News Bulletin – 6 June 2020

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1. Fatal Ship Elevator Accident Highlights Importance of Safety Management Procedures.

05 June 2020 : The Australian Transportation Safety Bureau is highlighting the importance of applying existing safety management procedures after a containership’s crew member was killed when he became trapped between an elevator cage and a bulkhead.

The 3 June 2018 accident occurred when the electro-technical officer (ETO) of the OOCL Kuala Lumpur, which was preparing to enter Port Botany, Sydney, was testing the ship’s personnel elevator after completing mechanical repairs. While driving the elevator from the cage top, the ETO became trapped between the moving cage and the bulkhead, sustaining fatal injuries.

The ATSB investigation found that the ETO was last seen alone, on top of the elevator cage, in the prescribed safe zone with the elevator control in ‘MANUAL’. The exact circumstances as to how and why the ETO then came to be trapped while the elevator moved between floors could not be determined, the ATSB said. 

2. Cargo ship with 21 crew missing in Bali sea, Indonesia UPDATE found.

05 June 2020 : The ship was found on Jun 5 drifting some 30 nm E of Raas island, Bali sea, N of Bali. The ship was disabled, in total blackout due to failed generator. Owner of the ship is to provide either repairs on board, or towage. Crew is safe.

General cargo ship KM ODISSEY was reported missing in the morning Jun 4 in Bali sea, Indonesia. Owner of the ship, PT Odyssey Maritim Nusantara company, said that the ship reported generator and communications problems on May 29, she was last seen on Jun 3 some 40 nm NNE of Karangasem Regency, northeast Bali. Company asked Bali maritime authorities to search for the ship, and assist if necessary. Vessel with 21 crew on board is en route from Semarang to Bima, Sumbawa island, central Indonesia.

3. The Mission To Seafarers Announces New Seafarer Support Campaign.

04 June 2020 : The Mission to Seafarers yesterday announced the launch of a new flagship campaign to address the severe welfare issues facing seafarers worldwide in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The Flying Angel campaign is a top priority for the Mission as crews remain trapped on vessels owing to travel restrictions, subject to quarantine upon returning home, and unable to contact loved ones The Mission has targeted a funding total of £600,000 to deliver this program which will have significant benefits to the entire industry.

The Mission to Seafarers has been assessing the needs of seafarers through the Seafarers Happiness Index, and the use of its recently launched digital support system ‘Chat to a Chaplain’. Although circumstances are evolving with some crew changes possible, it is clear that seafarers are still suffering, and their mental health and well being will continue to be significantly impacted in the long term. In response, the Mission will be focusing on two main strands to offer support: resilience in ports and technological innovations to improve connectivity.

4. Top ship managers’ groups work out crew rotation plan for Indians at foreign ports.

04 June 2020 : Two prominent ship managers’ groups are attempting to put in place a crew rotation system to bring back Indian seafarers to and from foreign ports as shipping companies continue to struggle in carrying out proper crew changes at overseas locations.

The three special chartered flights for the seafares, that took off over the last fortnight from Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai to Colombo and Doha have returned mostly empty. This has forced seafarers and their families to lash out against the Government for denying crew who have signed off from ships to return home.

The Foreign Ship-owners Representatives and Ship Managers Association (FOSMA) and the Maritime Association of Shipowners, Ship Managers and Agents (MASSA) will run charter flights using Indigo planes on the Delhi-Doha-Delhi sector on June 3, 7, 11 and 15.

5. India : Around 1,000 Goan seafarers expected to land this week.

Around 1,000 Goan seafarers expected to land this week | Goa News ...

03 June 2020 : More than 1,000 Goan seafarers are expected to arrive in Goa between June 5 and June 11, chief minister Pramod Sawant said on Tuesday. He added that the flights carrying 1,136 Goans will arrive from UK. A flight chartered by Princess Cruises arrived at Goa airport on Tuesday evening with 153 seafarers. This is the fifth repatriation flight carrying seafarers directly to Goa.

6. Indian seafarers lost 2,520 jobs on ships due to Covid induced restrictions on crew change.

03 June 2020 : Indian seafarers lost some 2,520 jobs on board ships between March 23 and May 30 as the lockdown restrictions imposed by the government to slow the spread of coronavirus derailed crew change plans both in India and overseas.

Between March 23 and May 30, 8,732 Indian seafarers signed off from ships both in India and abroad, while only 6,212 seafarers signed-on, according to the Directorate General of Shipping (DG Shipping), India’s maritime administration.

This implies that 2,520 Indian seafarers lost jobs to other nationalities. Ship management and crewing companies operating out of India make sure that Indian seafarers signing off from ships under their management are replaced by Indian crew during the process of crew change. But, the stoppage of international flights, a key link in the logistic of crew change, put paid to those plans. The government framed standard operating procedures (SOP) for crew change involving Indian seafarers at Indian ports on April 22, while permission to use chartered flights to carry out crew change at foreign ports was granted on May 30.

7. Norwegian Cruise Line to start sailing with medical-grade air filtration.

02 June 2020 : Norwegian Cruise Line announced new health and safety policies for guests for when sailing resumes which includes medical-grade air filtration used on planes. The line has said it worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the policies, where passengers will find medical-grade H13 HEPA air-filters said to remove 99.95 per cent of airborne pathogens.

Other policies include more medical facilities including a dedicated Public Health Officer who is in charge of sanitisation and outbreak initiatives, reduced capacity throughout public areas and more. The SAIL SAFE Health and Safety Program was posted on the line’s site earlier this week. It has six key areas of health and safety addressed in the program and will be implemented fleetwide.

8. Cruising’s ‘monumental’ task: Getting crew home.

02 June 2020 : Cruise lines are accustomed to the complications of moving 30 million passengers every year.  But when the industry had to take a pause this spring due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it found itself facing what turned out to be a herculean task of repatriating tens of thousands of crewmembers from around the world.

Getting that many people home so suddenly would be difficult in any circumstances. But in this case, border closures, flight suspensions and, in the U.S. at least, a federal prohibition against transporting crew using commercial flights were added to the mix. What resulted is an endeavor that the chiefs of the three largest cruise companies have called monumental, extraordinary and extremely complicated.

9. Mission to Seafarers group provides lifeline to sailors stuck on ships in Aussie ports.

01 June 2020 : The mental health of sailors is suffering as they are forced to remain on board their ships for weeks while docked in Australian ports. Sailors are used to being stuck on ships for long periods of time, but the coronavirus pandemic has meant sailors are being quarantined on their ships instead of enjoying shore leave.

The job of looking after the sailors during these difficult times and making sure they have what they need while in floating isolation falls to volunteer organisation Mission to Seafarers. The group is an international mission with four centres in Victoria, including one inside the Port of Portland.

10. Tullow Oil: 58 Workers Test Positive for COVID-19 on FPSO Off Ghana.

01 June 2020 : Fifty-eight workers tested positive for COVID-19 at an oil production facility run by Tullow Oil off Ghana’s Atlantic coast, the company said in a statement on Friday. Fifty-seven workers tested positive on a support vessel for a floating production and storage (FPSO) tanker. Another worker tested positive on the FPSO itself, but production remains unaffected, the company said. All infected personnel have been brought onshore for isolation and treatment, it said.

Ghana has reported more than 7,600 cases of the new coronavirus and 34 deaths, the second highest number of cases in West Africa after Nigeria, although it has conducted far more tests than any other country in the region. Earlier this month, 695 workers tested positive at a fish-processing factory in the seafront city of Tema, raising fears that the virus was spreading out of control.

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