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Friday, October 28, 2016

(Photo: BigStock)

Is OCEMA’s Terminal Weighing Approach SOLAS VGM Compliant?

The Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association recently declared the Terminal Weighing Approach (TWA) an industry best practice. The lack of guidelines for shippers about how to comply with the SOLAS Verified Gross Mass (VGM) regulation that went into effect on July 1, 2016, has also led to a number of questions throughout the industry. Where should containers be weighed? How do shippers provide their signatures for these weights without slowing down the supply chain? Still, as of today, many of the 170 countries that have adopted the regulation have not published guidelines.

“WRH5” operation screen

MOL Group Develops Onboard Labor Management Software

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Junichiro Ikeda) today announced that its group’s core dry-cargo ship management company, MOL Ship Management Co., Ltd. (MOLSHIP; President: Toshikazu Inaoka; Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo) has jointly developed with maritime software developer Spectral Technologies, Inc. (President and CEO: Kjell B. Sundberg; Headquarters: Manila, Republic of the Philippines) a new onboard management software program called “WRH5” used to manage crews’ work and rest hours. MOLSHIP will introduce “WRH5” on its managed vessels.

Jim Watson presenting at SOCP Photo ABS

ABS Hosts Ship Operators Cooperative Program

Forum promotes improved safety, security, productivity, efficiency and environmental performance through collaboration and innovation. ABS hosted the fall meeting of the Ship Operators Cooperative Program (SOCP) in Houston October 5 and 6, welcoming representatives from industry, government and academia to discuss current issues and new technologies. “It is a privilege to host the SOCP and to share information with the other member organizations,” says ABS Chief Technology Officer Howard Fireman.

HH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Air Station New Orleans Photo USCG

3 Rescued from Sinking Vessel

The Coast Guard rescued three people from a sinking vessel near Dulac, Saturday, October 8, 2016. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at 9:42 p.m. of a vessel that was taking on water near Terrebonne Bay. The vessel’s pump was reportedly not keeping up with the flooding and the water was reported as 3-feet deep. Sector New Orleans watchstanders directed the launch of a 29-foot Response Boat-Small from Coast Guard Station Grand Isle and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans. Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office launched a marine unit.

Project Maxcmas

LR Joins Collision Avoidance Research for Autonomous Ships

LR is participating in the MAXCMAS project, a £1.27million collaborative research project that aims to investigate, develop and implement real-time collision avoidance algorithms for autonomous maritime vessels. The MAXCMAS project aims to develop COLREGs (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972) compliant collision avoidance navigation for autonomous ships and other Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs). Compliance with current and future regulations is instrumental to the wide-scale use of USVs at sea.

Crew Kidnapping Persists Despite Piracy Slowdown -Report

Despite a decline of piracy activity in several high-risk areas, a high threat of crew kidnapping and hijacking remains in Southeast Asia and West Africa, according to a recent report from specialist crisis prevention and response consultancy NYA International. Overall piracy activity in the third quarter of 2016 declined in global hotspots compared to the previous quarter, as Southeast Asia and the East Africa and Indian Ocean High Risk Area (HRA) both saw drops in reported piracy incidents…

Weir complex at Nederrijn. (Photo: Radion Holland)

Radio Holland Supplies Communications for Weir Complexes

Radio Holland’s Mission Critical Communications (MCC) department is responsible for the design, supply and commissioning of the communications system for the Nederrijn and Lek weir complex. This complex, consisting of three hydraulic structures, will be subjected to a major renovation. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure (Rijkswaterstaat) awarded the contract for this programme to Siemens in late 2015. Siemens had included the communications system designed by Radio Holland in its tender bid.

Photo: Crowley

Crowley Supports Hurricane Matthew Relief Efforts

Supporting relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, Florida and throughout the U.S. Southeast, Crowley Maritime Corporation’s logistics group is successfully delivering logistics services for the transportation of water, generators and food and other supplies in partnership with U.S. agencies and the State of Florida. Under federal contract, Crowley has personnel on site in Port au Prince, Haiti, supporting the efforts of the U.S. Naval Supply Command to supply aid to the Haitian people.

