Saturday, 4 July 2009

Tanker Chicken

So the Nanny government of the UK feels it has a problem with mobile phone use by drivers of cars on UK roads.....huh, they should come out here and see what idiocy we sometimes have to contend with.
Just to briefly paint the picture (and hopefully not bore the pants off you), Seismic vessels tow streamers, which can be up to 10km long, and are run at a depth of between 7 and 9m in normal operation. Now these are pretty pricey bits of kit by anyones standards, each streamer and associated bits and pieces costing between 1 and 1.5 million US dollars. Most seismic boats tow between 6 and 12 of these noodles, so to put it simply, we would rather not damage, or lose them if at all possible, thankyou very much.
Where our vessel is currently operating there is a reasonable amount of Oil Tanker traffic, the majority of which are controlled very precisely by the relevant Port authorities, and crewed by professional Seaman. However in the last week, we have had so far one 335m Tanker circle away from us having decided for reasons known only to his Bridge crew, to change his mind about following the (clear) instructions we had given him and he had acknowledged, alter course, and use us as a Target.
A second smaller (only 150m this time !) Tanker, refused to acknowledge all instructions and warnings given out on Radio channel 16 (a marine offence in itself), and then proceeded to try and cut our streamers....luckily he didn't get them as we had dived them to 30m depth, although on his return journey a few days later he unbelievably made another attempt !
Now to be honest i'm pretty pissed by this, what right do these cretins have to be driving these fully loaded Leviathons around the world ? Who the hell gave them the Maritime qualification to allow them to even set foot on a boat ? We are obviously talking about people who are completely intellectually challenged even tying their shoe laces by the looks of things.
Look at the pictures below....thats what a gentle tap does to a small empty (luckily) Tanker when its hit by another vessel ( I would hate to see the other Guy !).....even more unbelievably the vessel that hit this one had (allegedly) a Pilot onboard, who by the looks of things was presumably on his mobile phone at the time....I just give up !!

Later........If I survive the next few days...

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