14 Crewmen Still Missing After Barge Capsizes

By Kathryn Stone 2015-05-20 15:01:50

Fourteen crew members are still missing from a barge that capsized early Wednesday morning in Singaporean waters.

The incident took place at roughly 4:00am approximately 7.5 nautical miles north-east of Pedra Branca, Singapore aboard the Bolivian-registered Oceanline SC2018. It is believed that the crew of the vessel was asleep when the incident occurred and may have subsequently gotten trapped underneath the barge’s overturned hull.

The vessel’s chief engineer, Li Guozheng from China was rescued by Malaysian authorities and is the only member of the 15 person crew to be recovered. The rest of the seaman, consisting of 13 Chinese nationals as well as one Malaysian, are still missing.

Commander Kamal Abas of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency told local news agencies that it is possible the vessel encountered waves as high as 2.5 meters (8.2 feet), which could have caused it to capsize under its heavy sand load. The barge was reportedly carrying cargo between the Malysian cities of Teluk Ramunia and Pengerang when it sunk.

The Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) released statement this morning regarding the response effort saying, “Singapore is coordinating the search and rescue (SAR) operations which involves vessels from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSS Daring and RSS Fearless), the Singapore Police Coast Guard and several Malaysian vessels. MPA has also engaged salvage companies to conduct salvage operations.”

Search operations today were hampered by rough seas. However, the MMEA said that rescue patrols continued searching until 7:30pm and will resume Thursday morning at 6:00am.


84 Evacuated After Vessel Catches Fire

By Kathryn Stone 2015-05-20 13:12:30

Over 80 crew members aboard the Offshore Support Vessel, Fugro Symphony, were evacuated after the ship caught fire Wednesday in the early morning hours.

The vessel was docked at Peterhead Harbour about 20 miles North of Aberdeen when the fire broke out. Around 35 firefighters arrived at 2:52am to battle the blaze. The fire rescue team also dispatched five appliances and a foam unit to the scene. In total, it took around two hours to get the fire under control.

Though the cause of the blaze is still unknown, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service reported that they located the source of the fire in a supply generator room below deck. The station manager Graeme Laird further added, “Crews worked well with the ship’s firefighting team and showed good firefighting understanding in challenging conditions.”

As a precautionary measure non-essential personnel were immediately taken off of the ship. A total of 84 crew members aboard the vessel were evacuated to the Fisherman’s mission in Peterhead. No injuries were reported.

According to Fugro the Symphony specializes in deep water remote operations. The vessel is flagged out of the Bahamas and operated by Fugro Subsea Services Ltd based out of Aberdeen, Scotland.


Israel’s Zim returns to profit

Israel-based container carrier Zim returned to profitability in 1Q15 with its EBIT numbers improving dramatically, reaching USD61 million compared with USD5 million in the last quarter of 2014, and a USD16 million negative EBIT in the same quarter last year. In GAAP terms, the Q115 EBIT was USD40

Iran to Allow Ship Inspection, UN Announces Talks

By MarEx 2015-05-20 11:30:03

Iran will allow the United Nations to inspect a Yemen-bound aid ship at the regional U.N. hub in Djibouti, Tehran’s deputy foreign minister was quoted as saying on Wednesday, offering a chance to avert a showdown with Saudi-led forces.

Earlier in the day, the Iran Shahed’s captain had said the ship was due to enter the Bab al-Mandeb strait linking the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea, bypassing Djibouti on the Horn of Africa and heading for the Yemeni port of Hodaida.

“We have decided to dock our ship in Djibouti so the United Nations inspection protocol can take place,” Hossein Amir Abdollahian was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

Iran backs the dominant Houthi militia in Yemen’s civil war while Saudi Arabia, Tehran’s regional arch-rival, sees the Houthis as a threat and is leading air strikes on them to try to roll back their advances and reinstate Yemen’s exiled president.

Iran has said the ship is carrying humanitarian aid for Yemeni civilians. Hodaida’s port is under Houthi control.

The Saudi-led coalition controls the waters around Yemen and has enforced inspections on all shipments entering the country. It was not clear whether Saudi forces would allow the Iran Shahed to dock in Yemen even after a U.N. inspection.

Abdollahian said Iran would send a flight to Djibouti on Thursday, also containing aid for Yemen, in a further signal that Tehran might begin to channel all aid through the U.N. hub.

The Saudi-led coalition blocked Tehran’s previous attempts to fly aid directly into Yemen’s capital Sanaa, on one occasion bombing the runway to prevent an Iranian flight from landing.

