- Transport on Line - hiltunen.htm


Japan to propose I.M.O. convention on hull thickness

Following the sinking of a tanker off Japan in January (see the Casualties
section), the goverment plans to propose a hull convention at an upcoming
meeting of the International Maritime Organization. Under the convention,
states in which ships are registered must measure how much steel of each
ship can be worn away and still maintain safe operations. The minimum thickness
would be made public and host countries could check the steel thickness
of ships calling in its ports. If the host country finds problems, the
owner must make repairs and report back to the host. If the owner does
not report back within a certain period, the ship's name and other pertinent
information would be disclosed. The proposal will be discussed in late
May for possible implementation in 2000. An interim report on the January
incident has cited steel thickness as a factor.

U.S. Senate committee approves shipping bill

The U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on 1
May approved the U.S. Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1997 and sent it to
the U.S. Senate. The bill that emerged from the committee was described
as a "compromise," and was approved 20 to 0. Sen. Kay Bailey
Hutchison, R-Texas, and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., introduced
the bill in March. As part of the compromise from the proposed bill, all
liner contracts must be filed with the government, with continued information
required to be filed on individual and group contracts. Attached to the
bill was a rider by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the committee.
It would prohibit the U.S. Maritime Administration from providing Title
XI loan guarantees to any business found by the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission
to have violated preditory pricing or other anti-competitive prohibitions
of U.S. law.

Thailand forming national fleet

Thailand has tentatively approved the formation of a national fleet
that would become a medium-sized carrier. At a cost of 2.08 billion Thai
baht/U.S.$79.8 million over four years, routes between regions would be
divided between existing Thai lines, each having a specialized area of
the world. The Thai Shipowners' Associated would own 51 percent of the
group, with the rest held by the government, financial entities, trade
companies and Thai Maritime Navigation Co., the current national line which
would effectively cease to exist. Some five or six lines will be involved.

F.M.C. investigating five lines in the Atlantic trade, demands documents

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission is investigatng Hyundai Merchant
Marine Co. Ltd. Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., P&O Nedlloyd
Container Line Ltd. and Sea-Land Service Inc. for allegedly concealing
joint operations from the U.S. government and therefore harming competition.
In an announcement 5 May, the F.M.C. said two probes are on-going. The
first is investigating possible violations of U.S. law by collectively
operating under terms of agreements that were not disclosed to the F.M.C.
The second involves failure to file complete and accurate copies of documents
relating to slot-chartering and space sharing agreements. Maersk, P&O
Nedlloyd Container Line and Sea-Land Service are involved in the first
probe with Hyundai Merchant Marine and Mediterranean Shipping in the second.
Also on 5 May, the F.M.C. ordered Atlantic Container Line, Mediterranean
Shipping and Polish Ocean Lines to turn over documents on their space chartering

India deregulates some vessel imports

India has deregulated the importing of 10 types of vessels, which will
be allowed without licenses. The Indian Ministry of Commerce announced
the change 21 April. A customs duty will still have to be paid, but a license
from the Indian Ministry of Surface Transport is not needed. The ships
include bulk carriers, dredgers, fireboats, floating cranes, floating docks,
light vessels, passenger ships, floating and submersible drilling and production
platforms, refrigerated ships and tankers. Licenses are still needed for
barges, canoes, inflatables, launches, liferafts, motorboats that do not
have outboard motors, sailboats, tugs and other pushing vessels and yachts.

Second Brazilian register in July

The second Brazilian register will become operational in the first week
of July. As part of the registry, import taxes will be exempted on cargo
earnings to encourage Brazilian shipping.

New Philippine maritime school

The Associated Marine Officers' and Seamen's Union of the Philippines
is planning to start a maritime school at an abandoned 100-room hotel in
Cabarbin, Bataan. To fund the school, in addition to tuition, money would
be barrowed from the provident fund for later repayment and donations would
be sought from shipowners. The school would offer a four-year maritime
transport degree and marine education degree, with hotel management and
shipmanagement courses added later.

New Jersey court rejects challenges to pilot hiring

Judge Patrick J. McGann has rejected challenges to the hiring practices
of the Sandy Hook Pilots. Thirty-six members of the Interport Pilots Agency
Inc. claimed in New Jersey Superior Court that the Sandy Hook Pilots was
a closed organization that relied on nepotism for hiring.

Outokumpu leaves shipping business

Outokumpu Oy is withdrawing from shipping activities. The Finnish metal
producer is expanding a zinc plant at Kokkola, Finland, which the firm's
one ship will not be able to handle. Rather than expand its fleet, the
Outokumpu (Finnish-registry 4,994-dwt bulk carrier built in 1985, operated
by Bore and owned by Outokumpu Transport Oy) was sold 24 April to Rederi
A.B. Engship. The ship had carried zinc from the United Kingdom to continental
Europe. Outokumpu has signed a long-term contact for Oy JIT-Trans Ltd.
to operate four vessels, including the Outokumpu, on a weekly service carrying

I.L.W.U. renamed

The International Longshoreman's and Warehouseman's Union has been renamed.
At a biennial meeting of the union in Hawaii, members unanimously approved
the new name of International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Of the 7,976
I.L.W.U. members, there are 788 female clerks and dockworkers. The name
change was proposed by Lila Smith, a member of the Seattle local, Inlandboatman's
Union. Smith drafted the proposal with a co-worker of the Washington State
ferries. The IBU will consider a name change in October.

