Archive Newsletters

Previous newsletters of the NZMS Nautical website are archived here. Please scroll down to see  issues from 2012. For the latest newsletter, click here latest newsletters.

This newsletter is prepared every two months and features news, views and interviews related to the nautical activity in New Zealand. If you have suggestions for content or story ideas, please email them to us, and we will develop the items into newsletter topics. Meantime we hope you enjoy reading this. Check back every two months for the updated version.

February -May 2017

NOV 14 EARTHQUAKE SHAKES SUNKEN SOVIET LINER

By Kurt Bayer is the NZ Herald reporter based in Christchurch

go dive pic ship2_620x310

The giant November 2016 earthquake has snapped the top decks from a sunken Soviet cruise liner in the Marlborough Sounds.

The magnitude 7.8 tremor of November 14 last year pummelled the upper east coast of the South Island, cutting off the tourist mecca of Kaikoura, and causing its seabed to rise up to 2m. It’s also had a major impact on the wreck of the Mikhail Lermontov cruise liner which sank in Port Gore, at the northern end of the Marlborough Sounds, on February 16, 1986.

Go Dive Marlborough owner Brent McFadden, who has dived the world-renowned wreck thousands of times, noticed its damage just two days after the quake. He found the top three decks of the 155m, 20,000-tonne Mikhail Lermontov had been jolted off in the force of the shaking and water force.

“With the ship jumping up and down, and the water pressure holding those decks in place, it was just enough to pop all the flanges, rivets or bolts holding the sundeck to the boat deck and it shored them off and it dropped down,” Mr McFadden said. “The ship has always been pretty solid … It’s quite surprising that it’s made such a change.”

The wreck attracts divers from all over the world, keen for a look through the Lermontov, owned by the Soviet Union’s Baltic Shipping Company and one of the biggest cruise ships to sink since the Titanic. It had been carrying 409 mostly Australian passengers and 330 crew on its New Zealand cruise, billed as “The Two-Week Cruise of a Lifetime”.

Under the command of Captain Vladislav Vorobyvev, it had left Sydney earlier in the month, and was heading for Milford Sound when disaster struck.

Captain Don Jamison, the Marlborough Harbour Board harbourmaster, pilot and acting general manager, was tasked with guiding her out of the Marlborough Sounds. Inexplicably, the over-worked, fatigued Captain Jamison directed the helmsman to steer between Cape Jackson and the lighthouse, barely 460m from shore.

Passengers reported hearing a thud around 5.37pm. Local fishermen and recreational boaties responded to the captain’s urgent mayday call and helped save hundreds of lives. Only one person was killed – a 33-year-old Russian engineer.

Given its shallow depth, with dives ranging from just 12m at the top of the wreck, down to 36m, along with its sheltered location, Mr McFadden takes tours through it almost every day in the busy summer season.

“It’s the only diveable cruise liner in the world that’s in recreational diving depths and we get people from all around the world, whose passion is diving wrecks, including people who have actually dived on the Titanic, who say its one of the best wrecks they’ve dived,” he said.

The damage has allowed more light into new areas of the ship and sealife, including schools of tarakihi, have flourished.

Source – NZ Herald. Photograph courtesy of Go Dive, Marlborough.

MARITIME LAW CONVENTION ENFORCEMENT

New Zealand started enforcing the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) from March 9 – a move designed to protect domestic and international seafarers and improve their safety and wellbeing onboard foreign-flagged and New Zealand ships.

The development of the convention is a step forward for the living and working conditions of seafarers around the world, said Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch.

“New Zealand has always ensured its labour laws are up to scratch with the latest legislation from around the globe, but seafarers will benefit from the improved safety and living standards introduced by the convention,” he said. “The advantage for New Zealand in ratifying the convention is we can inspect foreign flagged ships from any country to make sure they meet the MLC standards.”

New Zealand is among 81 member states that have adopted the convention. It applies to everyone working on a ship and requires that all crew have some form of health and safety training.

Under the convention, seafarers who need hospitalisation or medical care while overseas on a ship are entitled to shore-based medical care at the owner’s expense. Further, the convention covers timely payment of wages and repatriation – should someone fall ill or die while at work.

“For the owners of New Zealand ships affected by the convention this is not a significant change because NZ law largely covers the requirements. For New Zealand vessels, the Health and Safety at Work Act introduced in 2015 also covers key parts of the convention’s requirements,” Mr Manch said.

Read more about MLC

Source – Maritime New Zealand.

NEW EDUCATION LEARNING FROM RENA GROUNDING

School students this year can learn from New Zealand’s most significant maritime pollution emergency, the grounding of MV Rena.

Capture nzms rena education

“What now for the Rena?” is an article in one of the issues in the Ministry of Education’s Connected 2016 series. Connected promotes the exploration and learning of ideas in science, mathematics, and technology for students in years 4 to 8.

Maritime NZ Director, Keith Manch, said the agency was very pleased to work with the Ministry to help produce the article.

“The Rena grounding was a major maritime event,” Mr Manch said. “Most of the 360 tonnes of oil, plus other pollution, was cleared within months, but the environmental, social, economic, and cultural impacts continued for years and affected Tauranga and its iwi.”

“What now for the Rena?” focuses on these long-term impacts of the grounding and looks at what factors were considered when deciding on the wreck’s future. It links to the article “After the Spill” in Connected 2013.

“As a country, because of the Rena and other emergencies like the Christchurch earthquakes, we have changed how we think about emergencies – how we prepare, respond, and recover,” Mr Manch said. “We do as much as possible to address the effects of the incident and get things back to normal as soon as possible but we have to understand that recovery can be very challenging and can take many years. Students can learn from this important maritime event in our country’s history.”

TARANAKI TUG NAMED KINAKI

Port Taranaki’s new tug will bear a name that honours its role as a strong, resolute and honest worker on the sea.

Kīnaki (pronounced keey-nah-key with the accent on the ‘keey’) has been chosen by Ngāti Te Whiti hapu and Port Taranaki as the name for the 25m in-harbour tractor tug, which is in the early stages of construction at Turkish company Sanmar Shipyards.

Ngāti Te Whiti cultural advisor Shane Cassidy said the naming process involved discussions with hapu representatives, including kaumatua and kuia.

Kīnaki is the name of one of two mouri or stones situated within the breakwater of Port Taranaki. This particular mouri is situated near Blyde Wharf. A mouri is the material symbol of a life principle and source of emotions,” Mr Cassidy said.  “Many names were suggested, but we wanted to use a name that meant a lot to us and had significance to the port and the area the tug will be working.”

Kīnaki is of great significance to Ngāti Te Whiti and was historically the centre of ceremonies, including the departure of large fishing expeditions and catch landings.

“It protects the boats that come into the port, as the tug does. To the hapu the mouri signifies and complements mana, strength, resoluteness and honesty – attributes we feel align well with the design and nature of work for the new tug.”

Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper said he was delighted with the name chosen and the ongoing relationship between the port and Ngāti Te Whiti.

The tug, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 and in operation at Port Taranaki in April 2018, will replace the 45-year-old Kupe, the oldest of Port Taranaki’s three tugs. The state-of-the-art tug will have a maximum bollard pull in excess of 65 tonnes and will include Caterpillar engines, Rolls-Royce propellers, and an electric towing winch by DMT. It will have three two-berth cabins and will be operated by three people.

SATELLITE TRIAL FOR TRANSPORT AND SAFETY

New Zealand is participating in an Australasian trial programme using a satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) test bed. This project will run for two years and started in February this year.

During this period the trial programme will include a range of both transport and non-transport industry sectors that would potentially benefit from having SBAS available. The trial programme will help with the development of a business case for the provision of an SBAS service for Australasia.

The project will test three types of SBAS: current generation; next generation; and a technology called precise point positioning that is not yet suitable for mobile platforms. The trial of next-generation SBAS will be a world first.

The test-bed is being provided by Lockheed Martin, GMV and Inmarsat. New Zealand is contributing A$2 million to the project. The project is being managed through the Australasian Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRC-SI).

CRC-SI will be calling for expressions of interest in participating in the trials in March 2017.

New Zealand departments and agencies involved in the project include Land Information New Zealand, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Ministry of Transport, the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Civil Aviation Authority.

SBAS improves the positioning and timing accuracy and integrity of global satellite navigation systems such as the global positioning system (GPS). SBAS involves the use of a network of ground reference stations to compute corrections for sending GNSS receivers via satellite. SBAS coverage is currently available in most parts of the developed world but not yet for Australasia.

SBAS has a wide range of potential applications for all modes of transport. The importance of positioning technology to transport is recognised in the Government’s Intelligent Transport Systems Technology Action Plan 2014-18 .

More detail about the SBAS project is available on the Land Information New Zealand web site

LED LIGHTING DELIVERS SAVINGS FOR POA

As part of its drive to become New Zealand’s most sustainable port, Ports of Auckland is installing LED floodlighting, the first New Zealand port to do so.ECCA lighting at poa

Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson said: “We operate all day, every day, in all kinds of weather. Having good floodlighting is an essential part of our business – but it’s also a big part of our energy bill. We’ve wanted to use LED floodlighting for some time, but the power and reliability hasn’t been up to what we need in the harsh port environment. Until now.

“We can’t wait to demonstrate the effectiveness of LED floodlighting at our port. This is a very exciting project and it really is just the start of what we hope to achieve through new technology.”

Stage One of the project will see LED floodlights installed in the port’s general cargo area, while Stage Two, which covers the container terminal, will be timed to coincide with the introduction of automation over the next two years. Stage One will save 1.17 Gigawatt hours of electricity, enough to power 147 average kiwi homes for a year. Stage Two savings have not yet been calculated as they will vary depending on the lighting requirements for the automated terminal, but they will be significant.

Once LEDs have been installed across the port, other benefits become possible. LEDs can be dimmed and turned on and off quickly, unlike existing floodlighting, so the port will deliver the right amount of light, where it’s needed. There’s a safety benefit too. LEDs last longer so fewer light bulb changes are needed which means less working at height for staff.

Ports of Auckland and Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (EECA) recently signed a collaboration agreement which aims to reduce the port’s total energy usage through energy savings or renewable energy conversion. They are aiming to reduce the port’s energy consumption by at least 2 Gigawatt hours by the end of 2019.

Shown at right: From left to right: EECA Chief Executive Andrew Caseley, EECA Account Manager Chris Thurston, Ports of Auckland CEO, Tony Gibson, pictured in front of the trial LED floodlight installation.

THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT

The NZMS nautical website attracted 47,356 hits last month, and has averaged more than 50,000 hits each month so far this year. It is encouraging to know that members are using the website, and keeping in touch with industry activities, and their former student colleagues.

The support shown by students and graduates from the NZMS courses give us a lot of confidence in building the Alumni, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received.  We are still pushing ahead to build membership too, so please keep telling your friends and colleagues about the NZMS Alumni website, and encourage them to join up.

As this will be the last NZMS Nautical Newsletter before Christmas, the administration of the Alumni would like to extend best Christmas and Seasonal wishes to all members and all readers. Here’s hoping that 2017 will bring us all greater prosperity, and enjoyment for all members and their families.

 November 2016-January 2017

SHIP WITH SUSPECT PKE SENT HOME

By Phillipa Yalden

molat palm kernel

MV Molat, a cargo ship carrying a load of palm kernel or PKE, at anchor 4km off the Mount Maunganui coast.

A cargo ship banned from entering the country’s ports due to fears it was carrying contaminated palm kernel extract will not be permitted to discharge its cargo in New Zealand. The 23,000 tonne shipment is on board the MV Molat, which has been anchored several kilometres off the Port of Tauranga since September 6.

Imported palm kernel extract (PKE) is commonly used in animal feed on farms. The Ministry for Primary Industries initially prevented discharge from the MV Molat after finding some of its cargo had come from an unregistered facility in Malaysia. Contaminated PKE could endanger the agricultural industry.

After considering an application from the importer to have the PKE treated in NZ, MPI announced that it would not allow the ship to discharge its contents in NZ.

“We spent a lot of time assessing whether there was a solution that would meet biosecurity requirements, but unfortunately nothing ticks all the boxes in terms of mitigating the risk of pests and diseases entering New Zealand,” Steve Gilbert, MPI border clearance services director said.

MPI considered the amount of product involved, the availability of heat treatment facilities in the region, transport and storage, he said.

“My decision ensures that potentially contaminated PKE will not enter New Zealand.”

MPI has strict biosecurity requirements for importing PKE. They include heat processing to least 85 degrees and that foreign facilities be approved and regularly audited by the exporting country.

Federated Farmers made it clear to MPI that it had significant concerns about the shipment being unloaded for treatment and therefore increasing the biosecurity risk to  the NZ industry, Federated Farmers biosecurity spokesperson Guy Wigley said. They were happy to wave goodbye to the cargo load.

The importers of the cargo had been unable to find a way to satisfy the Ministry for Primary Industries’ concerns about the shipment, and therefore it must go. If the paperwork is wrong, then the shipment can not be accepted into the country.

“New Zealand’s primary produce exporters are very familiar with how this works at other countries’ borders, and we should be no different on our own shores. We’ve worked closely with MPI on this and they have kept us informed about the process and the procedure they are following. In the end it was up to the importer to fix the mistake they made, without putting our nation at risk,” Mr Wigley said.

Molat left Port Klang​ in Malaysia on August 15 and the shipment, which has a current estimated spot price of about $250 a tonne, was worth about $5.75 million on the New Zealand market. The ship had been in North Sumatra before making port in Malaysia.

Source – Stuff.

MAN OVERBOARD – NO LIFE JACKET, AND BROKEN WIRE

By Charlie Mitchell

A man who fell from a container ship near Lyttelton last year was not wearing a life jacket and had been clipped to a broken wire. The 52-year-old Filipino fell from the Madinah, a Hong Kong-registered container ship, in July last year. His body was never found.

The ship was three kilometres from Lyttelton port when the man, who was foreman of the Madinah‘s deck crew, was preparing the ship to dock. While setting up the accommodation ladder, a flight of steps running down the ship’s side, he lost his balance and fell into the harbour.

The man was last seen swimming towards a lifebuoy thrown into the water by a crew member. The man’s hard hat and gloves were found in the water 20 minutes after he fell. Boats and a helicopter searched for several hours but could not find him.

An investigation by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) has found that there were several safety issues which led to his death.

The man had been wearing a safety harness but it was clipped to a “severely corroded” wire, which had not been installed properly. The wire was also plastic-coated, meaning it was unlikely the damage was obvious. Other crew members told investigators that they did not clip themselves to the wire because it looked unsafe. There was no procedure for setting up the accommodation ladder. Another crew member had gone to collect life jackets but the man had started working before he returned.

Not wearing a life jacket had been the greatest contributor to the accident.

“A buoyancy vest would have significantly enhanced his chances of surviving after falling overboard,” the report said.

The report also found that the ship’s bridge crew did not follow man overboard procedure. Their response was “not intuitive.” The report said: “the ship did not return to the position where the man fell, did not mark the area where it happened, and did not sound a general alarm. Whilst unlikely to have saved the man, the failure to follow procedure would have wasted valuable time if the man had been wearing a life jacket.

“In this case the most effective means of raising the alarm on board the ship, sounding the general alarm, was not used,” the report said. “Consequently, not all of the crew were available to help manage the recovery.”

The commission did not make any new recommendations after its investigation, but urged the need to wear a floatation device when working over the ship’s railing.

Source – Stuff

CRYSTAL SERENITY NAVIGATES NORTHWEST PASSAGE

By Ben Squires

ship in ice crystal serenity

Previously blocked by ice, the Crystal Serenity has voyaged through the treacherous Northwest Passage in October this year, a route inaccessible 100 years ago.

The Northwest Passage is a sea route connecting the northern Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, via waterways that extend through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The route has traditionally been blocked by ice, but global warming has changed this and many sections of the water which were previously too tricky to cross can now be navigated.

For 32 days the 1000 passengers and 600 crew aboard the Crystal Serenity witnessed sights few others have seen over the 7000 natural miles of remote Arctic waterways and as the ship arrived in New York the voyage was hailed as a success.

“The voyage was very successful, and there were no surprises. There was actually less ice than we anticipated… I never felt the enthusiasm wane. Everything clicked. I never experienced an atmosphere like this before in my 38 years at sea,” Captain Birger J. Vorland said.

The Crystal Serenity is set to sail the Northwest Passage again in the northern summer of 2017, and other lines have signalled their intent to try their hand at this itinerary.

But not everybody’s happy.  Bernie MacIsaac of Nunavut’s Department of Economic Development, the region most hit by the influx of cruise passengers, contends clear restrictions must be in place.

“The [territory] is considering new marine tourism regulations that would mitigate some of the impacts of larger ships like the Crystal Serenity. A size limit and a number should be included,” Mr MacIsaac said. “We cannot do a 1000-passenger ship for three days in a row. There just aren’t that many people here. We’re not going to fly in drum dancers.”

Daniel Skjeldam, head of the Norway-based Hurtigruten cruise, also called for size limits, so ships no bigger than 500 passengers could visit.

“This has to do with safety — search and rescue – but also to do with the small communities that you come in to,” Mr Skjeldam said. “We are concerned about the impact they have on these villages.”

Crystal Cruises spokeswoman Molly Morgan contended enough had been done to consult the locals when the company began planning the historic voyage three years ago.

“Crystal team members made multiple trips to the region to collaborate with the local communities and ensure that, as a company, we were well educated on the culture, history and ecosystem that makes up this delicate region,” Ms Morgan said.

Source – Oversixty.co.nz .

VASA MUSEUM, SWEDEN: THE SHIP THAT SANK TOO SOON

By Craig Platt

vasa museum 1   vasa museum 2

The Vasa Museum is one of the most popular attractions in Stockholm. Pix: Ake E: son Lindman

The sinking of the Titanic in 1912 was an unmitigated disaster. The “unsinkable” cruise liner, launched with much fanfare from Southampton, hit an iceberg and sank midway through its voyage to New York City. Some 1500 people died.

The sinking has become the stuff of legend, portrayed in books, films and music. Until 2009, James Cameron’s film Titanic was the biggest box office hit of all time. But in Stockholm, Sweden, visitors can find a lesser-known ship that also suffered a disastrous fate and, in many ways, was a bigger failure than the Titanic. Far from making it halfway into its journey, this ship didn’t even make it out of the harbour.

The Vasa Museum, named after the ship itself, is dedicated to this disastrous launch and is one of the most popular attractions in the city. It’s not hard to see why. The museum was created entirely for this one ship, which was lost for more than 200 years before being rediscovered in a busy shipping lane just outside the city harbour and recovered in 1961.

Incredibly, it was largely intact. Built between 1626 and 1628, it is the only ship of the era to survive, making it extremely important in naval history. The huge ship, 62 metres long, is incredibly impressive when seen up close at the museum. Elevated across several stories, the Vasa offers a rare glimpse inside the world of seafaring in the 17th century.

But broader historical significance aside, it’s the unique story of this ship that really makes it fascinating. The warship, the largest ever built by the Swedish navy, was set to become the country’s new flagship – its first with two gun decks, making it the most formidable ship in the fleet. Upon its launch, the Vasa travelled long Stockholm’s harbour where a strong gust of wind caught the sails and toppled the huge, tall ship. Its gun ports were open and water flooded in. It was underwater in minutes; 30 people drowned.

After initially blaming the captain and crew, a royal inquest eventually realised the ship designed by shipbuilder Henrik Hybertsson, who had died during its construction, was simply too tall and narrow to sail. It had travelled about 1300 metres before sinking.

Without the technology to recover the ship, it was buried under silt over time and disappeared until, in 1956, it was rediscovered by amateur archaeologist Anders Franzen. It took four years to salvage it from the cold waters of the harbour, using a series of cables tunnelled under the wreck and floating pontoons – a painstaking process that is covered in detail at the museum.

Reassembled to something resembling its former glory, it now sits in the museum on the city’s island of Djurgarden, safe from the winds and waters that claimed it for 333 years.

Craig Platt travelled as a guest of Off the Map Travel, Etihad and Air Berlin.

Source: Traveller.com.au

RECORD CRUISE SHIPS THIS SUMMER!

New Zealand is gearing up for a bumper cruise season, with a record number of cruise ships headed for our shores. Cruise Lines International Association Australasia commercial director Brett Jardine said 33 ships will be cruising local waters between October 1 and April 30, with nine making their inaugural calls. In the same period last year, New Zealand welcomed 28 ships.

The ships will make more than 600 calls to ports around the country, including close to a dozen maiden calls for cruise lines at destinations including Stewart Island, Wellington and Kaikoura.

Among the visitors will be the largest ship to sail to New Zealand, Royal Caribbean’s 167,000-tonne Ovation of the Seas at 346 metres long and 4905 passengers. The newest and most luxurious ship to cruise local waters, the Seabourn Encore, which will arrive in New Zealand just one month after she is officially named in Singapore.

Mr Jardine said the record season reflected New Zealand’s growing popularity as a cruise destination, as well as continuing growth in Kiwi passenger numbers. Figures showed close to 70,000 New Zealanders took a cruise in 2015, a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.

“New Zealand’s popularity as one of the world’s hottest cruise destinations will be clearly evident this summer,” Mr Jardine said. “Not only will there be more ships visiting than ever before, there will be scores of inaugural calls around the country as cruise lines extend their itineraries to take in a wider range of beautiful ports around the North and South Islands.”

Other ships making their maiden call include Azamara Cruises’  Azamara Journey, which arrives in Milford Sound on February 28 and Dunedin on March 1; Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’  Europa 2, which debuts in Auckland on December 20 and will make eight inaugural calls around the country; Holland America Line’s Maasdam, which debuts in Tauranga on November 20; NCL’s Norwegian Star, which arrives in Dunedin on February 13, making the first of seven maiden NZ calls; Oceania Cruises’ Sirena, which arrives in Dunedin on April 17 and will make six maiden calls to local ports; P&O Cruises Australia’s vessel – Pacific Aria arrives in Auckland on November 20, and Princess Cruises’ Emerald Princess, which sails into Milford Sound on November 20.

Source  – Stuff.

TOP MARKS IN EVALUATION OF NZMS

Tertiary maritime training from the New Zealand Maritime School has earned a top rating from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority as part of its External Evaluation sand Review (EER) programme.

The full report, which covers all Manukau InstItute of Technology programmes, covers more than 70 pages, but the section which relates specifically to the New Zealand Maritime School is reproduced here in full…

The NZQA evaluation report states:-

2.11 Focus area: Graduate Diploma in Supply Chain and Shipping Management (Level 7), Diploma in Supply Chain Management (Level 5) and Diploma in Shipping and Freight (Level 5)

The rating in this focus area for educational performance is Excellent. The rating for capability in self-assessment for this focus area is Excellent.

These programmes are delivered by the Faculty of Maritime and Logistics which is located in the NZ Maritime School in downtown Auckland. The Diploma in Shipping and Freight is also delivered at the MIT Manukau campus. Partly due to its separation from the main MIT campuses, this is a closely knit faculty led by management who also teach on Maritime and Logistics programmes. As the faculty delivers a number of Maritime New Zealand and international statutory maritime qualifications, it is subject to a number of rigorous audits by both Maritime New Zealand and international bodies. For students studying for Logistics-related qualifications, there is the opportunity to meet international requirements for International Air Transport Association freight handling.

Student course achievement in the graduate diploma was 83 per cent in 2014. This increased to 88 per cent in 2015 which is above the institutional target of 82 per cent and aspirational target of 85 per cent. Achievement for Māori was 100 per cent, with 75 per cent for Pasifika, and for international students, 96 per cent in 2014 and 91 per cent in 2015.

There was an increase in international student enrolments from 6.3 EFTS in 2014 to 29.8 EFTS in 2015, which affected class size. Staff were well prepared for this increase, and appropriate learning support was put in place to support these students in the New Zealand learning environment.

In respect of the two level 5 diplomas, student course achievement has been variable. The Diploma in Supply Chain Management overall course completion rate in 2014 was 87.2 per cent, decreasing to 71 per cent in 2015. Māori achieved 100 per cent completion in 2015 (no Māori students in 2014), and Pasifika achievement increased from 42.5 per cent in 2014 to 63.6 per cent in 2015.

The Diploma in Shipping and Freight is delivered at both the NZ Maritime School site and MIT Manukau with an increase in the overall course completion rate from 70.4 per cent in 2014 to 78.9 per cent in 2015. Māori students’ course completion decreased from 62.8 per cent in 2014 to 52.5 per cent in 2015, while Pasifika achievement increased from 43.5 per cent in 2014 to 63.4 per cent in 2015. Forty per cent of the students in this diploma are under 25, but like other completion rates in these programmes, which were below institutional targets in 2015, the course completion rates for under-25s were 65.4 per cent in 2014, decreasing to 60.3 per cent in 2015.

Capture nzms table

With the small number of staff, regular informal interaction takes place to discuss what is working well, what is not and what interventions are required. At the more formal programme committee meetings, review of student progress and course outcomes are standing items. Staff reviewed the changes in achievement, and student feedback data identified that the trial of modular block course delivery had created pressure for students to complete assessments in shorter timeframes.

Additional support was provided to students for the remainder of 2015, and changes were made to a new hybrid model for 2016. There is good evidence that the implementation of this change is showing improved results and student engagement. Detailed analysis by staff also identified one course in the existing Diploma in Supply Chain Management as problematic for students, contributing to non-completion and disengagement. This course, along with others, has been completely redesigned for the new qualifications resulting from the Targeted Review of Qualifications, which are being delivered from July 2016.

These programmes are highly valued by students and industry. Employers interviewed indicated that graduates from the NZ Maritime School were always of good calibre and often the preferred employees. Overall, graduating numbers are increasing year on year.

Eighty-three per cent of graduates in the Diploma in Supply Chain Management are in work or further study, and 100 per cent of the Diploma in Shipping and Freight students are in work or further study. Similarly with the graduate diploma, of the 40 students enrolled in 2015, 30 graduated and are either in work or further study. Of the remaining 10, eight are either on extensions for one course or retaking a course in 2016. Employers seek graduates from NZ Maritime School programmes, with some students offered jobs before completion of their qualification. Students are supported to complete their qualification.

Industry and staff have provided input into the new set of New Zealand certificates and diplomas for the supply chain and logistics industry. Industry contacts confirmed that staff are highly engaged with their respective industries, and the industry advisory group meets at agreed times each year, with the next meeting scheduled to review the new programmes leading to the recently registered New Zealand qualifications.

