March 2012 | nautilusint.org
| telegraph | 15 INTERNATIONAL
Award for crew who saved 116
DThe crew of a German-owned containership have been
praised for their work in rescuing 116 survivors from a ferry that capsized off the Papua New Guinea coast in rough weather last month. Officials from the Australian Maritime Safety Agency (AMSA) are pictured above presenting the seafarers onboard the Cyprus- flagged MOL Summer with a certificate of recognition for their ‘expertise and energy’ in
coordinating operations that saved 246 of the 362 passengers onboard the ferry Rabaul Queen. The 38,332gt vessel served as
on-scene search and rescue coordinator, directing seven merchant ships that went to the aid
of the stricken ferry and liaising with the AMSA’s rescue coordination centre. Papua New Guinea has asked
the Australian authorities to conduct an independent investigation into the causes of the accident and to
examine claims that the ferry was overloaded. ‘Those that are found to be negligent in this disaster will face the law,’ warned prime minister Peter O’Neill. ‘This is the biggest and worst sea disaster we have had in the country.’
Joint venture fills SeaFrance slots
DFDS and LD Lines deploy French-crewed ferry on new Dover-Calais service by Jeff Apter
Former SeaFrance crew members have been recruited to serve on a
new cross-Channel ferry service which began operations between Dover and Calais last month. The joint venture between
Denmark’s DFDS and the French firm Louis Dreyfus Armateurs is using the French-flagged ferry Norman Spirit, which can carry up to 1,850 passengers, 650 cars or 110 trailers. The vessel — which will run
five times daily on the route — will be operated by a subsidiary of the LDA group’s Dieppe-based LD
Transmanche Ferries until the company’s partnership with DFDS has been established by law. The new operator —which has promised to create 300 new jobs, including 270 seafarers — is com- mitted to operate under the full French flag and will retain the Norman Spirit crew with no change to negotiated working arrangements. LD Lines managing director
Antoine Person said the joint ven- ture had received hundreds of applications for the new jobs fol- lowing the collapse of SeaFrance. He said priority had been given to the 16 seafarers who lost their jobs when LD Lines stopped its
Boulogne-Dover operation in September 2010. Current Norman Spirit crews
will gradually transfer to LD Lines’ Norman Voyager, which operates on the service between Portsmouth and Le Havre and which is being reflagged to the French register. LDA and DFDS say they are
looking for a second ferry for the new Dover-Calais service follow- ing the refusal of the Seine Mar- itime district council to charter the Côte d’Albâtre to LD Lines. The Côte d’Albâtre — presently laid- up in Newhaven — will, however, be available for LD Lines’ Portsmouth-Le Havre route.
The partners say that the
recruitment of a further 150 for- mer SeaFrance workers will be confirmed as soon as a second vessel for the service can be found.
Meanwhile, around 450 other former SeaFrance staff are reported to be using their redun- dancy money to help launch a new cooperative ferry service on the Dover-Calais route, in part- nership with Eurotunnel. The workers are each con-
tributing €30,000 in a plan to raise €13.5m to get the service off the ground, using three SeaFrance ferries: Rodin, Berlioz and freighter Nord Pas de Calais.
Riot police end three-week stoppage A
French riot police were called in to end a three-week stoppage by seafarers protesting about a new service linking
Toulon and Corsica. Members of the CGT union had occupied the
12,686gt ro-pax vessel Corse since 23 January, preventing the Mediterranean ferry operator SNCM from launching the new three times a week service. The seafarers were protesting about the imposition of new working schedules and the
decision to provide French state aid for Italian- flagged ships running to Corsica. CGT general secretary Frédéric Alpozzo said the
new Toulon service will present unfair competition to the established SNCM operations from Marseilles and favour low-cost ferries on the Italian second register. He described the company’s decision to set up a new route ahead of a new public service agreement on ‘lifeline’ services between the French mainland and Corsica as ‘suicidal’.
