Sail for Water on Around-The-World Mission

By Wendy Laursen 2015-09-02 20:29:07

Sail for Water, a general interest NGO, has combined a unique project defending a fundamental human right with an extraordinary sport challenge. Three young men are promoting universal access to clean drinking water during a round-the-world tour on a sailing boat.

Their mission, to begin this month, is to distribute 1,000 filters in 1,000 days, to help 100,000 people worldwide.

Sail for Water was born from an alarming and revolting truth, says spokesman Nicolas Sainte Claire Deville:

Water, spring of life, is the leading cause of death in the world.

Every year, 3.6 million people die from unclean water-related diseases.

90 percent of these are children under 14 years old.

Unclean water kills one person every 10 seconds.

The NGO is in partnership with another NGO – Waves for Water which has been acting against unclean water for more than five years and has already distributed more than 100,000 filters in a dozen of countries.

Sail for Water’s aim is to continue this work of distributing filters and will push it forward in areas that, according to WHO and UNICEF, are severely affected by unclean water.

Sail for Water is a collaborative adventure which aims to get its members completely involved, to raise awareness of the vital importance of the cause they defend and the utility of their engagement. Thus, donors have the possibility to target their commitment by choosing the country where they want the filters they funded to be distributed, or by joining the crew for a local action, on the field.

The crew will broadcast a fortnightly web series during their voyage.

With the PointOneTM filter, communities in need are able to construct and adapt their filter to any plastic containers in less than five minutes, then gravity does the rest. The kit includes everything needed to attach the filter: a bucket, a filter, a tube, a few seals, a tool to adapt the bucket to the filter and a plastic syringe to clean and maintain the filter.

Sail for Water is the project of three young and passionate men, animated by the desire to change things; three young people ready to brave the oceans on board the Williwaw, a 12 meters ship, to bring a drop of hope to those in need.

Thomas Degermann – 25 years old

Captain of the ship and technical manager

Thomas, as a true lover of the sea and of watersports, has always lived on the coastline. He worships values such as pushing oneself to the limits, sharing and discovering. An engineer by training, he is in charge of the upkeep and the repairs on the Williwaw during the trip.

Romain Stefani-Sainte-Claire Deville – 28 years old

First mate and President of Sail for Water

Although he held a managing job for the last four years, Romain has chosen to move beyond this comfortable stable position to fulfill his desire of helping out people in need.

Nicolas Sainte-Claire Deville – 24 years old

Crewman, in charge of missions and partnerships

Born sailor, sail lover; Nicolas is the youngest of the crew. His goal is quite simple: the discovery, the sharing and the involvement. Recently graduated from a Business school, he is in charge of the partnerships of Sail for Water.

Williwaw is a solid English sloop-rigged boat built in 1977. It has already travelled more than 40 000 nautical miles. Its extreme resistance and good navigation qualities were enough for the crew to adopt this old sea warrior, says the team. Discovered in the south of France at Lavandou Harbor, the Williwaw is now readying to depart from Toulon, France.

More information is available here.

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Hapag-Lloyd Won’t Ship Whale Meat, Lions

By Wendy Laursen 2015-09-02 19:57:15

There’s hardly anything that can’t be shipped in a container. However, Hapag-Lloyd has prepared a list of goods it won’t transport for ethical reasons.

The list, which includes whale and dolphin meat, includes items that the company believes deserve to be safeguarded even if they aren’t yet protected by international laws.

The refusal goes for customers wishing to ship sealskins or hunting trophies, such as lions or other large animals.

Hapag-Lloyd likewise refuses to transport turtles or mink skins, and it even goes further than the legal regulations in place by also excluding genetically modified microorganisms.

A recent incident involving a shipment of leather boots shows just how thoroughly the blacklist is enforced. Although the shipment seemed rather innocuous, it emerged from the cargo documents that a care product would be enclosed with every pair of boots – and that this product contained an oil extracted from mink carcasses.

