Maritime Monday 137

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November 24, 2008

The following is posted by Fred Fry:

Welcome to this 137th edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 87 here. (Published 3 December 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 Korean shipping Company STX Pan Ocean:

New Emerald





Their homepage can be found here.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has “Pirates of Somalia: Asymmetric Warfare“.

Also be sure to check out EagleSpeak‘s weekly series “Sunday Ship History: Chosin“.

gCaptain has “Pirates Seize Saudi Supertanker – M/V Sirius Star” and “Piracy In Somalia – FAQ Part 1“.

gCaptain also has a contest announcement: “International Shiphandling Championship 2009“. There is $50,000 in prize money up for grabs.

gCaptain is excited to announce, in partnership with TRANSAS, Professional Mariner Magazine and Northeast Maritime Institute, the First Annual International Shiphandling Championship to be held at Northeast Maritime’s Fairhaven, Massachusetts campus from June 5 -7th, 2009.

BitterEnd has “Over 200 whales trapped in Canadian ice“. Best wishes to the Captain as he has been in and out of the hospital this week. The latest at “Health Update“.

JammieWearingFool has “Saudis ‘Outraged’ Over Supertanker Hijacking“.

The Wall Street Journal has “Pirates Exploit Confusion About International Law” and “Pirates’ Delight – Other thugs will come if we don’t punish the Somali pirates.

Associated Press has “Norwegian firm orders ships to sail around Africa“. The company is Odfjell Tankers. Other companies are looking at doing the same.

Dow Jones (Posted on Alibaba) has “FOCUS: Iran Shipping Line Weathers US Sanctions – Chairman“.

IRISL can limit the effect of the unilateral sanctions by setting up foreign subsidiaries and reflagging more of its ships, analysts say.

Shippers often reflag their vessels to streamline regulatory control and documentation procedures, reduce tax obligations to their native governments, or to facilitate entrance into foreign harbors, a procedure also pursued by Iran.

Roughly half of the Islamic republic’s 140-strong vessel fleet is flagged mainly in Malta followed by Hong Kong and Cyprus, according to Arne Hanssen, who manages investigations and research at Lloyds Marine Intelligence Unit.

The Big Feed has “Are the Iranians Behind the Somali Pirate Attacks?” trying to connect the Somali pirates to Iranian trainers, in Lebanon.

Information Dissemination has “Observing the Strategic Success of US Policy Towards Somali Piracy“.

It is important to note a few things. Not a single US flagged ship has even been approached by pirates (one might say they are intentionally avoided), and not a single US mariner has been taken hostage. After a year of what is often described as sophisticated attacks, not a single action has been taken against the US due to the threat of US response. The United States still lacks any reason to get involved against Somali piracy, and has responded appropriately by doing nothing. The rest of the world has been getting hammered by pirates, and because the United States did not solve the problem for the rest of the world, they are being forced to take action for themselves. The Russians are sending another ship, the South Koreans are sending a ship, and what can only be described as the most important step yet, Saudi Arabia is joining the NATO effort.

Ace of Spades HQ attacks the mainstream media’s bias piece towards pirates in “Somali pirates: modern day Robin Hoods… heros… redistributors of wealth“.

If one were just a bit cynical, they might cite this as an independent validation of how trickle down economics would really work in an unregulated economy.

The pirates aren’t the only ones cashing in. Many are now benefiting by providing ‘support services’.

MarineBuzz has “Somali Pirates have Lavish Life Style or Rot in Jail“.

Helsingin Sanomat (Finland) has “Estonia: A ship whose memory lingers on“.

Helsingin Sanomat also has “Sörnäinen Harbour will move to Vuosaari overnight on November 24th“.

Operations in Helsinki’s Sörnäinen Harbour will come to an abrupt end when the harbour moves to Vuosaari after next Sunday. From the beginning of next week all ship traffic to Sompasaari will be directed to the new purpose-built Vuosaari Harbour instead.

Lloyds List has “Owners set to axe 25% of car carrier fleet as auto sales slump“.


An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog has “Permanent Home Needed for ex World War II Navy Tug and USCGC Comanche (WMEC 202)“. It is currently located in Olympia, Washington. They also have “Carpe Diem: Seizing Strategic Opportunity in the Arctic“.

Robin Storm – In Search of Severe Weather has “Attempts to save oldest freighter on Great Lakes fail; E.M. Ford headed to scrapyard“. (Scroll down for the story)

The E.M. Ford was built in 1898 and is the oldest freighter in the Great Lakes. It was a bulk ore carrier before it was converted to a self-unloading cement powder carrier for the LaFarge North America Cement Plant in Saginaw County’s Carrollton Township – but has been mainly empty for a few years.

