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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Merchant Ship News

Ex-US Navy Officers Face Negligent Homicide Charges over Ship Collisions

Significant visible damage to USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21. (U.S. Navy photo by Madailein Abbott)

The commanding officers of two U.S. Navy destroyers involved in deadly collisions last year in the Pacific Ocean face courts-martial and military criminal charges including negligent homicide, the U.S. Navy said in a statement on Tuesday. Filing charges against the officers marks the Navy’s latest effort to address the problems that led to collisions involving its warships in Asia, in which 17 sailors were killed. The Navy has already dismissed several senior officers, including the commander of the Seventh Fleet, as a result of the collisions.

New System to Help Navy Track Merchant Ships

The Indian Navy has set up a constant monitoring system to maintain vigil on the increasing traffic of merchant ships in the city, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command Vice-Admiral Jagjit Singh Bedi has announced. The IMO had directed merchant ships of all countries to equip their ships with an automatic identification system (AIS), which gets transferred to the monitoring station through high frequency channels and satellites. Source: DNA

AMVER Merchant Ship Rescues Senegal Sailors Off Cape Cod

Fourteen Senegal nationals arrived in Brooklyn today aboard a merchant ship after being plucked from their 60-foot catamaran about 800 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass., Saturday afternoon. All 14 rescued, reportedly in good physical condition, were placed in the care of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents. U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command Center received a distress report and diverted the "AMVER"-participating merchant ship OOCL Melbourne to render assistance. The merchant ship OOCL Melbourne was transiting from Barcelona, Spain to Brooklyn. A joint-agency boarding team of Coast Guard Sector New York and Customs and Border Protection officers met the merchant ship OOCL Melbourne at Ambrose Light Anchorage, about 12 miles outside the Port of New York and New Jersey.

USS Fitzgerald Arrives in Pascagoula for Repair

Photo: United States Navy

U.S. Navy warship USS Fitzgerald, which was damaged and nearly sunk after a fatal collision with a cargo ship in June and then was damaged again while on board a heavy lift transport vessel, has arrived in Pascagoula, Miss., for repair work at Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard. The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer arrived in Pascagoula on January 19, aboard heavy lift vessel MV Transshelf inward bound from Yokosuka, Japan. Fitzgerald is expected to spend several days in the Port of Pascagoula as the heavy lift ship will commence the reverse operation of unfastening…

INS Trishul Returns Home after Anti Piracy Patrol

Helo Operations onboard INS Trishul. Photo:  Indian Navy.

India's INS Trishul has returned to Mumbai after completion of her four month long mission in the Gulf of Aden Region. The ship had left Mumbai in August 2017 for carrying out Anti Piracy Patrol in one of the most geostrategically sensitive regions of the world. The extended deployment of Trishul reflects the continued commitment of the Indian Navy to ensure security and stability in the key shipping lanes in the IOR and part of the mission based deployment philosophy the Indian Navy has adopted in recent days.

Malta Flag Reaches Record Tonnage in 2015

Image: Transport Malta

Transport Malta, the Authority responsible for the Malta Ship Register, through its Merchant Shipping Directorate, reports a strong and positive performance for 2015. The Maltese Register of Shipping saw an increase of almost 8.3 million gross tonnage in 2015, representing a growth rate of 14.3 percent compared to the year before, Transport Malta said. The registered gross tonnage under the Merchant Shipping Act was 66.2 million gross tons, as of  December 2015. These statistics represent record figures for the Malta Flag and a significant achievement for the Malta Flag Administration…

Dubai-based Counter-Piracy Team Warns Mariners

Boarding Operation: Photo credit MOD

With the ending of this year's monsoon season the British Navy reinforces their warning to seafarers to beware pirates. Attacks by ‘pirate action groups’ trying to hijack merchant shipping off the Horn of Africa are expected to increase, which is the business end of the Royal Navy’s efforts to curb the scourge of modern-day piracy and wider maritime crime in the region – and it’s about to get busier. To that end, a small, specialist Royal Navy team based in Dubai has reinforced its efforts to warn mariners of the dangers posed.

