- Transport on Line - hiltunen.htm


More on U.S. sanctions against three Japanese lines

Details of how sanctions against the three largest Japanese shipping
lines - Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. ("K" Line), Mitsui O.S.K Lines
and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line) - will operate have been announced.
The sanctions went into affect at 0001 4 Sept. after the United States
said Japan had failed to eliminate restrictive port practices that hindered
U.S. companies doing business in Japan. The three lines are seeking an
injunction against the action in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington.
Under the sanctions, containerships operated by the three will be charged
U.S.$100,000 each time they call at a U.S. port. However, the charge will
be waived if a particular ship has been assessed the fee within the past
seven days or if the ship is calling in Hawaii and had been assessed within
the past 40 days. Each carrier must report its port entries on the 15th
of each month for the preceding month. A cashier's check or certified check
for the fines must accompany each report. Under the system, the first payments
will be due 15 Oct. Combined, containerships operated by the three call
at U.S. ports about 400 times annually. The first vessel affected was the
NYK Springtide (Singaporean-registry 39,394-dwt containership built in
1992, operated by NYK Ship Management Ltd.), which arrived in Tacoma, Wash.,
at 0010 5 Sept., rather than Seattle as previously reported. It is expected
that 41 ships will be affected by the end of the month, or U.S.$4.1 million
in fines.

Shanghai Shipping Exchange fixes rate

The Shanghai Shipping Exchange has fixed the lowest liner rates for
cargoes from Shanghai, China, to Japan. Twenty-three operators were consulted.
U.S.$400 will be charged per TEU and U.S.$800 for an FEU, with U.S.$1,200
per refrigerated TEU and U.S.$2,400 per refrigerated FEU. The rates will
last until the end of the year.

China, Japan agree on borders

China and Japan agreed on 3 Sept. in principle on boundaries of a jointly
patroled ocean zone. The agreement in Beijing would replace a 1975 treaty
that largely affects fishing rights.

Safmarine leaves Universal Reefers

Safmarine will sell its 50 percent stake in Universal Reefers to Outspan
and Unifruco. As of 1 Oct., it will be a joint venture between the two
remaining shareholders.

France Euro Tramp restructures

France Euro Tramp has restructured its capital after Compagnie Meridionale
de Navigation decided to withdraw. Louis Dreyfus and Navale Francaise S.A.
have formed it into a joint venture.

Canada signs liability limitation protocol

On 9 Sept., Canadian Transport Minister of David Collenette signed the
May 1996 protocol to amend the 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability
for Maritime Claims in London. As a result, the Canada Shipping Act, which
bases its liability limitation on the International Convention Relating
to the Limitation of Liability of Owners of Sea-Going Vessels on 1957,
will be revised. Under the protocol, the maximum compensation abailable
for claimants will increase.

Lawsuit filed against Alaska, Washington and the U.S. government...

The government of British Columbia, Canada, a fishermen's union in the
province, a fishing vessel owners' group and three individuals filed a
lawsuit on 8 Sept. in the U.S. District Court in Seattle against the governments
of Alaska and Washington and the U.S. federal government. The lawsuit asks
a U.S. court to declare that the three violated the Pacific Salmon Treaty
of 1985 and as a result, Alaska must pay Canada more than Canadian$220
million/U.S.$158 million for six years of overfishing. The suit also states
that the federal government should take over commercial fishing regulation
if the state's do not meet British Columbia's demands. British Columbia's
suit claims that Alaskan fishing vessels have taken more than 400,000 red
salmon this year, four times the amount allowed.

..Deadline for security bonds extended

The State of Alaska has given owners of some 200 Canadian-registry fishing
vessels until 30 Sept., rather than 15 Sept., to file security bonds or
their vessels may be seized as compensation. On 19 July, more than 200
Canadian-registry fishing vessels surrounded the Malaspina (U.S.-registry
ferry built in 1963, operated by the State of Alaska, homeported at Juneau,
Alaska) as it arrived at Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada. Passengers
and vehicles disembarked, but just before 328 passengers boarded, the fishing
vessels refused to move in protest of negotiations to renew the Pacific
Salmon Treaty of 1985 by Canada and the United States. Some 90 passengers
remained aboard with the rest going to hotels and some deciding not to
make the voyage. On 20 July, a judge in Montreal ordered the fishing vessels
to end the blockade and further calls at Prince Rupert by Alaskan ferries
were indefinitely canceled. On 21 July, a local sheriff, with Royal Canadian
Mounted Police escorts, served every vessel in the blockade with the judge's
order. Those that did not leave right away later did so after several crews
met with Canadian Fisheries Minister David Anderson. The Malaspina was
then able to proceed to Ketchikan, Alaska, though reportedly with only
142 passengers and 88 vehicles. A Canadian court on 28 July granted a permanent
injunction that bars blockades of Alaskan ferries by fishing vessels in
British Columbia. Alaska has now filed a lawsuit seeking Canadian$4.0 million/U.S.$2.8
million in damages due to the blockade of the Malaspina and will seize
vessels if necessary. On average, each vessel owner will need to file a
bond of C$10,000/U.S.$7,200.

Merit France to take control of C.G.M.

Merit France will take full control of Compagnie Generale Maritime.
It already controls a majority of Compagnie Maritime d'Affretement. Under
the deal, C.M.A. will sell its 90 percent stake in C.G.M. to Merit France.
The deal involves 11,483,531 shares. C.M.A. and C.G.M. will then become
sister companies under Merit France as CMA/CGM Holding.

Young Brothers strike averted

A strike by dockworkers at Young Brothers Ltd., a Hawaiian barge operator,
has been averted after a tentative agreement was reached. Members of the
International Longshore and Warehouse Union have worked without a contract
since 30 June, 1996. Reportedly, dockworkers will get a U.S.$1 per hour
raise each year for three years, with U.S.$0.50 more for skilled workers.
A new return-to-work policy for injured employees will be instituted as

Carinval, Hyundai Merchant Marine dissolve venture

Carnival Crop. and Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. Ltd. have dissolved their
venture, Carnival Cruises Asia, to market passenger cruises in Asia using
the Tropicale (Liberian-registry 6,654-dwt, 1,022-passenger ship built
in 1981). The deal was announced in September 1996. Carnival will repurchase
the Tropicale. The joint service was to have begun 1 May. Differences in
strategy were cited.

Premier Cruises formed from three lines

Cruise Holdings Ltd. announced 9 Sept. it has formed Premier Cruises
by combining its three cruise ship operations: Dolphin, Premier and Seawind.
The line will be formally launched 26 Sept. in Miami.

South Africa signs agreements with Algeria, Egypt

South Africa signed accords with Algeria and Egypt 10 Sept. that will
allow free movement of vessels from the two contries to South African ports.
Bilateral committees to promote shipping will be formed as well.

Libra Group announces spending plans

Libra Group has announced plans to spend U.S.$623.2 million through
the year 2000. U.S.$380 million will be spent to modernize Estaleiro Niteroi,
its recently acquired shipyard. Some U.S.$70 million will be spent at the
yard this year, with U.S.$30 million for modernizing Pier 37 at Santos,
Brazil, and U.S.$15 million for building five tugs and 10 barges to operate
on the Parana and Tiete Rivers in Brazil. Another U.S.$15 million will
be spent on building grain terminals and U.S.$20 million will be invested
at a warehouse at Pier 37 in Santos.

Disney chooses Dolphin Shipmanagement

Disney Cruise Line has selected Dolphin Shipmanagement to manage crews
for at least its first ship.

