- Transport on Line - hiltunen.htm


Neptune Orient buying American President Lines for U.S.$825 million

In a deal announced 13 April, Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. will purchase
APL Ltd., or American President Lines, for U.S.$825 million. APL will become
a wholly-owned subsidiary of N.O.L., with the latter acquiring all 24.6
million outstanding shares at U.S.$33.50 each, which is taxable. Neptune
Orient Line will finance the deal from cash flow and existing credit lines
from 12 or 13 commercial banks. With combined revenues of more than U.S.$4
billion, the two firms hope to have cost savings of at least U.S.$130 million
annually. The combined line will have 113 vessels and a 10 percent share
of trans-Pacific container cargo. N.O.L. has 36 containerships of 83,700-TEU
capacity, 30 tankers of 2,069,616-dwt and seven bulk carriers of 387,338-dwt.
In addition, on order are 10 containerships for another 33,324 TEUs, two
tankers totaling 214,000-dwt and two bulk carriers of 145,400-dwt. APL
has 40 containerships of 84,200 TEUs. APL will keep its name as a brand
and main its operations headquartered in Oakland, Calif., with existing
management. N.O.L. has 4,800 employes and APL has 4,000. Ships currently
registered in the United States will remain there to take advantage of
subsidies and to be able to transport U.S. military cargo. The deal requires
the approval of APL shareholders, the U.S. Department of Transportation
and the U.S. Maritime Administration, which will likely take four months.
The Stock Exchange of Singapore has given N.O.L. a waiver from shareholder
approval, as the deal is seen as part of the firm's core business strategy.
Restructuring the businesses will take 18 to 24 months. It is hoped to
complete the deal by the fall. J.P. Morgan and Co. Inc. represented American
President Lines while Neptune Orient Lines worked with Goldman, Sachs and
Co. It has also been learned this week that Hapag-Lloyd A.G. had been offered
APL at a price of U.S.$600 million to U.S.$900 million. While Hapag-Lloyd
is the only line to have officially acknowledged it, others, including
Evergreen Marine Corp., Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd. and P&O
Nedlloyd Container Line Ltd., also reportedly had investigated a deal with
APL. Related to N.O.L. acquiring APL, the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on 15 April accused two people of insider trading after suspicious
options volume on the Pacific Stock Exchange in San Francisco. Ong Conggin
Bobby, a Singaporean trader who is managing director Ong Toh Developments
Pte. Ltd., and a person in Zurich, Switzerland, bought options 11 April
in APL. The 1,690 options were 74 percent of the trading volume that day.
The S.E.C. has obtained a temporary restraining order to freeze the assets
of both persons. Ong reportedly had already ordered the sale of some options
to secure a profit of almost U.S.$574,000. The person in Zurich, if the
options would have been cashed, would have received U.S.$400,000. A preliminary
hearing will be held 25 April.

Tyco International to buy AT&T's cable ships

In a deal disclosed 11 April, Tyco International Ltd. will buy AT&T
Submarine Systems Inc. from AT&T Corp. for U.S.$850 million. Tyco International's
Simplex Technologies manufactures underwater fiber optic cable. AT&T
Submarine Systems has seven cable-laying ships, five of them with U.S.-registry
employing more than 1,000 people and two registered elsewhere.

New Greek cruise operator to start

Attika Shipping Co. and Dolphin Hellas Shipping S.A. have formed a joint
venture to operate cruise ships in the Aegean Sea. Golden Sun Cruises will
be formed from the merger of the two companies. Operations will start in
the first half of 1998, with three, four and seven-day cruises from Piraeus,
Greece. The two lines will retain an identity in the merged firm.

Ropner Shipping Services sells DAC

Ropner Shipping Services Ltd. has sold engineering subsidiary DAC to
U.S. interests for 3.086 million British pounds/U.S.$5 million. The money
will reduce the firm's borrowing.

