Thursday, March 29

Iran's Other Hostages

Hostage-taking is part of the Iranian Government's culture. The current Government, born out of the Iranian Revolution, started with the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran, taking 66 Americans hostage. The most recent incident is the capture of 15 Royal Navy Sailors and Marines while they were operating under a UN Mandate in Iraqi Waters. They pulled a similar stunt in 2004.

There is another mostly unknown case from 2005, that was only just recently resolved. German Donald Klein chartered a fishing boat captained by Frenchman Stephane Lherbier out of Dubai in the United Arab Emerates. They were captured by an island, Abu Musa, that is claimed by both Iran and the UAE, although Iran currently occupies the island.

The two on the boat were accused of fishing in Iranian waters. The French skipper Stephane Lherbier was released earlier this year. Mr. Klein was just released this month after serving 15 months in an Iranian prison of an 18 month sentence. Not to give the impression that the Iranians were totally heartless in this matter, they did offer the German Government a way to end the issue:

"Germany has on repeated occasions tried to free Klein, with German President Horst Koehler intervening unsuccessfully. Iranian diplomats have recently hinted that a release of an Iranian agent in German custody would help Klein's case. However, it is unclear whether Berlin has accepted that deal; observers say such a move is highly unlikely." - UPI

Nice guys right? I can understand detaining people illegally in your country, but then releasing them, especially when the act is clearly unintentional. (Imagine the international outcry if the US put everyone who illegally crossed into the US in jail!) After all, it is not like they were caught along the coast with spy gear or anything. Then again, according to Willisms, Iran has placed silkworm missiles on the island, which is something that a person fishing off the coast might spot. And why would Iran not place weapons on the island, since it is in a perfect position in the middle of the Gulf.

As you can see, the international Shipping Lanes go right through Iranian Waters. All vessels have the right to transit through the shipping lanes under the right of innocent passage.

Innocent passage is a concept in Admiralty law which allows for a vessel to pass through the territorial waters of another state subject to certain restrictions. The United States Department of Defense defines innocent passage as:

"The right of all ships to engage in continuous and expeditious surface passage through the territorial sea and archipelagic waters of foreign coastal states in a manner not prejudicial to its peace, good order, or security. Passage includes stopping and anchoring, but only if incidental to ordinary navigation or necessary by force majeure or distress, or for the purpose of rendering assistance to persons, ships, or aircraft in danger or distress." - Wikipedia

This works fine, provided that the 'Coastal State' acts in good faith. This is surely not the case with Iran. Also, the shipping lanes provide Iran with no shortage of targets that they can pick and choose from and when they strike, they can claim that the vessel was actually spying and in violation of the right to innocent passage. It does not matter that it is a lie, as in the current UK hostage situation, since they would be holding the vessel and crew, and have assumed that the UK will not resort to force.

Not happy to have control of the Northern and mid Gulf, Iran has taken the southern half of the Strait of Hormuz, which belongs to Oman:

One of the key developments that has absorbed Washington’s attention deeply, and resulted in the very significant personal involvement of Vice President Dick Cheney, was the fact that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have invaded and seized almost all meaningful control of the strategic Masandam Peninsula in Oman - a peninsula that covers the Southern mouth of the Straight of Hormuz. (Note: See map above) Occupying this peninsula solidifies Iran’s complete control of the straight. The Northern chokepoint has long been Iran’s; the Southern chokepoint has long been Oman’s. They are now both Iran’s. - Pat Dollard (As found from this Eagle Speak Post)

Kidnapping crews of vessels (and pleasure craft) is a huge threat, and Iran has a history of kidnapping people. This post provides one more example. I wonder how many more hostages Iran is holding that we are not aware of.

And now that they have increased their 'footprint' to cover both halves of the entrance to the Persian Gulf by taking Omanian territory hostage, giving them a free operating area to catch anyone of interest entering and leaving the Gulf, making sure that they will not target anyone who might actually retaliate. (For now.)

When will the Global community stop giving Iran a free pass for their belligerent behavior? The fact that Germany was part of the EU3 negotiating with Iran over Iran's nuclear program and they were not able to free this poor German through the normal course of negotiations does not bode well for any peaceful conclusion to whatever Iran has planned, nuclear or otherwise.

Tuesday, March 27

Stockbrokers Caught Abusing Client's Money - Jan 2007

Here are some excerpts from the NASD January, 2007 Disciplinary Actions Report where stockbrokers were either taking liberties with their client's accounts without permission or borrowing/stealing their client's money.

The total amount of money misused/stolen from investors listed below is $1,178,307.25. (Some entries do not list the amount taken.)

Individuals Barred or Suspended

Mustapha Youssef Aljaroudi (CRD #3274506, Registered Representative, Miami, Florida) submitted an Offer of Settlement in which he was barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the allegations, Aljaroudi consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he engaged in a pattern of misconduct that included falsification of essential public customer information on a new account opening form and a sale of stock in a customer’s account without the customer’s knowledge, authorization or consent. The findings stated that Aljaroudi converted customer funds, in that he received a customer’s check from a clearing firm, endorsed the check without the customer’s knowledge, authorization or consent, and deposited the check into his personal bank account without repaying the customer or accounting for the funds. (NASD Case #2005001185301)

Kathy Lynn Gallagher (CRD #2189903, Associated Person, Pocatello, Idaho) submitted an Offer of Settlement in which she was barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the allegations, Gallagher consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that she misused $218,558.00 of public customers’ funds intended to be invested on the customers’ behalf, and rather than depositing the funds into the customers’ accounts as instructed, Gallagher caused the funds to be deposited into a bank account she controlled without the customers’ knowledge, authorization or consent. The findings stated that Gallagher forged, or caused to be forged, a registered representative and public customers’ signatures on Investment Distribution Forms, causing funds to be wired from the customers’ accounts to accounts under her control without the customers’ knowledge or authorization to conceal her misuse of funds. The findings also stated that Gallagher falsified books and records, and forged documents and customers’ signatures in order to conceal her misuse. (NASD Case #2005000863701)

Elliott Matthew Glover (CRD #4476082, Registered Representative, New Castle, Delaware) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Glover consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he converted $119,000 of public customers’ funds by diverting proceeds from loans that customers had received from a bank. (NASD Case #2006004847801)

Jo Anne Jean Goulet (CRD #4768440, Associated Person, Ludlow, Massachusetts) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which she was barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Goulet consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that she withdrew a total of $116,000 from a public customer’s fixed annuity by systematically withdrawing amounts under $10,000 without the customer’s knowledge, authorization or consent. The findings stated that Goulet deposited the funds into her personal bank account, thereby converting the funds for her own use and benefit. The findings also stated that, as a result of the unauthorized liquidations, the customer incurred $6,500 in surrender fees and suffered adverse tax consequences. (NASD Case #2006004750801)

