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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 – IMB reports drop in Somali piracy, warns against complacency
  • Nigeria, all ports – Public holidays declared for Eid-al-Kabir
  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong – Yacht Race from Hong Kong to Daya Bay
  • Jamaica, all ports – Tropical Storm Sandy moving north-northeastward 

DATE: October 23, 2012 COUNTRY: Worldwide IMB reports drop in Somali piracy, warns against complacency

The number of ships signalling attacks by Somali pirates has fallen this year to its lowest since 2009, a report from the International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau (IMB) [has] revealed, but IMB warns seafarers to remain vigilant in the high-risk waters around Somalia, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Meanwhile, violent attacks and hijackings are spreading in the Gulf of Guinea.
Worldwide this year, pirates have killed at least six crew and taken 448 seafarers hostage. The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre recorded that 125 vessels were boarded, 24 hijacked and 26 fired upon. In addition, 58 attempted attacks were reported.
The drop in Somali piracy has brought global figures for piracy and armed robbery at sea down to 233 incidents this year – the lowest third quarter total since 2008. In the first nine months of 2012, there were 70 Somali attacks compared with 199 for the corresponding period in 2011. And from July to September, just one ship reported an attempted attack by Somali pirates, compared with 36 incidents in the same three months last year.
IMB says policing and interventions by international navies are deterring pirates, along with ships’ employment of Best Management Practice including the use of armed guards and other onboard security measures….
….As of 30 September 2012, suspected Somali pirates were holding 11 vessels for ransom with 167 crew members as hostages onboard. In addition, 21 kidnapped crew members are being held on land. IMB says more than 20 hostages have now been held for over 30 months.
Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is becoming increasingly dangerous (34 incidents from January to September 2012, up from 30 last year) and has pushed westward from Benin to neighbouring Togo. IMB said attacks are often violent, planned and aimed at stealing refined oil products which can be easily sold on the open market. To cover their tracks once the vessel is hijacked, pirates damage the communication equipment and at times even the navigation equipment.
Togo reported more attacks this year than in the previous five years combined, with three vessels hijacked, two boarded and six reporting attempted attacks. Off Benin, one ship was hijacked and one boarded. Nigeria accounted for 21 attacks, with nine vessels boarded, four hijacked, seven fired upon and one attempted attack….
….Indonesia recorded 51 incidents in the first nine months of 2012, up from an annual 2011 total of 46. Attacks tended to be opportunistic thefts and mainly carried out onboard vessels at anchor. Vessels were boarded in 46 of the 51 reports, which IMB highlights as a cause for concern.
Elsewhere in South East Asia, ships have been hijacked this year in the Malacca Straits, South China Seas and around Malaysia. IMB warned that these waters are still not entirely free of piracy or armed robbery and vessels should remain vigilant and alert….
(For information about operations around the world, contact the respective GAC office. Details may be found in the ‘Contacts’ section of www.gac.com)
Source: Extracts from International Maritime Bureau (www.icc-ccs.org) briefing dated 22 October 2012

DATE: October 23, 2012 COUNTRY: Nigeria PORT: all ports Public holidays declared for Eid-al-Kabir

The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared Thursday 25 October and Friday 26 October public holidays to mark this year’s Eid-al-Kabir festival.
Normal work will resume on Monday 29 October.
For information about operations in Nigeria contact GAC Nigeria at nigeria@gac.com

DATE: October 23, 2012 COUNTRY: Hong Kong PORT: Hong Kong Yacht Race from Hong Kong to Daya Bay 

A yacht race from Hong Kong to Daya Bay in the Mainland will take place on 26 October 2012(Friday). About 50 yachts are expected to participate in the race.
The race will start in the vicinity of Steep Island, Sai Kung at 1000 hours on 26 October 2012.
Masters, coxswains and persons-in-charge of vessels navigating in the vicinity should proceed with caution, giving practical consideration to those contestants. Compliance with the provisions of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 is mandatory.
(For information about operations in Hong Kong contact GAC Hong Kong at shipping.hongkong@gac.com)
Source: Government of Hong Kong SAR Marine Department Notice No.147 of 2012

DATE: October 23, 2012 COUNTRY: Jamaica PORT: all ports Tropical Storm Sandy moving north-northeastward 

A Hurricane Watch and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Jamaica. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Haiti…
…The government of Jamaica could issue a Hurricane Warning for Jamaica later today.
Interests in eastern Cuba and the Bahamas should monitor the progress of Sandy…
…At 800am EDT (1200 UTC) the center of Tropical Storm Sandy was located near latitude 13.4 north, longitude 77.9 west. Sandy is moving toward the north-northeast near 3mph (6 km/h). A continued  north-northeastward motion with some increase in forward speed is expected during the next day or two. On the forecast track, the center of Sandy will move near or over Jamaica on Wednesday and approach eastern Cuba Wednesday night.
Maximum sustained winds are near 45mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts. Strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours and Sandy is forecast to be a hurricane when it approaches Jamaica on Wednesday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km) from the center…
…Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach Jamaica tonight or early Wednesday with hurricane conditions possible on Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are possible in Haiti by early Wednesday.
Sandy is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 5-10 inches across Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and eastern Cuba, with isolated maximum amounts of 16 inches possible, especially in areas of mountainous terrain. These rains may produce life threatening flash floods and mudslides.
A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 1-3 feet above normal tide levels along the southern and eastern coast of Jamaica. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
(For information about operations in Jamaica contact the GAC Houston Hub Agency Center at hub.us@gac.com)
Source: National Hurricane Center, Miami Fl, Tropical Storm Sandy Intermediate Advisory No.4a issued at 800am EDT on 23 October 2012

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