President’s Corner April 2015

Dear All – Welcome spring across the Northern Hemisphere. The NAMSGlobal 53rd conference and BOD meetings as well as Easter are now behind us and I look forward to my forth year as your National President. I write this as I fly home from a very successful Meeting and conference.

I believe the conference was a resounding success. We have 65 very engaged conference goers and 11 of 19 BOD members in personal attendance. Additional BOD members joined the meeting by telephone. Thanks also to those non BOD members who came to the BOD meeting. This is a great opportunity to see the workings of the NAMSGlobal leadership and to add your two cents to the conversation. The minutes will be available this week if you would like to review. One major agreed action is to provide our digital directory of yachts and small craft surveyors to Boat US. This will give them a complete listing as well as give us free access to being in their data base.  Please let home office know if you wish to opt out.

Sunday’s welcoming cocktail party was well attended and good food, drink and camaraderie were enjoyed by all. The conference sessions were well attended and I personally learned a great deal from those I attended. Thanks to all the speakers who took time out to come in on their own nickel and present to us. Thanks also to the conference organizers who put a great deal of time in to put this together, namely John Venneman, Jim Neville and Reggie and Greg Gant. I heard good things about the woman’s package for Monday and the President Reception Monday night was lively with conversation and war stories.

Looking forward, the Fall BOD will be in Louisville in conjunction with the IBEX conference. The dates for IBEX are September 15 to 17 and the BOD meeting on the 18th. Please make plans to attend. 2016 spring conference will be in either Fort Lauderdale or Savannah. The membership was in favor of Savannah so all else being equal (cost, hotel, etc.) we will be in Savannah.

2015 is also an election year with the new National President and National Vice President elected in the fall and taking over after the members breakfast at the 2016 National Meeting. Please let Dick Frenzel know if you are interesting in either of the positions. As I am term limited after four years as an elected officer, I will not be seeking reelection but will pass the torch and become the Immediate past President of the NAMSGlobal organization.

IAMWS is seeking qualified applicants. Chris Bowman ([email protected]) & Greg Gant ([email protected]) would be your contacts for the application and information re the process. Again this is focused on the London Joint Rig Committee Code of Practice and Scope of Work.

Please contact the undersigned, the Executive Committee or your Regional Vice President if you have questions, concerns or want to volunteer.

Best Regards,

Steven P. Weiss, NAMS-CMS


Applicant List

Applicant Applying for Region Sponsor
James Fisher IAMWS-CMWS W. Gulf Briant Happ
Rocky Shi Qiang IAMWS-CMWS W. Gulf Kent Fong
Alan Clifton IAMWS-CMWS Int’l David Ballands
Anand Nair NAMS-CMS
W. Gulf Satish Janardhanan
Chris Kiefer NAMS-CMS
R. Rivers Greg Weeter
Harald Wergeland IAMWS-CMWS
Marine Warranty
W. Gulf Braint Happ
Einar Walderhaug IAMWS –CMWS
Marine Warranty
W. Gulf Braint Happ
Marine Warranty
W. Gulf Braint Happ
Marine Warranty
W. Gulf Kent Fong
Jonathan Mills IAMWS-Associate
Marine Warranty
W. Gulf Bhavjit Singh


New Members Elected 29 March 2015

Name Status & Discipline Region Sponsor(s)
William Fox NAMS-CMS / Y&S Craft S. Pacific Leroy Lester
Lloyd Griffin NAMS-CMS / Y&S Craft C. Atlantic Dick Frenzel
Michael McEntee NAMS-CMS / Y&S Craft E. Gulf Harry Stark
Mohamed Ismail IAMWS-CMWS / Marine Warranty W. Gulf Norm Dimmell
Shai Tzucker IAMWS-CMWS / Marine Warranty W. Gulf Norm Dimmell
Thomas Visentin IAMWS-CMWS / Marine Warranty W. Gulf Norm Dimmell
Ernest Wee IAMWS-CMWS / Marine Warranty W. Gulf Norm Dimmell
Hugo Carver Y&S NAMS-Associate S. Pacific Leroy Lester,
Georg LeBaron,
Ron Reisner
Glenn Mitchell Cargo NAMS-Associate E. Gulf David Pereira,
Hipolite Almoite,
Chris LaBure
Charles W. Parker H&M NAMS-Associate W. Rivers Mark Ledet,
Roy Smith,
Jan Haynes
Anirudh Verma Cargo & Y&S NAMS-Apprentice E. Gulf Rajesh Verma


CMS Members Retiring

David Cater Retiring N. Pacific Region
Anthony Coppola Retiring S. Pacific Region
Bob Gibble Retiring New York Region
Ian Hopkinson Retiring W. Canada Region
John Kelly Retiring C. Atlantic Region
John Marples Retiring N. England Region
Forest Mayer Retiring N. Pacific Region
Marc McAllister Retiring W. Gulf Region
Larry Strouse Retiring E. Gulf Region
Bruce Taylor Retiring G. Lakes Region


Upcoming Educational Events


For the latest information on ABYC’s 2014 educational programs, please go to the ABYC home page by clicking here and look under Events in the right sidebar. Be advised it opens a new window in your browser. ABYC conducts many educational programs including, but not limited to, Marine Electrical Systems, Corrosion Surveys, Diesel Engines & Support Systems, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, and ABYC Standards.

