Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/08/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/08/2017

1. Hurricane Season Beckons
NOAA has issued an update for its 2017 hurricane season outlook, predicting an above-normal season. The season has the potential to be extremely active and could be the most active since 2010, says NOAA. An average Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. In the first nine weeks of this season, there have been six named storms which is double the number of storms that would typically form by early August. 

2. Vale Sells VLOCs
Brazilian miner Vale has sold two 400,000 dwt very large ore carriers (VLOCs) to nominees of China’s Bank of Communications Finance Leasing for a total of around $178m. Vale is also negotiating the sale of its remaining two VLOCs in line with its strategy of strengthening its balance sheet and focusing on core assets.
Vale has been selling off its VLOC fleet to raise cash, while also bolstering ties with Chinese shipping companies after the lifting of the VLOC ban implemented by Chinese authorities. Last year, Vale signed COA agreements with Cosco and China Merchants and sold three VLOCs to a group of buyers led by China’s ICBC.
3. Cruise Lights Out
An Australian journalist has reported that passengers on a round-the-world cruise this year had to spend 10 nights with the ship darkened.  Curtains were drawn, and there weren’t any evening festivities on deck on the "Sea Princess" as she travelled through the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal. Carolyne Jasinski said there were rumors about a terror attack, but the master Captain Gennaro Arma told the 1,900 passengers that the measures were the result of piracy concerns. Bright lights were dimmed or turned off. “She was a ghost ship,” wrote Jasinski.

4. Rescue Vessel Denied Entry
A migrant rescue vessel denied entry into both Italian and Maltese territory remains stranded in international waters after rerouting towards Sicily. The "Golfo Azzurro" was intercepted by an Italian coast guard ship as it approached the Sicilian port town of Pozzallo, having spent more than 24 hours circling just outside Malta’s territorial waters. Ship tracking services showed the vessel heading west of Sicily at around 5.35pm, only for it turn and face east around 40 minutes later, with an Italian coast guard vessel keeping watch close by.
5. Mystery of Livestock Deaths
The Jerusalem Post carried an article on August 6 indicating that there was a crisis on board a live export ship bound for Israel and that many animals were dying. The "Brahman Express", on its way from Portugal to Israel carrying thousands of sheep and cattle, had reportedly issued a distress call with a request for veterinarians, as there appeared to be an epidemic of an unspecified nature on board. The vessel arrived in port after about 12 days at sea and has offloaded its cargo. As to how many diseased or dead animals were thrown overboard, the ship typically takes 36-48 hours to offload, and it took 12 hours yesterday. 

6. LNG Lawsuit Launched
Even though Petronas last month cancelled its planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in British Columbia, groups opposed to the idea are persisting with a lawsuit against it, according to Reuters. Malaysia’s state oil firm Petronas had wanted to build a $28bn facility at Lelu Island in northern BC and held a 62% stake in the project consortium. But it decided to scrap the plan because of market conditions. Environmental and aboriginal groups opposed to the idea celebrated that news. However, on Wednesday they said they are not going to withdraw their legal action aiming to scrap the environmental permit.

7. US Gas Export Boom
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook projects that the U.S. will export more natural gas than it imports in 2017.  The U.S. has been a net exporter for three of the past four months and is expected to continue to export more natural gas than it imports for the rest of 2017 and throughout 2018. The trend is expected to continue past 2018 because of growing U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico, declining pipeline imports from Canada and increasing exports of LNG. The U.S. is currently the world’s largest natural gas producer, having surpassed Russia in 2009. 

8. Paris Canal Project
A project to build a canal to link Paris with major harbours of northern Europe will depend on lining up the necessary funds, the French government said on Wednesday, without saying if it believed the finance could be found. France has long planned to build the waterway dubbed the Seine-Nord canal to allow large barges to sail from Paris to the harbours of Antwerp and Rotterdam, reducing truck traffic on its motorways. The project has been studied for more than a decade and funding options for the 4.5 billion euro ($5.3 billion) programme have been discussed with regional governments and the European Union.
9. Standard Approach to Reporting
The Standard Club is working with the Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP) to promote safety at sea and accident prevention. CHIRP receives reports of hazardous incidents which they investigate with the ship’s owner. The case studies and lessons learnt are published in their quarterly bulletin Maritime Feedback in both written and video form. These videos provide excellent material for discussion during a ship’s safety committee meeting. These safety bulletins rely on reports to be submitted from all sectors of the maritime industry. Reports can be submitted at

10. Mayday Call Mayhem
On Sunday, the operator of a small boat called Coast Guard Sector San Diego to report battery trouble and request assistance. The boat was located about off San Diego, in international waters. The small cutter "Sea Otter" diverted to assist, and she sent a boarding team over to the boat to check out the problem. But rather than helping out with a dead battery, they ended up making a discovery and an arrest: 1,200 pounds of marijuana were allegedly stowed belowdecks. Two people on board were detained and handed over to police for potential prosecution. 

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


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