Proceedings Of The Marine

FAL 2012

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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I Identify You Loud and Clear How modern electronics influence the marine industry. E\ 05 .(55< L. D8.( 0DULQH &DVXDOW\ ,QYHVWLJDWRU 8 6 &RDVW *XDUG ,QYHVWLJDWLRQV 1DWLRQDO &HQWHU RI ([SHUWLVH Imagine you are the captain of the uninspected towing vessel (UTV) Stanley Gene. It is 5:30 a.m., on a warm winter morning, with heavy fog drifting over the region. Your tow boat is pushing nine loaded red-flagged barges downbound from Baton Rouge, La., on the lower Missis- sippi River, en route to the Gulf of Mexico. You receive a radio call from the pilot aboard the motor vessel (M/V) Short Boxer, an approaching deep-draft bulk car- rier en route up the Mississippi River on to its anchorage location to wait the vessel's turn at her final destination to offload cargo. The tanker is foreign-flagged, consisting entirely of a foreign crew with one state pilot, who has recently boarded the vessel. Meeting Arrangement At a distance of approximately three miles, you com- mence radio communications with the pilot of the M/V Short Boxer. The pilot requests a two-whistle meet- ing (starboard to starboard). You acknowledge his request by stating, "M/V Short Boxer requests a two-whistle meet- ing. UTV Stanley Gene agrees to a two-whistle meeting with the M/V Short Boxer." Another radio call comes in from the Short Boxer around 5:50 a.m. Once again, you confirm the two-whistle meet- ing. As you turn out of a rather sharp bend in the river, you identify the open-range lights on the M/V Short Boxer indicating a two-whistle meeting. A few minutes later, you receive a radio call from the pilot of the M/V Short Boxer 40 Proceedings Fall 2012 requesting you to turn more to port. A few minutes later, you hear via radio the pilot of the vessel make a statement that he is tired of looking at your green light, indicating the M/V Short Boxer was setting up for a two-whistle pass. One-Whistle or Two? You then begin to see the M/V Short Boxer's red light, indicating that she is turning more to starboard, which means that the pilot either wants to do a one-whistle pass (though that was never agreed upon), or the vessel is mov- ing more to the left descending bank side of the channel. Either way things are not looking good. Judgment call: Do you continue to prepare for the two- whistle passing that both vessels originally agreed upon, or do you prepare for what appears to be a one-whistle meeting? The pilot stated via radio that he identifies your vessel and used the bow floodlights to identify your position. Sud- denly, and without warning the Short Boxer makes a hard starboard turn. Now, you re-take control of the Stanley Gene from your watch relief and specifically request the pilot "Do not turn on us." The M/V Short Boxer collides with the lead port barge of your tow — resulting in your tow breaking loose and your lead port barge sustaining damage and spilling ammonium nitrate into the river. Accordingly, river traffic is impeded and ultimately forces the closure of the Mississippi River. Collaborate

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