International requirements, collaboration across national frontiers and the need for simulator training held centre stage at an industry meeting on emergency and ocean towing in Tromsø during November.
This gathering provided good confirmation that the industry needs a meeting place received. The level of engagement in the technical discussions during and after the event has left little doubt of that.
Staged by Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) and the Norwegian Marine Technology Research Institute (Marintek), the workshop is intended to become an annual event. Kjetil Aasebø and Tor Einar Berg (picture under) from the NCA and Marintek respectively report that planning of the next event in 2016 has already begun.
Manifesting the challenges
A scientific adviser with the Trondheim research institute, Berg observes that the workshop provided a good insight into the challenges facing the national authorities in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The three countries were represented by government officials and industry personnel.
“All of them depend on good cooperation between available private and public resources to be able to assist ships in difficulties,” says Berg.
“The point was made that official resources must have suitable equipment for various types of towing operations and that vessel crews must be qualified to establish towlines and conduct towing operations in difficult weather conditions.”
Need for simulator training
He also notes the importance of sharing experience acquired from operations. For that reason, this kind of industry meeting should be repeated at regular intervals.
“Everyone present emphasised that exercises involving commercial ships are highly desirable, but that organising these was very difficult. That means simulator training represents an important element in building and maintaining emergency towing expertise.”
International requirements discussed
Participants in the workshop also discussed international requirements for emergency towing arrangements on vessels.
Chapter 5, regulation 15-1 of the 1974 international convention for the safety of life at sea (Solas) requires that all tankers of 20 000 deadweight tonnes and above – including oil, gas and chemical carriers – must be equipped with such arrangements fore and aft.
“Although establishing emergency towing procedures is also a requirement for other types of vessels, it can be very challenging to get a towline across to a ship with a superstructure at the bows and/or stern,” says senior adviser Aasebø.
New AIS satellite launched
The new Norwegian satellite NorSat-3, launched successfully on April 29 2021. It will improve monitoring vessel traffic in Norwegian vast sea areas.
A New Proposal for Revised Maritime Traffic Regulations
On behalf of the Ministry of Transport the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) have prepared a proposal for revised Maritime Traffic Regulations.
Eemslift Hendrika towed to safe harbour
A lot happened during some hectic hours last night, Wednesday 7th of April. First, the Norwegian Coastal Administration mobilized according to their contingency plan against acute pollution. Salvage crews managed to get on board the drifting vessel Eemslift Hendrika and to connect it to the two tugboats, and the vessel is now being towed to harbour in Ålesund.
The Norwegian Coastal Administration is working on salvaging Eemslift Hendrika
There is still a risk that the ship may capsize and pose an environmental hazard.
New regulation on Svalbard
On 12 March 2021, the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications laid down a new regulation on ports and fairways on Svalbard. From the same date two other regulations were repealed.
- Go to archive