U.S. Senate approves bill affecting American Hawaii Cruises

The U.S. Senate has passed a bill sponsored by Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii,
under which American Hawaii Cruises will be allowed to operate a foreign-built
passenger ship in the Hawaiian Islands for 13 years. This will, in effect,
grant the line a monopoly. However, in return, the line must buy two new
1,200-passenger ships built by a U.S. shipyard by 2008. The bill has not
been voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Renaissance Cruises to combine French operations

Renaissance Cruises Inc. will form a French subsidiary, Renaissance
France, that will combine Renaissance Development, Renaissance Finance
and Renaissance Ship Services Management. It will supervise and operate
two 684-passenger ships being built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, the Renaissance
III and the Renaissance IV. They will be operated in French territories
in the South Pacific.

Greenpeace members acquitted in Greece

Eight members of Greenpeace were acquitted 9 Sept. in Thessaloniki,
Greece, following a trial that began 5 Sept. The eight suspended themselves
from an anchor chain of the tanker Butler Phoenix for five in September
1992 to protest the unloading of what Greenpeace said were 2,000 tons of
toxic materials at the Hellenic Fuel and Mineral Oils Group refinery in
the area. They resisted efforts by port personnel to remove them and were
arrested for resisting. The eight include a Dutch man, three Greek citizens,
a Italian woman, a Spanish citizen and two U.S. citizens. Since the five
foreign members have not been served with subpoenas, the three Greek members,
Nikos Charalambidis, Eleni Papthanasiou and Aigli Stamatiou, were the only
members present.

Australian cruise line fails before starting

A new cruise operation based in Australia has collapsed. South Pacific
Cruises has closed its Queensland office. Accusations were made about its
management and a parliamentary hearings may be held on an Australian$2
million/U.S.$1.4 million transfer of money from the government to the line
for training crewmembers.

Canadian Competition Bureau calls for stay in CP Ships proceeding

The Canadian Competition Bureau is seeking a stay of proceedings in
is application with the Canadian Competitional Tribunal to get CP Ships
to sell its Cast subsidiary. The bureau is investigating a new container
service to Montreal that may mitigate its competition concerns.

Argonaut switches stock listing

The Stockholm Stock Exchange has granted a request by Argonaut A.B.
to transfer its stock from the "A" list to the "O"
list. Under the tax code for private Swedish investors, the stocks on the
latter list cannot be taxed, unlike the former. The move was effective
12 Sept.

Royal Carribean International announces stock price

Royal Caribbean International has priced its public offering of nine
million shares of its common stock at U.S.$40.625 per share. Eight million
were to be sold originally. Some 996,285 shares are being sold by a shareholder,
with the rest from the firm. Royal Carribean International has granted
an option of up to 1.35 million shares to cover over-allotments.

Canada opens small fishery off Newfoundland, Quebec

Canadian Fisheries Minister David Anderson said 5 Sept. that a small
area of cod off Canada will be opened to fishing. A limit of 10 fish per
day will be mandated from 12 Sept. to 14 Sept. for western and southern
Newfoundland and the lower north shore of Quebec. After a review of the
period, the area may be opened to fishing again from 19 Sept. to 21 Sept.
A moratorium on fishing in the area has been in place to protect dwindling
stocks from commercial harvesting.

COSCO revamps Shanghai communications network

China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co. has re-worked the COSCO Global Communications
Network in Shanghai, China. The network, with 11 major nodes, enables the
group to communicate with agents and ships at more than 1,100 ports, paying
only for lease of telecommunications routes.

Thome Ship Management not recruiting officers from Australia

Thome Ship Management Pte. Ltd. disclosed recently that it has not recruited
officers from Australia since April due to decisions made in regard to
the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Convention. The
decision was made after Australia refused to acknowledge foreign traning
programs as valid and decided that only time aboard Australian-registry
vessels could be counted towards a competency certificate, according to
Thome Shipmanagement. Australia has also refused to issue identity cards.


CSAV, Euroatlantic Container Line restructure service

CSAV and Euroatlantic Container Line have announced changes to their
northern Europe to eastern South America service after Contship Containerlines
Ltd. leaves the service 1 Oct. Three ships will be added over three months
for five 1,200-TEU vessels. There will be 39 sailings per year to Felixstowe,
England; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Hamburg, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium;
Le Havre, France; Bilbao, Spain; Rio de Janeiro and Santos in Brazil; Buenos
Aires, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Rio Grande, Itajai and Paranagua
in Brazil.

COSCO revamps China - Japan routes

China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co. has restructured its services between
China and Japan. The Kanto service in the east and the Kansai service in
the west will each be subdivided. Two 725-TEU ships will sail between the
Japanese ports of Yokohama and Nagoya and the Chinese ports of Guangzhou,
Xiamen and Fuzhou. Two 1,140-TEU ships will sail between Yokohama, Nagoya
and Xingang and Dalian in China on a weekly fixed-day schedule. A Japan
to Xiamen route will have a 422-TEU and 117-TEU ship, while Japan to Xingang
and Dalian will have 590 and 724-TEU ships.

Wilhelmsen Lines adds Ningbo, Jeddah calls

Wilhelmsen Linse has added calls in Ningbo, China, twice a month on
its around-the-world service and monthly calls at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Carribean General Maritime expanding service

Carribean General Maritime, a subsidiary of Compagnie Maritime d'Affretement/Compagnie
General Maritime, will start the Gulf Express later this month. The weekly
liner service will call Miami; Veracruz and Altamira in Mexico; Houston;
Kingston, Jamaica; and Freeport, the Bahamas. Two ships, the Arcadian Sky
(373-TEU capacity) and the Camira (4,210-dwt, 374-TEU capacity dry cargo
ship built in 1980), will operate the service, beginning on 20 Sept. and
27 Sept., respectively.

Three firms leaving Thamesport

Bolt Canada, Levan Shipping's Bolt Mediterranean Line and Thames Neva
have announced they will leave Thamesport, England, and start calling Tilbury,
England, on 1 Dec. Some 15,000 to 20,000 containers are affected in the

Surcharge added at Mombassa

The Beacon consortium has added a surcharge for containers moving through
Mombassa, Kenya, due to delays of four to six days.

Chittagong surcharge canceled

The Chittagong Feeder Trade Committee ended a surcharge on containers
moving through Chittagong, Bangladesh, on 1 Sept. Following heavy congestion
in July, the committee imposed a surcharge on 16 Aug. of U.S.$150 per TEU
and U.S.$300 per FEU. The congestion reportedly abated in August, with
delays to ships of 12 days in July and 3.5 days now. The Main Line Operators
group has also lifted its surcharge.

Norfolk Line adding fourth sailing

Norfolk Line has introduced a fourth daily sailing between Felixstowe,
England, and Scheveningen, the Netherlands. The Bolero (6,704-dwt, 65-trailer
ro/ro built in 1985) will sail from Dooley Terminal in Felixstowe at 1800.

C.G.M. and Transroll Navegacao select ships

Transroll Navegacao S.A. has chartered the Nadir, a geared 22,800-dwt,
1,650-TEU containership, for its joint service with Compagnie Generale
Maritime between Europe and eastern South America. It is the first of seven
such ships built by Stocznia Gdynia S.A. The line will also use the Betelguese
(33,100-dwt, 2,200-TEU ro/ro built in 1992) and the Belatrix (33,621-dwt,
2,200-TEU ro/ro built in 1992). C.G.M. will use two 1,650-TEU containerships.

Vessel assignments announced for new Canada - northern Europe service

Maersk Line, P&O Nedlloyd Container Line Ltd. and Sea-Land Service
Inc., which will begin a container service between northern Europe and
Canada this month, have announced vessel assignments. The weekly container
service will use three ice-class containerships with 1,000-TEU capacity.
Two will be operated by Maersk Line and one will be operated by Sea-Land
Service with P&O Nedlloyd Container Line purchasing slots. The former
includes the Maersk Montreal and the Maersk Toronto. Calls will be made
at Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Bremerhaven, Germany; Felixstowe, England;
and Montreal. The first departure from Rotterdam was 10 Sept. with the
first arrival at Montreal 18 Sept.

