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The latest news of specific interest to UKHMA Members including Association News:
ABPmer delivers PMSC audit for Cowes Harbour CommissionABPmer delivers PMSC audit for Cowes Harbour Commission
Added: 25 Feb 2020
ABPmer delivers PMSC audit for Cowes Harbour Commission

Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) recently appointed marine consultancy ABPmer to provide a complete check of its compliance with the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC).

The PMSC assurance audit is required of all UK Harbour Authorities and any organisation running port marine terminals. The aim of an assurance visit is to confirm that standards of marine safety are maintained, in line with the requirements of the Code.

Cowes Harbour Commission operates the largest port on the Isle of Wight, with a fast-craft, passenger and freight ferry connection to the Port of Southampton handling approximately 3,000,000 passengers annually. The port also provides for commercial ships handling approximately 600,000 tonnes of cargo each year.

Cowes is world renowned for its yacht and leisure community, hosting events such as Cowes Week and the annual Round the Island Race. As a Harbour Authority, CHC provides a Pilotage service and a dedicated harbour patrol for on-the-water safety and assistance.

ABPmer’s specialist Maritime team found that Cowes Harbour Commission is compliant with all requirements of the Code. The audit tested the 10 key measures required for successful implementation of the Code, together with the associated port marine operations.

The Commission’s Harbour Master and Chief Executive, Captain Stuart McIntosh said “The audit result is further endorsement and confirmation that Cowes Harbour Commission is fully committed to providing a safe operation for our local port community and all our visiting harbour users.”

Monty Smedley, ABPmer’s Lead PMSC Auditor added “We are very pleased to confirm that Cowes Harbour Commission and their harbour operations demonstrate complete compliance with the Code, with many examples that we consider to be industry best practice.”

ABPmer has a wealth of experience delivering Port Marine Safety Code support services to port and harbour operators. Their maritime consultants, master mariners, marine scientists, regulatory advisors and auditors provide a total risk management solution tailored to the needs of the ports and harbour sector.

Learn more about ABPmer’s Port Marine Safety Code services at [].

Attachement: View Attached File
 Red Falcon and Greylag report published
Added: 20 Feb 2020
Collision between the ro-ro passenger ferry Red Falcon and the moored yacht Greylag in Cowes Harbour, Isle of Wight, England.

Statement from the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents
Our investigation highlighted how quickly restricted visibility can negatively affect individuals’ awareness and orientation, which increases their stress and impacts on decision making. Crews on vessels of any size can be affected, but the consequences can be mitigated by prior preparation and training, effective teamwork, and a full understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the available instrumentation.
As a result of our investigation, Red Funnel has introduced measures to address many of the shortcomings identified in the report, but two recommendations have been made to the company aimed at further improving their operational practices.
It was very fortunate that nobody was on board yacht Greylag when it was struck and overrun by Red Falcon. In this respect, the family on a yacht on a nearby swinging mooring had a lucky escape. When Red Falcon swung around it narrowly missed Cowes Yacht Haven marina wall, and had yachts been rafted there the consequences of this accident could also have been much more severe. Our investigation has highlighted that commercial vessels can pose a danger to people sleeping on yachts in some areas of Cowes Harbour, and recommendations have been made to Cowes Harbour Commissioners and Cowes Yacht Haven to review their risk assessments.

Attachement: View Attached File
BBC News - Why harbour master Georgina Carlo-Paat spent her life at seaBBC News - Why harbour master Georgina Carlo-Paat spent her life at sea
Added: 17 Feb 2020
What is it like to spend your life at sea? Georgina Carlo-Paat describes how she went from ship cook to the dredging industry’s first female captain - a varied career during which she has watched penguins play on icebergs, eaten lobster in a Russian nightclub after a spell in the Baltic, and become Ilfracombe’s first woman harbour master.
I was a waitress working in Gibraltar in 1990-1991 when the captain of a ship came into the restaurant and said he was in need of a cook. So long and short, I joined the USS Gopher State and sailed to Saudi with them.
It was full-on getting to know how the ship worked, the crew, how to make grits and eggs six different ways. It was exhilarating, fun and scary at times. But I fell in love with it. Even though you are doing the same thing every day, the sea is completely different.
I loved the camaraderie among the crew, because really you are just floating on a steel box on the sea. I thought... this is all right, getting to see the world and getting paid for it. It totally changed my perspective on what choices I had in life.
Afterwards, I went to the United States and visited some of the shipmates I had made. One of the mothers was working for [shipping company] Maersk and she said if I really wanted to join the merchant navy, I should go back to England and get properly qualified. So I did.

