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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hong Kong
Port Hedland, Dampier & Broome, Australia
Turkish Straits, Turkey
Tampa Bay, United States
Marine site investigation at Castle Peak Bay
Thursday, January 11, 2018, Hong Kong
For approximately 4 months, marine site investigation works involving drilling of boreholes will be carried out within the following areas:

Works Area 1:
This area is bounded by straight lines joining the following co-ordinates (WGS 84 Datum) from (A) to (E) and the adjacent shoreline:
(A) 22 deg. 22.555’N / 113 deg. 58.954’E
(B) 22 deg. 22.518’N / 113 deg. 58.963’E
(C) 22 deg. 22.473’N / 113 deg. 58.908’E
(D) 22 deg. 22.518’N / 113 deg. 58.848’E
(E) 22 deg. 22.566’N / 113 deg. 58.916’E

Works Area 2:
This area is bounded by straight lines joining the following co-ordinates (WGS 84 Datum) from (F) to (J) and the adjacent shoreline:
(F) 22 deg. 22.600’N / 113 deg. 58.849’E
(G) 22 deg. 22.546’N / 113 deg. 58.842’E
(H) 22 deg. 22.564’N / 113 deg. 58.808’E
(I) 22 deg. 22.612’N / 113 deg. 58.761’E
(J) 22 deg. 22.622’N / 113 deg. 58.799’E

Works Area 3:
This area is bounded by straight lines joining the following co-ordinates (WGS 84 Datum) from (K) to (N) and the adjacent shoreline:
(K) 22 deg. 22.632’N / 113 deg. 58.813’E
(L) 22 deg. 22.640’N / 113 deg. 58.781’E
(M) 22 deg. 22.710’N / 113 deg. 58.803’E
(N) 22 deg. 22.703’N / 113 deg. 58.844’E

The works will be carried out by two jack-up barges. Two tugboats and one guard boat will provide assistance.

A working area of approximately 50 metres around the barges will be established. Yellow marker buoys fitted with yellow flashing lights will be laid to mark the positions of the anchors extending from the barges.

The hours of work will be from 0700 to 1900 hours. No works will be carried out on Sundays and public holidays. Vessels employed for the works will stay in the works area outside the hours of work.

Vessels engaged in the operations will display signals as prescribed in international and local regulations.

Vessels navigating in the vicinity should proceed with caution.

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

Source: Government of the Hong Kong SAR Marine Department Notice No.2 of 2018 dated 9 January 2018

Ports prepare for Tropical Cyclone Joyce
Thursday, January 11, 2018, Port Hedland, Dampier & Broome, Australia
The Port of Port Hedland is now at Cyclone Alert Stage 3 – Clear Port.

As of 0500 WST this morning (11 January) the Tropical Low (09U) was in position 16.7S 121.8E in open water some 280 NM North East of Port Hedland and has generally been moving in a South Westerly direction overnight. The system has been steadily intensifying and is expected to be declared as a cyclone within hours.

The system is expected to track SSW’ly during Thursday with a coastal crossing still expected on the East Pilbara / West Kimberley coast near 80 Mile Beach on Friday afternoon as a Category 3 system, the most recent track map is attached for information.

The Port of Dampier remains at cyclone alert Stage 1 – Monitor.  

As per latest Bureau of Meteorology forecast, a tropical cyclone JOYCE (Ex low 09U) lies about 75 nautical miles Northwest of Broome. Confidence in the current centre is relatively high.

The most likely scenario has the system tracking generally SSW direction today, and crossing the coast near 80 Mile Beach as a category 3 system later on Friday.

After landfall, the system should then take a more south westerly track over inland parts and weaken.

As Joyce tracks inland, heavy rainfall is expected near and east of the system. Even after it weakens below cyclone intensity, gale force winds could still continue on the eastern flank of the system as it moves over the inland Pilbara.

