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 Vega Auriga  (Container Ship)
2 hours ago by Timsen

Future of banned container ship uncertain
The "Vega Auriga" was expected to sail from Tauranga in the afternoon of Sep 2, however it will leave empty of cargo. It was also unclear where the ship was headed and it has no work prospects in the South Pacific. The Mediterranean Shipping Company which is no longer able to use the ship on its Australia, Noumea, New Zealand route because it has been banned from Australian ports for three months. When the ship arrived in Tauranga on Aug 31, an inspection found the ship had 14 faults, 11 of which have to be fixed before the ship could put to sea again. Its cargo of containers was discharged at Sulphur Point. An earlier New Zealand Port State Control inspection found nine deficiencies. They were similar in nature to those found in the recent inspection but they were not the same deficiencies,. The "Vega Auriga" had departed from Brisbane on Aug 25 with three of a total 21 identified deficiencies remaining outstanding. The remaining three deficiencies, due to their less serious nature, were given three months to be rectified. When the vessel departed Brisbane, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority did not consider it on that day to be unseaworthy or substandard. The decision to ban the "Vega Auriga" from visiting any Australian port within the next three months was based on its repeated record of detention and multiple deficiencies since July 25, 2013. AMSA noted that while corrective action was taken at the time to rectify a number of serious deficiencies, they resurfaced multiple times and it was apparent that the companies approach to proper preventative action was ineffective. The German owned and operated vessel has a Filipino crew. There are eight officers and nine crew on board which was well in excess of the minimum safe manning requirements. The nationality of the officers was not known, but language issues on board were among those flagged by New Zealand inspectors in the list of deficiencies. Other safety deficiencies included crew records relating to hours of rest not being recorded properly, and the crew not given copies. Rest periods for watchkeeping did not conform to the International Maritime Organisation's Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping, minimum requirements. The Global Maritime Distress Safety System log book was not signed off by the master as per instructions. There was a fault in the forward mast navigation light that had to be repaired before the ship departed. The Electronic Chart Display & Information System appeared to be being used for navigation, which is against International Maritime Organization regulations. There was no single working language on board, which is against regulations. The emergency generator air inlet shroud parted from frame, the purifier room self-closing door not closing fully. The garbage placard at garbage station out of date, and there were no local control procedures for controllable pitch propellor operation. The starboard life raft cradle was corroded and also had to be repaired before the "Vega Auriga" departs. The oily rag bin in the engine room had no lid, which is a fire hazard. Communication between the wheelhouse and the enclosed wing bridge was inoperable and there was no procedure in place to compensate.

 Bonita  (Oil And Chemical Tanker > Crude Oil Tanker)
2 hours ago by Timsen

Tanker saved 537 boat people
The "Bonita", was involved in two rescue operations off Libya, saving a total of 537 people, including 60 children. At the beginning of August, the vessel received a call from the Italian Coastguard and informed of a vessel in distress. The Gtanker proceeded to the location and picked up a total of 357 refugees, including 270 from Bangladesh. The remainder were from Syria, Nigeria, India, Sudan, Palestine, Guinea, Ghana and Morocco. There were six women and one 11-year-old child in the group, who were taken to the Sicilian port of Pozzallo for disembarkation. Ten days later, the Rome Rescue Center notified the "Bonita" of another boat in distress some 240 km off Libya. This time, 180 were rescued, including 59 small children. Ninety-four were Palestinian, 85 Syrians and one an Iraqi. The tanker sailed for Sicily and disembarked the immigrants at Porto Empedocle before resuming its voyage to Rotterdam for discharge where it docked on Aug 22, 2014.


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