Welcome to this 194th edition of Maritime Monday.
You can find last week’s edition here »
SHIPS OUT OF WATER: There is something very impressive about the sheer size of ships which can only be appreciated when they are out of water. The ships themselves are often in unusual objects which are equally impressive, such as dry docks or floating docks or ship carriers. See More Ships Out of Water »
S.S. Earlham Victory at Pier 70 12-2009: The Pan American and the SS Earlham, both from Suisun Bay soon to depart to be scraped in Texas. For more information please see: pressroom.earlham.edu/articles | More Photos »
BBC: Early Retirement for Survey Ship – HMS Roebuck will be retired from the fleet in 2010 – four years earlier than had been planned. It is one of four hydrographic ships currently based at the Plymouth port. Money saved by the cuts will go towards buying 22 new Chinook helicopters and other equipment for British troops serving in Afghanistan.
FRED FRY is just back from celebrating the holidays with his family in Finland and has a post about and pictures of the Cafe Ship KATHRINA »
TOWMASTERS PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Here’s something that’s been a rather rare sight in the last year or so… a more-or-less full box ship, in this case Hapag-Lloyd’s 4,890 TEU Rotterdam Express, coming into New York Harbor.
Swedish Coast Guard (Kustbevakning) KBV 002 Triton moored in Grand Harbour, Malta. You-Tube Video: Slipway launching KBV 002 Damen Shipyard Galati, Romania »
Back on the Homefront: (from sea) USCGC Escanaba weathers out the blizzard of 2009 in Cape Cod Bay, standing at the ready in case a mariner gets in trouble. Currently, snow is coming down sideways in the 35kt winds and below freezing temperatures.
Above, SN Dedengy (hometown Miami, FL) clears off snow accumulating on the decks. Meanwhile, below decks; the White Elephant Gift Swap is underway. Among the gifts received were a puzzle, card games, Mighty-Mend It, and even a leopard Snuggie. (Now that’s the photo we want to see!)
TOP STORY: Kiss of Death
December 24, 2009: Mile-long sheen spreads near disabled tugboat »
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: (AP) The 136-foot tug Pathfinder had just finished checking for dangerous ice and was heading back to port in Valdez when it hit Bligh Reef at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, spilling diesel fuel from two damaged tanks.
The boat is part of the Ship Escort Response Vessel System that was created after the Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989 and spilled nearly 11 million gallons of crude oil – the worst ever U.S. spill.
UPDATE: (12/27/2009) AK Tug That Hit Reef, Spilled Fuel Reaches Port »
MarineBuzz.com: The BEA (Bureau d’EnquÃªtes et d’Analyses pour la sÃ©curitÃ© de l’aviation civile), the French agency investigating the accident of Air France (AF) Flight 447 on June 01 over the Atlantic Ocean, has released the second Interim Report on December 17.
Now the BEA has recommended near-term, medium-term, long-term solutions to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on aircrafts on public transport flights…
Bitter End noodles around with 800-year-Old Chinese Merchant Ship Museum »
YANGJIANG, Guangdong: A major underwater museum housing an 800-year-old merchant ship opened to the public in this coastal city in western Guangdong province yesterday.
The 30-m wooden vessel, named Nanhai No 1, or South China Sea No 1, lies in a “crystal palace” made of glass inside the Maritime Silk Road Museum.
Only problem is, you want to go back again an hour later…
Brit aquarium lowers water levels to prevent sprout-eating flatulent turtles from tripping overflow alarm »
UnderwaterTimes.com: Staff at the centre give George a seasonal treat of Brussel sprouts at Christmas to provide a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
But turtles, like humans, are prone to heavy bouts of flatulence after eating the vegetables.
Last year, a turtle triggered overflow alarms in the middle of the night after the splashes from gassy bubbles hit overflow sensors.
INFORMATION DISSEMINATION: The head of Chinese shipping giant Cosco has suggested that container ships should be powered by nuclear reactors in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, said to account for 4% of the global total.
How many different angles pro and con can you come up with? Obviously, there are many…
Bollinger has built every patrol boat in the U. S. Coast Guard’s fleet. This award will increase the total number of Coast Guard patrol boats that the shipbuilder has built to one hundred and twenty six in the last quarter century. “This is really a tribute to our design team and our shipyard workers who have proven themselves to be the best.
Costa Rica’s Meco will be joining the Spanish construction company FCC and Mexico’s ICA as part of a consortium for the dry excavation of the Panama Canal extension in a contract worth us$267.8 million dollars. The consortium beat out Belgium’s Jan de Nul, Brazil’s Oderbrecht and the ISC Panama consortium to win the contract, the second most lucrative of the $5.25 billion canal expansion plan.
