Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 08/01/2019
1. Tug Readied for Yantian Express
The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday is continuing to coordinate the response to a container fire on board the now abandoned Yantian Express located approximately 1,015 miles northeast of Bermuda. Saturday evening, 11 non-essential crew members were evacuated from the Yantian Express to the tugboat Smit Nicobar, following by the remaining crew Sunday morning. All 24 crew members are reported to be unharmed. The Coast Guard said it is currently monitoring the situation.
2. New Chief at CLIA
Adam M. Goldstein, Vice Chairman, Royal Caribbean Cruises, has been appointed Global Chair of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) effective January 1, 2019. Goldstein succeeds Arnold Donald, President and CEO, Carnival Corporation & plc. who served as CLIA Global Chairman since January 2017. Goldstein is a 30-year veteran of Royal Caribbean Cruises, and he took up position as Vice Chairman in May 2018. He has served as RCL’s president and chief operating officer since 2014. He also served as the President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International prior to Michael Bayley.
3. Zoe and the Blockchain
It could be months before authorities know why 281 containers washed overboard the MSC Zoe into the North Sea last week – that is, if are even able to collect enough evidence. Local media are telling us that the ship encountered particularly rough seas and high winds. Whatever the final verdict, the prospect of hundreds of containers – some containing dangerous organic peroxide and lithium-ion batteries – washing up on crowded beaches in Europe has once again brought maritime security and practices to the forefront of public awareness.
4. Former PM Head Box Terminal
Thailand’s former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been appointed as chairwoman of China’s Shantou International Container Terminal (SICT). According to registration information, SICT also changed its legal representative to Shinawatra on December 12. Yingluck, whose elected government was overthrown in 2014 by army generals, fled Thailand in 2017 days before the Supreme Court convicted her of negligence and handed her a five-year prison sentence. She has since been keeping a low profile.
5. Small Tanker Goes Missing
Indonesian-flagged small clean tanker Namse Bangdzod has been reported missing in the Java Sea while it was sailing from Bagendang Port, Sampit to Port Tanjung Priok in Jakarta. The 1993-built 2,000 dwt vessel, carrying crude palm oil, lost contact on December 27 with 12 crew onboard. According to local reports, The Sampit Port Authority has started the search for the missing ship with the coordination with all relevant parties. The authorities have also broadcast a notice on coastal radio, requesting ships in the region to help report any information about the missing ship.
6. UK Tax Still Stable
Among the changes introduced by the UK Budget 2018 which could have implications for the shipping and offshore maritime industries was a decision to increase the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) from £200,000 to £1m per annum for all qualifying investments in plant and machinery made between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2020. It will be important plan for any large plant and machinery expenditure accordingly. This is accompanied by a reduction in the rate of writing-down allowances for special-rate pool assets from 8% to 6% per annum on a reducing balance basis.
7. Opposition Incredulous About Ferries
Britain’s opposition Labour Party on Monday criticized the government for awarding a 14 million pound ($18 million) contract to a ferry company with no ships to provide backup freight cover in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Labour’s transport spokesman, Andy McDonald, said the transport ministry had failed to carry out proper checks on the company, Seaborne Freight. “The Department for Transport’s claim that it carried out due diligence is increasingly incredible given the mounting evidence of a lack of relevant expertise or experience,” McDonald said.
8. Anniversary of Sanchi Loss
This past weekend marked the first anniversary since the Sanchi disaster, one of the worst tanker accidents of the decade, with families of the bereaved in Iran still asking questions as to how the deadly inferno happened. All 32 crew – a mix of Iranians and Bangladeshis – died in the wake of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) suezmax colliding with the Chinese bulker CF Crystal on January 6 last year in the East China Sea. The stricken Panamanian-flagged tanker burned for more than a week, drifting in between Chinese and Japanese waters, before exploding and sinking.
9. Fined for Breaking Bad
A Bangladeshi shipbreaking company has been fined $240,000 for dismantling a grounded vessel at an unapproved location in Chittagong. The scrapping of beached ships is a common practice in Chittagong, which is home to Bangladesh’s busy shipbreaking industry. Every year, hundreds of vessels from all over the world are driven onto a seven-mile stretch of beach just north of the city center, where they are cut up for scrap steel. This area of industrial activity is also an alleged source of pollution, as the vessels are dismantled on a tidal flat with little physical containment.
10. Soviet Era Ship Sinks
Six of the 13 crewmembers of the coastal freighter Volgo Balt 214 died Monday after their vessel sank in the Black Sea. The Volgo Balt was under way off the northern coast of Turkey on Monday morning, carrying coal from Azov to the Turkish port of Samsun, when she encountered heavy weather and went down. One of the survivors told responders that the ship was struck by a large wave. “As a result of the shock of the wave, the ship could not stand it, it broke and began to sink. The crew sent a distress signal,” said Vasily Kirilich, a spokesman for Ukraine’s foreign ministry, speaking to 112 Ukraine.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com