Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/01/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/01/2015


1. New Warning on Cargo Concerns

Intercargo has repeated its concerns over the dangers liquefaction of bulk cargoes following the sinking of the Bulk Jupiter off Vietnam with the loss of 18 seafarers. The Bulk Jupiter was carrying a cargo bauxite loaded in Kuantan, Malaysia, which is believed to have liquefied due to the heavy monsoon rains experienced in December, caused the vessel to capsize and sink. “The recent capsize and sinking of the Bahamas flag Bulk Jupiter in the opening days of January, with the loss of 18 of its 19 crew, may again prove to be yet another casualty statistic in the long list of bulk carrier losses caused by cargo liquefaction,” Intercargo said. Last week saw many P&I insurers issue warnings on bauxite liquefaction.



2. Latest Casualty and Rescue

26 Filipino seamen were rescued by the crew of a Chinese vessel in Camiguin hours after their cargo ship sunk at the area in the morning of Friday, January 9. The survivors were onboard LCT 378 when it was battered by big waves and strong winds at the vicinity waters of Camiguin Island around 4:00 AM last Friday.  Capt. Edilberto I. Jugarap reportedly sent a distress signal when their ship continued to list at about 15 degrees to port side as water flooded in the cargo hold. Jugarap and his men abandoned ship at around 8:30 AM before LCT 378 totally capsized 20NM from the shoreline of Camiguin. The distress call was earlier received by MV Tongying and later rescued the 26 seamen onboard two inflatable rafts.



3. Owners Scramble to Escape Liability

Shipping firms have paid millions of dollars into U.S. accounts to prevent their vessels from being detained due to non-payment of bills for fuel supplied by the bankrupt OW Bunker, indicating the impact from the collapse of the Danish firm was spreading. OW Bunker filed for bankruptcy in November after losing almost $300 million in alleged fraudulent trading in Singapore, leading to claims by distributors who sold shipping fuel on behalf of OW Bunker but had not been paid. Some 13 cases involving bunker bills totaling about $12 million have been filed at New York’s southern district court, a maritime lawyer said. An arrest and any resulting delay could open the door for legal action by the vessel’s charterer.



4. Black Sea Hours of Rest Results

The Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on STCW Hours of Rest carried out last year in the Black Sea MOU region shows the following preliminary results of the questions related to the verification both deck and engine room watch-keepers’ hours of rest. 6 ships have been detained in the Black Sea MOU region during the course of the CIC through deficiencies relating to STCW Hours of Rest. The most notable non-conformities observed were lack of correctly recorded records related hours of rest (7.33 %), followed by lack of watch schedule posted in an accessible area (1.75 %) and endorsement of the daily hours of rest records for each watch keeper (1.48 %).



5. Iron Ore Imports Rocket

Iron ore imports by China rebounded to an all-time high last month, capping record annual purchases, as slumping prices boosted demand for overseas supplies in the biggest user and some local mines were shuttered over winter. Shipments climbed 29 percent to 86.85 million metric tons from 67.4 million tons in November and 73.4 million tons a year earlier, according to customs data today. Imports last month were the highest level on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg dating back to 1990. Over 2014, they totaled 932.5 million tons from 820.3 million tons in 2013, the data showed. Prices may climb this half on seasonal trade and moderating global supply growth, according to Morgan Stanley.


6. US Issues Somalia Advisory

U.S. government has advised mariners in Somalia to avoid the port of Mogadishu and to remain at least 200 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia. "U.S. citizens considering travel by sea near the Horn of Africa, the Gulf of Guinea, or in the southern Red Sea should exercise extreme caution, as there have been armed attacks, robberies, and kidnappings for ransom by pirates," said the advisory statement. "The threat of hijacking to merchant vessels continues to exist in Somali territorial waters and as far as 1,000 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, Yemen, and Kenya in international waters. There has also been a recent rise in piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea, including hijackings," it added.




7. Owners Concerned About Insecurity

The President of the Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), Capt. Niyi Labinjo, has commended efforts of the Nigeria Navy at securing the nation’s territorial waters from illegalities. Labinjo said the Nigerian Navy was doing its best to secure the Nigerian waters from bunkering and piracy but needed to do more. "There is still piracy on our waters and the Nigerian Navy is really trying their best to ensure the water safe from illegality. "We still have a lot of foreign vessels that are still breaching our Cabotage Act which the Navy should also look into," he said. Labinjo appealed to the Federal Government to avail the Navy of the equipment and funds for them to perform effectively.




8. French Carrier Heads to Gulf

The French Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is deploying with its battlegroup to the Gulf, and is understood to be preparing to contribute to coalition air strikes against Islamic State. Sailing on 13 January, the carrier battlegroup – which includes a nuclear-powered attack submarine – will head from Toulon through the Suez Canal to the Indian Ocean and the Gulf on Operation ‘Arromanches’. The deployment is scheduled to last until May at the earliest. While there has been no confirmation from French authorities, the carrier – with about 20 combat aircraft embarked – is likely to support air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq.



9. Remembering Those Lost at Sea

The lost crew of the bulk carrier Cemfjord, which sank in the Pentland Firth, will be remembered at a church services in Wick this weekend. There has been no sign of the vessel’s eight crew since its upturned hull was found drifting in the water north-east of the Caithness town on January 3. It is though that the cement carrier was overcome by a massive wave while passing through the firth the previous day. Now the Mission to Seafarers will honour the seamen and those who set out to rescue them at a service on Sunday. The mission’s Rev Tim Tunley will lead the service at St John’s Church in Wick. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is now investigating the cause of the accident.




10. Large Cruise Ship Ban Overturned

Venice regional court of appeal (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale) has revoked the order on banning large ships from passing through the city center. Namely, the Italian government decided to prevent all ships exceeding 96,000 tons from sailing along the Guidecca Canal to the city’s main cruise terminal. The decision also reduced the number of ships over 40,000 GT passing through the area to five per day. The reasoning behind the decision to bar the colossal ships was based on the intention to reduce the effect of growing traffic on Italy’s floating city. According to the court ruling, the restriction could be imposed only once alternative routes for the ships in questions are in place.





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


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