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Seafarers’ charity plans to extend welfare provision in Canadian ports; BIMCO launches new guidance for seafarers on avoiding life boat accidents

Seafarers’ charity plans to extend welfare provision in Canadian ports
11/09/2017 http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/seafarers-charity-plans-to-extend-we...

Port chaplains from across Canada from the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) gathered last week in Montreal for their annual conference, organised by their national office.

Chaplains from Montreal, Trois Rivière, Oshawa, Toronto & Vancouver, together with overseas delegates, gathered to review their work and plan for future growth.

The Conference heard a number of moving accounts from chaplains. Fr Andrew Thavam, port chaplain in Montreal, told of a moving remark of a seafarer he’d had a long conversation with, ‘if I hadn’t met you today, I would have ended it’. The work of AoS chaplains in Canada continues to play a vital role in the mental health of seafarers.

Deacon Dileep Athaide, the AoS Vancouver port chaplain recounted multiple visits to a coal ship on which a 49 year old had suddenly died leaving behind a widow and two young children. The support that Dileep provided the mostly-Catholic crew, which included a memorial service and ship-blessing, greatly helped them cope with their grief and trauma as they set out on their long journey to Turkey.

The conference also heard from John Green, from AoS Great Britain and their experience of renewal to extend the ministry to more seafarers and their twinning programme to share this experience and their capacity with other countries including AoS Canada. Green said ‘collaborating with chaplains around the world means welfare for seafarers is more joined up’.

Regional coordinator, Karen Parsons, outlined developments in the US and the Caribbean to strengthen the outreach.

The conference was also an opportunity to launch of their new website www.apostleshipofthesea.ca

AoS Canada’s Bishop Thomas Dowd summed up the key to the future health of the work of the Apostleship of the Sea in Canada ‘One thing I’ve noticed is your enthusiasm, you folks care; you care about the ministry, you care about seafarers, you care about the future of the ministry’.

The conference concluded considering a number of recommendations; to improve their identity, to extend the ministry into new ports, to attract more volunteers to visit more ships and to raise much needed funds.
Source: Apostleship of the Sea

BIMCO launches new guidance for seafarers on avoiding life boat accidents
Sep 11 2017 https://www.ajot.com/news/bimco-launches-new-guidance-for-seafarers-on-a...

BIMCO has developed new guidance for seafarers on the safe launching and recovery of lifeboats using fall preventer devices (FPDs), to reduce the number of seafarer fatalities and injuries.

Lifeboat accidents resulting in fatalities and serious injuries are all too frequent, despite efforts in recent years to reduce them. Most of the accidents happen in boats using conventional davits and on-load release systems. However, recently other parts of the suspension and lifting systems have been identified as points of failure too, particularly the wire rope falls on larger lifeboats.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) recommends the use of FPDs because so many recent lifeboat and rescue boat accidents have resulted in fatalities and injuries to seafarers. This constitutes an unacceptable risk and the use of FPDs is intended to be an interim measure to reduce this risk while new, safe IMO approved systems are developed. However, this process will take some years, and so FPDs are recommended for the intervening time until approval is secured.

The new guidance has been produced in a handy illustrated pamphlet titled: ‘Avoid Lifeboat Accidents’. It can be downloaded free of charge from the BIMCO website.

Aron Sorensen, Head of Maritime Technology & Regulation at BIMCO said:

“We have seen too many accidents with lifeboats resulting in fatalities and injuries. This pamphlet provides the master and crew with solid, experience-based advice on the use of fall preventer devices (FPDs) during lifeboat operations. We sincerely hope that this pamphlet can help to reduce and avoid such tragic accidents in the future”.

The ‘Avoid Lifeboat Accidents’ pamphlet gives clear guidance on how to prevent accidents with lifeboats and rescue boats equipped with on-load release systems. It advises whether additional precautions in the form of FPDs are appropriate, and if so, when and how to use them safely and effectively when launching and recovering the boat. Other failure devices, and new innovative hook systems are examined too