Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/04/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/04/2015


1. Shipmanager Speaks Out on Attack

Rickmers Shipmanagement has told the media that it is making “every effort” to secure the release of the Maersk Tigris. Spokesperson Cors Radling said that the vessel is still being held in the same position by Iranian authorities and that the 24 crew members, made up of predominantly Eastern European and Burmese seafarers, remain safe and in good condition. He added that Rickmers are working with authorities and “experts”, both legal and within the maritime industry, to secure the release of the vessel although the company has yet to have direct communication with Iranian authorities – who claim the vessel owes money.




2. US Takes Cautious Line

When pressed by reporters to condemn the Iranian act of opening fire on and seizing a Marshall Islands ship in international waters on Tuesday, US State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke refused to condemn the blatant aggression and flaunting of international maritime law. Asked how the US defines the attack, whether as an act of piracy or violent aggression, Rathke said he could not define it because the US is still "collecting information." "This is underway. I’m not going to apply an adjective to it right now," said Rathke. When queried further he said, "we are gathering more information, I don’t have further reaction at this point."




3. Industry Focuses on Aggression

Iran’s violent arrest of a Maersk ship making innocent passage through Iranian territorial waters en route to Jebel Ali in the UAE, has been compared to a hostage taking situation. US maritime litigation lawyer Bruce Paulsen, a specialist in Iranian sanctions and Somalia piracy, told IHS Maritime: “Unless there is some commercial reason for this [incident], it is akin to a hostage taking situation.” Last Friday, the US Navy issued an advisory warning after another Maersk ship, the Maersk Kensington, was chased by four Revolutionary Guards’ Navy vessels in the same area.



4. Creeping Trend of Complacency

The trend in maritime security is one of growing complacency, the Chief Operating Officer of one of the UK’s leading maritime security firms has warned. Gerry Northwood OBE from MAST said that there was growing complacency in terms of maritime security that could ultimately result in loss of life. He added: ‘The problem is that incidents of piracy are not infrequent, and I often see the under reporting and misreporting of incidents. All maritime crime is piracy; we should not hide behind the legal distinction of armed robbery in territorial waters and piracy on the high seas". "To the mariner…it is all piracy" he added.




5. EU Needs to Address Root Migration Cause

The European Union (EU) is planning to act against human traffickers in the Mediterranean. But the plight of refugees can only be relieved when the EU’s foreign policy engagement is strengthened. The details of the initiative still need to be clarified, and the body of water where the operation will cover needs to be decided. This will require Libya’s permission to destroy the smugglers’ boats in its territorial waters. Destroying the smugglers’ boats will allow the EU to contain the traffickers. But the people will continue to flee to Libya if the root causes of their flight are not addressed.




6. Mission Speaks on Guard Plight

The Mission to Seafarers has issued a statement today on the outcome of court proceedings held in the Supreme Court in India which is centred on the case of the crew of the anti-piracy support vessel the MV Seaman Guard Ohio. Revd Ken Peters, Director of Justice and Public Affairs, The Mission to Seafarers, said: “The Supreme Court in India reviewed the case of the crew of the Seaman Guard Ohio yesterday and the judge has agreed that no more depositions can be made by any parties. He will review all the evidence and make a final judgement in the next 10-14 days.



7. Ships Look to Make Operational Improvements

By focusing on operational improvements, shipping companies are reducing fuel consumption, saving money and cutting greenhouse emissions, while continuing to increase the amount of freight transported. Maersk Line, the world’s largest container carrier, cut fuel consumption by more than 13 percent between 2012 and 2014, while increasing the number of boxes carried by 11 percent, according to company records. Maersk’s fuel savings amount to 1.35 million tonnes of fuel per year – fuel saved by Maersk in 2014 compared with two years earlier is equivalent to almost one day’s total oil consumption in China, or about 10 million barrels.



8. EU to Focus on Efficient Seas

The European Union (EU) has added $10.5 million in funding for EfficienSea2, a project aimed at increasing safety and efficiency at sea through a "Maritime Cloud" of information and applications for the shipping industry. Bjørn Borbye Pedersen, consultant for the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) explained that the project is being completed in partnership with the DMA. Starting May 1, 2015 and over the next three years it will map the scope of potential related to data found on ships, in offices, and ports. "There’s no doubt that this project is ground-breaking and holds a high potential for innovation," the EU was quoted as saying.




9. Tragic Confined Space Accident

One person has died and three others are being treated after losing consciousness aboard a cargo ship that had just docked at Denmark’s port of Hanstholm. The four people, reported to be crewmembers of the ship, were found unconscious Tuesday evening in a confined area of the Polish-flagged MV Corina, which had just arrived in Hanstholm from Gdansk, Poland with a cargo of wood pellets. A fifth person is believed to have escaped the area. Authorities suspect that the victims inhaled poisonous gasses, possibly carbon monoxide, from the wood pellet cargo. The three injured are being treated at local hospitals.




10. Name Given to LNG Powered Box Giant

The first of United Arab Shipping Company’s (UASC) 18,800 TEU containerships under construction at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI) was named M/V Barzan in a ceremony at the shipyard. The DNVGL-classed vessel is the lead-off ship in a massive newbuild order of 6 18,800 TEU vessels and 11 15,000 TEU ships and is features a 2-stroke, 11-cylinder MAN B&W S90 ME/C powerplant that is LNG-ready. UASC says this ship will have an EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index) value that is close to 50% below the 2025 limit set by IMO and a CO2 output per TEU that is more than 60% below recent vessels.





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


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S Jones
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