Marine Link
Thursday, August 17, 2017

Search Continues for Missing Army Aviators

The search and rescue effort continues off the coast of Oahu (Photo CREDIT: U.S. Coast Guard)

Responders are continuing the search for five missing Army aviators from a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter approximately two miles west of Ka'ena Point, Oahu, Wednesday. En route is Coast Guard Cutter Walnut (WLB 205) and crew, a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Honolulu. None of the aviators have been located yet. Debris has been spotted and recovered near Ka'ena Point by responders. A joint forward incident command post has been established at Hale'iwa Boat Harbor to coordinate search and rescue efforts.

Buzby Sworn in as Maritime Administrator

U.S Secretary of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao administers the Oath of Office to Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, USN, Ret. as Maritime Administrator (L to R: Admiral Mark H. Buzby,  Gina Buzby and Secretary Elaine L. Chao) (Photo: MARAD)

Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, USN, Ret. has been sworn in as the Administrator of the Maritime Administration by U.S Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. As Maritime Administrator, Buzby will lead the agency tasked with promoting the use of waterborne transportation and its seamless integration with other segments of the transportation system; and the development and maintenance of an adequate, well-balanced U.S. merchant marine, sufficient to carry a substantial portion of the Nation’s waterborne commerce, and capable of service in time of war or national emergency.

Latest Gulf of Mexico Auction Signals Offshore Return

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

Major oil producers pushed up high bids at a Gulf of Mexico offshore auction to $121 million on Wednesday, a nearly seven-fold increase from a year ago, as their return to deep water exploration gained momentum. This compared with $18 million in high bids at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) Outer Continental Shelf auction last summer. Winners will be announced after a 90-day review. Some producers have signaled that they expect Gulf of Mexico projects to become more profitable now that they have trimmed operations to adapt to low oil prices.

Transocean to Buy Songa Offshore

(File photo: Songa Offshore)

About 77 pct of Songa shareholders have so far accepted deal. Transocean, one of the world's biggest drilling rig operators, has agreed a deal to buy Norwegian competitor Songa Offshore for 9.1 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.1 bln), the two companies said on Tuesday. The deal, which would be mostly paid for in shares and convertible bonds, would strengthen Transocean's position in offshore drilling as Songa is Norwegian oil major Statoil's largest drilling service provider. The offer values Songa shares at 47.50 Norwegian crowns each, a 39.7 percent premium over Monday's closing price.

HMAS Newcastle Joins Cousin for Replenishment

HMAS Newcastle (front) and Pakistani Naval Ship Alamgir conduct a replenishment at sea with United States Naval Ship Kanawha in the Middle East region. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Newcastle has marked her second Operation MANITOU patrol with a dual replenishment at sea in the Gulf of Aden with USNS Kanawha and Pakistan Navy Ship Alamgir. The resupply presented Newcastle with the opportunity to operate with another Oliver Hazard Perry class (called Adelaide class in Australia) ship, in Alamgir. Newcastle’s embarked MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopter launched to record the evolution from the air and for Seaman Boatswain Ben Robertson, it was another highlight in what has so far been “a surreal experience” on operational deployment.

Milaha Launches Kuwait Service amid Diplomatic Crisis

(Photo: Milaha)

Qatar Navigation (Milaha) , a top Doha-based shipping and logistics group, said on Wednesday it had launched a new container service to Kuwait amid a diplomatic crisis that has seen it lose access to regional trans-shipment hub, Dubai. Milaha will operate the weekly, direct service between Kuwait and Qatar using a vessel capable of handling the equivalent of 515 20-foot containers, the company said in a statement. Milaha said the service between Qatar's Hamad Port and Shuwaikh Port in Kuwait would have a transit time of one day and be ideal for transporting perishable products and food.

Theresa May hails HMS Queen Elizabeth

Photo: UK Chamber of Shipping

The Royal Navy’s new flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth berthed in her home port of Portsmouth early on Wednesday morning and was greeted Prime Minister Theresa May visited the aircraft carrier and hailed it as a symbol of the UK’s maritime might, said a press release from UK Chamber of Shipping. “Britain truly has the best sailors, marines and officers in the world and I believe that you deserve the very best equipment. That is what we have with HMS Queen Elizabeth. This ship is a symbol of the United Kingdom as a great global, maritime nation,” the prime minister said in an address.

Colac Remembered

Imagery Scanned from Navy Historic Archive. Photo:  Royal Australian Navy

Despite being in the thick of action on many occasions, Bathurst class corvette HMAS Colac ended the Second World War with only two members of her ship’s company killed and two wounded, another amazing ship and crew being remembered 75 years on. The casualties occurred on 26 May 1945, when the ship was hit twice by Japanese artillery fire from Choiseul Island, part of the Solomon Islands group. Jim Paizis (retd), 94, of Melbourne, was a gunnery officer in Colac, which had finished…

US to Commission USS Lewis B. Puller

Photo: United States Navy

The Navy will commission the Expeditionary Sea Base USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) during a 5 p.m. AST ceremony Thursday, August 17, at Khalifa bin Salman Port in Al Hidd, Bahrain. The future Lewis B. Puller - currently USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB 3 )- is the second ship to bear the name of Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller, a distinguished combat veteran of World War II and the Korean War. Puller is the only Marine to have been awarded the Navy Cross on five separate occasions and is the most decorated individual in the history of the USMC. The first Lewis B.

Singapore Revokes Panoil Petroleum's Bunker Licence

Photo: Panoil Petroleum

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has revoked the bunker craft operator licence of Panoil Petroleum, effective 14 August 2017. Panoil  will no longer be allowed to operate as a bunker craft operator in the Port of Singapore. "As part of MPA’s on-going regulatory efforts to ensure the safety, reliability and quality of bunker supplies in Singapore, checks were conducted on Panoil Petroleum Pte Ltd between January and March 2017," said a statement from MPA. MPA’s checks revealed that unauthorised alterations were made on board five bunker tankers operated by Panoil.

UK Chamber Welcomes Proposed Customs Arrangements

Image:  UK Chamber of Shipping

The UK Chamber of Shipping has welcomed proposals for customs arrangements that could be implemented after the UK’s departure from the European Union, which were published today in a new paper from the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU). The 'Future Customs Arrangements' report,  argues that the UK could either seek a “highly streamlined” customs arrangement with the EU or else strike a new, bespoke deal. It also suggests that a transitional period should follow Brexit, before a final deal is struck that would follow existing procedures as closely as possible.

UKHO Supports HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth

Photo: © British Crown

The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has supported the safe arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth into Portsmouth by providing specialist marine geospatial and hydrographic expertise and data capabilities. Following initial dredging operations to make Portsmouth’s navigation channel and entrance deeper, hydrographic data was collected by the survey launch HMS Gleaner using modern multibeam echosounder technology to confirm the available water depth. As well as providing advice during data collection…

Army Helicopter Reported Down in Waters off Oahu

U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army personnel are responding to a report of a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with five crew aboard approximately two miles west of Kaena Point, Oahu, Wednesday. A debris field was spotted near Kaena Point by the Coast Guard Hercules and Army Black Hawk aircrews at 11:28 p.m. Tuesday. Responders are currently searching for the five missing aircrewmen. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Command Center in Honolulu received a call at 10:08 p.m. Tuesday from personnel at Wheeler Army Airfield stating they lost communications with one of their UH-60 Black Hawk aircrews. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of response assets.

HII to Pay $9.2 Mln in False Billing Settlement

File photo: Chris Oxley / HII

Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. (HII) has agreed to a $9.2 million settlement of allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly overbilling the government for labor on U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships at its shipyards in Pascagoula, Miss. Under the settlement, HII will make a payment of $7.9 million which, combined with earlier repayments, will result in the settlement recovery of approximately $9.2 million. “Contractors that knowingly bill the government in violation of contract terms will face serious consequences,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A.

