California Pushes Ahead on Ballast Water Compliance
We are quickly approaching September 8, 2017, the date when the International Ballast Water Convention will enter into force requiring ships to manage their ballast water using methods to remove or render harmless organisms contained within their ballast water. This is in an effort to halt the spread of invasive species that have crippled many local ecosystems, both monetarily and environmentally, in some cases causing irreparable damage. In the U.S., the regulations are already in place. Recently, the U.S.
Vancouver: Maritime’s New Home Address
The Vancouver International Maritime Centre (VIMC) is on a mission to grow the city and port into one of the world’s premiere maritime centers. Maritime Reporter & Engineering News recently spoke with Kaity Arsoniadis-Stein, Executive Director of the newly re-established VIMC, for her insights on the pace and direction of the initiative. Let’s start out easily. Why Vancouver? Why now? Why Vancouver? Projections and studies indicate that global trade will increase and shift to the Pacific due to the demand of resources by China and India.
Subchapter M Survey Reports
The advent of the subchapter M towboat rules – even though the bulk of the rules don’t come into effect until July of 2018 – requires a close look at your equipment. How you go about that important task will make all the difference. Towing vessels should be surveyed for Subchapter M regulatory compliance, regardless of the compliance option chosen, so companies can budget and plan for upgrades between now and July of 2018. If a company is being proactive and strategic about Subchapter M, the time to start getting vessels surveyed for regulatory compliance is now.
Biofouling Keep Out!
Biofouling was a backburner issue until 5 March 2017. On that day the Government of New Zealand ordered the bulk carrier DL MARIGOLD out of NZ waters after the vessel’s hull was determined to be excessively fouled with potentially invasive organisms including barnacles and tube worms. The bulker was not allowed back until it showed that the underwater surfaces had been thoroughly cleaned. This was the first known instance of a vessel expulsion due to biofouling. It was also significant…
Angelle Named BSEE Director
Former Louisiana state official Scott A. Angelle will head-up the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Angelle, who most recently served as Vice Chairman of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, will assume his new position May 23. “Scott Angelle brings a wealth of experience to BSEE, having spent many years working for the safe and efficient energy production of both Louisiana’s and our country’s offshore resources,” Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said.
Shipbuilders Council Names McCreary Chairman
Shipbuilders Council of America names Richard McCreary as new chairman; honors Sen. Cochran and Rep. At its annual spring meeting in Washington, D.C. this week, the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA), the national trade association representing the U.S. shipyard industry, named Richard McCreary of BAE Systems as the new chairman of the association. Additionally, SCA honored Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) as recipients of its Maritime Leadership Award, recognizing the two for their demonstrated dedication and support of the U.S.
ABS Mobile App Simplifies Subchapter M Compliance
NS Workboat, a new mobile application from ABS Nautical Systems (NS) purpose-built for the workboat/inland sector, aims to streamline onboard tasks for Subchapter M compliance. “This app answers the growing demand for easy-to-use point solutions – a need that is particularly pronounced in the workboat sector, where many companies have little to no IT support on their boats,” said ABS Nautical Systems Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Schwarz. The tablet-based application is delivered preconfigured to an operator’s selected Subchapter M safety management system.
Norway Oil Ministry: No Plan to Cut Output
Norway has no plans to cut its oil output, the country's oil and energy ministry said on Tuesday. "The Ministry has a good dialogue with other countries about the oil market. We are not in a situation in which regulating production is on the agenda for Norway," the ministry said in a statement. Kuwait's oil minister said earlier on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia's oil minister had spoken to countries including Norway, Turkmenistan and Egypt which had signalled a willingness to join oil output cuts. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Gwladys Fouche)
Future USS Omaha Passes Acceptance Trials
The future USS Omaha (LCS 12) has completed its final significant milestone before delivery to the U.S. Navy, having passed its acceptance trials May 12 after completing a series of graded in-port and underway demonstrations for the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). During the trial, the Navy demonstrated the performance of the propulsion plant, ship handling and auxiliary systems via a series of comprehensive tests. While underway, Omaha performed launch and recovery operations of the 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boat…
Ships Combine for Moreton Anniversary
In the middle an intense training and systems check period, HMAS Darwin slipped into the Brisbane River and berthed across from Navy’s home in southern Queensland, HMAS Moreton. The frigate’s arrival in Brisbane coincided with the first anniversary since the local base was re-commissioned. On arrival, Commanding Officer Darwin Commander Phillip Henry was met by the Commanding Officer Moreton, Commander Mark McConnell, who welcomed the ship to the city. After taking care of all the necessary ship-keeping duties…
Navy Christens USNS City of Bismarck
Austal celebrated the christening of Expeditionary Fast Transport ship USNS City of Bismarck (EPF 9) with a ceremony at its state-of-the-art shipyard on May 13. City of Bismarck is the ninth of 12 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF) that Austal has under contract with the U.S. Navy as part of a contract worth over $1.9 billion. The ship’s sponsor, Congresswoman Jane Harman, headlined the group of officials, naval guests, civic leaders, community members and Austal employees who attended the ceremony beneath the hull of the ship in Austal’s final assembly bay.
Patrol Boats Delivered to the Vietnam Coast Guard
Six new military patrol boats built by Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark have been delivered to the Vietnam Coast Guard. The welded-aluminum Metal Shark 45-foot Defiant pilothouse patrol vessels were provided to Vietnam by the United States in a move that underscores the increased security cooperation between the two nations. The vessels were officially handed over by U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius to the Vietnam Coast Guard on Monday in the province of Quang Nam. The new patrol boats will be employed by the Vietnam Coast Guard on law enforcement missions focused on smuggling…
U.S. Warship Challenges Beijing in South China Sea
A U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Dewey traveled close to the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors. China said its warships had warned the U.S.
Piracy Comes Back in Somalia
Piracy in Somalia is making a comeback and the Gulf of Guinea remains the world’s most active hotspot for crew kidnappings, UK Chamber of Shipping said quoting latest data. The report said that during the first three months of 2017, armed pirates hijacked two vessels off the coast of Somalia, an area in which previously no merchant ship had been hijacked for five years. Four further incidents in the region were also attempted this past quarter, according to the latest report from the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC).
Denmark Tightene Water Scooter Regulations
Danish Ministry of Industry will launch a set of new initiatives to enhance safety at sea when operating water scooters, jet skis, speed boats and the like. The new initiatives are to prevent accidents at sea by securing, inter alia, that those riding water scooters have the skills needed and are familiar with current regulations. At the same time, the new initiatives are to make it easier to identify water scooters and their owners and to hold somebody responsible and intervene when the rules are not observed and others' safety is jeopardised.
