The Maritime Advocate–Issue 782


1. Prevention and cure
2. SIRE update
3. New Estonia probe
4. Ship welfare app
5. IMO green shipping theme
6. International Maritime Prize 2020
7. Green deal – mixed reaction
8. Illegal entry into the UK
9. Hydrogen move
10. Cyber partnership
11. Zero carbon freight index

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1. Prevention and cure

By Michael Grey

These are tough times for the professional salvor, with concern being expressed about weak revenues and worries about capacity. To the casual inquirer about salvage matters, it might seem that marine casualties have been both frequent and spectacular of late, what with containership fires, blazing tankers and car carriers that won’t stay upright. Then there was the Ever Given, which true to her name was giving us all a couple of months of headlines but, more importantly, a spectacular reason for salvage expertise being always available.

But professional salvors, who no longer sit around aboard powerful tugs waiting for something to happen, just have not been earning the rewards they need to maintain their investment. There is, these days, no compulsion to stay in an unrewarding sector, so there can be no surprise that a number of famous names, notably under the Ardent label, went off to more lucrative non-salvage business. They probably won’t be back.

Despite the various maritime casualties that make it into the mainstream media, the maritime world is a safer place, so there are fewer opportunities for the professional salvor to make a decent crust. The Annual Report of the International Salvage Union emphasises the economic pressure being faced by the sector, with revenue both from salvage itself and wreck removal declining.

Now it might be suggested that while the salvage specialists are having a hard time, there is plenty of hardware that can be pressed into use when something nasty happens. There are powerful anchor handlers available just about anywhere there is offshore drilling or construction and gigantic cranes and barges with lifting capacities that would have been thought impossible only twenty years ago.

To a certain extent that is true, but salvage is not just about hardware but expertise, which will always be the crucial element that intervenes between success and failure. The craft of the professional salvor is based on experience and without this component, all the tugs and cranes, pontoons and barges will be useless. Without resources, can this expertise be preserved, with a new generation of salvors coming along to carry the torch? It was interesting to read in salvor Alan Loynd’s recent biography “All at Sea”, that concern about the age of available expertise in Hong Kong has led him to start what can be described as an apprenticeship scheme, to encourage younger professionals in the field.

There is a tempting analogy that can be made between marine salvage and the fire brigade, which these days is more about prevention than cure. The ISU figures show the value of the work of its members in the amount of pollution that doesn’t end up in the sea. It is also worth considering that pollution comes in many forms these days, with the menace of oil pollution seemingly being less severe than the mess that can come from plastics, where container ships have come to grief.

It seems that vast quantities of plastic beads are being carried around the world at present, as raw materials, which, as seen recently in the case of the Xpress Pearl casualty off Sri Lanka, can be devastating to the environment. We learned about this new curse some years ago, when the plastic bead cargo from the ship wrecked off Tauranga was washed far and wide up and down the New Zealand coast. Sadly, this menace, it seems, has yet to register more widely.

You might think that a well-resourced salvage sector, with its vital elements of experience and expertise is as essential now as it has ever been. Container ship design and construction has focussed more about the unit costs of carrying boxes around and has largely ignored what might be done with these monsters when they ground, are wrecked or as seems obvious, about once a month, catch fire. People probably never saw, or don’t remember the totality of destruction in the fore part of the Maersk Honan.

But after the Ever Given, when the public at large was given some idea of the sheer scale of a modern salvage operation, it might be thought that there will be some pressure on ship operators to consider the “what if…?” question rather more responsibly. But more likely, they will just hope for the best and expect professional salvors to pull the rabbit out of the blazing hat and clear up the mess they have made.

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.

2. SIRE update

The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) is currently developing an updated and enhanced version of its Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) tanker risk assessment tool, the ship inspection regime that has become central to supporting safety and best practice in the marine industry. The new regime, SIRE 2.0, will replace the current system from Q2 2022, delivering a more comprehensive inspection regime with enhanced tools, strengthened governance processes and more in-depth reporting outcomes, following a risk-based approach, the oil industry body has confirmed.

Significantly, SIRE 2.0 inspections will be completed using an intrinsically safe, Ex-proof (IECEx) tablet device, allowing inspections and feedback to be reported and documented in real time. An expanded question set covering core (critical requirements), rotational (ad-hoc), conditional (unique to vessel, operator or ship type) and campaign (a target area of concern) questions will be created for each vessel inspection. In another key development, every question in the inspection report will be assessed in relation to equipment, processes and human factors.

This approach will allow inspections to be completed more efficiently and enable ‘grades’ of reporting from positive to negative, providing more detailed marine assurance data for identifying and addressing root causes of deficiencies or problems onboard. Use of tablet devices will also enable Inspectors to submit photographic evidence to support findings and allow GPS tracking and auto-logging of inspection start and finish times. Enhanced governance processes will ensure greater transparency and control for OCIMF and other parties involved in the programme, with stringent compliance requirements enhancing accountability.

