- Transport on Line - hiltunen.htm


A buyer for Cast?

Newfoundland Capital Corp. announced 10 Feb. it is interested in buying
Cast. Cast is owned by Canadian Pacific Ltd., but due to the lack of competition
at the Port on Montreal, Quebec, attempts are being made to have the firm
divest itself of Cast.

New container lessor

Gateway Container International has been formed to compete in the worldwide
container leasing business, starting at the end of the month. The firm,
capitalized at 6.4 billion Japanese yen/U.S.$51.5 million, is a joint venture
of Itochu Corp. and Prudential Asset Management Co. Each has a 45 percent
stake. Headquartered in Bermuda, it has seven sales offices. About 100
depots will participate as agents, and the container fleet of 60,000 will
include dry, refrigerator and open-top containers.

Japanese confederation calls for wage increase

The Japan Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Workers' Unions
submitted a proposal on 7 Feb. for a 13,000 Japanese yen raise in basic
monthly salary for its members. It is the first wage increase request from
a major industry-based labor union in the latest round of annual spring

Dutch court rules that foreign ratings may be paid less

A Dutch court has ruled that Dutch shipowners can pay ratings from Indonesia
and the Philippines less money than Dutch ratings. The wages were already
agreed on by shipowners and a union, FWZ. But the union sought a court
ruling. In making the decision, the court ruled that standard practice
of paying foreign citizens less set a precedent, and so the agreement was
lawful. However, it only affects the current agreement and not to officers
where there are no precedents.

I.M.O. may call for controls on pollutants from burning fuel

The International Maritime Organization reportedly plans to place controls
on emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide and other chemicals released
into the environment through combustion of fuel by vessels. The I.M.O.
would add a protocol to a treaty that would require sulfur content in fuel
to be less than five percent. The plan may be finalized by the meeting
of the Maritime Environment Protection Committee in March. It would be
voted on at an I.M.O. Assembly in September.

Panama to adopt U.S. regulations on operating the canal

Panama plans to adopt the U.S. rules and regulations on operating the
Panama Canal into its own legislation by March.

Cyprus, India sign maritime agreement

Cypriot Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and Indian Surface Transport
Minister T.G. Venkataraman signed an agreement on shipping 12 Feb. The
agreement intends to increase maritime traffic between the two countries,
and provides for the recognition of identity documents issued by the two
as well as access to ports. A joint commission will be formed to implement
the agreement and discuss maritime matters.

Stena to cut 330 jobs

Stena Line will cut 330 personnel at Dover and Newhaven, England, before
its proposed merger with P. & O. European Ferries. RMT, a union, has
been told that of 566 personnel at Dover, 222 will be cut. Also, 11 will
be laid off at Newhaven. It is believed that 97 Numast members also will
be cut.

New pilotage rates on the U.S. Great Lakes

As of 1 March, new pilotage rates will take effect on the U.S. Great
Lakes. Rate increases of eight percent to 19 percent will be implemented
in the three districts, affecting 38 pilots. The new rates are lower than
those proposed by the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., and were calculated
using a new method of the U.S. Department of Transportation. To calculate
pilot rates, Great Lakes masters were assumed to earn an average of U.S.$131,213
annually, comprised on U.S.$116,767 in wages and U.S.$14,446 in benefits.
First mates were assumed to receive an average wage of U.S.$92,290. Using
these figures, the average weighted increase on District 1 is eight percent,
including nine percent on the St. Lawrence River and six percent on Lake
Ontario. District 2 will increase an average of 19 percent, with no increase
on Lake Erie but 31 percent on the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers. District
3 will see a six percent increase overall, with seven percent on Lake Huron,
six percent on Lake Michigan and four percent each on Lake Superior and
the St. Marys River. The new rates stemmed from the first full Great Lakes
pilotage review since 1987. In addition to the new rates, it will also
be mandated that pilotage rates be reviewed at least once a year.

Dutra Group declares bankruptcy

Dutra Group, which includes Dutra Dredging, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
23 Jan. in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California.
It claims U.S.$102 million in liabilities, with dredging operations having
U.S.$17 million in assets and U.S.$102 million in liabilities. Dutra's
current dredging operations at the Port of Oakland, Calif., will continue.
The work to deepen the port to 13 meters/42 feet will be completed in the
outer harbor by 23 March. The inner harbor will be done in late summer.

Seyang Shipping bankrupt

Seyang Shipping Co. filed for court receivership this week after it
defaulted on debt repayments last week.

T.M.M. buys shipping line

Transportacion Maritima Mexican S.A. de C.V. has bought Transatlantica
Espanola from Naviera del Odiel S.A. for U.S.$4 million. The line operates
one ship, and the sale was brokered by Vapores Suardiaz.

Three firms join to promote port development

Larsen and Toubro Ltd., Precious Shipping Ltd. and Stevedoring Services
of America have teamed up to offer port development to bulk commodity shippers
and receivers in Asia. The development would include facilities as well
as operations. International Seaports Pvt. Ltd. will offer bulk cargo consumers
an agreement in which the firm would design, build and operate a dedicated
bulk cargo berth and transport bulk cargoes on Precious Shipping vessels.

Sphere Drake sells P. & I. business to HIH Winethur

Sphere Drake Insurance P.L.C. will transfer its vessel protection and
indemnity business to HIH Wintethur Insurance Group, it was announced 10
Feb. HIH Casualty and General Insurance will acquire Sphere Drake's full
underwriting and claims teams as well as all business. It will offer quotations
for renewals and new business.

Jebsen cuts headquarters staff

Jebsen has announced that 40 of 240 personnel at its Bergen, Norway,
headquarters will be laid-off to make operations more efficient.

Great Eastern to offer pilotage

Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd. has announced it will offer pilotage
services as an extension of its offshore services division.

McKenna Trucking files complaint with F.M.C. against Maersk

McKenna Trucking Co. has filed a complaint against Maersk Inc. with
the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. McKenna claims Maersk violated laws
by getting rebates on intermodal trucking charges and refusing to deal
with McKenna. A minimum of U.S.$758,000 is sought.

N.Y. Maritime College to attract regional students

The board of trustees of the New York university system have voted to
allow the New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler to attract students
from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia at lower
in-state resident rates. It will receive twice the annual U.S.$100,000
stipend in doing so. The move will increase enrollment 25 percent and add
U.S.$381,000 a year to the budget.

Canadian government offers C$3 million to Northumberland Ferries

Northumberland Ferries Ltd. has been promised C$3 million by the Canadian
government if it buys a ferry from the former Marine Atlantic Inc. fleet.
Northumberland Ferries has reportedly been considering adding another vessel
to its service between Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island, and Caribou,
Nova Scotia. The money would fund terminal improvements.

Polembros Maritime settles claims, will file suit against the I.T.W.F.

