The Maritime Advocate–Issue 837

Posted:

1. It’s the size that matters
2. Grain cargo claims
3. Safety light
4. MAIB report
5. Speaking the same language
6. Collision avoidance
7. Sustainability passports
8. Claim liability caps
9. Demurrage risks
10. Black Sea grain initiative
11. Market forecast

Notices & Miscellany

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


1. It’s the size that matters

By Michael Grey

It is, whimpered some “expert” of an unidentified discipline (probably either a climate scientist or a freelance consultant specialising in the promotion of mandatory misery)- one of the “least sustainable ways of going on holiday”. In case you haven’t guessed, it is, of course, cruising and the peak of the season in the north has been replete with calls to ban their huge hulls from the places that their passengers most like to visit. It is the pollution, some experts whine, while others merely complain of the numbers of people surging down the cruise ship gangways and shouldering them off the pavements of their besieged towns and cities. To compound the manifold sins of their presence, the blighters don’t spend enough when they are ashore, bringing their own sandwiches and rushing back on board in time for dinner.

There is a head of steam building over the problem of too many cruise ships. Venice has voted to ban them from the lagoon, while several US resorts and most lately Amsterdam has resolved to keep them at arm’s length. Orkney, with a population which could easily be accommodated in a couple of Mr Arison’s biggest babies, has been expressing alarm at being swamped, or even submerged, by ship-borne tourists. Barcelona and other popular ports in the Mediterranean have been complaining for several years. There have been pleas for those responsible for the itineraries of these huge ships to offer something other than the obvious. Can they not market the charms of cruises to places that have yet to be discovered?

There is, of course, something of a dichotomy in the landside approach to visiting cruise ships. Port authorities have energetic marketing departments working night and day to persuade the lines to use their ports. They spend lots of money on elegant new terminals, wreathed in exotic plants, egged on by the various interests that will profit mightily from the addition of their port to the itinerary of a significant cruise line. Proprietors of motor coaches, taxis, along with the myriad of folk whose prosperity depends on footfall in the local attractions, are delighted when a new customer is announced.

You clearly can have too much of a good thing and the sheer size of the new cruise ship monsters, few of which could be described as elegant by even the most generous of observers, militates against them. And while they may be stopping just a matter of hours, there will be another along to take its place, just as long as the season lasts. If you are not usefully engaged in the business of servicing cruise ships and their passengers, they are a very limited attraction, especially if some huge hulk is blocking up the view from your waterside condominium, with groups of passengers on their balconies audibly commenting on the colour of your curtains.

The cruise lines do the best they can to placate the restive natives in their ports. They try and answer the climate critics by cold ironing to mitigate the noise they make, bunker their ships with LNG and other greener fuels and instruct their masters not to deafen local inhabitants with their mighty sirens. Some of the biggest even have their own ports, where it would be surprising if anyone complained about the frequency of their arrivals.

But it is the sheer size and number of the ships that ultimately act against them, the economics of scale which justify their capacity effectively making as many enemies ashore as they have happy friends afloat. The complaint about “sustainability” is just the latest cudgel to beat up this successful sector, by an activist army that will undoubtedly redouble its offensive and will not rest until the big ships and their particular bugbear of “fly-cruising” are banned.

It is obvious that companies which shell out the best part of a billion dollars on a single huge hull will not cave in to these attacks. They might try rather harder to find newer destinations, and sell them more energetically. And bearing in mind the astonishing ranger of attractions aboard some of the more extravagant monsters, they might be rather more self-contained, and avoid going to way-ports, with their whining and complaining inhabitants, at all.

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.


2. Grain cargo claims

Despite the many and varied categories of cargo damage faced by shipowners transporting grain cargoes, when it comes to claims, it’s actually cargo shortage that they need to be prepared for, says The Swedish Club, in its new publication, Bulker Focus: Carriage of grains and soya beans.

In the last five years, the Club’s statistics show that shortage was the most common type of claim for bulkers carrying grains, contributing to 63% of all claims. About 70% of these shortage claims occur due to discrepancies between the vessel’s figures and shore figures with most claims arising in North Africa over the five-year period as a whole.

