Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/04/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/04/2017

1. LR Drafted into Polaris
Lloyd’s Register has been drafted in to assist in Polaris Shipping’s urgent fleet check in the wake of the Stellar Daisy sinking. With Polaris’s main class society, Korean Register (KR), taking much flak at home for its links to the Stellar Daisy, its cracked sister ship, Stellar Unicorn, and the Sewol ferry which has just been salvaged, Polaris has moved to bring in outside help. Polaris has detailed its “systematic fleet structural survey program” on its website whereby KR has drafted structural inspection guidelines for all of Polaris’s 31-strong fleet, which the managers and the crew have implemented onboard while at sea.
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2. Whistleblowers Reward
The British engineer who recorded illegal dumping of oily waste from Caribbean Princess will receive $1 million of the $40 million that Princess Cruise Lines was fined on Wednesday.  Princess was sentenced to pay a $40 million penalty – the largest-ever for crimes involving deliberate vessel pollution – related to illegal dumping overboard of oil contaminated waste and falsification of official logs in order to conceal the discharges. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Seitz in Miami.
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3. Pirates Kidnap 8 Crew
On Wednesday morning, pirates boarded an unnamed "offshore tug" in the Gulf of Guinea and kidnapped eight crewmembers. According to the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre, the Nigerian Navy responded to the incident but the attackers managed to escape with their captives. One crewmember was injured in the attack and was evacuated by helicopter. It was the tenth serious incident in the Gulf of Guinea this year – and the second within an hour. About 45 minutes earlier and about 50 nm further offshore, nine pirates in a skiff approached a tanker and opened fire.
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4. Navios Leaps In
Navios Maritime Partners has given Rickmers Maritime a hand to speed up its winding up process with an agreement to acquire the Singapore trust’s entire container fleet for around $113m. The 14 vessels are made up of eleven 4,250 teu vessels and three 3,450 teu vessels and have an average age of 9.5 years. Five of the larger vessels are chartered out through to 2018-2019 at a net daily rate of $26.850. The vessels will start delivering to Navios from May 15. Angeliki Frangou, chairman and CEO of Navios Partners, commented: “Our operating platform was attractive to the Trust and its lending banks".
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5. Yang Ming Yanks Stock
Under pressure Taiwanese containerline Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation has suspended stock trading through to May 4, during which time it is set to reduce its equity capital to the tune of ~53%. Yang Ming, the world’s ninth largest boxline and the subject of intense speculation on its future over the past year, will decrease its number of shares to 1.4bn from 3bn. The announcement is a follow-up of the company’s extraordinary special shareholders’ meeting on December 22 last year, which resolved to reduce its share capital. The capital reduction plan follows on from many quarters of consecutive losses.
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6. RINA Certificate Fraud
Two inspectors at RINA, the Italian classification society, have been arrested today over irregular certifications to ferries and cargo ships following an investigation launched in 2013 after the Jolly Nero’s accident occurred in Genoa resulting in the pilot tower collapsing. Another two employees from the local Coast Guard in Genoa have been suspended and some 35 people are being investigated by the local court for some safety certifications released to some ships which appeared not in compliance with the required safety rules, according to the prosecutor.
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7. Crews Act on Piracy
The number of piracy incidents in Asia has dropped in the first quarter this year, compared to the same period in 2016, and ReCAAP ISC praises the swift action of crews and responding military forces. For the first three months of this year, there were 15 incidents of piracy and armed robbery and five attempts, compared to the 17 incidents during the same period in 2016. ReCAAP ISC says the drop in the number of incidents is an indication of successful efforts by crew in deterring boarding by pirates.
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8. Small Order for Small Ships
A lack of orders for smaller containerships over the past few years, with operators focused on large vessels, is attracting new investors into the secondhand market. Hamburg-based asset and investment manager MPC Capital said it had already raised $100m in equity to acquire a fleet of feeder (1,000-2,000 teu) and feedermax (2,000-3,000 teu) vessels this year. A new company, MPC Container Ships, has been formed and group subsidiaries Ahrenkiel Steamship and Contchart will provide technical and commercial management services.
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9. Tanker Shifts Route
A tanker of gasoline en route to New York Harbor from Europe has been diverted to a Caribbean storage hub because a narrow window of opportunity for shipping profitably to the U.S. East Coast appears to have shut, traders said. At least 16 tankers carrying some 600,000 tonnes of gasoline blending components were booked early in April to send fuel from Europe to the East Coast. Since, a Long-Range 2 (LR2) vessel AMOREA, floating offshore carrying summer-grade RBOB gasoline, known as F2-grade, set sail to New York.
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10. China Cleaning Up
China is the world’s busiest shipping nation but all those ships entering its ports and plying its waters are contributing to the country’s air pollution. Every year, over 60% of the world’s seaborne cargoes and 30% of the world’s shipping containers pass through China’s ports. The country is also home to seven of the world’s top 10 ports, so shipping is becoming a major source of air pollution in its port cities, such as Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai. An estimated 18,000 premature deaths in China in 2013 were caused by air pollution from oceangoing ships.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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