Future USS Gerald R. Ford Underway for Acceptance Trials
The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) departed Naval Station Norfolk for its second set of sea trials, known as acceptance trials (AT) May 24. Acceptance Trials demonstrate to the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) the ship's ability to conduct operations at sea and that the ship is constructed in accordance with contract specifications. Over the next several days, CVN 78 Sailors will operate many of the ship's key systems and technologies, overseen by INSURV and the Navy's Supervisor of Shipbuilding…
India to Allocate 2.5 pct of Road Fund for National Waterways
The Indian government has approved a proposal to allocate 2.5 per cent of the Central Road Fund (CRF) for National Waterways (NWs) that would result in about Rs 2,000 crore (USD 309 mln) proceeds per annum for their development. A statement from the government said that Indian Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accorded its approval today to a proposal jointly mooted by the Ministry of Shipping and the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) for amendment of Central Road Fund Act…
Ships Parade Kicks off NY Fleet Week
From the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center to New Year's Eve in Times Square, New York’s time-honored traditions are some of the most well-known around the world. Arriving today as part of another New York tradition, a “parade of ships” from several branches of the U.S. military (and one ship from Canada) sailed into the New York Harbor and up the Hudson River from Battery Park to just south of the George Washington Bridge, for the 29th annual Fleet Week New York (FWNY). Now in its 29th year…
Inmarsat, IMSO Partner in Vanuatu
Inmarsat (ISAT.L) has made available five Fleet One units to a pilot initiative that aims to bring change to the way ships connecting island communities in the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu communicate. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) endorsed capacity-building pilot program is the result of cooperation between the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) and the Government of Vanuatu under the leadership of the Ambassador of Vanuatu to the IMO. Waterborne…
Towing Vessel Runs Aground in Louisiana
An uninspected towing vessel taking on water has run aground in Louisiana’s Calcasieu Ship Channel, early Monday morning. At 3:45 a.m., the three-man crew aboard the 60-foot towing vessel Mr. Landon intentionally ran the vessel aground near Monkey Island to avoid sinking when they realized they were taking on water in the stern. No injuries were reported. Approximately 10 gallons of oil was spilled as a result of the incident. Clean up efforts were coordinated by U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Marine Safety Unit (MSU) Lake Charles members…
Malaysian Navy Boat, Nine Crew Missing
Nine crew members of a Malaysian navy boat are missing after they lost contact with their parent ship while chasing away intruding fishermen, the navy said on Monday. The nine were part of a boarding team from the warship KD Perdana, on patrol off the south coast, the Royal Malaysian Navy said in a statement. The team was chasing several foreign fishing boats out of Malaysian waters when contact was lost on Saturday evening. A search-and-rescue operation was launched about an hour later, after the KD Perdana failed to find the boat, the navy said. Eleven ships and two aircraft had been deployed for the search, it said. Southern Malaysian waterways, which border Indonesia and Singapore, include busy international shipping lanes and rich fishing grounds.
US Navy Presence Highlighted in IMDEX17
The littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) represented the U.S. in the International Maritime Defense Exposition 2017 (IMDEX-17) in Singapore May 16-18. According to a press release from the Navy, the ships and crew were joined by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, who was hosted by Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) Chief Adm. Lai Chung Han for the RSN 50th anniversary celebration and International Maritime Review along with engagement associated with IMDEX.
UK Chamber of Shipping Lobbies for SMarT Plus
The UK Chamber of Shipping has contacted over 800 parliamentary candidates from around the country, asking them to back its campaign for enhanced support for maritime training. The proposal, called SMarT Plus, would see a doubling in government support to GBP 30 million a year. In return, many leading shipowners will increase the number of seafarers they train and guarantee them their first job. The benefits of this would be significant: British seafarers are among the most productive workers in the UK economy, contributing GBP 17,500 per year more to UK GDP than the average worker.
China Threatened War If Philippines Drills for Oil -Duterte
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday Chinese counterpart China Xi Jinping had warned him there would be war if Manila tried to enforce an arbitration ruling and drill for oil in a disputed part of the South China Sea. In remarks that could infuriate China, Duterte hit back at domestic critics who said he has gone soft on Beijing by refusing to push it to comply with an award last year by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which ruled largely in favor of the Philippines. Duterte said he discussed it with Xi when the two met in Beijing on Monday, and got a firm, but friendly warning. "We intend to drill oil there…
RV Sally Ride Enters Dry Dock for Maintenance
The Sally Ride, a Neil Armstrong Class Auxiliary General Oceanographic Research (AGOR) vessel, dry docked at Bay Ship and Yacht on April 15, 2017, to carry out modifications to superstructure and to perform general vessel maintenance. Named for the late astronaut Sally Ride, the ship is 238 feet long and incorporates the latest technologies, including high-efficiency diesel engines, emissions controls for stack gases, and new information technology tools both for monitoring shipboard systems and for communicating with the world.
Ex-HMAS Sydney Retires to Western Australia
Ex-HMAS Sydney has left Sydney Harbour to be towed to Western Australia for recycling, says Minister for Defence Personnel Media Release. Minister for Defence Personnel Dan Tehan said the frigate will be recycled by Australian company Birdon Pty Ltd. “Ex-HMAS Sydney had an illustrious career during her 32 years in service with the Royal Australian Navy,” Mr Tehan said. “The Adelaide class frigate was involved in operations spanning the Middle East, East Timor, Fiji and the Solomon Islands and earned a Meritorious Unit Citation during the First Gulf War in 1991.
India, Singapore Navy Drill SIMBEX-17 Commences
As part of "SIMBEX-17’, the ongoing Bilateral Naval Exercise between Navies of the Republic of Singapore and India, lndian Naval Ships Shivalik, Sahyadri, Jyoti and Kamorta and one P8-I Maritime Patrol and Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft are participating. While INS Sahyadri and INS Kamorta are at Singapore since 12 May 2017, INS Shivalik and INS Jyoti would be joining directly for the sea phase of the exercise. The ships are under the command of Rear Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, YSM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
AWO Welcomes CVIDA Inclusion in Coast Guard Authorization Bill
The American Waterways Operators (AWO) said it welcomes the inclusion of the Commercial Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (CVIDA) and the recapitalization of the aging fleet of inland waterway tenders as part of the FY 2018 Coast Guard Reauthorization Act, which was approved today by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation by voice vote. CVIDA is bipartisan legislation that streamlines what is currently a broken regulatory system in which commercial vessels moving vital maritime commerce on U.S.
North Korea's New Ferry Service Makes First Trip to Russia
A new ferry line between isolated North Korea and its neighbour Russia docked for the first time at the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok on Thursday. The ferry's Russian operators say it is purely a commercial venture, but it coincides with what some academics say is a drive by North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, to build ties with Moscow in case its closest ally China turns its back. Journalists were unable to see passengers disembarking from the ship, the North Korean-flagged Mangyongbong, because Russian officials kept them away from the quayside, citing unspecified security reasons. Reuters television was able to speak to three passengers, who said they were representatives of Chinese tourism agencies.
Swiss Fleet Dwindles as State Guarantees End
A dozen ships from the Swiss high seas fleet are being sold off as the global shipping crisis takes its toll on the quirky remnant of landlocked Switzerland's efforts to ensure supplies of essential goods at times of international unrest. Worried about the security of food and energy supplies during wartime, Switzerland launched its high seas fleet in 1941, putting Swiss flags on tankers and freighters it could call on at times of need. But as times changed and supply routes became more stable, Switzerland has limited its support since 1959 to debt guarantees for shipping lines able to reduce borrowing costs in return for pledges to make ships available if Bern needed them.
