The rescue of all persons in distress at sea – including illegal migrants – is an obligation under international maritime law, as well as being a long established humanitarian duty, says the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). ICS is the global trade association for commercial ship operators, whose ships are currently involved on a daily basis in the rescue of refugees at sea in the Mediterranean.

Whatever may be decided by policy makers in EU Member States, the legal and humanitarian obligation of merchant ships to provide assistance to anyone in distress at sea will remain unchanged, says ICS.

Commenting on new reports that some European Union Ministers have expressed concerns that search and rescue operations have acted as a ‘pull factor’ for illegal migration, encouraging people to make dangerous crossings in the expectation of rescue, ICS notes that merchant ships are legally required to rescue persons in distress at sea by the UN International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), to which virtually every maritime nation is a Party.

Under SOLAS, and the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, the obligation of the ship Master to render assistance is complemented by a corresponding obligation of IMO Member States to co-operate in rescue situations, thereby relieving the Master of the responsibility to care for survivors, and allowing individuals who are rescued at sea in such circumstances to be delivered promptly to a place of safety.

The shipping industry is therefore very concerned by reports that the new EU Frontex operation ‘Triton’ will have a third of the budget of the current Italian ‘Mare Nostrum’ operation which it replaces, that its primary focus will be border control, and that search and rescue operations may be reduced in international waters.

It will clearly be much more difficult for merchant ships to save lives at sea without the adequate provision of search and rescue services by EU Member States. Moreover, whenever a ship performs its legal and humanitarian obligations, it will continue to be incumbent on EU Member States to ensure that those who are rescued can be readily disembarked at the next port of call, even when they may lack documentation.

We Have Moved Premises

Our new address is: Unit 9A Wingbury Courtyard Business Village, Wingrave, Bucks, UK HP22 4LW

Our telephone numbers remain the same: Switchboard tel – +44 (0)1296 682051  / PR Department – +44 (0)1296682356

Managing Director Sean Moloney said: “These are exciting times for Elaborate Communications. We have more staff joining to cope with our expanding international client list and we have therefore outgrown our existing premises which served us well during our first decade in business.

“These new bespoke premises are far larger and with faster technology to enable us to provide the best possible services for our customers wherever they are in the world.”


Governments attending the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) this week have made real progress towards agreeing solutions to major issues that have previously impeded ratification of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention, says the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the global trade association for ship operators.

Speaking at IMO headquarters, ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe, remarked “We are very pleased that IMO Member States have fully acknowledged the shipping industry’s concerns by agreeing to start work immediately on a revision of the G8 type-approval guidelines to make the process for approving ballast water treatment equipment more robust. In the meantime, it has also been agreed, in principle, that any shipowner that has invested in first generation treatment equipment, type-approved under the current G8 guidelines, should not be penalised, provided that the equipment is operated and maintained correctly. The adoption by IMO of new Port State Control guidelines reflecting a fair and pragmatic approach to inspection is also an important additional step.”

Mr Hinchliffe added “While some of the details still need to be finalised by the MEPC next year, an MEPC Resolution adopted at this meeting should do much to build confidence in the Convention amongst both shipowners and IMO Member States.”


European Transport Commissioner and Vice President of the European Commission Siim Kallas has voiced his strong support for the launch of European Shipping Week, claiming it will help to raise the profile of shipping in Brussels “and allow for a good interaction between its multiple players and decision makers”.

In a letter to Patrick Verhoeven, Secretary General of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), Commissioner Kallas said there was no doubt that Europe needs a high quality shipping sector “that can compete around the world.” Maritime transport is a cornerstone of European industry, he said, playing an essential role in Europe’s economy.

He added: “The European Shipping Week should be an opportunity to demonstrate that regulators and industry share the same objective of promoting quality, growth and competitiveness, through better regulation at EU level and supporting effective EU action promoting European interests in the IMO. I have been working hard during my mandate to create a level playing field for shipping on a global level and I am confident that my successor will continue to do so. We must foster innovation, remove the obstacles to the single market and fight for quality shipping in all its facets.

