Thursday, 10 September 2020

Reefer Ship Attacked Offshore Nigeria. Two Crew Members Kidnapped

Image by Roli B - MarineTraffic.Com


Maritime security intelligence agencies have reported that the Water Phoenix reefer vessel was boarded Tuesday morning off Nigeria by an unknown number of persons and that two Russian nationals have been kidnapped.

Per Praesidium International, a risk consultancy and maritime security company, the incident happened at 5:50 a.m. UTC Tuesday, approximately 34 nautical miles south of Lagos.

"According to the initial reports, the perpetrators managed to board the vessel and kidnap the master and another crew member, both Russian," Praesidium said, adding that the crew includes 18 seafarers, of which seven Russians and 11 Filipinos.

Apart from the two crew members who have, reportedly, been kidnapped, the rest of the crew managed to retreat into the citadel.

The Water Phoenix is a reefer owned by the Dutch company Seatrade Groningen.

"AIS tracking indicates that the vessel was on route to Lagos at 14kts and undertook evasive maneuvers before coming to a stop and is currently drifting," maritime safety intelligence group Dryad Global informed.

Praesidium said Tuesday that the same vessel had been involved in another piracy incident in April 2019, around 80 nautical miles southwest of Brass, Nigeria. The attack was foiled after warning shots forced the perpetrators to abort their attempt.

Nigerian maritime authorities have dispatched the NSS Ekulu to provide assistance, Presidium said.

According to Dryad, the attack on Tuesday was the 13th reported incident in waters of the Lagos Port Complex and Anchorage in the past 12 months "most of which have manifest as boarding for theft."

"This is the 3rd offshore incidents in the waters south of Lagos within 2020,"

Per Dryad, 93 personnel have been kidnapped from vessels in incidents off West Africa in 2020, so far.



Iranian Fuel Seized by US to Reach Texas Within Days

Euroforce (© Pak Agen / MarineTraffic.com)

Iranian fuel that the United States seized last month while it was being transported to Venezuela is now being taken to Texas by two tankers due to arrive in coming days, part of Washington’s efforts to disrupt trade between Caracas and Tehran, according to sources and data.

The first fuel cargo, on Liberia-flagged tanker Euroforce, was to arrive in Texas in the coming 24 hours, the sources said. It is broadcasting the U.S. Gulf port of Galveston as destination, according to shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon.

The second cargo on Singapore-flagged tanker Maersk Progress tanker, is expected to arrive on Sep 19 to Houston port, the Eikon data showed.

Eurotankers and Maersk Tankers, which manage the two vessels, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment.

The U.S. announced in August that it had confiscated 1.1 million barrels of Iranian fuel bound for Venezuela. The sources said the four tankers originally carrying the fuel had transferred their cargoes onto the two vessels, which had special permits to enter into the U.S. waters to deliver the cargoes.

Stena RoRo’s E-Flexer GALICIA Delivered to Brittany Ferries – with Higher Passenger Capacity

 

GALICIA, the first of three ships in the E-Flexer class ordered by Brittany Ferries was delivered on September 3. 

The vessel is the third E-Flexer of nine ordered by Stena RoRo from the Chinese shipyard CMI Jinling (Weihai). The Galicia will be chartered by Brittany Ferries on a long-term basis and has been especially adapted to the wishes of the French ferry company:

The basic model car deck on Deck 7 has been converted to cabins. This, in combination with the deckhouse having been extended on both Decks 7 and 8, has enabled the number of cabins to be increased from 175 to 343.

Two scrubbers, one for each main engine

Two extra lifeboats added due to the ferry’s increased passenger capacity

The public spaces on Decks 7 and 8 have been partially given over to other functions compared to the basic model, but largely follow the E-Flexer standard.

“GALICIA is special because she is the first in the E-Flexer series to be delivered to an external customer. The design has been adapted to Brittany Ferries’ special requirements and the yard has been able to deliver according to schedule despite the ongoing pandemic, which we are very happy about.”

Per Westling, CEO for Stena RoRo. 

