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11 Sep 2017

"BIMCO launches new guidance for seafarers on avoiding life boat accidents "

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"BIMCO has developed new guidance for seafarers on the safe launching and recovery of lifeboats using fall preventer devices (FPDs), to reduce the number of seafarer fatalities and injuries. Lifeboat accidents resulting in fatalities and serious injuries are all too frequent, despite efforts in recent years to reduce them. Most of the accidents happen in boats using conventional davits and on-load release systems. However, recently other parts of the suspension and lifting systems have been identified as points of failure too, particularly the wire rope falls on larger lifeboats. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) recommends the use of FPDs because so many recent lifeboat and rescue boat accidents have resulted in fatalities and injuries to seafarers. This constitutes an unacceptable risk and the use of FPDs is intended to be an interim measure to reduce this risk while new, safe IMO approved systems are developed. However, this process will take some years, and so FPDs are recommended for the intervening time until approval is secured. The new guidance has been produced in a handy illustrated pamphlet titled: 'Avoid Lifeboat Accidents'. It can be downloaded free of charge from the BIMCO website. Aron Sorensen, Head of Maritime Technology & Regulation at BIMCO said: ""We have seen too many accidents with lifeboats resulting in fatalities and injuries. This pamphlet provides the master and crew with solid, experience-based advice on the use of fall preventer devices (FPDs) during lifeboat operations. We sincerely hope that this pamphlet can help to reduce and avoid such tragic accidents in the future"". The 'Avoid Lifeboat Accidents' pamphlet gives clear guidance on how to prevent accidents with lifeboats and rescue boats equipped with on-load release systems. It advises whether additional precautions in the form of FPDs are appropriate, and if so, when and how to use them safely and effectively when launching and recovering the boat. Other failure devices, and new innovative hook systems are examined too. "

29 Aug 2017

"Indian Register of Shipping Develops Class Rules and Cyber Safety Guidelines – Addresses Cyber Risks of Emerging Technologies"

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"Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), leading classification society, in a bid to address the cyber risks of emerging technologies that are being introduced to the Indian maritime industry, has developed class rules based on guidelines set by International Maritime Organization (IMO), as well as appropriate standards such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology – US Department of Commerce (NIST). With the rise of cyber attacks on information and operational technology systems, cyber security is critical not only for data protection but also for safe and reliable operations. Executive Chairman Mr. Arun Sharma said today: “Cyber attacks on ship’s control systems, IT, navigational and other critical systems can result in damage or even losing course of the ship – which can drastically affect the safety of the ship, port facilities and marine property.” “As the industry continues to introduce new technologies, IRClass as a classification society, plays a significant role in ensuring that the safety of a vessel and its crew are not compromised by such attacks,” he added. The implementation of these rules help IRClass to identify the cyber risk issues from as early as the design stage of the vessel. A final verification then takes place once the vessel is built, and periodically during annual surveys. A vessel, together with its shipping back office, that is certified for Press Release – Indian Register of Shipping 2 cyber safety is one that complies to the class rules as well as additional class notation. A member of International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), IRClass actively participates in the association’s forums like ‘Cyber Systems Panel’ and ‘Joint Working Group with Industry on Cyber Systems’ to exchange views and knowledge on cyber risk management. In addition to the class rules, IRClass has also developed the first edition of ‘Cyber Safety Guidelines for Port and Shipping Company Facilities’, a guide to safeguarding technology systems from internal and external cyber threats. These guidelines would help a company to identify gaps and mitigate risks and IRClass is in a position to offer end to end solutions."

24 Aug 2017

DG Shipping “de-recognises” Chennai maritime institute

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"The Director General of Shipping, has de-recognised a maritime training institute here with immediate effect and advised students not to take up any admissions in it. “Director General of Shipping, Ministry of Shipping, Mumbai, has de-recognised Chennai School of Ship Management with immediate effect”, a PIB release said. However, the reason for de-recognising the institute was not mentined in the release. The Shipping Ministry also permanently withdrew all the approvals to elementary first aid, medical first aid, personal safety and social responsibility courses which were earlier offered by the institute. The DG Shipping has cautioned students interested to join merchant navy not to take any admissions at the institute. “Any individual who takes admission for any of the courses (offered by the institute) may do so at their own risk and courses and certificate issued shall not be valid”, the release added."

