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Radar – 10 Key Aspects….and more


There’s a new edition of “The Navigator” out and it’s all about radar.  Published by the Nautical Institute, the June issue addresses many of the aspects of radar use by the ship’s navigator.  Whether it is navigation or collision avoidance, radar plays a critical role on the bridge.  But, did you know that the performance criteria for marine radar hasn’t changed much since the 1940s?  Learn why and more – like 10 Key Aspects of using it – in this issue.  Don’t forget, Madden Maritime updates their links to digital magazines frequently.  Find all your favorite periodicals in one place!

Also from the Nautical Institute are the Alert! bulletins.  Addressing the many factors that play into the human element in the maritime industry, these bulletins have been published for over a decade.  If you haven’t read them, your eyes might be opened by the depth of information available.  The latest from May is available.  Titled “A design flaw that lead to a tragedy….“, issue 35 addresses some of the ship design elements that can create unforeseen hazards.  If you haven’t read these bulletins (or watched the videos accompanying many) or just want to review some of the older ones, they are all available HERE on Madden Maritime’s site.

Let’s be careful out there.

World Maritime Day – June 25th

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is celebrating the 4th annual Day of the Seafarer on June 25th.  Join in the theme of “Seafarer’s brought me…..” by posting your answer to the virtual wall at #thankyouseafarers or HERE on the IMO website.  With 90% of EVERYTHING being moved on ships, it shouldn’t be hard to find something within arm’s reach that has traveled that way to you.

Christine Klimkowski, ship’s officer and maritime educator, took the stage in Seattle last November to spread the word about the maritime industry.  Watch the video below and ask yourself how YOU can promote our industry in your community.



A Memorial Day Tribute


For those who have served and for those who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice – Thank you.

We would not be the nation or people we are without the warriors that have come before and those that stand on the wall now.

Know your equipment…..Digital Selective Calling (DSC)


Those on deep-sea vessels frequently overlook the lessons learned from brown-water and fishing vessels.  This is unfortunate as it is much nicer to learn from others’ mistakes – especially ones involving serious injury, fatalities or legal implications.  One such incident was just published by the UK Maritime Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).

Occurring almost a year ago, but recently published in January 2014, the MAIB’s report on the fishing vessel Achieve’s sinking offers at least one lesson learned.  The small fishing vessel sank due to flooding in the fish hold which went undetected due to a disconnected high bilge sensor.  Once the situation became apparent, the crew of the ill fated vessel had mere minutes to activate their distress call, launch the liferaft and abandon ship.  As this incident occurred in the dead of winter in cold waters and survival suits were not used, the fact that there was only one fatality out of three crewmembers is significant.

The primary lesson learned is highlighted in MAIB’s report when they reveal that, “The MAIB is aware of three accidents (fishing vessels) where not using the DSC to raise a distress alarm has resulted in fatalities.”  Decades after DSC (Digital Selective Calling) came into use, confusion on its use is far too common.  The use of the DSC distress button on Achieve’s VHF would have sent the Coast Guard their MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity), position and distress condition.  Confusion over the vessel in distress and position thereof lead to a suspected 45 minute delay in response.  A secondary lesson learned would have allowed additional time for the crew to respond – namely keeping sensors such as high bilge sensors connected.  Testing of such critical sensors on a routine basis should not be overlooked.  Last, but certainly not least, the skipper and crew of the Achieve must be commended for keeping their liferaft ready for immediate use.  Without this critical piece of equipment available, the loss of life may have been much higher.

Would you be able to successfully send a distress call – whether it be by VHF, Sat C or MF/HF – if you had seconds to do so?  If the answer is “No” perhaps your next watch or hitch would be a good time to nail down those procedures.  Proper and effective use of communications gear can save lives!

MAIB Flyer to Fishing Vessels and Small Craft – Achieve: Foundering off Western Isle, Scotland on 21 February 2013 - January 2014