Suspected pirates aboard the hijacked 'Al Meraj I' have surrendered to Somali police after being monitored by European Union Operation Atalanta assets. On Nov 22, 2023 the European Union Naval Force (EU Navfor) Joint Operations Centre was alerted by the Commander of the Somali Coast Guard about the abduction of the fishing dhow off the coast of Eyl. The pirates weare thought to have come from a local clan, and their attack on the fishing vessel was in response to claims of the fishing vessel operating within Somali territorial waters. The Somalis were demanding $400 000 for the release of the 'Al Meraj I' and its crew. They threatened to use the vessel to attack more shipping if the ransom was not paid. From Nov 22 on, Operation Atalanta monitored the vessel closely for more than 230 nautical miles away from the coast of Somalia, contributing to prevent the alleged pirates from posing any threat. The operation included the deployment of an unarmed ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle from an Operation Atalanta warship. It is thought the vessel was not boarded because authorities were not sure if hostages were on board. The 'Al Meraj I', after losing its two towed skiffs and in poor weather, turned back towards the coast of Puntland, and its crew surrendered to Somali police.
The "Pola Kalista", which was stuck in the ice near the Palace Bridge om St. Petersburg for three days, has left the Neva waters after being freed from ice captivity by the icebreaker 'Nevskaya Zastava' on Dec 3, 2023. For the vessel, the Palace and Blagoveshchensky bridges had to be opened unscheduled. On Nov 30 the “Pola Calista” made an emergency stop at the Summer Garden as the ship's path was blocked by a stuck floating crane. Then the ship itself froze into the ice. After being free again, it reached Kronshtadt at 1.45 p.m. UTC. Report with photos: https://sanktpeterburg.bezformata.com/listnews/plena-suhogruza-pola-kalista/124845293/
Customs Officers: Strike - Brazil As we reported in our newsletters throughout the year, tax auditors at the Federal Revenue Service are unsatisfied with the government's actions regarding their wages and salaries. After a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad, in which there was no progress in negotiations with the Federal Government, the Union of Tax Auditors of the Federal Revenue (Sindifisco Nacional) decided for a strike, to begin today, November 20th. This will include Customers Officers and may impact shipping/port and international trade activities. With such, the workers continue to comply with the calendar issued by the National Assembly in August: standard-operation at ports and airports and, in the tax area, no presence in judgment sessions or delivery of work (except for legal demands or cases on the verge to reach the time bar). In the country's ports there will be no customs clarence within port area, except for perishables, live cargo, medical drugsines and dangerous cargo. The Union demands the effective payment of the performance bonus, but there was no proposition from the Government. The main concerns of tax auditors include the low budget foreseen for the Federal Revenue Service and non-compliance with the agreement that gave rise to Law 13,464, a situation that has persisted for seven years. He highlighted that the strike will affect all sectors of the Federal Revenue, directly impacting areas such as customs, Carf, income tax, among others. One of the Union specific demands is the setting of the efficiency bonus rate at 25% on the Special Fund for the Development and Improvement of Inspection Activities (Fundaf). In addition, Revenue auditors, together with other federal public servants, are requesting an annual salary adjustment. The workers argue that the strike is a necessary response to the dismantling that the Federal Revenue Service has faced in recent years, directly impacting the population. It is important to highlight that the Superior Courts have already pacified the understanding that the strike movement cannot interrupt essential public services. Therefore, the functioning of the productive activity of shipowners/importers/exporters cannot be delayed by the Customs Inspectors' strike. Customs clearance must continue, regardless of the tax auditors' strike. The Judiciary has been intervening effectively on a case-by-case basis, in order to avoid the harmful effects of the Federal Revenue auditors' strike and maintain the regular activity of taxpayers at Brazilian customs. The strike could affect the port and customs sector. Our team is closely monitoring the situation in the North/Northeast ports and will inform you of any updates.
Ukraine has managed a serious blow against the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea on Nov 4, 2023, severely damaging the corvette 'Askold', that was docked at the Zaliv shipyard during successful attacks on the shipping and port infrastructure of the Zaliv shipyard in the temporarily occupied city of Kerch. The “Askold”, which is able to carry up to eight Kalibr or Onyx guided missiles, has been hit by at least one Ukrainian cruise missile. The upper part of the ship was significantly damaged. The damage and destruction of warships of this type is important for the security of Ukraine. Reports with photos: https://www.merkur.de/politik/ukraine-krieg-krim-schwarzmeerflotte-russland-flotte-kiew-moskau-zr-92657747.html https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/ukrainian-forces-hit-russian-ship-in-kerch-aftermath-photo/ar-AA1julmU?ocid=weather-verthp-feeds
The owner and manager of the 'Galax Leader' have made a renewed plea for the release of its crew. The Ray Car Carriers company Galaxy Maritime said in a statement that the 25 crew members were being treated as well as could be expected in the circumstances, according to the “modest contact” allowed so far with their families. They have no connection whatsoever with the current situation in the region. The companies called on “all those nations with citizens being held by the Houthis to re-double their efforts, alongside owners and managers, to secure their release and immediate return to their loved ones. Nothing can be achieved by their further detention.” Galaxy Maritime and Stamco applauded the actions so far of the Philippines’ maritime authorities and other maritime administrations to secure a release of the 17 Filipino seafarers, two Bulgarians, three Ukrainians, a Romanian and two Mexicans.
