Cyclone Warning for Australian Ports
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has issued and update on Tropical Cyclone Nathan, which has formed in the Coral Sea off the East coast of Australia. It appears that Cairns North may be affected, and Cape Flattery is currently closed awaiting the cyclone to pass. However, at this stage, it does not appear the Queensland Coal Ports will be affected though there is the possibility of heavy rainfall once the cyclone dissipates. The Port of Dampier is at Cyclone Response Stage 3 – Clear Port…
Early Signs Point To Major Australian Oil Find
Early exploration work off the east coast of Australia may lead to a major new oil and gas discovery, according to Australian geologists. About 100 large sedimentary domes were discovered buried under the seabed in the Fairway Basin, the Australian Geological Survey Organization (AGSO) said. Such domes are a key component of many petroleum fields and have led to major exploration success in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, according to officials.
Melbourne Celebrates 25 Years of Service
HMAS Melbourne has celebrated 25 years since she entered service with the Royal Australian Navy, proving her motto, ‘She gathers strength as she goes’. The guided missile frigate has steamed more than 1.5 million kilometres - about 37 times the earth’s circumference - and clocked up almost 62,000 hours underway, since commissioning on 15 February 1992 at Station Pier, Melbourne. Commanding Officer Commander Charles Bourne said the frigate still plays a pivotal role in the Australian fleet.
First collaboration for Sydney City Marine and Damen
Sydney City Marine has completed its first maintenance docking of a Damen vessel since the signing ofa Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Damen Shipyards Group last year. The works signify the successful cooperation between Damen Services in the Netherlands, the Damen Service Hub in Brisbane and Sydney City Marine. The vessel in question was the Svitzer Warang, a Damen ASD 2810 owned by global towage operator Svitzer. Sydney City Marinewascontracted by Svitzer to carry out a 5-year special survey on the vessel. The Svitzer Warangleft the yard just before Christmas 2016. “We performed a full-on scope of works on this tug,” explains Sydney City Marine Director Brenton Fischer. “This included all Lloyd’s Register requirements.
HMAS Canberra Sees the Eye of the Tiger
HMAS Canberra has achieved another aviation milestone embarking two Army Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters for the first time. The two Tigers, will join two MRH-90 Taipan medium lift helicopters and one MH-60R Seahawk conducting first of class flight trials onboard the amphibious giant over the next six weeks. The trials are designed to find the safe operating limits of the helicopters during a variety of weather conditions, according to Lieutenant Grant Thaler, who will oversee the trials.
Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates Pressured Abundant Tonnage
Capesize rates from Western Australia to China at 8-week high; shipowners parking ships off South Africa to stop rates falling. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo vessels on key Asian routes could remain rangebound next week as abundant tonnage puts a ceiling on freight rates even as some owners resist attempts by charterers to push rates lower, brokers said. "I expect the market to take a breather. Rates have been on a yo-yo this week," said a Singapore-based capesize broker on Friday.
Coral Reefs: A Unique Natural Resource
Stony corals are marine invertebrates with somewhat unique life cycles. For the most part, they reproduce sexually, broadcasting gametes into the water. Often, an entire coral colony or reef will spawn on the same night. Coral may also reproduce asexually by producing genetically identical polyps. Fertilized gametes drift in the current until, hopefully, they alight on a hard surface like a rock suitable for attachment. The gamete then develops into a polyp, producing a basal plate that affixes itself to the hard surface.
Capesize Rates Further Impacted by Cyclone Debbie
Coal shipments from eastern Australia could stop for 3-4 weeks. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo vessels on key Asian routes, which fell to multi-week lows this week, are likely to remain depressed in the absence of Australian coal cargoes and iron ore and coal from South Africa, brokers said. Coal shipments from ports including Hay Point have been badly disrupted after Cyclone Debbie struck eastern Australia last week, causing extensive flooding and resulted in mine closures with BHP Billiton declaring force majeure on coal shipments.
