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Issue 211 may/jun 2011

Arctic Sea hijackers given jail sentences

Los artículos en español aparecen en las páginas 6y7 Статьи на русском языке приводятся на стр. 6 и 7

Liberia prepares for MLC page 4 The long view on crewing pages 4/5 Overtonnaging looms page 8

A CAR is driven past a ship swept ashore by the March 11 tsunami, at a fishing port in Kamaishi, Iwate prefecture, Japan, a month after the area was devastated by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami. After the disaster, Japanese shipping lines acted quickly to help in the relief effort. Full story on P3. (Photo: Reuters/Toru Hanai)

‘Politicians don’t realise how critical the situation is’

Campaign launched to get action on piracy

T Registered in England and Wales: 1123613 The Mission to Seafarers in Scotland: SC041938

Founded in 1856, and entirely funded by voluntary donations, today’s Mission to Seafarers offers emergency assistance, practical support, and a friendly welcome to crews in 230 ports around the world. Whether caring for victims of piracy or providing a lifeline to those stranded in foreign ports, we are there for the globe’s 1.2 million merchant seafarers of all ranks, nationalities and beliefs. The Sea Editor: Gillian Ennis News: David Hughes It is distributed free to seafarers through chaplains and seafarers’ centres. However, if you want to receive it regularly, send us £3.50 or $5 for post and packing and we will mail it to you for a year (six issues). It is available from: Kathy Baldwin, The Sea, The Mission to Seafarers, St Michael Paternoster Royal, College Hill, London EC4R 2RL. Tel: +44 20 7248 5202 Fax: +44 20 7248 4761 Email: Website:

HE worsening situation in the Indian Ocean has prompted the main shipping industry representative bodies to form the SOS – SaveOurSeafarers – campaign group to draw government attention to the Somali piracy crisis. The group – Bimco, the International Chamber of Shipping, the International Shipping Federation, Intercargo and Intertanko, along with the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) – is sending letters to heads of government via its website, It has also placed hard-hitting advertisements in several influential newspapers around the world. In early April, the 319,247 dwt crude oil tanker Irene SL and her crew were released after being held for 58 days. SOS spokesperson and Intertanko chairman Captain Graham Westgarth welcomed the release but warned that the hijacking had marked a major shift in Somali piracy, taking the crisis into the main sea lanes coming from the Middle East Gulf. He said the systematic use of pirate mother ships meant

the Somali pirates’ outreach now extended right across the Indian Ocean. “No ship in this area is safe from the risk of pirate attack.” Captain Westgarth complained that seafarers’ role in keeping world trade flowing in this area went largely un-

forces, 80 per cent of pirates were released to attack again. “Why? Because the world’s politicians don’t realise the severity of this critical situation. How many ships need to be attacked? How many hostages taken, tortured and killed? How much is enough

THE SaveOurSeafarers campaign logo recognised by governments, and an SOS statement noted that there was no alternative route for the 17 million barrels of oil a day that come out of the Gulf: 40 per cent of the world’s oil supplies has to pass through the Indian Ocean. And, reflecting views widely held in the shipping industry, Captain Westgarth went on to say that even when caught red-handed by naval

for national governments to take real action?” Speaking in London in April, ITF general secretary David Cockroft said the point had almost been reached where seafarers would no longer sail into large parts of the Indian Ocean. And, he added, “they will have our full support”. Mr Cockroft was speaking at the Seatrade annual awards where he received a special

award for countering piracy on behalf of a new initiative that is being funded and managed by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust charity. The award was in the form of a cash donation to the new cross-industry programme, Maritime Piracy: a Humanitarian Response. The programme involves 20 partners, including the International Christian Maritime Association of which The Mission to Seafarers is a member. Chaired by Peter Swift, formerly managing director of tanker industry association Intertanko, the programme’s objective is to assist seafarers affected by piracy. It involves talking to them and recording their experiences, which are then being used to develop three best practice guides: for the industry, for seafarers, and for seafarers’ families. There will also be training for owners, seafarers and seafarers’ families in using the guides, with the aim of setting up a network of people who can respond to the needs of seafarers affected by piracy, including medical needs. The guest of honour at the awards, which were dominated by the piracy issue, was Continued on P2

A COURT in Archangel, Russia, has sentenced six of the men who hijacked the Arctic Sea in mysterious circumstances in July 2009 to prison terms of seven to 12 years. Three others allegedly involved in the plot have already been jailed. The Malta-registered general cargoship, carrying timber from Finland to Algeria, was allegedly hijacked off the Swedish coast and was finally caught by the Russian Navy near the Cape Verde islands. The Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported that, after capturing the vessel, the pirates phoned Solchart, the ultimate owner of the Arctic Sea, demanding a €1.5m ransom. The strange incident gave rise to much speculation that the ship had been smuggling weapons or missiles. One theory in wide circulation was that the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, had foiled a Russian arms shipment to Iran. The Russian shipping journalist, Mikhail Voitenko, who reported the possible Iranian link, fled from Russia shortly afterwards saying his life was in danger.

Shipowners warned about social networking SHIPOWNERS need to be aware of the potential damage that could be caused by crew members posting on social networking sites, according to MTI Network. The emergency response media specialist’s US vice-president, Adam Baylor, underlined the detrimental effect of unflattering videos and photographs posted on such sites as Facebook or Twitter in the event of an incident. He said that environmental and other lobby groups took a keen interest in postings by crew members when something went wrong and ship operators needed to develop policies that took this into account.

2 the sea may/jun 11

New agreements extend Somali piracy risk areas

‘Indian Ocean no-go zone for seafarers a possibility’ A S hijackings by Somali pirates have continued, often far out into the Indian Ocean, there has been increasing talk in shipping circles of seafarers refusing to sail into the danger area. While this possibility has been raised publicly by the unions there is, in private, widespread sympathy for such a move among shipowners. Others in the industry are, however, sceptical about whether any such boycott could be made to work. “The ITF has raised the possibility of an Indian Ocean seafarer no-go zone,” an International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) spokesperson told The Sea. “We hope it will not prove necessary, and that the joint industry campaign to put pressure on governments to actually do something about the piracy problem will pay off, but in the meantime advice to simply stay out of the pirate operations area remains a live option.” Meanwhile, at least two new agreements have been made which recognise the reality of pirate gangs using mother ships to attack ships at great distances from the Somali coast.

In the UK in early March, the seafarers’ union Nautilus and the Chamber of Shipping agreed a new deal covering piracy risks in the Indian Ocean. This does not extend the area where additional pay is due but it does give crew members the right to refuse to sail on ships not following the officially recognised

Best Management Practices (BMP) to prevent boardings. The deal covers ships owned by members of the UK Chamber of Shipping that transit the area bounded to the north by the Suez Canal to 10°S and 78°E. The section of the Gulf of Aden between 45°E and 53°E and north of a straight line connect-

ing Cape Guardafui and the western tip of the island of Socotra is deemed a “highrisk” zone and the remainder of the area is deemed an “at-risk” zone, due to the continuing activities of pirates operating from Somalia. All ships transiting the “high-risk” zone should remain within the Interna-

Extended piracy zones

Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor

Limits of high- High-risk area Extended risk zone Limits of extended (red shading) (green shading) risk area risk zone

tionally Recommended Transit Corridor. Under the agreement, seafarers who choose not to sail into the high-risk zone should be given the option of not joining the ship or leaving at a preceding port. Within the high-risk zone seafarers are to receive double pay unless special measures, such as military escorts, have been arranged. All ships transiting the wider “at-risk” zone should follow the advice in the official industry guide Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and in the Arabian Sea Area. If this is not followed as appropriate for the ship, seafarers should be allowed either not to join the ship or to leave before she enters the high-risk zone. In late March, the operators of a large proportion of the global open register fleet and the ITF agreed a broadly similar deal covering the same geographical area. This agreement includes payments should vessels be attacked, but does not give seafarers the right in the extended zone not to sail on ships failing to comply with BMP. See Seafarers’ rights in piracy zones P6

Armed guards on increase Piracy action campaign THE use of armed guards on merchant ships crossing the Indian Ocean appears to be on the increase and seems to be effective. So far there have been no reports of pirates taking control of a ship protected by armed guards. As a snapshot of the situation in early April, eight attempted attacks by Somali pirates were reported to the International Maritime Bureau between April 3 and 12. One ended in a successful hijacking, even though the crew had retreated to a citadel, while two were prevented by passive evasive action by the master. The other five attacks were only aborted after the ships’ armed security teams had opened fire.

