Earlier this week Port Metro Vancouver unveiled new patrol vessels and other operations and security assets that will help maintain the safe, secure, efficient and reliable movement of marine traffic and cargo within Port Metro Vancouver’s jurisdiction. These assets include two new harbour patrol boats, built by Campbell River's Daigle Weldingine, a refurbished patrol boat, and a new incident response and response vehicle with tactical equipment. Also announced was the completion of the updates to its harbour operations manual, now referred to as the Port Information Guide. More details..
Following a decision by the federal government announced last year to find a replacement for the 43 year old Princess of Arcadia which was purpose-built for the Bay of Fundy ferry service linking St. John NB with Digby, Nova Scotia, purchase of the Greek island ferry Blue Star Ithaki (above) is believed to be under negotiation. A price tag of about $42m is remoured to have been accepted by the current owners but final terms are still under discussion. The vessel has capacity for 1,317 passengers, 245 vehicles and has an operating speed of 24 knots.
Following our message last week on the formation of the new Canadian Maritime and Supply Chain Coalition, further details on the Canadian-European Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) provisions for maritime services have been released. The agreement makes concessions on:
The movement of empty containers freight free between ports in Canada on a non-revenue basis by vessels of any registry
The provision of feeder services for cargo between Halifax and Montreal on EU registered vessels
The contracting out of commercial dredging services
In a press release the Seafarers International Union of Canada argues that “the agreement will allow EU beneficially owned Flag of Convenience (FOC) vessels and so-called European National Flag to trade freely between Canadian ports without any restrictions on origin of the crew, or level of wage and working conditions. What we can be sure about is that this agreement will completely halt the Canadian maritime transport sector's growth. Moreover, the communities and regions that depend on this industry will be destroyed. Once this agreement is in place, it will not take long before the rest of the Canadian transportation sectors are affected, including, air, road and rail”.
CN opened its new employee training centre in Winnipeg this week. The 100,000-square-foot facility hosts can 350 CN students from across Canada every week, with hands-on training for all key railway jobs inlcuding courses for jobs ranging from conductor to car mechanic, and from track supervisor to signal maintainer. Employees will receive hands-on training in indoor learning laboratories with equipment such as locomotive simulators and dispatcher stations. Outdoor labs with dedicated rolling stock and other equipment for field training will also be a key focus.
Just weeks after announcing plans to continue the search for two British explorer ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, the Prime Minister has revealed that one of the two ships has been found. Further analysis is needed to determine which one of two ships that vanished in the Arctic more than 160 years ago it is. Sir John Franklin led the two ships and 129 men in 1845 to chart the North West Passage in the Canadian Arctic. Expedition sonar images from the waters of Victoria Strait, just off King William Island, clearly show the wreckage of a ship on the ocean floor.The find was been described as "the biggest archaeological discovery the world has seen since the opening of Tutankhamun's tomb almost 100 years ago" by British archaeologist, William Battersby, who has written extensively about the Franklin expedition. The government began searching for Franklin's ships in 2008 as part of a strategy to assert Canada's sovereignty over the Northwest Passage.
CMA CGM, China Shipping Container Lines and United Arab Shipping Co have unveiled a new alliance to be known as Ocean Three. The alliance is intended to cover east-west trades including five weekly transpacific loops, plus one Asia-US east coast string via the Suez Canal and one service dedicated to the Gulf of Mexico with further expansion planned in due course. With an estimated 13% market share of the transpacific trades and a 20% s in the Asia-Europe trades the new alliance is not expecting undue regulatory hurdles.The three lines will deploy 129 ships between them initially and the plan is for the Alliance to get up and running by the end of this year.
Meanwhile Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co have sent senior representatives to Washington to meet with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) today amidst concerns that the proposed 2M vessel-sharing agreement is meeting opposition. Two FMC commissioners have recently voiced reservations about the agreement and warned that the FMC is likely to stop the clock on the 45day review in order to gather more information.
The EU also this week gave its blessing to the merger of Hapag Lloyd and CSAV.
The House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation convened a hearing today this week to review the status of the US Merchant Marine. The Subcommittee hear that that the American maritime industry, supported by the Jones Act, is strong, vibrant, and growing with the movement of crude, refined petroleum products, and chemicals and has seen dramatic growth as a result of the shale oil revolution which is driving record levels of new vessel construction orders and deliveries in American shipyards. The Committee also heard that in 2012, US shipbuilders delivered 1,260 vessels worth more than $20 billion in revenue, according to a recent study and over the past year, US shipyards have entered into hundreds of contracts for new vessels, including the construction of state-of-the-art oil tankers and the world’s first LNG-powered containership that the White House recently recognized as critical to the future of maritime transportation.
A Marine Accident Report released this week by the Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board has determined that the loss of 517 containers and damage to 250 more on the 8,160 TEU Svendborg Maersk in the Bay of Biscay in February this year was primarily due the heavy rolling in severe weather. The vessel was on passage from Rotterdam to the Suez Canal at the time. At one point the vessel is recorded to have rolled up to 41 degrees to port which almost inevitably caused a major loss of containers overboard. Following the incident, the vessel tok refuge to restow her remaining deck containers in Malaga, Spain. The company is working with the French government in an effort to recover the missing containers. The Bay of Biscay is renowned by mariners as being a particularly nasty and unpredictable stretch of water in a storm.
