Monthly Maritime News Roundup: April, 2016

By April 29, 2016 Marine News No Comments

As the month of April comes to a close, Kemplon Engineering looks back on some of the most compelling maritime industry developments of the last 30 days, in this edition of the Monthly Maritime News Roundup:

One of the most important humanitarian issues unfolding in our time is the European Migration Crisis – where hundreds of thousands of irregular migrants from North Africa and the Middle East flee conflict or poverty from their homelands for a better life in Europe. Many of them make the journey by treacherous sea routes, on overcrowded or barely sea-worthy boats.

The situation is complex and fluid – we at Kemplon Engineering feature the issue frequently on our blog – and April, 2016 has ushered in a set of developments, too. This month marks the first year anniversary of one of the deadliest maritime accidents in history, when over 800 migrants died in a failed human trafficking operation on the way to Italy. Attempts are being made to raise the ship and identify the dead using DNA, and to bring the perpetrators to justice. Unfortunately, this does not mean the migrant deaths have ended.

Unconfirmed reports are circulating of a major tragedy on the Mediterranean, possibly involving as many as 400 deaths from refugees coming from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia trying to reach Italy. It is incidents like these that move organizations like Medecins Sans Frontieres into action. The medical charity, which had previously ceased its rescue program in January, resumes its migrant rescues on the Mediterranean.

In related news, a controversial deal between the EU and Turkey involving the return of certain migrants to Turkey after they reach Greece, has started seeing action this month. Three waves of migrant returns have already been done, with dozens of migrants including nationals from Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan and Syria, being ferried to Turkish ports.

Speaking of the European Union, they have made maritime industry news this month for other reasons, too – the recent release of Legal Guidelines on Certified Shipbreakers, and a proposed integrated policy on the Arctic.

Shipbreaking is a controversial activity in terms of safety (with the industry having a record of extremely dangerous working conditions), and negative environmental impact. The European Commission’s new guidelines aim to mitigate these factors, but certification will be tough, especially for the beaching shipbreakers of the developing world, which sees a majority of the world’s shipbreaking business.

This April also saw EU developments regarding the Arctic, with the release of their proposed, first integrated Arctic policy. The policy has 39 points covering the environment, economics, social issues and of course, security and international relations.

On the other side of the globe, Australia launches its Antarctic Strategy and 20-Year Action Plan, a $255 million initiative for infrastructure and science and exploration. The program includes the acquisition of a world-class icebreaker for delivery by 2021, which will be named via a public poll. Australia featured in maritime news in two other ways this month. First, the country is pushing forward its naval shipbuilding plans, which is estimated to provide 2,500 local jobs. Second, they closed one of the most profitable submarine building deals on the planet (to the tune of $40 billion!), with France.

Also logging in some wins this April is Carnival Corporation. The cruise company based in Miami reports great leaps in revenues and net income vs. the same period last year, and has announced hiring needs in the thousands for its upcoming new ships. Carnival’s Fathom Line, their social-impact themed brand, made winning strides this April as well. Aside from being the first company in half a decade allowed to sail from the United States to Cuba, they have also been instrumental in changing Cuba’s policy prohibiting Cuban-born individuals from returning to the country by sea.

In other Cruise News, prepare for a stunning new way to watch whales and other marine life while at sea – French cruise line Ponant’s luxury, ice class, expedition ships are set to have observation lounges underwater!

While cruisers have been taught by this dynamic industry to expect the unexpected, some onboard ‘adventures’ are truly unbelievable. Take, for example, the recent experience of Disney’s Fantasy. The cruise ship came to the rescue of three Cuban nationals on a capsized boat – later, they would be fingerprinted by authorities and discovered to be fugitives linked to federal credit card charges in New Orleans and Florida.

Another Dramatic Rescue featured in the news this month. Three mariners turned into castaways on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific when their sailboat sank. They were rescued by the US Coast Guard after three days – when a Navy aircrew spotted the “HELP” sign they had spelled out with palm leaves on the sand.

What a month it’s been! See you in May for another Maritime News Roundup.

If you liked this article, explore our blog for previous news roundups (such as last month’s, or highlights from the year 2015). Check in with us regularly too, as we at Kemplon Engineering strive to keep our blog fresh and relevant – just one part of our commitment to meeting the needs and interests of our marine and industrial customers.

For more information on our company and the services we offer, explore our website and learn about welding and fabrication, precision machining, pipe fitting, laser cutting, and more. We just might have the solutions you need for your projects and ideas. Contact us at, or by phone at (877) 522-6526. We would love the opportunity to work with you!

For Further Reading

On Europe’s Migration Crisis

Esslemont, Tom. “Medical charity MSF restarts Mediterranean migrant rescues.” Reuters, 25 Apr 2016. Web. 02 May 2016.

Guzel, Mehmet. “Third wave of migrants returned to Turkey from Greece.” Business Insider, 26 Apr 2016. Web. 02 May 2016.

Nadeau, Barbie Latza. “How to Raise a Ghost Ship.” The Daily Beast, 20 Apr 2016. Web. 02 May 2016.

Osborne, Samuel. “Fears 400 refugees have drowned in Mediterranean after boats capsize.” Independent, 18 Apr 2016. Wen. 02 May 2016.

On the EU

“EU Releases Guidelines for Certified Shipbreakers.” The Maritime Executive, 13 Apr 2016. Web. 02 May 2016.

“European Union proposes 39-point policy plan for the Arctic.” Deutsche Welle, 27 Apr 2016. Web. 02 May 2016.

On Australia

“How France Sank Japan to Win Australia’s $40 Billion Submarine Deal.” Fortune, 02 May 2016. Web. 02 May 2016.

Hunt, Elle. “Australian government to ‘avoid Boaty McBoatFace situation’ in ship name poll.” The Guardian, 27 Apr 2016. Web. 02 May 2016.

Packham, Colin. “Australia accelerates naval shipbuilding program to secure jobs.” Reuters, 18 Apr 2016. Web. 02 May 2016.

On Carnival

“Carnival Hiring Thousands as It Adds New Vessels.” World Maritime News, 06 Apr 2016. Web. 02 May 2016.

Herrera, Chabeli and Douglas Hanks. “Cuba will allow Cuban-born to arrive on Carnival cruise ship.” Miami Herald, 22 Apr 2016. Web. 02 May 2016.

On Other Cruise News

“Cruise line building ships with underwater lounges for whale watching.” Fox News, 29 Apr 2016. Web. 02 May 2016.

Golgowski, Nina. “Disney Cruise Ship Rescues 3 Fugitives From Capsized Boat.” The Huffington Post, 26 Apr 2016. Web. 03 May 2016.

Lee, Esther. “Three Men Stranded on Remote Desert Island Rescued After Writing ‘Help’ on the Sand: See the Crazy Photo.” Us Weekly, 11 Apr 2016. Web. 03 May 2016.