The Maritime Advocate–Issue 777

Posted:

1. Keeping pilots safe
2. Mayday off the Wild Coast
3. Salvage Arbitration Branch
4. Seafarers’ happiness
5. Abandonment
6. Ammonia prepared
7. Autonomous agenda
8. Vaccinations
9. Sing for seafarers
10. Collecting freight
11. Get your oars in the water
12. LMAA changes
13. Emergency relief fund
14. Due diligence

Notices & Miscellany

Readers’ responses to our articles are very welcome and, where suitable, will be reproduced:
Write to: contactus@themaritimeadvocate.com


1. Keeping pilots safe

By Michael Grey

There were some astonishing pictures in the press last week of a Royal Marine employing a jetpack to launch himself from a RIB to land on the deck of a ship with extraordinary precision. You cannot imagine that it would be a feasible proposition to equip pilots with such a device, but it did cross my mind after reading a horrible catalogue of disgraceful seamanship and poor design exhibited in what ought to be the simple matter of keeping pilots safe as they board and leave ships.

These awful examples formed a sizeable section in the Annual Digest of the Confidential Human factors Incident Reporting Programme – CHIRP Maritime – which is well worth closer examination. If you are even slightly concerned with maritime safety, and the interface between people and ships, then this publication (www.chirpmaritime.org) ought to be compulsory reading.

It ought not to be rocket science (sorry, that jetpack intruded again) to be able to provide safe access to and from ships at sea, but sadly a combination of idiotic short cuts, sloppy seamanship and people designing ships without the foggiest notion of the need for safe pilot access, has combined to make this a problem which just will not go away. Pilots are being killed and injured and frightened half to death on their way to and from work, which is pretty disgraceful when you think about it.

There is no shortage of regulations governing the use of pilot ladders, but the CHIRP articles provide terrible examples of either ignorance of them, or their wilful neglect. There are instances of ladders being damaged, affixed to the ship in all sorts of daft and dangerous ways and allowed to deteriorate to such a stage that they will simply give way. Perhaps worse still, there are examples of obviously illegal and non-compliant arrangements that have not been put in place by stupid crew, but designed into a ship from new in such a fashion. There are, for instance, “impossible” arrangements on ships where there are bulges or belting, which, as well as making boarding jolly dangerous to the pilot, could damage a pilot boat if the ship rolls when the boat is alongside.

Curiously, some of the worst cases seem to involve big, high-sided vessels where a combination of pilot ladder and accommodation ladder must be used, and the pilot must safely switch from one to the other on the ascent or descent. CHIRP reports on some notably cack-handed arrangements involving trapdoors in the gangway platform, such as pilot ladders being suspended from the bottom of the accommodation ladder rather than the ship itself. Several seem to assume that the pilot will have the characteristics of an Olympic gymnast as he swarms up the side.

The pity is that for some years now, there has been a concerted campaign to inform owners and managers, ship operators and seafarers about the “rights and wrongs” of pilot boarding arrangements, with information, posters and advice. Pilots themselves have been encouraged to make it clear that they will not take ships that have unsafe arrangements and good employers are backing them all the way. So there are serious cost implications for the non-compliant if the pilot declines to take the ship.

One of the real problems is that the pilot meeting a ship at sea has to actually get on the ladder before it is realised that the arrangements are fundamentally unsafe. On one “near miss” reported, he had managed three steps only, before the rotten ropes gave way. One of the more gratuitous examples of poor seamanship illustrated by CHIRP was when the pilot reached the top of the ladder, to find it had been “secured” by two very heavy sailors standing on the side ropes. The master of the ship was outraged, but sadly, not at his dim sailors, but at the pilot, for complaining.

You might argue that those ports where there are helicopters employed to ship and land the pilots value their safety rather more, although there is no reason why properly secured and  compliant traditional arrangements are not adequate. If you are looking for a rather special system you might consider what they do in the Gulf of Bothnia during winter, where the icebreakers, employed as rather posh pilot boats, use a “cherry picker” mounted on the bow to safely transport the pilot between ships. Jet packs are for the future.

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.
 


