Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 04/09/2014

Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 04/09/2014

1. Tanker Taken Off Ivory Coast

Armed pirates robbed an petroleum products tanker near Ivory Coast’s port of Abidjan, a maritime agency and a private security advisor said  – a further worrying indication of the increasing mobility of Nigeria-based gangs. The raid on the tanker came just a day after two failed pirate attacks that occurred just hours apart in waters off Nigeria’s southeastern coast, according to the same sources. "Twelve armed pirates with guns boarded a drifting product tanker. They took hostage all crew members, stole ship’s cash, crew cash and personal effects and escaped," the IMB report stated.




2. Differences of Opinion on Ebola Liabilities

The outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa has yet to impact on oil tanker rates as owners and charterers are disagreeing on the liability extent. A Singapore-based broker stated, "So far, the freight rates for West Africa-China have not seen any meaningful changes, although there’s been a drop for West African crude shipments to India. Ship owners have to do what they can to prevent their ships from being quarantined." Another Singapore-based broker added, "Some owners are asking for charterers to be liable for up to 45 days but that’s too long for many charterers."




3. Snapshot of Shipping Biofouling Methods

BIMCO has today launched a survey to find out the real picture on the methods ship owners and operators are using for the treatment of biofouling, and the performance of the various methods on different ships and over varying time periods, BIMCO said in its press release. Aron Sørensen, Chief Marine Technical Officer at BIMCO, who is leading the study, said: “We believe there is a lack of collective knowledge on biofouling management and treatment practices in the shipping industry. “BIMCO would like to build a clearer picture of practice and performance…and how current antifouling technologies are performing on various ship types."




4. Drunken Captain Jailed

A drunken captain caught navigating a cargo ship up the River Tay while almost four times the legal alcohol limit has been jailed, according to BBC News. Andrejs Borodins was in charge of the Frifjord when a pilot from Dundee harbor found him staggering and incoherent. The 53-year-old Latvian had planned to sail the ship from Perth to Norway in July. The captain’s state was discovered when the pilot who found him came aboard the Frifjord to help steer the vessel past the road and rail bridges on the Tay. He sent Borodins to his bunk to sleep off his intoxication, with the first mate taking the wheel as the ship docked in Dundee.




5. Having Beer As Tragedy Unfolds

Some crew of a ferry that capsized in April in South Korea’s worst maritime disaster in 44 years drank beer while waiting for rescue, one of them told a court, in an admission likely to fuel anger at their conduct during the final moments of the mishap. An engineer said he and a colleague drank beer in a hallway as they waited to be rescued by the coastguard after their ship started to list, South Korean media reported on Wednesday. "We took a sip to calm down," the engineer, who faces charges of negligence, was quoted by major newspaper Chosun Ilbo as telling the court in Gwangju, the southern city near the disaster site.




6. Navies Contempt for Counter Piracy

Many have long suspected that Navies regard counter-piracy operations as a bit beneath them, while they want to take all the credit for any success in containing piracy. As the NATO Summit has come to South Wales there has been much focus given to maritime security matters. The good news is NATO intends to reinvigorate its maritime security focus and investment. Alas its seems the navies think they solved the Somali piracy problem. When asked by SAMI about increased co-operation between NATO and private maritime security firms the reply was there are too many guards out there. An attitude which is worrying for all.




7. Massive Piracy Losses

The Nigerian government loses around $25 billion annually to oil theft, sea piracy and poaching, reports The Nation.  Data showed that around $15.5 billion is lost to oil theft, $9 billion to piracy and $800 million to poaching.  Matthew Egbadon, a former staff of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, has said that the government should pay attention to regulation of the waters as over 70% of West Africa’s illegal arms and ammunition are in Nigeria. The losses are draining from the nation, and it will require significant effort and investment to turn this situation around – if that is even possible, such is the security mess.




8. Computer Crewing Level Tool

Hamburg-based ship-owning and ship management company E.R. Schiffahrt has developed a "Crew Compliance Optimizer", CCO, together with its partners Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement and the scientists of the Fraunhofer Center for Maritime Logistics and Services (CML). "The maritime industry is in urgent need of an instrument capable of accurately planning the size and composition of the crew for a particular ship size and route and the work processes required during port stays," said Ole John, Senior Research Associate with Fraunhofer CML. It will be interesting to see if the tool slashes crew numbers as readily as many owners have.



9. Seafarers Suing After Asbestos Illnesses

A US court is set to oversee an asbestos multidistrict litigation, permitting injured seafarers to seek punitive damage awards.  In Re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No. VI), Hector L. Sanchez, et al. v. Various Defendants, Consolidated Under MDL Docket No. 875, Judge Robreno ruled that punitive damages may be sought under unseaworthiness claims brought outside of actions under the Jones Act (46 U.S.C. § 30104, et seq.) and the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) (46 U.S.C. § 30301, et seq.).  The ruling harkens back to long standing common law principles definitive of maritime law.




10. African Owners Seeking Protectionism Route

African Ship Owners Association ASOA has concluded plans to carry an audit on all cargoes that are brought into the continent with a view to getting African participate in carriage of their own consignments. Secretary General of the African Ship Owners Association ASOA UASC, Mrs. Funmi Folorunsho said that the ship owners want to create a data base of cargo movement so as to a proper plan for the carriage of these cargoes when they get into Africa. She explained that the move also geared towards getting the details of any vessel belonging to an African and see how these vessels can be engaged in constant trading.



Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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S Jones
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