Second ship added to cruise line

New SeaEscape Cruises Ltd. has purchased a second ship will will begin
two-day cruises in early December. The Island Holiday will sail from Port
Everglades, Fla., to Nassau, the Bahamas. The ship will depart Mondays,
Wednesdays and Fridays with a 10-hour call at Nassau. The Island Holiday
has 223 cabins, pools, a theater, three lounges, a disco and two shops.
The 15,400-gt ship, build in Finland in 1976, will be refurbished before
its first cruise.

New Rotterdam tug operator

Fairplay Schleppdampfschiffs-Reederei will begin operating six new harbor
tugs in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, early next year.

Thorsriver identified

The Thorsriver, which will be operated by Christensen Canadian African
Lines every 21 days from Montreal to the ports of Cape Town and Durban
in South Africa, has been identified. The ship is the Elan Vital (Cypriot-registry
16,075-gt, 17,420-dwt ro/ro built in 1992) and is now in Montreal. The
ship was the Russian-registry Kovrov, which was arrested in Tahiti on 9
May, 1996, and sold two weeks later. It has a stern slewing ramp as well
as side ports.


Turkey bars Cypriot-owned vessels from its ports

Turkey has closed its ports to all vessels owned by Cypriot citizens,
extending a 1987 policy that bars Cypriot-registry ships. The action was
taken in retaliation for an economic embargo by the Cypriot government
against North Cyprus.

Canal between India and Sri Lanka?

India is studying a plan to build a canal between the southern coast
and Sri Lanka. The canal would link the Gulf of Mannar with the Palk Straits,
cutting sailing times by one to 1.5 days. Building it would require dredging
70 million cubic meters/2.45 billion cubic feet to 100 million cubic meters/3.5
billion cubic feet of material, so that ships with drafts of up to 11 meters/35
feet could navigate it. A study in 1995 said the cost would be more than
10 billion Indian rupees/U.S.$270 million. Tuticorin Port Trust, which
manages the Port of Tuticorin, India, has been named to coordinate the
study, while the Indian National Environment Engineering Research Institute
is working on a feasibility study.

Plans for several new berths announced for five Chinese ports

Twenty berths are to be added to three ports in Fujian Province, China,
over the next three years, according to officials. The 10,000-ton berths
will be built in Quanzhou, Xiamen and Zhangzhou. Fujian Province, China,
will spend 3 billion Cinese yuan/U.S.$360 million to build 17 more berths
of at least 10,000 tons at Fuzhou and Xiamen over the next three years.
Another 7 billion yuan/U.S.$840 million will be spent on 30 more berths
by 2010. Bonds and stocks will be used to finance the construction.

Third phase of Yantai begins

The third phase of the Yantai, Shandong Province, China, port project
has been approved. Seven berths will be added to increase cargo capacity
3.9 million tons. Six berths were added beginning in 1990 with six more
in the last phase bringing the current level to 34 with 15 deepwater berths.
By 2020, the port will handle 45 million tons with 58 berths, 43 of them

Yantian Port Shareholding issues shares

Yantian Port Shareholding Co. has issued 125 million shares for 648
million Chinese yuan/U.S.$77.9 million. Some 4.7 billion yuan/U.S.$560
million will be spent by 1999 on six berths that will increase capacity
fo 20 million TEUs annually.

Felixstowe Port Consultants asks to end management of Mombassa operation

Felixstowe Port Consultants Ltd. said 8 Sept. it has asked the Kenya
Port Authority to end its two-year contract to manage container operations
at the Port of Mombassa, Kenya. Felixstowe Port Consultants said it has
been unable to meet agreed productivity levels after the authority failed
to carry out refurbishment contracts, including work on four gantry cranes
and a container quay at Port Kilindini. The contract was awarded in August

Kongsberg Norcontrol to supply V.T.S. for South Korean ports

Kongsberg Norcontrol A/S has received an order worth 47 million Norwegian
kroner/U.S.$6.2 million from South Korea. Kongsberg Norcontrol will supply
its VTS5060 vessel traffic management system for the South Korean ports
of Chenju, Donghae, Kunsan and Mokpo by 1998.

Two new L.P.G. terminals in India

Ispat Industries will build liquified petroleum gas terminals in India
near Chennai and Paradip at a cost of 2.5 billion Indian rupees/U.S.$69
million. L.P.G. will be imported from Southeast Asia.

Modern Terminals to lay-off workers

For the first time in its history, Modern Terminals Ltd. in Hong Kong
will lay-off personnel.

More bunkering changes in Singapore

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore on 11 Sept. announced further
bunkering changes as of 1 Oct. A concession allowing port limit bunker
tankers to leave the port once every three months without paying dues will
end. Port dues will be charged for all such tankers without a destination
or without port clearance certificates when they return. The move is aimed
at ending bunkering outside port limits. The dues will go from Singaporean$4/U.S.$2.60
per 10 gross tons to S$20/U.S.$13 per 10 gross tons. As of 1 Jan., applications
will no longer be accepted for harbor craft applying for Category B status.
Instead, only the more stringent standard of Category A will be allowed.

Shenzhen - Hong Kong channel work approved

Approval has been given for building the Tonggu Waterway between Shenzhen,
China, and Hong Kong. Under the first phase, an existing channel in the
western harbor area of Shenzhen will be deepened so that it will be 200
meters/670 feet wide with a depth of 13.5 meters/44.3 feet. It will cost
680 million Chinese yuan/U.S.$82 million.

Jawaharlal Nehru to start priority berthing system

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in India will shift two of three container
berths to priority reservation. Also, 25 percent of berthing days will
be given to feeder vessels each month on a first-come basis.

Update on embargo against Sierra Leone

At least 21 persons are said to have been killed 4 Sept. when the Federal
Nigerian Army shelled a port area in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The action
came as the soldiers attempted to enforce an embargo against the country
imposed by the Economic Community of West African States on 30 Aug. Sierra
Leone military personnel, led by Maj. Johnny Paul Koroma, seized political
power from President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah in a coup d'etat on 25 May. Koroma
declared a national holiday on 5 Sept. to mourn the deaths. In a statement
from Monrovia, Liberia, the Federal Nigerian Army, as the economic community's
lead peacekeeping force in Sierra Leone, issued a "last warning"
to aircraft and vessels violating the embargo. Humanitarian cargo is exempt.
The warning came after Nigerian troops fired mortars on 5 Sept. to prevent
a Greek-registry ship from docking in Freetown. On 6 Sept. and 7 Sept.,
Federal Nigerian Air Force aircraft fired rockets and dropped cluster bombs
in the port area near a ship unloading rice from Pakistan. Three persons
were injured and an office and 15 cars imported from Belgium were damaged,
damage that local officials said was worth U.S.$3 million. Unconfirmed
reports indicate another aircraft bombed a tanker, killing two engineers.
Personnel of the Sierra Leone military moved in the port area on 8 Sept.
with anti-aircraft guns.

Goteborg, Halifax sign cooperation agreement

The Port of Goteborg, Sweden, and Halifax Port Corp., the authority
for the Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, signed a cooperation agreement
7 Sept. They will work together to develop marketing and personnel training.

Security changes at Guayaquil

Under a policy intended to strengthen security at Guayaquil, Ecuador,
security firms must now sign a contract with the port authority to operate.
The contract requires the firms employ trained personnel and establish
direct radio communications with relevant port personnel.