2. Mayday off the Wild Coast

The Oceanos casualty will ring bells with many readers and Mayday off the Wild Coast – The Epic Story of the Oceanos Rescue has been written by Andrew Pike of law firm Bowman Gilfillan. The following review is by Captain David (Duke) Snider, FNI, past president of The Nautical Institute.
Andy Pike has deftly laid out some of the terror, the bravery, the cowardice and the reality of one of the worst maritime disasters off South Africa. That the sinking of the repurposed passenger vessel MV Oceanos occurred without the loss of a single life among the more than 600 persons on board in horrific weather in 1991 is a testament to the dogged efforts of many who otherwise had no connection to this ship until that storm-tossed night.

With a lawyer’s thorough methodology, Pike lays out what is known about the sinking of the Oceanos in the short voyage from East London to Durban. Using multitudes of sources, including his own notes as part of the legal team that sorted out claims after the loss, interviews from survivors and open-source reports and information, he builds a compelling read.  He sorts through some of the conflicting versions of events to present the most likely account. The reader soon becomes totally immersed in the events onboard and from ashore, in the air and on the water. 

First-hand accounts from survivors rate highly in bringing the story to life.  Sadly, what is missing is input from the ship’s crew, other than as related by others.  That might not be unexpected, given the descriptions provided from others as to the general abandonment of responsibility by most of the crew, even though a few odd crewmembers stood out as trying to do their part.  What struck this reader was the courage and actions of the tour company and entertainment company personnel that soon stepped in to take the place of leadership that was so sadly abrogated by the ship’s officers.

What I found as most refreshing was that Pike made certain to provide detailed but understandable explanation of technical matters so that the non-mariner could fully understand the important contributing elements or why certain things were important.  He explains basic stability and design factors that were important to understanding how the situation developed and why the ship eventually foundered. There is clear explanation of the responsibilities and overlaps (or gaps) between the many rescue related resources, along with the careful diplomacy that was quickly handled between otherwise somewhat belligerent neighbours. Both an experienced mariner and a less experienced reader will feel well served.

That the ship foundered in one of the most remote coastlines of South Africa with no loss of life is amazing.  The stories of heroism, often passed off as “just doing my job” by the rescuers are testament to what is great in the human spirit.  Whether in the air or on the water, rescuers pushed the limits of themselves and their equipment, often going beyond their training to complete a rescue with no loss of life. Vessels of opportunity instantly responded and did their best to recover survivors from lifeboats or transferred from rescue service inflatables that had recovered many that leapt or fell into the water.  Mariners pulled together regardless of their own safety.

This story reminded me clearly of the best that we can be, alongside the worst. Although a frightening abandonment of personal responsibility was shown by many of the crew of the Oceanos, that responsibility was taken up quickly and bravely by others. Officers and crews of other ships that instantly responded to the Mayday call showed the best of what mariners are, risking themselves to save others in peril.

Those interested in purchasing a copy of the book can find details on https://www.amazon.com/Mayday-Off-Wild-Coast-Oceanos-ebook/dp/B08XWTCDGP. The book is published by Sheridan House, an imprint of the Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group.


3. Salvage Arbitration Branch

Many industry bodies have reacted with concern over a Lloyd’s review of the Salvage Arbitration Branch and whether the body should continue into the future. Of particular concern has been the future of Lloyd’s Open Form.  In a response to Lloyd’s, the International Salvage Union has given its views on the potential move. To see the full statement go to: https://www.marine-salvage.com/isu-responds-to-potential-closure-of-lloyds-salvage-arbitration-branch/
 


4. Seafarers’ happiness

The Mission to Seafarers has published its latest Seafarers Happiness Index report for the first quarter of 2021, revealing a mixed picture in terms of welfare standards and conditions for seafarers.

The report shows big discrepancies in seafarer welfare, with happiness levels fluctuating significantly. The report also reveals the positive impact of improved connectivity and port welfare services, but also shows growing concern over crew changes, access to Covid vaccines and onboard working conditions.
This first report of 2021 is focused on the impact of Covid-19 and how the pandemic continues to severely affect the lives of seafarers. It highlights the extreme differences from those reporting the highest levels of satisfaction to those at the opposite end of the spectrum, who report extremely worrying circumstances.

