Maritime Monday 210

Monkey Fist
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April 19, 2010

 Welcome to this week’s edition of


You can find last week’s edition here »

imageFlintermar shown here loading grain at Pier 27/28; Halifax  – from Armchair Captain


Lightering. We were transferring 150,000 barrels of cargo into the barge Massachusetts in NY harbor. I can name every valve, piece of piping and protrusion on both vessels… because I worked on both of them. 

Now Hear This!

The government of Iran has been making an all-out effort to reflag and change identities of ships controlled by the state shipping arm,IRISA (Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines). As you should know, US sanctions have caused Iran’s shipping lines to be blacklisted and US assets of IRISL have been frozen. IRISL was targeted for special US sanctions because their vessels were used in the trafficking of arms and possible nuclear material. The following is a list as of March 17th of the ships and their new identities »


Some days it’s just better to stay inside. Hawsepiper »

A $1.4 Million Bailout for the Not imageFailing Thames Shipyard?

NEW LONDON, Conn.I hold no bank bailout grudges, even though I never got the impression that Wall Street was appropriately appreciative of the taxpayers’ help.

What I can’t understand now is why the government should be doling out money to the nation’s private shipyards, when no great shipyard crisis looms.

Last week, the U.S. Maritime Administration’s Assistance to Small Shipyards Grant Program (imagine the bureaucracy) gave out some $14 million to shipyards around the country, including $1.4 million to the Thames Shipyard & Repair Co. here in New London.

Associated British Ports Southampton Purchase RESON SeaBat 7101 System

image MarEx – Associated British Ports Southampton have awarded RESON a contract to supply a SeaBat 7101 multibeam sonar system. RESON will install and train ABP Southampton Hydrographic Survey personnel in the use of the system and associated sensors.

RESON will be integrating the system onboard the Port Survey Launch ‘Protector’ along with an Applanix POS MV WaveMaster. The multibeam survey system will be used for shallow water Hydrographic and Engineering surveys in Southampton.

Bangladesh: Environmentalists Demand; Cancel Change to Toxic Ship Import Policy

Dhaka Daily StarBangladesh Paribesh Andolon (BAPA) condemned the government’s recent decision allowing the import of toxic ships, and demanded cancellation of the April 11 amendment to the Import Policy Order.

At a press conference of BAPA at Dhaka Reporters Unity yesterday, the speakers said, with the amendment, the government is allowing importers to bring scrap vessels with “inbuilt” toxic substances.

“A High Court verdict clearly directed the government to ensure cleaning of all toxic materials before importing ships. But the government is giving permission for importing those without cleaning,” said Abdul Matin, general secretary of BAPA.

Bowsprite: Short Sea Shipping in NY Harbor!

image I love how that sounds! It would be, more accurately Very Short Sea Shipping, or simply, Harbor Shipping. And expanding harbor shipping is only one suggestion for the Department of City Planning, who welcomes your voice in their Comprehensive Waterfront Plan for 2020. So, get involved!

Currently, our freight comes in as containerized cargo to New Jersey (Port Elizabeth, Port Newark, Jersey City-Bayonne), Staten Island (Howland Hook), and Brooklyn (Red Hook).

Everything is then mostly trucked around, with only some things moving off by rail…


The STX Daisy anchored in Port Angeles Harbor with the MV Coho ferry in the background. Chris Tucker/Peninsula Daily News

Coast Guard Holds Cargo Ship at Port Angeles

SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCERThe Coast Guard says it held a 587-foot cargo ship at anchor in Port Angeles because the master showed signs of intoxication.

The action came after the Coast Guard made a routine inspection boarding of the STX Daisy in the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Wednesday. The Coast Guard said in a statement that the vessel’s master showed signs of intoxication. The Daisy, a Panamanian-flagged vessel, was en route to Olympia from Qingdao, China, to load timber, the Coast Guard said.

The U. S. Attorney’s office is investigating the incident for evidence of a possible violation of U.S. law, the Coast Guard said.

UPDATE – Cargo Ship Captain Charged With Maritime DUI – KIRO Seattle »

imageBoatswain’s Mate Seaman Kelly P. Chism, assigned to the guided-missile destroyer Farragut, pilots a visit, board, search and seizure team toward a suspected pirate vessel in the Gulf of Aden on April 15. Farragut, part of the gulf’s multinational anti-piracy task force, intercepted seven suspected pirates during an April 16 attack on a Thailand-flagged merchant vessel. Photo: MC1 Cassandra Thompson / Navy

Destroyer Farragut Thwarts Another Pirate Attack

The destroyer Farragut foiled an attempted pirate hijacking early Friday when its helicopter warded off a skiff carrying seven pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

Pirates attacked the bulk cargo carrier Thor Traveler with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades for about 10 minutes, trying to force the ship to heave to, according to an announcement from 5th Fleet. The ship’s master did not stop, called for help from the international counter-piracy task force, and the Farragut responded at flank speed.

