Somali piracy: EU forces in 1st mainland raid

EU NAVFOR news release EU Naval Force Delivers Blow Against Somali Pirates On Shoreline Earlier today, following the decision taken on 23 March 2012 by the Council of the European Union to allow the EU Naval Force to take disruption action against known pirate supplies on the shore, EU forces conducted an operation to destroy…


Representatives Note Importance of Merchant Mariner Bill

By MarEx 2015-05-26 11:14:45

Two U.S. representatives, Janice Hahn (D- Calif.) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), emphasized the importance of a House bill to recognize U.S. Merchant Mariners over 70 years after their service in World War II during National Maritime Day Speeches on the East and West Coast.

The Honoring Our WWII Merchant Mariners Act of 2015 was introduced earlier this year by Hahn and Hunter and seeks to award a $25,000 one-time payment to merchant mariners of World War II. Currently, only about five thousand Merchant Mariners who served in the war are still alive.

Duncan Hunter, speaking at a Maritime Day event in Washington DC stated that, “the legislation would provide “well-deserved recognition for these heroic mariners who fought so valiantly for our country.”

Similarly, Hahn speaking to an audience at the San Pedro Merchant Mariners Veterans Memorial said “The first Maritime Day honoring our merchant mariners was held in 1970. Before that, despite their courage and service, and despite suffering higher casualty rates during World War II than other branches of our military, merchant mariners were excluded from celebrations of Veterans Day and Memorial Day.”

During World War II over 200,000 Americans served in the Merchant Marine. The Merchant Marine also had higher casualty rates than any branch of the armed service with the exception of the Marines. However, merchant mariners were denied any veteran benefits or status until 1988 when a federal court mandated recognition for the U.S. seamen.

Hahn has introduced HR 563, “Honoring Our World War II Merchant Mariners Act of 2015,” to provide the payment to surviving World War II merchant mariners. More than 6,000 merchant mariners died in service during World War II and time is running out to commemorate the accomplishments of the remaining Merchant Marine veterans.


Hyundai Heavy Sets ‘Unprecedented’ 2,000 Ship Record

By MarEx 2015-05-26 10:12:52

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has broken a new record this week with the announcement of the delivery of its 2000th ship, the Ocean Blacklion.

The world’s largest shipbuilding company, headquartered in Ulsan South Korea, delivered the Ocean Blacklion drillship to Diamond Offshore at the Ulsan Shipyard on Friday, hitting the 2000th vessel milestone.

Mr. Choi Kil-seon, chairman & CEO of HHI said, “Today, we wrote a new chapter in the global shipbuilding history by delivering the 2,000th ship.” In a statement given to Korean news agencies yesterday Kil-seon called the accomplishment ‘unprecedented’ citing that companies in Europe and Japan with longer-established histories have yet to hit this milestone.

HHI built its first ship, a 266,000-ton VLCC, in the Mipo Bay Shipyard near Seoul in 1974 and completed a second vessel of the same size within a two year period. In 2002 the company was the first in the global shipbuilding industry to hit the 1,000 ship delivery milestone and HHI was also the first to achieve a 100 million gross ton ship production record in 2012.

The gross tonnage of the 2,000 ships HHI built amounts to 126 million, twice the gross tonnage of total ships built last year worldwide. The top four most-delivered ships of HHI are containerships (583), bulk carriers (357), tankers (232) and VLCCs (147). Country-wise, Greek ordered the most ships of 254 followed by Germany with 238, Japan with 120 and Denmark with 101.

Speaking about the company’s continued path in the industry Kil-seon further commented, “as we have been over the past four decades, we will continue to stand firm as the global leader in the shipbuilding industry with tireless innovation and shipbuilding method improvement for the coming decades.”


USCG Assists Freezing Arctic Activist

By MarEx 2015-05-26 09:29:31

Coast Guard personnel assisted in the removal of an activist who secured herself to the anchor chain of the Arctic Challenger in Bellingham, Wash., Monday morning.