Polembros Maritime Co. has settled claims of back wages by the crew
of the Hunter (Panamanian-registry 72,059-dwt bulk carrier built in 1980).
The ship was arrested two weeks ago at Newcastle, Australia, after a claim
was filed by the International Transport Workers Fedration, which claimed
U.S.$80,000 in back wages for 11 crewmembers. However, Polembros Maritime
will file a lawsuit for damages due to the delay caused by the claim. In
addition to the federation, Port Waratah Coal Services is also named, as
it removed the ship from a queue for loading when it appeared a disruption
was possible.

Hennemann fined in Bremer Vulkan case

Friedrich Hennemann, the former chairman of bankrupt Bremer Vulkan Verbund
A.G., was fined 1,000 German marks/U.S.$600 by a court in Bremen, Germany,
on 13 Feb. He refused to answer questions at a hearing in November set-up
by the city to look into the bankruptcy. Hennemann claimed his reponses
would incriminate himself.

Examiner for Bell Lines in court 17 Feb.

The examiner of Ernst and Young, invesigating Bell Lines, will make
an interim report to the Irish High Court on 17 Feb. An application will
be made for another 90 days of protection, retroactive to 6 Feb.

Sembawang unit gets new name

Sembawang Johnson Management Pte. Ltd. became Sembawang Shipmanagement
Pte. Ltd. on 30 Jan.


New TACA service for inland Europe

A new inland pricing system for Europe by the Trans-Atlantic Conference
Agreement (TACA) began last month. Three hubs are being formed at Frankfurt
and Munich, Germany, and Lyons, France. Shippers that request inland transport
will be saved the cost of one leg of the round-trip between the port and
the destination. Currently, shippers pay for containers moving from the
port to the destination and back to the port. The hubs will now become
"ports." Shippers will pay to move containers from the port to
the hub, then the trip between the hub and the destination, and back to
the hub rather than the port. It will cost shippers less and allow better
container repositioning. The pilot project will last three or four months.

Blue Star/Columbus Line service starts

A new vessel sharing agreement of Blue Star and Columbus Line has begun
with the arrival of the Columbus Australia (1,230-TEU capacity containership)
at the Port of Savannah, Ga. The service calls on the U.S. east coast,
Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Ships on the 10-day frequency
service are the America Star (Bahamian-registry 27,953-dwt containership
built in 1971, operated by Blue Star Line); Columbus America (Liberian-registry
22,440-dwt containership built in 1971, operated by Hamburg-Sud); Columbus
Australia (Liberian-registry 22,440-dwt containership built in 1971, operated
by Hamburg-Sud); Columbus New Zealand (Liberian-registry 22,440-dwt containership
built in 1971, operated by Hamburg-Sud); Columbus Queensland (German-registry
24,320-dwt containership built in 1979, operated by Hamburg-Sud); Queensland
Star (Bahamian-registry 28,104-dwt containership built in 1972, operated
by Blue Star Line); and Sydney Star (Bahamian-registry 27,978-dwt containership
built in 1972, operated by Blue Star Line). In addition to Savannah, calls
are at: Philadelphia; Norfolk, Va.; Houston; the Australian ports of Melbourne,
Sydney and Brisbane; and the New Zealand ports of Auckland, Port Chalmers
and Wellington.

New service between India and Russia

India and Russia on 11 Feb. signed an agreement for a joint service
between Mumbai, India, and Novorossiysk, Russia. It will be the first regular
service between the two countries, and will be operated by Novorossiysk
Shipping Co. and the Shipping Corp. of India Ltd. The agreement was reached
at the third and final meeting of the two day Indo-Russian Joint Commision
in Moscow.

New France-Sweden service

Scandinavia France Line, a venture of Gothenburg Chartering A.B., Rederi
A.B. Brevik and Ultra Shipping Group, will start a new container and ro/ro
service in April. Ships will sailing twice a week in each direction, calling
at Dunkirk, France, and Wallhamm, Sweden.

Norasia adds Calcutta

Norasia will begin calling Calcutta, India, at the end of the month.

Euro-Shipping and Forwarding increases Rotterdam to St. Petersburg calls

Euro-Shipping and Forwarding has announced it is increasing the number
of sailings from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to St. Petersburg, Russia,
from four to as many as six per month. The 350-TEU containership Beacon
3 (6,554-dwt, built in 1975, owned by Morline Ltd. and operated by Baltic
Shipping Co.) has been added on a slot agreement.

Sea-Land to inspect animal food cargoes at Rotterdam

Sea-Land Service Inc. has received a license to inspect containers of
animal food at Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Under European Union regulations,
inspections must occur at the first E.U. country of entry. By carring out
inspections in Rotterdam, it is expected that two days transit and U.S.$175
will be saved for each container.

Star Cruises to offer new passenger service

Star Cruises will start a cruise service on 30 March between China,
Japan and Taiwan with its Superstar Capricorn (Panamanian-registry 28,000-ton
passenger ship). It will offer casino gambling during the cruise. The 10-deck
ship has five types of cabins and can accommodate 1,375 passengers and
600 crew.

SeaCat Scotland returns to service

The SeaCat Scotland has returned to its Stranraer, Scotland, to Belfast,
Northern Ireland, route after a 500,000 British pound/U.S.$815,000 annual
refit by Harland and Wolff Holdings P.L.C. The vessel will offer four 90-minute
voyages a day in each direction.


Colombian, Spanish ports idled by strikes

Colombian ports were hit by a nationwide general strike on 12 Feb. Some
800,000 people struck to demand a 21.5 percent across-the-board wage increase,
eight percent above what the government offered, and an end to privatization
of state industries. All Spanish ports except Barcelona have been hit by
a truck drivers strike that began 6 Feb. It started in Cantabria, with
Bilbao worst hit. Fedatrans called for the strike, and was soon joined
by self-employed drivers.

La Guaira to cut employees from 1,200 to 400

The Port of La Guaira, Venezuela, has announced plans to cut the number
of employees from 1,200 to 400. It is hoped the action will make the port
attractive to potenital buyers.

Pilots strike at Lisbon, tug operators at Antwerp

Pilots at the Port of Lisbon, Portugal, began an indefinite strike at
0600 11 Feb. Tug operators at the Port of Antwerp, Belgium, staged a 24-hour
strike that ended at 2000 11 Feb. The action was in response to calls to
reduce the number of personnel aboard the Municipal Port Authority's tugs.

Rebuilding of Beirut begins

Rebuilding of the Port of Beirut, Lebanon, has finally begun. The project
will cost U.S.$102 million, with U.S.$57 million from the European Investment
Bank. The project was to begin in early 1996 but delays in awarding tenders
stalled the work. In cooperation with the operators of the Port of Marseille,
France, construction began last month.

Malaga to have first redevelopment in a century

The Port of Malaga, Spain, is expected to receive 62 billion Spanish
pesetas/U.S.$440 million for an eight-year plan to expand and redevelop
the port. The last such project was in 1897. A project to extend the Levante
Pier for 9.7 billion pesetas has been approved, but the rest of the funding
has yet to be given the go-ahead.