Still in early-morning darkness, Farragut’s SH-60B Seahawk helicopter — from Helicopter Light Anti-Submarine Squadron 42, the “Proud Warriors” — spotted the pirate skiff as it tried to escape.

Does the Multi-Tasking Brain Max Out at Two image Tasks?

DISCOVER – A team of French scientists have proposed that when it comes to multi-tasking, our brains can handle only so much. In a new study, published in Science, scientists Sylvain Charron and Etienne Koechlin found that while the brain can easily divide its attention between two tasks, a third task will begin to slow it down–suggesting there is an upper limit to our multi-tasking abilities.

imageCruise ship THE WORLD 

EIMA Conducts First Training Course for ‘The  World’ Cruise Ship

imageTestimony to its growing reputation as a reliable marine training establishment in the UAE, Emirates International Maritime Academy (EIMA) has announced that it has recently concluded an STCW standard one-day fire fighting training course for the staff of the world’s most prestigious floating residence, The World Cruise ship.

The World, a one-of-a-kind concept, is a ship serving as a residential community owned by its residents. The residents, from about 40 different countries, live on board as the ship slowly circumnavigates the globe — staying in most ports from two to five days. Some residents live onboard full time while others visit their floating home periodically throughout the year.

EPA Studies Emissions from Houston-Bound Cargo Ship

International initiative will reduce sulfur dioxide from ship stacks

Dallas, TexasToday EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz joined Port of Houston Authority Chairman James Edwards and Chief Executive Officer Alec Dreyer to see first-hand their many environmental programs.

The Port of Houston Authority has partnered with EPA on several initiatives designed to develop best practices for Port operations across the country. The Port of Houston Authority is currently partnering with EPA to study air emissions from cargo ships.

Five Pirate Suspects to Face Charges in US

imageCNNWashington Five suspected Somali pirates accused of attacking a U.S. Navy ship could be sent to the United States to face criminal proceedings, according to U.S. military officials.

This is only the second time U.S. authorities have brought pirate suspects from Somalia to the United States to possibly face trial.

The five are being held aboard the USS Nicholas — the guided-missile frigate they are accused of attacking — off the Horn of Africa and will be transferred to Department of Justice authority in the coming days, officials said.


SYDNEY MORNING HERALD (more photos) Two bailed over Barrier Reef ship grounding »

Great Barrier Reef: A Ship-Grounding Scar

Apr 15th 2010 | THE ECONOMISTAustralian police on April 14th arrested the master and another crew member of Shen Neng 1, a Chinese cargo ship, over its grounding on the Great Barrier Reef 11 days earlier.

Buffeted by winds and tides, the stranded ship, carrying 65,000 tonnes of coal from the Queensland port of Gladstone to China, is reported to have gouged a channel more than 3km (1.9 miles) long through coral in the reef, a world-heritage site already at risk from worsening water quality and rising sea temperatures.

Oil has also washed up on a nearby island that seabirds and turtles use as a nesting ground. Paint from the ship’s hull has been found attached to coral; scientists are testing it for heavy metals. David Wachenfeld, chief scientist of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, says it is “by far” the largest ship-grounding scar seen on the reef; it could take 20 years to recover. The ship was finally floated on April 12th, and anchored off Great Keppel Island.

EARTHWEEK.COM – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called the grounding of the Shen Neng 1, which also leaked about two tons of fuel oil, an “absolute outrage.”

imageHe promised to “throw the book” at the owners and crew of any other ship illegally cutting across the protected waters.

In some areas, all marine life has been completely flattened and the structure of the shoal has been pulverized by the weight of the vessel, according to the Great Barrier Reef’s chief scientist, David Wachenfeld.

It may take decades to recover from the type of paint that scraped off the Shen Neng 1 and onto coral beds. The “anti-fouling” chemicals in the paint designed to prevent barnacles and other marine life from building up are now poisoning coral. Photo: Queensland Maritime Safety

Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese announced yesterday that ships in the southern part of the reef marine park would have to regularly report their location and route to authorities. This would be backed up by radio and satellite tracking of ships to improve safety and further protect one of the country’s most precious environmental assets, he said.

