Thursday, June 24, 2021
Apostolos Belokas

Apostolos Belokas

Apo is a Maritime Safety, Quality & Environmental Expert, Consultant, Trainer and Project Manager with more than 25 years background in shipping as Technical, Marine, Safety & Training Superintendent and Consultant. He entered the industry back in early 90’s as Engineering Superintendent with a leading ship manager operating a mixed fleet of bulk and oil/chemical tankers. He then shifted to regulatory compliance and QHSE as superintendent and later as a Consultant and Trainer. Apo has successfully completed a wide range of QHSE projects including 250+ management system projects (ISM/ISO 9001-14001-18001/TMSA/MLC), 500 vessel and office audits to various standards and he has trained more than 8,000 people in a wide variety of QHSE subjects. He has also presented and chaired to more than 40 conferences. He holds Mechanical Engineering Bachelor and Master’s specialising in Energy & Environment and Master’s Degree in Maritime Business and Business Administration (MBA), all of them awarded with distinction. Apo is the Managing Director of SQE MARINE, SQE ACADEMY and Managing Director of SAFETY4SEA.

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Smart Shipping Survey Findings

Apostolos Belokas, Founder & Managing Editor, SAFETY4SEA, presented the results of “the Smart Shipping Survey’’ during 2017 SMART4SEA Conference & Awards. He argued that there is need for the shipping to build cyber awareness momentum to move forward. Regarding autonomous shipping, the survey showed that the majority of the participants believe that it will become a reality for the industry beyond 2030. Mr. Belokas commented that two years ago many would argue that industry is far away from this vision and highlighted that autonomous shipping is now coming fast and it is a one-way street.

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Maritime Safety, An Update

- IMO World Maritime Day theme this year was '' IMO Conventions: Effective Implementation'', so the point is- Are we doing enough? Is the implementation of regulation effective in Industry? Should we need more regulation? I have my own views on these questions. I believe that the industry is under performing and besides all good practices, the reality is worse than you think. However, IMO has a lot of initiatives to support the effective implementation for the Flag States and the Port State Control. Data in picture below is from IHS Fairplay published at DNV GL Maritime Impact 01-2014 show that the accident ration is growing over time. The trend line goes up and that means we have an underperforming industry. Unfortunately, many people have the perception that we do many things for safety in the industry however in the last five year major accidents happened, starting with Deepwater Horizon back in April 2010, then we had Rena on October 5th 2011, Costa Concordia in 2012, MOL Comfort in 2013 and the Sewol ferry tragedy this year.   Regarding MOL Comfort it doesn't make sense how a new containership only five years old, built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - one...

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Arctic Shipping Developments

First things first, when talking about Arctic shipping, firstly, we need to define the area we are talking about : Arctic is considered the Polar Region north of Arctic Circle, (the 66° 33 parallel) including two shipping roads: the Northern Sea Route (NSR) the one close to Russia shore and the Northwest Passage (NWP) close to the Canadian Shore. According to traffic statistics prior to 2010 there was no commercial traffic in the region, however due to climate change, there has been a substantial change leading to 71 transits for the 2013 season. Shorter roads are making these transits more attractive as distances may be shorter 1,000 miles or more on the NWP or 3,500 miles on the NSR as it may be seen in relevant figure: Historic Firsts in Arctic Shipping First foreign ship to transit NSR: Heavy lifts MV Foresight & MV Fraternity operated by Beluga Shipping Group in 2009 Largest tanker to cross NSR: MV Baltica (100,000 DWT) operated by Sovcomflot First foreign ship to cross the NSR: MV Nordic Barents operated by Nordic Bulk carriers First passenger ship to transit NSR: Russian state owned Georg Ots First Suezmax Supertanker through NSR: MV Vladimir Thikonov (162,000 DWT) operated...

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STCW Rest Periods: Problems and Best Practices

- In an effort to enhance fatigue management IMO has amended the "fitness for duty - hours of rest" requirements to provide watch keepers on-board ships with increased rest periods on the latest STCW Amendments in line with the ILO MLC. Despite the fact that over the last 20 months STCW latest amendments are in place and ILO MLC is due for implementation by August the 20th a number of problems are experienced as follows: Problem # 1 : Inconsistency between work & Rest Hours IMO States in STCW Section A-VIII/1 : Fitness for duty that each crew member shall be provided with a rest period of not less than: a minimum of 10 hours of rest in any 24-hour period; and 77 hours in any 7-day period. At the same time ILO MLC states the following rule on work/rest: (a) maximum hours of work shall not exceed: (i) 14 hours in any 24-hour period; and (ii) 72 hours in any seven-day period; or (b) minimum hours of rest shall not be less than: (i) ten hours in any 24-hour period; and (ii) 77 hours in any seven-day period.   The inconsistency lies to the fact that despite both regulations...

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ILO MLC: Truth or Dare?

- ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), the so called "ILO Super Convention" is expected to enter into force on August the 20th as the 4th pillar of Maritime Regulatory Compliance along with SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW. As the clock is ticking towards the deadline let's see if the MLC will deliver the promised land.   Myths about MLC Despite all the good work done MLC by default will NOT necessarily benefit enough as long as every "Shipowner" may select a flag that does not ratify MLC. Since MLC certificate is NOT a trading certificate, there is nothing to change that. Going beyond the "regulatory" nature of MLC, we have to also ask: Has SOLAS, MARPOL or STCW introduction by itself improved the shipping industry without the entire implementation framework (vetting, PSC, etc.)? The answer is definitely NOT! All these regulations exist for many years; - e.g. SOLAS is 100 years old - however accidents do happen and vessels are still being detained. The remarkable difference is the IMPLEMENTATION MONITORING, mainly by PSC, Majors, Vetting Inspectors and Incident/Accident Investigators. This is why a major improvement shift has been observed over the last 20 years. Shipping still remains a SOLAS based industry as...

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