This week a video was shared of a crew member on board the Cheikh El Mokrani LNG tanker jumped from the deck of the ship to help a fellow seafarer in a lifeboat rescue a large whale entangled in a fishing net. It was happy ending thanks to the determined efforts of the crew. (Thanks to Lucky H. for sharing this story.)
The US Coast Guard's 2016 Annual Report on Port State Control (PSC) for the United States provides key statistics related to the enforcement of regulations under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS). The 2016 report shows that despite seeing an increase in PSC activity in the US by 125 safety exams over 2015 figures, total detentions decreased significantly from 202 to 103 ships - the lowest in five years.
The Coast Guard Marine Safety Center received its fifth application for Ballast Water Management System type approval for the Ecochlor Ballast Water Treatment System manufactured by Echochlor, Inc. MSC will review the application for compliance with US Coast Guard regulations in 46 CFR 162.060. Still only three systems have been approved - Optimarin (Norway), Alfa Laval (Sweden), and OceanSaver AS (Norway). A decision on Sunrui's (China) application submitted on January 20, 2017 is still pending.
Ships calling Shanghai's Yangshan deepwater port are encountering significant delays as a result of several factors, including the alliance re-shuffle, bad weather and terminal capacity mismanagement. The average delay per ship is now up to 53 hours. A logistics operator has indicated that mainly the Asia-Europe, trans-Pacific, and Asia-Australia trade lanes have been affected resulting at one point this week over 100 vessels waiting outside Shanghai port. Changes to the vessel sharing agreements is expected to see two percent more vessel capacity and significant increases in ships size. Adding to congestion on the docks, many shippers are trying to load containers before an anticipated May 1st general rate increase.
The Canadian Marine Pilots' Association has released a report titled, "Marine Pilotage in Canada: A Cost Benefit Analysis." In 2014, Canada’s four not-for-profit regional pilotage authorities collected approximately $208 million in pilotage fees, a figure which effectively represents the total annual cost for the provision of pilotage services. For the first time since the Pilotage Act was enacted in 1972, this study provides a cost-benefit analysis of pilotage services in Canada. The combined safety and efficiency benefits result in an overall cost benefit ratio for Canadian pilotage of 21.9 to 1. This means that the $208 million spent on Canadian pilotage buys at least $4.56 billion in economic benefit to Canada. As such, it makes a net contribution of $4.3 billion every year to the economic well-being of Canada’s citizens –an average of $120 per person every year for each of Canada’s 32.6 million people.
Clear Seas has released a study of governance systems and practices for oil spill response in leading ports of other countries to identify possible options for improvement of the regimes in Canadian ports. Led by Dr. Trevor Heaver, Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia Centre for Transportation Studies, this research examines spill response policies and practices in seven ports in five countries including Seattle, Los Angeles and Houston in the U.S., and Southampton, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg in Europe.
Our very good friend and colleague Captain Zak Farid passed away on April 18th at Royal Jubilee Hospital Victoria following two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit. Family and a number of close friends were at his bedside at the time of his passing. Zak was the Director, Operational Safety & Standards for BC Ferries for a number of years and was a long-standing Chair of the Navigation Aids and Navigation Safety Sub-committee of the Pacific Coast Marine Review Panel. After BC Ferries he was appointed the lead auditor conducting International Safety Management (ISM) Audits for BC Ferries and was one of the safety inspectors for Vanuatu Flag vessels arriving in Canada. Zak also holds the honour of being master of Canada's first hovercraft running on a commercial basis and was the recipient of Transport Canada's 2007 Marine Safety Award that recognized his outstanding contributions to Canadian marine safety.
Seaspan Corporation has announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Larry Simkins, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Washington Companies ("WashCo"), to its Board to replace Graham Porter, who has resigned as a Director of the company to focus on other personal and professional commitments. Porter is a co-founder of Seaspan Corporation and has been Managing Director and Deputy Chairman of Seaspan Management Services Limited since July 2005. Porter will likely be dedicating more time to Tiger Group Investments, a private investment firm exclusively on the maritime sector, for which he serves as Chairman.
Commissioner Mario Cordero will depart the Federal Maritime Commission next month in order to accept the job of Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, California. The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners voted Friday afternoon to hire Mr. Cordero to run the port. Mr. Cordero intends to continue his service to the Federal Maritime Commission through Friday, May 12th. He will assume his duties at the Port of Long Beach on Monday, May 15th.
The European Commission (EC) posted its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to assist MRV (monitoring, reporting and verification) companies, verifiers and other stakeholders to implement the European Union MRV shipping legislation. It requires ships over 5000 GT carrying out maritime transport activities to or from EEA ports to monitor and report information including verified data on their CO2 emissions from 1st of January 2018.
