Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/09/2015
1. Pirates Flee from Navy
Pirates who had boarded a tugboat in the Singapore Strait fled after a warship from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) closed in, reports said. The Malaysian-flagged Permata 1 was subsequently escorted safely to Singapore waters by a patrol vessel of the RSN. None of the crew onboard were harmed, local media reported. In the morning of Tuesday, Singapore’s Port Operations Control Centre received a signal from the tugboat that pirates were boarding it. The RSN’s Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF) immediately deployed the warship RSS Resilience and the pirates fled towards Indonesian waters on seeing the military ship.
2. Container Collision Runner
The container ship "Hansa Magdeburg" collided with fishing vessel on 60 nautical miles off Mokpo, South Korea. The accident caused sinking of the South Korean fishing vessel and the crew members on board are missing. The container ship reportedly fled the scene of the accident and resumed the voyage to Busan, as last was found north off Jeju island with reduced speed of 6-7 nautical miles. The ship is suspected for hit&run and will be detained before further investigation of the collision. The search and rescue operations for the missing fishermen are on way. The local authorities will collect witness evidences from the nearby fishing ships.
3. India Holds Port Strike
The trade unions in India will hold general strike today, after breakdown of negotiations between the government commission of Financial Ministry and workers during the weekend. Effectively since 7 am on September 2 will be closed all the major ports and terminals in India. No cargo, pilotage and towing operations will be performed during the strike, except in case of emergency. Some shipping companies, like Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk and CMA CGM, already warned the customers about possible delay in deliveries, due to the serious disruption of the ports operations. The general strike will engage 11 major trade unions in India.
4. Oil Drives Mileage
Slumping oil prices are spurring 4,000-mile (6,400-kilometer) diversions of tankers filled with diesel and jet fuel as the price of ship fuel plunges, opening up trading opportunities. At least five tankers will deliver refined products to European ports in August and September, sailing around South Africa rather than using the normal shortcut through Egypt’s Suez Canal, ship tracking data show. The falling cost of fuel oil, used to power ships, has made longer voyages viable at a time when there are advantages for traders to keep cargoes at sea. Long-distance shipments between continents have increased this year, according to Torm A/S.
5. Insurers Hit by Migrant Claims
Illegal attempts by migrants to enter the UK via Calais have created new challenges for the insurance sector. Cargo underwriters have been receiving calls from clients desperate to understand their rights and looking to move the shipments of their goods from road to sea as the migrant crisis continues at Calais and the Eurotunnel terminal. As governments and law enforcement struggles with an unprecedented number of migrants attempting to cross the Channel via the Channel Tunnel or aboard cargo containers or trucks going through Calais, cargo owners and freight companies have asked underwriters for more cover.
6. Trading Pattern Boost
The product tanker market has enjoyed healthy returns in recent years on the back of structural changes taking place in trading patterns. However, impending fleet growth is expected to reduce the sector’s earnings over the medium term, according to the Product Tanker Market Annual Report 2015 published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. The widespread switching of trade by product/chemical tankers from chemicals to refined products has resulted in rapid growth in the product tanker fleet, which has expanded by 11.4 million dwt through 2012-14 (of which 8.2 million dwt is attributable to switching of tonnage).
7. New Swedish Tax Regime
Sweden will introduce a new tonnage tax regime in 2016 that aims to encourage more ships to sail under the Swedish flag, under which only around 100 vessels are registered. The new scheme is pending approval from the EU Commission, after which it will come into force on July 1, 2016 at the earliest. The Swedish Shipowners’ Association has called the tonnage tax regime a “lifeline” for the country’s shipping industry in previous media reports. Once the regime is instated, a vessel’s income will be calculated at a flat rate based on its net tonnage and not on the fiscal results of its trading activity.
8. New Training Records Released
In co-operation with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the Filipino Shipowners Association (FSA) and the Maritime Industry Authority of the Philippines (MARINA) have launched a special new Philippines edition of the widely used ICS/ISF Training Record Books. The four existing ICS/ISF books (for deck officer cadets, engine officer cadets, deck rating trainees and engine rating trainees) have been fully updated to match the competences required under the ‘Manila’ amendments to the IMO Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 2010).
9. Fuel Tanker Near Sinking
A collision which caused the near-sinking of a North Sea fuel tanker is under investigation by safety authorities. The Erin Wood began capsizing two miles off the coast of Peterhead after colliding with the Cypriot cargo vessel Daroja. Rescuers from the RNLI and coastguard arrived shortly after 5.10pm on Saturday to find the 80ft vessel taking on water. Both of the Erin Wood’s crew were taken off the boat safely and the ship was towed back to Peterhead by a fishing trawler.
10. Tianjin Director Falls to Death
Dong Yongcun, director of the administrative approval department of Tianjin Transport Committee, died on 26 August after falling from the office building. The reason for his fall is still under investigation and no official statement on Dong’s death from the committee has been released. Ruihai International Logistics, the owner of the warehouse that exploded and cost many lives on 12 August, received the Port Operation License and the Attached Certificate on Operations of Hazardous Goods at Ports from Dong’s department in June 2015. At present, 11 officials from various government departments, are being investigated.
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