OP/Ed: CVIDA Good for Environment & Economy
I think it safe to say everyone agrees the discharge of ballast water has introduced non-native species to ports and harbors worldwide and more must be done to stop future invasions. Unfortunately, beyond that, there’s less agreement, much less. As a result, here in the United States we have two federal agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), plus, at last count, 25 states regulating discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels, 16 of which are specific to ballast water.
Russia Wants to Sell Sovcomflot to Small-stake Investors
Russia plans to sell part of state shipping firm Sovcomflot next month, hoping to draw in a wide range of small-stake investors rather than a strategic buyer who could threaten Moscow's control of the group, banking and industry sources say. The current era of low tanker market prices is far from the ideal time for Sovcomflot to raise revenue with a share offer, as freight rates were at their highs in 2015. Sovcomflot operates the world's second largest fleet of oil tankers. But…
Germany Halts Planned Warship Purchase
Germany's federal cartel office upheld on Thursday a complaint brought by German Naval Yards against an order from the defence ministry for five new military corvettes valued at over 1.5 billion euros, after the ministry skipped an open procurement. The ministry had argued that the quickest way to meet the navy's urgent military needs in the Baltic and Mediterranean seas would be to buy more of the ships already produced by a consortium including Luerssen Werft and ThyseenKrupp. However, the cartel office agreed with German Naval Yards that the need for competition took priority, confirming reports on Wednesday by two German newspapers. An appeal may be lodged within two weeks. (Reporting by Anneli Palmen; Writing by Madeline Chambers, Editing by Thomas Escritt)
Australia Announces Naval Shipbuilding Plan
The Australian government announced a $89 billion (US$66.2 billion) naval shipbuilding plan, based mostly in Adelaide. The program will produce 12 submarines, nine frigates and 12 offshore patrol vessels for the Australian navy as well as 19 Pacific patrol boats to be given to neighboring countries. AFP quoted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying that the largest peacetime naval investment package - first flagged in 2015 to replace its ageing fleets - would boost local industry, with up to 5,000 jobs created in shipbuilding directly and double that in the supply chain.
EU Softens Rules on Ports Investments
European Commission has exempted public support measures in a number of areas from prior Commission state aid control, said a press statement. This facilitates public investments in key infrastructure, namely ports and existing airports, but also public support for culture, multi-purpose sport arenas and the EU's outermost regions. EU State aid rules ensure that companies can compete on equal terms in the EU Single Market to the benefit of European consumers. The EU Treaty gives the Commission the task of enforcing those rules.
Indian Navy Ship Foils Piracy Bid in Gulf of Aden
The Indian Navy ship INS Sharda on Tuesday thwarted a piracy attempt on a Liberian vessel in the Gulf of Aden, in a well-calculated operation involving marine commandos (Marcos). INS Sharda is presently on a deployment to the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy patrol. On 16 May 2017, at about 1645 hrs, the ship received a distress call from MV Lord Mountbatten, a Liberian registered ship, in position 230 nautical miles South-West of Salalah. The merchant vessel had reported an incident of attempted piracy by two suspicious mother vessels alongwith seven to eight skiffs.
Nigeria Invests in Boats to Fight Piracy
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has assured Nigerians and the international maritime community that the Federal Government is actively working to keep the menace of piracy and other illicit crimes in check on the nation’s territorial waterways. In this case the word are backed by action and investment, as the Nigerian government has approved the procurement of three helicopters and 12 fast intervention…
Lloyd's Register: Maritime Grows in the Americas
As the global maritime market remains mired in a slump, Lloyd’s Register continues to expand rapidly in the Americas market where it sees green fields of opportunity. Mark Darley, President—Americas Marine for LR, recently sat with Maritime Reporter & Engineering News to explain the strategy to conduct business over a broader range of segments and services and grow LR’s presence in the Americas. Mark Darley, President—Americas Marine for Lloyd’s Register is an industry veteran with nearly two decades of maritime experience under his belt…
North Korea Launches Ferry Service to Russia
North Korea launched a ferry service to the Russian city of Vladivostok on Wednesday to develop links and boost economic cooperation, the North's state media said, as it faces increasing isolation over its weapons development. Experts have said North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, may be hoping closer ties with Russia would help if China, the North's main economic benefactor, steps up sanctions against it over its weapons programmes, in defiance of U.N. resolutions. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that while Moscow was opposed to any new countries acquiring nuclear weapons…
Oregon County Won't Block LNG Terminal
A coastal Oregon county overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure aimed at blocking a proposed natural gas terminal dealing a blow to what was the latest in a series of efforts to thwart energy projects across the Pacific Northwest. The measure, had it passed, would have banned transport of fossil fuels not intended for local use through Coos County, located about 200 miles (322 kms) south of Portland. Around 76 percent of votes were cast against the measure, with 24 percent in favor, according to unofficial results posted on the Coos County government website late Tuesday.
India to Facilitate Marine Skill Developement in Coastal Areas
For skills development of youth in coastal areas, India's Ministry of Shipping signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with theMinistry of Rural Development in New Delhi. The MoU is for convergence of the Ministry’ prestigious project Sagaramala and Ministry of Rural Development’s flagship programme Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU GKY). The Minister of Shipping and Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari and the Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar were present on the occasion.
Rolls-Royce to Power Korean Naval Frigates
Rolls-Royce said it has won a contract to supply MT30 marine gas turbines to power the next three ships in the Republic of Korea Navy’s Daegu-class frigate program. The frigates are intended for a variety of missions including anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, patrol, surveillance, search and rescue, protection of EEZ and transport. In all Eight Daegu-class frigates (also known as FFX Batch 2) are scheduled to be built, the first of which is being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) and was launched at DSME's Okpo shipyard in June 2016.
Oregon County Mulls LNG Terminal Ban
A coastal Oregon county will vote Tuesday on a ballot measure to block a proposed natural gas terminal, the latest in a series of efforts to thwart energy projects across the Pacific Northwest. The measure would ban transport of fossil fuels not intended for local use through Coos County, located about 200 miles (322 kms) south of Portland. Backers have called the initiative a response to a $7.6 billion proposal by Calgary-based Veresen Inc, to build a facility in the county where natural gas would be liquefied and transferred to tanker ships for sale abroad.
Indian Naval Ships Deployed to Malaysia
Indian Naval Ships Shivalik and Jyoti are on an overseas deployment to the South East Asia and Southern Indian Ocean, in pursuance of India’s ‘Act East Policy’. The ships would be on a port visit to Kuantan from 14 May to 19 May , 2017. The visit of the Indian Naval Ships seeks to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly and harmonious countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen existing bonds between India and Malaysia. The two countries share a rich history and a strategic relationship.
Tandgedo-VOC Port Sign MoU for Coal Jetty
India's V.O. Chidambaranar (VOC) Port is all set for a four-fold increase in the capacity of two of its Coal Jetties – Jetty I and II from 6.25 million metric tonnes per annum to 24 MTPA. The state-run power utility Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with VOC, Tuticorin for the construction of new Coal Jetty I and provision of shore unloaders and conveyor systems. The Minister of Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari and Minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise, Government of Tamil Nadu P.
