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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Maritime Search News

© Dimo / Adobe Stock

USCG Responds to Puerto Rico Earthquake

The Coast Guard is responding to a 6.5 magnitude earthquake and seismic activity off the south and southwest coasts of Puerto Rico.All the ports in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands remain open until further notice. Currently, there is no ongoing maritime search and rescue as a result of the registered seismic activity.Coast Guard Sector San Juan and Air Station Borinquen have activated their Incident Management Teams, which remain in close communication with local and federal…

File Image: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

Two Persons Missing After Sampan Capsized in Singapore

At about 1930 hours on 10 December 2017, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) was informed by Johor’s Maritime Rescue Sub Centre that two men had been reported to be missing after their sampan capsized earlier at about 1630 hours. The incident had occurred 0.8 nautical miles southeast of Pedra Branca, the co-ordinates being latitude 01˚ 19.25’N and longitude 104˚ 24.97’E, within the Singapore Maritime Search and Rescue Region (MSRR). Please refer to the attached map on the incident location.

Video Screenshot: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

IMO in Polar Environment

Following the launch of International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s film on the IMO Polar Code, a new video (watch video here) focused on search and rescued in polar regions is being published. The second video in a series on IMO in the polar environment takes a closer look at the challenges of search and rescue operations in polar regions, for example, how the current lack of marine infrastructure, coupled with the vastness and harshness of the environment, makes emergency response significantly more difficult in the Arctic and Antarctica.

From Left: Rajalingam (RH Branch Manager), Alastair J Bisset (Chief Executive Officer, Destini Shipbuilding and Engineering) and Dato’ Ashraf Ali (Director, Procurement & Business Development, Destini Shipbuilding and Engineering). (Photo: Radio Holland)

Radio Holland's NavCom for Six Malaysian Patrol Crafts

Radio Holland  Malaysia (RHM) secured a contract from Destini Shipbuilding & Engineering for the supply of Navigation and Communication equipment on board of six New Generation Patrol Crafts (NGPC). The vessels are being built for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA). The scope of work encompasses detailed design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the Navigation and Communication equipment including the Steering System and Thermal Cameras. The vessels will play an important role in maritime search and rescue operations.

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.

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…

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.

Bruce Reid (Photo: IMRF)

Migrant Rescue: IMRF To Support Aegean Services

The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) is to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of the Hellenic Rescue Team (HRT), an IMRF member organization which is constantly rescuing migrants in the Aegean Sea. The IMRF will do this with the support of European maritime search and rescue (SAR) organizations who are also IMRF members. Following a temporary drop in the number of people trying to reach the Greek islands by sea in November, figures from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) are showing an increase again.

Bruce Reid (Photo: IMRF)

IMRF: People in Distress Should be Rescued by All Vessels

Recent reports that some would-be rescuers do not fully understand the legal context of rescue at sea, and may have been deterred from helping people in distress because of possible legal action by local authorities seeking to counter trafficking activity are misplaced, according to the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF). Bruce Reid, IMRF’s Chief Executive Officer, says: “Great work is being done by professional rescue crews from all over Europe, coordinated by our friends in the Italian and Hellenic Coast Guards, with the assistance too of SAR colleagues in Malta and Turkey.

Photo courtesy of IMRF

Euro Crew Exchange Helps 13 Countries

The fourth European lifeboat crew exchange attracted members from 13 countries – two more than last year – who shared experience on how to help reduce the numbers of people losing their lives in Europe’s waters. Set up by the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) and organized by the Search and Rescue (SAR) organization KNRM from the Netherlands, the program has a number of important objectives. The first is to exchange practical experience and best practice between European Maritime Emergency Search and Rescue (MESR) organizations to support improvements in quality of practices.