Stena RoRo has an agreement with Brittany Ferries for long-term charters of two more vessels in the Stena E-Flexer series. Both will be powered by LNG, are under construction and will be delivered in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Second Survivor and One Body Found From Livestock Ship Lost Off Japan

Search continues for lost livestock carrier off Japan

 A second survivor has been located from the livestock carrier Gulf Livestock 1 lost two days ago in a typhoon according to reports from the Japan Coast Guard. 

The search and rescue operations are continuing in a race against time as a second, potentially even larger, typhoon is nearing the area.

The Japan Coast Guard announced this afternoon, September 4, that it had located a survivor in life raft approximately a mile from Kodakara Island in the East China Sea. 

The Gulf Livestock 1’s last known position was south of there about 115 miles west of Amami Oshima island. Winds from Typhoon Maysak and tides are believed to have carried the raft away from the sinking. 

The 30-year old Filipino sailor was reported in good condition and taken a hospital. The first survivor, who was discovered on Wednesday, also remains in a hospital. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said that it was working to repatriate him to the Philippines once COVID-19 protocols are cleared.

Earlier in the day on Friday, the Japan Coast Guard also pulled an unconscious sailor from the water. 

Found floating face down in a life jacket, the sailor was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said identification was pending on this person but that he was in a blue jacket with the label “Fitter” on it.

24-Year-Old Migrant Found Dead in Vehicle Hold Aboard Ro/Pax Ferry

cruise europa

The body of an Afghan migrant was found Sunday in the vehicle deck of a ro/pax ferry in Ancona, Italy. 

The cruise ferry Cruise Europa arrived in Ancona at about 1700 hours Sunday on a voyage from Patras, Greece. 

The victim's body was found within the vessel's vehicle hold, and it showed no signs of injury or violence, according to the local prosecutor's office. 

The enclosed hold can get as hot as 120 degrees Fahrenheit in summer weather, and Italian authorities believe it is likely that the victim asphyxiated while the vessel was under way, according to local media.

Italy's border police are leading an investigation into the cause of the casualty. It is not known whether the victim came aboard in a truck, and the drivers whose vehicles were in the hold did not report seeing him. 

The 24-year-old migrant was identifiable because he was carrying a Greek refugee asylum application, according to InfoMigrants. 

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Dolphin Death Mystery Stokes Anger in Mauritius

Dead dolphins blamed on oil spill, thousands protest against government  inaction in Mauritius - ABC News

The unexplained deaths of Dolphins in Mauritius are fanning anger over the government’s handling of an oil spill that’s the nation’s worst ecological disaster.

In less than a week, 46 melon-headed whales have been found dead on the nation’s southeast coast where the Nagashiki Shipping Co.’s Wakashio leaked fuel, according to the government. Tests so far haven’t linked the deaths to the spillage.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital, Port Louis, at the weekend, claiming the deaths were linked to the spill and blaming the government for failing to prevent the leakage.

“The reasons for the deaths are unknown,” Jasvin Sok Appadu, spokesman for the Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping Ministry, said by phone from Port Louis. “Preliminary reports following autopsies of the first set of dead mammals do not show any presence of fuel oil in their lungs and digestive systems.”

Mauritius was left almost helpless after the vessel spilled about 1,000 tons of fuel into its pristine waters that communities and the government rely on for fishing and tourism. The leakage started more than a week after the ship ran aground on July 25 after salvage operations were delayed.

Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth said that the government was unable to act immediately because it lacked the resources.


Luke Smout

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Monday, 24 August 2020

WATCH: Truck driver drives off RORO before Mooring

 

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UAE Ship And Its Crew Detained By Iran

 UAE Representation Image

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has reported that it detained a UAE-registered vessel on Thursday, 20th Aug 2020 after it was found violating the Iranian waters. 

In a statement made on state television, it also added that UAE had, on the same day shot two Iranian fishermen and seized a boat.

