Monday, April 9

Maritime Monday 54

Welcome to this weeks edition of Maritime Monday.

Maritime Monday 4 can be found here.

This Weeks Photo:
This is a photo of the Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Bulk Carrier KOHYOHSAN.

Here is a press release by the builder about the vessel:

The Society of Naval Architects of Japan has presented the Kohyohsan, a 172,000-dwt Capesize bulk carrier built by NKK, the "Ship of the Year 2001" award. The society granted the title to the vessel in recognition of its unique ax-shaped bow that greatly reduces wave resistance under rough sea conditions.

The Kohyohsan is the first carrier to adopt the Ax-Bow, which NKK developed in response to growing demand from shipping operators for a ship with greater propulsion, particularly in wild seas. Working with Osaka University marine engineers, NKK focused on reducing ship resistance on the bow above the still water surface. Conducting model ship tests, the NKK design team confirmed that a sharp-edged Ax-Bow can reduce a ship's sea margin by 20-30% compared to conventional bows. Fuel oil consumption can also be reduced by some 4%, even under fully loaded conditions.

The Kohyohsan was delivered from NKK's Tsu Works to Erica Navigation S.A. of Panama in June 2001, and is now in service under charter by Mitsui OSK Lines. To date, NKK has delivered five vessels fitted with the Ax-Bow, which it plans to adopt in its standard design for future Capesize bulk carriers. - NKK Press Release

Wikipedia has a good overview of Bulk Carriers here.

This Weeks Items:

There were two big stories over the last week; the sinking of the SEA DIAMOND and the apparent end of the Royal Navy Iran hostage situation. With this in mind, I have altered the format slightly to give more coverage to these events.

Royal Navy Prisoner/hostage Items:

Red State has an un-cropped photo of the 15 British hostages and has some questions concerning the Sailors and Marines conduct during their captivity.

EU Referendum questions whether there is now a cover up underway.

Eagle Speak has accusations of complacency.

The Astute Bloggers wonders what has happened to the Royal Navy's standard of martial conduct. (Of course you never know how you would act in such a situation, but my main fear, if I ever ended up in a similar situation, would be of returning back home and having anyone question by actions, or worse, TV footage of me 'performing' like this group appeared to do. Then again, I would probably believe that they were going to kill me anyway, so why speed up the process by giving them what they want.) The Astute Bloggers has a follow-up post noting dire consequences if the military fails to punish the 15.

Yankee Sailor notes that the UK has suspended Boarding OPS in the Northern Gulf. He also notes that the captured Sailors and Marines had no training on how to behave if captured. (Funny, part of required STCW 95 Training for Merchant Sailors was a course called 'Personal Safety and Social Responsibility'. The US Coast Guard approved a three hour training course for American seafarers to cover the course requirements such as how you can catch AIDS, why you need to wash your hands after going to the bathroom, etc. The standard course is three days. The Brits did the US one better. I have been told a couple times, that UK Merchant Mariners met the training requirements for PSSR simply by being brought up British. I would think that the same would hold true to some extent on how to behave if captured.)

CDR Salamander reminds ex-Iranian prisoner, Royal Navy LT Felix Carmen that he is no longer a hostage and should shut up and stand up. (How is it that the Iranians managed to control him much better than his own commanders seem to? It's called FEAR.)

American Thinker has "The Almighty Euro beats the Royal Navy"

Little Green Footballs has what is surely the best example that the lights are on at the Royal Navy HQ, but nobody is home: "British Hostages Sell Stories for Big Cash" (I am sure that this is going to go over real big around their fleet.)

In general, I agree with all the criticism presented by the above bloggers. I wonder, did the UK really send this lot to search Merchant Ships? How did they perform their job when searching Merchant Ships? (I bet the CIA would love to know the names of the Iranians who 'turned' most of this group, so that they can offer them jobs, at Gitmo. Clearly, the Iranians have the better interrogation program, or worse reputation.)

SEA DIAMOND Sinking Items:

This is certainly the biggest Maritime story of the week. Over the next couple of weeks there should be concentration on three issues:

1. Events leading to the accident
2. Evaluation of the evacuation and the ship's safety drill at the start of the cruise
3. Efforts (or lack of an effort) by the crew to keep the vessel afloat. (Damage Control)

One group that is surely going to come down hard on the crew and company is the insurance companies. They will be the ones most interested to deem the vessel unseaworthy. A ship can be declared unseaworthy from the point it sails if it was not properly manned. This can be as simple as an unfilled Deck or engine position, or a seafarer with an expired document. It makes no matter that the deficiency may have had no effect on the outcome of the accident. But it will relieve the insurance company of having to payout money. It would also remove any limits on the amount of liability that the company may be forced to payout, as it was their responsibility for the ship to be seaworthy at the time it sailed.

It seems that the IMO's 'Sub-Committee on Stability and Load Lines and Fishing Vessel Safety' met this last July and one of the items for discussion was "Proposals on inclusion of principles to apply when Administrations grant permissions to leave watertight doors open" An Administration is the Government whose flag the ship flies. So, did this vessel have permission to leave watertight doors open?

Louis Cruises Lines Incident Announcement page.

