News Digest 25-Oct-2021

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Following Stories compiled in this News Digest for the week from 17 Oct 2021 to 24 Oct 2021 in descending order:


India: DG shipping not to allow addl relaxations for CDC

23 Oct 2021
The director general of shipping has turned down Goan Seaman Association of India’s (GSAI) request to withdraw the order for allowing more relaxation for those seafarers who have been debarred from applying Indian Continuous Discharge Certificates (CDC). GSAI has urged the government to reconsider the decision and give relaxation for another year

Image source: dgshipping

DG shipping, in a letter dated October 13, 2021, to the secretary of ministry of ports and shipping, stated that no further relaxation is desirable in this case as it is offence of submitting false certificates.

The DG shipping had earlier debarred the candidates for life for submitting fake certificates for obtaining CDC through circular no. 36 of 2020 dated November 12, 2020. However, after receiving various representations from candidates and associations, the DG shipping relaxed the punishment period upto three years.
GSAI president Frank Viegas said they have knocked the doors of minister of state for shipping Shripad Naik requesting relaxation of one more year since most of the seafarers who had applied in 2019 will have to wait for one more year. Reference


Maersk Drillship Going for New Water Depth World Record Off Angola

23 Oct 2021
A Maersk drillship is going for a new drilling water depth world record in Angola.

The drillship, Maersk Voyager, was awarded a contract extension this month by TotalEnergies E&P Angola to drill the ultra-deepwater Ondjaba-1 exploration well in Angola’s Block 48.

Maersk Voyage. Credit: Maersk Drilling. Image Source: gCaptain

The Ondjaba-1 well will be drilled at a new world record water depth of 3,628 meters, or about 2 1/4 miles below the water’s surface. The current world record is 3,400 meters, set by Maersk Voyager’s sister drillship, Maersk Venturer, when it drilled the Raya-1 well for TotalEnergies offshore Uruguay in 2016.

“We’re thrilled to be able to confirm that we indeed will be drilling for a new world record. Ondjaba-1 was part of Maersk Voyager’s original contract in Angola, but the rig’s drilling programme has undergone several changes due to the unprecedented circumstances the world has faced since early 2020. With this contract option called, we’re now looking forward to proving that Maersk Drilling and the highly capable Voyager crew can once again break existing boundaries in close collaboration with TotalEnergies,” says COO Morten Kelstrup of Maersk Drilling. Reference


Maritime Security Experts Meet to Discuss Root Causes of Piracy

23 Oct 2021
45 officers from 17 Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Member States participated virtually in a capacity building virtual lecture on October 19. 

Image source: hstoday

The aim of the lecture was to provide a better understanding on the root causes of piracy, how to effectively address it and to enhance the capabilities of Focal Points (FPs)/ Contact Points (CP) (FPs/CP) in managing maritime crime. FPs/CP are the government agencies designated by ReCAAP Member States to be the primary points-of-contact for the ReCAAP information sharing network. 

The lecturer, Professor Brandon Prins from the Department of Political Science at the University of Tennessee, shared the key insights from his research activities on the main causes conducive to piracy and sea robbery. Professor Prins is co-author of the book titled “Pirate Lands: Governance and Maritime Piracy” and has written previously for Homeland Security Today. 

The ReCAAP Contracting Parties that participated in this virtual lecture included Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom. Reference


Technology for seafarer mental welfare

22 Oct 2021
The innovative ways that technology can be used to assess the mental wellbeing of seafarers, was the subject of a webinar held the same week as World Mental Health Day in mid-October. 

Image Source: wellnessatsea

Organised by Safetytech Accelerator, the non-profit body set up by Lloyd’s Register and Lloyd’s Register Foundation to help foster innovative digital solutions to address safety and riskthe event featured a technology showcase where six different technology providers pitched their solutions for monitoring mental wellbeing to a panel of representatives from leading shipping bodies involved with seafarer welfare. 

