Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/01/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/01/2015


1. Aussie Vessel Bans Continue

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued a direction to Indonesian flagged multipurpose ship MV Meratus Sangatta (IMO 9116797) not to enter or use any port in Australia for three months. The ship has been detained three times since November 2012 and twice since November 2014. As a result it will not be allowed to re-enter Australian ports until April 6, 2015. "MV Meratus Sangatta" was detained in Port Alma, Queensland on January 2 despite AMSA urging the ship’s operator, PT. Meratus Line, to improve its performance following the banning of another of its vessels, "Territory Trader", in Cairns in November last year.



2. Trade Pact Supposed Terror Weakspot

A Seafarers Union is trying to scare Canadians with the idea that their coastline could become the easiest point-of-entry for terrorists if a new trade pact becomes a reality. The Seafarers International Union of Canada claims the Maritime provisions of the Canadian-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) could result in an open door of entry for terrorists. Under CETA, they believe foreign owned and crewed vessels would gain more access to Canadian Cabotage; meaning they would be free to trade between Canadian Ports, something previously reserved for Canadian flagged and Canadian crewed vessels only.



3. 4th Down and Nine Miles

A ex-Miami Dolphins football player saved himself from certain death by swimming a reported 9 miles to shore after falling overboard from his fishing boat in the Atlantic ocean. Former Miami Dolphins player Rob Konrad told police that he was headed to the Bahamas from Deerfield Beach in southern Florida on Wednesday when he slipped and fell overboard from his 36-foot fishing boat, which then motored away on autopilot, according to media reports. Konrad said he was in the water for an astonishing 12 hours and he saved himself by swimming 9 miles to shore, reaching the shores Palm Beach at about 4:40 a.m. on Thursday.



4. Accidents Thrusting Ships into Public Consciousness

In our thrusting, high-tech 21st century, with ships and shipping rarely intruding into public consciousness, we tend to forget the human side of maritime casualties. But just occasionally, we have a rude reminder of maritime risk, as has been the case in the New Year, with its slew of frightening incidents across the world; in the Adriatic and the South China Sea, the Pentland Firth and the Solent, an unusual coincidence of casualty, with its inevitable ingredients of death and fear. These accidents give an insight into the work of the welfare agencies, like the assistance given by the Mission to Seafarers and Apostleship of the Sea.


5. Worse Things Happen at Sea
Author Rose George has been writing in The Guardian of the incredible past month which has seen so many maritime casualties. As a global traveller she is terrified of planes, but calm on ships. But given the past two weeks, she is assessing the need to reassess this simplistic view. News of so many maritime accidents are there, if we look, because ships sink and founder and crash. They sink more in the bad weather of winter, whether gales off Shetland or swells and monsoon rain in the South China sea, where most ship casualties occur. Ultimately she knows she is more likely to be killed in a car than in a plane or a ship.


6. Rising Tide of Bangladeshi Piracy

Piracy and armed robbery along Bangladesh’s coasts, especially near sea and river ports, have doubled, raising the number of incidents to 11 in 2014 from six in 2013, officials said. ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) has expressed its concern over the rise of incidents and urged Bangladesh to take steps to combat it, they added. “The ReCAAP ISC urges the authorities to step up enforcement at Chittagong anchorages, and the masters to exercise vigilance and report all incidents to the authorities,” the regional body said in its annual report. According to the report, of 11 incidents which occurred during the January-September 2014 period.


7. Understanding the UK Stance on Kidnapping

The UK government’s recently published Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill contains what the Home Secretary described as a ‘clarification’ for the kidnap insurance industry.  Given that policies already exclude payments in breach of laws or sanctions, has the Bill provided clarification or has it added unnecessary complication? One sector that was surprisingly ‘name-checked’ in the Home Secretary’s recent speech at RUSI prior to introducing the new Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill was the insurance industry.  Why did the Home Secretary feel it necessary to clarify this matter?


8. New Trend Lines for Indian Ocean Piracy

What could be the trend lines for 2015 in the Indian Ocean? A quick survey of events, incidents and trends in the Indian Ocean during 2014 suggests that the region witnessed cooperation, competition and inclusiveness among the littoral states. Three baskets could be identified: geopolitical, geostrategic and geo-economic, to help forecast trends in 2015. In the geopolitical domain, the region has remained peaceful and nations are ‘building a more stable, secure and prosperous Indian Ocean region’. The US will continue to be the strategic anchor and security provider, though fears persist about the search and rescue capacity in the region.



9. Scrapping Air Surveillance Weakens Maritime Safety

Politicians claim the scrapping of the Nimrod MR2 patrol aircraft has made a difference in the extensive sea and air search of the ­Pentland Firth after a cement carrier capsized. They have been joined by ­industry body the UK Chamber of Shipping in ­raising concerns about Britain’s ability to deal with major maritime incidents. The Nimrod is three times as fast as a helicopter. It is argued it could also remain on the scene longer, as some Nimrod missions can last more than 15 hours. The scrapped Nimrod MR2 and the cancelled £4 billion ­replacement Nimrod MRA4 fleet formed part of the cost-cutting Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010.



10. List of Incidents Shames Shipping

Three separate tanker incidents this month, plus several others, including vessel sinkings, has not got 2015 off to a good start.  Starting with the jet bombed products tanker’ Aerevo’, problems have occurred elsewhere. In another incident, the 2013-built, 4,577 dwt product tanker ‘Run Guang 9’ exploded near Zhanjiang on 4th January, according to the Zhanjiang Maritime Safety Administration, Guandong province, China. Meanwhile, V Ships UK, the manager of the collision-damaged Aframax ‘Alyarmouk’ estimated that 4,500 tonnes of Madura crude oil had spilled from one of her cargo tanks after a collision with a bulk carrier off Singapore.



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


Best regards,

S Jones
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