shipping Federation. Ofﬁcers engaging Somalis or Arab crews shall be informed that it is very undesirable to mix Somalis and Arabs of other races, and asked to specify which one they prefer.’ The consequence, says Mr Mahamdallie, was that ‘Somalis, Arabs and their families were pushed into starvation and destitution.’ Violent protests erupted in South Shields and Cardiff. A portent of what was to come was the ‘Mill Dam Riots’ in South Shields on 29 April 1930, when Somali seamen were severely beaten up as they attempted to sign on as ﬁremen on a ship.
It was a riot for economic problems
This was followed by the events of 2 August — the ‘Arab riot’. When four whites were hired for the steamer Etheralda, a Yemini, Ali Hamid, reportedly cried: ‘They work, but there is no work for the black man.’ Fighting broke out between white and Yemeni seamen. Yeminis drew knives and four policemen were stabbed. Six whites and 20 Yemenis were arrested. At Durham Assizes, the white SMM organisers each received eight month sentences, and all the Yeminis were sentenced to spells of hard labour, after which they were to be deported.
i Riot, by Peter Mortimer, Five Leaves Publications, £6.99.
Cool for Qat — A Yemeni Journey, by Peter Mortimer, Mainstream, £9.99. From Ta’izz to Tyneside: Arab Community in the North-east of England in the Early Twentieth Century, by Richard I. Lawless, University of Exeter Press, £27.50.
Many innocent Yemenis were also deported, but a core Yemeni community remained, provoking the following editorial in The Shieldsman: ‘Since it seems impossible to send these people home, the next best thing is to segregate them.’ The local council duly erected a segregated housing estate, rentable only to the Arabs. As in the ﬁrst world war, the South Shields Yemini seafarers made major sacriﬁces during world war two, but by Hassan Mahamdallie’s account Muslim seafarers continued to be harassed by the police and local authorities in Cardiff and South Shields in the post-war period. Referring to Cardiff, he writes: ‘A sharp reminder came in 1952 when a Somali seaman, Hussein Mattan, was ﬁtted up by the police for the murder of a local woman and hanged after a sham trial. It was not until 1998, 46 years later, that his widow Laura and sons Omar and Mervyn managed to get this gross miscarriage of justice recognised as such and Mattan’s name cleared.’
Nevertheless, the 50s marked the start of important demographic, geographic and industrial changes. Richard Lawless, in his study From Ta’izz to Tyneside: An Arab Community in the North East of England During the Early 20th Century, takes up the story: ‘In the 1950s and 1960s a new inﬂux of Yemenis into Britain found employment not in shipping but in heavy industry, especially in the steel and metal-working plants in Shefﬁeld and Birmingham. Some Arab seafarers moved to the Midlands where new employment opportunities were opening up in industry.’ Is it really true, though, as Peter Mortimer suggests, that South Shields is today among the most racially harmonious towns in the UK, and that the 1930 riot played a part in that? He tells the Telegraph: ‘South Shields came to feel quite guilty about the way it treated the Yemeni seamen in the 1930 riot, and I think this worked its way through the town so that later the racial mix grew much better and inter-marriages became very common in South Shields, the evidence of which is obvious if you walk round the town. There are no Arab ghettoes or anything now and the Arab population is accepted as a natural and important part of the town.’
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 27
‘She was the making of men...’ Next month marks the 150th anniversary of the training ship HMS Conway. Former Conway cadet Captain MICHAEL HOWORTH celebrates…
Conway cadets in the 19th century
If she had survived past the time that British shipping began its sharp decline in tonnage, the once-proud training ship HMS Conway — whose motto was Quit Ye Like Men, Be Strong — would have been 150 years old next month. The pre-sea training school can trace its history back to 1857 — a time when the demand for welltrained ships’ ofﬁcers had grown to the point where owners decided to set up an organisation to train, and indeed educate, them properly. In doing so, they helped create the Mercantile Marine Service Association (MMSA), one of the forerunners of Nautilus International. By 1859 the ship they had chosen to accommodate the school had been provided by the Admiralty and was moored off Rock Ferry on the River Mersey. The school was to stay there through three different vessels, until the last of them was towed to Wales. That ﬁrst ship was HMS Conway, a 62m two-decker 92-gun wooden battleship of the line dating from 1832. Originally home to 17 cadets, by 1861 — with over 100 cadets on the books — she became too small and was replaced by HMS Winchester which, having taken her name, replaced her. The second ship was 53m overall, the size of an ordinary superyacht in today’s money. She had been built in Woolwich, and after conversion was capable of carrying 450 men and boys. She lasted until 1876, when she also became too small. She was replaced by and swapped names with HMS Nile and went on to become HMS Mount Edgcumbe, serving as an industrial training ship for homeless and destitute boys in Plymouth. In her previous life, the third ship to train Conway cadets had survived the Crimean War and allegedly served during the American Civil War before being renamed Conway and moving to Liverpool. At 73m, with a tonnage and dimensions roughly that of HMS Victory, she was a monster when compared to her predecessor but was in fact some 41m shorter than Pelorus — one of the yachts currently belonging to the Russian billionaire and Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich. Launched in 1839, she
Conway in the Menai in 1943
Main picture: Bangor transit, 1949; Above right: the 1958 blazer badge; Below right: a gig crew in 1964
was entirely made of wood, with a copper-sheathed bottom to protect the hull below the waterline. In 1938 she was ﬁtted with a new ﬁgurehead representing Nelson, ceremonially unveiled by the then-poet laureate John Maseﬁeld — himself a former cadet, serving in the school from 1891 until 1893. In 1941, with Liverpool taking a battering from German bombers and frequent air raids on the docks, Conway had already survived several near-misses. It was decided to move the ship from the Mersey to Bangor in North Wales. This being wartime, there was no ofﬁcial announcement of the move and local residents were startled one evening to see a picturesque Nelson-era battleship — a ‘wooden wall’ — coming up the Menai Strait. She was moored near the pier at Bangor and became something of a local tourist attraction. At the end of the war there was a need for more MN cadets to enter service. Conway did not have space for more, so Captain Goddard, the ship’s Captain Superintendent, began looking for space ashore with playing ﬁelds and a shore establishment. Plas Newydd, a stately home set in substantial grounds owned by the Marquess of Anglesey, was eventually chosen. The US Intelligence Corps had occupied much of it during the war and so seemed ideal. To take up position in her new anchorage, the ship had to be towed between Anglesey and the mainland, through a treacherous stretch of water known locally as the ‘Swellies’. Bounded by the Menai Suspension Bridge and the Britannia Bridge, the passage is notorious for underwater shoals and complex tidal streams. Goddard a former hydrographic surveyor, having studied the situation, believed it was possible. In spite of what many locals saw as a great risk, Conway successfully made the passage and became the largest vessel ever to have passed through those
waters. Her draught was 6.7m aft and the air draught clearances were just three feet under the Menai Bridge, standing 30m above high water. Goddard wrote at the time: ‘I was glad when it was accomplished.’ Sadly, that was to have been the old ship’s last successful voyage. By 1953 she needed a major overhaul in dry dock, a task that could not be done locally. This meant the ship would have to be taken back through the Swellies once more as she made the move to dry dock in Birkenhead. With Captain Eric Hewitt — the new Captain Superintendent — in command, advised by two local pilots and a third from Liverpool, the ship slipped her mooring on 14 April 1953. Onboard as crew were a number of cadets who had volunteered to help. Two tugs, Dongarth and Minegarth, took up station — with one on the bow and the other steadying her stern. Timing was crucial, with slack water offering a very brief window of opportunity and leaving no room for error. The ship experienced an unexpectedly strong current as she moved between the two bridges, and the forward tug found herself unable to make headway. It was decided to supplement her efforts with that of the after tug, but this left her stern free to swing. Valuable time was wasted completing this manoeuvre and without the tug at her stern to steady her, the ship began to yaw in the tidal eddies. She ran aground bow-ﬁrst below the Menai Bridge, resting on ﬂat rocks known as the Platters. Attempts to pull her off the ledge failed and when the tide dropped away, the stern — no longer supported by water — dropped and the back of the ship was broken, simply snapping under her own weight. From the road bridge she looked almost sound, but interior inspection made it clear she would never sail again. Several of her huge main timbers had
been shattered, leaving some decks crushed to only four feet high. A salvage operation was mounted, with the contents of the ship saved, but the Admiralty declared her a total loss and wrote her off — passing responsibility for the disposal of the hulk on to the local authorities. She lay for three years below the Menai suspension bridge — a picturesque but tragic sight — and although she could have been called a tourist attraction she was considered by shipping that used the straits as a serious hazard to navigation. Responsibility for her removal fell to the Caernarvon Harbour Board, who sent in a team to dismantle the ship. Some say it was deliberate, others suggest that it was sparks caused by workmen demolishing her that ignited her paint-impregnated timbers, but whatever the cause, on 30 October 1956, she caught ﬁre and burned to the waterline. There followed a great controversy over the loss of the ship. Some claimed that the advice of local pilots had been ignored, and that a ship of her size should never have been taken through the Swellies at all. Perhaps the most deﬁnitive research and explanations for the loss are laid out in a recently published book written by former Conway cadet Alﬁe Windsor — HMS Conway 1859–1974. Conway survived the loss of the beloved ship and from 1953 until 1974 ﬂourished as a shore establishment. Following the loss of the ship, cadets were temporarily re-housed in tents loaned by the Army. These were quickly replaced by wooden buildings, which cadets called the Camp, set up in the grounds of Plas Newydd. Behind the scenes,it was the British Shipping Federation that took responsibility for the nautical training and placements of cadets, while the Cheshire Education Authority assumed charge of the general education side of things. Conway became truly a ‘stone frigate’ when new premises were built in the grounds and opened by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in May 1964. Many hoped that Conway’s future was now secured. But with the contraction of the British ship-
Quit Ye Like Men, Be Strong
ping industry her survival was, however, far from assured and the school closed just 10 years later after funding from the government through Cheshire County Council was ceased. On 11 July 1974 the last 85 cadets laid up the colours in Liverpool Cathedral. Conway may have gone, but she is far from forgotten. The Conway Club — an association of former cadets — still thrives in branches all over the UK, numbering some 1,400 Old Conways, and with overseas clubs active in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. With The Marquess of Anglesey as its patron and Archie Smith, who served in the ship from 1964 until 1966, serving as president, the club has been organising a big event in Liverpool next month to celebrate the formation of the school 150 years ago.
28 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
HMS CONWAY 150th anniversary
Conway’s traditions are upheld Summer sports day in 1965
Tradition and the spirit of the ‘Old Ship’ runs high in the minds of Old Conways, and they go to great lengths to keep that spirit alive long after their ship has paid off. The famous defaced blue Conway ensign may, for example, still be ﬂown at sea, by cadets who are ship’s masters and by members of the Conway Cruising Association who own their own yachts. Now a National Trust property, Plas Newydd has refurbished the school’s former mess deck inside the Nelson Block — serving as the HMS Conway Coffee Shop. Conway still maintains its own chapel, now situated within Birkenhead Priory — a 12th century building by the River Mersey, near where the original three Conway ships were moored from 1859 to 1941. The chapel window reﬂects the loss and passing of all Conway cadets, and the Priory museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Behind the high altar inside Liverpool Cathedral a Conway Ensign hangs, remembering the many Conways who gave their lives at sea during Battle of the Atlantic. There are three trust funds that bear the name of the ship. The Conway Merchant Navy Trust maintains the same objectives as the Conway and offers full sponsorship to a limited number of young men and women each year who become ‘Conway Cadets’ to train as deck or engineer ofﬁcers. The Conway Trust provides support to poor and distressed Conways and their progeny, whilst the HMS Conway Trust is a registered charity set up to help Old Conways in need and can provide such things as carer relief and the purchase of equipment to make life easier. The Friends of HMS Conway was formed in 1996 and is dedicated to preserving the memory of the old ship through the acquisition, maintenance and display of artefacts and memorabilia connected with the ship and the subsequent shore establishment. One aim is to list all Conway cadets who lost their lives at sea other than in the two world wars. Some such as James Moody, sixth ofﬁcer of the Titanic, are well known — but the majority who perished did so in the sailing ship era and have no known memorial. The school has never forgotten its links to ﬁne education and supports Conway House, within The Kelly College at Tavistock, Devon. The house opened in 1977, funded by the Conway Club as a result of its centenary appeal. The Conway Club also has a bursary at the school open to the progeny of OCs. There is
awarded annually to the cadet who produces the best kept log or project through their training period — thus proving that traditions built on wooden ships are very hard to sink.
