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The latest news of specific interest to UKHMA Members including Association News:
Master mariner of Chester-le-Street widens his horizons by winning a competition for comedy sketch writersMaster mariner of Chester-le-Street widens his horizons by winning a competition for comedy sketch writers
Added: 10 Oct 2017
By: Gavin Engelbrecht
Chief Reporter (Stanley
The Northern Echo
6 October 2017

A MASTER mariner has widened his horizons by winning a competition for budding comedy sketch writers.

[UKHMA Member] Captain Michael Nicholson’s sketch about a wine vintner from Alnwick impressed the judges at the final of the Sketch for Sammy competition for new comedy writers.

Now, his winning sketch will be shown to 10,000 people in The Sunday for Sammy shows on February 18 at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena.

Capt Nicholson and the other shortlisted writers all benefited from mentoring sessions with comedy writer Ed Waugh, who helped them polish the scripts. They then saw their sketches performed by a professional cast from the Laffalang Gang in front of an enthusiastic and supportive audience at The Stand in Newcastle.

A panel of celebrity judges composed of comedian Jason Cook, musicians Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell together with award winning director Geoff Wonfor were unanimous in choosing The Alnwick Vintner as the winner of the 2017 Phil Richardson Comedy Award.

The former Port of Tyne Harbour Master, of Chester-le-Street, had done the occasional after dinner speech in the past but this was his first attempt at writing a sketch.

He said, “My experiences at sea have widened my horizons and I can usually see the funny side of things in most situations.

"Writing comedy however was all new to me and I was grateful for the help I was given by Ed Waugh and the superb interpretation given by the Laffalang Gang.”

Fed up of school, Mr Nicholson ran away to sea at 17, joining the Merchant Navy as an apprentice navigator.

He rose through the ranks and was given his first command of the Kingsnorth Fisher in 1990 at the age of 29.

Coming ashore after 15 years at sea, he became a pilot on the river Humber and latterly Harbour Master at the Port of Tyne.

Two years ago Mike started up his own company Shipmove, as a freelance marine consultant. In this role, he pilots ships at Blyth and Seaham, moves barges on the Tyne, drives the River Escapes Party Boats, and performs safety and quality audits.

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Big data provides new insights into life on the seabedBig data provides new insights into life on the seabed
Added: 02 Oct 2017
Posted by: Matthew Kinmond, MMO
29 September 2017

Today marks the publication of a landmark study by scientists from the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), which has been funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Marine Management Organisation, the Crown Estate, the British Marine Aggregate Producers Association and the Welsh Government.

The study ‘A big data approach to macrofaunal baseline assessment, monitoring and sustainable exploitation of the seabed’ has been published in the Scientific Reports journal and provides a new insight into the distribution of seabed animal communities throughout UK, which will facilitate a new approach to monitoring the environmental effects of offshore industries.

The study collates and standardises nearly half a century of UK seabed grab survey data, from multiple sources in industry and government, demonstrating the benefits of joined up working between government and industry.

For full details, follow the link below.

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World Maritime Day - 28 September 2017World Maritime Day - 28 September 2017
Added: 27 Sep 2017
"Connecting Ships, Ports and People" has been selected as the World Maritime Day theme for 2017. The theme was chosen to provide an opportunity to focus on the many diverse actors involved in the shipping and logistics areas.

The maritime sector, which includes shipping, ports and the people that operate them, can and should play a significant role helping Member States to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability ashore through promoting trade by sea; enhancing the port and maritime sector as wealth creators both on land and, through developing a sustainable blue economy, at sea.

World Maritime Day 2017 is formally celebrated at IMO on 28 September 2017. Member States and other entities are invited to celebrate with activities in the same week, and throughout the year.

An official video message by Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary-General, for World Maritime Day 2017 may be viewed via the external link below.

The aim of the 2017 theme is to build on the World Maritime Day theme for 2016, "Shipping: indispensable to the world", by focussing on helping IMO Member States to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach that addresses the whole range of issues, including the facilitation of maritime transport, and increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, and maritime security.

In this way, IMO will be contributing to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are a broad response to the challenges facing the world today – increasing world population; climate change; threats to the environment; unsustainable exploitation of natural resources; threats to food security; societal threats posed by organized criminals and violent extremists; and instability leading to mixed migration.

