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6degrees 째

News,Views and Reviews from the International Dynamic Positioning Operators Association

News,Views and Reviews from the International Dynamic Positioning Operators Asso-

Issue5: Issue19: Spring 2014

MLC Viewpoint

Simulating DP

Revised Standard




Counting Time

Ready for Anything

New DP Scheme





TO 6degrees, THE E-JOURNAL FROM IDPOA Across many cultural aspects of our lives the notion of a single leading entity shines bright . The Lord of the Rings focused on one ring, Bob Marley fixated on one love, and for Highlander… well there most definitely could be only one. So what does this have to do with DP you may ask? Well, we find ourselves at a juncture. The past 18 months have seen the world of DP move from one DP training and certification scheme, through to two when DNV stepped forward, and now as OSVDPA launches their scheme we have three separate and distinct training schemes. Where will it stop? 4, 5 or maybe 6 schemes? One for each vessel type? It seems perhaps it is time to consider the future and work together to consolidate and find a unifed solution. The current landscape makes things complicated, and for many individuals they no longer know which way to turn, or which courses to attend. Also there are employers who are in the dark - they are unsure of the ramifications of revised or completely new schemes. At IDPOA we have taken a view that progress is good – we have long worked within the Nautical Institute’s DP TEG, we have provided feedback to DNV on their scheme and have been in useful and constructive dialogue with Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority (OSVDPA) too. This has not been because we believe that 3 schemes is better than 1. It is because we need to ensure that the best wins out, and eventually becomes the de-facto, recognised and industry-wide supported scheme. We want to bring together the best elements of these schemes – but in an independently controlled, managed and operated system. We believe there is a strong and clear need for the old to evolve and give way to a new approach. One which learns lessons from the NI approach, recognises the challenges of gaining sea-time like DNV, and which recognises the operational realities of specific sectors like OSVDPA. This is a monumental challenge- but the potential problems with having three separate systems are deeply concerning. We think the role of DPO, the title and the knowledge each has should mean the same universally. In having DPOs out in the field with different certificates, then we are undermining the position, the people, and when there is an accident, we will be criticised for having accepted a confused, melange of standards, training and values. We respect all the parties around the table, each certification body has its own unique strengths, each training centre it’s own USP, each owner it’s own challenges to deal with, and each trade body its own pressures and agenda. But, 3 into 1 does not go – and so we have to call for rationalisation. Without such a move, it may well be that self-regulation will have to be deemed a failure. Indeed this shattering into separate schemes could well be the catalyst which forces a review at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) level, as DP is further subsumed into STCW. The diverging interests suggest that collectively the industry is going to have to work hard to address the perceived weaknesses before someone else does it for us.




Inside this issue, we explore some seeming weaknesses of the Maritime Labour Convention. The fact that so much is demanded of manning agents is fine, but does this let owners off the hook? We also look at the issue of simulation in DP training. Both from the technical perspective, but so too from the practical elements. Are we preparing trainee DPOs to be sufficiently confident and robust enough? We ask whether they are able to respond to the rigours of life at the sharp end and explore the ways in which some DP training centres are working hard to role play and makes sure they are. As the OSVDPA launches its new DP scheme. We are pleased to be able to share their thoughts on the rationale behind the development, and of their goals. Another issue of major importance is that of calculating DP time - both for certification, but also for revalidation purposes. We explore the DP time conundrum, and assess the ways in which time at the desk or watchkeeping should be recorded. As ever we hope you find 6degrees to be informative and of interest. We are sincerely grateful to all our contributors, and always like to hear from readers. Feel free to comment on any issue raised by emailing

MAKING MLC WORK Captain C. Marc Bragg speaks out on the failings within MLC We are all no doubt now aware of the requirement for for crewing agencies to comply with the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 compliance, as it was finally implemented in August of last year. One specific area of the regulation was introduced to clarify the standards of all seafarer recruitment and placement services providing crew to foreign vessels world wide. Many of the issues addressed were crew related, such as, crew repatriation, recouping of crew wages and banking procedures for crew wages. Unfortunately, while MLC has great promise, I believe that we are seeing attention directed more on the “agencies” and not on fully regulating the companies who try to cut more corners “through” such agencies. There are very many examples where a company will dictate to the Seafarers agency what the conditions will be and the agency wishing to maintain the lucrative contract will sadly feel compelled to adjust it’s standards. Alas once again it is the seafarer who comes out at the bottom. It has become quite apparent in some companies that the management from both Agency and Vessel owners agree to regulate where it is convenient on the issues that were supposed to protect the seafarer. When an Agency applies for seafarer’ “repatriation” insurance it is to assure that no matter wherever the seafarer is he/she will be repatriated back to their home country. The allowable level of insurance by MLC per seafarer is circa USD$1400.00, I am not sure that would get many home from some of the more isolated offshore hotspots...unless by Ox Cart! Sadly there are all too many instances that need to be addressed at the root cause. It is quite apparent in some dealings that I have had personally with vessel owners that they do not care about the Seafarer or their welfare. Where possible corners are still being cut, whether this is communications, Internet access, food quality, or

