Live From The Field

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/02/2017

1. Libyan Forces Board Ship
Libyan militia forces loyal to the warlord Khalifa Haftar boarded and seized the car carrier Morning Compass. The Eukor-operated Compass was reportedly under way from South Korea to Misrata carrying a load of several thousand cars; the militia fighters diverted the vessel to the port of Ras Al-Hilal, northeast of Benghazi. The government of Eastern Libya told media that the vessel had strayed into a forbidden military zone and had not responded to repeated radio warnings. “We sent a boat to stop the ship and then the ship was tugged into Ras Al-Hilal port to be scoured by the navy personnel," a militia spokesman said. 
2. ICS Flag State Guide
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has published its latest Flag State Performance Table providing an annual overview of the performance of the world’s flag states against a number of criteria such as port state control records, ratification of international maritime Conventions and attendance at IMO meetings.  There is nothing inherently unusual in an international ship registry system in which the owner of a ship may be located in a country other than the state whose flag the ship flies, says the ICS. However, a balance has to be struck between the commercial advantages and meeting international obligations.
3. Yacht A is Arrested
One of the world’s largest yachts has been arrested in Gibraltar over a €15.3m admiralty claim filed by the German shipyard that built it. The sleek, futuristic Sailing Yacht A attracted wide media attention when it sailed into port on Wednesday morning for what should have been a short refuelling stop. But just hours after its arrival, lawyers for superyacht builder Nobiskrug filed a claim in the Supreme Court against the vessel’s “owners/charterers/operators” for breach of contract.
4. Hinchliffe to Step Down
International Chamber of Shipping secretary-general Peter Hinchliffe will retire from the international owners’ association in May 2018. No official statement has been made on his retirement. However, the ICS will begin recruitment for the full-time, London-based role soon. Mr Hinchliffe joined the ICS as marine director in 2001 and was appointed secretary-general in 2010. He has led the ICS on safety and environment at the IMO and other international fora around the world. A well-known vocal advocate for shipowner and operator interests, Mr Hinchliffe is an expert on maritime regulatory matters.

5. Baltic Rises Again
The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Tuesday for a fifth straight session on higher rates for capesizes and smaller vessel segments. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, closed up 21 points, or 2.77 percent, at 778 points, its highest level in almost three weeks. The index is expected to test a resistance at 774 in a week, a break above which could open the way towards the next resistance at 888, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
6. Toisa Regains Control
Toisa, a shipowning vehicle controlled by Greek national Gregory Callimanopulos which filed for Chapter 11 protection in the US at the end of last month, has managed to regain control of an arrested ship. Toisa has regained control of "United Journey", through a negotiated court order with Citibank, which seized the tanker in the Caribbean on December 24 last year. Toisa plans for "United Journey", which has been idled in St Eustatius since its arrest, to resume full operations as soon as possible. The cargo the ship was hauling upon seizure was off-loaded to another vessel.

7. Steel for Gas Cruise Ship
A steel cutting ceremony was held on February 21, 2017 for the world’s first cruise ship that will be run completely on LNG. The ceremony was held at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg. AIDA ordered two vessels from Meyer Werft in 2015. The vessels, with a size in excess of 180,000 GT and around 2,500 cabins each will enter the AIDA fleet in the fall of 2018 and spring 2021 respectively.  AIDA Cruises will thus become the first cruise shipping company in the world with the capability to operate its new generation of ships using 100 percent LNG.
8. Swedish Club Seems Happy
At the closure of the renewal season, Sweden-headquartered mutual marine insurance company The Swedish Club has reported ‘performance in line with expectations and consistent with its strategy of balanced growth on a firm foundation’. Gross tonnage is anticipated to post a 4 to 5% increase in this policy year, which is coupled with the 8% growth experienced in 2016. This is also the second year in a row The Swedish Club will deliver a zero percent increase to its members. Lars Rhodin, Managing Director of The Swedish Club said: “We have closed this renewals period on a sound footing".
9. Cleaning Crew Teeth
Sophia Bullard, Crew Health Programme Director at UK P&I Club, discusses the importance of dental hygiene and advises on how it can be maintained. “Dental problems can be a major cause for concern amongst seafarers. We often see claims arising from dental problems that require urgent medical treatment and even repatriation of crew. On an individual basis these claims may not in the higher claim cost bracket, however, they often result in repatriation of crew, which has a further impact on the safe manning of the ship and other delays to ship operation.
10. Using Big Data Usefully
Dutch website Shipbuilder has the following thoughts on "Big data". Many maritime organisations are preparing to start working with it shortly. It is one of the trends that fits right in with the so-called digital transformation. But what do you have to know exactly? They should "Set a goal" and "let the computer rock!" – so makes sure that information is used properly. Companies should work with data in real time and begin to visualise big data. Then there comes the small matter of investing in the whole venture as the need to start working with connected data expands.

Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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S Jones
Seacurus Ltd


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