Project to expand Kiel

A plan to expand the Port of Kiel, Germany, has been approved in principle
by the regional government. An old attack submarine facility would be demolished
and three new berths built.

Sullom Voe to become part of Green Award system

Sullom Voe, the petroleum terminal in the Shetland Islands of the United
Kingdom, will become part of the Green Award system on 1 April. Under the
system which began in 1994, ships of 20,000-dwt or more that have Green
Award certificates, showing that they meet stringent environmental standards,
receive discounts for services at ports. At Sullom Voe, Green Award vessels
will receive a three percent reduction in port fees each time they call.

Cenargo buys former Royal Navy depot

Cenargo Ltd. has bought the Royal Navy Supply Depot at Eaglescliffe,
on Teesside, England. The 40-hectare/100-acre facility will serve as an
integrated rail terminal with 45,000 square meters/500,000 square feet
of bonded warehousing.

P. & O. Ports, Melbourne in dispute

On 1 Feb., China Ocean Shipping Co. and Orient Overseas Container Line
were awarded a contract to redevelop Appleton Dock 3-5 in Melbourne, Australia.
The contract by Melbourne Ports Corp. to a venture of the two, Victorian
International Container Terminals, is worth A$150 million/U.S.$113 million.
P. & O. Ports, a losing bidder, has accused Melbourne Ports of unfair
preferences in awarding the contract. P. & O. Ports said that the original
tender documents were not honored by Melbourne Ports or the Victoria government,
and the firm has accused it of changing the rules at will.

Mobil to manage Panmanian fuel storage facility

Mobil Corp. will manage the 1.2 million barrel Arraija-Rodman Fuel Storage
Complex at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. It will invest U.S.$25
million over four years. The facility has 31 tanks.

Madras declines privatization for project

Madras Port Trust, India, has abanonded plans to privatize a 4.5 billion
Indian rupee/U.S.$8 million project to extend a container terminal 290
meters/950 feet. Private firms wanted the extension to be another 60 meters/200
feet, but it would run into an ore berth.

Sea-Land expands in Rio Haina

Sea-Land Service Inc. has expanded its Rio Haina, Dominican Republic,
facility with a new two hectare/five acre container yard. This comes after
expanded customs hours, new E.D.I. connections and and a U.S.$1.5 million
dredging project at the port from six meters/20 feet to 11 meters/35 feet.

New log facility at Clarkston

Green Crow has signed an agreement with the Port of Clarkston, Wash.,
to lease one hectare/three acres of land to stage bundled logs. It could
expand the port's log handling 35 percent. The logs will be trucked from
central Idaho, loaded on barges and taken to Longview, Wash., for export
on ships. It is hoped to export six million to eight million board feet
in the first year.

Hanjung to build cranes for Mauritius

Hanjung Corp. has received a U.S.$20 million order for three container
cranes from the Mauritius Maritime Administration. Hanjung will manufacture
the cranes at Changwon, South Korea, and install them by May 1998 at Port

Two new gantries arrive at Olympia

Two gantry cranes bought from the Port of Los Angeles arrived at the
Port of Olympia, Wash., last week. A 120-meter/400-foot barge took eight
days to sail 1,900 kilomters/1,200 miles. The two-day unloading ended 7
Feb. The cranes will enable container service by May.

New jetty at Colombo

A new oil jetty opened at Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 14 Feb.


Kvaerner Masa-Yards to cut 400 jobs

Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc.'s Turku New Shipyard will cut 400 jobs from
fitting out and related activities. These responsibilities will be contracted
to other firms. Some of the cuts will be throught attrition.

Cantieri Navali Rodriquez bought by three investment groups

The Italian fast ferry builder Cantieri Navali Rodriquez has been purchased
by three investment firms, one of which is owned by the yard's management.
Comecam, Rodriquez Engineering and Ustica Lines have bought all shares
of the firm in a reserved rights issue for five billion Italian lire/U.S.$3.1
million. The deal was signed in October but as the yard was in liquidation,
the deal did not get approval until now.

Royal Navy sells Devonport Royal Dockyard

The Royal Navy's Devonport Royal Dockyard P.L.C. was sold 11 Feb. for
40.3 million British pounds/U.S.$66.1 million to Devonport Management Ltd.
As part of the agreement, Devonport Management will provide nuclear refuelling
and refitting facilities for the Royal Navy's nuclear-powered submarines.
The dockyard can also repair and refit surface ships. Devonport Management
is 51 percent owned by Halliburton Co.'s Halliburton Holdings Ltd. The
rest is split equally beteween BICC P.L.C. and The Weir Group P.L.C. The
firm has managed the yard, at Plymouth, England, since April 1987.

Astilleros Espanoles may cut capacity

Spain has announced it would cut production capacity at Astilleros Espanoles
S.A. if the European Commission would approve 90 billion Spanish pesetas/U.S.$656
million in aid. The 30,000-compensated gross ton cut, of 240,000-cgt of
capacity, will be to receive the second half of shipbuilding aid. The amount
of tonnage cut is 12.5 percent of capacity.

Dieselmotorenwerk Vulkan out of Bremer Vulkan sphere

An agreement has been reached to transfer Dieselmotorenwerk Vulkan from
Bremer Vulkan Verbund A.G. to a joint venture of BvS, the German federal
privatization entity, and the Mecklenburg-Vopommern government. It would
be restructured and sold. Plans call for most work to be done in Rostock,
Germany, where 85 of 360 employees would be cut. The facility in Bremen
would remain open for casting, some assembly and steelwork, with 133 of
290 employees cut.

Scandinavian Container to build 900 FEUs for A.C.L.

Scandinavian Container Services in Miami will build 900 FEUs for Atlantic
Container Line. The containers are "high-cubes," meaning they
are 0.3 meters/one foot taller than normal ones.

Toxic paint additive spilled into Elizabeth River

About 23,000 liters/6,000 gallons of ballast water contaminated by a
toxic paint additive was spilled into the Elizabeth River from the Norfolk
Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. in Norfolk, Va., on 20 Jan. A holding tank
was punctured by a forklift, and ballast water and traces of tributylyin
(TBT) spilled. The water was from a U.S. Navy vessel in drydock. Though
there was only a teaspoon of TBT in the tank, it was enought to create
a mixture that exceeds Virginia water standards by 1,000 times. TBT is
used in hull paint to prevent corrosion.

Protesters break into Bath Iron Works, board U.S. Navy vessel

Six people boarded a U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class Guided-Missile Destroyer
under construction at General Dynamics Corp.'s Marine Division/Bath Iron
Works on 12 Feb. A probable cause hearing will be held 27 March. Allegedly,
the six, including former Jesuit priest Philip Berrigan, broke into the
shipyard, boarded the ship, hammered on missile launch tubes and spilled
blood on the ship. They called themselves the "Prince of Peace Plowshares,"
choosing Ash Wednesday for "the best repentance and atonement we could
offer." Berrigan led a similar protest at the shipyard in 1991 on
Easter Sunday. At their arraignment late 12 Feb., the protesters asked
to be jailed but West Bath District Court Judge Joseph Field held only
two, due to parole violations from similar protests in California. The
group was charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief, and include
Steven Baggarly, 31; Lewis Borbely, 56; Mark Colville, 35; Susan Crane,
53; and Jesuit priest Stephen Kelly. Crane and Kelly are being held on
federal arrest warrants.

