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Italy: Judge Orders Release of Captain that Docked Migrant-Rescue Ship
An Italian judge has ordered the release of a German captain arrested on June 29 for docking the search and rescue vessel Sea-Watch 3 with 40 migrants onboard.
Captain Carola Rackete was taken into custody after carrying the migrants and refugees that she had rescued off Libya into the Italian Port of Lampedusa, despite attempts by the Italian Coastguard to block the rescue boat from entering the port.
Rackete s arrest followed the European Court of Human Rights refusing a request to disembark the rescued migrants in Italy. Sixty hours after declaring a state of emergency on board, Rackete entered the port to bring the migrant crew who had been rescued 17 days earlier to safety, according to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).
"Although we acknowledge the political complexity migration issues in the Mediterranean, today we re relieved that Captain Rackete has been released," said ITF Seafarers Section Chair Dave Heindel.
"The Italian authorities have quickly concluded that Sea-Watch 3 entered the port because of valid safety concerns for the people on board and that Rackete had been carrying out her duty to protect life, not as a deliberate challenge to the right of Italy to protect its borders," Heindel added.
EIB Provides Funding for New Sweden-Finland RoPax
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 70 million (USD 78.9 million) loan with the Finnish-Swedish consortium Kvarken Link Oy with the aim of improving the ferry connection between the two countries.
With the funding, Kvarken Link Oy finance a new ferry to transport passengers and vehicles between the ports of Umea in Sweden and Vaasa in Finland.
The new ice-class RoPax ferry, to transport up to 800 passengers, would be built by Rauma Marine Constructions in Finland to high environmentally friendly specifications with hybrid propulsion. With a length of 150 metres, the passenger/car ferry is scheduled for delivery in 2021, and will operate under the Finnish flag.
"Vaasa and Umea have been connected by ferry since 1958. When the original service went bankrupt in 2011, the municipalities took it upon them to continue the service - and with success. The growing demand in both passengers and freight now warrants a modern ship to keep both cities connected," Alexander Stubb, EIB Vice-President, said.
The vessel will be equipped with a hybrid propulsion system with a combination of a dual-fuel engine (LNG/LBG and diesel) and batteries, as well as an electrically driven azimuth propeller system.
The project also involves port upgrade works required for the reception of the new vessel at the ferry terminals in the cities of Vaasa and Umea.
Hutchison Ports ICAVE Starts Operations in Veracruz
Port operator Hutchison Ports officially launched operations in the new port of Veracruz on July 1.
The first operation of Hutchison Ports Internacional de Contenedores Asociados de Veracruz (ICAVE) within the modernization of the Port of Veracruz was undertaken with the visit by CMA CGM White Shark.
Featuring a length of 294.12 meters, the Malta-flagged ship has a capacity of 5,095 TEUs.
The vessel arrived to the terminal in the morning hours and unloaded the first of millions of containers that are expected to arrive at the new ICAVE Terminal.
The port of Veracruz, considered as a millenary gateway to world diversity, gained strength with the latest upgrades, while the port operator said that the move was "a small step for Hutchison Ports ICAVE, but a great step for the Mexican Port System."
Gibraltar, Royal Marines Detain Tanker en Route to Syria
Gibraltar authorities and British Royal Marines have detained a supertanker carrying crude oil to Syria.
The Panama-flagged very large crude carrier (VLCC) Grace 1 and its cargo were detained by Gibraltar Port and Law Enforcement agencies, assisted by a detachment of the Royal Navy, in the early morning hours of July 4.
"This action arose from information giving the Gibraltar Government reasonable grounds to believe that the vessel, the Grace 1, was acting in breach of European Union sanctions against Syria," the Government of Gibraltar said in a statement.
"We have reason to believe that the Grace 1 was carrying its shipment of crude oil to the Banyas Refinery in Syria," the government added.
As explained, the refinery is the property of an entity subject to EU sanctions against Syria.
Gibraltar s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said he informed the presidents of the European Commission and Council about the details of the sanctions enforcement.
Built in 1997, the 300,600 dwt Grace 1 is operated by the UAE-based Russian Titan Shipping Lines, according to data provided by VesselsValue.
Ro-ro cargo ferry aground, breached, passengers and crew evacuated, Chile
Ro-ro cargo ship COYHAIQUE with 19 passengers and 18 crew on board ran aground near Huichas island, Aysen region, Chile, while en route from Puerto Chacabuco to Puerto Montt, at around 0200 LT Jul 3. Reportedly, one crew or pilot died, rumored suicide. Hull was breached, engine room flooded. All passengers and crew were evacuated. The ship is having on board unknown number of vehicles.
BBC Oregon Refloated after Grounding off Newfoundland
The 12,660 dwt general cargo vessel BBC Oregon has been refloated after it ran aground in the Bay Bulls harbor on June 30.
According to the Canadian Coast Guard, the CCGS Edward Cornwallis and the tug Beverley M towed the 138-meter-long ship off its grounding location to a safe anchorage in the harbor.
There were no reports of injuries or pollution following the incident.
British Ports Association Welcomes Renewed Focus on Maritime Safety
The BPA has welcomed the renewed focus from Maritime Safety Week, which has seen Government launch a new Maritime Safety Action Plan and Port Skills and Safety launch the first ever sector-wide health and safety plan.
Throughput of Iranian Ports Turns a Corner
More than 36.31 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded in Iran s 21 commercial ports during the first quarter of the current Iranian year (March 21-June 21) to register a 0.94% decline compared with the corresponding period of last year.
Nigeria: Maritime Workers Begin Nationwide Shutdown of Ports
All operations at the seaport terminals across the country will be shut down today as the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) begins an indefinite industrial action to compel the payment of wages allegedly owed dockworkers and stevedoring companies by the international oil companies (IOCs).
Maritime Has To "Step Up" To Digitalisation
The maritime sector needs to focus on digitalising whole processes to optimise cost reductions and reduce CO2 emissions, the Port of Rotterdam’s manager of digital business solutions has said.
Speaking at TOC Europe 2019, Oscar Van Veen stated that the sector needs to "step up again" to target supply chain visibility, seamless trade links and port call optimisation.
Specialized container terminal welcomes first ship at New Port of Veracruz
The New Port of Veracruz welcomed its first ship on Monday, the Maltese-flagged container carrier White Shark, in what was heralded as "a great day for the country."
The vessel, which had come from northern Europe, dropped off and picked up containers at the new specialized container terminal (TEC) built by Hutchison Ports-Icave.