News Digest 07-Nov-2022

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India: Bali Jatra 2022

06 Nov 2022
As the name suggests, Bali Jatra (Yatra) means a journey to Bali. Bali Yatra is mainly celebrated in the state of Odisha (Orissa). It is held on the full moon day in the month of Kartik which is considered to be the most auspicious month out of the 12 months of calendar, that coincides with the months of October-November according to the Gregorian calendar.

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Traditionally Bali Yatra symbolizes the culmination of all religious festivals held in the month of Kartik. Images of Karthikeswar are worshiped and immersed in the waters of river Mahanadi, near the Shiva Temple, to mark the end of the month of Karthik The Fair is held on the banks of Mahanadi River in the fort area of Cuttack city.

As a ritual and a tribute to ancient sailors of the region people float artificial boats made of paper, cork, colored paper and banana tree barks in the river and water tanks. There is also a famous tradition of lighting small lamps in the hollow of the boat called Boita Bandana. Apart from the tradition it also gives an amazing spectacle to the visitors as the scene of numerous boats lit with lamps floating in the river.

According to the Legends, the day of Kartik Purnima was considered very auspicious by the traders (Sadhabas) of Odisha (Orissa) to venture on a journey to distant lands namely the islands of Bali, Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Reference

India: Opportunities for growth increasing in maritime sector, says Sonowal

06 Nov 2022
Be it Sagaramala, National Logistics Policy or the PM Gati Shakti plan, several important initiatives have been taken by the Centre in the last eight years giving thrust to the growth of the maritime sector, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Ministry of AYUSH Sarbananda Sonowal said on Friday.

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At the seventh convocation of Indian Maritime University (IMU) near Chennai, he said every State prospered because of the Centre’s initiatives. “The opportunities are increasing in all States, whether it is Kanniyakumari [district in Tamil Nadu] or Ladakh [Union Territory]. We have to make India one of the most important global destinations in all sectors, including science, agriculture, manufacturing and sports,” he said.

Union Minister of State for Shipping Shripad Naik said it was imperative for the IMU to build human and resource capabilities in the next five years. “It is the only university in the country dedicated exclusively to the maritime sector and is poised to play a pivotal role in achieving the nation’s aim to increase the global share of seafarers from 12% to 20% by 2030. IMU has signed MoUs with leading international maritime institutes and organisations from Russia, the Philippines and the Netherlands for academic and research purposes,” he added. Reference

INS Kochi, INS Kolkata and Greatship Ahalya receive IMO’s bravery award

05 Nov 2022
The crews of INS Kochi, INS Kolkata and Greatship Ahalya received bravery awards established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Image Source: IMO

The Indian ships were awarded certificates of commendation by Kitack Lim, Secretary General of IMO, at the annual Bravery Awards Ceremony of IMO held in London on Wednesday. The award was received by the Indian Naval Adviser HCI, London on behalf of the Indian Navy.

The IMO award was given to the ships in recognition of exceptional courage displayed by the gallant sailors of INS Kochi, INS Kolkata and Greatship Ahalya in rescuing 261 personnel on board the accommodation barge P-305, following its collision with an oil rig during cyclone Tauktae. Reference

Filipino seafarers escape European Union ban

05 Nov 2022
The European Union (EU) has refrained from imposing a ban on Filipino seafarers, dispelling fears among thousands who would otherwise risk losing their jobs in EU-flagged vessels.

Representative Image. Image Source: Splash247

The Philippines did not fail in the recent audit on compliance by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) on training programs and accreditation systems for the country’s seafarers, according to the Philippine Transportation agency.

EMSA’s audit focused on the country’s compliance with the 1978 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers.

Fear gripped some 50,000 Filipino seafarers due to several complaints alleging that maritime schools in the country failed to maintain European maritime standards.

In 2020, EMSA raised a total of 23 grievances such as the failure of several Philippine maritime schools to comply with standards for certification, training, and watch listing.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said Filipino seafarers should not be alarmed by the complaints because the government has been addressing EMSA’s complaints.

