Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/03/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/03/2016


1. Valemax Father Dies

The man responsible for giving the dry bulk industry the valemax died on the weekend in a plane crash. Roger Agnelli, the Brazilian banker who turned Vale into the world’s No. 1 iron ore producer, died on Saturday. He was 56. Agnelli, his wife and two children were among seven killed when his Comp Air 9 turboprop monoplane slammed into two homes around 3:20 p.m. local time, minutes after taking off from an airport in northern São Paulo, authorities said. “We have lost a Brazilian of extraordinary entrepreneurial vision,” president Dilma Rousseff said in a statement Sunday.




2. Liner Reliability Drops

Liner schedule reliability fell to its worst level in 12 months in February when the average on-time performance slipped by 7 percentage points to 62.7%, according to Drewry’s Carrier Performance Insight.  The on-time average is reported to have fallen in each of the previous five months and is now at its lowest point since the US West Coast labour dispute-affected February 2015 when the average was 55.2%. On top of the worsening on-time average, the deviation from the expected time of arrival stretched out to 1.2 days in February, from 0.9 days in January. MOL finished on top with an average on-time performance of 73.6%.




3. UK France Ferry Shock

Shocking details of why passenger ferry "Condor Liberation" was barred from leaving Poole, UK have been laid bare by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Eleven safety deficiencies were discovered, with four of these serious enough in their own right to give grounds to detain the £50 million vessel in port. The fast ferry was held in Poole following an inspection by the MCA and French Affaires Maritime Port State Control last week. It set sail again on Saturday after successfully passing a further inspection. There were multiple deficiencies with the main engine operation, inoperative steering gear, defective fire doors and no PA system.



4. Port of Santos Hit by Strike

The port of Santos, one of Brazil’s largest ports, will be hit by a 24-hour strike starting in the morning hours of March 21 as the port’s dockworkers demand wage adjustments for inflation, the Stevedores Union informed. The industrial action is scheduled to launch at 7 a.m. and last until 7 a.m. Brasilia time on Tuesday.

According to the union, the strike, which would affect activities in all terminals, could be extended indefinitely. It remains unclear which port services will be affected the most. The strike comes in light of Brazil’s preparations for the main commodities export season. Namely, the country’s soybean harvest is about to peak.




5. Bright Idea May Reignite Somalia

A former Government minister has been accused of tempting Somali pirates back into action after setting up a firm that gives foreign fishing vessels licences to operate off their coastline. Sir Tony Baldry’s company has been criticised in a report by the United Nations Security Council over a deal with local officials that allows him to sell licences on their behalf in return for a 60 per cent cut. Critics of the deal point out that the presence of foreign fishing vessels in Somali waters was one of the root causes of the piracy crisis, with local fishermen hijacking foreign vessels in revenge for "stealing" their fish.




6. Somali Hostages Still Held

The families of three Vietnamese men are calling for help from the government to save their sons who have been held by Somali pirates for four years. The men were captured in April 2012 when working as freshmen on a Taiwanese fishing boat. The mother of one of the men, said that in March 2011, her son signed a contract to work as a fisherman on the Taiwanese fishing vessel with the Vietnam Motor Industry Corporation (Vinamotor). Under the contract, he received a monthly salary of USD300. A year after leaving home, her son sent a message to her, saying that his vessel which had 26 crew members had been captured by pirates.



7. Maths and SAR Mapping

A unique new computer model built on highly complex mathematics could make it possible to design safer versions of the ‘fast ships’ widely used in search & rescue, anti-drugs, anti-piracy and many other vital offshore operations. Travelling at up to 23-30 knots, fast ships are especially vulnerable to waves that amplify suddenly due to local weather and sea conditions – extreme funnelling effects, for example, may turn waves a few metres high into dangerous waves tens of metres tall that can destabilise ships, resulting in damage, causing injuries and threatening lives.



8. Eyes on Maritime Security

A surveillance dragnet of 314 CCTV cameras will be built around Singapore’s shoreline from this year, part of the Police Coast Guard’s (PCG) efforts to boost its detection of intruders. It will add to its multi-layered defence of the island’s maritime borders, already watched over by advanced electro-optic cameras, radar systems and boat patrols. "We want to look out at our waters so we can spot enemy vessels early, as this gives us time to respond," said PCG head of operations and security Ang Eng Seng. The closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras will be fully deployed by 2018.




9. Cruise Banned from Entry

Authorities in St Maarten have reported that Norwegian Gem Cruise Ship left that Caribbean island prematurely on Friday (March 18) after being told its passengers and crew could not disembark ‘in the interests of public health’. Port St Maarten said a number of passengers on-board the vessel were ‘infected with an infectious virus’. Port St Maarten, in a media release, said: “The vessel was boarded outside Port St Maarten, and was boarded by a Port Control Team that also included officials from the Ministry of Public Health and the Shipping & Maritime Authority, to gather further information with respect to the on-board virus.”



10. Polar Name Gets Cold Shoulder

In a blow for democracy, the British public has decided the best name for a £200m ship is ‘Boaty McBoatface’. The Royal Research Ship, at the forefront of British naval engineering, deserved a great name. Naively thinking the British public would take it seriously, The National Environment Research Council thought it would be a nice idea to ask people online to name the ship. Everyone was keen to cast their vote. On Sunday morning, the organisation’s website was so popular that it crashed. One name was massively in front of the rest – "Boaty McBoatface". Technically of course, it should be "Shippy McShipface"…



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


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S Jones
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