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Maritime Monday 146

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January 26, 2009

The following is posted by Fred Fry:

Welcome to this 146th edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 96 here. (Published 4 February 2008)

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 Weeks Marine:

In over seventy-five years of existence, Weeks Marine, Inc. has grown into one of the leading marine construction and dredging organizations in the United States. Originally founded in 1919, the company has responded to the many changes in the marine industry and blossomed into a six division company. Weeks Marine was recently ranked 110th on the “Engineering News-Record” 2007 top 400 contractors list.

With our customer service focus, we are able to tailor our response to your specific needs. By utilizing the appropriate capabilities of the different divisions along with direction by the best qualified personnel, we are able to ensure a successful result to your project.


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MTA Subway Car Removal – New York, NY – Weeks Marine was contracted to transport about 1,700 obsolete NYC Transit subway cars to various permitted artificial reef sites along the eastern coastlines of NJ, DE, MD, VA, SC & GA. To do this, first the Transit Authority cleaned the cars of all environmentally unfriendly material and groups them together inside the MTA’s yard. The Weeks 297 barge and the Weeks 552 Heavy Lift crane are brought from the Greenville Yard to transport the cars from the MTA yard to various environmentally approved drop sites. The cars are loaded onto the 297 using the 552 crane and, once full, the 297 is towed back to the Greenville Yard, where workers secure the 5110 Cat Excavator for the tow to the dump site. Once they arrive, the Cat Excavator handles the picking and dumping of the rail cars thanks to an attachment put into place at the end of the machine’s boom, making the Cat work much like a forklift. This process will be repeated until all of the cars have been properly disposed of.

Their homepage can be found here.

More subway car to reef transport photos at Gothamist.

More subway car to reef dumping photos at Inhabitant.

Gothamist also has coverage of the program’s success in “Subway Reef Madness: Other States Can’t Get Enough“.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has “Somali Pirates: China Rewards Fighting Merchant Crew“. Nice to see that their employer recognized what a favor these sailors did for them in addition to themselves.

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

gCaptain has ““A Most Dangerous Precedent” Has Been Set With MS Steve Irwin” as the eco-terrorists refuel in Australia without having to face the type of scrutiny regular sailors have to face every day.

Australia Network News has an interesting development in “Sea Shepherd offers to ‘back off’ Japan“.

Anti-whaling activists say they are willing to end their aggressive protests against Japan’s whale hunt if Australia or New Zealand agree to challenge the whaling in an international court.

BBC News has a dose of reality for the UN in “Thailand defies UN over migrants“.

Thailand says 126 asylum-seekers from the Burmese Rohingya minority who were detained by the military a week ago have been sent back out to sea.

The UN Refugee Agency asked to see the detainees three days ago, but never received a response.

Last month almost 1,000 Rohingyas were detained and then towed out to sea by Thai security forces in boats with little food and no motors.

Hundreds of survivors have been rescued, but hundreds more are missing.

Maybe these migrants should claim to be pirates. That might get them better treatment.

CNN has more including photos with “Probe questions fate of refugees in Thailand“. Imagine the news coverage and international outrage if the US was caught doing this. Look at all the press a couple terrorists at GITMO get. These guys, not so much.

Marine Log has the answer to Denmark’s problem of what to do with the Somali Pirates they caught with “Netherlands to try pirate suspects“.

The Netherlands has asked Denmark for the extradition of five Somali pirate suspects.

The five have been held on the Danish frigate Absolon since January 2. They jumped from a boat that had caught fire after members of the crew of the Netherlands Antilles flagged merchant ship Samanyolu had foiled a hijacking attempt by firing light flares at the attacking vessel.

Modern Day Pirate Tales has “Tanker Biscaglia released by Somali pirates” and “A look inside the Puntland Coast Guard“.

Marine Log has also posted it’s January edition online:


Telegraph.Co.UK has the story and video report: “Timber covers Kent coastline as Sinegorsk cargo is washed up“.

Telegraph.Co.UK also has “British shipwreck holds £2.6 billion treasure, explorers claim“.

It claims that the Blue Baron’s cargo included at least ten tons of gold bullion, 70 tons of platinum, one a half tons of industrial diamonds and 16 million carats of gem quality diamonds.

Never Sea Land has the story and photo of “Esky lifeboat saves two“. An ‘Esky’ is a big cooler. These guys were in one for almost a month.

