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Maritime Monday 162

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May 18, 2009

The following is posted by Fred Fry:

Welcome to this 162nd edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 112 here. (Published 26 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 BLG LOGISTICS:

From seaport to logistics services

As part of an extensive restructuring in the mid 1990s, BLG transformed from a local port handling company in Bremen and Bremerhaven to an international logistics service provider.

The company thus responds to the requirements of globalisation, which gained dramatically in momentum with the political and economic opening-up of Eastern Europe and other parts of the world.

The successful development is based, on the one hand, on the expanded and constantly further developing logistical know-how, and on the other, on the strategic decision to strengthen logistical performance and geographic range with joint ventures, co-operations and strategic alliances.

The BLG LOGISTICS GROUP, with a number of subsidiaries and holding companies on several continents, was thus created from 1998 out of the Bremen Warehouse Company founded in 1877.


* Paper Transport *


* Seaport Logistics *


* RoRos can carry most anything *


* * *


* * *


* Bremerhaven Car Terminal *

Here is the latest from the Bremerhaven Car Terminal Webcam (Updating Image):

Their homepage can be found here.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has “Somali Pirates: An “intelligence network?” Maybe… but” and “Somali Pirates: “Shipping Industry dismisses reports of targeted Somali pirate attacks”“.

Also be sure to check out EagleSpeak‘s weekly series “Sunday Ship History: “Torpedo Juice”

gCaptain has the story, photos and video: “Idle Ships Off Singapore Coast“.

The Maritime Executive has “AAPA Disappointed over Obama Administration’s Proposed FY-2010 Budget“.

“AAPA and its member ports understand the Administration’s desire with this budget to direct funding to responsible programs that stimulate the economy, but that’s precisely what ports do,” said Kurt Nagle, the association’s president and CEO. “We hope that, as the budget process moves forward, Congress will recognize-as it did last year-that port security, navigation maintenance and clean-air initiatives are the kinds of critical infrastructure investments that generate economic activity, improve air quality and enhance the flow of international commerce.”

Casco Bay Boaters Blog has “Maine Lighthouse Museum May Have to Close” and “UK’s Sustainable Fisheries Explained; Multi-media“.

AMVER Blog has “e-Rescue? Amver Notified Of Distress Through Twitter.

When Amver began using social media as a way to join the conversation we never dreamed something like Twitter would be used to notify officials of a search and rescue case. That is exactly what happened the other day when we learned of a distress through our Twitter account.

The Jawa Report has “Somali Pirates LOVE Prison“.

“For the first time in his life he has access to a real toilet. For the first time in his life he is in a safe environment,” Ausma says about his Somali ‘pirate’ client. […]

“But he intends to send for his wife and children as soon as he is released from prison. He knows he cannot easily be sent back to Somalia. He loves it here in the Netherlands.”

Most interesting since the only view of the Netherlands is as a prisoner. They would be singing another tune if they were facing the death penalty. You can claim that the death penalty is not a deterrent, but it at least removes the system of repeat offenders and parasites. Worse, if word spreads about how ‘good’ things are, warships on patrol might get swamped with pirates giving themselves up, or targeting Dutch shipping as a way to get to the ‘good life’.


BarentsObserver has “Captain was drinking on duty“. (And as a reminder I had linked to “Politiken has “Drunken sailors – mostly E. Europeans“” back in Maritime Monday 155.)

The captain is charged for drinking alcohol while on duty. A preliminary blood-alcohol test showed a level of 1.3 ‰. He admits to have been drinking after the accident, while still on duty, Norwegian Broadcasting Cooperation reports.

The vessel’s mate is charged for sleeping on duty, so that the vessel entered a protected area and ran aground. He is also charged for drinking while on duty.

MarineBuzz has “Torpedo Shells to Replace Self Propelled Semi Submersibles for Cocaine Smuggling” and “La Gomera of Canary Islands Communicates in Whistle Language Silbo Gomero“.

Bob Couttie’s Maritime Accident Casebook has “Russian ship arrest presages far worse to come?

As if sailors lacked enough hazards from a life at sea a new, potentially huge problem looks set to add to their discomforts. It is finding themselves marooned in a foreign port for months without pay following the financial collapse of their ship’s owners. The latest example is the Russian cargo ship, OMG Kolpino, which has been marooned in Avonmouth (Bristol) docks for the last two months, seized under powers known as the Admiralty Marshall, following the collapse of its St Petersburg-based owner, Oslo Marine Group.

