Crimean Tanker shot at by Libyan Coast Guard anchors off Malta

The incident last week, when the Crimea based Comoros flagged tanker, MT Goeast, was shot at by the Libyan coast guard highlights the severity of illegal, or considered to be, oil cargo’s out of Libya.  It is understood that the vessel after turning off its AIS has re- appeared anchored off Malta.  Having sustained light damage several stories have emerged including the Libyans claiming the oil was illegal and the Russians stating that there was a Swiss credit issue.  Anything other than a legitimate, credit sound payment runs the possibility of being detained, or like in this instance pursued and fired upon.  There have been a number of incidents of vessel detentions, but firing upon merchant vessels is an escalation.  An escalation which could set a new precedent which operators should bear in mind when looking to purchase an oil cargo.

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Hurricane Irma Heads for Florida

On Wednesday, Hurricane Irma swept over Puerto Rico, leaving one million residents without electrical power and 150,000 without running water. Flood levels have been reported in rivers across the island, and more rain is expected. The U.S. Coast Guard has begun overflights to assess the damage and search for residents in distress.

“Our first priority is ensuring safety of lives,” said Captain Eric King, the commander of USCG Sector San Juan.  “Following that, reopening the ports is a top priority, but we have to make sure we also do it safely. Opening the port prematurely could create a situation for a greater risk or incident, which could ultimately result in an even longer port closure.”

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CMF Commander’s Conference in Bahrain discusses Maritime Security Transit Corridor

170907-N-YB753-048Vice Adm. Kevin M. Donegan, commander of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), speaks at the CMF Commander’s Conference onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

In his opening speech, at the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Commander’s Conference held in Bahrain, CMF Commander, Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan, discussed the background behind the establishment of a “Maritime Security Transit Corridor” by CMF, as announced on 6th September.

Providing the background to the establishment of the Maritime Security Transit Corridor (MSTC), Admiral Donegan explained that there continues to be risk associated with transits through the Gulf of Aden, Bab-el-Mandeb and the Southern Red Sea.  The risk of piracy and attacks by small, high speed boats using small arms, rocket propelled grenades, and significant amounts of explosives remains. To date, these small boat attacks have been unsuccessful and the identity of the attackers remains unclear. However, they demonstrate the continuing risks to the maritime community during passage through these waters.

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Lisa Forte, Cyber Protect Officer for the Police Cyber Crime Unit in the UK, speaks to MAST on key cyber threats to the maritime industry

Lisa Forte, a Cyber Protect Officer for the Police Cyber Crime Unit in the UK, is onboard with MAST’s cyber awareness campaign. Lisa comments and advises on 2 key threats and the fundamentals of protecting from cyber-attacks. This article follows on from MAST’s recent co-presenting on maritime cyber security with Shipowners P&I Club. A link to the webinar can be found below the article.

Tackling the cyber threats to the maritime sector
There’s a plethora of information on the cyber threat to the maritime industry. It is argued that attackers could take over your guidance and positioning systems and steer your ship wherever they want. Or that attackers could hold your port to ransom by stopping all your automated processes. This is all true, and some of these complicated attacks may have already happened in some limited cases. Whilst you should devote time and attention to mitigating these potential threats, a risk assessment of the cyber landscape shows that we need to focus on the real cyber-crimes that are happening right here, right now. In my role I see the same attacks used across all industry sectors. The majority of cyber threats are indiscriminate. They don’t care if you are an orthodontist or an oil carrier. As long as you have money and you have internet connected devices then you are a target.

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MAST to co-present webinar on maritime cyber security

MAST will be co-presenting a webinar on maritime cyber security on Wednesday 2nd August, alongside Stephen Jones of Mc Watt & Jones, chaired by Shipowners P&I Club.

The webinar will discuss in detail the unprecedented threats posed by new-technologies in the maritime sector, how risks can be mitigated and how the impact of any attack can be limited. Given the recent maritime cyber events, this is particularly topical for a range of audiences.

The webinar will be a closed event of around 100 participants engaging with the two presenters. It will then be re-shown privately to a select audience in the Americas before being made publicly available globally.

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USS Fitzgerald: Sailors killed in collision off Japan’s coast named

The US Navy has identified seven sailors who were killed when their destroyer collided with a container ship in Japanese waters on Saturday.

The sailors were found in flooded berths onboard the USS Fitzgerald, said a statement by the US Navy.

At least three others were injured in the collision which took place near the port city of Yokosuka.

Many of the Fitzgerald’s crew were asleep when the incident happened. The US Navy said it was investigating.

The warship has since been towed to the US naval base in Yokosuka.

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Reporting and analysis on the attacks on MT Muskie and MV Navig8 Providence

On 31st May it was reported that three pirates in a skiff armed with guns and RPG’s chased and fired upon the laden Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker Muskie, while underway at 0715 UTC in position 12°33’47N 043°29’24E, around 5nm SE of Perim Island, Bab al Mandeb Strait, Red Sea. The alarm was raised and non-essential crew mustered in the citadel. Three RPGs were fired at the vessel. MT Muskie sustained damage to the bridge. The embarked armed security team fired warning shots resulting in the skiff moving away. Two warships proceeded to the area to assist the vessel. All on-board were reported safe.

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Libya’s largest oil port may be able to ship next week

Libya currently produces 660,000 barrels a day of oil, the official said.

Dubai: Libya’s largest oil export terminal may reopen as early as next week in a move that would provide relief for the cash-strapped country holding Africa’s largest crude reserves.

Tankers may be able to load at Es Sider port by next week as maintenance work at the terminal is almost complete, a National Oil Corp. official said by phone on Tuesday, asking not to be identified because he’s not authorised to speak with news media. Es Sider hasn’t exported crude since force majeure, a legal status protecting a party from liability if it can’t fulfil a contract for reasons beyond its control, was declared on loadings almost two years ago.

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