Top Ten Maritime News Stories 15/08/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 15/08/2016

1. Maersk Flag Protectionist Concerns
A. P. Moeller-Maersk, is voicing concern as a potential shift in US policy threatens to reduce global trade. While Maersk assumes that no matter how the U.S. presidential election ends, it probably “won’t have an effect on the contracts we have and the employment exposure we have in the US,” Trond Westlie, its chief financial officer, said any steps in a more protectionist direction would clearly hurt global economic growth. In general, trade barriers weaken global growth,” Westlie said in a phone interview on Friday. “Low trade barriers not only help trade growth, but also economic growth.”
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2. Seafarers Jailed for 20 Years
Two Turkish men convicted of smuggling £500 million worth of cocaine on board a ship in the North Sea have each been jailed for at least 20 years. Mumin Sahin and Emin Ozmen were found guilty after a trial at the High Court in Glasgow after three tonnes of the Class A drug were discovered inside the MV Hamal about 100 miles off the coast of Aberdeen. The 2015 seizure is said to be the biggest single cocaine haul ever recovered at sea in Europe. The drugs were found hidden in a specially-adapted secret hold in the Tanzanian-registered tug, which was sailing from Istanbul to Tenerife and then to the North Sea, 
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3. Coal Ship Crew Unpaid
The Australian Council of Mission to Seafarers has committed up to $10,000 after the Australian Marine Safety Authority found a coal ship’s crew weren’t paid wages in more than two months and its food supplies were dangerously low. The owners of a coal ship that’s stranded off Gladstone’s coast have either “vanished” or are “watching from the background”, an International Transport Workers Federation inspector says. The 93,000 tonne "Five Stars Fujian", believed to have $40 million worth of coal on board, has been off the Port of Gladstone since July 19.
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4. Pirate Quickly Captured
A Western Fleet Quick Response (WFQR) team of the Indonesian Navy detained an alleged pirate who was robbing the "Ad Matsu" tanker of Singapore, on Belakang Padang Island, Batam, Riau Islands. The alleged pirate "Henry Alfree Bakari Bin Hengki" had had been jailed earlier for illegal possession of ammunition. Interestingly it emerged that as the boat’s helmsman, Henry got US$7500 as his share from the piracy. Which suggests, as in other places that there is far more of a business process underpinning piracy attacks – this truly is organised crime, even at the seemingly opportunitic level.
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5. Somali Pirates Jailed
Twelve Somalis who attacked a container ship in the Indian Ocean were sentenced to five years in jail in Mauritius on Thursday, a reminder of the region’s battle against piracy. The men were accused of firing on the "MSC Jasmine", a Panamanian-flagged container ship, in January 2013 before being captured by naval anti-piracy forces and transferred to Mauritius for trial. They were found guilty of sea piracy on 14 July. Sentencing them on Thursday a judge said the three years they had already served would be be taken off their jail time.
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6. Lawyers Warn of Insurance Act Changes
The Insurance Act 2015 (the Act) came into force on 12 August 2016. It has been described by the UK government as "the biggest reform to insurance contract law in more than a century" and will apply, by default, to commercial (non-consumer) insurance policies. The Act amends key sections of the Marine Insurance Act 1906 (the MIA), but does not repeal it. The reforms aim to reflect best practice in the modern UK insurance market and deal with three broad areas – the pre-contractual duty of disclosure, the effect of warranties contained in the policy and insurers’ remedies for fraudulent claims. DLA Piper has shared their 5 key issues.
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7. Journalists Against Maritime Crime
The African journalists network for maritime security has been launched with members from Togo, Cameroon, Mali, Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Senegal and Benin. Togolese Minister of Communication Guy Madje Lorenzo, said the network will help African populations appropriate the spirit of African Union summit on maritime piracy issues and the blue economy. Lorenzo added it will help also popularise resolutions and recommendation of the Summit expected to secure and protect maritime activities for substantial economic returns from African sea resources.
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8. Cruise Passenger Swims to Rescue
The People’s Daily China, has reported on the "miraculous’ rescue of a thirty-two year old woman from Shanghai, who reportedly fell from a cruise ship. The newspaper tweeted that she reportedly swam for 38 hours and was then rescued by fishermen. Chinese media says that the woman was a passenger on board the Royal Caribbean "Mariner of the Seas" who "accidentally fell overboard on August 10 when she  . . .was leaning too far over the railings she fell overboard at around 9 PM."  The cruise ship returned to Shanghai and CCTV footage showed the woman going overboard. 
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9. China Ups Zika Action
China, where one in two containers in the world transit, is upping its anti-Zika measures in a move that could slow down supply chains in and out of the world’s manufacturing powerhouse. In a note to clients German containerline Hapag-Lloyd reveals Chinese authorities have updated the number of origin countries for boxes which will face “anti-mosquito treatment” on arrival at ports in the People’s Republic. China has been instituting anti-Zika virus measures since June. All shipments from the countries listed at the end of this article shall be subject to anti-mosquito treatment. 
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10. Coffee to Helps Seafarers
The maritime charity Sailors’ Society has launched a new coffee to help tell its story and diversify income. BySea coffee is a commercial first for international charity Sailors’ Society – and 100 percent of profits from its sale go to supporting the charity’s work with seafarers and their families around the world. Ethically sourced and socially responsible, the first two blends of coffee from India and Brazil were specifically chosen as the charity is expanding its work in these countries. The society helps keep seafarers and loved ones in touch during the long months apart and liaises with families if a seafarer falls ill or is in trouble. 
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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S Jones
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