Month: October 2019

Special Needs Group celebrates Travel Advisors with 20% commission

first_imgFort Lauderdale, FL – January 31, 2019 – Special Needs Group (SNG) will be commemorating the company’s 12th Anniversary on Valentine’s Day, February 14t.h. “Professional Travel Advisors and our Industry Partners have been at the center of our growth, expanded footprint and services since SNG’s inception,” observed Andrew J Garnett, President and CEO. “We are saying thank you with a month-long commission promotion as a way of showing our true affection and commitment to the Distribution System. All bookings made during the month of February by registered SNG Travel Professionals using our “White Glove Service” qualify for 20% commission. All tracking is automatic with no additional effort on the part of our Partners required” Garnett emphasized. Promotion details can be found at https://www.specialneedsatsea.com/advisors/love-the-glove/ SNG White Glove Service is a personalized ‘meet and greet” that delivers elevated guest experiences. Guests are met curbside, at the cruise terminal by an SNG Guest Experience Ambassador. All equipment is personally delivered, demonstrated and any Guest questions are addressed. Guests return equipment in the same location upon debarkation. Expedited boarding/disembarking, provide greater convenience while SNG Ambassadors provide peace of mind and alleviate any Guest concerns. Additional information on SNG White Glove Service may be found at https://www.specialneedsatsea.com/advisors/sng-white-glove-servicee284a22/ “SNG has long recognized the value and worth Travel Advisors deliver. We pay commission not only on the rental. Our “one price policy” includes commission on inclusive of loss/damage coverage and taxes. Simply stated: “SNG loves our Professional Travel Advisor Partners,” Garnett concluded.  About Special Needs Group, Inc.Special Needs Group, Inc. is the leading global provider of wheelchair rentals, scooter rentals, oxygen rentals and other special needs equipment rentals. It also offers a broad range of special needs equipment for purchase. Special Needs Group also services guests visiting hotels, resorts, theme parks and convention centers. Special Needs Group is the Travel Industry’s total special needs equipment and services solution and is the Official Mobility and Special Needs Partner of ASTA and ASTA SBN. They are located at 302 NW 1st Street, Dania Beach, FL 33004. For more information, visit www.specialneedsgroup.com or call 1-800-513-4515.last_img read more

Subsistence Farmers to Receive $30 Million in Grants

first_imgSome 1,000 vulnerable subsistence farmers, who were most severely affected by the passage of Hurricane Sandy last year, will receive much-needed assistance, which will provide them with food security and a means of resuscitating their income.The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, on Monday, May 27, signed an agreement to provide $30 million in grant funding to 50 farmers in the communities of Leith Hall, and 900 in Font Hill both in St. Thomas; as well as 50 farmers in Reach district, Portland.Under the initiative, which will be implemented by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), the farmers will receive vouchers to purchase critical agricultural inputs, and also benefit from training to boost their resilience to natural disasters.Speaking at the signing ceremony at the Ministry’s Hope Gardens location, portfolio Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, noted that the progamme, which is being funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), will benefit the most affected, who are yet to fully recover.Special priority will be given to female-headed households, and those with small children, and the youth.“Participant selection criteria also include: farmer registration with RADA to verify farmer status; holdings of less than five acres; willingness to register and participate in community work programme and training activities; and low level income,” Mr. Clarke outlined.Some 40,000 farmers islandwide were affected by the hurricane with losses amounting to more than $4 billion. The worst hit parishes were St. Thomas, Portland, and St. Mary, with crops such as banana, cocoa, and coffee being most affected.The Minister noted that hurricanes and other disasters threaten food and nutrition security, and that in order to mitigate some of the challenges, Cabinet had recently approved the Food and Nutrition Security Policy, which is now before Parliament.Contact: Alphea Saunderslast_img read more

