Tug in Orkim Harmony hijacking identified

The Indonesian navy said it has identified a tug used to hijack Malaysian-flagged tanker Orkim Harmony in June 2015.
The tug was identified as Meulaboh, and was found abandoned near Pulau Seloko off Batam around 10:00 h by the Indonesian Navy’s Western Fleet Command’s (KOARMABAR) Quick Response

Viking bags second charter worth $31m

Singapore-listed offshore services provider Viking Offshore & Marine has clinched a 48-month charter for a second land drilling rig system at approximately USD31 million.
The charter is signed by its subsidiary Viking LR2, which will lease a 1,500 bhp train-type land rig and related drilling

CMES forecasts 1H15 profit to double

China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES) projects that its profit would be more than doubled in the first half of 2015 from a year ago.
The range of growth would be between 110% and 130% year on year (y/y) during the first half of 2015, a stock filing of CMES said. The surge in profit would be a

World’s Largest Turret Mooring Ready for Prelude

By Wendy Laursen 2015-07-05 17:27:21

Drydocks World has marked a major milestone by completing the world’s largest turret mooring system.

At almost 100 meters high, weighing over 11,000 tons and with a diameter of 26 meters, the turret will ensure Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility can operate safely in the most extreme weather conditions.

The FLNG will be stationed in the Prelude gas field off the northwest coast of Australia. It will be Shell’s first FLNG deployment. The technology allows for the production, liquefaction, storage and transfer of LNG at sea, as well as the ability to process and export liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and condensate.

Prelude will be located in the Browse Basin, approximately 475km north-northeast of Broome and over 200 km from the nearest point on the coast of the remote Kimberley region, in Western Australia. The FLNG is anticipated to stay moored at location for 25 years and is expected to produce 3.6 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG, 1.3 mtpa of condensate and 0.4 mtpa of LPG for export.

The Prelude FLNG facility will be 488m long and 74m wide, weighing more than 600,000 tons fully ballasted – roughly six times as much as the largest aircraft carrier. Some 260,000 tons of that weight will consist of steel – around five times more than was used to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The FLNG, under construction at the Geoje yard in South Korea, now has its topside modules installed. Three modules are at the heart of the FLNG process. They house the two large refrigerant compressors, the main cryogenic heat exchanger and the three cryogenic


Two modules contain the fractionation and natural gas booster compressor units. They host the four fractionation columns, reboilers, pumps and vessels that separate the natural gas into methane, ethane, propane and butane.

The commissioning and start-up team have commenced site acceptance testing for phase 1 of the control and safeguarding system. This phase will see the distributed control system that controls most of the early systems to be commissioned available for use. Initially it will be used for loop checking the 23,000 instruments on the FLNG to prove the instruments have been correctly installed and configured.

Prelude is operated by Shell in partnership with Inpex (17.5 percent), KOGAS (10 percent) and OPIC (five percent).

Drydocks World built the Prelude turret for SBM Offshore, Technip and Shell. The company is one of the few worldwide specialists capable of delivering such large-scale projects.

The project exemplifies the global nature of the offshore industry, with designs completed in Monaco, construction in Dubai, the modules shipped to South Korea, and for use off Australia.

Image of FLNG courtesy of Shell


Collision in Known Traffic Black Spot

By MarEx 2015-07-04 22:09:45

The Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board has released its report into the collision between the tanker Kraslava and cargo ship Atlantic Lady citing a known traffic blackspot in the waters of Denmark.

On November 1, 2014, the Marshall Islands-registered chemical/products tanker Kraslava collided with the St. Kitts & Nevis-registered refrigerated cargo ship Atlantic Lady in the Drogden Channel, Denmark. The vessels were travelling through dense fog.

The bridge team on each ships was aware of the other ship’s presence in the channel, but both misjudged their own and the other ship’s position. When the actual situation was acknowledged on both ships, it was too late to maneuver to avoid the collision.

Both ships anticipated to have the closest point of approach at the southern exit/entrance to the channel, which was 300 meters wide and where there was little or no visibility. During the approach to buoys no. 17 and no. 16, both ships assumed that the other ship would position itself in the outermost part of the channel. At the time of the collision, the bridge teams on both ships were convinced that the other ship was on the wrong side of the channel and that their own ship was in the outer perimeter; when in fact, both ships were approximately in the middle of the channel.

The investigators concluded that the collision happened as several coinciding factors were present within a narrow geographical area and occurred within a very short span of time. This reduced the margin for failure to an extent that was not recognized by either of the bridge teams.

The factors included restricted visibility, navigating in a narrow channel, the north-easterly current, a pilot boat being alongside Kraslava, and Atlantic Lady making a large course alteration. Individually these factors did not constitute a recognizable significant risk, but in conjunction they created a small margin between success and failure; a safety margin that was based on whether the ships were positioned 50-100 meters to each side of the channel.

Passing at small distances is usually not problematic in channels when the ships are on opposite courses, but in this instance, when both ships were impaired by restricted visibility and one of the ships was to make large course alterations, then the situation became unstable, because they could not rely on instrumentation alone due to the ships’ close proximity to each other.

The factor instrumental in the collision was thus that Atlantic Lady’s approach to the Drogden Channel, in the absence of other better alternatives, necessitated a large turning maneuver. Due to the north-easterly current and the restricted visibility, which delayed the start of the turn until buoy no. 16 was abeam, the turning maneuver brought the ship into the center of the channel, where it crossed ahead of Kraslava.

An analysis of navigation in the southern approach to the Drogden Channel made in 2009 by the Danish Maritime Safety Administration showed that the area was difficult to navigate in and recommended initiatives to improve the flow of traffic in the area; primarily for avoiding groundings and allisions with the buoys. This accident shows that risk of collisions can also be mitigated by these initiatives, state the investigators.

