Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/05/2015
1. Blaze onboard Hanjin Box Ship
Suez Canal Authority said it controlled a blaze in a British container ship passing the waterway Friday, leaving no human losses. An ultra-large container ship owned by Hanjin Shipping caught fire while underway just south of the Suez Canal on 1 May. The Suez Canal Authority said that the 2013-built 13,000-teu Hanjin Green Earth was 48 km to the south of the canal when some containers caught fire. The fire broke out in a stack of containers towards the stern while the vessel was underway 48 km to the south of the canal on Friday evening. The fire was put out in a matter of hours by emergency response vessels.
2. New Alert on Petron Piracy
The Southeast Asian piracy watchdog ReCAAP sent out an alert on Sunday, warning that another product tanker has been plundered. The Singapore-flagged Ocean Energy left the Lion Republic on Saturday morning bound for Myanmar. At 2130 hrs on Saturday eight perpetrators armed with guns boarded the vessel whilst it was heading up the Straits of Malacca. The perpetrators ordered the vessel to anchor off Port Dickson where a barge came alongside. Whilst the master and crew were locked away, 2,023 tons of gas oil was discharged to the barge. This was the fifth fuel siphoning case reported in the region since January this year.
3. Bad Year Getting Worse
The worst start to a year for ships hauling iron ore since at least 2000 has gotten so bad that rates no longer cover crew costs. Now for the bad news. China, whose demand for iron ore grew the most over the past decade, will consume less steel on an annual basis for the first time since 1995, the World Steel Association says. Capesizes earned $3,211 a day on May 1, according to one of two global prices published by the Baltic Exchange, a London- based provider of freight rates. The ships need $3,233 to pay crews, according to data from Moore Stephens, a U.K.-based consultant that tracks the industry’s expenses. An astonishing shortfall.
4. Targeted Owner Reacts on Security
Singapore-based Ocean Tankers says it plans to strengthen its anti-piracy measures in the wake of the second hijacking its fleet has suffered within a year. A spokesman for Ocean Tankers said, "We are currently reviewing our security procedures to see how we can further improve these, and our main purpose is to ensure the total safety of all our crews no matter where they sail. Right after we learnt about this incident we sent a security alert to our entire fleet to tighten security procedures, and we reminded them to follow our procedures strictly with additional look-out and raised awareness." The company would not elaborate further.
5. Transparency and Openness Changing Business
“Transparency of information is changing the world around us,” commented Tor Svensen, CEO of DNV GL’s maritime business in an interview with gCaptain earlier this year at the Connecticut Maritime Association conference. As more and more systems become interconnected internally and externally, new challenges and threats to safety and security are emerging however. “We have to be very clear that we are talking about not just cyber attacks, which is a possible threat, but the integrity of ships systems as vessels get more software-driven and integrated software systems become the part of modern ships.”
6. Royal Navy to Secure Med Routes
The Royal Navy’s flagship is ready to join efforts to ease the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean after it was held back amid "discussions" with European Union (EU) partners. An MoD spokeswoman said: "HMS Bulwark and three Merlin helicopters are now ready to operate in the Mediterranean, working closely with the Italian Navy, and co-ordinated via Rome. "The 19,000-tonne amphibious ship will work in tandem with the surveillance helicopters to provide a wide-ranging search and rescue capability. The MoD said earlier today that the Prime Minister had made it clear that Britain would play a role in tackling the current crisis.
7. Three Queens Head Out
Cunard Cruise Lines kicked off its 175th birthday celebration on Sunday with the gathering its Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria at Cunard’s homeport in Southampton. The sailaway procession began Sunday afternoon as Queen Mary 2 moved into position to lead the fleet out of Southampton Docks and into the the Solent towards the English Channel. After separating for their own itineraries, Queen Elizabeth continued east towards Hamburg, Queen Victoria turned south for St Peter Port in Guernsey and Queen Mary 2 will head west across the Atlantic to New York.
8. Box Alliances Cause Headaches
A sharp growth in container ship sizes and alliances among the world’s biggest shipping operators is overwhelming U.S. major gateway ports during peak periods, costing millions to importers and exporters who can’t access their cargo on time and prompting the country’s marine watchdog to warn of legal action if the parties don’t deal with the mess. “Existing terminals were designed two decades ago to handle ships half the size of today’s vessels, and with the alliances, six ships belonging to the same alliance can show up at five different terminals in Los Angeles and Long Beach.” said Gene Seroka, executive director at the Port of Los Angeles. http://goo.gl/JQ9TKD
9. Charity Rowers Smash it
Charity endurance event ‘Row Around Singapore Island (RASI)’ beats electrical storm and finishes with time triumph, high emotion and VIP celebrations at the finish line. ‘Mission RASI’, took place last week as part of Singapore’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, was successfully completed in 23 hours and 15 minutes – within the tough target time of 24 hours. The rowers survived a violent storm at sea overnight, and half way through the daring challenge, which threatened to halt the race altogether. The tall ship Royal Albatross carried families of the rowers, supporters and the press and media.
10. Norway Regrets Arming Nigerian Militants
Norwegian Defence Chief, Haakon Bruun-Hansen, an admiral, has apologised for the sale of a fleet of a decommissioned naval vessels to a former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo. Tompolo in 2012 received at least six decommissioned Norwegian battleships, a Norwegian newspaper found. Among them were six fast-speed Hauk-class guided missile boats, now re-armed with new weapons. "The fact that the vessels have landed in Nigeria under Nigerian flag reflects a breakdown in our systems, and I apologize for that," Mr. Bruun-Hansen said.
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