Thursday, May 29, 2008

Training Mariners to Reduce Human Error PREPARED BY:Captain Anthony Patterson and Mr. Leslie G. O'ReillyABSTRACT:The vast majority of accidents at sea are caused by human error. Human error is, in turn, heavily influenced by two factors: organizational failures and situational awareness. Organizational failures typically lead to latent errors, or accidents waiting to happen; while poor situational awareness leads to poor decisions and incorrect actions that result in accidents. Since the fundamental objectives of seafarer training are to improve safety, environmental protection and economic efficiency in the maritime industry, there must be an emphasis on providing training that will improve situational awareness and reduce organizational failures. While STCW'95 has attempted to introduce more competence based training into maritime training programs, recent events indicate that more effort is required to address the source causes of human error. This paper will describe some of the programs being launched by the Marine Institute to improve situational awareness training for mariners and to reduce the risk of organizational amongst managers and regulators.
Human Resource Issues in the Marine Transportation Industry Presented at the Ocean Innovation Conference St. John's, NL, October 2003 PREPARED BY:Anthony PattersonABSTRACT:The labour market for ship's officers is certainly optimistic. Shortages are being forecast in both the International and National fleets, and schools are busy preparing themselves for increased enrolments. The shortage projections, however, need to be carefully interpreted to et a more accurate picture of the labour situation in the shipping world. Companies are increasingly demanding that their new hires have the "right stuff" in addition to technical certification. This presentation will explore some of the methods used to prepare students to assume the responsibilities of a ship's officer, and will highlight some of the technology that is used.
GLOBAL: Piracy figures up by 20% for first quarter of 2008
There were 49 attacks reported to the Piracy Reporting Centre in the first three months of 2008 as compared to 41 for the corresponding period in 2007, states the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in its latest quarterly piracy report.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

RORO Cargo Vessel For Sale

Attention: Interested shipping companies

May 27, 2008

Location: Greece
Posted: September 22, 2007

DWT 360 T
LOA 39,80 M
BUILT 1994

ASKING PRICE 650.000 euro

The Milky Way Is Weighed

Stumbled upon this while "inching" the Web

Tue May 27, 4:32 PM ET

The Milky Way galaxy weighs about 1 trillion times as much as our sun, according to a new estimate.

Previous estimates had ranged from 750 billion solar masses to up to 2 trillion. Lately, researchers have been leaning toward the higher figure. But now astronomers have used a more refined method to conclude that our galaxy's mass is slightly less than 1 trillion solar masses.

The galaxy's mass is a mix of stars, gas, dust and mysterious dark matter.

The new estimate is based on a large sample of stars in the galactic halo, a relatively sparse sphere of stars that surrounds our galaxy's main disk. The speeds of stars in the halo reveal the mass of the galaxy by allowing astrophysicists to infer the amount of gravity required to keep those stars in orbit.

These guys must be good to arrive at tremendous figures!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Quasi-Zenith Satellite System of Japan

From the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

April 16, 2008 Updated

On March 7, 2008, the Proto Flight Test on the antenna of the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System was performed in the No. 1 radio wave test facility at the Tsukuba Space Center. The radio wave patterns of the on-board antenna were measured and the "Compact Range Systems" were set up to distribute the radio waves to the transmission feed, the reflector and the Quasi-Zenith L-band antenna, respectively, and confirmed if the antenna met quality requirements.
The Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) is a constellation of several identical satellites, with at least one satellite positioned near the zenith over Japan anytime. Users can receive communication and positioning signals from one of the QZSS satellites near the zenith direction without obstruction in urban and mountainous area. Owing to this advantage, people in moving vehicles and using mobile phones can speak and send/receive high-quality content without interference. In addition, the system is expected to significantly improve the accuracy of positioning.
Pyrolysis oil is under investigation as substitute for petroleum. It is extracted by destructive distillation from dried biomass in a reactor at temperature of about 500°C with subsequent cooling. Pyrolytic oil is a kind of tar and normally contains too high levels of oxygen to be a hydrocarbon. As such it is distinctly different from similar petroleum products.
Buckley and Yu Promoted at Evergreen
Evergreen Shipping Agency (America), North America general agents for Evergreen Line, has announced two new executive vice president appointments in its U. S. head office. Jay Buckley has been named Executive Vice President, Business, and Louise Yu, Executive Vice President, Customer Service.
Northrop Grumman Names Shipbuilding Leadership Team
Northrop Grumman Corporation has appointed three vice presidents to key positions in its newly formed Shipbuilding sector, effective immediately. John J. Mazach has been appointed sector vice president of business development, Eric Womble has been named sector vice president of advanced capabilities group, and Daniel L.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Depletion of Ozone Layer Leveling Off


