Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/05/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/05/2017

1. Ferry Allision Stowaway Find
On Monday, the high speed car ferry Pinar del Rio struck a jetty near the entrance to the port of Malaga, Spain, damaging a sponson – and revealing the presence of seven stowaways. The ferry’s 143 passengers were unharmed, but two stowaway migrants were thrown into the water or forced to jump over the side (media accounts vary). The local Guardia Civil rescued the two immigrants and arrested five more. Medical testing revealed that six out of the seven migrants were under the age of 18, and the minors in the group were transferred to the custody of the local child protection authorities. The Pinar’s operator, Balearia, has cancelled several sailings to Melilla through May 5, when the ferry Nissos Chios will arrive to fill in for the Pinar. The firm will inspect the damage to the Pinar’s hull and open an investigation into the incident.
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2. West African Attack Spike
Armed attacks on ships in West African waters nearly doubled in 2016, with pirates increasingly focused on kidnapping their crew for ransom off Nigeria’s coast. A recent spate of attacks off Somalia, meanwhile, may also indicate a resurgence of piracy in East Africa as a result of less vigilance, the Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) project said. OBP, a project of the privately funded One Earth Future Foundation that encourages cooperation across the international maritime community to tackle piracy, recorded 95 attacks in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea in 2016, up from 54 the previous year. Cargo theft, once the main focus of piracy in the region, has given way to an increase in kidnappings, with 96 crew members taken hostage compared to 44 in 2015. OBP estimated the total economic cost of maritime crime in West Africa at nearly $794 million.
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3. Box Giants 2.0
Four years after the arrival of the first Triple-E vessel, Maersk Line has now deployed Madrid Maersk, the first of its second-generation Triple-E containerships. With nearly 2,000 more TEU capacity than the prior generation Triple Es, the 20,568 TEU (nominal capacity) Madrid Maersk has set sail on Maersk Line’s Asia – Europe service network, calling the Port of Tianjin in China on April 27 as its first port on its maiden voyage. "Madrid Maersk" is the first to enter service of the 27 new vessels ordered by Maersk Line in 2015. Maersk Line, who has not taken delivery of any owned new-buildings since July 2015, now has a remaining order book that includes 10 more second-generation Triple-E ships, nine 15,226 TEU H-Class vessels and seven 3,596 TEU ice-class Baltic feeder vessels, all to be delivered through the end of 2018.
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4. Ship of the Year
Shturman Albanov, Sovcomflot’s Arctic shuttle tanker, has won the award for ‘2016 Ship of the Year’ at the international industrial Marine Propulsion Awards 2017. The winners were announced on 26 April 2017 in Amsterdam, during the European Marine Engineering Conference. The voting was held in two stages. During the first stage, candidates were evaluated by an independent panel of judges which included representatives from the scientific community, business, the news media and marine classification societies. Sovcomflot’s tanker received a high rating from the judging panel of industry experts and was subsequently shortlisted for the award. During the second stage, selection of the winner was entrusted to the public – the award winner was been chosen based on the results of public on-line voting.
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5. Strong Shipowners Results
The Shipowners’ Club, has reported resilient results for the year ending 31 December 2016. The Club has reported a combined ratio of 98.6%, an increase in gross tonnage of 0.8m to 25.4m and an overall surplus of US$ 14.7m, including a return on the investment portfolio of US$ 11.8m. Chairman Philip Orme highlighted that “the Club has again delivered an underwriting surplus despite slightly reduced income. During the year we witnessed an increased number of vessels entering lay up as a result of a downturn in shipping activity especially in the offshore sector. The Club saw increased vessel numbers and overall tonnage grow slightly, mainly a consequence of owners taking delivery of larger offshore vessels such as heavy lift, accommodation and specialist pipe lay and construction vessels.
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6. Crane Collapse Toll Grows
The crane collapse accident at Geoje shipyard of Samsung Heavy Industries yesterday has so far led to the death of six workers with another 22 listed as injured. Two cranes collided at the shipyard around 2:50pm yesterday, causing one crane to fall onto an oil platform under construction for French energy giant Total. The project includes an integrated, fixed production facility and a floating storage and offloading vessel, and was scheduled for delivery in 2018. “It’s too early to say what would be the consequences for delivering the platform, but for the time being all work at the yard has been stopped and the investigation is ongoing,” said Leif Harald Halvorsen, a spokesperson of Total.
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7. Unmanned Regulatory Challenge
Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS) technology in the marine and oil and gas sector has advanced rapidly in the last 20 years. Take up is unlikely to be as rapid as that for AUVs, mainly owing to regulatory challenges. However, as over 75% of insured marine losses in 2016 arose from human error, autonomy could be attractive to both hull and P&I insurers alike. The UK Marine Industries Alliance has already set up a UK MAS Regulatory Working Group to develop industry standards and practices and Comité Maritime International has set up an International Working Group for Maritime Law and Unmanned Craft to produce a draft code of conduct, although a lot of work remains to be done before an international consensus will be reached.
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8. Grounded Barge Attraction
The construction barge "Agronauta", which went aground at Benalmádena, Spain on Friday, has gained considerable attention over the past few days. Tourists are arriving in droves to take in the town’s new beachfront view – and to use the strange-looking vessel as a backdrop for photos. The Agronauta has also become a popular target for social media sendups and online pranks: someone even put the wreck up for sale on a real estate site as a "multi-use aquatic platform, ideal for treasure-hunting or fiestas in international waters" – exclusively available to buyers with salvage tugs of 15,000 hp or more. City officials have asked the barge’s owner to pay for security measures after several incidents involving over-curious onlookers, including a "visitor" who boarded the Agronauta and climbed its superstructure for a selfie.
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9. Billionaire Research Gift
Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke is funding the purchase of a giant research vessel for the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF). The 181-meter-long vessel, which is scheduled to be launched in the summer of 2020, will give researchers tools they could not otherwise have dreamed of, reports Aftenposten. Equipment on board the research ship will enable researchers to take measurements from the atmosphere as well as 6,000 metres below the surface of the sea – including up to 20 metres under the seabed. Mini-submarines and both under and overwater drones will be attached to the research vessel, which will also house an auditorium and seven laboratories, writes Aftenposten. The ship will be able to collect and melt up to five tonnes of plastic every day without any harmful emissions, reports the newspaper.
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10. Merger Spanner in Works
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) yesterday threw a curveball on the planned mega Japanese container shipping merger. The FMC has said Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) cannot share information with each other in advance of a new merged business entity being created next year. Amid unprecedented consolidation in the container sector last year Japan’s three largest shipping lines agreed to merge their boxlines together, a move that will give the combined entity a fleet of around 1.5m teu.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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