Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/08/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/08/2015


1. Polluter Pays in Norway

A ship fell foul of new sulphur rules in Norway, hit with a NOK100,000 ($12,200) fine, just eight days after the ruling became law. The general cargo ship, Sardius (5,265 dwt; built 2011) was found to be using fuel containing 13 times the new legal sulphur limit this January, just days after the new emissions control area (ECA) covering Northern Europe came into being. The vessel is owned by Dutch outfit Bock Maritiem. Since then Norwegian authorities have found at least three other ships using the wrong fuel, but Sardius was the first to be named and shamed as well as fined.




2. Berthing Box Ships Collide

The container ships MOL Empire and Northern Democrat collided in Westport harbor at Port Klang, Malaysia. The accident happened during maneuvering for berthing at the quay. After the accident several containers fell overboard and one shore crane was damaged. The reason for the accident was higher speed and strong wind, which caused drifting of the container carrier MOL Empire over the already berthed Northern Democrat, which was performing cargo handling operations at same time. The both ships are slightly damaged, but without any problem for stability and seaworthiness. There are no injured crew or dockworkers.



3. Cruise Line Defends Against Norovirus

In what is being seen as a landmark decision, Hill Dickinson is the first law firm to have successfully defended a U.K. class action case involving a norovirus outbreak onboard a cruise liner.  The case, which involved an outbreak of gastroenteritis onboard the "Thomson Spirit", chartered by TUI UK limited and operated by Louis Cruise, was a 43-claimant class action, 28 of whom had alleged bacterial illness with the balance claiming breach of contract. The case was brought against TUI UK Limited who as contracting carrier would have been liable for the fault or neglect of the performing carrier, Louis, pursuant to the Athens Convention 1974.




4. New Suez Not Needed

The new 45-mile section of the Suez Canal Corridor Area Project has been hailed a success – but the praise is not universal. The plan aims to almost triple Suez Canal revenues from $5.3 billion at present to about $13.2 billion in 2023, but critics in Egypt claim that a new canal section is not needed. Eqyptian opposition contends that, in light of weak global trade growth, there was no need to build a new canal to accommodate 97 vessels – as even at the pre-crash height of trade only 59 vessels a day were registered to pass. As such they claim that the spend and efforts have been wasted.



5. Greek Owner Meet Government

In a bid to defuse mounting concern within Greek shipping that the industry is being seen by the country’s creditors as a possible cash-cow, the government team responsible for shipping has met with the top executive members of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS). UGS president and vice president, Theodore Veniamis and Michael Chandris, met with Economy Minister George Stathakis and alternate Shipping minister Thodoris Dritsas, in the wake of new government promises to the country’s creditors it will overhaul the shipping tax regime. The eurozone especially believes there are too many loop holes in tax legislation covering shipping.




6. Time to Move Wrecks

Major salvage operations the world over have tended to encourage the belief that there is practically no casualty, barring those in the deep ocean, which cannot be removed under the terms of a wreck removal contract. The idea that a wreck might be left on a coast or in shallow water for the sea to break up will now be firmly rejected by the general public. The Nairobi Convention on the removal of wrecks entered force this spring, reinforces the rights of states to require the removal of wrecks. And while this might be a worrying burden for marine insurers, operators will also have noted that the considerable costs of this wreck removal burden.




7. Art and Science of Ship Valuation

Determining a ship’s future value can be an invaluable trait for any ship owner, as it can be the main factor between his success or failure. For example over the past 12 months, as per VesselsValue’s data, Aframax and Suezmax tankers are the winners of the current market’s upwards momentum, with an increase in value of approx. 22% over the last 12 months. By contrast, 15 year old Capesize’s have fallen almost 60%, while 15 y/o Panamax and Supramax are down 50% and 15 y/o Handy’s are down 40%. Modern vessels have fallen less in % terms but are still down by 15 -30% (dependant on type).




8. Zoe Joins Pantheon of Giants

The 19,224 TEU MSC Zoe was christened this Sunday in Hamburg, Germany, officially joining sister ships MSC Oscar and MSC Oliver for the title of the world’s largest containership by carrying capacity. MSC Zoe is the third ship in a series of six 19,224 TEU capacity vessels in Mediterranean Shipping Company’s so-called ‘Oscar Class’. Sunday’s ceremony attended by MSC partners and families, included representatives from shipbuilder DSME, class society DNV GL, local authorities and financiers, MSC said. MSC Zoe is named after the daughter of MSC Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago and his wife Alexa Aponte Vago, who is MSC Group’s CFO.




9. High Speed Collision

Two high speed ferries collided while sailing out of Piraeus on July 30. The two ferries have been identified as Champion Jet-1, which had 297 passengers on board and Athina, which was carrying 60 passengers on board. As informed there were no injuries to the passengers or the crew on board, however; both ships suffered damages. The Port Authority detained the two ships in harbor until an investigation into potential marine pollution was carried out. The ban was lifted shortly after as no leak was detected from either of the ships. On the same day Antigua and Barbuda, vessel "Wittenbergen", ran aground off the Kithira island, Greece.




10. Tanker Put into Quarantine

Product tanker "Granato" was put under quarantine in El Ferrol, La Coruna, Spain, on Aug 2 after one of the crew died presumably from contagious disease. Vessel asked for medical assistance while being at sea en route from Leixoes Portugal to El Ferrol, reporting that the man of Indian nationality died from, they presume, cardiac seizure. The body was taken to hospital, where autopsy found the cause of death to be infectious disease. The court in Vigo ordered a quarantine, nobody allowed to leave or board vessel, except specialists. Among last four ports of call are Rotterdam and Antwerp. Quarantine will last one or two days.



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


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S Jones
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