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AN interesting further development in the piracy debate. The crew of the VLCC Samho Dream have decided to sue for compensation over their piracy ordeal, seeking a portion of the profits from the sale of the ship. The case follows on from legal action taken by the crew of the Maersk Alabama, and it will be interesting to see how approach develops.

There has been more fighting talk from Clay Maitland, senior partner of the managers of the Marshall Islands Register, who renewed his calls for a new convention to deal with piracy cases. Clay is not happy with the way things have been developing and wants to see a more proactive approach.

He also feels that shipping is lacking a voice, telling journalists at a recent lunch – appropriately enough on board former Q Ship HMS President – that shipping is missing someone of the calibre of Lord Leathers, a shipping man who first joined Steamship Owners Coal Association in 1898 and went on to be Minister for War Transport in the Second World War. He also bailed out Winston Churchill, who was having problems with financing his country house Chartwell.

Spinnaker would be delighted to handle the vacancy. Wanted – shipowner, politician, loan shark. Blimey, we can think of one or two already!

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