Coast Guard Station Port Angeles crewmembers assist children with removing their lifejackets after bringing them safely to shore during a rescue that took place at Camp David on Lake Crescent, Friday. Forty kids and six adults were stranded in a cabin without power during an annual school trip from Stevens Middle School, out of Port Angeles. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

40 Kids, 6 Adults Stranded at Camp David on Crescent Lake Rescued

A Coast Guard Station Port Angeles boatcrew assisted in the rescue of 40 kids and six adults who were stranded at Camp David on Lake Crescent, Friday. Coast Guard crewmembers aboard a 29-foot Response Boat-Small II safely ferried groups of seven to nine passengers from Camp David to a bus waiting at Marymere Falls trailhead. Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector Puget Sound received a call at 3:45 p.m., reporting the group stranded in a cabin with no power and unable to drive out of the camp due to trees blocking the roads.

Photo: Nakilat

Nakilat Holds 20th Qatar Project Shipping Forum

Nakilat, a shipping arm of Qatar’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector, held Qatar Project Shipping Forum (QPSF) in London over a span of two days. QPSF is as an important platform, established and organized by Nakilat in 2006, to address concerns covering a wide array of topics including shipping safety, technical, marine environment, logistics, and it gives an opportunity to exchange ideas related to shipping operations. This semi-annual forum brings together many owners of leading international shipping companies along with ship charterers such as Qatargas and RasGas.

Delegates at Oman Ship Management Company Mumbai 'Seafarers' Conference' (Photo: OSC)

OSC Holds Mumbai Seafarers’ Conference

Oman Ship Management Company (OSC) hosted a high-level conference in Mumbai for senior officers following a rapid rise in crew numbers. The ‘Seafarers’ Safety Conference’ was a platform for Oman Shipping Company’s subsidiary Oman Ship Management Company (OSMC) to share the best safety practices and current and future trends in the maritime industry with its sea team. It comes as the company released latest employment figures showing 1775 crew members working across 41 vessels – rising 500pc since 2010 when crew numbers remained under 400.

NYK president Tadaaki Naito, NYK executive officers, and a group of six vessel captains and chief engineers openly exchange opinions about the safe operation of vessels Photo NYK

NYK Conduct Annual Safety Campaign

n August 24, NYK president Tadaaki Naito, NYK executive officers, and a group of six vessel captains and chief engineers held a meeting at NYK headquarters in Tokyo to openly exchange opinions about the safe operation of vessels that NYK is managing and operating. This meeting is part of NYK’s two-month Remember Naka-no-Se safety campaign,* which is implemented annually from July 1 of each year. The meeting is chaired by President Naito, who oversees NYK’s Safety and Environmental Management Committee…

Michael Grey (Photo: London Shipping Law Centre

Less Authority, More Responsibility: A Growing Problem for Ship Masters

The position of the Ship Master, apparently enshrined in centuries of law, custom and practice, is showing evidence of strain in the light of 21st century ship operation and management. The Master’s traditional authority is widely perceived as being diminished while responsibility is being increased, frequently in matters over which he has little or no control. Is the role of the Master under attack? How has his authority and responsibilities been affected in an age of instant communication between ship and shore…

MARAD to Develop Shipboard Training Best Practices Material

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has signed a $198,000 cooperative agreement with the Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) to develop interactive Computer Based Training Modules, a Best Practices Tool Kit, and other training materials concerning appropriate shipboard climate within the U.S. Merchant Marine. The training material will help mariners better identify and prevent sexual harassment, bullying, retaliation, violence and other coercive behaviors as well as assist industry efforts to aggressively promote a culture of zero tolerance for such behavior.

Photo courtesy of IMRF

IMRF Reveals Hero Long List

The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) has revealed the long list of entries for its H.E.R.O. awards – launched in April this year. The 30 finalists range from companies, maritime search and rescue organizations and individuals involved in technological developments to those involved with design and innovation, services and training, as well as those actively engaged in saving lives in the world’s waters. Entries come from across the world including organizations and individuals as far afield as China and the United States to Bangladesh and New Zealand. The H.E.R.O.

Commercial Ports along Florida's West Coast Reopened

The U.S. Coast Guard said it had reopened all commercial ports along Florida's west coast on Friday, while hurricane Matthew continued to lash the northeast coast of the state. Matthew was located about 60 miles (95 kilometers) southeast of Jacksonville Beach in Florida with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 km/h), according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center. The hurricane was forecast to move near or over the coast of northeast Florida and Georgia through Friday night, and near or over the coast of South Carolina on Saturday.

