Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 02/04/2015
1. IMO Sec Gen Candidates Announced
Six candidates have been nominated for election to the position of secretary general of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the United Nations’s shipping body. The current secretary general, Japanese Koji Sekimizu, will step down at the end of 2015 and his replacement will be elected in June, at the IMO’s Council meeting. Denmark has nominated Andreas Nordseth, South Korea has nominated Ki-Tack Lim, The Phillipines has nominated Maximo Mejia, Cyprus has nominated Andreas Chrysostomou, Kenya has nominated Juvenal Shiundu, Russia has announced a candidate, Vitaly Klyuev.
2. Investigation of Hold Deaths
The UK’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch is investigating the deaths of two senior officers who died aboard an Isle of Man flagged general cargo bulk carrier. The chief officer and chief engineer of Carisbrooke Shipping’s Sally Ann C died on the 13 March after they entered a cargo hold where timber was stowed. The ship was travelling off the coast of Senegal en route to the country’s capital Dakar at the time. A company spokesman said that after the officers had collapsed, they were rescued from the area and efforts were made to revive them, "but those efforts were not successful".
3. Massive Rig Blaze
Mexican state-run oil company Pemex said at least four people died after a fire broke out on a production platform in the Gulf of Mexico early on Wednesday, sparking the evacuation of around 300 workers. Local emergency services reported that as many as 45 people were injured at the blaze that erupted overnight on the Abkatun Permanente platform in the oil-rich Bay of Campeche. Pemex said it was battling the flames with eight firefighting boats, and that a contractor for Mexican oil services company Cotemar had died in the blaze. One of the injured was in serious condition, the company added.
4. Illegal Fishing Could Reignite Piracy
A rise in illegal fishing off Somalia could re-spark piracy, United Nations and Somali fishing officials have warned, nearly three years after the pirates’ last successful hijacking in the Indian Ocean. Alan Cole, an official at the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (ODC), said piracy could return as criminal gangs and pirates use the rise in illegal fishing as a pretext to hijack other vessels. "The international community has spent millions of dollars trying to counter piracy, help Somalia and make sure that (sea) trade is not interrupted, but because of the activity of a relatively small number of illegal fishing vessels, all that is put at risk".
5. Giant Trawler Sinks Killing Crew
A Russian freezer trawler with an international crew of 132 sank Thursday morning in the Sea of Okhotsk off of the Kamchatka Peninsula and at least 54 crew members were killed, rescue workers said. Emergency services in Kamchatka, citing the head of the rescue operation, said 63 crew members were rescued and the fate of the remaining 15 from the Dalny Vostok trawler was unknown. More than 25 fishing boats in the area helped to rescue the crew members, emergency services said in a statement on their website. No cause for the sinking was given, but the Interfax news agency said drifting ice in the Pacific may have played a role.
6. Abandoned Seafarers Rescued
Twenty Filipino seafarers who have been found without food aboard the Panamanian-registered vessel Bulk Brasil docked at Port Kembla, New South Wales have been rescued and paid their salaries, with the vessel stocked with provisions. Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz commented on the situation of the 20 seafarers working for the vessel operated by Keymax, a Japanese company. “As far as we are concerned, the 20 seafarers are already well, after the Australian Maritime Safety Authority ordered the detention of the vessel Bulk Brasil. They have been paid their salaries and their vessel stocked with food,” said Baldoz.
7. New US Plans for Offshore Safety
Foreign shipowners that plan to work in US offshore drilling markets will be required to ensure their vessels meet the same standards for explosion protection as their US counterparts. The new requirement, published 31 March and effective 30 April, applies to mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) and floating outer continental shelf (OCS) facilities and vessels built after 2 April 2018. The move to harmonise US and foreign offshore vessel standards grew out of the US Coast Guard’s investigation of the Deepwater Horizon accident, the MODU that exploded, caught fire, and sank in the US Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, killing 11 crewmen.
8. Tanker Gets Stuck in the Mud
Photos and video from the U.S. Coast Guard have been released showing a crude oil tanker trying to free itself from mud off Galveston, Texas on Tuesday. The tanker is the 750-foot Italian-flagged "MT SN Federica". The ship ran aground just before 8:30 a.m. Tuesday approximately 35 miles east of Galveston. The vessel was carrying nearly 17 million gallons of crude oil, according to the Coast Guard. The vessel was able to free itself at approximately 9 p.m. Tuesday, the Coast Guard said. The vessel incurred damage to its forepeak. The vessel was first reported to be taking on water but it was from the ship’s ballast tank.
9. Joining The Giant Players
Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas (International) Limited (OOIL) revealed Wednesday that it has entered into shipbuilding contracts with Samsung Heavy Industries for the construction of six 20,000 TEU containerships, making it the latest in a growing list of carriers who opt for ships at or above the 20,000 mark.
OOIL is parent company to Orient Overseas Container Carriers (OOCL), one of the world’s leading container transport and logistics companies. The order was place through six indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of OOIL. The six ships were ordered for total price tag of USD $951.6 million, or about $158.6 million per vessel.
10. New Pastures for Piracy Lawyer
High-profile casualty and piracy lawyer Stephen Askins is leaving Ince & Co for a new role at Tatham Macinnes. He will become a partner at its London office, the company said. The former Royal Marine has managed many of the more serious piracy and hostage incidents in recent times, the statement added.
He was also part of the drafting committee that drew up Guardcon, the Bimco standard contract for the employment of security guards on ships. He also advises on operating in challenging and quickly changing areas like Libya, Crimea, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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