Op/Ed: USCG Forges the Future of Navigation
Maintaining the system of buoys and beacons that guide mariners through our nation’s waterways is the United States Coast Guard’s oldest mission. Tracing its roots to the ninth law passed by Congress in 1790 that moved lighthouses under Federal control, the U.S. Lighthouse Service and its vast portfolio of buoys, beacons, buoy tenders and lightships were a founding part of the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939. Along with the mission, many of the beacons the Coast Guard maintains today date back centuries.
Saudi Arabia Ratifies BWM Treaty
Saudi Arabia has become the latest State to become a Party to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention. The treaty will enter into force on September 8, 2017 and aims to counter the threat to marine ecosystems by potentially invasive species transported in ships' ballast water. Saudi Arabia deposited its instrument of accession with IMO on April 27, 2017, bringing the number of contracting Parties to the BWM Convention to 55, or 53.67 percent of world merchant shipping tonnage.
China, Vietnam Dampen S.China Sea Tensions
China and Vietnam will manage and properly control their maritime disputes, avoiding actions to complicate or widen them, so as to maintain peace in the South China Sea, the two nations said in a joint communique China released on Monday. Vietnam is the Southeast Asian country most openly at odds with China over the waterway since the Philippines pulled back from confrontation under President Rodrigo Duterte. After what China said were "positive" talks on the South China Sea last week between President Xi Jinping and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, the joint statement stressed the need to control differences. Both countries agreed to "manage and properly control maritime disputes…
Canada Rolls Out Oil Tanker Moratorium Act
The transportation system is something Canadians rely on every day, from getting us to work, or bringing us the products we use in our homes. The Government of Canada is working to ensure that goods are transported in a safe and responsible way while protecting our marine environment and clean water. "The Government of Canada is committed to demonstrating a clean environment and a strong economy can go hand-in-hand. Tabling this legislation is another step towards fulfilling our promise to formalize the tanker moratorium on British Columbia's north coast.
USS Abraham Lincoln Achieves Redelivery
The USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) was redelivered to the fleet May 12, marking the successful completion of its refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) carried out at Newport News Shipyard. At sea for the first time since March 2014, the crew conducted rigorous tests of engineering components, the modernized combat systems suite and flight deck equipment that supports Lincoln's mission at sea. Damage control capabilities and basic deck seamanship were also checked to ensure both the ship and the crew's operational readiness.
US, Singapore, Thai Navies Complete CARAT
Ships from the Republic of Singapore navy, Royal Thai navy and U.S. Navy completed a three-day multilateral Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise in the South China Sea May 12. The three-day exercise included a broad spectrum of naval competencies and maritime security training aimed at enhancing cooperation and interoperability amongst the three navies. The navies are long-time maritime partners under the CARAT series, which began in 1995 with Thailand and Singapore as original participants in the exercise series.
Italian Submarine Romeo Romei Delivered
The submarine Romeo Romei was delivered at Fincantieri’s shipyard of Muggiano, La Spezia. It is the last of the four U212A Todaro class twin units ordered from Fincantieri by the Naval Armament Unit – NAVARM for the Italian Navy. Romeo Romei, as its twin unit Pietro Venuti delivered last July at the Muggiano shipyard, features highly innovative technological solutions. It is entirely built with amagnetic material, using the most modern silencing techniques to reduce its acoustic signature.
Canada to Ban Tankers off North British Columbia
Canada's Liberal government has introduced legislation for a moratorium on oil tanker traffic along the northern coast of the British Columbia province, the country's transport department said on Friday, delivering on an election promise. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered the ban soon after the election in 2015, in which he took power on a pledge to balance resource development with protecting the environment. Friday's bill will likely pass because Trudeau's Liberals hold a majority in Parliament.
IMCA Supports CBP's Jones Act Decision
The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) welcomed withdrawal of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) notice to revoke and modify rulings relating to offshore vessels under the Jones Act. Allen Leatt, Chief Executive of IMCA, explained, “Members of the International Marine Contractors Association with vessels active in U.S. waters, together with their clients, welcome the decision by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agency to withdraw its proposed revocation of longstanding decisions made over the last 40 years concerning the Jones Act.
Arctic Council Meeting Stirs Hidden Tensions
As foreign ministers from countries with territory in the far North celebrated an agreement on fighting climate change this week, one topic seethed below the surface: growing competition for Arctic resources and sea lanes as the ice melts. Russia, one of eight members of the Arctic Council which includes the United States, Canada and the Nordic countries, has been pouring money and missiles into the Arctic as well as reopening and building bases there. This is bringing its Arctic military presence to the highest level since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.
Late & Overweight: Germany's New Frigates Found Wanting
Germany's much-delayed new frigates, built by ThyssenKrupp and Luerssen for at least 650 million euros ($710 million) apiece, are overweight and float with a persistent list to starboard, according to a confidential report seen by Reuters. The ships, designed to need a crew of only 120, less than half their predecessors, are a crucial element in Germany's plans to beef up its military to face an increasingly uncertain European security landscape and a more assertive Russia. Designed to remain at sea for far longer than the German armed forces' existing fleet…
EPA Paves Way for Stalled Mine in Alaska
U.S. environmental regulators have cleared the path for a stalled copper and gold mine in Alaska by agreeing to settle current lawsuits and other issues over the project, which had drawn environmental concerns over its potential impact on the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery. U.S. The Pebble Limited Partnership mining company had filed a lawsuit against the EPA under the previous administration of Democratic president Barack Obama, which had sought to block it. Backers of the project had been hopeful that Obama's Republican successor, Donald Trump would allow it to proceed. Shares of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd , which owns the massive Pebble deposit, have surged since Trump won the U.S. election back in November. Trump took office Jan. 20.
Spanish Cabinet Attempts Port Reform Again
The Spanish cabinet passed a decree on Friday aimed at liberalizing the country's ports, a second effort at a contentious law which has already been rejected by parliament and prompted threats of widespread strikes. The Mediterranean's largest ports, Valencia and Algeciras, alongside the smaller port of Barcelona, help shift about two thirds of Spain's imports and exports. Prolonged industrial action could badly hurt Spain's exports, which are worth about a third of economic output and were key in dragging the country from recession following the 2008 property market crash.
Sri Lanka Denies Chinese Request for Sub Visit
Sri Lanka has rejected China's request to dock one of its submarines in Colombo this month, two senior government officials said on Thursday as the Indian prime minister landed in the island nation. Sri Lanka last allowed a Chinese submarine to dock in the capital of Colombo in October 2014, a move that triggered fierce opposition from its northern neighbour India, which worries about growing Chinese activity in a country it has long viewed as part of its area of influence. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Sri Lanka on Thursday for a two-day official visit. A senior Sri Lankan government official said China's request to dock one of its submarines in Colombo this month had been rejected.
Ferry Service or Humanitarian Rescue Boats?
