- Transport on Line - hiltunen.htm


Maritime Cabotage Task Force releases study on U.S. merchant fleet

The Maritime Cabotage Task Force released a study 11 March that states
the U.S. domestic fleet has doubled in the last 30 years from 861 large
merchant vessels to 1,894. Cargo capacity has tripled. The study, unlike
previous ones, counted all U.S. domestic ("Jones Act") ships,
not just ocean-going ships. According to the study, the fleet transports
21 percent of all domestic cargo for less than two percent of what the
country spends on transport. Productivity has increased two to four times
faster than U.S. business in general. Deepsea shipping productivity has
increased 10 times since the 1960s. The study concluded that it took 17
people in the 1950s to move the cargo a single person does today. In the
fleet area, there are 1,703 large dry and tank barges, up from 438 in the
1960s. Only barges over 76.2 meters/250 feet were counted, in the belief
that they are equivilent to self-propelled ships of 1,000-gt. In all, there
are more than 30,000 barges. In the last five years, tow sizes have increased
20 percent. The 35-page "Full Speed Ahead: A Report on America's Domestic
Fleet" is available by contacting Erin Kelley at the Dittus Group,
100 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Suite 311, Washington, D.C., 20007. Telephone

U.S. ocean shipping bill introduced

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, who chairs the Maritime Subcommittee
of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, has introduced the Ocean Shipping
Reform Act of 1997 (H.R. 2149) to deregulate U.S. ocean shipping. Among
its provisions are allowing confidential one-on-one contracts between shippers
and shipping lines; lines would get added protection from predatory pricing
by foreign firms; some freight forwarder protection would be introduced;
and ports would be protected from certain acts by conferences. The U.S.
Federal Maritime Commission and the U.S. Surface Transportation Board would
be consolidated in 1999 into one organization under the U.S. Department
of Transportation. The S.T.B. would then gain two more commissioners for
a total of five. Anti-trust shipping enforcement would be handled by the
U.S. Department of Justice but the F.M.C. would retain authority to enforce
competition. No tariffs would be filed, but would be required on request.
For changes in conferences, notice would decline from 10 days to three

Salvors aided more ships in 1996

Members of the International Salvage Union provided assistance to 169
vessels last year, up from 141 in 1995. In all, 1.87 million tons of pollutants
were recovered, a decrease from 2.1 million tons in 1995. Some 1.75 million
tons of crude oil, 62,000 tons of chemicals and 58,000 tons of fuel was
recovered. There are 20 ship-to-ship cargo tranfers.

Philippines may ban foreign ship operators

Under a draft proposal by the Philippine Maritime Industry Authority,
the country would ban Philippine shipowners from using foreign operators
for their ships. Operators could only be hired by Philippine shipowners
if the operators were under established laws of the Philippines.

Japanese lines will not increase rates to cover new charges

Three Japanese shipping lines announced 10 March they will not increase
rates to cover U.S.$100,000 duties being imposed by the United States each
time their ships call in the country starting 14 April. The three are Kawasaki
Kisen Kaisha Ltd., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Nippon Yusen K.K.

Vanuatu reduces tonnage tax

In an effort to encourage larger ships to register in Vanuatu, the country
has reduced its tonnage tax for the first time since the register was formed
in 1981. It will now use a graduated scale.

Lykes disclosure statement approved, vote on reorganization

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Chief Judge Alexander L. Paskay has approved a
disclosure statement for Lykes Bros. Steamship Co. Inc. Also, creditors
have until 28 March to vote on a reorganization plan and results will be
disclosed 2 April. The vote requires 51 percent, and that group must represent
two-thirds of the amount creditors are owed. Ballots have been sent to
2,000 firms as well as 13,000 others interested in the proceedings.

S.C.I. and GP Shipping in venture, fleet expansion in jeopardy

The Shipping Corp. of India Ltd. and GP Shipping have set up Buld Transport
Co. in Singapore. S.C.I. will have a 35 percent stake and contribute Singaporean$3.5
million/U.S.$2.4 million to its initial capital of S$10/U.S.$7 million.
million. There is a third firm involved as well. Meanwhile, S.C.I.'s planned
fleet expansion may not occur. The Indian government will now allow higher
external commercial borrowing limits, and this week announced a budget
for 1997 and 1998 for S.C.I. of 8.85 billion Indian rupees/U.S.$247 million.
The current budget is 18.95 billion rupees. S.C.I. had planned to spend
about U.S.$1.2 billion over five years for 44 ships.

New fees on oil and manganese cargoes in Gabon

The Gabonese Shippers' Council will impose new fees on oil and manganese
cargoes on 1 April. The rate is eight percent of gross freight, but will
be waived for businesses that have not traded in Gabon since 1 June, 1995.

A.B.S. wins Amalthea case in Greece

A Greek court has ruled that the American Bureau of Shipping was not
negligent in July when it stopped loading of the Amalthea (35,000-gt, 62,239-dwt
bulk carrier built in 1973, owned by Elandra Navigation Ltd. and operated
by Styga Compania Navigation) at Esperance, Western Australia. The ship
was loading 50,000 tons of iron ore for Dalian, Liaoning Province, China,
when Australian authorities found structural damage to the ship and advised
against loading. Australia contacted A.B.S., Amalthea's classification
society, which agreed, and told the ship to cease loading and sail to a
shipyard for repairs. When the order came, 19,000 tons of ore was aboard.
Elandra Navigation then filed a lawsuit alledging negligence.

Status of Norwegian-owned fleet

At the beginning of the year, Norwegian businesses owned 1,447 vessels
of 50.5 million deadweight tons. In terms of tonnage, it is an increase
of eight percent from the start of 1996. The number of ships is up four
percent. Of these vessels, 61 percent are with the Norwegian International
Ship Register.

New shipping investment fund

Carl Lee, a British shipbroker, has formed a new shipping investment
fund with the assistance of Ian Davis and David Stuart from Daniel Stewart
& Co. Baffin Investments is incorporated in Barbados and plans to buy
stakes in shipping projects with financial backing by several shipping
businesses. The new investment fund began from plans in 1993 for a limited-life
dry bulk investment fund. Dormant investment adviser HDS Shipping, standing
for Hyde, Daniel and Stewart, was reactivated in November to servce Baffin

Mitsui O.S.K. to open Manila office

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. will establish an office in Manila, the Philippines,
on 1 April. It is the company's eighth representative office in Southeast
Asia. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (Philippines) will be capitalized at 8 million
Philippine pesos/U.S.$300,000 with 50 employees in conjunction with Magsaysay
Lines Inc. Magsaysay Agencies was Mitsui O.S.K.'s general agent for 20
years and will now act as a sub-agent in Cebu.