Depletion of Ozone Layer Leveling Off, New U.S. Study Finds

Observed changes might show improved levels of ozone in atmosphere

Earth's ozone layer is no longer in decline, according to a new global study involving long-term data from satellites and ground stations, although it is still severely depleted after decades of thinning from industrial chemicals in the atmosphere.
According to an August 29 press release from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the team documented a leveling off in the decline of ozone levels between 1996 and 2002, and even measured small increases in some regions.
"The observed changes may be evidence of ozone improvement in the atmosphere," said researcher Betsy Weatherhead, an author of the study funded by NOAA. "But we will have to continue to monitor ozone levels for years to come before we can be confident."
The ozone layer will likely need decades to recover, and it might never stabilize at levels measured before the mid-1970s, when scientists discovered that human-produced chlorine and bromine compounds could destroy ozone and deplete the ozone layer, she said.
The ozone layer of the stratosphere protects Earth from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, including skin cancer and cataracts in humans and damaging effects on ecosystems.
The halt in ozone decline follows the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, a 1987 international agreement to which the United States is a party, which called for phasing out production and consumption of compounds that deplete ozone in the stratosphere -- chlorofluorocarbons, halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform. This was accomplished in 2000 for most of the listed substances and in 2004 for methyl chloroform.
Scientists say the primary source of ozone destruction is chlorofluorocarbons, once commonly used in refrigeration, air conditioning, foam-blowing equipment and industrial cleaning.

Fellow humans, we have a share to make in ensuring that this will go on for our future children's sake.

Long Range Identification and Tracking Systems (LRIT)

With reference to a post I have made last April 2008 regarding the GULF LRIT. The significance of implementing the Long Range Identification and Tracking System on ships has been emphasized, when the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) during its 84th session in London from 7 to 16 May, made a number of decisions to ensure its timely implementation. This new requirement is part of a SOLAS regulation under V/19-1 which entered into force last 1 January 2008 and will apply to ships constructed on or after 31 December 2008 with a phased implementation schedule for ships constructed before 31 December 2008. The Committee adopted revised Performance Standards and functional requirements to update previous versions and agreed MSC.1 Circulars giving guidance on the survey and certification of compliance requirements of ships. The LRIT system is intended to be operational with respect to the transmission of LRIT information by ships from 30 December 2008. The MSC adopted a resolution on the Establishment of the International LRIT Data Exchange on an interim basis, confirming that the International LRIT Data Exchange will be provided temporarily by the United States.

(Source: Shiptalk News issue 23 May 2008)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

IMO environment meeting approves revised regulations on ship emissions

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has approved proposed amendments to the MARPOL Annex VI regulations to reduce harmful emissions from ships on their 57th session last March 31, 2008 to April 4, 2008

The revised Annex VI will allow for an Emission Control Area to be designated for SOx and particulate matter, or NOx, or all three types of emissions from ships, subject to a proposal from a Party or Parties to the Annex which would be considered for adoption by the Organization, if supported by a demonstrated need to prevent, reduce and control one or all three of those emissions from ships.

