IMO MARITIME SAFETY COMMITTEE 100th SESSION 3 – 7 DECEMBER 2018

The IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) held its 100th Session (MSC 100) from Monday 3 through Friday 7 December 2018 under the Chairmanship of Mr Brad Groves (AUSTRALIA) and his Vice-Chair, Mr Juan Carlos Cubisino (ARGENTINA), both of whom were re-elected for 2019.  Three Working Groups (WG) and one Drafting Group (DG) were formed and chaired as follows:

 

WG1                Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships, Mr H Tunfors (SWEDEN)

WG2                Safety measures for non-SOLAS ships operating in polar waters, Ms

S Sonninen (FINLAND)

WG3                Goal-based standards, Mr J Sirkar (USA)

DG1                Amendments to Mandatory Instruments, Mr N Boldt (GERMANY)

 

The meeting was attended by representatives from 97 IMO Member Governments, 2 Associate Member Governments, 2 UN and Specialised Agencies, 5 Inter-Governmental Organisations and 54 Non-Governmental organisations.

 

IMO SECRETARY GENERAL’S ADDRESS.  The Secretary General, Mr K Lim, welcomed delegates to the 100th session of the Maritime Safety Committee and expressed condolences to the bereaved families and friends of those who died during the tragic sinking of a passenger ship on Lake Victoria on 24 November 2018.  He next reminded the Plenary session of two significant IMO milestones throughout this year, 70 years since the organisation was formed and 60 years since it became operational, before going on to trace the history of IMO and the MSC.  The Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation (IMCO), as it was known until 1982, was formally established on 6 March 1948 and comprised 14 Members, [which is 160 less than the current number].  Paying tribute to the enhanced safety and security of international shipping in the intervening years, he invited all to attend a special Panel Discussion event to celebrate the 100th session of the Committee later that day. [Although not mentioned in his welcoming speech, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal subsequently addressed Plenary as a final celebration of the 100th session of the Committee in a speech drawing on her considerable experience with the Mission to Seafarers whilst afterwards she met a representative selection of delegates during the afternoon break.]

 

Highlighting some of the key issues to be discussed at the meeting, he referred first to consideration of the work carried out by a Correspondence Group on the regulatory scoping exercise for the use of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS).  Next, he mentioned that it has been almost seven years since the International Goal-Based Ship Construction Standards for Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers became mandatory and at this session, the Committee will consider the final report of the audit team given that the experience gained can now be incorporated in the GBS Guidelines to ensure compliance with the highest practicable safety criteria.

 

With regard to Safety measures for non-SOLAS ships operating in polar waters, continued consideration will be given to possible wider application of navigation and communication related provisions of the Polar Code to certain ships operating in polar waters which currently are outside its scope.  Continuing on the theme of safety, he reminded delegates that the Automated Merchant Vessel Reporting service (Amver) also celebrates its 60th anniversary since its establishment in July 1958 and continues to provide important vessel position information to Rescue Coordination Centres in the form of SAR Surface Plot Pictures to assist in the rescue or assistance of mariners in distress.

 

Summarising the most important issues arising from the reports submitted by the Sub-committees for consideration, Mr Lim referred to the draft guidelines on fatigue, also the safety implications associated with the use of low sulphur fuel oil; the progress of negotiations on the Compact for Migration and the Compact on Refugees; and, piracy and armed robbery against ships.

 

Despite the heavy demands placed on the Committee during the coming five days, the Secretary General expressed confidence that considerable progress would be made on the large number of important issues referred to, and wished all present, every success.

 

DECISION OF OTHER BODIES.  The Committee noted the decisions of Council 120 on measures to allow greater public access to information at IMO.  In particular, Member States and international organisations may indicate at the time of submission whether their documents should be released to the public and notes by the Secretariat would be made publicly available via IMODOCS prior to the meeting, unless the committees had decided otherwise in advance.  All Sub-Committees will follow the same practice.

