1st May 2010, 12:02
When sailing on UK ships under Reduced Manning Regs I could never understand the reasoning of those responsible for establishing the geographical limits. These ships could trade between the Black and White Seas with reduced deck manning. The only time I sailed outwith this area was a trip to Teneriffe in latitude 28 N. from the UK. We were obliged to increase the deck manning from four to six or make a shorthand payment. In this case our sailors freely opted for the extra payment. Clawing your way round the North Cape in 71 N. with a full timber deck cargo, in a force ten, with reduced deck crew, tends to turn your thoughts to the competence of the decision makers.
9th May 2010, 11:56
I am not quite sure where you are going? The minimum manning certificate (ER) issued by the UK DOTTI was for GP Crews? was it? and while you where rock dodging around NW Europe the British merchant marine was in competion with the Scanandavian, and the Dutch, French and German Coastal fleets: Which I belive for the same crew numbers had different limits (geograpghical)? So in answer to your question part of it was political, based on a calm sea, and economic reasons for the UK coastal fleet to survive.
Safety is a point but when you talk internationally i assume there where trade off's, and by a fudge factor the people who knew best of the safe manning of the/a vessel where the ship owners. The Government Body in the UK DOTTI, I suspect had many idealogical talks with the Then UK Trade Unions, and I suspect did not wish to be caught up in general manning levels for each vessel, or how a particular company manned a certain vessel. The Minimum manning level was discussed and thought very deeply about, It was for the industry to man a ship efficiently. A safe manning certificate was I suspect for a 'Run' crew-Voyage Only, and not the add on's of in port loading and discharging cargo. A vexed question, but a reality check? Where is the Red Duster now? and is it still a safe flag?