Preliminary approval for four lines between China and Taiwan

The province of Fujian, China, has reportedly given preliminary approval
to permits for shipping routes between Taiwan and Xiamen. The decision
has been forwarded for final approval to the central government in Beijing.
The four reportedly are Chinese Maritime Transport Ltd., Uniglory Marine
Corp., Wan Hai Lines Ltd. and Yangming Marine Transport Corp. Several government
officials have reportedly received invitations to a ceremony in Xiamen
on 8 April to mark the first official sailing of a ship between China and

Costa Container Lines joining Scaldis

Costa Container Lines S.p.A. is joining the Scaldis Service from the
Mediterranean to western Africa. Three Spring-class ships with a 13,800-cubic
meter/460,000-cubic foot capacity will be used on the weekly service, calling
at Savona, Italy; Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire; Douala, Cameroon; and Tema, Ghana.
The ships can carry 4,200 fruit pallets and 87 TEUs on deck or 128 TEUs
in four cargo holds.

Maersk to start Singapore to New Zealand service

Maersk Line has announced it will start a container service from Singapore
to the New Zealand ports of Auckland, Lyttelton, Napier and Tauranga with
transshipment to Wellington. Calls will be every two weeks using two 1,100-TEU
containerships, the Maersk Taupo and the Maersk Tekapo. Cargo from Lyttelton
to Southampton, England, will take 29 days while containers from Southampton
to Auckland will arrive in 34 days.

MPEDV realigns services

Med Pacific Express de Venezuela has expanded in services with D'Amico
Societa Di Navigazione Per Azioni and Italia di Navigazione. Six ships,
four of 2,000-TEU capacity and two of 750-TEU capacity, will call at the
Venezuelan ports of La Guaira and Puerto Cabello, the Italian ports of
Genoa, Livorno and Naples and the Spanish ports of Barcelona and Valencia.
Other calls are at Talcahuano and Valparaiso, Chile; Cartagena, Colombia;
and El Callao, Peru. There are plans for a service to Long Beach and Oakland,
Calif., Seattle; and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines adds Port Everglades

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. has added a call at Port Everglades, Fla.,
to the westbound leg of its Far East service. The Alligator Independence
(38,264-dwt containership built in 1986, owned and operated by Mitsui O.S.K.
Lines) will call at the port, with service to Tokyo in 22 days, Kobe, Japan,
in 24 days, Hong Kong in 27 days and Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in 35 days.

Le Havre to Lorient feeder to start

A local Chamber of Commerce and several investors are starting a container
service between the French ports of Le Havre and Lorient in mid-April.
The An Alrche, a 175-TEU capacity vessel, will call twice a week, with
a sailing time of 26 hours. It is hoped to have a throughput of 6,500 TEUs
the first year.

New ferry service to link Russia and Sweden

Nordic Trucker Line plans to charter the Gotland (8,000-dwt ro/ro ferry
built in 1996, owned and operated by Gotland Rederi A.B.) for service between
St. Petersburg, Russia, and Oxelosund, Sweden. It can carry 200 passengers
and 140 trailers.

C.M.A. reduces number of ships on route

Compagnie Maritime d'Affretement is reducing the number of ships on
its northern Europe to Far East service from 10 to eight.

Papua New Guinea barging suspended

Broken Hill Pty. Co. Ltd. has suspended shipments of copper concentrate
from the Oki Tedi mine on the Fly River in Papua New Guinea due to low
water levels.


Strike by 47,000 dockworkers shuts half of Japan's ports

About 50 Japanese ports stopped cargo handling from 0800 12 March to
0800 13 March, affecting at least 217 vessels including 164 on international
services. They included 72 foreign registry and 57 Japanese registry vessels
in port. It is the first such action in 10 years. Two Japanese dockworker
unions, the Japan Confederation of Port and Transport Workers' Unions and
the National Council of Dock Workers' Unions of Japan, staged the strike
in part as a protest over the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission decision
to impose fines on vessels of three Japanese lines calling in the United
States and in part due to the "spring offensive" of labor unions.
About 47,000 dockworkers were involved at ports including Kobe, Tokyo and
Yokohama. The dockworkers also announced that they will refuse to handle
cargo on Sundays from now on. The one-day strike is thought to have cost
the 12 major shipping firms calling at Japan some 72 million yen/U.S.$550,000.
Nippon Yusen K.K. put losses at 31 million yen/U.S.$250 million and Kawasaki
Kisen Kaisha Ltd. said its losses were 10 million yen/U.S.$81,000.

Spanish ports bill approved

Spain has approved legislation transferring management of 22 state ports
to regional entities, in return for a 20 percent minimum guarantee of government
representation on each group's board. The legislation also provides a new
funding method for investments and services by Puerto del Estado. Tariff
limits for the next three years will be set, with each port to set fees
in those limits. After three years, the limits will be abolished and ports
can make their own tariffs.

Eight Portuguese ports to be modernized

The Portuguese government disclosed a plan 7 March to modernize several
ports over the next four years for U.S.$600 million. Infrastructure at
eight ports will be improved, along with road and rail access. Private-sector
involvement will be part of the project.

New Malaysian port to be built near Kangar

Pashacorp Sdn. Bhd. announced 12 March it will spend 750 million Malaysian
ringgit/U.S.$300 million to develop a port in the Perlis state of Malaysia.
The port, to be operational by 2000 near Kangar, will be on an area measuring
680 hectares/1,700 acres by 800 hectares/2,000 acres. Posfpord (Malaysia)
Sdn. Bhd. will design the port, Pacific Resources will be the project management
adviser, Hamburg Port Consulting G.m.b.H. will operate the port and Kisan
Corp. is the main contractor.

