The Maritime Advocate-*Correct*-Issue 825


1.  Contingency afloat
2. TT Club award
3. Enclosed lifeboats
4. Insurance case
5. Virtual marathon
6.  Ocean agreement
7.  Safety awards digest
8.  Wellness at sea
9.  Container losses
10. Enclosed space entry
11. Cargo initiative

Notices & Miscellany

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

1. Contingency afloat

By Michael Grey

There has been very little to cheer the spirit in recent weeks with so much death and destruction radiating from the Turkish earthquake and its aftermath. The images from southern Turkey and war-torn Syria have been heart breaking, with the displacement of so many survivors from the catastrophe, and the widespread ruination. Just how to react constructively to such tragedy defies human ingenuity.

But it was heartening to see that the giant shipping company MSC was rising to the challenge by sending the big ferry Aurelia from Naples to the shattered port of Iskerdun, laden with medical supplies, foodstuffs and the availability of 1000 beds aboard, along with her catering facilities and on-board help for children. Once again, it underlines the ability of ships to make a really practical and substantial difference, when all appears to be lost.

When you come to think of it, a ship configured as a ro-pax ferry is the perfect candidate for emergency response, assuming the need for it is within reasonable distance of the coast. Such a ship, with a stern access and ramp can be tied up with a Mediterranean moor; anchors deployed and stern to the quay, requiring very little in the way of quay length, to operate effectively.

Once discharged, the cavernous vehicle space can be a safe space for medical facilities or anything else that is needed, while the self-sufficiency of the ship in terms of power supply and provision of food, heat and light will surely be welcome. And on an overnight boat, the provision of up to 1000 beds is not to be sneezed at when so many people are existing precariously in tents ashore. It is also notable that the Turkish government has moved a number of domestic ferries to the affected areas, although smaller ships will be limited in the scope of relief they can provide.

Ships can make a real difference, and in the short term, as has been proved in past emergencies, which come around rather more often that we might think. Look back to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the devastation in Haiti and the regular catastrophes in the Asian “earthquake zone” if you are looking for examples. Big overnight ferries have been highly effective at housing Ukrainian refugees, in a number of European ports. And while it is truly excellent that there might be such practical examples of corporate charitable giving, as we have seen following the earthquake in the Eastern Mediterranean, there is surely a case to be made for a more structured and precautionary approach to such disasters, noting their frequency around the world and the sheer scale of human need on a regular basis.

Is there not a case for “contingency”, with a number of capable ships, acquired and pre-loaded, to be stationed in strategic areas around the world, which the statistics of disaster can easily identify. The US military “pre-positioned” fleet might not be fully appropriate as an example, but at least this sort of organisation gives a clue about the approach that might be taken. With the right sort of management, such a “First-Aid” fleet could make a difference in the speed of response to disaster, while scaling up in weight and capability provisions that even the largest aircraft will have difficulty matching in the short term.

If the will to provide such assistance was there, which agency could one envisage actually running contingency assets? Probably best to rule out anything to do with the United Nations or any body which relies on bureaucracy, committees and consensus. Can one envisage a sort of maritime arm of International Rescue, or the Red Cross Afloat, capable of speedy response, with the emphasis on practical assistance? As for the procurement of suitable ships and their care. maintenance and operation on-site, you cannot really think of anything better and less complicated than one or more of the biggest ship management companies, which have the experience and international manpower available on tap.

It ought to make sense and ought not to cost a vast sum of money, if it was not wasted on shipbuilding, but in the acquisition of decent, middle-aged overnight ro-pax ships. You might argue (as I have) that redundant cruise ships could do the job, but they really need to lie safely alongside, which might be difficult, and they don’t have capacious vehicle decks. But quite how you get such a scheme off the ground and onto the sea, with the necessary international support and funding, it really is beyond my pay grade to suggest. It might be a useful, (rather than a wasteful) element in developed nations’ aid budgets, but it would be interesting to hear some views on why such a scheme would be impossible. 

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.

