- Transport on Line - hiltunen.htm


Germany approves new shipping subsidies

Although Germany had planned to abolish shipping subsides this year,
they have again been approved. Some 30 million German marks/U.S.$17.6 million
will be given in subsidies, down from 100 million marks/U.S.$58.3 million
last year. Subsidies will no longer be granted based on the value of vessels,
but rather the amount of income tax paid by crewmembers. Subsidies are
planned for 1998 as well. This year's subsidies include 4.2 million marks/U.S.$2.4
million for training German crewmembers.

Preliminary report on Danish port taxes announced

A preliminary finding by the European Court of Justice's advocate-general
states that Danish ports charged 40 percent more taxes per ton of cargo
on vessels arriving from foreign ports than they did on cargo from coastwise
shipping from 1984 to 1990. Under the European Union's Maastrict Treaty
Article 95, member countries cannot charge more taxes on cargoes from other
E.U. states than the taxes charged on domestic products. Haahr Petroleum,
Olieselskabet Danmark and Texaco filed a lawsuit in Copenhagen High Court
against Denmark, seeking 15 million Danish kroner/U.S.$2.3 million due
to the taxes. The three said that the tax was levied on imported refined
oil and not crude shipped to Danish refineries. The court then sought an
E.C.J. ruling. The three firms held Denmark accountable because it had
ordered ports to assess the tax. A European Commission ruling in 1990 halted
it. Denmark said that the tax was needed because special port facilities
were for use by importers, and needed to be maintained.

Lloyd's Open Form changed

Lloyd's Form of Salvage Agreement, also known as Lloyd's Open Form and
L.O.F. 1995, has been amended to speed cases that go to arbitration. The
form is used to determine awards for salvors.

New Chinese shipping line formed

The Chinese Ministry of Communication is combining its operations in
Guangzhou and Dalian with two major shipping lines in Shanghai, including
Shanghai Haixing Shipping Co. Ltd. The result is China Maritime Transport,
with 468 ships of 7.6 million deadweight tons.

N.V.O.C.C.s do not have to file tariffs on certain shipments

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board ruled 24 Feb. that non-vessel
operating common carriers do not have to file tariffs after 29 March for
shipments between the continental United States and Alaska, Hawaii and
Puerto Rico.

Bermuda Container Line files suit against I.L.A. and New York group

Bermuda Container Line Ltd. filed a lawsuit 21 Feb. against the International
Longshoremen's Association and the New York Shipping Association in U.S.
District Court in Manhattan in New York. Bermuda Container Line said it
decided to move from Port Elizabeth, N.J., to Salem, Mass., because handling
costs per container were U.S.$300 less. But in June, Bermuda Container
Line said, the I.L.A./N.Y.S.A. Local Industry Grievance Committee decided
the line could move but only to another I.L.A. port, and hence not Salem.
The I.L.A. and the N.Y.S.A. said Bermuda Container Line was given three
months to withdraw before discussions began on a new contract with the
I.L.A. Since the line did not leave, it is bound by the agreement it has
with workers at Port Elizabeth.

Some Sub Sea International assets sold for U.S.$110 million

Dresser Industries agreed 5 March to sell some assets of Sub Sea International
to Global Industries Ltd. for U.S.$110 million. The assets include remote-control
submarines that do service work as well as other vessels in Asia Pacific,
the Far East, the Gulf of Mexico and the Middle East.

TACA revising currency adjustments

The Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement is revising its currency adjustment
factors as of April. Cargo moving via continental Europe will have surcharges
reduced from 32 percent to 28 percent, and cargo moving from the Baltic
and Scandinavia will be cut from 15 percent to 12. Cargo via Ireland and
the United Kingdom, however, will increase from six percent to eight percent.

British and Irish lighthouse dues decreased

The fees for British and Irish lighthouses has been reduced by two pence
on the basic voyage rate, or five percent.

Anglo-Eastern to manage P.N.S.L.

Anglo-Eastern Ship Management Ltd. has announced it will manage Perbadanan
Nasional Shipping Line.

FINMARE to disappear

As the result of changes announced by the Italian government, Societa
Finanziaria Marittima S.A. will cease to exist.

Cameroon Shipping Line privatized

Completing a process begun in July 1994, Cameroon Shipping Line has
been privatized. The government retains 15.2 percent, and Sofimar, a group
formed by the line's employees, has 13 percent. Business interests have
10 percent and agricultural interests another five. Other holders are Unimar
at 20 percent, DEG at 15.4 percent and V Ships at 16 percent. The line
owns two ships and charters two others for services between western Africa
and northern Europe as well as the Mediterranean.

World fleet in 1996

As of the end of 1996, the number of ships over 1,000 tons numbered
26,764, accounting for 717.61 million deadweight tons.

Dutch registry in 1996

Last year, 56 vessels joined the Dutch-registry. It now stands at 439
vessels, up from 3.38 million gross tons to 3.95 million gross tons. Many
of the ships were newbuilding short-sea vessels up to 9,000-dwt.

South Korean-owned ships in 1996

At end of 1996, South Korean businesses owned 389 vessels of 11,529,000-gt,
an increase of 16 ships and 9.4 percent in gross tonnage. By type, there
were 83 dry cargo ships of 1,855,000-gt, up 64 percent; liquified natural
gas carriers numbered four of 402,000-gt, up 34.9 percent; there were 108
containerships of 2,716,000-gt, up 32 percent; chemical tankers numbered
15 of 44,000-gt, an increase of 12.8 percent; ro/ros accounted for 20 ships
of 861,000-gt, up 6.9 percent; and mineral carriers numbered 47 at 4,095,000
tons, a 5.8 percent increase. Oil tankers decreased 13.7 percent to nine
of 1,186,000-gt and general cargo ships declined 4.4 percent to 48 of 132,000-gt.
Log carriers dropped 4.4 percent to 11 of 68,000-gt.

India gives five percent cut for scrap ships

India will reduce customs duties by five percent on ships imported for

PICC Property providing largest export credit guarantee in Shanghai

PICC Property signed an agreement with Zhenhua Port Machinery Co. on
6 March to provide a U.S.$10.45 million export credit guarantee for five
container cranes being sold to a Brazilian firm. It is the largest such
guarantee ever written in Shanghai, China. The Brazilian firm will pay
15 percent now and the balance over eight years.

