Monday, June 30, 2008

Government Action

The MV Princess of the Stars' sinking which claimed hundreds of lives and its toxic cargo of endosulfan threatening the Sibuyan Sea have prompted the Philippine House committee on transportation to cut short its break and conduct a probe into the tragedy weeks before Congress resumes session. Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella said his committee has scheduled a congressional inquiry on July 7 to establish the accountability of the sectors involved in the sinking of the vessel in stormy seas off Romblon two weekends Blame has been passed around among Sulpicio Line executives, the Philippine Coast Guard that gave the vessel the proceed to Cebu despite Typhoon "Frank" wreaking havoc in the Visayas and the PAGASA that allegedly gave inadequate warnings.

The congressional inquiry has been scheduled despite the ongoing investigation of the Board of Marine Inquiry of the fourth maritime disaster involving Sulpicio Lines. Rep. Nograles said that the inquiry should be aimed at instituting legislation that will strengthen the country's present maritime laws. - to review the country’s maritime policies and laws. More than 5,000 innocent lives have already been claimed by maritime disasters in the last 21 years, averaging 182 reported cases per year.

"Once and for all, policies and laws concerning maritime transport and port operations must be consolidated, including the licensure and training of maritime captains and personnel—even government maritime officials and personnel," Nograles said.

"Safety should be a prime consideration for policy makers and policy implementers," he added.

Source: Shiptalk News dated June 29, 2008

Personal Note: The government should have done this years ago. The figures are there but nobody seems to have given that much importance. The policies have always been in place - implementation is the biggest problem!!!

Vessels detained in UK


For the month of May 2008 alone , The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced that 9 foreign flagged ships were detained in various UK Ports after failing Post State Control (PSC) Inspection. During this month , 120 PSC Inspections were carried out and results show that 34 vessels had no deficiencies raised against them, 59 had between 1 and 5 deficiencies, 15 had between 6 & 10 deficiencies and 3 vessels inspected had more than 20 deficiencies. One of the vessels was detained (a multipurpose cargo vessel) in Belfast because of failures identified in the life saving appliances and the main engine high pressure fuel lines drains which were not connected. This is a major non-conformity against ISM with regards to the breakdown of the maintenance of ship and equipment and the lack of familiarity with life saving and firefighting equipment. (Source: Shiptalk News dated June 17, 2008)

A PERSONAL NOTE: Perhaps our Phil. Ports System and Phil. Coast Guard should follow the same strict principles of initiating PSC Inspections before allowing any of our domestic ships to leave port. Perhaps we could have avoided another horrible incident like the MV Princess of the Stars. Reports say that the ship had engine trouble days before the incident happened.

DOE says world energy use projected to grow 50 percent between 2005 and 2030
Source: MarEx Newsletter, Vol. 6, No. 26

Source Date: 26th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: -
The US Energy Information Administration's latest "International Energy Outlook 2008" forecasts that world marketed energy consumption will grow by 50 percent between 2005 and 2030, driven by robust economic growth and expanding populations in the world's developing countries.

IMO accused of ship emissions omissions

Source: Lloyd's List
Source Date: 27th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: p.2.
Critics are claiming that research showing shipping to contribute to global cooling has been sidelined by the International Maritime Organisation.
UK fast track for offshore wind

Source: Maritime Journal News Update
Source Date: 26th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: -
The Crown Estate, which manages the coastal zones around the UK, identified an initial 11 zones last month as the best sites for a Round 3 next generation of offshore wind farms.

Advanced technology could have prevented sinking--PCG chief

Source: - Philippines
Source Date: 26th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: -
In the wake of the M/V Princess of the Stars tragedy, the Philippine Coast Guard has admitted that it has been relying on an antiquated two-way radio system and ubiquitous cellular phones to communicate with ships at sea. The PCG had the chance in 1999 to acquire a Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, which could monitor vessels' route and conditions, but legal problems prevented its use.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


SWEDEN, June 28 - Twelve of Sweden’s biggest importers and exporters are now placing environmental demands on their shipping operators. The twelve companies are asking shipowners to report environmental data that will be used as input to a new index developed by the Clean Shipping Project. The deadline is the end of August. “This is a winning concept for many parties and will lead to a more sustainable growth” says Jan Hallberg, chairman of the The Göteborg Region Association of Local Authorities.

This is the first time an environmental index has been developed to evaluate shipping companies as a whole. Twelve of Sweden’s biggest importers and exporters have signed a letter of intent to place demands on their shipping suppliers and to use the environmental demands described by the Clean Shipping Project as part of their procurement criteria.

The twelve companies are ABB, Astra Zeneca, Ericsson, H&M, Preem Petroleum, Skanska Sweden, SKF, Stora Enso Logistics, Tetra Laval, Vattenfall, V&S Group and Volvo Logistics. Together, these companies are now asking 77 of the world’s largest shipping operators to report environmental information through the Clean Shipping Index. The reporting deadline is the 31st August this year.

Emissions from industry and land-based transport to air and water are decreasing. At the same time, emissions from shipping are increasing. Emissions of oxides of nitrogen, sulphur dioxide and particles from ship motors lead to thousands of deaths brought forward each year. The Clean Shipping Project has developed a completely new environmental index – the Clean Shipping Index – which major shipping customers can used during procurement to evaluate the environmental performance of shipping operators. The index addresses 20 factors that can affect the environment, including marine fuel, lubricants, bilge water, ballast water, antifouling paint, refrigerants and waste. The Swedish shipping industry are among the leaders when it comes to implementation of environmental measures and Swedish operators are likely to be highly ranked by the index. A high ranking represents a competitive advantage and environmental gains both for the shipping operator and its customers. This is a driving force that has previously been lacking in the shipping industry. International environmental legislation for shipping is currently very poor although some improvements may slowly be emerging.

The Clean Shipping Project is driven by public authorities in western Sweden; Göteborg Region Association of Local Authorities, the Region of Västra Götaland, Västra Götaland County Administration and Business Region Göteborg. The project is also financed by the EU Structural Fund “Objective 2”. It is a non-profit project with the goal of cleaner shipping and sustainable growth. The Clean Shipping Index is published today on the project website ( and is freely available for anyone to use. In the autumn, Clean Shipping Project and the twelve companies will enlarge their network to include additional companies that have shown great interest in the project. Non-Swedish companies are also welcome to participate in the network.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

RP has technology vs sea disasters but it's ‘non-operational’ - PCG
Source: GMA
Source Date: 25th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: -
The commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo, has admitted that while the Philippines has such the technology to allows its personnel to quickly detect distress signals, it was "non-operational" and "outdated". Such a technology could have helped to avoid tragedies like that which befell the MV Princess of the Stars.

Latest fatality shuts down yard construction at HHIC Subic Bay
Source: Lloyd's List
Source Date: 24th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: p.5.
Health and safety concerns at Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction in the Philippines have led to the municipal authorities calling a halt to construction at the yard, following an accident which caused the death of one worker and left four injured, after a formwork collapsed as they were taking shelter during a sudden downpour.
Shipping wasting 4.37 million barrels of oil a day
Source: Business Wire (press release)
Source Date: 24th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: -
New research by leading maritime technology company DK Group and backed by United Nations-commissioned research, suggests that ships are wasting the equivalent of more than $140 billion of consumers and investors money in fuel costs per year and emitting an extra 672 million tonnes of CO2 per year (more than the aviation industry's 600 million tonnes CO2).

Questions raised over Philippines ferry inquiry
Source: Lloyd's List
Source Date: 25th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: p.3.
As hopes fade of finding more survivors from the capsized ferry Princess of the Stars, Filipino lawmakers have turned their attention to an inquiry into the cause of the disaster, with suggestions that the Philippines Coast Guard and the Maritime Industrial Authority be excluded from the inquiry, due to their possible involvement in the incident through allowing Princess of the Stars to leave port in Manila during a typhoon. The Philippines have a history of maritime disasters and despite numerous investigations, recommendations and new regulations drawn up, the accidents continue to occur.
Fatigue in Marine Structures Discussed in Germany
Fatigue assessment in shipping is vital in order to predict the structural durability of welded joints. Progress made during the past decade regarding different approaches was presented at the seminar "Local Approaches for Fatigue Assessment of Marine Structures" at Germanischer Lloyd headquarter.
Somalia: Pirates demand $1M ransom for 4 Europeans
1 hour, 13 minutes ago
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A government minister says Somali gunmen have demanded $1 million for the release of a German couple, their young son and a French boat captain.
The Europeans were seized Monday from a yacht off the Gulf of Aden and taken to Puntland, a semiautonomous region of northern Somalia.
Jama Hirsi Farah, minister of state for security in the region, said Thursday that the kidnappers have demanded $1 million.
The condition of the captives is not clear. A clan elder who is helping negotiate says the boy is suffering from a fever and needs medical help.
Kidnappings and piracy are on the rise in Somalia, where hijackers demand — and often receive — huge ransoms. The 1,880-mile-long coast is overrun with pirates.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuna populations at riskA historic meeting next week may decide the fate of tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, one of the world's most important marine resources. The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission has an opportunity at its annual meeting June 23–27 in Panama City, Panama, to reverse a trend of inaction, and take concrete steps to stop the decline of tuna stocks. Failure of the IATTC to compromise effectively in the past has blocked the consensus required for the adopt ion of binding resolutions.
Contact: Susan BruceSbruce@conservation.org703-341-2471Conservation International
Public Release: 18-Jun-2008NatureOcean temperatures and sea level increases 50 percent higher than previously estimatedNew research suggests that ocean temperature and associated sea level increases between 1961 and 2003 were 50 percent larger than estimated in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.
Contact: Anne Starkstark8@llnl.gov925-422-9799DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Killer whales, blind bats, discriminating dolphins, mating birdsMeek and mighty animal sounds are all around us. In a few weeks, some of the most interesting among them will be discussed and heard at the largest meeting ever devoted to acoustical science, the Acoustics '08 Paris meeting, to be held Monday June 30 through Friday July 4 at the Palais de Congrès in Paris.
Contact: Jason Bardijbardi@aip.org301-209-3091American Institute of Physics