What they have done since like to call her, Conway cadets have served in F at least 708 shipping companies, not counting the Since leaving their old wooden mother, as they
Above, top: exercise onboard in 1932; below, sextant class in 1936. Right: up the mast in 1965
a small exhibition of Conway memorabilia including a sword and the brass nameplate from the starboard gangway. Hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren from all over the UK continue to enjoy the beneﬁts of the arts, environment and outdoor pursuits at what was theschool’sﬁnalheadquartersonAnglesey.Renamed The Conway Centre, it is managed by Cheshire County Council and is believed to be the largest residential service of its type run by a UK local authority. Surrounded by 169 acres of parkland, the Conway Centre offers a range of courses and opportunities for junior and secondary education students. A 50-strong team offers a wide range of courses in the arts, as well as ﬁeld studies and outdoor and adventurous activities. They also provide management training courses for adults. Over the last 30 years a half million schoolchildren and young people have
beneﬁted from visits to the centre and agreement on a new 30-year lease means the valued amenity will continue for the beneﬁt of tens of thousands of youngsters every year. The painting of the Old Ship still dominates the entrance and along with the plaques and inscriptions serves as an ongoing reminder of the former days. Down under, the Conway Club of Australia awards an annual Conway prize to the student who gains highest marks in Year 4 Ship Operations in the Diploma of Applied Science (Nautical Science) course. At sea, the Barnes Cup — the old inter-watch gig racing cup — is now held by the St Helena Shipping company and is on permanent display in the passenger area of the RMS ST Helena, which carries cadets in cabins named Conway and Worcester. The cup is
The sad sight of HMS Conway aground, with a broken back, in 1953
Written by Alfie Windsor, with a foreword by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HMS Conway 1859-1974 is a comprehensive review of Conway’s history, operation, organisation, and daily life. Illustrated with more than 260 pictures, it describes events from opening day in 1859 to closure in 1974. Old Conways’ fascinating reminiscences of people, places and daily routine bring the events to life. Maritime researchers, historians and anyone with an interest in the sea — and especially Old Conways, their families and friends — will enjoy it. Published by Witherby Seamanship International, the book costs £40.
many sailing vessels that were owner-captained in the 1800s and are far too numerous to mention. Cadets have served as harbour masters in more than 35 of the world’s most signiﬁcant ports, worked for over 57 pilotage services, 195 different uniformed services and supplied staff to some 81 sea training establishments. It was recently calculated that Conway cadets have found themselves practitioners in 136 different professions — many of them sea-related. Not all have held jobs that are to do with the sea and a quick glance at the list reveals a wide variety of professions, including the visiting professor of Malmo University, Sweden, the Queen’s honorary chaplain, and a professional pig breeder. Training in the ﬁeld of sport has stood old Conways well — with divers, runners and sailors in the Olympics, along with Sir Clive Woodward who coached the English Rugby team that last won the World Cup.
The father of the Union strike in 1926 many deep-seated grievances in F the Merchant Navy surfaced. MN ofﬁcers felt underFrom the end of the war through to the general
valued, under-paid and under-represented. They formed their ﬁrst union — the British Merchant Service League in 1919 — but this failed in 1921. Captain WH Coombs was a cadet aboard HMS Conway from 1907 until 1909. He left the sea in 1921 determined to improve the status and circumstances of his fellow ofﬁcers and formed the Navigators & General Insurance Company to provide insurance against the loss of their professional certiﬁcates following an ofﬁcial inquiry into the loss of a ship, a collision or other accident. In 1925 he wrote and paid for the publication of the book, The Nation’s Keymen, in which he argued the case for the professional status of the MN ofﬁcer. His work inspired others and in 1928 he was inﬂuential in the formation of the Ofﬁcers’ (MN) Federation, through which many British and Commonwealth ofﬁcers’ associations worked together on key issues. In 1932 he formed The Watch Ashore to represent ofﬁcers’ wives. Determined to make the government improve the lot of ofﬁcers, he organised a 23,000-signature petition that resulted in the creation of the Merchant Navy Ofﬁcers’ Pension Fund and the Central Board for the Training of Ofﬁcers for the Merchant Navy. In 1935 he formed the Navigators & Engineers Ofﬁcers Union, which in time became NUMAST and now Nautilus.
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 29
Top 10 Old Conways
The school’s song includes the line ‘…and you’ll ﬁnd on the bridge a Conway Boy’ — and it does seem that the Old Boys got around the world and accomplished a thing or two. Among them were:
1 Lt. Warrington Baden-Powell RNR KC Admiralty Court (1861-64) Warrington joined in 1861 and went on to become a master mariner and the founder of the Sea Scouts. He was undoubtedly a major inﬂuence on his younger brother Robert, who founded the Boy Scouts. It was largely thanks to Warrington’s interest in seamanship that Sea Scouting became popular. In the Great War,SeaScoutstookoverthedutiesoftheCoastguards when they were called away to man the ﬂeet, and provided signallers, cooks and bridge boys to man the auxiliary ﬂeet. Warrington went on to become a barrister and was admitted to the Admiralty Bar.
2 John Masefield OM D Litt LL.D Litt D (1891-94)
Bedtime ‘in the hut’ in 1959
Born in Herefordshire, he was orphaned young and brought up by an aunt. It was aboard Conway that Maseﬁeld’s love for story-telling grew. While in the Ship, he listened to the stories told about sea lore. He continued to read, and felt that he was to become a writer and storyteller himself. After Conway he went to sea, but to his great regret had to come ashore — he suffered extreme seasickness. He became Poet Laureate in May 1930 and wrote many poems about the sea. He wrote of his Conway years in his book ‘New Chum’ and was her ofﬁcial historian, producing two editions of his book ‘The Conway’ in 1933 and 1953.
3 James Moody (1904-06) The 6th Ofﬁcer of the Titanic was James Moody, six years out of Conway. Doubtless he would have been amazed at his good fortune to gain a berth in this, the most prestigious liner in a most prestigious shipping company. He was on watch on the bridge at the time of the sinking and stayed with the ship to the end. After having assisted many passengers to the safety of lifeboats, he was last seen alone on deck.
and William’s sons Eldon (55-56) and Ron (56-57). They had a unique family connection with Cunard. Commodore Bill Warwick CBE RD RNR (26-28), became master of the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary, and was the ﬁrst master of the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1968. He later became the fourth Conway appointed as Commodore of Cunard in 1970 and retired in 1972. Bill’s brother Norman Ralph Warwick (48-49) went to sea in the Silver Line. Bill’s son Eldon John Warwick (55-56) served his time with Brocklebanks and worked for several companies before retiring in 1997 after serving in command for about 20 years. Bill’s younger son, Commodore Ronald ‘Ron’ Warwick OBE RNR LLD FNI (56-57), served with the Port Line before joining Cunard as a third ofﬁcer in 1970. For one brief day in 1970 he and his father both served in Queen Elizabeth 2 as she was moved in Southampton harbour. He was the ﬁrst captain of the new Queen Mary 2 and the ﬁfth Conway Commodore of Cunard from 2003 to 2006, when he retired with 36 years of company service.
8 Captain Eric Hewitt RD RNR (1919-21) Eric Hewitt completed his Conway training in April 1921, achieving the rare accolade of a Double Extra Passing Out Certiﬁcate. Accepted into the RNR, he spent six months with the ﬂeet before completing his MN apprenticeship with Glen Line. He passed his second mate’s certiﬁcate in June 1924 and moved to Royal Mail Lines. He was called up to the RNR in 1939 and served with distinction throughout the war, much of the time on convoy and anti-submarine duties in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. Eric became Conway’s Staff Captain in March 1948 and Captain Superintendent in 1949. He established Conway’s new routine on shore at Plas Newydd, following the dreadful loss of the ship in 1953. He masterminded the creation of the modern buildings, with extensive laboratory and classroom accommodation and excellent playing ﬁelds. He worked tirelessly with the headmaster and committee to extend and improve technical and academic training to meet the shipping industry’s needs. Eric died on 13 December 1995, aged 91, as a result of inhaling fumes from a ﬁre at his home. Nearly 400 people attended his memorial service.
4 Sir Arthur Henry Rostron KBE RD RNR 9 Iain Duncan Smith (1968-72) (1885-86) Iain Duncan Smith was born in April 1954 and joined Arthur Rostron joined Conway at the age of 13 and was apprenticed to the Waverley Line. He joined Cunard in 1895 and is best known as the master of Carpathia and rescuer of nearly 700 Titanic survivors — in doing so, becoming a national hero. He went on to serve as master of Mauretania and holder of the Blue Riband for the west-east Atlantic crossing. He became commodore of the Cunard ﬂeet before retiring in 1931.
5 Captain Jim Thompson MNI (1939-41) A 1913 Conway certificate
After leaving Conway, Jim joined the Blue Star Line and his second ship was the Dunedin Star, carrying munitions, cargo and passengers to the Middle East via Durban. In diverting to avoid reported U-boat activity she was holed in mysterious circumstances and, to avoid sinking in deep water, her master ran her aground on the treacherous Skeleton Coast of SW Africa on 29 November 1942. Her grounding became famous because of the perilous conditions facing the 63 survivors, including Jim, after the ship’s lifeboat landed them on the desolate Namibian shore.
Conway in January 1968 when he was nearly 14. From Conway he went to Perugia University in Italy, then to Sandhurst, after which he joined the Scots Guards. Entering politics, he was elected MP for Chingford. From June 1997 he was shadow secretary of state for social security, and in June 1999 he was appointed shadow secretary of state for defence. He led the Conservative Party from 2001 to 03.
10 Sir Clive Woodward OBE (1969-74) Sir Clive was forced to attend Conway by his father — largely, it seems, to prevent him from playing football. His biography makes it very clear he did not enjoy his time at Conway, even though his success as a cadet seems at odds with his published statements. Whatever his views of the life and of being forced to abandon his beloved football, Conway certainly developed his natural rugby skills. He was selected to represent England in 1980, wining 21 caps in four years. He became a successful rugby coach and in August 1997 was invited to become the ﬁrst ever fulltime coach of the England rugby union side.
6 Lt Ian Fraser VC DSC RD RNR (1936-38) Among several Old Conways to have been so decorated, Lt Fraser was awarded the Victoria Cross for ‘special and hazardous duties’ in midget submarines whilst attacking the Japanese heavy cruiser Takao off Singapore in July 1945. He left Conway in 1938 and joined Blue Star Line. He was appointed Probationary Midshipman RNR in 1938 and in June 1939 was called up to join Royal Oak. He volunteered for submarine duty and was awarded the DSC whilst serving in Sahib in the 19th Flotilla in the Mediterranean. Injury prevented him sailing in Sahib’s last cruise when she was lost and all but one of her crew became PoWs. After a short period in command of H44 out of Londonderry, he volunteered for X-craft in March 1944. After the war he formed Universal Divers Ltd with ex-frogmen and colleagues, pioneering the application of wartime underwater skills to the commercial ﬁeld.
7 The Warwick Family (1926-57) The Warwick family are a Conway dynasty, with four family members attending over two generations. Brothers William (26-28) and Norman (48-49),
Credits iserved in the Old Ship as a foretopman from 1964 to 1967 and first went to sea with P&O, is hugely
The author, himself a former Conway cadet who
indebted to friends and colleagues who have helped in the production of this article, without which it would have not been as accurate. Particular thanks to the committee of the Conway Club, Alfie Windsor and his publishers Witherby Seamanship International for their very special inputs.
30 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
Balancing the books…
NAUTILUS UK’s accounts for the year 2008 have been externally audited and approved by Council. The accounts — which appear below — were submitted in accordance with the Union’s rules to the General Meeting in May 2009. They show that Nautilus International continues to have an underlying strong financial provision, with sufficient resources available to meet members’ requirements...
STATEMENT OF INCOME & EXPENDITURE FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2008
BALANCE SHEET AT 31 DECEMBER 2008 2008 Fixed assets
General Legal Fund Defence fund £ £
225,864 557,020 50,369 3,510,746
225,864 557,020 50,369 3,727,840
184,115 470,877 50,546 3,485,731
Expenditure Travel and general organising 402,820 Elections and BGM costs 83,222 Rule 4 legal costs Affiliations and council expenses 109,603 Telegraph — net cost 489,822 Phone, post, printing and stationery 145,205 Professional fees and bank charges 99,426 Donations 30,820 Stress fund grants Staff costs 1,481,500 Pension fund asset and costs 10 180,681 Building costs 122,293 Computer and equipment costs 108,505 Loss/(profit) on disposal of vehicles 8,003 Depreciation — Freehold buildings 18,965 Motor vehicles 45,012 Computers and equipment 71,917
- 402,820 83,222 454,035 454,035 109,603 489,822 145,205 99,426 30,820 - 1,481,500 180,681 122,293 108,505 8,003 18,965 45,012 71,917
312,612 69,449 132,240 113,301 461,315 157,745 109,999 22,810 4,500 1,445,999 260,280 101,992 64,418 (8,166) 19,590 42,196 35,282
Note Contributions from members and others Investment income net of corporation tax Advertising revenue Other income net of corporation tax
Total operating surplus / (deficit) Profit on sale of investments net of corporation tax Total surplus / (deficit) for the year
Statement of total recognised gains and losses Total (deficit) / surplus for the year Actuarial gains on SPF net pension costs Total recognised gains and losses related to the year
2008 £ (92,136) (141,000) £(233,136)
2007 £ 508,867 37,000 £545,867
STATEMENT OF COUNCIL AND GENERAL SECRETARY’S RESPONSIBILITIES zthe Council is responsible for the absolute control and administration of the affairs and property
RULE 10 of the Nautilus UK Rules provides that
of the Union and thus for safeguarding the assets of the Union. Rule 14.5 provides that the General Secretary shall provide Council with such financial statements as it may require. The General Secretary is responsible for keeping proper accounting records which disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Union and for ensuring that the financial statements comply with the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 as amended and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities. Law applicable to Trade Unions requires the preparation of financial statements for each
financial year which give a true and fair view of the Union’s activities during the year and of its financial position at the end of the year. In preparing those financial statements, the General Secretary is required to; z select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently; z make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent; z state whether applicable accounting standards and statements of recommended practice have been followed, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements; z prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the Union will continue in operation.