 

In response to a request by TC 68 (Technical Committee) requesting MSC and MEPC to identify and prioritise which of the model courses could be considered for conversion into e-learning model courses, and to consider reviewing the ‘Revised guidelines for the development, review and validation of model courses’ (MSC MEPC.2/Circ.15), the Committee concurred with the decision of MEPC 73 to instruct the HTW Sub-Committee to action the request and advise the Committees accordingly.

 

The Committee noted that Council 121 agreed to renew the mandate of Mr Kitack Lim as Secretary-General for another four-year term subject to the approval of Assembly 31.  Council also agreed to the establishment of an open-ended working group to explore Council reform.

 

AMENDMENTS TO MANDATORY INSTRUMENTS.  A drafting group (DG1) was instructed to finalise draft amendments to the SPS Code (Code of Safety for Special Purpose Ships) which was duly completed.  In consideration of DG1’s report, the Committee approved it in general, and in particular;

 

  1. Adopted the draft MSC resolution on amendments to the SPS Code;
  2. Noted that further amendments to the SPS Code could be deliberated by an appropriate sub-committee at a future time; and;
  3. Authorised the Secretariat to effect minor editorial corrections that may be identified.

 

MEASURES TO ENHANCE MARITIME SECURITY.  The Committee noted the information that 25% of all port facilities registered in the maritime security module of GISIS submitted by Member States in accordance with SOLAS requires updating. Also, the new functionalities (i.e. web services) to enable secure electronic transfer of information between Member States and the maritime security module of GISIS has been developed and requires further testing.  In this context, the Committee:

 

  1. Urged SOLAS Contracting Governments to review and update their information contained in the maritime security module of GISIS, in particular that relating to port facility security plans;
  2. Encouraged Member States to participate in the testing phase/finalisation of the specifications and guidance for the new functionalities of electronic transfer of information into the maritime security module of GISIS;
  3. Encouraged Member States to join Germany and Norway in expressing interest to increase the functionality of the GISIS maritime security module allowing for bulk data retrieval in the data exchange facility;
  4. Noted that recurring themes during IMO’s technical assistance activities on maritime security are cyber risk management and self-assessment of implementation, including PFSO training and certification requirements;
  5. Encouraged Member States to share guidance on such themes which could form part of IMO’s maritime security training and awareness-raising activities, as well as to identify maritime security experts with experience in conducting training of officials; and,
  6. Invited Member States to consider making donations to the International Maritime Security Trust (IMST) Fund to support the continued delivery of technical assistance under the global programme for the enhancement of maritime security.

 

PIRACY AND ARMED ROBBERY AGAINST SHIPS.  Following consideration of a report by the Secretariat regarding developments on piracy and armed robbery against ships since MSC 99, including piracy and armed robbery statistics and regional developments, the Committee :

  1. Reminded Member States to update the information related to their National Point(s) of Contact for communication of information on piracy and armed robbery to IMO;
  2. Requested Member States to continue providing information on such incidents, also to complete the Questionnaire related to privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships; and,
  3. Requested Member States as well as owners to continue diligent application of the Best Management Practices (BMP) and IMO guidance.

 

Industry Counter Piracy Guidelines.  The Committee recalled that at MSC 89, recognition was given to the importance of Best Management Practices (BMP) for protection against Somalia-based piracy and the need to comply with provisions therein, also the need to keep the BMP alive, relevant, dynamic and updated.  Towards this end, a fifth edition of BMP has recently been produced together with the development of new Global Counter Piracy Guidance for Companies, Masters and Seafarers and updated guidance for protection against piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea region. Following discussion, all of these three documents were approved by the Committee.

