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HOT Port news from GAC

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Your daily news service from ports around the world.

In this HOT PORT NEWS, read about:

  • Worldwide – Piracy increases in January
  •  Germany, Kiel Canal – Ice closes lock
  •  Russia, Novorossiysk – Bad weather likely to affect port operations

DATE: February 06, 2012 COUNTRY: Worldwide Piracy increases in January

Pirate activity rose worldwide over the course of January. According to maritime risk company AKE the number of attacks increased by 170% from December.

A total of 46 attacks were reported, with a rise in incidents in the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Guinea, South China Sea and even Latin American waters.

The number of attempted attacks off Somalia was comparable to February 2011, despite suggestions that the widespread use of armed guards and naval exercises had reduced the piracy threat since then.

According to AKE maritime analyst Rory Lamrock, the pirates do not appear to be deterred by heightened security measures.

“Naval operations and increased security on merchant vessels may have significantly reduced the number of successful hijackings, but the risk of being approached or attacked is unchanged.”

The surge in piracy is not limited to the East African coast. Incidents off Nigeria are causing concern to the shipping and energy industries there as well. Where once attacks were limited to local creeks and coastal waters, incidents should now be anticipated up to, and possibly over, 100 nautical miles from the shore.

“Merchant vessels are being attacked further out to sea, with militants and criminals reportedly hijacking local fishing vessels for use as motherships, “ according to Lamrock. “I would expect the range to increase further over the coming months as tactics evolve.”

The majority of attacks in Asia and Latin America involved instances of armed robbery in ports and anchorages. However, a merchant vessel was chased by armed men in a speedboat 45 nautical miles off the Colombian coastline. This highlights the need for vessel security outside traditional high risk areas, although armed measures should not be regarded as the automatic response.

“While a lot of shipping firms are instinctively turning to arms, an alert and well trained crew are actually the most important element of a successful counter-piracy strategy, no matter where they are in the world, “ says Lamrock.

(For information about operations around the world, contact the respective GAC office. Contact details are available at www.gac.com)

Source: AKE news release dated 6 February 2012

DATE: February 06, 2012 COUNTRY: Germany PORT: Kiel Canal Ice closes lock 

Kiel Canal Authority has announced that due to increasing ice formation the New Big South Lock Chamber in Brunsbuettel has been taken out of service until further notice.

The New Big North Lock Chamber and both Small Old Lock Chambers remain in service.

(For information about operations in Germany contact the GAC UK Hub Agency Centre at hub.gb@gac.com)

Source: Sartori & Berger, Germany – GAC network agents

DATE: February 06, 2012 COUNTRY: Russia PORT: Novorossiysk Bad weather likely to affect port operations

Bad weather conditions in the coming days are expected to affect operations at all terminals in Novorossiysk port.

This afternoon (6 February), the NE wind is expected to increase up to 20-25 m/sec, accompanied by an increase of sea swell. Thus, clearances may be delayed.

A further increase in the NE wind up to 30 m/sec is expected tonight.

Tomorrow morning (7February), another increase of the NE wind (up to 30-35 m/sec) and sea swell up-to 2.0-2.5 m is expected. Clearances and mooring may be delayed/cancelled.

North-easterly hurricane winds of 40-45 m/sec and a swell up to 3 metres are forecast from midday tomorrow until the morning of Wedensday (8 February).

An improvement in weather conditions is only expected only on Wednesday afternoon when the wind is expected to drop to 20 m/sec with further decreasing during the night. Thus, mist is in the morning hours of 9 February, when weather conditions stabilise with NE wind 10 m/sec.

For information about operations in Novorossiysk contact GAC Russia at russia@gac.com

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