News Digest 17-Apr-2022

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Following Stories compiled in this News Digest for the week from 11 Apr 2022 to 17 Apr 2022 in descending order:


India: New govt measures spur Sagarmala implementation

17 Apr 2022:
Out of 802 projects, a total of 202 have been successfully implemented.

It’s been seven years since the ambitious Sagarmala programme — pet project of the Narendra Modi government in the maritime sector — was launched. It’s been slow and steady progress so far. Out of the 802 projects worth ₹5.48 lakh crore — to be executed by 2035 —a total of 202 worth over ₹1 lakh crore have been completed. Project overrun and lack of financial support have affected the pace, not to mention the pandemic. Reference


Shippers Seek Alternatives to Southeast China Ports Hit By Covid Lockdowns

16 Apr 2022
As supply chain uncertainty at China’s key port cities drags on, shippers are hunting for alternative cargo options from South-east Asia.

File Photo: Containers are seen stacking up at the Yangshan Deep-Water Port in Shanghai, China October 19, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song. Image Source: gCaptain

In Shanghai, where most of the city remains under lockdown, despite officials introducing a three-tier system to slowly ease restrictions, the container port – usually the busiest in the world – has been operating but the lack of trucking capacity has left supply chains in disarray.

For example, Jasmine Wall, Seko Logistics’ commercial manager for Asia Pacific, said: “Some carriers, including Maersk and ONE, have started to cancel calls at Shanghai to instead provide intermodal services, such as land-to-water or rail.

One contact said China’s ministry of transport had issued instructions to “restore reefer transport and clearance of refrigerated cargo”, possibly due to perishables supply chain troubles being reported throughout the city.

According to Norman Global Logistics (NGL), The Alliance has cancelled 36 sailings to Shanghai and the Ocean Alliance, six. Export volumes have increasingly shifted to Ningbo, but NGL said supply chain conditions were again deteriorating in that city, too, adding: “The situation at China’s second biggest port has worsened, with more Covid-cases and measures introduced.

Forwarder Flexpoprt said: “Ocean carriers continue to assess the impacts to bookings, many are looking for replacement cargo from South-east Asia due to the constraints and dips in shipment activity ex-China. Reference


Piracy Plummets in Gulf of Guinea

16 Apr 2022
Southeast Asian waters are replacing the Gulf of Guinea as the most dangerous for commercial shipping, accounting for nearly half of piracy incidents in the first quarter of this year.

Image Source: The Maritime Executive

The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB)’s quarterly piracy and armed robbery report shows a nearly flat top-line number for maritime piracy incidents, with 37 recorded in the first three months of 2022 compared to 38 incidents over the same period last year. However, nearly half (41 percent) occurred in Southeast Asian waters, particularly in the Singapore Straits.

The Gulf of Guinea, which accounted for nearly half (43 percent) of all reported piracy incidents in the first three months of 2021, recorded a significant decline in maritime piracy. Only seven incidents were reported in the first three months of the year.

IMB believes that concerted and sustained efforts to eliminate piracy in the volatile waters of the Gulf of Guinea are bearing fruits, with no reported crew kidnappings during the quarter compared to 40 crew kidnappings in the same period in 2021. The efforts of the regional and international navies have also resulted in a reduction of reported incidents from 16 in the first quarter of 2021 to seven over the same period in 2022.

Threat to seafarers remain and is best exemplified by the recent attack on the Panamax bulk carrier Arch Gabriel, which was boarded by pirates 260 NM off the coast of Ghana on April 3. Italian Navy warship Luigi Rizzo and its helicopter intervened, saving the crew and enabling the vessel to proceed to a safe port under escort.

The Singapore Straits has become a dangerous sea route for commercial shipping accounting for almost 30 percent of all incidents during the period. Though the reported incidents are considered low-level opportunistic crimes and fall under the definition of armed robbery, they continue to pose risks to crews. In the 11 reported incidents in the Singapore Straits waters, two crew were threatened and one taken hostage for the duration of the incident. In at least one incident, a gun was used to threaten the crew. Reference


IMO Launches e-Learning Platform

15 Apr 2022
IMO is adding e-learning to its portfolio of services. The first free to access course was launched during an online event (7 April), in the margin of its Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) Sub-Committee meeting.

