MARITIME

7 April: 113 miles southeast of Cape Cod

The Coast Guard medevaced an injured fisherman 113 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Wednesday. At approximately 3:34 p.m., Coast Guard District One watchstanders received notification from a crewmember of the commercial fishing vessel Motivation, home-ported in Cape May, New Jersey, reporting a 50-year-old crewmember experiencing shortness of breath and a fever and requested assistance. A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched and safely hoisted the fisherman at approximately 6:50 p.m.The fisherman was transferred to EMS who transported him to Cape Cod Hospital for care. Weather on scene was 16 mph winds with six-foot seas.

MARITIME

7 April: En Route to Rotterdam

The Baltic Tern, a boxship en route from the Port of St. Petersburg in Russia to the Port of Rotterdam, reportedly lost five containers in rough seas and heavy weather. The containers lost included two tank containers, one full of acetone, a low flash point chemical, and the other was carrying used cooking oil, according to Ron Corstanje, spokesman for the Dutch Coast Guard. Another lost container was carrying pellets, as well as a box with paper and an empty container.

MARITIME

6 April: San Juan, Puerto Rico

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized 96 pounds (44 kilos) of cocaine within a cooling vent of a container on board cargo vessel M/V GH Pampero calling the port of San Juan from Rio Haina, Dominican Republic. The estimated value of the seized cocaine is $1.3 million. “Smugglers continue find means to conceal their illicit drug loads into the international supply chain”, stated Noel De Jesus, acting assistant director of Field Operations for Border Security in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Our officers’ expertise, along with the utilization of all available tools, resulted in the detection of these narcotics. Our communities can feel safer knowing that the men and women of CBP are securing their borders.” A CBP Contraband Enforcement Team boarded the vessel for a routine inspection of containers using non-intrusive inspection technology. One container was further inspected opening the container’s cooling vent access panel, where CBP Officers discovered forty-one (41) brick shaped objects, which tested positive for cocaine.

MARITIME

5 April: Ålesund, Norway

A yacht transport ship began listing and called for help 60 nautical miles west of Ålesund, Norway. The cargo ship was reported to be the MV Eemslift Hendrika belonging to Starclass Yacht Transport. The company offers yacht transport between Norway and Turkey. The Norwegian Joint Rescue Coordination Center received a distress signal from the vessel, which said they had 12 crew members on board. Three helicopters and two vessels were sent to assist and all crewmembers were rescued. The ship is abandoned and listing approximately 30 degrees.

MARITIME

4 April: Dhaka, Bangladesh

At least 27 people were killed when a cargo ship and a ferry boat crashed off the coast of Dhaka, Bangladesh Easter Sunday. The Sabith Al Hasan ferry crossing the Shitalakhsya River, just south of the city. The cargo ship did not stop according to authorities. They are searching for it as we went to press. Local media said it was cargo ship SK-3. Around 20 passengers jumped off the ship and swam to shore. Local officials said the vessel capsized and sank with at least 27 onboard.

MARITIME

2 April: Unknown Location

A family out for a relaxing sail became entangled with a yacht. Their 20ft sail boat became entangled with a Russian billionaire’s £360million mega-yacht when they decided to get a closer look. The small craft’s sailors were eventually able to extricate themselves from the yacht.

MARITIME

9 March: Suez Canal, Egypt

“This was the result of successful push and tow maneuvers which led to the restoration of 80% of the vessel’s direction; with the stern 102 m. away from the bank of the Canal now instead of 4 m. prior to the refloating,” the Suez Canal Authority said. It was then positioned into the navigable waterway of the canal, where it was able to continue to a lake for inspection. The world watched as the situation with the 400 meter Ever Given container ship became stuck diagonally in the canal and remained so for six days while other vessels backed up in both directions waiting for it to clear. Experts say the canal is treacherous to pass and that the containers onboard stacked high can act as a sail, catching the wind and moving the ship. The winds were reported to be high at the time of the incident in which the Ever Given became stuck, even though they had the obligatory help of a Suez Crew – a local team with specific knowledge of tricky parts of the canal. Indeed, the Egyptian government requires ships to have a canal pilot or team come aboard, experts who know the canal intimately and can pilot it through. Reports say there were two canal pilots from the Suez Canal Authority aboard when the ship ran aground. As the canal authorities and experts from around the world worked to devise plans to free the ship, the backlog of others waiting to get through the canal grew from a dozen to more than a hundred to ultimately more than 300. Concerns about the cargo of the ships waiting for passage rose each day. Cargo included live animals, food products, consumer good and oil, among many other things. A report in the January 2014, Volume 7, Issue 1 of the CTC Sentinel entitled, “Attacks in the Suez: Security of the Canal at Risk?” by Stephen Starr states that “while security in the bordering Sinai Peninsula remains transient and the Egyptian state appears unable to stamp out militant activity in the Sinai, terrorist groups would have to employ new tactics to sink vessels if their goal was to block the canal for any period of time. Yet such tactics are not beyond their reach, and previous incidents of maritime terrorism could serve as their guide.” The report also explains that closure of the Suez Canal “would add an estimated 2,700 miles of transit from Saudi Arabia to the United States around the Cape of Good Hope via tanker.” While the world watched and waited, the threat of compromised security increased hourly. Ultimately, there was no security breach, however, the event did highlight the chokepoint that the Suez becomes when blocked and the need for additional security-related planning in the event another similar occurrence happens in the future.

MARITIME

22 March: Seoul, South Korea

A New York Times report published March 22, 2021 reveals some details about how illicit oil reaches North Korea. The Times was able to track secret oil deliveries in violation of United Nations sanctions by piecing together reports and observations from a dozen journalists and convoluted maze of connections. UN sanctions limit North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum but they find ways of getting it anyway. “By reviewing satellite imagery, examining vessel reports, sifting through corporate records and interviewing key players, we were able to untangle a web of companies and individuals across Asia connected to the oil,” the NYT piece states. See the full report at https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/22/insider/north-korea-oil-supply.html?searchResultPosition=1

MARITIME

19 March: Suez Anchorage, Egypt

The general cargo ship the MV Aman (IMO 9215517) was detained at the Suez anchorage in Egypt in July 2017. Chief Officer Mohammad Aisha, who had only been on board for two months at that time, was designated the ship’s legal guard, legally binding them together. The rest of the crew was allowed to disembark and go home. Four years later he is still on board, alone. The ship is for sale but the sale is stalled and therefore he has stayed. “I’ve requested repatriation many times,” Aisha told The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). “But the port authorities are refusing to allow me to leave.” The ship ran aground about a year ago and since then no one is providing him with essentials. He is without power and has only one way to get basics like food and water — he swims to shore and must swim back. The ship is registered in Bahrain. The ITF reports, “Egyptian authorities hold his passport and refuse to cooperate to change his situation. To make matters worse, his passport expire[d] on the 22nd of March.”

MARITIME

15-17 March: New Orleans, Louisiana

The US Coast Guard and multiple law enforcement agencies conducted a three-day operation from March 15-17 focused on commercial fisheries along the Central Gulf Coast. The multi-agency operation ensured commercial fishing vessels along the Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi Coasts were complying with federal vessel and commercial fishing safety laws. The three-day operation resulted in 40 vessel boardings, 24 violations, 15 of which were living marine resources violations.