EllasDevil profiles two passengers she saw interviewed on the news. One was a furious American man who was pissed that the crew would not give him a Life Jacket, until he found a child-sized one. The other was of a Canadian woman who gave her life jacket to a passenger who could not swim. (I have also seen a number of news reports where passengers were complaining that there were not enough life jackets. My question to all of them is just what did you do with the lifejacket that the ship's crew assigned to you when you boarded? Did you have a lifejacket during the Abandon ship drill held on the first day? What did you do with that one? Did you even pay attention during the drill, or were you busy taking pictures?)

Former passenger fairy_dreamer_e departed the ship hoping that it would sink, after having a miserable cruise. She is feeling a little bad that her wish came true, but only because it appears that two passengers died in the process.

Blue Donkey Man posted some raw footage at YouTube from the SEA DIAMOND sinking in Santorini.

My Way News has good coverage and photos of the sinking of the Cruise Ship SEA DAIMOND.

Former passenger La Dolce Vita expresses some disbelief that the vessel they sailed on last July has sunk. Their cabin was on the lowest deck.

Urban Greeks wonders if the press is unfair judging Greece over this accident.

Now imagine if this vessel had gone aground and then sank somewhere more remote, like Antarctica.

There seems to be little in the press about efforts by the crew to keep the ship afloat. Did the ship sink in 15 hours do to inaction of the crew to stop the flooding, or did they manage to control the flooding thereby delaying the sinking?

This Weeks Other Items:
Eagle Speak has a great post on the amazing history of US Navy Coffee. (Coffee is as important in the US Merchant Marine.)

Shipping Times (UK) has the sinking of the cargo vessel HARVEST after it collided with the bulk carrier JIN HAI KUN. 20 sailors are currently missing.

Fiber Dreams takes a tour of the Matson Lines SS MATSONIA and has photos of the tour here.

RigZone has the 20% decline in oil output from Mexico's Cantarell Offshore oil field over the last year. This is one of only four oil fields in the world to produce over a million barrels of oil per day.

The Globe and Mail (Canada) has Alaska's interest in the planned container port development at Prince Rupert, Canada.

Anchorage Daily News has Alaska's second look at cruise laws passed last year, with an eye at undoing some of what was passed.

The MarEx Newsletter has a TDC Maritime Security Alert for the Persian Gulf. (This confirms my post on Iran's threat to Vessels n the Gulf.)

The American Chronicle investigates claims of a shortage of American Merchant Mariners.

These Go To Eleven has a photo of fertilizer aid for North Korea.

Ocra Marine Services Limited has the EU's approval for Slovakia to provide state aid to Slovak's 'Slovenské lodenice Komárno' shipyard.

The Pilot Boat has "Busy days at Viana Yard..."

Greenpeace's Defending Whales Blog has the arrival of their vessel, the M.Y. ESPERANZE at Yokohama, Japan.

The Discovery Channel's 'Deadliest Catch' has a Crab-Fishing 101.

Haight's Maritime Items has:

UK – SAR statistics 2006 - The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice summarizing its search and rescue (SAR) statistics for 2006. Both the number of incidents and the number of deaths from maritime accidents rose from the previous year. (4/3/07). - Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)


NOAA – GPS affected by solar radio bursts - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that solar radio bursts can have a serious impact on the Global Positioning System (GPS) and other communication technologies. A solar flare on December 6, 2006 caused a huge number of receivers to stop tracking the GPS signal. Note: This reminds us that mariners should not rely solely on one means of fixing position. (4/5/07). - Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News Has:

Asia faces single-hull influx - SINGAPORE - 04 April – Asia is set to be flooded with single-hull vessels, but not necessarily sub-standard tonnage, Intertanko managing director Peter Swift observed at the Sea Asia conference in Singapore today. Europe and the US have already indicated that only double bottom and double side tankers will be allowed to trade in their waters beyond 2010. Single hulls including Panama-flagged vessels will, however, be allowed to trade as per the IMO timetable in countries such as Japan, Singapore and India until they are 25 years old or 2015, whichever is earlier. “Quality is not an issue. There are many good single hulls,” Swift told reporters. He also strongly defended Intertanko’s radical, but controversial proposal to switch to distillate fuels. The proposed move is said to reduce significantly major elements of air emissions from ships. “If Intertanko had not placed the distillate fuel option on the table at the IMO, it would not be part of the discussion,” he pointed out. But actual implementation could be as far away as 2015. “Even that may not be sufficient for abatement technology to catch up,” he told Fairplay. - Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


LNG 'creaming off senior officers' - SINGAPORE 04 April – Rapid growth of LNG shipping has forced vessel operators to cream off senior officers from other ship types, causing a serious shortage of trained and quality crew, warned Anglo Eastern Ship Management quality and training director Pradeep Chawla today. Speaking after a presentation at the Sea Asia conference in Singapore, Chawla said monthly wages for masters of LNG ships now stand at $18,000-20,000, with some even being offered $22,000. “There is no fresh pool of officers to man LNG vessels. The entire LNG crew today have been recruited from other ships (mainly LPG vessels) and re-trained,” he told Fairplay. Anglo Eastern manages four LNG vessels and is set to take on more. However, Chawla noted that the manager has an average crew retention rate of 10 years. The vicious circle of shortage has seen rapid promotions with the result that many senior on-board personnel have no hands-on experience, he said. Training methods have to change to adapt to this worrying position, Chawla observed. - Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)

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