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Maritime Monday 135

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November 10, 2008

Welcome to this 135th edition of Maritime Monday.

NOTE: Did I miss something? I am currently traveling so feel free to email me via the address listed below with any maritime-related story you would like to see posted next week. (Or just post it in the comments!)

You can find Maritime Monday 85 here. (Published 19 November 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 by leaving comments 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 BW Group:

The BW Group is one of the world’s leading maritime groups in the tanker, gas and offshore segments, operating a fleet of 141 owned, part-owned or controlled vessels. Our principal business areas are:

* Tankers
* LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers
* LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) carriers
* Offshore floating production vessels (FPSO)
* Offshore technology (mooring systems for FPSOs and offshore LNG terminals).

Our businesses are managed by experienced teams that deliver high quality and safe operations, prudent financial management and high levels of customer service.

Our tanker assets are managed by Singapore-based BW Shipping, which is supported by a global network of affiliate offices. BW Gas is our gas transportation business and BW Offshore is the offshore oil and gas production business. Both BW Gas and BW Offshore are operated in Norway and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. APL, which produces offshore mooring systems, was acquired by BW Offshore in 2007 and operates as an independent subsidiary in Arendal, Norway. BW Bulk is engaged in the transportation of coal and iron ore, and these vessels are managed but not owned by companies in the BW Group.

The BW Group was formed in 2003 when World-Wide Shipping, a privately-owned tanker and bulk shipping company founded in Hong Kong in 1955 by the late Sir YK Pao, acquired Bergesen, Norway’s largest shipping company. Through its predecessor companies Bergesen and World-Wide Shipping, the BW Group has been delivering energy and other vital commodities for more than 70 years.

We employ more than 4,500 people including seastaff, with 130 in the Singapore office, 180 in the BW Gas shore office in Oslo, 95 in the BW Offshore shore office in Oslo, and 270 in the APL office in Arendal.


LR1 Product Tanker – BW LENA

LR1 Product Tanker – BW COLUMBIA

LR1 Product Tanker – BW AMAZON



Their homepage can be found here.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has written an outline on “How to Make the Navy Bigger, Sooner, Cheaper“. Buying some slightly-used offshore oil supply boats is part of the solution. Lots of discussion in the comments as well.

In celebration of the completion of America’s latest Presidential Election, gCaptain has “A Message For Barack Obama: Welcome Aboard!” and adds some nautical flavor to the ObamaLogo. While I would have preferred a different outcome, for now I will celebrate the process.

gCaptain discovers “NOAA Shoreline Website’s Wealth of Resources“.

Information Dissemination is following the Russian sub accident with “Were there Indian Navy personnel aboard Russian Accident sub?” and “Update on Russian Submarine Accident“. The sub was conducting sea trials when the accident happened killing 20. The story seems to be that they suffocated due to an accidental release of a gas that either displaced the oxygen from the compartment or was itself toxic. This morning brings confirmation by Bloomberg of an accidental release of the firefighting system which used freon gas. Makes you wonder what else is wrong with this sub if they are so careless to have an accident like this. Has anyone ever had an accidental discharge of their gas suppression system? There is one covered below.

ALF-CIO Now Blog has a must-read hero story: “Seafarer Honored for Risking Life in 24-Foot Waves to Save Drowning Man“.

Seafarers (SIU) member John Dacuag put the extensive safety and rescue training he received from the union’s training center in Piney Point, Md., to good use in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and a typhoon when he jumped into the 24-foot seas to rescue a crewman from a sunken ship.

VOA has “Pirates Step Up Attacks on Vessels in Gulf of Aden, Off Somalia Coast“.

The Journal of Commerce has “Mob figure accused of ILA extortion“. (ILA=International Longshoremen’s Association)

BarentsObserver has “Fish industry gains on financial crisis“. Good times ahead at least for these fishermen. has “Massive waves a mystery at Maine harbor“.

Kennebec Captain has a look at “Shipboard Manning and Workload” commenting on a post we linked to last week. Go read and be sure to add your comments either here or there concerning shipboard workload and manning. I am sure that every seafarer has an opinion on this!

Bubblehead at The Stupid Shall Be Punished is getting ready to undergo treatment for stomach cancer in “I Got My First Tattoo Today” so go wish him well.

Deep Water Writing heads back out to sea but first has to fly to meet the ship: “On the tarmac again“.

Master of Towing Vessels Association Forum has “Normal Practice vs. Best Practice: fight the inertia!” as part of further discussion on the FLYING PHANTOM accident.

