Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/11/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/11/2017

1. Captain and Pilot Guilty 
A former ship captain and a marine pilot have each been handed four-month suspended sentences in connection with the collision between the vehicle carrier City of Rotterdam and a DFDS roll-on/roll-off passenger ferry on the River Humber in December 2015. Gehan Sirimanne, a marine pilot who is now retired, and Ruslan Uromov, a former captain, were sentenced at Hull Crown Court last week after pleading guilty to charges of causing a collision.
2. Bulker Pirate Attack
Bulk carrier "Venus Bay" has been attacked and boarded by armed pirates while drifting some 23 nm south of Bonny, Bight of Bonny, Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria. Pirates broke into bridge and opened fire, damaging windows. They stole some ship’s property, robbed crew of their cash and belongings, and kidnapped 10 crew. Nigerian Navy ships intercepted boat with pirates and hostages, freeing hostages and seizing 5 pirates. 
3. Box Ship Breaks Up
Container ship "Kea Trader", aground on a reef off New Caledonia since July, on Nov 13 was reported to break in two. The ship was found total loss, to be scrapped. All fuel was siphoned, containers offloaded, but not all – a number of drifting containers was spotted at around 1600 LT Nov 12 around position 22 00S 168 40E. The owner has vowed to clear the boxes.

4. Gas Giant Manning Contract
Denmark-based LPG shipowner Lauritzen Kosan has handed over crew management for all its gas carriers to OSM Maritime Group. The agreement covers 26 refrigerated ethylene, semi-refrigerated and pressurised gas carriers. Copenhagen-based OSM will manage the crew agency contract out of its Manila office and is already looking for additional gas-trained seafarers.
5. Major Cyber Flaw 
AmosConnect mobile satellite platform was used by thousands of vessels worldwide. Flaws in the technology provide a means for hackers to execute arbitrary code on the AmosConnect server leaving any sensitive information it might contain exposed to theft. Inmarsat downplayed the significance of the findings, arguing it affected discontinued version of its technology that it planned to retire even before IOActive informed it about security problems.
6. Container Rate Drops
A fall in container freight rates is being driven by oversupply of vessels rather than a drop in demand according to analyst Crucial Perspectives. In a report issued, it was noted that container freight rates had “fallen markedly” by 4% last week, and were 5% lower year-on-year as overcapacity plagued the Asia – Europe and transpacific trades. On the demand front though headhaul volumes of the transpacific and Asia – Europe trades have grown by 4.9%.
7. Red Ensign Shame 
Nautilus has urged the UK government to clamp down on the Red Ensign Group (REG) ship registries. In letters to Boris Johnson and shipping minister John Hayes, the union claimed evidence of tax avoidance in UK overseas territories, revealed in the ‘Paradise Papers’, showed widespread use of UK territories and dependencies such as Bermuda, Gibraltar, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands to avoid tax liabilities.
8. Bulker Slams Into Pier
The 2014-built handysize bulker "Mount Hope" slammed into a pier at Brake on the Weser river in Germany. The vessel was loaded with steel and was en route from Tubarao, Brazil to Bremen when it lost steering due to a technical issue. While no injuries were reported, the vessel sustained significant damage and was taking on water in what the local water police described as “massive flooding.” 
9. Underwriters on Cyber Fears
Lars Lange, Secretary-General of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI), said that the main challenges with cyber risk are threefold. “Initially, the threats and vulnerabilities of the risk must be identified, which can be challenging as cyber risk is constantly evolving and developing. Once these have been identified then the risk exposure must be assessed accordingly to see how it can be insured.” Lange explained.
10. Rebels Threaten Shipping
Yemen’s Houthi rebel forces have threatened to attack Saudi Arabian merchant shipping in retaliation for the ongoing Saudi blockade of Yemeni seaports. The Houthi forces control segments of Yemen’s Red Sea coastline, and they have previously demonstrated that they have the technical means to launch missile attacks on ships.  “The battleships and oil tankers of [Saudi Arabia] and their movements will not be safe,” said official news outlet Al Masirah. 

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


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