2 2 2
1,174,293 100,677 160,788
Freehold land and buildings Motor vehicles Equipment
Current assets Debtors and prepayments Cash at bank and in hand - Current accounts - Deposit accounts Less: Creditors Net assets excluding pension asset SPF pension asset
4,256,170 5,628,055 123,509
272,114 222,046 581,370 (780,159)
110,679 384,112 618,300 (398,109)
7 8 5
1,191,675 134,087 46,123
NET assets Reserves General Fund Legal Defence Fund Revaluation Reserve
(198,789) 5,701,110 8,000
220,191 5,848,246 94,000
4,155,780 763,059 790,271 £5,709,110
4,145,682 1,000,000 796,564 £5,942,246
The financial statements were approved and authorised for issue on 27 March 2009 and were signed below on its behalf by: J. Epsom Chairman B.D. Orrell OBE General Secretary
proper accounting records, or if we have not received all the information and explanations we require for our audit.
Basis of opinion
We have audited the ﬁnancial statements of Nautilus UK for the year ended 31st December 2008 set out on pages 1 to 9. These ﬁnancial statements have been prepared under the accounting policies set out on page 3. This report is made solely to the members of the Nautilus Council, as a body, in accordance with the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the Union members those matters we are required to state to them in an auditor’s report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the Union members, as a body, for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed.
Respective responsibilities of directors and auditors As described on page 9 the Council and General Secretary are responsible for the preparation of ﬁnancial statements in accordance with applicable law and United Kingdom Accounting Standards. Our responsibility is to audit the ﬁnancial statements in accordance with relevant legal and regulatory requirements and International Standards on Auditing (UK & Ireland). We report to you our opinion as to whether the ﬁnancial statements give a true and fair view and are properly prepared in accordance with the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. We also report to you if the Union has not kept
We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK & Ireland) issued by the Auditing Practices Board. An audit includes examination, on a test basis, of evidence relevant to the amounts and disclosures in the ﬁnancial statements. It also includes an assessment of the signiﬁcant estimates and judgements made by Council in the preparation of the ﬁnancial statements, and of whether the accounting policies are appropriate to the Union’s circumstances, consistently applied and adequately disclosed. We planned and performed our audit so as to obtain all the information and explanations which we considered necessary in order to provide us with sufﬁcient evidence to give reasonable assurance that the ﬁnancial statements are free from material misstatement, whether caused by fraud or other irregularity or error. In forming our opinion we also evaluated the overall adequacy of the presentation of information in the ﬁnancial statements.
Opinion In our opinion, the ﬁnancial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the Union’s affairs as at 31st December 2008 and of its surplus for the year then ended and have been properly prepared in accordance with the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
haysmacintyre, Chartered Accountants Registered Auditors Fairfax House, 15 Fulwood Place, London WC1V 6AY 27 March 2009
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 31
BASIS OF ACCOUNTING
The financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention as modified by the revaluation of freehold land and buildings and in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities (‘FRSSE’) (effective January 2007) and include the results of the Union’s operations.
Revenue is recognised when receivable by the Union and is stated net of VAT where applicable.
Depreciation is provided using the following rates to reduce by annual installments the cost of the tangible assets over their useful lives: Freehold buildings 2% straight line Equipment 33.33% straight line Software 6 years straight line Motor vehicles 25% straight line
2008 2007 £ £ Cost 743,594 742,011 Accumulated depreciation (189,094) (176,422) ____________________________________________________________________ Net Book Value £554,500 £565,589 ____________________________________________________________________
2008 2007 £ £ Fixed interest securities 1,162,807 1,157,736 Other quoted securities Investment Trusts 198,487 139,343 Overseas Trusts 625,355 453,669 Equity Holdings 2,301,485 2,329,415 ____________________________________________________________________ £4,288,134 £4,080,163 ____________________________________________________________________
Investments are included in the financial statements at cost.
LEGAL DEFENCE FUND
At the meeting of Council held in December 2007 it was agreed that the Legal Defence Fund be capped at £1,000,000 in real terms and reviewed annually. The annual transfer of members’ contributions is 7.5% per annum. In view of the exceptionally large expenditure in 2008, this will be reviewed in depth in 2009.
The Union participates in two multi employer pension schemes; namely the MNOPF and MNOPP. Contributions to the Schemes are charged to the Union’s Income and Expenditure Account so as to spread the costs of pensions over employees’ working lives. The Union accounts for these schemes as though they were defined contribution schemes as permitted by the FRSSE. The information required by the FRSSE is disclosed in note 10 to the financial statements. The MNAOA Supplementary Pension Scheme (SPF), a defined benefit scheme, which is administered by Trustees, provides pension benefits for certain members of staff. The deficit on the SPF defined benefit pension scheme is shown on the balance sheet. Current service costs, curtailments, settlement gains and losses and net financial returns are included in the income and expenditure account in the period to which they relate. Actuarial gains and losses are recognised in the statement of total recognised gains and losses.
The majority of the Union’s income is exempt from taxation under the mutual trading exemption. Where income is not covered by this exemption, which largely represents investment income, provision for taxation has been made in the accounts.
Freehold Computers land & Motor & buildings Vehicles Equipment Total 2007 Cost £ £ £ £ £ At 1st January 2008 1,219,503 190,461 614,291 2,024,255 2,044,090 Additions 1,583 44,937 187,072 233,592 182,196 Disposals - (55,015) (490) (55,505) (202,031) ____________________________________________________________________ At 31st December 2008 1,221,086 180,383 800,873 2,202,342 2,024,255 ____________________________________________________________________ Depreciation At 1st January 2008 27,828 56,374 568,168 652,370 683,332 Charge for the year 18,965 45,012 71,917 135,894 97,068 On disposals - (21,680) (21,680) (128,030) ____________________________________________________________________ At 31st December 2008 46,793 79,706 640,085 766,584 652,370 ____________________________________________________________________ Net book value 31st December 2008 £1,174,293 £100,677 £160,788 £1,435,758 £1,371,885 ____________________________________________________________________ 31st December 2007 £1,191,675 £134,087 £46,123 £1,371,885 £1,360,758 ____________________________________________________________________
The freehold land and buildings at Leytonstone and Wallasey were professionally valued on 12th October 2005. Charles Living & Sons valued Oceanair House and Nautilus House, the former on an open market basis and the latter on a depreciated replacement cost basis in accordance with the Statements of Asset and Valuation Practice and Guidance Notes as issued by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. DM Hall valued Bannermill Place on an open market basis on 22nd September 2005 in accordance with the Statements of Asset and Valuation Practice and Guidance Notes as issued by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. An interim valuation was performed at the 31st December 2008 which confirmed that there had not been a material change in the value of the properties since they were last valued in 2005. If the revalued land and properties were stated on a historical cost basis, the amounts would be as follows: Political fund Nautilus does not have a political fund. Conditions The Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993 provides for the publication of the salary paid to and other benefits provided to each member of the Executive, the President (if any) and the General Secretary. The only person covered within Nautilus under the relevant section of the
Total of quoted and unquoted investments held at cost at 31st December £4,464,141 £4,256,170 ____________________________________________________________________
2008 2007 £ £ Legal Defence Fund costs 406,700 91,227 Corporation tax 27,577 119,317 VAT 64,299 8,692 Other creditors 281,583 178,873 ____________________________________________________________________ £780,159 £398,109 ____________________________________________________________________
The Union is registered for VAT on a partially exempt basis and therefore irrecoverable VAT has been allocated proportionately against the relevant expense heading.
Market value of quoted investments at 31st December £4,286,943 £5,897,616 ____________________________________________________________________ Unquoted Equity holdings £176,007 £176,007 ____________________________________________________________________
2008 £ Balance at 1st January 2008 796,564 Transfer of realised profits to the General fund (6,293) ____________________________________________________________________ Balance at 31st December 2008 £790,271 ____________________________________________________________________ This represents the excess of the revaluation of the Union’s freehold properties over the net book value.
2008 2007 £ £ Current year taxation UK corporation tax at 28% (2007 – 30%) £27,577 £119,317 ____________________________________________________________________
Rule 4 Legal Costs 11.8%
Buildings, Equipment, Vehicles & Depreciation 9.7%
Staff Costs 38.5%
Professional Fees & Bank Charges 2.6%
Phone, Post, Printing & Stationery 3.8%
Nb. £557,020 income was received
Telegraph Gross cost 12.7%
Affiliations & Council Expenses / Donations 3.5%
Elections & BGM Costs 2.2%
Travel & Organising 10.5%
Pension Fund Deficit & Costs 4.7%
Nautilus UK expenditure for the year ended 31 December 2008
The Balance Sheet and Statement of Financial Activities of the NUMAST Welfare Funds, which operate under Trusts, are published separately.
10. Pension commitments The Union operates a defined benefit pension scheme, the MNAOA Supplementary Pension Scheme (SPF) for certain members of staff. This scheme is now closed to new entrants. It is funded by the payment of contributions to a separately administered trust fund. The assets of the scheme are held separately from those of Nautilus UK. The Union adopts the valuation and disclosure requirements of the FRSSE 2007. The Union includes the assets and liabilities of the SPF in the Union’s balance sheet, with a subsequent effect on reserves. The pension contributions are determined with the advice of a qualified actuary on the basis of triennial valuations using the aggregate method. The most recent valuation was conducted as at 31st December 2005. The principal assumptions used by the actuaries were that the return on assets would be 5.4% per annum and salaries would increase by 4.8% per annum. The market value of the assets at 31st December 2005 was £2,749,000. The pension charge for the year was £75,000 (2007:£75,000). Contributions to the scheme are expected to remain at this level in the future. An additional one off contribution of £250,000 was paid in 2007. The most recent valuation and has been updated to reflect conditions at the balance sheet date. The key assumptions were as follows: % per annum 2008 2007 5.2 5.4 4.8 5.1 3.0 3.3
Main assumptions Rate of return on investments Increase in earnings Increase in pensions Increase in MNOPF pensions - post April 1997 service Inflation rate Discount rate
3.0 3.0 6.2
3.3 3.3 5.8
Value at 31st December 2008 2007 £’000s £’000s Market value of assets 3,131 3,241 Present value of scheme liabilities (3,123) (3,147) ____________________________________________________________________ Net pension scheme surplus 8 94 ____________________________________________________________________ The movement in the asset/(deficit) during the year arose as follows: 2008 2007 £’000s £’000s Surplus/(deficit) as at 31st December 2007 94 (259) Current service cost (15) (13) Other financial charges:- Expected return on assets 176 164 - Interest cost (181) (160) Actuarial (losses)/gains (141) 37 Employer contributions 75 325 ____________________________________________________________________ Surplus as at 31st December 2008 8 94 ____________________________________________________________________
UK corporation tax The above charge is disclosed in the accounts within the figures for:Profit on sale of investments £5,349 £91,646 ____________________________________________________________________ Interest received on general investments £15,787 £15,785 ____________________________________________________________________ Other income £6,441 £11,886 ____________________________________________________________________
2008 £ Balance at 1st January 2008 4,145,682 Surplus for the year 144,805 Actuarial losses on pension scheme (141,000) Transfer of realised profits from revaluation reserve 6,293 ____________________________________________________________________ Balance at 31st December 2008 £4,155,780
Legal defence fund
This represents a provision against payments for certain legal costs and provident benefits incurred in accordance with the Rules of the Union. 2008 £ Balance at 1st January 2008 1,000,000 Deficit for the year (236,941) ____________________________________________________________________ Balance at 31st December 2008 £763,059
Act is the General Secretary. The information is as follows: Gross Salary £74,550; Employer’s National Insurance Contributions £8,180; Employer’s Pension Contributions £7,758; Telephone Rental £260; Use of Vehicle £5,965. Statement Section 32A(6)(a) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 as amended by the Employment Relations
Act 1999 states: ‘A member who is concerned that some irregularity may be occurring, or have occurred, in the conduct of the financial affairs of the union may take steps with a view to investigating further, obtaining clarification and, if necessary, securing regularisation of that conduct. ‘The member may raise any such concern with such one or more of the following as it seems appropriate to raise it with: the
10. Pension commitments (continued) In the opinion of the actuary the resources of the scheme are likely in the normal course of events, to meet in full the liabilities of the scheme as they fall due. The next actuarial valuation is to be carried out as at 31st December 2008. In addition Nautilus UK has financial commitments to pay employer contributions and as laid down in legislation and the trust deeds and rules, to two multi employer pension schemes — the MNOPF, a defined benefit scheme, and the MNOPP, a defined contribution scheme. The actuarial valuation in March 2003 of the MNOPF identified a significant deficit in the New Section of the industry wide scheme. This is now being funded by the relevant employers. As one such employer liable; Nautilus UK will be making an annual contribution of £83,361 for the ten years from 2006. This contribution is charged to the income and expenditure account when it becomes payable (2008: £83,361, 2007: £83,361). In 2007 an additional contribution of £90,599 was made in respect of the shortfall in the MNOPF caused by some other employers being unable to pay their deficit contributions. The results of the MNOPF actuarial valuation as at March 2006 showed a further deficit in the New Section to be funded by employers including Nautilus UK. Nautilus UK will be making an annual contribution of £77,320 for the eight years from 2007. The Trustees of the pension scheme cannot identify the Union’s share of the underlying assets and liabilities of the MNOPF defined benefit scheme on a consistent and reasonable basis. As explained above, the Union’s pension contributions are assessed in accordance with the advice of a qualified independent actuary whose calculations are based upon the total scheme membership of the MNOPF. In accordance with FRSSE 2007 the scheme is therefore included in the accounts as if it was a defined contribution scheme.
officials of the union, the trustees of the property of the union, the auditor or auditors of the Union, the Certification Officer (who is an independent officer appointed by the Secretary of State) and the police. ‘Where a member believes that the financial affairs of the union have been or are being conducted in breach of the law or in breach of rules of the Union and contemplates bringing civil proceedings
against the union or responsible officials or trustees, he should consider obtaining independent legal advice.’ z Any members with queries on these financial statements should contact Olu Tunde, director of finance, at Nautilus International head office. He can also supply copies of the full audited accounts of the General and Numast Welfare Funds.
