Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/03/2015
1. BP Supervisors Cleared of Manslaughter
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that two former BP supervisors onboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig will not face criminal charges of seaman’s manslaughter. The Deepwater Horizon caught fire and exploded on April 20, 2010, killing 11 men and spilling an estimated 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine, the two men in the ruling, were among five of the BP employees charged in relation to the case. Kaluza and Vildrine were the two highest-ranking supervisors aboard the Horizon at the time of the explosion.
2. Finding Path to Ferry Dialogue
Interferry has joined other co-organizers in praising last week’s inaugural European Shipping Week (ESW) in Brussels, and is now urging the industry and regulators to build on the initiative by continuing to develop closer cooperation. Hailing the event, the trade association’s regulatory affairs director Johan Roos noted, “What struck me most is how all of the shipping representatives and European Union decision makers seemed to be on the same page when we were able to get together like this for the first time". The week revealed the value of a proper setting for discussing issues before they emerge in the regulatory process.
3. Liberia at Heart of Wreck Removal
The Liberian Registry said delivery of Wreck Removal Convention certificates is now faster and more convenient for shipowners following the launch if its new online application system. The system was set up to expedite shipowners’ compliance with the requirements of the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks 2007 (WRC), which comes into force on April 14, 2015, requiring owners of vessels of 300 gt and above to carry a certificate as evidence of compliance that insurance or financial security is in place to cover their liability under the convention.
4. India Seeks to Keep Seafarers Safer
In view of incidents wherein 91 Indian crew members had been held hostage over last three years by Somali pirates, the Indian government has firmed up a contingency plan for dealing with piracy and hijacking of merchant ships, Parliament has been informed. It has constituted a Committee of Secretaries on Anti- Piracy and Hijacking at sea (COSAPH) under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary for crisis management and to advise the government on major policy and strategy decisions. According to an official data, 91 people had been held hostage by the Somali pirates of which 89 have been released.
5. Singapore Boost Maritime Manning Fund
The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore has infused another SGD65 million (USD46.8 million) to the Maritime Cluster Fund – Manpower Development (MCF-MD) programme to attract and groom local talent for the maritime sector. With this injection, the fund has totalled up to SGD115 million and MPA stated that the additional funding will be used to introduce new initiatives, as well as step up existing efforts. The MCF-MD programme was initially set up in 2002 to facilitate the growth of Singapore’s maritime cluster through various initiatives to support maritime companies in the development of manpower, training, and capabilities. http://goo.gl/PV70SQ
6. Looking at Arctic Safety Issues
As offshore field developments in the North and Norwegian Seas face maturity, operators on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) are looking to the more remote areas of the Barents Sea for further development. Here harsher environmental conditions, prolonged periods of darkness and long distances to shore make evacuation and rescue of personnel on Arctic offshore installations more challenging. A new DNV GL report published today examines the feasibility of emergency preparedness solutions and calls for the industry to collaborate on new response concepts.
7. Rescuing Vessel from the Ice
A video from the U.S. Coast Guard showing the rescue of 26 fishermen trapped in Antarctic ice back in mid-February. The USCG heavy icebreaker was sent to retrieve Australian-flagged fishing vessel Antarctic Chieftain last month after it became beset in heavy ice in the Southern Ocean approximately 900 miles northwest of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. The 207-foot FV Antarctic Chieftain contacted Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand earlier in the month reporting that three of its four propellers have been damaged by ice and it had lost its ability to maneuver. The fishing vessel and its 26 crew were trapped for about two weeks.
8. Maersk Reveals the Data which Drives Them
For anyone who doubts the susceptibility of modern shipping to cyber issues and potential attacks, a startling new interactive image reveals just how data heavy shipping operations are today. The mountain of data generated every day in today’s digital world is transforming the way how Maersk Group does business and this interactive image presents some key figures of Triple E’s data loads. While we may just see water, steel and boxes it is actually the flows of information, digital data which is carrying so much of the burden.
9. Gloomy Outlook Gives Lenders Jitters
The significant fall in oil prices, coupled with cost reductions now being made by the oil majors to their E&P budgets, has created a gloomy outlook for the offshore oil service industry. Consequently, financial institutions and other debt investors who have funded offshore projects and assets may have to consider the options available to protect their investment. In deteriorating market conditions, events of default will typically arise in offshore projects when the borrower is unable to comply with the financial covenants given to the lenders; in particular, the requirement that the market value of the financed asset is in excess of the loan.
10. Shipping Employee Sentenced for Price Fixing
A Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) employee was sentenced to jail and fined after pleading guilty for conspiring to price fixings in the car carrier business. Susumu Tanaka, a manager in NYK’s car carrier division, was sentenced to 15 months in prison and fined $20,000 for his involvement in a conspiracy to fix prices, allocate customers and rig bids of shipping services for ro-ro cargo, to and from the US and elsewhere, the US Department of Justice announced. Tanaka participated in the conspiracy from at least as early as April 2004 till September 2012. He is the third Japanese car carrier executive to be sentenced in the ongoing probe.
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