Migrant Rescue Ship Threatened by Libyan Coastguard

The Libyan coastguard intercepted a humanitarian rescue ship in the Mediterranean on Tuesday, ordering it to sail to Tripoli or risk being targeted, a Reuters photographer aboard said. The Golfo Azzurro ship operated by Spanish humanitarian organisation Proactiva Open Arms was repeatedly contacted by a Libyan coastguard vessel, according to radio transmissions heard by the photographer. "You are sailing in our waters for months now and you are conducting activities that are causing problems to Libyan state sovereignty," said a man who identified himself as part of the Libyan coastguard, speaking in English. "Therefore I ask you to alter your course towards Tripoli port. If you do not obey the orders right now... you will be targeted," the voice said.

Undersea Technology: A Strategic Rhode Island Advantage

Molly Donohue Magee

In 1869, the U.S. Navy’s first research facility—the Naval Torpedo Station—was built on Newport, Rhode Island’s Goat Island. This rich history continues today, as the state is home to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, which provides the technical foundation to ensure the U.S. Navy’s undersea superiority. Fitting for “the Ocean State,” we have identified more than 170 Rhode Island organizations that touch undersea technology—and we believe that is a conservative count. We are a cluster leader not just in New England but indeed in the entire country.

Battered by Waves, British Coastguard Completes Daring Sea Rescue

A British rescue worker was battered by waves but still completed a daring sea rescue after three people got into difficulty on the west coast of England, a video released by British coastguard service on Tuesday showed. Footage shot from a helicopter showed a man clinging to a rock in the sea near Bude, 200 miles (321.87 km) southwest of London, after he became cut off by a rising tide on Saturday evening. Mark Hughes, a winchman for the coastguard who is known as "Spike", was lowered from the helicopter to save him when he was caught blindsided by a wave. Hughes reached the man and was attaching him to the wire when both were washed into the sea by a second wave. They were winched quickly out of the surf, while two other people were also rescued from a nearby beach.

Philippines says China Will Halt Expansion in South China Sea

China has assured the Philippines it will not occupy new features or territory in the South China Sea, under a new "status quo" brokered by Manila as both sides try to strengthen their relations, the Philippine defence minister said. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano also said the Philippines was working on a "commercial deal" with China to explore and exploit oil and gas resources in disputed areas of the South China Sea with an aim to begin drilling within a year. The defence minister, Delfin Lorenzana, told a congressional hearing the Philippines and China had reached a "modus vivendi", or a way to get along, in the South China Sea that prohibits new occupation of islands.

Iran: Drones Near U.S. Warships are Safe

Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) rejected U.S. criticism that it flew a drone unsafely near a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Gulf and it defended its right to carry out air patrol missions in the area. On Monday the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said that an Iranian drone had come within 1,000 feet (300 meters) of a U.S. aircraft carrier while it was in international waters in the Gulf conducting flight operations. Spokesman Lieutenant Ian McConnaughey said the Iranian drone "conducted an unsafe and unprofessional approach" as it passed by the USS Nimitz without navigation lights late on Sunday. Iran's IRGC…

BMT Launches Naval Innovation in London

UK. BMT’s VENATOR-110. (copyright BMT Defence Services)

BMT Group Ltd. (BMT) is set to launch a number of innovative warship designs at DSEI event in London. BMT reports that its platform designs have enjoyed a number of successes this year, most notably seeing the HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier (QEC) head out of the Firth of Forth and undergo her maiden sea trials, as well as welcoming RFA Tidespring, the first MARS tanker to the U.K. BMT’s VENATOR-110 which combines lean, manned and adaptable capability with the affordable procurement cost and dimensions of a Light Frigate will also feature on the stand.

Venezuela Ships More Oil to US in July vs June

Venezuela's PDVSA and its joint ventures last month shipped 638,325 barrels per day (bpd) of crude to the United States, a 30 percent increase over June due to larger sales of upgraded oil, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows data. Venezuelan crude output has declined this year to its lowest point in 27 years due to a lack of investment and payment delays to oil service firms, affecting exports to customers in key markets including the United States. Even though the volume of crude sent to the United States in July was larger than the previous month, it was 22 percent below the same month in 2016. The main U.S. receiver of Venezuelan crude last month was refiner Valero Energy, followed by PDVSA's refining unit in the United States, Citgo Petroleum.

Ailing Tanker Crewman Medavaced off Florida

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Clearwater approaches the 550-foot tanker Gaschem Stade, 13 miles west of Egmont Key, Florida, Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. The Jayhawk air crew medevaced a 55-year-old man from the tanker after he suffered heart attack like symptoms. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Gage Hunt)

A tanker crew member reportedly suffering from heart attack like systems was medevaced 13 miles west of Egmont Key, Fla. on Monday, August 14.    A U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter air crew from Air Station Clearwater medevaced the 55-year-old man from the 550-foot liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier Gaschem Stade, and brought him to Tampa General Hospital.

SeaCURE BWTS Completes USCG Type Approval Tests

The Evoqua SeaCURE system has completed all USCG Type Approval tests (Photo: Evoqua)

SeaCURE Ballast Water Management System (BWMS), the electrochlorination based solution from Evoqua Water Technologies, has completed all biological efficacy U.S. Coast Guard Type-Approval tests. Tests were carried out under the supervision of classification society Lloyd’s Register and the independent laboratory NSF International will now compile test data for submission to the USCG for imminent approval. Matt Granitto, Business Manager, Ballast Water, said, “We are delighted…

Canadian Coast Guard Expands Mapping Capability

Underwater image captured using an EM 712 multibeam echo sounder (Image: Kongsberg Maritime)

Kongsberg Maritime said the Canadian Coast Guard has chosen its high resolution EM 712 multibeam echo sounders for the medium icebreakers CCGS Pierre Radisson and the CCGS Des Groseilliers. Gathering critical hydrographic data can be a challenge in the Canadian Arctic. The innovative, retractable design of the new EM 712 echo sounder systems optimizes performance of the sounder when deployed and protects it when the vessel is breaking ice. When deployed, the high-resolution EM…

Two Patrol Vessels Launched for Indian Navy

(Photo: IRClass)

Two Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (NOPVs) for the Indian Navy were launched in Reliance Defense shipyard at Pipavav on July 25, 2017. The vessels, named INS Shachi and INS Shruti, are the first two vessels in a five-vessel series which are being built in accordance to built under the Indian Register of Shipping’s (IRClass) ‘Rules and Regulations for Construction and Classification of Naval Ships’. These rules, were jointly developed by the Indian Navy and IRClass. Besides providing classification services…

Antwerp Port Blocked as Boxship Runs Aground

File Image: the port of Antwerp

Traffic to and from Antwerp, Europe's second-biggest port, was halted on Monday after a container ship ran aground on the banks of the river Scheldt which connects the port to the North Sea. A spokeswoman said workers were trying to tow the 366-metre CSCL Jupiter away but could not say when this would be completed. "We're heading for low tide in the coming hours, that does not make things easier," the spokeswoman said. Covering a space of 20,000 football fields, the port of Antwerp is the 15th largest container port in the world and handles 214 million tonnes of maritime freight each year.

First Lady of the Fleet Celebrates

HMAS Darwin's ship's company celebrate the ship's 33rd birthday by forming the number 33 on the flight deck, while at sea. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

As the activities of Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 17 started to draw to a conclusion in July, the crew of HMAS Darwin, took the chance of a brief time out to celebrate the final seagoing birthday of the Fleet veteran. Darwin’s cooks pooled their talents together to create a cake in the shape of ‘33’, with enough to go around to her crew of approximately 190. With most of the crew gathered in the Junior Sailors’ Café, Commanding Officer, Commander Phillip Henry took the opportunity to reflect on the team’s recent achievements and contribution to her rich history.

John C. Stennis Underway for Sea Trials Ahead of Schedule

USS John C. Stennis  Photo: United States Navy

Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) got underway for Sea Trials as the ship's planned incremental availability (PIA) nears its end, August 11. John C. Stennis entered PIA in February with the largest work package ever planned for a six-month availability for a Nimitz-class carrier, requiring more than 2,800,000 man-hours of work between ship's Sailors, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, and contractors. Through teamwork, dedication and expert management, the ship was able to get underway ahead of their originally planned departure date.

