Offshore oil rigs have been around since the 1890s, and today a variety of structures harvest both oil and natural gas from the world's continental shelves. There are two basic types of oil rig, or platform:
Fixed. The Hibernia platform, off St. John's, Newfoundland, is the largest oil rig in the world. It is an example of a fixed platform which, as the name suggests, is permanently attached to the ocean floor.
Fixed platforms can be built in nearly 2,000 feet of water, but a type of fixed platform called a compliant tower can operate in 3,000 feet of water. The Petronius Platform, in the Gulf of Mexico, stands 2,000 feet above the ocean floor, making it one of the tallest structures in the world. Fixed platforms also include include jack-up rigs (a misnomer, since the legs are actually jacked down to the sea bottom).
Dangerous Goods, Hazardous Cargo – whatever it is known as, these cargoes, as the word implies, have a very sensitive role in the shipping spectrum.. It is equally important to ensure that the proper process is followed with regards to the hazardous application and acceptance of the same.. I have already written several articles about hazardous cargoes..
In this topic, i will discuss the hazardous cargo application and acceptance process in detail and also provide some formats that you can use..
Seafaring, by its very nature, involves travel. According to seafarers themselves, traveling from country to country and seeing the world were major factors in their becoming seafarers. In recent years, their opportunities to see the world has been greatly diminished by shorter and shorter vessel port calls. But, judging from some of our recent cases, seafarers are still crossing borders and encountering difficulties with border controls.
For example, we recently learned about a border incident from a seafarer who we had helped recover $20,000 in back wages. When the man returned to his home country with $20,000 in cash, he was concerned about his safety while carrying so much money and hid $10,000 in his belt. United States law required him to report all money over $10,000 that he was taking out of the country. His home country required him to declare how much money he was bringing into his country. The seafarer reported to the United States authorities that he was removing $20,000 from the United States. Upon arriving at his home country, he told the border authorities there that he had only $10,000. After being searched and found to be carrying an extra undeclared $10,000, the authorities confiscated the hidden $10,000.
In another case, a foreign seafarer on shore leave in the United States went to an Immigration Service office to request information on how to change his visa to enable him to extend his stay in the United States. He did not know that a seafarers’ D-1 visa could not be changed while he was in the United States on shore leave. His answers to the immigration officer’s leading questions were interpreted by the officer as an attempt by the seafarer to violate his shore leave status. The officer then revoked the seafarers’ shore leave and banned him from entering the United States for ten years.
Despite the well-known risks of severe penalties in most countries around the world for trafficking or possessing illegal drugs, some seafarers have been tempted by drug smugglers’ promises of easy money. Unfortunately, instead of receiving “big money” for helping smuggle drugs, many have been arrested, convicted and sentenced to stiff fines and long years in prison.
Most seafarers know about the risks of getting involved with illegal drugs such as heroin, marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, cocaine, opium and hashish, and they keep well clear of them. They may not, however, realize that possessing common medications might also be illegal in some countries.
For example, seafarers have been detained and arrested in the United Arab Emirates while in transit for possessing prescription medicines. They mistakenly assumed that their medicines which were legal in the country where they were obtained could be legally possessed everywhere. The United Arab Emirates is one of several countries with very strict drug laws. A variety of drugs normally taken under a doctor's supervision in many countries are classified as narcotics in the UAE. Even poppy seeds that are commonly used for cooking in many countries are illegal there. Persons possessing even small quantities of illegal drugs may be given lengthy prison terms of up to 15 years. Convicted drug traffickers can be sentenced to death.
The Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) recently revised its standard agreement for Filipino seafarers that has been in effect since 1997. The POEA standard agreement, entitled Standard Terms And Conditions Governing The Employment Of Filipino Seafarers On-Board Ocean-Going Vessels sets the minimum standards acceptable to the POEA for Filipino seafarers employed on foreign flag ocean-going vessels. It became effective for all agreements signed after June 28, 2000.
