Drydock Fails in Turkey

Structural failure of a drydock in the KUZEY STAR shipyard, Istanbul, Turkey results in two cranes crashing into the water. Youtube clip dated April 14th, 2019

Validatietesten innovatieve afmeertechniek voor havens van de toekomst

Bron: Deltares

Deltares is samen met Shoretension, Royal HaskoningDHV, MARIN, Vopak en Shell op zoek naar de mogelijkheden van een innovatieve afmeertechniek voor de haven van de toekomst. Duurzaamheid en economische vitaliteit staan centraal in de haven van de toekomst. Deze havens zullen er zeer waarschijnlijk anders uitzien dan de havens zoals we die nu kennen, een voorbeeld hiervan zijn nieuwe concepten voor open havens. 

Een open haven heeft minder impact op de kustzone, maar vergt meer van het afmeersysteem om de schepen op zijn plek te houden tijdens het laden en lossen. Hier zouden nieuwe innovatieve afmeersystemen uitkomst kunnen bieden. Om te bepalen waar de grenzen liggen voor deze afmeertechnieken worden schaalmodeltesten gedaan in de Delta Basin, het 3D golfbassin bij Deltares. Innovatieve afmeersystemen spelen een cruciale rol in de stap naar een duurzamere haven waar de impact op de omgeving zoveel mogelijk wordt beperkt.

Op zoek naar grenzen

In de afgelopen jaren heeft ShoreTension een innovatieve afmeertechniek ontwikkeld die de krachten in afmeerlijnen laag houdt door slim in te spelen op de bewegingen van het schip. Op deze manier kan het schip met lage lijnkrachten toch goed stil worden gehouden. Dit maakt efficiënt laden en lossen mogelijk, ook met ongunstigere golfcondities. De afmeertechniek wordt al op verschillende locaties wereldwijd succesvol toegepast, maar de karakteristieken en toepassingsgrenzen van deze techniek zijn nog niet goed bekend. “We willen weten hoe dit afmeersysteem zich gedraagt onder verschillende golfcondities en in interactie met andere constructies, vertelt Niek Bruinsma van Deltares die de proeven begeleidt. “Bovendien is het van belang om na te gaan tot welke golfhoogte deze techniek veilig ingezet kan worden en wat dus de grenzen aan deze afmeertechniek zijn, iets dat je bij voorkeur onder gecontroleerde omstandigheden in een schaalmodel onderzoekt”.

Resultaten verwerkt in numerieke modellen om duurzame havenontwerpen uit te werken

In het golfbassin worden diverse situaties en verschillende golfcondities nagebootst op schaal 1:40. Met de resultaten uit de verschillende testcases realiseert Deltares een database die door Royal HaskoningDHV gebruikt wordt om hun numeriek representatie van het afmeersysteem te valideren. Dergelijke modellen kunnen ingenieursbureaus en aannemers gebruikt worden om haalbaarheidsstudies voor nieuwe open-havenconcepten uit te voeren. Op dit moment overwegen enkele havens al dergelijke inzichten in te gaan zetten.

Dit onderzoeksproject is uitgevoerd door een consortium bestaande uit: Deltares, ShoreTension, Royal HaskoningDHV, MARIN, Vopak en Shell. Het project wordt gefinancierd door de deelnemende partijen en Topsector Water & Maritiem (TKI Deltatechnologie). Een deel van het rapport is openbaar beschikbaar

Electronic navigation charts the way to safer Straits

Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min speaking at the opening of a three-day workshop on e-navigation on April 8, 2019.PHOTO: LAM PIN MIN/FACEBOOK

Source: The Straits Times

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Straits?

Four years ago, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) did just that.

It partnered with Norwegian agencies on the Secure, Efficient and Safe Maritime Traffic Management in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (Sesame Straits) project to develop new operating concepts for the world’s most congested waterways.

Yesterday, Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min said MPA will launch Sesame Solution II, in partnership with the Sesame consortium.

“Leveraging technology and digitisation, Sesame Solution II will focus on realising automated electronic ship-to-shore reporting services,” he said at the opening of a three-day workshop on e-navigation organised by MPA and the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA).

The event was held in conjunction with Singapore Maritime Week.