 

Indian Ocean High-Risk Area Boundaries.  The Committee considered document MSC 100/14/2 (Oman) requesting that the ‘appropriate bodies’ exclude the specific area adjacent to the east of the Omani coast from the HRA.  Following discussion, the BMP authors revealed that they are currently undertaking a review of the geographical limits of the HRA to better reflect the ongoing threat of piracy and that they will be happy to continue open and friendly bilateral discussions with Oman.  The Intertanko representative undertook to provide an update report on their deliberations, also consultations with Oman, at MSC 101.

 

UNSAFE MIXED MIGRATION BY SEA.  The Committee noted that UN Member States had finalised the text of the global compact for migration on 13 July 2018 and that the Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the global compact for migration will be held on 10 and 11 December 2018 in Marrakesh, Morocco.  It also noted that the final text on the global compact on refugees will be proposed by the High Commissioner for Refugees in his annual report to the UN General Assembly.  In the ensuing discussion, the Committee noted:

 

  1. The dramatic increase of incidents in Spain at sea in 2018 compared with the previous period, i.e. more than 59,300 persons rescued in 2018 (an increase of 73%); more than 4.900 boats assisted (an increase of 31%), and 358 fatalities (an increase of 77%);
  2. That the overall numbers of refugees and migrants crossing by sea to Europe has fallen significantly in 2018;
  3. Although Resolution MSC. 167(78) on Guidelines on the treatment of Persons Rescued at Sea is not binding, it reflects the non-refoulement obligations under international law which coastal and flag States need to respect at all times;
  4. Masters should be relieved of the obligation of maintaining migrants rescued at sea at the earliest opportunity;
  5. That UNHCR and IOM had proposed a regional cooperative agreement ensuring predictable disembarkation and subsequent processing of persons rescued at sea;
  6. The global compact on refugees seeks to translate the existing burden of international refugee protection into concrete practical arrangements providing an architecture of support for host countries and communities affected by large refugee numbers;
  7. The ongoing EUNAVFOR MED operation SOPHIA has neutralised more than 500 boats, referred 150 suspected smugglers and rescued 45,000 migrants;
  8. The Libyan Coastguard has saved more than 30,000 lives since July 2017; and,
  9. At a Conference in Rome in October 2018 to facilitate multilateral cooperation, particular highlighting was given to defining the precise meaning of “distress case” and “place of safety” in accordance with current IMO guidelines.

 

 

MARITIME AUTONOMOUS SURFACE SHIPS.  Seven substantive documents and three Information papers were submitted in respect of the framework for the regulatory scoping exercise.  Most prominent was that from Finland providing the report of the Correspondence Group on MASS set up at MSC 99.  Following Plenary discussion on Degrees of Autonomy, Instruments and level of detail of their analysis, Methodology, and Plan of work plus other miscellaneous issues, WG1 was convened. It was instructed to finalise the framework for the regulatory scoping exercise, including the template and the plan and method of work.  Instruction was also given to consider principles for the development of interim guidelines for Mass trials, time permitting.

In consideration of WG1’s report subsequent to its deliberations, the Committee approved the group’s report in general, and in particular :

  1. Approved the framework of the regulatory scoping exercise, including the plan of work and procedures;
  2. Requested the Secretariat to develop the web platform for the regulatory scoping exercise, taking into account the agreed framework;
  3. Encouraged all to participate actively in the exercise;
  4. Agreed to hold an intersessional MSC working group from 2 to 6 September 2019 and agreed to develop terms of reference for the group at MSC 101;
  5. Requested the Secretariat to submit a status report to MSC 101 on progress, in order to address any corrective actions that might be necessary;
  6. Invited volunteer Member States either to lead or support specific instruments during the initial review and to inform participation by the end of this year;
  7. Requested the secretariat to assist with certain tasks during the regulatory scoping exercise such as pre-populating the information, assigning relevant permissions to users and dealing with any other administrative issues, as appropriate; and,
  8. Noted the provisional principles for the development of guidelines on MASS trials, whilst inviting interested parties to submit proposals for the next session of the Committee, taking these principles into account.

