Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/08/2015
1. Seafarers Dreading Time in Port
Leading Seafarer Social Media Site Crewtoo has published its Second Quarterly Report Detailing Job Satisfaction at Sea – and has shown that seafarer happiness levels are at 6.44 on a scale of 1 to 10, up 0.02 from the Q1 data published in May this year. One surprising issue detailed in the second report is that seafarers sometimes dread port calls because of the increase in workload caused by the many audits and inspections when a ship is in dock. This increase in workload at port also caused a drop in satisfaction levels towards shore leave, as the amount of work often eats into the time available for relaxation.
2. Vessel Grounds in Suez
A southbound vessel became grounded at 1430 local time on Tuesday, August 25th in the newly expanded Suez Canal, Egypt. Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) warned of delays and tailbacks in the Suez Canal following the grounding. Namely, ten vessels were reported to be in a tailback behind the grounded ship. Suez Canal Authority (SCA) tugs were sent to the scene, at KM 101, to help re-float the vessel to move the obstruction and enable southbound traffic to be cleared, ISS said. Details on the name of the ship and potential cause of the grounding are yet to be revealed.
3. Major Rescue for Royal Navy
A Royal Navy ship plucked hundreds of migrants from the Mediterranean in the biggest rescue operation of the mission so far, the Ministry of Defence has revealed. HMS Enterprise was part of a task force which saved 4,400 desperate migrants on board more than 20 Europe-bound boats off the Libyan coast.
She was the closest vessel to four of the boats, and her crew brought 453 migrants aboard on Saturday. They were later transferred to the German frigate Schleswig Holstein and taken to the southern Italian port of Taranto.
4. Malacca Security Presence
Malaysia and Indonesia formed a joint rapid deployment team to respond to the increasing piracy incidents. The joint force was established August 21 as Southeast Asia has become a hotbed for maritime piracy during the past year. The Indonesian Navy is based on Batam Island and intends to deploy two armed BO helicopters in an effort to secure the Malacca Strait. There have already been 56 cases of piracy this year. The Malaysian side is based in Johor and will support the piracy efforts with one helicopter. The rise in Southeast Asian piracy has prompted ASEAN nations to establish a permanent security presence.
5. Ship Buyer on Beach Ban
GMS, the world’s largest cash buyer of ships for recycling, supports the Danish Ship Association (DSA) which refuses to ban the practice of beaching following the recent announcement by their Norwegian counterparts. GMS says it supports DSA’s position that ship recycling choice shouldn’t be based just on geography. GMS said that a delegation from the DSA recently visited ship yards in Alang, India to see how some yards upgraded their facilities to comply with the Hong Kong Convention on ship recycling, and it is important that the market makes a distinction between beaching yards and those which comply with the Hong Kong convention.
6. Shipping Shares on Slide
US-listed shipping equities have fallen sharply amidst a broad market selloff driven by China fears. Almost all publicly traded shipping stocks were down, many in the high single digits or low double digits across the 21 August and 24 August trading sessions. The largest two-day declines were experienced by NAT (-9%), Teekay Tankers and Euroseas (-10%), Ardmore and Box Ships (-12%), Dynagas LNG Partners (-15%), Ultrapetrol (-21%) and Freeseas (-29%). The past two trading sessions topped off a more extended downward slide for shipping equities. "Shipping stocks lost an average of 8.3% last week," said Morgan Stanley.
7. Shipworkers Killed in Blast
A worker has been killed and three others have been sustained burn injuries in a cylinder blast at a ship breaking yard at Shitalpur area of Sitakunda upazila in Chittagong district. The deceased was identified as Md Iliash, 30. The injured, Md Safiqul, 35, Julhas Uddin, 36, and Md Ismail, 36, were received primary treatment from the Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH), the SI added. The incident took place at one SN Corporation, a ship breaking yard – which is facing calls for renewed and enhanced safety measures to be applied.
8. Massive Drug Haul in Tyre Load
At the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found and seized 170 brick-sized packages holding more than 424 pounds of cocaine. The bricks were concealed in a shipment of tires that originated in South America. Officials estimate the lot of cocaine would have a value of around $8 million. Officers made the narcotics bust—said to be one of the most significant at the port in recent years—with the help of NII technology, which is like an X-ray that’s used to inspect cargo.
9. Navigators All Seeing Eye
It could be a navigator’s dream to be able to ‘see’ what lies ahead underwater and now a new type of forward looking sonar offers this possibility. US company, Far Sounder is now offering forward looking sonars with an extended range. Forward looking sonars are not new. British company Echo Pilot has been offering units suitable for small vessels for many years and they were pioneers in developing 3D images of what lies ahead. Major electronic companies like Simrad now have forward looking sonars in their portfolio, but they have limited range which gives little time to take avoiding action if danger is sensed ahead of the vessel.
10. Big Buyer Goes Bulk
Athens-based Seanergy Maritime Holdings has entered into a purchase agreement to buy seven secondhand dry bulk vessels, consisting of five Capesize and two Supramax vessels, for a gross purchase price of approximately USD 183 million. Seaenergy said that the sellers of the vessels are entities affiliated with certain of the company’s major shareholders, identified by media as members of the Restis family. The bulkers range from 56,819 dwt to 179,238 dwt in capacity, and were built between 2001 and 2011. The vessels are expected to be delivered to Seaenergy between September 1 and November 30, 2015.
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