The Wellington Branch hold monthly meetings at Bay Plaza Hotel, Oriental Parade, commencing 1200, Speaker 1210 and light luncheon 1240 on the following WEDNESDAYS during 2016.

In the past year a number of meetings were attended by wives and guests of members where the speakers subject was of interest. We would extend the same invitation this coming year.

13 July
17 August                   John Hogan –  Marine Alternative Energy sources for South Pacific                                                shipping
14 September
12 October
9 November               Evening function

Please contact Secretary John Williamson  jdwskw@actrix.gen.nz   to confirm your attendance the previous day.


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Marine consultant / DPA

Good knowledge of MLC,ISM & ISPS systems and regulations
Would suit semi retired Master
part time / Full time

Call for a chat

Applicants for this position should have NZ residency or a valid NZ work visa.

Dennis Nisbet
Managing Director
(+64) 21 398 945


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A major collision over the weekend involving two containerships off Ningbo, China caused severe damage to both ships and fire on board one of them. No serious injuries to the crews of either vessel were reported.

The collision involved the Maersk Line-owned containership Safmarine Meru and the Northern Jasper, a German-owned containership.

Maersk Line confirmed in a statement provided to gCaptain that the incident occurred early Sunday morning (May 8 local time) approximately 120 nautical east of Ningbo. The collision caused severe damage to the Safmarine Meru and a fire broke out. Its crew of 22 people abandoned the vessel shortly afterwards.

A review of the both ships actions before the collision shows a complete lack of understanding of the Collision Regulations probably caused by inexperience. When will the regulators realize that experience can only be gained at sea with a long apprenticeship and all the BRM waffle and time spent at Nautical Colleges will not replace on the job training.

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The legal position of the ship’s Master when tackling the day-to-day pressures of today’s shipping industry, will be the subject of this year’s Cadwallader Debate, organised by the London Shipping Law Centre, Maritime Business Forum.

The debate, to be held at the Lloyd’s Building in the last week of October, will be chaired by the Lord Clarke of Stonecum-Ebony and will be attended by over 400 delegates from across ship owning, ship management, insurance, law, class and regulation.

Entitled: The Master Under Attack –What is the Legal Position?, the debate will discuss the problems Masters face and suggest possible solutions. The problems include:

Erosion of the Master’s Authority

Increase of the Master’s responsibility

The Master as a legal ‘hostage’

The powerful position of charterers

The global vulnerability of the Master

External interference

Bullying and harassment by authorities in the port

The demands of modern technology

Suggested solutions include the need to support the Master; the need to reinforce his authority – or reduce the liabilities; and the need to consider carefully, the consequences of maintaining the status quo by doing nothing.

Professor Cadwallader was a teacher of maritime law to many international students at University College London (UCL) between 1963 and 1982. In tribute to his memory and his contribution to the advancement of knowledge in maritime law, the Cadwallader Lecture was established by London Shipping Law Centre (LSLC) Founder and Chairman, Dr Aleka Sheppard in 1998. Over the years, these prestigious occasions have brought the key maritime players together in a neutral forum for open discussion of the concerns of the industry regarding legislation, thus enabling the sharing of ideas within a friendly intellectual debate. These debates have directly or indirectly engendered further dialogue and have led to action being taken on matters affecting the interests of the industry and the protection of the marine environment. The Cad Lectures and the London Shipping Law Centre’s monthly events have raised the awareness of shipping professionals in safety matters and corporate responsibility beyond mere compliance with regulations.

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Volume 2 No 2 Dec 1938

Vol2 No2_Part1

Vol2 No2_Part2

Vol2 No2_Part3

Vol2 No2_Part4

Vol2 No2_Part5

Vol2 No2_Part6

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This item appeared on gCaptain website 29 January 2016


The sinking of the Greek tanker released an estimated 63,000 tones of foul-smelling black fuel along the Galicia coast and forced the closure of the country’s richest fishing grounds.
As gCaptain reported earlier this week, Spain’s Supreme Court on Tuesday sentenced former captain Apostolos Mangouras to two years in prison over the disaster, overturning a previous ruling clearing him of criminal responsibility. Tuesday’s ruling found Mangouras guilty of recklessness resulting in catastrophic environmental damage and opens the door for damage claims against both the captain and the insurer.

The Greek tanker sank off Spain’s northwestern coast in 2002, causing the release of some 63,000 tons of oil into the sea and fouling thousands of miles of coastline in Spain, France and Portugal.

“This decision represents the dying gasps of a 14 year old attempt to deflect blame onto the shoulders of an octogenarian man, who has been cleared in the court of world opinion and by his peers,” commented ITF seafarers’ section chair Dave Heindel. “Thankfully it is likely to be as unenforceable as it is illogical. This innocent man cannot again be made to sit needlessly in jail.”

Heindel concluded: “The Mangouras case was one of the worst examples of the kneejerk criminalisation of seafarers. The ITF, like many other organisations and individuals, was able to support him during that ordeal. This latest piece of victimisation reminds us that we must all remain vigilant to protect seafarers from these injustices.”

Over the years, the main point of contention in the ongoing case has been the poor state of the 26-year-old tanker and the refusal by Spanish authorities to allow the ship to dock after it was damaged in a storm – the ship broke up and sank within days of the refusal.

In 2012, classification society ABS, which certified the seaworthiness of the vessel, was cleared of any liability in connections to the disaster. The suit was considered by many a “precedent-setting” case that would determine whether classification societies can be held responsible by third parties in an incident such as this.

