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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hot Port News from GAC


New England/Mid-Atlantic, United States

Texas, United States

Gujarat, India


North Sumatera, Indonesia


Beirut, Lebanon


Right Whale Slow Zones
Tuesday, August 11, 2020, New England/Mid-Atlantic, United States

NOAA Fisheries has announced a new “Right Whale Slow Zones” campaign asking all vessel operators to reduce the risk of vessel strike to critically endangered North Atlantic right whales by slowing down or avoiding areas where right whales have been detected.

Complementary to other NOAA vessel strike reduction efforts, the “Right Whale Slow Zones “campaign brings together sighting information, from NOAA’s Dynamic Management Area program, with new acoustic detection information to help vessels of all sizes slowdown in areas where right whales have been detected.

Further Slow Zone details https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature-story/help-endangered-whales-slow-down-slow-zones

Reducing Ship Strike https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/endangered-species-conservation/reducing-ship-strikes-north-atlantic-right-whales

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

Restrictions for signing-off Indian nationals
Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Texas, United States

Restrictions have been introduced at all Texas ports for Indian national crew members signing off.

Until further notice:

The agent is to send in a request to D-2 Indian crew, with copy of passport, and visa. It will be evaluated based on the below criteria (Approved by Chief/WC)
All Indian D-2s must be processed at the office (Do not process D-2 Indian crew on the vessel)
All Indian D-2s must be under guard and escorted past TSA to their gate
All their flights are to be direct out of the U.S.
No overnight stays
For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in the United States, contact GAC North America at usa@gac.com

Revised VTS rates
Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Gujarat, India

Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) authorities have advised that revised VTS rates will be applicable for vessels calling Gujarat Ports from 1 September.

The revised rates are as follows:

Hazardous cargo
– Current VTS rate: 6.6
– Revised VTS rate: 7.26

Non-hazardous cargo
– Current VTS rate: 4.4
– Revised VTS rate: 4.84

All tugs, tows, dredgers, barges and other vessels towing astern, alongside or pushing ahead another vessel(s), barges, irrespective of number of trips in one month:
– Current rate per month: 11,000.00
– Revised rate per month: 12,100.00

All tugs, tows, dredgers, barges and other vessels towing astern, alongside or pushing ahead another vessel(s), barges, but limited to three trips in one month:
– Current rate per month: 7,700.00
– Revised rate per month: 8,470.00

For further details and information about operations in India, contact GAC India at india@gac.com

Crew changes & entry of non-nationals suspended
Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Oman

Crew changes at all ports in Oman and the entry of non-Omani nationals into the country by air, sea and road is banned until further notice. This includes security personnel, whose embarkation/disembarkation is suspended.

Immigration authorities have suspended accepting visa applications until further notice.

All incoming vessels have to follow/adhere to Ministry of Health/respective Port Authority guidelines.

International and domestic flights to/from all airports in Oman remain suspended, except for special/charter flights which are arranged on priority basis after obtaining necessary approvals/permits from the concerned authorities.

The closure between governorates in Oman (except Dhofar) was lifted on 7 August, but the ban on all types of movement/travel and closure of public places/shops between 2100 and 0500 hours the following day continues until 15 August between 2100 – 0500 hrs the following day.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Oman, contact GAC Oman at muscat@gac.com

Volcanic eruption
Tuesday, August 11, 2020, North Sumatera, Indonesia

Mount Sinabung in Karo Regency, North Sumatra, erupted on Monday (10 August), catapulted material up to 5,000 metres from the summit of the mountain.

However, so far, the eruption has not caused any disruption to port activities in the area or flight operations at Kualanamu International Airport, Deliserdang, North Sumatra.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Indonesia, contact PT Andhika GAC at shipping.indonesia@gac.com

Shift in sea theft & attempted actions incidents
Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Singapore

IFC observed a shift in sea theft and attempted action incidents to northwest of Bintan between 28 June to 12 July. This involved two bulk carriers and one refrigerator cargo vessel (reefer) transiting the east-bound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait where ship engine spares were reported stolen in two sea theft incidents. While the modus operandi of the perpetrators, remained consistent with petty crime, IFC observed a shift in the location. The advisory aims to provide awareness of the emerging area of concern including insights into the incidents as well.