The report is available here.


Cunard Marks 175th Anniversary

By MarEx 2015-07-04 19:33:22

Queen Mary 2 sounded her ship’s whistle (foghorn) at 1400 hours in Liverpool on Saturday to signify the time exactly 175 years earlier that Cunard’s first ship Britannia left the city’s Coburg Dock and inaugurated the first ever scheduled Transatlantic service.

That first crossing changed the face of ocean travel, establishing the first permanent link between the Old World and the New – a link that has remained unbroken for 175 years as Cunard’s ships have crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic every year since, in peace and war, without fail.

Britannia was Cunard’s first flagship but at just 1,154 tons and carrying just 115 passengers, she could fit inside the Britannia Restaurant of today’s 150,000 ton flagship Queen Mary 2, which accommodates 2,600 guests. But the little ship’s departure heralded the start of passenger shipping sailing from Liverpool.

History was also made in the city today when 400 Cunard passengers embarked Queen Mary 2 bound for Halifax, Boston and New York. This was the first time in nearly 50 years that passengers have set out on a Transatlantic crossing from Liverpool since Cunard’s Franconia’s last crossing from the city in 1968.

The exact day of the company’s 175th anniversary was celebrated in style by Cunard with two concerts for the flagship’s passengers and region’s dignitaries. Held at Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral, Cunard’s story was told in words and music with noted speakers from the worlds of politics, TV and beyond introducing musical interludes representing key periods in the line’s 175 year history, performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Anthony Inglis, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, The Liverpool Cathedral Choir, The band of the Welsh Guards and highly-acclaimed soloists Laura Wright, Jon Christos and Jenny Williams.

Working in partnership with the city and its 175 Transatlantic themed activities at Pier Head, which included a Food and Vintage Festival, Classic Car cavalcade and world record Catwalk bid, Cunard’s 175 year celebrations culminated in a dramatic firework display fired from a mid-river barge as Queen Mary 2 prepared to set sail.

Angus Struthers, Cunard Director said: “It’s just six weeks since the Three Queens Liverpool Salute made news around the world and the city has once again given Cunard the warmest of welcomes. The atmosphere in the city is still amazing and the support for Queen Mary 2 has been fantastic on this, the exact day that Cunard’s first ship set out on her maiden crossing from Liverpool, 175 years ago.

Queen Mary 2’s departure today on a special crossing from Liverpool to Halifax and Boston re-creates that first voyage, and on board talks by historians, ship designers and Cunard specialists will bring fresh new perspectives to the Cunard story, just as our two concerts in Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral today have really brought the company’s history alive in such a resonant way.

“Today has also been the first time in nearly 50 years that we’ve been able to welcome transatlantic passengers aboard in Liverpool and those 400 people have each made a little bit of history.

“This has been such an extraordinary year for Cunard but it has been the strength of the partnership with Liverpool, our spiritual home which has made our 175th anniversary so special. Thank you Liverpool for celebrating with us today!”


Call for IMO Action on UAV Use

By Wendy Laursen 2015-07-03 20:07:06

The IMO and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) should encourage cooperation between governments, research centers and companies to develop unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for search and rescue use, says Captain Abdelkhalik Kamal Eldin Soliman Selmy, a lecturer in the nautical department of the Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport in Egypt.

The most important success factors for search and rescue (SAR) operations are related to time – the ability to prevent drowning and hypothermia through quick response to distress signals and the ability of rescuers to collect accident data to assess the situation and plan their response, says Selmy.

Selmy was speaking at the World Maritime Rescue Congress in Bremerhaven, Germany, in June. The congress was organized by the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF), a UK based charity.

The use of UAVs could support the planning, handling, monitoring and tracking of SAR operations, could light the sea at night, drop rescue equipment to survivors and even monitor the body temperature of survivors at sea using thermal cameras, he says.

“The information collected and the initial action taken are often critical to successful SAR operations,” says Selmy. “It must be assumed that in each incident there are survivors who will need assistance and whose chances of survival are reduced by the passage of time. The success of a SAR operation depends on the speed with which the operation is planned and carried out.

“The chances of survival for injured people decrease by as much as 80 percent during the first 24 hours, and those of uninjured people diminish rapidly after the first three days.”

Many UAVs are already in use, but Selmy says SAR operations have specific requirements. A number of different configurations could be beneficial. For example, small fixed wing UAVs could be used as a first response to take-off quickly and collect information. Larger systems could drop rescue equipment to survivors and execute search patterns to help locate missing people over a large area. They could also be used in mass rescue operation and marine accident investigations.

The UAVs could carry varied payloads including sensors such as radar, high and low resolution video cameras, electro-optical sensing systems, infra-red scanners and navigation sensors.

They could drop payloads such as marine location markers including smoke markers, life vests, medical supplies, emergency location transmitters and food. They could also drop rescue hoists.

Selmy believes that merchant ships could also benefit from having one on board. “Unmanned aerial systems could be used on board ship instead of traditional tools such as man overboard buoys, as they have the added ability to monitor, trace and drop a lifebuoy, buoyant smoke or waterproof mobile communication VHF very quickly and with high accuracy using GPS,” he says.

The civilian uses of UAVs are still relatively primitive compared to military uses due to a security problems and privacy, says Selmy. “The role of the United Nations, through the IMO and ICAO, is to enact a convention and regulations covering issues such as safety, payloads, navigation, recovery, sense and avoidance and control technologies and also operator training and certification.”

IMO could facilitate research and establish global standards, he says, and provide budgets and support for development projects.