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Maritime Monday 164

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June 1, 2009

The following is posted by Fred Fry:

Welcome to this 164th edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 114 here. (Published 09 June 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 Royal Caribbean’s OASIS OF THE SEAS which is slated for completion in December:

An architectural marvel at sea, Oasis of the Seas will span 16 decks, encompass 220,000 gross registered tons (GRT), carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. She will be the first ship to tout the cruise line’s new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which include Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship will sail from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at


* 21 November 2008 *


* 21 November 2008 *


* 21 November 2008 *


* 25 November 2008 *


* 3 September 2008 *

Many more photos and video can be found on the ship’s homepage here.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has the report and photos: “Possible Pirate Attack in the Red Sea“. The attack was on the previously-held STOLT STRENGTH.

gCaptain has “Shipyard Time Lapse Photography – Accommodation Megabock Move” and “USNS Vandenberg – The Sinking Of A Cold War Relic“. More impressive video, including from onboard the ship as it sinks, at

EUobserver has “Poland sells shipyards after EU ruling“.

EUobserver has “EU states wary of action on fisheries reform“.

Before any crunch decisions are taken, the commission aims to improve the policy as far as possible under existing legislation and to deal with the issue of fish discards.

“It is a practice which must come to an end,” EU fisheries commissioner Joe Borg told the ministers on Monday.

Faced with limits on the amount of fish they can bring back to land and keen to keep only the most profitable fish, fishermen frequently tip part of their catch back overboard, despite the negligible chances of these fish recovering.

It is estimated that for every kilogramme of cod landed from the North Sea, another kilogramme is dumped back into the water.

Space War has “Surge in boardings of NKorean ships unlikely: analysts“.

Shipgaz points out what should be obvious to everyone but has been mostly ignored up to this point: “Escalation impossible when pirates already firing“.

Philip Campbell, assistant naval attaché at the US Embassy in Athens, says the risk of escalating violence is unlikely if crews are armed. “They generally start the attack by shooting at the vessel to intimidate. My personal view is that the risk of escalation with these pirates is somewhat minimal as they are already shooting at you” , Cmdr Campbell told the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association, Lloyd’s List reports.

Professional Mariner has “Mariners deserve recognition for risking their lives in wartime“.

Freaque Waves has the book on the 1909 tragedy: “The Lost ship SS Waratah“. The ship disappeared without a trace with no survivors.

From Wikipedia:

The SS Waratah, sometimes referred to as “Australia’s Titanic”, was a 500 foot steamer. In July 1909, the ship, en route from Durban to Cape Town, disappeared with 211 passengers and crew aboard. The disappearance of the ship remains one of the most baffling nautical mysteries of all time. To this day no trace of the ship has ever been found.

Chaotic Synaptic Activity has the story of Seaman 1/C Omer Dee Simms, USN for his series “Monday Maritime Matters: Memorial Day Edition“.

Sudan Tribune has “International warships bar ships from insurgent-controlled port“.

Kismayu, the third largest town in Somalia is situated 528 km southwest of Mogadishu, near the mouth of the Jubba River, where that river flows into the Indian Ocean.

“I’m confirming to you that the international warships prevented a commercial ship from docking in Kismayu,” stated the Ports and Sea Transport Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Habasade.

He further said the measure aims at stopping supplies reaching the Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents who want to overthrow the UN backed government headed by a moderate Somali Islamist.

National Geographic has “Penguins Underwater, Antarctica” for its 27 May ‘Photo of the Day’.



Deep Sea Writing takes his ship through the “Azores“.

As we exited the small passage we found we were not the only ship with a penchant for fish and sight seeing. Passing abeam of us was an East bound merchant vessel, also a car carrier and surprisingly also American Flagged. Perhaps because our ships are in competition for the same cargoes or maybe because we’re manned by differing officers unions neither officer on watch felt compelled to call the other to get the details on one another’s vessel’s, something I always find disappointing. There are only so many of us American Merchantman floating around these days I always enjoy chatting up the airwaves with likeminded mates.

US Naval Institute Blog answers the question “Does the Coast Guard Auxiliary actually do anything?

The ISLOMANIAC has “Lamu Island – East Africa’s best kept secret“.

Nestling against the beautiful, unspoilt Indian Ocean coast of northern Kenya, the tiny island of Lamu is one of the most beguiling places on earth. Little changed in centuries, Lamu has long been renowned for the warmth of its welcome to visitors, its remoteness and tranquility, its beautiful deserted beaches, its rich and colourful maritime trading history and its distinctive Swahili culture.

Enchanting Lamu Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the oldest living town south of the Sahara and the best-preserved coastal settlement in East Africa.

Inner City Press has “Somalia Pirates Include Pakistanis and Iranians, Russia Says an International Court Needed“.

He said that recently pirates from Pakistan and Iran have been caught and asked, why turn them over to Kenya?

Investigating the above story further, I find that MarineBuzz was on this story from the start with “Somali Piracy: Suspected Pirates are Also from Iran and Pakistan“, mentioning that at least the Iranians were being held hostage. At least, according to the Russians.