The report points to three main themes: the consequences of a lack of recognition for seafarers as key workers, the onboard challenges of working hours and crew tension, and the benefits of onboard connectivity and port welfare services.

The first quarter’s responses revealed lingering worries about the ongoing crew change situation. Forced to serve beyond formal contracts, crews have been stuck on board for extended periods. Just as one nation opens, it seems that there are spikes in infections, or new variants, and the route home is denied.
Additionally, the issue of when and how seafarers will be vaccinated also came to the fore. This is likely to be a long-running concern until plans are made clear. As more of the global population receive vaccination, with shore-based key workers prioritised in many countries, there is significant concern about the lack of progress with plans to vaccinate seafarers. Uncertainty and frustration continue to grow.

Seafarers consistently spoke of the pressures to work excessive hours. Furthermore, respondents raised issues of fraudulent record keeping, seeing seafarers working 14 to 15 hours every day but being forced to sign a monthly working slip which complies with working hours. In addition, the workload and the tasks being asked of crew also take a heavy toll, particularly in relation to pressures to reduce manning and rest periods not taken.

Tensions between mixed nationality crews further highlighted criticisms of manning models, particularly with regards to the impact of Covid-19. It was reported that some nationalities are not allowed ashore or allowed crew changes, while others are, which further impacts crew wellbeing.

Encouragingly, progress is being made with more seafarers able to get online and connect with loved ones back home. More shipping companies are working to provide crews with access to Wi-Fi. It seems clear that this investment in connectivity makes a big difference in alleviating the hardships being faced by seafarers and improving morale onboard.

To read the latest Seafarers Happiness Index report, click here.

 


5. Abandonment

Charity Human Rights at Sea has partnered with global law firm Reed Smith to help tackle the growing problem known as seafarer abandonment; an issue that has seen cases rise dramatically over the last 12 months.

Seafarer abandonment happens when a shipowner abandons a ship and its crew, failing to cover the cost of repatriation or payment of wages. This often results in the crew being left to live on board the vessel in inhumane conditions, with no food, clean water, medical help or financial support – sometimes for years.

Human Rights at Sea and Reed Smith have published ‘Abandonment of Seafarers: Background, Legal Status, Remedies & Practical Advice’, a new and independent publication that comprehensively covers the pernicious issue of seafarer abandonment, of which according to the International Labour Organization, there are more than 250 active cases around the world.

The publication takes a holistic view of the issue with its context, background, the legal position, present examples, and it also provides key advice for seafarers.

To assist seafarers who may find themselves in difficulty, the drafting team have produced a draft alert letter to send to owners, operators, managers, flag state and Port State Control. Further, the publication includes a comprehensive list of support organisations with current contact details.

Legally reviewed by a pro-bono team of Reed Smith lawyers who volunteered a total of 272 hours, the information contained can be relied upon to be current and correct, with the aim for it to be widely and internationally disseminated for use across the maritime industry stakeholder groups.

The publication may be downloaded free from the Human Rights at Sea website at: https://www.humanrightsatsea.org/publications/
 


6. Ammonia prepared

Bureau Veritas has released an Ammonia-Prepared notation and has developed a Rule Note for ammonia as a marine fuel to support ship owners, designers, shipyards, and charterers in advancing their journeys toward using ammonia and a zero carbon future.

Ammonia-Prepared is applicable to newbuilds and certifies that a ship has been designed and constructed to be converted to use ammonia as fuel at a later date. The notation targets the spaces and structural components that will accommodate future ammonia fuel tanks, fuel handling equipment and ammonia vapour treatment installations. Ammonia-Prepared also covers specific requirements for the conversion of engines and boilers from using fuel oil, LNG or multiple fuels to ammonia. The notation was developed in collaboration with different stakeholders including ship owners, equipment makers, designers and shipyards building on BV’s expertise across the value chain.

Ammonia-Prepared is a prelude to a full Rule Note on ammonia as fuel: NR 671. It will primarily concern the safety aspects of managing ammonia in storage tanks, fuel-piping systems, and during bunkering.