SAILORS, MARINERS & WARRIORS LEAGUE has “UK. Navy And Falmouth Coastguard Assist In Evacuation Of Sick Crewman From Ship Off Kenya“.

Coast Guard Report asks “Will Admiral Thad Allen be part of the Obama Administation“? They point to another possibility.

Rockwall Herald-Banner has “A day on-board a nuclear aircraft carrier“.

MarEx Newsletter has some good reader response to last weeks story When ‘Heel’ IS Cargo as Opposed to When it is Not: Court ruling begs for clarification and examples of when “heel” certainly is cargo; MarEx Managing Editor gladly obliges.’


Marine Log has “What’s ahead for Lindenau rotor ship?” and includes video of the vessel’s launch in Germany. The name of the ship is E-SHIP 1. The ship will utilize vertical rotors to take advantage of the wind.

Professional Mariner has “Coast Guard boarding Gulf towing vessels to check mariner licenses“. Its called ‘Operation Big Tow’. Looking at past encounters, you better not have any outstanding warrants either.

The Jawa Report has “Dutch Outcry Over Naming Ship After Nazi” and the video report “Lost At Sea Dominican Migrants Ate Dead Comrads To Stay Alive“.

MarineBuzz has “US Aircraft Medevacs Injured Expeditioner of Australian Antarctic Division at Davis Station“. Look at the problems of evacuating one person. Imagine having to evacuate a shipload and not having the luck that the MV EXPLORER had with other ships close by and good weather to aid in the transfer of passengers and crew.

MarineBuzz also has “Clean Energy from PowerBuoy of Ocean Power Technologies“.

Mindanao Examiner has “House Speaker backs bills that ensure efficient, safe and secure transport system in Philippines“.

The Guardian has “Irish police seize yacht with cocaine worth more than £500m“. The luxury yacht’s name is DANCES WITH WAVES. It came from the Caribbean and was at sea for about a month. That is almost 2 tons of cocaine.

Globe and Mail has “Key Canadian ports face ‘global tsunami’ as commodities traffic slows“. If the ships are not trading, then the ports are going to lose as well.

OttawaCitizen remembers Canadian Merchant Mariner/hero “Somer James: The pacifist Merchant Seaman who won two medals for bravery“.

St. Johns Tradewinds has “Commercial Vessels Using Docks Not in Compliance with USCG Regulations“.

The BBC has some good news to come out of the MSC NAPOLI incident in “Ship beaching ‘reduced pollution’“.

Forbes has “A year after SF Bay oil spill, crew still detained“. It is not fair. Then again, maybe the bridge crew should have given a little more attention to their departure. That is the best way to stay out of trouble. Oddly enough, over the last year, I have only heard of one incident where a pilot stopped a ship because of problems with the bridge crew, and that was because they were drunk and threatening each other with knives! Is anyone running into poorly operating bridge teams or was the COSCO BUSAN the worst or are the others just very lucky?

Bob Couttie’s Maritime Accident Casebook has “Maritime Safety- Getting Better,Getting Worse” looking at Europe.

Theo Spark has video covering “The Restoration of PT Boat 658…..

Shirlaw News Group has “Russian ship hands over 68 rescued Somalis to Malta“. Maybe they should be traded for some seamen the Somali pirates are holding hostage…

The Merchant Marine Express is writing his relief notes as he gets ready to leave his ship in “Two week Notice“.

Hellenic Shipping News has “Shipowners Idle 20% of Bulk Vessels as Rates Drop, Broker Says“.

Capesizes that were attracting rates of $233,988 a day as recently as June are now available for $5,293, according to the Baltic Exchange in London. That’s about the same as the cost of paying for crew, insurance, maintenance and lubricants.

The Independent has more on this subject with “Shipping: Holed beneath the waterline“.

BitterEnd has the video preview/trailer of “Whale Wars Tonight“. At least according to one commentor, the Sea Shepard ‘crew’ is lacking in even basic nautical skills. Unfortunately I’m out of the country and missed it.

Houston pilot/photographer OneEighteen has “Sunlight“.


Robin Storm – In Search of Severe Weather has “Hurricane Ike Caused Underwater Damage To Galveston“.

Ocra Marine Newsletter has “Tax Breaks Needed To Halt Decline Of Australian Shipping Industry“.

A report released this week by one of the government’s federal parliamentary committees concluded that the country’s shipping sector has declined so rapidly since the mid-nineties that it now only has 46 Australian-flagged ships under its registry.

