Seacurus Daily Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/11/2014

Seacurus Daily Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/11/2014


1. Hybrid Ebola Clause Problems

The ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa has raised issues for charterers and owners of vessels trading in the area, but a definitive case has yet to arise on which a judgment can be made. Shipping lawyers are however advising clients to take precautionary measures both in their contracts and at an operational level onboard. One particular example of the Ebola clause which is increasingly being written into charterparties is being written in as a hybrid of existing radioactive and piracy clauses. This is a problematic point that could arise is the high degree of discretion given to the master in this case.




2. Congestion Charges Hit US Routes

A number of container lines operating between the U.S. and Asia say they intend to implement congestion charges of up to USD 1,000 per 40-foot container (FEU) for cargo moving via U.S. West Coast ports, effective November 17, 2014, in response to labor-related terminal delays, TSA said in a release. Earlier this year shipping lines individually published congestion charges specifically to cover labor-related service disruptions. “Beginning November 17 carriers will assess and collect their respective charges on an individual basis for eastbound and westbound cargo,” the release reads.




3. Piracy Reporting Tool Takes Off

The European Commission has developed, and is now testing, a new software system which aims to help fight piracy and improve safety at sea for the myriad freight and containers ships as well as local fishing fleets. Operating from two maritime operational centres in Kenya and the Seychelles and known as the Piracy, Maritime Awareness and Risks (PMAR) system, the software provides a live picture of vessel traffic activity, indicating current ship positions on a digital map.  By combining data from a number of different vessel reporting and earth observation systems, it creates a single maritime picture of the entire western Indian Ocean.




4. Human Rights and Seafarer Welfare

Human Rights at Sea is delighted to welcome the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) to the HRAS organisation and expanding network, making ISWAN the 43rd Supporting Entity to assist in the global development of the HRAS initiative. The International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network is an organisation that promotes seafarers welfare worldwide and directly serves seafarers by providing a 24 hour helpline. ISWAN is the result of a merger between the International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare (ICSW) and the International Seafarers Assistance Network (ISAN).




5. Sickness Spreads On Cruise

A cruise ship with 172 passengers and crew members suffering from a gastrointestinal ailment caused by norovirus was met by public health officials when it docked in California on Sunday, authorities and the Carnival Corp said. The outbreak marks the second time in less than a year that the highly contagious virus has spread on the company’s Crown Princess ship, which is part of its Princess Cruises fleet. On the latest trip, the ship carried more than 4,100 people on a cruise that departed nearly a month ago from Los Angeles and included stops in Hawaii and Tahiti.




6. Success for Shipmanager

Univan, the first name in shipmanagement, has been named as the Ship Manager of the Year by the Hong Kong Mission to Seafarers at a fundraising dinner and ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel in Hong Kong. “This award has great significance and meaning to me and Univan as we strive to continuously improve the quality of life onboard and ashore for our seafarers. The Mission to Seafarers does excellent work and provides invaluable services to help those in need,” said Bjorn Hojgaard, CEO of Univan. “We are committed to working with owners and seafarers to enhance safety, security and life onboard all of the ships in our fleet,” he added.




7. Gas as Fuel Guidance Issued

The newly-established Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) has released its guide for the use of LNG as a Marine Fuel. Among the info provided, it’s worth noting that car ferries currently (mid 2014) make up most of the LNG-fuelled fleet. They account for 21 out of 41 (51%) of the vessels in operation and 10 out of 38 (26%) of the vessels on order. LNG is available for marine fuel use in the European ports of Antwerp, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Zeebrugge. There is no question that LNG as a marine fuel has arrived; what we have yet to see is how large the industry will grow to and how quickly.




8. Engineer Guilty in Pollution Case

The chief engineer of the cargo vessel M/V Selene Leader pleaded guilty today in federal court in Baltimore, Maryland, to obstruction of justice and violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Sam Hirsch and U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of the District of Maryland. Noly Torato Vidad was the chief engineer of the vessel, which was operated by Hachiuma Steamship Co LTD, a Japanese company, between August 2013 and the end of January 2014. Crew members transferred oily wastes between oil tanks on board the ship using rubber hoses and illegally bypassed pollution controls.




9. Spanish Authorities Battle Greenpeace

In a bold move of aggression on Saturday morning, Spanish Navy rigid-hulled inflatable boats repeatedly slammed into Greenpeace protesters off the Canary Islands.  The activists were protesting against an offshore drilling campaign headed up by Repsol utilizing the Rowan Renaissance drillship. In a video released by Greenpeace, an activist suffered a broken leg as a result. A source claims the Greenpeace activists approached the Rowan Renaissance in the early morning in three boats with the Spanish Navy chasing them. The aggressive moves against the Greenpeace boats seemed to be an attempt to damage the engines.




10. Major Move for Largest Shipbroker

Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker, is in talks about purchasing Norway’s RS Platou ASA, a transaction that would create a business with double the sales of its closest publicly traded competitor. Clarkson, which is based in London, said in a regulatory statement that it’s in talks to purchase all of the Oslo-based firm’s issued share capital. The two companies’ sales last year amounted to $500 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Braemar Shipping Services and ACM Shipping Group, which merged in July, had combined revenues of about $241 million, according to their most recent financial reports.




Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


Best regards,

S Jones
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