Issuu on Google+


international federation of shipmasters’ associations

Annual Review 2009-2010




contents p2


“Mabuhay!� IFSMA’s President, Captain Christer Lindvall, welcomes those attending the 36th Annual General Assembly in the Philippines with a local greeting

Seafarers deserve fairer lives at sea, says Fredrik Larsson, Marine Manager, INTERTANKO, who also asks how great will the shortfall of seafarers be once the economy recovers?



“When will seafarers finally be freed of asbestos?� asks Marcel van den Broek, Assistant General Secretary of Nautilus International NL, the new trans-boundary union

IFSMA’s Secretary General, Rodger MacDonald, highlights IFSMA’s main activities for 2009-10 – just part of the workload at the Federation’s headquarters



Captain Yasuyuki Morimoto, President of the Japan Captains’ Association, introduces Japan’s maritime met services and complexities of local weather systems

Captain Ashoke K Bansal, an individual member in India, maintains that it is time to address the global manning crisis in the year of the seafarer

An independently produced magazine, published on behalf of the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA) by Riviera Maritime Media Ltd. Statements made do not necessarily reflect the opinions of IFSMA or the publisher. Riviera Maritime Media Ltd Mitre House 66 Abbey Road Enfield EN1 2QN UK t: +44 20 8364 1551 e:

International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations 202 Lambeth Road London SE1 7JY UK t: +44 20 7261 0450 f: +44 20 7928 9030 e:




              " 1781 1 (*! 107<1?:?:1627  ,  /?<1::1:  "7 :&;   ) <?  -?<1::1:  7.1::1:  (713 :  7: =7 = 1


  Agents - Please see for full details.         ($,;88? + 221"7, Australia: Wiltrading (WA) PTY Ltd. z Canada: K & D Pratt Group Inc. z Denmark: DK - Sea Safety AS z UK: Ocean safety Ltd. *01 , 21?    11, ,4C:B5131::1<01 '3,1 :  "7 Co. z Polaris Partners7 : 1: Spain: Tridente SL. z Sweden: Sjösäkerhetsservice z Navic z USA: High Seas Trading

# 07,)7= ? 371  +   % > +  $6 1:0;1 077 1/=== 077 ( ;2 0;1726 7<1/7  107<1?19;861 37;3?1 :  # 07+1:0;1,07787=11 107<1?:?:1627  11:0;1<1::1:  # 07+1:0;1% 61( ; 7=1 :::1 107<1? 19;86127:6 11:0;10 2  # 07+1:0;1! :51: /11:0;18 276  # 0706/ ,0 6/+107<1?1  # 07+1:0;1#;66?2;:@16 19;27 1 :0 1>10:1:


FSMA was formed in 1974 when eight European

Its headquarters is in London, close to IMO.

Associations of Shipmasters decided to unite

IFSMA gained Consultative Status as a non-

their members from across the world in a single

governmental organisation at IMO in 1975, which

professional co-ordinated body. This non-profit

enables it to represent the unfiltered views of its

apolitical organisation dedicates itself solely

members and protect their interests in an unfettered

to the interests of the serving shipmaster, more than

way. A Secretary General and a team of active or

11,000 of whom make up this Federation. They come

former shipmasters represent IFSMA at IMO and

from about 60 countries, either through their National

help the Federation to function effectively there.

Associations or as individual members.

These agents of IFSMA attend the four main IMO

IFSMA exists to uphold international standards

committees, namely the Maritime Safety Committee,

of professional competence for seafarers. The

the Maritime Environmental Protection Committee,

Federationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s policy is to ensure safe operational

the Legal Committee and the Facilitation Committee.

practices, to prevent human injury, protect the

This team is also active in the nine sub-committees

marine environment and ensure the safety of life

of IMO, the organisationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s working and drafting

and property at sea.

groups, Council Meetings and Assemblies.

unity for safety at sea

An introduction to IFSMA

IFSMA is a non-profit apolitical organisation dedicating itself solely to the interests of the serving shipmaster

I FS M A A nnu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0


Manila, 17-18 June 2010

MABUHAY! Opening address by IFSMA President Captain Christer Lindvall to the 36th Annual General Assembly


agandang umaga sa inyong lahat.

country. Its family names followed in the middle of

Good morning to you all.

the 19th century.

I welcome you all to the ‘Pearl

The Philippines became a protectorate in 1898

of the Orient’, the Philippines,

when the US bought the nation from Spain for

which I consider my second

US$200 million as part of the peace treaty at the

home country. I especially want to welcome those

end of the Spanish-American war. It remained so

individual members and Associations who are

until independence in 1946 except for the Japanese

attending this AGA for the first time.

occupation from 1942 to 1945.

Once again I want to thank SINDMAR for its

Of the nation’s colonial experiences, it has been said

hospitality during our AGA in Rio de Janeiro last

that the country spent 350 years in a convent and 50

year and also the Associated Marine Officers’ and

years in Hollywood. That unique combination has

Seamen’s Union of the Philippines for inviting us

resulted in an American-accented fluent English-

to this year’s AGA. In this context I also welcome

speaking population with the patience and customer

the representatives of the Society of Filipino Ship

concern that multinationals have found the ideal

Captains, whose application for membership has

answer to their prayers.

been approved by the Executive Council and will be presented to the AGA for endorsement. To introduce the Philippines, the nation comprises

various professional areas. This includes about

7,107 islands and had a population of 93 million in

200,000 seafarers, of which 70,000 are competent

2009. There are 171 native languages and dialects

officers, to the World Maritime Fleet, which employs

with 13 indigenous languages and at least one

about 1.5 million seamen.

million native speakers. The official languages of the Philippines are Tagalog and English. The history of the Philippines goes back at least

I think the Philippines therefore is the proper place to celebrate the IMO’s proclamation of 2010 as the ‘Year of the Seafarer’.

40,000 years but I will start from the medieval age.

IMO selected this motto to give it and the entire

The Spaniards first visited the Philippines in 1521

international maritime community the opportunity

in the form of our famous colleague Ferdinand

to pay tribute to the world’s seafarers and their

Magellan. He was killed just outside Cebu Island by

families. In this way it recognises their unique

Chieftain Lapu Lapu, whose name is also that of a

contribution to society and the risks they shoulder

delicious fish.

in the execution of their duties in often hostile

The Spaniards colonised the Philippines, first

environments. Never was so much owed by so

Cebu in 1565, with the arrival of Miguel Lopez de

many to so few for much in their daily lives. Some

Legazpi, and later Manila in 1571. These islands

1.5 million seafarers supply 6.5 billion people.

took their name from King Philip II of Spain. Here


IFSMA, as a representative of shipmasters, knows the Philippines well as a supplier of labour in

In proposing the motto Secretary-General

in Manila they established a new town and thus


began an era of Spanish colonisation that lasted for

confronting the 1.5 million seafarers of the world

more than three centuries, except for the brief British

– including pirate attacks, unwarranted detention

occupation from 1762 to 1764. Spain also introduced

and abandonment – coupled with the predicted

Catholicism and the language of Spanish to the

looming shortage of ship’s officers, make it ever

IFS MA Annu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0





The Philippines supplies about 200,000 seafarers, of whom 70,000 are competent officers, to the world fleet

more incumbent to take immediate and effective

• globalisation

action to forestall a situation from developing

• protection of the marine environment

in which ships are not manned with sufficient

• piracy

skilled personnel.”

