Seacurus Bulletin 09/06/2014
MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION AND SEAFARER NEWS
Pepper-sprayed, handcuffed and thrown in a cell: Captain, 62, demands apology from police after brutal arrest for refusing to abandon his ferry in a storm. When a severe storm threatened his boat on a dark winter’s night, Steve Kingston refused to abandon ship. Although officials told him to get to safety, the captain feared his ferry could be a danger to the public if she broke her moorings in the massive tidal surge while unattended C so he remained onboard. Officials saw things differently and called the police, who pepper-sprayed the grandfather of three and handcuffed him before throwing him in a cell.
The Swedish Club has seen the successful conclusion of its latest Marine Insurance Course held in Gothenburg, with a packed programme of discussions, seminars and speeches from industry experts in marine insurance. The course is an annual event designed to provide an opportunity for those working as shipowners, ship managers, brokers and correspondents, to improve their knowledge of marine insurance. Jacob Viero, The Swedish Club’s director, marketing & business development, said: “We believe that The Swedish Club is ideally placed to make this contribution to the marine insurance market.”
The Mission to Seafarers (MtS) has launched a major new programme of essential welfare work for seafarers and their families, with friends, supporters and volunteers in Singapore at a highly prestigious event which was hosted by Antony Phillipson British High Commissioner. The goal of the evening was to raise awareness of their work and the need to raise $690,000 for the expansion of vital operations in Singapore. Over 250 guests attended from the international shipping and law industries, with the Reception generously supported by lead sponsors The China Navigation Company and Swire Pacific Offshore.
The Marshall Islands flag is celebrating having pushed by the 100m gt mark globally this week at Posidonia 2014, boosted by its strong presence in the Greek market which accounts for roughly 25% of its fleet. “We’re number two now in the Greek market second only to the Greek register and that’s a great achievement, when I joined 14 years ago I don’t think we were number 10,” Theo Xenakoudis, worldwide business operations officer for International Registries Inc (IRI) based in Piraeus. IRI administers the Marshall Islands Registry worldwide.
Indonesian officials from the Riau Islands’ Customs and Excise Office have vowed to arrest those behind a ship-to-ship fuel smuggling operation worth $37.94m from the islands. Customs has detained the crew of the MT Jelita Bangsa tanker ship, which was chartered by state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina, and the “MT Ocean Maju” on June 3 for allegedly smuggling crude oil. Criminality has been a growing problem in this region, and a major crackdown is expected.
PIRACY AND MARITIME SECURITY NEWS
A Liberia-flagged oil tanker has gone missing off the coast of Ghana and a senior port official told Reuters on Saturday the captain sent a distress call to say the vessel was attacked by pirates. The Liberia-flagged “MT Fair Artemis” last made contact with its manager, Fairdeal Group S.A., at 6 p.m. (1800 GMT) on Wednesday when it was operating off the coast of Ghana, the company said. The ship failed to make contact the next day. A spokesman for Ghana’s armed forces said the Navy were on the lookout for the vessel C they have also claimed it had been in Togo waters when attacked.
Freed At Last
Eleven crew members of a Malaysian-registered ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates have been freed after more than three years in captivity. The sailors – from south Asia and Iran – were on board the container vessel, the MV Albedo, when it was hijacked 1,500 km (900 miles) off the coast of Somalia in November 2010. Seven of the ship’s crew were released two years ago when a ransom was paid; six others have died. The UN estimates that about 40 people are still being held by Somali pirates.
Adapting to Life
The 11 crew members of the MV Albedo, held hostage by Somali pirates for four years have spent the weekend in a Nairobi hotel, sleeping in beds for the first time in years. For the past four years the hostages lived like slaves. They were held by brutal Somali pirates and the men were beaten, tortured and emotionally abused. Now it is all over they have a first chance to start fresh. Limon Salahuddin, a Bangladesh former hostage says, "We feel good, it’s like we are in a new world." All the men will go for full medical checkups and evaluation by a stress therapist.
The Nigerian Navy has confirmed that the nation is losing the sum of $20 billion annually to crude oil theft. Austen Oyagha, director, Nigerian Navy Transformation Office, said the country lost an estimated average of 55,210 barrels per day or monthly average of 1,656,281 barrels in 2013.“Thus, Nigeria oil losses due to crude oil theft translate to almost $20 billion yearly in deficit to Nigeria’s economy. These losses do not only undermine Nigeria’s economy in terms of foreign exchange deficit, they also pose a threat to national security for Nigerians,” Oyagha said.
The Japanese government plans to extend the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s antipiracy mission off Somalia by another year, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Friday. "It is necessary to closely coordinate with the forces of other countries and the international community" to combat piracy in the area, Onodera said during a parliamentary committee session, referring to the mission which is due to end next month. The antipiracy mission off Somalia began in 2009 and the Cabinet approves the activities yearly. MSDF escort vessels and P-3C patrol planes are dispatched to protect commercial shipping.
The kidnapping of maritime personnel in west Africa is a rising trend, which experts expect to continue. “During 2011 to 2013 [the number of] kidnappings rose, and we foresee that this trend will continue C we will see more kidnappings in the future,” said Hallvard Flesland of the NATO Shipping Centre, speaking at SMi’s International Port Security conference in London (4-5 June). His figures are supported by maritime consulting company Gray Page. A recent briefing reported that “kidnap for ransom increased by 85% 2013 compared with the levels recorded in 2012″.
Call to Arms
Following the Thai oil tanker “MT Orapin 4” which was hijacked by pirates last month, the third attack on Thai ships since April, Thai shipowners have called for weapons on cargo ships. Phumin Harinsut, president of the Thai Shipowners’ Association, said the deployment of weapons on civilian cargo vessels is illegal under Thai law, which makes them sitting ducks for pirates. He said the association has been working for over two years to push for law changes to allow weapons on cargo vessels. However, the Marine Department has reported that the Defense Ministry does not support the idea.
Daily news feed provide by Seacurus Ltd C providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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