Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 15/01/2015
1. Year on Year Piracy Rise
Despite some progress in key piracy hotspots, global ship hijacking incidents rose year on year in 2014, according to the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau annual report published Wednesday. 21 hijackings occurred in 2014, up from 12 in 2013, the IMB’s annual Piracy And Armed Robbery Against Ships report said. "The global increase in hijackings is due to a rise in attacks against coastal tankers in South East Asia. Gangs of armed thieves have attacked small tankers in the region for their cargoes, many looking specifically for marine diesel and gas oil to steal and then sell," said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB. Indonesia remains the piracy hot spot, with 100 reported attacks.
2. Chamber of Shipping Calls for Action
The UK Chamber of Shipping has warned that despite the fall in Somali piracy, violent "petro-piracy" remains a threat to shipping in West Africa and South East Asia. The chamber warned that progress in the Indian Ocean should not mask the threats to industry and seafarers in the Gulf of Guinea and Singapore Straits, where violent acts of maritime crime take place within the waters of functioning states. “This new form of maritime criminality, which often has links to shore-based oil theft, is taking place within the jurisdictions of functioning nation-states, but ones that pay little attention to maritime security and governance," said UK Chamber ceo, Guy Platten. "
3. IMO Launches Maritime Day Theme
IMO Secretary-General launches 2015 World Maritime Day theme: "Maritime education and training" at World Maritime University IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu has launched this year’s World Maritime Day theme, "Maritime education and training", telling students and staff at the World Maritime University (WMU) that maritime education and training was essential for the long-term sustainability of the sector, both at sea and on-shore. "Effective standards of training remain the bedrock of a safe and secure shipping industry, which needs to preserve the quality, practical skills and competence of qualified human resources," Mr. Sekimizu said.
4. Asia The New Piracy Leader
Asia accounted for three-quarters of global maritime piracy last year after a surge in tanker hijackings helped to fuel a 22 percent jump in armed robbery and pirate attacks on ships in the region. There were 183 actual and attempted piracy and robbery of ships in Asian waters last year, against 150 in 2013, a intergovernmental anti-piracy group told shipping industry and law enforcement personnel on Wednesday. This put Asia’s share of the total at 75 percent, and firmly leading the way in piracy attacks. With so much focus on Somalia and West Africa in recent years, it seems law enforcement efforts have been found wanting in the region. There are urgent calls for action to stem this tide of lawlessness.
5. New Guide to Good Maintenance
Leading classification society ClassNK has just released the latest version of Good Maintenance Onboard Ships (January, 2015). The comprehensive checklist is designed to be used by shipmasters, crew, shipowners, and other key personnel in order to ensure vessels are safe, well-maintained and comply with regulations. To further improve the quality and efficiency of maintenance onboard ships, ClassNK has incorporated its knowledge and experience gained through surveys and audits, feedback from Port State Control (PSC) inspections, and comments from shipowners and mariners to provide the most up-to-date checklists for key operational issues.
6. World Maritime University President Announced
The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has warmly welcomed today’s announcement* that Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry is to be the next president of the World Maritime University (WMU) in Sweden. ITF general secretary Steve Cotton said: “This is great news, not just for the university but also for shipping and seafarers. The WMU has chosen an outstanding candidate with a fantastic track record that includes her pivotal role in the creation of both the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 and ILO Convention 185. “This job demands a world of knowledge, and she has it. We have no doubt that she will build on the great work of her predecessors and new colleagues at the WMU", he added.
7. Growing Trend of Med Migrant Rescue
Continuing what is a Seafarers tradition – and an unfortunate result of the world’s wars – the "MV Liberty Grace" rescued 231 refugees from Syria’s civil war, marooned aboard an adrift fishing trawler 120 nautical miles southeast of Sicily late last year. The trawler’s captain and crew had abandoned the refugees. The U.S. merchant ship’s master, Capt. Michael Tolley, has spoken about the rescue and the fact that the refugees were dehydrated, hungry and exhausted when his ship, alerted by the Italian Coast Guard, pulled them aboard. The trawler had set out from Turkey, but the captain and crew had set the vessel on a course for Italy – and then abandoned them, fleeing in speedboats days before.
8. Mickey Mouse Cruise Rescue
A man who fell overboard from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico, was rescued hours later by a passing Disney Cruise Line ship after a passenger heard him calling for help. The 22-year-old man, who was not identified by authorities, somehow fell off the Royal Caribbean ship during the early-morning hours of 8 January, according to ABC. Scott Campbell, a passenger on the Disney ship, said that he was on his balcony with his daughter at about 6.30 am when he heard the man calling for help. “I’ll never forget the scream, ‘Somebody help me,’” Campbell said. A Disney spokeswoman confirmed that the Disney Magic cruise ship picked up a passenger who had fallen overboard. http://goo.gl/DDFOzI
9. New Risk and Threat Map Launched
The North P&I Club has teamed up with maritime consultancy Gray Page to create an online map highlighting threats and incidents at sea. Based on an interactive Google map platform, the Maritime Threats and Incidents Picture identifies commercial risks including fraud, sanctions, corruption and trafficking, as well as physical threats to seafarers such as piracy, kidnap, armed robbery and hijack for cargo theft. The danger areas are based on the current UK Joint War Committee listed areas for war, piracy, terrorism and other hull perils. The risk map will be jointly hosted on the websites of North and Gray Page, who began collaborating on this particular project in 2014.
10. Jones Act Takes a Beating
US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has once again launched an attack on the Jones Act, announcing that he has filed an amendment to a bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline that would repeal the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, aka the Jones Act, requiring that all goods shipped between ports of the United States be carried by vessels built in the United States and owned and operated by Americans. “I have long advocated for a full repeal of The Jones Act, an antiquated law that has for too long hindered free trade, made U.S. industry less competitive and raised prices for American consumers,” said Senator John McCain in a press release issued Tuesday.
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