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Cruise Ship Emergency Response Task Force to Host First Drill

Focus on how best to organize and respond to a multiple casualty event aboard a cruise ship Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the government authority charged with regulating, coordinating and supervising all aspects of the maritime sector in Dubai, has announced that the Cruise Ship Emergency Response Task Force that was convened in September 2011 to address the challenges presented by the introduction of ever larger cruise ships to the UAE waters, hosted the first cruise sector mass casualty table top exercise and drill last week involving over eight hundred people .The Task Force, comprised of federal and local emergency responders, including the cruise industry, the Dubai Tourism, Commerce and Marketing Authority and coordinated by the DMCA, focused on how best to organize and respond to a multiple casualty event aboard a cruise ship in port or in near coastal waters, given that such a situation would require a significant amount of communication and coordination across public and private sector operations.The tabletop exercise, taken from real-life occurrences, simulated multiple casualties aboard a cruise ship outside of Port Rashid in Dubai.Costa Cruise Lines' FAVOLOSA volunteered to participate in the exercise. Captain Abdulla Al Hayyas of Dubai Maritime City Authority, acting as ...

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New proposals to tackle crimes at sea

Guidelines to address concerns related to alleged serious crimes and persons missing at sea The United Nations' International Maritime Organization (IMO) has agreed to a proposal put forward by the United Kingdom, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), and the Philippines to develop guidelines to address concerns related to alleged serious crimes and persons missing at sea. All twenty four delegations that spoke after the proposal had been presented expressed their appreciation and supported it without exception.Building upon an earlier proposal from CLIA, the United Kingdom led a coalition of government and industry stakeholders in support of the proposal.UK Shipping Minister, Mike Penning said:"Taking a cruise should be a safe and enjoyable experience. However we have been reminded in recent years that crime exists at sea as it does on land, and we should be certain that there are effective mechanisms in place to respond to this. I am grateful to those at the IMO, our partners CLIA and the Philippines for their help in making such valuable progress. I would now urge all other flag states to get behind this important proposal."CLIA President and CEO, Christine Duffy, said:"CLIA greatly appreciates the extensive leadership and commitment of Minister Penning, the United ...

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Vessel Owners are Responsible for On-Board Fire Prevention

How Employers Can Prevent On-Board Fires Though ships many seem like an unlikely place for a fire, fires can and too often do occur on-board. It is the responsibility of the vessel owner to ensure that measures are in place to prevent on-board fires which could injure or kill crewmembers.Maritime LiabilityThe Jones Act, passed in 1920, granted seamen and their families the right to hold maritime employers responsible for any injury, illness or death sustained during the course of employment on a ship caused by their employer's negligence. It is an employer's responsibility to provide adequate fire prevention, detection and training to all crew. Injuries or deaths caused by an on-board fire are often covered by the Jones Act.How Employers Can Prevent On-Board FiresThe best way to fight an on-board fire or explosion is to prevent it. Many on-board fires are caused by leaking fuel or other flammable chemicals on a vessel, especially on older ships that may have worn or faulty equipment. Employers have a duty to be diligent in inspecting and replacing worn equipment in engine rooms and any other place where fuel or chemicals could leak. Employers also have a duty to maintain properly functioning smoke and ...

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Two years after BP oil spill, offshore drilling still poses risks

Actions need to be taken around the second anniversary of the disaster Two years after a blowout on BP's Macondo well killed 11 men and triggered the largest oil spill in U.S. history, oil companies are again plying the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.Forty-one deep-water rigs are in the gulf. The vast majority of them are drilling new holes or working over old ones, while the other behemoths are idle as they await work or repairs. A brand new rig - the South Korean-built Pacific Santa Ana, capable of drilling to a depth of 7.5 miles - is on its way to a Chevron well.But three recent incidents in other parts of the world show just how risky and sensitive offshore drilling remains.In the North Sea, French oil giant Total is still battling to regain control of a natural gas well that has been leaking for nearly four weeks. Meanwhile, Brazil has confiscated the passports of 11 Chevron employees and five employees of drilling contractor Transocean as they await trial on criminal charges related to an offshore oil spill there. And in December, about 40,000 barrels of crude oil leaked out of a five-year-old loading line between a floating ...

