Friday, August 31, 2007

One year to the day since we started this blog

photo by Gilbert Garcin -

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Archimedes, Boyle and Newton - expert witnesses in the Gaul Investigation

The 2004 Gaul RFI concluded that:

- The design of the duff and offal chutes on the Gaul was satisfactory to prevent the ingress of seawater onto the factory deck. (RFI final report, page 285)

- At the time of the loss, there was no physical reason why the watertight covers could not have been closed and secured. (RFI final report, page 286)

Additionally, it was assumed that, apart from leaving open the closures of the duff and offal chutes, the crew on the Gaul had also left unsecured a number of other important weathertight hatches and doors – all during a major storm. (!!!)
(This ‘everything was left open’ assumption was possibly meant to reinforce the RFI panel’s theory of crew negligence: i.e. if the trawlermen had left so many things unsecured, leaving the chutes open would be less surprising – just part of the general pattern.)

But why would the 36 experienced crewmembers do such reckless things? Save for the unlikely possibility that they all ran amok that day, what explanation could there be for such weird behaviour?
Yet, the 2004 Investigation panel decided that the crew had ignored all those protections to the safety of their ship and of their own lives.
No scientific explanation was found, although simple scientific explanations do exist - if you are willing to look for them.

In support of these alternative explanations, we are able to present the evidence given by our expert witnesses: Sir Isaac Newton, Messrs Archimedes of Syracuse and Robert Boyle.
The physical laws established by these honourable gentlemen could be used to prove the existence of alternative loss scenarios. We have already done this for the closing arrangements on the duff and offal chutes on the Gaul, which, we demonstrated, could have easily been opened by the forces of the sea. Bearing in mind that these laws govern cause and effect, it can be similarly demonstrated that a number of other important hatches and doors on the Gaul could have been burst open by the maelstrom of forces unleashed on them as floodwater surged from compartment to compartment, while the vessel was sinking in heavy seas. (More about this will be said in a separate post)

However, once one accepts that other plausible explanations exist, the general crew-negligence scenario, that the 2004 RFI panel seem to have stapled themselves to, becomes increasingly doubtful. To say the least...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Great Firewall of

"He, whose long wall the wand'ring Tartar bounds..."Alexander Pope, The Dunciad

Employees of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have recently discovered that they no longer had access to our blog, which, we would like to think, is quite pleasant and informative.
Yet, the fretful nannies in the MCA/DfT have decided that our website has become inappropriate for the readership of these institutions and filtered it out of reach.
Now I remember that, some time ago, the Treasury Solicitor himself advised that he also had had difficulties in accessing our site, which had probably been rated as unsuitable for the innocent eyes at the TSol.

Has our enlightened government somehow perceived the materials published on our blog as containing strong language, nudity or violence? Are we to assume that the government’s Cyber Patrols only allow access to web content labelled with “ Fun for ages 3 to 6” or classed as “Suitable to all ages, without the accompaniment of a parent or legal guardian”?

Or could they have decided, like the old Beotians, to ban all reasons for contrariety?


It now appears that our site was not the only one to have been banned from the MCA/DfT desktops.
The MCA advises that it does not permit access to websites categorised as ‘social networking’, in general. That is their employees cannot access any blogspot sites.
(Anyway, it seems that our other web page: has, so far, escaped the ideological purge and is still accessible to the MCA.)

Now I wonder: if you don’t want your staff to network with those dangerous reactionaries in the Blogger community, wouldn’t it be enough to simply tell them so?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Brief statement

Mr Tony Bowman - Managing Director of TMC (Marine Consultants) Ltd was the technical expert appointed by the Attorney General to ensure that all relevant technical evidence was presented to 2004 Re-opened Formal Investigation (RFI) and to provide expert advice on the matters related to the loss of the Gaul.
Today I called Mr Bowman and asked for his opinion on the evidence related to the design defect in the duff and offal chutes on the vessel - evidence that had been produced by the MCA and available to those concerned since 2002.
The TMC Director would offer no comment on the matter other than stating that all he had to say about the design of the Gaul’s chutes was contained in the transcripts of evidence and RFI final report.
Well, we’ve had a good look at those documents already…

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Red alert

Please read this:
The casual agnostic

During a recent telephone conversation, the Treasury Solicitor, in a gently aporetic style, was questioning the ability of our researcher to investigate matters “going back the best part of 35 years” and make pronouncements on the design of the Gaul’s chutes, such a long time after their conception.
So, the truth about the causes for the loss of the Gaul, the Treasury Solicitor believes, is unknowable to man – too remote and complex a subject for a mortal to wrap his mind around.