Robert Drysdale, Managing Director, OCIMF, comments: “Replacing SIRE with a new, improved and altogether more comprehensive SIRE 2.0 regime from next year will mark a significant change for industry – but this change will deliver tangible benefits by enhancing our ability to ensure safety and best practice across the global tanker fleet. SIRE has served industry well, improving standards of safety onboard, but with more sophisticated risk management tools and resources available, SIRE 2.0 will ensure that this crucial ship inspection programme can continue to evolve in-step with the changing nature of risk in our industry.”

For more information about the SIRE 2.0 programme, visit OCIMF’s website at

3. New Estonia probe

A new investigation by Swedish and Estonian authorities has started into the sinking of the Estonia in 1994 with the loss of 852 lives. Estonian icebreaker EVA-316 and Swedish research vessel ELECTRA AF ASKO have been deployed at the site of the vessel to carry out surveys of seabed condition and the position of the wreck. A remotely operated vehicle is being deployed to take pictures of the site ahead of a fuller survey to be carried out next year.

The decision to re-visit the findings of the original investigation has resulted from on-going concerns about the causes of the accident which were not laid to rest by the findings of the original report into the sinking. Legislation has recently been amended to allow new investigations of the wreck to take place. Swedish film makers were prosecuted for disturbing the wreck to make a documentary which questioned the official findings of the enquiry into the accident. They were cleared earlier this year because the investigation was carried out from a German-flagged vessel and Germany was not party to the agreement to leave the wreck undisturbed. The official cause of the accident was a bow door failure in heavy seas, however the documentary pointed to a four metre hole in the starboard side of the ship which, it was suggested, was the result of some kind of collision.

4. Ship welfare app

One million seafarers, on board more than half the world’s shipping fleet, have now benefitted from the ShipVisitor welfare app, which helps to provide continuity of care as ships and their crews move from port to port. 
Developed by international charity Sailors’ Society, the app is used free of charge around the globe by 23 maritime welfare organisations, who provide chaplaincy support to seafarers far from home. 
These organisations have used the app to log visits to more than 28,000 unique, individual ships – representing more than half the world’s shipping fleet.
Sailors’ Society’s CEO Sara Baade said: “It is heartening to know that our innovative ShipVisitor app has now been used one million times. It means chaplains and ship visitors are responding to wellbeing and welfare support issues quicker than ever before.
“Sailors’ Society made this app freely available to maritime welfare organisations to facilitate greater continuity of care and it is making a real difference to seafarers’ lives.”
Using AIS data provided by MarineTraffic, the app enables chaplains and ship visitors to report their activities in real time and maintain a history of ship visits and support provided to seafarers. This information can then be used to provide ongoing care and assistance as ship and crew continue their voyage.

Find out more about the ShipVisitor app and Sailors’ Society’s wider work at: 

5. IMO Green shipping theme

“New technologies for greener shipping” has been chosen as the World Maritime theme for 2022, reflecting the need to support a green transition of the maritime sector into a sustainable future, while leaving no one behind.

The IMO Council, meeting for its 125th session (28 June-2 July), endorsed the theme following a proposal by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.

Lim said the theme would provide an opportunity to focus on the importance of a sustainable maritime sector and the need to build back better and greener in a post pandemic world. “IMO actively supports a greener transition of the shipping sector into a sustainable future, and showcases maritime innovation, research and development, and the demonstration and deployment of new technologies,” he said.

“In order to achieve these objectives, partnerships are key, as they allow all parties involved to share and distribute information on best practices and to access resources and general know-how in support of the transition of the maritime sector into a greener and more sustainable future. This theme will allow for a coordinated outreach and communications campaign by all stakeholders to highlight IMO initiatives to make shipping greener”.

6. International Maritime Prize 2020

The prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2020 is to be awarded to Paul Sadler, former UK representative  to the International Maritime Organization. He also represented the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) at IMO meetings and served as a governor of the World Maritime University for ten years.

In their nomination, the UK Government and the International Association of Classification Societies commended Sadler for his contribution to the development of IMO regulations over many years.
He represented the UK at IMO from 1998 to 2007, played a key role in bulk carrier safety and was involved in major IMO initiatives on passenger ship safety, the casualty investigation code, accelerating the phase-out of single hull tankers and the development of energy efficiency requirements which would later be adopted as chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI.

As IACS representative, from 2007 to 2019, he oversaw IACS work on major initiatives such as goal-based standards, the development of the Code for Recognized Organizations, the Enhanced Survey Programme (ESP) Code and the IMO energy efficiency requirements.

