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Old 30-10-2008, 06:21   #31
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... One of the reasons commercial traffic hates recreational boaters, and sailors in particular, is that they never listen in on their VHF...

Conversely, one of the reasons recreational boaters, and sailors in particular, hate commercial traffic ... is that they never listen in (or reply) to their VHF.
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Old 02-11-2008, 20:21   #32
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I guess it's me...But almost everytime I have ever called a tug or ship in the Chesapeake...I have gotten a response.

Since there might be a few tugs....It is good to use something like.
"Moran Tug...outbound Patapsco River at Lazaretto Light...this is S/V Farkle"
I am on your port side about 400 yards off your port bow. What are your intentions Cap....?

If you are on 13 you can usually hear them when they are getting ready to get underway.

Sounds Like SAY-KUR-EEE TAY, (repeated three times)
This is McAlister Tug....Bonzo McCalister....Leaving Pier X-Outbound with a Light Container Barge....Heading Down the Bay....Standing by for concerned traffic.
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Old 03-11-2008, 00:41   #33
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I have a few different takes on this incident.

First, as someone who works on a container terminal, in a harbour with a narrow channel from the entrance to the end. My understanding in our harbour is that a clear zone of two nautical miles is required both in front of, and behind oil and gas tankers. Also, rules set out by our regional council prohibit any movement of tankers, anywhere in the harbour, between sunset and sunrise.

Harbour control which is situated at our container terminal, which is about half way up the harbour, controls all vessels over (I think) 50 or 70 feet in length. They are required to gain permission to enter the harbour from harbour control via VHF.

I have heard of an incident when harbour control informed the pilot of an oil tanker that there was a recreational boat within the allowed distance and asked if that was acceptable. The pilot apparently replied that there wasn't anything that could be done about it at that point, but he was not happy about the situation. I was of the impression that the pilot felt under increased pressure, while being responsible for a ship carrying a large cargo of U.N. classified dangerous goods, which brings me to my next perspective on this incident.

What is known in the U.S.A. as HAZMAT is more correctly called dangerous goods. After the second world war a system for moving surplus explosives around europe was developed with the United Nations. Several classes of dangerous goods were developed over the years (nine at present) with explosives coming under class 1. Class 2 covers gases and class 3 covers flammable liquids. Class 4 is flammable solids etc. with other classes covering radioactive's,corrosives, infectious substances, etc.

These UNDG's have international regulations for labeling, packaging, transportation and segregation, so that they can be carried across international borders in a consistent manner. When I was a truck driver, I was licenced to carry DG's (still are) and we carried emergency response books which list all of the (several thousand) individual U.N. numbers for specific DG's which cross referenced with sections on emergency responses for, you guessed it, emergencies. A person responsible for a vehicle carrying DG's is held very accountable for compliance of the relevant regulations in carrying a specific cargo and it's segregation from other specific cargoes and passengers. In the case of a ships master (presumably partly because of the high volumes) the bar of accountability is extremely high and their testing for competency is also much higher than for those operating land based vehicles. So they would expectedly be very concerned about other boats in proximity, particularly if they are navigating a narrow channel.

My last perspective is that of a boat owner in a harbour, in which I am, for the most part, restricted to using the channel. I have a VHF on my boat, though do not have a licence to broadcast with it, I can listen to it though. My practice is to keep an eye on the shipping forecasts and listening to harbour control on the VHF, because I do not want to find myself stuck in the channel with a large commercial vessel, which has limited manoeuvreability.
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Old 04-11-2008, 19:08   #34
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You can't communicate on VHF in New Zealand?

That kinda sucks.

What do you use to hail commercial/charter/fishing vessels?
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Old 04-11-2008, 20:27   #35
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You can communicate on VHF in New Zealand, but you do need a licence. It's no big deal to get though. Just a two part day course. I just haven't got around to doing it, because the need hasn't been great enough for me.

Any one here can listen to VHF though.
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Old 04-11-2008, 20:31   #36
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What do you use to hail commercial/charter/fishing vessels?
My normal practice is to just give them a wide berth, certainly, I give any large vessel a very wide berth. With smaller vessels, it's not hard to improvise a megaphone, if you are close enough, to need to communicate with them.
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Old 04-11-2008, 21:01   #37
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The problem with CNG tankers is that they are basically bombs waiting to go off, and the USCG polocy is essentially to close the waters that they will be in--just like any other special closures posted in the LNTM--in a token attempt to prevent the inevitable.

There have been some incredible marine explosions, some at ammunitions piers, at least one in NY/NJ harbor, one from a fertilizer tanker in TX (Galveston?) real disasters that made Hiroshima look like kiddie games. The only real question is how long it will take before someone pops off one of the gas tankers, wipes out a couple of square miles, and then we start to play the 9/11 game all over again as all the players say "Oh, gee, no, we never thought that could happen" about events widely documented and predicted.

There's just no safe way to move the damn things inshore, so they inconvenience the maximum number of people trying to pretend otherwise.

"The prudent mariner" finds a way to find out about special closures, whether they are for 4th of July fireworks barges, gas tankers, or exclusion zones around different targets and vessels. You can't just "go sailing" anymore.
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:23   #38
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The above noted explosion was in Texas City - just across from Galveston. Fertilizer plus H2O plus spark equals BIG boom.
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Old 06-11-2008, 18:22   #39
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People need energy...what to do?

More Dangerous stuff moves thru our cities by rail every day....
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Old 06-11-2008, 20:10   #40
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"More Dangerous stuff moves thru our cities by rail every day...."
You might be surprised. Yes, it does. But after several rail incidents in the 90's, the cars used to transport propane, chlorine, etc. were extensively redesigned, the old rolling stock supposedly has all long been scrapped, and the dangers from rail goods have been exensively reduced.
There are also very few rail goods that can cause a 20-mile-wide shockwave and fireball like a CNG tanker can. And, it is much harder to spot them among the "background noise" of general traffic.

People need energy, but what they WANT is way less than what they NEED. People don't care about danger--until something goes bad and then they want to blame someone else for it, when their own refusal to invest in mitigation and preparation is usually at fault.

CNG? Unload it someplace safe, then pipe it. Or burn it someplace safe, and send the juice over the power lines.

Of course, that might raise costs--and no one wants to pay for safety. That's how we got 9/11. Saved 20 years worth of sky marshal program costs, had to ante up 50 billion plus in one shot because we saved so much.
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Old 06-11-2008, 20:20   #41
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-until something goes bad and then they want to blame someone else for it, when their own refusal to invest in mitigation and preparation is usually at fault.



Of course, that might raise costs--and no one wants to pay for safety. That's how we got 9/11. Saved 20 years worth of sky marshal program costs, had to ante up 50 billion plus in one shot because we saved so much.

Yep.
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