Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/02/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/02/2017

1. Major Box Ship Blaze
A 295-meter APL containership has suffered a “major blaze” off the east coast of South Africa near Port Elizabeth. The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) said it was alerted Sunday at approximately 5:49 p.m. of a fire onboard the Liberian-flagged "APL Austria", 30 nautical miles southwest of Cape St Francis, or approximately 50 to 70 kilometers west of the city of Port Elizabeth. The fire is believed to have broken out in the ship’s No.4 cargo hold.
2. Shame of Cruise Record
International Cruise Victims Association (ICV) has worked for years to have more comprehensive safety on cruise ships. In 2016 new cruise ship crime reporting requirements took effect, according to ICV. These new Cruise Line Incident Reports show that sexual assaults increased 485% over previous public reports and total reported alleged crimes increased 339%. 
3. Ship and Crew Detained
A cargo ship from Jiangsu province with 23 Chinese crew members on board has been detained at India’s Haldia port for more than a month. The ship set off from Nantong, east China in July last year, unloaded at Haldia port in December, and has been detained since then. The freighter “Union Demeter” is owned by Nanjing Tranvast Holdings Limited and all crew members are from Nanjing Yuanteng shipping company.
4. Run Aground Tanker
The Panamanian-flagged product tanker "Sagan" ran aground on Saturday morning in western Japanese waters. The 18-year-old ship appears to be breaking up on the rocks of the Tokara Islands. All crew have been evacuated and there are local reports of some injuries. The ship was carrying fuel from Taiwan to Japan when the accident happened and a leak is evident from images carried on local media.
5. Bumper Bunker Figures
Sales volumes of marine fuels in Singapore surged to a record 4.46 million tonnes in January, the highest in any month since records began, easing concerns that mass flow meters (MFM) could negatively impact bunkering activity, official data showed. "The (January) numbers imply that ship-owners and operators are even more confident to take bunkers in Singapore now that all deliveries are made using MFM barges," a trader in Singapore said.

6. New Gas Bunkering Standard
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published ISO 20519, a new standard for the safe bunkering of ships with liquefied natural gas (LNG). "Some ships in northern Europe have been using LNG as their fuel source for over a decade, with an extremely good safety record. But as the use of LNG-fuelled vessels shows… a clear need to standardise LNG bunkering operations at the international level," explained ISO.
7. New Deals Break Out
A bid by Bermudian-based Frontline Ltd to acquire an independent crude oil tanker company less than half its size, is part of consolidation pressure across the sector. And while the non-binding proposal has been rejected by the directors of DHT Holdings, which is also domiciled in Bermuda, the challenges squeezing the sector and other shipping segments are unlikely to diminish in the near future.
8. New Homes on Water
The French Polynesian government has signed an agreement with the nonprofit organization The Seasteading Institute to cooperate on creating legal frameworkfor the development of a floating island.  The Seasteading Institute announced the formation of a new company, Blue Frontiers to construct the project which aims to offer an opportunity to adapt to rising sea levels and a new social approach to living on sustainable floating islands.
9. Somali Hostages Freed
Eight Iranian sailors have been freed from captivity of pirates in Somalia, an Iranian lawmaker has announced, as efforts continue for the release of the remaining captives. Ali Yar Mohammadi, an Iranian MP said Monday that the eight sailors were freed as a result of negotiations between Senegal’s embassy in Somalia and the pirates. The lawmaker, said head of consular officials at Iran’s Foreign Ministry had confirmed the release of the sailors.

10. Maersk Vows CO2 Cut
Danish shipping giant and Maersk Line and producer of petrochemicals EQUATE Petrochemical Company have signed a partnership agreement to decrease CO2 emissions in ocean transportation. The agreement, which is the first of its kind in Kuwait, is based on the parties’ sustainability priorities that include the shared vision to "reduce EQUATE’s CO2 emissions per container transported with Maersk Line by 15% from 2017 to 2020,” Maersk Line said.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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