High-quality teaching is recognised by students and industry, and staff operate in an environment conducive to supporting professional development and improvement. The teaching team is constantly reviewing where specific professional development is needed. The faculty academic adviser either leads or co-ordinates appropriate activities in response to need.

There is a strong interface between lecturers and students. An ‘open-door’ policy operates enabling students to easily access help. Students reported that they had excellent support from staff at NZ Maritime School, including at least one day a week provided by central support services. Interventions and additional learning is provided whenever a problem is identified. Examples were given such as special workshops for international students on referencing; and an identified need for more pre-arrival information for international students in the graduate diploma, particularly in respect of technical language, which is being addressed in conjunction with the international office.

An open forum for students is held monthly by the dean, reinforcing the openness that prevails in this faculty. This mechanism for the student voice is part of a more complex system of feedback which includes first impressions surveys, end-of-course and lecturer surveys, and the graduate destination survey. Feedback is always analysed by the whole team and action plans developed, implemented and monitored.

Overall, the educational performance of these programmes is exemplary, with a few exceptions where interventions and solutions are already seeing improved results. A culture of self-assessment and continuous improvement exists within this small faculty, and strong support from the management team and good facilities contribute to a highly effective learning environment for students.

Ends NZQA report. ( source NZQA website).

The school has received a letter of congratulations from the MP for Manukau East, Jenny Salesa, and has also been chosen as a recipient of an Outstanding Achievement Award as part of MIT’s own Excellence Awards for 2016.

Writing to the NZMS team, MIT CEO Gus Gilmore said that “it was a pleasure to recognise teams who had made such a positive contribution to the institute throughout the year. You can all be justifiably proud of this.”

NEW PATROL VESSEL FOR CUSTOMS

Customs is investing in a world-class patrol vessel to reinforce and enhance the protection of New Zealand’s maritime border, according to Customs Minister Nicky Wagner.

“Customs has always had a strong maritime role that spans across its 176-year history. While the early days of chasing tobacco smugglers are long gone, maintaining its capabilities to respond to threats is as crucial as ever.

“I’m delighted to announce this new vessel, which will be locally-designed, purpose-built, and equipped with state-of-the-art electronics. It will boost Customs’ capabilities to identify risk and carry out enforcement work beyond our territorial waters. The decision comes after 15 months of consultation and contribution by partner agencies and maritime experts to confirm the best vessel to safeguard the future. The new vessel will be based in Auckland, and operate with a crew of four Customs officers with specialist maritime expertise. Delivery is expected in 2017-2018,” Ms Wagner said.

Customs’ new Hawk V will replace Hawk IV, which has been in service for 18 years. It will be similar in size and shape to New Zealand Police’s vessel Deodar III, and similar in design to vessels operated by New Zealand Coast Guard and Royal Victorian Police.

NEW TUG BOAT ARRIVES IN NELSON

toia arrival in nelson 1474328064655

The arrival of the new tugboat, Toia, middle, with the Huria Matenga and WH Parr tugboats coming in through the cut into the port of Nelson. …Photo MARION VAN DIJK

A waka ama escort and Nelson sunshine provided the best possible welcome for Port Nelson’s brand new tugboat – Tōia – as it arrived in its new home last month. Aptly translated as “to pull”, the name was suggested by top of the south iwi and will provide a modern complement to longtime vessels the Huria Matenga and WH Parr.

Built at at the Damen Shipyard in Changde China, the vessel completed the final 5800 kilometre leg of its journey from Papua New Guinea this morning, entering the cut just after 8am.

Despite the long voyage undertaken by the Dutch crew, the Tōia presented a striking sight as it was flanked by its predecessors and three waka ama boats crewed by volunteers from the Mahitahi outrigger canoe club. Viewing the arrival from the pilot vessel Waimea II, Port Nelson Harbourmaster Dave Duncan said the arrival offered a timely modernisation of the tug fleet.

“This means we are good for another 30 years, going by the way we have maintained our other tugboats,” he said.

With engineering and familiarisation work still to be carried out on the 22m, 212 ton tug, Mr Duncan said it would be at least another two weeks before the Toia would officially begin service.

The Tōia was the first new tug for Port Nelson since the Huria Matenga was delivered from Japan in 1984. At 50 tonnes bollard pull, the new vessel will have significantly more power than the 30 ton pull of either of the existing tugs.

Mr Duncan said the 20 ton increase offered the port capacity to review its level of operations as they prepared for significant change in the next few years, including $32 million of redevelopment. The estimated cost to build and bring the Tōia to Nelson was $8.6 million.

For now, both the WH Parr and the Huria Matenga will remain in service for a short period while we get the new tug operational.

Tōia’s arrival also provided an opportunity to slip both tugs for their regular 2.5 year surveys, something that normally requires a relief tug to be chartered at considerable cost from another NZ port.

Mr Duncan was hopeful of holding onto the long-serving tugs for as long as possible, although with more than three decades of service each, he was realistic of their place in the modern shipping environment.

“I’d like to think we’ll get another 3-5 years out of the old tugs, but I have been issued with a challenge to find some work for them,” Mr Duncan said.

Source  – Stuff

KIWI VOLUNTEERS RECOGNISED

By Iain MacIntyre

Mercy Ships has specifically acknowledged the controbutio0n of New Zealanders who have volunteered their services onboard its floating hospitals over the years.

“In recognition of World Maritime Day (   date   2016) Mercy Ships applauds the thousands of maritime officers and ratings from New Zealand and around the world who have volunteered with our hospital ships,” a statement from the international charity headquartered in Texas, USA, said.

“Since 1978 they carried a cargo of hope and healing to more than 70 countries.”

A total of 12 New Zealand are understood to be volunteering on the Africa Mercy, a 16,572gt hospital ship abut the same size as a Cook Strait ferry.

One volunteer, Patrick Clissold is a civilian ship designer for the Royal New Zealand Navy who joined the 450 strong crew of medical, maritime and operational volunteers provided almost 2000 free, life changing surgeries in Madagascar. They deliver essential surgical procedures and health care services for the poorest people in Africa’s coastal cities.

Mr Clissold is a former British Navy engineer, who found his tasks on board the Mercy Ship last year much more hands on. Shifts were varied and included plumbing, welding and general maintenance of the hospital ship machinery. He loved the vast multicultural mix in the Africa Mercy engineer department, and appreciated the chance to put into practice much of what he usually creates in theory.

“I very much enjoyed it,” he said. “The hands-on role very much opened my eyes to how designs actually work on board a ship. It was a different aspect to what I usually do in my professional life. The engineering department was 30 people from very different backgrounds doing and enjoying the same work. The work is a good thing to do.”

For the ten months in Cotonou, Benin, this included cataract removal/lens implants, tumour removal, cleft lip and palate reconstruction, orthopaedics and obstetric fistula repair.

For more information visit www.mercyships.org.nz

WAHINE WEBSITE LAUNCHED ON ANNIVERSARY

Survivors of the Wahine disaster have formed a charitable trust to commemorate the 50th anniversary of New Zealand’s worst modern maritime disaster.

The Wahine 50 Charitable Trust’s first initiative was launching a commemorative website today on the 48th anniversary of the disaster as a way to record stories about the tragedy. Fifty-one people lost their lives on April 10, 1968 when the passenger ship was driven onto a reef in the mouth of the Wellington harbour during a storm. Several others died in the following weeks. Survivors of the Wahine disaster make it to shore on April 10, 1968.

Chair of the trust Lieutenant General Rhys Jones (retired), said the site was a great way for people to record their memories of that cold April day.

“Whether you’re a survivor, a rescuer, or a person who played a support role in the crisis, we will be seeking to archive your story,” he said.

The trust will also support Coastguard Wellington and Coastguard Mana in their fundraising initiatives to replace two rescue vessels working in the region.

Coastguard Wellington was formed as a direct result of the Wahine Day storm in 1968, while Coastguard Mana ­­­­was established some 30 years later in 1998. Their rescue vessels, based in Evans Bay and Mana, are in urgent need of replacement.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the council would work alongside the trust in developing its commemorative plans.

“We will remember those who lost their lives or loved ones, and the bravery of rescuers,” she said.

Source – Stuff

Latest Newsletter:  August to October 2016

PRECISE DATA HELPS POAL PILOTS

Pilots working at POAL now have GPS technology at their fingertips, adding to their knowledge of the Auckland coastline and the Waitemata Harbour. POAL have invested in the development of software which uses GPS positioning as a navigational tool for the company’s pilots.

john barker chief pilot, poalAccording to POAL Chief Pilot John Barker, (shown at left) the company has rolled out new technology to all pilots for every vessel sailing in and out of Auckland. POAL has 12 licensed pilots, rostering five on any single work day. The navigation programme is loaded to tablets carried by pilots assigned to the vessels. For POAL, these are Windows based Panasonic toughpads which are well suited for the harsh maritime environment.

The software contractor is Navicom Dynamics, based in Albany, Auckland. The company provides offshore, channel and harbour solutions to the port sector in 20 countries.

The portable pilot units integrate with an onboard automatic identification system, Wifi networks, Bluetooth for access to ship’s systems and have independent GPS receivers.

Mr Barker said: “The programme operates similar to air traffic control, utilising GPS positioning and can identify all shipping in the Auckland region and their locations.

“We realised that what was being built was not just a portable piloting unit to monitor a vessel. We have developed a digital strategy that a pilot can take on board, as the company had other layers of information, including precise data on what lies beneath a vessel and on each side of the vessel. In the context of the Waitemata harbour, precision information is a valuable tool. Whilst from ashore the harbour presents a wide expanse, the actual navigable channel for larger ships is constrained by terrain and tide.

With the trend towards larger ships carrying greater volume of containers, it is likely that vessels of 6000 TEU capacity will eventually be commonplace in New Zealand waters. Several ports are now undertaking or planning significant capital expenditure on dredging programmes to provide adequate draught for bigger ships.

“The critical part for the pilot is in understanding the safety bubble around the ship,” Mr Barker said. “All ships are required to carry charts by law and we bring more localised information to the ship.”

The port uses Land Information charts that are updated annually. The commercial sphere of POAL includes port areas and coast from Hobsonville to Tamaki estuary. To gain deeper knowledge of the seabed, POAL also invested in a bathymetric profiling of the harbour seabed. Conducted by POAL over recent years, this has resulted in a detailed data set with granular information to 20cm intervals.

“The critical information is what lies underneath the ship and at what depth. To this we add a tidal data set which is useful for any port and particularly in Auckland harbour which has a 3.5 metre tidal range.”

The survey results have been processed into charts shown on the portable pilot units (PPU) carried by pilots, and in real time to help pilots to determine the safest position for the ship.

“The data is continuously recalculated to the metre tide running. There are some pinch and pass points on the Waitemata where passing criteria apply and the new technology has helped to identify the proximity of no-go areas.

The pace of the project has been influenced by changes in shipping.

“The harbour channels are not wider, the berths are not larger but the ships are getting bigger- this technology grabs the safety buffer back.”

Other ports in New Zealand have similar systems and all use LINZ charts in hard format, but the POAL data integration operates in real time. Should a ship develop equipment failure or needs to take evasive action from another vessel, the system guides the pilot to the best decision as to the route to take.

The PPU assist the marine pilot to make complex manoeuvres in confined spaces and adverse conditions.

The device also helps to alleviate the translation issues that can rise when pilots are working on foreign vessels, where English is not the first language.

POAL is working on further enhancements for 2017 which will enable closer interchange of information between pilot and ship’s master. Information may be available days earlier to transiting vessels and updated in real time when the pilot comes aboard.

MNZ OPERATORS NOW ON BOARD FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY

Maritime operators, large and small, are gearing up to meet the requirements of the new Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) that came into force last month.

“Our staff has undergone training and the new requirements for officers and workers are already in place. Not much changed for us,” said Dave Evans, group compliance manager for Sanford. (shown at left below)

DAVE EVANS, SANFORD cropped  sst-mgmt-doug-sanders-loadeSanford reports a marked increase in awareness about health and safety amongst all employees, as well as an increase in incident reporting. Last year Sanford carried out an independent audit of board governance, and health and safety systems, processes and performance in preparation for the Act coming into force.

Sanford’s board and executive team conduct periodic health and safety inspection visits to vessels and factories, where they have a first-hand opportunity to engage directly with line management and staff. Sanford management also regularly attend health and safety meetings with PrimePort, other port users, and both Maritime NZ and WorkSafe NZ representatives.

According to Mr Evans, smaller operators are aware of the new Act but are uncertain what they need to do comply with it.

“There needs to be more engagement at the coalface. A lot of small operators don’t know what they need to do. People don’t have time to read a lot of complicated material on a website – they need someone to talk to face-to-face,” said Mr Evans.

Doug Saunders-Loder, president of the Federation of Commercial Fisherman, (shown above at right) agrees that small operators are not yet ready and have questions about what it means to them.

“We’ve been working closely with Maritime NZ and are looking to them to provide us with guidance. We’d like to see FishSafe initiated again. That should be the safety bible for fishermen. In the past, fisherman never had signs or identified hazards when people come on board. FishSafe and MOSS boosted awareness of hazards,” said Mr Saunders-Loder.

Maritime NZ director Keith Manch said: “It’s good to see that sector leaders are on the front foot with these important health and safety reforms. It’s clear that we at Maritime NZ have more work to do in helping smaller operators understand their obligations – which will be somewhat different than the large players. We are developing guidance specifically for small operators that will feature scenarios of typical maritime operators, and explain how the new requirements apply to them”.

“Our aim is to provide clear direction through plain English guidance and the help, support and advice of our maritime officers,” said Mr Manch.

An industry user group has been formed to provide input and help shape future Maritime NZ health and safety informational material.

MARITIME NZ GETS BETTER DEAL FOR NZ SHIPPERS

Maritime New Zealand has successfully lobbied at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for flexibility in introducing new regulations for verifying container weights – and that will benefit our exporters.

“It is important to understand that about 97 percent of our country’s trade is by ship,” the Maritime NZ Acting Director Lindsay Sturt said. “Disruption to during the transition to the new regulations could cause unnecessary and potentially costly delays.”

Mr Sturt said New Zealand port companies and exporters had raised concerns about how new international regulations will be introduced, and Maritime NZ took up those concerns.

Under the IMO’s new regulations the shipper exporting a container must provide its “verified gross mass” by methods set out in the regulations. If it does not, then the container will not be loaded. (See the June issue of Maritime NZ’s magazine Safe Seas Clean Seas for more information http://www.maritimenz.govt.nz and enter Safe Seas in the search field.)

Currently, container weights are declared but some serious incidents in the past have shown inaccurate declarations and grossly understated container weights. Overseas, dangerous incidents include container stacks collapsing, and ships’ being overstressed and becoming unstable.

“The new weight verification rules are an important safety measure to help protect seafarers, cargoes and ships. We are glad they will be a requirement for international shipping,” Mr Sturt said.

New Zealand’s two concerns were about the transition to the new regulations. Specifically, how to manage containers loaded before July 1 but that will reach their final port on or after that date, and any possible teething problems with necessary software updates, data sharing, and communication systems.

The IMO has agreed to a practical and pragmatic approach for the three months from July 1. It will permit packed containers that are loaded on a ship before July 1 to be shipped to their final port without the verified gross mass, and flexibility to refine, if necessary, procedures for documenting, communicating and sharing verified gross mass information, without stopping shipments.

“This is a great example of how we can work together as a maritime industry and have an impact on international trade issues that really matter to New Zealand,” Mr Sturt said.

QUEEN MARY REFIT COSTS $160 MILLION 1467157028423

QUEEN MARY REFIT COSTS $160 MILLION

The Queen Mary 2 headed into dry dock last month to undergo her $160 million revamp.

The first Queen Mary launched in 1934 and enjoyed a heyday of taking the rich and famous from Southampton to New York. 82-years-later her successor, the Queen Mary 2 has just undergone a major redesign.  A lot has changed on board. Notably the restructuring of the all-day buffet, King’s Court, and the creation of the adjoining Carinithia Lounge. This has replaced the dated Winter Garden, with a sit-up bar and self-service cafe, giving cruisers somewhere smart but informal to grab a bite and relax.

Cunard have transformed the interior and exterior of their flagship Queen Mary 2. New carpets have also been laid throughout,  which is enough to cover the pitch of Wembley Stadium 10 times.

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The redesigned atrium of the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship.

Emphasis has been placed on opening the dining areas out, so bulky waiter stations have been removed as well as pillars, which gives it a more airy feel. Fifty cabins have also been added and all contain the modern luxuries, including a kettle.

Source – Stuff

MATUKU IS THE NEW OIL TANKER FOR NEW ZEALAND PORTS…

A new oil tanker capable of carrying 50 million litres of fuel on each journey has made its ainaugural voyage. The Matuku, a 175 metre long, South Korean-built vessel will carry fuel from the Marsden Point Oil Refinery in Northland to 10 ports around the country over the coming years.

Registered in Wellington, the Matuku‘s arrival was delayed by several hours due to bad weather but it arrived in Wellington Harbour, unloading fuel for the ferries at Aotea Quay before sailing to Seaview to unload petrol and diesel.

matuku 1468387386326  matuku from bridge 1468387386326

The Matuku is around 30 per cent larger than the Torea, which it replaced, and can carry up to 50 million litres of fuel in a single journey.

Captained by Mladen Erakovic – the Matuku has been chartered by Coastal Oil Logistics Limited (COLL) from Silver Fern Shipping for the coming years. Powered by a 7500 kilowatt engine driving a propeller with a 6.7 metre diameter, the ship is named after an endangered Australasian wetland bird, also known as the Australasian bittern.

Around 30 percent larger and 20 percent more fuel efficient than the Torea, which it replaces, COLL chief executive Jon Kelly said the Matuku was chartered long term to meet the needs of its shareholders, the three major fuel companies, BP, Mobil and Z Energy.

matuku owners , COLL ceo jon kelly1468387386326

Coastal Oil Logistics chief executive Jon Kelly, on the bridge of the new Matuku oil tanker.

COLL’s other ship, the Kakariki, is also being replaced by a similarly sized vessel in late 2017. However the other vessel will be equipped to carry bitumen as well as fuels.

“This will be the most modern and efficient New Zealand operated vessel fleet on our coast,” Mr Kelly said.

Although it would be determined by the shareholders, Mr Kelly said the vessels were chartered with a view to increasing the volume of fuel transported by COLL.

“The refinery has upgraded its capacity so there will be more product for us to lift. Part of the rationale for putting the larger vessel into trade was to accommodate that growth,” he said. “That’ll mean that over the next number of years we’ll carry more than we have previously.”

While most fuel is supplied to Auckland from a pipeline which connects Marsden Point to Wiri, COLL supplies about 50 per cent of the rest of New Zealand’s demands from its two vessels, the remainder covered by imported product. This is equivalent to around 2.5 billion litres of fuel a year.

The new vessel offers more space for crew – chief engineer David Rowe described the Matuku as “palatial” compared to the Torea.

Source – Stuff

NEW JET POWERED PILOT BOAT ON THE WAY FOR WELLINGTON

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An image of the Camarc-designed jet-powered pilot vessel being built to guide ships into Wellington Harbour.

Ships arriving into Wellington harbour will soon be guided by a new jet-powered boat. CentrePort has ordered a jet-powered pilot vessel with a top speed of 60kmh that can meet ships further out in Cook Strait.

The new vessel, which is expected to start running from August next year, will be bigger, and travel at double the top speed of the port’s current vessel the Tarakena. It would boost the port’s ability to operate in winter conditions.

Pilot vessels ferry harbour pilots out to waiting ships, which they board then take control and guide them into the wharf.

CentrePort chief executive Derek Nind said because the vessel was larger it would allow pilots to get on and off ships further out in the Cook Strait as bigger ships start arriving at the port.

“With superior manoeuvreability in mind we decided the new vessel should be jet powered,” Mr Nind said.

The new vessel was part of CentrePort’s strategy to boost growth for the company, owned by the Greater Wellington and Horizons regional councils. The vessel will be designed by UK company Carmarc and built by Whanganui company Q-West Boat Builders, which built the Tarakena and maritime police vessel Lady Elizabeth IV.

The new pilot vessel will have an operational speed of about 46kmh and a top speed of about 60kmh. It will be self-righting in the event of capsize. The new vessel is 19.5m long. The present pilot vessel, Tarakena, has a top speed of 28 kmh, but will be kept as a backup and support vessel. It was built in 1993.

Source – Stuff

THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT

The NZMS nautical website attracted 47,356 hits last month, and has averaged more than 50,000 hits each month so far this year. It is encouraging to know that members are using the website, and keeping in touch with industry activities, and their former student colleagues.

The support shown by students and graduates from the NZMS courses give us a lot of confidence in building the Alumni, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received.  We are still pushing ahead to build membership too, so please keep telling your friends and colleagues about the NZMS Alumni website, and encourage them to join up…..And keep the feedback coming in. We appreciate each and every email we receive from members. We hope this newsletter keeps you up with the play….

eld on this website under their own heading.\

 

Latest Newsletter:  February to May 2016

NO MORE TRAINS FOR COOK STRAIT FERRIES?

By Eric Frykberg – Radio NZ Correspondent

The days of a laden freight train trundling onto a Cook Strait ferry are numbered. rail on ferry 2 by tim cuffThe Aratere will return to making three return sailings a day, but Kiwirail says its ship may be the last such rail-compatible ferry it runs.

The sight of a train rolling onto a ferry has long been a dramatic sight for onlookers, as the train’s heavy weight can cause the ship to move substantially in the water.

But Kiwirail chief executive Peter Reidy said acquiring rail-enabled ferry technology was very expensive.

“We will now be moving more and more freight, as we have been doing, on a road-bridging basis,” he said. “It will be railed into Wellington, it will be put onto rubber wheeled bogies and put onto a ferry.”

Mr Reidy noted the double handling would add to the cost, but it would be offset by a lighter overall weight on ferries which would save in fuel and time.

A decline in rail-compatible ferry technology has been blamed on international developments, such as the channel tunnel, which have reduced the demand for such equipment in Europe. Other developments, such as the Baltic bridge linking Denmark and Sweden and a host of tunnels and bridges in Japan, also contributed to the decline in rail-compatible ferries.

Source – Radio New Zealand. Photo Tim Cuff.

KESTREL RISES FROM THE DEPTHS…

kestrel recovery in auckland

Onlookers watched as multiple cranes lifted the Kestrel from her resting place at Wynyard Wharf.

It took all day to salvage but the historic Kestrel ferry that sank to the ocean floor has been lifted back onto an Auckland slipway. The crew of 12 salvage experts, including divers and crane operators, said they were happy to see the vessel back above water.

“It was a big relief,” Total Marine Services director Brent Shipman said. “Really happy that she’s now sitting on the slipway. I can move on with my life now.”

The iconic Kestrel is back in the water after repairs on her hull were completed.

The 111-year-old ferry sank at its Wynyard Wharf berth on the Auckland waterfront on March 7.

The cause of the sinking is still being investigated. The team of salvage experts contracted by insurer Vero used cranes and pumps on Thursday to float the Kestrel’s 170 tonne hull on the Waitemata Harbour’s afternoon high tide. They had it lifted up by cranes at 8pm but it wasn’t until five hours later when the tide came in enough for it to be secured and strapped in, Mr Shipman said.

It was due to stay at the Titan Marine slipway in Wynyard Quarter for at least the next few days.

From there, its future was unclear., Mr Shipman said: “There’s people showing some interest in it. But we’ll see what comes of that I guess. It’s in the hands of the insurer now to decide what happens. She’s covered in mud inside and out, with a waterblast and a tidy up it would look a lot better.”

Source – Stuff. Photograph:  Simon Maude, FairfaxNZ.

INVESTIGATION BLAMES CREW FOR FERRY CRASH

An investigation into a Cook Strait ferry’s grounding has found a crewing error to blame – with a report finding the crash could have been “serious”.

The Monte Stello ferry – leased to KiwiRail – made a wrong turn enroute to Picton and bounced off a rock in the Tory Channel on May 4, 2011. The rock dented its hull without penetrating it and damaged its starboard propeller- striking hard enough that the crew on the bridge felt the impact. No one was hurt in the incident and the ferry was able to complete its sailing.

“If the Monte Stello had collided with the rock a few metres further into the turn then it could have resulted in the hull being penetrated,” the report stated.

KiwiRail has since begun training its bridge crews using a simulator in response to the incident. The Commission released the findings five years after the crash, because later in 2011 the container ship Rena ran aground a reef near Tauranga.

The TAIC prioritised its inquiry into that maritime disaster over the Monte Stello incident for the following three years. At the time of its crash the Monte Stello was contracted to perform the Cook Strait charter service for KiwiRail, which operates the competing Interislander ferries. The ferry had been making a left hand turn into the Tory Channel when at about 6am the crew inadvertently turned its rudder in the wrong direction, the TAIC report said.

“The error was soon realised and corrective action taken, but not soon enough to prevent the ship glancing off a rock on the northern side of the channel.”

The investigation found the procedures for cross-checking every action during critical points of navigation were “not being followed strictly,” the report said.

The bridge team comprised the master acting as pilot, the third mate acting as co-pilot, the helmsman, and the lookout. The report noted the voyage was the first time that bridge team had worked together, and that human error was an “ubiquitous and inevitable” feature of navigation.

The TAIC recommended KiwiRail address the safety issue, adding:  “A key lesson arising from the inquiry was that bridge resource management is not something that can be trained for and then left to chance… It only takes one bridge team failure to result in a serious accident.”

“KiwiRail has reviewed bridge resource management training and practices on its ships, including completing an extensive series of independent audits,” Interislander operations general manager Mark Thompson said.

The audits found KiwiRail’s practices were “generally acceptable” but had room for improvements. KiwiRail consequently invested in developing ship and port models for a “state-of-the-art” Smartship simulator in Brisbane as part of its bridge crew training programme, Mr Thompson said.

The Monte Stello has since been sold.

Source – Stuff

HMNZS PUKAKI HASN’T REGISTERED A SEA DAY SINCE 2012

Two new Navy patrol boats that haven’t been to sea in years don’t have the staff needed to run them, Labour claims.

The Defence Minister has blamed the Labour Government for buying the HMNZS Pukaki and HMNZS Taupo,(shown at right) and has called them “unsuitable” for the rough New Zealand seas. The in-shore patrol vessels entered into service in 2009, as part of a $500 million naval protection project, but they’ve effectively been mothballed, Defence Force figures show.

