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Hot Port News from GAC

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GAC 01072014World Holidays: 12-25 October 2014
COUNTRY: Worldwide

Public holidays around the world in the coming two weeks include the following:

  • Sun 12 Oct – Brazil Patroness
  • Mon 13 Oct – Columbus Day
  • Mon 20 Oct – Mashujaa Day, formerly Kenyatta Day (Kenya)
  • Thu 23 Oct – Deepavali
  • Sat 25 Oct – Islamic New Year
  • Sat 25 Oct – Awal Muharram (Malaysia)
  • Sat 25 Oct – Muharram (Indonesia)

For information about operations around the world contact the respective GAC office. Details may be found under ‘GAC Worldwide’ at gac.com

Monitoring of Vessels of Interest
October 11, 2014, United Kingdom, all ports

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), supported by the National Maritime Information Centre (NMIC), is monitoring vessels that have visited ports in countries where the Ebola virus (Viral Haemorrhagic Fever) is present and where their subsequent voyage plans indicate they intend to transit through UK waters or stop at UK ports.

Every such Vessel of Interest (VOI) will be contacted by the Coastguard, as it enters UK AIS coverage to determine the vessel’s health status.

If a VOI seeks Radio Medical Advice (RMA) through the Coastguard, or requires a Search & Rescue (SAR) response, or a medical evacuation, HM Coastguard will notify SAR units before a response can be undertaken so that they can prepare for and manage the situation more cautiously if required.

Where notified by the vessel, or a SAR resource, or where a RMA Doctor suspects the symptoms may be of Viral Haemorrhagic Fever, the vessel will be asked to divert to the nearest suitable port where the casualty can be taken off the ship by land-based medical services in a controlled manner. The relevant Ambulance Service (and public health agencies) will be informed of the situation by the Coastguard. The Coastguard will work with the land emergency services and port authority to ensure that the patient is landed in a measured way….

….Where a UK port or pilot service is to board or handle a VOI they are to contact MRCC Solent (Solent Coastguard) when the vessel is within 4 hours of a port/pilot station to check if the VOI has been subject of a SAR or medical advice or medical evacuation event. If a VOI, the port or pilot service can, depending on the circumstances, take appropriate advice and guidance.

[NOTE: Vessels must make a declaration of health on arrival at UK ports, after which Free Pratique will be granted, normally automatically.]

(For information about operations in the UK contact GAC UK at uk@gac.com)

Source: Extract from Maritime & Coastguard Agency notice to UK Ports & Pilotage Community

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