Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/05/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/05/2015


1. Burning Ship Could Explode

A general cargo ship Purple Beach has been burning in the North Sea off Germany’s coast since Monday, and it is feared that the fire that started in one of its cargo holds might lead to an explosion, the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies (CCME) reports. CCME Cuxhaven established a 5-mile security zone around the vessel as a precaution should the vessel explode. There is currently no reported damage to the surrounding areas. The crew of the 1998-built freighter noticed smoke coming from one of the cargo holds on Monday evening, while the ship was en route from Immingham, UK, to Brake, Germany, to deliver a load of fertilizers.



2. Seafarers Found Safe in Liferaft

Six Filipino seafarers who jumped for their lives after their vessel sank off the coast of Papua New Guinea are now safe, the labor department said. Philippine vessel "F/V Champeon 17", which was operated by the Navotas-based Frabelle Fishing Company, sank early morning on May 8. All six crew members of F/V Champeon 17 were on a life raft when a Taiwan-registered China Steel Growth ship found and rescued them at sea near Wewak, Papua New Guinea. Now in a safe condition are captain Eddie Ramos, and 5 other shipmates. The Philippine government will look to get them sent home as soon as possible.



3. Maritime Security Warning for Libya

Gerry Northwood OBE, COO of maritime security firm MAST, said: ‘Libya remains an extremely volatile country with ISIS gaining more and more control of areas not under the Tobruk Government or the Tripoli Government. ‘It is very clear that the Tobruk Government will attack any vessel it believes to be delivering munitions or providing support to any ISIS controlled areas. Sirte and Derna are the two primary ISIS areas and should be avoided at all costs.’ He added: ‘Sirte is relatively close to the oil delivery ports of Al Sidre and Ras Lanuf. Care must be taken…to ensure the Tobruk Government is aware that the vessel is not destined for Sirte".



4. Latest Piracy Intelligence Reports

The High Risk Area (HRA) has seen a flurry of pirate activity of late, earlier this week a merchant vessel reported being followed for a period of 20 minutes by a single white skiff travelling at speeds of 18 knots in position 08:02N – 076:57E (ID 678). The skiff was carrying six people, a ladder and weapons. Based on the location of this incident it is considered something of an anomaly, as it is considered unlikely that Somali pirates currently have the capabilities to operate so far from the Somali coast. The incident may have been the result of naval operations related to illegal fishing in Indian waters – but vessels should remain vigilant.



5. Training Needs Upfront Investment

A seasoned shipmanagement expert warns today that far too many owners are only investing in training when pushed too, typically following an accident. Nigel Cleave, ceo of Videotel, a producer of maritime safety training software and materials, says, “Far too many maritime accidents can be attributed to the human element and a lack of proper training. Invariably, companies only wake up to the importance of training once they’ve had a serious accident and had to deal with huge insurance claims and damage to their reputation.” Cleave goes on to add: “A number of shipowners and management companies do cut corners".




6. Reporting Directive Under the Spotlight

In an effort to gather much needed information and to obtain some clarity regarding the situation on the ground, cargo owners, freight forwarders, port authorities, terminal operators, ship agents and shipping companies have sent EU Member States a questionnaire to ascertain which systems countries are putting in place to comply with Reporting Formalities Directive 2010/65/EU, which enters into force on June 1st. The Directive was part of a wider Commission initiative to reduce administrative formalities for shipping and increase the ease of doing business, developing the so called "Single Windows", at national level.




7. Oily Water Study Underway

In association with the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the MARPOL Annex I Study (MAX1) is underway on oily water separators (OWS) and shipboard environmental management. The WOC is working to help ensure there is adequate industry input to the study. The study includes a survey – carried out on an anonymous basis – seeking information on OWS operations and shipboard waste management, particularly from shipowners/managers and vessel crews. The anonymous OWS operations and shipboard waste management survey is at:




8. Reef Damage Court Proceedings

The Federal Government will take to court the owners of the Shen Neng 1 that ran aground on Douglas Shoal near Gladstone in 2010 to recover the costs of the damage.  More than five years on from the grounding, negotiations with the owners to pay for the damage caused have failed.  The grounding spread toxic anti-foulant paints in the area and damaged about 400,000sq m of the shoal, with about 115,000sq m "severely damaged or destroyed".  Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chief executive Russell Reichelt said it was a "great disappointment" that efforts to recover costs from the ship’s owner and insurance firm had failed.




9. Overlapping Concerns and Confusion

Overlapping jurisdictions in enforcing environmental regulations in the U.S. means that ships looking to comply may face a complicated set or requirements, according to the Swedish P&I Club. "Because of the USA’s geographic expanse, and its multiple governmental entities’ concurrent or overlapping jurisdiction in maritime and environmental matters, it is impossible to concisely summarize the various laws and regulations that impact a ship in USA waters," said David J. Farrell, Jr, admiralty attorney with Farrell McAleer & Smith LLP.




10. Offshore Gloom Descends Further

Norway’s World Wide Supply (WWS) says it is laying up two platform supply vessels operating in the UK spot market amid weak demand for offshore vessels. WWS announced the layups Wednesday in a statement to the Oslo Børs stock exchange. The company owns a total of six PSV3300-design platform supply vessels delivered by Damen Shipyard during the second half of 2013. The vessels impacted will be the World Diamond and World Pearl, both trading in the UK spot market. The lay-ups will result in the termination of 48 crew, WWS said. The spot market for offshore vessels has been hit hard by a decrease in oil and gas activity.



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


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S Jones
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