Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/06/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/06/2017

1. Blame Levelled at Fitzgerald
The Philippine master of the NYK-chartered "ACX Crystal", which struck the starboard side of the US Navy destroyer "USS Fitzgerald" earlier this month, has claimed that the warship did not respond to warning signals or take evasive action. The captain, Ronald Advincula, filed his report to Japanese shipowner Dainichi Investment Corporation, which newswire Reuters was able to view. The collision in Japanese waters resulted in the deaths of seven American navy personnel and badly damaged the warship. Advincula reported that his ship had signalled with flashing lights after the Fitzgerald “suddenly” steamed across its path.

2. Shocking Lack of Connectivity
Barely six percent of seafarers have sufficient internet connectivity for video calls when at sea, despite often being away from their families for months, based on a Nautilus survey of nearly 2,000 seafarers and shipping industry leaders. With the United Nations recently suggesting that access to the internet should be a basic right, rather than a luxury the findings found despite nearly 88% of seafarers having some form of internet access at sea, most have very limited speeds and at high costs. Only 57% of crew have personal email access and just one third have social media access at sea (34%).
3. Scrapping Comes Earlier
The average lifetime of ships is set to get younger, voters in an ongoing poll carried on this site overwhelmingly believe. With still six weeks to go in our latest quarterly MarPoll survey, currently 88% of respondents believe ships will be scrapped at an earlier average age. “Technological developments in high capital cost components will shorten the lifecycle to 15 years, the time of the third special survey,” one voter commented. “Due to oversupply of vessels, older – and obsolescent – vessels are getting scrapped,” another reader maintained.
4. Happy First Birthday
The expanded Panama Canal celebrates its first year of operations “which exceeded by 25% all our expectations,” Panama Canal Authority Administrator Jorge Quijano told Seatrade Maritime News. Since the inauguration of the third set of locks, 26 June 2016 with the transit of the 9,400 teu Cosco Shipping Panama, some 1,535 neo-panamax vessels, to date,have transited through the new locks. “Our forecast did not include the mix of cargo we have seen in the expanded Canal during this first year of operations,” he says.
5. Powering Up Ships Alongside
South Korea’s main ports are introducing alternative maritime power (AMP) for ships at berth. The systems will be installed at Busan, Ulsan, Gwangyang and Incheon. “Green port policies are becoming important in port authorities around the world,” an Incheon Port Authority official told local media, adding: “It is also one of the core elements to strengthen our port authorities’ global competitiveness.” The world’s first AMP system was introduced in Los Angeles 13 years ago.

6. VLCC Newbuilds Ramp Up
Newbuild contracting activity for VLCCs has risen to the highest level since 2008, prompting Bimco to warn of a potential “fundamental imbalance” that would take “years to overcome.” For the first half of 2017, a total of 11.8m dwt tankers was ordered, with VLCC accounting for 71% of the total tonnage, representing around 8.5m dwt of 27 ships. As all 27 VLCCs were ordered between January and May this year, it was the highest level of VLCC orders for the first five months since 2008, according to Bimco. Furthermore, 2.2m dwt of suezmaxes and 1.1m dwt of aframaxes have been ordered.
7. Long Range Rescue
The UK Coastguard have coordinated a long range rescue after an oil tanker sank 240 miles off the coast of Yemen in the early morning hours on June 26. The coastguard received reports of a mayday distress call issued by the oil tanker, which is registered under a Panamanian flag, reporting that it was sinking. The tanker, believed to have been carrying crude oil, is 99 meters long and had a crew of 14. Commercial vessels nearby made their way to the tanker and recovered 12 of the 14 crew, who were wearing life jackets and immersion suits, from the water.
8. Suspicious Somali Explosion
An explosion has been heard off the coast of Somalia which observers say could have come from a foreign naval vessel. Flames and smoke were also seen off Somalia’s Puntland coast around sunset on Monday. The ship is believed to have been a naval vessel, as two foreign navy ships  helped rescue the crew. The cause of the blast is unknown as is the state of damage on the vessel, which may have sunk. The region, near Alula in Puntland, is frequently patrolled by the European Union Naval forces to disrupt piracy and protect vulnerable shipping, including World Food Program vessels.
9. Firefighters Rush to Vessel
Dutch SAR forces recently boarded the cargo vessel "Anna" to help fight a fire in her engine room. Anna reported a serious fire at a position 15 nm off Hoek van Holland and pilot boats equipped with firefighting monitors were dispatched to the scene, and the Dutch Coast Guard launched a SAR patrol aircraft to provide visual monitoring. The Coast Guard also activated a dedicated marine firefighting team.  In addition to the fire, the Anna reported that two crewmembers were injured, and a SAR helicopter was dispatched to provide assistance.
10. New Maritime Careers Portal
Launching during Seafarers Awareness Week, the new resource is targeted toward influencers – including teachers, parents, guardians and career advisors – of children and students as they consider their future career options. It is also designed to help those already in maritime interested in learning about new opportunities across the UK’s broad and diverse maritime sector. The Maritime UK careers tool is delivered in direct response to the UK government’s maritime growth study, which set out recommendations to ensure the UK remains a competitive global maritime centre.

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


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