Pukaki hasn’t been to sea since the end of 2012, while Taupo has remained in port since 2013.pukaki and taupo patrol boats Six out of the 11 navy boats in the fleet hadn’t logged any days at sea in the last three months.

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said the boats weren’t “cutting it” in the rough waters surrounding the country. The two inshore boats would be disposed of.

But Phil Goff, the former Labour defence minister who was in charge of procuring the boats in the first place said Mr Brownlee was being “dishonest”.

Mr Goff said the defence select committee were told the vessels weren’t at sea because they didn’t have the skill to staff them. The vessels were commissioned to do fisheries protection, conservation support, border security and search and rescue.

Mr Goff said the boats shouldn’t be sold: “These were a quantum leap forward in terms of their capabilities.”

Mr Brownlee wanted to acquire another offshore patrol vessel, which fared far better when tested on the seas. But it was a long process and Mr Brownlee had no timelines: “You can’t just put them on Trademe and see what you get for them.” He was working with Treasury on a review that would look at New Zealand’s patrol capability.

In the meantime, what was it costing? … Mr Brownlee couldn’t say, but said the boats were being kept in “tip-top shape” so they would fetch a good price.

“It’s just unfortunate, these are a lot more expensive than the average household item. There’s nothing I can say about that. I didn’t make the decision to buy them.”

In total, the patrol boats spent just 33 days on fisheries patrol last year, and nine days so far in 2016. Mr Brownlee’s office said those numbers are official days logged when a Ministry for Primary Industries official is on board. Patrols are carried out during other duties at sea that aren’t logged.

The figures from the Defence Force were provided to the NZ First Party who believed there was a growing crisis with the ships being “tied up”. NZ First MP Ron Mark said it was unacceptable to see fewer fisheries patrols when our Exclusive Economic Zone was larger than Europe.

“People are concerned about the raping and pillaging of our fisheries stocks,” he said. “It is is inescapable that this Government, under their watch, the navy has been neutered. We don’t have staff to put to sea. Clearly they don’t have the operating budget.”

Both of the Navy’s frigates haven’t been to sea in the past three months, with HMNZS Te Mana docked since 2014 for significant upgrades. Mr Mark said the Government’s move to create a huge ocean sanctuary in the Kermadecs called into question whether the Navy could actually patrol it. The Defence Minister called this issue a “red herring” said there was another fleet and more “modern surveillance” they could use.

Source – Stuff

endeavour

Captain Cook’s Endeavour, on which he explored New Zealand, found off USA. Photo : Fairfax.

Captain James Cook’s famous ship may have been found. Researchers believe they have found the wreck of HMS Endeavour, which carried Captain James Cook on his exploration of New Zealand.  He commanded the Endeavour on his first voyage of discovery, to Australia and New Zealand, from 1769 to 1771. It is now 230 years since the ship was sold, sunk and forgotten.X MEDIA

The last sighting of the Endeavour was around 1778, when it is believed the ship was sold, renamed the Lord Sandwich, and used to transport British troops during the American Revolution. Archaeologists now believe they have found the scuttled remains of the Endeavour in Newport Harbour, Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project made the discovery, saying the ship was scuttled in the harbour by British forces in the lead up to the Battle of Rhode Island in 1778. The Endeavour was found alongside 13 other ships after an investigation which combined high-tech mapping of the seabed with analysis of historical shipping documents.

In a statement, they said: “RIMAP has mapped 9 archaeological sites of the 13 ships that were scuttled in Newport Harbour in 1778 during the American Revolution.

“One group of 5 ships included the Lord Sandwich transport, formerly Captain James Cook’s Endeavour.”

The RIMAP said they were “80 to 100 per cent certain” that they remains they had discovered belonged to the Endeavour.

“The next phase of the archaeological investigation will require a more intense study of each vessel’s structure and its related artifacts,” it said.

Otago University historian professor Tony Ballantyne said the news was interesting, but the ship was not as significant to Kiwis as other aspects of this story.

“This potential discovery is a useful reminder that Cook’s career, like the pathway of the Endeavour itself, was a global one, and that Captain Cook’s history connects to many important aspects of the global history of the British empire,” he said. “But ultimately for us, what is more significant than the Endeavour’s remains are those transformations that his arrival set in train.”

Source: Fairfax Media.

FOREIGN CHARTER FISHING VESSELS MUST REFLAG TO NZ

By David Hallett

In a crackdown over unsafe and, at times, inhumane labour practices, all foreign fishing boats must now be reflagged with the New Zealand flag.  The substantial law-change came into effect on May 1, after a four-year transition period, and means all vessels operating in New Zealand waters must follow New Zealand law.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said the change would ensure fair standards for all fishing crews in New Zealand.

Reports of crews being beaten and forced to work for minimal pay, and for days without rest, have not been uncommon in recent years.  These vessels sometimes described as high-seas sweatshops have been under the spotlight.

“Reflagging gives us full jurisdiction over areas like employment, health and safety conditions on vessels fishing in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The reflagging is carried out by Maritime New Zealand and requires operators to ensure fishing vessels fully comply with our maritime rules and the Health and Safety at Work Act. It also requires the crew to have appropriate New Zealand-equivalent qualifications,” Mr Guy said.

Nine vessels so far had been reflagged, three were in the process of reflagging and could not fish in New Zealand waters until they had. About nine had decided not to fish in New Zealand waters, Mr Guy said. The nine that had reflagged are from Japan, Korea, Ukraine and the Commonwealth of Dominica.

In August 2010, the 38-year-old Korean fishing boat Oyang 70 sank in calm conditions off the coast of Otago. Six men died, when the captain refused to cut loose an enormous 120-tonne catch, causing the ship to roll and sink as the haul was brought in.

In 2011, all 32 Indonesian crew on the Korean Oyang 75 walked off the ship alleging sexual and physical abuse. The ship would later face 26 charges of dumping fish.  Its sister ship, the Oyang 77, had eight charges of illegally dumping fish overboard laid against it. Both were owned by Korea’s largest fishing company, Sajo Oyang.

The string of incidents prompted the Korean Government to send an inter-departmental delegation to New Zealand to investigate concerns with Korean-owned fishing ships.

A New Zealand joint ministerial inquiry in 2012 found Korean fishing charters were damaging New Zealand’s international reputation.

Former Primary Industries Minister David Carter and former Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson brought in the new rules that also included compulsory individual New Zealand bank accounts for crew members, observers on all foreign-owned fishing vessels and independent audits of charter parties to ensure crew visa requirements – including wages – were being adhered to.

The industry as a whole catches fish worth more than $650 million a year, the majority of it filling Maori iwi fishing quotas. The export industry is worth more than $1,5 billion a year. 

oyang 77 at lyttelton

The Korean fishing boat the Oyang 77 docked at Lyttelton Port.

THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT

The NZMS nautical website attracted 47,356 hits last month, and has averaged more than 50,000 hits each month so far this year. It is encouraging to know that members are using the website, and keeping in touch with industry activities, and their former student colleagues.

The support shown by students and graduates from the NZMS courses give us a lot of confidence in building the Alumni, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received.  We are still pushing ahead to build membership too, so please keep telling your friends and colleagues about the NZMS Alumni website, and encourage them to join up…..And keep the feedback coming in. We appreciate each and every email we receive from members. We hope this newsletter keeps you up with the play….

Latest Newsletter:  February to May 2016

MODRN EXPRESS 017b6c82baf61e30f22727df98c2ce54dd9cd5f-1bashv2  Le batîment de commerce "Modern Express" est à la dérive au large des côtes françaises, suite a une avarie et a l'évacuation de son équipage. L'Abeille Bourbon ainsi que la Frégate Anti-sous-marine (FASM) Primauguet arrivent sur zone avec les experts de la Marine Nationale, pour une évaluation de la situation. Le Vendredi 29 Janvier 2016 au large des côtes françaises.

“Modern Express” salvage operation is successfully completed.

 BID TO TOW SHIP AWAY FROM FRENCH COAST SUCCESSFUL

Bordeaux (AFP) – Maritime experts have successfully managed to tow a stricken South Korean cargo ship away from France and prevent it from crashing into the country’s picturesque Atlantic coast.

Louis-Xavier Renaux, a spokesman for local maritime authorities, said a Spanish tugboat had successfully been connected to the ship, which is tilting heavily, “and managed to pivot it, point it towards the open sea and begin towing it.”

Spanish maritime authorities confirmed they had accepted a request from the vessel’s owner, South Korean firm Cido Shipping, to take it to the northern port of Bilbao, where it will be stabilised.

A French maritime official said weather conditions were “favourable” as the cargo ship was dragged slowly towards the Spanish coast, where it is due to arrive Wednesday morning.

“We are taking a great deal of care because the swell is still quite strong,” the official said.

The Modern Express was carrying diggers and 3,600 tonnes of timber from Gabon in west Africa to the port of Le Havre in Normandy, France. After seven days drifting in rough seas, the Panamanian-registered ship was only 44 kilometres (27 miles) from the French coast when authorities launched a final bid to attach a tow line and stop it from hitting the coast.

Experts from Dutch company SMIT Salvage, which specialises in helping ships in distress, were lowered by helicopter onto the vessel as it tilted at 40 to 50 degrees while buffeted by large waves.

The ship’s crew sent a distress signal after the vessel listed strongly to one side, probably due to its cargo coming loose in the hull.The 22 crew were evacuated by helicopter as they clung to the ship.

Three earlier efforts to attach the tow line failed, with the cable snapping due to the movement of the vessels in the rough seas.

“The difficulty is a combination of several things: the wind, the swell and the angle of the boat which is like climbing a mountain, but which is moving,” a spokesperson for SMIT Salvage told AFP over the weekend.

If the towing operation failed, the Modern Express would likely have crashed onto France’s southwest coast at Arcachon Bay, where it would have been dismantled or cut up. With around 300 tonnes of fuel in its tanks, French authorities said there was a limited risk of pollution in the event of such a crash.

A clean-up vessel was sent to the scene as a precautionary measure and coastal communities remained on alert.

Source – AFP

COASTAL SHIPPING FRAMEWORK IS SOUND AND SAFE

A review of coastal navigation safety by Maritime NZ has found that there is a sound framework in place to manage the movement of ships around the New Zealand coast, with procedures in place to assess risk and adjust safety measures if required.

The NZ Coastal Navigation Safety Review report can be read here:

Coastal Navigation Safety Review Report [PDF: 88Kb, 7 pages]

Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch said the review, begun last year, was prompted by an anticipated increase in the number of ship visits to New Zealand, a trend toward larger ships, and technology changes in navigational aids.

Consideration was also give to a Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) recommendation following the grounding of the Rena that Maritime NZ collect data on shipping movements around the New Zealand coast, and monitor and control the use of virtual aids to navigation around the New Zealand coast.

Recent access to ship tracking data based on ships’ Automatic Identification System (AIS) enabled Maritime NZ to examine the routes taken by ships, Mr Manch said.

“Previous studies have indicated that ship volumes and other existing hazards around New Zealand do not meet international criteria for imposing shipping lanes or mandatory routes and the review indicates that this is still the case,” he said.

“Incidents like the Rena grounding would not necessarily be prevented if shipping lanes were in place – in the case of the Rena, poor watch-keeping and navigation were identified as key contributing factors.”

Following the review, work will now be done to improve management of aids to navigation, including virtual aids, which use electronic systems – rather than physical marks or beacons – to alert ships to navigation hazards through their AIS systems.

“This is a fast-moving area of technology and it’s proving challenging to manage internationally. We will look to develop a strategy to plan how to lead management of virtual aids to navigation around New Zealand.”

The review identified two areas of potentially higher risk relative to other locations – the Hauraki Gulf and Colville Channel, and Cook Strait – when passenger vessels and other hazards were considered in combination.

“This review does not indicate an immediate risk to vessels or water users in these areas, but we will be working with harbourmasters, pilots, ferry operators, and the coastal shipping industry to look at how risks are managed in these areas, and whether there are any gaps,” Mr Manch said.

“Around 120 ships’ masters, harbourmasters, pilots and other water users provided expert input into the review and we’re delighted with that response.”

Other review recommendations include linking with Australia to improve the approach to port State control inspections carried out on foreign-flagged vessels with more than 60 percent of ships arriving or leaving New Zealand waters also travelling to or from Australia.

“Australia uses a sophisticated data collection and risk profiling tool to manage port State control inspections and we will be discussing with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) what can be done to join up our two systems,” Mr Manch said.

DOC IS SINGLE BIGGEST MOSS OPERATOR

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has become the single largest vessel operator in the new Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) introduced last year by Maritime New Zealand, with 84 vessels covered by its new MOSS operator certificate.

MOSS requires operators to develop a safety system that covers not only the seaworthiness of vessels, but their safe operation, including identifying hazards and how they are managed.

It replaced the previous safe ship management system in July last year, with around 1700 commercial operators moving into MOSS by 2018.

Some operators have opted to enter MOSS on a fleet basis, dividing their vessels into different fleets around the country and transitioning to the new system in stages.

DOC’s single operator plan is likely to cover the largest number of vessels in the MOSS system.

Maritime NZ General Manager Maritime Standards Sharyn Forsyth congratulated DOC on completing the process.

“Obviously people associate DOC with land, but the department is also one of the biggest vessel operators in the country,” she said.

“MOSS puts the emphasis on vessel owners operating safely and creating clear lines of responsibility for the day-to-day safe operation of vessels. DOC has shown in their operator plan that they have good systems in place; and a commitment to continuous improvement.”

Ms Forsyth said the new system would strengthen the relationship between Maritime NZ and operators.

“We appreciate that MOSS is the most significant change in the maritime sector for 15 years and is challenging for operators, and we are working with them to make the transition as smooth as possible.”

“DOC has over 80 vessels operating in many different environments over the whole of NZ (including off-shore islands),” says DOC’s Deputy Director-General Operations, Mike Slater.

“The implementation of MOSS has brought greater clarity and accountability to the management of the department’s vessel fleet. It provides an excellent platform from which DOC can continue to build on maritime safety.”

To date, 500 operators have entered MOSS or are going through the entry process.

About DOC’s maritime activities…

DOC has responsibility for approximately 17,700 km2, of New Zealand’s marine area in addition to freshwater species in New Zealand. DOC rangers are out and about on a fleet of 84 vessels working to protect New Zealand’s diverse and special marine environment. Tasks include, monitoring, enforcing no take in marine reserves, patrolling coastline and advocating for marine species.

As well the tasks listed above, DOC boats are used to transport staff to places not accessible by road or to or around remote islands to undertake threatened species management, plant and animal weed control, hut and track maintenance. It would not be possible to undertake DOC work without the use of these vessels.

The majority of the fleet are vessels of less than 7 metres in length but range in size from 2.6 metres to 22.25 metres in length. They operate in rivers, lakes and sea throughout NZ, based from Keri Keri in the north to Stewart Island in the south.

NEW ZEALAND CELEBRATES WORLD MARITIME DAY

Worldwide shortages of over 42,500 officers expected by 2019, has prompted New Zealand’s maritime industry and Maritime NZ to join up for the first time to encourage young people to train for maritime careers.

Maritime NZ’s Director, Keith Manch, said with the large shortfall in officers, competitive salaries (Masters of large vessels earn $250,000 a year), and more than 90 percent of the world’s goods being transported by sea, it’s a good time to start a maritime career.

Internationally, September 24 is World Maritime Day and the 2015-16 theme was maritime education and training.

“Our #NZcareersatsea promotion is aimed at mobilising mariners to show off their careers and encourage young people to see that maritime careers are exciting and well paid,” Mr Manch said.

“Our country’s training is internationally recognised and well-regarded by employers all over the world. It gives young men and women great opportunities for local, national and international careers.”

#NZcareersatsea and World Maritime Day will be celebrated at a maritime industry function in Wellington on September 16. It will include information on social media, websites, port visits, maritime school open days, advertising and news media.

A photo wall has already been created where people in the maritime industry are posting pictures of themselves and telling their own stories, link to maritimenz.govt.nz/wmd . The wall links people to Careers New Zealand website for details about how to train for those jobs. Careers New Zealand has updated its maritime careers information and is promoting maritime careers with a moving banner on its website home page: http://www.careersnz.govt.nz

“There is huge variety of work, career, and lifestyles in the maritime industry including: deck hands, technical crew, ships officers, navigators, hospitality, stevedores and business,” Mr Manch said.

In New Zealand, work includes coastal shipping, Cook Strait ferries, fishing, tourism, offshore oil and gas and more. Many Kiwis work on cruise ships, luxury yachts and merchant ships travelling the world using qualifications earned in New Zealand. Others go home each night after work, and there are jobs that involve living on board for a week at a time and then a week at home off-duty. There are also careers on shore after having been to sea and for overseas-based shipping companies operating here.

world maritime day harper, walker and bridges  ledson, steer and manch at world maritime day

At left: Guest speakers Paul Harper, Executive Dean of NZ Maritime School, (part of the Manukau Institute of Technology), Captain Katherine Walker, Manager of the International Maritime Institute of New Zealand (part of the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology) with Transport Minister Simon Bridges at the World Maritime Day cocktail party.

At right: Maritime NZ CEO Keith Manch with Chairman David Ledson and Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Jack Steer at he same function.

SLOW BOAT FROM CHINA REFLECTS TRADE HEALTH

SlowBoatBloomberg_620x310

The Morten Maersk Triple-E Class container ship, operated by A.P. Moeller-Maersk, as it leaves Port of Felixstowe, England. Photo / Bloomberg

If you want to know how China’s economy is doing, take a slow boat from one of its ports. Even with fuel at its cheapest price in almost a decade, the ships that carry goods around the world have been reducing speed in line with the slowdown in China, the biggest exporter.

Shipping companies have been “slow steaming” since the global financial crisis in 2008, as a way to save costs and keep as many ships active as possible. Vessels are now operating at an average of 9.69 knots, compared with 13.06 knots seven years ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

That means Nike sneakers and Barbie dolls made in China can now take two weeks to arrive in Los Angeles and a month to reach Le Havre, France — a week longer than if the ships were moving at full speed. And there’s scope for ships to go even slower, according to A.P. Moeller-Maersk.

“This is the new norm,” said Rahul Kapoor, a Singapore- based director at Drewry Maritime Services. “The overall speed of the industry has gone down and there’s no going back.”

In the boom years before the 2008 financial crisis, shipping lines expanded fleets and ran ships as fast as they could to keep up with the surging demand for goods manufactured half a world away. As demand dropped, the lines were left with too many vessels, and customers eager to reduce inventory, who would rather pay a lower rate to receive goods than guarantee quick delivery.

“In 2003, if you were on a tanker, container ships would zoom past and in a matter of a few minutes you couldn’t see them on the horizon,” Kapoor said. “Since 2008, it’s been a different story.”

Fuel costs are the biggest expense for shipping lines and the drop in oil has given them some relief from plunging freight rates driven lower by overcapacity and sluggish global growth. Reducing a ship’s speed by 10 percent can cut fuel consumption by as much as 30 percent, according to ship assessor Det Norske Veritas.

With the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ decision this month to abandon production limits, Brent crude oil has fallen about 35 percent this year to around $37 a barrel, close to the lows reached during the financial crisis. Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino said last month that prices could drop $20 more in 2016.

Even so, shipping companies such as Neptune Orient Lines and China Shipping Container Lines are still losing money.

“There is still scope for further expansion of slow steaming, even in times of low oil prices,” said Mikkel Elbek Linnet, spokesman for A.P. Moeller-Maersk’s container unit, Maersk Line, which pioneered slow steaming in 2008. “Our customers do not want to pay a higher price for faster transport times.”

Companies from Hapag-Lloyd in Germany to Hanjin Shipping in South Korea say they also have no plans to increase the speed of their vessels. It’s size, not speed that everyone wants now.

The go-slow means shipping lines are switching to new designs that favour size over speed. Maersk Line’s so-called Triple-E ships, which can each carry 18,000 20-foot boxes, were made with new hulls and engines to go slower, ditching a widely- used design that had enabled ships to sail as fast as 29 knots. Other shipping lines are seeking similar giants.

“Everyone saw the benefits Maersk Line was getting with the newly designed ships and slow steaming,” according to Park Moo-hyun, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities Co. in Seoul.

Shipping companies have lost money or seen profits decline in the third quarter, typically their busiest period as retailers in the U.S. and Europe increase inventory ahead of the year-end holidays. Levies for a 40-foot container to Los Angeles from Hong Kong dropped to $818 for the week ended December 15, the lowest price since Drewry Shipping Consultants began compiling the figures in April 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

That’s prompting companies to idle some vessels. Shipping companies last month reduced capacity by the most in five years, with the biggest cuts coming on the Asia-Europe route, according to data provider Alphaliner.

Overcapacity could get even worse as lines launch new, bigger and more efficient ships. Vessels with a total capacity of about 2.9 million 20-foot containers are expected to be delivered this year and next, according to Drewry.

“The volume of trade is coming down,” said Shin Ji Yoon, head of research at KTB Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul. “Slowing global demand has created oversupply of ships and slow- steaming has been used to ease some of that problem.”

Source: NZ Herald

THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT

The NZMS nautical website attracted 51,356 hits last month, and has averaged more than 50,000 hits each month so far this year. It is encouraging to know that members are using the website, and keeping in touch with industry activities, and their former student colleagues.

The support shown by students and graduates from the NZMS courses give us a lot of confidence in building the Alumni, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received.  We are still pushing ahead to build membership too, so please keep telling your friends and colleagues about the NZMS Alumni website, and encourage them to join up…..And keep the feedback coming in. We appreciate each and every email we receive from members. We hope this newsletter keeps you up with the play….

Latest Newsletter:  November to February 2016

navigate by the stars  navigate by the stars2

CYBER SECURITY FEARS? – NAVIGATE BY THE STARS AGAIN!

Steering a ship by the stars fell out of favour with the rise of radio-wave and GPS navigation. In fact, the US Naval Academy stopped teaching the skill nearly 20 years ago. But now this ancient navigation is making a comeback at the Annapolis school, thanks to cybersecurity fears, according to the ’Capital Gazette’.

“We went away from celestial navigation because computers are great,” Lieutenant Commander Ryan Rogers, the deputy chairman of the academy’s department of seamanship and navigation, told the Gazette. “The problem is, there’s no back-up.”

For now, the training is limited: Just a three-hour course covering the basics. But it’s part of a larger trend. As governments grapple with the rise of threats in cyberspace – and increasingly realise that they may not be able to stop all of them – old-fashioned techniques are being dusted off as a fail-safe. A security force that guards high-ranking Russian officials, for instance, reverted to using typewriters after revelations about US digital spying capabilities, local news outlets reported. German officials have considered a similar move.

After the US Naval Academy cut celestial navigation training, the practice began to peter out. It ended for the navy at large in 2006, but was brought back for ship navigation officers in 2011. The navy is now rebuilding a program for all enlisted ranks.

But even if a government agency doesn’t want to take computers out of the equation entirely, some experts suggest finding ways to add in checks that live outside a network.

“Merge your system with something that is analog, physical or human so that the system, if subverted digitally, has a second barrier to get over,” said Richard Danzig, vice chairman of the global security think tank RAND Corporation and a former Clinton-era secretary of the navy, during a talk at New York University last December.

“If I really care about something – for example my command and control systems or my nuclear systems or maybe my bank account – I want some requirement not just that there be a digital input, but that there be some human input or other kind of secondary consideration,” he said.

Source – ‘The Washington Post’

RUSSIAN SAILOR DRANK RUM BEFORE SHIP GROUNDED

russian drunk watch keeper

An officer drank half a litre of rum before the cargo ship he was in charge of sailed, full speed, into the Scottish foreshore.

A British investigation has shone a spotlight on the dangerous chain of events that caused a 128-metre (423-foot) vessel to run aground in Scotland earlier this year. The Lysblink Seaway sailed at full speed into a rocky foreshore near Kilchoan, on west Scotland’s Ardnamurchan peninsula.

Investigators found the Russian officer in charge drank half a litre of rum before taking his post on February 18, as the ship made its journey from Belfast, Ireland, to Skogn, Norway. The ship remained aground for almost two days, during which bad weather saw it pounded on the foreshore, breaching its hull and fuel tanks, and spilling 25 tonnes of oil into the water.

“The officer of the watch – who was the sole watchkeeper – had become inattentive at about 0200 due to the effects of alcohol consumption,” the Marine Accident Investigation Branch said in its report. “During the evening, while off-duty in his cabin, the chief officer made a private telephone call which caused him anxiety, after which he consumed about 0.5 litre of rum.”

Alarms which would have alerted the rest of the crew had not been switched on, or were silenced.

“Although a radar watch alarm had sounded every six minutes, the somnolent officer was able to reset the alarm without leaving his chair,” the report said.

There were also other issues with the preparation and implementation of the ship’s passage plan, which, if in place, would have made its grounding “unlikely”.

The ship’s owner had a zero-alcohol policy, but the investigation found the officer wasn’t the only big-drinker on board.

Lysblink Seaways carried a bonded store, which included a stock of spirits, beer and wine. Records showed that the bonded store was regularly replenished, and empty beer, wine and spirit bottles and cartons found on board after the accident indicated significant levels of alcohol consumption by the crew.”

The ship’s owner had taken action to ensure better control of alcohol consumption and vessel management on its other ships, the investigation said, making no further recommendations. The officer was no longer employed by the company.

Source – Stuff

FORMER ARAHURA MEETS INEVITABLE END…

Cook Strait workhorse Arahura has been hauled onto an Indian beach readyarahura awaiting scrap for dismantling.

The former ferry is tied to an Indian coastline where it will be dismantled. The 32-year-old ship, which left Wellington in October, was spotted in an arm of water between the western Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, near the famous Alang ship breaking yards.

An Interislander spokesman said the future use of the ship, known as KiwiRail’s “quiet achiever”, would be a decision for the new owners. The Arahura has sold to a European based buyer, and left Wellington for its new home in India. It is understood the ship is going to an Indian shipwreck yard in Alang, in the district of Bhavnagar. In the past three decades, Alang’s beaches have become a major worldwide centre for ship breaking.

Shipping expert Peter Dawson, of Dawson & Associates said he expected scrap metal from the 13,600-tonne ship to fetch more than $2.1 million on the open market.

Arahura made its last passenger journey across the Cook Strait in July.

Source  – Stuff

BIOLOGIST LAMENTS INVASION OF MARINE ENVIRONMENT

Humans have greatly influenced the distribution of marine species worldwide which has had significant effects. Marine biological invasions were at the centre of University of Waikato biologist Professor Chad Hewitt’s inaugural professional lecture this month.

