Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/01/2016
1. Box Traffic Falls in Singapore
The container turnover at the port of Singapore fell for the first time since 2009 to a four-year low in 2015, largely led by a slump in Asia-Europe volumes, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said. The annual container throughput fell 8.7 percent from the record level in the previous year to 30.9 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), according to the preliminary data cited by the agency. Rebalancing of volumes across container shipping alliances agreements, and an increase in direct sailing due to lower oil prices also contributed to the decreasing volume at the world’s second-busiest container port, after Shanghai, said the MPA.
2. Baltic on Slide Again
The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying industrial commodities, slumped to an all-time low on Wednesday as gloom over global demand and too many ships for hire continued to batter prospects. The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping dry bulk cargoes including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, was down 8 points, or 1.99 percent, at 394 points – below 400 points for the first time – and the lowest level in records that date back to January 1985. "Dry bulk shipping is in the throws of a generational recession," said Ben Nolan of brokerage and investment bank Stifel. http://goo.gl/a0wmG3
3. Set to Appeal Indian Injustice
Ukranian, Estonian and British authorities have intimated they will appeal the ruling handed out by a court in India condemning the 35-man team onboard the Seaman Guard Ohio to five years hard labour. The men aboard the ship – which include the six Britons, 12 Indians, three Ukrainians and 14 Estonians – were working for US private security firm AdvanFort when the ship was arrested in Indian waters October 2013 and found to be carrying weapons and ammunition without the right documentation. A UK Foreign Office spokesman discussed the plight of the UK nationals, saying: “Our staff in India and the UK have been in close contact.
4. Latest Maritime Security Report
According to the latest PVI Update, forces allied with Yemen’s government and backed by a Saudi-led coalition landed by sea at the port of Midi and took full control over the port and surrounding town, which lies near the border with Saudi Arabia. In Indonesia the government has boosted maritime surveillance as vessels have been fitted with monitoring transmitters. While in Vietnam pirates robbed a bulk carrier while the vessel was at anchor. Pirates stole ship’s stores from the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier and the duty crew only noticed the robbers after they had fled the vessel.
5. Tale from Piracy Frontline
Tu, aged 25, is a Vietnamese seafarer. He worked on board a Taiwanese fishing vessel which was attacked by Somalian pirates then held in captivity from December 25, 2010, to July 17, 2012. Tu has been speaking to the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) about the treatment he received and the punishing ordeal of being a pirate hostage. On 25th December 2010, Tu was woken up by the sound of an alarm. He was told the fishing vessel was under attack and that the crew was reeling in the fishing equipment in order to retreat. From there his life changed as the Somali pirates boarded and the chaos began.
6. Ferry Smashes into dock
Wild winds sweeping through Melbourne caused a ship to allide heavily with a dock structure. Social media users have captured the "Spirit of Tasmania II’s" carnage after a sudden surge of strong winds caused it to smash into a pier in Melbourne. The ship experienced extensive damage in Victoria’s wild winds that reached 100km/h as they swept across Melbourne. The ship is said to have spun around and smashed into a gantry as it was making preparations for passengers and cars to come aboard. TT Line spokesman Nicolas Turner said all passengers and crew are safe.
7. New Face at Singapore Foundation
The Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) inaugurated Andreas Sohmen-Pao, CEO of BW Group, as its new chairman at its annual New Year cocktail reception in the Lion City state. Sohmen-Pao replaces Michael Chia, managing director of marine and technology at Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M). Chia has served on the foundation’s board for a decade, including six years as chairman. The new chairman said the SMF would focus on promoting the Maritime Singapore Connect (MSC) Office over the year ahead, to which the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has committed S$4m, the Straits Times reports.
8. IMO Set to Release Free Training
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced the release of a complete package of training materials on IMO’s energy efficiency requirements, which are now available for free download online. The IMO says the training package will be of interest to those looking to understand chapter 4 in Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), as well as the regulations’ technical and operational implications for ship designers, shipbuilders, companies, and seafarers. The training materials cover topics including Climate Change and the Shipping Response, Ship Energy Efficiency http://goo.gl/8Rle4H
9. RN Cook in Hot Water
A Royal Navy chef has been found not guilty of voyeurism after filming himself with a colleague in a shower on a warship. Leading Logistician Scott Furber, 29, had been accused of filming the encounter on board HMS Diamond without the Wren’s knowledge or permission. Mr Furber was acquitted by a panel of three senior officers after a two-day trial at Portsmouth Naval Base. The pair could still be punished for breaking the navy’s "no touching" rule. The trial heard that Mr Furber, who is based at HMS Excellent in Portsmouth, agreed to meet the woman and set his mobile phone on a shelf in the shower.
10. Fire Ravages Grain Ship
Fire broke out today onboard the Strahlmann-owned singledecker general cargo ship "Elbetor" while the vessel was underway off the east coast of England, en route to Rotterdam with a cargo of grain. The fire was extinguished this afternoon and the vessel’s seven crew were brought to shore by a RNLI lifeboat. No injuries were reported. The blaze reportedly broke out in the vessel’s accommodation block early this morning while the ship was around five miles off Cromer, Norfolk. "Elbetor" sent out a mayday message at 05.20hrs. Humberside Fire and Rescue dispatched a team of six firefighters, who flew to the scene in a helicopter. http://goo.gl/CkqNgf
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