22 Aug 2017

“NUSI Sahara” Psychological helpline for seafarers and their families for a stress free life

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"Stress is unavoidable in today's complex life. We are all exposed to various stressful situations. Stress can negatively affect health, well-being and job performance. The work of a seafarer involves tremendous mental, psychosocial and physical stress which cannot be compared with other jobs ashore. Our seafarers challenge the strong waves, brave the storms with a strong urge to reach their destination. But seafarers are also normal humans. The working and living conditions, long-time separation from family and home may also cause psychosocial problems in some seafarers. Our brave seafarers also have to deal with time-pressures, work load, hectic activity and also problems amongst themselves while onboard the ship. All this severely affects our seafarers. This leads to stress amongst seafarers. At times some seafarers have also taken extreme negative steps in such situations. Our family members, particularly the wives of the seafarers, also lead a challenging life at home. They have to single handedly manage everything right from the schooling of children to finances and many related issues. The children of seafarers also face difficult situations. This leads to stress amongst the family members. Now help is available. With a view to help all ranks of seafarers (Officers, Ratings and Petty Officers) and their family members ashore and to provide expert psychological counseling, National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) has initiated “NUSI Sahara” a supportive, one-to-one telephonic help from trained counsellors which is available for 24 hours / seven days a week (24/7) free of cost. You can also video talk or chat. The “NUSI Sahara” service was inaugurated by Dr. Malini Shankar, DG Shipping on the eve of the International Women’s Day on 7th March, 2017. The basic idea of this service is to allow seafarers, their family members to wholeheartedly talk about all their problems in strict confidence with the expert counsellors. The “NUSI Sahara” initiative by NUSI is to lessen the emotional stress of all ranks of seafarers (Officers, Ratings and Petty Officers) and their family members and also promote overall emotional wellness and wellbeing. One call can make all the difference. Please give lot of publicity to this NUSI initiative. You can help save a life. How to get in touch with “NUSI Sahara”. It is totally free. 1. For seafarers and their families in India Call on 180-030-026145 (toll free - no charge) and talk to the Counsellor 2. For seafarers onboard outside India Step 1 – Download ‘Skype’ (an internet software application used for communication available on Google play) Step 2- Open Skype and search for ""NUSI Sahara"" (see NUSI logo) Step 3 - Call when WiFi is available and speak to the Counsellor Step 4. You can also Chat with the Counsellor - Be stress free. You deserve it. “Tension Na Lo – Call Karo You are not alone – Call Us”"

21 Aug 2017

"US warship collides with oil tanker near Singapore; 10 sailors missing "

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"A search and rescue operation is under way for 10 US sailors after a US warship and an oil tanker collided off the coast of Singapore on Monday morning (Aug 21). The guided-missile destroyer USS John S McCain collided with merchant vessel Alnic MC east of Singapore at around 5.30am. The warship was heading to Singapore for a routine port call, the US Navy said in a statement. Five US sailors were injured in the collision - four were evacuated by helicopter to the Singapore General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while the fifth did not need further medical attention, the statement said. No crew members on the oil tanker were injured, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen confirmed the collision in a Facebook post, which he said happened in Singapore's territorial waters. The McCain is the second US guided-missile destroyer to be involved in a collision in two months. In June, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippines container ship off the coast of Japan, killing seven navy sailors. The two senior officers and the senior enlisted sailor on the Fitzgerald were removed after the incident."

