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Hot Port News from GAC

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aGAC 01072014







Hong Kong
Port Kembla, Australia
Fujairah, United Arab Emirates
Codes of Practices
Wednesday, February 3, 2016, Hong Kong
The following Codes of Practices (COP) by notification in the Gazette on 15 January 2016:* Code of Practice – Using Protective Clothing and Equipment for Works on Vessels (2nd Edition – January 2016) under the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance (Cap.313)* Code of Practice – Using Protective Clothing and Equipment for Works on Local Vessels (2nd Edition – January 2016) under the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance (Cap.548)A grace period of three months from the effective date (i.e. 15 January 2016) is given until 14 April 2016. The Marine Department continues to enforce the 1st Edition of the Code of Practice during the grace period.

Use of existing serviceable protective clothing and equipment meeting standards stated in Appendix 2 of the 1st Edition of the Code of Practice is allowed until the time of the next renewal but should not exceed 18 months from the effective date of the 2nd Edition of Code of Practice.

The above COPs can be obtained from the Marine Industrial Safety Section, Marine Department, 23rd Floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong (Enquiry No.: 2852 4477) or can be downloaded from the Marine Department website at the addresses below:
– http:/www.mardep.gov.hk/en/pub_services/ocean/miss_cop313.html
– http://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/pub_services/ocean/miss_cop548.html

(For information about operations in Hong Kong contact GAC Hong at shipping.hongkong@gac.com)

Source: Hong Kong SAR Marine Department Notice No.21 of 2016

Anchorage closed due to adverse weather
Wednesday, February 3, 2016, Port Kembla, Australia
The Harbour Master at Port Kembla has instructed all vessels to vacate the anchorage area by 1900 hours local time this evening (3 February), as there is a strong wind warning in place for winds from the south, swinging to the southeast later.Any vessels en route to Port Kembla should be advised accordingly.Risk assessments will be conducted for individual shipping movements as required tonight,  tomorrow and into Fridaynoting that the inclement weather is expected to persist for another 24 – 36 hours.Presently port movements remains open to harbour movements and risk assessments will be conducted for individual shipping movements as required.

Agents and vessels will be notified when the anchorage is reopened.

For information about operations in Australia contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@gac.com)

Restrictions for STS operations removed
Wednesday, February 3, 2016, Fujairah, United Arab Emirates
The Port of Fujairah advises that the restrictions advised that the restrictions imposed on Ship-to-Ship (STS) operations at F.O.A.A. (Fujairah Offshore Anchorage Area) announced in its Notice to Mariners No.191 on 1 June 2015 have been removed.Other conditions, regulations and procedures remain unchanged.For information about operations in Fujairah, contact GAC Fujairah at fujairah@gac.com

Maritime piracy hotspots persist despite reductions in key areas: IMB
Wednesday, February 3, 2016, Worldwide
Piracy and armed robbery on the world’s seas is persisting at levels close to those in 2014, despite reductions in the number of ships hijacked and crew captured, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) annual piracy report reveals.IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) recorded 246 incidents in 2015, one more than in 2014. The number of vessels boarded rose 11% to 203, one ship was fired at, and a further 27 attacks were thwarted. Armed with guns or knives, pirates killed one seafarer and injured at least 14. Kidnappings – where crew are taken away and held for ransom – doubled from nine in 2014 to 19 in 2015, all the result of five attacks off Nigeria.A total of 15 vessels were hijacked in 2015, down from 21 in 2014, while 271 hostages were held on their ships, compared with 442 in 2014. No hijackings were reported in the last quarter of 2015. IMB says one key factor in this recent global reduction was the drop in attacks against small fuel tankers around South East Asia’s coasts, the last of which occurred in August 2015.SE Asian gangs
“IMB particularly commends the robust actions taken by the Indonesian and Malaysian authorities in the arrest and prosecution of two gangs that hijacked tankers. We also applaud the subsequent arrest of some of the alleged masterminds, ” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB, which has monitored world piracy since 1991.

However Mr Mukundan urged shipmasters to maintain strict anti-piracy and robbery watches. South East Asia still accounts for most of the world’s incidents. Almost 55% of the region’s attacks were against vessels underway compared to 37% in 2014. Most were aimed at low-level theft. IMB cites this rise on moving vessels as a cause for concern as it increases potential risks to the vessels and their crew.

The IMB PRC continues to work closely with the Indonesian Marine Police and other Indonesian authorities to monitor high-risk areas. Reports have reduced in the majority of the 11 designated anchorages with only Belawan and Nipah recording marked increases in attempted thefts, reporting 15 and 26 incidents respectively in 2015.

Nigeria: oil and kidnappings
Nigeria is a hotspot for violent piracy and armed robbery. Though many attacks are believed to go unrecorded, IMB received reports of 14 incidents, with nine vessels boarded. In the first of these, ten pirates armed with AK47 rifles boarded and hijacked a tanker and took all nine crewmembers hostage. They then transferred the fuel oil cargo into another vessel, which was taken away by two of the attackers. The Ghanaian navy dispatched a naval vessel to investigate as the tanker moved into its waters, then arrested the pirates on board.

Somalia still risky
No Somali-based attacks were reported in 2015. Following a new 55% reduction in the industry-defined High Risk Area, IMB warns vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean to stay particularly vigilant.

Mr Mukundan explained: “Somalia remains a fragile state, and the potential for an attack remains high. It will only take one successful hijacking to undo all that has been done, and rekindle this criminal activity.”

Incidents in Vietnam surged from seven in 2014 to 27 in 2015. The main cause is low-level theft against vessels anchored in Vietnam, with 15 reports from around the port of Vung Tau alone.

In China four incidents were recorded in December 2015, the first in a long time. These include three thefts of bunker diesel oil from large bulk carriers off Tianjin, and one failed attempt to do the same.

Meanwhile, low-level incidents in Bangladesh dropped to 11 in 2015, from 21 in 2014.

IMB Piracy Reporting Centre
The IMB PRC is the world’s only independent office to receive reports of pirate attacks 24-hours-a-day from across the globe. IMB strongly urges shipmasters and owners to report all actual, attempted and suspected piracy and armed robbery incidents to the IMB PRC. This first step in the response chain is vital to ensuring that adequate resources are allocated by authorities to tackle piracy. Transparent statistics from an independent, non-political, international organization can act as a catalyst to achieve this goal.

(For information about operations around the world contact the respective GAC office. Details may be found athttp://gac.com/gac-worldwide)

Source: International Maritime Bureau (www.icc-ccs.org) news release dated 2 February 2016

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