Kyle Jay Keesling (CRD #1911150, Registered Principal, Simpsonville, South Carolina) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Keesling consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he obtained $112,629.88 from public customers for investment purposes and converted these funds to his own use and benefit. The findings stated that, in an attempt to conceal his conversion of funds, Keesling provided some of the customers with falsified statements showing that their funds had been invested when they had not. (NASD Case #2006004831801)

George Ellis Brown McMahon III (CRD #3055065, Registered Representative, Waldorf, Maryland) was barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity. The sanction was based on findings that McMahon instructed a public customer to sign checks totaling $3,600 and make them payable to him for investment purpose. The findings stated that contrary to McMahon’s representation, he did not invest the funds for the customer’s benefit, but cashed the checks and misused the customer’s funds. The findings also stated that McMahon failed to respond to NASD requests for information. (NASD Case #2005003051001)

Christopher Lincoln O’Connell (CRD #2153507, Registered Representative, Topsfield, Massachusetts) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, O’Connell consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he received a $3,140.16 check from a public customer to purchase a disability insurance policy, deposited the check in his personal bank account and misappropriated the proceeds for his own use and benefit. (NASD Case #2006005048501)

Joseph Peter Orozco (CRD #1019164, Registered Representative, Burbank, California) submitted an Offer of Settlement in which he was barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the allegations, Orozco consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he received a $471,280.09 check from public customers to be invested, but instead, he retained possession of the check and falsely represented to the customers that it had been deposited and the securities had been purchased. The findings stated that Orozco submitted written reports to his member firm that stated that he had not received any customer correspondence, even though he had received letters from his customers inquiring about the status of their accounts. The findings also stated that Orozco made false statements to public customers regarding the check and the securities. The findings also included that Orozco failed to complete an NASD on-the-record interview and provide requested testimony. (NASD Case #C0220040045/E0220030808)

Brian L. Pauley (CRD #4253361, Registered Representative, Olmsted Falls, Ohio) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Pauley consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he withdrew $95,000 from a deceased public customer’s checking and savings accounts, transferred the funds to newly created bank accounts and moved $65,000 from the new accounts to an investment account in his name, thereby improperly using the customer’s funds. (NASD Case #2006004940901)

Michael Brent Peterson (CRD #4611211, Registered Representative, Oxford, Wisconsin) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Peterson consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he misappropriated a public customer’s funds by signing her name on documentation directing distribution of her fixed annuities without her knowledge and consent. The findings stated that Peterson deposited the customer’s distribution checks into her checking account at the bank where he was employed, and wrongfully used his authority as an officer of the bank to withdraw funds from her account and deposit them into his personal bank account at another bank, thereby converting the funds to his own use. The findings also stated that Peterson failed to respond to NASD requests for information. (NASD Case #2005003168601)

Scott Thomas Powers (CRD #2255877, Registered Representative, Danvers, Massachusetts) was barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity. The sanction was based on findings that Powers accepted $25,000 from a public customer for investment purposes and deposited the funds into a bank account, but failed to use the funds for the customer’s benefit. The findings also stated that Powers failed to respond to NASD requests for information. (NASD Case #2005002808001)

Peter Rhee (CRD #2964890, Registered Representative, Garfield, New Jersey) was barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity. The sanction was based on findings that Rhee effected transactions in public customers’ account without the customers’ authorization or consent. The findings also stated that Rhee failed to respond to NASD requests for information and documentation and failed to appear for an NASD on-the-record interview. (NASD Case #E9B2004049101)

Complaints Filed (NASD issued the following complaints. Issuance of a disciplinary complaint represents NASD’s initiation of a formal proceeding in which findings as to the allegations in the complaint have not been made, and does not represent a decision as to any of the allegations contained in the complaint. Because these complaints are unadjudicated, you may wish to contact the respondents before drawing any conclusions regarding the allegations in the complaint.)

Jose Hernandez (CRD #1976668, Registered Representative, Cary, Illinois) was named as a respondent in an NASD complaint alleging that he converted or misused $4,100 from a public customer that was intended for the purchase of securities, and used the funds for personal expenses and not for the customer’s benefit. The complaint alleges that Hernandez created false account statements that purportedly showed that the customer owned securities to conceal from the customer that the money was not used to purchase securities. The complaint also alleges that Hernandez failed to respond to NASD requests for information. (NASD Case #2005001945401)

Christopher David Solomon (CRD #4470012, Registered Representative, Treasure Island, Florida) was named as a respondent in an NASD complaint alleging that he engaged in an outside business activity and failed to provide written notice to his member firm. The complaint alleges that Solomon received $8,000 from a public customer for investment purposes, deposited the funds into a bank account he controlled but failed to transmit the funds from the bank account for the intended investment, thereby converting the customer’s funds. The complaint also alleges that Solomon provided the customer with a false account statement in order to convince him that the investment had been made when, in fact, there was no such investment. In addition, the complaint alleges that Solomon failed to respond to NASD requests for information. (NASD Case #2006005220901)

Richard Adam Thayer (CRD #4123272, Registered Representative, St. Clair Shores, Michigan) was named as a respondent in an NASD complaint alleging that he withdrew $2,000 from a public customer’s bank account without the customer’s knowledge or consent, and used the funds for his personal use or for some purpose other than the customer’s benefit. The complaint alleges that Thayer converted funds from other customers, without their knowledge or consent, to cover up his use of the first customer’s funds. The complaint further alleges that Thayer failed to respond to NASD requests for information. (NASD Case #2006005175401)

Now it is not just brokers who are helping themselves to your cash. The brokerage houses, while not 'stealing' your money, apparently are borrowing it without properly compensating their customers:

The phrase "cash sweep" may sound like a cleaning crew gathering loose change. But on Wall Street, the top brokerage firms are increasingly turning cash sweeps into gold.

The blue-chip securities firms are reaping bigger profits from a few simple changes to how investors' idle cash balances are treated. And most investors either don't notice or don't care that Wall Street's gains are coming at their expense as brokers turn around and reinvest the money for their own benefit at a higher rate.

• The Situation: Wall Street brokers are making more money from the cash sitting in customer accounts.

• The Context: Most customers barely notice they are receiving a low interest rate while the brokerage is making a profit reinvesting their money.

• Bottom Line: In the past year the trend has accelerated despite red flags from market regulators.

WSJ's Randall Smith discusses "cash sweeping," a growing trend despite red flags from market regulators.

