News Digest 06-Jun-2022

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Following Stories compiled in this News Digest for the week from 30 May 2022 to 05 Jun 2022 in descending order:


India: Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin flags off cruise ship from Chennai

05 Jun 2022
The first-ever luxury cruise line from the State sailed from Chennai Port after the chief minister inaugurated The Empress, India’s premium cruise, from Chennai Port on Saturday.

Image Source:

Operated by Cordelia Cruises, The Empress, began sailing from the Chennai Port. The vessel sailed with 1,800 passengers and 600 crew. It would be an additional tourist attraction for Chennaites. The cruise operator has announced east coast roundabout route covering Puducherry, besides a package for a two-night trip.

The two-night and three-day package costs around Rs 40,000 and a five-day trip to Puducherry costs around Rs 90,000 and could go beyond Rs 1.5 lakh, said an employee of Cordelia Cruise. The Empress has 11 decks with 796 cabins, several food pavilions, a dive-in theatre, swimming pool and marquee theatre. Reference


Greece steps up calls on Iran to release two oil tankers and crew

04 Jun 2022
Maritime authorities in Greece have called for international help to release the crews of two oil tankers that were seized by Iranian forces last week.

One of the Greek-flagged oil tanker seized is the Prudent Warrior, seen here in Istanbul in April 2019. Image Source:

The Delta Poseidon and Prudent Warrior were seized by the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the Persian Gulf last week in a tit-for-tat move.

Dramatic footage showing armed IRGC officers descending onto the deck of one of the vessels from a helicopter was broadcast on Iranian state TV on Monday.

On Thursday, the Greek Coast Guard and independent monitoring services said the two tankers were moored at the Iranian port of Bandar. At least nine Greek nationals and one Cypriot were on board.

Tehran has stated that the crews were in “good health” and had not been detained.

The move came just days after Athens announced that it would hand over a reported 700,000 barrels of Iranian crude from a Russian-flagged tanker it impounded in April over to the US.

The Russian vessel, which tried to switch its flag to Iran at the eleventh hour, was seized due to global sanctions linked to Russia’s war with Ukraine. US and EU sanctions also bar countries from buying Iranian petrochemical products. Reference


Maritime Trainer Sees Surging Demand for Seafarer Digital Training

04 Jun 2022
Turkish tech training company Maritime Trainer (MTR) is reporting its strongest year of trading hitting the milestone of 30,000 seafarers trained over the last decade, driven by a spike in demand for its digital training platform.

MTR CEO Ahmet Özgür Alemda said the covid pandemic has ‘supercharged’ five years of change into 18 months with a massive increase in demand for digital training at sea and onshore. He said the most popular assessments include Maritime English powered by a voice recognition system and the Marine Right Crew Test which measures the behavioural characteristics of crew with 24 questions in eight minutes. He said MTR’s interactive Computer Based Training (CBT), mental health package and 3D animations are also proving popular as they enable companies to meet standards including the DryBMSA for the bulk sector and the Tanker Management and Self-Assessment (TMSA) programme. Reference


SINTEF designs world’s first electric speedboat

04 Jun 2022
SINTEF, a Norway-based independent research organisation, has designed “the world’s first electric speedboat” as part of a European research project aimed at creating an emission-free boat.

Photo: SINTEF. Image Source: Offshore Energy News

The boat, called Medstraum, is operated by Kolumbus AS, a public transport company in Rogaland in Western Norway.

The newbuilding will arrive in Stavanger during the summer, according to SINTEF. It will be operating on the Stavanger – Hommersåk / Byøyene route.

Ordinary speedboats use large amounts of diesel and have high CO2 emissions. To solve this, the EU has directed research towards electrical solutions for a circular economy.

The research project “Transport: Advanced and Modular” (TrAM) is funded by the EU and has 13 European partners.

The TrAM project has developed the zero-emission fast-going passenger vessel through advanced modular production. New manufacturing methods will contribute to lower production costs and lower engineering costs. The project is seen as a revolutionary both in terms of zero-emission technology and manufacturing methods and will contribute to making electric-powered high-speed vessels competitive in terms of both cost and the environment.

