Maritime Monday 140

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December 15, 2008

The following is posted by Fred Fry:

Welcome to this 140th edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 90 here. (Published 24 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 Dutch Vessel Operator Flinter:

Flinter fleet: a multi-purpose operation

Flinter manages and operates a fleet of modern cargo-ships with cargo-carrying capacities of up to 10,000 metric tons. Internationally, the ships have a very good reputation. As they have been built to meet market requirements, they are in great demand among cargo suppliers.

Almost all our ships are multi-purpose, that is, the vessels are eminently suitable for transporting all kinds of dry cargo. In 2008 the Flinterfleet is expanded in the containerfeeder segment. Most of our vessels are reinforced against ice. Hence they can be used in a great variety of navigation areas throughout the year.

The majority of our ships sail under the Dutch flag, so they are subject to Dutch maritime law. The ships are well-maintained and are therefore in an excellent state. Moreover, the vessels meet the highest safety- and environmental standards, have highly qualified crews, and have a good shore-based organization.

Flinter. No boundaries

* FLINTERFORTUNE through Corinthe Canal *

* FLINTERDIJK transports yacht *

* CITADEL lauched in misty weather *

* FLINTERBIRKA in Baltic waters *

* Succesful trial MV FLINTERBECCA *


Their homepage can be found here.

Panorama photos can be found here, including an ” Overview of the wheelhouse at the Flinterdijk” and ” Behind the scène of the engine room of the Flinterspirit“.

Flinter’s corporate movie can be found here. Lots of ship and cargo activity inside and even a dramatic ship launch near the end.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has “Latest ONI Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report (to 11 Dec 08)” posting the highlights. Of note is that at least two of the ships attacked had security teams onboard. One had firearms. The other made use of ‘parachute rockets’.

Also be sure to check out EagleSpeak‘s weekly series “Sunday Ship History: Naval Ammunition Depots

gCaptain has “Piracy – It’s Location, Location Location” and good news with “Maritime Employment Review 2008 – “Commercial Shipping Still Candidate Short”“.



Lloyd’s List has the travesty: “Industry slams decision to jail Hebei Two“.

The appeal court in Daejeon jailed Capt Chawla for 18 months and fined him Won20m after finding him guilty on two charges related to the oil spill. The court said Capt Chawla should have gone full astern to drag anchor to prevent the collision with the drifting crane barge Samsung No 1 which had earlier broken its tow.

The court said the master should not have pumped inert gas into the tanker’s cargo holds because it increased the spillage of oil when the explosive risk was low. It added the Hebei Spirit should have been ballasted to create a 10 degree list which would have prevented the oil spill, while three and a half hours to transfer oil between cargo tanks was too long.

This is a complete joke. Unfortunately, there are two people in jail who should not be. Worse, it sounds like they did act in good faith. However, it looks like no matter what they did, this kangaroo court was going to find something wrong in how they acted.

Kennebec Captain has more with “Hebei Spirit Officers Jailed” including an explanation why it is these seafarers and not the local seafarers actually responsible for accident who are in jail. Read it.

Ship Management International has more outrage with “InterManager ‘to go to the Human Rights Commission’ over the Hebei Spirit jailings“.

InterManager is to complain to the Human Rights Commission over allegations that the two jailed officers from the Hebei Spirit are being badly treated in their Korean jail.

Reports emanating from Korea have indicated that the two Hebei Spirit officers, Indian nationals Capt Jasprit Chawla and First Officer Syam Chetan are being confined in a filthy cell with nothing but a small opening in the floor to serve as a toilet.

Their cells lack the basic amenities such as soap or cream and the two officers are prevented from using a telephone. Capt Jasprit Chawla and First Officer Syam Chetan are being held in isolation in separate cells with very little heating and with sub zero temperatures outside.

The shipping industry seeks level playing field for Hebei Spirit has “5 basic points (in official IMST/KMST Report) that demonstrate lack of maritime knowledge and/or bias against Hebei Spirit crew by IMST/KMST experts?“. (Graphic found on their post here)

A scale drawing of the relative sizes of the Samsung crane barge compare to the VLCC Hebei Spirit


The Horse’s Mouth has yet another solo sailor rescue in “Sorry Annie!“. (Or perhaps this was a much rarer solo kite surfer rescue)

“While the world’s speed record bodies argue about whether a kiteboard is a sailing boat or not for the purposes of speed records, an Amver container ship did not bother to ask the question when they steamed to the rescue of “French kite surfer” Anne Quemere this week.

