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Marine waste clean-up yielding results — LASWA



The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Monday said there had been a slight reduction in marine waste since the launch of its waterways clean-up campaign in collaboration with private stakeholders.

Recall that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Feb. 12 launched Waterways Clean-up Campaign in a bid to enhance safety on the waterways.

The governor said that the waterways clean-up campaign was a demonstration of his administration’s commitment to safe, clean and friendly water transportation.

Assessing the impact of the campaign, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, the General Manager of LASWA, told NAN that the exercise and awareness campaign had  reduced volume of waste on waterways.

Emmanuel said that with reduction of waste on waterways, transportation would be enhanced with lesser risks.

He urged members of the public, especially people living along the coastal lines and marketers along the water bodies, to stop pushing waste into the waterways.

Emmanuel said that after the awareness campaign, anybody caught in the act would be sanctioned.

“We are doing a lot now to clean up waterways; if some members of the public feel that they can sabotage our efforts and continue to push waste in the water bodies, we won’t tolerate such.

“If people persist in this, obviously there will be strict penalties for those who are caught in such act,” he said.

The general manager said that the authority’s research recently launched on waste would determine the sources, composition and estimate of marine litters as well as debris on the waterways.

NAN reports that the campaign is being carried out with the collaboration of some non-profit organisations including Temple Management Company, Food and Beverages Recycling Alliance (FIBRA) and ‘I love My Lagoon’, among others.

Edited By: Razak Owolabi/Oluwole Sogunle



Russia commissions strategic ballistic missile carrier submarine




Russian officials signed Thursday the acceptance certificate of the latest fourth-generation strategic ballistic missile carrier submarine Prince Vladimir, the Sevmash shipyard said in a statement.

“The acceptance certificate has been signed after the successful completion of all stages of the submarine’s testing, confirming its readiness for transfer to the Navy,” the statement said.

Prince Vladimir, which was laid down at Sevmash in 2012, is the lead ship of the improved Borei-A class project of the fourth-generation nuclear submarines.

Borei-A-class submarines, capable of carrying up to 16 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles each, are an upgraded version of previous Borei-class vessels and they will form the basis of Russia’s naval strategic nuclear forces in the future.

In December, the missile carrier successfully completed the state test cycle.

In October, its crew successfully performed its first test launch of the Bulava missile from the White Sea to the Kura test site in the far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula.

Sevmash, Russia‘s sole nuclear submarine manufacturer, located in the port city of Severodvinsk on the White Sea, is scheduled to deliver five nuclear-powered submarines to the Russian Navy this year.


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Lagos to close Marine Beach Bridge for 5 months



The Lagos State Government on Sunday   announced a plan to effect partial closure of  the Marine Beach Bridge, Apapa, to vehicular movement,  from May 27 to Oct. 21.

The state Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde,  made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos.

He said that  the closure would be to enable repair of the bridge which, he said, was long overdue.

“The repair by the Federal Ministry of Works is long overdue and is vital for the safety of the people of Lagos State, especially motorists that ply the bridge to access different parts of the state.

“Necessary palliative works have been carried out on all alternative routes around the construction site to make them to be in good condition to ease movement during the construction period.

“The repair work, which comprise bearing and expansion joint replacement, is planned to be executed in two phases, with each phase focusing on one lane of the bridge at a time.

” The first phase will be handling the lane inbound Apapa while the second phase will be designated to work on the lane that conveys vehicles outside the axis,” he said.

Oladeinde said that the partial closure of the bridge by Total Gas, inward Apapa, would  last for  five months.

The commissioner said that  the repair was in line with the vision of providing a seamless transportation system in  the metropolis.

According to him, motorists inward Wharf Road  would be diverted to the other section of the bridge outward Apapa.

Oladeinde said that a contraflow of 200 metres had been designed  for vehicles to realign with a proper direction inward Ajegunle or Wharf Road, Apapa.

