Saturday, January 24, 2015

BOOK REVIEW : MARITIME ERROR MANAGEMENT

MARITIME ERROR MANAGEMENT: HOW TO ARREST THE ACCIDENT CAUSATION MATRIX  

American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies   

Image Photo PD "Land's End Shipwreck" 
  We have a special affinity for this book. In our AUTHORITATIVE LITERATURE SECTION we provide as free to read on line E-books some of the American Admiralty Bureau's COMMENTATORS and GUIDES. We are still in the process of updating these works and scanning them in but at least three of these titles are available to read on line. These works of the American Admiralty Bureau explain various maritime "causation matrices" commonly litigated in the admiralty courts. The COMMENTATORS particularly, are forensic in nature and designed to help the legal advocate accurately uncover the interactive matrix of factors that give rise to marine accidents. MARITIME ERROR MANAGEMENT   (2011) by Kings Point Alumni Geoffrey Gill (class of '68) is ,by contrast, more preventative in nature. 

 Gill is an experienced licensed deck officer and a maritime attorney. In this work he objectively considers cognitive, organizational, and operational factors proven to contribute maritime accidents. He incorporates research from other safety -critical domains as well as from his 40 year affiliation with the American maritime industry to create the book.  The book provides a focused overview of of present day maritime safety issues and suggests risk management strategies that would be effective from the both the boardroom and the Wheelhouse. Here is where Gill's work compliments but differs from the COMMENTATOR and GUIDE series of the American Admiralty Bureau. Where the multi -volume COMMENTATOORS and GUIDES address the the identification of the causation matrix post accident; Gill's work while less specific on commonly litigated subjects, addresses prevention. Gills work should be read not only by admiralty attorneys by by corporate executives and ship's officers. 

 Subjects covered include the evolution of of modern maritime safety philosophy, dealing with maritime risk, bridge resource management, the nature of error, situational awareness and decision making, regulatory violations, technology, eNavigation, and organizational management and failure in regards to maritime risk. 

 Available from Amazon ISBN-13: 978-0870336263  ISBN-10: 0870336266  MARITIME ERROR MANAGEMENT . Consider also: 

          AAB's AUTHORITATIVE LITERATURE SECTION

Thursday, January 22, 2015

AROUND 60 BC ROMANS TRIED TO HAUL A VAST GREEK TREASURE IN A GIANT SHIP BACK TO ROME

American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies   

EXPLORING THE TITANIC OF THE ANCIENT WORLD: 

                                           

 Scientist Search The Wine-Dark Seas For The Remains Of A Ship That Sank Over 2,000 Years Ago Carrying What Might Be the World's First Computer: The Smithsonian has the complete story. 


Beneath the cliff, under 180 feet of churning water, are the remains of a ship that smashed against Pinakakia’s rocks 2,000 years ago. When this wreck was discovered in 1900, it yielded a priceless cargo—Greek statues, glassware, jewelry and a sophisticated device for modeling the cosmos so revolutionary that the science fiction writer and futurist Arthur C. Clarke later argued it could have sparked the Industrial Revolution more than a millennium ago. If the Greeks had been able to build on the technology, Clarke said, “By this time we would not merely be pottering around on the moon. We would have reached the nearer stars.” As the first wreck ever investigated, the Antikythera ship, as it’s now known, caught the world’s attention and gave birth to the field of marine archaeology. "

 Today modern marine archaeologists are again exploring and recovering objects from the wreck. The "Holy Grail" of the search would be the missing parts of the clock work like "computer" found in 1900. But the sea does not give up its secrets easily. The Smithsonian  Magazine carries the complete story;


Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/exploring-titanic-ancient-world-180953977/#zZfxoacRVUgZoyJ8.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

TRENDS WE'RE WATCHING IN THE YEAR OF THE SHEEP

TEN TRENDS TO WATCH IN THE YEAR OF THE SHEEP PD

 

"Photo by Michael Maggs, Wikimedia Commons"



Editor's note: 2015 Chinese New Year Day is on February 19, 2015 in China Standard Time. The Chinese New Year Day is the new moon day of the first lunar month. The new moon time of the first lunar month is at 7:48 A.M. of February 19, 2015 in China Standard Time. The Chinese New Year Day is from Chinese Lunar Calendar.