N.O.L. gets I.S.O. 9002

Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. has received I.S.O. 9002 certification by
ABS Quality Evaluations Inc.

Trans-American consolidating in Houston

Trans-American Steamship Agency moved its headquarters to its existing
Houston office on 1 March. The headquarters had been in Los Angeles.


Wan Hai announces new service, will also operate a service for A.P.L.

Wan Hai Lines ltd. will start a weekly container service between Japan,
Malaysia and Singapore on 10 March. The Star Express II will have two sailings
a week, with Kobe, Japan, to Singapore in eight days and Port Klang, Malaysia,
in nine days. American President Lines Ltd. will begin a container service
between Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore on 17 March. Calls at
Malaysia will now be twice a week, calls at Hong Kong and Singapore will
be three times a week and service to Japan will be five times weekly. Intra-Asia
Express will be offered through a slot-chartering agreement with Wan Hai
Lines. Wan Hai Lines will operate three containerships on a fixed-daily
service. At 19 knots, eight-day service will be offered from Port Klang
to Yokohama, Japan, or Kobe to Singapore. Kobe to Hong Kong and Hong Kong
to Tokyo is four days.

CMBT-Unicorn restructuring

CMBT-Unicorn has announced it will restructure and form two separate
marketing units under the control of the joint venture's members, CMB Transport
S.A. and Unicorn Lines Pty. Ltd. One will operate as CMBT, the other as
Quadrant Container Line. The first voyages affected are the Nahoon (9,742-dwt
dry cargo ship built in 1992, operated by Sovcomflot) sailing 29 March
from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and the CMB Kilimanjaro, sailing
from Durban, South Africa, on 2 April.

Minsheng Kanbara starting Ningbo to Japan service

Minsheng Kanbara Shipping is starting a service between Ningbo, China,
and Hachinohe and Hitachi in Japan via Shanghai, China. Starting in the
middle of this month, the Youwa (Japanese-registry 5,935-dwt, 282-TEU capacity
dry cargo vessel built in 1986, operated by Noma Kaiun K.K.) will call
every 20 days.

Midland forms new firm for Mediterranean, Black Sea service

Midland Inc. announced 6 March it has formed Midland Liners to handle
Midland container shipping in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. It will
begin operating from Piraeus and Thessaloniki, Greece, and Taganrog, Russia,
on 18 March. Each port will be called twice a month.

NMC Container Lines to operate Philippine service

NMC Container Lines Inc. has received permission from the Philippine
government to operate a service between Cebu and Manila. The line has been
granted one-month provisionary authority, until 22 March, pending certification
of a certificate or public convenience. It will operate two vessels.

Maersk Line joins Good Hope Express

Maersk Line is adding a ship to the Good Hope Express, a service between
the Far East, South Africa and the east coast of South America. With 12
ships, the service includes CSAV, Maersk, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Norsul Offshore
S.A. and Quadrant Line.

United Arab Shipping switches terminals

United Arab Shipping Co. is now using the Global Terminal in Jersey
City, N.J., for its America-Mediterranean-Asia Service. The Addiriyah (Saudi
Arabian-registry 24,302-dwt containership built in 1979, owned and operated
by United Arab Shipping) made the last call at the Maher Terminal, with
import cargo on 24 Feb. and export cargo 5 March.

Ferry service between Albania and Italy suspended

On 3 March, the ferry service from Vlore, Albania, to Brindisi, Italy,
was suspended. The worsening situation in Albania prompted the Italian
government to take the action due to passenger and vessel safety as well
as possibilities of a flood Albanian citizens leaving the country as refugees.
Vlore, which has become somewhat autonomous from the rest of Albania, was
bracing for an assault by the Albanian military. Residents of Vlore, with
residents throughout Albania, staged anti-government protests due to the
collapse of the "pyramid" schemes in the country, leaving many
without money. Residents of Vlore stormed military and government buildings,
and have essentially amassed a small army of captured weaponry. In Sarande,
Albania, residents stormed the Albanian People's Navy facility. They are
now in control of seven Huchuan-class Semi-Hydrofoil Torpedo Boats, vessels
transferred in 1974 and 1975 by the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy.

D.F.D.S. shifts vessels on Harwich to Hamburg route

D.F.D.S. will place the Prince of Scandinavia (Danish-registry 22,000-gt,
3,335-dwt passenger vessel built in 1975) on its Harwich, England, to Hamburg,
Germany, route on 6 May. It will replace the Hamburg (14,000-gt, 2,999-dwt
passenger vessel built in 1976), which will be used between Amsterdam,
the Netherlands, and Newcastle, England.


Major reclamation at Manila planned

The Philippine Ports Authority will reclaim 400 hectares/1,000 acres
of land from Mabila Bay for 22 billion Philippine pesos/U.S.$850 million.
It is part of a 25-year development plan. In the South Harbor, land will
be expanded by 360 hectares/900 acres on Engineering Island. A container
freight station, roads and other facilities will be built. At the Manila
International Container Terminal, new container berths will be built and
at North Harbor, there will be room for larger ships. As part of the plan,
Asian Terminals Inc., which operates the South Harbor, will spend 667.6
million pesos/U.S.$24.5 million.

New South African port?

Plans have been announced to build a port to handle bulk cargoes at
Coega at Port Elizabeth, South Africa. An industrial development zone would
be build nearby. The project would cost 700 million South African rand/U.S.$152
million. It would handle ships up to 80,000-dwt and a feasability study
will be completed in April. The impetus for the port are two new planned
industries in the area. Gencor Ltd. plans to build a zinc refinery to handle
220,000 tons annually, and Kynoch plans to build a fertilizer plant. Both
would cost a total of 2.3 billion rand/U.S.$520 million.

Paramaribo to be refurbished

The European Union has pledged U.S.$37.5 million to Suriname to be used
over five years. Most of the grant will be used to refurbish the Port of

Strike at Paranagua

Dockworkers at the Port of Paranagua, Brazil, began a 72-hour strike
at 1200 5 March. Discussions failed. The workers are asking for a 21 percent
wage increase retroactive to March 1996. The port agreed to the raise,
but not making it retroactive. Paranagua handles 60 percent of Brazilian
soybean exports, about 11 million tons annually. On 5 March, 317,000 tons
of soybeans and 430,100 tons of soybean meal was stranded at the port.