He said that motorists descending to Total Gas would drive without any hindrance.

The commissioner said that operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority would be stationed at the construction locations to  ease traffic.

Oladeinde appealed to motorists and residents of the area to cooperate with traffic management agencies deployed to the areas.

“The state government expresses its commitment to providing a transportation system that will meet the needs of a larger population in an emerging smart city,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Public Affairs Unit of the State Ministry of Transportation (MOT) had on March 27 announced the closure of the Marine Bridge, partially from March 28 to Aug. 15 for repair.

However, on March 28, the ministry suspended the plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited /Ijeoma Popoola

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Ondo offshore fire: NIMASA dispatches team for investigation, cautions mariners to avoid area



Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has sent an investigative team to unravel the circumstances surrounding a recent fire incident at a wellhead offshore Ondo State.

The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this in a statement signed by Mr Philip Kyanet, NIMASA Head of Corporate Communications, on Thursday in Lagos.

Jamoh pointed out that the incident involved a barge belonging to Michharry and Company Nigeria Limited, an offshore and onshore facilities provider for the oil and gas industry.

He noted that the officers from the Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standard Department (MSSSD) and Marine Environment Management (MEM) Department of the Agency would conduct both on the spot assessment and detailed analysis of the incident.

“As the national agency statutorily responsible for ensuring a clean, pollution free, and friendly marine environment for safe shipping activities, NIMASA has swung into action with our standard procedures to get to the root of this fire incident.

“A team of officers from the relevant departments of the agency has been dispatched to the site. We will do a thorough analysis of the situation with a view to unraveling the cause of the fire and preventing future occurrence.

“As the maritime industry regulator, we would also not hesitate to mete out sanctions where necessary to deter abuse.

“Certainly, the Nigerian maritime industry and the economy will be the beneficiaries of the outcome of our work on this incident,” he said.

Jamoh also advised mariners and other maritime stakeholders to steer clear of the areas affected by the fire for their own safety and to aid the investigative and remediation work at the location.

He disclosed the location to be Ororo1, in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 95, adding that the site was a Chevron platform sold to local investors.

The NIMASA DG said that preliminary investigation revealed that the barge, JUV Bellaton, a 300 Series SEWOP, owned by Michharry and operated by Guarantee Petroleum, had been working on the offshore oil rig, Grace 1 HWU, when it experienced leakages of gas and oil.

He noted that this was followed by a fire outbreak at the wellhead location, adding that there was no reported pollution following degenerative status of the platform due to the fire.

He pointed out that all crew were evacuated safely, and firefighters were engaged by the company to try to put out the fire.

He said that NIMASA was working with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) on the incident investigation, in line with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two agencies.

“At this point, let me advise maritime stakeholders to keep away from the areas affected by the fire. This is for their own safety and to avoid anything that can jeopardise or hinder the ongoing investigation.

“Additionally, we advise operators in the country’s maritime domain to always report incidents at their locations to NIMASA in good time and shun actions capable of endangering their own safety and operations as well as those of others,” he said.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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General news

Marine Beach Bridge Apapa to be shut for repairs next week“– Works Controller



The Federal Controller of Work in Lagos, Mr Kayode Popoola, on Wednesday said that the Marine Beach Bridge in Apapa would be shut for repairs “next week“.

Popoola told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the contractor, Buildwell Nigeria Ltd, was already on site to begin replacement of damaged expansion joints and bearings on the bridge.

“The contractor delayed commencement on the repairs on the bridge till next week because ongoing patching of adjoining roads to the bridge to avert gridlock.

“I just came back from inspecting the Marine Beach Bridge now. The contractor is set to begin work, but we want them to finish with repair of all the adjoining roads before starting on the bridge.

“Next week, we are going to close the bridge and then the contractor will start work. The contractor is at the moment patching the roads, adding stone base and some cement to make sure the roads are stable during this period of the rainy season.

