Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/04/2016
1. Vessel Urged to Avoid Pirate Alley
The Indonesian Navy has instructed all commercial vessels to avoid piracy-prone waters around the southern Philippines, following a spate of kidnappings and piracy in recent weeks. "The Indonesian Navy, through the Western Sea Security Cluster, is increasing the intensity of patrols up to the exclusive economic zone border with the Philippines and Malaysia to prevent acts of piracy and hijacking". The busy shipping route along Indonesia’s maritime border with the Philippines carries $40 billion worth of cargo each year, notably fully laden supertankers from the Indian Ocean that cannot use the crowded Malacca Strait.
2. Nigeria Bans Big Outboards
In its attempt to combat a growing outbreak of piracy, hijackings and kidnappings in the Gulf of Guinea, the Nigerian Navy has decided to attack pirates’ equipment: its officials have issued an outright ban on outboard engines in excess of 200 horsepower on the country’s coastal waters. "It has been observed that criminals carry out their activities at sea with the aid of this class of engines, mounted on boats stowed on mother ships," said Commodore Christian Ezekobe. He added that the Navy has confiscated many small craft – commonly known as "go-fast boats" – with engines above 200 horsepower on suspicion of criminal activity.
3. IMO Cools on Climate Control
The IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 69) meeting this week did not reach agreement on a work plan for developing carbon emissions reporting and regulation. Many industry groups and member states have called for addressing CO2 emissions within the IMOs regulatory authority, and the negotiators at this year’s COP21 climate discussions in Paris agreed, leaving shipping’s carbon emissions up to IMO. However, at the MEPC meeting this week, a small group of states – advocates pointed to the BRICS nations, notably China – were set against developing any plan for regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
4. DP World Weighing Solutions
DP World has announced that in addition to its previous plans to implement verified gross mass (VGM) weighing at its UK facilities, it will make comprehensive weighing solutions available – for a fee – at all of its locations worldwide, except where prohibited by local regulation. It is the first global container terminal player to make such a widespread commitment. Over the last week it has made separate announcements suggesting it would provide VGM weighing services at its facilities in British Columbia, the Dominican Republic, and the U.K. The cost at these locations will vary, from $25 in the U.K. to about $200 in British Columbia.
5. Skipper Faced Commercial Pressure
The skipper of a cargo ship that sank with the loss of eight lives during a severe storm in dangerous waters was very likely to have felt under commercial pressure to continue sailing, an inquiry has found. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said the sinking of the Cemfjord cargo ship in the Pentland Firth between Orkney and the Scottish mainland, during “extraordinarily violent sea conditions” in January 2015, was entirely avoidable. The Pentland Firth is widely recognised as one of the world’s most treacherous channels, particularly in winter, since it joins the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, leading to powerful tidal forces.
6. CMA CGM Backs from Giants
CMA CGM SA is backing away from plans to deploy a fleet of super-sized container ships to carry goods between Asia and the U.S., as a glut of shipping capacity has driven freight rates along that route to record lows. A spokesman said it’s postponing the move due to “the current trans-Pacific market situation.” The decision also comes as the company is rolling out an alliance with China’s Cosco Group and other rivals. Analysts say CMA CGM’s new partners would not have welcomed the addition of more capacity on a route where they’re already struggling to generate profits.
7. Seafarers Rescued off Dubai
Twelve Indian sailors have been rescued from their sinking ship off the coast of Deira, Dubai Municipality said. The vessel was heading to Dubai from India and was carrying up to 1,200 sheep that perished. Marwan Al Mohammed, director of Public Health and head of the Emergency and Crisis team, said: “The Indian vessel was approximately eight miles from Dubai Creek and, once the team arrived, they made sure all 12 sailors were safe. “They then started pulling out the corpses of more than 100 sheep, while initial reports showed there were about 800 more dead sheep in the vessel."
8. Seafarers Welfare Awards
The shortlist for the International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards has been announced with the awards ceremony taking place on 24th June at The Manila Hotel in the Philippines. Generously funded by the International Transport Workers’ Federation Seafarers Trust, and sponsored by Inmarsat and Crewtoo, the awards reward the companies and organisations that have offered seafarers the highest standard in services and facilities. With each candidate nominated by seafarers, the Awards are an opportunity for seafarers to say thank you to those who have made a difference to their lives, and to raise awareness of their needs.
9. New Health and Safety Sentencing
U.K. skipper Alexander Baird, who pleaded guilty to a charge of not operating his ship in a safe manner, where he received a custodial sentence totaling nine months. Baird admitted the charge which covered a number of deficiencies found on his vessel. Baird was skipper of the vessel between November 2007 and April 2012. During that period the vessel was inspected on nine occasions and a number of problems found. “This was the first occasion that the new Health & Safety sentencing guidelines have been used,” Captain Andrew Phillips, from the MCA’s enforcement unit. “We expect their use will aid a more consistent approach to sentencing.”
10. Measuring the Oil Drips
Thordon Bearings has developed a new tool capable of calculating the amount of operational oil prevented from leaking into the ocean with the installation of a seawater-lubricated propeller shaft bearing. The Oil Savings Calculator will be officially launched on 22 April 2016, it shows that more than 60m litres of oil pollution has been saved to date. Terry McGowan, president and CEO of Thordon Bearings, said: “In our opinion the only acceptable propeller shaft stern tube oil leakage is zero.”
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