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Maritime Safety News

06 Feb 2024

Houthis Fire Missiles at Two Ships In The Red Sea

© Federico Rostagno / Adobe Stock

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis fired missiles at two vessels in the Red Sea, they said on Tuesday, causing minor damage to a cargo ship that was sailing off the coast of Yemen's Hodeidah.The Houthis have been targeting commercial vessels with drones and missiles in the Red Sea since mid-November, in what they describe as acts of solidarity with Palestinians against Israel in the Gaza war.The group's military spokesman said it fired naval missiles at the Morning Tide and Star Nasia…

11 Jan 2024

Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria Unite to Clear Floating Mines in Black Sea

© Grispb / Adobe Stock

Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria signed an agreement on Thursday on a joint plan to clear mines floating in the Black Sea as a result of the war in Ukraine, following months of talks between the NATO allies.Turkish Defense Minister Yasar Guler, his Romanian counterpart Angel Tilvar and Bulgaria's Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov signed a memorandum of understanding in Istanbul to form a trilateral initiative to clear the explosives."With the start of the war, a threat of floating mines in the Black Sea has arisen. To combat it ...

09 Jan 2024

Viking Strengthens Marine Evacuation Portfolio with Undertun Acquisition

(Credit: Viking Life-Saving Equipment)

Danish maritime safety solutions company Viking Life-Saving Equipment has acquired rights to manufacture and supply Undertun marine evacuation systems (MES).The Viking acquisition has been agreed with Sverre Undertun, whose Norway-based company offers solutions which include its well-known Undertun ship gangways.The solution is suitable for the small ferry market due to its easy installation and use.Catering for up to 150 persons, Undertun MES are especially convenient when installation heights and crew numbers are low…

18 Dec 2023

Time is Running Out for some Fi-Fi Foams

Image courtesy Scanunit.

A new IMO resolution will see the phase-out of foam firefighting systems that use fluorinated foams containing perfluoro-octane sulfonic acid (PFOS) as the foam-producing component. The new rules come into effect under a rolling programme beginning in 2026, but Swedish maritime engineering specialist Scanunit believes that a proactive replacement strategy should be put into effect now.Foam firefighting systems on ships typically make use of a family of synthetic chemical compounds known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

27 Nov 2023

ASGARD: Developing an Anti-Spoofing Weapon

Image courtesy ASGARD

Saab and GMV are collaborating in ASGARD, an EU-funded project that aims to improve maritime security when using GNSS and OSNMA. The project addresses the growing threat of GNSS spoofing and other cyberattacks on navigation systems used in the maritime industry.The ASGARD project, run by Saab and GMV, is an ambitious European Union (EU) initiative that aims to develop advanced technologies to improve Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Open Service Navigation Message Authentication (OSNMA) security in maritime environments.

13 Nov 2023

Inmarsat: Number of Distress Calls Remains High

Source: Inmarsat

Tankers transmitted the most distress calls in 2022, according to Inmarsat’s new report: The Future of Maritime Safety Report 2023.Inmarsat GMDSS data indicates that tanker distress incidents have risen steadily over the past five years from 80 distress calls in 2018, through 134 in 2021 to its highest peak so far in 2022 at 160. However, the cause for this remains unclear. “Whilst the gradual increase could potentially be linked to the overall increase in the global fleet during the same period, it seems likely that other factors are at play,” states the report.

12 Nov 2023

NYK Roundtable Highlights Ship-to-Shore Communications

Source: NYK

On October 23, NYK held its annual roundtable discussion on current conditions and issues on board vessels, highlighting the role of communications in ship safety.The meeting was held at the NYK head office in Tokyo in a hybrid format and attended by more than 150 participants, including three captains and three chief engineers on leave, the captain and chief engineer on board the car carrier Iris Leader, the captain aboard the crude oil tanker Tensho, 22 executive officers, and…

10 Nov 2023

Ukraine: Alternative Black Sea Export Corridor is Working Despite Attack

Credit: glebzter/AdobeStock

Ukraine's alternative Black Sea export corridor is working despite a recent Russian attack on a civilian vessel, Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Thursday.Ukrainian officials said on Wednesday a Russian missile damaged a Liberia-flagged civilian ship entering a Black Sea port in the Odesa region, killing one person and injuring four others. The vessel was supposed to transport iron ore to China."#Ukrainian_Corridor: vessel traffic continues both to and from the ports of Big Odesa (region)…