“We are going to replace the expansion joints and bearings and also do the jacketing of the piers on the bridge. That means that we are going to surround it with reinforcement and put fresh concrete.

“The beam of the bridge will be lifted up, so that we can see all the bearings very well to change the bad ones.

“We are going to work on about 45 metres on both carriageways. We will finish work on one carriageway and move traffic to it before we continue on the next bound,’’ he told NAN.

The controller of works said that a traffic management architecture was being evolved in conjunction with traffic regulatory agencies and law enforcement agencies to avert gridlock and hardship to road users.

Popoola, however, appealed for understanding of road users during the construction to ensure speedy completion of repair works on the bridge.

He said that repair works usually come with some discomfort to ensure smooth rides and begged motorists to comply with construction zone guidelines during the closure.

On the Obalende Bridge linking Dodan Barracks that was burnt due to recent tanker explosion, the controller of works said that results from safety tests carried out on the bridge revealed that its structural integrity was not compromised.

He said that only the bridge deck was damaged and efforts were on to ensure rehabilitation of the affected part.

“We thank God that the intensity of the fire did not do too much damage to Obalende Bridge, but it is still going to be maintained very soon. The damage was not to severe, the structural integrity of the bridge is okay.

“The reinforcement of the concrete was exposed and we are going to cover it,’’ he said.

On the Alaka Bridge linking Eko Bridge shut for rehabilitation, Popoola said that components for repairs of the bridge were unable to arrive Nigeria because of the Coronavirus lockdowns.

NAN recalls that the Federal Government had on the March 10 shut the Alaka Bridge linking Eko Bridge after an emergency meeting of stakeholder to prevent its total collapse.

“The ministry knows the importance of the Alaka Bridge and the urgency of the work, so, everybody is working to make sure that the maintenance takes place immediately.

“Some components for repairs of the Alaka Bridge are being expected from abroad which is part of the due process. And because of COVID-19 and the closure of the airports, the materials have not arrived,’’ he said.

Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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U.S. Navy warns Gulf mariners to keep distance from U.S. warships: media




The U.S. Navy on Tuesday issued a warning to mariners in the Mideast to stay 100 meters away from U.S. warships or risk being “subject to lawful defensive measures,” according to media reports.

The warning notice said that armed vessels approaching within 100 meters of a U.S. naval vessel might be interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures. Reuters first reported the notice.

The warning, which appeared to be aiming at Iran, followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat last month to destroy any Iranian gunboats if they harass U.S. ships at sea.

“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” Trump sent his warning in a tweet.

Abolfazl Shekarchi, a spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces, dismissed Trump’s threat as “psychological warfare” and criticized the United States for “causing disturbance” in the Gulf.

The United States and Iran have been trading blame over unprofessional maneuvers in the Gulf waters. The U.S. Navy reported in mid-April that 11 Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy vessels “repeatedly conducted dangerous & harassing approaches against U.S. naval ships operating in international waters of the North Arabian Gulf.”

The IRGC Navy also accused the U.S. naval forces of repeatedly “unprofessional” manner in the Gulf, threatening regional peace, and giving rise to new risks.


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Cyprus calls on Turkey to negotiate on demarcation of marine boundaries




Cypriot Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides on Tuesday called on Turkey to negotiate on the delimitation of their marine boundaries or resort to the ruling of the International Court of Justice.

Christodoulides was responding to Turkey’s denunciation of a joint declaration issued by five countries on Monday condemning Turkey’s drilling for natural gas off the southwest shores of Cyprus.

“If Turkey trusts its legal positions it should respond to the request of the Republic of Cyprus and consent to a recourse to the International Court to resolve the issue of marine boundaries,” Cyprus state radio quoted Christodoulides as saying on its website.

Christodoulides said Turkey is taking advantage of the fact that international attention is turned to the coronavirus pandemic and resorts to what he called “destabilizing activities.”

