USCG El Faro Investigation Report


#84

The Master was at fault, he killed himself and the crew.


#85

Many parallels between the El Faro crew and the airline crews (see Asiana) who were afraid to challenge the captain’s decisions and died. The chain of command has to be respected to maintain order but it doesn’t mean it’s infallible.


#86

@Ffinn Here’s a link to all the missions of the USCG: http://www.overview.uscg.mil/Missions/
This one is probably a better representation of all their functions though
http://www.overview.uscg.mil/Authorities/

They’re much more than just Marine Safety though, and I’d imagine that since their alignment with Department of Homeland Security, that the MSUs (Marine Safety Units) missions probably got their budgets cut in favor of other missions being higher priority.


#87

Create a complex and fragile inspection / compliance regime - one that diffuses accountability not encourages it. Further, ensure there are built in hurdles to its effectiveness (revisions of guidelines, confusion over standards being inspected to). Do not address the issue of potential ship owner / manager untoward influence on the whole process. Shake, bake and await the inevitable decline in ship’s material condition. After a catastrophe, look into it.

Hard to argue with the ACP related safety recommendations number 21 to 26 (page 196) but it is also hard to see how these topics were not addressed in the original program set up or did not even come up during the course of operating this program over its history. These are some basic concepts here. Quality and assessment of the ACS acting in place of the USCG,. Quality of the oversight of the ACS by the USCG. Reporting.

The discussion of the ACP in the report makes it sound like a thing on autopilot, unattended and without active management. Yet we know it has a program manager:
http://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-for-Prevention-Policy-CG-5P/Commercial-Regulations-standards-CG-5PS/acp/

But the real icing on the cake comes at recommendation number 30 (page 198). The suggestion to create a “Third Party Oversight National Center of Expertise”. Behold! The birth of a new bureaucracy!

Here is the full recommendation:
Safety Recommendation #30 – Third Party Oversight National Center of Expertise. It is recommended that Commandant consider creation of a Third Party Oversight National Center of Expertise to conduct comprehensive and targeted oversight activities on all third party organizations and ACSs that perform work on behalf of the Coast Guard. The Center of Expertise should be staffed with Subject Matter Experts that are highly trained inspectors, investigators, and auditors with the capability and authority to audit all aspects of third party organizations. As an alternative, the Coast Guard could add a new Third Party Oversight Office at Coast Guard Headquarters with a similar staffing model as the proposed Center of Expertise. The new Third Party Oversight Office could function similar to the Traveling Inspector Office and report directly to the Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy.

Here’s an idea. Not only should it function like the “Traveling Inspector Office” it should be the Traveling Inspector Office. Here’s the mission of the traveling inspectors:
http://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-for-Prevention-Policy-CG-5P/Traveling-Inspector-Staff-CG-5P-TI/

They include the following:

  • Participate in ACP/MSP examinations to ensure consistent application of the regulations.

  • Oversee SMC and DOC Audits to ensure consistent application of the SMS code.

  • Oversee 3rd Party Inspection Audits to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations and CG Policy

Boy that sure sounds like overlap. Having a resource center for the auditors that are auditing the auditors.

How can the ventilation plenums be allowed to to deteriorate to the levels shown in the report? Not only not found but then tolerated - from the report (page 80). Keep in mind this is for the El Yunque but reflects on the shore based M&R function and the SMS reporting / correction functions.

On February, 1, 2016, three Coast Guard Traveling Inspectors attended EL YUNQUE as part of an ISM DOC Annual Audit of TOTE, which took place in Jacksonville, Florida. ABS led the DOC audit and provided three auditors, including the District Principal Surveyor. A Sector Jacksonville Coast Guard Marine Inspector also attended the audit as an observer. The Coast Guard does not normally participate in DOC audits; however, the Coast Guard Traveling Inspectors requested to be added to the team for TOTE’s audit due to the previously identified maintenance concerns and the sinking of EL FARO four months earlier.
Part of the DOC audit included a general walk-through of EL YUNQUE, and the Traveling Inspectors requested that TOTE open up a starboard exhaust ventilation trunk serving cargo Hold 3 for inspection. The Traveling Inspectors noted severe corrosion within the ventilation trunk and they subsequently conducted testing of the soundness of the internal structure of the trunk. This test, which was performed in a typical manner using a hammer, resulted in a hole through baffle plating that was required to be watertight (see Figure 27). As the Traveling Inspectors were discussing expansion of their inspection to additional ventilation trunks, the senior Traveling Inspector received a cell phone call from the Sector Jacksonville Commanding Officer. The Sector Commander, as the OCMI for the Port of Jacksonville, ordered the Traveling Inspectors to stop further inspection and hammer testing of EL YUNQUE’s ventilation trunks because it exceeded the scope of the DOC audit; the Traveling Inspectors complied with that order. However, the Senior Traveling Inspector suspected that the potential for long- standing corrosion existed for the other ventilation trunks and voiced a concern that the wastage could present a down flooding risk if the vessel experienced severe rolls. As a result, the Traveling Inspectors requested that Sector Jacksonville conduct a follow-up inspection to check additional trunks for conditions similar to that of Hold 3’s starboard exhaust vent trunk.