I applied to 98 companies but no-one would take me - I was told I was either too old or it was because I was a woman - I was told there were no facilities onboard to accommodate me and one told me they wouldn’t let a women on board as it would cause too much trouble with the men.
After eight months, I received a call and ended up as a deck cadet and when I qualified in 1995 I was the first female officer in that company. In the early years, I was usually the only female onboard full stop.
Coming into the male-dominated world of the merchant navy you had to prove you had the right to be there. On my first cargo ship, I was informed that the "captain’s girlfriend" wasn’t allowed on deck. So I called the crew together and introduced myself as the new chief mate - they had been expecting a man called George, which is what I prefer to be called.

My career has taken me from the North Sea to the Baltic; to the Med the Caribbean and North and South America; to the Arctic and the Antarctic.
When I was working on the Windstar [cruise ship], as we transited to Nicaragua in the early hours we entered the area where the mobula rays are known to ’jump’ as the sun rises. I was the watch-keeping chief mate and on the 4-8 shift, so there were only a few passengers about. I got a front row seat to this spectacular event as I weaved the ship through the small islands.
When I was working on the Star Princess with Princess Cruises in 2008 we were scheduled to go down to the Antarctic - at the time it was the biggest cruise ship to go there. On one of my watches I kept seeing little black spots on an iceberg. I got in a bit closer and I saw 20 to 30 penguins climbing up it. Then I could see an ice slide - they had made their own little penguin playground, they were climbing up the iceberg one by one and then sliding down.

Having a family changed my outlook though, it’s why I switched from "deep sea" - shipping on international routes - to "short sea". I had become the first female captain in the dredging industry in 2016 and in 2018 I was given an award for services to the industry. But after my son was born in 2013, I decided I needed shorter trips away and to be closer to home in case I needed to get back.
I had been living in Croyde in Devon for more than 20 years when the position of harbour master in Ilfracombe came up and it was a no brainer - the last time the job came around was 18 years ago. I came into post in April 2018 and became the first woman in the role.
When it was first announced, there was friction that a woman was coming in, in that there was an element of disbelief. But there is no discrimination whatsoever - as a harbour master you will help any harbour master you can, because somewhere in the country, someone will have experienced what you are going through.

Women in the maritime industry.

Of the 305 harbour masters, deputies or assistants in the UK, only 17 are women, according to the Harbour Masters Association. They are "definitely in the minority", said its chief executive, Capt Martin Willis.
"However we are seeing an increase of females into this historically male-dominated industry," he added.
Department for Transport statistics show 16% of all UK seafarers active at sea in 2019 were women. A UK Chamber of Shipping spokesperson said traditionally the merchant navy "may well have been seen as a career for men, but this is changing".
The Merchant Navy Training Board is promoting careers in the industry for women by giving talks at schools and colleges and a Women in Maritime Taskforce has been established by Maritime UK to address fairness, equality and inclusion across the sector.

I don’t think people realise the diversity of the job - it can range from organising the complete refurbishment of the main pier, to finding space in the harbour for the visiting boats for Lundy Race. The list is endless.
When I look back at all my companies and all the different jobs I’ve done, everything has led me to this one. Having a family is fantastic, it is very grounding. No matter the day on the harbour, I still go home, cook dinner, do the house jobs and read my son a story at night. He’s a bit too young [to get involved] being six, but he comes with me if I have to come over and check the harbour during the Christmas break and is very good at spotting things.
Looking out of my window at the harbour office, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world - and I know, because I’ve been to a lot of places. I know how lucky I am. I’m 50 now but I absolutely, without a doubt, want to stay working on the sea for the rest of my working life.
 Celebrating Maritime 2050 one-year-on
Added: 07 Feb 2020
Speech delivered by Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani in the Houses of Parliament on 3 February 2020, one year on from the launch of Maritime 2050.

General Secretary, my Lords, Ladies, Gentlemen, and colleagues – welcome so much, to the Houses of Parliament.
It is an absolute pleasure to host you for a few hours today as we celebrate Maritime 2050.
It has indeed been an incredible year for the sector.
And over the past few months, I have travelled across the country to see how our ports and shipping sector have been responding to Maritime 2050.
I asked the team to make a list of everywhere I have been to, and just before I read it out I would like to put on record how pleased I am that my department is allowing me to stand still for a couple of hours…so thank you all!
I’ve visited Belfast, Blyth, Tilbury and London Gateway, Felixstowe and Harwich, Plymouth, Southampton, Liverpool and I am shortly about to depart for a tour in Scotland: Glasgow, Rosyth, Aberdeen and Orkney.
The breadth of work I’ve seen gives me huge confidence that the sector is meeting the challenges that we set out in Maritime 2050.
I’ve been out this morning launching Apprenticeship Week so I haven’t seen the Prime Minister’s speech just yet, but I know that the PM holds our ambitions to make sure that maritime is at the forefront of our new relationship with the EU.
I have seen that one of the first things he said was “the explosion of global free trade will be down to new maritime technologies”.
We are already ahead of the game, we have thought about this, and have a route map in Maritime 2050.
For those of you who don’t know this was our first long-term strategy for maritime.
But of course, a strategy has to be delivered and before I can talk about some of our biggest achievements I must take a moment to thank Maritime UK who have been fantastic ambassadors for Maritime 2050.
Every person in this room today has been fundamental to our success. So this afternoon is also a thank you from the department to you.
Let me take you on a journey of what we have achieved so far.

