COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 13 March 2020


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          COS Weekly Newsletter
          Friday, 13 March 2020

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Local News


Government of Canada defers cruise season until end of June

Following on the heals of Princess Cruises decision to suspend global operations for 60 days, the Government of Canada has deferred the start of the cruise ship season in Canada from April 2nd to at least July 1, 2020 and furthermore the entire season for the Arctic. The announcement comes with a $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund to assist in plans, infrastructure, and resources needed to protect the health and safety of all Canadians.  The economic impact will be devastating, and the Finance Minister has indicated that $10 billion would be available through the Business Development Bank of Canada for small and medium sized enterprises.   The Bank of Canada has cut interest rates to 0.75 per cent as an emergency measure and the federal government will be launching a credit facility program. With 152 cases so far in Canada, 53 of which are in British Columbia, the threat remains low, however efforts to reduce community transmission have ramped up significantly today in an effort to protect the Canadian health care system from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Transport Canada is expected to release an update Marine Security Bulletin soon and in the meantime, the best source of information can be found on the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) website.

Port of Thunder Bay unlikely to be affected by delay in St. Lawrence Seaway opening

High water conditions on the Great Lakes are delaying the opening of a stretch of the St. Lawrence Seaways by 12 days, but this is not expected to impact the Port of Thunder Bay. The section between Montreal and Lake Ontario will now open April 1. The opening of the lower St. Lawrence Seaway is being delayed because of the negative impacts of the extremely high water levels in the lower Great Lakes this year.




Government of Canada invests $13 million in funding for Coastal Restoration

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan has announced over $13 million in funding as part of the Coastal Restoration Fund. Funding for 24 projects will help restore and protect aquatic ecosystems on Canada’s three coasts. This funding is provided under the Oceans Protection Plan. In May 2017, the Government of Canada announced the $75 million Coastal Restoration Fund to help rehabilitate some of our most vulnerable coastlines and protect marine life and ecosystems.

TSB Releases Occurrence Statistics for 2019

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its preliminary transportation occurrence statistics for 2019.  There were 267 marine accidents reported to the TSB in 2019, below the 2018 total of 290 and below the 5-year average of 285. Although the number of fishing vessels involved in accidents was lower than the previous year, 6 of the 11 fatal marine accidents and 10 of the 17 marine fatalities were related to the commercial fishing industry.  Some 946 marine incidents were reported to the TSB in 2019. This number represents a 2% increase from 2018 and a 17% increase from the 5-year average of 808. Most (84%) reportable incidents were categorized as “Total failure of machinery or technical system.”

Canada releases 2020 North Atlantic right whales protection measures

The Government of Canada has announced the enhanced 2020 measures that will help reduce the risks to North Atlantic right whales during the 2020 season from April to November. In addition to measures to prevent entanglements with fishing gear, Transport Canada will re-implement the mandatory speed limit to 10 knots in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence and continue to allow vessels to travel at safe operational speeds in parts of the shipping lanes north and south of Anticosti Island when no North Atlantic right whales are detected in the area.  New measures also include two seasonal management areas:
  • restricted area in the Shediac Valley where vessels will be required to avoid the area or reduce their speed to 8 kn; and
  • a trial voluntary speed limit of 10 knots for the Cabot Strait for parts of the season.
All measures apply to vessels longer than 13 metres.


US News


US suspends travel from Europe for 30 Days

President Trump has announced a ban on all travel from Europe to the United States for a period of 30 days from this Friday night at midnight. The restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground. There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings. The restrictions do not apply to the United Kingdom. The Proclamation - Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus now includes anyone who has been in the Schengen area of Europe in the 14 days prior to coming to the US. However, the restriction does NOT apply to US citizens, permanent residents and various people related to same nor “any alien traveling as a nonimmigrant pursuant to a C-1, D, or C-1/D nonimmigrant visa as a crewmember or any alien otherwise traveling to the United States as air or sea crew…” meaning that this proclamation does not apply to crew transfers.

Grand Princess Cruise Ship Docks in Oakland

The Grand Princess finally docked in Oakland on Monday after spending several days at sea with more than 3,000 passengers and crew. 228 Canadians were repatriated by the federal government to the Canadian Forces Base Trenton and the remaining US residents were taken to four military bases for quarantine and screening for COVID-19. So far 2 Canadians from the Grand Princess have tested positive. In the US it remains unclear how many people have tested positive in addition to the already known 21 positive cases on the ship as the passengers have faced delays in testing. As of Thursday noon, 2,042 people had disembarked from the ship. Plans for the crew quarantined are still being determined.


International News


Celebrity Edge sets sail with all-female bridge and leadership team

In support of International Women’s Day the Celebrity Edge departed Port Everglades earlier this week with an all-female bridge and onboard leadership team. Led by Captain Kate McCue, the first American female cruise ship captain, who was accompanied by 26 other women representing 16 different countries, the 2,918 passenger capacity Celebrity Edge began its seven-day Caribbean journey by being led out to sea by retiring pilot Captain Cheryl Phipps, one of only a few female pilots in the country. Around the world, only 2% of the world’s mariners are women. Celebrity Cruises has made it a priority to #BRIDGEthegap, growing the percentage of women on its bridge teams from 3% to nearly 25% over the last few years.

IMO Expects 77% Drop in SOx emissions

From January 1, fuels used by vessels have been required to contain a maximum Sulphur content on 0.5%, down from 3.5%. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) expects that the new limit will mean a 77% drop in overall SOx emissions from ships, equivalent to an annual reduction of approximately 8.5 million metric tons of SOx.


Upcoming Events


Mar. 6   - IIMS Canada Conference Canada

Mar. 17 - ISSC Board of Directors Meeting
Mar. 19 - COS Operations Committee Meeting
Mar. 28 - COS Liner Committee Meeting

Apr. 1    - COS Board of Directors Meeting

Apr. 8    - ICS Board of Directors Meeting

Apr. 10  - Office Closed - Easter Friday

Apr. 16  - Office Closed - Easter Monday

Jun 18  - VGE Golf Tournament



Ship of the Week



Songa Hawk and has become the first ship to be fully certified as cyber security compliant. Korean Register (KR) completed the survey of the chemical/oil tanker. To achieve the certification, the vessel successfully passed the inspection of 81 items in 18 categories including risk management, asset management, technical security and incident response and recovery.
Length:    128m
Width:       20m
GT:           8505
Built:        2009