Marine Link
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trump Administration Approves Eni Plan to Drill Offshore Alaska

Image of sea ice in the Beaufort Sea, acquired on 3 June 2017 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument, on board the Aqua satellite. (Photo: NASA)

Eni US will become the first energy company allowed to explore for oil in federal waters off Alaska since 2015 after the Trump administration this week approved a drilling plan on leases the company has been sitting on for 10 years. The approval is conditional on Eni getting other state and federal permits, which in past cases are generally granted once BOEM gives the green light. "We know there are vast oil and gas resources under the Beaufort Sea, and we look forward to working with Eni in their efforts to tap into this energy potential," said BOEM's acting Director Walter Cruickshank.

Turkish Navy Monitoring Drilling Vessel near Cyprus

Turkey has sent two ships and a submarine to monitor a drilling vessel in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the military said on Thursday, in a move likely to increase tension with Cyprus after reunification talks failed last week. The drilling work, a contractual obligation between Cyprus and France's Total, comes a week after the collapse of talks to reunify the divided island nation, split between ethnic Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Ankara has said it will take measures against Cyprus for engaging in gas and oil exploration around the island. It says that hydrocarbon resources in the waters around the divided island should belong to both sides. The military said it had deployed the frigates and a submarine to the eastern Mediterranean to "guarantee the security of oil transportation".

Denmark Charges Former OW Bunker Manager with Fraud

File photo: OW Bunker

Denmark's general prosecutor said on Thursday it had charged a former Singapore unit manager of Denmark-based OW Bunker with fraud.   The prosecutor said the former manager, a Danish citizen, has been charged with committing fraud of agent for more than 800 million Danish crowns ($122.79 million) by granting credit outside his mandate.   The prosecutor also said it did not find legal grounds for criminal prosecution of other management members within the OW Bunker group, the world's biggest marine fuel supplier before it went bankrupt in 2014.   Reporting by Stine Jacobsen 

Weather Suspends Bosphorus Marine Traffic

File Image: Bosphorous Strait (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Mklyxa

Traffic in Turkey's Bosphorus Strait, an important international shipping lane for oil and grain, was suspended on Tuesday due to poor visibility and heavy rain, shipping agent GAC said. It said shipping was suspended at 830 am (0530 GMT). The Bosphorus is one of world's most important choke points for the maritime transit of oil, with over 3 percent of global supply - mainly from Russia and the Caspian Sea - passing through the 17-mile waterway connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. It also carries large amounts of grains from Russia and Kazakhstan to world markets.

DP World, Indonesian Government Sign Pact to Develop Ports

Photo: DP World

DP World and Indonesian government and port officials signed an agreement to advise on the development of the Kuala Tanjung greenfield port and logistics zone and Belawan port in North Sumatra. As part of a Technical Assistance Contract, DP World will share its expertise and experience in increasing efficiencies, training and development for employees and developing multi-modal transport hubs. The agreement was signed by DP World Group Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Anil Wats and state-owned port operator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia (Pelindo) I President Director…

Cyprus to Establish Deputy Ministry of Shipping

Photo: Cyprus Shipping Chamber

Cyprus Parliament has passed a bill establishing a shipping junior ministry, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported quoting government sources. The bill, tabled by the government, was approved unanimously, the agency reported, adding that two proposed amendments had been withdrawn without being put to the vote. The Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Marios Dimitriades, in a written statement, welcomes the decision of the Parliament to establish a Deputy Ministry of Shipping., noting that Cyprus’ shipping is a big chapter for Cyprus.

US Navy to Commission John Finn Today

Photo: United States Navy

The Navy will commission its newest guided-missile destroyer, the future USS John Finn (DDG 113), during a 10 a.m. HAST ceremony Saturday, July 15, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The new destroyer honors Chief Aviation Ordnanceman John Finn, who received the Medal of Honor for heroism during the first attack by Japanese airplanes at Pearl Harbor. While under heavy machine gun fire, Finn manned a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on an instruction stand in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp. Wounded multiple times, he had to be convinced to leave his post.

North Natuna Sea: Striking at China Claims

Indonesia renamed the northern reaches of its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea as the North Natuna Sea on Friday, the latest act of resistance by Southeast Asian nations to China's territorial ambitions in the maritime region. Seen by analysts as an assertion of Indonesian sovereignty, part of the renamed sea is claimed by China under its contentious maritime boundary, known as the 'nine-dash line', that encompasses most of the resource-rich sea. Several Southeast Asian states dispute China's territorial claims and are competing with China to exploit the South China Sea's abundant hydrocarbon and fishing resources. China has raised the ante by deploying military assets on artificial islands constructed on shoals and reefs in disputed parts of the sea.

HMAS Newcastle Visits India

Able Seaman Boatswain's Mate Glen Cameron throws a heaving line from the forecastle of HMAS Newcastle in Kochi, India. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Making her way north to commence duties as part of Operation MANITOU, HMAS Newcastle made a port visit to Cochin, India, further strengthening relationships recently made on exercise off Fremantle. As a continuation of Exercise AUSINDEX, the visit allowed for the strengthening of international relations between Australia and India, and gave the crew the opportunity to experience the wonderful culture India has to offer. There were many notable interactions between Newcastle and the Indian Navy which allowed each group to gain an appreciation for how the other operated.

PetroChina Unloads First US SPR Cargo

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

PetroChina is this week unloading the first Chinese purchase of crude oil from U.S. strategic petroleum reserves at a port in eastern China, according to shipping data and two industry sources. The move comes as China, the world's No.2 oil consumer, steps up imports from the Americas to diversify supply sources. PetroChina unit, PetroChina International America Inc, bought the 550,000-barrel cargo of Bryan Mound sour crude in a sale from U.S. strategic petroleum reserves in March for $28.8 million. Supertanker Cosrising Lake <C}KV7309834335>, chartered by PetroChina, is unloading the U.S.

Inland Waterways Authority of India to Raise USD 103 mln Through Bonds

Work at Dhubri Ro-Ro Terminal at Guwahati. Photo: Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Revalidation of permission to raise Extra Budgetary Resource (EBRs) of INR 660 crore (USD 103 mln) as Government of India Bonds by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) in 2017-18. The proceeds from the bonds will be utilized by IWAI for development and maintenance of National Waterways (NWs) under National Waterways Act, 2016 (effective from 12.4.2016). Funds received through issue of bonds will be used exclusively for capital expenditure to improve infrastructure funding.

Russian Think Tank: Oil Exports to Decline in 2017

© Mikhail Perfilov / Adobe Stock

A think tank that advises the Russian government on taxes and energy-related issues said on Wednesday it expects the country's oil exports to fall this year thanks to a global deal to cut output, contrasting with official forecasts for a rise. Vygon Consulting said in a presentation to reporters that oil exports this year are seen declining by 0.7 percent to 252.5 million tonnes (5.1 million barrels per day) from around 255 million tonnes in 2016, a record high. The Energy Ministry forecasts Russian crude oil exports this year at 257 million tonnes.

Two Frenchmen Investigated over 2002 Malaysia Submarines Deal

Two French former defence industry executives have been placed under preliminary investigation as part of a probe into the 2002 sale of submarines to Malaysia, an official in the French judiciary said on Wednesday. The source said Philippe Japiot and Jean-Paul Perrier, former executives at Thales and DCNS, had been placed under investigation as part of a long-running probe into alleged kickbacks from that Malaysian submarines deal in 2002. Japiot and Perrier deny any wrongdoing, French media reports said. Reuters was unable to immediately reach either individual. Being a target of a preliminary investigation or a formal investigation in France does not necessarily lead to a trial.