E-navigation, or the integration of various marine navigation systems electronically, improves the reliability of communications and enhances safety.

MPA is also supporting a research and innovation project by ST Engineering and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*Star) Institute for Infocomm Research, among others, to develop satellite Very High Frequency-based Data Exchange System (VDES) solutions – which allow for real-time, high-bandwidth ship-to-shore communications.

VDES can be used to share predictive analytics on navigational safety with ships at sea, said Dr Lam, noting this can help reduce the risk of vessel collisions.

Yesterday, the International Chamber of Shipping, the Asian Shipowners’ Association, and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations also signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance e-navigation development efforts.

The e-navigation solutions workshop is the first since Singapore’s election to the IALA council in 2018. Said Ms Quah Ley Hoon, MPA chief executive: “Our election into the IALA council has presented more opportunities for us to work closely with key players around the world, and we look forward to collaborating with like-minded partners under the broader framework of the International Maritime Organisation to support the implementation of e-navigation.”

Zhaki Abdullah

Autonomous ships in Singapore could become a reality with MPA’s new innovation lab

The Next Generation Vessel Traffic Management System Lab (NGVTMS Lab), jointly launched by ST Engineering and Kongsberg NorControl, will realise the development of new vessel traffic capabilities. (Photo: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore)

Source: Channel News Asia

SINGAPORE: Autonomous ships may arrive in Singapore’s waters in the near future, thanks to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) new Maritime Innovation Lab (MIL).

The lab was launched on Tuesday (Apr 9), in conjunction with Singapore Maritime Week 2019.

Besides experimenting with future technologies, the facility will work towards boosting the sector’s technological capabilities, as well as developing “next-generation port operations”, MPA said in its statement.

“This new developer space, located at PSA Vista, will accelerate the development of new operation concepts and systems, and build local technological capabilities in key areas, ensuring that our sea port is future-ready,” MPA added.

One such key area will be the study of autonomous ships. The port authority has set up a cross-agency steering committee to ensure Singapore will be able to receive autonomous ships in the future.

The committee will formulate an implementation roadmap of autonomous maritime operations in Singapore’s port waters, as well as undertake research and development projects to build technical capabilities to handle such vessels.

MPA has also initiated five autonomous vessel projects worth S$7.2 million with various companies, including ST Engineering and Keppel Singmarine. 

One project will see ST Engineering, along with Mitsui OSK Lines, MPA and Lloyd’s Register, embark on the world’s largest ocean-going autonomous vessel programme. The programme will steer the sails of a large commercial vessel in the high seas autonomously.

ST Engineering will develop and install perception and navigation modules on the Singapore-flagged car carrier ship, which is expected to sail along a global route. This route will include locations such as the Suez Canal, Panama Canal, the Straits of Malacca and Singapore to provide data, knowledge and test scenarios that could serve as the benchmark for future autonomous programmes.

“As the maritime industry moves towards leveraging technology to develop autonomous vessels and enhance operations in a safer, faster and more cost-effective manner, autonomous ship technology can be transited to other vessel types, with potential applications in the regional harbor fleet of crafts including tug boats, pilot boats and ferries,” said MPA, ST Engineering, Mitsui and Lloyd’s Register in a joint statement.

MPA added that industry partners, research institutes and local universities will be able to use the MIL to develop their own maritime solutions and capabilities.

One such example is that of vessel traffic management, which will be studied via a separate facility, also co-located within the MIL. It was launched by ST Engineering and Kongsberg NorControl.

The S$9.9 million lab, to be completed in 2021, will look into the analysis of vessel routes, traffic hotspots prediction and detection of potential collisions.

Another focus of the MIL will see ST Engineering, PSA Marine and MPA jointly develop a remotely-assisted pilotage system that will allow onshore pilots to remotely guide vessels for safe berthing, unberthing and movement within domestic waterways to the port of call. 

“The remote, shore-based pilotage system will help to free up about 40 per cent of time spent by authorised pilots, alleviating their need to physically board the vessel from the port of call. This will enable more efficient manpower allocation, and the pilots can be redeployed for other critical tasks,” said MPA.

In addition, MPA has launched a data hub to assist with the maritime sector’s digitialisation efforts and data sharing, as well as the development and testing of applications and data-driven services.