Strike at Paranagua ends

Dockworkers at the Port of Paranagua, Brazil, ended their strike on
7 March. It began at 1200 5 March. The Syndicate of Stevedores requested
a 21 percent wage increase retroactive to March 1996. The Syndicate of
Port Operators agreed to the raise, but not making it retroactive. When
talks stalled, the dockworkers struck. In resolving the strike, the port
agreed to raise wages 21 percent and reduced the number of people on gangs
working ships by two. The offer is valid to the end of the month.

Goteborg to upgrade container terminal

The Port of Goteborg, Sweden, is planning to spend about U.S.$30 million
to upgrade the container terminal to serve larger ships.

Columbia Street Grain Terminal in Brooklyn sold

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has sold the Columbia
Street Grain Terminal in Brooklyn for U.S.$3.5 million to Gowanus Industrial
Park Inc. Built in 1922 by New York State, it was transferred to the authority
in May 1944 and last operated in 1965. The terminal consists of 17.4 hectares/43.4
acres in Red Hook, 12.3 hectares/30.7 acres of which are underwater. The
property was declared surplus in November and will now reopen.

Crowley Marine Services closing operations in Puerto Rico

On 1 March, Crowley Marine Services Inc. closed its ship assist, contract
towing and oil transport operations in Puerto Rico as it was not economically
viable. Operations at Pier 10 in Puerta de Tierra in San Juan were ended
and the facility returned to the port. Some 200 personnel were affected.

Asian Terminals buys stake in Aries Stevedoring Services

Asian Terminals Inc. said 12 March it will buy 60 percent of Aries Stevedoring
Services, which operates the Port of Batangas in the Philippines under
a concession lasting until 2002. The deal to acquire 60 percent of authorized
capital stock will be through a direct equity placement. The Philippine
Ports Authority must approve the transaction.

Vancouver to require ballast discharge at sea

In an attempt to combat the migration of foreign organisms in ballast
water, the Port of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, will soon require
the ships discharge their ballast at sea.

Cagliari to open in July

The Cagliari Container Terminal on Corsica will open in July. It will
be operated by Mediterranean International Terminal Hub, a venture between
SECH with 65 percent, Porto Terminal Mediterraneo with 25 percent and a
local dockworkers cooperative the rest. The terminal was to have opened
last summer but two cranes from Italimpiarti were delayed.

Rebels threaten Chittagong

A letter claiming to be from the North-Eastern Liberation Tigers was
received 5 March at the Port of Chittagong, Bangladesh, threatening to
destroy the port. The Indian separatist group said the port would be "blown
up" if Bangladesh cooperated with India in persuing the group.

Two tractor tugs to be bought for Prince William Sound

North Slope oil companies said 12 March they will buy two tractor tugs
for escorting tankers in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

Three new piers open at U.S. Navy facility in Sasebo

Three small craft landing piers entered service 27 Feb. at the U.S.
Navy facility in Sasebo, Japan. Sponsored by Japan, the piers provide berthing
for craft from the U.S. Navy's Tarawa-class Amphibious Assault Ship U.S.S.
Belleau Wood (LHA 3) and the Austin-class Dock Amphibious Transport U.S.S.
Dubuque (LPD 8). One specially designed pier will provide power, sewage,
telephone and water service, while the other two are marina-style designs.
They are constructed of floating, pre-stressed concrete on anchor piles.
Floating cranes can remove small craft at the piers and place them on an
adjacent concrete area for work. A breakwater surrounds the piers.


Financing secured to reopen Fore River Shipyard

Massachusetts Heavy Industries held a ground breaking ceremony 10 March
to mark the financing of its purchase of the Fore River Shipyard at Quincy,
Mass., by Fleet Bank. The U.S.$10 million loans will allow the yard to
be bought from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. The loans will
also enable some initial renovation.

Westamarin for sale

Westamarin A/S, the Norwegian fast ferry builder, has been placed up
for sale by R. Sommerness, a law firm that has been appointed the yard's
administrator. It is expected to be sold for 80 million Norwegian kroner/U.S.$12
million. The shipyard declared bankruptcy last year after severe cost overruns.

Unions agree to new contract at Astilleros Espanoles

Members of the larger unions of Astilleros Espanoles S.A. ratified a
new collective agreement 13 March which will allow the Spanish government
to give the shipyard group 90 billion Spanish pesetas/U.S.$690 million
in aid with European Union approval. Wage increases for 1997 and 1998 will
be related to the financial performance of the yards, and the contract
is aimed at increasing efficiency and profitability. It is hoped to have
all nine yards turning a profit by 1999. Workday flexibility will be implemented,
job categories reduced and ineffiencies cut.

Two ship suppliers merge

Legend Marine, a ship supplier based in Singapore, has merged with Nautilus
Australia after the later bought it for Australian$500,000/U.S.$400,000
last week. Nautilus Australia will offer A$1.891 million/U.S.$1.496 million
in stock options to the employees of Legend Marine.

Gdansk Shipyard workers block roads in the city

About 2,000 employees of Gdansk Shipyard blocked roads in Gdansk, Poland,
on 12 March. Tires and paint barrels were set on fire and traffic stretched
out of the city center for a considerable distance. The group was protesting
a decision last week to dismiss the remaining 3,800 workers and cease operations.
The protests continued 13 and 14 March, with workers blocking railroad
tracks on 13 March and delaying 30 trains.

V.S.E.L. wins British order for oilers, Kvaerner Govan to cut personnel

The United Kingdom ordered two fleet oilers for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary
on 12 March from Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd. The order is
worth more than 200 million British pounds/U.S.$320 million for the shipyard
and subcontractors. The ships will be double-hulled and have a helicopter
deck and hangar. Construction will be mostly to commercial standards. To
be named R.F.A. Wave Knight and R.F.A. Wave Ruler, the ships will displace
27,000 tons with a speed of 18 knots a range of 13,000 kilometers/8,000
miles. With a crew of 80 R.F.A. personnel and 22 Royal Navy personnel,
the ships will replace the last two Olwen-class Fleet Oilers, the R.F.A.
Olwen (A 122) and the R.F.A. Olna (A 123). V.S.E.L. said the work will
employ 900 people. The other bidder to build the ships was a consortium
that included Kvaerner Govan Ltd. On 13 March, Kvaerner Govan announced
it would cut at least 500 employees.

