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Saturday, November 18, 2017

English Channel News

Latest News on MSC Flaminia's Homeward Tow

View of MSC Flaminia From Tug: Photo credit REEDEREI NSB

The fire-damaged container ship is passing through the English Channel, then shortly to cross between French & Belgian territorial waters. The ship managers REEDEREI NSB report that the transfer is proceeding without any exceptional events. The picture shown together with this update was taken shortly before the commencement of the passage through the English Channel. It shows MSC FLAMINIA with the towing gear connecting it to tugboat FAIRMOUNT EXPEDITION. The vessel is expected in German home waters this weekend.

IMO OKs Ship Reporting System For English Channel

A new ship reporting system to help prevent collisions is being planned for the English Channel in the wake of the Erika tanker spill earlier this year, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) said. The system would make it easier to track and communicate with vessels in the central English Channel, IMO said. The proposal follows the sinking of the 25 year old tanker Erika in December which caused widespread pollution to French beaches, the UN agency for maritime affairs said. "(The system) should make possible a significant increase in safety, efficiency of navigation and environmental protection in and around the traffic separation system in operation off Les Casquets," IMO said. The scheme will apply to all ships over 300 gross tons entering the area.

Ferry Firm DFDS Looks to Expand

Danish ferry and transportation firm DFDS is on the takeover trail, its chief executive said, after reporting its highest first-quarter operating profit on record and turning around its loss-making English Channel route. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) more than doubled to 228 million Danish crowns ($34 million) from a year ago led by the shipping division, the firm said, also raising its full-year forecast. "We are placing bids on other companies on a regular basis," Chief Executive Niels Smedegaard told Reuters. Last year it bought British logistic firms Stef Transport and Quayside, both minor players in a fragmented industry. DFDS operates around 50 freight and passenger ships mainly on routes in Northern Europe.

Brittany Ferries Commits to Incat Ferry

The U.K.’s Ferry Operator of the Year 2006, Brittany Ferries, has purchased the Incat-built 321 ft. fast ferry Normandie Express in what it says should be taken as an indication of its intention to maintain its English Channel ferry service between the ports of Cherbourg and Portsmouth. Assisted by the broking firms Incat Europe Ltd and London-based Mason Shipbrokers, High Speed Catamarans BV has sold the ferry in a $39.51m deal. Introduced on bareboat charter in 2005, the Normandie Express provides a fast ferry crossing to Cherbourg and Caen from Portsmouth operating from mid-March until mid-November. With crossing times of only 180 minutes to Cherbourg and 225 minutes to Caen…

Ship Collision in English Channel

An oil tanker and a cargo ship collided in the English Channel on Thursday, www.hindu.com reported. No injuries or oil spill were reported. The collision occurred at 7:15 a.m. (GMT) six miles off the French coast and involved the Norwegian cargo vessel Starhurdla, and the oil tanker Cape Bradley, which is registered in the Marshall Islands. England's Dover Coastguard was called in to assist in a French-led operation as the crew of the Starhurdla reported taking on water. A Coast Guard tug boat operated by French and British authorities was used to tow the Starhurdla to Boulogne, France. The Cape Bradley sustained minor damage and was sailing under its own steam to Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Stricken Ship in the English Channel Is Being Towed

Bloomberg reported that a container ship that ran into difficulties in the English Channel is now being towed to the French port of Le Havre, said an official from the company that hired it. An official at Mediterranean Shipping Co. SA in Geneva, which has hired the MSC Napoli, said the ship was under tow. Earlier today, British Broadcasting Corp. reported that a vessel was sinking in the sea between England and France. The U.K.'s Maritime & Coastguard Agency said the vessel wasn't being towed. All 26 crew have abandoned ship and two Royal Navy helicopters have been dispatched to assist in the operation, which is being led by the French coast guard, the Maritime & Coastguard said in a statement on its Web site.

Stricken Container Ship to Shelter in German Waters

UK & France maritime safety authorities to send team of experts to inspect German-flagged 'MSC Flaminia' prior to English Channel transit. A fire and subsequent explosion on July 14, 2012, occurred during MSC FLAMINIA’s passage from Charleston/USA to Bremerhaven (via Antwerp and Felixstowe), one seafarer died and one is still missing. A third seafarer remains in critical condition and is being treated for burns. The crew abandoned the burning vessel and were rescued by another merchant ship. Under the coordination of the German Central Command for Maritime Emergencies, MSC FLAMINIA will be towed to sheltered anchorage in German waters. Subsequently, the vessel will be transferred to a port.