ASingapore-based BW Maritime has informed its French
subsidiary’s workforce it is ceasing operations from December with the loss of 53 seafaring jobs, 10 shore- based staff and the withdrawal of five vessels from the French flag. The VLCC BW Utik — on time
charter until the end of the year to a French refiner — and the BW Utah and Ulan will be withdrawn from the French international register, RIF, in the coming months along with two LNG carriers, the 59,400 cu m BW Nice and Nantes, right. BW Maritime France — formerly Green Tankers — was established in
line with the country’s 1992 law requiring oil refiners to use French- flagged ships for 25% of their transport needs. But as refined oil volumes declined, so have the number of French-flagged tankers, and the company’s French seafarers are wondering if there will be any jobs left in this sector. The company said it will put
forward alternative jobs under international flags — but few are expected to take these positions permanently because of the potential loss of fringe benefits, tax breaks and pension arrangements. Picture: Eric Houri
SNCM threatened to sell the ferry if the seafarers did not call off the occupation and secured a court order to end the protest. Around 400 police were sent to the ship to remove the seafarers after the court ruled that the occupation was illegal and set penalties of €200 per person per hour for failure to comply with its decision. The CGT —which faced a €400 per hour fine if
the stoppage had continued — complained that SNCM had undermined the seafarers’ right to strike.
BW Maritime to close its French operations Or to purchase by telephone call: 0141 427 6655
• Merchant Navy Uniforms • Safety Wear / PPE • Corporate Work Wear • Embroidery
VENETIAN CALL: the United Nations cultural agency Unesco has called on Italy to keep cruiseships away from its coastline to protect some of the world’s most important heritage and ecological sites such as Venice and its Lagoon. Venice is visited by almost 300 large cruise liners each year and in a letter to Italy’s environment minister Unesco says the Costa Concordia incident has ‘reinforced long-standing concern’ over the risk they pose to heritage sites through pollution and ‘water tides that erode the foundations of buildings’.
FERRY GROUNDS: more than 260 passengers had to be rescued after an Italian ferry ran aground shortly after setting off from Rome’s port of Civitavecchia. Coastguard officers said the ship suffered a 25m hole above the waterline, sparking panic among the passengers who feared a repeat of the Costa Concordia accident, but the evacuation was successful and no injuries were reported.
POLLUTION PENALTY: the Italian shipping company SDS Navigation has been fined almost €1m after a court in the French port of Marseilles heard that its general cargoship SDS Rain had been spotted trailing a 22km-long pollution slick in the Mediterranean in April 2010. The company was ordered to pay €225,000 of the €250,000 fine that had been imposed on the master of the vessel.
WELFARE WARNING: French maritime welfare groups are contesting the government’s decision to reject their request for operators to pay a levy to fund improvements in seafarer welfare facilities. A spokesman for the association of welfare organisations, Faam, said €20 per ship per port would be ‘nothing’ for an operator but would bring in tens of thousands of euros for welfare.
GREEK SURGE: the economic crisis in Greece has prompted a surge of interest in careers at sea, the country’s owners reported last month. The annual general meeting of the Union of Greek Shipowners heard that there had been some 6,500 applications for the 1,350 trainee posts offered by the country’s maritime academies this year.
SEVEN LOST: seven seafarers were reported missing after a dry cargoship sank in the Black Sea off Turkey last month. The Cambodian-registered Vera, which was sailing from Russia to the Turkish Aegean port of Aliaga, sank in a storm about a mile off the port of Zonguldak following a shift of its cargo of metal.
WAGES WIN: an ITF inspector and French unions have won US$118,650 back pay and repatriation for the 13-strong Chinese crew of the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Asian Tide. The crew used a repair call at Brest to demand up to three months’ unpaid salaries and refused to leave before payment by the operator.
Buy uniforms and safetywear online at
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20
| Page 21
| Page 22
| Page 23
| Page 24
| Page 25
| Page 26
| Page 27
| Page 28
| Page 29
| Page 30
| Page 31
| Page 32
| Page 33
| Page 34
| Page 35
| Page 36
| Page 37
| Page 38
| Page 39
| Page 40
| Page 41