If you have questions regarding registration for the ABYC courses please contact Cris Gardner or Sandy Brown at 410.990.4460.


The American Institute of Marine Underwriters (AIMU) offers marine-specific education that has been approved for Continuing Education credits to maintain the National Association of Marine Surveyors – Certified Marine Surveyor status.  These include over 30 on-demand webinars approved for one credit each. Webinars include “Introduction to Ocean Marine Cargo Surveying: Containerization and Packaging” and ““Introduction to Ocean Marine Cargo Surveying: Cargo Losses and Cargo Survey Reporting”.  AIMU also offers courses which have a remote attendee option wherein you can video conference into the classroom.  Classes include “Introduction to Hull Insurance” which is scheduled for April 14-15 and is approved for 12 NAMS credits. For further information visit or call Eileen Monreale, Education/Training Specialist, AIMU at 212-233-0550.


Upcoming Opportunities!  Students have two options: attend the classroom in person or remotely. You can attend from anywhere in the U.S. We provide you with a link to videoconference into the classroom. Turn on your computer, dial your phone (or turn on your computer speakers) and attend. This includes video and audio capability using Microsoft Live Meeting! You will have the ability to see, hear, and ask questions of the instructor. Education credits are available for in-class attendees (brokers and agents only). Register at

7 May 2015

The Tampa Bay Mariners Club will host its annual marine seminar at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club on. The seminar is entitled “Recreational Boating Rebound – Commercial Impact?” A speakers reception will be held the evening of 6 May 2015, 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM, also at the Yacht Club. Continuing Education credits are available for underwriters, agents, adjustors, marine surveyors, and attorneys. The seminar event is preceded by the annual golf outing, to be held this year at the Seminole Lake Country Club on 6 May 2015. For more information, and for registration forms and online payment, please visit the Tampa Bay Mariner Club website by navigating to

8 and 9 JUNE 2015

International Cargo Insurance Conference in Oxford, England The 2nd ICIC conference will take place at the Crowne Plaza, Heythrop Park Hotel, Oxfordshire.This is a conference that is open to all disciplines within the cargo transportation insurance process and its related service industries across the UK and International markets.

Whether you work as an Underwriter, Risk Manager, Placing Broker, Claims Adjuster or Claims Broker.   THIS CONFERENCE IS FOR ALL CARGO PRACTITIONERS.

The event is supported by other cargo practitioners including actuaries, cargo surveyors, solicitors/lawyers and other cargo industry service providers.

The key purpose of the conference is to provide a platform for the education and professional development of all those within the marine cargo insurance community; whatever your age and experience.

Maritime Training Academy

We provide industry-endorsed distance learning diplomas proven to enhance your career prospects and earning potential.

Study to develop your industry skills and expertise or for a complete change of direction set the building blocks for a new career. Take one of our courses and gain an industry recognised qualification which demonstrates to your employer, future employers or clients your commitment to learn and develop your understanding of your chosen profession. Our Ship Surveying Courses will develop and deepen your knowledge of the industry

Engaging with a range of exciting and challenging topics such as surveying the hull structure, safety and operational surveys and incident and accident investigation along with essential subjects such as writing the survey report, legal aspects and insurance you will learn the skills required to conduct a survey efficiently and effectively.
You will also sharpen your IT, writing and independent thinking skills and develop the ability to assimilate and evaluate relevant information in constructing an argument. These are skills greatly sought after in the world beyond study – whether you are already working or changing career

For more information on Maritime Training Academy courses why not visit our All Courses or Superyacht Coursessection.  [email protected]

April 22 and 23 Southampton, England

You can now register for the Boatbuilding Live! technical conference that will take place in Southampton, UK. Held in partnership with the British Marine Federation, the two-day event will feature 18 technical seminars in four tracks: Composites Methods & MaterialsDesign & EngineeringMarine Systems, andRepair & Survey. Well-known industry speakers will include Nigel Irens, Roby Scalvini, Steve D’Antonio, and Charlotte Schiffer. Discounts are available to students and BMF members. To find out more and register, visit


NAMSWorthy Articles Of Interest

Marine Surveyors Should Work Safely Around Travel Lifts
David W. Huffman, NAMS CMS

Those of us who regularly work around travel lifts are accustomed to their potential for danger. Each of us has seen boat owners cringe as the hauling operation begins and their yacht appears to be swinging in the breeze. Some of us have done damage surveys of dropped boats for insurance claims or litigation support.  Many of us have fielded questions about how often things can go badly – either slightly or terribly wrong. In fact, things rarely do go wrong, but the potential for mishap is not insignificant.

Recently while conducting a pre-purchase survey, I was part of a situation in which we had just hauled a good-sized vessel with a good-sized lift. The operator rolled the load onto the apron, shut the machine down, and started to walk away. The vessel’s keel was 4 feet off the ground. I asked about the use of blocks and was told they do “hauls for surveys here without blocks — all the time.”