Second “Chunnel” Not Likely

In a move that was sure to please the ferry companies servicing the English Channel, a motorway under the sea between Britain and France was mooted last week in a study issued by Eurotunnel Plc on a second cross-channel link. Almost 200 years after a Channel road link was first presented to Napoleon by French engineer Albert Mathieu, Eurotunnel's study envisages cars zooming along a four-lane highway. But with the existing rail tunnel struggling to make money, a new one may never happen.

Luxury Car Carrier Sinking in Channel

Rescuers on Sunday were thwarted by fog, as efforts continued to salvage the Norwegian-registered Tricolor, a ship carrying 2,900 luxury cars - reportedly BMW's, Volvos and Saabs - which was on its side and sinking in the English Channel following a collision with a Bahamas-registered containership dubbed Kariba.

Vitol Supplying Bunker Fuel to Houston, Mississippi River

Press release -- Vitol announced it has begun supplying physical bunker fuel to Houston and the Mississippi River. Bunker grades RMG, RMK and DMA 0.1 percent will be marketed under the V-Marine Fuels brand, on a retail (delivered) basis in Houston. V-Marine Fuels currently supplies physical bunker fuel to ships in the ports of Singapore, Tangjong Pelepas (Malaysia), Fujairah & Khor Fakkan (UAE), Hamburg and Bremerhaven (Germany),  Canaveral (USA), the Thames River, English Channel & Northern France (UK & France) and Rotterdam (Netherlands).  

CONTAINERSHIP FIRE CONTROLLED, INVESTIGATION BEGINS

A fire on a containership in the English Channel was brought under control on Wednesday, and the investigation began as to how the ship and a cruise vessel cruise liner collided in one of world's most regulated shipping lanes. Reports indicate that shipping experts are truly baffled at how the cargo vessel and the cruise ship ran into each other in good weather, and when both vessels were equipped with sophisticated safety devices.

Cruise Liner Collides With Cargo Ship

Three passengers were injured when Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Dream collided with a cargo ship in the English Channel early this morning. Officials said the container ship, the Ever Decent, caught fire after the collision. Both ships were badly damaged. A Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson said that the Norwegian Dream's next cruise had been cancelled, and that the ship will be repaired.

Arctic Sea Mystery Continues

According to an August 16 report from www.presstv.ir, Finnish officials have rejected claims that the MV Arctic Sea, a missing Russian-manned freighter, was carrying a secret nuclear cargo. Russia and NATO joined forces on August 16, the report stated, in an international hunt for the ship that vanished from the radar after crossing the English Channel in late July. (Source: www.presstv.ir)

Severe Weather Expected to Delay Voyages in Western Europe

A very intense low is moving northeastwards over British Isles on October 28 and causing severe weather conditions in the area between Cape Finisterre and Ireland. Expect Storm (perhaps Violent Storm) and sign sea 7-10 meters, maximum wave height around 15 meters October 27-28. In English Channel and in North Sea also risk Storm and high sea. Be prepared for some delayed voyages in western European waters

Intertanko Prepares To Mull EC Proposals

The tanker owners' organization Intertanko, said on Thursday it is ready to discuss proposals by the European Commission to keep ships in port during storms - a move that some fear will disrupt oil supply. The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency estimates that last year about 380 million barrels of crude sailed through the English Channel. Intertanko points out that neither the French Transport Minister Jean-Claude Gayssot nor the EU Transport Minister Loyola de Palacio have yet specified what exactly they mean by extreme weather conditions. Nor have they said what types of ship or cargo they expect to hold back during storms. The British Meteorological Office says that during an average winter in the western English Channel, winds exceed gale force eight for 15 percent of the time.

UK Monitors Russian Naval Vessel through Channel

A British warship shadowed a Russian frigate through the English Channel on Tuesday, taking over monitoring from French surveillance on the frigate's voyage northwards. HMS Argyll, a navy ship maintained at high-readiness, deployed a Lynx helicopter and used sensors to locate and monitor the Russian warship Yaroslav Mudryy, which was en route to the North Sea from the Mediterranean. "Under the NATO agreement whereby alliance nations co-operate to monitor activity, the Royal Navy took over from French surveillance," Britain's Ministry of Defence said in a statement. An MoD spokesman estimated that a Russian warship was escorted through the Channel every few months.

