Bulker Captain Pleads Guilty to Dangerous Navigation During Cyclone

Looks to me like a witch hunt by Kiwis

Bulker Captain Pleads Guilty to Dangerous Navigation During Cyclone (maritime-executive.com)

Correct me if I am wrong, but this guy is being charged with a crime for NOT running aground, but being closer to shore than company policy? WTF???
How is this anyone’s business at all but his employer’s? I must be missing something!


There is more to it in this link : Chinese captain admits endangering vessel and crew during cyclone | Insurance Marine News

Basis for prosecuting the master :

Makes me wonder why this NZ Navy jockeys prosecuted the master basis NZ legislation but were using as arguments limitations , imposed NOT BY NEW ZELAND’s regulations /rules/industry practice/ etc etc regarding ways and practice of safe navigation but limitations imposed by SMS(safety management system) of o Taiwanese Company operating the Tawanese property -the vessel, under Panama flag , which by the way as indicated by the available information had an excellent record regarding safety proven by NZ PSC on at least two occasions. To put it plain and simple NZ navy jockeys should use rather the SAFETY BENCHMARKS imposed by NZ regulations regarding safe navigation on its teritorial waters ( UNCLOS) and not those originating from the foreign country company internal rules.
What if the Taiwanese Company rules defined dangerous conditions of wind as Beaufort 5 and sea 10 ft ???

As to voyage plan in adverse weather conditions - we plan and if the weather does not cooperate with our plan , then we improvise.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE OLD PHRASE entered frequently in the LOG BOOK during adverse weather condition; QUOTE : courses and speeds variable according to master’s orders and WEATHER PERMITTING !!!

This case is an outrage but it is my subjective opinion and i may be wrong of course.

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Another ship with trouble in NZ:

At least they didn’t arrest the Master, or Ch.Eng.

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Bull rocks and foul ground off Portland Island makes for a very unforgiving coast. Captain Cook almost came to grief there in 1769. It is great for crayfish.
The ship routing section 8 requires Masters to keep 7.5 miles off this area.

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You surely have got the point here . But the honorable panel of judges seemed to have forgoten to throw it in the basket of ship master defficiencies or errors of judgement.

I do not remember exactly where the below quote is coming from but it surely reflects my way of thinking about master prosecution.
‘‘Whether he has bridge or quarterdeck to stalk, as long as he commands, he is master.
It is the Master, then, who must make these decisions and who, clothed with great responsibility, enjoys the greatest and widest of good faith latitude in professional judgment. His judgment is given great deference because‘‘:
the fundamental principle in navigating a merchantman . . . is that the commanding officer must be left free to exercise his own judgment.

Safe navigation denies the proposition that the judgment and sound discretion of the captain of a vessel must be confined in a mental strait-jacket’’.

Second-guessing is not done lightly:
‘‘But navigation in these circumstances is left neither to Judges nor the Elder Brethren of Trinity House nor those who, in the garb of experts, from the security of swivel chair now lay out the course with great conviction . . .
The contrary view is testified to by Manager/tech Superintendent called as an expert, is but the old story of being able to tell, after the event, what should have been done, where the critics were not there, and were not confronted with the problem nor the emergency.

There is always a “Capt. Not”. Sometimes he sits by the cozy fireside, and sometimes he testifies in a courtroom. He recites how it could have been better managed, but,
if the responsibility had been his, he would have been worried sick and probably would not have done half as well . . .
The one thing the law’s Plimsoll Line demands is that no one – not even a Manager/Superintendent – can undertake swivel-chair navigation to tell a so-called Master to turn to, stay put, or seek a haven.’’

End quote.

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Touché. The ship was in a cyclone and the ship was rolling as bulk carriers do. What would be classed as excessive rolling on other classes of vessels is normal for a bulk carrier in ballast with an unavoidably high GM.
Did his company decide to have him plead guilty, pay the fine and move on? The defence would be that he feared for the safety of the ship and its fittings and moved as close to the coast as he could while closely monitoring navigation to ease the ships movement.
In bygone times last century in the prevailing South Westerly Gales we used to hug the coast sailing North, taking the shortest path across Hawke Bay and continued to stay close to the coast past Portland Island. Heavy rolling in a Ro-Ro is bad for business.

Sensible move but also possibly establishing a precedent. 12 months in prison or a NZ$10,000 (US$6,200) fine. Geez, tough choice

Seems that M/V Spinnaker SW is a good source of income for NZ maritime authorities and the vessel and it’s company is under close scrutiny .
New Zealand Charges Captain Over Unsafe Working Practices (gcaptain.com)

Rem: MSC Rena Capt and Coff were sentenced for 7 months only for an epic disaster and display of negligence that have been reverberating for many years and resulted in audit of PH training centers and threat by EMSA of banning PH seafarers from EU flags. The result of this mess we already know. Not only PH seafarers are not banned but invited to serve also In US and Canadian environment. How cool.

Any body here who knows for sure Spinnaker SW was in ballast condition as it looks I mistakenly thought she was in partial load .??

" masters are recommended"

hydro_202324-almanac_ANTM-10_pdf.pdf (linz.govt.nz)

It is hard to imagine for any outsider to imagine how perverse our health and safety regulations are, not just in shipping.
If I had been able to see into the future I would have made my fortune in shares of a scaffolding company or a manufacturer of red road cones.
The price of building a single story bungalow is boosted by $22,000 being the cost of supplying scaffolding.
One would probably by subject to a fine for exposing a bosun’s chair to sunlight. Retirement is sweet.

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