Maritime news from the seven seas
The Polaris is touted to be the world’s first LNG-powered icebreaker. Built at the Arctech Helsinki Shipyard for Arctia Ltd., the construction of the vessel which can switch between LNG and ultra-low-sulfur diesel, was supervised by the Finnish Transport Agency. The multi-purpose ship recently entered service and will operate in the Baltic Sea as an icebreaker, oil spill response and ship assistance vessel. In addition, Polaris also boasts a built-in oil recovery system.
Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents
A crewmember aboard the Hoegh Trident car carrier that had been sailing in the vicinity of Key Largo, Florida, had to be helicopter-medevaced from the ship after an early morning fall that resulted in leg and back injuries.
A lone male in his 60s had to be medevaced to hospital after sustaining multiple injuries as a result of falling overboard from his vessel that was transiting Bayou Rigolettes in the vicinity of Lafitte, Louisiana.
In the Congo, at Pointe Noire Inner Anchorage, the outboard motor of an offshore supply vessel’s rescue boat was determined as the prize for a bunch of thieves who managed to escape with it after getting aboard the OSV unnoticed. By the time the alarm was raised, the bandits were long gone.
In Callao Anchorage, Peru, ship properties were taken after robbers stealthily got aboard and left without incident while crew were in the middle of bunkering operations on an anchored product tanker.
Ship’s properties were also the target bounty when a group of pirates boarded an anchored LPG tanker at Takoradi Anchorage in Ghana. Despite one thief being noticed by the duty watchmen, the marauders were able to quickly escape with their loot in a small boat.
Increased night patrols on board anchored vessels around Puerto la Cruz Bay, Venezuela have been recommended by the Japan P&I Club due to a spike in piracy activities. Recent incidents have seen several groups of robbers, armed with a variety of weapons including guns and grenades, stealthily approach vessels during the overnight hours, using small boats. Reportedly, the pirates are looking for cash or various electronics and are also dangerous due to the possibly being under the influence of drugs. Crews are advised to cooperate with any robber’s demand in the hope that doing so will lessen any incident of bodily harm.
Odds and Ends
The Swedish P&I Club warns against risks associated with being on deck during heavy weather. In a recent incident, a ship’s bosun ignored the Master’s order not to go on deck as the vessel was incurring seven to 12 meter waves. After the bosun was given his usual daily orders from the Chief Officer, he told his superior that he wanted to get some paint from the paint locker in order to perform maintenance on the passageway. The CO told the bosun not to do so during the storm, but the bosun replied that he would quickly enter the paint locker after walking along the passageway. Unfortunately as the bosun opened the door by the bow to access the deck, he was knocked unconscious as he was thrown against the bulkhead beside the door after a large wave hit the vessel. He later died of his injuries.
In late October, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) unveiled what they claim is North America’s first purpose built, fully electric double-decker bus. The move was done in an effort to help reduce emissions and costs by embracing new green technologies. The 45-foot EV550 two-level bus runs on 450kW of batteries, with a range of up to 400 kilometres, depending on operational profile. It has capacity for 99 seats, offers USB charging ports for each seat, and is fully wheelchair accessible. The pilot project will see the bus operate over the next year to assess its feasibility as it serves the Ogden Point terminal. The GVHA is partnered with CVS Cruise Victoria Ltd. (CVS Tours) and GreenPower Motor Company Inc. (GreenPower) on the project.