Five Kidnapped Officers From the “City of Xiamen” off Nigeria have been Released Unharmed
All five officers who were kidnapped from the “City of Xiamen” off Nigeria have been released unharmed. The captain, chief mate, chief engineer, second and third master were released on May 11. Despite the difficult conditions in captivity they were found to be in good health. They have already returned to their home countries and have been reunited with their families.
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Chief Engineer of “Front Splendour” & 3 members arrested for illegal bunkering activities at Singapore
Investigations revealed that during a bunkering operation, four people came together to ensure that the “Ivory” delivered a shortfall of marine fuel to the “Front Splendor”. This was found out when officers from the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and the Maritime and Port Authority in Singapore (MPA) conducted a joint operation involving the “Ivory”. The receiving vessel had got less fuel than the amount of 2662.389 mt stated in the documents. The intent of this endeavour was to enable the buying back of the extra fuel for personal financial gain. Jason Choo Soo Beng, Cargo Officer with Sea Hub Energy Pvt Ltd., had paid Antonov Sergey, the Chief Engineer of the “Front Splendour”, US$8,400 (S$10,401) for the latter to accept the short delivery of marine fuel. Sergey then gave a sum of US$400 to Victor Loh Tuck Seng, an independent surveyor working for M/s Say bolt Singapore Pte Ltd, to provide false verification. Loh further received US$5,500 from Choo for the deal. Choo then gave US$200 to his colleague Lam Tat Fei, a boatman who had obtained confirmation to proceed with the deal. He was given the sum for delivering the amount of US$18,000 to pay for the extra fuel resulting from the shortfall. To account for the extra fuel on board the “Ivory”, Choo falsified a barge transfer advice and the stock movement logbook to indicate a bogus transfer of fuel from another vessel,MT Hai Soon X, to the “Ivory”. Sergey will be charged with one count of accepting a bribe; one count of giving a bribe; and two counts of knowingly using false documents with the intent to deceive his employer. Choo will be charged with three counts of giving bribes; and one count of knowinglyusing false documents to deceive M/s V Ships UK. In addition, he was facing two charges of falsifying documents. Lam will be charged with two counts of abetting by engaging in a conspiracy with Jason; and one count of corruptly accepting a bribe. Loh will be charged with two counts of accepting a bribe from Jason and Antonov respectively. In addition, he will also face one count of knowingly using false documents with the intent to deceive M/s V Ships UK. All four accused persons will be charged in Court on May 15, 2013.
Singapore Once Again Clinched the Best Seaport in Asia Award at the Asian Freight and Supply Chain Awards (AFSCA)
The Port of Singapore once again clinched the Best Seaport in Asia award at the Asian Freight and Supply Chain Awards (AFSCA), retaining its crown as Asia’s port of choice. The award was presented to Singapore for an unprecedented 25th time at the 27th AFSCA held on Thursday in Beijing. Receiving the award on behalf of the Port of Singapore was Chan Keng Nee, Deputy Director (Vessel Traffic Management) from Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). The Port of Singapore was recognized for its cost competitiveness, container shipping-friendly fee regime, provision of suitable container shipping-related infrastructure, timely and adequate investment in new infrastructure and facilitation of ancillary services including logistics and freight forwarding facilities. Singapore was selected for the award ahead of strong competition from Busan Port, Port of Dalian, Port of Hong Kong, PortKlang, Laem Chabang Port, Port of Manila, Shanghai Yangshan Port, Shenzhen Port and Port of Tanjung Pelepas, among others. (PNA)
Ships Takes Shore Supplies in California During Her Port Stays
In less than a year, many of the towering cargo ships loading and unloading goods at California ports won’t just tie up at dock – they’ll also plug in. In January, the state will become the first government body in the world to require container fleets docking at its major ports to shut off their diesel engines and use electricity for 50 percent of their visits or face crippling fines. The requirements also include slashing fleet emissions by half, and those requirements rise to 80 percent in 2020, The Associated Press reported. The regulations by the California Air Resources Board mark a sea change in the industry that has ports, shippers and terminal owners who do business in some of the busiest port complexes in the U.S. scrambling to meet the deadline and navigate new technological challenges. It also comes at a time when California’s bustling ports are under increasing pressure to remain competitive while at the same time reducing pollution with initiatives that have, in some cases, been met with harsh opposition from the truckers and shippers that are their life blood. East Coast ports have been racing to deepen their harbors to accept the supersized cargo vessels that are expected to start arriving after the Panama Canal finishes a major expansion in 2015, gigantic deep-water vessels from Asia that have so far been primarily West Coast customers. The Port of Long Beach, which showed off its shore power terminals Monday at a summit on the topic, began installing electricity at a handful of berths several years ago and has offered shippers new “green” lease terms since that included plugging in while at dock. It already has power flowing to four berths and has 12 more under construction in an overall plan to pour USD200 million into the transition.
