- Transport on Line - hiltunen.htm


I.M.B. on first half piracy: figures down, Southeast Asia still leads

The International Maritime Bureau has reported that during the first
half of the year, seven persons were killed in acts of piracy worlwide
in 79 attacks. There were 113 attacks in the first half of 1996. So far
this year, there have been 31 attacks in Southeast Asia, with 13 of them

Mediterranean countries sign agreement on port state control

On 11 July, several Mediterranean countries meeting in Malta signed
a memorandum of understanding on port state control. The agreement came
at the end of a three-day seminar sponsored by the International Maritime
Organization and the Malta Maritime Authority. Countries that signed the
agreement include Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia
and Turkey.

Empresa Nacional Elcano to be sold for U.S.$39 million

A consortium of Naviera Murueta S.A., Repolcanosa and Sociedade Portuguesa
de Navios Tanques S.A. will buy Empresa Nacional Elcano de la Marina Mercante
S.A. for 5.77 billion Spanish pesetas/U.S.$38.9 million. The consortium
has said that the Spanish state shipping line will remain independent,
with its personnel retained and extensions to Portugal planned. The Spanish
cabinet must approve the deal, announced 15 July.

Thailand will privatize Thai Maritime Navigation, form new line

Thailand formally announced 16 July it will privatize Thai Maritime
Navigation Co. so it can establish a new firm. Foreigners will not be allowed
to own more than 49 percent in the new company, Thai National Navigation,
and the firm will receive benefits for five years, including the right
to transport cargoes controled by the Thai Ministry of Commerce and the
Petroleum Authority of Thailand. The new line can also get soft loans and
rent terminals at Laem Chabang, Thailand, and at a State Railways of Thailand
port in Songkhla Province.

Thailand to waive corporate tax on ship operators

The Thai government will waive a 30 percent corporate tax on businesses
operating ships to encourage development of a Thai fleet. Reportedly, the
government expects that 2.2 million deadweight tons of vessels will shift
to Thai-registry.

Indonesian-registry ships to pay less in the Philippines

Indonesian-registry vessels calling at Philippine ports will receive
a 50 percent discount in port fees, or U.S.$0.40 per gross ton. Ships registered
in Brunei and Malaysia will be added later.

Germany easing regulations on foreign crews

Germany will relax crew regulations and cut social security contributions
by non-German crews in order to prevent ships leaving the German register.

"Sickout" at Young Brothers

Ninety-eight employees of Young Brothers Ltd. in Honolulu called in
"sick" on 9 and 10 July in Honolulu. The 98 are members of the
International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142.

U.S. Supreme Court rules in dockworker disability case

The U.S. Supreme Court decided recently that permanently disabled dockworkers
can continue to receive nominal disability payments, even if they accept
employment that pays more than they earned before their injuries. The court
ruled in Metropolitan Stevedore Co. vs. Rambo, et al. by 6 to 3 that "a
worker is entitled to nominal compensation when his work-related injury
has not diminished his present wage-earning capacity under current circumstances,
but there is a significant potential that the injury will cause diminished
capacity under future conditions." In a majority opinion by Justice
David Souter, the court decided the U.S. Congress likely intended the U.S.
Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act to "include the injury-related
potential for future wage loss" as a covered disability. John Rambo,
of Huntington Beach, Calif., has permanent partial disability to his back
and leg, an injury that occurred when he was a dockworker. He later became
a crane operator, earning three times the wages, and his former employer
tried to change the disability award as a result.

Turkish shipowners form new brokerage

Four Turkish shipowners have formed a brokerage business in Istanbul,
Turkey. Filo Shipping and Trading will specialize initially in fixing dry
bulk cargoes. The founders are Esref Cerrahoglu of Cerraghil Shipmanagement,
Peken Baran of Denizcilik A.S., Semih Sohtorik of Semi Sohtorik Shipmanagement
and Eser Tumen of TML Construction.

APL in labor agreement with M.E.B.A. and A.R.A.

APL Ltd. said 17 July it has agreed to new labor agerements with Marine
Engineers' Beneficial Association District 1 and the American Radio Association.
The deal affects 45 M.E.B.A. members at APL and nine radio officers. The
unions must vote on the agreements, which include job security. The agreements
last until 2005.

Princess Cruises to pay Philippine crew more

Princess Cruises Inc., under pressure from the International Transport
Workers' Federation, has agreed to pay higher salaries to the Philippine
crew aboard the Crown Princess (Liberian-registry 6,261-dwt passenger ship
built in 1990, operated by Princess Cruises). The federation began to press
the line after complaints from the Philippine crew were reported late last

Martec International buys inventory of Gateway

Martec International, which manufactures and distributes parts to repair
containers, has bought the inventory of Gateway Inc. Gateway will effectively
close. Gateway's owner, Interport Maintenance Corp., has agreed not to
re-enter the container parts distribution business.

OMI to move

OMI Corp. will relocate its corporate headquarters from New York to
Houston in the summer of 1998.

Ukraine investigating Black Sea Shipping

The Ukrainian government has begun an investigation into the finances
of Black Sea Shipping Co., following reported shortfalls in funds the company
holds in other countries.

Wallem Group to open crew recruitment, training center in Singapore

Wallem Group will set up a crew management and training agency in Singapore
next month. Wallem Manpower International Pte. Ltd. will use local training
facilities. It is the first crew agency of Wallem Group.

Keppel issues more shares

Keppel Corp. launched a property rights issue on 14 July of 350,000
new shares on the Singapore Stock Exchange for Singapore$1,000/U.S.$691
each. It will be used for long-term expansion. Keppel Bank has been named
to manage the redeemable convertible cumulative preferred shares.

Clubs change overspill limit

The London P&I Club has reduced the limit on overspill claims from
20 percent to 2.5 percent of the property damage limitation fund for each
ship under the 1976 Limitation Convention. Brittania P&I Club announced
the same change this week.

Eight Italian agents form Logic Cruise

Eight Italian ship agents have formed Logic Cruise, an organization
to promote traveling by cruise ships. It will promote less well known destinations
and smaller ports, using services including theme cruises.

McDermott International units being investigated

McDermott International Inc. said 15 Juky that a federal grand jury
is investigating "anti-competitive activity" in the heavy-lift
barge businesses of J. Ray McDermott S.A. and HeereMac, a joint venture
it is involved in. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has made
informal requests for information on HeereMac. McDermott International
said earlier this year it is working on an internal investigation into
actions of former employees at the units. The grand jury investigation
began in June and the request for information was made earlier this month.

M.M.A. to get bridge simulator from Nichols Research

Nichols Research Corp. has received a contract from the Massachusetts
Maritime Academy to build a full-mission bridge simulator. Part of the
Virtual Ship series of equipment from Advanced Marine Engineering, the
simulator will be delivered in January and will begin operating in February.
It is being funded by M.M.A., the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
and the Seaport Bond Bill.