North Carolina port projects approved

The North Carolina General Assembly approved U.S.$6.2 million recently
for three projects of North Carolina State Ports Authority. U.S.$4.1 million
will be spent for a new gantry crane, U.S.$1.4 million to repair a pier
and U.S.$780,000 to buy land. U.S.$6.2 million requested to replace a dry
bulk fertilizer wharehouse at Morehead City was rejected.

San Francisco Bay pilots to be reduced

The San Francisco Board of Pilot Commissioners has voted to reduce the
number of bay pilots from 62 to 56 by attrition. There are 60 pilots now.

Panama Canal conference report

The Universal Congress on the Panama Canal opened 7 Sept. in Panama
on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the treaties which will transfer
control from the United States to Panama on 31 Dec., 1999. The meeting,
however, was overshadowed by the political situation between China and
Taiwan. In 1995, when the congress became known, Taiwanese President Lee
Teng-hui sought an invitation, which was reportedly granted after Taiwan
agreed to pay U.S.$800,000 of the congress' cost. However, in response
to Taiwan's presence, the United Nations withdrew its support. China decided
not to attend, along with several other countries and maritime industry
officials. China has also criticized Panama and the United States for Taiwan's
presence, including the latter's decision to grant a visa while Lee was
in Hawaii on a stopover. The only other heads of state that attended besides
those of Panama and Taiwan were from Honduras and Nicaragua. As a result
of the political situation, the congress, which ended 10 Sept., became
a technical forum for discussion of operations and maintenance of the canal.
At the congress, a panel of members from Japan, Panama and the United States
presented options for the future of the canal. One suggestion was to build
a new set of locks for U.S.$8.5 billion that could handle ships up to 200,000-dwt.
A second option would be to build a parallel canal at a cost of U.S.$14.2
billion that could handle ships up to 250,000-dwt. It would be located
16 kilometers/9.9 miles west of the current canal.

New York receives environmental funding from Exxon Valdez settlement

On 10 Sept., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have New York
Parks & Recreation's Natural Resources Group U.S.$150,000 to prevent
pollution of waters in and around the city. The money will aid in reducing
runoff and much of the work will be by volunteers. It involves planting
native herbs, shrubs and trees and bind the soil in Riverdale and Bronx
parks, Marine and Four Sparrow Marshes in Brooklyn and Alley Pond Park
in Queens. The grant is part of a U.S.$4.5 million fund paid by Exxon Corp.
after the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska,
on 24 March, 1989. Exxon paid almost U.S.$1 billion for the spill of almost
42 million liters/11 million gallons of oil.


IHC Caland bids for Van der Giessen - de Noord

IHC Caland has offered to buy Van der Giessen - de Noord B.V.

Sembawang decides against Western India Shipyard stake

Sembawang Heavy Engineering will not buy a majority interest of Western
India Shipyard. Western India Shipyard will restructure and not start shipbreaking
in Paradip, India, or build a graving yard.

Guam awards contract to manage shipyard

Guam has awarded a 10-year lease to XenoTechnix for operation of a former
U.S. Navy repair facility at Apra Harbor. It has two 16,000-long-ton floating
dry docks, wharves and equipment. XenoTechnix will pay U.S.$800,000 per
year for the first five years with U.S.$450,000 on upgrades. While the
Navy still owns the facility, it will be transferred to Guam within five
years. The yard will seek repair work on merchant vessels in the western

Japanese shipbuilders to shorten assembly time

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. is investing 270 million Japanese yen/U.S.$2.26
million to expand its block plant in Shimonoseki, Japan. It will be doubled
in size to 90 tons by mid-October, enabling assembly time of about 55 days
for a vessel of 10,000 to 12,000 tons. Work includes add a movable roof
and self-guided welding equipment. Blocks at the Kobe, Japan, yard have
been enlarged to cut 12 days from the building of a large containership.
Meanwhile, Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. will cut its assembly
time by 10 days to about 50 for a large tanker to be launched in July.
Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. will restart operations
at its No. 3. dock for block assembly at Chiba, Japan, next year. Work
will be shared with dock No. 2.

More on Bath Iron Works contract

More information has become available on a new labor contract approved
by 1,979 to 1,831 by members of Local S6 of the International Association
of Machinists at Bath Iron Works Corp. Under the three-year contract, wages
are frozen for the first two years with a U.S.$0.25 per hour increase in
the third year. However, there is a U.S.$1,000 signing bonus the first
year and U.S.$750 the second. In addition, life insurance and weekly accident
and illness benefits will increase. The shipyard will also increase employee
pension contributions by 32 percent. Multi-craft jobs have been abolished
while increased flexibility for employees has been put in place so that
associated tasks outside a particular trade can be accomplished by individual
workers. A concensus decision-making system has become a joint decision
process. Supervisors will regain seniority when returning to the tools
and employees will get a U.S.$50 safety shoe voucher.

Russian shipyard to build "environmentally-friendly" ships

Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg, Russia, will build four "environmentally-friendly"
containerships of 498-TEU capacity for Siowalls. They will have Volvo Penta
truck engines in a diesel-electric system with Azipod propulsion. Industry
Development Corp. of Scandinavia and Lorentzen & Stemoco A/S are involed
as well.

Frontline orders fifth V.L.C.C.

Frontline Ltd. has placed an order with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.
Ltd. for a fifth very large crude carrier.

Daewoo Heavy Industries to build Terra Nova F.P.S.O.

Daewoo Heavy Industries Ltd. has won a Canadian$200 million/U.S.$144
million contract to build the hull of a floating production, storage and
offloading vessel. It will be used at the Terra Nova development off Newfoundland,

Four products tankers to be built for Indian business

Daedong Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. has received a U.S.$128 million contract
for four 45,000-dwt petroleum products carriers for an Indian firm. The
contract was signed in Seoul, South Korea, on 2 Sept. Construction will
begin in the latter half of 1998 with delivery in July 1999.

ICB Shipping to cooperate with Sonangol

ICB Shipping A.B. will assist Sonangol, the Angolan national oil company,
in forming a tanker fleet. ICB Shipping will provide advice and technical
specifications for a 158,000-dwt tanker being built by Daewoo for Sonangol.
The ship is identical to two ICB Shipping tankers on order.

U.S. Coast Guard exercises last options for buoy tenders

The U.S. Coast Guard announced 5 Sept. that Marinette Marine Corp. in
Marinette, Wis., has received a U.S.$50 million contract to build four
more Ida Lewis-class Coastal Buoy Tenders. Under the contract for the lead
ship awarded 22 June, 1993, 13 options were included. The order announced
5 Sept. are the last four of these options, for a class of 14 ships. Construction
of the last four will begin this year for delivery between 2000 and 2002.

A.P. Moller takes two supply vessel options

A.P. Moller has taken two options for supply vessels from Keppel Marine.
The order is now for four such vessels. The 3,500-dwt vessels will have
18,000-horsepower. The first two will be delivered in September 1998 and
December 1998.

Strintzis Lines orders new ferry

Strintzis Lines S.A. has ordered its first catamaran ferry. The 400-passenger
vessel will be built by Batservice Holding A/S in Mandal, Norway. It will
be capable of 40 knots.

Maritrans may convert eight barges to double hulls

Maritrans Inc. is planning to convert a single-hulled, 190,000-barrel
tank barge to a double-hull under a design by Schuller & Allen. The
project will be a pilot and, if successful, up to eight more single-hulled,
ocean-going tank barges will be similiarly converted. The pilot barge will
be operated for several months before a decision is made. Bids for the
work will be sought shortly.