Among the vessels that had armed guards on board was a passenger ship under way in the Gulf of Aden. About 20 skiffs were seen three miles away on the port bow at a distance of 3nm. Five of them, each carrying five to seven men armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers and guns, headed towards the vessel. As the skiffs came close to the ship the guards fired warning shots and the skiffs moved away. At the same time three more skiffs approached from the starboard side but also broke off their approach when warning shots were fired. The master used VHF channel 16 to call a warship in the vicinity.

Libya declared a ‘warlike’ area FOLLOWING the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya in support of a UN resolution, the UK’s Warlike Operations Area Committee, comprising owner and union representatives, has designated the country’s territorial waters a warlike operations area. This means seafarers on the UK-owned ships covered by the agreement are, among other entitlements, due double pay while in the area and have the right not to sail into Libyan waters. The international standard for territorial waters is 12 nautical miles from shore, but Libya claims territorial waters up to 24 nautical miles off and the warlike operations area also extends that distance offshore.

Continued from P1 Mission to Seafarers’ president the Princess Royal, who spoke with feeling on the impact piracy was having on captured crews. While an apparent lack of effective action has prompted anger in the shipping community there have been numerous moves at the International Maritime Organisation and by individual countries to tackle Somali piracy. Among them was a UK Government announcement that it was setting up a £6 million fund to tackle piracy. Commenting, The Mission to Seafarers said that while it welcomed the spending of £6 million on improving capacity to prosecute and jail Indian Ocean pirates, it was “disappointing that none of the money is earmarked for improving the protection of seafarers. £600,000 is being spent on improving the surveillance and evidence-gathering capacity of the Seychelles Coastguard. The remaining £5.3 million is earmarked for improving the accommodation conditions and capacity of the jails in Somalia, Kenya and the Seychelles where piracy suspects or convicted pirates are held”. The Mission noted that 576 seafarers were currently being held hostage in dehumanising and brutal conditions. It added

that it was likely to infuriate seafarers and their families that over £5 million was to be spent, “not on physically protecting those merchant crews who feed, clothe and fuel our society, but on improving regional prison accommodation for pirates. “Seafarers are crying out for better protection from the highly organised pirate gangs which terrorise the Indian Ocean,” said the Mission’s secretary general, the Revd Tom Heffer. “All governments should redouble efforts to keep trade routes open, as well as authorising and assisting shipping companies to embark suitably trained armed guards on vessels until this menace has passed.” The government should also ensure that rescued and released seafarers were afforded proper post-trauma care and counselling, he said. Seafarers’ union Nautilus firmly endorsed the Mission’s concerns. “While it is important that pirates are prosecuted, we share the belief that governments should be taking a much more proactive approach to tackling the threat to ships and their crews,” it said. “We too would wish to see the government directing some of these resources to practical support for the welfare of seafarers and their families affected by the scourge of piracy.”

Incidents show that fire drills matter THE way crews responded to two recent onboard cargo fires highlighted the value of both fire-fighting training and realistic shipboard drills and also showed what can go wrong when they have not been carried out. Marine liability insurer London P&I Club says that in the first case a containership crew saw smoke escaping from a container stuffed with bulk bone meal. They quickly established the best means of fighting a fire involving that commodity and executed a well drilled plan to extinguish it by flooding the container, using a fire-fighting lance connected to a fire hose. This was introduced into the box through a hole which they punctured in the container roof. By contrast, another crew’s response to a fire in cotton bales on a tweendecker was much less effective. While the master did the right thing in deciding to use the CO2 fixed fire-fighting system, his crew’s failure to ensure that the cargo space was sealed before releasing the gas meant the fire was not put out. The fire team then went into the cargo spaces with hoses. Unfortunately, one member apparently became disorientated in the thick smoke and fell from the tweendeck level to the tank top, sustaining severe injuries, which suggested he had not received adequate training in fire-fighting techniques.

More reports of bullying at sea THE initial results of a membership survey on bullying, discrimination and harassment, which was conducted online by seafarers’ union Nautilus, indicate that over 40 per cent of participants personally experienced such unfair treatment compared with 20 per cent of the overall UK workforce.

New ship arrest in Venezuela VENEZUELAN authorities have detained the 50,337dwt bulker Maria L and arrested her crew of 20 after drugs were allegedly found attached under the waterline in the rudder access trunk.

This is the latest in a series of similar cases in which vessels have been detained and crew members arrested – and in some cases jailed. Two Ukrainian officers from the bulk carrier B Atlantic were jailed last August for three and a half years even though no evidence of involvement in smuggling was presented. They were finally returned to the Ukraine in mid-March, where a court ordered their release. Two officers from the tanker Astro Saturn are still in jail after being sentenced to eight years in similar circumstances. An ITF spokesperson told The Sea that approaches to the Venezuelan Government were continuing “with mixed results”.

Guidelines ‘to make ships safer’ NEW guidelines issued by the UK’s Chamber of Shipping are intended to make ships safer by requiring crew members to take responsibility for their own and each other’s safety and to ensure that unsafe acts and conditions are not tolerated. The guidelines on the implementation of a behavioural safety system on ships have been developed by the National Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Committee. “They have been produced in response to concerns voiced by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch that complacency was becoming increasingly significant as a causal factor in marine accidents,” said Tim Springett, the main author. The guidelines booklet includes a CD ROM containing all the information required to implement a system. Copies can be obtained by visiting http://www. publications/codes/

Lower rates for voice calls SEAFARERS making voice calls using Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband service should be charged at US$0.55 per minute if owners apply the Inmarsat Suggested Retail Price (SRP). Inmarsat says that the pre-paid calling SRP on its new FleetPhone system that is being launched on 30 June 2011 will also be $0.55 per minute and that by the end of the year all of its maritime pre-paid voice services will be available around the clock at SRPs ranging from $0.55 to $0.95 per minute.

may/jun 11 the sea 3

Cadet’s death prompts training changes LESSONS have been learnt from the death of South African female cadet Ahona Geveza, according to Captain Andy MacLennan, head of the college overseeing South Africa’s cadet training programme. Ms Geveza’s body was recovered from the sea off Croatia shortly after she had allegedly complained of being raped by a senior officer on board the UK-flag containership Safmarine Kariba last June. Captain MacLennan, the general manager of the South African Maritime Training Academy (SAMTRA) told The Sea that Safmarine’s procedures relating to cadets had been examined and improved to make any similar occurrences much less likely. He said a new Employee Assistance Programme should provide psychological and other support to cadets and their families when required and that the college’s induction programme, which deals with life on board, had been amended to include measures to help prevent a similar incident. Captain MacLennan pointed out that most companies had shied away from taking on female cadets but that Safmarine had been an exception. He went on to say that a new batch of 20 South African cadets, including a high proportion of female officer trainees, had recently joined a number of Safmarine ships in a new government initiative to boost the numbers of South African officers. This was as a result

SOME of Safmarine’s new intake of South African cadets of the South African Maritime Safety Authority having contracted SAMTRA to manage a new project to train up to 60 additional cadets a year in order to grow the country’s maritime capabilities and address its high unemployment. He added that SAMTRA was also seeking more training berths from reputable shipping companies and managers to enable more cadets to be taken on to the

programme and that the scheme set up by Transnet, the country’s national ports authority, which employed Ms Geveza, was also continuing. Meanwhile, seafarers’ union Nautilus International is continuing to call for a UK inquiry into the death of Ms Geveza and has expressed concern that Croatian investigations were not sufficiently thorough.

Earthquake and tsunami lay waste to ports and ships

Japanese shipping lines provide relief in disaster T HE major Japanese shipping lines acted quickly to assist the relief effort when the north east of the country was hit by a devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11 and then by a tsunami, or giant wave, which is believed to have killed about 25,000 people. A number of large merchant ships were swept ashore by the huge wave and many fishing vessels in north east Japan were destroyed or, in some cases, carried far inland. There were no reports of crew casualties on the merchant ships but many people in the fishing communities in the region are missing. Port infrastructures in the region were badly damaged, particularly in Sendai, and several oil refineries were put out of action. In the days after the disaster it became clear that a serious situation had developed at the Fukushima nuclear power station, leading to some leak-

age of radioactive material into the environment. Overall, the shipping industry’s response was coordinated by the Japanese

nated Yen50m (US$600,000) to a national relief fund. The All Japan Seamen’s Union was one of the 32 organisations that worked with NYK.