Investors Enthusiasm in Cochin Shipyard

The Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari addressing at inauguration of the renovated BSE International Convention Hall and Listing Ceremony of Cochin Shipyard Ltd., in Mumbai on August 11, 2017. Photo: PIB

Indian government is committed for infrastructure development and the track record of last three years has increased the faith of the investors which has resulted in 76 times oversubscription of IPO of Cochin Shipyard (CSL), a government flagship company, said Union Minister of Shipping, Nitin Gadkari. He was the Chief Guest at the inauguration of the renovated BSE international convention Hall and Listing of equity shares of Cochin Shipyard in Mumbai. Speaking on the occasion he signifies the success of government’s economic policies…

Migrant Rescue Boat Goes to Aid of Anti-migrant Vessel in Mediterranean

A German humanitarian rescue ship said it was heading on Friday to the aid of a vessel run by a group of far-right activists who are at sea to disrupt the work of charity boats helping migrants in the Mediterranean. The Sea-Eye charity's founder Michael Buschheuer said the Italian coastguard had asked his ship to set course for the activists' C-Star vessel because it was in distress. The Identitarian group running C-star, however, denied on Twitter that the vessel was in distress but said it had alerted other vessels because its main engine had stopped due to "a minor technical problem". The Italian coastguard declined to comment. "C-Star is in distress and we are the closest, so at the moment we have set a course to reach them," Sea-Eye's Buschheuer told Reuters by telephone.

Cargo Ship Runs Aground in Saint Marys River

The 629-foot cargo vessel Calumet sits hard aground in the St. Mary's River southeast of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, while a Coast Guard response boat - medium encircles the vessel, August 10, 2017. The vessel was heading to its next port of call in Brevort, Michigan when it ran aground. (US Coast Guard photo)

The St. Marys River is closed to commercial vessels from the Soo Locks to 6 Mile Point, after a 629-foot U.S. cargo ship ran aground on the north side of Sugar Island, Wednesday, at about 11:40 p.m. The merchant vessel, Calumet, departed Essar Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. and was transiting downbound on the St. Marys River to its next port of call in Brevort, Mich., when it ran aground. The vessel was not carrying any cargo. There was no pollution, and no injuries have been reported. The U.S. Coast Guard is monitoring the vessel, and the U.S.

Ecochlor BWTS Receives USCG Type Approval

(Photo: Ecochlor)

Ecochlor's patented BWTS has received USCG Type Approval. The Ecochlor BWTS uses a two-step process that includes filtration and treatment with chlorine dioxide (ClO2). It is completely effective on all aquatic invasive species regardless of water turbidity, salinity or temperature. “The Ecochlor BWTS works just as effectively as it did when first installed in a ship in 2004 without any fundamental changes," said Tom Perlich, President and Founder. "Since that first system was sold…

India to Push Shipping Sector

The Union Minister for Shipping, Nitin Gadkari. Photo: PIB

Under the Government of India’s Sagarmala Program to promote port-led development, a master plan has been formulated for the 12 Major Ports. 142 port capacity expansion projects with an estimated cost of  INR 91,434 Crore (USD 14.3 billion) and capacity creation of 884 MMTPA have been identified in this master plan for implementation over the next 20 years. Out of these, 58 projects with project cost  of approximately INR  28,767 Crore (USD 4.5 billion)  have been approved. In 2015…

US Destroyer Challenges China's Claims in South China Sea

USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) (U.S. Navy photo by James Vazquez)

A U.S. Navy destroyer carried out a "freedom of navigation operation" on Thursday, coming within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials told Reuters. The operation came as President Donald Trump's administration seeks Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear programs and could complicate efforts to secure a common stance. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S. McCain traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals.

Hurricane Franklin Makes Landfall in Veracruz, Mexico

Hurricane Franklin made landfall on the eastern coast of Mexico in the state of Veracruz, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said early Thursday.   Franklin, a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, is located about 70 miles (115 km) north-northwest of Veracruz with maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour (140 kmh), the NHC said.   The hurricane is expected to weaken rapidly as it moves farther inland during the next several hours, the Miami-based weather forecaster said.   Reporting by Apeksha Nair  

Shipping Suspended in Turkey's Bosphorus

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

Traffic in the Bosphorus Strait, an important international shipping lane for oil and grain, was suspended on Thursday morning, data from Turkey's coastal safety agency showed. The suspension started at 8:45 a.m. (0545 GMT), the agency said, without giving a reason. It was due to end at 6:00 p.m. (1500 GMT). Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper reported the suspension was part of a search for a 17-year-old boy who had been swept away by the current after entering the Bosphorus on the European side nearly a month ago.

Merchant Vessel Aground in Saint Marys River

A 629-foot U.S. cargo ship ran aground on the north side of Sugar Island in the St. Marys River, Wednesday at 11:40 p.m. The merchant vessel Calumet departed ESSAR Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and was transiting downbound in the St. Marys River to its next port of call in Brevort, Michigan, when it ran aground. The U.S. Coast Guard is on scene and no injuries have been reported. The vessel is currently aground and stable. There are currently no signs of pollution. The St. Marys River is closed to commercial vessels from the Soo Locks to 6 Mile Point. The vessel’s company, Grand River Navigation Inc., is taking precautionary measures to help ensure the safety of the environment and developing a salvage plan. The cause of the grounding is under investigation. Source: U.S.

More Migrants Feared Drowned off Yemen

Some 180 young Ethiopian and Somali migrants, many weakened by hunger and drought in their home countries, were forced from a boat into rough seas off Yemen by smugglers on Thursday and 55 were presumed to have drowned, the U.N. migration agency said. It was the second such incident in as many days off Shabwa province in southern Yemen, where 50 teenage African migrants were "deliberately drowned" on Wednesday by a smuggler who forced 120 passengers off his boat, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. Smugglers were pushing migrants into the sea away from the mainland so as to avoid encountering possibly armed groups on shore in the war-torn country. They were then going back to pick up more migrants. "We have seen five bodies and can confirm five dead ...

Fate of Seine-Nord Canal Project Depends on Funding

A project to build a canal to link Paris with major harbours of northern Europe will depend on lining up the necessary funds, the French government said on Wednesday, without saying if it believed the finance could be found. France has long planned to build the waterway dubbed the Seine-Nord canal to allow large barges to sail from Paris to the harbours of Antwerp and Rotterdam, reducing truck traffic on its motorways. The project has been studied for more than a decade and funding options for the 4.5 billion euro ($5.3 billion) programme have been discussed with regional governments and the European Union. The previous government had set up a project company with a view to start work on the 107 kilometre canal in 2017 and have it ready by 2023.

BMT to Support for UK MOD’s Common Workboats

(Image: BMT)

BMT Group subsidiaries BMT Asset Performance Ltd and BMT Defense Services Ltd will work with Atlas Elektronik UK (AEUK) and its team of suppliers, who announced that it has been awarded a contract valued at £48 million for the supply and support of Common Workboats for the U.K.’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) over a six-year period. Ranging in size from 11 to 18 meters, the multi-role SEA Class vessels share common components and will be modular in design. This unique approach enables rapid reconfiguration for a range of specialized operational roles…

Petrobras Authorized to Export Idle LNG Cargoes

Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA has been authorized to export idle liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the spot market, according to the Wednesday issue of the official gazette. According to the text, Petrobras has been given the green light to export up to 6.6 million cubic meters, assuming this would not result in supply problems for the domestic market. As a state-controlled company, some of Petrobras' commercial strategies require energy ministry authorization. Petrobras operates three regasification terminals in Brazil, which were built in a time when the country was seeing high economic growth rates and natural gas consumption was strong. But demand fell in the last two years while Brazil went through its deepest recession on record, and local production continued to grow.

India Unveils Road Map for Cruise Operations

Indian Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari addressing at an exclusive preview of the Dawn of Cruise Tourism in India, in Mumbai on August 08, 2017. Photo: PIB, Govt of India

The Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the Indian government is committed to creating the right environment for promoting cruise tourism in the country. Speaking at Dawn of Cruise Tourism in India - an international conference organized by the Shipping Ministry at Mumbai Port today, he said that India has a huge potential of hosting nearly 40 lakh cruise tourists. Given the right impetus, the number of tourist ships visiting India can go up from the present 158 to about 955 per year.

