Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/08/2015
1. Passenger Deaths in Ferry Collision
Eight people are dead after a ferry capsized and sank after a collision with a fishing boat near India’s port city of Kochi. The ferry was transporting about 30 passengers from Vypin, a Kochi island to Fort Kochi. The Coast Guard, Navy and Marine police were dispatched for the rescue operation. The survivors are being treated at a nearby hospital, but at least three of the rescued passengers are in serious condition. The status of fishing vessel and its operators is unknown.
2. Owners Need to Strengthen Security
Following a spate of six attacks in the Singapore Straight over the weekend leading maritime security provider MAST is calling for shipping companies to strengthen their approach to maritime security in South East Asia. Gerry Northwood OBE, COO of MAST, said: “Shipping companies need to look at Best Management Practices (BMP) 4 applied in the Indian Ocean and now adapt it to counter the threat posed by local criminals in SE Asia.” BMP4 has been effective in providing a framework for passive security measures, such as watch-keeping and enhanced vigilance, and hardening vessels transiting through the Indian Ocean".
3. Cruise Ship Rescues Migrants
It’s being reported that at least 45 to 46 migrants have been rescued by a Royal Caribbean cruise ship while sailing in the Mediterranean. Press reports state the "Vision of the Seas" which is a 78,500 gross ton ship came to the rescue of at least 45 migrants. The ship came across the migrants while sailing from Greece to Turkey this morning (August 27th). The crew provided food and water before transferring them to a tender boat that took them to a Greek island nearby. "Vision of the Seas" is on a 12 Night Mediterranean Greek Isles cruise, at the time was sailing towards Kusadasi, Turkey. The ship is homeported in Barcelona, Spain.
4. New African Stowaway Warnings
P&I Club Gard has issued an update on South Africa, on the pressing matter of stowaway risk exposure that ship owners are facing. The South African Department of Home Affairs has implemented a stricter approach to the definition of a ‘trespasser’ as opposed to ‘stowaway’, resulting in increased repatriation costs and therefore increased risk exposure for shipowners and their P&I clubs. There are today a large number of illegal immigrants in South Africa and many of these work in South African ports as casual labour. The policy generally applied by South African Port Authorities is to impose an obligation on the crew to check identities.
5. Bunker Blast Kills Workers
An explosion in the heating unit of a Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) marine fuel depot has killed two workers, local media reports. The blast happened at the Petrobras depot in the Port of Tubarão near Vitória, Brazil, which is managed by BR Distribuidora SA (BR), and is said to have occurred around 10am local time while workers conducted planned maintenance on the heating unit. BR said on-site firefighters brought the fire under control, and confirmed there is no further risk in the area. The explosion and subsequent fire is said to be the third fatal incident at a Petrobras facility so far this year, with a combined 13 fatalities and 26 injuries.
6. Seafarers Caught in Gas Blast
Two men suffered injuries when a natural gas pipeline ruptured and caught fire while they were working on it from a dive support vessel (DSV) in US Gulf of Mexico waters. The incident occurred about 25 miles south of Marsh Island in Louisiana and the US Coast Guard (USCG) responded to the scene of the pipeline blaze.
Both men aboard the supply ship Ms. Kerci (built 2001) were taken to hospital in Houma where their injuries were aid to be minor. The blaze has been extinguished and the owner of the pipeline, Boardwalk/Gulf South Pipeline Co., is sending another vessel to repair the rupture. An investigation will be undertaken.
7. Class Acts for Box Giants
Lloyd’s Register (LR) is classing the world’s largest-ever container ships – led by a recent contract to oversee the building of six ultra-large container ships (ULCS) of more than 20,000 teu. Technical teams at LR have investigated the rising heights and weights of the container stacks that today’s ULCSs can carry and produced new guidelines to help designers, owners and masters handle the ever-growing cargos. One of the teams’ key findings is based on vessel speed. LR research demonstrates that the speed at which a ship is sailing has a significant and predictable effect on the rolling motions; this is a crucial factor in cargo-carrying.
8. Panama Alternative Gains Support
HKND Group (HKND) of Hong Kong claims it has the public backing of Nicaraguans for its plan to build a $50 billion, 275-kilometre waterway for vessels that can’t navigate the Panama Canal, Bloomberg this week reported. HKND said in a statement that 78 percent of Nicaraguans responding to a survey support the plan, which has caused analysts such as Sverre Svenning, a shipping expert at Fearnley Consultants AS, to question if sufficient demand for the waterway exists given the impending completion of Panama’s $5.25 billion expansion project. The Nicaraguan National Assembly in June of this year officially ratified the canal deal.
9. Embattled Yard Fights On
Financially troubled shipyard Sainty Marine has announced that it has gone into arbitration with a shipowner, which is believed to be Celsius Shipping, at London Maritime Arbitration Association on the shipbuilding contracts for three 24,000dwt chemical tankers. Sainty Marine said that the shipowner has notified the shipyard to cancel the three ships and applied with China Exim Bank to return the pre-payment and relevant interest. The shipyard believes that the shipowner has no right to cancel the orders and ask for refund. The three ships are among many orders cancelled by shipowners following the bankruptcy of Mingde Heavy Industry.
10. Bulk Owner Optimistic
Dry bulk ship owner Golden Ocean appeared optimistic on the long term prospects of the dry bulk market, mainly thanks to an expected resolution of the oversupply problems of the market. The owner added in its second quarter report that the average spot rates so far in the third quarter are higher than the rates in the first half of 2015, which means that the company’s revenues are expected to improve compared to the two previous quarters. Golden Ocean noted that following two very weak quarters, the third quarter started with more optimism, in particular, for the Capesize segment.
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