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Maritime Monday 141

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December 22, 2008

The following is posted by Fred Fry:

Welcome to this 141st/Christmas 2008 edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 91 here. (Published 31 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 Norway’s is a online image database provided to you by the Norwegian Barents Secretariat.

Here you will find our thematic photography directory designed to promote the Barents Region. This site is categorised into themes including nature, wildlife, people, transport, religion, security and industry. Or you can find images from different geographical parts of the Barents region by using the meny to the left. All images are taken by the staff of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat.

The Norwegian Barents Secretariat serves the Norwegian – Russian relations in the north and provide grants to regional cross-border projects. You can read more about us and the projects we support at Our main office is located in Kirkenes – Norway. In addition we have four regional offices in the Russian part of the Barents Region; in Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Narjan-Mar and Petrozavodsk.

The Norwegian Barents Secretariat is own by the counties of Finnmark, Troms and Nordland. We cooperate with the Norwegain Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other national and international organizations and institutions.

In addition to we also publish, which is an open internet news service where we offers daily updated news in english and russian from and about the Barents Region. – Link


* Solar powered lighthouse *


* Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker SOVYETSKY SOYUZ *


* Polar Bear *


* Norwegian Coast Guard vessel HARSTAD *



The Norwegian intelligence ship, Marjata is a purpose built ELINT ship. Several Marjata’s has been used over the years. During the Cold War it was always stationed near the Soviet boarder and the current Marjata is still operating out of the ports of Finnmark in the Northern part of Norway. The Marjata has always been looked upon as an annoyance by Soviet / Russia and some years ago, Norwegian authorities received criticism because of the ship overlooking the process of lifting the sunken Russian submarine K-141 Kursk. The Marjata was also involved in surveillance of what happened during that day of the tragic incident of that submarine. In general, Russia thinks that the ship operates too close to Russia’s territorial waters. The Marjata has been called many things, an intelligence ship, an ELINT ship, a research ship and a spy ship. The ship is operated by the Norwegian Intelligence Service and is considered to be one of the most advanced spyships in the world. – Wikipedia


* Russian Kilo Class Submarine *

Many more photos from the region can be found on their website here.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has “Port of L.A. Cargo Slump“. One of the first things to get cut from the budget is the Environment…

Also be sure to check out EagleSpeak‘s weekly series “Sunday Ship History: The Ship that Almost Sank the President

gCaptain has “M/V Biscaglia and A Look At Armed vs Non-Lethal Maritime Security In Pirate Waters” and “EPIRB, GPIRB, ELT, PLB… What’s The Difference?

The BBC has “How do you pay a pirate’s ransom?

CNN has a Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race casualty in “Stricken yachtsman rescued by navy” as French sailor Yann Elies needs assistance after breaking his leg.

Never Sea Land has news (and photo) of another Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race casualty in “Brutal.” This time it is sailor Bernard Stamm’s boat Cheminées Poujoulat that ended up aground after running into rudder trouble.

The shipping industry seeks level playing field for Hebei Spirit Blog has “Indian unions (shipping and non-shipping) call for Korean boycott“.

The National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) and the Maritime Union of India (MUI), both seafarers Associations, have already approached more than two hundred thousand seafarers and their families to boycott Korean products especially Samsung. Today they were joined by the Transport & Dock Workers Union represented by Mr. S. R. Kulkarni, All India Railwaymen Federation represented by Mr. Umraomal Purohit, Aviation Industries Employees Guild represented by Mr. George Abraham.

Deep Water Writing exposes one reason how the term ‘spend money like a drunken sailor’ came about in “Sugarplum Fairies“.

Now that the crew knows we’ll be alongside for a week of overnights the draw list has been put out and a few record amounts of cash are being taken against wages earned. I prefer not to exchange money at bars and will just hit up the ATMs if in need of Euros but all the same, it might be an expensive port stay. It’s pretty common in cases like this for a seaman to have next to nothing at payoff after blowing it like a rock star in port. “You can always make another trip but can’t always go back to Rio” is the mindset for many.