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Modernize PAGASA

Pass Coast Guard bill, modernize PAGASA--Escudero

From The Philippine Daily Inquirer
June 23, 2008

MANILA, Philippines -- The sinking of M/V Princess of the Stars should prompt the immediate passage of the Coast Guard bill and the modernization of the country's weather bureau, Senator Francis Escudero said Monday.

"Kaugnay ng paglubog ng Princess of the Stars, dapat ipasa na ang Coast Guard bill at i-review na ng Coast Guard ang mga policy nila sa kabila ng global warming at pagbabago ng panahon. At dapat ding i-modenize natin ang PAGASA [In relation to the sinking of the Princess of the Stars, the Coast Guard bill should be passed and the Coast Guard should review its policy particularly in the face of global warming and climate change. PAGASA should also be modernized]," Escudero said.

Escudero said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) would need P1.6 billion to upgrade its staff and facilities.

Baka pwede at kaya, bumili na kayo ng NOAA Super Computer.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Napoli Inquiry

When the beaching of the container ship Napoli off the Devon last year happened, inquiries reported that hull failure on a lack of buckling strength in the engine room region of the ship was the reason for the accident. The Napoli was considered huge when built in 1991 with a capacity to carry 6,000 containers. When the Napoli was built, safety standards had not kept up with the growth of the vessels. There is also concern that a lack of control of the weights of containers being carried. The Napoli itself was 1000 tonnes over its recommended weight limit. Although this was only 2% over the limit, a very small amount, MAIB says it could have contributed to the structural failure of the ship because of the heavy storms at the time. More than 1,500 similar ships were screened following the incident, of which 12 unidentified ships required strengthening work "to bring them up to acceptable safety standards", according to the MAIB report.

Nowadays ships are being built to carry up to three times that cargo. The largest operating container ship is the Emma Maersk operated by the Maersk Company, and can carry 15,200 containers.

Source: Shiptalk News, June 12, 2008

Public release date: 15-Jun-2008[

Ebb and flow of the sea drives world's big extinction events
MADISON - If you are curious about Earth's periodic mass extinction events such as the sudden demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, you might consider crashing asteroids and sky-darkening super volcanoes as culprits.
But a new study, published online today (June 15, 2008) in the journal Nature, suggests that it is the ocean, and in particular the epic ebbs and flows of sea level and sediment over the course of geologic time, that is the primary cause of the world's periodic mass extinctions during the past 500[sc1] million years.
"The expansions and contractions of those environments have pretty profound effects on life on Earth," says Shanan Peters, a University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor of geology and geophysics and the author of the new Nature report.
In short, according to Peters, changes in ocean environments related to sea level exert a driving influence on rates of extinction, which animals and plants survive or vanish, and generally determine the composition of life in the oceans.
Since the advent of life on Earth 3.5 billion years ago, scientists think there may have been as many as 23 mass extinction events, many involving simple forms of life such as single-celled microorganisms. During the past 540 million years, there have been five well-documented mass extinctions, primarily of marine plants and animals, with as many as 75-95 percent of species lost.
For the most part, scientists have been unable to pin down the causes of such dramatic events. In the case of the demise of the dinosaurs, scientists have a smoking gun, an impact crater that suggests dinosaurs were wiped out as the result of a large asteroid crashing into the planet. But the causes of other mass extinction events have been murky, at best.
"Paleontologists have been chipping away at the causes of mass extinctions for almost 60 years," e[sc2]xplains Peters, whose work was supported by the National Science Foundation. "Impacts, for the most part, aren't associated with most extinctions. There have also been studies of volcanism, and some eruptions correspond to extinction, but many do not."
Arnold I. Miller, a paleobiologist and professor of geology at the University of Cincinnati, says the new study is striking because it establishes a clear relationship between the tempo of mass extinction events and changes in sea level and sediment: "Over the years, researchers have become fairly dismissive of the idea that marine mass extinctions like the great extinction of the Late Permian might be linked to sea-level declines, even though these declines are known to have occurred many times throughout the history of life. The clear relationship this study documents will motivate many to rethink their previous views."
Peters measured two principal types of marine shelf environments preserved in the rock record, one where sediments are derived from erosion of land and the other composed primarily of calcium carbonate, which is produced in-place by shelled organisms and by chemical processes. "The physical differences between (these two types) of marine environments have important biological consequences," Peters explains, noting differences in sediment stability, temperature, and the availability of nutrients and sunlight.
In the course of hundreds of millions of years, the world's oceans have expanded and contracted in response to the shifting of the Earth's tectonic plates and to changes in climate. There were periods of the planet's history when vast areas of the continents were flooded by shallow seas, such as the shark- and mosasaur-infested seaway that neatly split North America during the age of the dinosaurs.
As those epicontinental seas drained, animals such as mosasaurs and giant sharks went extinct, and conditions on the marine shelves where life exhibited its greatest diversity in the form of things like clams and snails changed as well.

Shipowners call for terror alert upgrade

AUSTRALIAN shipowners have expressed alarm about revelations that warning systems on their vessels are useless in preventing acts of terrorism.
Sixty-three Australian-flagged ships, as well as thousands of foreign ships entering Australian waters, have been forced to carry the flawed system since 2004 under orders from the International Maritime Organisation.
The Australian reported yesterday that the first global study into the effectiveness of the system has concluded they were "a complete waste of resources".
The Australian Shipowners Association, which represents the nation's merchant fleet, said the findings were disturbing and called for international action toimprove the workability of the system.
ASA director of maritime operations Teresa Hatch told The Australian: "This is an issue we will have to deal with. This needs to be taken up with theIMO."
She said Australian shipowners had had to pay about $40,000 to install the system and that it was unacceptable to then learn that it was flawed.
The study into the effectiveness of Ship Security Alert Systems by Singapore's Rajaratnam School of International Studies found they were almost entirely ineffective in stopping terrorism.
The system uses a silent alarm that is activated when the captain pushes an emergency button located on the bridge. But the study found that this alarm did not go straight to the nearest authorities who could render assistance to the ship. Instead, it took a lengthy and inefficient route around the world, first to the ship's owners, then to the ship's flag state, before being relayed to the coastal authorities closest to the ship.
The most common "flag states" for merchant ships are Panama, Liberia and the Bahamas, which are often ill-equipped to pass on timely emergency information about a possible terrorist incident in Australian waters.
"A ship security alert will bereceived by a shipowner or flag state thousands of miles removed from the scene of the potential security threat, leaving everyone nearby completely unaware of the potential danger," the study says.
Ms Hatch said that while no Australian ships had had to use the system in anger so far, it was important that the system be made effective.
"Security is about preparation, making sure you have all systems in place and working," she said.
The report's author, Thomas Timlen, said the IMO was aware of the study but had so far not taken any action to rectify the shortcomings of the SSAS.
The IMO made the systems mandatory in all merchant ships after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks but sources say the process was rushed and was not properly evaluated or monitored.

Squeeze on Safety

Safety is being compromised in the container shipping industry in the hunt for profits say industry experts. Tight schedules, larger ship designs and lack of control of cargo have all been identified as problem areas. Stephen Meyer, head of UK’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) stated that even where there are safety standards, companies are still competing heavily, corners will be cut and safety is compromised. Meyer noted that hazardous contents of containers are not always reported, ships are frequently overloaded and the development of design of ships has not kept up with the growth of the vessel themselves.

