Monday, October 30

Maritime Monday 31

Welcome to the 31st edition of Maritime Monday.

As always, feel free to submit an entry for next week's edition via the Carnival Submit form at Carnival Cat.

Comments are always welcome and encouraged. However, don't post ads for your wonderful products of services in the comment's. If you think it's newsworthy, send it as a submission. If it is an advertisement, then consider sponsoring a Maritime Monday. The cost is $100 for a permanent ad. Sure it's expensive. I could lower the price, but then each ad would be surrounded by 50 others and nobody would read any of it.

This Weeks Photos:
What do you do when your car carrier is too small? You elongate it, of course. At least that is what Wallenius Marine has been doing:

The new mid section for M/S MIGNON has been launched and is floating, moored, alongside the quay where the last adjustments and installations are being made.

The M/S MIGNON is cut in two. (Then refloated to pull the two pieces apart and squeeze in the new midsection.)

M/S ELEKTRA well under way - The elongation of the second vessel has already come a long way. The new section is in place but cables and piping need to be reinstalled.

More images are located at Wallenius Marine's Image Bank and Elongation Project pages.

This weeks items:

Eagle Speak has coverage of what happens when you get too close to a US Navy warship.

Sailors, Mariners & Warriors League has news of Hong Kong detaining the North Korean flagged KANG NAM 1 here and the KANG NAM 5 here as both vessels failed Port State inspections. Neither was the North Korean vessel of interest, which also happened to stop in Hong Kong for fuel. (Guess they didn't have a copy of the BIMCO Guide noted below.)

American Thinker has discussion of plans to build a tunnel from Africa to Spain.

The MarEx Newsletter has the must-read (for seafarers) "BIMCO US Port State Control Guide for Mariners."

The Stupid Shall be Punished has video of a submarine diving.

Diesel Duck has coverage of the expanding effects of a seafarer shortage, now causing a shortage of marine surveyors.

Marine Link has the Shipping Association of Canada's call for a new strategy for Canadian shipyards..

ABC News Australia has news of Japan finally being held accountable for taking about 100,000 tons over it's allotted quota of 6,000 tons of Southern Bluefin Tuna EVERY YEAR for the LAST 20 YEARS. That comes out to about $6 billion in overfishing and is now being blamed as the sole reason why the species has not recovered.

Educated Guesswork
has a summary of the story of shipping container standardization.

Marine Log has coverage of the GAO report on the declining condition of some US Coast Guard vessels.

Long Island blog covers the founding of the insurance industry, which can be traced back to marine insurance.

Investor's Business Daily notes that it was not ethanol that made Brazil energy independent, but offshore oil. (See my take on the ethanol myths first here and then here. In short, the US produces as much ethanol as Brazil and the two countries produce over two/thirds of global ethanol production.)

Cargo Law has photos of the accident in Montevideo resulting in 18 containers ending up in the harbor off the LEDA MAERSK.

Politics Central brings us "Ten Kilotons and the Port of Long Beach".

Strange, but I would have expected it to look worse.

Snarky Bastards, while not clearly a maritime post, provides good reading describing a recent fire alarm and how a Government Employee got in the way as he and others tried to evacuate from the 12 story building. It could have been worse, the person could have been on a ship and other might have depended on her to help save it. Sounds like they failed the fire drill. All the more reason why they should have a practice every week/month.

Google Sightseeing presents a ship's oilslick as seen from space. (I'm not so convinced. Google Earth does funny things with photos and the interface from land to sea. For example, is there really a fully loaded containership sunk alongside the dock at Port Elizabeth, NJ?)

Sun Microsystems answers questions about their Shipping container 'blackbox' datacenter and provides a video tour inside.

Mark 31 December on your calendar as the last day that 45' shipping containers will be permitted to move on roads within the European Union, unless their front edges are rounded off. This is in accordance with EU Directive 96/53/EC.

Haight's Maritime Items has:

GAO – challenges to implementation of TWIC - The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on key challenges that should be addressed before implementing the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The GAO recommends that, before implementing TWIC in the maritime sector, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) develop and test solutions to problems identified during testing and those raised by stakeholders in commenting on the TWIC proposed rule in order to ensure that key components of the program work effectively. The agency should also strengthen contract planning and oversight practices before awarding the TWIC implementation contract. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) concurs with many of the recommendations and is already taking steps to adopt some of them. GAO-06-982 (10/20/06).

Two short Excerpts from the GAO Report (page 5):

"In testing the TWIC program, TSA enrolled and issued TWIC cards to only about 1,700 workers, short of its goal of 75,000 workers. " (TWIC funding through 2006 totaled over $89 million, or $52,000 per issued TWIC card.)


"Few facilities that tested the TWIC program used biometric card readers that will be required when the program is implemented. As a result, TSA has obtained limited information on the operational effectiveness of biometric readers, particularly when individuals use these readers outdoors in the harsh maritime environment." (As mentioned in a previous post, most any convicted criminal can still work in harbor areas, including those convicted of serious felonies, so who are they really trying to keep out? The terror threat seems to come from the sea, and this technology will do nothing to stop that, especially considering that only US-Flag seafarers will be issue TWIC-compliant cards.)


