Maritime Monday 212

The Latest:

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Current timeline to shut down Gulf of Mexico oil spill: three months

Christian Science Monitor – Federal officials gave a sobering appraisal of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill Sunday, with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar saying ‘ultimate relief’ was 90 days away.  more »

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VENICE, LA – Fishermen wait in line to receive a contract from BP company representatives to use their boats to help clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is approaching the coast. (Getty Images)

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Workers lay oil booms around a barge operated by the Marine Spill Response Corporation in Venice, La., Friday, April 30

Apocalypse Again

imageHuffington PostIt’s happened before but you wouldn’t know it reading the New York Times. On April 28, the Times wrote a “Gulf Spill” editorial defending continued offshore oil and gas exploration. Without questioning its source it wrote, “the federal Minerals Management Service says there have been no major spills — defined as 1,000 barrels or more — in the last 15 years, a period that includes Hurricane Katrina. In that context, the blowout — while tragic and destructive — can be seen as a freak occurrence.”

When I was down in the Gulf covering Hurricane Katrina less than five years ago, the Coast Guard reported that over eight million gallons of oil spilled in and around the Gulf, more than two thirds of an Exxon Valdez. Of course, that wasn’t from the 180 rigs damaged, destroyed or set adrift like the Jack Up rig Ocean Warwick that I saw grounded in the surf on Dauphin Island Alabama. The MMS, parsing things very finely indeed, was only counting spills from active offshore rigs, not the pipelines, onshore tank farms, refineries and other infrastructure essential to offshore operations.

Aral Sea Shows Signs of Recovery, While the Dead Sea Needs a Lifeline

image There are few more dramatic examples of humanity’s careless treatment of the earth than the Aral Sea.

80 Beats/Discover Magazine – The Aral’s precipitous decline began in the 1960s, when the Soviet Union began using river water to irrigate the mega-farms it established on the arid steppe. As the river water flowing into the sea slowed to a trickle, the Aral began drying up.

imageBangladeshi workers are seen at a ship breaking yard in Sitakundu, on the outskirts of Chittagong. The government in the South Asian nation has sued four of the country’s ship-breaking yards for causing “excessive pollution” and operating without proper licenses.

imageSteel Electrics in the Boneyard – Bitter End features Industria Naval Del Pacifico in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico »  (Don’t miss Google’s Street View)

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Chevron Demands “Crude” Filmmaker Hand Over Footage

BOING BOING – Oil giant Chevron wants documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger to turn over hundreds of hours of raw footage he shot for his documentary film on pollution in the Amazon rainforest.

Chevron’s lawyers say they want the material because it may be helpful in lawsuits that accuse the company of damaging the environment in Ecuador. Berlinger’s past films include Paradise Lost and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. He says he was recently served with a request from Chevron for more than 600 hours of unused footage for his 2009 documentary Crude, which you can purchase on DVD.  (PHOTO: crudethemovie.com)

Chittagong Dry Dock Ltd. Positioning to Build Multipurpose Container Vessels

Dhaka – An ECNEC meeting held recently approved building four vessels each of 108 TEU  container carrying capacity for Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) and out of the four, two vessels would be built by the CDDL.

Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation (BSEC), an autonomous body run under the Ministry of Industries, was established on July 1, 1976, has now nine industrial units in operation. The CDDL is one of the best amongst them and now planning to go for major BMRE and setting up of separate facilities for shipbuilding in addition to its on-going ship repair activities.

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Coast Guard Now Has Two Four Star Admirals… For a Little While

It’s official- the Coast Guard now has two Four Star Admirals… temporarily at least. The picture you see here is of the former Commander of Atlantic Area ADM Robert J. Papp receiving his fourth star making him a full Admiral while waiting for his next Change of Command on 25 May 2010 as he takes the helm as our Commandant from ADM Thad Allen at which time he’ll be retiring. And then we’re back to one Four Star Admiral.

CT Sailor Says Captain Stole The Credit In 2009 Ship Hijacking

image WEST HARTFORD —  The solace is on the wall, framed, hanging above a bookshelf and tabletop stereo in the Reza family’s living room.

