Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/01/2015
1. Back to Berth
The Hoegh Osaka has been safely berthed at 101 Berth at Western Docks Southampton. The tow took 3 hours and was conducted by 4 tugs secured to the Hoegh Osaka, under the control of the operation’s Salvage Master and assisted by 2 ABP Southampton Pilots. During the tow, an exclusion zone was enforced approximately 1,000 meters ahead and behind the vessel and 100 meters on either side. An exclusion zone has also been placed in the airspace, approximately 1 mile on either side of the navigation route and up to 2,000 feet. The tow came nearly 3 weeks after the vessel grounded on the Bramble Bank after developing a severe list shortly after departing Southampton with approximately 1,400 cars.
2. Disaster Leaves Learning Legacy
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has said that $4 million in funds given to Texas by BP after the 2010 oil spill will be distributed to fund research into offshore disasters. The University of Houston will lead a national research center for subsea engineering and other offshore energy development issues, including research and technology to improve the sustainable and safe development of energy resources in the Gulf of Mexico. The work is intended to reduce the risk of offshore accidents, oil spills and other deepwater disasters. The Subsea Systems Institute will be funded by the RESTORE Act (Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States)
3. Seafarers Awareness Week Revs Up
‘Opportunities to Work at Sea’ will be the theme for this year’s Seafarers Awareness Week (20-28 June 2015), aiming to not only raise awareness of Britain’s dependence on seafarers but also to highlight the many career possibilities the maritime world offers young people.UK. The focus of the campaign will be the promotion of education, training and recruitment services that can lead to employment in the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy – including container and cargo ships, fuel tankers, cruise ships, ferries and workboats. Seafarers Awareness Week will promote the vital role seafarers play in the UK and global economies – an industry employing 1.5 million seafarers worldwide.
4. Union Bemoans Training Cuts
Government funding to train UK seafarers has reduced year on year "in real terms", maritime union Nautilus International has warned. Although the 2014-15 funding, at GBP15M (USD22.7M), is the highest it has ever been, Nautilus said this amount will cover barely 20% of course expenses. "The funding has seriously slipped in recent years and the serious impact it is having was discussed at the Merchant Navy Training Board last year," Andrew Linington, director of campaigns and communications, told IHS Maritime. "It is making seafarers more expensive to train than anywhere else in Europe."
5. Maritime Awareness Focus of New Campaign
Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) has started up a new project to encourage greater maritime awareness among students. The NYK Mirai Project has been set up to work with students at elementary, junior high, and maritime schools in Japan to learn more about a career in the shipping industry. Over the years, the demand for seafarers has been increasing globally. In Japan seafarers are well-regarded, and yet according to NYK it is often not considered as a career option by many. The project will help students become more familiar with life aboard ships and also vessel operations. Some of the activities NYK Mirai will include are visits by maritime school students to shipyards to witness the building of NYK vessels.
6. Box Giant Opens Own University
The CMA CGM Group is pleased to announce the opening of the CMA CGM Academy, its new in-house university, located in its Marseilles (France) headquarters. The first in-house university was launched years ago to make the Group’s collaborators’ training a priority. Today, this priority is being reinforced with the CMA CGM Academy. With this new structure, the Group’s collaborators will not only benefit from high-quality courses regarding shipping, but also different subjects such as management. As an international company, CMA CGM has developed intercultural courses to assist all collaborators working with different countries improving their cultural understanding.
7. P&I Concerns About Migrant Ships
Skuld P&I Club has issued members with advice regarding the use by criminals of un-crewed vessels to transport refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. This new development creates not only hazards for navigation, but brings with it an even greater risk of tragedy as the migrant situation in this area continues. The IMO has published detailed guidance that may assist members in dealing with some of the issues arising. Members whose vessels trade in this part of the world or transit through it should proceed on the basis that their vessel may come across persons in distress at sea or be called upon by a national authority to assist in a search and rescue operation.
8. New Ebola Clause Released
In response to the industy’s need to specifically allocate duties and obligations in charterparties for situations arising from virulent diseases such as Ebola, BIMCO has produced two Infectious or Contagious Diseases Clauses. BIMCO has recognized that the implications for shipowners and operators due to such outbreaks can be significant. Delays may occur and costs arise not only when the ship is in an area where the risk of infection is high, but also at a later date when the ship calls at ports far outside the region where restrictions may be imposed to reduce the risk of the disease spreading. In this respect, BIMCO also recognize that no clause can solve all the problems that may arise, but this is a start.
9. Slow Steaming Loses Appeal
Low bunker prices are making slow steaming less attractive, say bunker traders. "Tanker daily hiring rates for shipowners are climbing now, very large crude carriers [VLCCs] especially," said a Singapore-based bunker trader. The current daily chartering rate of VLCCs on the spot market is hovering at about USD90,000, although it varies from region to region, and slow steaming can easily extend charter hire by two or three days, driving up the hirer’s sunk costs. As such, charterers must decide whether slow steaming’s fuel cost savings justify the day-hire charges. Slow-steaming practices vary depending on vessel size, the segments in which they operate, and each company’s cost-saving strategy.
10. Bunker Arrest Deemed Unlawful
A Singapore High Court decision to declare Transocean Oil’s arrest of a former STX Pan Ocean-operated boxship "unlawful" has been overturned by the Singapore Court of Appeal, Platts reports. Transocean originally had the STX Mumbai arrested over unpaid bunker bills back in June of 2013, but a court decision made in June of last year declared the arrest "unlawful" after an arrest was made only two days after the invoices were past due. At the time, the company said that it would take action as STX Pan Ocean had applied for bankruptcy protection in South Korea. However, the court of appeal declared the claim was "wrongly struck out" and that the shipowner "had basis" to make payment,.
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