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.:Maritime News :.
.: 17-Apr-2020 :.
Unusual piracy attack on container ship
GISIS reported an unusual piracy attack on container ship FOUMA in Ecuador waters, which took place at 0330 UTC (2230 LT) Apr 9, when the ship was under way, en route from Manta Ecuador to Guayaquil.
Eight armed robbers in two speed boats approached a container ship underway. Master raised the alarm and activated the SSAS. The robbers fired warning shots, managed to board the ship, and opened 15 containers. When the search lights were directed towards the robbers, they opened fire towards the bridge. Port Control and Coast Guard notified. The robbers stole part of the cargo and escaped.
FOUMA arrived at Guayaquil on Apr 9, left on Apr 10. Crew are safe.
It is highly probably, that this attack wasn’t just robbers attack on a random ship with an aim of stealing anything they could. It looks like plotted and planned attack with the aim of obtaining specific goods from specific containers (the ship sailed to Ecuador ports from Balboa Panama). If that is the case, criminals had to know insider information, such as containers numbers and locations, and ship’s plotted movements.
At best, this attack is something of an exception, the result of some criminal operation. At worst, such attacks may become regular. Crime is rising throughout the world, and ships are no exception. On the contrary, ships are most vulnerable to crime subjects, be it stealing, or armed robbery, or hijack. Ships are defenceless,
Another offshore vessel attacked in Gulf of Mexico
Offshore accommodation vessel TELFORD 28 was attacked in the evening Apr 24 at Cuidad Del Carmen Anchorage, Mexico, Gulf of Mexico, according to Offshore Engineer news website oedigital.com. Understood it was a robbery, pirates looting both staff and vessel’s valuable items, and escaped. One crew was injured and taken to hospital, his life is not in danger. Pirates attacks in this area have become regular.
Small tanker sank off Singapore in Malaysian waters UPDATE
roduct tanker WAN DA reportedly capsized and sank on Apr 15 some 3 nm off Tanjung Penyusop, Johor, Malaysia, South China sea. All crew were rescued, all are safe. No other information available at the moment. Last AIS records dated Feb – early Mar.
UPDATE: Capsized tanker drifted into shipping lanes and then further south, nearing Indonesian waters. The wreck understood to be taken on tow by Indonesian patrol ships, to be towed to Riau islands waters, Indonesia. Confusing news on crew – according to Indonesian sources, no crew were found on or near wreck. Details of capsizing also, remain unknown.
COVID-19: No safety compromise in cargo handling at ports: Official
Strictly adhering to precautions to prevent any further spread of COVID-19 while handling cargo at India’s ports, the government has not issued shore passes to more than 50,000 crew and passengers, an official said on Wednesday.
Maintaining smooth operations across its ports and initiating several steps, including waiving rentals, ports have done thermal scanning of over 50,000 crew and passengers post January 27.
“A total of 50,902 passengers have been scanned between January 27 and April 12 using thermal scanners at Indian ports, including 43,925 people scanned at major ports,” a Shipping Ministry official told PTI.
The official said these crew and passengers were on board 1,558 ships including 1,990 vessels which arrived at ports post January 27.
The government has asked each major port to ensure that no penalties, demurrage, charges, fee, rentals are levied on any port user (traders, shipping lines, concessionaires, licensees etc) for any delay in berthing or loading/unloading operations or evacuation of cargo caused by the reasons attributable to lockdown measures from March 22.
The government has said each major port shall exempt or remit demurrage, ground rent over and above the free period, penal anchorage/berth hire charges and any other performance-related penalties that may be levied on port-related activities including minimum performance guarantee, wherever applicable.
Besides for existing and operational PPP projects, major ports can permit waiver of all penal consequences on a case-to-case basis along with deferment of certain performance obligations.
The official said that hospitals across the major port trusts have been supplied with personal protective equipment (PPEs) and the arrangement of sufficient staff round the clock has been made.
Ports and PSUs under the Ministry of Shipping have contributed more than Rs 52 crore from the CSR funds towards PM CARES Fund.
