Members of the shipping community liaison group met for the seventh time at the annual meeting at the Hong Kong Observatory on 31 May 2016.
At the meeting, the Observatory reported to the shipping community the achievement of two initiatives on enhancing marine meteorological observations in the South China Sea last year, namely the engagement with a Hong Kong Voluntary Observing Ship (HKVOS) OOCL Atlanta to deploy for the first time a drifting buoy to measure pressure and sea temperature in the central part of the South China Sea, and the launching of radiosondes to collect upper-air meteorological information en route on board another HKVOS, OOCL Busan, during a voyage from Hong Kong to Singapore in June 2015. The Observatory expressed appreciation to the aforementioned vessels for their generous collaboration and invited the shipping community to continue to offer support to similar observation initiatives in the future.
Before the meeting, Mr Shun Chi-ming, Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, presented awards to outstanding HKVOS in 2015 for their dedicated effort in making weather observations at seas that contributed to maritime safety worldwide. The ships receiving the awards included Min Lu, Shen Hai, Dapeng Sun, Dapeng Moon and OOCL Europe for the Diamond Award; Maersk Gairloch and OOCL Miami for the Platinum Award; and OOCL Singapore, OOCL Bangkok, OOCL Chicago, Star Pisces and Super Star Aquarius for the Gold Award.
Twenty-four representatives from shipping companies, container and cruise terminal operators, the Hong Kong Pilots Association and the Marine Department joined the discussion at the Observatory. New service developments in support of the shipping community were also presented at the meeting.