crew rotation and retention. Bad owners ask the crew for 110% effort, while they look for just the cheapest route. What can be done better? Well, for a start I believe MLC 2006 implementation should have started with the ship owners and then regulated the supporting services of the Crewing agencies. At least this way round we would have structured a system whereas the ship owners are primarily responsible and “they” would have to make sure that the agencies complied to a higher standard. Unfortunately it seems that the bad ship owner can dodge or shirk responsibility again. It is great to apply another regulation to assist in bettering the conditions of seafarers but until all entities comply and implement the true aspects of the supporting regulations it will not achieve it’s intended purpose. If ships owners concentrated on establishing a core crew on vessels , maintaining quality standards, and a reasonable rate of pay, it is a no brainer, they would have good crew and a benefit to the company. The supposedly “cost effective” rationale of replacing crew all of time has a safety issue and comes with cost issues associated with it too. These actually cost far more than trying to cut back on what should be done for the seafarer for even basic conditions. I have seen requests for Cvs that blatantly state, “3 months on, 1 month off, and One way travel paid for! And!!! Free room and board while onboard the vessel”, this was not too long ago either. These are the standards that have to be eradicated by requirements of the companies to establish minimum “acceptable” standards. So I believe that we need to rethink the New and wonderful MLC 2006 implementation and start from the real issues affecting all seafarers . It was once said “Train your employees to be Risk adverse and then you will be training your company to be “reward Challenged!”


VERSATILE TOOL FOR TRAINING Captain KS Sandhu AFNI explores the true benefits of simulation in DP Training. Computers have revolutionised all spheres of our lives; they have changed the way we live, train, learn, work, entertain etc. With them the very concept of training has undergone a big change especially practical training where operator skills are required to be learnt in as realistic manner as possible. Training simulators are very versatile tools and have become virtual mediums through which various types of skills can be learnt. Different industries have adopted simulators to train their work force for all levels of training from basic to advance level. Simulators help in learning simple to complicated evolutions in a safe environment without risking the real assets. They are particularly useful for the industries which operate high value machines / platforms and where on-the-job cost of training in operational environments is high. DP is one such field where simulators have become important and integral tools of training. As a matter of fact the DP systems themselves are an intelligent simulators modelled on aerodynamic and hydrodynamic characteristics of the vessel on which they are fitted. The DP simulators are a good means to train the operators and achieve: • Realistic training about the system and its operations • Training in safe environment without jeopardizing the vessel • Cheaper option of training compared to actual on the job training on vessel • Exercising evolutions and breakdowns which may never be experienced in actual operations by the operator • Improve learning through real time re-runs and quality debriefs Due to the aforesaid advantages DP simulators have become very meaningful DP training tool from basic to advance

courses. The realistic simulation of actual operations which they help to achieve makes student’s understanding of the DP system much simpler and authentic. In basic course the student can effectively learn basics of system concept, its operations, procedures and most importantly the behavioural sensitivities of the DP system. In advance course simulator helps in learning and practicing various modes of operations in greater detail and procedural aspects of working in different environmental conditions. Students get to learn the capabilities and the limitations of DP system and how to handle breakdowns. Simulator training on Category ‘A’ simulators which help in conducting even more advance exercises and evolutions qualify for ‘sea time reduction’ for the purpose of DP certification. Despite such good tool of learning we still find that the simulation training during basic and advance courses do not ensure a desired standardised learning outcome. Obviously merely going through the motions of these simulation courses is not good enough. These courses need to ensure that the participants gain the requisite standard of knowledge and competence in operating a DP system, such learning outcome depends on number of variables. To start with, lot depends on the capability of the simulator itself. Simulators being computer based what they are capable of doing is well described by the famous saying “garbage in, garbage out”. Simulator can be a good tool of training only if: • It’s software is capable of simulating the functions / scenarios of actual system realistically • The exercises are well planned to simulate realism • It is capable of simulating breakdowns and limitations to exercise realism • It is able to record and re-run the exercise on real time basis for a meaningful debrief

