The siphoning of oil from the "St. Thomas of Aquinas" was due to start on Sep 9. The operation was planned to run for 12 days depending on how much fuel was left inside the vessel. The divers will go into the sunken ship and drill holes on the vessel’s tank to connect a pump which will drain the oil.On Sep 8, a team of divers went to the site and checked their siphoning equipment. The Malayan Towage and Nippon Salvage Team with around ten divers, composed of Japanese and Filipino divers, will lead the siphoning.
Divers have meanwhile stopped the recovery bodies out of the ship as the salvage team started its work. They have thus far plucked 115 bodies from the vessel with 22 people still missing.
The masters of the "Sulpicio Express 7" and the ferry meanwhile have given their testimonies. Unlike the administrative investigation being conducted by Marina, the result of the SBMI investigation, which will be forwarded to the Board of Marine Inquiry (BMI), is recommendatory in nature with no punitive action. However, 2Go and Sulpicio may use it file charges for damages against each other, or for survivors and families of the fatalities to file damage claims against the two shipping lines. The SBMI has wrapped up its hearings last week when there were no more witnesses. The SBMI will submit the results of its investigation to the BMI, which will review it. If new evidence will come up during the review, the BMI will send the report back to SBMI for consolidation.
If the Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Secretary approves the report, copies will be furnished to all the government agencies concerned for the implementation of recommendation.
A Coast Guard helicopter crew medevaced a 34-year-old Indonesian crewmember from the "Carnival Conquest" 172 miles southeast of New Orleans on Sep 7, 2013. Watchstanders with the 8th Coast Guard District command center received a report the crewmember fell and hit her head on the ship’s deck. At the time of the initial report the "Carnival Conquest" was out of the flight range of the helicopter crew and was directed to head toward New Orleans. The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans was directed to launch at 9:30 a.m., and had to refuel on the Thunderhorse mobile offshore drilling unit en route. The helicopter crew arrived on scene at 11:20 a.m., safely hoisted the patient and flew her to Interim LSU Public Hospital for further medical Treatment.
First detention in Denmark due to breach of MCL Requirements
The "Atlantic Carrier" has been detained for 24 hours in Esbjerg on Sep 3, 2013. The Danish Maritime Authority discovered during a control that the crew was without contracts. The detention was the first in Denmark as a result of breach of MLC requirements. The company behind "Atlantic Carrier" corrected the situation and the ship will continue to operate in the North Sea, where it operates in connection with the offshore wind farm DanTysk, which is currently under construction.
First Purple Notice for a vessel suspected of illegal fishing activities
Close cooperation between Interpol and Norway has led to the publication of the first Purple Notice for a vessel believed to be engaged in illegal fishing activities. Issued in all 190 Interpol member countries, the Purple Notice seeks information on the “Snake”, which has changed its name and registration multiple times in past years to avoid detection. According to the Purple Notice, the “Snake” has operated under 12 different names in the past 10 years, and been registered under the flag of at least eight different countries. It was being suspected of continuing to actively fish illegally in the South Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Southern and Central Africa. The “Snake” has been blacklisted by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) since 2004, and by the South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO) since 2007. As such, it is subject to sanctions including denial of fishing permits and permission to enter ports. With the “Snake” suspected of violating national laws and international conventions, and amid concerns that the vessel has attempted to disguise its identity to continue its illegal fishing, the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, through the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) in Oslo, requested the Purple Notice. The notice aims to gather information on the location and activities of the “Snake”, as well as on the individuals and networks which own, operate and profit from its illegal actions. This is the first time Interpol network has been used to combat illegal fishing. The known former names are "Al Nagm Al Sata" since 2007 (flag Libya); "Caribe 1" until 2007 May; "Luncavita" until 2006 Nov; "Hoyo Maru No. 8" until 2006 Aug. The last known position from May 27 showed the vessel entering the South China Sea coming from the Singapore Strait.
After the Canadian f/v "Aquaholic" sank off Ucluelet in the afternoon of Sep 6, 2013, the "Star Princess" was involved in an operation to save the crew of three who floated in the water, clinging onto coolers and a half-inflated dingy as their 29-foot fishing vessel was sucked into the swelling seas. Besides the cruise ship, more than a dozen rescue officials, from the air, from the sea and even a nearby cruise ship, were racing to help them 32 kilometres off Ucluelet. The two men and one woman were able to send out a mayday when their fishing boat started taking on water around 12:40 p.m. which prompted every nearby vessel to respond to the distress call and save their lives. Rushing to their rescue was a Cormorant helicopter from Comox air force base, a Transport Canada aircraft, Coastguard boats from Tofino and Bamfield, and the "Star Princess". After the three were in the water for just over half an hour they were saved from the seas were with three metre swells.
Experts from Japan arrived on Sep 7 to prepare the siphoning operation of around 60 tons of bunker oil left inside the "St. Thomas of "Aquinas" in the vicinity of Lauis Ledge. Preparation was including securing the salvage tug "Trabajador 1" with two anchors. Divers were to tie the tug to the sunken vessel with two nylon hawsers. The siphoning process was due to start on Sep 10. The tug is being operated under the supervision of Nippon Salvage and Malayan Towage firms. The "Trabajador 1" carried special equipment from Japan that included work barge "Maria Bnr Delia 1" that carries 12 oil recovery tanks. Each tank can accommodate 16 kilo liters of oil.
It is also fitted with a special diving equipment to enable divers to be 50 meters underwater longer.
Italian officials on Sep 6 have given the go-ahead for an attempt to set upright the "Costa Concordia". The national Civil Protection agency said that the operation would be carried out this month, once final safety certificates were issued. If engineers and crews succeeded in righting the Concordia, it was to be towed to a port for dismantling.
On Sep 6, 2013, after refueling the Alfred Faure base, being underway from the Crozet Archipelago to the Kerguelen Islands, the "Marion Dufresne" was diverted to the South African longliner "El Shaddai", which was adrift since three days after ist Generator broke down off the Marion and Prince Edward Islands since three days, to provide assistance. She was expected on scene on Sep 8 in the morning to provide all its human and technical resources to assist the 37 crew members of the longliner.
General cargo vessel Gold Star caught fire in the evening Sep 6 13 some 30 nautical miles north of Malta. Vessel reported superstructure being engulfed in the fire. Patrol vessels and helicopter were dispatched to the distressed vessel, along with some merchant vessels which were close to Gold Star. Italina Coast Guard ship rescued 9 crew of Gold Star, no injures reported. Italian salvage and coast guard vessels were engaged in fighting the fire.
Later it was reported, that the vessel was monitored by Italian Coast Guard suspect in drug trafficking, Italian Coast Guard ship was to disembark the search party. 9 crew, consisting of Syrian and Egyptian nationalities, set vessel on fire and jumped off the vessel.
They’re arrested, it is understood that firefighting is still going on.
On 19 August, International Maritime Enterprises (IME), a company within the Greek-controlled Embiricos Group, has taken delivery of the 6,673 teu container vessel KEA, the last of four wide beam ships ordered at South Korea’s Hyundai Samho Shipyard in April 2011.
Units one, two and three of the type were fixed ‘en bloc’ to Maersk Line, which later decided to take the KEA too. Maersk has chartered the vessel for a period of two to three years.
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