Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/06/2015
1. Three Attacks in Three Hours
Three ships underway in the eastbound lane of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) were attacked by pirates within a three hour window early June 17. The incidents occurred within a 10 nautical mile zone around Pulau Takong Kecil in Indonesia between 2:30 am and 5:30 am. The first two vessels attacked, the Densa Shark, a Brazil-registered bulk carrier and the Pro Triumph a Norway registered LNG tanker quickly raised the alarm. The crews conducted searches and found nothing missing and no perpetuators onboard. The final attack was reported aboard the Panama-registered Pro-triumph tanker.
2. Hijacked Tanker Believed Found
The small oil tanker that was hijacked off the southeast coast of Malaysia last week has been detected in Cambodian waters, according to local media reports on Thursday. State news agency Bernama, quoting Malaysia’s Chief of Navy Admiral Abdul Aziz Jaafar, reported that the MT Orkim Harmony has been repainted and renamed. "We have found the vessel and RMAF, MMEA and RAAF aircraft are tailing it from the air," Jaafar told Bernama, referring to the Malaysian air force and maritime enforcement agency, and the Royal Australian Air Force. The 7,300 deadweight tonne (DWT) Orkim Harmony was hijacked on June 11.
3. Maersk Box Ship Engine Trouble
Maersk Line’s container ship Maersk Brooklin experienced engine malfunction in the English Channel yesterday while en route from Belgium to Malta, the company’s Senior Press Officer Michael Christian Storgaard has confirmed. The 2007-built, 4196 TEU boxship is currently anchored at a ”safe position,” some eleven nautical miles ENE off Greenwich Bouy, Storgaard said. A tug is standing by to assist the stricken vessel, but there was no need for towage as of yet. Storgaard said that the mechanical issues are minor and are currently being addressed. The boxship is expected to resume its voyage to the Port of Marsaxlokk.
4. Kicked Out of Paris MoU
After three Port State Control detentions within just 24 months, the Paris MoU has denied access for the St. Kitts and Nevis-flagged bulk carrier MV Phoenix. The Paris MoU on Port State Control reports that on May 29th, the MV Phoenix, with IMO number 8506529, was detained in Quebec, Canada. Under the ban, the ship will be refused further access to any port and anchorages in the Paris MoU region, except for a port within the ship’s flag State. The Paris MoU reports that the ISM company is Master’s Ship Management Pvt of India. The ban is to be in place for a minimum of 3 months.
5. UK Company Guilty Discharges
A UK shipping company pleaded guilty in US federal court and has been sentenced to pay a $750,000 criminal fine over illegal discharges from one its vessels while off the coast of Florida. Norbulk Shipping UK Ltd, a company based in Glasgow, U.K., and operator of the reefer cargo ship M/V Murcia Carrier, pleaded guilty to failing to maintain an accurate oil record book in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and providing false statements to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) concerning the vessel’s garbage record book. The company was sentenced to pay the fine and placed on three years of probation.
6. Filipino Seafarers Medical Evacuations
Two Filipino seafarers who developed medical conditions while at sea were evacuated with the help of the Portugese Navy, according to reports reaching the Philippine Embassy in Lisbon. One seafarer was evacuated near Portuguese coastal waters and brought to Lisbon, while the other was evacuated within Portugal’s maritime search and rescue region in the Atlantic.
7. Helping Thousands of Seafarers
It has been another a busy year for the "SeafarerHelp" helpline with a 53% increase in the number of calls and a 19% increase in the number of seafarers assisted. In 2014 the SeafarerHelp team dealt with 1,920 new cases and helped over 7,710 seafarers. There has been a dramatic growth in the number of calls coming into SeafarerHelp and the number of seafarers assisted – there has been nearly a 270% increase in the number of calls and over a 250% increase in the number of seafarers helped. The most common problems seafarers faced were upaid wages, problems with repatriation, contractual problems, sub-standard conditions.
8. Putting Ships Before Ports
Michael Grey has commented on the fact that historically when a shipowner specified a new vessel, along with the deadweight and dimensions, service speed and fuel consumption, one of the guiding parameters would be the capacity of the ports to which it was expected to trade. If a range of ports had a maximum depth of 10m in the channel, it was pointless ordering a ship that would require 15m to float safely. The owner was guided by the physical constraints of the ports to which he was going to trade. That was then, and this is now, today owners order the ship they want and then demands ports to dredge to the depth they want.
9. Spot Rates Reaching New Lows
Spot rates on the Asia-Europe route are reaching record lows, with some carriers competing with as little as $150 per TEU, an Alphaliner analysis reports. Shippers have already scheduled another round of general rate increases set for July 1, 2015, however previous increases have thus far been ineffectual. According to the analysis, the widespread practice of voiding sailings in order to control freight rates has also yielded few results. “Voiding sailings in order to control freight rates has yielded few results Carriers have reportedly cancelled 10 percent of all Far East to North Europe sailings during the first six months of this year".
10. Are Offices Ashore Seaworthy?
Traditional shipowners in East Asia are being prompted to rethink how their offices are organised, and whether the set up is safe. While many companies may state the office is run “According to the Safety Management System”, some commentators believe that isn’t really an answer. Most of the original Company Regulations for how a ship should be organised and run that are in use in Asian shipping today came from Liverpool, UK. These are translated and passed down through the ages – but are they fit for purpose today and to they translate into words and actions which make sense?
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