Modern Day Pirate Tales has “Some thoughts on writing a book about piracy“.

US Naval Institute Blog has “USNS COMFORT: 69,360 Tons of Medical Diplomacy“.

AFP has “Greece starts fuel cleanup of sunken Sea Diamond ship“.

Kennebec Captain points out an interesting problem in terms of command structure in “Embarked Security Teams – Supplement or Supplant?” How would embarked Marines take receiving instructions from a Merchant Ship’s Captain and Chief Mate?

The master of any ship which embarks a security team must ensure that an embarked security team team fully understands exactly what their role is aboard ship. Any action taken by the security team must be in accordance with the ship’s security plan and be approved by the master. This is especially true in the case of a decision to use lethal force. Actions taken by the security team are just as much the responsibility of the master as actions taken by the ship’s regular crew.

There is another problem. Is the ship rated to carry the additional ‘riders’? If not, the ship would have to apply for a dispensation for the extra bodies. Not enough space in the lifeboat(s)? Who gets assigned to the liferafts? That is if the Flag-State permits such an exemption. In case they do, they might require additional life rafts. So where might you find a couple of spares in that part of the world?

The Old Salt Blog has “Update: Survival Tips for Midshipmen Offered in Graphic Detail“.

Naval Open Source INTelligence has nationalization with “Russian Shipyard To Become State-Owned: Putin“. It is the Amur Shipbuilding Plant. Is this a sign of more nationalizations to come in Russia?

Shipgaz News has “Swedish naval forces in Gulf of Aden“. They are there to protect World Food Programme shipments.

The Monitor has training news with “No lack of vision or enthusiasm at WMI” (Western Maritime Institute).

Wired’s Danger Room has “Blackwater’s Pirate-Fighting Ops Sunk After Discrimination Suits“. Just where did they get their merchant marine crew from?

IceNews has “Viking ship found in Swedish lake“.

“Never before has a Viking shipwreck been found in Swedish waters,” marine archaeologist Roland Peterson from the Vanern Museum told The Local newspaper. He explained that several Viking boats had been unearthed in Sweden before, but all of them had been on dry land.

Sea * Fever has ““The Big Bitch” and the Little Plane That Couldn’t“.

Fast Lane. (the Department of Transportation’s blog) has medal for the Hudson River Mariners in “No ordinary seamen“.

Freaque Waves has video: “A kangaroo rescuing from waves“.

Lighthouse News has “List of Lighthouses Released For 2009 – Lighthouses Available For Transfer To Non-Profits“. They also have “Iowa Has A Lighthouse?” Actually, as the story notes, there are a couple out there.

National Geographic has “Fishermen Hauling a Net, Canada” for it’s ‘Photo of the Day’ for 11 May.



The Journal of Commerce has “Obama to Cut Some Transport Programs“.

Puget Sound Maritime has “Interview with US Coast Guard’s Admiral Allen“.

iCommandant – Web Journal of Admiral Thad Allen has “Fairwinds, Bernie Webber” and “Photo Follow-Up on Bernie Webber Memorial“.


WELLFLEET, Mass.- Miriam Webber, the wife of Bernard Webber for 59 years, accepts a ceremonial flag from Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen in honor of her deceased husband during a graveside ceremony in Wellfleet, Mass., Saturday, May 9, 2009. Webber began his 20 year career in the Coast Guard in 1946 and was the coxswain of a 36-foot motorized, wooden lifeboat during the historic rescue of the crew of the Pendleton, a 520-foot tanker, off the coast of Chatham, Mass., Feb. 18, 1952, where 32 lives were saved in the midst of 60-foot seas and winds exceeding 50 miles per hour. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith)

Towmasters: the Master of Towing Vessels Assoc. Forum has “Shackle on deck!” as it’s ‘Photo of the week’.

Professional Mariner has the problem that many “US MERCHANT MARINE VETERANS OF WW II” have in getting recognition.

An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog has “Drugs Subs are out, Drug Torpedoes are in“. has “Ship grounded in Dover Strait due to “navigational failures”“.

