Members who recently crossed the bar:
Captain John D. Cleaver – Christchurch Branch in July 2013;
Captain Christopher S. Morris – Tauranga Branch on 21st September 2013;
Captain Ronald A. Colebrook – Wellington Branch on 22nd September 2013
Members who recently crossed the bar:
Captain John D. Cleaver – Christchurch Branch in July 2013;
Captain Christopher S. Morris – Tauranga Branch on 21st September 2013;
Captain Ronald A. Colebrook – Wellington Branch on 22nd September 2013
Lloyds List Wednesday 16 October 2013 by David Osler
THE Automatic Identification System is “fundamentally broken” and can no longer be trusted, according to Trend Micro, the company that detailed its researchers to prove how easy it is to hack into the system that tracks the location of the world fleet.
Rik Ferguson, director of security research, said that a team from the firm had discovered simple ways of making any ship appear at any given set of co-ordinates, and even to invent virtual vessels that show up on computers linked to AIS.
The development is being highlighted at a hacking and security conference taking place today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“We are highlighting the real dangers of older technology when things are becoming ever more interconnected through the internet, particularly things that were never intended to be so,” said Mr Ferguson.
Systems that have relied in the past on the difficulty of modifying radio frequencies are now becoming a wide open playing field, as the underlying software becomes increasingly easy to modify.
The company investigated the issue as part of its pre-emptive work on forward-looking threats on the internet, even though concluded that the problem offers no immediate profit potential.
Nevertheless, the problem has been identified and the relevant bodies informed.
It said: “AIS is so fundamentally broken — and easy for attackers to carry out attacks on — that it requires fixes at the protocol level.
“The basic outcome of the research is that if attackers begin to abuse it — which we haven’t seen any evidence of yet — then the entire system could no longer be trusted, because there would not be any way of truthfully and accurately identifying which data is correct and which data is false.”
Maritime security specialists have long worried that Somali pirates with basic laptops and an internet connection could exploit AIS for their own purposes.
Although the equipment needed to hack AIS is easy to source and cheap to buy, however, groups would need a certain level of expertise to succeed.
In theory, it is not beyond the ability of pirate groups to attain such expertise.
“The thing with research is that once it is out there, it can easily be abused. But on the flipside, without it being out there, it is unlikely that the weaknesses in the protocol can be plugged, and that is the most important thing.”
One nasty possibility is a so-called frequency-hopping attack.
Vessels are tuned to a range of radio frequencies to communicate with port authorities and other vessels.
Ports can instruct AIS transponders to work on a specific frequency, but hackers could potentially spoof this command.
That could lead vessels in effect to disappear from AIS screens but still be visible to pirates.
Lloyd’s List sister business Lloyd’s List Intelligence is a prominent provider of vessel-tracking services, which unlike those of its rivals, is backed with human intelligence from the Lloyd’s of London agency network in 700 ports around the world.
Lloyd’s List Intelligence specialist Ian Trowbridge said the company would probably be able to spot malpractice.
“What this is about is reliability of unverified data,” he said. “From our aspect we have other data to support what is displayed.
“The spoofing would immediately be identified by [Lloyd’s List Intelligence] as a warp vessel, providing unexplained position reports outside of the vessel’s speed/distance capability and thus subject to further investigation and validation using visual reports from the network of Lloyd’s Agency and our other contacts worldwide.”
The ability to misuse AIS has been understood for some time.
A simple Google search returns loads of articles and stories offering many methods, from altering GPS time offsets to the classic method of capturing real signals, replacing an Maritime Mobile Service Identity code or co-ordinates and providing another system flag to indicate a relay and retransmit.
“Additionally port states and maritime authorities do have access to an alternate secure encrypted system for vessel tracking, long-range identification and tracking,” Mr Trowbridge said.
“This, along with the other navigation systems that are not based upon AIS, will minimise the potential impact of potential AIS signal manipulation.”
The Master, Captain Kenneth Watt, lays our wreath at the National War Memorial service to commerorate Merchant Nay Day on Tuesday 03 September 2013.
