VS Parani Personal Blog

Welcome to my BLOG. Here I will be posting articles on health and safety that interest everyone who is into the shipping industry. Feel free to register and receive regular updates. Your comments are also welcomed!

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Engine Room Fire: Hot Leadership Lessons from the Sea

Fire blog thumbnail

In 2014, a fire destroyed the Engine Room of the bulk carrier Marigold. Luckily, other than a couple of seafarers who were hospitalised for smoke inhalation, there were no serious injuries. But the cost of the fire damage would be several hundred thousand US dollars.

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Grounding on a Curve; Leadership Lessons from the Sea

“My life is one long curve, full of turning points”for small photo

Pierre Trudeau (15th Prime Minister of Canada, and father of the current (23rd) Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau)

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Collision by design

Yes, the sequence of events leading to a ship-collision started on the computer on which the ship was designed.colbydes

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Rowing the Lifeboat- Lessons in Teamwork

rowingShips routinely lower their lifeboats to keep them ready for deployment in times of emergency. It was during one such exercise in my second year at sea that I learnt a valuable lesson in teamwork.

 

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STRATEGIES FOR STRESS-FREE INSPECTIONS

stressfreeInspections such as by Port State, Flag, Class and Oil Majors are now a fact of shipping. There is no doubt that these inspections have helped improve safety standards in shipping; the number of sub-standard ships has reduced and it is now difficult for rogue operators to endanger life at sea or damage the environment.

 

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Raja Raja Cholan, Tamil king and Maritime Adventurer

101thumpLet me tell you a secret and a story; my family calls me ‘Raja’, a shortened name for the great Tamil King Raja Raja Cholan. One of the Tamil idiosyncrasies, is that each uncle and aunt (who in those days were many) assumed the privilege of giving a child in their family their own favourite name. So, my overbearing but warm paternal uncle fondly named me ‘Raja’, proud that our family belongs to the district of Thanjavur, the capital of this king over a thousand years ago.

 

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GZ or GM?

Training EmblemMost marine officers and naval architects will tell you that the righting-lever curve, GZ is a better measure of the ship’s stability than the metacentric-height (GM) value. I agree, and will narrate a personal experience which illustrates the point beautifully.

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Accident Investigation - Successful Mind-Sets

sinking clipart 9cpok6xcE“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them” John C. Maxwell

Accidents are a result of mistakes- we all know that. I share the insights from my years as a DPA, carrying out on-hands investigations and this article is about how to be smart enough to learn the right lessons, and how to correct them, which is not always that simple.

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My first trip to the Ship’s Bridge

captainbabyMy first visit to the navigation centre of the ship, also called the Wheelhouse or the Bridge was when I was about eighteen months old.

My formative years were spent in Port Blair, the capital town of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. My father, originally from Tamil Nadu, a state in India, was a banker on the islands for nearly 36 years. My mother was a home maker and also from Tamil Nadu.

 

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My first grounding

newbieI was sixteen when I grounded my first ship. It was a rowboat actually but I learnt my lesson so well that I never had to go through the same experience for the rest of my career.

During my final year in high school, a group of friends and I went on a boating trip. The water sports complex was at the end of a lagoon, one of many in the Andaman Islands. The lagoon is lined with mangroves and has several ‘mangrove islands’ inside the backwaters.

 

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Quick Thinking, or was it Preparation?

Be PreparedIt was during my first voyage as a ship captain in 2004 when I was approaching the port of Cristobal in Panama, I faced an emergency any ship could face- a main-engine failure! This was a container ship about 211 metres long, equipped with cargo cranes and built in 1977 in Denmark. The ship was since demolished and the aneroid barometer from that ship is now mounted in my living room bulkhead (oops, wall)!

 

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