The Convention on the International Maritime Organization was adopted 70 years ago, on 6 March 1948, at the United Nations Maritime Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland. The convention entered into force 10 years later, on 17 March 1958, when Japan became the 21st State to ratify the treaty.
Fourteen years ago on this day, the Singapore-flagged chemical tanker ‘Bow Mariner’ sank off Virginia after a fire broke out while its crew was engaged in cleaning residual from cargo tank, resulting in the death of 21 people, total loss of the ship, as well as significant marine pollution.
Dynamic Positioning allows vessels to operate within feet of desired positions for prolonged periods of time. Despite it being a complex system, DP has been a significant benefit to vessels conducting high consequence operations on the outer continental shelf.
We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that is utterly changing the way we live, work and behave. Just imagine what was the job market like at Y2K and how it will evolve till 2050, especially in the maritime industry!
The ‘human rights at sea’ is a relatively new debate that gains significant attention of the maritime community. Human trafficking, illegal migration, abuse of fishermen, illegal trade of arms, nuclear weapons and drugs, illegal fishing and dumping of toxic waste on the high seas are some of the urgent issues that the shipping industry has to deal with.
Having to deal with press and social media can be a difficult proposition for shipping companies, while ignoring them or badly managing them can also have serious consequences. There needs to be a plan for handling media, developed proactively as a response to risk.
Six years are marking today since the fatal grounding of Costa Concordia cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea, resulting in 32 deaths, 64 serious injuries, and a ship total loss. The casualty remains a classic example of how human error, lack of alertness and failure of compliance with procedures can lead to maritime disasters.
Good housekeeping is essential to a safe workplace onboard a vessel and housekeeping oversights rarely go unnoticed during port state control or vetting inspections, ISM audits and condition surveys. In view of this, the American Club listed general vessel housekeeping observations which could affect vessel safety.
The UK P&I Club provides advice on how to spot the mental health signs among the crew onboard. A recent analysis revealed that anxiety, social isolation, pressure of work and disturbed sleep can affect crew, all of which can negatively affect crew of all ages, nationalities and ranks.
Crewmembers that are unfit for duty due to injuries or illness can create a wide range of concerns for ship owners and fleet managers. In addition to concerns about the individual’s health, an unfit-for-duty crewmember creates issues for a ship’s operational capabilities, its port-of-call schedule, or even its ability to set sail. The Japan P&I Club provides advice that is useful to quickly return a crewmember to fit for duty status in the U.S.
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