Source: Shiptalk News - June 12, 2008

080822-N-2193M-003 NEW YORK (May 22, 2008) Adm. James Stavridis, commander, United States Southern Command, speaks with Sailors assigned to the "Dragon Whales" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3). Stavridis visited Kearsarge as a part of Fleet Week 2008 in New York. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Mason (Released)
Trade winds
Source: Economist Special Report on Energy

Source Date: 21st Jun, 2008
Source Pages: pp.6-9.
Wind power has come of age. For example, wind currently provides only about 1% of America’s electricity, but by 2020 that figure may have risen to 15%. But to make the most of it, electrical grids will have to be overhauled.

World Hydrography Day focus on capacity and capability in Maritime Safety Information
Source: BYM News (press release)

Source Pages: -
World Hydrography Day celebrations this year have been focussing on capacity building - the development of knowledge, capacity and capability in Maritime Safety Information, surveying and paper and digital chart production among established and emergent Hydrographic Offices worldwide
ITF website to target substandard owners
Source: SSG Newsletter no 24/08

Source Pages: -
The International Transport Workers’ Federation has launched a website where seafarers can freely discuss working conditions and other subjects on specific ships. The site also provides information on whether a ship is covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

NYC Economic Development Corporation announces findings of study
Source: MarEx Newsletter, Vol. 6, No. 25

Source Pages: -
New York City Economic Development Corporation has announced the findings and recommendations of a study it commissioned from SUNY Maritime College, to examine the economic impact of New York City's maritime industry and associated support services. The study found that maritime support services represent a significant share of the region's economic activity, generating more than $2 billion each year for the region and supporting approximately 12,000 jobs, of which 7,000 are waterborne

New NOAA Weather Service Super Computer

From Science Daily

New Supercomputer Helps NOAA's Weather Service Improve Speed And Accuracy Of Weather Forecasts

One of the world's most powerful supercomputers is now generating faster and more precise predictions of the atmosphere, resulting in more accurate forecasts for every city in the US, NOAA announced today. This new supercomputer is five times—and eventually will be 28 times—faster than its predecessor, which allows NOAA's National Weather Service to improve the accuracy of local and national forecasts and warning lead times for potentially dangerous severe weather.
"This new supercomputer puts us closer to reaching our goal of becoming America's no surprise weather service," said National Weather Service Director John J. Kelly Jr. "This gives our forecasters more sophisticated models of the atmosphere and oceans, which act as blueprints for upcoming weather patterns. On a daily basis, we should see a 10 percent improvement in predicting temperatures, humidity and pinpointing when, where and how much rainfall will occur."

The new supercomputer, known as a 786 processor IBM System Parallel, replaces a Cray C-90 that served the National Weather Service since 1994. Currently, the IBM SP processes data at a speed of 690 billion instructions per second.

Sure wish that PAGASA has this but it may only be a wish upon a star.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


PANAMA CITY, June 18 - The renewed alliance between the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and the Port of New Orleans - has adopted a 2020 growth Master Plan of $1.04 billion, partially driven by the Canal's expansion – to help spur investment, increase trade and promote the "All-Water-Route" (the route from Asia to the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts via the Panama Canal).

During an official ceremony yesterday in Panama, ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta reaffirmed the ACP's commitment to mutual growth and cooperation with Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange and members of the Port's Board of Commissioners, by renewing a Memorandum of Understanding. Renewable on a three-year basis, the agreement further enforces the strategic alliance between the two entities, which was first initiated in 2003.

"Today's renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Port of New Orleans underscores our strong economic and commercial bonds. Our common vision informs our strategy and creates new value based on information sharing and collaboration. As we embark on the next phases of the Panama Canal expansion project, we remain committed to providing solutions to the long-term needs of the shipping and maritime community," said Mr. Alemán Zubieta.

The Port of New Orleans, the only deepwater port in the United States served by six "Class One" railroads (the largest category of freight railroads), has been steadily moving past the Katrina recovery stage and is now looking toward future growth opportunities. Both the ACP and the Port of New Orleans are dedicated to further increasing capacity and fostering growth. In 2007 alone, roughly 2.5 million short tons of general cargo came to the New Orleans port through the Canal, more than one third of the Port's general cargo total.

"The Panama Canal is a vital link that connects New Orleans to key trading partners in Asia and along the West Coast of South America. The Panama Canal Authority and the Port of New Orleans are each making substantial investments to improve the flow of commerce along these trade routes," said Mr. LaGrange. Port of New Orleans Board of Commissioners Chairman Jim Campbell added, "Our continuing partnership with the Panama Canal Authority will allow us to provide shippers with an efficient and cost-effective transportation route." The Panama Canal expansion project will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which will double capacity and allow more traffic and longer, wider ships.

Philippines typhoon capsizes boat, 700 missing

MANILA, Philippines - Rescuers searched Monday for survivors of a typhoon that capsized a ferry, flooded villages and left many hundreds dead or missing along its violent path.
Powerful waves and winds hampered efforts to reach the ferry but crews found no immediate signs of the more than 740 passengers and crew.
Coast guard frogmen who managed to get to the stricken ship got no response when they rapped on the hull with metal instruments, then had to give up for late Sunday due to the strong waves.
"They haven't seen anyone. They're scouring the area. They're studying the direction of the waves to determine where survivors may have drifted," coast guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Arman Balilo said.
Rescuers hoped to get inside on Monday, likely with U.S. assistance requested by the Philippine Red Cross. Typhoon Fengshen has killed at least 137 people across the sprawling archipelago, setting off landslides and floods, and knocking out electricity.
So far, 10 people from the ferry are known to have made it to land. Six bodies, including those of a man and woman who had bound themselves together, have washed ashore, along with children's slippers and life jackets.
Officials were checking reports that a large number of survivors might have reached one nearby island and that a life raft was spotted off another, coast guard spokesman Cmdr. Antonio Cuasito said.
"We can only pray that there are many survivors so we can reduce the number of casualties," he said.
About two dozen relatives went to the Manila office of ferry owner Sulpicio Lines. Some wept as they waited for news.
"I'm very worried. I need to know what happened to my family," said Felino Farionin, his voice cracking. His wife, son and four in-laws were on the ferry, which was going from Manila to Cebu.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo talked to officials in a teleconference aired live on nationwide radio Sunday, scolding coast guard officials for allowing the ferry to leave Manila late Friday despite the bad weather.
Reynato Lanoria, a janitor on the ship, estimated about 100 people could have survived, "but the others were trapped inside."
"I think they are all dead by now," he told DZMM radio after making it to shore by jumping in the water and reaching a life raft.
Lanoria said he was on the top deck when a crew member ordered people to put on life vests around 11:30 a.m. Saturday. About 30 minutes later, the ship began tilting so fast that elderly people and children fell on the rain-slickened deck.
Passenger Jesus Gica also worried that many people were trapped below when the ship listed.
"There were many of us who jumped overboard, but we were separated because of the big waves," he said. "The others were also able to board the life rafts, but it was useless because the strong winds flipped them over."
The ferry initially ran aground a few miles off central Sibuyan island Saturday, then capsized, said Mayor Nanette Tansingco of Sibuyan's San Fernando. With the upturned ferry visible from her town, she appealed for food, medicine and embalming fluid.
The nearly 24,000-ton ferry — with 626 passengers and 121 crew members on board — was "dead in the water" after its engine failed around noon Saturday, coast guard chief Vice Adm. Wilfredo Tamayo said.
The storm stymied attempts to reach the ship and kept aircraft at bay on Saturday before shifting course Sunday to the northwest and battered Manila at dawn. Major streets were flooded, and numerous traffic lights were out.
In the central province of Iloilo, Gov. Neil Tupaz said 59 people drowned, with another 40 missing.
"Almost all the towns are covered by water. It's like an ocean," Tupaz said.
Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday he was praying for the victims of the ferry disaster, particularly the large number of children aboard. The Philippines is predominantly Catholic.
The typhoon-prone Philippines was the site of the world's worst peacetime maritime disaster when the ferry MV Dona Paz sank in 1987, killing more than 4,341 people.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Decision day looms for those involved in Hebei Spirit spill
Source: Lloyd's List

Source Date: 20th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: p.4.
South Korean prosecutors are seeking jail terms of up to three years for the masters and crew of four vessels, including the tanker Hebei Spirit, that were involved in the country’s worst oil spill last December.

Call for IMO to standardise ships’ on-load release hooks
Source: Lloyd's List

Source Date: 19th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: p.4.
Since the introduction of mandatory on-load release hooks on ships built after July 1, 1986, such systems have become the most common cause of lifeboat accidents, resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries. These are often caused by ignorance among the crew about the operation of these systems, particularly since most are not designed to offer protection against human error. Unfortunately, when the regulations for on-load release gear were drawn up, there was more concern about the ease of releasing the hooks than for the prevention of accidental release.
That great big lighthouse in the sky
Source: Daily News & Analysis - Mumbai,India

Source Date: 19th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: -
Report an informative lecture on navigation given by B Arunachalam, retired Mumbai University professor and academic advisor to the Indian Navy's Maritime History Society, focusing on the elementary skills of observation of the sea and sky used by seamen prior to the advent of modern instrumentation.

