Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/09/2015
1. Calls for Global Reporting
The International Maritime Bureau (IMB), has called for a global information sharing centre combat piracy. At a conference held in Kuala Lumpur IMB noted that mass illegal migration and people smuggling had added to the complications of the problem of piracy. The IMB said that to improve this situation a common worldwide information sharing framework is needed to expedite coastal state and naval responses to incidents helping to protect seafarers and catching the criminals involved. The IMB believes it could play a leading role in global information sharing service.
2. Commandos to Ride on Ships
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will deploy its commandos onboard government-linked companies’ cargo vessels soon to deter piracy activities in Malaysian waters. Maritime Criminal Investigation division director First Admiral Datuk Zulkifli Abu Bakar said the deployment of commandos from MMEA’s Special Task and Rescue (Star) will be made based on threat assessment analysis. "This initiative has been discussed with the management of GLC shipping companies, where they agreed to have our commandos onboard their randomly selected vessels. Each operation will involve a unit of at least four armed commandos. http://goo.gl/tOiHfR
3. Abused Seafarers in Danger
A spokesperson for the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) said Greek-owned and Panama-flagged bulk carrier San Nikolas was “riddled with deficiencies” and he had “grave concerns” for the welfare of the 24 Filipino crewmen. There are claims that the crewmen were being paid less than $2 an hour and forced to buy water. The ship owned and managed by Greece’s Athenian Shipping, was found to have insufficient food and no potable water onboard when it berthed in Newcastle, Australia. “In an already shady industry there’s a further race-to-the-bottom as international freight rates drop,” said ITF President Paddy Crumlin.
4. Captain Raises Rescue Cash
A German merchant navy captain is raising money for a rescue ship to help save the thousands of refugees and migrants risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Klaus Vogel, who formerly sailed container ships around the world for Hapag-Lloyd, is the president of humanitarian group SOS Mediterranee. Founded by humanitarian workers from Germany, France, Italy and Greece, the organisation is aiming to staff a ship with experienced crew and medics from Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) and take it to patrol the treacherous crossing between Libya and Italy. SOS Mediterranee was founded in May, after a series of disasters.
5. Fluid Security IO Situation
The security situation in the Indian Ocean could very quickly worsen, says maritime security company MAST. Gerry Northwood OBE, COO of MAST, said: “For commercial shipping, the Indian Ocean is arguably the safest ocean on the planet. Put simply, the current security framework is working, but it remains extremely fragile and dependent on international navies maintaining a presence in the Indian Ocean, Best Management Practice 4 (BMP4) being diligently applied and for at least the majority of vessels to be protected by armed guards”. “Yet we continue to see speculative approaches by skiffs equipped with assault rifles and ladders.
6. Landmark LNG Bunkering
The Sefarina, a seagoing ship operated by the Dutch company Chemgas Shipping, has scored another “first” in the port of Antwerp. After being the first ship to obtain a particulates discount, on Monday it was also the first seagoing vessel to be bunkered with LNG in the port of Antwerp. Bunkering with this cleaner type of fuel has already been possible in Antwerp for some time, but so far it has been used only for barges, with the LNG being supplied by trucks. The recent truck-to-ship bunkering of the Sefarina now counts as a test case for the safety procedures that will apply to bunkering of seagoing ships.
7. Bad Time for Big Builders
South Korea’s Big Three shipbuilders are not likely to return to the black until 2017 at the earliest, according to an industry analyst. The double blow of overcapacity in shipbuilding and the collapse in oil prices are blamed. In a report, NH Investment Securities analyst Yoo Jae-Hoon argues that demand for offshore plants will decline in tandem with oil prices. While new environmental regulations will encourage shipowners to build eco-ships, this is insufficient to effect a quick turnaround for the likes of Hyundai HI, Samsung HI, and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), he said.
8. Text Book Salvage Success
Titan Salvage, now a part of Ardent following completion of the merger of Titan and Svitzer Salvage, has successfully completed the complex and difficult removal of the wreck of the cape-size MV Smart coal carrier in South Africa. This was especially challenging given weather conditions that prevail on the South African coast, particularly during the winter period. The removal of the vessel, which was entered in North P&I Club by owner Alpha Marine, has been accomplished on time and on budget due to a high level of collaboration with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Titan and North.
9. Owner Announces Bankruptcy
Wenzhou Intermediate People’s Court has announced the bankruptcy of Judger Group with six of its subsidiaries including Judger Shipbuilding. Judger Shipbuilding filed for bankruptcy with the court and applied for a restructuring in April. However, the yard has failed to find new investors. Judger Group is multi-sector group which is mainly engaged in the clothing business. It entered shipbuilding in 2006 with Judger Shipbuilding, which has been suffering from the financial crisis since 2008. The bankruptcy of Judger Group has left about RMB30bn ($4.71bn) debts in total and led to 5,000 employees losing their jobs.
10. Electrician Serious Hold Fall
A 61-year-old Bulgarian man was critically injured when he fell a height of seven metres down a ship’s hold while it was alongside at Malta Freeport. The man, who is an electrician, is believed to have been working on some machinery inside the cargo hold when he lost his footing and fell. Rescuers from the Civil Protection Department were called to the vessel and were able to lift him from the hold. The seafarers is understood to be in a critical condition in intensive care at a nearby hospital.
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