Poland cannot guarantee bank loans for New Gdansk Shipyard

Poland has announced it cannot guarantee bank loans for five ships to
be built at Gdansk New Shipyard for Scholler. Bank Gdanski had made a proposal
to the government in January. Each ship is reportedly underpriced U.S.$5
million to U.S.$9 million.

Novorossiysk Shipping orders four tankers from Sumitomo

Sumitomo Corp. has received orders worth 20 billion Japanese yen to
build four double-hulled crude oil tankers for Novorossiysk Shipping Co.
Construction will be contracted to NKK Corp. The 100,000-dwt tankers will
be delivered in 1998 and 1999 for sailing between Novorossiysk, Russia,
and Europe.

3 MAJ to build two tankers for Scorpio Shipmanagement

The Croatian shipyard 3 MAJ announced 11 Feb. it has received a U.S.$150
million order from Scorpio Shipmanagement for two oil tankers. There are
options for two more.

Hvide Marine buys two Ship Docking Modules from Halter Marine

Hvide Marine Inc. announced 13 Feb. it has ordered two 150-gt Ship Docking
Modules from Halter Marine Group Inc. for delivery in early 1998. The double-ended
ship-docking vessels, with twin Ulstein Z-drives forward and aft offset
from center, are able to generate a full bollard pull of 50,000 kilograms/110,000
pounds in any direction. The 4,000-horsepower vessels, via two Caterpillar
3516 BTA diesels, are 23 meters/76 feet long with a 15-meter/50-foot beam
and a draft of 4.9 meters/16 feet. They are designed for a crew of two.
Outfitted for Hvide Marine, they will have a Markey-type DYSF-39 hawser
winch and an 11,000 liter/3,000 gallon per minute pump for firefighting.
Some 4,693 liters/1,235 gallons of foam will be carried. The two will cost
about U.S.$4.75 million each and there are options for four more. They
will be used in Port Everglades, Fla., and Mobile, Ala.

Norsk Hydro to buy rig from Hitachi Zosen

Norsk Hydro A/S has ordered an oil-drilling rig from Hitachi Zosen Corp.
for 30 billion Japanese yen. The deal will be formally agreed to on 18
Feb. The rig will be able to operate in water 1,500 meters/4,900 feet deep
and will have station-keeping and stabilization equipment. Norsk Hydro
will use the rig in the North Sea.

Finland buys minesweeping sub

Bofors A.B. announced 12 Feb. that it has sold a Double Eagle Mk II
submarine to the Finnish Navy. It will be used for minesweeping.

Lamar takes stake in two new containerships

Lamar Group S.A. has reportedly bought a small stake in two containerships
to be built at Pendik Shipyard in Turkey. An agreement was signed last
month with Say Shipping Co. in which Lamar will manage and time-charter
the two for five years. The Turkish government has approved a 25 percent
subsidy for the ships, which will cost U.S.$40 million. They will be delivered
in 1999. Each will be able to carry 940 TEUs at 18.2 knots and will be
classed by the American Bureau of Shipping.

U.S. Military Sealift Command awards ro/ro conversion

Tarago Shipholding Corp. in Bethesda, Md., has been awarded a $145,699,480
firm, fixed-price contract by the U.S. Military Sealift Command to convert
the Tarago (Bahamian-registry 34,199-dwt ro/ro built in 1979, operated
by W. Wilhelmsen). It will become U.S.-registered and renamed the 1st Lt.
Harry L. Martin. Tarago Shipholding will also operate and maintain the
ship for five years after delivery. The conversion will be done in Jacksonville,
Fla., and is expected to be completed by September 2003.

Ville de Orion delivered, to be used by C.M.A.

Daewoo Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. has delivered the 4,000-TEU capacity
containerhip Ville de Orion. Capable of 24 knots, it was ordered in October
1995 and will be chartered long term to Compagnie Maritime d'Affretement
by Conti Reederei. C.M.A. will have an option to purchase the ship. The
vessel will sail on the FAL fixed-day weekly service between northern Europe,
the Middle East and Far East.

Stena names third new ferry

Stena Line will name its third new HSS 1500 fast ferry the Stena Discovery.
The ship will sail between Harwich, England, and Hook of Holland, the Netherlands,
starting in June. The twin-hull, 100,000 horsepower vessel can carry 1,500
passengers and 375 vehicles. At 45 knots, the trip will take three hours
40 minutes. It will make two return sailings daily and is currently building
at Finnyards Ltd. -- Steve Schultz - Whitefish Bay, Wis., U.S.A. - sschultz@execpc.com

"When beholding the beauty of the ocean skin, one forgets the tiger
heart that pants beneath it" - Herman Melville

From: sschultz@execpc.com To: "About transportation" <Cargo-l@distart.ing.unibo.it>
Subject: World Maritime News - 14 Feb., 1997 (2/2) Date: Fri, 14 Feb 1997
23:19:00 -0600 (CST) Errors-to: <damco@pointest.com> Reply-to: Cargo-l@distart.ing.unibo.it
Sender: Maiser@distart.ing.unibo.it X-listname: <Cargo-l@distart.ing.unibo.it>
MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII X-Mailer:
Mercury MTS (Bindery) v1.30


Sri Lanka sinks two boats killing 10

On 9 Feb., the Sri Lankan military sank two L.T.T.E. boats used to monitior
navy vessel movements, near Iranaitivu Island. At least 10 L.T.T.E. members
were believed to have been killed. Reportedly, the two were returning from
southern India with L.T.T.E. leaders aboard.

Ukrainian-registry ship boarded by pirates off Manila

Six pirates armed with knives boarded the Jakov Bondarenko (Ukrainian-registry
13,512-dwt vessel built in 1976) at 0200 9 Feb. off Breakwater Port in
Manila, the Philippines. The second mate was tied-up in the forecastle
and the pirates stole money, paint, personal possessions of the crew and
radio equipment.

Vessel believed to be carrying illegal migrants stopped off Japan

Japan has detained a vessel off the southwest coast of the country on
suspicion of smuggling illegal migrants. A Japanese Maritime Safety Agency
vessel stoped the 100-ton ship off Cape Ashizuri, Kochi Prefecture, and
found a crew of 11 Chinese citizens and about 80 passengers. It has been
escorted to Kochi. Reportedly, passengers said the vessel left Fujian Province,
China, on 2 Feb. It was first spotted by a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense
Force ship the afternoon of 7 Feb. about 64 kilometers/40 miles off Cape
Ashizuri, sailing without lights.