This speedboat has room for 147 passengers and 20 bicycles. The boat runs at 23 knots and is said to be the world’s first fully electric speedboat.

Kolumbus is involved in the project to achieve the company’s strategic goal of becoming fossil-free in all transport by 2025. Although speedboats are only a marginal part of Kolumbus’ means of transport, they account for about half of CO2 emissions. Now that the boat is ready, it can be used as a starting point to produce the electric fast boats of the future at a low cost. Reference


Turning battery-powered hydrofoil ferries into reality

03 Jun 2022
Soon, electric passenger ferries skimming above the surface across the seas may become a reality. At Swedish Chalmers University of Technology, a research team has created a method for further developing hydrofoils that can significantly increase the range of electric vessels and reduce the fuel consumption of fossil-powered ships by 80 per cent.

The innovative electric-powered fast ferry, equipped with a lightweight carbon fiber hull, would reduce the environmental impact on air and water quality, and marine life, on Puget Sound. (Washington Maritime Blue illustration). Image Source:

While the electrification of cars is well advanced, the world’s passenger ferries are still powered almost exclusively by fossil fuels.

The limiting factor is battery capacity, which is not enough to power ships and ferries across longer distances. But now researchers at Chalmers and the marine research facility SSPA have succeeded in developing a method that can make the shipping industry significantly greener in the future.

The focus is on hydrofoils that, like wings, lift the boat’s hull above the surface of the water and allow the boat to travel with considerably less water resistance. A technology that in recent years has revolutionised sailing, by which hydrofoils make elite sailors’ boats fly over the surface of the water at a very high speed. The researchers at Chalmers and SSPA now want to enable the sailboats’ hydrofoil principle to be used on larger passenger ferries as well, resulting in major benefits for the climate.

Even for ships that today run on fossil fuels, the climate benefit could be significant, as similar hydrofoil technology could reduce fuel consumption by no less than 80 per cent.

At the centre of the research project is a unique measurement technique that the researchers have put together in order to understand in detail how hydrofoils behave in the water when, for example, the load or speed increases or the positioning of the hydrofoil changes.

Using the data collected from the experiments, the team has developed and validated a method to simulate and predict with great precision how the hydrofoil would behave under a variety of conditions. The method is unique of its kind and can now be used to develop the design of hydrofoils for electrically powered hydrofoil ferries.

The ferry concept design ELECTRA has a range of up to 100 nautical miles and cruise speed of 40 knots — twice the speed and range of existing electric ferries. Reference


Singapore Launches Trade Data Platform to Stem Fraud

02 Jun 2022
A Singapore trade data sharing platform backed by banks, commodity houses and state firms has signed up 70 participants as part of the city-state’s attempts to bolster confidence after a spate of commodity trade finance frauds in recent years.

FILE PHOTO: A container ship docks at Pasir Panjang terminal in Singapore November 17, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo. Image Source: gCaptain

The Singapore Trade Data Exchange (SGTraDex), whose founders include banks DBS and Standard Chartered, commodity trader Trafigura and the local tech regulator, Infocomm Media Development Authority, was launched on Wednesday after plans were announced last year.

Singapore, one of the world’s biggest commodity trading and financing hubs and the largest bunkering hub, aims to tighten oversight after recent corporate scandals, such as the collapse of one of Asia’s largest oil traders Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd.

Winding up Hin Leong and other commodity traders left many banks saddled with billions of dollars in debt and forced lenders to cut exposure to commodity financing.

The platform’s participants include bunker suppliers, cargo traders, oil terminals, traders,shipping carriers, the Singapore port operator and others.

The platform, which will initially be used for optimising bunkering, container logistics and trade finance fraud detection, was expected to unlock more than $100 million of value by 2026 for participants from efficiency and cost savings, better use of assets and faster access to financing, SGTraDex said.

The backers hope features such as flexibility on data sharing and its neutrality will draw in more participants.