Sri Lanka to form terminal operator, raise tariffs

Sri Lanka Ports Authority is planning to form a wholly-owned business
to handle transshipment operations at Colombo. The limited liability firm
would operate a container terminal and conventional berths. Imports would
be duty-free and would be exempt from inland revenue and exchange. The
authority is also planning to raise tariffs by 1 April. Navigation charges
will increase 19 to 25 percent, and stevedoring charges will go up 10 percent.

Lockwood Greene to design terminal for PDVSA

Lockwood Greene will design a petrochemical export terminal for Petroleos
de Venezuela S.A. to be built at Pequiven in Jose, Venezuela. The facility
will handle 9.9 million metric tons of liquid and dry bulk chemicals annually
and 1.6 million tons of containerized chemicals per year. There will be
a container dock, two petrochemical berths and a bulk berth two kilometers/one
mile offshore. A jetty will link it to shore.

Sea-Land to manage Xiamen berth

Sea-Land Service Inc. will manage a container berth in Xiamen, Fujian
Province, China, for Fairyoung Holdings Ltd. Sea-Land will shift some of
its vessel calls in Xiamen to that berth. Operations will begin 11 March
and Sea-Land will get part of any profits.

C.P. Ships adding two gantry cranes at Montreal

C.P. Ships will install two panamax gantry cranes at Montreal at a cost
of Canadian$14 million/U.S.$10.25 million by the fourth quarter. They are
being built by Liebherr Container Cranes. One will be installed at the
Racine Terminal and the other will be used at the Cast Terminal.

Hutchison details cost of operating Balboa and Cristobal

Hutchison Port Holdings, which took over operation of the Panamanian
ports of Balboa and Cristobal on 1 March, has detailed the costs involved.
It will pay U.S.$22.2 million in annual rent to Panama. Hutchison will
pay U.S.$10 million for existing equipment and Panama will get 10 percent
of gross revenues as well as a non-contributory 10 percent holding in the
firm, Panama Ports Co. Hutchison has a 25-year concession.

Four businesses unite to secure Indian port contract

The Kier Group and Shahi Shipping have joined in a bid to win a 2.4
billion Indian rupee/U.S.$67.6 million port project at Dighi, India. The
port can handle up to four million tons of liquid cargoes annually. JVG
Industries and Pidilite Industries would also be involved in Dighi Port
Co., which would have a capital base of 600 million rupees and 1:1 debt-equity
ratio. Shahi Shipping would bring 100 million rupees/U.S.$16.7 million,
JVG 200 million/U.S.$5.58 million and Kier 60 million/U.S.$1.7 million.
The rest will come from private placements and Pidilite Industries.

Mobil berth disabled

The berth at Mobil Corp.'s Coryton refinery in the United Kingdom has
been removed from service, after a very large crude carrier was slammed
into the berth in 40 knot winds.

Associated British Ports in agreement with Cunard

Associated British Ports and Cunard Line Ltd. have signed a three-year
deal with allow call's by Cunard vessels at Southampton, England. It is
effective until 2000.


Gdansk Shipyard to cease operations, most employees laid off

Gdansk Shipyard has effectively said it will cease operations, having
announced 6 March that 3,600 employees will be dismissed. They will receive
three months severance pay and other benefits, totaling U.S.$8.54 million.
Some 200 employees will remain to protect U.S.$88 million in assets. The
shipard, founded in 1947, is perhaps best known for a strike in 1980 that
established the Solidarity trade union. Lech Walesa, a worker at the yard,
became the country's president from 1990 to 1995. In August, the yard declared
bankruptcy with U.S.$152 million. It was hoped to secure a U.S.$100 million
loan to build five containerships for Heinrich Schoeller Holdings Ltd.,
but Bank Gdanski, leading a group of seven banks, decided not to make the
loan. Another bank, Bank PeKaO, rejected a loan request 5 March.

Vietnam plans shipbuilding upgrade

The Vietnamese state shipbuilding firm is planning to spend U.S.$1 billion
to upgrade shipbuilding and repair facilities in the country.

Daedong Shipbuilding taken over

Daedong Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. has effectively been taken over by Soo
San Heavy Industries. Until now, Soo San's ship work has been limited to
a small repair yard in China. It took over Daedong by buying a controling
interest in Daedong's holding firm, Seyang Shipping Co. Ltd. Seyang Shipping
recently declared bankruptcy.

Bath Iron Works announces expansion

General Dynamics Corp.'s Marine Division/Bath Iron Works announced 25
Feb. it is planning a U.S.$307 million expansion. Four hectares/10 acres
will be added by filling in part of the Kennebec River. The project, which
will cost U.S.$200 million, will enable three ships at a time to be worked
on in the area by the end of 2001. The shipyard plans to add a floating
drydock at the site, possibly making the drydock at Portland, Maine, redundant.
Bath Iron Works wants Maine to form a port authority to own and finance
the expansion by low-interest bonds. The shipyard would then lease it.
Another U.S.$107 milllion will be spent by General Dynamics on other improvements
over 10 years.

CARENA workers strike

Employees at Cie Abidjanaise de Reparations Navales in Abidjan, Cote
d'Ivoire, struck 5 March for higher wages.

Dispute at Subic Shipyard and Engineering settled

On 27 Feb., about 100 part-time contract workers walked out in a dispute
over wages and benefits. About 90 percent returned 4 March after a settlement
was reached. They threatened to leave if the daily wage of 143 Philippine
pesos/U.S.$5.43 was not increased to 200 pesos/U.S.$7.60, and if the overtime
rate of 150 percent was abolished.

Hanbo withdraws shipbuilding proposal

Hanbo Group announced 3 March it has withdrawn a plan to invest U.S.$1
billion in a shipbuilding venture in the Philippines. The Philippine Board
of Investments was informed in early January. Hanbo, which recently collapsed
with U.S.$5.8 billion in debts, is involved a loan scandal in South Korea.

