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Maritime Monday 136

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November 17, 2008

The following is posted by Fred Fry:

Welcome to this 136th edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 86 here. (Published 26 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 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 Belgium’s Van Stappen:

Business Group Van Stappen – On December 1st 1966, Jean Van Stappen took over the bunkering business of Karel Willemen, where he had acquired years of experience. He himself stood at the wheel of the Pennsylvania, a barge carrying 20.000 litres gas oil. His wife took care of the paperwork.

In those early days, the activity consisted in transportation for various gas oil companies. As the fleet expanded, Van Stappen developed into a group of three companies, each with its own speciality:

* Vans Bunkers
* Van Stappen Bunkering Services
* Elveba Bunkering

Thanks to experienced skippers, a competent administrative staff, a dynamic management and more than 35 years experience in the shipping sector, we efficiently service our customers. But the main strength of our company is the strong commitment of a dynamic family business, ready to serve customers and their ships day and night. – Link





Their homepage can be found here.


Its time for the annual Project Valour-IT fundraising competition.

Every cent raised for Project Valour-IT goes directly to the purchase and shipment of laptops and other technology for severely wounded service members. As of November 2008, Valour-IT has distributed over 2700 laptops to severely wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines across the country, and is now expanding its mission to include other technology that supports physical and psychological recovery. – Read More

It would be nice if the Military/Government took care of all of a wounded soldier’s needs, but they don’t and never will. This group has filled an important gap. So go read more about what they do and how they help and if you feel so inclined, consider donating a little or even a little more.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has coverage: “British commandos kill Somali pirates in showdown at sea“.

Be sure to also check out EagleSpeak‘s weekly series “Sunday Ship History: Mortars at Sea

gCaptain has “Life on an Oil Rig – Gulf of Mexico” and “World’s First Wave Farm“.

gCaptain also has an interesting job posting “Looking For Talent – Are You The Next Reality TV Star?” The maritime industry is full of all sorts of interesting characters. Now might be your chance to show the world your talents…

BarentsObserver has “Russia removed radioactive lighthouses from Arctic coast“.

In the course of summer, Russia removed another 46 strontium-fuelled lighthouses from the coast of the White Sea and the Barents and Kara Seas. With Norwegian project support, Russia has now removed 180 radioactive lighthouses between Murmansk and the Novaya Zemlya and replaced them with solar cell installations.

US Merchant Marine Academy Website has “USMMA Graduate Receives the Bronze Star“.

John Bellissimo of Stony Brook, NY, who has served as a U.S. Navy Reserve officer since graduating for the USMMA in 1994, has been on duty in Iraq with the Multi-National Force as Program Manager for the Rehabilitation and Commercial Development of the Port of Umm Qasr. Bellissimo was awarded the Bronze Star in September for his “overall meritorious service in the combat zone,” according to a report in the East Setauket Village Times Herald.

Congratulations Johnny B!

The gCaptain Forums is alive with professional criticism of Animal Planet‘s series Whale Wars. I am now caught up on the series and have to agree that they are a ship of fools just begging for a serious accident. On the bright side if you have ever wanted to be a ship’s engineer, they appear to be accepting applications, no experience needed. There are two Governments that appear to be shirking their responsibilities here. The Netherlands for registering this ship as a ‘Fishing Support Vessel’ and Australia for possibly ignoring their Port State responsibilities concerning this vessel. But don’t bring that up if they board your vessel. Also notice that Lloyds had withdrawn their classification of the vessel over a year ago at the time they conducted a survey. What did they find? Why haven’t the Japanese sued the owner in the UK?

Space War has an update on that deadly Russian sub accident in “Sailor charged in deadly Russian nuclear sub accident“.

“The suspect is one of the sailors of the crew, who for no reason set off the fire extinguishing system, as a result of which 20 people died and 21 were hospitalized,” investigator Vladimir Markin told Vesti-24 television.

Molten Eagle has “CONFIRMED” that Russian submarines carry emergency breathing gear for just such an emergency. Oddly enough, I had the closest guess for what was in the boxes on the uniform belts.

Tubuans & Dukduks has “Nautilus Minerals: Mining PNG’s Seabed“.

It is neccessary to point out that Nautilus Minerals is the first company to commercially explore the ocean floor for gold and copper sea-floor massive sulphide deposits and if they do manage to successfully mine our seabed, then it will be history in the making.

DeBeers has been mining the seabed for diamonds for a while already off Namibia. I would think they would try to market these diamonds taking advantage of their ocean sourcing.

Shipspotting contributor Craig Saunders has a dramatic photo of a recent container crane boom collapse at the Port of Southampton, UK, falling into a cargo hold of the KYOTO EXPRESS.