2. TT Club award

International freight transport insurer TT Club is teaming up with the Transported Asset Protection Association’s (TAPA) Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region to encourage the next generation of supply chain security professionals to excel. Entries for the first ‘Young Supply Chain Resilience Professional of the Year’ award are now opened until 28 April 2023.

Both TT and TAPA EMEA are dedicated to bringing insight into the complex theft trends that exist within international supply chains.  With the aim of increasing awareness of the challenges in combatting such crime, the organisations also promote where possible risk mitigation guidelines and activities.  To these ends they are launching an annual award programme celebrating the successes of young supply chain security professionals and the next generation of leaders in supply chain resilience.

Explaining the motives behind the award, Mike Yarwood, TT’s Managing Director, Loss Prevention said, “We wish to identify, inspire and reward young talent in the industry, encouraging them to continue to innovate, communicate with their peers and strive for greater security throughout the supply chain sector.”

The entry process started on 6 March and concludes on  28 April.  With judging taking place in May, the winner will be invited to receive their award at TAPA EMEA’s RESILIENCE@RISK Conference in Amsterdam on 14 & 15 June 2023.

The application form is available to download from the TAPA EMEA website

3. Enclosed lifeboats

Draft amendments on ventilation requirements for totally enclosed lifeboats were finalized at the IMO sub-committee on ship systems and equipment which met recently.

The Sub-Committee finalized amendments addressing the ventilation of survival craft for totally enclosed lifeboats, including related amendments to the Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances (resolution MSC.81(70)).

SSE 10 will continue to discuss any compelling need on such ventilation requirements for partially enclosed lifeboats and liferafts. The aim is to ensure a habitable environment is maintained in survival craft at all times to enhance survivability.

The draft amendments will apply to totally enclosed lifeboats installed on or after 1 January 2029, so as to allow ample time for Administrations and manufacturers to implement the new ventilation requirements.

The Sub-Committee also finalized a number of draft amendments to the LSA Code and associated instruments, including resolution MSC.81(70), as appropriate, concerning:

·         the lowering speed of survival craft and rescue boats for cargo ships;

·         single fall and hook systems with on-load release capability;

·         thermal performance of immersion suits on the low-temperature tolerance time threshold; and

·         in-water performance of SOLAS lifejackets.

The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) will be invited to approve the above draft amendments at its 107th session, for subsequent adoption.

The Sub-Committee also completed its review of SOLAS chapter II-2 and associated codes, including the Fire Safety Systems (FSS) Code, to minimize the incidence and consequences of fires on board ro-ro passenger ships. The draft amendments agreed by the Sub-Committee will be forwarded to MSC 107, for approval and subsequent adoption.

The draft SOLAS amendments will mainly apply to passenger ships constructed on or after 1 January 2026 and include requirements for:

·         a fixed fire detection and fire alarm system to be provided for the area on the weather deck intended for the carriage of vehicles;

·         an effective video monitoring system shall be arranged in vehicle, special category and ro-ro spaces for continuous monitoring of these spaces;

·         structural fire protection in passenger ships carrying more than 36 passengers, including fire insulation of boundary bulkheads and decks of special category and ro-ro spaces; and

·         a fixed water-based fire-extinguishing system based on monitor(s) to be installed in order to cover weather decks intended for the carriage of vehicles.

The draft amendments to the FSS Code include specifications of fixed water-based fire-extinguishing on ro-ro passenger ships having weather decks intended for the carriage of vehicles as required by SOLAS chapter II-2.

Draft amendments to the Revised Guidelines for the design and approval of fixed water-based fire-fighting systems for ro-ro spaces and special category spaces (MSC.1/Circ.1430/Rev.2) were also agreed.

The Sub-Committee finalized draft amendments to regulation 7 of SOLAS chapter II-2 (Detection and alarm) and associated MSC.1/Circ.1456, addressing fire protection of control stations and cargo control rooms on cargo ships to enhance fire safety in such locations. The 2023 diving code draft was also finalised as well as safe operation for onshore power supply interim guidelines.