“There is a clear recognition among IMO Member States that using the SAR system to respond to mass mixed migration was neither foreseen nor intended, and that although Governments and the merchant shipping industry will continue rescue operations, safe, legal, alternative pathways to migration must be developed, including safe, organized migration by sea, if necessary”

IMO Welcomes UN Resolution on Migrant Smuggling

IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu has welcomed the adoption by the United Nations Security Council of a UN Security Council resolution which authorizes Member States to intercept vessels suspected of migrant smuggling off the Libyan coast. “I welcome the United Nations Security Council’s clear affirmation of the necessity to put an end to the recent proliferation of, and endangerment of lives by, the smuggling of migrants and trafficking of persons in the Mediterranean Sea and the strong measures advocated to address these criminal activities,” Mr. Sekimizu said.

Maritime claims in the South China Sea Image by Wikipedia

China Completes lighthouses construction in disputed South China Sea

China has completed the construction of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, the official Xinhua news agency reported, as tensions in the region mount over Beijing's maritime ambitions. A completion ceremony was held for the lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef in the Spratly islands, Xinhua said late on Friday. The United States and the Philippines have opposed the construction. China claims most of the energy-rich South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year…

Photo courtesy of IMRF

Rescuers Convene for Lifeboat Crew Exchange Program

They will share experiences and knowledge with the aim of improving Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) responses and help to prevent loss of life in Europe's waters. In 2014 the nine host countries recorded over 80,000 calls for help and assisted more than 50,000 people in trouble on the water. The volunteer crews involved, collectively commit thousands of hours of their time every year to serving their communities to keep those going out on the water safe. The seven days they will…

 AG-600 Seaplane. Photo by state-run China Daily

China to Roll out World's Largest Sea Plane

China has started assembling the world's largest amphibious aircraft which it plans to deploy in the disputed South China Sea besides aggressively marketing it abroad, state-run China Daily reported. “Since the first day of its development, the AG-600 has been designed for the global market. We are confident in its market prospects because the aircraft’s overall specifications, such as the maximum takeoff weight and flight range, are better than other amphibious planes in the world,” said Qu Jingwen, general manager of China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co, the aircraft’s developer.

A flotilla of recreational boaters take part in an unsanctioned marine event on Lake Erie during the 2014 Operation Dry Water three-day weekend. The U.S. Coast Guard partners with other maritime law enforcement agencies during this annual campaign to reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities while fostering a visible on-water deterrent. (USCG photo by Capt. Scott Anderson)

Great Lakes Agencies Partner for Operation Dry Water

U.S. Coast Guard and maritime law enforcement agencies on the Great Lakes and surrounding areas will partner up Friday through Sunday for the seventh annual Operation Dry Water campaign, a nationwide, multiagency effort focusing on boater education and raising awareness that it is unsafe, as well as illegal, to operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol. “Along with alcohol use, three of the other top five contributing factors in recreational boating deaths are operator inattention, improper lookout and inexperience of the operator,” said Mike Baron, the U.S.

Captain Udo Fox, new Chairman of the IMRF (left) with outgoing Chairman, Michael Vlasto OBE (Photo: IMRF)

Capt. Fox Elected IMRF Chairman

Captain Udo Fox, Executive Director of the German Maritime Rescue Service (DGzRS), has been appointed the new Chairman of the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) succeeding Michael Vlasto OBE who had held the post for eight years. Captain Udo was elected by the IMRF's trustees at the quadrennial meeting of the Federation held at the end of the World Maritime Rescue Congress (WMRC) in Bremerhaven which was attended by more than 250 delegates from 38 countries. The IMRF also elected Matthew Fader…

Photo: IMRF

Migrant Distress Key Session at IMRF Congress

Migrant rescue will be one of a range of important issues to be discussed at the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF)’s World Maritime Rescue Congress to be held from June 1-4 in Bremerhaven, Germany. Hosted by the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS), the event will include a presentation from Martin Xuereb, Director of MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) on the challenges of rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean. MOAS acts as an aid station to support vessels in need of assistance…

Photo: IMO

IMO SG Calls for Urgent Action to Safeguard Migrants

International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General, Koji Sekimizu, today called for coordinated action to safeguard migrants, following the most recent incident involving large-scale loss of life in the Mediterranean. While recognizing the significant contribution of the coast guards and naval forces of Italy and Malta, EU Operation Triton and the merchant shipping industry in rescuing thousands of migrants, Sekimizu said, "The deaths of hundreds of migrants drowned in…