32 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
OFFWATCH ships of the past General details BUILDER: Blackwood & Gordon DATES: 1875-1948 OWNER: Orme Brothers of Glasgow
Dunara Castle: a true Hebridean institution by Trevor Boult
In 1924 the sailing schedule of the Orme Brothers of Glasgow steamer Dunara Castle listed 19 destinations throughout the Scottish west coast islands and the Hebrides, conﬁrming the accolade of her being a regional institution. Amongst her many duties, she carried mails to and from the island of Colonsay and, in season, the remote Atlantic fastness of St Kilda. The Dunara Castle’s association with St Kilda was, however, not merely one of summer-trip routine; she became pivotal in the evacuation of the island inhabitants in 1930. In the year previously the ship had passed into the combined McCallum,
Orme & Company Ltd ﬂeet. Dunara Castle was named after a ruined pile on the NW coast of Mull. She was to survive a grounding at Buttery Point, Greenock, in 1922. Built in 1875 by Blackwood & Gordon, she originally sported two funnels. There was accommodation for 44 cabin class passengers. Weekly sailings between Glasgow and the Hebrides in summer were extended during the high season to include St Kilda. Most of the crew were Gaelic speakers from the highlands and islands. Four thousand years ago Stone Age man arrived to make his home on what is called Hirta — the main island of the St Kilda group. Their modern descendents are a byword for fortitude, stoicism, and a
particular way of living — as well as an evolutionary enlarged big toe. The homeland is now Scotland’s only World Heritage Site. Increasing pressures on the island community saw a steady decline in population, beginning with the migration of 36 inhabitants to Australia in 1852. Naval personnel from mainland Scotland were posted to the island during the ﬁrst world war and unwittingly sowed ideas in the minds of the younger folk of an easier way of life in Glasgow. It was not unknown for the islanders to seek aid from the mainland. The particularly hard winter of 1929-30 led to near starvation, and the death of two young girls ﬁnally broke the St Kildan spirit: they petitioned for evacuation.
Telegraph prize crossword The winner of this month’s cryptic crossword competition will win a copy of the book Requiem for the Toledo Express (reviewed on the facing page). To enter, simply complete the form below and send it, along with your completed crossword, to: Nautilus International, Telegraph Crossword Competition, Oceanair House, 750–760 High Road,
The last mail dispatched to St Kilda from Greenock was one of the smallest ever carried by the Dunara Castle. In contrast, the return was by far the heaviest which had left the island. A number of passengers from the ship went ashore to the Post Ofﬁce. They bought large supplies of stamps, and picture postcards showing local scenes, and many pieces of woollen goods made by St Kildan women from the ﬂeeces of the famous island breed of sheep. The ﬁnal Scottish mainland destination of the islanders was to be Morven in Argyll. The evacuees comprised 36 natives, the island nurse, the missionary and his small family. Owing to heavy seas the Dunara Castle had to run for shelter in a sea loch on the west coast of Skye. She eventually arrived at St Kilda in late August 1930, to deliver the last mailbag and take off such of the sheep stock as remained after the vessel's previous call two weeks earlier. Throughout the afternoon and evening some hundreds of sheep were placed in small boats and towed out to the ship, anchored in Village Bay together with the Fisheries Protection Vessel Harebell. Also loaded were the cattle and the bulky possessions of the inhabitants who were to be conveyed from Oban to their new homes. A witness to the removal recorded: ‘The loneliest of Britain’s island-dwellers have resigned their heritage to the ghosts and the seabirds; and the curtain is rung down on haunted homes and the sagas of the centuries.’ In 1948 the Dunara Castle was acquired by David MacBrayne Ltd, and scrapped in Glasgow in the same year. Acknowledging the signiﬁcance of her earlier humanitarian role, her original jolly boat is preserved by Glasgow Museums as an artefact in a unique collection celebrating St Kildan life.
50 YEARS AGO We reported some time ago that a member had lost the sight of an eye as a result of a wheelhouse window splintering after being struck by heavy seas. Shortly afterwards, the master of a Dutch north Atlantic liner was similarly injured and members have also reported similar kinds of incidents without, fortunately, anyone being injured. Arising from these developments, representations were made to the Ministry of Transport urging that wheelhouse windows should be ﬁtted with toughened glass which would not splinter on impact. The Ministry has now agreed to issue a notice recommending the use of such glass in the interests of safety, and that it should also be ﬁtted in wheelhouse side windows. The MNAOA has welcomed this as a step in the right direction, but believes that the requirement should be made a compulsory one MN Journal, July 1959
25 YEARS AGO The UK merchant ﬂeet shrunk by 33 ships in the ﬁrst three months of this year, bring it to the lowest level for a quarter of a century. New ﬁgures from the General Council of British Shipping reveal that the UK owned and registered ﬂeet has fallen to 736 ships of 19.8m dwt, compared with 1,614 ships of 50m dwt in 1975. The GCBS has also revealed a 16% decline in seafarer numbers over the past year – with an 18% decline in the officer total, which was down to 17,758. Cadet recruitment has also been hit hard – with the intake falling to just 138, compared with 283 in 1982. GCBS director-general Patrick Shovelton commented: ‘These ﬁgures conﬁrm the need for the government to help British shipping and not take away such ﬁnancial advantages as it did have until the recent Budget’ The Telegraph, July 1984
10 YEARS AGO NUMAST has called for the government to urgently implement the radical recommendations of an all-party Parliamentary inquiry into the future of the UK shipping industry. The House of Commons transport committee report warns that the UK maritime industry is ‘close to crisis’ and requires swift action to reverse its decline. Pointing to the ‘overwhelming case’ for supporting shipping, the report recommends a wide range of measures – including: immediate introduction of a tonnage tax scheme; allowing seafarers in the coastal and shortsea shipping sectors to beneﬁt from the existing income tax concessions; a major campaign to attract new recruits to the industry; and a review of the employment rights and social security provisions for seafarers serving on offshore contracts The Telegraph, April 1999
What is the average growth of the world merchant ﬂeet, in gross tonnage terms, over the past ﬁve years? Which port is Europe’s busiest in terms of passenger numbers? Which country’s shipowners have the largest amount of tonnage under the Panamanian ﬂag?
What happened to the Orient Line in 1964? Which country in the Middle East has the biggest merchant ﬂeet, in gross tonnage terms? Which ship held the Blue Riband of the Atlantic before the liner United States?
J Quiz and quick crossword answers are on page 46.
Leytonstone, London E11 3BB, or fax +44 (0)20 8530 1015. Closing date is Wednesday 15 July 2009. You can also enter by email, by sending your list of answers and your contact details to: email@example.com by the same closing date.
QUICK CLUES 1. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 18. 20. 23. 25. 26. 27. 28.
Across Seasonal break (6,7) Mexican state (7) Tantrum (7) Negligent (9) Singers (5) Netting ﬁbres (6) Strongholds (8) Former East European (8) Sausage (6) Go-between (5) Habit (9) Italian devil (7) Australian snakes (7) Echo (13)
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Down Honest (7) Male quality (9) Planted (6) Do better (8) Ancient Greek style (5) Halo (7)
8. 9. 16. 17. 19. 21. 22. 24.
ID (8,5) Artistic movement (13) Rebel (9) Burial vaults (8) Missile (7) Concerned musical pace (7) News chief (6) Treasure (5)
CRYPTIC CLUES 1. 10.
11. 12. 13. 14.
Across Just bring back the Mona Lisa, O.K.! (3,3,7) Some of the June qualiﬁers are not of the same standard (7) Lover who had locks removed (7) They have orders to say nothing (9) Interchangeable with saltpeter (5) Money back on beer at resort (6)
15. Oversees before teams are put together (8) 18. Yellow runner takes Steam Navigation Company ﬁrst from Larne, then Ayrshire port (8) 20. Not big time, far from it (6) 23. “For the --- of sin is death” (Paul to the Romans, VI) (5) 25. Capitalist corruption in ANC rife (9) 26. Around 90, Pan is upset with extract (7) 27. For old writer it’s something of a dilemma (3-4) 28. For youngsters going up in the world (8,5)
Down 2. Her favourite thing — a small woolly jumper (3,4) 3. Cuppa Jamaican and he’s a rock musician (9) 4. Listen, there’s another way to join up (6)
5. Following Asian river to have a go at work (8) 6. Heavyweight holding a novice claw (5) 7. Told how one is connected by birth (7) 8. Coward puts red mixture into dessert — yellow actually (7,6) 9. Profession which may ﬂeece an older 2 (5-8) 16. Put political gloss on drum and run it up the mast (9) 17. Bridal shower — after the event (8) 19. Working on the premises — it stands to reason (7) 21. All the same, it’s distinctive dress (7) 22. Denouement played out in dodgy gin den (6) 24. Street tot (Jamaican) to play guitar (5)
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 33
Extraordinary times School of the Sea, by Stephen Richardson Whittles Publishing, £16.99. ISBN 978 1 904445 58 6
ioural sciences attained at America’s CorK nell University. His latest book, School of the Sea, Stephen Richardson has a Phd in behav-
is about another kind of learning experience altogether — what is known in popular parlance as the ‘university of life’. Specifically in the author’s case, seagoing life. Richardson served as an officer in the British Merchant Navy between 1937 to 1946 and his book is his first-hand account of those times. Within two years of Richardson becoming apprenticed to Anchor Line, the world descended into war. A war, as Nautilus International members will know, in which the merchant seafarer was more vulnerable to risk of life and limb than any of the actual combatants. A lucky star, however, hovered over Richardson during his wartime career: ‘During the 60 years that have passed since I left the sea, I have often thought about my good fortune while
Seafarers take a part in study of working class writing Dockers and Detectives by Ken Worpole Five Leaves, £8.99 ISBN 978 1 905512 37 9
The writer of this review bought the first edition of Dockers and Detectives, Ken Worpole’s study of working class writers and readers, sometime in the 1980s from a lefty bookshop’s bargain bin. The book was about to slip into oblivion — but now, some quarter of a century later, the small independent publisher Five Leaves has salvaged this important and absorbing work in a revised edition. The photo that adorns the new cover shows ships and lighters clustered at London’s Royal Albert Dock in 1958 and, indeed, seafaring novelists are given prominent coverage in the ensuing narrative. Warpole’s book is split into a series of essays, including an extensive two-chapter introduction in which he gives an excellent contextual and socio-political overview. He observes that ‘contrary to many assumptions, working-class reading patterns were often more adventurous and international than middle class reading’. Working class writers are a key theme of the book. ‘There was a very rich tradition of working-class writing in the 19th century, and even earlier, but as much of this work is out of
I was a seaman. The ﬁrst three ships that I sailed on were sunk shortly after I left them, Elysia, Empire Beaver and Tahsinia. ‘If the Kelmscott had not been carrying a cargo of newsprint when we were torpedoed, I could well have lost my life. The newsprint cushioned the explosion and kept the ship aﬂoat because of its buoyancy. When the convoys I was in were attacked it was other ships that were sunk, and when we were in port during air raids none of the bombs struck us.’ Not that the wellbeing of merchant seafarers was necessarily of pressing concern to even their own side. Richardson recalls working as third mate on his ﬁrst transatlantic ship, the cargocarrying Empire Beaver: ‘Sometimes the Old Man would join me on the bridge, and when all was quiet we would talk. He told me what he thought about the poor way the Anchor Line Glasgow ofﬁce people acted: we need not have left Glasgow for another two days, but they were so afraid the crew would desert… ‘The ship was badly in need for a dry docking and many other repairs, but the authorities didn’t think it worth spending money on a ship
print the prospect of reclaiming and re-evaluating a tradition remains impossible,’ Worpole points out. He focuses particularly on 20th century writers from two very distinct backgrounds. One essay is entirely devoted to east London Jewish writers, and another, Expressionism and Working-Class Fiction — although you wouldn’t guess it from the title — is chieﬂy concerned with three novelists all from Liverpool-Irish seafaring backgrounds: George Garrett, James Hanley and Jim Phelan. These seafarer novelists were contemporaries, although the links between them were tenuous, Worpole notes. ‘Apart from the fact that all three of them had worked as seamen, they all shared a very deep interest in the expressionist drama of Ibsen, Strindberg and O’Neill which led them to explore non-realist forms of ﬁctionalising working-class life.’ Worpole covers a lot of ground in 158 pages, in a scholarly yet highly readable narrative, augmented by additional insights in his footnotes. The criticism of his book is not about what’s in it but what’s left out — an index for one thing. More importantly, the new edition could have been an opportunity to add essays on post-war Anglo-Caribbean and Asian working class writers, and the very considerable tradition of working class writers from Scotland. Also, all the writers covered are male — why? Populist regional writers such as Catherine Cookson and Helen Forrester must have been worth at least a mention. However, James Hanley — the most famous of the Scouse seafarer writers — captured something of the
that could be a total loss any day. He felt that all the ofﬁce cared about was getting the ships off their hands and out to sea again as quickly as possible, irrespective of their condition and the safety of the ship and her crew. They primarily wanted to please the Ministry of Shipping.’ Richardson’s memoir, based as it is on his daily diary, is full of such insights on the lives of merchant seafarers in those extraordinary times. In a foreword to the book, Professor emeritus Tony Lane — author of the historical study The Merchant Seamen’s War — notes: ‘There are a good number of books written by men who were young seamen in the Second World War. With just one notable exception, Morris Beckman’s Atlantic Roulette — they are focused on the high dramas of attacks by submarine or surface raider and the subsequent survival of those who managed to escape… When I began my research I was looking for accounts of life where the dramatic and the mundane were in the same frame.’ With Beckman’s compelling book regretfully out of print, Richardson’s is a welcome addition to maritime bibliography.
