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Cyclone Vayu: 32 seamen's lives risked to keep Gujarat port safe
While some 3 lakh people were reportedly evacuated from coastal Gujarat to keep them out of the path of Cyclone Vayu, lives of 32 seamen were abandoned to their fates, and the whimsy of the storm's churn, all in the interest of keeping port assets safe.
The cyclone alert, which had thrust state machinery including its ports into hectic protective activity, was expected to hit Gujarat's coast on Thursday. Aiming to minimise the damage to their vessels and other infrastructure, Porbandar port, like others, asked the ships docked at the harbour to cast off to the seas on Wednesday. As a result, 32 mariners on a rundown vessel found themselves between the devil and the deep blue sea.
The ship, a dredger called Omkara Prem, had been at Porbandar port since May 29 for want of supplies, fuel, water, and so on. The following day, a surveyor from Mercantile Marine Department marked the vessel unseaworthy, or unfit to sail, as it was deficient in its life-saving equipment, signaling lamp, machinery, and so on. On May 31, Captain Karuna Shankar, the vessel's in-charge, raised a May Day call, as reported by DNA in a May 31 report. ('Sailors on Mercator dredger rasie May Day call'.)
The call was attended to and supplies replenished, but faults in the vessel were not rectified. Yet, the crew were asked to stay aboard, which is against the law, says the captain. "The port authorities violated the law on many counts: by asking the ship to leave the port despite it being detained by MMD, and secondly by forcing us to board the ship after a call to abandon was given," said Captain Shankar.
At the moment, the ship is somewhere in the Gulf of Kutch facing strong winds and rough waters.
Narrating Wednesday's exchanges after having de-boarded, Captain Shankar said, "We were threatened by the police and the port authorities that action would be initiated if we did not follow their instructions. We were also told that we would be put behind the bars for life for having abandoned the ship."
The cyclone, it turned out, deviated from its expected path, sparing the ship. "Had the storm proceeded as per its earlier path, there could have been damage to this unseaworthy vessel putting 32 lives at risk. Fortunately, storm Vayu changed its course and its impact wasn't very severe," said Akash Verma, who has been in touch with the crew after having blown the whistle on social media.
The 32 seafarers - unpaid since April, low on supplies and fighting the vessel owner and authorities - want to leave the ship. For this to happen, the owners will have to arrange for a new set of crew
When Director General of Shipping Amitabh Kumar was contacted for his response, he said, "The owner of this vessel needs to make the dredger seaworthy apart from replacing the crew."
Female Captain to Take Helm of Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady
Virgin Voyages new 110,000 gross tons cruise ship, the Scarlet Lady, will be led by Captain Wendy Williams from the spring of 2020.
Williams is the first Canadian woman to captain a ship for a major cruise brand, according to the company.
While Virgin Voyages is still in the early stages of the crew for Scarlet Lady, the company said it had already recruited Captain Williams as well as nearly a dozen other female officers.
"I have salt water in my veins and nothing brings me more joy than being at sea," Captain Wendy Williams said.
The ship was launched in February this year at Fincantieri s Genoa Sestri Ponente shipyard in Italy. Set to sail from Virgin Voyages new terminal in PortMiami, Scarlet Lady would be delivered in 2020.
Featuring over 1,400 guest cabins, the cruise ship will have the capacity to host more than 2,700 passengers, accompanied by 1,150 crew members on board. It is the first of three units ordered under a EUR 2 billion construction deal signed between Virgin Voyages, a part of Virgin Group, and Fincantieri in December 2016.
The company signed a EUR 700 million deal for the construction of the fourth unit in October 2018.
Furthermore, in response to the recent U.S. government restrictions on travel to Cuba from the United States, the Florida-based cruise line said it would replace its Cuba sailings with additional Mayan Sol sailings, new Riviera Maya and Key West voyages, along with an enhanced Bimini offer.
Economou Proposes to Acquire DryShips
Marshall Islands-based SPII Holdings has offered to buy Greek ship owner and operator DryShips, which recently wrapped up the acquisition of tanker pool operator Heidmar.
As informed, Dryships has received a non-binding offer letter from SPII Holdings, a company controlled by Dryships’ chairman and CEO George Economou, which proposes to merge Dryships into a subsidiary of SPII Holdings.
Economou already owns an 83.35% stake in the company.
SPII would pay USD 4 per share in cash for DryShips, according to DryShips 13 D/A filing.
"The board of directors of the company has formed a special committee consisting solely of disinterested directors to consider the proposal," DryShips said in a statement.
As of June 13, DryShips operated a fleet of 32 vessels comprising bulkers, tankers and offshore support vessels.
Maritime Technology Framework strengthens ties between DSME and DNV GL
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and DNV GL have signed a framework agreement which will see them cooperate on joint development projects (JDPs) for future technologies in the shipbuilding and offshore plant industries.
PwC Greece hosts exclusive roundtable to enhance Corporate Governance in the shipping industry
Acknowledging the important role of the Audit Committees in the establishment of effective corporate governance, PwC Greece brought together a group of Audit Committee Chairs of US listed shipping companies to an exclusive roundtable titled "Audit Committee Effectiveness: Going from Good to Great".
Foreign flagged ships detained in the UK during May 2019
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced that four foreign flagged ships remained under detention in UK ports during May 2019 after failing port state control (PSC) inspection.
Adani Ports & SEZ suspends operation at Tuna & Mundra ports
Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) said Wednesday it has suspended vessel operations at its Tuna and Mundra Port in Gujarat for next 24 hours in the wake of cyclone Vayu hitting the state.
Further, APSEZ will also continue to monitor development at Dahej and Hazira Port.
DSV Panalpina will claim 6% of forwarding market, become 3rd largest forwarder globally, according to new Ti report
The most high-profile development in the forwarding sector in the past twelve months has been the acquisition of Panalpina by DSV. The merging of the two will produce the world s 3rd largest forwarder by revenue, according to Ti data, and a rival for market leaders Kuehne + Nagel and DHL Global Forwarding & Freight.
Imports to busiest U.S. seaport complex fall 6% in May
The Los Angeles and Long Beach port complex - the No. 1 hub for U.S. ocean trade with China - processed 6.3% fewer inbound cargo containers in May, signaling that the escalating U.S.-China trade war is roiling business activity.
Exports from the California seaport complex, the nation s busiest, fell 7.4% year-on-year, the two ports said.