UN Announces Yemen Talks

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday announced talks between warring Yemeni parties in Geneva on May 28 to end over seven weeks of war, as Iran agreed for international inspections of an aid ship sailing to Yemen.

The moves are aimed at defusing the deepening crisis in the southern Arabian Peninsula, where Saudi-led forces killed at least 15 Houthis in the latest air strikes in a campaign to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

“The Secretary-General is pleased to announce the launch of inclusive consultations starting on 28 May in Geneva to restore momentum towards a Yemeni-led political transition process,” the U.N. statement issued in New York said.

A U.N. Security Council source said Ban was expected to attend the opening session.

The foreign minister of the exiled Yemeni government based in Saudi Arabia appeared surprised by the announcement and said the Houthis must first disarm and quit cities they seized since last September first.

“We didn’t get an official invitation,” Reyad Yassin Abdulla said by phone. “It’s very short notice. If it happens, it shouldn’t be on May 28,” he added.

But Yemen’s U.N. Ambassador Khaled Alyemany said all parties, including the Houthis, would attend.

“Of course President Hadi will be represented in Geneva,” he told reporters in New York. “He might be sending Vice President and Prime Minister (Khaled) Bahah, he might be sending somebody else.”


MarEx Loses a Friend at CCMIT

By MarEx 2015-05-20 10:24:26

In Memory of Michael McMahon

Thomas “Michael” McMahon, General Manager at The Conference Center at the Maritime Institute of Technology, passed suddenly on May 11, 2015 at aged 61. He died at St Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, MD of an abdominal aorta aneurysm. Born May 1, 1954 in Wellesley, MA he was the son of Thomas M. McMahon and Claire McMahon. He is survived by his wife Anita McMahon, stepdaughter Marquise, stepsons Justin Sr. and Ira, four sisters, Gale, Peg, Ann, and Fran, 4 grandchildren, seven nephews and one niece.

Mike was a graduate of Wellesley High School, UMass Amherst and Cornell University. Michael as he was known in the industry, held a degree and certifications in the Hospitality Industry.

Michael’s long and diverse career provided him opportunities to work for some of the largest and most respected brands in hospitality including Hilton, Starwood, and Marriott as well as ownership groups including Dolce Hotels and Resorts and Thayer Lodging. Among Michael’s many accomplishments; leading conference center operations for American Airlines, rebuilding the ageing Bethesda Crown Plaza into the thriving Doubletree Bethesda, creating the Doubletree Executive Meeting Center in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

Michael’s final position was Consultant General Manager at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute (CCMIT) in Linthicum Heights, MD. His professionalism and enthusiasm will be greatly missed.

You may create a lasting memory by donating to the following organizations. Donate in memory of Thomas Michael McMahon. Use PO box 763531 Dallas, Texas 75376 for acknowledgement address and his family will share in the memory of your gift.

American Heart Association. www.donatenow.heart.org

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. www.ASPCA.org


Oil Spill Reported Along California Beach

By Kathryn Stone 2015-05-20 09:43:15

A ruptured pipeline west of Santa Barbara, California has left local beaches covered in oil.

Around noon on Tuesday visitors complained of a noxious smell in the area around Refugio Beach, about 20 miles outside of Santa Barbara. By about 3:30pm the oil slick was confirmed and had extended around four miles from where the spill was first discovered. Thick patches of oil have been reported washing ashore in and around Refugio Beach.

An estimated 21,000 gallons of oil leaked from the broken pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline, before it was shut off. The company issued a statement yesterday saying, “Plains shut down the flow of oil in the pipeline and has initiated its emergency response plan [and] is working with local officials and first responders on site to begin clean up and remediation efforts.” The company has also stated that it is taking every precaution to limit the spill’s environmental impact.

Currently, the U.S. Coast Guard is overseeing the oil cleanup operation and wildlife experts are addressing the spill’s effect on local animal populations. Additionally, the county Office of Emergency Services, Exxon and firefighters are all working to contain and mitigate the spill’s damage.

Speaking to a Los Angeles news source, Capt. Jennifer Williams of the USCG stated that the spill will have to be monitored continuously to limit its environmental impact. Additionally, she added that the spill was of a medium degree of severity and that local wildlife should be able to recover from the damage.

As of Tuesday night, Refugio State Beach was shut down and warnings were issued for El Capitan State Beach as the oil spill was reportedly moving south with the currents. It is unclear if beach closures will extend through the Memorial Day holiday.