Important Provisions in the ‘Zones of Special Operations’ Law

first_img Anyone who is detained or arrested shall “immediately be told the reason for his arrest or detention… and forthwith brought before a Justice of the Peace (JP), who shall determine whether or not there are reasonable grounds for the arrest or detention”. The Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations), (Special Security and Community Development Measures) law, which was passed in Parliament on July 11, is an important piece of legislation that seeks to contain crime while safeguarding the human rights of residents and promoting community development through social-intervention initiatives. Story Highlights The Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) law, which was passed in Parliament on July 11, is an important piece of legislation that seeks to contain crime while safeguarding the human rights of residents and promoting community development through social-intervention initiatives.There are a number of important provisions that citizens should be aware of.First, no one can be detained or arrested in a Zone of Special Operations unless the person in charge of the operations is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for doing so.Anyone who is detained or arrested shall “immediately be told the reason for his arrest or detention… and forthwith brought before a Justice of the Peace (JP), who shall determine whether or not there are reasonable grounds for the arrest or detention”.If the JP is satisfied that the arrest or detention is justified, the person shall be remanded in custody for not more than 24 hours, after which he must be brought before the judge of a parish court.If the JP is not satisfied that the arrest or detention is justified, “he shall order that the person be released forthwith”.   During arrest or detention, a person has the right to be visited by a spouse, partner, family member, religious counsellor, medical practitioner and attorney-at-law.The law establishes a strict accountability framework to ensure that the human rights of citizens are protected and that the security forces account for their actions within the Zones.It provides for a Joint Command consisting of a Major of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and a Superintendent of Police of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).Significantly, the law makes it plain that, “the Joint Command shall be persons who, in addition to their general training as members of the Jamaica Defence Force and the Jamaica Constabulary Force, are additionally trained in human rights, the use of force and community development initiatives”.Every Zone shall have a written accountability and reporting system as specified by the National Security Council, the committee of the Cabinet with responsibility for defence and national security.The Council consists of the Prime Minister as Chairman, as well as the Minister of National Security, Minister of Justice, Minister of Finance, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Attorney General, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Commissioner of Police, and the National Security Advisor.The Joint Command in each Zone shall submit a written report to the National Security Council every 10 days.  Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action.  In addition, “A member of the Joint Force shall, as far as is possible having regard to available resources, use a body-worn camera when conducting operations within a Zone”.Cordons and curfews will not be permanent features of Zones of Special Operations.“The cordon shall endure for a period not exceeding twenty-four hours, and the curfew shall endure for a period not exceeding seventy-two hours.”Where searches of homes or vehicles are conducted, the owner, occupier or person in possession of the vehicles “must be afforded every opportunity to observe everything done in relation to the search”.Only female security officers may search a female citizen.No tool of lawful trade can be seized, nor any article or document which is subject to professional privilege.Also, steps must be taken to ensure that a list of all vehicles, articles or documents seized and a receipt for those items are given to the owner or person in possession of a vehicle, for example.“Any vehicle, article or documents seized shall be secured in such a place as an officer designated by the Joint Command may approve…”.An important provision of this new law is for a Social Intervention Committee to be established in each Zone of Special Operations.  This Committee will assess conditions in the Zone, including physical infrastructure, health conditions, housing and other social amenities.The Committee is charged with developing “a sustainable development plan which will include addressing issues relating to health, the environment, social improvement, infrastructural development, education and economic development”.Also, “the Committee shall pay particular attention to vulnerable persons who live, work and attend school in the Zone, especially children, the elderly and persons with disabilities”.Importantly, officers will now be given truancy powers and will be empowered to enforce compulsory school attendance by children.This crucial Social Intervention Committee shall be chaired by the Prime Minister or his nominee and will include at least 10 persons chosen from among the following: Member of Parliament or Members of Parliament for the constituency or constituencies within the Zone; the Mayor of the principal town of the parish; the Custos of the parish; the Chief of Defence Staff or his nominee; the Commissioner of Police or his nominee; the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry  with responsibility  for  Social Security or the nominee;  the Permanentcenter_img The Prime Minister can only declare an area a Zone of Special Operations after the Chief of Defence Staff and the Commissioner of Police, as members of the National Security Council, have advised him so to do in writing.  Secretary in the Ministry of National Security or the nominee; the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health or the nominee; the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry  for Economic Growth or the nominee, and a representative of  the Planning Institute of Jamaica.Other representatives on the Committee can be drawn from the Social Development Commission, the National Works Agency, the National Land Agency, the National Water Commission, the Medical Officer for Health, a representative of a bona fide community group, a resident of the Zone, or any other person or agency who the Prime Minister believes can assist the work of the Committee.Importantly, an area cannot arbitrarily be declared a Zone. An area can only be so declared if there is “rampant criminality, gang warfare, escalating violence and murder and the threat to the rule of law and public order”.The Prime Minister can only declare an area a Zone of Special Operations after the Chief of Defence Staff and the Commissioner of Police, as members of the National Security Council, have advised him so to do in writing.The Prime Minister is empowered to declare a Zone of Special Operations for a period not exceeding 60 days. The Prime Minister in Council, meaning operating within the National Security Council, “may by Order, subject to affirmative resolution of the House of Representatives, extend the period… for such further periods, each not exceeding 60 days”.Within 14 days after the declaration of a Zone and after each extension, the Prime Minister will make a statement to Parliament.An Order revoking a Zone may be made at any time by the Prime Minister in Council.last_img read more

