Top Ten Maritime News Stories 25/04/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 25/04/2017

1. Chemical Tanker Attack
The chemical tanker Costina was attacked by pirates on 6 nautical miles east off Somali Coast, reported IMB Piracy. The vessel was underway to Mogadishu, when was approached by motor skiff with six armed men. The pirates chased and fired upon the tanker for nearly two hours. The Master of the chemical tanker Costina sent distress signal for piracy attack, while the non-essential crew retreated in the citadel. The Spanish amphibious assault ship Galicia responded to the distress signal and changed course to the attack site. The warship deployed various assets, but the pirates succeeded to abandon the attack and escaped.
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2. Singapore Wary of Competition
Singapore Maritime Weeks has kicked off. Chief correspondent Jason Jiang assesses whether the Lion Republic is the world’s most vibrant maritime centre ahead of a new poll to be released in a couple of days. Singapore can lay claim to being the leading maritime capital of the world, according to multiple surveys carried over the past couple of years, including on this site. However, other cities are eyeing its shipping crown. Norwegian maritime consultancy Menon will launch its 2017 edition of The Leading Maritime Capitals of the World report this week, Singapore was the clear winner last time, but things change.
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3. LNG Carrier Strikes Reef
The LNG carrier "Sevilla Knutsen" stuck in reef or atoll in North Pacific during a voyage from Japan to Australia. The accident occurred on April 17 and tanker suffered significant damages to the hull, including breaches and water ingress. The vessel remained afloat, but some ballast tanks were flooded. The crew succeeded to control the situation by ballasting and restricted prevented a more serious accident. The ship was refloated by own means and proceeded to American Naval Base in Guanon, but the US military banned the ship from entering and instead offered an evacuation of the crew which was refused.
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4. Ro-Ro Collision
The car carrier City of Amsterdam collided with the container ship Conmar Bay in the Kiel Canal, Germany, on Saturday at around noon. The vessels were transiting the North-Baltic Sea Canal in opposite directions when Force 9 winds forced the westbound car carrier across the path of the container ship. Both vessels were breached, but remain afloat. The 2,779dwt, 100-meter (328-foot) City of Amsterdam is reported to have a gash around 50 meters (164 feet) long above the waterline, portside. The 150-meter (492-foot) Conmar Bay is reported to have a 30-meter (98-foot) gash above the waterline.
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5. New Lead for Maritime London
JAMES ‘Jos’ Standerwick has been named the new chief executive of Maritime London. The 31-year-old has been brought in to promote fresh thinking at the organisation, which has been criticised for not being has hard hitting as it should be. Mr Standerwick will be charged with modernising the structure and the make-up of the maritime services trade promotion body. It is likely that another two to three new faces could be also brought in over the next 18 months as the organisation looks to better position itself alongside government.  Mr Standerwick joins from the Mission to Seafarers where he has been director of development.
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6. Turkey Raises Pollution Fines
The Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication has raised the fines for pollution caused by vessels by 41 percent, and has implemented stricter regulations after a ship hit rocks and spilled 50 tons of fuel in western Turkey. The ministry’s decision follows the incident involving Lady Tuna, a ship which hit rocks on December 18, 2016 and was responsible for spilling 50 tons of fuel near the Fener island of Turkey’s western Izmir province and has been fined 5 million Turkish liras ($1.37 million). The nearby beaches of Paşa Limanı and Ilıca Yıldız Burnu had been polluted by the accident.
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7. Northern Routes Still Tricky
While cargoes flowed through the Northern Sea Route in 2016 at a pace not seen since the twilight years of the Soviet Union three decades ago, few foreign vessels were in sight. Instead of waiting for global shippers to make a port of call, Russia is domesticating the transpolar conduit that could slash up to 12 days of travel time between Europe and Asia when it’s open four-and-a-half months each year. “It is all about the cost of goods delivered,” said Felix Tschudi, chairman of Tschudi Shipping Co AS in Norway. “In the present low oil and freight-market environment, the attraction of the NSR is diminished.”
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8. COSCO Name Change
Cosco Corporation (Singapore) Limited has changed its name to Cosco Shipping International (Singapore) Co effective 20 April to reflect the organisational reform of its parent firm, China Cosco Shipping Corporation Limited (Cosco Shipping). Singapore-listed Cosco Shipping International (Singapore) has informed the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore on the name change. The parent firm Cosco Shipping, formed from the merger of China Cosco Group and China Shipping Group, has reorganised and is harmonising the names of all its key subsidiaries to start with ‘Cosco Shipping’.
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9. Iran Developing Shell Companies
Nearly half of all shipping docks in Iran are operated by the regime’s military, and it is using shell companies to smuggle weapons and other illicit goods, according to a new report. A total of 90 docks have been taken over by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which is using them to circumvent sanctions and fund terrorist activities in the Middle East and beyond, according to the anti-regime People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The PMOI adds that in order to fund its activities, the Revolutionary Guard engages in smuggling oil, gas, chemical products, cigarettes, narcotics, and alcohol.
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10. Union Slams Poverty Pay
The UK’s National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) was demonstrating in Aberdeen on April 21 against poverty pay on Streamline Shipping’s containership "MV Daroja". According to RMT, workers are paid as little as GBP 2.56 (USD 3.28) per hour on freight routes between Aberdeen and Orkney and Shetland on the Cyprus-flagged ship. “Streamline has … profited from this exploitation, receiving over GBP 3 million from the Scottish taxpayer,” RMT said. “Shareholders are pocketing millions in dividends whilst migrant workers are mercilessly exploited and local seafarers excluded from work.
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