Maritime Monday 159

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April 27, 2009

The following is posted by Fred Fry:

Welcome to this 159th edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 109 here. (Published 5 May 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 Germany’s Wappen-Reederei:

Following its establishment in 2002 by a group of seasoned, Hamburg-based shipping-sector professionals and businessmen, Wappen-Reederei GmbH & Co. KG quickly made a name for itself in international shipping circles as a specialist for managing sophisticated, innovative tankers and containerships.

The company has been heavily involved in the design and construction of the new “SCOT 8000” tanker series and also manages these highly-versatile, economical and environmentally-friendly vessels.

In addition, Wappen-Reederei has set new standards in the container shipping segment with its design plans for a new type of container feeder, built to the highest ice-class specifications. The shipping company has also assumed the technical management of the first four vessels of this type that were commissioned in the first half of 2005.

Wappen-Reederei’s core business includes the technical management of its portfolio of state-of-the-art vessels as well as the recruitment and management of their crews.








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Their homepage can be found here.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has video: “Somali Pirates: When Canadians Attack“.

Also be sure to check out EagleSpeak‘s weekly series “Sunday Ship History: Submarine Fire” and “Sunday Ship History (Bonus Edition): Grand Canal of China“.

gCaptain has “Guilty Plea in Empress of The North Pollution Case“.

EU NAVFOR Somalia has “Pirates slain as tanker recovered“.

COMMANDOS from Yemen reportedly freed a Yemeni tanker today, with five pirates killed and at least nine captured.

The government told Reuters that the Qana had been seized by Somali pirates off Yemen’s coast Sunday. But the attackers then found it was sailing without an oil cargo.

Yemeni special forces started their battle to free the vessel on Sunday, the AFP news agency reported. They are now escorting the tanker to Aden.

MarineLog has “Guest workers sue Gulf Coast shipyard labor recruiters“.

“Based on promises of consistent, well-compensated work at a reputable shipyard through a regulated U.S. Government visa program,” says the complaint, “guest workers plunged their families into debt to pay hiring, visa, and relocation fees and reluctantly turned over deeds to their houses with agents of Five Star. Upon arrival in Mississippi, they were transported to a surveillance labor camp consisting of windowless portable metal buildings while they waited weeks to be leased out. They waited weeks without work as their debts grew and they became increasingly desperate for Five Star and Knights Marine to comply with their contractual promises to worker and the U.S. Government.”

That is pretty messed up. Whether or not the employer broke the law, that does not seem like any way to treat people.

Lloyd’s List has “Hebei Two cleared but remain on bail“.

Reuters has “Swine flu could infect U.S. trade and travel“.

Mexico’s deadly swine flu could disrupt trade and travel between the United States and Mexico if it prompts restrictions on the movement of goods across the border or sparks fear in consumers, analysts say.

What will this outbreak mean for the cruise industry?

ShipSpotting has the end of the car carrier DYVI PACIFIC at the edge of the shipyard before sea trials were even completed in “One way to get rid of unwanted car carriers……”. Details here: Car Carrier DYVI PACIFIC


The Horse’s Mouth remembers the 1895-1898 solo sailing circumnavigation by Captain Joshua Slocum in “Speaking Of Circumnavigators.

Sea * Fever has “Happy Sir Robin Knox Johnston Earth Day!” I covered Robin Knox-Johnston back in Maritime Monday 51 for being stupid during a 2007 solo round the world race.

The Old Salt Blog has “USSR’s sunken Komsomolets submarine may turn into underwater Chernobyl“.

Ace of Spades has “Somali Charged with Piracy; Will be Judged by the “Law of Nations”“.

The Hill has “Lobbyist hired to combat more Somali pirates “.

A region of Somalia that is home to many of the pirates who have made national news terrorizing area waters is seeking help from K Street to calm the troubled seas.

The Puntland State of Somalia, an autonomous region in northeastern Somalia formed in 1998, has hired a lobbying firm in Washington, hoping to make the case that lawmakers on Capitol Hill should send money their way to combat piracy and reduce terrorism in the chaotic Gulf of Aden region.

Chaotic Synaptic Activity remembers the 21st anniversary of the fire on the US Navy submarine USS BONEFISH (SS-582) “A Date with Destiny – Part VIII“.

21 years ago, the USS BONEFISH (SS-582), while operating to simulate a Soviet diesel submarine, experienced a fire in the battery well. The fire spread quickly, resulting in the surfacing and abandoning, while at sea, the boat. The prior posts in this series discuss the lead to, and operations on that day, to rescue the crew at sea.


Bob Couttie’s Maritime Accident Casebook has “The Case Of The Benzene Bomber“.

Lloyd’s List has “Brussels to shake up shipmanagement taxation“.

TAXATION of shipmanagement in the European Union is set for a shake up following confirmation that Brussels is planning to issue tonnage tax guidance for the industry.

