Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/10/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/10/2017

1. Influence Backlash Starts
Two leading shipowning organisations have hit back at allegations carried on this site yesterday that they are holding back the environmental debate at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). A study by London-based non-profit organisation InfluenceMap claimed corporations have “unmatched” power to shape regulations at the IMO. Esben Poulsson, the chairman of ICS, has disputed the study, saying his organisation has been leading, not hindering, talks to cut shipping emissions.
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2. Pirates Board Box Ship
On Saturday morning, eight pirates boarded the 3,000 TEU container ship "Demeter" at a position 40 nm south of Bonny Island, Nigeria. The attackers took six crewmembers hostage. All 12 remaining members of her crew are unharmed, and they navigated their vessel to safety, according to a statement from the ship manager.  The kidnapping victims include the Demeter’s cook, bosun, second engineer, second officer, captain and chief mate. Efforts to secure their release continue, and the vessel’s flag state and owner are participating.
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3. Stowaways Threaten Crew
Uruguayan Navy has detained four stowaways that threatened the crew aboard the bulk carrier Friederike. The four men reportedly boarded the 57,400 dwt bulker while it was in the Nigerian port of Lagos. In the morning hours of October 21 the authorities received a distress call from the ship’s captain saying that the stowaways mutinied and threatened the crew members during the voyage. According to AIS data provided by Marine Traffic, the ship was on its way to the port of Recalada in Argentina when the distress call was sent out.
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4. Migrant Rescue Pressures
Italian police have boarded the migrant search and rescue vessel Vos Hestia in the port of Catania, Sicily to search for evidence related to "alleged illicit conduct committed by third parties." The Vos Hestia’s charterer, the NGO Save the Children, emphasized in a statement that the search is solely targeting "material for crimes that currently do not concern the work of our organization." Italian media outlets report that the Prosecutor’s Office of Trapani – the same office pursuing an investigation of the German rescue NGO Jugend Rettet – received a report from an onboard security officer and initiated the search to follow up. 
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5. Polaris Confirms Deal 
Polaris Shipping has ordered five more very large ore carriers (VLOCs) from Hyundai Heavy Industries, bringing the total to $1.5 billion and eighteen ships. In preparation for future compliance requirements, the vessels will be built to an LNG ready design and will be fitted with scrubbers, according to HHI. Polaris placed an order for three of the ships in June and signed for ten more last month – HHI’s largest single contract in five years. The massive 18-ship order is a significant investment for Polaris, but it is also a significant win for Hyundai Heavy Industries, which is facing a declining orderbook and a dearth of new sales. 
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6. Fears of Mega Waves
Post-Tropical Hurricane Force Storm Lan will move rapidly northeast and transfer its energy to a developing storm low that will move towards the southwestern Bering Sea and western Aleutian islands. This developing storm will deepen very rapidly to a dangerous 939 MB hurricane force storm creating winds of 55 to 75 knots and seas building 36-56 feet (11-17 meters) within 360 NM SE and 420 NM SW of the center within 24-36 hours. This will create a dangerous situation for ship traffic steaming along northern Pacific routes. Significant waves heights is based on the average height of the tallest one third of the waves.
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7. Antwerp Cargo Boom
The freight volume handled by the port of Antwerp continues to expand. After nine months the total this year stands at 167.1 million tonnes, an increase of 3.3% on last year.  Strong growth has been recorded in practically all sectors up until the end of September: containers are up by 3.7% in tonnage (to 91.9 million tonnes), liquid bulk such as oil derivatives is up by 2.4% (to 54.4 million tonnes), conventional breakbulk such as steel is up by 7.7% (to 7.8 million tonnes) while ro/ro completes the progression with growth of 10.7% (to 3.7 million tonnes).  Dry bulk, such as coal and ore, down by 0.8% after nine months.
goo.gl/YEeZBx
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8. 2020 Sulphur View
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted stricter regulations on emissions, most prominently restrictions on Sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions, that will come into force first of January 2020. The current limit of allowed Sulphur content is no more than 3.50% m/m (mass of sulfur / total mass) and with the new 2020 regulations, ships will have to use fuel oil with a Sulphur content of no more than 0.50% m/m. The alternative is to continue with Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) and to clean the exhaust gases with so called Scrubbers. Even tougher SOx emission restrictions are already in place since 2015 in SECA zones.
goo.gl/13Coqm
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9. MSC Seafarer Missing
A crew member has been reported missing from MSC containership "MSC Giannina", a Geneva-based spokesperson from the company confirmed to the media. The incident took place while the 2,054 TEU Sub Panamax containership was en route from Gioia Tauro to Genoa, Italy, last week, between the 19th and 20th of October. According to Italian media, the missing mariner is a 54-year-old man of Ukrainian nationality, identified as Juri Kharytonov, the ship’s captain. “MSC informed police and other authorities that a person was reported missing from the container ship MSC Giannina while sailing between Gioia Tauro and Genoa.
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10. Insurers Tackling Mental Health
Insurers are attempting to raise awareness of seafarers’ mental health, in an indication they are starting to notice an increase in related incidences. The American Club this month issued a loss-prevention booklet entitled What’s on your mind? Guidance for Seafarers’ Mental Health Awareness. The booklet attempts to help crews spot seafarers with mental health problems and suggests measures to maintain positive mental well-being onboard ships. The club describes the issue as “overlooked”. It added: “In the seagoing community, an understanding and engagement in matters of mental health is vital.”
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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S Jones
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