4. Insurance case 

Thanks to Miller’s Maritime Newsletter which brought to our attention details of  an insurance case where “For the first time since 1955, the Supreme Court of the United States granted a petition for certiorari in a marine insurance case: Great Lakes Insurance SE v. Raiders Retreat Realty Co. The last marine insurance case considered by the high Court resulted in the infamous Wilburn Boat decision. This petition asks the Court to consider: “Under federal admiralty law, can a choice of law clause in a maritime contract be rendered unenforceable if enforcement is contrary to the ‘strong public policy’ of the state whose law is displaced?

For details see

5. Virtual marathon
Maritime professionals who are keen runners but missed out on a TCS London Marathon 2023 place can still apply for a guaranteed Virtual London Marathon place with seafarer welfare charity Sailors’ Society. 
Virtual London Marathon can be run as a team or individually, from any location, anywhere in the world. Participants just need to cover 26.2 miles over 24 hours on Sunday April 23 – the same day as the marathon in London. With cutting edge technology pointing out landmarks along the way, virtual runners can feel like they are running in the UK’s capital.  

Sara Baade, Sailors’ Society CEO, said: “The beauty of taking on Virtual London Marathon is that registrants can take part wherever they are in the world and do it their way. Run or walk it, as a team or on your own, from home or away, in stages or all at once – it’s up to you. This is a great opportunity to tick one of the world’s greatest marathons off the bucket list, as well as raising vital funds to support seafarers and their families in need.”  

To enter, runners need to pay a registration fee of just £30 and commit to raising at least £200 in sponsorship.

In return, participants will receive expert fundraising and training advice, audio support and route tracking on the official app powered by TCS, an official finisher’s medal, a Sailors’ Society training top and finishing line tape. An added bonus is that registrants will also be shortlisted for a physical place in the live 2024 TCS London Marathon. 

To get on board Sailors’ Society’s Virtual TCS London Marathon 2023 team and help raise much-needed funds for the charity’s global work, find out more and sign up today at: 

6. Ocean agreement
IMO has welcomed the landmark agreement on a new oceans treaty to protect marine biodiversity on the high seas.  

The new legally binding international instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction – known as ‘BBNJ’ was agreed  on 4 March, following conclusion of the fifth round of treaty negotiations  at the United Nations headquarters in New York, United States.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said:   “Following almost two decades of discussions and negotiations, I am pleased to see the conclusion of the new legally binding instrument on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, which was finalized in New York on Saturday 4 March. This landmark achievement will no doubt reinforce efforts to protect biodiversity in line with the aims of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Kunming-Montreal Global Framework for Biodiversity. IMO has participated throughout the negotiations given the organisation’s mandate and expertise and will continue to participate, in the implementation of the new instrument. IMO looks forward to further strengthening our cooperation with Member States, the UN family and all other stakeholders.”

The BBNJ treaty addresses, among other things:

  •     the conservation and sustainable use of marine BBNJ;
  •     marine genetic resources, including questions on benefit-sharing (MGR);
  •     Area Based Management Tools (ABMT), including marine protected areas;
  •     environmental impact assessments (EIA); and
  •     capacity-building and the transfer of marine technology (CB&TMT).

7.  Safety awards digest

The 2022 Safety Award Digest is designed not just to acknowledge the dedication to safety that  organisations display in putting forward their innovative ideas but also to bring focus to these applications that will have relevance to operators in all parts of the industry and across the globe.

“It is vital that the phenomenal work being carried out by the organisations that enter these Awards be made available to others who can benefit from the improved safety measures that have been described in detail,” says Richard Steele, ICHCA’s CEO. “We have therefore, once more, produced this Innovation in Safety Awards Digest, which encapsulates in one document the products and procedures that have achieved a demonstrable improvement in cargo handling and transport safety.”

A copy of the 2022 Safety Digest in PDF form is available for download HERE

8. Wellness assessment

WellAtSea, acquired by Seably in 2022, a leading health and wellness solutions provider for seafarers and ship owners, has partnered with Vanguard Assessments to bring its highly acclaimed Mental Health Assessment online program to the maritime sector.

