Seacurus Daily Top Ten News Stories 19/09/2014
1. Latest Asian Piracy Data
A total of 11 piracy attacks, comprising eight actual incidents and three attempted incidents were reported in Asia in August 2014, piracy watchdog ReCAAP said in the latest report. According to the report, the situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia continues to improve in August 2014, with a decline in the number of incidents from 21 cases in June 2014 to 14 cases in July 2014 and 11 cases in August 2014. In a statement, ReCAAP expressed "concerned about incidents involving the siphoning of fuel/oil from small tankers and therefore urges all shipowners and master to continue to exercise enhanced vigilance".
2. Ebola False Alarm in US
Three crew members from Liberia-flagged cargo vessel Marine Phoenix were transferred to a hospital by US health officials and coast guard after the ship docked in Belle Chasse, Port of New Orleans on Wednesday, September 17th. The ill crewmembers were feared to had been infected by Ebola since the vessel’s itinerary included calls to West Africa, hit by an outbreak of the Ebola virus. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) confirmed a positive test result Wednesday evening for malaria in the patient being treated at a New Orleans-area hospital.
3. UAE Ceases Libya Loads
Amid growing security issues spurred by the crisis in Libya, U.A.E. port authorities issued instructions to cease loading containers for export and transshipment bound for Libyan ports, effective immediately, Safmarine has reported. “As advised by the port authorities, containers bound for Libya will be held at the port and will not be loaded on the designated vessels; even if they have been load-listed. The containers can be taken out from the port after the hold is released from customs upon the shipper’s request,” the company added. In addition, airline transport of shipments from UAE to Libya have been suspended as well.
4. Bankrupt Bulkers in Exit Plan
Less than two months after entering Chapter 11 protection, Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. won court approval Thursday morning of a bankruptcy-exit plan that cuts $975 million in debt from its balance sheet. The approval from Judge Sean Lane in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York largely concludes what an attorney for Eagle Bulk said was a year-long process to restructure the dry bulk shipper’s finances. Under its uncontested, prepackaged bankruptcy plan, Eagle Bulk’s lenders, who are owed $1.2 billion, will convert their debt into 99.5% of the new equity in the reorganized company and receive a cash distribution.
6. Singapore Haze Causing Concern
The Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has warned that haze could “significantly reduce” visibility in the Singapore Strait and port waters. Smoke haze from land clearances in neighbouring Indonesia returned to the city state at the weekend, also affecting one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and ports.
“Due to the presence of haze, the visibility in the Singapore Strait and port waters could be significantly reduced,” MPA said in a circular to the shipping community. “During periods of restricted visibility, shipmasters are advised to keep a proper lookout and navigate with caution.”
7. New Communications Glossary
Lexicon of Communications Terminology to be applied to Communications Solution Provider & Solutions User Dialogues During the Informa VSAT 2014 conference in London, the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) announced the launch of its Maritime SatCom Forum (MSF) ‘Glossary’. “The ‘Glossary’ comprises a highly comprehensive A to Z of the terminology used on a daily basis by the satellite communications industry in its dialogues with one of its key customer vertical markets” commented Martin Jarrold. The development of the ‘Glossary’ was driven by requests from customers for a detailed explanationof the terminology commonly used.
8. Maritime Terror Explored
Maritime terrorism is not a prominent research topic. Terrorist attacks against maritime targets are very rare. The Global Terrorism Database (GTD) only notes 199 out of 98,000 attacks in 40 years, which is less than 0.2 percent of the total. Even rarer are attacks on water where the terrorists need to have some maritime capability to reach their targets. Yet the threat of terrorism is growing around the world, and an increase in maritime attacks might have a very serious impact on maritime trade and global peace and security. Terrorist groups are often relatively conservative in their choice of strategy, tactics, and targets.
9. Progress for Bulk Giants
Valemaxes: the world’s largest bulkers and the most controversial ships in commercial shipping in many years may finally be used as they were intended after a deal between Cosco and Vale last week. At the height of the dry bulk shipping boom, the Brazilian miner decided to beat soaring freight costs, which threatened the competitiveness of its iron ore exports to China compared to much nearer Australia, by building 35 VLOCs of a massive 400,000 dwt in capacity. However, the ships, originally dubbed Chinamaxes, were to prove a bit too “max” for the Chinese authorities’ liking.
10. Reef Damage Compensation Battle
Talks are still underway between the US and the Philippines on compensation for damages inflicted by grounding of the USS Guardian, the Phillippine Department of Foreign Affairs said. The US Navy minesweeper USS Guardian (MCM 5) ran aground on Tubbataha Reef while transiting the Sulu Sea. Damages caused by the grounding are estimated to be 4,000 square meters of coral reefs in Tubbataha. No fuel has leaked since the grounding and all of the approximately 15,000 gallons aboard Guardian were safely transferred off the ship. The U.S. has been fined by the Philippines with P58 million in damage claims.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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