LR to Oversee Testing of Coldharbour’s BWTS

Pictured (L-R): Nick Brown, Marine and Offshore Director, Lloyd’s Register and Andrew Marshall, Chief Executive, Coldharbour Marine. (Photo: Coldharbour Marine)

U.K.-based manufacturer of ballast water treatment systems based on unique inert gas technology Coldharbour Marine said it has signed a contract with Lloyd’s Register (LR) to oversee the complete range of tests required by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) in its type approval process. LR has Independent Laboratory Approval from the USCG and will work closely in the type approval tests with Marine Eco Analytics (MEA), a test laboratory in the Netherlands. Revised and more comprehensive…

DHS Custom Passenger Ferry Launched

Photo: Gulfstream Shipbuilding

Gulfstream Shipbuilding launched a custom passenger/vehicle ferry for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on July 12, 2017. This 118 x 27 x 10.75 ft. crew boat-style vessel will be delivered in the fall 2017 to service the New York and Connecticut waters. The aluminum ferry will service the DHS Directorate of Science and Technology Plum Island Animal Disease Center in Orient Point, NY. The vessel is capable of transporting passengers, freight and vehicles in and around the waters of the Eastern Long Island Sound and Gardiner’s Bay.

DMCA Shares Maritime Experience with Abu Dhabi

Photo: Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA)

The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) shared its renowned experience in implementing world-class maritime registration and licensing services with the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport in Abu Dhabi (DMAT) during their recently held meeting. Both parties also exchanged expertise to achieve their common goals of further improving the marine licensing system according to the highest international standards and reinforcing the UAE’s position as one of the most important maritime and logistics capitals in the world.

Piracy Down by 22% in H1, Says ReCAAP

Map: Location of incidents

A total of 36 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships (comprising 30 actual incidents and six attempted incidents) were reported during January-June 2017 in Asia, said a report by Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC). The total number of incidents reported during January-June 2017 has decreased by 22% compared to the same period in 2016. A total of 46 incidents were reported during January-June 2016.

UNITAS 2017 Naval Exercise Begins In Peru

Photo: U.S. Navy photo

Naval maritime forces from 19 countries are gathering in Lima, Peru, to kick off the 58th iteration of the annual multilateral exercise UNITAS. The meeting will conclude on July 26. This year's exercise will be hosted by Peru and commanded by Peruvian navy Rear Adm. Alberto Alcala. Participating countries include the United States, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Australia, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Panama, Mexico, Spain, Canada, and the United Kingdom. While participating in UNITAS 2017, U.S.

India Approves Major Port Authorities Bill

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: Press Information Bureau

The government of India has approved a draft bill to empower 12 major ports in India by providing them full autonomy in decision-making for greater efficiency. According to Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Lal Mandaviya, the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016 once enacted, would replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963. "With the growth and development of private ports, the major ports are facing severe competition and difficulties in implementing the changes which may help them compete in the evolving market conditions.

Canada Extends St. Lawrence Seaway Agreement

Canadian transport minister Marc Garneau announced a five-year extension to the Government of Canada’s agreement with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation to manage, maintain and operate the Seaway. This extends the existing agreement until March 31, 2023, and will provide stability for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and the marine shipping industry. A vital artery between the Great Lakes and the lower St. Lawrence River, the St. Lawrence Seaway connects the heartland of North America to the world as an important, competitive and sustainable transportation corridor. The St. Lawrence Seaway consists of 15 locks and connecting canals or channels extending from Montreal to Lake Erie. Within the Great Lakes and St.

GOC, Nigerian Army 81 Division Visit to DG, NIMASA

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside receiving a plaque from the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Peter John Dauke when the GOC paid a courtesy visit to the NIMASA DG at the Agency’s headquarters in Lagos. (Photo: NIMASA)

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stressed the strategic importance of security agencies to the achievement of safe and secure shipping and a viable and vibrant maritime sector for the country’s benefits. The Director General who stated this while playing host to the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Peter John Dauke at the Agency’s Headquarters in Lagos said that as the Agency strives to achieve a secure maritime environment…

Dakuku Calls for Marine Ecosystem Conservation

Director, Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Dr. Parcy Obatola, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria Jens-Petter Kjemprud and the representative of the Lagos state commissioner for Agriculture, Emmanuel Audu at the Regional Conference on Marine Safety and Fisheries Protection, in Lagos. (Photo: NIMASA)

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stressed the need for concerted and collaborative efforts of all stakeholders toward the conservation and sustainable use of ocean resources for the protection of the environment and indeed the entire ecosystem. The Director General who made this appeal while speaking at a 2-day Regional Conference on Marine Safety and Fisheries Protection organized by the United Nations…

Grooving the Way: Back to the Future

Anything but new, the Victaulic method of pipe-joining has been around for a long time. Armed with myriad type approvals from most IACS groups, Victaulic’s output will no doubt (and soon) form a part of your marine equipment for a long time to come. The conservative and staid domestic waterfront, especially where it intersects boatbuilding and repair, recently set sail for increased efficiencies, driven in part by emerging technologies, but also through improved management and new assembly techniques.

US-Australia Naval Drill TS17 is Underway

(Front to Back) HMA Ships Bathurst and Ballarat conduct Officer of the Watch manoeuvres with USS John S. McCain during Exercise Talisman Saber 17 Field Training Exercise - North. Photo: Royal Australian Navy.

The Royal Australian and United States navies have proven a potent and agile force when operating together during the opening phases of Exercise TALISMAN SABER 17, which took place in the Northern Territory. HMA Ships Ballarat, Melbourne, Broome and Bathurst conducted four days of high-end warfare exercises with USS John S. McCain off the coast of Darwin, proving their ability to detect, track and engage surface, submarine, and air targets. Advanced air warfare serials were supported by the Royal Australian Air Force’s Classic and Super Hornets and the US Marine Corps’ F/A-18s.

Damen Continues to Forge Australian Connections

(Photo: Damen)

Damen Shipyards Group has sent a high level delegation to meet with key members of the Australian shipbuilding industry, signifying its commitment to the SEA 1180 Program. With an eye on maximizing local industry content and ensuring long-term Australian jobs, the aim of the visit was to strengthen business relationships borne out of the Damen Industry Briefings held earlier this year, the shipbuilder said. The delegation forms an integral part of Damen’s tender for the design and construction of 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) for the Royal Australian Navy.

Drilling in Disputed South China Sea may Resume

Drilling for oil and natural gas on the Reed Bank in the South China Sea may resume before the end of the year, a Philippine energy official said on Wednesday, as the government prepares to offer new blocks to investors in bidding in December. The Philippines suspended exploration at the Reed Bank, which it calls Recto Bank, in late 2014, as it pursued international arbitration over territorial disputes. The bank is in waters claimed by China. Ismael Ocampo, director at the Department of Energy's Resource Development Bureau, told reporters the agency expected the suspension to be lifted in December. He said a directive from the Department of Foreign Affairs directing the Department of Energy to resume oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea was already in the works.

MALABAR - 2017 Commences in Bay of Bengal

Photo: Indian Navy

Naval cooperation between India, US and Japan epitomises the strong and resilient relationship between the three democracies. The MALABAR series of exercises, initiated in 1992 between the Indian and US Navies, have steadily grown in scope, complexity and participation into a multifaceted exercise with the participation of Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF). The 21st edition of the exercise, MALABAR-17 will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 10 to 17 July 2017. The…

US Navy Temporarily Relieves Commander of Stricken Warship

(U.S. Navy photo by Peter Burghart)

The U.S. Navy on Tuesday said on Tuesday it has temporarily relieved, for medical reasons, the commander of a warship involved in a crash with a container vessel in Japanese waters that killed seven American sailors. The collision between the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the Philippine-registered ACX Crystal on June 17 resulted in the greatest loss of life on a U.S. Navy vessel since the USS Cole was bombed by Islamist militants in Yemen's Aden harbour in 2000. At least six investigations have been launched, including two U.S.

India Unveils Reforms to Boost Cruise Tourism

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. Photo: PIB

In order to promote cruise tourism, the Indian government on has announced a slew of reforms to revolutionise the industry which has a high employment generation potential, by simplifying the rules and procedures for cruise port operations. "The Ministry of Shipping, in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism, has announced reforms to the regulatory processes governing the cruise tourism industry in the country," an official statement said. The objective is to revolutionize this industry which has a high employment generation potential…

Nimitz Carrier Strike Group Begins Malabar 2017

Photo: United States Navy

Sailors and Marines assigned to the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, the Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commenced the Malabar in-port portions in Chennai, India, July 9. The maritime exercise Malabar, which was first held in 1992, occurs annually to improve interoperability between U.S., Indian, and Japanese maritime forces. The exercise enhances maritime relationships and demonstrates credible naval power in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. "The exercise continues to grow because we are bringing in more ships and we are bringing together three countries," said Cmdr.