Gov’t to Spend $23 Million to Ensure Smooth Implementation of Traffic Ticket Amnesty

first_imgThe Government will be spending $23 million to carry out various activities to ensure the smooth implementation of a three-month traffic ticket amnesty, scheduled to begin on August 2.These activities include the hiring of 22 young persons who are now being trained to respond to queries from motorists during the period; and the provision of additional cashier stations and security personnel required to manage the anticipated influx of motorists at the offices of Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ).State Minister for National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. made the disclosure in the Senate on Friday (July 14).  He was piloting the Road Traffic (Temporary Ticket Amnesty) Act 2017 which makes provisions for the amnesty.He informed that the sum will also be used to conduct a public education campaign via radio, print media, social media and television “to ensure that every motorist is aware of the amnesty, its benefits and the designated payment locations”.“This campaign has already begun via radio and (through) the circulation of Frequently Asked Questions sheets at various connected Government agencies and bill payment outlets including Paymaster,” he said.Additionally, a portion of the money will facilitate the conducting of a series of briefing sessions with key stakeholders, including the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Ministry of Justice, TAJ and the Court Management Division.Through this amnesty, which will end on October 31, the Government is seeking to recover outstanding fines from tickets issued between September 1, 2010 and July 31, 2017.“This amnesty is not a reward for delinquency. It is a practical approach and effort to collect a total sum of $2.84 billion in outstanding traffic tickets as at December 31, 2016,” Senator Charles Jr said.The State Minister noted that the money collected will be used to upgrade the Ticket Management System utilised by TAJ, JCF and the courts. It will also go towards the modernisation of the court system and the employment of more Judges. Some of the funds will also assist the Transport Ministry in modernising the methods used to enforce the Road Traffic Act, to ensure greater compliance by motorists.Also, the money is expected to assist the Ministry of National Security to purchase appropriate hardware and software to strengthen the cyber security network system. It will also be used to purchase additional vehicles for the JCF, and invest in the security intelligence network.Senator Charles Jr said the overall objective of the Government in granting the amnesty, are to enhance revenue administration and collection; allow persons to clear their driving record; improve the efficiency of the courts; and reduce the number of traffic cases before the courts.“The intention of the Government is to give members of the motoring public the opportunity to “wipe their slates clean” before the implementation of the stricter Road Traffic Act,” he said.“This is the opening for those motorists with matters before the court to not be subjected to any penalties being recorded against their driver’s license. Additionally, those individuals with large numbers of tickets will not have warrants executed on them by the courts,” he further explained.He noted that the Road Traffic Act will be tabled by the end of July and should be enacted by the end of the amnesty period.Following this, Senator Charles Jr warned that “the strong arm of the law will be visited upon those members of the motoring public who failed to utilise the amnesty”.“These individuals may even have their licences taken away from them because of the number of tickets that they have outstanding. This will be so as there will be zero tolerance for those in breach of this new Road Traffic Act,” he said.Members of the Senate approved the Bill, which was previously passed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 11).last_img read more

Coffee Exports to China Being Explored

first_img Mrs. Holness said the Chinese Government has already expressed an interest in assisting to improve critical infrastructure, such as farm roads, which, she noted, are in a poor state and present a “serious barrier” to the coffee sector’s growth. Member of Parliament for St. Andrew East Rural, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, says discussions are under way between the Governments of Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China to export local coffee to the Asian country. “The Chinese… have expressed a desire to assist with a lot of our farm roads. This will help to drive the productivity we need to be able to provide (coffee) at a more competitive price and ensure that our farmers are absolutely profitable,” Mrs. Holness contended. Story Highlights Member of Parliament for St. Andrew East Rural, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, says discussions are under way between the Governments of Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China to export local coffee to the Asian country.Mrs. Holness told JIS News that this is a strategic move by the Jamaican Government to further diversify the country’s coffee export market.Noting that there is growing demand for coffee in the Asian market, Mrs. Holness said the Government is seeking to position Jamaica to take advantage of this opportunity.“We have been in discussions individually, as Members of Parliament, and the Chinese have approached us in respect of the vast potential that market holds, primarily, I would say, based on the large volume of persons who are there,” she said.She added that the growing demand for the beverage makes the exploration of this market as an ideal trading partner at this time, a feasible undertaking.“We want to make sure if such a vast market starts to develop the taste for coffee, that Blue Mountain coffee is what fills that particular gap,” Mrs. Holness further said.She was speaking at the inaugural Coffee Industry Symposium held at the Chinese Benevolent Association in Kingston on November 19.Mrs. Holness said the Chinese Government has already expressed an interest in assisting to improve critical infrastructure, such as farm roads, which, she noted, are in a poor state and present a “serious barrier” to the coffee sector’s growth.She argued that against the background of significant road improvements that have been undertaken by firms such as China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), Jamaica must seize the opportunity to expand on this partnership, to the benefit of the agricultural sector.“The Chinese… have expressed a desire to assist with a lot of our farm roads. This will help to drive the productivity we need to be able to provide (coffee) at a more competitive price and ensure that our farmers are absolutely profitable,” Mrs. Holness contended.Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Niu Quingbao, said China’s coffee consumption is expanding rapidly, noting that this increased by 46 per cent between 2011 and 2016.He pointed that for between January and September this year, China imported almost 50 per cent more than in the same period last year, “so the market is very big”.Despite the growing demand for the beverage, the Ambassador noted that import of Jamaican coffee is minimal, totalling 26 per cent per annum from 2011 to 2016.With Chinese coffee bean consumption projected to reach US$50 billion by 2025, Mr. Niu urged all stakeholders to aggressively promote the Jamaica Blue Mountain brand in order to cash in on this opportunity.“I know that the Jamaican Government is very serious about promoting Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. I have exchanged views with several Ministers on how to expand coffee importation. I have been told that the export market is one obstacle; supply and production is another,” he said.Mr. Niu said the Chinese Government stands ready to provide assistance to enable greater efficiency in the sector.“To expand production, you probably need an improved infrastructure, such as roads, side roads, equipment and fertilisers. With improved roads and more equipment, I’m sure that production will be raised. I encourage you to go directly to the Chinese market. If you export all your coffee to China, the market will be big enough; so coffee farmers will have to work very hard to supply this market,” he said.The symposium was hosted by Mrs. Holness in collaboration with the Members of Parliament for the adjoining coffee-producing constituencies of Western Portland, Hon. Daryl Vaz; and Western St. Thomas, James Robertson.It was attended by Industry, Commerce Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda; and Jamaica Agricultural Society President and Chairman-elect for the Jamaica Coffee Exporters’ Association, Norman Grant.last_img read more