 

GOAL-BASED NEW SHIP CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS.  Following suitable scrutiny by an Audit Team, the recognised organisation (RO) Turk Loydu was confirmed as having demonstrated that its rules conform to the Tier I goals and Tier II functional requirements of the Standards.  The successful GBS verification is subject to rectification of several non-conformities, following which a verification Audit will be carried out.

In consideration of verification audit of the 12 IACS ROs (Recognised Organisations), the committee confirmed that the information provided by the Submitters (all IACS member ROs, except for DNV-GL, a default caused in the wake of their merger) had demonstrated continued conformance with the Standards and agreed that the identified DNV-GL non-conformities will be rectified.

 

The GBS working group, WG3, was formed, primarily to finalise the draft amendments to the GBS Verification Guidelines, and in considering its subsequent report, the Committee approved it in general, and in particular :

  1. Noted the Group’s discussion on the observations made by the GBS audit teams addressing the issue of “mirrored submissions”;
  2. Noted the amendments made to the draft Revised GBS Guidelines in respect of protecting confidential and/or proprietary information;
  3. Noted Group discussion on what constitutes a “rule change” and “10% of rule changes”;
  4. Adopted the draft MSC resolution on Revised guidelines for verification of conformity with goal-based ship construction standards for bulk carriers and oil tankers with the date of effect being one year after adoption (1 January 2020);
  5. Agreed to the proposal for [the quantum of] fees related to the maintenance and verification of non-conformities audits, to take immediate effect;
  6. Agreed to the current timetable and schedule of activities;
  7. Noted the Group’s discussion on the experience gained at SSE 5 in the application of the ‘Generic guidelines for developing IMO goal-based standards’; and agreed to the proposal of the Group to amend them so as to aid their application throughout the organisation.

 

SAFETY MEASURES FOR NON-SOLAS SHIPS OPERATING IN POLAR WATERS.   Following a perfunctory debate in Plenary, a working group (WG2) was formed having been given terms of reference, primarily to consider draft amendments to specified SOLAS regulations using document MSC 100/7, Annex 1 as the basis and to give further consideration to draft amendments to part I-B of the Polar Code on add-on linkages between it and SOLAS, using the text in Annex 2 of the same document.

The Committee approved the Group’s report in general, and in particular :

  1. Noted the diverse views on widening the mandatory application of the Polar Code;
  2. Noted progress made on draft text to SOLAS regulation XIV/3 relating to safety of navigation and voyage planning;
  3. Endorsed the Group’s decision not to prepare a reference table at this stage for inclusion in part I-B of the Code;
  4. Noted the Group’s view that more precise proposals are required to justify the need for a PWOM (Polar Water Operating Manual), or equivalent, and methodologies for determining ship’s operational capabilities in ice need to be considered further;
  5. Endorsed the Group’s view that the reference table on the existing regulatory provisions for non-SOLAS ships operating in polar waters still remains relevant for its original purpose;
  6. Endorsed the updated Roadmap;
  7. Endorsed the Group’s view that, as an interim measure, an appropriate resolution to urge Member States to take action could be developed by submission of proposals for such a resolution to MSC 101; and,
  8. Invited Member States and international organisations to submit information to MSC 101 that will assist to determine the feasibility and consequences of applying the requirements in chapters 9 and 11 of the Polar Code, in order to progress the work at the next session.

 

POLLUTION PREVENTION AND RESPONSE (PPR).  The Committee noted that the PPR Sub-Committee held its fifth session from 5 to 9 February 2018, from which pertinent issues follow :

Draft amendments to the IBC and BCH Codes.  Having noted that MEPC 73 had approved draft amendments to the IBC and BCH Codes with a view to adoption at MEPC 74, the Committee concurrently approved the draft amendments.

Safety implications associated with the use of low-sulphur fuel oil.  The Committee considered the outcome of the Intersessional Meeting on Consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI (ISWG-AP 1) concerning this matter and a full report will be issued as document PPR 6/8 providing proposals to assist the Committee to address the identified safety concerns.