My emphasis added. Not to fear the Jax OCMI did insist that the ACP surveyor check into the problem and they did require repairs. These were accomplished for the original problems the traveling inspectors found but looks like they didn’t look at others or lied about it. From the report page 82.
D_uring MBI testimony on May 19, 2016, the ABS surveyor who conducted the February 2016, repair survey on EL YUNQUE stated the following when asked if problems were detected in other ventilation trunks:_
So after this was discovered we looked at the port side as well and then we sampled other trunks to verify that they were in good condition. This one that you have pictures of is the only one that was found in this condition with regards to the corrosion.

Yet after this the ship was moved to Seattle for work so it could be a relief ship in the Alaska trade. But the OCMI there did take a look and found equally heinous condition of the ventilation plenum and ducting structure and dampers. All was added to the work list but TOTE scrapped the ship later that year.

Did the crew really hide this from TOTE shore based M&R operation? I’m guessing not and I’m guessing TOTE management just did not see this as a priority. They should have been all over this without the ACP/USCG having to find it.

The description of the CO2 system condition is equally disgusting (page 79 and 80). Again the reflection on the failure of the SMS is noted.

It appears the ABS is the RO for the ISM auditing as well as the flag state inspections. So not only do they check on the material condition of the ship they check on how the company keeps up with and tracks the repairs of deficiencies and how they handle other non-conformities within their own system. Wouldn’t the requirement that ISM auditor and your class surveyor being two separate entities be a good idea?

This is indeed a sad story that has emerged and yet how do these guys still have a DOC to operate ships? The report does NOT seem to address:
No recommendation for increased auditing of the DOC / SMC? Since it obviously failed them audit them more often than required.

No recommendation for a detailed review of the company’s SMS? Its noted throughout the report as being in need of help but no requirement to do something about it?

No recommendation to straighten out their lines of communication with regard to DPA, Port Engineers / M&R / Technical issues and operations?

I give the MBI some kudos for the report. They included some good information and some that was even in a poor light for the USCG and ABS. At least they looked at the ACP program but I think they could have come up with some better recommendations and immediate enforcement actions against TOTE.


Fairplay - US Coast Guard seeks tighter grip over third parties in wake of El Faro sinking
#88

Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville gave the El Yunque the OK to sail after the ABS required repairs.

The ABS surveyor gave TOTE 30 days, until March 2, 2016, to make permanent repairs to
the Hold 3 ventilation ducts and EL YUNQUE continued to operate between Jacksonville and San Juan. On February 9, 2016, ABS advised Sector Jacksonville that the temporary repairs had been completed to EL YUNQUE’s port and starboard ventilation trunks that were identified as corroded on February 1, 2016.

But then TOTE moved the EL YUNQUE to Seattle:

In March 2016, TOTE relocated EL YUNQUE to Seattle, Washington and started the process of converting the vessel back to its original RO/RO configuration for Alaskan service.

Now TOTE has to deal with Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound instead of Sector Jacksonville.

From March 18 to August 14, 2016, Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound Marine Inspectors made several visits to EL YUNQUE and, despite the February 2016 ABS survey and testimony from the ABS surveyor, recorded the following pertinent findings:

 April 6-12 2016: Directed extensive third party gauging for multiple suspect locations on the main deck. Found evidence of long standing and uncorrected wastage
.
 May 20, 2016: Examined supply vents for the Holds 1-3 port and starboard (6 total).
Observed gaskets missing; holes in vent ducts; gasket flanges wasted; and holes in the
side shell in way of vent inlets (see figure 28). Required all items to be added to the work
list.