The Indian government is to allow one of the Italian marines facing murder charges for the 2012 accidental shooting of two Indian fisherman believed to be pirates to return to Italy for urgent medical treatment. Marine Massimiliano Lattore, 47, (above left) suffered a mild stroke in August. Under international pressure, India had dropped a plan to prosecute the marines under a new anti-piracy law whilst Italy maintains that the incident occurred in international waters and that jurisdiction over the marines should lie with Rome. In April 2012, Rome paid $190,000 to each of the victims’ families as compensation and in return, the families dropped their cases against the marines but the state’s case has not been dropped.
Tomorrow is the Mission to Seafarers annual Cycling for Seafarers event. To join the event register at www.flyingangel.ca If you can't join the ride, sponsor one of the many riders through the Mission to Seafarers' website.
The BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) will host its inaugural BC Waterfront Games on September 13th at their Waterfront Training Centre located on Mitchell Island. This will be community event to showcase waterfront skills and heavy equipment in a competitive spirit. For more information and to RSVP visit: www.bcwaterfrontgames.com
On the evening of September 13th the Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue will host a "Dinner & Dancing at the Seine Net Loft" event at the Britannia Shipyard. Tickets are $75 per person and include cocktails, buffet dinner and dancing. Proceeds will benefit the Richmond Marine Rescue Society, Station 10. For more information visit: www.rcmsar10.org. View Flyer
On September 17th the Chartered Institute of Transport in North America (CILTNA) will host a half-day session on "The Rewards and Risks of Western Resource Trade - Towards a Meeting of the Minds." The conference will bring together a broad range of perspectives with the goal of establishing a path forward on how to address legitimate concerns with growing trade in Western Canada. For more information visit: http://www.ciltna.com/events-education#VAN
The Canadian Maritime Law Association (West Coast) is hosting a meeting on Wednesday, September 17th at 4:00 pm at the Terminal City Club. The event will focus on the LNG prospects for our marine community and provide an update on CMLA activities, describe recent changes to environmental legislation affecting the Coast and a summary of important case law developments. Shelley Chapelski, the Western VP for the CMLA will chair the event and the featured speakers are:
Dean Readman, Director of Legal Services and Corporate Secretary, Port Metro Vancouver
Jim Stevens III, Senior Legal Counsel, BG Americas - Prince Rupert LNG Project overview
Andrew Mayer, VP and General Counsel, Prince Rupert Port Authority
Dino Rossi, Borden Ladner Gervais – environmental law update
Christopher Giaschi, Giaschi & Margolis – important case law developments
The event is registered for 1.5 credits with the Law Society of British Columbia.
The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Canada Branch is sponsoring a seminar on "Methanol - An Emerging Clean-Burning Marine Fuel" featuring keynote speaker, Jason Chesko, Senior Manager, Global Market Development for Methanex. Methanol is emerging as a clean-burning marine fuel alternative for operators striving to meet increasingly stringent emissions regulations.
The World Maritime Day fundraising dinner will be held this year on Wednesday, September 24th at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. Guest speaker will be well-known local marine artist and founding member of the Canadian Lifeboat Institution, John Horton. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Mission to Seafarers. See the attached flyer and registration form for more information. View: World Maritime Day 2014 Flyer and Registration Form.
The CIFFA Western Region will host the Annual Forwarders Celebrating Associates Gala Dinner, September 26, 2014. Join the freight forwarding community for an evening of celebration and networking opportunities. The Association will celebrate and recognize its associate members for their socially responsible contributions to the community in which we all work. With key leaders and decision makers from freight forwarding companies, this is a terrific networking opportunity. For more information visit: http://www.ciffa.com/calendar_viewevent.asp?id=462
The Cereals North America 2014 conference will be heldin Winnipeg from October 28-30 with focus on key topics in North American and global agriculture, including grain market outlooks, grain transportation, and key expanding agricultural regions such as the Black Sea and Brazil. Last year over 200 people attended the conference from a broad range of backgrounds. Early-bird sign-up for the conference ends September 5 – see the registration link http://www.cerealsnorthamerica.com/register
Having been launched in 1900 the Russian cruiser Aurora served in the Russo-Japanese war, surviving the Battle of Tsushima before going on to serve again in World War 1. She was stripped of her guns which were used in the defence of Leningrad in World War 2., however she is perhaps best known as having fired a blank shot from her forecastle gun at 9.45 pm on 25 October 1917 which signaled the start of the assault on the Winter Palace, which was to be the beginning of the October Revolution and the end of the Russian Monarchy.
Laid down at the Admiralty Shipyard, St. Petersburg, May 1897 Delivered May 1900 and commissioned in July 1903 LOA 126.8m Beam 16.8m Displacement 6,731 tons Triple shaft with 3 triple expansion reciprocating steam engines developing 11,610 HP Speed 19 knots Complement: 590 crew Armament: A variety of heavy weapons including 3 torpedo tubes
The laid up Aurora was damaged and eventually sank in 1941 but was raised and fully repaired between 1945-47 before being permanently moored on the Neva River in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) as a monument to the Bolshevik Revolution. A further phase of restoration was carried out in in drydock from 1984-87
As a museum ship, the Aurora is one of many historic attractions in Saint Petersburg. As the oldest commissioned ship of the Russian Navy, still flying the ensign under which she was commissioned, but now under the care of the Central Naval Museum, she is still manned by an active service crew commanded by a Captain. In January, 2013 the Russian Defence Minister announced plans to re-commission Aurora and make her the flagship of the Russian Navy on account of her historical and cultural importance. A visit to St. Petersburg on our Baltic Sea cruise last month provided me the opportunity for a firsthand look at this magnificently preserved vessel – Stephen.