The six technologies showcased were Scoutbase, Sensing Feeling, Care4C, Blue Skeye AI, Litha Chatbot AI and Senseeye

A panel discussion followed, featuring Johan Smith, Project Manager at the Sailors’ Society; Colin Payne, CEO of the Nautical Institute Foundation; Ben Bailey, Director of Advocacy & Regional Engagement for The Mission to Seafarers; Richard Ballantyne, CEO of the British Ports Association; and Neil Dulling, HSE Manager at MOL LNG Transport (Europe). While all could see potential in the various systems, and expressed fascination over some of the technology involved, reservations were expressed as well. 

Dunning agreed over the importance of the human element, commenting on the “lost sense of community” aboard ships in recent years and the need for captains to be ‘leaders’ onboard not paper-pushing bureaucrats. Reference


Solar tile tech could be ‘game changer’ for clean energy in marine sector

22 Oct 2021
A company, with its sights set on cleaning up the marine sector, has developed an innovative graphene-based technology platform using solar photovoltaic cells to create electrical power, with potential for mass manufacture, thanks to support from engineers at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) North West.

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Grafmarine is looking to bring to market an integrated solar energy and storage solution for marine vessels that aims to reduce diesel fuel consumption on ships by up to 10 percent. As the marine industry moves towards zero emissions and demand for clean energy grows, solar power and new battery technologies herald an exciting development in environmentally responsible energy generation. 

The company turned to the R&D team at AMRC North West for help simplifying the manufacturing and assembly process of its solar technology. Anika Ephraim, Managing Director at Grafmarine, said: “The project we brought to AMRC North West is about refining the design of our technology. To ensure consistency and quality in large volumes, we need to automate the manufacturing process, and this necessitates some modifications to the design of the product itself.

“The intelligence and innovation that’s gone into our solar cells, for example the non-toxic battery technology, as well as the honeycomb configuration, make them different from any panels currently on the market – we call this ‘solar plus’. AMRC North West has supported us to develop the high-end engineering behind the tiles, really raising the bar for what is possible in solar technology.” Reference


DP World rolls out new digital logistics platform

22 Oct 2021
Dubai-based port operator DP World has launched a new digital logistics solution CARGOES Logistics to address complexities and inefficiencies that exist in global supply chains.

As disclosed, the new platform will provide customers a single-window solution enabling seamless, safe, secure, and efficient movement of their cargo. 

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Specifically, clients can choose from multimodal logistics options, ship freight by sea, road, and/or rail, get instant quotes, swift booking confirmation and multiple secure payment options in three simple steps – search, choose and book.

Furthermore, the logistics platform will offer easy and swift cargo booking from origin to destination. 

The first phase of the project will start from India to multiple destinations across the Middle East, Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Far East and North Africa as well as UAE to India. The company also plans to share it globally.

“With CARGOES Logistics, our aim is to build and offer highly efficient, seamless and end-to-end transparent supply chains,” Rizwan Soomar, CEO & MD, Subcontinent, DP World said. Reference


BSNL to offer Inmarsat’s GX satcomm services in India for hi-speed inflight, maritime connectivity

21 Oct 2021
State-owned BSNL has received licence to offer Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) mobile broadband services in India that would enable high-speed passenger inflight connectivity and maritime connectivity for carriers and vessels using Inmarsat terminals and infrastructure, the British satellite company announced on Wednesday.

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SpiceJet Ltd and Shipping Corporation of India have already signed up for the new GX services, which would open-up capacities as high as 50Mbps, Inmarsat India Managing Director, Gautam Sharma told PTI.

Under BSNL’s Inflight and Maritime Connectivity (IFMC) licence from Telecom Department, GX will be available to Indian customers across government, aviation and maritime, an Inmarsat statement said.

