Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/05/2017
1. Pirates Seize Mothership
On Tuesday, Somali pirates captured an Iranian fishing boat for use as a mother ship for attacks on larger merchant vessels, according to the mayor of a port town in Puntland. In the past, Somali pirates often captured fishing vessels and their crews in order to extend their range, and they successfully operated as far out as the west coast of India. Ali Shire, the top official in the town of Haabo, northern Puntland, informed Reuters of the hijacking. "The Iranian fishing vessel does not have a license [to fish] in Puntland," he said. Somali pirates frequently cite illegal, unlicensed and unregulated fishing by foreign vessels as a source of grievance.
2. Watchkeeping Hours Report
The U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency has released a research report into the eight hours on / eight hours off (8/8) watch keeping system which indicates it is preferable to a 6/6 system. The aim of the study was determine what affect the system had on seafarer fatigue, performance and safety and included a comparison with other typical watch keeping systems. The 6/6 watch keeping regime was found to be worse than the 8/8 watch keeping regime in terms of the quantity and quality of sleep obtained. Levels of sleepiness, stress, and fatigue were lower with the 8/8 system. A separate study also investigated the working patterns of selected tug crews. In this study, the 4/8 three-watch system was shown to be at relatively low risk compared to other systems.
3. Marshall Islands Stellar Comment
More than seven weeks since the Stellar Daisy sank in the South Atlantic with the loss of 22 lives, its registry the Marshall Islands has finally issued a terse statement on the incident. The flag, run by International Registries, Inc (IRI), has come in for flak for its prolonged silence since the giant 266,000 dwt converted ore carrier listed and sank on March 31, especially since other IRI-flagged converted ore carriers belonging to the same Korean owner, Polaris Shipping, have also since had their own troubles. The Marshall Islands has deployed two inspection teams to look at the 12 converted ore carriers in its fleet while IRI said an “in-depth investigation” was ongoing into the cause of the Stellar Daisy disaster. “The investigation into the loss of the Stellar Daisy and its crewmembers is the administrator’s top priority,” said the flag.
4. Trump Slashing Port Spend
U.S. President Donald Trump sent Congress a 2018 budget request on Tuesday, with the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) saying it signals declines for most federally funded, port-related programs. Among the budget proposals for next year is eliminating the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants program, which last year awarded U.S. ports $61.8 million in multimodal infrastructure grants such as dock, rail and road improvements. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program (PSGP), which Congress last funded at $100 million and which provided 35 port security-related grants in fiscal 2017, would see funding reduced to $47.8 million … a 52 percent cut.
5. Crew Death Investigation
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has deployed a team of investigators to the Port of Trois-Rivières after a crew member from bulk carrier Nord Quebec, operated by Danish owner Norden, died in an accident while berthing. According to local media reports, the 38-year-old Filipino seafarer was struck on the head by a mooring rope, causing seriously injury and his subsequent death after being sent to hospital. TSB has deployed a team of investigators to the port to gather information and assess the accident, delaying the loading operations of the ship. Francis Dumont, a TSB investigator, described the way the accident occurred as very rare.
6. Scorpio Tanker Swoop
Emanuele Lauro’s Monaco-based Scorpio Tankers has continued its relentless pursuit of fleet growth sealing a definitive agreement to merge with Navig8 Product Tankers and acquire Navig8’s fleet of 27 product tankers. The deal reflects a total equity value for Navig8 of around $228.8m, and will see Scorpio pay $42.2m cash for four LR1 vessels prior to the closing of the merger and issue 55m of common stock to Navig8 shareholders for the remaining 23 vessels on the closing of the deal. Scorpio will pick up 15 LR2 product tankers and 12 LR1 product tankers through the acquisition, growing its fleet to 105 vessels in total made up of 38 LR2s, 12 LR1s, 41 MR tankers and 14 handymax tankers.
7. Leading Nautical Institute Forward
Captain John Lloyd has been appointed CEO of The Nautical Institue, taking over from Philip Wake who is retiring after 14 years in the post. In his previous role as Chief Operating Officer, Lloyd had overall responsibility for the Institute’s specialized training services, including the industry-standard Dynamic Positioning Operator accreditation and certification scheme. “Now more than ever it is important that the Institute champions best practice and professionalism and promotes a culture of safety first,” says Lloyd. His 16-year seagoing career began in 1975, gaining command in 1987 and spending two years as a marine pilot at Walvis Bay, Namibia. His extensive experience in maritime education has included senior positions at Warsash Maritime Academy and Flagship Training in the U.K., CEO of Vanuatu Maritime College.
8. Another Crane Collapses
Images have emerged of another gantry crane knocked out of action, days after the spectacular crash of a huge crane at Dubai’s Jebel Ali port. On May 18, the 180 m long multipurpose vessel Da Zhi allided with the quay at berth 21 at the port of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire. The Cosco-controlled Da Zhi was coming in to berth at when it hit a gantry crane. The crane tumbled backwards, falling onto a number of containers.
There were no reports of injuries or pollution. The site is being cleaned up now, but Splash understands port operations have been hindered from the accident. A crane collapsed in Dubai at the start of the month when a CMA CGM ship allided with the quayside at Jebel Ali. goo.gl/kfdFQp
9. Danes Enter the Blockchain
The Danish Maritime Authority has launched a pilot project to harness blockchain technology to make ship registration a more digitilised process. When they want to register ships today, shipowners are still required to fill in and handle documents manually. In order to promote digitalisation in Denmark, the Danish Maritime Authority has launched a pilot project to shed light on the long-term possibilities of digitalising the entire ship registration process. Denmark’s minister for industry, business and financial affairs Brian Mikkelsen commented: “The Maritime Strategy Team has recommended full digitalisation of, inter alia, the register of shipping.
10. Checking Ebola at Ports
The Federal Nigerian Government has instituted measures to ensure that the deadly Ebola virus does not find its way back to the country through the seaports. Consequently, government is deploying officials of Port Health Services and Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, to achieve the containment. Speaking to newsmen in Lagos weekend, Port Manager of Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, Hajia Aisha Ali-Ibrahim, said all hands were on deck to intensify screening of seafarers coming into the country through the waterways and also ensure appropriate screening at all entry points into the port. She also said NPA was giving all necessary support to the Port Health Services to ensure there were no loopholes in carrying out the checks.
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