AN MOL container being loaded with relief supplies Shipowners’ Association. The three major shipping companies, NYK, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and K Line, linked up with other companies and organisations to provide relief supplies. Within days, as well as providing direct help, each of the three companies do-

As the extent of the devastation became clear the country’s biggest shipping group, NYK, made the large module carrier Yamatai available for the relief effort. Initially it was expected that, with her wide open deck and forward superstructure, she would serve

Uncertainty over nuclear leaks A CRISIS at a Japanese nuclear plant damaged by the March earthquake and tsunami has led to a maritime exclusion zone being put into effect. Also, several container lines have stopped calling at ports in Tokyo Bay even though official advice, as The Sea went to press, was that there was no danger. The Japanese authorities have confirmed several times that all international seaports not damaged by the earthquake and tsunami are operating normally and that no health risk due to increased radiation has been detected around the ports. Initially a 30km (19 mile) exclusion zone was put in place by the

Japanese authorities but some maritime administrations subsequently imposed much wider safety distances. The Liberian registry advised vessels under its flag to remain 300 miles off the coast north of Onahama while, according to seafarers’ union Nautilus, some companies advised vessels to stay up to 200 miles from the Fukushima nuclear reactors. In response to a request for guidance from Nautilus, the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency said that seafarers should be guided by NAVTEX warnings for areas XI and XIII, which reflected the advice of the Japanese Government.

as a helicopter carrier. In the event, however, she was used to ferry supplies to ports in the stricken area. The supplies included drinking water, food and sanitary goods and the operation was still continuing in April. The MOL group of companies brought food, water, and other daily necessities, for distribution in Sendai, not only from southern Japan but also from as far afield as China and South Korea. K Line group accepted relief supplies from overseas on its containerships free of ocean freight charges. A month after the disaster struck the relief operation was still working flat out and in April, MOL announced that its 23,235 gt cruiseship Fuji Maru had started calling at three ports, Ofunato, Kamaishi, and Miyako, to provide free services such as meals, baths, and daytime rest facilities. The company said it would bear the entire cost of making the vessel available.

Great Barrier Reef fine AN Australian court has said that a 245 gt, 30-metre-long cargo vessel, which damaged the Great Barrier Reef, should have had a crew of six on board. Fining the owner of the Vanuatu-flag Sattha A$20,000 (US$20,263) for damaging the Great Barrier Reef, a Queensland magistrates’ court found the voyage was “at all times reckless and dangerous”, given

that the vessel was not seaworthy and only had a crew of three. Only the skipper was qualified to command the vessel and oversee the ship’s machinery. He had already been fined A$30,000. The small vessel was said to have caused a 48-metre-long scar in the reef when it broke down within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

‘Decisionmaking should go back to ship’ DECISION-making needs to go back into the hands of crew and away from shore-based managers, according to the president of ship managers’ organisation InterManager, Alastair Evitt. He told delegates at the Connecticut Maritime Association conference in March that he regretted to say it “but in many cases shipboard management teams have to be retrained to think for themselves, to understand the commercial issues and to have an awareness of product and service delivery”. He said that he believed current maritime legislation and methods were “driving decision-making from the bridge and control room of the vessels to the respective shorebased management office”. He encouraged the shipping industry to place more importance on the training of officers and crew, to improve career opportunities and to put sea-based roles on a par with university graduates. “It is incumbent upon the industry to use modern communications and training facilities to return the responsibility for onboard management to the vessels – where it rightfully belongs, and in doing so, restore the pride and self respect of those serving at sea,” said Mr Evitt.

Inquiry into fatal collision THE UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch is conducting inquiries into a reported collision on March 6 between the UK-flag container vessel Cosco Hong Kong and the Chinese fishing vessel Zhe Ling Yu Yun 135, about 30 miles off the China coast. The fishing vessel sank and all 11 of her crew are missing, presumed dead.

Welfare levy for Bangladesh THE Bangladeshi Government has agreed to introduce a US$15 levy on vessels calling at the country’s ports to assist with the provision of welfare services for seafarers. Emdadul Haque, of the government’s Directorate General of Shipping, and a welfare

board representative, said they had worked long and hard to make this happen. “It goes a long way to making sure seafarers get a warm welcome when they call in at Bangladesh.” Shafiqur Rahman, from the Bangladesh Seamen’s Association, commented that this was a great day for the seafarers of Bangladesh and for the seafarers visiting from other countries. Tom Holmer of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, who was among those present at the meeting setting up the scheme, said “seafarers need transport and communication services in port, and this simple step taken by the Bangladesh Government secures their running costs. It is a very important measure to ensure long-term assistance for seafarers”.

Dangerous fakes warning THE Marine Safety Forum (MSF), which promotes good practice on Northern European offshore support vessels, says “useless and dangerous” emergency escape breathing devices have been supplied to some vessel operators. The fakes are copies of the Unitor/MSA type Uniscape 15H. MSF Safety Flash 11-09, available on website, gives details of the difference in appearance between the genuine article and the fake. It warns that “it is of the utmost importance that these fake sets are taken out of service whenever discovered”. Apart from other dangerous defects, the fakes will not fit over a normal-sized head and so cannot be worn.

Samoan fine for oily waste discharge IN the first case of its kind in American Samoa, Taiwan-based Koo Shipping Company has been sentenced to pay a US$750,000 criminal fine and US$250,000 towards community service projects, and has been placed on probation for three years, for charges connected with the deliberate discharge of oily waste water. The US Coast Guard inspected the Syota Maru, a 4,491 gt frozen-fish carrier, in Pago Pago last August and discovered the crew were dumping oily bilge waste directly into the harbour without using proper pollution prevention equipment.

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4 the sea may/jun 11



Liberia prepares for MLC implementation PREPARATIONS for the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC 2006) by the major register Liberia are well advanced. While most European countries, including the UK, have yet to ratify the convention, Liberia has already done so and by March had trained nearly 100 of its International Safety Management Code (ISM) inspectors to also be MLC 2006 inspectors. The Mission to Seafarers’ director for justice and welfare, the Revd Canon Ken Peters, attended Liberia’s second MLC course in Singapore and its third in Houston, USA, where he gave well received presentations on crew welfare.

“MLC 2006 is designed to create decent living and working standards, and through rigorous inspections, flag state inspectors will have to ensure that these standards are met,” says Canon Peters. “For the inspectors to do this, an awareness of why seafarers have been recognised as needing such provisions, and how decent living and working conditions have a direct impact on health and safety, is crucial. Liberia’s concern for seafarers is an example to the industry of how to adopt the MLC 2006 standards.” While MLC 2006 will not come into force until more countries have ratified it, the Liberian Registry has already carried out its first MLC com-

pliance ship inspection on the 7,000 teu containership UASC Yanbu. It is owned by German company D Oltmann Reederei and managed by Anglo-Eastern Ship Management. The inspector, Captain Wolfgang Werner, found no deficiencies during the inspection carried out at Hamburg in March, and Liberia will now issue an MLC certificate accordingly. The Liberian administration says it has provided shipowners and operators with detailed guidance on complying with the requirements of MLC 2006. It adds that it has received a large number of requests from Liberian-flagged vessels for voluntary compliance ahead of its entry into force.

THE Liberian Registry’s newly trained MLC 2006 inspectors with tutors in Singapore

Crew run up US$436,000 surfing bill A SHIP manager had to pay US$436,000 in communication costs after a ship’s crew had unintentionally been allowed unrestricted access to the internet over a three-month period, according to a warning from the insurer International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC). The ship’s owner, who used a ship manager to run the vessel, was in the process of fitting new communications packages on its vessels which provided limited onboard internet access at fixed monthly-rate payments. The mix-up happened

when the existing communications unit on the ship, which had not included internet access, failed during the first few months of 2009 and was replaced by a modern broadband unit, but not by the intended new system. The vessel superintendent employed by the ship manager accidentally failed to exclude internet access when he authorised the installation of the equipment and also failed to tell the crew of the new equipment’s intended use or how much using broadband would cost.