Our trading relationships are fundamental to the UK’s success.
Alongside Maritime 2050 we published the trade route map.
And we now have the DIT led 5-year trade strategy for maritime, which looks at increasing the UK’s exports.
To ensure that Free Trade Agreements are in place now that we have left the EU, we’ve been working with Transport Expert Trade Advisory Groups to make sure we are as competitive and streamlined as we possibly can be.
We committed to considering the case for freeports. I know many of you have discussed this with me over the past few months, and we are close to delivering on this policy.
My job is to ensure what you, the ports sector, want is reflected in the consultation and how we now go forward.
Moving on to environment.
Maritime 2050 set out our focus on decarbonisation and zero emission shipping.
The landmark agreement at the IMO on greenhouse gas emissions set a global precedent.
And then just last July we published the Clean Maritime Plan.
This makes us one of the first countries to publish a strategy on domestic action to reduce shipping emissions.
Of course, effective and efficient decarbonisation needs innovative thinking.
So we provided £1.5 million to MarRi-UK to launch a clean maritime innovation call.
We will also launch a call for evidence on non-tax economic incentives to promote a transition towards zero emission shipping shortly.
If we are looking to innovation, the UK’s strengths in Maritime research and innovation will be crucial to delivering our future ambitions.
We have a clear opportunity to lead the world in the development and introduction of smart shipping technologies.
We have published our Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime route map.
And we are also looking forward to working with industry on their ambitious plans for autonomous Atlantic crossings which are planned for later this year…
Including MSubs, who I visited in Plymouth. They are crucial in us celebrating the Mayflower’s voyage to America as this will be recreated with an autonomous ship.
This work is being supported by the ground-breaking work of the Maritime Autonomy Regulation Lab, MARLab.
We also provided MarRi-UK with £1.5million funding for the Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime call.
This is a real moment in history. Here in the UK we are setting standards for autonomous shipping.
Last July we were proud to launch the first 2050 Innovation Hub at the Port of Tyne.
I’m sure you will hear more about this from Lucy but I would like to offer my personal support to the work already taking place at the hub.
And this was only the start.
Our ambition is to see a network of Innovation Hubs to act as focal points for innovation in their region.
And we will be working incredibly hard for the rest of this year with you to make that happen.

Our success above all else relies on our workforce.
And I want to see the UK as pioneering a social framework which will lead the way on an international level.
During London International Shipping Week, we launched the People Route Map, during the careers fair aboard the NLV Pharos – which the Prime Minister himself visited.
The issues we face are not straightforward.
Addressing gender diversity is a key concern of mine.
Women are very much underrepresented in the UK maritime industry. We definitely need to change that.
I’m thrilled to say there are now 122 companies signed up to the Women in Maritime Pledge.
We have also provided £40,000 grant funding for the Maritime and Me campaign, showcasing the exciting and rewarding maritime careers on offer.
And we have also supported the 1851 Trust who are undertaking a roadshow attracting young girls into STEM careers, primarily in maritime and transport.
I was lucky enough to see their roadshow in Belfast a few weeks ago.
We also provided £40,000 to help develop the Institute for Chartered Shipbrokers Introduction to Shipping Programme to younger students, primary age, to ensure they are open to careers available later on down the line.
In the people route map we announced the establishment of a Maritime Skills Commission providing £300,000 pump-priming funding.
And I am thrilled that Professor Graham Baldwin has been appointed as Chair.

We have many ports representatives here today.
Ports are the keystone of the maritime and freight sector.
Where these ports might have once supported power stations or coal supplies…
They are now embracing the massive opportunities provided by renewable energy and offshore activity.
I was recently at the Port of Blyth and was hugely impressed by their world leading wind turbine facilities.
Ports do not just support the wider economy, but the employment, skills, opportunities and prosperity help regenerate communities.
Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do – and we have set up Port Economic Partnerships and I am very keen that we champion these.
We’ve made a start, having established one with Southampton Port. I would like to thank Alistair for the work he has done on this.
Port Economic Partnerships had to unfortunately come to a standstill when the election was called but having caught up with him recently in Southampton they are now moving at a very good pace.

