Whistleblowing Ship Master Wins Case Against Matson and Hails Seaman’s Protective Act as Powerful Tool to Require Ship Owners to Maintain Safe Ships

Captain John Loftus, an advocate for merchant marine safety, won a decision from the Administrative Review Board of the Department of Labor that sustained a $1.1 million judgment against a company that punished Loftus for reporting unsafe conditions aboard the company ships.   The decision, delivered on May 24, 2018 may also open the gate wider for seamen to qualify for … [Read more...]

The Maritime Paperwork Monster Plus New Requirements to Get More Sleep

- by Captain Richard Madden When asked about the Manila Amendments, a captain recently quipped, “What?  There's new regulations for folders?!“  The Manila Amendments refer to new wide-ranging changes to the IMO (International Maritime Organization) Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).  STCW is a … [Read more...]


Familiarity with the ISM code is a subject that has reappeared multiple times during the Deepwater Horizon trails. The ISM code was designed, in part, to assure the responsibility of shore based management in safety matters and the liability of shoreside managers in the event of an incident. Unfortunately, the hearings board has only seen it fit to question crew members aboard … [Read more...]

Ridiculous Item of the Month – Madatory VTS Instructions

Fairplay brings us the most ridiculous item of the day; Vessels transiting US harbours could come under tight navigational controls in the wake of the Cosco Busan bridge strike and resulting spill in San Francisco Bay. Sources close to the investigation tell Fairplay that federal officials may suggest that vessels transiting US channels may be compelled to follow navigational … [Read more...]