Smuggling of diesel from Iraq increases, U.S. Navy ships in confrontation

Since mid-December, smuggling of diesel fuel from Iraq has increased.
An embargo imposed by the United Nations bars petroleum exports, but certain
sales have been allowed for humanitarian needs. Taking advantage of the
relaxed sanctions, smugglers have increased their trade, with as much as
60,000 metric tons being transported each month. The vessels sail along
the Iranian coast, as a protection fee is reportedly paid to guarantee
safe passage. An Iranian Revolutionary Guard facility at the mouth of the
Shatt al-Arab, separating Iran and Iraq, is apparently the gatekeeper for
these sailings. Recently, there have been two confrontations with U.S.
Navy warships. On 26 Jan., the Oliver Hazard Perry-class Guided-Missile
Frigate U.S.S. Reid (FFG 30) intercepted a tug towing a tank barge carrying
diesel fuel in international waters. The tug released the barge, rammed
the U.S.S. Reid twice and sailed to Iranian territorial waters. The frigate
suffered a 51-centimeter/20-inch crack on its starboard bow above the waterline.
The barge was seized. On 4 Feb., the Spruance-class destroyer U.S.S. Nicholson
(DD 982) stopped a vessel in the Persian Gulf. An Islamic Republic of Iran
Navy vessel arrived shortly after, followed by another Spruance-class ship,
the U.S.S. Cushing (DD 985). The Iranian vessel circled the two destroyers
and eventually left. The vessel was found to be smuggling diesel and was

U.S. Coast Guard airlifts two crewmembers from separate ships the same

A man with bleeding ulcers was taken off the Georgia (Panamanian-registry
bulk carrier) on 31 Jan. off northern California. A U.S. Coast Guard HH-60J
Jayhawk from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Ore., flew three and a half
hours to Air Station Humboldt Bay, Calif., refueled, then flew two hours
to the ship. Because of poor visibility, the helicopter could not lift
the man from the deck. After the weather improved, the man was airlifted
from the ship by an HH-65A Dolphin from Humboldt Bay. The same day, a 59-year-old
man aboard the Matson Manulani (U.S.-registry) required medical evacuation
due to a bowel obstruction. A Jayhawk from Astoria, escorted by an HH-130H
Hercules from Air Station Sacramento, Calif., flew to the ship, about 370
kilometers/230 miles west of Astoria. The man was successfully airlifted
and taken to a hospital.

Royal Navy ships aid solo sailor

A U.S. sailor was rescued in the southern Atlantic by two Royal Navy
ships on 3 Feb. The lead ship of the H.M.S. Norfolk (F 230)-class Frigate
and another ship of the class, the H.M.S. Lancaster (F 229), came to Karen
Thorndike's assistance after she e-mailed her control office in Seattle
on 2 Feb. Her 11-meter/35-foot yacht Amelia was located 560 kilometers/350
miles north of the Falkland/Malvinas Islands. Thorndike, 52, suffered from
angina, influenza, dehydration, tiredness and shock. She was hospitalized
5 Feb. at Port Stanley in the Falklands/Malvinas. Thorndike, of Snohomish,
Wash., set sail on an around-the-world, solo voyage in October 1995 but
stopped in San Diego. She set sail again in August 1996 an arrived in Port
Stanley 14 Jan.

Sri Lanka fires on and seizes ship

Sri Lanka seized the Carribean Queen (Cypriot-registry, owned by Carribean
Queen Shipping Co. and managed by Naviera Poseidon), suspected of smuggling
weapons for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, on 9 Feb. The vessel
was escorted by Sri Lanka Navy vessels to Trincomalee, where its cargo
hold was found empty. The ship, with 28 Cuban citizens aboard, was sailing
from Calcutta, India, where it had unloaded sulphur, to Colombo for fuel.
The Carribean Queen was to then sail to Cyprus. However, it developed engine
problems and was seen off the coast near a small boat. The boat was destroyed
by a rocket fired by a Sri Lanka Air Force IA 58A Pucara from No. 7 Attack
Squadron at Vavuniya Air Base. The boat had reportedly ignored radio calls
and warning shots. Two Mi-24 series Hind attack helicopters surrounded
the Carribean Queen, but it also reportedly ignored radio calls and warning
shots. After the ship suddenly started moving again, it was fired on by
cannon and rockets. Damage included a fire which was contained. No one
was injured. On 11 Feb., the ship was released to sail to Colombo for repairs.
The master of the Carribean Queen, Miguel Amaral Ravelo, said the ship
was 44 kilometers/27.5 miles from the coast in international waters when
attacked. Sri Lanka said the ship was 10 kilometers/six miles out.

Turkish-registry vessels found illegally fishing off Georgia

Russian Border Guard Forces off Georgia on 11 Feb. forced 16 Turkish-registry
vessels to leave the area after they were illegally fishing. Russia said
the fishing vessels ignored orders to stop and one rammed a Russian vessel,
which was then fired on. There were no injuries. Turkey announced that
the crews have been arrested.

Greenpeace members chain themselves to ship in Germany

Members of Greenpeace on 8 Feb. chained themselves to a vessel carrying
nuclear fuel anchored at Bremerhaven, Germany. Local police ended the action
the same day and the ship sailed for the Dounreay nuclear fuel processing
facility in the United Kingdom. Ten Greenpeace members were briefly detained.
Reportedly, the ship carried 83 kilograms/183 pounds of nuclear fuel, including
uranium and enriched plutonium.

Black Sea Shipping ignoring arrested ship?

The Port Said (Swedish-registry 13,740-dwt general cargo ship built
in 1975, operated by Black Sea Shipping Co.) was arrested in Finland two
weeks ago, but Black Sea Shipping has apparently not made any efforts on
its behalf. The ship was arrested by the Turku Court for a German shipyard
owed money by Black Sea Shipping. The 25 crewmembers aboard, at the Turku
Repair Yard, have apparently not been contacted. Employees at nearby Wartsila
Diesel have contributed cash to the crew and a local seamen's mission is
organizing food donated to the crew by local residents.

Ship engine falls into Elbe River

While being unloaded from the Laust Maersk (Danish-registry 48,527-dwt,
2,776-TEU capacity containership built in 1984, operated by A.P. Moller)
on 9 Feb., a 675-ton engine fell into the Elbe River near Hamburg, Germany.
The MAN B&W engine, built in South Korea, fell after a rope broke on
aboard the floating crane Enak. Another crane, the Magnus I, could not
carry the weight alone and its top structure collapsed. The engine was
to be taken to Flensburger Schiffbau G.m.b.H. and Co. KG and used aboard
the Priwall (32,500-dwt) ordered by MPC Marine Trading G.m.b.H. The ship
was to have been delivered in May.

