“All hands on deck” may become a thing of the past.

Ship designers, their operators and regulators are gearing up for a future in which cargo vessels sail the oceans with minimal or even no crew. Advances in automation and ample bandwidth even far offshore could herald the biggest change in shipping since diesel engines replaced steam.

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“They did feel compelled ultimately to fire three warning shots and the reason for that is… they had taken steps already to try and de-escalate this situation,” spokesman Peter Cook told reporters.

Tensions have increased in the Gulf in recent days despite an improvement in relations between Iran and the United States.

Read the Full Article: Source – Reuters
Time For Truth: (Reuters) – U.S. Navy ship fires warning shots at Iranian vessel

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Three billion tonnes of crude oil and refined products are shipped on huge tanker vessels worldwide every year. But recently, some of these ships have stopped. In fact, since March, many more than is usual have simply been anchored off ports like Singapore and Rotterdam in the Netherlands – and it’s not immediately clear why.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has been monitoring the situation. It has tracked just under 94 million barrels of unrefined crude oil in what’s known as “floating storage” at the end of May. And Clarksons, a shipping analyst firm in London, says it has tracked an increase from 85 to 120 oil tankers at anchor around the world.

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Rescuers saved about 3,000 migrants but found more than 50 dead on boats near the coast of Libya on Wednesday, the Italian coast guard said.

Tens of thousands of people, mainly from Africa and the Middle East, have put to sea this year in the hope of reaching Europe, often dangerously packed into small vessels that were never designed to cross the Mediterranean.

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EU ministers have agreed to launch a sea and air mission that could in its later phases destroy vessels used by human traffickers, which have carried an estimated 1,800 migrants to their deaths in the Mediterranean this year.

An intelligence-gathering operation will herald the mission’s first phase, with the UK expected to offer drones and surveillance equipment as a partial riposte to calls for it to take in more refugees.

In later phases, hostile vessels suspected of harbouring migrants could be boarded, searched, seized or disposed of in Libyan territory or international waters – as long as a chapter 7 UN resolution to authorise the use of force to do so is obtained first.

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