Ultimately, more efficient shipping, working in partnership with a port sector supported by governments, will be a major driver towards global stability and sustainable development for the good of all people.

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Port  Skills & Safety Newsletter September 2017Port Skills & Safety Newsletter September 2017
Added: 20 Sep 2017
Follow the external link to view the latest newsletter from Port Skills & Safety, including:




and other matters of interest.
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New Harbour Master takes the helm at Milford HavenNew Harbour Master takes the helm at Milford Haven
Added: 20 Sep 2017
A former Commanding Officer with the Royal Navy has been appointed the new Harbour Master at the Port of Milford Haven.

Mike Ryan (pictured) took up the role of Marine Director/Harbour Master on 29 August and brings with him extensive experience of delivering operations safely and successfully worldwide, and in complex situations.

In recent years Mike has held senior positions on shore with responsibility for over 600 personnel, covering all aspects of maritime and aviation management. At sea, as a Master Mariner, he was Commanding Officer on board Royal Navy mine hunters and, in a Service career spanning almost 30 years, has served on a wide variety of ships including aircraft carriers.

Commenting on the new role, Mike said “I am delighted to be joining the Port at this exciting time and am really looking forward to working with the team, and wider stakeholders, to ensure Milford Haven’s continuing status as one of the UK’s most strategically important ports.”

Alec Don, Chief Executive of the Port of Milford Haven, said “We’re delighted that Mike has joined us. There is so much happening within the Port so it’s a great time for him to take on this esteemed role. Mike has a wealth of experience within the maritime industry and has already fitted in well during the handover period.”

[UKHMA Council Member] Bill Hirst, the Port’s outgoing Harbour Master, will retire at the end of October after almost 18 years service.

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Microbead ban to help protect marine environmentMicrobead ban to help protect marine environment
Added: 12 Sep 2017
Last year Defra committed to banning the manufacture and sale of cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads which may harm the marine environment.

Following a UK-wide public consultation on the topic earlier this year, Defra has used the responses to draft legislation for England and plans to bring this ban into force by the end of 2017, with the ban on sale beginning on 1st January 2018 and the ban on manufacture beginning on 30th Jun 2018. This has now been formally notified in the London Gazette and the draft legislation is available to view at the external link below until 11th October 2017.

The Devolved Administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will introduce separate legislation according to their own legislative processes and timetables to ensure that the ban will apply across the whole of the UK.

Any person may make representations on the draft legislation for England in writing to the Secretary of State. Any such representations should be sent by 11th October 2017 to: Marine Litter Policy Team, Defra, 8B Millbank, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR or by email to

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Port Freight Statistics 2016 publishedPort Freight Statistics 2016 published
Added: 01 Sep 2017
The Department for Transport has published the latest UK Port Freight Statistics for 2016.

The figures show that the decline in tonnage is largely driven by reduced coal and the increasing volume of container traffic. The “PORT” tables have now been updated to include the figures for 2016.

Of note in the statistics on port traffic in the United Kingdom in 2016 were:

• total tonnage decreased by 3% to 484.0 million tonnes

• coal handled showed the biggest decline of any cargo category more than halving to 12.0 million tonnes

• liquid bulk goods, which account for 40% of total tonnage, decreased by 2%

• crude oil handled has halved since 2000, to 87.1 million tonnes

• unitised traffic rose by 2% to 24.1 million units

• container units reached a record high of 5.9 million units

• overall roll-on roll-off traffic rose 1.4% to 18.2 million units

• the volume of import and export motor vehicles increased 1% to 4.5 million units.

Website: View External Website
VTMS for Portland PortVTMS for Portland Port
Added: 31 Aug 2017
Southampton-based [UKHMA Commercial Member] Marine and Risk Consultants Limited (Marico Marine) and Xanatos Marine are pleased to announce they have successfully installed and commissioned a multi-sensor Vessel Traffic Monitoring System (VTMS) for Portland Port in the United Kingdom.

The new VTMS system uses the latest Xanatos Titan Sentinel VTMS software solution and comprises a maritime surveillance radar, Automatic Identification System (AIS), CCTV, weather stations, and operator workstations with the latest user interface (including C-Map charts) and advanced recording and replay functionality. In order to minimise the capital cost of the new system, Xanatos was able to re-use and interface some of the existing hardware (e.g. the radar), while still delivering a modern, state-of-the art, and cost-effective solution.

