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Maritime red tape challenge highlights need for regulations

Nearly 200 responses were submitted to the maritime section of the 'red tape' challenge Nearly 200 responses were submitted to the maritime section of the 'red tape' challenge website during the government's month-long online consultation.Nautilus International featured heavily among the responses in each of the five sections and was one of the largest comment tags (which measures key word repetition) for the duration of the consultation.The Department for Transport (DfT) will now analyse all the comments and present some key recommendations for merging, simplifying or removing any legislation to the government.This may be a difficult task as the responses were over-whelming in favour of retaining all existing legalisation in order to preserve the safety of life as sea, as one respondent commented: 'I don't believe lawmakers create legislation and regulations just to fill up their lonely days. Rather, someone's behaviour was so abhorrent that it became necessary to create a regulation against that practice.The section relating to industry safety generated more than 100 responses alone, with the Pilotage Act featuring heavily.'The 1987 Pilotage Act is the statutory backbone to our profession, I do not want to see it diluted. We need to keep standards high for both Pilots and PEC ...

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Horizon Research Project : How Fatigue Affects Seafarers

Fatigue affects decision-making and performance of seafarers A pioneering research project investigating the way in which fatigue affects decision-making and performance of seafarers is set to publish its findings early in the new year.Nautilus officials took part in a meeting at which preliminary results from the 32-month Project Horizon study were presented to members of the European Parliament and European Commission officials, and the Union will also take part in a further meeting with the European Maritime Safety Agency next week.Part-funded by the European Commission, the 4m project made unprecedented use of ship simulators to replicate real-life working patterns and shipboard situations to examine how different watchkeeping rotas affect cognitive performance and decision-making over the course of a week.Nautilus is one of the key shipping industry partners involved in the study. Other organisations include Warsash Maritime Academy, Bureau Veritas, the European Community Shipowners Association, the European Harbour Masters Committee, the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.Project coordinator Graham Clarke said the study has provided scientifically robust results that take knowledge and understanding of the impact of sleepiness at sea to new levels.'The initial findings clearly demonstrate the way ...

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Arming ships against piracy should be the exception despite welcome new government guidance

Nautilus is seeking more talks with the UK government re armed guards onboard Nautilus is seeking more talks with the UK government following the Prime Minister's announcement that the use of armed guards is to be permitted on British ships.Guidance published by the government today (Tuesday 6 December) covers the factors ship owners should include in a risk assessment and advice on selecting a private security company, as well as the process for gaining authorisation for the carriage of armed guards.The Union has given a cautious welcome to the announcement - welcoming the recognition that seafarers deserve greater protection against piracy, but expressing concern at some of the implications arising from the use of firearms on merchant ships.General secretary Mark Dickinson commented: 'While we are pleased that the UK has legalised the use of armed guards, we do not believe this in any way reduces the necessity for a strong naval force in the area.'We also believe it is essential that action is taken to ensure that private security teams used at sea are properly vetted and accredited, and that their training, experience and competence are at acceptable levels.'It is also of critical importance that clear procedures are in place ...

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Nautilus urges a defence of the safety rules for UK ships and seafarers

Red Tape Challenge Campaign In the nearly 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic and on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Herald of Free Enterprise ferry disaster, Nautilus is urging a defence of the safety rules for UK ships and seafarers from the government's proposals to 'cut red tape'.The government has pursued a self-confessed ambitious deregulation agenda to stem the flow of new regulation. The Red Tape Challenge is an online forum open to the public with rolling themes for debate. The maritime and transport debate is expected to start online around November 10.Such an exercise should not result in cutbacks on the very regulations set up to protect the health and well being of maritime professionals, and the safety of the ships on which they work.REASON FOR CAMPAIGNThe government has repeatedly urged the business lobby to press for removal of regulation. In June, business secretary Vince Cable admitted the Red Tape Challenge for the retail sector had 'backfired' for retailers, because most responses were supportive of regulation. Therefore, in the interests of safety of life at sea it is essential that we respect the international conventions and codes and European directives and regulations; and protect ...