White Stack Maritime to get new tug

White Stack Maritime Corp. has ordered a tug from Eastern Shipbuilding
Group of Panama City, Fla. The 6,140-horsepower tractor tug will be registered
in the United States and operate at the Port of Charleston, S.C. It will
have a Z-drive with twin Aquamaster-Rauma units. The design is buy Gregory
Castleman and Suler & Allen. The tug will be 33.5 meters/110 feet long
with a beam of 12 meters/40 feet, a depth of 6.1 meters/20 feet and draft
of 4.9 meters/16 feet. It will be under 300 gross tons and have six crew.

Two Gotland Rederi ferries to be upgraded

Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven GmbH will upgrade two of Gotland Rederi A.B.'s

Cochin Shipyard to work on drilling ship

Cochin Shipyard Ltd. will upgrade the Sagar Vijay (9,386-dwt drilling
ship built in 1985) for its operator, Oil & Natural Gas Corp. Ltd.

First commercial Newport News Shipbuilding vessel in 20 years christened

The American Progress was christened at Newport News Shipbuilding Inc.
in Newport News, Va., on 10 Sept. for Mobil Corp.'s Mobil Shipping and
Transportation Co. The double-hull petroleum products tanker is the first
double-hull vessel built at a U.S. shipyard under standards of the U.S.
Oil Pollution Act of 1990. A Double Eagle design, it is also the first
merchant vessel Newport News Shipbuilding has built in more than 20 years.
The 46,000-dwt American Progress will be used in the Gulf of Mexico to
carry refined petroleum to Florida. The principal speaker at the christening
was Adm. Robert E. Kramek, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. The sponsor
was Cynthia J. Shevlin of McLean, Va. The ship will be delivered later
this month.

Ramform F.P.S.O. launched

The first Ramform floating production, storage and offloading vessel
was launched in South Korea last week.

Queen Margrethe II christens Maersk Line ship

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark christened the containership Sovereign
Maersk for Maersk Line recently at Odense Steel Shipyard Ltd.

More on Services et Transports ships

Services et Transports has applied to the French Finance Ministry for
Pons Law financing for two 440-passenger ships, which would be operated
with Radisson. The law provides for tax relief for investments in French
territories. The ships would be built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique.

Additional information Title XI ferries in Florida

New SeaEscape Cruises Ltd. and Maritime Management Ltd. will develop
and operate two high-speed passenger vessels sailing between southern Florida
and Key West, Fla. The Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull vessels will begin
operating the Key West Connection in fall 1998. They will be 33.5 meters/110
feet long, have a beam of 16 meters/51 feet and a draft of 3.0 meters/10
feet. Each will accomodate 300 passengers and sail at 26 knots. They are
being built by Bollinger Shipyards Inc. in Lockport, La., and will have

Austal Ships building ferry for Bounty Cruises

Austal Ships Pty. Ltd. will build a 44-meter/144-foot catamaran cruise
vessel to Bounty Cruises, based on Bali Island, Indonesia. The 500-passenger
vessel will be capable of 28 knots and will be delivered in July. It will
have a beam of 11.8 meters/38.7 feet and a draft of 2.5 meters/8.2 feet.
The vessel will sail from Benoa Harbor to the Gilis area of Lombok Island.
The U.S.$2.5 million ferry will have three decks and two 16-cylinder MTU
diesel engines with two fixed-pitch propellers.

Alliant/Valence to develop new underwater vehicle batteries

Alliant/Valence L.L.C., under a U.S.$5.9 million program, will develop
lithium ion polymer batters for underwater vehicles of the U.S. Navy. The
batteries will replace zinc-silver oxide batteries used aboard the Mk 8
SEAL Delivery Vehicle, Mk 30 anti-submarine warfare target and the Advanced
SEAL Delivery System. The current batters must be replaced every 12 to
18 months. Alliant/Valence is a venture of Alliant Techsystems Inc. and
Valence Technology Inc.


Bulk carrier attackedin Sri Lanka, 32 killed; Morang Bong released

The Cordiality (Panamanian-registry 20,284-gt, 34,873-dwt. 200-meter/656-foot
motor bulk carrier built in 1979, owned and operated by COSCO (Hong Kong)
Shipping Co. Ltd.) was attacked by members of the Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam on 9 Sept. off Pulmoddai, Sri Lanka. It sailed from Hong Kong
and was to sail to Rotterdam, the Netherlands after loading ilmenite. An
ensuing fire severely damaged the ship's accomodations and engine room.
Sri Lanka Navy vessels battled about 15 LTTE boats for three hours following
the attack. Two Sri Lanka Army soldiers guarding the ship and five civilian
workers were killed during the LTTE attack and the ensuing fight killed
25 guerrillas. The 32 crewmembers are at a hotel in Trincomalee. The LTTE
subsequently gave the bodies of four people killed in the attack to the
International Committee of the Red Cross/Crescent. Meanwhile, the LTTE
released the Morang Bong (North Korean-registry 3,000-gt general cargo
ship) on 2 Sept. It was hijacked 8 July and a crewmember was killed after
it failed to stop off Hvettilaikerni, Sri Lanka. The ship was returning
to Colombo, Sri Lanka, from the Jaffna Peninsula with a crew of 38 North
Korean citizens. The remaining 37 crew was released 17 July but the ship
was held at Mullaittivu, Sri Lanka. The tug Sigiri towed it to Trincomalee.

Disgruntled crew takes over oil rig off Nigeria

About 25 people have taken over a Mobil Corp. oil rig off southeastern
Nigeria with 50 other people aboard. The group took action after a dispute
with between them and the rig's owner.

U.S. Navy sailor evacuated after injury aboard submarine tender

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth
City, N.C., evacuated an injured U.S. Navy crewmember on 9 Sept., 112 kilometers/70
miles east of Virginia's eastern shore. Petty Officer Third Class Carole
Kennedy, of the Navy's L.Y. Spear-class Submarine Tender U.S.S. Emory S.
Land (AS 39), suffered a back injury the late the night of 8 Sept. when
she fell down a flight of staurs. Kennedy was flown to Portsmouth Naval
Hospital in Portsmouth, Va.

Hurricane Erika causes little disruption

On 6 Sept., islands from Montserrat to Anguilla in the Carribean prepared
for Hurricane Erika. Ferry services were halted by rough seas. Luckily,
damage was minor at most.

Cyprus to formally protest actions of Turkey

Cyprus is planning a formal protest against Turkey for violating the
International Treaty of Montreux of 1936. Last week, Turkey stopped and
searched the Diamond H (Cypriot-registry 9,513-dwt dry cargo ship built
in 1972, operated by Ilias Shipping Corp.) before it sailed through the
Bosporus Strait. The ship was saling from Ukraine to Alexandria, Egypt,
with steel products. Another ship, registered in Egypt, was also stopped
recently. The Turkish government has said it will continue the searches
as a way to stop S-300 air-defense missiles being shipped from Russia to
Cyprus, a deal that is to be completed by late next year. Cyprus has cited
Article Two of the treaty, which states: "In time of peace, merchant
vessels shall enjoy complete freedom of transit and navigation of the Straits,
by day and by night, under any flag and with any kind of cargo, without
any formalities."

Maryland, Virgina close area of Chesapeake Bay

On 5 Sept., Maryland and Virginia closed an 11-kilometer/seven-mile
area of the Pocomoke River and a small part of the Pocomoke Sound to boating,
fishing, swimming and other activities. The move came after a microorganism,
which is caused sickness in people and killed fish, was identified in the
area. Fish caught in along the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay have bloody
sores and fishermen working in the area have suffered itchy, red lesions,
memory loss, respiratory attacks, stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.
The organism, also believed to be in North Carolina, may be Pfiesteria
piscicida. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and the University
of Maryland Medical Center suspect a toxin released by the organism in
mud flats can damage the brain. The one-celled microorganism, according
to the researchers, is usually non-toxic and feeds on algae and bacteria.
However, animal waste and fertilizer run-off may have encouraged the organisms
to grow. The toxin subdues fish until it can attach to fish and feed off
of it as a parasite. Some 11,000 fish were reported killed last month and
their have been two fish kills since. North Carolina is also persuing an
investigation into similar problems that have killed millions of fish in
the Neuse and Pamlico Ribers off Pamlico Sound.