Whether deliberately or inadvertently, customers sometimes make false declarations about their cargo. To detect such cases, Hapag-Lloyd uses a special software that constantly sifts through shipment information to detect anomalies. This “watchdog” program is outfitted with a set of more than 7,000 search terms, primarily related to hazardous materials, that is continually expanded and refined. In 2014 alone, the software raised more than 162,000 red flags, of which roughly 2,600 proved to be well-founded.

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Five Chinese Ships Sail Near Alaska

By Reuters 2015-09-02 18:29:51

Five Chinese Navy ships are sailing in international waters in the Bering Sea off Alaska, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, in an apparent first for China’s military that came as U.S. President Barack Obama toured the U.S. state.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said it was the first time the United States had seen Chinese navy ships in the Bering Sea.

“We respect the freedom of all nations to operate military vessels in international waters in accordance with international law,” Davis said.

The appearance of the ships is an example of the expanding reach of China’s navy and overlapped with a three-day visit by Obama to Alaska as part of his efforts to raise awareness about climate change.

Two U.S. defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States had identified a Chinese amphibious ship, a replenishment vessel and three surface combatant ships.

None of the ships had been seen acting in an unprofessional or unlawful manner, the officials said, adding that the United States had become aware of their presence in recent days.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said no threatening activity had been detected, and added that the Pentagon was monitoring the movement of the ships “but the intent of this is still unclear.”

China has ramped up defense spending to modernize its forces and wants to develop an ocean-going “blue water” navy capable of defending its growing interests as the world’s second-largest economy.

On Thursday, China is to hold a massive military parade featuring some 12,000 troops, the highlight of events there marking 70 years since World War Two ended in Asia.

Dean Cheng, a China expert at the Heritage Foundation think-tank in Washington, D.C., said the presence of the ships in the Bering Sea was designed to send a message to Washington about China’s growing military might.

“It is living up to what the Chinese have been saying, ‘We are now a blue water navy. We will operate in the far seas and we are a global presence’,” Cheng said.

Melting sea ice has spurred more commercial traffic and China has sought to become more active in the Arctic, where it has said it has important interests.

Shorter shipping routes across the Arctic Ocean would save Chinese companies time and money.

It was not clear whether the presence of the Chinese ships was timed to coincide with Obama’s visit or if it followed a recent Chinese-Russian navy exercise.

While the world’s two largest economies have important mutual interests, like trying to rein in North Korea’s nuclear program, disagreements exist between them including over China’s claims in the South China Sea.

China’s military buildup, which includes developing stealth fighters and anti-satellite missiles, has unnerved the Asia-Pacific region and Washington, especially since President Xi Jinping took office in 2013 and started taking a tougher line on maritime territorial disputes.

Xi is expected to spend about a week in the United States during the second half of September.

The Heritage Foundation’s Cheng said the presence of the ships in the Bering Sea sent a message ahead of Xi’s visit, which has been preceded by threats of U.S. action over cyber attacks.

“That message is, in a nutshell, ‘Stop pushing us. We are not going to be lectured’,” Cheng said.

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Melting Ice Caps and New Shipping Lanes

By MarEx 2015-09-02 17:07:58

While the disappearing Arctic ice cap is a foreboding global issue, it also has the potential to boost the shipping industry by redrawing global shipping routes. The melting Arctic has created new shipping lanes in previously unnavigable routes between Northwest Europe and countries such as China, Japan and South Korea.

According to a report by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the retreating ice caps are opening lanes that could complement conventional routes used during the summer. The Northern Sea Route (NSR) is clear during the summer but the CFR expects that it will be available year-round by 2030.

The NSR became ice-free in 2007 and is gaining traction as an alternative route. The number of vessels using the NSR has steadily increased in the last five years. In 2010, only four cargo ships used the route. That number jumped to 53 last year.

The NSR reduces transit time from Japan to north European countries by 37 percent, from South Korea by 31 percent, China 23 percent and Taiwan 17 percent.

The “Suez of the North”?

