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We would like to bring to Shipowners’ attention the risk of semolina wheat cargo being rejected for discharge at Libyan ports by the local Food & Drug Control Centre, should it be found outside the permissible parameters set out in the Libyan Standard No. (203:2005).

In case the cargo is found to exceed any of the allowed parameters, i.e., percentage of toxic and harmful seeds exceeds 0.01 %*, discharge of the cargo will not be allowed in the country even for animal use.

Based on the above, it is recommended to test any wheat cargo destined for Libya at the loading port and check with a local P&I correspondent in Libya whether the test results are within the local Standard. This is in order to avoid facing rejection of cargo in Libya and having to make alternative arrangements for cargo discharge under serious time and financial pressure.

*Please contact local P&I correspondent for most up-to-date parameters, as they may be amended by the authorities from time to time

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Two small container vessels operating along China’s Yangtze River collided near Shanghai, leading to one of the vessels capsizing, three seafarer’s dead and five missing.

Specifically, the Shanghai Maritime Search and Rescue Center coordinated the rescue efforts.

They reported that the incident began when a 21,770 DWT container ship, the Oceana, lost power due to a suspected electrical issue with its steering gear. At the time it was in the deep-water channel of the Yangtze River Estuary. A seven-year-old vessel, the Oceana is 564 feet long with a carrying capacity of approximately 1,700 TEUs.

Both vessels collided in the estuary. The Chinese ship is approximately 20,000 DWT with a length of 541 feet and a carrying capacity of 650 TEU. The Xin Qi Sheng 69 capsized and the sixteen crew on board went into the river.

In addition, the authorities dispatched at least three vessels to assist and begin the search operations, following the current in the river where they believed the crew would have been carried.

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A total of 10 perpetrators armed with knives boarded the tug boat/supply vessel 'Bridgewater 80', while underway west of Kutubdia, Bangladesh, according to information by ReCAAP ISC.

The incident, which took place in the afternoon of 12 December, was the only one reported against ships in Asia according to ReCAAP ISC's weekly report for 8-14 December.

While underway and dead towing a bulk carrier, 10 perpetrators armed with knives in two small boats approached the vessel from starboard side.

The perpetrators boarded the tug boat/supply vessel and stole two drums of hydraulic oil and hoses.

Upon discovering the perpetrators onboard, the master immediately contacted the local Coast Guard.

Responding to the master's call, the local coast guard proceeded to the incident location. There was no reported damage to the tug boat/supply and the crew was not injured.

This incident was classified as CAT 2, which means moderately significant. Under this category, the perpetrators are likely to be armed with knives/machetes and in some incidents armed with guns. The crew is threatened or held hostage temporarily and, in some cases, the crew suffered injury and physical violence.

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Reporting indicates that MT New Ranger has been boarded underway 160nm SW of Brass, Nigeria, On December 15. The incident has now ended, with vessel and crew reported safe.

This boarding is the second incident this week in the Gulf of Guinea, and the third time this ship has been boarded in December 2020. There has been an increase of incidents in the past 5 weeks, leading to an increased risk rating for the Gulf of Guinea HRA to Critical on 11th November.

As failed attacks continue, perpetrators are highly likely to increase in desperation. This is due to the increased risk to themselves from naval counter-piracy activity, but from logistical strain also. Ships are most vulnerable when skiffs approach under the cover of darkness, approaching and boarding with little to no resistance, says Dryad Global.