The Beirut Explosion Was Exceptional but Events Leading up to It Were Not
At the time of writing at least 100 people have lost their lives and a further 4,000 have been wounded following an explosion in the Port of Beirut. While the actual cause remains uncertain, the tragedy calls to attention the tremendous consequences of a lack of port security.The explosion, on August 4, at around 6 p.m. local time, appears to have been fueled by 2,750 tons of the highly reactive chemical ammonium nitrate. The chemical had been the cargo on a ship, the the MV Rhosus, which entered the port at Beirut in 2013 due to a lack of seaworthiness and was prohibited from sailing.
U.S. Navy's New Fast Transport Ship Passes Acceptance Trials
Shipbuilder Austal has informed that the U.S. Navy's fast-transport ship USNS Newport (EPF 12) has completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico. USNS Newport is the 12th Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport ship built by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, for the United States Navy (USN) in less than 8 years.Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said: "Austal’s EPF high-speed catamaran is a true success story, proving to be an invaluable addition to the US Navy’s…
Armed Guard Hijacks Bulk Carrier
U.S. based shipowner Eagle Bulk Shipping said a security incident involving a disgruntled armed guard hijacking one of its vessels has been resolved without injuries. The Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier Jaeger embarked three security guards in the Indian Ocean on July 21, before sailing toward the Red Sea, as the company has done for all transits through the high-risk area over the past 10+ years.Once on board, one of the guards did not surrender his weapon to the vessel’s captain as is normal protocol.
Maritime Security: Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail
North America is historically one of the world’s safest regions for maritime transit and operations. Our data shows that of the 2,915 reported global maritime crime incidents that have occurred in the last decade, only nine of them took place in North America. This figure comes from a range of threats against both commercial, and pleasure craft vessels, primarily, attempted, or successful: attacks, suspicious approaches, illegal boardings, hijackings, kidnappings, robberies and exchanges of gunfire. This is what many of us boil down to the eye-catching buzzword “piracy”.
Bollinger Delivers USCGC Oliver Henry
Bollinger Shipyards has delivered the USCGC Oliver Henry to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Fla. This is the 163rd vessel Bollinger has delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 40th Fast Response Cutter (FRC) delivered under the current program.The new cutter is the second of three FRCs to be homeported in Apra Harbor, Guam, increasing the presence for the U.S. Coast Guard in the Indo-Pacific Theater. Additionally, later in 2020, Bollinger will deliver the first of six FRCs that will be home-ported in Manama…
Congress Responds to COVID19 and Other Challenges for the Maritime Industry
In response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the Congressional Research Service released a report that stated global economic growth has declined by 3% to 6% in 2020 with a partial recovery predicted for 2021. Also, the GDP of the U.S. has fallen by 5% in the first quarter 2020. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the maritime industry, and seafarers themselves, have not been able to escape the significant effects of this crisis.All sectors of the maritime industry have been adversely affected by the global pandemic.
USS Tripoli (LHA 7) Departs Ingalls Shipyard
The U.S. Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship, USS Tripoli (LHA 7), departed from Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division Friday, sailing to its homeport in San Diego.Delivered to the Navy in February and officially commissioned last week, USS Tripoli is the U.S. Navy's second America-class amphibious assault ship built by the Pascagoula, Miss. shipyard.“Tripoli sailing away to join the fleet is a proud moment for all of our shipbuilders, industry partners and the hundreds of suppliers that contributed to the production of this remarkable ship…
Kenya Planning National Maritime Security Strategy
Kenya is working to create a National Maritime Security Strategy aiming to bring opportunities for social-economic growth, by safeguarding and promoting the blue economy and by providing a safe and secure operating environment for international maritime transportation.The roadmap to develop the strategy was agreed following an inaugural virtual meeting (21 July) organized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and attended by 16 participants, representing maritime stakeholders from all relevant ministries and agencies of Kenya.
Crew Kidnapped from Tanker in the Gulf of Guinea
Armed pirates have reportedly kidnapped 13 seafarers from a Liberian-flagged product tanker in the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa, continuing a rise in attacks on vessels in the world's most dangerous piracy hot spot.The Curcacao Trader was approached by eight armed individuals aboard a single speedboat and boarded 232 nautical miles southwest of Lagos, Friday. Among those abducted are seven Russian nationals, according to the Russian embassy in Nigeria. The other five crew members…
Dryad: Heavily Armed Men Attack Cargo Ship off Benin. Kidnap 5 Crew Members
The maritime security intelligence group Dryad has reported that general cargo vessel KOTA BUDI was boarded by heavily armed men resulting in the kidnap of 5 crew."The kidnapped crew are believed to all be Chinese nationals," Dryad said. The incident reportedly happened on Thursday.According to Dryad, the vessel can be seen to have been drifting at the time of the incident at 153nm offshore. AIS indicates that the vessel has been in position for approximately a week having previously visited the Nigerian port of Warri, Dryad said."This is the 7th incident in the waters off Benin within 2020.
Armed Group Attacks FPSO, Kidnaps Crew in Nigeria
The article has been updated to include a statement by BW Offshore who confirmed the attack on its FPSO and the kidnapping of several crew members.Pirates on Thursday attacked BW Offshore's Sendje Berge FPSO and kidnapped several crewmembers.Security intel group Dryad Global first reported of the attack on the 349 meters-long FPSO on Thursday, citing a "high confidence" source."Reporting indicates that the FPSO SENDJE BERGE has been attacked by unknown armed men. Further reports indicate that up to 11 personnel may have been kidnapped from the vessel…
Austal USA Delivers USS Oakland, the US Navy's 300th Ship
The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Oakland (LCS 24) Friday during a ceremony at Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. The delivery marks the final milestone prior to the ship's scheduled commissioning in early 2021.Oakland is the 22nd littoral combat ship (LCS) and the 12th of the Independence variant to join the U.S. Navy fleet. Its delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the Navy, bringing the service's inventory up to 300.“This is a great day for the Navy and our country with the delivery of the future USS Oakland,” said LCS program manager Capt.
