News Bulletin – 7 December 2019

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1. Bunker tanker sank off Bangkok, oil leak.

6 December 2019 : Tanker GOLDEN BRIDGE 2 sank in the morning Dec 3 in Gulf of Siam off Chao Praya river estuary, just south of Bangkok. The ship isn’t registered in known databases, identified by local media, referring to officials, as a tanker, most probably bunker tanker.

At the time of an accident she had some 100 tons of bunker fuel on board, cause of sinking unclear – sudden and massive aft water ingress was mentioned. 3 crew were rescued. Reportedly, some 20 tons of fuel already leaked, creating a 4-kilometer long slick, which is drifting towards eastern coast of the Gulf. The Royal Thai Navy is tasked with preventing oil slick advance towards the coast. Understood other available anti pollution resources are to be deployed or are already deployed.

2. 14 Crew Rescued from Listing Cargo Ship in Greek Waters.

5 December 2019 : The Hellenic Coast Guard carried out a dramatic rescue operation on Wednesday, December 4, evacuating fourteen crew members of the Liberian-flagged general cargo vessel New Leo. The ship, loaded with steel, got into trouble while battling bad weather in the area between the Greek islands of Lesbos and Skyros in the Aegean Sea, the coast guard said.

Namely, the vessel got stuck in the heavy swells and is seen in coast guard footage swaying uncontrollably following a mechanical failure and shifting of cargo. The captain of the stricken vessel had to call in for assistance and abandon ship. The ill-fated vessel ended up listing 30 degrees starboard. An extensive rescue operation followed suit, with two navy ships and two Air Force Super Puma helicopters dispatched to the scene.

3. IAPH Women in Ports Mentoring Program now extended to female Harbour Masters.

5 December 2019 : Women working in Harbour Master Divisions at the world’s ports are now being offered the opportunity to be mentored by some of the industry’s most experienced male and female professionals thanks to the International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) now joining the IAPH World Ports Sustainability Program as Partner.

IHMA has already reported interest from women members and are in the process of matching them with senior mentors, including members of their own Executive Committee. The IAPH Women’s Forum, due to meet with representatives from all member ports at the IAPH World Ports Conference next March in Antwerp, established the Women in Ports Mentoring Program last May.

Jeanine Drummond (pictured above, first left), Harbour Master – Newcastle & Yamba, Port Authority of New South Wales and Chair – IAPH Women’s Forum, introduced the Mentorloop system at a special event held at the IMO FAL 43rd Session in London earlier this year. The system connects women port professionals online with both male and female mentors who are principally involved in port operations. Jeanine commented: “The Women in Ports Mentoring Program sets out to empower high-potential women port professionals by linking them to expert mentors to expand their knowledge base and prepare them to take up operational roles in the smart ports of the future.”

4. Dryad: 19 Tanker Crew Kidnapped off Nigeria.

5 December 2019 : Nineteen crew members of a tanker vessel identified as Nave Constellation have been kidnapped by pirates. The attack occurred while the vessel was sailing around 100 nautical miles off Bonny Island, Nigeria on December 3, 2019, Dryad Global reports.

18 of the taken crew are believed to be of Indian nationality and one of Turkish origin. According to the report, seven crew members are still on board the tanker, listed as part of Navios Tankers Management’s fleet. The maritime security company did not disclose the source of the incident report, however, it has categorized the source of high confidence level.

5. Nautilus: Seafarers Fear Being Scapegoated for Sulphur Cap Infringement.

4 December 2019 : Seafarers are increasingly alarmed by the prospect of being criminalized for problems through no fault of their own, linked to the enforcement of the 0.5% cap on the sulphur content of fuel, Maritime professionals’ union Nautilus International warns.

Penalties for non-compliance with the new regulation set to enter into force on January 1, 2020 will include big fines or lengthy jail sentences in some countries, as well as ship detentions. Nautilus members have also highlighted a range of safety and operational concerns, including incidents of power loss when changing fuels, lubrication issues, filter problems and leaks.

6. KR, HLS Team Up on Ship Cyber Security Research.

4 December 2019 : Classification society Korean Register (KR) and LNG carrier owner and operator Hyundai LNG Shipping (HLS) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to conduct joint research on the application, verification and development of guidance for maritime cyber security systems.

Under the agreement, the two companies will jointly verify cyber security solutions applicable to new ships and will develop risk analysis and design safety evaluations for cybersecurity systems. The MOU and resulting joint research conducted with HLS will strengthen KR’s capabilities in the certification of new ships,” Ha Tae-bum, executive vice president of KR’s R&D Division, explained. HLS is pleased to sign this important MoU with KR, as a commitment to develop our proactive cyber security expertise to further support shipowners and their vessels when the new regulations come into force,” Choi Jang-pal, Head of Business Operation Division, HLS, commented.

7. Carriers must train their crews for IMO 2020 or risk criminality, warns seafarer union.

3 December 2019 : Seafarer representatives are increasingly worried that the forthcoming IMO 2020 low-sulphur regulations could result in a spate of criminal convictions. Seafarer union Nautilus International said a recent case involving a P&O Cruises vessel in the North Europe special emission control area (SEVA), which extends from the Channel to the Baltic Sea, set a worrying precedent, following which seafarers could find themselves with a criminal conviction if they fail to correctly manage the switchover to low-sulphur fuel for the beginning of next year.

In the case last year, the first of its kind, France fined the master of P&O’s Azura €100,000 ($110,300) for using fuel that was 0.18% over the sulphur content limit, “setting a precedent for criminalising masters for the quality of fuel on their vessels”. Nautilus explained that its members were “increasingly alarmed by the prospect of being scapegoated for problems through no fault of their own, linked to the 0.5% cap on the sulphur content of fuel”.

8. Captain Dies After Vietnamese Cargo Ship Sinks in South China Sea.

3 December 2019 : A Vietnam-flagged cargo ship sank in the South China Sea after being caught in stormy weather. The vessel, Toan Phat 68, capsized in the vicinity of Quy Nhon Port on November 30, 2019, Thanh Nien reported. The captain sank with the ship and died.

His body was reportedly found some two nautical miles from the sinking location. The remaining ten crew members managed to get into life rafts. They were rescued by a Vietnamese SAR boat later that day. Operated by Thien Tan Trading and Transport, the 3,200 dwt self-discharging singledecker was built in 2003. In 2016, Toan Phat 68 was involved in another incident in the South China Sea when it collided with and sank a fishing vessel, according to data provided by Vessels Value. 

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