Hydrographic Surveying of Kingston Harbour and Portland Bight under Way

first_img Hydrographic surveying is being conducted in Kingston Harbour and Portland Bight with a view to producing updated nautical maps and charts for the safe operation of ships in those areas. Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) and Chairman of the National Hydrographic Committee, Rear Admiral Peter Brady, tells JIS News that the programme is being funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office at more than $50 million. Story Highlights Hydrographic surveyor from EGS Survey, Liam Flynn, along with three team members, are tasked with conducting the procedure. The team is already a few weeks into the process, which is expected to take two months. Hydrographic surveying is being conducted in Kingston Harbour and Portland Bight with a view to producing updated nautical maps and charts for the safe operation of ships in those areas.The work, being done under the United Kingdom’s (UK) Commonwealth Maritime Economies Programme, will examine the physical features and structure of the ocean floor.The examination should provide a clear picture on the depth of the seabed, shoreline and any irregularities that may exist.Hydrographic surveyor from EGS Survey, Liam Flynn, along with three team members, are tasked with conducting the procedure. The team is already a few weeks into the process, which is expected to take two months.EGS, which is headquartered in the UK, provides global specialist multi-disciplinary marine support and delivers solutions to the oil and gas, telecommunications, energy and renewables and marine sectors.Mr. Flynn explains to JIS News that the water around Jamaica has not been surveyed extensively enough and “in some cases for over 150 years”.“Jamaica has used the outdated lead-line technique, which requires throwing a rope over the side of the ship and measuring it,” he says.He says that EGS will utilise modern techniques to conduct the surveys, such as the “multibeam echo sounder, which uses multiple acoustic pings or sonar signals that bounce from the seabed to the ship”.“This will generate a swath around the vessel and will enable us to achieve 100 per cent coverage of the seabed and the areas that we’re working in,” he points out.He says the team is working with two local vessels out of Port Royal and will cover more than 250 square kilometres of water.After the mapping process is finished, the work will then be submitted to the UK office, which will validate the information and update the nautical charts in the areas surveyed, taking approximately 12 months.Mr. Flynn says that having updated nautical maps and charts will be of extraordinary benefit to the country, as larger vessels can come to the island, which will have an impact on trade.“We’re (also) working with the National Land Agency (NLA) in Jamaica and it is my understanding that Jamaica will develop its own capacity to conduct its own types of survey,” he says.Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) and Chairman of the National Hydrographic Committee, Rear Admiral Peter Brady, tells JIS News that the programme is being funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office at more than $50 million.In noting the importance of the survey, he says that such procedures offer small island developing states the opportunity to explore and exploit the potential of their marine space in the area of trade.“In order to attract the kind of maritime investments that we need, not only with ships coming to Jamaica but also maritime services that we need to provide to support these ships, we need to have modern surveys of the areas,” he points out.Beyond that, Mr. Brady explains that the surveys form part of Jamaica’s obligation as a signatory to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), ratified in 1983.The international maritime treaty requires signatory flag states to ensure that ships flagged by them comply with minimum safety standards in construction, equipment and operation.“We are obliged to produce navigational equipment that is current and accurate. Now, with this project coming on stream, we will be able to produce current (and) highly accurate hydrographical data that ships will feel comfortable coming here,” says Mr. Brady.Updated charts will allow Jamaica to maximise its economic potential, as ships will be able to fill to their draught capacity before coming to the island.Mr. Brady notes that the British Virgin Islands, having completed a hydrographic survey, was able to achieve “50 times the growth in its cruise shipping”.Noting the benefits to the NLA from the project, he says it is important to build the capacity of the agency to facilitate “inshore work” for hydrographic surveying.last_img read more