Panama Canal’s New Tolls Structure Approved

(Photo: Panama Canal Authority)

Modifications to the Panama Canal tolls structure have been approved by the Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama. After a thorough analysis of the current utilization and productivity of the Neopanamax Locks, and after meetings with Panama Canal executives, customers and industry representatives in Europe, Asia and North America, the proposed tolls modifications were officially announced on June 1, 2017. This was followed by a formal consultation period to ensure all interested parties could provide feedback for consideration.

US Coast Guard Evaluating 3-D Printing

Ensign Abigail Isaacs uses a 3-D printer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

For the average person, tracking down a spare part is often merely an annoyance. But for the crew of a Coast Guard cutter, the availability of spare parts can be important to mission completion or greatly affect their work environment. The Coast Guard Research and Development Center in New London, Conn., is currently studying how the use of 3-D printing technology might improve mission readiness through logistical support. Now in the evaluation phase, 3-D printers are available…

US to Haul Stricken Destroyer from Japan to US for Repairs

USS Fitzgerald collided with a freighter in Japanese waters on June 17 (U.S. Navy photo by Peter Burghart)

The U.S. Navy on Tuesday said it will haul the guided missile destroyer severely damaged in a collision with a freighter in Japanese waters back to the United States for repairs as soon as September. The collision killed seven sailors aboard the USS Fitzgerald and ripped a hole below the vessels waterline. Naval engineers in Japan have patched up the destroyer but extensive damage that nearly sank the warship means it is unable to sail under its own steam. "The Fitzgerald may be moved in September but it could be later than that," a spokesman for the U.S. Seventh Fleet said. The U.S.

Philippines says China Wanted Non-legally Binding South China Sea Code

China pushed for a maritime code of conduct with Southeast Asian countries that would not be legally binding, the Philippine foreign minister said on Tuesday. Alan Peter Cayetano said some countries wanted the South China Sea code to be legally binding, and China preferred the less forceful "binding". He said all parties realised it was better to drop all mention of it from the framework and move forward. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China hailed the adoption on Sunday of a negotiating framework for the code of conduct (COC) as progress towards preventing disputes. Cayetano cited the framework as an example of how parties that were historically at odds were co-operating…

Italy, Malta Turn Away Migrant Rescue Boat

A Spanish aid group operating in the Mediterranean said on Tuesday one of its boats had been barred by Italy and Malta from disembarking migrants rescued two days ago. Humanitarian groups have played a growing role in rescuing migrants who pay criminal gangs for passage from Libya, prompting accusations in Italy that they are facilitating people smuggling and encouraging migration. The groups deny this. It was not clear why the Golfo Azzurro, run by Barcelona-based Proactiva Open Arms, was not allowed to dock in Lampedusa. It is now in international waters. The Italian coastguard could not be reached for comment. "Golfo Azzurro rescued three people 100 miles from the Libyan coast in an (Italian) coastguard operation 48 hours ago and we are still without authorisation to disembark…

HMS Queen Elizabeth Set to Sail Home

(Photo: U.K. Royal Navy)

The U.K. Royal Navy’s new 65,000-metric-ton aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest warship ever to be built in Britain, has been undergoing sea trials since setting sail from Scotland's Rosyth dockyard in June, and is now set to enter her new home in Portsmouth in around two weeks. The warship will be the latest in a long line of famous Royal Navy ships to call Portsmouth home, though the exact date of the historic moment is to be determined depending on weather conditions. The window for entry will open August 17, with her arrival expected no later than the August 22.

ASEAN, China Adopt Framework for Code on South China Sea

Foreign ministers of Southeast Asia and China adopted on Sunday a negotiating framework for a code of conduct in the South China Sea, a move they hailed as progress but seen by critics as tactic to buy China time to consolidate its maritime power. The framework seeks to advance a 2002 Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea, which has mostly been ignored by claimant states, particularly China, which has built seven manmade islands in disputed waters, three of which are equipped with runways, surface-to-air missiles and radars. All parties say the framework is only an outline for how the code will be established but critics say the failure to outline as an initial objective the need to make the code legally binding and enforceable…

Cyber Threats Prompt Return of Radio for Ship Navigation

© donvictori0 / Adobe Stock

The risk of cyber attacks targeting ships' satellite navigation is pushing nations to delve back through history and develop back-up systems with roots in World War Two radio technology. Ships use GPS (Global Positioning System) and other similar devices that rely on sending and receiving satellite signals, which many experts say are vulnerable to jamming by hackers. About 90 percent of world trade is transported by sea and the stakes are high in increasingly crowded shipping lanes.

Crashed US Military Aircraft Found off Australian Coast

Royal Australian Navy (RAN) survey ship HMAS Melville located the submerged aircraft (File photo: Royal Australian Navy)

An Australian Navy survey ship has located a U.S. military aircraft that crashed off the Australian northeast coast at the weekend and left three Marines missing, Defence Minister Marise Payne said on Monday. The navy divers will conduct remotely operated underwater vehicle operations before considering sending down divers, Payne said in a statement. The U.S. Marine Corps had suspended a search for the three Marines missing since the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft crashed while on regular operations on Saturday.

Milaha Plans Base in Oman after Trade Hit by Diplomatic Rift

Qatar Navigation (Milaha), a top Doha-based shipping and logistics group, said it was shifting its regional trans-shipment hub from Dubai to the Omani port of Sohar after a diplomatic crisis in the region disrupted Qatar's trade. Milaha is setting up a warehousing and logistics operation at Sohar, on Oman's northern coast, and is exploring other opportunities to expand in that country, the company said on Monday. The plan suggests Qatar is making long-term preparations to cope with sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, which cut diplomatic and transport ties on June 5, accusing Doha of backing terrorism.

China Adopts Maritime Code with ASEAN

China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang. File Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People's Republic of China

Foreign ministers of Southeast Asia and China adopted on Sunday a negotiating framework for a code of conduct  (COC)  in the South China Sea, Reuters reported. The 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China have agreed on a framework for how they will go about drafting a code. However, critics say this move as tactic to buy China time to consolidate its maritime power. The framework seeks to advance a 2002 Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea…

Iran's Chabahar Port will Start by 2018

Nitin Gadkari meeting with First Vice President of Iran Mr Eshaq Jahangiri. Photo: PIB, Govt of India.

The Indian Minister for Shipping Nitin Gadkari has said that the government is keen on developing Chabahar Port in Iran and is hopeful of starting operations by 2018. Gadkari was in Teheran, to represent India at the taking over of office by President Hassan Rouhani for the second term. On the eve of his visit to Iran the Minister said that India and Iran have shared special ties historically. Gadkari informed that civil construction work has already started at the Chabahar Port. The Indian Government has allocated Rs 6 billion for the development of the port.

India’s Major Ports Set for Capacity Augmentation

Photo: Indian Ports Association (IPA)

Master Plans have been prepared for all the 12 major ports  in India under Sagarmala Programme, and 142 port capacity expansion projects with total cost: Rs. 91,434 Cr (USD 14.25 billion) and capacity of 884 MTPA have been identified for implementation over the next 20 years. The installed capacity in Major Ports is sufficient to handle the existing cargo traffic. Against the installed capacity of 1065.83 MTPA as on 31st March.3.2017, the traffic handled by the Major ports during 2016-17 was 647.76 MT. During 2016-17, 100.47 million tonnes of capacity was added to the major ports.

