Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/09/2015
1. Cool Runnings in NW Passage
With the opening of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) through the Russian arctic earlier this month, the two major shipping routes through the Arctic are now both officially open for business. The NSR, running entirely in arctic waters along the Russian coast, opened this year on September 3rd following the opening of the Northeast Passage on August 18th and the Northwest Passage, across Canada and Alaska, on September 1, according to the Global Ice Center (GIC) at Weathernews, a private weather service company headquartered in Japan. This year marks the first time both passages have opened since 2013.
2. Huge Blaze Lights Up Manila Port
A ship with a Russian crew caught fire while docked at the Manila International Container Terminal in Tondo, Manila, on Saturday. Reports from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said smoke was first seen billowing from freight containers onboard MV Cape Moreton around 9:15 a.m. The PCG said around 20 fire trucks of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) were sent to put out the flames, with some responders also using tugboats to approach the vessel. BFP personnel boarded the vessel and assisted the ship’s crew. The fire reportedly started at the cargo hold where containers loaded with sodium hydroxide were being kept. http://goo.gl/Df9TD0
3. Cyprus Adapting to New Policies
New incentives and a pricing policy are being introduced as part of a wider National Shipping Strategy that will create advanced dynamics and help Cyprus “stay in the game” of world maritime industry, according to Thomas Kazakos, Director General of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber. Having overcome the financial crisis in 2013, that has also helped revise the banking sector’s relationship with the shipping sector, Kazakos believes that the circumstances are favourable for Cyprus to exploit new opportunities. A positive momentum has been created towards the further enhancement of the service capabilities and capacity of Cyprus Maritime.
4. ECOWAS Establishing Multinational Force
The member countries of the Economic Community of West African States, have agreed to establish a multinational force on terrorism, piracy and other maritime crimes in the sub- region. The decision was a major outcome of the 35th ordinary meeting of the Chiefs of Defence Staff of the ECOWAS sub region in Dakar, Senegal. The meeting of the ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff celebrated the agreement to fight terrorism in the sub-region as a major step in countering the range of maritime security issues in the region – particularly terrorism and piracy.
5. Seafarers Suffers Burns
A seafarer suffered severe burns yesterday in the Baltic and helicoptered to a hospital in the Polish city of Gdynia. Local media report the man, a Russian native, was exercising in the gym of the containership MSC Sariska on Sunday morning when a fire broke out. He suffered 90% burns. A helicopter reached the ship within 30 minutes of the master radioing for support. The seafarer is described as being in a stable condition. No reason has been given for how the fire started.
6. Woman Falls from Cruise Ship
The FBI is investigating after a woman fell from a cruise ship off Cape Ann and died Friday. The U.S. Coast Guard has reported that the small luxury cruise ship was around 10 miles off Cape Ann, northeastern Massachusetts when the woman went overboard. Area Coast Guard crews utilizing a 47-motor lifeboat, Coast Guard cutter and an MH-60 Jayhawk, along with the Rockport Harbormaster all responded, the USCG news release said. The Rockport Harbormasters found the woman’s body about seven miles out around 8:30 p.m. tonight. The ship immediately slowed and began search-and-rescue operations, according to Carnival Corp.
7. Passenger Assault Reported
An Australian employee on a Carnival Cruise ship docked in the Caribbean has reportedly been raped on board by a fellow worker. The attack allegedly occurred inside one of the cabins of the Carnival Liberty, which is currently docked in San Juan. The worker accused of raping the employee has been detained in Puerto Rico, the Associated Press reports. A spokeswoman for Carnival, confirmed the cruise ship employee is Australian. Police in Puerto Rico had previously misidentified her as a tourist on-board the cruise. The alleged attacker has not been charged.
8. Major Drug Haul on Teekay Ship
The Peruvian Navy has confiscated more than 200 kilograms of cocaine found onboard a Teekay LNG tanker while at anchor near the Port of Pisco, Peru. Suspicious activity reported around the LNG carrier "Hispania Spirit" prompted a search of the ship, leading to the discovery of 211 kilograms of cocaine along with a Venezuelan national who was not part of the ship’s crew, the Navy said. The drugs were found stashed near the vessel’s rudder, a common hiding spot for smugglers who use deep draft commercial vessels to transport illegal goods and stowaways. The Spain-flagged, 137,814 CBM Hispania Spirit is 100% owned by Teekay.
9. Tug Sinks off Penang
The tug Shoyo 18 sank near North Butterworth Container Terminal in Penang Port, Malaysia. The tug was towing a barge to the berth, when started getting water ingress and sank near the terminal. All the seven crew members were rescued and evacuated to the shore without serious injuries. The reason for water ingress is unknown, but local authorities started investigation of the accident and the root cause of sinking. There is small oil leak during the accident and at the scene was dispatched a collection boat. The place was market as navigation danger and port authorities are considering to perform salvage operation to remove the wreck.
10. Mercator Files for Stay with Creditors
Singapore-listed Mercator Lines has announced that it has filed an application to the court for a stay of proceedings and leave to convene meetings of creditors, no laters than fourths from the application date, in an effort to oppose its creditor HSH Nordbank’s court application to replace the company’s management by judicial management. Mercator Lines is currently in the process of a restructuring. The company announced earlier that it was working closely with creditors, an independent financial advisor and legal advisors to establish a restructuring plan in order to strengthen the company’s financial position and normalise operations.
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