Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/01/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/01/2016

1. Terrible Fate for Anti Piracy Crew

The 35 crew of the Seaman Guard Ohio have been sentenced to five years hard labour by an Indian court. The crew of 25 private security personnel and 10 seafarers were sentenced to five years “rigorous imprisonment” by a Tuticorin court on Monday for illegally entering Indian waters with weapons in October 2013, according to local reports. The term “rigorous imprisonment” is understood to be equivalent to hard labour. The decision comes despite the High Court of Madras dropping all charges against the men in July 2014. However, they were not allowed to leave India pending an appeal and astonishingly been found guilty.


2. UK Maritime Growth

UK marine industry grows for fourth consecutive year; new figures released at the London Boat Show 2016 The U.K. leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry continue to grow, according to new statistics published today by British Marine at the London Boat Show 2016. The statistics, which are released alongside British Marine’s bi-annual Industry Trends survey, show: Industry revenue stands at £2.97 billion for 2014/15, up 1.1 percent from 2013/14. There is particularly strong performances in the consumer sector, led by boating tourism, brokerage and insurance and financial services



3. IMO Calls for Partnerships

The new secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Lim Kitack, has called for “strengthened partnerships” in his inaugural address. The Korean, who becomes the eighth IMO boss since its founding, started a four-year term at IMO in London this January 1. “IMO currently faces an array of issues,” Lim said. “My vision,” he added, “is one of strengthened partnerships – between developing and developed countries, between governments and industry, between IMO member states and regions.” Lim said he would also endeavour to strengthen communication between the maritime industry and the general public.



4. Supply and Demand Imbalance

Further widening of the supply-demand imbalance at the trade route level and insufficient measures to reduce ship capacity will lead to an acceleration of freight rate reductions and industry-wide losses in 2016, according to the latest Container Forecaster report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. The decline in global container shipping freight rates is anticipated to have been as great as 9% last year and Drewry is forecasting that carrier unit revenues will decline further in 2016, albeit at a slightly slower pace. Excluding 2009, the past 12 months has seen the lowest spot rates in most major trade lanes and all at the same time.



5. Loss of Propulsion Danger

The general cargo ship Samskip Hoffell got blackout and lost propulsion power in North Atlantic on 250 nautical miles southeast off Iceland. The vessel was en route from Rotterdam to Reykjavik, but after problem with main engine lost propulsion power and remained adrift in the middle of North Atlantic. The ship engineers were unable to restore the propulsion power and to repair the engine, due to missing parts and bad weather and big swell in vicinity cause danger for cargo ship’s stability. The crew requested assistance from the Iceland Coast Guard and at the scene of the accident was dispatched tug Thor.



6. Rear Admiral in Online Shame

The US Navy has removed a Coronado-based admiral from his job on allegations he used his government computer to look at pornography. Rear Adm. Richard L. Williams was relieved of command of Carrier Strike Group 15 on Friday, the Navy said in a released statement. The official reason was alleged misuse of government computer equipment.  However, a source familiar with the issue said the still-ongoing investigation uncovered evidence of intentional pornography use. “It wasn’t just an ‘Oops’ and hit a wrong URL,” the source said. No classified material was involved.



7. Migrant Death Ship Captain

The criminal trial of a man accused of being the captain of a migrant ship that capsized last year, killing up to 800 people, is due to begin today in the Sicilian city of Catania, in what officials say is an attempt to pursue justice for victims of one of the worst maritime tragedies in the Mediterranean in decades. A Tunisian named Mohammed Ali Malek, who was 27 years-old at the time of his arrest, was among just 28 survivors who were rescued after the overloaded fishing boat, which he allegedly commanded, capsized shortly before midnight on 18 April 2015.



8. Lift Accident Kills Engineer

A 45-year-old engineer has died after being crushed while servicing a lift on a car ferry at Falmouth docks in Cornwall. Police said father-of-two Steve Summerside from Sunderland died after getting trapped between the lift and the shaft on the MV Ulysses. Devon and Cornwall Police said it was investigating the death alongside the Health and Safety Executive. No-one was available for immediate comment from the dockyard or the ship’s operator Irish Ferries. The 51,000-tonne Ulysses is in the dry dock for an annual refit. The Ulysses, which sails between Dublin and Holyhead, is named in honour of James Joyce’s Ulysses.




9. Ferry Sinking Victims Plea

Families of victims of the 2008 sinking of M/V Princess of the Stars have asked the Supreme court to overturn a ruling of the Court of Appeals and stand down Judge Daniel Villanueva, as they feel he has committed grave abuse of discretion and they have questioned his conduct. In his ruling in September last year, Judge Villanueva awarded over USD$5 million in damages to the families and relatives of the victims who originally sought over USD$10 million in their civil suit. The court held that evidence showed there was negligence on the part of the shipping firm, which was required to pay the relatives of those who died in the tragedy.



10. Grounded Ship Evacuated

A Russian-owned cargo ship has been evacuated after running aground Sunday and partially sinking along a breakwater in Yamagata prefecture in northeast Japan. According to Russian media, the Panama-flagged ‘City’ ran aground in heavy weather on Sunday and all 18 crew members have been evacuated from the listing ship by helicopter.  Video from the scene shows the 7,000 dwt vessel mostly submerged against the breakwater. The ship was sailing from the Russian port of Nakhodka and was bound for South Korea, reports say.



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