Afloat on a Frigid Frontier

Crew members aboard Coast Guard Cutter Maple stand lookout watch in the Arctic Ocean approximately 100 miles east of Barrow, Alaska, July 25, 2017. This was the first day of the patrol the crew encountered ice. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Nate Littlejohn)

Located 100 miles northwest of Barrow, Alaska, the crew of the 225-foot buoy tender out of Sitka was on a mission to support marine mammal research conducted by Josh Jones, a graduate student researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) in San Diego. The Coast Guard crew used their buoy-tending skills and equipment to recover the floating ball, which surfaced after spending a year 1,000 feet below. Suspended beneath the yellow buoy was a high-frequency acoustic recording package (HARP)…

Suisun Bay Vessel Removal Project Completed

Maritime Administration Executive Director Joel Szabat joined federal, state and local officials and environmental groups to mark the completion of an agreement to remove 57 non-retention vessels from the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet (SBRF) by September 30, 2017. The departure of the Cape Borda for recycling reaches the milestone two months ahead of schedule. “Our progress in Suisun Bay is the result of hard work and smart collaboration,” said the Maritime Administration’s Executive Director Joel Szabat. “There is perhaps no greater symbol of the maritime industry’s environmental progress than what has been accomplished here. In 2009, MARAD entered an agreement with local officials and environmental groups to expedite disposal of 57 non-retention SBRF vessels…

Buzby Confirmed as MARAD Administrator

Mark Buzby (Photo: U.S. Navy)

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Mark H. Buzby as the new administrator of the Maritime Administration (MARAD). MARAD executive director Joel Szabat had been serving in lieu of the administrator following the departure of outgoing administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen. Buzby, who was nominated by President Donald Trump in June, is a U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) alumnus and retired U.S. Navy admiral with a military career spanning over three decades at sea and ashore. He was most recently president and CEO of National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA).

Predicting the Motion of the Ocean

(Photo: General Dynamics Applied Physical Sciences / U.S. Navy)

For thousands of years sailors have looked out to sea, anticipating the motion of their craft from the waves they see coming. The nature of this constant motion, phasing in and out with the groups of waves, influences the safety of operations, from moving about the deck or rigging to transferring people and materials between craft. Waves and the resulting motions are a key factor in deciding whether to perform an operation. Could you do better than your eyeball for predicting when that next big wave is going to knock you off your feet? When the U.S.

Tech File: NS Workboat

(Image: ABS)

ABS mobile application is purpose-built for the workboat, inland sectors. ABS Nautical Systems, the ABS enterprise fleet management software suite, has launched a new mobile application, NS Workboat. The latest in a line of new tools that ABS has developed to help workboat operators gain compliance with the pending Subchapter M regulations, the ‘app’, which leverages the Nautical Systems enterprise software, is a mobile solution that is purpose-built for the workboat and inland-shipping sectors, where ease of use is of paramount importance.

Barge Fire Extinguished in the Gulf of Mexico

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Brandon Davis)

Emergency responders have extinguished a fire aboard a barge adrift approximately 2 miles west of Cat Island, Miss. U.S. Coast Guard watchstanders received a report at approximately 1:20 p.m. Thursday that a barge being pushed by the tug vessel Kathryn T. Devall caught fire with a reported 2,500 tons of anhydrous ammonia and 800 gallons of diesel fuel. The Gulfport Fire Department has extinguished the fire after the tug crew was unable to put out the blaze and released the barge from the tug. No injuries have been reported.

Oil Prices Dip as OPEC Oil Exports Rise

© Björn Wylezich / Adobe Stock

Oil prices edged lower on Friday and were on track for weekly losses, weighed down by rising OPEC exports and strong output from the United States. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark, were trading at $51.76 a barrel at 1141 GMT, 25 cents below the last close and heading for a fall of close to 1.5 percent on the week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were 30 cents lower at $48.73 per barrel and were set to drop by around 2 percent for the week. Analysts said prices were pressured by rising output, although strong demand limited the losses.

India Looks to Boost Domestic Cruise Industry

Photo: Incredible India

The government of India announced important steps in view to boost the domestic cruise tourism industry. It is estimated that on an average a cruise tourist spends about US$200-300 and a cruise staff/officer spends about US$100-150 per port visit. Cruise tourism is a high-end luxury tourist segment of tourism sector. Cruise operations augment local economic activities as business opportunities arise for supply for provisions, transport, hotels, bunkering etc. to cruise ships which generate direct and indirect employment.

Spencer Sworn in as US Navy Secretary

Richard V. Spencer is sworn in as the 76th Secretary of the Navy by William O'Donnell, Department of the Navy administrative assistant. (U.S. Navy photo by Jonathan B. Trejo)

Richard V. Spencer was officially sworn in as the 76th secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) August 3, at a ceremony conducted in the Pentagon by William O'Donnell, Department of the Navy administrative assistant. Spencer, a Connecticut native, graduated from Rollins College in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Upon Graduation he joined the United States Marine Corps and served as an H-46 pilot until 1981 before departing active duty to enter the private finance sector. He held…

Fishing Vessel Owner Jailed for Crew Fatalities

Photo: MCA

The owner of a fishing vessel has been sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to two charges brought by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) for the unsafe operation of a fishing vessel and failing to ensure that the gas cooker was properly maintained. Timothy Bowman-Davies from Milford Haven was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment at Leeds Crown Court on August 2, after two crew members on board his fishing vessel Eshcol died from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2014.

NYK to Pay $20 Mln for Cartel Conviction

(File photo: NYK)

Australia has fined and convicted Japanese shipping firm Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) for operating as a cartel in relation to the transport of vehicles into the country, its competition regulator said on Thursday. The charges relate to the transportation of motor vehicles to Australia between 2009 and 2012, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commision (ACCC) said in a statement. A new law in Australia criminalised cartel behaviour in 2009, although the activity had been going on since at least February 1997, the ACCC said. "The cartel ...

China "coordinating with U.S." in S.China Sea SAR Ops

A typical U.S.Navy destroyer (CREDIT: USN / Kryzentia Weierman)

China said on Thursday that it was coordinating with the U.S. navy in the search for a missing U.S. sailor in the South China Sea, a rare show of goodwill between the navies in the disputed waters. The U.S. 7th Fleet said on Tuesday that U.S. and Japanese ships were looking for an unnamed sailor from the USS Stethem destroyer who had gone missing during a routine operation in an unspecified section of the South China Sea. It said multiple searches were conducted inside the ship, but to no avail.

India Seizes Merchant Ship Carrying 1,500 kg of Heroin

India's navy seized a ship carrying about 1,500 kg of heroin worth 35 billion rupees ($545 million) on Sunday in what it said was its biggest ever drugs haul.   The vessel, which was operating under the name MV Henry under the Panama flag, was intercepted off the Gujarat coast near the city of Porbandar, said S. Paramesh, deputy director general at the Indian Coast Guard.   It was sailing from Dubai to Alang, a town in Gujarat known for shipbreaking, Paramesh said.   The eight crew members aboard, all of whom were identified as Indian nationals, are under investigation.   ($1 = 64.1100 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Additional reporting by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Tom Lasseter and Robin Pomeroy)  

Repsol Suspends Drilling on Vietnam Oil Block Disputed by China

Spain's Repsol said it had suspended oil drilling in a block off Vietnam, where the prospecting in South China Sea waters claimed by China had infuriated Beijing and brought Chinese pressure on Vietnam to stop. Tension has been growing between Vietnam and China over energy development in the waterway, where extensive Chinese claims are challenged by five Southeast Asian countries and disputed by the United States. Repsol's chief financial officer, Miguel Martinez, said work had been suspended off Vietnam, according to the transcript of a conference call with analysts last week. "We are working with the PetroVietnam and with the Vietnamese authorities and the only comment is that right now, operations have been suspended," he said.

Rescue Boat Seized for Allegedly Aiding Illegal Migration

Italian coastguards seized a migrant rescue boat operated by a German aid group in the Mediterranean due to suspicions it had aided illegal immigration, the police said on Wednesday. Video showed the "Iuventa", which is run by Jugend Rettet, arriving at the island of Lampedusa surrounded by several coastguard vessels after it was stopped at sea before dawn. The Jugend Rettet group said on Twitter its crew was being interviewed by officials, but had received no information about an investigation into its activities. "Our crew was guaranteed this is a standard process," said the group, which is one of around eight humanitarian organisations whose operations Italy is trying to regulate. It did not give any immediate comment on the police probe.

