Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

The cost of wreck removal

Where I come from, on a small island off the coast of Northern England, low tide occasionally exposes the shape of a great iron boiler, the brown metal covered in limpets, its rivet holes rusted away and the tubes festooned with weed. Continue reading

Plea for transparency in Costa Concordia case

What on earth are we to make of the recent hearings in Italy where prosecutors were seeking indictments against the former master of the Costa Concordia and five others involved in the wreck of the ship sixteen months ago? Continue reading

The Titanic casualty revisited

It is the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic and we have had schmaltz, nostalgia, endless social commentaries about the elitism of death by drowning and along the line a bit of money made by the authors, programme makers, and general commentators. I’m guilty as charged. Continue reading

The old lifejacket dilemma

IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee has concluded its 90th session, its delegates having worked their way through the usual fearsome agenda.

Not surprisingly, the discussions involving the reactions to the Costa Concordia incident have been those which have attracted most attention. In this matter the organisation is somewhat handicapped by the ongoing proceedings and inquiry taking place in Italy, with these themselves being delayed somewhat by the criminal proceedings against the vessel’s master making matters rather more complex.

There are however a number of sensible interim measures which have been recommended in an MSC circular. For a start the seemingly endless arguments about whether lifejackets should be kept in cabins or located near the embarkation might have moved on a little with a recommendation that additional lifejackets should be… Continue reading

Cruise disasters – transparency essential

Disasters, like buses, have a nasty habit of coming along in numbers and there must be a certain sympathy for the poor Costa brand, with the somewhat scorched Costa Allegra sitting disabled and sans electrical power in the Seychelles as her passengers recount stories of their ordeal to enthusiastic TV reporters. Continue reading

Lessons learned again?

April is said to be the cruelest month. It is memorable for disasters, from the Titanic to Texas City, Deepwater Horizon and so on. Continue reading

Cruise disaster could have larger lessons

I noticed an article from Melissa Bert, a USCG captain, that asks some interesting questions about Costa Concordia, current safety regs and training procedures. Continue reading

Balancing size and safety.

AS WE approach the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic this coming April, passengership safety remains an important issue. Continue reading

The mind of a man

As everyone from the popular media to the ship’s operators queue up to condemn the master of the Costa Concordia, how many of his accusers takes a moment to consider for a moment what must have been going through the mind of that man as he felt the rocks bite into the port side of his huge ship? Continue reading

Things to fix.

It is, of course, too early to be making pronouncements about the grounding of the Costa Concordia, while the courageous divers are still probing the underwater horrors of a huge capsized ship. Continue reading