burdens endured by working class women of his era in his 1935 novel The Furys. As Worpole notes: ‘The lot of women in the novel is far worse than that of the men. Mrs Fury is worn out with waiting on the men in the household… Her last act in the novel is to attack Peter when she ﬁnds him about to board ship. She tries to pulp his face which stands for… all the men who “had cheated and insulted her”.’
simple little vessel emitting vast quantities of smoke while assisting a large ship… that image is several decades out of date,’ Gaston points out.
Great guide to the tug world The Tug Book by M.J. Gaston Haynes, £25 ISBN 978 1 84425 527 6
Generically, they are known as tugs, but as technical writer M.J. Gaston’s fourth book on the theme shows, these vessels come in a huge diversity of types and serve in a wide multitude of applications. The pace of development in the towage industry has prompted publication of a revised second edition of his book The Tug Boat. The ﬁrst edition was published in 2002, but as the new foreword says, it is unlikely at that time that anyone in the industry anticipated how the rate of change ‘would take the further quantum leap that it has. The rate at which installed power in tugs has increased is dramatic; the rate of building is unprecedented in history’. So this new edition serves as a timely update. ‘To many, the mention of a tug still conjures up a vision of a
In fact, he says, although the towage business is relatively young compared with the parent shipping business, it has ‘evolved as one of the most interesting and technically advanced branches of shipping and one that continues to develop at an alarming rate’. Gaston renders his theme in clear straight-ahead English, as beﬁts a writer who regularly contributes to Lloyd’s List. He covers: tug design and construction; propulsion systems; towing gear and deck equipment; ancillary equipment, small tugs and multi-purpose vessels; ship-handling and coastal tugs; escort, antipollution, ﬁre-ﬁghting and icebreaking; oceangoing tugs and offshore support vessels; and ﬁnally, pusher tugs, including those used to transport cargos on the extensive
Spotlight on bulk safety problems Requiem for the Toledo Express by Raymond Ramsey Keweenaw Media Press, US$17.99 (ISBN 978 0 9791117 9)
f www.keweenawMediaPress.com Fitzgerald and the 29 seafarers onboard in K November 1975 bears striking similarities with the case The loss of the Great Lakes bulk carrier Edmund
of the UK-ﬂagged Derbyshire almost ﬁve years later. Both ships were in their time among the biggest of their kind, and both disappeared suddenly, triggering a variety of theories about the reasons for their catastrophic loss. In Requiem for the Toledo Express, former naval architect Raymond Ramsey delivers a less complex and
inland waterways of mainland Europe. And although the book focuses mostly on the vessels, equipment and function, Gaston acknowledges: ‘No account of the towage industry would be complete without recognising the contribution made by the highly skilled tugmasters and crew. In spite of the advanced technology they have at their ﬁnger-tips, reduced crew numbers and increased regulation in the industry mean that the workload is high. In addition to traditional seamanship skills, many tug crews are expected to maintain sophisticated equipment, carry out management tasks, and achieve high levels of certiﬁcation… The illustrations in this book can be misleading, with many photographs taken during ideal conditions. In reality, crew are still required to manoeuvre tugs and handle ropes on deck in the worst possible conditions.’ It is hard to conceive of a better, more in-depth guide to this crucial sub-sector of the shipping industry.
Monochrome Mersey ships Ships of the Mersey by Ian Collard Amberley Publishing, £12.99 ISBN 978 1 84868 058 6
Liverpool has one of the richest maritime histories of all UK cities, and Ships of the Mersey: A Photographic History makes a good go of linking that heritage to the city’s status as European Capital of Culture in 2008.
updated version of his earlier work on the Edmund Fitzgerald, For Whom the Bells Toll. ‘Throughout its content, I have ventured where angels fear to tread by exposing some internecine sinking coverup factors, and failure of regulatory bodies to develop and apply superior hull performance standards,’ he told the Telegraph. As with the Derbyshire, the story involves issues such as the extrapolation of design, cracks and cargo loading, and structural modiﬁcations. Mr Ramsey also addresses the issue of compensation and ‘closure’ for the families of those who were lost with the ship. It’s a compelling story, which is told well in this professionally produced book that raises wider questions about the design and operation of merchant shipping. ‘In truth,’ Mr Ramsey concludes, ‘commercial shipbuilding cannot prosper on empiricism alone, but must be an amalgam of shipbuilding traditional art and rigorous research, development, test and evaluation.’
With some 240 pictures — mainly ship photographs, but also contemporary advertising and other ephemera — Ian Collard certainly conveys the great mix of merchant vessels that used the port in its glory days. It’s a shame, however, that all the pictures are black and white — a bit of colour, especially in the more modern era, would have lifted the pages somewhat.
Rather than opting for a strictly linear and chronological approach, the book is divided into sections on liners, cargo vessels, and Mersey ferries, coastal vessels, tugs and dredgers. Every picture is captioned, to varying lengths, but the overall effect is to make the book a bit disjointed in its impact, with underlying historical themes and developments struggling to emerge. Whilst many of the pictures are of huge historical interest, it’s a shame that the structure of the book rather detracts from the sense of the ‘bigger picture’.
To advertise your products & services in the Telegraph contact: CENTURY ONE PUBLISHING Tel: 01727 893 894 Fax: 01727 893 895 Email: ollie@centuryone publishing.ltd.uk
34 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
Leden akkoord met voorstellen nieuw buitenlandcontract een levendig debat plaats D tijdens de ledenvergadering van FNV Op 18 mei jongstleden vond
Waterbouw, waar de voorstellen voor aanpassing van het buitenlandcontract werden gepresenteerd. Zo kreeg het voorstel om het nettoloon met 2% te verhogen ruimschoots bijval, net als het voorstel tot verhoging van de eindejaarsuitkering naar 1%. Naast de voorgestelde netto loonsverhogingen, werden ook de voorstellen met betrekking tot reisdagenvergoeding en de vergoeding voor het ontbreken van een hypothecaire belastingaftrek door de leden goed ontvangen. Belangrijk aandachtspunt was de zogeheten wachtgeldregeling. Momenteel is het zo dat werknemers die tijdelijk zonder werk komen te zitten, automatisch terugvallen op de nationale waterbouw CAO. In praktijk betekent dit dat de werknemer dan een basisgage ontvangt dat in schril contrast staat met de beloning van het buitenlandcontract. FNV Waterbouw pleit daarom voor een soort wachtgeldregeling waarbij het inkomen van de werknemer minimaal drie maanden lang 70% van het in het buitenland verdiende loon bedraagt.
onderhandelingsdelegatie toegevoegd, Marcel Wischmeijer. Dit is vrij opmerkelijk omdat de toenmalige sectorraad waterbouw van FNV Bouw het standpunt voorstond dat wanneer een Raad van Advieslid de onderhandelingen bijwoont, hij gewild of ongewild invloed op de besluitvorming van de Raad zou kunnen uitoefenen. De recente jaarvergadering van FNV Waterbouw stelde echter vast dat leden zelf uitstekend in staat zijn een principeakkoord inhoudelijk te beoordelen. De onderhandelaars van FNV Waterbouw, Hans Crombeen en Joost Kaper, zijn verheugd met deze positieve ontwikkeling en stellen de praktische inbreng vanaf de werkvloer enorm op prijs. En mocht Wischmeijer in het buitenland zijn, dan is er vanzelfsprekend een plaatsvervanger beschikbaar die namens het werkveld de onderhandelingen op zich zal nemen. TOT SLOT
De ledenvergadering ging akkoord met de voorstellen, die nu ter beoordeling naar de werkgevers zijn gestuurd. Er wordt nog een voorstel over het bruto-netto inkomen tijdens ziekte aan het buitenlandcontract toegevoegd. We verwachten zoals gebruikelijk rond 1 juli een aanvang te nemen met de onderhandelingen . Vanzelfsprekend houden we u op de hoogte over de voortgang.
Voor het eerst in de jonge geschiedenis van FNV Waterbouw, is een Raad van Advieslid aan de
f Meer informatie vindt u natuurlijk op www.fnvwaterbouw.nl
Snel resultaat voor nieuwe CAO Jumbo Crew Services A
Net als veel andere werkgevers, heeft ook Jumbo last van de economische tegenwind. Desondanks zijn de CAO-onderhandelingen voortvarend van start gegaan. Tijdens de ledenvergadering van 1 april konden de leden hun visie geven op de nieuwe voorstellen. Alle relevante suggesties zijn door de onderhandelingsdelegatie meegenomen in de vervolgafspraken met Jumbo. Inmiddels is een conceptresultaat opgesteld dat nu ter beoordeling bij het bestuur van Nautilus International ligt. Wat zijn de onderhandelingspartijen onder meer overeengekomen?
Rekening houdend met het huidige economisch klimaat, heeft de nieuwe CAO een looptijd van één jaar en loopt van 1 mei 2009 tot 30 april 2010. De gageverhoging bedraagt 1,5 % inclusief alle afgeleide emolumenten. (In de onderhandelingen was rekening gehouden met de uitkomst van het FNV Referendum waarbij was afgesproken niet boven de inﬂatie te gaan zitten).Alle HWTK´s gaan over op een
systeem van vaste gages; dezelfde gage tijdens varen en verlof. Daarnaast is nu het kopen van verlof toegestaan. Voorheen konden de zeevarenden 21 aaneengesloten verlofdagen per jaar opnemen, nu is het mogelijk verlof per dag
bij te kopen. De rederij heeft het recht een schepeling terug te roepen wanneer hij meer dan 80% van zijn opgebouwde verlof heeft genoten. Zover fiscaal toegestaan, zal de werkgever vanaf 1 augustus 2009 de reiskosten vergoeden voor partners en kinderen van en naar het schip. Het gaat hierbij om de schepen die in de havens van Duinkerken en Hamburg, óf in een van de tussenliggende kusthavens liggen. Ook is een uitbreiding van de gageschalen opgenomen. De 2e stuurlui en HWKT’s krijgen er 2 anciënniteiten bij in hun functieschalen. Verder is afgesproken dat de verplichte cursussen met betrekking tot veiligheid, brandbestrijding en zorg voor alle zeevarenden door de werkgever duidelijk vastgelegd en gecommuniceerd worden.
g Na advies van het bestuur, mogen de leden zich in de geplande ledenvergadering van 14 juli uitspreken over het bereikte CAO-resultaat.
