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Maritime Monday 122

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August 4, 2008

Welcome to this 122nd edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 72 here. (Published 20 August 2007)

You can find last week’s edition here.

You can find links to all the previous editions at the bottom of this post. You are encouraged to participate using the comment link/form at the bottom of the post. If you have photos or stories to tell, do email me at [email protected].


This Week’s Photos:

This week’s photos come from the website of Lithuania-based Baltnautic Shipping LTD:

Baltnautic Shipping Ltd was established in 1998 and successfully develops itself for almost 10 years. The result of productive cooperation with local and foreign ships Owners is our constantly growing fleet, which presently comprise 15 vessels of sea-river type.

The main reason of company success is highly educated and well-experienced staff. Most of them graduated from St. Petersburg State Maritime Academy, which allows to use their skills and knowledges in accordance with highest standards and requirements of IMO, Flag States and other authorities of Maritime Industry.

Baltnautic Shipping Ltd is a member of Lithuanian Ships Owners Association, as well as Lithuanian Association of Agents and Brokers. In 2001 the company was certified by Lloyd’s Register.






Their homepage can be found here.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has “Russian Anti-Piracy Idea: Simple and direct“.

gCaptain has “Knots“.

gCaptain also has “Rough Week for Cruise Ship Passengers“. CBS News has more with “VIDEO: Chaos Aboard New Zealand Cruise Ship“. The ship is P&O’s PACIFIC SUN. Remember, ships are inherently dangerous places.

Cruise Bruise has been leaked an internal industry document titled “Cruise Line International Association [CLIA] Proposal For Reputation Management And Outreach Program, June 26, 2008”

The document is a plan of attack for making the public think the cruise industry is a knight in white shining armor and for getting favorable treatment from high ranking U.S. officials.

As I read through the document, one particular section jumped out at me. It appears the industry is going to be bribing certain people with “perks” to act as CLIA agents, all with the help of the White House, the U.S. Department Of Defense, the U.S. State Department, key U.S. Senators and “Top Administration Officials”.

It sounds illegal to me, and if not, it’s probably only because the lobbying effort is being massively distributed to many people to keep under reporting limits.

The BBC has Japan’s sudden concern in “Tuna fishing suspended in Japan – Tuna fishermen from Japan’s largest fisheries co-operative have suspended operations temporarily in a bid to replenish dwindling stocks of the fish.” The suspension is for only 2 months. Who are they kidding.?They will only take this problem seriously after the fishing stocks have collapsed. For decades they have been lying about how much tuna they have been catching. See the 2006 revelation: “Japan admits exceeding bluefin tuna catch

It was revealed in August that Japanese fishers and their suppliers from other countries plundered world southern bluefin tuna stocks, secretly catching up to three times the annual Japanese quota each year for the past 20 years. has “Pacific salmon supply drying up” noting that the US West Coast Salmon fleet has already been docked for the season due to a fishing moratorium. (As previously reported in Maritime Monday 109 and 106.)

AFP has “Japanese sushi rage threatens iconic Mediterranean tuna“.

Maritime Compass has “Sustainable seafood resources“.

EUobserver has “Hundreds of African migrants arrive amid Italy ’emergency’“. Almost 900 have made it to Italy in the last week.

The Astute Bloggers has “OFF SHORE DRILLING IS MAKING BRAZIL RICH“. The Democrats keep pointing to Brazil as an example for turning to ethanol. Drilling for oil is the other (less-publicized) half of Brazil’s ethanol success story. Their goal was independence from foreign energy, never independence from oil.

The US Maritime Administration has “Last Liberty Ship Leaves James River Fleet“.

(The Arthur M. Huddell departing the James River Reserve Fleet, July 28, 2008.)

The China Post has “Brand-new Chinese cargo ship bound for Indonesia runs aground“. The ship is the KIJANG and according to the news report is not insured.

Drilling Contractor has “Transocean rig sets world record for longest extended-reach well“.

The well was drilled offshore Qatar in 36 days and incident-free. The new record of 7.6 miles is also the first well in the history of offshore drilling that exceeds 40,000 ft (12,191 m).