• the ISPS code, ID cards and the seafarer’s right to

The theme complements IMO’s ongoing Go

shore leave

to Sea! campaign to attract new entrants to the

• the criminalisation and the fair treatment of

shipping industry. That launched in November


2008 in association with the International Labour

• manning, workload and fatigue

Organization, the round table of shipping industry

• the shortage of officers

organisations and the International Transport

• ratification of the Maritime Labor Convention 2006

Workers’ Federation.

• search & rescue lifesaving appliances & drills

In this connection IFSMA will arrange a seminar

• fair trade

on this subject on Saturday 26 June 2010 here in

• revision of the STCW convention

Manila. IMO’s Secretary-General will address

• the ISM code (quality assurance)

the gathering and I hope some of you are able to

• implementation of existing rules

participate. On behalf of all of you I really want

• a common safety culture within shipping.

to thank our Secretariat, which has made this seminar possible.

IFSMA has participated on these issues in different seminars and conferences since we met last year,

It is also in line with the Comprehensive Review, initiated in 2006, of the International Convention

which Rodger MacDonald, our Secretary General, will address in his report.

on Standards of Training, Certification and

In this context I sincerely want to thank our

Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978 and

honorary member, the Secretary-General of IMO,

its associated Code, updated texts of which are

Efthimios Mitropoulos, for all his concern and

due to be considered by a Diplomatic Conference

support of shipmasters and all seafarers when it

in Manila on 21-25 June, in which IFSMA will

comes to, for example, piracy, criminalisation and

also take part. Once adopted the proposed

promoting 2010 as the year of the seafarer.

amendments to the STCW Convention and Code

Finally I am looking forward to listening to all the

will provide the necessary global standards for

interesting presentations and the debates we can

the training and certification of seafarers to man

expect during this Annual General Assembly.

technologically advanced ships, today and for some time to come.

I hereby declare the 36th meeting of the IFSMA General Assembly open and once again wish you

Other issues on our present agenda are:


I FS M A A nnu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0



When will seafarers finally be freed of asbestos? by Marcel van den Broek, Nautilus International NL



sbestos is a double-edged sword.

occurred with the December 2000 amendments

On the one hand it has unique

to Solas. These came into force on 1 July 2002 to

physical properties that have

prohibit the new installation of materials which

encouraged its use in countless

contain asbestos on all ships.




Apart from this step forward at IMO, many

advantages include its cheapness, resistance to heat

nations worldwide also introduced regulations on

and corrosion, its good insulation properties and

asbestos. These stipulate how to treat asbestos

the way it can greatly improve the structure of

products that are aboard ships, who should treat

substances such as coatings and adhesives. On the

them and under what conditions. However, daily

other hand it has one significant disadvantage: it is

practice does not always match the requirements of

killing people.

these rules.

Asbestos is the name of a group of minerals that

In August last year a Turkish shipyard delivered

comprise long, thin fibres that are so small that the

a new chemical tanker to its Dutch owners. During

naked eye fails to see them. Disturbing asbestos by

repairs a few months later, the discovery was made

repair, remodeling or demolition can cause these

that packings that needed to be replaced contained

fibres to float in the air, which makes them easy to

asbestos. This alarming discovery forced further

inhale. Humans breathe out most fibres but some

inspections, which eventually led to the horrendous

become lodged in the lungs. Over time they can

conclusion that every single packing on board the

build up there, causing scarring and inflammation.

tanker contained the material. A team of specialists

This can eventually affect breathing and lead to lung

is now replacing thousands of packings, one by one,

diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung

each team member using specialist gear, protective

cancer, which usually develop over many years.

clothing and breathing apparatus.

It was these health risks that led many nations to

It soon became clear that this was not just a

begin banning the use of asbestos in the 20th century.

single incident. Only recently a series of newbuild

The shipping industry received special attention in

tugs from the same shipyard encountered similar

this regard because it commonly used over 300

problems, and a series of tankers still under

asbestos-containing materials. A real breakthrough

construction have been found to contain large

IFS MA Annu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0

amounts of asbestos packings too.

their colleagues ashore, who in general enjoy easy

Talks with worldwide operating experts who

access to inspection and controlling mechanisms.

specialise in tracing asbestos on board vessels have

It is clear that many regulations cover asbestos on

shown that the use of the material in Turkish

board ships but the flow of new asbestos onto them

shipyards is widespread. Similar practices occur

is continuous nevertheless. Equally clear therefore

in many other shipyards around the world.

is the need for much more action to address this

Unfortunately this is not the end of the story.

serious, life-threatening problem.

Even when a vessel is totally free of asbestos in

We need to explore why and where the control

her maiden voyage, it can still become contaminated

mechanisms over the existing regulations fall

by asbestos over its many years of service. This

short and to see how seafarers can be made

contamination takes place in many shipyards

better prepared to understand and identify the

around the world. Even as late as 2010 asbestos

dangers of the material. We need to devote much

blankets are in use during welding. All sorts of

more energy to collecting data and information

maintenance products in use also contain asbestos,

on asbestos-related incidents and bring these

as often is the case with stored spare parts and

incidents to the attention of our members and

maintenance products.

relevant authorities.

Seafarers are in particular danger when it comes

Ultimately we have to raise awareness again, both

to exposure to asbestos as their vessels are not only

among seafarers, shipowners, regulatory authorities

their workplaces but their residences too. Over

and other stakeholders in the shipping industry.

time this increases their possible exposure. Another

Asbestos is not a thing of the past. In 2010 the

problem for seafarers is their lack of training in the

shipping industry is still, on a daily basis, exposing

identification of asbestos, which means they are

its seafarers to this hazardous material and creating

much more likely to become contaminated than

victims for decades to come.

Digital chest radiograph showing calcified pleural plaques from asbestos exposure and a large lung cancer

I FS M A A nnu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0



11-12 November 2010, London

Will you be there when the safety agenda is set? This event attracts tanker charterers, trading companies, manufacturers, regulators, service companies, academics, designers, shipbuilders, ďŹ nance and insurance, class, associations and shipowners from all over the world, who come to gather intelligence, to network, and to gain practical insights into promoting tanker safety and effective emergency response. Attend the 2nd Tanker Safety Conference if you want to:

shape the safety agenda so that it is practical rather than political

share best practices by pooling knowledge with your peers

sleep at night knowing that you have done everything possible for the safety of your tankers and crews

Come and see why Rivera events attract such high quality speakers and delegates: sponsors (as of 04.06.10)

the marshall islands registry

supporters (as of 04.06.10)

official publication I M I F

International Maritime Industries Forum

tanker shipping & trade

organised by

weather information

Japan’s maritime meteorological information services and safety at sea by Captain Yasuyuki Morimoto, President of the Japan Captains’ Association


he Japanese archipelago is on the eastern

information on weather and sea states from

edge of Asia and faces the vast Pacific

appropriate organisations.

Ocean in the east and the south.

