Francis News

23 Jan 2020

Safely Navigating the Winds of Change

(Photo: Massachusetts Maritime Academy)

The first-in-the-nation offshore wind training facility will be located at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.In late October, with much fanfare, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Stephen Pike, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and many others joined officials from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) to launch the first-in-the-nation offshore wind crew transfer training facility. The group of state and college representatives also officially christened a new training vessel.

20 Dec 2019

Coast Guard Swaps Buoys on Chesapeake Bay

(Photo: USCG)

The crew of the US Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin has finished replacing the summer buoys with seasonal winter buoys on the Chesapeake Bay, Md., Friday.Throughout the month of December the crew replaced 66 summer buoys and removed the Francis Scott Key buoy in preparation for the winter season. The seasonal buoys are kept in until late February or early March.Ice and snow have the potential to damage, displace and submerge the large summer buoys, which would leave the channel unmarked and could create a substantial hazard to mariners.

15 Nov 2019

MRS '19 Wraps Up @ SUNY Maritime

"The President's Panel" helped to bring the 10th Annual Maritime Risk Symposium to a close yesterday. (L to R); Eric Johansson, SUNY Maritime; RADM Michael E. Fossum, Superintendent, Texas A&M Maritime Academy; RADM Michael Alfultis, President, SUNY Maritime College; RADM Francis X. McDonald, President of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and moderator RADM Fred Rosa (USCG, Ret.), Johns Hopkins APL. (Photo: SUNY Maritime)

“The decrease in state spending on higher education is what keeps me awake at night” is how RADM Michael Alfultis, President, SUNY Maritime College, neatly summarized the biggest challenge he faces as the leader of one of the U.S.’ leading maritime universities. “With a small student body (about 1700), the numbers simply don’t work,” noting that while state funding 15 years ago covered two-thirds of the college’s operating expenses, that percentage hovers at or below 30% today.The…

25 Oct 2019

Massachusetts Maritime Academy Opens Wind Training Facility

The crew transfer training facility is a critical component of a comprehensive safety training program to be offered by Mass Maritime. Image: MMA

Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates the First-in-the-Nation Offshore Wind Training Facility Located at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. MMA steps out in front to train the professionals who will make the coming wave of domestic offshore wind.Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides, and Stephen Pike, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, joined officials from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy to launch the first-in-the-nation offshore wind crew transfer training facility.

22 Apr 2019

GDI in Drilling Services Contract with NOC

Image: North Oil Company

Gulf Drilling International (GDI) has signed a three-year contract with North Oil Company (NOC) to provide drilling services through the drilling rig Dukhan for NOC’s extensive development programmes in Al Shaheen oil field.The Al Shaheen Oil Field is a production oil and gas field off the north east coast of Qatar in the Persian Gulf, 80 kilometres north of Doha.The subsidiary of Gulf International Services (GIS) said in a press release that the signing ceremony was attended by GDI’s Chief Executive officer William Ceppi and NOC’s Chief Executive Officer Jacques Azibert.

08 Apr 2019

E-Navigation Workshop Held in Singapore

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is co-organizing a workshop with the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) to support the operationalization of e-navigation solutions, the first since Singapore’s election to the IALA Council in 2018.E-navigation, a concept driven by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and like-minded nations including Singapore, aims to make marine navigation safer and marine communications more reliable, as well as to reduce accidents and damage to the environment.Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “As one the world’s busiest hub ports with some 1…

02 Mar 2019

Mass. Maritime Honors IRI's Gallagher

Mr. William Gallagher, President of International Registries, Inc.

William Gallagher, President of International Registries, to be named Massachusetts Maritime Academy's Maritime Person of the Year.Since 1995, Massachusetts Maritime Academy has been honoring leaders with a renowned career of excellence, innovation and service to the maritime industry with the Emery Rice Medal at their Salute to the Maritime Person of the Year events. This year they will honor Mr. William Gallagher the President of International Registries, Inc. for his distinguished support and expertise…

07 Feb 2019

"Saint John Paul II" Delivered to Virtu Ferries

Photo: Incat

Incat delivered its latest large fast ferry, a 110-meter catamaran for Virtu Ferries of Malta dubbed Saint John Paul II.Saint John Paul II is the 44th large commercial fast ferry delivered by Incat and the sixth in excess of 5,500gt in the past decade; a decade also shared with 19 other Incat newbuilds of smaller passenger ferries and support vessels.“Using the latest computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and hydrodynamic free-running model test techniques, the well proven Incat Wave Piercing Catamaran hullform has been further developed for Mediterranean winter conditions…