Italian coastguard vessels rescue people on the Mediterranean (Photo: United Nations)

Migrant Rescue Draws Budget Concerns in the Mediterranean

Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI) has raised concerns about the implications for masters of the recent reports of the launch of the new EU Frontex operation Triton which will apparently have a reduced budget and focus on border control in place of the Italian Mare Nostrum that is credited with saving more than 150,000 migrants in the Mediterranean. Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI) said, “The commendable practice of merchant ships…

Bruce Reid

Maritime SAR Under Media Pressure

Media pressure, and particularly the posting of unverified stories on social media, has become a significant factor in major maritime search and rescue (SAR) events. Bruce Reid, CEO of the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) told attendees of the 3rd Asia Pacific Regional Development Meeting that they needed to be prepared for the media onslaught that accompanied SAR incidents and exercises. “Never before has the maritime SAR sector been as exposed or visible as it is today.

Photo: IMO

ICS: Migrant Rescue is a Legal and Humanitarian Obligation

The rescue of all persons in distress at sea – including illegal migrants – is an obligation under international maritime law, as well as being a long established humanitarian duty, says the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). ICS is the global trade association for commercial ship operators, whose ships are currently involved on a daily basis in the rescue of refugees at sea in the Mediterranean. Whatever may be decided by policy makers in EU Member States, the legal and humanitarian obligation of merchant ships to provide assistance to anyone in distress at sea will remain unchanged…

Lifeboat Crews Gather to Improve SAR Efforts

Rescue volunteers from across nine European nations are to participate next week in the third, seven day Lifeboat Crew Exchange Program organized by the IMRF. They will share experiences and knowledge with the aim of improving Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) responses and help to prevent loss of life in Europe's waters. The volunteer crews involved, collectively commit thousands of hours of their time every year to serving their communities to keep those going out on the water safe.

USCG To Host Search and Rescue Forum

The U.S. Coast Guard and Virginia Port Authority will host a five-day search and rescue forum starting Monday, focusing on topics including maritime search and rescue training, exercises and classroom discussion with numerous state and local law enforcement agency first responders in attendance. The forum will include practical evolutions, two nighttime evolutions and a daylight search and rescue exercise. Participants of the forum will include a range of regional fire, police…

Clockwise from top left: Dariusz Rudziński, Grzegorz Petkke, Jan Jankowski and Jerzy Wyrzykowski

Changes at PRS Helm

Polish Register of Shipping announces that the long-serving President of the Board of the classification society Dr. Jan Jankowski, and Board Member Jerzy Wyrzykowski are stepping down from their posts in June in 2013. They had been at helm of the Society for 16 years. Under their leadership PRS developed and instigated proceedings for passing a law in Polish Parliament to recognize Polish Register of Shipping as a non for profit organization, free of share holders commercial pressures, allotting the society’s income to development of the Society and R&D work for enhancing safety.

IMO Sec-Gen Koji Sekimizu: Photo credit IMO

IMO Delegation to Jamaica for Caribbean Briefings

IMO Secretary General, Koji Sekimizu, heads a team to inform a high-level ministerial symposium of critical maritime developments. The four-day visit, hosted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), will culminate in a High Level Symposium (HLS) of the Ministers of Transport in the Caribbean, drawing delegates from a variety of the region’s States and overseas territories, as well as Jamaica. The HLS is intended to inform the responsible Ministers in the region on critical developments that will affect their countries’ reputations as responsible maritime states.

LR Statuatory Alert:

Amendments to the IAMSAR Manual to come into effect on 1 July, 2013. Applicability: All shipowners, operators and managers. Amendments to the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual will come into effect on 1 July. 2013*. These are detailed in the IMO Circular, MSC.1/Circ. 1415. The amendments reflect recent changes made to the carriage requirements for radiocommunication equipment on ships, and include significant updates to volume III of the Manual. SOLAS regulation V/21 requires all ships to carry an up-to-date copy of Volume III.