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09 Jul 2018

Unattended ship wreck near Paradip pose threat to navigation

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The "Black Rose" wreck near Paradip is still lying unattended. The sunken ship was yet to be dismantled and it appears that authorities 'lack interest' to remove the wreckage of the ship. As the salvage operation of the wreckage of the ship was still incomplete, it continued to pose the serious danger to the environment and marine species. Besides, the partially-submerged vessel was also posing a threat to shipping operations as there were no proper lighting arrangements near the wreck site. Presently, more than 85 percent of the sunken ship is submerged under water while 15 percent showed above the surface of the sea. Boats returning to the shore during the night were facing problems and already two to four boats have met with the accident at the spot in the past. Though earlier a massive operation was undertaken to prevent oil spill by spending crores, no such concrete measures have been taken towards removal of the wreckage. Recently, a CBI inquiry was ordered following allegations that the vessel was engaged in the illegal transportation of iron-ore and other minerals by forging documents. Besides, an involvement of some high profile politicians from the State is also alleged.

03 Jul 2018

HC pulls up DG Shipping, Indian Maritime varsity over "malpractices" in MTI

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" The Bombay High Court has recently reprimanded the Director General of Shipping and Indian Maritime University on the functioning of the Maritime Training Institute (MTI) at Powai over several alleged ""malpractices"" in the field of specialised education like maritime courses. A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Ms Bharati Dangre made this observation while hearing a writ petition filed by three students of MTI, who had sought direction from the court to the Institute to grant them ""necessary reliefs"" so that they can clear diploma course, for which they had secured admission in the year 2015, and their careers would not get ""jeopardised"". In its order dated June 18, the bench noted that, ""...we want to ascertain from the Director General of Shipping as to whether it is aware of the functioning of such institutes as are before us and whether the Maritime University has been vigilant enough to take steps to prevent any malpractices or maladministration particularly in the field of a specialised education like maritime courses."" The matter will come up for further hearing in the court on July 5, a statement issued by the lawyer of aggrieved students said here. As reported earlier, the students -- Parth Singh, Amrik Singh and Avinash Kumar Vatsh -- had enrolled themselves with the Institute for the 29th batch of Diploma in Nautical Science course for the period of one year from February 23, 2015, till December, 2015. And for the purpose, they had paid a sum of Rs 6.37 lakh each as the fees for the course. Of the total amount, they had to pay an advance of Rs 1 lakh and the remaining Rs five lakh in two installments of Rs 2.50 lakh each -- one on the first day of joining the course (on February 23, 2015) and another on the first day of commencement of the second semester of the course (on July 23, 2015) -- to MTI, Powai. They were also assured of training onboard a ship during the course. The students further stated in the plea that they were selectively targeted in such a way that they were not allowed to clear the subjects nor were given passing marks by adopting such rules that were not applicable to them. Moreover, the Institute itself did not comply with those rules, thus subjecting the aggrieved students to the discrepancies and irregularities in applicability of the rules and regulations and thus causing intentional delay in not clearing the subjects even after lapse of two and half years. Furthermore, Course officer Captain Sushant had on many occasions caused physical and mental harassment to these students along with others. Hence, a police complaint was also filed with the Powai police station against him. However, due to coercion and pressure from Capt Sushant, the complaint was later withdrawn. Consequently, the said Course officer became vindictive and started harassing the students by giving marks which could be as low as between 2 and 4 in the internal assessment or by not uploading their marks for internal assessment. According to the said procedure, the maximum mark of each theory paper was of 100 marks and out of the same, 30 per cent marks were for internal assessment and 70 per cent marks for the university examination. However, due to the change in the marking pattern, they could not clear the examination. Also, there were gross illegalities in evaluating the answer-sheets of these students. They were not awarded the grace marks and consequently, they have not been able to clear some of the papers as on date. It was clearly indicated that they have been discriminated among their own batch mates and for the same batch. The result of their examination held in December 2017 was declared on March 3, 2018, but because of the illegalities and irregularities adopted by the Institute, the students could not clear the papers which had remained uncleared. The students have prayed to the court, through their lawyer K Sunil, to direct the Institute to give them pass marks in the papers in which they had appeared but could not seek re-evaluation. They have also prayed for granting training on board the ship. Besides MTI, the other respondents in the petition included The Director General of Shipping, Shipping Corporation of India Limited, Indian Maritime University and T S Chanakya. The petition was earlier heard by the bench of Justices B R Gavai and Ms Bharati Dangre, which had sought the reply from the opposite parties on June 7. HC pulls up DG Shipping, Indian Maritime varsity over ""malpractices"" in MTI"

