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Hot Port News from GAC

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Pilbara, West Australia


Gulf ports, United States

Reclamation work off Changi East
Friday, January 18, 2019, Singapore

The working period for reclamation work off Changi East has been extended. The work will now be carried out from 27 January to 26 July.

According to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Port Marine Notice No.008 of 2019, the work will be conducted 24 hours daily – including Sundays & Public Holidays – within the working area bounded by the following coordinates (WGS 84 Datum):
1) 01 deg. 18.681’N / 104 deg. 00.289’E
2) 01 deg. 18.591’N / 104 deg. 00.382’E
3) 01 deg. 18.356’N / 104 deg. 00.789’E
4) 01 deg. 18.437’N / 104 deg. 00.985’E
5) 01 deg. 18.945’N / 104 deg. 00.971’E
6) 01 deg. 18.936’N / 104 deg. 00.657’E
7) 01 deg. 18.821’N / 104 deg. 00.462’E

The reclamation works will include shore protection, sand filling, construction of rock revetment, and removal of sea wall and breakwater. A safety boat will be deployed in the vicinity of the working area to warn other craft of the project.

Craft involved in the works will exhibit the appropriate local and international day and night signals.

When in the vicinity of the working area, mariners are reminded to:
a) Keep well clear of the working area;
b) Maintain a proper lookout;
c) Proceed at a safe speed and to navigate with caution;
d) Maintain a listening watch on VHF Channel 12 (East Control);
e) Communicate with East Control on VHF Channel 12 for assistance, if required.

For information about operations in Singapore contact GAC Singapore at singapore@gac.com

Iron ore shipments disrupted by port fire
Friday, January 18, 2019, Pilbara, West Australia

Rio Tinto’s exports of iron ore have been disrupted after a fire last week at one of its ports on the coast of Western Australia’s Pilbara region. The company has declared ‘force majeure’ on affected customers.

The fire, on 10 January, broke out at Rio Tinto’s Cape Lambert Port near Karratha, causing damage to a part of the plant that separates its Robe Valley lump and fine products.

The full impact of the damage is being assessed. The fire has not affected any shipments of Rio Tinto’s premium iron ore product, the ‘Pilbara blend’.

No one was injured in the blaze. An investigation has been launched into its cause.

For further details and updates, or information about operations at Australian ports, contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@hgac.com

Attacks multiply in the Gulf of Guinea
Friday, January 18, 2019, Worldwide

Piracy increased on the world’s seas in 2018, with a marked rise in attacks against ships and crews around West Africa, the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest annual piracy report reveals.

Worldwide, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) recorded 201 incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery in 2018, up from 180 in 2017.

The Gulf of Guinea remains increasingly dangerous for seafarers. Reports of attacks in waters between the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo more than doubled in 2018, accounting for all six hijackings worldwide, 13 of the 18 ships fired upon, 130 of the 141 hostages taken globally, and 78 of 83 seafarers kidnapped for ransom.

The region saw a significant new spike in violence in the last quarter of 2018. Vessels have been boarded by pirates well outside territorial waters, with crew kidnapped and taken into Nigeria where they are held for ransom…

In the last three months of 2018, 41 kidnappings were recorded in waters off Nigeria alone. On 27 October 2018, 11 crew were kidnapped from a container vessel 70NM off Bonny Island, Nigeria. Two days later, Nigerian pirates in a speedboat hijacked a tanker underway 100NM off Point Noire, Congo. Eight of the 18 crew were kidnapped. These are just two recent examples of how armed criminals are reaching further out to sea and targeting a wider variety of ships…

Although no ships were hijacked in the region, pirates fired upon a Suezmax tanker in the Gulf of Aden, as well as a product tanker and a Capesize bulk carrier more than three hundred miles from the Somali coastline. IMB urges masters to continue to maintain high levels of vigilance when transiting these waters…

Patrols by the Indonesia Marine Police have seen the number of incidents drop for the third successive year. The majority of the 36 Indonesian reports were low level opportunistic thefts. Six crew however were taken hostage and threatened…

Attacks off Sabah, eastern Malaysia, continue to be a cause of concern with five crew from two fishing boats reported as kidnapped. Separately four attackers in a speedboat fired on a tug, and the master was shot in the leg.

Ten incidents have been reported from the Philippine islands – down from 22 in 2017. Batangas anchorage accounts for five of these. In one attack, suspected militants fired upon a general cargo ship. The prompt action of the crew and the Philippine Coast Guard ensured the vessel’s safety, although a crewmember was injured by gunfire. The alerts broadcast by the PRC on behalf of the Philippine authorities provide valuable information to Masters and Chief Security Officers (CSO), helping deter militant attacks…

(For information about operations worldwide contact the respective GAC offices. For contact details go the ‘Worldwide’ section of www.gac.com)

Source: Extract from International Maritime Bureau (www.icc-ccs.org) press release

Fog prompts traffic supensions
Friday, January 18, 2019, Gulf ports, United States

Many US Gulf ports have experienced traffic suspensions due to fog this morning (18 January).

Beaumont/Port Arthur
Sabine Pilots Suspended inbound/outbound movements at 02:00 hours local time due to fog.When they resume, they will board outbound vessels first.

Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi Ship Channel will be restricted to one-way outbound traffic starting at 0745 hours local time on 18 January, 2019, due to dense fog at the Aransas jetties, per Pilot #10 Forrest Albrecht.

Houston pilots suspended all vessel boardings at 0655 hours local time on 18 Jan 2019, due to fog.At 0840 hours local time, Houston pilots resumed boardings for outbound vessels only.

Lake Charles
Lake Charles Pilots suspended inbound/outbound movements at 01:20 hours local time due to fog.

Mobile Bar Pilots closed the Channel at 04:39 hours local time on 18 January, due to fog.

San Francisco
San Francisco Bar Pilots closed the Bar Channel at 1100 hours local time yesterday (17 January) due to 25 ft swells. The Bar Channel was opened for one inbound box ship, but the channel remains CLOSED for d/draft vessel traffic. Depending on swells tomorrow all SFO arriving/departing vessels will be vetted on a case-by-case basis depending on swell height vs. d/draft.

For further details/updates and information about operations in the United States contact GAC North America at usa@gac.com

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