Falkvarv buys a new floating dock

Falkvarv A.B. has bought a floating dock from Schichau Seebeckwerft
A.G. The dock, 155 meters/510 feet by 24 meters/79 feet, can lift 7,500
tons. It was built in 1965 and modified in 1985. The dock will replace
an existing facility at Falkvarv. This follows a recent deal in which A.P.
Moller bought a 55,000-ton capacity floating dock from Howaldtswerke-Deutsche
Werft. That dock was built in 1976 and is 207 meters/679 feet by 35 meters/110
feet with a 150-ton gantry crane.

Norasia orders 10 containerships

Norasia Lines has ordered 10 1,350-TEU capacity containerships, five
from Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft and five from Jiangnan Shipyard. The
ships, for use on the "north-south" services, will be capable
of 25 knots and will be delivered in 1998 and 1999.

Hitachi Zosen to build V.L.C.C. for Golden Ocean

Hitachi Zosen Corp. announced 13 March it has received an order from
Golden Ocean Group for a double-hulled very large crude carrier. The tanker
will have a capacity of 2.1 million barrels. The ship will be 333 meters/1,093
feet long with a beam of 60 meters/200 feet and a "super stream duct"
at the stern. The ship will be delivered in July 1999.

Oldendorff orders tankers for U.S.$90 million

Reederei Nord Klaus E. Oldendorff has ordered two product tankers from
Halla Engineering and Heavy Industries Ltd. for U.S.$90 million. There
are options for two more.

Two chemical tankers to be built for Storli

Storli A.S.A. has ordered two 37,500-dwt chemical tankers from Kvaerner
Floro for U.S.$71 million each. There are options for two additional ships.

Stolt Parcel Tankers takes two options

Stolt Parcel Tankers Inc. has exercised two options for 22,460-dwt chemical
tankers to be built by Juliana Shipyard, part of the Astilleros Espanoles
S.A. group. Stolt Parcel Tankers replaced the two options with two more
options. The six ships now on order will be delivered in 1999 and 2000.

French fast ferry venture gets first order

Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Leroux et Lotz Naval have received their
first joint order from Rederi Gotland. They will build a 112-meter/367-foot
fast ferry to carry 150 vehicles and 700 passengers at 35 knots between
Sweden and Gotland Island. It will be in service by January 1999.

Hvide Marine orders prototype vessel and another docking tug from Halter

Hvide Marine Inc. has ordered a 62.5-meter/205-foot "deepwater
platform supply vessel" and a third Ship Docking Module from Halter
Marine Inc. The total cost is estimated at U.S.$11 million. The supply
vessel, a prototype, will cost U.S.$8 million and will be delivered by
the end of the year. It will work for Hvide Marine's Seabulk Offshore Ltd.
unit in Lafayette, La., for service in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the first
newbuilding for Seabulk Offshore and will have dynamic positioning and
independent high-lift rudders. The Ship Docking Module is a double-ended
vessel assist tug for harbor work. Two will be based at Mobile, Ala., with
Mobile Bay Towing. The third will be used at Port Everglades, Fla.

Aker Maritime unit to build platform for Hitachi, in license agreement

Aker Maritime A.S.A.'s Maritime Hydraulics subsidiary will build a drilling
rig to Hitachi Zosen Corp. for 250 million Norwegian kroner/U.S.$36.8 million.
In addition, Aker Maritime has licensed its RamRig platforms to Hitachi
for sales in Japan and South Korea.

First XP 300 catamarans delivered

The first XP 300 series catamarans designed by INCAT Australia have
been delivered to Water Transportation Alternatives by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding.

U.S.N.S. Bob Hope to be christened

The U.S. Military Sealift Command's lead ship of the U.S.N.S. Bob Hope
(T-AKR 300)-class Large Medium-Speed Ro-Ro Sealift Ship will be christened
1000 15 March at Avondale Industries Inc. in New Orleans. The ship was
authorized fiscal year 1992 and ordered 2 Sept., 1993, for U.S.$265 million.
It was laid down 29 May, 1995. The ship will carry U.S. Army equipment
for use in the Far East and Middle East as part of the Brigade Afloat Force
starting in 1998. U.S. Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton will be the
principal speaker and Dolores Hope is the ship's sponsor.

Permata Navigation takes tanker

Permata Navigation Sdn. Bhd. took delivery 11 March of a 46,000-dwt
chemical/product tanker from Dalian Shipyard. The 182.85-meter/599.90-foot
ship has 20 cargo tanks.

Ailsa-Troon gets Royal Navy work

Ailsa-Troon has won a 1.5 million British pound/U.S.$2.41 million contract
to fit out to new high-speed coastal training vessels for the Royal Navy.

U.S. Navy's Seawolf on third sea trials

The U.S. Navy's lead ship of the Seawolf (SSN 21)-class Nuclear-Powered
Attack Submarine left General Dynamics Corp.'s Marine Division/Electric
Boat on 12 March for its third sea trials. Over nine days, the submarine's
combat and navigation systems will be tested along with its handling, fire
control and sonar systems. If the sea trials are successful, the Seawolf
will be presented to the Board of Inspection and Survey in April for acceptance.

Second to last Bremer Vulkan ship moved from building dock

The Galaxy, a 2,758-TEU capacity containership for Hansa Treuhand Schiffsbeteiligungs
A.G., was floated of its building dock at Vagesack, Germany, on 10 March.
It is the second to last ship being built by bankrupt Bremer Vulkan Verbund
A.G. The Galaxy will be delivered 31 May with the final ship, sister Century,
delivering on 15 Aug.

Rickmers takes delivery of new containership

Reederei Bernhard Rickmers has taken delivery of the 15th containership
built for it by Stocznia Szczecinska S.A. The Denderah Rickmers of 1,730-TEU
capacity is the yard's type 170/III/6 and has three cranes. It has been
chartered by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. for service from Asia Pacific to
the east coast of South America, with an outbound call in South Africa.
The ship left the yard 4 March and was christened at Helgoland Island,
Germany, on 6 March.

Primus launched for German owner

Gdynia Shipyard launched the Primus (30,400-dwt, 2,000-TEU capacity
containership) for an owner in Hamburg, Germany, on 3 March. It will be
operated by Projex Schiffahrts.