25 Jun 2018

Day of the Seafarer 25th June, 2018

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"This year, once again, 25 June will mark the annual Day of the Seafarer (DotS). Seafarers wellbeing ?2017 and 2018 have seen strong momentum in the industry to address seafarer's wellbeing, particularly their mental health. To give further exposure to this important issue, our choice for the 2018 Day of the Seafarer theme is ""seafarers' wellbeing"". By addressing the issue of seafarers' wellbeing and particularly mental health, this campaign can inform specific strategies to tackle stress and other issues affecting seafarers' mental conditions - and make the tools available more widely known. The campaign will seek to highlight and showcase best practices and good examples but will also, inevitably, bring out areas of concern and examples of shortcomings. Take the survey! ?At the core of our campaign this year, we created an online survey to collect seafarers' feedback. We want to hear from you to make sure you know what your rights are and if you feel those rights are being implemented into your operational reality. The survey's feedback will be fed at IMO Council to make sure member states are aware of your comments. So take the survey. Click here or on the image below to take the survey. Photo competition ?This year, IMO and the International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) have teamed up to give you the chance to showcase your photographic skills and win a GoPro Camera, iPad or both! The competition is sponsored by The North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA). Click here or on the image below to share your photos. Social Media As in previous years, the campaign will be centred on social media. All IMO's social media platforms are likely to feature but Twitter and Facebook will account for most activity. This year the campaign will have two hashtags, as follows: #SupportSeafarersWellbeing This hashtag can be used by shipping companies and others within the industry, to show how they provide a decent working environment for seafarers and how they address mental health issues among their seagoing staff. #GoodDayatSea This hashtag can be used to engage the general public, to wish them a good day at sea. We will use the hashtag #GoodDayatSea to encourage seafarers to share photos of themselves in a positive work environment as part of our photo competition. Completing the phrase #GoodDayatSea looks like… This year, we will also promote good initiatives and material developed by various maritime stakeholders to advocate for higher standards of welfare as well as highlight what they are doing to improve conditions for seafarers regarding issues related to seafarers' wellbeing, such as: Shore leave Abandonment Mental health Wages No criminalization Repatriation Resources available to Positive Mental Health MLC convention Film on Seafarers’ Mental Health and Wellbeing ?A new film produced by Videotel called Seafarers' Mental Health and Wellbeing will see its trailer launched on the occasion of Day of the Seafarer. The free video will provide useful signposts and will get you thinking about your own mental health. It will equip seafarers with ideas and resources that could lead them to better mental health. "

23 Jun 2018

Danish cargo ship with 113 rescued migrants off Italy's coasts, waiting for permission to dock

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"A Danish cargo ship with over 100 rescued migrants on board was off the coasts of southern Italy on Saturday, waiting for the permit from the Italian authorities to dock in one of the country's ports. The container ship Alexander Maersk was about 3 miles off the port of Pozzallo in Sicily, a Coast Guard official with the local headquarter told Xinhua. The commercial ship changed its course on Friday, after picking up 113 migrants that had launched a distress call while sailing in central Mediterranean on board of a rubber dinghy. A team by German aid group Mission Lifeline that was already in the area supported the rescuing activities, the NGO said on Twitter on Friday. ""We offered our support to Alexander Maersk, and they thankfully accepted our offer,"" the NGO stated. ""Now we are on the scene, and our crew is assisting, while the (rescued) people have to climb a 5 meter knitting ladder,"" it added. The Maersk Line -- to which the commercial ship belongs -- said the number of saved migrants were 113, and the rescue took place in waters ""south of Italy"", without further details on the area involved, according to state-run RAI News TV channel citing a company's spokesperson. The ship was stationary off the port of Pozzallo, and waiting for instructions on what Italian port it may reach to disembark the rescued people, the Coast Guard captain told Xinhua. As for all ships with rescued migrants and refugees on board, the port assignment was up to the Italian Interior Ministry, according to the officer. Yet, it remained unclear whether the Danish cargo would be allowed at all to dock at any Italian port. Italy's new right-wing coalition government has taken a hardline stance on immigration, as promised on the campaign trail. Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini decided to turn away a rescue vessel with 629 migrants on board earlier this month. The ship was forced to change its course and dock at the Spanish port of Valencia. In a message posted on Facebook on Saturday, the minister wrote that such NGOs which rescue ships should ""forget to reach Italy."" ""Stop the business of illegal immigration, the music has changed,"" he said. Salvini is the leader of right-wing League party, which has long run an anti-immigration campaign, and has forged a coalition cabinet with anti-establishment Five Star Movement after March inconclusive elections. Earlier this week, Infrastructure Minister Danilo Toninelli also threatened to seize migrant ships run by NGOs and bring them to Italian ports to investigate their legal status."

