Here are some interesting news about the merchant ships and their crew members.
Somali Pirates Are on The Run?
Somali pirates' activities and capturing of merchant ships are much declined in this year 2012. These founding by the international community can be a welcoming one by the international shipping companies and the crew members. Although the merchant ship crew are on with sleepless nights and full of tensions with the thinking of when they are going to encounter again with these merciless pirates.
Families of the merchant shipping crew members too are much worried about their family members working onboard vessels and spend everyday their life's are passing with fear of these ship held in the costal and high seas.
In this year 2012 many pirate attacks were occurred around the Hope of horn in the Africa region and only 5 numbers of ships were hijacked. The decline of ship hijacking is due to the international navy patrolling with their flight support and of their long range fire power along with the shipping companies' hired armed security service did provide a tremendous support for the ships and the ship's crew members with out any loss.
Mean while reports coming from the Somalia says most of the bandits had spend their money and hiding in small huts mean while some of them had mixed in to the African communities in the European countries with their blood money. Plenty of young pirates are seen back in the fishing trade to fed them and their families. Once lavishly money was spent in these costal villages are now gone and most of them are back to their poverty filled life.
Now any time you can expect those European country armed forces to land and rescue those merchant ships that are held for ransom money in the cost line of Somalia. So the families of those seaman held in these ships can expect them too to be released soon.
7:11 AM 9/19/2012
Somali Pirate attacks at the Horn of Africa have diminished after the deployment of fire powered international forces and private companies onboard vessels. Cases are also going in courts against captured Somali pirates. In a recent court scene some Somali pirate who tried to attack the Dutch marines who came to the rescue of some Iranian sailors who were captured by the Somali pirates in the year 2011. At this incident 2 Somali pirates were killed and the others were captured and brought to Rotterdam, Holland. The trails are expected to close on October 08th and if the pirates are found guilty they may end up in prison.
In the mean time a sailor was killed by the Somali pirates in warning of delayed ransom payment of the captured a Panama-flagged, bulk cargo vessel MV Orna that was hijacked off Seychelles in 2010. The Somali pirates claim that it is now more than two years and they are angry with the delayed payment of money. The dead seaman is from Syria according to the available report.
There is another report that the Somali pirate had fired at a helicopter that came to patrol the Somali seas from the Italian naval vessel San Giusto. A shuttered glass window had injured one of the pilots in this neck. The helicopter didn't fire any shots as it seemed that the boat involved was having kidnapped hostages by the Somali pirates.
Maritime news August.
ACL the Atlantic Container Line is going to replace its fleet with new ones. They had made orders to the ship builders to lay keels for 5 new ships to replace their ships operating in the Trans Atlantic route. The new container ships are capable of carrying 3,800 TEU (20-foot-equivalent units). Also it will have space for 1,300 vehicles and 28,900 square meters of Ro-Ro space. These ships are combination container and Ro-Ro.
Heavy rain and strong typhoon hit S. Korea. During the typhoon two Chinese fishing ships hit the rocks off the cost of South Korea's southern Jeju Island. it is believed 5 of the crew members were believed to be killed while many others were rescued from the sea. Because of the high waves which were hitting the area cost guards couldn't approach the vessels in distress. So the S. Korea coast guard used a special gun to shoot rope to one of the ship, so the officers could pull themselves over and bring the fishermen back to shore.
American Navy Rescues Iranian Sailors from Fire.
9:46 AM 8/13/2012
10 Iranian sailors were rescued by American Navy personal when the Iranian sailor's Iranian flagged vessel caught on fire in the Gulf of Oman. The destroyer USS James E. Williams crew went in to action to rescue all of the crew members from the burning Iranian dhow which had 10 sailors in total which included 8 Iranians and two Pakistanis.
Those rescued crew members were given medical treatment and are on their way to their home. The American Navy while on duty in the Gulf used to assist sailors in distress or whi8le they are attacked by pirates.
They had rescued of 13 Iranian mariners in January 2012.
Mean while another US destroyer had rescued the Iranian seaman and their fishing boat from the Somali pirates captivity where the pirates had converted the fishing boat in to an attacking mother ship. In this rescue operation 15 Somali pirates were taken into custody.
Somalia Pirates Less Operative Now.
