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New SOSREP at the helm to oversee response to accidents at sea

Picture credit to Maritime & Coastguard Agency/MCA
Picture credit to Maritime & Coastguard Agency/MCA

A former Coastguard with a wealth of experience has been appointed to the vital role of Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSREP) for Maritime Salvage & Intervention, which oversees the response to accidents at sea.

Stephan Hennig had previously been working with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s Counter Pollution Branch since 2012 and was appointed Deputy to the SOSREP in 2017.

The SOSREP is responsible for reducing the risk to safety and the environment arising from accidents at sea. Incidents which were overseen by previous SOSREPs include the Transocean Winner rig grounding off the Isle of Lewis in 2016 and the Hoegh Osaka car carrier incident in the Solent in 2015.

Stephan replaces Les Chapman who left the role last year. Stephan originally joined the Maritime & Coastguard Agency in 2005, working with the then Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in the Shetland Islands.

After Stephan became the MCA’s Counter-Pollution and Salvage Officer for Scotland and Northern Ireland in 2012,he served as a regional point of contact for a variety of groups and organisations, including ports, offshore operators, local authorities and environmental regulators.

In March 2017 he went on secondment to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy working with the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning in Aberdeen. After that he was appointed Deputy to the SOSREP and took on the SOSREP role in May 2018, on an interim basis.

Stephan said: ‘This is a role which lies at the heart of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s commitment to safety of life at sea and the environment through safer lives, safer ships, cleaner seas. I look forward to continuing the good work of previous SOSREPs in keeping that commitment.’

Brian Johnson, Chief Executive of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, said: “As we have seen from the serious incidents in UK waters over the last years, the SOSREP has a unique and critical role in rapidly and effectively marshalling the resources of all parties to achieve the best possible outcomes.

I am delighted we have appointed Stephan as our new SOSREP. He brings a wealth of experience from his years in the MCA both from HM Coastguard and the Counter-Pollution branch and I’m sure the maritime world will benefit from his expertise and personal qualities.”

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Guidelines for safe carriage of divinylbenzene in containers are published

According to the guidelines, the transport of DVB without any temperature control generally relies on the DVB being at a low enough temperature when shipped.
According to the guidelines, the transport of DVB without any temperature control generally relies on the DVB being at a low enough temperature when shipped.

The Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS), the International Group of P&I Clubs and the TT Club have published industry guidelines for the carriage of Divinylbenzene (DVB) in containers.

DVB is a chemical prone to polymerization (a form of self-reaction). When shipped in bulk, DVB polymerization can lead heat and flammable gas to be generated. Thus, the stowage of containers carrying DVB aboard vessels can present a risk of explosion and fire, if they are not properly presented for carriage.

As a series of polymerization incidents took place from the carriage of DVB by sea in 2018 the IMO approved changes to the way that polymerizing substances, like DVB, are carried, by amending the IMDG Code. These changes are included in amendment 39-18 of the IMDG Code, which will be mandatory from 1 January 2020, but may be applied voluntarily from 1 January 2019.

To ensure the safe carriage of DVB in containers before 1 January 2020, these guidelines highlight the practices set out in the IMDG Code amendments. They also recommend that these must be followed now, on a voluntary basis.

Divinylbenzene categories

The IMDG Code mandates that any polymerizing substances shipped in bulk in tank containers must be sufficiently stabilized to avoid polymerization from taking place at bulk mean temperatures of 45ºC, with temperature control needed if this cannot be done using a chemical inhibitor alone.

DVB carried in containers – Temperature controlled

Polymerizing substances carried under UN 3534, using drums packed in a refrigerated container or a refrigerated tank container, generally use chemical inhibitors and temperature control to make sure they are sufficiently stabilised.

DVB carried containers – Not temperature controlled

To identify whether DVB can be transported with safety without any temperature control, Special Provision 386 of the IMDG Code, chapter 3.3, requires that a risk assessment must be conducted to determine if the level of stabilization is enough to prevent the substance from dangerous polymerization.

The factors that have to be considered by the shipper or person offering the goods for transport include, but are not limited to, the following:
– The capacity and geometry of the packaging, IBC or tank and the effect of any insulation present.
– The temperature of the substance when offered for transport.
– The anticipated duration of the journey (taking reasonable account of potential delays).
– The ambient temperature conditions typically encountered throughout the journey (considering the season of year and expected routing).
– The effectiveness and other properties of the stabilizer employed.
– Applicable operational controls imposed by regulation (for example, requirements to protect from sources of heat, including other cargo transported at a temperature above ambient).
– Any other relevant factors.

According to the guidelines, the transport of DVB without any temperature control generally relies on the DVB being at a low enough temperature when shipped, and the total journey time to the receiver being short enough, for the chemical inhibitor to still be effective throughout the entire journey.

In addition, the chemical inhibitors most commonly used to prevent DVB polymerization require oxygen in order to work, and also break down and become ineffective, in case the DVB is exposed to temperatures above about 27º C.

