Seacurus Daily Top Ten News Stories 30/09/2014
1. Hard A Port Food for Thought
Something went terribly wrong yesterday aboard Hapag-Lloyd’s containership "Colombo Express" when it lost control and slammed into the Maersk Tanjong. Both vessels were heading south through the Suez Canal. From the following AIS replay of the incident, it appears the Colombo Express was attempting to overtake the Maersk Tanjong and when a left rudder was applied to come back to a parallel course, the rudder when hard left. Hapag-Lloyd notes in a statement there were no injuries or pollution as a result of the incident. A Maersk Line spokesperson said that three containers were lost over the side from the Maersk Tanjong.
2. Ferry Fire Downplayed
P&O ferry erupted in flames as it sailed from Dover, England to Calais, France yesterday. A number of news sources report that a fire broke out in the engine room of the Pride of Canterbury as it was approaching port in France. 337 passengers and 119 crew members were aboard the ferry at the time of the fire. Many of the on-line newspapers carried video and photographs taken of the fire by passenger Ed Sproston, from Kent, who recorded images of what he described as "thick toxic fumes" which "left him struggling for breath." Mr. Sproston said the fire blazed for "a good 20 minutes" before before it was extinguished.
3. Reality Check for 24k TEU Ships
Infrastructure constraints could put the brakes on further growth in ultra large containerships sizes even if they are technically possible according to classification society DNV GL. Jost Bergmann, DNV GL business director for containerships, said that average size of boxships had been increasing dramatically by around 5.5% a year. Of the current orderbook more than 40% of the vessels are in excess of 13,000 teu capacity. Bergmann said moving up to the possible 24,000 teu capacity vessel would need larger cranes, reinforced berths, bigger turning basins, deeper water and investment in landside infrastructure such as road and rail connections.
4. Panama Set to Woo Owners
The Panama Maritime Authority’s Directorate of Merchant Marine has published a series of new incentives aiming at increasing tonnage, reducing the age of the fleet and seeing off competition from other registries willing to offer lower fees to switch to their flags. The first resolution cancels registration fees, annual consular fees, investigation and inspection fees, and the 0.03% tax, for one year to all vessels and MODUs under construction and new build over 10,000 dwt. All ships of new construction less than 10,000 dwt, will receive a discount in their year of registration of 35 % in the rate of registration.
5. IMO Moving Towards Electronic Certificates
The IMO’s Facilitation Committee (FAL) has issued a request for all the IMO member States to accept the use of electronic certificates, paving the way for less paperwork, nuisance and delays for the shipping industry, the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) reports. In the future, it must be easier to use electronic certificates. This was decided by the Facilitation Committee of United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) on Friday, September 26, when it approved a set of updated guidelines on the use of electronic certificates. ”These new guidelines constitute a major leap forward for electronic certificates" the Danes believe. http://goo.gl/pGEYY3
6. Port Operator Fined for Crew Deaths
A port operator in UK has pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches and has been sentenced to pay £650,000 (just over $1 million USD) relating to the fatal 2007 capsizing of the tug Flying Phantom on the River Clyde, which resulted in the deaths of three crewmembers. Clydeport Operations Ltd was sentenced to the fines Monday in the High Court in Edinburgh, the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency reports. Last week, the port operator, which is owned by Peel Ports Limited, pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, admitting a systemic failure in risk assessments and safe systems of work.
7. Tanker Rescues 150 Migrants
Nordic American Tankers Limited says that one of its vessels was involved in the rescue of 150 migrants in distress after their wooden boat began experiencing engine trouble in the Mediterranean Sea. NAT says that its crude oil tanker MT Nordic Passat was in an area South East of Sicily on Saturday afternoon when it got involved in the rescue of the refugees. The tanker brought onboard 150 migrants coming from Somalia, Eritrea, Bangladesh, Sudan and Palestinians from Syria and Lebanon, NAT said. Among the refugees were 14 children, 19 women and 117 men who were reported to be in relatively good condition.
8. Ebola Checks on Crew
On board vessels arriving into Nigerian Ports, port health officials are keen to stop the crew bringing anything else into the country, especially the Ebola virus, which has claimed more than 3,000 lives this year in West Africa. Crews are now undergoing daily temperature checks until they eventually weigh anchor. Twenty people have contracted Ebola in Nigeria and eight have died, according to the World Health Organization. But with no case since September 8 and no one under surveillance, officials are keen to keep it that way. Screening programmes are a vital part of these efforts.
9. Somalia Tops List of Shame
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Somalia was the worst-ranked country in an annual African governance index released on Monday, which showed even the best performers had slipped in at least one category over the past five years. The east African country ranked lowest in all four categories of the 2014 Ibrahim Index: safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity and human development. Mauritius kept the top spot, followed by Cape Verde, Botswana, South Africa and the Seychelles, all of which were in the top five last year. The index is based on more than 100 indicators from over 30 sources.
10. Asian Crime and Security Woes
Security experts are concerned that Asian crime syndicates may link up with regional terror groupings like Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid, which have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. With a rise in piracy in the region, the threat is a serious one. "Number one, top of the list is terrorism, of course after the likes of Lahad Datu, we cannot discount anything," said Muhammad Zubairy Husain, managing director of Ratusan Paki Security. "Not only the shipping industry, you must also look into oil rigs as well. We have more than 300 rigs all over pan-Malaysian waters now. We should really look into seriously safeguarding all these."
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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