February 2015 - Kemplon Engineering

Lunar Fishing Orders Multiple Wartsila Equipment for its Under-Construction Trawlers

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Wartsila 32 Engine Source: http://www.wartsila.com/en/engines/medium-speed-engines/wartsila32

Wartsila 32 Engine
Source: http://www.wartsila.com/en/engines/medium-speed-engines/wartsila32

Trusted Partners
Scotland based Lunar Fishing Company Limited has chosen lifecycle power supply solutions provider Wartsila for the propulsion and control equipment of its two, under-construction fishing trawlers / pursers. With this, Lunar Fishing further extends its 20-year long association with Wartsila.

Karstensens Shipyard, Denmark is building the vessels. Wartsila will deliver the equipment for the first vessel by end-2015 and for the second vessel by the summer of 2016.

One of the mechanisms Wartsila is providing is the Wartsila Protouch Propulsion Control System, winner of the esteemed Red Dot Design Award 2013. Since 1955, Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen presents this award for design agencies, design concepts, and product designs.

These vessels come with a unique combination of high fishing capabilities through minimum noise, eco-friendly and economical operations, and superlative propulsion efficiency.
Technical & Other Details
Under the contract, Wartsila will supply:

  • Wartsila 32(E), 9-Cylinder In-Line Engine
  • Wartsila 4E1095 Controllable Pitch Propeller (CPP) with high performance (HP) nozzle seals & bearings, shaft line, stern tube etc.
  • Wartsila Protouch Propulsion Control System
  • SCV 112/2 Two-Speed Gear with Power Take-Off (PTO) Function

Economic operations and overall high propulsion efficiency result from a combination of the Wartsila 32 (E) engine with the two-speed gear. The engine itself offers fine fuel efficiency and an output of 580 kW per cylinder with 5,220 kW total power.

Designed and made in 1998, the Wartsila 32 Engine complies with IMO Tier II exhaust regulations. It is reliable, easily maintained, and has planned interfaces to external mechanisms.

Technical Specifications:

2 - TableAll Wartsila engines come with the UNIC Embedded Engine Management System for longer lifetimes of engines operating in tough conditions. This system focuses on vibration and temperature endurance through fuel injection-timing control, speed control and load-sharing, start-stop sequencing, knock detection, engine safety etc.

Wartsila’s SCV 112/2 gear is the largest available gear in Wartsila’s two-speed gear armory. The low speed option is used when maximum speed-thrust are not required. This saves 15% fuel in comparison with a single mechanical propulsion system and cuts down sulphur oxides (SOX) and nitrogen oxide (NOX) discharges.

Wartsila’s High Performance Nozzle Improves Thrust by Up To 5%  Source: http://www.wartsila.com/en/propulsors/propellers/cpp

Wartsila’s High Performance Nozzle Improves Thrust by Up To 5%
Source: http://www.wartsila.com/en/propulsors/propellers/cpp

Merits include:
Hyper Fishing Capabilities through Negligible Hydro-Acoustic Noise at low rotational speeds
Ecological plus Economic Advantages especially for fishing vessels and other crafts operating at low transit speeds and in diverse modes. Offshore support vessels, single screw vessels with redundant propulsion system, tug boats, and RoPax vessels also find this gear system useful
High, Constant Propeller Efficiency through two gear ratio options that enable an optimum propeller speed that is low and constant. The two-ratio options also facilitate continuous power generation on the gear’s power take-off (PTO)

The PTO drives the shaft alternator, pump, or compressor. Primary PTOs work with single gears and rotate with the engine. Double gears can employ primary and secondary PTOs that rotate with the propeller shaft

Wartsila Controllable Pitch (WCP) Propeller Systems are made up of a hub, shaft, propeller blades, hydraulic mechanism, and remote control. They lend great maneuverability and efficiency while providing incredible economy, reliability, environmental performance, integration, and operating control.

These are preferred with a constant speed shaft generator (PTO) and are particularly suited for vessels that:

  • operate in changing weather, diverse operating conditions, and strenuous operating requirements such as dynamic positioning
  • require full power during free sailing and bollard pull conditions
  • often call on ports

Winner of the esteemed Red Dot Design Award 2013, Wartsila’s state-of-the-art touch screen propulsion control system simplifies operations by seamlessly combining numerous components thereby reducing the number of interfaces.