Some EU officials say NGOs inadvertently encourage people smuggling; NGOs say they are only trying to save lives. A "ferry service" that encourages people smugglers or an essential humanitarian rescue service that saves thousands of African migrants making a dangerous sea crossing to Europe? This debate among EU officials about the role of aid groups in the Mediterranean highlights their dilemma between the moral and legal obligation of helping those in need, and growing pressure from voters to keep them away. Escaping wars and poverty, more than 360,000 refugees and migrants made it to European shores across the Mediterranean last year. Most of them arrived on EU rescue vessels.
UK Chamber Shipping Upbeat after US abandoning Jones Act Amendments
US authorities have abandoned plans to tighten Jones Act coastal shipping rules – and it’s all thanks to the coordinated efforts of international government administrations, US energy firms and shipping bodies, in which the UK Chamber played its part. A statement from UK Chamber of Shipping said that America’s Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) on January 18 announced a plan to revoke past US CBP rulings that allow non-US flagged offshore vessels to carry out specialised services in specific circumstances for US offshore energy projects.
Cammell Laird Honors Military Heritage
Liverpool City Region (UK) shipyard Cammell Laird has announced it will be honoring its illustrious naval and military heritage next month by being headline sponsor of the UK’s Armed Forces Day (AFD). The AFD celebrations will take place in Liverpool this year on June 24, with more than 1,000 serving personnel, veterans, cadets and marching bands taking part in a parade followed by a full program of events near the city’s iconic waterfront. Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret, CBE,…
Foreign Defense Contractor Executives Guilty of Fraud
Two former executives of a foreign defense contractor pleaded guilty in federal court today for participating in a conspiracy to submit bogus bids, claims and invoices to the U.S. Navy in an effort to steal tens of millions of dollars as part of a years-long corruption and fraud scheme. Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson of the Southern District of California, Director Dermot F. O’Reilly of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and Director Andrew L. Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) made the announcement.
U.S. Forecaster Sees Chance of El Nino By Summer, Fall 2017
Neutral or El Nino conditions are nearly equally likely in the Northern Hemisphere this summer and fall, a U.S. government forecaster said on Thursday. The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center said in its monthly outlook that the forecaster consensus reflected slightly lower chances of El Nino development than it did last month. The last El Nino, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that typically occurs every few years, went away in 2016 and was linked to crop damage, fires and flash floods. (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru)
Southeast Asia's Largest Concrete Floating Dry Dock Launched
Southeast Asia’s largest concrete floating dry dock has been launched by Singapore’s marine engineering company, GL Engineering & Construction Pte Ltd (GL E&C). Built in Batam, Indonesia with a local sub-contractor, the dry dock named ‘Peleke Nui’ has been specially commissioned by an American company, Marisco Limited. Costing $12 million, the dry dock will be used for the construction, maintenance as well as repair of ships and naval crafts, serving international clients from the owner’s base in Hawaii, the United States of America.
Optimarin BWT Retrofit Orders Grow
Optimarin has signed contracts with Wisby Tankers and Hoëgh Autoliners to install its market proven Optimarin Ballast System (OBS) on five existing vessels. The agreement, which comes six months after the Norwegian ballast water treatment (BWT) specialist became the first company to win USCG approval, will see Optimarin fitting units on three bitumen tankers for Wisby and two Hoëgh Autoliners RoRo ships. With a fleet of 19 advanced vessels, Wisby Tankers is a niche leader, utilizing smaller tankers for European trades and its larger vessels…
Egypt Weans Itself off Foreign Gas
Egypt seeking to defer up to 25 LNG cargoes this year-trade; talks with trade houses and producers ongoing. Egypt is holding talks with its liquefied natural gas (LNG) suppliers to defer contracted shipments this year and aims to cut back on purchases in 2018, as surging domestic gas production squeezes out demand for costly foreign imports. Cairo's desire for gas self-sufficiency by the end of 2018 bodes ill for traders having to reshuffle LNG out of the country amid concern over the impact on global gas prices if replacement markets for the world's eighth-biggest importer of the super-cooled fuel are not found fast enough. State-run importer EGAS aims to defer dozens of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes due this year, analyst, trade and industry sources say.
Five Power Defence Drill in International Waters
Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have completed Five Power Defence Arrangements exercise in international waters, off the coast of Malaysia as part of the longest standing multilateral arrangement in South East Asia. Acting Chief of Joint Operations, Major General Stuart Smith, said Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD was an important opportunity for the Australian Defence Force to strengthen cooperation with other nations. “Around 300 Australian personnel have taken part, drawn from Navy, Army and Air Force,” Major General Smith said.
CBP Withdraws Obama-proposed Jones Act Changes
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has withdrawn an Obama-era proposal to modify a law that governs shipping, which would have revoked waivers that make it easier for oil and gas operators to skirt restrictions, according to an agency bulletin published Wednesday. For nearly 40 years the CBP has provided exemptions to the Jones Act, which mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. The exemptions have allowed oil and gas operators to use often cheaper, tax-free, or more readily available foreign flagged vessels. The CBP has weighed revoking these waivers after President Barack Obama's administration proposed to put them on the chopping block two days before President Donald Trump took office.
Mariners, Shipbuilders Call on President to Put U.S. National & Economic Security First
Profoundly damaging announcement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) puts foreign companies first and American companies and workers last. The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) today responded to an announcement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to withdraw its second proposal to modify and revoke letter rulings. This decision hurts American workers, vessel owners, and U.S. shipbuilders and prevents the creation of 3,200 new American jobs. Obliging to foreign interests…
AWO Approves LR as Third-Party RCP Auditor
Lloyd's Register has received approval from the American Waterways Operators (AWO) as a third-party organization authorized to conduct audits of AWO member operations as part of its Responsible Carrier Program (RCP). The RCP is a safety management system that provides a framework for the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry to continuously improve safety and environmental performance. In order to be in compliance with the RCP – a condition of AWO membership – member companies must undergo recurring management and vessel audits by an approved independent third-party entity.
Gulf of Mexico is Ground Zero for the Jones Act
A vastly modernized U.S. offshore support fleet awaits the opportunity to perform Jones Act work in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Foreign operators, already here, predict disaster if a cabotage rule change takes effect. A change proposed by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in its Customs Bulletin & Decision newsletter promises reversal of a 40-year practice that, until now, allowed the use of non-coastwise-qualified vessels in the transportation of pipeline repair material…
Turkey, Pakistan Sign Warship Deal
Turkey and Pakistan have signed a memorandum of understanding for the sale of four Turkish made corvette warships and 52 Pakistan-made training planes for Ankara's armed forces, Turkey's defence industry undersecretariat said on Wednesday. Karachi Shipyard (KS&EW) will buy four corvettes made under Turkey's MILGEM warship programme, aimed at designing and building locally a fleet of multipurpose corvettes and frigates that will replace older ships. The Turkish defence undersecretariat said the final deal was expected to be signed on June 30. The statement did not provide any financial details. Turkey will buy 52 Super Mushshak training planes from Pakistan Aeronautical Complex - Kamra…
India, Indonesia Commence Co-ordinated Patrol
The 29th series of India–Indonesia CORPAT is scheduled from 09 – 25 May 2017 with the opening ceremony being conducted from 09 -12 May 2017 at Port Blair under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command. The Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Sutedi Senoputra has arrived at Haddo Wharf, Port Blair to mark the commencement of the 29th series of IND–INDO CORPAT today. An Indonesian Maritime Patrol Aircraft also flew in with the Indonesian Naval delegation led by First Admiral Bambang Irwanto to INS Utkrosh, Port Blair.
