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Monday, September 26, 2016

U.S. Coast Guard Awards ESG with Phase II OPC Contract

The U.S. Coast Guard awarded a contract to Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., of Panama City, Florida, Thursday for the production of the lead Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) and up to eight follow-on cutters. The total award was valued at $110.29 million. The contract has a potential value of $2.38 billion with options to produce nine cutters. The OPC acquisition will replace the service’s aging fleet of medium endurance cutters, some that are in excess of 50 years old. Each OPC will feature a flight deck and advanced command…

International Maritime Rescue Logo

Inmarsat Sponsorship for safety H.E.R.O.

Inmarsat will commemorate the untimely passing earlier this year of one of the architects of its Maritime Safety Operations network by sponsoring the first International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) H.E.R.O. Award for outstanding service to maritime search and rescue, 'The Vladimir Maksimov Award'. The sponsorship is seen as a fitting tribute to Vladimir Maksimov, Inmarsat Director of SOLAS Services, who died on 4th May 2016 after a short illness, following 25 years with Inmarsat. Mr Maksimov played a central role in the Inmarsat safety team. The H.E.R.O.

NTSB Assesses USCG’s Vessel Traffic Service System

A safety study recently released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) details 14 conclusions and 21 recommendations aimed at further reducing the risk of collisions, allisions and groundings involving vessels operating within U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) areas. The study, “An Assessment of the Effectiveness of the U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service System” (NTSB/SS-16/01), focused on the performance of the Coast Guard’s VTS system, currently comprised of 12 VTS centers.

(Image: Google Maps)

Pirates Attack, Loot Container Ship

Pirates stormed a container ship off the coast of Guinea on Wednesday, making off with money and some of its cargo but leaving the crew unharmed, the government said. They fired guns and briefly held the crew hostage while they were looting the ship named Wendok, Guinea government spokesman Albert Camara said by telephone. He did not have details of the flag Wendok was flying under, the company running it, what its cargo was nor the nationalities of the crew. He said that Guinea's navy had been alerted but that the pirates had escaped before it could catch them.

Simon Williams (IUMI)

IUMI: Gloomy Outlook for Offshore Energy Insurance Sector

Speaking at yesterday’s IUMI Genova conference, Simon Williams, Chairman of IUMI’s offshore energy committee, warned that the offshore energy sector was facing a series of significant challenges. He said: “We have not witnessed this level of downturn for 30 years – a drastic reduction in the oil price and a slowdown in activity coupled with a very soft insurance market where capacity continues to increase”. The depressed oil price has forced operators and contractors to reduce their activity which has driven down the premium base of the energy account.

Mock up of the simulator complex. (Photo: Foss Maritime)

Foss, Seattle Maritime Partner on Training

[ Press Release ] Foss Maritime entered into a four-year agreement with the Seattle Maritime Academy to support its new training facility, which includes a state-of-the-art engine room simulator, a full mission bridge simulator and a computer simulation training laboratory. Foss' experienced mariners will have access to the new simulators, along with the customized professional development training offered by Seattle Maritime Academy, to support upgrading or renew licensing, and learn new skills. "At Foss, safety is our top concern.

ABTO Chief Executive Ian Adams speaking to ICHCA members last week in London Photo ABTO

ABTO Warns of Liquefaction Problems at Terminals

The Association of Bulk Terminal Operators has warned that cargo liquefaction – an issue commonly associated with the seaborne transportation of unprocessed mineral ores and concentrates – is also an issue which bulk terminals need to pay attention to. Speaking at the ICHCA ISP76 panel meeting in London last week, ABTO chief executive Ian Adams, said: “The liquefaction of bulk commodities is a serious issue which can and should be managed effectively shoreside. However, allowing…

Shipping Minister John Hayes CBE MP (front row, third from left) at ABP Southampton with James Cooper, chief executive at Associated British Ports (front row, far left), Alastair Welch, port director at ABP Southampton port director (back row, far right) with staff at ABP Southampton (Photo: ABP)

New Vessel Traffic Equipment at ABP Southampton

Associated British Ports marked the latest in a series of multi-million dollar investments in the port of Southampton by inviting the Rt Hon John Hayes CBE MP to open its brand new vessel traffic service (VTS) operating room, (September 21). The Minister of State at the Department of Transport was in attendance as Britain's leading ports company revealed its $5.2m investment in a new office with state-of-the-art equipment at Ocean Gate, Southampton, which will be manned on a 24/7 basis.

