Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/11/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/11/2015


1. Islamic State No Threat to Shipping

A new Dryad report states there is no positive evidence that Islamic State has the capability to conduct a successful attack on commercial shipping, despite its stated intent to do so, according to an assessment of maritime security in the Mediterranean produced by Dryad Maritime. However, the report warns that it may be able to in the future if it is able to consolidate its current foothold in Libya, which would offer it the necessary launch points and logistics for such activity. IS propaganda has recently proclaimed the “closure of shipping lines because of the targeting of Crusader ships and tankers” as a tactical aim.


2. Angry Crew Halt Sailing

Crew have halted the final voyage of an Alcoa-owned alumina bulker to Singapore by refusing to sail the ship, which is to be sold and replaced with a foreign-flagged vessel with an international crew, reports say. Forty Australian crew members, 19 of whom were due to sail onboard the Portland, are protesting against the loss of their jobs and of the bulker, which has been engaged in the cabotage trade for nearly three decades. Portland has carried alumina from Western Australia to Alcoa’s aluminium smelting plant at Portland, western Victoria, for 27 years.




3. Maritime Human Rights Conference

Ensign Events together with Human Rights at Sea announce the launch of the International Maritime Human Rights Conference and Gala Dinner 2016. Taking place in London on September 14th 2016, the event will focus on explicitly addressing the issue of maritime human rights and associated welfare issues throughout the maritime environment. It will explore topical and emerging matters, and investigate human rights protections and available remedies for abuse. Undertaken by both national and international experts, the event will deliver incisive commentary and concepts to the audience for consideration and debate.



4. Cyber Attacks Grabbing Headlines

Front-page headlines revealing devastating cyber attacks on government agencies and the world’s largest companies have become a regular occurrence and grabbed headlines. The maritime industry faces very real cyber threats and potentially devastating fallout from its failure to address and employ proper cybersecurity measures. While the industry has been somewhat hesitant to discuss these cyber threats, cyber attacks and subsequent losses, the reality of cyber attacks in the maritime industry can no longer be ignored or denied. Accordingly, the industry is on the verge of great change.



5. Christmas Jump Fails to Show

The yearly ‘Christmas jump’ in container trade has “almost completely failed to materialise” thanks to falling container volumes from Russia and China, says the Port of Hamburg. The Port’s quarterly report noted a 4.8% downturn in cargoes for the first nine months of 2015, down largely to a 9.2% decrease in container cargo, to 6.7m teu. Container throughput with China fell to 1.9m teu, a 14.9% drop. Russian traffic was 323,000 teu, down 36% in the first nine months of 2015, but the Port noted that the trend “appears to have ceased”.



6. Seafarers Lying About Health

There are times when a seafarer might be evasive about the truth. Faced with the prospect of rejection, they may not admit to past medical conditions during their preemployment medical check. There’s a chance they will get away with it because in many countries, including the Philippines, there is no central database that documents medical history. But seafarers are in demand, particularly those with experience, those in senior roles and those who, having reached their forties and fifties, are more likely to have health issues. Medical care companies are therefore devising pre-screening solutions that benefit both seafarers and owners.



7. Ro-Ro Ferry Sinks

Some 100 people have been rescued, while the search and rescue crews are looking for over 70 more after a RoRo passenger ship sank in Lamong Bay, Surabaya, Indonesia, in the morning hours of November 16th, according to local news agency. The incident, involving the vessel, identified as Indonesia-flagged KM Wihan Sejahtera, happened shortly after the RoRo departed the Port of Tanjung Perak, Surabaya. Right after the passengers felt a jolt thought to be due to a collision, the vessel reportedly started listing, and subsequently sank. The cause of the incident is under investigation. She was carrying some 170 passengers.



8. Dismantling Concordia Continues

The effort to dismantle the ill-fated Costa Concordia continues in Genoa, Italy with approximately 200 technicians now working to cut up and remove all fittings and structures from the vessel. According to the latest update from the Ship Recycling consortium released Wednesday, the lightening of the cruise ship has allowed the removal of the first giant steel sponsons that have provided buoyancy for the wreck since it was refloated in July 2014.  The update said that what started from the top decks down, cutting operations are now taking place on decks 8 to 7 while stripping is down to decks 2 and 1.



9. Shipbuilder Facing Bankruptcy

The South Korean shipyard STX Offshore & Shipbuilding is apparently close to a bankruptcy if not yard soon find new vendors who are willing to pump huge sums into the yard. Otherwise, there is the prospect of a collapse in the first half of 2016. STX Shipbuilding CEO Lee Byung-Mo recently sent a message to its employees, saying, “If we operate our company the way it is without special countermeasures, we will be short of funds worth hundreds of billions of won in the next three years. The company will face a crisis at the end of this year and collapse at the first half of 2016.”



10.  Skuld on Spares Fines

Skuld has flagged some customs issues in Argentina, in which new "requirements" are causing confusion and leading to fines. Correspondents has confirmed that declaring the lube oil in the auxillary engines a new common customs “requirement”. As to what is to be declared in the ”ship’s store list” named as per the Customs Code in Spanish as ”manifesto de rancho” section 507 of the Customs Code reads: These include catering supplies and supplies of the vessel, fuel, spare parts, gear, utensils, groceries and other merchandise being on board the vessel for their own consumption and for its crew and passengers.


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S Jones
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