Bill English, President of Xanatos Marine, commented “Xanatos Marine was thrilled for the opportunity to work with Portland Port to implement a system that meets their unique requirements. The staff at Portland Port have been great to work with and now that the system has been successfully implemented, we are pleased the system has proven itself to be as useful as imagined.”

[UKHMA Member] Captain Mike Shipley, Harbour Master and General Manager (Marine), stated that “The new VTMS system from Xanatos provides an impressive range of features and functions and has proven to be extremely reliable and robust. The entire project has been managed efficiently and professionally by the team at Marico Marine and we continue to work with them in order to expand and enhance the system in the coming months/years”.

Portland Port is a thriving commercial port located on the UK’s south coast. The port’s close proximity to the English Channel shipping lanes provides an ideal location for vessels both in terms of distance and travel time. The harbour is well protected from the south and south westerly winds, as it shelters behind the Isle of Portland and Chesil Beach, and is circled by an extensive breakwater system which protects it from adverse easterly weather conditions.

The system was installed and commissioned in July 2017.

Website: View External Website
Portsmouth offering 360 degree views of the port city at Seatrade EuropePortsmouth offering 360 degree views of the port city at Seatrade Europe
Added: 31 Aug 2017
Seatrade Cruise News

Portsmouth is launching an innovative 360 degree video of the UK port and city’s tourist attractions at Seatrade Europe, taking place in Hamburg next week.

In an aim to push for more cruise business, Portsmouth International Port’s videos are part of a new #portsmouthtakesyouthere marketing campaign, highlighting a range of experiences offered in the city and on holidays from the port.

The 360 degree videos have been produced in collaboration with Portsmouth University, giving students the chance to promote key sights and landmarks in the city.

Event delegates will watch the 360 degree videos using special headsets but they can also be seen on tablets and other mobile devices.

The short films can also be downloaded from the internet, giving viewers the chance to ‘pan around’ and explore Portsmouth’s attractions and will be available to download from the port’s website on September 6.

[UKHMA Council Member] Rupert Taylor, Harbour Master at Portsmouth International Port, and in charge of cruise operations said: ‘These new videos will show some of the most influential people in the business just what guests can see within minutes of stepping off their ships.’

Options include a 360 degree perspective from the top of the Emirates Spinnaker Tower, with views of Portsmouth Harbour and The Solent. With the ability to look up, down and all around there’s a chance to see through the glass panel in the floor of the 100mtr high viewing deck.

Other immersive videos feature the Historic Dockyard, with a chance to view HMS Warrior, HMS Victory and the Mary Rose Museum. Another of Gunwharf Quays has also been produced plus the passenger terminal at Portsmouth International Port, with its dedicated cruise facilities.

Portsmouth International Port is part of the Cruise Britain stand number 408 at Seatrade Europe.

New 360 degree video will be available to download from the website on September 6

Website: View External Website
New opportunities for the oil industry at Lerwick HarbourNew opportunities for the oil industry at Lerwick Harbour
Added: 30 Aug 2017
Your Decommissioning News
Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

Representatives of the offshore oil and gas industry, Government agencies, port users and stakeholders will be given an on-the-spot insight into operations and opportunities at the expanded deep-water Dales Voe Base at Lerwick, Shetland, today.

Speakers will include Gunther Newcombe, Director of Operations, Oil and Gas Authority, Audrey MacIver, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Head of Energy and Low Carbon, and Deirdre Michie, Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive. Hosts Ronnie Gair, Sandra Laurenson and [UKHMA Council Member] Calum Grains, Chairman, Chief Executive and Harbourmaster & Deputy Chief Executive respectively of Lerwick Port Authority, will also speak.

Forming a backdrop to the visit will be the former Buchan Alpha floating production unit (FPU) which arrived in the Voe recently to be decommissioned under a contract awarded by Repsol Sinopec Resources UK to Veolia, in association with Peterson.

Sandra Laurenson said: “The port’s extensive experience, expanded capability, competiveness and, now, the presence of Buchan Alpha all reinforce our position as a leader in the emerging decommissioning market.

“As well as celebrating the investment recently made by the Port, we are already looking ahead to future requirements, with Lerwick being seen increasingly as the potential location for a UK ultra-deep-water decommissioning facility, to suit the largest semi-submersible crane vessels. It would allow us to compete with overseas locations, with significant benefits to Shetland, Scotland and the UK. Discussions are ongoing as to the terms and timing of such a major development.”

