Salvors rescue grounded Panamanian vehicle carrier in Scheldt

July 31, 2008

International towage and salvage specialist Multraship and Belgian salvage operator URS Salvage & Maritime Contracting have refloated the vehicle carrier ‘Grand Dubai’ in Belgium.

The 25,615GT vessel grounded in the River Scheldt on July 18 while outbound from Antwerp in ballast. The salvors mobilized tugs and salvage teams which succeeded in refloating the 1973-built ‘Grand Dubai’. They then towed the Panamanian-flagged vessel to Flushing where, upon inspection, no serious damage was found. The salvors also retrieved the vessel’s anchor & chain, which it had let go at the casualty site.

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‘Seven Atlantic’ launched at IHC Merwede

July 31, 2008

Diving support vessel ‘Seven Atlantic’ was recently launched at the IHC Merwede yard in Hardinxveld Giessendam, the Netherlands.

The vessel is under construction for Subsea 7. The ‘Seven Atlantic’ was named by Mrs Hanne Reymert, wife of Mr Didrik Reymert, Project Engineering Manager, EP Europe, Shell UK Limited. The vessel was designed by Merwede Shipyard in close liaison with Subsea 7 and the dive spread manufacturer. The vessel has an overall length of 141.55 metres on a moulded beam of 26 metres. The vessel can accommodate 150 persons and was built in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of Lloyd’s Register, to obtain Lloyd’s Register of Shipping X100A1, Diving Support Vessel, UD strength for load of 10t/m2,  Helicopter Landing Area, XLMC, UMS, DP(AAA), CAC(2), EP, ICCand further to the regulations of the Isle of Man Authorities. ‘Sevan Atlantic’ is a fully Dynamic Positioned Diving Support / Offshore Construction Vessel, suitable for worldwide operations. The introduction of this DSV to the market will provide Subsea 7 with one of the most versatile and advanced diving vessels currently available. The vessel has been designed for saturation and air diving support work. The ship exceeds all current safety standards due to the fact the layout of the 6.6kV integrated electric power generation and propulsion system is for DP3 with triplicate redundancy. The ship has three electro-motor driven fixed pitch propellers in azimuthing nozzles aft.

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Maersk plans to use 3,430 TEUs capacity vessels

July 31, 2008

Maersk Line will deploy larger vessels on its routes between Europe and West Africa.

The larger ships will have a capacity of 3,430 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and each will operate routes connecting the southern Spanish port of Algeciras and the northern Moroccan port of Tanger with African ports such as Abidjan, Tema and Dakar. The capacity of the ships previously used did not exceed 2,800 TEUs. The new vessels are set to be the largest ever deployed on routes between Europe and West Africa Denmark-based AP Moeller-Maersk, owner of the world’s biggest container-shipping line, said that the market between Asia and Europe may grow as much as eight per cent this year. The firm cut its capacity on Asia-Europe routes last month to counter rising fuel costs. The price of bunker fuel used by container ships has jumped by 57 per cent this year, adding to Maersk’s costs, while the US dollar, the currency most widely used to pay for shipping services, has dropped 6.9 per cent against the Danish krone. Maersk Line recently ordered 16 ships from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering for delivery in 2010-2012. The ships are destined for transportation of goods between the East Coast of South America and Asia and Europe.The container ships have individual capacities of 7,450 TEUs and can carry a record 1,700 refrigerated containers each.

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Indian Seafarer Unions to protest Hebei Spirit detentions

July 31, 2008

The National Union of Seafarers of India and the Maritime union of India are to mount a joint demonstration at the Korean consulate in Mumbai in support of the two Indian seafarers connected to the Hebei Spirit case.

Despite being acquitted by a Korean court on charges of violating the ocean pollution law, Jasprit Chawla, master of the tanker Hebei Spirit, and chief officer Syam Chetan are still under detention in Korea pending an appeals process that could take up to a year. The unions are of the opinion that this action is unjustified and violates the seamen’s basic human rights. The demonstration carries the support of the Indian National Shipowners Association. The 269,605dwt Hebei Spirit suffered a collision with a barge on December 7, spilling about 10,900 tonnes of crude oil, linked to fouling along the Yellow Sea coast. The skippers of the Samsung Heavy Industries-owned barge and of one of the tugs have been arrested and charged with negligence and violating anti-pollution laws. The seamen have the right to pursue the matter in a high court under Korean law. The second tugboat captain was not detained but indicted on similar charges. The VLCC’s insurer Skuld has agreed to pay up to 12bn won ($12.5m) for clean-up costs by February 4, up till which time the VLCC has been impounded.

