Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/12/2015
1. War Committee Acts on HRA
Following the BMP4 High Risk Area reduction, the Joint War Committee made the decision to reduce the size of the Hull War, Piracy, Terrorism and Related Perils Listed Area for the Indian Ocean. Prior to the revision, the Listed Area had resembled the previous BMP4 High Risk Area, spanning an area that blanketed much of the Western Indian Ocean between the Bab al Mandeb Strait and Sri Lanka. The new listed area is defined as “The waters enclosed by the following boundaries: a) On the north-west, by the Red Sea, south of Latitude 15° N b) on the west of the Gulf of Oman by Longitude 58° E c) on the east, Longitude 65° E d) and on the south, Latitude 12° S
2. Indonesian Ferry Sinking
High winds prevented rescuers from reaching a ship with more than 100 passengers that was adrift in rough seas off the coast of Indonesia’s Sulawesi island on Saturday, officials said. Earlier, local media said the vessel had sunk. Police and rescue authorities denied these reports and said it was still afloat, but with a broken engine and out of radio contact. "The ship has not sunk," a South Sulawesi police spokesman said by phone. Roki Asikin, head of the local Search and Rescue Agency, said his team of rescuers could not reach the vessel because of the bad weather but at daybreak on Sunday larger ships and air force helicopters and aircraft would join the search.
3. Dramatic Ship Rescue
A drifitng cargo ship passing Plymouth on the way from Rotterdam to Ireland has been rescued by the RNLI, coastguard and a Dutch tug. The 130m ship suffered engine failure and began dragging anchor off the south coast of Cornwall. The Samskip Express was drifting three miles off Porthleven but, according to coastguards, is now anchored awaiting rescue. It is said to be steady in 35 knot winds and a four metre swell.
4. Grounded Vessel Freed
A German-flagged heavy-lift ship is now free after running aground on Lake Saint-Louis, Quebec near Montreal. The 12,700 DWT "MV BBC Maple Lea" ran aground Thursday morning at about 8 a.m. local time on the Saint Lawrence Seaway in the vicinity of St. Nicholas Island in Châteauguay. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) says it has deployed a team of investigators to determine the circumstances of the grounding. AIS data from MarineTraffic.com showed that the vessel was freed with help of tugs at 12:30 p.m. local time on Friday. The ship’s front bow thruster hydraulic system was damaged in the grounding and the ship was leaking “droplets” .
5. Swedish Owners Decry COP21
Staking out an ambitious position on climate action, the Swedish Shipowners Association has signed on to the government-led Fossil Free Sweden Initiative, which aims to facilitate CO2 reductions by industry with the eventual goal of net zero emissions. The Association has already outlined its climate plan and presented it to the Swedish government. While acknowledging that many technological hurdles must be overcome in order to reach the net zero goal, “by joining the initiative . . . we are demonstrating our willingness to play our part”, said Pia Berglund, the Association’s managing director. The shipowners join a long list of prominent business participants in the initiative.
6. Chinese MLC Moves
Responding to China’s recent ratification of the MLC, COSCO believes that experienced, motivated sailors are among the most important resources for shipping companies, so they deserve decent working conditions and welfare provision. "We give a dozen seafarers a ship and cargo worth a combined $1 bill-ion and let them take it out on the ocean. We have to trust them. We have to build a strong connection with them by providing good jobs and careers they can be proud of," he said, adding that fewer people are willing to work as sailors now. "I hope the convention will improve working and living conditions and make being a mariner a respectable profession." he added.
7. Scrapping Ever Younger Vessels
Chinese owners are willing to scrap younger dry bulk ships than their international counterparts encouraged by government subsidies, according to Bimco analyst Peter Sand. In a research note Sand said international shipowners would only scrap bulkers of 18 years and older. “All ship owners have dug into the pool of 1995 to 1997-built bulk carriers in recent years, when choosing ships for scrapping,” Sand said. “Chinese shipowners in particular have scrapped even younger ships, built in 1998-2000. They were encouraged to do so by a subsidy program. With the extension of the programme it’s likely more of the same will show in 2016 and 2017.”
8. US Oil Not a Great Option
In the world’s biggest oil market, buyers have better options than U.S. crude. As the country inches towards ending the last restrictions on exports, Asian buyers will probably have a limited appetite for the quality of crude on offer. Many of the region’s refiners are geared to process heavier, cheaper oil with higher sulfur content. The lighter and cleaner shale oil from the U.S. has also got about a third farther to come than alternative supplies from the Middle East and that represents an additional cost. “U.S. light oil economically is not viable for most of Asian refiners,” B.K. Namdeo, head of refineries at state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp., said.
9. New Bow Leads the Way
Japan’s Imoto Lines has taken delivery of a 540 TEU container ship that features a forward, hemispheric accommodation block designed to reduce wind resistance. The Natori was built by Kyokuyo Shipyard and is Imoto’s largest vessel to date. The company services Japan’s domestic trade and provides feeder services under Japanese flag to international carriers. The new vessel will operate on a loop of around 30 Japanese ports including Tokyo, Yokohama and Kobe. The 136m vessel draws on Kyokuyo’s experience with similar bow designs for the car carriers City of Rotterdam and City of St Petersburg, built in 2011.
10. Spitting Snake Scares Seafarers
A venomous Indian cobra is recuperating at the Bronx Zoo after it was discovered cold and dehydrated aboard a ship that docked this week in Newark, N.J., zoo officials said. The crew of the "MV Maersk Sana" spotted the 18-inch cobra while at sea and sent a photo of it to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office in New Jersey, officials said. The agency identified it as an Indian cobra and asked the Bronx Zoo for help, said Kevin Torregrosa, the zoo’s collections manager in herpetology. Mr. Torregrosa said he and another herpetologist arrived at the container ship Monday armed with venom antidote, tongs, hooks and a snake bag. Indian cobras can be deadly. http://goo.gl/LL3xbX
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