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USCG issues Safety Alert re Dangers around or near moving machinery

U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Alert This alert reminds all maritime personnel of the dangers associated with working around or near moving machinery.A recent marine casualty resulted in a death onboard a Great Lakes ore carrier. Two crewmembers had been working on clearing the vessel's sump pump bilge piping within a cargo conveyor belt tunnel. The piping ran vertically along the bulkhead adjacent to the conveyor belt. Because the clearance between the belt and piping was small, the crew had to step on a large pulley that was part of the system. Simultaneously, a shore-side contractor was working on the conveyor system in another part of the vessel and well removed from the crew working on the bilge piping.Prior to undertaking the work, the person in charge and all involved working on or near the conveyor had taken some precautions to establish a sequence of audio alarms to use as an alert. It consisted of an initial alarm sounding the need to clear the belt, followed by another alarm notification five minutes later and just prior to starting of the conveyor. While the crewmembers were working on the piping the initial alarm sounded and they removed their tools and got ...

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Ports and Carriers United on the Need to Weigh Loaded Containers

IAPH joins with WSC, ICS and BIMCO The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has joined with the World Shipping Council (WSC), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and BIMCO in the effort to encourage the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to amend the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) to require, as a condition for stowing a loaded container on board a ship, that the ship and the port facility have a verified actual weight of the container. All four organizations have consultative status at the IMO.The announcement comes as the IMO's Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC) subcommittee, which is responsible for improving the safety of container stowage and ships operations, continues its efforts to construct a SOLAS requirement that loaded export containers have a verified weight prior to vessel loading. As instructed by the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), DSC will consider such a requirement at its next session in September 2012 (DSC 17)."Weighing containers to confirm their actual weight is the right operational and safety practice. There is substantial experience with such a requirement in the United States demonstrating that this is feasible on a technological and commercial basis. It is time to make ...

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Madagascar commissioning enhances African SAR coverage

Sub-centre, at Antananarivo, Madagascar for SAR coordination purposes A further key link in the plan to provide effective search and rescue (SAR) coverage off the coast of Africa has been established, with the commissioning of a search and rescue sub-centre that will operate in conjunction with the regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Cape Town, South Africa.The sub-centre, at Antananarivo, Madagascar, was commissioned on 11 December 2011 by IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, together with Madagascar's Minister for Transports, Benjamina Ramarcel Ramantsoa and Mr. Jérôme Sambalis Director General of the Agence Portuaire, Maritime et Fluviale (APMF).The inauguration of the new facility, which will operate as a joint maritime and aeronautical centre, marks an important step in a process that began at a conference on Search and Rescue and the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, convened by IMO in Florence, Italy, in October 2000. African Governments represented at the Conference agreed on a regional approach to the provision of SAR services in western, southern and eastern parts of the continent as well as in island States around Africa.To that effect, they adopted a resolution inviting the African countries bordering the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as well as the nearby ...

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Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for Ships Carrying Oil or Oil Fuel

The Republic of the Marshall Islands issues Marine Notice The Republic of the Marshall Islands issues Marine Notice regarding Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for Ships Carrying Oil or Oil Fuel as follows:On 1 July 2009, a new SOLAS regulation VI/5-1 entered into force mandating the provision of MSDS to all ships carrying oil or oil fuel, as defined in MARPOL Annex I, Regulation 1, prior to loading such oil as cargo in bulk or bunkering of oil fuel.In an attempt to ensure uniform understanding by Member Governments, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has developed guidance on this issue, in conjunction with editorial amendments to SOLAS Regulation VI/5-1. The guidance is set out under reference (d) above. The editorial amendments to SOLAS Regulation VI/5-1, set forth under reference (e) above, took effect as of 1 January 2011 and do not constitute a substantive change to the intent of the regulation as previously worded.For more information, click here.Source: The Republic of the Marshall Islands

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MARINA supports ship recycling industry

Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009 The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is encouraging the growth of the ship recycling industry in the country to comply with the international safety and environmental standards under the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009.MARINA Administrator Emerson Lorenzo has underscored the importance for the Philippines to receive the International Maritime Organization (IMO) capacity building program."If the government will implement the ship retirement program covering ships 31 years old and above under RA 9295, there are around 384 domestic ships of different sizes plying the domestic trade projected to be retired," said Lorenzo."Still to be considered are foreign registered ships that have reached the end of their operating lives. If the Philippines so decides to become a ship recycling country, this is the number of ships projected to undergo ship recycling," Lorenzo added.He stressed the importance of preparing and implementing a national action plan to address some concerns leading to the ratification of this Convention," Lorenzo added.Earlier, MARINA has hosted a three-day "National Workshop on the Growth of an International Ship Recycling Industry in the Philippines Based on Compliance to ...

