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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hot Port News from GAC

15-Oct-2020

KUSU PILGRIMAGE SEASON 2020
Singapore

CORAL SURVEY AT SHEK TSAI WAN, MA WAN
Hong Kong

PIRATES KIDNAPPING MORE SEAFARERS OFF WEST AFRICA, IMB REPORTS
Worldwide

Kusu Pilgrimage Season 2020
Thursday, October 15, 2020, Singapore

The 2020 Kusu Pilgrimage season will commence on 17 October 2020 and end on 14 November 2020.

During this period, ferries carrying passengers operated by Singapore Island Cruise & Ferry Services Pte Ltd would cross the East Keppel Fairway when plying between the Marina South Pier (MSP) and Kusu Island (PulauTembakul).

Mariners shall keep a proper lookout for these craft and navigate with extra caution when in the vicinity of the recommended routes.

The traffic movement within MSP has been divided in two routes. All ferries and harbour craft shall use the recommended routes. The waters within the breakwater MSP is a “no wake zone”, harbour craft and ferries operating within the waters of MSP are reminded to slow down as far as practicable to reduce causing wakes.

Masters of ferries and harbour craft shall proceed at a safe speed and navigate with caution when approaching MSP and Kusu Island jetties.

The following buoys were laid on 2 October to aid in the safe navigation of ferries approaching and leaving Kusu Jetty. Ferries shall keep within the channel demarcated by the Kusu Beacon (Fl R 2.5s) and the yellow polyethylene channel buoy in position Lat 01° 13′.521N / Long 103° 51′.428E.

KUSU BUOY Fl (2) R 10s
Position: 01° 13.234’N / 103° 51.692’E
Purpose: Port hand buoy
Type of buoy: Red Can buoy Fl(2) R10s

KUSU MARKER A
Position: 01° 13.521’N / 103° 51.428’E
Purpose: Channel buoy
Type of buoy: Yellow polyethylene buoy

KUSU MARKER B
Position: 01° 13.403’N / 103° 51.435’E
Purpose: For mooring of ferries (Off Pulau Sakijang)
Type of buoy: Yellow polyethylene buoy

KUSU MARKER C
Position: 01°13.378’N / 103° 51.459’E
Purpose: For mooring of ferries (Off Pulau Sakijang)
Type of buoy: Yellow polyethylene buoy

In view of the COVID-19 situation and the safe management measures on the island, access to Pulau Tembakul (Kusu Island) is closed to the public from 17 October to 14 November (inclusive). Members of the public who wish to visit Pulau Tembakul (Kusu Island), are to use only the ferries operated by Singapore Island Cruise and Ferries Pte. Ltd., the appointed vendor for Kusu Pilgrimage Season 2020. In addition, the harbour craft jetty at Pulau Tembakul (Kusu Island) is closed to the public during this period.

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

Source: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Port Marine Notice No.074 of 2020 dated 12 October 2020

Coral survey at Shek Tsai Wan, Ma Wan
Thursday, October 15, 2020, Hong Kong

For approximately 2 weeks, coral survey involving diving operations will be carried out in the following works areas:

WORKS AREA 1
This area is bounded by straight lines joining the following co-ordinates (WGS 84 Datum) from (A) to (D):
(A) 22° 21.134’N / 114° 03.441’E
(B) 22° 21.129’N / 114° 03.447’E
(C) 22° 21.109’N / 114° 03.430’E
(D) 22° 21.114’N / 114° 03.424’E

WORKS AREA 2
This area is bounded by straight lines joining the following co-ordinates (WGS 84 Datum) from (E) to (I) with the adjacent shoreline and the pier respectively:
(E) 22° 21.069’N / 114° 03.428’E
(F) 22° 21.069’N / 114° 03.417’E
(G) 22° 21.071’N / 114° 03.396’E
(H) 22° 21.079’N / 114° 03.397’E
(I) 22° 21.075’N / 114° 03.424’E

The works will be carried out by one work boat. A working area of approximately 15 metres around the work boat will be established.

The hours of work will be from 0900 to 1700 hours. No works will be carried out on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Vessel employed for the works will not stay in the works areas outside the hours of work.

