Panamanian Authorities Thwart Attempted Hijacking

By Kathryn Stone 2015-06-08 10:45:59

Panamanian authorities have thwarted an attempted hijacking onboard a cargo vessel bound for scrapping.

Local authorities received a report early morning, June 8 that pirates had boarded the Venezuelan-flagged VFM Alita near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal, about 80km (50 miles) north of Panama City. The two crew members onboard the ship were held for approximately two hours while the thieves searched the vessel for valuables.

Panama’s National Air-Naval Service (SENAN) dispatched a BPC-4506 coastal patrol boat to investigate the incident. They found five assailants aboard the cargo vessel, which included four adults and one child.

The pirates were brought aboard the patrol boat and transferred to the Christopher Columbus SENAN naval base to be processed by authorities.

The VFM Alita is owned by Venezuela-based Feeder Maritime and has been in-lay up since last year. The 4,250dwt general cargo vessel was headed for scrapping when the incident occurred.


Paragon resumes covenant waiver talks

With rates at historic lows and asset pricing depressed, public dry bulk companies such as Paragon Shipping are entering another round of negotiations with their lenders on loan covenants.
On 8 June NASDAQ-listed Paragon confirmed it had agreed with some of its lenders to defer quarterly

China Sets Sights on Shipping Pollution

By Reuters 2015-06-08 08:33:15

China is considering regulating emissions from boats and ships, the environment ministry said on Monday, as it tries to clamp down on pollution.

Facing mounting public pressure, leaders in Beijing have declared a war on pollution, vowing to abandon a decades-old growth-at-all-costs economic model that has spoiled much of China’s water, skies and soil.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection said it was seeking public feedback on whether to pass the regulation, which could include new standards on marine fuel quality and usage.

“Environmental pollution problems caused by shipping are becoming more evident,” Xiong Yuehui, an official with the ministry, said in a statement on the ministry’s website, adding that China had 172,600 vessels at the end of 2013.

He estimated that the shipping sector accounted for 8.4 percent of China’s sulphur dioxide emissions and 11.3 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions in 2013.

Environmental regulations for ships are overseen globally by the International Maritime Organization. But while the IMO has cut pollution with emissions controls in America and Europe, which use low-sulfur marine fuels as standard, Asia has been left untouched.

Last October, a U.S. environmental group said shipping was a significant source of air pollution in China and that one container ship along the country’s coast emitted as much diesel pollution as 500,000 Chinese trucks a day.