IRCA Registered 5 Day Lead Auditor / Auditor Training for
ISO 9001:2008 and the IMO’s International Safety Management
(ISM) Code Management Systems
Photo by Whites Aviation of Auckland waterfront on 22 September 1953
At Princes :- TOFUA, HAURAKI, HORORATA, WAINUI
At Queens :- SUEVIC, KAWAROA, TAMAROA
At Captain Cook :- PORT AUCKLAND, WANGANELLA
At Kings :- TURIHAUA, WELLINGTON STAR, VILJA, KATUI
At Bledisloe :- SCOTTISH STAR
At Jellicoe :- MATUA, MATTHEW FLINDERS
At Devonport: HMAS AUSTRALIA
At Mechnics Bay :- Two SOLENT flying boats of TEAL (Air New Zealand)
Lloyds List by Michael Grey Monday 2 September 2013
Is risk-taking in the maritime industry now taken for granted? Today, the money men tend to be in charge and shipmasters are expected to tremble and obey
THE song so admirably sets out the dilemma: “Should I stay or should I go?”
Less romantic is the question asked quite routinely by shipmasters all over the world as they occupy themselves with what we today term “risk management”.
Do you leave what you believe to be a safe and secure anchorage or berth because of the approaching storm, or get out and find sea room?
Do you succumb to the pleas, blandishments or threats of the terminal, which badly wants you on the berth — even though you suspect, because of the weather and the lack of a great deal of manoeuvring room, there will be some very hairy minutes between the forecastle bell ringing the anchor aweigh, and the ship being controllable in the wind-lashed roadstead?
Do you play safe and ignore the screams, or cross your fingers and weigh anchor, trusting that everything works when it most needs to?
The trouble is, there are few rules for these difficult questions that only shipmasters on the spot can truly answer.
Do you leave the berth in thick fog, trusting the pilot’s assurances that the weather is clearing? Or do you ignore the demands of the charterer, which wants you in the next port for first light the following day — or the terminal, which just wants you off the berth so it is clear for the next customer who is impatiently waiting outside?
So many imponderables have to be faced. If you are leaving a port in a great big ship, to head into heavy seas outside the sheltered breakwaters, you are going to have to be able to let go the tugs in time to secure the forecastle and, importantly, get the forward crew to safety before green seas start crashing over the bow.
You will have read of fatal accidents in recent years, where people were caught forward by oncoming waves.
You probably want to get the pilot off with the ship in sheltered waters, as he or she doesn’t want to spend the next 10 days on an oceanic passage. But then, with no tugs fast, and no pilot, it will be up to you to get the ship safely clear of the coast in the storm.
However, if the engine breaks down at this crucial moment, you really are in the soup, caught on a lee shore with offlying banks, in a fierce gale and mountainous swell.
“Why didn’t I stay safe alongside?” will probably cross your mind as the crisis envelops you in a battle that becomes one for survival.
Who remembers that saying, “There are old masters and there are bold masters, but few old, bold masters”?
It was used chiefly as an invocation to prudence, a word you don’t hear so often in a maritime world whose priorities seem to have changed to one where risk-taking is taken for granted, there is an assumption of precision and those directing ships from ashore seem to regard them as rather large lorries.
You might suggest none of this is new.
Decades ago, the US west coast marine insurer and poet James A Quinby offered us his poem Unsaid about the differences between the shipping company’s pious injunction “safety first is our boast” and the reality of “from here to there is our motto”.
To hell with the wind and the tide and the sinister parting advice to “…use your own judgment, skipper, but think of the penalty — there’s better captains than you on the beach, we know where they are — they’d be easy to reach”.
But Mr Quinby’s burdened shipmaster did not have the pressures of constant communication with the outside world, with all sorts of external forces, themselves pressured, harassing him into taking the risk he would rather have avoided.
“This delay is costing us $20,000 per hour!” shrieks some voice on his mobile phone as he is questioning his officers about their pre-sailing checks.
“If you don’t get off this berth this ship will be blacked,” urges the agent, who is of course primarily representing the charterer, not the ship.
“We are depending upon you to arrive on time,” murmurs another voice, implied threat encapsulated in the words.
There are no allies any more. If anyone dared to come down heavy on any master I sailed with, asking him to do something the master considered dangerous, there would be a fierce complaint to the superintendent, who would inform the directors and the noises of their wrath would be echoing around the world.
Today, the money men tend to be in charge and shipmasters are expected to tremble and obey.
The master who routinely errs on the side of safety will see the costs of the delays occasioned by his prudence thrown back at him.
It will always be somebody else’s ship that ended up broken in half on a reef, with vast insurance bills for salvage or wreck removal — and that’s not a risk the bean-counters consider.
