Top Ten Maritime News Stories 31/08/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 31/08/2016
1. Inevitable Demise Arrives
Hanjin Shipping today became the most high profile casualty of the container shipping downturn with management opting for court receivership after its creditors had decided to end support for the ailing line. Compatriot line Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is now likely to buy Hanjin’s “good” assets, South Korea’s financial regulator said today. HMM’s shares soared in trading, up 24% by the early afternoon. Meanwhile, the "Hanjin Rome", a 3,700 teu ship belonging to the beleaguered line, was arrested in Singapore by a creditor yesterday while another ship, Hanjin Sooho, was denied entry to the port of Shanghai.
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2. Tankers Facing Insurance Hike
Tankers moving through the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa are paying additional insurance premiums compared with relatively safer sea lanes due to escalation of piracy incidents and sea robberies in the region, and there will be serious concerns if these criminal activities become enmeshed with political disputes, a senior industry official said Tuesday. Additional premiums have to be paid by shipowners if their ships move through, load or discharge cargoes from this region, Intertanko’s London-based Marine Director, Phillip Belcher, said on the sidelines of the International ‘Safety at Sea’ conference in Singapore.
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3. Singapore Kicks Off Safety Campaign
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has kicked off a new international safety initiative meant to reduce marine casualties in Singapore’s waters, which are among the busiest in the world. The announcement of the authority’s "community of practice" industry initiative coincides with the nation’s Safety@Sea Week 2016, which runs until September 2. This year, MPA has organized a two-day safety conference featuring addresses by IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim and Singapore’s Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan.
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4. Libya Battles Charity Ships
Libyan navy spokesman Ayoub Qassem acknowledged that one of the force’s patrol boats had opened fire in the direction of the chartered anchor handler "Bourbon Argos". He asserted that the patrol believed the Argos was involved in smuggling, and that when pursued, the Argos failed to respond to radio calls and altered her heading, prompting the forces to fire warning shots. "The boat was spotted in international waters and it’s known to be an oil smuggling route, so that’s why our coastal guards had to intercept it," Qassam told Reuters. "The guards shot in the air to warn them but…might have been a hit to their boat."
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5. Shipbuilder in the Dock
Han Yew Kwang, former chief operating officer and deputy president of Singapore shipbuilder ST Marine, has been sentenced to six months in jail and fined $80,000 by a local court. Han was the second of seven former ST Marine senior executives sentenced in the graft scandal and the first to be given a jail term. He had earlier pleaded guilty to 50 out of 407 charges, including one corruption charge and 49 charges of conspiring to use false entries to mask bribes. In 2015, Patrick Lee Swee Ching, ST Marine’s former financial controller was fined S$210,000 for helping falsify documents to cover up alleged corrupt payments.
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6. Iraqis in Oil Standoff
Iraqi state oil firm SOMO has blacklisted three tankers involved in shipping crude from Kurdistan, stepping up pressure on the semi-autonomous region amid tense talks on sharing oil revenue. Kurdistan has been exporting crude independently via Turkey since mid-2015 after saying Baghdad had failed to respect an oil revenue-sharing deal. Baghdad, which exports most of its oil from the Gulf, has said Erbil was not exporting enough crude under the deal. A letter said it would no longer allow the ships "Maran Centaurus", "Four Smile" and "SN Olivia", which had been shipping Kurdish oil, to enter Iraqi ports or export its crude.
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7. Cruise Passengers Smuggling Drugs
Authorities seized some 95 kilograms of cocaine from a cruise ship in Sydney, Australia during a search aboard the vessel on August 28, and arrested three Canadian nationals on drug importation charges. Namely, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers boarded the vessel when it berthed in Sydney Harbour, and with the assistance of detector dogs, searched a number of passenger cabins on the ship, and found the cocaine which was packed in suitcases. The illegal cargo, reportedly found aboard the Princess Cruises-operated MS Sea Princess, is worth some AUD 23 million, according to Associated Press.
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8. Good Gesture by Trainers
Stream Marine Training has pledged to donate £1 of every Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) training course booking it receives to international maritime welfare charity, Sailors’ Society. After launching in January 2014 with its first STCW-approved course in personal survival techniques, Stream Marine Training now processes 700 course bookings on average each month. It is anticipated that donations will exceed £5,000 in its first year. Perhaps they can also teach seafarers to avoid bad companies? Or maybe that is too much to expect…
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9. Insurance Revolution or Evolution
Charles Darwin said that a man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.  However, if you run a business that requires insurance it will not be a waste of your time to make yourself aware of the Insurance Act 2015 which came into force this month. The Insurance Act came into force on 12th August 2016 and is arguably the single most important piece of insurance legislation in the past 100 years. It is intended to create a fairer balance between policyholders and insurers.   If you buy insurance to protect your business, you need to understand the changes in law.
http://goo.gl/VmXRbn
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10. Cruise Ship Destroys Marina
On departure from its berth in Messina, Sicily on Sunday, the Carnival Vista – Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship – destroyed a concrete boat pier with prop wash from its thrusters, sinking several small craft. Video shows the "Marina del Nettuno" pier swamped, overturned and finally torn free by the wave of water from the Vista’s props as she passed close aboard. The imagery also shows calm, clear weather conditions. Italian media report that the port authority has opened an investigation into the incident. It is the only cruise ship with a full IMAX movie theater and an aerial cycling track, which sounds nice.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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