Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/06/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/06/2015


1. Private Search and Rescue Deal

An agreement between passenger ship operators to provide search and rescue services for each other could help save lives during mass rescue operations. The idea of a formal agreement between operators was proposed by the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, during the 2015 World Maritime Rescue Congress. They studied a range of rescue operations to demonstrate how commercial and civilian vessels have contributed to rescue operations. In particular, citing the ferry Bella that caught fire in 2011.  All passengers and crew were rescued even though fire-fighting efforts failed and the vessel subsequently sank.




2. Piracy Overtakes Natural Disasters

Piracy has overtaken natural disasters as the leading cause for insurance claims in Asean according to those in the marine insurance industry. While most claims are genuine there has been a disturbing rise in the number of ‘insider jobs’. “Marine insurance fraud is common in the Asean region. Insiders may be members of the crew or even shipping companies themselves,” said a marine underwriter at a major insurance company, speaking under condition of anonymity. Premiums in areas considered high risk are high, and routes considered high risk are the Gulf of Aden. Piracy is seeing a resurgence in the Straits of Malacca and across Asia.




3. Massive Fears of Carbon Rise

The carbon emissions from international maritime shipping could increase by 250% in the period to 2050 if it left unchecked, an assessment by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has revealed. The present carbon emissions from maritime shipping represents up to 2.2% of the global total. According to GSF secretary general Chris Welsh, the shippers’ views need to be considered as the IMO puts efforts to reduce emissions and the EU begins to review the technical details of its proposed MRV regulation. "Shipping already offers a high carbon efficient mode for transporting goods, carrying approximately 90% of all world trade."



4. Weight of Migrants Damages Vessel

HMS Bulwark, the Royal Navy vessel spearheading a migrant rescue mission in the Mediterranean, was undergoing emergency repairs last night after the strain of carrying thousands of migrants took its toll. HMS Bulwark has been operating in the Mediterranean for several weeks The 19,000-tonne vessel, the Royal Navy’s flagship, was understood to have reported problems with its evaporators, which turn seawater into drinking water.  Navy chiefs ordered a ten-strong team, including contractors from Babcock Defence, to fly out to assist and co-ordinate the work, which sources say is vital to the operational effectiveness of the ship.




5. EU Audit Could Hit Shipping Loans

European commercial loans to ship owners could be further reduced by a new regulatory audit, according to bankers speaking at the annual Marine Money Week conference in New York. Most European shipping banks use their own internal models under the Basel II regulatory regime to rate the risk of shipping loans and to determine the amount of capital they keep in reserve against them. These internal rating models were approved by individual counties’ regulators but must now be approved by the European Central Bank (ECB), which is currently in the midst of auditing specialised lending, including ship finance.




6. Understanding Nigerian Security Woes

Exasperation over foreign perceptions of insecurity in Nigerian waters is all too common.  The perception of the Gulf of Guinea as a high-risk area drove an infuriated Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to accuse: Director General of NIMASA, Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, said that P&I clubs deliberately raise the red flag on vessel operating in sub-Sahara African region in order to milk them of more insurance money, lamenting that a lot of losses are being incurred through the marine insurance sector". Given the low reporting rates it seems the true picture is unknown.




7. Second St Lawrence Grounding

A Cyprus-flagged bulk carrier ran hard aground on the Saint Lawrence Seaway early Sunday just hours after reopening to vessel traffic following Thursday night’s cruise ship mishap in the Eisenhower Lock near Massena, New York. The 30,000 DWT MV Tundra ran aground at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday on the Saint Lawrence River near Summerstown, Ontario, just south of Lancaster. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says it is deploying a team to investigate the grounding. The incident comes after the cruise ship Saint Laurent hit a bumper in the Eisenhower Lock chamber, injuring 30 people and suspending navigation.




8. The Bipolar Nature of Shipping

Shipping investors have to cope with violent swings of sentiment. Today tankers are enjoying a precarious euphoria, whilst bulkers embrace manic depression. A year ago it was the other way round. These sentiment swings are bad enough, but when you factor in the future things get even worse. The real concern for investors is what lies ahead. Somehow they must separate reality from sentiment and today that’s tricky. Seaborne trade has recently been commendably positive, but like waves at sea, crises are just part of shipping scenery. Knowing how to ride the waves is the key to making money.




9. Maersk Wins Carrier Awards

Maersk Line has been named Global Carrier of the Year at the Containerization International Awards 2015. It also took home the Shippers’ Choice award, which is voted for by the global container shipping industry. The awards were collected by Rose Coulson, customer service director at Maersk Line UK and Ireland. She said “We had a successful 2014 and these awards are a good way to underline that. It is recognition for the hard work of our employees and the support of our customers and partners throughout the year, and we would also like to thank everyone that voted for us.” The group includes 7,000 seafarers.




10. Battle for Cyber Security Hots Up

The shipping industry should be doing more to prevent successful hacking. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is also working on standards to improve the security of communications to vessels. It is creating the IEC 62940 standard for integrated communication systems, with a focus on the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), satellite communications and VHF data exchange systems that could be used for e-navigation exchanges. A key element of this is defining secure interfaces between the integrated communications and shipboard systems.



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


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S Jones
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