Had it been another day, perhaps with a distraction or in the rain, I might have just jumped under that boat and gone to work. As it was, I asked the yard if they could put blocks under the vessel as a precaution, or if not, to please re-launch it so we could move the boat elsewhere.  They put blocks under the vessel as requested.

Each of us has heard about or seen incidents involving mishandling of boats. Sometimes these incidents become amusing sea stories. For example, there was the time a new 150-ton travel lift supporting a 100-ton boat drove over the top of a septic tank. The tank top failed and caused one wheel-set to drop six feet below ground level, displacing the content of the tank back up the drain lines. The vessel was a commercial fishing vessel that sustained only minimal damages. The travel lift was brand new and was being operated by the travel-lift assembly crew; they had just put it together and they were training the yard hands in its use.  It certainly looked like a safe enough scenario, and it was fortunate that no one was between the boat and the parking lot when the boat came down. But still, it was no picnic – the proverbial “poo” was everywhere.

A recent mishap in the Midwest involved a travel lift that drives onto a pair of deck barges cabled to the shipyard bulkhead. The barges were spaced in precise alignment so that the travel lifttires were steered onto the decks, leaving a gap between the barges for the boat being handled..  The property was leased, so the yard did not invest in permanent pilings and tracks to support the tracks over the waterway.  When driving the lift from the yard onto the barges, the cables to one barge snapped, the free-surface effect of ballast water in that barge caused it to list suddenly.  The lift followed and an expensive motor yacht was severely damaged.

These incidents show that we need to look beyond the obvious risk of Travel Lift accident due to simple cable failure.

Over the last few decades the size of an average boat has grown considerably while the average age of lift equipment has continued to increase. This is another source of safety issues.

What does ABYC say regarding boatlifting and storage? According to ABYC TY-28 : “ If personnel is tobe on or under a boat on a lift, the load should not be supported solely by the lift equipment. The boat should be supported by blocking or some other means to provide protection to personnel in the event of a failure in the lift system.”  The ABYC standard also refers to lifting the vessel while considering factors such as its strong and weak points, excessive quantities of bilge water, the location of shafts, keels and other appendages, and standards for block dimensions, stand placement and spacing.

OSHA categorizes marine travel lifts with mobile lifts and gantry cranes. According to OSHA Standard 1910.179, Overhead and gantry cranes:

While any employee is on the load or hook, there shall be no hoisting, lowering, or traveling.
The employer shall require that the operator avoid carrying loads over people.
The employer shall insure that the operator does not leave his position at the controls while the load is suspended.
Size of load. The crane shall not be loaded beyond its rated load except for test purposes as provided in paragraph (k) of this section.
Running ropes. A thorough inspection of all ropes shall be made at least once a month and a certification record which includes the date of inspection, the signature of the person who performed the inspection and an identifier for the ropes  which were inspected shall be kept on file where readily available to appointed personnel. Any deterioration, resulting in  appreciable loss of original strength, shall be carefully observed and determination made as to whether further use of the rope would constitute a safety hazard.”

OSHA standards appear to address the marine travel lift as “by-catch” while addressing industrial hoisting equipment, perhaps because they have only one recorded travel-lift-related fatality – that of an operator in Mandeville, Louisiana being catapulted 25 feet to his death after the shearing-off of a front wheel.

We need to remember that the ABYC standards are recommendations rather than law. Safety is an important part of the marine surveyor’s job. The surveyor’s own safety should be high on his list of priorities. If we uniformly dig our collective heels in with a firm “no” when asked to place ourselves in harms way, we emphasize the importance of safety standards to the yards. If you happen to be there the day it all turns bad and the boat comes thundering down, do you want to be under it or first in line for the damage survey ?

On March 26, we had a meeting with the subject organization to discuss NAMSGlobal’s role in Subchapter M.

The following were in attendance:

Greg Weeter, NAMS-CMS, Riverlands Marine Surveyors and Consulting, Inc.
Ed Shearer,NAMS-CMS, The Shearer Group, Inc.d
CDR Patrick Nelson, TVNCOE
LT Parris Stratton, TVNCOE
Dave Phillips, TVNCOE
Steven Douglass, TVNCOE
Michael Kelly, TVNCOE

1. We described the history of NAMSGlobal, how many members we have and the criteria to become a NAMS-CMS. We discussed the areas of involvement including the Marine Warranty Surveyors

2. We discussed our involvement in the fishing vessel inspection program with the Coast Guard as a third party.

3. We discussed the Committee to Certify Towing Vessel Surveyors under Subchapter M,” the exam we have developed and the members of the committee. We said we have about three dozen existing surveyors who can further be certified as Towing Vessel Surveyors.

4. We are presently working on developing a Standard Survey Form similar to the Bridging Form used by the Coast Guard. Dave Phillips said he is working on the same document and Greg and I said we would be glad to open a dialogue about the form. Dave said he is using applicable sections from the NPRM to develop the forms.

5. I said we are working on the “Organization” requirement. I said we are talking to DNV/GL, but nothing has happened so far.