 August 14, 2016: TOTE halted work and requested to place the vessel in a lay-up vessel to be scrapped.

 December 23,2016: Received notification that the vessel arrived at Brownsville, TX.
Changed vessel status to "scrapped"in the Coast Guard’s MISLE database.

EL YUNQUE had the same problems that sank the El Faro, Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville and the ABS gave the ship the OK to sail. When it got to Seattle the Coast Guard there did an inspection including gauging. When TOTE got the resultant work list they scrapped the vessel.

Keep in mind this was after the El Faro was lost.

EDIT: Text is from page 82 of the report


#89

Here in the yards in the Singapore Straits, I find all the classification societies to be so weak and pliable that the entire survey business needs a public enquiry.


#90

So much contained in the Report and its Recommendations that it’s difficult to know where to start.
Being a weather watcher, I was disappointed to see that no recommendation was made to make a working anemometer a requirement, even though the report acknowledged that the crew had difficulty assessing the conditions because of poor visibility. A basic anemometer will give you data which will be better than any shore based forecaster. By recording the changes in wind speed, direction, and comparing them with barometric pressure data, you will know where you are in relation to the storm. When you are offshore and close to a storm, you are the best weather data receiver available. That’s why the Report states on page 116:
"During a tropical cyclone, NOAA asks ships that transit within 300 miles of the movement of the storm’s eye to make 3 hourly reports under the VOS Program. While it is not encouraged to be within 300 miles, the in situ data points are highly valuable in validating the forecast products. " But only if you have working equipment.
Recommendation 14 also addresses the weather: "To improve service to marine stakeholders (NOAA) should consider the inclusion of past track waypoints for the tropical system for a period of 48 hours and a graphical depiction of the forecast model track of the best performing prediction models."
I think they should have added that as well as past track waypoints for the tropical system, extrapolated future waypoints based on continued current movement should also be added.
Please excuse me sharing another graphic which I think demonstrates why Joaquin is such an important case in point in this regard.


#91

I also consider Recommendation 13 to be the most thought provoking part of the Report, but I interpret it completely differently than c.captain. To me it is written to address the issue that both the 3M and 2M had when trying to deal with the Master’s lack of awareness of the events unfolding that night. Both mates contacted the Master and tried to impress on him the need to alter the ship’s course and planned approach to the storm. Both were unsuccessful in getting their message across to him. If, instead of sending off three emails to family saying that the ship was heading into the hurricane when she went off watch at 3:50, the 2M had made an emergency alert call to the DPA or coastguard, reporting an “urgent and dire safety concern that (was) not being adequately addressed onboard the ship”, that the ship was heading directly into the hurricane, and was in severe danger, perhaps the urgency could have been escalated, and calls made to the Master to get him to the bridge. This is what “Shipboard emergency alert system” implies to me. When things have become “Urgent and dire”. This is not routine safety reporting.
The implication, if that interpretation is correct, is enormous: it suggests that circumventing the chain of command is permitted in emergency situations, such as the one El Faro was facing that night. Please correct me if I am way off base.


#92

actually you may be spot on here especially when one takes into account the proposed use of the SSAS however can anyone seriously believe the USCG would order a ship to cease proceeding without having any cause to (SSAS gives no data or circumstances, only an alert)


#93

An interesting proposition. Certainly the potential for disaster seems to have been apparent to several officers on board that night, but they were not getting an adequate response from the Master. Who, after all, is only one man, and hence fallible. In such a situation it would seem prudent that some mechanism can be initiated to get the concerns of the emergency alert addressed immediately. Quite how that would work though I don’t know.


#94

@Mat You may very well be correct in your understanding of recommendation 13 BUT if that is what they meant don’t you think that is a very impractical solution? Do you really think that is the way to “address the issue that both the 3M and 2M had when trying to deal with the Master’s lack of awareness of the events unfolding that night”?

I can think of a many scenarios where such a system might be of benefit and should be available. For example:
*to report a un-working anemometer that has been properly reported through maintenance request systems but being actively ignored by the company’s M&R organization AND the DPA.
*to report structural damage of hold ventilation plenums, baffles, dampers that are being ignored by the company’s M&R organization and the DPA.
[NB - Yes I know the facts as revealed in the testimony and report do not support the way I have characterized the above two examples but that was not my immediate point.]

However, if it becomes necessary to use such a system even for the mundane examples above never mind an emergent “navigational incident” that involves flooding in the proximity of a hurricane (content of the phone message to DPA) hasn’t your entire SMS completely failed at that point?