She got caught in the doldrums. More at Sail-World here

Pacific Ocean Solo Rower Roz Savage has more with “It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Lady Reaches Shore…” noting that another rower, Italian Alex Bellini was also rescued this week off Australia after ten months at sea and only 65 miles short of making it across the Pacific from Peru.

Japan Probe has news of an upcoming documentary in “Film about “secret” dolphin hunt in Japan to compete at Sundance” and includes a trailer of the movie. Seems that the Japanese are busy around the world killing whales, demanding all the world’s tuna and now slaughtering dolphins. Not exactly something to be proud of. almost like they have an addiction.

Robin Storm – In Search of Severe Weather has “Computers Determine When To Stop Searches For Missing People At Sea“.



CNN has “U.S. military considers options to deal with Somali pirates“. Chasing the pirates ashore is off the table. I’m sure that they will be glad to hear that.

The Wall Street Journal has “Pirate Attacks Keep Law Firm Buzzing“.

Springbored’s Springboard has “Blackwater’s Navy: Still Fully Unemployed:“. They had set sail to provide anti-pirate protection.

Lloyd’s List also has “Armed guards on ships could raise liability issues” and the revelation “Vulnerable vessels may get EU armed guards“.

Here is an extract from the waiver form for volunteer crew wanting to serve with Sea Shepherd.

I acknowledge and understand completely that activity with SEA SHEPHERD, whether at sea, in port, ashore, or enroute to or from any location or vessel, is inherently dangerous, and cannot be made safe even with the exercise of the greatest degree of care. I further acknowledge that most of the people on the ship will be volunteers who are not professional mariners and who can be expected to make mistakes which may result in injury to me and I will take full responsibility for any injury.

I have read and completely understand the history of the SEA SHEPHERD, including being confronted by armed government forces while the SEA SHEPHERD is in the protection of marine species. I have been fully briefed with written material on how dangerous the SEA SHEPHERD campaigns can be. I have viewed the activities of the SEA SHEPHERD on video and acknowledge that there has been some “glamorization” of SEA SHEPHERD activities, but I took careful note of the actual danger exhibited on the screen. I am ready to put myself in personal danger. I also understand that I am aboard a vessel that possibly carries no insurance policy of any kind.

I understand that once I am onboard the ship I will be briefed on safety and operating procedures (while at sea or in preparation for). Any time I have a question or am uncomfortable, I will address my concerns to an officer of the ship. I agree to follow the orders of the Captain, Officer(s) and/or the Port Manager.

Information Dissemination looks at the cost of patrolling the waters off Somalia in “Quick Math For Anti-Piracy Operations [Update 3]“. That is the bill EU Countries will be paying, not the US.

Family Travel Guide has “Getting nautical at Nauticus in Norfolk, Virginia“.

MarineBuzz has “Meticulous Sea Land Air Coordination Saves Injured Seafarer off Ireland” and “Saudi Arabia Donates Auto Express 88 High Speed Ferries to Egypt“.

Bob Couttie’s Maritime Accident Casebook has “History Of Maritime Accident Investigation – From ‘Who to Blame’ to How to Stop Accidents“.


An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog has “Inside the Coast Guard’s Dirtiest Job (with Video!)

Coast Guard Report has Back-room Congressional games with “Urgent Action Required To Save Cape Wind!!!

BitterEnd has “Mariner Pleads Guilty to Illegal Use of License“. Don’t try it with a foreign license either. They are more likely to check those and know who to contact. There is a seafarer in the UK who learned that lesson the hard way.

Breakbulk Industry News has “One more heavy lift vessel for Asian Lift“.

EnglishRussia has video of a miles-long line of car carriers on the side of the highway in “Too Much Cars“. To give you an idea of how many cars a RORO can carry, each of those trucks would have to make ten trips to deliver all the cars from one RORO.

Marine Log has “Antarctic cruise vessel refloated“. This concerns the MV USHUAIA.

Maritime Law Firm Blank Rome has “THIS IS NOT A DRILL! – EPA to Implement Vessel General Permit for Discharges “Incidental to the Normal Operation of a Vessel” in a Few Days“. (Note: PDF). This looks like trouble if you are not prepared for it.


China Confidential has “Turning Pain into Profits, Big Oil Companies Lock in Huge Gains by Stockpiling Crude in Supertankers“.

In the worst year ever for oil, investors can lock in the biggest profits in a decade by storing crude.