Japan Steelmakers Scramble for Coking Coal
Japanese steelmakers have bought coking coal from the United States, Canada and China to replace supply lost after a cyclone closed rail links in Australia, their biggest supplier, industry and trader sources said. Still, the Japanese buyers are paying nearly double the $150 a tonnes price that they were discussing with sellers for second-quarter supply before the supply disruption. The supply talks are now on hold and prices will likely stay high until full volumes start flowing again. In 2016, Japan bought about 71 percent of the 59.9 million tonnes of coking coal it consumed from Australia.
The Cat Completes Record Canada-Australia Passage
A new record for the fastest sea passage between Canada’s East Coast and Australia has been established by the Incat’s The Cat. The Cat set out on her 10,294 nautical miles passage to Hobart, Tasmania from Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy on November 13. Just 15 days, two hours and 30 minutes later the craft was safely alongside at Incat’s shipyard in Hobart. The first leg of the voyage, a distance of 2,238 nautical miles averaging an impressive 37.5 knots, was completed on November 15 when The Cat arrived at the Panama Canal. The next stage of the voyage, 4,500 nautical miles at an average speed of 26.47 knots, was accomplished when the craft arrived at Tahiti on 23 November.
HM Bark Endeavour: Cook's
In 1768 British-born explorer Lt. James Cook and his crew set sail on the HM Bark Endeavour on one of the most significant maritime voyages ever. After observing the transit of Venus across the sun in the Pacific, they headed south-west to New Zealand, traveling up the east coast of Australia, then on to the Dutch East Indies (Jakarta and Indonesia). Contrary to popular belief, Cook didn't discover Australia — he wasn't even the first European to arrive there. What's most remarkable about his journey was his use of cutting-edge 18th century scientific techniques to chart a substantial part of the coastline and fix the continent. On this voyage Cook became the first to calculate his longitudinal position with accuracy…
Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 Completes
The Australian Defence Force Joint Task Group, Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017, has completed the first international engagement activity of the deployment. HMAS Adelaide, one of the Royal Australian Navy’s Canberra class amphibious ships, reached the milestone after recently conducting aviation training with the USS Bonhomme Richard off the east coast of Australia. The training involved both the SH60S Seahawk helicopter and a United States Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, with…
CSIRO Discovers Extinct Volcanoes off Sydney Coast
While searching for baby lobsters no bigger than a 50-cent piece, Australian researchers discovered a series of giant volcanoes off the coast of Sydney. The four previously unknown volcanoes, which are now extinct, are situated about 250 kilometres off Sydney in about five kilometres of water. The largest is 1.5 kilometres across the rim and rises 700 metres from the sea floor. They were uncovered by chance when marine biologists on Australia's new research vessel, the 94-metre Investigator, were searching the area for the nursery grounds of larval lobsters.
Australia Navy Stage Submarine Escape Exercise
An intensive three week submarine escape and rescue exercise has drawn to a close off the east coast of Australia. During Exercise BLACK CARILLON 2013, members of Navy's Submarine Force simulated being evacuated from HMAS Farncomb, which was bottomed in 112 metres of water, in the James Fisher Rescue Service LR5 submersible. The 21.5 tonne submersible was then lifted onto the deck of a rescue vessel, where its passengers were transferred into decompression chambers without being exposed to the outside air pressure.