Go read the rest to get great insight on merchant sailors and shore leave or for no other reason to find out who his ‘sugarplum fairies’ are!

The Stupid Shall Be Punished slams the times for piss-poor reporting and activist politics “New York Times Doesn’t Like New Submarines” as the ‘paper’ tries to torpedo the Navy’s current boatbuilding project.

Casco Bay Boaters Blog has “Ebb & Flow: New Concern and Hopes for Fishing Industry“.

Mr. Boat Blog has video: “Container Ship Flexing in Rough Seas.

Danish Maritime Authority has done some translation work with “Complete set of regulations on the construction and equipment of ships now available in English“. Just in case any of you engineers are interested.

Blank Rome has “Problems Ahead: The UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage“. (PDF Link)

It remains to be seen how signatories to the Convention will implement these provisions, especially those concerning inadvertent or incidental activities affecting UCH. For example, vessels that inadvertently drag an anchor or a trawl net through a shipwreck could be at risk of sanctions. At a minimum, shipowners and managers of vessels flagged by States Parties should expect flag state inspections will include reviews of measures involving UCH activity and reports. Until some practice has been developed in this area, shipowners and managers of vessels flagged by, or operating in the jurisdiction of, States Parties should be aware of the potential risks and exercise caution when planning and conducting any underwater activities.


Helsingin Sanomat has “Icebreaker Otso into action, heading for Bay of Bothnia to assist traffic in Tornio, Oulu, and Kemi“.

International Herald Tribune has “Crisis-hit Iceland sees its future in fish” and “EU ministers agree on plan to revive fish stocks“.

MarineLog has “NASSCO product tanker on sea trials“.

The M/T Golden State, the first product tanker built by General Dynamics NASSCO under a $1 billion, nine ship contract with U.S. Shipping Partners recently departed San Diego on its inaugural sea trials.

Lloyd’s List Newsroom Blog has “Hard times for tankers“. Reduced profits are still better than losses.

Pinoy Maritime has “Ship accidents that could have been prevented” noting the main factors that prevent sailors from working at their best potential.

The Horse’s Mouth has video of a rescue of two sailors as the abandon their sailboat an swim ashore in rough surf in “I Hope You Had A Better Weekend Than These Guys.

Shipping Times has “SMIT raises profits with heavy lifts – Gloom dispelled despite global downturn…

Shipping Times also has an update on the Australian submarine listed in eBay with “Submarine fails to sell on Ebay – No buyers for ex HMAS OTAMA …” I suspect the opening bid of $4.9 million was too high. How about re-listing it with a much, much, lower opening bid. It is sure to find a buyer.

Robin Storm – In Search of Severe Weather has “NOAA Mission Discovers Historic Shipwreck Off Turks And Caicos Islands; ‘The Story Was Lost To History’“. The vessel was the slave ship TROUVADORE and the story notes the lasting effect the stranded slaves left on the inhabitants of the island.

Master of Towing Vessels Association Forum has good advice with “Close the Crossovers!

I believe that stability knowledge amongst towing vessel officers is generally well short of where it should be. This has been a subject area and practical discipline in which I had always assumed that the unlimited-tonnage officers had an enormous edge over us small-craft jockeys, but a ship captain recently disabused me of that idea. Nevertheless, most trouble can be avoided on tugs even without having a full grasp of all the physics behind the phenomenon of free-surface effect, the righting arm, metacentric height, etcetera.

An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog has a video profile of the runner-up for the US Coast Guard’s ‘Coastie of the Year‘ Award. A valuable look at the inner workings of the USCG.

Coast Guard Report has “U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Coast Guard Academy Diversity“.