6. CDR Nelson said it looks like the Final Rule will be out early next year. There will be a NVIC issued around the same time to cover implementation of Subchapter M.  There will be a two-year phase in period.

I feel they were very pleased with our interest in working with them and we discussed possibly having joint training sessions in Paducah with Coast Guard and NAMSGlobal inspectors. They did ask how our association with the Coast Guard is working with the fishing vessel inspections. I said I would call Tim Vincent in Seattle to get “his read.”

Edward L. Shearer, P.E., NAMS-CMS

American Waterways Operators Press Release on Subchapter M Rulemaking

Dear AWO Members,
The U.S. Coast Guard has completed its work on the towing vessel inspection rule and sent the Subchapter M rulemaking package and supporting economic analysis to the Department of Homeland Security for review. Both DHS and the White House Office of Management and Budget must sign off on the rule before it is published in the Federal Register. AWO is committed to esnuring that the Subchapter M rule is published this year and to getting it out, getting it right, and getting members prepared for smooth implementation. To that end, we will begin working immediately with DHS and with Congress to ensure that Administration clearance of the rule proceeds expeditiously. We will continue to work with the Coast Guard to secure acceptance of the Responsible Carrier Program as a Towing Safety Management System and to ensure that crucial implementation policy issues, from hull repair to manning, are addressed in a timely and practicable way, with strong stakeholder input. And, we will work to ensure that all AWO members have the information and the tools they need to facilitate smooth and effective implementation. Subchapter M is our industry’s highest advocacy and safety priority. If you have any questions about what the forthcoming rule will mean for you, or suggestions for how AWO can help your company prepare for effective implementation, please contact Caitlyn Stewart or me at [email protected] or [email protected], or (703) 841-9300, ext. 262  or 260, respectively.

Jennifer Carpenter


The USCG Marine Safety Center (MSC) posted a brochure located at  providing a concise explanation regarding documentation and tonnage of smaller commercial vessels. (1/30/15).
Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog


The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) has indicated that a number of factors have come together to ensure that 2015 will be a “challenging year” for insurers, combining large claims with a softening market. IUMI’s recently elected new president Dieter Berg noted, “2014 ended poorly, and 2015 started badly”. Commenting on the start of 2015 he stated: “There were a number of big losses, involving serious casualties and loss of life.” Berg cited the Hoegh Osaka, which was deliberately beached on Bramble Bank off Southampton after developing a major list. “We have had 1,400 new cars aboard, many of them luxury vehicles, which have been declared to be a total loss due to unseen damage – a loss of £100m.” While the number of insurance claims was reducing overall, the size of individual insurance claims was increasing dramatically. “These vessels are getting bigger, and very difficult to manoeuvre,” said Berg. “We’re also seeing container vessels of 19,000 teu and even bigger being planned, as well as huge LNG projects, and in difficult environments such as the Arctic. Mark Edmonson, ocean hull committee chairman, indicated “As the size of the vessels increase, so does their technical complexity. We’re also seeing an increasing gap between salvage capability and the amount we’re underwriting. That risk is increasing all the time. It’s very difficult to salvage container vessels over 4,000 teu, for example.” Edmonson indicated that the deadly issue of liquefaction would have to be “revisited” following the sinking of the Bulk Jupiter “only built in 2006” which was suspected to have been caused by the liquefaction of its bauxite cargo. Ro-ro tonnage would also be a concern in the wake of the Norman Atlantic, which would have “regulators crawling all over it.” “There’s a huge exposure of insurance capacity,” said Berg.

“We’re looking at a very changed landscape.” On top of the increasing size of insurance claims, much more insurance capacity was becoming available in all branches of maritime insurance, according to Berg. “There are clear signs of a softening market, and it is here to stay.” Committee chairman of facts and figures Patrizia Kern also indicated that London was likely losing insurance business to regional insurance brokers in Asia and Latin America, and would likely continue to do so throughout 2015. Looking to the offshore marine sector Simon Williams Offshore Energy committee chairman indicated that the oil price would also have a “huge impact”, resulting in “less drilling, more units laid up, and, sadly, layoffs. We’ve seen BP freeze pay already. “There’s little doubt these factors will have an effect on the premium base. The US are hitting their limits at around $50 a barrel, but the Saudis can sustain as low as single-digit numbers. “It’s all rather gloom and doom,” he concluded. (, 2/4/2015)  Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.


published by Petrospot is essential reading for all marine surveyors who really want to know what it is like to start a business from scratch. For those who are already marine surveyors but who still wonder why the competition is doing better than they are, this book is also indispensable. For those who are already running a successful business, this guide provides a useful reality check.

Drawing on his extensive experience as a marine surveyor, author Mike Wall navigates the reader through the processes involved in setting up a new company. Using a clear and effective step-by-step approach, he looks at all the key areas that should be addressed – and also flags up issues and potential problems that the owner of a start-up company may have overlooked.

The book covers areas such as company structure, financial management, and personnel management. It addresses in detail the role of the employer, the employee interview process, contracts of employment, and working practices.