Image Source: IMO

IMO has developed a number of e-Learning courses with the purpose of increasing the capacity of Member States to effectively implement IMO instruments. Some courses are also available to anyone interested in maritime issues wishing to enhance their maritime knowledge.

The first such course is: “An Introduction to Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation”, designed to provide a basic introduction to those involved in, or that have an interest in, matters related to oil pollution preparedness and response, whether from within the oil spill response community or the maritime sector.

The series of e-Learning courses is being developed in collaboration with the World Maritime University. Distance learning has become key in meeting the changing educational needs in the maritime industry and IMO is offering students and maritime professionals around the world the possibility to boost their understanding of key maritime issues. Reference

Click here to visit the e-learning platform.


ICS launches new training tool to plug the technology gap on board

15 Apr 2022
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has launched a new resource designed to help ship operators recruit and develop on board personnel who are fully prepared to meet the demands of today’s high-tech modern vessels.

Image source:

The ICS On Board Training Record Book for Electro-Technical Officers (ETO Cadets) is an essential training companion for ETO cadets and their employers and gives seafarers operating under any flag a universally standard approach to track their training and career development.

According to the latest ICS BIMCO Seafarer Workforce Report, when recruiting STCW certified seafarers, companies reported the highest levels of difficulty in ETO roles. They also warned of a shortage of officers with technical experience, especially at management level. In addition, electro-technical officer cadets have the lowest graduation rate of all the officers (74.4 per cent), and 70 per cent of maritime education and training institutions saw a need for improving electrical, electronic and control engineering training provision.

The On Board Training Record Book for Electro-Technical Officers (ETO Cadets) helps shipowners and managers ensure compliance with STCW Convention regulations and helps ETO cadets understand the training required to develop their skills and competencies. Supervising officers can use the record book to make an objective evaluation of cadets’ training, and it provides employers with the confidence that cadets are developing the correct knowledge needed to be successful in the role.

ICS senior adviser of manning & training, Arvind Natrajan, also comments: “It is only recently that such highly skilled seafarers are in great demand due to the increase in ships built with complex electrical and electronic systems. The training tasks in the new Training Record Book will ensure that cadets make the best use of their seagoing service by highlighting their strengths and identifying areas for further training.”

The IMO STCW Convention requires that an ETO cadet’s seagoing service must be properly structured and recorded in a training record book approved by the maritime administration responsible for issuing certificates of competence. Reference


New approach to maritime safety needed

14 Apr 2022
It has been well documented that most maritime accidents (~80%) are caused by human error. Still, most of the focus on learning is rooted in technical causes and adding procedures and checklists.

Image Source: Splash 247

Despite this bias, many accident investigation reports pinpoint that the leadership or safety culture was the root cause of more recent accidents such as the Bulk Jupiter, El Faro, Helge Ingstad and Costa Concordia, as well as older accidents such as the Exxon Valdez, Bow Mariner, Herald of Free Enterprise and Amoco Cadiz.

The critical failures leading to the accident were in most cases known before the accident took place. This demonstrates that failures which are not handled properly may develop into critical situations and accidents. This is a blind spot because the biased focus on technicalities and “impeccable” safety inspections makes people reluctant to be open about their failures, concerns and mistakes.

There is a cover-up culture causing errors and unsafe practices. There are now so many procedures and checklists that, in some cases, it is impossible to comply with all of them. The fear of failure is driving accident statistics, and surveys reveal that 45% of seafarers admit that they regularly do not comply with procedures.

It should be known that human factors are key to prevent threats and failures from escalating. Yet improving safety or performance is about improving not only individuals but also the collaboration between sea and shore staff, between officers and crew and between different nationalities and cultures on board ships.

