Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 01/09/2014
1. Asian Pirates Attack Tanker
Armed pirates commandeered a Thai tanker off Malaysia’s east coast and pumped out its cargo of oil, a maritime watchdog said Friday, adding to a series of hijackings that has raised fears of a growing Southeast Asian piracy menace. The incident took place Thursday near the Malaysian resort island Tioman in the South China Sea as the tanker was travelling from Singapore to Thailand, the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre said. The ship’s crew were locked in the engine room as the pirates siphoned off the tanker’s cargo of lubricant oil to another vessel, it said. The ship and its crew were released early Friday. http://goo.gl/r2zCgF
2. Tanker Results Send Industry Shiver
John Fredriksen’s mighty Frontline second quarter results released last week will have sent shivers down the spines of owners in the crude tanker market. Despite its legendarily tight operation, the New York-listed tanker giant managed to lose $78m net in the second quarter bringing year-to-date losses to $90m. Second quarter losses were much reduced on the equivalent period last year but still substantial. Despite improvements in the third quarter the company was in a challenging situation with $1bn in debt and lease obligations as of June this year said its results statement.
3. Iranian Navy to Rescue Yet Again
Iranian Navy warships rescued two cargo ships in Bab el-Mendeb and the Gulf of Aden after tough battles with pirates on the high seas. In the first battle, the "timely presence and action of the Iranian Navy’s 31st Flotilla" thwarted an attack by eight pirate speed boats, equipped with various light and semi-heavy weapons, on a cargo ship in the Northern waters of Bab el-Mendeb, forcing the pirates to flee the scene. In the second rescue mission, the Iranian warships thwarted a similar attack by six boats and also forced the pirates to escape. The cargo ships were carrying medical and pharmaceutical products.
4. Rescue of Migrants Saves Lives
Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) successfully coordinated two rescues at sea on Saturday, under the guidance of the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre of Rome. In the morning, MOAS was directed by MRCC Rome to a vessel in distress: a wooden fishing boat carrying 227 Syrians and Palestinians. The group consisted of 130 men, 40 women and 57 children, including many infants. The migrants were taken on board the rescue vessel "Phoenix" and given first aid. They were kept there overnight until being transferred to an Italian boat on Sunday morning.
5. Safety Shortcuts the Norm
The captain of a ferry that capsized in April in South Korea’s worst maritime accident in decades told a court on Friday he was just following established practice in not making safety checks before the vessel set off, Yonhap news agency reported. Lee Joon-seok, 68, appeared at times disoriented and unable to properly understand questions when he took the stand for the first time in the court in the southwestern city of Gwangju that is trying him and three crew members for homicide, it said. The overloaded ferry Sewol capsized and sank on a routine voyage that killed about 300 people, causing an outpouring of grief and outrage.
6. Knowing Passenger Data is Safety Key
The sinking of "Costa Concordia" and the difficulties in evacuating thousands has underlined the urgent need to accurately trace passengers during emergencies. In response, the three-year LYNCEUS project, which ends in early 2015, set about revolutionising how rescues can be conducted in the future. The team sought to adapt low-power wireless technologies in order to help localise and track passengers, and thus improve search and rescue operations. Innovative wireless tags have been developed that can be embedded into life jackets, providing rescuers with the exact location of every passenger and crew member during an evacuation.
7. Russia Imposes Own Cargo Sanctions
Russia has responded to western sanctions with its own ones. However, unlike western sanctions restricting supplies to the Russian Federation, Russian sanctions limit import from opposing countries. Counter sanctions cover quite a wide range of food products. According to reports, food-related sanctions can in the short-term and mid-term lead to increased transshipment of containerized cargo, mostly refrigerated cargo, via seaports of Russia due to cargo flows from the Latin America and other alternative exporters. At the same time, counter sanctions are to harm land carriers specializing in transportation of European food products.
8. Drug Smuggling Ship Exploded
Kenya Defence Forces have destroyed a ship laden with heroin worth $11.3 million off the coast of Mombasa. The act is a message that the Port of Mombasa will no longer be a passage for the importation of illicit drugs, says the Head of State. A reported 370 kilograms of heroin were blown up together with the stateless Al Noor ship on Friday in an operation witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta from a military helicopter overflying the Indian Ocean. The vessel was mounted with explosives which were detonated some 16 nautical miles south of the coastal town of Mombasa, where it then sunk to the seabed.
9. Security Ship Detained and Questions Asked
Questions have been raised over the future of a former Norwegian Navy vessel currently detained at the Port of Ramsgate, UK amid suggestions that it could be used by a private security firm in Africa. "MV Horten" arrived in Ramsgate as an unregistered ship in March and has been moored at the port ever since. It was detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) on its arrival in the UK. A spokesman for the MCA said the detention followed her arrival in the UK as an "unregistered ship". It was also noted that statutory surveys were found not to have been conducted or were expired, while the crew were unqualified. http://goo.gl/VxtlKh
10. Next Generation of Carbon Propellers
Classification society ClassNK and Nakashima Propeller Co. have announced the world’s first installation of a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) propeller on the main propulsion system of a merchant vessel. The CFRP propeller, was installed on the "Taiko Maru", a domestic 499 GT chemical tanker owned by Sowa Kaiun YK at the Marugame-based Koa industry Co. in Japan. The propeller was manufactured with support from ClassNK, which granted approval for the design and manufacturing process, as well as provided research and funding support as part of the ClassNK Joint R&D for Industry Program.
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