Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/01/2019
1. Raging Shipboard Fire
At least 11 crewmembers were killed Monday when two vessels caught fire near the Kerch Strait, the contested waterway connecting the Black Sea with the Sea of Azov. The Russian Maritime and River Transport Agency (Rosmorrechflot) said that the two ships were involved in a cargo transfer at the time of the casualty. One of the two vessels exploded, and the fire then spread to the second ship. 14 crewmembers escaped by jumping over the side and were rescued from the water. Six more are still officially listed as missing, including three whose bodies have been sighted but not recovered from the water.
2. Nuclear Sub and Ferry
Authorities in the UK have confirmed a previously-unreported near miss between a Royal Navy submarine and a ropax ferry. According to the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), a close approach between the ropax ferry Stena Superfast VII and an unnamed nuclear-powered submarine occurred on November 6, 2018. The sub was operating at periscope depth. MAIB says, “The investigation is being conducted with the full co-operation of the Royal Navy. A report will be published when our investigation has concluded.”
3. To Scrub or not to Scrub
As the 2020 deadline for the implementation of IMO’s rules of the use of low-sulphur fuels nears, the question among the ship owning community regarding the installation or not of scrubbers seems to intensify. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Gibson said that “the scrubber debate continues with the same intensity as it did six months ago, although there appear to be fewer announcements for new installations. According to the DNV GL, the number of new bookings for fittings during 2019 decelerated over the past couple of months. It remains to be seen whether this slowdown remains.
4. Police Called to Rig Incident
The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) said it is investigating a well control incident which occurred last week on Seadrill’s semi-submersible rig West Hercules. The rig is currently operating for Equinor in the Barents Sea, and on January 16 during drilling operations the lower marine riser package on the blowout preventer was unintentionally disconnected. Work had to be halted as a result, although no injuries of environmental discharges were reported as a result of the incident. The cause of the incident is unknown, however PSA has informed police and will support them with technical support if needed.
5. General Cargo Ship Sinks
Chinese general cargo ship Zhong Xing 689 sank near Pingtan of Fujian yesterday, while it was sailing from Shantou to Pingtan. The ship sank shortly after the crew found water ingress in the ship cabin. The 12 crew had to jump into the ocean after they found there was no time to get on the lifeboat. Fujian Maritime Rescue Center sent two patrol boats and two helicopters and coordinated several nearby vessels to join the search and rescue operations, while issuing alerts to vessels in the region to avoid the incident site.
6. Tankers are Top Pick
Ahead of the Chinese New Year, analysts are marking a bullish tone on tankers in particular. Crude tankers are being picked as the best performer for 2019 with suggestions the cyclical expansion for this sector has only just begun. Five-year-old VLCCs should appreciate in price by 44% by the end of next year with Oslo-listed Okeanis Eco Tankers from Greece the top pick among listed tanker entities. VLCC earnings are set to average $29,000 a day this year, Cleaves predicted, up 88% year-on-year, suezmaxes to average $21,000, up 30%, and MRs to hold steady on $12,000, up 37% over 2018’s average performance.
7. Downward View for Trade
While global growth in 2018 remained close to postcrisis highs, global expansion is weakening and at a rate that is somewhat faster than expected. World Economic Outlook (WEO) projects global growth at 3.5 percent in 2019 and 3.6 percent in 2020, 0.2 and 0.1 percentage point below last October’s projections. The downward revisions are modest; the risks of more significant downward corrections are rising. While financial markets in advanced economies appeared to be decoupled from trade tensions, the two have become intertwined, tightening financial conditions and escalating the risks to global growth.
8. Grounded in The Elbe
The 12,500 dwt tanker Oriental Nadeshiko was refloated only hours after it ran aground in the river Elbe on January 21. Relevant authorities managed to move the Panama-flagged vessel, which wan into trouble in the morning hours, during the first refloating attempt, German Central Command for Maritime Emergencies informed. Prior to the refloating attempt, the salvage teams lightened the vessel by removing some 600m³ of ballast water.
9. Work Together for Seafarers
Stakeholders in the shipping industry need to work more closely with Stella Maris-Apostleship of the Sea to ensure seafarers get the right help when they need it the most, according to a report launched by the charity Life at Sea Report: Working together in times of crisis. The report looks at how ship visiting and pastoral care for seafarers continue to remain vital. It illustrates cases of seafarer abandonment, non-payment of wages, stress and mental health problems, bullying and harassment, medical emergencies and refusal of shore leave.
10. Titanic Project New Designs
Passenger and cargo shipping company Blue Star Line has contracted Deltamarin to continue with the design of Titanic II. The contract covers activities and tasks for the design process, consultancy and project management services. Deltamarin will provide Blue Star Line with outline design services including finalizing and modifying the existing design to comply with the latest rules and regulations. These include the SOLAS 2020 requirements and the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI). Deltamarin will also further develop the design, and handle the management of consultations with potential shipyards.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com