Bob Couttie’s Maritime Accident Casebook has “In Philippine waters? Keep your cellphone” noting that ‘Philippine Coastguard officials rely on cellphones and text messages to get the co-ordinates of ships in trouble because they don’t have the capability of receiving EPIRB signals’. Maybe they are waiting for the international community to buy them the capability.

Information Dissemination has some comments on the “USS Houston’s Radioactive Water Leak“.

The Honolulu Advertiser has “Falls of Clyde will be sunk unless rescue arrives soon“. (Previous mention in Maritime Monday 104)

The Falls of Clyde is listed as a National Historic Landmark. Before it was de-rigged last month, it held the distinction of being the world’s last remaining four-masted, steel-hulled, full-rigged ship. – CHRISTINA FAILMA | The Honolulu Advertiser

blue water: news of my escape discovers that the biggest jerk onboard (as noted in this post, describing the AB as ‘the Caribbean Nazi’) is actually ‘a pretty nice guy’. Turns out that the solution to the problem was very simple.

Jaunted wonders “Is the Hawaii Superferry Finally Catching On?” as ridership increases. has “Big Island Superferry on schedule for May debut” as Superferry’s second vessel is nearing completion of construction.

And just to note that the conspiracy theories are still active, Boycott Hawaii Superferry News has “Superferry Military Link“. Seems that one of the longstanding objections to the Superferry (of many objections) is that the ferry can be used for military operations.

CBC News (Canada) has “Cruise ship traffic a threat to Arctic waters, U.S. expert warns“.

Lloyd’s List has “New contract for US west coast dockers“.


BarentsObserver asks a legitimate question in “Why does Russia need new aircraft carriers?“. How about cleaning up the radioactive mess left behind from their last great fleet first?

An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog has “What do you mean I have to have a licensed Captain on this thing?“.

The Stupid Shall Be Punished has “Big Navy Gets Two More Scalps” and wonders when the Navy is going to start going after those directly responsible for lapses that lead to accidents.

Never Sea Land has the latest in the recent parade of ugly yachts in “Russian shark-boat“.

Mr. Boat Blog has “Pangaea: the world’s largest, cleanest expeditionary sailing ship.

The US Coast Guard has a photo “U.S. COAST GUARD C-130 USED FOR MOLOKAI WHALE TRANSPORT“. The whale was transported for research as it was already dead.

Strategypage has another of Russia’s never-ending projects in “Son Of Kilo Stumbles Along“. They are referring to the planned replacement for the KILOs, the LADA class submarine. Who named them LADA?

Greenpeace is causing trouble in the Mediterranean Sea with their latest antics: “Putting a stop to dangerous cargo in the Mediterranean“. As you can see from the photo below, they are hardly acting responsible themselves. It’s not like the ship’s bridge crew can even see what this little rib boat of theirs is up to.

BitterEnd has photos of an interesting vessel in need, a seaplane that was forced to land due to an engine fire. More here and press coverage of the story here.

MarineBuzz has “Russian Mini Submarines Explore Worlds Deepest Lake Baikal“.

MarineBuzz also has “Italy to Build a Ship to Handle Radioactive Waste of Russian Nuclear Submarines“. Not only are the Italians building the vessel, they are also paying for it, because they are stupid.


The Stupid Shall Be Punished also has a post with lots of discussion in the comments concerning the use of capstans and anchors on submarines. Never thought of a sub having an anchor and when reading the comments, you’ll see that a couple subs returned without their anchors. On my first ship we anchored once. It was just after passing under New York’s Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. I assisted the Bosun when this happened at about 2 in the morning. Unfortunately, I was real eager to get to the dock as I was signing off the ship that morning. (That was the Car Carrier NOSAC RANGER.)

Robin Storm – In Search of Severe Weather has “Dust Storms In Sahara Desert Sustain Life In Atlantic Ocean“.

Tugster has photos of the recent Dragon Boat Races in New York City. Dragon boat races give me nightmares.