Fortunately the government body the Japan

Japan generally has mild weather

Meteorological Agency (JMA) is one of the most

with four distinct seasons. However,

advanced and authoritative organisations in the

the sea areas along the coasts of Japan and in the

world of its kind. JMA has been in service for

Pacific Ocean see great changes in sea and weather

more than 100 years and will provide any weather

conditions. The complexity of the region’s weather

information relevant to oceanic shipping operations.

systems can create a treacherous environment and

JMA provides data on oceanic meteorological

pose grave threats to navigation.

conditions such as surface weather charts, upper-

Winter monsoons occasionally grow to typhoon strength; cyclones form in spring along Japan’s coast;


and summer and autumn see the arrival of typhoons. Added to these are the frequent fogs that occur throughout much of the year. Equally threatening are tsunamis, which are not uncommon. On 9 September 1980 Typhoon Orchid claimed the largest UK ship ever to have been lost at sea, the 93,000 tonne UK-flagged oil-bulk-ore carrier MV Derbyshire in the seas south of Japan. This

radio telephone internet

USER Fishery coastal radio stations

tv, radio JMH broadcast


broadcast on NHK NHK radio 2


tragic loss claimed all hands – a crew of 42 and two wives. Sadly this is not an isolated case. Many crew have lost their lives at sea, as we showed in our presentation to the Annual General Assembly. To enhance the safety of navigation in such


Oceanographic analysis charts sea ice information weather, wave analysis and prognosis charts

a vast area of sea it is important above all to

sea surface temperature and current forecast

understand adequately the characteristics of the

sea ice information

climate in the region and to use all available

I FS M A A nnu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0

marine forecast, analysis and warning local marine forecast, analysis and warning volcanic ash advisory



weather information

air charts, ocean wave charts and photographs

by the JMA; and how to contact and collect

from weather satellites. All are easy to obtain.

information that the JMA provides.

Members are encouraged to make contact with






the JMA to use this information to help ensure the

Association (NVKK) is rewriting a handbook for

safe and economical navigation of their ships.

mariners on how to avoid tropical hurricanes. The

Meanwhile the Japan Captains’ Association

original version remains in the library of the Nautical

has an assignment to provide a text for foreign

Institute but much of its information is outdated

seafarers on board ships controlled by Japanese

and goes as far back as 1986 or even 1975.

shipowners. JCA consulted

and received help

Virtually no recent information is available from

from experts and academics to produce the

seafarers who have been close to or within the

report ‘Weather and Sea States around Japan and

dangerous semicircle of cyclones. In the meantime

Characteristics of Major Ports and Bays in Japan’.

much has changed in the technical approach of

Our paper aims to give IFSMA members,

weather forecasts.

particularly those at sea, basic knowledge of the

The Japan Captains’ Association aims to enhance

weather and of the sea areas around Japan. It

safety at sea for our colleagues. It takes into

will focus on the characteristics of the weather

account the concerns of the NVKK. It is happy to

and the sea states in Japanese and neighbouring

share through the presentation the meteorological

waters; navigation in stormy weather and during

information and experience its members have

a typhoon; information and business provided

accumulated about Japanese sea areas.

Sea areas along the coast of Japan where fog occurs frequently

Tsugaru Kaikyo Fog Period: Apr-Aug Mature Stage: Jun-Jul Dense Fog seen in Jul & Aug

Vicinity of Erimosaki and Nemuro Fog Period: May-Aug Mature Stage: Jul

Vicinity of Kinkazan Fog Period: May-Aug Mature Stage: Jun/Jul

Setonaikai Fog Period: Mar-Jul Mature Stage: Apr-Jun • Sharply  Decrease with end of rainy season • Frequent  Occurrence: Osaka Bay, Bisan Seto, Hiuchi Nada, Iyonada •O  saka Bay: Special Attention required even in Winter Season

Vicinity of Inubosaki Fog Period: May- Aug Mature Stage: Jul


IFS MA Annu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0

PLT ® – Pneumatic Line Throwers – for safety-, linetransfer- & rescue-operations.

250 m.

Rescue 230 s Covers IMO/SOLAS regulation 74/83. s Standard LNG HiLoad linetransfer 150—200 m. (ref. Statoil, Petrobras, Remora, Torp LNG etc.)


20 0 m .

Maritime & Underwater Security Consultants

Rescue 125 s Internal line.

150 m.

Mooring 150 s Long-range mooring operations.

Life bouy s Inflates within 2 sec. 10 0 m.

Mooring 75 s Short-range mooring operations.

Grapple s Line pick-up operations (ref. DOF Subsea, CGGVeritas etc.). 5 0 m.

Launch tubes

PLT ® Base Unit s Compressed air. s No flames or sparks. s No expiry date. s All parts are re-usable. s Free training.

MUSC has provided groundbreaking counter piracy training to flag states, owners, operators, masters and crews across the globe. To find out more visit: or email:

life on board

Seafarers deserve fairer lives at sea by Fredrik Larsson, Marine Manager, INTERTANKO


was delighted when asked by IFSMA’s

no doubt have had difficulties in keeping their

President, Captain Christer Lindvall, to give

training budgets intact.

a presentation at the 2010 Annual General

Recruitment to the tanker industry is not a stand-

Assembly in Manila on the subject of

alone issue. It’s a question of attracting people

either tanker recruitment or criminalisation

to the industry as a whole. Most importantly it’s

of seafarers. Both subjects are not only close to

about retaining the officers we already have. The

my heart but also high on the agenda for the

existing pool of competent tanker officers is the

organisation I represent. They are also closely

heart of our industry. Without them no tanker can

related and I therefore suggested that I cover both

operate. We therefore need the existing officers to

in this paper.

pass on experience and knowledge to the younger

With the huge growth in the tanker fleet over the

generation and to mentor it, just as they have

last couple of years, it is inevitable that an increase

always done and hopefully always will do, as in

in demand for tanker officers and ratings will

any profession.

follow. This growth, despite the economic downturn

Learning by doing is a great concept that was

and recession, will continue although probably at

introduced thousands of years ago. No university

a slower pace than projected before the recession.

or simulator can fully replace it although, of course,

Various reports and studies conducted over the last

simulator training is now playing an important role

couple of years have been forecasting a shortfall of

and will continue to do so in the future.

officers in the region of 2-10 per cent.


When the recession hit the world’s economies

Before the recession hit the industry, the shortage

in 2008 it hit global trade hard and as a result

of officers in particular was causing shipowners and

the shipping industry suffered. Anchorages were

shipmanagers to allocate huge amounts of money in

bursting at the seams with ships lying idle. This

either salaries or training to secure the people they

meant that demand for seafarers of all ranks was

needed. Shipowners and shipmanagers who had

decreasing. Those who kept their jobs became

invested in in-house training schemes and cadet

reluctant to leave what they hoped were safe

berths saw poaching as a major threat. It caused

companies, hence poaching suddenly wasn’t an

salaries to hit new record levels several times a year.

issue anymore. Various signs show that the recession

One chief executive of a major shipmanager went

conserved the existing pool of seafarers, and in fact

on record to say that Filipino second officers were

shortages of career opportunities onshore prompted

earning more than their president.

an influx of people to the industry, mainly on the

Mindful of the lack of officers before the recession,

ratings side. On the officer side it is far too early to

the shipping industry in general and the tanker

tell as we have to factor in the time they spend at

industry in particular have been keen not to

university before joining up and becoming a statistic

scale back on recruitment campaigns or training

in this context.

programmes during the recent economic downturn.