Well, it may be so, but that didn’t prevent the 2004 RFI panel, only three years ago, to formulate, rather axiomatically, their opinions; it didn’t stop justice Steel from declaring that the only possible cause for the tragedy was the fact that the duff and offal chutes on the Gaul had been left open by the crew and, just a few months ago, it didn’t put the Treasury Solicitor himself off professing his unshaken belief in the results of the Formal Investigation and in the soundness of the chutes’ design either.

Nevertheless, the latter now holds that we cannot establish that something caused something else, or ever know anything for certain.

As we can never know the cause of the Universe

Monday, August 13, 2007

Yet another flaw in the design

So far, we have revealed that there were two design faults and one, what we would call, error in the in the design of the duff and offal chutes on the Gaul:
The principal design fault (for details, see this LINKED DOCUMENT and this VIDEO CLIP), related to the construction and arrangement of the chutes, meant that the non-return flaps in the duff and offal chutes on the vessel could have been opened by the action of the sea
The second design fault showed the possibility for the bolted assemblies of the non-return flaps to become twisted due to the force of the sea, and remain open thereafter (further details can be found at this LINK).
The design error described in our post of 26 June 2007 was a dimensioning mistake in the shipyard’s construction drawing which, in certain circumstances, could have caused the flap to jam in the open position, after having been opened under the action of the sea. (For further explanations please follow this LINK)
Now, we are presenting yet another design error (explained HERE): a miscalculation of the relative weights of the components of the chutes’ non return flaps, the consequence of which meant that a wave load of only 7.5 kg could have been enough to force them open.
It should be noted that the design of ‘non-return flaps’ within the duff and offal chutes should have enabled them to withstand the forces of the sea, close automatically and prevent water ingress. However, as a result of the inadequacies listed above, the action of the sea could have caused the flaps to fail in their main functions.
Thus, it is evident that the design of the Gaul’s chutes was vitiated by multiple flaws (and, we warn you, there is more to come) and that the unfortunate nature of these flaws was such that they augmented each other’s effects, rendering the vessel unacceptably vulnerable to flooding and capsizing.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Pre-emptive actions

Those who have read our post of 27 February 2007 will remember that a design fault in the duff and offal chutes on the FV Gaul was identified by the MCA in March 2002 and put forward as a possible cause for her loss. (See the email reproduced in our above-mentioned post)
In July 2002, the information obtained from the MAIB underwater survey supported this proposition, as the chutes on the shipwreck had both been found to be open.
The Gaul Formal Investigation (RFI) commenced in January 2004, and its final report, delivered twelve months later, concluded that the ship had sunk due to crew and shore staff error.
What is interesting, or rather worrying, to note, especially in the light of our previous post, is the fact that the naval architect who had initially identified the design fault on the Gaul in 2002 has been kept under the spotlight ever since - unseen celestial forces set at work against him, making him wonder, for two years and a half, how a ship nerd could have incurred the wrath of the all-powerful gods.
He would only discover the reason for his punishment after the publication of the final report, at the end of 2004, when he could see for himself that the outcome of the RFI didn’t quite accord with the evidence he knew had been provided to the inquiry.
It was then when he finally realised that the reason was simple: to neutralise the person who knew that the result of the investigation was unsound and designed to preclude any subsequent unfavourable litigation.
After the 2004 RFI, the government’s pressure continued, with bouts of hostility marking each of his attempts to shed light on this matter.

Bearing all these in mind, we can now infer that, although the suppression of evidence in a public inquiry was a risky business, those in power - comfortably installed in the conviction that they had the ability to crush the prying ‘small guy’ and take care of any other loose ends - decided to do it anyway. And this decision was taken two years before the opening of the formal investigation.

Of course, today, after all that has happened, it is a lot more difficult to change the results of the formal investigation; the implications are multiple and serious - one of them being the reflex questions that such an exposure would trigger, questions of the type: If the authorities were prepared to skew a fishing vessel inquiry, what would they do when a lot more were at stake?

On the other hand, if our government and their partners in business are allowed, once again, to get away with it …


“The rule of law can be wiped out in one misguided, however well-intentioned, generation.” William T. Gossett

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

State-sponsored terror

If you want to find out about the methods used by the British government against whistleblowers, in order to suppress politically damaging revelations, please visist this site:


Covert Government Investigations, using community policing. AKA Gang Stalking