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Issue 220 nov/dec 2012

Danger of sudden power loss

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

Lull in Somalia piracy page 2 Industry confidence wanes page 3 A special day for seafarers? page 4/5 The Mission to Seafarers 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 250 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 1.3 million merchant seafarers of all ranks, nationalities and beliefs.

The Sea Editor: Ben Bailey News: David Hughes The Sea is distributed free to seafarers through chaplains and seafarers’ centres. You can also arrange to receive it regularly at a cost of £3.50 or $5 per year (six issues). To find out more, contact: Ben Bailey, The Sea, The Mission to Seafarers, St Michael Paternoster Royal, College Hill, London EC4R 2RL Tel: +44 20 7248 5202 Email: ben.bailey@ Registered charity in England and Wales: 1123613 The Mission to Seafarers Scotland Limited, Registered charity: SC041938

THE fire-damaged MSC Flaminia before she was towed into Wilhelmshaven. (Photo: Reuters)

Two die in fire and cargo sparks ‘floating bomb’ fears

Stricken ship kept at sea for nearly two months T

HE badly damaged 6,732 teu containership MSC Flaminia arrived at the German port of Wilhelmshaven on October 10, after nearly two months of trying to find a country which would permit it to dock. On July 14 the Germanflag 75,590 gt vessel suffered a fire and explosion that killed two crew members and led to the rest of the crew abandoning ship. The explosion occurred as crew members tried to put out a fire in one of her holds. By the time she was abandoned the ship was listing ten degrees due to shifting cargo and water used in firefighting efforts. She had been on passage from Charleston in the US to Antwerp when the incident occurred. Seven ships went to the aid of the 22 surviving crew and two passengers, after they took to lifeboats and life-rafts. Three injured crew were transferred to the containership MSC Stella, which took them to the Azores for medical treatment, while the remainder were picked up by the Bahamasflag tanker DS Crown and taken to Falmouth, where they were met by a team from The Mission to Seafarers.

Salvage tugs, including the Dutch-registered Fairmount Expedition and the UKregistered Anglian Sovereign, took the containership into tow and brought the blaze under control. The damage was described as “considerable”, with –

three cargo holds destroyed, although the accommodation, engine room, stern section and forecastle had not been damaged. The case has raised renewed concerns over the transport and the documentation of dangerous

Mission cares for crew THE Mission to Seafarers’ emergency response team in Falmouth, led by port chaplain the Revd Mark Mesley and Falmouth chairman Penny Phillips, received 20 survivors from the MSC Flaminia after the ship was abandoned on July 14. While medical staff treated the survivors at the Mission’s Flying Angel Centre, the Mission provided fresh clothes, toiletries and food. The response team also handed out telephone cards and made internet connections available for contacting loved ones. “It is difficult to imagine the horror that these people suffered whilst transiting the ocean,” said Penny Phillips. “The Mission to Seafarers is part of

t h e p o r t ’s e m e r g e n c y response plan and we were asked to support the crew, provide them with food and a place to relax and come to terms with the tragedy which befell them. “The crew also asked for a blessing on board the vessel which brought them to Falmouth and so we arranged that, too.” The Mission to Seafarers in Falmouth is no stranger to providing help for crews in an e m e r g e n c y. I n r e c e n t years, the team provided assistance to the crew of the Chinese fishing vessel Athena after it caught fire and 99 people were evacuated. And in 2007, the group supported the crew of the MSC Napoli after it foundered off the Devon coast.

goods in containers and the reluctance of port states to allow ships in trouble a port of refuge. The BBC reported that, of the 2,876 containers on board, 149 were classed as holding dangerous goods. The editor of the Maritime Bulletin, Michael Voytenko, wrote: “MSC Flaminia is actually, a big chemical, toxic and miscellaneous dangerous substances floating bomb. No wonder crew fled the vessel, no wonder EU States fear MSC Flaminia just short of her being a nuclear device ready to explode... The good news is, there are no radioactive materials and no explosives there. The bad news is, nearly all the list of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code is present, with some exceptions.” T h e s h i p ’s o w n e r s , Reederei NSB, spoke out after 26 days, expressing concern that permission to enter a port of refuge had not been given and that the ship had been kept in a waiting position some 240 nm off the SW coast of Britain. The CEO of Reederei NSB, Helmut Ponath, said: “I consider it shocking that in this situation a ship under the German flag does not receive a permission from Continued on P2

THE issue of sudden loss of power has been highlighted by the liability insurer, the UK P&I Club. In some cases this has occurred, says the club, after the switching to lower sulphur fuels that are now mandated in certain coastal regions or when operating the bow thruster. In its latest Risk Focus bulletin, the club highlights causes of sudden loss of power and proposes mitigating procedures that ships’ crew should adopt. The club says that main engine failures or electrical blackouts now amount to 7 per cent of its third party claims property damage in US$ terms. Ships effectively out of control as a result of power loss have caused collisions and groundings as well as extensive damage to berths, locks, bridges, navigational marks, loading arms, cranes and gantries as well as to moored ships.

Support for crews after Hong Kong collision THE Mission to Seafarers in Hong Kong has been providing support for the crew of two passenger vessels which collided off Lamma Island leaving 38 people dead. The accident, which has been called the worst maritime accident in Hong Kong for over 40 years, happened when two large boats put out to sea in order to watch a firework display celebrating China’s National Day. The Revd Stephen Miller, senior chaplain at MtS Hong Kong, reported that the Mission had been doing all it could to support the crews. “I have visited some of the crew who have been arrested and then released on bail,” he said on the day after the disaster. “I’ve also been to see one of the ferry captains who had to be taken to hospital. Meanwhile, St Peter’s Church, which is inside the Mariners’ Club, has held two prayer services.” The Mission has been working in Hong Kong since 1884.

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THE small boat carrying 68 passengers and crew with ESPS Relámpago in the background (left) and (above) under tow in the Gulf of Aden. (Photos: EU Naval Force Somalia – Operation Atalanta)

Spanish warship rescues 68 passengers and crew adrift in Gulf of Aden THE Spanish warship ESPS Relámpago rescued 68 people after finding them adrift in a small boat in the middle of the Gulf of Aden on September 8. The Relámpago was part of the EU Naval Force fighting piracy off the Somali Coast. A Japanese maritime patrol aircraft saw the stricken vessel first and after hearing their report, the Relámpago launched

her helicopter to locate the boat and proceeded at best speed to provide humanitarian assistance. The warship’s engineers were unable to restart the boat’s engine and so the Relámpago towed the boat to Boosaaso, north Somalia, and at the same time provided much needed food, water and medical assistance.

Safety in the region cannot be guaranteed, says EU NAVFOR

Lull in piracy off Somalia but caution still urged N

O large merchant ships have been hijacked by Somali pirates since May but the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) and the navies operating anti-piracy patrols in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean have cautioned that ships’ masters and crews must remain vigilant. An IMB spokesperson told The Sea that nobody should assume Somali piracy was finished, and also pointed to the continuing plight of the 188 seafarers held hostage on 11 ships or ashore. As of September 24 there had been 70 incidents involving Somali pirates in 2012, with 13 ships hijacked and 212 crew members taken hostage. The three main naval commands operating antipiracy patrols in the region, the European Union Naval Force Somalia - Operation A t a l a n t a , N AT O a n d t h e Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151), have called on the shipping industry to continue to take anti-piracy measures despite the current downward

trend in the number of incidents of piracy. A statement issued by the three commands said many factors had led to the marked reduction in Somali pirate activity but that chief among these were the work of military forces in the region and selfprotection measures taken by commercial shipping. “We currently see a tactical and reversible success” said t h e E U N AV F O R d e p u t y operation commander, Rear Admiral Gualtiero Mattesi. “It is of utmost importance that pressure on Somali pirates and their business model is maintained and even increased as the strategic context, the situation in Somalia allowing for pirates to act, has not yet changed. International navies and all merchant vessels transiting the High Risk Area need to remain vigilant and uphold their respective responsibilities to support the fight against piracy.” The statement said joining forces meant counterpiracy efforts became more effective and could achieve

