Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/01/2015
1. Cruise Liner Fire and Panic
A cruise ship carrying more than 1,000 people was left without power off Morocco after an engine room fire. The fire left the ship "listing" and "in pitch black", said Dave Tonkin, whose father is on board. The ship was without engine power for about five hours. Fred Olsen, the company which owns the ship, said it was now fully stable and had five engines running with two still not working. There was no danger to passengers or crew, it said. Gavin Poole, from Wimbledon, south London, said his parents, who are in their 70s, texted him in the early hours of the morning. "The texts said, ‘no engines, fire in the engine room, there’s smoke, we’re in life jackets and the captain says everything is under control’.
2. All Change for Greece
Anti-austerity Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras has vowed to end Greece’s "five years of humiliation and pain" after his general election win. Before cheering supporters, Mr Tsipras again pledged to renegotiate Greece’s massive international bailout. With nearly all of the votes counted in Sunday’s poll, Syriza looks set to have 149 seats, just two short of an absolute majority. Syriza’s victory has raised fears about Greece’s future in the euro. The currency fell to $1.11 against the US dollar following the result – the lowest level in more than 11 years. In the past the party has warned shipowners that they can expect to lose tax breaks – and there has been air of tension between the groups.
3. Name of Shame for Allseas Giant
Leaders of Jewish communities and Holocaust memorial groups in Britain and the Netherlands have reacted with rage and despair at the arrival in Rotterdam of the world’s biggest ship, the "Pieter Schelte", named after a Dutch officer in the Waffen-SS. The vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush, said: “Naming such a ship after an SS officer who was convicted of war crimes is an insult to the millions who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis. We urge the ship’s owners to reconsider and rename the ship after someone more appropriate.” Survivors of the Holocaust in Britain also spoke out. Allseas said it had been named in honour of the owner’s father.
4. US Military Sealift Grounds
The Military Sealift Command prepositioning vessel USNS "Sgt. Matej Kocak" ran aground off the East Coast of Okinawa, Japan last week. The vessel is located approximately 6 nautical miles of the coast of Uruma, Okinawa, Japan. The U.S. Navy is working closely with Japanese authorities to assess the situation and determine the best course of action to refloat the vessel. Tugs are on scene stabilizing the vessel and assessing the situation. No leaks from the hull have been found and no damage to the surrounding area has been reported. None of the ship’s 127 crew civilian members were injured in the grounding, and the crew is currently still on board the ship.
5. US Looks to Act on Crew Shoreleave
The US Coastguard has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding owners and operators of MTSA regulated facilities. Facilities must implement an access system within one year of the publication of the final rule and the system must be included in the FSP. Specifically, the FSP must include the location of transit areas, duties of all facility personnel associated with providing access, the method of escorting or monitoring individuals transiting the facility, agreements with third-parties to provide access, and the maximum length of time an individual will have to wait for access. The FSP must be submitted for approval 60 days before implementation. The Coast Guard is currently accepting comments.
6. ITF East Asia Campaign
Teams of ITF inspectors, along with dockers’ and seafarers’ union members, will begin the first East Asian maritime action week of 2015 on Monday across ports in Japan, Korea, Russia and Taiwan. The action week will run from 26 to 30 January, ITF said in its press release. The teams will check and enforce decent pay and working conditions onboard vessels.
In Japan a rally will also be held at the Kotoku Kaiun company, over its refusal to engage in dialogue with union representatives.
7. P&I Clubs Look at War Risks
Although war risks are excluded from standard P&I cover P&I Clubs in the International Group, are continuing to provide War Risks P&I Excess Cover on the same basis as in the 2014 policy year for Members entered on a full mutual basis. According to Skuld, since this is an excess cover only, Members must maintain their primary war risks P&I cover with a minimum limit of the value of the entered vessel or USD 100 million. Members should ensure that this cover is maintained at a level which accurately reflects the proper value of their vessels in the prevailing market. If Members choose to insure for amounts in excess of the value of the vessel, the cover provided will apply in excess of the total amounts.
8. Worlds Most Luxurious Vessel
Italian shipbuilding group Fincantieri has laid the keel for what is being described as the “world’s most luxurious ship.” The first building block for Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer was placed this week during a special keel laying ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy, marking a significant milestone in the construction of the ship.
At 56,000 gross-registered tons and carrying only 750 guests, Seven Seas Explorer will have one of the highest space ratios in the cruise industry and a market leading staff-to-guest ratio. The design of the ship is designed by world-renowned architectural interior design firms Tillberg Design AB, RTKL Associates and ICRAVE and will launch in 2016.
9. Grounded Gas Tanker Floated
The ship-to-ship cargo transfer between Teekay’s grounded LNG carrier Magellan Spirit and LNG tanker Excellence has been completed and Magellan Spirit has since been refloated, Teekay says. Having broken free, Magellan Spirit has been anchored for Class inspection. The fully loaded Magellan Spirit, owned by Teekay LNG Partners, got grounded in the Gulf of Guinea area, some 5 nautical miles of Bonny island, Nigeria. “Upon confirming no damage to the vessel, the Magellan Spirit will prepare to backload cargo from Excellence, and continue on its voyage,” Teekay’s spokesperson said. The Belgium-flagged Excellence changed its course last week so as to provide assistance to Magellan Spirit.
10. Worlds First Ocean Assessment Report
The first World Ocean Assessment (WOA) is now available for review until 6 February 2015 at review.globalchange.gov. The inaugural U.N. WOA is the first of a regular process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment, including socioeconomic aspects. The WOA includes more than fifty subjects grouped within four main themes, which include: Marine environment and understanding the ocean’s role in the global integrated Earth system, Food security and food safety, Marine biological diversity and Human activities that influence the ocean or are influenced by the ocean. The ocean business community is encouraged to comment.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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