A seafarer said the EU decision was the “best gift” ahead of Christmas. Reference

Manning levels must increase by 30% to ensure safe operations

05 Nov 2022
Seafarers that MHSS speaks to are reporting very high levels of fatigue, with Mr. Watkins noting that “the shortage of crew means that they are taking on an ever-increasing workload which involves longer hours and less time off. The result is that many more are suffering from the impact on their mental health that comes with unrelenting fatigue.”

Image Source: Safety4Sea

Some of the signs of fatigue include feeling overwhelmed, which itself leads to mistakes being made. Other symptoms such as being more emotional than would usually be the case lead to feelings of depression or anxiety and an increase in anger. Forgetfulness can also be indicative of fatigue.

MHSS comments were prompted by the results of the report “A culture of Adjustment”, produced by a team led by Prof Raphael which found “imbalance between workload and the number of personnel available to complete the diversity of onboard tasks.”

The analysis made indicates that insufficient safe manning levels are the root cause of violations and recording malpractices. In fact, researchers at the World Maritime University are currently investigating manning levels on ships and whether they meet current work demands. Reference

Singapore’s green marine fuel ventures can lead Asia’s low-carbon future

04 Nov 2022
It’s a little-known fact that 129 years ago, a diesel engine was commissioned to run on peanut oil, and what seemed like a small event turned out to be a path-breaking discovery towards greener alternatives to fossil fuels.

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It has taken us a century, but today we have arrived at the cusp of this new reality, with the shipping and marine sector among those poised to lead the transition.

Among the spectrum of clean fuel options, there is increasing clarity on the two fuels which are expected to dominate in the future in terms of marine fuels — e-methanol and e-ammonia (from renewable sources). Both fuels are expected to dominate the marine industry within the next decade, with the industry seeing strong headwinds in that direction.

With the pace for transformation at scale looming close, industry stakeholders have a role to play in the development of methanol infrastructure. They have multiple options to participate in the value chain, each with their own risks and opportunities. Some stakeholders may choose to focus on minimising short-term capital expenditure by letting others bear the cost of development, while others may settle for selling carbon credits, which are tradable certificates that can be bought and sold as a company reduces its overall carbon emissions.

As a major international bunkering hub, supplying over 50 million tonnes of marine bunker fuel to vessels that ply international shipping routes, Singapore is heavily invested in developing its green marine infrastructure. It is the first Asian nation to take major strides to invest in the production and supply of methanol as a marine fuel. 

As a major international bunkering hub, supplying over 50 million tonnes of marine bunker fuel to vessels that ply international shipping routes, Singapore is heavily invested in developing its green marine infrastructure. It is the first Asian nation to take major strides to invest in the production and supply of methanol as a marine fuel. It is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. From a regulatory standpoint, Singapore is showing greater momentum towards meeting EU benchmarks for decarbonisation. 

The Maritime Singapore Decarbonisation Blueprint charts long-term strategies to build a sustainable maritime sector, bringing about new areas of green growth, including the development of alternative fuels and green technologies.  Reference

HHI unveils lashing-free containership design

04 Nov 2022
South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has developed a new containership concept that does not require fixing of containers.

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Hyundai Heavy Industries said that the novel lashing-free containership design, described as the world’s first, has won Design Approval from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and the Liberian Flag Administration.

After loading containers inside a cargo load, a containership closes the hatch cover, and in order to maximize the capacity, loads another series of containers on top of that. As a result, it is necessary to fix the containers loaded on the hatch cover to a steel structure called a ‘lashing bridge’ that serves as a support to prevent the cargo from moving during operation. The securing of cargo to minimize shifting in transit is also known as ‘lashing’.

The lashing-free container ship uses a new concept device called a ‘portable bench (SkyBenchV2)’ that receives the load of the containers loaded on the upper deck and transfers it to the hull, eliminating the lashing bridge and hatch cover. HHI said that it has instead extended the cell guide, a device that allows vertical alignment and stacking of containers, above the deck.

