In Beirut Port, All of Lebanon’s Ills Are Laid Bare
The first of many warnings about a deadly cargo in Beirut’s port came in February 2014, about three months after its arrival. It was made by Colonel Joseph Skaf, described by his family as a diligent customs official.Skaf, then the head of the anti-narcotics and money laundering division, informed the customs authority that the shipment of ammonium nitrate was “extremely dangerous” and posed a risk to the public.In his handwritten letter, reviewed by Reuters and authenticated by a source familiar with the case…
Lower Mississippi River to be Deepened to 50 Feet
The ports at Baton Rouge, New Orleans, South Louisiana, St. Bernard and Plaquemines are slated to have deep draft access after Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and other state officials signed a formal agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Friday to begin construction on the deepening of the Lower Mississippi River to 50 feet from 45 feet. The overall project will provide a draft of 50-feet from the Port of Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico over 256 miles of the Mississippi River.
Sailors' Society Launches COVID-19 Helpline
International maritime welfare charity Sailors' Society has launched a dedicated helpline for seafarers and their families.The confidential, 24 hour service is there to offer support and welfare to those worried or adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.Sandra Welch, the charity's COO and director of program, said: “We’ve seen an increase in calls for help and advice of late and there’s a lot of uncertainty, so our new dedicated Covid-19 helpline is a welcome addition to our services.“Many seafarers don’t know when they will sign-off and return home…
Sailors’ Society Suspends Port Activity, Rolls Out Virtual Support
Sailors’ Society is offering virtual chaplaincy to seafarers as it suspends its port activities in response to the coronavirus.The charity, which operates in 90 ports around the world, is pausing port activities for an initial period of two weeks, in the light of the increased spread of the virus and the World Health Organization (WHO) activating an international state of emergency.Chaplains will instead be available online using social media and digital technology to provide advice, support and arrange practical help for crews.
DP World Suspends Staff Travel to China
DP World, one of the world's largest port operators, has suspended all staff travel to China until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak there.Companies including Facebook, LG Electronics and Standard Chartered are among those restricting travel for employees to China, where the death toll from a flu-like virus rose above 100 on Tuesday."All travel to China is suspended until further notice, unless for emergency purposes.
Chinese Tanker Spurns Malaysian Inspections
An oil tanker, which shipping data showed was managed by a Chinese company under U.S. sanctions, refused to allow an inspection by maritime authorities while anchored in Malaysian waters, Malaysia's maritime agency said.Silvana III's commercial manager is Kunlun Shipping Co Ltd, according to shipping transparency website Equasis.org.Kunlun is one of several firms placed under U.S. sanctions this year for alleged involvement in transporting oil from Iran.The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said the Silvana III, which anchored off Kuala Kurau on Malaysia's west coast on Dec.
Bahamians Struggle in Dorian's Devastating Wake
Stunned residents of the Bahamas surveyed the wreckage of their homes and officials struggled to assess the number killed by Hurricane Dorian, as the storm bore down on the South Carolina coast, threatening record flooding on Thursday.The United Nations said 70,000 people in the Bahamas needed immediate humanitarian relief after the most damaging storm ever to hit the island nation.Aerial video of the worst-hit Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas showed widespread devastation…
SATCOM SOLUTIONS: Cruising in the Cloud
Turning a necessary cost center into a revenue stream is the new normal for savvy and successful cruise operators.As the flourishing expedition cruise market takes passengers on innovative itineraries to remote and untouched destinations, these well heeled guests want something else at the same time: a 24/7 quality internet connection. If Marlink gets its way, that sort of communications service will soon be the rule, and not the exception.In April, Marlink revealed that the expedition…
Wilhelmsen, Rainmaking Innovation Join Forces
Wilhelmsen and Rainmaking’s announced a partnership aiming to spin-out and scale-up existing innovative solutions researched and developed by Wilhelmsen with potential to scale across the industry. Wilhelmsen’s Digi Boiler is the first project to benefit from this collaboration.Minimizing the risks associated with poor boiler water management, Wilhelmsen’s automated boiler water dosing system monitors boiler water condition, dosing chemicals as and when they are needed. Delivering real-time condition monitoring…
OSM Launches Seafarer Mental Health Campaign
OSM has chosen The Day of the Seafarer to launch a global campaign aimed at safeguarding and improving the mental health of its 11,000 crew members. The year long initiative, christened How Healthy is Your Mind: An OSM Seafarers’ Guide to Positive Mental Health, will be pushed out across the 500 plus vessels managed by the business, addressing an increasingly pressing, but often overlooked, industry issue. According to a recent report carried out by Sailors’ Society and Yale University…
What Can Beijing Do if China-US Trade Row Worsens?