It is a citation from the Connecticut legislature last September, honoring Abu Thair Mohd Zahid Reza for his “quick thinking” and actions aboard the hijacked cargo ship Maersk Alabama in April 2009. It might be the only official document that calls A.T.M. Reza a hero.

That distinction has largely gone to merchant marine Capt. Richard Phillips, who was in charge of the ship when four Somali pirates hijacked it off the Horn of Africa. Phillips has met with President Barack Obama at the White House, been lauded on TV and, just recently, released a book called “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea.”

image In the Imperial squadron near the end of the film, we see close-ups of triple gun turrets of Gangut-class dreadnought. It possibly appears this way to show the power of Imperial fleet, but this is an anachronism. Battleships of 1905 were much smaller pre-dreadnoughts, with twin turrets only.  Ganguts entered service in 1914.  See more » 

Cold is the Sea: The Battleship Potemkin

image For those of you who haven’t seen it, The Battleship Potemkin is the story of a Russo-Japanese War-era Russian Navy crew who mutinies after their officers attempt to punish them for not eating maggot infested provisions. One of the principal mutineers of the mutiny links their plight to the burgeoning political upheavals in Russia, exhorts them to rise up and…the action ensues.

It was a fascinating film- albeit one made solely for propaganda purposes. Stalin actually ordered the film to be shelved when he decided that he didn’t want to be in the business of encouraging foreign navies to revolt.

Trivia: The actual battleship Potemkin was built at the Philadelphia Naval Yard in the United States and was purchased by the Czarist government in the early 20th. century. This was not unusual because Russia often purchased naval craft from Germany and France until they started to build their own naval ships after 1910. See more »

Comic Book-Style Exhibit Tells Civil War Saga

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CSS Alabama and USS Kearsarge exchange gun fire.

National Archives exhibit explores little known aspects of Civil War

The Washington Post  — The National Archives exhibit “Discovering the Civil War” uses a touch-screen computer to illustrate chapters of the war. The saga of the CSS Alabama, notorious Confederate raider built in England, is told with comic book-style panels.

Commercial Fishing News: BP Seeks Vessels for Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup

imageThis may be old news by post time, but wtf:

BP is looking to contract with vessels for hire (shrimp boats, oyster boats, etc.) to deploy boom in the Gulf of Mexico. The response contractors for this program are already collecting information on vessels.

Specifically, they need the name, owner, dimensions, characteristics including length, draft, horsepower, etc) and other pertinent information you can provide. Direction and training will be provided and determined by area response plans based on the highest priority areas on down.

Current staging areas for the program are Venice, LA; Mobile, AL; Biloxi, MS; Pascagoula, MS and Pensacola, FL. So far, more than 100,000 feet of boom has been deployed, with another 400,000 available. So if you can help, please do so. There is intended to be deployed launch barges staged in areas where additional boom may be deployed.

As soon as you have gathered the relevant information on your vessel, please email that information to the managing contractor Vince Mitchell at [email protected] or 425-745-8017. As well, please copy BP’s coordinator Grant Johnson at [email protected].

If you have further questions please contact Bryan Zumwalt [email protected] or at 202-224-4623.
For more information, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill/

via Commercial Fishing News Forums

Dangers of Technology Addiction for Seafarers

image Clay Maitland – I recently wrote about the tug in Alaska that ran into Bligh Reef, Prince William Sound, while its master played a video game. The problem of media and technology distraction while on the job seems to originate in young people, as an addictive phenomenon.

The University of Maryland has announced the results of a study of 200 students, who were asked to give up all media and devices for one full day.It was found that after 24 hours, many of the subjects showed signs of withdrawal, craving and anxiety, along with an inability to function well without their technology and social links.

Derelict “Killer Nets” Destroying Puget Sound Sea Life

image A hidden danger lies beneath the surface of Puget Sound, killing thousands of marine animals every year.

SEATTLE  – Thousands of abandoned fishing nets cover hundreds of acres underwater – and they keep fishing long after those who cast them have gone back to shore and forgotten them. But with help from a $4.5 million federal grant, provided under the National Recovery Act, the Northwest Straits Foundation wants to pull 3,000 of these killer nets from Puget Sound.