“We are glad to have like-minded partners who strongly believe in the importance of experimentation and open innovation. Together with PSA and Jurong Port Living Lab, the MIL adds to the maritime research and innovation ecosystem, which will help take the maritime sector to a new level of development in areas such as automation, data analytics and intelligent systems,” said Ms Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of MPA.

Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport, added: “The setup of the Maritime Innovation Lab is an important milestone in Singapore’s journey to be the global maritime hub for connectivity, innovation and talent.”

The Singapore Maritime Week is an annual event. This year’s edition is ongoing until Apr 14, and is grouped into three sections – issues affecting the sector, digitalisation efforts focusing on start-ups, as well as outdoor exhibitions that showcase Singapore’s shipping industry’s history and heritage.

Manx Fastcraft Conducts Berthing Trials in Dublin Port Against Backdrop of Capacity Restrictions & Brexit

Source: Afloat.ie

The Isle of Man Steam Packet’s fastcraft Manannan arrived to Dublin Port yesterday to carry out berthing trials against the backdrop of port capacity restrictions and challenges posed by Brexitwrites Jehan Ashmore.

Prior to entering the port by the 850 passenger/200 vehicle Manannan, a routine yet busy succession of ferry and ro-ro freight ships departed through Dublin Bay. They were all bound for the UK to the ports of Holyhead, Liverpool and Heysham.

The Steam-Packet confirmed to Afloat.ie that the Manannan conducted the berthing trials on two berths to determine if either could be used as a back-up in the event access to the normally used berth (at Terminal No.1, the port’s busiest) should it be restricted or out of action.

Acquired by the Manx Government last year, the ferry operator is set to resume seasonal service linking Douglas and Dublin on Thursday, 18 April in advance of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. The 96m Manannan which has operated on the Irish Sea since 2009 is however first scheduled to resume on another seasonal service this week between Douglas and Belfast when sailings start on Sunday, 7 April.

Afloat monitored Manannan carry out the first berthing trial in Dublin where Stena Line operate out of Terminal 2. The terminal is located adjacent to where rivals Irish Ferries use the port’s busiest ferry facility at Terminal 1. Also berthed there was another fastcraft, Dublin Swift which during the St. Patrick’s Festival began a second summer season for Irish Ferries on the core Irish Sea route to Holyhead in tandem with Ulysses and the chartered-in ropax Epsilon.

In addition at Terminal 1 last month saw the introduction of Irish Ferries much anticipated new giant cruiseferry W.B. Yeats (onto the Dublin-France service) which has doubled in the number sailings by up to 4 weekly on the continental link to Cherbourg. Up to then Epsilon served this route and Oscar Wilde since September, following the apparent closure of Rosslare based routes to France (see below).

W.B. Yeats which at 51,388grt is the largest ferry ever to operate out of Ireland and also brings a Brexit related boost to capacity on the direct link to mainland Europe though seemingly at the expense of Rosslare Europort and the south-east region. As in December, Irish Ferries announced they would unlikely resume services to France in 2019 but added they would keep this situation under review. In the meantime the 1987 built Oscar Wilde remains in dry-dock at Harland & Wolff, Belfast, so what beckons for the future of this cruiseferry?

As widely reported in the media, Dublin Port has imposed restrictions by placing a limit on the number of cruiseships calling to the capital. This is due to Brexit which will force the port to handle increased amounts of freight and cargo directly from mainland Europe, as distinct to depending on services that make up the UK land-bridge to mainland Europe. This will lead to more considered allocation of berths and in particular at Alexandra Basin where a major redevelopment is ongoing as part of the port’s Masterplan. 

The second of Manannan’s Dublin berthing trials took place upriver at Ocean Pier (notably not a ferry passenger terminal). Located here at this same berth linkspan in Alexandra Basin (East) is where the latest Brexit-Buster the newbuild ro-ro freight ship Laureline made a maiden call last week. The giant ship is among the operator, CLnD’s fleet including Celine but docks at the adjacent Alexandra Basin from also where direct services run to Zeebrugge in Belgium and Europe’s largest port, Rotterdam in The Netherlands.

Laureline which is around the same size in gross tonnage terms of W.B. Yeats, is to return for only the second time to Dublin Port today with an arrival around lunch-hour.