Canadian Coast Guard bills for salvaging the Irving Whale

The Canadian Coast Guard has billed J.D. Irving Ltd. Canadian$42.2 million/U.S.$30.1
million for the salvage of the Irving Whale, a 7,000-ton tank barge. The
barge was raised from the Gulf of St. Lawrence at 0854 30 July. It sank
in a storm 7 Sept., 1970, in 67 meters/220 feet of water, with 3,100 tons
of bunker C oil and 6,800 liters/1,800 gallons or 7.2 tons of polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs). About 2,000 liters/520 gallons of oil spilled during
salvage. It was planned to restore Irving Whale. The barge was finally
raised due to the concerns of PCBs, and on 10 April, it was announced that
73 percent of the PCBs on board were lost between the sinking and the time
the barge arrived at a shipyard after salvage. As for payment, J.D. Irving
has said it has already paid by contributing to the Canadian Ship-Source
Oil Pollution Fund. However, it was not created until three years after
the Irving Whale sank. In addition, while the C$260 million/U.S.$186 million
was to pay for petroleum spills inside Canadian territorial waters out
to 22 kilometers/14 miles, the fund was expanded in 1977 to 320 kilometers/200
miles. The Irving Whale sank 37 kilometers/23 miles offshore. Under the
Canadian Shipping Act, a tax of C$0.15 per ton on oil was collected for
four years. Irving said last year that its contribution was worth C$41
million/U.S.$29 million.

Greenpeace members acquitted in blockade of Greek refinery

A court in Corinth, Greece, on 11 April acquitted 17 members of Greenpeace
who blockaded the Motor Oil refinery at Agioi Theodoroi, Greece, in November.
The group was protesting a crude oil spill from a tanker at the refinery
in August. Lightning hit an offshore unloading facility, killing one person
and causing a 300-ton spill. Motor Oil was fined 150 million Greek drachmas/U.S.$550,000.
Eight Greek and nine foreign defendants were found not guilty of trespassing
and obstructing the operations of a public service business. The British
master of the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise was found guilty of disobeying
Greek Coast Guard orders. David Enever received a suspended four-month
prison sentence and was freed following an appeal.

U.S. Coast Guard to not adopt provision of O.P.A.

The U.S. Oil Pollution Act regulations on tank levels and pressure monitoring
equipment for single-hull tankers will not be adopted by the U.S. Coast
Guard unless acceptable technology is developed by 28 April, 1999.

Canada to lift restrictions on Newfoundland fishing

Canada announced 17 April it will partially lift a ban on fishing off
Newfoundland, five years after it was imposed. As of 1 May, Canadian and
some French vessels will be allowed to fish large areas just off southern
Newfoundland. Lines and hooks will be allowed in the area, with large trawlers
restricted to southern areas. A quota will be set at 18,000 tons of cod.
The announcement has brought some criticism, as the area was closed to
fishing in 1992 due to depleted cod stocks. The government said it would
reimpose a full ban if the limits are not respected or if the stocks again
become depleted. The opening comes after a fisheries council recommended
in October that limited fishing restart.

DBR to concentrate on tanker shipping

Deutsche Binnenreederei (DBR) is forming an office in Hamburg, Germany,
to control its tanker shipping business. The move to control 20 owned and
20 more operated vessels was made to intensify its liquid shipping activities.

New York law firms merging

Two maritime law firms in New York will merge by the end of the month.
De Orchis and Partners and Walker and Corsa will form De Orchis, Walker
and Corsa. It will have 13 attorneys in the United States and is planning
offices in Connecticut and New Jersey.

Belgium awards pilotage contract in dredging operation to Dutch

Belgium has awarded a pilotage contract for a dredging operation on
the coast to Dutch pilots. Reportedly, Belgian pilots were "too exacting"
in their requirements. The dredging is part of work to install a gas pipeline
between Belgium and the United Kingdom.

Sable project, fishing industry reach agreement

A deal has been reached between the Sable offshore petroleum project
and the Canadian fishing industry for compensation for any damage drilling
might cause. In a seven-point agreement announced 15 April, fisheries observers
would be allowed on the rigs and courts would be avoided in legal disputes
over equipment damage. The agreement was made by Sable Offshore Energy
Project and a liaison committee chaired by Roger Stirling of the Seafood
Producers Association of Nova Scotia.

Hong Kong marks money for accomodations at training center

The government of Hong Kong has said it will spend Hong Kong$10 million/U.S.$1.3
million to build accomodations at the Seamen's Training Center at Tai Lam

Report on Hong Kong crewmembers

The 1996 Manpower Survey Report on the Merchant Navy by the Merchant
Navy Training Board of the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council states
that last year, there were 1,178 officers and 513 from Hong Kong at sea.

Greek-registry ship pays Polish port for spill

The Thelisis (Greek-registry 9,450-gt ro/ro built in 1979, operated
by D.N. Efthymiou) has paid a deposit to the Port of Szczecin, Poland,
after a pollution incident. The master made the payment against costs of
cleaning 300 liters/78 gallons of lubrication oil that was spilled from
the ship when it arrived 15 March. Reportedly, the spill was due to negligence.

