Blog from IMO Secretary-General
(With Eda Adriana Rivas Franchini, Foreign Minister of Peru)
World Maritime Day Parallel Event in Peru, 2-3 October 2013
On behalf of all IMO Members and the maritime community as a whole, I should like to express my sincere thanks to the Government of Peru for inviting IMO to bring this year’s World Maritime Day Parallel Event to Peru; and my appreciation for the excellent arrangements made for the conference and the unforgettable hospitality.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to President Humala and Foreign Minister Rivas, to both of whom I had the honour to pay courtesy visits, and to Defence Minister Pedro Cateriano Bellido who presided over the whole of the conference. My thanks also go to the General Commander of the Navy, Admiral Carlos Tejada Mera, and the Director General of Captaincy and Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Edmundo Deville del Campo for organising all the events. My special thanks go to Ambassador Julio Munoz, who kindly accompanied me throughout my tour in Lima. During the proceedings, we discussed wide-ranging issues covering;
How the shipping industry can reduce CO2 emissions under IMO regulations
The importance of IMO mechanisms to designate Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas such as the Paracas National Reserve
Challenges for the maritime community in implementing the Ballast Water Management Convention
Implementation of the MARPOL Convention
The IMO audit scheme
How to reduce administrative burdens for the implementation of IMO regulations
Future prospects for the container trade, and port developments
Seafarer training and welfare
Technical cooperation and the role of the World Maritime University
I appreciate the excellent contributions made by all speakers and presenters to the success of the event. I was greatly encouraged by the lively discussions. I am sure that the event reconfirmed that IMO is the right Organization to provide the institutional framework for a sustainable maritime transportation system.
We recognised that maritime investment would be essential for the current and future economic growth and prosperity of Peru, and we witnessed the significant efforts of the Government to ensure the necessary port  developments required for future maritime transport needs,  to strengthen coast guard capacity and shipbuilding yards, and to enhance seafarer training facilities with the decision to build a new training tall ship for the first time in the history of Peru.
Social events included a technical visit to the port Callao and the port expansion project, as well as various cultural events.
The long maritime heritage of Peru has been well demonstrated by the explorer Thor Heyerdahl. His 1947 voyage across the Pacific Ocean on the balsa-wood raft Kon-Tiki departed from Callao.
The Parallel Event provides an excellent opportunity to show host country’s maritime tradition and maritime heritage, both to participants in the event itself and to the global maritime community. I think we should highlight this aspect of the country hosting the IMO World Maritime Day Parallel Events even more. In doing so, we could, in the future, create a wonderful catalogue of the world’s maritime heritage.
Next year’s Parallel Event host will be Morocco and we eagerly look forward to next year’s event which, I am sure, will be another excellent opportunity to highlight the importance of IMO’s activities and of the maritime transport system, which we are all supporting through the cooperation and collaboration mechanisms of IMO.

(With Eda Adriana Rivas Franchini, Foreign Minister of Peru)

World Maritime Day Parallel Event in Peru, 2-3 October 2013

On behalf of all IMO Members and the maritime community as a whole, I should like to express my sincere thanks to the Government of Peru for inviting IMO to bring this year’s World Maritime Day Parallel Event to Peru; and my appreciation for the excellent arrangements made for the conference and the unforgettable hospitality.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to President Humala and Foreign Minister Rivas, to both of whom I had the honour to pay courtesy visits, and to Defence Minister Pedro Cateriano Bellido who presided over the whole of the conference. My thanks also go to the General Commander of the Navy, Admiral Carlos Tejada Mera, and the Director General of Captaincy and Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Edmundo Deville del Campo for organising all the events. My special thanks go to Ambassador Julio Munoz, who kindly accompanied me throughout my tour in Lima. During the proceedings, we discussed wide-ranging issues covering;

  • How the shipping industry can reduce CO2 emissions under IMO regulations
  • The importance of IMO mechanisms to designate Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas such as the Paracas National Reserve
  • Challenges for the maritime community in implementing the Ballast Water Management Convention
  • Implementation of the MARPOL Convention
  • The IMO audit scheme
  • How to reduce administrative burdens for the implementation of IMO regulations
  • Future prospects for the container trade, and port developments
  • Seafarer training and welfare
  • Technical cooperation and the role of the World Maritime University

I appreciate the excellent contributions made by all speakers and presenters to the success of the event. I was greatly encouraged by the lively discussions. I am sure that the event reconfirmed that IMO is the right Organization to provide the institutional framework for a sustainable maritime transportation system.

