Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/09/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/09/2017

1. Serial Offender In Trouble
A serial crew abandonment offender is on the ropes once again. The majority of the gas carrier fleet of the Yudhishthir Khatau-led Varun Shipping is under arrest in Indian and UAE waters with the ships likely to be sold off soon. The LPG tanker Maharshi Vamadeva has been off Fujairah port in the United Arab Emirates since June over Varun’s failure to pay Drydocks World for repair work. That ship arrest spooked Varun’s creditors who together with Varun’s third party manager, Fleet Management, took the decision to move seven of Varun’s other LPG carriers into Indian waters over fears these ships might be arrested.
2. Ironic Speeding Fine
The Canadian government has issued a $6,000 speeding ticket to a Canadian Coast Guard ship for travelling over the posted speed limit in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence. Since August 11, 2017, Transport Canada has been imposing a 10-knot speed limit for larger vessels operating in designated areas of the Gulf of St. Lawrence due to the increased presence of right whales in the area. The speed restriction applies to ALL vessels of 20 meters or greater travelling in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence, between the Quebec north shore and just north of Prince Edward Island.
3. Investing in Breaking
The government of Japan is investing in environmental upgrades for India’s Alang shipbreaking yards, which are the busiest place in the world for the dismantling of obsolete vessels. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has agreed to give a soft loan to the Indian state of Gujarat $76 million to fund a range of improvements. India’s Ministry of Shipping and the government of Gujarat will provide an additional $35 million. The Gujarat Maritime Board said the project will help the Alang yards to comply with international regulations and to safeguard the marine and coastal environment. 

4. Leaving the Market
The Naples-based Fratelli D’Amato shipping group is en route to exit the liquid bulk market as a consequence of the restructuring plan under negotiation with the Italian banks Unicredit and MPS among others. This week several broker sources report that the Luigi d’Amato chaired company is selling its last tanker, the 2002-built FD Sea Wish for some $7.5m to Greek buyers. Final negotiations are still ongoing but the buyer will be the Piraeus-based International Marine Services linked to the Greek owner George Gialozoglou. 
5. Killer Crane Collapse
A crane collapsed in a workshop at Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding, an affiliate yard of Yangzijiang Shipbuiling, yesterday leading to the death of a crane operator. The workers at the workshop called emergency services right after the incident occurred however the crane operator had already died by the time the ambulance arrived. It is the second fatal incident at New Yangzi Shipbuilding in the past three months. In July, a welder of the shipyard died from a heatstroke. The operations at the workshop have now been suspended and an investigation is underway to find the cause of the accident.
6. Working on Data Boats
NORSAFE, the Norwegian lifeboat and fast boat manufacturer, has signed a deal with Kongsberg to design and develop unmanned vessels. While Norsafe is best known for its life saving appliances, including fee fall lifeboats and lifeboat davits, it has a solid reputation as a manufacturer of high speed rescue and military craft. These are not aimed at being autonomous data collection platforms that are being built for military and commercial use and capable of being transported by road trailer or containerised on deck.
7. Building Lawsuit Rumbles
Malaysia’s shipbuilding and repair yard Shin Yang Shipping Corp has filed a lawsuit against Indonesia’s Gemilang Raya Maritime (GRM) for MYR6m ($1.5m) relating to the sale of four units of tugs and barges. The legal suit was filed in the North Jakarta District Court at Central Jakarta. Kuala Lumpur-listed Shin Yang Shipping said it has sold and completed the deliveries of two tugs and two barges to GRM in October 2016. GRM, however, has failed to “make the necessary payments of the vessels” despite Shin Yang Shipping having sent two demand letters in March and April this year, Shin Yang Shipping announced.

8. Cloud Gets New Name
The team behind the Maritime Cloud has decided to change the name of the communication framework. The new name, Maritime Connectivity Platform (MCP), has been chosen to provide clarity and support e-Navigation going from testbed to real life implementation. Maritime Connectivity Platform, or MCP, is the new name for what was previously known as the Maritime Cloud. MCP is at a level of maturity where they are ready to take it into operational mode. However, before taking that step the team felt a strong need to clarify exactly what is being offered and what is being offered is a connectivity platform.
9. Offshore Market on Knees
James McDonald, chairman of IUMI’s Offshore Energy Committee warned that the sector was “sinking”. His warning was based on declining total premium income set alongside upstream energy large losses for 2015-16 of USD 4.8 billion. McDonald explained: “In recent years it would appear that claims have exceeded the global premium base and the last two underwriting years have seen significant losses. The impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey are unlikely to deliver the same magnitude of loss that resulted from Katrina and Rita in 2005 or Ike in 2008.
10. Power of Shipping Brands
Are organisations in the shipping industry exploiting the power of brand? This was the question posed by global marine and energy PR consultancy BLUE at its breakfast debate during London International Shipping Week 2017. As the industry becomes increasingly commoditised – in part driven by access to more choice created by the internet – there is no question that the marine industry is communicating more. But does it fully appreciate the fundamentals of what ‘brand’ is and the commercial opportunities that can be created when leveraged properly?

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


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S Jones
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