The announcement assumes significance as it means that India’s airlines will be able to deploy GX for in-flight connectivity within India and across the world, while India’s commercial maritime companies will be able to enhance significantly the digitalisation of their vessels for more effective ship operations and crew welfare services.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) Chairman and Managing Director PK Purwar said the tariffs for the offering are yet to be decided. Reference


Five Indian sailors stuck in Iran, freed of drug allegations, still waiting to return home

21 Oct 2021

Five Indian sailors who are stranded in Iran for over 20 month have appealed for help to PM Narendra Modi and Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar, to return home. While sailing on the high seas off Oman in February 2020, they were unknowingly trapped in a precarious maritime narcotics smuggling racket, leading to their arrest and jail. But even after being acquitted in the case, they are still grounded in a foreign land. The five youngsters were working for an Iranian company.They are Aniket S. Yenpure, Mandar M. Worlikar, Pranav A. Tiwari, 21, Naveen M. Singh , and Thamizh R. Selvan. Reference


Nigeria records 76.5 per cent decline on ships attacks in nine months

21 Oct 2021
Pirate attacks and armed robbery at sea in Nigeria dropped from 17 in the first nine months of 2020 to four in the corresponding period of 2021, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) has said.

This represents a decline of about 76.5 per cent in recorded incidents against ships in the country. The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre said the attacks against ships across the world are at its lowest number since 1994.

Pirates attacking a vessel on high sea. Image Source:

In 2021, IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre reported 85 vessels boarded, nine attempted attacks, two vessels fired upon and one vessel hijacked.

According to the latest IMB statistics, reported incidents are down to their lowest level in decades, but violence against seafarers has continued with 51 crew kidnapped, eight taken hostage, five threatened, three injured, two assaulted and one killed.

IMB’s latest global piracy report recorded 97 incidents of piracy and armed robbery for the first nine months of 2021 – the lowest level of reported incidents since 1994.

The piracy watchdog also stated that the Gulf of Guinea region recorded 28 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the first nine months of 2021, compared to 46 for the same period in 2020.

IMB stated that crew kidnappings in the region have also dropped with only one crew member kidnapped in quarter three of 2021, compared to 31 crew members taken in five separate incidents during quarter three of 2020.

“All quarter three incidents in 2021 were also against vessels at port anchorages while the average successful kidnapping location in quarter three of 2020 was approximately 100 nautical miles from land,” it said.

IMB attributed the reduction of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the Gulf of Guinea region to enhanced maritime security and response coordination measures adopted by regional and national authorities.

It, however, warned that despite these gains, the risk to crew remains high in the region, urging that such efforts must therefore be sustained. Reference


Vikings crossed the Atlantic 1,000 years ago

21 Oct 2021
Long before Columbus crossed the Atlantic, eight timber-framed buildings covered in sod stood on a terrace above a peat bog and stream at the northern tip of Canada’s island of Newfoundland, evidence that the Vikings had reached the New World first.

But precisely when the Vikings journeyed to establish the L’Anse aux Meadows settlement had remained unclear – until now.

Image Istock. Image Source:

Scientists on Wednesday said a new type of dating technique using a long-ago solar storm as a reference point revealed that the settlement was occupied in 1021 AD, exactly a millennium ago and 471 years before the first voyage of Columbus. The technique was used on three pieces of wood cut for the settlement, all pointing to the same year.

The Viking voyage represents multiple milestones for humankind. The settlement offers the earliest-known evidence of a transatlantic crossing. It also marks the place where the globe was finally encircled by humans, who thousands of years earlier had trekked into North America over a land bridge that once connected Siberia to Alaska.

The new dating method relies on the fact that solar storms produce a distinctive radiocarbon signal in a tree’s annual growth rings. It was known there was a significant solar storm – a burst of high-energy cosmic rays from the sun – in 992 AD.

In all three pieces of wood examined, from three different trees, 29 growth rings were formed after the one that bore evidence of the solar storm, meaning the wood was cut in 1021, said University of Groningen archaeologist Margot Kuitems, the study’s first author.

It was not local indigenous people who cut the wood because there is evidence of metal blades, which they did not possess. Reference

Samsung SDS rolls out smart shipping platform for exporters

20 Oct 2021
Samsung SDS, an IT solution provider affiliated with Samsung Group, has rolled out a one-stop freight shipping solution for local exporters.

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Dubbed Cello Square 4.0, the platform is designed to provide a one-stop solution for freight shipping to small and medium-sized companies that experience difficulty keeping up with complex export and import procedures, as well as to track the cargo’s delivery status.