Bill introduced to allow foreign cruise ships in U.S. Pacific trade

U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski has introduced a bill to allow foreign-registry
passenger ships to operate in the coastwise trade along the Pacific coast
of the United States, including Alaska. Foreign-registry ships have not
been allowed in the trade in 101 years.

Unicool venture finalized

Leif Hoegh & Co. A.S.A. and Safmarine have completed a restructuring
of Unicool Ltd. as a joint venture integrated shipping company. Unicool
has purchased all refrigerated ships owned by Cool Carriers A.B., Leif
Hoegh and Safmarine. Of the 70 ships, 17 are wholly or partially owned.
Based in Oslo, Norway, Safmarine owns 50 percent, Leif Hoegh owns 49.8
percent and Managing Director Mats Jansson owns 0.2 percent.

Largest U.S. grain shipment in Great Lakes history

On 5 May, 1996, the Paterson (Canadian-registry 17,939-gt, 32,713-dwt,
14,523-nt, 224.50-meter/736.55-foot bulk carrier built in 1985 by Canadian
Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd.'s Collingwood Shipyards Division at Collingwood,
Ontario, Canada; operated by N.M. Paterson & Sons Ltd.) loaded the
largest U.S. grain shipment in Canadian/U.S. Great Lakes history. The Paterson
took on 28,941.6 metric tons of soybeans at Harvest States Cooperatives
in Superior, Wis. The record was not found until information was being
reviewed by the port recently.

Nippon Express cutting rates

Nippon Express Co. has discounted its rates for consolidation services
20 percent to 30 percent. As of last month, the rates applied to export
cargoes, but imported cargoes will get the same rate soon.

Attica Enterprises to issue new shares

Attica Enterprises will increase its share capital by 8.15 billion Greek
drachmas/U.S.$30.0 million by issuing 5.25 million new shares at 1,550
drachmas/U.S.$5.71 each. Some 70 percent of the proceeds will fund newbuildings
for subsidiary SuperFast Ferries.

N.Y.K. opens Western office in Boise

Nippon Yusen Kaisha Ltd. opened a western United States cargo service
center at Boise, Idaho, on 5 May. The facility will handle customer service,
equipment control, documentation and operations. It is at 101 S. Capitol
Blvd., Suite 1201, Boise, Idaho, 83702. The telephone is 208-363-8100.

Croatia Line opens offices in Chicago, Houston

Croatia Line opened two new offices on 1 May. One is at 419 N. Lagrange
Rd., Lagrange Park, Ill., 60525, and will serve the Chicago area. The telephone
number is 708-352-2900 and facsimile is 708-352-6050. The new office for
the Southwest is at 8866 Gulf Freeway, Suite 310, Houston, Texas, 77017.
Telephone is 713-910-7775 and facsimile is 713-910-7788.

Mitsui O.S.K. expanding U.S. offices

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. is enlarging its U.S. offices. The North American
management operations are being consolidated at Concord, Calif., from Tokyo.
About 15 personnel will be added.

Hapag-Lloyd relocating Denver office

Hapag-Lloyd AG's container division is relocating its Denver office
to 5460 Ward Road, Suite 150, Arvada, Colo., 80002. The telephone number
is 303-425-6016 and facsimile is 303-425-6115.

Marine consultant opens New Orleans location

Martin, Ottaway, van Hemmen and Dolan Inc. has opened Martin Ottaway
New Orleans. It is at One Canal Place, Suite 2370, 365 Canal St., New Orleans,
La., 70130.


Rosy River arrives in Kaohsiung, second Taiwanese line to start service

The Rosy River (Panamanian-regustry 9,089-dwt, 330-TEU containership
built in 1978, operated by COSCO Container Lines) arrived at the Port of
Kaohsiung, Taiwan, from China on 30 April. It will operate weekly between
Kaohsiung and Xiamen, China, via Fuzhou, China. On the morning of 8 May,
Yangming Marine Transport Corp. became the second Taiwanese carrier to
begin a service on the route. Sailings will be twice a week.

Kien Hung Shipping increasing frequency of Pacific route

Kien Hung Shipping will increase the frequency of its service between
Japan, Hong Kong and Xiamen, China, on 14 May. Four ships of 490 TEU to
700 TEU capacity will call twice a week instead of once a week.

Lawsuit filed to limit passenger ships from Glacier Bay National Park

A lawsuit was filed in a U.S. federal court on 2 May to halt a year-old
policy of the U.S. National Park Service that allows 30 percent more passenger
ships into Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

Hyundai Merchant Marine drop Seattle, add Kaohsiung on Pacific route

As of June, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. Ltd. will drop Seattle and add
Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to its Pacific Southwest III service. The new rotation
is Long Beach, Calif.; Oakland, Calif.; Yokohama, Japan; Kobe, Japan; Kaohsiung;
Hong Kong; Singapore; Port Kelang, Malaysia; Singapore; Hong Kong; Yantian,
China; and Long Beach. The service has six 2,800-TEU capacity containerships
and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. charters space. Seattle will continue to
be served on Pacific Southwest I and Pacific Northwest services.

Seafreight Agencies offering new less-than-containerload service

Seafreight Agencies Inc. started a new less-than-containerload service
from to the Carribean and South America on 1 March. The non-vessel operating
common carrier has formed SeaPack to handle the business, with locations
in Florida, Louisiana and Texas.

