Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/06/2015
1. 5 Fugitive Pirates Hunted
Five pirates involved in the hijacking of the Orkim Harmony are still at large, according to the latest reports from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. The 7,301 dwt Orkim Harmony and her crew were seized by pirates on June 11 and held for one week. The stolen vessel was located last Thursday and eight Indonesian pirates were apprehended the next day by the Vietnam Coast Guard. The group was reportedly trying to escape from navy ships and aircraft in the Orkim Harmony’s life boat. However, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency has claimed there were a total of 13 attackers involved in the hijacking.
2. Distinguishing Between Robbery and Piracy
It is important to distinguish between armed robbery and piracy when reporting incidents in South East Asia waters says the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA). The findings reveal that in the first quarter of this year the vast majority of incidents in this region fall under the category of armed robbery (which is within the territorial waters and under the jurisdiction of the sovereign state) not piracy (which is on the high seas). The distinction determines whether a merchant vessel can seek protection from the navy/coast guard of the littoral state or from the navy/coastguard of the vessel’s flag of registry.
3. New Mission to Hunt Traffickers
British-backed surveillance missions against people traffickers in the Mediterranean will be launched within days, it was confirmed on Monday morning. Federica Mogherini, the EU’s most senior diplomat, said European foreign ministers had given their unanimous backing to the first phase of a military operation against smuggling gangs in north Africa. "The targets are those that are making money on their lives, and too often, their deaths," she said. Britain has committed HMS Enterprise, to the operation. The vessel is equipped with a Survey Motor Launch and was deployed in search-and-destroy operations against Somali pirates.
4. Criminals Boarding Vessels
A new threat to seafarers is emerging, it is a human threat rather than a threat associated with the elements of nature. It is that of taking criminals or militants on board as seafarers work to rescue migrants from unseaworthy, overcrowded vessels in the Mediterranean and in Asia. To assist owners, seafarers and private maritime security companies dealing with this situation, Human Rights at Sea, a U.K. charity, has recently released the first international guidance titled “Deprivation of Liberty at Sea,” which gives details of how to safely and legally handle suspected criminals during a transit, as well as defining the roles and responsibilities.
5. Seafarers Abandoned and Stranded
13 Indonesian, Filipino and Romanian workers have been stranded in Newport Docks for nearly four months after authorities seized their ship due to unpaid debts. The crew of Italian cargo ship "Sunflower E", who haven’t been paid in more than four months, said they are desperate to go home and see their families. Speaking to the press they said their they had no hot water and their fridge had broken, and they only had enough fuel to last the week. They have been supplied with food and water by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), but concerns have been raised about the “deteriorating conditions” onboard.
6. ITF Tackling FoC Issues
The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) is deeply concerned by comments from the body representing flag of convenience shipping interests in Australia. Shipping Australia CEO Rod Nairn has bizarrely questioned the ITF’s motives in encouraging parliamentary scrutiny of low standard shipping following a case where three workers were very likely murdered at sea onboard the Sage Sagittarius in 2012. A coronial inquest into two of the deaths onboard the Panama-flagged coal carrier continued today at the Glebe Coroner’s Court in Sydney. The third death is beyond the scope of the Australian inquest.
7. Masters in for a Long Wait
The most useful thing for an oil-tanker captain heading to Houston right now might be a fishing rod. That’s because they’re going to have to wait an average of four days, or eight times longer than usual, to unload as Houston’s storage tanks fill with record amounts of U.S. oil extracted from shale. U.S. ports and waterways are grappling with the highest crude stockpiles and fuel exports in decades. “There’s a lot more oil on the water,” Erik Broekhuizen, the head of tanker research at Poten & Partners. “There are some inefficiencies in the system where ships are left waiting to discharge” he added.
8. Gearing Up for Day of the Seafarer
IMO is gearing up for the fifth edition of its annual Day of the Seafarer campaign (25th June) to celebrate the unsung heroes of shipping across the globe. The Day of the Seafarer campaign will focus on encouraging young people to consider seafaring and other maritime professions when making choices concerning their careers or their further education. This year’s theme, A Career At Sea, aims to help address the predicted shortage of seafarers in the future by promoting and highlighting the positive benefits of choosing a career at sea. In particular, the campaign will focus on encouraging young people to consider seafaring.
9. West African Radar System
Ivory Coast is considering launching a satellite to combat security threats from pirates in the Gulf of Guinea and Islamist militants in the West African region, Telecommunications Minister Bruno Kone said. “We’ve decided to conduct a technical and economic study that will tell us the relevance of such a project,” Kone said by phone on June 17 from Abidjan, the commercial capital. The West African nation is currently leasing capacity from commercial satellites and will calculate whether using its own could be cheaper, he said. Pirates operate in the Gulf of Guinea threaten to destabilize the region with attacks and kidnappings.
10. Indian Navy Rescue Stricken Crew
The Indian Navy helped evacuate all 20 crew from a sinking containership off Mumbai early Monday. India’s Ministry of Defence said that the Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC Mumbai) received a distress call Sunday night at approximately 11:00 p.m. from the Indian-flagged MV Jindal Kamakshi reporting that the vessel was listing by about 20 degrees. The vessel underway from Mundra to Kochi with 20 crew members and was located about 100 kilometers from Mumbai when it sent out the distress call. With weather deteriorating, the ship anchored about 25 kilometers from Vasai creek, just north of Mumbai.
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