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April 12, 2023

A tanker has been boarded by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, indicating the use of a mothership to deploy a skiff or a secondary tanker in the vicinity to illegally offload cargo. This incident comes just weeks after the successful hijacking of the MT Monjasa Reformer. The International Maritime Bureau’s data showed a reduction in the number of piracy incidents and crew kidnappings last year, but sustained efforts are needed to ensure the continued safety of seafarers in the region.

The fire on the Kodiak Enterprise, a fishing vessel docked at Trident Seafoods in the Hylebos Waterway in Tacoma, has nearly burned itself out. The vessel has developed a list to its port side, but divers have confirmed no water intrusion has been detected and the hull remains intact. While fears of damage to the vessel’s freon tanks were present, heat from the fire did not cause any pressure buildup, and no freon has been detected at the site or in surrounding areas.

Turkey launched its first amphibious assault ship, the TCG Anadolu, aimed at extending its drone capabilities from land-based to naval operations, amid increased regional tensions as war rages in Ukraine on the other side of the Black Sea. The ship is 232 meters long and 32 meters wide, and can carry some 1,400 personnel, one battalion of soldiers, combat vehicles, and support units to operate overseas. The vessel will allow Turkey to conduct military and humanitarian operations in every corner of the world when needed, says President Tayyip Erdogan.

Bollinger Shipyards has been awarded a U.S. Navy contract for the detailed design and construction of the sixth Auxiliary Personnel Lighter–Small (APL(S)) 67 Class berthing and messing barge. Construction will take place in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and is anticipated to begin in the second quarter of 2023. APLs are used by the Navy to house crewmembers when ships are in port for availabilities and Inter-Deployment Training Cycles, and can also be used for humanitarian missions and other temporary assignments.

Russian oil prices are approaching the $60-per-barrel limit imposed by the Group of Seven nations on crude shipped from Russia to limit the Kremlin’s profits amid the war in Ukraine. Buyers who pay above that level lose access to industry-standard insurance under the sanctions. The price of Russia’s Urals crude, including shipping costs, was over $73 a barrel as of April 6, making it difficult to assess the actual price of Russian crude due to the emergence of a shadow fleet of vessels and trading companies. Tightening sanctions are starting to bite, with Russia pledging to cut output through the end of the year. However, there are signs that Russian crude is still cheap enough to undercut other suppliers, such as Iraqi crude, according to India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Inspections and Compliance Directorate has issued a bulletin warning mariners of a growing number of bulk carriers arriving in the U.S. with wind turbine parts stowed in a way that significantly limits visibility from the navigation bridge. Many of these vessels were given dispensation letters by their flag administration or recognized organization that temporarily exempted them from compliance with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974 Chapter V, Regulation 22, which specifies requirements for navigation bridge visibility standards. Despite the exemption, some of these vessels are intended to pass through restricted navigational channels and congested inland waterways, raising concerns about the safety implications of the exemption. The Coast Guard has urged vessel owners, operators, flag administrations, and recognized organizations to ensure adequate voyage planning, appropriate cargo stowage arrangements, and compliance with all mandatory rules and regulations. Failure to comply with U.S. regulations for navigation bridge visibility may result in the issuance of a COTP Order or other appropriate actions in accordance with the Coast Guard’s authorities.

New York-listed Scorpio Tankers has exercised purchase options to buy six leased ships, including the 2019-built LR2 STI Lobelia and five MR product tankers, in a move that will reduce its debt by $147.3m. The deal is expected to close in June and follows the Monaco-based company’s $149.8m debt reduction action last month, which saw purchase options taken on another six ships.

Boston-based shipping software company Veson Nautical has acquired UK online pricing platform VesselsValue for an undisclosed sum. VesselsValue’s maritime brand and product line will continue under the Veson umbrella, becoming part of Veson’s suite of services when the acquisition is finalized in early May. VesselsValue’s aviation unit will be spun out into a separate, standalone company. The acquisition will see VesselsValue clients benefit from improved model updates, with information from sources within the Veson product portfolio being incorporated.

You can read yesterday’s issue of ‘Currents’ here.

Disclaimer: ‘Currents’ is an online shipping news service by Earl’s Rock Trading (Pvt) Ltd that reports on the latest developments and trends in the maritime industry. We do not take any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in our news stories or for any opinions expressed by the people quoted in them. Our aim is to provide our readers with up-to-date news and insights from reliable sources. However, we do not endorse or take any responsibility for any actions taken by our readers based on the information provided in our news articles. We also want to make it clear that we do not own any of the images used in our news stories, unless stated otherwise. All images belong to their respective owners, and we use them solely for illustrative purposes. If you are the owner of any image used in our news stories and want it to be removed or credited, please contact us, and we will take the necessary action.