News Digest 04-Oct-2021

Share it now

Following Stories compiled in this News Digest for the week from 27 Sep 2021 to 03 Oct 2021 in descending order:


UN chief calls on govts to relieve plight of seafarers

02 Oct 2021
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called on governments to relieve the plight of seafarers on the occasion of World Maritime Day, which falls on September 30.

Covid-19 continues to place immense physical and mental pressures on the 2 million women and men who serve on the world’s merchant fleet, Xinhua news agency quoted Guterres as saying.

“Hundreds of thousands still face extended times at sea, with tours of duty stretching many months beyond their contracts. Unable to go to shore, repatriate and change crews, and without access to medical care, seafarers face a humanitarian crisis that jeopardises the safety and the future of shipping,” he added.

“I renew my appeal to governments to address their plight by formally designating seafarers and other marine personnel as ‘key workers,’ ensuring safe crew changes, implementing established protocols, and allowing stranded seafarers to be repatriated and others to join ships,” he said. Reference


Chief Engineer and Owners of Bulker Indicted by US on Oil Pollution

02 Oct 2021
The chief engineer, owner and manager of the bulker Joanna were indicted by a Louisiana grand jury on September 30 on charges related to oil pollution, concealing deliberate pollution, and failing to report a hazardous condition. The four-count grand jury indictment on felony charges alleges that the engineer and the companies employing him tampered with required oil pollution prevention equipment and falsified the ship’s records to conceal their actions.

The indictment steams from a bulker docked in the Port of New Orleans in March 2021

The bulker was docked in New Orleans between March 6 and 11, 2021. During the inspection on March 11, 2021, the Coast Guard discovered an active fuel oil leak in the ship’s purifier room that resulted from disabling the fuel oil heater pressure relief valves. The Coast Guard found that the ship’s Oily Water Separator had been bypassed by inserting a piece of metal into the Oil Content Meter so that it would only detect clean water instead of what was actually being discharged overboard.

The chief engineer, Warlito Tan a citizen of the Philippines, the indictment alleges “did knowingly fail and cause the failure to maintain an accurate oil record book for the Joanna in which quantities of oil residue, oil mixtures and machinery space bilge water, and the discharge and disposal of these substances were fully and accurately recorded.” Reference


IMO: Seafarers play vital role in ensuring sustainable future for shipping

01 Oct 2021
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the global maritime community have come together to mark World Maritime Day with a focus on this year’s theme: “Seafarers: At the core of shipping’s future”.

Photo: IMO

The 2021 theme was chosen as part of a year of action for seafarers, who play a vital role as key workers for global supply chains but are facing unprecedented hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year IMO decided to launch a new annual initiative to unite the maritime community and raise awareness of the vital contribution of shipping to the world by bathing the IMO building in blue light on World Maritime Day.

The Memorial to Seafarers, which was inaugurated 20 years ago in 2001, will be lit up at sunset, along with the IMO emblem on the building.

This symbolic effort, supported by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), will be echoed around the globe with many maritime stakeholders joining in and sharing their images and videos. Reference


Liberian Registry becomes preferred global tanker flag

01 Oct 2021
The Liberian Registry has become the preferred tanker flag in the world, with the recent addition of 2.7 million gross tonnes of new tankers.

The Liberian Registry, with a total fleet size of 205 Million GT, has grown to be one of the world’s leading tanker flags, and its tanker fleet now encompasses 57.4 million GT according to Clarksons.

Photo: Liberian Registry

It has also maintained its position as a containership flag with 18% of global container vessel market share; and is the fastest-growing major registry in the world with a 6.6% growth rate year–to-date.

This overall fleet growth has largely been due to an increase in newbuilding orders recently delivered, especially with larger modern dual-fuel vessels, oil tankers, liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, and mega containerships. Reference


Abu Dhabi launches $3M maritime robotics challenge

01 Oct 2021
The winner of an Abu Dhabi maritime robotics challenge will secure a US $3 million reward, it has been revealed.
The maritime innovation challenge known as the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) provides tech innovators the opportunity to present marine safety and security solutions and secure the $3m prize money. The challenge will be held in Abu Dhabi in June 2023.