Award Winning Wartsila Protouch Propulsion Control System Source: http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/87964/wartsila-gets-red-dot-product-design-award-germany/

Award Winning Wartsila Protouch Propulsion Control System
Source: http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/87964/wartsila-gets-red-dot-product-design-award-germany/

User-friendly for easy operate-ability, these systems are designed to comply with the standards of the IMO and other classification societies. These systems are safe, compact, easy to install and maintain, modular, and flexible. The use of standard components slashes the cost of engineering, installation, and maintenance.

Company Profiles
Through its focus on total efficiency and technical innovation, Wartsila has positioned itself as the world leader in full lifecycle solutions for vastly improving the environmental and economic performance of vessels and power plants.

Karstensens Shipyards, Denmark is qualified to handle the construction and repair of most types of vessels up to a length of 135 m. Such vessels include fishing vessels, freighters, tankers, and special purpose vessels.

Even a glimpse at the merits of the systems and equipment offered by Wartsila and you know why the company is so highly regarded the world over and why Lunar Fishing continues doing business with it.

Europe’s Migrant ‘Ghost’ Ships

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A new twist on the tragic saga of Europe’s unfolding migrant crisis: ‘ghost’ ships, or ships abandoned by its crew while hundreds of desperate migrants are left aboard. Moldovan-flagged cargo ship Blue Sky M was abandoned by its crew in the Adriatic Sea and found with 970 people on board, many of them Syrian migrants; and Sierra Leone-flagged merchant ship Ezadeen was found with 450 refugees near the Italian coast. Kemplon Engineering reports on what may be a horrifying new trend in human trafficking.

Europe’s Migrant Crisis
Over the last 14 months, over 170,000 migrants from the Middle East and Africa have crossed the Mediterranean and into Italy. Thousands more had perished at sea, having taken off on overweight and/or barely-seaworthy vessels in a desperate bid for a better life in Europe. Many of these irregular migrants are trying to escape poverty, while others—such as those from Syria—are fleeing from war.

New “Trend”
The use of cargo ships is a fairly new “trend” in trafficking, a variation from the dinghies and fishing boats used in the past. According to a representative from Frontex, the border control agency of the EU, there have been about 10 such ships since late last fall. The modus is said to involve the acquisition of a decommissioned ship, filling it with migrants (those found in Blue Sky M reportedly paid about $6,000 each, though estimates vary), and abandoning it at sea and advising passengers to contact rescue services. Aside from the larger numbers of migrants that can be accommodated, the use of such vessels can also allow human traffickers to operate in the winter season, when they used to be limited to working during warmer months and in calmer waters.

The worrying trend is a dangerous new menace, as the abandoned ships could run aground and lead to consequences that could harm the migrants aboard as well as damage other vessels or the coast.

The migrant crisis is becoming more and more overwhelming. The number of people fleeing poverty and war are staggering and the countries rescuing them and taking them in are financially burdened—all while traffickers make millions in a big, international operation.

We at Kemplon Engineering believe that if the concerned governments work together, long-term and sustainable solutions may be crafted to protect both desperate migrants and their countries of destination. The situation clearly cannot continue as it is.

Our world’s waters have always played witness humanity’s ingenuity and resilience—it has seen the heights of technology and skill, of diplomacy and commerce. It has also, unfortunately, seen war, piracy and crime. It is our sincere hope that this latest trend in trafficking will bring out the best in us, of our compassion for each other and our ability to come together and find lasting solutions.

^ “Italy’s Second Ghost Ship Prompts EU Plan.” Maritime Executive, 03 Jan 2015. Web. 06 Jan 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/italys-second-ghost-ship-prompts-eu-plan
^ “Italy’s second ‘ghost ship’ rescue prompts EU pledge to fight smugglers.” ABC.net.au, 04 Jan 2015. Web. 06 Jan 2015. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-04/italys-second-ghost-ship-rescue-prompts-eu-pledge/5999122
^ Squires, Nick. “Italy finds second ‘ghost ship’ with no crew but 450 migrants.” The Telegraph, 02 Jan 2015. Web. 06 Jan 2015. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/11322289/Italy-finds-second-ghost-ship-with-no-crew-but-450-migrants.html
^ “Update: Almost 1,000 Migrants on Packed Cargo Ship.” Maritime Executive, 31 Dec 2014. Web. 06 Jan 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/update-four-migrants-found-dead-on-packed-cargo-ship
^ Wilkinson, Ben and Daniel Miller. “Rescuers reach second migrant ‘ghost ship’ on collision course with Italy: Stricken vessel abandoned by smugglers with 450 people on board is brought under tow.” Mail Online, 02 Jan 2015. Web. 06 Jan 2015. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2893970/Now-SECOND-migrant-ghost-ship-collision-course-Italy.html

