I have been sailing for the past year with a German shipping company that owns a large and modern fleet of multi-purpose and heavy lift vessels … and employs Russian and Ukrainian officers and crew. It has been an eye-opener what these guys get up to and thought I would just list a few and try and gauge the response from others that may have sailed under similar circumstances and experienced same:
- During my four months on board only one emergency/abandon ship drill was held, and this only after the first month on board. The ‘training records’ were completed monthyl for all persons to sign as having attended the training, but NO traing ever took place.
- Charts and nautical publications were in an poor state. On checking the chart inventory old editions of charts were in use. What boggles my mind is how these outdated charts were still being ‘corrected’ (with notices intended for newer editions).
- No sense for personal safety; no protective clothing is worn in the way of overalls or safety boots.
- An entertainment system is set up on the bridge to watch DVDs whilst on watch (even by the Master)!
- Safety equipment checklist are filled in that all is in good order, meanwhile standards of maintenance are lacking
- A black flexible hose is used to pump oily water over the ship’s side at night, presumably also by-passing the oily water seperator.
… and the list goes on. The intention of this posting is not in any way to ‘atttack’ Russian/Ukrainian seafarers, but the above issues are of great concern and all I would like to know is whether this is the norm amongst Eastern Europeans sailors?