Cyprus, Greece, France, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates issued the declaration, denouncing “the ongoing Turkish illegal activities in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone and its territorial waters, as they represent a clear violation of international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

Cyprus News Agency reported that the declaration was issued after a teleconference between the foreign ministers of the five countries, during which they discussed regional issues.

A statement by the Turkish foreign ministry strongly condemned the declaration and accused Cyprus of disregarding the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, who live in seclusion in the part of Cyprus placed under the control of Turkish troops in a 1974 military operation.

The statement said Turkey is drilling in areas within its continental shelf and that its activities are in line with international law.

A Turkish drillship is currently active off the Cypriot shores with the intention of carrying out a natural gas drilling.

The European Union has termed Turkey’s actions near the coasts of Cyprus as illegal and imposed sanctions, including targeted ones on Turkish individuals personally involved in drillings.


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Marine killed, more injured in Iranian military exercises in Gulf



An Iranian marine has been killed during military training exercises in the Gulf, ,’’ the Iranian Army’s press service said on Monday.

Naval News earlier reported, citing local sources, that the Iranian Moudge-class frigate ‘Jamaran’ had accidentally fired at the friendly general-purpose ship ‘Konarak’ during live-fire exercises near Jask in the Gulf of Oman.

“No fewer than 19 people were killed and 15 were injured in an incident with Iran’s Konarak support warship in the Gulf of Oman.

“On Sunday afternoon, during an exercise involving a number of naval vessels in the waters of Jask and Chabahar, there was an accident aboard the Konarak light support vessel,’’ the statement read.

Meanwhile, Iran’s army neither confirmed nor refuted the reports, calling it an accident without providing further details.

However, further details were expected to be announced, following an investigation.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Rare marine species turn to Thai waters due to fewer tourists amid COVID-19 outbreak




Killer whales seen frolicking in Thailand’s Andaman Sea once again delighted marine specialists, calling Wednesday’s Earth Day a very significant day.

Thailand’s Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation on Thursday reported on its social media page, that a pod of more than 10 killer whales has been sighted on Earth Day for the first time in the Lanta marine national park, off Thailand’s southern province of Krabi.

Marine specialist Dr. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, who is also vice dean of the faculty of fisheries at Kasetsart University, said with delight that “the new norm is not only about health, but is also about learning that enough is enough and allowing space four our friends in the sea, so they can live with us on Earth.”

Thon said that in retrospect to the COVID-19 pandemic which is still causing havoc around the world, rare marine species have returned to Thai waters, especially the Andaman, after a break in human maritime activity, caused by a sharp drop in tourists as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

The department posted pictures of whales, between three and four meters long, swimming in the Andaman Sea about 400 meters from the beach of Rok Islet.

“The killer whales, or Orca, feed on small fish and squid. They are listed as a Category 1 protected species in Thailand,” said in the Department’s Facebook page.

Other than whales, about 20 dugongs were also spotted in the no-hunting territory around Libong Island, off the southern province of Trang, according to the department.

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Marine plastic pollution in Sri Lanka drop by 40 pct in first 4 months of 2020




Plastic pollution on the beaches and seas around Sri Lanka has been reduced by 40 percent in the first four months of 2020 compared to last year, Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) General Manager Dr. P.B Terney Pradeep Kumara was quoted by local media reports as saying here Wednesday.

Kumara told the local media EconomyNext that the dramatic drop could be due to a number of factors including the curfew imposed since March 20 to prevent a spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of rainfall which results in low flow from rivers to the sea.

Kumara said data was collected through a survey conducted by a team from MEPA on pollution in the coastal belt and oceans in Trincomalee in the east, Galle, Matara, Kalutara in the south, and Wellawatte and Dehiwala in capital Colombo.

According to global rating agency, Sri Lanka was ranked among the top five marine plastic polluters of the world in 2019 with a mismanaged plastic waste of 1.59 million metric tons per year.

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