“I give my full support to the European Shipping Week and I am more than pleased that shipping attracts media headlines and political focus for its contribution to Europe’s growth and competitiveness,” he concluded.

European Shipping Week will be held in Brussels during the week of March 2‐6, 2015 when shipping industry leaders from Europe and around the world will descend on Brussels to meet and network with top legislators from the European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

The week‐long series of high level events will bring together the major players in the shipping industry with the primary aim of promoting the strengths and significance of European and global shipping to these important regulatory bodies in Brussels.

More information about the European Shipping Week is available at

European Shipping Week was the brainchild of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and is run by a Steering Group made up of Europe’s main shipping organisations as well as the European Commission and Shipping Innovation. The shipping organisations involved on the Steering Group include: ECSA; Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Europe; European Community Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (ECASBA); Interferry; the European Dredging Association; the World Shipping Council, as well as the European Tugowners’ Association. Other European shipping associations may also be invited to support the initiative and hold relevant events during the week.

ESW is organised by Shipping Innovation – the driving force behind the highly successful London International Shipping Week (LISW).


Mersey Maritime’s monthly business network ‘Face-2-Face’ continues to grow from strength to strength with the organisers expecting a sell out at their forthcoming November 4th event thanks to a famous guest presenter.

Record-breaking former English Rugby International and RAF jet pilot Rory Underwood, who has been awarded an MBE for services to rugby, now runs a successful business performance consultancy, Wingman. He has been working with Mersey Maritime over the past 12 months to provide workshops for small to medium sized (SME) businesses in the maritime sector who are signed up to Mersey Maritime’s Sector Development Programme, an initiative supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

“Our membership has been rising month on month as businesses realise the benefits of being part of our cluster,” said Chris Shirling-Rooke, Director at Mersey Maritime. “We are now offering more events than ever before; from business network sessions, industry-focused presentations and surgeries, to forums with partners on subjects as diverse as skills and Arctic warming and chairman’s dinners. Since cutting our teeth on organising a spectacular gala dinner as part of the Maritime Logistics & Energy (MLE) programme at this year International Festival for Business, we have also added regular social events to our programme.”

The Face-2-Face event takes place at the offices of Mersey Maritime in Birkenhead from 07.45am to 09.00am on Tuesday 04 November.

The event is regularly oversubscribed so maritime sector business people wishing to attend are advised to reserve a place by contacting Mersey Maritime on tel: 0151 647 4747.


Bibby Line Limited sponsored Trainee Deck Officer Jonty Turnbull is celebrating being awarded the prestigious Trainee Officer of the Year Award by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

The MCA Officer Trainee of the Year Award is presented each year to a newly certificated Officer for outstanding achievements during their training. Nominations are made nationwide by nautical colleges.

Julie Arnold, Training and Cadet Manager from Bibby Ship Management said: “I am really proud of Jonty as he was an outstanding Trainee Officer to mentor throughout his three year cadetship. He has worked relentlessly and we are proud of the fact that he represented Bibby Line Limited so well! We aim to provide excellent training to all our Trainee Officers to the highest standards and Jonty’s MCA Trainee Officer of the Year Award highlights the fact that we’re on the right lines.”

Sir Alan Massey, Chief Executive of the MCA, will attend the award ceremony which will take place at the Annual Court of the Marine Society and Sea Cadets, on 15th October 2014. He said: “Having high-calibre officers is vital to the future health of the UK shipping industry. At the Maritime and Coastguard Agency we are committed to recognising and promoting excellence and are therefore delighted that this year’s award is going to such a deserving candidate. I wish Jonty every success for what I am sure will be a very impressive career.”

Jonty Turnbull was deemed a worthy winner by a panel consisting of Admiral Sir Peter Abbott, Captain Nigel Palmer OBE, Kirsty-Nicolle Wright, Captain Jonathan Holloway RN, Martin Coles and Rt Hon The Lord Robertson of Port Ellen KT GCMG Hon FRSE PC.