$325, 000 for Top Schools at All-Age and Junior High Champs

first_img Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, has announced prize money of $325,000 for the top-three schools in the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) 2018 All-Age and Junior High Athletics Championships.The winning school will receive $150,000, with $100,000 for second place and $75,000 for third place.This is in addition to the $50,000 for each of the 10 participating schools to assist with their expenses for the meet, which will take place on April 25 and 26.Minister Grange made the announcement at the press launch of the 40th and final staging of the championships at the National Stadium on April 18.She said the prize money is being awarded for the first time as a goodbye to the staging of the event.“Since this is the last staging, we are giving it something extra. As you know, in the previous years, each of the participating schools was given $50,000, with nothing extra for those emerging as the top three. Now there is much more to compete for and this is the way that we are bidding goodbye to the All-Age and Junior High Championships,” she said.She noted, further, that the meet will be moved from Stadium East to the National Stadium.The 40th staging of this competition is the last, owing to the phasing out of all-age and junior high schools in Jamaica. The process is to be completed next year.As such, the annual All-Age and Junior High Championships will be subsumed into the existing Primary School Athletics Championships.Minister Grange said the change will result in a single, strong primary-school event.“What we are going to be focused on now is the biggest and best primary-school championships that Jamaica will host,” she said.“It is not the end of something. Rather, it is the phasing out of an existing programme to make another existing programme bigger and better,” she added.The Minister pointed out that there are 762 primary schools across Jamaica, and challenged INSPORTS “to go find those schools and make your primary-school competition be the kind of competition where we can fill up the stadium with boys and girls champs”.“That is where we are going,” she said.Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, for his part, noted that the phasing out of the all-age and junior high schools is a positive for Jamaica.He said that every student who sat the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) this year “will have a full place in a high school so… everyone will have a better opportunity for improvement”.Board Director for INSPORTS, Vishu Tolan, said the Institute will continue to create platforms, so that youth are given the best opportunity to showcase their talents.“We… are charting a new course, which will see greater participation at the grassroots level among a raft of programmes we have in the pipeline, such as primary-school netball, football, and track and field. Other disciplines to come on stream soon are hockey, basketball, cricket and chess,” he noted.More than 700 athletes from 10 junior high schools across the island will be participating in 52 events over two days of the athletic competition.These are Windward Road Primary and Junior High; John Mills Infant, Primary and Junior High; Cockburn Gardens Primary and Junior High; Calabar Primary and Junior High; New Day Primary and Junior High; Maverly Primary and Junior High; Constant Spring Primary and Junior High; Shortwood Practising Primary and Junior High; Mico Practising Primary and Junior High; and Swallowfield Primary and Junior High. Story Highlights Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, has announced prize money of $325,000 for the top-three schools in the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) 2018 All-Age and Junior High Athletics Championships. “Since this is the last staging, we are giving it something extra. As you know, in the previous years, each of the participating schools was given $50,000, with nothing extra for those emerging as the top three. Now there is much more to compete for and this is the way that we are bidding goodbye to the All-Age and Junior High Championships,” she said. The winning school will receive $150,000, with $100,000 for second place and $75,000 for third place. last_img read more

Expansion of Court of Appeal Building to be Completed by the End of November

first_imgMinister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, says expansion of the Court of Appeal building on King Street in downtown Kingston is on track for completion by the end of November.He made the announcement at a Justices of the Peace training seminar held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston on November 3.In April, the Minister signed an $846-million contract to undertake the project, which will see the addition of three new courtrooms, 13 judges’ chambers and two lounges.The building, now owned by the Ministry of Justice, formerly housed the Administrator General’s Department, which has been relocated to the former Oceana Hotel building on Ocean Boulevard, downtown. Mr. Chuck said the expansion project is part of an aggressive government mandate to create a “first class” justice system.“The Government is going to give this justice system 110 per cent support. From the Ministry’s position, we intend that all of our courts should have not only first-class facilities but they must also be five-star facilities,” he stated.“The contractor is going to deliver the Court of Appeal at the end of this month and it will be first class facilities when it is opened and Jamaica sees it,” he added.The Justice Minister said the expansion of the building will facilitate the appointment of more judges.Jamaica received €4 million in budgetary support through the European Union’s 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Programme during fiscal year 2017/18. This allowed for increased budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Justice to fund the project.last_img read more

