Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/10/2018
1. Maersk Makes Profit Vow
Søren Skou, group CEO of AP Moller-Maersk, has vowed to get revenues back to its previous highs, with growth to be found beyond the blue carrier’s traditional liner background. Skou, in charge since June 2016, has presided over a breakup of the Maersk empire, offloading energy and tanker businesses in a bid to focus on liners, ports and logistics. In the interview, Skou said the aim was to grow revenues by almost DKK100bn ($15.4bn) in the years to come. The growth will be found beyond the “old” part of Maersk, Skou said.
2. Fears of Oil Spreading
French and Italian authorities have worked hard to contain a big spill in the Mediterranean, however the oil is spreading fast and is likely to wash ashore. An inflatable boom has now been deployed around the accident site off Corsica where the roro Ulysse collided with the anchored boxship CSL Virginia on Sunday, rupturing fuel tankers with up to 200 cu m of oil spilling into the sea. The slick now stretches over more than 20 km. “Pushed by the wind, the spill has spread and is breaking up”, a spokesman said yesterday. Officials are still evaluating how to separate the two ships and bring them to port.
3. Pirates Attack Boxship
Singapore-flagged containership Maersk Newbury was boarded by pirates while transiting under pilot at Guayaquil River in Ecuador on October 2, 2018. The master alerted the local authorities when he sighted the presence of unauthorized persons on board, Asian piracy watchdog ReCAAP ICC informed.
One of the crew members was assaulted by the robbers and sustained a small cut on his forehead. The crew managed to escape and hide in the forecastle store.
4. Skipper on Sulphur Trial
Prosecutors in Marseille have put an American cruise ship captain on trial for burning bunkers slightly above an EU limit of 1.5 percent sulfur content. The charges come as NGOs and regulators have focused attention on the health effects of air pollution near Marseille’s harbor, which hosts a growing number of cruise ships. On the morning of March 28, 2018, while under the command of Capt. Evans Hoyt, the Azura called at Marseille, France. Inspectors boarded, sampled her tanks and determined that she was using fuel with a sulfur content of 1.68 percent, slightly higher than an authorized limit of 1.5 percent. http://bit.ly/2QCGDvy
5. Belgian Terror Practice
The Danish offshore wind service vessel Esvagt Mercator is typically found at the Belgian offshore wind farms, Nobelwind and Belwind in the North Sea, where purpose-built vessel provides support for the operation of approximately one hundred wind turbines. Last week, however, the vessel left the job to participate in an anti-terrorism drill with Belgian authorities in which it played the role of a hijacked vessel. During the exercise, Esvagt Mercator was hijacked outside the Port of Ostend and later stormed by soldiers with the Belgian anti-terror police, who freed the hostages and neutralized the terrorists.
6. Hurricane Hits Oil Production
Nearly 40 percent of daily crude oil production was lost from offshore U.S. Gulf of Mexico wells on Tuesday due to platform evacuations and shut-ins ahead of Hurricane Michael. Since Monday, oil producers, including Anadarko Petroleum Corp, BHP Billiton, BP and Chevron Corp , have evacuated personnel from 75 platforms as the storm made its way through the central Gulf on the way to landfall on Wednesday on the Florida Panhandle.
7. Crippled Fire Ship Rescue
The U.S. Coast Guard and New York City’s fire department have made arrangements for a fire-damaged asphalt tanker to safely enter New York Harbor for repairs. The tanker Feng Huang Ao suffered an engine room on October 5 while she was under way off Nantucket, bound for New York with a load of asphalt. Her crew extinguished the blaze with a CO2 fixed firefighting system, and no injuries or pollution were reported. However, the ship’s main engine and auxiliary generators were damaged and disabled by the fire. The USCG cutter Legare and commercial salvage tugs were dispatched to the scene to assist.
8. Rushing to Beat Sanctions
A vessel carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian oil discharged the crude into a bonded storage tank at the port of Dalian in northeast China on Monday, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and a shipping agent with knowledge of the matter. Iran, the third-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is finding fewer takers for its crude ahead of U.S. sanctions on its oil exports that will go into effect on Nov. 4. The country previously held oil in storage at Dalian during the last round of sanctions in 2014 that was later sold to buyers in South Korea and India.
9. New Guide for Seafarer Health
Publication released on World Mental Health Day to promote the recognition of mental wellbeing as a key component of the health of seafarers, who live and work in conditions which sometimes generate not only physical but also psychological challenges. In a joint initiative, the American Club and Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) have cooperated to produce a new guide, Caring for Seafarers’ Mental Wellbeing, due for release on October 10 in recognition of World Mental Health Day, 2018. The document provides guidance on responding to both routine and extreme stressors impacting the quality of life.
10. New Call Service for Crew
Singapore shipmanager Synergy Group has launched a new counselling service aimed at improving mental health support for sea and shore-based maritime personnel. iCALL is a free psychological helpline for the worldwide maritime community, not just Synergy staff, and is available 24/7 in nine different languages via phone, email and the chat-based nULTA App. “Numerous studies into the psychological health of seafarers have shown that large numbers of seafarers suffer from obvious manifestations of impaired psychological wellbeing such as social isolation and depression,” said Synergy Group.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com