Seacurus Daily News 21/07/2014
Barge Tragedy Crew Killed
Three crew members died when a semi-submersible barge owned by PACC Offshore Services Holdings (POSH) sank off Indonesia on Friday. The Singapore-flagged, 2012-built, POSH Mogami sank 2 nm off Sekupang, Batam Island Indonesia, with nine crew onboard, according to the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). “It was reported that the semi-submersible barge was carrying out submerging trials at the time of the incident,” the MPA said. Indonesian authorities rescued six crew members and recovered the bodies of three who died in the accident. The 30,500 dwt semi-submersible barge was classed by ABS.
Costa Cruise Passenger Missing
A female passenger has gone missing, presumed overboard, on Costa Victoria. The Taiwanese Coast Guard has said it is investigating the possibility of suicide or an accident after the 53 year old woman went missing. The woman’s surname is Hsieh. She was part of a tour group that left Keelung for Japan on July 12. Her belongings were left in her cabin. The China Post reports that electronic key records indicate that she last entered her cabin on Wednesday evening. When the crew went to check why she had failed to get off the ship, the door was locked. Hsieh is the 235th person to have gone overboard from a cruise ship since 2000.
Port State Tackles Seafarer Rest
The six member authorities of the Black Sea Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control will start a concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) on STCW Hours of Rest. The three-month campaign will start on September 1, 2014 and end on November 30, 2014, and will be conducted simultaneously with the Paris MOU, Tokyo MOU and other MOUs. During the campaign period, member authorities will check deck and engine room watchkeepers’ hours of rest with a checklist of 9 selected areas for deck and engine room watch keepers’ hours of rest, some of which are related to record keeping and safe manning.
Concordia Shift Weather Delayed
The massive wreck of the Costa Concordia is nearly ready to be towed away from the Italian island where it struck a rock and capsized two-and-a-half years ago, killing 32 people. The rusting prow of the once-gleaming white luxury liner was due to emerge fully from the water for the first time on Sunday, and the ship should be ready to tow on Monday, but the departure has been pushed back a day due to forecasts of rough seas. A convoy of 14 vessels, led by the tug boat Blizzard, will then tow the Concordia to a port near Genoa, where it will be broken up for scrap, completing one of the biggest maritime salvage operations in history.
Terror Group Returns Vessel
The leadership of Al Shabaab militant group in Meyraley have reportedly freed a Kenyan ship and its ten crew members after they hijacked. The vessel developed technical problem while passing the area on route to Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa earlier this month, Al Shabaab militants took advantage of this and used the opportunity to seize control of the vessel. After the release the crew members who are all Muslims are from Kenyan and Tanzania and now in the Somali capital Mogadishu. There have been no indications as to the aim of the hijack – and some speculate the terrorists could have been testing their capabilities.
Massive Jump in Piracy Attack Figures
Singapore-based anti-piracy organisation, ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC), has highlighted an increase of 16% year-on-year (y/y) in the numbers of reported sea robbery and piracy incidents for 1H14. From January to June 2014, ReCAAP ISC recorded a total of 73 incidents, compared to 61 incidents for the first half of 2013. Of the 73 incidents, 69 of them were actual cases of robbery and piracy against ships, while the remaining four were attempted incidents. ReCAAP ISC has said that it is also very concerned with the increase to five Category 1 (very significant) incidents of fuel/oil siphoning that occurred in 1H14.
Asylum Seekers Trapped in Legal Limbo
Lawyers for 153 Sri Lankan asylum seekers on a ship intercepted by the Australian government applied for a full bench of the High Court to hear its case. Whereas normally such asylum seekers are taken ashore to be processed, these people have been detained on a customs vessel in what are reportedly prison-like conditions. The government’s lawyers told the High Court today the asylum seekers will remain on the vessel until the case is resolved. ACV Ocean Protector intercepted the vessel outside Australian territorial waters west of the Cocos Islands. Then once the vessel passed into Australian waters it was stopped and detained.
Royal Navy’s Pride on the Move
Britain’s biggest ever warship HMS Queen Elizabeth took to the water for the first time as she was moved out of dry dock. With just two meters to spare at either side of the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier, a flotilla of tugs inched the ship from the dock where she was constructed at Rosyth, near Edinburgh, to a neighboring jetty where she’ll be completed over the next two years. After a two-day operation to flood the cavernous dry dock, tugs began the delicate task of moving the leviathan in her entirety for the first time at dawn on July 17.
Distorted and Unreliable View of Security
There is a general consensus in the global maritime industry that the rate of unlawful acts against vessels in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) has been on the increase in recent years. However, information on unlawful acts in the region is distorted and unreliable with confusing statistics – hampering efforts to suppress the menace. There are confusing definitions of piracy and armed robbery at sea, coupled with weak legal mechanisms for dealing with and prosecuting apprehended offenders. There is also evidence suggesting that most unlawful acts against vessels in the region are erroneously being classified as acts of piracy.
Naval Assets Tackling Asian Piracy
The Royal Malaysian Navy, which has helped thwart pirates in international waters, is well placed off Sabah’s east coast to protect the country’s security against external threats. Taking the role as the “mother ship” is naval vessel "Bunga Mas 5", which will serve as a forward sea base equipped with high-speed interceptor boats, radar surveillance and helicopters. The three interceptor combat boats (CB90) will be used together with the rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) that are currently being used by the navy’s elite sea commando unit (Paskal) and two new boats that were recently acquired by the navy – the Silver Brize and P38 craft.
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