Iran summoned the charge d’affaires of the UAE in Tehran in response to the deaths of the 2 fishermen and compelled them to release the seized boat. UAE in return expressed its ts deepest regrets for the action and returned the boat and its crew to authorities. Transportation of the dead bodies will be undertaken legally. It has also agreed to pay for the damaged caused.

The Emirati ship had been held by Iranian Coast Guards as it was found performing illegal trafficking on the territorial waters of Iran. The crew has now been arrested. Iran has warned against further attacks saying that “Tehran will take all necessary measures to protect its vessels and citizens in the Persian Gulf.”

Both actions come at a time when tensions continue to escalate between Iran and UAE

After a surprise agreement last week between UAE and Israel seeking to ‘normalise ties’.

The decision wasn’t taken in well by the Iranian President who called it a “big mistake” as he believed that it will open up the path of Israel to the region.

Abu Dhabi, finding President Hassan Rouhani’s comments “unacceptable and inflammatory” summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires to condemn the rhetoric.

Emirati minister of state for foreign affairs, however, maintains that the diplomatic agreement has nothing to do with Israel. The agreement once signed will make UAE the 3rd nation to evolve diplomatic relations with Israel.

The rivalry between the countries has downgraded consistently since 2016 due to rifts between Tehran and Saudi Arabia. Despite the troubled relations, Iran and UAE have important economic links with each other, including a significant chunk of Iranian expatriate community in UAE.

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Types of Main Bearings of Marine Engines and their Properties

Main Bearing Top Half

The rotational power of a ship’s propeller is determined by the power produced by the marine engine to rotate the crankshaft. 

The crankshaft of the main engine is supported and connected to the connecting rod via main Bearings whose main function is to transmit the load without any metal to metal contact.

This is achieved by choosing special materials for manufacturing main bearings which float the journal pin of the rotating crankshaft when lube oil is supplied to it.

Forces on Bearings

A ship engine comprises of heavy rotational parts which exert different forces on various parts of the engine crankshaft. One of the significant load-bearing parts of the crankshaft system is the main bearings.

The bearings in a marine engine are subjected to multiple forces which include:

– Gas pressure generated inside the liner

– Dynamic Inertial forces due to different reciprocating and rotating motion of the engine parts

– Centrifugal forces due to different reciprocating and rotating motion of the engine parts

– Friction between the crankshaft and bearing due to engine vibration


Forces on Main Bearing

The main bearing is thus designed to tackle various forces along with supporting the crankshaft rotating at high speed. Hence, the material used in making the bearing is essential so that it can support the crankshaft journal and also adjust to minor surface irregularities.

The engine bearing cannot do the work alone. They need a compatible lubricating oil to bear the load and allow the rotation of crankshaft journal smoothly. The lubricating oil enables the bearing to withstand abrasive particles which create friction between journal and bearing.  


Properties of main bearing materials

For selecting the main bearing for a marine engine, it must have the following features: 

It should be anti-corrosive in nature to avoid corrosion of bearing material and associated parts such as journal and bearing keep

It should be frictional resistant so that there is minimum energy loss between the bearing and the journal

It should have an excellent load-bearing capacity as dynamic load acts on it

It should have good running in and grinding-in ability

The bearing must support the oil film which allows smooth rotation of the journal

The bearing material should be such that it does not react with the lubricating oil

The bearing should have suitable embeddability property so that small particle embed in the bearing surface without harming the journal pin

The bearing material should have an excellent compressive and tensile strength

It must have a thermal resistant property to avoid any damage if it’s running hot


Common defects in bearings

Corrosion: If the oil in which the bearing is placed is acidic, it may lead to corrosion. The surface of the bearing will become discoloured and rough due to corrosion

Abrasion:  If the oil is not filtered and treated correctly and contains minute particles, which are common in engines burning heavy fuel oil, it may cause fine scratches on the bearing surface 

Erosion: When the oil supply pressure is not appropriate, or there is a rapid and unusual journal movement, it will lead the stripping of the overlay layer of the bearing. These phenomena are more common in medium-speed engines.

