Seacurus Bulletin 15/07/2014
MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION AND SEAFARER NEWS
A union says two weeks ago 18 sailors and their captain ran out food and fresh water aboard their idled cargo ship in the Port of Oshawa, Ontario and are now striking over unpaid wages. Seafarers’ International Union of Canada says the crew from Romania and the Russian captain haven’t been paid since April and were allegedly left without replenished supplies by the ship’s owner. ITF inspector Vince Giannopoulos says the ship arrived in Canadian waters about a month ago from Europe and that the 19 on board have been "abandoned" without food or water for about two weeks.
The Maritime Labour Convention, has been in force for some time now, but some superyachts are struggling to comply. One area of concern is that of accommodation requirements. MLC requires that “a separate berth for each seafarer.” And though the provisions of the Passenger Yacht Code (PYC) and Large Yacht Code (LY3) allow the build of double or higher-occupancy cabins, this does little for yachts whose delivery is far behind them. With ‘hot bunking’ and sleeping on office sofas no longer allowed, superyachts now have a dilemma when it comes to the number of crew on board providing the service expected to owners.
According to a new report, one major shipping company is ready to use 3D printing to manufacturer its own spare parts in-situ onboard the vessel. Maersk Tankers is set to lower the cost of ordering spare parts by printing them in 3D mid-ocean, which will also speed the process – and if all goes to plan should make the ship a whole lot safer. The Danish company has produced a video explaining the convenience of downloading a blueprint from head office and fixing a problem instantly on its vessels. Let’s hope they don’t need spares for the 3D printer…or then they’ll really be in trouble.
Iran’s main oil tanker firm NITC will struggle for some time to call at European ports, get foreign insurance and overcome obstacles under Western sanctions, even after a top court has annulled its blacklisted status in the European Union. An interim deal between Iran and world powers signed in November has provided the Islamic Republic with some sanctions relief, helping to boost oil sales. But continued restrictions on shipping and insurance have meant that a return to Tehran’s pre-sanction export level of over 2 million barrels per day (bpd) is still some way off.
The port of Singapore recorded 2.84m teu of container throughput in June, an improvement over the same month of last year, according to preliminary estimates from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). Last month’s box volumes were up 4.1% compared to 2.73m teu handled in June 2013, MPA figures showed. On a month-on-month basis, however, volumes decreased 3.6% from 2.94m teu registered in May. In the first half of 2014, Singapore port handled a total throughput of 16.51m teu, an increase of 4.4% in the previous corresponding period. China’s Shanghai port, saw first half throughput came up to 17.26m teu.
PIRACY AND MARITIME SECURITY NEWS
New information about a pirate attack off the Malaysian coast on July 4 shows that about 2.5 million litres of marine gas oil (MGO) was stolen, industry news site Tradewinds reports. New details released by the Singapore-based ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre also show weapons being fired multiple times during the attack. The pirates used a small fishing vessel to approach the MGO tanker Moresby 9. "The crew reportedly heard a gunshot and suddenly nine robbers armed with machetes and three pistols were sighted on the deck of the Moresby 9," ReCAAP said.
Shipping security consultant says 9 times out of 10 pirates turn tail when they see armed guards on the boats. But the war against piracy isn’t entirely over. When they speed up to a lumbering ship, the main thing Somalian pirates do not want to see are armed guards. “If there is a suspicious approach, first we increase speed to try to get away from them. But … a skiff with some lightly armed Somalis is always going to be faster than a container ship, so most of the time they are going to catch up. What we’ll do then is turn on the fire hoses, not because they’ll stop the pirates boarding – they won’t – but to make sure they know we’ve seen them."
Three years ago, Isse Yuluh’s pirate gang hijacked a yacht being sailed around the world by a Danish family with three teens. The Danes were eventually freed for a ransom of $3 million. Mr. Yuluh went to sea again. This time he returned to his beachfront base in northern Somalia with a Liberian-flagged oil tanker and an Emirati chemicals carrier, and their 48 crew members, in tow. After 10 months of negotiations and a handover of $12 million, all were released. Yuluh has reportedly announced that he has “renounced piracy”, but many see such moves as attempts to get the eyes of prosecutors off them.
Former UK servicemen held in India over maritime security weapons charges are set to return home to their families. The men were amongst a group of six ex-British soldiers providing anti-piracy protection on board MV Seaman Guard Ohio, who were arrested in October. Following a visit to India earlier this month by Foreign Secretary William Hague, who had pledged to raise the issue of the group’s detention, Indian authorities dropped all the charges. Indian authorities had claimed the vessel had entered Indian waters illegally with weapons on board, despite AdvanFort, the firm employing the men, insisting the ship had the correct papers. http://goo.gl/QIEmxJ
Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced the country’s plans to extend its naval presence in the international waters. “The Islamic Republic’s Navy pursues a general goal which is presence in the world free waters to protect the resources and meet the interests of the Islamic Republic,” Sayyari said in the Southeastern city of Sirjan on Saturday afternoon. “We hope that we can extend our presence in free waters this year and take longer strides to protect the country’s interests,” he added. The Islamic Republic has repeatedly asserted that its overseas naval presence is meant to convey a message of peace and friendship.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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