The Swedish Club’s director for claims, Johan Kahlmeter explains: “In Argentina and many North African countries it is not unusual for there to be discrepancies between the shipper’s figures based on shore scales, and draft surveys. Each country has its own rationale for this, but the bottom line is that the operator can find themselves seriously out of pocket through no fault of their own. Indeed, in some North African countries draft surveys are not recognised at all. Although each shortage claim averages to about only USD 35,000 there are so many of them that they make up nearly half (44%) of the Club’s claims costs for bulkers carrying grain.”

In the publication the Club provides a checklist of advice to help operators to protect themselves from these claims, including the use of surveyors, taking care with record keeping, and getting the Club involved when asked by third parties to sign statements.

Claims have also increased significantly over the period, in part due to COVID. Whilst an average of 5.6% of all bulk carriers insured have made a grain claim over the last five years, there has been a steady increase in the frequency of claims. Only 3.7% of vessels made a claim in 2018 compared with 8.9% in 2022. In this five-year period there were few claims in China until 2021, but since then the Club has seen a steady increase in the region, related to disruption and delays in Chinese ports due to COVID.

Authored by Joakim Enström, senior loss prevention officer at the Club, Bulker Focus:Carriage of grains and soya beans has been written in conjunction with cargo specialists CWA and focuses on the loading, carriage and discharge of bulk grain, oilseed and soya bean cargoes. These present numerous challenges with a range of considerations for the crew to consider prior to and during carriage of the cargo. The publication explores the most common causes of cargo damage, and how to prevent them, and also looks at fumigation and ventilation in detail. It aims to provide ship operators with understanding of the common issues experienced during carriage of these cargoes in addition to ways to avoid them.

To download a copy of Bulker Focus:Carriage of grains and soya beans visit the ‘Publications’ area on The Swedish Club’s website.


3. Safety light

Marine safety equipment manufacturer, Daniamant has launched its latest lifejacket light innovation, designed specifically for Arctic waters – Dan W3 POLAR.
 
The newly developed lifejacket light provides reliable efficiency and optimal performance, whilst ensuring enhanced safety for passengers and crew members undertaking Arctic voyages.
 
The live-saving lifejacket light features enhanced cold weather performance, specifically engineered to allow storage in freezing temperatures as low as -52 degrees Celsius, and ensuring illumination and high visibility in the most extreme of Arctic conditions when in operation.
 
Developed in line with Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) standards, Dan W3 POLAR not only meets but exceeds all of the requirements outlined by the International Maritime Organisation’s SOLAS regulations, providing full compliance and adherence to international safety standards, the company says.
 
The light is designed for exceptional visibility, enhancing the chances of detection in emergency situations. Constructed using robust materials and advanced sealing techniques, the lifejacket light is highly durable and water-resistant. To further guarantee successful performance in harsh maritime environments, the Dan W3 POLAR features extended battery life, for prolonged illumination over extended periods. The Dan W3 POLAR is easy to distinguish from other lifejacket lights with its polar bear logo and ‘ice’ colour.
 
Arctic expeditions present unique challenges and require specialised equipment that can withstand extreme weather conditions. Recognising the importance of providing reliable safety solutions for maritime operations in these challenging environments, Daniamant has invested significant resources into research and development to create a lifejacket light that exceeds industry standards.


4. MAIB report

The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch has published its accident investigation report into the fatal engine room fire on board Moritz Schulte on 4 August 2020. A newly promoted third engineer was recovered after repeated searches of the engine room but was declared dead nine days later due to the effects of smoke inhalation.

The report, available via this link, contains details of what happened, subsequent actions taken and annexes.


5. Speaking the same language

A recent report by CHIRP has highlighted the ongoing problem of communications. A pilot encountered major communication problems when speaking to the master, who had a poor knowledge of maritime English. Other than simple orders such as ‘starboard 10’ or ‘dead slow ahead’, the pilot struggled to communicate with the master. The pilot found it difficult to integrate with the bridge team, who all spoke in their language and not maritime English.
 
Proficiency in maritime English is an essential safety enabler CHIRP says. It is the official language within the shipping industry and is the foundation of effective communication.

Recruitment Placement and Service Licences (RPSL) play a critical role in ensuring that officers and crew members have adequate language skills in maritime English, which is essential to meet the requirements of the International Safety Management (ISM) code. This includes emergency preparedness and response, which requires quick and efficient communication to prevent dangerous situations.