07 Nov 2023

California Boat Captain Guilty of 'Seaman's manslaughter' in Fire Deaths of 34 People

The fire-stricken Conception shortly before it sank off Santa Cruz Island in September 2019. All 33 passengers and one of six crewmembers died of smoke inhalation after they were trapped in the berthing area while a fire raged on the deck above. (Photo: Ventura County Fire Department)

The captain of a dive boat that caught fire and sank off the California coast in 2019, killing 34 people on board in one of the state's deadliest maritime disasters, was found guilty on Monday of a federal charge of seaman's manslaughter.Jerry Boylan, 70, was convicted by a U.S. District Court jury in Los Angeles on a single charged count of "misconduct or neglect of a ship officer" under a federal homicide statute dating from steamboat accidents in the early 1800s.The felony conviction…

26 Oct 2023

Europe's Offshore Wind Power Goal Hits New Snag: Security

Nysted wind farm - Credit: Plenz - Own work - CC BY 3.0 DEED via Wikimedia Commons

As Europe turns to renewable sources to diversify energy supplies away from Russian oil and gas, a peaceful marine scene conceals a billion-dollar security headache.Rising above the Baltic Sea less than 10 km (6 miles) off the coast of Denmark, 161 wind turbines spin slowly. They supply around 4% of the country's power, sent to shore through two cable connections.The turbines have no barriers or surveillance."Our technicians are only here until five o'clock in the afternoon, then they go home…

23 Oct 2023

Intellian, Inmarsat Ink MOU to Develop Maritime Safety Terminal

Intellian Technologies and Inmarsat Maritime, a Viasat business, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the development of a next generation GMDSS safety terminal, designed for operation over Inmarsat’s ELERA L-band network.The new safety terminals will become the standard Inmarsat Maritime product for the next generation Fleet Safety service and will fulfil the requirements and performance standards of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as part of a range of maritime SOLAS approved ship borne equipment including Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)…

18 Oct 2023

IMRF Announces 2023 SAR Award Winners

Geoffrey Denman (Source: IMRF)

The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) has announced the winners of this year’s IMRF Awards, which recognize all those involved in global maritime search and rescue (SAR) efforts.The IMRF Awards acknowledge those that have shown excellence in their field, developed innovative technology and equipment, or acted as a role model to inspire others. The awards also shine a light on those colleagues who offer the tireless support, training, and planning that enables SAR crews to do what they do…

16 Oct 2023

Tanker Hits Mine in Black Sea

A Liberian-flagged oil products tanker hit a mine on Sunday in the Black Sea off the coast of Romania and sustained minor damage, but the crew was safe, sources said on Monday.It is the second vessel this month to have been hit by a floating mine in the Black Sea, in a reminder of the continued perils faced by commercial ships in the region.The Ali Najafov tanker was sailing near to the Sulina channel near Romania when the blast occurred on Sunday, Yoruk Isik, head of the Bosphorus Observer consultancy, told Reuters.A Ukrainian source separately confirmed the vessel had struck a mine.The vessel's Istanbul-based manager Palmali, listed in shipping databases, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

06 Oct 2023

Turkish Ship Not Damaged in Black Sea Explosion – Maritime Authority

A Turkish-flagged general cargo ship that was sailing on Thursday in the Black Sea en route to Ukraine's Izmail port did not sustain damage from an explosion, Turkey's maritime authority and the ship's captain told Reuters on Friday."An explosion occurred 15-20 meters behind the Kafkametler ship en route to Izmail port from Batumi port while it was cruising off the coast of Romania/Sulina (port)," the authority said.The ship continued sailing to its destination to deliver its cargo following checks, and there was no evidence that the explosion was caused by a mine, it added.Maritime sources told Reuters on Thursday that the vessel had hit a sea mine and sustained minor damage…

04 Oct 2023

Philippines Says Marshall Islands-flagged Tanker May Have Been Involved in Deadly Sea Collision

An oil tanker registered under the flag of the Marshall Islands was suspected to have been involved in an 'accidental collision' with a Philippine boat in the South China Sea that killed three fishermen, the Philippine coast guard said on Wednesday.Philippine coast guard spokesperson Armando Balilo said that the incident was under investigation but that coast guard monitoring pointed to the Pacific Anna, registered under the flag of Marshall Islands, as the likely vessel that collided with the fishing boat.The coast guard said in a statement the Philippine boat "failed to detect" the approaching foreign vessel because of poor weather, resulting in a collision that caused the boat to capsize.

