Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/06/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/06/2017

1. Rocket Threat Prompts Navies
The naval presence off the Horn of Africa is being upped in the wake of a spate of recent attacks. The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) will be increasing its coverage in the western Gulf of Aden. “Recent attacks against merchant shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Bab-el-Mandeb have highlighted that there are still risks associated with transits through these waters. In addition to several attempts at piracy, attacks by small, high speed boats using small arms, rocket propelled grenades, and significant amounts of explosives have been conducted,” the CMF noted, saying this type of attack was a “new threat” to the maritime community.
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2. World’s Biggest Sailing Ship
The world’s largest sailing ship was launched at the Brodosplit shipyard in Croatia on Saturday. The Flying Clipper is a near replica of the France II ordered in 1911 at La Gironde shipyard Bordeaux. The vessel has been under construction for two years for Monaco-based Star Clippers. Flying Clipper has a steel hull and will have teak decking. She is 162 meters (532 feet) long and 18.5 meters (60 feet) wide, with a deadweight of 2,000 tons. She will be square-rigged with five masts and have an overall sail surface of 6,347 square meters (68,300 square feet).
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3. Indian Fighting for Labour Role
Over the last month, at least three major national organizations in India have drafted plans to address the declining global market for Indian seafarers. India has 1.3 billion people but only provides seven percent of the 1,647,500 seafarers engaged in international shipping, while the Philippines with a smaller population of 100 million supplies 20 percent. A new task force has been organized to convene with India’s Director General of Shipping Malini Shankar. Members have been drawn from the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI), the Maritime Union of India (MUI) and the Maritime Association of Shipowners and Agents
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4. Deadly Drillship Explosion
Petrobras on Friday reported an explosion on a drillship offshore Brazil that left one worker dead and three injured, according to Reuters. The blast occurred on the NL 32 vessel located in the Marlim Field in the northeast part of Campos Basin, about 110km off of Rio de Janeiro. Of the three injured people, two are in a serious condition. Petrobras, Brazil’s state oil firm, said that the drillship, operated by a division of Brazilian engineering, construction and chemicals conglomerate Odebrecht called Odebrecht Oleo e Gas, was in safe condition as the blast was not followed by fire.
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5. Large Ore Makes Sense
With an average age of 23.8 years, the fleet of very large ore carriers (VLOCs) converted from very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are vintage compared to similar ships. The average age for a non- converted ore carrier above 200,000 dwt is 5.7 years in comparison. However, there is little economic rationale to scrap them just yet. BIMCO’s chief shipping analyst Peter Sand commented: “There are few acute purely economic incentives to demolish VLOCs converted from VLCCs despite the comparable high age. Some of the reasons being: still running on time charter contracts and identical prices for demolition and secondhand sale.”
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6. Bulker Trawler Collision
Three men were killed on Sunday after the Panama-flagged bulk carrier Amber L collided with a fishing boat, near Cochin port in India. The fishing boat Carmel Matha had 14 on board at the time of the early morning accident. The bulk carrier and her 22 crew have been detained after being apprehended by the Indian Navy as they sailed away. The Greek captain has reportedly been charged with culpable homicide. The fishermen were rescued by a nearby boat and have been admitted to various hospitals in Kochi.
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7. Shame of Seafarer Treatment
June 25 is the annual Day of the Seafarer. This year’s theme is "Seafarers Matter." For 2017, the IMO particularly wants to engage ports and seafarer centers. The idea is that they showcase best practices in seafarer support and welfare. The case of the seafarers stranded on the Sharjah Moon is therefore timely. The U.K.-based charity Human Rights at Sea supported by the NGO Justice Upheld has just published a detailed investigative report on the Indian and Sri Lankan crew of the Sharjah Moon, some of whom have been denied payment of owed wages for in excess of 16 months and consequently, remain in the UAE.
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8. Giant Boxship European Bow
The largest containership to ever visit northern Europe arrived at the Port of Felixstowe earlier this week as part of its maiden voyage from China. The 20,568 TEU Madrid Maersk arrived in Felixstowe on Tuesday marking its first port call in North Europe as part of the 2M’s AE2 service from Asia to Europe. While at the port, crews were expected to unload over 6,000 TEU loaded in China and Malaysia for the UK. “The Port of Felixstowe is firmly established as the port of first-choice in the UK for the largest mega ships,” said Clemence Cheng, CEO of the Port of Felixstowe.
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9. Gas Boom Leads to Delays
A boom in natural gas exports from the U.S. Gulf Coast is raising the prospect of traffic jams at one of America’s busiest ports. Weather delays from fog and storms are nothing new at the Houston Ship Channel, which links the prolific oil and gas fields of Texas and Louisiana to the rest of the world. But as more cargoes of liquefied natural gas and petrochemicals head across the globe from newly built plants, the tanker bottlenecks are poised to get worse, according to Poten & Partners. The supply surge has created the need for more and bigger roads, pipelines and waterways, prompting a $5.3 billion expansion of the Panama Canal.
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10. Insurers Embracing Autonomous Ships
The technical developments within the maritime industry are moving forward at a steady pace. We have already seen unmanned drones play an important role not only militarily but also in civilian life. This development is also moving along within the maritime industry and we have already seen small unmanned vessels used in the offshore industry. The changes to the current maritime regulatory framework which this new type of vessels will bring has been discussed in different matters and it is clear that the wording of the existing framework easily can be adapted to include the operations of unmanned vessels.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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S Jones
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