As the container loaded on the upper deck is fixed by the expanded cell guide, there is no need for lashing. By omitting lashing, loading operations can be expedited and more efficient, saving time and money, while at the same time eliminating safety accidents during lashing as weel as the issue of lost containers at sea, HHI said.

Several thousand containers were lost at sea in 2020 and 2021 alone. Containers lost at sea represent a potential danger to maritime safety and are a threat to the environment, particularly with regard to the plastics they contain. Reference

Cyber-physical platform for shipboard operational technology to be built

04 Nov 2022
ABS has been announced as the industry collaborator to build the Maritime Testbed of Shipboard Operational Technology (MariOT) Systems.

Image Source: Safety4Sea

The project is led by iTrust, Center for Research in Cyber Security at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), in collaboration with ABS and Singapore Polytechnic’s Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety (CEMS).

The MariOT will support a host of cybersecurity activities to meet the challenges in the maritime industry’s push towards digitalization. MariOT will be the world’s first industrial-grade, cyber-physical platform, combining essential shipboard OT systems with virtual simulation models.

MariOT enables the discovery of vulnerabilities in shipboard OT systems and the development and validation of new cybersecurity technologies without disrupting vessel operations.

Additionally, it provides maritime professionals and students with a high-fidelity environment for conducting cybersecurity research, training, practice and education. Reference

Carnival Cruise Line Takes Delivery of New Carnival Celebration

04 Nov 2022
Meyer Turku has today delivered the LNG-fueled Carnival Celebration cruise ship to Carnival Cruise Line. according to a press release, with the ship already on its way to Southampton. 

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Tim Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku, said: “First of all, the ship is dedicated to the 50 years of Carnival Cruise Line. Second, Carnival Celebration will begin service immediately after the handover, which tells us that the demand for cruises, and therefore for cruise ships, is truly recovering. I feel great pride in being able to see how my team at the Meyer Turku shipyard and the whole Finish maritime network have once again managed to realize such a complex project in such a short time.”

Carnival Celebration is the 50th anniversary ship of Carnival Cruise Line. The theme can be seen in many ways in the ship’s interior, where elements from the shipping company’s previous ships have been assembled, according to a press release form the shipyard. Reference

IMO at COP 27: Supporting maritime decarbonization

03 Nov 2022
IMO will be present at COP 27, the United Nations climate conference which takes place in Egypt from 6-18 November 2022. IMO will highlight that international shipping is indispensable to the world and is a vital industry to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the global energy transition.

Image Source: IMO

Following the 2nd IMO Symposium on alternative low- and zero-carbon fuels for shipping in October 2022, focusing on “Ensuring a just and inclusive transition to low-carbon shipping”, IMO will co-host a side event on Producing future marine fuels: opportunities for renewable energy production in developing countries (10 November). The side-event will be attended by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. It is co-hosted by IMO, UNCTAD, IRENA and World Bank.

IMO Secretariat officials will update the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA)  on IMO’s work and participate in a number of other side events  – please see the schedule here: IMO at COP 27.

As its track record to date so clearly demonstrates, IMO is the appropriate international body to continue work to address GHG emissions from ships engaged in international trade. Reference

World Maritime University Celebrates 2022 Graduation

03 Nov 2022
On October 31, 2022, global maritime leaders of tomorrow graduated from the World Maritime University (WMU). The Class of 2022 has received the education required to contribute to maritime and ocean matters in their home countries and more broadly to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Overall, the graduating class includes 276 graduates from 70 countries, and sets a record of 94 women graduates.

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WMU President Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry delivered welcome remarks highlighting the return of the first “normal” graduation since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She congratulated the graduands.

In his graduation address, HE Mr Kitack Lim, the first International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General and WMU Chancellor to hold a MSc degree from WMU, thanked the City of Malmö and the Government of Sweden for their continued generosity and support in hosting the University.

