Top Ten Maritime News Stories 29/08/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 29/08/2017

1. Mist from Ship Theory
Like the tendrils of mist in a Stephen King novel, a miasma seemingly out of nowhere coated the south coast close to Beachy Head on Sunday. More than 100 trippers reported nausea, sore throats or stinging eyes and sought hospital treatment. A noxious chemical haze was blamed, but what was it and where did it come from? The finger of suspicion have been pointed at a passing ship, but police and coastguards seem no closer to identifying the culprit who ruined a beautiful late summer afternoon for scores of families.
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2. Spectacular Ship Break
Eleven sailors have been rescued from a spectacular shipwreck of a dry cargo vessel in the Black Sea off Turkey’s northwest coast. The Mongolian flag-carrying Leonardo, 114 meters long, started buckling and broke in two while at anchor off Istanbul’s Kilyos coast. Half of the ship was beached by tugboats, while the remainder is in the water gradually sinking. Turkish media reports said the ship, constructed in 1975, was going to Istanbul’s Tuzla dockyard for repairs.
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3. Harvey Hinders Cruise Passengers
Four Galveston-bound cruise ships with a combined 20,000 passengers on board are forced to remain in the Gulf of Mexico as they await Harvey’s passage, according to port officials. The ships likely won’t be able to make their next attempt to enter the port, which is completely closed to ship traffic, until Tuesday, according to Roger R. Quiroga with the port authority. Three of the ships involved are Carnival cruise ships, the fourth is a Royal Caribbean.
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4. Greek Shipowners Make Threats
Expect delegations from maritime clusters from around the world to descend upon Athens in ever greater numbers on news that Greek shipowners have increasingly itchy feet. A study by Ernst & Young shows that 56% of Greek owners would consider relocating their administrative bases abroad. The study titled ‘Repositioning Greece as a Global Maritime Capital’ warns, not for the first time, that unless regulations change Greek owners will relocate. “If the local shipping sector’s legal framework becomes noncompetitive, or far more attractive offers are made by other countries, then a major exodus…is possible."
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5. New Blockchain Gang Forms
Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has announced it has will participate in a Japanese consortium to developing a trade data sharing platform using blockchain technology. The consortium is comprised of 14 trade-related companies such as banking, insurance, total logistics providers and export/import companies.
MOL believes that current trading practices rely heavily on bills of lading and other documents, which creates burdens such as additional time to complete procedures and requires additional labour and costs. The program aims to increase convenience for customers by using blockchain technology.
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6. Crew in Deplorable Conditions
Fifteen Filipino crew members aboard a cargo vessel owned by a Taiwan national have been rescued after almost nine months of confinement in deplorable conditions. The 15 set foot outside the vessel, which has been detained at the Mombasa port by the Kenya Maritime Authority, for the first time on Thursday.
The vessel was seized on December 9, 2016 as it does not meet standards for going to sea. The crew members had been told by the vessel owner, through a manning agent, that the ship would head to Malaysia from Kenya.
goo.gl/pkc6B4
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7. First Unaided Ice Passage
For the first time in history, a ship was able to traverse the Northern Sea Route through the Arctic without the help of an accompanying icebreaker thanks to new tanker technology—and climate change. The New York Times reports the Christophe de Margerie, carrying liquefied natural gas from Norway to South Korea, traversed the Northern Sea Route in a record 6.5 days—part of a 19-day trip from Europe to Asia that would have normally taken 30% longer going through the Suez Canal. The Christophe de Margerie was built with a reinforced steel hull that allows it to get through ice up to 4-feet thick. 
goo.gl/DUts4k
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8. Law of Tech Advance
While it may seem that the biggest hurdle to be conquered in this new reality is technology, it simply isn’t the case. Relatively speaking, the tech is the easy part. The excitement these landmark projects are sparking is tempered by the need for new shipping rules and regulations that must be put in place before any crewless cargo ship does more than a test run in the name of research. Sorting through the maze of laws, treaties, and conventions that make up global maritime law would drive Neptune to stab himself with his triton. 
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9. Rickmers RIP
The winding-up of Singapore-listed Rickmers Maritime Trust has been completed. The spin off of now insolvent German shipowner Rickmers Group ran into trouble last year when bondholders rejected a proposed financial restructuring on which the trust’s refinancing was dependent. In a statement to the Singapore Exchange Rickmers Trust Management said the final distribution to unsecured creditors, equivalent to 12.1% recovery, had been made. “The winding up of the trust has been completed and consequently, the units of the trust and the notes shall cease to exist,” Rickmers Trust Management said. 
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10. Rejigging 2M Alliance
The members of the 2M Alliance, MSC and Maersk Line, will be launching two new services to South America at the end of September. The move follows EU demands concerning Maersk’s takeover of the Hamburg Süd. Specifically, following the takeover, the EU demanded that Hamburg Süd ends its vessel sharing agreement with MSC on South American and other routes. Consequently, on 27 September, MSC and Hapag-Lloyd will launch a new service to South America with a fleet of nine vessels. A day later, Maersk and Hamburg Süd will launch a service operated by eight vessels, each with a capacity of 10,500 TEU.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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