Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/08/2015
1. Anti Piracy Vessel Arrested
The troubled anti-piracy vessel "Seaman Guard Ohio" appears to have run into yet more problems. According to press reports a "marine services company" has secured the arrest of the US-owned patrol vessel over unpaid dues for supplies and services provided to the ship. The Bombay High Court has ordered the "Seaman Guard Ohio" (built 1984) to be arrested in south east India last week. Oman based Future Tower International LLC, claims the court has ordered the shipowner to deposit US$162,000 together with interest at the rate of 18% to release the ship.
2. All Time SE Asia Piracy High
Piracy and hijacking are hitting all-time highs in Southeast Asia as oil demand and a thriving black market continue to drive maritime attacks in the region. According to maritime security company PVI, Southeast Asian pirates are targeting small tankers and siphoning fuel from their victims. According to the PGI Risk Portal, a risk management solutions company, 11 percent of the world’s maritime hijacking took place in Malaysian and Indonesian waters. Though the majority of these robberies were small scale, it illustrates the growing trend in Asia.
3. Solid Bulk Risks Highlighted
“Carrying solid bulk cargoes involves serious risks, which must be managed carefully to safeguard the crew and the ship. These risks include reduced ship stability (and even capsizing) due to cargo liquefaction; fire or explosion due to chemical hazards; and damage to ship structures due to poor loading procedures.” — The opening paragraph of the introduction of Carrying Solid Bulk Cargoes Safely guide, published in 2013 by UK classification society Lloyd’s Register, in association with the UK P&I Club and Intercargo, the trade association for dry bulk shipowners and operators.
4. Box Ship Worker Lost
The Coast Guard in New York says it’s launched an air and water search for a container ship worker who was reported missing Tuesday morning. The worker was last seen at 11 p.m. Monday as the vessel was passing the Bayonne Bridge, according to authorities. He failed to report to work Tuesday morning, and after a "thorough" search of the ship, the crew contacted the Coast Guard. The crew fears the worker may have fallen off the ship, the Coast Guard said. The container ship was leaving Port Newark and headed to a southern port. The Coast Guard is searching an area of 60 nautical miles from the New York Harbor to New Jersey.
5. Pirate Attack Law Suit Dismissed
A federal lawsuit a Houston ship captain filed last year against his Louisiana-based employer after he was kidnapped by pirates off the Nigerian coast in 2013 has been dismissed because the court lacked jurisdiction over the company involved. But Wren Thomas’ claims against Edison Chouest Offshore may still be reintroduced because U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal dismissed them without prejudice. She dismissed Thomas’ claims against Chevron USA with prejudice, meaning that dismissal is final. Thomas sought unspecified damages for his role as captain of the C-Retriever, a supply ship supporting Chevron’s platform operations.
6. US Military Rescue Fishermen
Ship-owning and managing company Crowley informs that a Military Sealift Command (MSC) vessel under its management has rescued 11 fishermen from a sinking vessel in the South China Sea. While transiting toward Subic Bay, Philippines, USNS Impeccable’s lookout spotted lights, debris floating in the water and numerous distressed mariners struggling to stay afloat and waving from atop the wheelhouse of a nearly submerged ship located approximately 100 nautical miles northwest of Cape Bolinao, Philippines. Impeccable’s master, quickly maneuvered the vessel toward the stricken craft, and provided immediate assistance.
7. Enclosed Space Entry Campaign
The Paris and the Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control have announced that they will launch a joint Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) to be held for three months, commencing from 1 September 2015 and ending on 30 November 2015, with the purpose of ensuring that effective procedures and measures are in place to safeguard seafarers on-board ships when entering and working in enclosed spaces, and to check compliance with the applicable requirements of the SOLAS Convention. It is anticipated that the Paris and Tokyo MoUs will carry out around 10,000 inspections during the CIC.
8. BIMCO Looks at Cyber Threats
BIMCO will focus on cyber security and how to handle a maritime casualty crisis at its next annual conference in Hamburg on November 18 2015. Angus Frew, Secretary General of BIMCO, said: “We will run two very interactive and engaging sessions on cyber security and on managing a crisis in the aftermath of a maritime casualty – using the latest technology and involving leading experts in each field. A key session at BIMCO’s conference is titled “Cyber Attack”. Although the industry has yet to witness a cyber attack on a ship, being unprepared could expose shipowners and their ships to commercial, safety and environmental risks.
9. Emissions Exempt Ports Win Business
Ships destined for the UK could save money by using ports on the Welsh coast due to a "loophole" which means the Irish Sea is omitted from Emission Control Area (ECA) rules, local media reports. While Britain’s south and east coasts are included in the European ECA, the remainder of the coastline falls under the global sulfur cap, currently 3.5 percent, leaving some to suggest the ship owners and operators should be encouraged to divert routes to ports in Wales. "In 2020, this competitive edge will largely be lost when the sulfur content of fuel for ships operating on the Irish Sea is further reduced," said one commentator.
10. Chinese Shipping Merger Likely
China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO) and China Shipping Group are in talks over a possible merger, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said, as Beijing accelerates a drive to reform the bloated state-owned sector. Beijing has promised to restructure many state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and streamline industries to improve their global competitiveness. As part of that plan, it merged its top two nuclear power firms, and top two train makers this year. “The idea (of a possible merger) exists,” said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The matter is being discussed.”
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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