Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/03/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/03/2017

1. Hijacked Ship Released
Somali pirates who seized a Comoros-flagged oil tanker earlier this week after five years without a major hijacking in the region have released the ship and its crew without conditions, officials said late Thursday. Security official Ahmed Mohamed told The Associated Press the pirates disembarked the ship, which was heading to Bossaso port, the region’s commercial hub, with its eight Sri Lankan crew members aboard. Mohamed said the release occurred after negotiations by local elders and officials with the pirates, who seized the tanker on Monday. The pirates were not arrested but instead were given passage to leave.

2. Too Slow Too Low
The shipowner of the hijacked "Aris 13" product tanker has been slammed for cutting corners and subsequently endangering the lives of eight crewmembers. On Monday, the product tanker became the first ship to be nabbed by Somali pirates since 2012, news that has sent shockwaves around the world’s seafaring community. According to aid group Oceans Beyond Piracy the ship, owned by Armi Shipping from the United Arab Emirates, was preparing to go through a route known as the Socotra Gap, between Somalia and Socotra Island which vessels often use, regardless of the piracy risks, to save time and cost.
3. Working On Blockchain Gang
The word blockchain has in the news following Danish shipping conglomerate Maersk’s new partnership with IT giant IBM to jointly develop blockchain for box shipping. Maersk will use blockchain to keep track of international shipments. Rather than tracking entire shipments, the company is now narrowing its focus on the individual shipment of containers. At the same time, the companies hope to use blockchain to address the inconvenience of maintaining paperwork for deliverables with short or long trips to their destinations. The blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger for recording the history of transactions.
4. Bargain Basement VLCCs
George Economou has managed to negotiate a sensationally low price of just $76m per unit for a series of four VLCCs he has contracted Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction’s Philippines yard (HHIC-Phil) to build. While a number of outlets had quoted the price at $75m the actual deal is still incredibly cheap – the lowest price at the moment for a VLCC in South Korea, for instance, is $80m. Moreover, at 320,000 dwt the tankers Economou has ordered via his TMS Tankers vehicle are larger than what owners would get for $80m in South Korea.
5. Greek Flag at Half Mast
The removal of 62 vessels from the Greek ship register within the space of a year highlights the Greek flag’s declining competitiveness. Along with the losses observed in 2015, the Greek register appears to have shrunk by 100 oceangoing ships in just two years. Although the Greek-owned fleet remains the world leader in terms of both ship numbers and capacity, the Greek flag has dropped to third among those that Greek shipowners prefer, according to the annual report of the Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee in London.
6. Ship Sinks off Libya
A Turkish cargo ship sunk off the coast of Libya on Thursday, leaving seven crew members missing, the Libyan navy said. Six other members of the Turkish crew were rescued after the ship requested assistance several kilometers from the port of Misrata, navy spokesman General Ayoub Qassem said. "The search is underway for the seven missing… but the sea is very rough and the waves are high," said Qassem. The ship, Tınaztepe S, was carrying marble powder when it sunk off due to weather conditions, sources said. Libya is the third biggest importer of Turkish goods in Africa following Egypt and Algeria.

7. British in Hot Water
Indonesia summoned the British ambassador on Friday after a cruise ship on a voyage organised by a London-based company smashed into coral reefs in a popular tourist spot and caused extensive damage. He [the captain] attempted to break free from the reefs and made the damage even worse even though he was ordered to stop. Raja Ampat in eastern Indonesia is one of the most biodiverse marine habitats on Earth, and attracts intrepid travellers and divers to its palm-fringed islands surrounded by coral and fish. The 4,200-tonne Caledonian Sky smashed into the reefs at low tide after taking tourists bird-watching.
8. Arrested Ship Released
The High Court of Bombay has released the cargo ship Union Demeter, which was arrested last December in Haldia Port on the shipowner’s outstanding bunker bills. The vessel was set to be released to return to China after ship’s bankrupt owner Nanjing-based Tranvast Holdings Limited (Tranvast) had been able to settle the outstanding fuel costs and the crew’s salary, according to Crew manager Nanjing Yuan Teng Shipping. Court documents show Justice SJ Kathawalla ordered the release of the 20,500 DWT "Union Demeter" after the shipowner furnished a security in court, depositing approximately $101,200.

9. New Barrier for Security
Following two years of research and development Gray Page is pleased to unveil its new vessel perimeter protection system, DFENCE. Devised by the maritime security specialists and internationally-recognised piracy experts at Gray Page, the DFENCE system is designed to prevent unlawful over-the-side access to ships, oil rigs and other marine platforms and installations. Having worked discreetly with ship-owner clients as it developed its innovative barrier concept, Gray Page is now able to reveal its DFENCE system to the global maritime market.
10. UK On Queen Trade Mission
Maritime U.K. and the Department of International Trade (DIT) will lead a three-day trade mission to Shanghai at the end of March to promote the U.K. as a centre for global maritime business. Attended by senior industry and government leaders from both countries, including Shipping and Ports Minister, John Hayes MP, and Trade Minister, Mark Garnier MP, the mission has been timed to coincide with the RMS Queen Mary 2’s visit to Shanghai during its East Asian tour. The iconic vessel will be used to promote U.K. excellence across shipping, ports, marine and business services.

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


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