Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


New Zealand has become the latest country to adopt the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006) in an effort to improve conditions for seafarers who work on New Zealand and foreign-flagged vessels. Reportedly New Zealand labor laws already provide many of the MLC requirements. But now, the country will also have the authority to inspect foreign ships to ensure they meet the stringent standards as outlined in the Convention.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

A US Coast Guard vessel with six crew aboard hit the Paul Gelegotis Bridge in South Carolina while on its way to investigate reports of an aircraft that had crashed. The crewmembers suffered minor injuries and the fast response boat was damaged in the incident.

Close to 1,100 gallons of diesel has been spilled as the result of a tug running aground near Tongass Narrows, Alaska. The Samson Mariner was towing a barge when it hit Rosa Reef.

As of this writing, the reason why a Philippines ferry hit a barge on its way to port in Cebu City is unknown. The accident resulted in four people suffering significant injuries, while another 45 sustained less severe trauma. It is not clear if the M/V St. Braquiel was speeding before impact.

Philips Publishing Group

Piracy Pulse

An asphalt tanker that was sailing in Nigeria near Forcados was overtaken by pirates in a speedboat who got aboard, stole ship property items and damaged the vessel’s equipment. The bandits were able to quickly escape before teams from the Nigerian Navy could assist.

At Callao Anchorage, Peru, an anchored bulk carrier was the focus of an attack by four pirates who took crew belongings and stole items from the ship’s store. During the incident, the robbers tied up a duty crew.

A group of robbers were thwarted after the alarm was raised on board an anchored bulk carrier in Jingtang Anchorage, China, after the raiders attempted to pry the port side MDO manhole open.

Odds and Ends

Recently, a steel cutting ceremony was held for two cruise ships being built by AIDA cruise line that will have the capability to run completely on LNG. The two Helios Class vessels will be equipped with Caterpillar MaK LNG engines. The first ship is expected to enter into service in late 2018, and the other in the spring of 2021.

In another world’s first, Norwegian ferry operator Color Line is building a plug-in hybrid ferry, reportedly the largest of its kind. The vessel will plug in to shoreside facilities and be recharged with a power cable. The ship will also have the capability to use onboard generators to recharge. The 160m ferry will begin service in 2019.

The platform supply ship M/V Siem Thiima is apparently the first to successfully undertake LNG bunkering operations in Australia. Australian company EVOL LNG transferred LNG fuel from a truck to the vessel at King Bay Supply Base in Western Australia. The company said it believes this signals more bunkering to come in Australia as LNG becomes a preferred alternative for ships due to the adoption of ECAs around the world in addition to IMO emission regulations.

Starting in June of this year, Carnival Cruise Line will begin servicing the US to Cuba route. The company has selected Carnival Paradise<</i>/strong> as the vessel that will carry passengers on four and five day sailings from Port Tampa Bay to Havana, which will include stops in Cuba. Last year, the company became the first cruise line to sail to Cuba in four decades.

Have questions?

Could be about news, trends, basic industry terms, ‘how-it’s-done’ or something you’re observing in your own industry sector. Send them to maritimewriter@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to answer them, either by email or in one of my upcoming columns (where first name-only references will be used).


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