Tokyo’s cargo traffic down in March

Tokyo port’s cargo traffic declined 3.6% year on year (y/y) in March to 7.355 million tonnes because of a sharp drop in imports from foreign countries, according to preliminary figures released by the Tokyo metropolitan government on 6 July.
Of the 7.355 million tonnes, 3.896 million tonnes came

37 Rescued from Sinking Cargo Ship

By Kathryn Stone 2015-07-06 16:02:25

Thirty-seven people were rescued from a Ro-Ro cargo ship in the Red Sea on Sunday.

The 3,133 dwt Taba issued a distress call to the Safaga Naval base in Egypt after it started to sink. The Navy immediately dispatched rescue teams to the area early Sunday morning, recovering everyone onboard within a half-hour. Survivors were transported back to Safaga Port, where the vessel had disembarked.

According to Red Sea Ports Authority Spokesman, Abdel-Rehim Mostafa, the Taba became unstable because its truck cargo had been improperly balanced. The ship began to list heavily, due to an unequal distribution of weight, and subsequently sank.

No one was seriously injured, but nine passengers reported minor injuries including fractures and bruises. Among those rescued were thirty-five Egyptians as well as one citizen from the Sudan and Lebanon respectively.

The Taba was enroute to Saudi Arabia when it sunk.

Authorities have launched an investigation to determine the exact cause of the incident.


Owner, Crew Face Murder Charges in Ferry Tragedy

By Kathryn Stone 2015-07-06 14:51:22

Police in the Philippines have filed murder charges against the owner and crew of the M/V Kim Nirvana, which sank last Thursday killing over 60.

The charges were filed on Friday against a total of 19 people including the ferry owner Joge Bung Zarco and the captain Warren Oliverio. An initial police investigation has revealed that the M/V Kim Nirvana made a sharp turn just before it capsized off Ormoc port.

The ferry is believed to have been overloaded as over 204 people so far are known to have been aboard the vessel, while the actual capacity of the ferry was 194 according to the Philippine Coast Guard. Survivor accounts make mention of the M/V Kim Nirvana transporting 80 sacks of cement as well as rice cargo. Sudden swerving reported during the vessel’s last moments may have been the result of cargo shifting.

As of Monday the death toll for the incident has reached 61. The ferry capsized only minutes after leaving the Port of Ormoc. Over 140 people were rescued from the sunken vessel including three Americans. Two of the Americans were involved in bringing the homicide charges, while another was involved in filing charges for reckless imprudence.

In a statement released over the weekend, the United Filipino Seafarers criticized local maritime authorities for approving the design and accreditation of the ferry.

“By merely looking at the picture of M/V Kim Nirvana, you don’t have to be a maritime expert to say that this motorized banca is seaworthy or not. You can immediately see that the stability of this double decker vessel is questionable. How it passed the safety standards is the most controversial question of the day.”

The Philippine Star similarly listed over a dozen maritime accidents occurring in the past twenty years, all of which involve fatalities.

If found guilty the owner and crew of the M/V Kim Nirvana could face charges up to 40 years in prison for each count of murder.


FSL Trust negotiates new timecharters

Singapore-listed shipowner First Ship Lease (FSL) Trust has secured new timecharter contracts for three tankers worth up to USD61 million in revenue.
FSL Trust announced on 6 July it had reached an agreement with a commodities trader to charter the 2005-built, 47,496 dwt products tanker FSL