BIMCO office in Singapore

The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) has received approval
from the Singaporean Trade Development Board to set up a representative
office there.


China and Taiwan approve firms for cross-strait shipping

Taiwan on 11 April approved weekly or twice-weekly services from China
by one vessel each from Fujian Foreign Trade Center Shipping Co., Fujian
Provincial Shipping Co., Fujian Xiamen Shipping Co. and Xiamen Ocean Shipping
Co. Two of the ships are registered in Panama and two in St. Vincent and
the Grenadines. On 16 April, Taiwan approved service by Fuzhou Mawei Shipping
Co. On 17 April, China approved six lines for service from Taiwan. They
are: Chien Hung Shipping Co., Chinese Maritime Transport Co., Nan Tai Line
Ltd., Uniglory Marine Co., Wan Hai Lines Ltd. and Yangming Marine Transport

Simatech Shipping and Forwarding offering service from Dubai to Iraq

Simatech Shipping and Forwarding has begun a scheduled service to Iraq.
The Perma Glory (3,340-dwt dry cargo ship built in 1977, operated by Euro
Container Shipping P.L.C.) sailed from Port Rashid, United Arab Emirates,
on 12 April with 2,500 tons of Malaysian vegetable oil for Umm Qasr, Iraq.
Simatech Shipping and Forwarding is planning weekly calls from Dubai, United
Arab Emirates, depending on turnaround times at Umm Qasr and inspections
by the United Nations at sea. The firm is paying a 0.25 percent war zone
insurance surcharge. It is the first container service to Iraq since just
after the Iran-Iraq War began in 1981.

Great White Fleet leaving Central American Discussion Agreement

Great White Fleet Ltd. has announced it is leaving the Central American
Discussion Agreement to focus on its customer needs. The firm did not see
the conference as beneficial.

New Mediterranean container service

Turkon Line will start a new container service in the Mediterranean
on 29 April. The Andon (4,963-dwt, 230-TEU containership built in 1994,
operated by Yardimci Shipping Group) will load at the Haydarpasa Terminal
in Istanbul, Turkey, while the Aron (4,855-dwt containership built in 1995,
operated by Yardimci Shipping Group) loads at Genoa, Italy. Calls on the
service include Istanbul; Izmir, Turkey; Genoa; Marseille, France; Barcelona,
Spain; and Piraeus, Greece. The service will be weekly. Yardimci Shipping
Group is chartering the two ships to Turkon Line.

Mitsui O.S.K., P&O Nedlloyd combining Asia to west Africa service

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and P&O Nedlloyd Container Line Ltd. have
announced they will combine their services from Asia to western Africa
on 1 May. Offering a 10-day frequency, calls will be made at: Shanghai,
China; Pusan, South Korea; Keelung, Taiwan; Hong Kong; Singapore; Luanda,
Angola; Apapa, Nigeria; Cotonou, Benin; Lome, Togo; Tema, Ghana; and Abidjan,
Cote d'Ivoire.

Maersk joining Good Hope Express

Maersk Line is joining the Good Hope Express service next month. A group
of four lines at present, it has calls in the Far East, Japan, South Africa
and the east coast of South America. It operates fixed-day, weekly sailings
with 11 1,600-TEU capacity containerships. A roundtrip takes 84 days. At
present, Maersk has a space-chartering agreement with Good Hope Express
between Japan, the Far East and the east coast of South America. Maersk
will contribute a ship to the service, which calls at Kobe, Nagoya and
Yokohama in Japan; Keelung, Taiwan; Hong Kong; Singapore; Durban and Cape
Town in South Africa; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay; Rio
Grande, Paranagua, Santos and Rio De Janeiro in Brazil; Cape Town; Durban;
Singapore; Hong Kong and Kobe.

P. & O. North Sea Ferries planning barge service

P. & O. North Sea Ferries has announced plans for a barge serice
from the Beneluxhaven facility in the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands,
to Born, the Netherlands. The firm is holding discussions with the Rotterdam
Port Authority regarding necessary changes to the Rozenburg terminal and
who will pay for improvements. A specialized container crane will be bought.

New venture to sail the Yangtze River

Kambara Kisen Co. and Michinoku Lease K.K. are planning to form a joint
venture with a Chinese firm as early as the second half of 1998 to start
a shipping service on the Yangtze River. The two have already begun designing
a vessel for the route, which is likely to be a 3,000-ton containership.
It will be designed to reach Chongquing.