Diving operations will be carried out from time to time during the hours of work.

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

Vessels navigating in the vicinity should proceed with caution and keep clear of the works areas at slow speed, bearing in mind there are divers working in the works areas.

(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.145 of 2020

Pirates kidnapping more seafarers off West Africa, IMB reports
Thursday, October 15, 2020, Worldwide

ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) figures show a rise in piracy and armed robbery on the world’s seas in the first nine months of 2020, with a 40% increase in the number of kidnappings reported in the Gulf of Guinea, compared with the same period in 2019. Pirates armed with guns and knives are abducting bigger groups of seafarers at further distances off the West African coast.

IMB’s latest global piracy report details 132 attacks since the start of 2020, up from 119 incidents in the same period last year. Of the 85 seafarers kidnapped from their vessels and held for ransom, 80 were taken in the Gulf of Guinea – in 14 attacks reported off Nigeria, Benin, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana.

In the first nine months of 2020, seafarers reported 134 cases of assault, injury and threats, including 85 crewmembers being kidnapped and 31 held hostage onboard their ships. A total of 112 vessels were boarded and six were fired upon, while 12 reported attempted attacks. Two fishing vessels were hijacked, both in the Gulf of Guinea…

…With approximately 95% of global kidnappings reported from within Gulf of Guinea waters, IMB warns that pirate gangs in the area are “well organized and targeting all vessel types over a wide range”.

The furthest attack from shore also involved the most crew kidnapped from a single vessel in 2020. On 17 July 2020, eight pirates armed with machine guns boarded a product tanker underway around 196 nautical miles southwest of Bayelsa, Nigeria. They held all 19 crewmembers hostage, stole ship’s documents and valuable items, and escaped with 13 kidnapped crew. The tanker was left drifting with limited and unqualified navigational and engine crew onboard. A nearby merchant vessel later helped the tanker to sail to a safe port.

Regional Authorities were notified and the 13 kidnapped crewmembers were released safely one month later.

A more recent example was on 8 September 2020, when armed pirates attacked a refrigerated cargo ship underway around 33nm south-southwest of Lagos, Nigeria. Two crewmembers were kidnapped, but the rest of the crew managed to retreat into the citadel – one of the industry’s recommended best practices endorsed by IMB. A Nigerian naval team was dispatched, who boarded, conducted a search, and then escorted the ship to a safe anchorage for investigations.

The IMB piracy report includes a special thanks to the Nigerian Authorities, particularly the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA who “continue to provide timely information, actions and valuable cooperation between Agencies”.

The piracy centre recorded 15 attacks to ships underway in the Singapore Straits. While most are considered low level crimes, two crew were threatened, one injured and another taken hostage, indicating a continued risk to the crew. Knives were reported in at least ten of the incidents.

There has been a sharp quarterly decrease in the number of incidents within the Indonesian archipelagic, with four reported in Q3, down from 14 in Q2. These are viewed as low level opportunistic thefts with most reported on anchored vessels.

All vessel types in in the Caribbean, Central and South America – including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Mexico and Peru are being targeted at anchor as well as underway, and during river passages under pilotage. On 26 September 2020, a container vessel was boarded by armed perpetrators during its river passage at Guayaquil. The attackers fired their weapons towards the accommodation and bridge, then opened containers and stole the contents before leaving.

However, as many more cases go unreported, IMB is urging all ship masters and operators to inform, in a timely manner, the 24-hour IMB Piracy Reporting Centre of any attacks to their vessels or crew…

…No incidents of piracy have been reported around Somalia since 2018. In August 2020, pirates freed the last three of the thousands of hostages who have been held captive in the region over the years since ship hijackings peaked in 2011.

Despite this, as Somali pirates are still capable of carrying out further attacks, IMB urges vessels to continue implementing the industry’s best management practices (BMP5), and encourages the continued, stabilising presence of navies in the region…

(For information about operations around the world contact the respective GAC office. Details may be found at www.gac.com)

Source: Extracts from International Maritime Bureau (www.icc-ccs.org) news release dated 14 October 2020

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