Malta Shipards to privatise
Source: Fairplay Daily News

Source Date: 19th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: -
Malta's government has decided to start the process to privatise Malta Shipyards, and will be making an international call for expressions of interest but will keep an open mind over whether it should be all or parts of the shipyards that would be sold.
Biggest firms call for huge cuts in emissions to start green industrial revolution
Source: Guardian

Source Date: 20th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: p.29.
Heads of 100 of the world's biggest companies have called on political leaders to agree huge cuts in greenhouse gases to stimulate a "green industrial revolution". The statement organised by the World Economic Forum calls for "at least" a halving of global emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for climate change, intensifying pressure on the heads of the world's largest G8 economies, who meet in Japan next month.
Trade winds
Source: Economist Special Report on Energy

Source Date: 21st Jun, 2008
Source Pages: pp.6-9.
Wind power has come of age. For example, wind currently provides only about 1% of America’s electricity, but by 2020 that figure may have risen to 15%. But to make the most of it, electrical grids will have to be overhauled.
Cosco puts brakes on speed cut programme
Source: Lloyd's List

Source Date: 20th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: p.1.
China’s largest shipping company, China Ocean Shipping Co, has ruled out plans to launch a fleet-wide speed-reduction programme following the introduction of a similar initiative on its liner fleet.
Cuts sink navy plans for two more destroyers
Source: Financial Times

Source Date: 20th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: p.4.
The UK government has scrapped plans to order two extra Royal Navy Type 45 destroyers worth about £1.4bn - the biggest sacrifice yet made in the Ministry of Defence's cost-cutting drive. The reduction in Type 45s had been long expected and became almost inevitable after the decision to build two aircraft carriers put further pressure on the department's budget.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hitachi completes first Wärtsilä RT-flex common-rail marine engine

Wärtsilä Corporation, Trade & Technical Press release, 16 May 2008Hitachi Zosen Diesel & Engineering Co Ltd today celebrated the completion of its first Wärtsilä RT-flex common-rail marine diesel engine at its Ariake Machinery Works in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. The new engine was presented and demonstrated to an invited audience from shipowners, shipbuilders, classification societies, and other interested parties.

Royal Carribean Cruises to pay fine for pollution

The International Maritime Organization has authorized an independent review of a British study into the safety of high-speed catamaran ferries. The review will be led by Italy and will report to the Maritime Safety Committee in May. The British review concluded that risks to people aboard such vessels "are higher than previous accident experience which this type of vessel has revealed." The report called for the organization to consider new requirements for such vessels as part of a review of the International Code of Safety for High-Speed Craft. The British study was confined to collision and other contact-type accidents, fire and loss of hull integrity. Total risk for the accidents was put at 0.077 equivalent fatalities per vessel operating year, or about one death on each ferry every 13 years. One-hundred minor injuries or 10 major injuries are equivalent to one death. However, historical information places the figure at 0.017. In the British report, collisions at high speed in confined waters provided 84 percent of the risk, while loss of hull integrity is 8 percent, fire is 5 percent and contact is 3 percent. Courses of action that were recommended include enhanced vessel traffic management, revision of collision regulations and identification of high-speed craft and development of improved operating procedures. The report was first presented to the Subcommittee on Ship Design and Equipment in March.

I.T.W.F. study reports on crew conditions

A recent report by MORI for the International Transport Workers' Federation has stated that a quarter of crewmembers surveyed said that they had been the victim of racism while 10 percent had suffered physical violence. The Seafarers' Living Conditions Survey questioned 6,504 crewmembers using a form which was then evaluated. Some 11 percent said they had to pay to get a job with 43 percent of Indonesian citizens reporting they had to pay. Crews on open-registry ships accounted for 44 percent of those questioned, about the proportion of the gross tonnage of open registry ships, but vessels under open registry total only 19 percent. Ships registered in Romania, Russia and Ukraine were ranked the lowest with the longest hours, lowest pay and most unsafe conditions. Also, many crewmembers reported that they are paid less than the federation level of U.S.$1,100 per month at the time of the survey. Some 84 percent of Philippine citizens earned less.

P and O Orders

SSG-ÅBO. Aker Yards and P&O Ferries have signed a letter of intent for two 49,000-gt car- and passenger ferries worth totally EUR 360 million. Delivery is scheduled to take place in 2010 and 2011 respectively, and the vessels will be built at the Rauma shipyard. The capacity of the 210 metres long newbuildings will be 1,500 passengers and 2,700 lane metres. According to the builder, they will become the largest ferries on the English Channel.

Maersk and partners new scheme

-RINGKØBING. Maersk Tankers has formed a new pool arrangement with several partners. The new pool is a VLGC – Very Large Gas Carriers – pool formed by Maersk Tankers, Transpetrol Maritime Services och Zodiac Maritime Agencies. Maersk Tankers and Zodiac are already involved in the SkandiGas pool. The fleet in the new pool will initially consist of eight vessels from 78,000 cbm to 82,000 cbm. Four of these are Maersk V class gas tankers (Maersk Visual, Virtue, Value and Venture), which were delivered in 2007 and 2008. Another eight vessels will be added to the pool between 2009 and 2011. Maersk Tankers will be commercially responsible for the new pool.


Plans to build a scaled-down replica of iconic liner in Belfast, but no word yet on an iceberg.
The morphing of Belfast into Titanic City is gathering pace with plans for a large scale-model of the iconically doomed liner to be built as part conference centre, part hotel and part museum.
The only thing that is missing from the Titanic heritage industry’s scheme is a replica iceberg to complement the ship-shaped building (the two linked by a lifeboat-shaped walkway, perhaps, with the “iceberg” building containing an ice rink, a museum of refrigeration and a polar bear sanctuary).

The Modern Computer is Sixty Years Old

From BBC One Minute World News
Updated at 11:09 GMT, Friday, 20 June 2008 12:09 UK

One tonne 'Baby' marks its birth.
Sixty years ago the "modern computer" was born in a lab in Manchester.
The Small Scale Experimental Machine, or "Baby", was the first to contain memory which could store a program.
The room-sized computer's ability to carry out different tasks - without having to be rebuilt - has led some to describe it as the "first modern PC".
Using just 128 bytes of memory, it successfully ran its first set of instructions - to determine the highest factor of a number - on 21 June 1948.
Mr Geoff Tootill, one of the builders of Baby, and three other surviving members of the team, will be honoured by the University and the British Computer Society at a ceremony in Manchester.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Canal boat charts way to greener ships
Source: Guardian
A UK scientist who has converted the canal boat Ross Barlow into a pioneering zero-emissions vessel which runs entirely on hydrogen, so its only direct emission is water. The hydrogen is converted to electricity in a fuel cell, which is used to either power the boat's electric motor or charge a back-up battery.

Deep water offshore energy research
Source: Society of Maritime Industries Alert
A team including BMT Nigel Gee, BMT Cordah, Gifford, Hunter Associates, Bierrum International and the University of Nottingham, EON UK and DONG Energy, is designing a method of transporting and installing "concrete gravity foundations" that can be placed on the sea bed in water depths of up to 25 metres and beyond, which would enable a much larger sea area to be allocated to offshore wind farms.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Advanced Tech versus Hi-Tech Sea Piracy

From BBC World News

Passengers aboard the Seabourn Spirit, a luxury liner sailing off the coast of Somalia, came face to face last month with the growing problem of piracy, especially planned assaults and ocean hijackings using fast boats and sophisticated weapons.
In their defence against the pirates, the Seabourn Spirit's crew used an acoustic weapon that focused a deafening alarm sound on the attackers, hastening their retreat.

The International Maritime Bureau recommends that:
As the pirates go hi-tech, so ships must use more advanced technology in their defence.
Anti-piracy technologies endorsed by the bureau include an unmanned spy plane, the Inventus UAV, for aerial surveillance of risky waters.
Others include Secure-Ship, a 9,000 volt electric fence that when rigged around ship's deck stops the pirates from boarding, and ShipLoc, a hidden tagging device for ships that allows satellites to track ships on behalf of their owners even after a hijacking.


From the Worldnews Network
100 Philippine students run naked at university
The Boston Globe
MANILA, Philippines—Members of a fraternity at the University of the Philippines held their annual ritual of running naked on campus six months early on Wednesday -- by official request -- to celebrate the state-run school's centennial anniversary. Hundreds of cheering students lined the main campus avenue, jostling for positions with their digital and cell phone cameras.
Called the “Oblation Run", it was so named for the university’s iconic symbol of a naked man with outstretched arms that symbolizes his selfless offering of himself to the nation.

