Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/04/2015
1. Crew Murdered Onboard
Two seafarers are reported to have been stabbed to death and a third critically injured on board a Chinese-owned, Liberian-registered ship off the Philippines. It is alleged that another crew member, was responsible. Media reports say the 2012-built ore carrier Qing May was carrying iron ore from Walcott, Australia, to Majishan, China, with 25 crew when the incident occurred yesterday (12 April). The Philippines Coast Guard said it received a call for assistance from the ship’s master when the vessel made an emergency stop after a crew member had run amok and initiated the attacks.
2. Container Lines Vulnerable to Cyber Attack
More than 90% of the largest container lines are vulnerable to cyber-attacks, according to a report by Maritime Cybersecurity firm CyberKeel. The group found that 18 of 20 container lines were vulnerable to hackers, with methods including so called “click-jacking” – tricking shippers into giving away usernames and passwords by leading them onto a fake website hosting a perfect copy of the carrier’s genuine site. From then on, a hacker can act in the name of the shipper, conducting financial transactions, stealing funds and, ultimately, booking cargoes which could be carrying drugs, weapons or other contraband.
3. Happy Ships are Key to Contentment
A survey currently being carried out by BIMCO and the International Chamber of Shipping us finding that the majority of seafarers are content with life at sea. The BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report 2015 surveys seafarers to understand their views on life at sea and the outlook for industry manpower. So far, more than 500 seafarers have responded to the survey, representing over 40 nationalities. In addition to finding that the majority of seafarers are content with life at sea, the report has found that timely wage payments and career promotion opportunities were considered the most important factors influencing people’s decision to stay.
4. Massive Migrant Numbers Saved
Some 2,800 migrants have been rescued off the Italian coast this last weekend, bringing the total number of arrivals this year to over 15,000, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports. Rescuers found a dead body in one of the boats. The victim may have been suffocated by the fumes of the boat’s engine, but authorities still need to investigate this death. The majority of these migrants come from Libya and are sub-Saharan Africans, Eritreans, Syrians, Somalis and Ethiopians, according to IOM. The migrants were rescued during different operations by the Italian Coast Guard, the Italian Navy and commercial ships.
5. Nigerian Oil Attack Foiled
Personnel of the Western Naval Command (WNC) of the Nigerian Navy at the weekend foiled an attempt by 10 suspected pirates to hijack a REFINED petroleum-laden vessel sailing into Nigeria. The pirates, who were said to have been in two boats, had intercepted the foreign ship, MT IMAS, on the waters within the WNC area of responsibility. The gang had already succeeded in overpowering and boarding the ship, when the naval ship stormed the area and arrested one of the suspects. The pirates had opened fire to resist arrest but were overpowered by the superior fire power of the navy.
6. Focus on the Dreadful Hostage Reality
Many on the M.V. Albedo, were asleep when an announcement came over the loudspeaker: “Pirates are approaching.” The Albedo was in the Indian Ocean, a thousand miles from the eastern coast of Africa. The Albedo was low in the water, leaving its main deck close to the sea. The pirates retrieved a long ladder with hooks on one end, hung it over the deck wall, and climbed it easily. So began a true life nightmare the crew as they were taken hostage and forced to live in fear for years awaiting rescue or freedom. This account makes compelling and powerful reading.
7. Record Breaking Work Book for Dry Dock
Drydocks World the international service provider to the shipping, offshore, oil, gas and energy sectors handled 37 projects simultaneously in the Dubai yard, exceeding the previous record of 35 vessels. Due to Drydocks World’s marketing initiatives and rigorous action plans, the organization is highly recommended by long-term partners and has gained the trust of major ship owners and managers. Since January 2015 Drydocks World has increased the rate of vessel completion with 33% more vessels leaving the yard in March. Drydocks World had a workforce of approximately 9,000 attending to these 37 projects.
8. Ore Producers Trapped by Flawed Approach
The biggest iron ore producers including BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group are pursuing a flawed strategy by flooding an oversupplied market and they should slow down expansion plans, according to the premier of Western Australia. “The signal’s going out to the market that there’s going to be ever-increasing amounts of iron ore available even at lower prices,” Colin Barnett said in an interview. “The market signal is wrong, and I believe the major companies have a flawed strategy. I don’t think it’s good business for them or their shareholders,” said Barnett, whose state includes the ore-rich Pilbara.
9. Dreams of Ships As Bridges
A Washington state lawmaker looking to ease traffic congestion for several Puget Sound-area communities near Seattle has proposed building an eye-catching new toll bridge made from retired Navy aircraft carriers. Republican Representative Jesse Young has been gathering support among colleagues and the public for the planned span, which would link Bremerton and Port Orchard on the Kitsap Peninsula, spokesman Kevin Shutty said on Friday. “It’s a bottleneck area and for a number of years people have been looking for some solutions,” Shutty said. “This would definitely be a unique way to tackle some of those problems”. http://goo.gl/5ccTAI
10. New Landmark for Naval Escorts
The Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) vessels escorted 13 commercial ships in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia in March to protect them against pirate attacks, the country’s transport ministry said on 10 April. Ever since Japan’s Anti-Piracy Law took effect on 24 July 2009, the JSDF forces have escorted 3,535 commercial ships off Somalia as of 31 March 2015. All but 16 of the ships escorted to date are foreign-flagged. Of the 3,519 foreign-registered ships, 643 were operated by Japanese shipping firms, while the remaining 2,876 were operated by foreign shipping companies, including 123 vessels indirectly related to Japanese companies.
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