Professor Hewitt, shown at right,  discussed how society can prevent further human-mediated redistribution of marine species and what controls can be put in place.

“The global context of marine introductions, including our understanding of how species arrive in new locations, the scale of introductions, and the biosecurity frameworks we can put in place to prevent new invasions are all part of the mix,” said Professor Hewitt. “Fundamentally it’s about understanding the biology and ecology of species, the mechanisms of movement – vector ecology, and which interventions work.

“Embedded within that is good governance. In New Zealand and Australia we operate under a risk management framework. Risk management critically relies on good science with feedback: how the science feeds into policy, and how the policy informs what science is needed.”

Professor Hewitt’s research portfolio revolves around the role human’s play in changing the natural world, particularly in marine systems, and how natural science can influence management and policy. His research has primarily focused on how humans have transferred species around the globe, the consequences of those movements in ecological and evolutionary contexts, and the ways that we can predict, prevent and/or mitigate the impacts of these novel species.

Professor Hewitt is the Head of the School of Science at the University of Waikato, responsible for the academic leadership in the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Earth & Ocean Sciences as a single academic unit within the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Building on the existing teaching and research strengths of the three departments he leads the development of world class research and teaching. The inaugural  professorial lectures are free and open to the public and are the University of Waikato’s way of introducing new professors and their research to the wider community.

STUDENTS DO ‘PRACTICALS’ IN CANADA

The first NZ Maritime School students of the 2015 Diploma Nautical Science and Marine Engineering programmes are embarking on their practical work experience onboard Arctic exploration vessel MS ”Ocean Endeavour”, shown below.

Charlotte d’Isle and Sam Haszard have flown to St John, New Foundland ,Canada to join the bridge teams of the MS Ocean Explorer to start the first phase of their 12 month mandatory practical seatime work experience. The students will apply the learning from the completed academic phase of their training, and must complete a number of assignments while working alongside the Captain and officers of the ship, as the ship explorers the pinnacle of Arctic exploration, the Northwest Passage.

The NZ Maritime School has an annual intake of 50 students in the Diploma in Nautical Science and Marine Engineering programmes. International standards require all students to complete about one year of practical work experience onboard a commercial ship and NZ Maritime School staff actively assist the students to find berths onboard cargo vessels, tankers and cruise ships to complete this part of their study programme

completed academic phase of their training, and must complete a number of assignments while working alongside the Captain and officers of the ship, as the ship explorers the pinnacle of Arctic exploration, the Northwest Passage. The NZ Maritime School has an annual intake of 50 students in the Diploma in Nautical Science and Marine Engineering programmes. International standards require all students to complete about 1 year of practical work experience onboard a commercial ship and NZ Maritime School staff actively assist the students to find berths onboard cargo vessel, tankers and cruise ships to complete this part of their study programme.

THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT

The NZMS nautical website attracted 51,356 hits last month, and has averaged more than 50,000 hits each month so far this year. It is encouraging to know that members are using the website, and keeping in touch with industry activities, and their former student colleagues.

The support shown by students and graduates from the NZMS courses give us a lot of confidence in building the Alumni, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received.  We are still pushing ahead to build membership too, so please keep telling your friends and colleagues about the NZMS Alumni website, and encourage them to join up…..And keep the feedback coming in. We appreciate each and every email we receive from members. We hope this newsletter keeps you up with the play.

Latest Newsletter:  August 2015 to November 2015

BIOLOGIST LAMENTS INVASION OF MARINE ENVIRONMENT

Humans have greatly influenced the distribution of marine species worldwide which has had significant effects. Marine biological invasions were at the centre of University of Waikato biologist Professor Chad Hewitt’s inaugural professional lecture this month.

Professor Hewitt, shown at right,  discussed how society can prevent further human-mediated redistribution of marine species and what controls can be put in place.

“The global context of marine introductions, including our understanding of how species arrive in new locations, the scale of introductions, and the biosecurity frameworks we can put in place to prevent new invasions are all part of the mix,” said Professor Hewitt. “Fundamentally it’s about understanding the biology and ecology of species, the mechanisms of movement – vector ecology, and which interventions work.

“Embedded within that is good governance. In New Zealand and Australia we operate under a risk management framework. Risk management critically relies on good science with feedback: how the science feeds into policy, and how the policy informs what science is needed.”

Professor Hewitt’s research portfolio revolves around the role human’s play in changing the natural world, particularly in marine systems, and how natural science can influence management and policy. His research has primarily focused on how humans have transferred species around the globe, the consequences of those movements in ecological and evolutionary contexts, and the ways that we can predict, prevent and/or mitigate the impacts of these novel species.

Professor Hewitt is the Head of the School of Science at the University of Waikato, responsible for the academic leadership in the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Earth & Ocean Sciences as a single academic unit within the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Building on the existing teaching and research strengths of the three departments he leads the development of world class research and teaching. The inaugural  professorial lectures are free and open to the public and are the University of Waikato’s way of introducing new professors and their research to the wider community.

COMPANY PENALISED AFTER DEATH OF WORKER

Dredging NZ has been fined $79,500 and ordered to pay $42,000 in reparation after the death of a worker, crushed on a dredging barge in West Park Marina, Auckland, in November 2013. Peter Bateman died after being crushed between an excavator and the wall of a hopper on a barge being skippered by Brent Darrach.

Dredging NZ was sentenced last month in the Auckland District Court after pleading guilty to a charge laid by Maritime New Zealand under section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 that as an employer it failed to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees at work. In May, Mr Darrach was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $18,000 after pleading guilty to a charge under section 19 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, that as an employee he failed to take all practicable steps to ensure no action or inaction of himself while at work harmed any other person.

The company operates barges fitted with an excavator and a hopper, or walled bin, in which to collect excavated material. The accident happened when Mr Bateman left the barge he was operating to board Mr Darrach’s barge to travel as a passenger a short distance to the wharf. The barges are moved by using the excavator arm to pull and push off the seabed. Mr Bateman died when the excavator rotated, crushing him between the back of the excavator and the hopper wall.

Dredging NZ had no protocols for operation of the vessels, particularly where passengers were involved.  The danger zone within the turning area of excavator was not marked on the barge and Mr Bateman was standing within this area when the accident occurred.

“There was no designated place on board where passengers were directed to sit, and no procedure for the operator to follow to ensure passengers, or nearby personnel, were well clear of any hazards,” Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch said. “Alternatively, the company could have had in place a policy ensuring that passengers were not carried on barges while they were operating. This was a tragic event that could have been avoided if appropriate safety systems were in place.”

NEW SAFETY SYSTEM BOOSTING AWARENESS AMONG COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN.

The introduction of a new maritime safety system is boosting awareness of risk management in the commercial fishing sector, Maritime New Zealand Director Keith Manch believes. The release of the 2014 Health and Safety Attitudes and Behaviours in the New Zealand Workforce surveys – involving agriculture, construction, forestry, manufacturing and commercial fishing – shows that businesses care about the welfare of workers, but this doesn’t always translate into safe work practices.

The survey detail can be found at:-

Survey factsheet [PDF: 199kB, 5 pages]

Report on survey results for the Commercial Fishing sector [PDF: 4.34MB, 207 pages]

The new Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS), introduced in July last year, puts an emphasis on commercial maritime operators, including fishermen, identifying risks specific to their operations and putting in place measures to manage them. MOSS also requires operators to have plans in place for reporting and recording incidents and ensuring staff receive health and safety training.

Commercial operators will transition into MOSS as their previous safe ship management certificates expire over the next four years. To date, around 158 commercial fishing operators are in MOSS, or are completing the application process. In total there are around 1000 commercial operators holding fishing permits.

To date 202 operations are in MOSS, covering more than 400 vessels, from a total of approximately 1700 operators. Where operators have yet to enter MOSS, Maritime NZ conducts audits to ensure the safety of operations.

Maritime NZ also introduced a new a seafarer certification framework, SeaCert, in July last year which will raise the level of competency for seafarers, including fishermen.

“The survey results highlight the importance of people working the fishing industry having a good appreciation of the risks in their workplaces and how to manage them,” Mr Manch said. “Feedback from operators who have gone through the MOSS process indicates they are now more aware of the hazards of their operations, and have specific plans in place to manage these risks. MOSS has a focus on ensuring operations as a whole are safe, beyond simply looking at individual vessels.”

Survey results released today show that in the commercial fishing sector:

  • about 65% of employers say their business practices are strongly influenced by the concern for the welfare of workers
  • around 43% of employers and 51% of workers believe the industry is risker than others, but only around 4% of employers and 19% of workers felt there was a higher risk of a serious injury in their own workplace in the next 12 months
  • around half of workers said a range of risky behaviours took place “from time to time”, such as working when overtired (61%), or sick/injured (56%)
  • 92% of workers and 91% of employers are taking steps to prevent accidents from happening, including a focus on using equipment and machinery safely; talking about health and safety risks and how to manage them; getting HSE training; 76% of workers and 80% of employers think workers and their immediate bosses have the greatest responsibility for keeping people safe at work.

The 2014 Health and Safety Attitudes and Behaviours in the New Zealand Survey Workforce survey was a collaboration between Maritime New Zealand and WorkSafe New Zealand. Maritime New Zealand is responsible for health and safety in the commercial fishing sector. WorkSafe is responsible for health and safety in the agriculture, construction, forestry and manufacturing sectors.

Notifications of fatalities and reported injuries in the commercial fishing sector:-

2014/15 (to date): 29 reported injury incidents (including 2 fatalities)

2013/14: 49 (3 fatalities)

2012/13: 51 (4 fatalities

2011/12: 47 (12 fatalities – includes 8 who died following the ‘Easyrider’ sinking).

NZ TO RATIFY CONVENTION FOR SEAFARERS’ RIGHTS

New Zealand is set to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention – to help ensure fair treatment of seafarers, create conditions of fair competition for shipowners, and protect the reputation of New Zealand exports.

The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) is an international treaty adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) that sets minimum standards for the health, safety and welfare of seafarers on larger commercial vessels. New Zealand is aiming to be a party to the Convention by the end of the year. It would then enter in to force for New Zealand a year later.

The Convention will apply to about 890 foreign commercial cargo and cruise ships visiting New Zealand annually, and 31 New Zealand ships. It covers commercial vessels of 200 gross tonnage or more, and operating outside the in-shore limits. Ratifying the Convention will give New Zealand the power to inspect and verify that crew on foreign ships carrying New Zealand goods are treated fairly and within internationally accepted standards.

Maritime New Zealand is currently preparing draft Maritime Rule amendments that will give effect to the Convention requirements not currently reflected in New Zealand law. New Zealand law, which applies to New Zealand registered ships, is already largely consistent with the Convention.

In adopting the Convention the ILO recognised that while many flag states and ship owners take pride in providing seafarers with decent conditions of work, they can face unfair competition when undercut by those operating substandard ships. The decision by the ILO to create the MLC was the result of a joint resolution in 2001 by the international seafarers’ and shipowners’ organisations, later supported by Governments. As shipping is the “world’s first genuinely global industry”, it was decided the shipping sector needed a more effective enforcement and compliance system that would help eliminate substandard ships.

STUDENTS DO ‘PRACTICALS’ IN CANADA

The first NZ Maritime School students of the 2015 Diploma Nautical Science and Marine Engineering programmes are embarking on their practical work experience onboard Arctic exploration vessel MS ”Ocean Endeavour”, shown below.

Charlotte d’Isle and Sam Haszard have flown to St John, New Foundland ,Canada to join the bridge teams of the MS Ocean Explorer to start the first phase of their 12 month mandatory practical seatime work experience. The students will apply the learning from the completed academic phase of their training, and must complete a number of assignments while working alongside the Captain and officers of the ship, as the ship explorers the pinnacle of Arctic exploration, the Northwest Passage.

The NZ Maritime School has an annual intake of 50 students in the Diploma in Nautical Science and Marine Engineering programmes. International standards require all students to complete about one year of practical work experience onboard a commercial ship and NZ Maritime School staff actively assist the students to find berths onboard cargo vessels, tankers and cruise ships to complete this part of their study programme

completed academic phase of their training, and must complete a number of assignments while working alongside the Captain and officers of the ship, as the ship explorers the pinnacle of Arctic exploration, the Northwest Passage. The NZ Maritime School has an annual intake of 50 students in the Diploma in Nautical Science and Marine Engineering programmes. International standards require all students to complete about 1 year of practical work experience onboard a commercial ship and NZ Maritime School staff actively assist the students to find berths onboard cargo vessels, tankers and cruise ships to complete this part of their study programme.

ARAHURA SIGNS OFF AFTER 32 YEARS

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The ageing Arahura ferry, a familiar sight on Wellington Harbour for 32 years, has made its last ever voyage across the Cook Strait. Fireworks were fired off the Arahura‘s top deck on the final sailing as the boat gave Wellingtonians a last hurrah. It will be sold and replaced by the 16-year-old Stena Alegra, renamed the Kaiarahi, which is in Singapore undergoing sea trails after an extensive refit.

The Interislander company advised the ferry made more than 52,000 Cook Strait crossings and clocked up almost 13 million kilometres in all its years of service. The boat’s greatest moment came on February 16, 1986, just three years into its service, when it responded to a mayday call from the sinking Russian cruise liner Mikhail Lermontov. Under the command of Captain Brew, Arahura arrived at the scene at about 9.30pm, with its crew working to help save many of the 743 people on board the Russian boat.

“It was a dark and raining heavily but nevertheless, Arahura’s crew, with the help of some passengers, worked through the night to get people safely onboard,” Interislander general manager Mark Thompson said.

He said the boat’s design, featuring a modern bridge, was cutting edge in its day and had stood the test of time.

“Her manoeuvrability and capacity to handle even the toughest weather was soon recognised and not surprisingly, she quickly became an integral part of the Interislander fleet,” Mr Thompson said.

Arahura was officially farewelled  with a Wellington harbour cruise carrying early crew, first passengers and some VIPs.

The Stena Alegra, used as a replacement vessel for the Aratere while she was in dry dock earlier this year, has been extensively upgraded, with new passenger facilities for up to 520 people, the fitting of external stabilisers, equipment upgrades and new gangway access. The Stena is a third bigger than Arahura. She can carry close to the same amount of freight in two return sailings as the Arahura can in three.

KiwiRail will charter rather than purchase the ship, as is currently the case with Kaitaki. She will also be re-named and re-branded as part of the Interislander fleet.

“This is the right decision for Interislander and for New Zealand,” says KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy. “It will increase our overall freight and passenger capacity on a critical link for the country. Interislander is an extension of the main trunk line and State Highway One across Cook Strait, and vital for our economy.”

Mr Reidy says that after ruling out construction of a bespoke roll-on roll-off rail ferry due to cost, the company started looking for a replacement RoPax (road-passenger) vessel in 2013.

The owner of the vessel, Stena RoRo would carry out the upgrading work to meet Interislander requirements. They are the largest owner of RoRo ships in the world and have considerable technical and project management expertise in refurbishing their vessels to meet the needs of their customers.

“The Arahura is now 31 years old,” Mr Reidy said. “She’s provided outstanding service over the years and all her masters, engineers and crew have done a fantastic job. But for her to continue active service, we’d need to spend an estimated $25-30 million to bring her up to survey.”

Commenting on the decision not to replace her with a rail capable ferry, Mr Reidy said that a new generation ship would have been required due to changes in stability rules.

“That means ships with a much wider beam, requiring new ferry berths and specialist link-span infrastructure at both Wellington and Picton. The total cost could have risen to over $300 million, and we would have had to order the ship three years in advance. We therefore focused on the second option – existing vessels that could be available in 2015 to meet our criteria.”

Mr Reidy says the Aratere will continue to be the main rail ferry, carrying some 75% of rail freight for another 10-12 years.

“Freight will be loaded on the Stena Alegra by what’s called ‘road bridging.’ We’ve used this process since 2011 while the Aratere was away and for dry docks, so it’s already proven. Freight customers won’t notice any difference, and it’s just as efficient.”

Mr Reidy says during the six months the Stena Alegra replaced the Aratere, “we got a very good feel for what was needed if she came back as a permanent replacement for the Arahura.”

“We also asked the masters who had captained her to give us their views, and all that has been reflected in the changes we are making.”

Mr Reidy said it was the Stena Line’s responsibility to deliver the ship in good working order and compliant with all Classification Society, flag and port state requirements.

The Stena Alegra is currently in Singapore undergoing sea trials after an extensive refit and will join Kaitaki and Aratere in the Interislander fleet in September. After its final last sailing Arahura will be listed for sale with marine brokers.  

THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT

The NZMS nautical website attracted 51,356 hits last month, and has averaged more than 50,000 hits each month so far this year. It is encouraging to know that members are using the website, and keeping in touch with industry activities, and their former student colleagues.

The support shown by students and graduates from the NZMS courses give us a lot of confidence in building the Alumni, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received.  We are still pushing ahead to build membership too, so please keep telling your friends and colleagues about the NZMS Alumni website, and encourage them to join up…..And keep the feedback coming in. We appreciate each and every email we receive from members. We hope this newsletter keeps you up with the play….

Latest Newsletter:  April 2015 to July 2015

SKIPPER’S LICENCES A PRIORITY, SAYS TAIC

A skipper’s licence for boaties, random drug testing for pilots and greater use of tracking devices have been highlighted as priority issues by the country’s transport safety watchdog. The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has released its inaugural “watch list” of safety issues that need addressing to reduce accidents and save lives.

Chief commissioner John Marshall, QC, (shown at right,) said the three issues on the list were the commission’s “most pressing concerns” across the aviation, maritime and rail sectors. There was a concern that maritime rules placed no obligation on recreational skippers to demonstrate knowledge of safe boating behaviour.

“This is a flawed system and one New Zealanders would not accept on the road, on rails or in the air,” Mr Marshall said. “A licensing system would [solve] this, but the concern might also be met through other means.”

He repeated the commission’s concerns about transport operators being impaired by drugs and alcohol. The issue surfaced after several investigations, most notably the Carterton hot-air ballooning tragedy in 2012 in which 11 people died, including the pilot, who had cannabis in his system. The commission recommended compulsory testing for drugs and alcohol, as well as random testing of people in safety-critical transport roles.

“It is simply wrong that the commission, regulators or police cannot require blood tests of people who survive the occurrences we deal with,” Mr Marshall said. “How else can we give satisfactory answers to a public that deserves the best explanation possible as to what went wrong?”

He said operators in the aviation, maritime and rail sectors were under-using the technology available to track and locate planes, ships and trains.

“It is an issue that has been high in the public’s awareness as a result of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight,” he said.

The commission recommended the transport sector do more to encourage, and in some cases require, operators to use tracking and locator devices.

“We are not just talking about airlines flying wide-bodied jets internationally,” Mr Marshall said. “We are also talking about recreational boaties thinking about investing in lifesaving devices such as a personal locator beacon.”

The commission plans to review its watch list annually and add to it over time. Its concerns will be removed once the commission is satisfied they have been dealt with properly.

The prosecution of a ship’s Master with five times the legal breath alcohol limit has been welcomed by Maritime New Zealand.

Parmod Kumar, Master of the African Harrier, pleaded guilty in the Tauranga District Court, to the charge under s40B of the Maritime Transport Act – the first person to be prosecuted since a change to the legislation in October 2013. He was fined $3,000.

The vessel was due to leave Tauranga on its scheduled date, but the Pilot expressed concern to Maritime NZ that the Master was under the influence of alcohol.

After visiting the vessel and speaking to the Master and testing him with an onboard breath test kit, the Maritime NZ staff member asked the Police to test the man. A breath test at Tauranga Police Station showed the man had a breath alcohol level of 1229 micrograms per litre, almost five times the legal limit of 250mg/l, and the man was charged by the Police.

Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch said the prosecution and sentence should send a strong message to the maritime industry.

“This sort of conduct by the Master of a vessel cannot be tolerated,” he said. “This outcome is the result of good cooperation between the Port of Tauranga, the Pilot, Maritime NZ, and the Police. The vast majority of Masters take their responsibilities very seriously but in this case it was clear that firm action was required.”

AUDITORS RATE NZ MARITIME SCHOOL SIMULATOR TRAINING

The Nautical Institute’s auditors gave the NZ Maritime School high marks for their full mission class A sihmulator, used for the DP Simulator training. The auditors also signed-off on the NI accreditation status for the NZ Maritime School.

Congratulations to Rusty and Mark Pointon (Farstad) for a job well done in developing the DP training to the required high standards to achieve NI accreditation.

NZ Maritime School new dynamic positioning training is now operating in its Maritime Simulation Centre. The NZ Maritime School runs simulator courses and DP Induction courses . The courses are run under accreditation from the Nautical Institute.  Only limited places are available for these programmes so please contact NZMS for further information and booking at kbuckens@manukau.ac.nz, or phone the School at +64 9 379 4997.

‘THE MOST LETHAL SEA ROUTE IN THE WORLD’

migrants in boat

Above: Migrants in a boat during an Italian navy rescue operation off the coast of Sicily. Photo / AFP

The Mediterranean crossing from Africa to Europe was described as “the most lethal route in the world” by the UN agency for refugees yesterday, after it announced a record 3419 migrants had lost their lives this year crossing the sea on rickety boats.

News of the grim 2014 death toll comes as the Italian navy winds down its Mare Nostrum rescue mission, which in the past 12 months has saved 150,000 people fleeing poverty and war zones on the African continent.

Instead, Europe’s border protection agency Frontex has launched the Triton operation to rescue migrants in danger. But this has resources of just 3 million euros (NZ$4.9 million) a month – a third of what the Italian Navy has been spending in the past year.

Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, seized on the record death toll to condemn rich nations for what he saw as their indifference to waves of global migration.

“The lack of concern that we see in many countries for the suffering and exploitation of such desperate people is deeply shocking,” he said, at the start of a major conference on migration in Geneva. He added: “Rich countries must not become gated communities, their people averting their eyes from the bloodstains in the driveway.”

To the anger of campaign groups the British Government has said it will not support future search and rescue operations beyond supplying a technical expert to Triton, claiming such missions simply encourage more migrants to make the journey.

Britain’s position was echoed by Matteo Salvini, the head of Italy’s right-wing Northern League party, which has surged in the polls on its anti-immigration ticket.

“The 3419 deaths in the Mediterranean are on the conscience of those who wanted operation Mare Nostrum,” said Mr Salvini at the Foreign Press Association in Rome.

But Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, dismissed this argument.

“If entire families are risking their lives at sea today, it’s because they have already lost everything else and see no other option to find safety,” he said.

All told, a record 348,000 migrants and refugees attempted risky sea crossings this year in search of a better life in Europe, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Middle East, 4272 of them dying in the process, according to the UN refugee agency.

Most of those crossing the Mediterranean headed to Italy first, and the country has rescued more than 150,000 people so far this year.

Italy set up its Mare Nostrum rescue mission in 2013 to reduce the death toll, following two migrant disasters in October that year. Mare Nostrum officially ends on 31 December, although the Italian navy has indicated it intends to continue rescue missions.

Meanwhile, the exodus from Africa and Asia continues. A total of 408 migrants, mainly Syrians, have been rescued after spending six days adrift on a boat in the Mediterranean, Spanish officials said. The migrant craft was intercepted by a Spanish oceanographic vessel on Tuesday about 150 nautical miles east of the Sicilian port of Augusta.

Source – Independent UK

 Latest Newsletter:  December 2014 – March 2015

CONVENTION SUPPORTS WELFARE STANDARDS AND EXPORTS

New Zealand’s decision to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention will strengthen systems for successful exporting, according to BusinessNZ.

The New Zealand Government has announced its ratification of the Convention aimed at ensuring fair treatment of seafarers. The Convention allows New Zealand authorities to inspect foreign ships carrying New Zealand exports, to verify that the treatment of crew meets health, safety and welfare standards. New Zealand registered ships are already consistent with the Convention’s standards.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said the Convention will also provide protection from potential allegations of the mistreatment of crew on foreign ships carrying New Zealand goods.

“New Zealand exporters use foreign ships for most of their goods shipped overseas, and incidents of crew mistreatment on some foreign ships have the potential to cause reputational harm to New Zealand products. This will help protect the reputation of New Zealand exports,” he said.

BusinessNZ was New Zealand’s employer representative in the negotiations towards the Convention.

TALLEY’S ADD TUNA VESSEL…. AND THE CREW!

Talley’s has doubled the size of its tuna-catching ability by buying a second purse-seiner from publicly listed New Zealand seafood company Sanford.

The Eagle arrived at Port Nelson from Pago Pago, the capital of Western Samoa.

Talley’s Nelson division chief executive Tony Hazlett would not disclose the price but said the ship was a significant investment in the future of the skipjack tuna fishery and for Port Nelson.

Because it was already fishing for a New Zealand company Talley’s had kept the 21 existing crew, a mixture of Americans.

It would fish from January to May in New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone and from May to December in the Pacific, Mr Hazlett said. Its first voyage for Talley’s was scheduled to begin early next month.

Although “not a young lady” at more than 40 years old, the 61-metre Eagle was a well built ship with an extremely good hull, Mr Hazlett said. It represented a further expansion for Talley’s, was “another boat that calls Nelson home”, and wouldn’t increase the pressure on the tuna fishery because it was already part of the overall fleet.

There has been building criticism of the amount of tuna being taken from the Pacific but Mr Hazlett said although there were some fishery management areas to be sorted out, Talley’s saw a bright future for the skipjack fishery.

Meanwhile the other Talley’s tuna boat, Captain M J Souza, was undergoing a planned refit and would remain with Talley’s, he said. It has been in port since November 8. Talley’s is a family company and doesn’t publicly disclose its results.

STENA ALEGRA FERRY TO REPLACE ARAHURA

KiwiRail is to replace its 31-year-old Cook Strait rail ferry Arahura with the Swedish-owned ferry Stena Alegra. The ferry would be chartered for five years and would undergo a significant upgrade before arriving in New Zealand. It would also be renamed before being put into service in mid-2015.

The Stena Alegra is currently moored off the Indonesian side of Singapore Strait awaiting propeller and other repairs. The 21,000 tonne Spanish-built Stena Alegra was chartered by InterIslander as a six month replacement vessel earlier this year for the Aratere , which lost a propeller last November when a shaft broke.

Stena Alegra had a troubled time of it during its six month service on the Cook Strait run. In January this year it broke down in Wellington Harbour with an engine problem. Three months later it hit a wharf while berthing in Wellington and suffered a six-metre long gash to its hull above the waterline; and in May this year a propeller blade fell off while the ferry was at sea.