UK Chamber Warns Against Scrapping Le Touquet Treaty
Emmanuel Macron, the newly-elected French President, vowed during his election campaign to renegotiate the Le Touquet agreement which enables British border officials to carry out checks in France. The treaty provided for France and Britain to erect juxtaposed border controls in Channel ports. "Under international rules, agreed by the International Maritime Organisation, it is ports, not ferry operators, who are responsible for ensuring that only passengers with tickets are able to get near a ship.
India Deploys Eastern Fleet Ships Overseas
Indian Naval Ships Shivalik, Sahyadri, Jyoti and Kamorta of the Eastern Fleet manouvering in the Andaman Sea. The task force is on a routine deployment to Malacca Strait, the Java Sea, Flores Sea, the Arafura Sea and Southern Indian Ocean under the command of Rear Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, YSM, VSM, the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. During the course of the deployment, as part of the ‘Act East Policy’, the ships would make port calls at Singapore, Kuantan (Malaysia), Jakarta and Surabaya (Indonesia), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) and Fremantle (Australia).
USS Abraham Lincoln Departs for Sea Trials
Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) got underway for sea trails, May 9, following a four-year refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia. The four-day sea trails marks Abraham Lincoln's first time underway since March 2013. The ship spent its last days in the shipyard completing a five-day "fast cruise," May 2-7, making final preparations for its transit to Naval Station Norfolk. "We are looking forward to taking the ship out on the open water where we belong," said Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, Lincoln's executive officer.
EIA Release Short-Term Energy Outlook
The U.S. Energy Information Administration released its Short-Term Energy Outlook. • North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $52 per barrel (b) in April, $1/b higher than the March average and the fifth consecutive month that Brent crude oil spot prices averaged between $50/b and $55/b. EIA forecasts Brent prices to average $53/b in 2017 and $57/b in 2018. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are forecast to average $2/b less than Brent prices in both 2017 and 2018.
Cuban Refined Oil Product Exports Drop Sharply
Cuban exports of refined oil products fell about 97 percent between 2013 and 2016, according to a United Nations trade report released this week, reflecting falling supplies from its political ally Venezuela. The UN Comtrade annual report put the value of Cuban fuel exports last year at $15.4 million, compared to more than $500 million in 2013. The amounts for 2015 and 2014, when oil prices collapses, were $163.5 million and $336.8, respectively. The figures were based on import data from reporting countries, which may make them incomplete. The communist-ruled Caribbean nation does not publish oil-related export information. Cash-strapped Cuba reported its exports of goods…
GE Gas Turbines Power Japanese Destroyer
GE's Marine Solutions reports that the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned its second Izumo-class helicopter-carrying destroyer. The new JS Kaga (DDH 184) is powered by four GE LM2500 marine gas turbines, and was commissioned at the Japan Marine United Corporation shipyard in Yokohama on March 22, 2017. First-in-class JS Izumo (DDH 183) and JS Kaga are the largest surface combatants in the JMSDF fleet. Both feature a powerful and reliable combined diesel and LM2500 gas turbine propulsion system, with the gas turbines using GE’s integrated electronic controls.
Kongsberg Camera System for Canadian Navy Vessel
Aberdeen based Kongsberg Maritime camera systems group has delivered a new large network IP CCTV system to Chantier Davie Canada for installation aboard the new Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Auxiliary Naval Replenishment Ship, known currently as ‘Project Resolve’. Project Resolve was established to develop an interim fleet supply vessel for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). The project purchased MS Asterix, a commercial containership, and is converting it into an Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ship that will be chartered by the Royal Canadian Navy.
New Commanding Officer at USCG Sector North Carolina
Coast Guard Capt. Jerry Barnes assumed command of Coast Guard Sector North Carolina in Wilmington, N.C., Tuesday. Barnes reported to Sector North Carolina after serving as the 5th Coast Guard District's chief of prevention. Barnes, a specialist in marine safety, security, environmental protection and marine transportation system management, previously served at the Marine Safety Center in Washington, D.C., Sector Hampton Roads, in Portsmouth, Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, Fla., various staff positions at the 5th Coast Guard District, and aboard a 210-foot medium endurance cutter home ported in St. Petersburg, Fla. Barnes, a native of Raleigh, N.C., is a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He graduated from the U.S.
Yemen War Adds to Shipping Fears in Horn of Africa
Yemen's worsening conflict is contributing to a spike in piracy in the region, with Somali pirates taking advantage of a reduced international naval presence and more readily available weaponry to carry out attacks. "The regional instability caused by Yemen is important," Colonel Richard Cantrill, chief of staff with the European Union's counter piracy mission EU NAVFOR, told Reuters last week. Fighting between Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition has spilled over into the shipping lanes through which much of the world's oil passes.
USS Ronald Reagan Departs for Sea Trials
The U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), departed Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) May 7. Ronald Reagan's crew shifted colors at 11:54 a.m. and made way to conduct sea trials in the final phase of the ship's selective restricted availability (SRA) maintenance period, which began January 10. "I am extremely proud of the Reagan crew's accomplishments up to this point of our SRA period," said Capt. Buzz Donnelly, commanding officer.
Fairbanks Morse's Diesel Gensets for US Navy’s New Warship
Fairbanks Morse, an EnPro Industries company, will supply the Ship Service Diesel Generator (SSDG) sets for electric power generation system aboard the U.S. Navy’s newest America class amphibious assault warship, LHA 8. Construction of the generator sets will begin later this year. They are scheduled to be delivered to shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Miss., in 2019. The six generator sets, powered by 12-cylinder Colt-Pielstick PA6B diesel engines will deliver 24 MW of electrical power and are some of the largest medium speed diesel engines built in the United States. Fairbanks Morse also supplied SSDGs for power generation systems aboard two other ships in the America class – the USS America (LHA 6)…
Former MSC Contractor Charged with Bribery, Fraud
A former contractor at the Military Sealift Command (MSC) was indicted for his role in a bribery and fraud conspiracy from approximately 1999 to 2014, in which he allegedly received almost $3 million dollars in bribes. Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia made the announcement. Scott B. Miserendino Sr., 58, formerly of Stafford, Va., was charged in a five-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and honest services mail fraud, one count of bribery and three counts of honest services mail fraud. Miserendino’s arraignment will be scheduled at a later date.
US Navy 'Freedom of Navigation' Patrols to Continue as Before
There has been no policy change with regard to U.S. Navy freedom of navigation operations under the administration of President Donald Trump, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift said on Monday. Under the previous administration, the U.S. navy conducted such voyages through the South China Sea - most of which is claimed by China - angering Beijing. But none has been conducted in the region under the Trump administration. The New York Times reported last week that a U.S.