A container ship ran aground on a sandbank in the Dover Strait because of crew tiredness and navigational failures, a report has found. The investigation into the grounding of the German-flagged LT Cortesia on the Varne Bank found the chief officer was unaware his ship had grounded and revealed a crew member asked the coastguard “how could that have happened” in the moments after the accident.

Failure of the crew on board the vessel to correctly identify a warning lightship and buoys was described as “incomprehensible” by the report, produced jointly by investigators from Germany and Britain, into the incident in January 2008.

BitterEnd has an amusing short video: “Ice Fishing in Alaska“.

The Stupid Shall Be Punished has “Japanese Admiral “Drives” USS Seawolf” touching on how the Japanese and Germans are viewed today. I have a problem with Russians knowledge of their country’s history, mostly because they never faced up to the horror they inflicted on much of Europe, and their own countrymen, during Soviet times. Even now the Government is getting ready to declare criticism of the Soviet Union’s WWII Victory a crime.

NY TUGMASTER’S WEBLOG has a warning sign for small boaters in “Here’s Your Sign, from Great Lakes Ships Photos“.

Breakbulk Industry News has “Heavy lift specialist Mammoet opens facility in Baton Rouge“.

59° 56′ N has a problem in the lack of a clear distinct definition of the industry in “PR: Call it shipping, maritime, marine or what?

Theo Spark has video: “VBS TV: MOTHERBOARD – COLOMBIAN NARCOSUBS – Part 1“. Parts 2, 3, 4, 5.

Kings Point Waterfront provides “A lift for the Saudi Royal Family“.

Maritime Compass has “A look at nautical pulp fiction“.

Information Dissemination has “Fighting the War on Drugs With…. Submarines“. What ever happened to using blimps in the drug war down there?

The BBC has “Ice sheet melt threat reassessed“.

The collapse of a major polar ice sheet will not raise global sea levels as much as previous projections suggest, a team of scientists has calculated.

Writing in Science, the researchers said that the demise of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) would result in a sea level rise of 3.3m (10 ft).

Previous estimates had forecast a rise in the region of five to six metres.

ABC News has video: “From Oil Rig to Luxury Hotel – Architects develop the most radical new idea for hospitality“.


Fairplay Daily News has:

Piracy needs ‘zero tolerance’ – THE SHIPPING community must undertake a policy of ‘zero tolerance’ to fight piracy, a security conference in London heard today.

Spyros Polemis, chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping said that, “nations have a duty of zero tolerance to hijackers, until piracy is completely eradicated with a political solution.”

Refusing to elaborate on the matter he encouraging people to “work it out for themselves.”

There have been 100 reported attacks since last summer, he said and the problem must be solved from onshore, echoing recent remarks from Thoko Kaime, head of Africa at Exclusive Analysis.

Pirates have become more sophisticated in many thousands of square miles of open water, said Polemis, and with modern communication it is not difficult for them to find out details about a ship, including its name and port of registry.

Compounding this is the fact that they are treated with impunity and largesse from chieftains, warlords they provide money to in Somalia’s lawless state.

It also emerged that the support from warships may be reaching its sell-by date, because, “something must give,” as it took a long time for the shipping community to convince various governments to provide them in the first place.

He also shot back at audience remarks that P&I Clubs have been slow in to deal with cases and are refusing to pay ransom money.

“The P&I Clubs are not turning their backs,” said Polemis. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


Security teams to protect US ships – US-FLAGGED vessels operating in pirate-infested waters must bring security teams aboard, according to a secret directive circulated on Monday.

Today, US Coast Guard Rear Admiral James Watson revealed that the new Maritime Security Directive was issued to owners and operators of US-flagged ships, who must now develop specific security plans and submit them for USCG approval.

The directive does not specifically order armed security teams aboard, but leaves great latitude as to how those teams will be armed and what strategies they may employ. “We don’t want to increase security at the cost of safety,” Watson told the Maritime Security Council meeting in Fort Lauderdale today.

Watson said the directive was formulated in consultation with industry parties, including security chiefs. It has been classified as “sensitive security information” and will not be publicly released.

The new directive also compels US-flag vessels to abide by internationally recognised best practices and work within guidelines set by navies patrolling the area.

Regarding the possible arming of onboard security teams, Watson said that the US State Department is presently working with port states in the Gulf of Aden region to allow for the practice. – 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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