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ON DECK Volume 2 No 1 September 1938

ON DECK Vol 2 No 1_Part1

ON DECK Vol 2 No 1_Part2

ON DECK Vol 2 No 1_Part3

ON DECK Vol 2 No 1_Part4

ON DECK Vol 2 No 1_Part5


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Celestial Navigation Returns to US Naval Academy
Picture this: A naval vessel is navigating the high seas thousands of nautical miles from
land. Suddenly all navigation systems become inoperable. What happens next?
What does this mean?
With today’s technology rapidly advancing, the US Navy realized that many basic
techniques are still relevant to safe operations at sea. Celestial Navigation is one skill that has not been formally taught to Navy officers, depending on one’s commissioning source,
for more than 15 years.
Based on direction from the Chief of Naval Operations, Celestial Navigation has been
reinstated into the navigation curriculum and is a requirement in the Officer
Professional Core Competencies Manual. This administrative change ensures the
instruction will be an enduring requirement.

The US Naval Academy resumed classroom instruction during the summer session of
2015. The class of 2017 will be the first in many years to graduate with a basic
knowledge of Celestial Navigation. Director of Professional Development Cmdr.
Adan Cruz says: “It is a core competency of a mariner. If we can navigate using celestial
navigation, then we can always safely get from point A to point B.”

Midshipmen also take two cyber classes during which they learn about the vulnerability of electronic navigation systems and how they can be affected by cyber threats. The classes include how information moves, jamming, the RF spectrum, and many other topics in cyber security.

Director of Center of Cyber Security Studies Capt. Paul J. Tortora says: “Teaching Celestial Navigation is just one thing necessary to learn in order to get ready for the battlefield that’s already out there. Cyber affects all battlefields to include sea, land, air and space.”
Cyber threats aren’t the most likely reason electronic navigation systems might fail.
There are any number of reasons GPS might be rendered unusable on board a ship, such as system degradation, electrical failures and satellite malfunctions.

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This article is taken from the HCMM Journal dated

Following the presentation of the 2015 Merchant Navy Medals, at Trinity House on Monday 23rd November, Shipping Minister Robert Goodwill MP announced a new State Award to be known as the Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service. Her Majesty The Queen graciously signed the Royal Warrant for the new Medal earlier this year which will have a place in the Order of Wear. The first of these medals will be presented in 2016 and will replace the prestigious  Merchant Navy Medal awarded by the Merchant Navy Medal Committee, on behalf the industry, from 2005 until this time.

Captain Matthew Easton chairman of the Committee, in welcoming this news, responded: “The industry greatly welcomes this announcement, which formally recognises the huge contribution that the men and women of the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets make to the skills, economy, trade and defence of the United Kingdom. I want to pay a particular tribute to all those who have been awarded the Merchant Navy Medal, today and in the past. All holders of this award should justifiably feel proud of their achievement. It is the success this medal that has paved the way for a State Award and this reflects the high quality of the recipients and the well established selection process. I want to emphasise that existing holders should continue to wear their medals with equal pride. I am very pleased to announce that the Department of Transport will consult the Merchant Navy Medal Committee when reviewing nominations. Furthermore, if nominations are sent, in the first instance, to the Committee we have agreed to act in a consultancy capacity. This will help to ensure that they meet necessary criteria and properly completed before being formally submitted.”

The existing Merchant Navy Medal is an award by the industry for meritorious service and acts of courage afloat. It has been awarded by the Merchant Navy Medal Committee, which was established in 2005 as a result of a charitable initiative and has members from a wide cross section of the industry. Captain Matthew Easton is the Chairman of the Committee and Admiral The Lord West of Spithead is its Patron. The new medal will be a State Award with a place in the Order of Wear. The first recipients of the new Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service will be announced on Merchant Navy Day on 3rd September 2016.

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Gentlemen, and Ladies,

Please forgive my addressing the gentlemen first.  It is due to their preponderance in numbers.  But yes, happily the Company does have lady Master Mariner members,  Three in fact, of which two are members of  Christchurch Branch, and the other is a member of Tauranga Branch.  And as a result of my recent networking with the Maritime School, I have become aware that there are others who   are qualified to join us, as Associate Members or Members, as the case may be.  I certainly hope that they may be so persuaded.

I am heartened by events of the last year, and feel that we can move ahead with confidence in our credibility as a professional body.

The most important event is a move toward offering a mentoring programme for nautical students through their studies, their service as cadets, and further if this should be required.  We have to thank Captain Darrell Daish for his initiative in raising this topic, firstly by enquiries with the Honourable Company (in person and by email), and then by engaging us in discussion on the matter.  We also have to thank Captain Chris Barradale for his willingness to see the programme actioned.  To this end, we have circularised a request for those who are willing to become mentors to register with their branches.  At time of writing (12/01), Auckland had gathered three prospective mentors, but none reported so far from the other branches.

Another such event is the provision in our rules for admission of Student Members to the Company.  We see this as fitting very well with the mentoring programme, and also as invigorating our membership with young blood.  Our thanks to Christchurch Branch for this initiative.

Initiatives such as these, provided that they are compatible with the aims of the Company, will be our life-blood, and should be pursued.  But not simply with a proposal, expecting others to take up the challenge.  The proposer should also be prepared to actively follow up with his/her proposal if accepted, and to have already done some groundwork supporting it.

We have still to see the success, or otherwise, of the above ventures, but nevertheless they are full of promise for the future, and are an example of the new concepts needed to enliven and strengthen our professional institution.  They are positive steps to the future, undeterred by negative, and sometimes inadequately researched, argument against.

My comment on initiatives relates to “service”.  Service on committee, and on subcommittees should such be set up.  Without such support, the Company will wither and die of apathy, or even of old age.

Edward E Ewbank,


New Zealand Company of Master Mariners.




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