President’s Corner December 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

December is right around the corner as I write this.  We have had our first cold snap in Houston, Texas.  The temperature went into the high 40’s.  I know many of you laugh at that as a cold snap but it was 80 on Thanksgiving and 48 on the Saturday after.

Since the last letter, there have been many things changing in NAMSGlobal.  I am finishing my second and final term as the President of NAMSGlobal and will be rotating off at the 54th Annual National Marine Conference in March.  The election ballots are all due this week and we should know who will be the next President and Vice President very quickly.

As a reminder (so don’t be shocked), during the fall Board of Directors meeting, the board voted for an increase in the dues to $500 per annum as the budget is not balanced.  Due to attrition from retirements and lack of maintaining their CE credits, we are below the needed 300 members to maintain the $450 in dues.  As the membership grows again, we will monitor the situation going forward.

This month’s shout out goes to the teams working on the relocation of NAMSGlobal Home office and the team responsible for guiding the BOD through the recent issues with the IAMWS.  Greg Gant, Conrad Breit, Chris Bowman, Ian Cairns and Dick Frenzel took the lead on the IAMWS issue while David Pereira, Dick Frenzel, Greg Gant and Ian Cairns drove the relocation possibilities.  Thanks to them for the hard work.  We will be getting back to you on a final decision on the Houston location for the home office.

I have requested the IAMWS BOD resign except for the two NAMSGlobal representatives.  They have chosen to go a different path and we have chosen not to support that move.  We are evaluating what to do with the corporation (IAMWS) and how and if we proceed down the Path that that group was working on.  Greg Gant is still hard at work with the Warranty subcommittee as was agreed at the last BOD meeting, so we are not giving up on Warranty surveying.  Please let Greg know if you are interested in supporting him in this endeavor.

Please get your regional meeting notices to Greg Weeter/Evie Hobbs in time for publication in the next E-News.

Looking forward, the 54th Annual National Marine Conferencewill be in Savannah, Georgia on March 6 to 8, 2016 at the Hilton Savannah Desoto Hotel, Savannah, Georgia.  I want to thank John Venneman and Greg and Reggie Gant for their work on what promises to be another fantastic program.  If you are interested in speaking or know a speaker, please let John know as the program is filling fast.  The special room rate is available until February 1, 2015 so don’t wait too long to register.

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
Andrew J. Minster NAMS-CMS / H&M E. Gulf Conrad Breit
Jasper Walsh Apprentice / Y&S N. England Anthony Theriault
Nathan A. Drabik Apprentice / Cargo C. Atlantic John Dott
John Baird (up-grading) NAMS-CMS / Y&S N. Pacific David Jackson
Brad Gilman NAMS-CMS / Cargo W. Gulf Ralph Perera


Crossed The Bar

Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep, Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark;
For though from out our bourne of Time and Place The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crossed the bar.




William Tye

NAMS Member, William Tye, Virginia Beach, VA., died December 6, 2015.
Bill joined NAMS in 1998.


Upcoming Educational Events

January 28 and 29 – Ft. Lauderdale Florida

Refit International Exhibition & Conferenceis a trade show and technical seminar series focused on improving yacht refits. Join every stakeholder in the comprehensive refit process — captains, owners, boatyard professionals, project managers, surveyors, designers and stylists.  For details call Phone: 207-450-9943 Email: [email protected]

February 9 and 10, 2016 – Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Knox Marine Annual Yacht Claims Conference
Knox Marine Consultants is proud to announce that their 23rd Annual Yacht Claims Conference will be held at the Lauderdale Yacht Club.  The session topics change each year. This year’s topics for the conference are posted on our web site so that you can see the type of great topics we’ll be addressing this year.Visit Knox Marine’s web site for the latest in conference news

6 – 8 March 2016 – Savannah, Georgia

NAMSGlobal 54th Annual National Marine Conference.
The NAMS Conference will be 6– 8 March 2016 at the Hilton Savannah Desoto, 15 East Liberty Street, Savannah, GA. 31401. Hotel reservations: 877.280.0751 or 912.232.9000 and ask for the NAMS Conference discounted rate, $159.00, plus taxes. Event details will be posted on the NAMS website as they become available

March 17 – 20, 2016 – Chicago, Illinois

American Society of Appraisers ME215
Performing Machinery and Equipment Valuations for Financial Reporting Purposes
Unless the MTS appraiser knows what to expect and the proper standards to follow, they may be in for quite an unpleasant experience and much frustration. This course will outline the applicable standards, what the role of the MTS appraiser plays as part of the valuation team, a review of various valuation techniques and how to handle the numerous questions arising from the audit review process. Please Note: This is an advanced course that assumes students are familiar with basic appraisal techniques.CE: 27 instructional hours
Price: $1,020 Member; $1,170 Non-Member.  Call 800-272-8258 to register.

