Crew Mirror Digest 11-2023

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India, Australia resolve to deepen maritime security cooperation

12 Mar 2023
India and Australia on Friday vowed to strengthen their defence and security partnership to address the shared challenges and work towards an open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific, a region that has witnessed growing Chinese military muscle-flexing.

Image Source: The Tribune

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese carried out a detailed discussion on maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region at the first annual India-Australia Summit.

After the talks, Modi and Albanese also said that the two sides are on course to firm up a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) as well as a migration and mobility pact that is expected to benefit students and professionals.

In his media statement, Modi described security cooperation as an important pillar of the India-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership.

An Australian readout said the two leaders agreed to strengthen the defence and security partnership between the two sides in support of both nations’ shared ambition for an open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific. Reference

UN Re-Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for FSO Safer Oil Removal Operation

11 Mar 2023
With recent news that the United Nations has secured the purchase of an oil tanker to receive oil from the decaying FSO Safer in the Red Sea, the UN is re-launching a crowdfunding campaign to fill budget gaps to complete the safe removal of oil from the vessel.

Image Source: gCaptain

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Thursday announced an agreement with Belgian tanker company Euronav to purchase a Very Large Crude Carrier as part of the UN-led operation to transfer over a million barrels of oil from the floating storage and offloading vessel.

The replacement vessel is now in drydock for modifications and regular maintenance. Due to the conflict in Yemen, the FSO Safer has not been maintained since 2015 and its condition has deteriorated.

The UNDP, which is implementing the operation as part of the UN-led initiative, has contracted marine salvage company SMIT to safely remove the oil and prepare the Safer for towing to a scrapping yard.

To help bridge the gap, the UN is re-launching a crowdfunding campaign to fill the $34 million budget gap so the operation can begin in the first half of this year as planned. Reference

Philippines Enacts Law to Curb Seafarer Exploitation

11 Mar 2023
The Philippines’ House of Representatives this week overwhelmingly voted for a new bill seeking to protect the rights and interests of Filipino seafarers. The law called Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers sets out labor protection terms for seafarers before, during, and after employment, especially in the event of maritime accidents, epidemics or pandemics, or other natural or man-made crises.

Image Source: The Maritime Executive

The new law came in response to the challenges the Philippines experienced during the pandemic when many seafarers found themselves stranded at sea. It, however, also comes at a time when the Philippines has been under pressure to improve both the welfare and training standards for its seafarers.

The new law covers seafarers “employed or working on board foreign-registered ships and Philippine-registered ships operating internationally.” Those onboard warships, government ships, or any other vessel not engaged in commercial operations are exempt. 

The Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration is also mandated to establish seafarers’ welfare facilities in major crew-change ports. The bill says that “A One-Stop-Shop for seafarers, which shall have representatives from government agencies that process or issue licenses, permits, clearance and other documents required by seafarers, shall be established in these welfare centers for the convenience and to maximize services offered to seafarers.”

In addition to the new law, organizations representing seafarers, shipowners, and other maritime employers signed a memorandum of understanding with the Philippines’s Department of Migrant Workers at the beginning of the year to form an International Advisory Committee on Global Maritime Affairs.  Reference

‘Women of Sea’ network launched

11 Mar 2023
Anglo-Eastern Group, a Hong-Kong headquartered ship management company and a major employer of Indian seafarers, launched ‘Anglo-Eastern Women of Sea’ (AWOS) network on the International Women’s Day.

The aim is to provide global platform for women seafarers to share knowledge and experiences, and also provide mentorship and support. It is a boost for women seafarers residing in Andhra Pradesh as a sizeable population of merchant navy officers reside in the port city.

Anglo-Eastern Group currently employs 189 women seafarers out of which 65 are Indians. Many of them are natives of AP. Reference

Mariners Medico Guide aimed at saving seafarer lives

11 Mar 2023
Gard and the Norwegian Centre for Maritime and Diving Medicine have launched an innovative digital medical guide to improve medical treatment onboard and potentially save seafarers’ lives.

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The Mariners Medico Guide is a unique app, designed and tailored for seafarers. Developed in collaboration with the Norwegian Centre for Maritime and Diving Medicine, it provides step-by-step guidance for treating crew onboard. Fully downloadable, it can be used mid-ocean and in remote parts of a ship – even without a signal. The Mariners’ Medical Guide in available in English only.

The Mariners Medico Guide differs from other ship medical guides in several ways. As it is digital, it can be quickly and easily updated. Moreover, it covers both physical and mental health issues, using a symptom-based approach.

The Mariners Medico Guide is available free of charge on both desktop and mobile (Apple App Store and Google Play). For more information, please visit Reference

World’s largest Container Ship delivered to MSC

10 Mar 2023
Chinese shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding has delivered the giant 24,116 TEU containership MSC Tessa to its owner Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).