Through these breakthrough notation and guidelines, Bureau Veritas helps to address the challenges of using ammonia in the shipping industry:

  • Its lower energy density compared to other fuels – about half that of LNG and about a third of fuel oil
  • Its comparatively poor combustibility properties
  • Its toxicity, requiring stringent measures to protect crew and/or passengers from exposure

Bureau Veritas recently issued an Ammonia-Prepared approval in principle to GTT related to containment of ammonia in membrane MARK III tanks.
 


7. Autonomous agenda

The foundations for the future development of a regulatory framework for Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships is under discussion at the 103rd session of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), being held in remote session from 5th to the 14th May.  The Committee is considering the outcome of a regulatory scoping exercise on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships carried out over the last couple of years and identifying priorities for further work. In addition to discussing the most appropriate ways of addressing ship operations from the regulatory perspective, meeting attendees will also consider submissions relating to trials.

MSC 103 is also exploring the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on shipping and seafarers. The committee is expected to discuss a number of submissions, including a proposal for adoption of a resolution on prioritising seafarers for vaccination.

Another important item on the agenda includes maritime security, incorporating cyber security, piracy and armed robbery. The committee is expected to discuss in particular the ongoing piracy problems in the Gulf of Guinea.

Fuel safety is also high on the agenda, with plans for the establishment of a working group to examine issues including fuel flashpoint, blended fuels and fuel sampling and testing.
In response to the growing need for safer operation of domestic ferries, the Committee will be considering a set of draft model regulations on domestic ferry safety that can be incorporated into national law.

The MSC will also consider a number of proposals for future work, including how to address the problem of containers lost at sea. The Committee will adopt a number of amendments to SOLAS and other instruments. The session will also approve various sets of guidance and guidelines developed by the sub-committees.
 


8. Seafarers’ vaccinations

A resolution for a global seafarers’ vaccination programme proposed by the Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry has been officially adopted by the International Labour Organization. The resolution was agreed at the Fourth Meeting of the Special Tripartite Committee of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 – Part I and calls for a mapping exercise to identify the number of vaccines required for seafarers ashore at seafarer supplying countries.

The resolution builds upon the proposal for a global seafarers’ vaccination programme presented by Cyprus earlier this year to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Secretary-General, the International Chamber of Shipping, and the European Union. It is a concrete step in identifying the magnitude of the vaccination challenge and then proceeding collectively with more decisive action, working with the World Health Organisation  and pharmaceutical companies to secure sufficient vaccines for seafarers.

In addition, governments and shipowners’ and seafarers’ organisations are invited to formulate a resolution, communicating to all relevant UN bodies the need for a collective approach to secure the number of vaccines identified.

For more information on this resolution, please visit the ILO website here.
 


9. Sing for seafarers

International legal and professional services firm, Ince, is forming a global virtual choir from companies and organisations from across the industry to record Sailing – the song made iconic by Rod Steward – in partnership with Royal Museums Greenwich and supported by four of the world’s leading maritime charities: Mission to Seafarers, Sailors’ Society, Stella Maris and Seafarers’ Charity.

With the support of multi-platinum record producer George Shilling, and award-winning film director Athena Xenidu, the choir is recording a single to be released on 25 June 2021, the International Maritime Organization’s Day of the Seafarer. All net proceeds raised from the sale of the single – which will be available to buy through the major audio platforms -as well as donations to the project’s Just Giving page – will be donated and split equally amongst the four charities involved in the project.

The initiative aims to ignite important discussions – both within the global maritime community and beyond – on the critical contribution that seafarers make to the global economy and our everyday life, and the exceptional and unprecedented challenges that they have faced, and continue to face, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The project also aims to gain more support for the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change of which Ince is a signatory, and which calls on government bodies to take urgent action to recognise seafarers as key workers and give them priority access to Covid-19 vaccines.

Seafarers are the heartbeat of the maritime industry and key workers who operate on the frontline for delivering 90% of global trade, including the critical medical supplies and equipment on which the international community currently relies so heavily. It is the dedication of seafarers who operate fleets 365 days a year ensuring the safety and efficiency of voyages, moving goods to where they need to be.

Commenting on the announcement, Julian Clark, global senior partner at Ince, said: “While crew welfare is a priority for many ship owners and operators, the coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented operational challenges at sea. This has resulted in hundreds of thousands of seafarers worldwide working aboard ships beyond the expiry date of their initial contracts, going many months and in some cases over a year without seeing their families, which has had significant consequences on their physical and mental wellbeing.