The crew wrongly assumed that the new unit had been provided for their unlimited use and proceeded to download at will. The usual cost of communications under the old system was no more than $1,800 per month. Had the intended upgraded system, including limited internet access, been in place, the monthly cost would have been $3,800. During a three-month period, before the error was discovered, the crew downloaded freely and managed to run up an enormous airtime charge of $436,000, which the manager had to pay.

Africa search and rescue cover now complete THE International Maritime Organisation (IMO) says that complete search and rescue (SAR) cover now extends right around the African coast following the signing of an ad hoc multilateral co-operative agreement on the North and West African sub-regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs), which establishes a new Morocco MRCC near Rabat, with its own network of associ-

The Mission to Seafarers

the telephone card you can trust

ated sub-centres. The Morocco sub-regional MRCC, located at Bouznika, a seaside area 20 km from Rabat, has joined those already in commission in Mombasa, Kenya, Cape Town, South Africa, Lagos, Nigeria, and Monrovia, Liberia. It completes the final link in the chain of sub-regional African MRCCs, each with its associated sub-centres. Speaking at the signing cer-

n Launched over 10 years ago n Best overall rates n Call from anywhere worldwide n No hidden charges n Extra services added all the time n Fair and open pricing n The only card endorsed by The Mission to Seafarers n Because we care

Ask for it at your seafarers’ centre

emony in Rabat, IMO secretarygeneral Efthimios Mitropoulos, said the agreement, signed by Cape Verde, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Morocco, represented a major step forward for the countries concerned and, among others, for the international community of seafarers, “who should feel confident that, should they find themselves in distress, their calls for assistance will not be left unattended”.

Launch of profiling programme online NORWEGIAN distance learning specialist Seagull has launched an online version of its Ability Profiling programme, which employs psychometric assessment as a support tool for use when recruiting junior seafarers and screening students for maritime studies. The company says too little emphasis has been placed on the ability of people on board to handle newly introduced safety systems and procedures.

Crewing: taking the long view Ship management company Anglo-Eastern’s cadet academy near Mumbai is an excellent example of an employer taking its responsibilities for training very seriously indeed, says Michael Grey


OUNG people represent the future of any industry, and shipping is no exception. If you consider the long-term future from the perspective of the present, it is worth remembering that the captains and chief engineers of ships 15-20 years from now are young people currently weighing up their career options. The chief executives of the world’s biggest shipping companies, say, 35 years from now, are probably just learning to read! Somehow the shipping industry has got to be sufficiently attractive to all these young people at the time when it matters. This means that it has to be an exciting, interesting, challenging and rewarding industry – all the time. Careers, rather than jobs, are what matters. It would help if every shipping company felt that it was important to train the “next generation”, with sufficient numbers of cadets and trainees aboard their ships. Sadly, the industry tends to be divided into those shipping companies which do work hard to train, and those which are content to “poach” those trained by others. It also doesn’t help that in the struggle to minimise the costs of new ships, vessels emerging

from shipyards often do not have sufficient cabins to accommodate a couple of cadets or trainees. So those companies which really do want to train cadets find that they are physically prevented from taking these young people to sea. Ship management companies, which undertake a great deal of training but aboard “other people’s” ships, often find themselves facing this handicap. One of the world’s biggest ship management companies is the Anglo-Eastern Group, which operates more than 400 ships and, of course, has the responsibility for crewing them. It also strongly believes in “growing its own”, and requires some 420 trainee officers, both deck and engine, annually. Two years ago it started its own cadet academy at a site in the hills outside Mumbai and by this August will have some 360 Indian cadets under training at this establishment. It is an excellent example of an employer taking its responsibilities for training very seriously indeed. The cadets, who are very well educated – deck cadets have a minimum of higher secondary school certificates while engineers have bachelor of engineering degrees – will spend a year in

CADETS at Anglo-Eastern’s Maritime Academy demonstrate projects to visitors, including Michael Grey (second left) this well equipped establishment before going to sea, taking their first statutory certificates and progressing in their careers. Ideally, says Anglo-Eastern chief executive Peter Cremers, there would be cadet ships available to effectively continue the learning atmosphere of the academy in a seagoing environment. These, of course, have become few and far between, and he has said in public that if an owner was willing to build such a

ship, he would manage it for free! So the cadets will generally undertake their sea time aboard the wide variety of ships managed by the company. A good example of thinking outside the box is provided by some new forest product carriers which the company is to manage for a Scandinavian owner. On these ships, which have a huge gantry crane on the foredeck for all-weather cargo handling, the bridge is el-

THE lake, which is set out with international buoyage and into which lifeboats can be launched.

evated above the accommodation island on a tower. With the new tonnage, two decks of accommodation will be inserted in this space, so cadets and their training officer will be carried in an area which would otherwise have been unused. To be thus trained aboard a normal working vessel might be thought of as the best of all worlds. The concept of a ship manager taking full responsibility for training and career development within its own

establishment is perhaps one that is relatively new. It is not exactly cheap, and while some companies rely on governments taking on the training obligation, others may well rely on whatever training is available in the cadets’ countries of residence. Anglo-Eastern justifies its considerable investment by pointing out that, from the very first, the cadets will be subjected to the company ethos and the AE way of doing things, so that when they get afloat they will

be able to make an immediate contribution, without the additional induction training that would be needed by someone coming from outside the company. The course is fully residential, uniformed and disciplined and designed to inculcate the sort of attitudes expected of a young officer who is proud of the company he works in. These are impressive young people, who are being moulded in the right way to become effective officers.

The training the cadets have during their time at the Maritime Academy is heavily safety related and a blend of theory and practical work. There is a full range of workshops, fitted with much of the actual equipment they will meet when they get aboard ship, along with simulators. There is a useful lake, set out with international buoyage and into which lifeboats can be launched. While the new academy will reach capacity this year, Anglo-Eastern has also acquired a further site nearby where another training establishment can be built. Anglo-Eastern also trains cadets in the Ukraine, the Philippines and the UK. The company also operates a number of its own wellequipped training centres, in which a whole range of courses, from the statutory certificate training to specialist courses can be delivered. But it is the way in which this big ship manager recruits its entrants into what it believes is a structured maritime industry career, both afloat and subsequently ashore, which is perhaps notable. It is a product of this “value added” training system which looks, quite deliberately, at the company’s long-term health.


The watchkeeper for worldwide shipping


T may seem to seafarers that not a week goes by without the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) issuing a new set of guidelines, a circular, or another form for shipmasters to complete before their vessel can safely enter their destination port. From amendments to the STCW code to the issuing of guidelines to prevent a pirate attack – much that governs a seafarer’s life stems from IMO. But what is this United Nations body and what does it mean to those whose job it is to sail the ocean deep? As part of my work with The Mission to Seafarers, I attend most of the meetings of committees and sub-committees that IMO holds each year. I do so under the umbrella of the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA), which represents all the Christian welfare agencies through consultative status at IMO. ICMA looks at all of the material which is presented and, if appropriate, comments and helps shape it so that it is best suited to care and protect seafarers and their rights. Most recently, it spoke during a debate about casualties at sea.

