Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/07/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/07/2016

1. 1000 Days in Captivity
The Mission to Seafarers and families of the British guards of the anti-piracy vessel the MV Seaman Guard Ohio, who have been detained and imprisoned in India, have called for a parliamentary lobby and supporter rally to hand in a petition at Downing Street on July 7. This marks the day when the men will have been in detention for 1,000 days.  The families are calling for British MPs across all parties to unite to support the men and for the British people to write to their local MPs. The parliamentary lobby will take families, supporting MPs and welfare charities speaking about the case.
2. Gulf of Guinea Piracy Spike
A report by Oceans Beyond Piracy has revealed that there have been 32 kidnaps for ransom during 2016 in the Gulf of Guinea, surpassing the total number of incidents, 19, recorded by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) for 2015. The IMB itself has recorded 10 incidents in the Gulf of Guinea in the first quarter of 2016, and the kidnap of 16 seafarers. Since April 2015, the Merchant Trade Information Sharing Centre for the Gulf of Guinea (MTISC-GoG) recorded 56 incidents in the area and the kidnap of 35 seafarers.
3. Black Day for Black Watch
According to the Cruise Capital website in the U.K., "a fire broke out aboard Fred Olsen Cruise Line’s Black Watch this morning as the ship made its way to Madeira." The fire, which started in the auxiliary engine room reportedly damaged three engines used to generate power onboard the cruise ship. Cruise Capital said that the fire was extinguished by the crew. The site stated that "the four main engines are undamaged by the fire, but further investigations will need to be undertaken, before an attempt to restart them later today. Repairs are expected to be made en-route to Madeira." Black Watch is an old ship, built in 1970-1971.
4. Natural Gas Panama Expansion
Natural gas exports from the U.S. Gulf Coast will reach buyers in Asia and South America faster and at lower costs thanks to an expanded Panama Canal that could see 550 tankers a year by 2021. As of Sunday, the canal linking the Pacific and Atlantic oceans was open to the size of vessel typically used to carry liquefied natural gas after a $5.3 billion expansion. The shortcut will shrink travel times for ships carrying gas from U.S. shale fields and encourage utilities and traders who have reserved liquefaction capacity to actually use those plants.
5. Iranians Prevent Piracy Attack
An Iranian squadron prevented 12 boats carrying 115 armed pirates from seizing an Iranian oil tanker around the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. The pirates sought to attack the oil tanker, but were forced to flee while facing Martyr Naqdi destroyer. The Iranian Navy 41th squadron, comprising Martyr Naqdi destroyer and Lavan cruiser, escorted the oil tanker to a safe place after repelling the attack. The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 to safeguard the vessels involved in maritime trade, especially the ships and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran.
6. Barge Hits Dock Wall
Semisubmersible transport barge Giant 6 hit a wharf at CSBC’s Keelung Shipyard yesterday around noon. The barge, owned by Dutch company Boskalis, was carrying scrapped pieces from TS Taipei, a containership stranded near Keelung in March, to the shipyard for further disposal works. Both the wharf and the barge suffered minor damage however the barge will receive an inspection at the shipyard before starting operations again. The dismantling works on TS Taipei is still ongoing and it is expected to be completed  by September.
7. Tanker Detained in Libya
A tanker under the flag of Belize with five Russian nationals among its crew has been detained by coast guards off western Libya and taken to the military port of Tripoli, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. The tanker was detained on Tuesday, the ministry said in a statement. Russian embassy workers temporarily based in Tunisia are trying to clarify the circumstances of the incident, it said. Tankers visiting Libya have been having a difficult time – with detentions, confusion regarding legality of shipments and even facing attack by aircraft.
8. New Shipbuilding Data Archive
ClassNK has established ClassNK Archive Center (NKAC), the maritime industry’s first onshore digital archive center that fully complies with IMO Goal-based ship construction standards (GBS) and the Industry Standard, which now are in force. IMO GBS are broad, over-arching safety and environmental standards that ships are required to meet during their operational lifetime. The new SOLAS regulation II-1/3-10 made GBS applicable to bulk carriers and oil tankers of 150m in length and above for which the building contract is placed on or after 1 July 2016.
9. Undertaking Given for Coral Costs
The vessel which ran aground in Monad Shoal, Philippines last month has been allowed to set sail to Subic Bay, Zambales for repairs after the Cebu provincial government received without objection the ship owner’s letter of guarantee ensuring the payment of a maximum amount of $1.5 million for the rehabilitation of the damaged area in Malapascua Island. The amount to be paid will be covered by the Japan Ship Owner’s Mutual Protection & Indemnity Club, the ship company’s insurance provider, after the ship damaged about three hectares of the protected area affecting Brain Coral species locally.

10. Box Tracking in Vogue
Declining asset costs and a variety of external factors are driving the container shipping industry into increasing use of container tracking and monitoring devices. Mike Dempsey, vice president of containers and ports at mobile asset tracking technology firm Orbcomm, said the surge of interest in monitoring cargo in the reefer sector would be be followed by interest from dry cargo shippers. Maersk’s has installed remote container management system and devices on its entire fleet of 270,000 reefer containers shows how one carrier responded to technological advances in GSM, satellite tracking and the "Internet of Things".

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