Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/08/2015
1. MLC 2 Years On
Two years ago the shipping industry changed with the entry into force of the MLC. Long meetings and late night negotiations had led to the comprehensive convention aimed at creating a level playing field for employers, mandatory employment standards and ensuring that they were adopted through a regulatory enforcement process which had real teeth. Now we are two years down the line and we should assess the impact upon the industry. The systems have bedded down and crewing departments have a fuller understanding of what the convention means. Intertanko feels it has improved the lives of those serving at sea.
2. Crew Rescued from Refuge
The twenty-four crew members of the Panamanian-flagged bulker Focomar have been rescued after taking refuge on a small island west of Socotra a few days earlier. The crew abandoned their vessel in a lifeboat after MV Focomar suffered engine problems at sea early last week. With limited radio communications, they had been able to put out a may-day call from the island to say that they were stranded, with little food and water, Eunavfor informed. According to Eunavfor, the seafarers departed to the port of Djibouti, having been picked up by a tug sent by the vessel’s owner. The stricken tanker was towed by tug back to Djibouti.
3. Angola Aims for Top Spot
Angola will export the most crude in almost four years in October as the OPEC member satisfies Asian demand and offsets diminished revenue from lower oil prices. Africa’s second-largest producer plans to ship 1.83 million barrels a day in October, the most since November 2011, according to a preliminary loading program obtained by Bloomberg. This compares with 1.77 million barrels a day in September. Angola slashed its budget by a quarter in response to the slump in crude prices, which have lost more than 50 percent in the past year. The African nation’s bid to recapture revenues is supported by demand in China.
4. Ship Deal Could be Scuppered
There are strong indications that the current economic crisis faced by Greece may truncate a vessel acquisition deal worth over $250 million with some Nigerian ship owners. Members of Nigeria Shipowners Association, NISA, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding MoU with Greek ship owners whereby 40 ships of various tonnages and class will be brought into Nigeria’s Coastal and Inland Shipping Cabotage trade on a bareboat charter arrangement. Under the scheme, the 40 ships would be transferred to Nigerians after two years. The deal, which is expected to materialise before the end of the year may now suffer.
5. Tanker Crack Leads to Spill
A "moderate" amount of bunkers was said to have been spilled this week from the tanker Dona Carmela at Quintero port, Chile, according to reports. The crack was said to have appeared on the 2,580 DWT Chilean tanker’s portside cargo tank No. 2 while it was unloading IFO380 fuel oil onto barges.
The fuel remaining in the damaged tank is understood to have been transferred into other tanks and a cleanup operation was said to be underway. The exact amount of bunkers spilled has so far not been reported.
6. Passenger Lost Overboard
There are reports that a female passenger has gone missing from the MSC Magnifica cruise ship today, August 19th. According to local sites the passenger went missing on Wednesday morning. By the time the woman was known as missing the MSC Magnifica had already sailed for some time towards Turkey in the Aegean Sea. The woman is believed to have gone overboard. The Greek Coast Guard launched a search near the islands of Kea and Kythnos. Local reports also state that a search is being done near the coast of Chios towards the north. MSC Magnifica was sailing from Katakolon, Greece to Izmir, Turkey.
7. Shipping’s Sense of Style
A sense of enjoyment and glamour appears to be creeping back to shipping. The Three Queens event in Liverpool showed how people are still so drawn and passionate about ships. Now in an online video huge crowds are seen flocking to see a MSC box ship make a truly dramatic entrance into the port of Hamburg, blaring the Star Wars theme song. It may seem trite and trivial – but engaging positively with the public is vital for shipping – we applaud the nice touch. The Force is definitely strong with this vessel’s (Jedi) Master!
8. Suspending Asian Box Legs
The 2M carriers, Danish Maersk and Switzerland-based MSC, have decided to suspend regular sailings of their Asia to North Europe string ‘AE-9/Condor’ from September amid collapsing freight rates spurred by lower demand on the trade this year. Total demand on the headhaul trade dropped by 3.5 % during the first half of 2015, while average capacity increased by 3.4 % in the same period. Last week, rates for twenty-foot equivalent units from Asia to Europe stood at a loss making level equaling to USD 640, according to the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index. The suspension comes too late to reverse the ongoing rate slide on the trade.
9. Somali Security Text Revolution
The Somaliland Ministry of Interior and Somaliland Police have launched the "Text Alert Community Police Engagement Programme" a tool for crime prevention involving police and communities. The project was developed in coordination with EUCAP Nestor’s team of Advisors based in Hargeisa. Members of the public are encouraged to become "the eyes and ears" of the police within communities using their mobile phone to identify security related issues requiring the attention of the Police. The idea is based on a model successfully used in Ireland – which tackled an upsurge of terrorism and organized crime, particularly gun running.
10. Kite Surfing to Somalia
Shipping executive Jacob Bliksted Sorenson is attempting to kite surf a thousand kilometres from Pemba in Mozambique to Somalia to raise awareness for the root causes of piracy and raise funds. He’s about 2 weeks into this gruelling challenge on a continent that seems to have blown his mind. CNBC Africa managed to connect with him on his journey where he gave us the highlights of his journey so far. The first kite surfboard to be captured by pirates may make quite interesting headlines….
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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