Versatile Simulation The other most important factor is the knowledge and experience of the instructor on whom will depend the learning outcome for the trainee. An experienced instructor with good knowledge of the simulator who knows how to best exploit it for training would have profound effect on the outcome of the learning process. Quality of training exercises through which a student is put through during the simulator training also has great contributory effect on the outcome of learning process. Good and realistic exercises ensure that the student is made to go through what he / she is likely to experience in the actual system and operational environment. The interjection of limitations and breakdowns by the instructor at the right moment can enhance the learning experience of the student to a great extent. This is where the experience of the instructor makes all the difference. All instructors are not of the same calibre and therefore standardisation of the exercises can be of great help to have uniform acceptable learning out come at all DP training centres. Another important factor is end of course assessment. What the student imbibes at the end of the course is a good measure of the learning outcome. This is specially so for the advance DP course and ‘sea time reduction course’. For this there has to be a well structured and logical standard end of course assessment exercises and viva voce which can put the student through an examination covering all important and critical aspects set out in the course objectives. DNV training scheme has this and it is a strong point in its favour. NI should develop this aspect for the advance and ‘sea time reduction’ courses to make the scheme more effective and wholesome. Simulators can continue to be a great means of learning even after completion of DP certification. They can be effectively used for refresher and continuation training from time to time and also to train DPOs for type training for different type of DP platforms. Ship owner should invest in DP simulator onboard their ships as part of DP system fit, this investment will pay rich dividends in the long run for improving the skills of DP crew and safety standards onboard. A word of caution at the end! Simulators must remain a tool of training and should not replace the requirement of actual time at sea beyond a certain limit for the purposes of DPO qualification. Whatever may be the industry’s compulsions of fast tracking DPO’s training, the present balance of ‘actual sea time’ and ‘sea time reduction’ through simulator courses should not be disturbed and no further allowances should be made to reduce actual sea time on DP desk for DP certification. Standardisation of advance and ‘sea time reduction’ course exercises and standardised end of course assessment would go a long way in achieving uniform standards of DP training with better learning outcome for the DPOs.

Revised Standards

NI Releases New Changes

The Nautical Institute (NI) has released revised Accreditation and Certification training standards to the industry. From January to March, the NI received stakeholder comments and feedback, and has worked to reflect these comments in the new documents. Access the certification document online. According to the NI Director of Accreditations Regina Bindao: The new scheme comes into force on 1st January 2015. Training providers will have about 8 months to adjust their materials and to comply with the new requirements. This means that we still need to use the current training standard to audit existing accredited centres until end of 2014. However, the Institute will give flexibility to those centres who want to put the new requirements in place and be audited under the new rules during this year. The Institute will consult the centres about this option prior to the audit date. In 2015, all centres will be audited on new standard basis. This 8 month period is also an opportunity to your members to understand how the training scheme for Offshore and Shuttle tanker will work, their revalidation criteria and conversion routes. We encourage you to provide as much information as possible to your members and try to guide them during the transition period. The NI staff already received a first training section about the new scheme and we will provide more training to them until the end of the year. They are able to start answering questions to DPOs and companies, but we will consult DPTEG on specific questions that may need more accurate answers.

The NI has already started developing a new IT database, website and logbook for the new scheme and we aim to present a draft of those in the next DPTEG (subject to delivery from suppliers). We have also hired new staff and they have reduced the backlog from 16 to 11 weeks and still reducing. However, they are working hard to achieve their target. There is a lot of working in progress at the moment at the NI to cover all the aspects of the new scheme in terms of preparation of documents, IT systems, training, clearance of backlog, communication, website, logbook etc. We are working hard to achieve our goals to have everything ready on time and to happily continue to support the industry in their needs. Once more, The NI wants to thank those who have provided a huge amount of support and help to develop these two documents. The NI aims to continually work in partnership with Industry stakeholders, to listen and address the industry needs in order to evolve the DP training standard and best practices.

new dpo’s ready for anything... One particular area of interest for all working in DP is how to ensure that newly minted DP Operators emerge able to deal with the rigours and challenges of their new role.

In this final sea-time phase the trainees must build on the foundations of the all too few days of college time to find their feet and to understand how each piece of the DP jigsaw fits together.

Now of course, no-one should expect those clutching a new DPO certificate to have all the answers – that is what proper equipment familiarisation and ongoing structured mentoring and training should be all about.

Understanding this process, and the importance of each phase of learning, training and practice is key to producing DPOs who are able to not simply gain a certificate, but are able to appreciate the wider picture and their role in it. So when they do finally gain their qualification, they are ready to rise to the challenges facing them. It is vital that companies provide proper familiarisation and have plans in place to assist and support newly qualified staff. But is there anything else that can be done to improve this process?

However, it would be right and proper to expect a certified DPO - regardless of how high the serial number of their ticket, to be able to work confidently, efficiently and effectively. Indeed, the last thing anyone would want is new DPOs turning up on ships incapable of even setting the DP system up. The shorebased elements of DP training, regardless of the scheme being followed, will guide the trainees through the theory and processes. Then in the simulator things get a little more action based, and the planning elements position the DPO at the centre of an operation. It all sounds good in theory, but does this approach really prepare trainees for the realities they will face when they go up on the Bridge for the first time? As they face perhaps a new system, ship and team of colleagues, will they be equipped for the jeopardy and challenges facing them? In the best case scenario, a trainee will have been taught by a good lecturer, and they will slowly become to understand the theory behind what they are trying to do, and the capabilities of the system. Their time following that will likely see them watching and learning from others – perhaps they may get to experience the occasional panic, but in the main just dipping their toe into the DP waters. Then, in following the current scheme, it’s more training ashore. The simulator course will show them not just the theory and practice, but the importance of the role of DPO in planning, anticipating and appreciating the realistic limitations of DP. Once finished in college, then it’s back to sea to cement the things they have learned.