The new WellAtSea service is an addition to the WellAtSea current program of activities and will allow companies to gain a complete mental health assessment online. The new service guarantees a reliable and fast testing process for a wide range of mental health concerns, including personality, emotional and behavioural issues. Upon completion, companies will receive a data and interpretation report carefully analysed by a highly experienced psychologist within a week, enabling them to make timely decisions.

Gisa Paredes,  chief strategy and commercial officer, WellAtSea, said, “It is an essential objective for us to improve the overall well-being of seafarers through continuous and sustainable organizational change. This addition of the new WellAtSea service will provide companies with a comprehensive tool to evaluate the mental health status of their seafarers and identify areas for improvement. In practice, seafarers will take the assessment both before going to sea and during their time at sea, so companies can see their seafarers’ mental well-being and make any appropriate interventions. There is still a stigma around mental health, and the fact that seafarers still don’t feel able to talk about it or access services says a lot about the current environment in the sector,  but we are pleased to see that this is starting to change. That is why we are bringing this assessment service for seafarers to shipping companies to help them take proactive measures.”

 The automated process decreases human error and provides the convenience of saving a significant amount of time in doing evaluations and decision-making. The data collected is treated with the utmost confidentiality and adheres to international data protection standards.

In addition to the new assessment service, WellAtSea offers seafarers specialised health education, team and fitness activities, and mental health support. These services promote a positive environment for seafarers, contributing to their overall wellness and improving their performance.

As part of its commitment to improving seafarers’ mental health, WellAtSea is working closely with its partner companies to help them develop tailored mental health programmes.

9.  Container losses

In an insight, DNV has drawn attention to the fact the Maritime Research Institute of the Netherlands (MARIN) is leading a joint industry project to investigate what is needed to drastically reduce losses of containers from container vessels. The participants in the project include container shipping lines, class societies, international authorities, insurers, research institutes and other stakeholders. The International Group of P&I Clubs is a participant.

Gard’s experience looking at claims from 2015-2021 indicate that container losses overboard for  members and clients resulted in an annual average of about USD 9 million in insured losses, principally cargo claims. It should also be noted that containers lost overboard may be a hazard to navigation and can result in pollution from the contents, the P&I Club said.

MARIN has released a video describing the TopTier project and objectives. The project began in March 2021 and is on-going. 

10. Enclosed space entry

RightShip has a vision for a maritime industry that causes zero harm and is passionate to see real safety improvements in the maritime industry. It uses data to inform, support and encourage ship managers to make proactive choices about crew safety.  In an insight, head of operations, Americas, Oussama Darif takes readers through enclosed space entry and answers questions about why the topic needs to be discussed, how he feels about the issue and answers questions on   whether masters and crew understand the regulations, and what other factors are in play, including commercial pressures.

As co-author of the Handy Guide to Dry Bulk Operations published by the Nautical Institute, and The Dry Bulk Management Standard at RightShip, his most recent project, the Enclosed Space Entry Insights Paper is for the RightShip series on safety and leading practices. View link RightShip Enclosed Space Entry video.

11. Cargo initiative

Some of the world’s biggest maritime cargo carriers are joining forces with the world’s first industrial safety technology accelerator to launch a new innovation initiative to reduce cargo loss at sea.

Evergreen Line, HMM, Maersk, the Offen Group, ONE (Ocean Network Express), Seaspan as well as Lloyd’s Register are joining forces with Safetytech Accelerator to find and advance technology innovations from across maritime and other industrial sectors to reduce the incidence and impact of cargo fires or cargo loss overboard.

The scale and breadth of the challenges facing operators is growing and continues to evolve. These include  the increasing carriage of lithium-ion batteries either in containers or within electric vehicles on car-carriers and the increasing growth in complexity and size of modern container vessels. Fire and cargo loss at sea not only has an immediate impact on the safety of those onboard but also creates the potential for significant environmental damage.

The Safetytech Accelerator Cargo Fire & Loss Innovation Initiative (CFLII) is a collaborative technology acceleration program that will help tackle the issue through shaping joint requirements, identifying technology solutions, undertaking carefully designed trials and developing best practices and recommendations.

