Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/09/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/09/2016

1. Typhoon Smashed Port
The powerful Typhoon Meranti sweeping across southern Taiwan has broken the moorings from up to 10 ships at CSBC Corp’s yard, causing one newbuild 14,000-teu boxship to go adrift and hit a container terminal in Kaohsiung port. The perhaps aptly named, CSBC-built containership "YM Wind" drifted along the water during the storm and sent two gantry cranes crashing down in container terminal number 6 operated by Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp before the vessel was brought under control by several tug boats. The newbuild was supposed to be delivered in March-April 2017 but delivery will now be postponed.
2. Drive to Clean Up Mess
The global drive to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships continues and the latest step in the initiative is the establishment of regulations to monitor, report and verify CO2 emissions. Both IMO and the European Union (EU) have embarked on such rulemakings and, once again, the two entities are at loggerheads as to the finer points of such provisions, their pace of implementation and, more fundamentally, the duplication of effort. Seeking the level playing field, shipowners are left wondering where they stand if the regional EU scheme is not to be aligned with IMO’s international data-collection regime.
3. Yacht Piracy on the Rise
Pirates who target vulnerable vessels have plagued the oceans for centuries but violence and piracy against yachts cruising the Caribbean is on the rise. The region’s yachting fraternity is fighting back, using social media and online forums to unite, to warn fellow mariners of incidents and danger hotspots, and to raise money to get victims back on the water. After a couple were held at gunpoint and assaulted, and had their yacht damaged, in Grenada on 30 July, the Caribbean cruising community raised several thousand dollars within days. These are days of increased fear and even paranoia on the water.
4. Flag Abandonment Shame
The Cambodian shipping register rescinded hundreds of so-called flags of convenience vessels last month. In doing so, it began to draw the curtains on 22 years of arms trading, drug smuggling, human trafficking, sanctions violations, embargo busting and unsafe practices. The Cambodian Shipping Corporation was established by the government in 1994 and, according to a Ministry of Public Works and Transport website, “began immediately flagging ships of other nations”. There is a list of shame, and one abandoned vessel is the cargo ship "Tallas" floating inert off the coast of Turkey since August 2015.
5. What of the Modern Master
The shipping industry’s concerns about the significantly evolving changes in the shipmaster’s traditional role over the years is the basis of this year’s renowned Cadwallader Debate. Dr Aleka Sheppard, Maritime Arbitrator, Founder and Chairman of the London Shipping Law Centre (LSLC), asks “With the present-day shipmaster becoming increasingly subjected to extensive, onerous and unpredictable demands both on board and ashore, his authority is perceived by the industry as being seriously eroded". The event is titled ‘The Master under Attack? Authority and responsibility in an age of instant access’.
6. Need to Stabilise Abandoned Ship
A rusting abandoned ship on the Saint Lawrence River should be properly stabilised before winter, according to environmentalists and local politicians. The 153-metre long "Kathryn Spirit" sits just offshore from the town of Beauharnois, Que., listing precariously to its port side. The bulk carrier was towed to the town in 2011 to be dismantled by a local company, when the town refused to issue a permit, the company sold the ship to a Mexican recycler. Last year, that new owner declared bankruptcy and officially abandoned the ship. Pollutants were removed from the ship in 2013, but oil, PCBs and asbestos remain on board.
7. Boredom Hits Hanjin Crews
The good news for the crew of a Hanjin ship left stranded by the company’s abriupt bankruptcy is that it has plenty of food and water, something that their union worried about. Crew members even have local prepaid cell phone cards so they can stay in touch with their families. They would prefer to be at home with their families, and to know whether they’ll still have jobs or be able to find jobs once they’re finally allowed off the ship. The Wall Street Journal explains that they’ve been stuck in place since the shipping company Hanjin filed for bankruptcy, as local ports don’t want to unload ships that could be seized.
8. Seafarer Pay Disparity
Seagoing staff working for Marine Scotland are being paid thousands of pounds less than those in comparable posts for ferry operator CalMac. The figures, released in a Parliamentary Question to Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant, show a chief steward for Marine Scotland can earn up to £29,579 a year while at CalMac the same post is rewarded with £37,675. A seaman for Marine Scotland can earn up to £25,543, while at CalMac the post earns £32,998. A cook with the ferry operator takes home more than £1,000 extra each year compared to their counterpart in Marine Scotland.
9. Maersk Shedding Oil Exposure
Maersk Oil continues its plan to divest itself of interests in the UK’s North Sea. British firm RockRose Energy has snapped up Maersk Oil’s non-operated interests in the Wytch Farm (7.43%), Scott (5.16%) and Telford (2.36%) fields for an undisclosed sum. Maersk Oil has been steadily reducing its exposure in the UK North Sea region for the past 18 months as it retrenches operations elsewhere amid loss-making conditions brought around by the low price of crude.
10. Improving Pilotage Safety
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has started its Pilotage, Towing and Mooring Survey to find ways to improve existing practices. ICS expects the results of the survey will help improve safety, environmental protection and the efficiency of ship operations in ports and terminals around the world. The organisation recognises the importance of pilots and tugs in mitigating the potential economic and environmental risk from manoeuvring large vessels in ports. But also that existing best practices may not always be followed and could be updated.

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


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