Image Source: Offshore Energy News

The massive vessel was independently designed by Hudong-Zhonghua and it belongs to the category of the world’s largest containerships based on its capacity. The shipyard said that the vessel is actually the largest vessel delivered so far, breaking the record of Ever Alot which was handed over in June last year.

The giant boxship was ordered by China’s Bank of Communications Financial Leasing (Bocomm Leasing) for MSC in 2020 as part of a four-vessel deal worth an estimated $600 million.

It comes equipped with a hybrid scrubber, small bulbous bow, large diameter propellers, and energy-saving ducts.

At the same time, the 400-meter-long ship uses air lubrication which reduces the total energy consumption and the corresponding total carbon emissions by 3% to 4%. It is classed by DNV classification society.

The vessel’s deck area is close to 4 standard football fields, the molded depth is 33.2 meters, and the maximum stacking layers can reach 25 layers, the equivalent of 22 stories. It can carry more than 240,000 tons of cargo, and it can load 24,116 standard containers at a time.

The shaft generator is also used for the first time, which can effectively reduce fuel consumption, optimize EEDI energy efficiency indicators and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the shipbuilder explains. Reference

#EmbraceEquity for International Women’s Day

09 Mar 2023
Celebrated every year on March 8th, International Women’s Day serves both as an honorary day for women, and a reminder of the struggle they encounter due to their gender. Women around the world have historically been faced with bias, violence, inequality, and all sorts of misconducts, simply because they were women. The lacking numbers and the dismissive treatment of women in shipping, especially female seafarers, has been one of the most prominent cases of discrimination based on gender.

Image Courtsey: IMO

Unfortunately, these phenomena have not yet ceased to exist, even as we live in an era of information and technology. Even though humanity now has countless tools at its disposal, injustice is ever present. The issue of inequality based on gender has been discussed thoroughly in the past decades. However, the International Women’s Day motto this year does not exactly ask for equality but rather, equity.

As stated by the movement, #EmbraceEquity is campaign theme is to get the world talking about why equal opportunities aren’t enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.

Equity is a step further than equality. Equality represents the idea that everyone should be presented with the same opportunities. Equity, on the other hand, implements the human factor more as doesn’t believe in same opportunities for all, but rather opportunities for each and every one in accordance with themselves.

Image Source: Safety4Sea

The idea is perfectly explained in the image above. The goal is not to present everyone with a bike and be done with it. The goal is for each person to have a bike that they can actually ride and enjoy. This distinguishment is of the utmost importance as it leaves no room for superficial looks into the situation. Reference

The Ocean Plastic Pollution Problem is Growing Bigger – And Fast

09 Mar 2023
There are more than 170 trillion – or 2 million tons’ worth – of tiny plastic particles floating on the surface of the ocean, and many of them got there after 2004, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One

Image Source: gCaptain

For this study, samples were collected by dragging a net with exceptionally fine mesh for several kilometers across the ocean surface to determine an average amount of particles per kilometer of water. Then a computer model analyzed how plastic concentrates as it leaves rivers, coastlines and shipping lanes. From this the researchers extrapolated to an estimate of items for the global ocean. They then tested their model against real-world concentrations. 

Taken between 1979 and 2019, the samples reveal a rapid and unprecedented increase in ocean plastics since 2005. 

The ocean supplies half the planet’s oxygen, absorbs more than a third of carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and feeds billions of people. But it is in trouble from overfishing, plastic dumping and acidification. Reference

Seaspan, HaiSea target tug gender diversity deficit

09 Mar 2023
Seaspan ULC and HaiSea Marine see a need for more than a change in age demographics in a marine industry Transport in Canada. Estimates will need 19,000 new seafarers over the next 10 years to fill job vacancies as approximately 43 per cent of the country’s marine industry workforce retires.

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Women in Marine open house event, held on Feb, 28 underscored the focus of the need. Companies see this as one of the untapped human resources that could help fill the marine industry crewing vacancies in B.C.

The HaiSea-Seaspan open house was aimed at raising the profile of B.C. tug and barge career opportunities for women; it also highlighted the technology and design of the tugboat fleet HaiSea will be using to service LNG Canada’s liquefied natural gas export terminal in Kitimat.

HaiSea is a joint venture of Seaspan and the Haisla Nation, which is the partnership’s 51-per-cent majority owner.

The Feb. 28 HaiSea open house offered attendees tours of Seaspan’s main North Vancouver dock and the opportunity to use one of HaiSea-Seaspan’s tug simulators to get an idea of what it would be like to operate and work in one of the new tugs, the first of which is scheduled to be delivered in mid-June.