Indian Warships visit Egypt
As part of the Indian Navy’s overseas deployment (OSD) to the Mediterranean Sea and the West Coast of Africa, two Indian warships, INS Mumbai and INS Aditya, arrived at Alexandria on May 5, 2017 for a three-day visit. The warships will engage extensively with the Egyptian Navy during their stay in harbour. Apart from professional interactions, a number of sports and social engagements are also planned, which would go a long way in enhancing co-operation and understanding between these two important and capable Navies.
Boykin Tapped as Next Newport News President
Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Board of Directors has elected Jennifer R. Boykin to serve as executive vice president of HII and president of HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division, effective July 1. She will succeed Matt Mulherin, who announced that he will retire on August 1 after a 36-year career at Newport News Shipbuilding. Boykin, who will report to HII President and CEO Mike Petters effective July 1, currently serves as vice president, engineering and design for Newport News Shipbuilding.
France Awards Contract for Frigates Renovation
On May 2, 2017, the French Directorate-General for Armaments (DGA) awarded a contract to renovate three of the five La Fayette-class Frigates (FLF) currently in service with the French Navy to DCNS. Nathalie Smirnov, Head of Services at DCNS, declared, “DCNS thanks the Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) for its confidence and welcomes this notification related to the platform and combat system modernization of the La Fayette class frigates. These operations are major and have never been realized so far on this kind of frigate.
China Transfers Three Pirates to Somali Authorities
A Chinese navy ship handed over three suspected pirates to Somali authorities on Friday, police said, underscoring the determination of international naval forces to stamp out a resurgence of piracy this year. The pirates were involved in the attempted hijacking in April of the OS35, a Tuvalu-flagged cargo ship that was rescued by the Chinese navy after the crew sent a distress call. "A Chinese navy ship handed over three pirates to Puntland today," said Ahmed Saiid, the deputy director of maritime police forces in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland.
GRSE to Build MTU Engines in India
agreement between Rolls Royce and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. (GRSE) will see final assembly of MTU Series 4000 engines in India. Under the terms of the deal, the 12V and 16V 4000 M90 type engines will be assembled in GRSE’s Diesel Engine Plant in Ranchi, while an option for the future local production of parts was also agreed upon. The agreement includes the transfer of MTU technology related to assembly, testing and painting. The 12V and 16V 4000 M90 type engines have a rated power of 2…
WCI Applauds FY 2017 Omnibus
Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) praised today’s passage of the FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill that provides funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017. FY ’17 funding for the Corps’ Civil Works mission totals $6.038 billion, a 0.8 percent increase above the FY ’16 funding level, but almost a 31 percent increase above the Obama Administration requested level. The bill provides full-use of estimated annual revenues from the…
USCG Investigating ‘Laser Strikes’ on Commercial Ships
The U.S. Coast Guard said it is investigating multiple laser strikes during the past month aimed at commercial vessels transiting the Chesapeake Bay. Four incidences occurred early Wednesday morning between midnight and 3 a.m., involving the motor vessels Salome, Bulk Spain and AM Annaba. Additionally, a pilot vessel was lased as it was on its way back to the pilot launch. Three other incidents occurred: Monday around 2 a.m., involving the motor vessel Hoegh Osaka; Sunday at 4 a.m., and involved the cruise ship Carnival Pride and another April 7 at approximately 1 a.m., involving the motor vessel Maersk Kolkata. During all incidents, the laser light was described as steady, powerful and somewhat painful to the eyes.
El Nino Conditions Are Developing in the Pacific
El Nino conditions are developing across the Pacific with an increasing probability that a full-fledged El Nino episode will occur during the second half of 2017. Pacific equatorial winds have slackened since the start of the year and a characteristic tongue of warm water has begun to form stretching from Peru towards the international dateline. Both are consistent with the development of El Nino and are likely to strengthen during the second and third quarters. The U.S. government’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) last month forecast El Nino conditions would prevail by the end of the northern hemisphere summer, but put the probability at only 50 percent.
US Navy to Delay Planned Frigate Award
The U.S. Navy has decided to delay by a year until fiscal 2020 the awarding of a design and construction contract for a planned new frigate, according to congressional testimony on Wednesday by two Navy rear admirals. The delay resulted from a decision to set up a frigate evaluation team to look at how to make the vessel more lethal and survivable, Rear Admirals Ron Boxall and John Neagley said in their prepared testimony. Navy analyses have determined that the U.S. fleet needs 53 small surface combat ships to supplement the larger aircraft carriers and destroyers…
AWO Testifies on Carrier Alliance, Tug Negotiations
AWO testifies before Congress on dangers of foreign carrier alliances negotiating collectively with U.S. Tom Allegretti, President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators, testified before the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on the dangers posed by the Federal Maritime Commission's (FMC) decision to allow foreign carrier alliances to collectively negotiate with U.S. tugboat operators. Allegretti also emphasized AWO's view that such agreements violate both the letter and congressional intent of the Shipping Act…
Chinese Vessels Detained off West Africa for Illegal Fishing
West African countries have detained eight Chinese ships for fishing illegally and the boats' owners could be subject to millions of dollars in fines, environmental group Greenpeace and government officials said. Inspectors from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau boarded the ships off their coasts which they found to be violating regulations on catching protected fish and using nets with small holes to facilitate bigger hauls. The arrests came after a two-month regional patrol on a Greenpeace ship, the Esperanza which carried inspectors from the West African countries, in a bid to supplement national efforts, which are often hamstrung by budget and technology constraints.
U.S. FMC Unanimously Rejects Proposed Tripartite Pact
U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner William P. Yesterday, I voted to reject the Tripartite Agreement proposed by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K Line); Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. (MOL); and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK). This agreement was unanimously rejected by the Commissioners on the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). This decision by the FMC in no way precludes the Japanese carriers from merging their container trade business units into a single stand-alone company. Rather, the vote…
Brazil Posts Record Trade Surplus for April
Brazil's trade surplus rose to $6.969 billion last month, government data showed on Monday, a record for a month of April as prices for main exports such as soy, iron ore and oil rose. Exports totaled $17.686 billion and imports $10.717 billion. Economists in a Reuters poll predicted a surplus of $7.03 billion, according to their median forecast, after a surplus of $4.862 billion in April 2016. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
Nominated China Ambassador Tough on South China Sea
U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee to be the U.S. ambassador to China took a tough line on Tuesday on China's development of "artificial islands" in the South China Sea. "China cannot be allowed to use its artificial islands to coerce its neighbors or limit freedom of navigation or overflight," Iowa's Republican Gov. Terry Branstad said at his U.S. Senate confirmation hearing. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle)
Armed Piracy in West African Waters Rise
Bulk of attacks occurred off Nigeria. Armed attacks on ships in West African waters nearly doubled in 2016, with pirates increasingly focused on kidnapping their crew for ransom off Nigeria's coast, a report said on Tuesday. A recent spate of attacks off Somalia, meanwhile, may also indicate a resurgence of piracy in East Africa as a result of less vigilance, the Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) project said. OBP, a project of the privately funded One Earth Future Foundation that encourages cooperation across the international maritime community to tackle piracy, recorded 95 attacks in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea in 2016, up from 54 the previous year.