Stolt Comex Seaway gets two contracts

Stolt Comex Seaway A/S will install a mooring system for the Varg oil
production and storage vessel in Norway for U.S.$7 million under a contract
signed with Sega Petroleum A.S.A. In the Arabian Gulf, Stolt Comex Seaway
will install flexible flowlines and umbilicals on platforms in the Berri,
Marjan and Zuluf fields for Saudi Aramco. -- Steve Schultz - Whitefish
Bay, Wis., U.S.A. - sschultz@execpc.com

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


One killed in fishing confrontation off Georgia

Vessels of the Russian Border Guard Forces located nine Turkish-registry
fishing vessels on 12 March off Batumi, Georgia. When they ignored orders
to cease operations, the vessels were fired on and one person was killed.
The Turkish-registry vessels were escorted to Batumi and criminal proceedings
were begun against them.

Nigerian group seizes oil barge

A group of Nigerian citizens seized an oil barge 13 March of Societe
Entrepose GTM pour les Travaux Petroliers Maritimes (ETPM) near a Chevron
terminal in the Warri region of Nigeria. The barge has 90 people aboard,
including mostly Nigerian citizens with 16 French, three British and one
U.S. citizen. ETPM employs 500 Nigerian citizens from the Igbudu ethnic
group, and another group, to protest this, seized the barge.

Albanian naval vessels sailing to Italy

With the worsening situation in the country, vessels of the Albanian
People's Navy have been sailing to Italy and seeking political asylum.
Three vessels arrived 14 March at Brindisi joining two others, and three
are in Bari along with a larger vessel carrying 200 migrants.

Illinois, Ohio rivers still flooded

Shipping on the Illinois and Ohio rivers remains congested, as most
of the system remains shut down. Midland Enterprises Inc. has 1,000 barges
idle. Last week, American Commercial Barge Line Co. had 421 barges stuck
on the Illinois and 342 on the Ohio. The Ohio River is closed to navigation
from the Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dams at Gallipolis, Ohio, to Evansville,
Ind., and from the McAlpine Lock and Dam in Louisville, Ky., to Newburgh
Lock in Owensboro, Ky. There are other restrictions in place from Cincinnati
to Louisville, Ky.

Pirates steal navigation gear from ship off Malaysia

Pirates boarded the Waintai I (Singaporean-registry) off eastern Malaysia
on 10 March and stole its navigation equipment. Malaysian security forces
reported that the ship was sailing south about 60 kilometers/37 miles off
Kuantan at night when another vessel sailed alongside. The pirates left
only a mobile telephone and a compass. No one was injured.

Taiwan subpoenas Maersk Dubai crewmembers

Taiwan issued subpoenas 10 March for six crewmembers of the Maersk Dubai
(Taiwanese-registry 29,872-gt, 31,160-dwt, 2,138-TEU containership built
in 1983, owned and operated by Yangming Marine Transport Corp.). They have
been told to appear at the office of Chief Prosecutor Richard Su in Kaohsiung
District Court on 28 March. On 6 March, Justice Michael MacDonald in Halifax,
Nova Scotia, Canada, ruled that the six cannot be tried in Canada or Romania
for alledgedly killing three Romanian stowaways at sea. The ship arrived
in Halifax on 24 May. Eight Filipino crewmembers deserted, alledging that
the master and officers subdued a Romanian stowaway on deck during the
voyage. The crew said he was never seen again, inferring that he was forced
overboard. They also said that on 12 March, 1996, the crew was forced to
put two other Romanian stowaways on a raft made of oil drums 48 kilometers/30
miles off Spain. The crew said they had protected another Romanian stowaway,
and he was later brought ashore. After an assault on the ship by the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police to take the crew into custody, legal proceedings
began to determine what country would try the master, first mate, second
mate, chief engineer, chief cook and radio officer. MacDonald said there
was enough evidence to charge the master and four crew with second-degree
homicide, and to charge the master and three officers with two counts of

Denmark asked to move shipping lanes

The builders of a bridge between Denmark and Sweden across the Oresund
have asked Denmark to move shipping lanes in the area after two collisions
this year. In addition, there were 52 incidents last year.

Rhine reopens

The Rhiner River has reopened, with the last section around Cologne,
Germany, open 28 Feb. and an area around Coblenz on 1 March. Operations
are one-way due to a wreck that occurred 26 Feb.

Russia releases Polish-registry fishing vessel

Poland said 11 March that Russia has released the Aquarius (Polish-registry
fishing vessel) which was arrested last month in the Sea of Okhotsk by
the Russian Environment Protection Ministry. Russia said the vessel did
not have a fishing permit, but the crew said the permit it had was temporary.
Russia is now demanding U.S.$200,000 to cover the cost of the vessel's

U.S. Navy vessel gives first aid to injured fishing vessel crewmember

On 1 March, the fishing vessel O'Neal's Pride radioed that a crewmember
had crushed his wrist in an accident off Cape May, N.J. The U.S. Navy's
Tarawa-class Amphibious Assault Ship U.S.S. Saipan (LHA 2) responded and
provided first aid. A U.S. Coast Guard HH-65A Dolphin helicopter from Coast
Guard Air Station Cape May landed aboard the U.S.S. Saipan and took the
crewmember to Burdette Tomlin Memorial Hospital in Cape May in stable condition.

U.S. attorney investigating passenger ship for oil dumping

The U.S. Attorney in Alaska has begun investigating whether the Rotterdam
(7,678-dwt passenger ship built in 1959, operated by Holland American Westours
Inc.) dumped bilge water contaminated with oil into Alaskan waters during
the summer and fall of 1994. Reportedly, a seaparator failed and allegations
have been made suggesting the untreated bilge water was dumped overboard.

Rotterdam customs personnel find cocaine in container for Belgium

Customs services in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, recently found 532 kilograms/1,170
pounds of cocaine in a container that arrived from Venezuela for Belgium.
Seven people were arrested after the container was delivered.

Missing fishing vessel found southwest of Oahu Island

The Havana (24-meter/78-foot wooden fishing vessel) has been located.
On 28 Feb., the wife of the vessel's master notified the U.S. National
Marine Fisheries Service that the Havana was missing. She had attempted
to contact the vessel by radio since 24 Feb. Two U.S. Coast Guard HC-130H
Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, found
the vessel 240 kilometers/150 miles southwest of Oahu Island. It was not
in distress. The Havana, with a crew of five, left Honolulu on 20 Feb.

