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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hot Port News from GAC


Singapore Strait, Singapore

Delaware Bay, United States



Western Province, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka


Three piracy attacks in two days
Monday, November 2, 2020, Singapore Strait, Singapore

Armed pirates stormed three ships in the Singapore Strait in the span of 2½ hours between the night of Sunday 25 October and Monday 26 October.

Nothing was stolen from the bulk carriers in the three separate incidents, which took place in close proximity to each other, in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the waterway. Neither were their crew injured, according to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre.

The latest armed robberies bring the tally for October to six, the highest monthly figure this year.

Altogether, 28 such incidents in the Singapore Strait have been reported so far this year, against 31 for the whole of last year. Of this year’s cases, 24 occurred in the eastbound lane of the TSS.

In all the six October attacks, there was no confrontation between the perpetrators and the crew. Nothing was stolen except for one vessel where a lifebuoy and some welding rods were taken.

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

Speed restriction to protect North Atlantic Right Whales
Monday, November 2, 2020, Delaware Bay, United States

The Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay advises all vessels transiting the Mid-Atlantic Ocean that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has established regulations which implement a 10-knot speed restriction for all vessels 65 ft (19.8 m) or greater in specified locations (called Seasonal Management Areas or SMAs) during certain times of the year along the east coast of the U.S. Atlantic seaboard.

These regulations are designed to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales by reducing the likelihood of collisions between ships and whales.

The 10-knot speed restriction extends out 20 nautical miles around major mid-Atlantic ports. According to NOAA researchers, about 83 percent of right whale sightings in the mid-Atlantic region occur within 20 nautical miles of shore. The speed restriction also applies in waters off New England and the southeastern U.S., where whales gather seasonally.

The speed restrictions apply in the following approximate locations at the following times; they are based on times whales are known to be in these areas:
– Southeastern U.S. from St. Augustine, FL to Brunswick, GA from November 15 to April 15
– Mid-Atlantic U.S. areas from Brunswick, GA to Rhode Island from November 1 to April 30
– Cape Cod Bay from January 1 to May 15
– Off Race Point at northern end of Cape Cod from March 1 to April 30
– Great South Channel of New England from April 1 to July 31

Specifically for vessels entering the Delaware Bay, the restriction applies in the following location: Within a 20-nm (37 km) radius (as measured seaward from COLREGS lines) of the center point of the entrance to the Delaware Bay (Ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington): 38°52′27.4″ N–075°01′32.1″ W.

For more information about how to comply with the Northern Right Whale Ship Strike Reduction Rule (50 CFR 224.105), please see the attached pamphlet or visit the NOAA website at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/endangered-species-conservation/reducing-ship-strikes-north-atlanticright-whales. You may also call the Sector Delaware Bay Waterways Management Branch at (215) 271-4889.

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

Source: U.S. Coast Guard, Delaware Bay Sector, Marine Safety Information Bulletin NO, 26-20 dated 29 October 2020

National lockdown announced
Monday, November 2, 2020, France

France has announced a national lockdown until 1 December. However, at this stage, there is no direct impact on vessel operations at French ports.

(For information about operations in France, contact the GAC Dubai Hub Agency Centre at hub.ae@gac.com)

Source: SEA-Invest Shipping Agency – GAC agent

New protocols for travelers
Monday, November 2, 2020, Bahamas

With effect from 1 November, The Bahamas requires all travelers to:
1. Obtain a COVID-19 RT PCR test five (5) days prior to arrival.
2. Apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa at travel.gov.bs
3. For the duration of the visit, complete a daily online health questionnaire for symptom tracking purposes.
4. Take a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test on Day 5 of the visit (unless departing on day 5).
5. Always wear a mask and always social distance in public places.

Further, from 14 November, all visitors will be required to opt-in to mandatory COVID-19 health insurance when applying for their Health Travel Visa. The insurance will cover travelers for the duration of their stay in The Bahamas.

