Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/03/2016

Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/03/2016

1. Ballast Common Sense Calls
As Belgium became the 48th signatory party this week, the Ballast Water Management Convention has now almost gained sufficient ratification to come into force, and will do so in 2017. The remaining 0.18% tonnage will not be difficult to meet within the next one or two months, introducing the industry to a tsunami of compliance costs and uncertainties. The complexity of the issues that underlie the Convention continues to face stubborn criticism.
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2. Seafarer Hearing Loss Leap
A 10-year pre-employment medical (PEME) study has found a dramatic increase in the incidence of hearing defects as the main reason for crew failing their pre-employment medical checks. Hearing defects have increased by 40% and are now the third main cause of PEME failure. Sophia Bullard, PEME Program Director at UK P&I Club discusses the findings. Hearing defects are now the third main cause of pre-employment medical failure.
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3. Indian Courts Seize Vessel
The Madras High Court has directed the arrest of the Vessel ‘TINA’, a Liberian ship, which is presently anchored at Kamaraj Port, Ennore or wherever found within the territorial waters of India. The order was brought by STX Corporation, a Korea-based company, for allegedly failing to honour a business transaction. According to the applicant, the owner of the vessel, entered into a fuel sales contract but didn’t pay
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4. New Maritime Security Deal
Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea will work together to secure waters in the Gulf of Guinea, a region plagued by piracy and militant unrest, according to the office of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari will lead a delegation on Monday to Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, for concluding talks with President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and the subsequent signing of an agreement. 
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5. Simulators to Help Migrant Rescue
Thousands of migrants seeking refuge have lost their lives attempting to make their way across the Mediterranean Sea in overcrowded and unseaworthy boats. In response, and in order to be better prepared, the United States Maritime Resource Center (USMRC) held a senior-level crisis management exercise using its suite of ship simulators to explore the response and coordination actions required by merchant vessels called in to assist in a rescue at sea.
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6. Bloodbath for Shipping Business
Too many ships amid a soft economy have sent ocean-going container rates to new depths. An index of spot rates on 11 trade routes between Asia, Europe and the United States has fallen by 62 per cent in the past year, according to Drewry Shipping Consultants, which has published the World Container Index since 2011. “There’s been an arms race in building bigger and bigger ships and they’re coming at a time the economy is slowing,” said one analyst.
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7. Fuel Leaks in LA
A large cargo ship leaked an unknown substance, believed to be fuel, while docked Sunday in the Port of Los Angeles, authorities said. The leak was reported about 7:30 p.m. at a ship docked in berth 202, where an oily sheen was visible on the water, said Margaret Stewart, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. The leak has been stopped, and a private cleanup company has placed booms in the water around the ship to contain the substance.

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8. Grounded in Kiel Canal
The Portuguese general cargo ship "Alesia" grounded in Kiel Canal after failuer of the steering gear and blockage of the rudder. The vessel was proceeding in western direction en route from Sweden to Portugal with cargo Hazard D, when the steering gear failed and the ship hardly stuck into the canal embankment near the 58-km mark. It was estimated that the vessel did not suffered damages of the hull and breaches, so the crew tried to refloat but failed.
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9. Seafarer Welfare and Art
For some people art is purely for decoration or entertainment, but for community artists in the Big hART group it is a powerful form of communication, often associated with social change. They turn ordinary people into artists so they can share their life and views with a wide audience. Big hArt is currently working on a project called Blue Angel, which looks at the lives of people in the shipping industry – the seafarers, their families, their unions and their managers.
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10. Petition to Save Seafarer Jobs
The man behind a petition started this week, which aims to highlight the plight of British seafarers losing their jobs, says that he hopes to reach 100,000 supporters, which could result in the matter being raised in parliament. Eric Tait, 45, says that on reaching that number in his parliamentary petition, which he has set up online, there is the possibility that the issue can be debated in the UK Parliament, with his hope that ultimately British jobs can be saved.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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