MARITIME

24 February 2022: Azores, Portugal

A 656-foot cargo ship, the Felicity Ace, which is a roll-on roll-off car-carrying ship, caught fire in the Atlantic Ocean. It was carrying cargo, including luxury cars such as Porsches and Volkswagens. The ship was en route from Germany to Rhode Island. At the time the ship caught fire, it was sailing 90 nautical miles southwest of Portugal’s Azores, according to a statement by the Portuguese Navy. The fire spread and forced the 22 crew members on board to abandon ship leaving it adrift for a time. As it burned, its owners arranged for it to be towed to port. Registered to Panama, the Felicity Ace is operated by Japanese shipping line Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL). The ship eventually sank while being towed in an attempt to recover it.

MARITIME

16 March 2022: Norfolk, Virginia

The Ever Forward, operated by Evergreen Marine Corp. — the same company that operated the Ever Given — ran aground Sunday in Chesapeake Bay as it traveled from the Port of Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia. William P. Doyle, executive director of the Maryland Port Administration, said in a tweet: “The vessel ran aground Sunday evening on its way to Norfolk, Virginia after discharging/loading cargo in Baltimore. The ship’s location is just off Gibson Island near the Craighill channel in the Chesapeake Bay. There have been no injuries or pollution related spills.” The ship’s grounding didn’t prevent other ships from transiting into or out of the Port of Baltimore. Business and commerce related activities at the Port of Baltimore were continuing as normal, Doyle said. Technical experts including a salvage team, naval architects and divers were working to determine the best course of action to free the ship.

MARITIME

26 February 2022: Hoi An, Viet Nam

A tourist boat carrying 39 tourists and crew capsized in poor weather including rough waters and strong winds near Hoi An. Fifteen people died and two are still unaccounted for. The boat was returning to Hoi An from Cu Lao Cham island, a local favorite for diving and snorkeling. The service had been closed since the beginning of the pandemic.

MARITIME

20 February 2022: Corfu, Greece

One person was found dead on a ferry that caught fire and burned near the island of Corfu, Greece in late February. He was the first person believed to have been killed in the fire, but 10 others were missing and thought to be dead. Hundreds were taken off the Italian-owned Euroferry, Olympia. Around 290 passengers and crew members were reported to be onboard when the fire broke out after it left the Greek port of Igoumenitsa, headed to Brindisi, Italy. There were also 153 trucks and 32 cars aboard. The dead man was found when rescue workers opened the doors to a truck being carried on the ferry. “He had burns over a large part of his body,” said Vassilis Vathrakoyiannis, a spokesman for the Greek fire service. Earlier, a truck driver from Belarus was rescued from the ferry, and search operations were continuing for the missing 10 people, said Nikolaos Alexiou, a spokesman for the Greek Coast Guard.

MARITIME

5 March 2022: Pyongyang, North Korea

North Korea fired a probable ballistic missile into the sea on Saturday 5 March, a week after firing another. It was at least the ninth one launched in 2022 so far. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the weapon was fired toward the country’s eastern waters. A televised statement by neighboring Japan’s Defense Minister, Nobuo Kishi, said, “There have been frequent launches since the start of the year, and North Korea is continuing to rapidly develop ballistic missile technology.”

AVIATIONMARITIMERAILROAD

Veridos Unveils Next Generation of Verification Solutions

Veridos will unveil the next generation in security and verification solutions at the World Police Summit in Dubai. Three innovative products – VeriDNA, VergiGO Drive ID and the Veridos Inspection Kit – will empower governments to make official documents even more secure and to identify individuals faster. 

Taking place on March 14-17, 2022, the summit will be Veridos’ opportunity to showcase these three products. The focus will be on VeriDNA, a new solution for guaranteed identity determination, based on DNA pattern recognition and unique DNA IDs. VeriDNA provides governments with a comprehensive technology package for the verification of individuals that simultaneously protects privacy, can be used in the field on a mobile basis and complies with all the necessary quality and security standards.

Thanks to the technology embedded within it, VeriDNA, the company says it is the world’s first solution to create forgery-proof identifiers based on the biometrics of human DNA and to integrate them into ID lifecycle management. Unlike irises and fingerprints, which change over the course of a person’s life, DNA always remains the same. This means the corresponding data only needs to be captured once, marking a significant improvement on other forms of biometrics. The technology used ensures the protection of privacy at all times as DNA IDs only store a unique code. VeriDNA includes the entire identification process, from the generation of an individual DNA ID, its registration and application into an appropriate ID through to operational verification at specific checkpoints of the national ID infrastructure.

Veridos‘ tried and tested Veridos Inspection Kit and VeriGO Drive ID will also be on display. While the VeriGo digital driver’s license simplifies the verification of the document, as well as the identification of individuals in accordance with the latest security standards, the Inspection Kit provides a mobile inspection station that can be implemented as a perfect fit in the VeriGO Border Control Solution (BCS).

“We are pleased to be part of the World Police Summit and to help shape the trends in state-of-the-art identification solutions. With VeriDNA we are unveiling the next generation of reliable and secure identification solutions,” explains Marc-Julian Siewert, CEO at Veridos. “Governments can easily integrate the product into their existing border control systems – whether stationary at airports, or mobile at the border. At the same time, the individual’s privacy is protected to the highest degree, as the DNA IDs used consist only of an anonymous sequence of numbers and do not store any other characteristics.”

MARITIME

27 September 2021: Caribbean Sea

The Coast Guard Cutter Reef Shark transferred custody of two smugglers and offloaded approximately 250 kilograms of cocaine at Coast Guard Base San Juan, following Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore’s interdiction of a go-fast smuggling vessel in the Caribbean Sea. The apprehended smugglers are Dominican Republic nationals, who were charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine aboard a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The cocaine seized has an estimated wholesale value of approximately $7.5 million. U.S. Coast Guard Special Assistant United States Attorney Jordan H. Martin is in charge of the prosecution of this case. The interdiction resulted from multi-agency efforts in support of U.S. Southern Command’s enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere and coordination with the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF). During a routine patrol, a U.S. Maritime Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) detected a suspect go-fast vessel, approximately 145 nautical miles south of the Dominican Republic. Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan diverted the cutter Kathleen Moore to carry out the interdiction. With the assistance of the cutter’s small boat, the crew of the Kathleen Moore interdicted the 25-foot vessel that was carrying two men and 10 bales of suspected contraband onboard, which tested positive for cocaine.

MARITIME

10 October 2021: Washington, D. C.

An engineer in the U.S. Navy and his wife were charged with attempting to share secrets on submarine technology with another country. Court documents show that Jonathan Toebbe has been accused of trying to sell information on the nuclear propulsion system of Virginia-class attack submarines. Toebbe had clearances in nuclear engineering. He was a member of the Navy Reserve and worked for a year or more in the top officer in the Navy’s office. Russia and China would be interested in details of U.S. submarine propulsion, however, some reports say the unsolicited offer might have been a more friendly country than either of those two.

MARITIME

28 November 2021: Off the Coast of Calabria, Italy

244 migrants were rescued by the Italian Coast Guard during the night of Sunday, November 28, 2021 off the coast of Calabria in the southern Italy. There were 41 minors, including an infant born the previous day on a packed fishing boat that encountered difficult sea conditions. Bad weather made the rescue operation complex. The Italian Coast Guard carried out the rescue which took time. After spending more than 16 hours at sea, all 244 migrants were rescued by the Italian Coast Guard with help from a Romanian naval unit. U.N. officials estimate that 1,600 people have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean Sea in 2021 so far. It is a major gateway for migrants trying to enter Europe with the help of human smugglers.