India Takes Steps To Prevent Attacks On Vessels

Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Government of India Pon Radhakrishnan. Photo: Twitter official page

Gulf of Aden (East Coast of Africa), Malacca Strait and West Coast of Africa are shipping routes which suffer  incidents of pirate attacks. (i)    Guidelines for anti-piracy measures issued through Merchant Shipping Notice No.1 of 2011 dated 14.1.2011 to be implemented by Indian Ships. The guidelines provide for elaborate anti-piracy measures (Best Management Practices), including safe house/citadel for vessels. (ii)   Banning of sailing vessels to ply in waters south or west of the line adjoining Salalah and Male through Merchant Shipping Notice No. 3/2010 dated 31.3.2010.

Government Nod to India-Cyprus Pact on Merchant Shipping

Nitin Gadkari, Indian Shipping Minister. Photo: Official FB Page

The Indian Cabinet of Ministers gave ex-post facto approval to the agreement signed in April between India and Cyprus on merchant shipping. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) is aimed at enhancing cooperation between the two nations for sea trade development. "The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the agreement between India and Cyprus on merchant shipping, which was signed in April 2017," the Ministry of Shipping said in a statement.

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)

GoAGT to Provide Armed Guards Aboard Cypriot Vessels

The Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping accredited Gulf of Aden Group Transits Ltd. (GoAGT) to provide armed guards onboard Cyprus flagged vessels. The accreditation was gained in only three months following initial submission, less than half the normal time estimated to achieve this. There are currently only 18 Private Maritime Security Companies approved by the Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping to service the Cypriot market. This follows accreditation by Panama, and GoAGT remains committed to achieving ISO28007 international maritime security accreditation. www.goagt.org  

NATO's Weekly Piracy Assessment

Reporting period: 19 to 25 January 2012 (Updated: 25 January 2012). The reporting period of 19 to 25 January 2012, has been very quiet. There was one disruption, two approaches, and two reports of suspicious activity. Two individuals kidnapped by Somali pirates on 25 October 2011 were rescued on 25 January 2012. Masters are advised to be vigilant as PAGs are active and waiting for the opportunity to attack merchant ships. Masters are asked to report any suspicious activity to UKMTO and NSC. Masters are reminded that the threat of piracy is always present in the High Risk Area (HRA) and are advised to completely implement self-protection measures as recommended in Best Management Practices (BMP4).

India to Do Away with Obsolete Shipping Rules

Photo: Official Page of Nitin Gadkari, India's Shipping Minister

India's Ministry of Shipping has decided to rescind thirteen rules under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (as amended), having found them to be obsolete and unnecessary. This in turn will declutter the legislative framework governing merchant shipping sector in India and streamline the processes and procedures in the shipping sector. “The Ministry of Shipping has decided to rescind thirteen rules under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (as amended), having found them to be obsolete and unnecessary,” an official statement said.

Malaysia Passes Merchant Shipping Ordinance (Amendment) Bill 2016

Image: Clyde & Co

The Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) of the 13th Parliament of Malaysia has passed the Merchant Shipping Ordinance (Amendment) Bill 2016 aimed at standardizing national maritime law with the international maritime community, reports Bernama. Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi, when winding up the debate on the bill, gave assurance that the government would ensure that all merchant shipping companies would adhere to the national maritime law in ensuring the wellbeing of seafarers.

IMO Addressing the Migrant Crisis

Image: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

​The loss of life of migrants at sea is a humanitarian tragedy that needs to be addressed through appropriate and effective action at the United Nations. International Maritime Organization (IMO) recognizes the crucial role played by both Government and non-governmental organizations in search and rescue operations, as well as the part played by merchant ships in coming to the aid of persons in distress at sea. During the second workshop of the International Dialogue on Migration (IDM)…

UK Court: PWC is Subject to Merchant Shipping Act

At a hearing at Salisbury Crown Court, Mark Goodwin, a 25 year old Weymouth man pleaded guilty to riding his Yamaha Wave Runner in contravention of Section 58 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995. Prior to this the judge had been asked to rule on whether the Personal Watercraft was a ship in terms of the Merchant Shipping Act. In his ruling Mr Recorder A Davies QC concluded that it was indeed a ship and that the legislation applied. This prosecution followed a joint investigation by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Dorset Police Marine Section into a collision on Saturday 15 May 2004 off of Bowleaze Cove in Weymouth during which the rider of another Personal Watercraft, Paul Facer, also from Weymouth sustained serious head injuries.

