A photo shows the ONE Apus as it arrived into view in Kobe, Japan, December 8, 2020. Photo: Twitter @mrnkA4srnrA

gCaptain’s Most-Viewed Stories of 2020

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 6700
December 30, 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at the stories that were read the most by readers. For probably the first time, we’re happy to report that all of the top posts in received over 100K views each. But without further ado, here are the stories that had people clicking in 2020.

10. USS Kid Arrives in Washington Flying a Pirate Flag

The guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) arrives in Washington flying the “Jolly Roger”, a flag that is synonymous with piracy on the high seas. U.S. Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd returned to its homeport in Everett, Washington in September flying a giant “Jolly Roger” pirate flag. This most-read post offers some background on why Kidd is one of three U.S. Navy ships that has actually been allowed to fly the flag of piracy. Full story…

9. Sandy Hook Pilot Dies in Boarding Accident

Tragedy struck for Sand Hook Pilots Association in August when Captain Timothy M. Murray died from injuries sustained during a fall from a pilot ladder. To make matters worse, the accident followed the death of another Sandy Hook pilot, Captain Dennis R. Sherwood, who fell while boarding the U.S.-flagged Maersk Kensington on December 30, 2019. Full story…

8. ITF Tells Seafarers to Stop Work Amid Crew Change Crisis

It seemed the crew change crisis was coming to a head in June when the International Maritime Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) took the unprecedented step of telling the world’s seafarers to stop working if their employment contracts had expired and they were awaiting repatriation home. The call to action came after months of calls on governments to designate seafarers as ‘key workers’ and exempt them from COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The inability to conduct regular crew changes has emerged as one the most critical issues facing the global shipping industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since posting, the crew change crisis has only worsened with some 400,000 seafarers now estimated stuck at sea. Full story…

7. World’s Largest Containership Departs China with Record Load

HMM Algeciras pictured in after its delivery in April. Photo courtesy HMM

The new world’s largest containership, HMM Algeciras, departed China on its maiden voyage in May carrying a record 19,621 TEUs loaded on board, The ship was the first of twelve 24,000 TEU vessels to be delivered to HMM this year, which at the time raised some eyebrows amid uncertainty with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. As it turns out, any concerns were unfounded as all 12 of the ships sailed full-loaded with containers on their maiden voyages. Full story…

6. Wild Docking in Norway

A video of Hurtigruten’s new expedition ship MS Nordnorge as it was docking during strong winds in Bodø, Norway gained a lot of attention online thanks to the Captain who used the ship’s anchor to ease the ship alongside the pier, earning him high praise on social media. Good to know amazing ship handling is still in fashion. Full story…

5. Large Bulk Carrier Runs Aground in Mauritius

A general view shows the bulk carrier ship MV Wakashio, that ran aground on a reef, at Riviere des Creoles, Mauritius, in this handout image obtained by Reuters on August 10, 2020. French Army command/Handout via REUTERS

The MV Wakashio ran aground on a reef off the coast of Mauritius on July 25. Since our first post on the incident, Wakashio has practically become a household name (at least if you’re reading gCaptain regularly) after the ship broke up and spilled some 1,000 tonnes of bunker fuel, creating Mauritius’ worst-ever environmental disaster. By my count, we have now published more than 40 articles on the disaster, a number that is surely to grow as the removal of the stern continues. Full story…

4. Sailboat Operator Cited for ‘Rule 9’ Violation

A 25-foot sailing vessel crosses the bow of a 550-foot tank ship transiting a narrow channel near Stockton, California, April 18, 2020. The sailing vessel operator was cited and fined for violating 33 Code of Federal Regulations 83.09, commonly referred to as Rule 9. (Courtesy photo)

The operator of a recreational sailboat was cited in May for violating navigation rules after his sailboat crossed in front of the bow of a 550-foot tanker in a narrow channel near Stockton, California. The U.S. Coast Guard cited and fined the operator for violating 33 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 83.09, commonly referred to as Rule 9. All things considered, the incident could have been worse and we hope some lessons were learned from this. Full story…

3. Containership Takes Out Crane in Busan

A major accident caught on camera at the Port of Busan in April had all the hallmarks of becoming a top post; a big ship, destruction, and a steady-handed cameraman. The ship was the MV Milano Bridge and thankfully nobody was injured. Full story…

2. Stellar Banner Scuttled

The scuttling of the Stellar Banner in June capped three months of efforts to clean and refloat the ship after it grounded off the coast of Brazil with some 270,000 tonnes of iron ore loaded. It’s still shocking to watch one of the biggest ships in the world to sink in about a minute. Just chilling. Full story…

1. One Apus Arrives in Kobe, Revealing Epic Cargo Loss

A photo shows the ONE Apus as it arrived into view in Kobe, Japan, December 8, 2020. Photo: Twitter @mrnkA4srnrA

We knew the ONE Apus incident was bad, but I don’t think anyone expected just how bad it really was until the arrived in Kobe, Japan, revealing the extent of cargo loss for the first time. Estimates still say that the ship lost 1,816 containers overboard when it ran into severe weather as it sailed across the Pacific Ocean to Long Beach. Looking at the ship it seems more containers are collapsed than not, so the true extent of cargo lost is still to be determined.

Our top post of the year racked up more than 330,000 views. In fact, ONE Apus articles could have taken several spots on this most-viewed list, but we’re just combining them all into the number one spot. To date, our coverage of the event has generated about 750K views. Full story…

Read Next: gCaptain’s Year In Review – Top Maritime Stories of 2020

PS. At the top of each post you’ll see a “Total Views” counter, which we deployed this Fall so actual number of views may differ from what is shown (the counter started counting from 0 at launch). For this list, we used our Google Analytics numbers.


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