Ship kept at sea for almost two months

more than any one ship, navy, organisation or country working alone. It cautioned, however, that “even with all this military presence, the efforts of our naval forces cannot guarantee safety in the region. It is for this reason that CTF 151, NATO and the EU remind all shipowners, operators and managers to continue to educate and train their mariners in both the threat and how to mitigate it.” Meanwhile a new report on the use of private military security companies (PMSCs) in the Indian Ocean, Pirates and Privateers: Managing the Indian Ocean’s Private Security Boom, describes the fight against Somali-based pirates as becoming “a private battle as global defence cuts reduce naval counter-piracy deployments”. It warns of an increased risk of serious diplomatic incidents. Mark Dickinson, the general secretary of seafarers’ union Nautilus International, said the report provided further evidence of the

need for governments to show a committed coherent approach to protecting their merchant fleets, and to ensure the legitimate use of armed guards was conducted under appropriate conditions. The report also recommends that the UK should lead the development of an accreditation scheme for PMSCs. It concludes that both governments and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) should recognise that armed guards have a “legitimate and probably increasing, long term role” in counter-piracy, and urges them to build on existing initiatives to regulate private security and create greater coordination. The author of the report, James Brown, a Military Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney, said “there is a legitimate role for private companies in fighting piracy, possibly half of ships travelling the Indian Ocean are employing them. But private naval fleets are operating in a legal vacuum.”

Series of attacks in Malacca Strait PIRATES have attacked two bunker barges in the Malacca Strait region in recent weeks and appear to have taken control of a third tanker which they used to steal fuel. According to the New Straits Times, on Friday September 14 the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) prevented an attempt by six pirates to transfer and sell bunker fuel from a hijacked vessel in the waters off Tanjung Pia, Malaysia, just to the west of Singapore. Then, on Saturday September 22, MMEA officers intervened during a similar attack on a Mongolianregistered tanker in Malaysian waters about a cable from the Malaysia-Singapore sea border. In the latest attack eight men armed with machetes and a gun attacked the bunker tanker Bintang. The MMEA said it was alerted to the incident at 2245 and responded

by sending a patrol boat to the tanker but, as it approached, the pirates escaped in a wooden speedboat with laptops, mobile phones and cash stolen from the crew. In the earlier attack, MMEA southern region enforcement chief First Admiral Adon Shalan is reported as saying, a patrol boat spotted unusual ship-to-ship activity between the bunker tankers Scorpio and Sea Jade and six masked men were seen fleeing in a wooden boat installed with a high-powered engine. When the MMEA officers boarded the Scorpio they found all 12 crew members with their hands tied. T h e S e a J a d e ’s crew are suspected of assisting the pirates and have been detained. First Admiral Adon Shalan said he believed the same gang was involved in the Bintang and Scorpio incidents.

Continued from P1

Growing need for protection New surveillance system off West African highlighted in Tanzania completed

the European countries to call at a port. Without such a permission, which can only be given by European coastal states, the salvage of the vessel is not possible and the success of the operation is compromised.” The company said it had approached authorities in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain and Portugal in an attempt to find a safe place to complete the salvage operations. The senior national secretary of seafarers’ union Nautilus, Allan Graveson, said he was disturbed to see another case in which a ship had been denied a timely place of refuge. He said it was vital that coastal states afforded whatever assistance was required in such circumstances. “Flag states also have a responsibility to ensure that owners of ships on their register act promptly to ensure safety of the crew, vessel and protection of the marine environment. Masters should receive the fullest support from owners.”

THE August hijacking of Isle of Man-flag products tanker Energy Centurion off West Africa highlights the urgent need for the authorities to improve protection for merchant ships and their crews in the area, according to the seafarers’ union, Nautilus International. T h e u n i o n ’s g e n e r a l secretary, Mark Dickinson, said the seizure of the Greek-owned ship was further evidence of the growing dangers in the Gulf of Guinea and made clear the importance of drawing up a warlike operations area committee agreement to cover members working on merchant ships in the area. A Reuters report said pirates released the 74,995dwt tanker

seized off Togo after stealing 3,000 tonnes of fuel. T h e t a n k e r, w h i c h h a d 23 Russian crew members on board, was carrying some 50,000 tonnes of diesel and petrol fuel when it was hijacked. Earlier this year the International Maritime Bureau warned of “dangerously increasing” numbers of armed attacks on merchant ships off West Africa. Mr Dickinson said Nautilus was concerned that piracy was moving to West Africa and feared that ships and seafarers increasingly faced the same problems as they had off the coast of Somalia over the past ten years.

THE International Maritime Organization (IMO), in partnership with the US and Tanzanian Governments, has completed the installation of an integrated radar and automatic identification system (AIS) coastal surveillance system in Tanzania. The new facility provides a coastal picture for the Tanzanian Peoples’ Defence Forces, the civilian authorities at the Dar es Salaam Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre and the integral Information Sharing Centre. Although it was originally conceived as a bilateral military project between the US and Tanzania, IMO joined the project in order to integrate the system for civil and

maritime law-enforcement use, bringing all the maritime agencies together to counter the maritime security threats such as piracy, that threaten the coast of Tanzania. The installation is the first phase of a wider programme to provide similar systems in states bordering the Mozambique Channel and its approaches. The work is being undertaken as part of IMO’s counter-piracy programme under the Djibouti Code of Conduct. The code of conduct is funded by contributions to the Djibouti Code Trust Fund from its donors: France, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and the Marshall Islands.

nov/dec 12 the sea 3

‘Shipping facing increasingly tough economic conditions’

Industry confidence wanes as costs rise and rates fall S HIPPING industry confidence is falling as shipowners face increasingly tough economic conditions, which include increasing costs and falling rates, according to several recent reports. Overall confidence levels in the shipping industry fell to their lowest level for a year in the three months ended August 2012, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. A survey of ship operating costs carried out by the same firm found these had increased by over 2 per cent in a year. Meanwhile, the news agency, Bloomberg, has reported that shipping lines have seen the main container route from China to Europe

become unprofitable, in part, because of high bunker costs. One broker is quoted as saying that rates have fallen by 38 per cent since the end of June, with almost a quarter of the fall coming in the two middle weeks o f S e p t e m b e r. T h i s w a s happening as bunker prices were still increasing. Moore Stephens’ shipping partner, Richard Greiner, said that, in August this year, the average confidence level expressed by shipping industr y respondents in the markets in which they operate was 5.3 on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), compared to the figure of 5.7 recorded in the previous survey in May 2012. The figure of 5.3 was identical to the figure posted one year previously,

in August 2011. The survey was launched in May 2008 with a confidence rating of 6.8. Mr Greiner said that while the fall in confidence recorded in their latest survey was clearly a disappointment, it couldn’t really be termed a surprise. “In some respects, shipping has been bucking the trend for the past twelve months, exhibiting increased confidence despite the political and financial woes in Europe and elsewhere, and the problems of overtonnaging and falling rates.” Moore Stephens says the main reason total annual operating costs in the shipping industry increased by an average 2.1 per cent in 2011 was a rise in crew costs.

Insurance costs, however, fell for the second year in succession. The firm’s ship-operatingcosts benchmarking tool, OpCost 2012, revealed that total operating costs for the three main tonnage sectors covered – bulkers, tankers and containerships – were all up in 2011. There was a 3.3 per cent overall increase in 2011 crew costs compared to the 2010 figure. “OpCost 2012 contains both good and bad news for the shipping industry,” said Mr Greiner. “The bad news is that costs continue to rise. The good news is that costs are not rising as fast, or as steeply, as they were three or four years ago, and are in fact pretty much in line with predictions.”

Straits tidal model ‘boosts fuel efficiency’ OCEANOGRAPHY specialist Tidetech claims its new high-resolution tidal model for the Malacca and Singapore Straits (pictured right) could save ships thousands of dollars in bunker fuel costs. It says simulations have shown that transit time savings of between 3 per cent and 12 per cent can be made, depending on vessel type, speed and tidal phase. Tidetech says the high-resolution Malacca and Singapore Straits commercial tidal model is the first of its kind in the region and addresses two of the major needs of the 60,000 ships transiting these channels annually, namely, the need for both improved efficiency and reduced emissions.

New rigid sail design JAPANESE company Eco Marine Power (EMP) says it has completed the high level design for an innovative rigid sail. The Fukuokabased company says EnergySail can be used even when a ship is at anchor or in port, and has been designed to withstand high winds and sudden squalls. EMP says it is patenting the device, which can be fitted with a range of additional renewable energy technologies such as solar panels or wind power devices. The EnergySail has primarily been designed for Eco M a r i n e P o w e r ’s

Aquarius MRE System, which is intended to be a costeffective commercial system for utilising wind power and solar energy on large commercial vessels such as bulk ore carriers and tankers. It is expected that the Aquarius MRE System will reduce a ship’s fuel consumption by 10 to 20 per cent or more a year. The company claims that “used alongside other energy efficiency technologies a ship fitted with the Aquarius MRE System could reduce fuel consumption by 40 per cent or more”.

AN impression of the Aquarius MRE System on a large bulk ore carrier.

New evidence in Princess Cruises ‘sailed by’ case PRINCESS Cruises has released recently discovered video footage of the rescue at sea of a small boat adrift for nearly a month in the Pacific Ocean which, it says, “conclusively confirms” that the drifting boat seen on the video, the Fifty Cent, was not, as has been alleged, the small boat spotted and photographed by three passengers on the Bermuda-flag 108,977 gt Star Princess several weeks earlier. The president and CEO of Princess Cruises, Alan Buckelew, said that “while this remains a tragic story, we are gratified to have scientific confirmation that the Star Princess was never in the vicinity of the adrift boat and that the boat photographed by our passengers was not the adrift Fifty Cent. “Nevertheless,” he added, “we have used this as a valuable learning opportunity

and have strengthened our bridge reporting procedures to ensure that all messages of concern from passengers or crew are carefully evaluated by our senior bridge officers.” The story, which broke in April, received extensive press coverage, with Princess Cruises and the ship’s master widely criticised for not coming to the rescue of the men on board the drifting boat, two of whom subsequently died. Princess Cruises has been sued six times by the one survivor, Adrian Vasquez, and relatives of fishermen on the adrift boat. The lawsuits claim the cruise ship passed within several miles of the Fifty Cent, but failed to rescue the men on board despite three cruise ship passengers spotting them and reporting they saw a boat that might be in distress.

The company says the passengers, a group of bird watchers with sophisticated telescopic camera equipment, photographed the small boat they had spotted. Princess Cruises says that “their photos depict a small white boat similar to Panga boats used by local fishermen in Central America. In contrast, the video footage of the Fifty Cent’s rescue shows a markedly different boat.” Princess Cruises had the newly discovered video and the original bird watchers’ photos analysed by Michael Snyder, a retired photo analyst and photogrammetry expert from NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Mr Snyder concluded that “the small boat photographed by the passengers on board Star Princess is clearly not the small boat called Fifty Cent that Adrian Vasquez was found adrift on”.

LR issues DVD on safe boat transfers CLASSIFICATION society Lloyd’s Register (LR) has issued a new short film, Safe Boat Transfers, to help provide marine surveyors with comprehensive instructions on how to safely transfer between two vessels at sea. LR says in a statement that “working over water and, in particular, boat transfers, during which surveyors switch from a transfer vessel to the boat they are surveying, is a very high-risk activity”. The film, originally developed for Lloyd’s Register employees, aims to raise awareness about the associated risks and hazards, and to provide instruction for every stage of the transfer. LR says it made the film in response to the growing number of safety incidents caused by boat transfers during the past few years, and the lack of public guidance on the topic. It says examples of incidents include surveyors falling into the water or on to transfer boats, being struck by moving objects and being exposed to hypothermia. Surveyors have also struggled, adds LR, with inappropriate transfer boats, poorly maintained ladders and inadequately trained crews.

Globalisation ‘could go into reverse’ AT September’s International Chamber of Shipping conference, the managing director of the Finnish Shipowners’ Association, Olof Widen, raised the possibility that measures to reduce the sulphur content of fuel could raise the costs of transporting goods around the world so much that globalisation would go into reverse. He took a pessimistic view of the effects of increasingly strict global and regional sulphur regulations.

Straits charts worries CONCERN about the continuing lack of new large-scale navigational charts of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore was expressed by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) at a meeting in Singapore of the Co-operative Mechanism on Safety of Navigation and Environmental Protection in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

The ICS says this deficiency was acknowledged at the meeting by the littoral states (Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia) and that India – one of many observer nations present – offered the use of a survey vessel to conduct appropriate hydrographic surveys in the area. Training of personnel from Malaysia and Indonesia in hydrography was also offered. The ICS adds that it believes this offer by India to support hydrographic surveys and the production of appropriate navigation charts may lead to real progress being made with respect to safety of navigation in the region.

AB loses disability claim A FILIPINO AB has lost a court battle for disability benefits after being repatriated due to a tumour of the right lower jaw and secondary cystic infection. A company appointed doctor found that the seafarer had a serious case of impacted wisdom tooth (ameloblastoma) and that his illness was not workrelated. The seafarer filed a complaint for permanent disability benefits but this was dismissed by the Labor Arbiter who did not find any evidence to show that the seafarer’s illness was in any way connected to his work. The Philippine National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) then reversed the decision of the Labor Arbiter and awarded US$60,000 disability benefits. However, the country’s Court of Appeals reinstated the decision of the Labor Arbiter and denied the claim. It ruled that the seafarer had to present evidence to prove that his illness was work-related.

Move to clarify ECDIS ‘anomalies’ THE manufacturers of ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems) equipment are to publish information on the latest versions of the software used to operate their equipment, in order to help clarify certain “anomalies” that have been identified with some older systems. These anomalies have included significant hazards not appearing on ECDIS displays. The information is to be posted on the website of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO),, and will include links to enable ships to download the latest versions of the operating software, if necessary.

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IMO stresses Titanic legacy and safety INTERNATIONAL Maritime Organization (IMO) secretarygeneral Koji Sekimizu stressed the importance of the legacy of the Titanic disaster in his World Maritime Day message on September 27. He said “many ships have sunk – too many – but few have had the lasting impact of the seemingly invulnerable Titanic”. He noted that the 1912 disaster led directly to the firstever International Convention on Safety of Life at Sea and, ultimately, to the establishment of IMO itself. He cautioned, however, that improved safety could not be achieved through legislative measures alone. “We must generate a new impetus in shipping to go beyond compliance with regulations and explore industry-wide mechanisms to ensure the safety culture is embedded throughout the entire industry.

“So this year,” he continued, “as we look back on that pivotal disaster 100 years ago, I urge IMO member governments and the shipping industry as a whole to refresh their determination to improve and enhance the safety of passenger shipping today, and into the future.” Earlier in September Mr Sekimizu launched an initiative in which ports, harbours, straits and sea areas with VTS (a vessel traffic service) would count, and publicise, the number of consecutive accident-free days. Speaking in Turkey, Mr Sekimizu said that since the introduction of the advanced VTS in the Strait of Istanbul, the Strait of Çanakkale, and the Marmara Sea, there had been no major accidents and it had been a significant achievement to maintain such a record over nearly a decade. He added that, in order to promote safety and encourage

all parties involved, a clear concept should be created – akin to a corporate safety culture – for all those with an interest in safe navigation in straits, and in areas covered by VTS, to ensure that everybody was working together to achieve a common objective. “For me,” he said “the phrase ‘Accident Zero’ encapsulates the overall objective.” Mr Sekimizu went on to say that “every day it will be a challenge for all concerned to achieve ‘Accident Zero’ and each accident-free day that is achieved will extend the success of the concept and encourage everyone involved to extend the number of ‘Accident Zero’ days. This will provide a solid framework for working together, to involve everybody and to encourage everyone to contribute towards a common and great objective – continuous days of ‘Accident Zero’.”

