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NAUTICAL INSTITUTE NEWS
March - April 2020
The Nautical Institute is here to support you
It can be hard to keep up with all the conflicting information and advice on coping with the impact of Covid-19, particularly for those at sea. With that in mind, The Nautical Institute has launched a new welfare and support page dedicated to helping mariners deal with the challenges posed by the pandemic.
The page provides vital resources for seafarers including guidance from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), advice on good hygiene practices and a selection of Nautical Institute YouTube videos and webinars exploring all of your Coronavirus questions.
We're also emphasising the positive the importance of the work seafarers are doing around the world, and what is being done to support them. Have a look at our social media to keep up with the latest news.
NI looks to the future with President's Questionnaire
The Nautical Institute has sent out its President's Questionnaire in an effort to understand the professional needs of the modern mariner, and identify how the Institute can address those needs.
The questionnaire is sent out every five years to make sure our aims and goals remain in line with what our members want. The responses will help shape the Institute's next Strategic Plan which informs its work in promoting best practice, safety and professionalism within the industry.
Questions range from exploring how recipients feel about membership benefits to much broader themes such as what areas of the industry they believe the Institute should be putting most focus on.
Coronavirus guidance for DPOs
The Nautical Institute is pleased to confirm that despite the global impact of Covid-19 and restrictions on travel and office working, our Dynamic Positioning Certification Service continues to serve the needs of our community.
Our team are working hard to process applications. Please note that we are unable to take telephone calls at the moment, but the DP team is always available to take your questions by email.
We note that delivery services to and from some areas are constrained by national policies but every effort will be made to process applications in a timely manner.
Initial applications: The online application system remains open and applications are still being accepted. Please note it is important that all documents are uploaded to the website and are clearly legible.
Revalidation applications: Certificates due to expire between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020 will be extended for an additional six months. When revalidation of your current certificate is complete, the new certificate will be valid for no more than five years from the original expiry date.
If revalidation documents have already been sent to the NI HQ, a new indemnity letter will have already been issued. This will extend the indemnity period by six months, which means it will be valid for nine months instead of the normal three. If you have already applied and completed your application online but have not sent your documents, we are still accepting these applications. Please make sure your uploaded copies of documents are clear and easy to read.
Documents still need to be sent to NI HQ before a hard copy certificate can be issued.
If you need to contact the certification team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NI Senior Vice-President praises maritime professionals
The NI's Senior Vice President, Jillian Carson-Jackson FNI, has thanked maritime professionals for their hard work during Covid-19 in a video posted on her YouTube channel.
Ms Carson-Jackson recognised the dedication of maritime professionals during this challenging time, including those working in vessel traffic services, handling cargo and tending to seafarer wellness, before appealing for questions regarding the experience of being a maritime professional during the pandemic.
The virtual message formed part of Ms Carson-Jackson's new YouTube series, Maritime Matters!, which you can watch on her channel here.
Expand your knowledge with our free opening chapters
Looking for new reading material?
The Nautical Institute has published the introductions and opening chapters of some of its top book titles, now available for free download on the NI website.
Featuring several of our bestselling publications, including Casualty Management Guidelines, DP Operator's Handbook and Guidelines for Collecting Maritime Evidence, it offers a great opportunity to discover new concepts and get reacquainted with others.
Book offer: Stowaways by Sea and Rescue of Migrants
Stowaways are an age-old problem for shipping, but the threats they pose and the potential costs and other consequences have increased hugely in recent years.
This practical guide in The Nautical Institute's Maritime Security Suite has been fully revised and updated to cover the security basics of preventing illegal boarding, along with safe ways of apprehending, searching, recording, reporting and accommodating stowaways found on board.
Case studies explain migrant smugglers' tactics and highlight lessons to be learned from recent stowaway incidents.
Rescue of migrants has developed into a major challenge for shipping, especially in the Mediterranean so this section has been enlarged and updated for this second edition.
Guidance has also been added on the precautions to take against infectious disease, including Covid-19, being brought on to the ship.
"Excellent and comprehensive handbook... All Masters should have a copy of this book," Captain Yves Vandenborn FNI, Director of Loss Prevention, The Standard Club.
The Nautical Institute's Stowaways by Sea and Rescue of Migrants second edition is priced at £31.50 (£45.00 for non-members) but is available at the discounted price of £27.00 until the end of May.
