P&O Introduce Irish Sea Fast Ferry After Overhaul
Ship refurbishment specialists Blu Marine complete the £500,000 contract, and P&O has begun operating the ship on its Troon to Larne service. Blu Marine carried out the work in Belfast Harbour, which mainly involved fitting the P&O Express with a new Club Lounge designed to meet the needs of business travellers. The 90-capacity lounge will offer complimentary news-papers, magazines, drinks and snacks, with facilities in place to allow passengers to use laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
USCG Responds to Grounded Ferry near Ocracoke Inlet, NC
The Coast Guard responded to a ferry that ran aground Saturday approximately one mile south of Ocracoke, North Carolina. The captain of the Silver Lake, a 220-foot passenger and vehicle ferry, contacted Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders via mobile phone at approximately 5 p.m., reporting they drifted into shallow water and became stuck. Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders dispatched a crew aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet to assist.
Corsica Ferries First with VAVE
Corsica Ferries is first to tap into MCPs new entertainment and information platform for the ferry and cruise industry. Following a successful pilot, five vessels in the Mediterranean Ocean will be equipped with Value Adding Voyage Experience platform (VAVE) this summer. MCP said passengers will enjoy rich digital leisure opportunities from an innovative onboard digital entertainment and information solution. Access to Internet and entertainment services from personal devices is not something crew and passengers on cruise ships and ferries have been spoiled with.
GAC Keeps Shipping Moving in Egypt
As political developments continue to unfold in Egypt, GAC is playing its part in keeping shipping moving in the country, Group Vice President for Africa, Russia & Central Asia, Erland Ebbersten is assuring clients. Despite the unrest, transits through the all-important Suez Canal have continued as normal, and port operations are being conducted as much as possible under the circumstances, he said from his Cairo office. The biggest challenge that GAC and its clients faced was the shut-down of access to internet and mobile phone networks during the first week of the crisis. “Alternative means of keeping in touch with clients had to be immediately established,” said Ebbersten.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Employ OnAir Phone Services
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises passengers can now remain in touch in the most remote corners of the world. The luxury cruise operator is adding OnAir’s mobile phone services, already deployed on MS EUROPA, to its two Expedition ships, MS HANSEATIC and MS BREMEN. OnAir’s satellite service was designed to allow passengers to use their own mobile devices just as they do on dry land, for calls, text messages, email and mobile data. Usage is billed by the passenger’s mobile operator, in the same way as international roaming, making it very simple to use.
Stratos Announces Availability of Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone
Stratos also launches new mobile-phone tracking portal, fully integrated with Iridium Extreme. Stratos Global, the leading global provider of advanced mobile and fixed-site remote communications solutions, today announced the commercial availability of the new Iridium Extreme(TM) satellite phone. Stratos today will begin shipping Iridium Extreme from all of its warehouses worldwide. Stratos is one of the world’s largest Iridium service providers with nearly 50,000 Iridium subscribers around the globe.
RADAR vs MOBILE PHONE
2% (or $1.3 trillion)* of World GDP is accounted for by the mobile telecommunications industry. By comparison, the minute fraction of this that the marine radar industry accounts for has probably not been discovered yet. So what chance does radar have against such overwhelming authority, or should we say, financial might? Marine radar operates in two main frequency bandwidths, 3GHz and 9GHz. The mobile phone and wi-fi industries also like the 3GHz arena, and have their frequency allocations virtually adjacent to our very own S-Band radar, and therein lies the problem.
HB Rentals Names Quality and Supply Chain Director
Onshore and offshore global accommodation specialist, HB Rentals, a Superior Energy Services company, has named John Trahan as Director of Quality and Supply Chain, announced Deidre Toups, HB Rentals President. Based at the corporate office in Broussard, Louisiana, Trahan will lead the development, implementation and ongoing management of global quality programs in establishing policies and strategy as related to customer quality needs, expectations and industry standards. He will work collaboratively with the various business units…
Comrod Launches New Multi-Band Cellular Phone Antenna
Norway-based Comrod A/S has launched a new marine Multi-Band Cellular Phone Antenna. The new AC15-BI Antenna is designed for nearly all US and European cellular frequencies, including GSM, covering 825-895 MHz, 880-960 MHz, 1710-1880 MHz, 1850-1990 MHz. This makes it unnecessary to change the antenna when alternating between European and American mobile phone frequencies. Despite its compact design with a height of just 10 in. (250 mm) it does not require any ground plane. Its rugged design means it can be installed on all kind of vessels, from ocean liners to pleasure craft. The good gain of 2dB means it gives a significantly better transmission quality compared to a mobile phone’s standard antenna.