CDR Salamander has for his weekly series Sunday Funnies the list “HOW TO SIMULATE LIFE IN THE NAVY“. Looking at some of those items on the list, makes me wonder how over manned some Navy ships might be these days, or overworked with tasks just to stay busy.

52. Every so often, throw the cat in the pool and shout “Man overboard, starboard side” Then run into the house and sweep all the pots and dishes off the counter. Yell at the wife and kids for not having the kitchen “stowed for sea.”

Hellenic Shipping News has “The Fifth Circuit Limits the Expansive Definition of “Vessel” for Jones Act Seamen“.  Click the following link for more information on the Jones Act.

THE PRIVATE ISLANDS BLOG has “Scottish island on market for £100,000“. Small problem in that the island is ‘protected’ which might limit your ability to enjoy your new purchase, unless you don’t mind not having a home built there. No word on whether you can rename the island or not.

Steeljaw Scribe has “Sea-based BMD and the Maritime Strategy“.

Kennebec Captain calls “Singapore” and notes ‘Agents usually bring a newspaper. This one brought two copies of “The Straits Times”, a Time magazine, a copy of “The Economist” and a small box of Godiva chocolates.’ On my first ship we called Le Havre, France as our first European port call after crossing the Atlantic. The pilot neglected to bring our Captain a newspaper. The Captain was on his ass for the next hour about this, suggesting that the French must be doing really bad in the Olympics, which were being held there at the time. (Among other things.)

Skipper’s Scrivenings (USNS MERCY) has “Goodbye Dili – Hello Darwin” as the crew gets some shore leave prior to heading off to Papua New Guinea.

Life at SEA has “Dawn of Women Marine Engineers in India.

Life at SEA also has “Horrifying survival story of 2 Indians onboard ‘Fort Longueuil’” which was sunk during WWII.

There were only two survivors from the ‘Fort Longueuil’. The two men, both Indians, survived 4½ months on a life raft and then a further 18 months in a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp.

IMC Brokers has a map: “Port of Antwerp – Locks & Docks“. Antwerp is my favorite port.

IceNews (Iceland) has “Is Iceland finding oil on the Jan Mayen Ridge?“.

Tims Times gets off his ship and has an adventure flying home in “More homecoming.

Mercy Ships Links has an extensive list of members of the staff and crew of the Hospital ship AFRICA MERCY who are blogging their adventure while providing medical services in Liberia in the sidebar. This very well might be the ship with most bloggers on it in the world. If you know of one better do tell in the comments. A number of the blogs have lots of photos. Looks like good duty if you can spare the time! You can find the Mercy Ships homepage here and a video tour of the ship here, which notes that it is the world’s largest non-governmental hospital ship and contains Africa’s first Starbucks. the video also contains a rare compliment for engineers, who are the ship’s ‘unsung heros’.

Manufactured landscapes has photos of “Huge container terminals.

China Daily has “China to deploy first mooring system in the Arctic“.

Russia Today has “Russian ship accused of polluting English Channel“. The ship is the SKULPTOR ANIKUSHIN.


Al Santana is working on a documentary film “Merchant Marine: From Provincial To Global Citizens” which ‘looks at men and women of color in the U.S. Merchant Marine from 1938-1975. It is a work in progress that will examine their development as a multi-racial/international labor force’. He has posted a video preview at the bottom of the page.

Professional Mariner has clarification in “In fact, WW II mariners were paid when their ships sank“.

Lloyd’s List Newsroom Blog has “Enforcing safety“.

The Independent has “Lost in translation: Mary Rose’s demise blamed on multilingual crew“. The British warship sank in 1545.

The August edition of American Shipper is now online.

Africa Shipping Lines notes delays in “CONTAINER TERMINAL AT MOMBASA AND IT’S IT WOES“.

Wired has “What’s the Coast Guard Doing in Africa?