Utilizing the latest digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things and blockchain, Cello Square 4.0 is able to analyze the type of cargo and suggest the optimal logistics solution.

Users can check the bills for full-container loads, less-than-container loads and air freight, and make reservations. It also includes a series called “Ocean Transportation Service to Amazon Warehouse,” which is tailored for those that have to ship their goods to overseas Amazon distribution centers.

Once shipping begins, Cello Square provides export companies with a real-time cargo tracking service. When the cargo arrives at its destination, it automatically settles the bills and suggests future plans for cost reduction along with a data analysis report. Reference


Taiwan Coastguard Rescues 14 from Stranded Cargo Ship in Typhoon

19 Oct 2021
Taiwan’s Coastguard Administration was called on to rescue the crew of a general cargo ship that had gone aground in the Taiwan Strait on October 17 during the latest typhoon to hit the region. Gale force winds complicated the rescue operation, but all 14 crew were successfully removed by helicopter.

Fortune grounded in the Taiwan Strait (Taiwan Coastguard Administration) Image Source:

The crew of the 5,500 dwt cargo ship Fortune (registered in Panama) issued a distress call Sunday morning reporting that the vessel had lost power and was drifting in the storm. Weather conditions were reported to be poor with heavy rain, storm force wind between 35 and 45 mph with gusts toward 60 mph. The seas were running at approximately 20 feet.

The cargo ship had departed from Fuzhou, China heading east in the Taiwan Strait.

The crew had attempted to anchor the 328-foot-long vessel in its position west of Taiwan. The crew told the Coastguard that the vessel drifted for about seven nautical miles dragging its anchors before coming to rest on the rocky shore of Jibel (Bird) Island mid-afternoon on October 17.

Three patrol boats were dispatched but reported that sea conditions were too difficult to reach the vessel and carry out a rescue. Initially, a fixed-wing airplane was sent to do reconnaissance but was also forced to turn back.

Coastguard helicopters were finally able to reach the vessel and transported the 14 crew in two batches to shore. They were taken to a local airport and later to a hospital for COVID-19 testing. Reference


Call for maritime distress signal ’Save Our Planet’

19 Oct 2021
With the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) just a fortnight away, Yara Marine Technologies CEO Thomas Koniordos has called on the shipping industry to answer the ‘Save Our Planet – SOP’ distress signal and move rapidly on decarbonisation.

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As previously reported, more than 150 maritime companies and organisations – including Yara – last month signed a ‘Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonisation’; which is urging governments to ‘deliver the policies that will supercharge the transition and make zero emission shipping the default choice by 2030’.

In an open letter sent to Bunkerspot and posted on Yara’s website today (18 October), Koniordos reiterated: ‘We stand firmly behind this call to action and urge the whole industry to follow and move rapidly on decarbonisation. The time to act is now. Our planet is in distress.’

Koniordos continued: ‘Our industry has the skillset to create new solutions and the drive to see them through. Now, we at Yara Marine Technologies reinforce our commitment and stand ready to help the industry achieve the necessary green transition. If we all work together towards this common goal, we can cut emissions and strengthen the industry at the same time.

‘Save Our Planet – SOP – is a new distress signal made to highlight our shared urgency, to encourage the maritime industry and all its stakeholders to face this challenge without further delay, and to inspire us all to embrace this opportunity for change, collaboration, and innovation.’ Reference


Kenya: Maritime Wages Council formation to rekindle hopes of seafarers

18 Oct 2021
Kenyan seafarers have welcomed the recent formation of the Maritime Wages Council.

They said the move marks a step towards better employment conditions for Kenyan seafarers.

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“The merchant mariners have been exploited for years through underpayment and abandonment by rogue ship owners while still aboard vessels,” said Andrew Mwangura, former General Secretary of the Seafarers Union of Kenya (SUK).

Mwangura said local seafarers have suffered from social dumping caused by some rogue recruitment agents that have teamed up with shipping companies to fleece seafarers of deserving pay.

“We applaud the Kenyan government for this very noble initiative which will end maritime slavery by reviewing pay and working agreements of the seafarers,” Mwangura said. 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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