Cruise liner drops anchor while leaving Poole Harbour in bad weather

Source: Bournemouthecho.co.uk

Cruise liner drops anchor in Poole Harbour during bad weather

The MV Astoria cruise liner experiencing difficulties leaving Poole Harbour, pictures by Jason Pope 

OWNERS of the cruise liner Astoria say their vessel did not run aground while leaving Poole Harbour, despite accounts from witnesses to the contrary.

Residents contacted the Daily Echo on Wednesday after the 16,144-tonne cruise ship, which can carry up to 550 guests, appeared to struggle while leaving the port on that evening.

Yesterday, the ship’s owners, Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), said: “The Astoria did not run aground, touch bottom or have any contact whatsoever with any foreign object in the Poole channel, contrary to the belief of some observers who viewed the ship’s departure.”

Instead the company says the ships captain decided to drop anchor at 6.06pm due to the “strong current and high water in the Poole channel at the time of her departure.”

A statement from CMV said: “By 6.30pm the anchor was no longer in use and Astoria proceeded on her way again without assistance. There was no

contact between Astoria and the sea bed and no damage was sustained by the vessel, the port or any third parties.

“The efforts and professionalism shown by the Ship’s Captain and the port’s pilot who was onboard the MV Astoria ensured that the safety and wellbeing of our passengers were never compromised during this challenging manoeuvre.”

Dozens of people witnessed the manoeuvre as it unfolded.

Jason Pope, of Swanage, was waiting at the Sandbanks Ferry crossing at the time.

He said that as the cruise ship was exiting the harbour, the fast-running tide appeared to push the vessel’s port side to such an extent that “it did not make its port turn in time” before appearing to look as if it had grounded on Stoney Island.

“It dropped its port chain bow anchor to stop its course.

“It then powered forward with the anchor still down until it had corrected its course for exit from the harbour.

“The noise was terrific as it was forced against its anchor chain.”

The Barfleur ferry was seen waiting at sea in the distance while the incident unfolded.

Alan Matley, of Sandbanks, was sitting down for dinner when he saw the ship struggling.

He said: “We watched it go past, then it just stopped and appeared to lurch at an odd angle.

“It was there for about 10 minutes, the stern swung across so it was at right angles to the channel.

“We suspected if it kept drifting that way it would go down into the peninsular or go into the Sandbanks Ferry, or both.

“Fortunately they seemed to pull it into a safe position.”

Irish shipping industry booming amid Brexit fears

Source: RTE.ie

The Irish shipping industry has seen a marked increase in business as companies bypass British ports amid Brexit fears.

Irish ports have been forced to adapt quickly and increase capacity for direct sailings to continental EU ports as manufacturers increasingly see Irish ports like Dublin and Rosslare as an alternative to the landbridge.

The landbridge is the UK transit route linking Ireland and mainland Europe, and an estimated 150,000 Irish trucks and three million tonnes of goods travel through the UK for export to the EU each year.

Currently, two-and-a-half times more goods move on direct routes from Dublin than via the UK landbridge, and that number is expected to increase.

Dublin Port has announced that CLdN, the Luxembourg-based short-sea Ro-Ro shipping company and owner of the ‘Brexit Buster’ MV Celine, has added its newly built ship MV Laureline onto its direct Ro-Ro freight service from Dublin Port to the ports of Zeebrugge and Rotterdam.

CEO of Dublin Port Eamonn O’Reilly said: “We’re starting to see alternatives developing, options over the landbridge as people grow concerned about the issue”.

“We’re starting to see more fast moving consumer goods which in the past would’ve been guaranteed access to the Irish market through the UK, we’re now seeing a switch, these goods are coming directly to Dublin from continental Europe.

“Those companies who don’t need to use the UK are beginning to avail of those options, and make sure they have established commercial relationships to be able to move goods no matter what happens with Brexit.

“The shipping industry can adapt very quickly, the one thing Brexit is not going to do, it’s not going to increase the number of goods flowing in and out of Britain.

“So if there are ships going in and out of Britain that don’t have enough business, they can easily run in and out of Dublin.

“The shipping industry can redeploy ships at very short notice to make up any shortfall, and respond to increase in demand.

