Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/09/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/09/2017

1. Building on Brexit
New construction techniques could apparently help to re-launch the British shipbuilding industry, even enabling it to compete with Far East superyards. The Government will unveil its shipbuilding strategy this week. Ben Murray, manager of the trade body Maritime UK, expects it to say that the future lies in digital engineering and modular construction techniques whereby parts of the ship are built by different yards before being brought together for assembly. The dream is that British building will be so good that even cost will not be a barrier as owners flock to have British built vessels…
2. Florida Ravaged by Irma
Parts of the city of Miami are under water as Hurricane Irma heads for mainland Florida, triggering storm surges across the south of the state. Irma was downgraded to a category three storm, but made landfall on Marco Island off Florida’s west coast with winds of up to 120mph (192km/h). About 2ft (60cm) of water has been seen in Miami’s financial district, where one major street resembled a river. Earlier Irma struck the Florida Keys. More than 1m homes are without power. Some 6.3 million people in Florida were told to evacuate, with warnings of a "life-threatening" storm surge.
3. London Shipping Week Kicks Off
The biggest promotional UK shipping event in recent history, London International Shipping Week, will be officially launched by Shipping Minister John Hayes on 11 September. In statement, the UK Department for Transport noted that: ‘The world-famous London International Shipping Week (LISW) will be attended by delegates from at least 50 countries including more than 15 foreign ministers from the likes of Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Ghana.  ‘The week also will feature more than 150 industry functions with an estimated 15,000 industry leaders from around the world expected to attend.
4. Rich Owners Neglect Crew
Superyacht crews are being exploited by unscrupulous owners as the global fleet nears 4,500 and safety breaches and abuse cases escape investigation, according to a U.K.-based union Nautilus. Lack of regulation and use of so-called flags of convenience mean some staff work long hours in brutal conditions, Nautilus International will tell delegates at next week’s Trade Union Congress according to a draft document ahead of the meeting. The group wants unions to support a campaign to enforce the Maritime Labour Convention, which sets standards for working and living conditions.

5. Cruise Ships Could Steer Clear
Despite hopes of a bright future, there are concerns that cruise ships could boycott Brexit Britain if tough new immigration rules are slapped on passengers, an industry chief warned. A delegation of shipping bosses will press Theresa May to ease fears of “strait- jacket” restrictions on migration as the UK quits the EU.
Industry tycoons, including foreign-based billionaires, will highlight the potential impact on the sector of leaving the bloc. Maritime UK boss David Dingle raised fears of miles of queues at Channel ports, delays for cruise passengers and a damaging hit to the economy unless protections are secured for British shipping.
6. Ballast Water Changes Arrive
A key international measure for environmental protection that aims to stop the spread of potentially invasive aquatic species in ships’ ballast water has entered into force. Congratulating the IMO, Global Environment Facility (GEF) CEO and Chairperson, Naoko Ishii, said, “The entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM) was facilitated by the GloBallast programme, a long-term productive partnership between GEF, IMO, UNDP and a suite of partners.  Implementation of the Convention will be instrumental in battling invasive aquatic species, and will lead to healthier marine ecosystems. 

7. Ship Stacks Attract Lightning
A new study mapping lightning around the globe finds lightning strokes occur nearly twice as often directly above heavily-trafficked shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea than they do in areas of the ocean adjacent to shipping lanes that have similar climates. The difference in lightning activity can’t be explained by changes in the weather, according to the University of Washington study. The researchers conclude that aerosol particles emitted in ship exhaust are changing how storm clouds form over the ocean. Water vapor condenses around aerosols in the atmosphere, creating droplets that make up clouds. 
8. Skuld Sees Tough Times
Marine insurer Skuld has revealed a half year bottom line result of £6 million ($8 million), down from £21 million ($29 million) in the same period last year. A “small number of substantial claims” marked the six-month period ending August 20, Skuld said in a release today. However, it added that the cost of those claims had been partly offset by the positive contribution from commercial operations which it said continues to produce a surplus. The technical result at the half year point shows a negative outcome of £17 million ($22 million) and an overall combined ratio of 111%. 

9. New Piracy Corridor Opens
The anti-piracy coalition, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), is establishing a maritime security transit corridor (MSTC) for transits through the Gulf of Aden, Bab Al Mandeb (BaM), Southern Red Sea, and associated waters. This is in response to recent attacks on merchant shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Bab Al Mandeb, which have highlighted the risks of transiting these waters, the organisation said.  The multiple types of risks and the broad expanse of ocean on which these attacks can occur dictate that Naval Forces must be used in the most efficient manner possible.
10. Prince of Wales Carrier Named
The Duchess of Cornwall, watched by her husband, has named the Royal Navy’s second new aircraft carrier "HMS Prince of Wales". Work on the huge £3 billion vessel was halted for the old naval tradition which combines a celebration with a solemn blessing. The duchess, the ship’s sponsor, smashed a bottle of whisky against the ship in the ceremony at Rosyth Dockyard, Fife.

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


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