Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/08/2015
1. Mate Refuses to Abandon Ship
The chief mate of a cargo ship died Sunday after refusing to abandon the sinking ship that took encountered trouble in the sea lane of Barangay Baganian, Tabina, Zamboanga del Sur, Inspector Dahlan Samuddin, a police spokesperson said. “He refused to leave the sinking ship after their captain, Rogelio Regala, ordered them to abandon it,” Samuddin said. Divers were still trying to retrieve the body believed to be trapped inside the sunken ship. The ship was loaded with more or less 432 cubic meters of river-sand. Bad weather and resulting big waves caused the ship to tilt to its side and sink.
2. North Korean Law Suit
Winning a lawsuit against North Korea is rare. Collecting millions of dollars in damages from the isolated country? Pretty much impossible. But an Israel-based civil rights group thinks it has found a way, starting with a North Korean ship that’s been held, against Pyongyang’s wishes, in a Mexican port for the past year. The effort illustrates the challenges of holding North Korea to account in more ways than one. The Shurat HaDin law center began its pursuit after winning a $330 million U.S. District Court judgment in April over the abduction of a South Korean-born pastor in China and his presumed torture and killing in North Korea 15 years ago. http://goo.gl/OChKKx
3. St Kitts Poaches UK Flag Chief
After four groundbreaking years as head of the UK Ship Register (UKSR), Debasis Mazumdar is moving on to become CEO of the London-headquartered St Kitts & Nevis International Ship Registry (SKANReg), with a mission to drive further growth for the ambitious ten-year-old Caribbean flag state. He succeeds Nigel Smith in the role. “Debasis has a proven track record at one of the world’s leading ship registries,” says Smith. “His appointment underlines our intent of becoming a Top 20 flag by tonnage over the next ten years and continuing to climb in the Paris and Tokyo MoU quality rankings.”
4. New Cruise Ship Suffers Engine Woes
Passengers sailing on a Scandinavia and Baltic cruise on board Viking Star have had the remainder of their cruise cancelled due to a mechanical problem. The 930-passenger ship – the first of three identikit vessels for the company’s brand-new ocean-going fleet – was launched by Viking in April. The ship is currently docked in Tallinn where it arrived on day six of its 15-day cruise from Stockholm to Bergen, via the Baltic. Viking said the issue is related to the "electric transformers in one part of the ship’s propulsion system". “Viking has decided to cancel the remaining portion of this cruise,” said a statement from the cruise line. http://goo.gl/GDUt5h
5. Capesize Rates Jump
Capesize rates jumped 10% on Tuesday as the rebound in the dry bulk market continued. Average capesize spot rates leapt by $1,814 to $19,879 daily, and the Baltic Capesize Index was up 204 points at 2,512. The sharp rise in capesize rates helped push the market as whole to a year high with the Baltic Dry Index moving up 49 points to 1,200. However, while capesizes soared the smaller sizes were actually slightly down on Tuesday. The Baltic Panamax Index was down 5 points at 1001 and the Baltic Supramax Index down 1 point at 899.
6. USCG Drugs Haul
The U.S. Coast Guard has seized 12,000 pounds of cocaine from a semi-submersible marine vessel in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on July 18, according to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard said a crew from the Cutter Stratton from Alameda caught four suspected smugglers and seized 275 bales of cocaine from the vessel worth more than $181 million wholesale. The 40-foot vessel was detected more than 200 miles south of Mexico, the Coast Guard said. Although the Coast Guard removed 12,000 pounds aboard the ship, the crew said when they tried to tow the ship to shore as evidence, it sank–along with 4,000 pounds of the cocaine.
7. Gen Z Looking to Future at Sea
"Generation Z,” those born after 1990, have more reason than any other age group to care about the fate of the world’s oceans and shipping. Without ships, half of the world would freeze and the other half would starve. If the ocean is not handled properly NOW, our generation faces the loss of $500 billion in the world’s global economy, and a decrease in the planet’s health and human health. It’s up to Generation Z to do something about these problems. Gen Z feels it has the technology and the awareness to turn things around and activists are urging them to think blue as much as they do green.
8. Concordia Being Broken Up
Just over one year since the Costa Concordia arrived in Genoa following its successful salvage, the consortium tasked with dismantling the infamous cruise ship have updated that the $87 million project is moving along just as planned. The last update from the consortium came in May when the Costa Concordia hit the open ocean for one final time, moving 10 miles under tow from the Prà Voltri breakwater to a new dock at the Port of Genoa where the final phases of the dismantling project will take place. The project, which includes the full scrapping and recycling of the cruise ship, now involves the demolition of structures from decks 14 to 2. http://goo.gl/BrDLuI
9. UASC Settles with US Authorities
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission says it will collect at total of $1,227,500 in civil penalties after reaching settlement agreements with eight common carriers over violations of the Shipping Act. Dubai-based United Arab Shipping Company, the only vessel-operating common carrier (VOCC) involved in the settlement, will pay the lion’s share of the penalties, agreeing to pay $537,500 to the FMC. According to the FMC, it was alleged that UASC violated 46 U.S.C. 41104(1) by unlawfully rebating to its non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCC) customer, Falcon Maritime and Aviation Inc., a portion of the applicable service contract rate.
10. Chinese Win Sewol Salvage Deal
A consortium of companies led by China’s state-run Shanghai Salvage Co. has officially signed a contract with the government of South Korea to raise the Sewol ferry which sank on April 16, 2014 off Jindo Island, killing 304 passengers and crew, South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) said. The contract was signed following two weeks of negotiations which started on July 15 after MOF had chosen the consortium as the preferred bidder, beating 27 other companies that applied for the tender. The parties agreed on a USD 73 million contract value, payable in three phases.
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