Author: Rik van Hemmen

Women and Children First, Part Two

Our first blog on “Women and Children First” elicited a fair amount of comment on various discussion sites. A major part of the discussion centered on the Birkenhead disaster. The Birkenhead disaster is considered to be the first application, or even the invention, of the “Women and Children First” concept. Wikipedia provides a fair amount… Read more »

Seastreak Wall Street Efficiency

The title of this story has a purpose. On an ironic level, web search engines may regard it as a rare combination of terms (Wall Street and Efficiency). But, actually, it is a story about the maritime industry’s efforts to fight for real efficiencies. Seastreak is the ferry service between our part of New Jersey and New… Read more »

Woman and Children First?

Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixson of Uppsala University recently performed an interesting analysis of survival rates in a large number of major ship disasters ranging over a period of over 150 years. They were interested in determining whether the old adage “Woman and Children First” actually occurred in such disasters. While many of their conclusions… Read more »

Ordeal By Inspection

This cartoon was probably old when I first saw it in the eighties, but I would say the subject that it spoofs has not gotten much better. Most of the above inspectors still show up, but today we can add Port State Control, P&I condition inspectors (especially hatch cover inspections), environmental auditors, ISM inspectors and the… Read more »

Let The Sun Shine On The Delaware

M&O covers quite a range of waterfronts. Some we only visit occasionally (for example, Bahia Blanca, Argentina we visit no more than about once a decade) but others we visit on an almost daily basis. The Delaware River ports are home turf for us, but every now and then we need to check the internet… Read more »

Piracy Never Ends

This May we decided to perform a heavy duty office cleaning and we literally opened every file drawer in the office and in our storage basement to see what had to go and what needed to stay. I came across one file that was marked “fax junk.” Remember faxes and remember getting silly fax stuff… Read more »

The End Of The Exxon Valdez

A recent bit in the news announced that the “Exxon Valdez” in its present incarnation as the “Oriental Nicety” is bound for the scrap yard. It is easy to think of the “Exxon Valdez” as some villainous symbol in the drama of the oil spill in Alaska, but, as Paul Harvey used to say, then… Read more »

When You Know Where You Came From, You Might Know Where You Are Going

Nobody has ever made a list of all the company’s addresses in its 137 year history, but since the middle 1920’s the firm has only had four addresses: 25 Broadway, NYC, the classic Cunard building in downtown Manhattan, where we were reportedly the first tenants after the main tenant, Cunard. 65 Broadway, NYC, which at… Read more »

Civilized Brooklyn Bridge Surveying

For the second time in three years we were asked to attend to damages of the shielding on the Brooklyn Bridge. Shielding is a type of staging that is fitted to a bridge when construction work is taking place, and both cases related to contact by a crane boom with the shielding that was suspended beneath the… Read more »

Gerry Ginter, General Average and Security

This week we lost a client and a dear friend with the untimely passing of Gerry Ginter. Gerry was an average adjuster and most recently a Senior Vice President at Marsh. Average adjusting is a unique and ancient profession. Quite possibly, it may be the oldest true profession (the other one is not really a… Read more »