Wisseling van de bestuurswacht:Crombeen en Kaper zijn de nieuwe gezichten van FNV Waterbouw Waterbouw werden Hans Crombeen en Joost C Kaper gekozen als respectievelijk voorzitter en viceTijdens de jaarvergadering van FNV
voorzitter. Hiermee volgen zij de pioniers Dick van Haaster en Marcel van den Broek op, die sinds de start leiding aan FNV Waterbouw hebben gegeven. Na de samensmelting van FNV Bouw en Nautilus International in FNV Waterbouw werden zij dé gezichten achter deze nieuwe bond: voorzitter Dick van Haaster en vice-voorzitter Marcel van den
Broek. ‘Het is heel bijzonder dat de samenwerking binnen FNV Waterbouw al vanaf het allereerste moment zo goed functioneert’, laat Van den Broek weten. ‘En zowel Dick als ik hebben onze functies met veel plezier uitgevoerd, maar door onze nieuwe activiteiten moeten we het stokje nu doorgeven.’ Van Haaster vestigt zich na 27 jaar vakbeweging als zelfstandig adviseur in pensioenzaken en Van den Broek heeft een uitgebreid werkpakket gekregen voor de
Nederlandse en de Engelse collega's bij Nautilus International. Het huidig bestuur dat nog bestaat uit algemeen secretaris Ruud Baars en penningmeester Rob Pauptit krijgt nu twee waardige opvolgers. Zo wordt Hans Crombeen als nieuwe voorzitter ook eerste onderhandelaar voor het buitenlandcontract en de CAO Waterbouw in Nederland. Bij FNV Bouw is hij sectorbestuurder bouw & infra. Vice-voorzitter Joost Kaper brengt als national secretary bij Nautilus International zijn kennis van de zeevaart in.
ETF zegt JA tegen Uniek in vakbondsland: Nautilus International en Motie Binnenvaart Nederlandse reders onderhandelen over protocol gevarenregeling F
De Europese wet- en regelgeving in de binnenvaart is op zijn minst verwarrend en sluit niet altijd even goed op elkaar aan. Dat heeft mede te maken met het feit dat de sector uit meerdere commissies bestaat, namelijk: de Donaucommissie, de Rijncommissie, de Europese Commissie en nationale overheden. De organisaties hebben elk zo hun eigen bevoegdheden en veel werkgevers maken graag gebruik van de controversies tussen de verschillende bepalingen. Dat dit ook van invloed is op werknemers in de binnenvaart, laat zich raden. Daarom is de binnenvaartsectie van de Europese Transport Federatie (ETF) de laatste tijd hard bezig geweest met het scheppen van orde in de diverse richtlijnen zodat er een uniforme wetgeving voor alle Europese rivierencommissies kan komen. Het resultaat mag er zijn, want de onlangs op het ETFcongres ingediende motie is unaniem aangenomen!
In de motie is onder meer gepleit voor eenduidige wet- en regelgeving betreffende de sociale zekerheden van het binnenvaartpersoneel. Dit geldt voor zowel de medewerkers in dienstverband als zelfstandigen. Denk hierbij onder andere aan de richtlijn voor Arbeids- en rusttijden. Verder is het van groot belang dat er een snelle en solide integratie van de Rijncommissie plaatsvindt met de andere Europese regelgeving voor de binnenvaart.
voorbehouden aan piratennesten, zoals H de Golf van Aden. Geweld tegen zeevarenden Terreur
vindt namelijk plaats op tal van plekken in de wereld. Zo staat Nigeria aan de Afrikaanse westkust reeds lang bekend als broeinest van geweld en ziet men daar ook een uitbreiding naar de naburige kuststaten plaatsvinden. Daarom is Nautilus International in gesprek met de Nederlandse reders om samen tot een algemene gevarenregeling te komen, náást het reeds bestaande protocol voor oorlogsgebieden. ‘We hebben de laatste tijd een aantal constructieve gesprekken gevoerd met de gezamenlijke Nederlandse reders om tot een protocol gevarenregeling te komen’, vertelt Marcel van den Broek, assistant general secretary van Nautilus International. ‘De materie is complex en veelzijdig maar zowel de reders als Nautilus zijn het er over eens dat een dergelijke regeling noodzakelijk is, ter bescherming van de zeevarenden.’ NADER GEDEFINIEERD
Maar wat wordt nu eigenlijk onder een gevarengebied verstaan? In de discussie met de reders wordt gesteld, dat een zee(kust)gebied of haven die volgens de internationale maritieme pers voor een langere periode een hoog risico voor schip, lading en bemanning oplevert kan worden aangemerkt als gevarengebied. Factoren als een negatief reisadvies, een verhoogde verzekeringspremie of een combinatie hiervan, kunnen eveneens aanleiding zijn om te besluiten dat een gebied als gevarengebied wordt aangemerkt. Hierbij wordt onderscheid gemaakt tussen bestemming- en doorvaargebieden. ‘Wij vinden dat zeevarenden de vrijheid moeten krijgen zélf te beslissen of zij hun werk al dan niet in een van deze gebieden verrichten”, vervolgt Van den Broek. “Het protocol moet ervoor zorgdragen dat deze beslissingsvrijheid in goede banen wordt geleid. Er moeten duidelijke spelregels komen opdat zowel zeevarenden als reders van tevoren
weten waar ze aan toe zijn. Wanneer mag er geweigerd worden, hoe informeert men elkaar, wat gebeurt er indien men niet direct naar een ander schip gestuurd kan worden? Dit zijn slechts een paar van de vragen die men zich kan stellen. Hierop dienen vooraf antwoorden te komen.’ CONCEPT
Momenteel wordt het concept voor de gevarenregeling uitgewerkt, waarna deze ter beoordeling naar de gezamenlijke reders wordt gestuurd. ‘Na een eventueel verder overleg en aanpassingen, zal Nautilus International de deﬁnitieve versie gaan voorleggen aan de leden voor instemming’, eindigt Van den Broek. ‘Wij hopen dat de algemene regeling voor gevarengebieden al op korte termijn van kracht zal zijn, zodat de zeevarenden zichzelf nog beter kunnen ‘wapenen’ tegen aanvallen van buitenaf.’
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 35
Uit de dienstgang A
Niet tornen aan onze uniformen! CAO-resultaat Norfolk Line loopt vast op uniformregeling tussen Nautilus International D en Norfolk Line en op alle fronten Er was een principeakkoord
leek overeenstemming over de nieuwe CAO. Totdat de vergoeding van de uniformen ter discussie werd gesteld. De vakbond en werkgever bereikten snel akkoord over complexe onderhandelingszaken als gageverhoging en loodsvergoedingsregelingen. Zo zal de CAO een looptijd van 1 jaar hebben en er is een gageverhoging afgesproken van 1,5 % dus koopkrachtbehoud. Verder hebben Nautilus International en Norfolk Line afgesproken dat de loodsvergoedingsregeling zal worden aangepast vanwege het verplaatsen van schepen naar de Ierse Zee. Ook de leden konden zich goed in deze afspraken vinden, maar gingen echter niet akkoord met het bezuinigingvoorstel op de kosten van de uniformen. Hoewel iedereen begreep dat enige bezuinigingen in het huidige economisch klimaat op hun plaats
zijn, vonden de werknemers de door de werkgever voorgestelde verlaging van de uniformvergoeding naar een vervangingsregeling toch een brug te ver. Nu ontvangen de leden jaarlijks punten die zij kunnen verzilveren zodat zij hun basispakket kunnen uitbouwen naar het voor hun gewenste pakket van uniformkleding. De leden erkenden dat het aantal punten in het kader van de bezuinigingen wat teruggeschroefd kan worden. Het voorstel is nu om het basispakket zo compleet mogelijk te maken dat uitbreiding in de loop van tijd niet direct nodig is. De leden hebben zich bereid gevonden 100 punten in te leveren. Met dit voorstel gaat Nautilus International nu terug naar de rederij. Binnenkort hopen we u te kunnen berichten over een deﬁnitief CAO-akkoord.
Het huidig economisch klimaat heeft ook zo zijn weerslag op de binnenvaart. De vraag naar schepen is afgenomen en vrachtprijzen zijn momenteel extreem laag. Het is niet echt verrassend dat sommige reders te kampen hebben met een personeelsoverschot; er is immers nauwelijks werk beschikbaar. Maar dat betekent niet dat je creatief kunt omgaan met arbeidscontracten en sommige werkgevers weten het wel heel erg bont te maken. Gelukkig kan Nautilus International in dergelijke situaties leden de helpende hand bieden, waarvan onderstaande zaak een goed voorbeeld is.
Op 1 april 2009 ging ons lid als kapitein aan de slag op een binnenvaartschip. Hij had een tijdelijk arbeidscontract met een looptijd van een half jaar. Al binnen een maand bleek de werkgever door de economische crisis geen werk meer te hebben voor de kapitein. Hij besloot daarom de ‘proeftijd’ van ons lid per direct te beëindigen. De man in kwestie mocht echter wel doorwerken tot eind mei. Dit leek allemaal heel coulant van de werkgever, ware het niet dat er helemaal geen proeftijd was opgenomen in het halfjaarcontract. Het was goed dat het lid naar ons toekwam want wat de werkgever deed, druiste helemaal tegen alle regels in. De kapitein had namelijk gewoon het recht zijn arbeidscontract voor bepaalde tijd uit te dienen. De vakbond heeft vervolgens een aangetekende brief naar de werkgever gestuurd, maar de goede man leek nog altijd niet te begrijpen waarom hij de kapitein in dienst moest houden. Het werd hem nogmaals haarﬁjn uitgelegd... KANTONGERECHT
Als er geen proeftijd is vastgelegd in de arbeidsovereenkomst, blijft de werknemer gewoon in dienst conform de afgesproken contractduur; in dit geval betrof dat zes maanden. Zou ons lid akkoord zijn gegaan met de zogenaamde proeftijd van de werkgever, dan zou
hij niet meer in aanmerking komen voor een eventuele WW-uitkering van het UWVwerkbedrijf. En de enige manier waarop de werkgever eventueel onder het contract uit zou kunnen komen, was door een gerechtelijke procedure via het kantongerecht. Deze had hij dan om toestemming moeten vragen het contract bij het UWVWerkbedrijf te laten ontbinden vanwege het negatieve economisch klimaat. OPGELOST
Uiteindelijk moest de werkgever eieren voor zijn geld kiezen, echter niet tot volle tevredenheid van de werknemer, die langzamerhand een beetje moe van de hele zaak was geworden. De werkgever bood de kapitein namelijk aan om vijf dagen per week dan maar onderhoudswerk te gaan doen. Dit is natuurlijk iets heel anders dan ons lid gewend is in zijn kapiteinsfunctie van 1-op-1-af. Ons lid besloot ondertussen alvast naar ander werk uit te kijken. Inmiddels heeft hij dat ook gevonden en per 1 juli kan hij weer als kapitein aan de slag bij zijn nieuwe werkgever.
Werkgroep Rivercruise komt langzij: Invloed van vakbonden Even voorstellen... neemt zienderogen toe! C
REGELS IN HET KORT
Een proeftijd behoort wel degelijk tot de mogelijkheden, mits dit schriftelijk in het arbeidscontract wordt vastgelegd. Werkgevers hebben het recht een proeftijd op te nemen bij zowel arbeidsovereenkomsten voor onbepaalde als bepaalde tijd. Zo geldt een proeftijd van maximaal één maand bij een contract voor bepaalde tijd en bij onbepaalde tijd bedraagt deze twee maanden. Een proeftijd is overigens niet van toepassing op de zeevaart. Het wetboek van Koophandel heeft dit uitgesloten, ter bescherming van zowel werknemer als werkgever. Want wat als een werkgever ontevreden is over een werknemer terwijl het schip aan de andere kant van de wereld ligt? Of als een werknemer plotsklaps besluit in Australië van boord te gaan om zijn familie of vrienden te bezoeken? Dan zou dat vervelende gevolgen kunnen hebben. En, mocht er toch een proefperiode in de arbeidsovereenkomst zijn opgenomen, dan is het een ‘nietig beding’. Bij een eventuele gerechtelijke procedure zal dit dan ook worden uitgesloten.
Eigenaar MAERSK heeft Norfolk Line in de etalage gezet en wellicht krijgt de rederij binnenkort een andere moeder. Een van de gegadigden is DFDS die heeft laten weten geïnteresseerd te zijn de rederij.
Vanaf 1 juli zal Frank Mostertman de gelederen van Nautilus komen versterken als adjunct bestuurder. Frank heeft een ruime werkervaring en brengt een grote dosis kennis in. Zo heeft hij drie jaar als stuurman gevaren en was hij de laatste jaren werkzaam als beleidsadviseur bij het ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat. Zijn beleidsmatige kennis zal hem goed van pas komen in zijn nieuwe functie.