The best centres already do so, but is this something which perhaps the Simulator phase should stress a little more? Along with the move towards testing, should trainees be expected to pass through some form of role-play exercise in which a vexed master or put upon Senior DPO demands that they, slow the vessel, get it in position and then set the system up? Rather than just facing operational scenarios some training centres do indeed focus on real world problems, such as awkward colleagues, abrupt leaders or unexpected situations. This can help to produce the practically skilled, confident and able DPOs we need into the future. If we are not careful much of the course planning process can be a little too staid, and isolated from the other pressures a vessel would be under. While it is of course vital to plan – perhaps there needs to be some realistic pressure ramped into the process? We can learn a lot by injecting a little more stress, drama and tension to really create urgency to better serve those undergoing training. This develops and improves the ability of trainees to respond to the pressures which will face them as fully fledged DPOs when they emerge onto vessels. We would like to hear from you about this issue, email to share your views.

What Does A New DP Scheme Mean? Aaron Smith of the OSVDPA tells us more about their new DP training scheme, and the rationale behind it.

For the last two years the pages of “6 Degrees”, have been filled with questions regarding the future of DPO certification. Will the Scheme Revision provide a better product? Will NI and DNV merge schemes? And the biggest question, is the current system of DPO certification working for the current maritime industry?

mariners without STCW credentials are controlling DP vessels, and some of those vessels—more than 100 in the Gulf of Mexico alone—do not have classed DP systems. It is incumbent upon the industry to provide certification systems to train these mariners in the safe operation of DP.

As a newly incorporated DPO certification body, the Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority (OSVDPA) doesn’t have all of the answers, but we believe the facts clearly show the current system is not working for the offshore service vessel industry and other option is necessary.

While the OSVDPA was founded to fill these gaps, there are certain actions the Authority refuses to consider. The Authority will not create employment restrictions or divide the DP industry.

Without a doubt, there is much to like in both the NI and DNV certification schemes. However, these schemes were not written for the operational tempo of supply vessels. In and of itself, that fact did not cause us to start our own certification program. However, the current systems have proven themselves unwilling to address our concerns making it exceedingly difficult to maintain a sufficient supply of well-qualified DPOs. Specifically, the current system continues to discourage those without STCW licenses from becoming certified, blocking off the hawse pipe and preventing some of the most skilled mariners in the industry from becoming certified DPOs. Similarly, mariners aboard vessels with unclassed DP systems are currently cutoff from receiving training in the safest way to use DP systems. These prohibitions do nothing to improve safety. In fact, they hinder safety and ignore reality. Regardless of the opinion of DPO certification systems, professional

The OSVDPA’s intention is to create another DPO certification option for mariners. We understand that mariners will not choose the OSVDPA if its certificates lead to dead-ends or restrictions. It would be counterproductive for our system to create employment restrictions. Instead, the OSVDPA seeks a system where certified DPOs and prospective DPOs can pick the certification system that works best for them and subsequently transfer between certification systems and industries, provided each adheres to the same high standards. As early as last summer, the Authority initiated conversations with the NI and DNV about how reciprocal recognition could be granted. Since those conversations started, the OSVDPA has collaborated with the DNV classification society and industry stakeholders to craft a set of recommended practices for all DPO certification systems. When this document is produced, the OSVDPA will ensure our system meets all practical requirements contained therein.

What Does A New DP Scheme Mean

Additionally, the OSVDPA will not reduce standards. The Authority is comprised of some of the safest vessel operators, the best training centers, and most respected DP manufacturers. To a person, the Board of Directors understand that a good safety record is vital to our industry’s reputation. As such, the OSVDPA Board refuses any action which will degrade the safety of our people, our vessels, the environment, or our customers.

incorporate competency based assessments. Under our system, prospective DPOs will be assessed at each stage of their training; failure to pass will mean a failure to advance.

The OSVDPA is not going to waste our time creating a system that will not pass muster. The OSVDPA system will be subject to rigorous review from our customers, flag states, industry associations, and others. We welcome this review and understand these partners will not accept a system which creates short-cuts or produces less-than-qualified mariners.

Under the OSVDPA system all training and certification components will all be based on a defined list of competencies, ensuring prospective DPOs know what they are expected to learn, training centers know what they are expected to teach, and employers know what to expect from our certificate holders. The OSVDPA believes such a foundation is vital to any certification program.

Going forward, the OSVDPA will continue to invite comments and criticism of our system. The Authority’s primary mission is to improve safety and we’ll work with anyone who shares this mission. As we move forward, the Authority will strive to craft a certification system that applies lessons learned from the existing DPO certification systems. Specifically, the OSVDPA certification system will be based on a combination of sea-time and competency assessment. The OSVDPA understands that experiential and observational learning is vital to producing quality DPOs; thus our system will have a dual layer sea-time requirement, one layer tracking on-board experience (traditional sea-time), and the other measuring time the prospective DPO spent at the controls. However, experience alone is not proof of proficiency. For this reason, the OSVDPA certification system will

The capstone of our training system will be a final assessment ensuring the prospective DPO is competent not just in DP buttonology but in the real-world operation of a vessel.