Haight’s Maritime Items has:

California threatens to sue EPA for failing to regulate ship emissions – California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr. issued a news release stating that he plans to sue the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failure to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) from ocean-going ships, as well as from aircraft and construction/agricultural equipment. The news release states that the IMO has failed to adopt controls on GHG emissions from such vessels and that the right of innocent passage does not give ships the right to pollute the air and water in California. Mr. Brown has sent the EPA a formal notice of intent to bring suit if appropriate action is not taken within 180 days. California expects to be joined in this action by Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and the City of New York. (7/31/08). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)


Black Tom Island incident – Early (about 2 a.m.) on the morning of July 30, 1916, the Port of New York and New Jersey experienced the first act of maritime terrorism in US history. A major explosion occurred at the munitions loading facility on Black Tom Island, across the Hudson River from Manhattan. While the United States was still officially neutral in World War I, weapons and explosives were shipped from the railhead on Black Tom Island to allied forces in Europe. That night, a suspicious fire was discovered in a railroad boxcar on the island. Most guards fled the island, but several people were killed by the explosion, which blew out windows in buildings in lower Manhattan and parts of northern New Jersey and leveled the island. A Claims Commission later determined that German agents had set off the explosion and Germany eventually paid reparations. This incident provided the genesis for the Coast Guard’s port security program. – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News has:

Red Sea ferry owner acquitted – THE OWNER of ferry operator El Salam Maritime Transport, Mamdouh Ismail, has been found not guilty of manslaughter by an Egyptian criminal court.

Several news outlets have reported Sunday’s verdict. Al Salam Boccacio 98, owned by El Salam, sank in the Red Sea two years ago, killing more than 1,000 people.

Ismail’s son, also a company executive, and three other defendants were also acquitted.

But the captain of a ferry who failed to conduct a rescue of survivors was given six months in prison.

Angry relatives of the dead struggled with security forces after the verdict and denounced judges and defendants, the BBC reported.

Fairplay 24 has been unable to reach anyone at El Salam for comment. But Jon Whitlow of the International Transport Workers’ Federation called the acquittal “inexplicable”.

He added: “The investigation into the disaster revealed a trail of incompetence, greed and flagrant disregard, not just of national and international legislation but also common sense.

“The decision to let the owners and company executive decision makers off without having to take responsibility for the consequences sets a dangerous precedent.”

Al Salam Boccacio 98 sank in the Red Sea on 3 February 2008 after a fire broke out. Water from firefighting reactions caused the starboard side to become flooded; the drain pipes were blocked with trash.

The ship began to to list and eventually capsized and sank. An Egyptian parliamentary report in April 2006 concluded that the ship’s owners and the maritime authorities had entered into a “wicked collaboration”. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


Court hears how captain turned away – DRAMATIC details have emerged about the sentencing in Egypt of a ferry captain for his failure to rescue the survivors of the Al Salam Boccacio disaster.

More than 1,000 people were killed and nearly 400 were injured two years ago when Al Salam sank in the Red Sea between Safaga, Egypt, and Diba, Saudi Arabia.

Expert testimony indicated that weather conditions and the proximity of the ferry St Catherine put its Captain Salah Gomaa in a prime position to help. But he was allowed to escape jail by paying a fine of 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($1,883) on Sunday by Judge Ahmad Rifaat Al Najjar.

Gomaa, according to a translation of a court account, defended his failure to attempt a rescue while en route to Diba by claiming that he feared for the safety of the 1,800 people aboard his ship.

He indicated they might have gone on to one side of the deck to watch the rescue, thereby causing his ferry to capsize.

The court declared that Gomaa could have ordered his passengers to remain inside, then ordered the rescue.

Gomaa was in contact the Al Salam’s second officer Abdul Munem Al Sayyed, who told him – while clinging to a life raft along with other victims near St Catherine – that the Al Salam was sinking, evidence indicated.

“But the accused left the victims mercilessly, giving all sorts of devious excuses, to face their fate fighting the waves. His action was an act of the devil as he left them to die,” a translation of the court account read. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


Submissions for future editions:

Please submit articles for inclusion in next week’s edition using the following submit form at Blog Carnival. You are also welcome to email stories and photos to [email protected] for inclusion in future editions as well as suggest areas of coverage.


Previous Editions: As linked below or click on the tag ‘Maritime Monday’ for all gCaptain editions.

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