The Maritime Advocate–Issue 647



1. Arrest in Australia: Expanding Jurisdiction
2. Survey without Scaffolds
3. Connectivity on Board Ships likened to the Stone Age
4. Arrested
5. State of the Oil Industry in the Light of Current Prices
6. People and Places

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1. Arrest in Australia: Expanding Jurisdiction

Derek Luxford of Hicksons in Sydney has sent in his firm’s latest eBulletin
on the recent Federal Court of Australia judgment in the case of Reiter
Petroleum Inc v The Ship “Sam Hawk” (the Sam Hawk), which
broke new ground in ship arrests in Australia. It is now possible for
a bunker supplier to arrest a ship in Australia to enforce a foreign
maritime lien arising from a bunker supply made outside of Australia.
In this case the bunker supplier was the contractual not the physical
bunker supplier and the bunkers were stemmed in Turkey.

2. Survey without Scaffolds

Hats off to the fellows at DNV GL who recently completed several tests
using drones to support the hull survey of two vessels. Conducted by
the classification team based in Gdansk, Poland, the tests took place
at the Remontova shipyard. Using drones to visually check the condition
of remote structural components has the potential to significantly reduce
survey times and staging costs, while at the same time improving safety
for the surveyors.

“We have been looking at ways we could help our customers by accelerating
the survey process,” says Cezary Galinski, Manager of the DNV GL
– Maritime classification flying squad based in Gdansk. “Camera
equipped drones are now much more widely available and affordable, and
by using them for a first screening we can identify areas that require
closer inspection quickly and without extensive staging, which can be
both costly and time-consuming.”

The tests used a camera-equipped drone to visually evaluate structural
components through video streamed to a tablet. One surveyor operated
the drone, while a second checked the video feed in real time. The stream
was also recorded for review and documentation purposes. Equipped with
a powerful headlight, the drone was able to produce a video of sufficient
quality for initial inspection purposes. In the event any damage is
detected, a traditional close-up survey may still be required.

“We used a modified off-the-shelf drone for our tests,” explains
Galinski. “Because there are currently no drones formally certified
as explosion-proof commercially available, we performed a risk assessment.
Of course, before the drone operation started, we also ensured that
the cargo tank was gas-free and certified for safe entry.”

“Our next step is to work with a more advanced tailor-made drone
in early 2016,” says Galinski. “We are also developing a special
guideline for performing drone-based surveys. This could open the way
to remote or even autonomous inspections being carried out as part of
our survey scheme in the near future,” he notes.

DNV GL has a longstanding R&D programme working on developing advanced
inspection technologies, for example the IRIS system which can automatically
associate photos onboard a ship with a 3D model of the vessel’s
structure. “Using a drone in combination with a system like IRIS
could be very beneficial to our customers. We have already demonstrated
the ability to place images within a 3D model and furthermore to assess
the individual findings. These are the first steps towards an automated
survey process which might include using a drone to make the initial
survey, taking the images generated and then running them through an
algorithm to determine the hull condition,” says Dr. Pierre C.
Sames, Director of Group Technology and Research.

To see some highlights from their video, click here

3. Connectivity on Board Ships likened to the Stone Age

Crewtoo, the online social network for seafarers has published the
results of its third Crewtoo Seafarers Happiness Index report.

Designed to monitor and benchmark seafarer satisfaction levels via 10
key questions, this third quarterly report shows a seafarer satisfaction
level of 6.37 on a scale of 1 to 10, which is virtually unchanged from
the 6.44 overall level reported in August. However, the questions about
connectivity and shore leave emerged as key issues among seafarers.

With connectivity, seafarers’ responses indicated that there is
growing disparity in Internet access: Some seafarers now get good, often
cheap or even free access; some can occasionally gain access –
but with cost or technical issues; and, some have no connectivity at

This edition of the report shows that a number of respondents feel that
insufficient investment is being made in ensuring ongoing, high-speed,
and quality connections, and that those without Internet access liken
conditions to being in the “stone age.”

The latest Crewtoo Seafarers Happiness Index also reveals a three-tiered
system in shore leave: There are some seafarers who get good shore leave
access and opportunities; those who can occasionally get ashore – but
not without difficulty; and those who are denied even the most basic
of shore leave.