Of the 276 graduates, 131 are from the Malmö MSc program, and 63 graduates from the China program, making a total number of 194 MSc graduates in 2022; four PhD graduates; 2 MPhil graduates and 76 graduates from the distance learning programs including 8 LLM graduates. The 2022 graduation ceremony brings the total number of WMU graduates to 5,910 from 171 countries. Reference

Seafarers are at the heart of decarbonisation

03 Nov 2022
An entire new generation of mariners will have to be attracted, trained and retained. Overlooking the role of the mariner in the green transition would be a crucial mistake for the industry.

Image Source: Marine Insight

This was made abundantly clear in initial research on the shipping sector, conducted by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). “Hundreds of thousands of seafarers will need to have some kind of additional training for new fuels such as ammonia, hydrogen or methanol by 2050,” said ICS secretary general Guy Platten. A significant number of these mariners would be needed by 2030, he said, when the ambition is to have 5% of ships using zero- or low-carbon fuels.

DNV is conducting a research study for the Just Transition Maritime Task Force, which was established by the ICS last year at COP26 in Glasgow. The study will quantify the scale of the challenge of upskilling and retraining the existing maritime workforce to handle new fuels and provide an overview of what this might entail for skills training and safety.

Making his remarks at the IMO-UNEP-Norway Innovation Forum, held at IMO’s Headquarters in London, in recognition of World Maritime Day on 29 September, Mr Platten spoke of the need to have a “people-centred transition to a zero-carbon shipping sector.”

Mr Platten emphasised that this people-centred approach must be inclusive and not just refer to one half of the population. He added: “Moving towards a more diverse workforce also represents a major opportunity for the sector.”

Those sentiments were echoed by fellow panellist Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, WISTA president, who said a people-centred transition could be better achieved by focusing on diversity and gender parity. “We have many women in senior positions with training, education, experience, and energy to become an active part of this transition,” said Ms Theodosiou. “Women with talent and a new mindset could be brought into this transition debate to help speed it up,” she added. Reference

Philippines, Georgia initiate maritime cooperation focusing on seafarers’ certification

03 Nov 2022
The Philippine government has beefed up its maritime cooperation with the government of Georgia by working on seafarers’ certification recognition as sea-based Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) face risk of decertification from the European Maritime Safety Authority (Emsa).

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During the 2nd Philippines-Georgia Political Consultations in Manila on October 27, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ma. Theresa Lazaro met with Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Khvtisiashvili to propose maritime cooperation between the two countries.

The focus was on the recognition of seafarers’ certificate recognition, considering that the Philippines and Georgia are two of the world’s big providers of seafarers.

On the other hand, the two officials also discussed ways to improve two-way trade and investments as the Philippine-based International Container Terminal Service (ICTSI) also operates in the port of Batumi in Georgia.

Among other things explored for cooperation were in the areas of inter-parliamentary exchanges, economic, environment, tourism, education, and culture, DFA said.

Concluding the discussion, Lazaro and Khvtisiashvili vowed to continue supporting each other’s candidature and advocacies in the multilateral fora. Reference

IMO promotes gender diversity in maritime sector

02 Nov 2022
THE International Maritime Organization (IMO) has committed anew to making the maritime sector more welcoming to women professionals.

The pledge was made by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim during the Wista International Conference in Geneva, Switzerland on October 27.

The Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (Wista) International is a global organization connecting female executives and decision-makers around the world.

The advocacy to welcome women professionals is in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 5, which aspires to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

Since it was set up in 1988, IMO’s gender program has been driving diversity and positive change.

Lim confirmed that up to this day, the maritime sector is still “a very male-dominated industry.”

The IMO-Wista Women in Maritime Survey, published to coincide with International Day for Women in Maritime, showed that women account for only 29 percent of the overall workforce in the general industry — and 20 percent of the workforce of national maritime authorities in the member states.

