Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/11/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/11/2017

1. US Navy in Another Collision

In the latest of a string of marine mishaps, a U.S. warship crashed into a Japanese tugboat in Japan’s Sagami Bay on Saturday. The tugboat lost propulsion and drifted into the "USS Benfold" during a routine towing exercise, according to a press release from the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet. No injuries or fatalities resulted from the incident, and damage to the Benfold, a guided-missile destroyer ship, was minimal, according to the release. While the crash was relatively harmless, it adds to a troubling trend for the 7th Fleet: Saturday’s collision in the Pacific was the fleet’s fifth this year. 
2. Security Council on Piracy
Condemning the acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, the United Nations Security Council today called for a comprehensive response to prevent and suppress such acts and tackle their underlying causes. In a new resolution, the 15-member Council also urged Somali authorities, to continue expedite the passing of comprehensive anti-piracy and maritime laws, to establish security forces with clear roles and jurisdictions to enforce these laws, as well as strengthen the capacity of its Somali courts to investigate and prosecute those responsible for piracy. 

3. Lloyd’s Embracing Progress
Lloyd’s is collaborating with marine technology company Windward to find out whether the market would benefit from a new smart data analytics platform used to manage an insured vessel fleet. What the platform does is enable underwriters to identify when vessels are exposed to high-risk situations such as war zones. In addition, it provides tools that incorporate context and allow detailed analysis of claims. “We have had a lot of market interest in this new approach to analysing vessel navigational behaviour,” said Lloyd’s head of data innovation Craig Civil. 
4. Nigeria Acts Against Pirates
A total of 16 gun boats and 6,000 armed police personnel are expected to be deployed along the waterways and creeks of Bayelsa state to tackle rising sea piracy and criminal activities in the state.The Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Asuquo Amba, who made this known during a call on him by the members of the state chapter of the Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, led by the chairman, Chief Alabo Nengi James, in the state. Commissioner Amba said though the intelligence reports gathered by the police showed that the Delta and Rivers waterways have recorded relative calm in recent time due to a chain of arrests. 
5. Italian Navy In Action
EU NAVFOR Somalia’s Flagship, the Italian vessel ITS Virginio Fasan, has apprehended six suspected pirates and seized their vessels. Six crew of a motor whaler, acting as mother ship, and a skiff have been detained following attacks on a 52,000 tonne container ship and a fishing vessel. These events reportedly took place over a 24 hour period on 17th and 18th November in the Southern Somali Basin, in an area known for piracy incidents. During the incidents a number of rocket propelled grenades were fired against the container ship.  However, all crew and vessels are now safe.
6. Pushing for Conventions
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the Comité Maritime International (CMI) have published an updated brochure that calls for governments to ratify international maritime conventions – particularly those adopted by the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO). They hope with more governments ratifying maritime treaties, “the same regulations governing matters such as safety, environmental protection and shipowners’ liability, as well as seafarers’ training and employment standards, apply equally to all ships engaged in international trade, and that the same rules apply during all parts of the voyage.”
7. EMSA New Chief
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has elected Andreas Nordseth, director general of the Danish Maritime Authority, as its new administrative board chairman. Commenting on his election, Nordseth said: ”It is an honour to be elected as Chairman of the Administrative Board and to become responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Agency.” Italy’s Rear Admiral Nicola Carlone was elected as deputy chairman. The EMSA Administrative Board comprises representatives from the 28 EU Member States as well as Norway, Iceland, the European Commission and representatives from the industry.
8. Pressure for Training Investment
The UK Chamber of Shipping, with backing from 40 shipping companies, has this week written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, asking the Government to double the amount of funding available for seafarer training as soon as possible.  The letter was also sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond and the Minister of State, Department for Transport, John Hayes. The UK Chamber, in conjunction with Nautilus International, has submitted a proposal for the Government’s existing Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) scheme to be extended.
9. Hopes for Missing Sub
Hopes that the 44 crew members of a missing Argentine submarine may be found alive have risen after the nation’s ministry for defense said it detected what it believes are attempts at satellite communication from the submarine on Saturday. The ministry said seven failed satellite calls that it believes came from the A.R.A. San Juan were detected. The signals between four and 36 seconds and are believed to have failed due to adverse weather conditions in the region. The San Juan has been out of radio contact with shore since last Wednesday. 

10. Decline in VLCC Rates
Crude tanker freight rates are expected to decline further in 2018 following a sharp decline in 2017, according to the latest edition of the Tanker Forecaster, published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. Although tonnage supply growth in the crude tanker market is expected to be low next year after surging in 2017, this will not be enough to push tonnage utilization rates higher, as demand growth is expected to be sluggish. A slowdown in global oil demand growth and a likely decline in China’s stocking activity will keep growth in the crude oil trade moderate next year.

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