We have many ports representatives here today.
Ports are the keystone of the maritime and freight sector.
Where these ports might have once supported power stations or coal supplies…
They are now embracing the massive opportunities provided by renewable energy and offshore activity.
I was recently at the Port of Blyth and was hugely impressed by their world leading wind turbine facilities.
Ports do not just support the wider economy, but the employment, skills, opportunities and prosperity help regenerate communities.
Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do – and we have set up Port Economic Partnerships and I am very keen that we champion these.
We’ve made a start, having established one with Southampton Port. I would like to thank Alistair for the work he has done on this.
Port Economic Partnerships had to unfortunately come to a standstill when the election was called but having caught up with him recently in Southampton they are now moving at a very good pace.
Our regions have a tremendous amount of potential so we have to encourage and support regional clusters.
On my recent visit to Liverpool I met with Mersey Maritime, and later this week look forward to meeting with the Scottish Maritime Cluster.
Clusters can play a crucial role in regional development and economic growth as well as re-vitalising coastal communities.
If you haven’t yet thought about hosting a cluster you must definitely get in touch.
I know that Chris from Mersey Maritime is here today. When I went to visit Plymouth they were incredibly pleased with the support given to them in establishing a cluster, so thank you.

Future priorities
Going forward, my focus will be on upgrading our infrastructure, embracing new technology – and the appetite is there to go further, and maritime has a huge role to play.
Of course, we mustn’t forget tackling climate change. It is incredibly vital and is a high priority on this government’s agenda.
And as we leave the EU, new opportunities will present themselves – our trading relations and the maritime offer will bolster cross-governmental work.
So, it is clear we have made significant progress on our commitments in Maritime 2050.
But it doesn’t do justice to the comprehensive work underway, spanning every corner of the maritime sector.
And of course, we still have so much more to do.
So, 2019 has been a brilliant year, there is no denying it. There have been some challenges but we have been able to manage those.
2020 will be a year not only of change – further challenges – but of absolute choices that we can make together.
The choices we make will have a lasting impact.
And as we continue to ensure that Maritime 2050 is brought to life, I look forward to continuing the work hand in hand going forward.
Someone this afternoon said: “Minister, can we take a break now?” and I said no, we have only just begun!
I’d like to now introduce Lucy Armstrong, from the Port of Tyne, who will speak to us about how Maritime 2050 has influenced their work.
Thank you so much.
 Fines for captain and owner of party boat which collided with police dock and vessel
Added: 30 Jan 2020
The captain and the owner of a passenger boat have been prosecuted by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency after it collided with both a police dock and police vessel, causing considerable damage.

Daniel Wakefield, 38, of Wellington Road, Tilbury, pleaded guilty to a charge of conduct endangering ships, structures or individuals under section 58 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.
He was handed a fine of £1,120 and ordered to pay costs of £1,200 on 24 January 2020 when he appeared before Southwark crown court.
Mr Wakefield was skipper of the Jewel of London on 13 December 2018. That night, the catamaran had been booked to host a private party for 135 passengers on the Thames.
After the party goers had disembarked at Canary Wharf shortly before 11pm, the Jewel of London began to travel back towards its mooring at Festival Pier on the South Bank.
Six bar staff were on board, along with Mr Wakefield and the mate Jason Foster.
At 11.05pm the boat hit the Metropolitan Police service marine unit workshop pontoon, causing considerable damage to the dock and to the vessel itself.
It then reversed out of the pier, hitting a moored police vessel with two officers on board.
The incident was caught on police CCTV.

Mr Wakefield later admitted to having fallen asleep.
The court heard that the owner of the boat, London Party Boats, had failed to ensure there was a dedicated lookout, something required by the Passenger Safety Certificate of the Jewel of London.
The company was charged under section 100 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 for being liable for the unsafe operation of a ship and was this morning ordered to pay a fine of £5,000 and will pay costs of £15,225.
The collision caused such considerable damage to the pontoon that the lift that hoists boats in and out of the water is now unsafe to use. More than a year after the incident it’s still inoperable and it’s estimated that the total cost for investigations, repairs and replacements needed after the damage will be between £1.25million and £1.6milion.
Police vessels, responsible for policing 47 miles of the River Thames and providing an around-the-clock response to marine incidents, have been unable to use the lift. As the pontoon was also used to maintain and repair other vessels, the RNLI, London fire brigade and London city airport have also been greatly affected.

In passing sentence, Judge Philip Bartle QC said: “Fortunately no one was injured although two police officers were on board the police launch and the crew were on board the Jewel. Had passengers been on board the Jewel it is highly likely that some would have been injured, possibly seriously.”
Maritime investigations manager at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency Paula Evans said: “This was an entirely avoidable incident which has had very serious consequences which could have been even more severe. It is lucky that nobody was hurt in the collision.
“Keeping people safe is at the heart of what we do and we are committed to working with our partner agencies to protect those on the water by stopping dangerous practices and vessels, and to hold accountable those responsible.”
 Maritime minister undertakes future of shipping industry tour, as ports cyber security guidance is updated
Added: 29 Jan 2020
UK maritime sector at the forefront of innovation.