For the complete details of the amendments, please see:

Strengthening security on the high seas and in world ports: ILO Convention on seafarers’ ID card gains new momentum

A growing number of countries have already ratified the ILO's Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention No.185 adopted in 2003 or will do so in the near future. The international Convention came into force in February 2005 and creates the first globally applicable system of biometric identification for secure identity documents for the estimated 1.2 million seafarers in the world. The Convention requires all ILO member States to recognize the Seafarer Identity Document (SID) thus facilitating the seafarers’ admission to their territories for temporary shore leave without visas.

The new identity document for seafarers allows for the use of a biometric template to turn two fingerprints of a seafarer into an internationally standardized bar code on the document. The Indonesian government will soon issue the first new biometric identity cards for more than 120,000 Indonesian seafarers working on vessels flying both Indonesian and foreign flags.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Where do we go for our summer outing?

Not too many people do this, but to look at a volcano crater may be a novel
experience.....but, it should be dormant.

Is the ISM Code beneficial or with drawbacks?

From the International Safety Management (ISM) Code 2002:

Assessment of the impact and effectiveness of the ISM Code

The International Safety Management (ISM) Code evolved through the development of Guidelines on Management for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention adopted in 1989 at the 16th regular session of the IMO Assembly by resolution A.647(16). The objective of the Code was to provide an international standard concerning shipboard and shore-based management.
The outcome of the successful implementation of the ISM Code envisages the enhancement of a safety culture throughout the shipping industry. Through implementing the ISM Code and the application of its requirements during the past six and a half years, shipping companies, classification societies and other industry organizations would have gained significant experience in assessing its manifest benefits and drawbacks.
In order to make a meaningful assessment, the Secretary-General has established an Independent Expert Group comprising of experts from Governments, organizations, universities and the shipping industry and the Secretariat to collect and analyze data to study the impact of the ISM Code and its effectiveness. The Expert Group has developed two questionnaires for shore based and shipboard personnel to obtain as much information as possible from both seafarers as well as those ashore responsible for implementing the ISM Code.

Shipboard and shore-based shipping personnel, do participate and contribute your views.

New Species Of Fish Discovered That Would Rather Crawl Than Swim

A fish that would rather crawl into crevices than swim, and that may be able to see in the same way that humans do, could represent an entirely unknown family of fishes, says a University of Washington fish expert. According to Ted Pietsch, a UW professor of aquatic and fishery sciences, these are anglerfishes. In the last 50 years scientists have described only five new families of fishes and none of them were even remotely related to anglerfishes, Pietsch says.

The fish, sighted in Indonesian waters off Ambon Island, has tan- and peach-colored zebra-striping, and rippling folds of skin that obscure its fins, making it look like a glass sculpture. But far from being hard and brittle like glass, the bodies of these fist-sized fish are soft and pliable enough to slip and slide into narrow crevices of coral reefs. It's probably part of the reason that they've typically gone unnoticed -- until now.


Mechanical Fin Power: Oceanic Power Generation

Tim Finnigan, a professor of ocean engineering at the University of Sydney in Australia designed a radical oceanic energy collector inspired by the design of shark tails. Mimicking the successful evolutionary design of the fish species, he constructed a device that seizes the power of the sea. The fins are crescent-shaped and stiff and effectively generate a powerful and seamless thrust.

The device works rather simply; it is anchored into place in the sea bed with 32-foot rock-bolt anchors. Utilizing a smart and effective cable and pulley system, the device is tugged toward the sea floor and latched into place via an autonomic latching mechanism. The hitch is it is costly, speculating 8 to 15 cents per kw-hour. The electricity costs more than other energy sources but the benefit is that it is a developing technology, it harnesses power naturally, and it won’t pollute the environment or ruin beachfront views. But he may have found a solid and promising green business enterprise.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Tidal Wave Of New Regulations

From the World Maritime News
Monday, May 19, 2008

Vessel owners and operators are finding themselves besieged on many fronts by an onslaught of new laws and regulations governing ship operations at the state and federal levels. At the same time, companies and organizations have been somewhat successful in taking their case to the courts and Congress to argue for a single nationwide system of regulations as opposed to a smattering of differing laws in the various coastal states, referring to the latest in laws, regulations, and litigation affecting a wide part of the maritime industry. The article looks at three of the industry’s key challenges: (1) ballast water management; (2) ship emissions and air pollution; and (3) oil pollution.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Vessel Traffic Reporting Systems

For the past eight years since the first IMO VTS Symposium was held in Singapore, on January 2000, Vessel Traffic Systems has become an important, relevant and vital issue in the international and commercial shipping industry worldwide. Safety - which has been the core of IMO conventions, supports the need for technological advancements in this regard.

