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The MV Marathassa that was involved in the discharge of 2,700 litres of fuel into English Bay in April 2015 is back in the news. The operator, Alassia NewShips Management Inc., a firm based in Greece, was due in court last April but failed to appear.  Questions surrounding how the court summons was served and jurisdiction of the provincial court are not expected to delay the proceedings scheduled to begin February 26th. 

Friday, 05 January 2018 14:46

Port of Montreal sets record in 2017

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The Port of Montreal saw a cargo increase of almost seven percent in 2017 with a record 38 million tonnes.  Last year marked the first full year of operations for a new container terminal that will eventually handle 600,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year. The port is pushing for approval of another terminal that would accommodate 1.15 million TEU containers per year starting in 2021 or 2022.  It was also record year for cruise with more than 50 ship arrivals and 114,000 passengers, up 33 per cent over 2016 and up 140 per cent compared with 2011.  The preliminary traffic results were released at an event where Montreal Port Authority (MPA) president and CEO Sylvie Vachon awarded the famous Gold-Headed Cane to Captain Rakesh Kumar, Master of the 2808-TEU Ottawa Express containership operated by Hapag-Lloyd. The 40,079 DWTvessel has an ice-reinforced hull typical of the liner services engaged in the St. Lawrence trades and had no major problems on the river to reach Montreal from the Atlantic Ocean.  The cane has been given annually for 179 years to the first ocean-going vessel to reach the Port of Montreal without a stopover.  

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Davie Shipbuilding h
as completed the construction, commissioning and sea-trials of the first Resolve-Class Naval Support Ship, Asterix. The ship was delivered on time, to budget and most importantly, at an internationally competitive cost. Built in Germany, the former container ship was converted to a naval support ship and is said to cost a fraction of the planned Joint Support Ships.  The ship departed Québec City on December 23rd en-route to Canadian Forces Base Halifax where she will enter service with the Royal Canadian Navy and be operated by Federal Fleet Services Inc. A crew of 36 Canadian merchant sailors will work with 100 Royal Canadian Navy personnel on board. The delivery of Asterix represents the first new naval support ship to enter service with the Royal Canadian Navy in over 50 years and also the first large naval platform to be delivered from a Canadian shipyard in over 20 years.

Friday, 05 January 2018 13:07

Extreme cold delays Seaway closure

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The  MV Federal Biscay  remains lodged in ice in a lock near Massena and is preventing the St. Lawrence Seaway from closing for the winter. The ship was was heading toward Montreal carrying a shipment of soybeans when it became stuck while only partially inside the Snell Lock on Jan. 1st.  According to a press release from St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, the ship is “immobilized due to the heavy ice build-up on the lock wall as well as on the vessel’s hull”, but there is no damage. Lock hands and a number of tugs have been working to free the ship.

Friday, 05 January 2018 13:04

Judy Rogers appointed to VFPA Board

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Judy Rogers has been appointed to the board of directors of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority for a term of three years commencing December 14, 2017. Ms. Rogers is a senior advisor to private, public and Crown corporations, providing expertise in government affairs and communication. She held the role of city manager of the City of Vancouver from 1999 to 2008 and is currently chair of the BC Assessment Authority. Ms. Rogers has served on professional and non-profit boards of directors and is the recipient of numerous awards and honours.

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The Canadian Coast Guard has entered into two supply arrangements (SAs) to enhance its marine services, including ice clearance, icebreaking, vessel assistance, towing, maintaining aids to navigation, responding to shipboard fires, and stablizing vessels in distress. Le Groupe Océan inc. and McKeil Marine Limited are the private sector partners selected to provide the additional support in the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes region on an as/when needed basis. These agreements are intended to facilitate commercial navigation, and also to ensure the protection of marine environments by making more resources available to the Coast Guard in the event of an environmental response. In addition to these arrangements, the Coast Guard continues to assess its options in the short and long term to increase its icebreaking capability. 

Friday, 05 January 2018 12:38

New inshore rescue boat station in Nunavut

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Rankin Inlet, with a population of 2,800, has been selected as the site of Canada's first Arctic inshore rescue boat station. The station is set to open this summer depending on ice conditions and weather and will consist of a six-person crew operating out of an existing building and a nine-metre, enclosed rigid-hull inflatable boat. The station is just the latest among 25 student-run rescue stations in Canada. However, its first few seasons will include seasoned veterans among six Indigenous students being recruited by the Canadian Coast Guard in the North. Crew members will undergo initial training alongside their southern-station counterparts in Ontario. This initial training will include Canada's national search and rescue system, search patterns, boat handling, marine first aid, and radio communication.

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Lighthouse Resources Inc. has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Washington Governor Jay Inslee and two state regulators for allegedly violating the US Constitution’s commerce clause by denying permits that would enable the company to ship coal mined in Wyoming, Montana and other western states through its proposed Millennium Bulk Terminal to clients in Japan and South Korea.  The company had plans to develop the coal export terminal on a site on the Columbia River where an existing Washington state lease allows coal exports. The Millennium Bulk Terminal is the last of six proposed coal terminals in the Pacific Northwest that was denied approval by state regulators or the US Army Corps of Engineers amid opposition from states and the Lummi Tribe, which argued that coal terminals interfered with their fishing rights.

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Effective from January 1, 2018 the California State Lands Commission requires vessels to have a biofouling management plan that includes a record book, plans for the management of wetted surfaces, niche areas, and extended residency periods. To view the letter to shipping agents and interested parties, visit: http://www.slc.ca.gov/Programs/MISP/2018-AgentLetter.pdf.

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The International Maritime Organization has issued a news release advising of amendments to the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) that take effect starting January 1, 2018.  The amendment adds a new provision that prevents any discrimination for shore leave on grounds of nationality, race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, or social origin. Shore leave should be granted, irrespective of the flag State of the ship. If any request is turned down, the relevant public authorities must provide an explanation to the crew member and the master, which the seafarer or master can request to be provided in writing.  

The other significant amendment is the requirement for national governments to introduce electronic information exchange, including electronic data interchange (EDI), to transmit information related to maritime transport. This should be in place by April 8. 2019, with provision for a transitional period during which paper and electronic documents would be allowed.  Use of a "single window" for data is encouraged, to enable all the information required by public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, persons and cargo, to be submitted via a single portal, without duplication.  

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Seaspan Corporation has accepted delivery of the MSC Yashi B, an 11,000 TEU containership that will commence a bareboat charter with MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (“MSC”) for a period of seventeen years. Upon completion of the bareboat charter period, MSC is obligated to purchase the vessel for a pre-determined amount. The MSC Yashi B, which was constructed at HHIC-Phil, is Seaspan’s fifth SAVER design containership in a series of five ships under bareboat charter to MSC. This is Seaspan’s first vessel delivery in 2018, expanding Seaspan’s operating fleet to 90 vessels. Pictured above is sistership, MSC Shreya B, the second SAVER containership delivered to MSC in September 2017.  Seaspan's SAVER design includes a hull form that facilitates very low fuel consumption in the operational speed range, while having an acceptable top speed together with a highly efficient propellor.

Friday, 22 December 2017 12:55

Mission Santa sets sail

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In its annual tradition, the Mission to Seafarers and volunteers from Tymac Launch, set sail earlier today to deliver some good cheer and donated gifts to the many seafarers spending the holidays in the Port of Vancouver.   Leading the elves this year is the Mission's Reverend Peter Smyth.  Great job and thank you all for caring for our visiting seafarers!

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