Traders who bought oil at the $40.81 a barrel on Dec. 5 could sell futures contracts for delivery next December at $54.65, a 34 percent gain. After taking into account storage and financing costs investors would earn about 11 percent, according to Andy Lipow, president of Houston consultant Lipow Oil Associates LLC. The premium, known as contango, is the biggest for a 12-month span of futures since 1998, when a glut drove crude down to $10.

MarEx Newsletter has “Carnival Sues Rolls-Royce over Queen Mary 2 Propulsion System“.

The lawsuit was filed in Miami Federal Court on December 1, 2008. Carnival, and the ship’s operator, Cunard Line, contends Rolls-Royce’s Mermaid pod electric motors, which drive the propellers, were experimental and not ready for commercial use.

Never Sea Land has inexpensive electronic chart navigation with “Reason enough to get an iPhone“.

The US Naval Institute has started their own blog and has invited many milbloggers to contribute. This week’s posts include “Accounting and the Shrinking Navy“.

And then we have an array of 42 other MSC support vessels, a fleet of 30 logistical support vessels (tankers and supply ships) and 13 support ships (tugs, salvage and surveillance). With civilian masters and civilian crew, their status as fully-fledged naval vessels seems…at best, unprecedented. Should these vessels be included as components of the Ship Forces Battle Fleet? Yes? No? We’re already seeing command and control problems bubble up on naval-led missions aboard MSC vessels. And, if we believe that future warfare will be characterized by some sort of surprise, why do all MSC vessels go without a weapons/communications suite? How durable is the MSC in a contested sea?

US Naval Institute also has “Across the Water: International Navies” and “Continuing Promise 09“.

iCommandant – Web Journal of Admiral Thad Allen has “Why modernize? An historical perspective“.

Shipping Management Strategies has “China caps vessel permits for direct shipping to Taiwan“.

Naval Open Source INTelligence has “Three navies building aircraft carriers“.

Master of Towing Vessels Association Forum has more on CEMS “6 & 6: No thanks!” No matter how you slice it, it appears to be much nicer to have a third watchstandier Seems that tugs don’t have this option, so they need to seek out other ways to maximize rest time.

Sea * Fever is still counting down the days to Christmas with nautical gift suggestions each day. I am looking for a merchant ship Christmas tree ornament. Anyone know where I can find one? Is your company giving out one and if so, can I get one of them?

THE PRIVATE ISLANDS BLOG has two good island tales this week with “The Last Virgin Island” (US) and “The Sovereign State of L’ÃŽle Barbe” (Bordered by France). has “Cod stocks in Irish Sea have hit new low, report warns“.

Beaumont Enterprise has “Groups seek solutions to slow demise of loggerhead turtles“.

Inhabitat has “Dubai Outdoes Itself With a Universe of Islands” as they plan yet more manmade islands.

Courierpress has “Pardon the Queen; Backers appeal to President Bush.” This concerns the riverboat DELTA QUEEN and Congress’s refusal to continue an exemption that permitted it to sail overnight trips.

The Stupid Shall Be Punished covers an interesting suggestion: “Remaking The Navy’s Officer Culture?

SAILORS, MARINERS & WARRIORS LEAGUE has “Border Authorities Intercept Boat Off Western Australia“. The boat was carrying illegal migrants.

The Japan Times has “PET bottle lifesavers catch on with coast guard“. (Found via Japan Probe)

Freaque Waves has the nasty secret behind the cool pipe surfer photos in “The jaw of the Pipeline“. Sometimes you just wipe out.

Shipping Times has “Bullish Seaspan takes delivery of new boxship – With more to come, Gerry Wang sees healthy growth in long term…

Tugster has an East Coast “Short Sea” barge.

Debbie Schussel makes a good point with “OUTRAGE!: We Don’t Trust ‘Em w/ Our Ports, But We Trust ‘Em . . . With Our NUKES?!“. Yes, so why is it OK to let them play with this technology but not let them operate ports. As stated before I was in favor of the DP Ports World US Terminal purchase. (See my previous post on the matter here: Dubai Ports World Update: Congress Sabotaged Intel Opportunity which links to my other posts on the subject.)

Houston Pilot/photographer OneEighteen has “Bridge at Night”.

“Still playing around with the new camera. ISO 6400 with some light Noise Ninja (settings 4,4,,2).”


Deep Water Writing has comments on the change of fortunes in the RoRo market with “Dead slow ahead“. My favorite ship that I sailed on was my first, the car carrier M/V NOSAC RANGER (now TELLUS). However it was already past its design lifespan age when I sailed on it in the early ’90s. It is still out there.