Bank UOB, one of the founders of SGTraDex, said it aims to bring all its bunker finance clients onto the platform by June 2023. Reference


Inmarsat Fleet Hotspot Addresses Seafarer Connectivity Needs

02 Jun 2022
In May 2022, eight significant amendments were agreed to update the landmark Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC), including making onboard crew connectivity a requirement for ship owners. The new requirements come at a time when seafarer welfare is under increasing scrutiny from within and outside the shipping industry. As the world leader in global, mobile, satellite communications, Inmarsat is a strong proponent for the well-being of crew, and its Fleet Hotspot solution is helping ship owners address the requirements to ensure that crew remain socially connected while at sea.

Image courtesy of Inmarsat. Image Source: The Maritime Executive

Powered by Inmarsat’s industry-leading Fleet Xpress service, Fleet Hotspot delivers high-speed internet access allowing crew at sea to stay in contact with friends and relatives, as well as stream music, films and series. Seafarers can access the user-friendly Fleet Hotspot portal on their own device to monitor their usage or top up their balances as required.

The solution’s value to seafarers and shipowners is evident with the average monthly crew spend on connectivity increasing at a high pace in the past two years.

Following recent enhancements, Fleet Hotspot is now easier to use than ever before. Crew members can access their accounts even while they are at home and purchase data before boarding the vessel. Detailed payment and session history provides full visibility into spending and data consumption, and the management of payments, credit balances, and usage has also been simplified.

Inmarsat was active in supporting seafarer welfare following the onset of Covid-19. Through its Certified Application Provider (CAP) Programme, Inmarsat provided seafarers with immediate access to a COVID-19 healthcare hotline. This service delivered vital frontline medical information to the shipping industries and seafaring workforce at a time when it was needed the most. Reference


Cruise ships cancelling sailings due to massive shortage of crew

01 Jun 2022
Several cruise lines are experiencing problems hiring crew members, resulting in fewer onboard meal options or trip cancellations for some cruise passengers.

Cruise ships cancelling sailings due to massive shortage of crew members. Image Source:

During the Great Resignation, “on-land hospitality companies have not been immune to workforce shortages.” The lack of available cruise staff is increasingly influencing cruise schedules and onboard facilities.

Holland America has decided to “pace its resumption over the year” due to staffing concerns, according to a spokeswoman. Despite comparable employment challenges, a Royal Caribbean representative said the cruise line has no plans to cancel future itineraries.

Itineraries will not be changed for Carnival attendees. However, this does not guarantee that the cruise line will have a good sailing experience. Carnival will temporarily close two eateries across all of its ships, according to Bloomberg’s Fran Golden.

According to Claudette Covey of Travel Pulse, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America, which regularly has over 900 crew members, has fewer than 550 staff. As a result, the cruise line’s capacity on the ship in Hawaii has decreased.

Furthermore, a Norwegian Cruise Line spokeswoman stated that certain passengers on overbooked ships might have to be rebooked on alternate itineraries. Reference


Eco-boat to revolutionise shipping industry using power of the elements

01 Jun 2022
The designer of a trimaran sailing boat has promised his revolutionary ‘concept craft’ can transform the way the maritime industry fishes and ships goods around the world.

Energy generated by sun, wind and water is stored within eight tonnes of batteries on board the trimaran Porrima. Antonie Robertson / The National . Image Source:

The vessel is powered by the sun, hydrogen and wind.

The brainchild of Belgian professor Gunter Pauli, the boat is centred on environmental research. It cleans up the seas using nano-plastic filters and bubble fishing — a natural way to fish.

Bubble fishing is where male fish are pushed into a container and pregnant females are released from the catch.

The 36-metre-long Porrima has 515 square metres of solar panels on board capable of converting salt water to hydrogen. This is enough power to propel the ship for two days after only two hours of charging.

Energy generated by the sun, wind and water is stored within 8 tonnes of batteries on board. A 40-metre kite sail is capable of providing 100 tonnes of force from a height of 200m above the sea.

The Swiss-flagged Porrima took three years to build and arrived in Dubai at the end of March for a service and maintenance. It is currently on a three-year circumnavigation of the globe, after which it will arrive in Japan to feature at the World Expo in Osaka in 2025.