Seafarers still face US shore leave restrictions

FISHERMAN Montri Srirak being rescued from the water (top), and with the Swiber Charlton crew (bottom)

‘Miraculous’ rescue THE tug Swiber Charlton made what has been described as a miraculous rescue of a Thai fisherman in the South China Sea on September 13. The vessel was on its way from Vung Tau, Vietnam, to Singapore when crew members spotted a man floating but apparently alive, in open waters a long way off. The master, Vicky Robert Kirojan, made the call to turn back and when close enough the crew threw the man a lifebuoy and pulled him on board. He had not been injured and was found to be well. It is not clear how the fisherman, Montri Srirak, ended up in the sea but after his ordeal was over he said he was thankful that the Swiber Charlton had saved his life and that everyone had treated him well.

THE US-based Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) says its eleventh annual Seafarer Shore Leave Survey shows a reduced percentage of ships reporting detained seafarers but also shows “the continued challenges foreign seafarers face when trying to secure muchneeded shore leave” in US ports. The survey indicates that of those seafarers denied shore leave, 81 per cent either lacked a visa or had an invalid one. The SCI notes that “the United States is the only major maritime nation that requires foreign seafarers to have a visa to go ashore. Other contributing factors included vessel restrictions, company restrictions and terminal restrictions. Although terminal access restrictions showed improvement from last year’s survey, some terminals

continue to charge seafarers exorbitant fees for simple escorts through terminals.” The SCI says this year’s survey highlights the continued need for the US to ratify the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention (Revised) 2003 (ILO-185). This convention, adopted by 24 nations and in force since 2005, would provide seafarers with a reliable biometric identification document, which would act as a substitute for a visa. It would also improve security for maritime nations by providing identity credentials for all seafarers, not just those who obtain a visa. The SCI urges seafarers, industry and labour to join in pressing the US to ratify ILO-185 in order to strengthen maritime security and make it easier for seafarers to have shore leave.


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Foreword by


A special day for seafarers? It is wrong that people only get to hear about seafarers when a ship is wrecked and oil or containers are strewn about the shore. Their profile needs to be raised and their stories told, says Michael Grey


ow did you celebrate Merchant Navy Day, or World Maritime Day, which might be considered its global equivalent? The sad thing is that most people don’t even know they are dates on the calendar, or assume that they are just modern artificial constructs designed to sell greeting cards, or provide a reason for shaking a tin at folk in the street. However, these dates are quite important and for two main reasons. They are reminders of the debts we owe our seafarers today and are a remembrance of what we owe to seafarers in the past. They are also an opportunity for a little “missionary” work on behalf of a next generation in showing how shipping and seafaring really are essential industries pretty well anywhere you live on earth, and why people should regard seafarers with great respect. Seafarers really are the workforce that is, for most people, over the horizon. It

wasn’t always like that. In the UK, an island nation not that long ago, there was residual awareness of the importance of the sea, and seafarers were not looked upon as inhabitants of another planet. In my family we would pray for seafarers each evening and especially on stormy nights, and when we refused to eat our dinner my parents would lecture us severely on the way our food reached us from the other side of the world. But that was before the great depopulation of the shipping industry and its disappearance from UK shores. I came from a seafaring family. Seafarers in the shape of father and uncles were in and out of the house and the sea career was the only path I ever wanted to take. It is probably fair to say that most families in the UK at that time would know at least one seafarer in the Royal Navy or Merchant Marine, or someone who perhaps had something to do with ships and the sea or worked in and around the ports. When there was this level of comprehen-

sion, we perhaps didn’t need to have special days to celebrate seafarers. Here’s another question it is worth asking your friends, or even people you meet at parties, or on trains. Is shipping more, or less, important than it was fifty years ago? You can guarantee that they will get it wrong every time, because there is no denying that we now live in an era where the full shelves in our shops and what we buy at our filling stations are taken for granted. There is no automatic association, as there was once, between the banana and the banana boat, or the petrol gauge in the car and the tanker. Even if we are more thoughtful, or better read than some, our “logistic chain”, which delivers our goods, only extends as far as some huge distributive warehouse or petrol depot. Nobody carries this chain further, to the ports and to the ships that unload the goods in them, or to the human beings who operate those ships. The goods we need reach us, apparently, by magic.

“SEAFARERS are interesting human beings, doing one of the most essential jobs you can think of.” (Photo: Jamie Smith) Clever advertisers these days try and make connections between their products and the people who supply them

– we see coffee buyers at work in some tropical situation, some amazing acrobatics undertaken by people who

grow olives for a living, and the delight on the face of the orange grower “when the man from Del Monte – he say YES!”

But there is then something of a black hole before the goods pop up, miraculously, in our supermarkets. There is no knowledge of, or perhaps interest in, the maritime supply chain and the people who make it all happen at sea. Picking out a day in the calendar to remember, or celebrate seafarers or their service won’t change this ignorance in any dramatic fashion, but it’s well worth the effort of trying to spread the word. What seafarers do today is no less essential than what was done by their forebears and we owe them the same debt as we ever did for leaving home and hearth and following the far wild seas. It may be less romantic than it once was, but it remains a decent and honourable living and it doesn’t change anything when the seafarers in the ships around our shores are themselves from far off foreign climes. We need to try and get people to understand seafarers rather better and what makes them tick. It would

be worth trying to spread the word about the magic and mystery of ships and the sort of jobs that are done by the modern seafarers aboard them. It’s wrong that we only ever get to hear about them when a ship is wrecked and oil or containers are strewn about the shore. Why don’t we try and “personalise” Merchant Navy Day or World Maritime Day, with some well-publicised profiles of modern seafarers: tell about the job they do, why it is different from the 9-5 existence that most of us live; tell about the special skills they need to drive some of the world’s biggest self-propelled moving objects, their education, their training, their ambitions and how they spend their working days. So instead of these dates being a sort of abstract exercise, let us put faces behind the present mask of invisibility. These are interesting human beings, doing one of the most essential jobs you can think of. We need to know them better.


Welfare agencies are crucial to MLC success The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 will have a big impact on the work done by seafarers’ welfare organisations. Tom Short considers the issues with Canon Ken Peters, director of justice and welfare at The Mission to Seafarers


hat is the Mission’s reaction to the introduction of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)? We are absolutely delighted. That the convention will enter into force in less than a year is very good news for seafarers. But I’m hoping that people won’t take a rest now that it has come into being. Once it comes into practice is when the difficult work starts. Absolutely! A lot of people who have particular interests have already written, or are writing, guides: for example, the ITF for the inspectors, ships’ owners for their viewpoint. But what about guides for seafarers and what the MLC means for them? There’s little or no point in giving seafarers rights if crews don’t know what their rights are. What do you think the most important articles are in the convention, and do you feel that it has omitted anything? It’s very difficult to highlight any one particular article. There’s a whole raft of disadvantages that seafarers currently have that the MLC will most certainly address. Abandonment and repatriation are the main ones. There are very clear

responsibilities now for the repatriation of seafarers. Plus, the convention can be enforced so it’s got teeth. I think the on board complaints procedure is less than adequate, although it is bolstered by an onshore complaints procedure, and that is the one I believe seafarers will use. It is going to be inordinately difficult for seafarers to complain on board, especially if the person they are complaining to is the perpetrator. Confidentiality will only be gained on shore. I fully expect people like port chaplains will be the ones that get seafarers complaining to them. So it’s going to create more work for MtS? I believe so. Regulations 4.4 and 4.1 are also essential, as they concern access to shore-side facilities. This is going to cause significant difficulties because ever since the ISPS code, many seafarers have been disadvantaged and denied shore leave. In particular, by nations such as the United States. Yes, but also in other countries as well. There are some practical implications too because many countries require a travel document and many no longer accept seafarers’ identity books or discharge books. They will only accept a passport,

of seafarers proving their identity, but also, for example, in the United States, you can’t go ashore if you are not the holder of a Transport Worker Identification Card (TWIC). That’s why the MtS, along with other organisations, has made port chaplains the holders of these cards. They will then offer to accompany seafarers free of chage rather than leave them to enage a person to accompany them.