The OSVDPA understand our system is not the answer to all of the questions surrounding DPO certification. Just as the other certifications systems do not work for the offshore service vessel industry, our system might not be a good fit for other sectors. However, in the Authority’s opinion, it is high time mariners had a choice, and the ability to find a system that meets their needs and industry expectations. The OSVDPA will be an active member of this industry, one that listens and responds to the concerns of our partners. As such, please do not hesitate to contact me at with questions or concerns. Thank you for your time, and we look forward to working with you to improve our industry.

What’s In A Day? The DP Time Conundrum By Sean Hogue The logging of DP sea time is an ongoing conversation. Some Captains log it one way while others leave the task to the Senior DPO. Much of what is said on the subject is based on hear’say and prior experience - but is not backed up with documentation. With DP license revalidation looming there has been a resurgence of discussions online about how to count DP time. The fact that this discussion is still taking place means that some clarification is needed. In years gone by it was simple; once you had your full ticket you only counted the days on DP. Whether you logged 6 or 12 hours was irrelevant - only the day mattered. The issue nowadays is that due to increased competition many DPO’s are keeping a log of how many hours of experience they have on a specific type of vessel or system. These DP specific CV’s are sometimes required by employers now as well. This may prove a problem when it comes to revalidation, as there is still no clarification from the NI as to how DP hours will be converted to days at the time of this writing. So what’s in a day? The consensus in the discussion on the Dynamic Positioning Operators group on Facebook is that for a full operational day both the Senior and the DPO are to log 12 hours. This seems reasonable as both are on the bridge the whole time with the off-desk officer handling a variety of tasks, such as communication with other vessels, working with reference systems, radar watch, and maintaining the fire watch. Another point of view is that the DPO would log 6 hours, or the time physically spent on the desk, while the Senior would log 12 hours. This due to the fact that the Senior has the overall responsibility for the watch. What then of the Master? Generally they will only be on the desk for meal reliefs and when otherwise required. But as the Master has overall responsibility for the entire vessel does this mean they will log 24 hours of DP time? For the answers to these questions we look to a number of sources, starting with the Nautical Institute.

What the Log Books say about DP Time On page 9 of the Nautical Institute log book the definition of a DP day is: Any day where DP operations are undertaken by the vessel. (A minimum of one hour is accepted). It also stipulates that Days on DP can only be counted if you were on watch. Most people remember the part about one hour minimum but tend to forget that it doesn’t count if you weren’t on watch when it happened. Much of the log flogging that the new revalidation is trying to mitigate can be traced back to this, and to those using the DP log as their discharge book; counting every day from sign on until pay off - even when tied up alongside. IMCA recommendations on DP time The IMCA logbook also offers guidance, slight as it may be. Part 7 - DP Watchkeeping Record, has a section called DP time which states; • For Watchkeepers, hours/days on watch at the control desk or in the engine control room while on DP, between the dates stated. • For non-watchkeepers, days when the vessel is working on DP for more than 8 hours. Both statements seem quite clear but both leave some room for interpretation. For Watchkeepers it clearly states at the control desk - so 6 hours for each watchkeeper. This is how many of the earliest DP license holders counted their time. For non-watchkeepers it is a little muddier. Days when the vessel is working on DP for more than 8 hours. So what about days when the vessel was on DP for 7.5 hours? No DP time is to be logged? Or when filling up the log at the end of their trip should the Master tally the total number of hours then divide by 8? Obviously this would result in 3 days logged for 24 hours on DP and should be discounted, but then why should the Master not be awarded a DP day for less than 8 hours when watchkeepers can claim a day as long as the vessel was on DP for a single hour? Another point to note is that the designations of Senior and Trainee can be misleading.

What’s In A Day? As per the NI there is only a Trainee DPO; someone who is in the process of completing the full license, and the DPO; someone that has fulfilled all requirements of the training scheme. The title of Senior is awarded based on experience but there is largely vessel specific as there is no required number of hours to fill the role only recommendations. IMCA M 117 - The Training and Experience of Key DP Personnel, states the following with regards to SDPO’s: The SDPO should have satisfied company requirements (for example DP hours) and been assessed by the Master as capable of taking sole charge of a DP watch and providing supervision to junior and trainee DPOs, for any DP operation that the particular vessel may become engaged in. The latest IMCA recommendation on sea time comes in the form of M10/13 which deals with the revision of the Nautical Institute DPO training scheme. It reads as follows: Definition of Sea Time One sea day can be counted if the trainee DPO is involved with active or passive DP training for a minimum of two (2) hours per day claimed. A maximum of 25% sea days can be ‘Passive’ sea days. • Active – with propulsion under the guidance by a certified DP Operator. • Passive – without propulsion under the guidance by a certified DP Operator. Much of the confusion stems from the fact that the NI logbook focuses on DP days and each set of dates is to be entered separately even though during the same trip. The IMCA logbook focuses on days/hours and is recorded like a discharge book with the joining and leaving dates listed, then the DP time for the entire trip being recorded. Further to that, the new guidelines on revalidation from the Institute seem to specifically reference Trainees. So is it one hour or two for a DP day? Six hours or twelve for a shift? Before looking at what time to log it is important to clarify what NOT to log: • Time not on DP, I.e, alongside, at anchor, or any other time when not engaged in Active or Passive DP operations. • Starting from your joining date and ending on your pay off date unless you choppered in and were engaged in DP ops the entire time. • 24 hours in a single day. Besides contravening the Hours of Rest, this should not be signed off by any Master as it is detrimental to promoting a positive DP culture.