Joe Price (Photo: InterMoor)

InterMoor Appoints Price as Canada Country Manager

InterMoor, an Acteon company, has appointed Joe Price as Country Manager for InterMoor Canada based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the regional hub for the Canadian offshore oil and gas sector. Price, a native Newfoundlander, is a graduate of the Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering program at Memorial University of Newfoundland and brings with him over 14 years’ offshore oil and gas industry experience. Over the course of his career, Price has worked extensively on the engineering…

Egypt's GASC Receives Four Wheat Offers

Egypt's state grain buyer GASC received four offers from suppliers at its international wheat purchase tender on Thursday after amending some of the terms, traders said. Earlier suppliers had been holding off on making offers, saying they needed more guarantees that the country's import authorities would tolerate negligible levels of the ergot fungus in their cargoes. "There was an amendment made so that final inspection of the wheat would be at the load port and that is much better than what it was before," one Cairo-based trader said.

His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi (Photo: MARACAD)

MARACAD 2016 - Strategic Platform for Maritime Education, Training

His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure, Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority – Land and Maritime (FTA)  inaugurated the second edition of MARACAD 2016 the Maritime Academic Conference and Expo at Sheikh Maktoum Hall, Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center. During MARACAD 2016, which is organized by Cham Events and will continue until September 21, the latest maritime training and educations topics and challenges will be discussed and suggested solutions will be offered…

Photo: Helm

TBS to Deliver Through Helm CONNECT

(Press Release) Tug and Barge Solutions (TBS), announced its new working arrangement with Helm Operations. The arrangement allows TBS to deliver its safety and compliance management program through Helm CONNECT for customers that elect to use an electronic system to manage their safety and compliance, particularly for Subchapter M. This integration of the two product lines allows for towing operators preparing for Subchapter M to experience a much smoother Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) implementation process with TBS…

Paul Stevens FOSS

American Maritime Safety Award For Foss

American Maritime Safety recognized Foss Maritime's efforts in building and maintaining a strong culture of safety by awarding the company the American Maritime Safety Award for the implementation and management of zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy. Foss will be presented with the award at the 2016 Annual Membership Meeting and Safety Awards Luncheon on Thursday, October 13. "Foss has a long history of leading the industry in safety and innovation, and we are honored by this recognition of our drug and alcohol policy," said Foss President John Parrott.

ABYC Launches Online Learning Platform

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) has launched a new online marine training platform which hosts multi-module courses, interactive learning tools and on-demand webinars. Students will have the opportunity to learn at their own pace and save in travel expenses to attend on-site courses. “ABYC is strengthening its position as the marine industry’s leader in technical training with the introduction of the online learning platform,” said Matt Wienold, ABYC education development manager.

Photo: IMRF

Lifeboat Crew Exchange Hits Fifth Year

For the fifth consecutive year, rescue volunteers from European nations are to participate next week in a seven day Lifeboat Crew Exchange Program organized by the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF). The well-established program will include representatives from 13 countries and nine will host a full exchange seven days in their respective locations with each country able to send seven crew members each going to a different country. They will share experiences and…

Port of Prince Rupert Adds Shore-based Radar

The Port of Prince Rupert has commissioned a new shore-based radar regime designed to safely accommodate the port’s growth in vessel traffic and international trade. Shore-based radar builds on the existing vessel traffic service that provides active vessel monitoring and navigational information to vessels at the Port of Prince Rupert. Transmitting data from three tower sites across the port’s coastal shores, the system provides coverage ranging from the northeast of Haida Gwaii to the Alaskan border.