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Coastguard cuts put sea safety in jeopardy

Closing coastguard stations, axeing emergency rescue tugs put safety in jeopardy Closing coastguard stations, axeing emergency rescue tugs and privatising search-and-rescue helicopters, pose a potential threat to sea safety, it has been warned.Seafarers union Nautilus said the cuts would leave a "gaping hole in the safety net" around Westcountry shipping waters and could not come at a worse time. It believe risks to shipping are increasing because of the current global economic crisis.Nautilus spokesman Andrew Linington said it was "hugely concerned" by the cumulative impact of the cutbacks."There is a big worry at the moment that, because of the economies the shipping industry is suffering and with companies not even covering the cost of operations, the first thing to go is training and maintenance," he said. "That all increases the risks of things going wrong."The point is that we don't expect, we know that demand for rescue services is increasing because of the state of the industry and you can see that already in the marine insurance statistics."Under the scaled-back modernisation plans, Falmouth would become the only coastguard station covering the entire South West peninsula by 2015. Brixham, which coordinates rescues from Fowey to Exmouth, is set to close, along ...

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Norwegian Safety Agency: Serious Shortcomings In BP Safety

BP efforts to monitor and respond to oil spills suffer from "very serious shortcomings" BP PLC's (BP) efforts to monitor and respond to sudden pollution releases such as oil spills in the Norwegian Sea suffer from "very serious shortcomings" that demand immediate improvement, Norwegian regulators said.Norway's Climate and Pollution Agency, a directorate under the Norwegian ministry of the environment, in October 2011 performed an investigation during drilling at the Skarv field in the Norwegian Sea that revealed that BP could not document how they have designed preparedness against sudden pollution releases, the agency said Tuesday.The report is the latest indication of health and safety issues at BP, which was plagued by a massive oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and by numerous other accidents in recent years. A BP spokesman had no immediate comment."We take this situation very seriously," Bjorn Bjornstad, director of the agency's department of control, water and international affairs said in a statement.The October investigation uncovered deviations that included that BP had not established sufficient systems to detect emergency contamination within three hours. BP also could not prove that its preparations were based on national performance standards, the Norwegian agency said."Simply put, they ...

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Maritime safety- Commission sends reasoned opinion to four Member States

To communicate what measures they were takingre accidents at sea The European Commission today sent reasoned opinions to Austria, Greece, Poland and the United Kingdom for their failure to communicate what measures they were taking to transpose Directive2009/18/EC on the investigation of accidents at sea.This is the normal procedure in the event of a persistent failure to communicate such measures despite having received formal notice. Sending a reasoned opinion is the last step in the procedure before possibly taking a matter to the Court of Justice.The EU rulesDirective2009/18/EC lays down the basic principles governing investigations into accidents in the maritime transport sector. It requires Member States to bring into force the necessary legislative, regulatory and administrative implementing provisions before 17June2011.The practical consequences of non-transpositionDirective2009/18/EC aims to improve maritime safety and better prevent pollution from ships by requiring Member States to organise safety investigations after serious accidents at sea. The purpose of these investigations, which are separate from any criminal investigations and are carried out by independent bodies, is to establish what has caused the accidents and draw lessons to improve maritime safety in the future. If they fail to take the necessary measures, Member States prevent such arrangements from being ...

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Maritime safety- Commission requests Italy to comply with new safety rules for passenger ships

Safety rules and standards for passenger ships The European Commission has asked Italy to adopt national legislation implementing the new European safety rules and standards for passenger ships. The Commission's request takes the form of a reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures.If Italy fails to inform the Commission within two months of the measures it has taken to ensure full compliance with EU law, the Commission could refer the case to the European Court of Justice.The EU rulesIn 2010 the EU adopted a new directive pertaining to safety rules and standards for passenger ships. The primary aim of this directive was to provide an up-to-date European legislative framework which would take into account the latest measures agreed upon in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). These include, among many other technical requirements, a ban onmaterials containing asbestos, the obligation to install emergency lighting to allow passengers to exit safely and the requirement to provide adequate life jackets for larger individuals.The reason for today's actionItaly has failed to notify the Commission of the measures taken to enforce the new Directive on safety rules and standards for passenger ships although required to do so by 29 June 2011.The practical effect of non-implementationThe objective ...

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Eyes on the Barents maritime safety

The Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) plays a key role in the maritime safety On duty round the clock monitoring tankers and other risk traffic in the Barents Sea and along the coast of Norway. The amount of oil shipped out from Russia has not increased and no voyages with nuclear waste have taken place this year.The Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) in Vardø plays a key role in the maritime safety cooperation with Russia. From its location in Norway's north easternmost corner it is possible to see over the Varanger fjord to Russia's Kola Peninsula. This is the main route for oil tankers from Murmansk to the markets in Europe. Worst-case scenario is a huge tanker accident, followed by massive oil spill and ecological damages along the Arctic coast.- We are working closely with emergency forces and rescue coordination centres. If a tanker gets an engine breakdown, we can immediately see where the nearest tow boat is and send assistance, says Ståle Sveinungsen, head of Vardø VTS.On the large screens on the walls, Ståle Sveinungsen and his fellow officers can see the exact position all maritime traffic within Norwegian economic zone from the south to the maritime border with Russia in ...

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