Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/05/2015
1. Ship Hit by Shore Artillery
A Turkish cargo ship was hit by artillery fired off Libya’s coast late on Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The attack was claimed by the Air Forces of Libya’s internationally-recognized Tobruk government. The ministry condemned the attack, which resulted in the killing of the third officer of the ship, caused injuries to the staff and material damage to the ship. The ship was trying to leave the area of artillery attack, it was the target of two additional subsequent air attacks. It was also reported that during the attacks, the third officer died and some of the crew members were wounded and material damage occurred to the ship.
2. Migrants Chaos in SE Asia
As many as 6,000 asylum seekers in south-east Asia may be trapped at sea in crowded, wooden boats, and activists warn of potentially dangerous conditions as food and clean water runs low. Even though hundreds of people abandoned at sea by smugglers have reached land and relative safety in the past two days, thousands of Bangladeshis and Rohingya Muslims from Burma are believed still at risk. Worried that boats will start washing to shore with dead bodies, the UN high commissioner for refugees, the US and several other governments and international organisations have held emergency meetings,
3. China Reaches Oil Milestone
The world passed a milestone of sorts last month, as China finally surpassed the United States as the top global importer of crude oil. But what really matters for Beijing — and the world — is less the volume of Chinese imports than where that oil is coming from. In that sense, China’s continued and, indeed, deepening reliance on volatile regions of the world for energy supplies, especially the Middle East, points to continued security vulnerabilities for Beijing for decades to come. In April China imported a record 7.4 million barrels of oil a day, just nipping the 7.2 million barrels a day imported by the United States.
4. Ferry Breaks Through Blockade
Brittany Ferries chairman Jean-Marc Roué and a group of 20 or so vegetable farmers claim that they "freed" one of the company’s ferries from a union blockade in the French port of Ouistreham on 9 May. The company that the group had taken control of the car ferry, Mont Saint Michel, which they claimed was being held hostage by the dockers, enabling it to sail from the Norman port to the company’s home port of Roscoff in Brittany. The vessel had been held in port since 5 May by dockers working for a company controlled by the ferry operator who are demanding a 4% pay rise.
5. Offshore Workers Released
French offshore services provide Bourbon Offshore has confirmed that three workers kidnapped from a crewboat off Nigeria last month have been released. The 3 Nigerian nationals were kidnapped April 8, 2015 from Bourbon Offshore’s Surfer 1440 vessel while off the coast of Nigeria. Bourbon said that the crewmembers were released in good health and they arrived at Port Harcourt on Friday, May 8. Bourbon did not say if a ransom was paid for their release. Surfer 1440 is part of Bourbon Offshore’s Surfer-series crewboats.
6. Asian Piracy on Rise
Reported incidents of pirate attacks in the waters surrounding Singapore have been on the rise since the middle of last year, according to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP). 15 incidents were reported aboard oil or product tankers in Asia last year, up from just three in 2013. Of the 15 incidents, 12 were successful thefts, and eight of the vessels had Singapore as their last port of call. "There is no clear evidence that Singapore-registered vessels are targeted, but more vessels departing from Singapore seem to be boarded," said ReCAAP deputy director Nicholas Teo. http://goo.gl/eStfEL
7. EU Policy Could Endanger Migrants
A senior UN official has warned the EU that “innocent refugees”, including children, will be “in the line of fire” of any operation to sink migrant smugglers’ boats. Peter Sutherland, the UN special envoy on migration and a former EU commissioner, issued the warning at a meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) in New York. He noted that in the first 130 days of this year “at least” 1,800 people drowned in the Mediterranean Sea trying to get to EU shores. “This total represents a 20-fold increase over the same period last year. At this pace, we are on course to see between 10,000 and 20,000 migrants perish by autumn”.
8. IMO Not Doing Enough for Seafarers
According to a new survey, the IMO is not doing enough to protect the lives of seafarers. 53% of the 460-plus respondents to Maritime CEO’s latest survey felt the UN body could be doing more for ship’s crew. The question follows on from comments made last month by David Hammond, the founder of Human Rights at Sea (HRAS), who believes the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) is not far reaching enough. One respondent complained: “There are many simple initiatives that take too long for the IMO to endorse and implementation of new safety regulations are patchy as some PSC jurisdictions are more vigorous than others.”
9. More Work Needed on HIV
A survey released by the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) today highlights the need for continuing work on HIV/AIDS and wellbeing among seafarers. The report A broader vision of seafarer wellbeing: survey of ITF maritime affiliates on HIV/AIDS, health and wellbeing questioned 34 trade unions and 608 seafarers. The results may be surprising. Despite all the work that has gone into education about HIV/AIDS, many myths about its transmission remain – including respondents believed condoms are effective in preventing it, and 46 percent believe it can be spread in food and drink.
10. Maersk Set to Grow Fleet
Maersk Line is expected to complete an order for 10 mega-containerships with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) in a deal worth over $1.5 billion. “The new order — likely six firm ships and four options — will be announced in coming weeks and deliveries will start in 2017,” said an unnamed source.
The details of the order are still unknown, with some reports having speculated that the first four ships of the order will have a capacity of 20,000 TEU, with the remaining seven as options. The ships are likely to be deployed on Maersk Line’s Asia to Europe route as part of the shipping company’s 2M alliance with MSC.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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