From Filipino Voices
Ces Drilon, Other Hostages Released
Written on Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 at 3:37 am |
Journalist Ces Drilon, Cameraman Jimmy Encarnacion and Professor Octavio Dinampo have been released from captivity in Sulu. The three were freed shortly before midnight of June 17. GMA DZBB reporter Benjie Liwanag stated that writer Drilon, Dinampo and Encarnacion were fetched from Sitio Danag in Patikul Sulu, at around twelve midnight.

From Asia Pulse
Philippine Shipyards Urged to Pool Their Resources
MANILA, Jan 28 Asia Pulse - The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has urged local shipbuilders to pool their resources to come up with a vessel design and prototype suitable for Philippine inter-island traffic rather than focus on repair and maintenance of the existing Philippine fleet. Pooling of resources ensures a quality product and less financial risks to builders in case there are some mechanical defects that need corrections Local shipbuilders could pool their resources to design and construct their proposed cargo, fuel carrier or roll-on-roll-off ships under the Marina-sponsored prototype ship project.

Lower emissions for Abu Dhabi industrial port

Masdar, environmental initiative set up by the Abu Dhabi government, has signed a deal with Abu Dhabi Ports Co (ADPC) that aims to reduce carbon emissions from an industrial zone and port in the Gulf emirate, writes Reuters. According to the agreement, the two parties will explore both the capture and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from the Khalifa port and Industrial Zone and Dubai in a programme that they hope will qualify for carbon emissions reduction certificates under a United Nations scheme.

Robotics Against Sea Pirates

From BBC
Sea-faring bots

In the future, robotics could play a role in anti-piracy defences, though the technology has yet to be endorsed by the International Maritime Bureau.
Speaking to BBC World Service's Discovery for its programme on the future of shipping safety, Keith Henderson of Marine Robotics International explained how unmanned robotic vessels could help.
Marine Robotics have created vessels called Ghost Guard which can patrol the seas along pre-programmed routes, overseen by a single, human controller on shore.
The boats can also escort other ships through dangerous waters. Video and other equipment on board these robotic ships allow their on-shore controllers to see and interact with the crew of any vessels they encounter:
"They could go alongside, there's a loudspeaker and a microphone so they could have a conversation with the vessel," said Mr Henderson.
"And if they feel that there's something suspicious then they could call up a naval patrol vessel."
Ruth Kelly urges further action on shipping emissions from the international community

UK Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly has joined UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), at the 100th meeting of the IMO council. Ms Kelly stressed the importance of the shipping industry: "Shipping plays a crucial role in the global economy with around 90% of world trade transported by sea and the maritime industry contributing over £7 billion to the UK economy in export earnings. I am proud we host the IMO here in London, which continues to be the world's leading maritime centre."

Source:eGov monitor 17/06/2008 -

Hong Kong mulls incentives to reduce ship-source emissions
Source: Lloyd's List

Source Date: 17th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: p.1.
A report by Hong Kong public policy think tank Civic Exchange has proposed 12 key measures to be implemented by both the private and public sectors to reduce marine and port related emissions. These include giving vessel operators incentives to switch to low-sulphur fuels within 64 km of Hong Kong and Shenzhen ports, and to reduce ship speeds to just 12 knots.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

China's New Century Shipbuilding eyes 2008 IPO
Source: Reuters - USA

Source Date: 12th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: -
New Century Shipbuilding Co Ltd, China's largest private shipyard, is planning to list its shares in Singapore this year to raise up to $1.5 billion. Chairman Yuan Kaifei told reporters the firm would use the proceeds from the 5-10 billion yuan ($724 million-$1.5 billion) initial public offering to improve its engineering technology and expand production capacity.

Carbon Capture and Storage Technologies Will Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

[statement of Rep. Rick Boucher)I am pleased to introduce today the Carbon Capture and Storage Early Deployment Act, bipartisan legislation which will establish a non-governmental fund and entity to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. CCS is a method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by capturing and injecting underground the carbon dioxide emitted from electricity generation plants that use fossil fuels, including petroleum, natural gas and coal.
72 percent of our nation’s electricity is generated through fossil fuel combustion. 51 percent is based on coal use; 20 percent is reliant on natural gas and 1.6 percent on petroleum. Given our extensive reliance on fossil fuels and the current unavailability of sufficient alternatives to them, the continued use of fossil fuels is essential to our economic security.

We May Not Be Alone In Space.....

Just a wee change of pace with our blogging activity.

Astronomers find batch of "super-Earths" Mon Jun 16, 7:53 AM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - European researchers said on Monday they discovered a batch of three "super-Earths" orbiting a nearby star, and two other solar systems with small planets as well.
They said their findings, presented at a conference in France, suggest that Earth-like planets may be very common.
"Does every single star harbor planets and, if yes, how many?" asked Michel Mayor of Switzerland's Geneva Observatory. "We may not yet know the answer but we are making huge progress towards it," Mayor said in a statement.
The trio of planets orbit a star slightly less massive than our Sun, 42 light-years away towards the southern Doradus and Pictor constellations. A light-year is the distance light can travel in one year at a speed of 186,000 miles a second, or about 6 trillion miles.The planets are bigger than Earth -- one is 4.2 times the mass, one is 6.7 times and the third is 9.4 times.

It used to be Mars with Martians. Now, a breed of Super Earthlings?(...with pointed ears?)

Advances in Time and Position Instruments

Time and position finders have been steadily changing over the centuries. In ancient times some people used the sun, moon, stars and even birds to find which direction they were moving. In recent centuries people have been using tools like crossbars, astrolabes, and sun disks to find their way and time during the day, many times while out-to sea. Today we have GPS's (Global Positioning Satellite) can tell us exactly where we are. In fact, government prevents them from being too accurate in the hands of the common consumer. The invention of the sundial was made so to cast a shadow upon a certain number or nook in order to tell the time of day. Sundials were used throughout history, and even before recorded times.Next we enter the Age of Discovery. The European conquest of the Americas may have been much different without devices to know time and position. Inventors worked to perfect the pendulum, the crossbars, longitude, sextant, and a variety of clocks including a sea-worthy clock. The most primitive version of the sextant was named "the crossbars. The first mechanical clocks were massive semi-accurate timekeepers. England realized the need for ships to have precision timekeeping when its naval flagship went way off course and was lost. They then decided to offer a reward of 20,000 pounds to whoever could produce a sea-worthy timekeeper. After four tries John Harrison came out with his accurate sea-worthy clock, the Harrison-4. Clocks grew more versatile, compact and accurate.
Advances in science led to the development of satellites. From satellites, GPS was born. Today a GPS position finder is capable of telling you your position accurately up to about three feet from anywhere in the world. As first seen in "Desert Storm", missiles can use GPS to pinpoint a target. Car thieves avoid autos with GPS chips. Some criminals are forced to wear GPS devices that signal authorities of parole violations. How might kidnapping became a thing of the past? Technology continues to advance with time. Will ethical practices in privacy be able to stay ahead of the technology? For our present time, are we living in the future?

Monday, June 16, 2008

MAN Diesel gensets for crane vessel

MAN Diesel’s Shanghai organisation has successfully landed another engine contract in the specialised segment for large floating cranes and construction barges. A newly designed (DLV4400) heavy-lift floating crane from Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery Co Ltd (ZPMC) with a 4,400 tonne lifting capacity will be powered by seven MAN Diesel 9L32/40 gensets.

The total installed output of 31.5MW will supply propulsion power, power for manoeuvring, for the crane activities, and to the hotel accommodation load for 250 persons. The vessel, which is designed to propel itself at up to 12 knots in trial condition, will also be equipped with a dynamic positioning system classed GL DynPos–AutR. The propulsors specified are 2 x 2,000 kW tunnel thrusters at the bow of the vessel, 2 x 2,500 kW retractable azimuth thrusters at the foreship, and 2 x 4,500 kW azimuth thrusters at the aftship. On the deck, the vessel will have a helicopter platform situated at the forecastle deck, and the revolving main crane will be installed in the after area of deck.

The hull for the DLV 4400 will be built by an as yet unspecified Chinese yard, however final outfitting and mounting of crane equipment will be performed at ZPMC’s own shipyard at Changxin Island.

Source: Offshore Shipping Online / Equipment & Technology - May 23, 2008

Northrop Grumman navigation systems for CBO PSVs

Northrop Grumman Corporation has won orders to supply electronic navigation systems for four new offshore supply vessels to be built in Brazil. The contract was awarded to Northrop Grumman’s Sperry Marine business unit.

The Sperry Marine navigation package includes radars, autopilot, speed and heading sensors, and other equipment. Vision Marine Ltda, Sperry Marine’s sales and service representative in Brazil, will be responsible for installation, commissioning and servicing the navigation packages on the vessels.
The four PSVs will be built for Companhia Brasileira de Offshore (CBO) at Estaleiro Aliança shipyard near Rio de Janeiro.

