Seacurus Daily Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/10/2014

Seacurus Daily Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/10/2014


1. Ebola Cruise Ship Terror

Belizean local media reports that the visiting cruise ship Carnival Magic has a person on board displaying symptoms similar to those of Ebola. The vessel is moored off Belize City. News site the Belizean reports the information based on local TV reports which say there is a couple on a ship tender, unable to return to the cruise ship, and refused entry to Belize City to catch an air ambulance waiting to take them to the their country of origin, the U.S.  According to a local ministry of health report, the person exhibiting the symptoms has not been ashore.  The cruise ship is carrying 4,633 people including 3,652 passengers.



2. Driving Seafarer Careers

As always seafarers are the key element driving the shipping industry and perhaps never more so than today. Speaking at a key industry event in Athens, Michael Grey of Bimco explained his conviction that much of the glamour, adventure and resourcefulness once associated with seafaring has been lost as technology and regulations have not only replaced human endeavour and the joy of sailing around the world, but resulted in complacency, and this is not good for safety nor the environment, nor the economics of the industry.



3. Owners Playing EU Against IMO

European shipowners are urging EU regulators not to go ahead with a unilateral EU Regulation for Monitoring, Reporting and Verification system of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport (EU MRV Regulation), which could potentially include shipowners to disclose commercial and operational information. The Italian Presidency of the European Council has been pressing for EU institutions to reach an early agreement on the MRV regulation. "I believe it is important to avoid any boomerang effect resulting from unilateral EU action," says Patrick Verhoeven, Secretary General of the European Community Shipowners Association (ECSA).




4. Seafarers Abandoned and Stranded

International Transport Workers Federation (ITF)  has reported another vessel and crew stranded in the port of Argentia in Newfoundland and Labrador. ITF said the crew of the Jana comprised of three Russians and eight Ukrainians contacted their inspector Gerard Bradbury stating they had not been paid since June of this year with outstanding wages topping CAD 120,000 (USD 105,800) for current and former crew. The Jana has provisions for less than a month and fuel for less than ten days. “Contact has been made with the current owners in Germany,” said Bradbury. “We are awaiting word for the plan for the ship", he added.



5. West Africa Facing Multiple Problems

West Africa is facing a “perfect storm” of piracy, disease and Islamic militants, a former head of the Royal Navy has warned. Admiral Lord West of Spithead called for the British Government to do more to help tackle threats to shipping in the Gulf of Guinea. The Labour peer and former security minister said there was no doubt that the threat to sailors was “growing and growing and growing”. Lord West said: “We have a perfect storm developing in this region, with huge growth of kidnapping, piracy etc in the south, the discussion between Abubakar Shekau and Isil, and that Boko Haram are actually taking over territory".




6. Data Recorder Missing In Piracy Fraud Claim

In ongoing attempts to verify the authenticity of the reported hijacking of oil tanker "Sunrise 689", police have collected testimonies from the vessel crew, they have also re-examined the ship but did not find the black box. There have been increasing suspicion that the piracy did not actually occur and was staged by the crew members who, according to rumours, stole the petrol. Captain Thang rejected the rumour that the hijacking was staged.  “I heard about such suspicions yesterday… People can think as they like, but the truth will be proved by police,” Thang said. He added, “The staging is not possible".




7. P&I Club Acts on Migrant and Refugee Issues

Skuld P&I has acted to provide guidance to its members as the continuing and enduring refugee crisis situation in the Mediterranean Sea. According to the Club, a number of Skuld member vessels have already assisted in the rescue of persons in distress at sea this year. The underlying driving forces for this situation have not improved since the start of the year and in some respects have further deteriorated. In addition the Norwegian Shipowners Association has now developed a set of guidelines to assist shipowners in dealing with this situation, as well as a checklist and a registration form.




8. UK Club Guidance on Emissions

With new sulphur-emission rules just three months away, the Club’s legal team has added an addendum to the Legal briefing on Air emissions – the Emission Standards for SOx and NOx. UK Club Members need to be fully aware of the growing and stricter atmospheric emissions measures being introduced around the world. This document compiles the latest regulations and specific requirements listed by country and provides a useful summary of current MARPOL limits both outside ECAs and within them.




9. Ferry Industry Tackles Concerns

A wide-ranging review of the ferry industry’s latest challenges and opportunities attracted a record 340 delegates to Vancouver last week for the 39th annual Interferry conference. The global trade association event exposed a string of concerns – notably over punitive safety and environmental regulations – but also highlighted the financial potential of new routes, onboard shopping incentives and the use of LNG fuel. Interferry chairman Mike Grainger, managing director of Liferaft Systems Australia, recalled that it was 20 years to the week since the Baltic ferry Estonia sank with the loss of 852 lives.




10. InterManager Elects New President

Gerardo Borromeo has been elected as President of InterManager for a second term and will serve as head of the global third party and in-house ship managers association until 2016.  The vote at InterManager’s Annual General Meeting in Singapore was unanimous and it gives Mr Borromeo the mandate he needs to see through important initiatives currently underway such as promoting an industry-wide mechanism for benchmarking shipmanagement operations; striving to drive more efficiency onboard and on shore while also keeping a keen eye on sustainability.




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S Jones
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