I am pleased to report on the Company activities and events involving its membership in the year ending at the Annual General Meeting 2013.
Our membership is down 2 from the 240 number reported last year. Nationally we have 231 members, which is comprised of 211 ordinary members, 10 life members, 8 honorary members and 2 associate members.
In addition we have 7 associates of the branch making a grand total of 238.
Efforts are constantly being made to raise these numbers. Holders of Masters qualifications must firstly be identified and then encouraged to take up membership. Strategies must be devised whereby the profile of the Company is raised in such a way that non member Master Mariners see value in joining the Company. From a cursory glance at the Wellington Branch it is obvious that most are retired and the average age would be in the late sixties to the mid seventies. I fully expect that this demographic would be similar in other branches. If we are not to fade away to final extinction we must inspire regeneration by attracting new younger members preferably from those who are actually following an active career at sea.
During the course of the year and as a result of a remit put forward at last year’s Annual General Meeting of the Company, your Executive Council has been conducting a review of the Rules. This became necessary as some changes voted in at the 2012 meeting made some wording of other rules incorrect as well as not properly spelling out the rights of the new category of membership. In addition, with their proximity to the NZ naval base, the Auckland Branch have been keen to formally write into the Rules the admission of suitably qualified naval officers. This measure does of course fit in with the desire to increase our numbers. With other developments that have taken place since the last review of the Rules in 1997 other matters, albeit less important, required attention.
The unpaid professional input of the Auckland Branch Honorary Solicitor to this work, has been much appreciated.
Thanks to the care and attention of our Secretary/Treasurer, Cor van Kesteren, we have survived another year. The levy, which is raised on membership numbers and provides the money necessary to run the national office function of the Company, has notably, not been raised for at least the last eight years. This has been achieved by various means of cost cutting and a frugal approach to meeting other inevitable charges. Amongst other incidental things, the levy pays for the expenses of wardens from out-ports attending the AGM, and an honorarium for the secretary/treasurer. Historically the levy has been separate from the costs of the production of “On Deck” though at the time of raising the invoice to branch secretaries, it has been combined with the money required to print the magazine.
Formal Ceremonies and other Representation
On 3rd September 2012, I along with other members of the Wellington Branch attended the National Commemorative Ceremony at the National War Memorial, which marked Merchant Navy Day. I was pleased to lay a wreath on behalf of The New Zealand Company of Master Mariners. It is expected that this honour will now become an annual responsibility.
On 24th May 2013 the Company was well represented at a wreath laying ceremony, again held at the National War Memorial, marking the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. A light lunch was served at Parliament after the event.
On the 20th June 2013 Captains Jaap de Jong and Frankland travelled from Auckland to attend a patronage reception held at Government House, Wellington. This function was hosted by our Patron, the Governor-General. From a subsequent report I understand that both Jaap and John enjoyed the occasion but not the Wellington gale that disrupted all air travel about that time.
In early December I was invited to attend a day of the NZ Maritime Pilots Association’s Conference that took place in Wellington. Most of the attendees were active pilots or harbour-masters and the speakers were excellent. The occasion provided an opportunity to network with some of the commercial companies invited to the conference to exhibit some of the latest marine technology.
On behalf of the Company I must take this opportunity to offer our congratulations to Auckland Warden, Captain Ted Ewbank, on his appointment as President of the New Zealand Division of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects.
As you are aware, two editions of the Company’s magazine have been printed this year. On behalf of all members and myself I give sincere thanks to Captain Nic Campbell for all the time and effort he has put into their production. Without Nic’s determination and energy, particularly given that he doesn’t enjoy the best of health, the magazine would not exist in its present form.
Nic has expanded “On Deck” to being well beyond just another maritime newsletter to that of being a publication that people, other than mariners, enjoy reading. It provides articles of historical interest and a platform for Company members, particularly those still at sea, to report and give account of life and conditions aboard modern vessels. Importantly, it also assists in raising the image of the Company and illustrates the fact that we are not content to be a gathering of aging seafarers, wallowing in the past.
The continued publication and distribution of the magazine will be greatly helped by income derived from advertisements. In this respect I thank those branches that have taken the time and been successful in their efforts to find advertisers.
