News insight: This week’s Movers

NHC head to stand down
John Wiik will step down as CEO of the Norwegian Hull Club (NHC) on 1 January 2016. He has successfully steered the Club through years of growth and prosperity to create one of the largest pure marine underwriters in the industry.
He will be replaced by Faz Peermohamed, a
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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
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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.

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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.

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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
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Suez Canal Terrorist Attack Thwarted

By MarEx 2015-07-06 12:16:29

Egyptian authorities have arrested 13 members of the Muslim Brotherhood on suspicion of planting bombs around the Suez Canal to disrupt shipping, security sources said on Monday.

The security sources said the men formed a 13-member cell that included an employee at the Suez Canal Authority.

Prosecutors had ordered that suspected terrorists be detained for 15 days and said they had planted bombs in areas including sanitation and electricity facilities as well as on beaches, they said.

The Suez Canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia. Around 18,000 ships pass through the canal annually, which amounts to 10% of global maritime trade. Currently, the canal is in the midst of an $8 billion expansion that is set to begin operations August 6.

The Suez Canal represents a vital source of income earning Egypt around $5 billion per year. The new canal, which will allow two-way traffic of larger ships, is supposed to increase revenues by 2023 to $15 billion. Attacks against the canal have the potential to severely impeded Egypt’s economic development.

Egypt’s government has recently escalated rhetoric against the Brotherhood, which it regards as a terrorist group, since the assassination of the country’s top prosecutor last week.

The Muslim Brotherhood is a Pan-Islamic group, which has been implicated in terrorist activities. The group has one of its largest organizations in Egypt even though the government officially declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization in 2014.

The army toppled President Mohamed Mursi of the Brotherhood in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

The Brotherhood says it is committed to peaceful activism designed to reverse what it calls a military coup, after former army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted Mursi, and then went on to become elected president.

Security forces cracked down hard on Mursi’s supporters after he was ousted, killing hundreds in the streets at Cairo protest camps and arresting thousands of others in what human rights groups described as a return to repression.

Last week Egyptian security forces stormed an apartment in a western Cairo suburb and killed nine men whom they said were armed, the interior ministry said.

Among the dead was a prominent lawyer for the Brotherhood and a former lawmaker. The Brotherhood denied that the men were armed and said they were holding an “organizational meeting”.

Egypt does not distinguish between the Brotherhood and groups such as Islamic State, which has an affiliate in Sinai, epicenter of an Islamist militant insurgency that has killed hundreds of soldiers and police since Mursi’s fall.

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