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Mariners – Passing To Eternity

‘It is the final gate, through which every one of us will eventually pass…’ A very close batch-mate was seriously ill and died. Along with his family and friends, I too had to steel myself for the inevitable end. The memories of glorious days spent out at sea (in happier times) remained, though he did not. You have been in this state before, more than once; we all must have been through this, at some time or the other. Yet that sense []

Treading The Agneepath

A Mariner’s life is not easy. It’s a constant struggle whether you are at sea or ashore. And if one think’s he can sit back on his laurels after retirement, then he’s sadly mistaken. We would have been in love with ourselves had we been as big as Owners of leading Shipping Companies. With such greatness they can afford to, not we. We Mariners are still ordinary fellows, laughs Vikram Gokhale. Mr. Nanda takes a deep breath and says, “Today a Mariner []

Hell, I’m Back Home From The Sea

While we are settled ashore, we’re much too absorbed in the daily grind, to really observe and notice anything around us. But when we return from foreign ports, we get a fresh perspective, and are able to observe certain details, that we are not able to pick up in the normal course, since we are much too close. It’s almost like the inability in trying to read this article, with the paper held an inch from your face, reducing the print to []

Keeping Vigil At Sea

A merchant ship is an excellent setting for observing the entire spectrum of humanity. Mariners come in varying types, sizes and attitudes ! Here are some typical specimens in this article, which may ring a bell somewhere in your memory… The Pompous jerk… Rudeness and incivility is the cloak, behind which such complex-ridden and insecure people lurk. They forever put on an act, delighting in making people wait, while they pretend to be too busy, to attend to them… .   The []

Tribute To The Forgotten Mariners

The fog horn booms its farewell note, and proudly on her way, The gleaming liner eases away, in grandeur down the bay. An opulent hotel at sea, she is her owner’s pride, The culmination of a great dream, as she floats upon the tide. The passengers in festive mood, with laughter and good quips, With keen delight, they look forward to, the great ship’s maiden trip. She’s sure to break the speed record, she’ll do thirty knots or more, Is the hope []

Sea Piracy On The Rise

Commercial shipping suffered 445 attacks in 2003, Indonesia accounted for 121 attacks across its sprawling archipelago. Piracy is fast becoming the norm in Asian and African waters. A global watchdog has recorded the number of pirate attacks in Indonesian waters and a few more in the nearby Malacca Strait, these accounts for one-third of the recorded piracy incidents by the International Maritime Bureau. Piracy attacks have risen around the world, armed pirates in speedboats and gunboats open fire on ships and rob []

Are You A Contented Mariner?

We mariners are known to be a slightly eccentric lot; but even so, no person would dislike being contented. What makes a person contented ? A few of us are happy to continue at sea, while a few others successfully relocate ashore. But a lot of mariners seem to remain a continually shifting population. They hover about, frequently switching jobs and are characterised by their constantly complaining behaviour. The number of Mariners, who can truly say that they are ‘happy’, has declined []

Universal Identity Card For Seafarers

International Labor Organization voted to adopt a universal seafarers identity document with fingerprints on it. It also makes provision for the facilitation of shore leave and transit and transfer of seafarers, including the exemption from holding a visa for seafarers taking shore leave. The ILO will now develop a global inter-operable standard for the system, probably in co-operation with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) this follows an initiative already made by the Liberian Ship Registry, the second largest shipping registry in []

Ship Repairs – Competition From The Far East?!

We are sick and tired of hearing all those tall tales, about the Far East’s great success story in shipbuilding and their supply of cheap manpower to ship owners. We continue to hear, how their productivity of Steel repairs, in terms of tons/day achieved, is infinitely higher. How they are even challenging the Industrial might of the Western world. We are being constantly told, that Indian ship-repair workshops and ship-building yards, as well as man-power skills, are losing the race and we []

Distance Learning CD ROM Launched By Llyod’s Register

In co-operation with Videotel Interactive, Llyod’s Register has launched an interactive CD-ROM distance learning program for shipboard staff, enabling them to take a more active role in classification process; it enables operators who have already demonstrated a commitment to maintenance management to empower selected, accredited shipboard staff to carry out regular hull inspections. The results are then presented to a Lloyd’s Register Group surveyor for verification during the annual class survey. The CD-ROM is designed to be both a learning aid and []