Is English the True International Language of the Sea?

In 1988 the IMO made “Seaspeak” the international language of the sea. English is the principle language base of Seaspeak because it was the most common language spoken at sea in 1988. English is also the international language in civil aviation. There are numerous factors that led to English as a common language for communication at sea. Some not nearly as relevant today … [Read more...]

How Does That Happen?

At a staff meeting about avoiding collisions and allisions in piloting waters with the Master and Pilot on the bridge my respected colleague responsible for training and operations had a question. How can an experienced, qualified Pilot and Master, standing side by side on the bridge, conn a ship into a collision or allision?  How does that happen? It was a rhetorical … [Read more...]

Five (Or More) Short Blasts – On Sounding The Danger Signal

This is PART 3 of a series about the COLREGs. Scroll down for links to Part 1 & 2  by Captain  Grant H. Livingstone The Grand Daddy of COLREGs debate and interpretation among professional mariners may be Rule 34; traditionally called the ‘Danger Signal’ five short blasts on the ships whistle.  I have sailed with professional mariners that would … [Read more...]

COLREGs – Give Way or Stand On

by Captain Grant H Livingstone Part Two out of Three Part articles on COLREGS.  Are some professional mariners unintentionally violating COLREGS in a conscientious effort to avoid close quarters situations with small boats?  A review a few of the most common violations professional mariners are being found at fault for or debate in inland waters with small boats … [Read more...]

Are Ships The Careless Giants Of The Sea?

By Captain Grant Livingstone It was late summer 36 years ago on a beautiful calm evening in the Bay of Bengal off the southern coast of India.  We had just departed Tuticorin bound east then south for Cochin.  Tuticorin being an ancient port city dating back to the 6th century AD known for its pearl diving and rich fishing grounds.  I was a brand new Jr Thrid … [Read more...]