8:18 AM 7/25/2012
Due to more war ships presence and onboard arm guards with striking orders Somali pirates had decreased their operation to attack and capture vessels at sea. But the sleepless nights for the ship crew and officers are still not over. They can sleep peacefully only once their is a recognized Government comes to power in the Somalia region with good armed forces and police to control this lawless land which is a free for all country for the last twenty years.
Recently a fishing boat owned by Taiwan was released by the Somalia pirates after keeping in their captivity for more than 19 moths after high jacking it on December 25, 2010 off the island nation Madagascar. Then the fishing vessel "Shiuh Fu No 1" was taken to Somalia with its crew of 13 Chinese and 12 Vietnamese nationals.
After the ransom money was paid by the owner of the fishing vessel was able to get the crew members only through a ship from the Chinese navy as the fishing boat had run aground.
It was not published how much money was paid as ransom money to the Somalia pirates by the fishing vessel owner.
Wave of demand for merchant seamen.
Colleges are struggling to produce enough merchant seamen to meet demand, even though more graduates with non-maritime degrees are opting for a life at sea, experts have warned.More than 10,000 graduates who studied non-maritime majors have joined the merchant fleet since 2006, thanks to training offered as part of a government program to support the ship industry. However, according to Li Enhong, director of merchant seamen management at the Ministry of Transport, colleges are able to produce only a few thousand merchant sailors every year, far short of what is needed.
Pirate attacks drop to lowest since 2008.
Pirate attacks fell to the lowest since 2008 this year as the presence of naval forces helped deter Somalis from attacking merchant shipping off the East African country's coast. There were 177 incidents worldwide in the first six months compared with 266 in the same period of 2011, the London-based International Maritime Bureau reported Monday. Somali pirate attacks fell to 69 from 163, the largest contribution to the wider decline.
Dutch Defence Organisation Makes Security for Merchant Shipping Cheaper.
Dutch Minister of Defence Hillen is making it cheaper for shipping companies to deploy marines on board merchant ships passing through waters off the coast of Somalia. These military personnel protect vulnerable vessels from pirates in Vessel Protection Detachments (VPDs).
The Dutch shippers' organisation EVO responded enthusiastically to the price reduction. According to the shippers, trade stands to benefit the most if the government provides affordable security: "Dutch marines on board Dutch merchant ships is the best guarantee for safe transport of cargo through areas plagued by pirates."
Somalia Pirates Activity July 2012.
10:10 AM 7/13/2012
Somali pirates has hijacked a supertanker with the cargo a capacity of over 300,000 tons. The ship is owned by Greek Company and was flying Greek flag when it was captured by the Somalia pirates while it was navigating from Saudi Arabia and was destined for the United States. The Somalia Pirates had moved the ship to lawless Horn of Africa state's coast recently and demanding a huge amount to release it with the ship crew members and ship officers.
M/T MaranCentaurus the captured Greek tanker has reported to employ crew of 9 Greeks, 16 Filipinos, 02 Ukrainians and a Romanian mariner.
Mean while in another event this week two Kenyans and a local Somali doctor were kidnapped and the initial reports indicate the kidnappers are to be Somalia pirates. The kidnapping took place near the city of Galkayo is the border separating the semi-autonomous state of Puntland and the separate region of Galmudug to the south.
Maritime job opportunities in the federal government.
Maritime Administration: An agency under the Department of Transportation, it focuses on waterborne transportation. It works in many areas — from shipbuilding to port operations to national security and the environment.
The agency maintains a fleet of cargo ships in reserve to provide surge sea lift during war and national emergencies, and it is responsible for disposing of ships in that fleet, as well as other obsolete noncombatant government ships. It also provides support for educating future mariners, and programs to educate young people about the maritime industry's importance. Learn more here: www.marad.dot.gov.
Maritime Global News. www.maritimeglobalnews.com
Somali Pirates are fighting between them.
By Nooril Ameen | seamanjobbank.com | 9:03 PM 6/19/2012
According to reliable sources Somali pirates groups are fighting each other on the land where one pirate was dead due to his wounds while many others sustained serious wounds. This incident happened in the Mudug region of Somalia. The cause of the incident seems to be one pirates group wnated to capture another Somali pirate group in the land.
There are reports from the Puntland Government saying their Puntland police had captured 11 Somali pirates including a notorious pirate leader along with their properties.
Mean while Somali pirates had released a 6,000 metric ton Greek chemical tanker which was captured by them last October. M/T Liquidvelvet is sailing towards to Oman along with its crew members who are Filipino seaman numbering 21 after paying the said ransom of US$ 4 million to those Somali pirates as ransom money.