A study into the causes of several major shipping casualties had been presented which looked at the various human and organisational factors involved, and reported that a shipping company’s shorebased working procedures could have a direct impact upon a crew member’s ability to deal with a situation at sea. During the debate, ICMA intervened and said that it welcomed the report because it reinforced its view that the current International Safety Management Code (ISM) was satisfactory because it required companies to comply with the vital regulations that reduced risk and protected seafarers across a range of activities. The code will be further enhanced by the entry into force of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 next year. The first International Maritime Organisation was set up in 1948 by the United Nations following a special meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. However, it wasn’t until 1959 that the organisation met for the first time. It has always been acknowledged that the best way to protect the marine environment is to have international treaties and

Ben Bailey looks at the role of the International Maritime Organisation conventions which are observed by all countries to ensure that a minimum standard is maintained. But the organisation also recognised the need to protect seafarers and others who work offshore, and so the first piece of legislation IMO formalised was the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), the first version of which had been adopted in 1914, two years after the sinking of the Titanic. SOLAS has been amended some three times since IMO in its current form was created, and it’s a piece of legislation that is periodically updated to ensure that it adequately provides protection to people who spend their time at sea either working or on holiday. As the specialised maritime agency of the United Nations, IMO works to “promote safe, secure, environmentally sound and efficient shipping” by seeking agreement from its 169 member countries on a range of topics

DELEGATES at work at an IMO meeting. (Photo: Ben Bailey) which affect the movement of ships. It also, pleasingly, recognises in its mission statement that the seafarer is at the heart of its decision-making processes. This commitment to seafarers is displayed in many ways other than through the legislation it passes. As well as the monument to seafarers which stands proudly outside IMO’s London headquarters, and the decision to make 2010 the Year of the Seafarer, delegates are often

reminded in debates that it is for the seafarer’s best interest that they are meeting. This year, IMO has dedicated itself to helping protect crews from piracy, having adopted the theme “piracy: orchestrating the response”. At a recent meeting of the legal committee, piracy was high on the agenda. Some member states wanted new legislation to be created to ensure that pirate suspects could be tried in countries other than

their own. Others wanted to pass the matter to other committees and to intergovernmental bodies outside IMO. But after much discussion about the right way forward, it was decided that there was already enough international law for governments to use to enable them to arrest, charge and try suspected pirates from other countries. While this might be true, it appeared from my seat at the back of the debating chamber that everyone was thinking that their leaders back home might not have the political will to carry such action through. One of the ways IMO is helping to combat piracy is to set up information-sharing centres in strategically placed ports around the world. The first centre was opened in Mombasa by secretarygeneral Efthimios Mitropoulos in March and it is hoped that the relevant agencies involved will be able to work more closely, sharing information which may help in the repression of piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the wider Indian Ocean. There is also a possibility that the organisation will be looking at the latest industry-

produced set of Best Management Practice (BMP) and finding a way to make it compulsory that all ships transiting the region adopt them. This would be particularly welcome as the European naval forces operating in the area report that only 46 per cent of ships in the area are actually carrying out BMP. Much of the discussion at IMO happens in a rather abstract way so it’s easy to forget what the reality is for those on the front line. I was reminded of this on a recent trip to Mombasa where I met seafarers who were ripping up their contracts because they didn’t want to go back out into the Indian Ocean. Therefore it’s important that the Mission, through its membership of the ICMA delegation, constantly reminds delegates to IMO and other industry bodies that no matter what is being discussed, seafarers must be at the heart of their debate and also ensures that seafarers’ voices are heard and taken note of. If you’d like to speak to the head of the ICMA delegation to IMO about an issue, email: justice@

6 the sea may/jun 11


Seafarers’ rights in piracy zones THE International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and major shipowner organisations such as the ICS, Intertanko, Bimco, and InterCargo have been united in condemning piracy’s effects on seafarers. In addition to the usual perils of the sea, seafarers face risks of being attacked by pirates in ever larger expanses of the oceans. In recognition of the greater risks of sailing through dangerous piracy zones and as an inducement to seafarers to sail through them, many seafarers’ employment agreements have special provisions

dealing with service in piracy zones. Seafarers’ rights related to piracy and other highrisk zones, if they exist, are delineated in their employment contracts. Collective bargaining agreements (union contracts) usually contain provisions for piracy or war zones while individual (non-union) contracts often do not. Typical contractual piracy zone provisions include entitlements to extra pay, entitlements to extra death and disability benefits, rights to refuse to sail in a piracy zone, and how piracy zones are determined. The Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) standard agreement for Filipino seafarers treats

high-risk piracy zones like war-risk areas. According to the agreement, the POEA determines the extent of war-risk areas and the amount of compensation that will be paid to Filipino seafarers who sail in them. The agreement obliges seafarers to sail in war-risk areas that had been declared when they signed their employment agreement. POEA Governing Board Resolution 4 of 2008 delineates a high-risk piracy zone and determines that seafarers, while sailing through that zone, are entitled to double basic, overtime and leave pay as well as double compensation for death and injury occurring in the zone. The

POEA regularly updates highrisk piracy zones. It expanded them twice in 2009. The ITF uniform Total Crew Cost (TCC) collective agreement has provisions for service on ships trading in warlike operations areas as determined by Lloyd’s. The Lloyd’s Joint War Committee (JWC), comprising insurance underwriters that meet quarterly, has included dangerous piracy waters in its list of warlike operations areas. Seafarers who are covered by the ITF agreement are entitled to double basic pay with a fiveday minimum while sailing in the area. Similarly, death and disability compensation are doubled in the area. Seafarers

Los derechos de los marineros en zonas afectadas por la piratería LA Asociación Cristiana Marítima Internacional (ICMA), la Organización Marítima Internacional (OMI), la Federación Internacional de los Trabajadores del Transporte (ITF) e importantes organizaciones de armadores, como la ICS, Intertanko, Bimco e InterCargo han condenado unánimemente los efectos de la piratería sobre los marineros. Además de los peligros habituales del mar, los marineros se enfrentan al riesgo de ser atacados por piratas en los océanos. Admitiendo el peligro cada vez mayor que supone navegar en zonas afectadas por la piratería, y como aliciente para que los marineros trabajen en ellas, muchos contratos de trabajo para marineros incluyen ahora disposiciones especiales relativas al servicio en zonas de piratería. Los derechos de los marineros en relación con la piratería y otros riesgos en zonas de peligro, si existen, se definen en sus contratos

de trabajo. Los convenios colectivos (acuerdos sindicales) por lo general incluyen disposiciones relativas a la piratería y las zonas de guerra, al contrario que muchos de los contratos individuales (no sindicales). Las disposiciones contractuales típicas relacionadas con la piratería incluyen el derecho a pagas adicionales y a prestaciones por muerte o discapacidad, así como el derecho a negarse a navegar en una zona de piratería. También establecen la forma en que se determinan las zonas de piratería. El contrato estándar de la Administración Filipina de Empleo en el Extranjero (POEA) para los marineros filipinos trata las zonas de alto riesgo de piratería del mismo modo que las zonas de riesgo de conflicto bélico. Según el acuerdo, la POEA determina la extensión de las áreas de riesgo de conflicto bélico y la compensación que se pagará a los marineros filipinos que naveguen en ellas. El acuerdo

obliga a los marineros a navegar en zonas de riesgo de conflicto bélico que se hayan declarado cuando firmaron su contrato de trabajo. La resolución 4 de 2008 del Consejo de dirección de la POEA define una zona de alto riesgo de piratería y determina que los marineros, mientras estén navegando en esa zona, tienen derecho a recibir el doble de su sueldo base, de la paga por horas adicionales y de la paga por vacaciones, así como el doble de la indemnización por muerte y lesiones que ocurran en dicha zona. La POEA actualiza con regularidad la extensión de las zonas de alto riesgo de piratería. Desde el año 2009 las ha ampliado dos veces. El convenio colectivo de Coste Total de Tripulación (TCC) de la ITF incluye disposiciones para el servicio en barcos que operen en áreas de conflictos bélicos tal como lo determine Lloyd’s. El Comité Mixto de Guerra de Lloyd’s (JWC), que incluye a

empresas aseguradoras que se reúnen trimestralmente, ha incluido a zonas con peligro de piratería en su lista de zonas de operaciones bélicas. Los marineros contemplados dentro del acuerdo del ITF tienen derecho a recibir el doble de su sueldo base, con un mínimo de cinco días, mientras estén navegando en dichas zonas. Del mismo modo, la indemnización por muerte y discapacidad es el doble en esas zonas. Los marineros tienen derecho a que se les informe cuando su barco vaya a navegar en una zona de riesgo designada y a negarse a navegar en ella sin retribución. El Foro Internacional de Negociaciones (IBF) negocia convenios colectivos entre los miembros de asociaciones de armadores y la ITF. En los convenios colectivos de TCC dentro del marco del IBF, las zonas con alto riesgo de piratería se determinan mediante negociaciones dentro del IBF. El IBF ha