As far as I am concerned, Congress can take their forced diversity and shove it. You see, I can say that because I was flat-out told when I called the USNA’s Admissions Department to find out why I had not heard back from them one way or the other after the date everyone should have been advised of their status, that I had been accepted ‘But your spot has gone to a minority.’ It has been reported in Maritime Monday previously that congressmen and women who represent minority-majority areas of the country ‘struggle’ to find young adults from their districts who want to go to the Academies. Why don’t they fix that problem first and the diversity problem will take care of itself. To solve that problem, maybe they should stop telling their constituents to boycott military service! (Note: The USCGA does not require a Congressional appointment) As listed in Maritime Monday 116:

The Washington Post has “District Ill Served When Nominations To Service Academies Go Begging” covering Washington, DC’s Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton failure to use anywhere near her 40 annual service academy nominations. (In order to attend West Point, the Naval, Air Force and Merchant Marine academies.) Her office claims a lack of interest, while interest in the neighboring states continues to far outstrip supply. (I was nominated to the US Merchant Marine Academy by my local congressman but was already working to get a nomination from a Manhattan congressman as some there also suffer from a ‘lack of interest’ from their constituents, even before the Iraq War. The first one.) [Read the story at the link.]

Pilot/Photographer OneEighteen has a photo of “Cajun Radar“.

Maritime Compass has the possible reintroduction of the “Sea Eagles” to the UK.

Breakbulk Industry News has news of new RoRo service to West Africa and Asia from Connecticut in “Hoegh adds Bridgeport calls“.

Offshore Magazine has “Strategic Marine delivers floating dry dock base pontoon“. Go appreciate the full-size image on their website.


This Ain’t Hell covers reports concerning one person Democrats are pushing to be the next Secretary of the Navy. His qualification for the position: He’s openly gay.

CDR Salamander has more on possible SECNAV picks with “No one makes me tingle yet ….

BarentsObserver has “Expanding nature reserve in the Barents Sea“.

Bob Couttie’s Maritime Accident Casebook has the story behind the defense of the Chinese ship XHEN HUA 4 against pirates in “This Ship Wouldn’t Be A Takeaway“.

About then, the pirates decided they had somewhere to be but the Xhen Hua 4’s deck was littered with broken glass from the improvised fire-bombs and they were bare-footed. Afraid of injury, the brave demons of the sea begged the ship’s crew for pairs of shoes, which were thrown down at them from the top of the accommodation, and they went off.

Then they came back: Could they borrow some fuel from the Xhen Hua 4? These fearsome marauders didn’t have enough gas to get home. Being as hospitable as seafarers should be, the crew gave them some fuel and off they went, not so much Barbary Pirates as Pirates of Penzance.

I have posted at gCaptain photos of the defense of the XHEN HUA 4 in “Chinese Sailors Defend Ship With Beer Bottles – Pirate Attack Photos ZHEN HUA 4“. Also posted is “Pirate Attack Photos – M/V KAPITAN MASLOV“.

– “Standby to repel boarders: A Chinese sailor lights a Molotov cocktail before throwing it overboard at Somali pirates” –

The Merchant Marine Express completes training with “Making my way back Home!

HAWSEPIPER: The Longest Climb is recognized by a pilot in “Glory! Fame!” Not surprising as this is a small community after all.

Profesional Mariner has “Mel Oliver captain left boat for 3 days to track down girlfriend“. This was the Captain of the tugboat whose apprentice pushed their oil barge in front of a ship on the Mississippi River causing a large spill.

Navagear has “New AIS Rules: Navagear Gets It Wrong!” and “More Class B AIS On-The-Water Testing“.

SAILORS, MARINERS & WARRIORS LEAGUE has “Key West, Fla., Buys Ghost Fleet Ship“. The ship was the USNS GENERAL HOYT S. VANDENBERG.

Sea * Fever is still counting down the days to Christmas with nautical gift suggestions each day.

Kennebec Captain has “Maine Maritime grad stays in touch with School Kids“.

MarineBuzz has “Port of Houston: World’s First Port Authority to Get ISO 28000:2007 Certification for Security” and “China,Taiwan Direct Shipping Service Starts After Six Decades“.

MarEx Newsletter has “Chinese Ship captain gets 5-years for Fatal Collision“.

