Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/08/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/08/2015


1. Hijacked Tanker Found

A ship with 3,500 tonnes of marine fuel oil that was reported missing in the Malacca Strait off Malaysia on Saturday has been found in Indonesian waters without its cargo, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said. The 10 crew members of the Singapore-registered tanker MT Joaquim, which had been on its way to Langkawi, Malaysia, from Tanjung Pinang, Indonesia, were released by a group of hijackers at 8.55am yesterday, Reuters cited the agency as saying in a statement. The tanker had gone off the radar at 9.35pm on Saturday, the New Straits Times newspaper reported.



2. Biggest Ship and Canal Combo

This weekend brought a round of big ship firsts for the newly expanded Suez Canal. "Marstal Maersk", the world’s largest container ship traversed the New Suez on Sunday, coming from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, Al-Ahram Online reported. The giant Danish container’s tonnage is of 200,360 tones. It is 380 meters (1140 feet) long and 59 meters wide. Earlier on Saturday, the canal also received the 332 meter-long oil tanker "Kong", with a capacity of 161,000 tones. These milestones came just days after Egypt inaugurated the New Suez Canal which will cut transit times for ships by seven hours and allow larger vessels easier passage.


3. Illegal Fishermen Ground off Somalia

Fourteen Kenyan sailors are among crew of a fishing vessel which run aground off the Coast of Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland, the Kenyans were part of a crew aboard the vessel christened Al Amal, a trawler flying North Korean flag that had a total of 34 crew members. Other crew members aboard the fishing vessel comprise 6 Vietnamese, 12 Indonesians, 2 Yemenis and private security guards. ”The vessel developed mechanical problems while in the high seas and run aground upon approaching Hobyo while underway heading to Mombasa from Yemen,” sources said. The ship was illegally fishing under a ”false license”.



4. Freefall Lifeboat Record

Norsafe set a new world record recently, when the 70 passenger GES50 MKIII was dropped from 40 meters (131 feet) with 10 people on board. There has never before been a staffed lifeboat dropped from this height. “The feeling of diving into the water was amazing. It was even more exciting to know that no one else has done this before”, says Michael Røssland, Vice President Norsafe Academy Rosendal. The drop was successful, and the triumphant crew emerged to an applause from the supporting crew and technical staff. “The feeling of being weightless for more than three seconds of time felt like forever" , one brave soul said.


5. Detained for Non Payment of Wages

A cargo ship with Bulgarian sailors onboard has been detained at the Algeciras Port in Spain. The seafarers are on the board of the ironically named vessel, "Prosperity", sailing under Moldovan flag with Greek operator. They were commissioned by a ship agency based in the Bulgarian coastal city of Varna with a final destination the Apennines. At the moment the sailors are at the Algeciras Port. The ship is transporting a shipment that was supposed to be delivered in Italy. The Greek company has assured that the vessel will proceed along its route by Monday, while the Bulgarian company will receive its payments.



6. French Take Command of Errant Ship

A vessel has been taken under French coastguard escort after sailing in the wrong lane in the Channel for over an hour last night, with the crew apparently absent from the bridge. The ship has been named as the general cargoship "Musketier" (3,850 dwt, built 2006) and is Gibraltar-flagged and managed by Germany’s Briese Schiffahrts. A spokesman for the French coastguard said that the situation was detected at 2240 hrs last night, and initial attempts to contact the crew from the shore proved unsuccessful. Given the danger to navigation a helicopter was dispatched and coastguard personnel boarded to ensure navigational order was restored.



7. UK Shipbuilding Could Return

One of Britain’s largest dry docks may see the resurgence of ship building in the UK. Entrepreneur and multi-millionaire, Jim McColl, has ambitions to return “ocean-going” ship building to the River Clyde, Scotland. In the surprising move, Mr. McColl has expressed his interest in expanding his business from smaller ferries to commercial ships, with its base potentially being at Greenock’s Inchgreen dry dock, owned by Peel Ports. Having seen success after saving Ferguson Shipyard from administration last year, Mr. McColl is already receiving “requests” to build bigger ships than what his yard can currently handle.



8. Rolls Royce Pressing on Autonomously

Rolls-Royce Holdings plc has announced that it will lead a new €6.6 million ($7.23 million) project working toward autonomous ships, known as the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative. The project is funded by Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) and is intended to "produce the specification and preliminary designs for the next generation of advanced ship solutions." "By combining new technologies with new approaches to ship design and system integration, the team aims to reduce operational costs, minimise emissions, and enhance the earning capability of vessels," stated Rolls-Royce.



9. RENA Tug of War

A tug of war is developing over what to do about the wreck of the Rena in the Bay of Plenty four years on since the ship ran aground. A resource consent hearing will take place next month to decide if the ship’s owners can leave it on the sea floor. The Rena ran aground in 2011 when the ship struck the Astrolabe Reef, hemorrhaging hundreds of tones of oil and splitting into two, resulting in a massive cleanup. Bay of Plenty tribes are against the Rena’s owners request to leave the ship’s wreckage on the reef. The fight over the wreck will be heard at a resource consent hearing next month.



10. OSG Reaches Settlement with Investors

Overseas Shipholding Group Inc investors have reached $16.25 million in settlements with the executives, underwriters and an auditor of the tanker company in a lawsuit related to its 2012 bankruptcy and tax problems. Company directors and officers, including former Chief Executive Morten Arntzen and former Chief Financial Officer Myles Itkin, agreed to pay $10.5 million, papers filed in Manhattan federal court on Thursday showed. Underwriters including Citigroup Inc, Deutsche Bank AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc will pay $4 million, while accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP will pay $1.75 million.




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


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