Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/05/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/05/2015


1. More Massive Offshore Lay Offs

Subsea 7, the London-based seabed to surface construction company that is listed in Oslo, said that it will cut 2,500 jobs and a quarter of its fleet. The decision has been made against the background of the difficult business and economic conditions, so that a programme of cost reduction measures will be implemented including a re-sizing of the fleet and workforce, and the restructuring of its corporate organisation. The global fleet will be reduced by up to 11 vessels from the current 39 units, including five newbuildings, based on a mixture of non-renewal of charter vessels and either disposal or stacking of owned vessels.




2. Nav Aids Being Vandalised

The U.S. Coast Guard is asking for help in stopping the vandalism of aids to navigation throughout the Pacific Northwest after several incidents in the region left navigational lights either inoperable or with limited visibility. The coast guard says that most recently the batteries were deliberately and illegally removed from a light marking a red and black dayboard on a tower at Reach Range H Rear Light and other aids near Gray’s Harbor. Previously, graffiti applied to the Elk Rock Island Light 13 near Portland, Oregon, obscured the green dayboards making them harder to see at a distance and more difficult to read in general.




3. State of Libya Means Trouble

Libya has been in a state of chaos ever since the fall of its former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, and the situation scarcely seems to be improving. But it’s not just a nightmare on land – Libya is starting to poison the Mediterranean too. Italian naval forces are back to conducting search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean on a daily basis in order to cope with a massive surge in migrants trying to cross the sea from North Africa, where Libya is the primary transit point. Thousands have died in recent months alone. While Libya’s efforts to police its coast are apparently getting more violent with vessels bombed and shelled.




4. Time for Rethink on International Law at Sea

The law can hinder law enforcement at sea. This situation only advantages criminals, and it’s time the international community acted. Two weeks ago, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime urged action against drug smugglers who were changing their methods of moving heroin from Afghanistan into Africa. The crimes taking place on the high seas include illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing, illegal movement of people by sea, smuggling of everything from arms, to drugs, to wildlife. The criminals are unconcerned by the law, and the authorities are hampered by  them – so it clearly isn’t working.




5. P&I Giant Performs Well

Leading mutual P&I and marine insurer Gard is going to waive USD37 million in premium collections from its members following another strong performance last year. The Norwegian club today posted USD87 million in net earnings for the year ending 20 February 2015, which is only marginally down from USD89 million in 2013/14. Profits were underpinned by an improved technical result owing to a drop in large claims last year, with the insurer’s combined ratio (claims and operational costs versus premium income) across all classes down from 97% to 88%. While their investment portfolio weakened from 4.3% to 1.8% amid fickle markets.




6. Warning Not to Rush Building

Despite the recovery in oil tanker freight rates, a ship broker has cautioned shipowners against rushing to build new ships. After ending 2014 at a positive note, the oil tanker market has continued its strong performance in the first quarter of 2015, noted Banchero Costa. IHS Maritime’s data show that year to date, 46 oil tankers have been ordered. Of these, there are 11 VLCCs, 21 Suezmaxes, and 14 Aframaxes. This takes the outstanding orderbook to 279 oil tankers. The collapse in oil prices has generated demand for tankers for floating storage. Oil trade has also been going up.




7. Time Has Come for Digital Vessels

‘Digital vessels’ are operating with an increasing number of sensors onboard, all collecting reams and reams of data. However, a new type of ship is on the horizon, the ‘smart vessel’, powered by smart connectivity and advanced, connected analytical powers that are being billed as the next ‘revolution’. Fathom has been assessing the 5 key elements of the ‘Smart Vessel’ of tomorrow. They believe a ‘Smart’ Vessel Has A Different Meaning To The ‘Digital’ Vessel, a smart vessel reduced reporting burdens, the ‘Smart Vessel’ Revolution is coming, crew Want ‘Smart Vessels’ while ship Intelligence will herald the "dawn of a new era".




8. Holiday Horror Show

Holidaymakers spoke of their cruise ship ‘horror’ last night after hundreds were struck down by a debilitating stomach bug. The eight-day cruise to the Norwegian Fjords was cut short after the stomach virus left guests suffering chronic vomiting and diarrhoea. Many had to be quarantined and confined to their cabins on the Fred Olsen line’s flagship cruise ship Balmoral. The outbreak on board the ship – which was carrying 1,163 passengers, all paying between £799 and £1,649 per person – was so bad that the captain had to head back a day early to the docks in Southampton.




9. Wellness at Sea is Key

How are you doing?  It’s a simple question, one that you might ask and be asked a dozen times a day. But start to think about it and you soon realize that it’s a complex enquiry, perhaps one of the most profound we face. Psychologist Dr Carl Rogers in his theory of "person-centeredness" suggests that a person responds to their world as an organized whole, not simply in one aspect of their being. So what does it really mean to be well, in your life, your job, your relationships? The neglect of the human element of seafaring has come at a hefty price, both personal and financial – and it is time to re-focus on this aspect of the industry.




10. ILO Visitors Look at MLC on Cruise Ship

Representatives of the ILO together with 30 delegates from foreign countries visited Costa Luminosa at Italy’s Savona Sunday. The tour was organized in cooperation with the Italian Coast Guard in the framework of Costa Luminosa receiving a Declaration of Excellence as the best Italian cruise ship for implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, aimed at ensuring seafarers with fair, safe and good working and living conditions. The visit was part of ILO’s ‘Train the Trainers’ program, a comprehensive set of practices, tools and modules for educating managers, facilitators and other professionals who provide training.



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


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S Jones
Seacurus Ltd


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