Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/02/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/02/2017

1. Drinking Ban at Lloyd’s
City workers at Lloyd’s of London have reacted with fury after being told not to drink alcohol during the day. The introduction of a 9am-to-5pm booze ban could see employees sacked for gross misconduct if caught breaking the new rule. An internal memo to employees, leaked to the media, reveals the ban was introduced after analysis of grievance and disciplinary cases found “roughly half” were related to alcohol misuse.
2. Yachtsman Faces Pirate Fate
Abu Sayyaf, a Filipino militant group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), released a new video Tuesday, threatening to kill a German yachtsman being held hostage if they are not paid a $600,000 ransom. The group, which operates in the southern Philippines, released the video via the encrypted messaging app Telegram. It showed 71-year-old German national Jurgen Kantner pleading for his life.
3. Substandard Ship Detained
The U.S. Coast Guard has detained the Malta-flagged bulk carrier "Iolcos Commander" after discovering substandard safety issues in the vessel’s engine room. The 714-foot bulk carrier was detained in in Longview, Washington, on February 13, after Port State Control Officers detected the SOLAS violations. The vessel is to remain at berth until repairs were conducted and approved.
4. State Comes to Save Hyundai
A state-backed ship financing firm will buy stocks and debts to be sold by South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine. Korea Shipping has been established with an initial capital of one trillion won ($878 million) to help local shipping and shipbuilding companies struggling with mounting losses. Most of the capital will come from the Korea Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of Korea, the remainder from Korea Asset Management Corp.
5. Serious Oil Spill Averted
The container ship Victoria went aground northeast of Fyns Hoved, Jutland on Friday, putting an eight inch wide by 150 foot long gash in her hull. The damage included penetration of a fuel tank containing roughly 25,000 gallons of HFO, which would typically be expected to result in a serious spill. However, the Victoria and her crew were in luck, at least in part: the cold winter waters of the Baltic Sea quickly solidified her bunker fuel, putting a stop to the leak. 
6. London P&I Loss
The London P&I Club has lost its Cosco account, as the Chinese state-owned giant revamps its marine insurance arrangements in the wake of its recent fusion with China Shipping. Other clubs are also likely to be caught out by the development, as the owner hitherto split its huge fleet among a number of providers. In practice, each unit within the group can place its P&I as it sees fit. Many of its mainland-based subsidiaries are thought to use China P&I.
7. Bridge Vision Wrong
A report released by the MAIB has concluded a collision between the Panama-registered pure car carrier "City of Rotterdam" and Danish-registered RoRo ferry "Primula Seaways" on the River Humber was caused by the shape of the car carrier’s fuel efficient hull design. The design made the vessel’s bridge was of unconventional design, which causes an "off-axis window on perception," is said to have resulted in a "relative motion illusion" that led to the collision.
8. IMO Looks at Construction
The  IMO Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) is meeting for its fourth session. Key topics include the expected finalization of draft explanatory notes to the SOLAS chapter II-1 subdivision and damage stability regulations and the completion of draft interim guidelines for use of fibre reinforced plastic elements within ship structures. Also a draft new SOLAS chapter and related Code on the safe carriage of more than 12 industrial personnel.
9. Most Unlucky Cruise Ship
A cruise ship whose voyages have on several occasions been blighted by mechanical breakdown and missed ports of call has been given the all-clear, but the media are asking whether the vessel is the most unlucky cruise ship around.
The stricken vessel, Norwegian Star, has set sail once again from Melbourne, five days after its propulsion system failed at sea shortly after the start of a voyage to Auckland. Mechanical problems are blighting the 16-year-old ship.
10. China Offshore Nuclear Power
China will prioritize the development of a floating nuclear power platform in the next five years. The move is an effort to provide stable power for offshore projects. The news was announced by Wang Yiren, vice director of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense who also highlighted potential application in the South China Sea providing power for the Nansha (Spratley) and Xisha (Paracel) Islands. 
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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