Nusrat Ghani visits Ports of Plymouth and Southampton to see first-hand how the maritime industry is future-proofing itself.

The tour includes visits to meet the company leading on an autonomous Atlantic crossing to mark 400 years since the Mayflower’s voyage to America
tour coincided with refreshed cyber security guidance being published for ports to follow, further strengthening their ability to tackle 21st century threats.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani has today (28 January 2020) finished off a tour of southern ports to see the innovative work underway to future-proof the maritime industry, including discovering how plans were developing for an autonomous ship to sail independently across the Atlantic for the Mayflower’s 400th anniversary.

Beginning in the Port of Plymouth yesterday, the minister met with MSubs, the company leading on plans for an autonomous Atlantic crossing to mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage to America.

Such innovations could revolutionise the shipping industry by increasing safety, efficiency and delivering environmental benefits.
The minister was also able to meet with a range of industry actors in autonomous shipping to discuss the innovative work being undertaken in the South West region.
The minister visited the Thales Maritime Autonomy Centre where companies can develop and test state of the art innovations in shipping, including developing unmanned ships with the potential to carry out tasks that would be dangerous for people, such as detecting mines.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said:
We know the UK shipping sector is among the most advanced in the world, and all the work I’ve been seeing this week is confirming that. From the potential for cross-global autonomous shipping to mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage, to safer forms of mine detection, the industry is developing innovations to propel British shipping ahead of its rivals well into the 21st century.

And I’m clear this government is committed to ensure the UK continues to benefit from our world-leading maritime sector. That’s why we’ve released refreshed cyber security guidance for ports, to make sure that our ports aren’t just some of the best in the world, but also some of the safest too.

Following her visit to Plymouth yesterday, the minister travelled to Southampton today to visit the joint DfT / MCA MARLab, which is currently developing ways to better regulate ‘smart’ and autonomous shipping, so these state-of-the-art developments can be utilised by UK shipping.
The work at the MARLab will form the foundation for the future regulation and legislation of this fast-moving industry.
The tour’s beginning coincided with the Department for Transport releasing refreshed cyber security guidance yesterday (27 January 2020), continuing to ensure that UK ports remain among the safest in the world.

Ports and the wider maritime industry will have access to new and improved guidance, helping these vital transport hubs remain secure from 21st century styles of attack.
The guidance helps ports develop cyber security assessments, allowing them to effectively identify gaps in their security, while also providing advice on managing cyber security attacks, and clarifies points raised by the industry from previous iterations.

Maritime media enquiries
Media enquiries
020 7944 3021
 Seven ways seaports are adapting to modern challenges
Added: 23 Jan 2020
Europe’s seaports are now facing a series of unprecedented challenges, from Brexit to climate change and intense international competition. However, technological solutions are helping them to adapt.

Of all the handwringing about the UK’s imminent departure from the EU, one area that has perhaps received less attention than it deserves is Brexit’s impact on ports. Some 95 per cent of the UK’s international trade passes through its seaports and there’s real anxiety in the maritime community about the impact of extra customs checks and the inevitable delays that may arise.

Brexit isn’t the only storm on the horizon for European harbour masters. Climate change could bring about more extreme weather events, exposing docks and warehouses to greater pressures. Ports need to provide value-added services such as repairs as well as inspecting containers for contraband. There is also the endless drive to cut costs in an industry with paper-thin margins – a 2017 survey by port software firm Navis found that over three-quarters of ports say optimising operations is top priority.

There is no single solution to these challenges, but seaports around the world are investing in innovative technologies to make their operations more efficient, productive and sustainable. Here we explore seven unique examples.

1. Digital twins;
Even the slightest delay in turning a ship around can lead to a big rise in costs for shipping firms – often in the tens of thousands of pounds per day. Seaports therefore have a big incentive to process container ships fast and are continually looking for ways to improve the speed and efficiency of their processes.
The trouble is, experimenting with new ways of doing things can be very costly – especially if the innovation unintentionally causes delays.
This is where a ‘digital twin’ comes in. As the name suggests, a digital twin is a representation of a place which follows all the same physical laws and dimensions as its real-world equivalent.
A digital twin lets users experiment with the environment to try out improvements and see what would happen without real-world consequences.
The Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands is widely regarded is the world’s most technologically advanced. In conjunction with tech companies IBM, Cisco and Esri, the Dutch port has built a digital twin of its facilities to experiment with new ways of doing things.
What does this look like? Picture a cargo ship that is weighed down with heavy containers; it will first need to enter a deeper part of the port, since it will be lower in the water, so that cranes can remove the boxes before it moves to a shallower area for further processing. The digital twin allows the port’s authorities to test exactly how much of the ship’s goods need to be transported onto the quayside before it can sail on. This kind of calculation could help reduce congestion, since the next ship could enter the deep part of the port sooner.