Finally, under the changes in amendment 39-18 of the IMDG Code, chapter 7.3.7, the only method of temperature controlled allowed for shipments of polymerizing substances, except from shipments on short international voyages, is the use of refrigerated equipment, regardless of the type of container used.

Read the guidelines in full: CINS-IGPI-TT-Club-Guidelines-for-the-Carriage-of-DVB

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Clipper Ventures has acquired the Hamble School of Yachting

The announcement follows the setting up of Clipper China, Clipper Ventures’ Chinese sail training division aimed to meet the country’s growing participation in offshore sailing.

“The decision to buy the Hamble School of Yachting is part of a wider strategy to develop our offering within the offshore sailing industry,” said Clipper Race chairman and co-founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

“Clipper Ventures is the world’s leading provider of offshore sail training and Hamble School of Yachting is one of the RYA’s leading sail training schools in the UK which makes us a strong match.”

Chris Rushton, Hamble School of Yachting principal, added: “The Hamble School of Yachting is well established in the UK sail training industry but to link up with Clipper Ventures and be able to share our commitment to increasing sailing participation and top-class standards on a truly global level makes this a very exciting move, especially given the growing opportunities to lead the industry in China.”

Hamble School of Yachting has been running for more than 35 years providing a full range of RYA sailing courses and lessons, from beginner to professional level.

The sailing school will retain its existing name and branding and will sit alongside Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, Clipper Events and Clipper China under the Clipper Ventures umbrella.

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New workboat code edition 2 is published by MCA

Following collaboration with a number of interested parties to gather industry feedback on the draft MSN for the Workboat Code: Edition 2, the MCA has now published the new Code. This Code applies to small workboats used commercially that operate at sea and to pilot boats of any size operating either at sea or in categorised waters (i.e. inland). It applies to United Kingdom vessels wherever they may be at, and to non-United Kingdom vessels in UK waters or operating from UK ports.

The workboat code edition 2 amends the original Code, “The Safety of Small Workboats and Pilot Boats – A Code of Practice” introduced in 1998, and applies to small workboats and pilot boats, the keels of which are laid, or are at a similar stage of construction, on or after 31 December 2018. This is defined in the Merchant Shipping Notice issued in accordance with the regulation 3(1) of the enabling regulations. From that date, this code supersedes the original Code, and also the use of Marine Guidance Note MGN 280(M)1 “Small Commercial Vessels and Pilot Boat Code of Practice” for small workboats and pilot boats and the Workboat Code Industry Working Group Technical Standard published in June 2014.

It should also be noted that where any existing vessel upgrades, and phases-in, to the Workboat Code Edition 2 regime, it must do so fully. A vessel cannot meet a combination of the Workboat Code Edition 2 standards and those of earlier codes or standards.

This Code must, from the date of publication (8 January 2019), be used for new workboats and pilot boats. Existing workboats that wish to meet this Code should do so as described by the Code and in full. This Code should be read in conjunction with MSN 1892 and SI 1998 No. 1609.

Click to download the 278 page Workboat Code: Edition 2: Workboat_Code Edition_2

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The MCA UK code of practice for intended pleasure vessels in temporary commercial use at sea has come into force

A new code came into force on 1 January 2019 allowing pleasure craft to be in temporary commercial use at sea for a number of defined purposes.

The Intended Pleasure Vessels (IPV) Code, which permits the temporary use of craft at sea for businesses purposes and as race support without the current requirement for inspection, marks a huge step forward for the UK’s leisure marine sector.

Testing, trialling and delivery of sea-going vessels legally will now be cheaper and easier for boatbuilders, brokers, surveyors, repairers, delivery companies and equipment service providers under the exemptions laid out in Part 1 of the new Code. It delivers an easier and clearer way for businesses to comply with regulation and will have resulting, long-term benefits for the end-user.

As the significance of this Code spans the breadth of boating, from manufacturer to boat owner, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) developed it in partnership with the sector’s leading associations and representatives. These include British Marine, Royal Yachting Association (RYA), Yacht Brokers, Designers and Surveyors Association (YBDSA), British Rowing and British Canoeing.

British Marine’s CEO, Lesley Robinson, joined the MCA’s Chief Executive, Brian Johnson, and other senior executives of marine organisations at The Little Ship Club for an event to introduce the new Code.

Marine Guidance Notice 538 on the regulations applicable to Pleasure Vessels has also been replaced with MGN 599. The new MGN introduces exemptions that mark a significant step for the pleasure vessel sector in the UK and phases out the use of ORC life rafts.

Brian Johnson, MCA’s Chief Executive, said: “The need for pleasure vessel users to have a simpler way of complying with existing regulations was identified. Working in partnership with the pleasure vessel community and with help of the consultation which ran in 2018 the Code has been developed. This really is a positive step for pleasure vessel users and the wider community.”

Lesley Robinson, British Marine’s CEO, commented: “British Marine is delighted to have collaborated on this important and far-reaching development which will have huge implications for many of our members across the sector.

“The introduction of the IPV Code paves the way for additional activity on a single-voyage basis without the need for additional external approval; streamlining processes and reducing costs.”

Download the new IPV code: IPV_Code

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