HMAS Arunta Departs the Middle East to Australia

HMAS Arunta's S70-B Helicopter (Skeletor) lands onboard during a patrol in the Middle East region. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Arunta is returning home to Australia after completing the longest Middle Eastern deployment by a Navy vessel since 1990. Arunta concluded its assignment to Joint Task Force 633 as part of Operation MANITOU and handed over responsibility to HMAS Newcastle after completing a nine-month deployment conducting counter terrorism and maritime security operations. The ship made three significant intercepts during the deployment netting more than 1310 kilograms of illegal narcotics.

Two Sailors Saved in International Rescue Effort

(Photo: U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Borosch)

U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen and the Amver participating Handysize tanker Nord Nightingale came to the rescue of two German sailors who abandoned their burning sailboat more than 500 miles off of Florida. On Friday, July 7, 2017, U.S. Coast Guard rescue authorities in Miami, Fla. received a 406 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) for a 42-foot German flagged sailboat. Working with rescue authorities in Bremen, Germany the Coast Guard personnel learned that two sailors had abandoned their burning sailboat approximately 525 miles east of Port Canaveral…

Austal Opens Cairns Office

Hon Warren Entsch MP, Member for Leichardt joined Austal’s Vice President, Defense RADM (Retd) Davyd Thomas AO CSC to open Austal’s office in Cairns Queensland 10th July 2017. (Photo: Austal)

Austal Australia was joined by Warren Entsch, Federal Member for Leichardt, to officially open its vessel sustainment office in Cairns, the latest effort in the expansion of Austal’s national footprint. The shipbuilder said its new Cairns sustainment facilities will employ nearly 30 people to support the Austal-built Cape Class fleet for the Australian Border Force and the Royal Australian Navy and the future Pacific Patrol Boats (PPB) that Austal is currently building for the Australian Government.

Egypt Bans Qatari Ships Docking in Suez Canal

 Photo: Suez Canal Authority

The Suez Canal Authority is committed to a ban on allowing Qatari ships to dock in ports within the Suez Canal’s economic zone, Ahram reported as chairman Mohab Mamish saying. In press statements on Friday, Mamish said that Egyptian ban on the ships is being imposed on all ports within the zone based on Egyptian sovereignty over its territorial waters. The decision, however, does not include a ban on passing through the canal, as under the Constantinople 1869 agreement it is illegal to ban ships coming from any country from passing through.

Greece, Bulgaria to Create Multimodal Corridor Between Ports

Photo: Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications of Republic of Bulgaria

Bulgaria and Greece agreed to expand Multimodal Freight Corridor Between Black Sea, Aegen Sea and Dunabe. Bulgarian Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Ivaylo Moskovski and Greek Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Christos Spirtzis have agreed to extend the multimodal transport corridor between the two countries connecting the ports of Varna, Burgas, Kavala and Alexandroupoli. The Greek part accepted Bulgaria’s proposal to include a connection with the port of Ruse in the joint project.

Training Flight Deck at Sea Comes to Australia

MV Sycamore multi-role aviation training vessel (MATV) entering Sydney Harbour. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Australia’s new multirole aviation training vessel MV Sycamore has recently arrived in Sydney. Designed to support Defence helicopter training, having been launched in Vietnam in August 2016, built by Skelder and overseen by Serco Defence, the 94-metre ship is a flight deck equipped sea-going training vessel for the crews of most types of helicopters used by the Australian Defence Force. Captain Al Whittaker said building of the Damen-designed steel ship began in 2015. “Sycamore has completed its harbour acceptance testing…

TVIB Issues Its First TSMS Certificate to Crounse

On June 23, 2017, Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau (TVIB) issued its first Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) certificate to Crounse Corporation, who successfully completed a full Subchapter M TSMS audit including a review of its operations for compliance with Subchapter M. Crounse is the first of a number of companies that have chosen TVIB as their U.S. Coast Guard Approved Third-Party Organization (TPO) for Subchapter M compliance. TVIB said it is working with a number of TPO customers to take advantage of the recent Coast Guard policy letter CG-CVC Policy Letter 17-02 and the AWO Alert issued on June 8, that provided guidance on how a company can use its previous RCP Management Audit toward the issuance of its initial TSMS Certificate.

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Adds New Pipe Bending Machine

Capturing complex bends on pipes is an art form members of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) Pipe Group have harnessed for many years. Now entering a more modern era with a new dual-head pipe bending machine, NNSY is able to create more precise bends in a fraction of the time, thanks to modern, automated controls. Originally, pipe benders would have to work on a semiautomatic machine where everything would have to be measured exactly and each bend would have to be checked with a protractor to guarantee the needed dimensions were captured. It was tedious work and there was a risk of wasted material should the measurements not equate to what was needed.

Tanker Runs Aground near Skamokawa, Wash.

U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy Sector Columbia River.

A 557-foot tanker Argent Cosmos lost use of a fuel pump and ran aground near Skamokawa, Wash. at 6:28 a.m. Thursday while heading outbound on the Columbia River following a port call in Longview, Wash. The Panamanian-flagged tanker is loaded with 1.63 million gallons of ethanol and 6.65 million gallons of monoethylene glycol. It also has 458,074 gallons of high-sulfur oil and 99,064 gallons of low-sulfur oil aboard. There have been no reports of pollution in the river, flooding aboard the vessel or injuries to crewmembers, according to the U.S.

China Opposes U.S. South China Sea Overflights

China opposes the use of freedom of overflight as an excuse to harm its security, the country's foreign ministry said on Friday, after two U.S bombers flew over the disputed South China Sea.   Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the comments at a daily news briefing in Beijing.   Reporting by Ben Blanchard; 

USS Gabrielle Giffords Completes Maiden Voyage

Photo: United States Navy

The newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) arrived in San Diego July 5, after successfully completing her maiden voyage from Mobile, Alabama. Following construction and acceptance trials earlier this year at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Giffords sailed to Galveston, Texas, where she was commissioned June 10. "Our Sailors are honored to represent the ship namesake, its homeport in San Diego and the U.S. Navy," said Cmdr. Keith Woodley, Giffords' commanding officer.

Portland (LPD 27) Completes Builder's Sea Trials

The amphibious transport dock Portland (LPD 27) has completed her first set of sea trials. The test and trials team at Ingalls Shipbuilding spent four days in the Gulf of Mexico operating the 11th San Antonio-class ship and demonstrating its systems. (Photo: Lance Davis/HII)

Amphibious transport dock Portland (LPD 27) being built by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has completed her first set of sea trials. Ingalls’ test and trials team spent four days in the Gulf of Mexico operating the 11th San Antonio-class ship and demonstrating its systems. Major testing conducted during builder’s trials include anchor-handling, ballast/de-ballast of the ship’s well deck, detect-to-engage, full power ahead and astern and steering demonstrations. Ingalls’ shipbuilders are now preparing Portland for acceptance trials in August, when the U.S.

Vietnam Renews India Oil Deal In Tense South China Sea

Vietnam has extended an Indian oil concession in the South China Sea and begun drilling in another area it disputes with China in moves that could heighten tensions over who owns what in the vital maritime region. The moves come at a delicate time in Beijing's relations with Vietnam, which claims parts of the sea, and India, which recently sent warships to monitor the Malacca Straits, through which most of China's energy supplies and trade passes. Vietnam granted Indian oil firm ONGC Videsh a two-year extension to explore oil block 128 in a letter that arrived earlier this week, the state-run company's managing director Narendra K. Verma told Reuters.