When logging time as a trainee there is sufficient motivation to keep an exact record of hours on the desk. If you spent the requisite 2 hours on passive DP then be sure to note it as such. Once the full certificate is earned then counting hours is redundant. If you are going to do it for keeping the record of your DP CV then it should be recorded as per the logbook’s instructions - hours on the desk. With regards to logging 12 hours in a day - if the Institute condoned this it would be clearly stated in the log book. While both DPO’s are required to maintain situational awareness at all times, this misconception stems from those on-board, not from industry. If you are the Senior and spending all of your “off-desk” time sitting right next to the DPO overseeing their operation then by all means log that as well. But unless you are keeping a very specific log of your hours every day when you get off watch then this is likely outside of the scope and is unnecessary if properly logging days. After all, there is enough to worry about on-board without accounting for every minute on the desk and it is unlikely that most DPO’s are logging their time with that level of precision. And one hour on DP does not equal 12 hours in the log, it equals one day. This is a clear case of padding the numbers and does not accurately reflect the Officers experience. As for the Master, the requirements are clear; 8 hours on DP while not standing a watch counts as a day. Again, licensing requirements specify days, not hours. While 180 days is not as impressive as 2160 hours it is a more accurate reflection of the DP time served. We leave today with a quote by Captain Tom Joseph from an online discussion: “It does not matter how many hours you did, once you are DP certified. During training, of course you must record the hours so as to satisfy the certification requirements. Thereafter number of days will be more than enough. In the case of recording hours, as it is beyond the scope to keep on tracking the hours on and off the desk. There are better things to do on board.”

NOTE: Further to the above - The NI has just released its revised certification scheme. For Revalidation purposes they will have to deal with sea-time recorded in the IMCA logbook which may be recorded in hours. The NI states: “As a result the hours recorded in an individual’s logbook will be divided by 2 to get the number of DP days that person has obtained in the last 5 years.”

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Training with IMOSTI will ensure that your workforce will be able to maximize their ability to contribute positively to business success while endowing them with characteristic essential to the improvement of quality of life and preservation of environment.

COMPASS: Competent Maritime Professional & Sea Staff

(COMPASS) Training Centre, is your most valued partner in the maritime industry for human resource development providing educational facility and methodology geared towards competence development and skills enhancement. Formed and established by leading practitioners in maritime training and education the company is set to be recognized globally for delivering high standard of learning and competence that result to the excellent performance of all personnel COMPASS offers the best facilities a training center could offer: • ELECTRONIC CHART DISPLAY AND INFORMATION SYSTEM (ECDIS) • ENGINE ROOM SIMULATOR • FULL MISSION BRIDGE SIMULATOR • LIQUID CARGO HANDLING SIMULATOR • 24 SEATING CAPACITY CLASSROOMS COMPASS is set to be the most competitive and dynamic training organization with customers worldwide.

C-NERGY INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION & LEISURE CENTRE C-NERGY is also proud with its newest facility in Silang, Cavite, the C-NERGY International Convention & Leisure Centre.

The centre provides a wide range of technical and safety related services in an environment conducive for technical learning and mental and spiritual development The C-NERGY International Convention and Leisure Centre is full range maritime and offshore oil and gas safety training centre seated in about 7.5 hectares of property in the highlands of Cavite

Among its facilities are • 250 seater column-free convention & exhibition centre with advanced audio-visual system • A Catering and Facility Management Academy that provides modern culinary facility and serves the most exquisite delicacies to guests and delegates • A 5,000 sqm water lagoon for training of sea survival, helicopter underwater egress training simulator, lifeboat and life raft manipulation and search and rescue operations • A firehouse for conducting smoke-diving training, fire fighting, confined space entry as well as offshore emergency response training • A 12X12 meter helideck and Bell 206B mock up helicopter behind the three storey firehouse for helicopter firefighting and rescue operation during crash landings • A 2-storey building similarly gracing the spacious facility to accommodate 10 training rooms, lockers for male and female, gymnasium, business centre, offices and lounges • A 1000sq. industrial barn which hold the training areas for welding, blasting and painting, machining, electro-mechanical & electro-tech training, automation and instrumentations • 20 native villas suited for relaxation of the body and mind with utmost privacy and serenity at hand The place, is a well-rounded facility, setting C-NERGY on top of the standards in providing the best training and education for professionals. C-NERGY is now your trusted one-stop shop partner from maritime training and education, offshore safety training and technical skill development, offshore manpower and human resources services, offshore facility management, housekeeping and catering services. And in the years to come, C-NERGY will continue to be the sustainable business partner that you will need to succeed in the industry, being the leading global brand in providing services and business solutions for the maritime and offshore oil and gas industry