China and the United States sank into a deepening trade conflict that roiled financial markets Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese products, prompting Beijing to accuse Washington of starting a trade war.Trump said Monday his threat was retaliation for China's decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. goods over the weekend, a move that itself was in response to additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese…
Hapag-Lloyd: Crocodiles on Board
Beginning immediately, two 20-foot containers with colorful graffiti are part of Hapag-Lloyd’s fleet. On them can be seen crocodiles, jungle vegetation and ice hockey players painted in graffiti style. With these unusual containers, Hapag-Lloyd is strengthening its partnership with Crocodiles Hamburg, the city’s professional ice hockey club. The containers will be integrated into the normal operations of the world’s fifth-largest liner shipping company, and their first voyage will take them to Colombia.
ISWAN :Infographics for seafarers Psychological Wellbeing at Sea
ISWAN has produced four new infographics, in partnership with The Shipowners' Club, using extracts from its latest self-help guide for seafarers, Psychological Wellbeing at Sea. Psychological wellbeing enables us to function well, feel good about ourselves, and feel a sense of purpose and life satisfaction. With restrictions to wellbeing such as spending time away from family and friends, limited shore leave and long working hours, it is important for seafarers to take care of their mental health while working on board.
Florida Navy Bases Prepare for Irma
Navy installations throughout Florida are preparing for heavy weather as Hurricane Irma approaches South Florida. Commander, Navy Region Southeast, Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, directed the evacuation of non-essential personnel and family members from Naval Air Station Key West, Florida, Sept. 5. "Their safety and security is a top priority," Bolivar said. Approximately 50-60 mission essential personnel are remaining behind to maintain essential functions on the installation. Naval Air Station Key West personnel have a designated safe haven area of within 300 miles of Atlanta.
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.
Rock Seven: MVS Telecom Appointed Russian Distributor
The UK-based Iridium satellite tracking and communication specialist Rock Seven has appointed MVS Telecom as its Russian distributor. MVS Telecom will launch Rock Seven’s RockSTAR and RockFLEET products through its nationwide dealer network, providing access to new users on land, air and at sea. MVS Telecom is a well-established Russian satellite telecommunications integrator, specialising in Iridium, Inmarsat and VSAT services. Already recognised as the leading Iridium Service Provider in Russia, MVS’ regional dealer network covers over 280 locations across the country.
Helen Delich Bentley Dies at 92
Helen Delich Bentley, a former journalist and a U.S. Republican congresswoman from Maryland who gained global attention by smashing Japanese goods to protest Tokyo's trade policies, died over the weekend at the age of 92, officials said. Bentley upset a longtime Democratic congressman to win a U.S. House of Representatives seat in 1984, a year in which Ronald Reagan's landslide victory in the presidential race helped bring several new faces from the party to Congress. The five-term congresswoman was a staunch advocate for the port of Baltimore and the state's maritime industry.
LA Port Gears up for LA Fleet Week Inaugural
Organizers of this summer’s inaugural LA Fleet Week 2016 are in full planning mode for the week-long call of U.S. Navy ships on the LA Waterfront in the days leading up to and including Labor Day Weekend. Friday September 2, through Monday September 5, big crowds are expected to converge at the Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center for Naval vessel ship tours and a variety of exhibits and activities along the main channel that will bring together the public and more than 1,500 military personnel descending on the nation’s largest trade gateway for the end-of-summer celebration.