ClassNK Publishes Annual Report on Port State Control

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Valerie Walker)

ClassNK has released its annual report on Port State Control. The report aims to assist ship operators and management companies in maintaining compliant operations by providing information about ships detained by PSC as well as deficiencies that were found on board from many port states in 2016. PSC inspections ensure that vessels departing the port meet international standards and have proved to be highly effective in eliminating substandard ships that are in operation. They oversee not only the physical structures and components of a ship…

Marine Mapping Agreement for Northern Ireland

Photo: OceanWise

OceanWise announced that it has been awarded a contract to provide the Government of Northern Ireland with marine mapping. The award reinforces OceanWise as the primary supplier of marine mapping to both the public and private sectors in the U.K. The agreement includes Marine Themes, Marine Themes DEM and Raster Charts XL (eXcluding Land) provided in the form of datasets and as OGC compliant web services. The data will be used to support desktop GIS and as input to web based applications.

COSCO Records H1 Profit on Improving Market

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Marina Ignatova)

COSCO Shipping Holdings expects to post a profit of around 1.85 billion yuan ($272 million) in the first half, helped by an improving shipping market. The world's fourth-largest container shipping line made the forecast in a stock market statement on Thursday. It recorded a loss of 7.2 billion yuan in the same period last year. "Freight rates for container shipping operations have increased year-on-year, container volumes have grown 34.72 percent, and earnings have continued to grow from the base set in the fourth quarter of last year," it said.

Two Vietnamese Sailors Beheaded by Abu Sayyaf

Image: Armed Forces of the Philippines

The Abu Sayyaf group beheaded two Vietnamese nationals held hostage for almost eight months,  CNN reported quoting the military. Colonel Juvymax Uy, commander of Joint Task Force Basilan, said the bodies of Mr Hoang Trung Thong and Mr Hoang Va Hai were found at 5.40am on Wednesday in Tumahubong village, Sumisip town, in Basilan province. The two were among the six crew members of the MV Royal 16, a Vietnamese cargo vessel, seized by the Abu Sayyaf off Sibago Island in Basilan on Nov 11, 2016.

US Navy Maritime Drill with Vietnam

Photo: United States Navy

The U.S. Navy began the 8th Annual Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) with the Vietnam People's Navy, July 5, with the arrival of USS Coronado (LCS 4) and USNS Salvor (T-ARS-52) at Cam Ranh International Port. This five-day collaboration will focus on events and skills exchanges in diving and salvage and undersea medicine. A brief at-sea phase will allow ships from both navies to practice the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES), ship handling, and medical evacuations. Subject matter expert exchanges ashore will focus on shipboard damage control, shipboard medicine, and law.

Royal Australia Navy Ship Visits India

HMAS Newcastle being received at Kochi by naval band and naval personnel. Photo: Indian Navy

Royal Australia Navy (RAN) ship, HMAS Newcastle commanded by Commander MD Sirois is visiting Kochi, India from 04 - 07 Jul 17. On 04 Jul 17, the Commanding Officer of the visiting RAN Ship accompanied by Ms. Harinder Sidhu, High Commissioner of Australia and Captain Sheldon Williams, Defence Attache called on Vice Admiral AR Karve AVSM, Flag Officer Commanding- in- Chief Southern Naval Command (SNC) for interactions on issues of common interest to both navies. A friendly volleyball match between teams from SNC and the visiting ship was also played.

Colombia Moves to Salvage Treasure from Spanish Shipwreck

Juan Manuel Santos (Photo: Juan David Tena - SIG)

Colombia is making progress towards salvaging a Spanish galleon carrying jewels and coins that sank more than 300 years ago, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Wednesday after receiving a proposal from an investor to bring it to the surface. The ship named San Jose, thought by historians to be carrying one of the largest unsalvaged maritime treasures, sank in 1708 near the historical Caribbean port of Cartagena, and its wreckage was located in 2015. "The discovery of this ship…

IMS Announces New Client: Campbell Transportation

Dave Hammond (Photo: IMS)

U.S. inland vessel management company Inland Marine Service (IMS) said it has taken on Campbell Transportation Company as its latest client. A fully integrated marine services company, Campbell is currently undergoing an acquisition with American Commercial Barge Line. Once completed, Campbell Transportation will own and/or manage more than 1,100 barges and 50 towboats on the inland waterways, along with four shipyard facilities and a marine construction company, moving over 60 million tons of product annually.

HII Wins USS Columbus Submarine Repair Work

HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division has been awarded a $219 million modification to a previously awarded contract to execute maintenance and modernization efforts on the submarine USS Columbus (SSN 762), shown here in Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo)

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has been awarded a $219 million modification to a previously awarded contract to execute maintenance and modernization efforts on the submarine USS Columbus (SSN 762). Contract work includes maintenance, repair, alterations, testing and routine work on the ship’s hull structure, tanks, propulsion systems, electric plant, auxiliary systems, armament and furnishings. Work will begin immediately and is expected to be completed in August 2019.

Canada Orders Seizure of Oil Tanker

The Federal Court of Canada has ordered the seizure of a 721,915-barrel cargo of crude from Kurdistan aboard the "Neverland" oil tanker on the request of the Iraq Oil Ministry, court documents show. The Iraq Oil Ministry has also filed a claim against commodity trading house Vitol S.A. and subsidiaries including Mansel Ltd, the charterer of the ship, and affiliate Finaval SpA di Navigazione, the owner of the ship, for $32.5 million. Iraq claims the cargo was unlawfully misappropriated by the Kurdistan Regional Government and sold to Vitol to be loaded onto the "Neverland." Vitol declined to comment. The court action, dated June 29, is…

Trump to Promote US Natgas Exports in Russia's Backyard

President Trump (File photo: Gage Skidmore)

President Donald Trump will use fast-growing supplies of U.S. natural gas as a political tool when he meets in Warsaw on Thursday with leaders of a dozen countries that are captive to Russia for their energy needs. In recent years, Moscow has cut off gas shipments during pricing disputes with neighboring countries in winter months. Exports from the United States would help reduce their dependence on Russia. Trump will tell the group that Washington wants to help allies by making it as easy as possible for U.S.

Turkish Captain Says Greek Coast Guard Fired on His Ship

The captain of a Turkish freighter said on Monday that the Greek coast guard had fired on his vessel after he refused an order to dock at a port on the Greek island of Rhodes. Turkey said the action was "disproportionate" and showed no regard for human life. "There is no justification ... for firing on an unarmed commercial ship carrying freight between two Turkish ports," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Sami Kalkavan, captain of the M/V ACT, told the broadcaster CNN Turk that the Greek coast guard had ordered him to dock in Rhodes, which is some 15 miles (24 km) from the Turkish coast, for inspection. He said that when he had failed to comply, the coast guard had opened fire, putting 16 bullet holes in his ship.

China Denounces US S.China Sea Naval Transit

The USS Stethem conducts underway replenishment at sea, somewhere in the South China Sea (CREDIT USN)

The United States has seriously damaged peace and stability in the South China Sea after a U.S. warship sailed near a disputed island in waters claimed by China, the Asian nation's defence ministry said on Monday. The ministry resolutely opposes the entry of U.S. warships into Chinese territory, it said in a statement on social media. The actions of the United States navy seriously damaged the "political atmosphere" around the development of military ties between the two countries, the ministry added.

Cyprus Chamber of Shipping Welcomes New Legislation

Photo: Cyprus Shipping Chamber

The Cyprus Chamber of Shipping has hailed the unanimous decision by MPs to forward for a vote the legislation that will define three new branches of the executive – shipping, tourism and development, reports Financial Mirror. The report quoted the umbrella organisation for the entire maritime sector of shipowners, managers and services saying that  the decision, following the approval by the House Finance Committee on Monday, established an “innovative institutional structure” and will substantially contribute to the further development of Cyprus shipping and the economy, in general.