18 Aug 2017

Record Turnout For First-Ever Maritime Careers Workshop For Graduates Of All Disciplines

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"The second edition of the MSC Maritime Careers Workshop was held at Pan Pacific Singapore earlier this afternoon. Organised by the Maritime Singapore Connect (MSC) Office – an initiative of the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), the event serves as the unit’s ongoing efforts amongst other initiatives, to attract more Singaporeans to join the maritime industry. Participants had the rare opportunity to find out more from seven leading local and international maritime companies about the wide range of career opportunities available in the shipping sector at the event. In line with the industry’s desire to attract more talents in both maritime and non-maritime fields, MSC Office had expanded the programme this year to include graduates of all disciplines and working professionals who were new to the workforce. At its previous edition, only maritime and engineering students were involved. Over 100 university undergraduates from across all disciplines and working professionals with less than two years of work experience gathered for a time of networking and exploring on the myriad of job opportunities provided by an industry that contributes to 7% of Singapore’s GDP. Interest in the Careers Workshop surged this year, with numbers double that of the inaugural edition. A highlight of the event is the breakout sessions, where representatives from companies such as Jurong Port, Maersk Singapore, Pacific Carriers Limited (PCL), PACC Offshore Services Holdings (POSH), PSA Corporation, QBE Insurance (Singapore) and Western Bulk share about their businesses and typical job roles provided by their organisation. The MSC Maritime Careers Workshop follows on from the recent launch of the new Maritime Singapore Connect website (www.maritimesgconnect.com) last month, as a one-stop resource for information of interest to students and jobseekers. As part of MSC Office’s ongoing efforts to further profile the industry, we are currently lining up interview opportunities with those who are currently working in the maritime industry. In addition, a MSC Office spokesperson will also be able to share with you and your readers more on the website, how it will be beneficial to the public & the maritime industry, and how automation and digitisation is transforming the maritime industry. Should you have any interview requests or require more information about the website, please do not hesitate to contact me, Nurhayati at nurhayati@righthook.com.sg / +65 8218 4422 or Gladys Ngiam at Gladys@righthook.com.sg / +65 97427792. "

18 Aug 2017

U.S. Navy blames poor seamanship for the deadly crash USS Fitzgerald

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"The U.S. Navy has removed the two senior officers and the senior enlisted sailor on a U.S. warship that almost sank off the coast of Japan in June after it was struck by a Philippine container ship, the Navy said on Friday. Multiple investigations have yet to apportion blame for the accident that killed seven U.S. sailors aboard the guided missile destroyer the USS Fitzgerald. However, the punishments are the first public admission by the U.S. Navy that mistakes by the crew contributed to the deadliest incident on a U.S. warship since Islamist extremists bombed the USS Cole in Yemen's Aden harbor in 2000. ""The collision was avoidable and both ships demonstrated poor seamanship. Within Fitzgerald, flawed watch stander teamwork and inadequate leadership contributed to the collision,"" the U.S. Seventh Fleet said in a media release. In the first detailed account from one of those directly involved in the collision in the early hours of June 17, the captain of the cargo ship the ACX Crystal said in a report seen by Reuters his crew signaled the Fitzgerald with flashing lights around 10 minutes before the collision. The Fitzgerald did not respond or alter course, it said.. The commercial vessel had the right-of-way under maritime rules and the Fitzgerald, which was hit on the starboard side, was likely at fault. Several U.S. and Japanese investigations are still under way into how the Fitzgerald and the much larger ACX Crystal collided in clear weather south of Tokyo Bay. One pertinent question, said two naval officers who spoke on condition of anonymity, is what was happening at the time in the Fitzgerald's Combat Information Center, where crew members monitor radar that should have detected the approach of a 30,000-ton cargo vessel. Commander Bryce Benson was relieved ""due to a loss of confidence in his ability to lead"", the Seventh Fleet said. Commander Sean Babbitt and Master Chief Petty Officer Brice Baldwin ""contributed to the lack of watch stander preparedness and readiness that was evident in the events leading up to the collision"", it said. Several other junior officers have also been relieved, with administrative action taken against other members of the ship's watch teams. ""SERIOUS MISTAKES"" Admiral Bill Moran, deputy chief of naval operations, told a media briefing earlier in Washington that about nine sailors would face administrative punishments. ""Serious mistakes were made by members of the crew, and there was no benefit to waiting on taking accountability actions,"" Moran said. "

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