Seacurus Bulletin 07/07/2014

Seacurus Bulletin 07/07/2014



Wage Recovery

Tens of thousands of dollars of outstanding pay for seafarers is in the process of recovery after action last week by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) in New Zealand ports. Delegations of dockworkers and seafarers representing the ITF visited five vessels in New Zealand ports as part of a week long Flag of Convenience/Port of Convenience Campaigns Workshop. Approximately US$110,000 has been recovered in back wages, and issues of crew wellbeing have been investigated. The exercise was led by New Zealand and Australian ITF inspectors, with support of other regional welfare groups.




Dinner Disaster

19 crew members from the South Korean-flagged bulk carrier JS Comet simultaneously came down with an apparent case of debilitating food poisoning off Port Canaveral. An unconfirmed report indicates the crew may have eaten some bad barracuda, a fish that is particularly likely to contain ciguatoxin. According to the US Food and Drug Administration: “Initial signs of poisoning occur within six hours after consumption of toxic fish and include perioral numbness and tingling (paresthesia), which may spread to the extremities, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. “The health and well-being of the ill crewmembers was our top priority,” said the USCG.




Videotel Purchase

KVH Industries has acquired Videotel, a producer of high-quality maritime training films and e-Learning services. Servicing over 11,000 vessels, Videotel is a market leader in the provision of maritime training services, offering video, animation, e-Learning computer-based training (CBT), and interactive distance learning courses.  “Videotel operates in a growing sector of the e-Learning market where increasing levels of regulation and a shortage of trained and experienced seafarers drive the need for comprehensive training solutions,” Mr. Kits van Heyningen added. Training could now sit alongside the Crewtoo® social media site.



Massive Costa

The Costa Concordia disaster, when the cruise liner capsized off Italy more than two years ago, will likely end up costing the ship’s owners just over 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion), a company executive told a German newspaper. "So far, our costs are at 1 billion euros. But that does not include 100 million for the ship to be broken up for scrap and the cost of repairing damage to Giglio island," Michael Thamm, chief executive of Costa Crociere – a unit of Carnival Corp and operator of the ship said. The disaster dealt a blow to the image of Carnival, the world’s largest cruise operator, which in March forecast an annual profit below analysts’ estimates.




MARINA Continues

A Manila court last week denied a motion filed by a group of seafarers asking to stop the implementation of a law designating MARINA as the sole agency in charge of training and issuing certificates to Filipino seafarers."The initial evidence presented shows no existence of an urgent necessity for the issuance of a TRO [temporary restraining order] in order to prevent serious damage," said the Judge. MARINA Administrator Maximo Mejia Jr. welcomed the Manila court’s decision, and it was claimed the court action was fueled by "misguided motives".




Family Payment

Orient Overseas Container Line, a shipping company controlled by the family of former Hong Kong government chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, has been fined 50,000 euros ($69,000) over the death of a top executive in France 11 years ago. The firm, was found guilty by a criminal court in the French port of Le Havre of involuntary manslaughter over the July 3, 2003 death of Courtenay Allan. The ruling followed a long campaign for justice by Allan’s three sons, Ben, Hayden and Tristan Allan. "After 11 years of campaigning for justice, we are pleased that OOCL have finally been held responsible for our father’s premature death," they said.





Tanker Found

The owners of a Honduras-flagged tanker that was hijacked off Malaysia on Friday have re-established contact with the vessel, but its whereabouts remain unclear. On 4 July the owners of the 1,321 gt "Moresby 9" contacted the Information Fusion Centre (IFC) in Singapore to say that an unknown number of men had boarded the vessel, 34 nm in Indonesian waters, according to an alert from the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre. The vessel was a carrying a 2,200 tonne cargo of MGO. It is the second incident in a year involving the Moresby 9. “Notably, Moresby 9 had a previous incident in 2013, but siphoning of fuel was foiled by the military.




Hostages Released

Three of the seven Indian "Asphalt Venture" hostages who have been in Somali captivity have been reported in the safe hands of local administration in Hadhadho, Somalia and are understood to be en-route to Nairobi, Kenya. The whereabouts of the four other Indian  hostages is not yet known. A Pirate leader is said to have been seriously injured while one gunman is said to have died during a heavy exchange of gun fire amongst gunmen holding the Indian crew members. Reports indicate that fighting erupted amongst pirates holding captive the crew members soon after ransom money amounting to US$ 500,000 was delivered to the gunmen.




Vessels Found

The Ghana Navy has disclosed that the three vessels allegedly attacked by pirates and subsequently declared missing in the Gulf of Guinea have been found and brought to the Port of Tema. The vessels which were involved in the alleged pirate attacks are MT Fair Artemis, a Greek-owned oil tanker flying Liberian Flag, a Ghanaian registered fishing vessel by name MV Mariner 771 and a South African flagged vessel MT Sampatiki. Preliminary investigations revealed that none of the three vessels was attacked in the Ghanaian maritime waters as was previously reported.




New Commander

The EU’s Political and Security Committee has appointed a new Operation Commander for the EU Naval Force Somalia – operation ATALANTA – which aims to prevent piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia and in the Indian Ocean. Major General Martin Smith, Commandant General Royal Marines and Commander United Kingdom Amphibious Forces, will take up the post of Commander of Operation ATALANTA on 28 August, said the committee in a statement. He will replace Rear Admiral Robert Tarrant, who has commanded the EUآ’s counter piracy mission since 16 January 2013.



Security Debate

Here’s some good news. A lot of very clever people are thinking about maritime security. And when clever people think about things, ideas flow, discussion starts and eventually policy changes. Here’s the not so good news. Maritime security still seems to be stuck in the past, hung up on national flags and local national interests. In the world’s most globalized industry we need security based on a global viewpoint. Last week Cardiff University hosted an "Ideas Lab – Rethinking Maritime Security". Around thirty academics got together to see how the academic discipline of Maritime Security could be moved forward.





Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


Best regards,

S Jones
Seacurus Ltd


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