Information Dissemination has “GAO Report on Navy Shipbuilding“. I have mentioned before that the Navy should look at commercial shipping companies and how they go about building ships. After all, if they built them like the Navy does, they’d go bankrupt.

Kennebec Captain has a very good point with “Rules for Vessel in Fog. Out of Date?” Slowing down by one knot because of fog, just to note in the logbook that some sort of action was taken in recognition of the rules does nothing to increase safety. The rules should be updated to take account of current technology.

Sunday Nation (Kenya) has “Three drown and 27 rescued after ship capsizes“.


‘The capsized ship, MV Fatih, at a Zanzibar port on Saturday. Photo/ MPOKI BUKUKU’

Puget Sound Maritime has “Obama move to cut wave power funding upsets northwest advocates“.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Obama administration has proposed a 25 percent cut in the research and development budget for one of the most promising renewable energy sources in the Northwest – wave and tidal power.

At the same time the White House sought an 82 percent increase in solar power research funding, a 36 percent increase in wind power funding and a 14 percent increase in geothermal funding. But it looked to cut wave and tidal research funding from $40 million to $30 million.

The Government is going to ‘spend’ $4 this year for every $1 spent in 2008. Living this close to Washington, DC I should see money blowing in the wind this year, and yet there is not. Come to think of it, why isn’t the Government using a bit of that money to totally refurbish the NS SAVANNAH as well as look after other Maritime treasures?

Puget Sound Maritime also has “National Weather Service chief pledges support for Washington coastal radar system“.

Engadget has new technology with “Acoustic superlens could mask ships from sonar… in theory, anyway“.

East Bay Express has “Prisoners of the Cosco Busan“. (Found via Bob Couttie’s Maritime Accident Casebook)

MarineBuzz has “Floating Jetty Valiant for Astute Submarines of Royal Navy” and “Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour on 2009 Australian Circumnavigation“.

Watts Up With That? has confirmed bad data with “NSIDC pulls the plug on Arctic Sea Ice Graphs“.

As we first pointed out to NSIDC back on 2/18/09 (even though it “wasn’t worth blogging about”) the sensor has been on the fritz for quite awhile, calling the whole arctic sea ice series into question. From their most recent announcement, it looks like that it is now “DOA”

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has the graph “Data of Sea Ice Extent“.

Helsingin Sanomat has “Irish Navy’s LÉ Niamh opens Helsinki’s fleet visit season“.

Towmasters: the Master of Towing Vessels Assoc. Forum has “Back From Amsterdam: The Tugnology ‘09 Summary“.

Overall, the U.S. is probably 5 – 7 years behind Europe in many areas including emissions reduction, training standards, equipment and vessel-design advances. Interior crew space noise levels in Europe are restricted to the 60 dB range on tugs, leaving most people’s hearing intact and allowing for better quality rest. Still, the average age of crews at Smit Maritime in Rotterdam is 54 years old, leaving no doubt that the personnel shortage is as pervasive overseas as it is here in North America. But it appears that we inadvertantly did do our part to advance things here in the U.S. with the Exxon Valdez Spill: it was actually responsible for much of the push worldwide to develop the technology used in today’s escort tugs, winches and indirect towing methods providing steering and braking forces not previously possible in the towing industry.


Lloyd’s List has “V.Ships says Hebei Two could leave Korea by June 11“.

Mr Giorgi, whose company has campaigned worldwide over the criminalisation of the two seafarers, said South Korea will likely change its laws to avoid another similar incident.

“I believe the South Korean government cannot afford another Hebei Spirit. This has been a disgrace for the South Korean government and definitely they will change,” he said.

He said the public pressure from across the industry on the South Korean government had worked to ensure the overturning of the verdict. Mr Giorgi pointed to the fact the South Korean authorities decision to release Capt Chawla and Mr Chetan from jail was made just prior to a planned protest outside the country’s London embassy.

The Maritime Executive has “National Maritime Day: New Awareness, New Hopes“.

Modern Day Pirate Tales has “Rehabilitating pirates” All they need do is take the first step by turning themselves in, in exchange for amnesty.

Naval Open Source INTelligence has “Defence teams to visit Russia for final Gorshkov negotiations“.

Springbored’s Springboard has fraud with “Weld Approvals and Ethics? Who Needs ’em?

More than 10,000 welded joints on at least eight U.S. submarines and a new aircraft carrier might need to be reinspected after the discovery by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding that one of its inspectors had falsified inspection reports.

I guess you can be really efficient at checking welds if you don’t bother to actually look at them.

The Old Salt Blog has “Submarine USS Growler Reopens at Intrepid Museum“.

Bryant’s Maritime Blog has “USN – assistance to Yemeni dhow in distress“. (See a photo on the US NavyNews site here)

The US Navy issued a news release stating that the USS Gettysburg (CG 64) assisted a Yemeni dhow in distress in the Gulf of Aden. The dhow have incurred a major engine failure. When the engine could not be repaired, it was towed to Yemen and further assisted by the Yemeni Coast Guard. The Gettysburg is operating as part of CTF 151 on counter-piracy patrol. (5/28/09).

