The illusion of control

If you haven’t done so already, read Mario Vittone’s article. Read the part about “the illusion of control”, then read it again. Well said, Mr. Vittone.

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

Amen brother. This guy can write. I hope they have him on retainer for future coverage when actual facts are presented for consideration and analysis. Go back and read his pieces on the Bounty hearings. Seems to be able to listen, actually hear and come up with unique perspective such that we can learn something new. Seems to go beyond the intial gut reaction to what is presented.

Agreed. While I am certain there are those who will complain, it is well written and possibly more factual then many of the rants we have seen on another thread this past week. Lord knows as tragic an event this was the final outcome will most likely not address what so many want it to.

I agree it was a good article. He has improved from the previous article where he made the ridiculous statement that fishermen were “trying to die” and which included a photo of a completely different and much larger type of boat.

I hope that this incident will be used to address real safety concerns like hurricane avoidance, age of ships, and better lifesaving gear. Companies are promoting a lot of safety theatre with unnecessary PPE and JSAs that cost little, but ignoring real safety which costs real money. This needs to change for the better.

Hmmm… I have read the same news reports that everyone else has read and I have virtually no idea what happened. I can speculate but that is pretty useless.

I think what Mr Vittone is saying affirms what everyone has been talking about in recent years about when they complain about the increasing amount of time spent on paper work, reports via computer, permits to work and all the other regulatory things mariners have to deal with. These requirements do not come with an increase in manning to allow for the extra time to fill out the forms and make the reports so other duties suffer. All the SMS compliance, IADC compliance measures are only paper tigers. There is little or no consequence to the owner if SMS or IADC are not followed but woe unto the master or chief that does not spend time filling out the forms “properly”.
It is all theater to make it seem as if there are standards that will be followed with adverse consequences to the owner if they are not in compliance when in fact the only adverse consequence is to the poor fellow that did not fill out the form to the company’s satisfaction.

I would like to see an extra third mate (to get the chief mates back on deck) and an onboard agent (to get the captain back on the bridge).

The agent would have two primary duties:

  1. do what an agent does (organize travel, liaison with shoreside agents, schedule visits, etc) but would do so from aboard the ship.
  2. assist the captain as required

[QUOTE=john;171247]I would like to see an extra third mate (to get the chief mates back on deck) and an onboard agent (to get the captain back on the bridge).

The agent would have two primary duties:

  1. do what an agent does (organize travel, liaison with shoreside agents, schedule visits, etc) but would do so from aboard the ship.
  2. assist the captain as required[/QUOTE]

On that note, there is no defensible reason why Masters should have to do payroll. In a sensible world, the Master would email the crew’s overtime hours to the office, and the office would email the crew’s pay vouchers back to the ship. I see similar administrative tasks that could be shifted to shoreside personnel with respect to requisitioning of repair work, supplies, etc,.

[QUOTE=Heat Miser;171295]On that note, there is no defensible reason why Masters should have to do payroll. In a sensible world, the Master would email the crew’s overtime hours to the office, and the office would email the crew’s pay vouchers back to the ship. I see similar administrative tasks that could be shifted to shoreside personnel with respect to requisitioning of repair work, supplies, etc,.[/QUOTE]

There’s a lot of BS pushed that way. I was in a S. American port and the agent came into my office all out of breath. He told me that we were flying the country flag upside down, that a fine was possible and he wanted to correct it. I told him I’d call the 2 mate who was on the bridge but he said no, he would do it. And he did. When he came back to my office I told him no need to come down to the ship he could have just called and I’d of taken care of it. He told me that by law the agent was responsible not the ship and that he would be fined. I thought that was a good system, for a country who’s flag looks better upside down anyway.

Point being making the master responsible is not the only way to get things done. The agent could be made resposible for a lot of this BS. Making the master responsible just seems like the default without much thought as to how it all adds up.

[QUOTE=john;171247]I would like to see…an onboard agent (to get the captain back on the bridge). [/QUOTE]

I think they are referred to as pursers John

It is a very well written story.

Yeah some people have told me about these magical creatures working aboard some ships… but other people say unicorns still exist. I’ll believe in either when I see one for myself :wink: