Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/07/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/07/2016

1. Cruise Lifeboat Tragedy
A crew member from the cruise ship "Norwegian Breakaway" has died following a lifeboat accident that took place today while the ship was in Bermuda. During a routine drill, a lifeboat fell and injured four crew members. The crew members were immediately treated at the ship’s medical center before being transferred to a local hospital, where one subsequently died from his injuries. "Norwegian is profoundly saddened by this loss, and we share our deepest sympathies with the crew member’s family and loved ones during this difficult time," the line said in a statement.
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2. Unpaid Hire on the Rise
Shipowners P&I has been stressing their concerns as the present market conditions have led to an increase in claims related to unpaid hire. To recover unpaid hire, Owners need to fully understand who they are contracting with. The Club urges owners to carry out thorough due diligence during pre-contract negotiations, to prevent incurring time and expense caused by chasing Charterers for unpaid hire. Despite completing thorough due diligence, the Club appreciates that it isn’t always possible to prevent Charterers defaulting on their hire payments.
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3. Abu Sayyef Thugs Grabs Tug
The notorious Muktadir brothers, based in Jolo, are believed to be responsible for the latest disappearance of five Malaysian sailors whose tugboat was found abandoned in waters off Lahad Datu this week. The brothers are back in the abduction business after being on the run from authorities in the past few months.
Filipino sources said the two Abu Sayyaf leaders were suspected to be behind the kidnapping of the Malaysian sailors, but could not confirm whether the abductees had been brought to Jolo. Family members of the missing Malaysians believe that the five were kidnapped and were praying for their safe return.
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4. Nigeria Makes Avengers Progress
The Nigerian Navy said it had arrested a suspected member of the Niger Delta Avengers. This is contained in a statement signed by its Director of Information, Commodore Christian Ezekobe, and made available to newsmen in Abuja. According to Ezekobe, the suspect who was picked up on July 11 at about 11 a.m., is believed to be a major logistics supplier to the group which had claimed responsibility for attacks on NNPC and Chevron pipelines in the region. “The arrest was made following a confessional statement obtained from an earlier arrested suspect who gave details of the involvement of other collaborators in the attacks.
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5. Canada and Illegal Seafarers
The Canadian government has stated that it illegally issued work permits to 11 foreign crew members on board a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker in July 2015. The admission came after the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada filed 42 lawsuits against the government, accusing it of systematically issuing work permits to foreign crew despite the availability of Canadian seafarers, breaching immigration laws. The 11 work permits will now be subject to judicial review.
http://goo.gl/cwH72b
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6. Shipowners Acting on Noise
As ship-owners must ensure their vessels meet strict noise regulations, Tokai University initiated two projects intended to help engineers reduce and control noise on board during operation. The latest regulation – International Maritime Organization (IMO) noise level code on board ships, which became mandatory for new ships on July 1st, 2014 – is to protect seafarers against hearing loss, improve comfort levels and make aware the need to communicate with colleagues and hear alarms. All ship-owners have to meet these regulations for vessels with a gross tonnage of 1,600 and over.
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7. Hanjin Debt Extension
State-run Korea Development Bank and other creditors are expected to extend their conditional debt rescheduling program for Hanjin Shipping Co. for another month until early September, giving the struggling shipping company enough time to cover liquidity shortage on its own. The shipping company still needs to raise about 1 trillion won ($875 million) to keep afloat. Creditors will convene a meeting next week and discuss the possibility of extending the rescue program by one month from the expiry date of August 4. It is likely for the main creditor bank to vote for allowing more time for the shipper’s preparation.
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8. Small Managers Floundering
Like shipping in general, smaller players in the shipmanagement sector risk being elbowed out, argues the head of one of the world’s largest shipmanagers. Kishore Rajvanshy, the veteran founding managing director of Hong Kong-based Fleet Management, remarks: “I see that small shipmanagement companies are finding it extremely difficult to operate in this environment.” Rajvanshy, who has been through many a shipping cycle, says the current downturn is causing financial headaches for managers around the world.
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9. Yard Death Toll Rises
A 39-year-old worker became the eighth man yesterday to die this year at a yard controlled by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), sparking anger among local trade unions. The man fell from some scaffolding while working on a project for Norway’s Statoil. Five of the eight people to have died at HHI yards this year have been subcontractors. “It is appalling that workers still have to die due to dangerous working conditions despite a series of similar kinds of deaths at Hyundai Heavy Industries’ shipyards,” said Park Hye-young from Solidarity for Worker’s Health. “This just shows the company’s indifference to workers’ deaths.”
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10. China to Populate Battleground
Up to eight Chinese ships will offer cruises to the South China Sea over the next five years, a state-run newspaper said on Thursday, as Beijing continues to promote tourism to the disputed waters. Sanya International Cruise Development Co Ltd, a joint venture by COSCO Shipping, China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corp and China Communications Construction Co Ltd, will buy between five and eight ships, the official China Daily reported. It will also build four cruise liner docks in Sanya, a Chinese resort city on the southern island province of Hainan, the paper added.
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