Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/09/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/09/2015


1. Owners Blamed for Skills Shortage

Shipowners continue to be the ones to blame for the shortage of seafarers, their constant bid to source cheap crew ultimately costing them, argues a top name in human resources. Neil Carrington of HR firm CESG says, “The industry has never really done a good job of attracting people.” Recruiting seafarers particularly at senior levels is a challenge, he says. “This is the result of cutting too deep and not planning for the long term,” Carrington explains. “Some sectors have poached competent experienced staff rather than invest in training and I am convinced that the resultant rise in salary levels probably outweighs any savings".




2. Insurers Face Tianjin Fallout

Following the blast at Tianjin last month, IUMI is warning that large cargo losses are having a significant impact on the marine insurance sector and this recent incident should serve as a “wake-up call to all cargo insurers”. The Tianjin incident, coupled with other large losses in 2015 – including the grounding of car carrier Höegh Osaka resulting in a vehicle loss exposure of £35m – is expected to have an impact on the profitability of the marine cargo sector in 2014 and 2015. IUMI expects to see cargo losses of at least US$1.5bn with some reports stating that the final figure could be as high as US$6bn.



3. Increased Risks in SE Asia

Companies in South-east Asia are facing increased risk from threats ranging from floods to terrorist attacks, making it imperative for them to ensure they have adequate insurance coverage. And experts say it is an ideal time for businesses to ensure their coverage is sufficient. A recent study by Lloyd’s showed that the economies of South-east Asia’s 15 largest cities stand to lose some US$300 billion (S$420 billion) owing to threats over the next decade. These include both natural and manmade threats. The rising piracy threat was also mentioned, as was the growth of Cybercrime.



4. RN Ship to Target Traffickers

A British warship could be used to target people traffickers in the Mediterranean as part of European Union efforts to tackle a growing migrant crisis, the Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday. The government said it was offering the ship to board, seize and destroy vessels in international waters off the coast of Libya, where smugglers have taken advantage of political turmoil to ship thousands of illegal migrants to Europe. British Royal Navy ships have been involved in rescuing migrants but the government said it wanted to do more. HMS Richmond, is ready to deploy as soon as it was given approval by the EU.


5. Bad Recruiters Attacked

Many cases of sailors being outright cheated, stranded abroad with no job, or forced to work on vessels they had not agreed to have been reported in recent times, prompting accusations that the Myanmar government has not properly protecting its citizens. But the Ministry of Transport, has come out fighting saying the rot is about to stop thanks to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, which parliament approved on August 28. The government message to recruiters holding a Seafarer Recruitment and Placement Services licence is simple, "Fail to follow the convention and you’ll be shut down".



6. Grounding Could Have Been Worse

The Canada Transportation Safety Board says the grounding of a Japanese coal ship off B.C.’s North Coast could have been worse, had the massive vessel been moving more quickly. The Japanese bulk carrier Amakusa Island was hauling 80,000 tonnes of Canadian coal when it hit a shoal about 22 km from Prince Rupert on July 14, 2014. The ship ran aground and visibly listed. No one was injured and no pollution was released, but the 228-metre ship was left with damage to its ballast tanks, which began to take on water, and sustained cracks up to 30 metres long.  "This incident was fairly serious," said the Transportation Safety Board.



7. North Korea Wants Ship Back

North Korea is apparently planning to send a crew to take back a cargo ship held in Mexico for more than a year after it became stranded on a coral reef. Authorities in the so called Hermit Kingdom say the vessel is a site of historical significance because it had been visited by members of regime leader Kim Jong Un’s family, according to sources. The Mu Du Bong ran aground in July last year. Its crew of 33 were eventually repatriated after 12 months, but Mexico has kept the ship on the grounds that is run by a blacklisted shipping firm, Ocean Maritime Management. North Korea has sanctions against it in place from the United Nations.




8. New Code of Safe Working

Although primarily applicable to United Kingdom flagged vessels, copies of the “Code of Safe Working Practices” promoting measures to improve health and safety are frequently carried by vessels flying other flags. The United Kingdom Maritime and Coastguard Agency has recently published a new 2015 edition of the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers. Members who use this publication are advised to ensure that their technical libraries ashore and afloat are updated to include the latest version.



9. Death Ship New Evidence

After months of waiting for the inquest into how two men died aboard the Sage Sagittarius, the inquest has again wrapped up until February next year. New evidence suggests that chief engineer Hector Collado’s death — the second aboard the Sagittarius in late 2012 — may not be suspicious.  In contrast to evidence given earlier in the year, blood evidence showed it was unlikely that others were involved in his death.  This flies in the face of findings made by Newcastle forensic pathologist Dr Brian Beer who told the inquest the engineer’s death was suspicious.  The next tranche of inquest sittings will begin in February.


10. Yacht Owner Foiled

A yacht owner, hoping to be reunited with his abandoned boat after learning it had sailed itself across the Atlantic to the UK, had his hopes dashed when the Irish Navy sunk it.  Thomas Mallanut, from Germany, had to desert his 25ft boat off the coast of Bermuda.  Almost a year later, he was contacted saying the boat, worth tens of thousands of pounds, had been sighted near the UK – nearly 3,000 miles from where the owners had left it.  Hoping to be reunited with his yacht, named Troll, Mr Mallanut travelled to Cornwall – alas though, the Irish Navy were ordered to board the vessel and sink it because it was a hazard to shipping.


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


Best regards,

S Jones
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