Class action against Premier Cruise Lines advances

A class action lawsuit against Premier Cruise Lines Ltd., seeking refunds
for port charges collected from passengers, advanced last week when the
Brevard County, Fla., Circuit Court certified the class of all passengers
who live in or purchased their tickets in Florida. The action states that
passengers were led to believe that the charges are higher than the actual
amount charged to the ports. The action is part of lawsuits involving 19
law firms and more than 80 plaintiffs against 12 cruise lines in Florida,
New York and Washington.

U.S. bill would ban shipment of cargoes on detained ships

U.S. Rep. Bob Clement, D-Tenn., has introduced a bill that would ban
the U.S. government from shipping cargoes on vessels detained by the U.S.
Coast Guard, or aboard vessels owned by firms with multiple ship detentions
in U.S. waters. The U.S. House of Representatives' Coast Guard and Maritime
Transportation Subcommittee approved the action as part of a Coast Guard
authorization bill.

More on Indonesian actions near Singapore

Following the boardings of at least 10 vessels last week off Singapore
by Indonesian government personnel, a notice to mariners issued 3 Dec.
has come to light. Apparently, few knew of the announcement. In it, Indonesia
warned vessels against anchoring or conducting operations around the Nipa
Lighthouse, just outside Singapore, which is near the Traffic Separation
Scheme in the area between Indonesian and Singaporean waters. Last week,
Indonesia boarded the vessels, which were refueling or taking on supplies,
and levied fines and took some masters into custody. The managing director
of a firm that had certificates of a ship confiscated and an agent detained
said the fines were "negotiable" and no receipt was issued. Releasing
documents or personnel reportedly cost Singaporean$35,000/U.S.$24,000 to

Wilhelmsen Lines restructures two agencies

Wilhelmsen Lines is restructuring its agencies in Belgium and France
as of 1 Aug. Wilhelmsen Lines Agencies (Belgium) will be operated by Herfurth
Group and its counterpart in France will be operated by SDV Group.

"K" Line sets up Nordic offices

"K" Line (Europe) Ltd. has formed representative offices in
Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The offices are in conjunction with Scan Shipping
A/S, Shipco Shipping and Seaway Shipping A/S, respectively.


Hyundai Merchant Marine in slot-charter with the Global Alliance

Hyundai Merchant Marine has announced that it has agreed to a slot-charter
arrangement with the Global Alliance betwen Europe and the Far East. Some
have speculated that it may be a first move towards joining the consortium.

Hanjin Shipping to sail betwen U.S. west coast and northern China

Hanjin Shipping Co., in conjunction with Cho Yang Shipping Co. Ltd.
and DSR-Senator Lines, will operate five 2,700-TEU capacity containerships
between the U.S. west coast and northern China starting in September. Weekly
calls will be made at Long Beach, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Dalian, China;
Xingang, China; Qingdao, China; Yokohama, Japan; Kobe, Japan; and Pusan,
South Korea.

O.O.C.L. to offer U.S. west coast to Europe service

Orient Overseas Container Line will offer service from the U.S. west
coast to Europe on its eastbound service, starting with the departure of
the Mette Maersk (60,900-dwt containership built in 1989, operated by A.P.
Moller) from Long Beach, Calif., on 21 July. Calls will also be made at
Oakland, Calif., and Los Angeles.

N.Y.K. to start new intra-Asia service, R.C.L. restructuring

Nippon Yusen Kaisha will start a new container service on 4 Aug. betweem
Laem Chabang, Thailand; Singapore; and Jakarta, Indonesia. the ASEAN Pendulum
Service will use two Panamanian-registry, 320-TEU capacity containerships,
the ACX Jade and the ACX Ruby. While operated solely by N.Y.K., the service
will be jointly marketed with Tokyo Senpaku Kaisha. As a result of the
new service, Regional Container Lines Ltd. is restructuring its services
from Singapore to Indonesia and Thailand. Calls will be made at Singapore,
Jakarta and Bangkok, Thailand, with 1,000-TEU capacity vessels.

Blue Star to sail from Europe to South America

Blue Star Line Ltd. will market the EURESA service under its own name
as a weekly service from northern Europe to the east coast of South America.
In April, CMB Transport N.V. said it was withdrawing in October, leaving
Blue Star and Compagnie Generale Maritime to operate it.

Conference postpones planned surcharge for Jaharlal Nehru Port

The India-Pakistan-Bangladesh-Ceylon Conference has postponed plans
to start a surcharge of U.S.$120 per TEU on ships loading containers at
Jaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai, India. The move was in reponse to heavy
congestion at the port, but after re-evaluating the port's traffic, the
conference changed its decision.

ConFlo Lines offering services to Iraq

ConFlo Lines has announced it its offering breakbulk and container service
to several destinations in Iraq, including Baghdad.

Some services to Cambodia restart

While several services remain suspended, some firms have restarted operations
to Cambodia. Feuding between rival co-prime ministers, Prince Norodom Ranariddh
and Hun Sen, erupted in fighting between forces of the two on 5 and 6 July
while Prince Ranariddh was out of the country. A United Nations report
released 15 July stated that at least 40 people were killed. Hun Sen is
now in power in what many have regarded as a coup d'etat. Many shipping
lines suspended service to the country last week, but links to Kompong
Som, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville are being restored. Regional Container
Lines Ltd., which operates a fixed-day, weekly service from Singapore to
Sihanoukville, restarted the route 15 July. Maersk Line and Sea-Land Service
Inc. are accepting cargo, but not guaranteeing delivery to Cambodia. Another
service to the country, a fixed-day, weekly service from Singapore to Sihanoukville
operated by Samudera and Thong Soon Lines Pte. Ltd., remains suspended.
Orion Maritime Corp. and ConFlo Lines also have not restarted service.

Buquebus International expanding ferry routes

Buquebus International Ltd. will begin a ferry service from Buenos Aires,
Argentina, to Piriapolis, Uruguay, in December. It will use a new vessel
being built in Spain by E.N. Bazan that will be capable of 60 knots using
turbines. The voyage will take one hour and 50 minutes and the vessel will
carry 450 passengers and 70 vehicles. Buquebus International will begin
another new ferry service, from Fort Myers, Fla., to Key West, Fla., in
May. A ferry built by the Pequeot tribe in Connecticut, with Caterpillar
engines for 50 knots will carry 305 passengers. Finally, the company will
start service in September between the Spanish ports of Algeciras and Ceuta.

Maersk Line adding Port Elizabeth

Maersk Line will start calling at Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with
the departure of the Charlotte Maersk (21,825-dwt, 1,400-TEU capacity containership
built in 1992, operated by A.P. Moller) from Algeciras, Spain, on 10 Aug.
The rotation will be Algeciras; Port Elizabeth; Durban, South Africa; East
London, South Africa; Cape Town, South Africa; and Algeciras. Every two
weeks, calls will be made at Walvis Bay, South Africa; Luanda, Angola;
and Lisbon, Portugal.

