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.
The Council of the IMO (see illustration here kindly provided by IMO © ) condemned recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman at its meeting in London held from 15-19 July.
After debate, the IMO Council decided to condemn the attacks and expressed its concern over the grave danger to life and the serious risks to navigational safety and the environment to which such incidents may give rise. The Council also emphasised the need for flag States and ship owners and operators to review the maritime security plans for their ships and implement necessary measures to address the heighted security risk to ships operating in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman.
Addressing the IMO Council, Secretary-General Kitack Lim also emphasised his personal condemnation of the attacks, asserting that: ‘…threats to ships and their crews, peaceably going about their business in any part of the world, are intolerable.’
On 12 May 2019, Saudi Arabian-flagged vessels Amjad and Al Marzoqah, the Norwegian-flagged vessel Andrea Victory and the Emirati-flagged vessel A. Michel, were attacked off the coast near Fujairah and suffered sabotage damage, and on 13 June 2019, the Marshall Islands flag Front Altair and Panama flag Kokuka Courageous were attacked, suffering hull damage and fire, while located in the Sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz.
The IMO Council decision recognizes the strategic importance of the navigational routes in and near the Strait of Hormuz, and reminds all flag States, ship owners and operators of the need to implement appropriate security measures for their ships at all times, in the light of the recent attacks in and near the Strait of Hormuz.
Mr Lim added: ‘I strongly urge all Member States to redouble their efforts and to work together to find a long lasting solution to ensure the safety and security of international shipping around the globe and the protection of the marine environment. We owe it to our industry, which is indispensable to the world, and to our seafarers.’
IMO’s mandatory maritime security measures, contained in the International Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, require ship owners and operators to implement appropriate measures to address security risks corresponding to a variety of operational factors, such as the ship’s location and destination.
The IMO Council was meeting for its 122nd session at IMO HQ in London. The statement on heightened maritime security measures for ships operating in the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman is included in its summary of decisions.
The IMO Council, the Executive Organ of IMO, consists of 40 Member States elected by the IMO Assembly.
VIKING Life-Saving Equipment has been declared the winning bidder in a tender covering three offshore high-speed ambulance boats that will support emergency services in the Aegean Sea.
The international tender was concluded after a cooperation between the Hellenic Coast Guard and the Greek Emergency Response Organization (EKAB) in an initiative supported and financed by the European Union under the INTERREG V-A Cooperation Programme 2014-2020.
It is understood that all three ambulance boats are scheduled for delivery during the summer of 2020, to take up station operating from remote Greek islands in the Aegean.
The vessels will be fabricated using the successful VIKING Norsafe Munin S1200 design and will be equipped with twin-diesel stern-drive engines to achieve speeds of up to 40 knots, as well as cutting-edge navigation instruments.
It has been reported in Kenya that Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) intends to invest US$193 million to modernise four berths at the port of Mombasa. Our illustration here shows Mombasa’s second container terminal (www.africaports.co.za © ).
While the berths have not been identified it is understood that they currently handle containers and breakbulk general cargo.
Financing will come from commercial rated loans being offered by the European Investment Bank and French development agency AFD, according to Daniel Manduku, the managing director of the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
The port of Mombasa recently opened a new container terminal which is being operated by a division of the Italian shipping company, MSC. The port is the main gateway port for neighbouring landlocked countries in the East Africa region – Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, southern Ethiopia and parts of eastern DRC.