Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 20/08/2014
1. Passenger Ferry Capsizes
A ferry operating off the coast of Chile has capsized. Navimag’s "Amadeo I" ferry capsized while sailing near Paso Kirke, 50 kilometers southwest of Puerto Natales, with 17 passengers and 28 crew on board. The passengers and ten crewmembers were evacuated via a motorboat. Meanwhile, 18 other crewmembers stayed aboard the ferry, waiting to be able to control the breakdown of water with the help from the Chilean Navy. However, they also eventually had to evacuate the ship, being transported to Puerto Natales. There was an unsuccessful effort to prevent further flooding in the cargo/machinery space.
2. People Smuggler Arrested
A man was arrested in Northern Ireland on Tuesday on suspicion of murder after the death of an Afghan Sikh who was among 35 suspected stowaways found in a shipping container at a dock in England three days ago, police said. Police said the 34-year-old man was arrested just after midday on a motorway south-west of Belfast. He will be taken to England for questioning by Essex police on suspicion of murder and of facilitating illegal entry into the United Kingdom. His home in Limavady, Northern Ireland, was also being searched. A police spokesperson said, "This is a fast-moving investigation".
3. Star Bulk Buying Spree
Star Bulk Carriers is moving to consolidate its position as the largest US-listed dry bulk shipowner by acquiring 34 secondhand bulkers from Excel Maritime, in a cash and stock deal worth $634.91m. The six capesizes, 14 kamsarmaxes, 12 panamaxes and two handymaxes from Excel Maritime are being acquired for 29.917m shares in Nasdaq-listed Star Bulk and $288.39m in cash. Excel Maritime, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings earlier this year, is majority-owned by US private equity firm Oaktree Capital and Angelo Gordon & Co, while Star Bulk is also majority owned by Oaktree under a deal to merge with Oceanbulk.
4. Pirates Looking for New Skills
According to new research, pirates off Nigeria and the Malacca Strait are developing more complex but much more lucrative tactics to attack shipping. The new moves involve recruiting someone who knows how to find and turn off tracking devices as well as someone familiar with marine engines. Then the pirates use their own personnel or force the crew to move small tankers to remote locations where most of the cargo (of oil) can be transferred to another ship and later sold on the black market. This requires a lot of organization, nerve and luck there have been at least two pirate gangs, who have the capability.
5. Nigerian Security Forces take to Air
Nigeria’s military on Tuesday took the wraps off a new aircraft to tackle high-seas pirates off the country’s coast, as well as maritime hijackers and oil thieves. The high-tech plane is one of seven to be operated by the state-run Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Air Force.
It includes sensors, radar and Electro-Optic Surveillance and Tracking (EOST) equipment, which houses three cameras to monitor ships in Nigerian waters. “When fully operational, no vessel can escape our coverage,” a spokesman told reporters before a demonstration flight from Lagos to Escravos in the Niger Delta.
6. Magnetising Oil Reducing Pollution
Four years ago, physicist Arden Warner watched national news of the BP oil spill and found himself frustrated with the cleanup response. He had a thought that perhaps he could magnetise the oil to speed the clean up. Warner began experimenting in his garage. With shavings from his shovel, a splash of engine oil and a refrigerator magnet, Warner witnessed the preliminary success of a concept that could revolutionize the process of oil spill damage control. Warner has received patent approval on the cleanup method. The concept sees iron particles or magnetite dust added to oil, this can then be lifted from the sea or beach by magnets.
7. Ballast Panic Boosts Buying
Norway’s OceanSaver is seeing a rise in orders for its ballast water treatment (BWT) system as shipowners rush to ensure they comply with the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention. Over the past six months, the company has received orders from large vessels worth around US$30m for over 40 BWT systems, with some 21 units delivered so far this year. “The market is picking up, and our operational track record and proven BWT expertise is helping us take advantage of that positive sentiment,” explained Tor Atle Eiken, chief operating officer, OceanSaver.
8. Navios Losses Double on Acquisitions
Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation announced a near doubling of losses for the second quarter of $2.8m as revenues rose 32.3% compared to the same period in 2013, to $62.2m. Compared to the first half of 2013, H1 revenues were 35% higher at $123.2m while the company’s loss was $15.6m, up from a $801,000 loss in the same period last year. The 2014 first half loss includes a $12.6m impairment loss and loss on the sale of vessels. Navios currently has a fleet of 44 ships with 38 on the water, this time last year it had a fleet of 41 vessels with 29 in operation. Available fleet days have grown to 3,288 days in Q2 2014.
9. Burial at Sea for Dead Seafarer
The crewman who died in a fire aboard a chemical tanker adrift off the Oregon coast has been buried at sea. The crewman’s family gave permission for the ocean burial and authorities have not released the deceased’s name. There were no other injuries, and the remaining 21 crew members from China and South Korea are still on board, hundreds of miles from Oregon. It has been reported they have plenty of provisions, and it is reported that the Bahamian-flagged vessel has drifted about 100 miles northeast since the fire. The plan is to get the "Pine Galaxy" moving on its own or, failing that, to tow it to port.
10. Somali Pirate Kingpin Captured
Somali security forces have arrested one of the country’s most powerful pirate chiefs, who once hijacked giant vessels earning him multi-million dollar ransoms, security sources said. Mohamed Garfanji was seized in the capital Mogadishu along with several of his well-armed bodyguards. There was no official confirmation from the internationally-backed government, and sources could not confirm if he was still being held. Both the United States and the Seychelles reportedly want to question him for his alleged kidnapping of citizens from both nations. Ships he captured allegedly include the South Korean supertanker "Samho Dream".
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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