A.N.Z.D.L. to transship Brisbane cargo

Australia New Zealand Direct Line will transship cargo for Brisbane,
Australia, onto three ro/ros of Union Direct Line sailing from Auckland,
New Zealand. Transit times from the U.S. west coast will be eight days.

P&O Nedlloyd service starts with departure from Thamesport

The P&O Nedlloyd Unity, a 2,636-TEU capacity containership, left
Thamesport, England, on 11 July to start the newly expanded Red Sea-India-Pakistan
Express. The weekly container service of P&O Nedlloyd Container Line
Ltd. will call at Thamesport; Hamburg, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium; Gioia
Tauro, Italy; Port Said, Egypt; Aqaba, Jordan; Dubai-Jebel Ali, United
Arab Emirates; Karachi, Pakistan; Nhava Sheva, India; Port Said; Gioia
Tauro; and Thamesport.

Arawak Line starts Florida to Venezuela service

Arawak Line has begun a new direct service from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,
to Guanta, Venezuela.


Los Angeles hit by pilots strike, dockworkers honor picket lines

Eleven pilots of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 68
went on strike at 2300 11 July at the Port of Los Angeles, and as many
as 3,000 dockworkers, many of whom are members of union locals 13 and 63,
refused to cross the picket lines at three terminals. As a result, the
port became congested and restricted operations. Two management pilots
worked during the job action, which occurred after contract talks stalled.
Under the ILWU's contract, dockworkers can cease work at sites where ships
are docked by management pilots. The contract of the 11 pilots expired
30 June. They receive a base annual salary of U.S.$113,712 annually and
are seeking a 72 percent raise to U.S.$195,000 over two years. The figure
would bring the pilot's pay in line with the average of major U.S. ports,
according to a study by Mercer Management Consulting conducted several
years ago and cited by the pilots. The port offered a raise to U.S.$133,000
over four years, contending that unlike many pilots, Los Angeles pilots
receive medical benefits as part of their contract. The pilot's current
benefit package adds about 50 percent to their total compensation, according
to the port. The port's offer also included overtime, a retirement plan
and other benefits. On 15 July, Commissioner Anita Rae Shapiro of the California
Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order against the Los Angeles
Port Association, which prevents the pilots from picketing terminals at
the port and the port's headquarters in San Pedro, Calif. While pilots
can continue to strike, sympathy strikes will not be allowed and dockworkers
who honor the pickets will be in violation of their contracts. A hearing
for a permanent injunction will be held 24 July. The judge refused to act
on a Pacific Maritime Association request to declare the dockworker's action
an illegal secondary boycott. At least two ships have canceled calls at
Los Angeles and the port estimates it lost U.S.$437,000 daily and private
companies lost U.S.$50,000 per ship. Before the judge's order, about 24
ships and hundreds of containers were stranded. The pilots last took job
action in 1990.

Maersk Line to get its own Rotterdam terminal

After months of discussions, Europe Combined Terminals and Maersk Line
have announced, at the conclusion of the first phase of talks, that they
have agreed in principle that Maersk Line should get its own container
terminal at the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The two would jointly
operate it. Rotterdam Municipal Port Management was the mediator. Gemeentelijk
Havenbedrijf, the port manager, has dedicated 176 million Dutch guilders/U.S.$89
million in infrastructure improvements.

Al Blagha, I.C.T.S. win concession for Saudi Arabian terminal

Al Blagha Group's The Maritime Co. for Navigation and International
Container Terminal Services Inc. have won the tender to operate Saudi Arabia's
second largest container terminal. The group will pay the equivalent of
40.8 percent of the port's revenues for a 10-year concession for the King
Abdul Aziz facility at Dammam. International Port Services L.L.C., the
business the two firms have formed, will take over operations on 20 Dec.
I.C.T.S. has 51 percent and Al Blagha's unit 49 percent. Some U.S.$18 million
will be spent on new equipment over five years. The facility has four berths,
a container yard, inspection areas, ro/ro cargo capabilities and warehouses.
There are 100 mobile creans, 24 straddle carriers and 10 gantry cranes.

Japanese loans to fund new container terminal at Constanta

Japanese Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda and Romanian Foreign Minister
Adrian Severin, following a meeting in Tokyo on 14 July, announced that
the Japanese government would provide low-interest loans to Romania. The
22 billion Japanese yen/U.S.$194 million in loans includes 12.8 billion
yen/U.S.$113 million for a new container terminal in Constanta, Romania.

New South African port approved in principle

The South African Department of Trade and Industry has, in principle,
given its support to the construction of a port and industrial development
zone at Coega, South Africa, near Port Elizabeth. Current plans include
construction of a bulk terminal. Feasibility studies have recommended that
work begin early next year, with the port and first phase of the industrial
zone completed by 2001. Gencor Ltd. has announced it has plans for a zinc
refinery at Coega, which would process 220,000 tons annually. AECI Ltd.
subsidiary Kynoch has proposed a fertilizer plant and Pretoria Portland
Cement Ltd. may build a cement factory.

Plan for Melbourne terminal dropped

A consortium including China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co. and Orient Overseas
Container Line has dropped plans to build a container terminal in Melbourne,
Australia. Victorian International Container Terminal rejected a six-day
deadline set by the Melbourne Port Authority to resolve a dispute on how
much rent would be paid. The consortium, which had been negotiating for
a terminal at the Appleton Dock, cited excessive demands and insincerity
on behalf of the government. The group's offer, according to the authority,
was a quarter of its commercial value. Development of the terminal would
have cost Australian$140 million/U.S.$103 million. China Ocean Shipping
and O.O.C.L. reportedly began talks last week with New South Wales for
a terminal at Port Botany.

Mersey Docks and Harbour in first international venture

Mersey Docks and Harbour Co. is reportedly planning its international
foreign joint venture. The firm will be involved in construction of a 173
million British pound/U.S.$290 million container port in Bangladesh.

Sixty percent of Cumana destroyed in earthquake

An earthquake in Venezuela on 9 July detroyed 60 percent of the Port
of Cumana. Sixty-eight people were killed and 469 injured in the earthquake,
which was measured at 6.9 on the Richter Scale of Ground Motion.

Chittagong working around the clock

The Port of Chittagong, Bangladesh, is operating continuously to clear
a backlog of cargo that developed during a strike by dockworkers from 3
July to 8 July. Steady rain since 9 July has also hampered cargo movements.
As of 14 July, some 30 vessels were waiting to unload and the port has
formed a central control facility to expedite the process.

Port of Oakland union local takes job action, talks suspended

The Port of Oakland, Calif. called off a planned meeting with Service
Employees International Union Local 790 this week due to work action taken
by its members. The local has 304 members at the operations of the port,
including clerical, custodial and maintenance positions. On 15 July, about
80 percent of the union's members working the day shift called in sick.
The union's contract expired 30 June but discussions began in the spring.

