Seacurus Daily Top Ten News Stories 02/10/2014
1. Greek Owners Dig Deep for Tax
A minimum 478 Greek shipping companies will soon begin paying an additional voluntary tax to the country’s treasury, under an agreement hammered out between the Union of Greek Shipowners and the Athens government some 15 months ago. For the period between 2014 and 2017, owners are to pay $132.2m annually, making their total contribution for the period $528m. The new tax is in addition to tonnage tax which will continue to be paid. In July 2013 the UGS agreed with Prime minister Antonis Samaras to increase their tax contributions on a "voluntary basis" for three years, but this has now become mandatory.
2. Talking About Teekays Challenges
Teekay President and CEO Peter Evensen has been interviews on BloombergTV talking about the challenges facing his company and the shipping industry as a whole. He discusses global shipping growth and the threats from Ebola and Somali pirates with Pimm Fox on "Taking Stock." In a revealing insight he also discusses the reasons that migrants are actually even more of a threat to shipping and trade than piracy. As vessels are struggling to cope with migrants in hotspots such as the Mediterranean and off Indonesia, the interview delivers some difficult home truths.
3. Panama Locks Pose Safety Risk
As the Panama sees a range of new construction initiatives to enlarge the locks which have been hindering the size of vessel which can use the canal, there are concerns that this may bring with it some safety risks. The pilots who guide ships through the Panama Canal fear that the navigation methods chosen to guide post-Panamax vessels into the new expanded locks and through the enlarged canal channels run higher risks of accidents than existing practices. It is not simply a case of build it bigger, there are many operational concerns to consider.
4. Cruise Passenger Falls from Mast
A passenger aboard a Carnival cruise ship has died after falling from the ship’s mast as the vessel approached PortMiami following a cruise. Kendall Wernet, 20, of the Asheville, North Carolina and a student of Clemson University, died Monday morning after falling 20-feet off the forward mast of the Carnival Ecstasy. Wernet and a group of about five or six others apparently entered the restricted area and climbed the up onto the ship’s mast reportedly to watch the sunrise as the ship docked in PortMiami. Wernet was reportedly knocked off the mast when the ship’s radar system kicked on.
5. Understanding Freakishly Large Waves
University of Auckland physicist Dr Miro Erkintalo is part of an international team investigating how lasers and optical fibres can be used to understand freakishly large waves on the ocean. Rogue waves are unusually large waves that form at sea without warning but which can have great destructive power. They were once thought to be folklore but in recent decades, with improved technologies, scientists have been able to prove they exist through direct observations. Physicists use laser light as under certain conditions the mathematical models that describe light and ocean waves are the same, so models can be developed.
6. Search for Missing Crew
A search is underway for nine missing crewmembers from a Chinese-flagged ship which sank Tuesday in the Sea of Japan, according to reports. Nine people are believed missing after the MV Lurongyu 2859 sank off the coast of Shimane prefecture in western Japan, the Associated Press reports. Five are believed to have been rescued. At least one Japanese coast guard patrol vessel is involved in the search, the report said. The incident was confirmed by the Chinese Consulate-General in Osaka, Japan, Xinhua reports.
7. Submarine Tackling Somali Pirates
China is for the first time sending a submarine to the coast of East Africa to take part in anti-piracy patrols and escort tasks there. The submarine docked at the port of Sri Lanka’s capital Columbo on September 15 on its way to the Gulf of Aden, becoming the first Chinese submarine to visit Sri Lanka. The vessel that stopped at Columbo International Container Terminal was a diesel electric Type 039 Song class submarine, commissioned in 2006. It is being accompanied by the Type 925 class submarine support vessel Changxingdao.
8. Tanker Rescues Stricken Yachties
On 29 September, the Liberian-flagged Sovcomflot-owned tanker Krasnodar rescued six yachtsmen from a liferaft adrift 30 miles off the coast of Brazil. The Brazilian sailors had been participating in the Regata Internacional Recife aboard the 10 meter trimaran Nativo when the unexpected occurred late Saturday night.
While sailing in rough seas at a speed of around 20 knots, when one of the structural cross-members broke, quickly capsizing the vessel at around 2300 on Saturday. The five crew plus the skipper rested on the floating hull but had to move to a liferaft, from where they were eventually rescued.
9. South Korean Ferry Grounding
A passenger ship carrying 110 passengers and crew ran aground in South Korea on Tuesday not far from where the Sewol tragedy occurred last April. In this case, all passengers were rescued without serious injury in around 20 minutes. The 171-ton cruise ship Vacance was carrying 105 tourists and five crew when it struck a reef as it passed east of Hongdo Island off South Jeolla Province, South Korea. The ship started to take on water, and passengers were told to put life jackets on. Thankfully owing to the calm response of passengers and crew and the swift action of nearby boats and the coast guard all were rescued.
10. Sea Water Turned to Fuel
The US Navy has successfully converted sea water into fuel and that it used it to fly a model plane. The aim of this technology is to give ships a self-sustaining power source and to make the Navy less dependent on fuel imports. US Navy Vice Admiral Philip Cullom, declared the project to be “a huge milestone for us. What is just absolutely revolutionary about [this technology] is that, if you no longer have to worry about where that oiler is, you remove so much of the vulnerability that we have at sea.” The new technology uses a gas-to-liquid process, which at the same time recovers CO2 from seawater and produces hydrogen (H2), for fuel.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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