Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 08/02/2016
1. Safmarine Box Ship Hijacked
Coming just days after Peregrine Shipping tanker Leon Dias was freed from hijackers, a Maersk Line-managed containership has been hijacked and subsequently released off the Nigerian coast. Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a statement that it received a report on Friday evening that the Singapore-registered containership "Safmarine Kuramo" was hijacked off the coast of Nigeria. Nigerian authorities secured the release of the vessel around 5 hours later. The vessel, which is owned by Maersk Group’s Safmarine and managed by Maersk Line, was heading to Port Onne, Nigeria from Point Noire, Congo.
2. Illicit Libyan Cargo Warning
National Oil Corp. in western Libya warned traders against loading “illicit” cargoes of oil at Hariga port in the eastern part of the country, while the company’s counterpart in the east acknowledged it’s signed 10 contracts to export crude from the terminal. Six or seven foreign companies signed oil-purchase contracts with people who say they represent the government based in eastern Libya and “have no authority to sell Libyan oil". “The only authority legally empowered to sell Libyan crude oil is the National Oil Corporation, with its seat in Tripoli,” NOC said. Vessels could be impounded as a result of loading such cargoes NOC warns.
3. Ship Breaking Practices Slammed
Ignoring industry leaders and human rights and environmental organisations, ship owners continue to profit from dangerous and dirty shipbreaking practices on South Asian beaches in 2015, according to new data released today by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. 768 large ocean-going vessels were sold to the scrap yards last year. 469 were broken on the beaches of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh where shipbreaking yards do not provide fundamental labour rights, ignore international waste trade law, and fail to respect international environmental protection standards.
4. Aussies Ban Multiple Problem Vessel
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the 86 meter (280-foot) general cargo ship "Noah Satu" from entering any Australian port for the second time in less than twelve months. Noah Satu is owned by PT Anugerah Samudra Indomakur and was on charter to Orica Singapore. The Noah Satu has been detained by AMSA five times since August 2013 for deficiencies related to its equipment, its operations, its safety management system and non-compliance with the Maritime Labour Convention. The safety management system detentions resulted from repeated safety failings.
5. Kiel Canal Grounding
The container ship "E.R.Visby" grounded in Kiel Canal near Schinkel. The accident caused blocking of the traffic into the Canal for more than 4 hours and making a congestion of several ships in both directions. The container ship E.R.Visby was en route from St Petersburg to Rotterdam, but during passage of Kiel Canal lost propulsion power and stuck into a sandy/mud shallow near Schinkel. The ship was unable to refloat by own power and requested assistance from the local authorities. At the scene of grounding were dispatched two tugs, which assisted with towing to safe depth. The ship was detained in Kiel for inspection and survey.
6. US Detention for Safety
Coast Guard inspectors ordered a containership to remain at the Port of Tacoma until the ship’s owners correct safety defects that could endanger the ship and its crew. The "Westwood Robson", a 685-foot Liberian-registered ship, failed a Coast Guard inspection last week because of defects, including oil-soaked rags in the machinery spaces, oil in the ship’s bilge, clogged oil drains and deteriorated and leaking oil and water fittings. The leaks could cause a fire, the Coast Guard said. “We are continuing to monitor the Westwood Robson after discovering safety violations and working with the crew and appropriate authorities" USCG said.
7. Migrants Now Crossing Channel
Four Iranian migrants making a rare attempt to reach Britain by boat from France were rescued in the nick of time after their vessel took on water and was close to capsizing, officials said. Rescuers were only alerted after one of the migrants made it back to the beach at Sangatte in northern France before dawn yesterday. He was in a dangerously cold state and asking for help for his four compatriots. A search was launched and the boat with the four men was located with the help of a Belgian army helicopter, the French coastguard said. "Shortly after 7:00 am (1130 IST) the little boat with the four men in it was located", the coastguard said.
8. Cruise Ship Hits Rocks
Damage has been found to the hull of "Azamara Quest", a luxury cruise ship that is being investigated following an incident in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. The ship, owned by Azamara Club Cruises, entered Tory Channel on January 27 with a Port Marlborough pilot on board. Two investigations, by Maritime New Zealand and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) were launched after reports the ship came into contact with Wheki Rock, immediately west of the entrance to Okukari Bay. Maritime New Zealand spokesman Vince Cholewa said police divers from the Wellington Maritime Unit had found paint on the rock.
9. Protection of Seafarers Act
In the Philippines, the much vaunted "Seafarers Protection Act" has finally been signed into law. According to a circular from Shipowners Club, the recent developments in the law in the Philippines that will have a positive impact on all Filipino seafarers and all Members employing Filipino crew. The purpose of the Act is to protect Filipino seafarers seeking compensation following work related personal injury or death. Currently it is common practice in the Philippines for claimant’s lawyers to charge exorbitant fees and it is not uncommon for them to retain, as legal fees, between 30% and 60% of any compensation awarded.
10. Warning of Explosive Gases
NORTH P&I Club has published a new free-to-download loss prevention briefing warning of the hazards associated with routine fumigation of agricultural products on ships. The warning follows an explosion of pesticide gases on a panamax vessel, loading corn in Brazil. This resulted in significant structural damage and was one of number of similar incidents reported during the last five years in Brazil and the USA. According to NORTH, ‘The application of fumigant on vessels carrying cargoes such as grains, seed cakes and logs is common practice. However, failure to disperse the fumigant pellets properly has led to self-heating problems.
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