Egypt expects its newly-expanded Suez Canal to allow 34,000 vessels to transit each year, but that lofty number may not be achieved if Russia has its way. Russia is investing nearly $5 billion into Arctic infrastructure to make the NSR the “Suez of the North.”

In April, Moscow formed the Russian Arctic Commission to develop its economic interests in the area. The main objective of the commission is the harmonization of government activities and the establishment of regional authorities.

Russia is also building ten relief ports along the Siberian coastline for ships that need repair, and China recently signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with Iceland in anticipation of using the NSR.

Of course, if Russia is successful in making the NSR the new Suez, this could lead to a drop in shipping volume through the original Suez. Prior to its expansion, the Suez Canal handled about eight percent of world trade. The CFR report states that the volume could fall by about two-thirds if Russia is able to successfully utilize the NSR.

Potential Roadblocks

But there are still a few hurdles to cross before the NSR becomes the Suez of the North. Weather is the primary hurdle because the environment is harsh even in the summer. And because of the unpredictability of weather and ice, ships often require icebreaker escorts. Ships are also required to take out additional insurance policies when using the NSR. These costs often offset the NSR’s potential fuel savings. Furthermore, Russia’s control over most of the NSR troubles some shipping executives, who believe Moscow will abruptly raise prices.

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E.U. Approves Shell’s Acquisition

By Reuters 2015-09-02 15:05:03

Royal Dutch Shell gained EU approval on September 2 for its $70 billion acquisition of Britain’s BG Group, the second of four key markets needed to clear the deal.

The European Commission said the transaction would not grant Shell market power in oil and gas exploration, the liquefaction of gas and the wholesale supply of liquefied natural gas.

The takeover, which will see Shell become the world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer and a major deepwater oil player, is on track for completion in early 2016, Shell’s Chief Executive, Ben van Beurden, said in a statement.

The deal, announced in April, received the green light from Brazil in July but still requires mandatory approvals from authorities in Australia and China.

U.S. regulators have also cleared the acquisition.

“Receiving clearance from the European Commission underlines the good progress we are making on the deal,” van Beurden said.

Shell announced in July 6,500 job cuts and deep spending cuts in order to reassure investors it will be able to finance the BG acquisition as oil prices are expected to stage only a modest recovery in the coming years.

Shell’s shares were down 0.5 percent in London at 1425 GMT, while BG was up 1.3 percent. The broader FTSE Oil & Gas index was down 0.3 percent.

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Next-Generation Shipbuilding Inspection

By MarEx 2015-09-02 14:54:25

Poland’s Remontowa Shipbuilding recently inspected the UK-flagged chemical and product tanker CPO Japan using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The drone, equipped with a high-definition camera capable of recording HD videos and photos, accessed all parts of the tanker as part of her five-year class renewal inspection.

Remontowa believes the UAV will expedite operations at its shipyards. According to reports, the drone exhibited excellent stability in inspecting the internal spaces of a ship in confined space and was able to rest against the CPO Japan’s bulkhead while hovering.

The drone provides surveyors with an overall impression of the state of the hull and bulkheads under inspection, and the technology may also be applied to the inspection of masts and deck crane jibs. The UAV primarily assesses corrosion and detects cracks. Visual inspection may rule out the necessity of conducting more detailed inspections such as ultrasound thickness measurements.

The CPO Japan is a 51,747 dwt vessel with a gross tonnage of 29,363 tons.

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Singapore Straits Piracy Attempt Foiled

By MarEx 2015-09-02 14:30:22

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the Indonesian and Singaporean Navies foiled a piracy attempt on the Singapore Strait on September 1. According to reports, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) received a distress call from the Malaysian-flagged tugboat M/V Permata 1 at 9:07 am local time. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) immediately deployed its Fearless-Class patrol vessel, RSS Resilience, and the pirates were apprehended. The Resilience escorted the Permata 1 to Singapore. No crew members on the tug were harmed in the incident.