11 Jan 2019

Singapore LNG and YTL PowerSeraya Appoint New CEOs

Image: Singapore LNG

Singapore-based energy company YTL PowerSeraya and LNG terminal operator Singapore LNG Corp (SLNG) announced that they have appointed new chief executive officers (CEOs).YTL PowerSeraya said that han Swee Huat has decided to step down as CEO of the Group with effect from 15 January 2019. Chan plans to retire but will continue to serve as an advisor to parent company YTL Power International.He will be succeeded by industry veteran John Ng, who was most recently the CEO of Singapore LNG Corporation (SLNG).

22 Dec 2018

Shipbuilding: New 110m Catamaran Named Saint John Paul II

Virtu Ferries ship launched at Incat. Photo: Incat

Shipbuilder Incat has launched the 110m vehicle / passenger ferry from the shipyard at Derwent Park in Hobart Tasmania. The ship will commence sea trials in mid January prior to delivery to her new owner Virtu Ferries for service between Malta and Sicily.Bearing the livery Saint John Paul II the vessel has been named in honor of the Pope who served from 1978 to 2005, so revered the Pope has often posthumously, but unofficially, been referred to by Catholics as "St. John Paul the Great".

14 Nov 2018

Former U.S. Navy Captain Pleads Guilty in Corruption, Fraud Probe

File Image: AdobeStock / © Renaschild

A retired U.S. Navy captain pleaded guilty to criminal conflict of interest charges and a former U.S. Navy master chief was sentenced to 17 months in prison today on corruption charges. The defendants are among the latest U.S. Navy officials to plead guilty and be sentenced in the expansive corruption and fraud investigation involving foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis and his Singapore-based ship husbanding company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Adam L.

04 Sep 2018

Pope Urges Action Against Plastic in Oceans

© Lovell / Adobe Stock

Pope Francis, who has spoken strongly for action against global warming in recent years, called on Saturday for people to work together to stop the world's oceans filling up with plastic waste."We cannot allow our seas and oceans to be littered by endless fields of floating plastic," the pope said. "We need to pray as if everything depended on God's providence, and work as if everything depended on us."The pontiff's comments are from a message for the fourth annual prayer day…

26 Jul 2018

Gibdock Secures New ISO Certification

Photo: Gibdock

Gibdock has underlined its commitment to Occupational Health & Safety by becoming the first shipyard in the Mediterranean region, and one of the first companies worldwide, to achieve ISO 45001:2018 certification.An audit by LRQA completed on July 6 confirmed that the Gibraltar shipyard is fully compliant with the requirements of the new ISO standard, which was only published in March this year. ISO 45001:2018 replaces the previous standard, OHSAS 18001. Organizations certified to OHSAS 18001 have three years to migrate to the new standard before the old one is withdrawn in March 2021…

16 Jul 2018

RRS Sir David Attenborough Launched

The 10,000-metric-ton hull of the RRS Sir David Attenborough glides into the water (Photo: BAS)

The hull of the U.K.’s new polar research ship RRS Sir David Attenborough was launched from Cammell Laird shipyard Saturday, marking a major milestone toward the completion of one of the world’s most advanced scientific maritime vessels.Shipyard workers, engineers, scientists and maritime industry experts were among thousands who gathered to celebrate the launch along with special guest speakers, including renowned naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, who pressed…

01 Jun 2018

Mariners Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice

William Donnelly, USMMA Class of 2008 (Image: Marad)

Ask folks unfamiliar with the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) where it’s graduates can be found and they will likely tell you on a cargo ship plying the deep oceans, or in some exotic port on the far side of the globe. And they would be, for the most part correct. However, most don’t realize that no other federal service academy offers the career options of Kings Point. Yes, many graduates become ship’s officers at sea, and some take jobs ashore in the maritime and intermodal transportation field…

03 May 2018

BIMCO Sets New Standard with Revised Bunker Contract

Photo: Official Twitter Page of BIMCO

BIMCO’s Documentary Committee approved a new set of standard bunker terms, developed by a cross-industry group, in New York on 2 May. The BIMCO Bunker Terms 2018 improve on the previous edition with a maximum limit of the parties’ liabilities – a key change that will lead to wider adoption of the contract. “I think it is a positive step for the industry that representatives for the bunker traders and shipowners have agreed on a standard set of terms, which both parties consider fair and balanced,” says Francis Sarre, Chair of the BIMCO Documentary Committee.