Related to the story above, the Sydney Morning Herald has “Esky survival stories“.

SAILORS, MARINERS & WARRIORS LEAGUE has “Iranian Ship Searched For Arms“.

One official said the two-day search turned up ammunition that included artillery shells; and since Hamas is not known to use artillery, officials are now uncertain who the intended recipient was.

Patriot Room has more on the ship with “News Blackout: Iranian weapons ship in US control“.

Debka reported on January 20, 2009, that that an “arms-smuggling vessel started its voyage as the Iran-Hedayat and changed its name in mid sea to Famagustus registered to Panama. The captain was ordered by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to unload its cargo at a smugglers cove on the southeastern coast of Sinai opposite the Gulf of Suez, to be picked up by armed Bedouin gangs and moved to El Arish in northern Sinai. From there the contraband rockets were to be slipped gradually into the Gaza Strip.


The latest update indicates a different name for the ship: Cypriot-flagged Iranian freighter Nochegorsk.

Information Dissemination has more on the Iranian ship with “When Guessing Become News“.

Maritime Information Center has “Obama’s Policies for Tanker Imports“.

Danish Maritime Authority has “New guidelines on the disembarkation of persons rescued at sea“.

According to international law, ships have very extensive obligations to rescue persons in distress at sea. The new guidelines are intended to help transfer persons rescued at sea from the rescuing ship to a safe place as fast as possible so that ships that have assisted in rescue operations are not unnecessarily delayed.

This reminds me of the Norwegian cargoship MV TAMPA that picked up a couple hundred refugees at sea back in 2001 only to find out that the Australians didn’t want to take them.


The Maritime Executive has “Sean Connaughton’s Tenure as Maritime Administrator Ends with Change in Administration“.

EUobserver has “EU announces maritime transport strategy“.

The 1986 Single European Act paved the way for a single market in Europe, yet the shipping industry has long complained that barriers and excessive red tape still exist. These have resulted in increased costs and time delays, forcing producers to opt for land transportation.

Bills of lading has faced something new in “Flocculated in the Mississippi“.

The Academy (a USMMA Midshipman) heads for the “44th Presidential Inauguration – One for the Books“. The US Merchant Marine Academy appears to still be marching with electro-welded 1903 rifles. I had heard that during a previous inauguration the Secret Service took a look at the first one, saw that everyone was carrying the same hunk of metal and quickly moved on to the next group as these things had stopped being rifles long ago.

Russia Today has an update on the MV FAINA which is still being held by pirates in “Arms ship families fear for loved ones“.

MarineBuzz has “Cleaning Drain Pipes in Ships can Cause Injury” and “Sri Lanka Army Captures Boat Building Facility of Terrorists“.

Wired’s Threat Level blog has “Feds Harpoon Alleged ‘Narco Submarine’ Crews“.


The crew of a semi-submersible vessel prepares to abandon ship before being intercepted and detained by the U.S.Coast Guard about 150 miles northwest of the Colombia-Ecuador border two weeks ago. Photo: U.S Navy

Shetland Marine News has “Freak wave knocks ferry out of action“. The ship is the ferry HJALTLAND.

The Engineer Online has “Floating wind turbine“.

Lloyd’s List Newsroom Blog has “Let’s have a relationship” concerning the weak relationship shipping has with media.

Naval Open Source INTelligence has “No delay in acquiring Russian nuke sub: Indian Navy“.

Navy Newsstand has an interesting UNREP photo.


090121-N-3392P-168 PERSIAN GULF (Jan. 21, 2009) Sailors aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) watch the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) breakaway from the Military Sealift Command dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1) after a replenishment at sea. Carter Hall and Iwo Jima are deployed as part of the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group supporting maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Katrina Parker/Released) – Link

Kennebec Captain has a great summary: “Nautical Slide Rule – More Then Meets the Eye“.

HAWSEPIPER: The Longest Climb takes a course in Search and Rescue in “Good week“.

Bob Couttie’s Maritime Accident Casebook has “Ferry vs Lighthouse, Lighthouse Wins“.

National Geographic has for its ‘Photo of the Day’Fishermen at Night, Micronesia“.


