Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/03/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/03/2015


1. Port Fire Causes City Chaos

A four-alarm chemical fire broke out at Port Metro Vancouver Wednesday afternoon, sending hazardous smoke into the air and causing evacuations and warnings to people in the area to stay indoors. The fire broke out at approximately 1:40 p.m. inside a container at the Port’s Centerm Container Terminal on the south shore of Burrard Inlet. Vancouver Coastal Health confirmed the material inside is a hazardous organic compound, trichloroisocyanuric acid, which can cause eye and skin irritation. The fire is reported to have spread to at least two other containers at the terminal, according to the Vancouver Fire Department. Vancouver Coastal Health warned people seek medical attention if necessary.




2. 800 Vessels Diverted for Migrants

Merchant shipping companies diverted around 800 vessels last year to rescue tens of thousands of migrants drifting on small boats in the Mediterranean, attempting to cross from Africa and the Middle East to the European Union. And industry bodies said on Wednesday that they can no longer cope with the flow.  “The [shipping] industry remains dedicated to saving lives at sea, but we can’t take over the role of the coast guard and search-and-rescue operations that are supposed to be undertaken by European states,” Thomas Rehder, president of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations. Also 40,000 migrants were saved by maritime shipping companies in 2014.




3. Long Lost Battleship Wreck Found

A team of researchers led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has discovered a long-lost Japanese battleship that was sunk during WWII with the loss of over 1,000 Japanese sailors. Allen announced the finding on his website that his team discovered the wreck of the Musashi, one of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced battleships in naval history. The ship was sunk by American forces off the coast of the Philippines on October 24, 2944, during WWII. Allen said that the ship was found in Sibuyan Sea at a depth of more than 1 kilometer on March 1, 2015 by a team aboard his superyacht, MY Octopus.



4. Increased West African STS Regulation

Skuld P&I Club has been urging its members to be aware of increased regulation and control being exercised by coastal states of western Africa in relation to Ship to Ship transfer operations that may take place in national waters or Exclusive Economic Zones.  West African countries have started to take a keener interest in Ship to Ship (STS) transfer operations that may be taking place in national waters (12 nm zone) or in their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ – 200 nm). The reasons for this involve a number of factors, including concerns over smuggling and evasion of duties and security concerns with respect to piracy and other sea borne crime




5. Big Data Driving Commercial Decisions

Real-time reporting and data analysis are key tools to understanding and improving complex operating environments of today’s companies where the overall effects of any individual action can be very difficult to identify without a proper tool set at hand. By identifying the vessel differences, we were able to help the customer reduce the total fuel consumption of Vessel A by approximately 1%. Identifying and continuously improving best practices are also best served by the same process which then allows shipowners and operators to see what’s happening underneath all the noise — to find what otherwise would be lost in the variance of the data.



6. Search and Rescue Called Off

Search-and-rescue operations for the 16 missing Filipino crew of the MV Bulk Jupiter, which sank off Vietnam last January 2, have officially ended, with the missing crewmembers deemed lost. The Department of Labor and Employment disclosed the news and the relatives of the seafarers had received the benefits due them. Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz cited a letter from Magsaysay Maritime Corp. CEO Alexander Querol that the search-and-rescue efforts had ended. "He also informed me Gearbulk had settled all of the Filipino seafarer-victims’ contractual benefits and the families and beneficiaries have claimed these in Manila with the assistance of the DOLE,” she said in a statement.




7. Stop Underestimating Piracy Risks

Underestimating the security risk in the Indian Ocean could put ships in great danger once again, says maritime security company MAST Ltd. Gerry Northwood OBE, COO of MAST, said: “Whilst recent reports and incidents seem to be pointing to the Far East as the next piracy hotspot, the real security risk to shipping remains within the Indian Ocean, which is being ‘under-hyped’ by some commentators. “It is clear that the level of maritime crime in the Far East is high, however in most cases it is simply petty theft and should be deterred if passive protection measures such as Best Management Practices 4 (BMP4) are in place.




8. Iranians Blow up Mock US Carrier

On February 25, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched its long-overdue "Great Prophet 9" naval exercise in the Strait of Hormuz by attacking a mockup of an American aircraft carrier off Larak Island. The spectacular display of firepower took place in a waterway that plays a strategic as well as psychological role in world politics and energy markets, and the Iranians have made no secret of their desire to be recognized as the dominant military power in the area and guarantor of the world’s energy security. Increasingly Tehran has shown a willingness to combine real military capabilities and highly publicized drills with coercive rhetorical threats.



9. Europeans Assessing Maritime Policies

In June 2014, the Council invited the European Commission to present a mid-term review of the EU’s Maritime Transport Policy until 2018 and outlook to 2020. Eager to provide the Commission with valuable input, ECSA, ECASBA, ETA, EuDA, CLIA Europe, Interferry and WSC have decided to make the review exercise the cornerstone of the European Shipping Week 2015. They have recognised that shipping is a global industry faced with increasingly fierce competition. Shipowners need a stable and predictable EU fiscal regime and a regulatory framework in accordance with international rules in order to maintain their competiveness and ensure shipping’s beneficial impact to the EU economy and society.



10. Seafarer Welfare Award Judges

ISWAN is pleased to announce that the judging panel for this year’s awards will be Mr Masamichi Morooka President of the International Chamber of Shipping, Mr Steve Cotton, General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, Fr Bruno Ciceri, Chair of the International Christian Maritime Association and Ms Rose George, author of the award winning ‘Deep Sea and Foreign Going: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry that Brings You 90% of Everything’. The judges will be deciding on winners for the following categories: Shipping Company of the Year, Seafarer Centre Port of the Year and the Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year.




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


Best regards,

S Jones
Seacurus Ltd


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