Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 29/07/2014
1. China Threatens Next Box Alliance
The Chinese government and China Shipowners’ Association (CSA) has expressed concerns over the recently proposed 2M container shipping alliance between Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC). Shang Ming, chief of the anti- monopoly bureau at China’s ministry of commerce, said the formation of the 2M alliance may result in lower bargaining power for China’s import and export enterprises. The potential freight shipping price monopoly by 2M would hence lead to higher costs of consumer goods, Shang believed. China’s ministry of commerce earlier rejected the P3 alliance due to its combined 47% market share.
2. Violent Pirate Attack off Malaysia
Pirates have shot a seafarer in the neck after boarding an anchored product tanker, two miles off Teluk Ramunia, Malaysia. According to sources, cash, personal belongings and possibly fuel were stolen by the seven armed Indonesians that boarded the tanker MT Ji Xiang which is registered in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Local authorities were able to intervene, and in their haste to escape, the pirates left two pistols and a machete on the vessel which was carrying 14 crew comprising seven Myanmars, a China national and six Indonesians. A maritime patrol boat gave chase but lost them in the waters off a neighbouring country.
3. Iran Rescues Five Vessels in Indian Ocean
Iranian warships claim to have rescued five commercial vessels in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean after tough battles with pirates, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said. “The 30th flotilla had 5 cases of severe conflicts with the pirates,” Admiral Sayyari told the press. In some cases this involved running gun battles between those pirates in fast boats and elite Iranian naval marine commandos on the high seas. Iran has also suffered casualties in the process. Unconfirmed reports suggest some of those ships were related to American and British oil tankers. Independent corroboration has yet to be provided.
4. Panama Flag Needs to Change
Speaking on his move to rival flag registry, Alfonso Castllero former chief of the Panama Registry has explained why he jumped ship. Castillero claims that Panama needs a complete holistic re-engineering and new approach. He says, "It is not something new. I have been saying that for years and even making public comments about it in international media". In his farewell letter to Panama’s users, Castillero said he trusted “that the new [Panama] authorities will have the same vision of continuous improvement and to offer a better service at a competitive price for the benefit of [our] users and the country.”
5. Bidding Farewell to Giant Problem
The tiny Tuscan island of Giglio may finally be free of the Costa Concordia, relieving locals of the sight of the 114,000-ton carcass that has been stranded off its coastline for the first time in more than two years. But the huge cruise liner, which arrived at a scrapyard in Genoa on Sunday, has left a nagging controversy in its wake: what to do with six massive iron platforms that supported the wrecked ship for months before salvage crews towed it away. The fate of the platforms, which contain twice as much iron as the Eiffel Tower and sit just off the coast of this idyllic island known for its pristine waters, has split locals.
6. Nigerian Security Satellite Hopes
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has assured stakeholders in the maritime sector of safety on Nigeria’s waterways with the take-off of its 24-hour Satellite Surveillance Centre in Lagos, which will help curb piracy, NIMASA announced in its press release. The Director General of NIMASA, Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi said the satellite system, would provide a safety net for corporate bodies and individuals who transact businesses within the Nigerian waters. The surveillance system had already recorded a success story as the facility was deployed to the rescue of a Ghanaian flagged vessel, hijacked by pirates. http://goo.gl/vTGkWb
7. Report or Be Damned
There is a known problem in gathering reports on safety from shipping. But there should be no shame in reporting that something went wrong, especially where an accident was avoided. The shame should be in not reporting it. One avenue open to all seafarers, wherever there are in the world, is the Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP). The aim of CHIRP is to seek out root causes, identify the lessons learned and to consider how best this information can be used to prevent reoccurrence elsewhere in the maritime industry. CHIRP does not seek to apportion blame but to gather data to help decisions and safety.
8. India Gives Owners a New Option
The Indian government has announced a new shipping category that will have priority over foreign flag vessels in the country’s coastal shipping sector. The new category “Indian controlled tonnage” enables Indian shipowners to take advantage of low cost foreign flags. After Indian flagged vessels, this new category will have the right of first refusal of cargo over non-Indian ships. The policy change is expected to help local lines increase their share of the coastal trade market which is currently less than 10 percent. At least 50% of the crew, both officers and ratings, must be Indian, and the ship should also be used for training cadets.
9. Indonesia Leads Gas Ship Charge
The world’s first compressed natural gas (CNG) carrier has been ordered by Pelayaran Bahtera Adhiguna, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s state-owned power company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PT PLN). The ship, to be classed by American class society ABS, will be built at China’s Qingdao Wuchuan Heavy Industry’s shipyard.
The CNG ship has been designed by China’s CIMC Ocean Engineering Design & Research Institute. The inaugural CNG ship, which will be dual-classed with the Indonesian class society Biro Klasifikasi Indonesia, will be 110 m in length and offer sailing speeds of 14 knots.
10. Time to Embrace Connected Ships
The marine industry has been called on to embrace technology that delivers real-time situational awareness to improve vessel navigation, safety and efficiency. “The Connected Ship” a term coined by Tor Svensen, CEO of DNV GL Maritime, is the industry’s future. Combining data from radar, cameras and an AIS enables operators to identify any vessel approaching, know exactly how far away it is, and verify it against a database as either safe, or a potential threat. Through absolute positioning integration, both cooled and uncooled thermal cameras may be precisely positioned to make a visual assessment of detected threats up to 10km away.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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