Also at gCaptain: A report on the capsizing of the Philippine ferry Princess of Stars here and this post by Bob Couttie of Maritime Accident Casebook. Also of interest is this Reuters report titled Ferry disasters, the bane of Asia's poorer nations which, though not very exhaustive, at least points out the problem. UPDATE: A fairly complete listing of Philippine maritime disasters here.
An optimistic claim from the head of the "Nigerian Merchant Navy" that ‘We can stop N’ Delta militancy, piracy’:
The Director General of the Nigerian Merchant Navy, Cdr. Benson Edema says that the force can stop militancy and piracy in the Niger Delta region.Of course, a "turf war" will help resolve the problem...and what does "If given the opportunity" mean?
Edema told our correspondent Saturday in Sagamu, Ogun State, that given the opportunity, the force could stop all illegal activities in the region.
The Merchant Navy commodore was in Sagamu and Ilate in Oyo State to inspect the land given to the force for its proposed base.
He noted that most members of the force, being from the region, were in a better position to understand the creeks and activities therein.
“Our training and experience put us in a better position to confront and withstand the atrocities of militants and illegal oil bunkersers,” Edema claimed.
Edema also alleged that most of today’s militants, sea pirates and oil bunkerers were former seamen who have been rendered jobless.
“It will not cost the government much to curb militancy in the region, if it provides jobs to the over 150,000 seamen who have been out of job.
“If we are given the opportunity, we will sanitise the maritime industry, regulate sea movements and carry out proper checks at sea,” he said.
He claimed that being members of the International Transport Workers Federation, the Merchant Navy members can sanitise, regulate and run the shipping sector.
On the ongoing crisis between the Nigerian Navy and the Merchant Navy, Edema said that such would not augur well for the country as the Merchant Navy is the military auxiliary arm.
He said that the Nigerian Navy has taken over the responsibility of the Merchant Navy, including policing of the high seas against pirates.
UPDATE: More on the "Nigerian Merchant Navy" here which makes it sound like some other Nigerian scams:
At the Nigeria Maritime Administration Safety Agency (NIMASA) an extensive investigation was conducted to ascertain the authenticity of the corps especially following the allegation that the directives to establish the Nigeria Merchant Navy Corps were given by former President Obasanjo.Gadzooks!
NIMASA in a letter to Presidency on November 16, 2007, had dissociated itself from the organization known as the Nigerian Merchant Navy.
The letter which was signed by the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. S.A. Dosunmu said that, “the so-called Nigerian Merchant Navy is not known in the law establishing the NIMASA (NIMASA ACT 2007) nor the Nigerian Merchant Shipping Act 2007 that delegated the function of the Maritime Safety Administration to NIMASA.”
UPDATE2: Xformed pays tribute to an one of those unsung but exceptional civilian workers.