2. Safer mooring;
There’s something iconic about seeing a ship held in place with mooring lines tied to quayside bollards. All the same, in today’s high-tech era, this approach seems somewhat anachronistic. What’s more, tying ships in place then releasing them can be relatively risky for dockworkers – especially during heavy storms and high winds.
In order to modernise mooring, Swedish firm Trelleborg has designed a system called AutoMoor, which could change how vessels are kept in place.
AutoMoor is an automated, rope-free mooring system intended to make berthing faster and more efficient.
The system uses vacuum holding pads, which ‘grip’ onto the side of ships in harbour. The vacuum pads are set on top of a rotating base, which swivels inwards when the vessel is released. By removing the need to attach mooring lines, less manpower is needed to bring a ship into line and no dockworkers are required to attach or release her.

3. Hydrogen-powered tugs to reduce emissions;
Tugboats play an invaluable role in the efficient running of a port, helping guide enormous container ships into berth.
However, they are also an important polluter since most run on diesel engines.
In 2019, the Port of Antwerp announced it had ordered the world’s first hydrogen-powered tugboat as part of its efforts to become carbon neutral. Being built by Belgian firm CMB, the Hydrotug uses a dual-fuel hybrid engine, which will mainly run on hydrogen – thereby reducing emissions of CO2 around the port. This follows the successful 2017 launch of Hydroville, a hydrogen-powered ferry also designed by CMB in Antwerp.

4. Cosmic rays to scan for contraband;
Policing what comes through a port is hugely challenging, and only around 1 or 2 per cent of containers passing through ever get inspected.
This means that ports remain hotspots for smuggling drugs, weapons and other contraband – not to mention human beings, as tragically highlighted by the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants who were found in a shipping container that was brought into the UK in November 2019.
The most common way to inspect shipping containers is a physical visual inspection by port security teams. This involves opening up a container and looking through goods – often with the help of a sniffer dog. However, this process is incredibly time-consuming and unpopular with importers since it can slow down their supply chain. Over the past few years, some ports have started using X-ray machines to scan the inside of a container more rapidly, but X-ray machines produce harmful radiation and they cannot pass through liquids or thick steel.

5. Autonomous ship docking;
Cars aren’t the only vehicles in the sights of automation. In 2019, Finnish firm Wärtsilä claimed to have brought the world’s first commercially available auto-docking system to market after successful trials on a Norwegian ferry line.
Docking can be hazardous and complex, and captains on ferry lines often have to repeat the same process over and again throughout the course of the day. An auto-docking system can help make the process safer by instantaneously processing a large amount of data, including wind speed, weight, pitch, roll and depth to figure out the best route into harbour.
This doesn’t mean goodbye to crews, however. Just as aeroplanes are increasingly flown using autopilot, they still need people on board to deal with more complex or unpredictable situations.

6. Automated cranes and vehicles;
It’s not just ships where automation is making inroads within ports. For several years now, the cranes used for moving containers from ships onto the quayside have been automated in many ports. Why charge a human with the tedious job of lifting and shifting containers to a stack all day (and night), when a machine can do it just as well?
Indeed, ports have in many ways been at the cutting edge of automation for some time. Konecranes is another Finnish business working in automation for the maritime industry. The firm offers customers a comprehensive system, which includes autonomous cranes, fleets of autonomous vehicles to move containers from the quayside to container stacks, and additional cranes at the other end to move them into place.
At the Port of Hamburg, for instance, Konecranes’ autonomous vehicles have been shifting containers to and from ships since 2001 – and since then the vehicles have been powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The flatbed machines can be seen rolling purposefully around a terminal ready to have shipping containers placed on – or removed from – them.

7. Ship inspections with underwater drones;
Ports are the logical place to inspect ships for damage and make repairs. However, it can be hard to ascertain the level and extent of damage to anything below the waterline, for obvious reasons, so human divers are often required to inspect problems with the hull, propellers and thrusters. That’s a potentially dangerous job, which is also expensive and time-consuming. So why not use a drone instead?
Another Scandinavian firm working at the cutting edge of port technology is Norway’s Blueye, which has built a drone that can navigate underneath ships to inspect for breakages or other problems. The drone comes with an HD camera and Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows it to live-stream video, which can then be sent directly to experts for consultation.
Seaports are facing a series of unpredictable challenges, all while needing to reduce operational costs. However, as the examples listed here have shown, there is plenty of innovation in the sector, allowing harbour masters to run a tight ship.