The tanker ship was attacked and captured by the Somali pirates once it came out of the Suez Canal zone when it was sailing with the cargo towards India.
M/V Westwind II stays in Portland.
8:51 AM 6/9/2012
M/V Westwind II is in the Dorset port and it has been there since October 2011. The ship ran aground in Weymouth Harbour and later it was moored to Portland since October 2011. Further more the ship did failed the safety inspection. Officials of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency who did the inspection found that the ship owners must do many more things to make it seaworthy.
M/V Westwind II was recently sold to a new German ship owner to settle a pay dispute with its former crew members and the ship owner. Five of the crew members of the ship who are from Turkey and Georgia were staying onboard it claiming that the last owner didn't pay them their salary for the period of 10 months. The UK Admiralty Court has ruled the ship to be sold for UK �500,000 and the crew's wages should be paid from the sale proceeds. The real cause for the ship's arrest was the damage cased by the ship's anchor to the commercial mussel beds in the harbour and this led the ship's arrest by the Admiralty Marshall
Sri Lanka Government ship detained.
A Sri Lankan-flagged vessel named M/V Lanka Mahapola was arrested on May 17th in Durban port in South Africa according to the local court order after the ship charters failed to pay the salary of the ship crew.
Now the ship was found to be not sea worthy and unsafe to sail further so the authorities at the Durban sea port have ordered the ship to be further detained.
It seems most of the ship's documents are expired mean while there are suspicion some of the ship's documents are tampered too. Also the inspectors had found out that there are many leaks in the ship and the living condition for the seafarers are found to be harsh and poor.
In another incident on board the vessel 13 crew members were arrested after they tried to sell off scrap metal from the ship to make pocket money.
This became as a serious crime against those crew members as the vessel is already detained by a court order and their crime is a bigger one according to the country's law.
The Sri Lanka State owned only ship M/V Lanka Mahapola was leased to a local company by the Ceylon Shipping Corporation. There are chances for the vessel to be sold to scrap other wise to get all the sea worthiness certificates the ship owners must pay a lot of money and long time period to repair it.
Iran Navy assists American ship Maersk Texas.
According to Iranian Navy report they had responded to the SOS message from the American flgged vessel Maersk Texas as it was surrounded by Somalia pirate boats. When the Iranian navy ship was visible for the Somali pirates they fled from the area for their safety.
But this event will open the eye of the Americans to do some thing against those pirates to safeguard the maritime industry and the seafarers' lives at sea.
Maersk Texas 14,000 tones cargo ship with a length of 150 meters was on the way to United States from the port of Fujairah was attacked by the Somali pirates.
Later the American vessel thanked the Iranian Navy and continued its journey.
Iran's navy said Thursday it saved an American-flagged cargo ship that was being attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Oman. Iranian Navy used to watch the shipping movements in the Gulf of Oman to protect cargo ships, oil tankers and other vessels too.
Mean while Iranian Navy claims that they had clashed with the Somali pirates many times on the other hand US vessels had saved many Iranian ships from the pirates' attacks and had saved those ships. Four months back the US navy had rescued many Iranian fisherman who were captured and kept by the Somali pirates for more than one and a half months as captives in their boat.
Action Against Somalia Pirates.
M/T Smyrni, 150,000 Ton tanker, owned by Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd was attacked and hijacked by the Somali pirates' on10th of May 2012.
The ship was on its way to Indonesia from Turkey. At the time there were 26 crew members working onboard the tanker are now kept as captives by the Somali pirates includes11 Indians including the Master, 14 Filipinos and 1 Romanian national. It is not known whether any arm guards were onboard the tanker where Greek flagged vessels can employ them under the New Greek maritime law.
Mean while Puntland state has backed military operations by India to rescue the Indian sailors who are numbering more than 60 held by the Somali pirates. This was stated by the Putland chief. The Puntland chief, who is scheduled to meet Indian political leadership, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Wednesday, said he will discuss a military agreement with India, particularly in capacity building of its forces to fight piracy both on land and at sea.
Recently the EU forces used their helicopters to attack the identified Somali pirates target and destroyed lot of boats and oil storage facilities. And the EU forces promised to do more to control the activities of the Somali pirates in the sea and land.
A New step to Control Somalia Pirates.