During the first week of the new year in 2013 we posted a Wall Street Journal article lead in and link. When the first quarter of the year ended we  observed that both the Wall Street Journal and our own giant catfish, Namazu were proving correct on their predictions for China.  2013 in China was the YEAR OF THE SNAKE and as we started the final quarter of the Year of the Snake things were certainly slithering along as predicted.

"The Wall Street Journal published a highly interesting article  on January 4, 2013, for those of you who follow our continuing series How Far Will The Dragon Swim. In the article, the writer describes ten trends to watch for in China during 2013.

                                                             
   

                                                         Dragon Vector Art 1 by samuraiagency - Free Dragon Tattoo Picture from     Well we watched those trends and we continued to watch through 2014 as more and more international observers began to come to many of the same conclusions as our  analyst the Great Namazu published early in 2012.   But many of you have only been following us recently, so the Wall Street Journal article mentioned will help bring you up to speed in just a couple of pages and nicely summarize some of our earlier maritime concerns and observations about China in a neat listing of ten trends. Number 8 of the Wall Street Journal  feature; "China will continue to be the number one builder of war ships in the world." .  As the Year Of the Sheep  (2015) opens this prediction is holding true. The Journal also recognized that China will take an "even more aggressive stance against its coastal neighbors in its drive to turn the East , South China and Yellow Seas into Chinese lakes."  This prediction held true throughout 2013. By the end of 2014 China had institutionalized the maritime pressure it is applying to its neighbors in the form of the fielding of a large and aggressive "Coast Guard". However  as Japan and the Philippines have not surrendered their territories and are engaged in responsive military build ups the Chinese have downshifted into what might be called a "Salami Slice" strategy cutting out small pieces of their neighbor's territory in small actions that seem less than acts of war. Of course in the end the cumulative effect is that the Dragon eats the whole salami. 

  One prediction appears now to have been a bit too conservative. The Wall Street Journal predicted that during 2013 details of China's proposed aircraft carrier would become known. Indeed the air craft carrier was completed and is in operation with more to follow. The link below will take you to all ten predictions:

http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2013/01/04/key-trends-to-watch-in-the-year-of-the-snake/tab/p 


  Below is our summary of the trends that we were watching in 2013-14 and our notes as we progress into 2015.

1. China will continue shifting onto a slower economic growth track. Indeed this was visible in 2013 and continues into 2015. China is in no free fall and won't go the way of Greece any time soon, but growth is slowing down for a variety of reasons. 

2. Rising wages and a shortage of new young workers will continue to reduce China’s global manufacturing competitiveness. But that's not all affecting China's position in manufacturing. 3 D printing combined with "just in time inventory control", robotics, and reductions in transport costs by producing things closer to markets is bringing manufacturing back to Western nations including the United States.

3. China’s demand for new housing will remain weak. The weakness in the Chinese housing market is not so much a real lack of demand so much as prices out of line with typical Chinese family incomes.

4. Corruption  will receive added attention from China’s new leadership. Indeed corruption discovered and prosecuted within the Chinese armed forces led to a number high profile suicides by some high ranking officers recently. 

5. Chinese investors will continue to seek additional assets and opportunities abroad, particularly in North America.. The Chinese are currency manipulators and want to displace the U.S. dollar. But the heavy Chinese investment in the U.S. continues and that continues to cause delay in the Chinese governments plan to ruin the dollar. Whether holding real estate  or dollars, the immediate collapse of the U.S. dollar has not been in China's best interest since 2013. 

6. Chinese investors in Iraq and Afghanistan will be increasingly responsible for providing their own security as the U.S. and NATO continue reducing their military presence in both countries. We have heard nothing about how Chinese nationals in the parts of Iraq over run by ISIS have made out. .