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Indian Seafarers will Likely Benefit on Adoption of Two More IMO Conventions
Indian seafarers will likely benefit from one of the two International Maritime Organization (IMO) conventions that the country intends to adopt soon. As the country continues to find avenues to further improve its shipping sector, India is slated to adopt two more IMO conventions. One of which is the maritime labor convention that was first enforced in 2006. The measure intends to assure better working environment and provides comprehensive rights and protection for seafarers. It also seeks to ensure decent work for seafarers, as well as “secure their economic interests in fair competition for quality ship-owners.”India, which is home to around 1.2 million seafarers, has been facing challenges with regards to keeping the shipping sector on track due to poor freight rates and rising fuel costs. This has prompted some industry experts to believe that meeting IMO standards would be another obstacle. “Cost of compliance will manifest. Most conventions have been signed and the time to bring them into force is now close. If companies don’t comply then it could have trade repercussions,” according to Hemant Bhatbhatt, Deloitte India’s senior director. The other IMO convention that India is keen on adopting is the anti-fouling systems mechanism. First enforced on September 17, 2008, the convention prohibits the use of harmful paints on vessels. Most Indian ship-owners are now complying with the standard, according to a senior Shipping Ministry official, noting that such harmful items can harm marine life, as well as the environment. The Shipping Ministry has already won support from Cabinet in ratifying the two conventions, which are expected to be adopted when Parliament approves a draft bill amending the country’s Merchant Shipping Act.
The Indian shipping industry is all set to endorse two more IMO conventions, with the Union shipping ministry getting Cabinet nod to ratify both conventions. They will be adopted after a Bill amending the Merchant Shipping Act is approved by Parliament. One of the conventions is the anti-fouling systems convention, which came into force on September 17, 2008, and prohibits the use of harmful paints on ships. The second is the maritime labor convention of 2006, assuring a better work environment for seafarers, mooted by the International Labor Organization. For the Indian shipping industry which has been in the red due to poor freight rates and rising fuel costs, meeting the IMO standards could prove to be another challenge.
Singapore-Based Ship Owner Orders 8 Eight Very Large Ore Carriers (VLOC)
One of the world’s leading dry bulk owners will soon ink a LOI with shipyard groups China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), Guangzhou Longxue Shipbuilding and CSIC Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry for construction of eight very large ore carriers (VLOC). A company press release said that China’s two state-owned shipyards are scheduled to deliver all the new buildings in 2014 and 2015 and are expected to cost around USD 57-58 million per ship. Meanwhile, the Singapore-based ship owner has already taken delivery of four 388,000dwt VLOCs from Bohai’s shipyard. The last vessel was delivered earlier this year.
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A new container shipping route between Qinzhou port in Guangxi and Kaohsiung in Taiwan has been opened and is the first direct container shipping route between Guangxi and Taiwan. The route is co-operated by Wagon Group in Taiwan and Qinzhou Guiqin Shipping Group and it will be operated once a week, shortening the shipping time between the two ports from 7 days to 3.5 days. â€œThe route will definitely increase the container throughput of Qinzhou port and it will also facilitate trade activities between Guangxi and Taiwan,â€ said Zhen Guoliang, general manager of Guiqin Shipping Group.