Information Dissemination has “Don’t Bail Out Automakers, Invest in Shipbuilding“.

Today, the US Shipbuilding industry is a mess following eight years of Clinton and eight years of Bush, and due to many, many factors is uncompetitive in the commercial market while also suffering from a seasoned (ie. old) workforce lacking young trained professionals. If Barack Obama does not take serious action, the shipbuilding industry in the United States will be mortally crippled for decades. This letter strikes me as a smart way to look at economic stimulus.


The Astute Bloggers has “IRANIAN SHIP HEADED FOR GAZA – WITH “HIDDEN AGENDA”… OR A WMD!?” as Iran claims to send its own aid ship to Gaza.

Shipping Management Strategies has “Filipino fears“.

As many as one in five Filipinos working in shipping could lose their jobs in the fallout from the global economic crisis, a government official has warned.

Yet at the same time the country faces the dilemma of how to increase its output of officers to meet the forecast shortage of skilled and qualified personnel.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide has “Toxic waste executive not to be tried“. The waste was transported on the PROBO KOALA and offloaded in Côte d’Ivoire where it eventually killed 17 people.

A court in Amsterdam has ruled that the Dutch Public Prosecutor may not try senior executive Claude Dauphin for his role in a toxic waste transport in the capital’s port. The court argued that the chances of a conviction were too slim. Mr Dauphin’s Trafigura company is accused of illegally transporting toxic waste into and out of Amsterdam harbour in 2006. The company allegedly also falsified documents detailing the chemical composition of the waste.

USNI Blog has “History Points The Way: Ship Size” and “Adding Context to Navy Shipbuilding Cost Discussions“. has “Boat Building Academy student boat launch day December 2008“.


Mercopress has “Engine room flood on Falklands ship Endurance“. (Found via Naval Open Source INTelligence)


BRITISH Royal Navy Patrol Ship HMS Endurance has suffered an engine room flood off the coast of Chile. The Ministry of Defence has confirmed the incident saying the flood has left her without main power and propulsion: “An investigation is underway into the exact cause of the incident,” said a release from the Ministry of Defence.

Christiaan Conover prepares to head out to sea on the school ship with “Sea Term 2009: Communications” and “Sea Term 2009: Laptops“.

Terra Daily has “China’s Christmas-related exports take heavy hit: state media“. Hopefully they are sending much less crap this way.

Hellenic Shipping News has “Cambodia: Trouble ahoy at shipping registry“. Is this the ship registry for Russian criminals?

THE recent seizures of Cambodian-flagged fishing trawlers caught poaching crabs off Russia’s eastern coast further tarnishes the already battered reputation of the Kingdom’s shipping registry, foreign officials say. “We are worried because it is a common occurrence for Cambodian vessels to violate the law,” a Russian embassy spokesman said. Four fishing vessels flying the Cambodian flag – but manned by Russian nationals – were seized by the Russian coast guard earlier this week off Russia’s Pacific coast, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said.

Bills of lading is back at sea and reports in with “Cold, foggy and spanky in Houston !!

Lighthouse News has “Two Great Lakes Lighthouses Sold“.

Freaque Waves has “Safe from killer waves? Good luck!” as Singapore gets results from a study declaring that it has little to fear from tsunami waves.

Kings Point Waterfront Blog has “Wrapping Up a Tough Year“.

BitterEnd has “First Self-Healing Coatings“. Painting will never be the same.

Scandinavian Shipping Gazette has “Europe must not let its shipbuilding industry down“.

After all, the European shipbuilding industry and its partners form the driving force when it comes to new and innovative ship designs. The world of shipping simply cannot afford to lose this resource.

When I was doing my MBA in Finland, we had a Government economist come in to speak to us. She went off on how the Government wasted too much money supporting shipbuilding in Finland in that it brought no real benefits to the country. I doubt that the attitude has changed since then.

Theo Spark has a bizarre sub picture: “Lost?“.

Tugster has photos of the SPT GUARDIAN in “Specialized 13“.