We recognised that maritime investment would be essential for the current and future economic growth and prosperity of Peru, and we witnessed the significant efforts of the Government to ensure the necessary port  developments required for future maritime transport needs,  to strengthen coast guard capacity and shipbuilding yards, and to enhance seafarer training facilities with the decision to build a new training tall ship for the first time in the history of Peru.

Social events included a technical visit to the port Callao and the port expansion project, as well as various cultural events.

The long maritime heritage of Peru has been well demonstrated by the explorer Thor Heyerdahl. His 1947 voyage across the Pacific Ocean on the balsa-wood raft Kon-Tiki departed from Callao.

The Parallel Event provides an excellent opportunity to show host country’s maritime tradition and maritime heritage, both to participants in the event itself and to the global maritime community. I think we should highlight this aspect of the country hosting the IMO World Maritime Day Parallel Events even more. In doing so, we could, in the future, create a wonderful catalogue of the world’s maritime heritage.

Next year’s Parallel Event host will be Morocco and we eagerly look forward to next year’s event which, I am sure, will be another excellent opportunity to highlight the importance of IMO’s activities and of the maritime transport system, which we are all supporting through the cooperation and collaboration mechanisms of IMO.

Northern Sea Route, Days 4 and 5, 18-19 August 2013

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With Captain D. Lobusov of 50 Let Pobedy at the farewell dinner on 19 August 2013

Day Three passed without our seeing any ice during our passage through the Laptev Sea. We navigated to the north of Ostrov Island and turned into the East Siberian Sea, approaching Pevek. At one point, we reached 78N, the closest we would come to the North Pole during this voyage.

On Day Four, when we were getting closer to the Siberian coast, we encountered more and more accumulated ice on the sea. 50 Let Pobedy moved smoothly, avoiding the ice wherever she could, but this was not always possible and, from time to time, we would experience forceful collisions with the ice. By this time, I had become well accustomed to the noises and vibrations caused by the ice-breaking process.

We did not encounter any other ship during this time, except for a Russian hydrographic vessel. She was measuring the water depth, as part of the current ambitious plan to survey thousands of miles of the Northern Sea Route areas in the coming years. It is expected that we will be arriving at Pevek at 02:00 on 20 August, the day the Maritime Labour Convention enters into force.

Icebreakers must sometimes be in continuous operation, without port calls, for more than six months. 50 Let Pobedy can sustain its crew over such a long period of time and has all the necessary facilities, including a swimming pool, sports hall and gym. We played volleyball and table tennis, in order just to experience these excellent facilities. Such arrangements are essential for the crew if they are to carry out their onerous responsibilities and difficult tasks in remote and isolated areas over a long period of time.

At the farewell dinner arranged for us, I told Captain Lobusov and his crew how much I appreciated all the arrangements that had been made and the support provided for our visit.

For me, this has been a remarkable voyage.

I have been able to observe, at first hand, the weather and sea conditions and experience for myself ice-breaking activities and navigation in the Arctic Ocean. I am sure that this experience will enable me to make even stronger personal contributions to the work of IMO in dealing with Arctic navigation and, in particular, to the preparation of the Polar Code.

This mission would not have been possible without the encouragement and the substantial support provided to me by the Russian Government and ROSATOMFLOT and I would like to state my sincere appreciation to Deputy Minister Olersky and Director-General Ruksha for enabling me to participate in what has been a truly memorable experience.

Northern Sea Route Day 3, 17 August 2013

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Navigating the calm waters of the Laptev Sea

At 03:30, 50 Let Pobedy was struggling to make headway because of accumulated sea ice in the vicinity of the Taymyr Peninsula, in the channel connecting the Kara Sea to the Laptev Sea. I saw cracks appearing ahead of the icebreaker, because of the impact of the ice-breaking bow on the ice. A massive piece of ice even changed the course of the ship forcefully. In order to take rest, I returned to bed.

When my alarm woke me up at 07:00, the sea was just a calm, misty water. 50 Let Pobedy was moving ahead at cruising speed in the wide open water of the Laptev Sea. From the bridge, we occasionally saw the tips of icebergs, but the weather was very kind. The outside temperature was 4 degrees. We are located at 77.48N, 115.20E.

In the afternoon, I had a chance to address the crew of the icebreaker. I spoke about the activities of IMO in general, and specifically the Polar Code.

