Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/09/2015
1. Pirates Released from Jail
The Seychelles Court of Appeal has freed eight Somalis who had been convicted for piracy. The Somalis were declared free on Friday morning as verdict was delivered in seven criminal and 10 civil cases which had been before the land’s highest court during its sitting from August 17-28. In a first piracy case, the Appeals Court quashed the conviction of seven Somalis and their resulting six-year sentence, after it ruled that the Supreme Court had not been provided with enough evidence in order to convict them. The court has ordered that they are now repatriated to Somalia.
2. Crew Missing After Sinking
Two crew members are missing after the Indonesian-flagged container ship M/V Meratus Banjar 2 sank in the Java Sea on September 2. Indonesian naval officials report that the vessel sank due to a leak in the engine room. The container ship was transporting cargo to Makassar, South Sulawesi from Surabaya.
The Meratus Banjar 2, built in 1997, is a 7,761 dwt vessel owned by Indonesia’s Meratus Line. According to media reports, the Meratus Line has sent the M/V Meratus Spirit 1 to search for the missing mariners.
3. Wind Shield Save Fuel
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has started demonstration tests of a new windshield for container ships that has the potential to reduce wind resistance, save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions. MOL jointly developed the device with MOL Techno-Trade, Ouchi Ocean Consultant, Akishima Laboratory (Mitsui Zosen) and the University of Tokyo. The project was backed by the Joint R&D for Industry Program, in which ClassNK promotes wide-ranging R&D activities in cooperation with industry, government and academia. The new windshield was installed on the bow of the MOL-operated container ship MOL Marvel.
4. Unpaid for Two Years
Three crew members remaining onboard a Turkish-owned general cargo vessel stuck in Brazil have not been paid in two years, due to “financial problems”. One Russian and two Turkish nationals remain onboard the singledecker Iron Trader (2,623 dwt, built 1981), which is owned and commercially managed by Turkey’s Iron Shipping Inc. Seven of the crew have already left the ship but those remaining cannot afford to fly home, Turkey’s Hürriyet Daily News reports. The Panama-flagged vessel has reportedly been anchored in Brazil since November 2014. Its last AIS update was received four months ago from the port of Vitoria.
5. Wind Causes Ferry Allision
The ferry Liverpool Seaways carrying 155 passengers allided with pontoon at approach to Kappelskar port, Sweden. The accident happened in strong wind and moderate sea, causing large breach to the ship’s hull. The pontoon was engaged with construction of pier in the port and between it and another quay left just a narrow channel for approaching the berth at Kappelskar port. The ferry attempted to pass the narrow channel twice, but the strong winds drifted it to the pontoon and allided with serious damages caused. The ship returned and anchored together with other cargo ships, waiting weather to improve.
6. Weapon Cargo Crew Arrested
A large weapons stash was discovered aboard a Middle East-crewed cargo ship off the Greek island of Crete, a police source said, with initial information suggesting was bound from Turkey for Libya. Greek port police boarded Haddad 1 and found more than 5,000 firearms and more than 490,000 rounds of ammunition in several shipping containers. The Bolivian-flagged vessel had a seven-strong crew of Syrians and Egyptians. The ship was seized off Ierapetra on Crete’s southern coast because it was not carrying the correct papers for its cargo, the police source said.
7. Ship Sinks After Power Loss
Yesterday morning Chinese ship Zhe Pu 01833 sank after suddenly losing power and striking a reef while approaching Ningbo-Zhoushan Port. The vessel was travelling from Taizhou loaded with 300 tonnes of cement, and headed through the Xiashimen channel when it struck the reef around 7am, and had to call for immediate assistance. A rescue ship from Ningbo Port arrived by 7:30am to find the five crew members attempting to save the vessel. However, within half an hour the ship was beyond saving and the crew were evacuated safely.
8. UN Wants Ship Inspection Fund
The United Nations is waiting for $10 million to set up inspections of commercial ships carrying desperately-needed fuel and other supplies to war-torn Yemen, the spokesman said Thursday. Yemen is heavily dependent on commercial imports for food, fuel and other basic goods, but shipments have dropped dramatically since the Saudi-led coalition began blockading key ports. Controlling port access to Yemen has become crucial amid fears that the Shiite Huthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa could receive fresh supplies of weapons. "We are waiting for funding from member-states," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
9. Seafarers Speak Out On Broadband
Poor connectivity is the single largest factor disincentivising the best and brightest youth from espousing seafaring as a career.” That was the view of one seafarer in a poll carried by this title earlier this year. Similarly a survey carried last year by Futurenautics Research found 60% of seafarer respondents indicated that having broadband onboard ships affects their decision to join a company. The problem is that seafarers’ bosses often to do not agree with this sentiment. “In a world of modern gadgets and technology,” says Nikhil Salunke, a second officer for the past two years, “we seafarers are still deprived of certain things.”
10. Shipowners to be Punished
Shipowners in Nigeria will be punished as “saboteurs” if found to be participating in oil theft, the country’s chief of naval staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, has warned. “While acknowledging that the majority of your members are carrying out legitimate business out there and like any other society, you still have some bad elements that are perhaps dragging your name back,” Ibas told the Nigerian Ship Owners’ Association in a meeting at the Naval Headquarters in Abuja. The Nigerian Ship Owners’ Association has called for stronger collaboration between the merchant navy and national navy in protecting the shipment of goods.
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