Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 19/11/2015
1. BIMCO on Cyber Threats
Attendees of BIMCO’s Annual Conference in Hamburg will today hear the very latest findings on the potential vulnerabilities of ships to cyber attacks. In a session dedicated to the topic, BIMCO and industry experts will show three scenarios showing the possible risks and the methods of prevention for a cyber attack on ships’ systems. The session is designed for corporate management but also focused on the safety of seafarers and ships. BIMCO delegates will hear from Andrew Fitzmaurice, CEO of Templar Executives, who believes the maritime industry must be prepared to rigorously protect its business, people, vessels and reputation.
2. Tackling Stowaway Threats
The UK P&I Club is warning that stowaways continue to pose a major, and potentially expensive problem for shipowners. "With the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean and the media attention this continues to receive, it is often easy to forget that the problem of stowaways is still a very real problem for shipowners," says UK P&I Club Claims Executive Amanda Hastings. "The majority of these stowaways are finding more creative ways in which to board ships." "In addition to conducting thorough stowaway searches…additional precautions may need to be taken due to ship design," notes Ms. Hastings.
3. Fire on Cruise Ship
Hundreds of passengers have been evacuated from a private cruise vessel after a fire broke out in the engine room. Mega-yacht Le Boréal issued a distress call just after 2am local time when it was near Cape Dolphin, to the north of the Falkland Islands. Ninety of the 347 passengers and crew were air lifted to safety from life rafts, while the rest were transferred to another ship. No one was injured during the incident, which happened as the ship travelled from Grave Cove to South Georgia. A spokesman for Compagnie du Ponant, which owns Le Boréal, said: "As a precaution, all passengers were evacuated from the ship".
4. Norway Signs Forced Labour Convention
Norway has become the second country, after Niger, to ratify the Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention. The move is significant as ILO binding instruments generally provide that an adopted protocol comes into force 12 months after being ratified by two member states. Following the Norwegian Government’s action, the new framework to fight forced labour and modern slavery will come into force on 9 November 2016. “Norway’s ratification will help millions of children, women and men reclaim their freedom and dignity. It represents a strong call to other member States to renew their commitment to protect forced labourers.” said the ILO.
5. Consider Treatment of Stowaways
The UK P&I Club has issued advice saying that international human rights standards should be observed when dealing with stowaways. The U.N. Declaration on Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Convention of Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL) Convention all apply. “Shipowners should take care to ensure that stowaways are not subject to degrading or inhumane treatment whilst on board, and should be provided with water, food, clothing, medical treatment (if required) and accommodation.” U.K.-based charity Human Rights at Sea welcomes the UK P&I Club’s clear message.
6. Crew Die Trying to Save Others
Two crewmen died after ignoring safety warnings to rush to the aid of a stricken crewmate in the hold of their ship and were then suffocated themselves, an inquest heard. Ferrer Punongbayan, 33 and Jonathan Sanosa, 38, both from the Phillipines and Gerd Jescheniak, 61, the mate and safety officer of the MV Suntis, would have collapsed “within seconds” because oxygen levels had been severely depleted by the freshly-sawn timber cargo and later died. It is still a mystery why the first of the crew, one of two Filipinos, went down into the forecastle storeroom before it had been properly vented.
7. Bulker Supply Steadies Out
The dry bulk market’s future prospects rely on supply. As such, the news that global dry bulk fleet growth has all but retreated to much more sustainable levels must be seen as a positive reaction from the shipowners’ side. Shipbroker Intermodal notes that, “while during 2014 the net fleet growth was about 5 percent, things definitely look much better in 2015. This January the dry bulk fleet was 9,396 vessels and on November 1st 2015, the vessel count was at 9,623; a fleet increase for the ten months of about 2.5percent. About 560 new buildings were delivered from the shipyards against 331 bulk carriers that have been taken for demolition.
8. Focus on Trucks Not Ships
The 2015 Paris Climate Conference, or COP21, is looming. Its goal is to achieve a legally binding agreement between the 190 participating countries with regards to the climate. Lars Høglund, managing director of Furetank Rederi, hopes the meeting will have a positive result for shipping – and that regulators understand the perils of trucking. “I hope that they will make decisions that gives short-sea shipping the chance,” Høglund has said. Furthermore, the managing director would like to see more restrictions put on land-based transportation, specifically trucking.
9. Agent in Very Hot Water
One of the world’s top ship agents finds itself in very hot water in the United States. The US Department of Justice announced yesterday that it has joined and elected to proceed with a whistleblower false claims act action alleging that Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) defrauded the US Navy by submitting false invoices for services it provided to navy ships during port calls around the world. The whistleblower suit against Inchcape was brought under the US False Claims Act by three former senior employees of the company. The complaint alleges that all three resigned from the company after discovering a wide-ranging overbilling scheme.
10. India Moves Back to the Future
India’s Ministry of Shipping has decided to rescind thirteen rules under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (as amended), having found them to be obsolete and unnecessary. This in turn will "declutter" the legislative framework governing merchant shipping sector in India and streamline the processes and procedures in the shipping sector. “The Ministry of Shipping has decided to rescind thirteen rules under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (as amended), having found them to be obsolete and unnecessary,” an official statement said. The Prime Minister had also stressed on the need to identify and do away with such archaic rules. http://goo.gl/Ya3EHd
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