25 Apr 2018

Bollore Under Formal Investigation in Africa Graft Probe

(Photo: Bolloré Transport & Logistics)

A French judge on Wednesday placed tycoon Vincent Bollore under formal investigation over allegations his company undercharged for work on behalf of presidential candidates in two African nations in return for port contracts.Bollore's company, Groupe Bollore, announced the decision by Judge Serge Tournaire, which came after Bollore had been questioned for two days by French fraud police.Bollore, whose logistics empire is a powerhouse in former French colonies across West Africa…

23 Mar 2018

Near Record Low Arctic Ocean Ice a Boost for Shipping

© Misiurin Viacheslav / Adobe Stock

Winter sea ice on the Arctic Ocean covered the second smallest area on record this year, part of a thaw that is opening the region to shipping and oil exploration and may be disrupting weather far to the south, scientists said on Friday. The extent of floating ice likely reached an annual maximum of 14.5 million square kilometers (5.6 million square miles) on March 17, fractionally bigger than a record set in 2017, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said. Sea ice around the North Pole freezes to its biggest at the end of the winter in March…

06 Mar 2018

Ardent and Singapore Salvage Engineers Join Forces for Emergency Response

Bas Michiels, Director Asia, Ardent and Ignatius Francis Danakody, Managing Director, SSE. Photo: Ardent

Maritime services provider Ardent and Singapore Salvage Engineers (SSE) have joined forces for future operations within Singapore and adjacent waters. The two companies signed a cooperation agreement on the 19th of January 2018 to closely work together on future opportunities and at the same time retain their own corporate identities. “Through SSE’s strong background within the immediate region of Singapore and adjacent waters in combination with the diversity of resources they operate…

16 Feb 2018

Lebanon Rejects U.S. Proposal on Disputed Waters with Israel

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri told a U.S. envoy on Friday that Lebanon rejects current proposals over the disputed marine borders with Israel, state media said. U.S. diplomats have been mediating between Lebanon and Israel over tensions including an Israeli border wall and Lebanon's decision to begin exploring for offshore energy near a disputed patch of water, officials said. Acting Assistant U.S. Secretary of State David Satterfield also met Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on Friday. "What is proposed is unacceptable," Lebanon's NNA cited Berri as saying in a meeting with Satterfield. This was an apparent reference to a maritime demarcation line proposed by U.S. diplomat Frederic Hof in 2012.

01 Feb 2018

US Navy Commander Pleads Guilty in 'Fat Leonard' Scandal

Cmdr. Troy Amundson (right) in 2010 (U.S. Navy photo by Jessica Bidwell)

A former commander has become the latest U.S. Navy official to plead guilty in a wide-ranging corruption and fraud investigation involving the foreign defense contractor known as “Fat Leonard”. In what has become the largest corruption scandal in U.S. Navy history, former U.S. Navy commander Troy Amundson pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy to commit bribery, admitting that he conspired with foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, a.k.a. “Fat Leonard,” and his Singapore-based company…

31 Jan 2018

Lebanon Vows to Protect Maritime Borders from Israel

© Loes Kieboom / Adobe Stock

Lebanon vowed to protect its maritime borders from Israeli threats, Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil said on Wednesday. "Lebanon will use all available methods to fend off the Israeli aggression that was announced today," he said in televised comments. Israel described as "very provocative" a Lebanese offshore oil and gas exploration tender in disputed territory on the countries' maritime border, and urged international firms not to bid. Lebanese President Michel Aoun described the comments as "a threat".   Reporting by Ellen Francis

06 Dec 2017

BIMCO, FONASBA Launch General Agency Agreement

Photo: BIMCO

BIMCO and FONASBA have once again joined forces to create and launch a new general agency agreement for port agents, shipowners and ship operators contracting port agency services. The new standard contract, which can be downloaded from the FONASBA website and BIMCO’s IDEA, formalizes and sets out clear terms for any agreements made, for the benefit of both sides. Drawn up by the group responsible for drafting the Agency Appointment Agreement which was released earlier this year, the new contract is easy to use and can readily be adapted for single use or a long-term contract.

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