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Maritime Monday 147

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February 2, 2009

The following is posted by Fred Fry:

Welcome to this 147th edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 97 here. (Published 11 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 are of the German Cruiseship SS MAXIM GORKIY that I took while in Finland last Summer:

SS Maxim Gorkiy is a cruise ship that was, until 30 November 2008, owned by Sovcomflot, Russia, under long-term charter to Phoenix Reisen, Germany. She was built in 1969 by Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft, Hamburg, West Germany for the German Atlantic Line as SS Hamburg. In 1973 she was renamed SS Hanseatic. The following year she was sold to the Black Sea Shipping Company, Soviet Union and received the name Maxim Gorkiy in honour of the poet Maxim Gorky. On 20 August 2008 the Maxim Gorkiy was sold to Orient Lines. She was due to enter service with her new owners on 15 April 2009 under the name SS Marco Polo II, but in November 2008 the relaunch of the Orient Lines brand was cancelled. On 8 January 2009 the ship was reportedly sold for scrap, but attempts to save her are ongoing as of 19 January 2009. – Wikipedia


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So, is this the end of the line for another classic ship?

SHIPS & THE SEA has more with “Save the MAXIM GORKIY / HAMBURG“.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has “Somali Pirates: Learning Curve -“Pirates use ‘decoy’ tactics to capture LPG tanker”” and one of the comments was the following:

We were escorted by the Indian warship in our west bound transit through G.O.A.

We are thankful to the Indians for an excellent service. When the L.P.G tanker was attacked the Indians sent their helicopter, and the vessel sailed to assist the tanker. But our convoy was about 20nm from the Longchamp so unfortunately the Indians were too late. We heard them talking on the VHF with a coalition warship that was also in the area saying that they were ready to board the tanker with commandos. When they arrived they decided to chase the suspected mother ship which they had spotted and suggested to the coalition ship that they boarded the ship since they could not be two places at once, but the Coalition warship said no ( this acc to regulations etc..). From a personal view, if it had been our ship, I would have liked them to board us and take the chance. Being boarded by these M.F.( the Somalians ) is like having armed unwanted visitors invading your house, threatening to kill you. This is our home when we are onboard. To repeat what I have already said: Give us some armed guards onboard with a license to kill.. Why is it that if criminals ashore decide to take hostages no one questions it, if the police shoots them to prevent the situation/ save the hostages, but as soon as it is ‘only’ seamen, nobody does a goddamn thing. – Anonymous (Minor grammatical edits made by Fred)

Also be sure to check out EagleSpeak‘s weekly series “Sunday Ship History: Grog and “Bob Smith”

gCaptain has “Incident Photo of The Week – Cruise Ship Hits Rough Seas“. Go take a look.

RIA Novosti has “Russia could claim part of ‘richest wreck’ find“. This concerns the WWII wreck that has been codenamed ‘BLUE BARON’. has “World War II cargo vessel, union crews inducted into National Maritime Hall of Fame“.

The Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO reports that the World War II era cargo vessel, the SS Transglobe, and its crew have been inducted into the National Maritime Hall of Fame.

Designed as a cargo ship for Lykes Brothers Steamship Company, the vessel transported more than 200,000 passengers during World War II, including troops and casualties. It is best known for having completed seven convoy runs through the U-boat packs of the North Atlantic in 1944. It also took part in the D-Day invasion.

Lou Minatti has potential problems on the horizon in “Breaks in the supply chain“.

Cockatoo Island Project has photos of an abandoned shipyard. (Found via Little Green Footballs)


Yahoo News has “Japanese fishing boat captured by Russia: official“.

Russia and Japan have frequently clashed over fishing rights. But Tuesday’s incident took place in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), not near disputed islands where previous incidents have occurred.

Japan and Russia have not yet signed a peace treaty to end World War II because of the dispute over the islands, which the Soviet Union seized days after Japan surrendered in 1945.

Mr. Boat Blog has must-see video: “Cool!n Water Powered Jet Pack.

Breakbulk Industry News has “MOL to scrap 17 ships“.

Intheboatshed.Net has “Artist seeks help – she needs rusty ships in dried-out-looking seas“.