Once certificated, all seafarers should be provided with ongoing training and development in maritime English to ensure their communication skills remain current and effective. This can be achieved through various means, including language courses, on-board training programs, and continuous language proficiency assessments.

Communication – Like any skill, competency in maritime English will quickly fade if it is not constantly practised, significantly increasing the likelihood of miscommunication or misunderstanding. Companies should invest in ongoing language training throughout a seafarer’s career. Port State Control could remove the master if they consider that their inadequate proficiency in maritime English does not meet the requirements for safely operating the vessel with 3rd parties/contractors and emergency responders.


6. Collision avoidance

P&I Club Gard (https://www.gard.no) is warning owners and operators to look out for a risk of collision with fishing vessels in Chinese waters.

Every year the club handles claims of collisions between merchant and fishing vessels in Chinese waters. As the seasonal fishing ban comes to an end in China, ship operators and masters are advised to take additional precautions when planning a voyage to and from Chinese ports due to the increased number of fishing vessels in Chinese waters.

According to the 2023 notice of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China, the fishing ban in the East and South China Sea between latitudes 26◦ 30’ N and 12◦ N was set to end on 16 August 2023, the ban for the Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea North of latitude 35◦ on 1 will be lifted on 1 September 2023.  For the remaining sea areas, the Yellow Sea and East China Sea between latitudes 35◦ N and 26◦ 30’ N, the ban will be lifted on 16 September 2023.
 
Considering the difference in size and momentum between merchant vessels and fishing boats, such incidents can result in not only severe damage to the fishing boats but also loss of life. According to China MSA, during the period 2019 to 2021, collisions between merchant and fishing vessels have resulted in 248 fishermen losing their lives.
 
In some cases, the bridge watch keepers on merchant vessels may not even realize that they have collided with fishing boats, Gard says. The club provides a study on a collision in the Laotieshan Channel between a fishing boat and a Panamax bulk carrier in which 10 fishermen lost their lives.
 
Typical causes of collisions with fishing vessels in these waters include: vessel manoeuvrability in a high traffic density area, bridge watchkeeping, high reliance on AIS,  communication with fishing vessels , last minute actions and marking of nets.

Recommendations in the report include:

  • Voyage planning: Designated fishing zones should be noted during voyage planning and marked on the charts. Attention shall be paid to the MSA recognized high risk areas of collision between merchant vessels and fishing boats, such as the Second batch of High Risk Areas of collisions between merchant vessels and fishing vessels published jointly by Fujian MSA and Fujian Ocean and Fishery Bureau.
  • Bridge team composition: Gard recommends increasing bridge watchkeeping level in advance to ensure that the OOW has sufficient assistance at night as well as the during day. Other onboard activities for relevant crew members should be planned accordingly to ensure that members of the bridge team are well rested for navigation-related duties.
  • Safe speed: In areas of high fishing density, proceed at a safe speed with engines ready for maneuvering. The Officer of the Watch (OOW) should be empowered to adjust the speed as necessary.
  • Use of RADAR/ARPA: Make full use of radar and sound fog signal when navigating in fog, even when no fishing boats are sighted on the radar. The use of radar can be vital when navigating in these waters. General practice of long range scanning using the S-band radar to identify clusters of fishing boats and using the X-band on small range for collision avoidance can be effective.
  • Keeping clear of clusters: Where the OOW can detect a cluster of fishing boats, it is advisable to alter course well in advance to avoid navigating through it.
  • Attracting attention of the boats: If the vessel needs to gain the attention of the fishing boats for any reason it should use whistle and day lamp. Establishing contact via VHF might prove difficult.

For the full details see the Gard website.


7. Sustainability passports

Carleen Lyden Walker, Co-Founder and CEO of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) recently revealed a remarkable surge in participation for the groundbreaking Maritime Sustainability Passport (MSP) Program.

“We are thrilled to witness a remarkable upsurge in the MSP Program enrollments this year,” stated Walker. “Notably, a diverse array of entities, including corporations, individuals, seafarers, and students, have embraced the MSP Program, with some actively engaging and others successfully completing it. Impressively, the program has achieved a staggering growth rate exceeding 300% compared to the previous year.”