Before being chartered by Interislander, Stena Alegra operated on a route between Poland and Sweden.

FERRY MASTER’S CASE WONT BE RE-OPENED…

The case of the Santa Regina ferry master acquitted after sailing Cook Strait with a gash in the ship’s hull will not be reconsidered, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

On 26 April, 2011, John Alexander Henderson was in charge when the Bluebridge’s Santa Regina was caught by a gust of wind while berthing in Wellington and hit a small unused vessel. The ship was inspected and a small gash found and repaired, but a 3.5m-4m gash about six metres above the water line, which included a 1.85m length of plating opening up, was not noticed and the ship left on its next crossing to Picton. The second gash was found the next morning when the ship returned to Wellington.

Mr Henderson was charged with doing an act that caused unnecessary danger or risk and pleaded not guilty. At his trial in Wellington District Court a judge discharged Mr Henderson and found that there was no actual danger or risk to anyone.

The judge decided that what Mr Henderson did was enough to show that the critical areas of the ship were adequately inspected. The Crown wanted to appeal against the decision to stop the trial but the judge refused to pose questions of law for the Court of Appeal to answer.

The Crown then went to the Court of Appeal directly to have questions of law considered. But in a decision issued the court has refused. The Court of Appeal said the Crown accepted that there had been in fact no actual risk to anyone from the gash. Carrying on the prosecution would serve no practical purpose, the court said.

“At worst any failure on Mr Henderson’s part following the collision will have been to not have carried out an adequate inspection of those parts of the ship where damage from an impact could not give rise to any danger. We see that as relatively unimportant and academic.”

Given it was accepted there was no danger to the public, and the relatively minor nature of any failure on Mr Henderson’s part – if it was proven – there was no public interest in answering the questions of law and, potentially, having Mr Henderson face a retrial, the court said.

It was not in the interests of the good administration of justice that such serious litigation should continue relating to such a minor alleged transgression, it said.

CREW NEGLIGENCE ‘NEARLY LED TO WORST DISASTER’

Carelessness of a ship’s crew led to damage of a protected piece of Taranaki’s coastline, an Environment Court judge has found.

Ship owner Tri View Shipping Private Ltd and operator Fairmont Shipping Ltd Canada were fined a total of $157,500 in the Environment Court at New Plymouth.

In September both pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching the Resource Management Act after the MV Lake Triview damaged the Waiwhakaiho Reef. The charges relate to a May 24 incident, when the ship was anchored off the coast waiting to berth at Port Taranaki. During the wait, the crew failed to keep close watch on the anchor and the ship dragged and struck the reef, grounding itself in about seven metres of water.

“There was clearly a significant degree of carelessness in that regard,” Judge Brian Dwyer said. At the time the cargo vessel was carrying soya meal along with 400 tonnes of oil. Although there had been potential for it to be the worst environmental disaster in New Zealand’s history due to the amount of oil on board, Judge Dwyer said the probability that it would have happened was low. However, he said he took into account the possible threat as well as views of affected hapu Ngati Tawhirikura.

RENA WRECKAGE REMOVAL TOO DANGEROUS

The Rena’s owners are likely to be asked to remove the remaining sections of the wreck’s bow, and any copper, but leave the rest of the wreck on Astrolabe Reef.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has released an independent report suggesting it’s too dangerous to remove the entire wreck.It’s given the owners permission to apply to the Environment Court to leave it there. Rena’s owners to work closely with Maori and prepare a reef monitoring plan.

REVEALED – SHIPPING ‘NEAR MISSES’ ON NZ COAST

More than 50 close calls in the past year disclosed in Transport Ministry report. Collisions, ill-timed power failures, near misses and fires are among more than 50 dodgy incidents involving ships around our coasts over the past year.

The grounding of the 177m-long Singaporean cargo ship Lake Triview on a reef off the coast of New Plymouth in May also features among the cases released to the Green Party by the office of Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee. The ship’s master, Filipino 63-year-old Rolando Valmeo Legaspi, was prosecuted last month for not reporting the five-minute grounding until five days after it happened.

While no oil was leaked, Maritime New Zealand said the incident posed a threat to the ship’s 21 crew and could have caused a “serious impact” on the environment.

In other incidents, temporary power failures led a container ship to “possible contact” with sand at the edge of the channel at Port Chalmers in April, and a bulk carrier to lose steering while leaving the Port of Tauranga last July, sending it veering toward the Mount. Two shackles were dropped from its port anchor, before its engine restarted a few minutes later and it carried on out of the harbour.

And in February, a pilot at the port was unaware divers were working in the water on one docked container ship as another was about to arrive. The approaching ship was stopped in stream after linesmen alerted the pilot to the divers, who were asked to clear the water.

Last year, 13 serious “near miss” incidents were reported since the 2011 grounding and oil spill of the MV Rena – one of which nearly led to a grounding at the Wellington Harbour entrance after a cadet mistakenly plotted a cargo ship’s approach course.

Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes said the near-miss incidents highlighted the need for compulsory shipping lanes.

“The Government has downplayed the risk of further accidents like the Rena and hasn’t focused on how to make coastal shipping safer,” he said. “With the number of near misses since the Rena, it appears the Government is relying on luck, rather than good regulation, to keep us safe from cargo ship crashes.”

In other serious cases reported, a digger working in the hold of a ship caught fire while it was moving fertiliser and a piece of crane block missed a stevedore when it fell into another ship’s hold.

Two crewmen had separate near misses – one falling between a ship and the wharf after missing a jump, the other slipping on logs and tumbling into the harbour.

The most recent Maritime New Zealand figures showed the number of accidents on large international vessels had gradually risen from just over 40 in 2009/10 to more than 70 in 2012/13, despite the number of port calls and voyages in our coastal waters remaining relatively stable over the last three years.

In the past financial year, Maritime New Zealand undertook 10 prosecutions, compared with seven, 16 and seven in the respective preceding years.

 THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT

The NZMS nautical website attracted 51,356 hits last month, and has averaged more than 50,000 hits each month so far this year. It is encouraging to know that members are using the website, and keeping in touch with industry activities, and their former student colleagues.

The support shown by students and graduates from the NZMS courses give us a lot of confidence in building the Alumni, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received.  We are still pushing ahead to build membership too, so please keep telling your friends and colleagues about the NZMS Alumni website, and encourage them to join up…..And keep the feedback coming in. We appreciate each and every email we receive from members. We hope this newsletter keeps you up with the play….

 Latest Newsletter:  August – November 2014

 CROWN’S POST RENA CONSULTATION A WRECK!

By Elton Smallman and Florence Kerr.

The Crown has been described as “incompetent” by Bay of Plenty Maori after the Waitangi Tribunal found it had breached principles of the Treaty by cutting a deal with the owners of MV Rena before consulting local iwi.

The MV Rena container ship ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef (Te Tau o Taiti) on October 5, 2011, spilling more than 350 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, plus containers, in New Zealand’s worst maritime environmental disaster.

Motiti Island hapu spokesman Buddy Mikaere (shown at right) said the “scathing report” by the tribunal proved the Crown was “incompetent.”

“It’s sad, in a way, because 40 years we have had in dealing with the Treaty and Treaty issues seem to count for nothing. We’ve all gone back to square one again. We found their actions really disheartening.”

In an interim report, the tribunal found the Crown’s consultation process failed to fulfil its duty to actively protect Maori and their taonga.

The breach stemmed from a financial settlement between the Crown and owners of the Rena, Daina Shipping Company, worth $27.6 million for the Crown and other public bodies, including Maritime New Zealand and the Bay of Plenty District Health Board.

The Crown had rubber-stamped three deeds of settlement with the Rena owners in October 2012 before consulting Bay of Plenty Maori in November, 2013, despite the Resource Management Act requiring that public bodies take into account the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi when they make decisions.

The Crown agreed “in good faith” to consider making a submission in support of Daina’s resource consent to leave the wreck on the reef.

Daina would pay another $10.4m for “public purposes” if the consent was approved, and the Crown had not opposed the application either directly or indirectly.

The total cleanup was estimated to cost about $47m, leaving a shortfall of around $20m based on the negotiated settlement.

Mr Mikaere said the hapu felt misled by the Crown and out-gunned in terms of resources.

“We’ve been asked to deal with one of the most complex resource consent applications ever and we don’t have the resourcing to get our own . . . expert witnesses.”

Mr Mikaere said since the Rena ran aground in 2011 there had been serious consequences for the hapu living on Motiti Island.

“It has meant we can’t do the manaaki, the hosting on the marae, that we would normally do because we can’t access the reef. There are still doubts about eating fish and seafood from the northern part of the island.”

The chairman of Te Runanga o Ngaiterangi, Charlie Tawhiao, said the tribunal’s finding was justice.

I think it’s something we all need to reflect on, because if there is any criticism of the Waitangi Tribunal process, it’s generally aimed at Maori, when in fact we’ve been driven to taking action because of the continued and ongoing fumbling of the Crown.”

Source – Waikato Times

COSTA CONCORDIA SHIPWRECK FLOATS AGAIN

Italy’s Costa Concordia cruise ship has floated for the first time since it crashed in 2012, its rust-coloured hull emerging from the waves off the Tuscan island of Giglio as an unprecedented salvage operation began.

“The ship is floating and is well balanced. We’re extremely pleased so far,” Franco Porcellacchia, the chief engineer of the project, told reporters as the wrecked vessel – the length of three football fields — inched upwards..

The ship was refloated over a six-to-seven day period then towed away for scrapping to a port in Genoa in northern Italy. The main refloating operation was a smooth operation, when air was pumped into the tanks to raise the ship 10 or so metres. 

“It’s an unprecedented operation and, as with anything being done for the first time, there are risks. But we are confident,” Mr Porcellacchia said.

Boats sounded horns and church bells rang as a tug boat slowly pulled the wreck of the liner, which was around two-and-a half times the size of the Titanic, away from the island of Giglio, accompanied by a convoy of 14 vessels.

The whole salvage operation is set to cost the ship’s owners Costa Crociere, a unit of Carnival Corp, more than €1.5 billion (NZ$2.3 billion), its chief executive said earlier this month.

The ship’s captain Francesco Schettino is fighting charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck as he tried to “salute” the port, and abandoning ship.

The demolition and scrapping will be done by a consortium including Italian oil services group Saipem and Genoa-based companies Mariotti and San Giorgio.

The Concordia crashed off Giglio, forcing many of its 4229 passengers and crew from 70 countries to jump into the sea as lifeboat pulleys failed. The luxury liner sank after hitting rocks on January 13, 2012 in a tragedy which left 32 people dead.

SEAWEEK PLANS FOR 2015

The New Zealand Association for Environment Education has scheduled its flagship event Seaweek for Saturday 28 February to Sunday 8 March 2015.

The theme will be “Look beneath the surface – Papatai ō roto – Papatai ō raro” highlighting the need to tackle issues such as marine pollution and learn about the positive impacts of sustainable fishing and preserving marine reserves for future generations.

Seaweek 2015 is once again supported by ASB Community Trust, Department of Conservation, NZ Marine Studies Centre, University of Otago, Auckland Council, the DSP Print Group Ltd and many local sponsors. New sponsor the New Zealand Coastal Society will provide prize money for the winning Seaweek Ocean Champion for 2015.

NZAEE Seaweek’s website is at www.seaweek.co.nz

SHIPPING INCIDENTS ON THE RISE

Collisions, ill-timed power failures, near misses and fires are among more than 50 dodgy incidents involving ships around our coasts over the past year.

The grounding of the 177m-long Singaporean cargo ship Lake Triview on a reef off the coast of New Plymouth in May also features among the cases released to the Green Party by the office of Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee.

The ship’s master, Filipino 63-year-old Rolando Valmeo Legaspi, was prosecuted last month for not reporting the five-minute grounding until five days after it happened.

While no oil was leaked, Maritime New Zealand said the incident posed a threat to the ship’s 21 crew and could have caused a “serious impact” on the environment.

In other incidents, temporary power failures led a container ship to “possible contact” with sand at the edge of the channel at Port Chalmers in April, and a bulk carrier to lose steering while leaving the Port of Tauranga last July, sending it veering toward the Mount. Two shackles were dropped from its port anchor, before its engine restarted a few minutes later and it carried on out of the harbour.

In February, a pilot at the port was unaware divers were working in the water on one docked container ship as another was about to arrive.The approaching ship was stopped in stream after linesmen alerted the pilot to the divers, who were asked to clear the water.

Last year, there were13 serious “near miss” incidents since the 2011 grounding and oil spill of the MV Rena – one of which nearly led to a grounding at the Wellington Harbour entrance after a cadet mistakenly plotted a cargo ship’s approach course.

Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes said the near-miss incidents highlighted the need for compulsory shipping lanes.

“The Government has downplayed the risk of further accidents like the Rena and hasn’t focused on how to make coastal shipping safer,” he said.

“With the number of near misses since the Rena, it appears the Government is relying on luck, rather than good regulation, to keep us safe from cargo ship crashes.”

The most recent Maritime New Zealand figures showed the number of accidents on large international vessels had gradually risen from just over 40 in 2009/10 to more than 70 in 2012/13, despite the number of port calls and voyages in coastal waters remaining relatively stable over the last three years.

In the past financial year, Maritime New Zealand undertook 10 prosecutions, compared with seven, 16 and seven in the respective preceding years.

But the Green Party’s promise of compulsory shipping lanes, to avoid a Rena-like disaster, is dubbed a pointless policy by the Transport Minister. It’s part of the Greens’ package to protect coastal areas from oil spills – but Minister Gerry Brownlee doesn’t see much merit in the idea.

“The error has been well and truly established that the ship was piloted off-course, and it hit a reef that should have been very easy to miss. Whether or not you have shipping lanes would not make too much difference to human error.”

But the Maritime Union says an increase in the oil pollution levy on the shipping industry to properly fund response to oil spills is long overdue.

The Union is backing the Green Party policy to introduce compulsory shipping lanes and make ship owners pay for the clean up in case of disasters. National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the Union has been calling for the introduction of a permanent fast response vessel funded by the oil and gas industry.

“Their ship runs aground they have to clean it up,  – the cost of 500 million dollars – so be it – taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for a foreign ship owner’s mistake.”

Since the Rena ran aground in 2011 there have been 35 near miss incidents, including seven container ships, 12 other cargo vessels, and seven tankers, it says.

It was only a matter of time before another grounding and shipping lanes were an important measure to prevent it, Maritime Union national secretary Joe Fleetwood said. Lanes existed in other maritime countries including the United Kingdom, Norway and Canada, he said.

“The large number of foreign flag of convenience vessels on the New Zealand coast together with the enormous pressure put on ships’ officers and crews for fast turnaround requires immediate action to prevent a future disaster.”

FERRY CAPSIZES IN BANGLADESH

About 100 people are still unaccounted for after a ferry with 200 passengers on board capsized in a river southwest of the Bangladesh capital Dhaka, the chief of the district administration said.

Low-lying Bangladesh, with extensive inland waterways and slack safety standards, has an appalling record of ferry accidents, with casualties sometimes running into the hundreds.

Overcrowding is a common factor in many of the accidents and each time there is an accident the government vows to toughen regulations.

Mohammad Saiful Hasan Badal, deputy commissioner of Munshiganj district, said about 100 passengers had been rescued from the vessel after it went down in the Padma river. Two women had been taken to hospital and died and the remainder of those on board were unaccounted for, he said. There was a possibility some had swum to the riverbank.

“Most of the passengers were coming back to the city after celebrating Eid al-Fitr,” Mr Saiful said, referring to the festival marking the end of the Ramadan fasting month.

Teams from the Inland Water Transport Authority, fire brigade and the army were helping with the rescue about 30 kilometres southwest of Dhaka. The stretch of river where the ferry sank was deep and the weather was bad, meaning there was no sign of the boat under the choppy water. In March 2012, a ferry sank near the same spot, killing at least 145 people.

Source: Reuters news agency.

THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT

The NZMS nautical website attracted 51,356 hits last month, and has averaged more than 50,000 hits each month so far this year. It is encouraging to know that members are using the website, and keeping in touch with industry activities, and their former student colleagues.

The support shown by students and graduates from the NZMS courses give us a lot of confidence in building the Alumni, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received.  We are still pushing ahead to build membership too, so please keep telling your friends and colleagues about the NZMS Alumni website, and encourage them to join up…..And keep the feedback coming in. We appreciate each and every email we receive from members. We hope this newsletter keeps you up with the play….

Latest Newsletter:  April to July 2014

‘TRANSITIONAL RATHER THAN TRANSFORMATIONAL’ CHANGE

‘Transitional rather than transformational – this is the approach which newly appointed Executive Dean of the New Zealand Maritime School, Paul Harper sees his role. 

“The school is already really well respected internationally and I see my leadership as bringing a transitional rather than transformational change,” he said. “I definitely see an opportunity for MIT to continue grow its international student base particularly from countries such as Asia and India as there is a lot of demand for graduates with maritime, shipping, freight and logistics skills in these regions.”

“The cruise industry is also performing well globally so there are also good job opportunities in this industry for our graduates and this is also an extremely important source of training berths for our students,” he said.

The school is facing some challenges such as the strong NZ dollar which is affecting the cost of studying in New Zealand and the show down in China that’s affecting the broader shipping industry.

Mr Harper has previously been Senior Lecturer and Programme Coordinator Marine Engineering at the New Zealand Maritime School.

Paul began his career studying as a marine engineer at Manukau Polytechnic, as MIT was known then, before gaining 10 years seagoing experience, attaining the rank of Chief Engineer. He then gained management experience within the shipping industry globally, including technical management roles with SSM Ltd of Glasgow and Jebsens of Norway.

Paul also has considerable industry and commercial experience, including Chief Executive of Carter Holt Harvey Lodestar, a logistics and shipping management business, and general management roles within Carter Holt Harvey Ltd, as well as Group General Manager of Interisland Line. He also currently holds a number of directorships, including Port of Napier Ltd and Netlogix Ltd, a 4PL logistics company.

MIT chief Executive Peter Brothers said: “Paul’s commitment to the success of students, as well as his broader commercial and industry experience will be of benefit to both the NZ Maritime School, the Centre for Logistics and to MIT as a whole.

“Continuing the growth and performance of our Maritime School is important to MIT, and I am delighted that we have been able to appoint an excellent candidate from within the school,” he said.

Outgoing Dean,Tim Wilson will continue to contribute to the global maritime industry in an emeritus role.

SEA CERT IS CERT-AIN NOW

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has signed into law the Maritime Rules giving effect to SeaCert – a major overhaul of the certification process for New Zealand seafarers.

SeaCert is the new Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) seafarer licensing framework for domestic and international Certificates of Competency and Proficiency. It also sets out where seafarers can operate in local and international waters and will replace the old Qualifications and Operational Limits (QOL) system.

“SeaCert provides a new, simpler and competency-based domestic certificate framework as well as increased recognition of New Zealand certificates overseas, making it easier for New Zealand seafarers to work in other jurisdictions,” said General Manager Maritime Standards Sharyn Forsyth.

“We’ve worked extensively with a wide range of industry bodies, government agencies and training providers during the development of SeaCert, and together we’ve designed a robust, practical system with seafarers in mind.”

MNZ is also putting together over 50 pieces of guidance covering each certificate and endorsement, so no matter what qualification a seafarer holds, there is information designed specifically for it.

No seafarer will lose privileges under SeaCert – in fact some will gain privileges as they transition to the new system.  A new set of maps on operational limits has also been designed, which outline where seafarers can operate using their new certificates.

SeaCert comes into force on 1 April 2014.

Seafarers should visit maritimenz.govt.nz/seacertto see how their certificates will transition or be confirmed under SeaCert, and where their operational limits will be set.

DP REVALIDATION TO START ON JAN 1, 2015

On January 1, 2015, The Nautical Institute will begin revalidating certificates issued under its Dynamic Positioning (DP) Operator training scheme. The certificates will be processed according to the date they were issued.

Confirmation letters from companies will be required for DP sea-time gained after 1 January 2014. DP sea-time must also be logged correctly in the NI/IMCA logbook along with a completed statement of suitability.

Further information about these changes can be found in the Dynamic Positioning area of The Nautical Institute’s website. http://www.nautinst.org/en/dynamic-positioning/index.cfm

The Institute has recently received a number of fraudulent DP applications. As a result, staff and training centres are being extra vigilant. Applications that are found to be fraudulent may be revoked and the individual banned from The Nautical Institute’s DP training scheme for a period of five years.

For further information, go to : Dynamic Positioning ; www.nautinst.org

Panama montage

Above:  The Miraflores locks, lower left, and the Galliard Cut, lower right – part of the network of canals and locks which make up the Panama Canal crossing.

PANAMA CANAL EXPERIENCE

By David McGonigal.

It takes all day to sail the 80 kilometres of the Panama Canal. Still, that’s not a bad day’s travelling when it saves a 13,000-kilometre voyage around Cape Horn if you’re merely sailing from one coast of the US to the other.

But that saving comes a cost –  The Royal Caribbean’s 90,000-tonne Radiance of the Seas, for instance, pays a total bill for a canal transit of US$300,120 ($351,686), paid well in advance.

The six great milestones in cruising are said to be sailing around the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn, through their man-made shortcuts the Suez and Panama canals, an Atlantic crossing between Europe and North America or a voyage around the world.

Of all these only the Panama Canal gives customers the sundrenched delights of the Caribbean and the natural delights of Costa Rica and the Baha. …and it’s pretty special being on a ship of almost 100,000 tonnes as it’s lifted 28 metres to cross a mountain range.

When France first started to cut the Panama Canal through the thinnest part of the isthmus that joins North and South America in 1880, the plan was to dig down to sea level so ships could simply sail through.

After all, that had worked well for the Suez Canal, which opened a decade earlier. It’s hard to imagine looking at kilometres of mountains and disease-ridden jungle filled with sloths and howler monkeys, then picking up a shovel and thinking “we can dig a trench through this and link two oceans”.

It’s even more surprising that it was first proposed in 1534 by the King of Spain. However, they underestimated the environment. Excavations collapsed in the rain and thousands of workers died of disease in the swamps. It’s estimated that 30,000 of the 80,000 people that worked on the canal perished – and most (perhaps 22,000) died during the French attempt.

In 1903 the US took a lease over the site with the enthusiastic support of President Theodore Roosevelt and a more-conservative lock-based crossing was designed. The first ship sailed through the canal’s three sets of locks on August 15, 1914.

Many ships have been built to fit the canal – the so-called Panamax dimensions. A German construction error resulted in some cruise liners being 32.46 metres wide – the maximum permissible beam is 32.31 metres.  Ships often appear to spill over both sides of the lock as they traverse the tight squeeze through and into the man-made Gatun Lake area. There’s a procession of ships heading in both directions and there are only a few passing lanes. It is not uncommon for ships to leave their calling card. In the Pedro Miguel lock for instance, ships often scrape both sides leaving some paint behind.

Cruise ships today offter unique luxury, and there is a competition among ship’s architects to see who can out design the other.  Central atriums, often soaring seven storeys high, with exterior glass walls provide spectacular views.   Radiance of the Seas became a viral hit YouTube sensation for its self-levelling pool tables, using technology created for oil platforms. Even in rough seas they provide no excuse for bad shots.

The Gaillard Cut, where the canal slices through 12.6 kilometres of the mountains of the Continental Divide – the link between the Andes and the Rockies, is a spectacular sight.Extensive excavation work is under way to widen the canal here and new, larger locks are due to open in 2014. At the southern end of the cut is the Centennial Bridge that looms overhead – it was built in 2004 and looks very much like Sydney’s Anzac Bridge.

The Miraflores lock signals the end of the canal, as ships emerge into the Pacific Ocean. The Bridge of the Americas of the Pan-American? highway spanning North and South America completes the crossing. The ship has just sailed over a continent.

David McGonigal travelled as a guest of Royal Caribbean International.

>Canal therapy: Fast facts

  • Panama Hats are from Ecuador – they became known to the world when worn by Ecuadorians working on the Panama Canal.
  • The Panama Canal runs north-south though it joins the Caribbean Sea in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west.
  • The Panama Canal was owned and operated by the US until it was handed over to Panama at noon on December 31, 1999.
  • The centenary of the Panama Canal will be marked by the opening of new locks and passages 25 per cent larger than the current ones.
  • The budget for enlarging the canal is US$5.5 billion ($6.45 billion).
  • Ships are already being designed for the New Panamax standards.

No transit through the Pamana Canal is free, ever. The cheapest toll was paid by an American adventurer named Richard Halliburton who swam the canal in 1928. His body displacement was calculated, just as it is for a cruise ship, and he was invoiced US36¢.

– Sydney Morning Herald

COSTA CONCORDIA CAPTAIN RETURNS TO THE BRIDGE

The former captain of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino, went back on board last month for the first time since the huge cruise liner sank just over two years ago, accompanying experts investigating the capsize.

The twisted wreck of the 290-metre-long ship, now stabilised after a complex salvage operation last year, sits propped up on underwater platforms just outside the port of Giglio, the island off the Tuscan coast where it capsized on January 13, 2012, killing 32.

Mr Schettino, who faced multiple charges including manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship, went aboard the vessel with a expert team appointed by the court but is only present as a defendant and is taking no active part in the investigation.

His lawyers said the investigation would be able to ascertain whether the ship’s equipment was working correctly or whether malfunctions caused the incident or worsened conditions during the chaotic night time evacuation of the ship.

”We’ve been asking for these checks for two years,” said Domenico Pepe, one of the defence team. ”If the generator had worked properly nothing would have happened. Without the generator, the rudder, the lights, the doors, the pumps and the lifeboats didn’t work.”

Now stripped of his maritime licence, Mr Schettino was the only person on trial after four crew members and an official of the ship operator Costa Cruises were sentenced to terms of up to 34 months in prison after pleading guilty last year. He has admitted that he bore responsibility for the accident as the ship’s captain. But he said that he was not the only person to blame and has pushed for the vessel to be examined for evidence of possible technical faults.

However, the investigation has already been clouded by allegations that two officials of the ship’s owners, Costa Cruises, boarded the wreck without authorisation. A separate probe has been opened into that.

FERRY SAILED WITH GASHED HULL

The captain of a Cook Strait ferry carried passengers to Picton and back to Wellington with a 3.5 metre gash in the side after a collision with another ship during a stormy berthing.

