Se trata de un interesantisimo y entretenido libro que ha escrito Jack Devennay, un ingeniero naval ahora retirado. El libro, que está dando para muchos comentarios, entre otras muchas cosas, habla de la importancia de la transparencia en un negocio marítimo, donde los estados y las sociedades de clasificación dependen y compiten por trabajar con esos mismos astilleros y armadores que intentan regular.
Un extracto del Capítulo 7, verdades como templos, que todos conocemos y alguna vez hemos sufrido.
The Tromedy does an excellent job of enforcing omerta, a code of silence. This starts at the ship level, where crews don’t report problems unless they absolutely have to. They know that their bosses regard a problem-free ship as a good ship. Any casualty is a black mark on their record.
If the ship does report a problem to a superintendent, the superintendent decides whether to report this to the next level up and so on. Each level makes this decision in full knowledge that any reported problem is a black mark, and that in many cases the next level up doesn’t want to hear about problems. Unless the problem is a major one, the owner almost certainlynever hears about it, in part because everybody knows he doesn’t want to hear.
If the problem is so major that the owner and/or Class become involved, that’s as far as it goes. The owner knows that if his customers, the oil companies, hear about a problem they will be less likely to charter his ships. Even if the charterer knows the ship and the operation are excellent, he will prefer a poorer ship that had not reported any problems. That way, if there is a big spill, the charterer can’t be blamed for hiring a ship knowing that
it had had problems.
And if the Tromedy has given him a lousy ship, the last thing an owner will do is to complain. Quite the contrary, he extols the ship and its builder to one and all, hoping to find some fool to whom he can sell the ship.2 And the unfortunate buyer’s lips are sealed for the same reason. It must be a great comfort to the yards to know that however bad their ships are, they will never hear anything but praise from their customers, at least in public.
The ship’s Classification Society also has a big stake in secrecy. For one thing, Class’s customer, the shipowner, wants any problem to remain quiet for obvious commercial reasons. It is well understood that Class will respect the “owner’s confidence”. Any Class that broke that rule would quickly lose all its customers to its competitors. This is written into Class contracts.Throughout Class paperwork, the regulatee is accurately called “the Client”.
But Class has its own stake in secrecy. Major casualties often reflect on the Class itself. In any major casualty, it’s a good bet that the design (approved by Class) or the Class’s survey procedures could be called into question.
Given this system, the chances of even an insider finding out the real truth about other owners’ problems are nil. It almost never happens unless a problem has reached pandemic proportions or there’s a high profile spill.
Sadly, IMO itself is involved in the problem hiding. The Flag State
casualty reports are not made public.3 These reports are not even kept in the normal IMO library. Even IMO’s “public” summaries of the Flag State reports are kept on a password locked web page. The data on which IMO regulations are based is not open to public scrutiny. In fact, in some cases, the IMO delegates themselves are not allowed to review the raw data, in part because of Class confidentiality clauses.4 It is wishful thinking to expect intelligent regulation to come out of a star chamber.
Ahora queda la pregunta, ¿Quién es este insensato que se atreve a contar todo esto?
Jack Devanney es un ingeniero naval que durante los años 90 dirigió la Hellespont Shipping Corp. Bajo su dirección, en el año 99, se comenzo la construcción de 4 VlCC de 305000 toneladas en la Samsung y 4 ULCC de 420000 toneladas en la Daewoo, estos ULCC eran los primeros barcos de más de 320000 toneladas construidos en los ultimos 20 años. La flota de 8 supertanques fué entregada en el 2001/2002, siendo los VLCC vendidos el mismo 2001 y los ULCC en el 2004.
Tras está experiencia (y seguramente con muchos millones) Devanney se retira y funda Center for Tanker Ship Excelence, una organización sin animo de lucro para mejorar las deterioradas practicas de diseño, construcción y regulación de los petroleros.
Si tenéis prisa por leerlo y no quereís esperar a los de Amazón, desde aquí se puede bajar en pdf.
Gracias a Agus, que es el que me paso el extracto que me llevo al libro.