Merrill Lynch & Co., which pioneered such tactics starting in 2000, is expected to report next week that its profits derived mainly from reinvesting customers' cash will top $2 billion for 2006, up from $1.3 billion two years ago.

Last year Morgan Stanley ramped up the same strategy of "sweeping" client cash to insured bank deposits, which pay rates as low as 1.25% on the smallest accounts. And the Smith Barney unit of Citigroup Inc. in September also began paying rates as low as 1.51% for cash in smaller accounts.

Smith Barney had considered such moves earlier, but hesitated because its former chief executive, Sallie Krawcheck, who led the firm between 2002 and 2004, raised questions about whether such "tiering" tactics could hurt customers, according to people at Citigroup. This year the firm decided it couldn't afford to pass up the profits and risk being left at a competitive disadvantage, other people said.

In a statement, Smith Barney said it shifted "to a relationship-based offering" that included "clear and abundant client disclosure." The firm said it offers rates "among the most competitive in the industry," and clients have "ample" alternatives.

Regulators at the New York Stock Exchange warned firms and investors in 2005 that such programs risked being instituted "without fully appropriate levels of disclosure or customer consent."

Bank deposits are more profitable for Wall Street because they can be reinvested at profits of roughly three to four times the fees on money funds.

But the bank deposits where the money is swept all pay less than 2% annually for the smallest accounts, far below current money fund rates of 4.72%, where Wall Street firms could put clients' idle cash. -

Read the whole story.

NASD Monthly Disciplinary Actions 2007

How Wall Street Sweeps' the Cash -

Monday, March 26

Maritime Monday 52

Welcome to this week's edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 2 here.

UPDATE: Senator John McCain will be the keynote speaker at the graduation of the US Merchant Marine Academy's Class of 2007 on June 18th.

This Weeks Photos:
These are photos of the Ceres Paragon Terminal.

Take a look at this first photo. The interesting part is that they are working at least three adjacent hatches.

To be able to do this, they had to put container cranes on both sides of the vessel. You see, the cranes are wider than the hatches, in order to permit the containers as well as hatch covers and oversized cargo to pass through the crane's legs. This means that in general, you must have one hatch separation between working hatches.

Since you are paying your longshoremen by the hour, you want to make sure that when a crane is finished with a hatch, that you can move the crane to the next hatch to be worked. This is where it comes in handy to have a good stow and discharge plan. (And no, it's not helpful to have a classmate from school in the previous port (Houston) tossing the last 20-30 containers wherever the cranes happen to be at the end of cargo operations just to keep his productivity numbers up. When Chief Mate's first question when you board is "Do you know xxxx xxxx? That guy is a real assxxxx." You know its not going to be a good day.)
An additional benefit of using terminal space on both sides of the vessel is that you reduce traffic alongside the vessel which can also benefit production.

More photos of the terminal can be found here.

This terminal is located in the Port of Amsterdam. As you all know, the big container port in the Netherlands is Rotterdam. This has been a problem for the terminal in getting business, as can be seen by the bottom photo, which is clearly nowhere near capacity.

Ceres Paragon Terminal Homepage.

Ceres is owned by NYK.

This Weeks Items:

Eagle Speak has a last minute delay to what should have been the first day of enrollment for Transportation Worker Identity Cards (TWIC) at the Port of Wilmington, Delaware. Not surprising at all really. There was US Senate testimony given in May, 2006 about TWIC Problems as observed in the Port of Wilmington. Check out Maritime Monday 10 for a summary as reported back then.

Sailors, Mariners & Warriors League has the sinking of the M/V UNICORN ACE in the Philippines.

The Peninsula (Qatar) has an eyewitness account of the kidnapping of 15 British Naval Sailors and Marines noting that the vessel that they had just inspected was anchored in Iraqi waters and it was the Iranians who went into Iraqi Territory to capture them. The Independent (UK) has coverage of what appears to be a failure of UK forces to adjust protection levels after being warned by the US of possible retaliation by Iran for the capture of Iranians in Iraq. This incident is bad enough in itself, but combined with the message the US House of Representatives just sent last week pushing to hobble the US Military in the Middle East is hardly going to do anything but encourage Iran to target the US and UK. (Keep in mind that US cargo ships transit in the shipping lanes off the Iranian Coast and could be seized and charged with spying just as easily as just happened to the British.)

UPDATE: EU Referendum has analysis and questions over how the kidnapping of the British boarding team might happened, noting that the Royal Navy has only one Frigate in the area, making it basically impossible to have a larger military asset watch the backs of all their small boats. (With photos for illustration.) So who was watching their backs?

The Stupid Shall Be Punished has some details concerning the possible cause of an explosion on the HMS TIRELESS while under the Arctic ice.

Daily News (Sri Lanka) has a serious look at the terror threat to India's vast coastline.

Tim at Tims Times signs off his ship in Sweden and gets reacquainted with life ashore. Be sure to take a look into his archives here where he gives you a little insight into sailors.

The Japan Times has suspected smuggled clams in violation of sanctions against North Korea.

The Hamilton Spectator has a story on the Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker GRIFFON in Lake Erie.

Scandinavian Shipping Gazette has Ice Navigation.

Victoria News has a story about British Columbia, Canada pilots.

Forbes has Waleed Mohammed bin Attash's confession to Planning the USS COLE bombing. That should be enough for a military tribunal to convict and sentence him to death, preferably by hanging. That is what General George Washington would have had done to him.

The Globe and Mail has one year after the sinking of the QUEEN OF THE NORTH ferry in Canada.

Marex Newsletter has coverage of the Panama Canal expansion.

The North Devon Gazette (United Kingdom) has the Ilfracombe Sea Cadet unit's desperate need for a new commanding officer, instructors and volunteers.

Cargo Law has the vessel named TITAN URANUS. (You are either going to understand this one or your not. If you need help, say the name out loud. If you still don't get it, say it out loud to others around you.)

The Pilot Boat has 'Visual Aids to Navigation'.

Fogonazos has coverage including video of the research platform R/P FLIP, "the only ship in the world having the ability to flip from a horizontal position to a vertical position while at sea".

Navy Newsstand has video of the new USS MONITOR Exhibit at the Mariners Museum in Hampton Roads, Va.

Saanich News has the news that the Canadian navy frigate HMCS WINNIPEG was one of the vessels targeted by USS BENFOLD sailor Hassan Abujihaad (Note: Abu - Jihad). has some of the emails he sent from his own US Navy email address while onboard the vessel as well as an email describing the task force's mission and weaknesses in defense. General Washington would have had him hanged as well. We are extremely lucky that he did not try to sabotage the vessel from within.

