Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 29/01/2016
1. Ship Suspected as Hijacked
The general cargo ship "Jaya Makmur I" has been missing in the Malacca Strait for days. The ship left the Port Klang in Malaysia on Monday (January 25) and headed to Krueng Geukueh in North Suamtra with ETA on Tuesday (January 26), but disappeared from the radars and has no VHF communication. The traffic control center and local authorities had no communication with the vessel. The authorities started investigation and warned all the vessels in vicinity to be cautious for the missing general cargo ship. Among the presumed scenarios by the police are pirates hijacking, or theft of cargo with assistance from the crew. http://goo.gl/MRFUH2
2. Downsides on Technology
The NORTH P&I club has been highlighting some less obvious risks from the digital age, including video calls, emails, mobile devices and even 3D printing. "While many ships now offer technology such as satellite video calling to keep crews in touch with loved ones back home, care should be taken to ensure this does not make matters worse," said Tony Baker, Loss Prevention Director. "For some seafarers, having easy access to friends, family and their ongoing domestic problems could lead to increased anxiety compared to the traditional clean break of departure." Baker says digital technology may also be compounding isolation problems.
3. EU Looks at Refuge Issues
The European Commission has presented new EU Operational guidelines for ships in need of assistance. The guidelines have been developed by a group comprised of Member States’ authorities with input and support of industry stakeholders following a Commission initiative in the aftermath of the fatal MSC Flaminia accident in summer 2012. The EU operational guidelines were drafted to ensure better coordination and exchange of information among competent authorities and industry stakeholders involved in the response to an incident concerning a ship in need of assistance, such as the MSC Flaminia in July 2012.
4. Weather Hampers Salvors
The Panamanian-flagged car carrier Modern Express continues to drift eastward in the Bay of Biscay as salvors assess options for saving the stricken ship. On Thursday, the "Modern Express" was located approximately 168 nautical miles west of La Rochelle, France and drifting eastward at a rate of about 1.3 knots. A salvage team from SMIT salvage arrived early Thursday along with the French Navy frigate "Primauguet" carrying a Lynx helicopter. Two Spanish tugs hired by the shipowner have also joined the frigate and the emergency tug "Abeille Bourbon", which has been on scene since Wednesday, in the area.
5. Need to Double Funding
The UK Chamber of Shipping is calling for government support to double funding for a seafarer scheme. UK Seafarer statistics launched yesterday show a slight overall increase of 2% from 2015, rising to 23,380 at the end of June 2015. However, UK Chamber CEO, Guy Platten, stressed that decisive action will be necessary to ensure future growth, especially as the full impact of redundancies from the North Sea offshore sector has yet to be fully felt. “It is vital for the future of UK Shipping that the number of UK seafarers increase to meet the demands of the global industry as the volume of sea trade is set to increase".
6. Market Hastens Scrapping
The scrapping of the74,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) Panamax dry bulk vessel MV Diamond Seas, which was built only 15 years ago, is being viewed as a rarity for the demolition market and a sign that all Panamax vessels 10 years or older will be demolished earlier than expected, media reports. The Japanese-made MV Diamond Seas, currently at the west coast Indian port of Hazira, was recently sold in the $260/light displacement ton to $265/LDT range, with about 1,100 metric tons of bunker fuel still on board. Brokers claim dry bulk sector’s sustained weak rates will result in all Panamax vessels built in 2005 or prior being scrapped.
7. Terrorist Want a Navy
NATO is aware of the fact that the Daesh militant group wants to create a maritime arm and use the Mediterranean to freely travel along the North African seaboard, target maritime trade and oil platforms, and control the maritime access, according to a senior UK naval officer. The Daesh (Islamic State) jihadist group has an ambition of creating a maritime arm to carry out attacks in the Mediterranean, a senior NATO naval officer said. "We know they have had ambitions to go off shore, we know they would like to have a maritime arm, just as Al Qaeda had a maritime arm," UK Vice Admiral Clive Johnstone stated Thursday.
8. Iran’s Super Radar
Iran’s Army unveiled a a 150 km-range radar on Jan.28, during a “massive” drill, dubbed “Velayat 94”, near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The initial range of radar is 150 km, but the figure would reach 400 km with new releases of the radar, Fars News Agency reported. The radar is capable of detecting both surface and aerial targets. In recent years, Iran’s navy has been increasing its presence in international waters to protect maritime routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers. In line with international efforts to combat piracy, the Iranian navy has also been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden.
9. Disgraceful Prestige Sentence
Responding to the Spanish Supreme Court’s decision to sentence Captain Apostolos Mangouras to two years imprisonment over the 2002 Prestige oil spill, ITF seafarers’ section chair Dave Heindel commented: “This decision represents the dying gasps of a 14-year-old attempt to deflect blame onto the shoulders of an octogenarian man, who has been cleared in the court of world opinion and by his peers. “Thankfully it is likely to be as unenforceable as it is illogical. This innocent man cannot again be made to sit needlessly in jail.” Mangouras was convicted of recklessness resulting in catastrophic environmental damage.
10. Tankers on Go Slow
The world’s biggest oil companies are asking tanker operators to slow down delivery of crude amid an ever- expanding supply glut on land, Europe’s largest owner of supertankers said. Tankers hauling 2 million-barrel cargoes are delivering them at speeds of about 13 knots, compared with a maximum of 15, Paddy Rodgers, chief executive officer of Antwerp, Belgium-based Euronav NV, said in an interview in London on Thursday. The slower speeds might result in a voyage that would normally take 40 days instead lasting 48. Shore-based supplies are getting so big that it’s probable the need for storage at sea may soon grow, he said.
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