Seacurus Daily Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/11/2014
1. Seafarers Rights Miss Opportunity
Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI), the international centre dedicated to advancing the rights of seafarers, has responded to the South Korean ferry SEWOL judgement. Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of SRI said: “This disaster has been beset with tragedies and sadness from the beginning". Adding. "the conduct of the Master and some crew was “like an act of murder” will have added to the heightened emotional context and might have made it difficult for any court to be dispassionate”. Surely this was a chance to stress that even bad, cowardly seafarers need the right to be protected from claims that they are murderers?
2. Collision Crew Missing
Eight crewmembers are missing after two cargo ships collided off Vietnam. The Vietnam-flagged cargo ship "Phuc Xuan 68" made contact with another cargo vessel, "Nam VY 69", at 1:30 a.m., local time. The collision happened in the South China Sea, 15 miles southeast of Nha Trang, Vietnam during bad weather conditions. The "Phuc Xuan 68" – with 11 crewmen – took on water and subsequently sank. The other ship only sustained a breach in its bow and took on water in its cargo hold. None of its crewmembers were reported hurt. The crew of Nam VY 69 was able to rescue three sailors out of the 11 of the Phuc Xuan 68.
3. US Detains Vessel on Safety Grounds
The U.S. Coast Guard detained the 600-foot bulk carrier Ikan Sudip, Wednesday, requiring the vessel to remain in the Port of Longview near Seattle until significant safety violations are corrected by the ship’s crew. The Coast Guard is working with the vessel’s crew, owner and managing company to mitigate the safety violations and make repairs to the vessel prior to it departing port. Coast Guard vessel safety inspectors are also working with the the flag state of the Ikan Sudip and the classification society, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, responsible for certificating vessel construction and engineering.
4. Nigeria May Be Set for Armed Guards
Academics assessing the driving forces behind African piracy show that State fragility, economic deprivation, population, and geographic opportunity all related to the incidence of piracy in territorial waters. Similar to the growth of armed insurgencies, political and economic conditions help facilitate corruption and criminality, both of which enable piracy. A new report states that permitting foreign-armed guards on merchant vessels transiting Nigerian waters may be a next step in countering this maritime threat. Clearly, though, conditions on land must improve before the piracy threat will disappear.
5. Lawyers Assess Terror Plot Threat
Lawyers from HFW have been assessing the implications of potential terror plots to destroy maritime targets. The threat evidenced in the Al-Qaeda publication is worrying for the global shipping industry and for the world’s energy supply. Indeed, a secure energy supply is fundamental to the world economy. According to the 2014 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, global primary energy consumption “accelerated” in 2013. The threat from Al Qaeda is a stark reminder that the maritime community remains vulnerable to terrorist attacks at sea, and vessels transporting energy should be particularly alive to the risks.
6. Man Overboard; New Safety Initiative
Although aimed primarily at its members operating tugs and barges in US domestic trades, the American Club’s new initiative, Man Overboard!, also touches on issues, particularly regarding situational awareness, relevant to the broader marine environment. Man Overboard! comprises a range of media applications, including posters for use both on board and ashore, as well as web-based animations which can be found at the club’s website at http://www.american-club.com/page/man-overboard. The intention is to foster awareness of the dangers which can lead to people falling overboard on the vessels and structures.
7. Bunker Prices Surge in Singapore
The premium on the 380-cst shipping fuel grade jumped to nearly $10 a tonne above cargo prices on Tuesday as sellers retreated due to credit worries following the collapse of one of the world’s largest marine fuel supplier. The shipping fuel market has been in turmoil after OW Bunker filed for bankruptcy in Denmark on Friday. The 380-cst shipping fuel premium in Singapore, the world’s top refuelling port, has increased steadily and has now more than doubled since Wednesday, before OW Bunker announced it faced possible bankruptcy after suspected fraud at its Singapore subsidiary.
8. Shipowners On the Hunt for Tonnage
While the main story of the past few weeks has been the rebound of the dry bulk market, which has been a result of increased Chinese iron ore imports, another interesting byproduct of this development has been unfolding in the background. Most ship owners are always on the lookout for ship acquisitions and that search is always intensified during period of increases in charter rates, as is the case today. As a result, many are willing to “pull the trigger” on deals otherwise unattainable, due to the increased optimism surrounding the market.
9. Maersk Cuts Costs Boosts Profits
A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S said third-quarter profit increased as it cut costs and boosted box volumes. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization advanced 2.8 percent to $3.20 billion, Copenhagen- based Maersk said today in a statement today. Maersk Line, which moves almost one-sixth of the world’s containers, lifted volumes 3.7 percent as freight rates rose 0.9 percent, with unit costs falling by the same degree. The unit, battling industry overcapacity after a boom in ship orders coincided with the global slump, predicted a full-year profit higher than $2 billion, “significantly above” the $1.5 billion earned last year.
10. New MOL Comfort Findings
Images of a huge crack in the fully laden containership MOL Comfort caused real consternation, especially as ship design rules at the time should have mitigated such a situation from ever happening. While conducting research for her PhD thesis at the Technical University of Denmark, Ingrid Marie Vincent Andersen, PhD had found clues prior to this incident suggesting the possibility of catastrophic failure was more real than previously thought. Digging deep into the hydro-elastic structural response of containerships similar to the MOL Comfort, she had discovered some very interesting details. Her focus then switched to the cargo and wave effect.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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