Seacurus Daily Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/10/2014
1. Nigerian Pirates Launch Attacks
Pirates have launched a spate of attacks in the creeks of Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta region since last Thursday, killing three policemen and abducting at least nine people, security officials said. Most of those kidnapped were local workers in Africa’s biggest oil industry, where piracy in the surrounding waterways and seas is on the rise again after a brief lull, bucking a global trend that has seen pirate attacks fall elsewhere. In the most recent attack, gunmen on a boat opened fire on police escorting a barge operated by Italian oil company ENI along the Santa Barbara River, killing three policeman.
2. Prosecutors Call for Masters Death
South Korean prosecutors have asked for a death sentence for Lee Joon-seok, captain of the Sewol ferry that capsized in April 2014, claiming lives of 294 passengers, mainly high school students, with 10 still missing, Reuters reports. The 68-year-old should be sentenced to death on the grounds of failing to carry out his duty, an action which amounts to homicide, the prosecutors told the court. The court was presented with evidence that passengers followed the orders and waited in their cabins while the crew, Lee included, fled the listing ferry, which spurred a wave of public anger and hostility.
3. P&I Guidance on Ebola Response
North P&I Club is recommending that shipowners cancel shore leave and crew changeovers when calling in ebola-affected territories, as well as incorporating ebola-specific clauses in their charter-parties. The Club has further recommended banning purchases of food supplies, particularly meat, and ensuring crew are as vigilant as possible against unauthorised access to vessels. “A master whose vessel has visited an ebola area and who suspects a crew member may be infected should seek urgent medical advice,” said North P&I Club head of loss prevention Tony Baker. “
4. Maersk Vessel Rescues Hundreds of Migrants
Danish-flagged Eleonora Maersk rescued a group of 220 migrants 285nm southeast of Malta on the night of 23 October. The migrants – said to be Syrian men, women, and children – were expected to be brought to Malta. But they refused to be transferred to an Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) patrol boat as they wanted to reach Italy. Late on Saturday evening the Italian government consented to a Maltese government request to take charge of the group and the Eleonora Maersk sailed towards Italy.
5. Vessels Playing Dangerous Game off Somalia
Merchant vessels and yachts have begun sailing dangerously close to a still volatile Somali coastline posing a threat to the crew and ships. A warning to stay clear from the Somali coast that remains a high-risk piracy zone was issued by officers from the European Union Naval Force visiting the UAE ahead of an international counter-piracy conference. Vessels are moving closer to the Somali coastline because of reduced incidents of pirate attacks and to save money and fuel, said officers aboard the Italian navy destroyer Andrea Doria, the Eunavfor’s flagship to combat piracy. “It’s not good to see,” said a diplomat from the EU.
6. UN Pumps Cash into Horn of Africa
Leaders of global and regional institutions on Monday began an historic trip to the Horn of Africa to pledge political support and major new financial assistance for countries in the region, totaling more than $8 billion over the coming years. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the World Bank Group (WBG) President, Jim Yong Kim, as well as the President of the Islamic Development Bank Group and high level representatives of the African Union Commission, the European Union, the African Development Bank, and Intergovernmental Agency for Development (IGAD) are combining forces to promote stability and development in the Horn of Africa.
7. Hijacked Crew Found in Lifeboats
Eleven crew members of the hijacked Indonesia-flagged product tanker "Srikandi 515" have been found in lifeboats by Malaysian fishermen. The tanker loaded with 3,100 tonnes of palm oil was hijacked while transiting the Sampit shipping channel on October 9. Srikandi 515, owned by Lima Srikandi Jaya, departed Sampit, Kalimantan Tengah, on October 8 bound for Gresik, East Java, Indonesia. However, the vessel hadn’t reached its expected destination and was reported missing. The crew said that they spent 13 days captive on the ship, before the pirates released them. The whereabouts of the vessel are still unknown.
8. Bahamas Steps Up IMO Bid
A leading Bahamian politician has lit the bluetouch paper on the nations IMO ambitions. Hon. Glenys Hanna Martin, Minister of Transport and Aviation, spoke at the Official Launch of the Campaign of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas for Re-election to the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Category “C”. She said that the Commonwealth of The Bahamas has served on the IMO Council from 1991 to 1995 and from 1999 to the present, and has decided to seek re-election to the Council at the forthcoming Assembly in November 2015.
9. Nigeria Bemoans Giant Oil Losses
Following the increased activities of pirates, Nigeria lost a total of $131Billion to the sea robberies in three years. Disclosing this at a maritime security and safety symposium in Lagos , Professor Charles Ukeje paper titled ‘Economic Implications of Piracy and other Crimes to the Maritime Industry and the Nigerian Economy’ noted that except for 2007 and 2013, the number of pirate attacks on African waters exceeded the global figures in all cases, by more than double. He explained that the crime has become so lucrative such that what a pirate makes from one single attack could last him for 20 to 25 years if he lives minimally.
10. Storm Lashed Ro-Ro Sinks Schooner
Mooring lines holding the Salamis Lines-owned Ro-Ro "Alios" parted last Friday during an unexpected wind storm setting loose the 170 meter ship to her own devices in the port of Lavrio. Winds were upwards of 40 knots during the incident according to reports and the results were catastrophic for owners of two sailing yachts that were moored in the harbour. The 44-meter schooner H&B 1 was sunk and a small catamaran was left partially submerged.
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