Don’t get me wrong it doesn’t do much good for us to drill into crew member’s heads that they can contact the DPA any time they feel their concerns have not been addressed properly within the system if there is no such physical system in place to do so.

But at that point the system has completely and utterly failed. What would you expect to happen by pushing that kind of anonymous panic button at that hour in those circumstances? What would be your best case scenario" Would it be something like a chain of phone calls from USCG watch standers to call centers to DPA to Captain in his cabin telling him someone onboard feels the ship is in “urgent and dire” danger and can he go up to the bridge and take care of things? Would the DPA or USCG recipient of such a call use a ludicrous script to receive these anonymous complaints to determine miles away in space and circumstance the dire-ness and urgent-ness of the issue before proceeding to the next phone call?

One can laugh at resource management and LMS training all one wants to but I’m gonna suggest that dealing with “urgent and dire” situations is best handled right there on the ship and by the whole team. I’m gonna suggest both the 3M and 2M might have used different words in their conversations with the master that night. That having called for the second time in 8 minutes at 2313 when the 3M informed the master they would be 22 miles from the center with winds of 100 and gusts of 120 and strengthening and having previously made a request for the master that he “might want to look at” the new weather report - that the 3M could have continued to call the captain every 5 minutes repeating his request to come have a look at the new weather report, “Aw-shucks I just can’t figure it out Cap”. The report says the 2M was 34 years old and the 3M was 46 years old. What kind of operational atmosphere existed that allowed people with that level of experience to not more forcefully make their case when they obviously had grave concerns? That’s a rhetorical question I know exactly what kind and I’m sure it exists on more ships than we want to admit.

This may sound harsh and the real failure was farther up then the 3M and 2M but if you had the master at the other end of a house phone one deck away and could not make the case would going to an anonymous panic button make you more effective at solving the most immediate problem? The 2M called at 0120 made a case for turning south at 0200 but presumably was told to stick with the original plan.

From the transcript of the VDR (which only got one side of the call) I’m not getting the urgency of the situation. I’m not hearing “Cap things have changed since you and the CM made the plan, time to come up here and look at the plan again”.

Would pushing such a button or (having failed to get the captain to the bridge) calling the CM have a more direct effect on successful resolution of the situation? Failing that, what would have more direct effect, pushing that button or actually changing course with the support of your fellow team members?

This was just one big royal mess and heartbreaking for sure. The biggest lesson for me is the one offered by Mario Vittone a long time ago:

We don’t need to wait a year for the reports. We know enough already. All we need to do now is remember; we can remember what we’ve already learned and stop thinking that our positive experience at sea matters.
Don’t hope for answers in the reports. The tragedies of the past – and this new one – are sufficient teachers. A hurricane will never care about your plans.

http://gcaptain.com/we-wont-learn-anything-what-sank-el-faro-and-what-didnt/

I would suggest asking yourself could this happen on my ship? What kind of atmosphere have I created on my bridge / in my department for bringing me bad or unexpected news? How do I react to that? Does it encourage that kind of good questioning or discourage it? Do I formally request and document repairs despite verbal indications of “we’ll get to that at dry dock” or when the budget is better? Or do I self edit myself on making such requests because “they won’t do it anyhow”. Should I open that vent trunk and have a look inside and not just assume all is fine because I can move a handle on a damper (that might not even be there) during a PM? Do I raise issues to Ops, Engineering or the DPA long before they result in “dire and urgent” circumstances?

Lastly I would hope shoreside ship management types would re-examine their own organization structure, “atmosphere” and responsibilities. I would hope they read some of the testimony of the managers in this case and ask themselves would they give any less lame answers if it happened to them?

All well and good we examine this report and discuss it but if it remains at the level of “what they did wrong and how can we design a new system for that” AND does not result in some soul searching and application we will not be answering the question of “could that happen on my ship”?