Fatigue: When the engine load over the bearing is too high, it may lead to the removal of the bearing lining. The bearing surface loads cracked paving.

Wiping:  It is the process when the overlay layer removes due to high temperature. When the bearing is new, wiping is required to remove the initial layer, which helps in re-alignment of the bearing to the journal. However, too much metal wiping can lead to increase in clearances affecting the performance of the bearing

Spark Erosion: When the propeller is at rest, the stern tube, propeller shaft and bearings are in contact with each other. Similarly, main engine bearing and journal are in contact with each other, maintaining continuity of the circuit. When the ship is running, due to the rotation of the propeller and lubricating oil film the shaft becomes partially electrical insulated. It may also happen on the tail shaft using non-metallic bearing which acts as an insulation.

The propeller at the aft is a large area of exposed metal which attracts protective cathodic current which produces an arc while discharging from the lubricating film. This results in spark erosion of bearings, which can lead to a worse situation if lube oil is contaminated with seawater

Crankshaft misalignment: Crankshaft of a marine engine is a massive component when fully put together in the engine. Initially, the complete crankshaft is aligned in a straight line (connection drawn from the centre of the crankshaft makes a straight line) before setting it on the top of main bearings. But with time due to various factors, the straight line may deviate and misalign which can lead to damage to the main bearings

Hence, the increase in the clearance between the bearing and the journal pin can be due to the above-listed factor as well as the following:

-If the bearing is operated above the operating temperature for a longer period

-If there is significant and prolong variation in the engine speed, e.g. over speeding of the engine

-If the lubrication oil film thickness is reduced due to change in the oil flow

–If there is a change in the viscosity of the lubricant 

-If the lubrication oil temperature is high

-If the lube oil used has a different load-bearing capacity than the recommended.  

-There is a change in the engine ambient temperature.

Types of the main bearing

In the maritime industry, there are three famous types of Main bearings used for both propulsion engines which are normally 2 stroke engines and power generation engines which are 4 stroke engines, they are as follows:

1. Lead Bronze Bearing: These bearings consist of the following layers

Flash layer: It is the topmost layer with a thickness of 0.035mm made up of tin and lead. It is used to protect the bearing from corrosion and dust when not in use. This layer flashes off when a bearing is running.

Nickle Barrier: It is the second layer made up of nickel with a thickness of 0.02mm. Its main function is to prevent corrosion and avoid diffusion of tin into bearing metal.

Lead Bronze: The third layer composed of lead bronze which has an excellent anti seizing property and is the principle component which acts as a bearing out of all layers.

Steel back: Steel back is the last and backing part of the bearing used for shape and support over which all the layers are bonded together.

Gudgeon Pin bearing in a 4 stroke engine is usually made of lead bronze bearing and also used for the main bearing for smaller engines.


2.  Bi-metal Bearing: This bearing consists of the following layers

Aluminium Tin: The first layer of bi-metal consists of Al and Sn with a thickness of 0.5 to 1.3mm and this is the main element of this type of bearing.

Bonding Layer: The bonding layer consists of aluminium and it is 0.1mm thick. The main function of the bonding layer is to obtain a good bond between the shell and the top layer.

Steel Back: The backing part used for shape and support.

This type of bearings are used in 4 stroke engine main bearings

3. Tri-Metal Bearing: These bearings are called tri-metal bearing because they consist of three main layers 

Flash Layer: It is the top most layer with a thickness of 1 micron made up of tin and lead and used to protect the bearing from corrosion and dust when not in use. This layer flashes off when bearing is in Running in the period.

Overlay: The second layer made up of white metal (Tin Antimony Copper) which is the main component in this type of bearing. Its thickness is 20 microns.

Interlay: It is the third layer used as an anti-corrosive layer for overlay. It is of 5 microns thickness.

Lining: It is the lining layer between interlay and steel back with a thickness of 1 mm made up of lead and bronze.

Steel Back: The backing part used for shape and support.

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Fate Of English Channel Migrants Entwined In Brexit Talks

 Immigration - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The ...

