Friday, 10 August 2012

And we're off....


Yes, that's right! We're off! First set of news off and on the go!

Explosions in Malaysia

Sadly, we start this round up off with a bit of bad news. There has been a recent incident involving a chemical tanker in Malaysia. The "MT Bunga Albina" was loading a cargo of Methanol at the Petronas berth in Labuan when she was hit by a lightening strike. Knowing that no non-intrinsic equipment is allowed within a sniff of the deck of a chemical tanker during Cargo Ops the results were somewhat spectacular.

At the last count stood there was 1 confirmed dead with three missing. Sources from the MRCC in Malaysia were quick to quote about the danger of the methanol loading facility going up in smoke too. Several fire tugs were dispatched and the fire was eventually brought under control. I'm sure all our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this sad time.

Don't cry for me........Argentina!

After spectacularly shooting themselves in the feet with the nationalisation of the oil company "YPF" from the Spanish owner oil major "Repsol" the Argentinians are now out and looking to try and develop off-shore oil fields of their own with the help of the Venezuelan's. Good luck on them getting the finance to get anything like that off the ground as understandably, not many of the other oil majors are willing to contribute anything towards it. Meanwhile, Repsol have gone and launched a civil case against the Argentinian Government. In what came as a massive shock to the Argentinians, Repsol actually expected to reap some reward after investing billions with YPF and were rather miffed off about being given the boot. To top it all off, the Argentinian Government is also taking legal action against several entities for performing oil exploration in the Falklands region. Even though the exploration itself is being conducted in international/Falkland's waters, they are still throwing the teddy out the pram and threatening all and sundry. I'm sure things will go swimmingly.....

In another piece of news from Argentina, Christina Fernandez De Kirchner (AKA KFC) has signed a presidential decree block all British flagged vessels from performing any operation of any kind within Argentinian waters. How far this will extend remains to be seen. They have just recently blocked two P&O Vessels from entering their ports after arriving there from the Falkland Islands, which is a move that is not going to be particularly popular in the long run as the cruise ships are big money for these ports, but I'm KFC think's all will be ok after shooting themselves in the feet...

"Shit, the Peon's are getting uppity again, oh what to do? VIVA LAS MALVINAS!"

United States to the Rescue!

In the best of maritime traditions, the US navy came to rescue of 10 Iranian sailors the other day. The US missile destroyer "USS James E. Williams" was performing security duties in the Gulf of Oman when a vessel that was also transiting the area caught fire prompting the crew's evacuation.

Sailors from the destroyer leapt swiftly into action and in a night time operation in relatively rough weather, managed to save all 10 crewman from the vessel. The last heard was that the rescued crewmen were being well looked after by those aboard the destroyer and were en-route to a nearby port to be repatriated.

It's actually quite nice to see that, even with the current tensions between the US and Iran, the laws of the sea are still being followed and followed well! Hats off to you!

More Costa Concordia lawsuits!

It what has been the single biggest blow to the cruise industry since the Titanic, the lawsuits against Carnival Corp over the loss of the "Costa Concordia" have been steadily rising. One US based law firm, "Ronai and Ronai LLP" have just lodged a case against them for $400 Million dollars worth of compensation!

From what I've gleaned so far (and I do stand to be corrected), this law firm is litigating on behalf of just ONE of those lost in the disaster. According to a representative of the law firm they are going for so much money because "This is the only way to punish these big firms, to hit them where it hurts." I don't know, I'm guessing the massive loss in revenue, having you're companies name trashed by the media and having most of the world foaming at the mouth and demanding that the SMT of Costa be strung up isn't enough. Now, please don't get me wrong. What happened that night is a tragedy, an easily avoidable one, but considering that most mainstream media don't give a fig when it involves the cargo fleet does irk me a little, not to mention all the uninformed crap that they like to spout out just to get the outrage bus going.

Well, All aboard the outrage bus...

Anywho, thats all I've got for now. As things are a bit quieter I'll be along again shortly to update this further and pass along more stories and news from within the Maritime World.

Thanks for reading!