A subsequent evening event featured a panel of women describing their experiences working their way up from deckhands to become master mariners. Reference

Captured CO2 Injected Below the North Sea in CCS World First

09 Mar 2023
A consortium led by UK-based chemicals company INEOS is claiming the world’s first injection of captured carbon dioxide into a depleted oil field in the Danish North Sea.

Image Source: gCaptain

The initiative, called Project Greensand, is aimed at demonstrating the feasibility of carbon capture and storage (CCS) to reduce carbon emissions in the fight against climate change.

The carbon dioxide was captured at an INEOS site in Belgium, tranformed into liquid form, and successfully transported to the Danish North Sea for permanent storage at the INEOS-operated Nini field at a depth of around 1,800 meters below the seabed. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark initiated the injection during a celebratory event on Wednesday.

The European Commission estimates that the EU will need to store up to 300 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2050 to meet its climate goals.

The injected CO2 will be monitored closely, contributing to the understanding and growth of carbon storage technology.

The sandstone fields of the larger Siri Fairway that holds the Nini field in the Danish North Sea are located at an optimal depth of 1,500 to 2,200 meters. Reference

To secure maritime supply chains, India to boost domestic shipbuilding industry

08 Mar 2023
The Indian government is implementing a programme that will increase the government’s support for domestic shipbuilding. The authorities in New Delhi are optimistic that the new Program will not only improve the overall efficacy and balance of the sector but will also significantly contribute to accelerating the country’s future industrialisation. The Program’s details and manner of implementation were made public in February of this year while the Indian Parliament was discussing the proposed state budget for the fiscal year 2023-2024. The Republic of India currently has significant shipbuilding potential.

The government owns the seven largest shipbuilding and ship repair companies out of the country’s total of roughly 35 shipbuilding and ship repair businesses. More than eighty per cent of the Republic’s total shipbuilding capacity is held by only three state-owned corporations: Cochin, Hindustan, and Mazagon. The Republic’s overall shipbuilding capability is approaching two hundred and fifty thousand tonnes of deadweight produced yearly.

The country’s national shipbuilding market is rapidly expanding. According to analysts from the Indian marketing firm Infogence Global Research, the capacity of the local market for shipbuilding products is forecast of $8.07 billion for 2027.

In addition, the new government state support program’s strategic goal is to boost the capacity of the national merchant fleet. This includes maintaining the export cargo base and assuring raw materials and merchandise import into the country. Reference

First-ever surgery on board hospital ship Global Mercy

08 Mar 2023
The world’s largest civilian hospital ship, Mercy Ships’ Global Mercy, currently docked in Dakar, Senegal, has marked a milestone. A four-year-old boy, Amadou, has become the first patient to receive a surgery on board the ship.

Image Source: Marine Log

Born with one windswept leg and one bowed leg, even sitting for a meal was painful for him. Both are conditions that can be corrected by early intervention.

Amadou will receive two surgeries. At present, there are no fully certified pediatric orthopedic surgeons practicing in Senegal although there is a resident in training who has been mentored on board Mercy Ships’ other hospital ship, Africa Mercy, during previous visits.

Amadou’s surgery is the first of over 40 planned pediatric orthopedic operations this month. Over the next four months, the Global Mercy will provide over 800 safe, free surgeries.

In this first surgical field service, the Global Mercy will focus on bringing hope and healing through the following surgical specialties: maxillofacial, general, pediatric specialized general, orthopedic, reconstructive plastics, and ophthalmology. Reference

The plight of stranded ship crews

08 Mar 2023
Commercial seafarers might be the workforce that people rely on the most but think about the least. The vast majority of goods traded around the world are transported on ships. Capitalism wouldn’t work without the almost 2mn people who work on them. But it seems to take a lot for them to get noticed.

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Part of the problem during pandemic was the length of time it took many countries to classify them as “key workers” in spite of the fact that their work was, quite clearly, key. They have been caught up in the war in Ukraine too. The ICS, together with 30 other organisations, wrote last month to UN secretary-general António Guterres to try to publicise their plight and push for a negotiated solution that could help them leave safely. But it doesn’t always take a global crisis for seafarers to end up adrift.

Sometimes ship owners just abandon them, maybe after they have underestimated the cost of running a voyage, or when they realise a ship needs investment and it would be less costly just to walk away.

It’s not always possible for seafarers to leave an abandoned ship. They might not have a visa to enter a country, or the local authorities might say they have to stay on board to keep the ship safe. Even if they can leave, many don’t want to walk away empty-handed because they are owed money their families have been counting on.

Abandonments are relatively rare but they seem to be on the rise. Between 2006 and 2016, there were typically between 10 and 25 official abandonments reported each year. But more recently, the figures have climbed sharply. Last year, 118 cases were reported involving 1,841 seafarers. Seafarers from the Philippines, India and Pakistan were the most affected.