There are some things you don’t mind leaving behind when going to sea. Filling the car with gas is one of them. Washing your own dishes is another. Holidays though stand out as something most mariners could do without missing. It certainly takes the pressure off of gift shopping for extended family and large family gatherings. On the other hand it’s a painful reminder that you’re absence is being felt yet again by those you are closest to…
East Bay, RI: He’s Up on the Shipping News »
EASTBAYRI.COM: For Rod Smith, a good day is any day that he spots a big ship heading up into Narragansett Bay from some open ocean voyage. A better day is one when he manages to snap a good photograph of that ship. A great day is when he spies an impressive ship that he has never before seen — and captures a few dozen photos of the newcomer.
Later, a passion for photography gave Mr. Smith the tool to record and catalog the ships he had seen. And now, the Internet enables him to share what he has seen and learned. Through photos, and with written descriptions, Mr. Smith records the passage of every ship he can. Some sneak past him — “I have a day job that gets in the way”
Miami Herald: Large, U.S.-flagged oceangoing ships such as tanker, container and cruise ships will be subject to more stringent emissions standards in 2011 under a rule adopted last week by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
The new Clean Air Act standards, which will tighten the restrictions on nitrogen oxide emissions, also provide for reductions in hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions from large vessels. The new rule is an upgrade from existing standards that have been in effect since 2004.
MARINELINK: The Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) announced in its newsletter that for the first time, funds awarded under the Port Security Grant Program will be available for certain “maintenance and sustainment” costs, including warranties, costs of repairing or replacing equipment, and user fees. In the past, grants were generally restricted to capital costs only. This limitation had come under increasing criticism, as vessel operators completed capital improvements to increase security but increasingly contended with recurring operational costs of security measures.
LA Times: As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers environmental groups’ bid to expand the creatures’ critical habitat in Florida and southern Georgia, the Navy has concerns about its own turf. A proposal to protect additional habitat for the deceptively gentle, seagrass-munching creatures could, according to the U.S. Navy, end up reducing habitat for destroyers, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines.
*gCaptain: Forum Down Temporarily
For those of you that have been trying to access the gCaptain.com forums (http://gcaptain.com/forum/) over the past few days, you may have noticed that the url displays nothing but a blank page. Unfortunately on the morning of December 25th (yes Christmas morning!), someone was able to upload a virus that has since been causing the blank page.
Not to worry. We want to let everyone know that we are working hard to resolve the issues but, due to the holidays, we are not up to our general standards of problem solving capabilities. The gCaptain.com forum should be back up and running in the next day or so and we’ll be sure to send out another email when that time comes.
Hapag-Lloyd Figures Look as Bad as Expected
Duluth News Tribune: It’s official. The Environmental Protection Agency has granted a reprieve that should allow 20 steam-powered lakers — 13 U.S.-flagged vessels and seven Canadian — to continue to call on stateside Great Lakes ports well into the future.
The agency previously proposed that by 2012 all vessels visiting U.S. ports on the Great Lakes should be required to burn low-sulfur fuels that are incompatible with steamships. This regulatory change potentially could have reduced the number of lakers operating in the U.S fleet by 25 percent, but Reps. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., and Dave Obey, D-Wis., successfully pushed for rule modifications that were finalized today.
SEAFARERBLOG: Iran is storing about 1.45 million barrels of gasoline on tankers as it slowly builds inventories in anticipation of a possible tougher sanctions regime that could limit imports of the motor fuel, industry sources said on Monday. The fuel is being stored on at least six oil tankers anchored in Iranian waters, a build up which has been steadily taking place since September, traders said.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation last Tuesday, authorising President Barack Obama to levy sanctions on companies that directly provide gasoline to Iran along with firms that provide insurance and tankers to facilitate fuel shipments.
Around 40 Tall Ships dropped anchor in Belfast as part of a race across the Atlantic and back which is staged every eight to ten years – the last race was in 2000 and the last time it visited Belfast was in 1991.
The economic impact on Belfast alone was over £15 million with spend from audiences around Belfast Lough during the parade of sail back out to sea or early arrivals in other ports pushing the final figure closer to £17 million.
