Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/04/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/04/2016


1. HELP We Need Somebody

Three men aboard a 19-ft skiff set off for a short sailing trip into the south Pacific. The weather grew rough, stranded in the dark and their ship lost far from ground, the men could only swim. Buoyed by life vests, they swam nearly two miles under a dark sky until they reached the long-deserted Fanadik, several hundred miles north of Papua New Guinea. For three days they remained stranded on the remote island, praying for rescue. Then, on Thursday morning, crew aboard a US navy plane zipping through the sky spotted three men waving fluorescent orange life vests. They stood next to piles of palm fronds that spelled: H-E-L-P.



2. Casino Gamble for Crew

The galley smells like decay. Flies circle dirty pots and pans, and the temperature on board is sweltering. While the bustle of Hong Kong continues outside, a crew of 46 men and women have been stuck for six months on a cruise ship anchored in the eastern harbor, near Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. The "New Imperial Star" was used as a casino ship, shuttling a mostly Chinese clientele from eastern Hong Kong into international waters where gambling is legal. In October the ship was detained by Hong Kong’s Marine Department for failing inspections that the crew says could have been easily passed, had they been given money for maintenance.




3. Armed Guard Homicide

Two security guards have died on a Spanish tuna fishing vessel after an apparent murder-suicide.  Seychelles’ authorities are investigating the deaths that occurred on the 96 meter (315 foot) Txori Gorri which arrived in port on Saturday with the bodies of the two men, aged 40 and 41. The shooting incident apparently occurred on Friday after an argument between the guards who were on board as an anti-piracy measure. The vessel, with 33 on board, had been fishing off the coast of Madagascar and was on its way to the Seychelles’ Port Victoria.




4. Piracy Could Return

Experts have issued a warning that the threat of piracy may return in the Indian ocean, off Somalia’s coast. They further add that anti piracy patrols by international war ships and armed guards aboard commercial vessels, that continue to conduct patrols along and beyond Somalia’s coast, have suppressed piracy but not stopped it. Despite attacks being held at bay, experts are clear, "the guys haven’t gone away and nothing has changed on the ground,” said John Steed, Horn of Africa manager for the US-based non-profit Oceans Beyond Piracy. Scores of foreign trawlers illegally fishing off Somalia – conditions which prompted piracy.


5. Offshore Regime Steadies Ships

Panic? What panic? Ramón Fonseca, co-founder of the law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers admits it has been a “brain-squeezing” week. “At the moment, there is no panic,” says Belisario Porras, president of the Panamanian Association of Maritime Law. The shipping industry in Panama, key to a country that is home to one of the world’s major shipping lanes, relies on offshore vehicles to own vessels and Mr Porras does not see that changing any time soon. Nor does he see the disclosure of 11.5m documents from Mossack Fonseca as the beginning of the end for Panama’s place in the offshore financial firmament.




6. Nigeria’s Porous Waters

With the recent hijack of an oil vessel, MT Sampatiki and abduction of its crew in Delta State, Nosa Alekhuogie reasons that adequate measures should be put in place by the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA to rid the nation’s waterways of piracy. Maritime insecurity in Nigeria waters keeps growing at a disturbing rate and is threatening the global flow of goods and services across the world’s shipping lines. While there have been efforts to stop these attacks, it is obvious that such efforts are not good enough. Analysts said there is the need for more commitment to safeguard the territorial waters against piracy, sea robbery, poaching, etc.



7. Nuclear Waste Ship Grounds

A Swedish cargo ship designed to haul radioactive waste ran into trouble Friday outside the harbor of a decommissioned nuclear power plant in southeastern Sweden. The Swedish Maritime Administration confirmed that the "MV Sigrid" had a pilot on board when it ran aground approaching the Barsebäck nuclear power plant. The ship was not carrying any dangerous cargo, the administration and the ship’s owner confirmed. Wind at the time was about 10 to 12 knots. A tugboat, two coast guard vessels and a ship inspector from the Swedish Transport Agency were sent to assist the vessel, confirming that no oil was leaking from the ship.




8. Death Captain Under Watch

An Australian senate inquiry has revealed that Venancio Salas Junior, captain of the "Death Ship" Sage Sagittarius, was known to Australian authorities for almost 18 years, but it was local media, that alerted authorities of his return to the country. Australia’s Department of Border Protection has been forced to defend its monitoring after Salas was discovered on a ship at the Port of Gladstone in February by Australian regional media. He was wanted for questioning by the New South Wales Coroner at the time and subsequently appeared at an inquest into the death of two Filipinos as the ship approached Australia in late 2012.



9. Generator Risk Warning

North P&I Club is advising its members to be aware of the potentially severe consequences of poorly maintained or overloaded on-board generators being unable to meet the electrical demands of ships at sea. The warning comes in the latest issue of the club’s loss prevention newsletter Signals. According to deputy loss prevention director Colin Gillespie, ‘Generators have a critical function to play on all ships. They provide electrical power for ever-more complex navigation, communication and safety systems as well as essential on-board services and vital equipment such as cranes, winches and bow thrusters.




10. Greeks Celebrate Successes

Many leading participants in today’s shipping industry once again gathered to pay tribute to some of the greats of Greek shipping’s past at the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Dinner 2016. Highlights of the gala dinner event included the announcement of the Inductees for 2015 – John C. Carras and Stavros Daifas – who were remembered through interviews with family and independent experts. Annually the Inductees are voted for by the members of the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame Academy. The event also included spots to remember the 22 other current Inductees of the Hall of Fame, elected in past years.



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


Best regards,

S Jones
Seacurus Ltd


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