John Henderson, 67, a master of ship who lives in Invercargill, has pleaded not guilty to being the holder of a maritime document, a certificate of competency, and, being in charge of the Santa Regina, doing an act that caused unnecessary danger to the crew or passengers between April 25 and April 28, 2011.

Crown prosecutor Ian Murray told a Wellington District Court jury the Santa Regina was sailed from Picton to Wellington on April 26, 2011 in high winds and rain. Mr Henderson was the master of the ship, employed by Strait Shipping. During an attempt to berth at Glasgow wharf the Santa Regina was blown sideways and collided with another ship, the Southern Prospector, and the wharf. Mr Murray said two holes were torn in the hull, a minor one of about 12cm which was repaired and a 3.5m gash was breached the hull and was not noticed during a torchlight inspection.

The Santa Regina was then sailed back to Picton and returned to Wellington with the gash in place which was not seen until a member of the Wellington Harbourmasters team spotted it.

Mr Murray said during the sailings there was storm warning in place for Cook Strait. He told the jury the problem was the inadequate inspection of the ship after the collision which led to two more sailings putting the crew and passengers at unnecessary risk.

Mr Henderson’s lawyer Michael Reed, QC, told the jury the size of the gash was disputed and the defence said it was 1.85m and was cosmetic rather than structural. He said no water entered the hole during either crossing and at no time was there any risk of the ship sinking or the passengers or crew risk.

Mr Reed said Henderson was a very experienced captain who would never have sailed if he thought there had been any risk.

HOW MANY FISHERMEN HAVE NO SKIPPERS LICENCE ?

By Collette Devlin.

Stewart Island fisherman John Colin Barry had been fishing for about 30 years, but he has never held a skipper’s licence.

Easy Rider skipper Rewai Karetai was criticised for not having a skipper’s certificate when it capsized in March 2012, claiming eight lives, including his own.

The issue of having a skipper’s ticket was highlighted again two years after the loss, when his widow, Gloria Davis, came under the hammer amid claims she knew he did not have one. She pleaded not guilty to three charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act and two under the Maritime Transport Act. A defended hearing was held in the Invercargill District Court last month but Judge John Strettell has reserved his decision.

It has been revealed other fishermen may also be flouting industry regulations. Maritime New Zealand is now looking into whether Mr Barry has been operating in compliance with the rules.

Mr Barry, who fishes for Urwin and Company, claims he is not the only one without a ticket. He had been fishing for about 30 years and “clocked up 40,000 hours behind the wheel”. He confirmed he skippered the Neroli and did not have a ticket but carried someone who did.

“Of course I am the skipper, I have much more experience. I only have to carry someone with a ticket,” he said. He had never got around to sitting his ticket until now and would be qualified within two weeks, he said. Other fishermen were in the same position and it was a way of life, he said.

“After Maritime changed the rules, a lot of people never changed with them. It has been going on forever.”

He believed in the wake of the Easy Rider tragedy, Maritime New Zealand was after more skippers because it was being dragged over the coals.

A Maritime NZ spokeswoman said Maritime NZ had continuously led industry and community engagement on fishing vessel stability and safety. After the loss of the Kotuku vessel in Foveaux Strait in 2006, it engaged with the local community about deck cargo, freeing ports and vessel stability.

Similar engagements occurred in 2013 after the loss of the Easy Rider, and it had also carried out several safety actions as a result of the sinking, including issuing a booklet on fishing vessel stability and completing an assessment of the Owenga class of fishing vessels in May 2012 after the release of urgent recommendations by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission.

The new Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) would improve safety across the sector but it was not a response to Easy Rider, she said. From April, entry into MOSS would happen after expiration of an operator’s SSM certificate.

New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen Executive Committee member Peter Scott said the federation would not condone not having a ticket and was involved with safety programmes.

Tickets also set limits on certain areas a vessel could fish in and some fishermen held the wrong tickets. He was aware of other fishermen, one in particular, who had no ticket for his whole career. Another fisherman’s ticket was so old, it was on cloth, he said.

Maritime NZ Standards general manager Sharyn Forsyth said its records “do not show John Colin Barry as having a skipper’s licence”.

As the owner of the Neroli vessel, Mr Barry was aware of the legal requirement to have a licensed skipper operating the vessel. However, he could still be compliant with the rules if he employed a qualified skipper to operate the vessel.

Maritime NZ took any instances of operators acting without the appropriate documentation seriously, she said. Ensuring vessels and individuals were operating with the appropriate maritime documents had always been a critical focus of Maritime’s approach.

– © Fairfax NZ News

MAANZ HIGHLIGHTS MARITIME HISTORY

New Zealand has a rich and varied maritime heritage. Our ancestors both Polynesian and European relied on the ocean for transport, food, and trade. Indeed it did not stop there. Unfortunately in New Zealand much of the population is blissfully unaware not only of our maritime heritage but also its importance.

The Maritime Archeaological Association of New Zealand is one organisation committed to keeping that heritage alive. Each year many relics and artifacts that reflect our maritime heritage are lost forever. Members of MAANZ are working together as an Association and also many in their own right to bring about a change.

MAANZ publishes some of its research material and makes this publicly available in report form. One of the most recent reports is the ‘Riddle of the Rifleman’ – highlighting a mystery surrounding the name of this wreck and the artefacts recovered from the wreck site beneath the storm-lashed cliffs of the Auckland Island. It was the foundation of MAANZ’s development of its metals conservation laboratory. Read more about MAANZ reports here or under the ‘Reports and Articles‘ menu item.

MAANZ also provides a number of lectures each year on maritime archaeological topics. Also, an associate group of MAANZ in Wellington, the Maritime Friends of the Museum of Wellington City & Sea, (MFOM) independently host a series of lectures on maritime subjects. Because of our common interest area MAANZ takes pleasure in promoting these talks along with our own. Between the two lecture series we cover a wide range of very interesting maritime subjects.All lectures are presented at the Museum of Wellington City & Sea and start at 7-30pm. A gold coin donation is requested to cover the cost of a light supper at the conclusion of each event. Any enquiries should be made to Ken Scadden – (04) 232 6484 or Malcolm McGregor – (04) 5660278 (after work hours).  The lecture series is expanded or amended during the course of the year.

Most lectures are recorded on video and are available to MAANZ members on DVD. The video library is extensive. Click here to see the list .

The forthcoming lecture topics and event dates for 2014 are.

Wed 16 April 2014
Stewart Island Whaling Station
by Dr Matt Schmidt

May 2014
Proposed Film Evening
with NZ Film Archives Organiser Richard Gray

June 2014
Proposed NIWA Invertebrates Visit
Organised by Mike Penfold

June/July 2014
Proposed NIWA Visit to Tangaroa
Organised by John Ackrill

(Future) 2014
Proposed Ngauranga Store Visit
Organised by Ken Scadden

MAANZ wishes to acknowledge the generous support and patronage of Seaworks New Zealand Ltd. Seaworks actively supports MAANZ maritime archaeological and metals conservation activities. MAANZ is pleased to have the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a member. Many of MAANZ’s activities relate to historic sites and it is very pleasing to have HPT’s awareness and guidance as we develop maritime archaeological projects that are in both of our areas of knowledge and interest.

MAANZ enquiries to: President:Ken Scadden; Vice President and Secretary:Malcolm McGregor; Membership Secretary:Jack Fry; Treasurer:John Ackrill.

 THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT

We continue to get good “traffic statistics” from NZMS Alumni members. Consistently, since May last year we have been receiving over 20,000 hits per month. Our record month of traffic is October 2013, when we achieved 61,871 hits but any traffic of over 40,000 hits shows good use and support. We watch those “stats” closely.  Google Analytics gives us very good data about site patronage, and this helps us plan the website to the best benefit of members.

The support shown by students and graduates from the NZMS courses give us a lot of confidence in building the Alumni, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received.  We are still pushing ahead to build membership too, so please keep telling your friends and colleagues about the NZMS Alumni website, and encourage them to join up…..And keep the feedback coming in. We appreciate each and every email we receive from members. We hope this newsletter keeps you up with the play….

Latest Newsletter –  December 2013 – April 2014

NICARAGUAN CANAL STILL ON THE CARDS…..

The Nicaragua Government has advised that its inter-ocean canal – a likely competitor for the Panama Canal – will start a year later than planned because the waterways path has yet to be defined. Canal Authority President Manuel Coronel Kautz said the project will not begin until 2015 because the canal route approval comes in the third quarter  of this year. Originally, it was hoped construction could begin this year.

Mr Kautz said authorities wanted to wait for feasibility studies to be well advanced. Everything is proceeding in a timely manner, he said.

This announcement came during a dispute between Panama’s Government and a consortium responsible for expanding its canal.

 MARITIME NEW ZEALAND WELCOMES RENA REPORT FINDINGS

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has welcomed the release of the independent review of its response to the grounding of the Rena, and the announcement of $2m of Government funding to help improve New Zealand’s maritime response capability. The report, by independent reviewer Simon Murdoch, was released by Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee.

MNZ Director Keith Manch said the organisation was already implementing a number of the review recommendations and the funding package would help MNZ develop a wider strategic and operational response to maritime incidents.

In the review report, Mr Murdoch made it clear the Rena grounding was unprecedented in its complexity but the response, while flawed in some aspects, had ultimately been effective.

After Rena hit the Astrolabe Reef on October 5, 2011, hundreds of oil spill responders and 8,000 volunteers removed around 1,000 tonnes of oily waste from the coastline, recovered more than 4,500 tonnes of containers and debris and rescued hundreds of oiled birds. Beaches closed as a result of oil were re-opened from November 16, 2011.

“The reviewer finds the response team overcame initial hurdles to set up a strong and effective team that worked closely with the local community. The response minimised the risks to wildlife and achieved a high quality, world class clean-up,” Mr Manch said. “The generally positive results of the Rena Recovery Plan’s scientific monitoring programme support this finding.”

Mr Manch said the response team faced a complex scenario involving not only oil recovery, but non-oil pollution from containers and resulting debris, as well as overseeing a difficult salvage operation.

“I’m very proud of the professional and sustained effort by people across MNZ but we certainly did not act alone. The success of the response was only possible due to the collaborative efforts of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, iwi, community groups, local government and other agencies such as the Department of Conservation, the Defence Force, and Massey University’s Wildlife Health Centre.”

The review states: “As is often the case, imperfections in systems, plans and structures, which are to be expected in any crisis, can be overcome by a workforce that is motivated and well managed.” (8.6)

“The review identifies a range of areas for improvement including: being better prepared (strategically and operationally) across government and with response partners; having greater capability and training; improved administration; revising the structure of the incident command centre (ICC); and better engagement with communities and iwi.”

Mr Manch said a work programme was already underway to build on the lessons identified in the review. MNZ has:

  • worked closely with the Ministry of Transport, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Environmental Protection Agency to improve inter-agency information-sharing and reporting on maritime response activity.
  • undertaken a comprehensive review of the National Response Team (NRT) – a group of trained oil spill responders from around the country who form the core response team for a Tier 3 oil spill incident. The team will have greater resources to support oil spill response and the national oiled wildlife response.
  • appointed an exercise leader and additional technical support staff at MNZ’s Maritime Pollution Response Service (MPRS). A logistics manager has also been seconded to MPRS to improve national procurement and supply arrangements.
  • reviewed its international support arrangements for oil spill response – both government and specialist commercial support. This includes the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and salvage experts London Offshore Consulting.
  • developed additional specialist support arrangements in areas such as well control and hazardous and noxious substances
  • initiated discussions with the Department of Conservation aimed at the development of memorandum of understanding to develop a wider response policy framework to address non-oil pollution and natural resource protection in its marine jurisdiction and coastline.
  • reviewed the wildlife response contract to ensure better integration of this area of the response into the NRT.
  • undertaken training for MNZ staff on the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund and International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation to improve understanding of how financial claims for oil pollution incidents should be compiled.

MNZ is currently reviewing the national Oil Spill Response Strategy. MNZ is also reviewing its purchasing system to improve financial management during the peak of a response.

The “Independent Review of Maritime New Zealand’s Response to the MV Rena Incident on 5 October 2011” report is available on the MNZ Rena response page (see below).

Response to the Rena grounding

NEW MOSS RULES TAKE EFFECT FROM JULY…

The new Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) rules have been signed into law, with operators required to comply with the new regime from 1 July 2014.  The introduction marks the most significant change to the New Zealand domestic commercial shipping framework in 15 years, according to Maritime New Zealand.

MOSS makes it clear that an entire maritime operation, rather than just a vessel, needs to be examined to ensure all safety risks are identified and managed. Under MOSS, operators of vessels are intended to exercise greater influence and control over their business, with regulatory oversight provided by MNZ.
“The rules have been developed in close consultation with industry, and with improved operator safety as the guiding principle,” said MNZ Director Keith Manch. “Statistics show the maritime sector, and the fishing industry in particular, is one of the most dangerous workplaces in New Zealand – MOSS is designed to tackle this issue.

“Operators know their operations best. They understand the potential risks involved and how to manage those risks, so they are best placed to develop safety systems specific to their operations.”

“I believe MOSS strikes the right balance between ensuring operators take control of developing and implementing their own safety system, and providing the right amount of regulatory oversight for these systems,” said Mr Manch.
The principles guiding MOSS are improving safety by putting a greater focus on vessel owners and operators operating safely; creating clearer lines of responsibility for the day-to-day safe operation of vessels; providing effective and efficient regulatory oversight by MNZ; and making it easier for operators, surveyors and MNZ staff to support safe vessels and safe operating practices.

MNZ held a series of briefings for operators and surveyors last year to explain their role in the new system. More in-depth interactive workshops will take place in early 2014, for all interested operators and surveyors, but particularly those operators who need to apply to enter MOSS before July 1, 2014. About 60 operators will enter MOSS each month.

For more information about MOSS, including a full rundown of operator responsibilities, key dates, or to register your interest in attending a briefing or workshop, visit maritimenz.govt.nz/moss.

View MOSS home page now

SeaCert SCHEDULED TO GO LIVE IN JANUARY 2014

SeaCert, like MOSS, has been developed in consultation with industry. It has several advantages over the current system, including:

  • a more streamlined certification process through maritime schools, which eliminates repetition
  • increased recognition of NZ certificates overseas, allowing New Zealand seafarers to work in other jurisdictions
  • better defining operational limits, in particular to comply with STCW and align with STCW-F
  • the removal of unnecessary barriers to entry and career progression.

It is also worth noting that no operators will lose privileges under SeaCert – in fact, some will gain privileges as they transition from one certificate to another. More information about this can be found by visiting the MNZ website.

Crucial to the success of the project is ensuring MNZ has current details for all holders of maritime documents. To update details, please email qualifications@maritimenz.govt.nz

New information about SeaCert is being loaded onto the MNZ website on a regular basis. There are also over 50 pieces of guidance being put together by MNZ, which will cover each and every certificate and endorsement, so for all qualifications , there is information developed specifically for it.

MNZ is also producing a series of maps on operational limits, and these will be made available on the SeaCert home page as they are completed.

SHIP TOUR ‘OPENS EYES’ FOR CAREER OPPORTUNITIES…

With the cruise ship season underway, Manukau Institute of Technology’s (MIT) New Zealand Maritime School arranged for a group of careers advisors from high schools around the Auckland region to tour the Dawn Princess cruise ship while it was docked across the street from their campus.

Based in downtown Auckland, the NZ Maritime School overlooks the harbour and ports. It offers a broad range of qualifications in navigation and marine engineering, as well as New Zealand Commercial and Yacht licensing programmes. MIT’s  Centre for Logistics also based at the campus offers programmes in logistics, shipping and freight.

Careers advisors from 21 schools including Dilworth School, St Kentigern College, One Tree Hill College, Howick College, Edgewater College, Mcleans College, Botany Downes Secondary College, Glenfield College, Orewa College, Kaipara College, Waiuku College, Avondale College, Waitakere Colleges, Tangaroa College, Pukekohe High School, Manurewa High School and Onehunga High School toured the Princess Cruises’ ship which sleeps 2000 passengers and 840 crew.

MIT’s NZ Maritime School Programme Co-ordinator, Captain Kees Buckens told the group, “With 95% of all goods transported into New Zealand by ship the maritime industry is of major importance to the country and it’s our goal to ensure we have enough people equipped with the skills and experience to manage the maritime industry into the future.”

“We offer programmes that can lead to a huge variety of ocean going and land based careers. Our graduates may start as a navigation officer or a marine engineer, then become Ships Captains or Chief Engineers before moving to land-based senior management roles running New Zealand’s 16 major ports,” he said.

Trained marine engineers are in huge demand by shipping companies and Captain Buckens told the careers advisors there are more jobs in this area than graduates.

“One of my students was made chief engineer within three years of graduating and now has a salary of more than $100 thousand per annum at the age of 25,” he said.

He went on to say that more than 40% of the NZ Maritime School’s graduates are employed in the cruise ship industry every year.

MIT lecturer, Captain Martin Burley escorted the career advisors on the tour of the ship. He has lectured at the NZ Maritime School for four years but has been involved in training mariners around the world in many different locations. “The NZ Maritime School has an international reputation and I believe it’s the best place in the world to study the courses it offers.”

The careers advisors had the opportunity to meet various members of staff including Deck Cadet Amy Templeton who told them she loves her job. “I got the perfect job for me and really love what I’m doing,” she said. “My father used to work overseas and I knew I wanted to travel so I enrolled to do a degree in Nautical Science Officer.”

Head of Careers at Waitakere College, Kubi Witten-Hannah, shown above with current deck cadet Amy Templeton, said many of his students don’t even know of the opportunities in the maritime industry or of the courses offered by the NZ Maritime School.

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT

We continue to get good “traffic statistics” from NZMS Alumni members. Consistently, since May last year we have been receiving over 20,000 hits per month. Our record month of traffic is October 2013, when we achieved 61,871 hits but any traffic of over 40,000 hits shows good use and support. We watch those “stats” closely.  Google Analytics gives us very good data about site patronage, and this helps us plan the website to the best benefit of members.

The support shown by students and graduates from the NZMS courses give us a lot of confidence in building the Alumni, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received.  We are still pushing ahead to build membership too, so please keep telling your friends and colleagues about the NZMS Alumni website, and encourage them to join up…..And keep the feedback coming in. We appreciate each and every email we receive from members. We hope this newsletter keeps you up with the play….

Latest Newsletter:  October – December 2013

RENA WRECKAGE IRKS IWI

Motiti iwi representative Buddy Mikaere with the rusted remains of Rena’s chimney stack from the ship’s accommodation block. Photo / John Borren

IWI REJECT RENA DEAL FOR MOTITI ISLAND

Rena’s owner and insurer have discussed making major improvements to Motiti Island as part of its consultation over leaving the wreck on Astrolabe Reef.

The potential projects include an all-tide landing point for barges, a cellphone tower, all-weather one-lane road access to and from the airstrip and a 2.5m-wide, 10m-long piled wharf. But residents have rejected the improvements, with one describing them as blackmail.

The cargo ship remains in pieces under the waterline since it grounded on October 5, 2011. Maritime New Zealand subsequently ordered full wreck removal.

Rena‘s owner and insurer, Daina Shipping Company and The Swedish Club respectively, are considering lodging a resource consent application to leave the wreck on the reef, while Motiti iwi Te Patuwai (also known as Ngai te Hapu) are fighting for full removal. Any resource consent application needs to be lodged with the Environment Court by the end of November.

Iwi representative Buddy Mikaere said that iwi lodged a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal against the Crown to establish why it had so far failed to enforce removal.

Mr Mikaere said this followed meetings in which consultancy company Beca, working on behalf of Daina and The Swedish Club, tabled the island projects.

“The package deal they will look at doing involved improvement to the air strip out there and doing other things like installing some sort of wharf facility out there. But it was all contingent on it [Rena] being left,” he said. “If the wreck has to be removed, I’m not so sure if those offers still stay on the table.”

Mr Mikaere said iwi “firmly rejected” the improvements. The restoration projects were “to offset effects of the grounding of the MV Rena on the island community”.

A copy of minutes from one meeting, held on July 24, has recorded Beca consultant Shad Rolleston as saying it was likely there would be no improvements if the vessel was removed. Motiti Island resident Rangi Butler is recorded as replying that she felt like it was blackmail and it would divide residents.

Daina Shipping Company and The Swedish Club spokesman Hugo Shanahan said that if resource consent was to be granted, it may provide for some form of mitigation or restoration for the effects of the consent. It was  not unusual for a prospective applicant to consult on what form that mitigation or restoration might take.

Mr Shanahan said the projects were proposed ideas subject to a resource consent being granted, “and would be intended to provide a form of long-term benefit to the island”.

“Participation in the restoration discussions was without prejudice, meaning in no way does it undermine a group or individual’s position to oppose any resource consent application.

“The owner and insurer are planning to return later this year, and will continue sharing information with the wider community in an open and upfront approach.”

Source – Bay of Plenty Times

concordia montage

SHIPWRECK CAPTAIN POINTS THE FINGER AT HELMSMAN

The captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia, now on trial over the deadly disaster, blames his helmsman for botching a last-minute corrective manoeuvre that he contends could have prevented the massive cruise ship’s collision with a reef off an Italian island.

Captain Francesco Schettino, shown at right above, is charged with manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship before the luxury cruise liner’s 4,200 passengers and crew could be evacuated on January 13, 2012. Thirty-two people died that night. The capsized ship has been raised upright in a major salvage operation, shown above left.

Critics have depicted Captain Schettino as a negligent coward. But Capt. Schettino insists he is being made a scapegoat and that errors by other Costa Crociere SpA crew and mechanical problems exacerbated the tragedy that occurred near the Tuscan island of Giglio.

The Concordia crashed into a reef, took on water and capsized when Capt. Schettino steered it dangerously close to Giglio. It was an off-route manoeuvre that the captain is alleged to have taken in part because he wanted to impress his passengers with a close-up view of the island’s twinkling lights.

Capt. Schettino told the court that as the Concordia came perilously close to Giglio’s rocky coastline, he ordered his helmsman to steer the rudder to the left, but the crewman reacted too slowly and shifted to the right instead. The jagged reef sliced a 70-metre (230-foot) gash in the ship’s hull.

“If it weren’t for the helmsman’s error, to not position the rudder to the left … the swerve (toward the reef) and the collision wouldn’t have happened,” said Capt. Schettino, who risks 20 years in prison if convicted. He also has said the reef wasn’t on his charts, and that the company should shoulder some blame.

Investigators have said language problems between the Italian captain and the Indonesian-born helmsman may have played a role in the botched manoeuvre. A maritime expert, however, told the court that although the helmsman was slow to react and had indeed erred, in the end it didn’t matter.

“The helmsman was 13 seconds late in executing the manoeuvre, but the crash would have happened anyway,” Italian naval Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone said.

The helmsman, Jacob Rusli Bin, is one of five Costa Crociere SpA employees who were granted plea bargains in return for mild sentences in a separate proceeding. He was sentenced to one year and eight months, but because of a law to reduce prison overcrowding, none of the five defendants is likely to serve time behind bars.

Those upset by the relatively light punishments had cause for optimism. A Florence-based prosecutor lodged a formal challenge to the plea bargain deals, and Italy’s highest criminal court will have to rule on it at a later date.

The ship, now resting upright on a man-made platform on the seabed, is expected to be towed away next year and broken up for scrap. In the meantime, Capt. Schettino’s defence team wants experts to go inside it to determine why water pumps and an emergency generator failed to function, among other alleged mechanical problems.

“The power generator – as are the other devices – are fundamental to understanding what happened that night,” Capt Schettino’s lawyer Francesco Pepe said. “We want to understand why they didn’t work.”

Source – AP

FINES FOR JET BOAT DRIVERS AFTER COLLISION

Two commercial jet boat drivers were each fined $3000 and ordered to pay $3000 in reparation in Queenstown District Court, following a collision on the Dart River, near Queenstown, in January 2013.

Simon Thomas Collins, of Cromwell, and Shayle Andrew Thompson, of Queenstown, working for Dart River Safaris Ltd at the time, both pleaded guilty to a charge of causing unnecessary risk or danger to those on board, after a jet boat carrying 11 passengers collided with another, carrying only the driver.

The reparation will be paid to a United States passenger who suffered a broken clavicle in the incident.

Maritime New Zealand Compliance Manager South David Billington said the sentences reflected the need for those working in the adventure tourism industry to make safety their main priority.

“Not only can serious injuries occur when things go wrong, but New Zealand’s reputation as a safe holiday destination is put at risk,” he said.

Source- Maritime New Zealand

OIL DISCHARGE CHARGES LAID AGAINST SANFORD LTD

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has laid three charges against Sanford Limited after an investigation into alleged illegal dumping of oil into the sea of New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone from the Korean foreign charter fishing vessel Pacinui.

The company is charged with illegal discharge of a harmful substance – oil – from the vessel (under s237 of the Maritime Transport Act), failing to notify MNZ of the discharge (s238), and failure to notify a pollution incident (s239). The discharge of a harmful substance charge carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment or a fine of $200,000.

The two other charges each carry a maximum fine of $100,000, and if the offence is ongoing, a further fine not exceeding $20,000 per day (or part day) the offence is committed.

The charges follow an extensive investigation since January 2013 by MNZ investigators, including examination of the ship in Timaru, gathering of photographic and video evidence, forensic examination of samples, and interviews with a number of Indonesian crew members.

Source- Maritime New Zealand

SHIPS ASKED TO SLOW DOWN FOR WHALES

By Kathryn Powley

Ports of Auckland has asked ships to slow down in and out of the harbour to save endangered whales in the Hauraki Gulf.

The gulf is home to fewer than 200 adult Bryde’s whales. On average about two a year are found dead, many from vessel-strike. Ports of Auckland will soon be asking visiting ships to slow to 10 knots in the gulf. If that doesn’t work, they could be forced to slow down.

Hauraki Gulf Forum chairman John Tregidga said lower speed drastically reduced whale deaths.

“Most ships are doing around 12 or 14 knots so we aren’t asking much,” he said.  He was positive that the measures would work and be complied with by the shipping industry.

“We will monitor the speed of every ship coming in. If the shipping industry don’t reduce speed, and we continue to have two deaths a year, we will look at regulatory ways of reducing speed limits.”

That’s unlikely to go down well with the industry or port operators. Ports of Auckland has calculated a 10-knot slowdown would result in increased fuel and carbon costs of between $5.1m and $8.1m a year.

In a letter to  Mr Tregidga, the port said: “This equates to between $2.1 and $7.7 million dollars per whale fatality reduction.”