Information Dissemination has “We Can Now Kill the “Mystery Ship” Rumor“. That would be the infamous IRAN DENANAT.


Yahoo News has “Court rules for Navy in dispute over sonar, whales“.

The Wall Street Journal has more with “The Greens Get Harpooned – The Supremes save the Navy from the whales.

If the bureaucratic distinction between an “environmental impact statement” and an “environmental assessment” sounds like a flimsy excuse for second-guessing the judgment of admirals in wartime — well, this case was never really about the welfare of Baby Humpback. Instead, green activists and liberal judges were looking to assert their dominance in matters of war and peace.

Her Captain’s Voice has “Give the money or Gorky will be ours again: Russia” as India receives a demand to pay more for the refit of the aircraft carrier ADMIRAL GORSHKOV seemingly never to be renamed the VIKRAMADITHYA in 2012 now or ever. Seems that the Indian Government might have reached its breaking point in this issue.

Sea * Fever has “The Coolest “Overseas” College Study Program on the Planet!” covering the Sea Education Association located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

The Merchant Marine Express has “The Art of Navigation and a brief education“.

Deep Water Writing is “In Gmbh” hanging out at the Seaman’s mission in the port, writing a summary of what is Bremerhaven. Two ships that I sailed on called there. Sailor ‘support’ there is great.

Robin Storm – In Search of Severe Weather has “Scientists find evidence of tsunamis on Indian Ocean shores long before 2004“.

Bob Couttie’s Maritime Accident Casebook has “The Other Side Of Inspections“. Those being ones carried out poorly.

The Stupid Shall Be Punished has “U.S. Submariners Rode Japanese Boats Back To Japan At End Of WWII?“.

Kennebec Captain links to an amazing set of “Photos of a near miss“. Maybe they were all having lunch.

SAILORS, MARINERS & WARRIORS LEAGUE has “Greece & Turkey Standoff Over Survey Ship Ends“.

Break Bulk has “Dollar’s gain is exporters’ loss“.

Greenpeace has “Whalers give into reality and slash this year’s quota” noting that this will be the first year that the fleet includes non-Japanese crew and “Japan’s whaling programme in tatters: Closures, resignations and cancelled celebrations“. So how about not chaining yourselves to other people’s ships from now on…

Tims Times has a photo of the colorful Netherlands coastguard ship “Frans Naerebout”.

iCommandant – Web Journal of Admiral Thad Allen has “Coast Guard Modernization Update“. That would be modernization of the Coast Guard itself, not fleet modernization.

Mr. Boat Blog has “Strangely coloured beaches.

The Times of India has “Commandos answer SOS from Saudi, Indian vessels, scare off pirates“. The warship is the INS TABAR noting that shots were fired to scare off the pirates.

NEW DELHI: In dramatic action on the high seas, an Indian warship with its armed helicopter and elite marine commandos repulsed in quick succession attempts made by different bands of gun-toting pirates to hijack a Saudi and a Mumbai-based merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia on Tuesday morning.

RIA Novosti has “Russia considers opening Black Sea Fleet base in Abkhazia“. That would be in Soviet/Russian-occupied Georgia.

Neptunus Lex has video showing just how much the deck of an aircraft carrier can move in rough seas in “Ah, Memories“. After watching that, be sure to read his post “On being a landing signal officer in rough weather…” and at night.

Shipping Times (UK) has “Eleven foreign flagged vessels detained in September“.

Houston Ship Pilot / Photographer OneEighteen has “Meeting Port to Port“.


Master of Towing Vessels Association Forum answers “How old to be the “Old Man”?“. As it turns out, minimum ages are noted in US law.

Never Sea Land has video: “Vendee Globe in 3D“.

Naval Open Source INTelligence has “Lockheed receives $1.7B in Canadian Navy contracts“.

Christiaan Conover has “Drug Testing at MMA” noting:

It’s not a big deal, but it’s annoying to be woken at 0530 to go get tested.

BitterEnd has an update on Washington State Ferries attempt to update their fleet in “The sole ferry bid is in!

Bellona has “Russia to dismantled all decommissioned nuke subs by 2012, says Zvezdochka“.

Nikitin noted that more than 200 of the 250 nuclear submarines constructed in the Soviet Union and later in Russia have so far been scrapped, many with financial support from abroad, such as from Norway, Japan, the United States and the UK.

tugster has photos: “More Cargoes 10“.

UN Dispatch has “A Question For International Lawyers to Ponder“. It concerns your rights as a nation if your nation sinks beneath the waves in respect of the UN Law of the Sea.

The MarEx Newsletter has “A Maritime Focus for the New Year: Ending the Balkanization of the Regulatory Process“.