Jack Tarr Magazine Muses About Stereotypes in Maritime Culture »
When you arrive to work aboard a boat for a new contract there are always crew you have never met, and often a few crew whom you know well and maybe even like. New crew come in a few forms: The Know-It-All, the guy escaping whatever evils are to be found on land, the fresh faced young and naive to whom every aspect of this adventure is completely awesome, the possibly wise and quiet older gentleman, and then there’s the quiet, hardworking and observant crew members.
PROFESSIONAL MARINER: The families of two mariners who died when the vessel Silver Wings sank in the Gulf of Mexico in 2007 have filed lawsuits, the Southeast Texas Record legal newspaper reported. Both lawsuits name company owner John Landry Sr. as a defendant. They say the vessel was unseaworthy and negligence was involved. The two victims’ bodies were never found and are assumed to be entombed in the wreckage.
Journal of Commerce: Container Carrier Losses Reach $11 Billion »
The world’s top 22 ocean container carriers lost some $11 billion in the first nine months of the year and face further losses in 2010 as the industry digs out from the worst downturn in its 50-plus history. Sixteen of the carriers that have published third-quarter results reported cumulative operating losses of $9 billion in the first nine months of 2009, according to a survey by AXS-Alphaliner, the Paris-based shipping analyst and consultant.
Kennebec Captain: The Alaska Ranger; Shitty Job, Shitty Boat »
Based on the TV show The Deadliest Catch the general public may get the impression that the Alaska fishing fleet is made up of small but seaworthy boats like The Time Bandit and the Northwestern with experienced captains like third generation fisherman Sig Hansen with an experienced crew with maybe one greenhorn, often the younger brother of another crew member.
That’s not the whole story. At the other end of the spectrum , its about Gulf of Mexico mud boats, beat to hell in the Gulf and then sold cheap to low cost / high profit companies like The Fishing Company of Alaska (FCA) , converted to factory trawlers and run by down on their luck fisherman, crewed by inexperienced fish factory workers.
WASHINGTON POST (AP): Pirate attacks nearly doubled in 2009 over a year earlier, despite the deployment in December 2008 of the European Union Naval Force – the first international force specifically to counter Somali pirates.
Somali pirates currently hold at least 10 vessels and more than 200 crew members for ransom. Still, proponents of the force note the pirates’ success rate has been cut roughly in half since the patrols began.
Deutsche Welle: Somalia-based piracy remains an intractable problem »
It’s impossible to consider Somalia’s pirates in a vacuum. The evolution of piracy in Somalia is inextricably linked to the collapse of Somalia as a nation state, ravaged by conflict between rebels and government troops.
Low-Tech Magazine: Looking to the Past for Solutions to the Future »
Exceptionally thorough history of inland transport vessels
For many centuries, canal boats were propelled by men, horses or mules on the towpath beside the water. Before diesel power took over, engineers developed several interesting methods powered by electricity: trolley-boats, floating funiculars and electric mules. Many of these ecological solutions could be applied today instead of diesel engines. Because of the very low energy requirements, they could easily be powered by renewable energy generated on the spot by water turbines located at sluices.
Some canal boats were also propelled by systems that resemble those of cable trains, and yet another method combined common railway technology with canal barges. Up until the second half of the nineteenth century, canal barges were the main means of transporting goods over longer distances through regions where no good natural waterways existed. In all of Europe by the end of the 1800s, there were between 12,000 and 15,000 miles of canals. In the US in 1880, the total length of canals was around 4,500 miles.
From the 1840s onwards the rapid progress of railways threatened to make these canal networks obsolete. In 1880, already 2,000 miles of canals in the US had fallen into disuse because of the rise of the railroads…
SEAFARERBLOG: Danish-based Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipper, is planning to have at least one of its vessels registered in Taiwan to get in on the booming direct shipping services across the Taiwan Strait. This will make Maersk the first foreign shipping company to register in the country, according to a deputy minister.
The direct route is highly attractive to shippers because it reduces their travel time and costs considerably. Compared with the past when a detour was required, a voyage between Keelung and Shanghai is now eight to nine hours faster, and one between Keelung and Fuzhou is 11 to 12 hours faster.
12/27/2009: Authorities rescued a total of 130 passengers after a ferry ran aground in Dumaguete City in the province of Negros Oriental. No casualty has been reported. The passengers of MV Shuttle Ferry 8, most of whom came from a Christmas vacation, were rescued from the ferry in a 3-hour operation by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). The rescue operation began at 12 a.m. Sunday and ended at 3 a.m.
Part 1 of 5: a look at CBP’s False Positive Standard, and Legislation on 100% Scanning. By Dr. Jim Giermanski, Chairman of Powers Global Holdings, Inc. and President of Powers International, LLC, an international transportation security company.