Organised by ASPIRE, the dedicated technology programme management pillar of the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) is held every two years. The upcoming edition, called MBZIRC Maritime Grand Challenge, focuses on real-time solutions to maritime safety and security challenges and seeks to claim its place among the largest and most prestigious AI and robotics competitions in the world.
The challenge is for a swarm of UAVs to identify a target vessel from several similar vessels in open waters in a GNSS-denied environment, and to offload specific items from the target onto an USV in the shortest possible time using autonomous technologies. This is a new kind of kind of exercise in autonomous robotics. “A nice thing about this challenge is that you tell people what you want, but you don’t specify an approach to do it.
The challenge is open to international universities, research institutions, companies and individual innovators from all over the world. It will involve a heterogeneous collaboration among unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned surface vehicles, to perform complex navigation and manipulation tasks in a GNSS-denied environment. Call for registrations is now open. Reference


Drone Sails Into Hurricane Sam and Lives to Tell The Tale

01 Oct 2021
Saildrone Inc. and NOAA have released what they claim is the world’s first video footage captured by an uncrewed surface vehicle (USV) from inside a major hurricane barreling across the Atlantic Ocean.

Image courtesy Saildrone

NOAA and Saildrone are working together on collecting scientific data from inside Hurricane Sam, currently located some 645 miles south-southeast of Bermuda with sustained winds of 145 mph. For the project, one of Saildrone’s drones, known as the Explorer SD 1045, was directed into the storm where it battled 50 foot waves and winds of over 120 mph to collect critical scientific data and, in the process, give us a completely new view of one of earth’s most destructive forces.
In order to operate in such extreme conditions, the SD 1045 is equipped with a specially designed “hurricane wing” enabling it to continue operating while braving the extreme weather in the open ocean in order to collect real-time observations for hurricane prediction models, helping to gain new insights into how large and destructive tropical cyclones grow and intensify.
“Saildrone is going where no research vessel has ever ventured, sailing right into the eye of the hurricane, gathering data that will transform our understanding of these powerful storms,” said Richard Jenkins, Saildrone founder and CEO. “After conquering the Arctic and Southern Ocean, hurricanes were the last frontier for Saildrone survivability. We are proud to have engineered a vehicle capable of operating in the most extreme weather conditions on earth.” Reference


Indian Seamen detained in Indonesia seek govt help

30 Sep 2021
Thirteen Indian crew members of Bahama-based oil tanker MT Strovolos have sought the help of trade unions against the alleged detention they are facing onboard the ship from Indonesian authorities.

A picture shared by the sailors detained in Indonesia

Their union, Forward Seamen’s Union of India (FSUI), has written to the Shipping Ministry and the External Affairs Ministry, demanding diplomatic efforts to help the Indian seamen. At present, the ship is anchored at Batam anchorage in Indonesia.
According to a letter sent by the Indian crew to FSUI, the vessel was about to be released on September 24. But, on September 25, Indonesian Marine Police came onboard Strovolos to arrest all crew on charges of robbery of petroleum products, which is a state property.
They showed the crew red corner notice issued by Interpol as requested by Cambodia government against the crew members. “The crew members are very scared for life. They are mentally and physically tired due to prolong stay at the ship,” FSUI General Secretary, Manoj Yadav, told BusinessLine. Reference


Baltic Dry Index Cracks 5,000 Points for First Time Since 2007-2008 Super Cycle

30 Sep 2021
The Baltic Dry Index set its all-time record of over 11,000 points during the 2007-2008 commodities super cycle. Could we be headed for super cycle 2.0?

Photo: Lukasz Z / Shutterstock

The Baltic Exchange’s main dry bulk sea freight index rose to its highest in 13 years on Wednesday on higher rates for all vessels, with the capesize segment soaring to its highest level since 2008.
* The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize vessels, jumped 235 points, or 4.7%, to 5,197, its highest since September 2008.
* The main index mirrored a jump in capesizes, with the index advancing 696 points, or 8.4%, to 9,018, also the highest in 13 years. Reference


LR and P&I launch improved PSC pocket checklist app

29 Sep 2021
Lloyd’s Register (LR) and UK P&I Club have released a new and improved Port State Control (PSC) checklist app.

PSC app

The app helps ensure that ship personnel are trained in how to inspect, maintain and operate life-saving equipment, and that equipment is ready for use at all times. The app also includes a list of common deficiencies to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and help reduce the risk of PSC detentions.
The full list of checklists featured include ILO MLC, ISM & ISPS, Life Saving Appliances, Marine Fire Safety, Marine Pollution Prevention and Port State Control into one, easy-to-use app. Checklists on the new and improved app are continuously updated to reflect new or amended legislation as it comes into force, so users remain up to date.
The app includes functionality that enable ships’ crews and their managers to easily view necessary legislative and regulatory requirements, save multiple checklists, check-off completed activities, add essential notes, use the device camera to take images and has the ability to print and send files via email. The app is available to all shipowners and operators regardless of classification provider.
The PSC pocket checklist app is available now for free on iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Reference


IMO and MPA launch portal for maritime decarbonisation

29 Sep 2021
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) have launched the NextGEN portal, an online collaborative global ecosystem of maritime transport decarbonisation initiatives.