Mechanisms for dealing with fuel oil safety matters. Following discussion and in endorsing the view that, whilst fuel safety is a longstanding concern which needs to be carefully addressed, this should not affect Member States commitment to implementing the 2020 sulphur limit. It was reiterated that the MARPOL Convention is under the auspices of MEPC and any proposals to amend MARPOL provisions need to be brought to the attention of that Committee whilst also recognising that maritime safety is the primary responsibility of MSC, which includes fuel safety issues.  It was agreed that in order to develop long-term solutions to enhance ship safety relating to the use of fuel oil, a safety working group could be established at MSC 101.  To assist in the process, a Drafting Group was established to develop a title for a new output dealing with fuel oil safety matters and the associated scope of work, which it subsequently achieved.

GISIS Module for Fuel Safety Matters.  The Committee supported the enhancement of GISIS to provide greater granularity in fuel safety reports, whilst inviting MEPC 74 to advise MSC 101 on such improvements.

Compliant Fuels.  There was overwhelming support for the development of a draft circular to be developed by PPR 6 for approval by MEPC 74 and MSC 101, recommending that all Member States should take appropriate action to ensure that fuel suppliers under their jurisdiction deliver compliant fuels.

 

SHIP SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT.  The Committee approved, in general, the report of the fifth session of the Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE) and took action as follows :

Safety objectives and functional requirements for the Guidelines on alternative design and arrangements for SOLAS chapters II-I AND III.  The Committee noted that following consideration of this matter, SSE 5 had re-established the Correspondence Group on Life-Saving Appliances and instructed it to progress the work in relation to the draft goals, functional requirements and expected performance for SOLAS chapter III, as well as draft amendments to the Guidelines.

Draft amendment to paragraph 6.1.1.3 of the LSA Code.  This was considered by the Committee and despite somewhat conflicting views between IACS and Japan concerning perceived ambiguity in the text, “means for bringing the rescue boat against the ship’s side”, the draft amendment to the LSA Code was approved, with a view to adoption at MSC 101.  In the interim, SSE 6 will be invited to consider the concerns raised during discussion.

Scope of application of new requirements for onboard lifting appliances and anchor handling winches (OLAW).  Following discussion, the Committee agreed that a “list of inclusions with some exclusions” approach should be taken when drafting the relevant SOLAS amendments in relation to OLAW, excluding offshore construction ships, and instructed SSE to further consider which lifting appliances should be indicated in the draft amendments. With regard to training and certification of crews and shore based personnel, the FAL Committee has already issued guidelines for training of shore-based personnel (FAL.6/Circ.11/Rev.1).

Unified interpretation of paragraph 4.4.8.1 of the LSA Code.  The Committee considered the draft MSC circular on the UI, aimed at exempting lifeboats with two independent propulsion systems from being equipped with sufficient buoyant oars and their related items (thole pins, crutches or equivalent arrangements) to make headway in calm seas.  Following discussion, the exemption was agreed, although for all other aspects, the lifeboat should be in full compliance with para 4.4.8 of the LSA Code.

Fire-fighter radios required by SOLAS regulation II-2/10.  The CIRM delegation informed the Committee that some companies manufacturing dedicated fire-fighter radios were encountering a significant shortage of electronic component parts and were therefore having difficulties in delivering a sufficient quantity of radios in time for customers’ ships to comply with the carriage requirement in SOLAS regulation II-2/10.  Following discussion, the Committee noted the challenges faced by some manufacturers and invited Administrations to take them into account when conducting the first survey after 1 July 2018, with a view to taking a pragmatic and flexible approach.

