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Maritime Monday 130

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October 6, 2008

Welcome to this 130th edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 80 here. (Published 15 October 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 the Dutch company SMIT:

SMIT has a proud tradition of more than 165 years of service in the maritime sector. The company has earned an excellent reputation by combining expertise and experience with high-quality materials and equipment in the nearly 50 locations around the world where SMIT is active. SMIT aims to provide its services in the main to shipping companies, producers in the oil and LNG industries, insurers and governments. SMIT maintains the highest standards in respect of Safety, Health, the protection of the Environment and Quality.

SMIT’s services are divided into four Divisions:
1. SMIT Harbour Towage: harbour towage services and related maritime services.

2. SMIT Terminals: towage services and related maritime and management services to offshore and onshore terminals.

3. SMIT Salvage: salvage, wreck removal, environmental protection and consultancy.

4. SMIT Transport & Heavy Lift: chartering, barge rental & transport, ocean, coastal and river towage, heavy lifting and marine support to a variety of civil and offshore projects.

SMIT CLYDE – Tug details (PDF Link)

‘Smit Port Said’ and ‘Smit Damietta’



SELENDANG AYU – off Western Unalaska Island

Smit’s website on the TRICOLOR Wreck Removal: TRICOLOR SALVAGE

Removal of a section of the car carrier TRICOLOR

Their homepage can be found here. There is lots more located on their website.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has “Think tank says, “Somali pirates threaten world trade”“.

Also be sure to check out EagleSpeak‘s weekly series “Sunday Ship History: Mutiny on the Columbia Eagle” as two crewmen hijack the ship and take it to Cambodia in an attempt to prevent the cargo from reaching US Forces fighting in Vietnam.

gCaptain has “Coming Ashore? 10 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Interviewing” and “gCaptain News – Announcing The New Discoverer“.

Last week I commented about the TWIC Program:

I am now convinced that this program is not much more than busy work to drain the wallets of seafarers and port workers as well as to be used as a whacking stick against the same persons later on. Anyone agree? Disagree? Was this a total overreaction to port security?

Over at the gCaptain Maritime Forum ‘stellarseas has asked “TWIC whats it good for?” noting that it appears that Port Security in the US  are unfamiliar with TWIC cards, often demanding other forms of identification instead. Others have commented on similar experiences.

Helsingin Sanomat has photos: “Demolition of GTS Finnjet is well under way in India“.


Flopping Aces has “Euro taskforce declares war on Somali pirates“.

The Two Malcontents has “First Test for AFRICOM: To Whom do the Tanks Belong?“. Could it be that out of all the ships currently held by the pirates, at least two of them are involved in transport of questionable/illegal cargo/weapons? Were they lucky picks or is this a sign of a much bigger problem than piracy?

Lou Minatti has photos: “Ike damage to a rig“.

Tugster has photos of the return of the Aircraft Carrier INTREPID to its newly renovated berth in Manhattan.

Sea * Fever has the show Mega movers video documenting the attempts to get the Aircraft Carrier INTREPID out of her berth in “USS Intrepid: On the Move“.

MarineBuzz has “Sealegs Amphibious Boats: Speed Boat Parks Like a Car on Land“. OK, that’s cool. Go check out the photos.

MarineBuzz also has “Ship to Shore Ultrasound Telemedicine: Successful Trials by Using Inmarsat“.

American Shipper has “Container terminals get some breathing room“.

Neptunus Lex has the report and fallout of the fire on the Aircraft Carrier GEORGE WASHINGTON.

Professional Mariner has “Fish processor loses propeller, is ordered to return to Dutch Harbor“. Lucky for all that the ship had at least two screws. Of interest is that the ship, the U.S. LIBERATOR, failed to report the casualty for a couple days.

The Merchant Marine Express is standing six-on, six-off watches in “Destination: Algiers in New Orleans,LA“. That’s still better than 8 on, 4 off!!!

Merchant Marine Express might want to wave to HAWSEPIPER: The Longest Climb when he gets to the Mighty Mississippi as he has been at anchor for 17 days (as of 1 October): “Stir not-so-crazy“.

OPFOR has “Or, We Could Kill All The Pirates“. (found via Consul-At-Arms)

Furthermore, what a great way to (re)instill the fighting spirit in our junior naval officers and seamen? Get ’em away from an ennervating preoccupation with safety, paperwork and risk aversion.


The Mail (UK) has photos “Mind the gap! The world’s biggest cruise ship squeezes out of dock and sets sail“. The ship is the CELEBRITY SOLSTICE.

MarineLog has “Austal USA launches second Hawaii Superferry” and “Gustav found one gap in marine industry hurricane preparation“.

EUobserver has “Polish senator attacks Lisbon treaty over shipyard row“.

The senator said German influence might stand behind the European Commission’s hostility to Poland’s ship-building yards in Gdansk, Gdynia and Szczecin, with German competitors in Rostock and Straslund in line to pick up contracts from potential Polish closures.

