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There is just so much going on in the shipping world, from new ships, to scrapping of ships, to casualties from fire and grounding to piracy and armed robbery, and then there are shipping stories about crew, about insurance, and thats without the navy as well. The Latest Shipping-News is here
The world runs on shipping, without the large container ships, and very large crude oil carriers, and bulk carriers, car carriers, gas and chemical carriers, livestock and refrigerated cargo carriers the world would simply stop.
All of this supported by well over a million seafarers to keep those ships sailing. The Latest Shipping-News
Ship Electrician Death - Be Careful on this One
An electrician roused from his bed late at night to fix a problem was crushed to death by a watertight door. The fatal accident on the UK-flag, 12,350-dwt ro-ro Ark Forwarder (built 1998) happened after the Polish national had been woken at 0230 by engineering staff to investigate an electrical fault with the ship’s calorifier located in the bow thruster compartment. Shortly after the fault had been apparently fixed on 9 August this year, the third engineer was making his routine rounds when he discovered the electro-technical officer (ETO) pinned between the powered watertight door and its frame. The engineer was unable to open the door as the ETO’s body was impeding movement of the operating lever and the man could only be released after the door’s hydraulic system had been de-pressurised, the result of the preliminary examination by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) today reveals. With the ferry, operated by DFDS but managed by Stena subsidiary, Glasgow-based Northern Marine Management, nearing the end of its voyage from Gothenburg to Tilbury, it was decided to continue to the London port rather than medevac the victim ashore. The crew’s attempts to resuscitate the ETO were, however, unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead by paramedics who met the ship on its arrival in Tilbury. Northern Marine has since reviewed its safety management system and made sure the signage for all watertight doors is appropriate. Source : Tradewinds The Latest Shipping-News
PIRACY - RECENT HIJACKS
Maltese-flagged Greek ship Centauri was hijacked by pirates off the Somali coast on Thursday. The vessel had a crew of 25 Filipinos and was seized around 200 miles south of Mogadishu. On Wednesday too, a hijacking took place. Andrew Mwangura of the Kenyan chapter of the Seafarers Assistance Program said a vessel, Great Creation, was hijacked. Details of the origin, flag and port of call were not known. Like MT Stolt Valor, even Great Creation was reportedly being taken to EYL, a pirate lair in Somalia’s northern breakaway state of Puntland. Last month, a ship called Iran Denyat with three Indians on board was also hijacked by Somali pirates in the same area. The International Maritime Bureau said 55 ships had been attacked off the coast of Somalia since January and 11 were still being held for ransom when news of the latest attack was reported. The Latest Shipping-News
Shipping organizations have made a crisis call to IMO and the UN requesting "real and immediate action" against pirates based in Somalia. The Round Table of international shipping associations Ð BIMCO, Intercargo, International Chamber of Shipping/International Shipping Federation and INTERTANKO Ð joined global trade union federation the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) to request IMO Secretary-General, Mr Efthimios Mitropoulos, to use his organization's influence to ensure UN backing for increased naval force in order to protect the lives of seafarers and passengers as well as ships and cargoes. The industry says the situation is in danger of "spiralling completely and irretrievably out of control." The solution, it says, is for more nations to commit naval vessels in the area and, "for them to engage effectively, actively and forcefully against any act of piracy, and to intercept and bring to justice the criminals in order to re-establish safety and security to one the world's most strategically important seaways." Only interception and arrests, as permitted by UN Security Council Resolution 1816, will tackle the problem, with ships currently being attacked almost every day, often involving kidnapping and hostage taking, with pirates using automatic weapons including rocket propelled grenades. The Latest Shipping-News. The industry believes there is "a lack of political will on the part of governments to give military forces the clear rules of engagement they need, notwithstanding the mandate provided by the UN Security Council in June." The organizations have advised the IMO Secretary-General that when attacks are being mounted over 