Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Master Mariners

9th November 2016

Master Mariners & The WAFIs

Master Mariners are interesting people to meet and talk with. They are the Captains of their industry… The Shipmasters …. Leaders in the Merchant Navy…. A Master Mariner achieves that designation after years of study, examinations, Cadetship, sea-going service, more examinations as career advancement is achieved in the ships’ officer ranks and regular updating required of qualifications to ‘handle’ a ship…

It is a rank completely misunderstood by the general media… no surprise there when journalists and broadcasters with inadequate maritime knowledge describe those in charge of yachts as Captains or describe Skippers of fishing boats as Captains. It underlines the ignorance amongst the media of the marine sphere and the rank of Captain in the Merchant Navy.
I met Master Mariners at the Pilotage Conference in the National Maritime College in Ringaskiddy on the edge of Cork Harbour. They were discussing ‘Marine Pilotage Today and in the Future.
Four leading marine organisations combined to hold the conference – the Irish Institute of Master Mariners; the Irish Branch of the international Nautical Institute; NMCI Ports, which is the Port Operations Training section of the National Maritime College and the Port of Cork Company.

There was a big attendance of Master Mariners, pilots, cadets and College students. The relationship of Shipmasters and bridge crews aboard vessels with the pilots when they board ships entering harbours, the use of new electronic technology and other emerging trends, the adequacy of the training of pilots and the interaction with tugs when used, to ensure safe towage were amongst the topics discussed.

It was fascinating to hear the problems which can be encountered, the difficulties facing the officers and crew on the ships’ bridge.
I was shown what a large, heavily loaded container ship encountered from a yacht in Cork Harbour. This yacht came from the starboard side and was videoed by the bridge personnel as, despite warnings, it sailed practically under the rapidly approaching bow of the ship. From the bridge view, high up above the ship’s deck, the yacht looked a small but dangerous sight on the video. It ignored the ship and disappeared from view across the ship’s bow, to the consternation of the bridge officers and the pilot…. To the relief of everyone, it emerged on the port side, barely ahead of the ships’ bow.

It was a flagrant breach of safety… Whoever was aboard the yacht showed no consideration for the problems they were causing to the ship which had little room to manoeuvre. Were it an incident on the road I would consider the yacht crew chargeable for highly dangerous driving….

Marine pilots and Shipmasters told me that this was not an unusual incident, but an all-too regular occurrence. While racing events are controlled by clubs and warnings issued to participants about not interfering with shipping, leisure sailors impede ships and yachts are not the only offenders. So are motorboaters, jetskis and angling boats anchored too close to or in the shipping channel.
In commercial harbours shipping traffic has right-of-way, yacht clubs and others operate with the goodwill of the port companies. That needs to be remembered before the ignorance demonstrated on the video shown to me causes the imposition of restrictive regulations on leisure boating.
And what about WAFIS?
I learned that it is a term, not of endearment, used at times by ships’ crews to describe sailors causing dangerous problems for shipping:
The acronym reads in full WIND ASSISTED F…. (use your imagination) IDIOTS…
From what I saw on that container ship’s video in Cork Harbour it can be deserved …. and Cork is not the only harbour where similar incidents occur.
• Listen to the Podcast above

Published in Island Nation
Tagged under

#MasterMariners - The Irish Institute of Master Mariners, the professional body for shipmasters, has elected a woman to lead the organisation for the first time.

Capt Sinead Reen was also the first woman to qualify as a deck officer, having studied at CIT Cork where Nautical Science courses were held before they were transferred to the new National Maritime College at Ringaskiddy, where she now lectures.

She was also the first Irish woman to gain a Certificate of Competency as a Master Mariner and has served at sea aboard supertankers, but she now resides in Crosshaven with her husband, fellow Master Mariner Cormac MacSweeney.

Capt Reen's election underlines the opportunities of a career at sea for women in what has been a male-dominated profession.

The Irish Institute of Master Mariners promotes safe, efficient and professional conduct in the public and commercial maritime sectors. It is a member of the International Federation of Shipmaster's Associations and the Confederation of European Shipmasters.

Published in Ports & Shipping

About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Organiser
Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
Messeplatz
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668
Web: https://www.boot.com/

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating