THE FREE MAGAZINE FOR MSSC SUPPORTERS
Bidding farewell to HMS Ocean, the Royal Navy’s first purpose-built helicopter assault carrier
How the shipping industry is rising to the challenge of ambitious sulphur cap and emissions targets
RAISE A GLASS
Pub installed aboard the Royal Navy’s multi-billion-pound HMS Queen Elizabeth
Editor’s welcome Welcome to the autumn issue of Seafarer News, keeping you up to date with news from the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy and marine industry. HMS Ocean takes centre stage as we look back at the action-packed career of the Royal Navy’s helicopter assault carrier. Elsewhere, we have puzzles, book recommendations and the latest from our man at sea. Drop us a line and let us know if you enjoyed the issue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of the latest stories from the Royal Navy, the world of shipping and the Sea Cadet Corps
News: pages 2–3 Shipping giants outline emission plans, HMS Queen Elizabeth instals a pub and wrecks are looted. Corps in action: page 5 This issue, read about no less than three life-saving heroes, cadets getting a new building, fundraising endeavours and more in our Sea Cadets round-up.
Cadets marched to Trafalgar Square
The Mighty O: pages 6–7 The Royal Navy’s first purpose-built helicopter assault carrier, HMS Ocean, has come to the end of this action-packed chapter in its career. We take a look at some of its shining moments. At ease: page 8 Puzzles aplenty, a book recommendation and a day out on the Isle of Wight. We also catch up with our man at sea.
Hundreds took part in Trafalgar Day, an annual highlight for many cadets
A memorable day for cadets
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Seafarer News is edited and designed by Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol BS1 3BN Tel: 0117 927 9009 immediatecontent.co.uk Managing Editor Edward Meens (MSSC) Editor Rachael Stiles Art Editor Elaine Knight-Roberts Account Manager Kirsten Coleman Director Julie Williams
Cover image: PA images
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Printed in the UK on FSC® certified stock. All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of MSSC and Immediate Media Co. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of MSSC or Immediate Media Co, which accept no responsibility for them.
On Sunday 21 October hundreds of young people came together to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar at Sea Cadets’ annual Trafalgar Day parade. Four-hundred sea cadets and royal marine cadets marched from Horse Guards Parade, through Admiralty Arch to Trafalgar Square, where there was a performance by the Massed Bands of the Sea Cadet Corps, dinghy rigging by juniors, a physical training
performance, wreath-laying, a parade inspection and a service. Spectators lined the route, with senior guests and VIPs seated on the square. Leading Cadet Zoe, 17, from Sefton Unit, said: “This year was special for me as I got to read out Nelson’s prayer. I wasn’t nervous; as a cadet I’ve spoken to a variety of people and to the public. The day was really enjoyable. I made some very special memories.”
Pub installed on HMS Queen Elizabeth The first of a new class of aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth is the biggest and most powerful warship ever constructed, costing £3.1bn. Step aboard the 65,000-tonne vessel and you’ll find a 280-metre long flight deck, room for 1,600 crew… and one pub. It’s all thanks to independent family brewery Wadsworth, who have installed a watering hole called the Queen’s Head on the ship. The pub is in the Warrant Officers’ & Senior Rates’ Mess and sells a range of bottled ales to crew during their downtime. Additional funding came from the Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity, and 5p from every bottle of Carrier sold will be donated to the charity. ms-sc.org SEAFARER NEWS
Plea for human approach to automation The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) has issued a set of guidelines outlining how new technology should be used in the shipping industry. “European institutions and marine manufacturers are playing a very active role in driving forward innovation and the development towards autonomous shipping and fully integrated transport systems,” the ETF says. Countries including Norway and Finland are already in the process of developing and testing autonomous ships while Denmark is prioritising digitalisation to promote growth in the industry.
In response, the ETF has issued five guidelines to help “democratise the decision-making process on the way new technologies are used and steer it to the benefit of maritime safety, the environmental performance of shipping, and … the working lives and conditions of maritime professionals”. The ETF’s aim is to support a “smooth transition resulting in improved safety, high-quality employment and training for European maritime professionals”. To read the document in full, please visit: etf-europe.org/etf-news-online.cfm/ newsdetail/11829.
Environmental innovation On 1 January 2020 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will implement its sulphur cap: all fuel must have a maximum sulphur content of 0.5 per cent, down from 3.5 per cent. While there may still be uncertainty around implementation and the availability of compliant fuel, “the sulphur cap has emerged as a business opportunity” for some, like AP Moller-Maersk, says World Maritime News. The “industry giant” has teamed up with tank storage operator Royal Vopak to launch a 0.5 sulphur fuel bunkering facility in Rotterdam. In the meantime, the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) has set out how it plans to meet the maritime industry’s ambitious zero carbon emissions target. Guilhem Gaillarde of MARIN says, “The traditional approach of reducing hull resistance and optimum propulsive efficiency remains a must,” but is not enough. He says additional expertise and disruptive solutions are needed, which are “driven by renewable energy sources, Rotterdam Port such as wind”.
WWII wrecks looted Defence secretary Gavin Williams has said he is “very concerned” about allegations that shipwrecks lying off the Malaysian and Indonesian coasts have been looted. A report in The Mail on Sunday said that HMS Tien Kwang, HMS Kuala, HMS Banka and SS Loch Ranza had been targeted by thieves looking to take their metal. The wrecks are said to be the final resting place of 830 Royal Navy sailors and civilians, and Williams says the Government “absolutely condemns” the unauthorised disturbance of any wreck containing human remains. In 2014 the wrecks of celebrated British warships HMS Repulse (pictured) and HMS Prince of Wales were damaged by scavengers looking for scrap metal.
British battlecruiser HMS Repulse
Piracy still a risk
Hotspots in South East Asian waters are prone to attacks
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Images: Wadsworth, Getty, PA Images, Justin Sutcliffe
West African and South East Asian waters prone to crime Data collected by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has revealed that seafarers are still at risk of armed robbery and piracy, reports ITF Seafarers. The IMB’s 24-hour worldwide Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) found that ‘hotspots’ off the coast of West Africa and in South East Asian waters are prone to these attacks, although the latter has seen fewer incidents. On 31 May this year, 14 armed men boarded a tanker 6.6 nautical miles off the coast of Malaysia and stole personal belongings. In a similar incident in July, eight robbers boarded an anchored bulk carrier in Bangladesh, tied up the deck watchman and stole ropes.
MARINE SOCIETY UPDATE
MARINE SOCIETY NEWS Bringing you the latest stories from Marine Society, supporting seafarer development and education
Endeavours galleries launch
Merchant Navy commemorative service
The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, hosted a special gala to celebrate the launch of its new Endeavours Galleries Project. Guest speaker Sir David Attenborough (pictured below with First Sea Lord Cadet Sergeant Harry) gave a captivating talk before opening four new galleries: Polar Worlds, Tudor and Stuart Seafarers, Pacific Encounters, and Sea Things. The project aims to make the museum more accessible, cultivate community ownership, represent invisible histories and foster collaboration to create a social and inspiring space. Marine Society staff collaborated in the development of Sea Things, giving their input on the artefacts on display and having pictures taken alongside the collection. These photographs and comments form part of an interactive display in the gallery.
Event held in the capital to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War The annual Merchant Navy commemorative service was held at London’s Trinity Square Gardens in September to honour the contribution made by the men and women of the merchant service and fishing fleets during both world wars. This year, the service coincided with the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Wreaths were laid to pay respect to those who lost
their lives at sea and recognition was given to those personnel serving today. The service was led by The Revd Jeremy Hellier, BD, AKC, CF with guest of honour The Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Tony Radakin CB. The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth played, and senior Marine Society staff paid their respects by laying a wreath on behalf of the charity.
More books for maritime workers The Marine Society Bookshop has announced that it will become an authorised distributor and online bookseller for the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST). IMarEST publishes a variety of books designed to support, inform and train its 4
global network of marine engineers, scientists and technologists. “With the Marine Society’s extensive reach, we hope to be able to circulate our book titles more widely within the marine community to support our strategic goal of sharing knowledge,” says David Loosley, Chief
Executive of IMarEST. In a second partnership, Marine Society has installed a paperback library aboard Østensjø Rederi’s renewable energy supply ship, Edda Passat. The 100-book library includes fiction titles by writers including Douglas Adams and Virginia Woolf, for seafarers to enjoy.
Cdt Sgt Harry with Sir David Attenborough
Learning opportunities Marine Society continues to expand the way it works with the Royal Navy’s Learning and Development Operations Team, outlining the variety of GCSEs and A-levels available to serving personnel. The courses are heavily subsidised and come with robust academic and pastoral support. For further information, visit: marine-society.org/study-at-sea. ms-sc.org SEAFARER NEWS
SEA CADETS NEWS
CORPS IN ACTION A round-up of what sea cadets have been getting up to across the UK
1. Petty Officer acts quickly to save a life
2. Sponsored row raises money for unit
3. Wigan cadets move to new home
Acting Petty Officer Morgan Taylor of Middlesbrough Sea Cadets was taking a walk along Redcar seafront when he heard distress calls from a woman who was in the sea and at risk of drowning. He called 999, calmed the woman, encouraged her to float to the shore and wrapped his jacket around her. He escorted her to the ambulance when it arrived and gave useful information to the medics. He came to her rescue as others walked past. She thanked him for his kindness and courage.
Cadets and staff from Leicester and South Leicester took part in a sponsored row. The cadets rowed from Ross Walk in Leicester to Pillings Lock Marina in Barrow upon Soar and back again, rowing for more than eight hours each day and covering a total of 35km. There was a barbecue on Saturday evening and a camping spot, to enable four cadets to complete their practice expedition for their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. Staff are extremely proud of their efforts.
Wigan Sea Cadets have moved ship to Withnall House. Ian Almond, project and fundraising manager at Wigan Sea Cadets, says: “Withnall House secures a long-term future for Wigan Sea Cadets in a building which will be suited to deliver the cadet experience to our young people.” The new building meets the needs to support veterans, serving personnel and their families as well as our requirements in providing our training structure to cadets.
4. Able Cadet receives CPR hero award
5. Queen’s Award for Tewkesbury cadets
6. Family helped to safety by volunteer
Able Cadet Chloe from Clacton-on-Sea successfully performed CPR while working as a lifeguard. “I saw a little boy laying on the poolside, foaming at the mouth with a blue/ purple complexion,” she explains. “I had to complete three cycles of CPR before the boy started breathing again. He quickly began to get colour back in his face and started crying in shock.” Able Cadet Chloe’s heroic actions were sent to the British Heart Foundation where she received an award as a CPR hero.
Tewkesbury Sea Cadets received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest national award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in local communities. Tewkesbury Sea Cadets supports the local community extensively. Their headquarters are used over 200 times a year by other community organisations and they represent the town and borough at a number of tri-service events and ceremonies.
Acting Petty Officer Lee Watts from Woking witnessed a collision between a vehicle and lorry on the A37 and ran to the scene to help. He and the lorry driver pulled the car driver and passenger to safety, before the vehicle became consumed by fire. Reacting calmly and with great presence of mind, A/PO Watts demonstrated the very best qualities of humanity and Sea Cadets, and is wholeheartedly commended on his courage that saved two lives.
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HMS Ocean was the first of a new generation of amphibious assault ships to join the Royal Navy fleet
he completion of the sixth ship to bear the name Ocean in 1998 represented the dawning of an exciting era for the Royal Navy. Known affectionately as ‘the Mighty O’, HMS Ocean was the first of a new generation of amphibious assault ships to join the fleet. Designed to despatch the Royal Marines by air and sea, it marked an advance in capability compared to its converted predecessors. HMS Ocean was officially commissioned in September 1998 and immediately set out for hot weather trials in the Caribbean. The ship endured a rough transatlantic crossing to reach the Caribbean in the wake of Hurricane Mitch, which had left a trail of devastation through Central America. As the scale of the disaster emerged, Ocean was assigned to the international relief operation. Its helicopters and landing craft delivered aid to remote communities in Nicaragua and Honduras until the local authorities and non-governmental organisations could take over. This dramatic, unexpected twist to the ship’s programme set the precedent for an eventful career in which it rarely completed a deployment to plan as fate intervened. For the next 20 years, Ocean conducted a series of high-tempo operations across the globe from the Arctic Circle to the West Coast of Africa.
