Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 02/10/2015
1. Nigeria Seizes Tanker
The Nigerian military has seized the M/T Askja which is suspected of transporting stolen crude oil. The tanker was anchored along the Forcados estuary outside of Warri City when Niger Delta’s Joint Task Force raided the ship. Local authorities have arrested the eight "pirates" aboard the Askja. According to local reports, the Joint Task Force also raided and shut down several illegal refineries where stolen crude oil was being distilled. This incident comes just weeks after Nigeria lifted a two-month ban on 113 tankers operating in its sovereign waters. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corp instituted the ban on July 15 to curb alleged illegal crude.
2. Costs for Shipping Down
Total annual operating costs in the shipping industry fell by an average of 0.8 percent in 2014, according to Moore Stephens. This compares with the 0.3 percent average fall in costs recorded for 2013. All categories of expenditure were down on those for the previous 12-month period, confirming that shipowners and operators continued to manage costs sensibly and to watch their cash carefully in 2014. The findings are set out in OpCost 2015, Moore Stephens’ unique ship operating costs benchmarking tool, which reveals that total operating costs for the tanker, bulker and container ship sectors were all down in 2014.
3. Lloyd’s List Awards Winners
The annual Lloyd’s List Global Awards were held last night in London. The coveted Company of the Year award went to Euronav, which, according to the independent panel of judges, has enjoyed a transformational year, becoming the tanker industry’s bellwether as it moves from strength to strength with an impressively bold and meticulously executed strategy. The newsmaker of the year award went to Anglo-Eastern chief executive Peter Cremers following Anglo-Eastern’s merger with Univan. "Seafarer of the Year" was collectively given to those who have rescued migrants at sea.
4. New Class Rules Released
DNV-GL has announced its new rules for classification of ships publicly available online for the first time today. After what it calls an unprecedented development and review process, involving 250 internal experts and more than 800 customers and maritime stakeholders, it said the rules set a new benchmark. “The result of the combined experience and expertise of two leading classification societies, the new rules are modern, easy to work with, industry-driven, efficient, and ready for the future.” Through the process over 7,000 pages were reviewed, both internally and externally. The new DNV GL rules will enter into force on 1 January 2016.
5. Nigerian Agencies Work Together
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Navy have resolved to deepen their collaboration with the aim of providing a safe and secure maritime environment for shipping activities. This pledge was re-emphasised when the Acting Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Haruna Baba Jauro Mr. Jauro who stated NIMASA’s commitment to renew and strengthen the existing Memorandum of Understanding between both organisations commended the Nigerian Navy for keeping to the spirit and letters of the MoU which he said has drastically improved safety in the Nigerian maritime domain.
6. Container Weighing Welcomed
UK P&I Club and TT Club have welcomed the amendment to SOLAS on the requirement that containers have a verified gross mass before being loaded onto a ship. The requirement becomes mandatory on 1 July 2016, after which date it would be a violation of SOLAS to load a packed container onto a ship if the ship and marine terminal operator do not have a verified container gross mass. Operators who fail to comply will be fined or penalised. According to the new amendment, the shipper is responsible for obtaining the verified gross mass of a packed container and communicating it to the ocean carrier.
7. Seafarers Certification goes Online
The Isle of Man Ship Registry is now processing applications for endorsements recognising seafarers’ qualifications online. The Ship Registry processes more than 3,000 applications each year for endorsements which are issued to allow seafarers holding internationally recognised certification to sail on Isle of Man registered ships. This latest move will allow crew managers to apply online and submit all supporting documentation electronically, improving the service for crew managers around the world. The online service has been tested by two of the Ship Registry’s major clients and has been hailed as a success.
8. Owners Creditors Announced
Details of embattled Japanese outfit Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha’s creditors have emerged in its Chapter 15 filing in the US. The list shows trading houses Cargill, Bunge, shipowners Navios, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Korea Line Corporation, Sanko Steamship, Oldendorff Carriers, Pan Ocean, Norden, Western Bulk Corporation as well as the shipping arms of Vale, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Noble Group among Daiichi Chuo’s 596 creditors that are owed JPY119.56 billion (USD979.2 million). Daiichi Chuo’s troubles resulted from aggressive fleet expansion prior to the global financial crisis in 2008.
9. Failures of Safety Management
A casualty report into the enclosed space multiple deaths on board the bulk carrier Sally Ann C in March this year has been released. It points to an incomplete safety management system (SMS), absence of warning notices in the danger spot, and "impulsive actions" as among the causes of the casualty. The incident, which occurred on 13 March 2015 while the Isle of Man-flagged ship was on passage from San Pedro, Ivory Coast, to Dakar, Senegal, carrying a cargo of sawn timber, resulted in the deaths of the chief officer and chief engineer from asphyxiation, and serious skull injuries to the ship’s second officer.
10. Seafarers Rescued at Sea
U.S. Coast Guard officials said 12 people abandoned a 212-foot cargo ship Thursday night that began sinking approximately 51 nautical miles northwest of Haiti. The USCG received the message of the sinking boat when they received a message that the crew members aboard the Bolivian-flagged ship, Minouche, were making preparations to abandon the ship. Officials said the 12 crew members got onto a life raft after abandoning the ship. It is reported that there are 10-foot swells. A helicopter crew, a good Samaritan vessel and member of AMVER were diverted to the sinking ship’s last known position.
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