The European Union has so far rebuffed British calls for talks on a deal to allow London to send unwanted migrants back to Europe from 2021, and could use the issue as potential leverage in wider Brexit negotiations, diplomats and officials said.

The agenda for this week’s EU-UK talks on their future relationship after a post-Brexit transition period runs out at the end of 2020 did not include specific talks on returning migrants, though London has long pressed for such a deal.

Brussels diplomats and officials following discussions on Britain’s departure from the bloc told Reuters the EU was playing hard to get, believing an agreement on migrants was more important to Britain than the bloc’s 27 member states.

Hundreds of people, including some children, have tried to cross the English Channel to southern England from makeshift camps in northern France this month – many navigating one of the world’s busiest shipping routes in overloaded rubber dinghies.

Britain’s Home Office said this week the uptick in the numbers attempting the perilous crossing was frustrating.

“That is why the (government) is committed … to ensuring we have legislation ready following the end of the transition period,” it said. “This legislation will build on our continuing work with the French government to stop these crossings.”

Britain wants to be able to ship such migrants back to France or Belgium, where they embarked.

But without a new deal with the EU, once its current arrangements with the bloc end it would be obliged under international humanitarian law to take responsibility for anyone landing on its coast, being fished from the water by its ships or brought to its ports by other vessels.

Unlike with Turkey, where the EU needed a migration pact to ensure Ankara keeps on its soil the millions of Middle Eastern refugees it hosts – the 27 EU countries are in no rush.

“The UK has interest in this. We can wait,” said an EU diplomat dealing with migration. “The 27 are not that worried. Of that, 25 do not really care at all. France and Belgium can be to some extent preoccupied, but far less than the UK is.”

Authorities on Wednesday found a dead Sudanese boy on a beach in northern France, as Paris and London said they would shut down the migrant route across the Channel.

SECURITY TRADE-OFF

Sources in Brussels hope a final Brexit agreement will be ready for an Oct.15-16 EU leaders’ summit, allowing time for ratification by year-end, though some have warned it might come later.

EU sources said migration would not ultimately be a deal maker or breaker in the negotiations, where fisheries and state aid arrangements are the biggest lingering hurdles.

But a second EU diplomat said migration could play a role, suggesting a trade-off for talks on a new security and defence pact, which the bloc wants but London has refused to engage in so far.

“If they don’t get the overall deal – they don’t have a migration deal either,” said the person, speaking on condition of anonymity. “If they do go for a deal – they may get something on migration as well.”

The U.N. migration agency expressed concern this week about Britain’s plans to deploy its navy to intercept people and return them to mainland Europe.

“Our collective response should be… from saving lives to combating smuggling rings, expanding legal options, and ensuring that all those who are in need of protection can effectively access it,” said the International Organisation for Migration.

It called on London to ensure vulnerable migrants, such as unaccompanied minors, can continue reuniting with families in Britain after Brexit.

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4 Missing After Dredge Hits A Pipeline And Explodes in Corpus Christi

 Corpus Christi Dredge Explosion

Coast Guard crews respond to a dredge on fire in the Port of Corpus Christi Ship Channel, Aug. 21, 2020. 

A Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was launched to the scene, hoisted two injured crewmembers, and transferred them to Corpus Christi Medical Center.

Four members of the dredging vessel Waymon L Boyd are missing after a fire and explosion near the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, on Friday, causing the U.S. Coast Guard to close the port’s inner harbor, the agency said.

Two injured crew members have been rescued from the dredging vessel Waymon L Boyd after it caught fire, while a search for missing crew members continues, the Coast Guard said.

The fire started shortly after 9:00 AM ET (1300 GMT) in an area referred to as “refinery row” because of its proximity to several refining facilities, according to a spokeswoman for the Corpus Christi fire department.

Corpus Christi is home to a number of oil refineries and shipping ports, and has become an important exporting locale for crude oil. Valero on Friday said operations at its refinery were normal.

The U.S. Coast Guard closed the Inner Harbor from Harbor Bridge inward of the Port of Corpus Christi ship channel.