“As we progress through 2023, we eagerly anticipate continued engagement from the maritime industry,”   Walker said. “The growing interest and collaboration witnessed across the sector inspire confidence in our collective dedication to preserving our oceans through NAMEPA’s ‘Save Our Seas’ mission.”

Notably, the MSP Program’s accomplishments have been fortified through partnership with ESGPlus. Since its inception in June 2020, ESGPlus has played a pivotal role in shaping and elevating the MSP Program, contributing significantly to its achievements.

By fostering industry-wide awareness and action, the program continues to steer the maritime industry toward a greener and more environmentally responsible future.  
Participants’ comments reinforce the sense that NAMEPA’s MSP program is working the way it was envisioned:

“I think that the MSP Program includes many areas within a company that are important to have.  Our company is conscious about sustainability and the impacts it has if these programs are not carried out, that is why we are committed to the actions we need to take to contribute socially, to governance and environmental angles. We participated in the MSP Program because for us it is important to have the points that make us a more solid company and reinforce our commitment to the environment. We are doing our best to be an international company, and these programs help us raise our standards” says Maritime Procurement Services

“We are proud to participate in the MSP Program. The program is a complex verification which gives us the opportunity to review our standards and see if they are enough to reach ESG standards. It is our ambition to be the leading company in our industry. Participation in the MSP Program is also a good opportunity for further development. And to have the MSP Seal is a great opportunity to show our clients that we are a trustful company, well organized with implemented high environmental protection and social standards” adds SIEM Ship Management. 


8. Claim liability caps

Brian Perrott & Colin Chen of HFW say a recent case1 is a reminder that it is important to keep the potential scope of limitation of liability clauses in mind. In deciding two preliminary issues, Mr Justice Waksman held that, on a proper interpretation of a master services agreement for software services (the “MSA“), a single aggregate liability cap applied to a claimant’s claim. The defendant’s maximum possible liability would accordingly be £11.5m rather than £23m.
 
Clause 33.2 of the MSA stated that: “Subject to clause…33.3 [a single cap for all claims regarding breach of a data protection clause]…the Supplier’s total liability to the Customer, whether in contract, tort…, for breach of statutory duty or otherwise…arising out of or in connection with this Agreement…shall be limited to an amount equivalent to 150% of the Charges paid or payable in the preceding twelve months from the date the claim first arose…”.
 
The claimant had terminated the MSA and alleged that it was entitled to damages of: (i) £9.8m for quality issues; (ii) £9.7m for delay; (iii) £12m for termination-related issues; and (iv) £31m for misrepresentation (which overlapped with the other alleged losses). The claimant had argued that clause 33.2 imposed separate liability caps on each of its claims.
 
Mr Justice Waksman considered, amongst other things, that the wording of clause 33.2 up to “limited to” strongly indicated a single cap, and this was supported by the phrase “total liability”, the absence of words such as “for each claim” and an analysis of other provisions of the MSA. He also considered that there were no commercial considerations which weighed against the interpretive outcome indicated by the wording used.
 
The case highlights that one should be cautious when drafting and interpreting a limitation of liability clause. An inadvertently wide or narrow scope may result in a significantly different commercial outcome.

1 Drax Energy Solutions Limited v Wipro Limited [2023] EWHC 1342 (TCC)


9. Demurrage risks

Voyager, the operations and demurrage management platform for bulk commodity shipping, is urging shipping companies to take a proactive stance and adopt a number of Best Practices in order to reduce the costs and risks of demurrage.
 
A dramatic surge in port congestion and associated supply chain disruptions have led to longer waiting times and higher demurrage costs, said Voyager co-founder and CEO Matthew Costello. “This issue is particularly severe in the bulk shipping sector, where demurrage costs can exceed 20% of the total freight cost for a voyage,” he said.
 
“However, demurrage doesn’t have to be a substantial burden on a company’s resources. By implementing three key Best Practices, companies can significantly reduce the cost of demurrage and streamline their operations.”
 
Voyager says companies should estimate and analyse demurrage in real-time, automate their Statement of Fact (SoF) data processing and logically analyse their charter parties.
 
“These changes will give your company the necessary tools to stay ahead, making informed, data-driven decisions that result in savings and greater efficiency,” said Costello.
 