Haight's Maritime Items has:

Tanker company sentenced – whistleblowers rewarded - The US Department of Justice issued a news release stating that a tanker company was sentenced, in accordance with its guilty plea, to pay $27 million for discharge of oily waste water, conspiracy, false statements, and obstruction of justice. In addition, the company will be on probation for three years and must institute a court-monitored environmental compliance program. In approving the sentence, the court authorized awards of $437,500 each to twelve current and former company employees for their role in disclosing the offenses. (3/21/07). - Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News has:

ABS chief angered by order frenzy - STAMFORD - 20 March – American Bureau of Shipping president Christopher Wiernicki has chastised shipowners for what he termed choosing "short-term parochial interests" over the industry’s pressing image problem. Speaking to the Connecticut Maritime Association yesterday, Wiernicki noted that IACS members spent four years and tens of millions of dollars developing common structural rules (CSR) for tankers and bulker carriers. But just before CSR took effect from 1 April 2006, there was a “frenzied period of ordering by shipowners rushing to beat implementation”. As Wiernicki put it: “Let’s get this straight: the industry repeatedly complained that existing rules did not deliver sufficiently robust ships and governments were expressing concerns about structural adequacy and so shipowners rushed out to order a fleet of ships that will be with us for the next 25 years or more. Where’s the credibility? Where’s the leadership?” The same “rush to order” mentality arose just prior to the deadline for new ballast coating requirements adopted as part of CSR in December 2006, he added. An opportunity was lost to build respect and credibility with regulators, he lamented. "This industry sent a very clear message to the IMO and the bureaucrats in Brussels and the legislators in Washington that it's incapable of effective self-regulation." - Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


Bishop blasts poaching culture - STAMFORD - 22 March - Rampant poaching continues to exacerbate the growing shortfall of qualified officers, the Connecticut Maritime Association was told yesterday. Bob Bishop, chief executive of ship manager V.Ships, hit out at operators who are just paying officers a few thousand more. As a result of such poaching, some officers will be "earning more than the presidents and prime ministers of their countries," said Bishop, meaning that "they don't need to stay at sea as long and can retire ashore and afford to buy a hotel, so they're lost to the industry forever." V.Ships' goal is to increase its seafarer base from 23,500 to 60,000 by 2010 via significant increases in recruitment centres and other measures. "China may have a lot of people, but there's a language issue and when someone in China does learn English, they can do very well in Shanghai and don't need to work at sea." America is showing more promise because "the increasing unification in the cost of seafarers worldwide is opening up the possibility of greater utilisation of US seafarers". - Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)

Sounds like Mr. Bishop is a little pissed of that he can't pay seafarers peanuts for wages any longer. As for 'other measures', how about paying your seafarers more money (since the competitors "who are just paying officers a few thousand more.") One reason there is a shortage of seafarers is due to the implementation of the IMO's STCW 95 Convention which set global standards for the Training and Certification of Seafarers. This removed many unqualified/uncertified seafarers. What did not happen was any increase in the training of seafarers to make up for the loss. This combined with a reduced interest in going to sea in some traditional maritime states, such as the UK, is one reason why there has been recent news of deals to employ American Seafarers on foreign-Flag vessels. (The US still has a healthy maritime training infrastructure for both unlicensed and licensed Merchant Mariners.)
Of course, when given a choice and with all other things being equal, a sailor will choose a shipping company that treats it's sailors better. So this makes me wonder if V Ships has other seafarer issues that it needs to address other than low pay.

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Friday, March 23

Conservation Basics for Global Warming Carbon Rookies

Sure there are people out there looking to avoid any and all air travel, in what I think is a somewhat misguided (but good intentioned) attempt to limit their greenhouse gas emissions. Right to the point of looking at crossing the Atlantic by cargo ship. But, lets face it, that is not practical, and take it from me, the ship's crew regards every passenger a pest. (Keep in mind that air travel only contributes about 2% of all GHG.)

What is really missing here are some common sense ways that you can reduce your 'carbon footprint' without having to make sacrifices. After all, that is the basic problem, while you might be willing to limit your lifestyle for the good of the planet; most other people (Like former Vice President Al Gore) are really not going to do much if it impacts their current lifestyle. So here is a short list of basic things that are or are nearly sacrifice-free. Sure, your not saving much, but added up among millions of people conserving, and you will make an impact. And who knows, once you get in the habit of doing the simple things, the harder ones might be easier to accomplish, if needed:

Use a bank card/credit card whenever possible. - Using cash or checks requires the physical movement of cash and checks. Also by using electronic means of payment, the Government will not need to mint more money. With that in mind, carry some change with you, especially pennies so that you can limit or eliminate receiving any coinage as change for small cash purchases.

Pay Bills Online whenever Possible - Why send anything through the mail when you can pay bills electronically.

Subscribe for Electronic Statements only - If any of your accounts permits you, stop receiving paper copies of invoices and statements from bank accounts, credit cards, insurance, etc. - Added 26 March

Fly Direct Whenever Possible - There are two different theories to routing air travel, direct and hub-and-spoke. Hub and spoke using bases to consolidate travelers and then move them on a larger plane to another hub, where passengers are flown to their final destinations. Of course direct is either a single or least number of flights to get you point to point. The new Airbus A380 is betting on the Hub and Spoke transport method and Boeing's 787 is betting on point to point transportation. Either way, both new planes are going to be much better for the environment that what is currently in the air. That is technology working for you.

Do not buy Tax Free Items - Never, ever buy tax-free items on the plane. It is idiotic to have goods adding non-essential weight to an airplane, that could be better used carrying cargo or additional passengers. Most of those goods are already available in stores at home.

Use the most economical shipping options when ordering online - Do not use next day shipping. It will be shipped by air, which is the worse option for the environment. You only need to plan in advance if you want something.

Do not subscribe to catalogs, magazines and newspapers - They are wasteful uses of paper and even recycling them uses energy and emits greenhouse gasses.

Do not print unless absolutely needed - Printing of course uses paper and often the printed item is read once and then tossed away.

Look where the Product was Made - You don't need to buy American (Or wherever you happen to be located) for Patriotic reasons. You can do it for the Environment. Buying locally made products has a number of benefits; encourages local employment, and reduces the transportation demands to get the product from the manufacturer to the market. In addition, you can support products that are manufactured with due regard to the Environment. Not only does it take more energy to transport products from China, but also the factory in China may pollute more than a factory in the US, not to mention the plant that generated the electricity. Despite neither country being held to the Kyoto Agreement, the US has much stricter standards concerning plant emissions than China does, as well as better enforcement to ensure compliance. (Although, if you live in a port city, that product shipped in might have a greener logistics chain.)