7. Green deal – mixed reaction

July 14 saw the European Commission adopt a package of proposals to make the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The Commission says that achieving these emission reductions in the next decade is crucial to Europe becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and making the European Green Deal a reality. With the proposals, the Commission said it was “presenting the legislative tools to deliver on the targets agreed in the European Climate Law and fundamentally transform our economy and society for a fair, green and prosperous future.”

The new proposals have had something of a mixed reaction from different segments of the maritime industries. According to the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) “The European Commission is missing another historic opportunity to phase out fossil fuels in the ‘Fit for 55’ package, leaving the door open for coal, gas and oil to stay in the EU energy system for at least another two decades while sending the “polluter pays” bill to EU citizens.” EEB said “The most relevant EU green policy dossier of the year not only fails to provide climate-neutral roadmaps and sector-specific targets, but also continues to shield EU industry from paying the full cost of pollution.”.

German Shipowners’ Association president Alfred Hartmann said: “With its legislative package, the EU is setting an ambitious course to cut shipping’s CO2 emissions steeply and quickly. As much as we would prefer to have a global regulation with the same ambition, we nevertheless welcome the fact that, after a long phase of opacity on the part of the EU Commission concerning the details of its climate plans for shipping, concrete proposals from Brussels are finally on the table. We offer to now engage in a constructive dialogue with the EU Commission, the European Parliament and all Member States and stakeholders on the details of how to best align the Commission’s strict climate protection ambitions with realities in shipping.”

8. Illegal entry into UK

Ince has drawn attention to new guidance produced by the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service on the handling of illegal entry into the UK via small boats and lorries – “Organised Facilitation – Vehicles and Boats- 08 July 2021 Legal Guidance, International and organised crime”.

Key changes in the guidance include updated sections on: vehicles, small boats and larger vessels:“This sets out the charges that should be considered for drivers/pilots and the evidential requirements needed to prosecute. This would include first responder accounts from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and migrants who have agreed to assist in steering the boat in exchange for passage and evidence showing one person in control throughout,” Ince explains.
The guidance clarifies that the approach to passengers of vehicles and small and large boats should be the same, stating: “it is unlikely that those who are simply occupants would be prosecuted”, adding that the “focus for prosecutions should be on those with more significant roles, i.e. those that facilitate the entry”. Furthermore, if passengers are intercepted or rescued at sea it is unlikely that any offence of illegal entry has been committed in law.

Prosecution strategy and international enquiries are also covered. Read the new guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service.

9.  Hydrogen MOU

The Korean Register, Hyundai Motors and Hyundai Global Services have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together to develop and commercialize hydrogen fuel cell systems to propel marine vessels.

The IMO’s ambition to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping by 50% or more, by 2050 will lead shipowners to place orders for ships that burn fuels that leave little or no carbon footprint.  As a result, hydrogen is attracting worldwide attention as a potential eco-friendly fuel for next-generation ships.
Through the MOU collaboration to commercialize a reliable hydrogen fuel cell system package for ships, Hyundai Motors will supply the fuel cell systems and provide technical support. Hyundai Global Service will manufacture and commercialize the fuel cell-based propulsion systems and KR will be responsible for establishing the standards for type approval, which all fuel cell-propelled vessels of varying sizes must meet in order to receive approval for commercial use.

10. Cyber partnership

Global, sector-focused law firm HFW and maritime cyber security company CyberOwl have joined forces to provide comprehensive technology and legal services to the shipping industry around cyber risk management and compliance.

HFW’s  shipping lawyers and CyberOwl’s team of data and security experts will work together to help the maritime sector prevent and actively defend against commercial, legal, technical and operational risks, including reviews of vessel cyber security seaworthiness, cyber security monitoring, and related legal and consulting advice.

 Paul Dean, Global Head of Shipping at HFW says: “Cyber security is a growing concern for the global shipping industry, with the continued move towards digitalisation creating new vulnerabilities and IMO 2021 introducing a regulatory requirement for owners to demonstrate that cyber policies are effectively implemented.

“The reality is that traditional cyber security systems are not designed to overcome the unique technical, operational and commercial challenges of shipping, such as the need to demonstrate due diligence in ensuring seaworthiness and cargoworthiness to minimise disagreements around liabilities in the unfortunate event of a cyber attack. We have therefore partnered with CyberOwl, whose security experts share the deep shipping industry expertise on which we pride ourselves at HFW.