Florida: Fire Marshall Rules Treasure Ship Restaurant Fire “Accidental”

PANAMA CITY BEACH The Treasure Ship, an iconic restaurant in Panama City was destroyed by fire Wednesday.

imageOwners posted the news on the restaurant’s website, which said a fire broke out at approximately 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, severely damaging The Treasure Ship.

“Deeply saddened, the owners, management and staff wish to express heartfelt gratitude to Bay County, and the many, many guests who have patronized this grand Panama City Beach icon,” the owners wrote on their website. “Thank you for 33 great years!”

The owners and management have asked restaurateurs in Panama City to help find positions for the 150 employees who have now lost their jobs.

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The Arthur Foss is one of the oldest tugboats in existence and an important part of history of the Pacific Northwest. (Launched at Portland in 1889) Long before Boeing and Microsoft drove our economy, this ship was hard at work on Northwest waters. more »

From the Forums: Tugboat Arthur Foss Needs Your Help!

mtskier – While attending the Pacific Maritime Institute I had the good fortune to get connected with the NW Seaport and the Tugboat Arthur Foss. They traded a place to live for my labor on the boat. NW Seaport is currently in the running for funding from the National Trust for Historic Preservation via a public vote.

Hair and Mushrooms: The Perfect Recipe for an Oil Spill Cleanup

The Daily Loaf – In November 2007, a cargo ship named Cosco-Busan accidentally hit the San Francisco Bay Bridge and spilled 58,000 gallons of oil, which then washed up onto the San Francisco beaches. In stepped Lisa Gautier and her nonprofit organization, Matter of Trust, with the solution to cleaning up the oily blobs on their beaches: hair and mushrooms.

“Hair mats” were invented in the early 90s by Alabama hairstylist Phil McCrory, who realized they were great for cleaning up petroleum spills. They were then used by Gautier and company to clean up the oil that washed up on the San Francisco beaches, and also utilized after a spill that occurred in the Galapagos Islands in 2000.

Iceland Volcano Eruption Affects Commercial Fishing and Aquaculture

Commercial Fishing News – Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption is affecting European seafood exports. Air travel restrictions have caused price increases and halted some European exports of specialty items such as farm raised salmon.

The plume from the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano is expected to be a factor for the next few weeks. Volcanic ash has been carried by north-westerly winds and has been detected over Norway, Sweden, northwestern Russia, northern Poland, northern Germany, northern France and the UK.

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A containment boom staged at the Breton National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana. Photo: JOHN EDWARDS/EPA

“In a Terrible Way This is a Portent of Things to Come and a Warning”

The author of Wild at Heart, Barry Gifford, whose books are set in the American South, talks about the man-made horrors that have ravaged the Louisiana coast

Guardian.co.uk – When Hurricane Katrina wrecked the Louisiana coast, it wasn’t the wind that created disaster in itself, but the floods which surged over the levees and washed across the wetlands in its wake.

Now the region has been hit by a second disaster, an oil slick. A different kind of flood this time, a thick, black flood of crude oil that approaches the coastline, threatening the wildlife and the fragile ecosystem of the wetlands of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta.

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India Commissions First Indigenous Warship

INS Shivalik, the first indigenous stealth frigate in the Indian Navy, was commissioned Thursday by Deffence Minister A.K. Antony at the naval dockyard here.

“It is a red letter day for the navy, armed forces and ship building industry of India. We can consider ourselves a really potent force,” said the minister on the occasion. He added that the “navy has to maintain eternal vigilance since we have a long coastline”.

The frigate, built at Mumbai’s Mazagaon Dock Ltd (MDL) as part of the Indian Navy’s Project 17, is a 143-metre-long warship with 6,000-tonne displacement. It has numerous new design features to effectively reduce the probability of the warship being detected at sea.

The navy will get 10 more stealth warships in the next 10 years.

