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Tanker Owners Prosecuted For Pollution In Solent

The fine and costs amount to a total of 95,000 At a hearing today at Southampton Magistrates Court, the owners of a tanker were found guilty under UK maritime pollution legislation. The fine and costs amounted to a total of 95,000. Overnight on the 10th and 11th January 2011, yellow waxy balls of an unknown material washed ashore on the beaches of East and West Wittering. Samples were collected by the Environment Agency for analysis.The Maritime and Coastguard Agency received information of problems onboard a Panamanian registered tanker called Pretty Time. The vessel was boarded and inspected by MCA Port State Control Inspectors on the 25th January 2011. The inspection showed there had been problems in the handling of a previous cargo of Palm Oil. Small yellow waxy balls of material were seen scattered about the deck.Samples of the cargoes were taken and sent for testing by the Environment Agency. Also taken were copies of the ship's logs and documentation.A backtrack analysis showed that the Palm Oil that washed up on the beaches of the Solent on the 10/11th January 2011 originated from the Outer Nab Anchorage at a time when the Pretty Time logs showed tank cleaning was in ...

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Arming ships against piracy should be the exception despite welcome new government guidance

Nautilus is seeking more talks with the UK government re armed guards onboard Nautilus is seeking more talks with the UK government following the Prime Minister's announcement that the use of armed guards is to be permitted on British ships.Guidance published by the government today (Tuesday 6 December) covers the factors ship owners should include in a risk assessment and advice on selecting a private security company, as well as the process for gaining authorisation for the carriage of armed guards.The Union has given a cautious welcome to the announcement - welcoming the recognition that seafarers deserve greater protection against piracy, but expressing concern at some of the implications arising from the use of firearms on merchant ships.General secretary Mark Dickinson commented: 'While we are pleased that the UK has legalised the use of armed guards, we do not believe this in any way reduces the necessity for a strong naval force in the area.'We also believe it is essential that action is taken to ensure that private security teams used at sea are properly vetted and accredited, and that their training, experience and competence are at acceptable levels.'It is also of critical importance that clear procedures are in place ...

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Guidance to UK Flagged Shipping on Measures to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery

And Other Acts of Violence Against Merchant Shipping The Department for Transport issues Guidance to UK Flagged Shipping on Measures to Counter Piracy, Armed Robbery and Other Acts of Violence Against Merchant Shipping as follows:This guidance aims to assist all UK registered ship owners, companies, ship operators, masters and crews in understanding the risk of piracy, armed robbery and other acts of violence against ships, and reminds them of the importance of taking action to deter such acts and advises on how to deal with them should they occur.For more information, click here.Source: Department for Transport

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Britain detains seven suspected pirates in Seychelles

They attacked on a vessel that supplies the Seychelles tuna fleet The British navy has detained seven suspected pirates in the Seychelles, using a team of police dogs to detect the presence of firearms or explosives on their ship, officials said."The seven suspected pirates are alleged to have been involved in an attempted act of piracy on a vessel that supplies the Seychelles tuna fleet," the Foreign Office said in a statement.They were detained by Royal Marines accompanied by a police dog team which found traces of explosives or firearms -- evidence which will help prosecutors in the Seychelles, who have agreed to bring a case against the seven."Providing sufficient evidence to convict pirates has been a real problem for the international community as pirates often throw their weapons overboard and claim to be fishermen," the Foreign Office said."However, the dog handling team is able to search the suspected pirate vessel for traces of explosives and firearms."Rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) are a weapon of choice for the pirates, but even if they are disposed of in the sea they leave explosive residue that the dogs can identify."Source: AFP

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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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New guidelines to strengthen oil spill response

UK guidelines launched A set of new guidelines to strengthen the response to oil and chemical spills at sea has been published today.The post-incident monitoring guidelines are a key output from the PREMIAM project (Pollution Response in Emergencies: Marine Impact Assessment and Monitoring) which was initiated in 2009.A comprehensive document, the guidelines provide the principles upon which effective post-spill monitoring and impact assessment in UK waters will be based and is supported by 19 UK government partners. The guidelines cover a wide range of issues including:planning surveyssampling practices (including handling and storage)chemical analysisecotoxicologyecological assessment.Chemical and oil spills in the marine environment remain a significant threat. While large spill incidents remain relatively rare, events such as the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico and, more recently, the grounded container ship Rena in New Zealand show the importance of effective response.Rapid response, improved preparedness and effective post-incident monitoring and assessment are all key parts of an effective response and these guidelines and other outputs from the project will help to deliver that for the UK.Cefas' Mark Kirby, the PREMIAM project co-ordinator, says: "The publication of the guidelines marks an important step in our ability to mount effective and co-ordinated post-spill monitoring ...

