Crew Mirror Digest 12-2023

Share it now

India: Maritime strength key to protecting strategic interests: President Murmu

19 Mar 2023
In a glittering ceremony, President Droupadi Murmu bestowed the prestigious President’s Colour on Indian Navy’s Gunnery School INS Dronacharya, in Kochi on Thursday. The President was welcomed with a 21-gun salute and a 400-men parade.

Image Courtsey: Indian Navy

Speaking on the occasion, President said maritime strength remains critical to India’s strategic, military, economic and commercial interests. For a nation like India, with a long coastline, island territories and substantial seafaring population, a strong and modern Navy is of very high importance.

The President noted that over the years, the Indian Navy has developed significant capabilities to be a mission-deployed and response-ready force across the Indian Ocean region, and become the ‘First Responder’ to any contingency, in our maritime neighbourhood. Speaking about her visit to INS Vikrant, the President said the indigenously built modern aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is a shining example of Atmanirbhar Bharat. 

Today, India is among select few nations with the capacity to build an aircraft carrier with indigenous technology. She appreciated the entire team of Indian Navy, Cochin Shipyard Ltd and everyone associated with the INS Vikrant for making the country proud. Reference

India’s port sector is growing rapidly and contributing to the economic progress: PM

18 Mar 2023
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has lauded the achievements of Tuticorin VOC port a Y-o-Y growth of 11.35%.

Image Courtsey: VOC Ports

In a reply to a tweet by V.O. Chidambaranar Port Authority, Tuticorin, the Prime Minister tweeted; “Good! India’s port sector is growing rapidly and contributing to economic progress.”

The Port has handled 36.03 Million Tonnes of cargo, as on 14.03.2023 and surpassed the target of 36 Million Tonnes, set by the Shipping Ministry 17 days ahead in the FY 2022-23. Reference

US to Begin Its First Hydrogen Powered Ferry Service

18 Mar 2023
After a year of delays, the hydrogen-powered ferry SEA CHANGE is preparing to begin service in the US. The vessel arrived in San Francisco earlier this month and is set to start operations this spring.

Image Source: FleetMon

Claimed to be the first of its kind in the US, the SEA CHANGE can carry up to 75 passengers, reach speeds of up to 20 knots, and travel up to 300 nautical miles once fully fueled. The vessel uses 242 kg of hydrogen stored in tanks as fuel, which is then used in fuel cells provided by Zero Emission Industries and Cummins to generate power.

The SEA CHANGE, a 70-foot catamaran ferry designed by Incat Crowther, was launched in August 2021, and was originally scheduled to enter service in June 2022. However, due to delays, the vessel was towed into San Francisco earlier this month, and preparations are underway for it to begin operations within a few weeks.

Operated by the San Francisco Bay Ferry, the SEA CHANGE will ply routes between the downtown waterfront and Alameda, Oakland, Richmond, and Vallejo. Reference

India: Deep Ocean Mission, Blue Economy discussed in Rajya Sabha

17 Mar 2023
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh today shared certain details of the “Deep Ocean Mission” with the Rajya Sabha and said it is linked to India’s “Blue Economy”.

Image Courtsey: TOI

In reply to a question, the Minister stated that the outcome of the program is intended to identify potential new resources and develop technology for harnessing them in future, which may generate additional opportunities for livelihoods. The Deep Ocean Mission was formulated after having detailed discussions with central and state government stakeholders, the reply said. Consultations were held with Experts in central and state government while formulating the Mission, the Minister informed.

Dr Jitendra Singh reiterated that the Deep Ocean Mission is related to the Blue Economy. The activities of Deep Ocean Mission will help the components of the blue economy such as fisheries, tourism and maritime transport, renewable energy, aquaculture, seabed extractive activities and marine biotechnology, he said.

In reply to another question, Dr Jitendra Singh informed that India ranks 6th globally in R&D investment in terms of US$ Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). He added that India’s spending on R&D has nearly tripled from Rs. 39,437.77 crore in 2007-08 to Rs. 1,13,825.03 crore in 2017-18.

According to Dr. Jitendra Singh, the Government has been making sincere efforts to enhance the R&D expenditure and create adequate opportunities for the researchers that include the competitive extramural funding schemes. He added that the government has also taken several steps to increase opportunities for research students pursuing Ph.D. and Post-Doctoral research. Reference

UAE: NMDC launches the ‘Let’s grow together’ supplier engagement platform

17 Mar 2023
National Marine Dredging Group (NMDC Group) and the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) today launched the ‘Let’s Grow Together’ supplier engagement event geared towards bolstering business opportunities for Abu Dhabi-based suppliers.

