Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/02/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/02/2015


1. Second Asian Tanker Attack

A second chemical tanker has been attacked by pirates within a week in South East Asia. The crew of the vessel were bound and set adrift in life rafts late on Wednesday evening. They were subsequently rescued by fishermen on Saturday, but the vessel, "Rehobot", remains missing. An Indonesian-flagged chemical tanker went missing after being boarded by armed men off North Sulawesi, Indonesia. MT Rehobot was carrying around 1,100 tonnes of diesel before setting off from Bitung, North Sulawesi, on 28 January, according to ReCAAP. According to the report, MT Rehobot was approached by a small wooden boat with motor, operated by eight masked armed men with long knives at 23.30 hours local time.



2. Ship Arrests in Singapore

Two Asian-owned vessels have been arrested in Singapore bringing this year’s total arrests to six, Tradewinds reports. Vietnam-flagged Royal 45 was arrested on instructions from local law firm Asia Legal LLC. The 2009-built, 4,374 deadweight tonne (dwt) cargo ship is understood to be owned by Viet Long Transport. South Korea-flagged Sea Mansion was arrested on instructions from lawyers Rajah & Tann. The 1988-built, 2,267dwt reefer is said to be controlled by Seoul-based Shipping Land Co. Exact details behind the reasons for the arrests are not known, but they are believed to be related to outstanding payments. This year’s six arrests to date are possibly a reflection of deteriorating market conditions.



3. Magic Pipe Fine for Car Carrier

The operator of a car carrier calling at Port of Baltimore has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay $1.8 million over charges stemming from the use of a so-called magic pipe.  The U.S. Justice Dept. reports that Hachiuma Steamship Co., LTD, or Japan, plead guilty last week to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) over the failure to maintain an accurate oil record book concerning the illegal disposal of oil residue and bilge water overboard from the MV Selene Leader. Chief U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Hachiuma Steamship to pay $1.8 million, including $450,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and $250,000 to a whistleblower on board the vessel.



4. UK Shipping Gears Up for Election

As election time approaches in the UK, politicians must be careful not to be "anti-business" in their policies as they try to appeal to voters, warns the UK Chamber of Shipping. UK Chamber president Marcus Bowman will state his position that policies on taxation and immigration could impact negatively on business, in a speech at the chamber’s annual dinner in London. “As we approach the end of this Parliament, the UK has strong growth and rising employment," Bowman will say. "This is attractive to international business. As the election approaches, politicians must be mindful of doing anything that would put that at risk."


5. Fragile Recovery at Risk

The tanker shipping market has embarked on a fragile recovery with rates for VLCCs and suezmaxes expected to be in an uptrend over the next one to two years, but the oversupply of ships will continue to cast a shadow on the market, according to Erik Hanell, president and ceo of Stena Bulk. Following the dramatic plunge in oil prices, the tanker shipping market has benefitted from rising charter rates after a prolonged period of downturn since 2009. But the market has yet to shrug off the fundamental problem of an oversupply of tonnage. “Higher freight rates are here to stay…for crude shipping over the next 12-24 months,” Hanell told Seatrade Global.



6. Grounded Vessel to be Scuttled

An Ecuador-flagged cargo ship which ran aground last week in the Galápagos islands will be towed out to sea and scuttled, according to government officials in the Galápagos. The MV Floreana ran aground last Wednesday morning (January 28) in the bay of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno located off the coast of San Cristóbal, the easternmost island in the Galápagos archipelago. The vessel was carrying approximately 1,400 tons of cargo and about 13,000 gallons of fuel when it became stranded shortly after departing San Cristóbal for Santa Cruz and other islands,the Galápagos Conservancy reports. The salvage firm T & T Marine Salvage has been appointed by the owners to carry out the salvage.


7. Dubai Needs Deeper Maritime Roots

Dubai-based German lawyer Jasamin Fichte is calling on the UAE’s Federal Transport Authority (FTA) to galvanise shipping oversight in the ambitious emirate to allow it to make good on its status as a growing maritime hub and challenge Singapore. Fichte, managing partner of Fichte & Co, said that although the outside world considered Dubai a shipping hub, and many companies, including international law firms, were moving here, several jigsaw pieces were missing, including a register, a flag, an updated maritime law and a maritime court. “We need the FTA to take the lead. Dubai cannot establish an international register. Only [the capital] Abu Dhabi can.”



8. Somali Pirates in Bust Up

At least one person has been killed and several others injured as some of Somali pirates clashed themselves in a town located in south-central Somalia, witnesses said. The gunfight broke out in the Southern part of Galkayo town controlled by the Galmudug local administration on Sunday night. One local resident told reporters that both gunmen clashed over a checkpoint which is controlled by another local militia. Both the dead and injured are believed to be pirates and were involved in the clash. Officials from Galmudug administration intervened the situation later on but have not given further details regarding the battle.


9. Danes Urge Owners on Wreck Convention

The insurance and certification requirements of the Convention on the Removal of Wrecks become effective this April. In this connection, the Danish Maritime Authority has a request for Danish companies and shipowners. Therefore new regulations will be implemented. All Danish ships of or above 20 GT (gross tonnage) must take out insurance or other financial security to cover the owner’s liability in connection with the removal of wrecks. The ships must not engage in trade at all if such insurance or other financial security is not held. The regulations apply to all types of ships – not just merchant ships, but also fishing vessels, passenger ships and recreational craft.


10. IMO Responds to Ballast Review

The IMO has responded to a peer-reviewed paper that suggests that over the past 10 years, 95% of tests into the bacteria removal from ships’ ballast water have proven invalid. One of the author’s says, “if ships install treatment systems that do not effectively remove human pathogens from ballast discharges, people will die. Is the IMO okay with that?"

IMO comments on study that states ballast water tests to prevent spread of disease are a failure. The report reveals that the last 10 years of tests have been run with test water that contained no target microbes, which meant it was impossible for the treatment equipment to fail. Approximately 95 percent of tests were invalid and the process flawed.




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


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