Capt. Peter SquicciariniCapt. Peter Squicciarini
Capt. Peter Squicciarini is a licensed master mariner and marine safety specialist at the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command in Portsmouth, Va. He has worked on towing, passenger, and fishing vessels, and was a safety and compliance manager for an East Coast tug and barge company. He also served in the Navy as a surface ship officer and commanded several warships. He can be reached at pdsquicciarini@msn.com.

Blog Activity

Bad drugs

Even the most common prescriptions — including over-the-counter drugs that usually don't have harmful side effects — can sneak up on you and knock you out of commission.  We all know drugs can mess you up. People overdose all the time. Most certainly any use of illegal drugs will be a career killer and most likely will get your license not just suspended, but revoked. This isn't big news, except perhaps to the infinitely small number of mariners who think they can beat the...

Death from above

Your chances of getting hit and killed by a meteor are pretty slim, but you can get hit, killed or hurt by more earthly objects.Your chances of getting hit and killed by a meteor are pretty slim, but you can get hit, killed or hurt by more earthly objects. You’ve been told time and time again that situational awareness (SA) can save your life or prevent an accident. Loss of SA greatly increases the risk of an accident. Many accidents by experienced and licensed mariners in the wheelhouse...

It’s not too late

I don’t know if you have made any New Year’s resolutions for yourself, but if you haven’t, here are a few you might want to make.It’s not too late to make those New Year’s resolutions. Every year people think up great ideas for self-improvement and make a commitment in the form of a resolution to better themselves, help someone else, or improve a situation that has dogged them the previous year. I don’t know if you have made any New Year’s resolutions for yourself, but if you haven’t,...

Mariners, be thankful

U.S. mariners have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.It’s the holiday season again and some of you will be onboard standing the watch away from family and friends. I know it's a bummer. But I’d to reflect on the many things we should all be thankful for this Thanksgiving and everyday. Be thankful you are an American. Every day I read reports of desperate people packed into leaky boats and on rafts risking life and limb to get to the U.S. Nobody is trying to escape from the U.S....

Let there be light

Nav lights that tell the rest of us what your vessel is, how big it is and what it’s doing so we can maneuver accordingly.Genesis 1:3: “And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light.” So it is with navigation lights that tell us what your vessel is, how big it is and what it’s doing so we can maneuver accordingly. I always hate the lights and shape sections on rules of the road tests. Sometimes the questions on lights and shapes are so bizarre that you can go an entire career...

Be on the look out

Some say the Lyubov Orlova sank, but it could now be the new Flying Dutchman.Be on the look out.  BOLO. This is a sea story that’s absolutely true, as all sea stories are truth. I am reading a published Canadian investigation that tells the unfortunate details leading to the loss of the dead ship tow Lyubov Orlova. She was a derelict Russian “cruise ship” on her last voyage from Canada to the Dominican Republic to be scrapped. The incident took place in December with winter weather. What...

Cost of blood

A lapse of your safety management system can lead to bad things that can get you involved in very expensive litigation and destroy your bottom line.“Blood is a big expense.”  That’s a quote from the movie “Godfather”. Those words couldn’t be truer. I want to put a face on the cost of blood. I’m going with the face of George Washington, as on the dollar bill. I’ve written blogs on how safety pays. It pays in fewer lost man days, less property damage and fewer days your boat is out...

Don't get hosed

Wait too long to replace a hose and you have a geyser of water, fuel, oil or sewage.The invisible hose is the one that’s going to get you. Murphy’s Law dictates it will probably be at the worst possible time. Of course there’s no “good time” to have a hose fail. Hoses are "invisible" because we walk by them every day, watch after watch, month after month, year after year. You stop looking at them. But if you wait too long, you have a geyser of water, fuel, oil or sewage. Sewage is bad....

Don’t get wrapped around the axle

Did you know machine guards are not just in the engine room? You can have a dozen or more machine guards all around your boat.A machine guard is defined as "a device that prevents injury, damage or loss…an attachment or covering put on a machine to protect the operator." All too often a machine guard disappears and the danger becomes invisible. You disassemble a piece of gear that had a guard and the guard walks away. The fasteners take a hike and you don’t bother to scout up replacement...

It’s all fun and games

I’d like to look ahead to when it’s 20 degrees, you are freezing your stern off and you are slipping and sliding on deck like an ice skating rink.It’s hotter than 90 degrees today where I’m writing from in Virginia. But in this blog I’d like to look ahead to when it’s 20 degrees, you are freezing your stern off and you are slipping and sliding on deck like an ice skating rink. Despite what they say about global warming, it’s going to get cold. Last winter almost all of the Great Lakes...