Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 11/09/2014

Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 11/09/2014

1. Tankers In ECDIS Rush
The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO), provider of  navigational charts, has drawn attention to some research undertaken demonstrating that, 10 months before the deadline for ECDIS, 58% of tanker owners have not installed a system on their ships. Captain Paul Hailwood, a mariner working with UKHO, said“We’ve had some tanker companies who are early adopters"  – while for others there has been a struggle to keep pace with change and demands.
2. Warning on GM Cargoes
P&I Club Skuld has warned that China continues to reject plenty of shipments of genetically modified yellow corn from the US. More than 1.4m tons of US corn shipments have been rejected since mid-November last year. In order to prevent shipowners and charterers from suffering losses due to the shipper / voyage charterers’ loading MIR 162 cargos, Skuld the shipper/ voyage charterers should provide GMO certificates prior to loading.
3. Guards Are Set to Stay
Private security personnel are "here to stay" in the fight against increasing levels of crime at sea, according to industry representative Peter Cook. Speaking at the Maritime Security & Defence conference at SMM in Hamburg on Wednesday, Cook said criminals were increasingly proactive, ubiquitous and adaptable at a time of shrinking naval capabilities. Cook said there had been 157 piracy incidents up to 31 August this year, with 10 hijackings in Asia.
4. Whale Killers Not Liable
A ship strike killed a protected humpback whale off Kodiak, Alaska, but an investigation could not conclude whether a state ferry was responsible and no charges will be filed, federal officials said. The state ferry Kennicott hit the 30-foot (9-meter), 25-ton (22.6-tonne) female whale as it was coming into harbor on July 26, and the probe had sought to determine if the giant mammal was already dead at that point.
5. Pariah Ship Detained
The troubled German-owned, Liberia-flagged containership ‘Vega Auriga’, which was last week banned by Australia from entering its ports for three months, has now arrived in New Zealand, where it has been detained, informs ITF Seafarers. The ship was detained in Tauranga after Maritime New Zealand found 14 deficiencies, with 11 to be rectified before it can leave.
 The ITF reports that crew pay for August was still outstanding.

6. IMB Concerns over Piracy Rise
The International Maritime Bureau has expressed concern over rise in the cases of hijackings of small coastal tankers carrying oil and diesel especially in Southeast Asia, calling it a new trend in pirate attacks in the area.  "The recent increase in the number of successful hijackings is a cause for concern," IMB Director, Pottengal Mukundan said, adding these serious attacks have so far targeted small coastal tankers. 
7. Medical Concerns Outweigh Injuries
Despite the focus of shipboard safety the majority of medical consultations and treatments onboard are due to medical conditions, rather than injuries. However it is felt the scale of the problem is not appreciated. Data on infection and illness rates among seafarers are concentrated on European mariners and are insufficient in providing an in-depth picture of the threat to health from infection by pre-existing conditions or failings in shipboard hygiene standards.
8. Understanding the Most Lethal Cargo
Classification society ClassNK has announced that it will join a new European Joint R&D project to ensure bulk carrier safety. The project, called LiquefAction, aims to better understand the physical properties of cargo liquefaction in order to prevent bulk carrier casualties and is being carried out by a consortium of Europe’s top research institutions. Cargoes that may liquefy, which include nickel ore and a variety of other cargoes including other ore fines.
9. Greek Lenders Back into the Fray
It is well known that Greek Banks had suffered severely after the economic crisis of 2008. Today the 4 major Greek systemic banks which are: National Bank of Greece, Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank and Eurobank have raised € 8.3billion of private funds between them. This is allowing them to start expanding their portfolio as the overlooking state control is gradually relaxed.
10. Drugs War Kicks Off
The trafficking of heroin produced in Afghanistan into Europe, North Africa, and North America is increasingly shifting to southern maritime routes to Eastern Africa, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) revealed. UNODC said vessels from the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) coalition have seized more than four tons of heroin in the region in the past 18 months alone, indicating how important sea trade is to the illicit transport.

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


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S Jones
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