22 Jun 2018

Women marching ahead in port management

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"IMO is continuing its ongoing efforts to ensure women can reach top ranks in the maritime sector, through its Women in Maritime programme. The latest event was a two-week training course for female officials from maritime and port authorities of developing countries, in Le Havre, France (11-22 June). At the Institut Portuaire d'Enseignement et de Recherche (IPER), 23 female officials from 14 developing countries* had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of port management and operational efficiency. They also took part in lectures on a variety of port matters including management, security, marine environment, marketing, tariffs and logistics as well as facilitation of maritime traffic, ship/port interface and concession contracts. Delivered in French, organized visits to the Port of Le Havre and the Port of Rouen, enabled participants to experience for themselves the day-to-day operations of a port, with a view to applying this knowledge back in their respective countries. The event was delivered through IMO's gender and capacity-building programme, in collaboration with the Le Havre Port Authority. It comes as part of IMO's continuous efforts to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Demand for this course has continued to grow substantially over the past three years, however further funding will need to be secured to keep up with the increased demand. * Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Senegal, Seychelles, Togo and Tunisia. "

22 Jun 2018

IMO rolls out ferry safety video with the theme - Overcrowding is dangerous

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"Overcrowding is dangerous. Listen to crew. Follow instructions. It could save your life. These simple but key messages to ferry passengers are included in a new one-minute animated IMO safety video, to be shown in ferry terminals across the Asia and Pacific region and on national TV channels. The video was commissioned following a series of IMO-sponsored regional discussion forums on ferry safety held in the Asia and Pacific region. Overloading and overcrowding were highlighted as common and potentially deadly problems for passenger ships plying inland waterways or on domestic and inter-island services. Domestic ferry operations play a crucial role in the movement of people and goods in the region and sometimes represent the only possible or reasonably affordable means of transport. ""Safety standards on domestic passenger ferries should be as stringent as those on international vessels,"" said Bekir Sitki Ustaoglu, Head Asia-Pacific of IMO Technical Co-operation Division. ""We hope that this video will help raise awareness amongst passengers, crew and ferry operators. This should contribute to safer sea journeys for everyone."" The video is being provided free-of-charge to national maritime authorities across the Asia and Pacific region. IMO, in collaboration with partners including the international ferry industry association, Interferry, has been working with countries and partners in the Asia-Pacific region for a number of years to address the safety of domestic ferries, through regional fora and workshops. A set of guidelines (Manila Statement) on the safe operation of coastal and inter-island passenger ships not engaged on international voyages was adopted in 2015, by an international Conference, held in the Philippines and organized by IMO in collaboration with the Government of the Philippines, International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), Interferry, and the World Maritime University. Regulations for passenger ship safety in IMO's International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) do not generally apply to passenger ships on domestic voyages, but many countries base their regulations on the IMO standards. "

21 Jun 2018

Port of Oakland employee groups to award 18 scholarships

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"Port employees have donated more than $1 million since programs began Port of Oakland employees will award 18 scholarships by this summer. The Port Employees’ Scholarship Program and the Asian Employees Association at the Port of Oakland (AEA) raised nearly $39,000 for high school seniors in May. The organizations have given out nearly $1.2 million to more than 500 students since their founding in the 1990s. The scholarships are for high school seniors preparing for college or vocational training. They help fund post-secondary education for Oakland high school students and qualified children of Port employees. “The Port Employees’ Scholarship Program was created to encourage our youth to extend their education beyond high school and contribute to the betterment of the Oakland community,” said Ramona Dixon, Chair of the Port Employees’ Scholarship Program Committee. The top award granted by Port employees is $5,000. Edwin Burgos Perez from Coliseum College Prep Academy in Oakland is the recipient. This is the 25th anniversary of the AEA scholarship program. “I’m grateful to my colleagues who understand first-hand the value of higher education and generously support our cause,” said AEA President Cheryl Ho."

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