Responses highlighted that the greatest proportion of seafarers face
the double jeopardy of poor quality, expensive, or non-existent connectivity,
and difficult, expensive, or non-existent shore leave.

For a copy of the latest Crewtoo Seafarers Happiness Index report go

4. Arrested

Stan Loosmore writes:-

I thought that you and your readers might be interested to know that
Ancient Mariner Press LLC has recently published Arrested: The Complete
Guide to Arrest, Custody and Sale of Vessels in Admiralty in Federal
Court. This book has been described as the definitive practice guide
to the unique Federal Court Admiralty procedures of vessel arrest, custody,
and sale.

Information on this Practice Guide is available at:-

5. State of the Oil Industry in the Light of Current Prices

We have a weakness for good industry analysis written by the international
and maritime law firms. Such firms are often the the homes of a great
deal of specialist knowledge and intellectual curiosity which is bent
to the cause of the law and thus not necessarily seen in its full flowering.
You would have thought that the Norwegian firm of Wikborg Rein would
have some views to share and this 13 page speculation on the state of
the oil industry is as good a read on the subject as we have seen in
2015. The authors see no surcease to rock bottom prices in 2016 and
see the efforts of OPEC as a struggle for market share by the individual

6. People and Places

The International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN)
is pleased to announce that Ms Karin Orsel has joined the board as a
trustee. Karin is the Chief Executive Officer of MF Shipping in the
Netherlands, President of WISTA International, and Vice Chairman of
the International Chamber of Shipping.

Cambiaso & Risso, a company offering tailor-made shipping and
logistics agency services to the maritime, cruising and yachting industries,
has signed a partnership agreement with Fendercare Marine (part of James
Fisher and Sons plc) for Ship-to-Ship operations of liquid bulk cargoes
in the port of Augusta (Sicily).

Kevin Constable has joined Braemar SA as Marine Manager (Europe), Ports
and Harbours, based in its London office. Kevin has 25 years of marine
industry experience, including 16 years at sea on a variety of vessels,
covering auxiliary vessels and ferries, and nine years as a senior pilot
for ports, such as Felixstowe and Harwich, during which time he piloted
some of the world’s largest cargo vessels.

He will be helping to develop Braemar’s Ports and Harbour consultancy
services on aspects such as vessel manoeuvring, navigation and marine
risk as well as offering expert opinion services to the insurance and
legal markets on navigation, unsafe berth and unsafe port cases.

Capt Rajalingam Subramaniam has been appointed as President &
CEO of AET. Capt Raja has been overseeing the running of AET since July
alongside his role as vice president fleet management services at parent
company MISC.

BMT Asia Pacific and BMT ARGOSS, subsidiaries of BMT Group Ltd, have
been appointed by Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Group (HKND)
to undertake a series of marine and port assessments for the Nicaragua

BMT will assist the development and validation of the Canal’s design
and operations through a structured framework.

From the Avo Archive

The website of this newsletter contains all the editorial material
since the inception of the Maritime Advocate as a print based quarterly
in 1997 under the founding aegis of John Guy, Chris Hewer and Manfred
Arnold. Readers can go to the site and search the database on the home
page in its entirety. If you are looking forpiece from Issue an old
case, an old controversy or you would just like to see how many times
you and your firm have featured in our annals feel free to access the
archive. It is like this e-zine, free to Readers and we always appreciate
the support of advertisers and sponsors.

Inspired by the inventive spirit as described in item 2 above, we ran
a search for invention in connection with classification societies and
came up with this rather hard hitting piece in Issue 98 of 24th March

Corrosive coincidence

WITH ABS’s punchy head honcho Bob Somerville busy in Brussels at the
‘Prestige’ hearing, reportedly saying that his surveyor was barred from
inspecting the relevant tank, can we recommend a little background reading
to the MEPs conducting the enquiry?