Wilhelmsen Lines adding two new ports

Wilhelmsen Lines is adding Noumea, New Caledonia, and Papeete to its
services. Noumea will be called first by the Takasago (Norwegian-registry
19,800-dwt ro/ro built in 1996, operated by Wilhelmsen Lines), which will
load in northern Europe and the United Kingdom in late May.

B.C.L. to start new Germany to Latvia service

Baltic Container Line will start weekly liner services from Bremerhaven
and Hamburg, Germany, to Riga, Latvia, at the end of the month.

Ahlers to expand as part of Ahlers-Hansa

Ahlers is expanding its service between Anterp, Belgium; Rotterdam,
the Netherlands; and St. Petersburg, Russia, to ports in the area of Hamburg,
Germany, and Dunkirk, France. In cooperation with Euro Hansa Lines, Ahlers-Hansa
will make the changes by May.

Pan Ocean Shipping to start calling at Antwerp

Pan Ocean Shipping Co. will add a call at the Port of Antwerp, Belgium,
on its service between the Baltic and the Far East. Calls will be made
every two weeks. The local agent is ACSA 92 amd the first call will leave
Antwerp on 20 May.

Blue Star Line to use new refrigerated container technology

Blue Star Line Ltd. is adopting a new integral refrigerated container
monitoring system on its ships trading in Asia. It can monitor wide and
narrow band data tranmissions simultaneously, allowing operation of refigerated
containers of differing technologies. The CMS 2100/GRASP system was developed
by Refrigerated Transport Electronics with Lyngso Marine A/S. Equipment
will be installed on two ships in June and December. In addition, starting
in June, Blue Star Line will retrofit 1,100 Carrier and Mitsubishi integral
refrigerated containers with narrow band monitoring units. The work will
be done in Australia.

More on Neptune Shipping Line

More information has become available about Neptune Shipping Line, a
new firm that will begin service next month linking Australia, New Zealand
and Fiji. The line has been formed by former Sofrana Unilines personnel
and will carry breakbulk and container cargoes. Neptune Shipping Line has
bought two vessels, the Capitaine Wallis (French-registry, formerly the
Denhier) and the Capitaine Fearn (French-registry 3,478-dwt dry cargo ship
built in 1979), both 150-TEU capacity vessels than can carry 1,500 tons
of breakbulk. One will call at Lautoka and Suva, from Auckland, and Tauranga,
New Zealand, every 14 days. The other ship will sail between the Australian
ports of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney and Lautoka and Suva, every 23
days. The line also owns the Capitaine Cook (French-registry 9,600-dwt
dry cargo ship built in 1984), which will sail from Geelong, Australia,
to Fiji and New Caledonia with grain and from Sydney to Norfolk Island
with general cargo. Neptune Shipping Agency will have offices in Auckland,
Suva and Sydney. Twenty-six staff and several crews are based at 12 locations
in New Zealand, eight in Australia and six in Fiji.


Japan, United States agree on guidelines, sanctions delayed

On 11 April, Japan and the United States signed a "Memorandum of
Consultations" on a dispute over access and services in Japanese ports.
Japan confirmed that licenses meeting standards under the Port Transportation
Business Law will be approved within four months from when they are received,
as long as the submissions are by foreign carriers or subsidiares for general
port licenses for itself. Those who receive licenses will not be required
to join the Japan Harbor Transportation Association. U.S. businesses will
provide Japanese dockworkers in labor unions with work at the prevailing
wage and at present levels. The memorandum also notes that the United States
called for complete deregulation no later than 31 Dec., 1998. As for the
prior consultation system, both countries recognized an interim agreement
by the Japan Foreign Steamship Association, the J.H.T.A., and Japan Shipowners'
Port Council for reforming the system by 31 July. The United States called
for eliminating all minor consultations with major items involving a process
between stevedores and their employees, with no requirements for dealings
with the J.H.T.A. Major matters were defined as those that have a substantial
affect on dockworkers, such as relocations or large changes in personnel
numbers. A transparent appeals system will be formed. As a result of the
memorandum, the U.S. delegates asked the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission
to delay or withdraw imposing sanctions on three Japanese lines on 14 April.
As a result, the F.M.C. delayed U.S.$100,000 charges per vessel call at
U.S. ports for the three until at least 4 Sept.

