Seacurus Bulletin 26/06/2014
MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION AND SEAFARER NEWS
The NYK Line car carrier "Lord Vishnu" has reportedly suffered severe damage after it collided with two bunker barges in Singapore over the weekend. The Ro-Ro vessel departed Singapore at 9:15 p.m. (locally) on Friday, June 20. The collision occurred roughly seven hours later, around 4 a.m. on Saturday morning. It is not clear if the vessel was moving or anchored at the time of an accident, maybe preparing for bunkering. Lord Vishnu, built in 2008, was said to have suffered several large holes both at and above the water line amidships on port side, but there have been no reports of any bunkers spilled as a result of the incident. http://goo.gl/zKJ6IB
Malaysia will join the ranks of other countries on Aug 20 to implement the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) to protect the welfare of some 50,000 local seafarers as well as some 1.5 million seafarers from around the world who are patrolling the country’s waters. Marine Department director-general Datuk Captain Ahmad Othman said by ratifying the MLC, any conflict involving the welfare of seafarers could be jointly dealt with by the department and the Malaysia Shipowners’ Association (MASA) as well as the National Union of Seafarers of Peninsular Malaysia (NUSPM). MASA represents shipping companies, NUSPM represents the seafarers.
On the fourth annual "Day of the Seafarer" – a day of celebration, some took a chance to reflect on the jobs done so well and sacrifices made by some nearly one and a half million seafarers. Sadly, for all the talk of sacrifice, great endeavour and commitment, all too often seafarers are the brunt of all that is bad in shipping. They are taken advantage of, trivialised, over looked, disrespected, ignored and often considered a silent group who can be forced to suffer the indignity of abandonment, have shoreleave denied to them, and who can find themselves all too easily in the iron sights of a pirate AK47.
While over 90 percent of China’s imports and exports rely on ocean routes, the country’s senior seafarers are in high shortage. China now has over 650 thousand sailors and seamen, with only 10 thousand captains and 10,000 chief engineers. Senior sailors play a crucial role in shipping on the oceans. But in recent years, captains like Li Zhenmin has found it hard to find enough experienced shipmates in the company he works for. Moving from a fresh sailor to a captain takes over 10 years of passing all sorts of tests and challenges, and life is not easy on the ship. It’s estimated that 20,000 senior seamen will be needed in China by 2015.
A new web-based version of the Geospatial Intermodal Freight Transportation Model (GIFT) has been released by the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Delaware and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. The new technology, which utilizes mapping software similar to Google Maps, analyzes the economics, time-of-delivery and environmental performance of various freight-transportation routes using rail, road and water. With this web-based version, companies and local, state and federal government agencies can make decisions that are not only financially feasible, but also environmentally sustainable.
Some 5,000 teu larger than the biggest boxship under construction today work on building a 24,000 teu capacity vessel at South Korean yards could be just two years away, according to a leading shipping consultant. The technical feasibility studies for 24,000 ships have been established, finding that the at-sea costs were 23.1% lower for a 24,000 teu vessel compared to a 12,500 teu boxship, while they were 17.4% less when compared to a 16,000 teu craft, Andrew Penfold, project director, Ocean Shipping Consultants (OSC), a unit of Royal HaskoningDHV, told the TOC Europe conference.
PIRACY AND MARITIME SECURITY NEWS
With the latest security alert from BIMCO stating the use of armed guards commercially placed on merchant vessels illegal in Nigeria, the need for citadels onboard vessels has never been greater. Marine Armor System are specialists in vessel protection systems including citadels, bunkers and safe rooms which protect against pirate attacks, armed robbery, terrorism and acts of sabotage. Based on ballistic blinds, and protecting crew with a bullet proof barrier, the system is automatically activated, taking 1 man just 10 seconds to protect the whole vessel, at the press of a button.
According to local press reports, Nigerian forces have killed three pirates who attacked a joint task force (JTF) patrol boat. JTF spokesman Mustapha Anka told All Africa Global Media that 30 men armed with AK-47s in two speedboats took on its troops. A soldier and two vessel operators were injured in the incident.
The JTF was raiding an illegal oil bunkering site at Okpoko Creek in Warri. It seized nine boats loaded with stolen crude oil and impounded seven speedboats. Five suspects were arrested.
The recent hijacking cases of coastal product tankers in South East Asia for the theft of their cargoes represents a diversification of the threat rather than a new trend. “It’s a case of new diesel in old tankers,” says the CEO of Risk Intelligence, Hans Tino Hansen. “This type of piracy for product theft evolved in South East Asia and we’ve been following these sorts of cases and some of the syndicates involved for a number of years.” Hijacking for product theft can be documented as far back as 1990s in South East Asia. The most active syndicate has usually favoured boarding the pre-selected targets in the same general location.
The European Council has endorsed an EU maritime security strategy as a framework for effectively and comprehensively addressing the EU’s maritime security challenges. The objective is to secure the EU’s maritime security interests against risks and threats in the global maritime domain, such as cross-border and organised crime, threats to freedom of navigation, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or environmental risks. The strategy covers both internal and external aspects of the Union’s maritime security in a cross-sectorial and comprehensive approach.
Global bodies such as the World Bank have accused GCC countries of overlooking the menace of money laundering, and the governments in the region are more serious than ever to curtail the menace. “The addition of ‘financing of terrorism’ covers the area the committee is trying to combat. Other countries use the same definition, therefore it is official and well known,” says Ali Al Nuaimi from the UAE Financial and Economic Affairs Committee. The Middle East and North Africa is under scrutiny after the World Bank, the United Nations and Interpol conducted a joint investigation on the transit zones of Somali piracy money.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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