Owners, insurers of the Calypso file suit

The Cousteau Society and eight insurers and underwriters of the society's
Calypso have filed a lawsuit for compensation in Singapore. On 8 Jan.,
1996, the Calypso, the 20-meter/66-foot converted Royal Navy minesweeper
that was Jacques Cousteau's research vessel, sank in Singapore while in
the custody of Kwong Soon Engineering Co. Pte. Ltd. The ship was to sail
for the Yellow Sea in China, but was hit by a barge while at anchor. A
writ of summons has been issued for two claims which alledge breach of
contract, negligence and failing to provide care, custody and a safe berth
for the Calypso. The insurers and underwriters are seeking a right to subrogation.
The suit was filed last month by the group's Singapore representative,
Joseph Tan Jude Benny and Scott. The Calypso was later raised and taken
by ship to Marseilles, France, where the ship remains at present.

Hyundai to build four 300,000-dwt tankers

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. announced 3 March it has won a U.S.$330
million order from Sea Tanker Corp. for four 300,000-dwt oil tankers. The
first two will be delivered by the second half of 1998 with the rest the
following year.

A.P. Moller buys largest floating drydock

A.P. Moller has purchased the largest floating drydock in the world
from Lowaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft. It reportedly cost about 24 million
Norwegian kroner/U.S.$3.5 million.

In a first, Norwegian owner orders fishing vessel from Chilean yard

Astilleros y Servicios Navales will build a 74.5-meter/244-foot purse
seiner-trawler for DOF Shipping at is yard in Valdivia, Chile. It will
have a capacity of 2,000 cubic meters/2,600 cubic yards and was designed
by Vik and Sandvik. It is the first time a Norwegian firm has ordered a
fishing vessel from a Chilean shipyard.

Aalborg Vaerft to refit Queen of Scandinavia

Aalborg Vaerft will refurbish the Queen of Scandinavia (Danish-registry
33,000-gt, 3,898-dwt passenger vessel built in 1981) for six weeks between
early April and mid-May. The work will include refurbishing a restaurant
and cabins and building a new night club. The vessel sails between Copenhagen,
Denmark, and Oslo, Norway.


Canada rules neither it nor Romania can decide Maersk Dubai case

Justice Michael MacDonald ruled 6 March in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada,
that six Taiwanese citizens accused of killing three stowaways at sea will
not have to face trial in Romania. MacDonald said there was enough evidence
to charge the six with manslaughter and second-degree homicide, but he
said there was no authority to do so, as an extradition treaty with Romania
only covers crimes committed in the two countries and not at sea. Romania
will appeal and the six were freed. A request was made with the Nova Scotia
Court of Appeal to take them back into custody pending the appeal, but
it was denied. On 24 May, 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.) arrived in Halifax. It had been chartered
to Maersk since 1994. 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, 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. The ship sailed 4 June
for New York with a replacement crew. The ship's carpenter, who was also
arrested, was released in December. Romania requested extradition since
the stowaways were Romanian citizens, but Taiwan said that since the ship
carried its registry, it was a Taiwanese matter. Further complicating the
issue was the fact that China, which regards Taiwan as a province, said
it was a Chinese legal dispute. 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, but
that neither Canada nor Romania has jurisdiction. Taiwan has said it will
prosecute if the six return to Taiwan.

Navigation season on the Canadian/U.S. Great Lakes opens

The 1997 navigation season on the Canadian/U.S. Great Lakes began 3
March when the David Z. Norton (U.S.-registry 10,344-gt, 19,786-dwt, 6,477-nt,
194-meter/635-foot self-unloading bulk carrier built in 1973, operated
by Oglebay Norton Co.) left port to begin moving iron ore on the Cuyahoga
River in Cleveland. The 1996 season ended just 30 days before. Also, the
locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., will open 25 March.

U.S. Coast Guard searches for missing vessel in the Pacific

The U.S. Coast Guard is searching an area 240 kilometers/150 miles southwest
of Oahu Island, Hawaii, for the Havana (24-meter/78-foot wooden fishing
vessel). The Havana, with a crew of five, left Honolulu on 20 Feb. Two
HC-130H Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point began
the search after the wife of the vessel's master contacted the U.S. National
Marine Fisheries Service. She had attempted to call the Havana by radio
since 24 Feb.

Two people fall overboard in San Francisco Bay

On 15 Feb., the Jack London Commodore (23-meter/76-foot dinner cruise
vessel) reported that a passenger went overboard as the vessel entered
San Francisco Bay from the Oakland Estuary. A security officer aboard jumped
in to rescue the person. A Coast Guard HH-65A Dolphin helicopter and a
12-meter/41-foot utility boat, a Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel, the San
Francisco Fire Department's vessel Phoenix and the Oakland Fire Deptartment's
vessel Seawolf searched the area but did not locate them.

Vessel disabled off Florida, crewmember missing

On 19 Feb., the Sir Muscles radioed that it was disabled but saling
at 1.5 knots in the Santaren Channel. A U.S. Coast Guard HU-25A Falcon
located the vessel 64 kilometers/40 miles southeast of Key Largo, Fla.
It has less than a day's supply of food and water, and the crew believed
the engine would fail soon. As the Coast Guard "Island"-class
Patrol Boat U.S.C.G.C. Baranof (WPB 1318) arrived, the ship reported a
crewmember overboard about 46 kilometers/29 miles southeast of Key Largo.
The Sir Muscles, the cutter and an HH-60J Jayhawk from Coast Guard Air
Station Clearwater searched the area but did not find the man. The Sir
Muscles later arrived in Miami.

U.S. Coast Guard airlifts apparent heart attack victim

A U.S. Coast Guard HH-60J Jayhawk from Coast Guard Air Station Cape
Cod, Mass., evacuated a crewmember from a fishing vessel 1 March, 26 kilometers/16
miles east of Chatham, Mass. Michael Pittman, 37, of Hampton, Va., apparently
suffered a heart attack aboard the Trade Wind (U.S.-registry), homeported
in Boston. The vessel sent a distress call at 1834, and the helicopter
took Pittman to Barnstable Airport. After landing at 2045, he was taken
by ambulance to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Mass. He is in stable condition.

Oil spilled at Odessa as pipeline breaks during loading

During loading of the Achenian Faich at the Port of Odessa, Ukraine,
on 2 March, a pipeline broke and 20 tons of oil spilled. Four ships worked
to contain the 80,000-square meter/864,000-square foot spill.