A comprehensive section on operations looks at quality assurance, conformance, database management, filing and archiving systems. Issues such as marketing, branding, insurance provision, client relations, ethics, and codes of conduct are fully explained, and Mike also outlines strategies a new company may consider in terms of building and developing its position in a highly competitive market place.

The book also includes information on training programmes and career development for marine surveyors, as well as a detailed analysis of the activities and advice provided by professional associations.

Setting up a new company can be a time-consuming, costly and often fraught process. Running a Marine Survey Company provides the would-be entrepreneur with an invaluable guide to the challenges and opportunities he will meet in establishing and growing his business.

The book also includes a Foreword by Ian Biles, Master Mariner, BEng (Hons), MA, CEng, CMarEng.He writes: ‘Mike tackles all of the difficult areas such as ethics, sales, conduct and time management head on with advice collected from the experience of having been there. For anyone involved in our business this book has been long overdue.’

About the author:

Mike Wall is a vastly experienced marine surveyor and lecturer in maritime studies. He is a fellow of IMarEST, a Chartered Marine Technologist and Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute. As a qualified dispute resolver he has successfully concluded several mediations.

He is the author of Report Writing for Marine Surveyors, published by Petrospot, and Hatch Covers – Operation, Testing and Maintenance, published by Witherby Seamanship International.

Container Ships: Possible Effect of Fuel Efficiency On Lashing Forces

Stephen Hooley has passed us these remarks by Olivier van der Kruijs, Risk & Quality Manager and Marine Surveyor at BMT Surveys:-The latest generation of container ships have been designed not only to increase capacity but also to improve energy efficiency and environmental performance. The rise in fuel prices in combination with a continuing pressure on freight rates has forced ship owners and operators to look closely at the amount of fuel being used. This has resulted in economical steaming and other fuel efficiency measures. Fuel efficiency monitoring can be achieved by a number of ways; for example, by using computer and communication software which monitors and analyses the ship’s performance and operational parameters in real time. The results of these analyses may then suggest, for example to change speed, trim and draft. The optimal trim, varies with speed, displacement, weather and underwater hull shape and can be a significant factor in saving fuel. One study suggested that fuel consumption could be reduced by as much as 5% using this technology. However, as an unwanted side effect, this fuel saving method may increase the calculated dynamic forces to the containers and lashings, possibly exceeding maximum permissible levels. As part of its extensive range of services to the shipping industry, BMT also carries out regular inspections of container ships. A point of attention during these surveys is the requirement to review the lashing computer data and establish if there is a situation on board whereby container lashing forces are exceeded. As regards maximum permissible forces, there are limitations resulting from the strength of the container itself. Those limitations are stipulated in ISO standards (ISO 1496). It is important to appreciate that there is no safety margin on these limits. Theoretically, a container may thus distort as soon as these force limits are exceeded. This is different for the safe working loads on the lashings, which do have a safety margin. Usually, for the preparation of a stowage plan, stability and lashing forces are calculated. These calculations take into account the usual changes to stability as a consequence of expected fuel consumption or changes to the ballast water quantity, whilst sailing. It has become apparent that during the voyage, the ship is sometimes instructed by the owners (or the charterers) to make adjustments to improve fuel efficiency.

These (unplanned) adjustments of draught and trim increased the GM (metacentric height) at various occasions and, as a result, also the dynamic forces acting on the containers and lashings. This could lead to a situation whereby the ship left port with the calculated lashing forces being within design limits, but exceeding the limits at a later stage when the trim adjustments were made. For vessels enjoying a voyage with good weather, exceeding the designated maximum lashing forces is unlikely to result in any damaged cargo. However, if the ship was to encounter its “design motions criteria”, damage to the container stacks and cargo could occur, thus as an indirect result of saving fuel.  Courtesy Bow Wave–the marine and transport e-zine. BOW WAVE is published each week to over 15 000 Readers in the transport, insurance, shipping and finance industries.  To subscribe contact Sam Ignarski <[email protected]>


