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19 Kidnapped Crew Members of Nave Constellation Freed
The 19 crew members of crude oil tanker Nave Constellation, who were kidnapped on December 3 off Nigeria, have been released, the owners and managers of the ship informed.
The abducted crew members included 18 Indian nationals and one Turkish national.
"All of those taken were released and are now safe and undergoing medical tests and debriefing, following which they will return to their loved ones at home. All those taken are in good spirits and well, given the circumstances of their time in captivity," a joint statement from Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation and Anglo-Eastern Tanker Management (Hong Kong) reads.
"Owners and managers wish to thank all the crew members and their families for their courage and fortitude during this difficult and worrying period; also to thank the government agencies, authorities, maritime institutions and specialists who have all done so much in securing the release of our much-valued seafarers."
The two companies added that they will not release any operational details of the kidnap or release in order not to jeopardize the safety of seafarers still being held elsewhere or to encourage future criminal events and seizures.
To remind, the Hong Kong-flagged crude oil tanker had departed Bonny Offshore Terminal in fully laden condition when she was boarded by armed men late on the night of December 3rd.
The criminal gang kidnapped 19 of those on board taking them as hostage; while 7 seafarers remained on board and were instructed to take the tanker to a safe position to await the arrival of a security vessel and other support craft. There was no pollution or damage to the vessel.
The incident was shortly followed by the kidnapping of an even larger group of seafarers. On December 15, twenty crew members were kidnapped from a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker off Benin, marking "the largest kidnapping event in West Africa within 2019".
The 19,100 dwt MT Duke was attacked and boarded by six pirates while sailing from Luanda, Angola, to Lome, Togo, with a cargo of fuel oil.
Maritime bodies have been warning about the worrying rise in kidnappings and piracy attacks in West Africa, in particular, the Gulf of Guinea, calling for action to curb the trend and bolster security beyond the Nigerian EEZ.
US Court Convicts Evridiki Navigation, Liquimar Tankers for Pollution
A U.S. based court has convicted Greek tanker owner Evridiki Navigation, operator Liquimar Tankers Management Services Inc and chief engineer Nikolaos Vastardis for obstruction of justice in relation to an attempt of hiding deliberate discharge of oil-contaminated bilge waste overboard from the Liberian-flagged tanker (M/T) Evridiki.
Namely, the trio was convicted by a federal jury in Wilmington, Delaware, of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, falsifying ship s documents, obstructing a U.S. Coast Guard inspection, and making false statements to U.S. Coast Guard inspectors, the US Department of Justice (US DOJ) said.
Each defendant was convicted of all four felony counts. Their respective sentences are yet to be announced.
"This case demonstrates that those who pollute our oceans and deliberately mislead Coast Guard officials will be brought to justice," said Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert of the Justice Department s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
As disclosed by the DoJ, the Liberian-flagged oil tanker owned by Evridiki Navigation and operated by Liqumar Tankers Management Services, arrived in the Big Stone Anchorage, within Delaware Bay, for the purpose of delivering a cargo of crude oil on March 10, 2019.
The following day, the ship underwent a U.S. Coast Guard inspection to determine, among other things, the vessel s compliance with international environmental pollution prevention requirements.
The jury found that during the inspection, Evridiki, Liquimar, and Vastardis tried to deceive Coast Guard inspectors regarding the use of the ship’s oily water separator (OWS), a required pollution prevention device.
Under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), only bilge waste containing less than 15 parts per million (ppm) oil can be discharged overboard and must be first run through an OWS and oil content meter (OCM) to ensure that no waste containing more than 15 ppm oil is discharged.
During the Coast Guard inspection, Vastardis operated the equipment with unmonitored valves that trapped fresh water inside the OCM’s sample line so that its oil sensor registered zero ppm instead of what was really being discharged overboard. However, historic OCM data recovered during the inspection proved that the OCM was being tricked and bypassed. When the Coast Guard opened the Evridiki s OWS, they found it was fouled with copious amounts of oil and soot.
Boskalis Wins Maintenance Gig for Europe s Top Port
Dutch dredging specialist Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) has secured a multi-year contract for the maintenance dredging in the port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Under the terms of the contract, the maintenance dredging will take place in the Maasmond/Maasgeul in the access channel and inner port basins of the port.
The initial contract duration is three years commencing in March 2020, with the use of a mid-sized trailing suction hopper dredger.
Boskalis said that the deal may be extended up to five more years through to 2028, subject to innovative and approved sustainability initiatives.
Boskalis said that the award criteria included various sustainability metrics, including CO2 reducing measures. However, the company pointed out that the project award was not affected by recently introduced national restrictions related to nitrogen emission.
Specifically, following a court ruling determining that nitrogen emissions from the country s infrastructural projects were in breach of European laws, in November the Dutch government introduced measures to reduce nitrogen-based pollution and deal with the impact of PFAS contamination in soil and sludge.
Three vessels attacked, Captains and CO kidnapped, LCT skipper killed, Gabon
Several vessels were attacked by pirates at Libreville anchorage, Gabon Estuary, Gabon, Gulf of Guinea, at 0200 UTC Dec 22. According to Dryad Global report, two Chinese fishing vessels, GUOJI 867 and GUOJI 838, and local landing craft vessel, were attacked. Captain and Chief Officer of both fishing vessels understood to be kidnapped, Skipper of landing craft vessel killed.
Cargo ship grounded by storm, crew evacuated, Italy
General cargo ship CDRY BLUE was pushed aground by storm in Sant Antioco area, south-western Sardinia, late Dec 21. The ship left Cagliari bound for Spain with cargo of coffee, encountered rough weather and tried to shelter, but failed. She s hard on rocks, reportedly. 12 crew evacuated. No information on damages.
Nigeria: WACT Handles Largest Container Ship to Berth At Eastern Port
Efforts to increase ship traffic at the Eastern ports has received a boost with the successful handling of a containership measuring 265 metres in length overall by the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) at the Onne Port Complex, Rivers State.
The ship, named JPO Volans, is the first gearless vessel and the largest containership ever to visit a seaport outside the Lagos area.
CMA CGM signs binding agreement with China Merchants Port to sell a portfolio of ten port terminals to Terminal Link
The CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, announced today that it has signed an agreement with China Merchants Port (CMP) to sell a portfolio of stakes in ten port terminals to Terminal Link, their joint-venture set up in 2013 and owned 51% by CMA CGM and 49% by CMP.
China iron ore port stocks rose as Tangshan ports suspended deliveries
Inventories of iron ore across Chinese ports rose this week, after falling for three consecutive weeks, as ports at the top steelmaking hub of Tangshan suspended deliveries to combat heavy smog.
SMM data showed that iron ore stocks across 35 Chinese ports increased by 3.58 million mt to 116.91 million mt in the week ended December 20. This was 10.68 million mt lower than a year ago.
Drewry: Container Port Throughput Slightly Higher During October
The Drewry Container Port Throughput Indices are a series of volume growth/decline indices based on monthly throughput data for a sample of over 220 ports worldwide, representing over 75% of global volumes. The base point for the indices is January 2012 = 100.
After experiencing close to two points decline in Sept 2019, the Drewry Global Port Throughput Index slightly increased by half percentage point and reached 132 points in October 2019.