US Navy Christens Littoral Combat Ship Billings

Photo: United States Navy

The Navy has christened its newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship, USS Billings (LCS 15),  in Marinette, Wisconsin. The future USS Billings honors the largest city in Montana. It will be the first ship of its name in naval service. The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g. LCS 1). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

Ships Collide in the Dover Strait

The UK Coastguard report that a bulk carrier and an oil tanker collided in the Dover Strait. Although both vessels have been damaged, there is no water ingress and no pollution. A French tug is on scene with the vessels. There are no injuries and all of the crew are accounted for. The tanker, ‘Seafrontier’, which is loaded with 37953mt of gasoline, has 27 people on board. The bulk carrier ‘Huayang Endeavour’ is in ballast and has 22 people on board. The Coastguard helicopter was sent to the scene, along with Dover and Ramsgate RNLI Lifeboats, in case evacuation was required. The helicopter remained with the vessels for a short while, reporting information back to the Coastguard, before returning to base. The lifeboats have also now left and the tug has arrived on scene.

Piracy Situation Serious in Gulf of Guinea

Photo: European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA)

European shipowners are concerned about the continued piracy, armed robbery attacks and kidnapping for ransom events in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), and particularly off Nigeria. According to the latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy report in total 33 vessels were boarded and four fired upon in the first three months of 2017 worldwide. During the same period, of the 27 seafarers kidnapped for ransom, 63% were in the Gulf of Guinea. In its Global Maritime Security Conclusions adopted 19 June, the Environment Council recognised the problematic situation in the Gulf of Guinea.

Australian Navy Begins Talisman Saber

HMAS Canberra and HMAS Choules form up outside Sydney Heads enroute to participate in Exercise Talisman Saber 2017. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Australia's largest military exercise, Talisman Saber, was officially opened on 29 June aboard the United States Landing Helicopter Dock Bonhomme Richard off the Sydney coast. Minister for Urban Development, the Honourable Paul Fletcher MP, representing the Minister for Defence, and the US Charge d'Affaires, Mr James Carouso, officially announced the start of the combined military exercise taking place thorought July. Field training will occur in Shoalwater Bay Training Area, near Rockhampton and Mount Bundy Training Area, south of Darwin.

Leadership Changes at Newport News Shipbuilding

Lucas Hicks (Photo: HII)

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced several leadership changes at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. Lucas Hicks has been promoted to vice president of construction for the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), and Charles Southall has been promoted to vice president of engineering and design. Southall succeeds Jennifer Boykin, who previously served in the role before being named president of Newport News Shipbuilding. Mike Shawcross, who currently serves as Newport News’ vice president…

Landay Joins Gibbs & Cox Board of Directors

Naval architecture and marine engineering firm Gibbs & Cox, Inc. said that William E. "Bill" Landay III, President of W.E. LANDAY Consulting LLC, has been elected to its Board of Directors effective June 20, 2017. "[VADM Landay’s] expertise in the areas of foreign military sales, DoD acquisition, and science and technology programs will be a tremendous addition to the future growth of Gibbs & Cox," said President and Chief Executive Chris Deegan. Vice Admiral Landay retired in 2013 after more than 35 years of Naval service. His final assignment was as Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) where he was in charge of the $400 billion DoD program responsible for the sale of equipment, defense technologies, training and other services to foreign governments.

ABS Wins Royal Canadian Navy Service Contract

Photo: ABS

Canadian Department of National Defense selects ABS for classification and certification services for its entire non-combatant fleet. ABS, a provider of classification and technical services to the marine and offshore industries, said it has been awarded the Non-Combatant Class Society (NCCS) contract by the Canadian Department of National Defense to provide classification and certification services for the Royal Canadian Navy’s non-combatant vessel fleet. “For many years, ABS has been actively involved with classing naval non-combatant vessels as a commitment to promoting ship safety…

UN Resolution Targets Libyan Fuel Smugglers

The U.N. Security Council has extended sanctions on illegal oil exports from Libya to cover refined petroleum products as well, in a bid to stem rampant smuggling of subsidised fuel by sea. Imported fuel that is priced lower for the domestic market is commonly smuggled by ship from western Libya to Malta, Italy and Turkey, and by land to Tunisia, according to U.N. investigators who earlier this month recommended an extension of the sanctions. Entrenched and powerful smuggling networks have been trading fuel for years, and it is unclear to what extent the resolution can be enforced. The new resolution, approved late on Thursday, is designed to make explicit that fuel smuggling is illegal…

SunRui BWTS Earns USCG Type Approval

Mr. Fu Hongtian General Manager of Sunrui (left) and Vincent Li, DNV GL’s Regional Business Development Manager for Greater China. (Photo: DNV GL)

The Chinese manufacturer SunRui and classification society DNV GL celebrated last week, as Sunrui became the fourth manufacturer of ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) to obtain type approval from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Its BalClor system treats ballast water in three steps: Filtration, seawater electro-chlorination for disinfection and neutralization. The company is the first Asian manufacturer to be awarded the USCG type approval certificate for BWTS. As one of five independent laboratories accredited by USCG, DNV GL worked with SunRui on the testing of its BWTS.

LNG Price Row between GAIL, Cheniere Looms

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Fotmart)

India's biggest importer of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) is trying to re-negotiate prices with the U.S. seller, sources said, undermining plans by U.S. President Donald Trump to export more gas to the fast-growing Asian nation. At a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House this week, Trump said the United States looked forward to exporting more energy, including new major long-term contracts to purchase American natural gas. The effort is part of Trump's policy of seeking to assert power abroad through a boost in natural gas…

Japan Investigators Unlikely to be Granted Access to Fitzgerald Crew

The USS Fitzgerald is shown being assisted back to port after a deadly collision (CREDIT: USN / K Weierman

The United States will likely bar Japanese investigators from interviewing USS Fitzgerald crew manning the guided missile destroyer when it was struck by a cargo ship in Japanese waters killing seven American sailors, a U.S. navy official said. The Philippines-flagged container ship ACX Crystal and the U.S. warship collided at night just south of Tokyo Bay on June 17. The U.S. deaths were the greatest loss of life on a U.S. Navy vessel since the USS Cole was bombed by militants in Yemen's Aden harbour in 2000. No one was hurt on the cargo ship.

Cargo Ship Runs Aground off Virginia

The U.S. Coast Guard said it is monitoring a 586-foot Thai-flagged cargo vessel that ran aground off Sewells Point in Norfolk, Via., Thursday. Watchstanders at the Sector Hampton Roads Command Center in Portsmouth received a call at 12:50 p.m. that the bulk cargo ship Mallika Naree lost propulsion in the Elizabeth River, struck buoy #5 and ran soft aground outside the channel. The Mallika Naree is carrying cement and steel. 45-foot Response Boat-Medium and 29-foot Response Boat-Small crews from Coast Guard Station Portsmouth and a boat crew from Aids to Navigation Team Hampton Roads launched at about 1 p.m. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., was diverted at 1:20 p.m. to conduct an overflight assessment of the surrounding area.

US Sanctions Chinese Shipping Firm over North Korea Ties

The U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday it was placing financial sanctions on two Chinese nationals and a Chinese shipping company over their ties to North Korea stemming from its nuclear program.   The department said in a statement it was sanctioning Wei Sun for links to the Foreign Trade Bank of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Hong Ri Li for his links to North Korean banking executive Song-hyok Ri, as well as the Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co Ltd of Dalian, China. (Reporting by Eric Walsh)

Wicker’s SHIPS Act Included in Defense Bill

Ingalls Shipbuilding yard in Pascagoula, Miss. (File photo: HII)

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Chairman of the Senate Seapower Subcommittee, announced that he successfully added his “SHIPS Act” proposal to help the Navy reach its requirement of a 355-ship fleet in this year’s “National Defense Authorization Act” (NDAA). The Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously approved the national defense bill, authorizing $640 billion in overall funding for America’s servicemembers, military installations and industrial base. It now awaits consideration by the full Senate.