The number of incidents of U.S. cargo theft tracked by a company facilitating such information plunged 23 percent last year compared to 2013. CargoNet said it saw 844 incidents reported on its network last year, valued at roughly $90 million, down from 1,090 in 2013 and an average of 1,134 annually since 2010. The firm only reports instances that its members share. The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates total U.S. cargo theft at $15 to $30 billion annually, but “there is no supporting documentation of that,” because many incidents go unreported by companies to avoid incurring damage to their reputations or higher insurance premiums, Sal Marino, vice president of business development, told That is the principal behind CargoNet, which allows for anonymous sharing of information to improve defenses against cargo theft. Marino said there are several theories why the number of instances dropped in 2014. Among them is the possibility that companies overall are getting better at deterring crime. “Years ago it was pharmaceuticals and tobacco that were top targeted and those industries really stepped up their game and the criminals moved on to other types of commodities,” he said. “The victims are getting tired of letting the criminals getting away with it.” He also said there has been a stepped up effort to get states to increase penalties for cargo-related crime, such as a 2013 law in New Jersey, and similar efforts to increase penalties that are underway in Georgia, Florida and Mississippi. “Generally speaking cargo theft is a low risk-high reward type of crime. It is much easier than dealing drugs or robbing a bank and it carries much less of a penalty, so by increasing the penalties and imposing longer sentences, it begins to resonate with the criminals,” Marino said. He described a number of angles on cargo crime visible in the data. One is that crime continues to be “significantly higher” on weekends. That is generally because loaded trailers are dropped off when distribution centers are closed and are thus vulnerable to being hauled off. Thefts are frequent at DCs in general where unsecured facilities are vulnerable to thieves driving in with a power unit and making off with a loaded trailer. “A criminal can make his way into the yard, they can drop and hook and they can quietly exit, or they can crash right through the fence, we’ve certainly seen that,” he said. Another frequent scenario is when the power unit and trailer are stolen together while a driver has left the truck alone to sleep in a hotel, use a bathroom or eat at a restaurant, Marino said. “That is when thieves will most often strike. They want to have a seamless, quiet pick and move. Quite often they will have a designated place they will bring it, in the woods, in a warehouse, or in a truck garage. They need to get it out of sight and often they will switch the cargo out from the original conveyance and move it into a secondary conveyance, so that power unit and that trailer aren’t hot” or being traced with all-points bulletins, he said.
(Journal of Commerce, 3/11/2015)  Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

National Transportation Board News Release- Acting Chairman Hart Announces Slight Drop in 2013 Transportation Fatalities in Most Categories; Rail Deaths Rise

Transportation fatalities in the United States decreased by 3 percent in 2013 from 2012, according to preliminary figures released today by the National Transportation Safety Board. Marine deaths also dropped in 2013, from 711 to 615. The vast majority of the fatalities, (560), occurred in recreational boating which also decreased. releases/Pages/PR20150202.aspx   Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that the marine insurance principle of uberrimae fidei (Utmost good faith) is an established principle of federal admiralty law. Plaintiff insurer issued a hull policy for defendant’s dry dock in the same amount as a different policy had proved several years previously. Defendant knew and failed to disclose that the condition of the dry dock had materially deteriorated in the interim. Such failure to disclose material facts violated the principle of uberrimae fidei and rendered the policy voidable by the insurer. Catlin (Syndicate 2003) v San Juan Towing, No. 13-2491 (1st Cir., February 6, 2015) [located at].
Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog


The big container ships that ply the world’s trade routes are growing ever larger, holding down the cost of ocean shipping, but also raising concerns among vessel operators, insurers and regulators about the potential for catastrophic accidents. The ships, designed to carry freight stowed in large metal containers, transport much of the world’s seaborne cargo, including manufactured goods and, increasingly, farm products. Their increasing size already is straining the unloading resources at some port facilities and – along with labor troubles – has contributed to major traffic snarls at the nation’s West Coast ports. Since the economic downturn, shipping lines have sought to stay competitive by running larger, more fuel-efficient container ships in major shipping lanes, reducing their cost per container, according to Noel Hacegaba, acting deputy director of the Port of Long Beach, Calif. Today, the newest and biggest container ships can carry around 18,000 twenty- foot-equivalent units – the industry’s capacity benchmark – but Dr. Hacegaba said in a study last year that industry watchers expect ships as large as 22,000 TEU to come into service by 2018, and that 24,000-TEU vessels are on the drawing board. The larger ships will further test the capacity of ports and canals and the skill of their captains and crews. “There is a world-wide shortage of qualified seamen to command these vessels,” said Andrew Kinsey, senior marine risk consultant at insurer Allianz SE’s Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty unit and a retired ship’s captain. Capt. Kinsey added that human error is a factor in most shipping accidents. Though there have been fewer such accidents in recent years, their cost has been rising. Ship groundings topped the roster of insured losses from 2009 to 2013, putting them ahead of fire, plane crashes and earthquakes, according to Allianz. “Cost cutting measures such as reducing crew numbers, overworking and lack of training” have exacerbated the risks, and could contribute to a shipping accident, said Jonathan Moss, partner and head of transport at law firm DWF in London. A major contributor to the recent losses was the $2 billion wreck and subsequent efforts to salvage the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which ran aground in Italian waters in 2012. The prospect of a similar incident involving a container vessel, which might carry 18,000 containers, “is one of our nightmares at the moment,” said Capt. Rahul Khanna, another Allianz marine-risk consultant. Capt. Khanna cited estimates by salvage operators that it could take two years just to remove the containers from such a large vessel, assuming it were possible at all. Even relatively small container ships can cause big problems. New Zealand’s environmental court is considering an application by the owner and insurer of the MV Rena, a container ship of less than 4,000 TEU, to abandon part of the wrecked vessel on the country’s Astrolabe Reef, where it ran aground in 2011. The vessel lost 900 containers and spilled 200 tons of heavy fuel oil into the sea, in what New Zealand’s environment minister described as the country’s biggest-ever environmental disaster. Government investigators attributed the accident to human error, including failure to follow standard practices for voyage planning, watchkeeping and taking control of the ship. The ship’s captain and navigator were jailed for several months. With bigger ships, the risks are magnified. “The bigger the ship, the bigger the challenge,” said Nick Brown, marine communications manager at Lloyds Register. Losses from the mysterious sinking of the 8,000-TEU MOL Comfort in 2013 imply a cost of more than $2 billion for the similar loss of a new-generation container vessel, according to reinsurance adviser Willis Re. The Comfort, which was only half full, went down off the coast of Yemen after it split in half. “A new ship, five years old, breaking in two, and not in severe sea states, raises concerns,” said Sean Dalton, head of marine for North America at reinsurer Munich Re. Insured losses from the Comfort disaster totaled $523 million, including about $83 million for the hull and $440 million for the cargo, according to estimates cited by Allianz. There is an element of uncertainty about how the new generation of container vessels will behave at sea because the ocean affects bigger ships differently than smaller ones. A phenomenon called “springing,” a vibration of the hull caused by waves becomes more serious as ships get longer, increasing metal fatigue. Another problem is “whipping,” which is caused by waves acting on the hull much like a finger plucking a violin string. But direct losses from a huge ship sinking or running aground, though potentially severe, could be dwarfed by the impact of a disabled ship blocking a major port or canal. A collision of two ships delayed traffic through the Suez Canal last September. Though the blockage was rapidly cleared and didn’t have much impact on costs, it illustrated what could happen. With much bigger ships, which offer less margin for error, the impact could have been much worse. “I would compare it to driving a giant SUV like a Ford Explorer or Suburban, versus driving a midsize car. It is probably OK on the highway, but on a small, local road, with two cars passing, size becomes a challenge. There are fewer areas you can go with the vessels, and they are more susceptible to effects of wind and wave,” said Munich Re’s Mr. Dalton. Also, not all ports can accommodate big ships, so the risk is concentrated among the few major ports that can. Insurers expect risk to trickle down as bigger ships displace smaller ones at these ports and smaller ships are redeployed to replace vessels with even less capacity. (Wall Street Journal, 2/8/2015)  Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.