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South African naval exercises a success

July 30, 2008

The seventh series of naval exercises between South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, called Atlasur VII, took place over two weeks ending in June.

Since 1993, the bi-annual series of exercises has existed between these countries, and this year it was South Africa’s turn to play host. According to Lieutenant Commander Greyling van den Berg, Media Liaison Officer at the Naval Base Simon’s Town, some twelve ships took part in the exercises, and the aim of which was to improve relations between the different countries and also to improve the professionalism and competency of all the sailors involved. Some of the exercises that were conducted include live weapons firings (at both air and ground targets), helicopter exercises, anti-submarine exercises, communications exercises and Officer of the Watch maneuvering. The exercises were held off the Cape of Good Hope and saw see nearly 900 foreign sailors visiting Cape Town. Although they had a very busy time during the exercises, the sailors still had the opportunity to see the sights and sounds of the host city while the ships were in Cape Town Harbour. The Argentinean Navy deployed two MEKO 140 corvettes, the ‘ARA Rosale’s and ‘ARA Robinson’, both with helicopters. The Brazilian Navy had two NITEROI Class frigates, the ‘BNS Independencia’ and the ‘BNS Defensora’, with one Lynx and one general purpose helicopter. The two Uruguayan Navy frigates were the ‘ROU Uruguay’ and the ‘ROU Commandante Pedro Campbell’.

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Captains of regional shipping industry to steer maritime event

July 30, 2008

A steering committee of major Middle East shipping industry leaders has been formed by the region’s premier maritime event to focus on the challenges faced by the rapidly expanding sector in Dubai.

The steering committee has been formed for Seatrade Middle East Maritime 2008, which runs from 14-16 December at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. The committee will help direct the high level conferences alongside Seatrade Middle East Maritime which will examine the implications of the upsurge in maritime activity and the challenges presented by the global economic climate. ‘The maritime industry in the Middle East is growing rapidly, not only in the UAE but throughout the region. It is vital that we adhere to international standards and employ industry best practice. By bringing key figures together to form a steering committee for Seatrade Middle East Maritime, the event will ultimately provide a platform for all maritime professionals to network and examine the issues that confront the industry today and the challenges that we will all face in the future,’ said Captain Jitendra Misra, – General Secretary, UAE Shipowners Association. Besides Captain Misra, the committee is made up of other senior executives of Vela International Marine; Dubai Maritime City; Topaz Energy and Marine, one of the leading marine oil and gas fabrication companies in the Middle East; Mideast Ship Management, a subsidiary of the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia; Quadrant Marine Consultancy; Det Norske Veritas, the maritime classification and risk management company and Drydocks World. The Seatrade Middle East Maritime exhibition and conference is held every two years and has evolved into one of the world’s fastest-growing maritime events, ranking among the industry’s Top 10 largest.

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IMO calls for increased damage stability of cargo and passenger vessels

July 30, 2008

The International Maritime Organization has resolved to step up protection of new cargo and passenger vessels in the case of accident at Hamburg.

 

Accordingly, all new vessels built from 1 January 2009 will be governed by new technical design regulations to ensure a higher level of stability in a damaged state. In the recently revised SOLAS regulations, the previous concept of risk assessment has been extended. On the basis of current average statistics, IMO saw itself obliged to devise a better method of assessing the residual stability of damaged vessels. This now applies not only to cargo vessels, but also to passenger vessels. The new regulations clearly stipulate that these vessels must have a double bottom that extends over their entire breadth. Vessel designs without a double bottom are only permitted if a comparable level of safety in the event of grounding is proven by means of additional calculations. No exceptions apply to lubricating oil circulation tanks arranged under the main engine. With regard to their arrangement, it is important that a minimum distance of 500mm to the keel line of the vessel is always ensured. The specification in the new SOLAS 2009 regulations has been agreed in order to prevent lubricating oils from escaping or the engine from sucking up seawater in the event of a vessel striking the ground. The IMO committees have been working since 2005 on improving the technical protective measures with regard to damage stability. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is a UN convention governing ship safety. The convention creates international minimum standards on merchant vessels and stipulates binding rules governing all conceivable preventive measures.

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