 Disabled passengers set for more accessible journeys at sea
Added: 23 Jan 2020
New accessibility guidance for maritime operators.

Maritime Minister launches new passenger rights toolkit in Liverpool
operators called upon to make journeys better for disabled passengers and staff
continues the UK’s internationally-leading plans for fully-accessible transport.

Journeys by sea for thousands of disabled passengers are to be improved thanks to the government issuing new guidance on improving accessibility to operators.
Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani announced the publication of the Passenger Rights toolkit during a visit to Liverpool today (22 January 2020) where she met key stakeholders including Mersey Maritime, Wirral Waters and Port of Liverpool.

The toolkit provides operators in England and Wales with a high-level guide on what they must do to comply with passenger rights regulations, as well as recommendations on how maritime transport can be made more accessible.

It will apply to services such as ferries operating from Liverpool and makes recommendations on how maritime transport can be made more accessible to make journeys better for disabled passengers and staff.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said:
I am delighted to be launching our Passenger Rights toolkit today in Liverpool which shows how making small changes has the potential to make a huge impact on the lives of disabled passengers.
This is one of the commitments set out in our Inclusive Transport Strategy, and I am proud we are leading the way with this work to complement the UN’s sustainable development goals - helping make the world more inclusive for disabled people.
I encourage as many operators as possible to support our vision to make sure disabled people have the same access to transport as everyone else.

The toolkit covers the whole journey experience, from accessing information at the booking stage through to arriving at the final destination.

It highlights the challenges disabled people can face in travelling by sea, whether their disabilities are visible or hidden.
Maritime transport already benefits from comprehensive passenger rights regulation and this is enforced by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

The toolkit provides guidance to support the regulations and will help industry to comply with them.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) conduct inspections on operators and ports to ensure compliance with passenger rights regulations and they can be prosecuted in the courts and fined if they don’t comply.

Keith Richards, chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) said:
DPTAC welcomes the launch of this toolkit which delivers an important commitment the DfT made in its Inclusive Transport Strategy.
In turn it will help the industry deliver better access for disabled people, not just by bringing some much-needed clarity to what the law already requires on accessibility, but by promoting ideas on what good practice looks like.

This will help the industry tap into a large and growing market of disabled people who simply want to spend their money on maritime services and have the confidence to enjoy the same access as everyone else.
Bob Sanguinetti, Chief Executive of the UK Chamber of Shipping, said:
It should be a basic entitlement that everyone has the option to travel independently and we are delighted to see the launch of this new passenger toolkit.
We will work with our members to ensure disabled passengers travelling by ship have the same access as everyone else.
At the end of 2018, the MCA carried out its first survey of disabled passengers’ experience when travelling by sea and the results were used to inform the recommendations made in this toolkit.

The department worked closely with the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) and industry representatives including the UK Chamber of Shipping and British Ports Association in its development.

The development of the toolkit was a commitment in the Inclusive Transport Strategy, which was published in July 2018. It sets out the government’s ambition for disabled people to have the same access to transport.
It’s everyone’s journey
It’s everyone’s journey is a communications campaign developed by the Department for Transport in association with disability, transport and charity partners.

The campaign aims to improve the public transport experience for disabled people by creating a more considerate and supportive travel environment.

If you’re interested in learning more about ‘it’s everyone’s journey’ or becoming a campaign partner, visit follow @IEJGov or email
 Maritime minister hails port’s green credentials
Added: 17 Jan 2020
Minister sees green revolution at Port of Blyth.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani has today (16 January 2020) hailed the Port of Blyth as one of the leading lights in the British maritime industry’s push for a greener, cleaner future.

Visiting the port, the minister saw first-hand the green revolution taking place on the site, which is developing into one of the UK’s leading offshore energy hubs. It is an example of the growing clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK, bringing investment into coastal communities and ensuring we maintain our position as global leaders in this growing sector.

The port also showcased its world-leading offshore renewable energy research and testing facilities, which could play a key part in helping the government achieve the goals set out in its Maritime 2050 strategy.

The port also showcased its world-leading offshore renewable energy research and testing facilities, which could play a key part in helping the government achieve the goals set out in its Maritime 2050 strategy.
Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said:
I am delighted to have made my first visit to the Port of Blyth today.

The maritime industry is at the heart of the UK’s economy. The Port of Blyth is not only one of our key ports as a global trading nation, but also a fantastic example of the thriving offshore wind sector that is boosting renewable energy across the UK.

Our Clean maritime plan outlines an ambitious vision for the maritime industry and I was delighted to meet some of the port’s brilliant staff to see the wider work being done to reduce emissions, improve air quality and tackle climate change.