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Cambridge alliance to avoid a ‘Titanic II’

Crew location device to improve safety of passengers and crew at sea Two Cambridge UK technology specialists have teamed up to improve the safety of passengers and crew at sea.The move by travel tech company Voyage Manager and real time location business, Omnisense, is timely following the Costa Concordia disaster and falls in the centennial of the Titanic's sinking.The partners said that despite many improvements in maritime safety in the intervening century, avoidable deaths continue. They say that the speed of the rescue process has proven to be a key determinant of survivability - but say this is hampered by a total lack of information about passenger and crew locations, necessitating a slow and painstaking room by room search of the vessel.Voyage Manager and Omnisense have teamed up to develop what they call the world's most advanced system for locating passengers and crew in real time, aimed at improving response times in the case of an emergency and reducing the chance of fatalities.The system delivers an easy to use, easy to manage method for tracking the location of people as they move about a ship, one which places no additional demands on its users.This is essential because it is by ...

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Guidance on safety during boat drills

Following rhe serious accident during drill on board ANNA MAERSK In March a serious accident occurred during a MOB-boat drill on board ANNA MAERSK. The Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Branch is investigating the accident. At this stage nothing precise can be said about the causes and the contributing factors.The Danish Maritime Authority would like to point out that boat drills must be planned and performed so that they are safe in every respect. The safety equipment should be checked and maintained. Abnormal conditions of wear and tear or corrosion should be reported to the master immediately.The boat should be lowered and recovered without persons on board and, when it has been ascertained that this functions correctly, the boat is lowered with no more persons on board than what is necessary to operate the boat.Lowering a boat with persons on board is an example of an element of drills that may - depending on the circumstances - involve an unnecessary risk. Such elements of drills should only be carried out if special precautions are observed and, if necessary, left out of the drill.Danish Maritime Authority's Guidance on safety during abandon ship drills and fire drills on board ships IMO's Measures to ...

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Import containers with radiation exposure

UK P&I Club warns The UK P&I Club has become aware that several containers imported to the United States have been placed on hold at their discharge ports due to unacceptable levels of radiation. The radiation is caused by scrap metal containing Cobalt-60 which could have inadvertently been incorporated into the product during manufacturing. The containers placed on hold were booked as bath products and originated in China and India.US Customs & Border Protection has processes in place to detect and prevent these products from entering the United States. If CBP orders the container to be returned to origin, the Club offers the below advice to lines:Container must be isolated until it is placed on the ship Labelled "Marked" with the United Nations (UN) transportation index required by marking the container with Yellow Radiation Level III signs on all sides The manifest should list the cargo as IMDG / IMO radioactive materials section 7 Do not open signs should be placed on the container doors along with the radioactive signs Transport Radiation Level shall not exceed two (2) milliSieverts (2 mSv = 2 mRems) at any point of the external surface. The container should be placed within the ship so ...

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Caribbean lacks resources to combat oil spills, warns Jamaica

Unable to implement the convention on oil spill prevention and response The Caribbean region including Jamaica and other Small Island Developing States lacks the resources to combat a major oil spill, delegates to a regional convention on oil spill prevention and response have been warned.Opening the convention to discuss oil spill prevention, preparedness and response in the Gulf of Mexico, keynote speaker Christopher Cargill, Chairman of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, said Jamaica and other islands in the region do not have access to vast amounts of resources to combat major oil spills of the magnitude of the BP Deepwater Horizon incident - which occurred two years ago this month in the Gulf of Mexico.He told delegates: "We understand that the BP Deepwater Horizon incident involved 47,000 persons, 600 vessels and 120 aircraft and the responders had access to a Spill Liability Trust Fund.The development of a mechanism for cooperation is therefore a critical part of the preparedness in the region as Jamaica and other small states will have to rely heavily on their neighbours to the north for assistance in dealing with such events. "The objective of last week's convention, held in Kingston, Jamaica from April 11-13th, was to ...

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