Indian Ocean Now Home to World’s Largest Marine Reserve

MARINE SCIENCE TODAY – Just recently the United Kingdom established the world’s largest marine reserve.  The reserve is a 210,000 square mile area (545,000 square kilometers) in the Indian Ocean encompassing the Chagos Islands.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that this reserve “doubles the global coverage of the world’s oceans under protection,” and says that its creation is “a major step forward for protecting the oceans.”  The new reserve exceeds the previous record held by the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands by 70,000 square miles (180,000 square kilometers).

Jakarta: Company in Batam Riot Dismisses Criticism From Govt

imageThe dry dock company at the center of the riot in Batam last week has hit back against allegations by the Ministry of Manpower and Trans-migration that it was riddled with troubles.

In an statement e-mailed to the Jakarta Globe late on Tuesday, PT Drydocks World Graha said it had had no contact with Haiyani Rumondang, the ministry’s director of industrial relations and dispute resolution, who held a news conference in Jakarta on Monday to criticize the company.

In the riot, the company’s offices were trashed, a warehouse set ablaze and dozens of vehicles burned after an Indian manager allegedly called Indonesians “stupid.” The manager has been charged for sparking the violence.

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Korea: Works on World’s Longest Seawall Completed

DREDGING TODAY – No visitor in Korea this week will be more excited to see the completed 33.9-km-long seawall on the country’s southwestern coast than Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. The Saemangeum land reclamation project was recently finished after nearly two decades of work, and a dedication ceremony for the world’s longest seawall took place Tuesday.

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Life of Pi: Ang Lee’s Adaptation Moves Forward in 3D

In February 2009, we reported that Ang Lee wanted to direct an adaptation of the Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi.  The project had already passed through multiple directors including Dean Georgaris, M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuaron, and Jean-Pierre Jeneut.  Then in October, we reported that Lee said Life of Pi would be his next film.

Today, Indiewire reports that the project is now scouting locations Taiwan and Pondicherry, will be a big-budget film with a price tag of over $70 million, and will be a “3D magical fantasy adfventure crammed with visual effects.”  This would be Lee’s first 3D film.

Malaysia: Bintulu Port Expansion to be Completed by August

KUCHING: Bintulu Port’s expansion projects, worth some RM300mil, will be completed between June and August this year, said Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd (BPHB) chief executive officer Mior Ahmad Baiti Mior Lub Ahmad.

The projects include expanding the container terminal port’s annual handling capacity by 250,000 TEUs to 650,000 TEUs. The port’s container freight station and stacking yards are also being widened to provide additional services.

Maxed Out: Testing Humans to Destruction

image The New Scientist – We have an irrepressible urge to push our boundaries and set records. How much further can we go, physically and mentally, before we reach our ultimate limits?

  • How long can we concentrate for?
  • How much can we remember?
  • How cold can you get and live?
  • How long could you survive without food or drink?
  • How long can you go without sleep?
  • These and other exciting questions »

Navy’s U.S.S. Enterprise Underway After Final image Dry Dock Renovation

The U.S.S. Enterprise, the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, departed Norfolk, Va., on April 19 after a two-year refit in dry dock.

The U.S.S. Enterprise, the 48-year-old nuclear-powered aircraft carrier which helped to track early American spacecraft and played a role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, has completed what is expected to be its final extended stay in dry dock before it is decommissioned in 2014.

The carrier, which departed Norfolk, Va., for two days of sea trials on April 17, returned to Norfolk’s Naval Station on April 19 flying a broom on its mast signifying a “clean sweep,” since the ship passed its sea trials with flying colors, according to Northrup Grumman Corp., which conducted the $650 million refit.

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NYC Fire Department Gets Badass Boat to Fight Chemical Spills, Terrorists

New York City’s fire department is ditching the ancient boat it’s used since 1954 for the “longest and heaviest fireboat in the world,” according to the New York Times. Christened Three Four Three after the 343 firemen and women who died in the 9/11 attacks, the new boat is designed to be able to take on the challenges that face a modern firefighter, such as chemical attacks, for which the boat has air filters that will allow its crew to get close.