Pandoro to take over P&O Ferries route

Passengers and cargo carried between Larne, Northern Ireland, and Cairnryan
will now be handled by Pandoro Ltd. rather than P&O Ferries.

Hapag-Lloyd adding Charleston

Hapag-Lloyd AG is adding the Port of Charleston, S.C., to its European
route. Charleston had been served on its westbound sailings from Europe
to North American since 1994. Friday will be the delivery day at Charleston
to load. A sixth ship will be added to the route.


Long Beach reaffirms COSCO deal, Los Angeles offers facility

The Long Beach Harbor Commission in California voted 28 April to go
ahead with the planned terminal for China Ocean Shipping Co. Judge Robert
O'Brien of Los Angeles Superior Court has scheduled a 13 May hearing, after
previously twice ordering the commission to suspend the contract and review
the deal anew. The deal was canceled 11 April for re-evaluation. Meanwhile,
the Port of Los Angeles has offered COSCO 126 hectares/315 acres on a landfill
by the harbor for a new terminal. Some 66 hectares/165 acres would be ready
by early 2001 with the rest two years later.

China and Myanmar agree on short-cut to Indian Ocean

China has reportedly agreed with Myanmar to jointly develop the Irrawaddy
River as a channel to the Indian Ocean. The channel would be from Kunming,
Yunnan Province, China, along the No. 320 National Road, to Ruili, Yunnan.
It then would reach Bhamo, Myanmar.

Hyundai, Singaporean group to invest in Myanmar port

Hyundai and a Singaporean investment consortium have announced plans
to spend U.S.$300 million on a port venture in Myanmar.

New oil port for Russian firm on the Finnish Gulf

As part of a U.S.$600 million project planned by Surgutneftegaz to reduce
the cost of sending petroleum from a refinery near St. Petersburg, Russia,
to Europe, a new private oil port will be built on the Finnish Gulf. It
will be located at Bukhta Batareinaya, about 60 kilometers/37 miles west
of St. Petersburg.

New Argentine port project planned

A U.S.$17 million port and storage facility will be built at Puerto
San Martin, Argentina. The port is part of a U.S.$903 million copper and
gold mine expansion project by Bajo de la Alumbrera. The port will begin
construction in October and will be operational by 2000.

Japan extending credit to Philippine port projects

A Japanese finance agency is extending 7.656 billion Japanese yen/U.S.$60.4
million of credit to three Philippine port projects. One of them is the
Subic Bay Freeport.

Ceres Marine Terminals leaving Baltimore

Ceres Marine Terminals Inc. has announced it will leave the Port of
Baltimore after its five-year lease ends 31 May. After talks over six months
for 11 hectares/28 acres, Ceres Marine Terminals said that the Maryland
Port Administration had not acted in good faith.

Tauranga to receive coldstore

Some New Zealand$5 million/U.S.$3.4 million will be spent on a coldstore
development at the Port of Tauranga, New Zealand.

First investment at Ipswich announced

Associated British Ports will spend 1.5 million British pounds/U.S.$2.6
million to build an agricultural bulk terminal at the Port of Ipswich,
England, which it bought 25 March. The facility will be built next to deep
berths on the Orwell River's east bank. An agreement has been signed with
Sentinel Shipping Services to operate the 8,100-square meter/90,000-square
foot covered area for cereals and animal feed. Foundations will also be
built for a future silo complex. The work should be completed by July.

Guayaquil security changes to start next week

Security at the Port of Guayaquil, Ecuador, will be revamped beginning
next week. As a first change, more than 4,000 port idenification cards
will be confiscated. New cards will be issued with photographs of the bearer,
the port logo and a magnetic strip for computerized data.

COSCO hub operating at Naples

China Ocean Shipping Co.'s transshipment hub at Naples, Italy, is operating.
The hub is for the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean.

Brazilian company buys coal dock at Sepetiba

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional has bought the coal dock at the Port
of Sepetiba, Brazil, for 37 million Brazilian reals/U.S.$35 million. Over
the next three years, the firm will spend 15 million reals/U.S.$14 million
on upgrading it. The dock was bought under a 25-year concession, with the
state government of Rio de Janeiro getting one million reals/U.S.$940,000

Kingston to get two more container cranes

The Gordon Cay section of the container terminal at the Port of Kingston,
Jamaica, will get two more post-Panamax cranes. At a cost of U.S.$12.5
million, the number of such container cranes at the port will total 10.
The cranes will be built by Mitsubishi for delivery in the fourth quarter
of 1998.

Subic Bay Freeport signs financial management deal

The Subic Bay Freeport in the Philippines has signed a financial management
deal worth 64 million Philippine pesos/U.S.$2.4 million with a group led
by Siemens Nixdorf and Microcircuits Corp. The group will integrate the
port's financial activities, including accounting, inventories and payroll.

New bunkerer planned in Malaysia

Petronas Dagangan Btd. announced 2 May it is in a joint venture with
Westport Holdings Sdn. Bhd. to build and manage a bunkering facility at
West Port in Selangor, Malaysia.

Processed oil wharf opens in China

The largest wharf in China to handle processed oil opened last month
at Dalian, it was announced 5 May.