According to Voyager, many businesses make the mistake of calculating laytime and estimating demurrage claims only after they receive a claim from the shipowner – leaving no room for adjustment. Instead, companies should take a proactive stance; by estimating and analysing demurrage immediately after the first load port, they can gain a real-time assessment of their demurrage risk at every stage.
 
By taking into account historical factors such as waiting times, congestion and lineups, operators can gain a realistic estimate of the demurrage risk for the entire voyage; these costs can be allocated to profit-and loss-statements accurately and any claim can be anticipated in advance. This also offers dynamic opportunities for risk mitigation by coordinating with terminals and other vessels to expedite discharge and avoid unnecessary delays.
 
Secondly, Voyager recommends that companies digitise all their SoF events data, to provide granular insight throughout the loading and discharging process – invaluable in assessing the efficiency of the terminal, the berth and the discharge itself. By automating the processing of this data, companies can streamline their demurrage calculations and gain real-time insights, informing decisions related to seasonality, congestion and efficiency.
 
Finally, Voyage urges companies to connect charter party agreements to demurrage logic. This involves more than just transferring data fields into a database – logic should be assigned contracts and fields, so that it can be understood how specific clauses in a contract are impacting demurrage claims. For example, there may be particular clauses that incur more cost at a certain berth or port. Analysis of the charterparty enables dynamic optimisation of contracts across the company, which can highlight areas of potential savings based on data-driven decisions.
 
Voyager Portal views demurrage as an opportunity for businesses to alleviate the impact of port congestion, improve and tighten up contract weaknesses and drive overall business improvement, said Voyager co-founder and COO Bret Smart. “Demurrage costs due to inefficiencies eventually get passed on to the customers, creating a situation where no one wins. Proactive management and intelligent data utilisation are the keys to unlocking significant business improvement,” he said.
 
“Ultimately, automating document processing and laytime calculations can free up valuable time for demurrage teams, with up to 50% of time savings. The time freed up can be used by analysts to go back to contracts and review clauses to identify other savings opportunities.”


10. Black Sea grain initiative

Gard has recently issued advice on the effects on contractual obligations of the cessation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative (see https://www.gard.no).

The Black Sea Grain Initiative that allowed grain products to be shipped from Ukrainian Black Sea ports has now ended. The article focuses on what that means for owners’ and charterers’ contractual obligations.

“There have been many developments since we last updated our article on the impact on contractual obligations of the war in Ukraine,” the P&I club says.

The key developments include:  

•    The Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI) as a result of which nearly 33 million tonnes of food products had been exported from Ukraine expired on 17 July 2023 with Russia announcing its intention not to renew.
•    Russia and Ukraine have warned that they may strike commercial vessels heading to the other country‘s Black Sea ports.
•    Access to the northern part of the Black Sea, west of Crimea, is prohibited by the Russian Navy.
•    The Sea of Azov is closed to commercial vessels except those that operate with Russian approval.
•    The security level has increased at Ukrainian and Romanian Danube ports because of strikes against port infrastructure on the Ukrainian side. The Ukrainian Danube ports were not part of the BSGI.
•    Strikes have been made against port infrastructure in Odessa putting into question whether the port could be used even if the BSGI were revived.  
•    The threat to shipping from mines has increased in the Western part of the Black Sea area.
•    Ukrainian forces struck the Olenegorsky Gornyak from Russia’s Northern Fleet (used to transport troops and equipment) in the port of Novorossiysk and also struck the Sig tanker, a sanctioned vessel used to transport fuel for Russian forces in the Black Sea near Crimea.

For a more comprehensive list of developments see the update here.

The article looks at some of the pressing issues that arise out of this new reality. It should be borne in mind that comments are based on the factual circumstances as at the date of publication. In a war situation, things change quickly and much depends on the contractual wording so advice should be sought from an FD&D advisor where necessary.

The article considers whether ports in Ukraine and Russia and on the Danube are safe and legal issues arising out of the cessation of the grain initiative as well as charter issues.
 


11. Market forecast

Xeneta believes long-term ocean freight rates may have started bottoming out after around a year of persistent, often dramatic monthly falls. The Oslo-based benchmarking and market analytics company says the latest General Rates Increases (GRIs) from carriers appear to have held “relatively firm”, pushing spot rates up above long-term rates on key corridors. As such, long-term prices may now follow suit and rally, meaning “now is the time” for cost conscious shippers to assess strategies and negotiate new contracts.

