Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/09/2015
1. Seafarer Welfare Shake Up
Human Rights at Sea CEO, David Hammond, has called for three improvements for the maritime welfare sector. First. The establishment of a new funding mechanism directly supported by the maritime industry as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility position towards seafarers and fishermen. Second. A bi-annual meeting of CEOs of all welfare service providers and supporting organizations, in order to map out respective year’s activities and share details of planned work and events. Third. That the IMO under its new leadership issues a media statement of overt support to all maritime welfare organizations without bias.
2. Migrants in Ferry Collision
At least 13 migrants died off the coast of Turkey after a dinghy carrying them to Greece collided with a ferry. Four children were among the victims of the accident involving a vessel carrying 46 migrants from the Turkish port of Canakkale to the Greek island of Lesbos. The Greek coastguard said it had rescued 22 people from a boat that sank off Lesbos, in what was suspected to be the same incident. A survivor said the boat had collided with a ship. "It was dark, we saw the ship bearing down on us. We tried to signal with flashlights and cellphones but they did not see us," he said.
3. Case for Non MLC Enforcement
A recent application for judicial review of the Maritime & Coastal Agency’s (MCA’s) alleged failure to enforce a key provision of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) brings sharply into focus how the MLC can lead to criminal proceedings against the owner of UK flagged vessels and its master in his personal capacity.
This leads many to wonder whether the MLC has real “teeth”. Such MLC-deniers may start to see how its impact is being felt following a recent case brought in the UK’s High Court which started with a complaint to the MCA by a seafarer who alleged he had been dismissed because his employer had breached the MLC.
4. Car Carrier Firm Fined
Oslo-based car carrier Siem Car Carriers has agreed to pay USD 135,000 fine following a compromise agreement with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. FMC disclosed that earlier this year Siem Car Carriers submitted a voluntary disclosure to the commission which identified certain unfiled space charter agreements with respect to its provision of Roll On–Roll Off transport of new and used automobiles and other rolling stock in U.S. trades between March 1 and March 7, 2010. These agreements had not been filed with the FMC or become effective under the U.S. Shipping Act.
5. Aussie Ban for Repeat Offender
An Indonesian flagged general cargo ship has been banned from entering or using any port in Australia for three months. The ban on the 3,455-dwt Noah Satu (built 2004) will remain in place until 16 December 2015, the AMSA said. The ship has been detained by AMSA four times since August 2013 with the most recent detention was on 14 September 2015 at Port Alma, Queensland. The Noah Satu is owned by PT Anugerah Samudra Indomakur and operated by PT Adnyana. Both companies are based in Indonesia. AMSA said the four detentions identified serious and repetitive failings in the vessel’s operations and maintenance.
6. Maersk Goes Back to Tankers
Maersk Tankers has ordered nine medium-range tankers, underlining its commitment to the tanker business. Maersk Tanker placed the $300 million order for the vessels, which will be able to carry refined products such as gasoline and diesel, from Samsung Heavy Industries’ Ningbo shipyard in China. “The investment … is a clear indication of Maersk Tankers commitment to remain at the very top of the product tanker industry,” the shipping company said in a statement. Maersk Tankers last year stopped transporting crude oil when it sold its 15 supertankers, known as Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), to Belgium’s Euronav.
7. Maritime Security Partnership Needed
The CEO of a leading maritime security company has called for more regional cooperation and acceptation of public-private partnerships to deal with global threats. Speaking at a conference in Australia, Phil Cable said: “Maritime crime is a problem that needs engagement from all players – government, law enforcement, the shipping industry and its associates which include the security industry.” The need to regulate and police the maritime domain to tackle global threats is as pressing as ever according to Cable. He stated that a “lack of law and order” in certain parts of the world was the key factor behind a wide range of global threats.
8. Ivy League Gets Investment Itch
A fund linked to Harvard University kept sinking money into a dry-bulk shipping business even while losses persisted, as the investor tried innovative ways to avoid troubles that have plagued the ocean transport industry since the financial crisis. Cayman Islands-based Francolin invested in Global Maritime Investments as part of a 2011 joint venture and spent the next four years advancing money to the transport company, restructuring its debt and trying to turn a profit in the difficult business of moving goods such as coal, ore and grain during a global shipping glut. It didn’t work. Global Maritime and most of its units filed for bankruptcy.
9. Weapons and Drug Ship Named
Kenyan police raided a ship docked in Mombasa on Friday, on suspicion that it carried drugs and firearms, officials said. Höegh Autoliners has confirmed that the vessel under investigation is its Höegh Transporter, a 6,500 ceu Pure Car/Truck Carrier (PCTC). A statement from Höegh Autoliners said the following: Höegh Transporter berthed in Mombasa, Kenya Thursday 17 September in the afternoon for a regular discharge operation. The vessel came from Mumbai, India. After berthing, the vessel was boarded by Kenyan authorities, who requested to inspect the cargo to be discharged in Mombasa.
10. Illegal Shipment Tanker Arrested
The product tanker Ruby Star was arrested off Pulau Karimun Besar island in Singapore Strain for illegal shipment of crude oil. The vessel was stopped by the Indonesian Navy for routine check and was estimated that cargo ship has no documents for transportation of 1500 tons of oil, loaded in Indonesia and bound to Singapore West OPL Singapore. The ship was detained for further investigation and was anchored off Pulau Karimun Besar island with 13 crew members on board. The ship and crew are under arrest and Indonesian authorities will start lawsuit against the shipping company and crew.
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