The 140-foot, 500-ton Three Four Three also boasts a fifty-foot camera-equipped crane for water rescues and the ability to lower down its deck to help people out of the water. Of course, it’s also designed to fight fires, which is why it can crank out a whopping 50,000 gallons of water a minute, which is over half again what its predecessor could manage, and travel at 18 knots (or 20 mph) as it patrols the NYC coastline.

Oilfield Equipment Mfgr Cameron Plunges on Concern Over Role in Rig Blast

April 29 (Bloomberg Business Week) — Cameron International Corp., the second-largest U.S. maker of oilfield equipment, had its biggest decline since 2008 in New York trading on concern over possible liability for a Gulf of Mexico rig explosion and oil spill.

Cameron dropped $5.77, or 13 percent, to $38.70 as of the 4 p.m. close of the New York Stock Exchange and traded as low as $34.65. The Houston-based company said yesterday that it provided so-called blowout preventers for Transocean Ltd.’s Deepwater Horizon rig, which caught fire and sank after an explosion last week.

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Opinion: LNG Opposition is Clearly NIMBY-ism

MASSACHUSETTS – I can’t tell you how many letters and articles I’ve read about this town’s and this state’s immense opposition to LNG. There seem to be three overwhelming concerns: Safety, recreation (bridge closures included) and environment.

Safety is paramount, and it should be to a tight-knit community like ours. LNG has encountered only one major safety event in the U.S. It was almost 70 years ago in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1944. Since this event, there’s been a slew of legislation and regulation regarding LNG, as there is after almost any major event. Rest assured, LNG safety is highly regulated.

LNG has the best transportation safety record of any liquid cargo carried in bulk. Since the episode in Cleveland — which had nothing to do with a ship — there have only been eight incidents worldwide on LNG tankers, none of which involved collision, fire, explosion or hull failure. For almost 40 years, a fully loaded LNG tanker has entered and left Japan every 24 hours without incident.

Opinion: Oil Spill Worse Than Exxon Valdez, Says Oceanographer

image The Gulf Coast spill will have eclipsed the Exxon Valdez in terms of total gallons of oil before the weekend is over — making it the largest oil spill in U.S. history, according to calculations made by oceanographer Ian MacDonald after studying aerial Coast Guard photos taken earlier in the week.

MacDonald, a professor at Florida State University who counts “oil and gas development” among his areas of expertise, stopped short of comparing the Deepwater Horizon spill to that of the Alaskan oil tanker, but said Saturday, “The spill is growing. I’m comfortable saying that the size and extent of this slick is 10 million gallons.”

imageThe Simon Bolivar – 270 feet; built Bilbao, Spain as Cadet Ship for Venezuelan Navy

OpSail 2012 Launched During Senate image Reception

BYM Maritime – Operation Sail (OpSail) and the United States Navy hosted a kick-off reception, sponsored by Senator Chris Dodd of CT, in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building, announcing their partnership for the 2012 bicentennial celebrations to commemorate the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ and The War of 1812 in port cities along the East Coast.

“OpSail provides us with a unique opportunity to examine a significant aspect of our own history.  Over the years, OpSail has celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the centennial of the Statue of Liberty, the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s landing in America, and the dawning of a new millennium,” said Dodd. “This year, we will once again celebrate the courage of our sailors and the majesty of our naval fleet, sharing memories with our families and children as we watch these majestic tall ships.”

Oslo Lifeline for Maritime Players

The Norwegian government has unveiled a series of initiatives today to support the country’s ailing shipyards and maritime equipment suppliers.

Measures include a Nkr10 billion ($1.7 billion) increase in loan guarantees, a Nkr175 million boost in government research grants, including Nkr50 million to the Norwegian Research Council’s Demo 2000 petroleum technology development programme, and a Nkr25 million grant to five new industry incubators.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called the initiative “a comprehensive and good package” that will contribute to the competitive development of the country’s shipbuilding and maritime industry. “Action now can prove decisive to ensure that Norway maintains its position as a leading maritime and offshore supplier internationally,” he added.

Panama Canal Freezes Tolls

The Panama Canal Authority will forego the toll increases scheduled to take effect May 1 and keep tolls at the level of the last increase in 2009.

