Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/10/2015
1. Fire Onboard Cruise Ship
A fire broke out in one of two engine rooms on Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas. The fire took about two hours to extinguish put out and 20 people have been treated for smoke inhalation. Splendour of the Seas is on the fifth day of a seven-day cruise from Venice. The fire occurred as the ship sailed to Argostoli, Greece. The ship will bypass the port call to Argostoli and continue onward to Venice. In July, Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas caught fire in Jamaica. Royal Caribbean said the ship experienced a fire in one of its two engine rooms. The ship is currently sailing towards Venice, Italy, and all systems are functioning.
2. ITF Pushes for Carbon Tax
Global shipping firms will have to shell out about $400,000 annually for each ship they own, if the International Transport Federation’s (ITF) proposal to introduce a carbon tax on ships is accepted. Olaf Merk, author of an ITF policy paper, said: “As some sort of very rough average, the $25-per-tonne of CO2 tax would imply additional costs of $400,000 per year per ship (domestic shipping not included), considering that the global fleet is around 50,000 ships and carbon emissions from international shipping around 800 million tonnes.” He said carbon tax is “linked to fuel use” in a move that will incentivise fuel efficiency.
3. More Arrests in Singapore
Two vessels this week have been arrested in Singapore, according to the latest records from the Supreme Court of Singapore. The Mare Traveller, which according to VesselsValue.com is a 2011-built 57,000 dwt bulk carrier owned by Germany-based Marenave Schiffahrts AG, was arrested on Tuesday following instruction from Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP. The second vessel, Akademik Fersman, is understood to be a seismic survey vessel owned by Russian petroleum industry focused geophysical services firm JSC DMNG. Mare Traveller is the third bulk carrier to be arrested this month in Singapore
4. Taiwan Supports Piracy Support
Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday with the United Kingdom-based International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Networks’ Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP), under which Taiwan will donate US$30,000 to the Piracy Survivor Family Fund. The memorandum was inked by Tung Kuo-yu, Taiwan’s representative to the European Union and Belgium, and MPHRP Programme Manager Tom Holmer at the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium. Taiwan greatly appreciates the assistance provided by the international community and is now trying to give back, Tung said.
5. Latest ReCAAP Data
Singapore-based anti-piracy agency, ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) has recorded a total of 161 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia during January-September 2015. The total incidents for January-September 2015 reports marked a 25% increase year-on-year as compared to 150 incidents recorded in the same period last year. Out of the 161 incidents, 11 cases were classified as piracy where the incidents occurred on high seas, while the remaining 150 incidents belong to armed robberies against ships where the incidents took place within state’s internal waters, archipelagic waters and territorial sea.
6. Search and Rescue Drone
A Spanish-conceived remote-controlled multicopter built to support maritime search-and-rescue services has taken home the grand prize at the European Satellite Navigation Competition 2015, which will see it obtain both cash and further support. Mr Enrique Martínez Asensi and his winning team hope to see the Poseidron device save lives far out at sea when people fall overboard or are involved in shipwrecks that occur during illegal immigration. Custom-developed by Sincratech Aeronautics – a start-up based in Valencia, Spain – Poseidron can be launched from ships or platforms under virtually any weather conditions.
7. Germany Looks to the Future
Germany’s invitation-only 9th National Maritime Conference has been held to present Germany’s “Maritime Strategy” by the Federal Government. The event saw the signing of a deep sea mining memorandum of understanding with France. Another significant change was made to Germany’s treatment of non-wage labor costs for domestically-flagged ships. German shipowners wanted to cuts to the relatively higher cost of non-wage labor taxes (e.g. pensions, unemployment insurance, social contributions, etc.) under the German flag. The government responded by bring labor costs in line with other European countries.
8. BP Leases 18 Tankers
Chinese state-owned bank ICBC has clinched a deal with oil giant BP worth USD869 million for the 10-year lease of 18 oil tankers. The leasing contract is reported to be the biggest financial deal completed by BP Shipping, BP’s maritime unit, and was signed yesterday with ICBC Financial Leasing. BP also signed a deal worth around USD10 billion with power generation company China Huadian Corp on 21 October 2015 during Chinese president Xi Jinping’s state visit to the United Kingdom. BP Shipping said that the tanker leasing deal is in line with its fleet renewal plan and awarded the contract to ICBC Financial Leasing through a tender.
9. Mega Ship Supply and Demand
The rate of mega-vessel ordering is unlikely to slow down soon, as many shipyards continue to complete their orders for massive numbers of ships, a feat that is causing a wider mismatch between supply and demand. Around 97 ships of 18-20,000 TEU capacity are anticipated to be ordered by mid-2019, with a total of 36 to be delivered this year. Nine out of a total of 20 largest carriers will be operating ships of this size by 2018. Experts state, weaker data on exports and manufacturing in China and its economic transition increase uncertainty for container shipping, supply/demand imbalance will be exacerbated by mega-vessel orders.
10. Crews Urged to get Snapping
The London P&I Club says vessels need a good-quality digital camera on board their vessels as part of their attempts to collect and preserve evidence in the event of claims arising, particularly as a result of damage to fixed or floating objects. The club says experts need clear images to provide early remote assistance with incidents, and that insurers need evidence of the alleged damage and the losses suffered. The article states often experts or insurers often have little to go on, "perhaps a quick sketch, a few pixelated images and a remarkably large bill for repairs and loss of use."
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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