Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/04/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/04/2017

1. Trump Asked for Help
Family members of the 22 missing seafarers from the ill fated "Stellar Daisy" very large ore carrier (VLOC) have not given up hope and have sent letters to US president Donald Trump asking for help. The families are holding out as there is still one missing liferaft that has not been accounted for. Moreover, on April 8 a US Navy aircraft deployed in the search made an initial report that it had seen an orange coloured object that it thought might be a liferaft. An image was taken of the object and subsequently it was deemed to be an oil slick. Trump has been asked to release the image to Korean authorities for further analysis.

2. Second Crewmember Dies
A second crewmember has died following an explosion aboard a bulk carrier in the North Atlantic as an emergency response continues for two others severely injured in the blast. The USCG has confirmed reports from the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier "MV Tamar" that another crewmember had died from wounds sustained in the explosion. The explosion occurred earlier Monday in the MV Tamar’s forward storeroom as the ship was sailing eastbound about 1,300 miles offshore from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The Captain initially reported that the explosion killed one crewmember and three others suffered massive burns.
3. Lifeboats Killing Crews
Tthere are no comprehensive statistics on lifeboat accidents, however an ample amount of research showing a scary outcome. To name a few studies, from 1992-2004, marine insurer Gard “recorded 32 cases of accidental release of lifeboats. Five cases were without injury to people (there are certainly much more, but these five have been reported because they involved P&I claims), the others caused 12 deaths and injury to 74 people. Among the people injured there were several very serious cases of head and spine injury, some causing paralysis or possibly leading to death at a later stage.

4. Fighting Fire with Ire
GCaptain has struck back against the use of an old video purporting to show excessive force by security guards against Somali pirates. When a video posted last week by a supposedly pro-seafarer page showing a shipboard security team opening fire on an incoming pirate skiff went viral, GCaptian thought it was necessary to provide some context and/or details – since absolutely none was given. The video in question has racked up over 12 million views, easily reaching YouTube’s top trending list. It has also prompted some publishers to re-post as if this just happened. The problem is, the video is over five years old.
5. Yang Ming Clarifies Position
Taiwanese containerlines Yang Ming Marine Transport has released an announcement to clarify market rumours about the company’s financial status. Yang Ming suspended stock trading on April 20 through to May 4, which triggered rumours that the company was suffering from financial difficulties. Yang Ming clarifies that the company’s financial status is fine and the stock suspension is a normal procedure for a previously announced capital reduction plan which will decrease its share count by about 53% from $3bn to $1.4bn. Yang Ming, which has not been profitable since 2013, and posted a $492m loss for the year of 2016.
6. Pirates Complain About Prison
Indian media reports claim more than 100 pirates who were arrested off the Horn of Africa in 2011 still have cases pending in the Indian judicial system. On Tuesday, 15 Somali nationals pled guilty to charges of piracy in a court in Mumbai. In statements made through an interpreter, the pirates asked the court for deportation to Somalia or a reduced sentence, as they have been in prison for six years. The men were captured in January 2011 when the Indian Navy pursued and sank the Thai trawler Prantalay 14. One of the group, claims the pirates are suffering in Indian jail as they don’t like the food.
7. Seafarer Salary Benchmarking
A New Global Benchmarking service giving employers of crew reliable and easily-comparable pay data for all officers and ratings has been launched. The product comes from the HR Consulting division of maritime HR and Recruitment specialists Spinnaker Global Ltd, which already carries out benchmarking of shore-based maritime jobs for the 100-member Maritime HR Association. This new benchmarking service focuses on seafarer pay by nationality, rank and vessel type and the cost of various endorsements and specialisms.
8. Are Private Owners Over
The second day of Sea Asia 2017 saw an impassioned debate as to whether “the best days of the private independent shipowner are over”. Transforming the conference hall in a parliamentary debating chamber six speakers – three for the motion and three against – put their case to the delegates, or members of parliament, with BW Group and Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) chairman Andreas Sohmen-Pao presiding as Speaker of the House. The debate played out with a level of passion rarely seen at shipping conferences with core themes of other people’s money, or OPM, and scale running through the session.
9. Crewing Joint Venture
Ventis and OSM Crew Management have signed a joint venture agreement to provide Filipino crew to K Line’s entire LNG fleet. Within the next four years the number of K Line LNG vessels is expected to grow to about 20. OSM have a total of more than 1,000 LNG crew in the crew pool and more than 650 on board.
Yuzuru Goto, managing director of K Line LNG Shipping said: “We believe this to be an excellent partnership, from a supplier with a genuine maritime heritage, understanding of industry operations and aspirations, and understanding of our corporate values and organisational culture.
10. Do Diligence Before Diving In
Moore Stephens, international accountant and shipping adviser, has warned shipowners and operators to carry out their due diligence before entering into shipping pool arrangements. Shipowners and operators are urged to carefully check the financial, tax and jurisdictional implications of participating in shipping pool arrangements. Michael Simms, shipping partner at Moore Stephens, said: “Shipping pools can be an attractive option, particularly in difficult markets and during periods of economic uncertainty. Interest in the concept generally is increasing as a way to leverage money and maximise economies of scale.

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


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S Jones
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