Your on a manned barge at anchor and barge is dragging towards the flats at a decent rate of speed. You’ve been at anchor for 48 hours but storm blew in wind is picking up! You don’t know when a tug will get to your position. There are 3 shots in the water. Put out another shot of chain in hopes of stopping or slowing your drag or sit back and do nothing! Barge " Captain" said he would never put more anchor chain out! Tug captain says anchorage control would never let you put more chain out! Anyone want to make some sense out of this for me or offer an alternative solution! Thanks!
Yer anchored in Bayridge? How many units are around you? Barge light or loaded? How big a barge? Unless VTS EXPRESSLY forbids more wire/chain I’d give that a try if there wear room but Bayridge can get pretty crowded. However, since yer the mate and the Barge ‘Captain’ said leave it alone, you yourself should be covered. Used to HATE anchoring DBL31 or DBL32 out there as they had no chafing chain to help lay the anchor down - more often than not they’d drag
Yes, and 350 ft. Barge( lite). In the 45 minutes it took to get a tug to our position we fell back at least 2-3 barge lengths. As apposed to 90- 180 ft of chain.
You hit on the exact issue. Doing SOMETHING is preferable to doing nothing. But the (ahem) Barge “Captain” if fucking clueless. Knowing WHAT to do is the key.
Of course you can slip a shot or two out. On the flip side, often when the anchor is dragging it is because it got tripped, and once you pick up speed it just skips over the bottom, so sometimes you can’t get one to catch. Were you up at the extreme north east corner? That end has notoriously shitty holding ground. But doing nothing is pretty lame.
If these guys had been reading their Chapman’s they would have known what to do.
At any rate, playing on here while some sort of crap is hitting some sort of fan is probally about the worst thing you can do. Wake the captain, notify VTS, tell the “barge captain”(glorified tankerman in most cases) to either sharpen his pencil for upcoming paperwork or drop some more wire in the water. As stated earlier, doing something is better than doing nothing.
After contacting anchorage control and an assist tug( 1/2 hour away) I said to put another shot or 2 out. I wAs overruled and told I don’t know what I’m talking about. I posted this question after the fact. I wasn’t playing on g- capt while this played out! The way I look at it when I’m packing my bags and filling out paperwork with the coast guard at least I tried the only thing in my power to do!
The first time I anchored there we put down too few shots. The captain predicted we would drag and my only orders were to keep a close watch and make sure the engineer stays awake. And we dragged.
36 hours later we lost propulsion at the moment we crossed under the verrezano. I asked the captain if I should notify VTS and the pilot shot me a very evil look then said “yes, if you want your picture in the paper”.
Both were hard calls but we recovered.
A few months later that Captain was in charge of the Cape Mohican when she dragged anchor and ran aground. The ship I was on burned and was scrapped the next year.
I’m still not sure the morale of the story. Had the engines gone out while we were dragging, rather than the next day,we would would have caused a major spill (she was a single hulled product tanker) but if we had called both incidents in then we would have had the cg and company down our throats.
The only solution is to stay off rust buckets especially when they frequent bad anchorages
“The only solution is to stay off rust buckets especially when they frequent bad anchorages”
I think that could apply to several things…
[QUOTE=Fraqrat;75129]If these guys had been reading their Chapman’s they would have known what to do.[/QUOTE]
Don’t get me started
Originally Posted by Fraqrat
If these guys had been reading their Chapman’s they would have known what to do.
Wang to tell me how I should have handled the situation different or just make smart ass comments?
Smart assed? Who are you? Do you know what ‘Chapman’s’ refers to? You can’t ‘stand up’ for what you are inexperienced and unsure of. It is great that you actually realize that something was done wrong. But if you (or the “Barge Captain”) actually had some definitive knowledge (Chapman’s), ordinary seamanship experience, or a background in vessel operations this would have been a non incident. It is one thing to say: I don’t know what to do. It is another to say: I know what to do, do nothing and watch the shit hit the fan with a huge dumb look on your face. (Then as your fellow tankerman said: ‘I ain’t doing shit’)
When it comes to tough decisions like that, I always ask myself “what am I going to tell the Coast Guard i did or tried for them not to take my license?”
[QUOTE=john;75150]but if we had called both incidents in then we would have had the cg and company down our throats.
Remember that is a regulation to report marine casualties, such as a loss of propulsion, to the Coast Guard according to 46 CFR 4.05-1. As a highly experienced mariner, you should know better than to advise other mariners to violate regulations, even if you have had negative experiences in these situations. I am a Coast Guard investigator and have responded to many LOP’s. At worst, the CG will make your vessel get an additional assist tug and a technicians report with the cause of the failure.
I think I agree with TheMate. If you do the right thing, the CG will not be down your throat. At least, I would not be.
The first time I anchored there we put down too few shots. i think so,same to me.