ANGEL OF THE SEAS HMS Ocean, the Royal Navy’s first purpose-built helicopter assault carrier, rarely completed a deployment to plan as other events usually intervened. Marine author Richard JohnstoneBryden takes a look back at an action-packed 20-year career International impact Ocean earned the affection of Sierra Leone’s people who referred to the ship as the ‘Angel of the Seas’ due to its repeated deployments to the nation. The first of these occurred in 2000, when Ocean was diverted from the Mediterranean to help evacuate British nationals and other foreigners in Freetown during the nation’s civil war. Its subsequent deployment to the Mediterranean and the Middle East in autumn 2001 took on added significance in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US. The Coalition’s response to these atrocities led to the ship completing three back-to-back East of Suez operations, culminating in its participation in the 2003 invasion of the Al Faw peninsula.
International events disrupted another deployment to the Mediterranean in May 2011, when Ocean participated in the British contribution to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector to enforce the no-fly zone over Libya. Within 48 hours, Ocean switched from its core role of projecting Royal Marines by air and sea to a strike role, which saw the ship launching the UK’s first maritime strike by Apache helicopters. These missions continued until anti-Gaddafi forces began to make significant gains across Libya in August. A year later, Ocean spent two months moored off Greenwich as part of the 2012 London Olympics security operation and had to keep its embarked helicopters at just five minutes’ notice to launch while on the Thames. ms-sc.org SEAFARER NEWS
Second wind HMS Ocean follows several other former Royal Navy warships that have gone on to serve under the colours of another navy. HMS Vengeance Aircraft carrier HMS Vengeance spent three years on loan to the Royal Australian Navy, then joined the Brazilian Navy as Minas Gerais in 1960. It was in commission until 2001 when it was replaced by former French carrier Foch.
‘Ocean returned to Devonport in February 2018, having covered a total of 456,152 miles’ HMS Ocean’s story came full circle during its final deployment in September 2017 when the carrier, by then serving as the Royal Navy’s fleet flagship, was diverted from the Mediterranean to deliver humanitarian support in the Caribbean in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Afterwards, the ship returned to the Mediterranean to conclude its operational career at the heart of international defence activity as the flagship of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2. Ocean returned to Devonport for the last time under the white ensign in February 2018, having covered a total of 456,152 miles, and was decommissioned in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, former captains and 600 guests.
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Images: GBRN LPhot Paul Hall, UK MoD Crown Copyright 2018, Alamy
HMS Canada This battleship started out life as Almirante Latorre for the Chilean Navy before the British Government purchased it in 1914 following the outbreak of World War I. It then served in the grand fleet under the name HMS Canada and fought in the Battle of Jutland before being sold back to Chile in 1920.
The next chapter The final lowering of a Royal Navy warship’s white ensign usually triggers the countdown to its last voyage to the scrapyard. For this assult carrier, however, it merely marked the end of another chapter in its rich heritage. Sold to the Brazilian Navy for £84 million, Ocean underwent a three-month refit while 300 members of the future Brazilian crew arrived in Devonport to familiarise themselves with the ship’s systems. A formal handover took place in June, during which the Brazilian flag was hoisted for the first time and HMS Ocean became PHM Atlântico (Porta-Helicópteros Multipropósito, or multi-purpose helicopter carrier). Atlântico set sail for its new home port, the Arsenal do Rio de Janeiro, in August, where it received a tremendous welcome.
HMS Hermes Another British aircraft carrier, Hermes was Rear Admiral ‘Sandy’ Woodward’s flagship during the Falklands War, then went on to serve with the Indian Navy as INS Viraat. When it was decommissioned in 2017, it was the world’s longest-serving aircraft carrier.
Top: Ocean enjoyed an action-packed career playing a pivotal role in high-tempo operations across the globe. Middle: Rear Admiral Luiz Henrique (left) shakes hands with Rear Admiral CRS Gardner CBE following the sale of Ocean to the Brazilian Navy. Bottom: Her Majesty The Queen attends the decommissioning of HMS Ocean at Devonport, alongside First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones.