LNG Marine Fuel Institute Launched in Canberra

ToPH CEO David Pentz and Mayor Camilo Blanco with Richard Sandover from Jackson McDonald and Mike Utsler, Chief Operating Officer for Woodside Energy. (Photo: Town of Port Hedland)

Port Hedland Mayor, Camilo Blanco, and the Town of Port Hedland’s CEO, David Pentz, attended the launch of the LNG Marine Fuel Institute at Parliament House, Canberra on Wednesday, June 21. The Institute, which was opened by The Honorable Josh Frydenberg MP, Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy, hopes to see Australian LNG as the primary fuel for marine transportation, powering the road, rail and mining industries. Mayor Blanco said that the Institute will work with industry and Government partners to position Australia at the forefront of LNG…

USCG Vice Commandant Visits Fairbanks Morse

Photo: Fairbanks Morse

On June 21, Fairbanks Morse hosted U.S. Coast Guard Vice Commandant, Admiral Charles Michel at its facility in Beloit, Wisc., where the USCG second in command was briefed on the company and viewed the manufacturing line that will build the engines to power the Coast Guard’s newly awarded Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPC) for decades to come. The highest ranking officer of the U.S. Armed Forces to visit Fairbanks Morse in modern history, Admiral Michel met with employees and took a tour of the power solutions provider’s facilities…

ST Engineering Adds Nonexecutive Director

Singapore based defense and engineering firm Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) has appointed Neo Kian Hong as nonindependent and nonexecutive director of the company, effective June 30, 2017. Neo is Singapore’s Permanent Secretary (Defense Development) and has held various command positions in the Ministry of Defense, including Chief of Army and Chief of Defense Force. He was also Permanent Secretary (Education Development) at Ministry of Education until June 19, 2017. Neo holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) from the University of London, U.K. as well as a Master of Science (Management of Technology) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S.

Bollinger Delivers FRC Oliver Berry to the USCG

USCGC Oliver Berry in Key West, Fla. (Photo: Bollinger Shipyards)

Bollinger Shipyards said it has delivered the Fast Response Cutter (FRC) USCGC Oliver Berry to the U.S. Coast Guard on June 27, 2017 in Key West, Fla. The vessel’s commissioning is scheduled for October 2017 in Honolulu. The 154-foot patrol craft USCGC Oliver Berry is the 24th vessel in the Coast Guard's Sentinel-class FRC program. To build the FRC, Bollinger used an in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. It has a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art command…

US Navy Orders First ‘Flight III’ Destroyer

HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division will build Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), the first “Flight III” ship in the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke class of destroyers. (HII rendering)

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) said its Ingalls Shipbuilding division has received a contract modification to incorporate the “Flight III” upgrades to the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided missile destroyer Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125). The ship is the fifth of five destroyers the company was originally awarded in June 2013. “We have proven our success in the DDG 51 class over the past 30 years, and our shipbuilders are ready now to build the first Flight III ship,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said. “This will be the 35th Aegis destroyer we will build for the U.S.

China Launches New Class of Naval Destroyer

China's military on Wednesday launched a new type of domestically-built destroyer, state media said, the latest addition to the country's rapidly expanding navy. The 10,000-tonne warship was launched at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, the official Xinhua news agency said, making it the first of the People's Liberation Army Navy's "new generation" destroyers. "It is equipped with new air defence, anti-missile, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons," Xinhua said, without giving further details. The state-run Global Times newspaper said the ship was believed to be the first Type 055 destroyer, which is considered to be a successor class to the smaller Type 052D guided missile destroyers. China is still producing the latter and commissioned one, the Xining, in January.

India to Boost Cruise Tourism

Indian Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari addressing the workshop on “Action Plan for Development of Cruise Tourism in India”, in New Delhi on June 27, 2017. Photo: PIB

Indian Minister of Shipping Nitin Gadkari  has said that Cruise Tourism is one of the fastest growing components of the leisure industry worldwide, and  can be a major growth driver for the Indian economy by generating huge employment opportunities. Gadkari was  speaking at the National Workshop on “Action Plan for Development of Cruise Tourism in India”, in New Delhi today. The workshop was also attended by Minister of State for  Culture and Tourism Dr Mahesh Sharma, and representatives…

Denmark to Host European Maritime Day in 2024

Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen, Danish Maritime Authority

In 2024, Denmark will be hosting European Maritime Day with more than 1,000 participants. With its maritime surroundings, the city of Svendborg will be the setting of the conference, said a press release from Danish Maritime Authority. European Maritime Day is one of Europe's largest maritime conferences. The Council of the European Union has awarded Denmark the honour of hosting the conference in 2024. Earlier this year, the Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs nominated Svendborg as the Danish candidate city.

Cooper Group Selects ABS for Sub M Services

© Cooper / T. Smith

ABS said it has been awarded a Third Party Organization (TPO) contract by the Cooper Group of Companies to support compliance with U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Subchapter M requirements. “ABS anticipated the needs that would surface when the Subchapter M regulations were published and allocated resources to develop a range of solutions,” said ABS Americas Division President, Jamie Smith. The newly signed contract establishes ABS as the exclusive Subchapter M TPO for Cooper Group and its subsidiaries, Crescent Towing, Cooper Marine & Timberlands and Plimsoll Towing.

Garry Joins Bouchard as Regulatory Compliance VP

Shawn Garry (Photo: Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc.)

Shawn Garry has joined Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. as Vice President of Regulatory Compliance and Inspections, tasked with ensuring that the company achieves regulatory compliance and meets SubChapter M requirements. Garry will be the primary contact for Gulf Coast region internal and external vetting, SIRE, ABS, USCG and ISM. Prior to joining Bouchard, Garry worked at the U.S. Coast Guard as an Engineer of the Watch Afloat, Senior Marine Inspector, and Marine Casualty Investigator. Morton S.

Coast Guard Recognizes PVA's Flagship Safety Management System

On June 12, 2017, the Coast Guard's national Director of Inspections and Compliance formally recognized PVA's Flagship Safety Management System (SMS) as an acceptable method for developing and implementing a company specific voluntary SMS. In a letter to PVA's Executive Director, Capt. Jennifer Williams stated, "The U.S. Williams' letter also acknowledged that vessel companies that effectively implement PVA Flagship SMS will be recognized and considered by local Coast Guard inspection offices for reduced scope of inspections under the Coast Guard Risk Based Decision Making policy for small passenger vessels. In response to the letter, PVA's Executive Director John Groundwater stated, "We are pleased with the Coast Guard's formal recognition of the PVA Flagship SMS program.

Melting Sea Ice: A Canary in the Coal Mine

© André Gilden / Adobe Stock

The rapid loss of Arctic sea ice is a sentinel. Most of us will never venture into the Arctic, but it can and does provide us with a forewarning of impacts coming to our parts of the Earth – and some of the most significant impacts will directly affect the maritime industry. In earlier times, coal miners were sometimes overcome by the buildup of odorless carbon monoxide gas. Some died as a consequence. Eventually it was realized that canaries were more susceptible to the gas than were humans.

New Australian Navy Vessel Arrives in Home Port

Photo: Damen

Completing her maiden voyage, the Damen Multi-role Aviation Training Vessel (MATV) MV Sycamore arrived in Sydney harbor early on Monday morning. The 94-meter-long vessel is now less than a month away from deployment as a versatile multi-role vessel and helicopter training platform for the Royal Australian Navy. “It is definitely an impressive sight to see the Sycamore enter Sydney harbor,” said Damen Sales Director Asia Pacific Roland Briene. “The MATV project really highlights what can be achieved with this joint team effort.

Explosion on Ship off Somalia Coast

Flames seen rising from vessel after blast; port residents believe vessel may be foreign. A huge explosion was heard from a ship off the coast of Somalia's Puntland region late on Monday and flames were seen rising from what might be a foreign vessel, an official in a nearby port said. "We heard (a) huge explosion and (saw) flame rising from the ship. I believe that the ship is foreign," Ali Shire, mayor of Puntland's port town of Alula, a pirate haven, told Reuters on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear whether the explosion was caused by an accident onboard the vessel or was triggered by pirate attackers. It was also not clear whether the vessel was still afloat or had sunk.

US Warship Stayed on Collision Course despite Warning

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Peter Burghart)

A U.S. warship struck by a container vessel in Japanese waters failed to respond to warning signals or take evasive action before a collision that killed seven of its crew, according to a report of the incident by the Philippine cargo ship's captain. Multiple U.S. and Japanese investigations are under way into how the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the much larger ACX Crystal container ship collided in clear weather south of Tokyo Bay in the early hours of June 17.

