Top Ten Maritime News Stories 25/07/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 25/07/2016

1. First Transit, First Accident
China Cosco Shipping (COSCO) was the first company to have a vessel transit the expanded Panama Canal, and now it is the first company to have a vessel allide with the canal. The 8,500 teu container ship "Xin Fei Zhou" hit with a wall while transiting the locks at Agua Clara on the Atlantic side of the canal on Thursday afternoon. The ship’s hull was damaged, but traffic was not affected, and the wall suffered only minor damage. A study published earlier this year by the ITF claimed that the dimensions of the new locks are too small to be safe in some circumstances. The Panama Canal Authority dismissed the report.
2. Ferry Loss Deaths
Malaysian authorities have recovered the bodies of eight Indonesians and are searching for more than 20 who are still missing after their boat capsized off the southern state of Johor on Saturday night. Search and rescue teams recovered the bodies of two men and two women as of Sunday afternoon, adding to the four that were found after the incident on Saturday night, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said in a statement. The dead and missing were among more than 60 people on the boat that capsized at around 9.45pm Saturday night while on its way to nearby Batam in Indonesia the statement added.
3. Global Security View
Global risk and consultancy firm Control Risks has released an infographic reporting on maritime security incidents globally. The chart reveals a drop in attacks, down 24% in 2016, compared with the same period in 2015. According to Control Risks, there has been a decline in cases in South-east Asia. Low levels of criminal activity continue across the Horn of Africa and a decline was also registered in South and Central America. Despite this, 96% of all maritime security incidents globally were related to piracy and armed robbery, showing that this threat in particular continues to be a key concern in all regions except Europe.

4. New Round the World Service
Maersk Line is transforming its Asia – US East Coast TP12 service via the Suez Canal into a round-the-world voyage. The new TP12 service will sail from Asia via the Pacific and transit the expanded Panama Canal calling east coast US ports before returning to Asia via the Suez Canal. Maersk will deploy eleven 8,500 teu vessels on the new TP12 service, which would have been too large to transit the old Panama Canal. “We are changing our TP12 service to provide a better product to shippers in Korea, Northern and Eastern China. By transiting the expanded Panama Canal, we will significantly reduce transit times into key ports".
5. Unpaid Repair Bill Arrest
Otto Marine has arrested the chemical tanker "Ratna Blessing" over unpaid ship repair bills at its PT Batamec yard in Indonesia. The 2009-built, 9,131 tanker is owned by RS Marine Investments in Singapore, a company belonging to Rakesh Shankarlal Tulshyan and was arrested after action was started in the Singapore High Court on 23 July by Batamec’s lawyers Rajah & Tann. The court proceedings relate to unpaid ship repair charges for reapirs made to the Ratna Blessing between 13 December 2015 and 21 March 2016.
6. No Old Bold Captains
“There’s old captains and there’s bold captains, but there’s no old, bold captains” – is an ancient saying beloved of people who lecture about navigational safety. But whether they are cautious or reckless, it seems that because of the lifestyle provided by their profession, not enough captains and indeed other seafarers are enjoying a healthy old age. Some really quite disturbing findings have emerged from the three year “Martha” project- Long periods of watchkeeping and irregular sleep patterns over 6-7 month voyages, it has been established, “drain the batteries” of the body in a way that may cause long-term health problems.

7. Backing Away from Guarding Cargoes
Indonesian navy chief Adm. Ade Supandi has said he is not certain the government’s plan to provide security involving armed military personnel on board coal vessels traveling in areas prone to piracy can be implemented. He said sea security operations for trading vessels is regulated by the IMO, and under current rules, there are articles that prohibit the placement of military personnel on merchant vessels, although some countries allowed the use of weapons on board. Citing the IMO, Ade further said, it was only armed civilian security personnel that were allowed to provide security on merchant vessels.
8. York Antwerp Rules Adopted
Following four years of consultation and an extensive review by a CMI International Working Group (“IWG”), the YAR 2016 were adopted by the CMI Assembly at its conference in New York in early May. The adoption of the YAR 2016 brings to an end 12 years of uncertainty, for shipowners and Marine insurers, which followed the adoption of the YAR 2004, which did not have the support of shipowners, and which were very rarely used in preference to the well-established and well understood YAR 1994. The development and finalisation of the YAR 2016 is the product of an extensive review undertaken by the IWG.
9. Lies and Stories in Court
Are Insureds permitted to embellish their narratives in support of claims? Yes – to an extent. In the case of the Merwestone, the Supreme Court held that lies made in respect of facts which are immaterial to the Insured’s right to recover do not invalidate the claim that they relate to; irrelevant embellishments do not give rise to a fraudulent or exaggerated claim. The judgment represents a victory for Insureds, tilting the balance of the rule on fraud slightly away from Underwriters. Insureds will now not be penalised for embellishing a claim by telling lies that are immaterial to the recoverability of a claim.
10. Breaking Yards Certified
Four ship recycling yards in Alang, India, have been certified based on the E.U. Ship Recycling Regulation and have submitted their applications for inclusion in the E.U. recognized yards list. IRClass Systems and Solutions, an entity promoted by Indian Register of Shipping, has certified: Priya Blue Industries, Shree Ram Vessel Scrap, R.L. Kalathia Ship Breaking and Leela Ship Recycling. These yards are India’s first recycling yards to be certified based on E.U. standards. India is home to one of the largest shipbreaking facilities in the world with over 150 yards along its coast.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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S Jones
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