Fiery torches of palm fronds light up the night near the Caroline Islands as men in outrigger canoes wait with long-handled nets to scoop flying fish in midair. The jumping fish are attracted by light. (Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, “Micronesia—The Americanization of Eden,” May 1967, National Geographic magazine)


The Journal of Commerce has “Security upgraded for ships arriving from Venezuela“.

Helsingin Sanomat has “Ministry threatens total ban on smokeless tobacco: Eckerö Line threatens to reflag another ship in Sweden“.

“Concerns have been voiced over where the Finns will get their snus. Nobody seems to be interested in what will happen to the Finnish sailors”, The Finnish Seamen’s Union Secretary Kenneth Bondas says with some astonishment.

“The selling of smokeless tobacco will not cease. It will simply be sold on ships re-registered in Sweden.”

Some of these routes in Northern Europe are fully dependent on tax free sales for continued profitability. Many Finns traveling from Finland to Sweden do not get off the ship when it arrived in Stockholm, taking the trip mainly to acquire cheap cigarettes and alcohol. The EU has eliminated most tax free sales and limiting what they can sell just makes it more difficult to keep these routes open. (Or forces them to raise rates, driving away bargain hunters.)

NAUTICAL SHETLAND has a photo of the Norwegian Reefer ship “FIRDA“.

An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog has a “conceptual drawing of the anticipated Sentinel class of cutters“.

Christiaan Conover blogs from his ship with “Just Another Day at Sea in the Caribbean“.

BarentsObserver has “A bad year for Arctic oil industry“.

US Naval Institute Blog poses the question “Send a Navy Hospital Ship to Gaza?” and my post “Pirates not the only ones holding merchant sailors hostage“. (Cross-posted on Fred Fry International here)

Space War has “Multi Million Pound Refit Begins On Hospital Ship“. The ship is the UK’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary ARGUS.

NY TUGMASTER’S WEBLOG has “The “Near Miss” or, how I learned to live with the recreational boater.

I dispatched the deckhand forward with a radio and instructions to keep track of any survivors that may surface. I could only see the top of his mast as he reached the middle of the bow, I just knew he was going to be raked under by the chain bridles. The deckhand was yelling for him to get out of the way or jump or anything, and the guy replies “I can’t”. He then turned around, reached for and pulled the rope starter on his little 2 cylinder kicker which started on the first pull. He cranked the throttle in time to clear with moments to spare.

We had a similar moment like that on my first ship. We were pulling into Brunswick, Georgia and a sailboat decided to cross our bow. Over the sound of the pilot sounding the danger signal, the Bosun and AB were arguing over who was going to have to paint over the scratches on the hull because a collision looked certain. The guy in the sailboat only looked up at us once, pushed the throttle to the inboard full ahead and kind of rocked back and forth as if it would make the boat go a little faster. Amazingly he went down our port side with about two feet to space. I am sure that there was concern for the guy in the sailboat even though I don’t remember anything other than anger and just plain confusion on my part because nobody in their right might would have done what that boater did. As for the anger part, the crew was certain that shore leave was going to be delayed to investigate the accident which thankfully never happened.

Florida Everyone Forgot has “Sanford Marina…

Puget Sound Maritime has “BC Ferries announces restructuring, downsizing” and “WSDOT Ferries sells two passenger-only ferries“.

Master of Towing Vessels Association Forum points to some “Maritime Art & History“.

Offshore Magazine has “Iceland opens first-ever offshore licensing round“.

Sea * Fever has “Tallest Ship Brings High Hopes to Littlest State“.

Springbored’s Springboard asks (and answers) “Where Is Blackwater’s Navy?

Casco Bay Boaters Blog has “How to Move a Boat Without an Engine, Paddles or Sails” and “Queen Mary in Financial Dire Straits Again“. Back in the ’80’s my parents took us to California. We wanted to see the Spruce Goose and this ship but did not because the admission price was too steep at the time. See video of the restoration here.

Shipping Times has news from Denmark in “No more giants from Lindø shipyard – Odense to build smaller ships as credit crunch bites…

CDR Salamander covers the war record of the US Battleship USS WASHINGTON which was not at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked and later managed to inflict substantial losses on the Japanese Navy.

Freaque Waves has “Royal Navy encountered a freaque wave“.

BitterEnd has “Capt. Pierson’s TWIC Experience“. I would say that the enrollment process has problems and these problems have been around for a while. The nice thing about getting contractors involved in a project like this, both they and the Government can point fingers at the other as to who is to blame. Then again, this problem impacts nobody but transportation professionals, so no need to make it better, right???

