June, 2005 – Editor`s Page

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From the Editor`s Desk

The more complex the ships are, the more complex the control systems get into , the bigger the risk of systems failure, higher the risk leading to serious accidents, more particularly caused due to seafarers manned with ill-conceived knowledge, from the unregulated shipping arena, being opportunistic, this disinterested lot appearing to make fast money not understanding the basic alarms itself, the least to make them manual.

The need for a uniform maritime education in our International Shipping. How could “off the shelf certificates of Panama” or other FOC vessels be compared or equated to that of the certificate of competency (COC) of national flags UK, Australia, India etc. The blame is also on some national maritime administration, in its inability to pick up qualified and experienced lot, to technically advice the bureaucrats, at the helm of affairs. Needs a review, with serious consideration.

Dependability of Shipboard systems can only be established developing an I. S.O. standard of acceptance. The need for a Centralized Data Bank by the world body, with feedbacks be encouraged in this innovated world of computer-age, same be collated, assimilated with timely corrective actions, for optimized utilization, to ensure utmost safety out at sea, towards humanity, in the welfare of the seafarers and protection of the cargo, vessel and the environment. The Indian approach, to the implementation of standards and codes is noteworthy, it follows a systematic process, lacks in the maritime discipline, do have established evidence to prove the same. The standards process consists of the initial recognition, identification and taking on record of standards and codes in relevant areas. Shipping being an international business, one should learn to compete, being knowledgeable, implementing the best, valuing time. Competitiveness is a trait. As such, it can be learned. Learning occurs by reading about it, enacting it, and internalizing it as a value, upgrading in quality benchmark, by learning to think and act adaptively.

We been seeing, shipping companies coming under increasing pressure, to reduce the risk of groundings / collisions to zero, and navigation technology taking steps of leaps and bounds, to reduce the risk. It is needless to mention that ways and means be made to meet the critical needs, which are imperative. Quality for cost-effectiveness may be reasonably compromised, meeting the basic operational and maintenance needs, but to never compromise on safety and health of the seafarers onboard, nor their security and the environment. Risk Management concept for ship`s security are defined both for SOLAS chapter II and ISPS Code.

The ISPS Code and the US CSI (Container Security Initiative) and C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) measures are cutting cargo crime according to mutual intermodal insurer TT Club. The Club`s Andrew Kemp, addressing a recent conference in Asia on the topic of”terminal security – cost or investment”, suggested that shippers and port facility operators should appreciate the many benefits of improved supply chain security and contended that the programmers originally conceived as anti-terrorist measures are, in fact helping to tackle an existing crime problem that ports in the past had been able to ignore. He said:”Before 9/11, the price of security, in terms of both financial cost and perhaps a loss of operational efficiency, was justified by the decrease in the potential for theft,” said Mr Kemp.”In other words, there was a point – lying somewhere between the theft of a box of paper clips and the theft of a container – where the terminal operator should begin to be concerned.”However after the devastating 2001 attacks in the US, the risk of terrorism and the potential of the maritime transport system as a target or a vehicle for future attacks has spurred progress in developing internationally agreed security measures on the agenda at the various meetings planned with key players from the public and private sector.

My valued readers are requested to voice their views, with valid feedbacks with an urge to create, to innovate, to express our spirit in totally new ways, is as old as human kind and as natural as waking up in the morning. Innovation is perhaps the most defining behavior of human beings. Web-based training can be the only answer to futuristic learning, as it provides easy accessibility to the pool of ever expanding knowledge, this is in particular, while viewing the precious earnedtime ashore of the seafarers, while they need to be with their near and dear ones.

However,”natural ability without extended education has more often attained glory and virtue than higher education without natural ability.” … Cicero. The need for imparting proper management education to the senior floating officers (Captain, Chief Engineer, Chief Officer and the Second Engineer) by the shipping company to equip them with the required conceptual, interpersonal and team skills for decision making and its implementation, by identifying the needs and adjusting towards such needs.

Dr. Chandran Peechulli,
Ex.Chief Engineer(Marine), G.M.(Tech) Crossworld Shipping.
Managing Editor & Publisher-“MARINE WAVES” International Maritime Newsletter.

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