Afterwards, I had an opportunity to discuss various matters relating to the Northern Sea Route with Deputy Minister Olersky. Among the subjects we discussed were the availability of accurate navigational charts and the need for hydrographical surveys to be carried out, the responsibility of the newly established Administration over the Northern Sea Route, and the cost of essential services such as pilotage and assistance from icebreakers.

Except for the early hours of this morning, our voyage today has been smooth, calm and eventless since we entered the Laptev Sea. We are in the middle of a wide, open, calm sea. So long as such comfortable navigation continues, the Arctic Ocean seems to be a kind and modest sea. But we must remember that we are currently at the peak of summer and it was only this morning that we were really struggling to make headway in ice-packed fields.

Northern Sea Route Day 2, 16 August 2013 (continued)

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Above: The powerful icebreaker Yamal at close quarters to 50 Let Pobedy

22:00 Moscow time on 16 August onboard 50 Let Pobedy

I woke up at 07:00 this morning to the sound of the hull hitting ice. I realised that it was the ice and jumped off the bed to take a photo from my cabin window. The sea was not extensively covered by ice. We had left Dixon just a half day ago and we were navigating well into the Kara Sea.

At 09:30, we were given a tour of the ship’s different decks and eventually shown to the navigation bridge of 50 Let Pobedy. By that time, the ice had begun to surround us. But the sea was calm with no strong winds and it was misty and foggy. The visibility was less than half a mile. The ship continued to crush ice and her impressive power allowed her to navigate in a straight line, leaving a clear channel behind for a mile before the ice seemed to merge again.

A full tour of ship’s machinery spaces was given to us in the afternoon, including the core nuclear reactors and their control room, the electricity generators, the propulsion system, three power shafts, and the steering gear, with its power duplication arrangements. The ship is equipped with ample life-saving appliances, fire protection equipment, arrangements for radiation control and monitoring and all other health and safety equipment. This ship’s survival level is extremely high because of the special nature of its duty in the remote Arctic region. I was really impressed with all the design features of this remarkable vessel.

In the afternoon, we met a convoy led by another nuclear icebreaker, Yamal. She was escorting one huge LNG carrier and a bulk carrier through the Kara Sea, navigating from the north-east. After we crossed, I received a request from the Captain of the LNG carrier to have a radio call with him and I explained the purpose of my mission, highlighting the importance of the activities of IMO for Arctic navigation, and expressed my best wishes to him.

The north-eastern part of the Kara Sea is currently accumulating ice, due to a continuous wind from the north for several days. Conditions were getting worse. Before we reached the north of Cape Chelyuskin, leaving the Kara Sea and turning around the northern most point of Asia, 50 Let Pobedy was involved in serious activities to provide support for another nuclear icebreaker, Vaygach, which was leading a convoy oftwo ships. Later, 50 Let Pobedy was actively involved in supporting another huge bulker, stationed in ice-covered water waiting for a convoy to help her. The bulker carried an Arctic pilot, boarded at Murmansk, to support her Arctic voyage. 50 Let Pobedy u-turned, circled and made various manoeuvres to provide the expected support to other ships and even to other icebreakers. This really is a powerful icebreaker, breaking ice, riding on ice, making cracks in ice and creating water channels. I could really sense the power of these nuclear icebreakers.

Our climate is changing, and the area of multi-layer ice has been shrinking due to the increase in seawater temperature. Navigation through the Arctic using the Northern Sea Route has become a reality in summer. However, the Arctic waters are still extreme, even in summer, and the power of nature cannot be underestimated. I am in no doubt that, in the conditions I have observed, the active support of these powerful icebreakers is still essential for safe passage of the Arctic Ocean, although we should rigorously explore the possibility of Arctic navigation under the mandatory Polar Code currently being developed at IMO.

Day two of this voyage has been a remarkable one. I witnessed icebreakers carrying out their vital role in the ice-covered Kara Sea. Our ship is subject to continuous vibration from the ice-breaking movement and it is always fascinating to watch the changing shapes of the ice ahead of the vessel. But I have day three tomorrow, so I now leave my iPad for bed in my cabin.

Below, a seismic survey ship, part of the convoy of icebreaker Vaygach, photographed from the navigation bridge of 50 Let Pobedy

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Northern Sea Route, Day 2, 16 August 2013

I woke up at 07:00 to the sound of a collision with an ice floe.

Within an hour, we had entered the area of continuous ice. This means that the ice breaker continually collides with the ice and the noise and vibration do not stop.

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The icebreaker continues to move straight ahead. It is only 14 hours since we departed Dixon. Our speed is steady at 18 knots.