ALL seafarers should learn about the MLC: here Mission chaplain John Attenborough talks about it on board ship. (Photo: MtS) but often it is locked in the safe by the ship’s masters and some are reluctant to hand them out during the voyage because of concerns over jumping ship. So how then does the seafarer satisfy these requirements? You have the ISPS code which, either because of misinterpretation or an overzealous implementation of it, will restrict shore leave, despite the MLC saying that it is absolutely essential. And in the preamble to regulation 4.4, it says specifically

that shore leave is, among other things, for the health and wellbeing of the seafarers. When you take the MLC in conjunction with the ISPS code and the ILO facilitation code, which also requires the free passage of seafarers, there’s going to be significant pressure on those member states which have hitherto not interfered, particularly with private terminal operators who institute such a strict regime, not simply in terms

This brings me on to my next question, which is whether governments are ready to enforce the treaty properly? It’s not going to happen overnight, it will take time. But I’m delighted with the flag of Liberia, a true flag of compliance. They’re ahead of the game, training their inspectors not only to the letter of the law, but also in the philosophy of the MLC and why it was created. It’s going to be easier to integrate within other things, such as the Paris MoU, where port states already operate a fairly rigorous regime; this will extend the reach of flag states to be able to actually do inspections, and not cherry pick what they want to look at. There’s going to be a problem in the time that it takes to do inspections, article 1.4, for

example has 14 items for inspection. How are they going to do that, when port turnaround is so brief and there are major problems like fatigue? There needs to be a development of an inspection regime where one inspection covers audits, MLC inspections, and other areas. Otherwise seafarers are going to be just doing inspections from morning till night. What about employment agencies? In most part of the developed world, these agencies are usually fully inspected. But in countries where the labour market is competitive, such as in the Philippines, do you see this being enforced to the same degree? The problem of blacklisting is still endemic. Hopefully, we will see the noncompliant agencies gradually going out of business. One of the things MtS chaplains experience quite frequently, is seafarers whose contracts are less than optimal in their compliance with existing rules and regulations, let alone the requirements of the MLC. To focus on blacklisting, that’s something that is fairly untraceable given that it can be spread via email and fax.

Do you think it can ever be entirely wiped out, or will it always persist? I think having it totally wiped out is unrealistic, but it will probably become more obvious and will seep into the public domain. It depends how the implementation of the MLC is monitored, and one would hope that the tripartite committee of social partners tasked with its implementation will focus on the specific difficulties within the industry, and the more outrageous exploitations. Blacklisting is one of those. Finally, is there anything else you would like to add on the subject of the MLC? I think the really big thing will be the partnerships that will be created, including those with port chaplains. It is they who are the eyes and ears of the shipping industry, because they have the trust and confidence of the seafarers and are able to liaise with shipowners, port state control and others to resolve issues at the most basic level. Even just speaking with a ship’s master can ensure that a difficulty doesn’t become a problem. A version of this article first appeared in the Nautilus Telegraph

6 the sea nov/dec 12


Repatriation and the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 MOST seafarers today are recruited in their home countries far from the places where they begin and finish their contracts. One of the earliest international conventions adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) addressed the need for seafarers to be returned home (repatriated) after finishing their employment on ships. The Repatriation of Seafarers Convention (ILO-23), adopted in 1926, was a very basic convention that codified seafarers’ fundamental rights to be repatriated and flag states’ obligations to supervise seafarers’ repatriation from their vessels: 46 nations ratified ILO-23. In 1987, the ILO updated ILO-23 by adopting the Repatriation of Seamen Convention 1987 (ILO-166). This convention clarified and included more detailed descriptions of seafarers’ repatriation rights. It also specified that shipowners were responsible for repatriating seafarers and enumerated actions that flag states, port states, and the seafarers’ home states could take if the shipowner defaulted. Only 13 countries ratified ILO-166. The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) not only expands seafarers’ rights to repatriation beyond previous ILO conventions, it also expands the reach of its protections. Countries that have ratified the MLC 2006 will enforce the convention on their own ships as well as on foreign ships enter-

ing their ports. So far, 30 countries have ratified the MLC 2006, and it will come into force in August 2013. As with many other parts of the MLC 2006, the convention requires member states to implement its repatriation standards through statutes, regulations, collective bargaining agreements or other measures. Accordingly, some of the details of seafarers’ repatriation rights may vary from country to country. Key repatriation features of the MLC 2006 that must be implemented by all member nations include:  Seafarers have a right to be repatriated at no cost to themselves when their employment agreement expires, when their employment agreement is terminated by the shipowner, when they terminate their employment contract for justified reasons, when they can no longer carry out their contractual duties, or when they cannot be expected to carry them out in specific circumstances. Regulations 2.5.1, A2.5.1, and A2.5.5.(c).  Some of the reasons that may justify repatriation are recommended, but not required by all countries. These include medical conditions, shipwreck, sale of the vessel, change of registry, voyages to war zones in circumstances where seafarers can refuse to sail there, and other reasons specified by contract. B2.5.1.1(b).  Flag states must require shipowners

to provide financial security to cover their obligations to repatriate seafarers on their ships. Regulation 2.5.1.  Shipowners cannot require seafarers to make advance payments for their repatriation or deduct repatriation expenses from their pay except where seafarers are in serious default of their employment obligations. A.2.5.3.  Seafarers are entitled to be repatriated at the shipowners’ expense at least once a year. A2.5.2(b).  Appropriate repatriation destinations must be specified A2.5.2(c). Recommended destinations include the place where the seafarer signed the employment contract, the place stipulated in a collective bargaining agreement, the seafarers’ home country, or another place mutually agreed upon at the time of engagement. B2.5.6.  If a shipowner fails to repatriate seafarers as required, the flag state must arrange for repatriating them. Flag states can recover their costs from shipowners. If flag states fail to repatriate seafarers, port states or seafarers’ states of nationality may arrange to repatriate the seafarers and recover their expenses from the flag states. A2.5.5.  To make sure that seafarers’ understand their rights to repatriation, ships must have on board a copy of the national provisions regarding repatriation and make them available to seafarers in a language they can understand. A2.5.9.

La repatriación y el Convenio sobre el Trabajo Marítimo de 2006 HOY en día, la mayoría de los marinos son contratados en sus países de origen, lejos del lugar donde empieza y termina su contrato. Uno de los primeros convenios internacionales adoptados por la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) contemplaba la necesidad de devolver a la gente de mar a sus hogares (repatriarlos) al concluir su contrato. El Convenio sobre la repatriación de la gente de mar (ILO-23), adoptado en 1926 y de carácter muy básico, codificaba los derechos fundamentales de la gente de mar a la repatriación y la obligación de los estados de bandera de supervisar la repatriación de los marinos que trabajaban en sus naves. El ILO-23 fue ratificado por 46 naciones. En 1987, la OIT actualizó el ILO-23 con la adopción del Convenio sobre la repatriación de la gente de mar de 1987 (ILO-166). El convenio clarificaba los derechos de repatriación de la gente de mar con mucho más detalle. Asimismo, especificaba que los armadores eran responsables de repatriar a la gente de mar y enumeraba las acciones que los estados de bandera, los estados de puerto y los estados originarios de los marinos podían adoptar en caso de que el armador no satisficiese sus obligaciones. Solo 13 países ratificaron el ILO-166 El Convenio sobre trabajo marítimo de 2006 (MLC 2006) no solo amplía los derechos de la gente de mar a la repatriación con respecto a lo establecido en las convenciones previas de la OIT, sino que amplía el alcance de su protección. Los países que han ratificado el MLC 2006 aplicarán el convenio tanto en sus propios buques como en los buques extranjeros que entren en sus puertos. El MLC 2006 entrará en vigor en agosto de 2013. Hasta la fecha, 30 países lo han ratificado. Como muchos otros elementos del MLC 2006, el Convenio exige que los estados miembros integren la normativa de repatriación en sus estatutos, reglamentaciones, convenios colectivos, etc. Por lo tanto, ciertos detalles de los derechos de repatriación de la gente de mar podrían variar de un país a otro. Entre las principales disposiciones del MLC 2006 relativas a la repatriación que todas las naciones

