Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/07/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/07/2017

1. Tanker and Bulker Collide
A tanker and bulk carrier collided about 15 miles north east of Dover in the English Channel around 2:15am on Saturday. No casualties have been reported, and no pollution. The incident occurred in the south west channel of the busy main shipping lane between the 48,580 ton, 183-meter (600-foot) crude oil tanker, the Seafrontier, registered in Hong Kong, and the Huayang Endeavour, a 75,000 ton 225-meter (740-foot) bulk carrier also registered in Hong Kong. Both vessels suffered damage in the collision, with the Seafrontier having a hole above the water line and damage to the superstructure.
2. 100 Crew Stranded
About 100 Indian sailors aboard 22 ships have been stranded in UAE waters and have sought the assistance of the Indian Consulate General in Dubai, according to a media report. The Indian Consul General of Dubai, Vipul, said that the number of distress calls from Indian sailors stranded in UAE waters had hit its peak this summer. “We are currently dealing with cases of 22 ships. There are 97 Indians aboard these vessels,” the diplomat said. The mission also noted that sailors from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Myanmar and Pakistan are also present in these vessels, although their exact numbers are not known to the Indian consulate.

3. Suicide Biggest Cause of Death
In a startling announcement, it has been revealed that suicide is now the biggest cause of death at sea. How can we support our seafarers before it’s too late? Suicide rates among seafarers have more than tripled since 2014 and are now the most common cause of death at sea, according to figures from the UK P&I Club. Crew deaths attributed to suicide have increased from 4.4 percent in 2014-2015 to 15.3 percent in 2015-2016. Between 2001 and 2005, merchant seafarers scored the second highest level of suicides amongst all professions. Today, the rate of suicide for international seafarers is triple that of shore workers.
4. Selling Port Stake On
CMA CGM has signed a deal with EQT Infrastructure and its partner P5 Infrastructure to sell a 90% stake in the Global Gateway South (GGS) terminal at Los Angeles to EQT Infrastructure for $875m. CMA CGM acquired the terminal in December 2015 as part of a $2.4bn takeover deal of Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines (NOL). CMA CGM will remain a minority shareholder holding 10% of the terminal and it entered into a long-term industrial partnership and utilization agreement with EQT Infrastructure and P5, allowing the company to remain a major user of the terminal with preferential conditions.
5. BIMCO Security Chief
BIMCO has appointed Philip Tinsley as its new Head of Maritime Security.  Tinsley joined the association in 2015 and assumes his new position after the sad and untimely death of his colleague, Giles Noakes, earlier this year. Tinsley joined the association in 2015 and assumes his new position after the sad and untimely death of his colleague, Giles Noakes, earlier this year. Before joining BIMCO, Tinsley spent 31 years with the Royal Marine Commandos – an elite specialist unit of the British Royal Navy, where he reached the rank of Major. Tinsley will lead BIMCO’s work on maritime security, assisting BIMCO members.

6. Industry Rallies for Cyber Fight
As the Maersk Group gets back to more normal working procedures in the wake of Tuesday’s giant cyber attack, a host of the world’s top shipping bodies have warned that the industry must be more on its guard as further sophisticated attacks are expected to proliferate. “This week’s cyber attack is a wakeup call for the shipping industry and provides a graphic example of the potential impact of such attacks,” Esben Poulsson, chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), told Splash. ICS was an active participant in a cross-industry guidance, published in 2015, and which is soon to be updated.
7. Japanese Alliance Green Light
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line), Mitsui O.S.K. (MOL) and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) have formally established a joint holding company for their container business alliance. The new company, named Ocean Network Express, includes terminal operation businesses outside Japan. The three companies have received all the necessary approvals with local competition laws, except for South Africa. In South Africa, the new company expects to complete the approval process for compliance by April 1, 2018. The new company will have offices in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, United States, and Brazil.
8. New Inspection Regime
Following recent casualties involving bulk carriers, a series of new inspection requirements have been imposed in Brazilian ports for certain ships that are 18 years or older. Brazilian flagged bulk carriers that have been converted from oil tankers, carrying cargo with a density equal to or greater than 1.78 t/m3, such as iron ore, require inspections from Flag State Control before the commencement of loading. Non-Brazilian flagged ships that fall within the above parameters will need to be inspected by Port State Control prior to the commencement of loading.​

9. Gulf of Guinea Woes
Continued piracy, armed robbery attacks and kidnapping for ransom events in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), and particularly off Nigeria, are still worrying European shipowners. According to the latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy report in total 33 vessels were boarded and four fired upon in the first three months of 2017 worldwide. During the same period, of the 27 seafarers kidnapped for ransom, 63% were in the Gulf of Guinea, European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) informed. In its Global Maritime Security Conclusions, the Environment Council recognised the problematic situation in the GoG.
10. Need for IT Officers
Shipping companies should be training IT specialised officers as ships become more technically advanced. Shipowners and operators need to have specialised information technology experts on board vessels as ships become more technically advanced and connected. There is a need for electro-technical officers, who would be responsible for an increasing number of IT-related tasks on ships. It would become an acknowledged full-time job instead of one that is currently forced on the existing officers. The IT challenges that crew are facing are increasing as fleets are connected to the internet through VSAT.

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


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S Jones
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