Ventilation of totally enclosed lifeboats.  The Committee recalled that SSE 5 had considered the ventilation requirements for totally enclosed lifeboats and prepared draft amendments to the LSA Code with a view to seeking approval.  In a submission to MSC 100 drawn up by the [informal] Industry Lifeboat Group (ILG) of which InterManager is a member, it was argued that the proposed ventilation requirements and rates might not be achievable whilst also pointing out that no formal safety assessment had been carried out.  Notwithstanding the views of the ILG, the great majority of those who spoke on the matter felt that the issue has already been adequately addressed by SSE 4 and SSE 5 such that it was decided not to take any action in relation to the ILG submission, MSC 100/9/10.

 

HUMAN ELEMENT, TRAINING AND WATCHKEEPING (HTW).  Noting that HTW 5 had validated 10 new and revised model courses, a very significant increase compared to previous years, the Committee approved the report of HTW 5 and took action as follows :

 

Model courses under the purview of IMO bodies other than the HTW Sub-Committee.  The Committee instructed Sub-Committees to consider whether model courses under their purview, as follows, might need to be revised  :

CCC on Safe packing of CTUs, also Dangerous,hazardous and harmful cargoes;

III on Marine accident and incident investigation;

NCSR on Survey of navigational aids and equipment, SAR administration, SAR on-scene coordinator, also Hull and structural surveys;

SSE on Survey of machinery installations, Electrical installations, Fire appliances and provisions, and Life-saving appliances and arrangements.

Guidelines in Fatigue.  The draft Guidelines on Fatigue and the associated draft MSC circular were approved by the Committee.  In this context, the Committee endorsed the agreement of HTW 5 that any proposals to include fatigue risk management tools as appendices to the Guidelines could be considered under the agenda item on the “Role of the human element” at future sessions of the HTW Sub-Committee, taking into account that such tools should be relevant to the maritime sector, practical, useful for seafarers and consistent with IMO instruments;

Approval of competent persons.  Following consideration, the Committee approved the inclusion of two competent persons, noted the withdrawal from the List by three STCW Parties and asked that any further relevant amendments be forwarded to the Secretary.

 

CARRIAGE OF CARGOES AND CONTAINERS (CCC).  The Committee considered urgent matters emanating from the fifth session of the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers and took action as follows :

Draft amendments to parts A and A-1 of the IGF Code.  Having noted that views on the proposed draft amendments were divided but that further proposals could still be submitted at the adoption stage, the Committee approved the amendments to parts A and A-1 of the IGF Code, requesting the Secretary-General to circulate them in accordance with SOLAS article VIII, for adoption at MSC 101.

Interim guidelines on the application of high manganese austenitic steel for cryogenic service.  The Committee approved an MSC circular on these guidelines and agreed a proposal by the Republic of Korea for the Secretariat to insert a footnote in the IGC and IGF Codes containing a reference to the Interim guidelines when preparing the next publication of both Codes.

 

ANY OTHER BUSINESS.  The Committee considered the following items :

  1. Expressed its sincere appreciation to Amver, following on from that given by the Secretary-General in his welcoming speech;
  2. Approved an updated draft IMO position provided by the Experts Group (MSC 100/19/2) in preparation for the ITU’s Conference Preparatory Meeting in February 2019;
  3. Took note of the information provided by Ukraine regarding the maritime areas adjacent to the Crimean peninsula and the response by the Russian Federation. A previous discussion was recalled which decided that IMO is not the appropriate forum for such a discussion whilst nevertheless recognising the importance of security and safety of navigation;
  4. The USA’s declaration regarding alleged deceptive shipping practices employed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea that endanger maritime security and threaten the safety of navigation, citing Assembly resolution A.706(17) as amended;
  5. A submission on the Use of Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) for Seagoing Ships by the Russian Federation proposing to initiate a study related to the use of FRP which was agreed subject to a new output being approved by the Committee;
  6. China’s introduction of document MSC 100/19/6 on the subject of Domestic Ferry Safety and that by the Acting Director of the IMO Technical Cooperation Division who introduced document MSC 100/19/10. Both described the significant amount of work on the safety of non-international voyages carried out to date and following discussion, the Chairman ruled that more detail was required for a new output, noting that a number of Sub-Committees would be involved. It was also observed that domestic ferries fall under national legislation.
  7. Following discussion, the Committee’s agreement to the active participation of the Secretariat in the trial phase for a fully independent International Quality Assessment Review Body (IQARB) for the IACS Quality System Certification Scheme (QSCS). These will review the audits of IACS members as well as the corresponding corrective action plans.
  8. The Chairman’s advice to the Committee that the revised GISIS module on Survey and Certification with a new area on “Voluntary early implementation” is now available for SOLAS Contracting Governments wishing to implement amendments in advance of the entry-into-force date.  He also advised that the GMDSS module which was under development, has been completed; and,
  9. With regard to the 2012 Cape Town Agreement, it still requires the ratification of an additional 12 States with no less than 2,850 fishing vessels. There will be a conference on fishing vessel safety during the second half of 2019 in Torremolinos, Spain.