Andrew Mayer, formerly the Vice-President, Commercial and Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel since 2008 has been appointed to the bench of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Justice Mayer fills a vacancy located in Prince Rupert, where he will continue to reside with his wife Helen and four children. Prior to going in-house with the Port Authority in 2008, Justice Mayer practiced primarily in the areas of marine and environmental law, and civil litigation with Campney and Murphy (2000-2002) and Bernard LLP (2002-2008), both in Vancouver. He has appeared before all levels of court in British Columbia and the Federal Court of Canada.
The proposed guideline is expected to be finally adopted by the IALA Council in December 2017. For more information, visit: www.efficiensea2.org.
The International Sailors Society is now accepting applications for its Maritime Bursary created in honour of its long-serving director and corporate secretary, Sue Hanby. The bursary is open to students who are enrolling in marine related studies with a recognized educational institution, however, please note that preference will be given to students who are preparing for a sea-going career. For more information, visit: www.sailorssociety.ca.
The 266,000 dwt ore carrier, Stellar Daisy, belonging to South Korea's Polaris Shipping went missing in the South Atlantic about 2,500 kilometres off Uruguay after urgent distress messages were sent to its headquarters last Friday stating that they were taking on water. An oil slick detected 3700km off the coast indicated that the 322 metre vessel had probably sunk. Only two of the crew comprised of 16 Filipinos and eight Koreans appear to have survived. The Stellar Daisy was enroute to China from Brazil and it is suggested that water ingress caused the liquefaction of the iron ore cargo causing the ship to capsize.
The International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO) issued a statement Thursday calling for the timely completion of an investigation, "as a means to identify the causes of the incident and enable corrective actions to be taken." It called on the vessel's flag state, class society and P&I club to work together to produce a report as quickly as possible. The Stellar Daisy was initially built in 1993 as a single-hulled crude tanker and was later converted to carry iron ore cargo.
The Federal Maritime Commission cleared the way for an alliance between the Georgia and Virginia port authorities established under the East Coast Gateway Port Terminal Agreement, the first of its kind in the US. The approval means that the ports of Virginia and Savannah can jointly acquire operating systems and equipment; meet to share information on cargo handling, gate operations, turn times, staffing and infrastructure; jointly draft agreements with carriers, shippers and other terminal operators; and sync marketing materials to attract joint services, alliance, and carrier network agreements.
The US Coast Guard proposes in the Federal Register Vol. 82, No. 64 April 5, 2017 to modify its calculations for hourly pilotage rates on the Great Lakes by accounting for the ‘‘weighting factor,’’ which is a multiplier that can increase the pilotage costs for larger vessels traversing areas in the Great Lakes by a factor of up to 1.45. Pursuant to the Great Lakes Pilotage Act, the Coast Guard sets hourly rates for pilot services on the Great Lakes. While all vessels must pay these base rates, larger vessels pay a higher rate, as a ‘‘weighting factor’’ multiplies the base rates they pay by a factor of 1.15 to 1.45.
In past rate-settings, the methodology used to calculate hourly rates on the Great Lakes did not adjust the rates for the weighting factor. During the 2016 shipping season, under the revised methodology, preliminary estimates of actual revenues exceeded the projected revenues, even when adjusted for increased shipping traffic. Based on the 2016 data, it was determined that is necessary to account for the weighting factors in the hourly rate calculation in the methodology in order for the US Great Lakes pilot associations to more accurately generate total revenues. Until the final rule is produced, the 2016 rates will stay in effect, even if a final rule is not published by the start of the 2017 season. Comments on the proposal must be submitted by 5 May.
Furie Operating Alaska, an oil company that had arranged the shipment of an oil drilling rig, Spartan 151, from the Gulf of Mexico around Cape Horn to Alaska on a Chinese heavy lift ship in 2011, has agreed to pay a record $10 million civil penalty to satisfy a penalty originally assessed at $15 million by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for violating the Jones Act. Furie, then known as Escopeta Oil and Gas, had obtained a national defense waiver in 2006 to move a different rig but delayed the voyage and then failed to obtain a new waiver in 2011 when the voyage commenced. The heavy lift ship did arrive in Vancouver in June 2011 where the Spartan 151 was transferred and then towed to Cook Inlet by three Foss Maritime tugs. After violating the act in 2011, Furie discovered natural gas in the Kitchen Lights Unit in Cook Inlet, helping resolve concerns about a looming gas shortage in Alaska's most populated region. Now Furie produces some of the fuel that heats homes and provides electricity across the region.