NextGEN (where “GEN” stands for “Green and Efficient Navigation”) is an important initiative to support the maritime sector’s push towards the “next generation” of low and zero-carbon fuels and technologies.​ (Image courtesy:

The NextGEN portal was launched on 27 September during the IMO-United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)-Norway Zero-and Low-Emission Innovation Forum. The three-day online global platform is aimed at promoting innovation to accelerate the maritime sector’s transition to a zero or low-emission future. 
The portal aims to encourage “information-sharing, create critical networks and opportunities for collaboration, and facilitate capacity-building. By showcasing the universe of maritime decarbonisation projects on a single platform, the NextGEN portal will serve as a focal point and reference tool for both public and private stakeholders,” according to the MPA.
NextGEN project was introduced last year by the IMO and MPA to spotlight collaborative projects which support maritime decarbonisation across the industry. Reference


UAE, Georgia sign MoU on maritime training, certification of seafarers

28 Sep 2021
The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Maritime Transport Agency of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development in Georgia.

Under the MoU, the UAE and Georgia will recognise maritime education and training as well as certificates of competency of seafarers issued by the competent authorities in both countries. This is in accordance with the regulations of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). The move supports the MoEI’s ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and security of the maritime sector and promote bilateral relations with different countries in the maritime sector.
The MoU was signed by Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, and Natia Turnava, Georgian Minister of Economy and Sustainable development, in the presence of officials from both sides.
As per the MoU, both parties recognise education, training and certificates of competency in the maritime sector, as well as medical fitness certificates for seafarers issued by the Government of the other party, as well as seafarers on board ships flying the flag of the other party. Reference


Air lubrication to become a standard feature – Silverstream CEO

28 Sep 2021

“I believe that air lubrication will become a standard application on newbuild ships,” declared Noah Silberschmidt, founder and CEO of Silverstream Technologies, on Friday.

He was talking to Seatrade Maritime News following announcement of the company’s largest contract so far – a 30-plus ship deal with container line MSC. The newbuildings are reported to be under construction at shipyards in China and South Korea.
Following several years during which successful pilot projects have been completed and installations made with companies including Shell, Carnival and Grimaldi, orders for the company’s Silverstream System are now coming in thick and fast. Firm contracts are in place for 67 ships. Silberschmidt expects to close another 10-15 deals during the final quarter. And the company has a target of 100 installations or more for 2022. Reference


VLCC Market Edging Higher After Many Weeks of Lackluster Performance

27 Sep 2021

Image courtesy:

Another busy week in the Middle East and the Atlantic, which finally has led to some upward movement on the rates. In the Middle East Gulf a 280,000-mt to US Gulf (via the Cape/Cape routing) is assessed just over a point higher at WS20 as 270,000-mt to China improved 3.5 points to WS39 (which shows a trip TCE of about $1,900 per day). In the Atlantic, rates for a 260,000-mt West Africa to China firmed by four points to between WS40-41 (a roundtrip TCE of $5,100 per day). A 270,000-mt US Gulf to China is now rated $756,000 higher than a week ago at $5.01 million (a TCE of $8,500 per day roundtrip) having seen reports of a 270,000-mt east coast Mexico to west coast India fixing on modern tonnage at $4.1 million, and North Sea to China fixing at $4.4 million on a 2006-built vessel. Reference


Philippines: Church marks 26th National Seafarers’ Sunday

27 Sep 2021
The Catholic Church marks the 26th National Seafarers Sunday on Sept. 26 in honor of the sacrifices and hard work of Filipino seafarers.
The national celebrations will be held in Cebu to coincide with the 30th year of the Apostleship of the Seas -Stella Maris Cebu. Celebrations will also be held in the Archdioceses of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Manila and Lipa and in the Dioceses of Balanga, Iba, Maasim, Tagbiliran,Talibon, and San Fernando in La Union.

Bishop Ruperto Santos (Manila Bulletin photo)

Balanga Bishop and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Bishop Promoter of Stella Maris-Philippines Ruperto C. Santos said “Filipino seafarers are a gift to the world and to the Church.”
In a message, Bishop Santos referred to Filipino seafarers as “modern day heroes. Amid this deadly COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the immense and valuable contributions of our resilient and courageous Filipino seafarers. They are indeed our essential service providers and economic front liners. Let us acknowledge the selfless services and sacrifices of our Filipino seafarers. Let us appreciate their diligence and discipline in their line of maritime work,” Santos said.

The Church leader called for fair treatment to all seafarers. Reference

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

Share it now
%d bloggers like this: