Seacurus Daily Top Ten Maritime News Stories 06/11/2014
1. Massive Fraud Hits Embattled Bunker Firm
OW Bunker has been hit by a $125m fraud at its Singapore-headquartered subsidiary Dynamic Oil Trading. In a statement OW Bunker said senior management had been informed on Wednesday about the fraud committed by senior employees of Dynamic. “The extent of the fraud is not yet clear, but preliminary findings suggest a potential loss of around $125m,” the company said. Dynamic Oil Trading was founded in October 2012 and helmed by ceo Lars Moller, previously head of OW Bunker in Singapore. Separately a review of OW Bunker’s risk management exposure had found significant losses.
2. Abandoned Seafarers Stranded for Months
As many as 41 Ukrainian seafarers have been left stranded aboard their ship, the "Ocean Green", for four months off Batam, Indonesia as the vessel has been abandoned. PT Bias Delta Pratama director Pratama Prasetyo, whose company supervises the lay-up of foreign vessels around Galang Island, expressed concern about the fate of the 41 crew members of the Panamanian-flagged ship, which has been lying at anchor in the area since July and has run out of fuel, electricity, water and food. Pratsetyo said, “For humanitarian reasons, we are supplying food to them. The crew members are barely surviving".
3. Gauntlet Laid Down for Ship Breaking
Global Marketing Systems, Inc (GMS), the world’s largest cash buyer of ships for recycling, has challenged the European Commission’s intention to ban the practice of beaching by inviting the Commission and top level shipping industry stakeholders to India to witness the ship recycling process first hand. Addressing a high-level industry conference in London, Dr Nikos Mikelis, non-executive Director of GMS, said ship recycling yards were improving in Southeast Asia, adding that the best way to see the improvements was to visit the yards in person. Dr Mikelis warned progress was being made in Indian yards, but was threatened by the EU.
4. Brave Crew to Receive Award
The seven Indian sailors who were recently freed from the captivity of Somali pirates being counselled by psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty and his assistant Dr Samrine in India. The doctors have advised them to look forward in life. After four years of sleeping in jungles and drinking contaminated harvested rainwater, the seafarers seafarers will be felicitated with bravery awards at a function hosted by the director general of shipping and the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) in presence of their family members and other agencies. "They have fought odds and not lost hope. They survived for days without food," said a source. http://goo.gl/0RVB7n
5. Offshore Shipping Heads in Union Dispute
The Maritime Union of Australia is threatening to hit marine contractor Farstad with four consecutive 24 hour strikes unless the company gives ground in a long-running pay dispute. The union’s Western Australian branch said it had given Farstad notice of the four strikes that it intends to start on Saturday week. Farstad is one of 22 companies servicing the offshore oil and gas industry, including the Wheatstone project. The union said the strikes would affect almost 300 workers across 25 vessels, with occupations including cooks, stewards and seafarers. Union members at Farstad received their last pay increase in July 2012.
6. Nigerian Seafarers Strike Against Piracy
Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has embarked on an indefinite strike over the incessant attacks on its members and sea travellers by pirates. The industrial action, which commenced this week, has started taking its toll on socio-economic activities in many parts of the state, particularly on the maritime domains. Sea travellers and seafarers have been stranded as boat operators will not work in compliance with the union’s directive. The maritime workers embarked on the strike due to state government’s inability to combat sea pirates’ activities that had hampered marine transportation.
7. Corporate Social Responsibility Award for IMO
IMO secretary-general emeritus Efthimios Mitropoulos was presented with a corporate social responsibility (CSR) leadership award at Capital Link’s Shipping & Offshore CSR Forum in London. Mitropoulos – now chairman of the ‘Maria Tsakos’ Foundation – told attendees at the fourth edition of the annual event that CSR was increasingly seen as good business sense. "Shipping today needs to be able to demonstrate that it has cultivated a reliable and well-trained force and is sustaining an environmental culture," he said. "Shipping is no different from any other industry. Shipowners and operators need to protect their brand image and customers".
8. Training Concerns Need Addressing
Unless concerns regarding the training of Filipino seafarers are addressed, the British government will not allow Philippine maritime professionals to work and operate in Europe. At the same time, the British Embassy in Manila through 1st Secretary Steph Lysaght, said the UK will only pull out its travel advisory to British nationals to avoid travel on ferries in the Philippines once substantial reforms in the safety operations in the sea are put in place. “We have an issue at the moment with the Philippine government where we are engaging them on the issue of training seafarers,” Lysaght said.
9. Checking the Industry Pulse on Sulphur
European shipowners have launched a survey to monitor the economic impact of the 0.1% sulphur requirements for shipping in the European Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAs), which are due to enter into force on 1 January 2015, as foreseen by the amended 2012 EU Sulphur Directive.Numerous reports have already been published on the implementation of the new sulphur rules and the ensuing risks of a modal backshift (from sea to land-based transport), but have so far primarily been based on forecasts.“As we get closer to the entry into force of the new rules it becomes vital to move to fact-based analyses" ECSA has said. http://goo.gl/vH4Od2
10. Vessels Stranded Inland by Typhoon Still Stuck
Nearly a year after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) cast a wide swath of destruction in Tacloban City and Eastern Samar, only half of the ships stranded by the typhoon have been removed or scrapped. Lieutenant Paul Ryan Gonzales, commander of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Station in Tacloban, noted that 7 grounded ships are still being scrapped and have yet to undertake removal operations. Yolanda washed 15 commercial vessels inland – 10 in Tacloban and 5 in Guiuan. Also stranded were a dredger owned by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Residents want them moving, urgently
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