MySpace Video has an example of how rough it can get out there with the dramatic video “Extreme Cruise Ship Dining“.



Haight’s Maritime Items has:

UK – ferry rider fined for failure to declare dangerous goods – The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that driver of a vehicle boarding a ferry in Dover has been fined £7,000 plus costs for failure to declare that the vehicle was carrying dangerous goods. During questioning, the driver admitted that purchased the regular ticket, rather than the freight ticket in order to save money. It is essential that the master and crew of a vessel are aware of all dangerous goods on board so that correct action can be taken in the event of an emergency. (12/15/08). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)


India – great concern expressed to South Korea re sentencing of mariners – The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued a press briefing stating that the Government of India expressed to the Government of the Republic of Korea its great concern regarding the decision of the Korean appellate court to reverse the trial court’s ruling in which the two Indian officers on the tanker HEBEI SPIRIT were exonerated from liability for the December 2007 oil spill. Distress was also expressed with regard to the harsh prison sentences imposed. The matter has also been raised with the IMO in London. INTERTANKO, BIMCO, and numerous other maritime organizations have strongly protested the Korean court decision. Personal note: It is incumbent upon the Government of the Republic of Korea to publicly articulate in writing the rationale for reversing the acquittal of the senior officers of the anchored tanker that was run down by a crane barge during heavy weather. If they can’t explain the decision, it should be rescinded. It is a basic maritime premise that, in the event of a marine casualty, the officers first look to preserving life. Then they look to preserving the ship. Only after those tasks have been completed may they undertake steps to protect the environment. If these officers had done what the Korean appellate court mistakenly asserts that they should have done (protect the environment first), the entire ship might have been lost, resulting in a significantly worse situation. These judges should cease trying to second-guess the professional mariners on scene and withdraw their criminal sanctions. (12/15/08). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News has:

Obama picks LaHood for transport – REPUBLICAN Congressman Ray LaHood is President-Elect Barack Obama’s choice for transportation secretary – a pick that has industry insiders wondering what it means for shipping.

LaHood, 63, from Illinois has virtually no track record on transport-related legislation during his 13 years in Congress, where he sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee but was retiring from the House.

Hailed as a solid bipartisan choice for one of the last open cabinet slots, LaHood is the grandson of Lebanese immigrants and taught in Catholic schools before entering public service.

Capitol watchers told Fairplay that LaHood will probably be challenged to meet Obama’s campaign pledges to renew public works programmes and infrastructure. Obama is expected to make the formal announcement of the choice later today, but informed sources told Fairplay that LaHood accepted the appointment yesterday.

A moderate Republican, he is said to be friendly with both the president-elect and the incoming White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. LaHood, not a household name in the US, had his greatest notoriety when he presided over impeachment hearings against then-President Bill Clinton in 1998. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


Mærsk axes Charleston – A LABOUR dispute has spurred Mærsk to pull out of Charleston, South Carolina, one of the busiest US East Coast ports.

The disagreement with the International Longshoremen’s Association prevented the carrier from moving its calls to another – cheaper – terminal at Charleston.

Mærsk told the port that it will instead move twice-weekly calls (via the South Atlantic Express) to “other nearby ports” in January 2009.

That service represents about a quarter of the line’s calls at the port. Overall, Mærsk accounts for roughly one-fifth of Charleston’s present business, port spokesman Byron Miller told Fairplay.

The drastic move came after the ILA refused to consent to Mærsk’s attempt to shift from its licensed terminal to a common-use facility – a solution to Mærsk’s financial dilemma offered by the port authority. Sources close to the talks said the switch could have resulted in the loss of up to 30 stevedore jobs.

Maersk spokesman Dana Magliola said the company cannot bear “the cost disadvantage between our situation in Charleston and that of our competitors”, adding: “It would be unfair to our shareholders, customers and our employees to continue to operate in this environment.”

Under Mærsk’s plan, the line will end its business with Charleston on or before 31 December 2010, when its terminal contract expires. – 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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