Let’s move today!
Training On Board (TOB) is an international training, nutrition and health project initiated by the Norwegian Maritime Authority in Haugesund on behalf of the International Committee on Seafarer’s Welfare (ICSW). In 2011 planning began for the project where 1.2 million seafarers can be offered an accessible, free and motivational training program that will encourage them to take care of their own health and fitness. The project is fully funded by the ITF Seafarers Trust. The main feature of the project is that a seafarer should be able to train onboard with simple equipment or even without any equipment at all. For a beginner participation in TOB can lead to a big difference in fitness. In Norway, almost 500 seafarers lost their health certification in 2011. This number has remained relatively stable over the years. The loss of the health TOB has a short term objective to increase training on board a ship by 20%. The long term objective is to permanently reduce the number of seafarers losing their health certificates. Read more on www.trainingonboard.org.
IMB reports drop in Somali piracy, but warns against complacency
The number of ships signaling attacks by Somali pirates has fallen this year to its lowest since 2009, a report from the International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau (IMB) revealed on 22nd of October, but IMB warns seafarers to remain vigilant in the high-risk waters around Somalia, the Gulf of Guinea. Worldwide this year, pirates have killed at least six crew and taken 448 seafarers hostage. The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre recorded that 125 vessels were boarded, 24 hijacked and 26 fired upon. In addition, 58 attempted attacks were reported. The drop in Somali piracy has brought global figures for piracy and armed robbery at sea down to 233 incidents this year – the lowest third quarter total since 2008. In the first nine months of 2012, there were 70 Somali attacks compared with 199 for the corresponding period in 2011. And from July to September, just one ship reported an attempted attack by Somali pirates, compared with 36 incidents in the same three months last year. IMB says policing and interventions by international navies are deterring pirates, along with ships’ employment of Best Management Practice including the use of armed guards and other onboard security measures. “We welcome the successful robust targeting of Pirate Action Groups by international navies in the high risk waters off Somalia, ensuring these criminals are removed before they can threaten ships,” said Captain Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB, a membership organization that has monitored world piracy since 1991. “It’s good news that hijackings are down, but there can be no room for complacency: these waters are still extremely high-risk and the naval presence must be maintained.” As of 30th of September 2012, suspected Somali pirates were holding 11 vessels for ransom with 167 crew members as hostages onboard. In addition, 21 kidnapped crew members are being held on land. IMB says more than 20 hostages have now been held for even 30 months.
ITF Maritime Roundtable ‘a huge step forward’
The ITF was holding a major new style of event in Casablanca, Morocco – The Maritime Roundtable (MRT) – from 25 to 27 September. The MRT is a groundbreaking new three day activists’ forum that will build links between dockers’ and seafarers’ unions and help shape the future of the ITF’s campaigning on flags of convenience. Over 200 participants from 51 countries attended the event. Director, Captain Hans Sande from the Norwegian Maritime Officers’ Association was among the participants. ITF maritime coordinator Steve Cotton said: “This event has been a huge campaigning step forward. It has brought together a new generation of seafarer and docker activists and given them a voice. Backed by the shared experience of colleagues from the international trade union movement, it has produced a wealth of ideas that will feed into our future campaigning. We look forward to maritime unions working together more collaboratively and encouraging organizing and activism among their membership”.