InterManager Re-elects Gerardo Borromeo as President for a Second Term

Gerardo Borromeo has been elected as President of InterManager for a second term and will serve as head of the global third party and in-house ship managers association until 2016.

The vote at InterManager’s Annual General Meeting in Singapore was unanimous and it gives Mr Borromeo the mandate he needs to see through important initiatives currently underway such as promoting an industry-wide mechanism for benchmarking shipmanagement operations; striving to drive more efficiency onboard and on shore while also keeping a keen eye on sustainability.

The AGM also elected five Vice Presidents. They are Ian MacLean from Hill Dickinson, responsible for legal issues; Rob Grool from Seaspan, looking after the Americas; George Hoyt in charge of Special Projects; Bjorn Jebsen from Abojeb who will look after European affairs and Capt Ajay Tripathi from MMS who will act as Treasurer.

Addressing the AGM, Mr Borromeo said the challenge of change and of meeting the upcoming demand for shipping services “will be best summed up from the perspective of looking at our people, our global maritime professionals. Undoubtedly it is the human side of shipping that ensures, and will continue to ensure, that shipping services will be delivered as needed, when needed.”

He added: “The youth of today is growing up in a highly digitised world, a world characterised by instant gratification and a wired society where the flow of information is instantaneous. Thinking ahead, in the context of life on shore, what kind of environment onboard will be necessary to attract and retain the kind of talent that will be needed to serve in a dynamic evolving global landscape?

“We at InterManager are challenged as an association to promote the continued development of a common platform, in order to project an image of an industry that moves the world. This platform, which I call the ’Human Side of Shipping’, must support efforts to tackle the ever pressing risks of greater administrative burdens being placed on our officers; ensure the right competencies are being developed; and find better ways to manage the overall wellness index of our crew members,” he said.

Sean Moloney

Managing Director

Elaborate Communications

Tel: +44 (0) 1296 682124

Mob: +44 7711142439

For Further Information, please contact:

Elaborate Communications, Debra Munford

(UK) Tel +44 (0) 1296 682356

Capt Kuba Szymanski, Secretary General

(Mob) Tel: +44 (0) 7624 498226

ICS Concern About Serious Threat to Maritime Oil Pollution Compensation Regime

The smooth running of the well-established global regime for compensation from oil pollution from ships may be under serious threat, due to a decision by governments to wind up the 1971 International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (IOPCF), says the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the global trade association for shipowners.

At next week’s IOPCF meeting in London, ICS (in conjunction with BIMCO and Intertanko) will argue that it is premature to wind up the 1971 Fund when there are still outstanding claims not covered by the current 1992 Fund. Some of these claims are subject to litigation, with money potentially still owed to the shipowners’ insurers, the Protection & Indemity (P&I) Clubs. ICS is therefore supporting the position of the International Group of P&I Clubs on this issue and advocating a rethink of the decision, confirmed by an IOPCF meeting in April this year.

he shipping industry believes that the decision to wind up the 1971 Fund before resolving outstanding claims is in breach of the 1971 International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution, andwill also result in a serious threat to the operation of the 1992 Fund, to the detriment of future pollution victims’ interests.

The issue is complicated but, because of the failure to address outstanding claims, the P&I Clubs may no longer be willing to continue their current practice of making advance interim payments, following pollution incidents, in excess of the shipowners’ limitation amounts (under the IMO Civil Liability Convention) if it is thought that these excess payments may not be compensated by the 1992 Fund in the future. This could cause delay in providing compensation, potentially resulting in significant hardship for claimants when they could already be in difficult circumstances.

ICS believes that those governments that have supported the decision to wind up the 1971 Fund may not have not given full regard to these long term dangers.

It is important to understand that these unintended consquences are real” said ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe.The P&I Clubs, which are owned by shipowners, have made it very clear that this decision is likely to have very serious implications. We are therefore pleased that the United Kingdom has recognised our concerns, suggesting that the decision to wind up the 1971 Fund should be deferred at next week’s critical meeting of the IOPCF. We hope very much that other IMO Member States will support the UK’s submission.”