Italian Minister Warns of Rigid Response to French Shipyard Move

(File photo: STX France)

Paris and Rome should be able to resolve their differences over the sale of a disputed shipyard, Italy's industry minister said on Wednesday, but he hinted that French investors might yet be hurt because of the row. The comments from Industry Minister Carlo Calenda could spell trouble in particular for French media group Vivendi , which has taken control of Italy's main telecom provider Telecom Italia (TIM). France angered Rome last month by ordering the "temporary" nationalisation of STX France shipyards…

Italy Gives Green Light to Libya Naval Mission

Italy to send two boats to help Libya coastguard; plans for larger operation thwarted by Libya. Italy's parliament authorised on Wednesday a limited naval mission to help Libya's coastguard curb migrant flows, which have become a source of growing political friction ahead of national elections expected early next year. An Italian official said Rome planned to send two boats to Libyan waters, with Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti saying the vessels would only provide technical support and would not infringe on the north African country's sovereignty. Italy announced the operation last week, saying it had been requested by Libya's U.N.-backed government. It initially hoped to send six ships into Libyan territorial waters, but the plans had to be scaled back following protests from Tripoli.

Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group Begins COMPTUEX

Photo: United States Navy

The ships of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) departed, Aug. 1, for Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), the final work-up phase prior to deployment scheduled later this year. COMPTUEX evaluates the strike group's deployment readiness by testing command and control functions, crew safety evolutions, search and rescue operations, damage control testing and operational capabilities of a carrier strike group, ultimately certifying the TRCSG for deployment. "COMPTUEX is the ultimate test before we go forward," said Rear Adm.

Russia in Talks with Asian Investors on Sovcomflot Sell-off

(File photo: Sovcomflot)

Russia is in talks with Asian investors on the privatisation of state shipping company Sovcomflot, the RIA news agency cited Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov as saying on Tuesday.   The government does not rule out other forms of the company's privatisation apart from an initial public offering, the agency quoted Shuvalov as saying. (Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Maria Kiselyova)

Oil Spill Response: USCG Testing Evolves

Coast Guard R&D Center’s JMTF is a big part of the nation’s environmental research efforts. In 1972, the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) established the Fire and Safety Test Detachment (FSTD), which later became the Joint Maritime Test Facility (JMTF), at Coast Guard Sector Mobile in Mobile, Alabama. As part of the unit’s establishment, test facilities were also built on nearby Little Sand Island in Mobile Bay. Since its inception, multiple retired commercial vessels were used as test platforms ending with the State of Maine, which was removed in 2010.

Salvage and Marine Firefighting

© Lev Savitskiy / Adobe Stock

Salvage and marine firefighting are complex response efforts often undertaken in adverse weather and sea conditions. While no two oil spill responses are the same, the diversity of variation between any two oil spill responses is not near as great as the diversity of any two salvage and marine firefighting responses. As a result, salvage and marine firefighting response providers must plan for and anticipate a wide range of variation in what will be required to address their portion of a marine casualty. The U.S.

First Pacific Patrol Boat Keel Laid

Minister Pynes’ signature was welded into a plate that was in turn welded into the hull by the Minister, with assistance from one of Austal’s newest Apprentice Fabricators, Ricardo De Oliveira. (Image: Austal)

Austal hosted the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Defense Industry, at the ceremonial keel laying of the first of 19 Pacific Patrol Boat vessels for the Australian Government’s Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (PPB-R) Project. Minister Pyne authenticated the keel by committing his signature to a plate that was subsequently welded and placed in the hull of the vessel. Austal chief executive officer, David Singleton, said the ceremonial keel laying was a significant milestone in the A$306 million (US$245 million) PPB-R Project…

EID Wins Portuguese Navy Communications Contract

Photo: EID

Cohort company EID has been awarded a contract by the Portuguese Navy for the supply of Integrated Communications systems to the Tejo class coastal patrol vessels. The €4.6 million contract encompasses the supply of radio equipment, ICCS, integration engineering and logistic services. The contract also includes additional supplies for the second batch of the Viana do Castelo Oceanic Patrol Vessels, being built by West Sea shipyards in the North West city of Viana do Castelo. “We have been supplying communications systems to the Portuguese Navy ships since 1985.

Germany Orders LNG Fueled Research Ship

rendering of the Atair; first vessel in the BSH fleet with LNG technology  (Photo: Wärtsilä)

The Fassmer shipyard in Germany is currently cinstructing a new research vessel to be owned by Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH), the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency. The new 75-meter-long ship, the Atair, will replace her 30 year old namesake, and will be the first German research vessel operating on liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel. The engines for the new vessel will be supplied by Wärtsilä, who will also supply exhaust cleaning systems based on selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology and the LNGPac system for complete fuel gas handling.

Former MSC Contractor Sentenced for Bribery Conspiracy

A former owner of a government contracting company that serviced the Military Sealift Command (MSC) was sentenced to 60 months in prison, and to pay a $15,000 fine, for his participation in a bribery conspiracy from approximately 1999 to 2014, in which he provided a contracting official at MSC with almost $3 million 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. U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen sentenced Joseph P. Allen, 56, of Panama City, Fla., following his guilty plea on April 19, to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

France Wants Private Shareholder for STX

France: Italy's Fincantieri best option. France wants a private investor for the STX France shipyards and Fincantieri is the best option but the government will be forced to consider other alternatives should negotiations with the Italian shipbuilder fail, the French Finance Minister said on Tuesday in an Italian paper. "The (STX) Saint Nazaire shipyards must not be directed by the French State. We want a private shareholder and Fincantieri today is the best industrial group to join this big European and Franco-Italian project," Bruno Le Maire told daily il Corriere della Sera in an interview. Le Maire, who will reopen talks with Italy on Tuesday…

Panama Canal Wins $193 mln Arbitration

A containership in the Panama Canal: CREDIT CH2M

The head of the Panama Canal Authority said on Monday a Miami-based arbitration board rejected a demand by Spanish-led GUPC consortium for $192.8 million to cover cost overruns during the building of a third set of locks for the century-old waterway. GUPC or Grupo Unidos por el Canal includes Sacyr SA of Spain, Impregilo of Italy, Jan De Nul of Belgium and Constructura Urbana of Panama. The authority's chief executive, Jorge Quijano, announced the ruling in a post on his Facebook page.

Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in Arabian Gulf

Photo: United States Navy

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is carrying out strike sorties from the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR). The first aircraft launched from USS Nimitz (CVN 68) was an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the "Argonauts" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147. Accompanying Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 squadrons, part of that first flight include the "Black Knights" of VFA-154, the "Blue Diamonds" of VFA-146, the "Death Rattlers" of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323, and the "Bluetails" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121.

Chinese Port Operators Optimistic of Future

© anuphadit / Adobe Stock

The outlook for global container port demand growth is now more optimistic, and Chinese players are on the acquisition trail in an aggressive and highly confident manner, said a report from Drewry. Major M&A deals are changing the landscape, with more to come, according to the Global Container Terminal Operators Annual Report 2017, now in its 15th year of publication by global shipping consultancy Drewry. Drewry’s container port demand forecast is more positive than in last year’s report…

Eighteen More Ferry Terminals in India

Eighteen ferry terminals are to be constructed in six Indian cities of Varanasi, Patna, Munger, Bhagalpur, Kolkata and Haldia on the National Waterways-I under the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP). The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has engaged a consultant for the preparation of a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the purpose. The consultants have been tasked to identify suitable locations for construction of the ferry terminals. National Water-way-1 has fixed terminals at GR Jetty-2 (Kolkata), Pakur, Farakka (owned by Farakka Barrage Project) and  Patna (Low level and high level). It also have floating terminals in Haldia- 1…

New US Navy Destroyer Passes Builders Trials

Ingalls Shipbuilding completed builder's sea trials for Ralph Johnson (DDG 114). The Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) destroyer spent more than three days in the Gulf of Mexico testing the ship’s main propulsion, combat and other ship systems. (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)

The U.S. Navy’s newest guided missile destroyer Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) has successfully passed builder’s sea trials. The Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) destroyer spent more than three days in the Gulf of Mexico, as Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division tested the ship’s main propulsion, combat and other ship systems. “It’s always a great accomplishment when our shipbuilders successfully take a ship to sea for the first time,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said.

