Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/02/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/02/2016

1. Run Aground Deliberately

The container ship "APL Vanda" was deliberately run aground on West Bramble Bank in the Solent on Saturday night following ‘a loss of power’. The grounding, in the entrance to Southampton Water, is the same location where just over a year ago, the stricken "Hoegh Osaka" cargo ship was deliberately beached. The 368m (1,207ft) ship had left Le Harve, France earlier on Saturday en route for the Port of Southampton, however the grounding was carried out on Bramble Bank shortly before 22:00. The MCA said the large container ship (369m x51m) executed a controlled grounding following a loss of power.



2. Panama Canal Crack Fixed

A large crack that threatened the delivery of the Panama Canal expansion and pushed its planned opening back by several months has been fixed, the project’s contractor and Panama Canal Authority (APC) said Monday. The ACP confirmed that Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), the Spanish-led consortium responsible for the design and construction of the Third Set of Locks Project, has successfully completed testing of the reinforcements in sill #3 of the Cocolí locks.  The crack first appeared in August in the concrete sill between the lower and middle chamber of the Canal’s expanded Pacific Locks.



3. Disney Cruise Picks Up Cubans

The U.S. Coast Guard says a passing cruise ship has rescued 12 Cuban migrants from an unseaworthy vessel in the Caribbean.  A Coast Guard spokesman in Miami says the crew of the Disney Wonder spotted the migrants southeast of Cuba. Petty Officer John-Paul Rios said the cruise ship took the migrants to its next port of call in the Cayman Islands. There were no reported injuries but Rios said cruise ships have agreed to notify the Coast Guard if they see migrants on dangerous vessels at sea and to rescue them if necessary.  An increasing number of Cubans have fled their country and the U.S. normalized relations.




4. Piracy Awaiting Oil Revival

Piracy in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea has declined as the price of oil plunged to the lowest level since 2002. While attacks on maritime vessels have dropped in the past year, nations bordering the gulf should work to continue improving security coordination, Gulf of Guinea Commission Executive Secretary Florentina Adenike Ukonga said in an interview in Yaounde, Cameroon, on Monday. “With oil at a low bottom price of below $30 per barrel, piracy is no longer such a profitable business as it was when prices hit $106 a barrel a few years ago,” she said. There is a risk that the attacks will pick up speed once oil rebounds, Ukonga said.




5. Dry Bulk Feast and Famine

Pradeep Rajan, team leader for Platts Asia shipping and freight, wanted to liken the depressing state of the dry bulk market to Egypt’s “seven years of plenty and seven years of famine” story, but the depressed market is still here to stay. “There was a time when everyone wanted to chase the lucrative charter contracts, and ships were built aplenty. When the 2008 Lehman Brothers crisis [erupted] and caused charter rates to drop the first time, people were expecting a seven-year itch as demand slowly recovered and ships destroyed. Dry bulk vessel owners are now forming shipping pools to reduce costs and available capacity, which may help.




6. Owners Must Adapt to Survive

Basil Karatzas, the ceo of Karatzas Marine Advisors, suggests shipowners need to adapt to the altered market conditions. They say there is never a boring day in shipping, but, at present, we suspect that there are a few people who could do with just a tad less excitement in this industry. The overall shipping market, as encapsulated in the Baltic Dry Index, has been on a race to the bottom. Volatility is the shipping industry’s daily seascape, and bad days in shipping are nothing unheard of. Shipping always has turned around in style, and it will happen again. However, this may be the time for shipowners to think strategically.




7. Container Weighing Options

DP World London Gateway and DP World Southampton will be offering a comprehensive weighing service for UK exporters to determine the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of each container so that UK businesses can be compliant with new legislation from the 1st July 2016, which requires a laden export container to be weighed prior to being loaded onto a ship. The regulation becomes mandatory for all IMO member states on 1 July 2016, when ocean carriers and container terminal operators will be legally obliged to ensure that containers without a VGM are not loaded on to a ship. DP World says the industry is finding it challenging to be ready.



8. Box Ship Hits Coastal Walkway

The container ship "Xetha Bhum" allided with a shore embankment on the Chao Praya river in Bangkok, Thailand. The vessel was leaving Bangkok port, but suddenly lost control and crashed into the coastal street. The accident happened in bad weather and strong current, which made the ship unmanageable. The collision caused damages of the cargo vessel and shore embankment. Fortunately after the collision the container ship Xetha Bhum remained afloat, but suffered hull breaches below the waterline. The Coast Guard and local police started investigation of the root cause of collision, but the bad weather is the main factor for grounding.



9. Worker Falls Down Hatch

21-year-old man has tragically died after falling 25ft down the hatch of a cargo vessel berthed at a Rosneath shipyard.  The incident sparked a major response from emergency service vehicles, after the man fell at Donnie Bruces ship yard on Sunday afternoon. The man was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, but later died in the early hours of Monday morning. The casualty had fallen what was thought to be 20ft, but later thought to be around 25 ft, down the hatch of a 7000 tonne cargo vessel, which left him unconscious.



10. COSCO Records Massive Loss

Cosco Corporation (Singapore) Limited, a Singapore-listed ship repair and marine engineering and shipping group, recorded a net loss of USD 407.6 million in 2015, compared to a net profit of USD 14.9 million in 2014. Cosco’s turnover decreased by 17.4 percent to SGD 3.5 billion in 2015 from SGD 4.3 billion in FY 2014 owing to a decrease in shipyard and shipping revenue. Turnover from shipyard operations fell by 17.3 percent to SGD 3.5 billion in 2015 from SGD 4.2 billion a year earlier. Turnover from dry bulk shipping and other businesses decreased by 25 percent from SGD 52.5 million in 2014 to SGD 39.4 million.





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


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