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Drugs and the Sea Don’t Mix

Credit: CHIRP

By The Maritime Executive 03-10-2020 06:31:35

The CHIRP Charitable Trust has published its latest bulletin: Maritime Feedback 58.

Feedback 58 is the first bulletin of 2020 and contains reports on drug use in the fishing industry, fatigue in the harbor towage sector, the suitability of women’s PPE and command decision making. 

“We think you will agree this is an interesting and varied edition of Maritime FEEDBACK, and we are extremely grateful to our reporters for sharing their experiences,” says Captain Jeff Parfitt, Director Maritime. “Please do contact us if you have an incident to report.

“We begin with an alarming account of drug abuse on some fishing vessels, but it is unlikely the problem is confined to only one sector of our industry. The problems which may result from impairment due to drugs or alcohol are obvious, so please let us know if you have had a similar experience. By alerting our readers to the dangers, you might save lives,” says Parfitt.

“We follow this with another example of a failure to comply with Colregs, this time a simple crossing situation which could have led to disaster, then we consider the problems of fatigue in part of the towage sector, where traditional ways of manning the tugs have become inappropriate due to increasing workload and reduced manning. The report reminds us that, just because something ‘has always been done this way’, it may no longer be safe if underlying conditions have changed.”

There is an interesting discussion about what constitutes a ship from the perspective of safe manning, and an article about suitable PPE for female mariners. “This is a topic we raised in our Annual Digest for 2019, and it has now been taken up by Solent University, who are asking us all to complete a short survey. We hope you will contribute to this important study,” says Parfitt.

“Changing tack once again, we discuss a classic case of improper slinging of a load, then learn about a case of poor communication and decision making – vital lessons we can all benefit from.

“We conclude with our new section – ‘Pilot’s corner’ – which contains an excellent article written by a senior pilot, and a report about a pilot ladder which was not even secured to the ship which rigged it. The story is almost unbelievable, but we have the photograph to prove it. We hope you will benefit from the lessons in this excellent selection of reports and, until next time, stay safe!”

The bulletin is available here.