Illinois, Ohio River sections closed, restrictions at St. Louis...

On 27 Feb., several sections of the Illinois River were closed to vessel
traffic. It was feared that wakes generated by vessel passages would further
exacerbate heavy flooding in the area. The areas included 26 kilometers/16
miles from Peoria, Ill., to Henry; six kilometers/four miles around Banner;
and 1.6 kilometers/1 mile near Liverpool. Restrictions are in place from
La Salle to Grafton. Since the river empties into the Mississippi River,
there is concern that other areas will be hit by high-water levels. Restrictions
have been placed on tows around St. Louis until the level drops below eight
meters/25 feet. Also due to flooding, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
closed three locks on the Ohio River on 4 March. Vessel traffic stopped
on 214 kilometers/134 miles of the river from Cincinnati to Louisville,

..German rivers closed as well

Shipping in Germany on the Moselle, Neckar and Saar rivers was suspended
26 Feb. due to high-water levels.

Vessel set adrift in Rhode Island

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating why someone set a 60-meter/200-foot
vessel adrift from a Quonset Point dock in Rhode Island on 2 March. There
was no one aboard.

Kuwait takes Iraqi Navy vessel into custody

Kuwait has filed a complaint with the Arab League, saying that an Iraqi
Navy vessel violated its territorial waters. According to Kuwait, when
a Kuwait Navy vessel approached to investigate a radar contact last week,
the Iraqi vessel opened fire with a light machine gun. The vessel was reportedly
seized and the crew arrested.

Large cocaine find in Miami, seizure in Venezuela

The U.S. Customs Service seized 1,460 kilograms/3,250 pounds of cocaine
found in toilets on 3 March. A dog trained to sniff out drugs found the
cocaine during an inspection at the Port of Miami aboard the Colombia (Cypriot-registry
15,989-dwt dry cargo ship built in 1984, operated by Transportacion Maritima
Grancolombiana). One container held boxes with toilets with cocaine covered
in oil hidden among them. The Venezuelan Civil Guard arrested 19 people
on 2 March and confiscated 250 kilograms/550 pounds of cocaine destined
for Puerto Rico. Using information provided the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency,
personnel raided a port facility at Puerto Cabello. The cocaine was found
in the tires of a truck and aboard the Romana I (Panamanian-registry),
which was to sail for Puerto Rico this weekend. The 19 included five customs
personnel, the master of the Romana I and the 12 crew.

Crewmembers from passenger ship disappear in Tokyo

Some 27 Myanmar citizens who were crewmembers aboard the Superstar Capricorn
(Singaporean-registry 28,078-gt passenger ship, operated by Star Cruise
Sdn. Bhd.) disappeared 1 March in Tokyo. They had gone ashore on an authorized
outing at 1100 but failed to return to the ship before it sailed for Yokohama
3 March. The crewmembers have temporary visas valid until 11 March. The
Superstar Capricorn left Yokohama on 4 March. With only its 641 crew, the
ship is sailing between Japanese ports to promote a new service from Taiwan
to Okinawa, Japan. The Superstar Capricorn will return to Taiwan on 13

Stowaway from the Nordoen escapes in Sweden

One of the eight stowaways aboard the Nordoen (Swedish-registry vessel
owned by Bylock and Nordsjofrakt) has escaped. On 22 Jan., police handcuffed
and restrained the stowaways at Karmoey, Norway. The ship arrived at Haugesund
from Nador, Morocco, with 6,000 tons of iron ore. The eight stowaways requested
asylum in Norway, stating they were from Algeria. An investigation showed
they were from Morocco and when told that asylum was denied, some of the
eight became violent. They were put in two cabins aboard the Nordoen under
police guard. The master refused to sail with them aboard for fears they
would become violent once at sea. Norway then provided five security personnel
for the ship's voyage to Gothenburg, Sweden. Four began a hunger strike.
After four days on the ship, Sweden took the eight into custody. During
a fire at a police facility, one of the stowaways escaped. It is believed
the fire was started by the stowaways. After spending February in Sweden,
the Swedish government returned the seven others to Norway early last week.

U.S. Navy destroys mine off Florida

A Mk 6 mine was destroyed on 22 Feb. by the U.S. Navy about 74 kilometers/46
miles west-northwest of Key West, Fla. The sailing vessel Stephanie contacted
the U.S. Coast Guard on 20 Feb. after an object was sighted in the water.
Based on a description from the Stephanie, a UH-1N Iroquois helocopter
from Naval Air Station Key West flew to the area and dropped a marker buoy.
The next day, members of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team 6 from Naval
Base Mayport positively identified the object. It was anchored and the
next day two divers placed a charge that destroyed it. The Mk 6 series,
the first of which was used in World War I, was taken out of U.S. service
in 1970.

Tankerman to appear before judge for gasoline spill

Stephen D. Morse, 24, has been taken off duty and will appear before
a U.S. District Court administrative law judge on 19 March. On the morning
of 5 Feb., about 99,000 liters/26,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline spilled
into the harbor at South Portland, Maine, as a tank barge was being loaded
at Gulf Oil Corp. Local firefighters sprayed the spill with water to disperse
it. The BFT-39 (U.S.registry, 79 meters/260 feet long, owned by Boston
Towing and Transport Co.) sailed the next day to Bucksport. Morse was the
tankerman aboard the barge at the time, and was supposed to monitor floating
gauges in the barge's 12 cargo tanks. According to an investigation, Morse
left the barge during the transfer to take shelter in a tug due to the
cold weather. When he returned 30 minutes later, gasoline was overflowing
from the tanks. He has been charged with negligence. -- 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


