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DMA condemns Russian sinking of Dominica-flag vessel Azburg

URGENT – URGENT – URGENT – URGENT – URGENT – URGENT – URGENT

EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION REPORT

The Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration reports that motor vessel AZBURG IMO number 9102899 Call Sign J7BG6 MMSI number 325116200 was indiscriminately attacked, sank and completely destroyed while at berth in Mariupol, Ukraine.

The vessel was struck by two missile shells while at berth in the port of Mariupol, Ukraine on 3rd of April 2022 at 11:36 UTC. On 4th April 2022, around 22:40 LT the vessel was heavily fired upon by Russian armed forces after intentionally shelling the vessel twice a day earlier. Specific characteristics of firing on the vessel remain unknown, crew reported shelling, bombing and repeated hits by missiles, causing a fire in engine room. Further reports of heavy fighting and intensive shelling in the port area by Russian armed forces were received by the Administration

On 4th April 2022, the Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration received information that as a result of the attack and spreading fire, m.v. AZBURG sank at berth 16 in the port of Mariupol Port, Ukraine.

The crew managed to evacuate and found refuge on board of neighboring vessels. One person was found wounded and received medical assistance. The crew currently remains under an immense amount of fear and stress and needs to be evacuated to a safe area immediately.

No further information is available, communication with people in the area is very difficult.

The Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration urges the Russian Federation to withdraw its forces from Ukraine and respect its obligations under relevant international treaties and conventions. The immediate evacuation of all civilians from the port of Mariupol, including the entire crew of mv Azburg, should be organized with the highest degree of priority and urgency.

The Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration furthermore wishes to emphatically point out the current risks the crew and the environment is facing. People are facing the risk and reality of loss of life and/or serious injury and are likely to be deeply traumatized by the current events. On top of that, current events are seriously damaging the marine environment. Normal safety requirements and (port) emergency response plans are currently not fully operational or completely absent. Medical emergencies, firefighting operations, oil spill response, abandon ship and safe navigation is currently not sufficient or not possible at all. 

We urgently call upon all relevant UN, governmental and industry bodies to take immediate and direct action to address this serious issue for health and wellbeing of humans, the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships.

All efforts to speed up establishing humanitarian corridors, as decided upon during the thirty-fifth extraordinary session of the Council, should be taken and executed with the highest degree of priority and urgency. Resulting in enabling the safety of seafarers by allowing them to leave the conflict zone immediately.

Azburg

m.v. AZBURG on fire in the port of Mariupol, Ukraine

Eric R. Dawicki, Deputy Administrator of Maritime Affairs of the Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration states: “An act of war is an act of cowards, bullies and fragile men.  The indiscriminate shelling of a merchant vessel with a civilian crew with no place to seek refuge is the lowest of lows.  It is an act of war against all of humanity and basic human rights. 

This Administration deplores these attacks on a Commonwealth of Dominica flagged vessel and insists that the emotionally and intellectually stunted men behind this heinous act look themselves closely in the mirror and discover how to end such senseless motives.  There is nothing good that comes out of war – NOTHING!”

15-Year-Old’s Dream to Sail Across the Atlantic Ocean

Jonas Van Polen, a 15-year-old from Ede, Netherlands, has a dream to sail across the Atlantic Ocean, from the Netherlands to the Caribbean, and then back again. The 12,000 nautical mile trip will last 6 months, ad will take place on the Barquentine Thalassa, a three-masted tall ship.

The project will be led by an organization called School at Sea, where qualified and experienced crew members and teachers help students develop their talents and learn more about themselves as a person. Students will be following their regular curriculum, while also having days consisting of watch and expeditions. Students will learn skills such as teamwork, leadership, time management and independence.

Once the students are two months into the trip, they will actually take over the ship. The students will become responsible of navigation, cooking, cleaning and maintaining machines.

The price of the trip for each student is 26,000 EUR, which each students is in charge of raising for themselves. Jonas is currently working to raise his funds, and is looking for businesses or individuals to sponsor him. In return, Jonas will offer you work, such as making your company a drone film or building you a complex lego set to be exhibited at your office. Jonas is also open to discuss what other needs your company may have and that he may be able to help with. While raising money for his trip, Jonas is also raising money for the Ocean Cleanup, a company that aims to remove plastic pollution at sea.

To learn more about Jonas, visit his website at https://jonasatsea.com/en/.

Jonas Van Polen, a 15-year-old from Ede, Netherlands, has a dream to sail across the Atlantic Ocean, from the Netherlands to the Caribbean, and then back again. The 12,000 nautical mile trip will last 6 months, ad will take place on the Barquentine Thalassa, a three-masted tall ship.

