Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/05/2016
1. Shell Oil Spill
Nearly 90,000 gallons of oil leaked from a Shell flow line into the Gulf of Mexico 90 miles off the coast of Louisiana yesterday. The leak has been secured and cleanup crews are now on site. The incident happened at the Glider subsea tieback system at Shell’s Brutus platform. Shell has shut the wells flowing into the line. Aerial reports suggest the leak has left a sheen on the sea stretching for miles.
2. Another Suez Grounding
A crude oil tanker spent a short time aground in the Suez Canal on Wednesday, marking the third such incident this year for the waterway. Shipping agency GAC confirmed that the oil tanker ran aground at about 0850 hours local time at kilometer 159 in the Suez Canal. The vessel was floated within a matter of hours – 1205 local time to be exact – and towed by Suez Canal tugs to the Suez outer anchorage. While only a minor incident, it is at least the third ship grounding to hit the busy waterway this year. In February, a capesize bulk carrier spent nearly two weeks aground, causing some delays to convoys.
3. Remember The Old Ways
Use of GPS as a means of position fixing is now commonplace on vessels of all descriptions, and has made a significant contribution to the safety and accuracy of marine navigation. However, over-reliance on a single form of position fixing can become a danger in itself. Continuing reports of alleged jamming of GPS signals, as well as the potential for other sources of signal interference, is of widespread concern to governments and to the shipping industry as a whole. The UK P&I Club encourages navigating officers to practice traditional methods of navigation, including celestial observation and keeping a proper look-out.
4. New Box Alliance Beckons
Two sources say a new container carrier alliance is set to be announced, which is expected to include Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K Line), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. (MOL), Hapag-Lloyd AG (Hapag-Lloyd), Hanjin Shipping Co. (Hanjin), Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. (HMM), and Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. (Yang Ming), the Wall Street Journal reports. The comments follow those of William Doyle, a commissioner with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), who said recently that "there is a likelihood that another new alliance will be announced" by the end of this week.
5. Oil Spill Cover Up
The German operator of a cargo ship detained at a Lake Superior port in Minnesota last year is charged with covering up illegal dumping of oily wastewater, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. The German shipping company MST Mineralien Schiffahrt was indicted on allegations that it violated the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said. The company is accused of violating the act by failing to maintain an accurate ship record about the disposal of oil-contaminated waste. It’s also charged with presenting falsified records to the U.S. Coast Guard.
6. Builder in Harmony
STX France is juggling a number of innovative cruise ships on its orderbook, spanning Royal Caribbean International’s Harmony of the Seas, MSC Cruises’ MSC Meraviglia and Celebrity Cruises’ Project Edge newbuilds. Harmony of the Seas is due to be delivered in May. The 227,000gt ship is the largest cruise ship in the world and is important for STX France for a number of reasons. The vessel’s first two sisterships were built by STX Finland in Turku, before the shipyard was bought by Meyer Werft and became Meyer Turku.
7. Crewman Falls Overboard
An Indonesian seaman fell overboard into the River Humber from a cargo vessel heading to Immingham, an inquest heard. Wahyu Priandhika, 28, died on September 3, 2014, after attempting to loosen a lashing rod on one of the containers on board a Dutch cargo vessel, which caused him to fall over the side. That sparked a four-hour search operation involving 25 commercial boats from the Grimsby area, lifeboats and a rescue helicopter – but his body was never found. He had complained that the lashings were too tight and needed to be loosened before reaching the port of Immingham, where the vessel was heading to from Norway.
8. Plea to Tackle Stowaways
Dominican Republic Shippers Association (ANRD) president Teddy Heinsen has made an urgent call for the authorities to crack down on the stowaways who violate port security to reach foreign territory, mostly the United States, prompting a negative image abroad. He said the arrest of 10 stowaways this week, when they arrived illegally at Houston on a boat from Caucedo port had reflected extremely badly on the nation. He said to no avail they’ve repeatedly complained of individuals detained abroad but repatriated and released in Dominican soil, which to his view violates the law on stowaways and migrant smuggling and trafficking.
9. Vessel Values Reflects on Half Decade
Five years ago, ship brokers were introduced to a scary new phrase, which was to forever disrupt the cozy and somewhat Delphic world of desktop ship valuations. That phrase was “quantitative analyst1”, which first appeared in a Tradewinds article describing the launch of the mapping, ship search and valuation provider, VesselsValue in May 2011. Today, most shipping people are familiar with work of “quants”, and their role in the examination of big data to produce meaningful and useful information, but five years ago, the launch of VesselsValue was nothing short of a revolution.
10. New Locks for Antwerp
On June 10, the King of Belgium will officially open the Kieldrecht lock at the Port of Antwerp. Construction of the Kieldrecht lock is one of the largest Flemish infrastructure projects of the past few years. The lock was needed to ensure better access to the port area on the left bank of the Scheldt, as the existing Kallo lock had reached its limits. As a result of the new development, the port of Antwerp will be able to handle the increased size of modern ships and to maintain and even reinforce the port’s leading position in Europe. The new lock offers advantages including shorter waiting times for ships and faster routes for ships. http://goo.gl/rGndcQ
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