BREAK BULK – The canal authority decided to freeze tolls at the current level and adjust its pricing structure in response to concerted pleas from the shipping industry for relief from toll increases at a time many carriers are still reporting losses.

Papua New Guinea’s New Sea Training  School

imageFor the first in many years, PNG now has a new sea training school aimed at filling an important gap in the maritime industry. It’s a small start at this stage but the country’s first private sea training school: the Pacific Maritime Training College (PMTC) is managed by former professional mariners having a strong passionate vision of training educated men and women as skilled seafarer deck ratings to serve our maritime shipping industry.

imageThe world’s largest and newest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. returned to a first-quarter profit Wednesday, April 28, 2010, as more travelers vacationed on its ships and spent more money when they did.

Royal Caribbean Returns to Profit as Revenue Rises

CHICAGO / Associated Press Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. returned to a first-quarter profit as more travelers vacationed on its ships and spent more money when they did, the cruise line owner said Wednesday.

The company that owns Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruise lines earned $87.5 million, or 40 cents per share, during the three-month period that ended on March 31. That figure includes a 39-cent gain from a legal settlement. Excluding that benefit, Royal Caribbean earned a penny per share – far better than last year’s loss of $36.2 million, or 17 cents per share.

Seven Hours and 77 Kilometres on the Panama Canal

image When I asked the captain of Holland America’s Zuiderdam to describe the Panama Canal, he said to “think of it as a real-life Disney Jungle Cruise.”

By Phil Reimer, Vancouver Sun – “Seriously, from our point of view, it’s similar to docking ship, only you’re doing it for seven hours,” said Capt. Christopher Turner when asked about the difficulty of the transit.

I was able to see the entire process first-hand after I was invited to the bridge to witness the canal voyage. Words like “engineering marvel” and “largest” and “most difficult to build” are frequently used when describing the Panama Canal, and few who have journeyed its length would disagree with any of them.

Sokcho Sees Trade with N.Korea Continue Despite Tensions

Amidst escalating tensions between the two Koreas after the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan and the arrest of two North Korean would-be assassins, North Korean ships continue to frequent Sokcho Port on the east coast almost daily. Fishery products imported from North Korea amount to a monthly average of 700 tons.

North Korean ships were granted right to freely use South Korean ports on the east coast under an inter-Korean agreement on sea transportation adopted in May 2004 and made effective in August 2005. Under the agreement, they are entitled to the same treatment as South Korean ships.

Spain: New Container Terminal Opens in Algeciras Port on Tuesday

The Korean multinational, Hanjin Shipping, opens its new terminal in Algeciras Port in Cádiz on Tuesday.

It represents an investment of 189 million € and means that the port can now handle 1.5 million of the TEU standard six metre size containers. Danish container company Maersk has notwithstanding said it will be diverting some of its business across the Strait to the new terminal in Tangiers, given that processing in the city is some 20 € per container cheaper, but that is likely to be more than compensated for by the new terminal.

SS Sultana Explosion and Fire Anniversary – image April 27, 1865

US Coast Guard Prevention Blog – 145 years ago today, the United States experienced its most significant marine casualty in terms of lives lost. On that day the steamship Sultana exploded and caught fire. An estimated 1,700 of the approximately 2,400 passengers and crew died after one of the ship’s boilers exploded.

The vessel had a certificated capacity of 376. The ship had just left Vicksburg en route St. Louis. She was carrying numerous Union Army veterans home, many recently released from Confederate prisons. The Sultana was severely overcrowded, and many of her passengers had been weakened by their incarceration and associated illnesses.

Subsequently, inspection standards for steamboats were strengthened and the Steamboat Inspection Service was created in 1871. Sometimes it is good to remember just how far we have come in marine safety.

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Submariners Say They’ll Adapt to Women, No Smoking on Board

Submariners pride themselves as being the most adaptable men in uniform.

There’s good reason.

A submarine like the Newport News is no ordinary weapons platform. It is a floating nuclear reactor, armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles and MK-48 ADCAP torpedoes. It can spend months at a time underwater, venturing silently and undetected deep into hostile waters to gather intelligence, attack surface ships and other subs, and deploy special forces.