arl-shipping.com Launches Cloud Terminal Tools
arl-shipping.com launched cloud based collaborative planning, optimization and performance measurement apps for container terminal operators. The tools are instantly available via a web interface and a zero investment, pay-as-you-go usage scheme entailing little or no own terminal technical infrastructure and IT management tasks, and no complex technical deployment project. The business services tools are provided against a low monthly usage fee -typically a few hundred Euros per month- and a volume dependant transaction fee -typically 1-2 Euros. All apps are accessible from mobile devices like handhelds and mobile phones, and all apps are prepared for collaboration.
Mobile Networks on Cruise Ships
Maritime Communications Partner AS (MCP), fully owned by Telenor ASA, has signed a contract to install and operate the cellular network onboard all ships in Princess Cruises, Cunard Lines and P&O Cruises Australia's fleet. The agreement covers 21 ships at the signing of the contract. The fleet of cruise ships has a total passenger capacity of approximately 45,000 people, as well as a crew of 20,000. The MCP service will allow everyone onboard to use their own mobile phones when sailing on the high seas.
Brommeland to Supply KNS VSATs to Kopervik
Brommeland Elektronikk AS, the Norwegian distributor for KNS, was awarded a contract to supply 13 VSAT systems to a large part of the Norwegian shipowner Kopervik Group fleet. The KNS VSAT systems will be supplied through a leasing program, and Kopervik Group is one of several other shipping companies utilizing this program. Cost-wise it enables the company to optimize communication cost and get the possibilities to be online at sea and have the latest technology in the complete fleet at the same time, which again is beneficial in regards to crew-changes, service etc. Integration will take place during the end of 2014. The program consists of KNS A6 VSAT systems fully integrated with the existing mobile phone systems both on vessels and in company offices.
Devonport Workers Entombed in Submarine Ballast Tank
A pair of workers were sealed inside the ballast tank of a nuclear submarine in Plymouth, it has emerged, reports BBC. Colleagues had mistakenly sealed the tank at Devonport base in Plymouth, where Britain's nuclear submarines are refitted. The desperate electricians hammered on the tank with a drill and were saved when they got a faint signal on a mobile phone. The incident at Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth which saw the men accidentally sealed in by colleagues has been described as "extremely unpleasant".
Pirates Attack Fishing Vessel near Malacca Strait
Pirates attacked the fishing trawler Maju Jaya in Malacca Strait in Tamiang water in North Sumatra, Indonesia on July 26. Another fishing boat closed Maju Jaya from portside, two armed pirates went on board of Maju Jaya, threatening crew. The pirates were armed with guns and other weapons, locked the crew on the bridge and stole jewelry, mobile phones, technologies and etc. Crew unharmed. After that they abandoned the ship into a fast boat and headed to unknown direction. The crew got again the control of the fishing trawler after about 1-2 hours and headed to the island…
Two new VHF radiotelephones with integral DSC and novel message replay functions, the Debeg RT 5022 and RT 5020, have been introduced by SAM Electronics. Designed to provide simplex/semi-duplex or simplex/duplex communications respectively, both systems feature intuitive-operated menus comparable to mobile phones. Separate displays for VHF and DSC functions are viewable from all angles. Conforming to all relevant international specifications and requirements and incorporating powerful 5W loudspeakers, other system features include graphical displays with a sleep mode for secondary functions, channel scanning and an address book for up to 200 DSC locations of vessels and coastal stations.
CrewInspector.com Launches Mobile Software
Latvia based maritime crewing software provider, CrewInspector.com has released an online application specifically tailored for mobile phone and tablets enabling its customers to access its crew management database. Busy crew managers enjoy being absolutely independent in terms of accessing the crew database from anywhere they go. Since 2003 CrewInspector ship crew management system operates over the internet giving crew manning agents and ship crew management departments freedom for operational tasks while people are travelling, being on vacation or during the night at home.