Malta Shipping Register is World's 6th Largest

Picture: Transport Malta

Malta ship register becomes the sixth largest worldwide, remains largest in Europe. As at end of December 2014, the registered gross tonnage under the Merchant Shipping Act was 57.9 million gross tons with over 2,500 merchant vessels fly the Maltese flag. In 2013, Malta ranked in the seventh place. Transport Malta, the Authority responsible for the Malta Ship Register, has reported a strong and positive performance for 2014. The Maltese Register of Shipping registered an increase of almost 6.5 million gross tonnage representing a growth rate of 12.5% over the previous year…

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…

Oil Tanker Fired Upon in Strait of Hormuz

IMB says unidentified assailants in a speedboat fired at a crude oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz on Sunday. The crew of the unidentified oil tanker reported being shot at twice from close range from a speedboat carrying six people with machine guns on Sunday morning. They repelled the attack with hoses and the tanker and crew are safe. Although suspected Somali pirates commonly target vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin, attacks on shipping in the Strait of Hormuz - a vital oil and gas shipping route - are rare. The shooting happened on the Gulf of Oman side of the Strait of Hormuz, about 90 minutes after an unidentified merchant ship was approached by two speedboats with crews wearing military clothing, the NATO Shipping Centre (NSC) said on Sunday.

NATO Shipping Center Established in UK

MarAd issued an advisory stating that a NATO Shipping Center in support of merchant shipping in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea has been established in Northwood, UK. According to MarAd, the NATO Shipping Center (NSC) in Northwood will continue to support NATO Naval forces deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean and has recently activated the NSC due to the recent incidents between Israel and Hezbollah. The NSC was activated to provide advice and guidance to NATO nation merchant ships. The purpose of activating the NSC is to collect and distribute information relevant for the safe passage of vessels in the area off the coast of Lebanon and the Eastern Mediterranean. NSC will compile a situational plot and contribute this information to the NATO Military Commander in the area.

Once Upon A Nuclear Ship… Launched Finally

New film chronicles the life death and resurrection of historic ship. Once Upon A Nuclear Ship, a new documentary by filmmaker Thomas Michael Conner, tells the story of the NS Savannah the world’s only nuclear powered merchant ship that was once the diamond in the crown of the US merchant fleet. Imagined by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1955 and built by the New York Shipbuilding Corp in Camden NJ from 1957 to 1962, the Savannah sailed the oceans of the world for 9 years before being taken out of service in 1971. In her brief lifetime she visited 77 ports of call hosting 1.5 million visitors and proved that a nuclear powered merchant…

Unitel, Maritime Security Consultants

Unitel Marine Services, international maritime security consultants since 1978, are providing this urgent notification to maritime vessels transiting the Indian Ocean / Gulf of Aden waters since the events surrounding the pirate seizure and release of the Maersk vessel Alabama. Because of the likelihood of additional pirate attacks and the published threat of more violent attacks, the merchant shipping industry should use extreme caution in transiting the Indian Ocean from locations as far south as 15 degrees S and 80 degrees W longitude as pirate operations are using more “mother ships” for greater coverage. This encompasses a huge…

Turkey Ratifies Ballast Water Convention

Abdurrahman Bilgiç (left) with Koji Sekimizu (Photo: IMO)

​​Turkey today, October 14, ratified the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention 2004, bringing the number of Contracting States to 43 countries, representing approximately 32.54% of world merchant shipping tonnage. 35% of global tonnage will trigger entry into force of the Convention, which addresses the problem of invasive species being transported around the world in ships’ ballast water. Turkey’s instrument of accession was presented by His Excellency Abdurrahman Bilgiç…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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