Nine ferry crew quarantined after passenger tests positive

Nine crew members onboard Grandi Navi Veloci’s (GNV) ferry Majestic were quarantined after a passenger on a ferry they had previously been working on tested positive for COVID-19.

The crew had come into potential direct contact with the passenger while serving onboard GNV’s ferry Rhapsody. The 40-year-old passenger tested

positive a few days after disembarking and the crew members had since transferred to Majestic.

The nine were quarantined in March when the Majestic reached the naval repairs area of the port of Naples on a planned stop for ordinary maintenance work. They showed no symptoms but must remain in home isolation for 10

days. The other 125 people on board, including many maintenance workers, were prohibited from going ashore.

Rhapsody sailed from Genoa to Tunisia on 26 February with 252 passengers on board. They were examined by health authorities in Tunis, who found only the one passenger had tested positive

Chinese owners seek sulphur cap suspension

The China Shipowners’ Association (CSA) has urgently called for suspension of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) global sulphur cap in local waters, as its shipping and logistics supply chain struggles to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The CSA is seeking a series of support measures to help the shipping industry get through the current challenges brought about by the virus and a co-ordination mechanism with the IMO, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to discuss the possibility of temporarily suspending the new sulphur emission regulations within Chinese waters, or at least award fuel oil non-availability reports (FONAR) for Chinese ships.

ED: The words chicken and roost come to mind here ….

Investigation into alleged violations of Coronavirus quarantine

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has ordered the investigation of a Panama-flagged cargo vessel after its captain allegedly declared false information of its port clearance details amid intensified maritime security measures against the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

According to the initial report, the bulk carrier Harmony 6 arrived in Changzhou, China on February 13, 2020, and left the port on February 18, 2020.

Scheduled to have its next port call at the Port of Poro Point in La Union province, Philippines, the crew of the vessel allegedly turned off its AIS transponder from February 19, 2020, until its arrival in Philippine waters on Sunday, February 23.

Upon Harmony 6‘s arrival, captain Luu Van Loi, a Vietnamese national, declared that the vessel left China on February 10 instead of February 18, in order to fit into the 14-day quarantine period being strictly implemented in all major ports in the Philippines as a security measure against COVID-19.

The 14-day quarantine period dictates that Harmony 6 and other vessels that came from any country with reported cases of COVID-19 shall have a 14-day period from its date of departure to its arrival in Philippine waters before the Philippine Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) conducts a health inspection of its crew as a prerequisite for the issuance of port clearance.

However, due to the captain’s misrepresentation of the date of the vessel’s departure from China, the BOQ team ended up conducting the health inspection among the 18 Vietnamese and five Indian crew in just six days instead of the required 14 days of the mandated quarantine period.

Through proactive surveillance, the coast guard, with assistance from the National Coast Watch Center (NCWC), was able to alert the port state control group in La Union about the alleged misrepresentation and the vessel’s AIS being switched off. The alert was sent a few hours after the BOQ conducted the health inspection of the crew on Monday, February 24.

Harmony 6 was then declared under temporary detention at the Poro Point anchorage area while the investigation into the alleged violations is ongoing.

The coast guard has confirmed that it will coordinate with the BOQ to identify possible criminal charges if the captain and crew of Harmony 6 will be found guilty of the violations.

(With thanks to the Nautilus Telegraph)

Sea robbery attempt foiled by Singapore and Indonesian navies.

Through close collaboration between Singaporean and Indonesian authorities, the Indonesian Navy apprehended three perpetrators who had boarded the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Sam Jaguar in the Singapore Strait in the early morning (local time) of Monday, March 16, in the waters east of Pulau Karimun Kecil, Indonesia.

The Ministry of Defence of Singapore (MINDEF) said that the Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN) Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF) and Information Fusion Centre (IFC) played a key role in disrupting the sea robbery.

At 05:11 on Monday, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) Port Operations Control Centre (POCC) received a report from Sam Jaguar that robbers had boarded their ship, and were locked up in the engine room by the ship crew.

The RSN’s MSTF commenced close monitoring of the vessel, and despatched the littoral mission vessel (LMV) RSS Independence and a Police Coast Guard craft towards the location of the incident, to be prepared to respond if the vessel entered Singapore territorial waters. Simultaneously, the RSN’s Information Fusion Centre (IFC) shared information on the incident and the perpetrators with the Indonesian authorities via the information-sharing portal IFC Real-time Information-sharing System (IRIS), and MPA’s POCC shared the report with the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia’s (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre in Singapore.

The Indonesian Navy subsequently deployed two ships and one helicopter to hail and board Sam Jaguar in Indonesian territorial waters. Acting on the information shared by the IFC, the Indonesian authorities successfully apprehended three perpetrators.

The crew on board the bulk carrier were safe and unharmed.

(With thanks to Baird Maritime)

** Technical and Safety **

Union Council to debate simulator training for sea-time reduction

The Nautilus Council is to reignite the debate over simulator training for sea-time reductions ahead of proposals to develop a UK simulator training model.

The Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) has put together a working group to develop proposals for British cadet training that includes simulator time. The courses could emulate the Dutch model, which allows a 30-day reduction in sea-time for 10 days of simulator training.

Industry and training schools in the Netherlands have used simulator time to reduce sea- time for maritime cadets for 20 years, fueled in part by the difficulty of securing enough trainee posts onboard Dutch ships.

According to a 2018 preliminary study into simulator training in the Netherlands by Marin for the Dutch government, the benefits of incorporating simulator training alongside onboard training include:

• opportunity to make mistakes without damaging consequences
• controlled conditions and repeatability
• structured and standard learning content
• learning content matched to individual ability
• learning process more efficient
• performance monitored by professional trainers
• Assessment uses validated criteria
• greater depth of training on irregular or dangerous situations
• can train team performance • can train on wide variety of vessel types
• trainee can experience situations more commonly handled by senior officers
• a standardised set of scenarios can be taught and assessed.

Critics of simulator training for sea-time reductions say that many cadets lack onboard experience already and to reduce that even more is counterproductive.

Cadets would not experience the reality of life spent at sea for many months via a simulator and could find that transition even more difficult with reduced sea-time during training.

The downsides to reducing sea-time for cadets include:
• restricted experience in watch officer duties
• lack of cultural experience with international crew • reduced experience in handling effects of stress, fatigue and boredom

• reduced experience in working conditions such as motion, noise and temperature

• reduced experience in operational delays involved with working on large ships

• reduced experiences in machinery repair and maintenance

The Council will hold a debate on simulator training for sea-time reductions at its next meeting, due on 22 April via video link. Members can email professional and technical officer David Appleton at:

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