The deliberate grounding and refloating of a cargo ship off the coast of England underlines the increasing complexity and cost of marine salvage operations. Refloating the Hoegh Osaka, which was carrying 1,400 luxury automobiles when it developed a severe list in January just outside the port of Southampton, England, followed several large marine losses in recent years, such as the grounding of the Costa Concordia cruise ship and the sinking of the MV Rena. The events have highlighted the delicate nature of salvage operations, the extensive costs involved and the need for highly skilled salvors, experts say. The Hoegh Osaka developed the list shortly after leaving port, and its pilot deliberately grounded the ship near the Isle of Wight to avoid greater damage. The ship was towed back into port at Southampton in late January. The situation exemplifies the increasing complexity of salvage operations and why costs are rising, said Andrew Kinsey, a former ship’s captain and now senior risk consultant of marine at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty in New York. Although the ship was saved, steps had to be taken to ensure it emitted no pollution and it did not run aground somewhere else, he said. Large salvage operations such as the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy in 2012 “really focused the mind,” said Sam Kendall-Marsden, syndicate director at the Standard P&I Club in London, the lead club on the protection and indemnity coverage for the ship. The highly complex salvage was carried out under great scrutiny from Italian authorities keen to avoid pollution, he said. In the wake of that and other large salvage and wreck removal operations, the International Group of P&I Clubs, the world’s 13 largest P&I clubs, produced an internal report. The report, Mr. Kendall-Marsen said, found key factors influencing the complexity and cost of salvage operations primarily were local authorities’ level of involvement, the location of the event, contractual considerations and bunker removal requirements, or the removal of fuel powering ships. “No one should be surprised to see a high level of involvement” by local authorities if a ship runs aground or sinks, he said. Another challenge facing salvage crews is finding someplace to move the stricken vessels, Mr. Kinsey said, which Mr. Kendall-Marsden said was an issue for the Costa Concordia. In addition, removing and finding a suitable place to store containers from a stricken vessel also is a key concern. “Megaships,” some of which can hold up to 19,000 20-foot-unit equivalent containers, also may have difficulty finding a port large enough to accommodate them, Mr. Kinsey said. (Business Insurance, 2/15/2015)
Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.


UK’s Marine & Coastguard Agency (MCA) has raised warnings about the hazards of counterfeit safety-critical equipment in the past, including copycat Hammar HRUs but another danger is expired equipment, which has been ‘refurbished’ and put on the market. CM Hammer, manufacturer of hydrostatic release units, HRUs, has now issued a warning regarding the dangers of such refurbished equipment being sold as new units following an alert by the MCA.

Says Hammar: “It has been brought to the attention of the MCA that refurbished Hammar H20 HRUs have been placed on board ships for use with liferafts. Such HRUs should not be refurbished and are not guaranteed to work in an emergency which could result in a serious risk to safety. If such a unit is discovered on board it should be withdrawn from service immediately”.

The HRUs found by the MCA have had their genuine labels removed and substandard labels attached. These labels erode away within a short time from installation.