USMMA Alumni Set up Sexual Misconduct Task Force

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association and Foundation (AAF) announced the creation of a Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment to address sexual misconduct at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA). “Task force members will seek to work cooperatively with the Academy’s administration to develop a coordinated response to address sexual misconduct at USMMA,” according to John Arntzen, Chairman of the AAF Board of Directors. The Task Force…

Port Everglades Assessing Hurricane Damage

Port Everglades in Broward County, Fla. said it is conducting damage assessment, channel surveys and inspection of aids of navigation in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. The port, which was closed to all ship and truck traffic yesterday as the storm approached the U.S. East Coast, is reopened on the landside for petroleum and cargo operations  only. Waterside, channel surveys are complete and vessels will be allowed to enter the port once approval is received by the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port. No cruise ships are scheduled until Saturday, October 8.  

Port Everglades Closed for Hurricane Matthew

Broward County’s Port Everglades is closed to all ship and truck traffic as the potential category 4 or 5 Hurricane Matthew approaches the U.S. East Coast.   The port will reopen after the storm once all safety and security protocols are in place and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port, in conjunction with the Strategic Weather Advisory Team.

Photo: Abu Dhabi Ports

Safeen Milestones Reflect Growth of Abu Dhabi Ports

Safeen, the marine services subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports, supporting the operations of the network of ports and harbors across the emirate of Abu Dhabi with a range of maritime and quayside-support services, announced several milestones reinforcing Abu Dhabi Ports’ continued expansion. First, three new state-of-the-art tugs, specializing in towing and escorting the world’s largest ships that now regularly call at locations in Abu Dhabi, have been integrated into Safeen’s existing fleet.

London P&I Club Reports Shortfalls on Mooring Station Procedures

The London P&I Club says its inspectors continue to note negative findings in and around ship mooring stations. The most common findings are a lack of anti-skid deck paint in key areas, a lack of hazard marking of protruding objects and platforms, and low awareness of the dangers of snap-back zones. The club recommends that ships’ officers conduct a risk assessment of their mooring stations to establish the best location for anti-skid areas, and the use of a prescribed additive to the deck paint, which can usually be found in the ship’s coating technical file.

Photo: USMMA

US Orders Independent Assessment of Sea Year Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced the selection of Logistics Management Institute (LMI) as the contractor to perform an independent cultural assessment of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in order to address the root causes of the sexual assault and harassment and other inappropriate behaviors that have persisted both on campus and during Sea Year. The contractor will begin work immediately to assess the history, culture and climate of USMMA and the Sea Year Program.

Students from various schools at WMD 2016 Photo Maritime Cook Islands

Maritime Cook Islands Focuses on Next Generation on World Maritime Day

Maritime Cook Islands (“MCI”) joined the international maritime community in a celebration of World Maritime Day 2016 on September 29. The theme for 2016 is “Shipping: indispensable to the world”, focusing on the critical link between shipping and the global society. In the days leading up to the World Maritime Day 2016, Cook Islands government bodies – Foreign Affairs, Port Authority, Ministry of Education, Police and Ministry of Transport – and MCI got together to organise a series of activities to commemorate this important day of the maritime community worldwide.

Image: National Hurricane Center

Port Canaveral Evacuated Ahead of Hurricane Matthew

With forecasts indicating severe weather conditions related to Hurricane Matthew, Port Canaveral CEO John Murray today issued an evacuation order for landside operations, including Jetty Park campers, marinas and all port businesses and tenants. The evacuation deadline is set for noon on Wednesday. In addition to the landside evacuation, the U.S. Coast Guard has given notice that the Canaveral harbor will close by tomorrow afternoon. Under the Captain of the Port order, no vessel traffic…

El Faro (File photo: TOTE)

Remembering El Faro

From the desk of Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, U.S. It has been one year since the tragic loss of the cargo ship El Faro and her 33 crew members. I encourage everyone in the maritime community to take a few moments to remember them, and reflect on the hazards faced by all seafarers. This is an extremely difficult milestone for the families and loved ones. My thoughts continue to be with them. Many continue to question what happened on board the El Faro during its final voyage. In order to ensure we get those answers…

A Shell staff in a Goal Zero hardhat looking at the Polar Pioneer drilling unit in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, July 2015. (Photo: Shell; Photographer: Judy Patrick)

Goal Zero: An Up-close Look at Shell's Safety Culture

Earlier this year at the SUNY Maritime Towing Forum, we met up with Jerry Crooks, CSHM, Marine Technical Advisor, Shell Trading (U.S.) Company. Crooks provided insights on the training culture, systems and philosophy that drives Shell Trading (U.S.) Company to instill excellence in safety. How did you find yourself with a career in the maritime industry? During my Coast Guard career I had the privilege of participating in the Merchant Marine Industry Training Program, spending several months with Shell in Houston, Texas. My Shell mentor was a Captain in the U.S.