Права моряков при нахождении в зоне пиратства МЕЖДУНАРОНАЯ морская христианская ассоциация (International Christian Maritime Association — ICMA), Международная федерация транспортных рабочих (International Transport Workers’ Federation — ITF) и главные организации судовладельцев, такие как ICS, Intertanko, Bimco и InterCargo подвергли совместному осуждению воздействие пиратства на моряков. В дополнение к обычным морским опасностям, морякам угрожают пиратские нападения на все более ширящихся океанских водах. В признание растущего риска при прохождении опасных пиратских зон и в качестве дополнительного стимула для моряков, многие трудовые соглашения имеют отдельные положения, относящиеся к прохождению службы в пиратских зонах. Права моряков в пиратских зонах и других зонах высокого риска, если они существуют, определены в их трудовых соглашениях. Коллективные договоры (профсоюзные контракты) обычно содержат положения о пиратстве или зонах военных действий, в то время как индивидуальные договоры (не профсоюзные) — по большей части нет. Типичные положения трудовых договоров в отношении пиратских зон содержат право на дополнительную оплату, право на дополнительные выплаты в случае смерти или инвалидности, право отказа от прохождения пиратских зон и признаки, которыми определяется пиратская зона. В стандартном соглашении Филиппинского управления по трудоустройству за рубежом (Philippines Overseas Employment Administration — POEA) для филиппинских моряков зоны высокого риска пиратства приравниваются к зонам военных действий. В соответствии с соглашением POEA определяет

пределы зон риска военных действий и размеры компенсаций, которые будут выплачены филиппинским морякам при прохождении этих зон. Соглашение обязывает моряков проходить объявленные зоны военного риска только после подписания трудового соглашения. Резолюция 4 Управляющего совета POEA от 2008 года дает определение зонам высокого риска пиратства и устанавливает, что моряки при прохождении этих зон имеют право на двойную базовую, сверхурочную и отпускную плату, а также двойную компенсацию в случае смерти или получения травмы при нахождении в зоне. POEA постоянно обновляет информацию о зонах высокого риска пиратства. Они дважды были расширены в 2009 году. Стандартное коллективное соглашение ITF об общих издержках по подготовке и содержанию экипажа (Total Crew Cost — TCC) содержит положения о прохождении службы на судах, участвующих в коммерческих операциях в зонах боевых операций, утвержденные компанией Lloyd’s. Совместный военный комитет компании Lloyd’s (Joint War Committee — JWC), состоящий из страховых андеррайтеров, встречающихся ежеквартально, включил опасные пиратские воды в свой список зон ведения боевых операций. Моряки, подпадающие под действие соглашения ITF, имеют право на двойную базовую оплату минимум в течение пяти дней при прохождении таких зон. Аналогично, компенсации в случае смерти или инвалидности, полученной в такой зоне, тоже удваиваются. Моряки имеют право на получение информации о том, что их судно будет проходить установленную зону высокого риска и отказаться от плавания без риска каких-либо карательных мер.

Международный переговорный форум (International Bargaining Forum — IBF) заключает коллективные соглашения между членами ассоциации судовладельцев и ITF. В рамочных коллективных соглашениях TCC, заключенных IBF, зоны высокого риска пиратства определяются в процессе переговоров внутри IBF. IBF установил зоны высокого риска IBF (IBF High Risk Area), где моряки имеют право на выплату базовой платы в двойном размере за каждый день нахождения в зоне и двойную компенсацию в случае смерти или получения инвалидности. При прохождении Аденского залива владельцы судов должны использовать рекомендуемый международный транзитный коридор (Internationally Recognised Transit Corridor). В противном случае, моряки имеют право отказаться от дальнейшего плавания и должны быть возвращены на родину за счет владельца судна. IBF также установил расширенную зону риска (IBF Extended Risk Zone), где моряки имеют право на получение двойной базовой оплаты труда и двойной компенсации в случае травмы или смерти за дни, когда их судно было атаковано пиратами во время нахождения в расширенной зоне. Соглашение IBF требует от владельцев судов обеспечивать защиту моряков принятием следующих рекомендованных противопиратских мер, таких как последние наиболее эффективные методы управления. Вы должны внимательно читать свой контракт для того, чтобы знать свои права в опасных пиратских зонах. Хотя положения в различных контрактах могут показаться похожими друг на друга, возможны значительные отличия в предоставляемых правах и в установленных зонах, к которым они относятся.

have a right to be informed that their ship will sail into a designated high-risk area and to decline to sail there without retribution. The International Bargaining Forum (IBF) negotiates collective agreements between shipowner association members and the ITF. In IBF framework TCC collective agreements, high-risk piracy zones are determined by negotiations within the IBF. The IBF has designated an IBF high-risk area where seafarers are entitled to double basic wages for each day sailing in the area and double death and disability compensation. While transiting the Gulf of Aden, shipowners must use the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor. If they don’t, seafarers have a right not to proceed with the

passage and to be repatriated at shipowners’ expense. The IBF also designated a larger IBF extended risk zone where seafarers are entitled to double basic pay and double compensation in case of injury or death on any day that their ship is attacked by pirates while in the extended zone. The IBF agreement requires shipowners to protect seafarers by following recognised anti-piracy measures such as the latest Best Management Practices. You must read your contract to determine your rights in dangerous piracy areas. Although the provisions in different contracts may appear to be similar, there can be significant differences in what rights are provided and in designating the area where they apply.

establecido un Área de Alto Riesgo del IBF en la que los marineros tienen derecho a recibir el doble de su salario base por cada día que naveguen en esa zona y el doble de la indemnización establecida por muerte o discapacidad. Al navegar por el Golfo de Adén, los armadores deben usar el corredor de tránsito recomendado internacionalmente (IRTC). Si no lo hacen, los marineros tienen derecho a negarse a seguir con la travesía y a ser repatriados a cuenta del armador. El IBF también ha establecido un Área de Riesgo Ampliada del IBF, en la que los marineros tienen derecho a recibir el doble de su sueldo base y el doble de la

indemnización fijada en caso de lesiones o muerte cualquier día en que su barco sea atacado por piratas mientras estén en el área ampliada. El acuerdo del IBF exige a los armadores que protejan a los marineros a través de medidas reconocidas contra la piratería, como las más recientes Mejores prácticas de gestión. Debes leer tu contrato para conocer tus derechos en zonas con peligro de sufrir ataques piratas. Aunque las disposiciones de diferentes contratos pueden ser parecidas, es posible que tengan diferencias importantes en cuanto a los derechos establecidos y la designación de la zona en la que tienen validez.

may/jun 11 the sea 7


Pulling with God and not against him WHEN the captain asks to see you there is, as everyone knows, a feeling of anticipation that you are about to be asked to do something you don’t want to do, or you have done something wrong: you don’t know what but know you are about to find out! I had that feeling recently when I received a call from one of my bosses at The Mission to Seafarers. The reason for the call was to ask if I would write this column. My first reaction was: “Sorry, no way. I can’t do that.” His response was: “Why?” “Well,” I replied, “it may not be good enough. What would I have to offer that would be of interest to seafarers?” I was convinced it should be someone more senior than me. My mind raced around looking for more excuses, but none came. Then into my thoughts flashed the im-

age of Jesus as he waited in the garden of Gethsemane. Unlike me he knew his fate. He knew he was going to be betrayed and judged but would not turn away from what lay ahead. So why should I? I accepted the challenge. Jesus gives us the faith to follow him in dark hours, bringing the light into our world. During the earthquake in Japan and the tsunami that followed, thousands died, families were torn apart and many have been left homeless. Then the nuclear reactor started spilling out radiation. It is all such a tragedy, but the people struggle on trying to get some semblance of normality back into their shattered lives. Immediately after the disaster, seafarers came to me with their worries for their own families who lived around the Pacific rim, fear-

ing the tsunami would reach their homes. It’s difficult not to worry when you are so far away from home. But Jesus said: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” (St Matthew 6:25) We should all try not to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Having faith is one of the greatest gifts: it’s like having a safety harness attached. You hope that if you fall it will not break. However, Jesus is not just there as a safety harness which we use to keep us secure, he’s there constantly through the words in the Bible, in worship and prayer, showing us the way to live our lives.

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest, for the yoke is easy and the burden is light.” (St Matthew 11:28) These words of Jesus are some of the most comforting in all the scriptures. They are an invitation to anyone who is weary and overburdened, and that includes each of us at one time or another. When we give our lives to Jesus we are accepting his yoke. He does the pulling and we follow and learn, thereby finding real joy and purpose and rest. It’s only when we choose to tug in the opposite direction from him that the yoke becomes an irritant and we chafe at the instructions that in fact the Lord intends to use as a means of drawing us closer to himself. A prayer for all of us might be: Lord help me to pull with you and not against you.