Fincantieri Marinette Marine Wins Industrial Security Award

From left to right: Dennis Weaver, FMM AFSO/Security Coordinator; Jan Allman, FMM President and CEO; Nate Millsap, Director of Industrial Security; Francesco Valente, FMG President and CEO (Photo: Fincantieri Marinette Marine)

U.S. shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) informs it has received the 2017 Defense Security Service James S. Cogswell Outstanding Industrial Security Achievement Award. The Cogswell award, given by the Defense Security Service (DSS), a federal security agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, is awarded to less than 10 percent of more than 13,000 industrial firms annually. The criteria focuses on the principles of industrial security excellence, which includes establishing…

One Missing from Sunken Oil Tanker off Yemen

One mariner remains missing after 13 of 14 crewmembers were recovered from the sea following the sinking of their oil tanker in severe weather conditions 240 miles off the coast of Yemen. At around 4:30 a.m. June 26, the U.K. Coastguard received a Mayday distress call issued by a 99-meter-long Panamanian flagged oil tanker believed to be carrying crude oil, reporting that the vessel was sinking. The Yemen Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) were unable to assist, so the U.K. Coastguard stepped in to coordinate the rescue, issuing a Satellite Communication Mayday relay broadcast to all shipping in the area. Multiple commercial vessels nearby responded to the original Mayday call and made their way to the tanker, which had sunk in gale force 8 winds and 5 meters swells.

USS Fitzgerald Collision Tracked with AIS Data

The ACX Crystal vessel track from PortVision 360. The red segments indicate where the vessel slowed to below 5 knots. (Image: PortVision)

In the early hours of June 17, U.S. destroyer the USS Fitzgerald was hit by a containership just off the coast of Shimoda, Japan. The collision claimed the lives of seven U.S. Navy Sailors. In the aftermath, both sides are trying to figure out exactly what happened. The containership, ACX Crystal, and the U.S. Navy initially reported the incident at 2:25 a.m. local time. However, they have since revised the time to 1:30 a.m. Apparently, the ACX Crystal made a U-turn at around 2 a.m. to go back and see what it hit.

Dora Could Reach Hurricane Strength Today

Tropical Storm Dora, located off the western coast of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean, is strengthening quickly and is expected to become a hurricane on Monday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Sunday. Maximum sustained winds were about 70 miles per hour (110 km per hour), with higher gusts. Dora was strengthening quickly and was forecast to become a hurricane on Monday, the NHC said in its latest advisory late on Sunday night. The NHC warned of possible heavy rains along the southwestern coast of Mexico but added that the center of the storm was expected to move parallel to the coast of Mexico but remain offshore. It said no coastal watches or warnings were in effect.

Irish Navy Rescues 712 off Libya

An Irish naval ship rescued 712 people including pregnant women and infants off the coast of the Libyan capital of Tripoli as part of an international migrant rescue effort, Ireland's Defence Forces said on Monday. The LÉ Eithne ship led the rescue of multiple vessels in distress 40 kilometres north-west of Tripoli throughout Sunday. Six migrants, including one baby, were revived from states of unconsciousness. The ship will transport the people, including 14 pregnant women and four infants below the age of four months, to a designated "port of safety" to be handed over to Italian authorities. "I'm very proud to say all lives were saved, no lives were lost.

Lithuania Inks U.S. LNG Supply Deal

File Image: Credit QGTC

Lithuania's state-owned gas trader Lietuvos Duju Tiekimas (LDT) said on Monday it had signed a deal to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) directly from the United States for the first time and expects to receive a delivery in the second half of August. The deal is with a unit of Cheniere Energy and is part Lithuania's efforts to diversify its gas suppliers and reduce its reliance on Russia's Gazprom. LDT, part of state-owned energy group Lietuvos Energija, signed a deal last year with Koch Supply & Trading for LNG supplies throughout 2017. Cheniere Energy was expected to supply LNG from a U.S.

HMS Queen Elizabeth Sets Sail on Maiden Voyage

HMS Queen Elizabeth (Photo: UK Royal Navy)

Britain's most advanced and biggest warship, 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, set out on its maiden voyage on Monday from the Rosyth dockyard in eastern Scotland. The ship, which measures 280 metres and can move 500 miles a day, took 11 tugs to manoeuvre out into the River Forth and then must wait for low tide so as to pass under the Forth's famous bridges - weather and systems checks permitting. It took eight years to build HMS Queen Elizabeth and along with its sister ship…

Austal Wins USD 584.2 million US Navy Contract

LCS Class. Photo: Austal

Australian shipbuilder Austal has won a  $584.2 million contract to build a 14th Littoral Combat Ship for the US Navy, Reuters reported. The contract includes associated LCS class services and related material and integrated data environment support, as well as options for the construction of additional LCS, class services and post-delivery availability support, the Pentagon said in a statement. Australian Associated Press added quoting Asutal that  the 127-metre LCS28 will be built at its shipyard in Mobile…

Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group Returns from WESTPAC

Official U.S. Navy file photo

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108), along with embarked Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1 arrived in San Diego June 23, following a five-and-a-half-month deployment to the Western Pacific. Carl Vinson, Lake Champlain, Wayne E. Meyer and embarked air wing and staffs departed San Diego for a regularly-scheduled deployment with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group as part of the U.S.

Novatek Aims to Topple Qatar from LNG Top Spot

File photo: Novatek

Russian gas producer Novatek aims to topple Qatar as the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas as it gets closer to completing its first LNG project, a top executive said, batting away concerns about U.S. sanctions on the sector. The country's largest non-state gas producer is expected to start exporting LNG from the first phase of the Yamal project, situated far above the Arctic circle, towards the end of this year and may bring forward its final stage by six months, CFO Mark Gyetvay said.

Metal Shark Wins $54 Mln US Navy Contract

Image: Metal Shark

Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark said it has been awarded a contract worth up to $54 million from the U.S. Navy to build Near Coastal Patrol Vessels (NCPVs) for U.S. partner nations through the Department of Defense Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Metal Shark’s proposal was selected by Naval Sea Systems Command from a field of six competing shipyards. Under the terms of the award, Metal Shark will build up to thirteen 85-foot Defiant-class welded aluminum cutters for the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala and other U.S. partner nations.

Ballast Water Treatment Systems: How to Ensure They Work

The second half of 2016 brought shockwaves to some ship owners who were still in a state of denial about the need to install ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) onboard their vessels. The ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention and the announcement of the first U.S. Coast Guard Type Approved BWTS, saw many ship owners rushing to drydock their vessels at the beginning of the year, or deharmonize their IOPP certificates in an attempt to delay fitting a BWTS onboard their ships. Others have already installed a BWTS on board or have decided to install one. Much has been written on the various constraints that are to be faced for selecting and installing a system, but not much has been heard about the systems installed on board. Do they work?

Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy Half Complete

John F. Kennedy’s lower stern was lifted into place at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division, where the second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier is now 50 percent structurally complete. (Photo: John Whalen/HII)

U.S. shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) said the structure of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) is now 50 percent complete. The second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier CVN 79 grew about 70 feet in length with the addition of the lower stern, which was recently lifted into place at HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. Like Ford, which was delivered to the Navy earlier this month, Kennedy is being built using modular construction, a process where smaller sections of the ship are welded together to form larger structural units (called “superlifts”)…

SHIPS Act: 355 Ship Navy Gets Legislative Mandate

The push to rebuild the U.S. Navy received a boost today when U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Congressman Rob Wittman, R-Va., introduced bicameral, bipartisan legislation that would make it the policy of the United States to achieve the Navy’s requirement of 355 ships. Under the “Securing the Homeland by Increasing our Power on the Seas (SHIPS) Act,” the fleet would be comprised of the optimal mix of platforms, with funding levels subject to annual appropriations. Currently, 276 ships are in the battle fleet.