Norwegian Cruise Line buys passenger ship, takes operation of another

Norwegian Cruise Line will buy the Royal Majesty (Panamanian-registry
32,000-gt, 2,700-dwt, 1,056-passenger capacity ship built in 1992) from
Kvaerner A.S.A. and will operate the Crown Majesty (Panamanian-registry
800-passenger capacity ship built in 1993, formerly the Crown Dynasty).
The latter ship is on charter to Cunard Line Ltd. by Silja Line. Norwegian
Cruise Line will pay U.S.$110 million for the Royal Majesty, in addition
to U.S.$80 million in stock in the parent company, NCL Cruises Ltd. The
stock is 20 percent of the firm and NCL Cruises has a year to repurchase
the shares at U.S.$71 million if it wants. In effect, Norwegian Cruise
Line will buy 90 percent of the Kvaerner subsidiary that owns the Royal
Majesty. It includes business already secured as well as the ability to
call at Bermuda. The ship will be delivered in April. The Crown Majesty
will likely be delivered in the fourth quarter of the year. Both ships
were operated by Majesty Cruise Line Inc. The deals are contingent on securing

Unicorn Tankers buys first ship

Unicorn Tankers, a subsidiary of Grindrod Unicorn, has bought the May
Fair I (Panamanian-registry 13,947-dwt chemical tanker built in 1991) from
NT Marine Co. It has been placed in the Botany Bay Parcel Tanker International
pool. The ship will be the first such vessel to carry chemical cargoes
to and from South Africa.

Shanghai Nonggongshang buys second vessel

Shanghai Nonggongshang has announced it has purchased its second vessel,
the NGS No. 9. The firm was formed in China in 1995.

Midland buys another ferry

Midland Inc. will buy an 800-passenger capacity ferry for its Midland
Steamship. It will be homeported at Piraeus, Greece, to transport passengers
to Greek islands.


Royal Nedlloyd N.V. has reportedly sold the Armada Trader (Dutch-registry
10,345-dwt, 900-TEU capacity containership built in 1990) to Wassenborg
Shipping for U.S.$11.2m.


The Torm Kristina (Danish-registry 41,766-gt, 77,788-dwt tanker built
in 1986 by Samsung Shipbuildling and Heavy Industries Co. Ltd.) has been
sold for U.S.$2.5 million to U.S.$26 million to Thenemaris. It has epoxy-coated
cargo tanks and can carry International Maritime Organization Category
II and III cargoes. There are 12 pumps for 10,320 tons per hour. The ship
was operated by Torm Burwain Tankers and carried the names Nortank Queen
and Stavik. The Valiant Express (Liberian-registry 29,998-dwt tanker built
in 1986) has reportedly been sold to OMI Corp. for U.S.$18 million. It
was operated by Thome Ship Management Pte. Ltd. The Plumeria (Panamanian-registry
25,574-gt, 38,620-dwt tanker built in 1982 by Onimichi Zosen at Onomichi,
Japan) has been sold to Blystad Shipping Inc. and Bell Ships for U.S.$12.75
million to U.S.$13 million. It was operated by Orix Maritime Corp. and
was built as the Orchid. It has three cargo pumps for moving 3,900 tons
per hour. Medsea Shipping sold the Corus (Liberian-registry 132,650-dwt
tanker built in 1989) and the Eurus (Liberian-registry 139,764-dwt tanker
built in 1988) to Stecknes for U.S.$45 million. The transaction was made
in November, but was only recently announced. The deal reportedly included
the balance of a 10-year time-charter to Total S.A. worth U.S.$18,000 daily
per ship. Both were operated by Euronav Luxembourg S.A.

Bulk carriers

The Maritime Nancy (Panamanian-registry 72,136-dwt bulk carrier built
in 1990) has reportedly been sold to clients of Cerrahoglu for U.S.$19.3
million. The ship as operated by I.M.C. The Cemtex Yuan (36,303-gt, 66,865-dwt
bulk carrier built in 1984 by China Shipbuilding Corp. at Keelung, Taiwan)
went to clients of Mamaris for U.S.$11.5m. It was operated by U-Ming Marine
Transport Corp. The Angel Feather (Panamanian-registry 42,248-dwt bulk
carrier built in 1989) has been reported sold to a Japanese interest for
U.S.$17m. The ship was operated by Nippon Yusen K.K.


Hanjin Shipping Co. has sold two vessels for scrapping. The Hanjin Masan
(25,411-dwt containership built in 1979) was reportedly sold on an "as
is" basis in South Korea at U.S.$142 per light displacement ton. The
Hanjin Tonghai (25,444-dwt containership built in 1979) has reportedly
been sold for U.S.$145 per ldt for scrapping in India. Bergesen dy A/S
has sold the Larina (178,750-dwt combindation carrier built in 1972) on
an irrevocable letter of credit to Pakistan for U.S.$165 per ldt.


Fifty-nine missing and one dead as ship sinks in Indonesia

Fifty-nine Indonesian citizens are missing and one is dead after the
Bintang Perkasa (Indonesian-registry passenger vessel owned by Jeffry)
capsized and sank late 4 March after sailing from Surabaya, Indonesia.
The sinking was 31 kilometers/19 miles off Masalembo Island. The vessel
was carrying 70 passengers and 16 crew and 26 were rescued.

Five killed and four injured in ship fire at Shanghai

Five people were killed and four injured in a fire aboard the Miden
Agan (Cypriot-registry 21,586-gt, 21,370-dwt containership built in 1982,
operated by Uniship (Hellas) Shipping and Trading S.A.) at the Lifeng Shipyard
in Shanghai, China, on 28 Feb. While electric welding equipment was being
used on steel, an explosion occurred which started the fire. It took over
300 people and 28 pieces of firefighting equipment at least an hour and
a half to contain the fire.

Three missing after collision sinks bulk carrier

The Kangson (Cambodian-registry 9,387-gt, 14,980-dwt bulk carrier built
in 1970, owned and operated by Sea Wave Shipping) sank 28 Feb. at the mouth
of the Yangtze River in China after colliding with the Meiguihai (Chinese-registry
bulk carrier operated by COSCO Qingdao). Thirty-eight crewmembers from
the Kangson were rescued and three are missing. The ship was carrying scrap
steel to Shanghai. The Meiguihai was carrying ore from India.

Vessel fire in Wales kills one and injures four

One crewmember was killed and four others were injured in a fire aboard
the Inishfree (Irish-registry) at Newport, Wales, early 21 Feb. Declan
Byrne, 25, of Dublin, Ireland, was killed when a fire began in the ship's
galley. Two crewmembers are in intensive care. Fifty firefighters extinguished
the fire. The ship, with a crew of eight, was carrying 5,003 tons manganese
ore from Boulogne, France, to Newport. On 19 Feb., the ship suffered a
propulsion failure in the Bristol Channel. It got underway for Newport
20 Feb.