Besides, employees of ports, PSUs and other offices of the Ministry of Shipping have contributed over Rs 7 crore from their salaries towards PM CARES Fund.
The number of vessels handled by ports during 2019-20 was around 20,837 against 20,853 vessels in 2018-19.
Carnival Cruise using its ships to help their stranded seafarers return home - Oherald
Carnival Cruise Lines has decided to use its ships to get its crew members, stranded in different parts of the world, back home. One of its ships will depart for East Asia this coming weekend.
“We have decided that using our ships to get you’ll home is the best option. Our plan is for Carnival Panorama to depart this weekend for East Asia as we sail our team members’ home. You will be debarking your ship on Thursday and joining Carnival Panorama as their guest for the journey home,” President Christine Duffy said in a letter sent to her team on Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Miracle ships.
She has asked the crew members who will be signing off and transferring to Carnival panorama to have their personal items packed and be ready for the tender operation. Duffy also assured that measures are in place to keep each crew healthy. “All crew will continue to have single cabin accommodations and private bathroom facilities. We will continue to maintain social distancing and all other protocols that have proven effective to promote the health and safety of our crew,” she added.
The management had already informed its teams that they are moving to safe operational manning levels, signing off more crew and working hard to get the team home as quickly as possible.
The cruise firm has also announced that they are halting their operations until June 27, 2020. Since air travel is restricted, the management had decided to use its ships to get its stranded crew back to their respective homes.
India needs to set up hub ports to rescue 25,000 cruise crew members stuck abroad
Stuck on-board cruise vessels across the globe, about 25,000 Indian crew members need to be brought back home immediately, a leading maritime body said on Thursday, as it mooted the idea of hub ports .
With cruise operations unlikely to resume in the near future amid the global coronavirus pandemic, India needs to think beyond tomorrow with urgency in the interest of its seafarers, it said.
"As per estimates about 25,000 Indian crew and staff are stuck in global cruiseliners which are unlikely to resume operations in the near future.
"The government needs to take immediate steps in chalking out a strategy to bring them back to the homeland and hub ports could be a solution to this," Capt Shiv Halbe, CEO of Maritime Association of Shipowners, Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA) told PTI.
"The local entities in Europe are developing a concept of ‘hub ports’ where seafarers (and international passengers) could fly into and then they will get ‘distributed’ to ports within motoring distance, thereby making crew change possible," Halbe said, adding the flights into the hub ports will be permitted only from select locations.
India needs to work with the Europeans towards creating such hub ports which will not only help in controlling crew changes but also assist in resurrecting the local economy, at least in the service sector, he added.
Halbe further said the European Union already recognises seafarer as a "key transport worker" and it is time India comes forward and formulates a strategy for them.
Various maritime bodies have also urged the government to ensure the return of about 15,000 seafarers on cargo ships in the wake of the extension of lockdown to May 3.
There are about 15,000 Indian seafarers onboard around 500 cargo vessels across the globe, in addition to 25,000 on cruise ships.
Maritime bodies like NUSI, MUI and MASSA told PTI that they have raised the issue with the shipping ministry, which has assured them of all help once the coronavirus lockdown is lifted.
The issue was raised before Shipping Minister Mansukh Lal Mandaviya earlier this month, who assured their safe passage back home once the lockdown period is over.
The maritime bodies and other stakeholders from the port sector held a meeting with Mandaviya, through video conferencing, to discuss the plight of Indian seafarers stuck overseas and various issues faced by the Indian maritime industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Maritime Union of India (MUI) and National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) had said they will financially support Indian seafarers in the current challenging scenario.
Support our Seafarers: Stella Maris Centenary Rose Launched - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide
2020 CSSS ' Container Shipping Supporting Seafarers, an international non-profit industry volunteer group, is pleased to launch the “Stella Maris Centenary Rose” to help raise funds for maritime charity Stella Maris as it marks its 100th year supporting seafarers and fishers around the world.
Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea) was founded in Glasgow in 1920 and is now best known internationally as the Stella Maris network, providing care to all seafarers regardless of nationality, race or faith. The network operates the single largest ship visiting system in the world, with more than 1,000 chaplains and volunteers in nearly 350 ports, visiting over 70,000 ships and reaching more than 1,000,000 seafarers annually.
An estimated 90% of world trade is transported by ship. Yet despite the many economic. societal and technological advances of recent years, the life of a modern seafarer can still be dangerous and lonely. Seafarers spend long periods of time away from home. They often work in difficult conditions, with little time ashore, limited dietary choices, access to exercise, education and other support for wellbeing, despite the best intent of many. They are physically separated from family and friends and may have few chances to contact loved ones over the phone, email or social media. Stella Maris aims to provide a ‘friend in every port’, offering practical, pastoral and emotional support, a listening ear and acting as a dependable, trusted friend in times of tragedy and crisis....
NGO: New Zealand Seafarer Welfare Centers Lack Government Support - The Maritime Executive
The U.K.-based charity Human Rights at Sea has published a report on what it says is the precarious state of welfare support for seafarers visiting New Zealand.
The report titled: “New Zealand: Under-Funding of Seafarers’ Welfare Services and Poor MLC Compliance” was commissioned by the Rev. John McLister of the Lyttelton Parish (Mission to Seafarers New Zealand). It states that the long-term maintenance of seafarers’ centers remains under constant threat due to a deficiency of committed Government and local maritime industry support. ...
Foreign cruise ships with Filipino crew now allowed to dock in Manila ports - INQUIRER.net
The Philippine government has now allowed foreign cruise ships with Filipino crew members to dock in Manila ports and to be used as quarantine facilities for their crew members.
In a virtual press briefing Thursday, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the policy was approved during the meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) handling the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
According to Nograles, spokesman of the IATF, the foreign crew on the cruise ships will be allowed to disembark in Manila “for the sole purpose of taking outbound flights to their final destination abroad” after finishing the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon disembarkation...
Marlink supports ship operators and their crews during COVID-19 pandemic - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide
‘StrongerTogether’ initiative will provide business continuity and IT support for vessel operators and extended welfare services for seafarers
Oslo/Paris, 16 April 2020. Marlink has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by launching ‘StrongerTogether’, comprising a broad range of airtime packages and application solutions to support its customers in the maritime, fishing and offshore industries.
The initiative includes connectivity packages such as additional data top-ups, increased bandwidth and free or discounted voice minutes for ship operators to keep the crew onboard connected with their families as well as solutions to enhance remote IT beyond connectivity during the crisis...
Caught between virus and deep sea - The New Indian Express
With many cruise and cargo vessels stranded, families of several seafarers across the State are waiting with bated breath for the lockdown to end, so that their near and dear ones can return home. VM Joy of Sailors Helpline says around 40,000 sailors from India are currently stranded across the globe due to the lockdown.
The wife of a sailor who does not want to be identified says her husband is currently stuck in Europe. His term with an international cruise vessel was to end in June, but due to the virus outbreak the trip was cut short and the company has expressed its inability to pay one month’s salary. “As many in the vessel he travelled have tested positive for the virus, he is being tested regularly,” she said.
Director General of Shipping Amitabh Kumar clarified that no sailor has been stranded, but their contracts have expired. “We have asked the sailors not to sign off. They are being taken care of in the vessels despite their contract coming to end. Since the entire world is under lockdown, the vessel is now the safest place,” he said.
He also said he is in touch with cruise vessels that have sizeable Indians on board. They are being taken care of, and arrangements will be made for their return post lockdown. Amitabh also highlighted that all Indian vessels are safe from Corona and stressed on the need for crew to take all precaution.
Interestingly, International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have also been jointly calling on governments to take urgent measures to facilitate ‘crew change flights’ for seafarers.
Nandakumar, who signed off once his vessel hit the shores of Chennai says the ship management refused to let them leave. “The vessel was going to a Chinese port, and many of us did not want to take the risk. The management initially refused, but then yielded after deducting a part of our salary.”