Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 06/01/2015
1. Libyan Jet Hammers Tanker
A military spokesman for Libya’s internationally recognised government says its fighter jets bombed a Greek-owned tanker ship because it had no prior clearance to enter an eastern port and acted “suspiciously”. Spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari said the jets struck the tanker twice on Monday in Darna before his government was informed that it was commissioned by the local power station. Greek officials said the bombing killed two crew members and wounded two onboard the Liberian-flagged "Araevo". Al-Mesmari said: “We regret the loss of lives.” The Araevo’s crew of 26 comprised 21 Filipinos, three Greeks and two Romanians.
2. Tanker Explodes, Seafarers Missing
An oil tanker exploded off China’s Zhanjiang port on Sunday, leaving two seafarers missing while 12 others were rescued, reports said. The product tanker "Run Guang 9" went up in flames after a cargo hold caught fire when the ship was sailing from Zhuhai port to Zhanjiang port. Local media reported that there were 14 crew members onboard the ship. Zhanjiang Maritime Safety Administration said search and rescue operations are underway and the fire on the tanker has been extinguished. More than 10 rescue vessels were deployed to the scene.
3. Search and Rescue Continues
The search and rescue operation for the sunken Bulk Jupiter and 16 missing crew off Vietnam has detected no debris so far. The Bulk Jupiter, owned by Gearbulk, sank off Vung Tau last Friday, and only one crew member, the ship’s cook survived. The bodies of two other seafarers were recovered. “A fleet of vessels and planes, under direction of the Vietnamese Coast Guard are participating in the operations from where Bulk Jupiter issued distress signals,” Gearbulk said in a statement. Among the vessels involved in the search operation is Gearbulk’s Sunbird Arrow. All 19 seafarers were Filipinos.
4. Severe Storm Suspected of Sinking Cemfjord
The sinking of a cargo ship in the Pentland Firth with eight crew on board is most likely have been caused by severe storms, the vessel’s management company has said. As marine accident investigators begin their probe into the Cemfjord tragedy off the shores of the Orkney Islands, the German shipping company Brise has said it would take time to piece together what happened. A spokesman for Brise of Hamburg, said: “It was a violent storm and it seems likely that the weather would have been a factor but, until we have some better idea of what happened, I can’t say how much of a factor.
5. 3D Rendering of Ship Grounding
SRT Marine Technology, a UK-based technology firm, has recreated the actual movements of the Höegh Osaka as she departed Southampton and eventually beached herself on Brambles Bank utilizing their GeoVS Dynamic 3D Viewer. Höegh Osaka was intentionally grounded on the Bramble Bank after developing a severe list shortly after departing the port of Southampton for Bremerhaven, Germany. At this point, it is unknown exactly what caused the vessel to list, however the decision made by the pilot and master to save the vessel by grounding her on the bank, outside the main shipping channel, ultimately prevented a far worse scenario.
6. Seafarers Carrying Stun Guns
At least 60 Filipinos, most of them seafarers, have been convicted in Hong Kong in 2014 for possession of unlicensed arms such as stunning devices. The Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong has reminded Filipinos traveling or transiting Hong Kong not to bring restricted items such as stunning devices. "Stun guns and other devices such as tear gas, bullets, extendible batons, flick knives and knuckle dusters are considered ‘arms’ under the Firearms and Ammunition Ordinance of Hong Kong, and their unlicensed possession is upon conviction punishable by a fine of HK$100,000 and/or a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment".
7. Massive Leap In Maritime Traffic
Maritime traffic on the world’s oceans has increased four-fold over the past 20 years, according to a new study quantifying global ship traffic. The research used satellite data to estimate the number of vessels on the ocean every year between 1992 and 2012. The number of ships traversing the oceans grew by 60% between 1992 and 2002. Shipping traffic grew even faster during the second decade of the study, peaking at a rate of increase of 10 percent per year in 2011. Traffic increased in every ocean during the 20 years of the study, except off the coast of Somalia, where increasing piracy almost completely halted commercial shipping.
8. MLC Data Patterns Emerge
During the first 12 months of MLC Compliance 113 ships were detained by one of the Paris MoU Authorities for MLC-related deficiencies. This represents 17.4% of the total number of detentions (649) in the Paris MoU during this period. During the year 7.4% of deficiencies linked to the MLC, 4.6% led to detention. Detainable deficiencies were most frequently recorded in the areas “payment of wages” (39,5%), and “manning levels for the ship” (28.6%). Other areas with high deficiency levels are “health and safety and accident prevention” (43.1%), “food and catering” (15.4%) and “accommodation” (10%).
9. Shipowners Slammed for MLC Inaction
The Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association has accused shipowners of not complying with the Maritime Labour Convention or caring for the welfare of seafarers. The National President of the Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association, Mr. Matthew Alalade, said only about five per cent of indigenous ship-owners had complied with the provisions of the convention. He acknowledged that the poor response of indigenous ship-owners to the labour policy could be due to financial difficulties because they are not getting contracts.
10. Iranians Hit Pirates Once More
Iranian warships thwarted a pirate attack on an Iranian oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Yemen, Tasnim news agency reported on Monday. The military forces aboard Jamaran destroyer and Bushehr logistics vessel, known as the 32nd naval fleet of Iran, rescued the oil tanker 120 miles southeast of al-Mukalla, a main seaport in the southern coast of Yemen, it added. Pirates were forced to flee the scene after the timely presence of the Iranian forces. The oil tanker survived without suffering any damage.
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