17 of the 25 all-Filipino crew members of the 'KMax Ruler', which had hit by a Russian missile while docked at the port of Pivdennyi, have returned home. The crew’s manning agency paid the costs of their return to the country as well as transit and accommodations on their way home to their respective provinces. They were also due additional insurance and other benefits from their manning and shipping agencies. All repatriated crew members were provided initial medical check-ups, psychosocial assessments, and an initial amount of P10,000 in financial assistance. 14 other Filipino seafarers returned home on Dec 2 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 in Parañaque City. A total of three Filipino seafarers were hurt as the Engine Trainee suffered a fracture, while the ship’s captain and 3rd mate sustained minor injuries.
A fire destroyed the opening motors of the BIZERTE port bridge on July 26, 2023. The port remained closed to navigation from that date untill November 19. 2023, date of the re-opening of the Port to navigation.
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Gurning Rahmat, an Indonesian fisherman died on board the 'Soho Maru 58' of natural causes but no one signs the death certificate. Since Dec 3, 2023, at 5 p.m. the body has been on the deck of the ship in Bahia Blanca. The Civil Registry does not issue a death certificate without judicial action and the Federal Justice, and cannot intervene because it has already been proven that the death was for natural reasons. Consequently, the Prefecture - in charge of security in the area - cannot act either as there is no death certificate. Negotiations were currently being made with the maritime agency that operates the squid fishing vessel.
The 'Geo Barents' docked at the port of Taranto in the morning of Dec 3 for the disembarkation of 44 people who have been rescued in recent days in international waters from two fiberglass boats. Among them werefour children under the age of 3, four women and some unaccompanied minors. The first assistance and medical care was coordinated by the Prefecture with the help of the Red Cross, the Municipality and Civil Protection. The migrants were taken to the hotspot for photo-marking and subsequent sorting to other destinations.No critical issues have been reported, although several refugees appeared particularly distressed. Report with photo: https://www.ansa.it/puglia/notizie/2023/12/03/nave-geo-barents-a-taranto-sbarca-44-migranti_eb75380f-3bb5-4c6b-a40c-9e2897e4cc44.html
The Port of Kiel concluded this year’s cruise season with the call of AIDA Cruises’ AIDAnova on Nov 4. The port welcomed a total of 215 ship calls from 26 companies and a total of 1,174,000 cruise passengers, marking the port’s busiest season ever. “We are closing the 2023 season with a good result. The development in the tourism industry shows a clear trend towards the cruise sector, which was also evident in Kiel this season. “For us, the main issue is to make maritime tourism more environmentally friendly on the port side. Shore power was the dominant topic for us and will continue to be so in the coming season,” said Dirk Claus, managing director of SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. Among the ships that visited the port during 2023 was the 'Disney Dream', the first ship from Disney Cruise Line to be welcomed in Kiel, as well as MSC Cruises’ 'MSC Euribia'. Earlier this year, the port of Kiel achieved a milestone by becoming the first German port to supply a ship with liquidified natural gas. Since then, the' AIDAnova' and 'MSC Euribia' have regularly bunkered LNG in the port of Kiel.
At the last weekend, the port of Kiel reached the mark of one million cruise passengers in one season for the first time. On Sep 16, 2023,, the MSC EURIBIA, AIDANOVA and EXCELLENCE CORAL called at the PORT OF KIEL, and on Sep 17 the AIDABELLA and AIDALUNA visited the Ostsee Quay. Kiel had already seen a positive trend in the cruise business in recent years, which had been put on hold by the slump during the Corona pandemic. In addition to the strong presence of the major European cruise lines AIDA, Costa, MSC and TUI, in recent years North American shipping companies, such as Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line, have increasingly chosen Kiel as a cruise destination in the Baltic Sea region for their fleets. As recently as 2022, Kiel's seaport recorded its busiest season ever with 243 calls and 835,000 passengers. For the current season 2023, 222 cruise calls have been announced.