#95

I agree that it would amount to an almost un-workable solution. The way it’s worded is at best ambiguous. It would be useful to get some more detail as to what exactly No. 13 is referring to. If it is referring to an emergency call as I was speculating, it is basically inviting an anonymous mutiny. A better solution would have been an on board, bridge based conference between concerned officers, resulting in a concerted, combined representation to the Master to take their concerns seriously.
I also agree that the transcript from that night doesn’t necessarily suggest urgency; the awareness was there, but until things deteriorated further and systems started to actually fail, it was business as usual, just with an uneasy sense that they weren’t heading where they should have been.
“Between 11:45 PM and shortly after midnight, the 3M and 2M conducted watch relief and
discussed the hurricane, current route, and other route options.” That might have been a moment when they could have escalated things. Or perhaps later in her watch the 2M could have woken the 3M for moral support, and the two of them might have managed to get a better response from the Master. It is conceivable that the knowledge that there was some procedure or checklist to follow in such a situation, which encouraged onboard resolution of the issue, but ultimately allowed a call to shore support in a real emergency when all other avenues had been tried, might actually produce results and avoid inertia.


#96

Interesting term and concept which bears much more thought.

Bingo! Although it would have been even better if the 3M “escalated things”.

Standing orders as a minimum had to have been in place. What sort of checklist did you have in mind? “Captain wont come to the bridge despite my best efforts to communicate to him I wanted him to come up”

First I wonder if they did give it their best effort. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe not because their own understanding of the situation had not reached a tipping point as to how dire it was and how quickly it was deteriorating. BUT they clearly had their doubts. Or maybe because of an organizational inertia that you noted. What was missing from them deciding to call the captain and saying “Sir you need to come up here right away and go over this new weather report. The situation seems to have changed dramatically from what the previous plan was based on. The original plan will not get us clear of this. Really sorry to bother you but …” Or some such. Why not that instead of just commiserating with their watch partner?

Would best effort include getting the CM up to review what you are seeing and then have him go knock on the Captains door?

Furthermore what sort of situational inertia prevented the captain from coming up to the bridge in response to the 3M’s 2300-ish reports? Looking at the new report, feeling the actual presumably persistent list developing.

Secondly again, what would happen if they did make the call? It certainly wouldn’t have been anonymous in this case. At least not for long. If one is not operating in an atmosphere where they can communicate this dire-ness directly and if the captain is not willing to accept the evaluation of the situation of his watchstanders. I’m just not seeing the knowledge of / existence of a new physical system in place as having that kind of affect on a management team in the absence of the leader. What kind of turmoil would be involved in pushing that anonymous reporting button in this situation.

It’s difficult to get people to fill out safety observation forms (even anonymously) I’m thinking that is a button that will never get pushed.

Only my opinion of course but time would be better spent reflecting on our own organizations structure, reporting and work flows to make sure early response and flexibility of response to emerging situations is routine and such system is never needed.


#97

I know, it’s hard even to imagine one.

Agreed.


#98

obviously a couple of junior officers don’t have the muscle to force such a matter but if a senior officer becomes involved then I can see an onboard confrontation with the master demanding the concerned crew be heard. If anyone really is fearful of what is going down and if the master is not responding to their concerns they should go to a chief mate or chief engineer. I believe however that the 2nd and 3rd mates where concerned but not fearful (remember the bit said about how their master had been through worse in the Gulf of Alaska winter so he must know what he is doing).

Now is this already codified in 46USC or not? I know of nothing specific giving the crew a voice in operational decisions but certainly does concerning seaworthiness and in this case I would call driving a 40+y/o ship directly towards a very strong hurricane to regard the seaworthiness of the ship to withstand the extreme environment. so it would be within the law for the crew to register their concerns, but it does involve a collective of the officers and is obviously a potential career minefield to step into HOWEVER, if I fear the master is needlessly risking my life then I should know the law will back me up later so 46US Code should clearly state what a crewmember can do if they are fearful and what a master MUST do if handed such a complaint.


#99

here is the 46USC citation which does not include any provision for a complaint of unseaworthiness to be available after a vessel is at sea…THIS SHOULD BE CHANGED!

46 U.S. Code § 10902 - Complaints of unfitness

(a)(1) If the chief and second mates or a majority of the crew of a vessel ready to begin a voyage discover, before the vessel leaves harbor, that the vessel is unfit as to crew, hull, equipment, tackle, machinery, apparel, furniture, provisions of food or water, or stores to proceed on the intended voyage and require the unfitness to be inquired into, the master immediately shall apply to the district court of the United States at the place at which the vessel is located, or, if no court is being held at the place at which the vessel is located, to a judge or justice of the peace, for the appointment of surveyors. At least 2 complaining seamen shall accompany the master to the judge or justice of the peace.


