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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 increasing in West Africa, latest IMB report shows
  •  Singapore, Singapore – Construction of floating sea barrier at Sentosa Bay

DATE: April 23, 2012 – COUNTRY: Worldwide – Piracy increasing in West Africa, latest IMB report shows

102 incidents of piracy and armed robbery have been reported for the first quarter of 2012, with dangerously increasing numbers in West African waters, according to figures released today in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) global piracy report.

In total, 11 vessels were reported hijacked worldwide, with 212 crew members taken hostage and four crew killed. A further 45 vessels were boarded, with 32 attempted attacks and 14 vessels fired upon – the latter all attributed to either Somali or Nigerian pirates.

Ten reports were received from Nigeria in the beginning of 2012, equalling the same number reported in Nigeria for the whole of last year. A further attack in neighbouring Benin has also been attributed to Nigerian pirates. The reports include the hijackings of one product and one chemical tanker, between which 42 crewmembers were taken hostage….  ….Two crew members were killed when armed pirates boarded their bulk carrier 110 nautical miles off Lagos, Nigeria. Attacks in Nigerian coastal waters have further resulted in at least three crew kidnapped from their anchored vessel….

….Somalia continues to dominate figures with 43 attacks, including the hijacking of nine vessels and the taking hostage of 144 crew. Four dhows and a fishing vessel, softer targets that make for ideal motherships, were among the highjacked vessels. Somali pirates were also responsible for the hijacking of a Panamax bulk carrier at the end of March.

But while the number of 2012 incidents and hijackings are less than reports for the same period in 2011 (97 incidents, 16 hijackings), it is unlikely that the threat of Somali piracy will diminish in the short to medium term unless further actions are taken.

The report attributes the reduction in overall attacks to the disruptive actions and pre-emptive strikes by the navies in the region, which disrupted numerous pirate action groups, emphasizing the importance of the navies in both deterring and combating Somali piracy.

The application of Best Management Practices and the increasing use of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) also contributed to the decrease in the hijackings. In the incidents reported to the Piracy Reporting Centre, more vessels with PCASP have been reported in the first quarter than those not armed.

Until a comprehensive legal framework is in place, however, owners and Masters should follow the International Maritime Organization and industry guidelines on the carriage of PCASP….  ….As of 31 March 2012, suspected Somali pirates still held 15 vessels with 253 crew members as hostages, with an additional 49 crew members being held hostage on land.

Elsewhere, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of armed robbery attacks in the Indonesian archipelago, up from five in the first quarter of 2011 to 18 in 2012.

The report shows that all types of vessels in Indonesia have been targeted and that the attacks aimed at theft from those vessels. Fifteen vessels were boarded – 13 while anchored, one while berthed and one underway. Five crew members were taken hostage overall….

(For information about operations worldwide contact the respective GAC office. For details, go to the Contact section of www.gac.com)

Source: Extract from International Maritime Bureau (www.icc-css.org) new release dated 23 April 2012

DATE: April 23, 2012 – COUNTRY: Singapore – PORT: Singapore  -Construction of floating sea barrier at Sentosa Bay

From 1 May to 30 September, works to construct a floating sea barrier will be carried out at Sentosa Bay.

According to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Port Marine Notice No.51 of 2012, the works will be conducted 24 hrs daily – including Sundays & Public Holidays – within the area bounded by the following co-ordinates (WGS 84 Datum):

  • 1)  01° 15.468’ 103° 48.478′
  • 2)  01° 15.227’ 103° 48.598′
  • 3)  01° 14.410’ 103° 49.802′
  • 4)  01° 14.356’ 103° 49.755′
  • 5)  01° 15.199’ 103° 48.531′
  • 6)  01° 15.452’ 103° 48.413′
  • 7)  01° 14.295’ 103° 50.259′
  • 8)  01° 14.223’ 103° 50.327′
  • 9)  01° 14.291’ 103° 50.422′
  • 10) 01° 14.362’ 103° 50.359′

The construction works cover installation of marker buoys with sinkers and FSB (Floating Sea Barrier) blue drums linked up with stainless steel chain. A safety boat will be deployed in the vicinity to warn other craft to keep clear of the working area.

Craft involved in the works will exhibit the appropriate local and international day and night signals.

When in  the vicinity of the working area, mariners are reminded to:

  • (a) Keep well clear and not to enter the working area;
  • (b) Maintain a proper lookout;
  • (c) Proceed at a safe speed & navigate with caution;
  • (d) Maintain a listening watch on VHF Channel 68 (West Control ); and
  • (e) Communicate with West Control on VHF Channel 68 for assistance, if required.

For information about operations in Singapore contact GAC Singapore at singapore@gac.com

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