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The Republic of Marshall Islands shared the requirements for the design, installation, and operation of Recreational Fire Appliances (RFAs) onboard RMI-flagged yachts.

Recreational Fire Appliances (RFAs) mean fireplaces which use wood, ethanol or LPG as a primary fuel source or for ignition purposes. They include charcoal galley ovens, LPG or charcoal fire barbeques, spit roasts, and fire pits.

 Operational guidance

  1. When an RFA is installed or used onboard, a risk assessment must be conducted for each appliance type. This risk assessment must form part of the yacht’s Safety Management System (SMS).
  2. Crew assigned to duties in maintaining and operating the RFAs must be trained in the use of the equipment and in measures to take in case of an emergency.
  3. As part of the yacht’s SMS, an operational procedure must be available outlining the requirements of the type specific RFA onboard. The procedures must:
  • address the regular cleaning and inspection of all equipment and associated areas; and
  • provide the Master with the authority and responsibility to decide, taking all conditions into account, whether and when the RFA may be used.

These procedures must be readily available for all persons, including external caterers and their staff, involved in the RFA’s operations or maintenance.

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The Maltese-flagged container ship PORT GDYNIA was approached and boarded by an unknown number of attackers off West Africa.

Reporting indicates that the incident occurred when the ship was sailing from Lomé, Togo, to Bata, Equatorial Guinea.

Details regarding the welfare of the crew remain unknown at this time.

This report came in addition to another unauthorized boarding to the container ship Maersk Cadiz while underway off West Africa, on Saturday afternoon.

All vessels are reminded that the risk profile for the wider JWC-025 GoG HRA is CRITICAL, indicating that attacks are highly likely, expected daily.

Vessels are advised to operate within this area at a heightened posture maintaining the highest levels of vigilance whilst implementing full hardening / mitigation in accordance with BMP West Africa where possible. In addition, the IMB advises that vessels remain at least 200nm-250nm offshore where possible.

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At least 15 seafarers were missing after a Panama-flagged cargo ship capsized in rough seas off Vietnam, Reuters agency reported.

Specifically, the accident occurred off the central province of Binh Thuan, as the Xin Hong with 11 Chinese and four Vietnamese crewmembers onboard, was transporting 7.800 tonnes of clay from Malaysia to Hong Kong.

When the ship began to list in rough seas, the crew immediately contacted Vietnamese authorities for help.

Following the above, Vietnam sent a rescue team, including a coast guard vessel, to search for the missing sailors.

However, the team found an inflatable life raft near the sinking ship with no one inside.

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The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is calling out charterers over the use of “no crew change” clauses and says the controversial practice is exacerbating the on-going crew change crisis.

The so-called “no crew change” clauses, which are demanded by certain charterers, state that no crew changes can occur while the charterers’ cargo is on board, thereby prohibiting the ship from deviating to ports where crew changes could take place.

In a statement issued Monday, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim denounced the use of the clauses and called on shipowners and operators to reject charterers if they are requested.

“Such clauses exacerbate the mental and physical fatigue among exhausted seafarers, undermine compliance with the provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, as amended (MLC, 2006) and further threaten the safety of navigation”, Secretary-General Lim said.