Santos forecasts planned money from concessions, plans tunnel

The Port of Santos, Brazil, said it will receive 1.5 billion Brazilian
reals/U.S.$1.4 billion through the end of 1998, two-thirds of which is
from companies bidding for concessions. Eleven of 33 piers have been leased
and private firms are now investing 220 million reals/U.S.$204 million.
Copersucar is investing 35 million reals/U.S.$32 million, Logos Engenharia
and Sucresp are investing 26 million reals/U.S.$24 million, Cosan is investing
16 million/U.S.$15 million in a terminal, Santista Alimentos is investing
10 million/U.S.$9.3 million, Libra is planning 30 million reals/U.S.$28
million, and Cargill 50 million/U.S.$46 million. At the end of 1997, it
is planned that 60 percent of the port will be under private management.
Meanwhile, the port's operator, Companhia Docas do Estado de Sao Paulo,
is planning to build a tunnel under the Santos estuary to Vincente de Carvalho,
Brazil. It will cost 173 million reals/U.S.$160 million and enable trucks
to carry cargo between the two.

Greece allocates credit for second phase of Patra, terminal elsewhere

Greek Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis
has allocated credit totaling 7.5 billion Greek drachmas/U.S.$27 millionfor
construction of the second phase of the Port of Patra, Greece. The second
phase includes building a 400-meter/1,300-foot long breakwater. This is
in addition to the 13 billion drachma first phase, which includes building
a breakwater 900 meters/3,000 feet long. The port is being funded by the
European Union's INTERREG II program and the Greek government. Laliotis
has also approved 1.15 billion Greek drachmas/U.S.$4.09 million in credits
for the construction of a passenger terminal at Irakleio, Greece.

Argentine port to be cleared

The entrance to the Port of Quequen, Argentina, was expected to be cleared
of silt and debris by 11 July. Heavy winds and rain had blown the debris
into the 1,500-meter/4,900-foot channel. Two Panamax ships were stranded,
one which loaded 20,000 metric tons of corn for Indonesia on 19 June and
one that loaded 17,000 metric tons of corn for Malaysia on 23 June.

Russian holding company seeks to stop CS First Boston

Gennadi Zhebelev, general director of the Vostochny Port, a holding
company in the Russian Far East, has sent a letter to the Russian government,
asking that it prevent CS First Boston from acquiring 41 percent of its
shares. Twenty percent of the Vostochny Port's shares were recently transferred
from the local government to the central government. Zhebelev believes
the move came during a securities deal, and that the buyer is CS First
Boston, which already has 21 percent of the shares.

New bridge and tunnel in Virginia?

Two committees of Virginia are recommending to the Hampton Roads Planning
District that a new bridge and tunnel be built from the Norfolk International
Terminals to the Portsmouth and Newport News Marine Terminals. A new port
at Craney Island in Portsmouth has also been suggested. The structures
from southern Hampton Roads to the Tidewater peninsula would cost U.S.$2.4

Work on entrance to Dar es Salaam begins

Work to widen the entrance to the Port of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, began
11 July. The U.S.$24 million project will take 40 weeks and will move 2.5
million cubic meters/3.3 million cubic yards of material. Vessels are not
allowed to enter or leave the port during darkness at present. This restriction
will be eliminated through a wider, deeper and straighter channel. The
depth will go from 7.4 meters/24 feet to 10 meters/33 feet. Due to the
changes, the city's fish market will reportedly be relocated.

Two Brazilian ports reach agreements with dockworkers

The Ports of Aratu and Salvador, Brazil, have resolved a dispute with
dockworkers. Wages will be increased 10 percent and a court has ordered
personnel back to work.

A.C.L. signs deal with Maryland authority

Atlantic Container LIne has signed a new contract with Maryland Port
Administration for dock and terminal services at the Universal Terminal
in the Dundalk Marine Terminal, Baltimore.


Three killed aboard aircraft carrier under construction

Three persons were killed 12 July after a methane and sewage leak aboard
the CVN 75, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier being built
for the U.S. Navy by Newport News Shipbuilding Inc. at Newport News, Va.
About 1,800 people aboard the vessel were evacuated after the leak from
a ruptured sewage pipe. Two people were treated after inhaling the gas.
Those killed were Roosevelt Eure Jr., 42; James Morris Jr., 40, and Richard
Thompson, 45. The three were working on a pipe valve near a sewage tank
six decks below the flight deck.

Schichau-Seebeckwerft to close

Schichau-Seebeckwerft AG, the shipard in Bremerhaven, Germany, will
close once its current work is completed. Formerly part of Bremer Vulkan
Verbund AG, the yard has been in bankruptcy for 14 months and has not received
any new orders. An attempt to secure loan guarantees from the German state
of Bremen to build a 40,000-gt ferry for Compagnie Tunisienne de Navigation
S.A. failed. The yard's former repair unit, trading as BREDO, will also
apparently cease operations.

Joint shipbuilding venture to begin in Indonesia next month

P.T. Kunangan Asiapac Marine, a joint venture of Nichimo and V.C. Chin,
will start building high-speed ferries, fishing vessels and small supply
vessels at the end of next month at a new shipyard in Batam, Indonesia.
The venture is capitalized at Sinagporean$1.5 million/U.S.$1.0 million.
V.C. Chin holds 70 percent, with Nichimo holding the rest. The four-hectare/10-acre
yard will be able to build four 35-meter/115-foot ferries simultaneously.
Orders have already been received for two fishing vessels and a supply

Preussag and Thyssen in shipyard discussions

Preussag AG and Thyssen AG are in talks on their shipbuilding divisions,
possibly with a goal of merging their shipbuilding operations to form Germany's
largest such business. It would have 6,500 employees and annual sales of
3.5 billion German marks/U.S.$1.8 billion.

Italian police arrest several in connection with shipbuilding scheme

Italian police announced 12 July they had stopped two organized crime
rings in southern Italy and Sicily and arrested several people. Included
in the action were the arrests of 15 people as part of an investigation
into the Mafia's reported control of shipbuilding in Palermo, Italy. According
to magistrates involved in the investigation, a former leader of a trade
union and several former Mafiosi have stated that the Mafia repeatedly
won contracts from Fincantieri Cantieri Italiani Navali SpA.

China Ocean Shipping, Kawasaki Heavy Industries venture to start early

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. has announced it will start a joint venture
with a Chinese firm to build vessels in China in September 1998 rather
than 2000. Along with the repair division of China Ocean Shipping (Group)
Co., Kawasaki Heavy Industries will build vessels up to 150,000 to 160,000
tons at the mouth of the Yangtze River in a 350-meter/1,150-foot long graving
dock. The dock is being built by Nantong Ocean Ship Engineering Co., the
joint venture of the two firms. The venture hopes to build eight 70,000
to 80,000-ton ships annually and already has an order for a 47,000-ton

Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Leroux & Lotz Naval finish preliminary

Chantiers de l'Atlantique has announced it has completed a preliminary
agreement to take over the two main shipyards of Leroux & Lotz Naval.

