MARITIME

15 September 2021: Mundra Port, India

Three tonnes of heroin was seized by Indian officials on 15 September. The heroin originated from Afghanistan and is estimated to be worth $2.72b. This comes one month after the Taliban reestablished rule over the country. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) reports they seized two containers at Mundra Port in the western state of Gujarat. An anonymous official said the DRI received a tip about the load. More than 2,988kg (6,590 pounds) of heroin was found and taken into custody. It is one of India’s biggest drug hauls. Two people were arrested. Reports say the containers had been imported by a company in Vijayawada, India. The cargo had been declared as “semi-processed talc stones from Afghanistan and had been shipped from Bandar Abbas Port in Iran to Mundra.” The heroin was hidden inside the containers of the talc. Eight people are being held in conjunction with the smuggling attempt.

MARITIME

7 June 2021: Across the globe

More than 800 people were arrested across the globe in a sting operation conducted by joint law enforcement agencies. An0m, an app touted to users as secure with encrypted messaging, was secretly developed and sold to organized crime networks by the FBI, the agency said in a press conference in June. Cash was seized in raids around the world, as well as tonnes of drugs, cryptocurrencies, weapons and luxury cars. All of people arrested were found due to a device that sent information directly into the hands of law enforcement agencies. During a press conference at The Hague, Calvin Shivers of the FBI’s criminal investigative division hailed the “innovative” way the app was able to “bring criminals to justice.” For example, the FBI was able to see photographs of “hundreds of tonnes of cocaine that were concealed in shipments of fruit.” In Belgium, two weeks later, the divers did not have to hunt for the sacks of cocaine for long; they already had the location sent via the app, reports say. There were 49 arrests in the Netherlands, 75 in Sweden and more than 60 in Germany. Authorities there seized hundreds of kilograms of drugs, more than 20 weapons and over 30 vehicles cars and cash. It was “one of the largest and most sophisticated law enforcement operations to date in the fight against encrypted criminal activities,” said Jean-Philippe Lecouffe, deputy director for operations of Europol.

MARITIME

25 March 2021: Off the coast of Vizhinjam, India

A Sri Lankan boat was seized by the Indian Coast Guard and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). It was carrying 300 kilograms of heroin, five AK-47 guns and ammunition on March 25, off the coast of Vizhinjam in Kerala. The boat, named ‘Ravihansi,’ was heading to Sri Lanka. The NCB arrested six Sri Lankan nationals. The Indian Coast Guard intercepted the Sri Lankan supposed fishing vessel in Indian waters off the coast of Vizhinjam in Kerala.

MARITIME

8 August 2021: Port of Kirkenes, Norway

A fishing ship, TAMANGO, experienced a fire onboard on 8 August. The vessel was in port in Kirkenes, Norway. After the fire broke out, the vessel was towed further offshore, and there an explosion occurred. unclear if anyone was injured during the initial fire or the resulting explosion.

MARITIME

1 April 2021: Indian Ocean

Ship Captain Angelo Capurro likely contracted Covid-19 and began showing symptoms on the second day of his journey on the MV Ital Libera cargo vessel. Five days later, the 61-year-old was confined to his cabin and could not get out of bed. The captain was also the designated medical officer leaving no one else to help. He died six days later. The dilemma: the cargo ship was without a shipmaster, there was a dead body onboard with no way to store it and a possible Covid outbreak on the ship. The ship was unable to find a port that would accept the corpse due to the circumstances of the illness and pandemic, making the ship stranded for six weeks off the coast of Jakarta, Indonesia while looking for a suitable place to dock. The situation was not resolved until June 11, when the body of the captain was returned to Italy, his home. The state of the body was in very poor condition since the ship did not have proper storage for such a situation. The son of the captain reportedly said that his father could have possibly survived the illness with appropriate care. Since the pandemic began there have been ten additional instances of deaths at sea with the bodies being held on board, denied disembarkation to repatriate the bodies, although none of the others were from covid.

MARITIME

24 June 2021: Off the Coast of Grand Turk/Turks & Caicos

The remains of 20 people were found in a boat in the waters of the British territory, the Turks and Caicos Islands. Fishermen saw the boat adrift and approached it. It is unknown what they were doing and who they are. How they died is also a mystery at this time, but authorities said there didn’t appear to be foul play. Police Commissioner Trevor Bottins released a statement saying they think the boat was from outside the Caribbean region and that although it was found near Turks and Caicos, they do not believe it was their intended destination. The boat was found about six miles off the coast of Grand Turk. “A very distressing scene yesterday which my officers dealt with professionally and with great dignity and humanity,” said Commissioner Bottins.

MARITIME

27 June 2021: Hong Kong, China

A fire in a Hong Kong marina Sunday morning spread quickly sinking ten cabin cruisers and ignited fuel tanks along a line of moored boats. Eventually, the fire was extinguished. Authorities there said 16 vessels were caught fire, including those that sank, but there were no casualties. The fire began around 2:30 am and took firefighters more than six hours to put out, reports say. Exploding fuel tanks were captured on video followed by thick, black, billowing smoke. Dozens of people were moved out of the boats and nearby boats.

MARITIME

8 July 2021: Hong Kong

China’s ports are experiencing a large backlog which experts say could impact the supply chain for months to come, even though contracts have been extended and some ships haven’t seen land in 18 months. Months at sea without a break has taken its toll on crews, with fatigue and mental illness a threat to safety, reports say.The pandemic has thrown the shipping industry into chaos with covid outbreaks cropping up at ports like the one in the Chinese province of Guangdong, a busy container port. Canceled flights, locked down communities and suspended trade along its coastline has created a large back log. Access to ports is restricted and with planes grounded, it is difficult to move workers to swap crews.

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.