The rights of shipmanagement companies to pay a flat tax based on tonnage rather than company tax based on earnings is expected to be outlined in the document, which the European Commission says it will publish over the next three months.

NY Tugmaster’s Weblog has “Renewal; 7th issue, 88 days, $3000.00, and a little more more gray hair….

Everyone I spoke to or had dealings with at the National Maritime Center went out of their way to assist me with questions or procedures as they arose. The folks were thoughtful and made every effort to explain the system and its machinations for me as I waited and waded through the process. I should add, I was never treated as well at any R.E.C.

My visit to the NY office was amusing as I watched the lady behind the counter yell at every merchant mariner who brought her an application. That was, until I was called up, to suffer the same fate as those called before me. Charleston however, was a great Coast Guard office to deal with.

Information Dissemination has “CTF-151 Goes International“.

The US Fifth Fleet announced on Friday it is transferring command of the counter-piracy international naval force CTF 151 to the Turkish Navy on May 3.

MarineBuzz has “Sri Lanka Navy Rescues 2167 Tamils Fleeing in 103 Boats“.

MarineBuzz also has “Seafarers: Sign Online Petition to Protect Merchant Mariners from Piracy“.

The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) has initiated an online petition in the form of an open letter to Governments, International Organizations, and the Maritime Industry to protect merchant mariners from piracy—before, during, and long after an attack.

It is worth noting that the 1.2 million merchant mariners operate 100,000 merchant vessels to deliver more than 90% of world trade to their markets and destinations. They face the risk of pirate attacks worldwide.

Three Sheets Northwest has “Deadliest Catch convention hauls in the fans“.


Puget Sound Maritime has pile-driver video: “Vibratory Hammer: not a sex toy“. Yes, but all that is missing is an engineer with a creative enough imagination…

Professional Mariner has “New York City seeks bids from shipyards to build 3 sludge ships“.

An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog has “Finding EPIRB’s got easier for the USCG and better for You“.

The Stupid Shall Be Punished has details on the US Navy’s “Career Intermission Pilot Program (CIPP)” where successful applicants can take up to three years of leave from the Navy.

Maritime Information Centre has “Aker Philadelphia Shipyard launches seventh product tanker “.

The Buffalo News has “Shipment of stolen cars stopped at border“.

National Geographic has “Humpback Whales in Sunlit Water, Tahiti” for it’s 20 April 2009 ‘Photo of the Day’.



CNN has “‘Waterman’s’ weapon against pollution: Oysters“.

“If we don’t restore oysters, we’re not going to restore the Bay,” he says. He wants to make sure people understand what just one single oyster can do. “One oyster out here in one of our bags can filter as much as 50 gallons of water a day.”

By filtering the water, this important shellfish can take away deadly pollutants that eventually could deplete the crab and fish stocks, which in turn can leave fishermen without work.

US Naval Institute Blog has responses to the story calling for the close of the Military academies in “Nix Annapolis?” and “The Coast Guard Academy: Keep it or Dump it?“.

Tims Times has a photo of Russian coasters “Laid Up“.

The Maritime Executive has “The Last Straw“.

The second conclusion is probably even more important, especially here in the United States. It is clear that no longer will cadets graduate and be able to step onto any platform that they desire with full certifications to do so. We are clearly entering an age of specialization where someone starting out on tankers or LNG vessels is going to have to stay on that track. Changing horses in midstream is no longer an easy option, and if it is attempted, the recertification process could be a long and expensive one. Beyond this, the prospect of cramming an expanded curriculum to satisfy all industry segments and at the same time ramping up the at-sea training requirement to satisfy an increasingly intrusive international scrutiny of our processes cannot be particularly appealing to U.S. maritime educators. In the end, either or both goals may well be impossible to accomplish within a four-year window.

As it is, it is close to impossible to go ashore when there is a shortage of shipping jobs while leaving open the possibility of going back out to sea when the job prospects improve. It can still be done, up until the point where certificates start to need renewal.

HAWSEPIPER: The Longest Climb has more with “I can see so far from atop my soapbox!“.

The IT guy who fixes the captain’s computer makes more money than the captain does. We need broad backs for the most part, not more brains on board.

There’s talk of making career-track specialization at our maritime academies, which sounds great, until you look at the real world. Oil tankers pay the worst in the US, and require the most work for officers and unlicensed alike. Also, they pay the worst. Now why would any college freshman want to limit themselves to that, unless its’ to avoid competition?

The Merchant Marine Express has “Arrival Tampa, then homebound!

Deep Water Writing has “From me at sea: Tech Traps“.

Breakbulk Industry News has “Ro-ro carriers downsize pure-car/truck-carrier fleets“.

WWL and other car carriers are looking for oversize, non-automobile cargo to fill the void left by the auto trade slump.

“We’re looking even closer at heavy-lift now to see if there are other openings where we can penetrate and participate given the contraction of the auto market,” Christopher Connor, president of the Americas region for WWL, said in March.

