Captain's Corner

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Captain's Corner





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1. Know Your Flags

“In harbour: “The ship is quarantined.”
At sea: “You should stop your vessel instantly.”

This can also be signaled ­­­by sound as Morse Code: ●▬●●

2. The Rule of the Road

Rule 10. Traffic Separation Schemes
A traffic separation scheme or TSS is a maritime traffic-management route-system ruled by the International Maritime Organization or IMO. The traffic-lanes (or clearways) indicate the general direction of the ships in that zone; ships navigating within a TSS all sail in the same direction or they cross the lane in an angle as close to 90 degrees as possible.

TSSs are used to regulate the traffic at busy, confined waterways or around capes. Within a TSS there is normally at least one traffic-lane in each main-direction, turning-points, deep-water lanes and separation zones between the main traffic lanes. Most TSS schemes include ‘inshore traffic zones’ between the traffic-lanes and the coast.

The inshore traffic zone is unregulated and is not intended to be used for through traffic but rather for local traffic, fishing and small craft. A ship navigating in a traffic-lane should sail in the general direction of that lane. The body of water between two opposite lanes is to be avoided by vessels travelling within the TSS as far as possible except in certain circumstances such as emergencies or for fishing activities.


Where needed there are special zones where a lane splits into two channels: one ongoing and the other to the nearby port(s).The TSS rules are incorporated in the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (Under Part B, Section I, Rule 10- Traffic Separation Schemes).

3. What would the captain do?

In a traffic separation scheme, when joining a traffic lane from the side, a vessel shall do so:

  1. at as small an angle as possible
  2. as nearly as practical at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow
  3. only in case of an emergency or to engage in fishing within the zone
  4. never

4. Social Distancing….we invented it….

Rule 8 (Action to avoid a collision)

  1. Any action taken to avoid collision shall be taken in accordance with the Rules of this Part and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, be positive, made in ample time and with due regard to the observance of good seamanship.
  2. Any alteration of course and/or speed to avoid collision shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, be large enough to be readily apparent to another vessel observing visually or by radar; a succession of small alterations of course and/or speed should be avoided.
  3. If there is sufficient sea-room, alteration of course alone may be the most effective action to avoid a close-quarters situation provided that it is made in good time, is substantial and does not result in another close-quarters situation.
  4. Action taken to avoid a collision with another vessel shall be such as to result in passing at a safe distance. The effectiveness of the action shall be carefully checked until the other vessel is finally past and clear.
  5. If necessary to avoid collision or allow more time to assess the situation, a vessel shall slacken her speed or take all way off by stopping or reversing her means of propulsion.

SMT’s IT Department

SMT’s IT Department has adapted quite quickly to the new structure demanded by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Since many of the IT staff were already working remotely, the team was familiar with the needs and the infrastructure required for this situation. Still, new equipment and solutions have been required.In our Poland office, Piotr Michalski set up 11 new laptops, and in Cyprus, 3 new laptops were added. In addition, new procedures have been created to allow for a paperless structure.

Cybersecurity has become more of an issue now that the staff is out of the controlled office environment. The IT Department is continuously monitoring firewalls, servers and spam filters and the users have been made aware of the increased risk and how to protect the system.

We all look forward to a return to some normalcy but until then the IT Department is committed to keeping everyone at SMT connected and continuing with day to day operations. We have included some photos of the IT Team in their home offices!