Top Ten Maritime News Stories 08/01/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 08/01/2015


1. Hoegh Osaka On The Move

The grounded "Hoegh Osaka" car carrier self-floated from the sands on Wednesday afternoon and is being towed to a safer location. The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the "Hoegh Osaka" was self-floated at high water and tugs will now tow ship to a holding position pending a full assessment of her condition. A decision on the next phase of the salvage operation will be made after the assessment, the MCA said. The MCA made the announcement late Tuesday that salvors would not attempt to refloat the ship at high tidebecause it was determined that the ship had taken on more water than previously thought.



2. Grounding Off Turkey

Local authorities have rescued 10 crew members from a general cargo ship that ran aground off the Turkish coast on Wednesday. The men, from Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Lithuania, were rescued by helicopter after rough seas hampered the efforts of rescue vessels in the area. The Gulf Rio grounded when two of its anchors broke free near port in the northern coastal province of Samsun. It was en route from the Ukraine with a shipment of soybeans. The crew have been taken to hospital for medical checks. The coast guard will await better weather conditions before making an effort to rescue the vessel.



3. Violent Cruise Worker Sentenced

The room service attendant that beat, sexually assaulted and tried to kill a female cruise passenger in February 2014 has been sentenced to 30 years and five months in jail. Ketut Pujayasa, 29, assaulted the woman and then attempted to throw her into the sea from the balcony of the Holland America Line vessel Nieuw Amsterdam. He used his master key card to enter her cabin, hid on her balcony and then attacked her, saying he wanted to punish her for an insult to his mother.  The 31-year-old woman has no memory of the alleged insult and was seriously injured in the assault which lasted up to an hour.


4. Union Joins Frenzy for Answers

The UK –based seafarers’ union Nautilus International has waded into the frenzy of debate surrounding the ‘Hoegh Osaka’ grounding in the Solent. Investigations into the grounding of the car carrier need to focus on underlying issues rather than proximate causes, the union has said. Speaking in a BBC TV interview, senior national secretary Allan Graveson said the case highlighted the Union’s concerns over the safety of car carrier design and operation. ‘In reality, these vessels – both vehicle and livestock carriers – are built to the edge of safety for commercial reasons. Their design has gone beyond what is reasonable".



5. Annus Horribilis for Shipping

The global maritime industry seems to be off to a horrendous start in 2015. The turn of the year was supposed to be about new environmental regulations and “ECO” ships that would lead the global shipping industry to a greener future, new safety requirements, increased optimism almost across the board, and continued innovation, but so far those headlines have been marred with casualties from almost all corners of the globe. Whether or not this spate of recent casualties is actually unusual or unprecedented it’s hard to tell and we don’t really know for sure. Either way, here’s to hoping for a better year ahead.


6. Seafarers Trapped In Minimum Wages Struggle

A quarter of a million UK workers, amongst them some seafarers,  are being paid less than the legal minimum wage, according to an estimate by the Trades Union Congress. The TUC wants tougher penalties for employers who repeatedly flout the law. The estimate is likely to intensify a political debate about changes to the UK labour market, where employment levels have surged but wages have stagnated and many of the recently created jobs have been low paid and low skilled. The TUC report identified 10 groups of workers who were at particular risk, with seafarers being amongst them.



7. Northern Sea Route Insurance Needs

Interest in traversing the Northern Sea Route continues to increase, with seasonal changes making the route a more viable option for longer periods of the year. Part of the preparation for such a voyage is to understand the extent and limits of standard insurance terms and cover. That will also be relevant with respect to the necessary regulatory compliance issues that comes from taking this “new” route. Due to seasonal changes the route is becoming increasingly “ice free” (although that does not mean there is a total absence of ice). A passage along the Northern Sea Route does remain a voyage which requires careful preparation.



8. New Book Tackles Piracy

You may be asking yourself: “Why read a book about piracy". Because, piracy is an egregious, costly problem of the 21st century. It is costly in the loss of life, ships, and cargo. Payne, the author, reports that total losses in ransoms, ships, and cargoes as a result of piracy are estimated at around $15 billion a year. Since piracy is a billion dollar business; theft of cargo and rocketing insurance premiums raise the cost of transporting goods. Payne explains that pirates are not amateurish thugs. Most of them are professionals who have no regard for human life unless they feel assured that they will receive a ransom for their captives.



9. New President for German Shipowners

Alfred Hartmann, owner of the Hartmann Group of Companies from Leer (East Frisia), is the new President of the German Shipowners’ Association (Verband Deutscher Reeder – VDR). As early as May 2014, the VDR Board of Directors had elected him as successor to Michael Behrendt (in charge of the Association since 2008) effective as of 1 January 2015. Captain Hartmann has been a member of the Board of Directors of the VDR since 1998 and part of the Presidential Committee since December 2013, VDR said in its press release.



10. Environmental Challenges for Shipping

Despite ships being by far the most efficient form of transport, there is growing concern about climate change, the environmental state of the world’s oceans and the air quality close to major shipping routes and ports which has led to ever more stringent legislation on emissions to both sea and air.  As such, the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) together with the UK Science & Innovation Network (SIN) Southeast Asia are seeking opinions to investigate ‘Green Ship Technologies’ within Asia. To assist with this, all those involved in the shipping industry are invited to complete a survey.




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


Best regards,

S Jones
Seacurus Ltd


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