Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 08/10/2015
1. High Risk Area Threat
Moves to review the high risk area in the Indian Ocean could lead to a return to hijackings and hostage taking. On October 8, the Contact Group for Piracy off the Coast of Somalia will discuss a change to the size and shape of the high risk area in the northwest Indian Ocean. What is likely to happen if the HRA is reduced in size? It will send a clear message to the pirates that we think Somali piracy is over. Second, and more important, it will send a very strong signal to the politicians of countries that provide warships that they can bring their vessels home, taking away one of the three interrelated elements that most effectively deters pirates.
2. Tankers Detained for Illegal Fuelling
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) officials have detained two tankers for alleged illegal ship fuel transfer. MMEA officials reportedly detained Equatorial Guinea-registered "Mt Vitology" for allegedly attempting to transfer 80,000 litres of marine gas oil to Vietnam-flagged tanker "Mt An Phuat" without proper documentation at around 2.3 n miles southeast of Tanjung Ayam, Pengerang. In a separate development, MMEA officials have detained Mongolian-flagged Golden Prosperity for allegedly illegally anchoring in Tanjung Ayam waters. Golden Prosperity is 12th vessel to be detained by MMEA over illegal anchorage this year.
3. Set Your Own Limits
IMO secretary-general Koji Sekimizu has called on the shipping industry to be proactive in setting its own emission targets. The industry, along with aviation, has been under fire particularly in Europe for not being included in the COP21 Paris climate deal coming up in December. Sekimizu stated the industry needed to demonstrate the good things that it has done. “If you have a truly good development and a bad image that is a bad situation,” he said. “We need to stand up and show the that the shipping industry and the IMO have implemented very significant measures.” The industry can reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by the year 2030. http://goo.gl/0nQitg
4. Maritime Security Futures
A glimpse of the future of maritime security has been emerging. A retired British admiral who is now a leading voice in seeking solutions for piracy set the scene suggesting ships 15 years from now will face spikes in criminality, wars that will spill into the maritime domain, more severe weather, cyber attacks and a Russian dominated Arctic shipping channel. Noting that it took five years and 838 imprisoned seafarers before the first naval ship was deployed to the Horn of Africa, the retired admiral said policy workers need to work faster, especially right now with regards to the Mediterranean migrant crisis.
5. UNCLOS Needs Teeth
If the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) cannot apply to the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea dispute, then it cannot apply to any other maritime row, according to Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio. Carpio voiced his position in a lecture on China’s nine-dash line claim at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington last Oct. 5. In Beijing’s nine-dash claim, China’s maritime domain covers almost the entire South China Sea and West Philippine Sea, including the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of smaller neighboring countries.
6. Weapons Seizure off Yemen
In the latest security update from PVI, the High Risk Area (HRA) saw some interesting activity as arab coalition forces belonging to the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen captured an Iranian boat carrying weapons near Oman’s southeast Salalah coast. According to the Saudi-led coalition’s spokesperson, the boat was carrying rockets and missiles, including 18 Concourse shells, 54 anti-tank missiles and 15 battery kits designed for military projectiles and weapons guidance systems. The forces also arrested 14 sailors on board the ship. They believed the vessel was bound for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, though this has not been confirmed.
7. Black Box Recorder Vital
Investigators trying to figure out what happened to the doomed cargo ship El Faro are hoping to pull answers from a device that likely remains thousands of feet under the sea. The vessel’s voyage data recorder is built to withstand brutal undersea conditions, National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr told NBC News. But once the box hits water, it begins emitting a beacon that lasts only as long as its battery — about 30 days. That leaves about three weeks to find the El Faro’s recorder, which is presumed to have gone down with the ship Oct. 1. The recorder holds all kinds of clues about the ship’s demise.
8. Owners Flock to Second Hand Tonnage
Ship owners have moved towards second hand tonnage in a more notable way during the summer months. According to shipbroker Intermodal, sale and purchase activity during the first three quarters of 2015 and more specifically during the summer season has been rather remarkable. “421 vessels, totaling 30 million dwt, changed hands in the period between June and August 2015, while in the same period last year, 304 vessels, totaling 17.8 million dwt, were sold. The increase is significant and we generally see a pretty good momentum in the number of sales as well as an increase in sale candidates at the moment”, Intermodal said.
9. Seafarer Bodies Found
The "Phatra Marine 5" container ship that capsized in the Gulf of Thailand after it was hit by large waves and strong winds from the recent ‘Vamco’ tropical storm was salvaged from seabed with bodies of four missing crewmen inside the engine room. The ship which sank on the night of September 19 along with its cargoes in over 80 containers was jacked up with inflatable pontoons and 200-ton crane from the seabed. As the vessel emerged on the water surface, it was searched and four missing crewmen were found inside the engine room. All had their life jackets worn.
10. Sailor Refuses to Leave Yacht
A rescue operation was under way in the North Sea for an octogenarian sailor and his stricken vessel. The "Harrier of Down" – manned by 82-year-old round-the-world yachtsman Julian Mustoe – lost steering on Tuesday off the coast of Shetland. It left the 25-foot vessel drifting in 20ft seas and strong winds. At one point it came within half a mile of an oil and gas platform which caused the Norwegian coastguard to scramble.. It is understood that Mr Mustoe, a Strathclyde University graduate, left Lerwick on Shetland, last Thursday. The adventurer, from London, got into trouble when his rudder suffered a problem 90 miles east of the port.
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