03 Oct 2023

Enclosed Spaces: Engineering Solutions

The use of drones could reduce the need for enclosed space entry. Image courtesy of ScoutDI

If you think the human element is the only cause of enclosed space deaths, think again.Enclosed space incidents are cited as the largest cause of on-duty fatalities in commercial shipping. The risks can’t simply be engineered out, but there’s a powerful coalition wanting action nonetheless.There’s a tendency to blame failure to follow procedures, they say. Investigations seldom focus on the practicality of those procedures or the influence of the operating environment and vessel design, they say.

27 Sep 2023

Inmarsat Report Identifies Deficiencies in Safety Culture

Source: Inmarsat

The 2023 edition of The Future of Maritime Safety Report from Inmarsat Maritime, a Viasat business, reveals that the number of distress calls from ships at sea remains high, despite a continuing decline in vessel losses. The new report, which analyses Global Maritime Distress and Safety System information captured by Inmarsat, registered 853 distress calls from January to December 2022 – up from 794 in 2021.With the number of losses of vessels over 100 gross tonnage (GT) falling by 65% in the last decade…

20 Sep 2023

VIDEO: Cargo Ship Crew Evacuated after Explosion Near Romanian Danube Port

Credit: ARSVOM

The crew of a Togo-flagged general cargo ship bound for one of Ukraine's Danube river ports was evacuated early on Wednesday after an explosion on board near the Romanian port of Sulina, Romanian officials said.The Seama ship reported an explosion early on Wednesday and requested the evacuation of the 12-person crew near Sulina, where the Danube flows into the Black Sea."At the moment the causes ... are unclear, whether it was a mine or merely an explosion in the engine room," Romanian…

19 Sep 2023

ATSB: Fatal Pilot Ladder Accident Has Enduring Lessons

Source: ATSB

Managers of the two vessels involved in a fatal crew transfer accident off Brisbane, Australia, had not ensured personnel had a common and complete understanding of how the transfer would be conducted, an Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigation has concluded.On 9 August 2021, crew were being transferred to and from the bulk carrier Formosabulk Clement via the launch boat PT Transporter in the Port of Brisbane anchorage, about five nautical miles off the coast.The operation involved multiple visits from PT Transporter to transfer crew on and off the anchored bulk carrier.

17 Sep 2023

RIB Operators Warned After Spinal Injury

source: MAIB

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has issued a safety bulletin for owners and operators of small commercial passenger vessels urging the review of operations, risk assessments and pre-departure briefings in line with current guidance to ensure passenger safety.Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, Andrew Moll OBE, said: “Passenger excursions on RIBs should be a pleasurable experience. This safety bulletin, prompted by a serious spinal injury to a passenger on a sea safari…

13 Sep 2023

US Coast Guard Calls for Comments on Duck Boat Rule

Source: NTSB / Brian Young

The US Coast Guard has issued an interim final rule on mandated requirements for DUKW amphibious passenger vessels and requested comments.The statutory mandate was enacted after the sinking of the Stretch Duck 7 on July 19, 2018, which resulted in the loss of 17 lives on Table Rock Lake, Missouri.More than seven hours prior to the accident, the National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the area, followed by a severe thunderstorm warning a minute before the vessel departed the passenger boarding facility.

12 Sep 2023

Watchkeeper Distraction, No Lookouts Led to Fatal Collision

Upturned hull of Karin Høj. Source: MAIB

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has released its report into the collision between a general cargo vessel and a split hopper barge in the Bornholmsgat traffic separation scheme off Sweden that resulted in the loss of two lives.The UK registered general cargo vessel Scot Carrier and the Denmark registered split hopper barge Karin Høj collided, resulting in the capsize of the barge and the loss of its two crew on 13 December 2021.Safety issues identified in the…

11 Sep 2023

CHIRP Introduces Fishing Sector Safety Newsletter

© Анна Костенко / Adobe Stock

Voluntary near-miss reporting scheme CHIRP Maritime is celebrating its 20th anniversary by introducing a new fishing sector safety newsletter alongside its regular 'Maritime FEEDBACK' editions.Adam Parnell, CHIRP Director (Maritime), says: “We hope to create a safe and non-judgemental learning environment where fishers can share, and learn from, the experiences of others. This helps to prevent similar incidents in the future and contributes to a safer maritime environment overall.”The…