New wharf fees in Japan on 21 May

A new 12-hour wharf system will become effection at 19 ports in Japan
on 21 May. At eight major ports, the charge will be 10.50 Japanese yen/U.S.$0.08
for the first 12 hours and 16.75 yen/U.S.$0.13 in the next 24 hours with
6.50 yen/U.S.$0.05 every 12 hours after. The eight are: Kawasaki, Kitakyushu,
Kobe, Nagoya, Osaka, Shimonoseki, Tokyo and Yokohama. The other ports will
have lower charges.

Sea-Land changing terminals in Baltimore

Sea-Land Service Inc. has announced it is leaving the Seagirt facility
in Baltimore for the Dundalk Marine Terminal operated by Maersk Line and
Universal Marine. In addition to consolidating all operations at one site,
Sea-Land will offer twice a week rather than once a week sailings.

Police remove striking dockworkers from ships, workers at Santos strike

In a raid at 0400 15 April, Brazilian federal police removed about 26
striking dockworkers that had occupied two ships at the Companhia Siderurgica
Paulista (COSIPA) terminal at Santos, Brazil. Workers had occupied the
Marcos Dias (Brazilian-registry 45,334-dwt bulk carrier built in 1995,
operated by Chaval Navegacao Ltda.) and the Vancouver (60,847-dwt bulk
carrier built in 1977, operated by Target Marine S.A.) for 13 days. They
were protesting COSIPA's decision to hire non-union workers. After learning
of the action at COSIPA, dockworkers at the Port of Santos went on strike
at 0700. Only three ships of 20 were worked on. On 18 April, Brazilian
dockworkers called a 48-hour strike across the country.

Long Beach commission votes to cancel COSCO deal

The Long Beach Harbor Commission voted 14 April to cancel a deal to
lease the former U.S. Naval Station Long Beach, Calif., to China Ocean
Shipping Co. for use as a container terminal. The decision was made after
a Judge Robert H. O'Brien of the California Superior Court ordered the
commission to set aside the agreement while it reconsiders the plan. However,
the commission did not delay the agreement while the review was in progress
the first time. A court hearing will be held 13 May. The decision will
likely delay rather than stop the agreement with COSCO.

Takoradi and Tema to upgraded over 15 years

The Ports of Takoradi and Tema in Ghana will be upgraded under a U.S.$365
million plan. Over 15 years, new container terminals will be built and
Tema will be dredged from 9.6 meters/31 feet to 14 meters/46 feet. In addition,
berths will be built for handling liquid and dry bulk cargoes, including
liquified petroleum gas and cocoa.

New port planned in Bangladesh

A new port will be built in Bangladesh near the Karnaphuli Fertilizer
Co.'s jetty, 13 kilometers/eight miles from the Port of Chittagong on the
Bay of Bengal. The port will be able to accomodate ships with drafts of
10 meters/32 feet.

Lake Maracaibo pilots restrict operations

After three recent groundings by oil tankers, pilots in Lake Maracaibo,
Venezuela, are refusing to handle ships with a draft of more than 11 meters/36
feet. The Maracaibo Port Authority has introduced maximum drafts for ships
using the channel. They are 12 meters/38 feet at high tide, 11 meters/36
feet at mid tide and 10 meters/34 feet at low tide.

Hong Kong and Shenzhen may cooperate

The Port of Shenzhen, China, will increase cooperation with Hong Kong
after 1 July under a plan outlined recently. If approved by both ports,
the two would share information via computer networks and administration
of cargoes and passengers and jointly work to improve facilities. Under
a plan by the Investigation and Study Group on Shenzhen and Hong Kong Port
Cooperation, the plan would be implemented over eight years in three stages.

New ro/ro terminal opens in Antwerp

Combined Terminal Operator has opened a new terminal at the Port of
Antwerp, Belgium. The terminal covers 10 hectares/25 acres with a capacity
of 400 trailers and 3,000 vehicles. Under a special agreement with dockworkers,
crews of ro/ros will be allowed to perform 50 percent of cargo handling
work. Tweleve ro/ros are scheduled to call at the terminal weekly.

Cargo handler stops operations at Hamburg

Kuhne and Nagel Group and Rob M. Sloman and Co. have withdrawn from
cargo handling at the Port of Hamburg, Germany. Their shares of Sloman,
Schoer and Co. have been bought by Steinweg-Handelsveem.

Plans for passenger facilities at Ensenada

E. Cruiseport Village S.A. de C.V. has received a concession to build
two passenger docks at the Port of Ensenada, Mexico. It will also build
a marina with commercial and residential development.