The big question now is how big the shortfall

I am confident that the industry has been acting

of seafarers will be, particularly the shortage of

responsibly in this regard although many companies

competent officers, once the economy recovers

IFS MA Annu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0

enough to employ the merchant fleet more fully. And

IMO, continue to campaign for youngsters to go

what impact will this have? Which sectors of the

to sea. They are conscious that without seafarers

industry will be able to compete with higher salaries?

of the right calibre the industry will face a difficult

Your guess is as good as mine, perhaps better.

and painful future. Let’s face it, there are fantastic

However, putting recessions and salaries aside,

opportunities out there now. Never before have

what attracts people to go to sea today? It is

there been so many different sectors in the industry

probably not the opportunity to see the world,

to choose between, such as cruise ships, offshore

which it used to be back in the good old days. My

vessels, tankers, exploration ships and others. On

personal view is that recruitment at a company

the tanker side alone you can specialise in gas, oil

level today is all about creating a positive and

or chemicals. It’s like a ladder. The more skills you

professional atmosphere. This means engaging and

acquire the more attractive you become and, of

recognising seafarers as the key-employees they

course, your bank account will reflect this. Take into

are, trusting them, listening to them and honouring

account the shortage of officers and the climb up the

them as professional ship’s officers and ratings.

ranks is going to go even faster, no matter whether

It also means treating them as human beings, as

this is considered a good or a bad thing.

someone’s husband, father, wife or mother and

Despite the excellent prospects and salaries, the

providing them with a meaningful, challenging and

fact is that the industry at large has difficulty in

satisfying working environment. They should have

attracting the younger generation. Depending on

a proper and stimulating home from home, one that

whom you ask you will get different answers on

includes the kind of amenities you might expect to

why this is the case. It seems that everyone has their

find in someone’s home ashore, such as a gym, a

own idea about why but nobody has the immediate

treadmill, a bike, Internet access and, of course, their

solution to the problem.

own toilet and wash room facilities. On





Clearly, high salaries attract some entrants to associations,

the tanker industry but not in sufficient numbers.

governments and others either in their own capacity

Is it therefore reasonable to assume that perhaps

or through collective efforts via bodies such as

there are too many deterrent factors weighing

What attracts people to go to sea today? Probably not the opportunity to see the world, which it used to be

I FS M A A nnu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0


life on board

in? Deterrents such as multiple inspections by

by IMO. These two submissions are bold, coming

charterers (vetting) and port states (PSC), long

from non-governmental organisations, but we

working hours, limited shore leave, low manning

nevertheless feel strongly enough about the issues

levels, fatigue, being away from family and friends,

not to hesitate for a moment in submitting them.

minimal accommodation standards, difficulties

As I have tried to explain, INTERTANKO and

with visas, poor communication facilities, being

our fellow shipping associations are also working

subject to drug and alcohol tests, excessive amounts

on improving the image of shipping and increasing

of paperwork, strict and constantly changed

the attractiveness of the industry to encourage

regulations and criminalisation. These are more

youngsters to choose a career at sea.

than enough!

I am sure you all agree the industry is already a great

Actually the key to recruiting and retaining young

one to be in and has ample opportunities although

seafarers is to sort out the deterrent issues mentioned

there is still room for improvement. However, no

above, at least if we are to believe – and we have no

matter how hard we try to raise its profile just one ship

reason not to – what was pointed out by 20 young

accident generates negative headlines and images in

people in a focus group that INTERTANKO and

every imaginable medium, which, of course, young,

ITF arranged and organised last year for young

potential seafarers are exposed too. The general

seafarers of seven nationalities. They expressed

public’s outrage often makes this negative image

their views on a career at sea and on what attracted

stronger, which forces politicians to find scapegoats.

young people to the shipping industry in 2009. They

This is devastating for the industry and its efforts in

pointed out every deterrent item above as a negative

attracting and recruiting young seafarers. I am, of

factor. Note, however, that those 20 still had chosen

course, thinking of cases such as the Hebei Spirit and

a career at sea but to remain there they asserted that

its officers, who, through no fault of their own, were

almost all of these things must improve, especially

penalised and criminalised.

the lack of shore leave and the feeling of being suspected of being a terrorist under the ISPS code. INTERTANKO believes that all the negative

last couple of years have seen many similar cases.

factors should be assessed and, if possible,

Another utterly ridiculous example of how

eliminated. The organisation is looking into how to

negative the world has become is the story of

provide better accommodation space, to improve

Captain Laptalo, master of the Coral Sea, who was

and make available crew communication facilities,

jailed in Greece when drugs were found stashed

including Internet access, to ensure adequate shore-

among the thousands of boxes of bananas his vessel

leave, to minimise the number of inspections, to

was carrying from Ecuador. Or the master of Full

limit unnecessary paperwork, to harmonise port

City in Norway, or Captain Mangouras of Prestige

entry requirements, to overcome burdensome visa

or… well, the list can go on, for far too long, but I

requirements and more besides.

guess you get the point.

This is a process that we wish could be advanced

Criminalisation of innocent seafarers is of

easier and quicker. But we are not alone on this and

course just as unacceptable to INTERTANKO as

we need to cooperate with all stakeholders, such

it is to IFSMA and every professional seafarer,

as regulators, classification societies, shipbuilders,

company, industry organisation and, I would

flag states, port states and human-element experts,

hope, government.

among others, to achieve success. These are issues that will not go away overnight.


How can we expect youngsters to go to sea when facing imprisonment due to accidents like that? The

We all have to stand up for our seafarers and protect our industry from this menace, something

At IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 87) in

the industry has proved able to do when it has

May 2010, INTERTANKO and the ITF will introduce

been necessary, although admittedly with limited

two submissions as an immediate follow up on the

success. Take, for example, the case of Captain

Young Seafarers Focus Group. One is seeking a

Chawla and Chief Officer Chetan of the MT Hebei

change in the ISPS code so as not to restrict shore

Spirit. There wasn’t an association or organisation

leave for seafarers; the other is seeking an increase in

that didn’t stand up for these two good officers. A

the frequency and in the power of consideration of

plethora of alphabetical associations co-sponsored

the human element whenever new requirements are

a submission to the recent MEPC 60 on this matter,

developed or existing requirements are reviewed

a submission that was based on an expert witness

IFS MA Annu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0

statement made by INTERTANKO to the Korean

pollution conflicted with international law (Marpol)

Supreme Court. It highlighted that these officers

and prejudiced the rights of seafarers and others in

had followed international and industry-established

the shipping industry.

good practice but were nevertheless penalised and

INTERTANKO has also been active in the courts

imprisoned. This proves that the world is not

in the US, where it has initiated litigation in response

perfect and that scapegoats apparently still have

to the state of Washington’s regulation that imposed

to be found. In this case the Korean public and

requirements for watch practices, towing and

the Korean legal system held the two senior deck

navigation equipment and reporting requirements,

officers responsible.

and other rules that differed from the controlling

However, what cannot be misinterpreted is

federal and international rules. INTERTANKO has

that the whole industry backed the two officers

also been active in a case involving the state of

100 per cent and made that abundantly clear, as

Massachusetts regarding oil spills and fines.

numerous demonstrations on behalf of the two

Furthermore, in an appeal to governments, we

officers, campaigns, letters and submissions to IMO

have been urging the practice of reasonable and fair

showed. The message is that the criminalisation of

treatment following an accident. In the year of the

seafarers who are simply doing their jobs is not and

seafarer surely this cannot be asking too much? In

never will be acceptable.

fact we are suggesting that the ‘Guidelines on fair

However, being reactive is not good enough. We need to be proactive.

treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident’ are made mandatory.

So INTERTANKO has been and is still challenging

The message that I would like to convey to future

new legislation in the EU, the US and elsewhere that

and existing members of IFSMA and seafarers

we see as a threat to our industry and, not least, to

all over the world is that should you by any

our seafarers. Together with a few other industry

account be subject to unjustified unfair treatment or

stakeholders INTERTANKO took the European

criminalisation, INTERTANKO and the rest of the

Commission to the European High Court in 2006

shipping community care about it and will always

because it felt that the EU Directive on ship-source

be standing behind you.