Dr Rochelle Constantine, of Auckland University’s School of Biological Sciences, who has studied gulf whales since 2007, said those killed by ships typically died slowly and painfully. Reduced speed was the best solution. At higher speeds there was an 80-100 per cent chance of death but at 10 knots it was reduced to 20-25 per cent.

Satellite GPS tracking was unfeasible as tags become detached; cost several thousand dollars each plus the cost of deployment; it was difficult to approach whales; and the batteries of tags emitting real-time locations ran down too quickly to be useful.

In 17 years, 43 whale bodies had been recovered . Of those, 19 had been examined and 16 had died from vessel-strike. Fully grown whales spent 90 per cent of their time within 12m of the water’s surface, making them particularly vulnerable.

Dr Constantine encouraged boaties to report whale sightings to the port so ships could be advised.

Source – Herald on Sunday

INTERISLANDER FERRY KAITAKI RESUMES SERVICES

The flagship Interislander ferry has returned to  service after a $4.5 millionkaitaki refit face-lift.

Passenger ferry Kaitaki departed Wellington for Brisbane for dry dock work and for a significant upgrade to its passenger areas. The maintenance work was carried out on its hull, tailshafts, stabilisers and decks. Parts of the 182-metre-long ship were also repainted.

Interislander general manager Thomas Davis said it was a logical decision to also revamp certain areas on the ship after its lease was renewed for another four years in May. Mr Davis said the refurbishment focused on the foodcourt area, the bar, the atrium and the toilets, as well as the passenger thoroughfare and family lounge on deck 8.

“It was important for us that the ship’s facilities were modern, comfortable and reflected New Zealand. We also wanted to provide a better flow through the different areas of the ship and give it a much newer and fresher feel.”

The development work was led by Irish company MJM Marine Ltd and was assisted by Swedish company Figura, which specialises in ferry passenger design.

The Kaitaki, which means “challenger” in Maori, has been sailing the Cook Strait since 2005 and can carry 1650 passengers and 550 cars.

NEW OIL POLLUTION LEVIES COMING

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has sought feedback on proposed new oil pollution levy rates and how the levy is applied. Interested parties were invited to make a submission on the proposals, with consultation closing on 8 February 2013. MNZ received nine submissions, and these were analysed and fed into the review.

MNZ has subsequently been granted approval by the Government to increase the oil pollution levy collected from industry by around $1.5 million dollars per year.

The increases are the first since 1998, and the money will feed into the Oil Pollution Fund – established under the Maritime Transport Act 1994 to meet the costs of maintaining New Zealand’s oil pollution preparedness and response system. The fund, which is administered by MNZ, is derived from levies applied to commercial vessels over 100 gross tons, offshore oil installations and oil pipelines.

MNZ Deputy Director Lindsay Sturt said the increases were necessary to ensure New Zealand’s capability to respond to a major spill was maintained. “Not only are we looking to increase the Fund, but there’s a need for some new equipment, and to make sure our regional responders around the country are well-trained and ready to go. A comprehensive risk assessment process was used to assign different levels of risk across the sector, and that’s what the increases are based on.”

An additional $1.87 million is being raised over the next three years for the purchase of new oil pollution response equipment, identified as necessary after a preparedness and response capability review in 2011.

Sitting alongside this is another $1.2 million, also to be generated over the next three years, and to be used for ensuring that New Zealand’s training and response capability is maintained at an appropriate level.

“There will doubtless be some issues raised in the independent review into MNZ’s Rena response which will need to be looked at, but for now, we need to ensure we’re as prepared as possible.”

SeaCert TO GO LIVE IN JANUARY 2014

SeaCert, like MOSS, has been developed in consultation with industry. It has several advantages over the current system, including:

  • a more streamlined certification process through maritime schools, which eliminates repetition
  • increased recognition of NZ certificates overseas, allowing New Zealand seafarers to work in other jurisdictions
  • better defining operational limits, in particular to comply with STCW and align with STCW-F
  • the removal of unnecessary barriers to entry and career progression.

It is also worth noting that no operators will lose privileges under SeaCert – in fact, some will gain privileges as they transition from one certificate to another. More information about this can be found by visiting the MNZ website.

Crucial to the success of the project is ensuring MNZ has current details for all holders of maritime documents. To update details, please email qualifications@maritimenz.govt.nz

New information about SeaCert is being loaded onto the MNZ website on a regular basis. There are also over 50 pieces of guidance being put together by MNZ, which will cover each and every certificate and endorsement, so for all qualifications , there is information developed specifically for it.

MNZ is also producing a series of maps on operational limits, and these will be made available on the SeaCert home page as they are completed.

LESSONS FOR ALL SHARED AT SPILLCON 2013

Lessons from New Zealand’s response to the Rena grounding and oil spill were among the experiences shared during an international conference in Australia  recently. MNZ General Manager Nigel Clifford, shown below, focussed his presentation on lessons learned during the community relations response.

A 10-strong contingent from MNZ and its Marine Pollution Response Service (MPRS) attended the Asia-Pacific Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Conference (or Spillcon), held this year in Cairns, North Queensland. Also attending were others from New Zealand’s regional authorities and MNZ’s partner agencies.

Hosted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the conference theme of “Global, Regional, Local” reflected the diverse but interrelated range of agencies and organisations who attended from across Australasia.

Around 500 delegates from 25 countries representing oil spill response agencies and the petroleum and maritime industries, attended the conference, along with spill equipment exhibitors.

“With hundreds of delegates from so many countries across the Asia-Pacific region attending, the conference was a great opportunity to learn, to share common experiences, and to discuss emerging issues that affect our precious marine environment and our ability to protect it,” said MNZ Director Keith Manch.

“There were many excellent speakers and presentations that provided much food for thought and the opportunity for further discussion on how we can do things more effectively and efficiently,” he said.

Among a panel to give presentations on behalf of New Zealand were MNZ General Manager Safety and Response Services Nigel Clifford, former MNZ Senior Media Advisor Ross Henderson, and Tauranga based communications consultant Bruce Fraser.

MNZ Authority Chair David Ledson chaired this panel, which discussed various aspects of the Rena spill response. The presentations focused respectively on lessons learned during the community, media and volunteer coordination roles performed during the response, and were well received by the other delegates.

More than 35 international speakers presented on a diverse array of topics. These ranged from recent developments in spill response compensation and regulation, to the ongoing and technically challenging salvage of the stricken cruise liner Costa Concordia.

Former MPRS General Manager Nick Quinn (now with the Australian Marine Oil Spill Centre) provided an interesting presentation on industry cooperation for offshore spills and former Northland Harbourmaster Ian Niblock (now Darwin Harbourmaster) presented on lessons from the Eline Enterprise incident in Darwin Harbour.

During the week-long conference, delegates were treated to an on-water and aerial display of oil spill response equipment on the Cairns waterfront, while a number of international exhibitors filled part of the Cairns Convention Centre to profile the latest spill response equipment and technology. A series of workshops held before and after the conference also allowed delegates to discuss important issues in more detail.

“Since the last Spillcon in 2010, there have been a number of marine pollution and salvage incidents, including the Rena grounding, that have occurred across Australasia, so it was a timely opportunity for all of us involved in preparing and responding to these incidents to come together to share our experiences,” Keith said.

“MNZ will also continue to work with its local, regional and global partners to ensure New Zealand’s spill preparedness and response mechanisms remain relevant, safe and effective.”

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT

We continue to get good “traffic statistics” from NZMS Alumni members. Consistently, since May last year we have been receiving over 20,000 hits per month. Our record month of traffic is still June 2010, when we achieved over 30,000 hits but any traffic of over 20,000 hits shows good use and support. We watch those “stats” closely.  Google Analytics gives us very good data about site patronage, and this helps us plan the website to the best benefit of members.

The support shown by students and graduates from the NZMS courses give us a lot of confidence in building the Alumni, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received.  We are still pushing ahead to build membership too, so please keep telling your friends and colleagues about the NZMS Alumni website, and encourage them to join up…..And keep the feedback coming in. We appreciate each and every email we receive from members. We hope this newsletter keeps you up with the play….

Latest Newsletter:  July to October – June 2013

New Border System Delayed

There has been a short delay to the planned ‘go live’ for the first phase of the Joint Border Management System (JBMS). This go live was planned for 1 July and will now take place on 1 August.

More time is required to complete the testing plan before Customs and MPI can confidently go live with the first stage of the Trade Single Window (TSW) which will ultimately provide a single channel for importers, exporters and their agents to provide information required by border agencies. A delay  is not unusual for a programme of this size and complexity.

It is better to take time to test for and fix any technical issues at this stage, than roll out the TSW regardless. In the meantime, piloting of direct connection to TSW is progressing well. Mondiale Freight is sending all its current messages via direct connect, and FedEx is sending some live new electronic reporting (WCO3) messages.  See the latest ‘Contraband‘ magazine for an article about the pilot.

Impact on cost recovery: Increases to Customs fees for JBMS cost recovery (except the Inward Cargo Transaction fee) and to the Biosecurity System Entry Levy (except on Inward Cargo Reports) were set to commence 1 July.

“Customs and MPI are committed to the principle that fees should not increase until the associated JBMS functionality is available, and we are seeking to change the commencement date to 1 August.  Confirmation of a change to the commencement date will be provided once required amendments to the regulations are approved, including the table of fees and new rates,” said a statement from Robert Lake. Deputy Comptroller, Operations  & JBMS Sponsor, New Zealand Customs Service and Roger Smith, Deputy Director General Verifications & JBMS Sponsor, Ministry for Primary Industries.

Skipper’s action ‘risked Rena-like accident’

By Marty Sharpe, The Dominion Post.

The skipper of a fishing boat that nearly caused an accident comparable to the Rena grounding has been convicted and sentenced to community work.

Robert Greathead took his 15-metre fishing boat Regent so close to the bow of a 38,000-tonne container ship that its pilot and master lost sight of his boat under the bow.

The incident occurred near the entrance to Port of Napier on February 15 last year. It forced the pilot on the container ship to shut off its engines, meaning it was without steering and at risk of running aground. Had he not switched off the engines, the two boats may have collided.

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s manager of compliance and harbours, Bryce Lawrence, said the consequences of a grounding could have been an oil spill “with more effects than the Rena grounding”, that could have been devastating for the environment, and could have closed the port for months.

Mr Greathead, 21, was prosecuted by the council for unsafe operation of a ship. He was found guilty by Judge Jonathan Down after a two-day hearing in the Napier District Court. Mr Greathead claimed that he had operated within the rules and was at least the required 500 metres from the MOL Summer container ship.

Judge Down favoured the evidence of the pilot, a tugboat deckhand and a passerby on land over that offered by Mr Greathead, which he described as “manifestly false” and as giving the appearance it had been rehearsed.

Mr Greathead’s lawyer, Matt Lawson, said he was very young to have so much responsibility and that he had been over-reliant on his instruments and radar. The prosecution had been a wake-up call to him and to Napier’s fishing industry, Mr Lawson said.

Mr Greathead was sentenced to 100 hours’ community work and ordered to pay council costs of $3898.

New Permanent Appointment to IMO

 imo lockwoodRt Hon Sir Lockwood Smith  has been appointed as New Zealand’s first Permanent Representative at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Sir Lockwood, New Zealand High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, recently presented his credentials to the IMO’s Secretary-General, Koji Sekimizu. The Director of Maritime New Zealand, Keith Manch, also participated in the first-ever Symposium on the ‘Future of Ship Safety’, held at IMO headquarters in London.

Mr Manch said Sir Lockwood’s appointment as Permanent Representative was an indication of the importance of maritime affairs to New Zealand. “New Zealand has a strong interest in ensuring effective international rules for safe and secure shipping and the protection of the marine environment,” he said.
Sir Lockwood, a former New Zealand Minister for Agriculture and for International Trade, underlined the links that maritime affairs have to the New Zealand economy.

“New Zealand is reliant on international shipping for the vast majority of our imports, and to get our exports to market. We need to be confident about the quality of this shipping, in terms of safety, security and environmental standards,” he said. “Shipping is one of the most international of human endeavours, and no country can regulate it on its own. It’s important we have our say in shaping the international rules that apply.”

The two-day Symposium on the Future of Ship Safety preceded a meeting of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee and brought together the full spectrum of ship designers, builders, owners, operators and regulators. Sessions were focused on the challenges facing shipping if it is to meet the needs of society, industry and global trade, and whether the existing regulatory regime will be sufficient to respond to these challenges.

Above: Sir Lockwood Smith, centre, and Keith Manch, at right, meet IMO’s Secretary-General, Koji Sekimizu.

JUNE 25 WAS DAY OF THE SEAFARER

June 25 marked the third international Day of the Seafarer, an official United seafarer logoNations observance day.

This year IMO celebrated the occasion with a social media campaign calling on all supply chain partners, including those beyond the maritime sector, to help highlight the sheer diversity and scale of products used in everyday life that travel by sea, and to recognize the importance of the people that deliver them; more than 1.5 million seafarers.

In his annual Day of the Seafarer message, IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu said: “Seafarers operate on the ‘front line’ of the shipping industry, and this year’s campaign theme, Faces of the Sea, aims to highlight the individuals that are often unseen, but who work to deliver more than 90% of the world’s goods. We will ask the seafarers themselves to show us snapshots of their daily life at sea, to give them a voice and share their story on a global stage, via social media”.

Mr. Sekimizu noted that 2013 was a landmark year for the seafaring community, as the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) enters into force in August. “This marks significant progress in the recognition of seafarers’ roles and the need to safeguard their well-being and working conditions,” he said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also highlighted the Day of the Seafarer, with a special message urging everyone to remember the contribution of seafarers to world trade and development.

“On the Day of the Seafarer, I urge everyone to spare a thought for those courageous seafarers, men and women from all corners of the world, who face danger and tough working conditions to operate today’s complex, highly technical ships, every hour of every day of the year – and on whom we all depend,” he said. Faces of the Sea is an innovative campaign that harnesses the power of social media to raise awareness of seafarers and their unique role.

nicuagura canal  panama canal

Nicaragua approves massive canal project

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — A proposal to build a massive rival to the Panama Canal across the middle of Nicaragua has been overwhelmingly backed by lawmakers, capping a lightning-fast approval process that has provoked deep skepticism among shipping experts and concern among environmentalists.

The National Assembly dominated by President Daniel Ortega’s leftist Sandinista Front voted to grant a 50-year concession to study, then possibly build and run, a canal linking Nicaragua’s Caribbean and Pacific coasts to a Chinese company whose only previous experience appears to be in telecommunications.

The legislation approved by a 61-25 vote contains no specific route for the canal and virtually no details of its financing or economic viability, simply granting the Hong Kong-based company exclusive rights to study the plan and build the canal if it proves feasible in exchange for Nicaragua receiving a minority share of any eventual profits.

Ortega’s backers claim the Chinese will transform one of the region’s poorest countries by turning a centuries-old dream of a Nicaraguan trans-ocean canal into reality, bringing tens of thousands of jobs to the country and fueling an economic boom that would mimic the prosperity of nearby Panama and its U.S.-built canal.

“One of Nicaragua’s great riches is its geographic position. That’s why this idea has always been around,” Sandinista congressman Jacinto Suarez said. “Global trade demands that this canal is built because it’s necessary. The data shows that maritime transport is constantly growing and that makes this feasible. Opposing it is unpatriotic.”

The Hong Kong company will now begin a study of the project’s feasibility that will last many months, said chief project adviser Bill Wild, one of a number of Western experts hired by the firm to provide advice ranging from engineering and environmental planning to public relations.

He said it was too early to say if a widely reported project cost of $40 billion would turn out to be accurate. While rising demand for shipping appears to make a compelling economic case for the new canal, it is impossible to predict before the study is complete if the project will turn out to be financially feasible, he said.

The canal project will require financing from international investors.

“There’s a compelling commercial reason to build the canal,” Mr Wild said. “We have to prove now that the actual rate of return that the investors will get is adequate.”

While the company has said almost nothing about the canal’s route, it would certainly cross Lake Nicaragua, the country’s primary source of fresh water. If one of the world’s largest infrastructure projects ever is actually built, the water used by the canal’s locks could seriously deplete the lake, environmentalists say.

“Approving this is unconstitutional, fraudulent and damaging to the interests of Nicaragua. The ‘great Chinese’ don’t have the capital or the experience for a work of this size. There’s no precedent to support it,” Eduardo Montealegre, the leader of opposition legislators, said.

Global engineering and shipping experts agree those concerns are real and that lowered demand for massive container shipping and increasing competition from other potential routes may mean that the Nicaraguan canal will simply prove economically unfeasible.

Either way, the quick march of the canal project through the National Assembly has set off a backlash from environmental and other activists, who held a series of marches this week to protest the granting of rights to the HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co., without any open bidding process or details of its financing.

Eduardo Lugo, a Panamanian port logistics consultant who worked for 10 years studying traffic demand for the Panama Canal’s expansion plan, has questioned whether global traffic demand would support the high costs of the Nicaragua project.

“There’s going be some growth in world trade. The big question is, what routes is that trade going to move on. That’s the real challenge that Nicaragua faces,” said Paul Bingham, the head of economic analysis at engineering planning firm CDM Smith, which specializes in large water and transportation infrastructure. “It’s very easy to say trade is going to grow but that doesn’t mean that Nicaragua is going to be in a competitive position to take advantage of it … I’m not convinced right now.”

Backers of previous canal plans have argued that the Nicaraguan route would prove more economical than Panama’s because it would handle ships with far larger cargo capacity. But the Nicaraguan path would have to be roughly three times as long as than Panama’s, which is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) long, a fact that Panama Canal Administrator Jorge Quijano said “gives us even more of a competitive advantage.”

The United States has taken no official position on the Nicaraguan canal.

Correspondents Mark Stevenson in Mexico City, Joe McDonald in Beijing and Juan Zamorano in Panama City contributed to this report by Luis Manuel Galeano and Michael Weissenstein of Associated Press.

Panama Canal Expansion  Strikes Delays

Meantime, the Panama Canal expansion programme continues. The project, also called the Third Set of Locks Project, will double the capacity of the Panama Canal by 2015 by creating a new lane of traffic and allowing more and larger ships to transit.

The project involves building two new locks, one each on the Atlantic and Pacific sides. Each will have three chambers with water-saving basins. Additionally, there will be new channels to the new locks, existing channels will be widened and deepened, and Gatun Lake‘s maximum operating level will increase. The project is expected to facilitate post-Panamax ships, which are alrweady plying the Atlantic, and other major seaways.

The construction of the third set of locks project is scheduled to take seven or eight years. The new locks could begin operations between fiscal years 2014 and 2015, roughly 100 years after the canal first opened.

Last year though, it was announced that the process of expanding the canal had fallen six months behind schedule, pushing the opening date back from October 2014 to April 2015.

IMO STEPS UP AGAINST PIRACY

IMO has been combating maritime piracy for some time and a series of measures,Piiracy six developed with the co-operation of the littoral  states and the support of the industry, has helped significantly to reduce piracy in the hot spots of the late 1990s and early 2000s – the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

However, the problem has lately manifested itself in other parts of the world, most notably, but not exclusively, off the coast of Somalia, in the Gulf of Aden, and the wider Indian Ocean, as well as off the coasts of west and central Africa.

Initiatives to counter piracy and armed robbery at sea

IMO is implementing an anti-piracy project, a long-term project which began in 1998. Phase one consisted of a number of regional seminars and workshops attended by Government representatives from countries in piracy-infested areas of the world; while phase two consisted of a number of evaluation and assessment missions to different regions. IMO’s aim has been to foster the development of regional agreements on implementation of counter piracy measures.

Regional cooperation among States has an important role to play in solving the problem of piracy and armed robbery against ships, as evidenced by the success of the regional anti-piracy operation in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia (RECAAP), which was concluded in November 2004 by 16 countries in Asia, and includes the RECAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) for facilitating the sharing of piracy-related information, is a good example of successful regional cooperation which IMO seeks to replicate elsewhere.

Today, the deteriorating security situation in the seas off war-torn Somalia and the Gulf of Aden (and in the increasingly volatile Gulf of Guinea) are at the heart of the problem.

In January 2009, an important regional agreement was adopted in Djibouti by States in the region, at a high-level meeting convened by IMO. The Djibouti Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden recognizes the extent of the problem of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the region and, in it, the signatories declare their intention to co operate to the fullest possible extent, and in a manner consistent with international law, in the repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships.

The signatories commit themselves towards sharing and reporting relevant information through a system of national focal points and information centres; interdicting ships suspected of engaging in acts of piracy or armed robbery against ships; ensuring that persons committing or attempting to commit acts of piracy or armed robbery against ships are apprehended and prosecuted; and facilitating proper care, treatment, and repatriation for seafarers, fishermen, other shipboard personnel and passengers subject to acts of piracy or armed robbery against ships, particularly those who have been subjected to violence.

To assist in anti-piracy measures, IMO issues reports on piracy and armed robbery against ships submitted by Member Governments and international organizations. The reports, which include names and descriptions of ships attacked, position and time of attack, consequences to the crew, ship or cargo and actions taken by the crew and coastal authorities, are now circulated monthly, with quarterly and annual summaries.

 THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT

We continue to get good “traffic statistics” from NZMS Alumni members. Consistently, since May last year we have been receiving over 20,000 hits per month. Our record month of traffic is still June 2010, when we achieved over 30,000 hits but any traffic of over 20,000 hits shows good use and support. We watch those “stats” closely.  Google Analytics gives us very good data about site patronage, and this helps us plan the website to the best benefit of members.

The support shown by students and graduates from the NZMS courses give us a lot of confidence in building the Alumni, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received.  We are still pushing ahead to build membership too, so please keep telling your friends and colleagues about the NZMS Alumni website, and encourage them to join up…..And keep the feedback coming in. We appreciate each and every email we receive from members. We hope this newsletter keeps you up with the play….

Latest Newsletter: March – June 2013

     

MOSS OPTS FOR PHASED INTRODUCTION OF NEW REGIME

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has decided to phase in the implementation of the new Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) for the maritime sector, with operators coming into the new system from 1 July 2014.

MNZ Director Keith Manch, shown above at right, said the phased implementation would allow MNZ and the maritime community time to work together to fully prepare for the changes MOSS will bring.

The proposed rules for MOSS, which will replace the current Safe Ship Management (SSM) System, are due to be considered by the Transport Minister for gazetting by 1 July 2013. It is anticipated the new rules will come into force on 1 July 2014.

“We recognise that we need this time after the rules come into force to engage and consult further with industry and to develop the guideline material and tools to implement MOSS,” Mr Manch said. “This has not been possible prior to the rules being approved. This is a major change for the sector and we want to ensure we engage fully with all participants.”

“It is also important that MNZ is well prepared for MOSS and that we use industry feedback to  implement the new system.”

MNZ will be setting up an industry advisory group to provide this feedback, he said. Work is underway to develop the detailed policies, procedures and IT systems to implement the proposed rules.

“Our objective is to ensure MOSS works well following its introduction,” Mr Manch said. “This means that MNZ, operators, surveyors, and all other affected parties need to understand their roles and responsibilities, and know what to do to comply with MOSS.”

SSM companies, surveyors and operators will continue to operate as they currently do until 1 July 2014.  Operators will continue to be members of an SSM company and must meet their obligations under SSM, including renewing SSM Certificates when they expire and having vessels surveyed in accordance with their survey plans.

MOSS is intended to improve safety in the commercial maritime environment through safer operations and vessels. It will be based on direct relationships between operators, surveyors, and MNZ, as the regulator.

FONTERRA MYSTERY OF DRUG IN MILK POWDER REMAINS

By Jared Savage, NZ Herald

The mystery of how 165kg of cocaine was slipped into a New Zealand shipping container of milk powder remains unsolved, according to an official report. The cache was found inside an export container belonging to dairy giant Fonterra after being unloaded at its destination in Algeria. Drug trafficking is linked to funding of terrorists in Africa and Europe and the discovery of such a large shipment inside a trusted New Zealand brand made headlines around the world in October. But attempts by Fonterra and Customs to find out how the drugs were slipped into the container – despite a “tamper-resistant” seal – have been thwarted by a lack of co-operation from overseas authorities. A meeting between representatives of Fonterra, Customs and the Mediterranean Shipping Company was held in Auckland in December, according to a report released under the Official Information Act. The debrief discussed the difficulties experienced by all parties in obtaining information from their contacts in Algeria – even in confirming the veracity of the overseas media reports.“In particular, information in relation to the integrity of the container seal on arrival in Algiers was not forthcoming and remains unknown,” according to the Customs report.

Despite being unable to verify any information, a spokeswoman said Customs was confident in the security of New Zealand exports.

“There is no evidence to suggest that any illegal substances were introduced into the container before it left New Zealand, nor is there any evidence that suggests any connection to New Zealand or New Zealanders.”

The main focus of the inquiry was to establish the integrity of the tamper-resistant seal on the container as part of Fonterra’s partnership with Customs under the Secure Exports Scheme.

The Fonterra seal was photographed in Mosgiel before the container was shipped to Tauranga, then exported to Algeria. The consignment was offloaded for two days in Panama, which is a known trafficking point for cocaine, produced from the coca plant which flourishes in South America. The container was then shipped to Valencia, Spain – another country recognised as a cocaine trafficking route – before being moved to Algeria.

The shipping route

Mosgiel: Fonterra milk powder loaded into export container and sealed for security on June 27, 2012. Sent by rail to the Port of Otago, then shipped to Port of Tauranga.

Tauranga: Exported to Algiers on July 13.

Panama: Consignment was offloaded for two days. Panama is well-placed on global drug trafficking routes as its close to South American countries, the only places where cocaine is naturally produced from the coca plant.

Spain: Consignment was offloaded for 24 days in Valencia.

Algiers: Containers offloaded on September 21 and cleared for release from the port on October 16. Three days later, 165kg of cocaine was discovered by Algerian police.

 FINE SENDS CLEAR MESSAGE TO POLLUTERS

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) believes the $10,500 fine imposed on Southern Storm Fishing Ltd, owners of the fishing vessel Oyang 75, for failure to notify two discharges or escapes of harmful substances into the sea, sends a clear message that pollution of New Zealand’s waters will not be tolerated.

The company was sentenced in Christchurch District Court last month on a charge under the Maritime Transport Act 1994 of failure to notify two harmful discharges to sea.

“The rules around discharging waste are clear – we will not allow any operators to flout these regulations and damage New Zealand’s marine environment,” MNZ Manager Intelligence and Planning Paul Fantham said. “This is a significant fine and shows that there are serious consequences for those who break the law in this way.