Company News

Nautronix Drive Ahead with Growth Plans – Duo of Senior Management Appointments Announced Through water communication and positioning technology company, Nautronix, is pleased to announce the strengthening of its senior management team. The move is due to the company’s growth within their Survey Services division and the significant opportunities available for their subsea positioning system, NASNet®. Sam Hanton, who initially joined Nautronix in 2008 and has served as Survey Manager since the division’s inception in 2012, has been promoted to Director of Survey. His primary remit is the continued development and growth of the Survey division to deliver both Survey and NASNet® projects on a global basis. Alan Buchan, who has been with the company for 10 years as Product Line Manager for NASNet®, has been promoted to Director of Survey Projects. His primary role is to manage the commercial performance of Survey projects ensuring timely and accurate reporting of project status. Mark Patterson, CEO, comments, “We have experienced a number of years of rapid growth throughout the company particularly within the Survey Services division. These appointments demonstrate our commitment to this market sector, reflecting the success we have achieved to date and preparing the way for our continued expansion in the future.”

And More Good News... Nautronix has secured an order from HHI, Korea to supply a NASNet® DPR (Dynamic Positioning Reference) System which will be used on the Bollsta Dolphin drilling rig. NASNet® DPR is the ultimate position reference system for Dynamic Positioning; it also has the benefits of the wellknown NASNet® subsea acoustic positioning system and can be used either within preinstalled field-wide NASNet® arrays, or as a localised positioning system. The system provides robust mitigation against many of the risks associated with both acoustic and satellite positioning systems, allowing multiple users to benefit simultaneously from the same array with no risk of interference. NASNet® DPR uses cutting edge acoustic technology combined with a user-friendly interface to provide high speed position updates and stable positioning in water depths up to 4000m. Graeme Murray, Managing Director of Dolphin Drilling said “We are delighted to be using a NASNet® DPR system on our new build, the Bollsta Dolphin. Dolphin Drilling is very supportive of this new technology and sees the significant advantages it can give to our customer. The system will give us fast one way, multi user acoustic positioning which will give us real opportunities to expand our subsea capabilities and redundancy for any loss of GPS due to scintillation.”

This is what a missed opportunity looks like.

Just think, if you’d advertised with IDPOA - your company or product would have just reached over 5,000 international Dynamic Positioning professionals, and over 30,000 maritime industry subscribers.

For the advertising options: Contact Tony Stein: +44 (0)1892 514508 or email

HUMAN PRICE OF WEST AFRICAN PIRACY An American who was kidnapped by “crack-smoking” Nigerian pirates and held hostage for almost three weeks says he is still haunted by the ordeal five months later and fears for the security of other captains.

The pirates found a metal grinder and started attacking the door. In a desperate attempt to keep them at bay, Thomas grabbed a water hose and began spraying the tool, electrocuting one of the intruders, he said.

“It’s been hell,” Capt. Wren Thomas, told the media. “I have major PTSD. “There’s things out there that happened to me that I don’t even want people to know about,” he said. “I was a certain man when I went to Nigeria and when I came back, I’m a totally different person.”

But they persisted and used a sledgehammer to bash a hole in the door big enough to stick an AK-47 rifle barrel through.

Thomas and his engineer, who is also American, were held captive after the oil supply ship C-Retriever was attacked off Nigeria’s coast, a notorious piracy hotspot, on Oct. 23 2013. Fears grew that the pair had been killed after their vessel was found abandoned in a Nigerian port. In interviews, Thomas has spoken about the harrowing experience — from a premonition he had that his ship would be attacked, to his feeling that his company didn’t do enough to help him or his wife, Rhonda. According to media reports, Thomas had been working for the firm Edison Chouest for seven years when he was taken. He claims a series of threats and concerns about safety — the ship had no guards or security cameras and logistics were discussed on open channels — had already made him unsettled. The night it happened, he told his crew, “Watch out for pirates,” he said. “I went to bed and laid there waiting for the knock on the door,” he said. It came in the middle of the night, his chief officer reporting that pirates were on board the 222-foot vessel. They rushed to the bulk tank room and barricaded themselves behind a steel door with eight other crew members.