Update on the Panama Canal

The number of vessel transit reservations accepted for the canal was
increased to 16 at 0001 3 May, for transits after 0001 5 May. The fee has
changed from U.S.$0.69 per net ton to U.S.$0.26 per net ton.

Dredging at Port Elizabeth approved

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' New York District has approved the
dredging of reaches B and C at the marine terminal at Port Elizabeth, N.J.
The work will be done by the the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The permit gives the authority permission to do maintenance and dredging
at Port Newark, N.J., as well. The areas, currently 11.6 meters/38 feet
to 12 meters/40 feet, will be dredged to at least 14 meters/45 feet. About
121,100 cubic meters/159,300 cubic yards of spoils will be taken to the
Orion site while 95,800 cubic meters/126,000 cubic yards will be dumped
at the ocean disposal site.


Negros Navigation and Kvaerner Fjellstrand in shipyard venture

Negros Navigation has signed an agreement with Kvaerner Fjellstrand
Pte. Ltd. to build a fast ferry shipyard in the Philippines. Construction
of the 600 million Philippine peso/U.S.$23 million facility will begin
this year. The yard would at first make vessel repairs but later expand
into construction.

Ishikawajima-Harima withdraws from Brazilian firm

Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. has left Industrias Verolme
Ishibras, a Brazilian shipbuilding venture. Some 11 billion Japanese yen/U.S.$87.3
million in credits will be written off as an extraordinary loss. Ishikawajima-Harima
owns 19 percent of the firm, but despite restructuring, the venture continues
to lose money.

Newport News Shipbuilding to lay off 166

Newport News Shipbuilding will lay off 166 hourly employees. The action
is largely due to the fact that work aboard the U.S. Navy's Nuclear-powered
Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Enterprise (CVN 65) has required fewer personnel
than expected.

GEC Alsthom buying Mirrlees Blackstone

GEC Alsthom has announced it will buy Mirrlees Blackstone Ltd., a British
engine manufacturer. The acquisition will expand GEC Althom's low speed,
heavy fuel engine offerings in the range of six to 12 mW. The deal could
have an impact on GEC Alsthom marine propulsion activities. Mirrlees Blackstone
has annual sales of 84 million British pounds/U.S.$136 million.

Subic Shipyard and Engineering to rehire fired workers

Subic Shipyard and Engineering Inc. will rehire recently fired employees
under the firm's terms, including a one-month suspension. Workers will
be required to drop demands for higher wages among others.

Daedong Shipbuilding revitalized

Daedong Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. has received a cash injection from its
new owner, the Soosan Group. Operations at the formerly bankrupt shipbuilder
have returned to normal.

India to require "gasfree" certificates to scrap ships

Following the deaths of 18 people aboard an Aframax tanker being scrapped
at Alang, India, the Indian government has announced that all tankers to
be scrapped in the country must have "gasfree" certificates for
hotwork, prior to the beaching of the vessel.

India cancels excise duty

As previously announced, India has abolished an eight percent excise
duty on vessels built in the country.

Jindo announces April container orders, Maersk announces plans

Jindo Corp. received orders worth U.S.$200 million in the second half
of April for containers. Orders were received from firms in Denmark, Japan,
the United Kingdom and the United States. The orders include 100,000 TEUs
and 1,500 refrigerated TEUs. All will be delivered by late June 1998, to
Genstar Container Corp., Maersk Line, Nippon Yusen Kaisha Ltd., P&O
Nedlloyd Container Line Ltd. and Transamerica Leasing Inc. Also, Maersk
Line will build 13,000 dry and high-cube FEUs thus year, and has ordered
5,500 refrigerated FEUs.

British Royal Navy submarine to be refitted

The British Royal Navy Swiftsure-class Nuclear-powered Attack Submarine
H.M.S. Sceptre (S 104) will be refitted at the Rosyth Royal Dockyard. The
work will cost 120 million British pounds/U.S.$194 million.

Ferry launched for Minoan Lines Shipping

The Ikaros (5,150-dwt ferry) was launched 5 May in Sweden for Minoan
Lines Shipping S.A. At a cost of U.S.$110 million, the vessel will fit
out at Fosen MEK Verksteder A/S in Norway for delivery at the end of November.
The vessel, capable of 27 knots, will have a crew of 350 and will carry
1,500 passengers and 800 vehicles. It will operate between Greece and Italy
starting in January. -- Steve Schultz - Whitefish Bay, Wis., U.S.A. - sschultz@execpc.com

"When beholding the tranquil beauty and brilliancy of the ocean's
skin, one forgets the tiger heart that pants beneath it; and would not
willingly remember, that this velvet paw but conceals a remorseless fang"
- Herman Melville from "Moby-Dick; or, The White Whale," Chapter
114, Paragraph two


U.S. Navy crewmember lost overboard from aircraft carrier

A crewmember of the U.S. Navy's Kitty Hawk-class Aircraft Carrier U.S.S.
John F. Kennedy (CV 67) is missing after falling overboard from the ship
off Jacksonville, Fla., on 1 May. The search for Airman Nadia T. Aiten,
22, of Los Angeles, was suspended after more than a day of operations.

Silver Sky attacked by pirates in China

The Silver Sky (Bahamian-registry 10,837-gt, 15,566-dwt containership
built in 1992, operated by Bahana Utama Line PT) was attacked by pirates
using fishing vessels 1 May while moored at Xingang, China. The chief engineer
was seriously injured and the port reportedly offered little assistance.
The ship left the area to seek medical attention for the engineer.