Rolls-Royce is providing the design and equipment package for the vessels, which are scheduled for delivery in 2009 and 2010. Once delivered, they will be placed on long-term charter with the Brazilian state oil company Petrobras.

Source: Offshore Shipping Online / Equipment & Technology - June 13, 2008

Wärtsilä and Mitsubishi join forces in designing further new marine engines

Wärtsilä Corporation, Trade & Technical Press release, 26 May 2008Wärtsilä Corporation of Finland and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd of Japan have signed a joint development agreement to design and develop new small, low-speed marine diesel engines of less than 450 mm cylinder bore.

The two companies see good business potential in pooling their resources and experience to develop new small marine engines of less than 450 mm cylinder bore. Such engines are suitable for a wide variety of small ship types, including bulk carriers, product tankers, chemical tankers, container feeder vessels and reefer ships. Such ships are employed in world-wide trades but with the smaller types being specifically employed in short-sea and coastal services.

The new engines shall meet the market needs for high efficiency, high reliability, compactness and environmental friendliness.Details of the new engines to be developed under this agreement will be announced in a few months time after the initial design studies have been completed.
US considers nuclear-powered assault ships
Source: New Scientist

Source Date: 14th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: pp.24-25.
A bill recently passed by the House of Representatives aims to make many more of the ships in the US naval fleet nuclear powered, including amphibious assault ships that carry troops into combat. Proponents of the bill argue that soaring oil prices make nuclear power an economic fuel option, whilst the slow burn of the reactors will obviate the need to call into potentially hostile ports to refuel. However, critics claim that the presence of a nuclear reactor onboard will make the ship a terrorist target.
Convention on recycling ships could yet be viable
Source: Lloyd's List

Source Date: 13th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: p.4.
Moves are underway to resolve the problem of the timely availability of sufficient capacity to recycle ships in accordance with the International Maritime Organization’s proposed convention on ship recycling, which could provide an incentive for ratification without jeopardising the principal objectives of the draft convention. One possible solution could be to introduce different application dates for the draft convention’s basic safety and environmental requirements and for those requirements that are directly affected by the commercial issue of available market capacity.
China's New Century Shipbuilding eyes 2008 IPO

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lloyd's Register readies shipping for "seafarers' bill of rights"

Lloyd's Register has developed a voluntary assessment programme, designed to support the practical implementation of the forthcoming ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006) on new and existing ships.

Not yet mandatory, the MLC, a significant development in international shipping described as a 'bill of rights' for maritime labour, is expected to come into force by 2012. But ratification may take place even earlier.

The convention has been drafted to help ensure that all seafarers, regardless of their nationality and the flag of the ships they work on, can enjoy decent working and living conditions. Lloyd's Register believes that the MLC, 2006 will have a direct and positive impact on crew recruitment and retention and maritime safety - key issues for all those involved in shipping. The new convention sets minimum standards on issues such as conditions of employment, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering, health and safety protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection issues. Detailed requirements of the convention aim to tackle issues associated with the causes of fatigue, occupational accidents, recruitment, employment opportunities and working and living conditions for an estimated 1.2 million seafarers.

To help the industry to be prepared Lloyd's Register has developed a voluntary assessment scheme for ship owners, shipyards and operating companies. The voluntary assessment scheme is based around identified important inspection criteria addressed by the five titles of the convention:
Title 1: Minimum requirements for seafarers to work on a ship
Title 2: Conditions of employment
Title 3: Accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering
Title 4: Health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection
Title 5: Compliance and enforcement - on board complaint procedures

CSSC to Build Engine Manufacturing Base

China State Shipbuilding Co Ltd (CSSC) has inked a framework agreement with local government to invest to build a shipping parts and accessories production base in Guangzhou, according to China Knowledge.The new production base will be located in Panyu, Guangzhou, which is expected to be the largest marine diesel engine manufacturing base on Mainland China.CSSC is now running a marine diesel engine production base in Shanghai jointly with Japan's Mitsui Shipbuilding Ltd, with an annual manufacturing capacity of three million horsepower. Source: China Knowledge

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Mandatory Ship-Reporting System in the English Channel Approved.

From the IMO
IMO's Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation has approved a new mandatory ship-reporting system which would be applicable in the central English Channel, making it easier to track and communicate with ships in the area. The system would supplement the existing mandatory ship-reporting systems already established at Ouessant and in the Pas de Calais.
The implementation of a mandatory ship-reporting system makes it easier to avert hazardous situations which can be caused by unidentified ships adopting erratic or even dangerous routes, stopping in a traffic lane after sustaining damage, or otherwise behaving in a manner which could give rise to confusion in the absence of information.
The new system, to be called MANCHEREP, would apply to all ships of over 300 gross tonnage and would cover the current traffic separation system off Les Casquets and the areas bordering upon it. Ships over 300 gross tonnage entering the area would be required to give information to the coastal authorities, including name of ship, position, destination and details of cargo if any potentially dangerous cargoes are carried on board. Coastal authorities would then be able to track the ships.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Civil Liability for Pollution Damage Caused by Fuel Oil in Ships' Bunkers Enters Into Force on November 21, 2008.

From IMO, a reminder to shipowners and ships' personnel...

Pollution damage from fuel oil carried on ships will be covered in 2008.

The last significant gap in the international regime for compensating victims of oil spills from ships is set to be closed, with the entry into force on 21 November 2008 of an international treaty covering liability and compensation for pollution damage caused by spills of oil, when carried as fuel in ships' bunkers. Current regimes covering oil spills do not include bunker oil spills from vessels other than tankers.
Criteria for entry into force of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 were met on 21 November 2007, following accession to the treaty by Sierra Leone.
The Convention was adopted in 2001 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
Under the terms of the Convention, it enters into force one year after the date on which 18 States, including five States with ships whose combined gross tonnage is not less than 1 million, have ratified it. With the accession by Sierra Leone, the Bunkers Convention has been ratified by 18 States, with a combined gross tonnage of 114,484,743, representing 15.86 per cent of world merchant shipping tonnage.

IMO takes on MSC Napoli lessons

Source: Lloyd's List

Source Date: 9th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: p.2.
Addressing the opening of the Flag State Implementation sub-committee, the secretary general of the International Maritime Organization, Efthimios Mitropoulos, has issued a blunt reminder to the industry that "under no circumstances, should commercial considerations be given precedence over the safety of life at sea". Discussions within several IMO sub-committees suggest that governments have not yet dismissed the possibility of mandatory rules to tackle the raft of structural and operational issues raised by the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s investigation into the MSC Napoli grounding in the English Channel last year.
IEA calls for energy revolution

The International Energy Agency has issues a report on the future of energy technologies which reveals that there is enough oil left on the planet to allow a huge increase in consumption over the next few decades, but that the consequences for the climate of burning that much oil would be alarming. Therefore, it is urging the world to start weaning itself off oil, not because supplies are running out but to avoid "significant change in all aspects of life and irreversible change in the natural environment" as a result of global warming. The IEA has also described international transport as the industrial sector with the greatest challenges to face in stabilising future energy consumption and halving carbon dioxide emissions over the next 40 years.
IEA calls for energy revolution

The International Energy Agency has issues a report on the future of energy technologies which reveals that there is enough oil left on the planet to allow a huge increase in consumption over the next few decades, but that the consequences for the climate of burning that much oil would be alarming. Therefore, it is urging the world to start weaning itself off oil, not because supplies are running out but to avoid "significant change in all aspects of life and irreversible change in the natural environment" as a result of global warming. The IEA has also described international transport as the industrial sector with the greatest challenges to face in stabilising future energy consumption and halving carbon dioxide emissions over the next 40 years.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Simplified Voyage Data Recorder as per SOLAS Chap V Regulations

Reminder to shipping companies

Simplified VDRs

The MSC at its 79th session in December 2004 adopted amendments to regulation 20 of SOLAS chapter V (Safety of Navigation) on a phased-in carriage requirement for a shipborne simplified voyage data recorder (S-VDR). The amendment entered into force on 1 July 2006.
The S-VDR is not required to store the same level of detailed data as a standard VDR, but nonetheless should maintain a store, in a secure and retrievable form, of information concerning the position, movement, physical status, command and control of a vessel over the period leading up to and following an incident.