Photo: MTCS

MTCS UK Launches Competence Program

MTCS UK of Windermere, who worked with Global Maritime Consultancy & Engineering on the development of a Shipping Industry Competence Program, is now ready to role out the program to the entire Marine Industry. MTCS UK has taken a proactive stance on the issue of competency to prevent and minimize current and future risks. Underpinning a commitment to make the marine sector a safe and responsible jurisdiction in which to do business, MTCS UK delivers competence services both in the UK and worldwide.

Courtesy Braemar Singapore

Braemar Calls for More Training for reducing Ship Casualties

Braemar (incorporating The Salvage Association) (Braemar SA) has called for more training to be given in order to make vessel casualties manageable in the event of high-risk incidents. Addressing delegates at the annual International Shipowning and Shipmanagement Summit in Singapore today (3rd October), Graeme Temple, Far East Regional Director for Braemar SA said: “Training is essential to managing incidents effectively and looking at how processes can be improved. Often we see casualties needlessly occurring because of human error…

Red Sea shipping lane Image EIA

Saudi-led Forces Rescue Passengers from Vessel off Yemen

A Saudi-led force in Yemen said it rescued passengers on Saturday from a vessel being used by the United Arab Emirates military that was attacked by Houthi fighters in a strategic Red Sea shipping lane. "The coalition rescued civilians from a vessel targeted by Houthi militias ... that was transferring medical aid to the city of Aden and evacuating wounded civilians for treatment," the coalition said in a statement on Saudi state news agency SPA. Hundreds of Emirati soldiers in an Arab alliance have been fighting Yemen's Iran-allied Houthis…

Photo: Transas

Navigational Question in the Digital Age

Asking the Navigational Question: What do I need to know? What am I looking at? What are my options? The practices of marine navigation in the digital age may be trending away from navigation. Not so much by replacing manual skills with automated systems, although this is certainly a reality. Opportunities for hands-on practice are still present in most forms of seafaring. The real issue is how to hold fast to the ever-evolving Navigational Question. There is no single question.

Photo: Shell

Risk Management and the Human Element

Even as ship vetting and risk management techniques evolve, defining the human element of the equation nevertheless remains ever elusive. If the vast majority of shipping casualties are a function of ‘human error,’ then it is also true that the effort to identify, define – and mitigate – the risk that emanates from the human factor remains very much a work in progress. As vetting procedures have improved and become more sophisticated, the ability to pinpoint which vessel or fleet might not be a good candidate for hire has also improved.

The Africa Mercy (Photo: Mercy Ships)

Mercy Ships Founder TO Receive Congressional Gold Medal

Only a few prominent individuals are put forth to be awarded a Congressional Gold Medal, and now Don Stephens, president/founder of Mercy Ships, joins the ranks. Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas has introduced legislation to award Stephens the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress. Mercy Ships is a global, faith-based organization bringing hope and healing to the world’s poor using state-of-the-art hospital ships to provide free, lifesaving surgeries for people where medical care is inaccessible.

Courtesy MCA

Anchors Removed for moving Transocean Winner onto vessel

Work has begun this morning to raise four of the primary anchors of the Transocean Winner rig in Broad Bay, in anticipation of moving it onto the Hawk. It’s expected this initial work will take about 12 hours. The four secondary anchors will also be removed, also a 12 hour operation, leaving the rig attached to tugsa. The Hawk will begin to ballast down – which means it will be submerged – ready to receive the rig. A temporary exclusion zone of 1000m will be put in place during the ballasting process on the Hawk until such time the rig is secured.

File photo: Port of Savannah

VGM Grace Period Ends October 1

The three-month settling-in period suggested by the IMO to its Member States in which competent authorities were urged to adopt a ‘practical and pragmatic’ approach to the enforcement of the SOLAS revision stipulating all packed containers have a verified gross mass (VGM) before being stowed aboard a ship comes to an end on October 1. Long-time champion of the cause of safer container transport and a leading insurer of the international freight industry, TT Club believes that…

Hanjin Louisiana (Photo: Nautilus)

Cadets Stranded on Hanjin Ship Head Home

The Hanjin Louisiana, one of the containerships caught up in the collapse of the South Korean shipping company Hanjin, has finally docked in Singapore after several weeks of uncertainty at sea. Among those onboard the containership were four Scottish cadets, who disembarked in Singapore on September 28 for flights back home to the U.K., BBC reports. The four trainee officers studying at the City of Glasgow College – Ruaridh Hanna, David Gorniak, Graeme Deacon and Gavin McPhail – were among an estimated 2…

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.

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…

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…

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.