The proportion of women working at sea is far lower — just 1.2 percent. Reference

ICS calls for safe passage of seafarers in Black Sea grain corridor

02 Nov 2022
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which claims to represent 80% of the global merchant shipping fleet, has asked for solutions, reassurance and safe passage for seafarers and vessels following Russia’s suspension of its participation in a maritime humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea.

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According to the United Nations (UN) Black Sea Grain Initiative’s Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), the delegation from the Russian Federation expressed concerns over safety for merchant vessel movements in the region on 29 October, and later suspended its participation in the programme.

The grain initiative was set up after vessels were either targeted or caught in the crossfire during the early weeks of Russia’s ongoing war against its neighbour Ukraine.

Ukrainian authorities reported that a barge full of grain was attacked near the port of Ochakiv, in Ukraine. Two crewmembers were killed in the attack.

An ICS database shows hundreds of seafarers remain stranded in Ukrainian ports in addition to those seafarers who could potentially become endangered following Russia’s suspension of participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. 

The initiative was launched by the Russian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Nations 22 July 2022 to enable the resumption of exports from Ukraine of grain, other foodstuffs, and fertiliser, including ammonia, through a safe maritime humanitarian corridor from three key Ukrainian ports, Chornomorsk, Odesa and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi, in the Black Sea to the rest of the world.

The initiative is based on the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended, (SOLAS) and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code). Reference

India: Ports Minister calls for an end to Vizhinjam stir

01 Nov 2022
Considering the national importance of the Vizhinjam international seaport, the protesters led by the Thiruvananthapuram archdiocese of the Catholic Church (Latin rite), should end the strike stalling the port work, said Ports Minister Ahamed Devarkovil here on Saturday. Though around 30% of India’s cargo movement is through the Vizhinjam international shipping channel, around three-quarters of the total cargo movement is currently handled by the Colombo port.

Protestors led by the Latin Arch Diocese burn a fishing boat at sea at Vizhinjam. File | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA. Image Source: The Hindu

It is estimated that the country lost around ₹2,000 crore a year. With the commissioning of the Vizhinjam port, about ₹1,500 crore worth of cargo can be transhipped through the port, said Mr. Devarkovil. If the two berths of 400 metres in the first phase of the port construction are operational, there will be a trade of at least ₹200 crore in the first year itself, he added.

The port will be equipped to handle one million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) of containers when the first phase of the ₹7,700-crore project is completed. This will bring in development and create tens of thousands of employment opportunities, changing the very face of Thiruvananthapuram. Reference

Seafarer happiness continues to recover from Q1 low

01 Nov 2022
The latest Seafarers Happiness Index report showed a sustained return to more normal levels as pandemic pressures on crew conditions ease.

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The index recorded a 7.3 for the third quarter, up from 7.21 in the second quarter and well above the record low of 5.85 in the first quarter of 2022.

The improvement in the latest response was largely down to more positive responses around shore leave, which still scored lowest of all the questions in the survey, but jumped from 4.8 to 5.87 on the 1-10 scale.

Shore leave has been the slowest area to return to normality for seafarers; respondents said that many countries remain closed to them, either due to local regulation, company preference or high workload.

The report said that 5.87 for shore leave remains a worryingly low figure. “While the issue can be considered as a nice to have, it should be remembered that this will have a massive potential knock-on impact on retention,” said the report.

Scores for food and fitness both fell slightly, with small increases for connectivity and for welfare.

Connectivity remained an important topic for those at sea, with respondents saying that being able to speak with loved ones back at home had a huge positive impact on their life on board. The report said complaints about poor and limited connectivity continued, with slow connections and data constraints limiting the benefits some seafarers can extract from internet connections. Reference

How emerging technology is powering a safer maritime future

01 Nov 2022
Digitalization has become a key priority in our agenda along with decarbonization and sustainability. Technologies such as AI, have brought enormous benefits to the industry and while the transition to a more tech-driven maritime future isn’t always easy, it is rapidly becoming a key differentiator for leading fleets today.

