Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/06/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/06/2016

1. Medical Emergency Not Mutiny
The insurer of a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier which ran aground last week in Mauritius following an apparent brawl on board says that the incident was the result of a serious medical episode suffered by one of the vessel’s crew members, and not the result of a wider conflict. But as pollution costs rack up the London P&I Club, claims the grounding was actually the result of a medical situation. “The grounding followed an incident on board involving a crew member who suffered a serious medical episode which led to him attacking one colleague before causing extensive damage to the engine room", they claim.
2. Abu Sayyaf Kidnap Again
Suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) reportedly abducted 7 crew members of a cargo ship headed to Indonesia on Tuesday, June 22. The cargo vessel was traversing Indonesian waters from the Philippines when the armed men, fired at the vessel and seized 7 of the 13 crew members, said to be a mix of Indonesian and Malaysian citizens. With their victims, the kidnappers reportedly fled towards the direction of Tawi-Tawi in the southern Philippines. The incident is the latest in a string of abductions.
3. Little Canal Impact
The U.S. Energy Information Agency examined how the new Panama Canal expansion will affect crude and product supplies on the North American market – and forecasts that it will have little impact. "Because of the economics of shipping, trade patterns, and the types of ships used to transport crude and petroleum products, this latest expansion is expected to have a limited effect on most petroleum markets,” EIA said in a statement Wednesday. VLCCs and ULCCs, the largest oil tankers, are too large for the new locks, and the economics of crude oil shipments favour larger vessels they point out.
4. RBS Selling Shipping Business
The Royal Bank of Scotland has received bids for its Greek ship finance business, banking and financial sources familiar with the matter said, following a leap in bad shipping debts at the lender over the past few months. They told Reuters that the operation was worth about $3 billion although sources in the shipping business said that problems with lending to the industry, much of which is in a deep downturn, would affect the value of what could be recouped via a sale. Credit Suisse and China Merchants were among the suitors bidding, the sources said.
5. Mass Rescue off Bermuda
On Tuesday, the Bermuda Marine Operations Center reported that the merchant ship "K Coral" rescued 19 Chinese and Indonesian fishermen from the fishing vessel "Pioneer". "K Coral" reported sighting fire and smoke just after 0100 hours Tuesday in a position some 900 nm to the southeast of Bermuda. She arrived alongside the Pioneer shortly after the sighting and found the fishing vessel on fire, with all crewmembers already in the water.  The "K Coral" quickly recovered 17 of the 19 crewmembers; two had suffered second degree burns. One additional survivor was taken on shortly thereafter.
6. Accidental Gun Shots on Cruise
Local news in Italy is reporting there was a gunshot scare onboard a MSC Cruise ship while docked in Venice, Italy. When the "MSC Magnifica" was docked at its home port in Venice Italy last Saturday a gun somehow made its way into a ship’s security guards hand. The gun went through the ship’s metal detectors in a metal box, a security crew member picked up the gun and accidentally shot it at one of the bulkheads. Thankfully the bullet hit the ground and ricocheted upwards, thankfully getting stuck in a wall. When the gunshot went off, all those around were in shock. One passenger fainted and was treated onboard.
7. Clarksons Looks at Piracy
The drivers behind piracy are wide but primarily economic and clearly, geography is also key. This month, Clarksons has been take a closer look at recent shifts in the regional distribution of piracy ‘hot spots’. Piracy remains a prevalent concern within the shipping industry, raising issues around vessel security, disrupting trade routes and increasing ship operation costs. In the year to date, 85 piracy attacks have been reported globally compared to 142 in the same period of 2015. While the overall incidence of piracy has fallen since 2012 when nearly 350 attacks were reported, the number of incidents remains significant.
8. New View of Ship Operations
ABB is opening a new integrated Operations Center in Singapore, the third facility of its type, which will allow the company’s expert engineers to follow the sun across the globe. Typically, at the end of the working day, the Singapore Center will handover to colleagues in Norway and Finland and this process will continue across the globe when a new Integrated Operations Center is opened in the US later this year. The Integrated Operations Center is a realization of ABB’s principle of the Internet of Things, Services and People. Sensors and software onboard a ship send equipment and performance data via satellite ashore.
9. New Deepwater Horizon Settlements
Two new settlements, totalling nearly $1.24 billion have been reached with Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. and Halliburton Company ("HESI") and Triton Asset Leasing GmbH, Transocean Deepwater Inc., Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc., and Transocean Holdings LLC ("Transocean") over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The HESI/Transocean Settlements will not pay for any economic loss or personal injury claims.  They cover punitive damages as well as certain assigned claims from the 2012 BP Deepwater Horizon Economic & Property Damages Settlement ("DHEPDS"). 
10. Abandoned Seafarers Finally Freed
Headlines call it the "End Of Misery" – as after living onboard their ship for 5 years, a group of abandoned Ghanaian seafarers are finally heading home from India. Five years of enforced captivity onboard with little electricity, fresh water or medicine, scraps of food are finally over. The crew came into public conscience when the cable connecting their tugboat to the decommissioned vessel "MV Wisdom" snapped during a storm and it grounded at Juhu Beach, Mumbai. The men were arrested by the Indian police and their boat, the "Seabulk Plover", seized. Three months later, the police closed its probe and the men lay forgotten.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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