The project will be led by an organization called School at Sea, where qualified and experienced crew members and teachers help students develop their talents and learn more about themselves as a person. Students will be following their regular curriculum, while also having days consisting of watch and expeditions. Students will learn skills such as teamwork, leadership, time management and independence.

Once the students are two months into the trip, they will actually take over the ship. The students will become responsible of navigation, cooking, cleaning and maintaining machines.

The price of the trip for each student is 26,000 EUR, which each students is in charge of raising for themselves. Jonas is currently working to raise his funds, and is looking for businesses or individuals to sponsor him. In return, Jonas will offer you work, such as making your company a drone film or building you a complex lego set to be exhibited at your office. Jonas is also open to discuss what other needs your company may have and that he may be able to help with. While raising money for his trip, Jonas is also raising money for the Ocean Cleanup, a company that aims to remove plastic pollution at sea.

To learn more about Jonas, visit his website at https://jonasatsea.com/en/.

Upgrade model course 1.21 on Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities

People working within the maritime sector should be able to work safe and healthy, regardless of gender, age, cultural background or other differences. A psychological safe and inclusive maritime workplace culture for all seafarers and maritime professionals has a positive effect on operational safety and security on board. It is also essential to the successful integration of vulnerable and marginalized groups in support of diversity, equality, equity and inclusion.

As education and training are critical elements of a holistic framework of change.

The Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Registry submitted a paper to the eight session of IMO’s Sub-Committee of Human element, Training and Watchkeeping with a proposal to extend the delivery of the Personal Safety and Social Responsibility (PSSR) training from four to eight hours. The additional time will deliver content to establish behavioural norms that supports a psychologically safe and just culture in the maritime sector.

Please find the document below:

IMO’s adoption of COVID-19 Related Resolution

Resolution: "a firm decision to do or not to do something"

Next week, the IMO Assembly will vote to adopt a resolution on “Comprehensive action to address seafarers’ challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This draft Assembly resolution contains solutions that pertain to ensuring maritime safety, security and environmental protection by reducing the negative impact on seafarersʹ physical health, welfare and well-being.

Member States and relevant national authorities are urged to designate seafarers as ʺkey workersʺ to facilitate shore leave as well as safe and unhindered movement across borders. Relevant documentation carried by seafarers would be recognized as evidence of this status, which would entail the application of temporary measures, including (where possible under relevant law): waivers, exemptions or other relaxations from any visa or documentary requirements.

The resolution also urges Member States to consider the implementation of the Industry recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (MSC.1/Circ.1636/Rev.1, as may be revised).

In order to prioritize vaccination of seafarers, as far as practicable, the resolution urges Members States in their national COVID-19 vaccination programmes, noting the advice of the WHO SAGE Roadmap7 for prioritizing the use of COVID-19 vaccines. It also urges Member States to extend COVID-19 vaccines to seafarers of other nationalities, taking into account national vaccine supplies.

The resolution also urges Member States to consider exempting seafarers from any national policy requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition for entry, taking into account that seafarers should be designated as ʺkey workersʺ and that they travel across borders frequently.

Finally, the resolution urges Member States to provide seafarers with immediate access to medical care and to facilitate medical evacuations of seafarers in need of urgent medical attention when the required medical care cannot be provided either on board or in the port of call.

The Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration believes that the adoption of this resolution will truly help to address the crew change crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our seafarers deserve to be protected and to be helped out of the struggles they have been forced to endure recently.

We urge you to assist us in bringing this resolution to the attention of all parties concerned, and to help us spread this message throughout the world.

The level of actions taken by governments following the adoption of this resolution by the IMO will show just how committed governments truly are in supporting seafarers.

To read through the Resolution, please read Part 6 (COMPREHENSIVE ACTION TO ADDRESS SEAFARERSʹ CHALLENGES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC), starting on page 15, of the IMO’s 15 November 2021 meeting CONSIDERATION OF THE REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MARITIME SAFETY COMMITTEE.

Eric R Dawicki – International Propeller Club International Maritime Person of the Year 2021

Eric Roger Dawicki selected as the International Propeller Club’s 2021 International Maritime Person of the Year.

Northeast Maritime Institute’s President, Eric Roger Dawicki, was awarded the prestigious International Maritime Person of the Year award for 2021 during the International Propeller Club of the United States’ 95th Annual Convention, on 14 October. This prestigious award honors an individual for his or her contributions to the maritime industry at large.

