Seacurus Bulletin 16/06/2014
MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION AND SEAFARER NEWS
The Greek Coast Guard and Police in a joint operation with the US DEA have made the biggest bust of heroin ever recorded in Greece, seizing over a ton of the opiate. It is understood that a Greek man who claims to be the owner of a shipping company with a fleet of four tankers based in Dubai was found to have be hiding 500 kilos of heroin in his villa in the Athens suburb of Filothei. The villa is owned by his mother in law. His wife was also arrested along with his 15 year-old son. Greek police had been tailing the "shipowner" for days and went through with a raid. Eleven persons were arrested, among them five foreign nationals and six Greeks.
Liverpool MEP Jacqueline Foster has described as ‘outrageous’ the fact that a UK maritime management degree course with a hundred places available had attracted only one student. Speaking at a maritime logistics event in Liverpool on the global skills shortage, she said the shipping industry had done "too little to sell itself" to young people. The new president of the UK Chamber of Shipping, Marcus Bowman, called for the revival of nautical schools and the introduction of a maritime course at secondary-school level. However, Sir Michael Bibby of Bibby Line Group pointed out that some areas of shipping are struggling to survive.
Delisted subsidiary of Sinotrans & CSC, Nanjing Tanker, held a fiery shareholders meeting last week to discuss a number of proposals. At the meeting, the president of Nanjing Tanker was beset by small shareholders who suspect Zhu Ning might have manipulated the company’s annual financial report. They accused him of corrupt behaviour. The situation was out of control for a while after Zhu refused to comment on the matters. Enraged shareholders rushed to Zhu and evicted him from the speaker’s chair. The shareholders demanded the board apologise publicly to all shareholders, decrease salaries and establish a supervision committee.
A high-speed ferry from Hong Kong hit a breakwater as it was approaching Asia’s gambling hub, Macau, on Friday (June 13), local media reported. Footage from Hong Kong television ATV showed the ferry mounted on the breakwater after the accident. The crash happened approximately 9:35 a.m., about an hour after the TurboJET Cacilhas departed Hong Kong. Shun Tak Holdings Ltd. operates the 24-hour ferry service. The ferry was carrying 220 passengers and 13 crewmembers at that time, it reported. About 70 people suffered from mostly light injuries. Of those injured, only one was reportedly still in the hospital for treatment.
The U.S. Coast Guard released its report of investigation of the October 2012 sinking of the tall ship Bounty, during which one crewmember died and another remains missing and is presumed dead, off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. The findings in the report conclude that a combination of faulty management and crew risk assessment procedures contributed to the sinking. Specifically, choosing to navigate a vessel in insufficient material condition in close proximity to an approaching hurricane with an inexperienced crew was highlighted. The report recommends the USCG to review the existing policy for "attraction" vessels.
Egypt is pressing ahead with plans to develop a new wheat storage facility and expand port operations at two terminals in the Suez area as the country looks to bolster strategic food reserves and attract investment, a top port official said. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in on Sunday and seeks to fix Egypt’s economy while overcoming political divisions after a long period of turmoil and bloodshed. Egypt plans to boost its wheat storage capacity to reduce reliance on imports and cut its 32 billion Egyptian pound ($4.5 billion) overall food import bill. A government minister said this week Egypt wants to be a "global logistics hub" for grain.
PIRACY AND MARITIME SECURITY NEWS
Another tanker has been attacked in Southeast Asia as the region increasingly becomes the global hotspot for piracy. A product tanker, "Ai Maru", belonging to Canter Marine, a Singapore registered Japanese owner, left Singapore for the Gulf of Thailand on Saturday carrying 1,520 tonnes of marine gas oil. According to ReCAAP, at or about 2030 hrs the 1,800 dwt ship was boarded by an unknown number of robbers from three speed boats in the South China Sea. Maritime assets were deployed in response. The same vessel, Ai Maru had been boarded by pirates in 2012 in the South China Sea with the same intention of siphoning. http://goo.gl/bI7Unl
Indonesia will demarcate designated safe anchorages within some ports in an effort to tackle the issue of piracy in national waters. “The association has learned that Indonesian authorities are seeking to tackle the issue of security in their national waters and are taken further steps, including steps by the Indonesian Marine Police, in having designated safe anchorages within some ports, which will be monitored and patrolled regularly,” said Skuld P&I Club in an advisory, republished from a statement from Intercargo. Skuld warned that pirates are starting to target tankers in South Asian waters for the purpose of hijackings and cargo thefts.
At least 27 people were killed Sunday in an attack on a police station and several hotels on Kenya’s coast, police said. David Kimaiyo, Kenya’s top police chief, said a group of unknown gunmen arrived near Lamu, an island popular with tourists. The assailants attacked a police station, a bank and two hotels, Kimaiyo said. At least one police officer was among the dead, he said. "Our officers are still looking for more bodies and this number could rise," Kimaiyo said. "It is difficult to account for the local residents for now because many of them ran to hide in the forest to escape the attackers." No arrests had been made.
Nigerians are concerned of the effect of insecurity on offshore development. Dr Morakinyo Adedayo, a Maritime Lawyer, said sea piracy and armed robbery undermined investment in the offshore oil sector of the country. Adedayo said, “This country constitutes the regional power and makes significant contribution to UN peacekeeping operations regionally and internationally. Yet piracy or armed robbery at sea makes fishing as well as transportation through the Gulf of Guinea highly risky and this undermines investment in the sector. The nation’s coast line of 420 nautical miles and Exclusive Economic Zone of 200 nm, is proving hard to police.
The Iranian navy is reportedly set to train Tanzanian Navy Officers in an attempt to boost maritime security. Iranian Ambassador to Dar As-Salaam announced that Tehran is keen to train local navy officers after the Navy’s 30th Flotilla of warships dispatched to the high seas after berthing in Tanzania. The Flotilla is comprised of Alvand destroyer and Bushehr logistics-combat vessel. The envoy expressed pleasure in the positive trend of the expansion of the relations between Iran and Tanzania, and said the two countries’ military officials also agreed that Iran’s operational and training warships make regular visits to Tanzania.
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