Solo and Family Cabins on the Koningsdam, A First for Holland America

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News from the Cruise industry always brings us at Kemplon Engineering a lot of excitement. A truly dynamic component of maritime activity, cruising is bringing more and more people out to sea on magnificent travel experiences they remember for the rest of their lives. The market is always eager for “the next big thing” when it comes to cruise offerings, and just over the last few years we have seen previously-unimaginable strides in entertainment, technology and creature comforts.

Many people first experience cruising in their youth, and parents delight in seeing wonder and awe in the eyes of their children when aboard a magnificent ship on their way to a travel adventure. Families have always been a target market for cruising, in this sense, and come 2016, Holland America will be bringing them even more to enjoy, as the cruise liner offers family oceanview cabins aboard the MS Koningsdam.

The Koningsdam
Holland America’s Koningsdam is scheduled for a 2016 delivery. At 99,500-tons, the 2,650-passenger ship will be the fleet’s largest, and its first “Pinnacle Class.” Among the upcoming ship’s most anticipated features are 32 family oceanview cabins ranging from 222 to 231 square feet in size. These cabins, which can accommodate five passengers, have two bathrooms.

Even as Holland America caters to the needs of families, the Koningsdam will also be a must-cruise ship for the increasing numbers of solo cruisers—12 oceanview cabins, ranging from 127 to 172 square feet in size and designed for solo occupancy, will also be available.

With all the visionary ship features currently available on the cruise market, it is also nice to return to the fundamentals of cruising—well-appointed, spacious staterooms, and opportunities for reflection (if traveling solo), or to be with family in a conducive space. We look forward to hearing more about Holland America’s offerings, as the MS Koningsdam approaches its 2016 delivery date and first voyage.

^ “Holland America’s ms Koningsdam To Feature First-in-Fleet Family and Solo Stateroom Categories.” Press Release, via Travel Pulse, 25 Nov 2014. Web. 13 Dec 2014. http://www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/holland-americas-ms-koningsdam-to-feature-first-in-fleet-family-and-solo-stateroom-categories.html
^ Kramer, Gina. “Holland America to Debut Single Cabins on New Cruise Ship.” Cruise Critic, 25 Nov 2014. Web. 13 Dec 2014. http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=6088
^ Sloan, Gene. “Next Holland America ship to have family cabins.” USA Today, 26 Nov 2014. Web. 13 Dec 2014. http://www.usatoday.com/story/cruiselog/2014/11/26/holland-america-family-cabins/19519575/
^ Thakksy. “New Purpose Built Staterooms Coming To Holland America’s MS Koningsdam.” Cruise Hive, 25 Nov 2014. Web. 13 Dec 2014. http://www.cruisehive.com/new-purpose-built-staterooms-coming-holland-americas-ms-koningsdam/5053

Air Asia Tragedy: Multinational Effort for Search and Recovery

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2014 was a dangerous year for aviation. In the last such tragedy of 2014, a plane crash claimed the lives of 162 people, and nations again came together in a multinational effort at search and recovery. Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look at the tragedy, and what countries are contributing to the operations.

Air Asia Flight QZ8501
The downed Airbus was traveling from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore on the 28th of December when it lost contact 40 minutes into the flight. The pilot had requested permission to go to a higher altitude in order to avoid storm clouds, but was not immediately allowed to do so given heavy air traffic. The plane lost contact and disappeared from radar soon afterwards. 162 people were on board—155 passengers and 7 crew.
Bad weather is considered to be the largest contributing factor to the tragedy, and the area is known for winds and thunderstorms.

Also at issue is that Air Asia appears to have violated permissions on route and schedule, as they were not authorized to fly the Surabaya-Singapore route on the day of the tragedy. Investigations into this facet of the crash is also underway.

