Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/04/2015
1. New Migrant Response Agency
A new sea rescue operation is to be launched in May to try to reduce the number of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers killed making the treacherous crossing from Africa to Europe, medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) and Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) said on Thursday. Last year was the deadliest on record when more than 3,400 people died trying to cross the Mediterranean, MSF said. “No one deserves to die, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that those who feel compelled to undertake this treacherous sea crossing in makeshift vessels do not drown,” MOAS director Martin Xuereb said.
2. Yemen Ports Being Pulled
As most of the Yemeni ports are under Houthi rebel control, or at least embroiled in violent conflict, shipping lines are pulling away from the country that’s devolved into chaos in past weeks. Ports in Yemen have been under increasing attack from Saudi and Arab ally states as the Western-backed coalition attempts to regain control of areas overrun with Houthi militias and al-Qaida jihadis. The U.K. P&I Club on Thursday issued an advisory: “We recommend members contact their flag state and notify their war-risk insurers before proceeding to Yemen. Members should also be aware that in view of the instability”.
3. Latest Maritime Security Intelligence
According to maritime security analysts the deteriorating security situation in Yemen is the major concern and has increased vulnerability of the strategic Bab al-Mandeb strait. In Asia pirates have continued their upward rise in attacks – On 1 April, a group of between 15 and 25 pirates armed with handguns hijacked an underway product tanker approximately 62 nm north of Pulau Uwi, Indonesia. The attackers took all crew members hostage, damaged equipment on board and stole the crew’s personal belongings. They then transferred the ship’s fuel cargo into a secondary vessel before escaping.
4. Egypt Subject of IMO Inspection
The Egyptian Ministry of Transport has been notified by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), that in 2016 there will be an inspection of the ships, ports, maritime routes and works, as well as the government agencies overseeing shipping in Egypt. The inspection is to gauge compliance with shipping safety standards set by international agreements, which the IMO is charged with enforcing. IMO provided an opportunity for all countries to undergo a voluntary inspection prior to the mandatory inspections set to begin in 2016. The voluntary inspections offer a chance for states to identify any existing issues and hear IMO recommendations.
5. Fitting Ship Out Beyond MLC
The trend to properly outfit the interiors of today’s workboats goes far beyond the new Maritime Labor Convention. Instead, it’s about doing the right thing for the right reasons. Harvey Gulf, for example, has it right. The Maritime Labor Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) means consideration for the welfare of crews. As an example the latest workboat they have launched has accommodation for 150 persons and is equipped with multiple conference rooms, cinema, offices, gymnasiums, lounges. Many of the crew cabins have their own day rooms. Lighting throughout the vessel is LED which is less harsh on the eyes.
6. Downward Outlook for Norwegians
Norwegian shipowners are more pessimistic on profitability and access to capital this year than in 2014 according to the 2015 Maritime Outlook report by the Norwegian Shipowners Association (NSA). The outlook divides Norwegian shipping and offshore into four segments – shortsea shipping, deepsea shipping, offshore service and offshore contractor – all of which have lower expectations for operating results in 2015, when compared to the 2014 outlook. “Compared with 2014, shipowners have lowered their profitability expectations for 2015″. With the drop in the oil price offshore service shipowners “are the most negative by far”. http://goo.gl/3qYUBI
7. Panama Steps Up Port State Involvement
Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) Administrator Jorge Barakat during a visit to Japan, formally aksed the Tokyo MoU to accept Panama as an observer member of the Memorandum Asia Pacific, which keeps Panama on the White List. The Tokyo MoU Secretary Mitsutoyo Okada said he was pleased of receiving Panama’s request since the Panama Ship Registry has kept an excellent record in the Tokyo MoU; and that he will proceed with the application. In addition, the AMP Administrator Barakat used his visit to Tokyo to meet with key actors in the Japanese maritime industry.
8. Vessel Held for UN Rules
Mexico’s foreign ministry said on Thursday it is only holding a North Korean ship that ran aground in its waters last year in order to comply with United Nations rules. The 6,700-tonne freighter Mu Du Bong, which had come from Cuba, hit a reef near Tuxpan in Mexico’s eastern Veracruz state in July last year. North Korea’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador on Wednesday accused Mexico of illegally detaining the ship and crew, warning it would take “necessary measures” to release the vessel. In a statement Mexico’s foreign ministry said authorities had originally fined the ship’s owners for the environmental damage it caused. But
9. New Eco Nose Jobs for Vessels
The bulbous bow (bulb) is a very important part of the hull as it can potentially reduce the hull resistance considerably, or affect the resistance in a negative way. According to ABS ‘Ship Energy Efficiency Measures Advisory’, the properly designed bulbous bow reduces wave-making resistance by producing its own wave system that is out of phase with the bow wave from the hull, creating a cancelling effect and overall reduction in wavemaking resistance. The flow is more horizontal, reducing eddy effects at the forward bilge. Maersk Lines reports fuel savings of over 5 percent by modifying the bulbous bow of a shipyard design.
10. Bunker Spill Off Vancouver
The Canadian Coast and local authorities are responding to a bunker fuel spill in Vancouver’s English Bay. Just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, Port Metro Vancouver’s Operations Centre received multiple reports of an oily sheen on the water in English Bay. The substance was confirmed Wednesday as heavy bunker fuel. The spill is believed to have originated from one of the cargo ships in the area, although its exact source remains unclear. The Canadian Coast Guard is working with West Coast Marine Response Corporation to contain and recover substance. Vancouver Fire Department reported that 2,600 feet of boom have been deployed so far.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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