“Through ‘Sing for Seafarers’, we want to make the voices of the seafarers heard and show our support and admiration for the unsung heroes of the pandemic. We believe that building awareness of the role of seafarers, and the unprecedented hardships they have suffered as a result of the pandemic, is our obligation as an active and committed member of the maritime community.

“Our hope is that all those operating in the maritime sector, governments and the general public develop empathy and take action for our key workers of the sea.  This action must reflect the core elements of the Neptune Declaration; the recognition of seafarers as key workers and the provision of priority access to Covid-19 vaccines, as well as the establishment and implementation of standard health protocols that can be universally adopted to ensure safe crew changes. And in addition, we must also contemplate increased collaboration between ship operators and charterers for shared responsibility and transparency regarding crew changes as instrumental in solving this crisis, as well as guaranteed air connectivity between key crew changing hubs and major seafaring nations through close collaboration with our aviation industry colleagues and partners”.

The initiative is quickly gaining support from across the maritime industry, including maritime companies, crews and the UK and International Chambers of Shipping. Previews of the single will be available in June, and in the meantime, further information about the campaign and ways to get involved can be found on the dedicated website: https://www.incegd.com/en/singforseafarers
 


10. Collecting freight judgment
 

Judgment has been handed down in favour of the appellants, Alpha Marine Corp, in Alpha Marine Corp v Minmetals Logistics Zhejiang Co Ltd. The appellants were represented by Charles Kimmins QC (Twenty Essex), Paul Toms (Quadrant), instructed by Guy Mills and Jonathan Cooke at Mills & Co. Jonathan Cooke, commented: “This judgment answers the question asked by Tomlinson LJ in The Bulk Chile regarding the scope of an owner’s right to revoke a charterer’s authority to collect freight.” Mr Justice Butcher held that, in the absence of an express term to the contrary in the charterparty/bill of lading, an owner is free to direct that freight payable under an owner’s bill of lading should be paid directly to the owner, subject to an obligation to account for any surplus.

Further details can be found in the following article prepared by Mills & Co’s Jonathan Cooke and Michael Rundle: https://www.mills-co.com/news-and-insights/owners-unfettered-right-collect-freight-mills-co-successful-high-court-arbitration-appeal.
 


11. Get your oars in the water

Based on the River Thames at Deptford, the AHOY Centre provides opportunities for disadvantaged and at-risk young people and enables disabled people to engage in activities and courses in rowing, sailing and other activities on an equal footing.

Like other group activities, the centre has had to adapt over the past year, organising individual challenges with regular supporters. Now, with restrictions slowly lifting, it is looking for teams from London’s diverse maritime community to come together and help it raise the money needed to continue and further develop its work.

The charity runs a series of rowing challenges on the Thames and in the English Channel, welcoming people from all walks of life who want to learn or re-start their rowing while pulling together to support AHOY’s charitable activities, as Senior Fundraiser Jonny Grady explains.
“Before the lockdown hit we had teams from London’s insurance, shipping, law and finance communities signed up to take on our rowing challenges, plans that we had to shelve. We have continued to receive amazing individual support but with people creeping back to the office, we hope that these teams will feel the time is right to sign up for events later this year.”

All events are subject to continuing lifting of Coronavirus restrictions and AHOY is focussed on making sure its facilities are safe for teams to use with limited contact and controlled numbers. Events for 2021 are scheduled well in advance because the charity must co-ordinate not just with local authorities but the Port of London Authority too.

“The events take huge amounts of planning and preparation because we want them to be truly memorable for the participants as well as making a major contribution to our work,” says Grady. “The Port of London Authority is very supportive of what we do and now we are looking forward to getting teams back on the water.”

All AHOY’s activities and programmes are focused on bringing together people from many walks of life, working as a community to help others, build life skills, self-confidence and team building. Upcoming on-water challenges include:

Tuesday 29th June – Meridian Pull event, 8.5 miles from Chelsea to Greenwich, for teams of six, with all training and a coxswain provided.

