Aug 282008

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Fellow Blogista Marinebuzz tipped us off about New Zealander Dan, a seafarer whose, now former, company banned him from writing a blog due to “security” concerns. Dan decided to resign rather than give up his blogging after just eight days of a 21 day trip, good for him.

One wonders whether it was the company security officer or the the ship security officer who inspired the muzzling of Dan. It’s hard to make a rational argument for banning a seafarer’s blog.

Of course, it could be a generation gap – onshore management is often comprised of former seafarers who can’t quite understand all the kerfuffle about, or need for, internet communications and new-fangled do-dads like blogs. It could just as easily be a manager who’s never been to sea and can’t understand what the fuss is about – why does Dan have to blog from the ship? Why can’t he just pop around the corner to an internet cafe and do it from there?

The internet is an increasingly valuable way for seafarers to stay in cintact with the outside world and writing a blog. Our good friend John Konrad over at gCaptain is a good example and he often blogs from his iPhone while at sea.

Although blogs by working seafarers are not very numerous they are growing in number. They have a social value, they can enhance the quality of life aboard ship and enable sharing of practical information that can improve working practices and safety.

These days, of course, security is an issue, and justifiably so, but it has to be based on a realistic, rational risk assessment. Over-reaction, which is what appears to be the case here, throws doubt on the sensibility of other, more reasonable security measures and thyere is a danger that it will reduce, rather than enhance, security awareness.

You can read Kiwi At Sea here, and catch up with Marinebuzz here.

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