There has been some progress made in helping seafarers more effectively when they are abandoned. A new international rule in 2017 required ships to have insurance against abandonment, which pays out to cover the cost of seafarers’ wages and repatriation. The catch is it only applies to vessels flagged to countries that have ratified the Maritime Labour Convention, and even then compliance hasn’t been perfect. Still, the ITF says it has made a difference. Reference

IRClass chooses Dassault Systèmes to drive digital transformation

08 Mar 2023
Classification society Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) will collaborate with French multinational Dassault Systèmes to use the latter’s virtual twin technology to drive the classification society’s digital drive.

Image Source: IRClass

IRClass aims to build a digital framework based on four key pillars – technology, people, processes and open innovation – and is aiming to offer remote vessel and fleet monitoring, performance and voyage optimisation, remote maintenance assistance, predictive maintenance and condition monitoring.

It will use Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE (3DX) platform to increase the performance and efficiency of complex marine and offshore projects. 

Dassault’s 3DX platform allows companies to create and visualise a virtual twin of products, processes and operations. Unlike a digital twin prototype that focuses on one specific object, virtual twin allows users to visualise, model and simulate the entire operation. 

IRClass believes the platform will enable it to enhance and implement data-driven decision making, concept design, engineering, integrated operations and maintenance processes.

Chairman Arun Sharma said Dassault was selected after an analysis of other marketplace offerings. He added the association will help the class society achieve its objectives, in improving its quality of services. “We are committed to providing the highest quality services to our customers and this collaboration will enable us to achieve that goal,” he said. Reference

Improving crew safety by using robots to clean bulk cargo holds

08 Mar 2023
Using robots to clean cargo holds can save lives and bring economic benefits, according to a leading shipowner speaking at Riviera Maritime Media’s How digitalisation, automation and robotics are transforming cargo hold cleaning webinar.

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Traditional methods of cargo hold cleaning are ripe for technological disruption, and changes to bulk carrier trading patterns are creating opportunities for robotics. Operators who can seamlessly, swiftly and safely switch between cargoes will be able to realise greater earning opportunities.

Lauritzen Bulkers is an early leader in developing and testing robots for effective hold cleaning. Its technical manager and senior marine superintendent Martin Kondrup said crawler robots can clean 85-95% of all hold surfaces, reducing the risks to seafarers from working at height in enclosed spaces with chemicals.

Lauritzen has been involved in developing hold-cleaning robots for seven years and has seen benefits through testing prototypes and pilot projects.

Lauritzen has cleaned bulk carriers in two days to grain-clean standards using one robot and two crew, “one on deck working the pump and one in the cargo hold remotely controlling the robot.”

There are challenges, including training crew to use robots and providing a constant supply of fresh water to them during operations. There may also be challenges in getting power to robots, especially in older bulk carriers. Reference

India: Andhra Pradesh with long coast set to lead country’s port-based development

06 Mar 2023
Asserting that the multi-modal transport system (MMTS) is the future of logistics, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal has said Andhra Pradesh with its long coastline is poised to move ahead in the race for development.

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In his keynote address at the valedictory of the two-day Global Investors Summit 2023 in Visakhapatnam on Saturday, he said AP has an important role to play in the port-led development of the country. 

Under the Sagarmala Programme, more than 110 projects worth around 1.1 lakh crore have been identified for implementation in AP. Out of them, 35 projects worth 32,000 crores have already been completed and 14 projects worth 2,500 crores are in progress. For the uplift of the fisherman community, five fishing harbour projects worth 1,500 crores have been sanctioned for AP under the Sagarmala Programme, he said. 

Six projects were awarded to Vizag port in January 2023 with an investment of 658 crores and another six projects are in the pipeline with and investment potential of 1,250 crores. Completion of these projects will increase the port capacity by about 37 million tonnes per annum, he added.  Reference

Spy in the sky might be used to track ghost ships

06 Mar 2023
The State is examining satellite technology to help it identify and track ghost ships or lost containers in Irish territorial waters.

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The Irish Coast Guard is working with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to evaluate “satellite-based options” that can identify potential maritime risks posed by vessels like the MV Alta ghost ship in Cork, and other vessels that have stopped transmitting any electronic signature.

And while the department of transport confirmed that it plans to bring forward new legislation to help the State better deal with vessels like this which come ashore, and which are abandoned and left to rot, it did not say when that might happen.

So while shipowners are obliged to maintain insurance or provide other financial security to cover the costs of wreck removal, the owners of ghost ships and other abandoned wrecks can be difficult to trace.

The Department of Transport said primary legislation is needed in the first instance to allow the State to provide for any requirements in secondary legislation. Reference

Note: All above news items compiled in this digest should be considered as news in brief. For detailed news, please refer to reference link, mentioned with each item.

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