Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/01/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/01/2016


1. Stopping Bullying at Sea

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have published new guidelines that aim to reduce bullying and harassment at sea. The guidance document gives advice on how to implement company policy on reporting, complaints and grievance procedures related to incidents of bullying and harassment. Seafarers have the right not to be discriminated against while working onboard vessels, and governments are required by the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) to ensure their regulations uphold this right.




2. Record Ship Breaking Year

Both BIMCO and Clarkson agree that this year will be a record one for shipbreaking volumes. “With an expected tidal wave of tonnage on the horizon, it would appear that the market has still not reached a ‘bottom’ level. We have already seen about ten Panamax and Capesize units sold for recycling this year, and it looks like 2016 could be another record breaker,” shipbroker Clarkson said in a weekly report. Shipowner body BIMCO echoed the sentiment in a recently released market report that states 2016 will likely be “the busiest year on record for shipbreaking” of dry bulk vessels, with a capacity of 40m dwt to be sold for demolition.



3. Somali Piracy Revival

Ships traveling through waters off the coast of Somalia face an increased risk of piracy this year, fostered by deteriorating political conditions in the center of the Horn of Africa nation, IHS Inc. said. Conditions that led regional politicians to provide safe havens between 2005 and 2012 for hijacked ships to be stored during lengthy ransom negotiations are being recreated in Somalia’s Galmudug region, the US based risk adviser reports. “This means that Somali pirates, who still have the technical capabilities, manpower, weaponry and financing networks to organize deep-water hijacks, may soon regain the secure ship-storage locations".




4. Top Ten Global Risk Spots

IHS Inc. has announced findings from the annual top risk environments report.  “The new cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the rising threat from the Islamic State, the potential for more protests in Egypt and contract risks in Iran are all risks for businesses operating in the region.” The report, produced by IHS Country Risk, explores 10 of the major risk environments of 2016, with their likely impact and key indicators for change.  “Four of the 10 risk hot spots for 2016 are in the Middle East,” said Keerti Rajan, head of political risk analysis at IHS Country Risk.




5. European Parliament Wades In

The European Parliament has called on India to release the 14 Estonian and 6 Briton seamen detained in the south of the country. Parliamentarians have passed a resolution calling on the Indian authorities to release the 35-strong crew – including 14 Estonians and 6 Britons – of the Merchant Vessel Seaman Guard Ohio.

They were arrested in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu in October 2013 and charged with illegally possessing weapons.  The defendants claim to have been on an anti-piracy mission and have consistently denied any wrongdoing.  They are considering whether to appeal against the sentences.



6. El Faro Families Settle

The families of 10 crew members who died when the cargo ship El Faro sank near the Bahamas last year have agreed to take $500,000 each to settle pending lawsuits against the vessel’s owner, TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico.  The settlement, filed in a federal court in Florida, covers fewer than a third of the 33 crew members who perished after the ship went missing Oct. 1 during Hurricane Joaquin. Cases involving the others presumably remain pending.  TOTE spokesman Mike Hanson said the agreement is part of the company’s attempt to reach "fair and swift legal settlements for those who may choose them."




7. Cruise Ship Smugglers

Seven cruise ship passengers have been arrested after 24 pounds of cocaine was found on board a Royal Caribbean liner just before it was to set off on a cruise from Puerto Rico. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Monday that a dog doing cabin inspections aboard the MS Jewel of the Seas found the drugs worth around $300,000 on Sunday. Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez says six of the arrested were U.S. male passengers.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection said a dog doing cabin inspections aboard the Royal Caribbean’s MS Jewel of the Seas (pictured) found $300,000 worth of cocaine on Sunday.




8. Felixstowe Congestion Concerns

Maersk Line is switching a second Asia-North Europe loop vessel to London Gateway this week after concerns over ship and landside congestion at Felixstowe. And with the Chinese New Year holiday looming, shippers can expect considerably more disruption to supply chains as ocean carriers endeavour to overcome the impact of three weeks of reduced bookings. “Due to the forecasted weather towards next weekend and congestion at the port of Felixstowe, we have arranged to divert the Maersk Kolkata (96W/1606) to London Gateway,” Maersk said in a customer advisory on Friday.




9. Chief Mate Breaks Ankles

A Chief officer broke both his ankles in an accident on board a cargo ship in Southampton – keeping him off work for a year, an inquiry heard.  The man was taken to hospital after falling more than two metres and landing on his feet.  The man had been helping to lift a motor yacht off the German ship "Norjan" after docking in Southampton in June 2014.  The ship had been carrying three privately owned motor yachts to deliver to Southampton and the cargo operation had been organised by specialised transportation firm Peters and May Ltd, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency Accident Investigation Branch has reported.




10. Ship Arrests Drop

The number of ships arrested in Singapore has fallen for the third consecutive year, official data provided to Ship & Bunker by the Supreme Court of Singapore shows. There were a total of 56 vessels arrested in the maritime and bunkering hub during 2015, down from 60 in 2014 and 85 in 2013. The number is less than half of the 114 arrested in 2012. 2015 saw 70 warrants for arrest filed, a slight increase on the 67 filed last year.



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


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S Jones
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