Huge potential to reduce accidents is recognized, but is not always addressed, so a new approach is necessary to improve collaboration and reduce risks. Indeed, collaboration is strongly correlated with the risk of accidents and business interruption. Our experience of working on multiple projects over the years shows that it is possible to reduce the risk of major accidents by up to 75%.

In order to understand how the organizational culture influences safety, there is a need to use methodologies specialized for this purpose. One thing that many people are ignorant of is that a key professional competence of organizational psychology is advanced mathematics and data analysis. The evaluation of organizational culture relies on interviews, observations and questionnaires applying psychometric instruments that are tailor-made to ensure valid and reliable results.

It is not only the psychometric instruments that rely on data. The use of digitalization, the internet of things (IoT), sensor data, machine learning, and big data has picked up in recent years. The idea is that those with the most data can create the best analytics and forecasts. With the use of more quality data, risk assessments and worst-case scenario simulations provide reliable predictions and identify effective interventions to prevent accidents. Reference


Drones to measure ships’ sulphur content in the Baltic Sea

14 Apr 2022
Portugal-based European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), together with Germany’s Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), is conducting a large-scale emissions monitoring campaign using remotely piloted aircraft, scheduled to begin later this month.

Illustration. Courtesy of EMSA/Schiebel. Image Source: Offshore Energy News

Over a three-month period, a specially equipped drone will measure the sulphur content in the exhaust plumes of ships transiting the Baltic Sea in order to be able to detect violations of the applicable limits.

At the same time, image data will also be collected for hydrographic surveying purposes.

The remotely piloted aircraft will take off from the German Armed Forces’ Staberhuk site on the east coast of Fehmarn and fly over selected ships operating in the Fehmarn Belt and the Kadetrinne/Kadetrenden in order to measure the sulphur content of their exhaust plumes using specific sensors.

In this way, it will be possible to infer the sulphur content of the ship’s fuel, which must not exceed a level of 0.10% in the Baltic Sea Emission Control Area (SECA).

The measurement results are made available in real-time to responsible authorities in all European ports via THETIS-EU, the Port State Control information system operated by EMSA.

In this way, ships can be specifically selected for inspection at their next port of call and samples of the fuel can be taken. If violations of the strict sulphur limits are proven, those responsible face heavy penalties.

In addition to ship exhaust gas measurements, multispectral aerial imagery is acquired. For shallow waters, bathymetric values can be extracted from images. Furthermore, imagery allows for three-dimensional mapping of the shore zone.

The drone survey campaign will investigate whether aerial imagery can provide complementary information for the German hydrographic surveying service. Reference


Heavy Storm Knocks Down Containers And Floods Durban Port

13 Apr 2022
South Africa’s state-owned logistics firm Transnet suspended its Durban port operations from 1930 local time on Monday due to heavy rains that have damaged the roads into the port, a key hub for shipping containers and metals such as copper.

A view of shipping containers, which were washed away after heavy rains caused flooding, in Durban, South Africa, April 12, 2022. REUTERS/Rogan Ward. Image Source: gCaptain

In a statement on Tuesday, Transnet said shipping has been suspended until further notice as a result of damage caused by the adverse weather, and vessels on berth are on standby.

Customers were requested to “hold back” on bringing their trucks into the port, to avoid congestion.

Transnet also said its Richards Bay ports, as well as rail lines in some parts of the KwaZulu-Natal province, are operating at “limited capacity” as a result of flooding. Reference


UK: Edinburgh to host world’s oldest civil training ship

13 Apr 2022
A huge training ship that was built in 1935 is set to dock in Edinburgh this weekend, in a rare sighting of such a vessel.

The Danish Georg Stage is set to arrive in Leith later this week in a rare outing.. Image: Wikipedia Commons. Image Source:

Looking like something out of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, the impressive ‘Georg Stage’ ship from Denmark has been slowly making its way to the capital since April 6 and is due to arrive in Leith on Saturday, April 16.

With crowds expected to gather to witness the rare spectacle, locals in Leith are certainly in for a treat, as the 50-metre ship is set to dock around 5pm on Saturday.