Philippine crewmember killed in passenger ship fire

An engine room fire aboard the Superstar Gemini (Panamanian-registry
19,089-gt, 1,800-dwt passenger ship built in 1992, owned and operated by
Star Cruise Sdn. Bhd., formerly the Crown Jewel) killed a Philippine crewmember
at 2300 28 Feb. The ship was 3.5 kilometers/2.2 miles west of Raffles Lighthouse,
Singapore, sailing from Singapore to Malacca, Malaysia. After the fire
was extinguished by the crew, the ship was towed to the Singapore World
Trade Center where the 689 passengers and 471 crewmembers disembarked.
The ship will be repaired by Sembawang Shipyard Pte. Ltd.

Ship loses power off Iceland and runs aground, one missing

The Vikartindur (German-registry 8,633-gt containership built in 1996)
had an engine failure at 1200 5 March, 10 kilometers/six miles off southern
Iceland in a storm. It was able to restart its main engine but at reduced
power. The ship drifted towards land until its anchor took hold about 2.7
kilometers/1.7 miles off the coast. At 1900, the anchor broke and the vessel
ran aground at 2100 at 63 degrees 43.9 minutes north, 20 degrees 52.4 minutes
west. The Icelandic Coast Guard lead ship of the AEgir-class Fisheries-Protection
Ship attempted to attach a towing line, but the ship was hit by heavy seas.
One crewmember was lost overboard and is missing. Another suffered a broken
leg. The 19 crewmembers of the Vikartindur were rescued by the Icelandic
Coast Guard's AS 365 N Dauphin 2 helicopter. Vikartindur was sailing from
Thorshavn to Reykjavik, Iceland, with 2,900 tons of cargo in containers.

Tanker grounding off Venezuela spills 20,000 barrels of oil

The Nissos Amorgos (Greek-registry 50,563-gt, 89,427-dwt tanker built
in 1988, operated by Teekay Shipping Ltd.) ran aground late the night of
28 Feb. off western 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. The
slick came ashore on San Carlos and Zapara Island. 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 and undergo an inspection.
The ship 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.

Galapagos sinks south of Jamaica

The Galapagos radioed 20 Feb. it was taking on water with a 15 degree
list about 312 kilometers/195 miles south of Jamaica. The tanker Tamal
diverted to assist, and when the U.S. Coast Guard Hamilton-class High-Endurance
Cutter U.S.C.G.C. Gallatin (WHEC 721) arrived, the ship had a 20 degree
list with the starboard cargo deck underwater and seas breaking over the
cargo hatches. The cutter rescued the nine crewmembers before the ship
sank in 3,320 meters/10,900 feet of water.

Sapphire abandoned after fire

The Sapphire (Maltese-registry 1,391-gt, 2,226-dwt bulk carrier built
in 1967, operated by Wealth Shipping Co. Ltd.) was abandoned 5 March at
38 degrees 04 minutes north, 05 degrees 14.5 minutes east. The location
is in the Mediterranean north of Algeria. The ship, sailing from Italy
to Malaga, Spain, had a fire that affected the engine and superstructure.
The nine crewmembers were rescued by Arktis Carrier (Danish-registry 2,671-dwt
dry cargo ship built in 1988, operated by Elite Shipping A/S).

Six rescued after fishing vessel catches fire off Hawaii

The 13-meter/44-foot fishing vessel Aerial suffered an electrical fire
on 3 March, 0.8 kilometers/0.5 miles off Olowalu, Maui Island, Hawaii.
A rigid-hull inflatable boat from U.S. Coast Guard Station Maui rescued
the six people aboard. Two vessels in the area, the Kalana and the Navtec
2, assisted local firefighters in attempting to extinguish the fire. However,
the Aerial later sank.

Three rescued from sinking vessel off Florida

The fishing vessel Judy III (U.S.-registry) sank 22 Feb. 75 kilometers/47
miles southwest of Marco Island, Fla., after an engine room fire. The three
crewmembers boarded a liferaft and activated a 406 Mhz emergency position
indicating radio beacon. A U.S. Coast Guard HH-60J Jayhawk from Coast Guard
Air Station Clearwater, which was on a training mission, located the liferaft
and took the three to Page Field at Fort Myers. The Coast Guard "Point"-class
Patrol Boat U.S.C.G.C. Point Jackson (WPB 82378) recovered the liferaft
and the beacon.

All 107 passengers evacuated from grounded ferry

The Sea Wind (Swedish-registry 15,879-gt, 4,000-dwt ro/ro ferry built
in 1972, owned and operated by Sea Wind Line) ran aground at 0600 5 March
north of Vaxholm, Sweden. The grounding holed several bow tanks which filled
with water and some oil spilled. All 107 passengers were evacuated. There
is a crew of 30 on the ship, which was sailing from Turku, Finland, to
Stockholm, Sweden.

Bulk carrier, caught by wind, collides with six tugs

The Bogasuri Dua (Indonesian-registry 20,495-gt, 33,747-dwt bulk carrier
built in 1977, operated by Pacific Carriers Ltd.) collided with six tugs
on 17 Feb. at Surabaya, Indonesia. The ship was getting underway to leave
the port when strong winds pushed it into six tugs owned and operated by
Tanjung Priok Sea Pilot. Five of the tugs, moored at a wharf, were slightly
damaged. The other tug sank.

Isla Mindoro involved in separate collisions within two hours

Late 28 Feb., the Isla Mindoro (Philippine-registry 2,981-gt, 3,778-dwt
dry cargo ship built in 1986, operated by Magsasay Lines Inc.) collided
with a 497-ton vessel in Japan's Inland Sea. The latter ship was carrying
gravel from Hyogo Prefecture and had a crew of six. Neither ship apparently
sustained any damage. The Isla Mindoro has a crew of 25 Philippine citizens.
Just after midnight 1 March, the Isla Mindoro was involved in another collision.
Near Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, the Isla Mindoro hit the Chemi Link (Belize-registry
875-gt tanker) with a crew of nine South Korean citizens. No one was injured,
but the Isla Mindoro was holed in four places along the hull, with some
gashes as large as 50 centimeters/20 inches.

