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Olympics: Bolt makes history with third 100m gold

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  • As Bulk Carrier Grounds Two Times in Columbia River

Usain Bolt roared into Olympic history here Sunday, capturing an unprecedented third consecutive 100m crown to confirm his place in the pantheon of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen.

The 29-year-old Jamaican legend, competing in his final Olympics, powered over the line in 9.81sec, vanquishing drug-tainted American rival Justin Gatlin who took silver with Andre De Grasse of Canada claiming bronze.

Gatlin, who had been booed by the Rio crowd as he was introduced, crossed in 9.89sec with De Grasse just behind in 9.91.

Bolt galloped away in celebration after a superb win, basking in the adulation of the stadium and even taking selfies with fans during his lap of honour.

He then delighted the fans with his traditional “lightning bolt” pose as reggae blasted out of the stadium sound system.

The victory left Bolt standing alone in the 120-year history of sprinting in the modern Olympic games.

No other athlete — man or woman — has ever won three consecutive individual Olympic sprint titles.

It also leaves Bolt on track to complete an incredible “triple-triple” of clinching 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay titles for a third consecutive Olympics.

Bolt, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion, had already earned the right to be regarded as the greatest sprinter in the history of athletics after accumulating more golds on the track than anyone else.

But the Jamaican’s latest triumph erases any last lingering doubts that he deserves to be ranked alongside the likes of Muhammad Ali, Pele and Michael Jordan as the kind of once-in-a-generation athlete who transcend their sports.

Bolt’s win — his 18th gold in Olympic and World Championships since 2008 — averted what might have been a public relations disaster for the drug-tarnished world of track and field.

A corruption scandal involving the sport’s former rulers, who were accused of accepting bribes to cover up positive drug tests, and an investigation which alleged an elaborate state-sponsored doping system in Russia have plunged track and field into the worst crisis in its history.

A gold medal for Gatlin on Sunday would have made uncomfortable viewing for many — world athletics chief Sebastian Coe among them — who have advocated that serial doping offenders should be banned for life.

But those fears were swept away by the smiling, laughing figure of Bolt, for so long the sport’s most charismatic showman.

Gatlin, who has served two drug bans during his long career, made a powerful start to lead over the first 50 metres.

But as soon as Bolt’s head came around the midpoint the American was in trouble and the defending champion surged home around a metre clear of the field.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier Rosco Palm was refloated on Saturday morning after it ran aground two times on Friday night in the Columbia River near Skamokawa, Washington.

The 2011-built vessel first grounded at 7:49 p.m. on Friday night, and was soon refloated and moved a few miles upstream to mitigate collision risk. The 82,200 dwt ship then grounded for the second time while at anchor on sand bottom while waiting for first light assessment, according to the United States Coast Guard.

The authorities said that there was no indication of pollution being discharged, adding that the vessel, operated by Chinese Rewood Ocean Shipping, was transiting to an anchorage with pilot and tug assist.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and respond as necessary with our partners from the Washington and Oregon along with local response teams,” Lt. Cmdr. Karen Denny, inspections division chief, Marine Safety Unit Portland, said.

UCSG said that the cause of the grounding is currently unknown and would be investigated.

Punch with additional report from World Maritime News

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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