For four decades the regime established by the IMO Civil Liability (CLC) and Fund Conventions, with costs divided between shipowners and cargo interests, has provided a quick and efficient means of compensating pollution victims. The shipowners’ contribution is paid regardless of fault, with claimants having recourse to the IOPCF (which is funded by contributions from the oil industry) if the shipowner’s liability under the CLC Convention is exceeded.

“We wish to avoid jeopardising the future operation of the IMO regime” said Peter Hinchliffe. “The decision to wind up the 1971 Fund before claims have been settled also appears to contravene the IMO Fund Convention. We therefore hope that governments will do the right thing and reverse this unfortunate decision.”

The shipping industry submission to the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPCF), which meets in London from 20-24 October, can be found at:

IMMA Launches Free Medical Stores App

A comprehensive catalogue of all the medical and health-related items needed onboard ship has been launched as a free iPhone/iPad and Android app to ship owners and managers by the International Maritime Medical Association (IMMA).

The IMMA Maritime Medical Stores Catalogue lists in excess of 5,000 items, all crucial to the health and well-being of crew members onboard ship and is designed to run alongside established medical guidelines issued by bodies such as the World Health Organisation.

This easy to use app has a section on recommended medicines as well as a ‘doctor’s bag’ of necessary medicines that should be available at any time onboard ship. The medicine section can also be interrogated by health compliant such as what medicines should be taken for motion sickness or indigestion or coughs etc while there is a comprehensive list of emergency and non-emergency medical equipment that should be used onboard ship.

A useful guide as to what medicines should form part of onboard medical kits is also included as well as a section on alcohol and drug testing as well as waste management and cleaning equipment – all part of working to preventing disease onboard ship.
All medicines listed have an IMMA number which owners and managers can quote when ordering from their ship suppliers or chandlers.

The International Maritime Medical Association was formed in 2010 with the declared aim of promoting seafarer health and welfare and to act as a central organisation to represent suppliers or medical services and supplies globally.The IMMA Maritime Medical Stores Catalogue is free to owners and managers and can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play Store. Ship owners wishing to receive their free access code can receive this by emailing

Ship Owners And Managers Gather In Singapore

Ship owners and managers will gather in Singapore next week to examine the strengths of their relationship and consider the state of the global shipping industry during the first International Shipowning and Shipmanagement Summit

Taking place at the Singapore headquarters of international communications specialist Singtel on October 14, the Summit features thought-provoking presentations from industry leaders representing both the ship owning and ship management sectors.

The International Shipowning and Shipmanagement Summit will consider latest industry developments and international concerns, as well as examining relationships within the shipping chain. Leading ship owners and ship managers will be joined by influential representatives from sectors including ship broking, insurance and chartering for this one-day Summit.

Organised by Shipping Innovation (organisers of the successful London International Shipping Week) the Summit is being held in association with InterManager, the international trade association for third party and in-house ship managers, and will be chaired by InterManager Past President Roberto Giorgi.

The Summit is generously sponsored by Bibby Ship Management, Braemar Shipping Services Plc/Braemar ACM Shipbroking and Videotel™ and is supported by the Singaporean shipping industry including the Singapore Shipping Association whose Honorary Secretary, Esben Poulsson, will deliver the keynote address.

Sean Moloney, Director of Shipping Innovation, who will chair one of the afternoon panel discussions, said: “This Summit provides ship owners and ship managers with the opportunity to hold a microscope to their industry and examine in detail the quality of their relationship and work together to address the challenges which face them. We are looking forward to some thought-provoking debates.”


The International Shipowning and Shipmanagement Summit takes place on Tuesday October 14 from 9am to 5pm at SingTel Comcentre Podium Block II, SingTel Podium Theatrette, Level 3, 31 Exeter Road, Singapore 239733.