Part 2 of 5: a look at CBP’s Container Management Standard; and CSI and The 24-hours Manifest. By Dr. Jim Giermanski, Chairman of Powers Global Holdings, Inc. and President of Powers International, LLC, an international transportation security company.
SECAUCUS: (NJ.com) — A worker on a tugboat in the Hackensack River was fatally crushed early this morning after becoming tangled in cables connected to another vessel, authorities said. Around the time of the accident, the tugboat was traveling at about 4 knots.
Ricardo Young, 50, of Queens, N.Y., was killed about 2 a.m. while trying to tighten the connections between the tugboat Turecamo Girls and another vessel it was pulling, said State Police Sgt. Stephen Jones. Young’s body was taken to a nearby dock in Secaucus.
New York Water Taxi will end its service from Yonkers to Manhattan at the end of the month, the company announced. Since May 2007, the yellow ferries have ushered people to work from Yonkers in twice daily runs. But it never garnered enough passengers to make the service profitable without the state and federal grants secured with help from Yonkers to get the service started.
Facing shutdown, it was granted an additional $300,000 loan from the Empire State Development Corp in July. Early on, the ferries also connected with Haverstraw in Rockland County, but that part of the service ended when it failed to attract a large following.
The last day of the Yonkers-Manhattan service will be Dec. 31, according to a notice on the company’s Web site. More about Yonkers ferry service demise »
PLANET DATA: South Korea’s Yonhap News reports that the North Korean military has established what it is calling a “peacetime firing zone” along the disputed Korean maritime border in the Yellow Sea, and says that “all fishing boats and warships should take security measures to protect themselves.”
“When the ship is finished it will spend most of the time at sea. The Dragon Harald Fairhair will sail in the keel water of the Vikings; from the coast of America to the Black Sea. It will be used to recapture the maritime knowledge of the Vikings, and to disseminate this knowledge further
“We will invite people from all countries in the world to make applications to be crew members.”
Pearl Harbor shipyard workers refloated the Battleship Missouri today as repair work on the vessel continues.
The ship was towed to drydock Oct. 14 and has been undergoing repairs since then. Today the ship was floated and moved four feet on the blocks supporting the keel so workers can paint the area covered by the blocks. See also: Missouri gets a ‘bounce’ »
Philippines: Sea tragedy leaves four dead and 23 missing »
24 December 2009: Four people have died and another 23 are missing after a ferry collided with a fishing boat in the Philippines. The wooden-hulled passenger ferry and the boat were carrying at least 73 people between them when they collided in Manila Bay in the early hours.
The other vessel – a 369-tonne fishing boat named Nathalia – was damaged but still afloat, said Commander Balilo. It had been on an extended fishing trip in the Turtle islands in the southern Philippines and was returning to the Navotas port in northern Manila. The incident came as thousands of people in the Philippines travelled home for the Christmas period.
The Los Angeles Harbor Commission has decided to delay its plan to forbid the use of older trucks within the Port of Los Angeles so as to allow truckers to continue operating their existing trucks past the January 1st, 2010 ban date.
OTTAWA — The St. Lawrence Seaway had one of its toughest seasons in 50 years, but its Administrator for the United States says “the worst is over. This year, it was a tough one,” Collister Johnson Jr., Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., said in an interview from Washington, D.C.
“The good news, though, is that (in the latter months of the navigation season ending Dec. 24) we are seeing an uptick in cargo. The worst is behind us.”
DISCOVER MAGAZINE: For soldiers and civilians alike, insurgency wars are not only deadly but also frustrating in their apparently random spikes of violence. In a study in Nature, however, researchers put forth a mathematical model that shows terrorist attacks and insurgencies are not so scattershot as they seem.
The team searched for statistical similarities across nine historic and ongoing insurgencies including those of Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland [BBC News]. That meant compiling more than 50,000 acts of violence. And despite the fact that these events happened in different countries in different times, Neil Johnson and his team found a relationship between the size of an attack in casualty terms and how often it occurs…
New Flame wreck removal a success in Gibraltar
POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (TUGBOAT LIFE) — This month TITAN Salvage successfully completed removal of the New Flame and has delivered more than 50,000 tons of scrap cargo and wreckage for recycling. From December 2007 through September 2009, a TITAN salvage team of about 20 experts continuously worked on the New Flame, a bulk carrier loaded with over 42,000 tons of scrap metal,to ensure the vessel was removed safely while ensuring environmental impact was minimal. The project was completed this month with the completion of sub-sea work and demobilization.
