Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/05/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/05/2015


1. Seafarers Grabbed off Somalia

Al-Shabab militants kidnapped 14 crew members of an Iranian fishing boat Wednesday off the coast of Somalia, seizing them as their vessel washed ashore, Iranian state television and residents said. The extremists detained the fishermen after the vessel drifted into the militants’ stronghold, Yasin Maalin. State news announced the kidnapping, saying the vessel owned by an Iranian fishing organization suffered a technical fault near the Somali coast. It is then understood that the crew fell into the militants hands as they were stranded. No further details have been released at this time.




2. Quality Leads to Piracy

Higher bunker standards in Singapore may be inadvertently causing ships departing from the city-state to be targeted by pirates, suggests Singaporean media. Bunkers are considered the "the perfect product to steal" because they are "nearly untraceable," according to Karsten von Hoesslin, special projects manager of Risk Intelligence. One theory as to why vessels departing Singapore are targeted more frequently is that better quality bunkers fetch higher prices on the illegal resale market. "Syndicates have acknowledged that bunkering agents in Singapore are often the ‘insider information’ link that is compromised" said one observer.




3. Dangers of Yemen in Focus

With the Yemen war escalating, the dangers to vital oil tanker and goods voyages are growing daily. "The whole area is a tinder box now," said one expert. As for vessels changing routes, the likelihood of a sharp rise in the premiums on voyages could be as much a deterrent to trade as the conflict itself. "The reality is that ships heading to the Gulf, the Red Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean will be obliged to reconsider their movements not simply because of the widening scope of the attacks on, and seizures of, commercial vessels but also because of prohibitive insurance premiums," said a lawyer acting for insurers.




4. Spot the Hazard Competition

In an initiative to raise awareness of potential hazards at sea, The Standard Club and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have joined forces to launch a ‘Spot the Hazard’ competition open to any seafarer worldwide. With USD$10,000 of prize money, the competition has been designed to help those working at sea identify hazards and to promote the critical importance of accident prevention. Seafarers entering the competition will be asked to identify hazards shown on a series of images depicting typical scenes on board ship.




5. Annual Asia Pacific Port State Report

The annual report summarising the port State control activities of the Tokyo MOU in 2014 has been released. A total of 1,589 CIC related deficiencies were recorded. The most significant deficiencies found during the campaign were related to documentation and labour conditions, including records of seafarers daily hours of work/rest 997 (63%), manning specified by the minimum safe manning document 241 (15%), and shipboard working arrangements 232 (15%).




6. IMO on the Value of Regulation

Speaking at the opening of the Marine Environment Protection Committee, the IMO Secretary General has stressed the fundamental value of the IMO. Over the last five and a half decades, IMO has achieved a global system of shared responsibilities for maritime governance under the IMO conventions. We have now four pillars of responsibilities: flag State responsibility, port State responsibility, coastal State responsibility and the responsibility of seafarers training States. We have moved beyond “flags of convenience”. States with an open registry have the responsibility of ratifying all major IMO conventions – he stated.




7. LNG Building Rush

Ship owners around the world are placing orders for new vessels one after another. Not a few of them are expected to go to Korean shipbuilders. According to industry sources, Gail of India is planning to purchase nine LNG ships, three from Indian shipbuilders and the rest from foreign ones. BP Shipping is discussing LNG ship order placement with three ship owners to reach a conclusion within this month, too. Engie of France is expected to buy up to four ships for the Cameron LNG Project. Korean shipbuilders boasting of a high level of technical strength are appealing to the ordering parties.




8. Piraeus Bunkers Hit by Strike and Fire

Piraeus bunker suppliers were said to be experiencing loading delays due to a three-day strike, Platts reports. "It has been difficult. Hellenic (workers) were on strike for three days so we have some loading delays. We’re extremely tight on product," a Piraeus trader was quoted as saying. The strike comes after a fire broke out at the Hellenic Petroleum refinery tank in Aspropyrgos while maintenance work was underway, leaving six people seriously injured, two of which were in critical condition.  Data from showed Piraeus IFO380 bunker prices on Wednesday rose to $366 per metric tonne (pmt), ending a three market day run of falling prices.




9. Global CO2 Target Shelved

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has shelved a proposal for a global carbon dioxide (CO2) target for the shipping industry that was put forward by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (Marshall Islands), environmental lobby group Transport & Environment (T&E) said in an emailed release.  The organization accused the IMO of falling to "procedural excuses" and ignoring obligations. The proposal was initially announced last month, with Marshall Islands’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tony de Brum having said at the time that the industry could grow to represent 6 to 14 percent of global emissions if "urgent action" was not taken.




10. Engineer Killed in Passenger Collision

The chief engineer of a passenger vessel has died following a collision with a cargo ship in the central Philippines. Local media reports say that the fast ferry Starcraft 9 and the MV Our Lady of Faith collided off Talisay City, Cebu. Due to the impact of the collision, the chief engineer of the ferry was thrown from the vessel. He was later recovered unconscious from water and transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The ferry also sustained some damage to its bow. The cargo ship meanwhile only sustained only minimal damage, reports say.




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