Image Source:

The event, which took place at the Abu Dhabi Chamber’s building, welcomed more than 500 suppliers and business partners from various industries who were able to learn about the many opportunities available within the Group’s ongoing and future projects, its supply chain needs, supplier qualification criteria and requirements to maximize participation.

During the event, H.E Abdulla Mohamed Al Mazrui, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber, said, “This significant event, which is a direct result of our MoU with NMDC Group, supports the UAE’s vision of creating a diversified and resilient economy, in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 and the UAE Centennial 2071. We are also proud to be supporting the country in its efforts to increase the productivity of the national industry and shaping the future of the UAE’s economy, to establish the country’s position among the best global economies.”

Through the course of the event which is held under the theme of “Accelerate the growth and qualifications of Abu Dhabi local industries,” NMDC Group communicated its project portfolio requirements, spanning a wide range of onshore and offshore needs including aggregates, piping, painting, and coating, as well as marine vessels and plant and equipment among others.

Suppliers will also be able to register for NMDC Group’s projects at the Abu Dhabi Chamber’s business centre on Friday, March 17th and Monday, March 20th.

‘Let’s Grow Together’ is the result of the recent MoU signed between NMDC Group and Abu Dhabi Chamber that aimed to identify development and growth opportunities in the private sector. Reference

Seafarer abandonment growing worldwide but UAE cases recede

17 Mar 2023
The number of seafarers abandoned without pay is beginning to recede in the UAE thanks to tougher deterrents against rogue shipping contractors, experts said. After a record year in 2022, with 1,555 seafarers and 113 ships abandoned worldwide, welfare groups said fewer UAE cases had been reported so far this year.

Image Source:

As a key logistics hub for shipping lines, ports receive about 21,000 vessels a year, with more than 20,000 domestic and international maritime companies operating nationwide.

Since a government resolution was passed in September 2021, operators of merchant tankers and other commercial vessels face greater financial penalties that address the rights of seafarers.

In the UAE, a framework outlined by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure offers greater protection for the rights of seafarers. Fines of Dh20,000 can be levied on owners of abandoned vessels, with an additional Dh10,000 fine per seafarer left on board.

The number of abandonments soared at the onset of the global pandemic in 2020 and continued to increase in 2021 and 2022 due to the war in Ukraine and the global recession.

According to the latest report on abandonment by digital maritime platform RightShip, unpaid monies owed to seafarers over the past 20 years totalled $40 million, with some 9,925 men and women cast adrift. Reference

ITF Launches Inspection Barrage Targeting Substandard Shipping

17 Mar 2023
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is launching a barrage of inspections on what could be up to 1,000 ships operating under four international registries in an effort to increase the focus on crew welfare, safety, and maintenance issues. The inspections will take place over the next eight weeks in the Mediterranean for ships operating under the flags of the Cook Islands, Palau, Sierra Leone, and Togo. 

Image Source: The Maritime Executive

According to the federation of transport workers’ unions, it selected the targets based on data on the number of crew abandonment cases and the unpaid wage cases brought by the ITF against shipowners operating under these flags. They report that the ITF has handled cases of more than 100 crewmembers abandoned from ships under these flags in the past two years and made claims for millions of dollars of wages not paid to crews. 

In addition to the union inspectors, the ITF reports its efforts will be bolstered in France by the country’s Port State Control agencies. The union says that the agencies, which are organized regionally, are also targeting these shipowners based in part on the Paris and Tokyo MOUs, which annually publish White, Grey, and Black lists.

The ITF is reporting that there were over 5,200 deficiencies or detentions issued by European Port State Control enforcement agencies against ships sailing under these flags. This is based on data from the Paris MOU between 2020 and 2022.

The union reports in the past three years that it has been involved in 33 cases of crew abandonment, affecting more than a hundred seafarers, leaving many without pay, food, water, or a way to get home on ships flying these flags. The ITF made claims for more than $5.5 million in unpaid wages. Reference

All-Female SpaceX Crew Makes Space Recovery History

17 Mar 2023
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is made a little bit of history last week with what is believed to be the first all-female crew involved the space recovery operations off the coast of Florida. The operation was carried out Tuesday as part of SpaceX’s latest launch of the company’s of its Dragon spacecraft by one of its Falcon 9 rocket.

Image Source: gCaptain

The vessel, named Doug, is one of SpaceX’s two new multi-purpose recovery ships that are designed for the recovery of reusable payload fairings and rocket boosters.

The all-female crew is one of the first in commercial maritime operations and comes as the shipping industry is striving for more gender diversity, particularly at sea. According to 2021 study, women represent only 1.2% percent of the global seafarer workforce with little over 24,000 women serving.