Tersan Shipyard Orders NDM Deck Machinery

first_imgndm, March 21, 2014 zoom Norwegian Deck Machinery (NDM) has been awarded a contract by Tersan Shipyard to supply deck machinery for Volstad Shipping’s new offshore construction vessel.ST-259 designThe vessel is of Skipsteknisk ST-259 design, purposely built for the Arctic waters. Specially designed for operation under severe weather conditions in cold waters, with high maneuverability and station keeping capabilities, the ship is further equipped with a 300t offshore crane, 120 pax accommodation and triple redundant propulsion systems.For the newbuiling NDM will supply:Two combined windlass/mooring winchesTwo chain stoppersFour 5 tons combined bollard capstansAll winches are electrical, frequency controlled, driven and will be delivered to the yard in January 2015.Delivery of the OCV is scheduled for Q4/2015.last_img read more

Inquest: Foul Play behind Sage Sagittarius Deaths

first_imgThe New South Wales Coroner Court has launched an investigation into two of three deaths on board the Panama-flagged coal carrier Sage Sagittarius that occurred three years ago in Australian waters.The vessel’s chief cook, Cesar Llanto, went missing in April 2012 while the ship was en route in the Coral Sea.The incident was followed by the death of chief engineer Hector Collado, who is believed to had fell from an 11-metre deck to a deck below while en route to New Castle, whereas the third incident happened in October while the ship was unloading in Japan when a worker of the ship’s managing company, Hachiuma Steamship, was killed after being crushed in a conveyer belt.The vessel, now referred to as the “Death ship”, has been involved in three incidents in only 6 months.During an inquest hearing on Wednesday, it was said that the two crew members were likely to had met with foul play, as the ship’s captain was accused of physically assaulting the crew,  the Sydney Morning Herald reports.In addition, the court heard there was “intense conflict and mutual mistrust” on the ship that prevented the crew from stepping forward on what actually happened.Suspicions have also been raised over the true cause of the engineer’s death as forensic investigation determined that he had sustained a head injury that appeared unrelated to the fall.During the hearing, the engineer’s widow said in a video call that Collado had expressed fears for his life prior to his death.The inquest the resumes and will hear from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and company representatives.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

HapagLloyd Recycles Seven More Boxships

first_imgzoom German liner shipping company Hapag-Lloyd is sending seven older container ships to be recycled in Turkey and China.The respective shipyards are especially equipped and certified to recycle ships in an environmentally friendly manner, according to the company. The vessels in question feature a capacity of 4,101 TEU each.“The recycling of these ships is part of the restructuring of our fleet,” Anthony Firmin, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Hapag-Lloyd, said.“Since the merger with United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), we boast one of the youngest fleets in the industry on average,” Firmin added.In September 2017, Hapag-Lloyd sent three older vessels from the former UASC fleet to be dismantled in an environmentally friendly manner.The step means that Hapag-Lloyd is continuing to implement the internal Ship Recycling Policy it adopted in May 2014, whereby ships which are no longer needed must be recycled in a safe and environmentally friendly manner, the company added.Hapag-Lloyd has a fleet of 215 container ships with a total transport capacity of 1.6 million TEU.last_img read more

Hamburg Süd Christens Another Polar Class Vessel

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Hamburg Süd German shipping company Hamburg Süd has christened its latest Polar-class containership, Polar Ecuador.The christening ceremony was held at Belgian New Fruit Wharf in Antwerp on May 20, 2019.“Antwerp is a highly important port for Hamburg Süd, and the Belgian New Fruit Wharf is a very suitable place for the christening of a ‘Polar’-class vessel,” Frank Smet, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Hamburg Süd, commented. “After all, with more than 1,000 reefer plugs, the ‘Polar Ecuador’ transports a disproportionately large volume of refrigerated cargo for a container vessel of this size from Mexico and the Caribbean to Antwerp,” he added.The 52,100 dwt Post-Panamax is deployed in Hamburg Süd’s North Europe -Mexico/Caribbean service (EMCS), which connects Antwerp and other European ports in Ireland, Great Britain and Germany with Mexican and Caribbean ports.Polar Ecuador belongs to a group of four structurally identical vessels in the Polar class that were built for Hamburg Süd by the Chinese shipyard Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding.With a total length of 230 meters and a width of 37.3 meters, the ship offers a container storage capacity of 3,800 TEU and is equipped with 1,000 reefer plugs.Last month, the company christened Polar Ecuador’s sister vessel, Polar Mexico, in the Mexican port of Veracruz. The christening of Polar Mexico also marked first berthing of a container vessel at the new ICAVE terminal.last_img read more

