Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/08/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/08/2015


1. Class Societies Criticised

Classification societies are not as reliable today as they were 10 years ago, a survey has found. 60% of the Maritime CEO respondents so far think class is not as reliable as a decade ago. “Class societies have expanded too fast without consolidating their systems and methods,” one reader wrote, adding: “There is too much attention to the profit motive and very less attention on client servicing or serving their interests. They have many other business areas and maritime business is milked to make other businesses survive. Their expectations from maritime business are 3-4 times that from other business areas".



2. Cyber Threats and Missiles

Hackers and cyber attacks pose as great a threat to Britain’s hi-tech warships of the future as missiles and torpedoes, the man in charge of building the Navy’s new frigate has warned.  Increasing levels of computer control and automation mean protecting vessels against electronic attack has become a focus of shipbuilding for the Navy.  The new Type-26 Global Combat Ship, which is designed to be the workhorse of the Royal Navy when it is built, has been designed to protect its weapons, engines and systems from cyber warfare.  A ‘cyber war’ sounds fantastical, but it’s real – and we’re losing




3. Panama El Nino Draft Fears

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has given early notice of possible draft restrictions on vessels passing through as it anticipates potential negative El Nino effects. In a shipping advisory Canal officials emphasised that no restrictions are yet in play. If they are deemed necessary, the shipping community will be informed by the ACP in sufficient time, around five weeks, to allow vessels being loaded to comply. El Nino is a weather phenomenon characterised by above-average Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures and atmospheric conditions that change the places where storms go. In the Panama Canal it is associated with a drop in the water levels.




4. Completed Hulls Held Back

Teekay Offshore Partners (TOP) has delayed delivery of two semi-completed hulls, which are being converted to “high-end” floating accommodation units (FAUs) at two Cosco shipyards for TOP’s Norwegian subsidiary Logitel Offshore Holding. The first converted FAU, the "Arendal Spirit", was delivered to the shipowner in February. The unit commenced three-year fixed-rate timecharter to Petrobras in Brazil on June 7. The second unit, which is being converted at Cosco (Nantong) Shipyard, was due to arrive in October this year but has now been delayed by up to 12 months. The third unit, will also be delayed.




5. Bulker and Tanker Collide

The bulk carrier Mangan Trader 2 collided with product tanker Alkiviadis on 17 nautical miles off Ostend, Belgium. The reason for collision was failure in steering gear of the bulk carrier, hitting the already anchored product tanker Alkiviadis and causing breach above the water line in one of the ballast tanks. The bulk carrier Mangan Trader 2 was detained for a while after collision and after inspection was released to resume voyage, proceeding towards Western Scheldt, bound for Ghent, Belgium. The product tanker remained at anchor for further repairs of the breach and later resumed the voyage.




6. Ferry Safety Criticisms Accepted

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has published the findings of an investigation into the grounding and flooding of the Condor ferry Commodore Clipper in Guernsey last year.  The ferry from Portsmouth grounded on a charted, rocky shoal in the approaches to St Peter Port, Guernsey in July last year.  The grounding caused a noisy, shuddering vibration that reverberated throughout the ship, but the crew did not check for damage, no report was made and no safety announcements were made to the passengers.  The report says there had not been enough planning as the repetitive nature of the schedule had led to "complacency".




7. Tug Smashes into Oil Terminal

The U.S. Coast Guard says that a tugboat Saturday collided with the International-Matex Tank Terminal (IMTT) pier in New Jersey, resulting in an oil spill into nearby waters, local news reports. The coast guard’s Pollution Response Team and helicopter crew were reportedly immediately sent to the site to investigate, where World Maritime News reports, 1,000 gallons of oil had been spilled into the water as a result of the collision. Coast guard pollution responders and IMTT crew members are said to have stemmed the flow of oil and placed more than 2,500 feet of containment boom and secured the source of the oil.




8. Printing 3D Spares

The use of 3D printing in the maritime sector remains a relatively new concept. But the application especially in shipbuilding is actually a viable option in view of the need for a wide-ranging and voluminous number of vessel components. In the latest R&D development at China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), the state-owned shipbuilder announced that it has achieved a breakthrough in 3D printing. At CSIC’s 705th Research Institute, tests have been conducted on a technique called Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). The additive manufacturing technique uses laser as a power source to sinter powdered material, typically metal.




9. Iran Navy Targets US

The crew of an Iranian frigate briefly trained crew served weapons on a U.S. Navy helicopter and a coalition auxiliary ship during a July 25 incident in the Gulf of Aden, an U.S. Navy official told the press. The Navy did neither disclose the nationality of the auxiliary nor provide details of the type of ship. Alvand — a 1960s era Vosper-class frigate built in the U.K. — came within 200 yards of the auxiliary and briefly pointed crew served weapons at both the auxiliary and the Seahawk before breaking away, the official told USNI News. “U.S. and coalition forces did to respond in order not to escalate the situation,” the official said.




10. Knowing Your Ship

Ahead of the first presidential debate this week, the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) has launched "Know Your Ship", a national campaign aimed at raising the awareness of the importance of the shipbuilding and repair industry and the critical role it plays in maintaining America’s national and economic security. "Know Your Ship will tell not only the stories of the many military and commercial ships that are so integral in maintaining our economic and national security, but also of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who support the industry," said Matthew Paxton, President of the Shipbuilders Council of America.





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


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S Jones
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