Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/10/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/10/2017

1. Groups Refuse Abandonment Condemnation
Two of the world’s leading shipowning organisations have refused to condemn crew abandonment. Contacted for the Splash seafarer abandonment campaign, neither Intertanko, nor its dry bulk counterpart, Intercargo, have deigned to go on the record to hit out at owners who have ditched their staff at sea, despite the request for comment being discussed at the highest levels of both bodies. Fortunately, other shipping leaders have responded to the campaign including Esben Poulsson, the chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, who was quick to slam the small minority who bring shame on the industry.

2. Varun Abandonment Ban
A circular sent to ship agents and port authorities from the United Arab Emirates’ Federal Transport Authority banning any Varun ship from calling at any UAE port or anchoring in local waters until further notice. Mumbai-based Varun has been a serial crew abandonment offender with a number of its ships and employees left stranded off the UAE. The majority of the gas carrier fleet of the Yudhishthir Khatau-led Varun Shipping is under arrest with the ships likely to be sold off soon.
3. Tests to Find Seafarer
Quebec provincial police say a body which has been recovered in the St Lawrence River could be that of a crewman who went missing from the cargo ship Amazoneborg at the port of Trois-Rivieres on September 30. Police, who conducted helicopter and scuba diver searches for the sailor, say they cannot confirm anything until tests are done on the recovered body. Sergeant Eloise Cossette said: “A body was found at the weekend about 25 kilometres east of where the man went missing from the boat. “It could be the sailor but we need to complete a forensic investigation to confirm that.

4. New Place for Finance
Oaktree has debuted a new alternative capital provider. Fleetscape Capital Holdings completed a final closing on Thursday of its first investment capital raise. Fleetscape notched up total investor commitments of $400m. The capital was raised from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management. In a release, Fleetscape said it was aiming at creating a diversified portfolio of primary investments across various segments of the maritime space, including shipping and offshore. Its product offering includes leases, loans and preferred equity.

5. Imports Are Shooting Up
Imports set a second all-time monthly record high this summer, as retailers brought in merchandise for the busy holiday season, and are continuing at unusually high levels this month, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.8 million TEUs in August, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. The volume was the highest recorded since NRF began tracking imports in 2000, topping the previous record of 1.78 million TEU set just one month earlier in July. 
6. Two Bulkers Collide
A video posted to Youtube shows the moment two bulk carriers collided at an anchorage on the Amazon River in Brazil. The crash reportedly occurred Wednesday at the Fazendinha anchorage near the port of Macapa when the Bahamas-flagged Polsteam vessel "Mazury" apparently drifted into the UK-flagged "Eden Bay", which was anchored at the time. Both vessels sustained minor damage in the collision and no injuries or pollution has been reported. The accident is reportedly under investigation by local authorities.

7. Pilot Drank Before Fall
An experienced ship pilot with the Port of London Authority had been drinking before he fell to his death during a pilot transfer on the River Thames last October, according to the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s report on the incident. The accident occurred at 6:12 p.m. on October 5, 2016 as the Port of London Authority pilot was in the process of boarding the Bahamas-registered general cargo ship Sunmi from the pilot launch Patrol. During the transfer, the pilot fell and was crushed between the two vessels. He died at the scene despite prompt medical attention from RNLI and local ambulance crew.
8. Disruption May Be Damp Squib
Predictions that the current crop of disruptive digital start-ups will revolutionize container shipping has been disputed by a leading liner analyst. Alphaliner this week suggested that, despite the considerable hype and hundreds of millions of dollars raised by freight and logistics start-ups in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, evidence suggests that the container shipping industry is peculiarly resistant to being radically transformed. “Since the first generation of shipping portals was launched in 2000, the container shipping market has not seen any transformative change in the way business is conducted,” it said.
9. Huge Contribution to Nation
The Maritime sector makes a substantive macroeconomic contribution to the UK through turnover, Gross Value Added (GVA), employment and through the compensation of employees., says a report by Maritime UK, which is  commissioned the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR)  to estimate the value of the UK maritime sector. The CEBR findings estimate that the sector directly supported just over GBP 40 billion in business turnover, GBP14.5 billion in GVA and 185,700 jobs for UK employees in 2015.

10. MSC Engine Room Accident 
An accident occurred in engine room of container ship "MSC MEDITERRANEAN" at around 1000 Oct 12 during her Dardanelles transit, en route from Gemlik Turkey to Gioia Tauro, Italy. One crew was injured while working with generator, some machinery failed, vessel informed authorities and was brought to anchor in Yapildak area, northeast of Canakkale, escorted by tug. Injured crew received medical treatment, not clear whether he stayed on board or was brought ashore. As of 1500 UTC Oct 12, MSC MEDITERRANEAN was still at anchor.

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