IceNews has arrests in “Greenpeace activists try to board Danish-bound ship“.

Shirlaw News Group has “Freak wave kills seaman, injures another“. This happened off Bermuda.

Professional Mariner has “Report faults medical reviews of pilot killed in fall from ladder“.

Hawsepiper looks at the bridge watchstander relationship and includes the following comment:

In our modern era, the old command-and-control style of directing one’s sailors is falling victim to improved communication skills. The fact is, with manning limitations, it’s hard to form a good working team. Personally, I believe that every maritime academy should require a personnel management course be taken by anyone seeking a license. So much time gets lost when an inexperienced officer doesn’t know how to ‘get a little more squeal out of the pig’, by using simple, verifiable methods that motivate and push ones’ underlings. I personally have had the wind taken out of my sails a few times. The fact is, it’s unprofessional, but the way in which we’re asked to perform a task has everything to do with how well it’s done.

Cadets are also on the receiving end of all sorts of treatment from both crew and officers. I am not sure that another course requirement is the solution, that is if there is even a problem needing a solution.

Maritime Compass has “The Naval History Society Collection, 1721-1995“. (Apologies to Maritime Compass author Heather as I had carelessly used the word ‘he’ last week. As it so happens, the other two posters there are Kelly and Marifrances, so I would have been wrong no matter who posted it.)

Space War has “Analysis: Ukraine aids China carrier plan“. And who besides the Chinese thinks this is a good idea? (Or do the Ukrainians know nothing about what they are teaching about?)

MonsterMaritime has “The 1851 Whale Chart“.

Casco Bay Boaters Blog has “Combat Sky Satellite Communication Balloon Rises from USS Boxer“.

Hellenic Shipping News has “Who will rescue the Merchant Navy personnel?“.

Officers from a merchant navy vessel have been stranded off the coast of Djibouti and left helpless by the Pakistan government. The owners and operators of the vessel named M. V. Mustafa Bey (IMO No. 751995, port of registration is Panama) are from Turkey, while the manning agent of the ship in Karachi is the owner of Sky Shipping, Mansab Khan Despite repeated requests from the Ansar Burney Trust, the matter is being ignored by both Pakistani and Turkish authorities, who are also involved in the matter.

I would think that it is Panama’s responsibility to repatriate abandoned seafarers since the ship is Registered in Panama.

IMC Brokers has “Halocline Effect“.

In oceanography, a halocline is a strong, vertical salinity gradient.

I bet our submariners knew that.

Neptunus Lex has an update on the Royal Navy’s deal for new aircraft carriers in “Think We’ve Got it Bad?” This is in line with what my friend told me as he packs to move back home from the UK in that the country is bankrupt.

Greenpeace has questions for delegates at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting in Korea with “What sort of fisheries manager are you?“.

My Sinchew has more on the tuna talks with “Thailand: Commission Agrees To Cut Tuna Catches In Pacific“.

Mr. Boat Blog has video “Duncan Zuur is wakeboarding in Venice!“. Right across San Marco square.

InventorSpot has “Russia’s Aqua Star: An Original Underwater Motorcycle“. (Found via Mr. Boat Blog)

The Journal of Commerce has good news with increased port activity in “Hong Kong boxes gain“.

EU REFERENDUM has “Join the (EU) Navy“.

Books: Travel has the book “The Last American Sailors: A Wild Ride in the Modern Merchant Marine“.

Arctic Focus has “Pilots rescued after 18 hours on arctic ice“.

Oliver Edwards-Neil, 25, and Troels Hansen, 45, were flying over the Arctic in a Cessna Skymaster when the worst thing that could happened did: first one engine failed, then the other. Mr. Edwards-Neil immediately issued a mayday call and then began searching for a safe place to touch down. He managed to land the plane on ice seven kilometres off of the southern coast of Baffin Island. Just when the pilots thought that they were safe, the plane crashed through the ice that had become weakened all over the ice shelf. The plane, along with their life raft and gear, quickly sunk and the two barely had any time to escape.

Go read the rest. Now picture 100+ cruise passengers stranded in a similar situation.

The Monitor has more on this rescue with “Shrimp trawler nets two, with cold feet“.

OCRA Marine Newsletter has “Dutch Lead EU Crackdown On Yacht VAT Fraud“.

OCRA Marine Newsletter also has “Chirac Proposes ‘Tobin Tax’ On Global Shipping“.

Former French President Jacques Chirac has strongly urged the international community to impose a new international tax on shipping, in a bid to generate long-term resources, designed to finance drinking water projects in developing countries.