Prison ship arrives in England

After a three-week voyage from New York aboard the Giant 4 (Dutch-registry
24,000-dwt dry cargo barge built in 1978, owned and operated by Smit Transport
B.V.), the "Floating Detention Facility" H.M.P. Weare docked
at a temporary berth in Dorset at Portland, England, on 13 March.

More on drug find in Miami

The 900 kilograms/2,000 pounds of cocaine found in a container of toilets
in Miami on 3 March was aboard the FLS Columbia (5,250-dwt dry cargo vessel
built in 1994, operated by Frontier Line or Thien and Heyenga G.m.b.H.).


Tugs, barges and supply vessels

Manke Tugboat Co. has sold the 1,600 brake horsepower single propeller
tug Pachena to Inside Passage Marine. The 34.1-meter/112-foot long by 7.6-meter/25-foot
tug was built by Jakobson Shipyard Inc. in 1941. It will be used in southeast
Alaska. The Pachena, formerly the Andrew Foss, has a single E.M.D. 16-645C
engine. Marcon International Inc. was the broker. Crowley Marine Services
Inc. has sold the self-propelled inland tank barge Cinnabar (885-barrel
capacity, 29 meters/94 feet by 6.7 meters/22 feet by one meter/four feet,
built in 1954 with one GM8V-71 engine), the inland towboat Tanana Chief
(20 meters/64 feet by 8.8 meters/29 feet, built in 1966 with four GM6-71
engines of 660 horsepower) and the landing craft Agloo (22 meters/73 feet
by 6.4 meters/21 feet, built in 1954 with two GM12V-71 engines of 680 horsepower)
to Canadian interests. Marcon International Inc. acted as the broker. Crowley
has also sold the inland bunker barge Barge 2 (11,117-barrel capacity,
66.4 meters/218 feet by 11 meters/35 feet by 3.4 meters/11 feet, built
in 1947) to Bunkers Santo Domingo, which took delivery in San Juan, Puerto
Rico. It will be used in the Dominican Republic. West Marine Tug and Barge
Ltd. has bought the sister tugs Titan and Trojan from Crowley. The single-propeller
tugs are 20 meters/65 feet long and have a 5.21-meter/17.1-foot beam. Each
has 660 brake horsepower by four GM6-71 engines. They will be registered
in Canada and used on the Canadian west coast. Crowley has sold the George
S., a 1,600 horsepower single-propeller tug, to Salmon Bay Barge Lines.
It was built by Calumet Shipyard and Drydock for the U.S. Army in 1943
and was repowered by CMS with an E.M.D. 16-567BC diesel engine in 1972.
Finally, Marex S.A. has bought the tug Sea Hawk of 2,150 brake horsepower
from Crowley. The 30-meter/98-foot tug was built in 1945 for the U.S. Navy
and repowered in the 1970s, at which time the pilothouse and accomodations
were upgraded. The tug was delivered in San Francisco for repairs before
sailing to Central America. McKeil Marine Ltd. has bought the ocean deck
barge RSB-2 from Danish interests for use on the Canadian east coast. The
10,000-dwt barge is 91.4 meters/300 feet long, has a 27-meter/90-foot beam
and a draft of 6.1 meters/20 feet. It was built in 1976 and has BV Class.
Marcon International Inc. was the broker. Jore Group has bought the Strong/American
(U.S.-registry artubar-stle integrated tug and ro/ro barge) from Kadampanattu
Corp. It was built for Coordinated Caribbean Transport Inc. The 45.7-meter/150-foot
tug was built with 6,840 brake horsepower in 1978 by Marinette Marine Corp.
The barge, 173 meters/568 feet long with a beam of 26 meters/85 feet, was
built by Seatrain Shipbuilding Corp. in 1982. The unit has been laid-up
in Norfolk, Va., and has not been operated since being chartered by the
U.S. Military Sealift Command for the Persian Gulf War. The tug, which
partially flooded in lay-up, will be repaired and the barge converted.
Jore Group was represented by Marcon International Inc. and Kadampanattu
by Jacques Pierot, Jr. Inc. L&M Botruc Boat Rentals has bought, from
the Jore Group, two sea-going tug/supply vessels - the C Truc #4 of 3,900
brake horsepower, formerly the Alaskan Victory and the Acadian Victory,
and the C Truc #5, formerly the Hawaiian Victory and the Acadian Patriot.
Formerly oilfield boats and built in 1974 and 1975, they are 53.6 meters/176
feet long, have a 12-meter/38-foot beam and a draft of 4.11 meters/13.5
feet. Acadian Marine sold them in the mid-1980s and have since been in
service between Alaska, Hawaii and Seattle with container barges. The Alaskan
Victory received two E.M.D 16-645E2 diesel engines in 1988 replacing Polar
Nohabs. After lengthening and repowering the Hawaiian Victory and adding
bulk and liquid mud capability to the Alaskan Victory, they will be used
in the Gulf of Mexico. The tugs will tow a 79.2-meter/260-foot by 15-meter/48-foot
barge from Tacoma, Wash., to the Panama Canal before sailing to the Gulf.
Marcon International Inc. was the broker.


The Marine Floridian (U.S.-registry 25,640-dwt tanker built in 1944,
owned by Marine Transport Lines and operated by MTL Ship Management) has
been sold for scrap for U.S.$1.7 million. The ship was built to carry gasoline
but converted in 1968 to carry molten sulphur.


Wreck of missing bulk carrier found, 25 missing

On 5 March, the Albion Two (Cypriot-registry 16,278-gt, 27,408-dwt bulk
carrier built in 1975, operated by P.A. Lemos) was reported overdue at
Kingston, Jamaica, with steel from Gdynia, Poland. The ship's last known
location was off Ushant Island, France. On 8 March, the Peter Marlene (Danish-registry
fishing vessel) returned to its homeport in Denmark and after learning
that information had been requested from vessels in the area at the time
the Albion Two was last seen, reported it had located an unknown object
on 18 Feb. by sonar in 130 meters/430 feet of water about 56 kilometers/35
miles south-southwest of Ushant Island. The object was six meters/20 feet
high, located at 48 degrees 18.8 minutes north, 06 degrees 08.7 minutes
west. On 13 March, a French Navy minehunter, using a PAP-104 remote-controlled
vehicle equipped with a television camera, identified the object as the
Albion Two after reading the ship's name and homeport off the stern. The
ship had a crew of 25. It is believed that the ship sank in a storm that
moved through the area on 17 and 18 Feb.