Sunday 18th July – Barrier Challenge, Woolwich back to AHOY and through the Thames Barrier for teams of six, giving a unique view of London’s industrial past and future.
 
Two dates a month are available for a Kayak adventure on the Thames. This is a 3.5 hour guided tour for a two-person boat, with the London Kayak Company from the AHOY marina to Westminster and back. Evening dates also available.

Teams can find more information and sign up here. Companies that want to become partners with the AHOY Centre or make regular donations should contact Jonny Grady at jonny@ahoy.org.uk. Information on the events can also be found at https://ahoy.org.uk/rowing-challenges/

 


12. LMAA changes

The London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA) has been revising its terms and procedures, with changes that came into effect on 1st  May 2021, and which will apply to arbitrations started after that date. President of the LMAA, Bruce Harris, says: “Whilst many of the alterations are matters of ‘fine tuning’, there are a number which are of considerable importance and are needed because of recent developments. One is the recognition, as a result of the pandemic, of virtual and semi-virtual hearings. Not only are these provided for, but a detailed protocol for their conduct is set out in a Schedule to the new terms.

“Another concerns witness statements, which for some years have become vehicles for, in effect, arguing cases rather than fulfilling their real purpose of containing actual evidence. So, in line with requirements now being imposed by the courts, the new terms say that witness statements should, so far as possible, be in a witness’s own words, should be confined to the evidence that the witness can give and should not seek to argue a case.

“Arbitrators will be able to impose costs sanctions if these requirements are ignored. When they are observed statements should become much shorter than they have been, and far more relevant and useful. Other changes which reflect the needs of the times include a procedure for the appointment of arbitrators more rapidly than provided for in the Arbitration Act; a provision allowing the LMAA President to appoint a replacement arbitrator where the original arbitrator is unable to act but is not replaced by the appointer (thus saving the time and cost of asking the court to make an appointment), and confirmation that awards may be signed electronically. The latest revisions bring our terms and procedures bang up to date and will serve London maritime arbitration well for the next few years.”
 


13. Emergency relief fund

Leading seafarer welfare charities and shipping industry players have launched an emergency relief fund in order to support seafarers and their families devastated by the rampant Covid-19 pandemic in India and other countries.

Seafarers have been the invisible victims of Covid-19, with hundreds of thousands marooned on vessels for months beyond agreed contracts, in some cases. Despite suggestions that the crew change crisis was near its end, the escalation of Covid-19 cases in India to more than 400,000 per day has prompted some major ports to prohibit ship crew changes for seafarers with a recent travel history to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

In response, the Seafarers International Relief Fund has set a target of US $1 million. It has been established by bringing together leading international seafarer welfare organisations, The Seafarers’ Charity (formerly Seafarers UK) supported by The Mission to Seafarers, ISWAN, Sailors’ Society and other charities – in a united appeal to the shipping industry – to deliver urgent support to seafarers and their families in India.

To donate to the Seafarers International Relief Fund, please visit https://donate.theseafarerscharity.org/sirf

Alternatively, email keziah.cunningham@theseafarerscharity.org or call +44 (0) 20 7932 0000.
 


14. Due diligence

A wide-ranging set of guidance has been issued to help enterprises using shipping services to protect the human rights of seafarers, as hundreds of thousands are still stranded on ships due to Covid-19 imposed travel restrictions.

The Human Rights Due Diligence Tool is a joint initiative of the UN Global Compact, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Labour Organization and the International Maritime Organization.

The Due Diligence Tool for cargo owners and charterers has been issued amid concerns that the number of crew stranded at sea by Covid-19 restrictions could surge from the current level of 200,000, potentially returning to the peak of 400,000 seafarers at the height of the crew change crisis in September 2020. UN agencies hope the new guidance will help ensure that the working conditions and human rights of seafarers are respected and comply with international standards.

The new guidance aims to ensure that seafarers have their rights safeguarded in areas such as physical and mental health, access to family life and freedom of movement. Whilst recognising the importance of the maritime industry in transporting more than 80% of global trade goods, UN agencies have expressed concern at reports of seafarers working beyond the 11-month maximum period of service on board set out by the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).

