Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/08/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 23/08/2016

1. CMA Giant Runs Aground
One of the world’s largest boxships is being inspected for any damages following a brief grounding incident in the UK yesterday. The 2015-built, 17,859 teu CMA CGM Vasco Da Gama grounded just after midnight yesterday as it made its way to Southampton on the UK’s south coast. The ship was refloated within an hour and proceeded to the port where an underwater survey will be conducted. Incidents of the new supersized slew of boxships grounding are raising concern worldwide. The 19,000 teu CSCL Indian Ocean grounded while approaching Hamburg port, and there have been a couple of incidents in the Suez Canal.
2. Seafarer Tax Rule Challenged
A surprise move to chase Indian seafarers for income tax will be challenged in the coming days at the Kolkata High Court. The Maritime Union of India (MUI) and the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) are protesting a ruling by the Kolkata income tax tribunal demanding seafarers pay 30% income tax, a move that could shatter the nation’s standing as a leading provider of crews to the world’s merchant fleet. Up until now, Indian seafarers who spent more than six months of the year at sea were exempt from paying income tax.
3. Misdeclared Cargo Hazards
UK P&I Club Risk Assessor David Nichol discusses the carriage of dangerous goods and issues associated with mis-declaration. “Data captured by the Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS) over the 2013- 2014 period indicates that 27% of incidents in terms of detected causation were attributable to cargo being mis-declared, second only to poor packaging. “All dangerous goods must be carried in accordance with the provisions of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, which is a set of globally accepted rules that enables packaged dangerous goods to be carried safely by sea.
4. Nations Working Together
Amid growing concerns that pirates today are channelling their loot towards funding terrorist activities, nine countries are coming together to share information and battle the scourge. Called South-east Asia Cooperation and Training (Seacat), the five-day maritime security exercise co-hosted by Singapore and the United States starts today. It involves some 300 personnel and 12 vessels, including navy ships, and is the 15th instalment since the annual exercise began in 2002, said Lieutenant-Commander Arlo Abrahamson, a spokesman for the US Seventh Fleet .
5. New Era for Shipping
One of the world’s biggest ships has begun a new era for the North Sea oil and gas industry. The Pioneering Spirit, owned by Allseas, used its vast lifting capacity for the first time to remove a platform for scrappage. It carried out the operation on Monday, and is taking the platform to a Norwegian yard. The ship’s first lift was in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. After the fitting of additional lifting equipment, the ship is booked later this year to start work on platforms in the UK North Sea. Its arrival begins to open up the market for scrapping ageing North Sea equipment, worth around £40bn in the next four decades.
6. Ship Arrested for Debts
A South African firm has detained a ship of the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) over its long-pending arrears at the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). The iron ore supplying company claims outstanding dues of $14 million. Officials familiar with the development said the PNSC ship, leased to International Brokerage House, had anchored at Port Elizabeth for refuelling when it was seized. The steel mills, officials said, signed an agreement with the South African company for iron ore supply in 2009. However, this deal could not continue.

7. Grounded Rig Refloated
Two tugboats helped refloat the Transocean Winner drilling rig at high tide on Monday night nearly two weeks after it grounded in Dalmore Bay on the west shore of Scotland’s Isle of Lewis. The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the rig was successfully refloated at approximately 10 p.m. local time on Monday.
The Transocean Winner is currently being stabilized but was due to begin its journey to Broad Bay overnight. It is expected to arrive there by Tuesday evening, the coastguard said.  A crowd gathered to witness the operation Monday night, posting photos and video online:
8. American Invasion of Canada
About 1,500 Americans floating down a river that separates the United States from Canada had to be rescued from the water when strong rains and winds sent them illegally into Canadian territory, the country’s coast guard said on Monday. The Americans were taking part in the annual Port Huron Float Down on Sunday in the St. Clair River, which runs between the U.S. state of Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario. The winds blew the flotilla of inflatable rafts and inner tubes off course and toward the Canadian shore. Some rafts deflated, spurring a rescue effort by the Canadian Coast Guard.
9. Queue of Vessels Grows
The number of vessels queuing at the Port Waratah Coal Services terminals has surged in recent weeks following stronger demand for the commodity, a spokesman for PWCS said Monday. The queue stood at 29 ships Sunday, which is the highest end-of-week figure in 15 months, data from the logistics coordinator for the Hunter Valley coal chain showed Monday. “The main reason is because of a surge in demand, probably in response to the recent rise in spot coal prices,” the PWCS spokesman told S&P Global Platts.
10. Hanjin Misses Debt Deadline
The fate of debt-ridden Hanjin Shipping Co. remains yet uncertain with its parent group having missed the August 20 deadline to submit additional financial support measures to creditors to salvage its shipping unit from heading to court receivership. All eyes are now on whether the South Korean shipping company would successfully strike a deal with foreign ship owners to reduce chartering fees, a move that is expected to allow its creditors to be more lenient in providing additional financial support. A senior Hanjin official said the group is able to inject $365 million in the ailing shipping unit.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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