Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/10/2015
1. US Search Continues
The U.S. Coast Guard continued an intensive search-and-rescue operation Sunday for a cargo ship with 33 crew members that went missing in the waters off the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin, with officials saying aircraft had spotted an oil sheen and a 225-square-mile field of debris, including life jackets, life rings, wood, cargo and other objects. The Coast Guard was working to confirm the objects were from El Faro, a 790-foot vehicle container ship that was carrying 28 U.S. citizens and five Poles. El Faro was on a regular run from Jacksonville, Fla., to San Juan, Puerto Rico, carrying groceries, cars, trucks and standard retail items.
2. Pirates Strike Tanker
Pirates have boarded a chemical tanker in Malaysian waters, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reports. The incident took place on Thursday 1.5 nautical miles off Sandakan, in the northeast part of the country. IMB said two robbers made their way on to the vessel using the anchor chain. The crew raised the alarm in time and the thieves abandoned the stolen items and escaped. No injuries have been reported, while the name of the vessel has not yet become known. The government is establishing a task force to combat piracy gangs after increased pirate activity has been noticed in the Malacca and Singapore Straits.
3. Understanding Piracy Network
There are 18 pirate networks accounted for within South East Asia and 65 upper-tier players have been identified in the author’s network analysis. Upper-tier players consist of fixers (middlemen), boarding team leaders, recruiters, forgers, so-called ‘big bosses’, and buyers. Boarding team ‘foot soldiers’ as well as the insiders that supply information are not included in this list as it would triple if not quadruple it. Additionally, ten phantom tankers have been identified within the region that are used for hijacking operations as well as three pirate mother ships, five suspected phantom ships and two go-fast boats.
4. Containers Smartening Up
The CMA CGM Group has announced the 18,000 TEU flagship vessel "CMA CGM BOUGAINVILLE" is the first container ship in the world to be equipped with TRAXENS technology, which transforms containers into smart connected objects. This technology transforms standard containers into smart, connected, objects and introduces the multimodal transportation system into the Big Data era. The TRAXENS’ equipped smart containers communicate among themselves and to the ship’s.
5. Ambulance Chasers Banned
A law prohibiting “ambulance chasers” from taking undue advantage of Filipino seafarers is on President Aquino’s desk awaiting his signature. A party-list lawmaker said on Sunday the House of Representatives had adopted the Senate version of the proposed Seafarers Protection Act, which makes it illegal for lawyers to solicit business among seafarers and charge them hefty legal fees ranging from 30 to 60 percent of the monetary benefits due from cases of illness, accident or death. The House passed its bill in December last year, while the Senate approved its version only last Sept. 21, there is confidence President Aquino will soon sign. http://goo.gl/Vv6Xr7
6. Slavery and the Sea
Despite a lack of reporting, human rights issues, frequently occur in the Pacific. These include original contracts replaced by fraudulent contracts and/or in language not understood by crewmen, papers held by senior crew, debt bondage (crew obliged to ‘pay off’ the cost of their travel and papers), lack of adequate first aid equipment, lack of adequate food, very long working hours (18 hours or more per day), no days off, beatings for not understanding instructions, non-payment of wages, inadequate sleeping areas and absence of clean drinking water. Deaths at sea are caused by health factors, accidents and inadequate safety gear.
7. How Many More Manning Cuts
Despite many accident findings pointing to fatigue of seafarers, reduced staffing is one of the most widely used methods of reducing crewing costs and raising efficiency. In a positive way, this reduction is enabled by automation; in a negative way it is often achieved by pressurizing crew members to work in their off duty time at the cost of health and safety. The desired outcome of reduced manning is increased efficiency, but this can be only achieved when safety is not compromised. Hence, fatigue and getting Tired and stressed is the enemy of efficiency as it can lead to an increased probability of mistakes.
8. Bunker Industry Needs Tightening
International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) Chairman Jens Maul Jørgensen has levelled harsh criticism against the International Maritime Organization (IMO), accusing the organization of having "no idea" of the market from the owner and operator side. In terms of environmental regulations, Jørgensen said that the IMO has routinely honed in on rules that apply to owners and operators without also creating rules that will apply to fuel producers and help raise the quality of bunkers. "The problem is that the IMO has, for years, avoided implementing requirements for energy companies and refineries to deliver the necessary quality," he said.
9. Allision Causes Fuel Leak
The bulk carrier Global Gold allided with pier in Astoria port, USA. After the accident the ship got large 1.2 meter gash in fuel tank area, which caused oil spill. The local authorities reacted immediately and surrounded the bulk carrier Global Gold by boom and started cleansing. The allision was caused by propulsion system failure and vessel went adrift hitting the quay. The breach was above the waterline and did not caused danger for ship’s seaworthiness and stability. There were no injured seamen during the allision. The local authorities started investigation for the root cause of the collision.
10. Sewol Ferry Claims In
As compensation claims for the Sewol ferry disaster closed on 30 September, 75% of victims’ families and survivors had made filings. Sewol, carrying 476 passengers and crew capsized on 16 April 2014, leaving 304 dead or missing. Many of the dead were students and teachers from Danwon High School. Among the 172 survivors, a vice-principal of Danwon High School committed suicide and 14 crew members were jailed for abandoning the passengers to their fate. South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said that families of 208 of the 304 dead or missing people and 140 of 157 eligible survivors had filed claims.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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