Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/07/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/07/2017

1. Crew Finally Sent Home
All 16 of the former crew of the "Liberty Prrudencia" have been repatriated home to their families, and that their wages have been finally paid after the charities Human Rights at Sea, ISWAN and other organisations, including the ITF and the local Indian consulate were first alerted to their plight in February of this year. The Indian men working onboard the handy bulker were left stranded off Zhoushan, China since November last year. The ship is owned by Kolkata-based Liberty Marine Syndicate. Conditions onboard were described as dire and there were even allegations of assault by the master.
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2. New Cyber Measures
Maersk Line has introduced new cyber security protective measures following the Petya attack that disabled its IT systems worldwide at the end of June. Nearly four weeks after the container line’s systems were attacked by the Petya virus Maersk continues focus on full recovery of its customer service operations. The line has introduced new undisclosed security measures it said in an update to customers on Thursday. “In response to this new type of malware, we have put in place different and further protective measures. Due to confidentiality we cannot share details on these measures at this stage,” Maersk said.
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3. Polaris Suffers Explosion
An explosion occurred on Saturday in the engine room of the 250,000 dwt very large ore carrier (VLOC) "Stellar Young", the latest disaster to hit the extraordinarily accident prone Polaris Shipping in what has turned out to be the Korean carrier’s annus horribilis. The accident happened during routine maintenance while the ship was moored at Gwangyang in South Korea. Two Filipino crew were injured. Polaris, one of the world’s largest operators of VLOCs, has had a miserable year. On March 30, 22 crew perished when the Stellar Daisy sank in the South Atlantic off Uruguay. Calling the very safety of VLOCs into question.
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4. MSC Months of Repairs
The fire ravaged "MSC Daniela" has entered its third month of repairs in Shanghai, taking far longer to fix than spokespeople for the containerline had initially suggested it would need. The 13,800 teu boxship suffered a fire on April 4 this year in its aft section off Sri Lanka. The ship continued to smoulder for weeks after the blaze was extinguished. MSC suspects shippers misdeclaring hazardous cargoes was the most likely reason for the blaze. The ship was eventually able to make its own way to Shanghai, arriving on May 22, for what officials at the time said would be three weeks of repair work. 
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5. Crew Rescued from Raft
The crew of an Indian general cargo ship survived for 10 hours in a life raft in stormy seas in the Bay of Bengal after their ship sank yesterday. The Indian Coast Guard rescued the men yesterday afternoon in an air-sea coordinated operation about 400 km from Port Blair. The "ITT Panther", belonging to Kolkata’s ITT Shipping, had set out from Kolkata on July 15. The coast guard received a distress call early yesterday morning. The 32-year-old ship is understood to have tilted dramatically as its cargo shifted during heavy monsoon weather.
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6. Baltic on the Rise
The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Friday for the ninth straight session, on higher rates for capesize and smaller vessels. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 13 points, or 1.35 percent, at 977 points, touching its highest in more than two months. The capesize index climbed 61 points, or 5.58 percent, to 1,154 points. Capesize dry bulker earnings are finishing the week on a firm note with assessments lifting up to about $9,200/day on average worldwide, according to brokers.
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7. Tackling Terror at Sea
As fighting between terrorists and government forces in Mindanao continues, the Philippine government has rolled out countermeasures to prevent the escape of members of the ISIS-inspired Maute group via maritime routes. Manila has announced two major maritime security initiatives to prevent ISIS-inspired militants from fleeing to neighboring islands near the Malaysian and Indonesian borders. Making its first move, the Philippine government signed a maritime security agreement with Indonesia and Malaysia to hold joint trilateral naval patrols in the Philippine-Malaysia-Indonesia maritime border area. 
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8. Philippines Aims for Top
The 30th Session of the Assembly of the IMO is scheduled to convene from November 27 to December 6 this year. One of the many activities that will take place during the assembly is the election of the IMO Council members. The council is elected by the assembly for a two-year term beginning after each regular session of the assembly. There are 40 member-states that sit in the council divided into three categories. The Philippines has consistently been elected as council member and is pushing hard for re-election once more to represent its seafarer interests.
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9. Stranded Crew Sent Home
A group of nine seafarers from the Panama-flagged cargo ship Seccadi, who were left stranded on UK’s Mersey River for almost three weeks, have now returned home. The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency detained the ship on June 20 at a berth in the country’s Ellesmere Port, Liverpool, due to conditions on board.
While the ship was given a layby berth, the crew, which included Turkish, Indian and Azerbaijani nationals, remained locked in dispute with the vessel’s owner Voda Shipping of Turkey over pay and conditions, according to data provided by Liverpool Seafarers Centre (LSC).
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10. Modernising the Flag
The UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) is modernising the way the UK Ship Register operates, with a number of new initiatives, the UK Chamber of Shipping announced. At the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Maritime and Ports, attendees were informed that the MCA is considering increasing the fee structure for the UK Ship Register to above 2016 levels. The registry is working to improve the response time for enquiries to one working day, while for complex issues it will take three working days. Increasing ship registry fees would match the higher levels of service being offered, the MCA said. 
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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