The UN agencies have also expressed strong concern at reports that companies engaged in international trade are avoiding chartering vessels where a crew change is due, with some demanding “no crew change” clauses in charterparty agreements, preventing needed crew changeovers and adding further pressure on the maritime industry. Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), companies engaged with the maritime industry have a distinct responsibility to respect the human rights of seafarers as workers along their value chain.

Download MARITIME HUMAN RIGHTS RISKS AND THE COVID-19 CREW CHANGE CRISIS – A TOOL TO SUPPORT HUMAN RIGHTS DUE DILIGENCE
 


Notices & Miscellany

BIMCO webinars
In response to the numerous challenges arising in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, BIMCO launched a webinar series in the autumn of 2020. The series offer insight from industry experts who join the webinars to share their knowledge and debate what lies ahead for  commercial shipping markets.

The second season of the series – “The Shipping Markets Checkpoint: Thinking out loud on what’s next for shipping” – is now underway. Throughout  season two, guest speakers who are experts in their fields will join Peter Sand, BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst.

The webinars are moderated by Rasmus Jørgensen, BIMCO’s Head of External Communication, and all seasons will discuss the present and the future for the three main commercial shipping markets; container, dry bulk and tanker.

Find out more about the upcoming episodes and many more chances to catch BIMCO insights at the events page.

UKHO appointment
The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Rear Admiral Peter Sparkes as its new Chief Executive and Accounting Officer. Peter will be leaving the Royal Navy to take up the role.

As Chief Executive, Peter will continue to lead the organisation’s important work in supporting safe, secure and thriving oceans. This includes UKHO’s vital work in support of Defence and merchant shipping. Working in close collaboration with national and international partners, the organisation will also continue to develop ADMIRALTY Maritime Data Solutions to support the responsible and sustainable use of the marine environment.

Wikborg Rein appointment
Wikborg Rein, an international law firm headquartered in Oslo, has appointed Eleanor Midwinter as a partner in the London office. Since joining the firm in February 2017, Eleanor has played a key role in consolidating the firm’s offering within international trade, energy and shipbuilding. She is also part of the firm’s “Green Team” – an internal initiative to proactively advise and act on relevant industry developments, including decarbonisation.

Roose + Partners launch in Liverpool
It was a dark day for the marine insurance sector in Liverpool when Liverpool and London P&I Club closed its doors to new business in 2000, ending the city’s once proud connections with the insurer of amongst others, White Star Line, the owners of Titanic; however, in the latest move which signifies a further resurgence in the marine market in Liverpool, London Marine Law Firm Roose+Partners have recruited two local experts, partner Phil James and assistant Leanne Maxwell, to launch their new office in Liverpool.

GHG study
The Fourth IMO GHG Study  has been published in full. This study is the first iteration since the adoption of the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Ships in 2018.
Download in full: https://wwwcdn.imo.org/localresources/en/OurWork/Environment/Documents/Fourth%20IMO%20GHG%20Study%202020%20-%20Full%20report%20and%20annexes.pdf

Training for cooks
International Chamber of Shipping has launched the Training Record Book for Ships’ Cooks – the first global resource designed to help ships’ cooks demonstrate competency and record their training and experience as they develop their careers at sea.

The new record book has been written based on the competency requirements of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Guidelines on the training of ships’ cooks, enabling evidence of competency to be recorded in all key areas identified by the ILO. It covers both practical and safety skills, including cooking techniques and dealing with food allergies, and can be used at any level and in any country, both onboard and onshore during training.

The Training Record Book for Ships’ Cooks is an essential companion to the formal training undertaken by ships’ cooks and will be published w/c 24 May at an RRP of £30 – order your copy now.
 

Please notify the Editor of your appointments, promotions, new office openings and other important happenings: contactus@themaritimeadvocate.com


And finally,

One night while I was cat-sitting my daughter’s indoor feline, it escaped outside.

When it failed to return the following morning, I found the beast clinging to a branch about 30 feet up in a spindly tree.

Unable to lure it down, I called the fire department.

“We don’t do that anymore,” the woman dispatcher said. When I persisted, she was polite but firm.  “The cat will come down when it gets hungry enough.”

How do you know that?” I asked.

“Have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?” she said.

Two hours later the cat was back, looking for breakfast
 


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