Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/12/2014
1. Explosion Rocks LNG Tanker
An explosion occurred onboard a South Korean LNG carrier off Malaysia’s Terengganu coast on Wednesday, resulting in two crew members killed and another two injured. The VLGC "DL Calla" (78,478 m3, built 1990) was on its way from South Korea to Thailand, and exploded about 26 nautical miles northeast off Kuala Terengganu, reportedly due to a cargo leak. Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) sent a rescue team to the location of the accident. The fire had already been put out when the rescue team arrived, however, two crewmembers died due to severe burns. The vessel suffered minimal damage from the explosion.
2. Asian Piracy Rises Again
Asian anti-piracy and sea monitoring centre ReCAAP has reported 20 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in November 2014: a gain on the 17 cases reported at the same time last year. ReCAAP data indicates three reported robbery attempts and 17 completed robberies in November. No Category 1 or very significant incident was reported in November 2014, and four cases of Category 2 or moderately significant incidents were fairly consistent throughout the past three years. However, with six incidents, November did see a doubling from the same period last year in the number of Category 3 or less significant incidents.
3. Cruise Ship Blast Kills Engine Crew
Three people have died from injuries sustained in an engine room fire aboard an Oceania Cruises cruise ship. The fire broke out Thursday morning aboard the MS ‘Insignia’ while docked at Port Castries in St. Lucia. Initial reports said that three people were being treated at a local hospital. A statement from Oceania Cruises later updated that three of the people, including one crewmember and two contractors, had died from their injuries and two others were injured. There are no reports of injuries among passengers and the fire was reported to be contained within the engine room. The Insignia was on a 10-night cruise from San Juan.
4. ITF Gears Up for Adequate Manning Push
The ITF is to campaign on the safe manning of vessels, as a result of new IMO requirements. Flag states and shipowners must now safely and transparently meet the unique operational and administrative needs of each vessel. Until now minimum safe manning was certified in accordance with company proposals which were then rubber-stamped by the flag state, and which took into account only the vessel’s ability to navigate and manage basic emergencies. No allowance had been made for other crew duties, taking into account frequency of port calls, cargo operations, maintenance or administrative tasks. This process has been open to abuse.
5. Lloyd’s List Top 100
Lloyd’s List’s annual Top 100 ranking of power and influence explains why 2014 has been a year of big dreams and chutzpah for shipping. There has been an interesting industry recipe over the past 12 month, and it has made for a very interesting year – which is reflected in the Lloyd’s List Top 100. The top dog, Xi Jinping, China’s president, stands for the new confidence and influence of his nation, illustrated by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s blockbuster decision in June to scuttle the planned P3 Alliance between Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Co and CMA CGM. The lists shows who holds the power in shipping, and where it sits.
6. New Vision for Vessel Control
Rolls-Royce says in ‘ship intelligence’ as ships are set to become more complex and will require high levels of data analysis to operate on-board systems to manage propulsion, navigation and potentially lead to autonomous vessels. Together with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, it has unveiled its latest vision of ship intelligence – a futuristic ship’s bridge concept which could become reality by 2025. Rolls-Royce has developed the new bridge, known as the Future Operator Experience Concept or ‘oX’ with crew smart workstations, which automatically recognise individuals when they walk into the bridge, and adjust to their own preferences.
7. Drop in Shipping Confidence
Confidence among the shipping industry has dropped to its lowest point in two years, spurred by ongoing uncertainty over markets, upcoming sulfur regulations, and overtonnage, according to Consultant network Moore Stephens in its latest shipping survey. The results, which ranks confidence on a scale from 1-10, showed that overall levels dropped to 5.7 from 6.1 in the three months leading to November, with charterers and shipowners indicating the greatest declines to 5.4 and 5.5, respectively. Asia and Europe in particular have been experiencing the most uncertainty, while North America has been holding steady.
8. Calls for Concerted Migrant Effort
The IMO and other UN agencies are calling for a concerted effort from the international community in response to the staggering loss of life, trauma and human rights violations affecting migrants traveling by sea. In a joint statement Thursday, the IMO, along with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), called for closer cooperation between States of origin, transit and destination was critical to reducing the loss of life at sea.
9. What if GPS Vanished?
Suppose the Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers used for your vessel, offshore oil platform, or port facility could not generate position data needed for your operations. How would your crew or staff respond? Initial troubleshooting efforts may indicate equipment failures, antenna masking, or possibly human error. If position data cannot be regained, then the receivers may have lost GPS due to intentional or unintentional interference. But who do you report this too and how? Question are being asked about the overarching management of GPS, and where the responsibility and accountability sits.
10. Tankers Back on the Rise
Crude tankers are in for strong rates through December and January according to Bimco, as tightening supply and increased demand boost crude carrier rates. The association attributed the recent rate rise to the supply side of the equation, as the global VLCC fleet grew by just 1.1% and suezmax and aframax fleets have shrunk by 0.5% and 1.7% respectively. A window of opportunity remains in the sector for the balance to improve even further, as deliveries are expected to remain low throughout 2015 at 27 VLCCs, picking up again in 2016 to 49. Over the past six years, an average of 48 VLCCs have been delivered each year.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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