Top Ten Maritime News Stories 06/07/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 06/07/2017
1. Captive Seafarers Beheaded
Philippine armed forces discovered the beheaded bodies this morning of two Vietnamese seafarers abducted by Muslim terror group Abu Sayyaf last November. The two were among six sailors kidnapped from the tug Royal 16 off Sibago Island, Basilan on November 11, 2016. Last month, one of the sailors, Hoang Vo, 28, managed to escape and was retrieved by government troops. Abu Sayyaf militants are holding a total of 22 hostages at present.

2. New Cyber Guidelines Issued
‘Ignorance is no longer an option,’ BIMCO warns as cyber security guidelines are updated. The second edition of The Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships has been released, a timely publication in the wake of last week’s Petya attack which hit Maersk hard. The second edition includes information on insurance, and how to effectively segregate networks, as well as new practical advice on the ship to shore interface, and cyber security during port calls. 
3. Tide of Med Migrants Rises
More than 10,000 asylum seekers were rescued from the Mediterranean in just three days this week, with hundreds more crossing into Greece from Turkey. The 400 Turkish border crossings suggest that a deal struck between Brussels and Ankara – for migrants to be turned around before reaching the EU – is breaking down. The figures also raise the spectre of the chaos witnessed in 2015 when the number of migrants seeking asylum was at its highest in 25 years.
4. Seafarers to Punish Owners
Seafarers abandoned by their companies must take their employers to court, the chief of UAE’s Federal Transport Authority (FTA) for Land and Maritime said. The director-general of FTA responding in the wake of reports about nearly 100 Indian sailors and others stranded on 22 ships in UAE waters said abandoned crews have to work with their diplomatic missions to file complaints against the ship-owners.
5. New Canal Beckons Again
The concessionary company of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Canal, the Chinese firm HKND Group, informed that it is working “with international partners” to move ahead with designs for the western locks and Brito port, in the Nicaraguan Pacific. In a public statement, HKND Group explained that they are finalizing design plans for building Brito port, on Nicaragua’s southern Pacific coast.
6. Singapore to Embrace Insurance
A leader of the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), an organisation composed of the country’s shipowners and members of allied industries, said the group will focus efforts on improving the field of marine insurance to better protect its members and further Singapore’s status as a global maritime hub. Newly re-elected SSA chairman Esbern Poulsson said that marine insurance is one of the foremost areas for growth available for the Singaporean shipping industry.
7. Happy Birthday Seafarers UK
A charity set up during the First World War to assist families of seafarers lost or injured at sea marks its Centenary this week. King George V gave his name to what was originally known simply as the Sailors’ Fund, reflecting public sentiment for those who were fighting and dying in the struggle for the seas. King George’s Fund for Sailors (now Seafarers UK) has provided welfare services for seafarers ever since.
8. Newbuilds Ramping Up
Newbuilding ordering activity has kept up pace over the course of these past few weeks, just as ship owners have taken a step back from the S&P market, especially the one for dry bulk carriers. Shipbrokers note that “with a lot of interest seemingly centered around the ability to secure any discounted slots for older vessel designs. With the main driver being the pricing aspect, it is difficult to see how this positive trend in buying interest could continue. 
9. Piracy Hard to Stop
Stopping piracy has always been difficult, expensive and time consuming. However, the pirates of the 21st century have proven to be even more resilient, but after a robust response from the international community the piracy menace was brought under control. Despite an anti-piracy onslaught led by the US and the EU that included naval patrols and criminal prosecution, the international community has been unable to deter young Somali men from taking ships.
10. European Port Awards
The ESPO secretariat has received 13 submissions for the 9th edition of the ESPO Award. Focusing on “Art and Cultural involvement of the port”, the ESPO Award 2017 will go to the port that succeeds best in societal integration of the port with the city or wider community in which they are located, through involvement in art or culture. The jury will assess the level of engagement of the port, the innovative character and will look into the impact of this involvement. 

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


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S Jones
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