“They started firing rounds in there,” Thomas said. “I’m like, ‘Look, we either give up now or we get killed or we get our crew members killed,’” he recalled. “I started screaming that we were coming out and not to shoot anymore.” The captain opened the door and outside stood two pirates who were none too happy about his waterspraying efforts. “They wanted to kill me for electrocuting them,” Thomas said. “I kicked into survival mode really quick.” He told them he was only trying to put out a fire and even talked them into letting him retrieve some medicine before he and his engineer were loaded into a speed boat and taken to “the bush.” “It was basically like your Gilligan’s Island hut,” he said of the pirates’ hideout. Inside were crude beds fashioned from bamboo with moldy foam rubber mats. A fire was blazing at all times, making the air stifling and smoky. They bathed and cooked with filthy swamp water. They were given a package of ramen noodles to eat every other day — but only if the captors were in a good mood. “They were smoking pot and crack and drinking a lot,” Thomas said. “It made them real erratic. You know drugs, alcohol, weapons and anger don’t mix.”

Human Price of West African offshore shipping in thePiracy cross hairs

The 14 pirates at the camp constantly fought and threatened each other with their guns. “They would chamber rounds on each other and beat each other. The tension was always high.”

“When I was driving, I was trying to figure out how I could do it in my truck. I would get so engrossed in wanting to kill myself that I would get dizzy. I hated what I put everyone through.”

“I kicked into survival mode real quick.”

Thomas said there were details he could not discuss: the full extent of the abuse he suffered while being held, the amount of the ransom that was eventually paid, and his current status with Edison Chouest.

One attempt to befriend a kidnapper ended in failure when the Nigerian lost his temper. “He asked if I wanted some tea,” Thomas said. “I told him ‘yes’ then when he got around to it about an hour later I told him I didn’t want it, since the caffeine probably wouldn’t be good for me. He went completely nuts and told me not to ever make him angry again or I would regret it. He had Satan in his eyes. I apologized to him and accepted some tea.” Thomas said he initially thought the negotiations would result in a quick release. The pirates demanded $2 million, which he thought was low. He claims Edison Chouest countered with a $30,000 offer.

He has retained Texas lawyer Brian Beckcom, who represented the crew of Phillips’ ship, the Maersk Alabama, as “an advisor,” he said. “Something more has to be done to protect the men and women who work off the coast of West Africa and then to provide for them when they return from an event like this,” he said.

After seven days, the men were moved to a new location in the swamp about a half-mile from a beach. Stop-and-start negotiations continued until finally it seemed a deal had been struck. The Americans were taken to town in a covered boat to meet three Nigerian bagmen who were to deliver the ransom. Thomas said the trio apparently skimmed several thousand dollars and were then beaten until the full amount was surrendered. At gunpoint, he and the engineer were walked up a hill and told lie facedown in the dirt next to the three beaten men. “Don’t get up until you hear us gone or we’ll shoot and kill you,” they were told, according to Phillips. Eventually, the group got in a car and drove to a hotel, then went to the company offices in Port Harcourt the next day. The two ex-captives flew to Lagos, where they were debriefed by the FBI, and then returned to Louisiana, where they were grilled by their bosses, he said. Thomas said the 18-day ordeal left him suicidal when he was back in the U.S. “I wanted to end my life. Every time I was alone in my house, I was trying to figure out which gun I was going to use,” he told reporters. Captain Wren Thomas Source:


PS Vita TV Sony still hasn’t said when the Vita TV will break out of Japan but we reckon it won’t be too long before the microconsole begins its Western voyage. And we can’t wait: between putting our Vita games on the TV, streaming from the PS4 and potentially dishing up a roster of TV streaming apps, the Vita TV is a musthave piece of kit for any PlayStationer’s living room. The trips will fly by...

PANONO Throw the Panono up in the air and by the time it lands back in your hands it’ll have captured an impressive 360 degree photograph. If you don’t think that’s awesome then you don’t know awesome. The ball makes taking panoramic shots as simple as it should be - just don’t let the dog at it when you are at home, or the cadet when you are at sea.

Emperor 1510 Gaming Environment Not a gadget as such, more a glimpse at the DP desks of the future. Luxe gaming chair resembles something from an implausible Hollywood film about hackers and includes a Bose 2.1 sound system, adjustable seat and huge array of connections. Just add your own PC or console and monitors...or K:Pos.

13 April -16 April 2014 Annual OSV Forum Rosewood Hotel, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

20-21 May 2014 Middle East OSJ TBC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

22 May -25 May 2014 OSV Brazil Sheraton Rio Hotel, Rio de Janeiro,Brazil

28 May -29 May 2014 Sea Asia Offshore Marine Forum Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

18 June -19 June 2014 European Dynamic Positioning

What's On Guide Advertise with IDPOA and reach out to the world of DP. • Readership over 30,000 • Reach thousands of DPOs • Over 200,000 hits per month IDPOA is the place to reach DPOs - so help your recruitment or marketing needs while supporting the world’s first and only dedicated website and associationfor DPOs. For the full range of advertising possibilities, sponsorship packages on our website, in 6degrees or e-mail blasts, contact Tony Stein: Call +44 (0)1892 514508 / email

TBC, London, United Kingdom

23 June -24 June 2014 Dynamic Positioning Asia Conference Resorts World Sentosa, Convention Centre, Singapore

Idpoa 6degrees19 spring 2014  

The Spring 2014 issue of the International Dynamic Positioning Operators Association (IDPOA) e-journal

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