miembros deben implantar se cuentan las siguientes:  La gente de mar tiene derecho a ser repatriada sin coste alguno cuando expira su contrato laboral, cuando el armador rescinde su contrato laboral, cuando renuncian a su contrato por razones justificadas, cuando dejan de estar en disposición de satisfacer sus obligaciones contractuales o cuando no puede esperarse de ellos que las satisfagan en circunstancias específicas. Normativa 2.5.1, A2.5.1 y A2.5.5.(c). n Entre las razones que podrían justificar la repatriación y figuran como recomendaciones en algunos países, sin ser obligatorias, se cuentan las siguientes: enfermedad, naufragio, venta del buque, cambio de matrícula, viajes a zonas de guerra en circunstancias en las cuales los tripulantes puedan negarse a navegar, y otras razones especificadas contractualmente. B2.5.1.1(b).  Los estados de bandera deben exigir a los armadores que proporcionen garantías financieras que cubran sus obligaciones relativas a la repatriación de las tripulaciones de sus buques. Normativa 2.5.1.  Los armadores no pueden exigir a los tripulantes que adelanten sus costes de repatriación ni deducir los gastos de repatriación de sus salarios, excepto en casos de infracción grave de sus obligaciones contractuales. A.2.5.3.  La gente de mar tiene derecho a la repatriación a expensas del armador como mínimo una vez al año. A2.5.2(b).  Debe especificarse cuáles serán los destinos de repatriación apropiados A2.5.2(c). Entre los destinos recomendados se incluyen el lugar donde el marino firmó su contrato laboral, destinos estipulados por convenio colectivo, el país de origen del marino u otro destino mutuamente acordado a la firma del contrato. B2.5.6.  Si un armador no repatría a sus tripulantes según lo estipulado, el estado de bandera deberá encargarse de la repatriación. Los estados de bandera podrán después exigir a los armadores que cubran sus gastos. Si los estados de bandera no repatrían a los marinos, los estados de puerto o los estados nacionales de los marinos podrían organizar su repatriación, en cuyo caso podrán exigir después a los estados de bandera que cubran sus gastos. A2.5.5.

 Para garantizar que la gente de mar comprenda los derechos que les asisten para su repatriación, los buques deben tener a bordo un ejemplar de la legislación nacional relativa a la repatriación, que se pondrá a disposición de la tripulación en un idioma que puedan comprender. A2.5.9.

Репатриация и Конвенции о труде в морском судоходстве 2006 года БОЛЬШИНСТВО моряков на сегодняшний день нанимается на работу в своих родных странах, далеко от тех мест, где начинается и заканчивается их работа по контракту. Одна из первых международных конвенций, принятых Международной организацией труда (МОТ), была посвящена проблемам возвращения моряков на родину (репатриации) после завершения их работы на судах. Конвенция о репатриации моряков (МОТ-23), принятая в 1926 году, была в значительной мере базовой конвенцией, закрепляющей основополагающие права моряков на репатриацию и обязанности государств флага осуществлять надзор и контроль за репатриацией моряков со своих судов. Конвенцию МОТ-23 ратифицировали 46 государств. В 1987 году МОТ актуализировала МОТ-23, приняв Конвенцию о репатриации моряков 1987 года (МОТ-166). Эта конвенция более подробно разъясняет и дополняет права моряков на репатриацию. В ней также четко оговорено, что ответственность за репатриацию моряков лежит на владельцах судов, и перечислены действия, которые государства флага, государства порта и собственные государства моряков должны предпринять в случае невыполнения обязательств владельцем судна. Только 13 стран ратифицировали МОТ-166. Конвенция о труде в морском

судоходстве 2006 года (КТМС 2006) расширяет не только права моряков на репатриацию по сравнению с предшествующими конвенциями МОТ, но и сферу их защищенности. Страны, ратифицировавшие МОТ 2006, будут обеспечивать исполнение конвенции на своих собственных судах, а также на иностранных судах, входящих в их порты. На сегодняшний день КТМС 2006 ратифицировали 30 стран, и она вступит в силу в августе 2013 года. Как и многие другие составляющие КТМС 2006, данная конвенция требует от стран-участников внедрения своих стандартов репатриации принятием законодательных актов, нормативных положений, коллективных договоров или иных мер. Соответственно, в разных странах в правах моряков на репатриацию могут наблюдаться некоторые различия. Ключевыми пунктами КТМС 2006, выполнение которых должно быть обязательным для всех странучастников, являются следующие:  Моряки имеют право на репатриацию без несения какихлибо расходов со своей стороны в тех случаях, когда заканчивается срок их трудового соглашения, когда их трудовое соглашение расторгается судовладельцем, когда они сами расторгают трудовое соглашение по обоснованным причинам, когда они более не могут выполнять свои контрактные обязательства, или когда от них

нельзя ожидать исполнения этих обязательств в особых обстоятельствах. Положение 2.5.1, A2.5.1, и A2.5.5.(c).  Некоторые причины, которые могут служить основанием для репатриации, рекомендованы, но не обязательны для всех стран. В их число входят: состояние здоровья, кораблекрушение, продажа судна, смена регистрации, отправка в зону военных действий в случаях, когда у моряков есть право отказаться от этого, и другие причины, оговоренные в контракте. B2.5.1.1(b).  Государства флага должны требовать от владельцев судов предоставления финансовых гарантий для покрытия обязательств по репатриации моряков, занятых на их судах. Положение 2.5.1.  Судовладельцы не вправе требовать от моряков авансовой оплаты стоимости репатриации или удерживать расходы по репатриации из заработной платы моряков, за исключением случаев серьезных нарушений моряками своих трудовых обязанностей. A.2.5.3.  Моряки имеют право на репатриацию за счет владельцев судов по крайней мере раз в год. A2.5.2(b).  Соответствующие направления репатриации должны быть оговорены заранее. A2.5.2(c). Предписанные места репатриации Продолжение на стр. 7

nov/dec 12 the sea 7


Missing you ISN’T it wonderful to receive a gift? Be it Christmas or another kind of anniversary, receiving a present makes us feel valued, loved and cherished. At this time of the year, the thoughts of seafarers naturally turn to home and the merriment of family during the Christmas season. Many countries celebrate Christmas, but all faiths have occasions when gifts and customs are exchanged. In the Philippines, families gather after Midnight Mass for a late-night meal called “Nochebuena”. Friends and neighbours light candles and celebrate the coming festivities with traditional dishes – some of which are reserved especially for the Yuletide season. In your own homelands and households, you may do a similar thing,

reserving certain items of food and drink for special events. As a youngster, I well remember that my mum and dad, who hardly ever drank, always opened a bottle of ginger wine at Christmas. In fact my mum would feel quite tipsy at the smell! Being at sea on a special day is always difficult for seafarers. Christmas can be particularly painful as the ship docks in a port thousands of miles away from family and friends. Many crews decorate their mess room with a tree and tinsel or streamers. But none of these can take away the difficulties of being away from those we love. There are, however, a few things crews can do to make things easier. Contacting home is obviously the most

important one. Having the chance to speak to family, especially children, can often make us feel better. Communication facilities, however, are not always readily available on board ship, so make sure you have a copy of the seafarers’ centres directory. www. missiontoseafarers. org lists all of the centres The Mission to Seafarers operates around the world. For a detailed list of other providers, make sure you have www. saved in your internet favourites. For Christians, Christmas celebrates Emmanuel, the birth of Jesus. The Bible tells us that God loved the world so much that he gave it the greatest of all gifts: his son. Emmanuel means “God is

with us” and for many people this reassurance of a constant presence helps and guides their daily lives. It means that there is a source of comfort and support during times of separation and heartache. The Mission to Seafarers recognises that working at sea during Christmas can be tough. It’s one of the reasons why some of our centres are open on Christmas Day and others provide presents for crews. In a very simple way they are a small reminder that people care about you and are appreciative of your hard work throughout the year. Wherever you find yourself this Christmas, may you know that you are loved and cared for. The presents may be small, but as St Francis of Assisi once wrote: “For it is in giving that we receive”.