Israellycool has some Gaza blockade runners for sale in “Free Gaza’s Sure Fire Plan to Raise Money“.

Japan Probe has “GSDF destroyers as security for luxury cruise ships?“. Seems not to make sense to have the Japanese travel so far, and it seems to not have made sense to the decision-makers in the end.

Cape Town Daily Photo has “American aircraft carrier in Cape Town” and “It’s whale season in Cape Town“.

Coast Guard Journal (Official USCG site) has for their series ‘Arctic Journal Series – CGC Healy’Working with the Canadians, Eh.

The U.S. and Canadian coast guards have a long history of cooperation. On the Great Lakes, the buoy tending and icebreaking duties are divided up based upon logical geography, rather than national boundaries. U.S. icebreakers escort Canadian ships, and Canadian icebreaker escort U.S. ships. In the Arctic, the Canadian Coast Guard conducts the icebreaking for resupply of Thule Air Force Base, Greenland. In return, the U.S. provides icebreaker support for Canadian missions in the Western Arctic. Together, we use our combined resources much more efficiently and effectively. Ship transits are significantly reduced, putting the icebreakers of both nations on-station longer.

For all this social networking the Coast Guard is working towards, how about a RSS feed for this journal…

Robin Storm – In Search of Severe Weather has for his maritime note “The New Maritime Arctic“. (scroll down to the maritime note story)

Her Captain’s Voice has “Indigenous Aircraft Carrier comes to light” as India prepares to build a carrier at home. Guess getting carriers from Russia is not the deal they originally thought it was.

Information Dissemination has Russia’s carrot in “Russia Gets Smart on Ukraine” as they offer to provide shipyard orders for new aircraft carriers.

This is a very effective way for Russia to drop a smart bomb on the Ukraine. The economic carrot is always better than the military stick.

Space War has “France To Help Brazil Build First Latin American Nuclear Sub“.

Skipper’s Scrivenings makes a final post in “…and home!

080925-N-3570S-024 SAN DIEGO (Sept. 15, 2008) The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrives at Naval Station San Diego after a four-month deployment participating in Pacific Partnership 2008. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeremy M. Starr (Released) – Navy Newsstand

BitterEnd has “2007 Boating Accident Stats“.

CDR Salamander has “The Fleet LT speaks” commenting on what some consider ‘unflattering’ uniforms for female sailors.

Cargo Law has a photo “Gridlock – Venezuela – Loaded Containers Head For The Out-Gate Vs. Empty Chassis At The In-Gate“. What a mess. Kind of defeats some of the benefits of containerization.

Kennebec Captain has “Back in Jebel Ali – Port congestion“.

Offshore Magazine has “End of an era in the North Sea“.

For those of us who remember the announcement of Ekofisk as the first oil discovery in the North Sea, watching the ongoing removal of the Ekofisk complex holds more than a touch of nostalgia. Phillips was the first to discover oil in the North Sea with its eighth well in an eight-well program. That came at a time when many prominent geologists still believed there were absolutely no hydrocarbons to be found in the North Sea. Ekofisk was a true breaktrough.

Shirlaw News Group has “Three die in Ukrainian ship’s wreck in Georgian seaport” noting that despite the worst intentions of the Russian military to sink and steal all the ships of the Georgian Coast Guard, they still remain a functioning organization, responding to the sinking.


Lloyd’s List Newsroom Blog comments on the lack of concern for the over 200 seafarers currently held by Somali pirates in “Out of sight, out of mind“.

Lloyd’s List has “Asia-Europe box rates plummet to new lows“.

A 20 ft container could now be shipped from Hong Kong to Hamburg for as little as $350, excluding surcharges, compared with around $1,400 per teu last summer.

Lloyd’s List also has “Higher crew wages drive up operating costs“.

China Confidential has “US Coast Guard Sees Rising Threat From Semi-Subs“.

PR-Inside has “Kenya police finally detain Somalia pirates main broker“.

A little unknown self styled East Africa Seafarer’s Assistance Program founded by its head Andrew Mwangura, a former seaman has for the past decade been the only source of contact for shipping companies in the event of a hijacked ship off Somalia.

Seems that the Kenyan Government was fine with the arrangement as long as they got a cut of every ransom paid. Unfortunately, the pirates grabbed the MV FAINA with its cargo of tanks and weapons which might implicate the Kenyan Government in arms trafficking.

The Mainichi Daily News has “Mischievous monkey captured after chase aboard ship at Fukui port“. Wasn’t there a movie about a monkey off a cargo ship causing a disease Outbreak? has “‘It’s tough’ | Traveling the globe six months at a time“.

Chaotic Synaptic Activity is now up to part XI of his “19 Years Ago – Life at Sea” as he covers his ships return to the Naval Port of Charleston in the wake of Hurricane Hugo. It is tough having to take care of hurricane damage to your property knowing that in a couple weeks you are heading back out to sea.

