Seacurus Daily Top Ten News Stories 16/09/2014
1. Migrant Vessel Deliberately Sunk
About 500 migrants are feared to have drowned after the boat carrying them from Egypt to Malta was apparently rammed and deliberately sunk by people-traffickers, an intergovernmental group has said. The news – based on the accounts of two Palestinian survivors – emerged on the same day up to 200 more people were feared dead when another boat heading to Europe capsized off Libya. The Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said there was no independent verification for what happened to the vessel heading to Malta, mainly because only nine people are believed to have survived.
2. Port Looks to Tackle Ebola
Following the outbreak of the Ebola Virus in West Africa, Cotonou port authorities have taken several preventive measures to fight the spread of the virus. For all vessels calling Cotonou port, Benin the agent is required to send to the Harbor Master office a port of call list mentioning the last 10 ports of calls, three days prior to arrival. All vessels arriving from or which have called at a ports in one of the countries infected by Ebola should have on board prevention equipment (gloves, masks, sanitizing gel, etc.).
3. Worrying Rise of Fuel Theft
Cases of illegal trade in marine diesel are on the rise in Singapore and more offenders have been arrested, according to the republic’s Police Coast Guard (PCG). From January to July this year, around 60 metric tonnes of ship fuel changed hands illegally, 10 times more than the whole of last year, local media reported, citing information from the PCG. In total, the oil was worth more than SGD70,000 ($55,500). Police said the jump was mostly due to one of four cases this year, where a whopping 50 metric tonnes of oil had changed hands, they have also arrested 32 men up to July this year, compared to 26 arrests in the whole of last year.
4. Binding IMO Regulations on LNG
The IMO has finalized draft consolidated, internationally binding regulations on the use of liquefied natural gas, IMO has said. The reason for the increased focus on liquefied natural gas and other more environmentally friendly fuels is the stricter regulation of sulphur and nitrogen emissions that will take effect on 1 January 2015 for Special Emission Control Areas, such as for example the Baltic. The Code of Safety for Ships Using Gases or Other Low Flash-Point Fuels (the IGF Code) contains design instructions for the correct location of fuel tanks, fire-technical measures as well as requirements for machinery spaces.
5. Canada Jittery About EU Vessels
Canadian ship owners and their crews say Ottawa negotiated a lopsided trade deal with Europe that could eventually put thousands of jobs at risk. Under the free-trade agreement, key pieces of the highly protected Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River shipping business will be opened up to foreign competition for the first time, with no reciprocal access to the European market. Ship owners have raised concerns about the agreement, about the deal which would allow European operators to carry empty containers in Canadian waters, bid on dredging projects as well as carry cargo between Halifax and Montreal.
6. Welcome to the world’s most dangerous waters
SE Asia is now being seen as the world’s most pirated affected region, where a whole new style of piracy is rewriting the playbook of maritime crime. A range of attacks documented by ReCAAP, a multi-national body that combats piracy, and the IMB, are textbook examples of the piracy plaguing the seas of the Singapore Strait and Strait of Malacca—the world’s busiest commercial waterway. The pirates of southern Asia rarely, if ever, seize hostages. They’re in the business of stealing cargos of liquid fuel. And they’re often highly organized criminal enterprises with their own tankers and then sell what they steal to big, pre-arranged buyers.
7. Piracy on Rise Off Philippines
Piracy and armed robberies against ships and their crew in Philippine waters have risen by more than a fourth in 2013, data from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said. Though relatively low, the incidents of maritime piracy has increased by 27% to 14 from 11 the previous year. Four incidents have been reported this year with one person killed, the PCG said. While the incidents are simple hit-and-run robberies wherein the attack on a ship by criminal maritime muggers normally armed with knives is mounted close to land by small craft – there is still a cause for concern.
8. Cruise Demand See Massive Leap
New data released by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) shows that the North American cruise industry continued to expand in 2013, generating employment, income, and other economic benefits throughout the U.S. economy. Christine Duffy, CLIA President and CEO noted that on a global basis, over the ten years from 2003 to 2013, demand for cruising worldwide has increased 77 percent, from 12 million to 21.3 million passengers. Globally, cruise industry expenditures generated USD 117 billion in total output, requiring 891,009 full-time equivalent employees who earned USD 38.47 billion in income.
9. Weak Tanker Rates Sustain
The Drewry All Earnings Shipping Index fell 20% in August and stood at 152. The index was held back by weaker tanker and LPG charter rates, but overall earnings would have fallen further were it not for some recovery in dry bulk sectors. The fall in August’s earnings followed a month in which the index had soared 46%, indicating the volatile state of the shipping market. The index is an average of time charter earnings for dry bulk, tankers and LPG markets, weighted according to estimated market share. Freight rates for dirty tankers went down in August with the decline in crude demand from the US and Europe.
10. Newest and Biggest Named
Holland America Line revealed the name of its new 99,500-ton cruise ship slated for delivery in February 2016 will be "ms Koningsdam". “In choosing the name Koningsdam, we are honoring our rich Dutch heritage while reflecting that we’re entering a new era as a company,” said Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of the Holland America Group. “This new Pinnacle Class ship will be our largest, most contemporary vessel.” He added, “The 2,650-passenger ship is an evolution in design for the line — a new Pinnacle Class — and is being built at Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard”
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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