Four Motor Oil employees charged for oil spill

Employees of Motor Oil have been charged by Greece with causing an oil
spill near the Corinth Canal in August. More than 300 tons of crude oil
were spilled while a Motor Oil tanker was unloading at the refinery during
a storm. Greece said that the ship was not docked or moored properly, and
communication lapses delayed closing a valve. The refinery's director,
the loading manager, the master of the ship and the first mate will be
tried on charges of negligence. They face up to five years in jail if convicted.
The firm itself has already been fined 150 million Greeck drachmas/U.S.$650,000.

Anna Sierra hijackers released

Ten of the people who hijacked the Anna Sierra (Cypriot-registry 12,934-dwt
dry cargo ship built in 1971, operated by Thesarco Shipping) have reportedly
been released by China. They were held six months in Beihai. The ship was
hijacked in the Gulf of Thailand in September 1995 while sailing from the
Philippines to Bangkok, Thailand. More than 30 pirates placed the 23 crewmembers
on a raft. The Anna Sierra was renamed the Arctic Sea and "re-registered"
in Honduras. The pirates apparently planned to sell the U.S.$6 million
sugar cargo in southern China, but the ship was found in Thai territorial
waters with the cargo.

British Telecom to open new INMARSAT station in May

British Telecom will open a new 15 million British pound/U.S.$24 million
station in Auckland, New Zealand, in May. BT Pacific will be the earth
link for the INMARSAT Pacific Ocean Region Satellite. The station will
be accessible by Inmarsat-A, B-Sat, M-Sat, C-Sat and Mobiq.

U.S. Coast Guard announces public meetings

The U.S. Coast Guard announced 13 Feb. that it is seeking comments from
the public on efforts to prevent maritime casualties by assessing human
factors. Public meetings will be held in New Orleans on 25 Feb.; Oakland,
Calif., on 28 Feb.; St. Louis, Mo., on 26 March; and Providence, R.I.,
on 18 April. Each of the meetings will be chaired by Rear Adm. James C.
Card, assistant commandant for marine safety and environmental protection.
For more information, contact the Coast Guard Human Element and Ship Design
Division at 202-267-2997 or fldr-he@comdt.uscg.mil.


Thoresen Thai buys three bulk carriers

Thoresen Thai Agency has bought three ships from Mambisa, though the
registered owner is Naviera Castellana. The firm paid 305 million Thai
baht/U.S.$12 million for the Carvik (Cypriot-registry 16,276-dwt bulk carrier
built in 1986), the Manzavik (Cypriot-registry 16,248-dwt bulk carrier
built in 1985) and the Sancuvik (Cypriot-registry 16,248-dwt bulk carrier
built in 1986). All are managed by Ulvik Management Co. Ltd.

Lauritzen Reefers sells two ships to Ugland

Lauritzen Reefers A/S has sold two refrigerated ships to Ugland International
Holding P.L.C. for U.S.$35 million. The two 20,700-cubic meter/690,000-cubic
foot ships are the Belgian Reefer (14,786-dwt, built in 1983) and the Brazilian
Reefer (14,786-dwt, built in 1984). Both will be chartered back to Lauritzen
for three to five years.

Scindia Steam Navigation selling last ship

Scindia Steam Navigation Co. has announced it is selling its last remaining
ship. The 27,000-dwt tweendecker will be sold after the Indian Finance
Ministry failed to approve a revival plan for the firm. Scindia is India's
oldest shipping line.

Bona Liv sold

Bona Shipholding Ltd. has sold the Bona Liv (Bahamian-registry 152,412-dwt
tanker built in 1988, operated by Bona Shipping) for U.S.$33.1 million
to Greek interests. Bona will receive a book profit of U.S.$6.4 million.
The buyers are clients of Metrostar. The double-side, single-bottom ship
was bought in 1993 from Gotaas-Larsen for U.S.$33 million. It was then
the Golar Liv.

Holyman Sally announces ferry names

Holyman Sally has announced new names for two ferries on its service
between Ramsgate, England, and Ostend, Belgium, which begins 1 March. The
Holyman Express will become the Holyman Diamant, and the Condor 12 will
become the Holyman Rapide.


Twenty missing after the Leros Strength sinks off Norway

The Leros Strength (Cypriot-registry 21,673-dwt bulk carrier built in
1976, operated by Leros Management S.A. and owned by Lamda Sea Shipping
Co.) sank in a storm on 8 Feb., 48 kilometers/30 miles west of Stavanger,
Norway, in 258 meters/846 feet of water. The crew of 20 Polish citizens
is missing. The ship broadcast a distress call at 0750, stating the Leros
Strength was taking on water through a hole in the bow. A rescue coordination
center in Stavanager was able to speak with the master, Eugeniusz Arciszewski,
for three minutes until communication from the ship suddenly ended. Arciszewski
was a seven-year employee of Leros Management. A helicopter searched waters
in the area for an hour and found only two empty liferafts, while the Norwegian
Coast Guard Patrol Ship Nordsjobas (W 315) found lifejackets and the ship's
nameplate. It is believed most of the crew were gathered to eat breakfast
when the ship began to take on water, and due to the nature of the distress
call, were likely unaware the ship was rapidly sinking. Conditions in the
area at the time included six-meter/20-foot seas. The Leros Strength was
carrying 18,000 tons of apatite, used in fertilizer, from Murmansk, Russia,
to Police, Poland, and was reported to be in poor condition. On 22 July,
Lamda Sea Shipping applied to transfer the ship's classifcation from the
American Bureau of Shipping to Registro Italiano Navale (RINA). After an
inspection at Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, RINA granted a five-month
temporary certificate, at the end of which Comitato di Classificazione
should have released a final certificate. However, on 13 or 14 Aug., the
ship failed an inspection at Rotterdam, the Neterlands. The ship was detained
for 11 problems, relating to coamings, firefighting equipment, hatch covers,
lighting, navigation equipment and safety equipment. RINA issued a second
temporary classification certificate that was to expire in April, with
the understanding that a final certificate would not be granted until the
ship was certified seaworthy. The Leros Strength then sailed for repairs
in Greece. The ship underwent a U.S. Coast Guard survey 2 Dec. before sailing
from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Murmansk. Of the crew, 19 were from Gdynia
Province and 10 from the city itself. All were recruited by Morska Agencja
Gdynia, and had worked for Leros Management for years. Families of the
crew will receive at least U.S.$30,000 each from the Liverpool & London
Steamship P. & I. Association Ltd. as well as Polish insurers. The
families will attend a memorial service in Stavanger on 16 Feb. A festival
was to be held in celebration of Gdynia's 71st anniversary on 9 and 10
Feb., but after the sinking, the festival was canceled. Flags around the
city were draped in black.

