Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/04/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/04/2017

1. Shipping in Good Shape
The shipping industry, in particular dry bulk and containers, has seen a marked improvement over the last 12 months according to Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) president Esben Poulsson. “Overall I would say we are in a much better place than 12 months ago… especially dry bulk and containers,” Poulsson told a media briefing for Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) 2017. Looking at the dry bulk sector he said there was a lot of optimism at the moment. The Baltic Dry Index is currently at around 1,200 points, compared to an all time low of 290 points in February 2016.
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2. Tanker Saved by Chinese
A Panamanian-flagged oil tanker "Alheera" was rescued by Chinese Navy from a pirate attack on Saturday, April 15 while underway in the Gulf of Aden. The ship was approached by a skiff with five pirates on board who were trying to board the tanker south off Balhaf, Yemen. As understood, the pirates fired at the tanker during the attempt to hijack it. The crew managed to send a distress signal which was picked up by the Chinese navy. Once informed of the attack, the Hengyang frigate of China’s 25th convoy fleet was sent to the scene. The frigate’s helicopter reached the tanker shortly and drove away the pirates.
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3. Terrible Tale from Survivors
The two survivors of the Stellar Daisy sinking have related how the ship sank very rapidly. The giant 1993-built vessel sank two weeks ago today in the South Atlantic with the likely loss of 22 lives. The two men who survived – Renato Daymiel and Jose Cabrahan – said how the Polaris-owned vessel began to shake and the main engine slowed. The captain called all crew to the bridge as the ship started to list to port. Daymiel was unable to get there, and grabbed his life jacket and immersion suit and exited on the starboard side. He found himself underwater “rolling like I’m inside a washing machine”.
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4. Reports of Increased Kidnappings
Reports estimated in the last twelve months, 58 seafarers were kidnapped in SE Asia in 13 incidents by pirates linked with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) (there was a total of 22 incidents with 9 foiled). SE Asia piracy makes sense: A third of the world’s cargo passes through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore Straits. The bottleneck and crowded waterways make it easier for pirates to blend in. It’s hard to tell if two huddled vessels are transferring fuel or cargo or under siege. While the dense traffic with different national territorial waters adjacent to each other makes it very hard to distinguish who has patrol responsibility.
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5. Pirates Killed in Attack
A Somali official says foreign naval forces in international waters shot dead two pirates and wounded another when the bandits attempted to hijack a ship on Saturday. Ahmed Abdullahi, an official with the anti-piracy force in the semi-autonomous Puntland region, said the two killed men were part of a group of nine pirates in a boat approaching an unidentified ship near the Gulf of Aden when a naval force opened fire on them. He said the six other pirates survived the attack and escaped. In recent weeks there has been a resurgence of piracy off Somalia’s coast, after five years of inactivity.
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6. Daewoo Saved from Oblivion
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), one of the world’s largest shipbuilders, has been saved from financial oblivion. Key bondholder, the National Pension Service has agreed to restructure KRW1.55trn ($1.4bn) of DSME bonds. The yard’s top lenders the Korea Development Bank (KDB) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea said last month they would provide KRW2.9trn in additional loans and swap about KRW1.6trn of debt for equity if other creditors and bondholders agreed to convert up to 80% of their debt and extend maturities for remaining loans by as much as five years.
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7. Images of Burnt Ship Appear
An image of the burnt MSC Daniela which clearly shows the damage to many containers onboard, has been circulating. The 13,800 teu ship caught fire while en route from Singapore to the Suez Canal on April 4 and made for Colombo where local and Indian ships spent more than 12 hours extinguishing the blaze which had spread from one container in the aft section to many neighbouring boxes. Despite being extinguished the containers remained too hot to handle for the next 10 days and the giant 2008-built vessel was only allowed to move from its outer anchorage to dock at Colombo International Container Terminal on Friday.
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8. Tote Settles with Families
Tote Maritime has settled the final outstanding wrongful death cases with families of El Faro crew members who were lost in the cargo vessel’s 2015 sinking. The last three of the 33 families of the victims came to terms with the ship’s owners for an undisclosed sum. El Faro went down on October 1, 2015, when caught in Hurricane Joaquin off the Bahamas. None of the bodies of those on board – comprising 28 US citizens and five Polish nationals – were recovered. The 790-foot ship, broken into two main parts, was located in November 2015 at the ocean floor and its Voyage Data recorder (VDR) was retrieved in the summer of 2016.
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9. US Detentions Down
The U.S. Coast Guard’s Port State Control 2016 Annual Report has been released, highlighting a decrease in detentions from 202 to 103, the flag state’s lowest in five years. “Our three-year rolling average detention ratio that was on the rise over the last two years has made a slight drop from 1.67 percent to 1.63 percent,” said Rear Admiral Paul F. Thomas, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy at the U.S. Coast Guard. “Though the drop in detentions is encouraging overall…we are seeing a rise in the percentage of detentions related to fire fighting and fire protection systems for the third straight year".
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10. Shipyard Workers Killed
Two shipyard workers at CSBC Corporation’s Kaohsiung yard were killed in a welding accident while working on a semisubmersible heavy lift ship. The workers, were reportedly using an arc welder within an interior compartment and were electrocuted, according to local officials. Local media report that the compartment also caught fire. Kaohsiung’s Labor Affairs Bureau has ordered that the faulty model of electric arc welder must be taken out of use, and it has halted work on the semi-submersible. The agency also fined CSBC $2,000 and the contractor about $1,000 for mismanagement.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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