Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/05/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/05/2016

1. IUMI Welcomes Rules Change

The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) has welcomed the revised York-Antwerp Rules (YAR 2016) which were adopted by the ComitĂ© Maritime International (CMI). The York-Antwerp Rules is a set of rules by which general average (GA) is adjusted. Under the doctrine of general average sacrifices and expenses arising from a marine casualty are apportioned between the ship, cargo and others interested in a common maritime adventure according to their contributory values at the termination of the voyage.  IUMI has a particular interest as the GA system increases the cost of maritime casualties by 10 percent to 30 percent.



2. More Owners in Panama Papers

More details from the so called Panama Papers are expected to be revealed today. The leaks from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca show how tycoons, politicians and conglomerates around the world have managed to avoid paying taxes by using tax havens and complex financial structures. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is expected to list individuals and companies mentioned in the leaked documents, which will involve a raft of shipowners. Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper reckons the leaked papers list at least nine Norwegian shipowners who have set up companies in tax havens overseas.



3. Hijacked Ship Rescued

AFP reports that on Monday, Indonesian forces rescued a Singapore-flagged vessel that had been hijacked off of Borneo. Nine suspected pirates were detained for questioning, and 20 crew and one passenger were released.  No injuries or damage were reported. Navy spokesman Edi Sucipto said that the motive for the attack was to steal some 50,000 gallons of oil by transferring it to another vessel.  Authorities grew suspicious when they noticed that a ship had disappeared off of AIS and radar, then reappeared elsewhere transmitting a different vessel name. They sent a patrol ship and halted the hijacking in progress.



4. Collision Crew Detained

Authorities in China detained 20 crew members of a cargo ship flying the Maltese flag that collided with a Chinese fishing vessel in the East China Sea, killing at least two, Chinese online media reported China’s Lu Rong Yu 58398 collided with a foreign vessel in the early hours of Saturday off the coast of Ningbo in Zhejiang province. Two of the 19 crew members on board were confirmed dead, while search operations are underway for the remaining 17. ​Twenty of the Catalina bulk carrier’s crew, whose nationalities have not been provided, were detained in Ningbo and are currently providing evidence to authorities, the Sina outlet reported.



5. Tanker Owners Cut Orders

Oil tanker operators are on pace to cut their new vessel orders by nearly two-thirds this year, a sign of growing concerns about overcapacity in one of the shipping industry’s few bright spots, Drewry Maritime Research said in a report. Just 34 new tankers were ordered in the first quarter, with shipowners on pace to commission 132 vessels this year. That’s down from 368 in all of 2015, Drewry said. Investors often use new vessel orders as a proxy for ship-owners’ expectations for demand over the next few years. Cheap oil has been a boon for tanker companies like Euronav NV and Frontline Ltd.



6. Caring for Released Crew

Chaplains from the Sailors’ Society, are providing emotional support to 10 seafarers who were released on May 1 after five weeks captivity at the hands of Abu Sayyaf terrorists. Sailors’ Society chaplain Muhartono Tito, who is based in the Indonesian port of Banjarmasin, had been providing welfare assistance together with colleagues to the seafarers’ families prior to their release. Muhartono said, “I acted as the liaison between the ship owner and the families. They were incredibly worried about the safety of their loved ones. When news broke that the terrorists had freed the men, I called their family members who were incredibly grateful.”



7. Largest Autonomous Ship Tested

The Pentagon on Monday showed off the world’s largest unmanned surface vessel, a self-driving 132-foot ship able to travel up to 10,000 nautical miles on its own to hunt for stealthy submarines and underwater mines. The military’s research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, in conjunction with the Navy will be testing the ship off the San Diego coast over the next two years to observe how it interacts with other vessels and avoids collisions. Unlike smaller, remote-controlled craft launched from ships, the so-called "Sea Hunter" is built to operate on its own. "It’s not a joy-stick ship," said a DARPA spokesman.




8. Mind the Skills Gap

Shipping’s looming skills gap must be tackled now, says the new president of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST). Jane Smallman was appointed as the 114th president of IMarEST this March, becoming the first woman to hold the position in the institute’s 127-year history. “There is no doubt that in recent years the marine industry has been attracting too few new entrants, and faces both a shortfall of staff and a serious skills gap,” Smallman says. “We need a wide range of skills to ensure the marine sector’s continued prosperity". IMarEST’s Sea Your Future programme is one answer.




9. Dangers of Welding Gear

Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS), who conducts safety inspections of onboard welding equipment and consumables at 26 ports throughout the world, said its findings reveal how a lack of maintenance, respect and care for this essential, yet highly dangerous, technology is putting safety, efficiency and even lives at risk every day. Inspections have revealed a litany of safety risks and non-conformances, most of which can be easily remedied, WSS said. They have highlighted common issues such as cracked gas hoses, missing or makeshift hose clips (allowing highly flammable gas to escape), earth/ground cables that are connected to the hull.




10. VLCCs Could Be Sold

Shipbroker claim that ship owners with VLCCs older than 15 years old, could find themselves looking for buyers, as these tankers, which could be described as first generation double-hull VLCCs, in many cases, find themselves with less trading opportunites, as a result of charterers’ preference for more modern tonnage. It has been noted that at the beginning of 2016, a total of 39 such VLCCs dropped over the 15-year old barrier, which is many charterers’ upper employment limit. In total, the global VLCC fleet aged over 15 years old, now stands at 99, which equates to a healthy 15% of the global VLCC fleet.



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


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