Seacurus Bulletin 04/07/2014
MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION AND SEAFARER NEWS
China Cosco Holdings is planning to secure loans of $475m for its bulker arm Cosco Bulk Shipping Group from two national banks. The state-owned shipping conglomerate said it plans to secure three-year working capital loans of $400m and $75m from China Development Bank and Bank of China, respectively, for Cosco Bulk Shipping. Including the latest potential loans, China Cosco would have guaranteed a total loan amount of $969m for Cosco Bulk Shipping. China Cosco’s board of directors has given the approval to guarantee up to $1bn of loans for the bulker unit in 2014 alone.
Crew members of a Florida-based salvage ship who had been jailed for 52 days in Honduras on gun smuggling charges were welcomed back to their home port on Wednesday after a Honduran court dismissed the case against them. The crew’s six men, aged 26 to 60, were freed last week following diplomatic efforts involving the U.S. State Department and members of Congress. "I feel like a piece of jelly," Robert Mayne, the ship’s captain and company president, said after the tearful homecoming. "I am exhausted emotionally, drained and exhausted, but I feel very good."
Weighing containers before loading aboard ship last year could have averted a stack collapse judged to have contributed to a container fire on the 15,500teu Eugene Maersk last year, it has been claimed. Classified by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a “serious casualty”, Eugene Maersk crew members saw smoke billowing from stern-most container stacks at bay 90, while it was transiting the pirate-inhabited waters of the Gulf of Aden. After efforts to put out the fire were unsuccessful, the vessel docked in the DP World-operated port of Djibouti the following day.
Genco Shipping & Trading Limited (NYSE: GNK) ("Genco" or the "Company") has announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (the "Court") confirmed its Prepackaged Plan of Reorganization (the "Plan"). Upon completion of the restructuring process, the Plan will reduce the Company’s total debt by approximately $1.2 billion and enhance its financial flexibility. The Company agreed with the Equity Committee on a consensual form of confirmation order, which has been entered by the Court. The Equity Committee is being disbanded and no appeals of the confirmation order will be pursued.
PIRACY AND MARITIME SECURITY NEWS
The White House unveiled a new policy to combat maritime piracy that recommends various diplomatic cooperative strategies and alludes to possible military action to destroy buccaneer bases, which the leading merchant marine organization and the world’s most-famous mariner applaud but also criticize. The International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots is the oldest and most-prestigious professional maritime officers’ union. Its best-known member is Captain Richard Phillips – name sake of the Oscar-nominated high-seas piracy motion picture drama, starring actor Tom Hanks.Pirate attacks in the Asian-Pacific increased by 300 percent.
Nigerian Navy Refuses Vessel Crew Bail After 90 Days In Detention In Delta Mixed reactions have continued to trail what has been termed continued an “Illegal” detention of one Mr. Ovakpor Osagada, and two other crew members of Bentech Nigeria Limited. It is a Marine Company said to be owned by one Chief Benard Edewor, by the Nigerian Navy, NNS Delta, Warri, on the pretext that the crew were engaged in sea piracy. An investigation revealed that the detainees, who include the Captain and Engineer of the vessel, have been in the Navy detention since April 1st, 2014. This came following an attack on the vessel by suspected sea pirates. http://goo.gl/FXT8VT
There has been a major increase in attacks in the Straits of Malacca. Big as in a sevenfold increase from 2009 to 2013 (when there were 150 attacks). There was also a jump (to 50 attacks a year) off Nigeria. Off the Nigerian coast pirates occasionally take some ship officers with them to hold for ransom. Another tactic is to turn off tracking devices and force the crew to move small tankers to remote locations where most of the cargo (of oil) can be transferred to another ship and later sold on the black market. But that sort of thing requires a lot of organization, nerve and luck. So most of the attacks are armed robbery.
Initially the doors within the shipping industry had been closed to private maritime security companies, and there was a definite “them and us” divide. This has begun to break down, and we now see that PMSCs are very much a part of the logistics facilitation toolbox which ship owners have come to depend on," says the latest issue of The Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI) newsletter, excerpted as follows: SAMI has joined the United Nations Contact Group on piracy, and this has allowed the maritime security industry a voice at the highest levels, and a conduit for information to be channelled.
A senior officer of the Self-Defense Forces will take over the rotating command of the multinational anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia, a government source said. The Abe administration determined there are no legal problems with an SDF officer commanding troops of other countries despite Japan’s strict rules on the use of military force, the source said. The government argues that, from a legal perspective, SDF activities in the fight against piracy amount to no more than “the use of police authority” and its personnel are not being integrated into foreign forces that are using weapons.
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) and the Sarawak and Sabah Shipowners Association jointly organised the Anti-Piracy and Sea Robbery Forum 2014 on 24 June 2014 in Miri, Sarawak, East Malaysia. The forum was the first joint effort between the two organisations, aiming at the suppression of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the region. Among the issues that were discussed in the forum is providing a platform for regional cooperation through better sharing and exchange of views involving the ReCAAP ISC, regional government agencies and shipping industry.
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