Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/03/2018

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/03/2018

1. Lloyd’s Losses Mount
Lloyd’s of London will focus on cutting costs and improving its underwriting performance after a series of natural catastrophes pushed the specialist insurance market into a 2 billion pound ($2.81 billion) loss, its first in
six years. 
Insurers globally suffered a record $135 billion in losses from natural catastrophes such as hurricanes in the Caribbean, earthquakes in Mexico and wildfires in California last year. The
Lloyd’s of London market, which has 80 syndicate members, reported a 2017 pre-tax loss of 2 billion pounds ($2.80 billion) on Wednesday, compared with a pre-tax profit of 2.1 billion pounds in 2016.
2. Shipyard to Mars
Elon Musk is being tipped to take over an old American shipyard and to use the site to build rockets to take people to Mars. Musk’s SpaceX is looking at leasing Southwest Marine Shipyard from the Port of Los Angeles for up
to 30 years with a view “to design, develop, and manufacture prototypes and first-generation models of specialized commercial transportation vessels”, according to a project description. 
A California Environmental Quality
Act review, “the vessels, once complete, would be too large for delivery by road and thus must be taken via supply barge, necessitating the facility be located adjacent to the water.”
3. Canada Fighting Fuel Ban
As the world maritime body prepares to consider a Canadian proposal to mitigate the risks of heavy fuel oil pollution in the Arctic, Ottawa is trying to water down a plan by Finland for an outright ban of the highly polluting
fuel — used by most ships plying the rapidly warming Arctic. 
The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations’ agency regulating maritime shipping, will discuss the issue of heavy fuel oils (HFO) in the
Arctic at the upcoming 72nd session of its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in London in early April.

4. Forced to Deny Debts
One of the best known names in the intra-Asia box trades, Heung-A from South Korea, has been forced to send a letter to clients denying it is in financial difficulty. Following a slew of service rationalisations and a weak 2017 financial performance, market
rumours had surfaced that the line was at risk of following compatriot Hanjin Shipping into oblivion. The company has axed four services recently on the notoriously cut-throat intra-Asia trades. However, Heung-A cited the low profitability
on these routes as the reason for their termination which was all part of a “normal restructuring process”, Heung-A management stated.

5. Maritime Game Changers Discussed
So what are the game changers for the maritime industry as shipping faces up to digitalisation and the 0.5% sulphur cap. The panel “Maritime Industry Game Changers” at the Capital Link forum in New York last moderated by Clyde
& Co.’s New York based Partner, John Keough, included Mark O’Neill- president of Columbia Ship Management, Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, ceo of Maritime Business at DNV GL, and shipowner Mats Berglund, the ceo from dry bulk powerhouse Pacific Basin Shipping. The panel
hit key issues facing the industry – the upcoming sulphur cap and digitalisation.
6. Dredger Capsize Tragedy
One person drowned while 14 others were missing after a Chinese sand-dredging vessel capsized off Malaysia’s southern state of Johor on Wednesday (March 21), officials said. Three Chinese crew members were rescued safely after
authorities received reports that the JBB Rong Chang 8 had overturned in the waters of Parit Jawa, in Muar district, at 8.50 a.m. local time (0050 GMT), the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said in a statement. 
and rescue operations were ongoing, with two patrol boats deployed, the agency said.
7. Autonomous Ships and COLREGs
The operation of autonomous vessels can meet, if not exceed, current collision avoidance (COLREG) rules, as demonstrated during the recently completed £1.3 million ($1.8 million) MAXCMAS (MAchine eXecutable Collision regulations for Marine Autonomous Systems)
research project. Project partners Rolls-Royce, Lloyd’s Register, Warsash Maritime Academy (WMA), Queen’s University Belfast and Atlas Elektronik (AEUK) found that use of newly developed algorithms allowed existing COLREGs to remain
relevant in a crewless environment.
8. Safety and Security Round-Up
In a round up of the latest safety and security news,  a bulk carrier Harriett (IMO 9239458) ran aground on the west coast of Mudyug island in the White Sea, the MSC Maria (IMO 9067544) was pursued and boarded by armed pirates
in a speedboat southwest of Bonny Fairway Buoy.
Chemical oil products tanker Elohim (IMO 9231690) was attacked by pirates in the same spot. While the Provincial Government of Chiloé, southern
Chile, has approved a salvage plan for the refloating of wrecked fish carrier wellboat Seikongen (IMO 9793985) within 80 days.
9. Danger of Cargo Fires
Swedish Club has released an alert on the dangers of cargo fires, which it noted occurred infrequently, meaning that awareness of the risk could “slip under the radar”. Swedish Club said that a cargo fire could have disastrous
consequences and that, with the average cost of a cargo fire at several million US dollars, cargo fires were “not a risk to be overlooked”. 
“When a fire breaks out on board a vessel there is no fire service ready to assist
in extinguishing it — that is up to the crew themselves,” the Club said.
10. SeafarerHelp on New Platform
The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network’s (ISWAN) free, confidential helpline for seafarers is now available on instant messaging app Viber. In 2017, ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp assisted 8,862 seafarers of 92 different
nationalities with concerns such as family issues, personal problems, unpaid wages, repatriation and health issues. ISWAN is keen to make it as easy as possible for seafarers and their families around the world to get in touch if they need assistance. The
helpline offers a range of contact methods including e-mail, telephone, Live Chat, Facebook and WhatsApp and now Viber too.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions
S. Jones
Seacurus Ltd
Seacurus Ltd.,
Barbican Group,  
33 Gracechurch Street,
London EC3V 0BT,
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