200 nautical miles from the coast by heavily armed pirates using ocean going vessels, the standard advice being issued to ships --to avoid the area, keep alert and maintain speed--is rendered redundant. The Latest Shipping-News. The industry believes that the only effective action is for the naval forces to engage actively and forcefully, as they are better armed, trained and resourced than those committing acts of piracy. The organizations say the industry "does not underestimate the bravery or good intentions of those manning warships in the region, but the current patrolling and hands-off approach is clearly making no difference." They argue that while the naval forces are indeed ready to tackle the piracy problem, they need a clear signal from governments, through unequivocal rules of engagement, to do so. The shipping organizations note that some major shipping companies are already refusing to transit the Gulf of Aden while many others are understandably considering similar steps, going on to warn that continued inaction against these violent acts could prompt shipowners to redirect their ships via the Cape of Good Hope, with severe consequences for international trade, including increased prices for delivered goods. Source : MarineLog The Latest Shipping-News
The Korea Shipowners’ Association (KSA) has spoken out over what it calls 'brutal' pirate activities in the Gulf of Aden, including vessels 'Bright Ruby', which was hijacked by Somali pirates on September 10 with 21 crews from Korea and Myanmar onboard, and the South Korean-flagged bulk carrier 'Samsun Elory', which was attacked in the region on September 16. In total over 30 vessels have been attacked by Somali pirates so far this year, it notes, and more than 130 seafarers taken as hostages for 'exorbitant ransom'. The KSA says it therefore fully supports the position of the Round Table of Shipping Associations (BIMCO, ICS, Intercargo and Intertanko), which has together with labour body ITF (the International Transport Workers' Federation ) has just issued a call to the UN and IMO for 'urgent action'. The KSA points out that even though coalition warships from the Combined Task Force 150 continue to maintain a presence off the coast of Somalia, 'acts of piracy and armed robbery have continued in one of the busiest shipping areas in the world, owing to its limited reinforcement. We strongly urge the international (community) and maritime nations to take tougher action such as the recent rescue operations by France, to suppress unpardonable piracy, armed robbery and other unlawful activities against ships in the Gulf of Aden,' it says. The Latest Shipping-News
As the number of abducted Filipino seamen climbed to 80 on Wednesday (17 Sept), a seafarers’ group proposed equipping maritime workers with high-powered guns to deter pirates from hijacking vessels. “Ako payag ako na armasan ang mga seafarers kaysa i-ban sila sa mga dagat (I’m for the arming of all seafarers instead of banning them in certain waters)," Engineer Nelson Ramirez, president of the United Filipino Seafarers (UFS) told GMANews.TV on Thursday. Ramirez, who earlier opposed the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) proposed deployment ban to Somalia, said pirates would think twice in boarding ships with fully armed crew members. International law prohibits the carrying of guns in commercial vessels. Ship captains are trained to shoot pirates only with a fire hose. But according to Ramirez, the said law does not apply to everyone. “Bawal pero bakit ang mga American vessels inaarmasan nila mga crew nila (It’s prohibited but why are crew members of American vessels armed)?" he said, without further elaborating on the matter. The Latest Shipping-News. In its 2007 report, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said Somali pirates had become aggressive in hijacking ships because they were equipped with rocket-propelled grenade launchers that could both harm the ship and its crew members. To deter pirates from boarding a vessel, the ship’s captain would usually order the crew to assemble at the ship’s rear and aim their water cannon toward the speeding pirates. An alarm is also sounded off to warn other vessels and seek help from them Esteban Conejos Jr., DFA undersecretary for migrant workers’ affairs, has renewed his stand to bar Filipino seafarers from boarding ships that pass through pirate-prone areas like Somalia. In an interview with GMANews.TV, Conejos said those opposing the proposal should look at it in a different perspective. The Latest Shipping-News. "We have proposed that the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) adopt measures aimed at preventing Filipino seamen from being deployed on ships plying pirate infested routes, such as those near Somalia," Conejos said. Meanwhile, Labor undersecretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the implementation of such deployment ban would depend on how the DFA presents its security report before the POEA governing board. Baldoz said the DoLE as well as the POEA would consider such measure “if the security risk is so high and no protection is in place for Filipino seafarers." Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who chairs the Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment, supports the deployment ban on Filipino seafarers. “If we are concerned with the safety of our OFWs, [then] I’m for the deployment ban to Somalia," he said. Filipinos make up one-third of the world’s manning power, making them the most vulnerable to pirate abductions among the world's seafarers. Last year, about 300,000 Filipino seamen were deployed overseas. The IMB recorded an upward trend in pirate attacks in Somalia, which remains without a strong central government since a group of clan-based warlords overthrew a socialist dictator in 1991 and then fought each other for power. Reports said ransom being paid to pirates had fuelled the growing insurgency in the arid African nation. Amid the upsurge of pirate attacks in African waters, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) welcomed the adoption last June by the United Nations Security Council of a resolution authorizing a series of decisive measures to combat acts of piracy and armed robbery against vessels off the coast of Somalia. The IMO said in a statement that under the terms of resolution 1816, Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government would allow other countries, for a period of six months, to enter the country's territorial waters and use "all necessary means" to repress acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, in a manner consistent with relevant provisions of international law. The Security Council text was adopted with the consent of Somalia, following a surge in attacks on ships including vessels operated by the World Food Programme that posed a threat "to the prompt, safe and effective delivery of food aid and other humanitarian assistance to the people of Somalia." Source : ShipTalk The Latest Shipping-News The Latest Shipping-News
FINAL NOTE: WHAT BIT OF THE ABOVE DO OUR RESPECTIVE GOVERNMENTS NOT UNDERSTAND!
Hurricane IKE Rescue
As Hurricane Ike approached the Texas coast, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Air Force were forced to abort a rescue mission Friday to save the 22 crew members on a Cyprus-flag bulker. The US Coast Guard received a call around 4 a.m. Sept. 12, 2008, from the motor vessel Antalina, a 584-foot freighter with 22 people aboard and carrying petroleum coke, reporting that it had lost main propulsion 90-miles southeast of Galveston and was drifting southwest away from the coast. The Antalina departed Port Arthur, Texas to seek a safe haven away from Hurricane Ike when the vessel lost propulsion. Chron.com, the Houston Chronicle web site, reports New Orleans based Petty Officer Jaclyn Young as saying Friday afternoon that the five helicopters and planes sent to assist the ship could not safely rescue the crew. "We will talk to them hourly and they have electricity and no injuries. They have an emergency beacon to put on if they get in distress,'' she said. But the Coast Guard will not be able to approach until the storm passes, she said. According to the chron.com posting, Chief Michael O'Berry said two medium range recovery helicopters, and three other planes went on the mission in high, agitated seas. A statement issued by the Coast Guard this afternoon said the rescue crews were forced to land in Lake Charles, La. due to prohibitive heavy weather. The HU-25 Falcon rescue jet was able to reach the Antalina and observed 20-foot seas, 80-knot winds and visibility as low as a half-mile. "Unfortunately there were 80-knot winds on scene, well beyond the operating conditions for the air crews to safely rescue the crew of the Antalina. The safety of the rescue crews and the crew of the Antalina are of the utmost importance to us. The Coast Guard will continue to maintain contact with the crew of the Antalina and monitor their situation very closely," said Rear Adm. Joel R. Whitehead, commander, Eighth Coast Guard District. According to the Equasis data base, the 1984-built, BV-classed Antalina is registered to Perovo Shipping Co., Cyprus, and managed by TEO Shipping Corp., Athens, Greece. The Coast Guard's PSIX data base shows that the vessel had three electrical system deficiencies when inspected in Houston in February--a ground in the 440 V main distribution panel, a ground in the galley range and a ground in the emergency battery distribution system. These were corrected. The Latest Shipping-News
ICS Action Call
