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Dozens of migrants die in the sea off Somaliland

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…As 3 European tourists are stabbed at Egypt resort

Dozens of Ethiopian and Somali migrants died in the waters off the breakaway Somalia region of Somaliland when their vessel failed mechanically in the course of the voyage and drifted in the sea, a regional Somaliland official said.

Ahmed Abdi Falay, the chairman or governor of Sanag region, said the boat, which had started its journey from the port of Bossaso two weeks ago and was heading to an unidentified port in the Arabian Peninsula, was discovered by the Somaliland Coast Guard.

“They climbed into the boat and were shocked to find the dead bodies of 10 people and 72 others who were in different stages of suffering, some of them in serious condition,” he said from the port city of Maydh on Friday.

“The Coast Guard brought the 72 survivors and the bodies of the dead people ashore. The wounded are being treated and the dead are being buried.”

Another 96 bodies, from the same vessel, were discovered ashore by locals on Friday having been washed in with the tide, Falay added.

Some three members of the crew of the stricken vessel were arrested as they tried to flee into nearby mountains and they will be questioned by authorities, the official said.

Migrants from the Horn of Africa states have for many years made the perilous sea crossing in search of better life abroad, forced out of their countries by conflict, repression and economic hardships.

Meanwhile, two Austrians and a Swede who were stabbed in an attack on a hotel in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Hurghada were only lightly wounded and in stable condition on Saturday, an Egyptian hospital official said.

The official, who requested anonymity in line with regulations, identified the victims as Renata and Wilhelm Weisslein, both 72, and Sammie Olovsson, 27. The official said they suffered shallow wounds.

Two suspected militants attacked the three at a hotel in Hurghada late Friday. Security forces shot both attackers, killing one and wounding the other before arresting him.

It was the second hotel attack in as many days. An Islamic State affiliate claimed an attack Thursday on a hotel in Cairo near the Pyramids that did not wound anyone. Egypt has been battling an insurgency based in the northern Sinai Peninsula that grew following the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The Interior Ministry said that in the Hurghada attack, two men armed with knives and pellet guns attacked the tourists in the restaurant at the front of the seaside, four-star Bella Vista Hotel.

Jan-Eric Olovsson, the 64-year-old father of the Swedish victim, told the Swedish Expressen newspaper that they were having dinner in the restaurant when the attackers stormed in.

“Everything went really fast. We sat there and ate and then they showed up,” he said. “I thought they came from outside. I myself had the gun pointed at me three times, and Sammie was stabbed with the knife.”

He said his son was stabbed four times in the neck but “did well” because of his physical strength. “I told him to lie still,” he said, recalling how his son lay in a pool of blood. “I got up a few times and when I saw it was clear, I ran out on the street and tried to get hold of an ambulance.”

He said another woman who was eating in the restaurant was also wounded.

Shortly after the attack, Sammie updated his Facebook profile, saying he was “lucky” to have deflected the knife when the attacker tried to stab him in the chest. He said the knife cut some muscles in his neck but no arteries or nerves, and that he would be able to leave the hospital Saturday.

Egypt has been struggling to revive its tourism industry after years of unrest stemming from the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The apparent bombing of a Russian passenger plane over Sinai last year, claimed by the IS group, led to widespread flight cancellations, dealing a major blow to the industry, which is one of the country’s main earners.

MSN

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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