Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Death off Cebu

There is an awful inevitability about the sinking off Cebu with heavy loss of life of the Philippine domestic ferry St Thomas of Aquinas, after a collision with a cargo vessel. Both ships were 41 years old, sizeable relics of the developed world shipping operations that passed them on to the maritime developing nation, whose owners find it difficult to afford anything better. Continue reading

The Titanic and Evacuation, Survival and Rescue

The TITANIC, as fitted out, proved deficient in at least one important item: lifeboats. Continue reading

Watch your weight!

There is a certain category of shipper, I’m told, who is so dim (or so dishonest) that when a container is delivered to him for loading, will stuff the thing with cargo until the doors will barely shut. Continue reading

The ultimate obligation of a mariner

It is described as one of “the most fundamental duties of the mariner – the moral and legal obligation to go to the aid of those in peril on the sea.” Surely no decent person would even begin to argue with such a prescription, which so closely resonates with our humanity? Continue reading

All talk and no action

A great deal has been said, at the seemingly numberless conferences on (a) piracy, and (b) the Year of the Seafarer, that (c) there is a shortage of qualified seafarers; (d) that “criminalisation” of the seafarer is a growing problem; that (e) better training is needed; and that (f) we of the shipping community must do something about these problems. Continue reading

The Audit Scheme – an IMO success story

As I was sitting in the back of the main conference room at IMO two weeks ago, a fellow delegate leaned over and said; “Every so often, something happens here that is really important.” Continue reading