Idle Container Ships Fall to 14-Month Low

Slow steaming, rising peak season demand draw ships back into service

JOURNAL OF COMMERCEThe number of laid-up container ships above 5,000 20-foot equivalent units capacity has shrunk to the lowest level in over 14 months, largely due to slow steaming.

And the number likely will fall even further in the coming two months as the peak shipping season gets under way and ocean carriers launch new line haul services to cope with rising cargo demand, Alphaliner, the Paris-based consultancy said.


“The Kraken” (1830) by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

image Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

Bitter End:

20 Most Dangerous Jobs in America (we made the list) »

imageJulio Luna Jr. was on the crew of longshoremen who discovered the fire aboard the Grandcamp on April 16, 1947. The fire ignited a chain of explosions that killed about 600 people.

Man Saw First Sparks of Texas City Disaster

TEXAS CITYFresh out of the U.S. Navy, Julio Luna Jr. moved to a nice place near Arcadia, now Santa Fe, and found work as a longshoreman at the docks of the Texas City Terminal Railway Co.

On the morning of April 16, 1947, Luna and seven other longshoremen reported for work at the berth where the S.S. Grandcamp was docked. Little did he know he would be among the first to alert port officials to a small fire that within a few hours would lead to a massive explosion, setting off a chain of explosions and fires that would become known as the Texas City Disaster.

May Highlights on Discovery Channel

image Mighty Ships premieres on Tuesday, 4 May at 20:00.  Viewers get exclusive access to some of the world’s most extraordinary working ships. Featuring stunning visuals from aboard these vessels, take an in-depth look at the mechanics of each ship and the intricate relationships of the people on board.

Explore the HDMS Absalon, one of the high military ships of the sea and join the Fairplayer, a new class of ship built to transport huge equipment, on her maiden voyage carrying oil refinery machinery. Whether it is heavy-lift mega-ships or combat ships, this fascinating series is as much about what happens inside the ship as the journey that each vessel makes.


McMahon Secures Federal Funding for Staten Island Shipyard Dry Dock

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. A century-old North Shore shipyard has gotten an infusion of $1.162 million in federal transportation monies to refurbish its dry dock, Rep. Michael McMahon announced yesterday.

The Caddell Dry Dock & Repair Co., West Brighton, received the funding from the Assistance to Small Shipyards Program of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration.

The money “will allow Caddell to modernize its dry dock facilities … provide important support to our port operations and allow routine repairs to the Staten Island Ferry to be made right here at home,” said McMahon, vice chair of the House Maritime and Coast Guard Subcommittee.

Navy Looks for Ships That Require Fewer Sailors and More Computersimage

ALLGOV – What once required hundreds of sailors may soon need only dozens as the U.S. Navy moves to a new fleet of high-tech, innovative coastal vessels known as littoral ships.

Naval commanders are deciding between two different designs of littorals—one by Lockheed Martin (Freedom) and the other by General Dynamics (Independence)—both of which are intended to carry out close-to-shore missions while needing only about 40 sailors, but banks of computers to operate.

NKorea Accuses South of Framing it in Recent Ship Sinking

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea accused South Korea on Saturday of spreading false rumors that the communist North was to blame for the mysterious explosion that sank a southern warship near the tense sea border.

North Korean officials have denied involvement in the blast that broke the 1,200-ton Cheonan into two pieces March 26 during a routine patrol near sea border, killing at least 38. South Korean officials have not openly blamed the North for one of its worst naval disasters, but an investigator said Friday the explosion was most likely external.

imageThe research vessel Viola M. Davidson was registered in Ottawa on April 6. The 59 gross ton aluminum hulled vessel was built by Abco Industries Ltd in Lunenburg, and is seen here fitting out at their dock on March 6. Abco (formerly known as Atlantic Bridge Co) has built several small aluminum craft for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.


New Canadian Coats Guard Ship a Triumph for ABCO

“The quality is the highest, the value is tremendous” Lunenburg manufacturer completes work on versatile new vessel CCGS Viola M Davidson

The interior is nice and shiny, with that new car smell. The dials sit ready for the engines to fire them up and it feels as if it’s anxious to hit the open road. Or, in this case, the open sea.

ABCO Industries Ltd. of Lunenburg has just finished building the CCGS Viola M Davidson, a sophisticated fisheries research vessel for the Canadian Coast Guard.

Davidson was one of the first women to do graduate studies in marine science. She carried out research for her master’s degree and PhD at the St. Andrews Biological Station in New Brunswick, which this vessel will call home.