The key to recruiting and retaining young seafarers is to sort out the deterrent issues that put them off

I FS M A A nnu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0


secretary general’s report

Secretary General’s report 2009-2010 by Rodger MacDonald, Secretary General 2010, ‘Year of the Seafarer’

last year. It has been another busy year for IFSMA and I will highlight the key points and will initially

IMO launched the theme for this year’s World

reflect on the resolutions made at the 35th Annual

Maritime Day – 2010: Year of the Seafarer – at

General Assembly held in Brazil between 7th and

an event at its London headquarters in January.

8th May 2009.

The organisation’s Secretary-General, Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, said 2010 promises to be an

Entry into enclosed spaces: resolution 1, 2009

auspicious and important year for the seafaring

Our first resolution noted with great concern the

profession. A Diplomatic Conference meeting in

continuous trend of fatalities and injuries among

Manila in June will adopt amendments that will

seafarers in enclosed spaces. IMO recognises

bring the STCW convention and its associated

the hazards of enclosed-space entry and made

code fully up to date with today’s expectations.

Assembly resolution A.864(20), Recommendations

Mr Mitropoulos said that designating 2010 as

for Entering Enclosed Spaces Aboard Ships.

the year of the seafarer would help to reassure

However, IMO has recently produced statistics that

those who work at the “sharp end” of the industry.

show that since the adoption of the resolution, 101

He concluded, “Seafarers deserve respect and

enclosed-space incidents have been reported that

recognition. Let us resolve during 2010 to ensure

have caused 93 deaths and 96 injuries.

that this message is trumpeted loud and clear.”

IFSMA expressed concern at STCW and the

I believe this message truly reflects the views of

DG sub-committees, and the sub-committee on

IFSMA and I would encourage all our members to

dangerous goods, solid cargoes and containers.

do what they can to support this theme. IFSMA

We endorse the concerns expressed by the DG sub-

is joining Newslink, the Nautical Institute and

committee. These are about:

GlobalMET to hold a seminar in Manila on 26 June

• A lack of knowledge, training and understanding

to celebrate the year of the seafarer.

of the dangers of entering enclosed spaces. Current training is considered inadequate. Enclosed-space

Dealing with the resolutions of the 35th AGA held in Brazil

drills on safe entry and safe rescue are not being carried out. • Personal protective equipment or rescue

As I write my report, the signs are that we are


coming out of the global downturn in trade and

of inappropriate type, improperly used or in

the various freight indices are moving gradually


upward so we should be on a happier note than

• Inadequate or non-existent signage.


I FS M A A nnu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0






secretary general’s report

•Inadequate or non-existent identification of

Maritime resource management: resolution 6, 2009

enclosed spaces on board.

IFSMA believes that the introduction of a new

• Inadequacies in safety management systems.

resource management concept into the maritime

• Poor management commitment and oversight.

industry could effectively contribute to the

It may be too late to add improved training for

achievement of quality shipping. It calls on the

the current STCW review but the industry must

member states of IMO to promote the establishment

collectively make every effort to deal with the

of a no-blame culture by introducing mandatory

concerns stated by the DG sub-committee.

maritime resource management training in part A of the STCW code. While it has not been possible

E-navigation: resolution 2, 2009

to pursue this at the current STCW review, IFSMA

Our second resolution concerned e-navigation. IFSMA

has promoted the concept at its workshops and the

continues actively to monitor and participate in

training seminars that it endorses.

discussions to ensure that e-navigation will positively assist the workload of the master and crew. IFSMA

Other IFSMA secretariat activities

has continued to work at the STW sub-committees to ensure the syllabuses for certificates of competency take

International Lifeboat Group

into account the changes, adding new requirements

Continuing work with the International Lifeboat

and also identifying redundant subjects which must

Group has led to some success at the 53rd

be amended, corrected or removed.

session of the sub-committee on Ship Design

Moreover IFSMA will in this process emphasise the

and Equipment (DE). Draft guidelines have

importance of defining the roles and responsibilities of

been agreed to reduce the number of accidents

all parties involved in e-navigation.

involving lifeboats, particularly those that occur during drills or inspections. These guidelines

STCW: resolution 3, 2009

ensure release mechanisms for lifeboats are

IFSMA entered a document to change IMO’s present

replaced with those complying with new, stricter

approach to amending the STCW convention by

safety standards. MSC will be asked to adopt

introducing amendments only every five years

amendments to the International Life-Saving

and also to review as necessary the convention

Appliances (LSAs) Code and the recommendation

regularly every 10 years.

on testing of LSAs, which will require a safer

The sub-committee accepted this proposal

design of on-load release mechanisms. This will

in principle and it will go to the Diplomatic

require a related draft amendment to chapter III

Conference as a resolution.

of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (Solas) on LSAs. That will require any

Hours of work and rest: resolution 4, 2009

lifeboat on-load release mechanisms that do not

IFSMA has worked very hard at the STW sub-

comply with the new LSA code requirements to

committees to encourage IMO member states to

be replaced no later than the next scheduled dry-

maintain the well established stipulation of hours

docking of the ship following entry into force of

of work and rest as mentioned in chapter 8 of the

the Solas amendments.

STCW code and not to deviate from this stipulation.

The sub-committee also agreed to adoption by

The difference of opinion between the distinguished

MSC 87 of those draft amendments to the revised

delegates was so close that the question will need

recommendation on testing of LSAs that concern

settlement at the Diplomatic Conference in Manila.

test procedures for lifeboat hooks.

IMO block voting: resolution 5, 2009

on lifeboat release mechanisms follows years of

IFSMA members expressed concern about the

intensive work in the DE sub-committee and by

process of allowing the EU a block of 27 votes

the MSC to address the significant number of

without all 27 states of the region being present at

serious injuries and fatalities which had been

the meetings.

occurring during lifeboat drills and inspections.

This new package of amendments and guidelines

As an NGO there is little that IFSMA can do about


this other than express its concern, which it has done


informally to the IMO Secretariat.

In September 2009 your Secretary General gave

IFS MA Annu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0

a presentation on piracy and offshore security

interactive media groups such as Facebook and

at the IMarEST conference in Portsmouth. This

Twitter should be used.

well attended event showed how the industry is

• It was fully agreed that as it is important to reach

trying to act positively to combat the situation

those who are not complying, maintaining contact

in Somalia. IFSMA’s theme centred on the

and relations with the major part of the shipping

mandatory training required to deal with piracy

industry is equally important.

and the need to consider the welfare for the

IFSMA discussed a different approach to

families of hostages. It also concerned the need

dealing with piracy with Robert Haywood. He

to counsel seafarers after their release from

visited IFSMA to explain the three-step approach

captivity as hostages.

to piracy that the Oceans Beyond Piracy project

The secretariat had a formal meeting with

advocates. This scheme aims to develop viable,

Maritime & Underwater Security Consultants

cost-effective, low-violence solutions to fill the

(MUSC) to discuss its position regarding piracy off

gaps in the legal framework that allow piracy

Somalia. MUSC assists shipping companies as an

to exist.

independent consultant. Both parties agreed that

Step one is to define intent to commit piracy

there is a training gap for all seafarers regarding

through equipment laws. This considers how

conduct after capture and hostage survival and

historic laws such as equipment laws from the

that this is of crucial significance for masters who

era of the slave trade set a precedent. If a vessel

are expected to motivate crew members below

is equipped to carry out piracy then it has the

them. IFSMA has invited MUSC to offer a paper

intent to commit piracy. Step two is to determine

at the AGA in the Philippines.

strong venues to prosecute detainees. Step three

Also VP Mark Dickinson and your Secretary

is to task naval fleets to sweep the seas to detain

General attended a meeting on piracy at the

suspected pirate vessels and crews that meet the

European centre on defence against piracy at

equipment standard.

