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GAC 01072014

United States, New York, NewYork
Georgia, all ports
IMB Report: SE Asia tanker hijacks rose in 2014, despite global drop in piracy
COUNTRY: Worldwide
Attacks against small tankers off South East Asia’s coasts caused a rise in global ship hijackings, up to 21 in 2014 from 12 in 2013, despite piracy at sea falling to its lowest level in eight years, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has revealed. 

Pirates took 442 crewmembers hostage, compared with 304 in 2013.


IMB’s annual piracy report shows 245 incidents were recorded worldwide in 2014 – a 44% drop since Somali piracy peaked in 2011. Somali pirates were responsible for 11 attacks, all of which were thwarted. However, IMB warns shipmasters to follow the industry’s Best Management Practices, as the threat of Somali piracy has not been eliminated.


Worldwide, 21 vessels were hijacked last year, 183 were boarded, and 13 fired upon. Pirates killed four crewmembers, injured 13 and kidnapped nine from their vessels….


….Citing the death of one crewmember shot on his bitumen tanker in December, the IMB report highlights the possibility of the hijackings becoming increasingly violent. Most of the 124 attacks in the region were aimed at low-level theft from vessels using guns and long knives.


IMB commends the Indonesian Marine Police’s efforts to stem the increase in attacks in identified port hotspots. Outside port limits, pirates are particularly active in the waters around Pulau Bintan and the South China Sea, where 11 vessels were hijacked in 2014. Actions taken by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, the Indonesian authorities and other maritime forces of regional coastal states have played a key role in responding to these attacks….


….In West Africa, 41 incidents were reported, although IMB says many further attacks went unreported. Five vessels were hijacked, including three tankers, one supply and a fishing vessel. Hijackings of product tankers appeared to subside in the last quarter of 2014, with the last reported case at the end of July 2014. Of the 18 attacks off Nigeria, 14 involved tankers and vessels associated with the oil industry. Most were product tankers, hijacked to steal and tranship their cargo into smaller tankers. Earlier in the year the waters South and West of the Brass Terminal saw a particularly concerning spate of attacks…. ….In and around Ghanaian waters, in June and July three vessels were hijacked, one of which was a fishing vessel intended to be used as a platform to hijack tankers off Nigeria. Seven vessels were also boarded while anchored at Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo, with ship and crew prop erties targeted by the robbers.


Bangladesh reported 21 incidents in 2014, up from 12 in 2013. Seventeen anchored and three vessels underway were boarded and one attempted attack on a vessel. The majority of incidents were low level thefts from vessels, although in one report three crew were taken hostage and two crew injured in two separate incidents. The Bangladesh Coast Guard helped respond to many calls of assistance from ship masters.


(For information about operations worldwide, contact the respective GAC office. Details may be found in the “GAC Worldwide” section of www.gac.com)

Source: Extracts from International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau (www.icc-ccs.org) news update dated 14 January 2015

Brooklyn Bridge painting & rehabilitation
January 14, 2015, United States, New York, NewYork
Painting/approach rehabilitation of the Brooklyn Bridge across the East River, mile 0.8, is in progress. 

Contractor has installed scaffolding from the Manhattan side through mid-channel. Scaffolding reduces the available vertical clearance under the bridge by approx. 6 feet. The scaffolding will be marked by three red lights, one at each end of the scaffolding and one at the center.


The remainder of the channel between mid-channel and the Brooklyn side will provide full vertical clearance and is clear of any obstructions, however, at times the movable platforms will be in use and occupy part of the Brooklyn half channel, the traveller platform can be move for passage of large vessels, with a one hour advance notice.


Contact Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service at 718-354-4088 for information if the movable traveler is in use.


This project is expected to be completed by end April 2015. Mariners are advised to exercise caution when transiting the area and large vessels are reminded to transit the Brooklyn half of the channel.


Chart 12335 LNM 01/15 (CGD1)


For information about operations in the USA contact GAC USA at usa@gac.com

Georgia ratifies Ballast Water Management treaties
January 14, 2015, Georgia, all ports
Georgia has become the 100th Party to the Convention on the International Maritime Satellite Organization (IMSO C 1976) and accepted the 2008 amendments. 

His Excellency Mr. Revaz Gachechiladze, (11 September 2014) Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Georgia to IMO; and Captain. Mamuka Akhaladze, Director of the Maritime Transport Agency, Georgia met with IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu to deposit the instrument of accession. They were joined by Director General, Capt. Esteban Pacha-Vicente of Spain, the Chief Executive Officer and legal representative of IMSO.


Georgia also deposited its instrument of accession to the Ballast Water Management treaty, bringing the total number of ratifications to 44 States, with 32.57% of world tonnage (35% of world tonnage is needed to meet entry into force criteria).


(For information about operations worldwide, contact the respective GAC office. Details may be found in the “GAC Worldwide” section of www.gac.com)

Source: International Maritime Organisation (www.imo.org) news update

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