Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/01/2016
1. Iran Seizes US Navy Boats
Two United States Navy patrol boats and their crews were seized by the Iranian authorities in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday during what a Tehran news agency alleged was trespassing. But the Pentagon and the State Department said that one of the boats had experienced mechanical problems while en route from Kuwait to Bahrain on a routine mission. Administration officials said that the military had lost contact with the boats before they strayed into Iranian territorial waters. They said they had received assurances from Iran that the 10 sailors would be returned soon, perhaps on Wednesday.
2. Seafarer Award for Abandonment
For his bravery in spending two and half years abandoned in port, Filipino seafarer Zaude Paolo Bandivas has been named “Seafarer of the Year” by the Lloyd’s List Middle East and Indian Subcontinent Awards. Bandivas was awarded last moth at the Armani Hotel Dubai. The Seafarer of the Year Award recognizes skill, bravery and professionalism displayed on a daily basis. The award celebrates instances of leadership, courage and vision while serving at sea. It is a recognition of seafarers whose tireless dedication is essential for the maritime industry. Bandivas was on an anti-piracy vessel in the Middle East that the owner abandoned. http://goo.gl/2MIf00
3. BP Announces Major Cuts
BP has announced it is cutting 4,000 jobs – including 600 in its North Sea operations – in response to the latest dramatic slump in oil prices. The oil major insists it is still committed to the North Sea, but told staff around the world of the latest cuts at a series of meetings as Brent crude touched a new 12-year low of $30.34 a barrel and US crude fell below $30. The job losses will take total staff numbers in BP’s upstream oil and gas exploration division from 24,000 to below 20,000 by the end of 2017, although it is understood most of the jobs will go this year. The company has around 80,000 staff worldwide.
4. Crew Removed from Dispute Ship
The crew of an Australian cargo ship has been pulled from their beds and escorted off the ship after a two-month standoff with global mining giant Alcoa. Up to 30 security guards were used to remove the five crew members from "MV Portland", which was docked in Portland, in the early hours of Wednesday, the Maritime Union of Australia said. A replacement crew was then escorted aboard and began sailing the carrier towards Singapore. “They pulled them from their beds and then secretly replaced them with a crew from a developing country,” MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin said on Wednesday.
5. Ship Arrest Argument
The arrest of multi-purpose construction support vessel Jascon 18 in Singapore last week is "without merit," the vessel’s original owners said in a Tuesday statement released to Ship & Bunker. "Jascon 18 was arrested on behalf of a shipyard in Singapore, which has been reported by some industry news media. This shipyard had worked on construction of the vessel until November 2015, at which point the vessel sailed following completion of the yard’s work," Sea Trucks Group (Sea Trucks) said. "Sea Trucks considers the arrest to be without merit, having arisen out of a dispute between a Group subsidiary company and the shipyard". http://goo.gl/PhQauH
6. Telemedicine Future for Shipping
Modern communications have raised the bar for a higher duty of care to passengers and crew when a medical situation occurs at sea. Maritime Telemedical Assistance Services have become more readily available and are to be considered an integral part of a shipowner’s emergency response operations. Maritime Telemedical Assistance Services (TMAS), sometimes referred to as RADIOMEDICO services, provide remote expert medical advice for seafarers, passengers and others on board ships. Traditionally this was obtained by radio but now this service more frequently satellite and internet, to provide video as well as audio communications. http://goo.gl/Sh27ev
7. Clamping Down on Security
National governments along the eastern rim of the Indian Ocean are beginning to regulate the activities of private maritime security contractors (PMSC), as a court in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu sentenced the crew of the MV Seaman Guard Ohio to five years hard labour. In November 2015 the Sri Lankan government launched a crackdown on floating armouries used by private maritime security companies operating in its waters. As a result of which one company saw its license for an armoury revoked and the seizure of all stories and arms by the Sri Lankan Navy.
8. EU Funds Emissions Project
An IMO project to establish a global network of Maritime Technology Cooperation Centers in developing countries is to go ahead thanks to a €10 million ($11 million) funding contribution from the European Commission. The funds mobilized by the European Commission illustrate the E.U.’s commitment to support the concrete implementation of a range of measures aimed at addressing energy efficiency and shipping emissions and, through this, contributing to the fight against climate change. This IMO energy-efficiency project is part of the Commission’s broader climate financing portfolio aimed at sectors such as shipping.
9. Box Ship Takes Battering
The container ship "Wide Bravo" suffered damages at heavy weather conditions en route from Genoa to Tilbury. The ship was caught by big swell and waves, which caused damages of the superstructure, container lashings, board layers and hull. The ship is managed and operated by Hapag-Lloyd, which confirmed about the accident during voyage 6002S and informed about delay in time schedule of the container carrier Wide Bravo. The vessel proceeded to Rotterdam, where will be repaired and surveyed. The repair works are expected to continue approximately until January 11 and after that vessel is expected to return in service.
10. Tough Times for Maersk
It has been a very bad start to the year to Danish giant AP Moller-Maersk’s share price, dropping more than at any other time in the past two decades. And analysts are predicting worse is to come. Maersk’s stock lost 9.8% in the first week of 2016, its worse start to a year since at least 1992, according to Bloomberg.
A report out by Nordea analyst Stig Frederiksen says Maersk is being hit “by a toxic cocktail with challenges in both the oil and the container division, [but] it’s now become the oil price that’s the main driver.”
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