Hey guys I am new to ATS but as a Deck cadet taking my 2nd Mates exam in 2 weeks perhaps I can provide information on procedures and protocols you
would like to know of in regard to merchant ships.
First at my Nautical College, a lot of our lecturers who are all ex Captains and Chief Mates with many years of sea experience know that the story
released from the media is not accurate and is most likely a cover up.
Second, we do not get pirates in Europe. Pirates usually take hostages and have demands, goals, desires etc etc. What many of my colleges believe is
that this is most likely a government operation that was supposed to be cloak and dagger.
The SBS train with some of our merchant vessels in the English Channel and play games that involve getting to the bridge, knocking on the bridge door
and asking the Officer of the Watch (OOW) to make them a cup of tea. The OOW's never detect the presence of the SBS via radar and visual lookout. My
point being that boarding a ship, especially in Europe where the seas are choppy is a very difficult process and would require profession training to
I also picked up some arguments over AIS whilst brushing through this thread. AIS does not inform the VTS the contents of a vessels cargo. The data on
the AIS is input manually at the discretion of the Captain, so you could lie about the vessels particulars if that was the Captains desire.
Vessels are usually checked for validity by declaring their dangerous cargo to the VTS (which is mandatory in most of the world), the vessels IMO
number, last port of call, next port of call, number of crew on board, ETA at the next port of call and a range of other questions. Details could be
concealed or forged but, it would be a tricky process.
In the past, nearly 20 years ago a cargo vessel sailing from Turkey was waiting instructions from it's shipping company. It spent two weeks at anchor
off the Greek mainland. Eventually the Greek authorities boarded, found out the vessel had a cargo of dynamite, the shipping company that owned the
vessel had vanished and the Captain was completely clueless as to who his real employers were. It eventually turned out that the vessel was carrying
those explosives for the IRA and the vessel would have been eventually been directed to sail for Cork.
It is not always unheard of for this kind of incident to occur in our industry.
If you have anymore questions, feel free too ask or you can send a private message if desired.
Thanks for your time