Opinio Juris has “Here There Bee (More) Pirates … and Might the Obama Administration Take Them Out?“. (Found at Instapundit)

MarEx Newsletter has “Are Guns the Answer to Attacks on Vessels?“.

MarineLog has “Coast Guard to hire more civilian safety personnel“.

MarineLog also has posted the November edition of their Magazine online:

Lloyd’s List Newsroom Blog has “How not to recruit seafarers“. The issue is familiar to many seafarers. Maybe we’ll believe there is a shortage of seafarers once the vessel owners treat seafarers like they are a limited commodity. As with everything, treatment ranges through the full spectrum, so one would think that the bad ships would be the ones suffering or at least getting the less-qualified crews…

Kennebec Captain has “Whale Wars and Seamanship – Lack of Leadership“. This ship is an accident waiting to happen. Yet another week where the program covers a near disaster for the eco-terrorists. Is this the face of the world’s most dangerous chief mate? In the course of three episodes, he has nearly killed 8 of his own crew. Losing them at sea is bad enough.

“First Mate Peter Brown at the Helm”

Animal Planet’s Whale Wars website has a deleted video: “Doc Plans His Escape“. Just in case the ship gets that sinking feeling. What kind of safety briefing did the rest of the crew get? How about fire and boat drills? I have my doubts given the disastrous rib boat launch in the first episode.

The Stupid Shall Be Punished has a photo and story “Russian Victor I Transported By Cargo Ship“. Thanks goes to Canada!

Molten Eagle has “ITS Pelosi’s “Commemoration of Submariners Killed”” with video of a wreath laying ceremony by the Italian submarine ITS PELOSI.

Photos & Bits has “Shipwreck in Antarctica – Part 1 – Discovering we are sinking“. He was on the M/V EXPLORER, in the cabin closest to the hole. Nothing like waking up to a foot of water in your cabin. You can find his photos of the trip prior to the accident here. (Found via his recent comment on the gCaptain post on the sinking: “The Spirit of Shacketon – Aboard the M/S Explorer“, which was written by another survivor of the cruise.)

Master of Towing Vessels Association Forum has a summary of why your deck officer license is not enough to get a job on a towboat with “Hit the Deck!“.

A mariner “lateraling” over from another sector, needs adequate time and space to learn the many skills required of towing vessel deck officers. Adequate can mean anywhere from several months (for the exceptionally gifted) to several years, depending on the individual and their background. Many will never make it, no matter how hard or long they try. I call it Tugboat Darwinism. Everyone isn’t cut out for this line of work and that’s all there is to it.

My only experience is with towing other boats and it is tricky in all sorts of potentially evil ways.

SAILORS, MARINERS & WARRIORS LEAGUE has “World’s Biggest Cruise Liner Launches“. The ship is Royal Caribbean’s OASIS OF THE SEAS. More details at MarineBuzz.

HAWSEPIPER: The Longest Climb is at sea and is thinking about dinner this Thursday: “I always wonder at the Pre-thanksgiving stores delivery.” Sometimes you are just away for the holidays.

The Merchant Marine Express goes through the motions as his relief shows up and eventually ends up “Back at Home!“.

IMC Brokers has video: “Navy Tugmaster“.

Steeljaw Scribe has the name of the first operational aircraft carrier in the US Navy in “Project Valour-IT Naval Aviation Factoid: 17 November“.

Sea * Fever has “This Day In Maritime History: A Stove Boat Begets A Whale of a Tale” covering the real-life tale that became the inspiration for MOBY DICK.

Maritime Compass has “Maritime art at Christie’s“.

Paul Jean Clays (Belgian, 1819-1900) – Fishing boats in a calm

Scandinavian Shipping Gazette has “The Blue North has it all“.

Considering the small population and their economic impact, the Nordic countries hold an important position: They control 15 per cent of the world fleet, 20 per cent of the maritime insurance market, they are the second largest in offshore marine services and possess some 10 per cent of the global market for ship technology and equipment. The Nordic region is consequently the home of several leading maritime brands from Maersk Sealand and Wallenius Wilhelmsen to DNV, Gard P&I, Hempel, ABB, TTS, Rolls-Royce Marine Technology, Framo, Kongsberg, Wärtsilä NSD, to name a few.

Journal of Commerce has “Hamburg stevedore sees profit rise on flat volume“.


BarentsObserver has “Arctic oil production not profitable“. If your Russia that is. They also have ““The world’s most modern Coast Guard”“, Norway.

The Pacific Northwest Coast Guard Blog has video “Featured Innovator – Weapons Simulator“.

The NY Times has “A Sea of Unwanted Imports“. (Found at Kennebec Captain here who notes an error in the story concerning ship identification, most likely due to carelessness on the part of the reporter, and missed by their sharp team of editors as well.)

