Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/11/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/11/2016

1. Somali Pirates Attack Again
Somali pirates launched their first attacked on a merchant vessel in more than two and a half years, the European Union’s counter piracy operation Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR) has confirmed. The attack occurred Oct. 22 when a group of six armed pirates in a skiff chased and fired upon the UK-flagged chemical tanker CPO Korea approximately 330 nautical miles off the east coast of Somali. EU NAVFOR confirmed the attack after a thorough investigation into the incident. “During the attack a number of shots were exchanged between the six armed men, who were in a fast-moving skiff, and the armed security team on board".

2. Teekay Terror Attack
Unknown assailants who opened fire on a Teekay gas tanker last week off the coast of Yemen were also carrying a “substantial amount of explosives”, the vessel’s owner said, and a maritime source said it may have been an attempted suicide attack. Security experts said the new details of the Oct. 25 incident would heighten concerns for shipping in the narrow Bab al-Mandab waterway at the entrance to the Red Sea, a major choke point in the world oil trade. Teekay said its LNG tanker Galicia Spirit had “experienced a suspected piracy attack” but are now conducting an investigation with security experts.
3. Shipowners Carving Strategy
As the global shipping industry is still pondering on the latest decision by the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) , ship owners have started carving out their strategy in order to gain compliance with the latest rules. Much will depend on available technologies to get there, i.e. LNG Fuels, Scrubbers, or burn compliant fuels, as well as each owner’s fleet age profile, as older vessels might be hard to justify new investments in expensive technologies. It’s worth remembering that MEPC convened to set the implementation date to reduce the global sulphur content of bunker fuels at 0.5% from 2020, down from 3.5%.
4. Abu Sayyaf Holding New Captives
Islamic militants who specialise in kidnappings-for-ransom have reported killing a German sailor and abducting an elderly male from a yacht in waters off the southern Philippines. Tan said the military had recovered the couple’s yacht, and the body of a naked white woman who had been shot was aboard. He said the military had listened to an audio recording of a known Abu Sayyaf leader claiming responsibility for the raid on the yacht. The abducted man identified himself as Jurgen Kantner, was abducted by Somali pirates off the Gulf of Aden and held hostage for 52 days in 2008.
5. Hajin Ships Set for Sale
Hanjin Shipping Co. that is under court-led restructuring is expected to complete the disposal of all of its vessels this month at the earliest, a move that would practically lead once the world’s seventh largest shipper to liquidation. An official claimed Hanjin Shipping has returned most of its chartered ships to their foreign owners, and it plans to sell off all of its own ships this month. Following the recent return of its chartered ships, Hanjin Shipping is left with 22 container ships including two chartered vessels that will be also returned to foreign ship owners soon and five privately-owned vessels that will be sold.
6. Nigerian’s Capture 16 Stowaways
Sixteen stowaways, 15 of them Nigerians and one a Liberian, have been arrested by the Search and Rescue personnel of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). The stowaways were apprehended, in conjunction with officers and men of the Nigerian Navy. on a United States bound cargo vessel, "MV Columbia River". The arrest which was effected on Friday November 4, at the Lagos fairway buoy was sequel to a distress signal sent to the Regional Search and Rescue Coordination Centre based in NIMASA which in turn alerted the Nigerian Navy.
7. Malaysia Fights Toxic Dumping
Malaysia should not be a site for dumping toxic waste, especially not waste from abroad. That’s self-evident. So kudos to local officials for stopping a Romanian ship from doing just that. The cargo vessel’s crew was planning to dump 177 tons of toxic waste, including arsenic and cadmium, in Port Klang, in Selangor, the country’s largest port. According to officials, the ship, which left Romania last December, first tried to unload its toxic cargo of mining waste in Shanghai. When it was foiled in that, it headed on to Hong Kong and then Macao with the same purpose.
8. Liverpool Launches Super Port
The port of Liverpool on Friday officially inaugurated a new deep-sea container terminal as it works to create a new ocean trading gateway to attract traffic from the UK’s dominant south and east coast hubs and re-jig the national supply chain. The Liverpool2 terminal, which cost 400 million pounds ($495 million) to construct, can simultaneously handle two vessels with capacities of up to 13,500 twenty-foot-equivalent units and has an annual capacity of 1 million TEUs. The northwest UK port’s existing Royal Seaforth terminal also has an annual capacity of 1 million TEUs, but it can only handle one 4,500-TEU ship at a time.
9. Union Battles Slave Wages
Shipping union RMT staged a protest in Aberdeen yesterday against “modern-day slavery” onboard ferries, with many seafarers paid less than the minimum wage. Non-EU nationals working in British waters aboard the Serco-run Northern Isles Seatruck Ferry Services are paid as little as £3.66 an hour, the union says.
Under the banner “Aberdeen — Port of Shame” RMT members staged a protest outside the Seatruck vessel, as well as outside the offices of SNP MP Callum McCraig and SNP MSP Maureen Watt, calling for an intervention by Scottish ministers on what is a Scottish government contract.
10. New Head of Nautical Institute
The Nautical Institute, UK, has selected a new chief executive officer. Captain John Lloyd MBA AFNI, currently the Institute’s chief operating officer, will take over from Philip Wake OBE RD* MSc FNI, who is retiring in May 2017 after 14 years in post. John took up the COO post in November 2015 in which he has had overall responsibility for the Institute’s specialised training services, including the industry-standard Dynamic Positioning Operator (DPO) accreditation and certification scheme. John will be managing the resources of an organisation that has 7,000 members and over 50 branches around the world.

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