I have just read a quite strange article: NATO Warns Ships Away From Russia's Largest Port
Blockquote Author’s Note – The Fog Of War
Despite having earned a USCG Unlimited Master’s license to captain ships of any size and, despite experience navigating ships around the world, this article took me hours of research and fact-checking. The NATO release is confusing for several reasons:
- they keep linking to Spanish NAVAREA warnings
- the warning makes no mention of any specific dangers to look out for or who may be firing “direct hits on Civilian Shipping”
- the statement drops eye raising words like “MINE DANGER” without further explanation
- it makes no mention of what resources NATO has available in the area to protect shipping
- the statement contains 557 words but never once uses the word ‘ RUSSIA’
Even more ridiculous is the fact they are issuing a stern warning about a highly belligerent Navy that’s already shot at unarmed ships, used unarmed ships as human shields , killed mariners, and continuously lies to NATO about nearly everything… but one of the warning messages says the warning is in effect “DAILY EXCEPT SUNDAYS “.
Why NATO, do you think Russia could endanger commercial ships sailing in NAVAREA III 0096/22 on every day of the week Except Sundays ?
I don’t know the author or what he means by calling himself to be "captain ships of any size”. I also don’t know what a captain of that sort should know, but I am sure of what an experienced navigational officer must know, which is (as a response to points brought up in Author’s Note):
Navigational warnings used for Black Sea are linked to Armada Espanola because Spain is coordinator on NAVAREA III. One would know that if one would understood what World Wide Navigational Warning Service is, what NAVAREA is and what it means to be its Coordinator.
Navigational Warning Service is, as the name suggests, a system for navigational warnings. One would be not surprised by the wording of warnings if one would understand the premises of a system. Specifically if one happened to be a experiences navigational officer.
Terms “Mines Area/Zona de Minas” are as clear as they can be and they don’t need any further explanation. A dangerous waters are precisely specified and closed (as a result all of the navigation activity on that area are prohibited).
One should always know how, where and from whom to seek protection of a specific vessel if he were at least “simply master mariner”.
The system provides safety notes for navigation - it does not play politics.
All of it could be entertaining but frankly is quite ridiculous at this point that an English speaking journalist with some maritime background doesn’t understand what the following warnings mean:
- NAVAL TRAINING, 01 THRU 31 MAR22, FROM 0500 TO 1700 UTC DAILY EXCEPT SUNDAYS. NAVIGATION TEMPORARILY DANGEROUS IN AREA BOUNDED BY: 45-03.5N 036-17.0E 44-57.5N 036-23.0E 44-45.0N 036-24.0E 44-45.0N 035-50.0E 45-00.0N 035-50.0E AND COASTLINE 2. CANCEL THIS MESSAGE 311800 UTC MAR 22
(Nav.Warning 0096/22 NAVAREA III)
1.- WAR RISK AREA IN NORTHWESTERN PART OF BLACK SEA TO NORTH OF PARALLEL 45-21N FROM 240400 UTC FEB 22 UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
(Nav.Warning 0093/22 NAVAREA III)
or other one
1.- DUE TO MINE DANGER NAVIGATION IS PROHIBITED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE IN THE AREA BOUNDED BY (…)
(Nav.Warning 0092/22 NAVAREA III)
I would not take up this topic, but the situation is very serious and for some of our colleagues even tragic. Every professionally active seafarer should follow relevant messages constantly and depending on personal preferences, make responsible decisions. Navigational Warning Services together with NATO Shipping Center and flag state authority provide all the necessary information regarding War Risk Area.
In my opinion this is not the time for criticism “as usual” or some “clicbait” at least not regarding this issue, especially when one does not know much.