Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

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

Symbols of maritime decline

Our government’s present inability to land a cargo of gasoline in a U.S.-flag vessel in icebound Nome, Alaska, symbolizes the shortage of foresight of our maritime policy makers. We are unable to provide a U.S.-flag ice-strengthened tanker to lift cargo between points in the United States (within Alaska), and will apparently have to secure the services of a Russian vessel instead. Continue reading

Defining exceptional

I am flexible. You are pragmatic. He is b…… unreasonable! Every picture, it has been said, (possibly by William Blake before he went mad) depends on the identity of the artist and where he is standing. It is really quite enlightening to read the various comments emerging from the participants at the IMO Diplomatic Conference on the STCW Convention and its various amendments held in Manila in June. 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

STCW revision must address fatigue

Full marks to Clay for his “clarifying the issues” blog, which sets out the realities which must be confronted if the Manila conference on STCW is to realise any of its aims. Continue reading

Clarifying the STCW issues

In June, delegates to the Revision Conference of the International Maritime Organisation on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping will meet in Manila to take up 13 draft resolutions dealing with such issues as recruitment and retention, crewing levels, and the like. Continue reading

The ‘ramifications’ of training

In the run-up to the STCW Conference in Manila this June, India has proposed that there be mandatory space for training berths provided on all new ships. This will be one of the more heated issues to be discussed. Additional space to accommodate trainee cadets (which might become mandatory) is seemingly attractive, in light of the IMO’s current “Go to Sea” campaign. But there are, as is so often the case, ramifications. Continue reading