Top Ten Maritime News Stories 15/12/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 15/12/2016

1. Ferry Crew Drug Shame
3 crewmembers on the cross-Channel car ferry Pride of Canterbury tested "non-negative" for drugs in an under-way test, UK media reported Tuesday. In a statement, a spokesman for P&O Ferries said that “13 individuals on the Pride of Canterbury recorded non-negative tests, which have now been sent for further analysis. Urine tests were carried out on Thursday during a number of crossings between Dover and Calais over a four hour period. No substances were found but Port of Dover Police have been routinely informed.” He added that P&O has a "zero tolerance policy towards substance abuse".
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2. Highest Ever Wave Spotted
A mighty wave towering 62.3ft (19 metres) at a remote spot between Britain and Iceland has become the highest ever recorded. Data from an automated buoy showed that it rose on Feb 4, 2013 in the North Atlantic, the World Meteorological Organization said. "This is the first time we have ever measured a wave of 19 metres. It is a remarkable record," WMO’s deputy chief Wenjian Zhang said. Taller than a six-storey building, the wave occurred after a "very strong" cold front had barrelled through the area, producing winds up of 43.8 knots (50.4 miles an hour). The previous record for the tallest wave was 18.3m.
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3. Brighter Year Ahead
For many folks, 2016 has been a year to forget, and the shipping industry is no exception.But looking ahead A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S is determined to put a positive spin on things — maybe too positive.On Tuesday chief executive Soren Skou updated investors on the Danish’s conglomerate’s new strategy, which involves separating its energy activities from the transport and logistics businesses, so it can focus on the latter.His aim is to grow the transport business, but right now the separation plan looks a little odd: Maersk’s profitable oil business stands to benefit from a rally in oil prices, triggered by an OPEC deal cut.
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4. Danes Stress Seafarer Cover
The Danish Maritime Authority has been reminding the industry that shipowners must take out insurance or provide other guarantee securing abandoned seafarers’ repatriation and subsistence as well as outstanding wage claims and other remuneration. In May 2016, the Danish Parliament adopted amendments to the act on seafarers’ conditions of employment. The amendments require shipowners to take out insurance or provide other guarantee ensuring the availability of means for covering abandoned seafarers’ repatriation and subsistence as well as outstanding wage claims and other remuneration.
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5. Trump Appoint Oil Chief
President-elect Donald Trump has officially nominated ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to lead the U.S. State Department. "His tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics make him an excellent choice for Secretary of State," Trump said in a statement. "He will promote regional stability and focus on the core national security interests of the United States. "He will be a forceful and clear-eyed advocate for America’s vital national interests, and help reverse years of misguided foreign policies and actions that have weakened America’s security and standing in the world," Trump said.
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6. US Ready to Rumble
The United States is ready to confront China should it continue its overreaching maritime claims in the South China Sea, the head of the U.S. Pacific fleet said on Wednesday, comments that threaten to escalate tensions between the two global rivals. China claims most of the resource-rich South China Sea through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims. The United States has called on China to respect the findings of arbitration court in The Hague earlier this year which invalidated its vast territorial claims in the strategic waterway.
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7. Maritime Crime Will Continue
Industry security experts have concluded that maritime crime will not be stopped any time soon – and that cyber incidents would continue to expand in frequency and severity. This was the consensus at BIMCO’s first ever Maritime Security Seminar in Copenhagen. There was further consensus that regional instability in the Horn of Africa confirms the need to retain legacy systems such as the Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) and the Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (SHADE) initiative to continue to deter piracy.
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8. Captain Jailed for Deaths
A judge in Sicily has convicted a ship captain and crew member in the April 2015 sinking that left more than 700 people dead in the worst known migrant disasters to unfold in the Mediterranean. The Tunisian captain, Mohammad Ali Malek, was sentenced to 18 years in prison and fined 9 million euros. He was convicted of multiple manslaughter counts. His Syrian crewmate, Mahmud Bikhit, was sentenced to five years in prison and fined 9 million euros after being convicted of facilitating illegal immigration. They found bodies packed in almost unimaginably close quarters. There were five bodies for every square meter.
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9. Owners Still Fighting Shy
Ship owners are still refraining from placing more newbuilding orders, despite the fact that over the course of the past few weeks, the contracting activity seems to have picked up pace, even if it’s by a small margin. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking noted that “the “trickling” rate of new orders continues on and will likely hold for some time, with the few numbers surfacing still focusing primarily on specialized vessels. There are very few buyers out there with keen interest and as pointed out numerous times, prices are still comparably too high to really entice any serious interest.
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10. Unicredit Soldiers On
Italy’s Unicredit will not exit the shipping industry its ceo, Jean Pierre Mustier, said in London while outlining a restructuring plan. The Frenchman at the helm of the bank said that Unicredit will focus on organic growth and does not plan further acquisitions. According to Bloomberg he also added that the company’s German unit, formerly Hypovereinsbank, is a strategic asset in a country that is core to the bank, adding that he also isn’t looking to sell the company’s shipping business or other major operations.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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