EC – trade relations with China - The European Commission (EC) released a policy paper on EU-China trade and investment. It accepts fierce competition, so long as it is fair. Among other things, the paper points out that in Chinese shipbuilding new policies are emerging that appear to be based on a ‘China first approach’ in which local content requirements are imposed, contrary to the non-discriminatory principles of the WTO. (10/24/06).

Fairplay Daily News has:

Tampa (vessel) in trouble again - WELLINGTON 26 October – Wallenius Wilhelmsen's car carrier Tampa, which hit the headlines in 2001 after Captain Arne Rinnan rescued 434 asylum seekers from a sinking Indonesian boat heading for Australia, has been detained in a joint Australian/New Zealand anti-drug smuggling operation. The joint effort that started in June today resulted in the arrest in Australia of two men for conspiring to smuggle cocaine into Australian ports. A total 27kg of cocaine with a street value of about NZD9.45M ($6M) has been seized.

Smugglers used divers to attach canisters containing the drugs to the hulls of the Tampa and its sister ship Taronga. The first pod containing 18.3kg of cocaine was located and removed by NZC from the Tampa in Auckland in June. A second identical pod was found on the Taronga when it berthed in Auckland in September. On that occasion Customs substituted an inert substance for the drugs and reattached the pod as part of the surveillance operation that led to today’s arrests. The agency believes the drugs were destined for Australia. The two Wallenius Wilhelmsen vessels follow a UK/Europe/ECNA/South America/ NZ/Australia rotation. Australian Federal authorities have shut down the drug syndicate, based in New South Wales. NZC spokesman Paul Campbell said there was nothing to suggest any involvement by the company or crew. Australian officials were alerted to the operation by authorities overseas as hull inspection divers are not used by Australian Customs.


Boxship could stay grounded for weeks - LA ROCHELLE 26 October – The Panamanian ro-ro container ship Rokia Delmas, aground since Tuesday off the Ile de Ré on the French Atlantic Coast after a power blackout, is likely to remain aground for several weeks, according to the Atlantic Prefecture. Yesterday, the local authorities decided to cancel the intend refloating attempt after divers reported a 20m-long crack in the Rokia’s hull. "The hull has already suffered a lot so it is unwise to tow it at this stage, and in any case towing a vessel with such a crack would cause its immediate sinking", explained a spokesman from the prefecture. Priority is now given to pumping off the vessel’s 560t of bunker fuel. Pumping operations are due to start tomorrow after the authorities have installed a floating anti-pollution barrier around the ship. The prefecture reported that at present there is no pollution, but the risk of pollution during pumping operations could not be entirely excluded. Meanwhile, the French state has now ordered CMA CGM, the owner of the ship’s operator, Delmas, to take all appropriate steps to preserve the environment from possible pollution. Apart from its bunkers, the Rokia Delmas is reported to be carrying only harmless cargo, including empty containers, timber, cocoa, rubber and steel. - Fairplay web links

Lloyds List has:

Anger as master faces 10 years for quayside accident Company (News By Katrin Berkenkopf in Cologne) - Friday October 27 2006

A GERMAN master jailed in the US and awaiting sentence of up to 10 years after a quayside worker was killed in an accident has become the focus of growing industry anger over the criminalisation of seafarers. Wolfgang Schröder was guiding the 1,150 teu Zim Mexico III on March 2 this year out of the port of Mobile, Alabama, when the bowthruster failed. The vessel, which is owned by Hamburg’s Rickmers Reederei and was chartered out to Zim at the time, hit a gantry crane onshore, causing it to collapse on an electrician who later died. The master was arrested when the ship called at Houston. Capt Schröder was charged with criminal misconduct and denied release on bail. In October he was found guilty by a Alabama jury.

The sentence, which could be up to 10 years, is expected to be given by February at the latest. “We are shocked and furious,” said Jürgen Stolle of the Hamburg association of masters and officers. “Such cases are causing considerable anxiety, in particular among the young generation, which is unnerved.”

Although the issue of criminalisation was not restricted to the US, the situation there was particular due to its special jurisdiction, he said. In the latest case, the prosecutor said the master should have paid more attention to the fact that the bowthruster had already failed on two previous occasions. A pilot, who was on board at the time of the accident, told the court that he was not told about these earlier problems. Capt Stolle pointed out that “maintenance and repair are first of all a responsibility of owners, rather than of masters”. Members of the Council of American Master Mariners warned in an internet forum that the case was “a dangerous precedent to have on the law books”. “It could aversely affect our own people whenever an accident occurs due to a mechanical failure.” Although it would not comment on the order of events, Rickmers Reederei said that “as to the question of guilt, we have a different opinion to the majority of the jury in Alabama”.

A spokesman said the company had offered all the support it could to the master. He said financial issues have been settled. Relatives of the dead worker agreed to compensation payments. “With regard to financial losses for the port, the usual P&I procedures have taken place.” Earlier demands by the port authority that the ship be arrested and sold in order to receive damages have thus not materialised. The ship, which was built in 1993 in Szczecin, has been handed back by Zim, as the charter expired, and is now trading as Peter Rickmers.

- The Stralsund public prosecutor in northern Germany has opened investigations over constraint and unlawful detention against the master of a passenger ship who was involved in a dispute with Polish customs guards last week. When three plain clothes Polish customs officers boarded the ship at a Polish harbour, the master decided to head back for Germany with the men still on board.. Lloydslist

Finally, a bad day in the shark cage:

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