Oil Markets Brace for Possible US Sanctions on Venezuela

© Federico Rostagno / Adobe Stock

U.S. oil markets were readying for fallout from potential U.S. sanctions on Venezuela's vital oil sector on Monday after Sunday's election in the struggling country was deemed a "sham" by Washington. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday celebrated the election of a new legislative superbody that will have the power to dissolve state institutions such as the opposition-run Congress. Countries around the world denounced the vote. U.S. crude futures jumped above $50 a barrel for the first time in two months early in the session before retreating, after U.S.

Bahri Pushes for Saudi Arabian Entry to IMO Executive Council

Senior representatives from Bahri recently joined members of a Saudi Arabia delegation for board meetings of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which took place at the agency’s headquarters in London. The meetings come as part of the Kingdom’s preparations to submit its candidacy for the membership of the IMO Council under Category (C). Senior Bahri officials who participated in the discussions included Wael Al-Sarhan, Senior Vice President – Marketing, and Abdulaziz Sabri, Vice President, Bahri Ship Management.

USS Gerald R. Ford Completes First Arrested Landing

Photo: United States Navy

Less than one week after Pres. Donald J. Trump commissioned the U.S. Navy's newest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) launched and recovered its first fixed-wing aircraft July 28, 2017, off the coast of Virginia. The first arrested landing, or "trap", occurred at 3:10 PM (EST) and the first catapult launch happened at 4:37 PM (EST). Lt. Cmdr. Jamie Struck of Tallmedge, Ohio piloted the F/A-18F Superhornet from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 based at Patuxent River, Maryland.

US Navy to Commission Rafael Peralta Today

Image: Official U.S. Navy file photo

The US Navy will commission its newest guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), during a 10 a.m. PDT ceremony Saturday, July 29, at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego. The future USS Rafael Peralta honors Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta, who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for actions during combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Peralta is credited with saving the lives of fellow Marines during the second battle of Fallujah in 2004. Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Ms.

Vietnam asks Indonesia to Investigate South China Sea Shooting

Vietnam's foreign minister has asked his Indonesian counterpart to investigate and clarify reports that the Indonesian navy shot and wounded two Vietnamese fishermen in the South China Sea, the foreign ministry said on Friday. Pham Binh Minh told Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi by telephone that the reported incident was "very serious ... and not appropriate with the strategic partnership relationship between Vietnam and Indonesia," the Vietnamese foreign ministry said in a statement. "Vietnam is deeply concerned about this incident and proposes Indonesia to quickly investigate and clarify the incident and inform Vietnam of the results and to stop repeating similar acts," Minh was quoting as saying.

'Team Damen' Unites Dutch and Australian Industry

Artist’s impression of the Damen 1800 OPV  (Photo: Damen)

Australian Maritime Systems Group is entering into a joint venture with one of Europe’s leading marine technology companies as part of a tender for Australia’s next giant defence contract. The Brisbane-based company is partnering with Dutch firm Alewijnse Marine to support the Damen Group’s bid to build the next generation of 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Royal Australian Navy. The vessels will be mainly constructed in Adelaide and Perth, but AMSG’s involvement would generate highly-skilled and long-term electrical engineering jobs for the Queensland-based company.

Iran's Chabahar Port Signs Pact with India Ports Global

Chabahar Port. Photo: Ports & Maritime Organization Iran

India Ports Global has signed a contract with Aria Banader of Iran to equip and operate two terminals at Chabahar - Shahid -Beheshti Port in Iran for transportation of goods and other purposes. "As per Article 6 of the contract, effort are to be made to commence commercial operations at Chabahar –Shahid- Beheshti Port in Iran within 18 months from the contract activation date or 4 months from the date on which the Lessor hands over the Terminals and the infrastructure facilities to the Lessee in accordance with the terms of the Contract," said a press release from the government.

India Takes Steps to Counter Piracy

Minister of State for Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Pon. Radhakrishnan. Photo: PIB

The Government has taken steps as part of various preventive/mitigating security measures to deal with sea-piracy, Minister of State for Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Pon. Radhakrishnan stated. An Inter-Ministerial Group (IMGO) has been set up by the Government under the Ministry of Shipping to deal with the hostage situation arising out of hijacking at sea of merchant vessels with Indian crew. Government had also approved the Contingency Plan for dealing with piracy…

Saudis Stop Tankers From Entering Yemen, UN Says

A Saudi-led military coalition and the government of Yemen denied four oil tankers access to a Yemeni port last week, a move that could hurt the flow of aid and exacerbate a cholera outbreak in the country, a United Nations agency said. The vessels were on their way to Hodeidah, a Red Sea port controlled by the rebel Houthi movement that is aligned with Iran. Saudi Arabia, a regional rival of Iran, is leading a military coalition fighting the Houthis. More than 1,900 people have died from cholera in Yemen and 400,000 cases have been reported since the start of the outbreak in April. The disease spreads in polluted water, and fuel is needed to run pumps for clean water and power generators in hospitals, among other uses. Yemen is also facing a looming famine.

Macron, Gentiloni Discussing STX, Libya, Migration

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni received a "friendly" phone call on Thursday from French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the STX France shipyard, Libya and immigration, Gentiloni's office said. Relations between the two EU allies has been strained this month by a number of issues, including France's decision to block a bid by Italian state-owned shipbuilder Fincantieri to buy a controlling stake in STX France. Rome has also felt slighted by France's diplomatic moves in Libya and annoyed by Macron's refusal to take in migrants who have poured across the Mediterranean into Italy in recent years.   Reporting by Crispian Balmer

France Nationalizes Shipyard to Thwart Italian Majority

France will temporarily nationalise the STX France shipyard to prevent an Italian firm taking majority control, the economy minister said on Thursday, marking President Emmanuel Macron's first big industrial policy decision. As France's most avowedly pro-business leader in decades, few would have predicted the former investment banker's first big move in the corporate sector would be a nationalisation. However, his action fits with the interventionist style of other postwar French leaders. It also crosses into the defence sector, where many national governments prefer to wield influence over ownership. The Italian state-owned shipbuilder Fincantieri rejected a French offer this week of 50-50 ownership of the shipyard…

Italy Mulls Deployments in Libyan Waters

Tripoli government invited Italy into its waters; some 600,000 boat migrants have come to Italy since 2014. Italy intends to deploy several ships in Libyan waters by the end of August to fight human trafficking and stem a flood of immigrants, a government source said on Thursday. A mission plan should be brought to the Cabinet for approval on Friday, and the necessary parliamentary vote to endorse it may be held next week, the source said. "The exact number of ships and sailors is still being worked out," said the source. If parliament approves, the mission might begin "by the end of August", he said. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni met with military chiefs and ministers on Thursday to discuss "security, immigration and the Libyan situation", according to a statement.

ESG Completes First OPC Milestone On Schedule, Within Budget

A depiction of the U.S. Coast Guard's Offshore Patrol Cutter design (CREDIT: ESG)

Panama City, FL, Eastern Shipbuilding has successfully completed its Initial Critical Design Review (ICDR) milestone with the United States Coast Guard on 21 July, 2017 for the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Program. ESG’s accomplishment is noteworthy as it occurred on schedule and within the budget constraints set forth by USCG acquisition, and cleared the way to proceed to the next critical milestone known as Final Critical Design Review (FCDR). This accomplishment comes after a weeklong group of discussions…

U.S. Sanctions Vens as Pressure Builds on Maduro

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on 13 senior Venezuelan officials as the country's opposition launched a two-day strike on Wednesday, heaping pressure on unpopular President Nicolas Maduro to scrap plans for a controversial new congress. Venezuela's long-time ideological foe the United States targeted the country's army and police chiefs, the national director of elections, and a vice president of the state oil company for alleged corruption and rights abuses. U.S. President Donald Trump spared Venezuela for now from broader sanctions against its vital oil industry, although such actions were still under consideration. U.S.