“The growth in Dublin port has been phenomenal. Over the last six years alone we’ve seen 36% growth, and we anticipate that demand for direct services between Dublin Port and continental Europe will increase further after Brexit.”

Today, the original “Brexit day”, the MV Laureline left for the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium.

The third in the fleet from the Luxembourg-based shipping company CLdN to service Dublin, the addition increases the company’s capacity by 20%, bringing the possible number of sailings to seven a week.

A spokesman for CLdN said: “We have taken a long-term view on Dublin Port and invested accordingly.”

The port says the addition of the “super ferry” is a vote of confidence in Irish ports amid the Brexit chaos.

Intensifying discussions between Ireland, the UK and the EU on preparing for the impact of a no-deal Brexit are currently under way. 

Ferry company begins no-deal Brexit sailings across English Channel

A ferry company has begun operating extra services as part of a £46.6m UK taxpayer-funded no-deal Brexit contract.

The first of 20 additional weekly cross-Channel sailings by Brittany Ferries departed Portsmouth for Le Havre at 8am.

The firm said it was too late to cancel the extra crossings despite the UK’s withdrawal from the EU being postponed.

Brittany Ferries, DFDS and Seaborne Freight were awarded contracts totalling more than £100m in December to lay on additional crossings to carry critical products and ease the pressure on Dover in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The controversial process put in place by the UK’s Department for Transport has already seen a row over the collapse of the deal with Seaborne Freight, which had no ferries, and a £33m out-of-court settlement with Eurotunnel.

The six-month deals are aimed at securing the supply of goods such as medicines for humans and animals, vaccines, infant milk formula, organs for transplants and chemicals for the energy industry.

Brittany Ferries is running extra crossings between Portsmouth and Le Havre; Poole and Cherbourg; and Plymouth and Roscoff.

The change in its schedules altered the travel plans of more than 20,000 passengers with existing bookings.

The company outlined some of the costs it has incurred as a result of the contract with the Department for Transport.

It said in a statement: “As a consequence of increasing the frequency of sailings, we are committed to higher fuel costs. Our ships will sail an additional 2,000 nautical miles every week. We are also committed to higher port fees.

“Fifty additional Brittany Ferries’ port staff have been hired on both sides of the Channel to deal with more frequent port calls. We have also spent the last three months training current on-board teams.

“The reality is that we were committed as soon as we signed the contract and preparations began to deliver the dedicated NHS shipment channel. There is no turning back at this late stage because all the preparatory work is now in place for March 29.”

The firm added that it is using its “best endeavours” to re-sell freight capacity unused by the Department for Transport, to reduce costs to the taxpayer.

A spokeswoman for DFDS would not confirm if it was running extra crossings, after the company was awarded a £42.5m Brexit contract.

A British government spokeswoman said: “Leaving with a deal is still our priority, but as a responsible government it is only right that we push on with contingency measures.

“The government’s freight capacity contracts run for six months and are a vital part of wider contingency planning. They provide capacity for critical goods, including vital medicines, to continue to enter the UK in a no-deal scenario.

“Due to the agreed extension until 12 April, tickets for the first two weeks have been released for sale on the open market, which will minimise costs for the taxpayer.”

Autonomous ships: 2019 update and what the future holds

Source : Mondaq.com

The maritime world has seen a surge of stakeholders take an active interest in the development and innovation of the technology of autonomous shipping. There is no doubt that autonomous shipping will continue to develop throughout the transport industry and across the globe. 

Unmanned ships can generally be categorised according to their level of automation. In general terms, remotely operated vessels are controlled and operated by human operators located onshore in shore control centres. With completely autonomous vessels, a human operator inputs destinations, and the vessel itself will navigate to these destinations without any further interaction being required.

This article considers the status of the legal framework that underpins autonomous shipping and the challenges ahead.

IMO Legal Committee’s work programme on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships

In April 2018, the Legal Committee of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO Legal Committee) began a work programme for Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) with a target completion year of 2020.

The aim of the IMO Legal Committee is to carry out a gap analysis of existing liability and compensation treaties and to scope the work required for MASS. This complements the work being carried out by the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) on autonomous vessels. The IMO Legal Committee has sought concrete proposals and comments on a plan of action to be made in March 2019.