The phase-in is as follows:

To assist in casualty investigations, cargo ships, when engaged on international voyages, shall be fitted with a VDR which may be a Simplified Voyage Data Recorder (S-VDR) as follows:

in the case of cargo ships of 20,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed before 1 July 2002, at the first scheduled dry-docking after 1 July 2006 but not later than 1 July 2009; in the case of cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards but less than 20,000 gross tonnage constructed before 1 July 2002, at the first scheduled dry-docking after 1 July 2007 but not later than 1 July 2010; and
Administrations may exempt cargo ships from the application of the requirements when such ships will be taken permanently out of service within two years after the implementation date specified above.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

From Pole to Pole via Your SC4000 Iridium Telephone

From Thrane and Thrane
The SAILOR SC4000 Iridium telephone system is the ideal
satellite communication solution and well suited for all types
of vessels cruising the high sea – from yachts to fishing vessels,
from coasters to large merchant ships, from coast guards
to naval vessels. With true global coverage and advantageous
airtime rates, the SAILOR SC4000 Iridium is the obvious
choice for anyone sailing along foreign coasts with high GSM
roaming fees - and onwards to as far as the artic seas.

Iridium is a reliable and truly global satellite network for
telecommunications. Its 66 cross-linked low orbiting satellites
form a world-wide grid providing real global coverage. From
pole to pole, a satellite is always in sight and ready to handle
your call. A convenient assurance, but more importantly, a
crucial safety factor keeping peace of mind. Iridium offers
very attractive airtime rates and executes trouble free Iridium-to-
Iridium and Iridium-to-shore calls and vice versa.

Design and Operation of Container Ships

On July 3 and 4, 2008, a conference will be held in London on design and operation of container ships. Naval architects, designers and operators are still exploring all the possibilities of designing and building bigger container ships. The trend towards increased size of this kind of commercial vessels presents a lot of challenges not only for the people who builds them but to the people who will run this ships. Structural strength, severe weather loads and stability, deck cargo arrangements, safety and speed of loading and unloading, potential problems with securing the containers to resist green water, they say will be addressed as issues to be discussed. I hope that this people would also address the issue of safety for the crew who will run this giant ships across the seas and the oceans.
(Source: Infodesk, Marinetalk)

Next Generation EPIRB

Smartfind Plus/G5 406 GPS MHz EPIRB (Manual Bracket)
Meeting the demands of both commercial mariners and recreational boaters, the new McMurdo SMARTFIND Plus heralds the arrival of the next generation in EPIRB technology incorporating a high accuracy 12 channel GPS for enhanced position location and comes complete with a Carry Safe Manual Bracket.
The G5 SMARTFIND PLUS has all the advanced features of the standard E5 SMARTFIND with the addition of an integral 12 channel GPS receiver. The addition of a GPS receiver to the EPIRB ensures that the exact position of a casualty is relayed to the rescue services. This can in turn improve the speed of recovery by updating the position of the beacon at regular intervals.
The Smartfind Plus GPS EPIRB has been designed to enhance further the lifesaving capabilities of conventional beacons. The standard Global Positioning System (GPS) uses an array of 27 satellites and provides continuous positional information with a typical accuracy of around 30m. A 406MHz EPIRB such as the Smartfind Plus or Fastfind Plus PLB has a built in GPS, when the beacon is activated in an emergency, positional information is incorporated into the distress message which it transmits.
This incorporation of positional information overcomes the location problem when using geostationary satellites and can greatly reduce the time it takes for the SAR authorities to arrive on the scene. When speed of response and accuracy of location are important considerations, then the Smartfind GPS EPIRB offers the best performance.

For information contact:
Tel. 020 78 333 435


October 27 - 30, 2009, Stockholm, SwedenThe Nordic Institute of Navigation (NNF) will host the tri-annual congress of the International Association of Intitutes of Navigation where the latest developments within civilian and military navigation and positioning on land and sea, in the air and in space will be covered. Deadlines : June 1, 2009 for abstract submission and August 28, 2009 for early registration fee.
Further information:


New designs on the world's biggest container shipsBehemoths would dwarf current giants and be the longest merchant ships...
The new designs (there are two, one with a single propellor the other with twin propellors) will carry an astonishing 22,000 TEUs. Currently the largest container ships, the eight vessels of the EMMA MAERSK class, are designed as 13,500 TEU ships. These ships, which are giants at the moment, have a length of 397 metres.(To put this into some perspective for those who still think in terms of feet - as this writer does!- the familiar QE2 is 963 feet long, the new STX designs are 1476 feet long!)"The 22,000 TEU marks a breakthrough in the sense that the 20,000 TEU was once considered as the limit of a container ship can get in terms of its transport capacity both in terms of technology and economy." said STX.The world's longest ship is currently the KNOCK NEVIS, at 458 metres, but she is now permanently moored in the Persian Gulf as a floating oil storage facility.

Monday, June 9, 2008

OPEC Basket Price of Oil

Just a news bit. For those who know, this is old news. For those who do not, this is one info why everything is going up from fare to food and etc.

OPEC Basket Price per barrel

Daily Basket Price (US Dollar)
20/5/2008 121.02
21/5/2008 124.45
22/5/2008 127.59
23/5/2008 126.37
26/5/2008 126.57
27/5/2008 125.91
28/5/2008 123.05
29/5/2008 124.27
30/5/2008 121.68
02/6/2008 122.1
03/6/2008 121.69
04/6/2008 118.56
05/6/2008 118.77
06/6/2008 126.11

Updates on the Chinese and Indian Satellite Navigation Systems

Beidou / Compass
China’s official state news agency, Xinhua, has reported that China will use Beidou for traffic guidance and venue monitoring during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The current Compass constellation consists of four geostationary Beidou satellites (1A-1D) as well as a single Beidou 1M medium earth orbit satellite launched in April 2007. When fully operational, Beidou / Compass will have four geostationary satellites as well as 30 medium earth orbit satellites. According to Xinhua more satellite launches are set for 2008.

India, which in 2006 unveiled plans for the Indian Region Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), has recently updated the status of this system. The Indian Space Research Organization is almost ready to build a prototype satellite, with the design for the actual satellites being nearly complete. The complete system will have seven satellites: three geostationary as well as four in a geosynchronous orbit at 29° to the equatorial plane. India expects to launch the first satellite in 2010 with the system becoming fully operational in 2012. IRNSS differs from systems such as GPS, Glonass and Galileo in that it does not use the L-radio band for transmission of the signals. Since this band is slightly overcrowded with all the existing (and future) navigation systems, India has opted for the S-band (two frequencies separated by 350 MHz)

Failure To Ratify UNCLOS will cost US in Arctic.

THE failure of the US Congress to ratify the UNCLOS treaty may be coming home to roost as America is being left out as other Arctic powers grab for Arctic riches.
Last week’s meeting in Greenland of the six Arctic littoral states agreed that establishment of Arctic claims should be governed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Unfortunately for the US, Congress has yet to ratify the document. US Senator Lisa Murkowski, said yesterday that the US risks being shut out as Canada and Russia stake their polar claims. “Canada is asserting its sovereignty in the region with a military presence in the Northwest Passage,” she told a MarAd conference on Arctic transport, adding that Russia is seeking to lay claim to upwards of 1.2M km² of energy- and mineral-rich tundra.

Will Oil Costs Trump Globalization?

News bit from Fairplay

Daily News
06 Jun 2008

SHIPPING has profited mightily from the globalisation of manufacturing, but a new study warns that escalating transport costs could sharply reverse the trend.
According to CIBC World Markets: “In a world of triple-digit oil prices, soaring transport costs, not tariff barriers, pose the greatest challenge to trade.”

Friday, June 6, 2008

APL evaluates hull performance monitoring

(May 9 2008) Container shipping company APL, a member of the Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), is undertaking a research project to evaluate the hull performance monitoring service offered by Propulsion Dynamics' CASPER (Computerized Analysis of Ship PERformance) system.
One containership operating out of Port of Oakland, California, and three vessels sailing from the Port of Singapore have been enrolled in the CASPER service over an extended period of voyages.
Throughout each voyage the ship's performance data is regularly transmitted to Propulsion Dynamics office where CASPER produces precise calculations for speed, fuel consumption, and hull resistance (in relation to the sea trial conditions), without the need for added software or equipment.
To gain acceptance for this, evidence will need to be presented to the flag state and the class society, so the reports from this trial should enable APL to gather real time evidence of the effects of longer drydock intervals.
On the APL Agate the system will be used to evaluate a new hull coating system.
The coating manufacturer states that peaks and troughs on the paint surface result in reduced frictional resistance between the hull and the seawater, and by monitoring changes in hull resistance APL will be able to confirm, or otherwise, the hull coating manufacturer's statement.