In accordance with a decision reached at last years Annual General Meeting, on behalf of the Company I wrote to the Minister of Transport giving our opinion that New Zealand should become a signatory to the ILO Maritime Labour Convention – 2006 which comes into force next week on the 20th August.
In summary this piece of international legislation means that all seafarers, regardless of their nationality, or the flag of the vessel on which they serve, should be able to enjoy comprehensive protection of their fundamental rights.
Unfortunately apart from an unsigned letter written by the Minister’s Private Secretary that simply acknowledged receipt of our letter, to date no action appears to have been taken.
The New Zealand Government appears to see this issue as not being an important matter in its list of priorities and I very much regret that our views appear not to carry much weight in the world of politics. That is not to say that we shall not continue trying to gain the recognition that the Company and its opinions certainly deserve in the maritime world.
However, on a more positive note, the Director/Chief Executive of Maritime New Zealand advised us that MNZ is very appreciative of the offer made by some of our members to assist them on occasions where such voluntary experience and expertise could be of value to his organization.
Again this outcome was as a result of an initiative put forward at last years Annual General Meeting and, importantly, aids in our objective of declaring both what the New Zealand Company of Master Mariners is – and what it stands for.
Kenneth D Watt
The following letter was sent to the NZ Minister of Transport today.
19 August 2013
Hon. Gerry Brownlee
Minister of Transport
PO Box 18888
MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION – 2006
On the 1st September last year I wrote to you giving the view of the New Zealand Company of Master Mariners on the above matter. I was more than just disappointed in that the only response I received from you was an unsigned letter written by a Private Secretary advising that my letter had been passed to you for your information.
The Maritime Labour Convention comes into force tomorrow and, as far as I am aware, still unendorsed by New Zealand. The issue raised in my letter is the responsibility the New Zealand Government has for ensuring that both New Zealand seafarers and those on vessels carrying the country’s trade commodities are suitably protected in terms of their moral, social and economic welfare.
The purpose of this communication is to establish from you what has happened in the year following my letter, and more importantly, the reasons behind the Government’s policy, which it would appear to be that this country should not become a signatory to the convention.
I hope that I shall receive the courtesy of a formal reply to this letter.
Captain Kenneth D Watt
Master, New Zealand Company of Master Mariners
And from todays Lloyds List Tuesday 20 August 2013
Shipping is the only major industry with such a comprehensive framework for acceptable standards of employment The MLC’s development is particularly impressive because of the incredible degree of co-operation
ACCORDING to the International Labour Organisation, “decent work is the most widely shared aspiration of people and their families in all countries”.
This is certainly true for the 1.5m seafarers employed by international shipping, about two-thirds of whom come from developing nations.
The ILO MLC enters into force today. To a large extent, this represents a codification of existing good employment practices that already prevail throughout most of the shipping industry.
Moreover, the full impact of enforcement may not be felt for another year, as flag states work to complete the inspection of ships and the issuance of the necessary certification.
The entry into force of the MLC is, nevertheless, a very significant event.
As shipowners get ready for implementation, they might just briefly pause to reflect that the MLC is something in which the shipping industry should take genuine pride.
International shipping is, in fact, the only major industry to have developed such a comprehensive framework covering acceptable standards of employment, which will be applied and enforced at the global level.
The MLC, moreover, is not just an aspirational code of good intentions, such as those adopted for many land-based industries that similarly employ large numbers of people from developing countries.
The ILO MLC will require the implementation of very detailed regulations covering all aspects of employment at sea, which will be subject to a rigorous system of mandatory enforcement through a combination of flag state inspection and port state control.
The MLC’s development is particularly impressive because of the incredible degree of co-operation that was a feature of the extensive negotiations between employers, unions and governments that preceded its adoption by ILO in 2006.
The entry into force of the ILO MLC is actually the culmination of a 15-year project.
The concept of negotiating one single international convention governing seafarers’ employment standards was originally envisaged in the late 1990s by the International Shipping Federation, co-ordinating the world’s national shipowners’ associations, and the International Transport Workers’ Federation, representing seafarers’ unions.
ISF and ITF sometimes view labour affairs from very different perspectives. But they were both able to recognise that the establishment of a global level playing field for employment standards was in the best interests of shipowners and seafarers alike.
The MLC is, in fact, the product of the collective work of hundreds, if not thousands, of employers and seafarers’ representatives from around the world. But unlike many previous ILO maritime conventions, its development has also benefited, throughout the process, from the considered input — and thus a real sense of ownership — from those governments that, from today, are responsible for its enforcement.