In 2021, the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) tanker Swarna Krishna set sail with all-female officers to mark International Women’s Day. In 2019, global towage operator Svitzer, part of A.P. Moller Maersk, hired its first all-female crew for one of its tugs in the Dominican Republic. Reference

ILO: Ensure decent work for key workers

16 Mar 2023
According to International Labour Organization (ILO), countries need to improve the working conditions and earnings of key workers – who were essential during the COVID-19 crisis – to fully reflect their contribution to society and their importance in the daily functioning of economies. During the COVID-19 crisis key workers suffered higher mortality rates than non-key workers, overall.

Among the keyworkers, are seafarers, who continued to perform their jobs, day in and day out, even at the height of the pandemic, often at great personal risk according to ILO Director-General, Gilbert F. Houngbo. In particular, during the COVID-19 crisis, the industry stakeholders (i.e. ICS,IMO, ETF, ECSA )joined forces so as seafarers to be recognized as key workers.

In October 2021, IMO MSC 104 approved a draft IMO Assembly resolution consolidating issues related to crew change, requiring also access to medical care and urging for ʺkey workerʺ designation and seafarers’ prioritization for COVID-19 vaccination.

ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations strongly encouraged governments to recognize seafarers as key workers and to put in practice the consequences of such a qualification, in order to restore the respect of their rights as provided for in the MLC, 2006. Furthermore, the report outlines a framework that countries can use. Reference

Wind could be used to power cargo ships

16 Mar 2023
A new initiative from the University of Southampton will investigate how modern vessels perform on the ocean when fitted with wing-sails. The experts seek to explore the potential of the technology to decarbonize the UK’s maritime sector.

Image Source:

Lead scientist Dr. Joseph Banks said that global shipping, a large source of emissions, needs to be decarbonized quickly.

The grants for the Winds of Change project were provided by the Department for Transport and Innovate UK, which is working to transform the UK into a world-leader for clean maritime equipment.

Scientists will test the impact of a retractable 20 meter-high FastRig wing-sail retrofitted on the commercial ship the Pacific Grebe – a 105 meter vessel. Wind power is the fastest way for the sector to reduce emissions. Reference

Kongsberg Digital improves the quality of maritime navigation training with cloud-based simulation

16 Mar 2023
Kongsberg Digital continues to enhance simulation training by launching its new cloud-based navigation simulation solution. The solution is another advanced simulation technology that Kongsberg Digital offers as an online training application on their digital platform.

Image Courtsey: Kongsberg

K-Sim Navigation CLOUD is based on Kongsberg’s well-reputed simulation technology and was developed in the SkyNav project funded by Innovation Norway. It enables schools and training centers to provide high-quality simulation training in navigation and ship handling, including ECDIS and radar.

The solution is designed to provide basic navigation training in compliance with the DNV’s Class D requirements. For training institutes with onsite simulators, K-Sim Navigation CLOUD is perfect for blended learning and an excellent supplement to classroom or full-mission simulator training. The training application can also be used as a stand-alone offer by other training providers that do not need to invest in hardware to provide their students with simulation exercises.

Thanks to an advanced physics engine and state-of-the-art hydrodynamic modelling, it provides students with highly realistic training using vessels, objects, and equipment that behave and interact as in real life. A sophisticated new visual system powered by Unreal Engine brings vessels, geographical areas, and all possible weather co to life. Reference

India: Port-Led Development Leading To ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’

15 Mar 2023
“Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of PPP model in ports has been a revolutionary step in making our ports globally competitive. This project will substantially enhance the cargo handling capacity of the Deendayal Port, which will ultimately benefit the trade from Gujarat, Northern and Western India.” :Shri Sarbananda Sonowal

Image Source: Marine Insight

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) has unveiled an ambitious plan to develop ‘Berth No.13 for Handling Multipurpose Clean Cargo including Container Cargo at Deendayal Port, Kandla,Gujarat on Design, Build, Finance, Operate & Transfer (DBFOT) basis under Public Private Partnership (PPP) Mode. The project will be developed for an estimated cost of Rs.167.88 Crore.

The proposed facility is planned for handling vessels up to 75,000 DWT or equivalent TEUs with Optimal Capacity of 4.20 MMTPA for Multipurpose Clean Cargo and 0.10 Million TEU (Twenty-foot equivalent unit) for Container Cargo.

This facility will be used for handling Multipurpose Clean Cargo, viz., Food grains, Sugar, Salt, Silica Clay, Ro-Ro Cargo, Timber Logs, Project Cargo including Container Cargo on PPP mode, by allotting the berth to the successful bidder on ‘as-is-where-is’ basis through DBFOT under PPP mode. Reference

Near Miss Reignites Debate on the Panama Canal

15 Mar 2023
The tug captains say the March 5 close call was a consequence of the Panama Canal Authority’s decision to loosen safety procedures. 