Turn off items not in use - Common sense really, but how many of you have lights that are on all the time. Many items, like TVs consume energy even if the item is off, using standby power, which consumes about 5% of all energy consumed in the US. So if you do not plan on using something for a while, unplug it from the wall, especially if it has a transformer and especially if you are going away on vacation.

Don't Start the Car until you are ready to drive it - This should be an environmental no-brainer, but for some reason remote starters for cars are getting increasingly popular. This is in addition to the dedicated group who runs out to their car and starts it up to either warm it up or cool it down.

Here are some more that will require a small sacrifice, or cost you some money, but I suspect that these will not be a problem for the majority of us, just for those who are telling us to conserve:

Buy Energy-Efficient Products - The most obvious item for change are energy-efficient light bulbs, but this goes for most everything. Surely a traditional TV consumes more energy than a flat screen, although I doubt the wife will ok it's purchase on ecological grounds. However, a flat screen for the computer is very affordable, so get rid of that old monitor. (TVs and monitors consume power to keep the monitor warm so that you get an instant picture when you turn it on.)

Do not fly First or Business Class - These classes waste so much space on the plane. Either a smaller plane could be used to carry that amount of passengers, or the plane can be refitted to carry more passengers if the whole plane was economy class.

Stop Smoking - Face it, lighting up releases greenhouse gases. There are some people who say that the growing of the tobacco makes the process carbon-neutral, but that fails to take into account any indirect carbon emissions, which are probably substantial since any good the plant does is negated in the process of burning it. That leaves nothing left over for harvesting, processing and transporting the products.

Don't do Illegal Drugs - Sorry to have to tell you this, but the illegal drug industry is not green. They transport the drugs in fuel-burning speedboats or route the drugs in such a way that wastes vast amounts of energy. Then there is the need to transport and hide vast quantities of cash.

Do not burn things - How about not burning candles except during a blackout. Stop using the fireplace. Same with retiring the barbeque, or at least exchange the charcoal grill for one using natural gas. Need to get rid of those leaves during the fall? Don't burn them, turn them into compost. - Added 26 March

So there you go. Nothing there is a real burdon and together those small energy savings will add up.

One thing Governments can do, especially in Europe, is to reduce the tariffs on items to reduce the importation of tax-free items by travelers and tax tourists. This has a double effect in that often the items, especially alcohol, are first sent out to tax-free shops and then re-imported by the person returning home. Often this re-importation is done via air travel.

Don't kill yourself over reducing the release of greenhouse gasses. Your not the problem. Anyway, technology is producing an increasing number of ways to make the world greener. Take the generation of electricity. Currently about half the fossil fuels used to generate electricity is wasted due to the current inefficient way of generating electricity. What is need is more efficient electrical plants. That is where the real carbon savings lie.

Don't kid yourself either if your living in Europe under the 'protection' of the Kyoto treaty. Your Governments have been fighting global warming with accounting tricks.

Feel free to add your own sacrifice-free ways of making the planet less warm in the comments.

Monday, March 19

Maritime Monday 51

Welcome to this 1 Year Anniversary Edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday #1 here.

For those who need a primer, go see Romancing the Road who answers "What's a Merchant Marine?"

This Weeks Photo:
This Week's photo is from the website of Danish Shipping Company Rederiet M.H. Simonsen.

Rederiet M.H. Simonsen is a family owned shipping company operating 7 tankers ranging from 2.000 dwt to 4.500dwt. Our ships are primarily engaged in 2 segments of the north european small tanker market. The majority of the vessels are employed in the transportation of vegetable oils, fats, molasses, waxes, uan and other FOSFA acceptable products. Two units of our fleet MT ORAKOTA and MT ORATECA are futher more dedicated as foodgrade carriers and adheres to the stringiest requirements in our industry. Our latest newbuilding MT ORAHOPE is presently employed on timecharter in the clean petroleum trade. All our tankers are operated by Simonsen CharteringApS. - Profile

Click on the photo to go to their gallery titled 'Ships at Work'.

This Weeks Items:
Eagle Speak has what the GAO's report on the LNG Terror Threat really said.

Reuters has Mauritania's and Spain's shameful promise not to assist migrants in distress at sea again.

M & C has the deaths of 9 illegal migrants during an attempt to reach Greece via Turkey.

Sailors, Mariners & Warriors League has the rescue of the crew of the AFRODITI S off Greece by the British Frigate HMS MONMOUTH.

Dana Stabenow reports from aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter MUNRO.

Tims Times has photos of Norwegian Fjords. Be sure to read the post as well!

IOL (South Africa) has the story of a Swedish couple whose goods were looted from the wreck of the MSC NAPOLI and their long wait for the return of their goods from those who pilfered their container.

Ocean Navigator Blog has news of the return of the Capn' Navigation Program.

Marex Newsletter has a Security Alert from Tactical Defense Concepts (TDC) concerning the use of ships as weapons. (I have yet to find any more information on this TDC story from last August: Suspected Jihadist Targets US Merchant Vessel)

The Torch (Canada) has "Subs and Arctic sovereignty". Seems that American and British subs spend more time under Arctic Ice than Canada does on the surface, which complicates their claim the area is theirs and not international waters.

The Pilot Boat makes a good point with his photo 'The ship and the sun'.

EU Referendum has an update on the European Union's Galileo (GPS) Satellite Navigation System's growing problems. I agree that this project is probably going to be abandoned. That is, unless they can convince the US to charge a fee for users of their GPS system, or perhaps tax the hell out of GPS users in Europe. (One plan was to use Galileo to track car usage in Europe in order to tax by the Kilometer/mile.)

Road - Satellite navigation will help regulate road use and minimise traffic jams. If all vehicles are fitted with a navigation satellite receiver and a data transmitter, their position can be relayed automatically every few seconds to a central station. This information can then be used in a number of ways to control road usage. It could, [note: will] for example, be used to charge motorists for using a stretch of road, to restrict access to congested roads, or to inform drivers of congestion and suggest alternative, quieter routes. - European Space Agency

I wonder if they are purchasing carbon offsets for this program to make it 'carbon neutral'? Nothing like damaging the environment to install a navigation system where one already exists, all in an attempt to limit global warming due to transportation.

Navy Newsstand has a video highlighting the Merchant Marine and how they contribute greatly to Naval Operations. The video was shot onboard the MV CAROLYN CHOUEST (The Sailors are sometimes also called Civil Service Mariners or CIVMARs due to the Government being either the Employer or 'charterer'). Military Sealift Command, The US Military's Shipping Company, has a story on the CIVMAR Program. More on the CAROLYN CHOEST at MSC's website.