The POEA standard agreement is important to Filipino seafarers because most of them are employed under it. The only Filipinos who are not covered by this agreement are those who have a collective bargaining agreement that has been approved by the POEA that meets or exceeds the agreement’s minimum requirements. Any changes to the agreement must be approved by the POEA. Although the POEA standard agreement applies only to Filipino seafarers, it is interesting for all seafarers because it may reveal trends in the maritime industry that could affect those from other countries.
If the newly revised POEA standard agreement signals a trend in the maritime industry, the trend is an unfortunate one for seafarers. Although there are changes that affect both employers and seafarers, new obligations for employers tend to restate existing obligations under maritime law. The changes affecting seafarers tend to erode their rights. For example:
We are receiving more and more reports from seafarers that they are being required to purchase their own medical insurance. This practice, along with other disturbing trends, are attempts to cheat mariners out of their rights to free medical care.
One of the oldest and most enduring rights enjoyed by seafarers is their right to free medical care. This right, called maintenance and cure, is so firmly established in maritime law, that it is an assumed part of every mariner’s employment contract. It is a right so fundamental that no mariner can give it away by contract.
- Between the innocence of infancy and the recklessness of adultery comes that unique specimen of humanity known as a seaman. Seamen can be found in bars, in bed, in arguments, in debt and intoxicated. They are tall, short, fat, thin, dark, fair but never normal.
- They dislike ship’s food, Chief Engineers, writing letters, sailing on Saturdays and dry ships. They like receiving mail, paying-off day, nude pinups, sympathy, complaining and beer.
- A seaman’s secret ambition is to change places with the owner for just one trip, to own a brewery and to be loved by everyone in the world.
- A seaman is a Sir Galahad in a Japanese brothel, a psychoanalyst with "Reader’s Digest" on the table, Don Quixote with a discharge book, Valentino with five dollars in his pocket and democracy personified in a Red Chinese prison cell.
- A seaman is a provider in war and a parasite in peace. No one is subjected to so much abuse, wrongly accused, and so often misunderstood by so many as a seaman.
- He has the patience of Job, the honesty of a fool and the heaven-sent ability to laugh at himself.
- When he returns home from a long voyage no one else but a seaman can create such an atmosphere of suspense and longing as he walks through the door with the magic words on his lips:
Have you got the beer in????
What is AIS ?
AIS stands for Automatic Identification System. It was introduced by the IMO (International Maritime Organization) to improve safety in the maritime traffic. All ships equipped with AIS transponders exchange their current movement data such as position, course and speed as well as other additional information via the VHF channels 87B and 88B. In professional shipping, the system is already part of the equipment requirements for SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea).
Do all ships transmit AIS data ?
For vessels on international voyages AIS is mandatory from the registered tonnage (RT) of 300. For vessels on national voyages it is mandatory from 500 RT. For passenger ships the regulation is as follows:
All passenger ships and all other ships with registered tonnage >300 RT since 2004
All passenger ships and all other ships with registered tonnage >500 until 1. July, 2008.
What kind of information is transmitted over AIS ?
Vessel name, callsign, MMSI number (user ID), IMO number, position, course over ground, speed over ground, true heading, rate of turn, length, beam, draught, type of vessel, navigational status, destination and estimated time of arrival.
Shipping is the safest and most environmentally benign form of commercial transport. Perhaps uniquely amongst industries involving physical risk, commitment to safety has long pervaded virtually all deep sea shipping operations. Shipping was amongst the very first industries to adopt widely implemented international safety standards.
Because of its inherently international nature, the safety of shipping is regulated by various United Nations agencies, in particular the International Maritime Organization (IMO) which has developed a comprehensive framework of global maritime safety regulations.
- How shipping is regulated internationally:-
Shipping is the least environmentally damaging form of commercial transport and, compared with land based industry, is a comparatively minor contributor to marine pollution from human activities. There has been a substantial reduction in marine pollution over the last 15 years, especially with regard to the amount of oil spilled into the sea, despite a massive increase in world seaborne trade.