Epic Gas Adds Two Petredec Ships to Its Fleet

first_imgzoomIllustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Singapore-based gas carrier owner and operator Epic Gas has completed the acquisition of two of four ships it is buying from Petredec Ltd.The vessels in question are the 11,000 cbm LPG carriers Kahyasi and Kris Kin, built by a Japanese shipbuilder in 2015.The units immediately entered a two-year time charter with an undisclosed LPG commodity trading and shipping company.The transactions involving the remaining two ships, the 11,000 cbm Kingcraft and Kisber, are due for completion in July and August.Epic Gas said that the acquisition is financed with a combination of equity and debt, including a 7-year senior secured credit facility of USD 63.9 million with BNP Paribas and Danish Ship Finance.“These vessels allow us to further leverage our operational platform at an attractive stage of the rate cycle for minimal additional cost, reflecting the benefits our growing scale can deliver,”  Charles Maltby, CEO of Epic Gas, said.Once delivered, the four units will bring the company’s fleet to 44 vessels.last_img read more

Volunteer Fire Service Recognition Day

first_imgSunday, Oct. 12 has been designated Volunteer Fire ServiceRecognition Day in Nova Scotia. “Volunteer firefighters are shining examples of the pride NovaScotians have in their province,” said Kerry Morash, Minister ofEnvironment and Labour. “Just last week, we saw them once againstep up to help ensure everyone’s safety in the days afterHurricane Juan. We should all take a moment this Sunday to say’thank you for being there’.” The role of the volunteer fire service is expanding. Manyvolunteer departments now deliver vehicle extrication, advancedmedical first response, water rescue and hazardous materialsresponse capabilities. “These capabilities are visible enhancements of public safety,”Mr. Morash said, “but what often escapes public notice is thetime away from families that’s needed to train for thesespecialized activities.” A typical fire service volunteer spends about 10 hours each weekin training or operations. In Nova Scotia, there are 314 fire departments. More than 300 areall-volunteer and 12 are combined volunteer and careerfirefighters. Currently, about 7,500 Nova Scotians volunteer inthe fire service.last_img read more

Alcohol Ban in Some Provincial Parks

first_img June 14 to July 5 (inclusive): Dollar Lake Camping Park and Laurie Lake Camping Park, Halifax Co. June 14 – 27 (inclusive): Islands Camping Park, Shelburne Co., and Ellenwood Camping Park, Yarmouth Co. The Department of Natural Resources will place a temporary ban onalcohol in some provincial parks, beginning June 14. The purpose of the ban is to help ensure visitors have a safe andenjoyable camping experience, without incident. “The safety of visitors to our parks remains our number onepriority,” said Richard Hurlburt, Minister of Natural Resources. “Last year, there were a number of incidents involving alcohol ina few parks, which on one occasion resulted in the serious injuryof two teenagers. This is unacceptable.” The dates of the alcohol ban and the parks impacted are asfollows:last_img read more

Amendments to Pipeline Regulations Approved

first_imgWait times for residential gas hookups will be shortened, thanksto new amendments to pipeline regulations. “The amendments will allow customers to get access to natural gasin a more timely manner, without compromising public safety,” said Energy Minister Cecil Clarke. “As well, they will put NovaScotia regulations in line with current federal regulations.” The amendments clarify the testing and inspection provisionsrequired for newly constructed pipelines, bringing them in linewith current federal regulations, such as the Canadian SafetyAssociation Code and National Energy Board Onshore PipelineRegulations. The changes were approved on Aug. 27. The regulations distinguish between transmission and distributionlines (the larger lines that bring gas to an area or street) andservice lines (the smaller lines that would bring gas to anindividual residence). Under the amended regulations, acontractor that constructs a service line to a home can now hirean independent contractor to inspect the line, reducing costs andwait times for residential gas hook ups. The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board supports the amendments,which had been sent for stakeholder consultation and posted onthe Department of Energy’s website for public consultation fromJuly 13 to Aug. 3.last_img read more

