A sweeping indictment on maritime education

This article was in today’s anchorage daily news its about the initial reports from the empress of the north grounding last summer. This should make my fellow recent cal maritime grads job search damn near impossible. What gets me in the story is that they never mention that it takes 162 credits to earn you mt degree I mean how in the hell are they supposed to fit even more training in

It really doesn’t matter if you have 1,100 college credits, been around the moon and back, and sailed 40 summers on a training ship, nothing can substitute for real experience and blame should go with the master.

I agree with Anchorman, that mate had the cards stacked against him the entire time. Most of the blame does fall on the master, what was he thinking allowing a totally green 3/M to stand a watch at night, in pilotage waters?! However, you can’t give the Mate a pass either, he should have been able to do what was asked of him. I have never sailed up there, but from what I understand that turn isn’t that demanding, there wasn’t much if any traffic and he should have called the captain if was starting to feel uneasy.

Our Maritime Academies do the best they can with the meager resources they are granted. Cadets do not have enough time in simulators, but to give them enough time would be very expensive and I have not heard of any schools with much of a surplus in funds. If our industry was taken as seriously as aviation by the Federal government there would be multiple simulators at each Academy.

while i think the 3/m should be punished in someway, i still think he should be able to sail again sometime in the future with better experience (and better management).

if the authorities in this case put full blame on the 3/m blasting his career 100% down the tubes then i think this is a bad message for fellow cadets that want to work on the water in the future. its common knowledge already that there is high liability working on the water but how high.

but if there were more funding of schools for simulators then green 3/m’s should have smoother sailing.

i just finished all my uscg exams now and while i’m very excited im still very nervous because of cases like these, makes shoreside jobs look more lucrative.

oh and it is possible to fit in more training, an extra class each semester of a simulated watch each week would be great, or instead of Suny Maritime having watches in the cafeteria and the front gate, and the rusted T-AGOS ship, and the Empire State, they could instead have a simulator watch. i did not learn a thing on those watches that i didnt learn tenfold during the training cruise, i know its a USCG requirement to stand watches but couldnt a simulator watch fulfill the same requirement??

The Master of the boat will most likely take most of the heat. He should have been supervised for his first night watch in pilotage waters. You should never set someone up to fail and Although everything could have went well unsupervised it does not appear that the voyage plan was completed properly. There should have been clear instructions and procedures in place to prevent this incident. If it were and the Mate was aware he would not have hit the rock. I do not think this guy’s career will be flushed done for this incident. He clearly was not given the right direction or on job training. On the other hand if I were not comfortable doing something or not comfortable with the situation I would call somebody, but this goes hand in hand with experience. The article said he was in the middle (academically), but his boat handling was excellent. He probably took great pride in that fact and did not want to call anyone to his aid just for being unfamiliar with the area. Pride can be an expensive trait. I have learned that the hard way. Most people learn these things at a lesser expense. If he sticks this out and jumps back in, he will most likely be a better mariner for this. Good Luck!

I think think Capt. Lee is correct about how the blame will fall. I was told that as a mate you are sailing under the captain’s license and that he will have to answer first for any mistakes made by his mates. Mates usually emerge from an accident in much better shape than the captain.

I am in Watchkeeping with one of the guys that was on the empress when this incident happened and evidently it is still a sore subject and since I was was not there I have been informed that I am not allowed to have an opinion on the incident. After all the mate was asked if he could handle it and he said he could. It seems he was given clear instruction and there were other circumstances that led to him being in the wheelhouse with out supervision other than an experienced AB. I can see where people can be crucified for an incident without being able to properly defend themselves. Our Watchkeeping instructor at M.A.M.A. is really stirring the pot to get us thinking about Rules of the Road. I did not realize how vulnerable we all are when it comes to maritime laws. SInce I am a hard head I do have an opinion. It has been my experience that I would not “normally” have a new bridge member alone on watch in the bridge of a vessel I work on regardless of his license and experience without satisfying my own standards of vessel operation. It may be awkward to supervise someone that has more experience than you or a larger license than you, but if you are the watchstander it is your responsibility to maintain the watch and the person should appreciate the vessel familiarization you are providing. Having a license is no guarantee that an individual is qualified to stand his on watch. Some people catch on real easy and some take a little longer and some should stay in the galley. I have to admit that in the past I have left persons alone that probably should not have been unsupervised. An incident like this could happen to any of us. It is easy for me to sit back and say I would do this or I would do that, but the truth is it could happen to me if I do not stay diligent. Tell me what you think El Capitan…

Hmmmm…I think you’re spot on as far as what you can control, it’s the uncontollable that can get you, no matter how diligent you are. How many of us think about how are responsibility as Master extends beyond the Deck Department? <br><br>Take a look at this DOJ Press Release, and we’ll talk again after everyone has a chance to digest this, however, the Environmental Crimes Unit at DOJ is also looking at indicting the respective Master’s in these cases.<br><br><a title=“DOJ Press Release on PGM Chief Engineer(s)” href="http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2008/February/08_enrd_151.html]http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2008/February/08_enrd_151.html<br><br>Remember, as Master, you sign the Oil Record Book and are testifying to the accuracy and correctness of the entries. And if you don’t know what’s going on down in the E/R, because of ignorance or lack of interest, does it absolve you of any culpability?<br><br>So, how insistent should we be that everyone is competent, and knows their jobs?<br><br>

That engineer should be shot…for being stupid. Not necessarily for the “magic pipe”, but for leaving it hooked-up for a coast guard inspection…CAN’T FIX STUPID.<br>That’s about the same as welding the anchors to the hull so they don’t bang in rough weather.<br>

El Capitan,<br> <br> If you keep bringing up a “magic pipe” to Capt.Lee, you might run the risk of a late night phone call with oily residue.

Anchorman- At least I don’t roll over on my back and urinate on myself everytime a certain boss “YOUR” boss comes on the boat running around his ankles begging for him to throw the ball.

It just goes to show you how small the community really is. You hear about an incident like the empress of the north, and then run in to someone who was there in a course on the opposite coast.<div>Doc</div>

Capt.Lee<br> The urinating thing was funny the first time you used it with the “Beta Wolf” analogy with DPOJean, but once again your view is skewed my boy…even from my coattails. I will however admit to being involved in a golden shower once, but I was not the target. I even got some on my new pants, but as luck had it at the time, your master closet was close enough for me to grab a fresh set before heading out the back door.