Our man at sea talks offshore sleep cycles, while we serve up a double helping of puzzles with a sudoku and word wheel
Life at sea
Prize puzzles Can you complete our sudoku and word wheel?
A copy of Cold Iron by Bairbre Ní Fhloinn. Learn more in ‘one to read’ below
How many words can you make using the letters in the word wheel? Words must be four letters or more, each word must contain the central letter D. Plurals and proper nouns are not allowed. There is at least one nine-letter word. Good score: 8+ Excellent score: 12+
For a chance to win a copy of Cold Iron, complete the sudoku puzzle and send the three shaded numbers with your name, address and phone number by 30 January to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Seafarer News, MSSC, 202 Lambeth Road, London SE1 7JW. The winner and solution will be announced in the next issue.
Puzzles supplied by Have a Word
The Merchant Navy watch system divides navigation watches between three deck officers: chief, second and third officer. The watches are four hours long with eight hours off, which sounds like a good rotation, but with so many other tasks to do, it’s rare anyone gets more than six hours’ sleep each day. Officers can become fatigued over a long trip, especially as there’s no such thing as a day off at sea. I’m currently working in the offshore industry, where we typically have an additional officer on board. This means we can have a doubled-up watch when the vessel is using the dynamic positioning system. Each officer works a 12-hour watch, plus two hours’ overtime so that maintenance can also be covered. I prefer this to the ‘standard’ system, as with a good 10 to 12 hours off, I get genuine downtime. Of course, this is only made possible by the additional officer and many ships simply don’t have that luxury. Adjusting to any watch can be hard and requires copious amounts of coffee, but I personally find the 1800–0600 shift the most challenging. It works in opposition to your natural body clock and, depending on the time of the year, it’s possible to spend a whole trip without seeing daylight. This results in perpetual tiredness, can lead to depression and often contributes to the difficulties some sailors face when coming home. Studies show that it takes around a month on shore to recover from daylight savings changes. Ships can change time zones numerous times a week. All things considered, it’s no surprise that a sailor can catch up on sleep pretty much anywhere!
Word wheel 1
How to enter
A Y R
Neil Barker from London won a copy of the book Discoveries by Nicholas Thomas. Congratulations!
Our summer 2018 winner
One to read
One to visit
Cold Iron: Aspects of the Occupational Lore of Irish Fishermen Bairbre Ní Fhloinn, £16 Academic Dr Bairbre Ní Fhloinn gives us a fascinating insight into the superstitions, euphemisms and phrases of Irish fishermen who would touch ‘cold iron’ to avoid bad luck (the seafaring equivalent of touching wood). Learn how words like pig, priest, fox or hare were to be avoided at all costs – and how the mere mention of a red-haired woman would be deemed unlucky.
The Shipwreck Centre & Maritime Museum, Arreton, Isle of Wight (Open Easter to 31 October) Adults £5, seniors/students £3.50, children (5–15 years) £2.50 Founded by professional diver and maritime history enthusiast Martin Woodward in 1978, the Shipwreck Centre & Maritime Museum is home to a splendid collection of artefacts. Items on display include Siebe Gorman diving equipment, a Halley diving bell, navigational instruments, pirate coins and a replica Lethbridge barrel – a diving barrel invented by pioneer John Lethbridge in his garden pond in Devon.
Name: Second Officer Spencer Wyles Ship: Maersk Forza Current location: Bay of Biscay en route to Ghana
Image: Nick Edwards
Long hours on duty, a lack of downtime and insufficient sunlight can take its toll on mariners. Our man at sea discusses
SUMMER 2018 ISSUE PUZZLE SOLUTIONS: Sudoku prize answer: 6, 1, 9 Word wheel – nine-letter word: Starboard Other words that can be found: Abator, abort, aorta, bast, boast, oat, bort, bota, brat, dart, darts, data, drat, oast, oats, rabat, rabato, rasta, roast, rota, sabot, sartor, sort, stab, star, stoa, stob, tabard, tabor, tardo, taro, toad, torr, trad, trod, tsar.
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