Top Ten Maritime News Stories 29/07/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 29/07/2015

1. Zero Deaths Landmark
Last year saw the first time no seafarers died aboard UK flagged vessels over 100 gt, the MAIB reported. Before 2014, UK vessels averaged four deaths per year for the past decade, the MAIB said in its annual report released on 27 July. The MAIB’s records go back 50 years. In addition, for the fifth consecutive year there were no losses of UK merchant vessels above 100 gt recorded. The last UK flagged merchant vessel lost was recorded in 2009.
2. Vessel Flees From Arrest
A Turkish-registered general cargo ship has been accused of fleeing arrest in Malta over an unpaid bunkering bill. Several local Maltese news sites reported that 1993-built "Feyza Genc" allegedly left Malta at night after being detained by the coastguard over a EUR45,000 (USD49,715) unpaid bill due to Cassar Fuel Ltd Malta. GNC Shipping strongly refuted the accusation, saying the bill was paid in time, but the vessel was arrested in Malta on behalf of Cassar.
3. Industry Stalwarts Rally to Fight Media
In an interview maritime industry advocates Clay Maitland and Carleen Lyden-Kluss, Executive Director of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), criticize the recent New York Times article "Stowaways and Crimes Aboard a Scofflaw Ship" by Ian Urbina as a misrepresentation of the international maritime industry, calling it attack journalism that inaccurately portrays the safest industry transportation sector in the world.
4. Adding Insult to Injury
A Nigerian ship owner, Mr. Osita Onumonu, is to seek redress over the alleged illegal detention of his 5,000 tonnes vessel, MT Sapphire 1 and its crew. The vessel was alleged detained by the Nigerian Navy (NN) shortly after vessel and its crew were attacked by suspected pirates in Nigerian territorial waters.  The ship owner explained that‎ preliminary investigations have shown that the vessel was attacked by pirates shortly after it was engaged in a STS transfer.
5. New Locks Shaping Shipping
The third set of Panama Canal locks is scheduled to open in April 2016, some 18 months after the original October 2014 target date. With less than one year to go before the expected opening, a large-scale redistribution of tonnage appears on the horizon. While this will help to absorb the excess of 8,000- 10,000 teu ships that have been pushed out of East-West routes by ULCS newbuildings, it will also drive many traditional maxi-panamax ships out of business.
6. Next-Gen Cruise Ships Beckon
Costa Cruises has announced plans to build the “next generation” of cruise ship, placing an order for what will be the two largest passenger vessels in the world based on total capacity. With over 2,600 guest cabins apiece, each ship will be able to accommodate up to 6,600 passengers. This is around 300 more than the current record-holder, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, which has a maximum guest capacity of 6,296. Both will carry LNG powered engines.
7. Massive Migrant Rescue Response
More than 1,800 migrants have been rescued off the coast of Italy in the most recent exodus of North African residents, AFP reported Tuesday.  Italy’s coast guard said the rescues occurred during five operations on Monday after 1,300 arrived in Sicily. Irish military ship also recovered 13 bodies during an emergency operation for a ship that carried 522 people.  The cause of death for those killed is unknown, but migrants often die from dehydration or sun exposure. 
8. Wallems Embracing the Human Element
Simon Doughty, the CEO of Wallem Group, shares his thoughts on the Sailors’ Society’s Wellness at Sea program. Wallem is committed to ensuring our seafarers have a holistic, well-balanced life at sea and ashore. Beyond making sure seafarers are prepared for their tasks onboard, we’re also committed to helping them, and their families, have happy and fulfilling lives. Shipping isn’t just a job, it’s a career and a way of life that’s brought a lifetime of challenges.
9. Looking at Shift from Ship to Shore
Nautilus International and Spinnaker Global are collaborating on a survey to assess shorebased demand for skilled seafarers. The companies hope to update the industry’s understanding of the need for and the importance of maritime skills and experience for a wide variety of shore-based industries and services. How big is the demand? How reliable is the supply? Is there a substitute for seafaring experience?
10. Guidance on Marine Casualties
US regulators have issued guidance to help simplify marine casualty reporting compliance for shipowners and operators. In its Circular 01-15, the US Coast Guard noted that due to the complexity of marine casualty reporting and inconsistent enforcement, "additional guidance to clarify these requirements" is needed. Reporting requirements apply to all foreign-flagged commercial vessels while operating in US navigable waters (the territorial sea out to 12 nm).

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