Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/02/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/02/2015

1. Concordia Captain Sentenced
An Italian court convicted the former captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner on Wednesday for his role in the 2012 shipwreck that killed 32 people and sentenced him to 16 years in prison. Schettino, 54, was charged with multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship in one of the highest-profile shipping disasters in recent years. However, it is far from certain whether he will actually go to jail before the end of Italy’s long appeals process.
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2. ICS Updated Flag Performance
The International Chamber of Shipping has updated its flag state performance table, and announced that while the larger states are demonstrating impressive levels of performance, smaller flag states are lagging behind. ICS says Tanzania is one of the smaller flag states with ‘considerable work to do’. ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe said: “The very largest flag states…demonstrate very impressive levels of performance" – others not so.
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3. Urged to Report All Maritime Crime
All incidents of maritime crime, however petty or even unsuccessful, ought to be reported to local authorities, the executive director of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) has said. Yoshihisa Endo said if every incident, however minor, is reported it would enable ReCAAP to provide a more accurate situational picture and provide the information to the respective law enforcement authorities.
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4. Almost All Nigerian Trade Threatened
98% of Nigeria’s bulk trade is currently being threatened by the increasing insecurity in its coastal region which is gradually extending to the greater part of the Gulf of Guinea, Commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) Jaji, Kaduna, AVM John Chris Ifemeje, has said. AVM Ifemeje said bulk of the country’s trade is done through its maritime environment which has continued to attract some security challenges with attendant legal implications.
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5. Time to Care for Crews
There is, said the president of the UK Chamber of Shipping the other day, “a global shortage of seafarers”. Which is likely to continue if owners take short cuts. Instead they should opt for the hard road, doing what it takes to recruit, train and retain people who return the loyalty given to them, who take pride in their professionalism and being part of an elite. It will cost more, the customers may not respond…but it is the right thing to do. 
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6. P&I Club Issues Petro Piracy Warning
Piracy and armed robbery are an issue of increasing concern in South and South-East Asia. Attacks on tankers for fuel siphoning are part of an alarming new trend. Members need to be aware of other risks, too. Skuld has warned members of the the last few weeks of continued attacks on small tankers in certain areas which have led to vessels being hijacked and cargo being stolen. Awareness and action are needed to safeguard people, ships and cargo.
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7. Different Ships Need Different Types of Seafarers
Seafarers were once amazingly flexible folk, whose qualifications embraced a range of competencies and who were able to move around between most sectors on demand. Ships were different to each other, hence the old saying- “different ships- different long splices”, but it did not take long before a competent seafarer settled into the routine of a new ship. But that was then and this is now, and ships are more specialised and infinitely more sophisticated.
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8. Court Adjourns Piracy Case
A court in Ghana has adjourned to February 19, the case involving the alleged eight Nigerian pirates. There has also been some confusion and fuss as the accused persons were not in court because of "transportation difficulties". Though, quite alarmingly, their counsel told the court that the last time he saw his clients was during their first appearance. Despite efforts he has not been allowed access, and there are claims their human rights are being breached.
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9. Icebreaker Sent to Rescue Ice-bound Vessel
The U.S. Coast Guard heavy icebreaker USCGC Polar Star’ has been called on to respond to a 207-foot fishing vessel with 27 people aboard that is stuck in thick ice approximately 900 miles northeast of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. The Australian-flagged FV Antarctic Chieftain contacted Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand after becoming beset in ice, reporting that three of its four propellers have been damaged by ice and it has lost its ability to maneuver.
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10. West Coast Waters Look Like Singapore
An American photographer has documented the growing fleet of anchored vessels awaiting access to US West Coast ports. “I was on a flight back from SFO to LAX on February 9th and we flew over the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach before turning in to land at the airport,” writes photographer Mike Kelley, but the scene was unlike anything he had ever witnessed. 35 to 40 ships waiting to get in, fully-loaded with containers, caught his imagination and eye.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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S Jones
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