The spate of incidents occurred in Singapore Strait to the northwest of Bintan after a lull period between mid of May to June. All three incidents involved east-bound vessels with low freeboards (between 4.5 to 6.5 m) and transiting at slow speeds (between 7 to 10 knots). IFC observed that the area of concern has shifted easterly from East Karimun and North Batam to Northwest of Bintan. These incidents also occurred during the night where there was minimal illumination from the moon. All the incidents occurred within the hours of darkness between 2300 (UTC +8) to 0600 (UTC +8).

IFC will continue to info-share any details of incidents and observation on any trend changes with the relevant regional OPCENS. IFC will also continue to engage the shipping community to underscore the importance of maintaining a proper and vigilant lookout, adhering to ship security standard operating procedures, and the timely reporting of incidents to local authorities. IFC will remind ships’ masters to contact the local authorities and the IFC immediately, when they sight suspicious activities (including suspicious small boats approaching) and not confront the perpetrators who likely armed with knives when boarding had occurred.

Local authorities contacts are as follow:

Radio channel: Ch 16
Phone number: (+60) 7 219 9401/9407

Radio channel: Ch 16
Phone number: +62 812 7754 8766

Radio channel: Ch 10, 14 or 73
Phone number: (+65) 6325 2493

Phone number: +65 9626 8965 (Mobile)
Phone number: +65 6594 5728 (Office)
Email: ifc_do@defence.gov.sg / information_fusion_centre@defence.gov.sg

The IFC recommends the following measures to be implemented while transiting or anchored.
a. Activate the ship’s Automatic Identification System (AIS) at all times.
b. Timely reporting to the local authorities.
c. Increase vigilance in watch-keeping and deploy additional lookouts. Be wary of suspicious small boats approaching. Take photo of the suspicious boat and send to IFC.
d. Participate in the IFC Voluntary Community Reporting (VCR) System and provide status update, while in transit, as much as possible.
e. Use CCTV cameras for coverage of vulnerable areas (if available).
f. Keep ship’s whistle, search lights and fog horn ready for immediate use.
g. Secure or lift external ladders to prevent their use and to restrict external access to the bridge.
h. Deploy Self-Protection Measures (SPM) e.g. Rig the water spray hoses and foam monitors in a fixed position. Evasive manoeuvres have also been proven to deter perpetrators in the areas of concern.
i. Secure all doors and hatches preventing access to the accommodation and machinery spaces.
j. Rig safety precautionary measures on the anchor cable hawse pipe while anchored.

Ships should apply the appropriate security measures that are mentioned in the Tugs and Barge Guide, Guide for Tankers Operating in Asia, and/or Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia.

Ship masters should also be aware and refer to the Maritime Security Charts Q6112 and Q6113, both published by the UK Hydrographic Office.

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

Source: Information Fusion Centre (www.ifc.org.sg) Shipping Advisory 02/20

First vessels calling at Beirut after blast
Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Beirut, Lebanon

The Royal UK Navy MV “Enterprise” berthed in Beirut Port yesterday at Quay No.13, as well as a small container vessel which was berthed at Quay No 16.

Meanwhile, due to the severe damage caused to GAC Lebanon’s office near the port, a temporary base has now been set up at:

Raboueh – Kornet Chehwan
Street “A”, Building 42, First Floor,
100M from Serhal Hospital
Tel: +961 4 524 923
Mobile: +961 3 606 176 / +961 3 266 618

For information about operations in Lebanon, contact GAC Lebanon at lebanon@gac.com

Port ops to continue on Independence Day holiday
Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Pakistan

Port operations will continue and dock labour workers will be supplied on a double wage throughout the official holiday announced for Friday (14 August) to mark Pakistan’s Independence Day.

For information about operations in Pakistan, contact GAC Pakistan at pakistan@gac.com

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