Top Ten Maritime News Stories 31/01/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 31/01/2017

1. Global Concern for Shipping
Global shipowning body BIMCO has issued a brace of reports in which it warns growing protectionist policies around the world pose a “huge threat” to world shipping, while boxship owners must not be tempted to bring their ships out of layup this year. In a macroeconomic report, BIMCO covered the “possible backlash against globalization”. “If the growth and embracing of protectionist policies throughout 2016 becomes a reality, it may pose a huge threat to the shipping industry and could disrupt trade flows and limit economic growth,” BIMCO posited.
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2. Assessing Immigration Effect
President Trump’s Executive Order of January 27, 2017 on immigration indefinitely barred Syrian refugees from entering the United States, suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days and blocked citizens of seven countries. For the next 90 days crewmembers from Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and Libya, whether or not they hold visas, will be denied entry to the U.S. It also bars the entry of refugees from Syria indefinitely. At present, the implementation of the Executive Order is not entirely clear UK P&I Club is urging members affected to contact the Club.
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3. Clean Up Criticised
Indian authorities are coming under increasing criticism for their lack of oil spill clean-up infrastructure. In the wake up of a collision between a VLGC and a product tanker off Chennai in the early hours of Saturday morning, tonnes of fuel has washed up on beaches on the east coast of India with the coast guard struggling to contain the spill. The spill has now spread more than 25 km from the original accident location, with just a fraction of the leaked fuel picked up so far. Officials claim around six tonnes of fuel has been picked up so far, but there are many more tonnes to go.
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4. UK Defending Shipping
The Government is preparing to defend the UK’s declining maritime industry against the rise of cheap foreign shippers which threaten to price British seafarers out of the North Sea. Transport minister John Hayes has assured industry groups that his department will begin a review of minimum wage rules this week amid growing fears that the rock-bottom rates paid by foreign operators are undercutting UK workers. In a letter to trade body Nautilus,  Mr Hayes said: “I am determined to see more UK seafarers employed and to be able to compete fairly for jobs, particularly for those jobs working on vessels operating out of UK ports".
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5. Another Owner Goes Under
Shipping company Toisa Ltd filed for U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy as falling demand for the Bermuda-chartered company’s oil-and-gas supply vessels left it running short of cash, according to court documents. Toisa, owned by Greek shipping magnate Gregory Callimanopulos, has a global fleet of 26 offshore oil service vessels, 13 tankers and seven bulk ships, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. The ship operator said it had more than $1 billion in debt in court documents.
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6. Looking to Recovery
In terms of global economic recovery, 2016 has been the year with the lowest GDP growth rate since the financial crisis began in 2009. Amongst many landmark events, the slowdown for GDP growth in 2016 stemmed from weaker US activity in the first half of 2016, together with the UK’s referendum vote to leave the European Union, putting “Brexit” on the horizon. Although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) emphasised that the result of the UK referendum had been contained, the world saw an orderly repricing in the financial markets after the initial shock of the Brexit vote.
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7. Worker Killed While Mooring
A deadly accident has caused the death of one worker on a port workboat during mooring operations of the bulk carrier "Swiftnes" at Tomakomai port in Hokkaido, Japan. The workboat was assisting the bulk carrier to berth at the terminal, when the mooring rope entangled to vessel’s propeller. The boat was dragged by the line and capsized, throwing into the water the two seamen. One of two crew died, while another one was rescued and transported to the hospital for medical treatment. The bulk carrier Swiftnes docked at Tomakomai port successfully, but was detained until further investigation and assessment of the actions.
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8. The Southernmost Navigation
The World, a private residential cruise ship, has broken the record for the most southerly navigation reaching 78°43•997´S and 163°41•421´W at the Bay of Whales in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. Carrying 145 residents and guests and 272 crew, the vessel claims the record for sailing the furthest south any vessel has ever sailed. The World achieved the record at 10:41hrs ship’s time (New Zealand time) on January 28, 2017. The World is a 43,188-ton private yacht commanded by Captain Dag H. Saevik. She is currently undertaking a 22-day expedition of the Ross Sea, including 12 days in Antarctica.
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9. Cruise Passenger Evacuated
Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) is co-ordinating the urgent medevac of a 66-year-old woman from the Netherlands who suffered a suspected stroke on the cruise vessel, "MV Ortelius", in Antarctic waters early on Monday morning. The ship is located in the Ross Sea, off the Antarctic ice shelf, 3,600 kilometers (2,200 miles) south of New Zealand. The ship’s medical staff recommended that the patient be taken to New Zealand for further medical treatment.
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10. Cruise Ship Hitches Ride
The 100-passenger expedition cruise ship "National Geographic Orion" is getting a ride aboard a heavy-lift ship from Tierra del Fuego to Europe, where she will be repaired. The Orion suffered engine damage on the a return voyage from Antarctica on December 26. She managed to return to port at a slow bell, arriving on December 29. Lindblad Expeditions, which operates the Orion on behalf of National Geographic, dispatched engineers to evaluate the extent of the damage. They determined that the vessel would need to be repaired at a European yard, and the Orion anchored up to await the arrival of a heavy-lift ship.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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