Hellenic Shipping News has “Cargo transport moving towards containerization“. It makes sense since much cargo is transported over multiple modes of transportation and taking cargo off a ship and throwing it onto a train is much easier when it is in a container. Items traditionally not seen as container cargo are also now ending up stuffed in them as well.

The Herald (Australia) has “Alarm raised over boating beacons” as the US gets ready to kill the monitoring of 121.5 megahertz EPIRBs, which will render all of them around the world dangerous paperweights. The story mentions that there are over 150,000 of them in Australia alone, so check your EPIRB.

Pat Dollard has “WWII Sunken Sub Found By Commander’s Sons“.

Pacific Magazine has “Tax Break Extended For American Samoa Tuna Canneries” (as part of the $700 billion rescue package) and “Fisheries Committee Backs Tonga’s Call For Sanctions Against Taiwan Fishing Boat“.

Coast Guard Report has “We’re right about the NSC and the CG is in full damage control“.

AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG has “Why Counterintelligence is Important to the Coast Guard“.

When Colombian authorities boarded a ship in January 2006, they found more than just narcotics. They also discovered a map with crucial information: the current locations of Colombian and United States Navy and Coast Guard patrol boats.

THE PRIVATE ISLANDS BLOG has “Sanda Island” in Scotland. It is for sale for about $6 million. The island comes complete with its own lighthouse and pub.

SAILORS, MARINERS & WARRIORS LEAGUE has “Coast Guard Repatriates 142 Haitian Migrants“.

Maritime Compass links to a podcast which goes “On patrol with the Canadian Navy“.

Greenpeace has “Blacklist launched to combat pirate fishing“. The blacklist homepage: Blacklist.Greenpeace

The Monitor Notes the UN’s Memorial to the “Wife of the Seafarer“.

Life of a Sea Wife has to deal with being the “The Stay at Home Seawife“.

Bills of lading has photos: “Surrounded by Sharks“.

BarentsObserver has “The last day of a nuclear-powered icebreaker” and “Nuclear-powered cruiser ready for new fuel“. The icebreaker is the 33 year-old ARKTIKA and the cruiser is the ADMIRAL NAKHIMOV which has been waiting to be refueled since 1999.

Never Sea Land has “Maltese Falcon arrives in SF Bay“.

Network World has a theft at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC “System administrator steals almost 20,000 pieces of computer gear“. He was stealing for ten years.

The Journal of Commerce has “Ports ready to enforce clean-trucks plan“.

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Starting Wednesday, all pre-1989 trucks will be banned from the harbor and motor carriers must display concessionaire stickers on their vehicles when they call at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.


Haight’s Maritime Items has:

TSA – TWIC update – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an update to its status report on the implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The TWIC Dashboard shows that (as of 26 September) 527,820 maritime workers have enrolled for a TWIC and that 347,876 cards have been activated. Note: The US Coast Guard continues to insist that it will commence enforcement of the TWIC program on 15 October in New England. While there are indications that maritime workers in New England have a higher participation rate than the national average, there will still be a significant shortfall when enforcement commences. There are rumors that the Coast Guard intends to exercise a broad range of enforcement measures as it considers appropriate, ranging from warnings to directing the shutdown of facilities that are seriously out of compliance. Fasten your seatbelts. We are in for a bumpy ride. (9/26/08). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News has:

THREE separate branches of the US military combined over the weekend to rescue two injured seafarers.

The crewmen were aboard the Panama-flagged bulker Occam’s Razor as it cruised 750 n-miles north of Saipan. The US Coast Guard on Guam received a radio call on Friday from the master of the 144,348dwt vessel, asking for help as two of his crew had been badly injured when cargo shifted. But the vessel was out of the Coast Guard’s rescue range, so a para-rescue US Air Force team was sent on Saturday aboard a long-range aircraft from Kadena Air Force Base in Japan.

Six of them parachuted to the deck of Occam’s Razor and tended to the crewmen.

The victims needed further care, so two US Navy helicopters were dispatched from Guam on Sunday to rendezvous with the bulker, which was making top speed to an arranged meeting point 150 n-miles from Saipan.

The crewmen were lifted to the helicopters but not before one went into heart failure, requiring 70 minutes of CPR from one of the jumpers to revive him.

The two were then transferred to the US Naval Hospital on Guam, where they are being treated today. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


Seafarer shortage hits shore jobsTHE SEAFARER shortage has now fed its way through to a serious shortfall in staff on shore, Bob Bishop, CEO of shipmanagement at V. Ships, said today.

Speaking at the ITIC forum in London, Bishop said the concern is being exacerbated by lack of experienced ship officers.

“Fewer young people are going to sea, and those at sea make enough money to leave earlier,” he told delegates. “A decade ago officers left for sea with 15 years’ experience – but now that’s down to 7½ years.”

Other problems are unrealistic promotion expectations and a lack of rule compliance among seafarers, he warned: “We can no longer rely on the fact that seafarers have gained sufficient experience at sea.”

Among the sectors with an experience shortage is surveying, especially when supervising newbuilding projects at Asian yards, he added. – 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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