Northwood, UK (EU NAVFOR). During a generic piracy briefing at the meeting the main item raised

Criminalisation and fair treatment for seafarers

these points:

Sadly no evidence yet exists of universal

• Despite the effort from the military and the

acceptance in practice of the guidelines on fair

industry some ships operating in the Gulf of

treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime

Aden and Indian Ocean do not comply with

accident. IMO’s Legal Committee adopted these

best management practice (BMP). Key issues to

guidelines in April 2006, the ILO governing body

discuss would therefore be how the shipmasters’

in June 2006.

associations could assist in reaching out to these

The guidelines recommend their observance in


all instances in which public authorities detain

• This year is the year of the seafarer, so seminars

seafarers after a maritime accident. However,

dedicated to seafarers and masters should be able

we still learn of cases in which seafarers and, in

to be identified or, at least, the number of such

particular, shipmasters are being criminalised and

events should be higher than in other years.

treated as second class citizens.

• With regards to the above, IFSMA is hosting a

IFSMA’s initial action on the occurrence of a

seminar in the Philippines later this year. Piracy

maritime accident and the arrest of seafarers is

could be on the agenda for this event. EU NAVFOR

to inform the relevant authorities of the coastal

will liaise with IFSMA to seek opportunities to

state by sending them a copy of the guidelines.


We also inform the Flag State through its London

• It was generally agreed that Port State control

embassy that it also has the right to intervene. Of

authorities probably would have the most influence

course, IFSMA liaises with other groups to protest

on ships and masters not complying with BMP. A

strongly through the media. We also discuss the

coordination workshop with NATO, EU NAVFOR

issue at IMO.

and CMF had already discussed this.

I was also disappointed that volcanic ash

• It was agreed that the difficulty lies in

cancelled all flights out of the UK recently and

identifying the typical representative of those that

prevented me from making my presentation on

do not comply. The question arose about whether

criminalisation at the IHMA general meeting

I FS M A A nnu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0


secretary generalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s report

in Perth, Western Australia, organised by our

based code with functional requirements supported

Australian Association.

by prescriptive provisions. The code should contain both mandatory and recommendatory


parts and, apart from common requirements,

In November 2009 IFSMA held its successful annual

there should also be separate requirements for

workshop in Manila. The event saw the debate of

the Arctic and Antarctic. Ships not trading in

the question of whether fatigue and criminalisation

polar regions would not need to comply with the

have a negative effect on recruitment.

requirements of the code, which should be made

One of the most interesting presentations came

mandatory under Solas and Marpol.

from Denmarkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s maritime authority, which is conducting a survey on working and rest hours on

Shipping key performance indicators

board ship. Its full report should be available later

Your Secretary General attended the workshop in

this year. IFSMA continues to press home to all

London on shipping key performance indicators

relevant parties that fatigue is a major contributor

(KPIs) as a stakeholder. The IMO Maritime

to the causes of maritime accidents.

Environment Protection Committee at its 59th session agreed to disseminate a package of

Safe manning

interim and voluntary technical and operational

The 41st session of the STW sub-committee

measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from

completed its review of the principles for

international shipping. It also agreed a work plan,

establishing the safe manning levels of ships.

for consideration at future meetings, of proposed

It also agreed a draft assembly resolution on

market-based instruments to provide incentives for

the Principles of Minimum Safe Manning, which

the shipping industry.

would replace the Principles of Safe Manning (resolution A.890(21)).







development of a plan concerning ship energy-

The draft resolution will be submitted to the

efficiency management for new and existing ships.

Maritime Safety Committee for approval at its 88th

This would include best practices for the fuel-

session in December 2010, subject to comments by

efficient operation of ships. The measures also

the sub-committee on safety of navigation at its

include guidelines for voluntary use of the ship

56th session in July 2010.

energy-efficiency operational indicator for new and

The sub-committee also endorsed proposed draft amendments to Solas regulation on the manning of ships, to require administrations to take into account

existing ships, which enables operators to measure the fuel efficiency of a ship. The workshop considered shipping performance

the guidance on minimum safe manning adopted by


IMO. A footnote referred to the Assembly resolution

performance. The SPI is not intended to be a

on the Principles of Minimum Safe Manning.

diagnostic tool but aims to objectively observe





environmental performance. The key issues are Ships operating in polar waters

our emission performance, our environmental

An IMO correspondence group has formed to further

consciousness and our efficiency.

develop the draft international code of safety for ships operating in polar waters (the Polar Code). This


would cover the full range of matters concerning design, construction, equipment, operation, training,

The above only highlights the main activities

search and rescue, and environmental protection that

that I feel are of interest to our members. There

are relevant to ships operating in the inhospitable

is an immense amount of work that goes on in

waters around the poles. The move to develop a

the background at IFSMA headquarters. For this

mandatory code follows the adoption by the IMO

I must thank the office staff, who tirelessly keep

Assembly in 2009 of guidelines for ships operating

things running smoothly.

in polar waters (resolution A.1024 (26)).


Finally I would to thank your Executive Council, the

During discussion on the development of the

members of which have given me their full support

mandatory code several points were of note.

over the last four years. I look forward to working

Overwhelming support exists to develop a risk-

with the newly elected Council in the future.

IFS MA Annu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0

When trouble strikes, you need Nautilus

Head office Oceanair House, 750-760 High Road Leytonstone, London E11 3BB t +44 (0)20 8989 6677 f +44 (0)20 8530 1015 Northern office Nautilus House, Mariners’ Park Wallasey CH45 7PH t +44 (0)151 639 8454 f +44 (0)151 346 8801 Netherlands office Schorpioenstraat 266, 3067 KW Rotterdam t +31 (0)10 4771188 f +31 (0)10 4773846

Please return applications to: Recruitment Team, Nautilus House Mariners’ Park, Wallasey CH45 7PH General Secretary: Mark Dickinson MSc (Econ) email:

You are never on your own with Nautilus International — join us today!

We provide the tools and innovative solutions for your company’s training needs, with excellence in customer service.


Time to address the global manning crisis by Captain Ashoke K. Bansal, individual member, India


t may be a godsend for many that IMO has

Today’s manning crisis is attributed to a rise in

declared 2010 as the Year of the Seafarer.

tonnage from 85 million tonnes in 1948 to over 700

Those for whom this could be true include

million tonnes today. But tanker fleets of large sizes

shipowners, ship agents, manning agents,

account for 7,276 ships out of a total of some 482

charterers and officials and delegates of many

million tonnes. The cape size fleet alone consists of

governments. The declaration may help them to

791 ships of 136 million tonnes. In 1948 the largest

thump their chests and exchange platitudes in

carriers were Liberty ships, which could carry

seminars, conferences, cocktail parties and dinners.

10,000 tonnes but an average ship then could carry

It is another matter whether the international

only about 6,000 tonnes, which is 50-60 times less

maritime community will take advantage of these

than the size of the VLCC of today. The 7,276 tankers

12 months to look into what seafarers mean to

of today can carry cargoes equivalent to over 90,000

their industry and the world, what is involved in

ships of the 1948 era. Much the same number of

using their professional services with loyalty for the

certified officers and engineers are aboard each of

benefit of international trade and commerce, and

these 7,276 as was the case in 1948. So the increase

what needs to be done to retain these highly trained

of world tonnage cannot be the only factor that has

professionals to benefit the industry.

created such an unusual demand for seafarers.