#100

The junior deck officers did not understand that the captain’s plan to keep the winds aft was inoperative, when the third mate called he only told the captain that the ship was going to be closer to the center then expected. When the second mate called her main point was to explain the alternative route rather than the fact that the captain did not understand the situation.

The ship was in fact on course to enter the eyewall in the dangerous semi-circle. It doesn’t appear that anyone on the crew understood that. There was no systematic and methodical plotting of the SAT-C positions and limited collection of weather data.


#101

One Company that I sailed for always said “Safety First” and that ANY Crew Member could “Stop and Unsafe Act”. As a matter of fact they went as far as to say they were all but required to do so.

So, a ATB was in Port on the East Coast and was going to be sailing in Ballast for the GOM. This rig had a Brand New Captain aboard for the First time. There was a Storm brewing and they did not know if it would head to the GOM or turn and come up the East Coast. The Office was putting pressure on the Captain to sail. He took the better part of a day sitting at the dock trying to make his mind up before telling the crew that he gives up and they were going to get underway.

The CM and CE used the “Shall Stop any Unsafe Act” clause and said they felt it was unsafe and notified the office. The office told them to go to the Airport and fly back to the Home Port, the relief CM and CE were already on their way. When they got to the Office, they were asked why they were there as they were no longer employed. When they asked why they were told that by refusing to sail, they quit their job. Now, both of these men were long time employees and were well liked by both the office and crews.

A lot of the crews voiced their opinions about this being wrong and that they (in their opinion) stopped a “Unsafe Act”. We were all told, nope they quit by refusing to sail. After this happened, I don’t remember ever hearing of any crew member stopping anything!

My last vessel had a very good Captain and I would have sailed any where with him as I trusted him. I began to change my mind because of his attitude when I would ask, “How bad do you think the weather is going to be”? His answer would be what difference does it make we are going anyway! I was asking as we had a crew that had a bad habit of un-lashing things and leaving them that way. So, when I asked this it was to see if I should make extra rounds to check on everything. I would even find things un-secured while we were in bad weather.

This Captain’s attitude drastically changed after an event that I will never forget.

We were loading at a GOM Port and there was a Hurricane heading into the Gulf. He notified the Office that he was going to stop loading and sail for the Mississippi River to get away from the storm. They told him to continue loading and they would get a lay berth. The Oil Major that we were loading at would not allow you to stay there in case of a storm.

We finished loading and called to find out where the lay berth was. They said sorry, the max draft for a lay berth was 28 feet, we were at our max draft of 34 feet. So, we sailed and got creamed by the storm. We actually had to go to the yard due to the damage sustained. This was the last time I remember him ever asking to stop cargo or a lay berth due to weather.

This ended up being the first of may storms we got hit with that year. One time they begged him to rush and make into Tampa before they closed the port. We were 30 minutes from the Tampa Sea Buoy when they closed the port! So, we were stuck between the Storm and Florida with no where to hide. We took another ass beating that time and caused a bunch of damage to the barge. The Ladderway from the Top of the Trunk Deck to the Bow disappeared! To this day, I can’t believe that (a) no one in the Pilot House saw it go and (b) that it didn’t do any damage when it went over at least 1/2 of the Barge, judging from the angle of the forward flood light masts were damaged.

We were lucky, very lucky as things could have turned out much worse but it did change my opinion of that Captain.

When I was sailing, I had a list of Captains that I would have to consider getting off the vessel if I felt they were making a decision to sail just because the office was putting pressure on them. I was prepared to quit if necessary.

Now, I’m sure my name was on this type of list with others.

Would it be a good thing to have someway of reporting a problem such as sailing into a dangerous situation, hell yes. How it would / should work I have no idea but I do know that most Captains would take offense to any crew member going over his head and involving the Office / Safety Department and that working with that Captain (or any Captain) in future would not go over well.

It’s times like this that make me very happy that I’m retired!


#102

agreed and why I haven’t looked to go back to sea since leaving the GoM. The level of BULLSHIT a master must face from his superiors is just too much to take these days. No respect whatsoever anymore (at least no respect if you aren’t an asskissing, brownnosing, sychophant when you are loved for being such a good “companyman”) There is no place left anymore for a master with personal and professional integrity.

the only hope to be able to go to sea without facing the SHITSTORM is to own the vessel you command…then you have to only answer to is the charterers who hopefully you can persuade you are doing the right thing even though they are going to be inconvenienced


#103

I can’t see that holding up on court very well, at least these days. If I we’re the one fired for that bullshit I’d sue.