Tanker and bulk carrier collide off Yokohama

The Ocean Swallow (Japanese-registry 36,000-gt, 54,000-dwt tanker built
in 1980, operated by Cosmo Oil Co. Ltd.), with a crew of 22, collided with
the Taisho Maru (Japanese-registry 3,200-gt, 5,678-dwt bulk carrier built
in 1987, operated by Taiyo Kisen), with a crew of 11, on 1 March about
2.8 kilometers/1.7 miles southeast of Yokohama, Japan. There were no injuries.
While the tanker appears to be undamaged, there are conflicting reports
as to any damage aboard the bulk carrier. The Taisho Maru was reportedly
carrying cement.

H.M.Y. Brittania collides with replenishment vessel

H.M.Y. Brittania has been damaged in a collision with the R.F.A.S. Bayleaf
(A 109), a Royal Fleet Auxiliary Appleleaf-class Transport Oiler. The collision
occurred during an at sea replenishment in the Straits of Hormuz as the
yacht sailed from Doha, Qatar, to Karachi, Pakistan. H.M.Y. Brittania moored
at Karachi for inspection. Damage is reported to the starboard bow and

Tow with 20,000 barrels of oil runs aground in Florida

The Martin Pride, pushing tank barge MGM 403 loaded with 20,000 barrels
of No. 6 oil, ran aground 19 Feb. while eastbound at Gulf Intracoastal
Waterway mile marker 269, west of Panama City, Fla. The tow was refloated
late 20 Feb. and sailed to Panama City.

V.L.C.C.'s steering damaged off Scotland

The Soro (Panamanian-registry 302,102-dwt tanker built in 1993, operated
by World-Wide Shipping Agency (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.) was hit by a freak
wave on 5 March while sailing to Canada with 283,793 tons of Norwegian
crude oil. Its steering system was damaged.

Oregon damaged again while under tow to Seattle

The Oregon (U.S.-registry 121-meter/398-foot barge owned by Crowley
Marine Services Inc.) has been damaged again. On 25 Jan., the barge, loaded
with 12,500 tons of urea and 6,100 liters/1,600 gallons of diesel fuel,
capsized in Cook Inlet, Alaska, after colliding with the Crowley Marine
Services tug towing it from Unocal Corp. at Kikiski. The tug's hull holed
the barge's ballast tank. The barge was sailing to Sacramento, Calif..
Oregon arrived at Homer, Alaska, on 26 Jan. where it was found the urea
was lost in capsizing. On 11 Feb., the barge sailed for repairs in Seattle,
but encountered 50 knot winds and six-meter/20-foot seas. The tow put into
port at Whittier until the weather improved. Divers at Whittier found that
half of the barge's cargo hold was gone and the rest was damaged. A front-end
loader and a small forklift aboard also disappeared. The barge was worth
U.S.$12 million.

Fire aboard the Bright Field

The Bright Field (Liberian-registry 36,120-gt, 68,200-dwt, 23,035-nt
bulk carrier built in 1988, owned by Clearsky Shipping Co. and managed
and operated by COSCO Hong Kong Shipping Co. Ltd.) had a fire aboard 19
Feb. while moored at Boland Marine in Violet, La. The fire in the forepeak
storage area was likely caused by welding work. Local firefighters extinguished
the blaze. On 14 Dec., the ship allided with the Riverwalk mall and hotel
complex in New Orleans. At least 116 people were injured and 15 shops and
456 hotel rooms were destroyed as three floors of a building collapsed.
The Bright Field was pulled free 6 Jan. and taken to Boland Marine.


In an item in the 28 Feb. World Maritime News, it was stated that the
U.S. Navy's Arleigh Burke-class Guided-Missile Destroyers are built by
Litton Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding Inc. and Newport News Shipbuilding
Co. Ingalls Shipbuilding does build the ships, but Newport News Shipbuilding
does not. At present, the class is built only by Ingalls Shipbuilding and
General Dynamics Corp.'s Marine Division/Bath Iron Works. My apologies
for the mistake.


Blackbeard's flagship found?

Marine archaeologists from a private company and the State of North
Carolina believe they have found the Queen Anne's Revenge, which sank in
June 1718 off Beaufort, N.C. The ship, a captured French merchant vessel
with 40 guns, was the flagship of Edward Teach, better known as the pirate
Blackbeard. On 3 March in Raleigh, the group announced the discovery, which
was made in November. It is less than three kilometers/two miles off the
coast in six meters/20 feet of water. Among the artifacts recovered is
a 0.3-meter/1 foot tall bronze bell with the date 1709, a brass barrel
from a blunderbuss, a 11-kilogram/24-pound cannonball and a lead sounding
weight. Large anchors and many cannons are also around the wreck, with
at least some wood structure observed. While positive identification has
not been made, all signs point to Blackbeard's ship. The site will be excavated
and any recovered objects displayed at a museum. The group has formed Maritime
Research Institute, a private nonprofit corporation. It will coordinate
research and recovery. The search was begun in 1986 by Philip Masters,
who now heads Intersal Inc., which searches for historic shipwrecks. In
early 1987, Masters found details of the loss of the ship in an appendix
to a 1719 book about a pirate trial. Once the general area was known, a
device to detect metal was towed underwater in a 20-square kilometer/eight-square
mile area. After a large mass of metal was found, divers confirmed the
site on 21 Nov. State archaeologists inspected the site the next day. Intersal
expects to recoup U.S.$300,000 in rights and an area 300 meters/1,000 feet
around the site was declared off-limits 3 March. From 1716 to 1718, Blackbeard
operated from North Carolina (he shared the spoils with the governor) against
ships along the east coast of North America and in the Carribean. He amassed
a large fleet of captured vessels by terrorizing sea lanes. In May 1718,
he blockaded Charleston, S.C., for a week. Afterwards, in June, his flagship
ran aground on a sandbark entering Beaufort Inlet. The sloop Adventure
also ran aground nearby trying to reach the Queen Anne's Revenge. While
on Ocracoke Island off Cape Hatteras, he was killed by English troops from
Virginia on 22 Nov., 1718. After he was beheaded, his head was hung from
a bowsprit.