The book is also available as part of a set with the 40% discount, as follows:
Set of 2:Maritime Security: Practical Guide and Stowaways by Sea and Rescue of Migrants is available for £66.50 (£95.00 for non-members) but is available at the discounted price of £57.00 until the end of May.
Set of 3: Maritime Security: Practical Guide, Coping with Piracy and Stowaways by Sea and Rescue of Migrants is available for £91.00 (£130.00 for non-members) but is available at the discounted price of £78.00 until the end of May.
Use of mooring ropes can be dangerous and it's vital to follow safe working procedures. Past MARS reports have focused on snapback injuries, but other hazards exist too, such as slippery surfaces and ill-advised equipment modifications.
On a cargo vessel about to depart, the order was given to release two of the three stern lines, both on one winch. The lone crew member at the winch slacked them at the same time. Once the lines were off the shore bollards, he began winching them in.
On the dock, a second crewman took the aft spring line off the bollard, released the bow lines and came aboard. However, the Master saw the aft spring line still lying on the quay. After getting no response to his VHF radio call, he sent the second crew member to check on the winch operator.
He was found pinned to the winch by one of the aft lines, bleeding heavily and unresponsive. After pushing the emergency stop and calling for help, the second crewman cut the rope to free him. Unfortunately, the winchman died in hospital from severe internal injuries.
Investigators found that the deck near the winch was slippery and the winch had been locked to high speed and modified with a weight so lines could be stowed while being winched in.
The full report of this incident 202012 is freely available in our online MARS database. Do share this report with colleagues and encourage them to contribute their own reports to the database, as we need these vital maritime safety messages to reach more people.
Survey finds mariners pragmatic about automation
The Nautical Institute has conducted a survey seeking to understand seafarers' thoughts on the introduction of automation.
"Mariners were fairly pragmatic about the inevitable increase of technology on board. They can see scope for improvement but are also guarded about the potential risks," said David Patraiko FNI, Director of Projects at the NI.
"Many praised technology for the improvements it has brought, such as automatic positioning systems (ECDIS) making manoeuvring in tight areas easier, automatic monitoring of cargo and unmanned spaces giving greater confidence."
One of the big issues highlighted by the survey was the need for a high degree of trust, either that an autonomous system won't fail or that if there is a failure, there will be a 'graceful degradation' in the system giving people onboard time to take over control.
Going forward, it will be key to observe how mariners use systems in practice. The Nautical Institute is working with industry leaders to train assessors to be better at observing behaviour on board, and from this assessors will encourage feedback on competency, procedures and design for the shipping industry, in autonomous systems and beyond.
Missing the mental model while docking
The 'shared mental model' is a rather opaque way of saying that everyone on the bridge needs to have the same understanding about the way a manoeuvre is to be carried out. Key to this is clear and consistent communication between all bridge team members. It becomes even more critical when the manoeuvre involves people who are not full-time members of the team.
A passenger vessel was preparing to dock in a 2.3kt ebb tide. The docking pilot, who had the con, had already discussed the manoeuvre with the Master. Also on the bridge were the Staff Captain, an officer, cadet, lookout and helmsman. Another officer alternated between port and starboard mooring platforms to relay distances to Berths A and B. A tug was on the starboard side to act as a pivot for the tight starboard turn into Berth A.
With speed at 1.4kt, the vessel's bow approached Berth B and hit shoreside infrastructure, causing substantial damage.
So what went wrong? The investigation found that there was no shared mental model on minimum safe distances; the bridge team seems not to have used the technique of 'thinking aloud', which helps share the mental model; the bridge team was not really engaged in helping pilot and Master carry out the manoeuvre; and the forward mooring officer had no clear view of the tip of the bow. The incident is one of many that underscore the importance of well-disciplined, co-operative team working.
More details can be found in the MARS report 202015. It's part of a vital resource that's free to read online because of the support of our Nautical Affiliates. Please encourage your organisation to become a supporter of the MARS database.
Events guide (discounts for NI members)
The Institute has a network of over 70 branches and development contacts worldwide and many organise local events, some of which may not be listed below. Check with your local Nautical Institute branch for details of their activities.
IMPORTANT: Please be aware that due to the Coronavirus pandemic many events will not be going ahead. Check with the organiser to see whether a particular event has been cancelled, postponed or transferred online.