Top Ten Maritime News Stories 02/02/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 02/02/2015

1. Petro Hijacking Foiled

A hijacking of a chemical tanker in Malaysian waters has been halted. The "Sun Birdie" went missing on Wednesday when the owner lost communication with the vessel. The last known position was a nautical mile south of Tanjung Ayam in Malaysia. Relevant authorities were deployed to track down the ship which was carrying 700 tons of marine fuel oil and had a crew of 11. Authorities detained the ship’s crew and seven perpetrators found onboard. The vessel was brought back to Penggerang for further investigation. Another two perpetrators jumped overboard and fled. They were picked up by a passing ship, "Challenger Premier".



2. Safety Concerns Persist into 2015

Shipping safety remains an ever present issue at the start of 2015 as industry regulators make louder calls to investigate a range of incident types and improve safety standards. According to the latest data from IHS a total of 1,639 maritime casualty incidents were reported during 2014, a 10 percent increase from 2013 when 1,489 incidents were reported.  Notably, of all the casualty incident types, hull and machinery damage, wrecking and stranding, ship-on-ship collisions and contact damage continue to show a marked increase in incident rates.  In 2014, there was a considerable increase in all four of these categories, with a 23 percent year-on-year increase in collisions alone.”



3. Sub-Standard Ship Banned for Year

In a new first, Australian port state control has outlawed a ship from Australian ports for a full 12 months. Indonesian-flagged container ship Red Rover was directed not to enter any Australian port for a year after being detained by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) three times since September 2014 for Safety Management System failures.

The most recent detention was on 28 January when the vessel was found to lack effective passage planning or use appropriate charts and publications, AMSA reported. It is the third vessel operated by PT Meratus Line to be banned from Australian ports for repeatedly failing to meet safety standards despite repeated advice by AMSA.



4. Fake Booze Kills Crew

Three foreign national crew from the "Amber Halo", a Liberia-registered ship, died after consuming bootleg alcohol in the capital’s Tanjung Priok port, police said last week. The head of the Jakarta Water Police said the ship’s captain had contacted Tanjung Priok harbormaster after one of their number died on board. Two more are believed to have died later.

Police have informed the Russian embassy. “We went to the crime scene and made a report based on the testimonies of other crew who survived,” the police said. Bootleg alcohol is a problem in Indonesia and regularly claims lives. In the past couple of months there have been a spate of deaths in West Java, including the death of 16 people at a party.



5. Suicidal Seafarer Concerns

Suicide is a global health crisis, with seafaring the second most high-risk occupation. Yet this tragedy can be prevented, reports IHS Maritime’s Girija Shettar This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) published its first global report on suicide, prompted by more than 800,000 deaths per year – that is one every 40 seconds, making suicide the 15th most prevalent cause of death worldwide. Seafarers make up a significant proportion of this statistic according to academic studies. Those in the industry willing to speak about this often taboo subject are expressing concern. Some companies are blaming onboard communications and social media as contributory causes, as they bring problems at home on to the ship.



6. Design Issues Causing Accidents

In an emergency the difference between good design and bad design may be the narrow gap between success and tragedy. All too often designs simply ignore the people who have to actually use the system, often under pressure. It is not an issue limited to say CO2 systems. Poorly designed system controls or human interfaces such as ECDIS controls, badly designed lifeboats and launch systems, vessels designed to vent cargo spaces into manned spaces, have all taken their toll of seafarers and ships. Rarely are they adequately tested with attention paid to the hazard of errors under stress. Experts well-trained in their use do not replicate the real world usage.



7. Missing Seafarer Database Launched

Human Rights at Sea (HRAS), an independent maritime human rights organisation based in London, has announced the launch of the ‘Missing Seafarers Reporting Programme’,an international database where details of missing seafarers and fishermen can be submitted and recorded. The platform aims to build an accurate international database of the status of seafarers and fishermen missing at sea on a global basis, raising international awareness by profiling individual cases. It will be used to support legal investigations into specific cases of abuse, injury or even death at sea. The database will be accessible through multiple websites, and it is hoped that it will eventually become a multilingual platform,.


8. Class NK Reports Real Success

Reporting its registration totals for 2014, ClassNK  says that for the fourth straight year it registered over 20 million gt in new tonnage. At the end of December 2014, the Tokyo headquartered classification society had a total of 8,872 vessels on its register with a combined total of 232,871,435 gt.  Over the course of the year, 833 new vessels with a combined total of 21,466,272 joined the register. The continued growth comes in spite of a global downturn in the market that has seen newbuilding deliveries fall by an estimated 15% according to Clarkson Research Services. ClassNK registered a total of 548 newbuildings with a combined total of over 16 million gt, or more than 25% of all newly built tonnage in 2014.




9. Low Oil Slide Leads to Belt Tightening

Chevron Corp. halted share buybacks, slowed work on new projects and announced the biggest spending cut in more than a decade as oil explorers around the world curtail ambitions to cope with free-falling oil prices. Chevron lowered its 2015 capital-spending target by 13 percent to $35 billion and halted stock repurchases that absorbed $5 billion in cash last year. The San Ramon, California-based company reported a 30 percent drop in earnings from the year-ago period. Chevron’s reduction is the most by dollar amount among more than $40 billion in spending cuts announced industry-wide since Nov. 1. Still, other producers have slashed on a bigger scale, with some cutting outlays by 50 percent or more.


10. Swedish Head to Somalia

The Swedish marine forces are heading to the Gulf of Aden, just north of Somalia as part of Sweden’s fourth mission to the region. Unlike in previous years they will not be stationed there on their own warships, but will instead be based on a giant Dutch ship until the spring, as part of Operation Atlanta. “Swedes speak good English and we are close to each other culturally so it will be easy to work together,” Dutch soldier Leo de Haan told Swedish media outlets. “It is an adventure…to see something new and help others,” Tina Nilsson, a Swedish soldier heading on the latest mission said. The soldiers have been specially trained in how to board boats that are captured by Somali pirates.



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


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S Jones
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