Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/10/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/10/2017

1. Yard Arrest Warrants Sought
Investigators sought arrest warrants Monday for five people in connection with a deadly explosion at the shipyard of local shipbuilder STX Offshore & Shipbuilding in August that claimed the lives of four workers. Coast Guard investigators requested the warrants for the five — four of them STX workers and the other the head of a partner firm. The STX workers were accused of failing to take enough safety measures and the partner firm chief was accused of forging employment documents for the four ill-fated workers. The explosion occurred while workers were painting inside a tank of a product carrier on August 20.
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2. Oil Platform Explosion
One man is missing after an explosion on an oil platform in Lake Pontchartrain near Kenner, Louisiana, on Sunday evening. U.S. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report from a witness at approximately 8 p.m. of an oil platform explosion. It was reported by one of the platform workers that eight people were aboard at the time of the explosion, and one person did not make it to shore. Of the seven people who made it to shore, six were taken to the hospital. The Coast Guard and partner agencies continue to search for the missing man.
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3. Hyundai Share Plans
South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) detailed plans to raise KRW693.6bn ($614m) for two share sales. Cash raised will go on new ships and terminals, HMM said in a release. HMM last month revealed it had bought a pair of Hanjin Heavy large boxship resales for $162m, as well as inking orders at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) for five firm plus five option VLCCs. The five firm orders are costing $419m.
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4. Crew Missing Cargo Suspected
Eleven crew members of a Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier are missing after their ship sank Friday off the coast of Philippines in what appears to be a possible case of nickel ore liquefaction. The Japanese Coast Guard reported Friday it had received a distress call from the 57,000 dwt "MV Emerald Star", which was sailing about 280 km east of the northern tip of the Philippines with a crew of 26 Indian nationals. Three vessels in the area were able to rescue 15 crew members but 11 others are still reported as missing, the Coast Guard said, adding that the ship has sunk.
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5. Bank Expects Bids Soon
The head of HSH Nordbank, a Hamburg ship financier, expects bids to come in the next fortnight to take over the bank. Chief executive Stefan Ermisch told German weekly WirtschaftsWoche ahead of an end-October deadline for bids, “We are very close to an economically sensible solution.” HSH’s owners, the German states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, must privatise the bank under European state-aid rules by the end of February next year. Ermisch told WirtschaftsWoche that a financial investor could come in for the bank. “I expect that HSH will be the first but not the last bank that goes this route,” he said.
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6. Ten Rivers Killing the Seas
A group of scientists have found that up to 95 percent of plastic polluting the world’s oceans comes from just 10 rivers, eight of which are in Asia. An estimated eight million of tons of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans every year, and rivers are major transporters of the pollution.  79 sampling sites along 57 rivers around come up with the top 10 polluting rivers, these are Yangtze, Indus, Yellow, Hai He, Nile, Ganges, Pearl, Amur. Niger and Mekong.
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7. New IoT Launched
A European consortium has demonstrated a new global maritime machine-to-machine Internet-of-Things (IoT) platform. The new global data service, Automatic Identification System (AIS) Sensor Network Service (A-SeNS), uses Application Specific Messaging’ (ASM) and exactEarth’s satellite AIS constellation to upload sensor data from users’ remote maritime assets in real-time. In the demonstration, data retrieval from both navigational aid equipment installed at a U.K. port and environmental sensors installed on two working boats were both successfully tested.
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8. Container Rates Slump Again
Container spot rates from Asia to North Europe slumped below $700 per teu this week, losing a further 3.9% in value. They now stand at $686 per teu, while for Mediterranean ports, rates slid 5.8% to $652 per teu. In January freight rates per teu for both were in excess of $1,000. The return of the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) this week, after the Chinese Golden Week holiday, confirms spot rates for the trade are continuing to slide and are now trending below long-term rates.
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9. UK Exploitation Must End
In the light of new figures showing exploitation in the shipping industry is widespread, the maritime trade union Nautilus International has called on the UK government to address the issue. The union has again warned of the plight of seafarers working on foreign-flagged ships in British waters, who are receiving minimal or no pay and “suffering atrocious conditions” following the publication of a report from the National Crime Agency (NCA) showing there are as many as 13,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK, with some 300 current policing operations.
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10. Wider Vetting Needed
Dry bulk ship operators are calling for the wider vetting of the shipping industry, including charterers, port terminal operators and port state control. Led by Intercargo, dry cargo vessel owners, believe the assessment of the industry as a whole will lead to pending regulations being implemented and a more efficient greener industry and a concerted effort will be made to involve the weight of IMO in the drive to better assess the industry. “We support regulations when they are practical but there is a lack of other stakeholders facilitating their smooth implementation,” said John Platsidakis, chairman of Intercargo.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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