The International Propeller Club of the United States was established in 1922 as a platform for maritime professionals to network and discuss issues of the industry. After nearly a century, more than 80 ports – or individual member clubs – have been established, including almost 30 internationally, making the International Propeller Club one of the most important maritime trade associations in the world.

Today, The International Propeller Club of the United States is a grassroots, non-profit organization that promotes the maritime industry through its ports and through partnerships with similar organizations. Its goal is to educate legislators and the public about the essential role that maritime commerce plays in the world.

Mr. Dawicki has served as the CEO and President of Northeast Maritime Institute (NMI), located in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, since 1995. NMI has provided training to professional mariners worldwide, both in-person and online, since 1995. Northeast Maritime Institute’s College of Maritime Science is the first and only private maritime college in the United States, fast-tracking its graduates into the maritime industry with great success.

Mr. Dawicki also serves as the President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Registry, which is an open international ship registry that provides comprehensive services for vessel owners, operators and seafarers globally.

Mr. Dawicki was a prominent maritime leader following the attacks of 9/11, serving a full term as a member of the United States Maritime Security Advisory Committee under both the Bush and Obama Administrations, and is now a Coast Guard Reserve Veteran and a Lifetime Trustee of The Coast Guard Foundation.

Mr. Dawicki has played a role in the international maritime industry since 1996, where he has participated in numerous U.S. delegations to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and has served on multiple committee and subcommittee meetings. Mr. Dawicki has also served as a member of the Board of Governors and as Executive Governor of the IMO’s World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden. Mr. Dawicki was also a Chairman of the World Maritime University’s (WMU) thirty-year sustainability plan.

To read the Maritime Executive’s article about the International Propeller Club’s 2021 International Award Winners: CLICK HERE.

To learn more about the history of the International Propeller Club of the United States: CLICK HERE.

Updates on the IMO’s 104th Maritime Safety Committee Meeting

IMO Resolution with actions to address to the crew change crisis. Raise seafarers above their current struggle and allow for timely and necessary relief from their services at sea.

Yesterday, an IMO draft Assembly resolution “Comprehensive action to address seafarers’ challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic” was discussed during the Maritime Safety Committee. This draft Assembly resolution contains solutions that pertain to ensuring maritime safety, security and environmental protection by reducing the negative impact on seafarersʹ physical health welfare and well-being.

Approximately 2 million seafarers operate commercial vessels around the world to facilitate global maritime trade and commerce. Mariners and Seafarers are facing the risk of extreme fatigue, physical and mental health crises – the number one cause of maritime casualties that include collisions, allisions and groundings. Restrictions and delays of crew changes and repatriation, including the measures implemented by countries, brought serious operational consequences, causing this humanitarian crisis at sea.

The Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration took the initiative in a proposal that all IMO Member States agree to a five-part commitment to seafarers during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to facilitate crew changes and repatriation. During the 103rd session of the Maritime Safety Committee in May 2021, the Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration presented a document in this regard.

This document encouraged IMO Member States and NGO’s to commit and implement actions that address the crew change crisis:

  • Designating seafarers as ʺkey workersʺ;
  • Recognizing international documentation as evidence of this status;
  • Ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel;
  • Creation of quarantine facilities; and
  • Provision of access to medical care, including access to vaccines

These points were taken forward as a collaborative effort and an Assembly resolution was drafted, and the IMO Secretariat submitted this draft Assembly resolution to MSC104, for submission to Assembly 32 with a view of adoption in December 2021.

Tangible action is of absolute necessity to address the crew change crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and is paramount to maritime safety, security and environmental protection. The implementation of these actions will raise seafarers above their current struggle and allow for timely and necessary relief from their service at sea.

In order to achieve a harmonized approach, Dominica reached out to all of the non-Governmental international Organizations that have been granted consultative status with IMO, asking for their support. OCIMF, IFSMA, IOGP, INTERTANKO, InterManager, IOI, ICMA, IBIA and IIMA took this opportunity to honor the people they represent, and to demonstrate their support for mariners and seafarersʹ health and welfare today and into the future.

In a joint statement, the co-sponsors of this supporting document took a collaborative effort to underline and highlight the need for the urgent objectives set out in the draft Assembly resolution.

The Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration feels very positive about this resolution going forward. The actions for mariners and seafarers affirm that our industry respects and acknowledges their important role in global trade and commerce on the high seas.

#honorthemariner

Dominica Maritime Administration Attends the UNCTAD15 Conference

The delegation of the Dominica Maritime Administration is honored to attend the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD’s) 15th conference – UNCTAD15, hosted online by Barbados from 3 to 7 October, 2021. We are proud to represent the Commonwealth of Dominica, a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) and are looking forward to participating in important conversations that will be started.