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UK opts for armed guards

Reaction and comments by ITF, SOS, Nautilus and Intermanager News that the UK Government has endorsed the use of armed guards on UK-flagged vessels has triggered comment from the major shipping organisations, most of which were favourable but with caveats.ITF's general secretary David Cockroft said: "Somali-based piracy has been allowed to become so successful, savage and wide-ranging that seafarers' and seafaring organisations' worries about armed guards have had to be set aside. However, guards can never be anything but a supplement to the sorely-tried existing naval presence, which is now trying to cover an entire ocean."The ITF, like the International Shipping Federation and International Chamber of Shipping, would like to see on-vessel detachments made up of the ship's flag state forces whenever possible."He continued: "Sadly no move is without risks. Pirate gangs are making fortunes out of their crimes. It is easy for them to reach for heavier and heavier weapons and turn to obscene levels of violence to counter defensive measures."'We welcome David Cameron's interest in maritime affairs, but we also have to warn him that the current defence cuts are likely to compromise the Royal Navy's ability to fight piracy."ITF seafarers' section chair Dave Heindel added: "What's an ...

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Nautilus warns as Cunard Line flags out of the UK

Cunard Line decides to switch its three ships from the UK Ship Register to the Bermuda flag Nautilus International has urged the government to come up with a clear shipping policy - or run the risk of more companies joining Cunard Line in flagging out of the UK.The union has written to shipping minister Mike Penning expressing alarm at Cunard's decision to switch its three ships from the UK Ship Register to the Bermuda flag.'The loss of the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth will not only have a significant impact in terms of tonnage lost from the UK flag, but has truly immense significance in terms of the iconic symbolism of these ships, the long history of Cunard and the economic contribution that they make as UK-registered vessels,' said general secretary Mark Dickinson.'I believe that the loss of these prestigious ships brings the UK Ship Register - and our associated maritime policies - to something of a crossroads,' he added.'Not only does it mean the loss of more than 328,000gt of UK-registered tonnage, but it also raises genuine concerns that where Cunard is treading, others will follow.'Nautilus is concerned that the UK is drifting on maritime policy, ...

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Union disappointed at Stena Line decision

Stena Line decides to operate the HSS Stena Explorer service on a seasonal basis only Nautilus International has expressed disappointment at Stena Line's decision to operate the HSS Stena Explorer service on a seasonal basis only.Stena Line has written to the Union to confirm that the fast craft service between Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire will operate until 13 September 2011 and not recommence until May 2012 with all 53 crew jobs being placed at risk of redundancy.A 30-day consultation has begun and the Union will be looking to find alternative solutions to the current downturn in trading.'It is always disappointing when we face challenges like this and we are seeking urgent talks with the company,' said industrial officer Steve Doran.'We believe that any drop in revenue from the fast craft service is only a temporary issue due to the current financial crisis and there is evidence elsewhere that trade has already begun to recover.'Our aim will be to ensure that we retain the professional mariners that this nation is dependent on as so many of our goods are transported by the sea,' he confirmed.In a letter to the Union, Stena Line claimed that on average just over 70% of the ...

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Nautilus International announces expansion to Switzerland

Nautilus has reached agreement with Swiss general union for about 800 members Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Nautilus International seafarers' union has recently announced a further geographical expansion with the forming of a Swiss section. Discussions have also been held on collaboration with the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) which has been talking to RMT - organises UK ratings as well as railwayworkers - and the United Road TransportUnion.Labour movement sources regard a merger between at least some of these unions as an immediate prospect, although Nautilus is having reservations about a full-scale tie-up.Seafarers from Switzerland have long had a presence on both deep sea and European river trade services. Nautilus has reached agreement with Swiss general union for about 800 Unia members to make the switch. Nautilus will now incorporate a Swiss branch with a national committee. The hope now is to recruit more widely among Swiss seafarers and boat personnel whoare not currently unionised.Nautilus is the successor to the old National Union of Marine, Aviation and Shipping Transport Officers, which merged with its Dutch counterpart Federatie van Werknemers in de Zeevaart in 2009. It currently has about 23,000 members. Nautilus general secretary MarkDickinson said: " The agreement ...

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Nautilus International supports UK over its plans for armed guards on ships

It is essential to ensure that their legitimacy is enshrined in law Officers union Nautilus International has given support to the UK government over its plans to establish a legal framework for armed guards on ships.While accepting that armed protection is now widespread, with UK flagged vessels among the growing number that routinely employ private security personnel on ships that sail through waters where pirates operate, Nautilus nevertheless says it is essential to ensure their legitimacy is enshrined in law.Amending existing statutes to allow for firearms on merchant ships is absolutely essential, said Andrew Linington , the Anglo-Dutch unions campaigns and communications director.

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