Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 31/12/2018
1. Chartering in Channel Capacity
The British government will spend more than 100 million pounds chartering extra sea ferries to ease cross-Channel congestion if the UK fails to secure a trade deal before leaving the European Union next year. Just three months before the United Kingdom is due to leave the world’s largest bloc, the risk of a no-deal Brexit is rising – the nightmare scenario for many businesses, which are now planning for an economic shock. Extra ships will be needed to work new routes across the Channel in the event that the main French terminal of Calais and Britain’s Dover and Folkestone are clogged up by customs checks.
2. Heading up K Line
Yukikazu Myochin will take the reins at one of the world’s largest shipping lines, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), in a banner year for the Tokyo-headquartered company. Myochin will take over from Eizo Murakami as president and CEO on April 1 next year when K Line celebrates its 100th anniversary. Murakami will move upstairs to become chairman, taking over from Jiro Asakura, who will continue his links with the shipping giant as a board director. Myochin, 57, has been with K Line throughout his career, starting out in 1984. K Line, with more than 500 ships, is among the 10 largest shipping lines in the world.
3. Coastguard to be Paid
42,000 Coast Guard servicemembers and employees will receive their normal paycheck on December 31 after the Trump administration took action to ensure that they were not affected by the ongoing government shutdown. On Friday, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) contacted the White House after learning that the partial shutdown would prevent the Coast Guard’s payroll system from sending out the paychecks on time. Over the weekend, the administration worked with the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard to find a workaround.
4. High Drama in High North
The Norwegian Coast Guard is moving quickly to respond to the trawler Northguider, which grounded Friday in a narrow strait between Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet, well above the Arctic Circle. At 1320 hours on Friday, the Main Rescue Center (HRS) for northern Norway received a distress message from the Northguider. The trawler had gone aground in the Hinlopen Strait (Hinlopenstretet). Her crew reported that she had taken on water in the engine room and had a heavy list. Both of the government of Svalbard’s two rescue helicopters were immediately deployed to the scene.
5. Houthi Hodeidah Handover
In a ceremony held, Houthi rebel forces formally handed control of the strategic Port of Hodeidah over to units of the government of Yemen. Local divisions of the pre-war Yemeni coast guard will take over the port’s administration, under supervision from the UN. However, the Saudi coalition backing the Yemeni government contested the legitimacy of the handover, suggesting that the units that are now taking control of the port may actually be loyal to the Houthi side.
6. Puzzle of Slow Speed Turns
The West of England Club has experienced two claims recently where, in separate incidents, a container vessel and a tanker inexplicably lost control whilst departing port under pilotage. One vessel subsequently made contact with an oil jetty causing notable damage to the face of the berth, while the other left the navigable channel, struck a light beacon, then ran aground on top of a submarine pipeline. Both incidents led to considerable claims. In each case the vessels were following the customary route outbound from the port concerned, when, due to reasons unknown they started to turn.
7. Mission Watching Bulker
The bulker Kuzma Minin remains anchored at the port of Falmouth, UK, two weeks after she went aground near the harbor’s entrance. She suffered damage to a fuel tank, according to Russian state media, and has been ordered not to leave port until after repairs are finished. No pollution has been reported from the tank damage, and the crew’s welfare is being monitored by the Mission to Seafarers’ Falmouth branch. The deputy head of the British Foreign Ministry, Alan Duncan, has provided Russian diplomats with assurances that the UK will ensure the crew’s safety.
8. Huge Hidden Hash Haul
The American Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Chung-Hoon seized more than five tons of hashish from a stateless vessel in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden. If a vessel is believed to be stateless, a flag verification boarding is generally allowed under international law. Chung-Hoon’s visit, board, search and seizure team boarded the vessel and discovered over 11,000 pounds of hashish aboard. The vessel and its crew were allowed to depart once the narcotics were seized.
9. Missing Entertainer Search Suspended
The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing crewmember from the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Harmony of the Seas off Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The missing crewmember has been identified as UK national Arron Hough, 20, an actor who performed as a castmember in an onboard production of the musical “Grease.” In a statement, RCL said that “we are saddened to report that after a review of the ship’s closed-circuit camera footage, he was observed entering an area on Deck 5 at around 4am [on Christmas Day] and was not seen again.”
10. Behavioural Competency Training
INTERTANKO and OCIMF just announced the first edition (2018) on “Behavioural Competency Assessment and Verification for Vessel Operators”, where, once again, it is clearly stated that the major contributing factor for incidents is still the human factor. STCW 2016 has already introduced soft skills in addition to technical skills as a prerequisite to address safety onboard vessels and these were leadership, teamwork, communication and decision making. Now, more soft skill competencies are introduced in addition to the above, such as situational awareness and associated behaviours.
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