Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/05/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/05/2016

1. China New Seafarer Power
The latest five-year BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report indicates that China is thought to have overtaken the Philippines as the largest single source of seafarers qualified for international trade, although the Philippines is still the largest source of ratings. However, data suggests that the extent to which Chinese seafarers are available for international service may be more limited, with the Philippines and Russia seen as equally important sources of officers, followed closely by Ukraine and India. The report forecasts a serious future shortage in the supply of seafarers.  The report identifies a current shortfall of about 16,500 officers by 2025.
2. Merchant Crew Stranded off Venice
Eighteen Filipino seafarers spent more than a month stranded on a ship off Venice in Italy after Italian authorities barred their cargo ship from entering the area due to its owners’ unpaid dues. The Panama-flagged bulk carrier "MV DST Oslo" was supposed to go to Port of Marghera in Venice to deliver tons of soy beans when it was arrested for debts owed by its owner A report said the ship’s owner owed an oil company in Venice some 400,000 euros. The 18 Filipinos and the other crewmembers survived for a month on donations from the Venice-based Stella Maris’ Friends charity for seafarers.
3. Port Imposes Seafarer Bond
Ajman Port authorities are floating new rules to protect the rights of crew members aboard ships who find themselves stranded in workplace disputes. A new policy will require ships to post a security deposit of up to Dh100,000 (US$27,000) depending on the size of the ship and crew. In the event of a labour dispute in Ajman port over salaries or working conditions, port authorities can deduct the salary amount from the deposit and provide it to stranded sailors. Another new measure is a radio check ahead of any ship arrival with captains to ensure there are no crew disputes before the ship is granted permission to moor in harbour.
4. Armed Guards Foil Pirates
The UKMTO reported a suspicious approach in the Gulf of Aden yesterday (Monday), where Solace Global security officers responded to an approach by multiple skiffs upon a merchant vessel they were protecting. At 05.12 UTC off the Southern Coast of Yemen, the Solace Global armed security team were approached by five skiffs which came within 90 metres of the vessel. Onboard the skiffs ladders were sighted along with three to five people. The Solace team fired warning shots and the vessel took evasive action. A Solace Global spokesman said that with the crew and vessel safe.
5. Guide to Laying Up
Due to the difficult times in shipping, The Swedish Club is experiencing more vessels being taken out of operation for lay-up. In a new guidance document they have provided owners with guidelines and recommendations regarding vessel layup. The owner should contact their classification society, underwriter and flag state before the vessel is laid up. The guide covers "Cold lay-up", which applies to vessels that have been taken out of commercial operation and "Hot lay-up or Idling", which applies to vessels that are still in operation and may be idling for a period awaiting the next cargo.
6. Nigerian Claims to be Mystery Owner
A Nigerian national, Mr. Robert M. Saigba, has claimed ownership of "TAMAYA 1", the ship that mysteriously docked on the shores of Liberia earlier this month. Saigba, accompanied by two of the four crew members who were on board the ship, arrived in Monrovia on May 13. Saigba claims to be one of two shareholders in the company called H. Matic’s Resources Limited based in Bayelsa State in Nigeria. According to Saigba, the vessel set sail on April 22, 2016 from Dakar, Senegal for Nigeria and developed technical fault at sea and subsequently drifted to Liberia.
7. Bad Day in Court
A US maritime attorney has managed to turn a $1 million lawsuit against his ship-owning client into a judgment of more than $1.2 million against a shipping company, a contempt order and a stricken complaint. Sea Breeze Maritime LLC, which chartered the cargo ship "Jessica" to a freight shipping company for $3,400 a day for a voyage from Haiti to the Dominican Republic to pick up cargo. Brooklyn Transport 99 Inc. sued Sea Breeze in June 2015 after the ship was stuck in Haiti. When the dispute escalated Brooklyn had the ship arrested in Panama. This ran contrary to the charter clause, and the lawyer jumped all over it.
8. Owners Pursuing Small Ships
The lull in the newbuilding activity so far this year is far from over, as ship owners are, for the most part, avoiding to commit large amounts of money to new vessels and when they do move forward with new contracts, these are for small-sized tonnage. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking noted that “things seemed to have spiced up slightly this week with a string of orders emerging in the market. Looking more closely at the orders however, the focus is mostly on smaller sized tonnage from the main ship types as well as a string of orders for ship types such as cruise ships and MPP vessels.
9. Will Data Save Our Seas
Experts are asking whether the availability of sophisticated, satellite-based technologies to track ships, coupled with the democratization of online data about the environment, help ensure that these positive advancements live up to their potential to protect the oceans? Countries are rushing to set up massive marine protected areas of unprecedented size, while the United Nations is drawing up a treaty that would, for the first time, manage biodiversity across the high seas – meaning ships are being watched like never before, and are set to become ever more accountable for their environmental footprint.
10. Learning Concordia Lessons
After the 2012 Costa Concordia disaster, a European study into damage stability is delivering results which are finding their way into design requirements and operational guidelines, and could soon be put into new ship design rules. The European initiative that brought together a number of shipbuilders, designers and other experts has led to new proposals aimed at creating safer vessels. The research, known as EMSA 3, works on damage stability, the capability of a vessel to remain afloat and upright if the hull is breached through an incident such as grounding or collision.

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


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