Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/01/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/01/2016

1. Box Ship Collision
Two container ships collided off Pasir Gudang Port, Johor, Malaysia, on January 3. The collision occurred between Singapore-registered, 2,496 TEU "Wan Hai 301" and the Gibraltar-registered, 4,250 TEU "APL Denver", and it has resulted in about 300 tons of oil being spilled from the bunker tanks of the APL Denver.
There have been no reports of injury. Traffic in the East Johor Straits and Singapore’s port operations remains unaffected, Singapore MPA said.  Johor Port Authority has deployed four anti-pollution craft on site and an oil boom around APL Denver. The MPA, as the flag state of Wan Hai 301, will also be investigating.
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2. Ship Attacked by Pirates
The 712 teu "Ocean Kingdom" feeder ship was attacked yesterday afternoon by armed men off the southern Philippines. Two speedboats approached the ship owned by local firm Oceanic Container Lines after it had left Zamboanga port. The ship’s master made contact with the local coast guard who engaged the armed men – with reports of gunfire – and the Ocean Kingdom and its crew were able to escape unharmed. Attacks led by Islamist group Abu Sayyaf have become common place in the region in the past year, leading the navies of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia to join forces to try and stamp out the scourge.
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3. Laser Dazzle Case
On December 27, a U.S. Coast Guard hearing officer fined Washington resident Mark Raden $9,500 for allegedly shining a high-powered blue laser beam at the bridge of the Washington State Ferry Tokitae. The USCG said in a statement that Raden was aboard another Washington State Ferry, the Kitsap, on a route parallel to the Tokitae’s on the night of October 22, 2015. Raden allegedly aimed the laser at the bridge of the Tokitae, striking both the master and the chief mate in the eyes and affecting the vessel’s safe navigation. Raden also pled guilty to criminal charges of reckless endangerment.
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4. Attacks on the Rise
The 24th and 25th Chinese naval escort flotillas fired warning shots at four suspected pirate boats attempting to approach a commercial vessel at high speed in the Gulf of Aden on January 1.  The vessel, the Panama-flagged "Bob and Kate", was then safely escorted from the area. The navy found double hooks on the four boats but no fishing gear. Pirate activities are reportedly on the rise in the waters of the Gulf of Aden, with several commercial vessels having been attacked and hijacked recently. On October 25 last year, Somali pirates attacked the gas tanker CPO Korea off Yemen, the first such incident since February 2014.
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5. Zero Illegal Wildlife Tolerance
COSCO Shipping Lines has issued a statement on its position in relation to the illegal wildlife trade: “We, as signatory member to the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration, recognizing the devastating impact of illegal wildlife trade, will NOT knowingly facilitate or tolerate the carriage for illegal wildlife trade and will not accept cargo booking for any illegal wildlife related products.” The move comes after China announced it will close down its domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017, signalling an end to the world’s primary legal ivory market.
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6. Insurers Countdown to Autonomous Ships
Autonomous ships are being explored by the cargo industry, giving marine insurers about five years to determine the costs of covering a crewless ship for risks that can occur at sea. And the lack of historical data typical of any new technology is complicating the process of underwriting the risks of unmanned ships.
“As insurers, we need to get data,” said Andrew Kinsey, a former ship’s captain and now a New York-based senior marine consultant at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty S.E.
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7. Worst Over for Recycling
GMS, the world’s leading cash buyer of ships declared that the worst seem to be over for the ship recycling industry, as more yards came online during the course of 2016, as the market gradually settled down to healthier levels. In its annual review, GMS noted in its final report for 2016 that “it has been another extraordinary rollercoaster week (and year overall) in the international ship recycling markets. The markets witnessed crippling declines during the first quarter of the year as prices slid down from their mid-2014 peak above USD 500/LT LDT, down to the very low USD 200s/LDT – a decline of over 50% in asset values!
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8. How to Avoid Shipboard Fires
Tony Watson, Risk Assessor at UK P&I Club in conjunction with Burgoyne’s, highlights the risk and impact of engine room fires onboard ships, and recommends steps to prevent and supress fires. Research coordinated by IMO has indicated that between 30 and 50% of all fires in merchant ships originate in the engine room and 70% of those fires are caused by oil leaks from pressurised systems. Following a major engine room fire it is rare that a ship is able to proceed under her own power. This leads to expensive costs of salvage, towage, repairs, downtime, and cancellation of cruises, which can typically run into millions of dollars.
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9. Vessel Refused Paris MoU Entry
The vessel “CITY OF TOKYO” – IMO: 8709145 has been refused access to the Paris MoU region. The ship was detained in Antwerp in October 2015 and left the port of Antwerp in 2016 but failed to call at the repair yard in Dubai as agreed, before 30th November 2016. The ship flies the flag of Panama. In accordance EU Council and the provisions of the Belgian shipping act the ship will be refused further access to any port and anchorage in the Paris MOU region, except a port and anchorage of the ship’s flag State, until the provided evidence shows that the ship fully complies with all applicable requirements.  
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10. American P&I Centenary
The American P&I Club was founded in New York nearly a century ago. To celebrate its first 100 years, a book entitled The American Club: A Centennial History has just been published. The book tells the story of the Club across ten decades of maritime and marine insurance history both within the United States and across the world. Its author is Richard Blodgett, a former Wall Street Journal reporter whose previous credits include histories of the New York Stock Exchange, Kohler and Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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