A new way to control the activities of the notorious Somali pirates was taken by the European Union this week. The European Union forces went in action in night time in the Pirate's holding areas where they destroyed core of boats that were suspected to be used by the Somalia pirates to attach merchant vessels and to capture them for to obtain ransom money from the ship owners.
Somali pirates who are achieving very much successful in the recent years had made millions of dollars as ransom money. Last week a Greek owned Tanker was captured by the Somali pirates while it was transporting a cargo of 135,000 tons of oil off the coast of Oman.
Currently they are holding 300 innocent seamen who had manned over 28 ships which are waiting for the release, if the ship owners are ready to pay the requested ransom money to the Somali pirates.
Mean while unconfirmed report says that lot of speed boats that were used to attack merchant ships were destroyed along with many storage facilities that used to supply fuel for the speed boats and the mother ships.
The European Union naval forces are expected to carry out more attacks on the Pirates land in the coming weeks to reduce the Somali pirate’s illegal activities in the sea.
Maldivian and Indian navy are following the hijacked Iranian ship
Maldivian and Indian forces were on Tuesday shadowing a hijacked Iranian-owned cargo ship drifting in the Indian Ocean, but were holding off boarding the vessel according to official report.
An armed Maldivian vessel was travelling close to the ship, seized near Maldives. The cargo ship was with a cargo of Brazilian sugar and it was destined to the Bandar Imam Khomeini port in Iran.
Somali pirates under pressure.
African Union forces are pushing away the armed gangs that used to support Somalia pirates out of Mogadishu. This and other kind of pressure from International Navy patrol and armed guards on board merchant vessels had working well against the Somali pirates operation in the recent time.
So the year 2011 was not so good for the Somali pirates where they encountered with more vigilant ship crew, International Navy, Private patrol boats with guards and onboard hired armed security men. Also their attacking area too had come near to the Somalia area.
Recently Royal Danish Navy happened to attack a Somalia pirate's mother ship in which the moth ship didn't accept the stop order from the Danish Navy ship. Later the Danish navy fired on the mother ship to make it to stop. On boarding the mother ship the Navy officials found 17 suspected pirates and 18 hostages, two of whom were critically wounded. The wounded were subsequently scummed to their wounds even they were provided with medical assistance by the Navy doctors.
So this kind of news will be welcomed as a good one by the international seafarers and their families along with the ship owners. Let's see what this year 2012 is going to give for the Somali pirates.
ITF Press Release.
Action demanded for stranded Moroccan crews
17 February 2012
Over 100 Moroccan seafarers on four vessels are facing shortages of food, fuel and pay in the port of Algeciras, Spain, following a drastic reduction of operations by Morocco's Comarit/Comanav Ferry company that has led to the laying up of 11 ships in Spanish, French and Moroccan ports. The company is known to be still functioning short of bankruptcy. Some 1800 ship and shore staff are affected.
The ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation), working with Morocco's Union Marocaine du Travail (UMT), is trying to help four crews stranded in Algeciras, who are now described as having reached their limits.
During inspections of the four vessels there (the Moroccan-flagged Ibn Batuta, Al Mansour, El Boughaz and Banasa) crewmembers have stated that some have not been paid for up to five months, some of their families are at risk of losing their homes, and provisions, fuel and water were nearly exhausted. Following union intervention sufficient diesel for crew needs for another four or five days has been put onboard.
The ITF and UMT are appealing for the company to pay all its crews, and for the Moroccan government's Maritime Authority and Transport Ministry to intervene to ensure that its obligations are honoured.
Somali Pirates been Attacked.
7:21 AM 1/18/2012
Somali Pirates tried to attack and capture a Dutch vessel named M/V Flintstone while it was sailing towards Singapore from Malta. The pirates learned a hard lesson when the Marines stationed on board the vessel opened fire on them to flee away from the vicinity of the Flintstone. It was not known whether any casualties among those fled Somali pirates. But it is expected some to be dead.
When the incident took place all the ship crew went in to hiding in the ships specially designed safe place to maneuver the ship and to safeguard them form the crossfire.
Mean while another group of Somali pirates released a Malta flag Tanker ship and it's crew of 18 after getting US$4 million ransom money.There were 15 Georgians and 3 Turks who were onboard the Greek owned chemical tanker M/V OlibG when it was hijacked on its final voyage to scrap yard in the Gulf of Aden.
Now all the crew members had been transported to port of Mombasa in Kenya through a tugboat while the tanker seems to be abandoned near to the Somali coast.