Research team to investigate wingsail propulsion

(May 16 2008) British company Shadotec is working with Wilhelmsen Marine Consultants (WMC) and Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) on a joint research project investigating the potential of utilising wingsail propulsion for commercial ships, using the energy of the ocean winds.
The consortium, backed by substantial funding from the Norwegian National Research Council, has commissioned CFD Norway to estimate the potential savings in fuel consumption (and pollution from exhaust gas emissions) achievable by employing Shadotec wingsail thrust units to assist in the propulsion of ocean going vessels.
The Norwegian Marine Technology Research (Marintek), based in Trondheim, Norway, will also contribute, to evaluate manoeuvrability and seakeeping.
The initial project aim has been to investigate the feasibility and potential of fitting two fully automatic computer controlled Shadotec wingsail thrust units on a Ramform seismic exploration vessel owned by PGS, 102 metres long, fitted with a 30,000 bhp engine.
The first initial investigation by CFD Norway has now been completed, and CFD Norway's analysis estimates that a PGS vessel fitted with two Shadotec wingsails, towing a typical array of hydrophonic cable assemblies at its standard speed of 5 knots, in a typical North sea wind, could save more than 5 per cent of its fuel consumption, while reducing pollution emissions by the same amount.
The companies say that these savings could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars per ship over the course of a year.
When the cables are wound in and the ship relocates to its next field of exploration CFD Norway has confirmed that the fuel and pollution savings might be up to double the savings projected when towing at 5 knots.

IMO progress on LRIT plans

(May 30, 2008) IMO has moved forward with plans for the implementation of long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) systems, following the latest meeting of its Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in London for its 84th session.
The MSC made a number of decisions to ensure the timely implementation of the LRIT system, with the LRIT system intended to be operational with respect to the transmission of LRIT information by ships from 30 December 2008.
A resolution on the Establishment of the International LRIT Data Exchange on an interim basis was adopted, confirming that the International LRIT Data Exchange will be provided temporarily by the United States at their own expense, and that a permanent solution should be found "as soon as possible".
The MSC also endorsed a financial model based on the 'user pays' principle, agreeing that charges for the provision of LRIT information for the search and rescue of persons in distress at sea should, in all cases, be free of charge to the search and rescue service of the Contracting Government requesting such information.
The International Maritime Satellite Organisation (IMSO), acting as LRIT Co-ordinator, will authorise the integration, on an interim basis, of the Data Centres that have undergone and satisfactorily completed developmental testing, into the production LRIT system.
The ad hoc LRIT Group was authorised to consider and adopt amendments to technical specifications for the LRIT system on behalf of the Committee, during the period between MSC 84 and MSC 85 (meeting November-December 2008), and to develop, agree and adopt, the documentation for the testing and integration of the LRIT system.

Rutter completes oil spill radar detection trials

Rutter Technologies reports that an independent trial to test the viability of its Sigma S6 Radar processing system for oil slick detection has been successful, showing that the system could detect oil on the sea surface from a moving vessel using conventional marine X-band and S-band radars.
The trial was carried out with the permission of the Norwegian government under the supervision of the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (NOFO) and the Norwegian Coastal Administration, and was hosted by the Norwegian Coastguard. Planning and reporting was conducted by Norconsult.
Three individual tests were conducted in an area north of Andoya Island, Norway, with initial winds of ENE 7-9m/s and sea state 4. Later in the trial (into the second test) the wind calmed to 4-5m/s and the sea state fell to 2-3.
The first test involved a 1,200 litre oil-in-water emulsion spill, where the Sigma S6 was able to detect the slick on short pulse with a conventional X band radar at a distance of 1 nautical mile. The second spill of 2,400 litre oil-in-water emulsion was detected at 1 nautical mile using both the X and S-band radars.
The third test involved a 600 litre oil-in-water emulsion spill with the slick being detected using the X-band radar. All spills were detected while the ship was moving.

IMO welcomes Security Council moves on Somali piracy

IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos has welcomed the adoption yesterday (2 June 2008) by the United Nations Security Council of a resolution authorizing a series of decisive measures to combat acts of piracy and armed robbery against vessels off the coast of Somalia.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Improving Energy Efficiency in Maritime Transport

In an industry characterized by increasingly keen competition, the key issues are designing, building and operating ships efficiently. An efficient ship is profitable and environmentally compatible. The 6th Scandinavian Committee Meeting of Germanischer Lloyd in Copenhagen focused on how to improve ship efficiency.

GL has launched a prototype CO2-index for shipping, based on MEPC/Circ.471. The innovative index is available for all GL classed ships. Each ship owner and management company can check the complete survey status of their GL classed fleet. The CO2 emission will be measured on the basis of installed power, consumed fuel and transported cargo. Computed index values can be compared to other ships’ indices and eventually be used to minimize emissions from transport.

Source: Marine Technology News dated May 26, 2008

Russia's AS 34 simulates rescue of submarine crew
Source: Jane's Defence Weekly

Source Date: 4th Jun, 2008
Source Pages: p.32
A Russian Federation Navy submarine rescue vehicle has achieved a world first by completing a simulated rescue of submariners from a NATO submarine.
Scotland forges ahead with new shipbuild qualification
Source: Lloyd's List

Source Date: 3rd Jun, 2008
Source Pages: p.7.
The United Kingdom is to get its first formal shipbuilding training programme in 30 years, as it prepares for the surge in activity in building the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers. The format and content of the higher national diploma are being finalised and will be ready in September. It is likely to be a four-year vocational course for about 500 apprentices a year being brought in to work at one of the three facilities remaining in Scotland.
Yards urged to play more active role in going green
Source: Lloyd's List

Source Date: 3rd Jun, 2008
Source Pages: p.7.
The president and chief executive of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, Arild Iversen, has suggested that shipowners and operators ordering new tonnage are looking to yards to help them design vessels that meet environmental targets. He singled out yards with a reputation of accepting orders for standard easy-to-build series as those that should be playing a more active role in meeting environmental objectives.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


MANILA, June 5 – The Philippines lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, stretching more than 1,840 kilometers and composed of 7,107 islands.

It’s only now that the Philippines experienced that four of its natural attractions has been chosen as the Seven Wonders of the World.
The voting last June 3, 2008, have placed the Philippines in the 10 category – Tubbataha Reef, third place; Chocolate Hills, fourth; Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, seventh; and Mayon Volcano, tenth.

The Chocolate Hills are probably Bohol’s most famous attractions. They look like giant mole hills, or some say, women’s breasts. They are scattered throughout the towns of Carmen, Batuan and Baclayon. The unique landform was formed two million years ago by the uplift of coral deposits and the action of rainwater and erosion. Two of the 1,268 mounds have been developed into a resort.
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) is located about 50 km. north of Puerto Princesa and was inscribed to the World Heritage List. It features an 8.2 km. navigable underground river.

Beautifully symmetrical Mayon Volcano, which rises to 2,462 meters above the Albay Gulf, is the Philippines’ most active volcano. The structurally simple volcano has steep upper slopes averaging 35-40 degrees that are capped by a small summit crater. It is classified by volcanologists as a stratovolcano (composite volcano) Its symmetric cone was formed through alternate pyroclastic and lava forms Since 1616, Mayon has erupted 47 times


PANAMA CITY, May 28 - In the first two months of execution, the second dry excavation contract for the Pacific Access Channel (PAC 2) removed 263,246 cubic meters of material. The Mexican-Panamanian consortium Cilsa Panama-Minera Maria started the excavation work March 21 and by April 30, registered 3.2 percent progress. About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). The ACP is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the ACP is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors


"Digital skin" to cover Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the most monitored reef in the world with the application of a “digital skin” of sensors that will make possible the finest resolution picture ever of the region’s dynamic systems.The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, announced on May 9, 2008 the Great Barrier Reef Ocean Observing System (GBROOS), a regional ocean observation network covering the eastern Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef and incorporating the world’s first large scale reef-based Internet Protocol (IP) network.
In this project, AIMS is harnessing its leading capabilities in data management, as well as its extensive national and international collaborations, to move Australian reef science to a new level. GBROOS is a multidisciplinary infrastructure project costing about $16 million.


IMO Maritime Safety Committee adopts mandatory casualty investigation code

In the 84th session (7-16 May 2008) of Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), IMO adopted a mandatory casualty investigation code and moved forward with the implementation of long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) of ships.

The MSC adopted a new Code of International Standards and Recommended Practices for a Safety Investigation into a Marine Casualty or Marine Incident (Casualty Investigation Code). Relevant amendments to SOLAS Chapter XI 1 were also adopted, to make parts I and II of the Code mandatory. Part III of the Code contains related guidance and explanatory material. The Code will require a marine safety investigation to be conducted into every "very serious marine casualty", defined as a marine casualty involving the total loss of the ship or a death or severe damage to the environment.The Code will also recommend an investigation into other marine casualties and incidents, by the flag State of a ship involved, if it is considered likely that it would provide information that could be used to prevent future accidents.The new regulations expand on SOLAS Regulation I/21, which requires Administrations to undertake to conduct an investigation of any casualty occurring to any of its ships.


MariNOx(R) - Engine Emissions Monitoring

For interested shipping companies re MARPOL Annex VI

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Environmental Best Practice:
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