Search and Recovery
Plane wreckage and the intact remains of 30 passengers were recovered about ten miles from the plane’s last coordinates. These recoveries and other signs of wreckage have allowed searchers to narrow down the search area from 13,500 sq. km to about 1,575 square nautical miles. Efforts are still ongoing to recover the remains of more passengers as well as the plane’s black box, which should be able to provide information on what had really caused the crash.

An International Effort
Indonesia is leading recovery efforts through their military and search and rescue agencies. Also involved are agencies from the United States, China, France, Singapore, Australia and South Korea. The US Navy’s USS Sampson arrived on the 30th of December to assist in the search, and USS Fort Worth is in Singapore and ready to assist if requested to do so. Among vessels deployed in the international search effort are about 20 aircraft, 3 warships and remote-operated vehicles, doing visual, radar and sonar surveillance. Naval divers have also been deployed. Unfortunately, bad weather and turbulent seas are complicating their efforts.

We at Kemplon Engineering sympathize with those who have lost family and friends in this tragic event, and we sincerely hope for the safety of the brave men and women in the search and recovery operations, who are working hard to find answers and bring the lost passengers home to their loved ones.

^ “AirAsia flight QZ8501 search team finds four large objects on seabed.” The Guardian, 03 Jan 2015. Web. 07 Jan 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/03/airasia-flight-qz8501-airline-was-not-allowed-to-fly-route-says-indonesia
^ “AirAsia QZ8501: ‘Big objects’ found in fuselage search.” BBC.com, 03 Jan 2015. Web. 07 Jan 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30664604
^ Campbell, Charlie. “Bad Weather Is Hampering the Recovery of AirAsia Bodies.” Time.com, 02 Jan 2015. Web. 07 Jan 2015. http://time.com/3651840/airasia-qz8501-weather-missing-plane/
^ “Flight QZ8501: What we know about the AirAsia plane crash.” BBC.com, 04 Jan 2015. Web. 07 Jan 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30632735
^ Laursen, Wendy. “Multi-National Team in AirAsia Black Box Search.” Maritime Executive, 02 Jan 2015. Web. 07 Jan 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/multi-national-team-in-airasia-black-box-search
^ “U.S. Navy Contributes to AirAsia Search Efforts.” Maritime Executive, 31 Dec 2014. Web. 07 Jan 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/uss-sampson-contributes-to-airasia-search-efforts
^ Image: Screen capture. BBC. “AirAsia QZ8501: ‘Big objects’ found in fuselage search.” BBC.com, 03 Jan 2015. Web. 07 Jan 2015.

France to Compensate Somali Pirates for Moral Damages

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The European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”) orders France to pay thousands of euros in compensation for moral damages to nine Somali pirates apprehended in 2008. The controversial ruling was made early in December, 2014. Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look at what had prompted the ECHR to rule in favor of the Somali pirates:

Somali Piracy
At their peak, sometime in January 2011, Somali pirates were said to have held some 736 hostages and 32 boats. Authorities in the country were ill-equipped to handle the menace, and the decrease of piracy incidents of the last few years has been aided by international fleets doing patrols in the area and increased armed security aboard sailing vessels.

It is in the context of this piracy problem that the French army made arrests in 2008. The Somali pirates apprehended were linked to attacking a French-flagged cruise ship and a French yacht, taking citizens of France hostage. The hostages were released for ransoms amounting to $2.1 million and $2 million.
The arrests were conducted on two separate occasions, on the Somali coast 4,000 miles away from French territory. The pirates were then taken to France to stand trial.

The ECHR Ruling
The Court of Human Rights acknowledged the exceptional circumstances of the arrest—that the local authorities were unable to deal with piracy and the arrests were made far from French soil, which caused a long detention. However, the Court found that once reaching French territory, there should have been no delay in bringing the accused before a judge. The additional 48 hours the pirates were kept in custody, considered a violation of their rights, merited a ruling on compensation in the amounts of 2,000 to 5,000 euros each for moral damages, and 3,000 to 9,000 euros foJusticer legal costs.