By 2030, Prof Pauli hopes to have completed the design and production of an 80-metre vessel using the same technology. The vessel would be capable of travelling around the world in 80 days with 20 containers on board. Reference


Four sailors rescued after spending FOUR DAYS clinging to styrofoam boxes after cargo ship sank

01 Jun 2022
Four sailors have been rescued after clinging to styrofoam iceboxes in the sea for four days after their cargo ship sank.

Image Source:

The crew members were onboard the Zidane Express when it was battered by strong waves off the coast of Indonesia on Friday.

Water entered the ship’s exhaust and it lost radio contact before sinking in the waters between Saobi Island and Sabuntan Island in East Java Province.

The four sailors – Rusiyadi, Muhammad Ajim, Ansori, and Ali Sabibi – were reported missing with their ship amid fears they had drowned.

But before they plunged into the choppy ocean they used a rope to make a life raft using empty iceboxes.

The seamen also stuffed some of their belongings and fresh supplies of water and dried food into the boxes.

A search and rescue operation was launched by coast guards and the four crew members of the ship were found drifting in the Bali Sea yesterday afternoon.

National Search and Rescue Agency coordinator Wahyu Setya Budi said: ‘The four men were found safely about 63 miles from Boom Beach Banyuwangi and 61 miles from Sapeken Madura Harbor.’

Wahyu said that local fishermen who helped search for the missing crew found them. They were then taken to the mainland for medical treatment. Reference


First Emissions-Free Pusher Tug Elektra Delivered

01 Jun 2022
A first-of-its-kind emissions-free push boat has been christened and delivered in Germany.

Image Source:

The unique and innovative vessel, Elektra, was built over the course of nearly 2.5 years at Hermann Barthel GmbH in Derben and features battery-electric propulsion system combined with hydrogen and fuel cell technology, reportedly the world’s first for a push boat. It will now undergo long-term prior to commencing commercial operations.

The basis of the newly developed hybrid system is the battery package, consisting of 242 DNV- approved GO1050 modules with a total capacity of 2.5 MWh, delivered by EST-Floattech, as well as three maritime fuel cell systems (NT-PEMFC, 100 kW peak power each). Although the power of the battery and the fuel cells will be used together to power the electric motors, for complete redundancy the two powertrains are entirely independent systems.

The 20-meter-long pusher with a beam of 8.2 meters and a draft of 1.25 meters will deliver an electric power capacity of 21,200 kWh for a round trip from Berlin to Hamburg.

The groundbreaking vessel will serve as a role model because its power system is designed to be applicable to a variety of barge and coastal vessel types, Federal Minister Dr. Volker Wissing said during the delivery ceremony. Reference


Historic training ship sails into Malaga to open its decks to the public

01 Jun 2022
The Atyla, on which the crew develop life skills, will arrive from Portugal and be in port for three days before sailing to Genoa in Italy

The participants work as members of the crew and develop life skills. / sur. Image Source:

The Atyla Ship Foundation, a charitable organisation which operates the historic sailing ship Atyla, has chosen Malaga as a port of call this summer. The wooden vessel, which is 31 metres long and has two masts, was built in the style of the 18th century schooners and is the only one in Spain to offer adventure holidays at an international level.

The Atyla will be arriving in Malaga from Portugal and will be in port from 10 to 13 June before sailing to Genoa in Italy. There are still some places available for the Italian trip. While in Malaga, members of the public will be able to visit the ship.

The Foundation promotes life skills such as emotional intelligence, intercultural communication and working as a team, so these trips are not just holidays. The participants are part of the crew and help with all the activities on board, as a way of developing their skills. Reference


World’s first flying electric taxi boat unveiled in Venice

31 May 2022
Stockholm-based Candela, the world leader in hydrofoil electric boats that fly above the surface of the water to consume significantly less energy, has just unveiled its newest electric watercraft: the Candela P-8 Voyager. Designed to replace traditional water taxies and commercial passenger watercraft that have conventionally relied on combustion engines for power, the P-8 Voyager is preparing to usher in a brave new world for maritime transportation.