An adage goes: “What matters is not only to make

On the other hand, with the world’s population

a person perform but also to make them want to

having doubled, the number of young people

perform.” The international maritime community

available for shipping should be twice what it was

should take advantage of 2010 and ask itself what

in 1948. Yet in Poland, for example, not even 1,000

it is doing to make today’s seafarers want to stay

out of the 350,000-500,000 high school graduates of

at sea and want to perform. Other questions are

2007 opted for the merchant navy. This should ring

what is it that they are not doing? Should there be

alarm bells, especially as seafaring is a far more

an investigation into what is happening? What is

lucrative career than others.

remiss and what needs to be done?


Many ship managers of today were previously

The latest figures show that the shortage of

seafarers but have forgotten what seafaring was in

certified seafarers amounts to 44,000 and is likely to

their time and they don’t know the realities on the

reach 70,000 by end of this year. This has also to be

ground in 2010. A stark example of the differences

viewed in the light of the fact that more than 50 per

that can exist between seafarers and people in other

cent of serving certified seafarers are over 50 years

professions who hold equally responsible positions

of age. This requires not only short-term measures

is shown by the treatment the master of Prestige

but forward planning too.

received compared with the captain of the BA plane

IFS MA Annu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0

that crash landed at Heathrow airport. Both captains used their training, experience, professionalism and dedication to avert considerably greater disasters. However, adulation went to the aviator, the stigma of blame and prosecution to the unfortunate seafarer! Clipper airline crews work a day less than 8 hours in duration and have no maintenance, management or operational worries. If something on a plane fails to work they fill in the gripe sheet and leave it to the ground crew. They take the ‘Crew-only’ queue to sail through immigration and customs on arrival and rest and sleep in comfortable hotels. On their next assignment they go to an aircraft made ready for them to fly. In comparison ships’ crews stand on day and night watches for days on end, seven days a week. On arrival in port they are investigated, inspected, interrogated and treated as suspects or criminals.

Captain Jasprit Chawla, master of MT Hebei Spirit: “I

After hauling thousands of tonnes of vital materials

don’t want to see a ship again”

across oceans, they still perform managerial, security, legal, commercial, operational, repair and

passing mobile crane barge under tow when that

maintenance tasks, seven days a week, even while

vessel’s tow line parted. This not only damaged

in port, to make the ship ready to sail again.

the superstructure of the VLCC but also punctured

A person ashore who is reasonably well employed

three holes in her hull.

and well qualified works about 230 days of 8 hours’

Some 10,800 tonnes of crude oil leaked out to

length each, five days a week. They get a month

cause much pollution. Later came the discovery

of paid leave plus national and other holidays, not

that the entire towing operation in the harbour

considering casual leave. A seafarer, on the other

was unlicensed and that the tow line was a used

hand, works a minimum of 12 hours, seven days a

runner wire not fit for that kind of operation. The

week! In other words, they work the same number

master injected inert gas into the punctured tanks

of hours in less than five months on board and

to eliminate the possibility of fire or explosion, in

should be entitled to more than 7 months of fully

that way ensuring the safety of the lives on board

paid leave every year! Do today’s shipowners think

his ship. Well accepted principles of international

about this?

maritime law that are fully recognised worldwide

On 7 December 2007 the fully loaded VLCC

hold that an anchored ship that complies with

MT Hebei Spirit was safely anchored off Daesan

all international regulations cannot be blamed

harbor South Korea in the anchorage designated

if a mobile marine craft hits her. International

by the port authority. She was hit by a huge

regulations of 1972 for the prevention of collision at

“…which young man would want to be a seafarer after reading cases such as that of MT Hebei Spirit…”

I FS M A A nnu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0



sea, ratified by 130 countries including Korea, have

This will attract today’s youth to seafaring with an

equally endorsed and recognised this principle.

eye on further prospects.

But Korea charged both master and chief officer for causing pollution. So what is it that the master did that he should

of this some 70 per cent of shipping-related jobs

not have done, except not to have commanded that

are in shipbuilding, naval architecture, science,

ship into a Korean harbour? And what did he not do


that he should have? And why was he made to lose

logistics. Unfortunately industrialists and rule

18 months of his productive life, a time that no one

makers worldwide fail to consider or pay for

can give back to him? And which young man would

seafaring experience in post-sea careers in shore-

want to be a seafarer after reading cases such as that

based industries.

of Prestige and MT Hebei Spirit, which have received worldwide publicity?




Long-term planning must take this factor into consideration to create positive awareness of the

Captain Chawla, 39-year-old master of MT Hebei Spirit, said, “I don’t want to see a ship again. If I was

merits of this profession worldwide. Today’s





to return to a navigation bridge, any future decisions

management and manning agents move seafarers

I took would be coloured by this experience instead

from ship to ship, owner to owner and contract

of me ‘just doing what I thought was right’.” He

to contract. They pick up the first seafarer in the

added that before this incident he would have

market and rarely stop to find out whether they

advised anybody, including his own son, to look at

are experienced enough for the job. The story goes

all job options, including a seafaring career. “Now I

that when a master of a ship saw courses laid on

would discourage anyone and everyone, including

the chart by the second officer before sailing out

my son, from seafaring,” he said.

through a traffic separation scheme, he asked the

Until the last quarter of the 20th century most shipowners trained their officers and engineers from


Employment related to maritime transport in Europe alone adds up to 1.5 million people. Out

second officer why that was the case. The answer was, “Sir, that is the way we came in.”

tender ages to become masters and chief engineers

Today most masters, watch keeping officers

and employed them permanently. Paid leave was

and engineers are over-worked, fatigued and

the inherent right of every serving seafarer, together

loaded with paper work. This is well accepted and

with provident funds and gratuity. This provided

acknowledged, even by owners when they provide

a sense of belonging and security to seafarers and

instruments like BNWAS on the navigation bridge

their families and created durable loyalties. It also

to keep a duty officer awake and alert about his

made most seafarers serve their full working lives

navigational duties. Therefore when a young

at sea with the same shipowner, from cadet to master

seagoing officer sees an exhausted, worn down,

and from junior to chief engineer. Captain Gaetano

unsmiling senior on board, loaded with work and

Mintauro served his entire life on the ‘Italian line’.

worries, it makes him think, “Do I want such a

He was master of Andrea Doria in 1956 when she

job?” The moment he finds an opportunity or an

sank after colliding with Stockholm. Yet even after

opening ashore he leaves without even waiting

this disaster, he continued sailing as master with the

for a command or the chief engineer’s position.

same company.

That not only creates voids but also makes the

The old adage was, “Fools of the family go out

industry rush inexperienced officers to senior

to sea.” Today advancements in technology and

positions for which they are not ready. This is a

automation mean officers and engineers have more

sure prescription for disaster. Reduced manning,

education, training and learning than previously.

even with automation, cannot be warranted

So young seafarers see no reason to continue to put

beyond a point.

up with insecurity, loneliness, criminalisation and

A senior and highly placed seafarer had this to

ceaseless work, seven days a week in bad living

say on his return from the STW 39 session of IMO in

and working conditions on board. Hence seafaring

early March 2008: “I was witness to hypocrisy at its

today warrants a changeover after 8 to 12 years. This

height. Everyone spoke of fatigue and rest periods

means there is a need to integrate their education

being flouted by ships’ staff. But when it came to

and training for long-term career opportunities after

tackling the issue at its root, namely increasing

their ship-board training, experience and expertise.

safe manning and making mandatory prescriptive

IFS MA Annu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0

criteria, the European states did a double take and

kind of navigation watch or deck duty would they

started speaking of goal-based standards – a jargon

keep without proper sleep or rest? Why wonder that

for keeping safe manning criteria voluntary and

it causes sub-standard performance and accidents?

flexible.” Thus, shipowners themselves engineered

Most paperwork should be done ashore after getting

to abort a proposal about minimum manning on

what is needed from seafarers verbally.

board ships!