Built almost 90 years ago, the ship is similar to what you would see in pirate movies, featuring three huge masts that hoist over ten flags into the air.

According to Maritime Traffic, the sea version of Flight Radar, the vessel is currently situated in the North Sea, having left Sonderborg, Denmark, six days ago and travelling at 5.6 knots.

The ship is the second type launched under the name Georg Stage, with its first tour starting on April 24, 1935 and to get some insight into how rare a sighting of this ship is, especially in Edinburgh, it only has one tour per year, starting in April and ending in September.

The ship has carried this tradition since it was commissioned, except during the Second World War.

Since 1974, the vessel serves 63 crew members, ranging from chefs, to a ten-person regular crew. The sailors and chefs training onboard must be between 17 and 22 years of age, with females also being allowed to apply for the training program since 1981.

It’s also the world’s oldest, civil training ship, giving people a yearly maritime experience to remember for the rest of their lives. Reference


Maritime Labour Convention reaches 100th ratification

12 Apr 2022
The 100th ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) has been marked by a ceremony at the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) headquarters in Geneva.

[© Bernard Spragg. NZ. Image Source: ILO

It means that more than 96 per cent of the world’s gross shipping tonnage is now covered by this internationally agreed standard which also applies to most of the seafarer labour supplying countries of the world.

Oman became the 100th ILO Member State to ratify the Convention. The Ambassador of Oman, Idris Abdul Rahman Al Khanjari, formally submitted the ratification documents on 29 March.

ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, who received the instrument of ratification, described it as a milestone.

Adopted by the ILO’s Member States in February 2006, the Convention brought together a large number of existing industry labour standards that no longer reflected contemporary working and living conditions, had low ratification levels, or inadequate enforcement and compliance systems. Combining these often very detailed instruments into one Convention, makes it easier for countries to regulate and enforce consistent industry norms and standards, worldwide. Reference


Singapore: MPA launches SailMAP

12 Apr 2022
The programme aims to incentivise seafarers for key career milestones.

Image Source:

The Maritime Port Authority (MPA) has launched a programme that will incentive seafarers for key milestones in their careers.

One of the incentives provided by the Sail Milestone Achievement Programme (SailMAP) is a sign-on bonus of $10,000 when they sign on their first vessel as a Certificate of Competency (CoC) Class 3 (deck officer) or 5 (marine engineer) holder.

MPA said the incentives given under the SailMAP programme are aimed at supporting seafarers’ income when they are not sailing.

This way, MPA said seafarers can also “focus on upgrading their seafaring skills and knowledge.” Reference


Urgent call to protect 1000 seafarers trapped in Ukraine

12 Apr 2022
Call for urgent action to protect 1,000 crew trapped in Ukraine ports from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The Third Engineer of the bulker Banglar Samriddhi was killed in missile strike. Image Source: Seatrade Maritime News

Six weeks into the war in Ukraine and over 100 vessels with 1,000 seafarers onboard are still unable to leave Ukraine ports and nearby waters. Many of the seafarers are on vessels in the port of Mariupol, which has come under heavy Russian bombardment, or on vessels in the Sea of Azov.

A call for “urgent action” was made in a joint letter to the heads of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder and IMO Secretary-General, Kitack Lim.

On 23 March the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) described the situation as “dire” in a joint briefing with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). The ILO and IMO noted that its letter followed urgent communications sent by the ICS and ITF.

Attempts to set up blue corridors for vessels to sail out of the war zone has proved difficult and dangerous with waters mined around ports and ongoing conflict.

Merchant vessels have come under fire in waters near the Port of Mariupol. The State Border Guard of Ukraine reported on 5 April that a Dominican Republic-flagged cargoship Azburg located near to a berth was hit by shelling causing a fire in the engine room and injuring a crew member. Reference


Crew Shortage Causes P&O to Cancel Cruises on Arcadia

12 Apr 2022
P&O Cruises, Carnival Corporation’s UK-based contemporary cruise line, is temporarily removing one of its cruise ships from operations reporting that the line is facing crewing issues related to the pandemic. Over the past two years, shipping lines, unions, and major trade organizations have all complained of the crewing crisis caused by travel restrictions and health regulations.

