Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
At its Nor-Shipping press conference in Oslo on 3 June DNV GL Maritime CEO Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen (illustrated here, image kindly provided by DNV GL) emphasised the classification society’s dedication to maritime safety. Although shipping losses have declined over the last decade, challenging markets, demanding environmental regulations, and new technologies threatened to pull the industry’s focus away from marine safety, he said.
He added: ‘At a time when shipping is rapidly transforming, I believe it is crucial to put our primary focus on safety, making sure it is at the core of all changes – whether it is ways of working, technology, or regulations.
He noted there were tectonic shifts within the maritime industry on three fronts: (a) in the market, which are increasingly unpredictable; (b) in regulations, headed by the upcoming 2020 global sulphur limits; and (c) in technology, driven by the constant evolution in digitalization.
The tectonic shifts were creating their own safety challenges, Ørbeck-Nilssen said: (i) from growing ship sizes, (ii) fire risks due to new cargo types such as cars with Li-ion batteries, to (iii) environmental regulations with unintended consequences, as well as (iv) the increased risk of cyber-attack due to vessel automation and ship-to-shore connectedness.
Ørbeck-Nilssen continued by indicating that the industry needed to be both aware of these challenges, but also to embrace the opportunities they created. However, a safety net was needed to unlock these opportunities, which was where class and DNV GL could be instrumental.
He explained: ‘I have five proposals that I believe could benefit our industry and improve safety at sea. Firstly, to develop holistic regulations with safety at the core – this is a challenge to the IMO and the classification societies when they are developing rules. Secondly, to improve the safety culture within shipping companies. Thirdly, to apply barrier management lessons from other industries. The fourth proposal is to increase transparency on incident findings. And finally, to unlock data silos for deeper insights into incidents and near-misses.’
There were already many substantial examples of how DNV GL had been working on projects that built on these proposals, he said: ‘We have been working with Carnival on a holistic safety management system, which integrates the human, organizational and technical dimensions of safety to help develop a more efficient incident investigation process. Also in the cruise industry, we have developed barrier models for critical areas, such as fire in machinery or escape and evacuate. And we have carried out more than 200 surveys where we have put class and statutory findings into context by presenting the results in a barrier dashboard on the industry data platform Veracity.’
As a classification society, DNV GL was also providing safety-related research and technical expertise that was leading to informed debates and better decisions. To continue Ørbeck-Nilssen added: ‘In a recent joint development project, we tested the properties of the new Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs) after a series of stern tube bearing failures were reported. Based on the results, we updated our design rules, to add a viscosity influence parameter as a safety margin.’
Furthermore, DNV GL has been sharing its expertise on critical issues such as cargo liquefaction. ØBeck-Nilssen noted: ‘In 2015, we published our first guideline for the design and operation of vessels with bulk cargo that may liquefy. This was created to raise the awareness of the risks of liquefaction and to offer mitigating actions for crews, owners and operators. We have been working on this over the past years and have published an updated version at Nor-Shipping.’
Opened by Agnes Wong Tin-yu, Director of Marine for Hong Kong SAR, today’s Nautical Institute International Conference 2019 gave rise to a lively and stimulating debate on the subject of Shiphandling.
Held at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, the morning session included presentations on the legal consequences of shiphandling incidents, special considerations for handling large tankers, handling ships in heavy weather and how digital technologies support command decisions in shiphandling.
In the afternoon delegates were invited to consider the role of simulator and computer based training in shiphandling and also heard from senior pilots working at the ports of Shanghai and Shenzhen. The closing presentation from Capt Stephen Wong of the Hong Kong Pilots Association focused on changes in shiphandling techniques in Hong Kong harbour.
Addressing delegates, Capt Nick Nash FNI president of The Nautical Institute, said:
”Shiphandling is obviously one of the core skills for any shipmaster. This conference has given us all further insights into this skill and the repercussions if we get it wrong!”
“Training is the key, along with proper mentoring while at sea. The collaboration and integration of Bridge teams, Pilots and VTS, while making full use of new technologies will ensure that shiphandling lies at the heart of safety and best practice in the maritime industry.”
Early in June two warships from the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1), Turkish frigate TCG Gokova and from the Royal Navy HMS Westminster successfully completed an important training mission in support of joint warfighting logistics. Our illustration has been kindly provided by
NATO Maritime Command (MARCOM) © www.mc.nato.int/media-centre/news
It was reported from NATO Maritime Command at Northwood, NW London, that the two NATO ships escorted a civilian cargo vessel, mv Gute through high- traffic sea lanes during her transit from Norway to Sczecin, Poland carrying Norwegian military equipment for NATO exercise Noble Jump.
The safety and security of sea-based trade and transportation routes is critical to the prosperity of the Baltic nations and the NATO Alliance.
Escort training, such as that practiced by Gokova and Westminster, enhances interoperability among NATO and commercial shipping and provides reassurance to NATO allies and partners that NATO is capable and ready to maintain freedom of navigation in the Baltic Sea.