If TC Joyce changes track to a more westerly direction there is a possibility that port of Dampier may experience gale force winds however advise at this time suggests there is only a slight chance of this happening. As a precaution Port of Dampier is likely to move toCyclone Stage 2 – Prepare around 1600 hours this evening.

This stage(Prepare) involves extensive communications and consultation between the Dampier Harbour Master, Port Terminal Operators, Port users and Pilots. Operational plans, sailing drafts, tidal requirements and intentions will be discussed and evaluated against possible response scenarios.

The Port of Broome was closed to shipping from 1530hrs yesterday (10 January) until further notice, in anticipation of cyclonic impact over the next 24 hours.

Severe weather warning signage has been placed at the Entrance Point boat ramps closing the ramps to recreational users. The public access walkway along the jetty neck is also closed. The Port’s radio will be unattended during this period. ln an emergency, please contact the Harbourmaster on 0429-121-875.

For information about operations at Australian ports contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@gac.com

Maritime piracy & armed robbery reaches 22-year low, says IMB report
Thursday, January 11, 2018, Worldwide
A total of 180 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported to the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in 2017, according to the latest IMB report.This is the lowest annual number of incidents since 1995, when 188 reports were received.

In 2017, 136 vessels were boarded, while there were 22 attempted attacks, 16 vessels fired upon and six vessels hijacked.In 15 separate incidents, 91 crewmembers were taken hostage and 75 were kidnapped from their vessels in 13 other incidents. Three crewmembers were killed in 2017 and six injured.

In 2016, a total of 191 incidents were reported, with 150 vessels boarded and 151 crewmembers taken hostage.

Beyond the global figures, the report underlined several takeaways from the past year.

Persistent danger in the Gulf of Guinea
In 2017, there were 36 reported incidents with no vessels hijacked in this area and 10 incidents of kidnapping involving 65 crewmembers in or around Nigerian waters. Globally 16 vessels reported being fired upon – including seven in the Gulf of Guinea….

Sentencing Somali pirates
Nine incidents were recorded off Somalia in 2017, up from two in 2016. In November, a container ship was attacked by armed pirates approximately 280 nautical miles east of Mogadishu. The pirates, unable to board the vessel due to the ship’s evasive manoeuvring fired two RPG rockets, both of which missed, before retreating.

Six Somali pirates were subsequently detained by European Union Naval Force, transferred to the Seychelles and charged with “committing an act of piracy” where they face up to 30 years’ imprisonment, if convicted….

Mixed results in Southeast Asia
Indonesia recorded 43 incidents in 2017, down from 49 in 2016. The IMB report notes that Indonesian Marine Police patrols continue to be effective in the country’s 10 designated safe anchorages.

In the Philippines, however, the number of reported incidents has more than doubled, from 10 in 2016 to 22 in 2017. According to the report, the majority of these incidents were low-level attacks on anchored vessels, mainly at the ports of Manila and Batangas. Vessels underway off the Southern Philippines were boarded and crew kidnapped in the first quarter of 2017.  However, alerts broadcast by the IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC), on behalf of the Philippine authorities, have since helped to avoid further successful attacks.

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

Source: International Maritime Bureau news updated dated 10 January 2018 – www.icc-ccs.org

Fog and poor visibility in the Bosphorus
Thursday, January 11, 2018, Turkish Straits, Turkey
Vessel traffic in the Bosphorus was suspended due to the fog and poor visibility at 0600 hours local time today (11 January).

For information about operations in the Turkish Straits contact GAC Istanbul at turkey@gac.com

Heavy fog closes all zones
Thursday, January 11, 2018, Tampa Bay, United States
Due to heavy fog in the Tampa Bay AOR, the US Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) has closed ALL ZONES until further notice.

UPDATE: At 1130 hours local time, US Coast Guard St. Pete opened zone #2. Zones 3,4,5,6 & 7 remain closed.

For information about operations in the United States, contact GAC North America at usa@gac.com

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