Top Ten Maritime News Stories 02/09/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 02/09/2015

1. Hamburg Mega-Ship Blaze

A UASC containership caught fire at the Port of Hamburg on the morning of August 28, 2015, where around 36 fire-fighters were called on site to extinguish the flames, according to the Arabian Supply Chain. There were no reports of casualties at Hamburg, although it is believed that the 13,500 TEU, 2012 built ship suffered significant damage. Around 30 shipping containers had to be removed from the vessel so that the fire-fighting team could more easily reach the container which had caught fire. So far it is unclear as to the cause of the incident. Port fires can have potential damaging effects on both people and the environment.



2. IMO Chief Blasts People Smugglers

Prompted by recent incidents in which hundreds of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe have lost their lives, including dozens found dead in the holds of the ships that were carrying them, International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu has voiced strong condemnation and refreshed calls for concerted action to tackle people smugglers. Sekimizu noted that smugglers were sending people to sea in craft that were totally unsuitable for passengers and crowding them on board to levels that were completely unsafe.




3. Urgent Alert on Ship Thefts

P&I Club GARD, issued a new urgent alert, highlighting the issue of petty theft incidents, which have been escalating in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. GARD highlighted a continuing trend in Southeast Asia of the hijacking of small coastal tankers by maritime pirates, and a recent spike in petty theft incidents on the night in the waters covering the Straits of Malacca and the Singapore TSS. In most of the above mentioned attacks, the pirates were successful in boarding the vessels “undetected” which clearly indicates the challenge facing crews when transiting the straits of Malacca and Singapore.



4. Drilling Into Risk

The Alert! bulletin has been stressing the importance of risk management. According to the latest issue, afloat or ashore, we cannot eliminate risk, but it can be sensibly managed to a tolerable level. It begins with a hypothetical, but worryingly authentic, tale of a new Shipmaster in his first voyage in command who has forgotten all the lessons of prudence and teamwork which was taught. The reader is left to imagine his fate, and that of his ship, after his impetuous decision to take a short cut! The Alert! centrefold examines the human element and human-system aspects of health, safety, security, environment and quality management.



5. Joint Inspection Campaign Begins

The Maritime Authorities of the Tokyo and the Paris Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control has launched a joint Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Crew Familiarization for Enclosed Space Entry. The aim of the CIC is to ensure effective procedures and measures are in place to safeguard seafarers on board ships when entering and working in enclosed spaces and to check compliance with the applicable requirements of the SOLAS Convention. This inspection campaign will be held for three months, commencing 1 September 2015 and ending 30 November 2015.



6. Weapons Found on Cargo Ship

A Greek coast guard special unit raided a Bolivian-flagged freighter early Tuesday off the southern island of Crete and found a shipment of undeclared weapons apparently headed for Libya. The coast guard identified the cargo vessel as the Haddad 1, which sailed from the Turkish port of Iskenderun on Aug. 29 and was headed for Libya’s western harbor of Misrata. It said in an announcement that the ship "was carrying arms without legal documentation." It wasn’t initially clear what kind of armaments the vessel had on board.  The United Nations has imposed an embargo on weapons shipments to Libya.



7. Seafarers Living in Squalor 

Twelve stranded Indian sailors have been living without pay and on limited medical, food and water supplies for three months aboard a vessel berthed at the Ajman freezone. Most of the stranded crew of "Happy Success" said they have not been paid their salaries for over five months and in some cases six. Crew members also alleged that the supply of diesel, food and drinking water has been irregular. The vessel’s owner and director, Rohan Hede – of Hede Ferromina’s Pvt Ltd based out of Goa, India – said the company is doing everything in their power to clear the paperwork of the employees and send them back to India.




8. US Releases Scrubber Guide

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) has released the Fourth Edition of the "Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Selection Guide."  The new edition is said to provide ship owners and operators with the up-to-date information on scrubber technology for use in complying with industry sulfur content regulations on marine fuels.  Included in the latest edition is "guidance on regulatory requirements and compliance options, life cycle analyses for various vessel types, review of scrubber technology and technical insight into integration, operations, and maintenance challenges."



9. Evergreen Launches New Service

Taiwanese carrier Evergreen announced it has deployed a new L-type vessel for its Asia Pacific-Middle East service starting on 31 August. Named Ever Lifting, the 8,508 teu box ship is the 10th L-type vessel built by China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSBC) in Taiwan, and was delivered on 31 August. The carrier also signed a deal with CSBC on 10 August to build 10 2,800 teu box ships, with the first vessel to be delivered in the second half of 2017, and the whole series completed by the first half of 2018. The vessels will be deployed in the intra-Asia trade, according to Evergreen.



10. Star Bulk Slips Deeper into Red

Despite cost saving efforts, vessel divestment, and the cancelation of one newbuild order, Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (Star Bulk) reported $105.2 million net loss in the first six months of 2015. The shipper also posted a $65 million net loss for 2015’s second quarter, compared to an almost $3 million net loss during the same period last year. However vessel acquisitions from Ocean Bulk Shipping LLC (Oceanbulk) and Excel Shipping (Excel) saw Star Bulk go from operating 17 vessels in Q2 2014 to 70 vessels by the end of 2015’s second quarter. Bulk Star reports successfully reducing its average daily operating expenses per vessel.





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


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