It was a smart ass remark. I just love the whole “Barge Captain” and “Barge Mate” thing. If this is a known bad anchorage area why wasn’t everyone prepared. This is almost the same as the Noble Disco in DH. Bad situational awareness almost ended in catastrophe.
[QUOTE=jckrabit;75100]Your on a manned barge at anchor and barge is dragging towards the flats at a decent rate of speed. You’ve been at anchor for 48 hours but storm blew in wind is picking up! You don’t know when a tug will get to your position. There are 3 shots in the water. Put out another shot of chain in hopes of stopping or slowing your drag or sit back and do nothing! Barge " Captain" said he would never put more anchor chain out! Tug captain says anchorage control would never let you put more chain out! Anyone want to make some sense out of this for me or offer an alternative solution! Thanks![/QUOTE]
REPLY: Don’t you wish that you had not posted this question? You told the maritime community that you are part of an operation where nobody seems to know the basics of seamanship. I guess this what they companies get, and deserve, when they let their pay scale fall so far behind the Gulf.
My inexperience? I made a call and was overruled by the barge" captain"! Nice lecture cappy but you still didn’t offer any alternative solution! Can’t find your copy of chapmans? And I couldn’t agree more about the barge" mate" and “captain” thing! The first time I heard a guy refer to himself as capt.( barge) I blew water out my nose!
It seems to me that the OP acted properly.
He is not in a position to make these decisions, he can only advise or suggest.
By asking his question here, he is validating that his initial instincts were correct.
This is one of the best uses of gCaptain - education.
I would only add that the OP, as watchstanding Barge Mate, should be sure to make log entries to CYA.
[QUOTE=IOSmitty;75181]Remember that is a regulation to report marine casualties, such as a loss of propulsion, to the Coast Guard according to 46 CFR 4.05-1. As a highly experienced mariner, you should know better than to advise other mariners to violate regulations, even if you have had negative experiences in these situations. I am a Coast Guard investigator and have responded to many LOP’s. At worst, the CG will make your vessel get an additional assist tug and a technicians report with the cause of the failure.
I think I agree with TheMate. If you do the right thing, the CG will not be down your throat. At least, I would not be.[/QUOTE]
You are correct sir. I will attempt to clarify my position but feel free to call me out again if you don’t like this response.
And the incident was reported immediately to the office who notified the CG pursuant to 46 CFR 4.05-1. What the captain did not do is call for immediate help via the VHF radio. What I did not do was over-ride the captain’s decision not to contact the CG directly.
Where we in danger when we first anchored? No do to the engines being left on standby and anchor watches being vigilant about the hazard.
Where we in danger when the engines failed? No there was a tug nearby and the current, plus our momentum, was pulling us out to sea. We were busy dealing with the situation and making a distress call would have distracted our efforts.
From a personal perspective I will say that you should always report your concerns to the office and, if necessary, directly to the USCG. If they don’t respond then make the information public. This is not a choice that will help your career in the short term but it will help you sleep at night.
BUT… I did not write this post in response to another licensed master. It was in response to a mariner who is struggling with the issues of competency and command - not strict regulations. 46 CFR 4.05-1 states “the owner, agent, master, operator, or person in charge, shall notify” it does not put the responsibility of making that call on the shoulders of an unlicensed mariner sitting at anchor watch under the direction of a Barge Captain or PIC.
The question of overriding someone of superior knowledge and experience is the primary concern here… and it is a concern shared by every newly minted sailor in charge of a watch. This is the question I continue to struggle with, not the question of whether incidents should be eventually reported (for which my personal record speaks strongly) but rather how to handle authority and operational hazards during problems of immediate concern. The answer to that question is not to put yourself in a situation where a vessel is operating close to the margins… at least not until you have enough experience to make the right decisions on your own.
Or does the CG want distress calls from unlicensed mariners acting against the wishes of the master?
On a separate note, to the question of “Will the CG be down your throat?” you are also correct. It’s been my experience that, if you do the right thing, then the CG will treat you right with a few exceptions and one of those exceptions is if the media, a congressman or local community activists runs with the story of your trouble (often without regard for the actual facts). And with facebook, twitter, camera phones and, yes sites like gCaptain, a simple VHF call for help in a major port can (and does) bring unwanted (often unwarranted) attention on mariners trying to do the right thing. I’m writing this as a separate note because it should not be of any concern to junior mariners like jckrabit but it does warrant mention because it is certainly on the minds of most masters I know.
I can be persuaded over the nuances of the subject but I do not believe that ignoring the fact that- yes, masters sometimes report incidents via back channels instead of taking the proactive action of making an immediate VHF or GMDSS call - is in anyones best interest. Even worse, in my opinion, is answering these questions in black and white. And this is what drives me to build gCaptain… bringing light (for better and worse) to the way things are actually being done rather than promoting - like every other maritime news site - what the CG wants to be done because… it is only with open honesty that we fix the problems that are being observed but not discussed openly.