MarAd Insights: “In peace and war” -- Even Against a Virus
The U.S. maritime industry takes great pride in our motto: “In Peace and War.” It sums what we’re all about. From colonial times, through the Revolution, the Civil War, two World Wars, several regional conflicts, and many natural and humanitarian disasters, we got the cargo delivered because our economic security and our national security depend on it.Today, we confront a new kind of enemy: an invisible, debilitating, and too often deadly disease. Yet, just as the courageous merchant…
IMO Head Commends Nigeria's Antipiracy Efforts
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim commended Nigeria’s antipiracy efforts in the Gulf of Guinea as the West African nation continues to make strides to curb attacks against ships in the world’s top piracy hot spot.Lim said recent actions made by the West African country to restrain piracy in the region “send a strong and valuable message to the international community”.The IMO head welcomed the latest initiatives to address maritime security concerns in the Gulf of Guinea…
Fairbanks Morse Completes Engines for First OPC
Fairbanks Morse announced it has completed the build and testing of the two main propulsion diesel engines for the U.S. Coast Guard’s first Heritage class Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Argus.Fairbanks Morse was awarded contracts by the prime contractor, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, to build the engines for both Argus and the second OPC Chase.The OPC is a 360 foot-long vessel that will be powered by two FM | MAN 16V 28/33D STC diesel engines, with each engine rated 7,280 kWm (9,763 brake-horsepower) running at 1,000 revolutions per minute.
Fairbanks Morse to Power USCG's OPC Ingham
Fairbanks Morse said it has been awarded a contract by Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) to build and deliver the main propulsion diesel engines (MPDE) for the U.S. Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Ingham (WMSM-917).Ingham is the third OPC being constructed by ESG in Panama City, Fla. The 360-foot-long cutter will be powered by two FM | MAN 16V 28/33D STC diesel engines, each rated at 7,280 kW for 14,560 kW of total propulsion power. Fairbanks Morse said it will build the engines at its Beloit…
Tanker Repulses Pirate Attack in Gulf of Aden
Armed pirates attacked a British-flagged chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday but were repulsed, the ship's manager Stolt Tankers said.The pirates approached the Stolt Apal in two speedboats some 75 nautical miles off Yemen, it said, in one of the most important trade routes for oil heading from the Middle East to Europe."After multiple warning shots were fired by the armed guard team aboard Stolt Apal, the skiffs opened fire on the ship. The armed guard team returned fire…
Russia Tracks US, British Naval Ships in Barents Sea
Russia’s Northern Fleet is tracking a group of U.S. and British naval vessels which entered the Barents Sea on the morning of May 4, the Russian Defence Ministry was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.The U.S. Navy said earlier that four U.S. Navy ships and a Royal Navy vessel had entered the Barents Sea to conduct maritime security operations in what it called the challenging environmental conditions above the Arctic Circle.It said U.S.
SCHOTTEL Equips Eight Penguin Crew Boats
Following a testing and evaluation program, Singapore-based Penguin International Ltd. has selected SCHOTTEL’s Tunnel Thruster STT 51 FP for its flagship Flex-42X series of eight executive fast crew boats. Penguin is a designer, builder, owner and operator of high-speed crafts as well as a prolific builder of mid-sized crew boats and armored security boats for sales and charter. With a 95 kW electric motor controlled by a variable frequency drive, the STT will be installed in…
Pirates Kidnap 10 Crew from Tanker off Nigeria
Pirates have reportedly kidnapped 10 crew members from an oil tanker off the coast of Nigeria, maritime security consultancy Dryad Global reported.An uknown number of indiviudals on board a single speedboat are said to have attacked the Panama-flagged Vemahope on April 30, about 178 nautical miles south-southeast from Lagos, kidnapping 10 and leaving four crew on board. The incident took place 39 nautical miles northeast of an incident involving a vessel being fired upon in February and 101 nautical mile northwest of what appeared to be a focus of incident reporting within 2019…
Eastern Lays Keel for OPC USCGC Argus
Eastern Shipbuilding Group reports that the keel laying ceremony for the U.S. Coast Guard’s first-of-class Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Argus (WMSM-915) was held on April 28, 2020 at Eastern’s Nelson Street facility in Panama City, Fla. USCGC Argus is scheduled to be delivered in 2022.The ceremony was performed and recorded without audience to comply with CDC guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19.The keel laying represents the ceremonial start of a ship’s life by commemorating the assembly of the initial modular construction units.
High-tech Solution Helps Track Illegal Vessel Activity
Finnish startup ICEYE launched its global Dark Vessel Detection solution to help governmental maritime security customers monitor their waters for illegal vessel activity.The high-tech solution, which combines synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite data from ICEYE and automatic identification system (AIS) data from vessels, is used as a source of actionable information for governments monitoring their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), day and night, and even through cloud cover.“Dark…
US, UK Navies Conduct Antisubmarine Drills in the Arctic
U.S. 6th Fleet (C6F) conducted a bilateral naval anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise with the U.K., above the Arctic Circle, May 1, 2020.Four ships from two nations, a U.S. submarine, and a U.S. P8-A worked together, in the Norwegian Sea, to conduct training in the challenging conditions in the Arctic.For the exercise, Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and USS Porter (DDG 78), and fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6), were joined by the Royal Navy's HMS Kent (F 78). Additionally, a U.S.