BitterEnd has “Fw: New York Times: Last Survivor of the Titanic Dies at 97“.

H2uh0 – Bonehead moves on the water and much more has an explanation: “Nautical Mile“. (Found via Casco Bay Boaters Blog)

Tugster has photos of the sailship ONRUST’s new “Gunnery“. Handguns might be restricted in New York. Black powder cannon, not so much. (Black powder handguns OK for New York City as well.)

CNN has video: “A very long time ago, Roy Jackson thought it would be cool to build his own sailboat. 33 years later, it’s finished.“. Looks like he did a good job. I just refinished my old rocking chair from when I was a child for my kids. It took two years, so I understand.

Offshore Magazine has “Making MODUs safer in hurricanes” and “Deepwater fueling US production increase“.

The US is set to post its first increase in domestic oil production since 1991, fuelled mostly by a handful of deepwater fields in the US Gulf of Mexico. These include recent startups at BP-operated Thunder Horse and BHP-operated Shenzi, and Chevron-operated Tahiti which is slated for first production in the second quarter of this year. Gas production from new deepwater fields also will contribute to the upward trend of supply from offshore, accounting for 15% of total domestic gas production in 2007 and 21% in 2030, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Sea * Fever has photos: “FotoFriday: Working Waterfront Portraits by Phillip Mello“.

JammieWearingFool has the story of a man off to an uninhabited island in an attempt to quit smoking.

Lighthouse News has “South Manitou Lighthouse Beams Again“.

Wow. May 30, 2009 might go down in lighthouse history as the “Day of the Relighting.” On that date, McGulpin Point near Mackinaw City will be relit, a new lighthouse at Richards Landing, St. Josephs Island, Ont., will be dedicated and lit, and now South Manitou Island Lighthouse near Traverse City will be officially relit on that date.

Arctic Focus has “More natural gas and oil in Arctic than first thought“.

The report said that four areas in the Arctic – North Barents Basin, South Kara Sea, South Barents Basin and the Alaska Platform, contain two-thirds of the undiscovered gas. South Kara Sea, itself holds 39 percent of the undiscovered gas.

The Stupid Shall Be Punished has “Israeli Submarine Rescues Swimmer“.

JonesBlog has a photo tour of the “USS Toledo SSN-769“. (Found via US Naval Institute Blog)


TimesOnline has “Delicate life in the ocean hit by advent of bottom trawling” noting that the complaints about bottom trawling go back to the late 1300’s!

Anger greeted the trawls where they were used, for the local fishermen could see the damage that they caused to their favourite areas. Bans were introduced to try to stop their use, and in 1583 two fishermen were executed for using metal chains on their beam trawls (today these are standard issue).

Europe can’t save its fisheries. Maybe they should worry about that problem before complaining about what the rest of us might be doing to the planet.

HollandAmericaBlog has where cruise ship personnel go when they take a cruise in “The Deadliest Catch in Ketchikan“.

The Monitor has “Swine flu goes to sea“.

NileDutch Shipping let graffiti artists ‘vandalize’ one of their ships as part of their “NileDutch Sea Art Project“.



Fairplay Daily News has:

Refrigerated cargo, indeed – A RUSSIAN ship captain has been charged with illegally transporting 56 passengers for four days, with a prosecutor alleging that they were essentially trapped in the refrigerated hold.

The captain was accused this week of allowing the passengers aboard although lacking both a license for such transport and sufficient lifesaving equipment, the prosecutor alleged.

Snabzhenets-1 transported the passengers from Petropavlovsk in the Russian Far East to remote Kamchatka on 23 May, the prosecutor told reporters. They were accommodated on mattresses in the 145dwt ship’s hold.

Alexander Simhovich, deputy head of the internal affairs department in Kamchatka Krai, said: “They could not get out [of the hold] because several exits were shut tight. If water had entered or the ship capsized, they would not have been able to escape.”

This is the eighth case of illegal transport in the Kamchatka region in the past year. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


500 rescued from blazing ro-pax – OVER 500 passengers and crew were today evacuated from Italian ro-pax Vincenzo Florio after a fire broke out in its car hold, according to local port officials.

The 30,000gt vessel was travelling from Naples to Palermo when the fire broke out. Its 526 passengers were rescued by lifeboats and taken to another ferry and coastguard ship.

“They knocked on the door of the cabin and told us to get on deck[…]. It was hard to breathe, the whole ship filled with smoke and they ordered the lifeboats lowered,” passenger Stephan Friscia told Sky TG 24 television.

Five passengers including a pregnant woman were taken to hospital as a precaution. While most of the Tirrenia do Navigazione-owned ro-ro’s 35 crew helped firefighters put out the blaze. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

It is the fifth time the 1999-built ro-ro has been involved in an accident or fire. An inquiry was held in 2004 after the ro-pax’s garage deck caught fire off the coast of Palermo. – 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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