The IMO Legal Committee work has been informed by a study of potential MASS legal requirements undertaken by the Comite Maritime International (CMI), an international organisation comprising over 50 national maritime law associations. The CMI has analysed eight IMO conventions: SOLAS (safety at sea), MARPOL(pollution), COLREG (collision regulations), STCW (seafarer standards and training), FAL (facilitation of international traffic),SAR (search and rescue), SUA(suppression of unlawful acts in maritime navigation) and Salvage

Sir Bernard Eder addresses Comite Maritime International on challenges of unmanned vessels

In November 2018 at the CMI Assembly meeting in London (CMI Assembly), retired High Court judge Sir Bernard Eder gave a presentation entitled “Unmanned Vessels: Challenges Ahead“. That presentation noted the following relevant developments:

  • A claim made by Chinese state media concerning the fastest unmanned waterborne surface vehicle having a top speed of over 50 knots. 
  • A Chinese company that started construction of the Wansham Marine Test Field for testing of autonomous maritime technology, which is claimed to be the largest testing facility of its kind in the world. 
  • China celebrating the opening of its Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macao Bridge by holding the largest cooperative unmanned boat manoeuvre in history using 81 boats. 
  • Israel had also developed an unmanned boat known as the “Katana”, an unmanned surface vehicle. 
  • Rolls Royce, in the UK, had revealed plans for an autonomous, single role, naval vessel with a range of 3,500 miles. 
  • Rolls Royce and Svitzer had successfully demonstrated the world’s first remotely operated commercial vessel in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2017. 
  • The world’s first fully electric and autonomous cargo ship is being built in Vard Brevik, Norway, the “Yara Birkeland”. 

Autonomous shipping challenges 

There are many challenges to consider with the advent of autonomous shipping, particularly when it comes to regulation. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which is often referred to as the constitution of the seas, uses both “ship” and “vessel” interchangeably, and surprisingly, does not define either.

Sir Bernard Eder has suggested the need for a “universal term that makes it plain that the concept of a ship or vessel does not necessarily depend upon the extent to which any crewman may or not be on-board”.

The practical difficulties involved in amending each and every convention to have proper regard to safety when it comes to unmanned ships are evident. Sir Bernard Eder commented that an alternative may be to create “some overarching instrument along the lines perhaps of the Polar Code”, and new definitions for generic words such as “master” could be considered in order to extend the reach of conventions to shore-based personnel.

Whilst the focus of legal reform inevitably must be on safety, Sir Bernard Eder pointed out that it should not be overlooked that legal liability conventions also may need to be considered. Due diligence is something that the courts will have to give consideration to in relation to questions of seaworthiness. Whether an owner has complied with its duties of due diligence in, for example, the carriage of goods liability regimes will be challenging in the context of MASS.

Other industry leaders offered their views at the CMI Assembly during a workshop entitled “The Challenging Convergence of Modern Technology, Cybercrime and Marine Insurance.”

Robert Veal from Southampton University questioned whether a more significant role for product or manufacturers’ liability insurers concerning autonomous technology is necessary.

Lina Wiedenbach questioned whether the present fault-based liability regime in the Collision Regulations may have to be reassessed in the light of autonomous vessels. She queried whether:

  • there might have to be a shift from considering negligence in navigation to negligence in management
  • vicarious liability principles for independent contractors should be applied to operators of MASS
  • it might be necessary to extend the circle of persons for whose fault ship owners might be liable, creating a regime of strict liability for MASS
  • liability exceptions might be available to owners and whether they could include wilful acts of third parties, or contributory negligence

Maritime Safety Committee determines framework and methodology for autonomous vessels regulatory scoping exercise

In December 2018, the MSC approved the framework and methodology for the regulatory scoping exercise which it had agreed to undertake in 2017. In effect, for each instrument related to maritime safety and security and for each degree of autonomy provisions are to be identified which:

  • apply to MASS and prevent MASS operation, or
  • apply to MASS and do not prevent MASS operations and require no action, or
  • apply to MASS and do not prevent MASS operations but may need to be amended or clarified, and/or may contain gaps, or
  • have no application to MASS operation

MSC has identified four degrees of autonomy. They are:

  • Degree 1: Ships with automated processes and decision support: seafarers are on board to operate and control ship port systems and functions. Some operations may be automated and at times be unsupervised but with seafarers on board ready to take control.
  • Degree 2: Remotely controlled ship with seafarers on-board: the ship is controlled and operated from another location. Seafarers are available on-board to take control and to operate the ship board systems and functions.
  • Degree 3: Remotely controlled ship without seafarers on-board: the ship is controlled and operated from another location. There are no seafarers on-board.
  • Degree 4: Fully autonomous ship: the operating system of the ship is able to make decisions and determine actions by itself.