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AIS System Helps Reduce Shipping Accidents; Malaysian Marine Department (MMD)
The Malaysian Marine Department (MMD) on Tuesday said that a substantial decline has been registered in the number of maritime accidents, often witnessed in the high traffic waters of the Straits of Malacca. According to the MMD, the installation of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) in small boats of less than 15 tones has lead to this encouraging development. The system helps in transmitting information on ships to other vessels with the help of radio or satellite links. It then not only identifies a vessel’s current position, but also its course and speed thus enabling it to be traced by other vessels and maritime authorities. MMD Maritime Director-General Datuk Ahmad Othman said: “The drop in accident rates is due to improved monitoring systems as we are installing AIS on small boats. With the AIS we can start to track small boats and minimize accidents. On average, 70,000 merchant vessels use the Straits of Malacca annually, and this figure does not include small fishing vessels, of which 30,000 use the strait annually.”He stressed that AIS was developed with the aim to avoid collisions between large vessels that are not within the range of shore-based systems. Due to the limitations of Very High Frequency (VHF) radio communications, and because not all vessels are equipped with AIS, the system is meant to be used primarily as a means of lookout and to determine the risk of collision rather than as an automatic collision avoidance system, in accordance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea. Based on the number of Class A vessels in service in 2008, it is estimated that there are more than 40,000 ships currently using AIS Class A equipment on an ongoing basis. In 2010, most commercial vessels operating on the EU inland waterways were mandated to fit an inland- waterway (modified and approved) AIS Class A device. The entire EU fishing fleet over 15 metres was given until 2014 to do the same. Additionally, a number of other countries, including China, India, the US, and Singapore, have started AIS mandate programs which require large numbers of vessels to fit an approved AIS device for safety and national security purposes.
Stowaways are Extremely Disruptive to the Operation of a Ship
When discovered it is necessary for the crew to ensure that they are kept in secure accommodation, so as to prevent their escape. In one particular case eight stowaways were found hiding in the void space above the ship’s rudder. They had boarded the ship in Freetown and the next port of call was in Nigeria. Many stowaways are repeat offenders and therefore know what to expect when on the ship and are aware when efforts are being made to disembark them. It is quite common for stowaways to demand ‘pocket money’ in exchange for their co-operation. In this case, the ringleader demanded a substantial sum of cash for each of the stowaways to guarantee they would not be difficult when it came to their repatriation. Regrettably, the Master told the stowaways that they would be given some money and would be flown home. It is the case that stowaways are often given small amounts of cash for incidental traveling expenses but the amounts promised by the Master were much greater than normal. When it came to arranging the repatriation of the stowaways, they were insistent that they should receive what had been promised to them. Unfortunately the situation became more stressful when the stowaways learned that they were not to be flown home but were to be subject to an uncomfortable three-day drive back to Sierra Leone. Eventually, they were persuaded to reduce their expectations and the repatriation of the stowaways was arranged. Source: Britannia P&I
Attacked By Pirates, 4 Crew Members Hijacked in Nigeria Waters
German boxship Hansa Marburg attacked by Nigerian pirates at 00:20 LT Apr 2313 in position 02 35N 006 52E, some 108 nautical miles south of Bonny, see map. Pirates boarded the vessel and hijacked 4 crew â€“ 2 Russians and 2 Filipino. No other details available. Vessel was en route from Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
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Dredger vessel ‘Kamal-40′ crew horrific experiences of Chheharta resident
The horrific experiences of Chheharta resident Major Singh and 36 of his crew mates on board the dredger vessel Kamal-40 reminds one of the ordeals of the Ancient Mariner on the high seas. The dredger developed an engine problem and got stuck in the middle of nowhere, with water all around and no sight of land. They made several distress calls but no one, not even the ship owners came to their rescue, claimed Singh after returning here on Wednesday. It was the worst experience that a sailor can ever have. For over three months, we were stuck in the middle of the Arabian Sea, 50 km from Kandla port, as the ship owners abandoned us to the mercy of the high seas. Major said as he took his 9-year-old daughter in his arms.