American Institute of Marine Underwriters EDUCATION CALENDAR – 2015

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

Job Opportunity

VeriClaim Inc. is pleased to announce that it is expanding its cargo surveying practice, nationwide.  If you are an experienced cargo surveyor who is self motivated and technically competent, and are interested in perks like subsidized 401K and subsidized medical insurance that a large company can provide, please send a resume to VP of Marine, Ronnie Adcock @ [email protected] 
Submitted by John R. Venneman NAMS-CMS, IAMWS-CMWS


NAMSWorthy Articles Of Interest

Australia – for lack of a securing pin

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued the report of its investigation of the collision of the bulk carrier Royal Pescadores with the tanker Da Heng Shan on 8 May 2014 in the Gage Roads Anchorage, Fremantle. At about 0530 that morning in adverse weather conditions, the securing pin worked free from the Royal Pescadores’ port anchor chain stopper bar. The windlass brake could not hold the load, the cable ran out to its bitter end and broke loose, setting the ship adrift. Wind pushed the ship into the anchored Da Heng Shan thirteen minutes later, damaging both ships. The probable cause of the incident was inadequate maintenance of the Royal Pescadores’ anchoring equipment, failure to make routine rounds on the forecastle, and failure to keep the ship’s main engine in an appropriate state of readiness for the adverse weather conditions. MO-2014-003 [located at] (10/13/15).
Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog

Book Review

Alexander Klose, The Container Principle–How a Box Changes the Way We Think (2015), The MIT Press, ISBN 978-0-262-02857-8

This book is a translation from German (and quite a good one), scholarly but also with a lightness of touch, even humor. It examines the container as a central object of the modern world and takes a view of our civilization in the light of the container.

Although the author is not a transport economist or former master mariner, he does a thorough job tracing the origins, history and  development of the container.  He argues that our era ought to  be defined as the container period of history.  He ponders the role of information, time, standardization and rationalization repeatedly, as he looks at how we live, build, consume and reform the world we live and work in. Throughout there is a skeptical eye on the container revolution and a rather fine discursive approach. For example there is a very interesting examination of the varieties  of amphorae in Roman times. The chapter on computers is thought-provoking and the equivalency between the container and modern unitised building ideas repays careful reading.

The author knows his stuff–he can tell the difference between  euro pallets and the kind, which will fit into an ISO container. He understands the tension between the ISO sizes and the many varieties of containers used by lines like Matson, which do not correspond with the global standard.

The book is certainly no linear history of unit load transportation but instead a long meditation on the meaning of the container era we are living through. It is the sort of book you need to read  rather carefully. It is full of ideas and examples–the illustrations are in a class of their own and many seem to have ironic undertones.
Klose is described as a curator at the German Federal Cultural Foundation.  His book, now in English ought to bring education, delight and insight to readers around the world who wonder how we have arrived at this place in history.

Alexander Klose’s contact details are:- [email protected] 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]>

USCG – towing vessel radiotelephone

The USCG Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise posted a new FAQ [located at] regarding when a towing vessel is required to have its bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone station inspected and obtain a bridge-to-bridge certificate. (10/26/15).
Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog

Fire on board containership apparently caused by charcoal

A major P & I Club reports there was a fire on board a containership apparently caused by a shipment of charcoal. The containerized bagged cargo was loaded in Walvis Bay, Namibia. Approximately 12 hours after departing port heading toward Cape Town, the master notices smoke coming from a container on loaded on deck with fire quickly spreading to adjacent containers with the same commodity.

This is the first known incident involving charcoal from Namibia; authorities indicate that certificates were presented to the vessel that the cargo had passed the test criteria for self-heating and was described as “non-hazardous.”  Stowage on deck facilitated offloading so the Club states this is the recommended location; moreover, the containers should not be stacked more higher than the 2nd tier and preferably with easy access should an emergency arise. Finally, the containers should be checked regularly by the crew.