Such a degree of co-operation throughout an entire international industry, and the willingness to reach agreement on what were sometimes sensitive and controversial issues, is possibly unique. Shipping is very much seen as a trail blazer at the ILO, which has no similar mechanism for developing detailed standards for other industries.
Notwithstanding the work involved for employers who need to get to grips with the new certification procedure, most should hopefully have few difficulties with respect to demonstrating compliance, so long as flag states and port states adopt a sensible approach.
With a few exceptions, such as the need for a proper complaints procedure and financial guarantees to ensure crew repatriation, most of the MLC regulations are derived from existing ILO standards and existing industry best practices. The difference, however, is that the MLC should ensure sound employment practices are now enforced throughout the industry. It should now be far harder for the small minority of potentially sub-standard employers to enjoy an unfair competitive advantage.
As from today, as a result of the entry into force of the ILO MLC, “decent work” for all seafarers is far closer to being a reality than a mere aspiration.
Masamichi Morooka is chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping/International Shipping Federation.
The International Shipping Federation is the identity used by the International Chamber of Shipping when representing maritime employers. ISF negotiated the text of the MLC in the lead-up to the Diplomatic Conference in 2006.
MLC is not just a tick box exercise. Many flags have still failed to ratify this important piece of maritime legislation. It remains to be seen just how prepared shipowners, managers and their crew are for the pitfalls surrounding the new regime.
Nigel Cleave reports in Lloyds List Wednesday 14 August 2013
IF THE shipping industry thought the International Safety Management Code was a difficult regulatory instrument to get its head around, then the weeks following the coming into force of the Maritime Labour Convention will be an interesting time. MLC 2006 is the single most important seam of shipping regulation to come out of the International Maritime Organization in recent years.
Considered to be the fourth pillar of maritime regulation after the Safety of Life at Sea Convention, Marpol and the international convention on standards of training, certification and watchkeeping, it is the first of its kind in which flag states, shipowners and trade unions have jointly deliberated and agreed to the requirements of the convention. However, just how prepared shipowners, managers and their crew are to the pitfalls surrounding this crucial piece of legislation remains to be seen.
This seafarers’ Bill of Rights sets out the rights of the seafarers when it comes to their working conditions, hours of work/rest, food and hygiene and, more importantly, about how they are trained, what salary they earn and protection when it comes to repatriation following abandonment and dispute resolution methods. So with all this positivity going on, why is the shipping industry holding its breath as the August 20 deadline approaches? At the time of going to press, 45 countries had ratified the MLC, with notable non-signatories being the US and South Korea.
With many flags still failing to ratify this important piece of legislation, there is a fear that implementation of the convention will not be across the board for all vessels. Equally as worrying are the concerns over the disparity in the way in which vessels will be inspected by port state control officials. The port state control authorities of states which have not ratified MLC 2006 may not check vessels over the requirements of the convention, while others may be considerably more dogmatic. The interpretation of the convention in a few parts is left to the flag state, so there may be some element of subjectivity in its interpretation and thus its enforcement and the convention will increase the burden of documentation in the safety management systems, as well as with the master on board.
Masters will have to go through yet another layer of PSC inspection related to the convention, adding to the bureaucracy with which they have to deal. So just as our important seafarers can look forward to long-awaited protection of their rights as workers on board ship, they may find themselves facing the scrutiny of a global inspection regime that has not quite got all of its ducks in a row. Any slip-up will result in vessels being detained and the subjective nature of the inspecting process heightens these concerns even more.
So as the weeks dissolve away towards the entry into force deadline, owners and managers have important questions to consider: do their ships comply; do they have the right documentation; are they sufficiently trained to know what is expected of them? Some may find is it a little more than putting a cross in a box. Fully understanding the ramifications of what is involved is what is crucial here.
Nigel Cleave is chief executive of maritime training provider Videotel
The Annual General Meeting was held in Wellington on 14 August 2013.
L – R : Captain Cor van Kesteren (General Secretary), Captain John Frankland(Auckland Secretary), Captain Tim Wood (Tauranga Warden), Captain Ted Ewbank (Auckland Warden), Captain Ken Watt (Master), Captain Ron Palmer (Wellington Warden), Captain Nic Campbell (Hon On Deck Editor).