Te echamos de menos ¿A que es fantástico recibir un regalo? Recibir un regalo, por Navidades o por cualquier otra ocasión, hace que nos sintamos valorados, queridos, apreciados. En esta época del año, los pensamientos de los marinos se dirigen, inevitablemente, hacia su hogar y la alegría familiar de las Navidades. Las Navidades se celebran en muchos países, pero incluso donde no se celebran, todas las confesiones tienen ocasiones en las que se intercambian presentes. En Filipinas, las familias se reúnen después de la misa del gallo para celebrar la Nochebuena con una cena. Amigos, vecinos y familiares encienden velas y degustan platos tradicionales, algunos de ellos exclusivos de estas fechas. Es posible que en sus países y en sus hogares ustedes hagan algo semejante, reservando determinados platos y bebidas para acontecimientos especiales. Recuerdo que, cuando era pequeño, mi madre y mi padre, que no tenían por costumbre tomar bebidas alcohólicas, solían abrir una botella de licor de jengibre por Navidad. De hecho, ¡recuerdo incluso que mi madre se ponía un poquito chispa solo con el olor! Pasar fechas especiales como estas a

bordo no es fácil. Las Navidades pueden ser particularmente difíciles cuando el barco recala en un puerto extranjero a miles de kilómetros de familiares y amigos. Muchas tripulaciones decoran el comedor con un árbol de Navidad, espumillón y guirnaldas. Pero eso no basta para paliar el dolor de estar lejos de nuestros seres queridos. Sin embargo, hay varias cosas que pueden hacerse para contribuir a aliviar los sentimientos de la tripulación. Obviamente, la más importante es ponerse en contacto con la familia. Tener la oportunidad de hablar con la familia, especialmente con nuestros hijos, puede hacer que nos sintamos mejor. Sin embargo, como no siempre es posible utilizar las instalaciones de comunicación de a bordo, recomendamos tener siempre a mano un ejemplar del directorio de Casas del mar. En www.missiontoseafarers. org encontrarán los datos de los centros de la Mission to Seafarers (Misión para la gente de mar) en todo el mundo. Si desea obtener una lista completa de otros centros, guarde la dirección www. entre sus sitios favoritos de Internet.

Репатриация и Конвенции о труде в морском судоходстве 2006 года Продолжение со стр. 6

включают пункт, в котором моряк подписал трудовое соглашение, пункт, оговоренный в коллективном договоре, страну проживания моряка или любой другой такой пункт, взаимно согласованный в момент найма. B2.5.6.  Если судовладелец оказался не в состоянии должным образом репатриировать моряков, то государство флага обязано организовать их репатриацию. Государства флага могут получить возмещение своих расходов от владельцев судна. Если государства флага не в состоянии репатриировать моряков, то государства порта или государства, гражданами которых являются моряки, могут организовать их репатриацию и взыскать расходы по репатриации с государств флага. A2.5.5.  Для обеспечения понимания моряками своих прав на репатриацию на борту судов в обязательном порядке должны быть представлены копии национальных нормативных документов, посвященных репатриации, на тех языках, которыми моряки владеют в достаточной степени. A.2.5.3.

Para los cristianos, las Navidades celebran la llegada de Emmanuel, el nacimiento de Jesucristo. La Biblia nos dice que Dios amaba tanto el mundo que le ofreció el más grande de todos los presentes: su hijo. Emmanuel significa “Dios está entre nosotros”. A muchas personas, la confianza en su presencia constante les sirve de apoyo y de guía en su vida cotidiana. Gracias a Él, cuentan con una fuente de apoyo y consuelo en tiempos de separación y de aflicción. La Mission to Seafarers reconoce que trabajar en la mar durante las Navidades puede resultar difícil. Es una de las razones por las cuales algunos de nuestros centros permanecen abiertos el día de Navidad y otros ofrecen regalos a los marinos. Es una forma muy sencilla de recordarles que hay alguien que se preocupa por ustedes y que sabe valorar la dura tarea que llevan a cabo durante todo el año. Dondequiera que se encuentren estas Navidades, sepan que hay quien les quiere y quien se preocupa por ustedes. Nuestros presentes son humildes, pero como escribió San Franciso de Asís en una ocasión: “Cuando damos, recibimos”

Скучая в разлуке НЕ правда ли, получать подарки так приятно? Подарки в честь Рождества или какого-либо иного праздника дают нам возможность почувствовать себя нужными, дорогими и любимыми. В это время года все помыслы моряков совершенно естественно устремлены к дому и к семейным радостям, сопровождающим рождественские праздники. Рождество отмечается во многих странах, но и для всех других верований существуют такие моменты, когда происходит обмен подарками. На Филиппинах семьи собираются за поздним ужином после всенощной, называемым “Nochebuena”. Друзья и соседи зажигают свечи и отмечают наступающие праздники традиционными блюдами, некоторые из которых готовят только в сезон Рождества. В ваших странах и семьях,

возможно, также принято сохранять определенные блюда и напитки только для особых событий. Из своего детства я хорошо помню, что мои практически никогда не пившие спиртного родители, в Рождество всегда открывали бутылочку имбирного вина. Моя мама обычно пьянела от одного его запаха! Находиться в плавании в такие дни всегда очень нелегко. Рождество может стать особенно болезненным, если судно стоит в порту за тысячи километров от семьи и друзей. Многие экипажи украшают свои каюткомпании елками, мишурой или серпантином. Но все это никак не может скрасить тяжесть разлуки с любимыми людьми. Тем не менее, существуют возможности немного облегчить ситуацию. И, несомненно, самая главная

из них это звонок домой. Разговор со своей семьей, в особенности, с детьми, скорее всего, поднимет наше настроение. К сожалению, на борту судна не всегда можно легко получить доступ к средствам связи, поэтому позаботьтесь о том, чтобы у вас были адреса центров для моряков. На сайте www. вы найдете перечень всех центров Миссии для моряков во всех странах мира. Для того, чтобы получить полную информацию о других организациях, предоставляющих свои услуги, обязательно поставьте закладку на сайте www. Для христиан Рождество — это празднование Эммануила, рождения Иисуса. Библия говорит нам, что Бог возлюбил мир так, что подарил ему величайший из всех даров — собственного

сына. Эммануил означает «Бог с нами», и для многих это заверение о его постоянном присутствии служит опорой и руководством в повседневной жизни. Это означает, что существует источник утешения и поддержки в моменты разлуки и сердечной боли. Миссия для моряков понимает, что находиться в море во время Рождества очень нелегко. И это одна из причин, почему некоторые из наших центров открыты в день Рождества, а другие обеспечивают экипажи подарками. Таким немудреным способом они стараются напомнить вам, что есть люди, заботящиеся о вас и ценящие ваш тяжелый труд. Где бы ни застало вас Рождество, знайте, что вас любят и о вас заботятся. Подарки, возможно, будут невелики, но как однажды заметил Св. Франциск Ассизский: «Ибо, кто дает, тот обретает».