World’s first flying electric taxi boat, the Candela P-8 Voyager, unveiled in Venice. Image Source:

Unveiled today at the Salone Nautico in Venice, the P-8 Voyager is based on the same foundation as Candela’s hot-selling C-8 electric speedboat.

It relies on a similar hydrofoil system used on Candela’s other electric boats, which the company’s 50+ engineers designed while relying on experience from the drone, aerospace, and software industries. The onboard Flight controller automatically changes the foil’s angle of attack when the boat reaches 16 knots, allowing it to lift off and fly above the waves.

The Flight controller then relies on a wide array of sensors to gauge wave height and ensure a smooth ride even in adverse conditions. The system can handle four- to five-foot chop and boat wakes (120-150 cm) thanks to its high ride height and quick adjustments to roll, pitch, and height that are made 100 times per second.

The system is also ideal for areas that are sensitive to boat wakes, such as Venice, since the hydrofoils leave almost zero wake. According to Candela, the wake left by its hydrofoils is no larger than that of Venice’s famous gondolas.

Importantly for commercial vessel owners and operators, the P-8 Voyager is designed to be as maintenance-free as possible.

That’s because the boat uses the Candela C-POD motor, which was specifically developed for the company’s hydrofoiling watercraft. A pair of submerged motors provide 50 kW of power and directly drive counter-rotating propellers without the need for any transmission in between. That means no noise, no oil, no cooling fluid – and virtually no need for maintenance.

Candela says the C-POD drive unit can run for 3,000 hours without service (compared to many outboard motors with internal combustion engines that require maintenance intervals of 100 hours). The highly reduced maintenance schedule is ideal for operators in remote locations where technicians are hard to come by.

When moored, the hydrofoils retract into a hull recess above the waterline to prevent marine growth. The P-8 Voyager is also fully connected and able to take advantage of over-the-air (OTA) updates, enabling Candela’s 24/7 Service department to perform remote troubleshooting. Reference


Robotic buoys developed to protect whales from colliding with ships in Atlantic

31 May 2022
A Cape Cod science center and one of the world’s largest shipping businesses are collaborating on a project to use robotic buoys to protect a vanishing whale from lethal collisions with ships.

Acoustic buoys are equipped with technology developed at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, that can detect, classify, and report the sounds of marine animals in near real-time. (Photo: AP). Image Source:

A lab at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution developed the technology, which uses buoys and underwater gliders to record whale sounds in near real time. The robotic recorders give scientists, mariners and the public an idea of the location of rare North Atlantic right whales, said Mark Baumgartner, a marine ecologist with Woods Hole whose lab also operates the buoys.

The whales number less than 340 in the world and ship strikes are one of the biggest threats to their existence, as they travel through some of the busiest stretches of ocean on the planet. Now, French shipping giant CMA CGM is working with Woods Hole to deploy two of the robotic buoys off of Norfolk, Virginia, and Savannah, Georgia.

CMA CGM is funding the deployment of the buoys, which will add to the data collected by six others off the East Coast, Baumgartner said. The two new buoys could be deployed for testing soon, he said.

The whales were once abundant off the East Coast, but their populations were decimated generations ago by commercial whaling. These days, they’re vulnerable to ship collisions and entanglement in fishing gear. And they’ve dwindled in population in recent years because of high mortality and poor reproduction.

Acoustic recorders have tracked whale sounds for decades, but the buoys that provide sound in near real time are a relatively recent invention, Baumgartner said. The robotic buoys make data available every couple of hours as opposed to months later, he said.

The results go on a public website and are also used by federal authorities to help make decisions about when to announce “right whale slow zones,” which call on vessel operators to slow down to 10 knots (11.5 mph) or less. Reference


Better Cybersecurity at Sea Starts With the Crew

30 May 2022
It was the afternoon of June 27, 2017, when nearly every computer serving the Danish shipping giant Maersk went dark. A piece of malware called NotPetya, created by Russians to attack the Ukraine, had accidently snuck into the company’s system when a Maersk finance executive in Odessa asked his IT Department to install accounting software that — unbeknownst to them — opened the door to the cyber attack.