Photo: ICS

ICS Conducting Pilotage, Towing and Mooring Survey

The role of the pilot in mitigating the potential economic and environmental risk from today's large vessels is one of the most important in maritime safety. In recognition of this, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has embarked upon its first comprehensive survey of pilotage, towing and mooring services provided in ports and terminals around the world. The aim of the ICS Pilotage, Towing and Mooring Survey is to evaluate the extent to which established best practice is being followed, such as that recommended by the latest ICS Bridge Procedures Guide.

Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, hosted 14 of his counterparts in Darwin recently to discuss regional maritime security.

14 Navies Attend Regional Commanders’ Conference

The Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, hosted 14 of his counterparts or their representatives in Darwin for the inaugural Regional Commanders’ Conference to discuss maritime security and interoperability in the Asia-Pacific. The high level discussions between navies fostered international partnerships while sharing innovative approaches on how best to meet the challenges shared by all nations. The forum heard from leading strategists before discussing advances in unmanned systems…

Simms Michael

Moore Stephens says Shipping Must Improve Risk Management

Not enough companies in the shipping industry are following joined-up risk management procedures, according to international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. The second annual Moore Stephens Shipping Risk Survey revealed a fall, when compared to last year, in the overall level of satisfaction on the part of respondents that sound risk management had contributed to the success of their organisations. The involvement of senior management in managing risk at the highest level also declined against last year.

Thomas Mellor (Photo: UKHO)

UKHO Calls for Vigilance to Avoid ECDIS-related Detentions

Ship owners, operators and managers have been called on by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) to exercise greater vigilance in order to tackle the rise in ECDIS-related detentions and the risks to safety at sea. With a growing majority of the global fleet having completed the switch to digital navigation, evidence is emerging that the number of ECDIS-related issues during inspections and audits is on the rise. Earlier this year, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) reported a significant increase in the number of ships detained because of ECDIS deficiencies.

Robert Griffin on board HMS Meon (Photo: Sailors' Society)

Brothers Separated by the Sea Reunited

A pair of former seafaring brothers who had lost touch have been reconnected, thanks to international maritime charity Sailors’ Society. Robert Griffin, was worried about his brother Norman, who lives in New Zealand, after being unable to reach him for more than two years, and is delighted after finally speaking to him last week. Robert, 81, who spent nine years in the Royal Navy, last spoke to his brother in 2014. He had all but given up hope of speaking to his brother again until Sailors’ Society came to the rescue in response to a call for help from Robert’s son Steve.

The Survival Complex was open for attendees to freely (Photo: Maritime Skills Academy)

Maritime Skills Academy Launches Survival Complex in Dover

Taking place on Thursday, September 8, Maritime Skills Academy celebrated the launch of its specialist training facility showcasing all that the state-of-the-art Academy has to offer to key industry guests. An integral part of the Viking ‘Family of Companies, the Academy provides dynamic training, with its expert in-house trainers delivering bespoke courses, which encompass the diversity of the maritime industry: including cruise ships, superyachts, renewable support vessels and the oil and gas sector.

Photo: Human Rights at Sea

New Guidance on Caring for Seafarer Mental Welfare

Authored by Professor Neil Greenberg, Managing Director of March on Stress and Professor of Defence Mental Health at King’s College London on behalf of Human Rights at Sea, the new publication, “Managing Traumatic Stress – Guidance for Maritime Organizations” aims to provide a top-level guidance to senior management to help improve the mental health of seafarers by providing education and evidence-based approaches within the maritime industry. “Better mental health support for maritime not only provides moral benefits…

Rescuers bring 2,300 Boat Migrants to Safety from Mediterranean

Rescuers pulled 2,300 migrants to safety on Saturday in 18 separate rescue operations in the Mediterranean coordinated by the Italian coast guard. A Spanish boat belonging to an EU naval force, an Irish navy vessel and boats of four non-governmental organisations were involved in the rescue operations, the coast guard said in a statement. It did not say where the migrants, who were travelling in 17 rubber vessel and one small boat, originally came from. Since moves to stop people crossing from Turkey to Greece…

