Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 19/08/2014
1. Ebola Leads to Cancelled Charters
Trades involving two dry bulk vessels expected to load from Kamsar port in the West African nation of Guinea were cancelled at the last minute last week due to the Ebola outbreak, prompting concern that shipping companies will curtail services to the region, shipping sources said. The two vessels — Ultramax and Supramax class dry bulker carriers — were to be fixed for moving bauxite to India, with loading scheduled for September 7-13. "The charterers want to fix [ships], but they don’t understand the complexities on the shipowners’ part," a shipping source with knowledge of the trades said. "The owners don’t want to take risk", they added.
2. Shipboard Stabbing Crewman Found
The U.S. Coast Guard has found the body of a man who reportedly jumped overboard after a stabbing incident at sea. The violence occurred on the tanker "Genco Challenger" and left one man dead and another injured. The individuals involved are foreign nationals serving on the Hong Kong based vessel which was in international waters off the Delaware coast at the time. The incident is being investigated by Hong Kong and the U.S. State Department. No names will be made public until next of kin have been notified, the Coast Guard said. The search for the crew member involved Coast Guard boats and helicopters.
3. Working Hard for Finance
The largest finance hubs in Asia Pacific are working hard to attract more shipping companies and ship owners as they seek to become the most important finance centers for the industry in the region. "It is difficult to say whether Hong Kong is more important than Singapore as a ship finance center," says David Cheng, honorary chairman at Credit Agricole Ship Finance Asia. No single place generates enough business to make it number one, says Cheng. Rather, banks typically take a regional approach. Hong Kong and Singapore have long dominated the industry, but Tokyo and Seoul are also important.
4. Video Nasty Shows Pirates Being Shot
A video that appears to show fishermen being murdered at sea has been posted on YouTube. The video appears to be filmed from the deck of one of several fishing boats. A tuna boat moves in towards the upturned wreck of a small boat. The video then shows three men in the water, clinging to wreckage. The men are shot multiple times as they try and swim away. It had been wrongly stated these were Fijians, but the president of the Fiji Tuna Boat Association, Grahame Southwick, says footage of men being shot on the high seas is most likely film of a piracy incident off the Somali Coast in 2013 with Somali pirates being shot by fishermen.
5. Learning Lessons on Confined Spaces
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has released its report into the deaths of three crew members on board Suntis on May 26, 2014. At about 0645 on that day, while the timber cargo on board the German registered general cargo vessel was being discharged, three crew members entered a cargo hold access compartment. Another crewman saw one of his colleagues collapse in the compartment and raised the alarm. A frantic rescue operation ensued. During the recovery of the three unconscious crewmen, safety equipment was used incorrectly and inappropriately. The three crewmen did not survive.
6. Ship Hits Bridge in Storm
Fremantle Ports in Australia has begun an investigation into an incident in which two cargo ships broke away from their moorings in the inner harbor. A severe wind squall with gusts up to 110 kms an hour came through about 10 p.m. on August 17th as stevedoring operations on the two ships were in progress. The vessels, a general cargo ship (AAL Fremantle) and a car carrier (Grand Pioneer), were at North Quay berths 11 and 12 at the eastern end of the port. Although the mooring lines at the bow of the ships held good, the ships swung out at the stern and came in contact with scaffolding on the Fremantle Rail Bridge
7. Praise for Recycling Standards
Global Marketing Systems, Inc (GMS), the world’s largest cash buyer of ships for recycling, has welcomed the announcement that Hapag-Lloyd will no longer sell vessels to recycling yards that do not comply with strict environmental regulations and guidelines. Dr Anil Sharma, President and CEO of GMS, applauds the ship recycling policy and says: “It will be good to see, well ahead of proposed regulations entering in force, many more companies following this example by providing their ships with Inventories of Hazardous Materials and by ensuring that their ships are recycled in line with the guidelines of the IMO’s Hong Kong Convention."
8. Capesize Rally Predicted
The proper conditions are in place for Capesize rates to make a big leap, and the rates are already underway, Research Manager Rikke Lysberg Bernbom of Maersk Broker reports. "The average time charter rate currently stands at around USD 16,000 for Capesize. For September the forward rates, FFA (Freight Forward Agreements) look set to reach USD 20,000, and the total average for the fourth quarter will be USD 26,000," she says, adding: "There’s a lot of optimism in the market, driven by the massive volumes of iron ore being sailed to China. The Chinese are importing on a large scale."
9. Ghana Being Flagged as Piracy Hotspot
Two recent attacks have raised concerns that Ghana could be turning into a hot spot for piracy and armed robbery at sea. On Friday, 26 July, the oil tanker Hai Soon 6 was reported missing off Ghana’s coast. This followed after an attack on the oil tanker Fair Artemis, which had taken place on 4 June 2014. Given that this area is not known to be a piracy hot spot, these attacks should sound an alert to West African authorities to take quick action and prioritise cooperation in maritime security. This latest incident demonstrates that no West African country can claim to be immune from piracy, despite assurances to the contrary.
10. P&I Advice on Handling Steel
The American P&I Club has updated its advice to members on the handling of steel cargoes. It has done so in consequence of some recent cases where the absence of pre-loading surveys increased the cost of steel cargo claims on discharge. It first raised the problem in a March 2002 circular, making extensive recommendations so as to minimise the prospect of spurious steel cargo claims. In a new circular, Shipowners Claims Bureau Inc state that since then members have for the most part followed the guidance and made progress in minimising and averting the risks and consequent liabilities, involved with such cargoes.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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