Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/07/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/07/2016

1. 2016 Vessel Builds Near 30Bn
As the calendar now indicates we have passed the half year mark on 2016, offers insight on the number and value of all the 2016 built vessels that have been delivered so far vs how many are still yet to be delivered. To date $28.4bn worth of vessels have been delivered however there is still $43.8bn is left on the orderbook. LPG deliveries are on track for the year, with 50% of the 2016 orderbook having been delivered (worth $3.0bn). There is still 80% of the OSV orderbook still undelivered, valued at $5.5bn. Valuation Analysts say many of the undelivered vessels in underperforming markets may be held back.
2. Cruise Ship Fjord Grounding
The cruise ship Horizon grounded on a sandbank while entering the port in Stavanger, Norway. The vessel grounded by her bow into the sandy shallow without suffering any damages, but needed assistance for harbor tugs for refloating and further docking. At the scene of the accident were dispatched two tugs, which towed the vessel to safe depth and then assisted with maneuvering for berthing. During the grounding there were no damages of the ship’s hull and no breaches. However, the local authorities detained the ship for one additional day at Stavanger for further investigation and inspection of the seaworthiness.
3. Shell Workers Down Tools 
Shell’s offshore workers in North Sea started 24 hours strike, protesting against the plant to cut their pay and allowances. About 400 Wood Group maintenance workers on seven offshore oil production platforms operated by Royal Dutch Shell will take part from the first massive strike in North Sea since 1988. The affected offshore rigs are Gannet, Nelson, Shearwater, Curlew, Brent Alpha, Brent Bravo and Brent Charlie. The labor unions in the North Sea announced that their members won’t work overtime on Monday, and will begin a full-fledged 24-hour stoppage on Tuesday.
4. Illegal Trading Tanker Arrested
The product tanker Takuzan was arrested on 160 nautical miles off Cape Ca Mau, Vietnam for illegal fuel trading. The vessel was bunkering Vietnamese fishing vessels in the area, but according to the local authorities without permission and no valid documents. The product tanker Takuzan was arrested together with all its Thai nationality crew members, who had no valid identity documents. The vessel will be towed to Vietnam were will be held further investigation for the fuel origin and seamen identification. The crew members did not reluctanced during the routine check and subsequent arrest.
5. Raising Seafarer Smiles
There can be no doubt that seafarers face vastly different challenges to most working men and women. They often spend long periods away from home and their families, in potentially harsh working conditions, and with unfamiliar crew mates. The ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) IN 2013 now covers 80 per cent of the global fleet, and has had a genuine impact, but more can be done to raise standards on a global basis beyond the minimum of the MLC mandatory requirements. Seafarer welfare is one of the six core areas of the a new ‘Seafarers on-board Charter’; a best practice charter.
6. Canal Blames Weather
Panama Canal authorities say a Chinese container ship’s damaging scrape with the canal’s new wider locks was caused by bad weather and the vessel not lining up correctly. Canal administrator Jorge Quijano there was intense rain, poor visibility and winds between 30 and 40 knots when the ship carrying 9,000 containers was using the locks Thursday. Quijano says it was the only such incident in the widened canal’s first month of operation. He says unfortunately these things happen in their business. Tug captains have expressed concern about having relatively little room to maneuver with the huge New Panamax ships.

7. Crew Sit and Wait on Wages
A Greek-owned ship with 15 Filipino crewmen has been anchored six miles off Tybee Island in Georgia for nearly four months, waiting to be auctioned off. A bank foreclosed on the ship because the company that owned it defaulted on its loan. The ship, "Newlead Castellano", will be auctioned off August 8 at a federal courthouse. Until then the Filipino sailors are not allowed to come to the Georgia mainland because they don’t have the proper documents, and the ship must remain anchored off Tybee Island. The company in default is Newlead, a Greek firm that deals with dry bulk commodities.
8. Houston Channel Leak Closure
A section of the Houston Ship Channel was closed to traffic after a sulfur dioxide release from a refinery in Pasadena, Texas. The refinery is owned by Brazil’s troubled state oil firm Petrobras. US Coast Guard (USCG) issued the closure after being notified by the Harris County Office of Emergency Management that a shelter-in-place advisory was in effect in the nearby city of Galena Park. The leak happened when the Pasadena Refining System refinery lost power during heavy rain and thunderstorms. Part of the safety procedure during a power outage is to burn off hydrocarbons that the stopped machinery cannot process.
9. Border Control Jump on Crew
A recent case, where a vessel was at risk of detention by Border Force UK, has thrown up some interesting questions concerning work permits, visas, immigration and manning rules, according to UK-headquartered marine solicitors Davies Johnson. When it comes to work permits, crew on vessels sailing to offshore installations, for example, outside the 12 miles zone do not need UK work permits. It is also true that if you operate a vessel within 12 miles of the UK coast for most of the time then non-EU crew will need UK work permits. As with all regulations there are grey areas.
10. Brexit Port Struggles
British importers and exporters prefer direct mainline container services calling at their national ports and tend to dislike feeder services, says a Drewry report. Is there a risk that a politically isolated UK will no longer benefit from direct vessel calls, particularly as there is no longer any large British container carrier based in the UK to champion their cause? Drewry believes container lines will continue to call directly at UK ports. Even if the UK enters recession, UK volumes are more than large enough to justify direct calls with mainline vessels, mainly in the South of England ports and it is in the lines’ own interest to call there direct.

Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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