Daniel Ng, CEO, CyberOwl: “At CyberOwl, we are on a mission to leverage data and analytics to shift shipping organisations towards a more active cyber posture, and help them evidence their cyber security controls are actually working. We have engaged with around 100 vessel owners and managers to understand their challenges – they have expressed a real lack of confidence that the steps they have taken to comply with IMO 2021 actually help them defend themselves technically, operationally, commercially and legally in the eventuality of a cyber attack, and to prove that due diligence was exercised to ensure vessel seaworthiness and cargoworthiness.

11. Zero carbon freight index

The European Energy Exchange has launched its new Zero Carbon Freight Index (ZCFI). The index enables players in the dry freight market to see, for the first time, how the cost of carbon emissions could affect freight prices.

The ZCFI came as the EU prepared to unveil legislation   which is likely to include the extension of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to the maritime sector. Once these rules are in place, ship owners and operators will be required to take part in the EU scheme. As a consequence, the shipping industry will now have to factor in the cost of carbon when conducting voyages that call at EU ports. By referencing the ZCFI, market participants will have a new reference point, which they can use to calculate the cost of their carbon exposure, thereby giving a clearer, more indicative picture of their overall transportation cost.

The new EEX Zero Carbon Freight Index calculates the synthetic price of daily FFA timecharter rates for both Capesize and Panamax vessels, which are adjusted for the cost of carbon. Price information is taken from the highly liquid EEX Dry Freight FFA market which is then combined with EEX EUA Futures to create a daily “Zero Carbon FFA” rate which reflects a 100% carbon reduction.

Notices & Miscellany

Bowmans loss
Law firm Bowmans chairman and senior partner Robert Legh died recently. Rob was with Bowmans all his professional life and as Alan Keep, the Bowmans group managing partner, said when he gave the firm the tragic news of Rob’s death: “Bowmans was the only place that Rob worked, and he cared very deeply about the firm and its people”. A tribute to him is to be found on the company website

Yacht designers
Roger Marshall of Jamestown, Rhode Island has sent in the following comment in relation to our piece in MA781. “Britain has many top-notch superyacht designers and naval architects who have designed and have had built many attractive yachts. With a new Royal Yacht on the cards, why not get the British superyacht designers and builders onboard at a very early stage. In fact, hold a competition for a new Royal Yacht with Royal Navy (if it is to be commanded by RN personnel), merchant navy, Lloyds, MCA, and other potential users as judges.
As a British yacht designer (now retired, and superyacht writer/author) I know Britain has a wealth of talent to produce a Royal Yacht worthy of the name. Incidentally, I once worked aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia when the vessel was in Portsmouth. Long before I began designing yachts in New York.”
INTERMEPA appointment

The Steering Committee of the International umbrella organization of Marine Environment Protection Associations (INTERMEPA), has unanimously elected Joseph Hughes (NAMEPA Chairman) to act as chairman of INTERMEPA for the following two years. Joe Hughes is also the chairman and chief executive of Shipowners Claims Bureau, the American Club’s Managers.

Mission to Seafarers appeal
The Mission to Seafarers has raised £320,000 for its ongoing crew welfare campaign, thanks to the generosity of donors from across the shipping industry. The campaign was launched late last year to sustain crew welfare support around the world at a time when it was desperately needed and as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact seafarers. The funds raised so far will be going towards a range of initiatives and projects, such as crucial support for regional services, assistance for those abandoned and extended PPE supplies, delivering support where it is most needed.
To show your support of seafarers and access more information on this project, and the range of sponsorship and funding opportunities available, please visit:

Seably appointment
Seably, the global online marketplace for bespoke maritime training, has announced the appointment of Captain John Carlo Gatti as the new Seably Director for Maritime Training Institutions. The youngest pilot to ever qualify as the Chief Pilot of Genoa, Captain Gatti brings with him a distinguished portfolio of knowledge, experience and hands-on expertise.

Reduced manning guidance
ABS has published Guidance on Reduced Manning Requirements for Safe Operations. Reduced Manning on Offshore Facilities introduces some of the considerations essential for remotely operating floating facilities from a control centre located nearby or onshore.
Download a copy of Reduced Manning on Offshore Facilities

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And finally…

(With thanks to Paul Dixon)

One day in Contract Law class, a professor asked one of his better students, “Now, if you were to give someone an orange, how would you go about it?”

The student replied, “Here’s an orange.”

The professor was livid.

“No! No!  Think like a lawyer!”  the professor instructed.

The student then recited: Okay, I’d tell him, “I hereby give and convey to you all and singular, my estate and interests, rights, claim, title, claim and advantages of and in, said orange, together with all its rind, juice, pulp and seeds, and all rights and advantages with full power to bite, cut, freeze and otherwise eat, the same, or give the same away with, or without the pulp, juice, rind and seeds, anything herein before or hereinafter or in any deed, or deeds, instruments of whatever nature or kind whatsoever to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding, domestically or internationally…”

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