Southeast Asian piracy has become a hotbed of activity this year. In July, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) said that incidents of piracy and armed robbery had risen by 18 percent in 2015 compared to the same period last year. There have already been 106 incidents reported between January and June 2015 compared to only 90 in 2014.

Malaysia and Indonesia recently established a joint rapid response deployment team on August 21. The Indonesian Navy (TNI AL) now has a base on Batam Island and Malaysia has a similar base in Johor.

In a statement, RSN Rear Admiral Frederick Chew said: “I am heartened to see the good cooperation between Singaporean, Indonesian and Malaysian enforcement agencies in disrupting the sea robbery attempt on the Permata 1. In particular, the close cooperation between the RSN and TNI AL is a reflection of the strong ties between our navies. We need to continue working closely together to keep up the pressure on sea robbers and to bring sea robbery incidents down.”

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Hyundai Heavy Industries Nears Shipbuilding Deal

By MarEx 2015-09-02 14:14:05

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), South Korea’s leading shipbuilder, may expand its presence in India, Asia’s third-largest economy. The Indian Ministry of Defense is expected to place an order for five fleet support ships later this year, and Hindustan Shipyard, India’s largest state-run yard, will build four of the vessels under HHI supervision. Hyundai would construct the fifth vessel in a deal valued at about $297 million.

HHI’s presence in Indian shipbuilding has grown significantly this year. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited HHI in May to develop India’s shipbuilding industry. In the meeting, which was held at HHI headquarters in Ulsan, Modi and Hyundai management discussed ways in which to expand cooperation on naval defense, LNG carrier construction and shipbuilding technology.

In January, Hindustan signed an agreement with Hyundai to build submarines for the Indian Navy. And GAIL, India’s state-run gas company, is expected to place an order for 11 LNG carriers to transport LNG from the U.S. to India for 20 years starting in 2017.

Additionally, HHI also signed a memorandum of understanding with India-based engineering major Larson & Toubro on technological support for the construction of LNG carriers.

If the deal between HHI, the Indian Navy and Hindustan is finalized, it will come at an ideal time for financially strapped HHI. Hyundai posted a record $2.5 billion loss in Q2 and has released 31 percent of its senior staff since 2014.

A potential strike looms as well. On August 24, union leaders representing about 28,000 workers at HHI, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipping & Marine Engineering stated that they would stage a joint strike on September 9 unless workers are given a raise. Each of South Korea’s big three shipbuilders announced a wage freeze earlier this year.

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Hyundai Heavy Nears Shipbuilding Deal

By MarEx 2015-09-02 14:14:05

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), South Korea’s leading shipbuilder, may expand its presence in India, Asia’s third-largest economy. The Indian Ministry of Defense is expected to place an order for five fleet support ships later this year, and Hindustan Shipyard, India’s largest state-run yard, will build four of the vessels under HHI supervision. Hyundai would construct the fifth vessel in a deal valued at about $297 million.

HHI’s presence in Indian shipbuilding has grown significantly this year. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited HHI in May to develop India’s shipbuilding industry. In the meeting, which was held at HHI headquarters in Ulsan, Modi and Hyundai management discussed ways in which to expand cooperation on naval defense, LNG carrier construction and shipbuilding technology.

In January, Hindustan signed an agreement with Hyundai to build submarines for the Indian Navy. And GAIL, India’s state-run gas company, is expected to place an order for 11 LNG carriers to transport LNG from the U.S. to India for 20 years starting in 2017.

Additionally, HHI also signed a memorandum of understanding with India-based engineering major Larson & Toubro on technological support for the construction of LNG carriers.

If the deal between HHI, the Indian Navy and Hindustan is finalized, it will come at an ideal time for financially strapped HHI. Hyundai posted a record $2.5 billion loss in Q2 and has released 31 percent of its senior staff since 2014.

A potential strike looms as well. On August 24, union leaders representing about 28,000 workers at HHI, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipping & Marine Engineering stated that they would stage a joint strike on September 9 unless workers are given a raise. Each of South Korea’s big three shipbuilders announced a wage freeze earlier this year.

Details