Some in the maritime industry expressed disappointment in the decision. Roy Paul, Program Director for The Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (“MPHRP”), had described the judgment as “an insult to all in the maritime industry,” while others are concerned by the decision encouraging negative behavior, and how the human rights of pirates, in a sense, are given a higher premium than the rights of seafarers.

Piracy is a concern for anyone involved in the maritime industry and their families. It impacts commerce as it affects routes, insurance and security requirements. More importantly, it creates even more dangers to the challenges of seafaring. The controversy is wholly understandable, as we come into the limits of our willingness to uphold justice and to keep the moral high ground—even in the face of making judgments in favor of people we consider as lawbreakers.

^ “Court tells France to pay damages to Somali pirates.” BBC, 04 Dec 2014. Web. 26 Dec 2014. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30326397
^ “Decision of the European Court of Human Rights is repugnant obscene and insulting to all Seafarers who have survived Piracy Attacks.” Hellenic Shipping News, 08 Dec 2014. Web. 26 Dec 2014. http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/decision-of-the-european-court-of-human-rights-is-repugnant-obscene-and-insulting-to-all-seafarers-who-have-survived-piracy-attacks/
^ Grey, Michael. “The moral high ground.” SeaTrade Global, 11 Dec 2014. Web. 26 Dec 2014. http://www.seatrade-global.com/news/europe/the-moral-high-ground.html
^ Malm, Sara. “France ordered to pay compensation to PIRATES: Farce as European Court says convicted Somalis  were ‘detained 48 hours too long’.” Mail Online, 04 Dec 2014. Web. 26 Dec 2014. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2860707/European-court-chides-France-Somali-pirate-arrests.html
^ World Maritime News Staff. “EU Court Orders Compensation to Somali Pirates.” World Maritime News, 05 Dec 2014. Web. 26 Dec 2014. http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/145888/eu-court-orders-compensation-to-somali-pirates/

^ “Image “Silver Scales Of Justice” courtesy of Kittisak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

LPG: LNG’s Underrated Cousin

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Dinh Co LPG Processing Plant, Vietnam
(Source: http://vietnamnews.vn/economy/241656/nation-gears-up-for-lpg-boom.html)

Silent Warrior LPG
Despite the global Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) market being 30% larger than the worldwide Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market and despite liquefaction of LPG being simpler than that of LNG, LPG does not quite hog the limelight as its publicity prone cousin LNG does.

Numerous reports conclude that the expanded global production and export of LPG have altered the demand-supply equation in favor of supply and boosted consumption. An expected shale gas revolution in China and the opening of a widened Panama Canal will radically alter the global LPG industry during 2014-20.

Developments in the global LPG sector reflect this optimistic sentiment. Major LPG shipping companies are forging alliances, raising capital, and expanding fleets helped as they are by surging profits and trebled operational cash flows on account of rising time charter rates and spot shipping rates.

Technicalities & Applications
LPG comprises of a mixture of propane (C3H8), butane (C4H10), propene (C3H6), and butene (C4H8). Most commonly, it is a mixture of propane and butane. It contains greater percentage of propane in winter and larger percentage of butane in summer. LNG contains 95% methane (CH4).

Also known as wet gas or natural gas liquids (NGLs), LPG liquefies more easily than LNG thereby eliminating the need for expensive liquefaction facilities. Furthermore, it is conveniently transported in light-pressure containers. And it does so with its inherent merits that are fairly similar to that of LNG viz. green, clean, and efficient.

2 - Ship

LPG Ship Design
(Source: http://www.motorship.com/news101/industry-news/major-lpg-tanker-equipment-order-from-brazil)

LPG is produced in:

  • Refineries accounted for 41% of global LPG production in 2013. With refineries in Europe shutting down, those in Russia and Asia-Pacific will expand rapidly during 2014-20
  • Non-Associated Gas is natural gas not in contact with crude oil in reservoirs. This segment is likely to register highest growth in 2014-20 as LPG production from shale gas picks up
  • Associated Gas is natural gas in crude oil reservoirs either as un-dissolved in oil or dissolved

Since the Sydney Olympics of 2000, LPG has powered the Olympic Torch. Regarded as the world’s most multi-purpose energy, LPG drives welding machines for German car makers, automobiles in Tokyo, home heaters in North America, and cooking burners in South Africa and India.