The ‘taxing apples to support widgets’ taxation model is just plain bad. How about trying to keep the victim and beneficiary related. Anyway, how about making the countries pay for their own clean water. How about a port tax in those countries? If they are not interested in doing it, why should we.


Haight’s Maritime Items has:

OSHA – vertical tandem lifts of intermodal containersThe Occupational Safety and health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule adopting new requirements related to the practice of lifting two intermodal containers, one on top of the other, connected by semiautomatic twistlocks (SATLs). This practice is known as a vertical tandem lift (VTL). The final rule permits VTLs of no more than two empty containers provided certain safeguards are followed. Loaded containers (the weights of which are sometimes not accurately recorded) may not be moved via VTL. The rule comes into effect on April 9, 2009. 73 Fed. Reg. 75245 (December 10, 2008). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

When I was working in Charleston, I saw tandem lifts of up to four empties. I think they were experimenting with it as it did not appear to be very efficient, let alone safe.


UK – brownout leads to allision – The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued the summary of its preliminary examination of the allision of a ro-ro passenger ferry with a linkspan in the Port of Calais on 29 August 2008. While leaving port, the ferry suffered a brownout (a partial loss of electrical power). This resulted in the loss of the starboard main engines and the momentary disconnection of the bridge control system. Power was quickly restored and the maneuvering controls were reset to zero. The ferry, though, began to move ahead. The anchors were let go and the main engine emergency stops were activated, but not in time to prevent the ferry from alluding with the linkspan on an adjacent berth. Investigation revealed that when the controllable pitch propeller system restarted, it went to “last setting”, rather than zero, and was operating via the back-up control system. Thus, use by the bridge team of the restored regular controls was ineffectual. Instructions onboard were found to be inadequate to cover this unusual situation. In addition, for a variety of reasons, the voyage data recorder (VDR) did not record the accident data. Note: It appears to this writer that the current generation of voyage data recorders are not the panacea that the industry was led to expect. The time has come for thorough review and rework of VDRs so that they can provide the vital information needed to reduce the risk of future marine casualties. (12/10/08). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News has:

Grounding renews call for polar rules – LAST WEEK’S grounding of the cruise ship Ushuaia in Antarctica is renewing calls today to limit maritime tourism in the environmentally sensitive region.

The Antarctic & Southern Ocean Coalition said the Ushuaia incident underscored “the risks posed by the increasing number of vessels and by the enormous vessels which have begun to operate in the Antarctic. Not only do these vessels carry more fuel, but also the largest ones tend to carry heavy fuel oil.”

ASOC noted that the most recent Antarctic Treaty Consultive meeting in June 2008 failed to reach an accord about maritime tourism. ASOC has recommended a ban on cruise ships of certain sizes or that carry certain amounts of fuel.

All passengers from the Ushuaia were flown to the continent on Saturday from the Chilean scientific station on King George Island. The Panamanian-registered, 1970-built vessel is owned by Ushuaia-based Antarpply Expeditions and has been visiting the area for the past six years.

Preliminary reports indicate that two bunker tanks were punctured and a small amount of MGO has leaked. Containment booms remain in place around the ship.

Chile’s naval tug Lautar, the current guardship of the Antarctic Combined Patrol co-ordinated between Chile and Argentina, remains nearby.

Chilean navy officials told the Associated Press that the ship is again sailing on its own. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


UK takes step to settle pirate legal limbo – BRITAIN has today signed a landmark deal with Kenya to prosecute pirates captured by the UK frigate Cumberland, a step toward ironing out legal uncertainty, the government told Fairplay.

Eight pirate suspects were captured on 11 November after a botched alleged attack on a Danish cargo vessel off the Yemeni coast. They were handed over to Kenyan authorities and are awaiting a January trial.

Under the terms of the MoU, the suspects are to receive a fair trial and not be subject to torture, as required by the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Britain is a signatory, the British Foreign & Commonwealth office told Fairplay today.

The MoU was reportedly signed between British undersecretary of state for counterterrorism and the Kenyan foreign ministry. Talks are under way for a wider treaty covering all pirates seized by British vessels, the FCO confirmed.

The deal was also made possible because Kenya is a signatory of the IMO’s Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation. The convention requires signatories to prosecute those alleged to have commited ‘unlawful acts against ships’.

Suspects previously captured have been in legal limbo because Somalia has no effective legal system, often leading to suspected pirates being released without charge.

It is also hoped that other East African nations would be willing to try suspects in addition to Kenya. – 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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