Cutting of the Tricolor Starts Today

Weather improvements have allowed salvors in the English Channel to commence work on the wreck removal operation of the Tricolor. Due to bad weather conditions the operation had to be discontinued on July 16. Despite the delay work is still on schedule. After extensive preparations the ‘Combinatie Berging Tricolor' will initiate the first of eight cuts today. The cutting wire will be pulled back and forth with special winches aboard the platforms Vagant and the Buzzard. The Buzzard has been utilised earlier to install messenger wires underneath the wreckage of the Tricolor. Those wires have to guide the cutting wire into position. After…

Freak Wave Kills Cruise Ship Passenger, Injures Others

Freak Wave Victim Marco Polo: Image credit CMV

A cruise ship passenger has died and another was airlifted to hospital after the 22,000-tonne cruise ship 'Marco Polo'  was hit by a freak wave in the English Channel during the recent storm. The cruise ship operators, Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) confirm that after a freak wave hit their cruise ship m/s Marco Polo in the English Channel during heavy weather, the ship is now in home port, London Tilbury. They add that they regret to advise that one elderly passenger has died…

Crew Puts Out Cargo Ship Fire

The crew of a Danish cargo ship that caught fire in the English Channel managed to put out the blaze, British coastguards said on Wednesday. The captain of the 2,500-ton Sofie Theresa, with 13 crew on board, radioed for help when a fire broke out in the ship's engine room on Tuesday night, a coastguard spokesman said. No one was injured in the blaze and the ship was not in any immediate danger, he said. The ship, carrying a cargo of wax, was about 18 miles southeast of Beachy Head on England's southern coast when the fire broke out. A rescue helicopter, a tug and coastguard vessels were dispatched to aid the ship, which was sailing to Port Coronne in France from Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

IMO’s Maritime Security Work Highlighted

Photo Courtesy: International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Skynews

Recent security exercises in the English Channel involving military personnel on board ships have sparked heightened media interest in maritime security in the region. As a result, International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s work in this field has been highlighted on the UK news channel Sky News (2 August) by Chris Trelawny, IMO Special Advisor on Maritime Security and Facilitation. Asked about ferry security in the context of terrorism, Trelawny told the programme that “IMO has developed a range of guidance and measures to protect shipping…

P&O Ferries, MTN Transform Sea Travel Communications

Photo courtesy of P&O Ferries

P&O Ferries and MTN Communications (MTN) announce the delivery of high-performance Internet connectivity and access to online content through the first Wi-Fi hot spot on the English Channel. This service is now live on the English Channel on ferries serving the P&O Ferries Dover-Calais route. These vessels are reportedly the first ferries in the world connected to the MTN Terrestrial Broadband Network (TBN), in addition to having back-up satellite connectivity, as many cruise ships do today.

Tanker Hits Sunken Ship

In what would on first appearance be a stupid New Year joke is indeed reality. A tanker carrying 70,000 tons of flammable kerosene, travelling in one of the world’s busiest waterways, inexplicably missed several warning signs and hit a ship dubbed Tricolor, a ship which was sunk with its cargo of 3,000 luxury cars in mid-December in the English Channel following its collision with a containership. In a vast understatement, a British Coast Guard official was quoted by one of the wire services as saying: This accident should not have happened. Really? Warnings of the sunken ship, which is submerged in about 75 ft. of water and apparently visible only at low tide, include half-hour warnings broadcast in the area, fluorescent buoys and a radar beacon.

Fugro to Install Cables for Rampion Wind Farm

The Fugro Symphony cable-lay vessel (Photo: Fugro)

Geotechnical, survey, subsea and geosciences services firm Fugro informs it has secured a contract for the installation and burial of array cables at the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm being built in the English Channel, 13 kilometers off the Sussex coast, by E.ON alongside partners, the UK Green Investment Bank plc. The contract will see Fugro lay and bury the cables with its construction and installation vessels Fugro Symphony and Fugro Saltire using one of its two Q1400 trenching systems to bury the cables.

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