Seacurus Daily News 17/07/2014
Another Malacca Tanker Attack
Pirates attacked a Malaysian oil tanker in the Malacca Straits and siphoned off its load, the Malaysian navy and officials said on Wednesday, the latest in a series of hijackings raising tension in Southeast Asia’s busy sea lanes. The attackers stole 2,500 metric tonnes of oil and damaged the navigation equipment of the "MT Oriental Glory" late on Tuesday. The ship was headed from Singapore to a port in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah and all 15 crew were safe, an official with the Piracy Reporting Centre told Reuters. Authorities recovered the ship on Wednesday afternoon.
New UK Minister for Shipping
MP John Hayes has been announced as the new shipping minister, and is joined by Department for Transport under-secretary Claire Perry, following a reshuffle of the UK parliamentary cabinet. The appointment of Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings, also represents a promotion of the office of Shipping Minister to Minister of State level. “As former Skills Minister… Hayes is well aware of a number of issues we face in the sector relating to seafarer training and shore-based skills,” said UK Chamber of Shipping chief executive Guy Platten. "We look forward to working with him closely in the year ahead", they added.
Massive new Ports Loan Deal
DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, has signed a $3 billion loan deal, becoming the latest Dubai entity to take advantage of buoyant funding conditions to improve terms on its debt. The new five-year facility is split between a $2.39 billion conventional loan and a $610 million sharia-compliant tranche, according to two sources aware of the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the information isn’t public. A spokeswoman for DP World said it undertakes a regular annual review of its banking facilities as part of active financial management. The new deal replaces an existing $1 billion deal that was due to mature in 2018.
North Korean Gulf Grounding
Mexican rescue workers were trying to refloat a North Korean vessel stranded in the Gulf of Mexico a few miles from a port where it had planned to load fertilizer, authorities said on Tuesday. Authorities said the ship was due to arrive to begin loading, but instead of following the established route, it ran aground.
It was claimed the captain of the Mu Du Bong was “disoriented” when the accident occurred. There were no immediate reports of injuries or other damage. However, environmental officials were still determining if the reef at that location was damaged.
Hike in Box Rates Planned
Container lines are planning a $600 per feu general rate increase on the transpacific trade on 1 August. The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) has set a minimum of $600 per feu increase from all ports in Asia to all destinations in the US on the back of what it described as “sustained third-quarter cargo demand across major commodity segments”. TSA executive administrator Brian Conrad said: “It is essential for the trade to have a rate structure that encourages reinvestment, attracts equipment back into the market, covers rising inland transport and cargo handling costs, and enables carriers to broaden their service offerings.
Illegal Polar Expedition Slammed
A yacht skipper has been found guilty of violating the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. Captain Andhøy, was skipper of the yacht Berserk that went missing in the Ross Sea, Antarctica with the loss of three crew members. At the time, Berserk activated its emergency transponder with three people on board, while Andhøy was ashore driving all-terrain vehicles towards the pole. The expedition was conducted without prior consent from the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI), who had ordered the trip to be postponed after they failed to provide information about his proposed activities and insurance coverage.
Migrant Workers Drown After Collision
A vessel carrying about 80 Indonesians sank early Tuesday off the southern coast of Malaysia after colliding with a patrol boat out to arrest illegal workers, a Malaysian maritime official said. A spokesman for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said two passengers were confirmed drowned, while around 17 remain missing. Search and rescue operations were still ongoing in the waters off Tanjung Piai in the southern state of Johor, he added. "We are working with the police, marine officials and public defense department to find the rest," the MMEA official said.
Aces High…and Dry
When gambling we all know you have to know when to hold, and when to fold. If on a casino ship you also have to know when to alter course away from sandbanks. U.S. Coast Guard reported the 200 foot-long casino boat "Escapade" ran aground off Tybee Island near the port of Savannah, Georgia. Local media reports indicate the vessel was on its maiden voyage. A maritime safety unit was been dispatched to the scene but there appeared to be no risk of pollution or indication of hull structural damage as a result of the grounding, which occurred on a sand bar. Crew and passengers were all unhurt.
China Engages With War Games
China has been boarding ships looking for mock pirates and contraband as it joins the world’s largest maritime exercises for the first time. Chinese sailors from the destroyer Haikou boarded the Coast Guard cutter Waesche for a drill checking cargo as part of Rim of the Pacific exercises the U.S. is hosting in Hawaii waters this month. The Americans played the role of a merchant ship carrying valuable paintings. Nearly 50 ships, 200 aircraft and 25,000 military personnel from 22 nations are in Hawaii for the exercise. The drills began in late June and last through Aug. 1.
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