Image Source: The Maritime Executive

A POST-PANAMAX containership crowding a tugboat towards a closed lock gate on March 5 has reignited the debate over safety on the Panama Canal. Voices in the background express shock as the tug, which carries a five-person crew, comes perilously close to being crushed under the bow of the massive vessel.

Panama Canal workers are being forced to perform their jobs under increasingly hazardous conditions, and the situation puts the world’s supply chains at growing risk, MM&P and UCOC have warned. The most recent incident could have been fatal to the tug crew and seriously damaged the lock gate.

The hazards stem mostly from the poor design of the expanded Canal, which has given rise to a much more labor-intensive process of vessel transit. In the old locks, electric-powered locomotive “mules” run on tracks along the sidewalls, using mooring wires and tension winches to maintain the position of transiting ships. 

In the new locks, tugboats are required to continuously position vessels in transit. This puts great strain on the tugboat operators who are at the controls of their tugs throughout the entire transit, often for many hours without relief. Internationally recognized hours-of-rest standards are being routinely ignored by Canal management. Reference

Modi govt’s COMPLAN to boost India’s coastal security

14 Mar 2023
To avert incidents like the Mundra port drug overhaul, the Modi government has implemented a comprehensive multi-agency communication coordination plan for effective coastal border security management.

Image Source:

The common communication plan, or COMPLAN, for coastal security, has been promulgated by the department of border management of the Union home ministry for “coordination among various agencies for the coastal security of the country”, the government said.

Fifteen agencies of the Central and state government, including the Indian Navy, the Coast Guard and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), are coordinating to ensure a better security grid around India’s coastal borders.

Apart from the Navy, Customs/Immigration, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) or the Border Security Force (BSF), state police or state marine police as may be the case, directorate general of shipping, department of fisheries, ports/state maritime boards, department of fisheries are working to share inputs crucial for maritime security.

Other agencies part of the COMPAN include the department of forest and environment, state/UT governments, intelligence agencies, oil handling agencies, the directorate general of lighthouse and lightship, and director general of shipping, minister of state for defence Ajay Bhatt told the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

The plan or COMPLAN – as it is nicknamed – envisages integrating marine law enforcement agencies into a single network for better coordination and seamless exchange of mission-critical information. Reference

Indian marine emissions lower than global average: Report

14 Mar 2023
A recent research study by the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has revealed that the carbon emissions from India’s marine fisheries sector are significantly lower than the global average. The study was presented at a review meeting of the fisheries component of the National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) network research project, highlighting the impact of the fishing industry on the environment.

The study by the ICAR-CMFRI team has shed light on the relatively low carbon footprint of India’s marine fisheries sector compared to the global average. By adopting sustainable fishing practices that reduce carbon emissions, the fishing industry can help to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on marine ecosystems while also promoting economic growth and supporting local communities.

The research assessed the carbon footprint of India’s marine fisheries sector, estimating that it emits 1.32 tonnes of CO2 (carbon dioxide) to produce one tonne of fish, which is considerably lower than the global average of over two tonnes for the same quantity. This finding indicates that India’s fishing industry has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other countries, which is encouraging given the country’s large population and high demand for fish.

The results of the study suggest that the Indian marine fisheries sector could potentially serve as a model for sustainable fishing practices in other countries. Reference

Amogy launches first ammonia-powered tugboat

14 Mar 2023
Brooklyn-based Amogy has scored another first by modifying a 1957-vintage tug to run on liquid ammonia. The tug already had an electric drive system using diesel generators and electric motors. Amogy will replace the diesels by retrofitting a 1MW ammonia generator.

Image Source:

It will be using a cracking reactor to split ammonia into hydrogen and nitrogen, then running the hydrogen through a fuel cell to create electricity and feed the electric motors. This will create a zero-emission vessel.

Ammonia, which does not emit CO2 when used as a fuel, is expected to become a next-generation fuel because it has properties that are ideally suited for the hydrogen economy.

The tug is the latest ammonia-fuel-project undertaken by Amogy. Reference

Largest Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Marine Use

13 Mar 2023
PowerCell has announced an agreement to deliver hydrogen fuel cells to two Torghatten ferries in Norway. The order is valued at 19.2 million euros.

Image Source:

The significance is that these will be the largest marine hydrogen fuel cells produced up to this point, according to PowerCell, and the largest non-combustible fuel propulsion project to date in the global marine industry.

Rated at 6MW for each ferry, the fuel cells will predominantly be powered by green hydrogen, the company stated. Delivery is slated for the fourth quarter 2024.

Operating in Northern Norway, the ferries sail a four-hour crossing of the Vestfjorden between Lofoten and Bodø. 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.

Share it now