Shanghai to Spend $740 million on Cruise Ship Park

A Shanghai district government plans to spend about 5 billion yuan ($739.97 million) to develop a cruise ship industrial park to house foreign firms that it hopes will help build China's first luxury passenger vessels, a local official said. China's government has earmarked cruise shipbuilding as a major objective in its "Made in China 2025" programme to upgrade its manufacturing and support jobs at its shipyards, as domestic demand for cruise trips increases 30 percent a year. Firms who set up shop in the new zone could expect financing support from banks and recently established government funds, Lei Shuguang, director on the administrative committee of Shanghai Baoshan Industrial Zone, told Reuters on Wednesday.

France to Nationalize STX if Italy Deal Fails

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Burnel11)

French govt has made 50/50 ownership offer to Italy; Minister says offer on the table until Thursday. The French state said on Wednesday it would nationalise the STX France shipyard if Italy does not accept its offer to split STX's capital equally, putting down a marker on the limits of economic liberalism under new President Emmanuel Macron. The threat raises the stakes in a standoff with Rome over the shipyard's fate, the only one in France with facilities large enough to build aircraft carriers.

Singapore Invests in SatCom to Enhance Maritime Safety

Image: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) have invested in a new Medium-altitude Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) ground system to enhance search and rescue capabilities in Singapore’s maritime and aeronautical Search and Rescue Regions (SRRs). The system comprises a ground segment as well as a space segment which deploys Medium-altitude Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites. Distress signals, emitted from the emergency beacons activated by aircraft…

Truman Completes Sea Trials

Photo: United States Navy

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) returned July 25 to its homeport at Naval Station Norfolk for the first time in nearly a year, following the completion of sea trials. "Sea trials is a five-day underway that pushes the limits of the ship; a true shakedown," said Truman's Executive Officer Capt. Cassidy Norman. "Everything we've done for the past year has been building up to this moment. Team Truman navigated through the sea trials checklist completing a number of evolutions, including small boat recoveries…

ReCAAP, OCIMF Sign Asian Anti-Piracy MoU

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre Executive Director Masafumi Kuroki (L) and OCIMF Director Andrew Cassels affirm shared interest and collaboration with MOU. Photo provided by ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre

The safety of navigation is vital to the safety, security and economic activities of all stakeholders traversing sea routes in Asia—the region with some of the busiest seas in the world. Recognising this shared interest, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre and Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on July 24, 2017 in London to boost the fight against piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia.

US Navy Ship Fires Warning Shots near Iranian Vessel

A U.S. Navy ship fired warning shots when an Iranian vessel in the Gulf came within 150 yards (137 meters) on Tuesday in the first such incident since President Donald Trump took office in January, U.S. officials said. The last major incident was earlier in January, though there have been instances when a U.S. vessel fired a flare as well as an event in March when a U.S. Navy ship was forced to change course after multiple fast-attack vessels from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard came too close. In a statement, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said the patrol craft, named Thunderbolt, fired the warning shots in front of the Iranian vessel after it ignored radio calls, flares and the ship's whistle.

Merchant Ship Collides with UAE Navy Vessel

A merchant ship collided with a United Arab Emirates navy boat as it was taking part in a routine mission off UAE territorial waters in the Gulf on Tuesday, the UAE armed forces said. There were no casualties in the incident and "other damage is being evaluated", state news agency WAM said, citing a statement from the General Command of the Armed Forces. It gave no details on the type of merchant ship, the cargo it was carrying or any details on whether shipping routes were affected. (Reporting by Sylvia Westall)

Op/Ed: The Real Story Behind the Attack on SMFF Regulations

Todd Schauer (Photo: ASA)

ASA Sets the Record Straight. The U.S. salvage industry came under attack at a recent Congressional hearing on May 3 by a special commercial interest that is promoting its own agenda. The American Salvage Association (ASA) intends to set the record straight. At the hearing, the attacking group made false allegations that the Salvage and Marine Firefighting (SMFF) resource providers are not willing or contractually obligated to respond and lack the resources to meet regulated response requirements. At the same hearing, this group also criticized the U.S.

USS Constitution Refloated

Photo: United States Navy

After a two-year restoration at historic Dry Dock 1 at Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston National Historical Park, America's oldest commissioned warship, USS Constitution was refloated July 23. Since entering dry dock on May 18, 2015, ship restorers from the Naval History and Heritage Command Detachment Boston, and teams of Constitution Sailors have worked tirelessly side-by-side to bring Old Ironsides back to her glory. Captain Robert S. Gerosa, Jr., commanding officer of Constitution, said he was proud of the hard work and dedication of his Sailors during the restoration.

India: The Admiralty Bill 2017 Gets Upper House Nod

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Photo: PIB

Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2017, introduced during the Winter Session of Indian Parliament came up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and was passed unanimously by the house. The Bill aims to establish a legal framework for consolidation of related laws to replace the age old archaic laws with modern Indian legislation and to confer admiralty jurisdiction on all High Courts of the coastal states of the country. The bill was earlier passed by the Lok Sabha in March, 2017.

BAE Systems Begins Building UK’s Next Warship

Image: BAE Systems

BAE Systems said it has begun to build the first of the U.K. Royal Navy’s new Type 26 Global Combat Ships. Sir Michael Fallon MP, U.K. Secretary of State for Defense, visited the builder’s Glasgow shipyard to press the button to officially commence production on the new warship, and during his speech revealed the vessel’s name: Glasgow. This ceremonial event follows the U.K Government’s recent award of a contract worth approximately £3.7 billion for the first three ships to be built at BAE Systems’ sites in Glasgow.

French and Filipino Firms Bid to Operate Bissau Port

French firm Necotrans and the Philippines' International Container Terminal Services submitted bids on Monday to operate Guinea Bissau's main port, the transport minister said, as the government looks to cede control to a private operator. The main port in the capital Bissau, which is small and can only be serviced at high tide by some cargoes, has been operated by a state agency ever since the government stripped Portugal-based operator Tertir of the concession rights in 1999. "The French company Necotrans and the Philippines' ICTSI are neck-and-neck to exploit the commercial port of Bissau," Transport Minister Fidelis Forbes told reporters in Bissau. The government will select the operator next month, he said.

Libya Coastguard Rescues Nearly 300 Migrants at Sea

Libya's coastguard rescued an estimated 278 migrants including women and children on Monday off the shores of two different towns west of the capital Tripoli, a spokesman said. The coastal towns to the west of Tripoli - Zawiya, Sabratha, and Zuwarah - are common departure points for migrants trying to reach Europe, often sent out by smugglers in flimsy vessels. The coastguard near Zawiya refinery rescued 128 people about 23 km (14 miles) off the coast and another 150 were rescued off Sabratha, the spokesman of Libyan naval forces Ayoub Qaseed told Reuters. The migrants were mostly from sub-Saharan African countries, though there was also one from Bangladesh and two from Egypt.

HMAS Arunta Returns Home

HMAS Arunta's crew lines the deck in 'Procedure Alpha' as the ship returns to her home port of Fleet Base West, Rockingham after completing a nine-month deployment to Operation MANITOU. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Arunta has sailed into her home port of Fleet Base West in Rockingham, Western Australia, after completing the longest Middle Eastern deployment of an Australian Navy vessel since the first Gulf War. Senator for Western Australia, Linda Reynolds; Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer; and family and friends of the ship’s company welcomed the Anzac class frigate home after her nine-month deployment to Operation MANITOU. During her deployment, Arunta intercepted…

President Trump Commissions USS Gerald R. Ford

Photo: United States Navy

President Donald J. Trump commissioned the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) at a commissioning ceremony July 22. A commissioning is a day of celebration, and honors the dedication, team work, and collaboration of Sailors, legislators, shipbuilders, program managers, and the ship's sponsor in delivering the ship to the fleet. Trump landed on the flight deck in Marine One and was greeted by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, and USS Gerald R. Ford Commanding Officer Capt. Rick McCormack.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Aug 2017 - The Shipyard Edition

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