Tugster has photos: “Booms“.

IMC Brokers has a video tour of the “Harbour Tug ‘Union Onyx’ (URS Belgium)“.

Hellenic Shipping News has “Obama sets stage for likely trade war with China“. I think that China has bigger problems that they are going to have to deal with as trade is drying up on its own. Maybe they should concern themselves with the quality issues of the products they make.

Lou Minatti looks at industry’s “Supply chain” from China.

Any idea what possible societal upheaval in China will do to the supply chain? So many companies throughout the world have outsourced critical items to China.


Haight’s Maritime Items has:

Court upholds conviction for failure to properly “maintain” ORB – The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the conviction of a vessel operator for failure to properly maintain an oil record book (ORB) while the vessel was within the navigable waters of the United States. In the instant case, the defendant was convicted at a jury trial for, among other things, having on board while in US waters an ORB with entries known to be materially inaccurate. Evidence showed that members of the crew, at the direction of the chief engineer, had discharged oily waste water directly into the ocean while the vessel was at sea and that the chief engineer had made entries in the ORB that did not reflect such improper discharge. On appeal, defendant argued that it could only be convicted for a violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) if the ORB entries had been made while the vessel was in US waters (which was not the case here). The appellate court rejected that argument, finding that a violation of APPS occurs when the vessel enters US waters with an ORB that contains knowingly inaccurate entries. United States v. Ionia Management S.A., No. 07-5801-cr (2nd Cir., January 20, 2009). Note: This court has adopted the rationale espoused by the Fifth Circuit in the recent case of United States v. Jho. While not condoning the use of magic pipes, personally, I consider both decisions to be flawed because I believe that there should be a requirement in the elements of the offense that the ORB be presented to a Coast Guard boarding officer or other government official before the offense can be said to have occurred. MARPOL regulations require only that full and complete entries be made in the ORB of all oil transfers and that the ORB be kept on board for examination by government officials. The purpose of APPS is to allow US officials to enforce MARPOL, not to create new offenses. – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)


White House – anchorage and movement of vessels regarding Cuba – The White House issued an Executive Order signed by President Bush continuing for another year the national emergency relating to the anchorage and movement of vessels with regard to Cuba. 74 Fed. Reg. 3959 (January 21, 2009). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News has:

Panagopoulos freed – GREEK shipping magnate Periklis Panagopoulos has been freed after eight days in captivity.

Previously his wife had reportedly paid an undisclosed sum of money for his release. According to a police announcement, Panagopoulos was found at around 0130 this morning, sitting at a bench in a parking lot on the Athens-Corinth motorway, close to Hellenic Shipyards.

He was unhurt and in good health. Speaking to journalists today, he said his kidnappers had provided him with the medication he needed and treated him well.

Early reports suggested that the kidnappers had demanded a ransom of €40M ($51.8M) but although the sum paid remains unconfirmed, according to all major Greek dailies his wife Katerina paid the abductors €30M ($38.7M). In her negotiations with them there was no police involvement. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


‘Contango hangover’ feared – THE VLCC market has been buoyed by floating storage charters, but there could be fallout when the ‘contango’ oil trade unwinds, warned Dahlman Rose analyst Omar Nokta.

In a research note today, Nokta cited Imarex data that at least 33 VLCCs are being employed for floating storage, or 6.5% of the global fleet. The trend has been driven by capacity constraints at land-based storage facilities amidst the oil price ‘contango’ – with futures higher than current pricing. “Floating storage is being done on hopes of selling the stored crude at a higher price in the future,” the analyst explained.

Nokta speculated that oil futures will normalise and the contango trade will unwind. “We are concerned with the aftermath,” he said.

Beyond the impact of 33 VLCCs re-entering the spot trade, he also pointed to the 2.8M bpd in additional OPEC reductions, the equivalent of 40 VLCC cargoes/month. “Thus far spot rates have been shielded by floating storage, but we believe rates could see significant pressure in the coming months,” said Nokta, who believes that Frontline, OSG, Nordic American Tankers and Teekay face the most exposure.

Nokta maintained his ‘hold’ rating on Frontline and OSG, but downgraded Nordic American and Teekay from ‘buy’ to ‘hold’. – 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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