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.
On 7 June, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim issued the following statement:
‘I express my deep concern to all impacted by the incident involving the container vessel X-Press Pearl, which caught fire whilst at anchor near Colombo, Sri Lanka in May.
‘I wholeheartedly appreciate the efforts of the Sri Lankan and Indian authorities, for their successful rescue of the crew, bringing them to safety. I also thank the salvors for their efforts.
‘We are closely monitoring the situation as it evolves, including reports of chemical pollution, debris coming ashore in the form of plastic pellets, and the potential for oil pollution.
‘I commend the Sri Lankan and Indian authorities, including the Department of Fisheries, the Marine Environment Protection Authority, the Navy, and the Coast Guard, who are responding to the incident at sea and onshore.
‘IMO is liaising with its UN partners (UNEP and OCHA) and with the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP), the regional organization for South Asia, with regards to possible assistance. IMO is also in communication with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Environment (MEPA) for any specific technical assistance that IMO may provide.
‘I look forward to receiving the investigation report into this incident in due course.’
Illustration per Sri Lanka Ports Authority ©.
Early in June the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) announced the publication of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance, Fourth Edition
This Guidance has been produced by the ICS to help shipping companies and seafarers follow health advice provided by UN agencies and others in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) disease, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), under the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR).
It is understood that this Guidance is for use on all types of ship and attempts to take into account the needs of both cargo and passenger ships. It is recognised that cargo ships are unlikely to have a fully trained doctor or nurse on board and that medical treatment on cargo ships will be provided by a crew member with training to Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) medical requirements.
This fourth edition replaces the ICS guidance published in September 2020 and should be read in conjunction with the three Covid-19 guidance documents published by ICS in 2021.
The G7 Summit will take place in Carbis Bay, North Cornwall, in England’s SW from 11 to 13 June.
Leaders of the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US will attend the Summit alongside the EU and European Commission Presidents.
Guest nations attend
On 12 June they will be joined by leaders from Australia, South Africa, Republic of Korea and the UN Secretary General. Leaders of international organisations and the Indian Prime Minister will also attend the Summit virtually from that day.
It is reported that Prime Minister Johnston will use Summit in Cornwall next week to ask world leaders to come together to end the coronavirus pandemic