Arctic (at Myspace) has his story of going to a containership to knock ice off the superstructure. Lots of ice. (Note: Contains vulgar language. As it should) has a trip to the remote island of St. Helena, where Napoleon was once exiled.

Sisko111 at Youtube has posted this video of the launch of the HOEGH BANGKOK in Croatia.


Somebody please pluck Sir Robin Knox-Johnston from his sailboat the SAGA INSURANCE before he hurts himself. You see, the good captain has no concept of the law of gross tonnage, at least that is the feeling I get from reading his blog documenting racing through a shipping lane. (the law was Mentioned in Maritime Monday 5) Even scarier is that he was the first one to sail around the world solo. This time he is racing in the Velux5Oceans solo race. Here is the law, as the US Coast Guard Auxiliary understands it:

Law of Gross Tonnage - The law, which is more common sense then explicitly written in the code, goes like this: “The heavier vessel always has the right-of-way.”

This is based on simple Newtonian physics. Newton’s first law talks about objects in motion stay in motion unless another force is acted upon it. In other words, if a boat is moving a 5 mph east and you were in the vacuum of space, it would never stop traveling east at 5 mph. However, we all know when we stop our engine on our boat, we slow down.

How long it takes to go from 5 mph to zero, depends on wind, and current. Even if there was no wind or current, we’d still slow down, because the water itself provides friction upon the hull of the boat, and that in itself acts as a brake.

We all have, by observation found that the bigger the object, the longer it takes to slow down. Newton’s second law of physics talks about how the amount of force required to move an object is inversely proportional to the mass of the object.

So, if a tug and barge were traveling down a narrow channel, and you stopped your boat 1,000 feet away, right in front of the tug and barge; and, if the master of the tug saw you immediately; and if the master of the tug immediately began to stop the tug and barge; you’d have less than one minute to move your vessel.

Because if you didn’t move your vessel in less than 60 small seconds, the tug and barge would just run right over you. It would be impossible for the master of the tug to stop, based of the collective mass of both the vessel and the barge, in 1,000 feet.

The law of gross tonnage is un-relenting. It is a fact of life. What also is a fact of life, is that you should not depend on the master of the tug or any other large vessel is able to see you, either visually or on radar. - The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

He wants to think that the vessels did not see him. Trust me Captain, they saw you. And they were probably betting whether you would get out of the way and busy arguing who was going to have to paint over the scratch marks your boat would have left on their hull once the vessel gets back to port. Anyway, I'm sure they were getting ready to sound the danger signal to encourage you to get the hell out of their way. Really, stay clear of big ships. The least he could have done was try and radio these ships. He should know better. It is no secret that the UK has fined sailboat captains for being stupid in shipping lanes.

Greenpeace's Yearlong Ocean Defenders Operation comes to an end.

National Geographic covers the "Global Fish Crisis."

Haight's Maritime Items has:

Hearing on Title XI loan guarantee program - On March 15, the Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces of the House Armed Services Committee conducted an oversight hearing on the Federal Ship Construction Loan Guarantee Program, more commonly known as the Title XI Loan Program. Subcommittee Chairman Gene Taylor (D-MS) discussed the contribution of the program to national defense and the economy. Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton testified that the Administration is not seeking funding for the program because such loan guarantees are a form of corporate subsidy. When Congress has appropriated monies, though, the Maritime Administration has adopted improvements to better manage the loan application and monitoring process. Ms. Cynthia L. Brown, American Shipbuilding Association, testified that the current review process is cumbersome and should be expedited for certain ship loan applications. Mr. Roy G. Bowman testified that previous Title XI loan defaults were more reflective of general market conditions than an indication of problems with the program itself. Mr. Martin E. Gottlieb, Argent Group Ltd., stated that inserting the DOT Credit Council into the loan review process has made the program less efficient and predictable. Mr. Charles G. Raymond, Horizon Lines, Inc., testified that Title XI loan guarantees should be continued because they provide three distinct benefits: (1) longer payback period better matched with new vessel life; (2) higher advance rate than commercial loans; and (3) lower interest rate. Mr. H. Clayton Cook, Jr. stated that the program provides significant financing benefits to shipyards in addressing costs associated with bonding. (3/15/07). - Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission) has an assesment of the Title XI Loan Program, and rates it 'Moderately Effective'.

Lawfirm Blank Rome has an explanation of the Program.

Fairplay Daily News has:

Germany ramps up training capacity - HAMBURG 14 March – Germany's nautical colleges will raise the number of places by 50% this year with financial support from the country’s ship owners. Federal states Lower Saxony and Bremen will see the highest capacity increases of 100 and 80 college places respectively, while Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein will add 40 places each. Hamburg will not resume training after the closure of its nautical department some years back, but it is expected to share in the costs of the capacity additions by the other federal states. The need for German masters and officers has gone up again as the German-controlled fleet continues to grow strongly with more vessels flying the domestic flag in a trade-off for the continuation of the tonnage tax. The German ship owners’ association, whose reflagging campaign was bogged down by the lack of German-speaking masters, has agreed to support the capacity additions with €3M ($4M) over the next three years. - Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)

Submissions for future editions:

Please submit articles for inclusion in next week' edition using the following submit form at Blog Carnival. You are also welcome to email photos for inclusion in future editions as well as suggest area of coverage.

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Send me an email (address in the sidebar) if you would like to sponsor an edition of Maritime Monday. I accept money and gear.

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Friday, March 16

Traffic Light (with instructions) II

Back in March, 2006 I posted the following photograph:

(Traffic Light (with instructions) )

One commenter of that post noted:
Snake Eater said... But they left out "Stop When Red".

I realize that should be an extension of "Wait for Green Light", but if you have to explain the green light, maybe you'd better explain the red one as well. - Link
A very good point indeed. And from the following photograph, apparently there is a need to explain how lights work in general.

The photo is from this Washington, DC Examiner Article 'Firm donated during traffic bid'

Maybe the masses are stupid.

Maybe they become stupid when you treat them as if they are.

Maybe the police should be encouraged to remove people who don't know how to drive from the road.

Thursday, March 15

Pileated Woodpecker Photos

While having breakfast a couple weeks ago we noticed a pileated woodpecker in our backyard. So I grabbed the camera, fully knowing that it would fly away before I could get a shot. To my surprise, he decided to hang around for awhile.