 

IMO AWARDS CEREMONY.  A special IMO Awards Ceremony for 2018 was carried out on the penultimate evening of MSC 100 during which the following awards were made :

 

The International Maritime Prize, awarded annually by the IMO Council to the individual or organisation judged to have made the most significant contribution to the work and objectives of IMO, which was presented to Mrs Birgit Solling Olsen, formerly the Deputy Director-General of the Danish Maritime Authority and who became the 38th recipient of the prize, a silver dolphin statuette.

 

In addition this year for the first time, special certificates for their contribution to the work of IMO which were awarded to Mr Richard Schiferli, Secretary General, Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control and to The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited.

 

The IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea gives international recognition for those who, at the risk of losing their own life, perform acts of exceptional bravery, displaying outstanding courage in attempting to save life at sea or in attempting to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment.  There are three categories of honour: firstly, the Award itself then Certificates of Commendation for acts of extraordinary bravery followed by Letters of Commendation for meritorious actions.

 

The recipient of this years IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea was Mr Zhong Haifeng who played a major part in the underwater search and rescue operation for 12 missing crew members following the sinking of the bulk carrier M/V Jin Ze Lun on 27 November 2017 in Guangzhou Port, China.  After some 36 hours of non-stop searching in difficult conditions, six survivors were found trapped in the cargo hold and in the subsequent rescue effort, Mr Zhong dived down six times, personally rescuing three survivors in the space of an hour despite extreme exhaustion in doing so.

 

Certificates of Commendation were awarded to :

The Master and crew of the M/T Seapower, the Master and crew of the MTM Tortola and the crew of HMS Monmouth’s Wildcat helicopter Black Jack from 815 Naval Air Squadron;

The crews of the rescue helicopters Helimer 202 and Helimer 207; and,

Captain Gaetano Gigliotti and the crew of the M/S Carnival Elation.

 

Letters of Commendation have been sent to :

Mr Xu Junlin, Mr Xu Zhentao, Mr Lu Ping and Mr Feng Yajun, members of the Sanchi Explosion Emergency Dispatch Squad;

Captain Guo Tianxian, Master of the rescue tugboat Nan Hai Jiu 116;

Captain K Ashol Kumar and the crew of the M/V Kodithala;

Captain Mahmoud Baghestani, Master of the oil tanker Stream;

Captain Sumant Varma and the crew of the M/V Dubai Knight;

Captain Roman Rudenko, Master of the firefighting craft Chasovoy (FSBI Rescue Service);

Captain Fredrik Krysen and the crew of the M/V Undine; and,

Captain Maxim Kireev and Chief Officer Anatoliy Yarovoy of the cargo ship BBC ASIA.

 

DATE OF NEXT MEETING.  The next meeting of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 101) has been scheduled to take place from 5 through 14 June 2019.

 

Captain Paddy McKnight

 

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