Hoegh Autoliners, the U.S. arm of the Norwegian car carrier, has increased by 5 percent the volume of high and heavy cargo on its car carriers. Non-auto cargo now represents about 25 percent of the carrier’s total volume. “We are certainly stepping up the marketing and sales effort in that segment,” Chairman James Butcher said.

Polar Expedition Cruises Aboard the M/S Expedition – G.A.P Adventures has “A Fresh New Look“. Guess who was lucky enough to get a visit of the ship while on vacation in Finland…..


Tugster has questions concerning commercial fishing in New York Harbor in “Spring Mysteries“.

Radio New Zealand International has “Bounty cannon returned to Pitcairn“. has “Nail ignites shipwreck mystery“.

The BBC has “Gray whales granted rare reprieve“.

The groups have won agreement from some oil and gas companies in Russian waters to end seismic work, giving gray whales a chance to breed undisturbed.

The cessation comes in response to research showing how oil exploration can alter the behaviour of gray whales.

However, a number of firms have refused to stop exploration work planned for the breeding season.

BarentsObserver has “Floating nuclear power plant ready in 2012“.


ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. ANZAC Day – 25 April – marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

This day special to Australians –

In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the allied navies.

The Pilot Boat has photos: “Shipspotting activities“.

The Monitor has a photo of the BC Ferries QUEEN OF PRINCE RUPERT headed for retirement near the rest of the fleet in “A time for farewell“.

The April edition of MarineLog is available online:


Towmasters: the Master of Towing Vessels Assoc. Forum has pleasure boaters with “Moron Alert!

Shipgaz News has “No tonnage tax in Sweden“.

English Russia has ferry photos: “One Morning on the River“.

Cruise Bruise has “Cruising In Hell: The Story Of Mal de Debarquement Syndrome“.

BitterEnd has “Most powerful and most efficient : a 2 STROKE engine“.

Wired has another story on the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon off Newfoundland in “A Corner of North America That Is Forever France“.

CTV (Canada) has “Harper doesn’t recognize France’s seabed claim“.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canada does not acknowledge France’s claim to a larger, potentially energy-rich swath of the Atlantic seabed for St-Pierre-Miquelon, an archipelago south of Newfoundland, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday.

In a letter sent Monday to Premier Danny Williams, Harper said the maritime boundary between Canada and the French territory was settled in June 1992 after a decision by the International Court of Arbitration in New York.


Fairplay Daily News has:

US to ban ransom-paying owners? – LEGISLATION is being planned in the US that could bar the vessels of ransom-paying ship owners from US ports, according to several Congressional staffers contacted by Fairplay.

The move is in response to administration claims that ransoms paid to pirates to secure the release of vessels, cargoes and crews are making it more difficult to combat the piracy scourge.

The legislative idea was officially rejected today by the Council of American Master Mariners. CAMM president Cal Hunziker told Fairplay that the idea was “overreaching by Congress” and “would dramatically impede commerce”.

Meanwhile, the Somali region known to be home to many of the country’s pirates now has its own lobbyist on Capitol Hill.

The state of Puntland, autonomous since 1998, has hired the Washington DC lobbying firm Duane Morris to represent its interests with the US Congress. That relationship was discovered in filing documents obtained by Fairplay from the US Justice Department.

Duane Morris, a law and government affairs firm, has confirmed that it has agreed to represent Puntland for $10,000 a month to make the case on Capitol Hill and within the Obama administration to obtain assistance and funds for security, infrastructure, social services, healthcare, mass media and the democratisation process.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says a State Department diplomatic team will meet with the Somali government and regional leaders in Puntland to discuss a proposed – but not yet Congressionally approved – $5M grant to improve Somali security services. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


Analyst criticises UK budget – CHANCELLOR Alastair Darling should have added some extra puff to the UK 2009 budget announced yesterday, leading shipping accountant Moore Stephens told Fairplay reporters today.

“The British government should have made supply and installation ships that carry equipment to and from wind farms eligible for tonnage tax. In fact almost anything that floats and is not sitting in a harbour should qualify,” said Moore Stephens spokesman Philip Parr.

He was referring to a Budget measure to give £525M to offshore wind projects – many of which are being set up in and around UK ports.

Changes to a UK government rule that in many cases only EU-flagged ships qualify for tonnage tax – a flat tax based on tonnage rather than corporation tax which is based on earnings – should have been included in the Budget too, said Parr. “The flagging rules need to be more flexible. Too many vessels fall outside the ruling,” he said.

Meanwhile the EU will issue new guidelines on ship management companies that qualify for tonnage tax in June. “It will cover the tax’s application to the crews and technical managers of ships. Under the current 2004 guidelines on state aid to maritime transport, only full managers … those who are in charge of both technical and crew management are eligible.”

Ship management is a common practice in Cyprus but also applies to the UK, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. – 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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