HIE’s Audrey MacIver said: “We are delighted to be here today to celebrate the success of the expanded Dales Voe facility. This is a culmination of a huge amount of work, involving Lerwick Port Authority, HIE, Scottish and UK Governments and the Oil and Gas Authority.

“It’s great to see Dales Voe competing successfully for contracts, such as the decommissioning of Buchan Alpha which itself is a tremendous success story. It demonstrates not only the quality of the facilities here, but also the capabilities of the supply chain companies and personnel.

“Our investment, along with support from partners, secures and enhances Shetland’s position to become a leading hub for decommissioning works in the North Sea. The location has been placed at the forefront of the sector in the UK and earned it the reputation and title of the UK’s onshore centre of excellence in decommissioning.”

Oil & Gas UK’s Deirdre Michie said: “The newly-extended Dales Voe port facility is an excellent example of insightful investment, supporting the competitiveness of the UK’s supply chain through a range of offshore activities, including exploration and production, as well as the steadily growing decommissioning sector.”

The dismantling and recycling of the Buchan FPU – the largest project in more than a decade of decommissioning at Lerwick – will be carried out at the Port Authority’s multi-user bases at Dales Voe and Greenhead.

Once deballasted, the FPU will be moved alongside Dales Voe Base, with its 12.5 metre water depth. The base has been expanded in an £11.95 million project by the Port Authority, with £2.39 million in funding from the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, recognising the strategic importance of the location, and with funding from Bank of Scotland.

The project added 75 metres to bring the quay to 127 metres, providing the offshore industry with the strongest quay in the UK, at 60 tonnes per square metre, with unmatched capability and accepting the largest platform topsides using single lift technology. It also created an adjacent 45,000 square metres of lay-down space.

At Greenhead, Peterson operates Scotland’s only licensed quayside decommissioning pad, covering 20,000 square metres. Both bases also support subsea field development
Website: View External Website
When is a marine licence required to remove items from the seabed?When is a marine licence required to remove items from the seabed?
Added: 23 Aug 2017
The MMO have attempted to clarify and simplify the licencing process for removing litter and marine fishing gear from the seabed.

See the External website for full details
Website: View External Website
Latest Port Marine Safety Code Health Check TrendsLatest Port Marine Safety Code Health Check Trends
Added: 23 Aug 2017

The latest Health Check Trends for the Port Marine Safety Code report has been published. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) publish this report on an annual basis to highlight areas found to require improvement as well as offering examples of good practice.

This year’s report summarises the findings from seven visits made by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) during 2016 and early 2017. Three private ports, three municipal ports and one Trust Port were visited.

Areas identified in need of improvement include Duty Holder awareness of roles and responsibilities under the Code, risk assessment review following incident/accident reports and local customs and practices not being captured within the Marine Safety Management System (MSMS). These are continuing themes, the same topics were identified in previous Health Check Trends’ reports.

Additionally this report identifies a need for an improvement in:
• Audit and review procedures,
• Defining senior management roles in the MSMS;
• Failure to report accident/incidents to the MAIB as required;
• The suitability of providing the Designated Person role with harbour staff; and
• The incorporation of relevant guidance from the Port Marine Safety Code and associated Guide to Good Practice into the MSMS.

The report also highlights best practice observed at ports visited, such as, retaining evidence that safety notices have been supplied to Masters, and using training videos during inductions for mooring operations.

Notably, during the Health Checks it is evident that the MCA is also considering guidance given by other publications such as the ACOP Safety in Docks. An example being the spacing of quayside ladders and the provision of lifebuoys, noted as feedback in Health Check comments.

The MCA seeks to undertake eight PMSC health checks annually, aiming to visit a range of different types of organisation across all parts of the UK. It is apparent from the 2016 report that “future health checks will continue to have a particular emphasis on supporting smaller harbours, lochs or ports and particularly those under municipal ownership, whilst ensuring that larger facilities are also compliant.”

For the full Health Check Report, click here

Further details of ABPmer may be found via External link below.

Website: View External Website

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10/10 Master mariner of Chester-le-Street widens his horizons by winning a competition for comedy sketch writers
2/10 Big data provides new insights into life on the seabed
27/09 World Maritime Day - 28 September 2017
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