Top Ten Maritime News Stories 25/07/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 25/07/2017

1. VLCC Sale Success
Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) has sold a 15-year-old Japanese built VLCC to Thailand’s Nathalin Group. No price has been revealed for the 300,838 dwt Tsurusaki. NYK has been gradually offloading older tanker tonnage of late. For Nathalin, the 2002-built ship is actually its youngest VLCC in its fleet. Nathalin, one of Thailand’s largest independent tanker owners, has a diverse fleet including six VLCCs, all much older than the Tsurusaki. Founded in 1987, Nathalin’s fleet today now comprises 23 ships.

2. Enter Stage Far Right
A ship chartered by far-right activists to confront refugees and send them "back to Africa" has reportedly entered Mediterranean waters after being detained in the Suez Canal. The ship, operated by Defend Europe, set sail from the east African nation of Djibouti where it was chartered earlier in the month in a bid to block search-and-rescue vessels operated by humanitarian organisations. Defend Europe is linked to the European anti-Islam and anti-immigrant "identitarian" movement and the vessel, named "C-Star", was predominantly funded with donations on a crowdfunding website.
3. Bullish Box Exports
Container exports from North Europe to North America increased 5.7%, year-on-year, in the first five months of the year, but Drewry is “sceptical” that this growth can be maintained for the full year. Data from PIERS and Container Trade Statistics (CTS) shows US imports from Europe up 4.9% in the period to 890,000 teu, while Canadian imports flatlined at some 260,000 teu, with volumes to Mexico surged by 20% to about 180,000 teu. In the past year, UK exports to the US have been boosted by the “Brexit effect” of sterling falling to a 30-year-low again the dollar, noted Drewry.
4. Seafarers Sue Owner
Six Myanmar and two Bangladeshi seafarers have sued the owner of a Bahrain-flagged vessel in China for failing to pay their wages and compensation for the death of a sailor. One of the crew, Ko Ye Lin Tun, said of his 16 months on the ship, “I went there to work. I didn’t receive my wages although I worked. We had no connections there. Later, we had trouble getting food to eat. We also faced bad weather and we felt like prisoners. We were hurt, physically and mentally.” He said he went aboard the "Bramco 1" when it was docked at a shipyard in Guangzhou, China, in 2015 to work for the Zenith Future marine company. 
5. Breathalysers for Seafarers
Malta is to start issuing disposable breathalysers will now be distributed to seafarers in a bid to reduce excessive drinking while at sea, where the alcohol limit is similar to that on the road. Speaking at a press conference this morning, a Transport Malta representative said the drink awareness campaign, which kicked off at public places on land two years ago, was now being taken to sea. According to figures provided by Transport Malta, there were 270 inspections at sea between May and mid-July. Of these, 119 were handed a fine, 85 received a warning and 66 were found to be in order.
6. Latest Wellness at Sea App
The latest version of the Sailors’ Society’s Wellness at Sea app hopes to further combat high rates of cardiovascular conditions and mental health disorders among seafarers. The enhancements to the free app, now gives users a range of healthy living tips, recipes and exercises to help monitor and maintain their physical and mental health at home, in port and at sea. The new elements of the app have come at the perfect time as annual statistics show cardiovascular conditions, obesity, diabetes and depression among the top 10 most common reasons for seafarers failing their medicals.
7. Sad Tale of Suicide Skipper
A captain killed himself onboard a ship one week into a journey from New York City to Tilbury, an inquest heard. Zenon Trojanowski, 59, from Poland, was made captain of the Santa Bettina in May this year. He was discovered dead by a crew member seven days into the container ship’s journey. It was halfway between America and the UK at the time. Coroner’s officer, Jemma Cook, told Chelmsford Coroner’s Court: “He was placed in the provision store along with the ligature. No note was found at the scene. In the aftermath of the incident, the crew on board Santa Bettina were left distraught and traumatised. 

8. Piracy Deal with Oil Industry
Anti-piracy body ReCAAP has signed an MoU with the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF). The MoU builds on existing cooperation between government-to-government centre ReCAAP and industry body OCIMF where both were part of a working group that produced “The regional guide to counter piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia” published in February 2016. Under the MoU signed in London the two bodies aim to “promote the partnership between governmental organisations and the shipping industry for the betterment of maritime safety by sharing information, best practices and expertise”.

9. Crew Heading Back Home
More than half of the nearly 100 Indian sailors stranded on ships in the UAE’s waters for several months have returned home, the Indian consulate general has said. As of 1 July, a total of 97 Indian sailors were languishing aboard 22 ships in the UAE’s waters for several months. Indian consul general in Dubai Vipul on Sunday said that 53 of them had been sent back home so far. “With the help of the FTA (the UAE’s federal transport authority) and by taking up issues directly with owners and agents, we have sent back 53 sailors,” he was quoted as saying by the Gulf News.

10. Struggling to get Finance
Dutch shipowner Vroon is finding talks with banks tough as it tries to navigate out of a long slump in the shipping industry. But it is not an easy time for the lenders either. Vroon, a 127-year-old family-owned group which operates about 200 vessels and transports livestock, oil and other commodities, wants to extend its credit lines and adjust repayment schedules. But European banks that lent heavily to the sector when it boomed more than a decade ago have a heavy toxic debt burden following the 2008-09 global financial crisis and a shipping markets crash in 2010. Shipping firms and banks are caught in a vicious circle of debt.

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


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