Man aboard the Knorr electrocuted off Massachusetts

A man aboard the Knorr, a Melville-class Oceanographic Research Ship
operated for the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research by the Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institute, was electrocuted on 25 April while the ship was
about 18 kilometers/11 miles south of Martha's Vineyard, Mass. A U.S. Coast
Guard 12-meter/41-foot utility boat from Coast Guard Station Woods Hole,
Mass., transported Jan S. Gunderson, 29, to shore. Gunderson, from Milton,
Mass., had been electrocuted through his left hand by about 350 volts.
He remained conscious and was not in serious condition when taken to Falmouth

Crew of Romanian-registry vessel begins hunger strike

The crew of the Plopeni (Romanian-registry 4,795-dwt general cargo ship
built in 1975, owned and operated by Navrom) have begun a hunger strike
to get back wages. The ship is on bareboat charter to Euroship Management.
In September, the Plopeni was towed to Valletta, Malta, after engine problems
during a voyage to Tunisia. Shortly after, the ship was arrested for cargo
claims. The cargo aboard the Plopeni was sold to cover immediate claims
and send the crew home. The replacement crew, however, has not been paid.

Threats made against wives of Maersk Dubai crewmembers?

Allegations have been made that the wives of two Filipino crewmembers
of the Maersk Dubai (Taiwanese-registry 29,872-gt, 31,160-dwt, 2,138-TEU
containership built in 1983, owned and operated by Yangming Marine Transport
Corp.) were offered money if their husbands did not testify against the
ship's officers. On 6 March, Justice Michael MacDonald in Halifax, Nova
Scotia, Canada, ruled that the six oficers cannot be tried in Canada or
Romania for alledgedly killing three Romanian stowaways at sea. The ship
arrived in Halifax on 24 May. Eight Filipino crewmembers deserted, alledging
that the master and officers subdued a Romanian stowaway on deck during
the voyage. The crew said he was never seen again, inferring that he was
forced overboard. They also said that on 12 March, 1996, the crew was forced
to put two other Romanian stowaways on a raft made of oil drums 48 kilometers/30
miles off Spain. The crew said they had protected another Romanian stowaway,
and he was later brought ashore. After an assault on the ship by the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police to take the crew into custody, legal proceedings
began to determine what country would try the master, first mate, second
mate, chief engineer, chief cook and radio officer. MacDonald said there
was enough evidence to charge the master and four crew with second-degree
homicide, and to charge the master and three officers with two counts of
manslaughter. The six left Canada on 20 March for Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where
an investigation was to begin. Reportedly, after the two crewmembers did
testify, Teresita Esteban and Maripaz Miguel were told their children would
be harmed. The threats began in July and reportedly have continued. Esteban
and Miguel have taken refuge at a church in Manila, the Philippines. Yangming
Marine Transport officials have stated that the two crewmembers knew they
were going to be fired for being drunk aboard the ship, and created the
allegations their wives were being threatened.

U.S. Coast Guard aids injured fisherman

Andrew Sainthours, 44, severed the tip of his right index finger while
working aboard the Quahog (United States-registry fishing vessel, homeported
at New Bedford, Mass.) the morning of 8 May. At 0823, the operator of the
vessel, which was about five kilometers/three miles south of Newport, R.I.,
requested medical assistance for Sainthours, of Tiverton, R.I. A 12-meter/41-foot
utility boat from U.S. Coast Guard Station Castle Hill, R.I., came alongside
the Quahog south of Sheeps Point, R.I. Sainthours was taken ashore, where
a family member took him to Newport Hospital.

Zaire talks held aboard South African ship

Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko and Laurent Kabila, leader of the
Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of the Congo, met aboard
the South African Navy Fleet Supply Ship S.A.S. Outeniqua (A 302) on 4
May. The ship was docked at Pointe-Noire, Congo, and the talks on the situation
in Zaire actually took place in a converted container aboard the ship.
Kabila agreed to a temporary ceasefire before the meeting, but despite
talks with South African President Nelson Mandela and United Nations mediator
Mohammed Sahnoun, no other results were announced beyond a committment
to meet again.

Venezuela protests exploration platform

Venezuela has sent a diplomatic note of protest to Trinidad and Tobago
over an oil exploration platform that Venezuela says is 1.3 kilometers/0.8
miles inside its waters.

U.S. Coast Guard locates two vessels in closed fishing area

The U.S. Coast Guard located two fishing vessels from New Bedford, Mass.,
in a closed fishing area 280 kilometers/175 miles east of Provincetown,
Mass., on 3 May. The Coast Guard's Bear-class Medium-Endurance Cutter U.S.C.G.C.
Escanaba (WMEC 907) found the Perseverance and the Weymouth six kilometers/four
miles inside Closed Area II at 0130. When queried, one vessel sailed north
and one south, and an HU-25A Falcon and an HH-60J Jayhawk helocopter from
Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., were sent to assist. After the
vessels were stopped and boarded, the Coast Guard's "Island"-class
Patrol Boat U.S.C.G.C. Monomoy (WPB 1326) escorted the two vessels to New
Bedford where the catches were turned over to the U.S. National Marine
Fisheries Service. The owners face fines up to U.S.$100,000. This is the
second time the Perseverance has been found in a closed fishing area. The
U.S.C.G.C. Escanaba found the vessel in a closed area 20 March.