Arcadia will be idle for nearly three months while P&O reassigned crew to its other ships (Estevoaei photo CC by SA 4.0 license). Image Source: The Maritime Executive

The 83,781 gross ton cruise ship Arcadia had just returned to service after having been idle for two years. “The current and extraordinary impact of COVID-19 in the UK, in the wider hospitality, service and airline industry as a whole has resulted in a temporary disruption to crewmembers available to join our ships,” the cruise line announced reporting that seven cruises would be canceled. Due to return to the UK tomorrow, April 12 from her first cruise which had sailed to the Canary Islands and Spain on March 27, Arcadia will be idled until July 5.

The cruise line responded to the barrage of negative comments from vacationers scheduled to sail on the upcoming cruises aboard the ship. Many said they had been waiting two years or longer for their cruise noting that they had specifically selected Arcadia as the ship which accommodates 2,094 passengers is reserved for adult-only cruises.

The cruise line did not say if the crew shortage was being caused due to other crewmembers testing positive for the virus or if they needed more crew for the other ships as the line ramps up operations. P&O had started limited cruises last summer under the UK program for domestic cruises and later expanded including operations in the Caribbean this winter. Another of the company’s ships is currently restarting cruises to Scandinavia.

P&O also found itself having to respond to travelers that were associating the crew issues with those at another company P&O Ferries, which fired 800 members of its crew in a cost-saving operation. P&O Cruises was forced to repeatedly explain that while they share a name, the two companies are not related and that they have been part of Carnival Corporation for 20 years with no shared ownership with DP World which acquired the ferry operation. Reference


Robotic Boat to Help Measure Sea Effects of Tonga Volcano

11 Apr 2022
A scientific team is headed to Tonga to measure the effects of January’s undersea volcano explosion on the surrounding ocean. As part of the project, the team will use a robotic boat to help create a detailed map of the sea floor.

This undated image shows the RV Tangaroa, operated by New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). The ship is heading to Tonga to measure the effects of January’s undersea volcano explosion. (Photo Credit: Dave Allen/NIWA). Image Source:

The explosion, or eruption, of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano was among the world’s largest in the past 30 years.

The eruption on the South Pacific island nation sent smoke and gas shooting 30 kilometers into the air. It also created ocean waves, called tsunamis, that formed across the Pacific Ocean. Some of the waves were up to 15 meters high, Reuters news agency reported.

The eruption and tsunamis led to at least three deaths in Tonga and destroyed numerous homes, as well as communications equipment. Tonga’s government said the effects of the explosion were felt as far away as South America.

The team going to Tonga will use sound and video equipment and other scientific instruments to examine the undersea effects of the explosion. The project is a joint effort between New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and Japan’s non-profit Nippon Foundation.

The scientists will be “surveying thousands of square kilometers of the seafloor and collecting video images” of the eruption’s effects, said a recent press release by NIWA.

The leader of the project is Mike Williams, the chief ocean scientist for NIWA. He predicts the team will find widespread changes to the ocean floor and sea life in areas around Tonga. Reference


Maritime tourism businesses prepare for cruise ship visitors

11 Apr 2022
For the first time in over two years, a large cruise ship has docked in Canadian waters.

Image Source:

More than 1,200 passengers arrived in Victoria, B.C., Saturday, marking the long awaited return of the big boats.

The Holland America ship wasn’t supposed to be the first to make the big return. Princess Cruises called off the arrival of its vessel, the Caribbean Princess, which was originally scheduled to arrive Wednesday.

On Canada’s east coast, it’s a sure sign of the return of cruise ships to Maritime ports.

The first two ships to arrive in Halifax will be on April 26. To date, 151 cruise calls are scheduled for that port – about 85 per cent of the number of arrivals prior to the pandemic.

All passengers and crew members on vessels docking in Canada are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and the federal government has strict safety protocols in place for cruise lines.

For businesses that rely on cruise ship traffic, the void has left many financially frustrated. 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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