Armawa Shipping & Trading orders five new ships

Armawa Shipping & Trading B.V. has ordered five new ships from Dutch
shipbuilders. Tille Shipyards B.V. will build three Conofeeder 300 ships
in Rootstertille, the Netherlands. Each has a 300-TEU capacity. The firm
has also ordered to 160-TEU capacity ships from Damen Shipyards at Bergum,
the Netherlands. The first order will cost 60 million Dutch guilders/U.S.$30
million and the second 22 million Dutch guilders/U.S.$11 million.

Ermis Maritime to get new U.L.C.C.s

Ermis Maritime Corp. has placed an order with Samsung Heavy Industries
Co. Ltd. for two double-hull ultra large crude carriers. They will be delivered
in 1999 at a cost of U.S.$189 million.

Naval Gijon to build three chemical tankers

Naval Gijon S.A. has received an order from Knutsen OAS Shipping A/S
for two chemical tankers. Hull 552, a 19,000-dwt tanker, will be delivered
in late 1999, while hull 555, a 30,000-dwt vessel, will be delivered in
the first quarter of 2000. Hull 553, a 22,000-dwt chemical tanker, is being
built for MT Marine Management of Singapore for delivery in the third quarter
of 2000. Meanwhile, 11 Spanish banks are providing 3.71 billion Spanish
pesetas/U.S.$24.6 million in loans to cover a previously ordered 30,000-dwt
chemical tanker for Knutsen OAS Shipping. Hull 554 will be delivered in
January 1999.

Daewoo Heavy Industries to build five new ships

Daewoo Heavy Industries Ltd. will build two Suezmax tankers for Nordstrom
& Thulin A.B. for U.S.$110 million. The 158,000-dwt vessels will be
274 meters/899 feet long, have a beam of 48 meters/157 feet and a depth
of 23.3 meters/76.1 feet. Each will be capable of 15.2 knots. They will
be built at the Okpo Shipyard in South Korea for delivery in September
1999. The shipyard will also build three other ships for U.S.$115 million.
OMI Corp. has ordered a 156,000-dwt tanker from Daewoo Heavy Industries,
and P.T. Berlian Laju Tanker of Indonesia has ordered two 30,000-dwt product
tankers. All will be delivered by April 1999.

Chandris (Hellas) orders two Aframax tankers

Chandris (Hellas) Inc. has ordered two Aframax tankers from Daewoo for
U.S.$86.5 million and has an option for a third. The first will be delivered
in September 1999.

Festival Lines taking over passenger newbuilding

Festival Lines has paid U.S.$250 million to take over a new passenger
ship being built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique. The ship will have 600 cabins
for 1,200 passengers, and will be delivered in the third quarter of 1999.

Italian owner orders Danish design from Italian builder

Bottiglieri di Navigazione SpA has ordered two 72,200-dwt bulk carriers
from Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani SpA. They will be built to a
design by Burmeister & Wain A/S, a shipbuilder that no longer exists.

St. John Shipbuilding constructing ships on speculation

St. John Shipbuilding Ltd. will soon start construction of two 1,200-TEU
capacity containerships in New Brunswick, Canada. Some 400 people will
build the two. They are being built on speculation, and if a buyer is not
found, will be transferred to Kent Line Ltd.

Port Weller Dry Docks to refit Canadian destroyer

The Port Weller Dry Docks Division of Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering
Ltd. in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, has won a contract to refit the
Canadian Maritime Command Iroquois-class Destroyer H.M.C.S. Athabascan
(DDH 282). The work will employ 125 people and will cost Canadian$6.4 million/U.S.$4.7

Photograph of Vietnam's new Spratly Islands supply ship published

The Vietnam News, the country's official English-language daily newspaper,
published a photograph of a vessel on 11 July that it said is a new supply
ship for the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. A poor quality photograph
of the HQ 996 showed a 1,200-ton passenger vessel with a flat superstructure
area that is likely a helicopter pad. The HQ 996 was built at a shipyard
in Haiphong, Vietnam. The Spratlys are claimed to some extent by Brunei,
China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. It is unclear what
impact the building of a dedicated supply ship will have on future plans
of Vietnam for the islands.

TDI-Halter to work on drilling unit

TDI-Halter Inc. will convert a drilling unit for Diamond Offshore Drilling
Inc. It will retool the Levingston III slot drilling unit Ocean Warwick
(3,621-dwt, built in 1972, operated by Diamond M-Odeco Drilling) to a cantilevered
drilling unit. The North Yard in Port Arthur, Texas, will do the work over
eight months.

Hanjin Paris in service

Hanjin Shipping Co. recently christened the Hanjin Paris, a 68,500-dwt,
5,300-TEU capacity containership, at Yong-do Shipyard in Pusan, South Korea.
Now on a route to North America, the ship is 279 meters/915 feet long and
has a beam and depth of 40 meters/131 feet. With a 75,000-horsepower engine,
it can sail at 26 knots.

Rickmers-Lloyd installs cranes in eight days

Rickmers-Lloyd Bremerhaven GmbH recently installed three Krupp cranes
on the St. Vincent and the Grenadines-registry, 2,300-TEU capacity containership
Maersk Santos in eight days. The ship, owned by Herm Davelsberg, is on
charter to Maersk Line.


Three people killed aboard vessel docked in Miami

The bodies of three people were found 14 July aboard the Vanderpool
Express (Belize-registry 529-dwt general cargo ship built in 1962, owned
by Benjamin Darvil) which was docked on the Miami River. All had bullet
wounds, and a fourth person is in serious condition with stab wounds. Witnesses
reportedly heard gunfire near the ship around dawn. The Vanderpool Express
had recently arrived from Haiti.

Through AMVER, Chilean-registry ship rescues two from demasted boat

The Pacific Explorer (Chilean-registry 17,800-dwt, 213-meter/700-foot
long ro/ro built in 1978, operated by Chilena Interoceanica) rescued two
German citizens at 0500 17 July, 1,900 kilometers/1,200 miles south of
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Their 22-meter/73-foot catamaran, the Fritz, lost
its mast, reportedly after the vessel was hit by a whale on 16 July. While
the two were not injured, the vessel sustained damage to its mast, rigging,
hull and main compartment. The U.S. Coast Guard contacted the Pacific Explorer
through the Automated Mutual Vessel Emergency Rescue (AMVER) service, and
the ship located the catamaran through radio calls by the two aboard, Herman
Schmidt, 39, and Jutta May, 31. The Fritz is registered in Kiel, Germany.

More on hijacked North Korean-registry ship

A crewmember of the Morang Bong (North Korean-registry general cargo
ship) was killed when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a group
fighting for the creation of a Tamil state in what is now northern Sri
Lanka, hijacked the ship late 7 July. The ship was sailing from Point Pedro,
Sri Lanka, to Colombo, Sri Lanka, empty. The crewmember was reportedly
killed when the ship at first failed to stop off Hvettilaikerni, Sri Lanka.
The ship is reportedly still anchored of Chalai, Sri Lanka, with its remaining
North Korean crew of 38.