Chiara D’Angelo requested Coast Guard assistance down from the vessel’s anchor chain at approximately 9:30 a.m. and was transported to Coast Guard Station Bellingham.

Coast Guard personnel transported her in good condition to Station Bellingham where she was met by EMS and the Bellingham Police Department. Fuller was issued a summons and released in good condition.

The Coast Guard did not cite any vessels for violating the safety zone overnight.

“It was cold, rainy and she was starting to display signs of hypothermia,” said Chief Warrant Officer Charles Chavtur, commanding officer of Station Bellingham. “Boatcrew members were able to safely assist her down from the chain and gave her blankets and water. We brought her back to the station where she was evaluated by EMS and released to her family and friends.”

The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment Rights of people to safely and lawfully assemble on the water and is committed to enforcing the laws and regulations necessary to ensure the safety of the maritime public.

Violation of the safety zone can result in possible civil or criminal penalties. Whether intentional or unintentional, interference with these vessels has the potential to result serious injury, death or pollution in the highly sensitive ecosystem of Puget Sound.


Paris MOU Will Target Enclosed Spaces

By Wendy Laursen 2015-05-26 20:39:40

The Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MoU) held its 48th Committee meeting in Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands, last week, confirming the subject of its 2015 Concentrated Inspection Campaign.

High importance was given to the Concentrated Inspection Campaigns (CICs) at the meeting, and jointly with the Tokyo MoU a CIC on crew familiarization for enclosed space entry is scheduled from September to November this year.

In January 2015 enclosed space entry drills and training every two months became mandatory under amendments to SOLAS.

Change Needed

More people die or are injured in enclosed spaces than through any other related onboard work activity, said David Patraiko, The Nautical Institute’s Director of Projects at an education session back in 2013. The largest problem is with spaces which are not perceived as dangerous – anchor lockers and deck stores which may suffer from oxygen depletion, for example. The issue persists despite numerous guidelines, safety regimes, operational procedures manuals and assurance surveys. If this is to change, there are four major areas which need to be tackled, states The Nautical Institute:

Culture: Safety culture needs to be implemented at all levels, starting from the top. Adopting a shipboard enclosed space management plan based on onboard audits is a good new initiative. Procedures for Permits to Work need to be addressed.

Design: Shipboard design and operation should minimize the need to go into enclosed spaces in the first place; escape possibilities should be designed in.

Equipment: In many cases, crews are expected to use equipment that is not fit for purpose, or that is complex to use. In particular, firefighting equipment is not suitable for evacuating casualties from enclosed spaces.

Training and Drills: Good, frequent training is needed. This is a human element issue; only by working with the human element can it be solved.

Accidents Continue

Reports of enclosed spaces incidents are freely available in the database of the Institute’s Mariners’ Alerting and Reporting Scheme (MARS). Type enclosed spaces into the keyword box.

In a recent enclosed space accident, four people were found unconscious in the cargo hold of a general cargo ship in Hanstholm, Denmark, in April. One man died, and the others were hospitalized as a result of wood pellet cargo handling operations on the 7,500dwt ship Corina arriving from Poland. The men are believed to have been affected by the low oxygen atmosphere possibly caused by the buildup of carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide in the enclosed space of the cargo hold.

In a separate accident earlier that month, three men died after entering the cargo hold of a ship in the Port of Antwerp. In this instance the cargo had been coal.

CIC for 2016

The Paris MOU committee also decided that, after the entry into force of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC2006) in 2013, a CIC will be carried out in 2016 to verify compliance with the convention. The questionnaire and guidelines for this CIC have been completed and adopted.

Secretary General Richard Schiferli expressed the view of the committee that the decision demonstrates the importance to the Paris MoU of decent working and living conditions on board ships, and its commitment to ensuring that seafarers’ rights are respected.

2014 CIC

The report of the CIC on STCW hours of rest, carried out in September to November of 2014, was presented at the Paris MOU meeting with the committee expressing concern that during the CIC, which was publicized in advance, 912 deficiencies were recorded related specifically to STCW hours of rest and that 16 ships were detained as a result of the CIC.