As Barack Obama enters the White House in January, he’ll do so with the blessings and adulations of maritime labor. Typically an honor reserved for Democratic candidates, the endorsement of labor – across the board – comes as no surprise to anyone. But Obama made a lot of promises – as did McCain, to be fair – to a lot of people for a lot of things. One thing in particular that stands out in my mind is the Obama campaign’s promise to inject $5 billion into a trust fund to address – among other things – pollution and invasive species in the Great Lakes. And, while that kind of initiative is a welcome development in the stalled effort to combat invasive species in American waters, it also represents at the same time, everything that is wrong with the process today.

MarineBuzz has “International Maritime Prize for 2007 Goes to Joergen Rasmussen of Denmark“.

MarineBuzz also has “Scheibel Camcopter S-100 Completes Sea Trials in German Navy“. Those Sea Shepherd eco-terrorists should risk one less life and get something like this.

AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG has “More Support for a Coast Guard Historical Center“.

Ice News has an update on the problems at Hurtigruten shipping that was covered last week “Norway’s government bails out its main shipping line“.

The Monitor targets a shipping investor who is complaining how others brought down the great earnings that shipping was making just a couple years back in “Lookin for a beatin‘”.

Pinoy Maritime has “The common mistakes why we don’t receive a straight and honest reports“.

World Wildlife Fund has “Europe sits on damning bluefin tuna report“.

Greenpeace is targeting the Fisheries Ministers for France, Spain and Italy over the Mediterranean tuna scandal.

Marine Conservation News has “Obama urged to end overfishing“.

Boston Herald has “Feds declare fishery failure due to red tide“.

PORTLAND, Maine – The federal government says shellfish closures linked to red tide in waters off Maine Massachusetts and New Hampshire have caused a commercial fishery failure, a designation that opens the door to federal disaster assistance to the industry.

The European Journal has “Fishermen have been struggling with soaring fuel prices. Things might get worse as the Commission has proposed drastic cut in fishing quotas in 2009“.

Amphibian Tanks has “USS LST-325 World War II Ship” including video. This LST was rescued from a scrap yard in Greece and restored. It currently lives in Mobile, Alabama.

Elms in the Yard spots an ad to join the Merchant Marine in “At the Train Station“.


Haight’s Maritime Items has:

IMO – ocean fertilization for research only – The IMO issued a news release stating that parties to the London Convention and Protocol agreed that ocean fertilization activities, other than legitimate scientific research, should not be allowed. (11/11/08). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)


Electronic navigation and causation – The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that failure to train a master on how to properly use electronic navigation equipment does not make the vessel owner fully liable for an allision nor does it prevent the vessel owner from limiting its liability when there is insufficient evidence to prove that such failure to train was the cause of the allision. In the instant case, defendant’s fishing vessel allided with plaintiff’s offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The allision occurred at night, after the master (who was navigating the vessel) turned on the lights on the bridge to examine a defective engine part and conduct related administrative activities. The evidence showed that the lights on the offshore rig were not functioning properly. Turning on the bridge lights severely degraded the master’s ability to detect unlit objects at sea. It also degraded his ability to observe radar targets. The vessel was equipped with an electronic chart that had an obstruction warning system. The vessel owner had not provided the master with training in use of the electronic chart system and he had never read the operating manual. Evidence indicated, though, that there were so many offshore rigs in this portion of the Gulf of Mexico that the master would not have received an effective warning of the obstruction. The court ruled that the allision was partially due to a mistake of navigation by the master and that, since the vessel was not rendered unseaworthy thereby, the owner was entitled to limit its liability. Omega Protein v. Samson Contour Energy, No. 07-30725 (5th Cir., November 10, 2008). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News has:

Have price patience, financiers told – SALES OF distressed ships – at discounted prices – are bound to pick up sharply in reaction to the financial crisis, a London ship finance conference was told today.

“Several ships are set to come on the market through distressed sale,” said Philip Bailey, managing director of Theisen Securities. To calculate their prices, he advised deducting 1.75% of the ship’s value per year of its age.

“Ship sale prices have plummeted due to lower earnings owners can achieve for charters,” he told the conference, sponsored by the Lloyd’s List newspaper. “In addition, the risk premium owners have to cope with in the maritime industry has risen.”

Shipowners are reducing fleet sizes in reaction to the market drops, particularly in dry bulk. But Bailey underlined his less pessimistic outlook by noting: “Orderbooks for newbuildings have been adjusted by now.”

He also predicted that: “The Asian economy will recover quickly, while the US economy is typically recovers within a three-year cycle.”

With banks cutting back interest rates, shipowners see their money better placed in investments than in banks, given the current low interest rates, he declared, which is why shipbuilding is likely to regain steam, particularly in Asia.

Also, most owners “are not severely affected by the current liquidity squeeze” and will have cash saved for new orders, Bailey suggested. – 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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