Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/10/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/10/2016

1. US Navy Attacked off Yemen
A US Navy destroyer has been targeted in a failed missile attack from territory in Yemen controlled by Houthi rebels, a US military spokesman says. In another attack, a ballistic missile launched from Yemen apparently targeted a Saudi air base near the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi and rebel media reported Monday, the deepest strike yet into the kingdom by the rebels and their allies. Two missiles fired failed to hit the US Navy ship after being launched on Sunday. "USS Mason detected two inbound missiles over a 60-minute period while in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen. Both missiles impacted the water".
2. Owner Cleared of Charges
Money laundering and embezzlement charges against Greek ship-owner, Victor Restis, were dismissed by “Arios Pagos” the Hellenic Supreme Court (Case No. 1192/2016), based in Athens. The Supreme Court stated that the defendant’s actions had been standard business practice and therefore not illegal.
The Restis group of companies owned by Victor Restis is one of the largest in Greece and is engaged in shipping, investment, media and real estate. Charges included the accusation that by failing to disclose his identity in FBBank loan application documents, and receiving a preferential interest rate and terms.
3. Tragic Death of Port Pilot
Port of London Authority (PLA) has issued a statement confirming the death of one of its pilots last week. The pilot was involved in an accident in Gravesend Reach while boarding 1993-built general cargo ship "Sunmi" operated by Norwegian firm Misje Rederi. PLA said that the teams on duty, emergency services and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution all attended the scene and did all they could to save the pilot, but the pilot passed away. The United Kingdom Maritime Pilots’ Association identified the pilot as Gordon Coates.

4. Tankers on Rebound
Tanker demand has returned to higher ground, with the latest positive trend being evidenced over the course of the past week as well. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Charles R. Weber noted that “VLCC demand in the Middle East remained strong for a second‐consecutive week while demand in the West Africa market rebounded, narrowing supply/demand fundamentals in leading rates across all global routes to accelerate the pace of a rally which began last week. The Middle East market observed 40 fixtures for the week, one more than last week’s strong pace and 55% more than the 52‐week average.
5. Piracy Guidance on Force
Oceans Beyond Piracy have recently published a Handbook on the Use of Force for Private Security Companies (‘the Handbook’), written by Phillip Drew and Rob McLaughlin. The Handbook is modelled on the "SanRemo Handbook on the Rules of Engagement", of which the principal authors are also co-authors, and was developed through cooperation with experts from governments, international organisations, NGOs, the private security industry and academia. The Handbook is not a legal document and so does not provide legal advice, but has been developed to ‘assist the private security industry".
6. Protection Still Needed
Merchant shipping should continue to take protective measures against possible piracy attacks in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean through diligent application of International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidance and Best Management Practices (BMPs). IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and Operation Commander Major General Rob Magowan of the EU Naval Force Operation Atalanta, which operates off the coast of Somalia, reiterated this key message when they met at IMO Headquarters in London on 6 October. The two agreed that naval forces are still very much required in the West Indian Ocean.
7. BIMCO on Road to Recovery
BIMCO has published reports looking at the “road to recovery” for dry bulk shipping beyond the current market difficulties. The foundation for the new report follows the conclusion of BIMCO’s previous analysis – that due to the severity of the current crisis the sector can only return to profitability in 2019 if shipowners deliver “zero supply side growth”, year on year. BIMCO’s latest report sees thay consolidation and risk management will be the new industry model for dry bulk shipowners – with parallel effects in other sectors:
8. New Suez Numbers Dip
Suez Canal traffic data showed that 226 ships transited the canal from 1 to 5 October 2016, with a total load of 11.8m tonnes. An average of 45.2 ships transited the canal per day during that period, with an average load of 2.36m tonnes per day. The average load per ship was about 52,200 tonnes. Compared to July 2015, before the inauguration of the New Suez Canal, the average daily number of transiting vessels totalled 47 vessels carrying an average of 2.758 million tonnes per day. The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced canal revenues for the fiscal year 2015/2016 dipped 4.5%.
9. Class Leading on Cyber
Classification Society ABS, has been awarded a research contract by the Maritime Security Center (MSC) – a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence, led by Stevens Institute of Technology – for a two-year research program focused on defining the future of cybersecurity for the maritime industry. Study participants, which include DHS and the Department of Defense, will focus on key areas that will help define future research and guidance. The MSC-sponsored research project has a number of significant objectives that include defining risk-based performance standards better.
10. Which Way for Shipping
The future of European shipping policy has been debated after the European Commission published the implementation report of its mid-term Review of EU Maritime Transport Policy. The EU maritime strategy pointed out theneed to ensure the future of an efficient internal market and a strong homebase for European shipowners. “There is no time for business as usual, we need to start doing things differently to weather the storms the shipping sector is currently facing. And before we set new rules, we need to check what works and what doesn’t. Global business needs global rules”.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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