The Initiative has a broad scope encompassing three significant topics of concern. The first relates to onboard cargo control, including whether cargo has been properly, loaded, secured and monitored during transit. The second area covers the ability to detect fire onboard and stop its spread through effective onboard response, particularly on large container ships and car-carriers. The third relates to the challenges created by the increasing scale of vessels.

Global containerships segment director at Lloyd’s Register, and chairman of the Maritime Cargo Fire and Loss Initiative, Nick Gross said, “We’re excited to start this initiative, working alongside the Anchor Partners to trial and adopt innovative technology for the prevention of cargo fires onboard, thus helping to make container shipping a safer operation. From LR side, the objective of the initiative resonates with our mandate to improve the safety of ships and crew, as well as protect the marine ecosystem. We believe it is vital to work together to tackle the increasing risk of cargo fires onboard container ships.”

Notices & Miscellany

ITIC appointment
International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) – a mutual insurer which provides professional indemnity cover for transport intermediaries operating in the marine, offshore, renewable and aviation industries – has appointed Jeff Woyda as its new Chairman.

Woyda is taking over from Lars Säfverström, who has been in post since 2019 and a board member since 2009.

Reader comment

Rik van Hemmen of Martin & Ottaway had the following comments to make on Michael Grey’s contribution to MA 824.

“I enjoy reading your newsletter and make note of Mr. Grey’s observations in the below issue. I too sometimes become frustrated with the demands put on ship designers, builders and operators by “outsiders”. There is just so much to deal with, and so often solutions are elusive.

But then I take a deep breath and say to myself: Thank you outsiders, you may not always know what you are talking about, but you keep us on our toes, and every day we make our ships just a little better. Maybe two steps forward and one step back, but I am so glad that I can have a career where I can look back and say: “Hey, look at that, we are doing things so much better than our forefathers”.

And our ships are so much better, they are cleaner, safer, more efficient and move cargo at such low costs that everything that the outsiders want us to do we can afford by absorbing the cost in our ever increasing efficiencies and barely have to charge the “outsiders” more to move their cargo

So many people are engaged in careers that are nothing but a skimming exercise, or relates to finding a new sucker every day, or destroying our environment. Thankfully, we can get up in the morning take a deep breath and say: “Let’s see what we can do to make things better. It may not work on the first try, but with persistence, as a community, we can get it to work”

There is a shorter way to say this. When I studied engineering at Virginia Tech there were some female engineering students who wore T shirts that said: Virginia Tech Engineering, If it ain’t hard, it ain’t worth a F*&$

A noble sentiment.”


Cyber risk

DNV is holding a  free webinar on the topic of what the EU’s NIS2 Directive means for cyber risk management and how to get ready to comply on March 16 at 11:00 AM CET

NIS2 presents an opportunity for operators of critical industrial infrastructure to assess their capabilities and operations against strengthened cyber security requirements and builds confidence that their partners and suppliers are addressing cyber threats. But for organizations that haven’t upgraded their cyber capabilities, it’s a wake-up call on the need to act to better address cyber security threats to their infrastructure, and to make sure that their operations comply with the NIS2 legislation.

To assist planning and decision-making,   this webinar looks at the scope and requirements of NIS2 and suggests how to prepare for compliance following three key steps to cyber-secure operational and information technologies (OT/IT). Join DNV for the webinar March 16th.

Those interested in the webinar but who can’t make it, please register anyway to receive a recording of the proceedings.

Register for webinar.

Please notify the Editor of your appointments, promotions, new office openings and other important happenings:

And finally,

(With thanks to Paul Dixon)


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Thanks for Reading the Maritime Advocate online

Maritime Advocate Online is a fortnightly digest of news and views on the maritime industries, with particular reference to legal issues and dispute resolution. It is published to over 20,000 individual subscribers each edition and republished within firms and organisations all over the maritime world. It is the largest publication of its kind. We estimate it goes to around 60,000 readers in over 120 countries.


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