Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/03/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/03/2015


1. Sewol Families Want Ferry Raised

The families of those lost when the passenger ferry Sewol sank off South Korea have renewed their call for the vessel’s recovery, almost a year after the tragedy. The ferry sank on April 16, 2014 killing more than 300 passengers, mostly teenagers on a school trip to the island of Jeju. Nine people remain unaccounted for.

The South Korean government has yet to commit publicly to raising the vessel, a project worth an estimated 620 billion won ($560 million).  “There are nine bodies that are waiting to be returned to their family members,” the associations of victims’ families said in a statement, reports Yonhap News.



2. Charity Support Seafarers After Death

Seafarers’ welfare organisation Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) provided pastoral support for the crew of a bunkering ship in Falmouth who were distressed after their colleague died of a heart attack. AoS Falmouth port chaplain John Pinhay arranged for a priest to go on board the vessel and pray with the crew who were left anxious and in shock following the incident. Earlier this month John received a phone call informing him that there had been a death on board the ship. A crew member had fallen ill while the ship was taking on fuel supplies. He was transferred to Treliske Hospital in Truro but died soon after, having suffered a heart attack.




3. Latest Global Piracy Reports

On 18 March four skiffs approached a merchant vessel in position 26:25N – 056:36E in the Strait of Hormuz. The merchant vessel increased speed and the skiffs moved away. No weapons or ladders were sighted. This is the furthest north in the Gulf of Oman that activity has been reported since 30 March 2014. There is little evidence that Somali pirates have the capability to operate so far from the Somali coast, suggesting this report was unlikely to be related to pirate activity. The majority of activity reported since 16 March worldwide took place in the Southeast Asia region with numerous attacks and approaches.




4. Looking for the Right People

At a time when the global shipping industry is going through an unprecedented and extended downturn, the overriding challenge is to stay afloat and wait for the tide to turn. Viewed from the HR perspective, while companies need the competencies and skillsets to stay afloat during the rough times but it is also crucial to have the talent pool in place to set the course when the weather improves. Recognising the importance of attracting and retaining talent in the maritime industry, IRClass Academy of the Indian Register of Shipping are focusing on Maritime Professional Development in India: Beyond Mandatory Courses.




5. Chinese Dredger Stealing Sand

Philippines police have arrested six seafarers after raiding a Chinese dredger alleged to have been illegally mining sand.  The men were held on the Yue Hue Zhou H0 8998 in Tagoloan on Sunday, ABS CBN reported. Five were named as Chinese nationals Gouwen Wu, Jianxin We, Yungcheng Liu, Zhongru Wu and Tomas Wong. The captain was named as Rodolfo Meneses Gabinete. Senior police inspector Maricris Mulat said they had failed to show permits and documents allowing them to mine sand in the area. She added the ship had been under surveillance by the Philippine Coast Guard for suspicious activities in Luzon and Mindanao.




6. Crew Errors Led to Sinking

A senior Ministry of Transportation and Communications official yesterday said that crew errors led to the sinking of the Ocean Researcher V in October last year, according to conclusions reached by the Committee for Investigation of Marine Casualties. The ship, which belonged to the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL), hit a reef off the coast of Penghu and sank, killing two researchers and injuring 25 passengers. Marine and Port Bureau Director-General Chi Wen-jong (祁文中) said the bureau spent four months investigating the accident and the unanimous conclusion that the accident was caused by personnel errors.




7. Jam Tomorrow – As Owners Look Ahead

Shipowners are hopeful that 2016 will bring increased demand and higher charter rates for containerships, Joc reports. Speaking at the 9th Annual Capital Link International Shipping & Offshore Forum in New York, a panel of independent shipowners forecast that as deliveries of new tonnage slows and the global economy continues to grow, vessel supply and demand should start to come into balance form next year. Analysts say it would then be likely that liner shipping companies will turn to the charter market to find newer, more fuel-efficient ships and keep their capital for other projects including terminals.




8. Cyber Dangers Discussed

“Ships and offshore structures are becoming more and more interconnected,” said Tor Svensen, CEO DNV GL – Maritime, when taking the stage at this year’s CMA (Connecticut Maritime Association) event in Stamford, CT. “In theory, all programmable components may be exposed to cyber threats, be it machinery, navigation or communication systems.” Cybersecurity in the maritime and offshore industry was also up for discussion at this year’s CMA Shipping event during a session with the US Coast Guard, ship owners and class representatives. In the past, critical network segments onboard vessels used to be kept isolated. This has changed.




9. Ultra Low Sulphur Fears

The 1st of January 2015, as broadly reported, denoted the beginning date of new and progressive emission regulations for vessels operating within the sulphur Emission Control Areas (ECAs) particularly established for the control and minimisation of SOx and NOx emissions. In order for vessels to comply with the new requirements, they need to switch to ultra-low sulphur fuel types and currently the most viable option seems to be Low Sulphur Marine Gas Oil (LSMGO). The changeover from HFO to LSMGO poses technical and operational challenges as the two fuels operate at a different temperature,  and can damage machinery.



10. EU Forces Hit World Food Landmark

The EU Naval Force achieved a major milestone this week by successfully completing its 300th close protection of a World Food Programme (WFP) vessel along the Somali coastline. This means that nearly one million tonnes of food aid, including wheat, grain and sorghum, destined for the Somali people, has been protected by the EU Naval Force as part of the European Union’s counter-piracy efforts off the coast of Somalia, the Force said. Since the crisis of 2011, when four million Somalis experienced extreme food insecurity and famine, the WFP assesses that the situation is now improving.




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


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