“This sentence sends a clear message that those responsible for the operation of a vessel are also responsible for ensuring they are aware of all aspects relating to discharge of waste,” he said.

On 8 August 2011, MNZ inspectors discovered a concealed piping arrangement aboard the Oyang 75 that allowed unfiltered bilge effluent, containing oil, to be discharged directly into the sea when a hidden pump switch was turned on. The arrangement was hidden under the floor plates of the engine room.

There was clear evidence that the piping had been used at least twice.  While there is a clear legal requirement to notify the MNZ if harmful substances are discharged or escape into the sea, no such notification was made.

Under international maritime law (MARPOL), to which New Zealand is a signatory, vessels must use an oily water separator to remove harmful substances from any waste water discharged into the sea.

Southern Storm Fishing made a late guilty plea to a charge of failing to notify two discharges of a harmful substance to sea.

NB:  The law requires charges relating to alleged discharges to be laid within six months of the alleged offences. Because the vessel remained in port for all but six days after the inspection, charges relating to the actual discharge of waste were not possible. Therefore, a charge relating to failure to notify harmful discharges was laid in this case.

WAIKATO COUNCIL GIVEN EXTRA POWERS BY MNZ

Waikato Regional Council is the first local government authority in New Zealand to be given extra powers by Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) to investigate serious incidents on the water.

MNZ Director Keith Manch said the authorisations under the Maritime Transport Act increased the tools available to the council when investigating incidents.

“Authorised council officers now have the same powers as MNZ Maritime Officers to access and collect evidence, including gaining warrants to search premises,” he said. “Waikato Regional Council has demonstrated its commitment to make its waterways safe and it is a logical move to give the council these authorisations. Working with the council in this way ensures that it has the full set of resources available when working to increase safety on the water.”

Mr Manch said the MNZ compliance approach utilises a range of tools to support safety outcomes – using information, education, assistance and enforcement action – depending on the circumstances of any non-compliance and what is the best way to address a specific breach of the rules or law, or a wider safety issue.

“Enforcement through prosecution is just one of the tools available when it comes to changing behaviour on the water. While information, education and assistance can be effective in supporting compliance, enforcement action is also an important way of supporting safety. It demonstrates that there are consequences for not taking safety responsibilities seriously, ensures people are held to account for their actions and reminds the wider community that operating safely is important,” he said.

Waikato Regional Council’s navigation safety programme manager Nicole Botherway said the new powers had been available to staff over the busy summer period and made it easier to work with other agencies, such as the police, to identify the cause of an incident and gather evidence. Already a sentence has been handed down in one case and another two are before the courts, with four other incidents under active investigation by the council.

“We are working hard in the Waikato to keep our waterways safe for all users by carrying out education and enforcement work. But with the water so accessible and being used in such varied ways, incidents do occur. It’s important people using Waikato’s waterways understand that safety is paramount and we will investigate reckless behaviour which endangers lives,” Mrs Botherway said.

A serious crash in 2011 between two jet boats on Waiomou Stream, near Matamata, had highlighted the potential benefits of the additional powers, she said.

“While the council successfully prosecuted the two jet boat drivers, our investigation and the subsequent court case would have been more straightforward if we’d had these authorisations at the time,” said Mrs Botherway.

Several staff from the council’s navigation safety and investigations teams have so far been assessed as having the skills to exercise the new powers and others will be selected to undergo the required MNZ training.

The authorisations relate to sections 58, 59 and 455 of the Maritime Transport Act, and are made after an assessment of documentation and processes, with authorised staff assessed on their skills and experience.

“We will be assessing the effectiveness of these authorisations with a view to discussing a similar process with other local authorities over time,” Mr Manch said.

MARINA’S FIGHT POLLUTION…..

Before paint anti-fouling laws were introduced in the 1993 many marinas were clogged with the toxic dust, scrapings and waste of boatyard trades. Paint, solids and runoff from cleaning, painting and sanding would be taken to the sea at high tide and many breakwaters had less than thriving aquatic ecosystems.

But just as landlubbers have taken up the sustainable fight, boaties are getting on board too. A prime example is the world’s third largest marina, Auckland’s Westhaven, which achieved the international Blue Flag award for sustainable development twice in the 2000s.

New Zealand Marine Industry Association executive director Peter Busfield said Westhaven’s success is part of a concerted drive to clean up beaches and waterways as boating’s popularity continues to rise, especially with more and more baby boomers taking up the hobby in retirement.

“At Westhaven sea life and bird life has returned. Kawhai, mullet and penguins are back in the water because mussels and oysters are back providing food,” Mr Busfield said. “Marinas are a great drawcard and are part of our culture and over the past 20 years there’s been a marked improvement and responsibility from the marine industry.”

One of those who have responded to that challenge is Lower Hutt’s Seaview marina, which was once a typically grimy anchorage on a rough tar seal dock that is now ship-shape due to an industry-led initiative.

Although Seaview was never “a cesspit by any means” chief executive Alan McLellan said the unsealed hardstand dock once allowed toxic waste from boatyard maintenance to leach into the groundwater below. Industrial runoff to the sea was also a problem, although the marina, built in 1992 has always maintained good standards for the survival of surrounding aquaculture.

Seaview is just under 17 hectares – five hectares of reclaimed land and 12 hectares of seabed – and is the first in the Wellington region to attain Clean Marina status.

Marina management signed the New Zealand Marina Operators Association (NZMOA) clean marina pledge in 2007, committing to reduce pollution and enhance the environment through sound business. Although they failed the rigid criteria the first time they were finally accredited earlier this year.

“We now have the processes and procedures in place so that every area that could cause contamination is controlled. We’re conscious of our responsibility to keep our waterways clean and green,” Mr McLellan said.

Those measures include containing sanding dusts and toxins from marine anti-fouling paint, diverting runoff from the concrete boatyard, collecting and filtering solid waste and the prohibition of waste dumping from recreational boats.

NZMOA’s membership includes almost all the country’s 40-plus marinas as well as Fiji’s Denerau Marina. Seaview is one of 11 marinas now accredited – a further 15, including Wellington’s Chaffers Marina, have made the pledge and the association hopes all its members will soon be certified clean and green.

Mr McLellan stresses that making the grade is anything but easy and is proud of the “significant efforts” that went in to bringing the marina up to the green standard.

“We are very focussed on keeping this environment as pristine as possible. We want to be right at the top of this and it’s also good for our clients and helps bring in business,” Mr McLellan said.

The still expanding complex abuts Petone’s industrial area and the breakwater-protected marina has 272 berths – with 140 more planned – and 22 pole moorings. On land is secure storage for 241 trailer boats and a four lane trailer boat launching ramp.

Other facilities include a diesel wharf and a boat haul-out dockway. The hardstand boatyard has 32 cradles and is serviced by a 50 tonne boat hoist that winches vessels to and from the water. A new office and four ablution blocks are situated in the middle of the marina.

Since making the pledge the marina has seen a raft of improvements including the $3.5 million Sea Centre Retail “one-stop shop” for boaties that houses all manner of maritime vendors and trades from boat building to fishing charters to ship chandlery and rigging.

“Pretty much anything you want done on a boat you can get done within two to three kilometres of the marina.”

Clubs and interest groups use the facilities inside the marina’s sheltered waters including the Lowry Bay Yacht Club, Have a Go Sailing, The Wellington Radio Controlled Model Yacht Club and Sailability – a disabled sailing group.

The public are also free to roam with walkers and cyclists often found using the marina.

In 1989 the now defunct Wellington Harbour Board transferred the Seaview Marina Development to the Hutt City Council. Built on a derelict former heavy industry site, the marina was finished by the council in May 1992 and the Greater Wellington Regional Council issued Hutt City Council with a 35 year Coastal Permit.

Initially Seaview was run under the Property Department of the council, which reviewed the operation in 2002 and decided to set up Seaview Marina Ltd, as a Council Controlled Organisation in 2012.

Hutt City Council chief executive Tony Stallinger said the marina’s positive growth was “very pleasing.”

“The Seaview team take their environmental responsibilities very seriously and work hard to maintain a high standard,” Mr Stallinger said.

Source: Dompost, Wellington.

Shown above: Russell Smith at Seaview Marina where it is all ‘ship shape’ now…. Ross Giblin/ Fairfax NZ photograph.

 ANOTHER NOAH’S ARK…..

Just as the first storms of the northern winter roll in, Dutchman Johan Huibers, shown below left, has finished his 20-year quest to build a full-scale, functioning model of Noah’s Ark – an undertaking of biblical proportions.

Mr Huibers, a Christian, used books 6-9 of Genesis as his inspiration, following the instructions God gives Noah down to the last cubit. Translating to modern measurements, Mr Huibers came up with a vessel that works out to a whopping 130 metres long, 29 metres across and 23 metres high. Perhaps not big enough to fit every species on Earth, two by two, as described in The Bible, but plenty of space, for instance, for a pair elephants to dance a tango.

Johan’s Ark towers across the flat Dutch landscape and is easily visible from a nearby highway where it lies moored in the city of Dordrecht, just south of Rotterdam.

Gazing across the ark’s main hold, a huge space of stalls supported by a forest of pine trees, visitors gaze upon an array of stuffed and plastic animals, such as buffalo, zebra, gorillas, lions, tigers, bears, you name it. Elsewhere on the ark is a petting zoo with actual live animals that are less dangerous or easier to care for – such as ponies, dogs, sheep, and rabbits – and an impressive aviary of exotic birds.

For Mr Huibers, a builder by trade, it all began with a nightmare he had in 1992, when the low-lying Netherlands was flooded, as it has been many times throughout its history. He thinks that new floods are possible, not least due to global warming. He cites a New Testament passage prophesying that “the cities of the coast shall tremble” near the end of times. But he’s not worried the whole Earth will ever be flooded again. In the Bible, the rainbow is God’s promise it won’t be.

“I had a call from American television,” he said, laughing. “This has nothing to do with the end of the Mayan calendar,” he said.

He said his motivation is ultimately religious, though. He wants to make people think what their purpose is on Earth.

Johan’s Ark also contains a restaurant on the topmost level and a movie theatre capable of seating 50 people. Around the edges of each level of the craft are displays on ancient Middle Eastern history and dress, scenes from the life of Noah, and games for kids, including water pumps and a system of levers to lift bales of hay.  Down below there is a honeycomb system of hatches, each opening into an area where food could be sealed in for long-term storage.  There is an outdoor space near the stern with a dizzying series of stairwells.

Walking around, Johan points out features such as the curvature of the upper deck, which he said would have been used to collect rainwater for drinking, as well as for letting animals such as horses out to exercise where they could run around.

Mr Huibers said he’s considering where to take the floating attraction next, including European ports or even across the Atlantic – though the latter would require transport aboard an even bigger ship. But he is also working on a new dream, perhaps even more unlikely than the first one: he wants to get Israelis and Arabs to cooperate and build a water pipeline from the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea.

“If you have faith, anything is possible,” he said.

Source – AP.

MEN WHO JUMPED OFF FERRY TO BE PROSECUTED

Three men who jumped off the back of a Cook Strait ferry will receive fines under harbour by-laws. The trio jumped from the rear deck of the Santa Regina after it had moored at its Glasgow Wharf, Wellington, and shut down its engines on March 1.

Strait Shipping spokesperson Wendy Pannett said it was an incredibly stupid thing to do.

“They were lucky none of them were hurt. The company placed the matter in the hands of police,” Ms Pannett said.

Wellington Harbourmaster Mike Pryce said the three men were recovered from the harbour and had been questioned by police.Acting Sergeant Andrew Cox of Wellington wharf police said police intended to handle the matter with a fine. The fines were understood to be in the range of $100 each.

“Police checked them out on the day and it was decided they should receive an infringement notice and fine via the Harbour bylaws,” Mr Cox said.

Captain Pryce said navigation and safety bylaw 2.2 stated that: without the permission of the Harbourmaster, no person may dive or swim within 50 metres of any structure in the commercial wharf area. He said the alleged offence had occurred at Glasgow Wharf in an area which was covered by the bylaw.

 THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT

We continue to get good “traffic statistics” from NZMS Alumni members. Consistently, since May last year we have been receiving over 20,000 hits per month. Our record month of traffic is still June 2010, when we achieved over 30,000 hits but any traffic of over 20,000 hits shows good use and support. We watch those “stats” closely.  Google Analytics gives us very good data about site patronage, and this helps us plan the website to the best benefit of members.

The support shown by students and graduates from the NZMS courses give us a lot of confidence in building the Alumni, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received.  We are still pushing ahead to build membership too, so please keep telling your friends and colleagues about the NZMS Alumni website, and encourage them to join up…..And keep the feedback coming in. We appreciate each and every email we receive

Latest Newsletter: December 2012 – February 2013

Season’s Greetings from NZMS

As this is the last newsletter before Christmas, the staff and management at the New Zealand Maritime School extend Christmas greetings to all Alumni members and their colleagues and friends.  This has been a busy year at the school, as we keep on keeping on, delivering high quality students to the nautical industry.

We have plans for 2013, and these will become cleaer in the first quarter of next year. Suffice is to say now that unless you are moving forward in developing your business or organisation, you are in fact going backwards, so NZMS is committed to improving facilities and the quality of our course offerings, backed by modern technology advancements.

Best wishes for the new year too. Let’s hope the year has challenges and successes, and brings prosperity and peace to us all.

MARINE LEGISLATION BILL FIRST READING

The Marine Legislation Bill had its first reading in Parliament. The Bill makes amendments to the Maritime Transport Act 1994 across three main categories: implementing international maritime conventions; port, harbour and navigation and miscellaneous provisions.

The Bill also amends the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effect) Act 2012 by the transfer of certain discharge and dumping of waste functions from Maritime New Zealand to the Environmental Protection Authority.

“International maritime conventions are a good way for New Zealand to protect our safety and environmental interests,” said Minister of Transport, Gerry Brownlee.

In particular the Bill seeks to substantially increase the amount of compensation payable for incidents like the Rena grounding, through amendments that give effect to the 1996 Protocol to the International Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 and the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution 2001.

Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping that establish an internationally applicable alcohol limit for merchant seafarers are implemented through the Bill.

The Bill also seeks to clarify the relationship between national navigation safety standards and local navigation controls and the associated responsibilities of the regional councils.

“The proposed amendments underpin the significant role of the regional councils and harbourmasters in maintaining maritime safety,” Mr Brownlee said.

Proposals also seek to reinforce councils’ involvement in the implementation of the New Zealand Port and Harbour Maritime Safety Code. The miscellaneous amendments are designed to improve enforcement, modernise penalty levels and clarify the application of the Maritime Transport Act.

Responsibility for regulating certain discharges and dumping of waste shifts from Maritime New Zealand to the Environmental Protection Authority because discharge and dumping are often part of a wider activity that will require a marine consent under the new Exclusive Economic Zone regime. The amendments are necessary to reflect the specific requirements of international conventions which relate to discharges and dumping.

MINISTER SALUTES WORLD MARITIME DAY

The sinking of the Titanic 100 years ago had a “significant impact” on improving safety in the maritime sector internationally, said the Associate Minister of Transport, Simon Bridges, shown here, at World Maritime Day.

“Despite the huge numbers lost on Titanic, there were some positives taken from the disaster.  Two years after the sinking, the first International Convention for the Safety for Life at Sea, or SOLAS, was adopted,” he said.

About 80 representatives from New Zealand’s maritime community attended the event, including delegates from the Marine Transport Association, CentrePort, the Greater Wellington Regional Council, Maritime Union of New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand Ltd. The theme for 2012 was IMO: 100 years after the Titanic.

The disaster led to the introduction of new international requirements dealing with safe navigation for all merchant ships, the provision of watertight and fire-resistant bulkheads, life-saving appliances, such as lifeboats, and firefighting and fire-preventing equipment on passenger ships.

Minister Bridges also spoke of the maritime regulations adopted, such as the carrying of radio telegraph equipment for ships carrying more than 50 people, and the establishment of a North Atlantic ice patrol.

More recent boat safety initiatives in New Zealand were also recognised by the Minister, including the launch of the Fishing Sector Action Plan and licensing for jet boat drivers.

“We’re constantly trying to improve safety on the water and we strive to ensure seafaring is as safe as it can be.”

World Maritime Day is an annual event that focuses on maritime issues such as international safety, security and environmental protection. The day was created by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – a specialised agency of the United Nations – and is celebrated around the world every September.

“YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE” MESSAGE FOR STUDENTS AT NZMS GRADUATION

Long time mariner and former chief executive of the Maritime Museum, Larry Robbins, right, delivered the keynote address at the New Zealand Maritime School nautical graduation ceremony at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron last month.

Mr Robbins had a 26 year career in the Royal New Zealand Navy, which culminated in the rank of Commander.  He has a strong association with the maritime industry too, being involved with the Sailors Society in Auckland for 16 years, Mercy Ships New Zealand, the International Sailors Society NZ Inc, the Master Mariners Society, and he is a Fellow of The Nautical Institute.

When he retired as hydrographer to the RNZN, he took a new career as CEO of the NZ National Maritime Museum.  After eight years he retired again and currently works in tourism and hospitality, particularly helping with new visitors to New Zealand.

Mr Robbins told graduates and their families he completed his second mates ticket, foreign going in the United Kingdom, and spent 26 years in the hydrographic department of the New Zealand Navy. His major project was preparing new survey charts to replace those of Captain Cook which were still largely unchanged and still in use in the 1970s.

In 1995 he was awarded the OBE for his part in a major search and rescue operation in the south pacific whilst on HMNS Monowai, which resulted in eight people being rescued from three yachts.   Whilst director of the maritime museum, he had his ticket revalidated so he could work on mercy ships.

Mr Robbins said that he welcomed the graduates to the 1.2 million other foreign going seafarers who were the movers of the world’s commerce. He commented on technology changes, and the loss of sextants, radar and radio officers from ships.

As a student himself at the school, whilst revalidating his ticket, he said he enjoyed the collegiality of the school and students (especially when completing fire fighting training), and he commended the graduates with the commitment they and their families had demonstrated to help them complete their qualifications.

“I like to charge people with the responsibility of needing to make a difference. You can make a difference.  You have then intellect, the ‘stickability’, the knowledge and the quality to move ahead,” he said.   “Bravo Zulu. Sail safe. Sail well.”

The Director of the school, Captain Tim Wilson said that the NZMS had a great reputation for producing quality graduates.  It was no accident that despite there being some 20,000 seafarers not getting sea time because of the economic situation, putting the maritime industry into crisis, all the NZMS graduates had found employment.

A total of 24 deck officer cadets and 24 engineers graduated from the school in 2012, and all had been placed in employment.  This was, he said, a reflection of the quality and the professionalism of NZMS graduates.

Other guests at the prize giving and graduation were Captain Ted Eubank (Warden, Auckland Master Mariners),  Andrew Howarth (Viking Recruitment), and Graeme Bird, representing Golden Bay cement who also helped with sea time for many students.

CRIMINAL CHARGES LAID AFTER EASY RIDER SINKING

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has laid ten criminal charges as a result of the Easy Rider sinking, off the coast of Stewart Island in March 2012 with the loss of eight people.

MNZ has laid five charges against the company that operated the vessel, AZ1 Enterprises Limited, and five against Gloria Davis, in her capacity as a Director of AZ1 Enterprises.  The charges have been laid under the Maritime Transport Act 1994, the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and the Crimes Act 1961.

The charges against AZ1 Enterprises Limited are:

  • Section 68(2)(a) Maritime Transport Act 1994
    In that it operated the ship Easy Rider knowing that a current maritime document namely a master holding a skippers certificate was required before it could be lawfully operated and knowing that the appropriate skipper’s certificate was not held.
  • Section 65(2)(a) Maritime Transport Act 1994
    In that it caused or permitted the ship Easy Rider to be operated in a manner which caused unnecessary danger or risk to the persons on board.
  • Section 50(1)(a) & s15 Health & Safety in Employment Act 1992
    In that as an employer it failed to take all practicable steps to ensure that no action or in action of any employee while at work harmed any other person on board Easy Rider.
  • Section 50(1) & s6 Health & Safety in Employment Act 1992
    In that as an employer it failed to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees while at work on board the Easy Rider.
  • Section 50(1) & s18 (1)(b) Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
    In that as principal it failed to take all practicable steps to ensure that no contractor or subcontractor was harmed while doing work on board Easy Rider that he was engaged to do.

The charges against Gloria Davis are:

  • Section 68(2) Maritime Transport Act 1994 and s66 Crimes Act 1961
    In that she operated the ship Easy Rider knowing that a current maritime document namely a master holding a skippers certificate was required before it could be lawfully operated and knowing that the appropriate skipper’s certificate was not held.
  • Section 65(2)(a) Maritime Transport Act 1994 and s66 Crimes Act 1961
    In that she caused or permitted the ship Easy Rider to be operated in a manner which caused unnecessary danger or risk to the persons on board.
  • Section 50(1)(a), s15 & s56(1) Health & Safety in Employment Act 1992
    In that she, as a director of AZ1 Enterprises Ltd acquiesced or participated in the failure of that employer company to ensure that no action or inaction of any employee while at work harmed any other person on board Easy Rider.
  • Section 50(1)(a), s6 & s56(1) Health & Safety in Employment Act 1992
    In that she, as a director of AZ1 Enterprises Ltd acquiesced or participated in the failure of that employer company to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees at work on board Easy Rider.
  • Section 50(1)(a), s56(1) & s18 Health & Safety in Employment Act 1992
    In that she as a director of AZ1 Enterprises Ltd acquiesced or participated in the failure of that company as principal to take all practicable steps to ensure that no contractor or subcontractor was harmed while doing work on board Easy Rider that he was engaged to do.

The date of all charges is “on or about 15 March 2012 at Bluff and elsewhere in New Zealand”. As the matter is now before the courts, MNZ will not make any further comment on these charges.

CERTIFICATION BREACHES BRING $7500 FINE AND COMMUNITY WORK

A man has been sentenced to 140 hours’ community work and a company penalised $7500 in commercial gain after a series of certification breaches.

Valentine Croon Junior and the Nancy Kay II Fishing Company Limited each pleaded guilty to 34 charges brought under the Maritime Transport Act 1994, in the Chatham Islands District Court on Tuesday (6 November).

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) brought the charges under Section 68(1) of the Act, concerning the operation of the fishing vessel Nancy Kay II without holding a Safe Ship Management (SSM) certificate on 34 occasions.

In order to operate lawfully as a commercial ship, a vessel must be issued with a SSM certificate.  Mr Croon had arranged for the Nancy Kay II to be surveyed in March 2011, before the expiry of its certificate in October 2011.  The survey noted a number of deficiencies – namely welding and replacing the propeller shaft – which had to be addressed before a new SSM could be issued.

The Nancy Kay II was then used for commercial crayfishing through December 2011 to February 2012, and was detained by MNZ in March 2012.  Mr Croon stated the welding had been completed and the propeller shaft replaced and the vessel would go back “in survey” after this.  However, when the vessel was inspected the following week, several new deficiencies were identified, and some were still outstanding from the initial survey in March 2011.

MNZ Maritime Investigator Domonic Venz said the sentencing sends an important message to the fishing industry.

“Maritime laws are in place to help keep people safe.  Compliance with the law isn’t an option – it’s a cornerstone of the fishing industry and there’s no room for those with cavalier attitudes towards safety.”

The Nancy Kay II Fishing Company Limited also had solicitor’s fees of $2000 and court costs of $132.89 imposed on it.

The maximum penalties under the Act are a fine of $10,000 or 12 months’ imprisonment for the defendant, and a fine of $100,000 under each charge for the defendant company.

 ‘CRAWLING WITH BEETLES’

An Australian ship detained at Wellington’s port last month was found to be “crawling with beetles,” according to Biosecurity New Zealand.

The AAL Brisbane was found to have an infestation of the plague soldier beetle Chauliognathus lugubris, shown at right, a native of south-western and south-eastern Australia named for its habit of forming huge mating swarms and with potential to be harmful to New Zealand insects, or carry diseases and other pests.

The AAL Brisbane, which arrived in Wellington to pick up a cargo of logs, was targeted for a full inspection on arrival by the Ministry for Primary Industries after a recent spate of live beetle finds on vessels arriving from Melbourne, the ministry said in a statement.

“The vessel underwent a full inspection. It was found to be literally crawling with hundreds of beetles,” said MPI spokesman Geoff Gwyn. “The early warning shows our intelligence and surveillance system is working well and we are targeting vessels and cargo that have the highest risk.”

MPI is checking whether there have been any breaches of the Biosecurity Act 1993 which could result in charges being laid.

The ship, which is registered to Singapore-based Austral Asia Line, was in the news in August after being detained by Maritime New Zealand when it docked at Wellington’s CentrePort after a near miss at the harbour entrance.

The ministry is anxious to show it is succeeding in protecting New Zealand from imported pests after some of the blame for the arrival of the kiwifruit vine wasting disease Psa was sheeted home to government agencies.

CONSERVATION LABORATORY AT MAANZ WELLINGTON

One of the goals of the Maritime Archaeological Association of New Zealand is to have a means by which objects recovered from the sea can be conserved to halt deterioration. For this reason it was important to establish a conservation laboratory.

In May 1997 work commenced to build a lab in the unused starboard midships void space of the historic 73-year-old floating crane Hikitia, shown at right.  With the completion of the lab, conservation of metal objects began to take place with the first items processed being shipwreck artifacts recovered from the Auckland Islands.

The lab works on a volunteer basis and is available to conserve objects for the general public and museums, workload permitting. The lab works on a cost-recovery basis. The lab is also a key resource for the association’s education and information programme.

Caption: Conservator Jack Fry with a visitor. (Picture: Malcolm McGregor)

 THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT

We continue to get good “traffic statistics” from NZMS Alumni members. Consistently, since May last year we have been receiving over 20,000 hits per month. Our record month of traffic is still June 2010, when we achieved over 30,000 hits but any traffic of over 20,000 hits shows good use and support. We watch those “stats” closely.  Google Analytics gives us very good data about site patronage, and this helps us plan the website to the best benefit of members.

The support shown by students and graduates from the NZMS courses give us a lot of confidence in building the Alumni, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received.  We are still pushing ahead to build membership too, so please keep telling your friends and colleagues about the NZMS Alumni website, and encourage them to join up…..And keep the feedback coming in. We appreciate each and every email we receive from members. We hope this newsletter keeps you up with the play….