Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/03/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/03/2016


1. Owners Liable for Cyber Risks

Shipping companies which leave themselves vulnerable to cyber-attack also risk massive financial liability for damage to other businesses, warns executive director of the Institute for Cyber Security Innovation Robert Carolina. Speaking at the 8th London Chemical & Tanker Conference, Carolina said the risks to shipping include potential for loss of ship, loss of cargo, loss of crew, third party property damage, third party loss of life and a hazard to third party navigation.  Precedents for cyber-attacks are many, hackers have stolen information from bills of lading; and tests have shown 2.25 mw diesel generator remotely destroyed.



2. Asian Shipping Slams Prestige Decision

During its recent interim meeting, the Ship Insurance and Liability Committee of the Asian Shipowners Forum expressed its deep concern over the recent decision of the Spanish Supreme Court to reverse the findings of the lower court and find that 81-year-old Captain Apostolos Mangouras, the master of the ill-fated "Prestige", acted recklessly and was therefore guilty of gross negligence. The actions of Mangouras were described as exemplary by the vessel’s flag state, “It is a pity,” said Robert Ho the Chairman of the committee, “that the Spanish Supreme Court has decided to depart from normal and accepted legal process".



3. Maersk Takes the Biscuit

Maersk Tankers has completed a landmark delivery to one of its vessels using a drone. Denmark is famous for its cookies – and the lucky crew of the "Maersk Edgar" received a tin of biscuits by air in this groundbreaking trial. The test drone, LE 4-8X Dual Atex, is from French company Xamen and is ATEX zone 2 approved for use in potentially explosive environments. It is an octocopter drone with a wingspan of 104 cm and 40 cm height and 16 m per second maximum speed. “Drones could cut time and costs for deliveries and inspections across the Maersk Group – but they must be reliable and absolutely safe,” the company said in a release.




4. Latest Security Updates

According to the latest PVI reports – Somali pirates have hijacked an Iranian fishing boat 305 nm off coast. The vessel was transiting to Somalia, although the report remains unconfirmed. It is unclear whether the crew were abducted, although previous hijacks have resulted in pirates detaining crewmembers. At least three Iranian vessels and their crew were captured by Somali pirates in 2015, with two of these vessels still in captivity. Coastline communities are hostile towards Iranian vessels as they are responsible for the majority of illegal fishing off Somalia. This shows that pirates in the region still have a capability.




5. Latest Initiative for Sustainability

The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (“SSI”) – a pioneering coalition of companies from across the global shipping industry – is today holding its second roundtable with key industry stakeholders to discuss the challenges and barriers to achieving sustainable ship recycling, and how they can be overcome. Improving the health, safety and environmental standards associated with ship recycling is a key SSI work stream, and an important element of the SSI’s recently launched Roadmap, which charts the key milestones which must be met to create a sustainable shipping industry by 2040.




6. Crane Collapses onto Vessel

Shore crane collapsed over container ship Zhong Hai 016 during cargo handling operations at Huangshi Port on Yangtze River. The crane was offloading containers from the vessel, when the arm of a crane subsided and the whole facility fell over the ship. The crane operator fell from 20 meters height and suffered severe and life-threatening injuries. The port authorities dispatched medical team and ambulance immediately and transported the injured men to the hospital. The container carrier Zhong Hai 016 also suffered sufficient damages, but fortunately there were no injured people from the crew.




7. Fears for Gas Recruitment

Mark Charman, CEO of Faststream Recruitment Group, has spoken the pressures to ensure the incoming slew of LNG and LPG vessels have the proper level of trained crew and officers. As the world anticipates the gradual recovery of the maritime industry in the coming years, a strong, cohesive and well-trained crew will be the backbone of ships that ply the world’s oceans. Liquid natural gas (LNG), for instance, is having its day in the sun as the maritime sector looks towards cleaner energy to drive its ships. In the next few years, approximately 135 new LNG tankers and large numbers of LPG tankers will come into service.



8. Revising the Myth of Seafaring

There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea”. So said renowned Joseph Conrad in his controversial 1900 novel, Lord Jim. Indeed without shipping half the world would freeze to death, the other half would starve to death. Despite the move towards shipping becoming "boring", there is still something wondrous about a business that deals with transporting grain, or oil, or – yes, urea – between two ports that sometimes lie at opposite sides of the world. The industry need to recapture its own sense of scale and excitement to entice a new generation of maritime professionals.



9. Stable but Low Profits

A diverse range of cargoes keeps chemical tanker owners in a stable but very low-profit-margin environment, but a constant demand over ship age from charterers is forcing owners to order newbuildings that could ironically be a threat to safety. Jan Hammer, managing director of Essberger Tankers, said at the 8th London Chemical & Tanker Conference that a misguided obsession with vessel ages among charterers, combined with high cost pressure and “a point of stagnation” for the market, resulted in owners being forced to invest in cheaper newbuildings with lower automation and poor provision for crew.




10. Vessels Dying Young

More ships built to transport iron ore and coal have been scrapped so far this year than in all of 2014 as the commodity slump stunts the life expectancy of bulk carriers. Twenty-nine capesize vessels with an average age of 21.4 years have been turned into scrap through Friday last week, according GMS Inc, the world’s biggest cash buyer of ships for recycling, citing data from Clarkson PLC. That is a faster pace than the 93 destroyed all of last year and the 25 in 2014. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of what shipowners earn from transporting commodities, has plunged to the lowest in more than 30 years amid slowing Chinese demand.



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


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S Jones
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