7. Facing growing internal challenges, China’s new leaders may adopt a more nationalistic foreign policy, particularly vis-à-vis regional disputes.. Its been two steps forward and one step back since 2013. But progress has been generally forward on being more aggressive, but its a sort of passive aggression. China does something aggressive bringing things to the brink of military exchanges of fire, then does something seemingly conciliatory. Things calm down a bit and then the Dragon breaths fire again. 
8. China will be the world’s single largest builder of warships. True in the Year of the Snake (2013) and true today (2015) in the Year of the Sheep.

9. Details of China’s next aircraft carriers will emerge. The Chinese are operating one carrier now but their skills are still visibly inadequate. Their plans for 5 carrier tasks forces are published now but there doesn't seem to be a rush due to the need to build the skill set and work force and declining revenues with the economic slowdown.

10. The Y-20 transport aircraft will go into production.   A successful test flight of the Y-20 confirmed that China is now able to fabricate an air frame that could serve as the basis for both a large transport aircraft and a relatively capable aerial-refueling tanker or airborne early-warning platform. Large aerial tankers and transports are important to Chinese plans for force projection beyond their region. 

 The Year of the Sheep is shaping up as a slow speed continuance of 2013-2014. Chinese aggressive plans appear unchanged but the money to fuel them is a bit more scarce than the Dragon would have liked.






                                           



 

Friday, January 16, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: :LOOSE ENDS

 LOOSE ENDS, A Collection of Short Stories of a Mysterious Nature by Marion "Tom" Woodward ( Royalties donated to the Wounded Warrior Project)

American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies (Attention EU Visitors , possible "cookie" encounter ahead) 

   A collection of short stories, each with a a twist of mystery. Some Humor, some romance. This anthology is a eclectic mix of stories from a variety of places and features such characters as detectives, medical examiners, lawyers and only one Merchant Mariner. The relative shortage of marine characters is a bit strange given that the author "Tom" Woodward is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. We think this anthology is entertaining and probably deserves a spot in the sailors sea bag for those longer deployments and voyages. Its' relative small amount of maritime content signals that it is also suitable for a broader audience. The link below will take you to the vendor point for the paper back, it is also available for much less in a Kindle version. We are stretching a bit on reviewing this one in that it is not truly a maritime book despite the author's maritime background, but since the royalties are dedicated to the Wounded Warrior Project  we definitely wanted to bring it to your attention.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

INTRODUCTION TO SIGNALING AND COMMUNICATIONS

U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Eric Lippmann -  USN: ID 020623-N-5329L-007 
FLASHING LIGHT SIGNALING IS ONE WAY THAT THE MORSE CODE IS UTILIZED IN THE MARITIME WORLD.
  

Phpotographer’s Mate 1st Class Greg Messier  USN Photo ID 020118-N-6520M-011 

American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies   

SEMAPHORE IS A RAPID FORM OF FLAG SIGNALING THAT WORKS BETWEEN VESSELS THAT HAVE A MUTUAL LANGUAGE AND USE THE ROMAN ALPHABET.
Semaphore Signaling In A Minute https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZRWNCTQBb8
Whether you are a naval professional, merchant mariner, or recreational boater everyone who operates a vessel of any size on the water would benefit from some level of knowledge of maritime signaling and communications Here we present you with some brief explanations and links to more detailed information, even formal video courses in the International Flag alphabet, the International Code of Signals, Semaphore Flag Signaling, and Morse Code.

 THE INTERNATIONAL CODE OF SIGNALS ALLOWS SHIPS TO CROSS LANGUAGE BARRIERS USING THE INTERNATIONAL SIGNAL FLAG SET ILLUSTRATED BELOW FOR MANY COMMON MARITIME COMMUNICATION NEEDS


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOETaUx3c4o Single Flag Signals

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkSWH7n1U6E  NATO and INT'l NUMERALS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xh3PDhnP748 Int'l Flags w single flag meaning & Morse code audio equivalent


MORSE CODE COURSE ( FLASHING LIGHT & AUDIO) VIDEO LEARNING RESOURCES:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGAy3qZGE48&list=PLLlML8Z7kqRKLjXZbkIPsoNy8OLsZ_D4y&index=1  15 Videos to hlep you learn Morse Code



Saturday, January 10, 2015

MARINE INSURANCE VIDEO TUTORIALS


Updated and expanded 1/20/2016 

American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies   EU VISITORS WARNING POSSIBLE COOKIES AHEAD

Financial Services Industry Training         Insurance Industry OverviewDate July 2012    Saunders Learning Group, LLC    ...