The big changes in activity at the Long Beach port are not limited to imports. There also has been a sharp drop in the port’s largest export: recycled cardboard and paper products. (Photo: Jamie Rector for The New York Times) – Note: Check out Maritime Monday 62 for photos “Guangzhou Customs Intercepted and Captured “Imported Rubbish”

Naval Open Source INTelligence has “Russian ships to Venezuela in show of power” noting that Russia’s long-term interest might be dropping with the price of oil…

THE PRIVATE ISLANDS BLOG has “Cayo Levisa, Cuba“. has “Faithful James Caird replica to sail from Elephant to South Georgia” following in the wake of explorer Ernest Shackleton’s 1916 voyage.

Tugster has photos of New York’s North Brother Island in “Cursed Island“.

Never Sea Land has crazy video “Spillwaaaaaaay“.

Extreme kayakers have been condemned for canoeing down a dam in west Wales.

iCommandant – Web Journal of Admiral Thad Allen has “Admiral Allen & Vice Admiral Crea with the CG enlisted innovators“.

Break Bulk Industry News has “$60 million claim filed against OHL“. The company’s ship, the HEAVYLIFT ANCORA has been arrested in the process. At issue is the loss of the KS TITAN 1 liftboat which was being carried by the ANCORA before it lost its cargo at sea.

The Pilot Boat has photos of “A “call” to Gothenburg port.

Shipping Times has “Hospital Ship Charity Celebrates 30 Years of Saving Lives“. The charity of course is Mercy Ships, who also happen to have the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, the AFRICAN MERCY,

The Horses Mouth has a photo: “The Sea Is Not For Sissies“.

Mr. Boat Blog has a photo: “The Heaven 80: Worlds largest inflatable.” Surely it is the world’s most expensive as well. As a bonus, the fenders are kind of built-in.

Mad Mariner has “Race Aboard Other People’s Sailboats – Even a Novice Can Be Part of the Crew on a Racing Boat — Here’s How“.


Haight’s Maritime Items has:

UK – suspected pirates transferred to Kenya – The UK Ministry of Defence issued a news release stating that eight suspected pirates apprehended by a Royal Navy frigate have been handed over to the custody of the Kenyan Police. The individuals were caught after the frigate attempted to identify a fishing vessel suspected of having earlier attacked a merchant ship in the Gulf of Aden. Persons on the fishing vessel fired on Navy personnel, who shot back in self-defense, killing two suspected pirates on the fishing vessel. A third individual on the fishing vessel was found injured and later died. (11/18/08). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)


DOD – deterrence of pirates is team effort The US Department of Defense issued a news release stating that military units and commercial ships must work together to deter piracy in the Gulf of Aden. The United States and other nations are working with the commercial shipping industry and the IMO to ensure that crews on commercial vessels employ reasonable self-protection measures, such as proactive look-outs, evasive maneuvers, and embarked security teams. Note: They fail to explain how armed security teams are to embark and disembark when many nations restrict or prohibit possession of the weapons necessary to make these teams effective. It is also unclear what is meant by the term “proactive look-out”. Is that someone who shouts ‘PIRATES’ very loudly? A major question arises with regard to what legal regime would be applied if the private security guards were to kill a suspected pirate and then be arrested ashore. Military personnel are largely protected by the law of the sea and sovereign immunity, but these principles are inapplicable to civilians. If the solution were as easy as this release makes it sound, the problem would have been solved long ago. (11/19/08). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News has:

Iran threatens pirates with force – IRAN COULD use force against pirates that hijack its ships, a government official confirmed today.

Deputy Transport Minister Ali Taheri told Reuters: “Iran’s view is that such issues should be confronted strongly. The Islamic Republic of Iran has the capability to confront pirates. If necessary we can use force.”

The comments come following the seizure of an Iranian-chartered bulk carrier last week. Hong Hong-flagged Delight was carrying a consignment of grain bound for the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.

Doubt has been raised about whether force against pirates is sanctioned under international law.

But last week the Indian navy sank a suspected pirate mother ship after it opened fire. IRAN COULD use force against pirates that hijack its ships a government official today confirmed to Reuters. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


Paris mulling piracy tax – FRANCE is considering an anti-piracy security surcharge tax on owners, the French shipowners’ association Armateurs de France has today revealed.

Armateurs de France has said it would be willing to discuss a proposal involving the payment of defence costs to protect ships off Somalia that would could include armed personnel on ships. French defence minister Hervé Morin is reportedly considering the proposal.

The security surcharge policy has emerged after Morin announced last week that the EU anti-piracy fleet would launch a new military operation in the Gulf of Aden on 8 December.

Shipping groups BIMCO and Intertanko have meanwhile urged the UN to intervene in the anti-piracy clamp down off Somalia. – 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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