After the extremely rare Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis), this is the largest woodpecker in North America. Despite its size, this elegant woodpecker is often shy and hard to observe. Obtaining a close view of one usually requires careful stalking. Although primarily a forest bird, the "Logcock" has recently become adapted to civilization and has become relatively numerous even on the outskirts of large cities, where its presence is most easily detected by its loud, ringing call and by its large, characteristically rectangular excavations in trees. Its staple food consists of carpenter ants living in fallen timber, dead roots, and stumps. The woodpecker excavates fist-sized rectangular cavities, then uses its enormously long, sticky tongue to reach the ant burrows. - eNature

From the look of all the new holes in the trees, he has been hanging around.

(Pileated Woodpecker in flight, towards the camera. Wings up, tail behind.)

Copyright: Fred Fry 2007.

Tuesday, March 13

Grim Milestones

From March 2003 to January 2007, 3,000 US Troops have been killed in Iraq.

There was lots of press about this 'grim milestone' but here is how that milestone compares with other death figures. (Forces: U.S. & Coalition/Casualties - CNN and A grim milestone in Iraq: 3,000 American deaths - IHT)


373 US Military deaths in Afghanistan. (As of 13 March 2007.)

170 (non-US) Coalition Military deaths in Afghanistan. (As of 13 March 2007.)

98,000 die in US Hospitals each year due to medical mistakes:

Memphis, TN (PRWEB via PRWebDirect) September 11, 2006 -– Today marks the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks where nearly 3,000 American lives were tragically lost within minutes. Multiply that number by 30 and that equals the amount of people who die every year in America’s hospitals as a result of preventable medical errors.

The horrific attacks that happened in New York exactly five years ago is an event in America’s history that will never be forgotten. But what about the estimated 98,000 who die in U.S. hospitals each year due to preventable medical errors? - PR Web Direct

155,000 die on this planet every day:

According to the CIA World Factbook, as of July, 2005, there were approximately 6,446,131,400 people on the planet, and the death rate was approximately 8.78 deaths per 1,000 people a year. According to our nifty desktop calculator, that works out to roughly 56,597,034 people leaving us every year. That's about a 155,000 a day.

Still, more people are being born than dying. The population growth rate is hovering around 1.14%, which doesn't seem like much, but last year that was (back to the calculator!) 73,485,898 more mouths to feed. As the Factbook succinctly puts it: "For the 21st century, the continued exponential growth in science and technology raises both hopes (e.g., advances in medicine) and fears (e.g., development of even more lethal weapons of war)." - Yahoo Answers

2,400,000 Americans die each year. (Yahoo Answers)

750,000 Chinese die each year from air pollution
60,000 Chinese die each year from polluted water

What do you do if the World Bank is about to come out with a major study on pollution in your country, and the news is unequivocally bad? And by bad, I mean something on the order of 750,000 of your countrymen die premature deaths each year as a result of urban air pollution, and another 60,000 die as a result of polluted water.

If you're Beijing, you simply convince the World Bank to delete the offensive sections, arguing that breaking the news might cause "social unrest." - FP Passport Blog

1,300,000 Russians die each year due to heart problems.

About 1.3 million people die of cardiovascular diseases annually in Russia, the country's chief cardiologist said Wednesday. "Cardiovascular diseases are the most frequent cause of death in Russia. The mortality rate is high compared to Western European countries, which have been experiencing a decrease in mortality rates for the past 20 years," Rafael Oganov said. "Lifestyle is the main factor that accounts for the mortality rate", he said, adding that there is no clear relation between mortality and economic status.

About 16 million Russians suffer from cardiovascular diseases, placing Russia second in the world, after Ukraine, in this respect.

Heart diseases account for 56.7% of total deaths, with about 30% involving people still of working age. Mortality among Russian men rose by 60% since 1991, four to five times higher than in Europe.

The average life expectancy for men in Russia is about 57. - La Russophobe

10,000 deaths due to Air Pollution in Tehran, Iran
Air pollution is estimated to have killed nearly 10,000 people in Tehran over a one-year period, including 3,600 in a month, Iranian officials say. - Eagle Speak
3.5 Million Tobacco-related deaths yearly. (Wiki)

17,000 killed by drunk driving in the US in one Year - MADD

45,000 die in traffic accidents in US in one year. (Yahoo Answers)

Forty-one percent of 1,672 motorcycle operators who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2004 had BAC levels of .08 g/dl or higher. Sixty percent of those killed in single-vehicle crashes on weekend nights had BAC levels of .08 g/dl or higher. (NHTSA, 2005 ) - MADD

400,000 die in traffic deaths around the world each year:

Traffic injuries are the leading cause of death in people ages 10 to 24 around the world -- a huge, overlooked and largely preventable public health problem, the World Health Organization said yesterday. - Washington Post

2,000 Finns died in 2005 as a result of alcohol abuse.

Figures for 2005 released by the state statistics agency showed alcohol killed more people aged 15 to 64 than cardiovascular disease or cancer.

Almost as many women died of alcohol-related causes as breast cancer last year.

Alcohol consumption in the Nordic country has risen steadily over the past 20 years, correspondents say.

About 2,000 Finns died of alcohol-related causes last year - 150 more than in previous years.

Each Finn drank on average the equivalent of 10.5 litres (22 pints) of pure alcohol in 2005.

Alcohol was also found to be a contributory factor in suicides, and intoxication is involved in nearly one in four deaths caused by accidents or violence, the figures showed. - BBC

3,700 American women die of cervical cancer each year. (There is now a vaccine.)

6,000 Chinese Miners die yearly.
China's poorly regulated mining industry is the deadliest in the world, with about 6,000 people killed each year in explosions, floods, collapses or other disasters. Lax safety rules and poor safety procedures are often to blame. - International Herald Tribune

Dozens of Russian military conscripts killed each year in hazing:

The (Russian) armed services have faced numerous cases of hazing in recent years. The case of 19-year-old Private Andrei Sychyov, whose genitals and legs were amputated after he was hazed, has drawn national attention to the plight of many conscripts. "Violent hazing results in the death of dozens of young soldiers every year, and serious injuries to thousands more," Human Rights Watch said in a report last year. - La Russophobe

35,000 - 50,000 Europeans died as a result of the 2003 heat wave.
- 14,802 in France
- 7,000 in Germany
1 child every 30 seconds dies of malaria

Malaria kills a child somewhere in the world every 30 seconds. It infects at least 500 million people each year, killing 1 million. Ninety per cent of those who die are in Africa, where malaria accounts for about one in five of all childhood deaths. - UNICEF

Which is partly due to the loss of the chemical DDT as a tool against malaria:
"The ban on DDT," says Gwadz of the National Institutes of Health, "may have killed 20 million children." - National Geographic

18,ooo children die each day of hunger.