In a recent SAFETY4SEA webinar, sponsored by ShipIn, industry experts focused on digitalization and emerging technologies and discussed key drivers and barriers for the adoption of new solutions as well as the challenges they bring for enhanced safety.

Many stakeholders promote best practices and a lot of collaboration efforts are taking place.

Apart from collaborations for enhanced safety, stakeholders join forces on the technology front, for example data collection, machine learning, security, due diligence and accident investigation.

The adoption of new technologies is a hard task in general and for maritime industry even harder, since by nature, the sector is driven by compliance and is resistant to change, noticed Dr. Maurizio Pilu, Managing Director, Safetytech Accelerator.

Technology can help with human error with great impact on safety. There are many applications from monitoring behaviour to preventing and spotting dangerous situations. Reference

India: Lothal, World’s Oldest Dockyard Nominated As A UNESCO World Heritage Site?

01 Nov 2022
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) site through video conference, the world’s oldest dockyard, Lothal, is ready to host a heritage complex.

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In his speech, Prime Minister Modi stated that Lothal was not just a significant Indus Valley Civilization commercial hub, but also a representation of India’s naval might and economic prosperity. 

The project’s construction began in March 2022 with an approximate expense of Rs 3,500 crore. It will have a number of cutting-edge attractions, such as the Lothal mini-recreation, which will use immersive technology to recreate the buildings and way of life of the Harappans.

There will be four theme parks: the Memorial Park, the Maritime and Navy Park, the Climate Park, and the Adventure and Amusement Park. It will serve as a hub for education and research about India’s maritime history.

In the Bhal region of what is now the Gujarat province, Lothal was one of the Indus Valley civilization’s most southernly positioned settlements. It is believed that the port city was founded around 2,200 BC. When Lothal was a booming commercial hub, its commerce in beads, stones, and ornaments reached as far as West Asia and Africa.

In Saurashtra, Gujarat, Indian archaeologists first began looking for towns from the Harappan Civilization after 1947. The crew that unearthed several Harappan sites at the period, notably the port city of Lothal, was led by archaeologist SR Rao.

Lothal was proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014; however, the proposal is still being processed. According to the dossier, its historical significance is on par with that of numerous other ancient port cities, such as Xel Ha in Peru, Ostia and Carthage in Italy, Hepu in China, Canopus in Egypt, Gabel (the Phoenician Byblos), Jaffa in Israel, Ur in Mesopotamia, and Hoi An in Vietnam. 

The only port town of the Indus Valley Civilization is the excavated site of Lothal, according to the documentation provided to UNESCO. Reference

Swedish Navy Salvage Vessel To Further Investigate Nord Stream Blast

31 Oct 2022
Sweden has ordered additional investigations to be carried out of the damage done last month to the two Nord Stream pipelines, the prosecutor in charge of the case said in a statement on Friday.

The salvage and submarine rescue ship HMS Belos Photo via The Swedish Armed Forces. Image Source: gCaptain

Sweden and Denmark have both concluded that four leaks on Nord Stream 1 and 2 were caused by explosions, but have not said who might be responsible. World leaders have called it an act of sabotage.

The prosecutor said the armed forces had the resources and expertise to investigate the crime scene “in the way we wish” but declined further comment.

Sweden’s armed forces said this week that they were carrying out an independent investigation of the seabed around the leaks with minesweepers. Reference

Region’s first uncrewed surface vessel sets sail in Abu Dhabi

31 Oct 2022
The region’s first class-built uncrewed surface vessel (USV) entered the water last week, marking an important event for the UAE maritime industry. 

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The 12 m Blue Essence USV was launched at Mugharraq port and sailed to its new home in Al Mirfa, Abu Dhabi, by Fugro’s control and command centre in the UAE. 

The Al Mirfa port will be the home to the Fugro Pegasus during the coming months and will be the central hub to Fugro’s remote and autonomous operations in the UAE. 

This vessel forms part of Fugro’s global fleet of uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) and electric remotely operated vehicles, which are operated from a network of remote operations centres across the world. 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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