Looking at the key Far East to North Europe trade lane, Xeneta’s real-time data shows that even through spot rates have fallen by around USD 100 per FEU since early August’s GRIs, they are still around a third higher than prices in early July. This is in contrast to GRI moves earlier this year, which largely failed to influence a market hamstrung by weak demand and rampant over capacity.

“This is a definite, eye-catching change,” comments Xeneta analyst Emily Stausbøll, “and shippers should view this as a bit of a wake-up call.”

Stausbøll says that cargo owners have become accustomed to falling rates and have therefore shifted volumes to the spot market, often delaying any moves to sign new long-term contracts. This is a “smart play” she says when spot prices are below contracted rates and seemingly locked into a downward trajectory.

However, Stausbøll warns, market dynamics appear to be changing:

“Spot rates on this major trade lane now command a premium of around 20% over contracted rates, and this corridor is not an exception,” she notes, adding: “When spot rates start rising there’s usually a small lag and then long-term rates emulate them. If we look back to late 2019, the last time spot rates fell below long-term rates, GRIs in November helped push spot rates up and on 1 January 2020 long-term rates climbed by USD 250 per FEU. That’s not to say the exact same thing will happen now, but it’s certainly a lesson shippers need to bear in mind.”

According to Xeneta’s data, a noteworthy development is already underway. Looking at average rates for long-term contracts signed within the past three months prices are still falling, standing at USD 1 400 per FEU between the Far East and North Europe on 21 August. However, the data covering contracts signed within the last month show a slight increase, of 30 USD per FEU. This is the first increase since April.

“This implies that contracted rates have bottomed out and, when we look at the spot rate development, could now be on the way up,” Stausbøll comments. “So, if you’re a savvy shipper looking to lock in volumes ahead of peak season at the best prices, why not negotiate new contracts now when the rates are low? It may just pay to ‘strike when the iron is hot’.”
In an illustration of the value available today, Xeneta’s data reveals that just a year ago contracted rates per FEU on this route stood at a “staggering” USD 9100. By comparison, current rates of USD 1 400 per FEU are “hugely advantageous” to lock in.

“It’s unrealistic for shippers to think rates will keep falling,” Stausbøll concludes, “especially when carriers are blanking sailings and working largely ‘as one’ to try and address the subdued levels of their all-important long-term rates. It’s too early to say if this is the watershed moment when the market turns, but it definitely represents a significant shift. It’ll be fascinating to keep watching the data and see how the market develops.”

To learn more, please visit https://www.xeneta.com



Notices & Miscellany

Swansea Law School Colloquium
Swansea Law School’s Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law holds its annual Colloquium in Swansea, UK, for practitioners and others on 6-7 September 2023. The subject is Commercial Disputes: Resolution and Jurisdiction. Booking, both in person (most popular) and online, at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/iistl-annual-colloquium-2023-tickets-638079782807.

Coastal shipping
The British Ports Association’s Coastal Shipping seminar is being hosted at Arup’s offices in London between 14:00 – 16:00 Wednesday 13 September, during London International Shipping Week.

UK Chamber of Shipping events
Introduction to Shipping Course, on September 25 at 1-4 pm.

This online course is a snapshot of the UK shipping industry which will give participants an understanding of operations, regulations, constraints and current issues.
The course is great for new joiners.
 
Register here

Maritime Labour Convention Course on October 30th
 

The Chamber will be hosting an online-only training course on the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC); how it has come to be the fourth pillar of international regulation for shipping, alongside SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW. The course will be presented by Tim Springett and Hannah Gilbert of the Chamber.

The Chamber has represented UK shipowners both in the negotiations leading up to the MLC, and in the meetings where changes have been made since. This introductory course is designed to give an overview of the provisions of the MLC, including whom it applies to, the protections that it offers to seafarers, the obligations that are placed on shipowners and Governments and anticipated future developments. There will also be time for questions at the end.

Underwater noise
The IMO will be hosting Workshop on the Relationship between Energy Efficiency and Underwater Radiated Noise from Ships on  18-19 September 2023

IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) approved the Revised guidelines for the reduction of underwater radiated noise from shipping to address adverse impacts on marine life in July 2023.

