Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/12/2014

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/12/2014


1. Battered Vessel Grounded

Three holes were torn in the hull of a bulk carrier when tropical storm Queenie sent the loaded vessel smashing onto its berthing dolphin in Bohol, the Philippines. The now-stuck MV Goldeneye fell victim to huge waves. Its side was scraped and hull punctured, according to a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) official. The ship’s bunkers must be offloaded and the vessel refloated before it can be pulled off its grounding and towed to a drydock, reports SeaShip News. However, the PCG has concerns that waves caused by another tropical storm, Ruby, could free the vessel and cause an oil spill from the 300 tonnes of bunkers onboard.




2. China Shipbuilding Crown Slips

China is poised to lose its title as the world’s biggest shipbuilding nation to South Korea for the first time in five years as several shipyards from Dalian to Guangzhou lay idle while others exit the industry amid a slump in orders. Delivery of vessels from Chinese shipyards reached 10.73 million compensated gross tons, a measure of building time and human resources used per ton, in the first 11 months of this year, according to Clarkson Plc. That’s less than the 11.13 million tons from South Korea, which is poised to take the top slot for the first time since 2009. China is still the world’s No. 2.



3. Looking to Indonesian Model

More countries around the world should strengthen their approach to maritime security and follow in the steps of Indonesia, who this month will launch a new coastguard service says leading maritime security company MAST. “Indonesia and its President Joko Widodo have rightly recognized that maritime crime, including piracy and smuggling, can be hugely disruptive of commerce and wealth generation,” said Phil Cable, Chief Executive Officer at MAST. The development of the coastguard is part of President Widodo’s push to reassure investors that Indonesia is taking maritime security seriously.



4. New Approach for Cruise Security

The US Federal Register has published the U.S. Coast Guard’s notice of proposed rulemaking amending its regulations on cruise ship terminal security.  This proposed rule would standardize screening activities for all persons, baggage and personal effects at cruise ship terminals while also allowing an appropriate degree of flexibility that accommodates and is consistent with different terminal sizes and operations. This flexible standardization ensures a consistent layer of security at terminals throughout the United States. This proposed rule builds upon existing facility requirements but does not address the screening of stores, bunkers or cargo.



5. Pirate Victim Body Returned

The body of Vietnamese sailor Tran Duc Dat, who was shot dead by pirates off Singapore’s coast on December 7, was repatriated to Vietnam on Wednesday. Flight VN660 landed at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, carrying the body of Tran Duc Dat, 36, who died after suffering a gunshot to the forehead from a group of pirates who attacked his vessel three days earlier. Besides Dat’s relatives, many representatives of the Ministry of Transport, the Vietnam Maritime Administration, the Vietnam Seafarers Union and the Vietnam Petroleum Transport Joint Stock Company – the ship’s owner – greeted the plane.



6. Moral Battle Ground of Human Rights

Pirates around the world will be greatly heartened by the award for “moral damages” made by the European Court of Human Rights to a gang of their Somali compatriots. Michael Grey believes if the human rights of pirates are deemed more important than those of seafarers (which regrettably seems often to be the case), they will be seen as a triumph of civilised jurisprudence. He worries that once the pirates’ lawyers have digested the fruits of their success, they will be suing their clients’ captors for loss of earnings, perhaps even demanding compensation for their burned skiffs, outboard motors and lost armaments.



7. Bright Light in Pirate Fight

While lawyers may look to reward pirates with payments for their time awaiting a judgement, the US Navy has a different approach…blast them with a new prototype Laser Weapon System. The navy is testing the new laser by using it on targets such as drones and small boats in the Persian Gulf. Top Navy leaders say the laser could become a critical defense on a future generation of warships and offers great potential as a precise and economical weapon. A single shot from the laser could bring down a drone or blow up the engine of a small boat, officials said.




8. Dealing with Cultural Issues Onboard

Ships’ crews today invariably include seafarers serving onboard from many different nationalities and while this mix of cultures can bring great benefits, it can also have the potential to create misunderstandings and possible disharmony due to a lack of awareness of differing cultural values.  Called Working with Multinational Crews…It’s a Cultural Thing!, Videotel™, a KVH company, has developed a new program aimed at teaching crew aboard a vessel how to work together as a cohesive unit regardless of nationality differences.  Seafarers from eight different nationalities who ‘role play’ a range of typical onboard scenarios.




9. Beware Shipping’s Black Swans

According to BIMCO there are a lot of “black swans” paddling into view at the moment. These represent the completely unanticipated things that nobody planned for in their forward projections and which provoke a startled rethink. It might be thought that ship owners are less worried than most by the unexpected; in the volatile and unpredictable world of ships, something is always turning up to upset the applecart. A storm requires a massive diversion. A vital waterway is closed. A long term contract is aborted. Political sanctions intervene in promising business. During the life of any ship, owners need to consider that can go wrong, will.




10. Tackling Shipping Red Tape

International Maritime Organization (IMO) has just launched a number of initiatives for eliminating paperwork and reducing the administrative burdens imposed on global shipping. The IMO Council has just set the strategic direction for reducing the amount of administrative burdens. The aim is to make it easier for seafarers, shipowners and maritime Administrations to meet the regulations and requirements deriving, inter alia, from international conventions. It is expected that, at the Assembly to be held in 2015, the IMO will set a clear goal for the application of digital media on a par with paper.




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


Best regards,

S Jones
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