Trader to Re-export Wheat it Could Not Unload in Egypt

Grain trading company Medsofts plans to re-export a shipment of 31,000 tonnes of Russian wheat it has been unable to unload in Egypt since July because of confusion about checks for the ergot fungus, a company official said on Thursday. The dispute over changing Egyptian regulations about wheat with the fungus has severely disrupted Egyptian wheat imports with a series of shipments rejected. Egypt is the world's largest wheat importer. The wheat arrived in the port of Damietta on July 22 but Medsofts was unable to get clearance from Egyptian quarantine authorities to unload the ship…

David Scott (Photo: Mech-Tool Engineering)

Mech-Tool Engineering Appoints Scott as MD

Mech-Tool Engineering Limited – based in Teesside and product manufacturers and global suppliers of fire, blast and heat hazard protection solutions - has  announced the appointment of David Scott to the new position of Managing Director. A seasoned executive, Scott has more than 20 years’ experience in the energy and gas industry having operated at Director level for some of the world’s largest companies in the sector including global marine company Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS)…

Photo courtesy of Cerealcom Dolj

Romanian Trading House Declined to Ship Egyptian Wheat Over Ergot Rule

Romanian grain trading house Cerealcom Dolj said on Thursday it had declined to ship wheat to Egypt because of new rules about ergot fungus content, refuting reports that Egyptian inspectors had rejected a 63,000 tonne cargo. Traders said on Wednesday that Egyptian inspectors had rejected the wheat shipment in a Romanian port after checking for ergot, the first time difficulties with a cargo at a loading port had been reported since Egypt introduced a zero content level on ergot late last month.

Medals on display

UK Awards Merchant Navy Medals

Maritime UK congratulated the recipients of the Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service announced today by the Minister for Shipping, Rt Hon John Hayes MP. David Dingle CBE, Chair of Maritime UK remarked; “Congratulations to all of the well deserving recipients – the new national award is fitting recognition of the dedication and achievements of the recipients and their service to the UK maritime industry. Recipients of the medal, have received the award for a range of meritorious service including: providing operational achievement through leadership…

Australia Bans Bulk Carrier for 12 Months

Hong Kong flagged bulk carrier Five Stars Fujian has been banned from Australian ports for 12 months once it was discovered that the vessel lacked sufficient provisions for its intended voyage and the crew had not been paid in several months. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued the ban after detaining the vessel August 12. The vessel has been at anchor off Gladstone since July when it was arrested by the Federal Court over a commercial matter. “The crew of the Five Stars Fujian have been forsaken off the Australian coast for over two months…

Passengers evacuated to life raft using a cat-slide. Photo: MPA

Singapore: Ferry Emergency Exercise Tests Multi-Agencies’ Readiness

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) held a half-day emergency preparedness exercise, codenamed ‘FEREX 2016’ yesterday (September 02). The annual ferry exercise (FEREX) aims to test the readiness of various agencies to respond to ferry mishaps in the Port of Singapore. More than 450 personnel from 15 agencies and companies took part in this full deployment exercise which included deployment of resources at sea at the Western Anchorage for rescue operations, manning of emergency operations centre at MPA’s Port Operations Control Centre…

Photo: Georgia Ports Authority/Stephen B. Morton

Georgia to Shut Port Operations ahead of Storm

As a result of the severe weather, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) said it will close its facilities in both Savannah and Brunswick Friday, September 2 ahead of Tropical Storm Hermine. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for 56 counties, including Glynn and Chatham counties, where Georgia's deepwater ports are located. The U.S. Coast Guard will restrict vessel arrival and departure starting at 10 p.m. tonight. “Out of an abundance of caution, and for the safety of our employees…

Enabling confidence - addressing uncertainty in risk assessments Photo DNV GL

DNV GL Launches New Approach to Manage Uncertainty in Risk Assessment

There is increasing emphasis from regulators on addressing uncertainty in risk assessments to improve safety. DNV GL’s new paper, ‘Enabling confidence – addressing uncertainty in risk assessments’, describes an improved risk management approach to achieve adequate safety levels whilst keeping costs under control. The new approach has been developed in collaboration with the University of Stavanger, Norway, and reflects recent developments in the risk science community. The paper is aligned with the thinking of the PSA in Norway, ISO 31000 and the Society for Risk Analysis.