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The newly-established Dubai Council for Marine and Maritime Industries on Wednesday held its first meeting of introductory member. During the meeting, members of the umbrella industry body representing the marine and other relevant industries, discussed different ways to introduce the members, laying the framework for future operations, brainstorming on pressing industry issues and strengthening the foundation for perfect networking with other industry partners. All the 16 members representing different sections agreed to work together in order to achieve the Council’s priorities, such as promoting overall industry excellence, encouraging investment and promoting talent. They also decided to include Legal Affairs, Technical Services and Corporate Communications Departments for facilitating the functioning of the Council. While speaking at the meeting, Chairman of Dry-docks World and Maritime World Khamis Juma Buamim said: “We have achieved a major milestone in initiating the Council’s operations. All members have tremendous expertise and experience in their respective fields and we aim to obtain a knowledgeable collective and cohesive take on imminent issues and present a strong industry voice at relevant platforms.” He also said: “The Council will address pertinent issues related to expand the network interim’s of widening the membership. It will strive to support government initiatives for the industry and local and international laws and regulations related to the marine industry. It is also committed to working with an environment conscience and in promoting green industries that will direct the future of shipping.” All the participants also decided to form a constitution for the Council that would be considered as a framework for resolving issues or concerns related to the maritime industry. The Council will also develop business collaboration, integration and synergies apart from taking part in industry dialogues on laws and regulation. It will also take part in social activities and hold follow-up meetings on regular basis mainly to assess and promote effectiveness.
Odfjell has entered into a contract for the purchase of MT Bow Engineer, a 30,086 DWT chemical tanker (IMO II/III) with 28 stainless steel cargo tanks, built in 2006 at Kitanihon Shipbuilding CO LTD in Japan, the Company press release said. The change of ownership will take place early May this year. Bow Engineer has been on time charter for Odfjell from yard delivery in 2006. Instead of continuing the remaining charter period of five years, Odfjell has agreed with the owner, Saito Shipping, to buy the vessel.
IMO Legal Committee approves guidelines on dealing with crimes on ships
The Legal Committee of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), at its 100th session, approved draft guidelines on the preservation and collection of evidence in case of a serious crime occurring on a ship or following a report of a missing person from a ship and for pastoral and medical care of victims. The draft guidelines will now be submitted to the IMO Assembly 28th session, in November this year, along with an associated draft resolution, for consideration with a view to adoption. The guidelines focus on what can be practically carried out on board a ship to preserve and collect evidence and provide protection to persons affected by serious crimes, until the time the relevant law enforcement authorities launch an investigation. The primary purpose of the draft guidelines is to assist masters in the preservation of evidence and in the pastoral and medical care of persons affected and, when appropriate, in the collection of evidence, during the period between the report or discovery of a possible serious crime and the time when law enforcement authorities or other professional crime scene investigators take action. The guidelines further state that the master is not a professional crime scene investigator and does not act as a criminal law enforcement official when applying the guidelines. The guidelines should not be interpreted as establishing a basis of any liability, criminal or otherwise, of the master in preserving and/or handling evidence or related matters, according to the IMO. At a special event to mark the 100th session of the IMO Legal Committee, held on April 18, 2013, prominent speakers reflected on some of the complex legal issues that have been addressed by the IMO.
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Distressed Seafarers from Cargo Ship Asahi Return Home
Three distressed Filipino seafarers, who were stranded at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi in Kenya since last month, have returned to the Philippines, officials said. The three seafarers worked aboard the cargo ship MV Asahi. According to Philippine Consul Donna Gatmaytan, the Philippine Embassy in Nairobi received a distress call from the trio who asked for help since they were stranded at the airport after their tickets from Nairobi to Manila via Doha were cancelled by their employer.