The International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC) classifies charcoal in their “B” Group meaning that it possesses a chemical hazard. The Code entry goes on to say that charcoal may spontaneously ignite and contact with water may cause self-heating. At the same time, the IMSBC requires that the cargo be exposed to the weather for not less than 13 days prior to shipment and that it should be kept as dry as practicable with moisture content less than 10 percent.
Courtesy Chubb Marine Underwriters’ Loss Control NewsBlog

USCG – Foreign Passenger Vessel Examiner Course

The USCG Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise (CSNCOE) puts on the Foreign Passenger Vessel Examiner Course [located at] three times each year for its members and employees as well as a limited number of cruise industry stakeholders. (10/21/15). Industry Members may apply:  If you wish to attend a course please send a request directly to the Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise at [email protected] providing your name, contact information, position, company representing, and preferred date if known.
Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog


Freight crime on Europe’s roads almost doubled in the third quarter of the year, according to new data released by Freight Watch International (FWI). The security intelligence company recorded an 89% increase in incidents compared with the third quarter of 2014, with criminals also showing a growing willingness to use violence. “Whereas violent tactics were usually confined to certain countries (France, Italy, Russia, South Africa), FWI noticed a worrying trend in the third quarter of 2015. This seems to indicate that criminals are using violence even in places where it is not a usual feature of cargo theft – such as Germany, where two truck robberies were reported in which drivers were injured, or the UK, where five hijackings were reported in third quarter of 2015 alone compared with just two in the whole of 2014,” it said. Altogether, 443 incidents were reported to FWI during the period, with the most in Germany. Its 98 crimes made up almost a quarter of the European total, followed by the UK and Belgium. And theft of food and beverages has overtaken electronics to become the most stolen cargo category, with clothing and shoes coming third.

It would appear that the majority of freight crime remains opportunistic, with pilferage from trailers the most common form – principally at unsecured parking facilities or motorway service stations; mostly at night while the driver slept and achieved by cutting the canvas or breaking open the back door. The second highest category of crime was facility theft – burglaries from warehouses – followed by full truckloads. In fourth place were hijackings, which numbered 43, around 10% of all crimes, with France seeing the highest number in the period, followed by Italy and Spain. However, the report does single out rising violent crime in the UK, which saw just two violent attacks on drivers during the whole of 2014, compared with the five attacks during the third quarter of this year alone. The report says: “While there is some way to go until the UK matches countries such as Italy and Spain, this is a very worrying trend, as violence has been largely absent from the UK cargo theft scene until now.

Two incidents occurred in north-west England and the remaining three occurred in the West Midlands, with attacks on drivers at unsecured parking increasing in these areas; a trend FWI expected to be mirrored nationwide “due to the evenly spread risk zones along major motorways. “In many cases, the drivers are assaulted after checking on a noise heard around their shipment, while parked in an unsecured parking area. FWI SCIC recommends avoiding unsecured parking areas or lay-bys. If no secure parking is available, park at a heavy-traffic area with CCTV and the ability to restrict access to the shipment, e.g. reversing close to a bollard in a hard-body trailer.”

It also notes, rather bizarrely, that while electronics are a favorite of criminals throughput Europe, in the UK they make up just 3% of stolen goods, with household goods much more favored. “UK cargo criminals are stealing items that many UK citizens would normally purchase at supermarkets or similar (home & garden, clothing & shoes, food & drinks, and personal care combined were 44% of the total theft types, and 75% of single product type thefts). This risk is a unique fixture of the UK cargo theft market, and the trend appears to be solidifying as time goes on.” (Business Insurance, 10/26/2015)
Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Australia – lifting wire ropes

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a notice reminding operators and masters of their responsibility to ensure the safe operation of lifting appliances and associated equipment, including lifting wire ropes. Marine Notice 18-2015 [located at] (10/30/15).  Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog

U.K. Marine Accident Investigation Branch issues report on RO/RO engine room fire

Fire damage to the engine room

OCTOBER 29, 2015 — The U.K. Marine Accident Investigation Branch has issued its report on a fire that broke out on a P&O Ferries RO/RO on September 29, 2014.

As the 1991-built RO/RO ferry, the Pride of Canterbury, was approaching Calais, says MAIB, it became apparent that the starboard controllable pitch propeller was not responding, so the starboard shaft was declutched and the two starboard main engines were stopped.