Greek Coast Guard finds TNT on abandoned fishing boat

Explosives, including eight kilograms/18 pounds of trinitrotoluene (TNT),
were found aboard a five-meter/16-foot Albanian-registry fishing vessel
off Corfu, Greece, the night of 4 Sept. Three men, apparently attempting
to take the explosives to Corfu from Albania, abandoned the boat. They
were spotted by a Greek Coast Guard vessel that fired warning shots when
it did not stop. While the three swam towards Albania, the boat drifted
into Greek territorial waters. Also found were several electronic detonators,
fuses and six rounds from an assault rifle.

Marine Atlanic evaluating response to medical emergencies

Marine Atlantic Inc., the Canadian ferry operator, is investigating
whether to have full-time medical personnel aboard its vessels following
a recent incident. On 1 Sept., a 13-month-old boy was with his family aboard
the Caribou (Canadian-registry 3,662-dwt passenger ferry built in 1985,
operated by Marine Atlantic) sailing from Port aux Basques, Newfoundland,
Canada, to North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, when he developed a fever
and suffered a seizure. The boy's mother, Tanya Wilson of Sydney, Nova
Scotia, said he was shaking, had lost is breath and his eyes had rolled
back. The boy was taken to the chief steward's office and a request was
issued over the public address system for a medical professional. A nurse
who responded to the call said the boy should be rushed to a hospital,
but when the ferry docked, there was no ambulance waiting. Further, the
vessel's first aid kit was not fully equipped. The boy has since recovered.

Voyage of fishing vessel terminated due to safety, regulatory problems

The U.S. Coast Guard ended the voyage of the fishing vessel Canyon Explorer,
homeported at Fall River, Mass., on 6 Sept. due to several safety and regulatory
problems. The Coast Guard's lead ship of the U.S.C.G.C. Bear (WMEC 901)-class
Medium-Endurance Cutter intercepted and boarded the Canyon Explorer 144
kilometers/90 miles east of Cape May, N.J. The vessel's docmentation had
expired and not enough life preservers, fire extinguishers and distress
signals were aboard. The Canyon Explorer and its six crew were escorted
to Cape May.

U.S. Coast Guard seizes catch of fishing vessel off Massachusetts

The U.S. Coast Guard seized the catch of the Act II (U.S.-registry 22-meter/71-foot
fishing vessel homeported at New Bedford, Mass.) at 0100 10 Sept., 64 kilometers/40
miles southeast of Cape Cod, Mass. The vessel was found two kilometers/1.25
miles inside Closed Area I. The catch of the Act II was seized for a similar
violation on 16 July. That catch was worth U.S.$3,000. In the latest incident,
the Coast Guard's "Island"-class Patrol Boat U.S.C.G.C. Bainbridge
Island (WPB 1343) spotted the Act II on radar and conducted a boarding.
Monk fish livers, monk fish tails and scallops were found aboard, with
an estimated value of U.S.$13,500. The patrol boat is escorting the Act
II to New Bedford.

Baltic countries participate in search and rescue exercise

A three-day search and rescue exercise, Baltic Eye '97, began 9 Sept.
in the Baltic Sea. Under the scenario, the ficticious Sputnik was lost
at sea while sailing from Germany to Russia. Operations were coordinated
from an administrative center at St. Petersburg, Russia, after the port
was informed by the ship's owner. Rescue services on the Baltic were queried
about the dry cargo ship, which under the scenario, sank southeast of Bornholm,
Denmark. Liferafts, mannequins and debris were dropped in the area for
the searchers to find. Also under the exercise, participants were tasked
to find an aircraft that disappeared flying from Liepaja, Latvia, to Lubeck,
Germany, and a yacht that disappeared en route from Gotland, Sweden, to
Latvia. Part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Partnership for
Peace, the exercise involved Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania,
Poland, Russia and Scandinavian states. After the exercise, participants
met to evaluate the rescue efforts and plan methods to improve joint search
and rescue in the Baltic.

Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore hold ferry rescue exercise

Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore held their first joint rescue exercise
on 8 Sept. Some 500 personnel and 23 vessels worked on an exercise in which
a ferry caught fire and two other ferries sailing to it collided. The exercise
was meant to test the Ferry Mishap Contingency Plan and occurred four miles/six
kilometers east of the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal near Johor Shoal in Singapore.
The Emergency Operations Committee coordinated the response at the Maritime
and Port Authority of Singapore's Port Operations Control Center at the
Tanjong Pagar Complex.

Major oil spill response exercise planned in Philadelphia

The U.S. Coast Guard will sponsor a three-day oil spill response exercise
in Philadelphia from 16 Sept. to 18 Sept. It will involve federal, state
and local governments as well as the maritime industry. Known as the Spills
of National Significance Exercise, it is the first exercise of this magnitude
the Coast Guard has conducted. As part of the exercise, senior representatives
of government and business will discuss issues involved and plan a coordinated
response to a nationally significant spill. The exercise will be conducted
by the Coast Guard's National Strike Force Coordination Center and the
U.S. Naval War College.

U.S. Navy submarine commander relieved

The commanding officer of one of the U.S. Navy's Ohio-class Nuclear-Powered
Ballistic-Missile Submarines has been relieved of command for the first
time. Cmdr. Michael Alfonso, of the U.S.S. Florida (SSBN 728)'s Blue Crew,
was relieved 11 Aug. by Rear Adm. Paul Sullivan, commander of U.S. Naval
Submarine Base Bangor, Wash. and Submarine Group Nine. He had been in command
nine months. In a statement, Sullivan said he lost confidence in Alfonso
because "he had been unable to foster an effective command team."
A native of New York and who has been in the Navy 25 years, Alfonso was
reportedly relieved due to morale problems. He has been temporarily assigned
as commander of the naval facility in Seattle. Cmdr. Gregory Billy has
reportedly taken command of the Blue Crew.

Diesel fuel spilled into New Jersey harbor, California strait

About 1,900 liters/500 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into Ottens Harbor
in Wildwood, N.J., late 5 Sept. due to a misalignment in a generator fuel
return line aboard the fishing vessel Denmark. A boom was placed around
the spill, which was cleaned-up by contractors hired by the Denmark's owner.
As much as 380 liters/100 gallons of fuel spilled into the Carquinez Strait
at 1100 10 Sept. during fueling of a vessel at C&H Sugar Co. in Crockett,
Calif. Containment booms were put in place to handle the spill.

Canadian submarine commander granted new trial

A Canadian military appeals court has thrown out the conviction of a
former attack submarine commander. Acting Lt. Cmdr. Dean Marsaw of the
Canadian Maritime Command will be allowed a new trial, in a decision announced
10 Sept. In 1995, Marsaw, 40, was found guilty of five counts of physically
and verbally abusing crewmembers of the lead vessel of the H.M.C.S. Ojibwa
(SS 72)-class attack submarine from 1991 to 1993. He was demoted and dismissed.
Protesting his innocence, he went on a 29-day hunger strike last year to
demand a review, which was heard in June in Toronto. The appeals court
said the prosecution had wrongly attacked Marsaw's character, asked improper
questions and made an unfair closing argument. The prosecution, according
to the court, asked Marsaw to prove himself innocent.