Bulk carrier arrested at Rostock on wage claims

The Rova (28,493-gt, 50,901-dwt bulk carrier built in 1972, operated
by Goldenport Shipsmanagement Ltd.) has been arrested at the Port of Rostock,
Germany. Claims of U.S.$70,000 in back wages have been made against the
owner of the ship.


Canada auctions off detained "fish factory"

The Kristina Logos, a Portuguese "fish factory" seized by
Canada off the Grand Banks in 1994, has been auctioned off by a federal
court for Canadian$605,000/U.S.$437,000. The ship was detained for illegal
fishing off Newfoundland.


Twenty-six killed as boats sink between Greece and Turkey

The bodies of 26 Iraqi migrants and the Turkish owners of two vessels
have been found by the Turkish Coast Guard after the boats sank 2 May.
Twenty-eight migrants and three Turkish gudies reportedly attempted to
cross from Tukrey to Samos, Greece, in the two boats. One of the boats
began taking on water, and as the other boat came alongside, passengers
jumped overboard, grabbing onto the second vessel. The first boat sank
and the second capsized.

More than 560 rescued in sinking off Thailand

The King Cruiser (Thai-registry 650-dwt, 80-meter/260-foot long passenger
vessel built in 1969, operated by Ferry Line of Thailand and Songserm Travel
Center), sailing between the Thai ports of Phuket and Phi Phi, sank 4 May
after running aground on a coral reef 27 kilometers/17 miles southeast
of Phuket. All aboard, including 560 passengers, were rescued by two police
boats and fishing vessels. One woman reportedly suffered a broken back
during the evacuation, and several people were in shock. The King Cruiser
sank an hour after hitting the reef.

Kipper taking on water off Italy

The Kipper (Maltese-registry 6,186-gt, 10,690-dwt tanker built in 1978,
operated by Vecomar Ship Management S.A.) took on water in its engine room
8 May, at 40 degrees 11.8 minutes north, 17 degrees 02.3 minutes east.
The crew of 22 was assisted by an Italian aircraft and two tugs in stabilizing
the flooding.

Cypriot-registry combination carrier damaged in allision at Antwerp

The Veni (Cypriot-registry 88,279-gt, 172,279-dwt oil/ore carrier built
in 1976, operated by Seascope Shipping Ltd.) was damaged 6 May when it
rammed the northern quay of a lock entering the Berendrechtsluis at Antwerp,
Belgium. The ship sailed from Narvik, Norway. The Veni's port side was
damaged over 20 meters/65 feet of its hull, with less severe damage to

Collision off Kyushu causes gasoline spill

The Ichiyo Maru No. 21 (Japanese-registry 199-gt product tanker) collided
7 May with the Izumi Maru No. 60 (Japanese-registry 500-gt, 785-dwt liquified
petroleum gas carrier built in 1984, operated by Nippon Gas Line Co. Ltd.)
off the Kunisaki Peninsula of Kyushu, Japan. The No. 1 port cargo tank
aboard the Ichiyo Maru No. 21 ruptured, spilling 50,000 liters/13,000 gallons
of gasoline from its cargo of 630,000 liters/164,000 gallons. The Izumi
Maru No. 60 suffered bow damage but there were no injuries.

Fire destroys generator aboard the Danica Sunrise

At 0734 9 May, the Danica Sunrise (Danish-registry 1,087-gt, 1,700-dwt
general cargo ship built in 1989, operated by H. Folmer) reported a generator
fire at 49 degrees 32 minutes north, 03 minutes 25 minutes west. The location
is near the Channel Islands of the United Kingdom. The ship was carrying
marble from Malaga, Spain, to Shoreham, England, when the fire began. Two
French firefighters were taken to the Danica Sunrise by helicopter, but
the five crew had extinguished the fire by the time the helicopter arrived.
British firefighters in Cornwall, England, had also been mobilized. The
ship is continuing to Shoreham where a new generator will be installed.

North Korean, Japanese freighters collide off Japan

The Song Do Ho (North Korean-registry, 993-gt) collided with the Eiryu
Maru (Japanese-registry, 429-gt) at 0130 2 May in the Kurushima Channel,
three kilometers/two miles off Imabari, Japan. None of the 24 crewmembers
aboard the Song Do Ho or the four aboard the Eiryu Maru were injured. The
Song Do Ho's starboard bow was dented, as was the bow the Eiryu Maru. The
former loaded graphite at Komatsujima, Japan, and was sailing to Takehara,
Japan. The latter, with no cargo, was sailing from Nagasu, Japan, to Mizushima,

Bulk carrier hits former U.S. Navy carrier moored near New Orleans

The Tomis Future (Maltese-registry 39,539-gt, 65,352-dwt bulk carrier
built in 1989, operated by Ermis Maritime Corp.) rammed the former U.S.
Navy Independence-class Light Aircraft Carrier Cabot (most recently AVT
3) at Algiers Point on mile 94 of the Mississippi River on 3 May. The superstructure
of the Tomis Future was holed and the port lifeboat and davit were destroyed.