SAILORS, MARINERS & WARRIORS LEAGUE has “Norway To Raise Nazi Submarine Wreck“. The U-Boat was U-864 which was carrying tons of mercury to Japan.


Marine Log has “STX Europe delivers car passenger ferry“. The ship is the ARMORIQUE for Brittany Ferries.

MarketWatch has “Sources: Iranian aid ship now Hamas HQ“.

EBKAfile reported Friday that its unidentified sources said the Iranian ship Iran Shahed is carrying communications equipment being used to maintain communications between Hamas leaders currently in hiding.

The Maritime Executive has “Release of the M/V “Biscaglia” is Only Part of the Story“.

New twist introduced to seemingly familiar case involving piracy in the Gulf of Aden; all 28 crew members released unharmed as U.S. attorneys (Seward & Kissel) provide advice and counsel in first negotiation of its kind to be negotiated from the United States.

Shipgaz has “Birka Paradise latest victim of snuff legislation” as the ship is now the second re-flagged to Sweden, to protect the ship’s right to sell smokeless tobacco. Sweden is the only EU nation that permits sale of the tobacco product.

Master of Towing Vessels Association Forum has “Damaged Stability For Barges“. Once you have read that one, be sure to check out the follow-up posts.

Lloyd’s List Newsroom Blog has “Act of cruelty” as the crew of the ship Silver Constellation quickly run out of food, apparently abandoned by the vessel’s owner.

The Firearm Blog has “Marine scout snipers providing anti-pirate protection“.

Strategy Page has “Don’t Give Up The Ship“.

The resistance on the Zhenhua 4 was no accident. The captain had worked out a drill to resist boarders, and had the crew rehearse it ten days before they were attacked.

Professional Mariner has “Vandals cause $117K in damage to Columbia River navigation aids“.

Bob Couttie’s Maritime Accident Casebook has “Titanic Survival Report Poo-hooed“.

American commentators have poo-hooed reported claims by Australian and Swiss researchers that more Americans survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 because they were politer than their British counterparts. Nobody from the maritime industry, however, has complained about suggestions in the report that crew members used their special knowledge in order to survive.

CargoLaw has photos of “Loving The Parking Brake – M/V HSS Stena Voyager” as a tractor-trailer hangs over the stern of the vessel, preventing it from docking.

Puget Sound Maritime has “Puget Sound Maritime” and “New German-built ferry en route to BC“. The ship is the NORTHERN EXPEDITION.

MarineBuzz has “How Safe are Seafarers from Sea Pirates” and “Sri Lanka Army Captures Underwater Vehicles of Terrorists” which notes:

the LTTE has been able to come this far in terrorism warfare because of the leeway given to the outfit by the international community.

This is the ongoing lesson unlearnt.

Safeship.Ca has “Lifeboat Accidents – Over and Over” (PDF Link).

Imbroglio? The word would appear appropriate for the lifeboat issue. It comes from the Italian imbrogliare, meaning to tangle, confuse. In English, it can mean ‘an intricate and confusing situation’. This is often the case of lifeboat release mechanisms and/or their operating instructions. ‘Imbroglio’ may also be used to describe ‘a confused heap or tangle’ – often all that is left after a lifeboat plunges, uncontrolled, many tens of metres into the water.

US Naval Institute Blog has “The Complex Maritime Environment of Somalia” and my post “On Defending Unarmed Merchant Ships“.

National Geographic Channel (in the UK) has their new show “SALVAGE [CODE RED]“.

In National Geographic Channel’s Salvage Code Red, salvors race against time to rescue stricken ships, their cargo and crew, and prevent environmental disaster. Divers venture with helmet cameras inside sunken vessels to capture gripping footage of abandoned behemoths. The five-part series takes viewers inside the bowels of a burning ship while intricate CGI illustrates the immense challenges, and some innovative solutions, in hauling and repairing a sinking vessel.

In Firestorm, a multi-million dollar ferry becomes an inferno, burning uncontrollably for days until a salvage crew climbs onboard to battle lingering blazes, and savage seas tear apart a U.K. truck ferry. Two rookie salvage masters undergo a baptism by fire in Typhoon Showdown when a typhoon-battered Russian coal freighter forces the salvage team to abandon their divers overnight and a stranded Mexican ferry threatens a coastal reef. Heading back to the Russian freighter in Breaking Point, a salvage diver suffers a close call after becoming disoriented by violent wave surges while a storm wreaks havoc and causes substantial loses for a team salvaging a sunken freighter off the Strait of Gibraltar.