Australia’s New Patrol Boat Named Cape Fourcroy
The Australian Navy’s ninth Cape-class patrol boat was officially named during a ceremony held at the HMAS Stirling naval base in Western Australia. Designed and constructed by Austal, the vessel is the first of two Cape-class patrol boats to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) under a A$63 million contract, named ADV Cape Fourcroy after the western most tip of Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory. The naming ceremony at HMAS Stirling was attended by Commodore Luke Charles-Jones representing the RAN Fleet Commander…
Venezuela Resumes Light Oil Shipments to Cuba
Venezuela resumed exports of light crude to its political ally Cuba in March after an eight-month pause that led to a production halt at the island's jointly-owned Cienfuegos refinery, according to internal data from state-run PDVSA seen by Reuters. PDVSA last year minimized exports of its lighter grade crudes, especially to the Caribbean, which since then have been used mainly to dilute its extra-heavy oil and convert it into exportable crude. The cut halted nearly all operations at the middle of last year at the dated Cienfuegos refinery, a Soviet-era facility configured to run Russian crude, and later upgraded by PDVSA to convert up to 65,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Venezuelan oil into refined products for Cuba's domestic market and exports.
US Navy Christens Submarine Indiana
The U.S. Navy christened its newest Virginia-class fast attack submarine, the future USS Indiana (SSN 789), during a ceremony Saturday, April 29, at Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Newport News, Va. Vice President Mike Pence, who previously served as the 50th governor of Indiana, delivered the ceremony's principal address. “[President Trump]sent me here today on this historic occasion as a sign of his deep commitment to the Armed Forces of the United States of America, and to his commitment to make the strongest fighting force in the world even stronger still,” Pence said.
Tug and Barge Disabled near Galveston
Emergency responders are working to keep a disabled tug and barge from running aground off of Texas. U.S. Coast Guard response and incident management teams are coordinating with G & H Towing and T & T Marine Salvage to prevent a disabled tug and barge from running aground on Galveston Island, Texas. At 2:19 p.m. Saturday, an agent for the integrated tug OSG Independence and its barge OSG 243 contacted Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders to report that the tug separated from the barge in heavy seas off the Galveston Island Pleasure Pier, while dragging both anchors.
US Coast Guard to Base 2 New Cutters in Astoria
The U.S. Coast Guard announced Friday it will homeport two of the service’s new Sentinel-Class 154-foot Fast Response Cutters (FRC) in Astoria, Oregon, starting in 2021. These two ships have not yet been named, but the FRCs are named after enlisted Coast Guard personnel who distinguished themselves in the line of duty. Each of the two Astoria-based FRCs will provide the coastal maritime community with a 30 percent increase in annual operating hours on regional waters over the Coast Guard’s legacy 110-foot Island class patrol boats like the Coast Guard Cutter Orcas…
US Coast Guard Seizes $22.5 Mln of Cocaine
The Cyclone-class patrol coastal ship USS Zephyr (PC 8), its embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) personnel and coalition forces intercepted an immense amount of contraband while on patrol conducting Operation Martillo in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations April 19. Zephyr, along with Dutch Karel Doorman-class multi-purpose frigate HNLMS Van Amstel, pursued and boarded a small fishing vessel, called a panga, and interdicted 750 kilograms of cocaine with a total street value of $22.5 million.
USS Jackson Completes Missile Test
U.S. Navy littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Jackson fired a missile against a simulated anti-ship missile during tests off the Southern California coast, April 22. The tests, part of a Combat System Ship Qualification Trials (CSSQT) event, saw USS Jackson (LCS 6) fire a SeaRAM missile on an aerial drone, destroying the target in a demonstration of the ship’s ability to track and disable high-speed maneuvering surface targets and defeat long range anti-shipping air threats. Planned and coordinated by the LCS Shipbuilding Program Office…
Five Mariners Reunite With Their Rescuers
Five mariners rescued April 15 by the U.S. Coast Guard reunited with their rescuers Thursday in Clearwater, Fla. Various members from Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Station Yankeetown and Air Station Clearwater attended the reunion, shook hands with the mariners and swapped stories about the rescue. “It’s not that often that we get to meet the folks that we were able to render assistance to,” said Cmdr. Randall Brown, the search-and-rescue mission coordinator for the April 15 rescue. At 11:04 p.m. April 14, watch standers from Sector St.
Australia Plans to Limit LNG Exports
Australia's conservative government unveiled a radical plan on Thursday to restrict exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at times when domestic shortages push up local prices, aiming to ease soaring energy costs for local manufacturers. The plan would allow Australia's resources minister to impose controls on LNG exports on advice from the market operator and regulator, as the government seeks to cap domestic gas prices, which have become a political hot potato. "It's not a threat. This will be export controls.
Libya Captures Oil-smuggling Tankers after Firefight
Libyan naval forces captured two vessels suspected of smuggling oil from the North African country after gun battles lasting several hours west of the capital Tripoli, a spokesman for the service said on Friday. Libyan forces frequently capture vessels smuggling oil and arms off the coast and the North African state has become a haven for migrant smugglers who take advantage of the country's turmoil to ship people across to Europe. Ayoub Qassem, a spokesman for the Libyan naval forces, said Ukraine-flagged tanker Routa and a vessel with an unspecified African nation's flag named Stark were captured early Friday. "Clashes lasted for three hours, but the two tankers were successfully seized," Qassem said. The incident occurred in the Sidi Said area west of Tripoli.
Op/Ed: Trump Signals New Day for Offshore Energy
National Ocean Industries Association president Randall Luthi weighs in on President Trump’s Executive Order on offshore energy. It’s a new day and a new attitude for American energy. The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) applauds President Donald Trump’s Executive Order recognizing the vital role of offshore energy in an overall national energy policy. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that in the year 2040, traditional forms of energy, particularly fossil fuels, will provide almost 80 percent of our energy needs.
US Navy to Christen Submarine Indiana
The Navy will christen its newest Virginia-class fast attack submarine, the future USS Indiana (SSN 789), during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, April 29, at Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Newport News, Virginia. Vice President Mike Pence, who previously served as the 50th governor of Indiana, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Diane Donald, wife of retired Adm. Kirkland H. Donald, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion from 2004 to 2012, is serving as the ship's sponsor.
HMAS Ballarat Exercises with Canadian Navy
Royal Australian Navy Frigate HMAS Ballarat has completed a range of underway exercises with Royal Canadian Navy ships HMCS Ottawa and Winnipeg in the waters of South East Asia during Ballarat's South East Asia deployment. The exercises, conducted in international waters from 19-21 April, included close quarters manoeuvring, practicing replenishment at sea activities and conducting anti submarine warfare training utilising helicopters from both navies. Commanding Officer Ballarat Commander David Landon said the underway exercises demonstrate the ease in which the two navies operate together.