Marine World

Watch: gCaptain’s Impassioned Call For Change

It’s time, to be honest. gCaptain is overwhelmed and the industry is breaking.

And here’s why…

Right now gCaptain is working on stories about
The 2 million barrel VLCC New Diamon on fire and drifting.
150,000 Mauritians protesting the Wakashio bunker spill.
a cable layer that’s currently in flames
The Waymon L Boyd dredge explosion in corpus,
The delayed salvage of the Golden Ray.
The Stellar Banner grounding investigation.
The Hoegh Xiamen explosion in Jacksonville.
The Alanis and Florence Spirit collision in Canada
Multiple hurricanes bearing down on the GOM
China challenging freedom of navigation
A total collapse of the cruise industry
Mass layoffs offshore and at big companies like ABS
Multiple US shipping companies near collapse
The Bonhomme Richard Fire.
The navy responders refusing harbor tug help.
Why the USS Zumwalt cost $8B and doesn’t work.
Why the Bonhomme Richard $8B vessel is not protected by a single fireboat.
The USS Fitzgerald NTSB report finally being released 3 years later.
Why the Navy is continuing its gangway up order after suicides.
The abysmal state of the MARAD and sealift fleets.
The fires aboard our only 2 icebreakers.
An Explosion in Beirut
Sexual assault allegations at numerous maritime academies.
Diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Hundreds of thousands or mariners stuck at sea,
and a IMO ‘expert’ who’s telling people that carcinogens are “nature’s skin cream’.

And that does not include what I haven’t mentioned publically.

The list just goes on, and on.

But the straw that broke the camel’s back and caused me to film this video today was a message from a friend about a death aboard a Pacific Drilling Rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

For the first time in gCaptain history, I told someone that a single life does not matter. That gCaptain can not investigate that death that we don’t have time.


What has stuck most in my mind since COVID started is the one man in our industry who has fought harder than the rest. Captain Robert Cook, president of the Organization of Black Maritime College Graduates who has been fighting for the advancement of his members for 27 years.

27 Years.

27 years and countless young, bright, talented OBMG cadets have graduated, entered our industry and have risen to the ranks of Captain, Chief Engineer, and Pilot. Not bad. I’m a captain myself, and proud of that achievement. But look around the board rooms and smoke-filled rooms of our industry’s elite and you will see his job is not finished.

I have daily discussions with Ally Cedeno of Women offshore and she works harder than anyone I know and has so much more work to do. In 1974 WISTA was formed and that same year Kathy Metcalf first walked down the passageways of King’s Point, among the first women to attend any service academy.

46 years and there is so much more to do.

Meanwhile, a battle has been fighting on social media over sexual harassment and rape and nobody is certain of the facts but everyone acknowledges it’s sharing some of our most valued institutions to the core.

So I traveled to Susan B Anthony’s house then walked to WEB DuBouise’s childhood home and then read his books. This led me to other books by Robert Caro about Robert Moses and Lyndon B Johnson. Books about strong men who did great things but also made mistakes.

And it led me to a speech by then US Senator Hubert Humphrey which I think resonates with the situation the maritime community faces today… so I reworked it a bit and turned on the camera.

Admiral Buzby , shipmates, fellow Americans:
I realize that in speaking in favor of an investigation report on mariner rights and the state of the US Merchant Marine that I’m dealing with a charged issue — with an issue which has been confused by emotionalism on all sides of the fence. I realize that there are here today friends and colleagues of mine, many of them, who feel just as deeply and keenly as I do about this issue and who are yet in complete disagreement with me.


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