Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/01/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/01/2016

1. Tanker Spills Downward Trend
The downward trend in oil spills from tankers continues, according to the latest annual statistics issued by the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited (ITOPF). The average number of large oil spills from tankers, greater than 700 tons, has progressively reduced and since 2010 averages 1.7 per year, according to the organization. In 2016, one large tanker spill was recorded in the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred in September and involved cargoes of gasoline and diesel. Some 5,500 tons of oil was burnt in the explosion which sparked a fire.
https://goo.gl/Qw0gOs
 
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2. Yang Ming Could Fall
Drewry Financial Research said that after the collapse of Hanjin Shipping, Taiwanese carrier Yang Ming has taken pole position as the most debt-burdened container line in the industry. Its net gearing ratio stands at about 440 percent, well above the average for its peers. Drewry encouraged investors to unwind their equity positions in Yang Ming. "Even with recovery in the underlying freight market, the debt burden without a restructuring is a red flag and a clear sell signal for us," the analysts wrote. The Taiwanese government holds a 33 percent stake in Yang Ming, making it a good candidate for government-led restructuring.
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3. No OOCL Bid
Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOIL) has denied knowledge of any potential bid for its container shipping business Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL). Responding to reports in the Wall Street Journal and the Chinese media that Cosco Shipping was readying a bid in excess of $4bn for OOCL, the parent company said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange: “The company wishes to clarify that the company and OOCL is not aware of, nor is it involved in any bid relating to the company or OOCL.”
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4. Weaker Players at Risk
The gradual recovery in freight markets is a much-needed and positive development for the container shipping sector in our view, but it is likely to be partially at the expense of the weaker players, especially companies that are still heavily leveraged and carry heavy debt burdens. We expect the rejuvenation of the business cycle to drive further gains by year-end, though the ride could be bumpy. One of the key metrics to measure the health of the industry are the head-haul East-West load factors. Average industry utilisations of 87% and 93% in the second and third quarters denote a decent state of affairs.
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5. Just One December Detention
Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has informed that one new vessel was detained in a UK port during December 2016 after failing Port State Control (PSC) inspection. Leo Trio, a 2,300 dwt singledecker, was detained on December 2 at Ipswich, with seven grounds for detention. The 1995-built ship is owned by Trio Denizcilik from Turkey, according to data provided by VesselsValue. The Panama-flagged vessel was released on December 19. Six ships remained under detention from previous months, including "Daroja", "Atlantic Surveyor", "Malaviya Seven", "Sea Trident", "Southern Star" and "Cien Porciento".
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6. Shipboard Explosion Death
A person has died in what people have described as an "explosion" on board a ship at the Port of Felixstowe. Suffolk Police were called at 23:45 GMT to reports of an incident in the boiler room of the Manhattan Bridge ship while it was docking at the Trinity Terminal. One person was killed and another taken to hospital. The death is not being treated as suspicious. There will be a joint investigation between the police and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. People who live nearby described hearing a loud explosion.
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7. El Faro Family Settlements
The owner of the El Faro cargo ship that sank, killing all 33 crew members, settled wrongful death cases with four more families this week and has now reached an agreement with all but five estates. Tote Services Inc. and Tote Maritime Puerto Rico settled with three of the families for $500,000 for pre-death pain and suffering damages “plus an agreed upon amount for pecuniary (economic losses) damages covering the estate’s full economic loss,” according to a Tuesday filing in federal court.
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8. New Legal Research Platform
Human Rights at Sea has launched an innovative Legal Research Programme as part of the expanding charitable work on its online maritime human rights platform. Established earlier this month, the Legal Research programme provides a free public platform for seafarers, fishers and students from around the world to showcase their academic work in tackling maritime human rights issues that are important to the charity, and that are in support of the charity’s charitable objectives. Led by the headline of: “You Choose – You Research – We Publish – We Promote”, the charity will highlight the topics and areas to be researched.
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9. Ro-Ro Catches Alight
At about 9.30am on Thursday the St Faith Wight Link car ferry suffered a fire on her bridge wind port side en route from Portsmouth to Fishbourne, Isle of Wight, U.K. The fire was extinguished by the crew, and the 52 passengers were evacuated from the vessel, with no reported injuries. The fire may have started in an air conditioning unit, operator Wight Link said. Operations director Elwyn Dop told BBC News: “We had 13 crew members dealing with the incident. They are well exercised in their duties, and they used those skills to deal with the situation today. The passengers were looked after calmly in the lounge.”
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10. Tanker Arrested in Singapore
A Suezmax tanker was arrested in Singapore Thursday morning, according to the latest records from the Supreme Court of Singapore. The 1997-built "Ambassador" was arrested following action by Gurbani & Co LLC, records show. Data from VesselsValue.com indicates the 153,000 DWT bulk carrier is controlled by Cyprus-based Transland Bulk Carriers (Transland) and has a market value of $8.60 million. The circumstances leading to the arrest are currently unknown, but such action is common in instances of payment dispute.
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