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 nov/dec 12

Ship sailed for an ‘incredible’ 17 days with body on board

ITF calls for the results of cadet death investigations T HE International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has called on the Panamanian and Mexican authorities to reveal the results of their investigations into the death of 22-year-old engineering cadet, Dayra Wood Pino, on board the 1972-built, Panamanian-flag products tanker El Valencia. In a statement the ITF says they also want to know why the cadet’s family weren’t informed about her death for several days and why the ship was allowed to proceed for an “incredible” 17 days with her body on board. ITF Panama inspector Luis Fruto was the first person to raise questions about the case. “The El Valencia was sailing from the Pacific coast of Panama to the Atlantic through the Panama Canal,” says Mr Fruto. “It stopped between July 27 and July 30 due to steering problems, then anchored at Puerto de Cristobal, Panama, on July 30 and set sail for Ciudad del Carmen (Mexico) at 01.10 on August 1, 2012. The reason for the voyage is unclear; the Mexican authorities have told us the ship did not have a charter contract.” The Equasis database lists the El Valencia’s owner as Top Agents of Panama City. However, the ITF notes that

CADET Dayra Wood Pino (above left) died on board the Panama-flag tanker El Valencia (right). (Photos: International Transport Workers’ Federation) the owners “are believed locally to be the Fernández brothers, who run the Astilleros Braswell shipyard in Panama”. The fatal accident happened on August 4. Working alone, cadet Wood Pino was preparing to transfer the contents of the bilge to the slop tanks in the engine room. She asked another cadet for help to get the emergency pump ready to discharge the bilge because the ship’s main pump was faulty. At some stage it appears she became caught up in machinery and by the time help arrived she was dead. Mr Fruto says the company waited three days before officially informing the PMA (Panama Maritime

Authority) and it was only on August 18 that the PMA then informed the Mexican authorities, even though the cadet’s body was still on the ship, where it was being kept in the refrigerator. “The delays,” says Mr Fruto, “were unforgivable”. Together with another ITF inspector, Mexican-based Enrique Lozano, he brought the case to the attention of the media. He adds that “it was only then, after it had been reported on the television, that the PMA ordered the detention of the ship, on August 20 in Puerto de Veracruz, Mexico”. Eventually, and after further delays, cadet Wood Pino’s body was repatriated and given a Christian burial.

“The investigation continues,” says Mr Fruto. “It raises multiple questions. We have reason to believe that the certificates of some of the crew on the ship need examination, following rumours that some of them were bought. The PMA has withdrawn the ship’s certificates and the owners have reportedly tried to change the flag. Why didn’t the PMA notify the Mexican authorities immediately? Why did the Mexican authorities not detain the ship when it put into Ciudad del Carmen or Dos Bocas with a weeks-old body on board?” These, he says, are questions that have to be answered in order to clarify the circumstances of Dayra Wood Pino’s death.

Shipping could face a carbon-free future

New engine room simulator WARSASH Maritime Academy (WMA) has launched a brand new Full Mission Engine Room Simulator (above), featuring cutting-edge facilities that mimic real shipboard environments. The WMA says that the specially designed, full mission engine room simulator is the first of its kind in the world. The academy adds that the integrating of simulator technology with real vessel control and electrical systems The Mission to Seafarers

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represents a significant advance because it brings realism into this highly specialist training area. The WMA says that this advance also provides candidates with an environment in which they can develop their technical engineering skills and their non-technical human element, leadership and management skills beyond the requirements of the 2010 revision of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Convention. n Launched over ten 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

PROMINENT environmental campaigner Jonathon Porritt, from the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, told September’s International Chamber of Shipping conference that the various targets for CO2 reduction that shipping was currently struggling towards would eventually prove “irrelevant”. He said the industr y would have to be 95 per cent de-carbonised by 2050 as part of global efforts to prevent global warming reaching dangerous levels. “The age of easy oil is over,” he told the conference. “Crude prices have shifted f u n d a m e n t a l l y, w i t h increasing volatility and uncertainty. The view that there could be a production peak or even decline as early as 2020 is entering the mainstream.” Mr Porritt warned that, as climate change gathered pace, there would be increased pressure for shipping to be included in regional and global regimes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He cautioned too that price and regulatory uncertainty could undermine investment decision-making and added that strong leadership was required to prevent uncertainty leading to inaction.

The real problem facing the planet, according to Mr Porritt, is the potential future global warming if we “carry on releasing CO2 into the atmosphere at rates anything like we currently do”. Meanwhile Norwegian classification society Det Norske Veritas (DNV) says in a report on the collaborative industry FellowSHIP project, that fuel cell technology has proved successful at sea, although high costs will slow down its introduction. The paper suggests that using fuel cells could even completely eliminate CO2 emissions if hydrogen from renewable sources becomes available. DNV researcher Eirik Ovrum says fuel cells can have a viable future within shipping. “DNV,” he says, “has paved the way for the safe and smooth introduction of fuel cells for ships. We recognise that it will take time before fuel cells can become a realistic on board alternative, mostly restricted by costs, but the FellowSHIP project has taken some important first steps towards a future for fuel cells on ships.” As part of the FellowSHIP project, a 330 kW fuel cell was successfully installed on the offshore supply vessel Viking Lady and operated smoothly for more than 7,000 hours.

Mooring dangers highlighted by report THE Swedish Accident Investigation Authority’s interim report on the fatal mooring accident aboard the Dutch cargoship Morraborg at Holmsund, Sweden, in July 2011, highlights both the danger of standing in the snap-back zone of a mooring line under tension and how the design and construction of the ship made it difficult to carry out a safe mooring operation. The report found that the berthing method used resulted in a risk that the mooring rope could part under load. The master warned the forecastle team to move out of danger. The chief officer confirmed the master’s warning but did not take any action. The bridge team could not see what was happening on the forecastle. Adding to the risk, the forecastle was cramped and the windlass remote control unit was located in close proximity to the mooring line under tension and within its immediate snap-back zone. The rope parted, killing the chief officer. The report noted that the owner had no specific guidelines for mooring and had not identified mooring to be a dangerous operation.

Musician’s family to sue owners THE family of a Hungarian musician employed on the Costa Concordia who died when the cruise ship sank in January are suing Carnival Corp and Costa Crociere for US$400 million. Tradewinds reports that the claim, lodged in a New York court, alleges “deplorable safety practices, poor training, and lax or deficient safety procedures”.

Murder of hostage in Somalia SOMALI pirates murdered a crew member from the Panama-flag bulker Orna and wounded another, according to a Lloyd’s List report in early September. The killing apparently followed frustration that no ransom had been paid two years after the hijacking of the vessel. The Orna was abandoned by pirates and crew in May following a fire. An Associated Press

report quoted pirate gang member Hassan Abdi as saying “the killing was a message to the owners of the ships who paid no heed to our ransom demands. More killings will follow if they continue to lie to us. We have lost patience with them. Two years is enough.” Security expert Michael Frodl warned that if the ship’s owner just paid up following the “barbaric act” other hostages might be killed by the Orna’s hijackers and other gangs to speed up payments. He said that we might be at a “critical turning point in the evolution of the Somali piracy business model”.

Australia to check on ECDIS AUSTRALIA’S Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has warned that its port state control officers “will increasingly focus on the means by which ships meet their SOLAS chart carriage requirements and the effectiveness with which the navigational task is being conducted”. Among various other checks, inspectors will examine logbooks and records for evidence to determine the means of navigation being used, and will also ensure that ECDIS equipment conforms to relevant standards, and that ships are carrying official electronic charts and have independent back-up arrangements. Checks will also be carried out to see whether watchkeepers are appropriately ECDIStrained and competent, including whether they have had training on the type of equipment used on board their ships.

Warning on use of oxyacetylene LIABILITY insurer the American Club has issued an urgent alert to shipowners about the operation of oxy-acetylene equipment without flashback arrestors, following a recent casualty which led to a claim, and reports from recent survey inspections. The insurer describes the use of such equipment without flashback arrestors fitted as “extremely dangerous”. It says oxy-acetylene equipment must be kept in good condition and operated safely. In particular, flashback arrestors must always be fitted to the bottles and bottles must always be stowed securely in an upright position with oxygen and acetylene bottles stowed separately and away from each other and not in enclosed spaces.

The Sea, November/December 2012  

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

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