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Maersk Executive Charged In Petrobras Corruption Scheme

A.P. Moller-Maersk (1) | Supply Chain & Transportation Management Blog

Brazilian prosecutors pressed charges on Friday against two people for an alleged scheme to obtain confidential market information from Petrobras to benefit A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company.

The case stems from an investigation that started in 2014 as part of Brazil’s sprawling Car Wash scandal, which has since included suppliers like Maersk and uncovered corruption throughout multiple countries in more than 70 police operations.

A statement released by prosecutors on Friday said a former Maersk executive in Brazil, Viggo Andersen, participated in a scheme that led to at least $31.7 million in losses for Petrobras.

Andersen denies the accusations and will have his innocence proved, his lawyer Paulo Freitas said in a written response.

According to prosecutors, Andersen participated in a scheme to bribe a Petrobras executive, through an intermediary, in exchange for privileged information that would guarantee more business to Maersk.

Andersen allegedly inflated shipping contract prices and transferred the proceeds to Maersk commercial representative Wanderley Gandra, who acted as a financial operator for the scheme, the prosecutors said.

Gandra, according to prosecutors, then sent some of the money to Paulo Roberto Costa, a former Petrobras top executive, who supplied confidential information on the state oil company’s shipping needs back to Maersk, the statement said.

Gandra’s lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.

Costa was arrested in 2014 and was the first of more than 100 people who entered a plea deal with prosecutors. He has provided investigators with information on multiple Petrobras contracts he oversaw, including with Maersk and other international offshore suppliers.

A judge must still decide whether to start a criminal case against Andersen and Gandra or drop the charges.

The alleged crimes relate to the period 2006 to 2014, the prosecution statement said. Andersen left Maersk in 2017, according to his LinkedIn page.

Maersk said it takes the “allegations very seriously and remains committed to cooperating with the authorities.” Petrobras has been collaborating with officials since 2014 and will continue to do so, the company said in a written response.

Last year, Maersk’s offices in Brazil were raided by prosecutors.

Representatives of the Danish company met with Brazilian investigators as far back as 2014 in relation to its dealings with Petrobras during the early stages of the corruption investigation.

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Friday, 21 August 2020

Mauritius Jails Wakashio Captain Under Piracy And Violence Act

 Wakashio-tanker-captain

Captain Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar, master of the MV Wakashio bulk carrier that ran aground on a coral reef, causing a large oil spill, was arrested and jailed by a district court in Port Louis, Mauritius yesterday. 

Captain Nandeshwar, and Indian national, was arrested alongside the chief officer, Tilak Ratna Suboda, a Sri Lankan and charged with endangering safe navigation under the piracy and maritime violence act.

Local news media and police have reported that prior to the grounding incident, the carrier sailed close to the Mauritius coastline to get a Wi-Fi signal because the crew was celebrating a birthday.

“We are carrying out a full investigation and interviewing all the crew members,” Local police inspector Sivo Coothen told reporters. Both will remain in custody until their bail hearing.

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) which chartered the MV Wakashio, issued a press release today acknowledging the arrest but offered no words of support for the officers in jail.

“The Master and Chief Officer of Wakashio have been arrested by the local authority on August 18.” says the MOL release. “MOL is fully aware of its responsibilities and will continue to work with the relevant authorities of Mauritius and Japan.”

MOL also stated that it dispatched a team of 6 employees and some equipment to assist in oil recovery efforts but will wait to “dispatch an additional team in later August”.

In contrast to MOL’s lack of support in the wake of this arrest, Nagashiki Shipping did promise a degree of help. “We will continue to support the crew and their families while awaiting future judicial decisions.” said a company official in today’s official statement.  “We sincerely apologize for causing a great deal of inconvenience to everyone involved.”

Neither of today’s statements mention the fate of the MV Wakashio’s 18 other Indian, Srilankan, and Phillipino seafarers after the arrest of their Captain but media reports suggest they are currently being interviewed by police.

The captain and chief officer’s next court appearance is currently set for August 25th.

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