Sector-wise LPG applications:

  • Residential
  • Petrochemicals
  • Industrial
  • Refinery
  • Agriculture
  • Others

Residential applications viz. heating & cooking gobbled 60% of the total global LPG in 2013. For 2014-20, the Autogas, Petroleum, and Refinery segments are expected to grow rapidly.

Trends & Findings
According to the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Market: Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast report by Transparency Market Research, the 2013 global LPG Market was valued at $233.83 billion and is estimated to register a 3.4% CAGR during 2014-20 to hit $299.05 billion by 2020.

A Statistical Review of Global LP Gas by World LP Gas Association and Argus Media for the year 2013 placed global LPG:

• production at 280 million tons (mn-t), a 2.3% annual rise
• consumption at 265mn-t, a 2.8% annual hike
• exports at 94.6mn-t, an annual increase of almost 10mn-t
Trends and findings for the global LPG industry include:
• Middle East was the largest producer in 2013 with 33% global market share
• Asia-Pacific was the largest consumer in 2013 with 35% global market share
• Consumption for 2014-20 will be driven by:
– Residential and Commercial demand from Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Africa
– Petrochemical Complexes in Middle East
– Autogas in Asia-Pacific and Europe
• Chemical sector in the US and Saudi Arabia alone consumed 40mn t in 2013 as a troubled Russian chemical industry demanded less LPG

Most US LPG exports go to Central-South America followed by Europe-Netherlands and Asia. The boom and positive sentiment means Asian importers view US LPG favorably over Middle East LPG even before a wider Panama Canal further reduces shipping costs.

Panama Canal expansion is expected to bring down the voyage time between US Gulf Coast and Asia by two weeks and overall shipping costs by 50% thereby boosting US LPG exports to Asia.

3 - Map

Impact of Panama Canal Expansion
(Source: http://seekingalpha.com/article/1491322-panama-canal-expansion-hugely-significant-for-u-s-trade-ports-railways-many-businesses-and-your-portfolio)

US is already exporting 500,000 barrels per day (bpd). Presently, US LPG cost-at-loading at the Gulf Coast is $600 a ton vis-à-vis $760/$780 per ton of Middle East LPG. Thirteen new facilities along the Gulf Coast may further bring down this cost and triple US exports to 1,500,000 bpd by 2016.

China will complete nine Propane Dehydration (PDH) Plants by 2017. PDH plants convert propane-LPG into propylene, a base material for multiple high-end plastics. Most US LPG exports will therefore be directed to China that will need about 6 million tons of LPG a year or 200,000 bpd.

With all its inherent merits, it is not surprising that LPG will soon expand its share in global trade and, in a way, bring east and west closer.

Maritime Search and Rescue Events

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International Maritime Rescue Federation Website. Accessed 09 Nov 2014. http://www.international-maritime-rescue.org/index.php/homewmrc

Search and Rescue organizations are indispensable to the maritime industry. They are the ones we depend on in times of trouble, and the expertise and dedication of their men and women can mean the difference between survival and tragedy. Opportunities for members of the search and rescue community to come together, exchange ideas, share best practices, and discuss the issues of the day are important for the maritime industry as a whole. A recent lifeboat exchange program, and a rescue congress scheduled for mid-2015, are examples of such occasions. Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look at these activities.

The World Maritime Rescue Congress.
The International Maritime Rescue Federation (“IMRF”) will be holding The World Maritime Rescue Congress in Bremerhaven, Germany in June, 2015. The four-day event, slated for the 1st to the 4th of the month, is hosted by the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (“DGzRS”). The World Maritime Rescue Congress is a major gathering held once every four years. About 400 delegates from maritime Search and Rescue parties all over the world are expected at the international forum.

Topics for discussion and workshop sessions include SAR Mission Coordination, SAR Organization and Management, Rescue Boat Guidelines, Mass Rescue Operations, and Search and Rescue programs for developing countries. Rescue demonstrations are also on the calendar, as well as a boat parade, a trade fair and exhibition, and various displays, presentations and showcases. The last such event was held in China in 2011.

For more on the event and opportunities for participation, including exhibitor information and workshop and presentation proposals, visit the IMRF website at http://www.international-maritime-rescue.org/index.php/homewmrc.