Another reason to choose a sea career used to be

There was a time when if the master saw a second

to see the world. Today seafarers get no time to step

officer awake past 7pm while at sea he would insist

ashore in port. Even when visa formalities allow

that they go to sleep to be alert on the 12am-4am

them, there is a fear of being treated like criminals

watch. The officer who was to keep night duty in

when ashore. This prevents them from stepping

port was not expected to go ashore in the afternoon

off their vessels even when they are off duty.

when off duty but to sleep after lunch to enable him

Ships’ crews are not concerned with what foreign

to keep night duty from 6pm. Today paper work,

governments do and think and what their rules and

cargo watches and maintenance work keep seafarers

laws are. Their only concern is, “I had this problem

busy at sea and in port, even when off duty. So what

while my ship was in so-and-so port and I went

The challenge for 2010 is to retain the best professionals not only to perform but to want to perform

I FS M A A nnu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0



ashore but no one helped me.”

a disgruntled or disinterested crew can be a recipe

The top priority among young seafarers is the need for instant communication with their loved

Out of total CO2 emissions of over 27 billion tonnes

ones. This alleviates loneliness. Seafarers know that

in 2005, ships emitted only 843 million tonnes, or 3.1

instant worldwide communications are available

per cent of all emissions worldwide. Yet, fuelled

with ultra-modern equipment on board. But

by the media, the international community blames

most owners do not allow it at a reasonable cost.

ships and seafarers for environmental pollution

This plus better, more comfortable and spacious

today. So why work on ships?

accommodation and recreational facilities need to be

There is a mistaken understanding that a ship is a closed, isolated society remote from the office.

provided but owners fail to do so.


for commercial and financial disaster.

Here is what a sailing chief engineer has to say

This creates an ‘us and them’ scenario. Efficiency,

about sailing today: “A few years ago any young

performance and loyalty cannot be bought but

man would say, ‘I came to sea for adventure, to

can be exacted by making seafarers feel that they

see the world!’ Now they might say, ‘I came to sea

belong. Managers cannot delegate success or

because I didn’t have anywhere else to go!’ Have we

failure. A single poorly written email by a manager

really become the bilges of society?”

can do a lot of harm. On the other hand, the

Some 75 per cent of cargo by volume and

effect of a communication of appreciation can

56 per cent by value travels worldwide by sea.

achieve a lot. Also, incorporating crew suggestions

Human traffic between European ports alone

into systems gives ‘ownership’ to the crew and

comes to more than 400 million sea passengers

boosts morale. Owners should realise that ships

yearly. Transport of freight and passengers by sea

are not their greatest assets but the crew are,

generated €24.7 billion (US$30.5 billion) in 2006 in

and their contribution to achieve their objectives

net contribution to the balance of payments of the

cannot be underestimated. That is why shipowners

EU. Such worldwide activity means that cargo and

need to create reciprocal loyalties. Unfortunately,

passenger ships have a direct impact on the quality

barring those few that are intelligent and durable,

of life of citizens all over the world. It also means

shipowners seem to have lost this psyche, which

that only 1.15 million seafarers are serving our

earlier shipowners used to have. Instead what

world community of 6.7 billion humans. Should

one hears today is of the high salaries of seafarers,

we not recognise their vital role in making our lives

which are actually just a fraction of the standing

comfortable in the 21st century?

costs of ships!

Today shipowners seem to pay more attention to

History cannot be reversed. Management agents,

finding the right ships and the right employment

crewing agents, flags of convenience, multinational

for their busy fleets, forgetting that it is not the

crews and all else that the 20th century brought to

ships that are their greatest assets but seafarers who

international shipping will stay with us. But the 21st

man those ships and can make or break an owner,

century world cannot exist without international

regardless of what kind of fine ships it has.

trade and commerce.

On 16 April 2006 the 162,000 tonne tanker M.T.

Regardless of what fine ships we can build with

Eton was bought ex-shipyard for US$90 million.

ultra-modern technology, international cargoes cannot

With interest on investment, depreciation, crew

be carried across continents without professionally

wages, maintenance and administration expenses,

competent and loyal seafarers. It is therefore time

her daily standing cost to owners is US$30,023. She

to come to terms with reality and recognise the part

was time chartered at US$35,000 daily. Shipowners

seafarers play in maintaining and promoting modern

make such investments to make profit, not to lose

international trade and commerce.

the ship and recover the cost from their insurers.

The challenge for 2010 is to retain the best

Regardless of what kind of fine ship she is, her

professionals not only to perform but to want to

commercial success depends on the seafarers on

perform. IMO can only show the way. It is for the

board. No one knows better than her crew how

international maritime community to remove the

to make her and her equipment perform with

blinkers from their eyes and see what needs to be

the utmost efficiency, economy and productivity.

done to retain the best of the seafaring community

If the crew delay M.T. Eton by even one day it

and nurture more to fill to their own advantage the

means a US$35,000 cost for the owner. Therefore

voids already created.

IFS MA Annu a l Rev iew 2 0 0 9 / 1 0

OCEANS BEYOND PIRACY  Suppression Through Equipment Articles

The Paradox: Although the ‘intent to commit piracy’ is a crime recognized under the hEŽŶǀĞŶƟŽŶŽŶƚŚĞ>ĂǁŽĨƚŚĞ^ĞĂ͕ĂƉƌŽƐĞĐƵƚĂďůĞĚĞĮŶŝƟŽŶŽĨŝŶtentŝƐEKdŝŶƚŚĞŽŶǀĞŶƟŽŶĂŶĚŚĂƐŶĞǀĞƌďĞĞŶĨŽƌŵĂůůLJĞdžƉƌĞƐƐĞĚ͘ The Result: dŽĚĂLJ͛Ɛ ŝŶĞīĞĐƟǀĞ ͚ĂƚĐŚ ĂŶĚ ZĞůĞĂƐĞ WŽůŝĐLJ͕͛ ĞŵďŽůĚĞŶĞĚ ƉŝƌĂƚĞƐ͕ ĂŶĚĐŽŶƟŶƵŽƵƐůLJƌŝƐŝŶŐĚĂŶŐĞƌĂŶĚĐŽƐƚƐƚŽŵĂƌŝƟŵĞƉĞƌƐŽŶŶĞůĂŶĚ ƚŚĞŝŶĚƵƐƚƌLJ͘ dŚĞ^ŽůƵƟŽŶ͗ ĞĮŶĞ‘intent to commit piracy’ƵƐŝŶŐƋƵŝƉŵĞŶƚƌƟĐůĞƐůŝŬĞƚŚŽƐĞ ƵƐĞĚƚŽƐƵƉƉƌĞƐƐƚŚĞƐůĂǀĞƚƌĂĚĞ͘


one earth FUTURE


Peace Through Governance

front cover image:Fuse/Getty Images

IFSMA Annual Review 2009 - 2010