1. Two accidents in the Atlantic and in Med.
Atlantic: Disabled freighter was adrift in the Atlantic since Dec 12, taken on tow, to be towed to port of destination.
Med: General cargo ship issued distress signal on Dec 16 western Med, AIS was missing since Dec 14. AIS reappeared in the morning Dec 16, then went off again. No tugs, SAR ships seen in the area. http://maritimebulletin.net/2019/12/16/two-accidents-in-the-atlantic-and-in-med/
2. Three offshore supply ships collided at Aberdeen
Offshore supply ship STRIL MYSTER went out of control and collided with berthed offshore supply ships EDDA FERD and SKANDI AUKRA, while maneuvering at Aberdeen Harbor, in the evening Dec 10. All three ships sustained some damages, EDDA FERD and SKANDI AUKRA damages probably superficial, as both ships left Aberdeen and continued working. STRIL MYSTER on Dec 16 was still at Aberdeen. According to The Press and Journal pressandjournal.co.uk, Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) is aware of the incident and making inquiries. http://maritimebulletin.net/2019/12/16/three-offshore-supply-ships-collided-at-aberdeen/
3. Bulk carrier fire, Newcastle
Fire erupted in storage compartment in superstructure of bulk carrier ECOMAR G.O. at K4 terminal at Newcastle Harbour, Australia, in the evening Dec 15. Bulk carrier arrived at Newcastle to load coal on Dec 15, from China. “Crew attempted to extinguish the fire but were unsuccessful due to its intensity.
Following this, NSW Fire and Rescue arrived on scene at about 8pm and the fire was extinguished by about 9.30pm.” says Newcastle Herald. Three crew were treated for smoke inhalation. No information on damages extent. http://maritimebulletin.net/2019/12/16/bulk-carrier-fire-newcastle/
4. Tanker damaged in collision with fishing vessel, returned to Falmouth
Tanker collided with 22-meter French fishing vessel at around 1800 UTC Dec 14 in English Channel S of Falmouth, said CornwallLive news outlet. A spokesman for the Marine Coastguard Agency (MCA) said the tanker was on route from Falmouth to New York USA, when she collided with fishing vessel. Fishing vessel sustained superficial damages, tanker sustained a hole around 50cm by 100cm in its ballast tank, and had to return to Falmouth. She anchored at Falmouth Anchorage at night Dec 14, and as of Dec 15, remained in the same position. http://maritimebulletin.net/2019/12/15/tanker-damaged-in-collision-with-fishing-vessel-returned-to-falmouth/
5. MAIB Points to Chemical Reaction in Stolt Groenland Explosion Probe
Maritime investigators in the UK have released an interim report into the large explosion on board the chemical tanker Stolt Groenland in Ulsan, South Korea back in September, pointing to the chemical reaction involving the ship’s styrene monomer cargo as a main focus of the investigation going forward. The explosion took place September 28, 2019 as the moored Stolt Groenland was awaiting to commence a ship-to-ship cargo transfer with the product tanker Bow Dalian. https://gcaptain.com/maib-points-to-chemical-reaction-in-stolt-groenland-explosion/
6. European Commission Approves Maritime State Aid to Five Countries
The European Commission has approved state aid for five countries to encourage ship registration and promote Europe’s maritime competitiveness. The five countries – Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Poland, and Sweden – were each granted five seperate measures, or “schemes”, aimed at contributing to the global competitiveness of the sector . https://gcaptain.com/european-commission-approves-maritime-state-aid-to-five-countries/
7. Royal Caribbean Liability in White Island Volcano Deaths May Turn On ‘Act of God’ Defense
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd’s potential liability for a deadly excursion to a volcanic island in New Zealand could hinge on whether the eruption was an unforeseeable “act of God,” according to maritime lawyers.
Cruise ship passengers were among the tourists on White Island [last Monday] when it erupted. While no lawsuits have yet been filed, legal experts said they expected action in U.S courts by injured passengers and families of those who died. https://gcaptain.com/royal-caribbean-liability-in-white-island-volcano-deaths-may-turn-on-act-of-god-defense/
8. U.S. Top Trade Negotiator Praises Deal, China Remains Cautious
U.S. President Donald Trump’s top trade negotiator praised a “phase one” U.S.-China trade deal which is expected to nearly double U.S. exports to China over the next two years, while China remained cautious ahead of the signing of the agreement.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation” program on Sunday, said there would be some routine “scrubs” to the text, but “this is totally done, absolutely.” https://gcaptain.com/u-s-top-trade-negotiator-praises-deal-china-remains-cautious/
9. Analyst: Fuel Costs Set To Double, Box Lines Rush For Scrubbers
With high-sulfur fuels currently around half the price of low-sulfur options, container lines are rushing vessels to shipyards to get scrubbers fitted ahead of new International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that become mandatory at the start of 2020. https://www.shippingtribune.com/news/shipping/Analyst%3A+Fuel+costs+set+to+double%2C+box+lines+rush+for+scrubbers
10. VLCCs Push Higher
Rates for 270,000mt Middle East Gulf (MEG) to China pushed up, from WS100 at the start of the week, to WS112.5. However, they came under pressure mid-week and have now fallen back to WS105. For 280,000mt to US Gulf Cape/Cape rates have hovered around the WS57.5 level. For 260,000mt West Africa to China, rates firmed early on and have settled in the WS102.5 region. Fixing activity, however, has been quiet lately. Rates for the 270,000mt trips from the US Gulf to China has been boosted by increased activity to $11.4m level. This is up $0.5m from a week ago. https://www.shippingtribune.com/news/shipping/VLCCs+Push+Higher