Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/08/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/08/2015


1. Management Major Merger

Univan Ship Management has merged with fellow Hong Kong manager Anglo-Eastern. The deal would add around 100 ships to the Anglo-Eastern fleet, putting it close to the top of the global shipmanagement rankings. Describing it as “the largest ever merger of independent, third party ship management companies,” Anglo-Eastern said in a release the merger would create “significant scale advantages”. The newly merged business will be led by Peter Cremers as executive chairman with Bjorn Hojgaard as chief executive.




2. Suez Ship Blaze

A cargo ship was allegedly set alight Friday in a berth of Port Tawfik, the southern entrance of the Suez Canal, in the first incident to take place since the Aug. 6 inauguration of the canal’s expansion. Rescue teams from Suez Canal Authority (SCA) and Red Sea Ports Authority (RSPA) put out the fire and rescued all 13-member crew (six Egyptians and seven Indians,) RSPA stated Saturday. The accident did not affect the maritime navigation at the entrance of the Suez Canal, the authority said. The ship, "Om el-Kheir", was heading to Cambodia and had been docked at the berth since mid-April due to a delay in transporting licenses.



3. US Patented Pirate Catcher

The US Navy is a veritable patent machine — with 364 filed last year alone. One recent filing: Patent #US8838515, a “Method for predicting pirate attack risk.” The Navy wants to use artificial intelligence to predict what a team of engineers and scientists behind the patent call “emergent pirate behaviour.” The project notes, “pirates tend to operate in small vessels, they are particularly vulnerable to adverse winds and seas.” By mapping the environment, you can map the likelihood of attack, the software creates models combining the best known conditions and intelligence.


4. Pirates of the Adriatic

Refugees, fleeing chaos and bloodshed in their homes, who stream into Europe in search for asylum, are being attacked, beaten, robbed and shot at by unidentified masked men in the Aegean Sea, recent reports reveal. In the international waters between Turkey and Greece, speedboats bearing no markings come out of nowhere with masked men pointing their guns at terrified people onboard migrant vessels. Attackers are dressed in black, some of them blue-eyed, they speak only English, sometimes they shoot into the migrant boats and very often beat passengers with long whips to force them turn their boats around or otherwise.




5. Movie Mate in Machete Mistake

He helped outsmart a band of Somali pirates after they hijacked his ship, but now the man who was Captain Phillip’s first mate in real life is being accused of traumatizing a crew member with a machete. Shane Murphy allegedly picked up a machete and held it to his shipman’s throat during a pirate hijacking practice drill.

Murphy was serving as captain for M/V Energy Enterprise, a shipping vessel operating between Tampa and New Orleans, when the incident happened last month. A lawyer’s letter has now been sent to the company, demanding $3million of compensation as the shipman claims he was left traumatised and unable to sleep.



6. Role of Collision Simulation

Collisions have always been a major risk for seafarers and while the exact numbers of incidents that take place across the globe each year are hard to quantify, the number is significant. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) reports on average six collisions between merchant vessels in British waters every year and for every collision reported to the appropriate authorities there will be many more near-misses that go unreported. Paul Morter, of BMT ARGOSS believes that simulation can be used as both an effective training aid to prevent collisions and a powerful diagnostic tool to help improve the forensic examination of casualties.




7. Philippine Ferry Fire

A two-story ferry with 544 passengers caught fire after docking in the central Philippines on Saturday and people jumped into the sea and clambered down the roof deck to escape black smoke. All passengers were safe and only two crew suffered bruises and cuts, officials said. Video footage showed several men jumping into the water from the MV Wonderful Stars, which was engulfed in smoke as firefighters struggled to put out the blaze hours after the fire broke out. The ferry had just arrived at a pier in the port city of Ormoc on Leyte Island from nearby Cebu city. The Coast guard said it wasn’t immediately clear what caused the fire.



8. QM2 Abandons Seafarer Search

The cruise liner the Queen Mary 2 has abandoned the search for a crewmember who went overboard off the coast of Newfoundland on Saturday. The Cunard cruise line said on Sunday that the ship and the Canadian coastguard had conducted an extensive search after the crewmember was reported missing on Saturday morning. The Queen Mary 2 retraced its course in the hope of finding the missing person, but the search was abandoned after experts determined that no one could have survived for so long in the Atlantic. “We therefore have to presume that he died in the water,” Cunard said in a statement.



9. Safety Cultures Needs to Get Real

Safety culture shipboard is a big issue for owners and managers given the risks involved, but it is less than clear that all take this quite as seriously as others once things are far out of sight on the ocean waves. Photos posted on social media are highlighting the fact that for all the safety management systems and inspections, when some crews are left to their own devices, when they think no one is watching, they can do the most incredibly stupid and dangerous things. Seatrade Global has been highlighting the fact that many practices that would never pass muster on land are still going at sea…still.


10. Tianjin Port Blast Update

Hong Kong-listed Singamas Container Holdings has announced that the facilities of its subsidiary, Singamas Logistics, at Tianjin Port Container Logistics Center were damaged by the huge chemical explosion at Tianjin Port, and that it has suspended operations. It also said that it has not been able to contact one of its employees, and confirmed that a few employees of the company have suffered minor injuries. Singamas has already established an emergency team to supervise and coordinate following the incident, although the company is not yet able to estimate the exact loss from the incident due to restricted access to the area.





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


Best regards,

S Jones
Seacurus Ltd


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