There are miles of pipes and cables and wires. There are thousands of knobs and buttons and controls. Dozens of screens for some of the world’s most sensitive and secret sonar and communications equipment…

Sustainable Transport for the Cement Industry

image Cement is an essential building material, crucial to us all. Yet the high amount of energy and CO2 produced in manufacturing and transporting cement, means the industry must take steps to reduce the impact on the environment. Transportation is a key area where emissions can be reduced, through intermodal strategies for distribution.

InBulk’s ISO-Veyors are an intermodal solution that saves time and money in the transportation, storage and distribution of cement and other Dry Bulk cargoes, providing an economical platform for sustainable development in the cement industry.

ISO-Veyors are discharged by standard 2-barg air supply from the horizontal position, without the need for tipping. They can be used in conjunction with a variety of intermodal infrastructure commonly used for box containers, including Intermodal Villages, Rail ports, Reach Stackers, SLTs and Cranes, trailers and railwagons.

Top 10 Worst Oil Spills

The oil gushing from the well where the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank is now spreading through the Gulf of Mexico. Oil spills can kill wildlife, pollute the air and water, and alter the ecosystem for years to come.  Here are some of the worst oil spills in history:

10. The Odyssey: 132,000 tons

In November 1988, the American-owned oil tanker Odyssey split in two 700 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. The tanker spewed about 132,000 tons of crude oil into the sea and caught fire as it sank, setting the spill aflame. Because of hazardous weather conditions, the Canadian Coast Guard could not immediately reach the spill, and much of the oil burned.

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USNS Mercy to Set Sail for Pacific Partnership 2010

The Naval hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) will deploy from San Diego May 1, kicking off Pacific Partnership 2010.

SAN DIEGO — The fifth in a series of annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civic assistance endeavors, Pacific Partnership 2010 is aimed at strengthening regional relationships with host nations and partner nations.   (see photo full size)

Whaling Commission Proposal Would Allow Hunting with Annual Quotas

image Yale Environment 360 – The International Whaling Commission has unveiled a proposal that would authorize commercial whaling for the first time in 25 years in exchange for strict quotas, a plan its leaders hope will satisfy opponents of whaling and the nations that still hunt whales.

The plan would allow Japan, Norway, and Iceland — which have continued to hunt despite an international moratorium passed in 1986 — to hunt whales for 10 years and would impose specific annual catch limits on various species, including a quota of 69 bowhead whales, 145 grey whales, 14 humpbacks, and 109 fin whales.

Wounded Coal Carrier Heading to Hervey Bay

image Damaged Chinese coal carrier the Shen Neng One, which is anchored off Gladstone in central Queensland, is set to be moved further south along the coast to Hervey Bay.

It is anchored off Gladstone because dangerous weather has made it impossible to bring it into port. Maritime Safety Queensland says most of the oil on board the ship has been removed.

WTF of the Week: Noah’s Ark Found? Not So  Fast…

imageWeb sites are buzzing over claims that remains from Noah’s Ark may have been found on Turkey’s Mount Ararat.

MSNBC – The finders, led by an evangelical group, say they are “99.9 percent” that a wooden structure found on the mountainside was part of a ship that housed the Biblical Noah, his family and a menagerie of creatures during a giant flood 4,800 years ago.

Researchers who have spent decades studying the region – and fending off past claims of ark discoveries – caution that a boatload of skepticism is in order.

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EPA website: Federal Response to BP Spill in the Gulf of Mexico »

imageThis site is an online resource for anyone seeking information on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It is intended to track EPA’s ongoing work in the area and help answer questions about the incident. We will continue to update as information becomes available.

Follow Administrator Jackson’s account of the response to the oil spill on Facebook and Twitter.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): The Joint Information Center on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has set up toll-free phone numbers for oil-related information. To report oiled or injured wildlife resulting from the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, call 800-557-1401. To report oil on land, or for general community and volunteer information, call 866-448-5816.

*keep current: subscribe to the gCaptain Forum  Thread: Transocean Deepwater Horizon is on Fire »

New thread: Effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on the industry? »

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