The government’s Maritime 2050 strategy sets out a high-level vision for the sector’s future, outlining the UK’s goal to remain a global leader in maritime.
At the heart of the strategy is a focus on precisely the sort of clean growth and transition to zero emission industry, business and operations that the Port of Blyth is focusing on.

Maritime 2050 also makes clear the need to transform and grow the UK’s maritime workforce, and the Maritime Minister learned what the port has been doing to attract people into key STEM roles.
 MCA 2019 Review
Added: 03 Jan 2020
Reflecting on a busy 2019.

As we enter a new year and a new decade we’re looking back at what’s been a busy 12 months for the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.

Here’s just a snapshot of what we got up to during 2019. From all of us at the MCA, have a safe and happy New Year.

Rescue teams from Shetland and Stornoway shared the prestigious DfT Rescue Shield. A fallen climber was saved from a remote cliff precipice with a 200 ft drop below.
MCA members of staff honoured for services to safety in the New Year’s Honours list.

Our Enforcement team brought about a prosecution resulting in a £25 k fine for the owners of a 85 m tanker which had serious navigation and safety deficiencies, putting those on board and other maritime users at risk.
The counter-pollution team oversaw the response to an oil spill at Limekilns, Scotland, removing the oil from the beach.

A ‘textbook’ approach to safety precautions helped save the life of Reegan Green, a Cornish fisherman. He fell overboard but his lifejacket with a beacon meant he could be identified in rough cold seas after falling overboard at night. He was airlifted to safety.
In Scotland, two kayakers were rescued when they got into trouble and triggered their personal locator beacons (PLBs), small handheld subscription-emergency locator devices, they cost approx. £200.

A year-long trial of the use of drones for search and rescue was launched in partnership with other emergency services in Essex.
Environmental scientists from the counter pollution team were involved in trials in the Clyde for a new aircraft that can fly over pollution in the seas to monitor pollution and drop dispersants to help break up oil spills.

The UK Ship Register (UKSR) became available to ship owners across the globe so they can register their ships and comply with the high UK safety standards, improving shipping safety worldwide. By the end of November, the UK had 1,178 commercial, non-fishing vessels on the register comprising 10.5 million gross tonnes.
Inverness, one of 10 strategically located sites for the search and rescue helicopters, received a £20 million investment in two new helicopters for long-range rescues in the most demanding conditions.

We launched our first survey to assess what the experience for people with disabilities using ferries and cruise ships is like, to help guide future policy.
HM Coastguard, part of the MCA, stepped in to help other emergency services in Lincolnshire. Hundreds of people and homes had to be evacuated when two months’ worth of rain fell in two days.

We showcased search and rescue and counter-pollution at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire where astronaut Major Tim Peake was among the thousands of visitors.
There were nearly 5,000 incidents this month. Including rescues of six people cut off by the tide at Holy Island, Northumbria; 15 fishermen airlifted off a sinking vessel in the Scottish islands; 21 passengers and two crew rescued from a pleasure vessel taking on water off West Wales; a time-critical rescue of a man trapped in rocks in Norfolk.

Jenson and Reuben, the UK’s youngest surviving pre-term twin boys who were flown by emergency helicopter to Oxford from Cornwall returned a year on to meet their rescuers in Newquay.
Baby Torran who was born during a Newquay helicopter’s dash to hospital also returned to the base with his parents and sister to celebrate his first birthday.

The MCA’s receiver of wreck ensures that a bell from USS Osprey, a US Navy ship which sank off the Isle of Wight during WWII is returned to the American authorities.
An international maritime rescue federation Award was won by the MCA for work exploring the use of remotely operated vehicles in search and rescue operations.
Popular BBC TV show master chef chose The Dover coastguard operations centre above the iconic white cliffs for its celebrity challenge.

The enforcement team’s work to ensure safety for seafarers who go to sea on all types of vessels from those involved in commercial fishing to international racing yachts meant that 467 reports have been investigated in the last year and 11 cases are currently going through the judicial process.
A scientist turned deck officer, Dr Ewan McNeil from Fife, received the MCA’s Officer Trainee of the Year award.

People from across the MCA took part in Remembrance Day services to pay respect to the fallen and those who lived through war.
HM Coastguard took part in an international search and rescue operation after a super yacht in Indonesia set off its emergency beacon. Happily all four people on board made it to safety.

At the end of 2019 in the few days from Christmas Eve up to New Year’s HM Coastguard responded to 661 incidents around the UK. Over a year, we respond to more than 24,000 incidents.
The MCA’s counter pollution team has been working with Pembrokeshire county council to clear and recover debris after a container ship lost some of its cargo in rough seas. Apples, packets of rice cakes and tin foil have been washed up on beaches.

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MAIB Reports
MAIB safety digest: volume 2, 2019
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Report 14/2018: Catastrophic engine failure and fire on board ro-ro passenger ferry
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