Tiremos en la misma dirección que Dios, no en la opuesta CUANDO el capitán pide vernos siempre pensamos que nos va a pedir que hagamos algo que no queremos hacer o que nos va a decir que hemos hecho algo mal: no sabemos qué es pero estamos a punto de averiguarlo. Hace poco tuve esa sensación cuando recibí una llamada de uno de mis jefes de The Mission to Seafarers. El motivo de la llamada era preguntar si escribiría esta columna. Mi primera reacción fue decir: “Lo siento, de ninguna manera. No puedo hacer eso”. Su respuesta fue: “¿Por qué?”. “Bien”, contesté, “puede que no sea lo suficientemente buena. ¿Qué podría ofrecer yo que fuese de interés para los marineros?”. Tenía la convicción de que debía hacerlo alguien con más experiencia que yo. Traté de buscar más excusas, pero no encontré ninguna. Entonces, en mi mente apareció la imagen de Jesús esperando en el jardín de Getsemaní. Al contrario que yo, él conocía su destino. Sabía que lo iban a traicionar y juzgar pero no iba a huir de lo que le esperaba. Así que, ¿por qué debía hacerlo yo? Acepté el reto. Jesús nos da la fe para seguirle en los momentos de oscuridad y trae la luz a nuestro mundo. Durante el terremoto de Japón y el tsunami que le siguió, miles de personas murieron, familias enteras fueron destrozadas y muchas de ellas se han quedado sin hogar. Después, el reactor nuclear empezó a emitir radiaciones. Es una tragedia de enormes dimensiones, pero la gente está luchando para lograr que sus vidas

rotas vuelvan a tener cierta normalidad. Inmediatamente después del desastre hubo marineros que acudieron a mí para hablar de su preocupación por sus propias familias, que viven en la cuenca del Pacífico. Pensaban que el tsunami podría alcanzar sus casas. Es difícil no preocuparse cuando estás tan lejos de casa. Pero Jesús dijo: “Por tanto os digo: no os afanéis por vuestra vida, qué habéis de comer o qué habéis de beber; ni por vuestro cuerpo, qué habéis de vestir. ¿No es la vida más que el alimento y el cuerpo más que el vestido?” (San Mateo 6:25) Todos debemos tratar de no preocuparnos por el

mañana, porque el mañana se preocupará sobre sí mismo. Cada día tiene suficientes problemas. Tener fe es uno de los mejores regalos: es como llevar puesto un arnés de seguridad. Esperas que, si te caes, no se romperá. Sin embargo, Jesús no está presente solo para servir de arnés y mantenernos seguros, está presente siempre a través de las palabras de la Biblia, en la oración y la adoración, mostrándonos la forma en que tenemos que vivir. “Venid a mí todos los que estáis trabajados y cargados, y yo os haré descansar, porque mi yugo es fácil, y ligera mi carga”. (San Mateo 11:28). Estas palabras de Jesús son algunas

de las más reconfortantes que encontramos en las Escrituras. Invitan a todo aquél que esté agobiado y cansado, y eso nos incluye a cada uno de nosotros en uno u otro momento. Cuando entregamos nuestras vidas a Jesús estamos aceptando su yugo. Él tira y nosotros lo seguimos y aprendemos, y así encontramos un propósito y un júbilo verdaderos, y descansamos. Es solo cuando elegimos tirar en la dirección opuesta que el yugo se vuelve una carga y nos irritan las instrucciones que el Señor trata de usar para acercarnos a él. Podemos rezar lo siguiente: Señor, ayúdame a tirar en la misma dirección que tú, no en la opuesta.

Идти вместе с Богом, а не против него КОГДА нас вызывает к себе капитан, практически всегда возникает предчувствие, что, либо нас попросят сделать то, чего нам не хотелось бы, либо мы совершили какую-то оплошность. Нам неизвестно, что это, но в скором времени все откроется! Недавно, когда мне позвонил один из моих начальников из «Миссии для моряков», и у меня возникло такое чувство. Причиной звонка был вопрос, смогу ли я написать вот эту самую колонку. Моей первой реакцией было: «Извините, но нет. Я не смогу этого сделать». Он спросил: «Почему?». «Ну, — ответил я, — возможно, я не смогу сделать это достаточно хорошо. Что интересного я могу предложить морякам?». Я был уверен, что писать колонку

должен кто-либо гораздо старше меня. Я пытался придумать еще какие-либо оправдания, но не мог найти ни одного. И вдруг я мысленно представил себе Иисуса, ожидающего своей участи в Гефсиманском саду. В отличие от меня, он знал свою судьбу. Он знал то, что будет предан и осужден, но не свернул со своего пути. Почему же я пытаюсь это сделать? И я принял вызов. Иисус, озаряя светом наш мир, дает нам веру следовать за ним в трудные часы. Во время землетрясения в Японии и последовавшего за ним цунами, тысячи людей погибли, многие семьи потеряли своих близких, и множество людей остались без крыши над головой. Затем, ядерный реактор начал

выбрасывать радиацию. Это ужасная трагедия, но люди не оставляют попыток вернуть свою разбитую жизнь в более или менее нормальное русло. Сразу же после катастрофы, те моряки, чьи семьи живут в Тихоокеанском регионе, пришли ко мне со своими переживаниями, в страхе, что цунами дойдет и до их домов. Очень трудно сохранять спокойствие, находясь так далеко от родных мест. Но Иисус сказал: «Посему говорю вам: не заботьтесь для души вашей, что вам есть и что пить, ни для тела вашего, во что одеться. Душа не больше ли пищи, и тело — одежды?» (Евангелие от Матфея 6:25) Мы все должны постараться не волноваться о завтрашнем дне,

поскольку завтрашний день позаботиться о себе сам. Каждый день полон своих собственных проблем. Имеющие веру обладают величайшим даром — у них всегда есть страховочные ремни. При падении они удержат вас. Однако, Иисус — это не только ремни безопасности, которые мы используем для надежной защиты. Его постоянное присутствие мы ощущаем в словах Библии, в церковной службе и молитвах. Он указывает нам, как нужно прожить жизнь. «Придите ко Мне все труждающиеся и обремененные, и Я успокою вас». (Евангелие от Матфея 11:28) Эти слова Иисуса — одни из самых утешительных во всем Писании. Они

являются приглашением, для всех усталых и отягощенных проблемами, а это относится к каждому из нас в тот или иной момент времени. Когда мы посвящаем свою жизнь служению Иисусу, мы впрягаемся с ним в одну упряжку. Он тянет, а мы следуем за ним и учимся у него, находя настоящую радость жизни, ее смысл и отдохновение. Только в том случае, когда мы пытаемся потянуть в противоположном от него направлении, ярмо становится невыносимым, и нас раздражают те наставления, которые Господь намерен использовать для приближения нас к себе. Нам следует молиться: «Господи, помоги мне тянуть упряжку вместе с тобой, а не против тебя».

If you have any questions about your rights as a seafarer, or if you want more information or help, you can contact: Douglas B Stevenson, Center for Seafarers’ Rights, 241 Water Street, New York, NY 10032, USA. Tel: +1212 349 9090 Fax: +1212 349 8342

Email: or

Canon Ken Peters, The Mission to Seafarers, St Michael Paternoster Royal, College Hill, London EC4R 2RL, UK. Tel: +44 20 7248 5202 Fax: +44 20 7248 4761 Email:

8 the sea may/jun 11

Despite gloom Maersk places order for 18,000 teu vessels

Confidence falters as over-tonnaging looms O

VER-TONNAGING and the uncertainty created by political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as an expected increase in finance costs, have hit confidence within the shipping industry, according to the latest survey by leading accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. Overall confidence levels in the shipping industry dropped for the third successive quarter in the three months ending February 2011, to reach their lowest level for fifteen months, down from 6.0 to 5.8 on a scale of 1 to 10, the survey shows. Concerns about over-tonnaging and the effect of a glut of newbuildings coming on to the market dominated the responses to the survey. “The amount of new tonnage due for delivery this year in all three major vessel categories will continue to depress the markets,” said one respondent, while another observed that the industry was facing a “wall” of newbuildings yet to be delivered. Others took the thinking a stage further. “You get the impression,” said one, “that unless rates improve, owners are not going to generate sufficient reserves to cover drydocking, maintenance, surveys and the like. It’s a ticking time-bomb.” Leading shipping economist and managing director of Clarkson Research Martin Stopford has confirmed these pessimistic views. He said recently that following the shipping freight boom of most of the last decade, the industry was moving into a cyclical phase and that it looked like 2010 would be the peak for shipyard deliveries, with 97m

gross tons having been completed. “We need to deal with a shipbuilding surplus which is as bad as in the 1970s,” said Dr Stopford. Despite the forecasts of over-tonnaging in most shipping sectors, several large orders have been placed in recent months. The most spectacular was Maersk Line’s for ten 18,000 teu container vessels with Korea shipyard DSME at US$190m per vessel, with an option to buy another 20 sister ships. The initial ten are for delivery between 2013 and 2015. “In any industry,” said Moore Stephens’s shipping partner, Richard Greiner, “news of new investment can be something of a double-edged sword. So it was with the recent confirmation

of Maersk’s order for a series of big new container ships which, while sending a confident message to the market, will at the same time have done little to ease fears about over-tonnaging, particularly on the part of smaller operators. Yet new investment is undoubtedly good for any industry and, despite the difficult economic climate, our survey still showed an increase in the number of respondents who expected to make a major investment or significant development over the next twelve months.” Nevertheless, shipping industry organisation Bimco has warned that owners need to stop ordering new tonnage. Bimco analyst Peter Sands has been quoted as saying that “overbuilding is still a large risk to shipping”.

MAERSK’S new giant container vessel class will be known as Triple-E, based on the three main purposes for their creation: Economy of scale, Energy efficiency and Environmentally improved.

Leaflet highlights dangers of iron and nickel ore cargoes LIABILITY insurer UK Club has issued a pocket leaflet for shipowners and ship managers on the safe carriage of iron ore fines and nickel ore. The club says that these are frequently presented for loading in a dangerous condition. It warns that sometimes surveyors and their families are threatened to stop them rejecting cargoes. The International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code sets out the internationally agreed provisions for the safe stowage and shipment of solid bulk cargoes, including those that

might liquefy, such as iron ore fines and nickel ore. Several P&I clubs have reported, however, that masters are being asked to load cargoes that have moisture levels above the Transportable Moisture Limit (TML) and Flow Moisture Point (FMP) figures that are specified in the IMSBC code. The club warns that the consequences of loading these unsafe cargoes can be catastrophic. “The list of ships that have capsized or come close to capsizing since 2009,” it says, “is now in double figures and rising, as is the

death toll.” Moreover, the club stresses, these ships were not “rust buckets”. In one case, a 55,000dwt vessel just 18 months old capsized, with the loss of 21 crew. The club says the shipment of iron ore fines and nickel ore has grown dramatically, principally due to demand from China. According to Karl Lumbers, the UK P&I Club’s loss prevention director, these shipments are loaded in areas where moisture migration has soaked what has previously been considered a perfectly safe bulk cargo. The high moisture content may be

inherent in the mined ore due to a high water table, he says, or caused by tropical rains and a lack of drainage whilst stored. In any case, once the TML is exceeded the cargo should not be loaded. However, owners and masters are put under enormous pressure to load these cargoes. While some cargo surveyors are ill-equipped to carry out the necessary surveys, says the club, other reputable surveyors, who are recommended by the P&I clubs, suffer intimidation to the point of violence or threats to their families.

Oil spill disaster after Tristan da Cuhna grounding A MALTESE-flag bulk carrier, the 75,208 Oliva, ran aground on Nightingale Island in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago in the South Atlantic in March, causing severe environmental damage. The ship, less than two years old and operated by Greek-based TMS Bulkers, was carrying soya beans from Singapore to Brazil when she hit rocks off the island. The Oliva, which had 1,400 tonnes of bunkers on board, broke in two a few days after the grounding. All the crew members were rescued after inflatables from a cruiseship, the Prince Albert II, which

happened to be in the area, were sent out in a heavy swell to take them off. Some were later transferred to a local fishing vessel and

all were landed on the main island of Tristan da Cunha where they were given clothes and hospitality by the islanders before eventu-

CREW from the Prince Albert II rescue Oliva crew members in a heavy swell. (Photo: courtesy of and Prince Albert II photographer, Kristine Hannon)

ally starting their homeward journey by ship. Nightingale Island is part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha and is an internationally recognised bird sanctuary with World Heritage site status. The Tristan da Cunha official website reports that a spill from the ship is now affecting the island’s colony of northern rockhopper penguins. The remoteness of the area and the demanding conditions make the salvage and oil response operations very difficult, says the website. According to

the territory’s government, leaked fuel oil from the wreck of the Oliva has had an impact on both protected wildlife and the fisheries on which the islands’ economy relies. “The Tristan authorities and community are working hard to help the wildlife affected by the oil”, said a statement issued by the government. Oliva crew members were reported to have been recruited to assist while they were still on the island, helping to build facilities for oiled penguins, and lifting boxes of affected birds off the tractor as they were brought in for treatment.

Trust gives £1.47m to welfare projects THE Seafarers’ Trust, the charity arm of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), is to give £1.47m to seven projects dealing with the welfare of seafarers, and one regional welfare development programme in South East Asia. The organisations being helped include Seafarerhelp, the Royal Bombay Seamen’s Society, the Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest, and the International Committee for Seafarers’ Welfare (ICSW). The regional programme in South East Asia – which is by run the ICSW and funded by the Trust – will receive £511,000 for distribution to welfare agencies. These include The Mission to Seafarers, the Apostleship of the Sea and the Seamen’s Christian Friend Society, to improve the welfare services for seafarers in the region. “Along with these grants”, said Tom Holmer, administrative officer of the Seafarers’ Trust, “the Seafarers’ Trust’s trustees have also agreed to provide additional funds in 2011 for vehicles and communications equipment. We remain very interested in projects and proposals which can improve visiting seafarers’ access to transport and communication, and actively encourage those formulating them to apply to us for funding.”

‘Records of rest were falsified’ AS part of a continuing focus on hours of work and rest, the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency detained the 75,471 dwt Turkish-flag bulk carrier Celine 1 in February after discovering that falsified records were being kept. The ship was held in Portland for nine days after 30 deficiencies were found, including no hours records for the master, insufficient food and water, and problems with lifeboats and firefighting equipment.

GPS failure danger warning THE failure of satellite navigation systems such as GPS could have severe consequences for society, the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) has warned. A new RAE report on global

navigation satellite systems (GNSS) points to the need for adequate independent backup. It says signal failure or interference could affect safety systems and other critical parts of the economy. The chairman of RAE’s GNSS working group, Dr Martyn Thomas, says “GPS and other GNSS are so useful and so cheap to build into equipment that we have become almost blindly reliant on the data they give us”. Dr Thomas says that the deployment of Europe’s Galileo system will greatly improve the resilience of the combined GPS/Galileo system, but many of the vulnerabilities they have identified in this report will remain.

Court battle over raising of black box A BIZARRE legal battle is playing out in US courts. Navigea, a company associated with the co-founder of software giant Microsoft, Paul Allen, took it upon itself to raise the voyage data recorder (VDR), or “black box”, of the cruiseship Explorer. The 2,400 gt vessel sank after hitting “a wall of ice” in Antarctic waters in 2009. Tradewinds reports that Navigea is using salvage law to attempt to reclaim the cost of salvaging the VDR from the ship’s owner, GAP shipping, which is contesting the claim. GAP says there was no need to raise the VDR, which was on the seabed 4,000 ft beneath the surface.

New study into night vision NEW research, carried out for the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency, has underlined the need for sufficiently long handovers of night watches. The study looked at working practices and the bridge environment on two ro-pax ferries and a tanker as part of the research, to examine the issues that can affect lookout performance at night. International Maritime Organisation regulations say that relieving officers should not take over a watch until their vision is fully adjusted to the light conditions and that there should be a ten-minute minimum handover time. On the ships studied only 50 per cent of handovers met that standard.

The Sea, May/June 2011  
The Sea, May/June 2011  

The Sea is our bi-monthly maritime newspaper, published for seafarers. It contains the latest news and insights from the shipping industry a...