Three U.S. Coast Guard personnel killed during search and rescue

Three U.S. Coast Guard personnel were killed 12 Feb. when their 13-meter/44-foot
motor lifeboat, CG-44363, capsized near La Push, Wash. Seaman Clinton P.
Miniken, 22, of Snohomish, Wash., was found just before 0400 on First Beach
and attempts to revive him at Forks Community Hospital were not sucessful.
The two other crewmembers, Petty Officer (BM2) David A. Bosley, 36, of
Coronado, Calif., and Petty Officer (MK3) Matthew E. Schlimme, 24, of Whitewater,
Mo., were found near the capsized lifeboat, in a cove of James Island.
A fourth crewmember, Seaman Benjamin F. Wingo, 19, of Bremerton, Wash.,
survived and was in satisfactory condition with a broken nose and cuts
to his face. Wingo was rescued from a cliff crevice. The boat was one of
two, along with an HH-65A Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station
Port Angeles, Wash., that had been on a search and rescue mission at 0035.
The saliboat Gale Runner, with U.S. Navy Lt. Kenneth Schlag and his wife,
reported it was taking on water in 7.6-meter/25-foot seas and winds of
45 knots. The Schlags were relocating the vessel from California to his
new assignment in Bremerton. The boats lost sight of each other at the
mouth of the river, having left Station Quillayute River. Crewmembers on
the other boat saw one flare at 0055, followed by four others at 0110.
The sailboat was found eight kilometers/five miles south of James Island
and the Schlags were rescued by helicopter. Both were taken to Forks Community
Hospital where they were treated for hypothermia. The sailboat later ran
aground and broke up.

Two killed off the United Arab Emirates

Two people were killed and one injured 7 Feb. in an explosion aboard
a fishing vessel vessel 17 kilometers/11 miles off Kalba, United Arab Emirates.
The fishermen were from Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates.

One killed, one missing as the Lady Sara II breaks up off Florida

On 30 Jan., the fishing vessel Lady Sara II was taken in tow 16 kilometers/10
miles east of St. Augustine, Fla., by the fishing vessel Dorothy E. The
Lady Sara II had lost power and was taking on water. Due to rough weather
conditions, the tow broke and the Lady Sara II ran aground and broke up
on the jetties of St. Augustine Inlet. The two crewmembers on the Lady
Sara II were lost overboard. The body of one crewmember was recovered and
the other is missing.

Turkish-tanker burns at Istanbul yard

The largest Turkish-registry tanker caught fire in Tuzla Dockyard at
Istanbul, Turkey, late 13 Feb. Fire aboard the TPAO (163,308-dwt, built
in 1977, operated by Ditas Deniz) spread to four other ships. Oil burned
on the water and a column of smoke rose high above the harbor. The ship
arrived at the yard for repairs 5 Feb. and was not carrying any cargo.
Thirty people have been injured, many of them firefighters. Two people,
including a Chinese citizen, were injured in the initial explosion and
are in serious condition. The explosion shattered windows in buildings
2.4 kilometers/1.5 miles away.

Fishing vessel sinks off Alaska

The fishing vessel Rosie G took on water 30 Jan. about 16 kilometers/10
miles north of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. A distress call brought the U.S. Coast
Guard Hamilton-class High-Endurance Cutters U.S.C.G.C. Mellon (WHEC 717)
and U.S.C.G.C. Chase (WHEC 718), an HH-130H Hercules from Coast Guard Air
Station Kodiak and the fishing vessel Handler. The Handler was the first
to arrive, and found the six crewmembers aboard a liferaft with the Rosie
G awash. The Hanlder took the crew to Dutch Harbor.

Babor suffers fire at Pusan

The Babor (Algerian-registry 12,726-gt, 17,538-dwt general cargo vessel
built in 1976, operated by S.N.T.M.-C.N.A.N.) carrying 488 tons of vehicle
tires and tubes, suffered a fire 6 Feb. in the outer harbor of Pusan, South
Korea. The ship was anchored for temporary repairs at the time. The tires
in tubes in cargo hold No. 2 caught fire, and as a result, the hold's hatch
covers were badly damaged. Nearby shell plating was also affected.

Uruguay hit by oil spill after tanker runs aground

The San Jorge (Panamanian-registry 36,902-gt, 67,031-dwt tanker built
in 1981, owned Transportes Maritimos Petroleros and operated by Astra Tankers)
ran aground late 8 Feb., 37 kilometers/23 miles south-southwest of Punta
del Este, Uruguay, near Lobos Island. The ship carried 58,000 cubic meters/2.03
million cubic feet or 370,000 barrels of curde oil, and was sailing from
Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina, to Sao Sebastian, Brazil. The ship is double-hulled,
but five tanks to starboard were damaged. They carried 30,000 cubic meters/1.05
million gallons of oil. About 25,000 cubic meters/one million cubic feet
of oil was lightered to other tankers and the ship was refloated with tug
assistance 10 Feb. It is not clear what the ship ran aground on. Argentine
and Uruguayan vessels and aircraft have sprayed the oil with 30,000 liters/7,800
gallons of chemicals and 450 Uruguayan Army soldiers are cleaning beaches.
Oil came ashore along 25 kilometers/16 miles of beach north of Punta del
Este, with oil three to four centimeters/1.2 to 1.5 inches thick.

Bow Lion spills chemical off Japan

The Bow Lion (Norwegian-registry 22,637-gt, 40,272-dwt tanker built
in 1988, owned and operated by Storli A.S.A.) spilled about a ton of a
poisonous liquid on 9 Feb. off Kobe, Japan. The styrene monomer spill formed
a slick 90 meters/300 feet long and 27 meters/90 feet wide. It was cleaned
up in an hour, after being sprayed with water. The chemical is used in
the production of plastics, resins and synthetic rubber. It leaked from
a hook-shaped crack in the hull, about 6.4 centimeters/2.5 inches vertically
by 4.1 centimeters/1.6 inches horizontally, 1.2 meters/3.9 feet below the
waterline. The ship, with a crew of 23 Filipino and six Greek citizens,
had arrived in Kobe from Houston with a cargo of 35,000 tons of chemicals,
including 6,000 tons of styrene monomer for Taiwan. The Bow Lion left Kobe
11 Feb. for Ulsan, South Korea, before sailing to Taiwan.

U.S. Navy ship rescues nine in Persian Gulf

The U.S. Navy Ticonderoga-class Guided-Missile Cruiser U.S.S. Antietam
(CG 54) rescued nine crewmembers in the central Persian Gulf 12 Feb. after
the Soroosh (Iranian-registry 110-ton wooden dhow) sank. The Soroosh was
sailing from Qatar to Iran. The U.S.S. Antietam received a distress call
from the dhow, and the nine were brought aboard and given food and clothing.
The ship tried to tow the Soroosh, but it was abandoned in high winds and
heavy seas after the tow parted. The U.S.S. Antietam took the nine to Doha,

Two containerships collide at Kaohsiung

The Madison Maersk (Danish-registry 52,181-gt, 59,500-dwt containership
built in 1991, operated by A.P. Moller) collided with the Ever Round (Panmanian-registry
53,359-gt, 57,904-dwt containership built in 1993, operated by Evergreen
Marine Corp.) at the entrance to the harbor of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, at 0634
10 Feb. Both sailed into the port.