U.S. Coast Guard assists fishing vessel taking on water off Massachusetts

The Max & Andrew (United States-registry 22-meter/72-foot stern
trawler homeported at Hyannis, Mass.) was disabled early 3 May and began
taking on water, 59 kilometers/37 miles east of Chatham, Mass. Weather
conditions included 25-knot winds and seas of 3.7 meters/12 feet. The U.S.
Coast Guard provided a pump to the vessel, with a crew of three, at 2030.
Later, the Max & Andrew reported that the vessel had 1.2 meters/four
feet of water in the bilges. In addition, a fuel tank broke lose from its
mount. At 2230 3 May, a helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod,
Mass., provided a second pump. Shortly after, the Coast Guard's "Island"-class
Patrol Boat U.S.C.G.C. Monomoy (WPB 1326) took the Max & Andrew in
tow to the eastern entrance of the Cape Cod Canal. From there, the tug
Jaguar towed the vessel to New Bedford, Mass.

Vistafjord suffers second laundry fire

The Vistafjord (Bahamian-registry 24,492-gt, 5,600-dwt, 191-meter/627-foot
passenger ship built in 1973, operated by Cunard Line Ltd.) suffered another
laundry fire late 5 May while docked in Valletta, Malta. Most of the damage
was caused by water used to extinguish the fire. At 0140 6 April, about
32 kilometers/20 miles south of Freeport, the Bahamas, a short circuit
in chemical dispensing equipment caused a fire aboard the ship. Stephen
Moeller, a 26-year-old German waiter, was found unconscious in a cabin
on the deck above the fire and died the morning of 6 April at a Freeport
hospital. Another crewmember suffered a broken ankle and a passenger had
a broken arm. Damage was limited to a linen locker on the third deck near
the stern. The Vistafjord had a previously scheduled repair period at Malta
Drydocks from 21 April to 4 May, which it had just completed when the second
fire began. A 12-night cruise in Greece was canceled, with passengers spending
a night in a Valletta hotel before being reimbursed and flown home. The
ship is on charter from 19 May.

Xin Kang aground off Japan

The Xin Kang (Chinese-registry 3,602-gt, 5,460-dwt dry cargo ship built
in 1971, operated by COSCO Container Lines) ran aground early 7 May off
northeastern Shikoku Island, Japan. The ship, with a crew of 23, ran aground
at 0140 on an outcropping in the Shiwaku Isles sailing through a waterway
in the Inland Sea National Park. The Xin Kang left Himeji, Japan, late
6 May for Shanghai, China, with 3,900 tons of copper products. The master
said he was distracted by two vessels ahead of the ship while sailing through
the area in darkness. No injuries or pollution were reported.

Carl Metz aground at Dragonera

The Carl Metz (St. Vincent and the Grenadines-registry 5,931-gt, 7,796-dwt
general cargo ship built in 1980, operated by Metz Shipmanagement Ltd.)
ran aground on an island off Dragonera on 5 May. The ship, with 149 containers,
was sailing from Istanbul, Turkey, to the Italian island of Sicily.

Panamanian-registry ship refloats off Japan

The Crane Hope (Panamanian-registry 4,123-gt, 6,382-dwt bulk carrier
built in 1984, operated by Peter and Brothers Inc.) ran aground early 8
May about 700 meters/2,300 feet off southwestern Yanashima Island, Japan.
No damage or injuries to the 18 crew were reported in the 0200 grounding.
The Crane Hope refloated on its own five hours later and sailed to Hamada,
Japan, carrying 8,000 cubic meters/10,000 cubic yards of lumber.

U.S.-registry bulk carrier grounds at Ohio port

On 1 May, the John J. Boland (United States-registry 12,557-gt, 19,687-dwt,
9,038-nt, 195-meter/639-foot bulk carrier built in 1953 by Manitowoc Shipbuilding
Inc. at Manitowoc, Wis.; owned and operated by American Steamship Co.)
unloaded salt at the Erie Sand and Gravel Co. in Sandusky, Ohio. The ship
then went to the coal dock, and after loading coal for Encorse, Mich.,
ran aground. High winds at the time created a low water area that apparently
caused the ship to sail out of the channel. The Illinois (United States-registry
98-gt, 35-meter/81-foot tug built in 1949 with 1,250 horsepower for a bollard
pull of 34,000 tons, owned and operated by Great Lakes Towing Co.) and
the Ohio (United States-registry 194-gt, 40.0-meter/118-foot tug built
in 1954 with 2,000 horsepower for a bollard pull of 53,000 tons, owned
and operated by Great Lakes Towing Co.) refloated the ship at 1300 2 May.

Venezuelan fishermen's group files lawsuit in Nissos Amorgos spill

The Venezuelan Fishermen's Federation filed a lawsuit 4 May against
the owners and insurers of the Nissos Amorgos (Greek-registry 50,563-gt,
89,427-dwt tanker built in 1988, owned by Glafki-Atenas and operated by
Teekay Shipping Ltd.). They are seeking U.S.$292.5 million. The ship ran
aground late 28 Feb. between buoys 20 and 22 in the channel of Lake Maracaibo,
Venezuela, and spilled at least 20,000 barrels of crude oil. A slick 12
kilometers/seven miles long formed in the Gulf of Venezuela near San Carlos
Island from oil spilled from the No. 1 cargo tank, and it came ashore on
San Carlos and Zapara islands. The ship, carrying 474,000 barrels or 64,573
tons from Puerto Miranda, Venezuela, to Port de Gella, Italy, was towed
closer to land and anchored 26 kilometers/16 miles off the Paraguana Peninsula.
After transferring oil among its tanks, the ship sailed for Guaranao, Venezuela,
to offload the oil. It was chartered by Maraven S.A., a subsidiary of Petroleos
de Venezuela S.A., and was carrying the oil for Agip Petroil S.p.A. Seventeen
kilometers/11 miles of land was affected. The fishermen say that the spill
has devasted local fishing and ruined their occupation.

