HelpLine Wins Award
ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp, a free, confidential, 24/7 helpline which supports thousands of seafarers every year, was named ‘Shoreside Team of the Year’ at 2017 Safety at Sea Awards, held during London International Shipping Week. Members of ISWAN and the SeafarerHelp team joined a host of representatives from the shipping industry at last night’s ceremony, which took place at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in London. The Safety at Sea Awards are one of the most prestigious maritime industry awards and SeafarerHelp was announced as the winner out of four shortlisted entrants in the Shoreside Team of the Year category,
Xbox for the Navy
The U.S. Navy is starting to use Xbox 360 controllers to operate the periscopes on board its Virginia-class submarines. These submarines don’t have the traditional rotating tube periscope that only enable one person to see through. Rather they have two photonics masts that rotate 360 degrees. These feature high-resolution cameras, and the images are displayed so that everyone in the control room has real-time situational awareness above the water. The original mast handgrips were based on helicopter joysticks, which were expensive, heavy and cumbersome, and operatives seem more comfortable with the joypads.
London Hails Success
London International Shipping Week 2017 has been hailed a resounding success with thousands of global shipping industry leaders attending more than 160 official events throughout last week. Initial estimates place the number of U.K. and international visitors at over 15,000. Visitors from over 50 countries attended the week, including 15 ministers from foreign governments such as Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Ghana. Such was the international interest in the week that #LISW17; #LISW2017; and @LISW17Official trended on Twitter twice during the week, with an estimated 11.2 million user Twitter reach.
ITF Wants Abandonment Action
Six crew members of the Zanzibari-flagged passenger vessel “MV Queen Binanga”, who have been left to their own devices for two years after being abandoned by the ship’s owner, are faced with unacceptable living conditions. The vessel broke down and is anchored off the port of Tanjung Priok, in Indonesia, “practically abandoned, grossly undermanned and in what very much appears to be an unseaworthy condition”, according to the ITF. Furthermore, the authorities in Indonesia are said to be informed of the vessel’s status as it could pose a danger to shipping movements in the vicinity.
West Africa Ramps Up Security
Armed and stony-faced, six black-clothed members of Senegal’s marine special forces board the Chinese fishing boat, alerted by radio that it may be operating illegally. Identity papers are demanded and the cargo is inspected: one of the crew members is not on the manifest of the “Casimir”, which departed from Hong Kong, and their fishing licence has expired. The scene is a simulation, but for the Senegalese inspectors and commandos the reality is all too familiar, as west Africa battles flagrant poaching in its waters and the threat of piracy on the high seas.