Sea & Ice Exhibit Opens at New Bedford Explorium

image NEW BEDFORD, Mass — An exhibit chronicling one of the chillier chapters in the saga of the Schooner Ernestina, formerly Effie M. Morrissey, opened Saturday at the Ocean Explorium on Union Street.

The 116-year-old Ernestina has survived hurricanes, was once scuttled after a fire, and for numerous years weathered trips to the arctic, said Abbey Spargo, the organization’s education programs coordinator. It is one of two arctic schooners still in existence, said Spargo. Saturday, the Explorium, mere blocks away from where the Ernestina is docked, opened its exhibit titled “Sea & Ice: The Extraordinary Life of Captain Bob Bartlett.” (pdf)

Bartlett, a Newfoundland native and well-known arctic explorer during the early parts of the 20th century, owned the Effie M. Morrissey, now known as the Ernestina, from 1926 to 1946. He made annual scientific expeditions and anthropological studies of the arctic. His trips were often funded by the National Geographic, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Museum of Natural History.

Somali Pirates Extradited to Germany

EPOCH TIMESTen alleged Somali pirates are being extradited to Germany to face trial. The men were captured earlier this month after hijacking a German cargo vessel.

Commandos from a nearby Dutch navy ship patrolling the area arrested the men after a gun battle on the cargo ship. The 15-member crew on the ship were unharmed.

Towmasters: The Facts – Mandatory Drug Testing of Merchant Marine Personnel

image By way of the MarEx e-Newsletter comes an excellent 10-page paper, Mandatory Drug Testing of Merchant Marine Personnel,  from practicing U.S. Coast Guard Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Walter J. Brudzinski.

It explains, in detail, the policies and procedures followed by an employer and the Coast Guard whenever a mariner tests positive for illegal drug use.

Particularly useful is the explanation of how one goes about satisfying the Coast Guard that one has “cleaned up” and is no longer a threat to the public’s safety or that of their fellow mariners, and what conditions must be met to regain the suspended Merchant Mariner Credential and go back to work.

Tranformer, More Than Meets the Eye

Susitna Ferry, Funded by Office of Naval Research, Sea Warfare & Weapons Dept.

“It’s an omnivore. It’s not optimized for any one task, but it has a wide range of tasks it can do, and that’s what makes it useful. It can work in deep seas, it can work in rough waters, it can break ice, it can work in shallow waters and go up to the beach. There’s no other ship in the world that can do that.” — Lew Madden, Ferry Co-inventor


Ice breaking, Catamaran, SWATH, variable draft. At the very minimum this has to be a challenge to the Marine inspectors.


Tugster: Clearwater Rebuild

Today’s post comes from the same area of the Hudson where iceboating was happening a mere two months ago.  Ice has now given  way to the fine color heralding leaves.

Clearwater has wintered on a mobile shipyard, a barge.  The “whiskey plank”  aka the last part of the hull to be closed up post-repair was recently steamed, jacked into place, and fastened.

*By the way, start imagining the weekend of June 19 and 20.  Mermaids on Saturday (with Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed [email protected]#@! as Queen Mermaid and King Neptune)

imageThe Pan American Victory in the Panama Canal 12/24/09

Victory Ship in the Panama Canal (photos)

THE MARITIME – We came across these amazing photos of the PAN AMERICAN VICTORY as she transited the Panama Canal not too long ago.  She was on her final voyage from San Francisco, CA to Brownsville, TX for scrapping.

People-Smuggling Captain to Get His Vessel Back

image THE AUSTRALIANThe 98-tonne cargo ship occupied by protesting Sri Lankan asylum-seekers in Indonesia could be handed back to one of the region’s most notorious people-smugglers if the refugees vacate it under a planned move this month.

Indonesian officials have confirmed that Abraham Louhenapessy (aka Captain Bram) – who has been linked to a syndicate once blamed for sending 30 per cent of all asylum-seekers to Australia – would be entitled to reclaim the vessel Jaya Lestari if he presents ownership documents to the authorities.

U.S. Port Security is a Global Issue

image AVIATION WEEK – Only 7-10% of the cargo that enters U.S. ports is scanned for illegal drugs or chemical, nuclear or biological agents, Homeland Security Department officials say.

But, they are quick to add that all cargo is “screened,” using a variety of cooperative programs and technologies, prior to reaching port. Scanning and screening are very different, and the process begins far from the docks of an American port, starting days or weeks before a ship pulls in and begins unloading cargo.

Patrick Simmons, director of Non-Intrusive Inspection Technologies at Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) unit, explained to DTI that while 100% of “high-risk cargo” is screened before entering American waters, only a small percentage of cargo that has not previously been flagged as “high risk” actually is physically screened.

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