Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/08/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/08/2015


1. Major UK Port Hit by Migrants

One of Britain’s busiest ports was shut down when a group of suspected illegal immigrants arrived into. Operations at Southampton Docks were suspended for several hours after customs officials spotted three intruders on the site early on the morning of the 11th August. The migrants tried to run away after their ship docked at the port, but were caught and arrested by police, who will now consider whether to deport them. After the three men were caught, the port was in lockdown while officials checked that there were no other migrants hiding on the premises. Even after the port re-opened at 7am, lorry drivers faced disruption.




2. Panama Strike Averted

Construction workers building the Panama Canal’s third set of locks have called off a threatened strike after winning a pay rise from the consortium building the locks. SUNTRACS, the workers’ union, had been seeking an 8.9% pay hike, following the 11% increase they gained last year. It was agreed to a base 5% pay rise for the workers, with more for some categories of employee. The consortium said it had made "an additional financial sacrifice to avoid a strike that would again affect the delivery schedule of the project". The pay dispute highlighted tensions between unions and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).



3. UK Flagging Efforts

Efforts to revive the UK Ship Register have started with the creation of a new post to be filled by someone with commercial experience. The decision to appoint a director of the register was announced by MCA chief executive Alan Massey, in which he acknowledges that this is in response to recent recommendations made by a top-level committee to look at options for the UK flag. The successful candidate “will have sufficient commercial experience to fill this exciting board level position and will be expected to work closely with customers and the wider industry in growing the size of the register and refreshing the way it is administered”.




4. Slave Fishing Vessel Found

A massive refrigerated cargo ship believed to be loaded with slave-caught fish was seized by Indonesia’s navy and brought to shore, officials said on Thursday. The Thai-owned "Silver Sea 2" was located late on Wednesday and escorted about 130km (80 miles) to a naval base in Sabang on the Indonesian archipelago’s northwestern tip, said Colonel Sujatmiko, the regional naval chief. A satellite beacon signal was used to trace the ship’s path from Papua New Guinea waters, where it was also being sought, into neighbouring Indonesia. The navy then spent a week trying to catch it.


5. Crisis Practice for BIMCO

BIMCO has announced a new training initiative, "From Crisis to Clean-Up" focusing on managing a bunker spill clean-up operation. At its next meeting, using a scenario of a bulk carrier, the Idle Star, running aground while transiting a U.S. river, the session will explore how salvage experts and clean-up specialists would deal with the vessel’s ruptured bunker tank and a fuel oil spill in a fast flowing river. The session, which BIMCO says will feature the latest technology and involve leading experts in the field, will also cover how owners and charterers should work together to manage the press as public criticism mounts over the pollution.



6. How Many Boxes Lost?

How many containers are lost over the side from ships at sea each year? The truth is that nobody knows and there are wide variations in the various estimates, which range from “upwards of 10,000” to “an average of about 1700”. They are not figures that are widely advertised, by the lines which have been unfortunate enough to be so afflicted. Should there be rather more transparency over this matter? Certainly, when an entire deck stack has been lost, their absence tends to be noticed at the next port and questions are asked by the questing media. But in many cases, only the cargo insurers, and owners of the cargo, are aware.



7. Suez Traffic Flow

A total of 130 commercial ships have passed through the New Suez Canal since it was inaugurated August 6, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Chairman Mohab Mamish. Twenty two ships have crossed the canal on Friday, 26 on Saturday, 28 on Sunday, 26 on Monday and 28 on Tuesday, according to Mamish. An official report issued by the SCA revealed the North convoy saw the crossing of 29 vessels weighing 1,000,339 tons. The Hong Kong container ship, OOCL COREA, the largest load of the share, weighing 148 thousand tons has travelled from Rotterdam to Saudi Arabia.




8. Ghana Importing Power

Ghana is hiring power ships as part of the solution to its power crisis. Ghana government has ordered two power ships from Turkish energy company Karadeniz Holdings. The vessels are scheduled to arrive later this month and will be operational in September. A power ship is a converted vessel that has been modified for power generation.  A power plant is installed on ships and they are often sent to developing nations. Karadeniz’s power ships operate for about 12 hours a day in a 12 day cycle. South Africa has energy issues and is also considering ordering power ships. Is there nothing ships can’t do?




9. Cruise Ship Migrant Base

A cruise ship is being sent to the Greek island of Kos to help the island house the hundreds of migrants arriving daily on its shores. The Medi Telegraph reports that Greek Minister of State Alekos Flabouraris said the ship, with a capacity for 2,500 people, will be converted into a reception center.  Two riot police units were dispatched to Kos earlier in the week after unrest sparked by a lack of amenities for the migrants. Reuters reports that some, including women and children, were without food or water in the hot sun. The U.N. said last week that 124,000 refugees and migrants had landed in Greece so far this year.




10. People Trafficker Arrested

Police arrested a Syrian in Germany suspected of helping to set a ship packed with migrants on a collision course with the Italian coastline. Italian and German forces, working in collaboration, handcuffed the 26-year-old alleged trafficker in Soest in the country’s northwest and were hunting for his brother, 22, also believed to have played a role in the major maritime drama. The brothers, plus a third accomplice, were suspected of having helped set the Moldovan-registered Blue Sky M freighter on course for Italy in December before abandoning the controls, locking the engine on and hiding among the 768 asylum seekers on board.




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


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