It was also decided that once the first step has been completed the second step will be to analyse and determine the most appropriate way of addressing MASS operations, taking into account the human element, technology and operational factors. The analysis will identify the need for:

  • equivalences as provided for by the instruments or developing interpretations, and/or
  • amending existing instruments, and/or
  • developing new instruments, or
  • none of the above as the result of the analysis

The instruments to be covered in the MSC scoping exercise for MASS includes: SOLAS, COLREG, Load Lines (loading and stability), STCW, STCW-F (training of seafarers and fishers), SAR, Tonnage ConventionCSC (safe containers) and STP (special trade passenger ships).  

The initial review of the instruments is to be conducted during the first half of 2019 with the aim of concluding the exercise in 2020.

Are Australia’s national and state laws on operation, manning and safety of autonomous vessels fit for purpose?

The challenges for MASS do not only involve international regulatory bodies. The problems come much closer to home, when consideration is given to local legislation dealing with safety, manning, and operation of ships.

Whilst the definitions of “ships” and “vessels” in both federal and state legislation may be broad enough to encompass autonomous vessels, the more difficult question to be determined is whether the laws that are in force in national or state legislation relating to the operation, manning or safety features of such vessels are fit for purpose. Clearly at the time of enactment most such provisions did not have unmanned or autonomous ships in contemplation, let alone the other types of vessels which may be partly manned or partly autonomous.

Clearly there is still much work to be done by regulators at both an international and national level.  

Injuries After Oasis Of The Seas Accident At Gb Shipyard

#One of the world’s largest cruise ships was today involved in a major accident at the Grand Bahama Shipyard.

Source: Tribune242.com

#Tribune sources and social media videos said the 6,300 passenger Oasis of the Seas was in Dry Dock No. 2 when the incident, which collapsed cranes on to the vessel and tilted the cruise ship towards its starboard side, occurred.

#According to police, there were several injuries – none of them thought to be life-threatening.

#While the Shipyard has yet to formally release details on the accident and its causes, one social media posting described the situation as “a big accident at the Shipyard”.

#The short video, filmed by a Shipyard worker, said: “Working on the big Oasis, the ship collapsed, the dock collapsed, the crane collapsed. A couple of people might, don’t know, be missing. I was right there on the dock, working, and just missed it by the grace of God.

#”Big accident, big accident. Something the Shipyard will never survive from this one. Dock two is gone, dock two is finished. All the cranes collapsed. Big, big, big disaster. Big, big, big disaster. Disaster, disaster, disaster. I’ve never seen anything like this in my lifetime.”

#”All hell is breaking loose because of this,” one contact, speaking on condition of anonymity, said of the accident. “The Oasis of the Seas was in dry dock, and was too heavy or large for the dry dock. As they were lifting it the dry dock collapsed, along with the cranes and the ship.”

#Ships are not usually lifted by cranes when they go into in dry dock for repairs and refitting. The normal procedure is that they enter, and the water is then pumped out. The social media postings of the Oasis of Sea clearly show water is still present.

#The Oasis of the Sea is owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, which has partnered with Mexican developer, ITM, to acquire the Grand Lucayan and transform Freeport into a destination tourism product in a deal announced just last week.

#The 1,200 foot cruise ship, built in 2009, is scheduled to spend the summer cruising in Europe before returning to Miami which will be its home port for fall and winter 2019.

#Royal Caribbean issued the following statement on Monday afternoon: “As of 1:45 pm EDT, we are accounting for the whereabouts of all site personnel and working with local authorities to determine if there have been any injuries. We are aware of damage to the dock structure and to construction cranes. We are assessing damage to the ship.”