LINK TO ABOVE DEPICTED SLIDE PROGRAM: 

American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies 

Interestingly, in admiralty law the words "maritime business", "commerce". etc. are rarely used. Most voyages and maritime endeavors are described as "maritime adventures". Given the element of risk in any ocean enterprise this is hardly surprising. Maritime commerce never would have expanded into the global endeavor it is today if a way to manage the enormous risks involved had not been found. The British crown led the way in the mid 1500s by spreading the risk among contributors organized by Queen Elizabeth into syndicates. If the assured ship made it back intact the syndicate members made a profit from the premium paid for the assurance that the enumerated losses if they occurred would be covered by the syndicate and the ship owner would not be thrown into debtor's prison. By the 1700's  an enterprising Brit started a coffee house called "Lloyd's" in London specially designed to attract the syndicate members and ship owners seeking assurance of some maritime adventure. This marked the beginning of the competitive "sale of risk" and the maritime insurance trade as we know it.  Today every marine professional, not just those in the admiralty law or insurance professions must have some knowledge of marine insurance. Below are a number of links to specially selected video resources that can give you the basics and the link to the Amazon Marine insurance book shelf for resources for deeper study.  

American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies 


HOW DOES MARINE INSURANCE WORK : 1.5 minute general explanation

INTRODUCTION TO MARINE INSURANCE, THE TRANSFER OF RISK: 10 minute gen. explanation

THE BASICS OF CARGO INSURANCE ("Make Sure You Get "Door To Door Coverage)

THE MARINE INSURANCE CONTRACT: 30 minute general discussion of the key elements in the typical marine contract for insurance





              

MARINE INSURANCE BOOK SHELF

How does Marine Ins.Wk  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2R3HxFlygo
Introduction https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MVXBCTgaW8 
Cargo Insurance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7aMskbifo4
The Marine Insurance Contract: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTlJ0LqfBv4

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

MERCHANT MARINERS; THE COAST GUARD MUST KEEP YOUR CONFIDENCE, ITS THE LAW

EVERY MERCHANT MARINE OFFICER NEEDS TO KNOW THIS LAW:

 Image USCG 8th Dist. Blog
  
Have you ever been in a situation like like this. You have been trying to get management to update your fire extinguishers for months and they refuse. Its' time for the annual Coast Guard inspection. One day, Joe's Cut Rate Fire Extinguisher Service comes to the dock, weighs each extinguisher and fills them with an unknown white powder and seals them with a tamper indicator, tags and dates them. You strongly suspect the white powder was selected with absolutely no knowledge of the particle size relative to the venturi fitting size of the extinguishers ( one hint was that the same power was used on all the dry chemical extinguishers regardless of make or size). What do you tell the Coast Guard Inspector? If you mention your concern do you have any protection? If you fail to mention your concern do you have any liability. Well here is the law on that:

46 U.S.C. 
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 46 - SHIPPING
Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
Part B - Inspection and Regulation of Vessels
CHAPTER 33 - INSPECTION GENERALLY
Sec. 3315 - Disclosure of defects and protection of informants
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

§3315. Disclosure of defects and protection of informants

(a) Each individual licensed under part E of this subtitle shall assist in the inspection or examination under this part of the vessel on which the individual is serving, and shall point out defects and imperfections known to the individual in matters subject to regulations and inspection. The individual also shall make known to officials designated to enforce this part, at the earliest opportunity, any marine casualty producing serious injury to the vessel, its equipment, or individuals on the vessel.
(b) An official may not disclose the name of an individual providing information under this section, or the source of the information, to a person except a person authorized by the Secretary. An official violating this subsection is liable to disciplinary action under applicable law.
(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 516.)
Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
331546:234
Section 3315 requires an individual holding a license issued by the Coast Guard to assist inspection authorities and to make defects and imperfections known to those authorities. Anyone licensed also has a duty to report any marine casualty producing serious injury to the vessel, its equipment, or individuals on board the vessel. These licensed individuals who have this statutorily imposed duty to disclose are also protected by prohibiting any government official from disclosing the identity or source of the information except as authorized by the Secretary.