The workshop seeks to engage participants who work in the greenhouse gas (GHG) and underwater radiated noise (URN) technical, regulatory and policy spaces, to include wide participation from industry with practical experience implementing both GHG/emissions reductions programs as well as those who are interested in or involved in reducing URN. Time: from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (UTC+1)

IBIA representative
The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) has announced that Dr Edmund Hughes will be taking over as its IMO Representative, beginning 1 September 2023. He steps into this role succeeding Unni Einemo, signalling a new phase of robust advocacy for IBIA within the maritime industry.

Crisis response
The Sailors’ Society’s Crisis Response Network is supporting survivors of a shipwrecked trawler after an urgent search and rescue operation took place off the Southern Cape coast of South Africa.

The experienced team from the global maritime welfare charity is also comforting families of the seven-strong crew, four of whom died when the local fishing trawler washed up on rocks in rough seas.

The search and rescue effort was triggered by a distress signal received from the vessel, which had run aground in the Gouritzmond area of the Mossel Bay coast.

Rescuers found the skipper carrying out CPR on the body of one of his six crewmen, while another crewman, who could be heard shouting for help from the badly damaged fishing vessel battered by heavy waves, was later rescued. Both he and the skipper were treated for hypothermia.

During the subsequent search, four bodies were recovered and one man remains missing.

This month, Sailors’ Society launched an appeal for much-needed funds to help support its work. For more details on the appeal and how you can donate, go to sailors-society.org/crisis-appeal

For more information on the Crisis Response Network go to sailors-society.org/crn
 
Casualty comment

Australia-based master mariner Manjit Handa had the following comments to make on those expressed by Stephen Spark in the last edition of Maritime Advocate.
 
“With reference to the remarks by Stephen Spark, we ought to be a little forgiving of the Mauritius government. All member states do not have adequate capabilities to handle maritime disasters. Even the USA did not fare very well when confronted with the consequences of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

“We ought to separate the grounding of MV Wakashio into two distinct parts, firstly the events leading to the grounding (which is of interest to us as seafarers) and secondly, the process of pollution control, rescue of the crew and salvage (which is of interest to us as citizens of the world). These two events should not be mixed, but we often find that investigation reports tend to bulk up the narrative of second part in order to squeeze out the analysis of the first part. The same mixing can be seen in the investigation report of the foundering of MV Costa Concordia.

“For thousands of shipmasters and watcheeping officers at sea, safety of navigation is a constant effort 24×7. We know that any failure to navigate safely can be very disastrous, but seafarers rarely have the time to think about the severity of consequences; we have enough on our plate to run through the first part satisfactorily. That’s why it is important to investigate the navigational aspect of the grounding of MV Wakashio thoroughly in order to learn the correct lessons, if we want to avoid our ships cracking up under us. In that respect, the report by Flag State Panama does not meet the expectations of the seafaring community. The report will remain a deficient document till the VDR data is obtained and analysed. The Flag State should re-designate the current document as an interim report and continue to make efforts to get the VDR record to arrive at a final report.”

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


And finally,

(With thanks to Paul Dixon)

Rabbiting on

How do you catch a unique rabbit?
Unique up on it.

How do you catch a tame rabbit?
Tame way.

What did one rabbit say to the other rabbit?
Nothing. rabbits can’t talk.

What did the butcher reply when a lady asked if she could buy half a rabbit?
‘No! I don’t want to split hares.’

What do you call a rabbit sitting on your face?
Unwanted facial hare.

What do you get if you cross a rabbit with a kilt?
Hopscotch.

What do you get if you cross a spider with a rabbit?
A hare net.

What do you get when you anesthetise a rabbit?
The Ether Bunny.

What do you get when you cross a flea with a rabbit?
A bug’s bunny.

What do you use to paint a rabbit?
Hare spray.

What is a rabbit’s favourite car?
A hutchback.

What is the difference between a counterfeit bill and an angry rabbit?
One is bad money, the other is a mad bunny.

Why did the tired rabbit have to give up the ball?
Because he was out of bounds.

Why was the lady rabbit so unhappy?
She had a bad hare day.


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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