There is lots to see on the program’s website. The image above was taken from a video on the site of salvage of the NEW FLAME. There is lots more video there so go take a look. (and how about bringing the show to the US?).


Kyiv Post has “Pirates’ Prison“.

Is anyone capable or interested in saving 17 Ukrainian sailors taken hostage by pirates off the coast of Somalia?

From economic crisis to gas crisis, from autumn into winter, 17 Ukrainian sailors have remained hostages aboard the MV Faina cargo ship, seized by Somali pirates on Sept. 25.

The men are still waiting for rescue, amid reports that some of them are suffering poor health and that all of them are imprisoned in terrible conditions – enduring scorching temperatures off the lawless east African coast and spending most of their time in a cramped room aboard the hijacked ship.

The Merchant Marine Express has “The Lifestyle of the Merchant Marine“.

HAWSEPIPER: The Longest Climb finishes his latest round of training with “Fireman” and includes some photos.

NY TUGMASTER’S WEBLOG has “Deckhand 101, Lessons on the Fantail“.



The Stupid Shall Be Punished has “Officer / Enlisted Divide In The Sub Force, Or Lack Of Same” asking

Do the close working quarters and technical expertise of submariners inherently preclude ridiculous separations between various ranks? Or does it just depend on the boat you’re on?

tugster: a waterblog has photos of New York City’s newest sludge ship RED HOOK in “Sidekick“. More Sludge ship photos in Maritime Monday 133.

Shipping Times has “Scottish shipbuilding goes back to the future – New initiative to attract recruits into shipbuilding…

Robin Storm – In Search of Severe Weather has “Weathernews launches Global Sea Ice Information website“.

The Global Ice Center’s information covers such data as sea ice concentration, thickness and drift over not only the Arctic Sea, but also the Baltic Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog has “The Coast Guard and the Stimulus Bill. Truthfully.(My suggestion for the Stimulus bill, hold the world’s biggest lottery! If we are going to throw money away, lets have fun with it!)

The Islomaniac has the story and video report: “Buried Treasure of Galveston Island“.

Maritime Information Centre has “Fujairah port to ban entry of single-hull lube barges“.

Maritime Compass looks at ““. That would be the National Maritime Museum – Greenwich.

Information Dissemination has “The High Cost of Cheap Ships” and “Send the Sea Fighter to Somalia“. His latter post has attracted over 100 comments!

Grist.Org has “That Ken do spirit – Salazar sends mixed signals on offshore drilling“. It is only a ‘mixed signal’ because they are going to let Congress kill off new areas for offshore-drilling, and the thousands of jobs that it would have created.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar indicated on Tuesday that he intends to scrap the Bush administration’s leasing plan that would have opened the coasts to drilling, even as he said the Obama administration is open to some expanded development of offshore oil and gas fields.

The Bush administration’s DOI issued a draft of a five-year leasing plan several days before leaving office, following on the expiration of the outer continental shelf moratorium last fall. But Salazar told the Associated Press that his department plans to work with Congress to craft “a plan that makes sense” for offshore oil and gas development in the context of a broader energy policy.

Springbored’s Springboard has “UK Navy: Cutting Warfighters, Keeping The Hospital Ship:“.

Naval Open Source INTelligence has “Japan: Illegal to Send MSDF to Somalia” and “Sweden to send naval vessels to Somalia“. Didn’t Sweden promise to do this once before?

Space War has “French ship faces green protest in Britain, after India” as the former French Carrier CLEMENCEAU prepares to head to the UK to be dismantled.

Danger Room Blog has “Russia Snares New Black Sea Bases“. They are going to put it in the breakaway Georgian province of Abkhazia. And no, they didn’t ask the Georgians for permission.

Casco Bay Boaters Blog has “Ice Harvesting; A Tradition Frozen in Time“.

