Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


November 1, 2018

Recently, the IACS published nine of its 12 recommendations on cyber safety with the aim of enabling the delivery of cyber resilient ships whose resilience can be maintained throughout their working lives. These are the result of long-term efforts from various industry groups that make up the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Cyber Systems. A significant part of the JWG work has been in identifying, best practice, appropriate existing standards in risk and cyber security and identifying a practical risk approach. The 12 recommendations provide guidance on the most pressing areas of concern and also work as building blocks for the broader objective of system resilience.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

In the Netherlands, the Paddepoelster Bridge and a house next to it along the Van Starkenborgh Canal, were damaged after a self-propelled barge crashed into the bridge, sending parts of it into the water and halting marine traffic in the process. The bow of the 84-meter Andamento suffered significant damage as a result of the allision. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Again in the Netherlands, another self-propelled barge was involved in a marine incident. This time the Manuela suffered an engine room fire while still berthed near Rotterdam. Onshore fire-fighters were able to put the fire out quickly and no injuries were reported.

Search and rescue personnel had to be called to attend a scary situation for the master and crew of the Hao Xiang 19 cargo vessel. The ship ran aground off Luxi Island near Wenzhou, China, damaging the hull, which flooded the vessel to the point where it listed severely to starboard, preventing crew from deploying all the lifeboats. However, all were rescued without sustaining injuries, while the vessel subsequently sank.

Thankfully, none of the 51 passengers aboard the Alexandra L were injured after the passenger ro/ro ferry made contact with a quay at the Greek port of Zakynthos. The vessel had to be taken out of service as its port side was damaged in the incident.

Mooring lines parting in severe weather resulted in the 593-foot Nautica cruise ship with 500 passengers aboard, drifting into Scotland’s River Clyde. No one was injured during the unexpected incident, and tugs were dispatched to get the vessel safely back to dock.

Piracy Pulse

In Sandakan Port, Sabah, Malaysia, the anchor chain of a berthed bulk carrier was the mode of stealth transport a lone marauder took when trying to attempt getting aboard. But the master and crew moved fast to raise the alarm and check out the activity on the forward deck, sending the would-be thief back into the speedboat in which he and his partners in crime had arrived.

A harrowing incident unfolded in Guinea at Conakry Anchorage when four armed, conniving thieves were able to get aboard an anchored product tanker. They managed to take crew belongings but only after they brazenly fired at the bridge windows and got into the accommodation despite it being locked. The crew made it to the Citadel and thankfully, were not injured.

Another incident with armed robbers, this time in Ecuador near Guayaquil, saw three bandits thwarted in their mission to get aboard a container vessel that was underway. The alarm was raised by the alert crew, resulting in the thieves having to abort and go elsewhere.

Two security guards aboard a drilling rig situated off Tanjung Bulat, Johor, Malaysia, were tied up and robbed by two thieves brandishing swords. The bandits got away with communications equipment and personal belongings and were long gone by the time staff ashore were able to release the guards as the two had been unable to send word of what had transpired.

Odds and Ends

The San Francisco Bay Area’s Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) is expanding its fleet to meet a sharp ridership increase by building three new ferries that will go into service next year. All three will be powered by Pacific Power Group (PPG) propulsion systems, namely the MTU Series 4000 engines, which are designed to meet Tier 4 Final regulations. In addition, PPG will also be increasing its capability to service the entire ferry fleet in San Francisco Bay. The three 445-passenger high-speed waterjet vessels are being built by Anacortes, Washington-based Dakota Creek Industries.

SAAM Smit Towage (SST) Canada recently purchased two new Robert-Allan Ltd-designed tugs from Hong Kong, China-based Cheoy Lee Shipyards. Outfitted with Caterpillar main engines, and handling over 80 tonnes of bollard pull, the SST Grizzly and SST Orca are reportedly the most powerful and largest of their kind working the BC coast.

Kathy Smith writes for global maritime trade journals and provides marketing copy to maritime businesses worldwide. She can be reached at


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