Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/01/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/01/2016

1. What 2016 Holds for Shipping

Consolidation is a feature that can be expected to continue across various different spaces in shipping in the coming year as companies battle with difficult markets and those with deep pockets see opportunities to grow. Junichero Ikeda, ceo of Mitsui OSK Lines, stated in his New Year message that there were “few prospects for recovery”. It is a less than cheery prospect. One of the defining factors of 2015 was the sharp drop in the oil price, which has mixed blessing for shipowners. Certainly it means lower operating costs. Looking into 2016 a combination of weak demand growth and a continued oversupply of vessels gives very little reason for optimism.



2. Counting Rescue Costs

A year ago one of the biggest maritime rescue operations ever staged in the Solent –took place, and the cost has been revealed at more than £10 million. The "Hoegh Osaka" car transporter ran aground beside busy shipping lanes off the Isle of Wight and now a year on from that fateful night a major report into what went wrong has yet to be released. Maritime experts estimate the costs of the mission and the subsequent costs to cover damage both to the ship and its cargo are likely to hit the £10 million mark. Solent Coastguard and the RNLI launched a major rescue operation to save the 25 crew on board. One was pulled from the water, another suffered a broken leg.



3. Piracy in the Caribbean

Security experts have issued an alert to vessels sailing in waters between Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada, as the last 10 days have seen two incidents of piracy against sailing vessels north of Trinidad. Both incidents took place in daylight and involved local (assumed Venezuelan) 18-20 ft boats with powerful outboard engines (120-130 HP). Each craft had 5 or 6 pirates aboard, several armed with assault rifles and each craft carried a spare powerful outboard and additional fuel in barrels. In each case the sailing vessel was boarded and the boat ransacked for valuables. Stolen items included cash, passports, boat papers. Fortunately, there were no injuries or loss of life.



4. Resting Place of El Faro Revealed

The first images showing doomed cargo ship "El Faro" resting 15,000ft beneath the sea off the coast of Crooked Island in the Bahamas have emerged three months after it lost power and sank during hurricane Joaquin, killing all 33 people on board. Pictures taken by search parties from the National Transportation Safety Board show the navigation bridge – which detached from the main vessel – sitting on the ocean floor with its windows smashed in. Elsewhere, the battered stern of the ship lies on the seabed, the metal sheeting which previously carried the vessel’s name so badly bent out of shape that several letters are no longer visible.




5. Carnival Targets Asian Markets

Carnival Corporation has signed an agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build four new cruise ships with final contracts expected to be executed in 2016.  Two of the four new ships will be built for Costa Asia for deployment in China, and one will be built each for P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises. With the new agreement, Carnival Corporation has 17 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2020. The four new ships will be built by one of the world’s largest cruise ship building companies, Fincantieri, at the company’s shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy, with deliveries expected in 2019 and 2020.



6. MSC Dips Toe in Iran

With the lifting of international sanctions against Iran, MSC has sent its first ship to the country in 6 years. According to port authorities, "MSC DOMITILLE" a ship belonging to the world’s second largest container line has called into the country after more than six years.  Speaking at the arrival ceremony in the country’s largest port, the Director General of Hormozgan Province Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO), said “The ship is carrying 1162 TEU import and export containers and has started its journey from China’s Shanghai port".



7. First Arrival in Montreal

A bulk carrier called the Vigorous is the first ocean-going vessel to reach the Port of Montreal without a stopover in 2016. The Vigorous left from Sohar, Oman, on Nov. 30 and crossed the Montreal port’s downstream limits in Sorel, Que. at 5:21 Friday morning. The ship’s captain will receive the Gold-Headed Cane award, which has been presented since 1840 to the captain of the first vessel to arrive each year. In early years the award was a top hat, but it was changed to reflect the tastes of the period around 1880. Captain Jun Eric Alio Dalipe will accept the award from the Montreal port authority during a ceremony on Monday.



8. Russian Drunken Crew Arrested

Three crew onboard Russian coastal vessel Ivan Bobrov were arrested by Danish police after testing above the legal alcohol limit on Friday. The vessel was sailing south in Øresund (the Sound) when it deviated off course enough for Denmark’s Defence Sea Rescue Service to contract police. When the vessel was contacted by radio, the police suspected the crew were drunk and sent officers to the ship to breath test the crew. Three of the nine crew on board, the ship’s captain, first mate and engineer, were arrested for being over the legal limit for seafarers. The ship is now anchored at Elsinore where the three seafarers, who face serious jail time, will undergo further blood tests.



9. Little Incentive to Clean Up

There is currently little incentive for ship owners to invest in scrubbers prior to 2020, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties (OPEC) argues in its latest World Oil Outlook. 2020 is the year that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is planning to introduce a 0.5 percent global sulfur cap for bunkers, but this could be pushed back to 2025 pending a review which is now expected later this year. Equivalent methods of compliance, such as using otherwise non-compliant bunkers in conjunction with scrubbing technology, will be permitted.



10. Fire Erupts in Amsterdam Port

General cargo ship "Wilson Sky" caught fire in cargo hold at the port of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The vessel was offloading flour into the dock, when fire started in one of the holds due to overheated halogen lamp. At the scene of the accident were dispatched several shore firefighting teams, which succeeded to get control and extinguish the fire within an hour. The whole cargo from the vessel Wilson Sky was successfully unloaded at the cargo terminal, with loses of about 200 tonnes, damages by the fire. Fortunately, during the fire there were no injured seamen and dockworkers and no water pollution.




Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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S Jones
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