Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Walport video highlights dangers of ‘human element’

An exhausted Mate, with real fatigue kicked in and at the end of his tether, bawls out the ordinary seaman who appears dimmer than he should be (although he is barely qualified to be taking the lookout because all the qualified hands were “out of hours”). Continue reading

Things to do next year

Many of us are compulsive list makers and I’m no exception as lists become more important as memory falters. So, with New Year resolutions little more than a month away, here are a few things for the shipping industry to think about in the upcoming year. There is no particular order and only 20, so you might think, ambitiously, that there is room for more. Continue reading

Rest and be thankful

Who remembers the scandal of asbestos, the harm it did to health, and the billions that have been spent in compensating those who have suffered from the debilitating and fatal consequences of the asbestos-related disease? It nearly brought the insurance industry and Lloyd’s of London to its knees. Who remembers the establishment of a connection between cigarettes and lung cancer? Continue reading

Scientific underpinnings for fatigue concerns

It’s good when science reinforces what you have believed for years, putting some serious foundation under what has hitherto been dismissed as “anecdotal” but accepted by everyone who has driven ships in anger. Continue reading

When wrongs don’t make a right

This is the age of “rights”, and a good thing too, except that it can become something of a religion, as people rather go over the top as to their entitlements, and every man and his dog needs an accompanying lawyer. Continue reading

Awareness and alertness are vital

At the beginning of this month we had Seafarers Awareness Week, a communications campaign promoted by Seafarers UK, a leading charity, aimed at enlightening the public about the vital role of mariners, shipping and the sea services. Continue reading

No surprises in reef grounding

A dedicated chief officer, unwilling to delegate cargo operations on his first loading operation aboard a coal carrier and failing to sleep more than a couple of hours while his ship was in port was named as the main cause of its subsequent grounding on Australia’s Barrier Reef last year. Continue reading

A shot across the bows

We should commend the US Coast Guard for its current enthusiastic testing of a “less than lethal” warning tool which can be used to persuade “non-compliant boaters” to heave to and stop straying into security zones. Continue reading

Don’t burn the toast

The fable of the boy who cried “wolf!” too often seems to be worth revisiting as the wisdom of applied hindsight appears to be increasingly employed by the various learned bodies investigating the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Continue reading

Maersk fine sends signal on hours of rest

One tends not to be surprised when the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency, which has given umpteen warnings that they are to look closely at hours of rest records, take a shipowner to court and heavily fine them. Continue reading

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