Minister Speaks Out Against Violent Video Game

first_imgNova Scotia’s Justice Minister Murray Scott is speaking out against a violent video game, in which players earn points for killing police and criminal suspects. Mr. Scott is joining police from across North America in criticizing the video game, “25 to Life”. “Glorifying death in anyway is reprehensible, but celebrating this kind of killing is truly disturbing,” said Mr. Scott. “I am calling on game players, parents and retailers to use common sense in controlling distribution of this game.” The video game allows players to role-play shooting gang members and police officers. It also gives players the option of using bystanders as human shields. “Relationships between police and communities should be strengthened, not eroded by these graphic and offensive images that are packaged as a game,” said Mr. Scott. “We need to be especially careful that our young children are protected from this kind of violence and negative themes.” Nova Scotia introduced a video game rating system in April 2005, which requires vendors to ask for identification when renting some games to younger players. “25 to Life” has been rated “Mature”, meaning only those 17 and older may rent the game. “I am calling on all retail outlets who sell and rent video games to abide by the law and ask for ID when the game is being purchased,” said Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Minister of Environment and Labour. “Many games are not for people under the age of 17 and that is why we implemented a video game rating system in this province — to help retailers and the public know exactly what content is in the video.” The Department of Environment and Labour’s alcohol and gaming division regularly visits video game retailers to ensure compliance with the law. If a retailer is found to be in violation of the law, the department has the authority to give a warning or to suspend or revoke a licence. Ms. Bolivar-Getson said everyone from the industry — retailers, government and parents — have a role to play in ensuring the video games that young people buy or rent are suitable for their age.last_img read more

Awareness Campaign Geared Towards Women Mood Disorders

first_imgWomen now have new resources to help understand anxiety and mood disorders and are encouraged to seek help if they think they may have symptoms of the disorders. Fact sheets, calendars, magnets and posters were launched today, Oct. 6, as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week. The calendar showcases artwork of women who are affected by mental health and includes facts and tips about mood disorders and how to improve and maintain mental health. “Studies show that 16 per cent of women are affected by an anxiety disorder,” said Health Minister Chris d’Entremont. “Through this campaign, we want to encourage people to know the signs and symptoms and seek help early.” A study conducted by Université de Montréal found that women are twice as likely to suffer from health problems related to stress. Mental Illness Awareness Week raises awareness and reduces stigma to show that those living with a mental illness can lead full, rewarding and productive lives. Phase one of the women and mood disorders campaign was launched in May, with the release of a booklet containing stories of five woman and their recovery. About nine per cent of Nova Scotians report being depressed, according to a Statistics Canada survey, and fewer than 40 per cent do something about it. “We want to encourage women to be aware of their mental health and to seek help as soon as possible,” said Linda Smith, executive director of mental health, children’s services and addiction treatment at the Department of Health. The Department of Health developed these materials with input from people who have experienced mental health problems, psychologists, nurses and social workers as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations to increase awareness. The materials are available at www.nsdepression.ca .last_img read more

Province Supports United Nations Convention

first_imgNova Scotia’s Minister responsible for the Disabled Persons Commission, Denise Peterson-Rafuse, today, March 12, applauded Canada’s decision to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. “Nova Scotia is proud to be such a strong advocate for individual rights for persons with disabilities and we congratulate the government of Canada for ratifying this important convention,” said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. By signing the convention, Canada is committed to upholding the rights of those with disabilities and supporting their full participation and integration in a community. The convention also guides future policies for the rights of the disabled. The Disabled Persons Commission represents the needs of the twenty per cent of Nova Scotians who live with one or more disabilities. The Department of Community Services also supports 5,000 individuals with disabilities through the Services for Persons with Disabilities program. The $220-million program provides day programs, residential options and in-home support services. “We are committed to providing the necessary support to help individuals with disabilities live as independently as possible in their own community,” said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. “I look forward to working with the commission to ensure the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities in our society.” For more information on the Service for Persons with Disabilities Program, go to www.gov.ns.ca/coms . For more information on the convention, go to the United Nations Convention website at www.un.org/disabilities .last_img read more

Funding to Help Grow Mineral Sector

first_imgGovernment is advancing the provincial natural resources strategy, growing the economy and making it easier for prospectors and exploration companies to make new discoveries. Minister of Natural Resources Charlie Parker announced today, July 13, a grant program to attract new mineral exploration investment and help bring new projects closer to development. The program will fund exploration activities and provide training and business development to support industry. “This mineral incentive program will make our province more competitive with neighbouring provinces in attracting investments from a global industry and is expected to lead to new mineral discoveries and new mines and that means job creation in rural Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Parker. “With this announcement, we are ticking off yet another commitment met to move the natural resources strategy forward.” Grants of up to $100,000 will be available for advanced exploration projects, with program funding to be matched by the company or prospector. Grants of up to $15,000 will be available to eligible prospectors for preliminary mineral exploration activities. This year $700,000 has been budgeted for the program. Prospectors will also be eligible for funding to support introductory and continuing training on exploration techniques, safety, regulations and business development. “The new mineral incentive program could help prospectors andsmall exploration companies to discover and develop potential economic mineral deposits,” said Pat Mills, president the Mining Association of Nova Scotia. “We are very appreciative of government’s decision to implement this program which will assist in the earlier establishment of jobs and economic activity in rural Nova Scotia. This program will assist Nova Scotians to participate in the exploration and mining boom and resulting prosperity that is being experienced elsewhere in Canada.” Details and applications for funds are available at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/nsmip/nsmip.asp .last_img read more