Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 06/01/2016
1. Runaway Barge Blast
Norwegian authorities considered deploying an F-16 aircraft to destroy a barge that had broken from its moorings in the vicinity of rigs in the Valhall field in the North Sea on New Year’s Eve, it has emerged. In rough seas, Eide Barge 33, owned by Eide Marine Services, broke away from the tug towing it. The giant barge was feared to be heading to Valhall, leading to 235 workers being evacuated by helicopter in the early hours of December 31 from BP Norway’s Valhall field. It has now emerged that authorities did discuss whether scuttling the barge, which was unmanned, before it became apparent that its path was not likely to hit any offshore infrastructure.
2. Saudi Iran Standoff Fears
The Saudi-Iran standoff is certainly one to worry over given its ramifications for oil supply as they sit on either side of the Persian Gulf, the world’s biggest concentration of oil tankers, reports Bloomberg. The Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf is the world’s most important choke point for oil shipments, with about 17 million barrels of crude passing through daily. EIA estimates that more than 85% of the crude oil that moved through this chokepoint went to Asian markets, based on data from Lloyd’s List Intelligence tanker tracking service.6 Japan, India, South Korea, and China are the largest destinations for oil moving through the Strait of Hormuz. http://goo.gl/JXfd3K
3. Danish Maritime Environmental Action
A new action plan by the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aims to strengthen enforcement of regulations on ships’ sulphur emissions in both Denmark and the SECA countries for 2016 onward. According to the DMA, the goal of the action plan is to further pursue the experiences gained by the authorities in 2015 through surveillance from the air and control in ports. To achieve this goal, the collection of data from various sources will be needed to enable all SECA country authorities to optimize their enforcement – and this means that international cooperation in the EU and in the IMO.
4. Cattle Carrier Concerns
The Western Australia livestock industry’s peak body has dismissed concerns about the welfare of 13,000 sheep and cattle onboard an export ship which was due to leave Perth more than a week ago. Wellard’s Israel-bound MV Ocean Outback left Fremantle Port on December 29, but was forced to turn back after experiencing engine trouble.
The vessel, which was chartered by company Otway Live Exports, has been docked at Henderson, south of Perth, since Thursday. Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) of Western Australia president Tony Seabrook said the livestock were experiencing the same conditions they would have faced if the vessel had taken its intended course.
5. Box Ship Detained for Violations
Containership "Lowlands Kamsar" has been detained by U.S. Coast Guard personnel in Seattle, Monday, after a Port State Control exam detected several safety violations. The "Lowlands Kamsar" a 751-foot, Panamanian-flagged ship will remain in Sector Puget Sound’s Captain of the Port zone until the violations are corrected, the Coast Guard said. During the exam Coast Guard Port State Control officers discovered that the automatic fire extinguishing system that protects the vessel’s engine room had been disabled by the crew, additionally, the vessel’s owner, Misuga S.A., failed to ensure that appropriate corrective action was taken.
6. Tragic Sore Throat Death
A 26-year-old Filipino sailor died from a “sore throat” at sea, and his Japanese ship was forced to stop in Mackay, Queensland, Australia, on January 4 so his crewmates could seek medical treatment after allegedly being denied medical treatment for two weeks. An expert described the incident as part of the growing problem with flag of convenience shipping in Australia. International Transport Workers Federation Australia national coordinator Dean Summers told the Daily Mercury in Mackay that “one of the worst features of the Panamanian flag of convenience is there will be no real inquiry into this man’s death.”
7. Cadets Reap Training Dividend
Two years after Cal Maritime became the first U.S. maritime academy and training ship to be certified for the International Maritime Safety Management Code, cadets at the academy are seeing the benefits. “The most compelling part of this story is how the cadets have so quickly adapted to the ship’s Safety Management System (SMS),” said Harry Bolton, captain of Cal Maritime’s training ship Golden Bear. “Prior to any work being done aboard the ship, the cadets – with direction from the faculty supervisor – fill out a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) form, going over every safety detail of the job they are about to start.
8. Migration Figures Grim Reading
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has estimated that more than 3,770 migrants and refugees have died while trying to make their way to Europe, crossing the Mediterranean in 2015. Last year, nearly 3,270 deaths were recorded in the Mediterranean. According to the IOM estimates, over 5,350 migrants died globally in 2015.
Mediterranean area is considered to have accounted for the highest number of migrant deaths globally, followed by Southeast Asia which accounted for 800 deaths this year. April is reportedly the most fatal month recording the highest number of deaths, where 800 migrants were believed to have drowned in one incident.
9. Judge Denies Bank Claims
A U.S. court has denied a request from ING Bank (ING) to seize a Panamax bulk carrier belonging to Fujian Ocean Shipping Co. Ltd. (Fosco) as part of a $3.4 million dispute over unpaid bunkers sold by OW Bunker Singapore subsidiaries OW Bunker Far East and Dynamic Oil Trading (DOT), court documents filed on January 4, 2016 show. ING, as the holder of OW Bunker and DOT’s accounts receivables against Fosco, went to federal court in Louisiana to obtain a Rule B attachment against the 81,800 dwt M/V Zheng Yao as part of $3,422,604.94 it is seeking from Fosco for unpaid bunkers plus associated interest, and administrative fees. The Judge denied the request. http://goo.gl/ak8Qos
10. Danes Look to Iran Business
Danish companies are eyeing a series of energy and shipping projects in Iran following a visit this week by the country’s foreign minister, local news agencies and officials said on Tuesday. The Danish foreign ministry said its minister, Kristian Jensen, travelled to Tehran with a delegation representing 58 companies on Monday and that exports could increase by 500 million Danish crowns ($72 million) once sanctions against Iran’s nuclear programme are lifted. News agency Shana cited Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh as saying Danish companies were interested in developing oil fields in the Caspian Sea including the South Pars gas field, which also produces condensates.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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