Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/09/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/09/2015


1. Technology Takes from Seafarers

A new tier of personnel for technologically advanced ships might steal the cream of maritime jobs. Seafarer skills have always had to evolve to meet the advancement of technologies deployed on board. This evolution presents the challenges of training to ensure on board safety and, as crews become inevitably smaller. As the industry moves towards the potential of remotely controlled – if not completely unmanned – ships and is under pressure to meet tough environmental regulations, the seafaring profession is looking at another transitional phase that presents its own tests and trials for training and employment.



2. Drugs Found on Boxship

Mexican authorities revealed on Monday that on Sunday they had seized 169.5 kilograms of cocaine hidden on a Hamburg Süd containership. Police and navy made the find on 3,716 teu Monte Olivia (88,747 dwt, built 2004) while it was docked in the port of Altamira on the Gulf of Mexico, in southern Tamaulipas state, which is in the northeast of the country and which borders Texas. The contraband was found in one of the ship’s containers by drug-sniffing dogs. It was divided into 150 packages. Authorities said no arrests were made and the vessel was permitted to leave port later that day.



3. IMO Vote of Confidence

“The EU Council’s decision to entrust the IMO with the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from international shipping is a vote of confidence in the international organisation’s ability to deliver” claimed Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General following the adoption of the EU Member States’ negotiating position. Mr Verhoeven said, “the IMO has already delivered important results and is making great efforts, which should…be encouraged, not undermined. Its work guarantees both global coverage and a level playing field, without which, efforts to reduce GHG emissions from ships would be counterproductive.



4. Stranded and Abandoned

Sailors stranded on M/V Aegean Princess off Sharjah have issued a desperate call for help. The stranded Indian sailors on the Panama-registered vessel have been anchored off the Sharjah coast for the past eight months. Seventeen Indian sailors and their captain have been stranded on a Panama-registered vessel anchored off the Sharjah coastline for the past eight months with limited food and water, no pay, and in grim conditions. The has been forced to ration their provisions and eat only steamed rice. Lacking even fresh water, crew members had to go up to 13 days at a time without a proper shower and clean themselves with sea water.



5. Latest Security Briefing

Protection Vessels International has released its latest weekly piracy and maritime security report. In Kenya they cover the lockdown at Mombasa port in the Höegh ship counter drugs operation. While in the Yemen merchant vessels have sighted skiffs carrying weapons in southern Red Sea. There have been reports of armed pirates in the Bay of Bengal, and off Indonesia robbers have targeted three underway vessels in western Singapore Strait. In Vietnam robbers boarded an anchored bulk carrier in Vung Tau. While in West Africa, off Benin a merchant vessel evaded a suspicious approach in Gulf of Guinea.


6. Asian Calls for Piracy Collaboration

“The vastness (of the ocean) and the resultant challenges make it mandatory for each nation to work in close collaboration to ensure security in the maritime domain. Therefore, we need to work on broadly shared objectives.” So said Rear Admiral DMB Waththewa of the Sri Lankan Navy, speaking to representatives from 34 countries several weeks ago, at the fifth annual Defense Seminar hosted in Colombo. Throughout his presentation – in which he shared his thoughts on how traditional and emerging maritime threats ought to be confronted – Waththewa emphasized the need for naval cooperation between states in the region.



7. Realistic About Markets

Ship owners appear to be more optimistic about the major shipping markets’ prospects in the long run, thus placing more newbuilding orders, looking to take advantage of low prices. According to the latest weekly report from shipbroker Allied Shipbroking, “there was a good number of new contracts emerging this week, as Japanese shipbuilders released information regarding orders they had secured from local owners both in the dry bulk and gas carrier sectors”. The shipbroker said that “beyond this and a couple of orders secured by Daewoo and Hyundai Mipo, again from local owner Sinokor, things were fairly muted in terms of new interest.



8. Divided on Best Buys

A panel of tanker experts were divided on what ship type to invest in at today’s Marine Money Singapore Ship Finance Forum. Concluding the tanker session, the panel was asked what they would invest in if they were given $100m. Hugo De Stoop, CFO at Euronav said VLCCs, claiming there were just eight or nine ships worldwide which can build this ship type. Cyril Ducau, deputy CFO at Quantum Pacific Shipping, was more circumspect, telling delegates: “I don’t see a segment that cries out for investment.” Frans van de Bospoort, who heads the tanker division at DVB Bank, said he’d plump for small handy product tankers.



9. Class Gets Into Cyber

Classification society DNV GL Group executive vice-president Tor E. Svensen has proposed the need for an increased focus on cyber security to combat current and emerging risks on board ship systems. Speaking at the IUMI conference in Berlin, Svensen noted that the use of sensors and software-driven systems improve efficiency and transparency but also pose significant challenges. Svensen said: "A greater focus on cyber security is essential to combat the risk of criminals exploiting already existing vulnerabilities." He was also concerned that human error is on the rise and is now responsible for over 50% of all claims.




10. New IMO Guidance on Bauxite

The IMO has issued a safety circular on the carriage of the mineral bauxite, warning masters of the possible danger of liquefaction. The advice has been issued by the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Containers and Cargoes after considering the findings of the Bulk Jupiter investigation. The 10-year old Bahamas-flagged bulk carrier was carrying 46,400 tonnes of bauxite when it rapidly sank off Vung Tau, Vietnam, in January this year. All but one of its 19 crew members were lost, declared dead or missing. The safety investigation uncovered evidence suggesting liquefaction of cargo led to the ship’s loss of stability.




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


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S Jones
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