In consultation with CM Hammar, an H20 HRU should be disposed of at the end of its service life which is 2 years. By putting a H20 HRU back into service, the unit may not operate and the release of either a liferaft or EPIRB in the event of a ship sinking is not guaranteed. This poses a serious risk to safety.

In order to ensure the safety of ships and the persons on board, CM Hammar recommends that H20 HRUs are procured from authorized distributors or service agents of liferafts to ensure genuine units are used.

All H20 items produced as from 24.02.2009 include a new, unique Holospot®  security marking. This marking will help distinguish the original Hammar quality from dangerous fake copies. In addition the company has moved the serial number and production date to a new position next to the ¬Holospot® security marking.

Please check that:

• The Holospot® shimmers in rainbow colours when put under direct light.
• The alphanumeric code is different on each product.
• The serial number and production date can be found to the left of the Holospot®.

Where concerns are raised regarding the authenticity of a product, CM Hammar should be contacted directly to verify the serial and holospot numbers.

Courtesy Maritime Alert Casebook


According to The Swedish Club, half of the costs of hull and machinery claims handled by the club have arisen due to navigational claims such as collisions, contacts or groundings – a figure that has remained steady over recent years despite improved technology and the widespread implementation of safety management systems. The Swedish Club, in its latest loss prevention publication, Navigational Claims, has revealed a number of interesting findings relating to claims made for hull and machinery damage between 2004–2013. It seems that many navigational claims still occur due to procedures not being properly followed by crew members, and officers not communicating with each other properly. In addition poor communication between both vessels and bridge team members and a lack of situational awareness all play a part. Navigational Claims details measures that can be adopted to help prevent these incidents occurring in the first place, such as having clear, meaningful procedures for officers and crew to adhere to and, more importantly, ensuring they understand the consequences of not following them properly. “Being able to identify the reasons for navigational claims is invaluable for masters and shipowners,” says Lars Malm, Director, Strategic Business Development and Client Relationship for The Swedish Club. “This report shows that most claims can be prevented by simply ensuring that all crew follow proper procedures and consult with each other before making major decisions.” The club also stresses in the report that the implementation of an effective training program for officers is vital especially in relation to effective communication and risk assessment. Often risks increase when sailing in congested waters, dense traffic or close to land, and this needs to be acknowledged and appropriate measures adopted. The thirty-four page report uses case studies to demonstrate how navigational accidents can occur. These examples detail the cause of the accident and how it could have been prevented with proper planning and better lines of communication. As is so often the case, there is usually a chain of errors leading up to the accident and these case studies highlight the most common ones so masters can review their own practices and eradicate any mistakes before a serious incident occurs. (Maritime Executive, 2/12/2015)  Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.


Please be aware the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regularly releases marine accident reports following their investigations.  Here is the link to the website: AIMU participated recently on a conference call with NTSB, who is interested in our members’ feedback on these reports.  Please share your comments with AIMU.  Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued the report of its investigation of a fire on board the fish processing vessel Juno while moored at a pier in Westport, Washington on 28 December 2013.  The fire caused extensive damage to the vessel.  The master incurred minor injuries.  The probable cause of the fire was a short circuit in a space heater, combined with improper stowage of flammable materials in the vicinity, the vessel’s lack of structural fire protection, and the use of combustible materials in interior finishes.  MAB 15-05 [located at] (2/27/15).  Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog


The US Coast Guard issued a safety alert stating that one crew member and two technicians recently perished in an engineroom fire. While the primary fire from a parted fuel supply line was quickly extinguished, a secondary fire involving cable bundles was not. The alert reminds stakeholders of the importance of taking action on engine manufacturer technical bulletins; having a personal exit plan from machinery spaces; and performing detailed engineering space inspections. Safety Alert 4-15 [located at]. (3/11/15).  Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog

Information regarding a fire extinguisher recall.
Courtesy  SAMS International Office

youtube maintenance resources

USCG Reimbursable Standard Rates

The US Coast Guard released its updated Reimbursable Standard Rates schedule. This is the rate that the Coast Guard will charge third parties for use of its assets (personnel and equipment) for such activities as oil spill response. COMDTINST 7310.1P [located at]
Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.


Poem of the Month

courtesy Ted Crosby, NAMS-CMS


With tops’ls set and bulwarks wet and breakers hard a’lee
The old Alaska Packers’ fleet is putting out to sea.
Their decks a’lift to driven spray, as south’ard off the Gate
They roll their course for gray-green leagues to seek
the winds of fate.

A’down the last horizon-beyond the steamer lanes,
Where smoke and steel are sacrilege, and only God

There is a world that reaches back to days that used to be,
The golden days when tall ships were masters of
the sea.

Again-perhaps the last time-they plow the off-shore track
From the fogs of Point Bonita to the rocks of Kodiak.
Ye ghosts of Spanish galleons and clipper ships with tea-
Dip colors!-Your survivors are passing from the sea.

I have watched a thinning line of heroes marching by,
And I have heard of circus horses left behind to die-
But I think there is not anything so glad or sad to me
As the old Alaska Packers’ fleet a’putting out to sea.

By James A. Quinby
The Street And The Sea



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