Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/03/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/03/2017

1. Kidnapped Crew Released
Pirates have released all eight crewmembers kidnapped from the general cargo ship BBC Caribbean off the coast of Nigeria last month, the Russian embassy has confirmed. The seven Russians and one Ukrainian were kidnapped during an attack on the German-owned BBC Caribbean while in Nigeria’s territorial waters on February 5. The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre reported that the attack took place about 31 nautical miles from the Bayelsa coast, located in the heart Niger Delta region. At least three other crew members managed to avoid being kidnapped by hiding, and steered the vessel away from coast and to a safe port.
2. Yemen On Brink
Cruise missiles, floating mines and a remote-controlled boat have been deployed to attack ships in Yemen in recent months, changing the dynamic of the two-year-old war and pushing the country closer to famine, shipping and aid officials say. The weapons have targeted military vessels from a Saudi-led coalition which is fighting Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in the impoverished state on the tip of the Arabian peninsula, part of the same regional power struggle that is fueling Syria’s war. The conflict in Yemen has left four-fifths of the population in need of aid. Relief officials say food reserves will run out in two to four months.
3. Vessel Evades Capture
A Vietnamese cargo vessel has managed to evade a speedboat carrying armed gunmen in Philippine waters Sunday and has received protection in Malaysia, the Star reported. "MV Phu An", carrying foodstuff with 13 crewmembers aboard, spotted at least six armed men on a speedboat so it immediately changed course and entered Malaysian waters later Sunday afternoon, where it was escorted to a safe place, a Malaysian security commander told the newspaper. Waters in southern Philippines have seen increased activity of Abu Sayyaf, which has raked in millions of dollars in ransoms over the past 15 years.
4. Remembering Herald Loss
30 years ago today the sun rose over Zeebrugge to reveal the horrific sight of the capsized "Herald of Free Enterprise". The vessel went over with the loss of 193 people off the Belgian coast, which led to new international regulations and the formation of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB). The roll-on/roll-off passenger ferry experienced flooding and subsequently capsized immediately upon leaving the port of Zeebrugge for Dover with its bow door open. It remains the most fatal peacetime maritime disaster involving a British ship since the sinking of the Iolaire in 1919.
5. Tunnel Built for Ships
The world’s first ship tunnel under a mountain is to be built on the remote western coast of Norway after a national debate lasting more than a century. Ministers have given the green light for the Stad tunnel that will be blasted through a mile of rock at a cost of about $AU419 million. The tunnel, which is likely to take a decade to build, will mean that ships can avoid navigating around the Stad peninsula, where 33 lives have been lost in stormy seas since the end of the Second World War.

6. Shipowners Ballast Fear
Shipowners threatened with fines over defective ballast water discharges may find they get no financial support from their P&I club. In a statement the Standard P&I Club has responded to moves last month by the US Coast Guard to initiate proceedings against the bulk carrier Vega Mars, which it said had discharged ballast in Tacoma without the use of a USCG-approved ballast water management system or other approved means. That is a violation of the National Invasive Species Act and carries a maximum penalty of US$38,175.
7. K Line Bid Rigs
South Africa’s competition watchdog ruled on Monday that Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd’s (K-Line), one of Japan’s biggest transport companies, had conspired to rig bids for shipping cars. The Competition Commission said it had recommended a fine equivalent to 10 percent of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd’s (K-Line) local turnover. A K-Line representative in South Africa declined to comment on the case or to estimate the value of the fine. The Commission said K-Line rigged bids with rivals between 2002 and 2013 to fix prices and divide the market for shipping from South Africa.

8. Hanjin Rome Sold
One of the last vessels in the fleet of bankrupt Hanjin Shipping has been sold by the courts in Singapore. The 1998-built, traditional panamax boxship Hanjin Rome was listed as sold on 1 March on the Singapore Supreme Court. The vessel owned by Hanjin was arrested on 30 August 2016, one day before the South Korean shipping line filed for bankruptcy. Formerly the world’s seventh largest container line Hanjin was declared bankrupt of 17 February this year.

9. Cargo Securing Success
The Tokyo MOU has released preliminary statistics from its concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) on Cargo Securing Arrangements which indicate that the majority of ships are in compliance with the relevant IMO instruments developed to improve the safety of Cargo Securing Arrangements. The vast majority of ships inspected have used IMO guidelines for the development and layout of their cargo securing manual. The CIC was carried out from September 1, 2016 through the November 30, 2016.
10. Fire Ravaged RoRo Sails
The fire-stricken car carrier "M/V Honor" is scheduled to set sail on March 7 as it was given permission by relevant authorities to depart from the UK. The 19,844 dwt vessel received the approval following a fire inspection and inspection of cargo on all decks aboard the vessel, which was launched last week and finalized on March 4 at the Port of Southampton. According to the ship’s owner American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC), the US-flagged car carrier caught fire in the English Channel on February 24 and was berthed in Southampton later that day.

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


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