In the third case involving Somali pirates, 27 men were convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment by a sessions court on Friday. The men have been convicted under charges, including attempt to murder, kidnapping and relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms Act. They were acquitted of charges, including culpable homicide not amounting to murder and kidnapping for ransom.
A Singapore container ship and a Japanese-owned chemical tanker have been identified by the trade press as the two vessels involved in a collision in Chinese waters that led to Hong Kong’s beaches being awash with jelly-like palm oil. The spill earlier this month forced the Hong Kong authorities to close 13 popular beaches around the city as hundreds of volunteers and staff raced to scoop up the acrid-smelling clumps in one of the Chinese territory’s worst environmental disasters. Japan-based Global Marine Service’s (GMS) Global Apollon and Singapore’s Pacific International Lines’ (PIL) Kota Ganteng collided off Guishan Islands.
Italian police have arrested a 24-year-old Somali asylum seeker on charges of being one of a gang of pirates who seized an Italian oil tanker in the Persian Gulf in 2011. The tanker and its crew were held hostage for 10 months until a reported $11 million ransom was paid. Mohammed Farah was caught by Carabinieri special force police officers after he applied for asylum as a refugee in the Sicilian town of Caltanissetta, police said. Officers used fingerprint records to identify him as one of 50 alleged pirates who stormed the Savina Caylyn tanker on February 8, 2011, using rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons.
The government of Kuwait said Monday that it has contained a large oil spill near Al-Zour, and it expects to finish the cleanup of adjacent shorelines within a week. Power and water plant intakes had been temporarily secured in order to prevent contamination, but as of Monday, Kuwaiti official news outlet Kuna said that production was back to normal. Environmental activists say that the spill likely began the middle of last week. Experts estimate its size at about 35,000 barrels, and Kuwaiti media suggest that the source may have been an aging pipeline from the Al-Khafji offshore oilfield.
Fatigue is a well known factor as a cause numerous maritime and non-maritime accidents worldwide. In fact driving while fatigued is considered just as bad as driving while under the influence. The requirements under the new Manilla amendments call for vessels and seafarers to log their work or rest hours to meet the standards set out under STCW 2010 or the MLC 2006. Anyone who has ever gone to sea however can tell you that these measures, although a step in the right direction do not necessarily mitigate fatigue anywhere near as well as the IMO and ILO lawmakers expect.
Humanitarian NGOs Save the Children, Sea Eye and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have all suspended their maritime rescue operations off Libya, citing threats from the navy of the Libyan Government of National Accord. The UN-backed government’s military has threatened to use force to expel NGOs from a "rescue zone" extending beyond the 12 nm limit of Libya’s territorial seas. NGO rescue vessels often operate just outside the 12-nm line, but Libyan forces now claim the right to interdict rescue ships in a zone extending out to 70 nm from the coast, well into international waters.
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