For Press Tickets or Further Information Please Contact:

Sean Moloney, Director, Shipping Innovation                                Tel: +44 (0)1296 682356

Mob: +44 7711 142439


London, U.K. – 7 October 2014 – Videotel™ has expanded and enhanced its Ship Security Officer and Designated Security Duties Training Course in line with the latest STCW regulations. The Ship Security Officer Training Course is for personnel who are nominated as ship’s Security Officers and the Designated Security Duties Training Course is for personnel on board with Designated Security Duties. Both training courses contain brand new resources and training material, and have been approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Nigel Cleave, CEO of Videotel™, explains: “The ever increasing threat to maritime security is behind the decision to enhance our security training for Ship Security Officers and the important issue of Designated Security Duties. The courses meet legislative requirements but will also help seafarers feel more confident when dealing with a security threat.”

Both the Ship Security Officer Training Course and the Designated Security Duties Training Course meet the learning objectives set out by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and also guidelines issued by the U.K. Merchant Navy Training Board. The courses, which are delivered using interactive e-Learning Computer Based Training (CBT), cover:
• The Roles and Responsibilities of the Company and Ship Security Officers
• The Responsibilities of Seafarers with Designated Security Duties
• The Ship Security Assessment and Ship Security Plan
• Reporting Procedures
• Defensive and Protective Measures Including Searching People and Searching the Ship
• Drills and Training
• Anti-piracy Measures and Practices
• Emergency Measures

Ship Security Officer Training Course requires the candidate to have a minimum of 12 months seagoing service before course completion, with an anticipated 15 Guided Learning Hours (GLHs) to complete the course. The course includes a randomized multiple choice test for completion at the end of each module, followed by a final test. There are also assignments where applicable for seafarers wanting to gain advanced certification. The course complies with STCW Reg. VI/5 paragraph 1 and Sections A-VI/5 paragraphs 1 to 4.

Designated Security Duties Training Course consists of five modules with a randomized multiple choice test for completion at the end of each module, followed by a final test. There are also assignments which must be completed in order to gain an advanced certification. With an anticipated 10 GLHs required to complete the course, this complies with STCW regulation VI/6 paragraph 4 and Section A-VI/6 paragraphs 6 to 8.

About Videotel™
Videotel™ (, the market-leading provider of training films, computer-based training, and e-Learning courses, is part of KVH Industries, Inc., a premier manufacturer of solutions that provide global high-speed Internet, television, and voice services via satellite to mobile users at sea, on land, and in the air. KVH is also a global news, music, and entertainment content provider to many industries including maritime, retail, and leisure.

Shipping Industry Releases Updated Anti-Piracy Guidelines On Gulf Of Guinea Region

The Round Table of international shipping industry associations has released an updated version of ‘Guidelines for Owners, Operators and Masters for Protection Against Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea Region.’ The Guidelines have been jointly developed by BIMCO, ICS, INTERTANKO and INTERCARGO.

Piracy and armed robbery in the waters off West Africa has become an established criminal activity of very serious concern to the maritime sector. Incidents have recently occurred as far south as Angola and as far north as Sierra Leone. These attacks have become increasingly violent, often involving firearms, and cases of kidnapping for ransom have also become more common. The global shipping industry has therefore acted in concert to update its existing Guidelines to take account of what has become a totally unacceptable security situation.

Although the nature of the attacks against shipping in West Africa differs from that of Somalia-based piracy, the basic principles of the Best Management Practices, previously developed by the industry to help protect against piracy in the Indian Ocean, are also applicable.  The Guidelines should therefore be read in conjunction with BMP4, but seek to tailor this to the specifics of the threat in West Africa, providing comprehensive advice on avoiding and deterring criminal acts and armed robbery in the region.

The updated Guidelines also take into account of new regional maritime security initiatives in West Africa, in particular the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre for the Gulf of Guinea (MTISC GOG), which is now providing a focal point for information on countering piracy and maritime crime in the region. The Guidelines have therefore been released in conjunction with the launch of the new MTISC GOG website which includes Regional Maritime Security Guidance and MTISC-GOG reporting procedures so as to help ensure a co-ordinated approach amongst ships operating in the Gulf of Guinea.

The revised industry Guidelines can be downloaded free of charge from the websites of BIMCO, ICS, INTERCARGO AND INTERTANKO.