Disarfell sinks southeast of Iceland killing two

The Disarfell (Antigua and Barbuda-registry 5,967-gt, 8,020-dwt, 516-TEU
capacity dry cargo vessel built in 1982, owned and operated by Samskip
HF) sank at 0800 9 March about 185 kilometers/115 miles southeast of Hornafjordur,
Iceland. The ship, with a crew of 12, lost 15 containers overboard in a
storm at 0330 sailing from Iceland to Torshavn, the Faroe Islands. The
ship took on water and developed a 20 to 30 degree list. Later, four more
containers were lost and the ship developed a 90 degree list. At 0700,
the Icelandic Coast Guard's Super Puma helicopter rescued 10 of the crew,
who were wearing survival suits. During the rescue, the ship was reported
capsized and later sank. Attempts to launch a lifeboat were not successful
and two crewmembers were killed. The helicopter found one body and a trawler
found the other. The ship was insured with the Skuld P. & I. Club.

Two missing after collision off Texas

The Jill G (34-meter/110-foot offshore supply vessel) collided with
the Martin Joseph (15-meter/50-foot fishing vessel) near Galveston, Texas,
on 28 Feb. The Martin Joseph was under tow, in heavy fog, by the fishing
vessel Richard II. Two crewmembers from the Martin Joseph were lost overboard
and are missing. Four others aboard were rescued.

Pilot killed in sinking near St. Louis

The fishing vessel Mary Burke sank 1 March in mid-channel at mile marker
176 of the Mississippi River, near St. Louis. The vessel, with 15,000 liters/4,000
gallons of diesel fuel, was doing light tow work. A pilot, the only person
aboard, was killed.

Two rescued from sinking yacht off Australia in a cyclone

Robin Ansell, 50, and his wife Margaret, 49, were rescued from a dinghy
9 March off northeatern Australia in 10-meter/30-foot seas. Their 15-meter/50-foot
yacht Orca began taking on water about 280 kilometers/174 miles northeast
of Townsville, Queensland, that afternoon. The two, both Canadian citizens,
attempted to ride out Cyclone Justin near Malay Reef aboard the Cayman
Islands-registered yacht, sailing from Airlie Beach in the Whitsunday Islands
of Queensland to the Solomon Islands. A helicopter from the Queensland
Emergency Services winched them aboard 100 kilometers/62 miles from the
cyclone's center. An aircraft from the Royal Flying Doctor Service accompanied
the helicopter.

Icelandic Coast Guard rescues fishing vessel crew

The Icelandic Coast Guard's Super Puma helicopter rescued 10 crewmembers
at 1600 10 March from the Thorsteinn (Icelandic-registry 171-gt trawler
built in 1963), which was adrift near Krisuvikurbjarg, Iceland. Shortly
after the crew was rescued, the vessel ran aground at 63 degrees 49 minutes
north, 22 degrees 12 minutes west, and is a total loss. Fishing nets fouled
the vessel's propeller, leaving it adrift.

Supply vessel and Russian-registry ship collide on the Mississippi

The Alex (U.S.-registry offshore supply vessel) collided with the Professor
Vladimir Popov (Russian-registry) on the lower Mississippi River at Pilottown,
La., at 0010 12 March. Conditions in the area included fog. The three people
aboard the Alex suffered minor injuries, while the vessel has severe damage
and sailed 16 kilometers/10 miles to Venice. The Professor Vladimir Popov
sustained minor damage and is anchored at Pilottown.

Ferry collision at Ramsgate

Two ferries operated by Holyman Sally Ferries collided at Ramsgate,
England, on 9 March in dense fog. One child passenger was slightly injured.

Vessels collide an entrance to Southampton

The Red Falcon (British-registry 2,881-gt, 680-dwt ro/ro ferry built
in 1994, operated by Red Funnel Group) collided with the Volvox Hansa (Dutch-registry
6,814-gt, 11,985-dwt hopper dredge built in 1970, operated by Van Oord
ACZ B.V.) near the Hook Buoy at the entrance to Southampton, England, on
9 March. The Red Falcon was inbound to Southampton. Both suffered minor

Loaded oil tanker runs aground in Venezuela

The Olympic Sponsor (Greek-registry 96,547-dwt tanker built in 1994,
owned and operated by Olympic Shipping and Management S.A.) ran aground
at 1800 11 March in the channel of Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, between buoys
20 and 22. The ship was carrying 476,940 barrels of medium crude oil for
Lagoven S.A. and none was spilled. It was sailing from Las Salinas for
Veba Oel in Germany.

Fog at Flushing roads causes a collision and a grounding

On 10 March, the inland vessel Honte collided with the anchored Athenais
P. (Greek-registry) in heavy fog at Flushing Roads, the Netherlands. The
latter vessel's rudder was damaged. The Bow Lady (Norwegian-registry 32,227-dwt
tanker built in 1978, operated by Storli A.S.A.) ran aground in the Scheldt
River in the Netherlands 10 March. The ship, assisted by tugs, was refloated
two hours later.

Inland vessels collide in Germany

On 23 Feb., the Stranger (Dutch-registry) collided with the Panda (German-registry)
on the Donau and Main rivers in Germany. The inland vessels collided after
their master's misunderstood each other due to language problems. The master
of the Panda spoke only Russian.

Fishing vessel grounds at Cape Paramanof, Alaska

The fishing vessel Jenny D ran aground 1 March 1.6 kilometers/one mile
south of Cape Paramanof, Alaska. The two people aboard abandoned the vessel
into a skiff intending to try to reach Manila Bay with a white strobe light
and an emgergency position indicating radio beacon. The U.S. Coast Guard
"Island"-class Patrol Boat U.S.C.G.C. Roanoke Island (WPB 1346)
rescued the two and took them to Homer Airport.