Some 18,000 children die every day because of hunger and malnutrition and 850 million people go to bed every night with empty stomachs, a "terrible indictment of the world in 2007," the head of the U.N. food agency said. - Forbes

That comes out to 6,570,000 dead children in one year. So in the same time it took for 3,000 US soldiers to die in Iraq (three+ years), 19,710,000 children have died in the world of hunger, without so much concern as a little war in Iraq. Using the war-protester's absurd estimate of 100,000 deaths in Iraq, that comes out to 197 dead children for every estimated death in Iraq.

Just to put things in perspective. It almost makes Iraq sound like a safe place.

Makes you wonder where the liberal outrage is?

(I'm outraged. Just remember, it is not the US that is the problem, but these criminal Governments around the world that don't give a damn about their own people.)

Monday, March 12

Maritime Monday 50

Welcome to this weeks edition of Maritime Monday.

This Weeks Photos:
Training is expensive in the maritime world. Sure there are simulators, but to get a different perspective there are 'manned models'. After all, you learn when you make mistakes and training is when you are supposed to experiment and practice. Most importantly, nobody is going to let you train on a VLCC Tanker.

There are manned model courses in Poland, France and the US. (Leave a note in the comments if there are more locations.)

The photos below are of the Port Revel Shiphandling Training Center. The photos are by Fran├žoise Massard at who has an English summary covering the course. Go to his site where there are many more pictures of the facility and of the training program.

Marine Marchande homepage (In French)

This Weeks Items:

Eagle Speak has coverage of analysis of the possibility of an LNG Vessel Worst-case scenario.

Cargo Law has the recent heavy lift accident on the M/V JUMBO CHALLENGER in the Port of Los Angeles.

Sailors, Mariners & Warriors League has the story of how the Canadian Naval Vessel HMCS FREDERICTON managed to overcome a shortage of cigarettes after it was diverted to Africa without sufficient 'supplies' onboard.

Cars Photos has the best photo coverage of the capsized Grimaldi Lines vessel REPUBLICA DI GENOVA you'll find anywhere on an English-language Blog. (They are from this Belgian site.)

The European Commission issued a press release in December, 2006 declaring that "Forty-five-foot containers can continue circulating on European roads". The press release was required as EU Council Directive 96/53/EC had basically declared the 45 foot container too big, and therefore illegal. However, the 45 foot container becomes acceptable to the EU once the front edges are beveled, which the Germany Company Jost figured out pretty quick, patenting the solution. (Here is a PDF document summarizing the problem and their solution.)

(The bevel that cost EU Companies Millions)

Icelandic Company Samskip issued a press release that they had replaced all their 45 footers with compliant 'Euro Containers.' Since all did not, this Directive surely cost the more compliant-minded European Companies millions, for no good reason.

Marex Newsletter has Legal Action by the widow of a Columbia River pilot who died while on duty.

The Jawa Report has Dubai Port as a transshipment point for stolen 4WD vehicles.

The Pilot Boat has dramatic video from the pilot boat during rough weather. Not only do pilots spend countless hours in weather like this, but they then go and step onto a long rope ladder.

Freaque Waves has video of storm conditions at Cape Horn.

Tree Hugger explains the obvious, moving cargo by ship is far better for the environment than moving it by air. (By their calculations, moving cargo by air produces over 100 times the CO2 emissions than moving it by ship.)

Scandinavian Shipping Gazette has an interview with an apologetic Captain Villy Larson, the Danish Captain of the DANICA WHITE, who ended up spending 104 days in jail from what appears to be no reason other than the US Coast Guard boarding officer being a jerk. (Note: FFI is highly Pro-Coast Guard!) Summary of the initial incident at Tim's Times.

Monsters and Critics has the near collision between the Passenger Ferry SILJA SERENADE and the cargo vessel BALTIC PRIDE after the Pride suffered a complete loss of power while crossing ahead of the Serenade.

Shipping Times (UK) has the news of the four-day tugboat strike in Rotterdam ending due to court order. Something tells me that the tugboat crews are not going to break their backs to clear out the massive backlog that resulted due to the strike. (No word yet on whether they have returned to work yet, just an order to do so.)

African News Dimension has the return of Mercy Ships to Liberia. The Mercy Ships charity homepage is here.

Tims Times has pictures of navigating through the ice in Russia, and what you might find out there.

Navy Newsstand (US) has the President's announcement that he will send the Hospital Ship USNS COMFORT to Latin America on a humanitarian relief mission.

Boating Spectator has US Federal Criminal Charges for the operator of the vessel M/V NORTH PRINCESS and the vessel's Second Engineer for illegal dumping of oily waste water through a 'magic pipe'. (Beware of the 'Magic Pipe' - Other notable dumping cases.)

Site member Thalassa at has a great photo of sea smoke taken while piloting the SPAR JADE in Canada.

CDR Salamander has the photo of the naked female 'salute' from the Dutch Navy's RNLMS BLOYS VAN TRESLONG. (Now I could say NSFW, but really the description itself should make that self-evident. Then again, this photo was published on the front page of the news. So click at your own risk.)

Haight's Maritime Items has:

EMSA – CleanSeaNet - The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) issued a news release stating that it is launching CleanSeaNet. This service is scheduled to begin operation in April 2007 and will provide analyzed satellite images to EU Member States, enabling them to monitor and detect illegal and accidental discharges of oil into EU waters. (3/2/07). - Dennis Bryant (Homepage)

Fairplay Daily News has:

Senate rejects 100% box scanning - WASHINGTON, DC - 02 March – A push to force scanning of all US-bound containers was beaten back in the US Senate yesterday. As the upper house considers a bill to fully implement suggestions of the 9/11 Commission, New York democrat Chuck Schumer introduced an amendment to mandate the 100% box check. That amendment was debated through most of the day yesterday and then defeated on a 58-38 rollcall vote at early evening. Maine Sen Susan Collins – who was a principal author of the SAFE Ports law that set up pilot projects for container scanning – drove the stake through the amendment’s heart with a motion to table. Maritime interests in Washington had watched the proposal closely, especially after a similar measure for full box scanning was approved by the House of Representatives in its version of the 9/11 bill. But as forecast to Fairplay by World Shipping Council President Chris Koch, the Senate exercised better judgment and rejected the Schumer proposal. Proponents of the concept will have one final chance to insert the controversial language when the House and Senate versions of the bill are reconciled in a conference committee. - Fairplay Homepage

Submissions for future editions:

Please submit articles for inclusion in next week' edition using the following submit form at Blog Carnival. You are also welcome to email photos for inclusion in future editions as well as suggest area of coverage.

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Send me an email (address in the sidebar) if you would like to sponsor an edition of Maritime Monday. I accept money and gear.

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