Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/07/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/07/2015


1. Frailties of Shipping Exposed

The NY Times has turned its gimlet gaze on shipping – and some uncomfortable facts have emerged. Few places on the planet are as lawless as the high seas, where egregious crimes are routinely committed with impunity. Though the global economy is ever more dependent on a fleet of more than four million fishing and small cargo vessels and 100,000 large merchant ships that haul about 90 percent of the world’s goods, today’s maritime laws have hardly more teeth than they did centuries ago when history’s great empires first explored the oceans’ farthest reaches. Murders regularly occur offshore — thousands of seafarers, fishermen or sea migrants die suspiciously annually.




2. Crewmember Dies After Cargo Shift

A crew member has died after a bulker listed while shipping nickel ore from the Philippines. Alam Manis, a 2007-built 55,652dwt Supramax bulker owned by Malaysian Bulk Carriers, listed on 17 July. The Singapore-flagged ship had left Loreto Dinagat, Philippines at 18.48 hrs on 12 July, after loading 53,795 tonnes of nickel ore. Alam Manis, bound for Lianyungang, China, was carrying 21 Filipino crew members. The voyage would normally take seven to eight days. Malaysian Bulk Carriers said, "As a result of heavy weather conditions and adverse swell, the cargo in holds No 1 & 2 shifted, resulting in the vessel listing by 14 degrees starboard."




3. Seafarers Rescued from Grounding

20 Filipino seafarers were rescued from a Singaporean-flagged ship that ran aground on Friday one nautical mile off Santa Lucia, Ilocos Sur, in the Philippines. The 231 gross tonnage Alam Manis was reportedly battered by huge swells that drenched its nickel ore cargo, causing the vessel to lose its stability until it listed and eventually grounded. Alam Manis was enroute to China when the incident occurred. Two of the 21 crew were earlier reported missing, one of whom was identified as C/M Henry Libo-on who passed away due to heart attack. Meanwhile, the rest of the 20 seafarers were successfully rescued by the escort tug Salviscount and ferried ashore.




4. Maritime Security Networking Needed

A Maritime Safety and Security Expert, Captain William Wricketts, says fighting piracy and armed robbery on the Gulf of Guinea, demands networking among the seven coastal countries bordering the Gulf. According to him, the naval personnel of these countries have to be more vigilant amidst terrorist activities within some of these countries.

Captain William Wricketts was speaking on the sidelines of the graduation ceremony of the Sea and Critical Routes of the Gulf of Guinea CRIMGO course at the Regional Maritime University in Accra.


5. NOL Holding Off Sale Decision

Neptune Orient Lines Ltd said it has not made any decision on a potential sale of the company, nor entered into any agreement, after media reports that Temasek Holdings had put the shipping company up for sale. Singapore state investor Temasek, which owns nearly 67 percent of Neptune, had hired a bank to seek buyers for the business that made a net loss in five of the past six years, sources told Reuters last week. "The company has a duty to consider its options to maximize shareholder value as part of its conduct of normal business," Neptune Orient said in a statement late on Sunday.



6. Reasons for NIMASA Change

When Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari terminated the appointment of Mr. Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi as Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) there were a few raised eyebrows. So why did he do it? According to the local media there are two reasons why the president may have wielded the sack axe. One was because of the partisanship in the build up to the 2015 general elections. It is widely believed that Akpobolokemi was behind the dirty campaigns of hate Buhari. Then there is also the Niger Delta Connection, Akpobolokemi was President Goodluck Jonathan’s ex-militant’s "errand boy". He



7. Sanitary Issues for Shefarers

A health survey of nearly 600 women seafarers conducted by IMHA, ISWAN, ITF & SHS* has highlighted a continued issue with access to sanitary bins on board. This was documented as a serious concern for women seafarers over ten years ago by the International Labour Organization (ILO,2003) and yet 40% of survey respondents this year still lack access to a sanitary bin on board. That figure is even higher for women working on tankers where only 27% of respondents have access, or for those working on cargo ships where only 38% do. A private and hygienic disposal method on board all vessels could greatly help to alleviate the unnecessary anxiety and humiliation felt.



8. Skuld Looks to Uncertainties

Ståle Hansen, President & CEO of marine insurer Skuld, has spoken of the challenges of Arctic exploration. “We must bring into stark focus the uncertainties and difficulties that will face operators in this formidable region.” he said . The responsibility falls to us as an insurer to consider fully the risks and challenges that our members and clients will encounter and to prepare accordingly to meet them head on, says Hansen. From an insurance perspective, the cost of an accident similar to the Deepwater Horizon blowout in 2010 is of great concern, and Hansen said that BP estimated its share of Deepwater Horizon liabilities totals roughly $42 billion. In the Arctic it could be higher.



9. NORTH Tackling Volatility

Unpredictable markets and continuing marine claims volatility means the international shipping industry is facing a particularly challenging time, said Pratap Shirke, chairman of North P&I club.  “Shipowners continue to operate in unpredictable shipping markets and the economic climate shows little signs of improvement,” he said. “Despite a modest recovery in certain sectors of the market, we do not expect freight rates to return to breakeven or profitable levels for another couple of years, as the over-supply of tonnage remains an issue for the shipping industry.” He also noted North’s members experiencing an unusually high level of larger claims during the 2014/15 policy year.



10. Tight Tonnage Window

An extremely tight tonnage list for the end-July/early-August fixing window caused by vessels being moved to the Persian Gulf drove Long Range 1 tanker rates in the UK Continent region to a near seven-month high and their highest so far in 2015.  Freight rates on 60,000 mt UKC-West Africa runs rose Worldscale 10 to w165 Thursday and held steady Friday, which equated to $29.60/mt.  This was the highest on the route since December 18, 2014, when it traded at $29.18/mt, Platts data showed.  With a number of LR1s still awaiting discharge in West Africa, the UKC tonnage was very limited. Some remaining free-of-cargo vessels are leaving the region.




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