Donald Frump’s ‘Until the Sea Shall Free Them’ is a detailed account
of the loss of the ABS-classed ‘Marine Electric’, which sank in the
north Atlantic in 1983 with the loss of 31 lives. The carefully researched
book looks at the thoughts and motives of the crew, who knew the ship
was unsafe, and follows up attempts by the owners to wriggle out of
blame for the loss.

Of interest to the ‘Prestige’ enquiry will be the first-hand accounts
of how the crew painted white circles around large cracks in the deck,
which the ABS surveyors and USCG inspectors then stepped over and ignored.
The book details how the ABS surveyor certified the hatchcovers as sound,
when in fact they had over ninety holes in them and were not actually
on board the ship at the time; how the hull was patched with a tin lid
and epoxy; and how the USCG enquiry into the loss of the ship led to
a recommendation that the US government should take back its delegated
authority to ABS to inspect ships, because of its negligence and questionable
professional integrity – the enquiry’s words, not ours.

In the twenty years since the ‘Marine Electric’, when a period of humble
change might have been appropriate, we have had constant bombast from
ABS about its high standards, and we have also had the ‘Castor’, which
led to the hyper-accelerated invention of hyper-accelerated corrosion,
and later to the quiet departure of yet another surveyor from ABS. And
now we have had the ‘Prestige’, the loss of which, according to ABS,
was apparently due to a Russian barge banging into the ship, if we read
its report right.

The ‘Marine Electric’ killed a lot of good men, but it also led, because
of the persistence of the enquiries and the power of the press, to major
changes for the better in the US coastal trades and the manner in which
ships in it are inspected. The ‘Castor’ and ‘Prestige’ haven’t, thankfully,
killed any more seamen, but shipping as a whole has to face up to major
changes as a consequence of them. Those considering the changes and
holding their enquiries should read this book. It’s not history. It
all happened in our working lifetime. And it contains no more omissions
or fictions or leaps of logic than does the ABS report into the loss
of the ‘Prestige’.

[With the lapse of time, have their been great changes to the house
style of ABS? We couldn’t possibly say–JSI ed]

The Truth About Cats

Cats are the ultimate narcissists. You can tell this because of all
the time they spend on personal grooming. Dogs aren’t like this. A dog’s
idea of personal grooming is to roll on a dead vole.

Meow is like aloha — it can mean anything. There is no cat ‘language.’
Painful as it is for us to admit, they don’t need one.

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax
and get used to the idea.

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that
is in it – and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on
a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again, and
that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.

Of all God’s creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave
of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the
cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should
have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.

Managing senior lawyers is like herding cats.

Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled
through snow.

As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat.

One cat just leads to another.

Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to
you later.

Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many
ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia.

People that hate cats, will come back as mice in their next life.

I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats
is infinitely superior.

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and

The cat has too much spirit to have no heart.

Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask
for what you want.

Some people say that cats are sneaky, evil, and cruel. True, and they
have many other fine qualities as well.

[Source: Paul Dixon’s Joke of the Day Zine]

Traffic Calming Measures

A farmer lived on a quiet rural highway in a large, agricultrual American
state. But, as time went by, the traffic slowly built up at an alarming
rate. The traffic was so heavy and so fast that his chickens were being
run over at a rate of three to six a day. So one day he called the sheriff’s
office and said, "You’ve got to do something about all of these
people driving so fast and killing all of my chickens."

"What do you want me to do?" asked the sheriff.

"I don’t care, just do something about those speeding drivers!"

So the next day he had the county go out and put up a sign that said:


Three days later the farmer called the sheriff and said, "You’ve
got to do something about these drivers. The ‘school crossing’ sign
seems to make them go faster!" So, again, the sheriff sends out
the county and they put up a new sign:


And that really sped them up. So the farmer called the sheriff again
and said, "Your signs are doing no good. Is it all right for me
to put up my own sign?"

The exasperated sheriff was happy to get rid of him: "Sure thing,
put up your own sign." And indeed, the sheriff got no more calls
from the farmer.

Three weeks later, the sheriff drove out to the farmer’s house to see
how the farmer had solved the problem. He couldn’t miss the farmer’s
sign. It was a whole sheet of plywood. And written in large letters
were the bold words:


[Source: Randy Cassoingham’s JumboJoke.Com]