We believe that there must be equal opportunities for all involved in the maritime industry. Our values fit the theme of this year’s UNCTAD15 conference, which is, “From inequality and vulnerability to prosperity for all.” Discussions will be focused on how access to trade works for all can reduce inequality and vulnerability.

The Dominica Maritime Administration’s international maritime registry prides itself on providing sustainable, cost-effective, safe and secure compliance tools to ensure the safety of the global maritime shipping, yachting and seafaring community.

UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964. As a part of the United Nations Secretariat, which deals with trade, investment, and development issues, UNCTAD’s purpose is to promote the interests of developing states in world trade.

During the conference’s Opening Plenary and Ceremony, United Nations Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres spoke about the need for global efforts to recover from the impacts of COVID-19. “We need a bold, sustainable and inclusive global recovery that benefits the many, rather than the few.” Guterres stated that if we come together on a global level, it is possible for all – not just some – to recover from the damage that COVID-19 has caused.

Guterres spoke about how COVID-19 has prevented trade from contributing to economic growth. He called upon the need for open and fair trade rules, so that all countries have a fair chance at competition and growth, no matter their level of development.

Guterres also called upon the need for modern infrastructure and trade flows, specifically in the shipping industry, “which transport 80% of global merchandise. Automation and digital solutions can reduce bottlenecks and help this vital industry decarbonize.”

Overall, Guterres’s remarks pointed out the global need for fair and equal trade opportunities through modern infrastructure and open and fair trade rules, to thus promote a global blue economy.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are those most impacted by global climate change. The world must come together and commit to the creation of a sustainable blue economy to ensure that SIDS have equal opportunities to participate in the global economy.

Some of the topics to be discussed at UNCTAD15 include, “Inequality: Is the COVID-19 crisis really a game-changer?,” “Reshaping global and regional value chains,” “Regional integration for a resilient, inclusive and sustainable future”, “Harnessing frontier technologies for shared prosperity” and more.

To watch Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres’s speech at the UNCTAD15 Conference Opening, see here:

DMA Publishes Report on Investigation into M/T GULF SKY Disappearance

Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration

Office of Maritime Affairs and Marine Personnel

OFFICIAL PRESS STATEMENT:

The Investigation into the matter of the alleged hijacking of the M/T GULF SKY (IMO No. 9390927) from the Khor Fakkan Anchorage, United Arab Emirates on 05 July 2020 resulted in a year-long investigation that sought to discover the facts and events surrounding the illicit removal of the M/T GULF SKY while under arrest.  The report, published by the Administration on 19 July 2021, reveals a cloud of conspiracy in which facts were very difficult to unearth and verify. 

While the Administration was able to make certain determinations and provide recommendations for future cases, it is unable to determine as to how the vessel disappeared from Khor Fakkan and who the perpetrators and co-conspirators were and believes that a greater multi-national criminal investigation  is required.  The Administration can confirm that the vessel was brought to Bandar Abbas, Iran and illegally reflagged under the Flag of Iran.  As stated in the report, the Administration is of the belief that the incident was facilitated by multiple relevant parties and involved a multinational scheme to bypass sanctions of the Iranian regime by the United States Treasury Department.  The Administration is not able to comment further as to the particulars of the case than what has already been provided in the Report.

Any questions can be directed to:

Technical Department

Tel: + 1 508 992 7170

E-mail: technical@dominica-registry.com        

– End –

The entire report has been released publicly and can be found here: LINK

DMRI CEO: “Seafarers must be designated as key workers”

The Dominica Martime Registry CEO Eric R. Dawicki was recently featured in Tradewinds, highlighting his efforts to get nations to do more to take care of seafarers. 

“There are considerable consequences to maritime trade, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, in cases where a seafarer has been extended well beyond the allowed 11 months to 17 and even 18 months,” he wrote. 

Core to the issue is a lack of designation of seafarers as essential or key personnel which has resulted in the inability to execute crew changes or repatriation of crew serving on vessels globally.

“Without broader commitment, the efforts of flag states to take care of the most important element of global maritime trade — the human element — are rendered moot…During Covid-19, when crew changes have been impacted by the lack of designation of seafarers as key or essential workers and/or other state policies preventing seafarers’ movement through their nations, overly extended seafarers are left with little recourse.”

“Every nation must designate mariners as key workers, and support others in any and all actions to facilitate crew changes and repatriation.”

Read the entire article HERE.