AIDAprima Christened in Hamburg
Carnival Corporation & plc officially welcomed its fleet’s newest ship with the christening of AIDAprima, now the flagship vessel for Carnival’s German-based brand AIDA Cruises. AIDAprima made its debut with a light show and naming ceremony witnessed in person by 1.6 million visitors at the 827th Hamburg Port Anniversary. AIDAprima launched as the corporation’s most environmentally friendly ship, equipped with a dual-fuel engine that can be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) while in port and at sea.
RedPort XGate Now Includes PredictWind Weather Service
Newly available version of RedPort XGate satellite email and data services suite now includes PredictWind weather forecasting service, letting users select, download and view marine weather forecasts over satellite and cellular networks. RedPort Global announced the immediate availability of a new version of XGate, now including the PredictWind Offshore weather-forecasting app. XGate is an independent satellite data acceleration service letting people easily and affordably access accelerated email, web, weather data, social media and blogging wherever they go.
A New Paradigm in Crew Connectivity?
Despite some recent suggestions to the contrary, demand for crew connectivity remains a strong driver of the maritime communications market. The Maritime Labor Convention is among the factors encouraging service upgrades and higher spending, but there are other fundamental forces at work and across our industry. Shipowners and operators, managers and crewing agents need to understand what is happening and how to manage this change in a positive way. The economics of maritime communications are evolving very fast.
Seafarers Trust in Technology
The ITF Seafarers’ Trust recently re-released an upgraded version of Shore Leave 2.0, enabling seafarers to access the internet in ports on tablet consoles. Together with Shore Leave, the Seafarers’ Trust believes that these initiatives will effect real change, attending to the global welfare of seafarers. In today’s world of fiber optic broadband, 4G mobile networks and app innovation, we have all come to expect the super-fast delivery of our online communications. For seafarers, however, the unique environment of being away at sea for many months at a time challenges this norm.
Israel Extends Maritime Space for Gaza Fishermen
Israel has extended the distance it permits Gaza fishermen to head out to sea along certain parts of the coastline of the enclave, which is run by the Islamist terror group Hamas, reports Reuters. Fishermen in Gaza are now sailing further from the coastal territory after Israel expanded the fishing zone. The fishing zone was expanded from six nautical miles (11 km) to nine (16 km) along Gaza’s central and southern shores. COGAT, the Israeli defense body that handles civilian issues with the Palestinians, announced the new easing of restrictions on its Arabic Facebook page.
Oil Industry Turns to Women in Hour of Need
Facing one of its worst crises in a generation, the oil industry is trying to open up - to women. Even when oil was selling at above $100 a barrel, most of the industry's top executives said they struggled to find and retain young talent. Year after year, it was cited as one of the biggest problems for the industry - one of the best paying in the world - during annual gatherings of its top brass on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos.
Windstar Runs Aground in Panama, Cruise Cancelled
The luxury cruise operator Windstar Cruises will drydock ship following last week’s grounding in a remote region of Panama. Windstar reports that Star Pride experienced a grounding while coming into anchor at Isla de Coiba, Panama. As a result the ship's December 26, January 2 and January 9 voyages have been cancelled. According to a statement on the Windstar Cruises Facebook page, Star Pride was “coming into anchor” at Isla de Coiba, off the coast of Panama shortly after 6 a.m. CST on Dec.
#MyCoastGuardStory: Collecting Stories from the Ranks
The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. has launched a new social media initiative designed to collect and share personal stories of heroism and honor dedicated to the United States Coast Guard. The campaign gets underway as excitement builds for the release of the Disney Motion Picture, The Finest Hours, which hits movie theaters across the country on January 29, 2016. The #mycoastguardstory initiative is gathering stories from current Coast Guard men and women, veterans…