’POUL LØWENØRN’ will be alongside in Korsør in connection with the Maritime Cultural Days

Danish Maritime Authority Supports Maritime Cultural Days

The Danish Maritime Authority's buoy tender ’POUL LØWENØRN’ will be alongside in Korsør in connection with the Maritime Cultural Days. The vessel will be open to visitors throughout Saturday, 27 August. Safety of navigation is at the centre of the Maritime Cultural Days, and you can experience a variety of aspects of safety at sea if you visit the large buoy tender. On board the vessel will also be representatives of the ’SejlSikkert’ (safe navigation) campaign, which the Danish Pleasure Craft Safety Board is a part of.

ABS promoting the security of life and property and preserving the natural environment through the development and verification of standards

ABS Makes it Safer to ‘Walk to Work’

ABS announced the publication of The ABS Guide for Certification of Offshore Access Gangways. The new Guide addresses certification for safety systems used for “walk to work” (W2W) crew transfers. “As advanced crew transfer options become the norm in the offshore oil and gas industry, more and more companies want to benefit from W2W vessels and are looking to ABS for safety guidance,” says ABS Chief Technology Officer, Howard Fireman. Offshore access gangways with motion compensation systems are deployed and connected to the fixed or floating platform…

IBIA: Bunker Market Opportunities in Africa

The bunker market in Africa is evolving, with real opportunities for those willing to invest time and resource to overcome the obstacles. Illicit activities and poor practices are becoming less common, regulation is increasing and quality of service is improving. However, the increased regulation has in some places reduced competitiveness and as a result, is restricting market growth. This was the conclusion of the speakers and delegates at the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) Africa Regional Forum held in Cape Town, South Africa last week.

Liaison officers from participating countries of Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) 2016 review a training brief to prepare for the exercise at Yankee Station

SEACAT Enhances Maritime Security Between Navies in SE Asia

The 15th annual Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) exercise commenced at the Republic of Singapore Navy's Multinational Operations and Exercises Centre (MOEC) Aug 22. SEACAT focuses on regional cooperation to address shared maritime security challenges like smuggling, piracy and other illicit activities at sea by bringing together liaison officers (LNOs) from Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and the United States to collaborate and execute practical maritime responses to multiple realistic scenarios.

Reporting w.r.t. GOG

Crew Kidnapping Rising in Gulf of Guinea - Dryad

In contrast to the substantial numbers of reported incidents across Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean in recent years, maritime crime now appears to have stabilised in these regions according to the latest Q2 maritime crime statistics released by Dryad Maritime today. There have been 34 incidents of maritime crime and piracy reported across Southeast Asia during the second quarter of 2016, taking the total for the first half of the year to 49. This is a 66% reduction for the half yearly total when compared to the first six months of 2015.

Graphics: International Maritime Bureau

Piracy Drops to 21-year Low, IMB Reports

Piracy and armed robbery at sea has fallen to its lowest levels since 1995, despite a surge in kidnappings off West Africa, according to a new report from the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB). IMB’s global piracy report shows 98 incidents in the first half of 2016, compared with 134 for the same period in 2015. When piracy was at its highest, in 2010 and 2003, IMB recorded 445 attacks a year. In the first half of 2016, IMB recorded 72 vessels boarded, five hijackings, and a further 12 attempted attacks. Nine ships were fired upon.

Graphics: International Maritime Bureau

Nigeria Becomes Piracy Kidnapping Hotspot, says IMB

Despite global improvements, kidnappings are on the rise, with 44 crew captured for ransom in 2016, 24 of them in Nigeria, up from 10 in the first half of 2015. The Gulf of Guinea accounted for seven of the world’s 10 kidnapping incidents, with armed gangs boarding vessels 30 to 120 NM from shore. Nigerian attacks are often violent, accounting for eight of the nine vessels fired upon worldwide. IMB says many further assaults go unreported by shipowners. IMB reported two further kidnap incidents off Sabah, where tugs and barges were targeted.