More on Israeli action in Lebanon

The 11 Israeli military personnel killed in Lebanon early 5 Sept. have
been identified as members of Flotilla 13, an Israeli Navy special forces
unit. Among the dead are the commander and a medical doctor. A 12th commando
is missing and four more were wounded. The group, apparently on a raid
against the Shiite Muslim militia Amal, was ambushed after it came ashore
in Sidon, Lebanon. As it moved inland, members of Amal and Hezbollah attacked
near Insariye, Lebanon. During fighting that was later joined by the Lebanese
Army, a Lebanese woman and a young girl were also killed. Six Lebanese
civilians, a Lebanese Army soldier and six militia members were wounded.
The Israelis were later supported by helicopters and warships.


Holland American Line selling the Rotterdam

Holland America Line - Westours Inc. announced 8 Sept. that its Rotterdam
(38,645-gt, 7,801-dwt, 1,061-passenger 228-meter/748-foot passenger ship
built in 1959 by Rotterdam Drydock Co. in Rotterdam, the Netherlands) will
be sold to Cruise Holdings Ltd. in early October after being taken out
of service 30 Sept. The ship will be operated by Premier Cruises as the
Rembrandt starting in December.

L.P.G. tankers sold

MC Shipping Inc. and Vlasov Group have bought two 2,600-dwt liquified
petroleum gas carriers built in 1995 from Far Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd.
for U.S.$22 million. The Spica Gas and the Taurus Gas have been time-chartered
to Japanese interests. They have a capacity of 3,000 cubic meters/105,000
cubic feet.

J. Lauritzen buys new bulk carrier

J. Lauritzen has bought the Carribean Bulker (27,881-dwt bulk carrier
built in 1989 in Japan) from Japanese interests.

Turkey buying five Circe-class from France?

Turkey will reportedly buy the French Navy's five-ship Circe-class of
minehunters for U.S.$50 million.

Star Cruise Properties buys former British destroyer

Star Cruise Properties has bought the former British Royal Navy destroyer
Cavalier. It has been docked on the Tyne River in England for 10 years
and was to have been used by the Tyneside Municipal Council. Star Cruise
Properties will pay the council 50,000 British pounds/U.S.$80,000 to cover
a European Union grant the council received as part of future plans for
the ship and paid 1 pound/U.S.$1.60 for the vessel itself. It will be used
as part of a museum in Port Klang, Malaysia.

More on Chevron Shipping sale to Maritrans

The two 40,000-dwt double-hull tankers that Chevron Shipping Co. is
selling to Maritrans Inc. are of the Arizona-class. The ships, with gas
turbines and electric drives, will be used on the eastern and Gulf coasts
of the United States.


Hundreds killed or missing as ferry sinks off Haiti

More than 200 people are believed to be dead or missing after the 19-meter/61-foot
fiberglass ferry La Fierte Gonavienne ("Pride of Gonave") capsized
and sank off Haiti early 8 Sept. There are varying estimates as to the
number of passengers aboard as it sailed from Anse-a-Galets on Gonave Island,
Haiti, for Montrouis, Haiti. At least 93 bodies have been found while 62
swam to shore. The vessel left La Gonave at 0435 and was 50 meters/160
feet from the Montrouis wharf when it took on water and capsized. The ferry
had anchored to allow passengers to board boats to be taken to shore when
everyone ran to one side, according to survivors. Most of the survivors
are reportedly people who were sitting on top of the cabin, including Edner
Dorival, the vessel's owner. The missing were trapped as the ferry sank
in 32.9 meters/108 feet of water, in two enclosed decks and a third that
opens onto the fantail. Residents of Montrouis informed a Pakistan Army
patrol in the area and two United Nations helicopters were brought in to
search along with the Haitian Coast Guard and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter
based in the Bahamas. Canadian Mobile Force soldiers later began diving
to the ferry to search for bodies. Survivors said the master, Eugeno Ramos,
a Cuban citizen, had locked passengers in the vessel's compartments. He
was arrested but later released. The passengers included a soccer team
and several police officers. The U.S. ambassador to Haiti, William Lacy
Swing, made a gift of U.S.$25,000 to Haiti in the name of the U.S. government
for assistance. The ferry will be lifted and taken to shallow water for
salvage, following the arrival of two U.S. Navy divers from Puerto Rico
and Navy salvage personnel from Norfolk, Va., by the Carribean Sea Horse
of Carribean Barge Line Inc. The 19 Navy divers arrived 10 Sept. and are
working from the U.S. Coast Guard's Reliance-class Medium-Endurance Cutter
U.S.C.G.C. Confidence (WMEC 619). Divers from the military of the Dominican
Republic are also assisting. The ferry entered service only 10 days before
the sinking. It was purchased in Miami. An investigation has begun, which
includes Haitian National Police personnel and two New York Police Department
detectives serving with the United Nations. The ferry was air-conditioned,
had a television and left an hour earlier than other ferries, reportedly
alienating other ferry operators. A story among residents of Montrouis
is that other operators turned to a voodoo priest to cause the sinking.
On 11 Sept., relatives of victims of the sinking burned a boat of Calypso,
a competing ferry line. On 10 Sept., hundreds of people blocked Haiti's
main highway and built barricades with burning tires. The group protested
the fact that not all the bodies had been recovered from the ferry, as
the feared they would not be able to identify them if the delay continued.

Up to 45 missing after capsizing in India

At least 45 drowned 10 Sept. after a ferry capsized in the Kosi River
in the Saharsa District of Bihar, India.

Two dead and three missing as tanker sinks off Thailand

Two men were killed and three are missing after the Sin Kriangkrai (Thai-registry
tanker) caught fire and sank in the Andaman Sea off southern Thailand early
10 Sept. The ship was carrying more than 20,000 liters/5,200 gallons of
benzene when the fire began about 48 kilometers/30 miles off Phuket. One
body was recovered while a man rescued later died at a hospital.

Bulk carrier fire kills one, injures five

An engine room explosion and a major fire aboard the Western (St. Vincent
and the Grenadines-registry 22,614-gt, 38,407-dwt bulk carrier built in
1972, operated by Kalkavan-Aydin) on 5 Sept. killed one crewmember and
injured five others. The ship was at 36 degrees 08.4 minutes north, 04
degrees 42.7 west, about 48 kilometers/30 miles east of Gibraltar. The
ship anchored off Gibraltar the next day.

Liberian-registry tanker explodes in Argentina

The Presidente Arturo Umberto Illia (Liberian-registry 35,995-gt motor
tanker built in 1983) had an explosion 9 Sept. at the Argentine Navy's
Puerto Belgrano Naval Base near Bahia Blanca, Argentina. Maintenance was
being done and welding is suspected as the cause of the explosion. Tweleve
people were injured and several craft nearby were damaged.

Dry cargo ship breaks in half off Chile

The North Islands (Cypriot-registry 8,996-gt, 15,150-dwt, 122-meter/400-foot
motor dry cargo ship built in 1987, operated by Navieras Poseidon) lost
a propeller and ran aground near Llolleo, Chile, at the mouth of the Maipo
River on 7 Sept. Battered by heavy seas, a bow storage area filled with
water and the ship broke in half. The 30 Cuban citizens aboard (28 men
and two women) were rescued by the Chilean Navy helicopters. The North
Islands was carrying a partial load of fertilizer loaded at San Antonio,
Chile, and 300 tons of fuel.

Cotton-carrying ship catches fire

The Hermelin (Thai-registry 12,474-gt, 20,377-dwt motor dry cargo ship
built in 1979, operated by Thoresen & Co. (Bangkok) Ltd.) had a fire
in its No. 5 cargo hold on 12 Sept. at 17 degrees 53 minutes south, 40
degrees 22 minutes east. It was sailing to Durban, South Africa, with cotton.
The fire was controled and the ship sailed to Beira, Mozambique.