Daily Tech has “Sea Ice Growing at Fastest Pace on Record – Rapid Rebound Brings Ice Back to Levels from the 1980s.

Sea * Fever has “Foto Friday – Launching Dreams (New Bedford Whaling Museum)“. I really need to make a trip up there.

Cruise Ship Law Blog has “Mysterious Disappearances On Cruise Ships“.

Break Bulk has “Nigerian authorities approve $6 billion deep seaport“. has “John Welsford’s new Pilgrim 16ft open cruising boat design“.

Trade and Logistics Malaysia has “Malaysian Logistics no longer just a supporting industry“.

Molten Eagle has “Submarine Recruitment and Citizenship Applications Soar Suddenly in United Kingdom” wondering if the prospect of female submariners is the reason why.

The Horses Mouth has video of an unusual sailboat that is screaming across the water in “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom.

Mail Online has dramatic photos: “The moment surfer takes on 41-foot monster wave… and lives to tell the tale“.

Never Sea Land has “Head trip” as he reworks his sailboat’s plumbing system, with photo.

Danger Room has “Admiral’s ‘Urgent’ Plea: Pirate-Fighting Sonic Blasters“.

Navagear has “USCG Issues Safety Alert On Class B AIS“.

The U.S. Coast Guard advises mandated AIS users that Class B devices do not meet current AIS carriage requirements

The Monitor has a summary of an accidental CO2 fire system gas release that managed to snuff the ship’s main engine almost causing a grounding (and almost snuffing out the lives of a couple crewmen). The ship was the Wallenius Wilhelmsen FIGARO.

IMC Brokers looks at the D-Day “PLUTO Pipeline” including video.

Inhabitat has “Schwimmhaus: The Sustainable Modern HouseBoat“. So far it is just a model and one partly-completed prototype.

IceNews has “Icelanders given fish in London“.

When the financial crisis hit with full force in October, Arnarson got in touch with importers to see if the embassy itself could start to receive fish supplies, “which we got right away,” Arnarson said. “Now we are selling it to those with the money, and those who want it for free get it for free.”

Tugster has photos “Square Rig Sail” from onboard the replica of Henry Hudson’s sailship, the HALF MOON.

Neptunus Lex has video of landing a float plane in Victoria Harbor, British Columbia. (That’s in Canada).


Haight’s Maritime Items has:

USCG – seafarers shore access – The US Coast Guard issued internal guidance directing its Captains of the Port (COTPs) to encourage, support, and facilitate vigorously any accommodations at regulated facilities, including but not limited to escort provisions, to make shore leave and access to seafarer welfare organizations possible.  These accommodations should not impose an undue burden on the seafarer or seafarer welfare organization representative seeking access by way of exorbitant fees, extreme limitations in hours of availability, or other unreasonable restriction to the movement of these persons unless exigent, confirmed security concerns dictate such restriction is necessary. ALCOAST 529/08 (10/23/08). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)


New York – no discharge zone – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that it has determined that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for Oyster Bay/Cold Springs Harbor Complex, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York.  The harbor complex is thus designated a Vessel Waste No Discharge Zone. 73 Fed. Reg. 66042 (November 6, 2008). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News has:

Fall in scrap price hits India’s breakers – SHARP declines in scrap steel price have depressed India’s shipbreaking sector, with almost all shipbreaking companies reportedly facing losses on their stocks.

Scrap steel prices have dropped about 65% to $200 per tonne, from $750/tonne in the past two months, the Times of India reported yesterday.

Shipowners are reluctant to sell their ageing ships as the fall in the prices of scrap steel have depreciated the value of ships by almost 70%.

Also, by selling scrap, just 30% of ship value is recovered. The liquidity crunch and the weak rupee have also added to woes, said shipbreakers’ association president Pravin Nagar Sheth.

Banks are hesitant to issue letters of credit to shipbreakers, and foreign banks have almost stopped issuing such documents, he told the newspaper. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


Master stabbed to death off Spain – POLICE in Spain today are investigating the stabbing death of the captain of an Italian-flag general cargo ship.

The master died after a fight this morning with a crewman, said Italian coastguards in Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain. Both were Italian.

A fight broke out 22 miles off Finisterre in international waters, involving the seafarer and the 50-year-old captain.

The ship – Paxi C, 8,615dwt, owned by Italtrag and registered in Genoa – was travelling from Alexandria, Egypt, to Gijon in northern Spain.

The chief officer alerted Spain’s maritime rescue agency, whose team boarded with a physician, who confirmed the death. – 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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