With years of experience in advanced sensor technology and systems integration, a company called Lockheed Martin has been developing and providing governments, waterway authorities and mariners with reliable and cost-effective solutions to vessel traffic management. Their new Vessel Traffic Management Information Systems (VTMIS) monitor ports and coastlines, protect assets and support search and rescue missions throughout the world. Applications for this technology include Coastal and harbor surveillance; Vessel traffic management and Oil ports and offshore platforms. The Lockheed Martin's MTM 200 software is the central command and control, display and processing software for the VTMS, which receives data from a wide variety of integrated sensors and other applications and performs final information processing, display and dissemination. It has the ability to display vessel tracks from multiple sites and multiple sensors.

(Source: and

Owners to blame for crew crisis
Source: Lloyd's List

Source Date: 16th May, 2008
Source Pages: p.16.
The president of the Philippinnes-based manning and training company Magsaysay Group, Doris Magsaysay Ho, has warned that shipping must wake up to the fact that it is having to compete for resources, particularly when it comes to seafarers.
Pyrolysis oil is under investigation as substitute for petroleum. It is extracted by destructive distillation from dried biomass in a reactor at temperature of about 500°C with subsequent cooling. Pyrolytic oil is a kind of tar and normally contains too high levels of oxygen to be a hydrocarbon. As such it is distinctly different from similar petroleum products.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Has Global Warming Really Stopped?

Stumbled upon this while "crawling" the Web. The readers' comments made the article very long so just lifted an excerpt of the main topic:

Has Global Warming Really Stopped?
Mark Lynas

Published 14 January 2008

(1283 comments so far)
Mark Lynas responds to a controversial article on which argued global warming has stopped.

On 19 December the New Statesman website published an article which, judging by the 633 comments (and counting) received so far, must go down in history as possibly the most controversial ever. Not surprising really – it covered one of the most talked-about issues of our time: climate change. Penned by science writer David Whitehouse, it was guaranteed to get a big response: the article claimed that global warming has ‘stopped’.

As the New Statesman’s environmental correspondent, I have since been deluged with queries asking if this represents a change of heart by the magazine, which has to date published many editorials steadfastly supporting urgent action to reduce carbon emissions. Why bother doing that if global warming has ‘stopped’, and therefore might have little or nothing to do with greenhouse gas emissions, which are clearly rising?

Coral Disease Linked to Warming

An international team of scientists working on Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has found a clear link between coral disease and warmer ocean temperatures. Worldfirst research at 48 reefs spread along 1500 kilometres of the GBR combined with 6 years of satellite data on sea temperatures has revealed "a highly significant relationship" between ocean warming and the emergence of a disease known as white syndrome. White syndrome is one of a number of unexplained coral diseases which scientists have observed to be on the increase globally in recent years.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The DTI World Offshore Energy report published in 2002 estimates a global marine current resource in excess of 450GW – almost seven times the total generating capacity of all UK power stations. Tidal currents around the UK are strong in many areas and the New and Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC) argues that the UK has the best tidal resources in Europe, with the potential for 5% of its energy demand being met from this source. Over 20 UK companies are developing tidal technologies and several regional agencies are beginning to assess the potential for tidal energy generation.. First published in Cleantech magazine, November/December 2007. Copyright Cleantech Investor 2007
While working on a fuel cell power source in 1842, which he called a ‘gas battery’, William Grove,’the father of the fuel cell’, noted in a letter that he and a friend had built a battery-powered boat capable of 3 mph. Although what was probably the first electric boat ever made was not powered by fuel cells, it was a harbinger of a rapidly developing association between fuel cells and boats/ships.

