Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 07/08/2014
1. Bulk Firm Goes Bust
Eagle Bulk Shipping filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, the latest in a string of shipping companies to make a Chapter 11 filing, and said it reached agreement with its lenders to cut its debt by $975 million. The U.S. company said in a statement that creditors who hold more than 85 percent of its loans have voted in favour of a proposed reorganization plan. Getting creditor support for a "prepackaged" plan before filing for Chapter 11 can dramatically cut the time a company spends in bankruptcy. Eagle Bulk filed in Manhattan’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Lenders would receive nearly all the stock in the company in return for what they are owed.
2. Shame of Navy Drug Bust
Spain’s Civil Guard has seized 127 kilos of cocaine from their own Navy’s training ship, Juan Sebastián Elcano. The operation was carried out jointly with the Spanish Armada, and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HIS). The operation began several months ago with the arrest in New York of two people from Colombia and the seizure of twenty kilograms of cocaine. During the initial investigation, it was possible to reconstruct in detail the route followed by the drug smugglers and the modus operandi of the sailors involved. The drugs were fractionated (5 to 10 kg per person) and concealed in the clothing of the sailors onboard.
3. Last Concordia Victim Found
Divers have found human remains in the wreck of the Costa Concordia and will check whether they belong to the one person still unaccounted for 2 1/2 years after the luxury liner sank, Italian authorities said on Wednesday. Russel Rebello, an Indian who worked as a waiter on the ship when it hit rocks and sank off the Tuscan coast in January 2012, killing 32 people, is the only victim of the disaster whose body has not yet been found. Rebello’s relatives have been informed of the findings on the third deck of the ship, which is due to be broken up for scrap after being towed from Tuscany to the northern port of Genoa in July.
4. Panama Looks to Manning Issues
Panama’s Maritime Authority (AMP) Administrator Jorge Barakat and his Filipino counterpart Maximo Mejia Jr held a meeting in Manila to discuss changes in Panama’s Maritime Administration and the revision of assessments of competence of seafarers. Panama has around some 300,000 seafarers working on Panama-flagged vessels, of which some 60% are Filipinos. “It is of prime importance for Panama to count on Filipinos seafarers who have an excellent reputation in the shipping industry,” Jorge Barakat told Mejia. The Panamanian delegation met also with top executives of Magsaysay, Philippines’ largest recruitment agency.
5. MoU On Seafarer Welfare
An innovative arrangement between the Port of Brisbane and Anglican charity The Mission to Seafarers has created a world-first system of formalised welfare for ship workers visiting foreign ports – providing food, support and assistance. Under the agreement, seafarers are guaranteed access to welfare support as contemplated by the Maritime Labour Convention. It is understood to be the first formal MoU under the convention between a mission and a port. The MoU was drafted by global legal practice Norton Rose Fulbright, which provided pro bono legal advice to get the deal done.“Getting it to a point where it satisfies a corporation http://goo.gl/4TTisD
6. Crew Ordeal Finally Ends
The long ordeal faced by groups of stranded crew supported by the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) has finally ended, after all the seafarers received their unpaid wages. The crew were forced to remain on two ships, MV Torrent and MV Independent, both arrested in Rye and Shoreham-by-Sea in Sussex, England since January last year. A total of £61,282 unpaid salary has been paid to 12 crew members, from Ukraine and Russia. Deacon Roger Stone, AoS port chaplain for Shoreham-by-Sea, said: “At last this long-running saga has been brought to an end and the seafarers have received the money that was rightfully theirs."
7. Ethical Dilemma of Killer Captain Lecture
A professor who invited the disgraced captain of the capsized Costa Concordia to speak at a criminology seminar has been referred to the ethics committee at Rome’s La Sapienza University, the university said on Wednesday. Professor Vincenzo Mastronardi held the seminar last month reconstructing the January 2012 shipwreck in which 32 people died, complete with 3D graphics and comments from the ship’s captain Francesco Schettino, the university said. La Sapienza said Mastronardi’s faux-pas was made more serious by the fact that legal action was still ongoing and that there was no one there to represent the other side.
8. Prestige Court Action
Courts have affirmed an original ruling decision denying U.S. discovery assistance to Mare Shipping, Inc. and Apostolos Mangouras, the Owner and former Captain of the M/V Prestige, respectively. In November 2002, the Prestige sank off Spain, resulting in the release of nearly 77,000 metric tons of oil; a ten year investigation in Spain; and a nine month trial in Spain in which Mangouras was exonerated of all charges except “serious disobedience to authority”. The disaster also led to the commencement of an action by Spain against the American Bureau of Shipping (the “ABS action”).
9. Sewol Charge Sheet Spreads
A total of 43 people in South Korea’s shipping industry have been indicted as a result of a crackdown after April’s Sewol tragedy. Investigators have expanded their corruption and malpractice investigation, and suspects, including a former chief of the Korea Shipping Association (KSA), a nonprofit organization in charge of inspecting and certifying vessels on behalf of the government, have been charged with embezzlement, breach of trust and tax evasion. Lee In-soo, former head of the KSA, is under suspicion of embezzling US$251,500 and failing to implement the organization’s duty to supervise ship operators.
10. Questioning The Navy Presence
With signs of consolidation against Somali pirates has led many countries to consider halting their support for the international anti-piracy patrol. The argument runs that if armed guards are so effective why bother spending several hundred million dollars a year in additional costs incurred by sending warships and patrol aircraft to the Somali coast rather than keeping them at home. Which may be a valid point, but many shipowners are now avoiding using guards, in order to cut costs. We could soon end up with no navies and no guards, and the pirates will simply emerge once more and start hijacking again.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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