Prevailing weather conditions were such that the master was content to proceed using one shaft and one bow thruster. As the ship approached its berth, a pipework joint in the starboard controllable pitch propeller system ruptured, spraying oil on to the exhaust uptakes, starting a fire.

The main engine room was evacuated, the general emergency alarm was sounded and the passengers were mustered at emergency stations. The ferry berthed safely, the fire was extinguished using the ship’s Hi-fog system and a fire hose, and the passengers and cargo were disembarked normally.

The investigation determined that the back pressure valve in the starboard controllable pitch propeller hydraulic system had jammed shut, resulting in the return line oil pressure rising to the point where a flanged pipework joint failed. The failed joint, along with others in the system, was not shielded to prevent a spray of oil in the event of joint failure. The back pressure valve was found to be worn and had not been tested for functionality during its 23 years of service.

Safety issues emerging from the incident were:

  • The potential for the whole controllable pitch propeller hydraulic system to experience high pressure had not been adequately considered.
  • The method for annually testing the controllable pitch propeller system’s back pressure and safety relief valves was not specified.
  • The lack of a high pressure alarm prevented immediate awareness of high pressure in the system.
  • An effective joint shield could have prevented the spray of oil onto the hot engine uptake.
  • The storage of combustible materials near the two main engines allowed the fire to spread.


P&O Ferries has completed a program of modifications to Pride of Canterbury and its three sister ships as they attend refit.

The CPP system was designed and manufactured by LIPS, which became part of Wartsila in 2002. Wartsila has issued a technical bulletin specifying back pressure valves should be replaced after 15 years and the vessel’s classification society, Lloyd’s Register, has been recommended to propose to the International Association of Classification Societies a unified requirement for high pressure alarms to be fitted in controllable pitch propeller systems.

Download the full report HERE  Courtesy Marine Log

Checkfire Marine Electric Detection and Control Systems

The Coast Guard has issued Marine Safety Information Bulletin 14-15, which provides information about the acceptability of Checkfire Marine Electric Detection and Control Systems on uninspected towing vessels. The MSIB can be read and downloaded at:
CourtesyU. S Coast Guard Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise

USCG – unapproved lights on vessels

The US Coast Guard posted an alert regarding unapproved lights on recreational and commercial vessels. Particularly since the advent of light emitting diodes (LEDs), lights in addition to required navigation lights are being installed on vessels. Navigation lights must meet regulatory requirements relating to intensity, color, and location. All other lights on vessels must not be mistaken for navigation lights, not impair the visibility or distinctive character of navigation lights, and not interfere with the operator’s ability to maintain a proper lookout. Safety Alert 10-15 [located at] (11/4/15).  Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog

Coast Guard Maritime Safety Alert – Dockside Safety Issues 12-15

The maritime industry and specifically waterfront facilities can present some unusual hazards to those who perform the wide array and variety of work associated with the business of shipping. To illustrate that point, a pick-up truck was recently dragged into the harbor by a mooring line that was being hauled in by a ship’s mooring winch. The shore-side line handler that was using the truck to assist with the evolution narrowly escaped injury and possible death by quickly jumping out of the truck before it was dragged off the terminal. In this case, the ship was preparing to depart the port and the mooring line messenger was secured to the truck’s tow hitch. It is a common shore gang line handling practice used in order to assist working with heavy mooring lines. When the line was thrown off the bollard, the ship began to haul it in with the messenger still attached to the truck.
Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog


Poem of the Month

courtesy Ted Crosby, NAMS-CMS


The first time I signed as mate, the Old Man says to me,
“Don’t forget that cargo damage comes from Perils of the Sea.”
And so through all my years of sailin’ ships in sun and fog,
I know the proper answers when I’m writin’ up my log.
Did some rivets get corroded in Starboard Number Four?
Did we stow our reefer cargo on the fire-room floor?
Don’t worry, Lad. The log will show the working of my plan.
I can multiply the Beaufort Scale as well as any man.
So if your cargo suffers little mishaps such as these-
If we stow your tea and coffee in with Gorgonzola cheese
And the slight resultant odor causes claims from consignees,
I can rouse the vasty deep and magnify the vagrant breeze.
Such damage, Lad, is always due to Perils of the Seas.

By James A. Quinby
The Street And The Sea



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