Bow of the Nakhodka removed from beach near Mukui, interim report released

The bow of the Nakhodka (Russian-registry 13,157-gt, 20,471-dwt tanker
built in 1970 in Poland, operated by Primorsk Shipping Co. and owned by
Prisco Traffic Ltd.) has been shipped to Kure, Japan. The ship broke in
half 2 Jan. in the Sea of Japan, about 130 kilometers/80.6 miles northeast
of the Oki Islands, Japan. Thirty-one of the 32 crew were rescued and the
master was killed. The Nakhodka was carrying 19,000 tons of grade C heavy
fuel, or 19 million liters/five million gallons or 133,000 barrels, from
China to Russia's Kamchatka Peninsla. Oil came ashore 7 Jan. in seven areas
along a 100-kilometer/62-mile area of beach between Kyogamisaki, Japan,
and Oshima Lighthouse near Mikuni, Japan. The bow of the tanker came ashore
the same day near Oshima Lighthouse, while the stern sank. The spill was
estmated at 5,000 tons or more than five million liters/1.3 million gallons
along eight prefectures spanning 900 kilometers/560 miles. The bow was
emptied of oil on 10 Feb., with 2.45 million liters/637,000 gallons collected.
On 20 April, the 50-meter/165-foot bow was removed from the beach along
with other pieces that included a segment measuring 10 meters/30 feet by
10 meters/30 feet. The bow was loaded aboard a ship 2 May. On 6 May, the
Japanese government released an interim report on the incident. It states
that steel taken from the bow showed that the keel steel was 23 percent
less thick, on average, than at the time the ship was built. Steel from
the sides of the hull were found to be 30 percent to 54 percent less than
the initial thickness. A final report will be released at the end of July.

E.P.I.R.B. from the Char-Lee II found

The Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon from the Char-Lee II
(United States-registry 12-meter/40-foot fishing vessel, homeported at
Morehead City, N.C.) was found by the sailboat Venturous on 27 April, attached
to a 0.9-meter/three-foot by 1.8-meter/six-foot piece of the hull. The
wreckage was found floating 480 kilometers/300 miles east of Cape Henry,
Va. The E.P.I.R.B. had not been activated, and was turned over to an officer
of the U.S. Coast Guard in Bermuda. The Char-Lee II planned to ride out
a storm 31 March about 48 kilometers/30 miles southeast of Cape Lookout,
N.C., as its anchor was stuck on the bottom. The Char-Lee II was never
heard from again. On the night of 3 April, a search began that eventually
involved three U.S. Coast Guard cutters, the U.S. Navy's Nimitz-class Nuclear-Powered
Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. George Washington (CVN 73), more than 12 Coast
Guard and Navy aircraft and about 20 fishing vessels. By 4 April, the search
expanded to more than 416,000 square kilometers/160,000 square miles. On
8 April, after 255 hours of accumulated searching, the effort was suspended.
The three crew - Jessie Lee Dempsey of Morehead City, N.C.; Roy Pickle
of Beaufort, N.C.; and John M. Williams of Elizabeth, N.J. - are missing.


Pat Henry becomes first U.S. woman to sail around the world

At 1230 5 May, Pat Henry, a 56-year-old architect, docked her sailboat
at Acapulco, Mexico, becoming the first woman from the United States to
sail alone around the world. Henry, of Bloomington, Ill., completed the
final leg of a 43,000-kilometer/27,000-mile, eight-year voyage aboard the
Southern Cross, a 9.4-meter/31-foot sailboat. She financed the voyage by
selling watercolor paintings she made during the voyage. The longest time
at sea was 36 days from Acapulco to the Marquesas Islands. Reportedly,
Henry is also the oldest woman to have circumnavigated the globe by herself.
She traveled home only twice in the eight years, four years ago for her
mother's 80th birthday and in 1996 when one of her grandchildren was born.

Replica of John Cabot's ship leaves England for Newfoundland

The Mathew, a replica of the ship John Cabot sailed 500 years ago to
reach what is now Newfoundland, Canada, left Bristol, England, on 2 May
to recreate the voyage. With a crew of 19, and Prince Philip at the helm
out of Bristol, the ship will arrive in Newfoundland on 24 June. Cabot
believed that Asia could be reached by sailing west, and merchants in Bristol
agreed to back a voyage. After reports in 1493 that Christopher Columbus
had reached Asia by a westward passage, Cabot planned to find a direct
crossing, and on 5 March, 1496, the expedition was authorized by King Henry
VII of England. With a crew of 18, Cabot, aboard the original Mathew, left
Bristol on 2 May, 1497. He reached land, possibly Cape Breton Island, on
24 June, 1497. After sailing along Labrador, Newfoundland and New England,
Cabot believed it to be northeastern Asia, and claimed it in the name of
Henry VII. He received a pension after returning in August.