File image courtesy APMT. The firm was heavily affected by a cyberattack in 2017.. Image Source: The Maritime Executive

While Maersk wasn’t the target — the bug had been created by Russian hackers to cripple Ukrainian businesses and government infrastructure — the shipping company, along with thousands of other companies across the globe, were collateral damage. Merck, the pharmaceutical manufacturer, lost $870 million while FedEx’s European subsidiary lost $400 million.

The thing that set Maersk apart, however, was that this was by far the biggest cyberattack on the maritime industry. As reported by Andy Greenberg in Wired magazine, Maersk, “responsible for 76 ports on all sides of the Earth, and nearly 800 seafaring vessels… representing close to a fifth of the entire world’s shipping capacity, was dead in the water.”

The attack ended up costing Maersk an estimated $300 million, but cybersecurity experts widely agree that’s likely an underestimate.

Yet there was one component in the Maersk system that managed to escape the attack: its ships.

While the malware shut ports, it didn’t affect the ships themselves. All of Maersk’s ships at sea were essentially isolated from the cyber attack.

Larsen’s research focuses on the human side of cybersecurity — that is, figuring out how to get seafarers to take the steps necessary to protect themselves and their ships from malware and other cyber attacks. While most people think of cybersecurity as mainly an IT issue, human behaviour frequently causes cyber incidents, Larsen said.

That means finding out how seafarers perceive the problem, she said.

Larsen has a secret weapon when it comes to meeting seafarers “where they are”. She herself is educated as a deck officer, and has worked for two years aboard different vessels before beginning her research.

Larsen says shipping companies have known for some time that they could be victims of a cyber attack, much like what happened to Maersk. “It’s no longer a question of if it is going to happen, but when it will happen,” Larsen said.

There’s a whole branch of behavioural psychology that deals with perceived risk, which Larsen is relying on for her research.

When people perceive various risks, they can often rely on something called cognitive biases. One well-documented bias is the optimistic bias, which has to do with people thinking that they themselves are not at risk, even if the activity they are involved in has risks. One classic example of this, is why people smoke, she says.

It’s common to find this technology in everything from your washing machine to the lock on your front door or in different components in your electric car.

The same trend is happening at sea, Larsen said, which increases a ship’s exposure to cyber risk. At the same time, however, instead of making a mariner’s work easier, digitalization can actually make their work harder, she said.

Digitalization can be seen as red tape. This situation also can increase cyber risks, she said, because deck officers can be overwhelmed. More and more systems are being digitalized, which increases the reporting required of seafarers.Reference


Ships Divert to India As Sri Lanka Crisis Slows Colombo Port

30 May 2022
Sri Lanka’s political turmoil is prompting some shipping lines to detour to Indian ports instead of calling at Colombo, one of the key supply-chain hubs in Asia.

Colombo Port, Sri Lanka. Photo Credit: Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). Image Source: gCaptain

Political protests and a lack of fuel have slowed the number of trucks available to transport containers of textiles and other goods between Colombo’s terminals and supply chains, according to freight forwarders and analysts. That’s created a growing backlog of boxes at the port that shipping companies want to avoid, they said.

Container shipping companies often make a stop at Colombo on Sri Lanka’s west coast to pick up or offload cargo while sailing on routes from Asia to Europe. However, a steady flow of container volume has headed to India’s ports in the past month, according to Christian Roeloffs, the founder of logistics services platform Container xChange.

The port issued a joint statement with container terminal operators and ship agents earlier in the week to reassure shipping companies that operations are being carried out without interruption. Trucks are being prioritized for fuel, although some imported cargoes face delays clearing customs due to the shortage of foreign currency, the statement said.

There are delays of one to two days when berthing ships at Colombo port, German shipping line Hapag-LLoyd AG said in an e-mailed reply to queries. But the company isn’t seeing severe operational disruption, and hasn’t needed to divert ships to alternate ports, it said.

Sri Lanka has been facing its worst financial crisis of the country’s independent history, with shortages of everything from food to oil. Fuel supplies are so low that the government told citizens not to queue for gasoline at filling stations. 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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