The Norwegian government introduced new rules for passenger ships in Svalbard, in the Arctic Ocean, in a bid to improve safety and security in this fragile Arctic environment. The rules apply to both Norwegian and foreign ships.
The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) is meeting for its 101st session. Its agenda is including maritime autonomous surface ships, polar shipping, and goal-based standards among other agenda items. Numerous draft amendments will be adopted, regarding dangerous cargo, autonomous ships, polar shipping and fuel oil safety.
MSC 99 will examine how the safe, secure and environmentally sound operation of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships may be introduced in IMO instruments. Previous Committee had recognized that IMO should take a proactive and leading role on this issue, given the rapid developments.
In response to increased Arctic shipping traffic, the United States and Russian Federation have proposed to IMO a system of two-way routes for vessels to follow in the Bering Strait and Bering Sea, aiming to reduce the potential for marine casualties and environmental disasters.
Finnish Aker Arctic has recently joined a joint development project, launched by a consortium of 13 research organisations and industrial partners from six countries, called SEDNA, aiming to address improved safety and efficiency in arctic ship operations.
A new three-year research project, called SEDNA, has been launched to address safety and efficiency in Arctic ship operations. Its aim is to develop the ‘Safe Arctic Bridge’, a human-centered operational environment for ice-going vessels. Its design and layout will focus on the navigational requirements of the Arctic, namely ice, weather and a lack of chart data.
Following the increase of shipping traffic along the Northern Sea Route, Russian SCF Group has called for the government to continue to improve navigational safety measures and to ban substandard ships and crews sailing in the region, which is environmentally fragile.
The Nautical Institute announced the launch of the Ice Navigator Training and Certification Scheme, the latest of its professional training schemes, developed in response to rapidly growing demand for officers with proven expertise in handling ships in ice.
Hapag-Lloyd informed that the period of icebergs, drifting out of the Arctic Ocean and into the North Atlantic, starts from April and lasts until August. The authorities recently reported that there are more icebergs this year than usual. The company’s captains keep their vessels south of the drift ice limit, so as to avoid any dangerous collisions.
With the Polar Code now in force, Thordon Bearings has urged shipowners and managers to verify that their vessels’ deck machinery and systems can operate safely in the extreme temperatures encountered in Arctic and Antarctic seas.
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