Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/08/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/08/2015

1. Oil Smuggling Syndicate Suspected
The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) believes an oil smuggling syndicate is behind the hijacking of vessels carrying ship fuel and oil in the area. ReCAAP said in its latest update that vessels were hijacked when it was dark and taken from shore to siphon off the fuel cargo. The hijacking of MT Joaquim was the third in the Strait of Malacca this year, following two other cases in March and Feb.

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2. Nigerian Pirates Slay Police and Soldiers
The Nigerian military has made six arrests after four soldiers and a policeman were killed in an attack by suspected pirates in the oil-rich Niger Delta on Friday. Security forces also recovered a cache of arms and ammunition in the raid on their camp, the army said. Gunmen in four speed boats targeted the military checkpoint in southern Bayelsa state on Friday, authorities said.
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3. Time to Step up Security
The Joaquin hijacking came less than two months after the dramatic rescue of tanker Orkim Harmony’s crew members and the arrests of eight pirates. The latest attack has added to the notoriety of the Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea as among the most piracy prone waters in the world. Malaysia is urging its neighbours to review and step up anti-piracy coordination efforts following the latest hijacking.
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4. Runaway Seafarer Caught
A Turkish seafarer was caught and detained by police last week after he failed to return from shore leave at the Australian port of Gladstone, in Queensland. The man was caught while travelling on a passenger bus to Brisbane and is currently in custody with the Australian Border Force. His maritime crew visa has been cancelled and he awaits deportation to Turkey. In April, a Chinese seafarer also went on the run from Gladstone before handing himself in.
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5. Surreal Yacht Painting Theft 
Last month a painting by Pablo Picasso worth $25 million, whose exportation was forbidden by the Spanish authorities, was found by French customs on a yacht, in Calvi, Corsica (France). After having asked the captain for certification, customs discovered a judgement notice given in Spanish, dated from May 2015 from the National Spanish Assembly, stating that the work is considered a national Spanish treasure, that is forbidden from leaving the national territory. 
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6. Doubling of Bulk Charter Rates
The charter rate for a ship to haul iron ore more than doubled in the last month amid speculation that China is adding to stockpiles while the global vessel fleet shrinks. Rates for Capesizes, the vessels that dominate the ore trade, were at $18,250 a day as of Friday, compared with $8,369 a month ago, according to data from the Baltic Exchange in London. The cost advanced to $19,499 on Aug. 5, the highest in eight months.
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7. Suez Expansion Impact Overblown
Drewry, the consultants have said that the Suez Canal expansion has moved out of the limelight, as more attention is being paid to the US$5 billion widening of the Panama Canal for early 2016. The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) estimates that 8% of the world’s maritime traffic passes through its canal and will grow. Drewry believes the projections are not cargo sector specific and appear to be based on assumed increased vessel transits.
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8. Bulker Runs Aground
Chinese bulker "Jiang Quan 6" (31,000dwt, built 2013) hit a reef near Zhoushan while it was trying to avoid a collision. The bow of the ship suffered damage and the ship started to sink. Shanghai Fuxing Shipping, an affiliate company of Shanghai International Port Group, sent two tugboats for the rescue at the request of Zhoushan maritime authorities, and rescued all 19 crewmembers on the ship. The tugboats towed her to shallow waters to avoid sinking.
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9. Evergreen Looks to New Growth
Taiwan’s Evergreen Group, the parent company of Evergreen Line, has signed an agreement with compatriot CSBC Corporation to build ten 2,800 TEU, class B-type container ships. Evergreen did not reveal the value of the contract, but it is speculated that the price tag for these ten boxships could be around USD 400 million. The first ship is planned to be delivered during the second half of 2017 with the completion of the series due by the first half of 2018. 
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10. Uni Building Autonomous Vessel
U.K.’s Plymouth University has announced plans to build the first full-size unmanned ship to cross the Atlantic in an attempt to "demonstrate the possibilities for the future of shipping and ocean research through the use of automation." The Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship (MARS) to mimic the route the pilgrims took from England to the US in 1620, and plans the mark the 400th anniversary of the journey by launching the ship in 2020. 
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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