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British government to hold conference on suppressing Somali piracy

Focus on ways of protecting ships from pirates in the Gulf of Aden BRITAIN will hold an international conference on instability in Somalia and focussing on ways of protecting ships from pirates in the Gulf of Aden, according to Prime Minister David Cameron.BRITAIN will hold an international conference on instability in Somalia and focussing on ways of protecting ships from pirates in the Gulf of Aden, according to Prime Minister David Cameron.Mr Cameron described the east African nation as a "failed state that directly threatens British interests", citing attacks on tourists and aid workers, and radicalisation of young Britons by militant Muslim groups with roots in the region.Mr Cameron announced last month that British merchant ships sailing off the coast of Somalia would be able to carry armed guards to ward off pirate attacks, bringing it into line with many other countries."Pirates aren't invincible. They are violent and lawless men in small boats and it is time we properly stood up to them," Mr Cameron said addressing a banquet to honour the new Lord Mayor of the City of London."But there is a real and pressing need to pull together the international effort," the PM said, reported International Freighting Weekly. ...

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Nautilus urges a defence of the safety rules for UK ships and seafarers

Red Tape Challenge Campaign In the nearly 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic and on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Herald of Free Enterprise ferry disaster, Nautilus is urging a defence of the safety rules for UK ships and seafarers from the government's proposals to 'cut red tape'.The government has pursued a self-confessed ambitious deregulation agenda to stem the flow of new regulation. The Red Tape Challenge is an online forum open to the public with rolling themes for debate. The maritime and transport debate is expected to start online around November 10.Such an exercise should not result in cutbacks on the very regulations set up to protect the health and well being of maritime professionals, and the safety of the ships on which they work.REASON FOR CAMPAIGNThe government has repeatedly urged the business lobby to press for removal of regulation. In June, business secretary Vince Cable admitted the Red Tape Challenge for the retail sector had 'backfired' for retailers, because most responses were supportive of regulation. Therefore, in the interests of safety of life at sea it is essential that we respect the international conventions and codes and European directives and regulations; and protect ...

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UK Department for Transport initiated its Maritime Red Tape Challenge

To ensure that the UK's shipping, ports, and waterways are operated safely The UK Department for Transport (DfT) initiated its Maritime Red Tape Challenge.The goal is to examine over 200 international and domestic regulations relating to the maritime sector to ensure that the UK's shipping, ports, and waterways are operated in an efficient, safe, secure, and sustainable manner.Comments (in the areas of industry safety, environment, navigation safety, seafarers, and passengers) should be submitted by December 8.Source: UK Department for Transport

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Dismantling North Sea platforms may cost $76 billion

The UK will be on the hook for $48 billion Dismantling equipment used to pump oil and gas in the North Sea region could cost up to $76 billion (47 billion pounds) over the next 30 years, a study published on Tuesday showed, highlighting the opportunity for oil service firms engaged in decommissioning.The UK will be on the hook for $48 billion of the total bill for taking down and making safe North Sea structures, said the study, published by professional services firm Deloitte and oil research business Douglas-Westwood.The report looked for the first time at decommissioning as oil production declines across the North Sea region including Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Britain.Norway will have the second-largest costs behind the UK at$26 billion, it found.With an average of $2.5 billion per year due to be spent on removing almost 500 offshore platforms, the report said dismantling equipment and plugging the wells represented a big opportunity for oil service firms and regional economies.Andrew Moorfield, Lloyd's head of oil and gas, said in an interview that decommissioning would become an important part of the industry."The industry of decommissioning really will become almost a sub-sector of the oil and gas industry itself."One of ...

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