Frank staat met beide benen stevig op de grond en hij kijkt er enorm naar uit om de belangen van de individuele leden te mogen behartigen. ‘Ik ben altijd enorm geïnteresseerd geweest in de vakbond’, aldus Frank. ‘Ik zie het als een fantastische uitdaging me de kennis op het gebied van onder andere arbeidsrecht en CAO’s helemaal eigen te maken. Daarbij denk ik dat mijn beleidservaring op het gebied van scheepvaart en inspectie een welkome aanvulling zijn op de activiteiten die ik voor Nautilus International mag gaan uitvoeren.’ Wij wensen Frank natuurlijk veel succes bij de uitvoering van zijn werkzaamheden voor de bond.
waren eenieder wellicht bekend, maar het is pas sinds de laatste jaren F dat rivercruisen een enorme vlucht heeft genomen. De schepen in de
Het rivercruisen is booming business. Natuurlijk, de reisjes langs de Rijn
binnenvaart worden groter en er is veel seizoenswerk voorhanden. Dat klinkt natuurlijk allemaal leuk en aardig, ware het niet dat veel werkgevers graag gebruik maken van de onduidelijke regelgeving die met het rivercruisen gepaard lijkt te gaan. Gelukkig is daar nu verandering in gekomen, dankzij de inspanningen van de werkgroep Rivercruise. Zomers wordt het water dun gevaren en ’s winters liggen de schepen in een hoekje van de haven te wachten op het volgende vaarseizoen. Het rivercruisen is vooral een seizoensgebonden aangelegenheid waarbij het personeel voornamelijk uit buitenlandse medewerkers bestaat met horecaervaring. Zij werken meestal op basis van tijdelijke contracten en na een zomer hard werken, keren de seizoenskrachten weer huiswaarts. Helaas zijn de loon- en arbeidsvoorwaarden vaak slecht omdat veel werkgevers gebruik weten te maken van de onduidelijke wet- en regelgeving in de binnenvaart. Hoog tijd dus om daar verandering in te brengen.
Hoewel de invloed van de vakbonden erg magertjes is geweest, zien we een duidelijke kentering. Dat is mede te danken aan de werkgroep Rivercruise die vorig jaar in het leven is geroepen, een samenwerkingsverband van de binnenvaartsectie van de Internationale Transport Federatie en de Europese Transport Federatie (ITF en ETF). Vertegenwoordigers uit de Nederlandse, Belgische, Duitse, Oostenrijkse en Zwitserse vakbonden hebben de handen ineen geslagen om zo meer vat te krijgen op de rivercruiseschepen. Hun inspanningen werpen nu al hun vruchten af. ARBEIDS- EN RUSTTIJDEN
Zo is binnen de Europese Sociale Dialoog de richtlijn voor de Arbeids- en rusttijden nagenoeg afgerond. Hierbij wordt uitgegaan van een richtlijn op basis van continue arbeid. De werkgevers hebben echter aangegeven graag een aparte richtlijn voor de arbeids- en rusttijden te willen, gericht op seizoensgebonden werk. De werkgroep is bereid hierover te praten, maar wil op haar beurt dat er eenduidige afspraken komen over de loon- en arbeidsvoorwaarden. Hier beraden de werkgevers zich nu over en naar verwachting wordt de werkgroep binnenkort uitgenodigd voor verdergaand overleg. Het is een zeer positieve ontwikkeling: werkgevers kunnen eenvoudigweg niet meer om de vakbonden heen en ook het creatief omgaan met de onduidelijke regelgeving behoort dankzij de werkgroep Rivercruise helemaal tot het verleden. We houden u op de hoogte over de voortgang.
46 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
M-Notices M-Notices, Marine Information Notes and Marine Guidance Notes issued by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency recently include: MGN 390 (M) Construction Standards for Offshore Support Vessels and Other Special Ship Types This notice gives guidance on the construction and operation of special ship types for which the provisions of global safety and pollution prevention conventions, as implemented in UK legislation, may be inappropriate. Vessels which may be partly exempted on the basis of compliance with various IMO resolutions include: offshore supply vessels, offshore support vessels equipped for well intervention duties, derrick and pipelay barges, research vessels, and other vessels when undertaking similar work. The notice points out that the legislation may be inappropriate for vessels that have special construction features or with large numbers of non-marine or industrial personnel living aboard. Exemptions from the relevant regulations may be given subject to compliance with various IMO resolutions, the note says. These are explained in the notice, and also highlighted in a ﬂow diagram that illustrates the relationship between various resolutions. While the application of IMO resolutions relating to special ship types cannot be precisely speciﬁed, the guidance notes that ‘the position is further complicated by ships which may undergo conversion to equip them for different or additional roles,
MCA advice on LRIT The Maritime & Coastguard Agency has supplied the following guidance on the new Long Range Identiﬁcation and Tracking of Ships The UK government supports the international Long Range Identiﬁcation and Tracking of Ships (LRIT), as guided by the IMO. UK vessels subscribe their LRIT reports to the EU EMSA LRIT Data Centre established in Portgual in June 2009. UK vessels beneﬁt from ﬁve UK Application Testing Service Providers (ATASP) who can test shipboard equipment and issue conformance test reports for LRIT functionality. They are Transas Ltd, Polestar, Securewest, Fulcrum Maritime Systems, and SELEX Communications Ltd. Details are on the MCA website. Vessels changing ﬂag are required by MSC.1/Circ.1296 (Annex Sections 7 and 10 dated 8 December 2008) to re-test LRIT and obtain a new CTR if a change of ATASP occurs. See also the MCA’s M-Notice MIN 343. The IMO has determined that LRIT operations will commence on 30 June 2009, and contracting governments have a degree of opportunity to ensure compliance through the vehicle of port state control, but only in the context of an individual inspection having to cover many other areas of vessel safety. Over 500 UK ships have been tested successfully and conformance test reports issued by the ﬁve UK ATASPs. The EU LRIT Data Centre is ready for operations, but needs the 32 EU LRIT DC national contributors to upload their LRIT ship data in order to
The face of Nautilus Rob Pauptit, director of NL operations International’s director of g Netherlands operations, foresees Rob Pauptit, Nautilus
or which may change ﬂag with or without conversion’. The notice — which details guidance on the application of resolutions applicable to special ship types, and an appendix on their implementation — is primarily addressed to new UK ships whose keels are laid, or which are undergoing major conversion to equip them for a new operational role, on or after 1 July 2009. Although the guidance may also apply to existing vessels, such ships, it says, will be permitted to continue in the operational roles undertaken as UK ships prior to this notice.
M-Notices are available in three ways: a set of bound volumes, a yearly subscription, and individual documents. z A consolidated set of all M-Notices current on 30 July 2007 (ISBN 9780115528538) is published by The Stationery Office for £195 — www.tsoshop.co.uk/bookstore.asp z Annual subscriptions and copies of individual notices are available from the official distributors: Mail Marketing (Scotland), MCA, PO Box 87, Glasgow G14 0JF. Tel: +44 (0)141 300 4906; fax: +44 (0)141 950 2726; email: firstname.lastname@example.org z Individual copies can be collected from MCA offices, electronically subscribed to or downloaded from the MCA website — www.mcga.gov.uk — click on ‘Ships and Cargoes’, then ‘Legislation and Guidance’.
function properly. Accordingly, the MCA has advised UK ship operating companies to instruct their vessels which have an LRIT carriage requirement to ensure that the equipment that is to transmit LRIT data when polled by the Data Centre is serviceable and switched on, and the LRIT function enabled onboard. The MCA further advises that this action should be taken well in advance of the IMO deadline date so that ships arriving in port after that date can be shown to have tried to comply during the voyage, noting that some contracting governments will have declared a 1,000nm LRIT surveillance area. Such action will ensure that as soon as the EU LRIT DC has a ship’s data populated and starts to poll the ship, she can respond. Ships have also been advised to ensure that they have the CTR onboard, and the correct notations made to the equipment list in the Safety Equipment Certiﬁcate or Passenger Ship Safety Certiﬁcate as appropriate. This does not alter the master’s discretion to determine if transmitting LRIT information poses compromise to the safety or security of their vessel and that LRIT transmissions should therefore be temporarily switched off in accordance with SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 19-1 para 7.2. All these actions should help with port state control. In the event that a port state control Inspector is not satisﬁed, masters should make best use of the provisions of MSC.1Circ.1295 paras 7.1 to 7.3 (time in repair and reﬁt), and MSC.1-Circ.1298 Annex para 11 (ship not transmitting due to outside failure of the LRIT system) and para 11 (time in repair and reﬁt).
‘a beautiful future’ for the new Union. As part of the board of Nautilus NL, he was heavily involved in the working group with Nautilus UK that, with members’ approval, led to the formation in May of Nautilus International. ‘We needed quite a lot of time to ﬁgure everything out,’ he admits. ‘Sometimes we had problems to really understand each other — the language, the expressions.’ Rob was raised in Nieuwer Amstel, close to Amsterdam. ‘I am not coming out of a seafaring family,
but somehow I was interested at a very young age in boats and everything on the water. So I decided to go to the Nautical College in Amsterdam.’ He went to sea in 1976 with Nedlloyd, progressing to second mate, then worked ashore in Wysmuller’s crewing department. In 1984 he joined FWZ, Nautilus NL’s predecessor, initially as the equivalent of an assistant industrial officer. He went on to become the equivalent of industrial officer, working in Singapore and Rotterdam, then was elected to the FWZ’s board in 1998. In that capacity, he was involved in the fruitful partnership
Nautilus meetings with members: diary dates Nautilus has always had a ﬁrm commitment to dialogue with its members and that commitment continues to this day, with the Union placing a high priority on contact between members and officials. UK-based officials make regular visits to ships, and a variety of different meetings are held by the Union to encourage a healthy exchange of views. The Union also offers the chance for members to meet Nautilus International’s UK officials when they make regular visits to ships in ports and nautical colleges, or stage specialist forums. These visits aim to give members the chance to get advice on employment and other problems that cannot easily be dealt with by letter or email. Times and venues for meetings in the next few months are:
COLLEGE VISITS Nautilus International’s recruitment team is now holding regular meetings with trainees and members at all the UK’s maritime colleges. Contact Garry Elliott or Blossom Bell at the Wallasey office for visiting schedules and further details. SHIP VISITS If you have an urgent problem on your ship, you should contact Nautilus — email@example.com — to ask for an official to visit the ship. Wherever possible, such requests will be acted upon by the Union and last year more than 200 ships were visited by Nautilus International officials as a result of contact from members. If you need to request a visit, please give your vessel’s ETA and as much information as possible about the problem needing to be discussed.
SCOTLAND Members employed by companies based in the west of Scotland should contact Nautilus International at Nautilus House, Mariners’ Park, Wallasey CH45 7PH (tel: +44 (0)151 639 8454). Members employed in the offshore oil sector, or by companies based in the east of Scotland, should contact +44 (0)1224 638882. This is not an office address, so members cannot visit in person. Future dates and venues for Nautilus International meetings of the National Professional & Technical and National Pensions Forums include: g National Professional & Technical Forum — this body deals with technical, safety, welfare and other professional topics relevant to shipmaster and chief engineer officer members.
The next meeting is due to be held on Tuesday 22 September in Rotterdam, at a venue to be announced later, starting at 1300hrs. g National Pensions Forum — this body was established to provide a two-way ﬂow of information and views on all pension matters and pension schemes (not just the MNOPF). This forum is open to all classes of Nautilus International member, including associate and affiliate. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 16 September at Mariners’ Park, Wallasey, starting at 1100hrs. All full members of the relevant rank or sector can attend and ﬁnancial support may be available to some members by prior agreement. For further details contact head office.
INDICATORS ACDB Latest UK government statistics show inﬂation and wage settlements continuing to stand at comparatively low levels. The Office of National Statistics announced last month that the RPI measure of inﬂation — normally used in pay negotiations — was 1.1%, compared with -1.2% in April. RPIX inﬂation — the ‘all items’ RPI excluding mortgage interest payments — was 1.6% in May, down from 1.7% in April. CPI annual inﬂation — the government’s
preferred measure — was 2.2% in May, down from 2.3% in April. ONS ﬁgures also showed the annual rate of increases in average earnings, excluding bonuses, to have fallen to the lowest level since comparable records began in 2001. The increase in average earnings including bonuses was 0.8% in the three months to April, up from the March rate of -0.3%. Average earnings excluding bonuses rose by 2.7% in the year to April 2009, down from the March rate of 3.0%.
The number of pay freezes has increased in recent months — now affecting staff at one in three UK ﬁrms, according to a survey by the independent analysts Incomes Data Services. A study of 145 settlements in the three months to April revealed that average settlements had fallen from 3% to 2% — largely because of the rise in the number of workers facing a pay freeze. Eight in 10 settlements were found to be lower than they were for the same employee group the previous year.