Lifeboat Skills Exchange
The recent Lifeboat Skills Exchange is another type of event that brings members of Search and Rescue organizations together. Also founded by the IMRF, this time along with KNRM of the Netherlands, the European Exchange Program is in its third year of creating opportunities for professionals involved in search and rescue to exchange knowledge, share ideas and learn from each other. This year, the project involved lifeboat crews from 11 countries. Organizations who hosted and or participated include the Danish Coastal Rescue Service, the Finnish Lifeboat Institute, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution from the UK, the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service, and representatives from rescue groups in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, France, Canada and Estonia.

It is great to know that professionals in the search and rescue community continuously strive to build their common knowledge and share best practices. We at Kemplon Engineering are grateful for their heroic contributions as they keep our waters safe all over the world.

^ Frith, Jake. “Lifeboat skills exchange.” MaritimeJournal.com, 23 Oct 2014. Web. 09 Nov 2014. http://www.maritimejournal.com/news101/onboard-systems/safety,-survival-and-training/lifeboat-skills-exchange
^ Frith, Jake. “Rescue Congress.” MaritimeJournal.com, 31 Oct 2014. Web. 09 Nov 2014. http://www.maritimejournal.com/news101/industry-news/rescue-congress
^ International Maritime Rescue Federation Website. Accessed 09 Nov 2014. http://www.international-maritime-rescue.org/index.php/homewmrc
^ Marex. “Major Maritime Congress Set for 2015.” Maritime Executive, 03 Nov 2014. Web. 09 Nov 2014. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/Major-Maritime-Congress-Set-for-2015-2014-11-03

The Sound of Dying Coral Reef

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Our planet is in trouble, suffering environmental problems like pollution, endangered species, and ruined habitats like coral reefs. This is, unfortunately, not news. But scientists are finding that the ‘sound’ of coral reef can be an indicator of its health—that, in a way, coral reef can be ‘heard’ dying. Kemplon Engineering reports on this new study.

The Sound of Coral Reefs
Coral Reefs are noisy environments audible to sea creatures, as well as to human ears aided by underwater microphones. These sounds, produced by a reef’s resident sea creatures like fish and crustaceans, are louder when the reefs are healthier and more vibrant; conversely, they are more muted when they are dying. Simply put, the less healthy the reef, the less noise can be heard.

A recent study led by Dr. Julius Piercy of the University of Essex, involved taking acoustic recordings of coral reefs in the Philippines. The recordings of unprotected reefs were compared with recordings from healthier reefs. It has been found that noise from unprotected reefs was just a third of what can be heard from more thriving reef communities.
The study of coral reef sounds was described by the University of Exeter’s Dr. Steve Simpson as an affordable, quick and objective way of checking on reef conditions. Furthermore, it supplements visual surveys of reefs, which may miss nocturnal species.

Aside from being a good indicator of coral reef health, scientists state the sound and noise levels in this habitat also has an impact on the ecosystem, as reef fish and invertebrates in larval stages use the noise for navigation and orientation. With less noise, the larvae’s ability to detect a nearby habitat decreases, impacting the population of a reef.

We at Kemplon Engineering have a great love of our world’s oceans and a great respect for the living things in it. The new study creates a new intimacy to the long-standing problem of our planet’s troubled coral reefs. Listen to the sounds of a healthy reef and an impacted reef at Smithsonian.com (here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/listen-sounds-dying-coral-reef-180953543/?no-ist) and compare them, to experience the difference for yourself. It is our hope that the ‘sound’ of coral reef death creates new awareness and spurs more immediate action toward their preservation.

^ Griffiths, Sarah. “Hear the fading sound of coral reefs DYING: Underwater habitats make less noise as resident fish and crustaceans die.” Mail Online, 03 Dec 2014. Web. 25 Dec 2014. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2859427/Hear-fading-sound-coral-reefs-DYING-Underwater-habitats-make-noise-resident-fish-crustaceans-die.html’
^ MarEx. “You Can Hear the Coral Reefs Dying.” Maritime Executive, 14 Dec 2014. Web. 25 Dec 2014. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/You-Can-Hear-the-Coral-Reefs-Dying
^ Nuwer, Rachel. “Listen to the Sounds of a Dying Coral Reef.” Smithsonian.com, 05 Dec 2014. Web. 25 Dec 2014. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/listen-sounds-dying-coral-reef-180953543/?no-ist