Here is our point. Yes if you fail to inform the inspector you may well have some liability or in some cases even criminal culpability. But you better be able to quote the law about the protection of informants to him or her because our experience is that far too few Coast Guard personnel are aware of their obligation to protect you. By all means do disclose any safety concerns you have at inspections but cite your protected status early in the conversation. You might even want to have a print out handy to give the inspector. In my career I have actually had quite a number of arguments with Coast Guard personnel who believed that they were obligated to inform owners and management of disclosures by employees. Its quite the opposite but we fear this isn't a particularly stressed concept in training boarding officers, inspectors, and investigators. .


AMAZON GIFT CARDS   

            








Mapping Estuarine Environments

NOAA HAS A NEW ESTUARY INFORMATION SYSTEM AVAILABLE ON LINE

American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies   EU VISITORS WARNING POSSIBLE COOKIES AHEAD

 Where fresh water from river systems meet the ocean or an arm of the sea we find estuaries. Estuaries such as much of Chesapeake Bay, Mississippi Sound or Mobile Bay are tremendously productive environments sometimes called "the cradles of the sea". It is in these brackish shallow waters and flooded aquatic and emergent grass beds that most major sport and commercial saltwater fish spend the a major portion of the juvenile segment of their life spans. Sick estuaries make for sick oceans. No doubt most of our existing estuaries around the world ar sick to to some degree. But are they getting better or worse? What does optimum look like? To know that we need historic as well as current data.  Only when we have a viable understanding of the present and past of an estuary's environmental conditions can the regulators make informed decisions related to harvesting from, yet protecting and preserving these critical habitats. 

 There are approximately two thousand recognized estuaries in the United States spread across five identifiable estuary regions; Atlantic coast, Gulf of Mexico Coast, Pacific Coast, Alaska, and Hawaii. The protection, preservation, and management of the estuaries in these regions are accomplished by a mix of federal and state agencies. The estuaries themselves are studies by a variety of agencies, academic organizations and trade groups. There is a lot of data and its very spread out.  the EPA's Estuary Data Mapper Changes all that. The application allows the researcher to zoom in on a specific estuary and find lots of collated available data from multiple sources. In some cases the system may actually have all available data on a particular system through the date of inquiry, but always lots of data from as many known data sources as are known to the EPA, and that's most such sources. 

 The Estuary Data Mapper application of the EPA was designed as a one -stop-source to aid the work of environmental scientists, environmental managers, non government conservation and environmental organizations, and citizen groups concerned with issues affecting estuaries. 

 Estuary Data Mapper also includes background information on the systems feeding water into the estuary, coastal rivers, tributaries, even watersheds and background geographic data like nearby towns and roads. There is now an Estuary Data Mapper with expanded data sources on such things as atmospheric deposition, nonpoint and point nitrogen sources and where known nitrogen loads. You can read more about the system at the EPA's blog : http://blog.epa.gov/science/2015/01/mapping-estuarine-environments/?hootPostID=b255d5e6c8348bbeb1cb0e5105b90550
 The highlighted links in the text above take you the system itself.

Saudi Arabia Becoming Increasingly Vulnerable To ISIS

ISIS HAS NOW MADE A DIRECT ATTACK ON SAUDI BORDER FORCES


File:Saudi Arabia map.png





We link you to the full story @ MSN NEWS
"For the first time since the Islamic State group formally announced its desire to conquer the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia last month, government officials claimed that “terrorist elements” launched an attack on the Saudi border with Iraq. Four militants, one wearing a suicide vest, attacked a border fortification on Monday, killing three Saudi border guards."

