Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/02/2016
1. Box Giant Hard Aground
One of the world’s largest containerships has run hard aground on the Elbe river as it headed towards the Eurogate terminal at the Port of Hamburg. The 18,890 teu, 400 m long "CSCL Indian Ocean" ran into difficulty at around 21.30 hrs last night with local media speculating it was down to either a power outage onboard or a navigational error. The grounding of the China Shipping vessel has caused some ship traffic to build up. Five tugs were deployed to help the stricken Hong Kong-flagged ship. No leak has been reported. Critics claim that with the supersizing of containerships the fairway of the Elbe has become too narrow.
2. Modern Express Illegal Timber Claim
The troubled and abandoned car carrier Modern Express was loaded with illegal cargo. Gabon Ministry of Economy, checked the cargo and export documents and found out that the cargo vessel was loaded with logs, but not sawn timber. According to Gabon laws the export of logs is prohibited and the exporter declared that the vessel was loaded with 4089 tons of sawn timber. After the cargo shift and the accident with car carrier Modern Express in Bay of Biscay it was understood that the ship was loaded with the prohibited material and participating in illegal traffic. The Gabon Ministry of Economy will liaise with Spain in an investigation.
3. Nigeria Confirms Hijack and Release
Two high-ranking Nigerian Navy officials have confirmed the product tanker "Leon Dias", was hijacked last week by Biafran separatists, clarifying a story recently clouded by conflicting and vague information. According to Nigerian media reports, the officials said that the vessel and her crew have now been released, and that the vessel is currently in the custody of Benin’s navy. Nigerian authorities did not comment on whether the hijackers had been captured following the release of the tanker and her crew. The "Leon Dias" AIS signature confirms that she is about five nautical miles off Cotonou.
4. Moon Makes Maritime Visit
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has visited the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for ship safety, maritime security and prevention of pollution from ships. Ban met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and IMO’s Senior Management Committee, also addressing representatives of IMO Member States and IMO staff. Secretary-General Ban highlighted the role that IMO and the maritime sector had to play in translating landmark agreements such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement on climate.
5. Latest Kidnap and Risk Map
NYA International has released its 2016 Kidnap and Piracy Map,examining kidnap for ransom over 2015 and identifying themes for 2016. Intensified civil conflicts in Africa, entrenched criminality in Latin America and the advance of Islamist militancy in spaces worldwide have contributed to “severe” kidnap ratings for 11 countries, up from eight in 2015. A further 11 countries, including India, Egypt, Lebanon, Cameroon and Kenya moved from “medium” to “high” – the latter four of these all face significant threats from Islamist militancy. In 2016, global economic uncertainty and low oil prices threatens to exacerbate the kidnapping threat.
6. Malaysia Allows Armed Guards
With Southeast Asia the worst region globally for piracy attacks last year, one new course of action taken by Malaysia is to permit armed guards to sail aboard commercial vessels deemed at risk. The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) announced this new policy will be applied on a case-by-case basis. The decision was made in conjunction with the country’s National Security Council. Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar, director general of the MMEA, told Malaysian press recently that they would only place guards on vessels that have a possibility of being hijacked and it would not be a blanket approach.
7. Japanese Shipowner in Trouble
Following a disappointing bid to secure a sponsor as part of its bankruptcy strategy, Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha will not submit a rehabilitation plan to the Tokyo District Court as originally scheduled and is now trying to raise funds from shipowners and other creditors, media reports. The court had given the Japanese bulker operator until February 3 to submit a rehabilitation plan, whereby Daiichi Chuo would settle debts totalling about $1 billion to 596 creditors, including Hyundai Merchant Marine, Navios, Vale, Rio Tinto Shipping, and Pan Ocean. The company reportedly received only two or three offers for sponsorship during bidding. tp://goo.gl/MyJvcG
8. More Baltic Bad News
With almost every other day there is more bad news for Dry Bulk as the Baltic Dry Index, and it has fallen another seven points to 303. The sector’s key benchmark has yet to make a single day of gains in 2016 and as been at a record low on every day bar one. Average spot TC rates for capesize were back on the decline Wednesday, down $47 to $2,775 per day, and Average spot TC Supramax rates fell to $2,698 per day. Panamax vessels’ average spot TC rates however did rise $15 to $2,275 per day. Owners and analysts alike seem to be coming to terms with the fact that the key issue here is that there are simply too many ships.
9. Wind Farm Installer Capsizes
Due to harsh weather, the offshore installation vessel Sea Worker has capsized during the night between Tuesday and Wednesday. No pollution has been detected from Sea Worker, but the focus remains on preventing any oils or fuels leaking from the vessel. A special operations team and vessels Esvagt Connector and Emile Robin are onsite closely following the situation, with environmental vessel Gunnar Seidenfaden on call in the Port of Hvide Sande ready to respond if any development occurs, A2SEA said. Next step is removal of all oil and fuels from Sea Worker as soon as weather permits.
10. Tanker Bounces Down Mississippi
An unladen tanker had a tough time navigating the Mississippi River near New Orleans, crashing into a water tank tower followed by a pier before anchoring. USCG reports that the oil products tanker "Nordbay" struck the Jefferson Parish water intake located at mile marker 104, then went on to hit the Governor Nicholls Street Wharf while en-route to the New Orleans General Anchorage. The vessel sustained a hole in the hull, which reportedly discharged ballast water, according to the Coast Guard. There were no reports of pollution. The incident is under investigation, the Cyprus flag vessel is managed by the Reederei Nord Group.
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