Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 02/01/2019
1. Fears for Car Carrier
Five crew are feared dead after an enormous fire broke out on a Japanese car carrier in the middle of the Pacific on Monday. Three men are confirmed dead and another two are missing from the Sincerity Ace. 16 crew were picked up by four ships in the vicinity of the vessel when the blaze forced the master to abandon ship some 1,800 nautical miles northwest of Oahu, Hawaii. Search teams continue to look for missing two men while tugs have been deployed to start the tricky salvage of the blue-hulled vessel, which is already listing. The ship is owned by Shoei Kisen Kaisha and operated by Mitsui OSK Lines.
2. More Channel Migrants
French police have intercepted 14 migrants at Boulogne who were allegedly intending to cross the English Channel on a stolen fishing trawler. The interdiction occurred in port after suspects were spotted in the act of breaking into the vessel. The migrants detained are all Iraqi nationals, and include one mother and one child. An additional two individuals are sought on suspicion of human smuggling, according to AFP. This latest incident follows days after the UK government reported a spike in the number of people caught while trying to cross the Channel and enter Britain using small boats.
3. Get Back to Work
Officers are being reminded that the bridge of a ship is a place of work, not a social hub. That’s the message from shipmanagement veteran, Peter Cremers. Cremers, executive chairman of the shipmanagement giant, told deck officers in his foreword to the magazine to make the following New Year’s resolution: “The bridge of your ship is a place of work. And with major shipping routes getting more busy all the time, a pretty busy workplace it has become!” Cremers urged his employees working on the bridge to cut the chit-chat and social media interactions until after hours. Which won’t help tackle loneliness at sea.
4. Improving Ship Breaking
GMS, the world’s largest cash buyer of ships for recycling, has revealed that there are now 76 yards in India that are compliant with the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) for safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships, including a growing number that have obtained their statement of compliance from various classification societies. Moreover, there is one yard in Bangladesh, PHP, which is now compliant with the Hong Kong Convention, giving owners more choice to end their ships in a greener fashion than was previously possible in south Asia.
5. Tackling Tax Loopholes
The European Commission welcomes the entry into force of new rules to eliminate the most common corporate tax avoidance practices. As of 1 January 2019, all Member States shall apply new legally binding anti-abuse measures that target the main forms of tax avoidance practiced by large multinationals. Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: ‘The Commission has fought consistently and for a long time against aggressive tax planning. The battle is not yet won, but this marks a very important step.
6. Explosion Onboard Tanker
Two crew members were seriously injured in an explosion aboard a Malta-flagged chemical tanker in the morning hours of December 29, according to Cypriot authorities. The 7,000 dwt tanker Athlos suffered an explosion, followed by a fire, some 3 nautical miles off the southern coast of Cyprus. The explosion threw five crew members overboard. Cypriot authorities recovered the seafarers and transferred all five, two of whom suffering extensive burns, to a hospital.
7. All at Sea in Barrel
The 71-year-old French adventurer Jean-Jacques Savin is sailing across the Atlantic in a three-meter (10-foot) “barrel” that relies on wind and ocean currents for propulsion. Savin set off from El Hierro in Spain’s Canary Islands December 26 and is aiming to complete the 4,500-kilometer (2,800-mile) voyage to the Caribbean in about three months. His barrel has around six square meters (65 square feet) of living space and includes four portholes, including one facing downward under-water. Entry is via a 60 centimeter (24-inch) hatch on top, and the vessel has a weighted keel for balance.
8. Antwerp Needs to Grow
Belgium’s Antwerp port has confirmed a need for additional container handling capacity as the port concluded 2018 with expected growth in all types of cargo. Jacques Vandermeiren, ceo of Antwerp Port Authority, highlighted that the port is already far beyond its optimum capacity limits in the terminals below the locks, with serious consequences for efficiency. “We therefore continue to insist that additional container capacity below the locks is urgently needed. The port of Antwerp is doing very well, which is good news for the economy,” Vandermeiren said.
9. Searching for Stellar Daisy
Ocean Infinity has been contracted by the Korean government to search for the wreck of the VLOC Stellar Daisy that sank on 31 March 2017 with the loss of 22 lives. The wreck of the vessel lies in an unknown location in the South Atlantic approximately 2,500 nm due east from Uruguay where it sank carrying a cargo of iron ore from Brazil to China. Ocean Infinity said it would be deploying a fleet of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to search for the wreck of the Stellar Daisy and would survey it using 3D imaging technology once it was found. The AUVs are capable of operating in depths of up to 6,000m.
10. Tanker Crewman Medevaced
A 31-year-old crew member from the tanker Hafnia Phoenix was medevaced off the coast of Boston on December 28. According to data provided by the US Coast Guard, the seafarer fell ill while the vessel was some 26 miles east of Boston. The captain of the ship notified Coast Guard Sector Boston watchstanders of the man’s condition, and it was determined a medevac to the nearest hospital was necessary.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com