North River Boats: Delivering Flexibility & Customized Output

(Photo: North River Boats)

Diversification is the key at Oregon-based North River Boats. Listening closely to the customer’s needs recently won the day on a multi-hull U.S. Navy contract, but that’s not all that’s happening in Oregon. Roseburg, Ore.-based North River Boats has, over time, thrived by delivering one of the most diverse vessel portfolios in North America. Those offerings include both domestic and foreign deliveries, as well as recreational, commercial and military hulls. And, if that formula has taught them just one thing, then that metric would be that different customers need different features.

Shipping Firms Pay $1.9 Mln for Pollution Cover-up

Two shipping companies based in Egypt and Singapore will pay $1.9 million in penalties after pleading guilty in federal court to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and obstruction of justice for covering up the illegal dumping of oil-contaminated bilge water and garbage into the sea. Defendants Egyptian Tanker Company and Thome Ship Management are the owner and operator of the offending vessel, the 57,920 gross ton, 809-foot long, oceangoing, oil tank ship called the M/T ETC Mena. The plea agreement was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood for the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston for the Eastern District of Texas.

Cindy to Weaken this Morning - NHC

Tropical storm Cindy is expected to weaken while moving farther inland and become a tropical depression later Thursday morning, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest advisory.   "Continued weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Cindy should weaken to a tropical depression later this morning, and become a remnant low tonight," the Miami-based weather forecaster said.   Cindy, now located about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of Lake Charles, Louisiana with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 km/h), will likely move into southeastern Arkansas early Friday, and into Tennessee later that day.   Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala and Apeksha Nair 

AUSINDEX Strengthens Ties Between Aus, Indian Navies

HMAS Newcastle conduct officer of the watch manoeuvres with Indian Navy Ship INS Kamorta off the West Australian Exercise Areas (WAXA) as part of AUSINDEX. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Newcastle’s capabilities proved invaluable during a complex warfare scenario involving Indian Navy Ships Shivalik and Kamorta during the Australia-India Exercise (AUSINDEX) held off the Western Australian coast. The ships headed out to sea, after a short harbour phase, to focus on the navies’ interoperability and improvement on their war fighting skills. Speaking from the bridge of Newcastle, Commanding Officer Commander Mark Sirois said AUSINDEX was an excellent opportunity to see both navies working together.

Dredging: Digging Deep for a 'WIIN'

© Nancy Hochmuth / Adobe Stock

In the waning days of 2016, the outlook brightened dramatically for the big U.S. dredging contractors. Just before Congress dispersed for the Holidays, then-President Obama signed a pivotal piece of legislation – the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, S612. Authorized needed investment in America’s ports, channels, locks, dams, and other infrastructure that supports the maritime and waterways transportation system and provides flood protection. Authorized U.S.

GE Powered USS Gabrielle Giffords Commissioned

USS Gabrielle Giffords commissioning Port of Galveston June 10 2017 - U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Miranda Williams

The U.S. Navy’s 10th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Gabrielle Giffords was commissioned at the Port of Galveston, Texas, on Saturday, June 10, becoming the 16th ship to be named for a woman and only the 13th ship to be named for a living person since 1850. The ship’s homeport will be San Diego. “This is the fifth such LCS in a 10-ship Independence–variant ship program with Austal USA that uses our LM2500. The two LM2500 engines are arranged in a combined diesel and gas turbine or CODAG configuration with two diesel engines…

Rosneft to Return to State Dividend Proposal

Igor Sechin, the head of Russian oil major Rosneft, said on Wednesday that his company would return to a government proposal for state-owned companies to pay out 50 percent of their profit in dividends for Rosneft's 2017 results. (Reporting by Denis Dyomkin; Writing by Jack Stubbs)

The U.S and Philippine Navies Hold Maritime Drill

Official U.S. Navy file photo

The U.S. and Philippine navies will participate in the Maritime Training Activity Sama Sama June 19-25 in the vicinity of Cebu. Maritime Training Activity Sama Sama is designed to enhance the complexity and diversity of training opportunities, while strengthening the longstanding alliance between the U.S. and the Republic of the Philippines. The exercise will focus on mutual security concerns that affect the Philippines including piracy and sea smuggling, maritime domain awareness and patrol, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness.

Indian Navy Launches Floating Dock

Photo: Indian Navy

The first indigenously built Floating Dock (FDN-2) for the Indian Navy was launched on 20 June 2017 by Smt Anjali Deshpande, wife of Vice Admiral DM Deshpande, AVSM, VSM, Controller of Warship Production & Acquisition at an impressive ceremony at Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) Shipyard at Kattupalli near Chennai. After formal welcome by Vice Admiral B Kannan (Retd), PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Head of Ship Building, L&T the ceremony commenced with an address by the Chief Guest, Vice Admiral DM Deshpande, AVSM, VSM, Controller of Warship Production & Acquisition.

Qatar Tells US It Will Maintain Stable LNG Exports

Qatar's finance minister told U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a trip to Washington last week that Qatar was committed to maintaining stability around its exports of liquefied natural gas to the global energy market, according to a statement by Qatar's government communication office. "They discussed Qatar’s efforts to counter terror financing ... and Qatar’s commitment to maintaining stability around its exports to the global energy market," the statement said. Saudi-led sanctions imposed two weeks ago on Qatar, the world largest exporter of LNG, have raised concerns about the Gulf state's energy output but officials have said Qatar's LNG exports have not been affected.     (Reporting by Tom Finn)

USCG Interviews Containership Crew after Warship Collision

The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, June 17, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Peter Burghart)

The United States Coast Guard will on Tuesday start interviewing the crew of a Philippines-flagged container ship which collided with a U.S. warship in Japanese waters killing seven American sailors. The U.S. coast guard investigation is one several into the incident on Saturday involving the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the much larger ACX Crystal. The cause of the collision at night and in clear weather is not known. "We are scheduled to interview the crew members," said U.S. Lieutenant Scott Carr told Reuters, referring the crew of the merchant ship.

Former US Navy Attaché Sentenced for Taking Bribes

A Retired U.S. Navy Captain was sentenced in federal court today to 41 months in prison for his role in a massive bribery and fraud scheme involving foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis and his firm, Singapore-based, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA). Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson Southern District of California, Director Dermot O'Reilly of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and Director Andrew Traver of the NCIS made the announcement. In addition to the 41-month prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino ordered Michael Brooks, 59, of Fairfax Station, Virginia, to pay a $41,000 fine and $31,000 in restitution to the U.S. Navy.

Ballarat Completes Malaysian Visit

HMAS Ballarat along with warships from Singapore, Bangladesh, Brunei, China, Indonesia, New Zealand and Russia in formation for the Singaporean Navy's 50th Anniversary International Fleet Review. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Australia's HMAS Ballarat has completed a port visit to Sepanggar, Malaysia as part of a three month South East Asia deployment. She was in the region to enagage with the Royal Malaysian Navy, and load supplies before she returns to Australia for further exercises. Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnston, said Ballarat’s deployment provided an opportunity to engage with many nations in South East Asia. “Our enduring military to military engagement activities contribute to security and stability in our region,” he said.

DMA Ship Station License Goes Digital

Photo: Danish Maritime Authority

The Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) continues its work digitalising Blue Denmark in order to utilise the technological solutions available for the benefit of Blue Denmark. Now, the Ship Station License has become digital – just like the other ship certificates. The number of administrative burdens imposed on the industry is reduced through digitalisation of the Ship Station License. Director Rasmus Høy Thomsen said: ”One of the advantages of a digital Ship Station License is that it is always available online.

India to Sensitize Maritime Fraternity to New Tax Regime

Rajive Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping. Photo: PIB

The Ministry of Shipping in India conducted a workshop on “GST for Shipping” in New Delhi today to sensitize all constituents of the maritime fraternity, as the country lauches the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) to revolutionize the country's tax system. The workshop was attended by representatives from ports, various attached and subordinate organizations under the Ministry of Shipping and industry associations. Chairing the workshop Rajive Kumar, Secretary Shipping said that…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jul 2017 - The Marine Communications Edition

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