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Fata Morgana: Legend or science?

Legends and superstitions are a common phenomenon in shipping, an industry with roots lost in the centuries, but some of them come along with rational explanations. Surely, you have heard of haunted vessels or ghost ships, but have you ever heard of the legendary ‘Fata Morgana’?  

Do you know what NATO phonetic alphabet is?

The International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet, commonly known as the NATO phonetic alphabet or the ICAO phonetic alphabet, is the most widely used radiotelephone spelling alphabet and was developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), to ease communication via radio or telephone. Spelling alphabet is a set of words used to stand for the letters of an alphabet in oral communication.

Do you know what the bulbous bow is for?

Ships are extraordinary designs, which even with just their size can amaze. But there is one specific element of a ship’s design that stands out, and what is more, not many know what it does exactly. We are talking of course, about the bulbous bow. The bulbous bow is that strange protrusion at the ships’ forward end, sticking out below the water. It serves a very important role for the ship, and in this article we are going to analyze it. Disclaimer: The article contains a little bit of maths, but don’t worry we will keep it simple.

Do you know what a Ship Security Alert System is?

After the 9/11 attacks that changed the world, IMO requires every ship above 500 GT sailing the world’s oceans to have a Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) to enhance security. Have you ever wondered what this system is and how it works?

Do you know how many types of lifeboats exist?

Chances are that you have never boarded a lifeboat to date, except you are a seafarer who has performed lifeboat drills or someone who has found himself in the very unwelcome experience of a sinking ship. Except from the fact that they save lives, what do we really know about lifeboats?

Do you know what happens after you flush the toilet on a ship?

The average person uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day and flushing the toilet accounts for the largest share of this use, surprisingly topping even showers! While wastewater does not seem to be a problem for households, have you ever wondered what happens when we flush the toilet onboard a ship?

Do you know how many ranks and duties exist onboard? 

Seafaring is a profession that requires ranks and duties to be specific, so that everyone onboard will know what to do, as several procedures have to be conducted at the same time; Thus, each one of these roles carries unique responsibilities which are crucial for the successful operation of a vessel.

Do you know how many types of ships exist?

There is a wide range of different vessels. The international dry cargo and tanker markets are immense and are served by numerous ships of several types and of various sizes. Some of them follow standard designs and can carry a variety of cargoes while others are more specialized and able to carry commodities which the standard vessels cannot. According to the UNCTAD, in early 2019 the total world fleet stood at 95,402 ships accounting for 1.97 billion dead-weight tons (dwt) of capacity.

Do you know why IMO number is important for vessels?

The IMO Ship Identification Number is a unique seven-digit number which remains unchanged through a vessel’s lifetime and is linked to its hull, regardless of any changes of names, flags, or owners. In fact, the IMO number is a unique seven digit number that is assigned to propelled, sea-going merchant ships of 100 GT and above upon keel laying, with the exception of ships without mechanical means of propulsion; pleasure yachts; ships engaged on special service, such as lightships; hopper barges; hydrofoils, air cushion vehicles; floating docks and structures classified in a similar manner; ships of war, troopships as well as wooden ships.

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