First published in Cleantech magazine, January/February 2008. Copyright Cleantech Investor 2008

Algae could one day be a major hydrogen fuel source

As we begin a new century, world energy consumption is projected to increase by 60 percent from 1997 to 2020. Much of the growth is projected for regions of the developing world. The major bottleneck for the energy sector could result from the future growth of energy demand in the developing countries. Developing countries are experiencing rapid growth in population, energy demand, and the environmental degradation that often results from industrial development. This highlights the paramount need for new energy producing ideas and methods to achieve sustainable energy growth and minimal environmental impact. The oceans of the world represent a relatively untapped resource for both hydrocarbons and renewable sources of energy. Scientists at US Department of Energy at Argonne National Library are answering that call by working to chemically manipulate algae for production of the next generation of renewable fuels.

Many of the world's potential reserves of hydrocarbons lie beneath the ocean. The hydrocarbon industry has developed techniques suited to conditions found in the offshore, both to find oil and gas (known as exploration) and to successfully extract it for human use. The past fifty years have witnessed ever expanding exploration for and exploitation of offshore oil and gas resources. A potential source of hydrocarbon energy from the oceans is methane hydrate, a crystalline solid consisting of methane molecules surrounded by frozen water molecules. This source of natural gas is found in deep ocean sediments and could, according to some estimates, dwarf all the known global reserves of conventional gas. New exploration techniques and energy sources are already improving the scope and success of offshore extraction operations, adding to the world's known resources. While oil and gas represent more than 60 per cent of the world's primary energy supply, advances in renewable energy technologies will continue to play a role in determining the world's energy mix.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ship Noise Pollution in US Waters ... An Afterthought.

Quoted hereunder is my earlier blog:

Quote. Excerpts from the International Shipping News:

Ship noise pollution moves up the agenda.

Daily News
23 April 2008

Merchant vessels are likely to face growing traffic constraints in US waters
in the coming years due to concerns over the impact of ship noise on marine mammals, according to Frank Gonynor, senior claims executive of Gard As.
Speaking at a seminar hosted by the club in Hamburg today, he warned that it is only a matter of time until lawsuits are launched against owners and operators of cargo ships while inside US waters.Unquote.

Now, marine mammals. Next time, the birds and the bees?
How may ASBO apply here? Just wondering, maybe by way of muffled or muted ship's whistles, noiseless engines and silent cargo equipments- the noise makers on board? Anybody with better ideas?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Scalable Integrated Bridge Systems (SCBIS)

Aside from communication systems, navigation systems have been considered very highly among commercial vessels the past 20 years. The advancements in these kind of technology has not only been widely used but that more of our innovators are enhancing present capabilities to a more advance level. Such is the SCBIS supplied by Northrop Grunman Corp. running on Sperry Marine Voyage Management Systems (VMS) software. This combination will provide inputs from multiple navigation sensors for presentation on an integrated display, showing the ship’s position, movement and intended route in real time on a digital nautical chart. This enhances safety at sea by improving situational awareness for bridge watchstanders and liberating the ship’s navigators from the tedious and time-consuming chores of plotting on paper charts. The SCIBS package was designed to facilitate cost-effective retrofit of the VMS-based ECDIS-N technology on existing ships with a minimum of disruption. . The commercial VMS packages have been type approved by national maritime authorities and classification societies to meet International Maritime Organization performance standards for safe navigation. (Source: Sperry Marine News dated May 1, 2008)

Blogtime once again!!!

Good day Sir Tormon and to all my fellow classmates! Looking forward to a whole new term of innovation and technology once again! It is me, Capt. Edgar M. Nierras signing in. See you in class!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hello and Welcome, ASBO people!

This could be the last of DIMT before shifting over to ASBO.
Unless you blog something before good ole DIMT fades out or disappears. Anyway, bye bye DIMT and welcome ASBO!
Let us try to gain something out of this bloggin' thing.