Blue Ocean, Ip.access Provide GSM Coverage
Ip.access, developer of picocell and femtocell solutions, announced that Blue Ocean Wireless, the world’s first global GSM provider for the deep sea merchant maritime sector, is using their nanoGSM system to provide mobile phone service to merchant seafarers. Blue Ocean Wireless’ global service enables seafarers to use their existing mobile phones while at sea in exactly the same way that they would in port or on land. Using the cellular signal generated by the ip.access nanoGSM picocell, crew members can use their own standard GSM phones to make and receive calls and SMS messages while on board. The nanoGSM picocell is typically installed in the accommodation areas.
Thuraya Partners with T-Mobile to Launch Roaming Service in USA
Thuraya Telecommunications Company has launched its roaming service in the United States of America in partnership with the American mobile operator, T-Mobile. The service, which commenced on July 12, allows Thuraya subscribers to roam seamlessly with their Thuraya mobile numbers into the T-Mobile network that reaches 96 percent of Americans. Thuraya customers in the region can now make and receive calls, and also send and receive text messages (SMS). The Company’s GmPRS roaming service will be enabled afterwards on the T-Mobile network. Mr. Tarek Shqairat, Director of Inter-Carrier Relations, Thuraya Telecommunications Company, said: “With more than 350 roaming partners worldwide, Thuraya is the only satellite operator offering roaming services over GSM networks.
NZ Warns against Mobile Phones Underway
Maritime New Zealand issued a safety bulletin cautioning mariners on the use of mobile phones. The bulletin stated that three people have been killed in recent collisions as a result of skippers being distracted by their use of mobile phones. A number of serious injuries have also occurred. It is important to note that mobile phones may serve a useful function as a backup means of emergency communication. However, it is clear that their use by skippers and masters to receive or make calls or text messages needs to be managed appropriately to the circumstances of each operation.
Fleet Management System Via Tablet Devices
Blue Sky Network introduces new SkyRouter Mobile Satellite Tracking & Fleet Management application. Fleet managers can now stay constantly connected to assets via most iOS and Android and tablet devices. Blue Sky Network announces the launch of its New SkyRouter mobile application, a fleet management portal for land mobile, aviation, and marine applications. New SkyRouter is a cloud-based solution designed to support connectivity with remotely dispersed mobile assets including Blue Sky Network’s advanced dual-mode GSM and Iridiumtracking and communication services. With the New SkyRouter application, fleet managers are provided around-the-clock connectivity with assets via most Android or iOS mobile phones or tablets.
Dobson Fleet Management Chooses Blue Ocean Wireless
Blue Ocean Wireless (“BOW”), an Irish company delivering GSM communication capability for the merchant maritime sector, announced that it has been chosen by Dobson Fleet Management (“DFM”) to provide GSM coverage for their fleet. DFM has chosen to evaluate BOW’s GSM solution on 5 of their managed container ships. The vessels have a capacity of between 2,100 and 3,500 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units. Using the BOW service, seafarers can, for the first time, make & receive voice calls and send & receive SMS messages using their existing mobile phones. BOW has made significant progress in rolling out its product since launching in March 2007. To date, BOW has signed up over 100 vessels for installation.
CG Rescues Yacht Harassed by Whales
Brixham Coastguard recently received an emergency 999 call on a mobile phone from a lone yachtsman who had suffered engine failure, and was being harassed by a pod of whales. The yachtsman called Brixham Coastguard via his mobile telephone after suffering an engine and total power failure and being unsure of his position. His situation was further exacerbated by the fact his vessel was being harassed by a pod of whales. Upon receiving the phone call from this gentleman, who was unsure of his position due to his lack of power and not being in sight of land, he was asked to use his handheld VHF radio which he had on board. Prawle point Coastguard rescue team, Salcombe RNLI lifeboat and R193 from RNAS Culdrose who had just completed another mission were all called to assist in the search.
Communications & Single Point Failures: What’s Your Back-up Plan?
How well prepared is your company for a natural disaster? How quickly could you get your operations up and running after the storm or other event hits? How about your vendors and suppliers? Emergency contingency plans (aside from vessel emergencies where oil has entered the water – that merits its own article and won’t be covered here) can start with a streamlined communications process. For emergencies ashore, how are you set up to handle business if the office is no longer accessible? Having people work from home can be an effective plan, but have you considered how communications will work?