Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/05/2015
1. Tanker Becomes Repeat Victim
A small product tanker has been hit by robbers stealing its cargo for the second time in the space of a year. The Malaysia-registered product tanker Oriental Glory was surrounded by six fishing boats off Labuan in East Malaysia. 30 perpetrators boarded the tanker and took it to another location, some 188 nautical miles northwest of Bruit Island, also in Malaysia. A total of 2,500 metric tons of oil was siphoned off the vessel. All crew are safe and the vessel is proceeding to Tanjung Manis for further investigation, regional piracy watchdog ReCAAP said in an incident alert. The unfortunate Oriental Glory was hit by pirates last July too.
2. Fisherman Shot By Armed Guards
A fisherman was "accidentally" shot by maritime security personnel, on Sunday at Bombay High in Arabian Sea, while fishing close to oil rigs. "On the evening of May 17, an Immediate Support Vessel (ISV)…noticed a fishing boat anchored close to an oil platform," said Commander Rahul Sinha, spokesperson of Ministry of Defence, in a statement. According to him, he repeatedly warned the fisherman to move the boat out of the prohibited area, a warning shot was fired into the water, "one round got deflected on hitting the water and accidentally hit a fisherman in the boat."
3. Shipping Looks to Future of Piracy
When it comes to piracy, the shipping industry has been asking the question "what do we expect of the future"? As the EU Commission collects data in a new survey on EU Counter-Piracy Actions it is timely to encourage the EU to undertake more action in this area and to work towards a further extension of the mandate of Operation Atalanta which presently will expire at the end of 2016. Most observers know that the original causes that created piracy in Somalia in the first place have not been removed and that piracy has the potential to re-emerge both in the Indian Ocean, and to evolve elsewhere.
4. UN Green Light on Migrant Action
The United Nations is considering giving a green light to European military action against people smugglers in Libya’s territorial waters and even within ports and harbours along the Libyan coast. British diplomats are drafting a UN Security Council resolution that would allow the use of military force by European navies to combat the human trafficking gangs that currently operate with impunity in the increasingly unruly North African country. Military strikes on harbours and beaches could involve British forces – the Royal Navy’s flagship, HMS Bulwark, joined the search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean earlier this month.
5. Hazards Ahead for Insurers
German marine insurance executive Dieter Berg sees hazards ahead for his industry, not least in the form of cyber threats and the trend towards mega vessels. Speaking at the “Marine Insurance Issues” seminar in New York, the president of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) warned that growing reliance on IT was increasing the exposure to cyber risk. He also said the supersizing of container ships was affecting insurers because of the vastly increased value of cargoes and the strains on vessels’ structural integrity., “We are facing increased exposure.." he said, from IT, from the offshore growth and economies of scale.
6. Iranian Incident Needs Investigation
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has issued a statement over the dramatic incident where Singapore-registered product tanker "Alpine Eternity" came under fire from Iranian authorities in the Straits of Hormuz. The MPA statement read: “With regard to the reported shooting incident on 14 May 2015 (Singapore time), involving a Singapore-registered tanker ‘Alpine Eternity’ that took place in international waters, Singapore is deeply concerned with such actions. “The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has requested the Iranian maritime authorities to investigate the incident and prevent future recurrences."
7. Maritime Charities Speak Out on Migrants
Three leading international seafarers’ welfare organisations, the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA), the International Maritime Health Association (IMHA), and the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), are today calling on EU governments to recognise the key role of seafarers in the rescue of migrants at sea. They have sent a letter to all heads of governments urgently requesting that more resources are mobilised for search and rescue in the Mediterranean. EU governments are still relying on the kindness of seafarers and the legal obligations upon them to cope with a human tragedy. http://goo.gl/PnQvID
8. UK Flag Embraces Giant Ships
CMA CGM’s Kerguelen is the latest in a new generation of giant container ships plying the oceans and is capable of carrying almost 18,000 shipping containers, making it one of the very largest ships in the world. Although owned by French shipping line CMA CGM, Kerguelen is British-flagged – a “feather in the cap for Britain’s seafaring reputation” according to Michael Parker, the company’s UK chairman. Currently 37 of CMA CGM’s more than 400 vessels fly the Red Ensign. Mr Parker said that he hoped the majority of Kerguelen’s sister ships would also be British flagged, which could see the world’s biggest ship under the Red Ensign.
9. Banks Lend to Shipowners Once More
Greece’s shipowners appear to have regained the support of the world’s banking community as they go about expanding their fleets. In 2014 lending to the country’s shipping shows a year-on-year increase of 4.1%, the first such rise since 2009. The overall Greek loans, drawn and committed but undrawn, booked both in Greece and worldwide as of 31December 2014 reached $64.019bn compared to $61.498bn in 2013. According to Petrofin Research’s 14th annual review of bank loan portfolios to Greek shipping, drawn loans are up 2.85% and commitments by 18.11%, the latter prompted by massive Greek newbuilding orderbook.
10. UK Shipping Minister Announced
Robert Goodwill has been announced as the new UK shipping minister, as the country’s Conservative Party arranges its minsters after a recent election victory. Following his appointment the UK Chamber of Shipping shared some of Goodwill’s personal and political specifics. Goodwill is a traditional conservative, with a strong Euro-sceptic view. Despite his years on the EU payroll as a Member of Europe Parliament, he believes in recovering sovereign powers from the union. According to the UK Chamber, Quaker-educated Goodwill is "a steam train enthusiast, and his own steam train can often be seen at traction engine conventions"…
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