Towmasters: Shaking the Tree: Luck or License Insurance? »
When the inevitable “shit happens” you can bet that lawyers will very rapidly be involved. Generally, it’s understood that our legal system has evolved into a lottery system whereby those seeking redress, rightfully or not, will almost always go for the target with the deepest pockets in an attempt to score big financially. But this process can also involve the time-tested and proven shake-the-tree-and-see-what-falls-out strategy.
Conventional theory says that you’ll always be defended to the end by your employer. That’s because to throw you under the bus right away for your sins is to admit that they shouldn’t have had you working for them in the first place. At certain points along the way you may find that you and your employer can develop diverging interests and you may be left to defend yourself with only your own resources.
After a four-day trial, a federal judge last week ruled in favor of the family of Freddie Porter, Jr., a 19-year-old U.S. Navy enlisted seaman from New Jersey who in 2007 was killed when the small craft carrying him was overrun by a tugboat pushing a large flotilla on Virginia’s James River.
The tug, owned and operated by Vulcan Materials Company, collided with the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (“RHIB”) carrying Mr. Porter as he engaged in nighttime military training exercises. According to a release issued by Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, the accident occurred on the James River near Jamestown Island, Va., the evening of October 11, 2007. Upon collision, Mr. Porter was sucked under the water beneath the 600 feet of the flotilla’s eight barges and was eventually killed by the tug’s propellers.
Turn That Ship Down! American National Standard for Description & Measurement of Underwater Sound from Ships »
MARINELINK: It is the first ASA noise standard concerned with underwater sound. More distinctly it is the first known civilian standard in the world for quantifying the underwater sound of ships. The standard describes requirements for instrumentation, measurement procedure and data post processing in order to quantify a ship’s underwater radiated noise level referenced to a normalized distance of 1 meter.
“We started this effort to fill a need for NCE clients designing and building quiet research vessels,” noted Chair Bahtiarian.
Venezuela: 5 dead, 4 missing on Greek cargo ship »
Five seamen, three Greeks and two Filipinos, were confirmed dead in a fire on a Greek cargo ship sailing off Venezuela, Greek authorities said on Saturday.
Four more Filipinos were reported as still missing from the mishap which occurred Friday on the cargo ship “Aegian Wind” owned by the Atlantic Bulk Carriers shipping company.
On Tuesday the White House said President Obama will nominate Vice Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. to become the 24th commandant of the Coast Guard in May, when Adm. Thad Allen, the current commandant, retires. The Senate must confirm the nomination.
Papp, who currently serves as commander of the Coast Guard Atlantic Area and Defense Force East, where he is the operational commander for all Coast Guard missions in the eastern half of the world, knows firsthand the challenges the service faces. Previously, he served as chief of staff of the Coast Guard in Washington.
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN: Pleasure yachts and tall ships line the wharves and quays of Nyhavn here in the Danish capital. Shipping in Denmark goes back to the Vikings and their long ships that made perilous sea crossings even beyond Greenland.
Now what may be the future of shipping is docked around the corner from Nyhavn at Kvaesthusmolen pier, a bright orange and yellow North Sea supply ship from Norway dubbed “Viking Lady“—the first ship to employ a fuel cell in history.
Yale Environment 360: NASA: The Year in Images »
Every day, NASA’s Earth Observatory publishes images of our world from a perspective rarely seen by human eyes — from satellites high above the planet’s surface. In 2009, these images once again provided an extraordinary view of the powerful forces of nature, of the widening footprint of human civilization, and of the point where they often meet.
FV Princess Elena at the Fish Pier in Gloucester, Mass. Photo by Jay Albert. More »
Historic Ship of the Week: USCGC Comanche WMEC 202 »
Puget Sound Maritime: Comanche was moved under her own power without incident from Tacoma to Seattle Saturday, Dec. 19th with a crew of 13 volunteers for the 4 hour run, through the Ballard (Government Locks) and bridge in Seattle to Foss (tugs) corporate headquarters on the Lake Union Ship Cannel where she rests comfortably at their dock in fresh water. MORE »
BOYS AND THEIR TOYS: Cold War Kitsch is all the rage on X-Ray Delta One’s CRAZY ABOUT THE COLD WAR flickr set See Also: Retro Tech, we love PROPAGANDA, Motorola Future, YESTERYEAR- pre WW2, and many others. It’s a celebration of We Like Ike Chic that approaches Bacchanalian proportions. A veritable baby-boomer nostalgia cream dream. Oh, he has a blog, too.
Submissions for future editions:
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