Australian Patrol Boats Named
The Naming Ceremony for the eighth and ninth Armidale Class Patrol Boats to be launched was held at the Austal shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia. Fourteen patrol boats in total are to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy. The 56 m, all-aluminum monohull vessels were named “Broome” by Mrs Anne Zilko, daughter of ex crew member Bill Ritchie (subsequently a Commander in the RAN), and “Bundaberg” by Dr Jocelyn Pixley, daughter of Lieutenant Commander Neville D Pixley RANR, Commanding Officer, HMAS Bundaberg. The first HMAS Broome was commissioned in Brisbane in 1942. She commenced her career engaged on anti-submarine patrols and escort duties in the North Queensland area…
New Royal Australian Navy Patrol Boats Named
The Naming Ceremony for the eighth and ninth Armidale Class Patrol Boats to be launched was held at the Austal shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia. Fourteen patrol boats in total are to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy. The 183.7 ft., all-aluminium monohull vessels were named Broome by Mrs Anne Zilko, daughter of ex crew member Bill Ritchie (subsequently a Commander in the RAN), and Bundaberg by Dr Jocelyn Pixley, daughter of Lieutenant Commander Neville D Pixley RANR, Commanding Officer, HMAS Bundaberg. The ceremony was attended by senior figures from the Royal Australian Navy, Department of Defence, Government and industry including The Hon.
HMAS Hobart Sets Sail
HMAS Hobart has “slipped her lines” and set sail for the first time since commissioning on 23 September 2017. Her departure from Fleet Base East, Garden Island, Sydney on Wednesday heralded the much anticipated return to sea for the Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG) of the Royal Australian Navy. During her journey to and from Jervis Bay on the New South Wales south coast, HMAS Hobart’s ship’s company will perform a series of exercises to test core mariner skills. Commanding Officer, HMAS Hobart, Captain John Stavridis, said the ship’s company were eager to put their skills to the test.
Hong Kong Shipping Group Wants Aid to Arrested Ship's Crew
The Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA) on Thursday called on the city's authorities to provide assistance to the crew of a Hong Kong-flagged coal ship off the east coast of Australia that is running out of food and fuel. Local Australian media and Great Britain's Guardian newspaper reported this week that the Five Stars Fujian, a 180,000 deadweight tonne capsesize class coal carrier, has been sitting in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef for the past month with supplies diminishing and salaries going unpaid. The HKSOA said in a statement that the ship was under detention by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), off the port of Gladstone, for breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention relating to lack of provisions and unpaid wages.
RAscal 1600 Mooring Launch EIMEO
The Robert Allan designed RAscal 1600 mooring launch EIMEO has been completed by Cheoy Lee Shipyards in Hong Kong and is on its way to the east coast of Australia on a heavy lift ship. The launch was built for Half-Tide Marine of Mackay in Queensland, Australia who will employ it at the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, south of Mackay. The terminal, one of the largest coal terminals the world, has a ship loading facility some three kilometres off the east coast suitable for up to four 200,000 dwt bulk carriers.
Sea Sparrow Success
HMAS Melbourne has launched an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile in a test off the east coast of Australia recently. The missile is a short range, self defence weapon, optimised for anti-ship missile defence. In the recent test, Melbourne’s combat system tracked and engaged, a Pheonix Jet unmanned aerial vehicle target drone operated by Air Affairs Australia. Melbourne's Air Warfare Officer, Lieutenant Rhys Ryan said the activity went smoothly. “The firing took months of preparation to understand the combat system, and how it’s various components integrated with each other,” he said.
Task Group Training Begins Off NSW Coast
One of the Royal Australian Navy’s largest maritime warfare exercises has begun in several locations off the New South Wales coast. Exercise OCEAN RAIDER involves 11 warships and submarines, aircraft and more than 1,500 personnel from Australia and the United States in a three week program of maritime activities. It is the first year Navy has staged OCEAN RAIDER, which along with OCEAN EXPLORER and OCEAN HORIZON are designed to train and certify the fleet in task-group-level joint sea combat.
JFD Awarded Australian Navy Commendation
James Fisher Defence (JFD) has been awarded a special commendation from the Submarine Force Commander of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), as a result of their dedication and innovation demonstrated during Black Carillon 2013, a naval exercise conducted annually in order to test the capabilities of the Commonwealth’s submarine rescue provision. During the exercise, JFD and the RAN simulated a rescue from submarine HMAS Farncomb, bottomed in 112 meters of water off the east coast of Australia.