Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 05/08/2014
1. P&I Club Newbuild Concerns
The North P&I club has warned its members to check their new ships very carefully before accepting delivery. The club says it has become aware of several of instances of potentially dangerous poor construction in the newbuilding market. According to NORTH, ‘We have been made aware of instances recently where newly constructed bulk carriers and general cargo ships have been delivered from the shipbuilder with partly completed or poorly constructed ladders in the cargo holds.’ The club reports cargo hold access ladders, platforms and their cages constructed and secured to the bulkheads only by tack welds, rather than being fully welded.
2. Banks Swoop to Arrest Vessels
A products tanker controlled by Elmira Tankers Management of Greece has been arrested in Singapore. The 13,900-dwt products tanker Liquid Silver (built 1999) was arrested at the request of law firm of Rodyk & Davidson LLP. TradeWinds reports a general cargo ship controlled by Intersee of Germany was also arrested in Singapore. This was understood to be the 11,100-dwt general cargo ship Leandra (built 2008) which was arrested by lawyers from Asia Practice LLP. Early indications are that banks are behind the arrest of both ships.
3. For Rescue Not Sightseeing
There have been growing concerns that a number of cruise vessels have been using their fast rescue craft (FRC) to take passengers from the vessels up close to see icebergs and glaciers off Iceland. The Icelandic Coast Guard is among those who are examining the legal status of crew members of cruise ships using the vessels’ rescue boats to take passengers on sightseeing trips, including to nature reserves. Cruise ships have been getting some bad press in Iceland in recent days. Earlier this week it was reported that one cruise ship docked for 24 hours emits the same amount of nitrogen into the atmosphere as 10,000 cars.
4. The Future for Vessel Owners
According to Drewry Research, bigger consortia and alliances enable ocean carriers to sweat their assets more efficiently, but there is also an opportunity to fine tune vessel capacity to seasonal cargo demand, which will probably be seized. Although the main benefit of mega-alliances is to reduce operating costs, those currently in the making also provide ocean carriers with an opportunity to better match supply and demand. According to a new report, just four carrier groupings could control 98.5% of all effective vessel capacity from Asia to Europe by the beginning of next year, for example, making it easier to fine tune vessel capacity.
5. Panama Looks to Shake and Shape Up
With the Panamanian flag registry in the news of late, the new leadership plans to turn things around again. Speaking to the BBC, the new head of the maritime authority, said: "The Panamanian flag is still robust and secure. Whatever kind of non-compliance there is will be reviewed by the administration." As a commercial venture, Panama’s flag of convenience is a success. But according to the ITF, that comes at a cost. It seems the changes have opened old wounds as the ITF is looking once at what it deems to be "flags of convenience". The question is whether Panama can rise above the taint that still clings to Open Registries?
6. Supply Concerns for Security Users
A fall in private security rates could raise risks for commercial shipping in the Gulf of Aden, a security analyst has warned following the collapse of Gulf of Aden Group Transits (GoAGT). The analyst claimed that other firms are poised to follow. "This is the first of several security companies in the region that are likely to fold," they said. The result is a price war between security firms as shipowners look for cheaper services and less security. There are fears that crediotrs are now wary, port agents and travel gents have worked on credit, but with a fear of other firms closing, they may call in their debts and therefore escalate the problem.
7. Ice Free Route Opens
The Northern Sea Route (NSR) has opened both on the northeastern passage on the Russian side and northwestern passage along Canada, making the route fully accessible to commercial shipping traffic approximately one month earlier than last year, Global Ice Center at Weathernews Inc. said in its 2014 predictions for ice concentration in the Artic Sea. Use of the NSR by the shipping and energy industries is increasing year-on-year, so the need for detailed information on ice conditions is increasing, too. Weathernews, is responding to these needs by providing nowcasts and forecasts to companies operating voyages through the NSR.
8. Highspeed Ship Allision
South Korea-flagged passenger ro-ro ship "C-K STAR" allided with a berth at China’s Lianyungang Port on Saturday afternoon, injuring one crew member. The ship suddenly lost all power when entering the port, hitting the berth under construction. The vessel was carrying 104 passengers, comprising 76 Chinese nationals and 28 foreigners. Its 49 crew members consist of 39 Chinese and 10 foreigners. The bow and the berth were severely damaged, and one crew member suffered a soft tissue leg injury during the accident. After evacuation, the ship was towed to Lianyungang Port, no spill or leakage has been reported.
9. African Navies Must Step Up
When tackling piracy, despite the inadequacies exhibited by African navies, naval patrols must be sustained at the domestic level by all maritime nations. This is imperative irrespective of the size and shapes of each navy in the African Continent. Sustained naval patrols will not only serve as deterrence to pirates but will enable navies meet the stipulated missions of maritime security and maritime law enforcement in the short term. At the regional and international levels, the establishment of an African Force of Armed Naval Guards that can be deployed in small numbers on board merchant ships may be an important element too.
10. Water Taxi Theft in Venice
Piracy may be a contemporary plague, but no one realised until that it had spread to the tranquil waters of the Venice lagoon. In the early hours of Sunday, police and transport workers were involved in a waterborne chase as they tried to corner and board a hijacked water bus, or "vaporetto". On board the vessel, which normally plies an outlying route through the delta of the river Po, was a drunken 24-year-old Kosovan Imer Tosca. Police caught up close to the mouth of the lagoon. Its temporary skipper was arrested on suspicion of theft. He reportedly took the vaporetto after discovering that the last one to the Lido had already departed.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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