Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 31/12/2015
1. Cybersecurity Focus
Recent developments in the United States suggest that cybersecurity of the maritime sector will come under increasing focus in 2016. On December 16, 2015, H.R. 3878, “Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in Our Ports Act of 2015,” passed the House of Representatives. The Bill’s language echoes and expands upon recommendations made by the General Accountability Audit’s June 5, 2014 study Maritime Port Cybersecurity. It also reflects congressional focus on enabling cybersecurity information sharing as seen in the recent passage of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA).
2. New Face at UK Register
Simon Barham has been appointed as the first U.K. Ship Register Director at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, scheduled to start his role in February 2016. Barham brings to the position both commercial and technical experience from his 40 year career in the industry. He initially served at sea for 16 years and since then has held senior positions ashore within both ship owning and ship management companies across the world. Previous roles include chief operations officer at Bibby Ship Management, managing director of Reederei Nord Ltd, chief executive officer of Gulf Navigation PJSC and managing director of Stena Bulk U.K.
3. Intermanager Tackling Fatigue
Gerardo Borromeo, the president of the global shipmanagement association, InterManager, has used his end of year address to reiterate calls to ease the workload of seafarers. Borromeo, who also heads up Philippine Transmarine Carriers, said: “We must not discount the ongoing discussions on fatigue and the unceasing administrative burdens onboard, which can only really be resolved if governments come together and take significant steps forward to streamline the myriad of reporting requirements.” Inroads have already been made, Borromeo said, and promoting the concept of the paperless ship is a must in the near future.
4. Unusual Weather Sinking
An inquiry into the sinking of a Chinese cruise ship with the loss of nearly 450 lives on the Yangtze River in June has concluded that it happened because of highly unusual weather. It also recommended the captain be investigated for possible charges. The sinking was caused by "freak" strong winds and heavy rain, it said. One relative of victims told the BBC she could not accept the report, saying it treated the captain too leniently and did not offer an apology. "The captain… should have already been sentenced," the Shanghai-based woman – who lost both parents in the disaster – said.
5. Livestock Vessel Stuck
A ship carrying thousands of live sheep and cattle bound for Israel has docked at Henderson in Perth’s south after being stranded off the coast for several days. The MV Ocean Outback, which is carrying 13,000 animals, became stranded off the Perth coast after it experienced engine problems as it was leaving Fremantle on Tuesday night.
The ship is owned by Wellard Live Exports but is under charter by the Victorian-based livestock export company Otway. A spokesman for Wellard said the ship had two engines and was capable of operating on one, but Otway decided to anchor off Fremantle to assess its options.
6. Vessel Sink and Spill
A ship carrying 12,000 liters of oil sank near Albania’s northern town of Shengjin Tuesday, polluting the Adriatic Sea close to the port, local media reported Wednesday. The Albanian port authorities have confirmed the accident, and used dispersants to dissipate oil slicks as they tried to check the extent of the pollution, according to the Albanian Daily News. Tonin Uldedaj, Shengjin’s mayor, said Tuesday that local authorities were doing everything to eliminate the consequences of this accident. Leaders of local fisheries said that they were unsure how much oil had spilled into the sea, or the level of pollution.
7. Bulk Crew Suffer Leg Breaks
Two carriers were diverted to Bermuda over the holiday weekend after crew members were injured. On Christmas Day, the Bahamian bulk carrier "Gdynia" contacted the Rescue Co-ordination Centre to say a crew member had suffered a possible broken leg. The ship, which had been on route from France to Mexico, then headed towards the Island, meeting the pilot boat St David off the East End at about 8pm to transfer the injured crewman. At about 6.35pm on Boxing Day, the Liberian bulk carrier Hector sent an e-mail to local authorities after an accident on the vessel, which was travelling from Gibraltar to New Orleans, in which a crew member had broken both legs.
8. Wave Smashes Rig
One person has died and two other were injured on Wednesday after a large wave hit a semi-submersible drilling rig operating in the North Sea. Statoil confirmed the incident in a email on Wednesday, reporting that the incident occurred at about 5 p.m. Wednesday, December 30th aboard the COSL Innovator. The company said it was informed by police that one person has died as a result of the “breaking wave”. The company said that the rig had been taken off the well due to heavy weather when the incident occurred. The wave has also caused damage to the rig’s accommodation module.
9. South Korean Government Aid
The government of South Korea has come to the aid of the nation’s struggling shipping lines, launching a $1.2bn ship investment fund. Local shipowners will be supported by the Korea Trade Insurance Corp and the Korea Maritime Guarantee Insurance Co when buying and selling vessels, according to statements from Seoul. Local financial companies and state-run policy lenders including the Korea Development Bank will participate in the $1.2bn fund.
10. Crew Death on Detained Ship
A crew member onboard Russian reefer vessel Professor Megrabov has died while the vessel remains detained at Dalian Port in China, according to information from the local Russian Consulate. According to Cyril Mahrin, the local Russian consulate general, the ship was arrested due to its inability to pay relevant expenses and ran out of fuel, electricity and food during the arrest. The crew members have had to cook over a fire on the deck, and have reached out to the consulate for help. The vessel has been detained since early December and the body of the deceased seafarer was removed from the ship last week, despite the death occurring on December 7.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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