Thursday, 23 June 2011

Paying Tribute to Seafarers - What would happen if every ship on our seas suddenly vanished?

It’s International Day of the Seafarer this week (Saturday 25 June) which aims to pay tribute to the world’s 1.5 million seafarers.

A survey carried out by Seafarers UK, the charity that supports seafarers and their families, today shows just how little we as a nation know about this industry.

The majority of respondents weren’t aware that Sunderland (80%), Glasgow (75%) or Belfast (50%) were even seaports. And yet one in five incorrectly named Calais as a British seaport.

Furthermore, when asked how far they live from the coast, a fifth of adults estimated they were 76 miles or more away from the sea, even though there is no part of Britain that is further than 70 miles from the coast. That’s possibly the reason why 80% of people have not been on the sea as a passenger on a ship or boat for over a year, with over a quarter saying they haven’t set sail for more than 10 years.

We also massively underestimated the dangers that fishermen face at work, with less than one in 10 adults correctly identifying it as the most dangerous career in the UK.

And we clearly aren’t passing on our maritime history to our children either with a quarter of children in the survey naming Captain Jack Sparrow as Britain’s most famous seaman.

To mark the campaign, a thought-provoking video has been commissioned by Seafarers UK. It paints the nightmare scenario of what would happen if every ship suddenly disappeared and highlights just how important seafarers are.

For more information visit

“Thank You Seafarers” – Martek Marine Supports the IMO's Day of the Seafarer

Day of the Seafarer - 25th June 2011
Saturday 25th June 2011 marks the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Day of the Seafarer – an opportunity to educate the public about the issues facing the modern-day seafarer. But, most importantly, it is the occasion for everyone to say “Thank you, seafarers.”

The aim is to pay tribute to the world’s 1.5 million seafarers for the unique and all-too-often overlooked contribution to the well-being of the general public.

In 2010, IMO Member States agreed that the contribution made by seafarers from all over the world to international seaborne trade, the world economy and civil society as a whole, should be marked annually with a ‘Day of the Seafarer’.

This year, the celebration will take the form of an online campaign, in which the IMO are asking everyone to voice their support using social networks. On the Day of the Seafarer, you can show your support by saying “Thank you seafarers” on Facebook, via tweets, by posting a video on YouTube, discussing on LinkedIn, or even writing an inspirational blog.

By generating interaction on the web about seafarers, you can show respect, recognition and gratitude to seafarers everywhere. The universal outreach of social media will raise awareness of the vital role that seafarers play in the world economy and, in many respects, in sustainable development, enabling ships to carry than 90% of world trade safely, efficiently and with minimal impact on the environment.

Martek Marine will be promoting this day on our website, blog, twitter and facebook page. If you use any form of social media then we encourage you to participate in this worldwide effort by celebrating and promoting the day on the web.

Martek Marine's Operations Board give their backing to Day of the Seafarer

If you would like to take part then go to the Day of the Seafarer page on the IMO website and download a toolkit with ideas of how you can get involved.

In addition to showing our support for the Day of the Seafarer, Martek Marine has also chosen the Mission to Seafarers to be our main charity for 2011. Each year Martek raise money for good causes by holding a number of events. The Mission to Seafarers provides help and support to those in need, working in more than 230 ports caring for the practical and spiritual welfare of seafarers of all nationalities and faiths.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Martek Marine opens a new Calibration Gas Hub in Suez

New hub supplies Suez Canal shipping
One year on from Martek Marine’s launch of the Fastcalgas calibration gas supply service and the business is going from strength to strength, so much so that in response to customer demand a new hub has been opened in Suez.

Steve Coulson, Director at Martek Marine explains:

“Last year we launched Fastcalgas with the aim of taking the pain out of the process of buying calibration gas and making the whole process a lot simpler for our customers. The business has grown rapidly over the last twelve months and the next step towards ensuring consistent levels of fast service was to increase the number of stock holding hubs.”

This new hub brings the total number to 6, with locations already set up in the UK, USA, Shanghai, Singapore and Dubai.

“Feedback from our customers told us that getting calibration gas on time and cost effectively to The Suez was particularly problematic. By having this location established we can now guarantee next day delivery in this region and ensure the most competitive pricing levels” added Mr Coulson.

Click here to find out more about the Fastcalgas calibration gas supply service.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Bermuda Ship Registry Give Advice for Continued Use of Existing BNWAS

The amendments to SOLAS Chapter V, regulation 19 which were introduced by MSC.282 (86) allow for Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm Systems (BNWAS) fitted before 1st July 2011 and which may not meet the IMO Performance Criteria to be accepted after 1st July 2011 at the discretion of the administration on the basis of an exemption.

The Government of Bermuda Department of maritime Administration has issued a shipping notice to set out the essential requirements for such a system to be accepted in Bermuda ships and the procedures to be followed.

Requirements for acceptance of existing BNWAS

Any system fitted before 1st July 2011 and which does not meet the IMO Performance Standards for such a system, or which cannot be demonstrated to meet them, may still be acceptable in a Bermuda ship provided that the system has:
  • A manual ON/OFF facility protected by either a key switch, password system, or a location in the master’s cabin,
  • A dormant period of between 3 and 12 minutes once switched on,
  • A visual indication and an audible alarm in the wheelhouse at the end of the dormant period, but the first 15 seconds of alarm may be visual only. The visual alarm should be a flashing indication visible from all operational positions on the bridge where the OOW may reasonably be expected to be stationed. The colour of the indication(s) should be chosen so as not to impair night vision and dimming facilities (although not to extinction) should be incorporated,
  • A first stage audible alarm which sounds on the bridge at the end of the visual indication period which has its own characteristic tone or modulation intended to alert, but not to startle, the OOW. This alarm should be audible from all operational positions on the bridge where the OOW may reasonably be expected to be stationed. This function may be engineered using one or more sounding devices,
  • Arrangements so that if the alarm is not reset it is transferred to the backup officer’s cabin and/or the Master’s cabin within 30 seconds,
  • Arrangements so that if the alarm is not reset within 30 to 90 seconds from the first visual indication in the wheelhouse, (3 minutes for larger vessels) the alarm sounds in public spaces such as mess room, ship’s office, conference room etc.
  • An alarm which sounds in the locations of the Master, officers and further crew members capable of taking corrective action at the end of the bridge audible alarm period which is easily identifiable by its sound and should indicate urgency. The volume of this alarm should be sufficient for it to be heard throughout the locations above and to wake sleeping persons,
  • An alarm reset function provided in the wheelhouse which may be either a push button, and / or movement detector or similar in positions providing a proper lookout,
  • An emergency call facility which activates the final alarm stage.
  • A timing accuracy of the system within 5% or 5 seconds whichever is less,
  • An indication of any power supply failure to the system with means to provide a repeat of this indication on any central alarm panel if fitted.
  • Means of activating the reset facility which is only be available from positions on the bridge that provide a proper lookout and preferably adjacent to visual indications. Means of activating the reset function should be easily accessible from the conning position, the workstation for navigating and manoeuvring, the work station for monitoring and the bridge wings.
  • The operational mode indicated to the officer of the watch,
For more information and to find out how to submit a request for exemption then read the full document on the Bermuda Ship Registry website.

Navgard - World's No.1 BNWAS

If you do not already have a BNWAS onboard your vessels or if you find that your existing system is not exempt from the BNWAS regulations then Martek Marine can help you comply.

Navgard is the World's No.1 BNWAS with Type Approval from all the major classification societies ensuring that you can fit the same system across your whole fleet, irrespective of who your vessels are classed by.

Find out more about Navgard BNWAS.