Seacurus Bulletin 30/05/2014
MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION AND SEAFARER NEWS
During a recent tour of north east England, Lord Livingston, the UK’s Minister for Trade and Investment, visited Seacurus which last year launched CrewSEACURE, the first ever insurance policy designed exclusively to protect the rights of seafarers when ships are abandoned at sea. Commenting on the visit, Thomas Brown, Managing Director of Seacurus, said: “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to meet with Lord Livingston and to discuss with him our work with the international shipping industry to deliver bespoke insurance solutions". There was praise for products which have become an integral part of efforts to protect seafarers.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has concluded that human error and poor judgment were the main cause of the three incidents that resulted in oil spills in Singapore workers this year. The findings of the investigations showed there was lack of situational awareness of the bridge teams, including the pilots, although MPA’s Port Operations Control Centre (POCC) had provided advisories and warnings of the traffic situation to the bridge teams. The bridge teams also did not make use of all available means at their disposal, such as the AIS, ARPA, Radar, and Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS).
Former owner and CEO of Excel Maritime, Gabriel “Villy” Panayotides, was removed from the Greek bulker owner as its new shareholders picked a new management team. US fund, Oaktree, controls major chunk of debt in Excel Maritime after the company filed for Chapter 11 protection. Sources said the new owners visited the company’s headquarters in Athens at 10 pm Wednesday night to announce the decision. Excel is now run from a different building in the Greek capital. G. Panayotides is said to hold around 8 pct of the company having lost control of his majority 52.2% after the restructure. Excel was delisted in 2013 from the NYSE.
Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Det Norske Veritas provides an opportunity both to understand and acknowledge our history better, and to use a deeper grasp of the past as knowledge and inspiration for our meeting with the future,” says Henrik O. Madsen, President & CEO of the DNV GL Group.
Entitled Building Trust: the History of DNV 1864-2014, this volume describes how the organisation has developed from a minor Norwegian classification society into the world’s largest enterprise of its kind with the formation of DNV GL in 2013. The book has been written by Norwegian historians.
The efficiency of flinging stuff into the sky at 600 mph appears to have come into question. This month, a study by Seabury found that air freight – excluding the extremely time sensitive “Air express” movers such as FedEx and UPS – has missed out on an average of 1.9% growth every year since the year 2000, thanks to container vessels poaching cargo. That air freight has shrunk has been apparent for some time. Speaking at JOC’s 2014 Trans-Pacific Maritime conference earlier this year, Fred Smith, indicated that increases in size, as well as “improved ship and goods monitoring technology”, made a much more economical case for shipping.
PIRACY AND MARITIME SECURITY NEWS
The Liberian Registry has concluded its investigation into the pirate-hijacking of the product tanker "Kerala" off Luanda, Angola, on 18 January 2014. The Liberian investigation is based on evidence gathered by an INTERPOL-led multinational Incident Response Team as well as findings of its own investigative efforts. The Liberian Administration is currently in the process of publishing its report into the hijacking of the Liberian-flagged vessel, but has confirmed it was not a "hoax". Liberia requested the attendance of the INTERPOL in Tema, Ghana, the port of refuge to which the Kerala was directed following the disembarkation of the pirates.
But Still Held
Despite the fact the Liberian Registry has concluded its investigation into the hijacking of the "Kerala". There are concerns that the vessel is still being held, and authorities are refusing to release it. The Registry noted the unit was cleared for discharge at the Port of Luanda on 19 February but claims a group of policemen have prevented it from leaving Angola and are not allowing anyone on board without permission from their superiors. Given the political sensitive nature of the incident, so believe this could be some form of "pay back".
In future the Yemeni Director of Operations and the National Center for Fighting Piracy must be informed of the names of anyone permitted to have weapons aboard any ship, together with copies of their passports, the specification of all arms, and the licence of the security company, its location and the number of its protection members. This information must be made available to the Coast Guard at least 72 hours before a vessel arrives at a Yemeni port together with the lodgement of a $2000 ‘safe deposit’ fee by the relevant port agency.
The recent killing of a fisherman from Kanyakumari in Bahrain following firing by pirates exposes the plight of Indian fishermen based in West Asian countries. They fish in the seas of the Gulf countries while constantly facing threats from pirates and harassment of maritime authorities. Moreover, they have to bear harsh weather they have never experienced in any part of their own country.
A regional pilot project in Ecuador will outfit the Ecuadorian artisanal fishing fleet with life-saving satellite tracking and emergency notification devices. A provider will initially outfit 4,000 small fishing boats with Globalstar’s satellite transmitter, the SmartOne. SmartOne devices will provide Ecuadorian fishermen and women with a means for help at sea when facing a life-threatening emergency including piracy. By linking to Ecuador’s National Emergency Response System, the SmartOne devices will be outfitted with a proprietary panic button that any sailor can activate discreetly to summon a rescue.
THE EU’s maritime capacity building mission in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean, EUCAP Nestor, celebrated together with its Somali and Djiboutian partners the successful completion of the first basic training provided to 20 members of Galmudug Coast Guard and 30 members of Bosaso Port Police. The closing ceremony was held at the camp of the Djiboutian Gendarmerie, which hosted the trainees from different regions of Somalia for the past six weeks. The training ran from 22 April to 29 May and was held mainly at the Training Centre of the Djibouti Gendarmerie.
The Royal Navy has seized an £8.5 million haul of heroin after a raid on a suspect vessel in the northern Arabian Sea. Nearly 60 kilograms of heroin were seized by sailors and Royal Marines from HMS Somerset, who intercepted the fishing boat in Royal Navy fast boats. HMS Somerset’s crew found the dhow, a type of vessel common to the Middle East and Indian Ocean, during an operation for the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) counter-terrorism Combined Task Force (CTF) 150. This is the ninth seizure of heroin that CTF 150 has made this year as part of a determined effort to combat both the flow of heroin.
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