Top Ten Maritime News Stories 15/11/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 15/11/2016

1. Earthquake Affects Port
A major earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand, damaging buildings, docks, gantry cranes, roads and residences. At magnitude 7.5, it was the most powerful in the nation in 150 years – more powerful than the Christchurch earthquake of 2011. A number of magnitude 5 to 6 aftershocks continued through Sunday and into Monday. The authorities called for evacuation on fears of a tsunami, but later downgraded the warning. The epicenter was approximately 60 miles north of Christchurch, near Kaikoura – away from major population centers but close enough to damage the ports of Wellington and Picton.

2. Hanjin Boxes Lost
Rough weather sent 35 empty shipping containers on the "Hanjin Seattle" tumbling into the ocean off the west coast of southern Vancouver Island. The containers hit the sea shortly after 1 p.m. on Nov. 3, Rachelle Smith, spokeswoman for the Canadian Coast Guard, said Monday. Mariners received a warning from the Coast Guard that the containers might be a danger to navigation. The notice went out after the Hanjin Seattle said the containers were adrift nearly eight nautical miles west of Pachena Point, south of Barkley Sound. The depth of the sea at that point is 100 metres.
3. Rolls-Royce Pressing Ahead
Rolls-Royce and VTT Technical Research Center of Finland Ltd have entered a strategic partnership to design, test and validate the first generation of remote and autonomous ships. Rolls-Royce is applying technology, skills and experience from across its businesses to is pioneer the development of remote controlled and autonomous ships and believes a remote controlled ship will be in commercial use by the end of the decade. VTT’s expertise includes ship simulation and the development and management of safety-critical and complex systems in demanding environments such as nuclear safety.

4. EUNAVFOR Set for Renewal
The current mandate of the European Union Naval Force Atalanta (EUNavfor) lasts to the end of this year and drop in piracy in waters off the Horn of Africa could prompt a rethink. However a recent attack some 300 miles off Somalia on a Korean-flagged chemical tanker, despite having an armed security team on board has raised the spectre that piracy gangs are resuming operations. A report by the United Nations last month said progress on combating piracy in the region remained ‘fragile and reversible’. On November 9, the UN Security Council renewed for another year its authorisation for international naval forces.
5. No Word on Piracy Kidnapping
The Armed Forces of the Philippines say that they have not yet confirmed whether the kidnapping of six mariners was perpetrated by Abu Sayyaf , which has terrorized shipping in the Sulu Sea since early this year. No one has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the attack, he said. In most prior kidnappings, Abu Sayyaf has issued a request for ransom payments soon after seizing seafarers.  The abductees included the master, the deck officers, the bosun and an A/B from the Vietnamese bulker "Royal 16".
6. Nigeria Steps Up Security
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, says the Nigerian Navy has created mobile stations in Niger Delta to rid the waterways of piracy and other criminal acts. Ibas remarked: “The Navy came into the state about five years ago. I am also aware that the presence of the Navy has changed the maritime security landscape of the state and indeed the Niger Delta area in fighting maritime crime". The naval chief noted that the force had enhanced its operational capacity by acquiring more gunboats for its various units.
7. Biggest Bulker Buyers
John Angelicoussis’s Anangel Maritime Services has been revealed as the year’s biggest bulker buyer, according to analysis from online pricing platform Senior analyst William Bennett noted that dry bulk market values are currently in the lowest 10% of all observed values since the start of 2007. Bennett’s analysis shows that the top five bulker buyers have spent close to $1bn in the past 12 months. “These owners are turning the current state of the market into a financial opportunity,” Bennett maintained.
8. Hapag Lloyd Bucks Trend
As the first nine months of 2016 were dominated by the disappointing result development seen during the first two quarters of the year, German shipping major Hapag-Lloyd ended the nine-month period with a net loss of EUR 133.9 million (USD 144 million). While this represented a significant drop from a net profit of EUR 160.4 million (USD 172.6 million) reported in the same period a year earlier, the company managed to end the third quarter of the year with a net profit of EUR 8.2 million, up from EUR 3.2 million recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2015.
9. Box Ship Demasts Yacht
A solo yachtsman, who was left dismasted after a collision with a container ship, had to be towed into Ramsgate by the RNLI. The collision happened around 24 miles off the Kent coast. The skipper was reduced to using a hand held radio to call for help as a result of the dismasting. Luckily, a nearby vessel went to his aid and relayed the casualty’s VHF transmissions to the UK Coastguard. The yacht was then towed safely onto a berth in Ramsgate Harbour where it arrived shortly before 2pm.
10. Cow Swims to Freedom
A cow that escaped from a livestock ship in West Australia was filmed swimming for freedom before spending 24 hours on the run. The buoyant bovine was spotted swimming in Fremantle Harbor about 4 p.m. Sunday and Fremantle Sea Rescue responders spotted the cow hiding under the jetty near the E-Shed market before it jumped back into the water. Fremantle Sea Rescue skipper Josh Gammon-Carson shared footage on Facebook of the cow swimming near a rescuer’s jet ski while heading toward the shore. The cow was guided toward land by Fremantle Sea Rescue personnel and fled on land.

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