U.S. Coast Guard locates possible smuggler

On 2 July, the U.S. Coast Guard's Bear-class Medium-Endurance Cutter
U.S.C.G.C. Northland (WMEC 904) located the D Only One (Honduran-registry),
27 kilometers/17 miles north of Haiti. The D Only One circled twice, then
headed toward Haitian territorial waters. After Coast Guard requests, the
vessel agreed to a boarding in international waters. A team found 20 shotguns,
two cases of shotgun shells, three vehicles and a jet ski not listed on
the manifest. The vessel and its crew have been turned over to the Honduran
government for investigation.

Catch of fishing vessel confiscated off Massachusetts

The U.S. Coast Guard seized the ctach of the Act II (U.S.-registry 22-meter/71-foot
fishing vessel, homeported at New Bedford, Mass.) on 16 July, after the
vessel was found fishing inside a closed area 85 kilometers/53 miles southeast
of Nantucket, Mass. The U.S. Coast Guard's Balsam-class Seagoing Buoy Tender
U.S.C.G.C. Bittersweet (WLB 389) found the vessel in the Nantucket Lightship
Closed Area and escorted it to New Bedford. A boarding team found 1,060
kilograms/480 pounds of scallops, 550 kilograms/250 pounds of monk tail
and 40 kilograms/18 pounds of lobster. The catch's value is estimated at

U.S. Coast Guard gives chase to Mexican-registry boats

The U.S. Coast Guard was notified 4 July that six Mexican-registry lanchas
were fishing three kilometers/two miles north of the Mexican/U.S. boarder.
Two rigid hull boats from Coast Guard Station Port Isabel, Texas, chased
the boats as they sailed south, and one of the Coast Guard boats swerved
in front of a lancha to slow it down. While trying to avoid it, the lancha
collided with the Coast Guard boat. An inspection found 38 fish, with 10
undersized red snapper. The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service recommended
a written warning.

Flotilla marks 1994 sinking of tug off Cuba

A flotilla of boats sailed across the Florida Straits on 13 July to
mark the anniversary of the sinking of a tug off Cuba in 1994, which killed
41 people attempting to leave Cuba. The group stole the tug and it sank
after reportedly being rammed by a Cuban naval vessel. The 15 boats in
the flotilla stayed outside Cuban territorial waters, and three Cuban naval
vessels were seen about six kilometers/four miles away. The U.S. Coast
Guard seized one of the boats, the Democracia, before it left Florida because
Ramon Saul Sanchez, head of the Democracy Movement, said he would use it
to enter Cuban waters. The rest were allowed to sail south, along with
several aircraft of Brothers to the Rescue, and arrived about 19 kilometers/12
miles off Cuba, where a memorial service was held.

Danube River closed to vessels due to heavy rains

Between 4 July and 8 July, Austria received a third of its annual average
rainfall, some 900 millimeters/36 inches. Due to the level of the Danube
River, all dams were opened and locks shut down. Water rose to within five
centimeters/two inches of the tops of quays.

Mississippi River briefly closed in Louisiana

On 9 July, a waste oil tank exploded and caught fire at the WITCO Storage
Facility in Gretna, La. The Mississippi River was closed from mile marker
96 to 98 for several hours.

Gulf of Mexico prepares for Hurricane Danny

Hurricane Danny, the first hurricane forecasted to make landfall in
the United States this season, is expected to come ashore late 18 July
or early 19 July from the Gulf of Mexico. British Petroleum P.L.C. said
17 July it has suspended operations at its Ewing Bank platform, and other
drilling operations were expected to do the same.


Michael Watt donates ship for Antarctic clean-up

Michael Watt, the chairman of CSI, a firm that owns the rights to market
British football matches, has bought an ice-strengthened vessel for 70,500
British pounds/U.S.$127,000. He has donated it to an environmental program
that works to clean-up the Antarctic.

Russian-registry vessel arrested at Pusan

The Topaz (Russian-registry rescue and salvage vessel) has been arrested
at Pusan, South Korea, while returning to its homeport of Vladivostok,
Russia. It has spent the last six months in the Persian Gulf and stopped
at Pusan for fuel, food and supplies.

Doug McKeil arrives in Louisiana

The Doug McKeil (292-gt, 719-dwt, 51.5-meter/169-foot tug built in 1971)
arrived at Morgan City, La., on 14 July for its new owners. McKeil Marine
Ltd. bought the tug last year for the Fixed Link Project on Prince Edward
Island, Canada. It has previously worked in the North Sea.


Eighty-two dead, 26 missing after ferry capsizing in Indonesia

A ferry capsized in Lake Toba, Indonesia, on 13 July, killing 82 persons.
Another 26 may be missing, including the master, Opo Siho Tang. The K.M.
Pedaltari, a small wooden ferry, had more than 150 people aboard, even
though it had a capacity of 50 to 60 people. Some 50 passengers reportedly
swam to shore. Most of those aboard were returning to Samosir Island after
attending a cultural festival in Parapat.

At least 54 drown in India

At least 54 persons drowned near Khagaria, India, on 11 July after their
vessel capsized on the Bagmati River. The overloaded vessel had 60 passengers
aboard, and six swam to shore.

Two vessels capsize during storm between Belize and Honduras, 22 missing

Twenty-two people are missing after two vessels sailing from Belize
to Honduras capsized in a storm. Most are Honduran farm workers. One vessel,
the Denovve, was found by fishing vessels near Puerto Cortes, Honduras,
on 13 July. It had 15 people aboard and left Belize on 8 July. The Nancy,
with seven aboard, left port on 12 July.

Fourteen missing in Aegean Sea

A boat carrying Iraqi migrants from Turkey to Chios Island, Greece,
capsized and sank 9 July. At least 14 Iraqi citizens are missing and 26
were rescued. The boat foundered 15 minutes after leaving Turkey. Each
passenger paid U.S.$1,000 and an Iraqi citizen and a Turkish citizen have
been arrested.

U.S. Navy searching Arabian Gulf for survivors of dhow sinking

Two Iranian citizens, found adrift in the Arabian Gulf, were rescued
by the U.S. Navy's Kitty Hawk-class Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Constellaton
(CV 64) on 14 July. The two men were found clinging to floating debris
about 130 kilometers/81 miles northwest of Bahrain. They said they had
been adrift for five days, after the Ramazan, an Iranian-registry dhow,
broke-up in heavy seas. Eight other people were aboard and are being sought
by helicopters from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 37's Detachment
9, from the Ticonderoga-class Guided-Missile Crusier U.S.S. Lake Erie (CG
70), and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 42's Detachment 5, from
the Spruance-class Destroyer U.S.S. Thorn (DD 988).

Four killed in chemical tanker fire

The Freja Nordic (Bahamian-registry 6,482-gt, 11,910-dwt chemical tanker
built in 1980, operated by Freja Tankers A/S) had an explosion and fire
in its engine room the night of 15 - 16 July. Four crewmembers were killed.
The vessel is now anchored off Bandar-e Khomeyni, Iran.