Get knotted with the Nautilus International tie! Nautilus International has produced a stylish new tie to enable members to show off their membership with pride. The high quality navy blue silk tie features the word Nautilus displayed in the International Code of Signals ﬂags. It is available from head office for just £7 or €8.50. Members can also help to stick up for the maritime profession with the Union’s popular ‘delivered by ship’ stickers. These free stickers show the wide variety of products that reach our shops thanks to merchant ships and seafarers, and are ideal for
putting on envelopes, or handing out at schools and festivals. UK-based members may also get the ‘Sea Sense: keep our maritime skills’ car stickers, which have been designed to support the campaign for action to reverse the maritime skills crisis. To buy the new Nautilus tie, or if you’d like some free stickers, simply contact Nautilus International’s Central Services department at head office and let them know how many you need. Call Central Services on +44 (0)20 8989 6677 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
with NUMAST in the Nautilus Federation. Both unions changed their name — FWZ to Nautilus NL, NUMAST to Nautilus UK — reﬂecting the desire to make history by forming the new single transnational Union. Inevitably, Nautilus International is experiencing a few teething problems integrating the Dutch and UK office systems, but, notes Rob, there are now far fewer linguistic misunderstandings. ‘We are honest with each other. If things are not going well, then we just speak to each other and ﬁnd the solution — that is absolutely necessary to become successful and to stay successful for the future.’
Quiz answers 1. World ﬂeet growth in gross tonnes has averaged 5.7% a year over the past ﬁve years, with the ﬂeet consisting of some 868m gt at the start of 2009. 2. Dover is Europe’s busiest port in terms of passenger numbers, totalling more than 14m embarkations and disembarkations a year. 3. Japanese owners have the largest amount of tonnage under the Panamanian ﬂag — 123m dwt, or some 54% of all tonnage registered in Panama. 4. Orient Line was amalgamated with P&O in 1964. 5. Kuwait has the biggest merchant ﬂeet in the Middle East in gross tonnage terms, with 57 ships of 2.42m gt. 6. Cunard Line’s Queen Mary, from 1938 until 1952, with a speed of 31.69 knots and a time of three days, 10 hours and 40 minutes.
Crossword answers Quick Answers Across: 1. Summer holiday; 10. Durango; 11. Tantrum; 12. Negligent; 13. Choir; 14. Istles; 15. Citadels; 18. Yugoslav; 20. Salami; 23. Agent; 25. Addiction; 26. Diabolo; 27. Taipans; 28. Reverberation. Down: 2. Upright; 3. Manliness; 4. Rooted; 5. Outstrip; 6. Ionic; 7. Aureole; 8. Identity cards; 9. Impressionist; 16. Anarchist; 17. Catacomb; 19. Grenade; 21. Agitato; 22. Editor; 24. Trove. This month’s cryptic crossword is a prize competition. The answers will appear in next month’s Telegraph. Congratulations to Nautilus member Howard Stringer whose name was the ﬁrst to be drawn from those who completed the June cryptic crossword. Cryptic answers from June Across: 1. Trousers; 5. Tassel; 9. Greyhound; 11. Miaow; 12. Impersonator; 15. Fool; 16. Stroganoff; 18. Cotton wool; 19. Cell; 21. Orienteering; 24. Aroma; 25 Libertine; 26. Onside; 27. Gendarme. Down: 1. Toga; 2. Omen; 3. Scheme; 4. Roulette wheel; 6. Armenian; 7. Smart money; 8. Low proﬁle; 10. Dishonourable; 13. Aﬁcionado; 14. Fortuitous; 17. Downward; 20. Snared; 22. Liar; 23. Were.
Need to contact Nautilus International in the Netherlands? The address is: Schorpioenstraat 266 3067 KW Rotterdam Tel: +31 (0)10 477 1188 Fax: +31 (0)10 477 3846 Email: email@example.com Correspondentieadres: Nautilus International Postbus 8575 3009 AN Rotterdam
July 2009 | nautilusint.org | telegraph | 47
When trouble strikes, you need Nautilus
www.nautilusint.org Ten good reasons why you should be a member: 1. Pay and conditions Nautilus International negotiates on your behalf with an increasing number of British, Dutch and foreign flag employers on issues including pay, conditions, leave, hours and pensions. The Union also takes part in top-level international meetings on the pay and conditions of maritime professionals in the world fleets. 2. Legal services With the maritime profession under increasing risk of criminalisation, Nautilus International provides specialist support, including a worldwide network of lawyers who can provide free and immediate advice to full members on employment-related matters. Members and their families also have access to free initial advice on non-employment issues. 3. Certificate protection As a full member, you have free financial protection, worth up to £102,000, against loss of income if your certificate of competency is cancelled, suspended or downgraded following a formal inquiry. Full members are also entitled to representation during accident investigations or inquiries. 4. Compensation Nautilus International’s legal services department recovers substantial compensation for members who have suffered work-related illness or injuries. 5. Workplace support Nautilus International officials provide expert advice on work-related problems such as contracts, redundancy, bullying or discrimination, non-payment of wages, and pensions. 6. Safety and welfare Nautilus International plays a vital role in
national and international discussions on such key issues as hours of work, crewing levels, shipboard conditions, vessel design, and technical and training standards. Nautilus International has a major say in the running of the industry wide pension schemes in the UK and the Netherlands.
7. Savings Being a Nautilus International member costs less than buying a newspaper every day and gives you peace of mind at work, with access to an unrivalled range of services and support. It’s simple to save the cost of membership — by taking advantage of specially-negotiated rates on a variety of commercial services ranging from tax advice to UK credit cards, and household, motoring, travel and specialist insurance. 8. In touch As a Nautilus International member, help is never far away — wherever in the world you are. Officials regularly visit members onboard their ships and further support and advice is available at regular ‘surgeries’ and college visits throughout the UK and the Netherlands. There is also an official based in Singapore. 9. Your union, your voice Nautilus International is the voice of some 25,000 maritime professionals working in all sectors of the shipping industry, at sea and ashore. As one of the largest and most influential international bodies representing maritime professionals, the Union campaigns tirelessly to promote your views. 10. Get involved! Nautilus International is a dynamic and democratic union, offering members many opportunities to be fully involved and have your say in our work — at local, national and international levels.
It’s easy to apply for membership online at www.nautilusint.org But if you can’t get internet access right now, why not fill in this form and let us start your enrolment process? SURNAME FIRST NAMES GENDER DATE OF BIRTH ADDRESS POSTCODE PERSONAL EMAIL TEL MOBILE EMPLOYER SHIP NAME RANK DISCHARGE BOOK NO (IF APPLICABLE) If you are, or have been, a member of another union please state: NAME OF UNION SUBSCRIPTIONS PAID UNTIL MEMBERSHIP NO (IF KNOWN) DATE OF LEAVING
Please post this form to: Membership services department Nautilus International Oceanair House 750-760 High Road London E11 3BB United Kingdom
48 | telegraph | nautilusint.org | July 2009
Falmouth rallies to the aid of stranded seafarers A
Pictured left are Falmouth pilots delivering essential supplies to the crew of a ﬂag of convenience ship stranded in the port last month with unpaid wages and no fresh food. The Mission to Seafarers and Falmouth Harbour Commissioners swung into action after Maritime & Coastguard Agency surveyor Captain Chris Moss alerted them to the plight of the 12 Russian and Ukrainian crew on the Belize-registered cargoship Yeya 1, above. The Russian-owned vessel had been detained by the MCA after arriving from France, where authorities had held the ship for two months in the port of St Malo. The crew — who had no wages or contact with their owners for the previous two months — were desperate for fresh provisions and cigarettes, and the only food left onboard was macaroni and ﬂour.
More than £400 worth of fresh vegetables, meat and fruit were purchased by the Mission, supplemented by dry stores donated by United European Car Carriers when two of its vessels went for layup in the River Fal recently. Falmouth MtS chairwoman Penny Phillips said: ‘We are very fortunate to have such a caring shipping community in Falmouth. My thanks go to Chris Moss for alerting us to the problem; Captain Mark Killingback, deputy harbour master, for allowing the pilot boat to ship out the stores; Andy Campbell, ship chandler, for sourcing the food at short notice; and Captain David Barnicoat and the Falmouth pilot boat coxswains Andrew Dale and Matt Seymour for loading and delivering the food to the vessel.’ Yeya 1’s master, Capt Oleg Kizilov, said: ‘English people are very kind.’
New step forward for ‘bill of rights’ A
Nautilus has welcomed a major step towards the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) — the so-called ‘bill of rights’ for seafarers. Members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords last month approved an order-incouncil that will help to pave the way for the introduction of the MLC in the UK, within the European Union and, ultimately, throughout the world. Approval of the order means that the MLC can be introduced through the provisions of the European Communities Act 1972, which provides for the general implementation of Community treaties, enabling necessary changes to primary and secondary legislation to be made simply and efﬁciently. Outgoing shipping minister
Jim Fitzpatrick told the committee that the MLC will bring signiﬁcant beneﬁts to the shipping industry. ‘The government have long recognised the importance of the human element in maritime activity,’ he added. ‘Furthermore, we believe that the convention will not only improve seafaring life, but have a beneﬁcial effect on maritime safety and the prevention of maritime pollution.’ Nautilus had lobbied politicians ahead of the debate, and general secretary Mark Dickinson welcomed the outcome. ‘We devoted substantial efforts to the six-year negotiating process that resulted in the adoption of the convention in 2006. We believe it will do much to tackle the problems that have plagued the shipping industry and will help to provide the basis
for decent work for all the world’s 1.2m seafarers,’ he added. Introducing the motion in the Lords, Labour Peer Lord Tunnicliffe said the UK, having played a leading role in the development of the convention, is ‘committed to its ratiﬁcation as soon as domestic law and practice are fully in line with the convention’s requirements’. Shadow transport spokesman Earl Attlee said he hoped the convention ‘will be seen as the beginning of the end of unfair employment agreements for seafarers’ and would become the fourth pillar of the international legal regime for the global shipping industry. He cited evidence from Nautilus to highlight the problems of unfair competition and inadequate safe manning requirements — with a survey by the
Union showing some 16% of members admitting to inaccurate hours of work and rest records. ‘So far, we have been relatively lucky,’ he added, ‘but, sooner or later, one of these ships will run into something much more vulnerable when the ofﬁcer on watch is asleep or, perhaps, incapacitated, as has happened in another incident. One only has to think of the consequences of a large merchantman running into the side of a passenger ferry or LNG tanker.’ Lord Tunnicliffe said the MLC would help to address the problem of fatigue, with requirements for ships to have sufﬁcient seafarers for the particular nature and conditions of a voyage. The MLC has so far been ratiﬁed by Norway, Panama, the Marshall Islands, Liberia, and the Bahamas.
Union wins one-year battle for owed pay Concern over the plight of Filipino crew onboard abandoned UK ship
Filipino seafarers abandoned for the last year on the UK-ﬂagged cargoship Antic have ﬁnally been repatriated and paid following the intervention of Nautilus International. But the Union says their plight raises questions about the role of the UK maritime authorities. Assistant general secretary Paul Moloney said the case showed the lack of leadership on crew welfare issues. ‘Here we have a UK-ﬂagged vessel with the seafarers effectively abandoned. Those seafarers had rights and should have been able to rely on the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and other authorities to ensure their rights were honoured,’ he pointed out. ‘The reality is that everybody involved turned to Nautilus International to resolve the situation. ‘While that shows beyond doubt the respect people have for our Union, it is an indictment on those agencies who had a clear legal obligation that they did not fulﬁl.’ It was in May last year that Nautilus/ITF inspector Chris Jones ﬁrst encountered the ex-Lapthorn vessel, when it was at Newhaven. ‘The off-going Dutch master said he had told the company and MCA that the wage levels were low and below that of the UK minimum wage,’ said Mr Jones. ‘The Filipino crew were very reluctant to give details of their employment contracts and wage levels and were obviously worried about the possibility of “blacklisting” by the employment agencies in the Philippines,’ he added. It took a further two visits before Mr Jones was able to see the details of the crew’s contracts of employment and wage accounts. He discovered that monthly rates of pay for the Filipino crew were: engineer — $900 basic, ﬁxed overtime $405, leave pay $180, totalling at $1,485 gross; and AB/Cook — basic $400, ﬁxed
overtime $180, leave $80, grossing at $660. ‘I tried taking up the case with HM Revenue & Customs who are responsible for dealing with complaints about the UK minimum wage,’ said Mr Jones. ‘But all I received from them was bland acknowledgements telling me of the restrictions placed on them over any action they might take in response to the information I had provided.’ Nautilus then discovered that the ship was at the centre of a legal dispute over repair bills at a yard in Hull. The owners, said Mr Jones, had paid off the master and mate, leaving the three Filipino crew members onboard. ‘These crew members were relatively new to the ship and spent most of the last winter on the ship doing safety/security duties,’ he said. ‘They were receiving no or little money from the owners and received only supermarket tokens to buy food from the local supermarket. The shipyard did provide them with freshwater and a limited amount of fuel oil to keep the ship habitable. Additionally, the crew were helped by the local seafarers’ centre.’ For humanitarian reasons, Nautilus decided to help and, through the Union’s director of legal services, Charles Boyle, appointed a maritime lawyer who dealt with the lawyers representing the repair yard. The three crew eventually ﬂew home on 19 April this year with — the Union understands — more than $25,000 in back wages between them. Mr Jones said the case was an example of the way in which some of the UK authorities responsible for crew welfare matters fail to discharge their duties, either through lack of knowledge or limited resources. ‘When the Maritime Labour Convention comes into force, will the UK’s MCA be up to the job?’ he asked.
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