Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/11/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/11/2015


1. Industry Wake Up Call

Maersk Line’s decision last week to lay-up one of its 18,000 teu flagships is “good news for the industry”, Drewry Maritime Advisors said earlier this week. Other ocean carriers are likely to follow the market leader and mothball more surplus ships. The move to idle the Triple-E vessel followed a profit warning from the Maersk group which lowered its full-year profit forecast for the container division by $600m to “around $1.6bn. It blamed freight rates which “significantly deteriorated”, especially on its main Asia-Europe route in the latter part of September and into October. Drewry said Maersk Line’s woes were a “wake up call” for the industry.




2. Indonesia Blocks Nuclear Ship

The Indonesian navy is ready to prevent nuclear waste-laden vessel from entering its waters on its way to Australia. The "BBC Shanghai" nuclear waste-carrying ship is reportedly due to reach Australia by 27 November. The government will request the Navy to prevent a vessel carrying 125 tons of nuclear waste from France to Australia from entering the Indonesian waters. They are under the impression that Indonesian seawaters are "not part of the routes allowed for foreign vessels traveling from Europe to Australia and vice versa", and they also object to the nuclear waste.




3. Cruise Line Staff Fines

A Brazilian court has ordered MSC Cruises to pay fines, wages, overtime hours and other damages to 11 crew members of MSC Magnifica having determined that the crew was subjected to unfair working conditions. The case dates back to April, 2014, when the said crew was “rescued” at the port of Salvador, as described by Defonsoria Publica Da Uniao (Public Defence Office), having been subjected to similar “working conditions to that of slaves.” Collective legal action on behalf of the crew was filed by the DPU in May last year. The MSC denied the allegations of excessive hours, as well as moral and sexual harassment.




4. Tanker Collides in Taiwan Strait

Product tanker Hu You 8 collided with fishing vessel Min Shi Yu about 20 nautical miles off Quanzhou, Taiwan Strait yesterday afternoon. The tanker was carrying 2,976 tons of oil from Huizhou to Nantong. The tanker suffered hull damage and water ingress and began to list, however the crew managed to stabilize the vessel through dispersing oil storage and ballasting. The vessel then sailed to Meizhou Bay with the escort of coast guard ships. All 14 crew member onboard the tanker are safe, with one person onboard the fishing vessel suffering injuries.



5. Crew Cost Concerns Rise

Moore Stephens’ annual survey suggests that crew wages, repairs and maintenance , along with drydocking are the costs that are most likely to increase most significantly this year and next. The respondents, mainly owners and managers in Europe and Asia suggest that vessel operating costs across the board will rise by 2.8% this year and 3.1% next year. There are a large number of new regulations “biting” everyone, bringing the need for capital expenditure to remain compliant. And while the costs of the most competent seafarers will rise this is precisely because there are rather fewer of them than the best employers would like.



6. Huge Spike in Crew Deaths

The ITF has claimed a huge "spike in deaths of seafarers on ships", and it’s all put down to suicides. The union is watching closely for the results of forensic tests on "Yangtze Oasis" and have been monitoring the "Sage Sagittarius" investigations with interest. In an interview published by Human Rights at Sea last week, it was stated: “We get a lot of cases where people are reported missing over the side of ships. The insurance companies immediately say that it was suicide. They hope a Senate enquiry will lead to legislation changes that will achieve greater protection of seafarers in Australian waters.



7. Understanding Seafarer Stress

A typical working day for seamen consists of 14 long hours. Probably only because the International Labour Organization (ILO) decided this would be the maximum for seafarers, since the work on board never stops. Some decades ago, long working days were appointed as one of the main causes of high stress levels, causing employees to make sometimes dangerous mistakes or leading to serious health problems. A new study has set about understanding stress at sea and the effect on seafarers and safety. Stress is a response from your brain and body to external factors, for example your job – and life at sea contains many such factors.




8. Africa Looks to Secure Prosperity

As Africa enjoys unprecedented economic growth, it is looking for ways to protect and expand this prosperity for years to come. During its 50th anniversary celebrations, African Union leaders pointed to the continent’s “blue economy,” the trade and industry linked to the sea, as vital to sustaining that growth in the coming decades. “Africa being a big island, there is a need to have a better understanding of all activities in its adjoining oceans and seas, and think seriously how to maximize the limitless opportunities laying therein,” said Erastus Mwencha, deputy chairman of the African Union Commission.




9. Livestock Carrier Burns

The livestock carrier Awassi Express caught fire in Portland, Australia. The vessel was docked at the berth, when fire started in the silo, which was full with 800 tonnes of fodder grain. The local firefighting brigade arrived at the scene of the accident and assisted the crew with extinguishing the fire. During the accident there were no animals on board and no injured people. The grain was self combusted, but the livestock carrier Awassi Express is not seriously damaged. The local authorities started investigation for the root cause of the accident and will follow an inspection of the vessel before return in operations.



10. LNG Powered First for Panama

The 3,100 TEU Isla Bella, the world’s first LNG-powered container ship, has transited through the Panama Canal for the first time.  The 764 foot-long American-flagged boxship is the first of two Marlin Class container ships contracted by TOTE Maritime and built by General Dynamics NASSCO in partnership with the American Bureau of Shipping and the U.S. Coast Guard. “The Isla Bella is a true engineering feat,” said Panama Canal Administrator/CEO Jorge L. Quijano. “We are honored that this vessel, with its unique technology, transited the Canal.” The transit by the Isla Bella marks a milestone for the maritime industry and the Panama Canal.




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


Best regards,

S Jones
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