Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 09/01/2019
1. Ship Stable for Now
The Vietnamese product tanker that suffered a massive explosion while taking on bunker fuel near an outlying island in Hong Kong this morning is not in danger of sinking, local authorities have said. One seafarer is confirmed dead and another two are missing following the blaze, which led the local news all day in the southern Chinese city. The fire on the Aulac Fortune was put out after nearly five hours this afternoon, and although the badly damaged ship is listing at 30 degrees the local fire services department has said the ship is not at risk of sinking.
2. MSC Closing Gap
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is set to close the gap with its nearest rival, Maersk, throughout 2019, taking more newbuilding slots than any other carrier over the coming 12 months. The Geneva-headquartered line will take on 20 ships this year, aggregating a total capacity of 334,550 teu, according to data from Alphaliner. The carrier’s orderbook includes eight 23,000 teu ships under construction in South Korea, all of which will be deployed on the Asia – North Europe tradelane.
3. MOL Swoops for Sale
MOL’s Singapore subsidiary MOL Chemical Tankers has sealed a deal with Triton to acquire Danish owner Nordic Tankers. Upon completion of the deal, expected next month, the company will be renamed MOL Nordic Tankers. All existing management and employees of Nordic will remain in the company and services will be maintained without any disruption. MOL Chemical Tankers currently operates 56 chemical tankers, and the addition of Nordic Tankers will add a further 19 chemical tankers to its fleet.
4. Fire Fighting Continues
The firefighting operations for Hapag-Lloyd’s 7,500 teu containership Yantian Express continued for a fifth day, after the vessel caught fire off Canada’s east coast on January 4. According to Tim Seifert, a spokesperson of Hapag-Lloyd, two big tugboats Smit Nicobar and Maersk Mobiliser are using high-powered water cannon to try and extinguish the fire. The fire started in one of the containers onboard the vessel on Thursday when it was on its way to Halifax and the fire spread to other containers in the strong wind in the following days. All the crew have been evacuated without injury.
5. Shutdown Affecting Mariners
The U.S. Coast Guard’s merchant mariner licensing offices are closed due to the ongoing government shutdown, with serious implications for some deck and engineering officers. To address the closure, the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center has granted an extension for Merchant Mariner Credentials (national endorsements only) and Medical Certificates expiring in December 2018 and January 2019. Mariners can sail using documents covered by the extension until March 31. However, the extension does not apply to STCW endorsements, which are required on STCW-certified ships.
6. Korean Builders Top Once More
For the first time in seven years, South Korean shipyards have reclaimed the lead on shipbuilding orders, according to newly released data from Clarkson Research. The data shows that South Korean yards received new orders for a combined 12.63 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) in 2018, 44.2 percent of the 28.6 million CGTs received globally. China, at number two, received orders for 9.15 million CGTs and Japan received orders for 3.6 million CGTs. Increased orders for LNG carriers have helped South Korean shipbuilders retake the top spot.
7. Pier Allision Master Suspended
Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) said that the master of the cruise ship Nippon Maru has been suspended after the vessel’s allision with a U.S. Navy fuel pier at Apra, Guam. As the Nippon Maru departed Apra with 372 passengers and 252 crewmembers, she struck the U.S. Navy’s Delta Pier. No injuries or pollution were reported, but photos show that the Nippon Maru sustained a large hole near her stern, above the waterline. Initial reports indicated that the gash measures approximately five feet in height by seven feet long. According to the Navy, an initial assessment of the pier found an estimated $3 million in dock damage.
8. Multiple Human Errors
The investigation into the collision involving a roll-on/roll-off vessel and a containership in the Mediterranean Sea last October identified human errors on a multitude of levels. According to investigators who revealed their findings on Monday, the investigation revealed that the watch officer on board the Tunisian ro-ro Ulysse was alone on the bridge and on his phone, far away from radar, at the time of the collision early on October 7th. Officers on the Cypriot container ship Virginia also not attend to radar alarms, investigators questioned why the ship had dropped anchor in the middle of a shipping lane.
9. New Safety Data for Offshore
The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) is introducing a new web-based method for collecting safety statistics from its contractor members. This will result in simpler, more timely reporting, and the ability to easily benchmark performance. IMCA began collecting safety data over 20-years ago, and the statistics show that reported injury rates are just one tenth the level reported in 1997. The traditional spreadsheet has now been replaced with a web-based user-friendly dashboard. This will enable members to submit data and to compare their performance with that of other similar-sized companies.
10. Coal Carrier Sinks
Two people died and another four were missing on Monday after a ship carrying coal sent a distress signal off the northern coast of Turkey, the coast guard and the local governor’s office said. The Panama-flagged vessel, which departed from Russia’s Azov port, sent out a distress signal around 148 kilometers (92 miles) off the northeastern Black Sea province of Samsun, the coast guard said. Thirteen crew members were on the bulk carrier including nine Ukraine nationals, two Azerbaijan nationals and two Russians, the Samsun governor’s office said.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com