Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 06/11/2015
1. Call for Standardised Piracy Reports
Shipowners organisation the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) is set to unveil a new reporting code designed to eliminate inconsistencies that currently produce significant differences in global statistics for piracy and hijackings. The criteria for recording incidents ranging from hijackings to attempted thefts currently varies for several of the organisations that report and collate statistics portraying the state of the problem worldwide. The variation is particularly acute in South East Asia where recent publication of maritime crime figures has led to organisations producing notably different views on how bad the problem is.
2. Pirates In the Dock
In a significant development, the 120 alleged Somali pirates nabbed in four operations expressed their intention to plead guilty in the case. This intention was communicated to the visiting officials of the Somalian embassy from Delhi earlier this week, which in turn was relayed in writing to the state home department on Wednesday. In the event the plea is accepted after all the legal procedures are completed, the accused face conviction. Special public prosecutor Ranjit Sangle communicated the development to the court conducting the trial. The accused could end up serving their jail term in their home country, court sources said.
3. Wood Cargo Fire on Tyne
A fire alert on a cargo ship carrying thousands of tonnes of wood pellets sparked a massive land and sea emergency response at the Port of Tyne. Dozens of firefighters, six pumping appliances and a fire boat were called out to Tyne Dock west side this morning after part of the vessel’s 11,000 tonne load housed in the ship hold overheated. The prompt action and response of the fire service has been praised, and it is hoped will save the vessel.
4. New Container Facility Opens
The port of Felixstowe has extended one of its berths so it can accommodate the world’s largest container ships. It means two mega-ships, both capabable of holding 18,000 containers, can berth and unload at the same time. The £60 million investment means the Suffolk port remains the largest in the country. Chief Executive of Felixstowe, Clemence Cheng has spoken of the development and the excitement that Felixstowe can now accommodate so many boxes simultaneously.
5. New Floating Armoury Scandal
Sri Lankan security firm Avant Garde Maritime Services (AGMS) has become embroiled in scandal as two of its floating armory vessels remain under arrest. The armory vessel Avant Garde was arrested in the port of Galle in October. AGMS officials say they received permission from the Ministry of Defence for the vessel to enter the port, but upon arrival, Sri Lankan Navy officials placed it under government control. The company described the Navy’s actions as a “downright betrayal.” Sri Lankan authorities found 816 T56 (an AK-47 variant) and 84 S type firearms on board the ship, along with about 200,000 rounds of ammunition.
6. Water Mist Systems in Spotlight
Revised IMO guidelines on water mist systems put emphasis on maintenance and performance, according to Wilhelmsen Technical Solutions (WTS). The company stated that shipowners and operators should be aware of amendments to the existing IMO circular MSC.1/Circ 1432, relating to the maintenance and inspection of fire protection systems and appliances. These amendments, contained in MSC.1/Circ 1516, were adopted by the 95thMaritime Safety Committee in June 2015. They state that in addition to scheduled onboard maintenance and inspections, the manufacturer’s own maintenance and inspection guidelines should be followed.
7. Merchant Navy Ignored in Remembrance
The Merchant Navy is too often overlooked during important memorial ceremonies. As the nation prepares to observe Remembrance Day, the Royal Merchant Navy Education Foundation (RMNEF) is issuing a reminder to the British public to honour the legacy of the Merchant Navy and its people – both past and present. While the armed forces are regularly the main focus of the day, the efforts and sacrifices of Merchant Navy seafarers are not given the attention they deserve, according to the seafaring charity. The call for increased awareness comes ahead of a dedicated service taking place at the Merchant Navy Memorial in Tower Hill.
8. CSR and Technology
The Shipping and Offshore CSR Forum in London presented the shipping industry with a technological conundrum or two. While most delegates attending the Capital Link conference agreed that ships have to offer broadband internet if the industry is going to attract a new generation of seafarers, ship-wide wifi capability is still a major challenge for shipowners – and not, as you might think, because of the costs involved. What concerned a number of delegates was the potential for ship-wide internet use to create an insular environment in which seafarers retreat to their own cabins rather than build relationships with shipmates.
9. Run Aground in Dardanelles
Multi-purpose ship Schillig, owned by Germany’s Briese Schiffahrts, has ran aground on the coast at Dalyan Burnu, Turkey, in the Dardanelles this morning. The 3,194dwt vessel was sailing from Constanta, Romania to Casablanca, Morocco and was out of route and stranded due to a steering failure. Turkish coastal safety department has sent tugboats in an attempt to refloat the vessel. As of 5am UTC the vessel was still aground.
10. Ferry Jumper Scandal
A bizarre case involving a man who jumped off a BC Ferries vessel in Active Pass got even stranger when the man allegedly showed up naked and incoherent at a home on Galiano Island. Police said they received a call from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre to help search for a man, reportedly in his mid-20s, who leaped off the Victoria-bound Coastal Celebration after launching one of the ship’s inflatable life rafts. Passenger William Shulba said he heard from a witness that the man unfastened the 100-person life raft before he flipped over the ship’s railing.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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