Tow hits oil platform off Alaska

A tow rammed an oil platform in Alaska's Cook Inlet at 0430 8 Sept.
No oil was spilled but five of the six crew of the tug were injured. The
tug Marine Commander (U.S.-registry, owned and operated by Victory Marine),
pulling the barge JI 281 (owned by Jore Industries), left Anchorage, Alaska,
at 0015 for Seattle. The barge, registered as a tank barge, has not been
used as such for several years and was carrying two containers loaded with
batteries to be disposed of. An initial investigation reports that the
tug did not lose power and weather was clear with visibility of eight kilometers/five
miles to 18 kilometers/11 miles. Just before 0430, the tug hit the northeast
leg of Platform C, eight kilometers/five miles from Nikiski, Alaska. The
leg contains water lines and equipment while the other three contain 19
drilling wells. Each is 4.6 meters/15 feet in diameter. It then hit the
southwest leg while the tow wire was pulled into the northeast leg. The
wire, which wrapped around the cross-members of the four legs, was winched
in as much as possible before being cut. The tug later took the barge in
tow to Homer, Alaska, for temporary repairs. The Marine Commander had bow
and mast damage while the barge had a large dent in a forward quarter.
Platform C, built in 1967, is one of four operating in the Middle Ground
Shoal. It is affiliated with Shell Alaska Resources, part of Royal Dutch/Shell
Group. Visible damage was limited to a television that fell in the accomodations
area though an underwater inspection has not yet been done. On 9 Sept.,
the mate of the Marine Commander was charged with administrative law violations
of U.S. Coast Guard regulations. The mate was the only person on the bridge
at the time.

Log ship grounds in Canada

The Haida Monarch (Canadian-registry 9,519-gt log ship built in 1974)
ran aground near Ramsbotham Island in British Columbia, Canada, on 8 Sept.
at 52 degrees 43 minutes north, 129 degrees 03 minutes west. The No. 1
ballast tank and the forepeak tank ruptured. It was refloated by tugs and
taken to Kitasu Bay.

Fishing vessel takes on water, runs aground in Palmico Sound

The Sonia Gwen (20-meter/65-foot fishing vessel) was run aground on
8 Sept. in Pamlico Sound, 32 kilometers/20 miles northwest of Cape Hatteras,
N.C., after taking on water. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from Coast Guard
Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., lowered pumps to the Sonia Gwen, and
a personnel from Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet, N.C., assisted the
three crew. At last report, it was hoped to take the vessel to Englehard,
N.C., after temporary repairs.

Sweden forms committee to decide whether to raise the Estonia

The Swedish government has started another panel on the sinking of the
Estonia, a ro/ro ferry, on 28 Sept., 1994, in the Baltic Sea about 32 kilometers/20
miles from Utoe Island, Finland. At least 852 people were killed. The new
committee is specifically charged with deciding whether the wreck should
be raised.


Mary Sears dies at 92

Mary Sears, an author, biologist and oceanographer, died at her home
on 2 Sept. of congestive heart failure. She was 92. Sears was born July
18, 1905, in Wayland, Mass. She received a bachelor's degree from Radcliffe
College in 1927, a master's degree in 1929 and a doctorate in zoology in
1933. From 1933 to 1949, she was a research assistant at Harvard University
and worked with Henry Bigelow, the founder and first director of the Woods
Hole Oceanographic Institute. In 1932, she starting work as a planktonologist
at the institute and was one of the first 10 staff research assistants.
She remained with Woods Hole until the late 1970s and was the staff planktonologist
from 1940 to 1963, when she became a senior scientist in biology. She retired
in 1970 and was named scientist emeritus in 1978. Sears was also an instructor
at Wellesley College from 1938 to 1943 and from 1943 to 1946, she served
as a lieutenant junior grade in the U.S. Navy, working in naval intelligence
in Washington. She organized and led by the Oceanographic Unit of the Navy
Hydrographic Office, and eventually the department became the Naval Oceanographic
Office. The magazine Deep-Sea Research dedicated an issue to her in 1980
in which it said Sears had done more to advance oceanography than any other
woman in the field. Sears was the magazine's founding editor in 1947 and
directed it from 1953 to 1974. She also established and chaired the First
International Congress on Oceanography at the United Nations in 1959 and
wrote and edited several publications, including "Oceanography,"
a compendium published in 1961 by the American Association for the Advancement
of Science. Sears was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,
the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical
Union and the Society of Women Geographers. She is survived by two sisters,
Leila Sears of North Pomfret, Vt., and Elisabeth Laderoute of Princeton,
N.J., and a brother, John, of Jamaica.


U.S.S. Hopper commissioned

The U.S. Navy's Arleigh Burke-class Guided-Missile Destroyer U.S.S.
Hopper (DDG 70) was commissioned 6 Sept. in San Francisco. U.S. Sen. Barbara
Boxer, D-Calif., was the principal speaker and the sponsor was Mary Murray
Westcote, the younger sister of the ships namesake. DDG 70 is named for
Navy Rear Adm. Grace Murray Hopper, a legend in the computer field who,
among many important accomplishments, developed several programming languages
and worked on the Mark I and Mark II computers. While working on the Univac
to replace the Mark III, Hopper and her staff wrote "A-O compiler"
and then "Flow-Matic." The latter became a model for Common Business
Oriented Language (COBOL), a programming standard that she helped write.
Part of the development involved Hopper's decision to use reusable code
for the first time and using common English. "Amazing Grace"
is also credited with coining the word "bug" in relation to a
computer problem, reportedly after finding a moth in a switching contact
of a Mark II in the late 1940s. Hopper was on active duty from 1944 to
1966, but was recalled in 1967 and served until 1986. She was an associate
professor at Barnard College and Vassar College, a research fellow at Harvard
University, a systems engineer for the Univac division of Sperry Corp.
and a senior consultant for Digital Equipment Corp. She died in 1992. The
ship is the second Navy vessel named for a woman. The first was the U.S.S.
Higbee (DD 806), a Gearing-class destroyer named for a Navy nurse that
served in World War I. The U.S.S. Hopper will be homeported at U.S. Naval
Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as part of Destroyer Squadron 5. It was authorized
fiscal year 1992, ordered 8 April, 1992, laid down 5 Feb., 1995, and launched
at Bath Iron Works Corp. in Bath, Maine, on 6 Jan., 1996.

U.S.S. Louisiana, last of the Ohio-class, commissioned

The U.S. Navy's Ohio-class Nuclear-Powered Ballistic-Missile Submarine
U.S.S. Louisiana (SSBN 743) was commissioned 6 Sept. at U.S. Naval Submarine
Base Kings Bay, Ga. The submarine will be assied to Submarine Group 10
at the base. U.S. Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton was the principal
speaker. Interestingly, the mess personnel of each of the submarine's two
crews have attended a special-two week course taught by Cajun chefs in
Louisiana. SSBN 743, the fourth U.S. naval vessel to be named Louisiana,
is the 18th and last of the Ohio-class. Authorized fiscal year 1991, SSBN
743 was ordered 19 Dec., 1990, and launched 27 July, 1996, at General Dynamics
Corp.'s Electric Boat Corp. in Groton, Conn.

Qaddafi awards Liverpool supporters with "human rights" prize

Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi of Libya recently gave his annual "human
rights" award to female supporters of 329 dockworkers fired at the
Port of Liverpool, England, two years ago. He gave U.S.$250,000 to the
Women of the Waterfront. The employees of Mersey Docks and Harbour Co.
were replaced when they would not cross a picket line and unions have refused
to support them claiming it is illegal.