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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’?  

El Faro sinking: Poor seamanship in the spotlight

The sinking of the container ship ‘El Faro’ in October 2015, claimed the title of one of the biggest marine tragedies in the recent US history. The ship had sailed directly into the path of Hurricane Joaquin, with NTSB and USCG noting that the key cause of the accident was the Captain’s failure to handle the ship against the storm and make appropriate use of weather data. As a result, all those on board perished in the sinking.

Why do ships use ‘port’ and ‘starboard’ and not ‘left’ or ‘right’

As port and starboard never change, they are unambiguous references that are independent of a mariner’s orientation, and, as a result, mariners use these nautical terms instead of left and right to avoid confusion. As NOAA informs, when looking forward, toward the bow of a ship, port and starboard refer to the left and right sides, respectively.

Moby Prince: Italy’s worst maritime disaster since World War II

The 10th of April marks 18 years since the fire onboard the Italian passenger ferry ‘Moby Prince’, Italy’s worst merchant marine disaster since the end of World War II. The incident, resulting in death of all but one person onboard, highlighted how miscommunication in emergency situations can be disastrous. 

Do you know why is a ship called she?

Language has it to use ‘she’ when we refer to ships and boats, something that has its roots in the very old times. “Ships are referred to as ‘she’ because men love them” or “like a woman, a ship is unpredictable”, tradition used to say. But seriously, what is lagging behind this language idiom?  

Learn from the past: Erika oil spill, Europe’s environmental disaster

December 12th marks 19 years since one of the most notorious marine oil spills ever reported in European waters. On 12 December 1999, the Erika, a 25 year-old single-hull oil tanker, broke in two off France, polluting almost 400 km of French coastline and causing unprecedented damage to marine environment, claiming the title of one of the most major environmental disasters of recent years.

Why shipping must shed focus on human rights at sea

Human rights at sea gains significant attention of the maritime community. Due to its diversified identity, shipping constitutes a friendly field for human rights abuses, with human trafficking, illegal migration, slavery and abuse in fishing sector and even the unsafe working conditions in many Southeast Asian ship recycling facilities being among the key areas of concern.

The difference between being a leader and a self-aware leader

Lately, there have been many signs that leadership development is being flawed; an assumption rising from the fact that although people search what behaviors to change in order to become a better leader, they do not search how to change those behaviors. It is of essence therefore, to generate a discussion on leadership development focusing on the self-awareness part, the foundation to ensure good leadership.

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maritime events