One killed, one missing after vessel capsizes off Nova Scotia

A lobster boat capsized in heavy seas off Donkin, Nova Scotia, Canada
on 15 July. The body of one of the two men was found, while the other is
missing. The vessel drifted ashore where a chainsaw was used to enter its
hull. An empty liferaft was found washed up nearby as well.

One dead after tug sinking off Washington

The Marie M. (U.S.-registry 26-meter/84-foot tug) capsized and sank
3 July after taking a heavy strain from a barge in tow near Point Chehalis,
Wash. One of the crew was killed while the other five were rescued.

Crewmember missing after collision off Japan

A 70-year-old man is missing after the Kazusa Maru (Japanese-registry,
697-dwt) hit the tug Bokka (75-dwt) off Shimokita Peninsula, Japan, early
7 July. The tug was towing a Cambodian-registry vessel in dense fog. The
ship rescued three of the tug's crew, but Chief Engineer Kihachiro Abe
is missing.

Ferry allision injures passengers, one crewmember

The ferry Thomas Rennie, which operates to Toronto Island, Ontario,
Canada, rammed a dock at 1030 11 July. Reportedly, the vessel was not able
to slow its speed. One crewmember and several passengers were given medical
treatment, while other passengers were injured but did not require assistance.

Freighter sinks off Japan following collision

The Bifuku Maru (499-gt vessel) sank the morning of 11 July after a
collision with the Showa Maru (460-gt tanker), 50 kilometers/31 miles south
of Cape Inubosaki, Japan. The five crew of the Bikfuku Maru were rescued
after the tanker's bow rammed the ship's starboard hull during poor visibility
and mist about 0420. The Bikfuku Maru was carrying "building stones"
and the tanker was empty.

Greek-registry ship disabled in the Mediterranean

The Comet (Greek-registry 16,481-gt motor container/general cargo ship
built in 1978), sailing from Alexandria, Egypt, to Piraeus, Greece, in
ballast, had an engine room fire on 18 July, 288 kilometers/180 miles southeast
of Crete, Greece. The fire has been extinguished but the ship is disabled.

Passenger ship with 260 aboard aground in Norway

The Hanseatic (Bahamian-registry 8,378-gt, 1,023-dwt motor passenger
ship built in Finland in 1991, owned by Hanseatic Tours and operated by
Hanseatic Cruises GmbH) ran aground on sand and rocks off northern Spitsbergen
Island, Norway, on 13 July in the Hinlopen fjord, west of Nordaustlandet
Island. The ship had 145 passengers, many of whom are German tourists with
an average age of 70, and 115 crew. There were no injuries or damage. The
Hanseatic was sailing from Norway to Iceland. The Origo (Swedish-registry
passenger ship) attempted to tow the Hanseatic free but was unsuccessful.
On 17 July, with two Norwegian Coast Guard vessels arrived nearby and the
passengers were evacuated by helicopters. They were lowered to a large,
flat icefloe at the stern, where the helicopters landed. Some may also
have been taken off by boat. The passengers were taken to the lead ship
of the Norkapp (W 320)-class Patrol Ship. The Tromsoe (Norwegian-registry)
was also nearby. After 480 tons of fuel was unloaded, Hanseatic was then
towed free and the all the vessels sailed to Longyearbyen, Norway, where
the passengers boarded a flight to Hamburg, Germany.

Engine room fire aboard containership off Japan

The Bunga Suria (Malaysian-registry 53,000-gt, 49,936-dwt containership
built in 1979) had an engine room fire aboard 16 July a few hours after
leaving Yokohama, Japan, for Pusan, South Korea. None of the 49 aboard
were injured and it was brought under control. The ship came within 2.7
kilometers/1.7 miles of Yokohama, where Japanese Maritime Safety Agency
and Yokohama Fire Department vessels met it.

U.S. Coast Guard comes to aid of sinking fishing vessel

The Pina (U.S.-registry 22-meter/72-foot fishing vessel, homeported
at Gloucester, Mass.) took on water 17 July, 96 kilometers/60 miles east
of Gloucester. The U.S. Coast Guard's "Island"-class Patrol Boat
U.S.C.G.C. Jefferson Island (WPB 1340) spotted the Pina just before 1800,
when its master, John Prudensy, reported the vessel's engine room was flooding
at a rate of 76 liters/20 gallons to 114 liters/30 gallons per minute.
A team from the patrol boat went aboard the Pina with pumps and worked
to stop the flooding, while a Coast Guard HU-25A Falcon from Coast Guard
Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., dropped three more pumps. The Pina was then
towed to Gloucester in 40-knot winds and steady rain. About 0800 18 July,
the tow was transferred to a 14-meter/47-foot motor lifeboat from Coast
Guard Station Gloucester.

Tow groundings close Ohio River

On 13 July, the John Strong, pushing 13 coal barges, ran aground at
mile marker 926.5 in the Ohio River. Five barges blocked the river and
10 vessels were delayed. They were lightered and refloated the same day,
with most traffic allowed to pass. On 14 July, the Paul, with two rock
barges, grounded at mile 926, closing the river again and delaying 35 tows
with 425 barges. A cut in the shoal was marked so that the area could reopen
for one-way traffic during daylight.

Bulk carrier grounds off Australia

The Dakshineshwar (Indian-registry 28,739-gt, 47,277-dwt motor ulk carrier
built in 1987, owned and operated by Shipping Corp. of India Ltd.) ran
aground 12 July in the Torres Strait off Australia. The ship, carrying
coke, had steering problems, which caused it to ground on a sandbar one
kilometer/0.6 miles off Wednesday Island at 10 degrees 30.3 minutes south,
142 degrees 17.9 minutes east. It had loaded the coal at Hay Point, Australia,
and was sailing to Visakhapatnam, India.

Swedish-registry ship grounds en route to Italy

The Hamlet (Swedish-registry 3,638-gt, 610-dwt ro/ro motor ferry built
in 1968, operated by SweFerry A.B.) ran aground 12 July northeast of Valgrundet,
Sweden. The vessel was sailing to Italy and was refloated on 13 July. The
Hamlet was towed to Malmo, Sweden, for an underwater hull inspection.

Fire on the Anafi extinguished, crewmember remains missing

The fire aboard the Anafi (Maltese-registry 40,269-gt, 74,099-dwt bulk
carrier built in 1974, operated by Sougerka Maritime Co. Ltd.) at the Port
of Piraeus, Greece, was extinguised 11 July. The ship, sailing from Shanghai,
China, to Fos, France, with 46,000 tons of coal, had an engine room fire
that spread throughout the superstructure beginning 8 July. The chief engineer,
George Markoulis, is missing, while the remaining 30 crewmembers were uninjured.

