Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/08/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/08/2017

1. Maersk In Double Trouble
Two Maersk-operated containerships in Brazil have been involved in serious incidents. In the worst instance, 2009-built "Mercosul Santos" collided with a tug pulling multiple barges in the Amazon River between the ports of Juruti and Obidios in the northern state of Para, while it was en route to Manaus Port.
Of 11 people on the tug, barges or ferry pontoons, two have been rescued while the other nine remain unaccounted for. In the other incident, a steam pipe burst in the galley of 2009-built "Mercosul Manaus" when it was undergoing maintenance work, a 64-year-old man suffered burns to 70% of his body.
2. India Sentences Somali Pirates
A Mumbai court yesterday sentenced 15 Somalis to seven years’ imprisonment for piracy acts carried out in the Indian-governed part of the Arabian Sea. The court also issued the pirates with a fine, which – if unpaid – will earn them an additional sentence. In four separate cases, as many as 120 pirates were arrested between January and March 2011 – two of whom died during the trial. The 15 were arrested in January 2011. They were found guilty of attacking the containership "CMA CGM Verdi". Having already been behind bars for the past six years, the convicts will likely serve one more year in jail and then be deported.
3. Aussie Cartel Conviction
The Australian Federal Court has convicted Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) of criminal cartel conduct and ordered it to pay a fine of AUD 25 million (around USD 20 million). However, without the NYK’s cooperation on the matter, the fine would have been even bigger, ACCC said.
As informed, this is the second-highest imposed in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) history. The judgment marks the first successful prosecution under the criminal cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA).
4. Spectacular Failing of Regulation
Iceberg Research, the organisation that triggered the downfall of Asian commodities giant Noble Group, has issued its first report in six months, lashing out at the “spectacular failure” of the regulatory environment in the Singapore stock exchange. Hong Kong-based Noble Group has seen its share price on the Singapore Exchange plunge 78% this year, following double-digit declines in 2016 and 2015 when Iceberg Research first surfaced with a clutch of damaging reports about the financial set up of what used to be Asia’s largest commodities trader. It has been claimed Noble fabricated profits by inflating the value of contracts.
5. Enclosed Space Casualties
The Standard P&I Club notes that investigation into enclosed space-related casualties reveal that most are caused by poor training and knowledge of the correct entry procedures, or a disregard for them. Therefore, the Club has published a comprehensive guide to address all key issues and  assist seafarers to enter enclosed spaces safely. The guide highlights shortfalls in individual company procedures in equipment, training and onboard practices. Analysis of incidents have helped the Club to address key factors that contribute to enclosed space incidents.

6. Non Payment Ship Banned
The Bahamas flagged bulk carrier "MV Rena" has been banned from Australian ports for six months after the ship repeatedly failed to pay outstanding wages and maintain a safe workplace.  On 30 June, AMSA was notified by ITF that the crew onboard the bulk carrier had not been paid for several months and upon inspection Maritime Authority issued the following serious deficiencies: Failure of the emergency generator to start; Failure of the life boat starting arrangements; Short comings in the safety management system (ISM); and Failure to pay crew the cash component of their wages which totalled about $53,000 US.
7. Shell Prepares for Low Oil Future
Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Buerden says that the firm has adopted a "’lower forever’ mindset” with a focus on controlling costs. His long-term strategy is to be "fit for the forties."  While oversupply is the driving force behind today’s low prices, Shell’s long-term concern actually has to do with weak demand. The UK, France, Germany, Norway, China and India are all moving to phase out internal combustion-engined vehicles, and Volvo has pledged to go all-electric by the end of the decade. With electric cars on the rise, van Buerden expects that the need for fossil fuels is going to plateau as early as the 2030s.
8. Union Tackles Foreign Labour
Union workers will rally in Newcastle, New South Wales on Wednesday afternoon, ramping up their opposition to metalworkers from overseas used in the Port of Newcastle. The rally is the second since four Singaporean nationals were found aboard the Helvetia, a cargo ship, while it was berthed in the city.
The union branded the use of the workers as “under-handed”. “Although first thought to be part of the transport ship’s crew, it appears the foreign workers were flown in from Singapore on special visas to help unload its cargo,” the Maritime Union of Australia said in a statement.
9. IMO Bravery Award Announced
The IMO has awarded the 2017 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea to two Houston ship pilots for their role in preventing a major disaster when the ship they were piloting broke down and burst into flames in the Houston Ship Channel. The Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea is the IMO’s highest honor for bravery at sea. The two pilots – Captains Michael McGee and Michael Phillips – are the first harbor pilots ever to be nominated and named recipients of the award. Remarkably, no lives were lost in the incident, and a major marine pollution incident was avoided through the pilots’ heroic efforts.

10. Providing Support for Grieving Crew
Seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) responded to the spiritual and faith needs of the crew of container ship "CMA CGM Africa Four" when it called at Tilbury port recently. The crew of the 51,634 deadweight-tonne CMA CGM-operated vessel contacted the Tilbury seafarers to request a Mass be held on board and for the ship to be blessed. The crew were anxious and were desperate for a service to be held after a port worker in a small boat had got caught by the propeller and was pulled underwater when the vessel was in Africa.

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


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