BitterEnd has “State ferry aground after floating away“. There is a report of oil leaking from the ferry which makes me wonder if oil spills are seen as serious if the owner is the State? If this was a privately-owned ferry I would think that the State would be running around looking to handcuff people. However, in this case it looks like they would have to target themselves…

iCommandant – Web Journal of Admiral Thad Allen has “Foreign Military Sales — 200 Vessels Delivered“. You can read about the program, The Office of International Acquisition, here.

Kings Point Waterfront links to two videos of Kings Pointer chopper pilots in action. One with the USCG and the other with the President’s MARINE1.

Deep Water Writing tries to adjust to life ashore in “Cipro“.

It’s often hard to remember that not everything on shore has to be attended to with the expediency and diligence that matters at sea require. Shopping trips and errands don’t require passage plans and job hazard analysis. Lines in stores and traffic jams cause great increases in blood pressure as I remind myself that a two minute commute at work is not the norm and that most people deal with these inconveniences everyday.

IMC Brokers has video of a neat amphibious hydrofoil car in “Rinspeeed Splash Concept Car“.

Hellenic Shipping News has “Golar LNG – World’s first FSRU goes into operation“. (FSRU = Floating Storage and Regasification Vessel)

BarentsObserver has “Not pleased with Russian law on fish deliveries“.

The Norwegian Minister of Fisheries Helga Pedersen is not pleased with the new Russian law on fisheries demanding that all fish caught in Russian economic zone shall be delivered in Russian ports.

YouTube has posted: “Unloading a 2000 ton Container Crane from the Zhenhua 13“. So go see how they get those huge cranes off the ships. It is a pretty elegant operation.

June 2008, 3 wide span gantry cranes (2000 tons each) unloading from ship to shore at the ECT Delta Barge Feeder Terminal


Haight’s Maritime Items has:

Djibouti – Code of Conduct to repress piracy – The IMO issued a news release stating that a high-level meeting was convened in Djibouti to help address the problem of piracy and armed robbery against ships off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. The meeting concluded with adoption of a Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The meeting was chaired by the IMO and the Government of Djibouti and was attended by representatives from Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, and Yemen, as well as observers from other IMO Member States, United Nations specialized agencies and bodies, and international and regional inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations. (1/30/09). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)


UK – wind farm workers evacuated from barge – The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that wind farm workers were evacuated from a barge near Liverpool when anchor cables holding the barge started breaking in heavy seas. (1/30/09). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News has:

Floating storage crude sold – ROYAL Dutch Shell has sold 600,000 barrels of crude to Vitol that had been stored aboard the Frontline VLCC Oliva – possibly the first sign of an unwinding ‘contango’ trade.

The allotment of Forties crude was sold in a ship-to-ship transfer Monday at Scapa Flow in Scotland’s Orkney Islands, according to multiple press reports.

Analysts predicted that the Shell sale would be the first of several transactions as traders unwind positions based on contango pricing, the spread between current and future oil pricing.

But the injection of floating storage volumes back into the market could yet again depress current pricing, widening the spread with future pricing and supporting future floating storage trades.

The current amount of crude in floating storage is today estimated at 60-80M barrels. The timing of the floating storage trade’s unwinding will probably affect VLCC spot rates, analysts warned last week.

Dahlman Rose analyst Omar Nokta estimated that the unwinding of the contango trade could return 33 VLCCs back into the spot market.

“We are concerned with the aftermath,” he said. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


Ship captain reported ‘executed’ – PIRATES executed a ship’s captain after he resisted capture off the coast of West Africa, Fairplay can confirm today.

“A guerrilla attack on a commercial vessel retaliated on the captain and executed him, a source delivering a high-level briefing on piracy told Fairplay. “We are worried about the transfer [of piracy] from East Africa to West Africa.”

The Greek ministry of shipping named the captain as Theodoros Mastaloudis.

A news agency report said yesterday that pirates had killed a Greek master of an unnamed ship on Saturday off the coast of Cameroon but gave no details.

His vessel have come to the rescue of another ship being attacked by pirates, Reuters reported on Monday.

A senior naval officer told Fairplay that East African pirates appeared previously to follow a code of conduct in which they do not harm or abuse crews.

“We are worried about this,” the officer confirmed, “if they stop working to the same code. If the pirate business model works, then other people will copy it. And it will spread.”

Naval officers pointed that pirates have in the past killed other pirates for breaching this code. – 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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