The International Chamber of Shipping has expressed grave concern over the continuing incidence of attacks against shipping in the Gulf of Aden by pirates operating from lawless Somalia. Two days ago a South Korean vessel was seized for ransom, the 49th vessel to be attacked off Somalia this year and the 20th to be hijacked. As many as 11 ships are now being held by pirates. Malaysian carrier MISC has already ceased sending ships through the Gulf of Aden after two of its vessels were hijacked last month. The Latest Shipping-News
More on the Piracy Problem
Nine Filipino seamen who were among the 13-man crew of a German-owned vessel hijacked off Somalia were freed by pirates last Thursday after almost a month of captivity, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday said. The DFA spokesman said the Filipino sailors, along with four other crew members, of the Germany-operated container vessel were released around 6 p.m. (Manila time) They were all physically unharmed and in good condition, he added. German’s Antigua-flagged M/V BBC Trinidad were seized last Aug. 21 off the unpatrolled Somali coast. The vessel, which was held in the northeastern Somali fishing village of Eyl, has a 13-member crew: a Slovenian captain, 10 Filipinos and two Russians. He also said efforts are ongoing to secure the release of 51 other Filipino sailors seized by armed men who have hijacked six foreign vessels since July 19 in the pirate-infested Somali waters. The Latest Shipping-News
Somalia has no central government and the International Maritime Bureau has called on the United Nations to take action to secure the waters and stop the piracy menace in the Gulf of Aden. The waters off Somalia and Nigeria are the most pirate-infested in the world, with the IMB reporting 24 attacks in Somalia and 18 in Nigeria between April and June this year.
Some warlords are taking over coastal villages and running piracy operations from them. This is possible because of the current anarchy. In the past, piracy was suppressed by foreign navies destroying the towns of villages the pirates used as bases. This is no longer politically acceptable, and no one is yet willing to send troops ashore to fight the warlords who created and maintain the pirate operations. The nations with the military forces able to go into Somalia (like the U.S., Britain and France) are well aware of the region's history, and the willingness of the Somalis to just keep fighting. The availability of speedboats, satellite radio and GPS have made it possible to conduct piracy deep into the Straits of Aden (a major choke point for international shipping). Many nations are sending warships to try and control the pirates at sea, without going ashore. This will be expensive, but is believed to be ultimately less expensive than skyrocketing insurance rates for ships.The Latest Shipping-NewsAt least someone is trying to do something about the growing pirate activity off Somalia's north coast. As the risk of ships getting seized in the Gulf of Aden passes one percent, the maritime insurance companies have raised premiums (covering passage through the 1,500 kilometer Straits of Aden) from an average of $900 to $9,000. That's expected to go higher because, when you do the math, you realize that the current increase does not quite cover the million dollars per ship ransom (which is also going up.) The insurance increase has made certain that all ships moving through the area are aware of the pirate risk, and more ships are alert enough to spot and speed away from the pirates. Most ships moving through the Straits of Aden have a top speed in excess of what the pirate speedboats can achieve. But the larger ships take time to reach their top speed, and the trick is to rev the engines of the larger ship soon enough to get away from the approaching pirate speedboats. This requires posting more lookouts (because the speedboats are low enough in the water to not show up well, if at all, on the navigation radar of larger ships). The pirates will continue to go after the ships that they can catch, and these will tend to be the smaller and slower ones from poor (often Moslem) nations. That could have interesting repercussions. September 8, 2008: An American warship caught 14 Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, arrested them and destroyed their boats. Inside Somalia, the group that seized a Canadian journalist last month, are demanding a $2.5 million ransom for her release. Source: Strategy Page The Latest Shipping-News
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End of an Era - Coast Guard will stop using Medium Frequency 2182 kHz as an international distress frequency
The U.S. Coast Guard has decided to terminate its use of radiotelephone "Medium Frequency" (MF) 2182 kHz, which was first designated more than 65 years …