China Glory rams wharf in Malaysia

The China Glory (Myanmar-registry 3,643-ton vessel with a crew of about
20) allided with an oil jetty at a liquid bulk terminal in West Port in
Port Klang, Malaysia, at 0100 7 Feb. The China Glory was docking at the
time and reportedly had engine problems. The wharf suffered Malaysian$10
million in damage. The ship had arrived from the United States and left
for Butterworth the next day at 2100.

Caramba runs aground in England

The Caramba (St. Vincent and the Grenadines-registry 1,441-gt, 1,860-dwt
general cargo vessel built in 1966, operated by Erik Thun A.B.) ran aground
in the Trent River in England on 10 Feb. The ship was sailing to Gunness
Wharf with 2,000 tons of potash and 100 tons of fertilizer.

Bulk carrier grounds off Japan

The Hanjin Tacoma (Panamanian-registry 37,550-gt, 70,457-dwt bulk carrier
built in 1994, operated by Hanjin Shipping Co.), carrying coal from Singapore,
ran aground 13 Feb. off Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. The ship, with
a crew of 18, was refloated after five hours with three tugs.

Contship Houston refloated off Florida

The Contship Houston (Liberian-registry, 41,815-dwt, 183-meter/600-foot
containership owned by Transportacion Maritima Mexicana S.A. de C.V.) was
refloated at 2037 8 Feb., just before high tide. The ship ran aground late
2 Feb. off the Florida Keys in 5.5 meters/18 feet of water about 21 kilometers/13
miles southeast of Key West. The grounding was about 1.6 kilometers/one
mile inside in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The Contship
Houston was carrying containers from New Orleans to Valencia, Spain, and
had 3.04 million liters/800,000 gallons or 2,500 tons of fuel aboard. It
ran aground at about 16 knots, damaging an unknown amount of coral reef.
Atfer being refloated, the Contship Houston was towed to an anchorage less
than three kilometers/two miles from the grounding for inspection. During
the salvage, 2.05 million liters/540,000 gallons of fuel was transfered
to a barge.

Oil from Nakhodka's bow removed

Maritime Disaster Prevention Center completed removal of 2.45 million
liters/637,000 gallons of oil from the bow of the Nakhodka (Russian-registry
13,157-gt, 20,471-dwt tanker built in 1970, operated by Primorsk Shipping
Co. and owned by Prisco Traffic Ltd.) on 10 Feb. The ship broke in half
0250 2 Jan. about 130 kilometers/81 miles northeast of the Oki Islands,
Shimane Prefecture, Japan. Thirty-one of 32 crew were rescued and the master
was killed. The Nakhodka carried 19,000 tons of grade C heavy fuel, or
19 million liters/five million gallons or 133,000 barrels. The spill is
estimated at more than five million liters/1.3 million gallons or 5,000
tons and has affected eight Japanese prefectures. The bow came ashore at
Mikuni, Fukui Prefecture. On 9 Feb., a section of the bow measuring 20
centimeters/eight inches by 80 centimeters/32 inches and weighing 20 kilograms/44
pounds, was removed from the starboard side. It will be examined for possible
information on the cause of the sinking.

Master to stand trial in ferry-Greek Navy vessel collision

Matthaios Pnevmatikakis, the master of the Samaina (Greek-registry 3,783-gt,
810-dwt ro/ro and passenger ferry built in 1962, formerly the Mary Poppins;
owned and operated by Arkadia Lines Naftkik Eteria) has been accused of
causing the sinking of the Greek Navy Antipliarchos Lascos-class Guided-Missile
Patrol Boat H.S. Antipliarchos Kostakos (P 25). The warship was participating
in Exercise Parmenion off Vathi, Samos Island, Greece, when it was in a
collision with the Samaina at 1845 4 Nov. Three chief petty officers and
a warrant officer aboard the naval vessel are missing. The Samaina, sailing
from Vathi to Karlovasi, did not suffer any serious damage and none of
the 71 passengers and 51 crew were injured. According to wintnesses, the
ferry suddenly changed course to port and hit the starboard area of the
warship's stern. The H.S. Antipliarchos Kostakos sank in 151 meters/495
feet of water about one kilometer/0.6 miles from Samos. The Greek Navy
concluded 23 Dec. that Ensign Mihalis Dimoulkas lost sight of the Samaina
after he left his station on the bridge of the H.S. Antipliarchos Kostakos.
Dimoulkas apparently concluded that the ferry was sailing at a "safe
distance." The report also cited the Samaina for ineffective use of
its radar, and Pnevmatikakis was singled out for not effectively using
navigational equipment as well as sailing at an excessive speed. On 12
Feb., Pnevmatikakis was charged with negligence, violations of regulations
to avoid collision and four counts of involuntary manslaughter. A trial
will begin July 7. The master said that the radar encountered interference
due to the naval exercise. This week, a fire brigade officer investigation
the accident blamed the crew of the Navy vessel.

Ruling in Nagasaki Spirit/Ocean Blessing case

The British House of Lords last week ruled in the case of the tanker
Nagasaki Spirit, which collided with the containership Ocean Blessing in
the Malacca Strait in 1992. Two crewmembers survived. The tanker was loaded
with crude oil and 12,000 tons escaped and caught fire. Semco Salvage and
Marine Pte. Ltd. worked 84 days to salvage the ship for Lancer Navigation
Co. Ltd. At issue was Article 14 of the Salvage Convention of 1989. Lower
court decisions were upheld, rejecting arguments that "special compensation"
awards for salvors should include profit. The salvor in the case claimed
it should able to make a profit on services to prevent oil pollution as
well as actual salvage. The ruling stated that compensation should be calculated
for the period between the casualty itself until salvage ends. Also, the
calculation of expenses taken to prevent pollution should be fairly broad.
Salvors should not be able to include profit, but, for example, the salvor's
use of its own tug would need to take into account allowance for the time
it was waiting for work.

Exxon appeals award in Exxon Valdez spill case

Exxon Corp. on 12 Feb. filed an appeal to reduce a U.S.$5.1 billion
amended final judgment against the firm resulting from the oil spill by
the Exxon Valdez. The ship ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska,
24 March, 1989, spilling about 42 million liters/11 million gallons of
oil. The appeal in the U.S. District Court in Anchorage seeks to reduce
the award announced 17 Jan. Among the 40 legal issues Exxon raised in the
appeal is a request for the appellate court to review the standards applied
by the district court for punitive damages under maritime law and under
the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution. Exxon also cites instructions
to the jury, the requirement Exxon post a U.S.$6.75 billion letter of credit
and the calculation of compensatory damages. The appeal will be heard by
the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.


Water taxis in New York?

Tom Fox is planning to develop a network of water taxis around the East
and Hudson Rivers in New York. Four 11-meter/37-foot boats would operate
along Brooklyn and Manhattan, from Pier 86 at W. 46th St. to the Fulton
Ferry Landing. The boats would carry 48 passengers. Nine stops would be
made, including Battery Park City, Chelsea Piers and South Street Seaport.
A 21 May date is set for start-up.