Haci Hilmi II aground

The Haci Hilmi II (Turkish-registry 3,929-gt, 6,443-dwt general cargo
vessel built in 1992, operated by Birlik Denizcilik Islet) ran aground
11 March approaching the inland channel at Porto Nogaro. The ship was carrying
6,000 tons of slabs from Novorossiysk, Russia.

Bulk carrier towed to port after engine trouble

The Kopalnia Piaseczno (Polish-registry 8,721-gt, 13,665-dwt bulk carrier
built in 1971, operated by Polsteam Shortramp Ltd.) had engine problems
11 March and drifted at 64 degrees 39 minutes north, 07 degrees 33 minutes
east, off Norway. The Boa Chief (Norwegian-registry salvage tug) took the
ship in tow for Trondheim, Norway.

Engine aboard the Calma damaged

The Calma (Sri Lankan-registry 398-gt general cargo vessel) had engine
damage 7 March at 34 degrees 56 minutes north, 26 degrees 06 minutes east,
in the Mediterranean Sea south of Crete, Greece. The ship was sailing from
Damietta, Egypt, to Piraeus, Greece, and diverted to Ierapetra, Crete.

Independent inquiry into the sinking of the Estonia rejected

A court in Nanterre, France, on 10 March denied a request for an independent
investigation into the sinking of the Estonia. Judge Xavier Raguin ruled
that an official commission of Estonia, Finland and Sweden must first complete
its work, scheduled for May. Several hundred relatives requested an investigation
of the vessel's sinking on 28 Sept., 1994, off Finland, killing 852 people.
Only 137 were rescued from the vessel, which was sailing from Tallinn,
Estonia, to Stockholm, Sweden. The hearing was held in Nanterre as the
Estonia's classification society, Bureau Veritas, is in La Defense.

Thousands of sea lions killed as result of oil spill

At least 3,000 sea lions at a Uruguayan nature reserve have been killed
since 8 Feb., when 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 37 kilometers/23 miles south-southwest of
Punta del Este near Lobos Island. The ship carried 58,000 cubic meters/2.03
million cubic feet or 370,000 barrels, and was sailing from Comodoro Rivadavia,
Argentina, to Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.'s facility in 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. 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. Many female sea lions have
become unable to feed their offspring after being covered with oil.

N.T.S.B. issues report on the grounding of the Royal Majesty

Royal Majesty (Panamanian-registry 32,000-gt, 2,700-dwt, 173-meter/568
foot, 1,056 passenger capacity ship built in 1992) ran aground at 2230
10 June, 1995, on the sand Rose and Crown Shoal 16 kilometers/10 miles
east of Nantucket Island, Mass., because the crew was inattentive and relied
too heavily on a computerized display, according to a U.S. National Transportation
Safety Board report issued 12 March. The ship ran aground while sailing
from St. George's, Bermuda, to Boston with 1,509 people aboard. She was
27 kilometers/17 miles outside shipping lanes and with 6.1-meter/20-foot
draft, the bow ran aground in 3.4 meters/11 feet of water. Five tugboats
refloated the ship at high tide with damage limited to stress cracks in
the hull and fuel tank. Including lost revenue, the incident cost U.S.$7
million. The N.T.S.B. report said the crewmembers were not adequately trained
in the use of the automated capabilities of the ship's integrated bridge
system, including an STN ATLAS Elektronik G.m.b.H. Navigation Command System
(NACOS 25) with two input ports for a Raytheon G.P.S. receiver and a Raytheon
Loran C receiver. Crewmembers training was limited to on-the-job knowledge
from each other, with no performance or training standards, no inspections
and no certifications. An hour out of Bermuda, an antenna cable connection
on a G.P.S. receiver was severed. The system defaulted to dead reckoning
when the cable was disrupted, and did not account for wind or sea changes.
The automated display therefore showed the ship on course. The ship failed
to acknowledge alarms, visual warnings, aids to navigation including channel
buoys and lights and differences in water color. Norwegian Cruise Line
recently announced plans to buy the Royal Majesty from Kvaerner A.S.A.
for U.S.$190 million.


Chinese naval vessels call at Pearl Harbor, San Diego and Thailand

Three Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy vessels called at U.S. Naval
Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, from 9 March to 12 March. After exchanges
with U.S. personnel and visits to each others ships, the lead ship of the
Harbin (112)-class (Luhu-class) Destroyer, the lead ship of the Zhuhai
(166)-class (Luda II-class) Destroyer and the Replenishment Oiler Nanchang
(953) (likely one of the Fuqing-class) sailed to San Diego for a visit
from 21 March to 25 March. The last visit by a Chinese naval vessel to
a U.S. port was in 1989, when the Naval Cadet Training Ship Zheng He (81)
(Dakin-class) was at Naval Station Pearl Harbor. Another Chinese naval
group, consisting of a destroyer and a frigate, arrived for a four-day
visit at Sattahip, Thailand, on 9 March. While Chinese vessels have been
in Thailand before, it is the first time they have called at a Thai port.

America's Cup severely damaged in New Zealand

The America's Cup, the oldest trophy in international sports, was severely
damaged (some reports say destroyed) on 14 March by a 27-year-old man with
a sledgehammer. The man, whom witnesses said was "in a frenzy"
and chanting in Maori, smashed through a clear case around the cup at the
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland and began to hit it with the
sledgehammer. He is expected to be charged with criminal damage and willful
damage, conviction of which has a maximum penalty of two years in prison.
After the incident, several organizations were sent statements by facsimile.
The documents claimed the man acted on behalf of a Maori separatist group
in protest of "illegal occupation of New Zealand."

Late 18th century vessel found buried at Portsmouth, Va.

While excavating an area in Portsmouth, Va., for a new U.S.$3.5 million
ferry slip, Tidewater Construction Co. found the hull of a late 18th century
wooden sailing vessel on 28 Feb. The hull at the High Street Ferry Basin
is in two large sections 30 meters/100 feet long, about 6.1 meters/20 feet
to 7.6 meters/25 feet below ground level. The Virginia Department of Historic
Resources has been brought in to study the ship. Found with the hull was
an 18th century bottle and mid-18th century lead-glazed earthenware. The
wood is mostly pine and other softwoods, so the ship may have been built
in the southern United States. Its relatively excellent condition suggests
it was scuttled, perhaps during the U.S. Revolutionary War.