Seacurus Daily Top Ten News Stories 22/09/2014
1. Owners Call for Piracy Action
Asian shipowners have called for action by governments on piracy in West Africa and Southeast Asia. The Asian Shipowners Forum (ASF) Safe Navigation & Environment Committee (SNEC) expressed “great concern” over 17 incidents in Southeast Asia of small tankers being hijacked and cargoes stolen. Of the 17 attacks 12 have been successful. The SNEC also expressed “grave concern” over the growing number of attacks off West Africa, where at least 23 incidents have been reported this year. In particular it expressed concern over an attack on 9 August 200 nm off the coast of Nigeria.
2. Insurers Accused of Unsustainable Rates
Veteran underwriter Jonathan Jones has claimed that top Norwegian insurers are slashing rates to unsustainable levels – as two top marine insurers offer hull cover for as little as 0.07% of vessel values. Gard and Norwegian Hull Club protection-and-indemnity (P&I) mutuals stand accused of offering “suicidally” low rates, suggesting the low premium indicates a hidden cross-subsidy. According to Jones, a 0.07% rate means an underwriter would have to insure a vessel for more than 1,400 years to cover a total-loss payout. The price slashing has prompted a campaign for leading underwriters to follow a code of conduct on the issue.
3. Malta Panics Over Ebola Suspicions
Bulk carrier MV/Western Copenhagen has been denied entry into Maltese territorial waters amid suspicion that one of the crew has been infected by the Ebola virus. The Hong Kong-flagged ship was en route from Guinea to Ukraine. However, as one of the crew, a Filipino national, had taken ill the captain requested to dock in Malta where the ill crewmember could be provided the necessary medical assistance. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the ship was turned away since the patient’s symptoms were similar to Ebola, adding that the decision was morally and legally correct, writes the BBC.
4. IMO’s Charming Man Will Not Run Again
International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu has disclosed his decision not to seek reappointment at the fulfilment of the current term at the end of 2015. Secretary-General Sekimizu stated that reasons of personal nature led to the decision not to seek reappointment. “I would like to retire from IMO at the end of the current term which expires at the end of 2015. I will not seek reappointment. This is because of my desire to ensure my support to my wife, who has a serious health issue, and I would like to ensure that, when needed, I could give more time for her care and support for her immune system problems.
5. Seafarer Stabbed Aboard Ship
A man is in a critical condition in hospital and another arrested after a stabbing incident on board a ship in the Atlantic. The Irish Coast Guard met a Liberian-registered general cargo ship Afric Star on Friday to make the arrest after a rescue helicopter went to the vessel 240 miles off the Mayo coast to rescue the victim.
First aid was administered to the 26-year-old Ukrainian national aboard The Afric Star which was en route from St Petersburg in Russia to Cristabel in Panama. The captain had detained a 32-year-old Ukrainian crew member as a result of the stabbing which saw the 26-year-old man suffer a deep wound to the chest.
6. Cosco Making Massive Box Ship Deals
China Cosco Holdings Co (CCHC) has placed an order for the construction of five giant 14,500 TEU container ships , thus increasing the newbuilding ships’ capacity from the previously announced 14,000 TEU. The vessels will be constructed by China Shipbuilding Trading and Changxing Shipbuilding for an aggregate sum of USD 618 million. The agreement could be adjusted in the event of delivery delays, container ship speed efficiency, excessive fuel consumption of the newbuildings, or deficiencies in ships’ actual deadweight. The five newbuildings are expected to be delivered throughout 2017 and 2018.
7. Abandoned Seafarers Returning Home
Twelve Turkish sailors who have been stranded in a boat for the past five months in Quebec will be going home Sunday. In April the crew was flown to Sorel-Tracy, a town an hour east of Montreal, to fix a Panamanian-flagged ship named the Pheonix Sun. Their employer, Menpas Shipping, never paid them, leaving them penniless and without the necessary paperwork to return home. A fundraising campaign launched by Sorel-Tracy mayor Serge Péloquin was able to raise $10,000 to help the sailors. And the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada, which took up the crew’s cause, gave them money to buy food in August.
8. Sticking Ships Together With Shellfish
Shellfish such as mussels and barnacles secrete very sticky proteins that help them cling to rocks or ship hulls, even underwater. Inspired by these natural adhesives, a team of MIT engineers has designed new materials that could be used to repair ships or help heal wounds and surgical incisions. To create their new waterproof adhesives, the MIT researchers engineered bacteria to produce a hybrid material that incorporates naturally sticky mussel proteins as well as a bacterial protein found in biofilms — slimy layers formed by bacteria growing on a surface. When combined, these proteins form even stronger underwater adhesives than those secreted by mussels.
9. Ferry Grounds Off Greece
An Italian-flagged ferry with over 760 people onboard sustained damage and was taking on water after running aground near the small Greek island of Peristeres. According to the Hellenic Coast Guard, the M/F Europalink was sailing to Italy from Patras, Greece with 693 passengers, 70 crew and 366 vehicles when it ran aground early Sunday along the small island located near the northern entrance to the Straits of Corfu on the west coast of Greece. The Captain of the ferry reported that the vessel sustained damage to its starboard side and was taking on water, but the inflow was being contained to certain compartments of the ship.
10. Dubai Looking to Arbitration Future
A new maritime arbitration centre has been set up in Dubai, the first of its kind in the Middle East region. The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC) is aimed at addressing and resolving maritime disputes via deliberations based on legal frameworks and set maritime regulatory guidelines and standards. The launch of the new initiative represents the Dubai Maritime City Authority’s (DMCA) commitment to develop an integrated legal environment for the maritime sector that also falls in line with the objectives set forth by the Dubai Maritime Sector Strategy (DMSS), which aims to position the emirate as a world-class maritime hub.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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