Friday, January 2, 2015

BP'S UNENDING, UNLIMITED LIABILITY

THE U.S. SUPREME COURT WILL NOT STOP BRITISH 

PETROLEUM'S GULF LIABILITY NIGHTMARE 


Contact the instructor if you have difficulty viewing this image



   The U.S. Supreme Court just made it unmistakably clear,  British Petroleum is inescapably in a dangerously vulnerable position in the seemingly never ending Gulf of Mexico spill-liability suits. The Supremes turned down BP’s plea for an intervention in the multibillion-dollar litigation circus stemming from the April 2010 disaster that killed 11 offshore rig workers and spewed millions of gallons of crude Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana. The Supreme Court’s unwillingness to wade into the spill litigation means that the present open-ended settlement of one portion of BP’s liability will now cost billions of dollars more than the original $7.8 billion estimate. The Court's refusal to hear BP's petition came, as is the court's practice, without an explanation. The non decision will have very broad implications. BP's appeal to the Supreme Court appears to be an unusual frontal attack on the federal trial judge hearing other aspects of the complex spill litigation. Now that Justice Carl Barbier of New Orleans, no longer has to worry about the Supreme Court second-guessing his supervision of the BP case, it is more probable than not that  the Brits will pay a penalty for having repeatedly challenged the integrity of the settlement process.  Plaintiffs’ attorneys Stephen Herman and James Roy issued a statement  that the high court’s rebuff “should finally put to rest BP’s two-year attack on its own settlement.” Shortly after its well explosion and resulting  offshore oil spill calamity  BP moved to minimize lawsuits and provide funds for cleanup and damage claims. In 2010, the Brits established an initial $20 billion fund for these purposes and began trying to negotiate settlements of various government and private suits. So far, British Petroleum maintains that it has written checks for more than $28 billion. Hoping  to avoid a trial on one category of potentially extensive business and economic claims, BP agreed in 2012 to a settlement whose cost it estimated at $7.8 billion. That agreement with various plaintiffs had no overall cap and relied on a highly flexible formula for determining which claimants qualified for payment. BP unwisely accused both the plaintiffs’ lawyers and the settlement administrator appointed by Justice Barbier of abusing the pact. BP identified what it called exaggerated and some “fictitious” claims totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. Justice Barbier generally rejected BP’s objections and asserted that he took offense at the company’s suggestions that it was being victimized by down home New Orleans justice. This was the allegation that the Supreme Court  declined to review. BP miscalculated that it could draw the Supremes into the case at this stage. As one report indicated; "the interpretation of the business-claims settlement boiled down to a one-time-only contract dispute complicated by highly idiosyncratic facts - not the sort of broad-reaching constitutional or statutory clash the high court normally seeks to resolve." 

 By challenging Justice Barbier’s oversight of the settlement process, the Brits may actually have drawn additional attention to the pact’s extremely loose and ill defined terms. BP now estimates that its liability under the business-claims settlement will exceed $9.7 billion, and plaintiffs’ attorneys encouraged by the Supreme Court's lack of action, are lining up to take a shot and predicting the figure will be much higher. "Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Brandon Barnes agrees. He estimates that the settlement ultimately may cost the company an enormous $20 billion". However, that’s not the final bill.  BP faces a continuing suit filed by the federal government under the Clean Water Act for clean up costs and environmental damages. That separate and distinct  liability could reach $18 billion - and the sole decision maker will be , you guessed it, the long suffering Judge Barbier. In short , the very judge the Brits attempted to take to the Supreme Court wood shed will now have it within his power to sock it to BP. This separate  verdict will turn on highly particular factual determinations unlikely to draw the attention of the Supreme Court. Officially the PR position of BP’s is that they  “remain concerned” that it is being asked to pay claims unrelated to the 2010 spill. The Brits know They have more checks to write. Already the Brits have taken a pretax charge of $43 billion to cover hopefully all of its spill liability. With the recent Supreme Court (non)action,  that amount increasingly looks inadequate. All this because they wanted to save a few hundred thousand on drilling costs. 


                                    
                                                                 BP OIL SPILL BOOK SHELF



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