Specifics of the new protocols are as follows:


– All persons travelling to The Bahamas must obtain a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (swab) test taken no more than five (5) days prior to the date of arrival.
– The name and address of the lab, where the test was performed, must be clearly displayed on the test result.
Exemptions: Children age ten (10) and under, and pilots & crew of commercial airlines who remain overnight in The Bahamas.
Bahamas Health Travel Visa
– Once in possession of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result, apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa at TRAVEL.GOV.BS
– Click on the International Tab and upload test results and other required documents.
– Fees for the Bahamas Health Travel Visa, inclusive of Day 5 Rapid Antigen Test and mandatory health insurance, are as follows:
$40 – Visitors staying up to four nights and five days.
$40 – Citizens and returning residents.
$60 – Visitors staying more than four nights.
Free – Children 10 years and under

Comply with Monitoring Protocols:
– Any visitor who exhibits COVID symptoms at any time during their stay will be required to take a Rapid Antigen Test and receive a negative result before being permitted to continue with their vacation.
– If a person tests positive they will be required to follow up with a COVID-19 RT-PCR swab test.
Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Testing (if applicable):
– All persons who are staying in The Bahamas longer than four nights/five days will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 antigen test.
– All visitors departing on or before five days will not be required to obtain this test.
– The rapid tests are easy, quick and will yield results in 60 minutes or less with results being provided electronically via SMS text message and email.
– Hotel properties will provide relevant information on testing arrangements, while others will facilitate the required rapid test for their guests.
– All persons on yachts and other pleasure craft will be able to make arrangements for their required rapid tests at the port of entry or via the relevant website.
– All other visitors, returning residents and citizens will be able to make arrangements for their required rapid tests at the port of entry or via the relevant website.
Notwithstanding any health restrictions that may be implemented from time to time, all travelers abiding by these new protocols will be permitted to move about and explore the beauty and vibrant culture of The Bahamas beyond the confines of their hotel or other accommodations.

(For information about operations in the Bahamas, contact the GAC Houston Hub Agency Center at hub.us@gac.com)

Source: Elnet Maritime – GAC agent

Extension of curfew
Monday, November 2, 2020, Western Province, Sri Lanka

The quarantine curfew previously imposed in the Western Province (where Port of Colombo is situated) from midnight on 29 October has been now until 0500 hours on Monday 9 November.

All essential services and essential service employees will have permission to travel during the curfew period, therefore port activities and all related services continue to operate as usual with no interruptions.

Travel between districts has been prohibited except for essential services till further notice.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Sri Lanka, contact GAC Sri Lanka at agency.lk@gac.com

Procedure for oil tankers arriving to discharge cargo
Monday, November 2, 2020, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health has advised that the following procedure must be adhered to by tanker vessels calling SPBM to discharge liquid cargo.

For vessels and crew:

It is mandatory to conduct Covid-19 PCR test for the entire crew of the oil tankers arriving at Sri Lankan ports for oil discharging operations.
The PCR test should be performed by an approved private sector laboratory in Sri Lanka
Free Pratique will be issued by the Port Health Officer upon receipt of negative PCR test reports of all crew members along with other routine documents to the Port Health Office.
For CPSTL/ CPC employees:

The Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal Limited (CPSTL)/ Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) staff who enter an oil tanker should wear appropriate PPE.
The CPSTL/ CPC staff who go on board should undergo a 14 days quarantine in a premises provided by the Petroleum Corporation.
Such premises should be managed by the CPSTL/ CPC under the directions and guidelines given by the area Medical Officer of Health (MOH)/ PHI.
A PCR test to be done on day 7 of the quarantine period by an approved private sector laboratory
With a negative day 7 PCR report, staff can be released from mandatory quarantine on day 14 after informing the area MOH/PHI, and the staff can resume work.
For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Sri Lanka, contact GAC Sri Lanka at agency.lk@gac.com

Special weather update
Monday, November 2, 2020, Bahamas

A strong cold front is expected to move into the Northwest Bahamas early today (2 November) and become stationary over the central Bahamas tomorrow. Strong gusty winds up to gale force can be expected behind the front with seas building up to 12 feet.

Winds gusting up to gale force will begin to affect the northwest Bahamas by this afternoon and the central Bahamas by tonight. Small craft operators in the northwest and central Bahamas are strongly advised to remain in port and beachgoers should refrain from entering the water on Monday through Thursday.

(For information about operations in the Bahamas, contact the GAC Houston Hub Agency Center at hub.us@gac.com)

Source: Elnet Maritime – GAC agent

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