Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/07/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/07/2016

1. Bosphorus Opens After Coup
Turkish maritime authorities reopened Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait yesterday having shut it for a number of hours following an attempted coup that ruptured many transport and communication links across the nation. Shipping agent GAC said traffic had reopened after being shut for several hours for security reasons and ships were now being able to travel again through the Bosphorus. Pipeline traffic was also reported as normal.

2. LPG Carrier Collision
A French fishing vessel reportedly collided with a laden LPG carrier anchored outside Le Havre at around 02:10hrs local time on Friday. The gas ship, "Waasmunster", which is owned by Exmar LPG BVBA, was laden with around 18,000 tonnes of butane at the time of the incident, reports say. Waasmunster‘s hull was breached below the waterline and suffered water ingress, but salvage teams successfully sealed the hole by 05:20hrs. The vessel remains at the anchorage. The fishing vessel, Gros LouLou, suffered damage to its bow and there was water ingress some hours later. The boat is now berthed safely at Port-en-Bessin.
3. MSC Master Drugs Shame
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has responded to news that an Italian captain onboard its vessel, "MSC Poh Lin", has been arrested in Italy on suspicion of cocaine trafficking linked to the mafia. MSC Poh Lin arrived in Gioia Tauro from South America last week. “MSC confirms that it is fully assisting authorities with the appropriate enquiries,” the Geneva-headquartered line said in a rare release. The court has now formally released the vessel MSC Poh Lin, following confirmation of no wrongdoing by MSC. Once all containers have been fully inspected, cargo will be freed for onward transit from Gioia Tauro.
4. Ship Financing Hold Steady
Global ship financing from the banking sector has remained steady over the course of the past 12 months, amounting close to $400 billion, almost identical to last year’s, said Petrofin Research in its latest survey. During the same period, the global fleet rose by 1.76%, from 89,676 to 91,526 vessels, which is a clear testament that this growth was achieved through alternative finances, other than banking sources, like private equity funds, or enhanced equity by owners. The Top 40 banks have a total of $397.84bn exposure to shipping.
5. VGM Concerns Grow
As SOLAS VGM requirements begin to shape box movements, one of the more common concerns is how to comply in terms of how cargo will be weighed in the physical world. Specifically, what access to scales will companies have, where are they located and how they will access them in a timely and accurate manner? Another concern revolves around Standard Operating Procedures for transmitting container-specific VGM information. What is the best method for sending VGM data, manually or electronically, and in the case of the latter, how they will get that done. The last concern revolves around cost.
6. Pirates Convicted of MSC Attack
A Mauritian Court on Friday overturned an earlier ruling and convicted twelve men of piracy over a January 2013 attack on the containership "MSC Jasmine" in the Indian Ocean. The conviction was welcomed by the European Union’s ongoing counter-piracy operation EU Naval Force Samalia, which had assisted in capturing the pirates. The successful conviction came after prosecution lawyers in the Republic of Mauritius challenged an earlier court ruling in November 2014 that had found the men not guilty of attacking the Cypriot-flagged container ship on January 5, 2013 as it transited south in the Indian Ocean.
7. China Sea Dispute to go Nuclear
China aims to launch a series of offshore nuclear power platforms to promote development in the South China Sea, days after an international court ruled Beijing had no historic claims to most of the waters. Sovereignty over the South China Sea is contested by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, and any move to build nuclear reactors is bound to stoke further tension in the region. The official China Securities Journal said as many as 20 offshore nuclear platforms could eventually be built in the region as the country seeks to “speed up the commercial development” of the South China Sea.
8. Carnival Goes Heavy on Training
Cruise company Carnival has opened a €75m safety training facility, called Arison Maritime Center, in Almere, the Netherlands. The facility will provide rigorous safety training to its 6,500 deck and engineering officers responsible for the navigation and operation of its fleet of cruise ships across its ten brands, including Holland America, Princess, Carnival, and Costa. The seven acre campus has an 110,000ft² Center for Simulator Maritime Training Academy (CSMART Academy), a medical centre as well as a 176-room hotel for trainees. "The simulations will enable trainees to have access to visual elements of 60 ports."
9. Cruise Ship Rocked by Explosion
An explosion on a cruise ship docked in the Peruvian city of Iquitos left one person dead and several others wounded or missing, the state-run National Port Company (Enapu) reported. The incident occurred around noon Saturday when a gas container exploded aboard the Aqua Expeditions cruise ship as it was in port taking on fuel, Enapu said. The explosion caused a fire in the port terminal, which was extinguished by the company’s personnel and firefighters, Enapu said. The wounded were treated in an Iquitos hospital, it was reported that the explosion may have been sparked by crews doing welding work.
10. Managers Convicted of Pollution
A federal grand jury in Charleston, South Carolina, has charged Aegean Shipping Management S.A. and Aegeansun Gamma Inc. with obstruction of an agency proceeding, conspiracy and failing to keep accurate pollution control records, the Justice Department announced. Three engineering officers were charged with related offenses. The charges stem from the 2015 falsification of records and obstruction designed to cover up overboard discharges of oily mixtures and machinery space bilge water from the Liberian-flagged chemical tanker, T/V Green Sky.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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