Update on the Canadian Navigator

The Canadian Navigator (Canadian-registry 18,788-gt, 31,650-dwt, 12,830-nt,
222.2-meter/729.0-foot motor bulk carrier built in 1967 by J. Readhead
& Sons Ltd. at South Shields, England; operated by Upper Lakes Group
Inc.'s ULS Corp.) ran aground at 2130 10 July in the St. Clair River near
St. Clair, Mich. The ship reportedly grounded on a soft bottom. It was
carrying stone to be unloaded at Courtright Supply Dock Ltd. in Courtright,
Ontario, Canada, and the Mueller Dock of Standard Aggregates Division in
Sarnia, Ontario. After grounding, the ship drifted lengthwise across the
river. A bow thruster problem is suspected.

Report issued on the Sea Empress

The British Marine Accident Investigation Branch issued its report on
the grounding of the Sea Empress on 16 July. Late 15 Feb., 1996, the Sea
Empress (Liberian-registry, 147,273-dwt, 274-meter/900-foot long single-hull
tanker built in 1993 by Astilleros Espanoles S.A. in Spain; owned by SeaTankers's
Alegrete Shipping Co. and operated by Acromarit (U.K.) Ltd. with 28 Russian
crew) ran aground, 180 meters/600 feet off St. Ann's Head near Milford
Haven, Wales. Ruptured cargo tanks spilled about 72 million liters/19 million
gallons of oil, or 72,000 tons. On 21 Feb., 1996, the ship was refloated
with 12 tugs. It was on charter to Dreyfus Energy and was carrying 140.0
million liters/36.75 million gallons of North Sea light crude in 17 tanks
from Hound Point, Scotland, to a Texaco Inc. refinery in Wales. The report
faults pilot error for the grounding as the immediate cause, but found
several underlying problems. There were no tugs at the port able to assist
the ship, bad weather hampered clean-up and relations between the pilots
and Milford Haven Port Authority was strained. The master and the pilot
also failed to agree on a passage plan. The report recommends the port
authority conduct better training, examination and management of its pilots.
Acomarit (U.K.) should have its masters understand and follow its standing
orders on pilots. And the British Marine Safety Agency, British Coastguard
Agency and British Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions
should ensure that all ships have spill plans in place and can access computerized
information on structural integrity and damage calculations when an accident
occurs. The report also suggests double-hulls extend to pump rooms and
possibly engine rooms. Finally, MARPOL regulations on bottom raking should
be tightened. John Prescot, secretary of the Environment, Transport and
the Regions, has ordered an independent review of salvage agreements and
the port authority. As a result of the report, the British Environment
Agency has started criminal proceedings against the Milford Haven Port
Authority and its harbormaster, Mark Clive Andrews. Both have received
summonses. The authority is charged with being a nuisance to the public,
as it "failed to regulate navigation" and prevent the spill under
the British Milford Haven Conservancy Act of 1983. It also failed to provide
proper pilotage under the British Pilotage Act of 1987. The authority and
Andrews were also charged under Section 85 of the British Water Resources
Act of 1991 for pollution. Andrews was also charged with being a nuisance
to the public.


Exploration of wreck finds World War I-vintage champagne, cognac

The first of what is believed to be 5,000 bottles of champagne, 35,000
liters/9,100 gallons of cognac in wooden barrels and 6,000 liters/1,500
gallons wine were brought to the surface 11 July from a vessel torpedoed
by a German navy attack submarine in the Baltic during World War I. Claes
Bergvall and Peter Lindberg discovered the wreck of the Swedish-registry
25-meter/82-foot ketch Jonkoping about 46 kilometers/28 miles from Rauma,
Finland, where it was headed. The champagne has been identified as the
Heidsieck & Co.'s 1907, of Reims, France. In green bottles, it still
has its light golden color, sweet taste and fine bubbles, according to
people who have sampled it in Stockholm, Sweden. The "gout Americain,"
or "American taste" champagne, was preserved in ideal conditions
of complete darkness and a temperature of 1 degree Celsius/34 degrees Fahrenheit
at 62 meters/203 feet deep. The Jonkoping left Gavle, Sweden, on 28 Oct.,
1916, for Rauma and Petrograd, Russia with wine for the central bank of
Finland and champagne and cognac for the Russian army. The wooden, two-masted
ship was sunk by the U-22, which also sank six other ships around the same
time. Bergvall and Lindberg read of the ship and its cargo in a book and
used Swedish archives to locate it.

Two yacht racing records set in the Pacific

Two Pacific Ocean yacht racing records were broken last weeknd during
the Transpac '97 competition. The Explorer, a 26-meter/86-foot French catamaran,
crossed the finish the night of 12 July after sailing from Los Angeles
to Honolulu. Owned by Bruno Peyron, it sailed the 3,500 kilometers/2,200
miles in five days, nine hours, reaching speeds of 30 knots. The figure
broke the record of six days 16 hours set in 1995 by the Lakota, an 18-meter/60-foot
trimaran owned by Steve Fosset. In the monohull competition, the Pyewacket,
a 21-meter/70-foot sloop, beat eight days, six hours, set 10 July by the
17-meter/56-foot Medicine Man. Pyewacket, owned by Roy Disney, finished
in seven days, 15 hours, arriving early 13 July.

U.S. Navy to commission the Seawolf

The U.S. Navy's lead ship of the Seawolf (SSN 21)-class Nuclear-Powered
Attack Submarine will be commissioned at 1100 19 July at General Dynamics
Corp.'s Electric Boat Corp. in Groton, Conn. U.S. Secretary of the Navy
John H. Dalton is the principal speaker and his wife, Margaret O. Dalton,
is the ship's sponsor. The submarine was authorized fiscal year 1989, ordered
9 Jan., 1989, begun 25 Oct., 1989, and launched 24 June, 1995. Named to
honor two previous Navy submarines, Seawolf is a solitary fish with strong
teeth and projecting tusks. Capt. David McCall is the commanding officer.
Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, the Seawolf will be homeported at Groton.
The submarine, and the class, have been controversial, to say the least.
In 1991, welding cracks were found in the pressure hull, adding a year
and U.S.$100 million. The submarine will cost around U.S.$3 billion when
finally operational. In additon to monetary questions, critics have raised
the issue of the need for an attack submarine with Seawolf's characteristics.

Viking knarr leaves Iceland to retrace Ericsson's voyage

After a two-week delay, 12 people set out from Narsarsuaq, Greenland,
17 July to recreate the voyage of Leif Ericsson, 1,000 years ago. The Viking
knarr will sail to L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada. The vessel
sailed to Qassiarsuk, Greenland, across from Narsarsuaq, first. Qassiarsuk,
an early settlement, may have been Ericsson's depature port. The 3,058-kilometer/4,893-mile
trip will take six to eight weeks. For more information, see the World
Maritime News of 6 June.

Egypt commissions two naval ships

The Egyptian Navy commissioned two former U.S. Navy Oliver Hazard Perry-class
Guided-Missile Frigates on 13 July at the Ras el-Bin naval base in Alexandria,
Egypt. The Mubarak is named for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the
Taba is named for a town in the Sinai.