Toledo may end its role as a futures delivery site in 1999

The Chicago Board of Trade approved a proposal on 15 April to eliminate
Toledo, Ohio, as one of three delivery locations for corn and soybeans
futures contracts in 1999. Seven grain elevators operate in the area with
more than 120 personnel with additional workers during the harvest. Instead
of Toledo, grain elevators along the northern Illinois River would be used.
If approved by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Toledo's
grain shipments would be reduced by at least 25 million bushels annually.
The commission has 180 days to make a decision.

More on Melbourne port dispute

Australian stevedore Patrick has filed lawsuits in the Victorian Supreme
Court against Melbourne Port Corp. and the Victorian government for breaking
committments to protect new investment by the firm in the port by not allowing
a third container operator until throughput had reached two million TEUs.
In February, Melbourne Port held talks with Victorian International Container
Terminals, a joint venture of Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd. and COSCO
Pacific, on a third operation. Patrick said that the port and government
had made the committments in 1991 and 1992, when the four stevedores at
the port were competing for the two present terminals. Patrick spent Australian$200
million/U.S.$156 million after it won a concession. Melbourne Port counters
that the suit is based on a comment in a media article in 1991 made in
regard to the practices of what was then the Port of Melbourne Authority.

Galveston reduces cotton tariff

The Port of Galveston, Texas, has reduced the tariff rate on breakbulk
cotton. Starting 7 April, it is U.S.$0.20 per bale instead of U.S.$0.40.

Chengang Wharf under construction

Construction has begun on a U.S.$24 million wharf the Dongshan area
of Fujian Province, China. The 25,000-ton Chengan Wharf will be multipurpose,
but is meant to primarily handle silica sand.

Communications upgrade at Milford Haven done

The Port of Milford Haven, England, has completed the replacement of
its V.H.F. communications system for 38,000 British pounds/U.S.$61,000.
It was built by Cyfas Restbury.

Helsingborg names agent

The Port of Helsingborg, Sweden, has appointed Eurolist as its British
general agent.

Mexican ports, Novorossiysk affected by weather

The Mexican ports of Dos Bocas and Pajaritos closed late 12 April due
to storms. Two ships were waiting to enter the former and eight were waiting
to enter and eight more to leave at Pajaritos. Dos Bocas opened 0800 16
April. Cayo Arcas, Mexico, closed at 1920 12 April but reopened 14 April.
The main oil berth at the Port of Novorossiysk, Russia, closed 0600 15
April due to high winds.


Aker Maritime to buy Mantyluoto Works

Aker Maritime will buy Mantyluoto Works from Rauma Oy. The Pori, Finland,
facility builds oil rigs and platforms.

Interpool unit to administer chassis fleet for the Grand Alliance

Interpool Inc. announced 14 April that its Trac Lease Inc. subsidiary
had received a contract from the Grand Alliance's chassis pool to manage
a fleet of 42,000 container chassis using Interpool's Poolstat system.
Trac Lease will also administer more than 30 pool locations.

I.M.O. accepts Coulombi Egg as alternative

The International Maritime Organization has accepted the Coulombi Egg
tanker design concept as an alternative to double-hull tankers required
under MARPOL. The design was considered at a meeting London on 9 April
after the matter was submitted by Sweden. The I.M.O. ruled that the tanker
design fulfills the requirements of the Interim Guidelines for oil outflow
calculations. The United States, however, reserved judgement and did not
approve the design.

A.P. Moller buys stake in Baltija Shipyard

A.P. Moller has reportedly paid U.S.$6 million for a 43 percent stake
in Baltija Shipyard at Klaipeda, Lithuania. The stake was bought by subsidiary
Odense Staalskibsvaerft A/S.

New building facility at the Bohai Shipyard approved

The Chinese State Planning Commission has approved the construction
of a shipbuilding facility for vessels of 100,000-dwt at the Bohai Shipyard
at Huludao, China. It will cost almost 200 million Chinese yuan/U.S.$24
million and when completed at the end of 1998, it will be able to build
2.5 ships annually.

U.E.C.C. seeking damages from Welgelegen

United European Car Carriers is seeking damages from Welgelegen at Harlingen,
the Netherlands. The firm ordered three 1,150-vehicle capacity vessels
from the shipyard, with the first scheduled for delivery late last October.
None have been completed, though the contract called for damages on a daily
basis if they were late. The shipyard suffered a fire in its building hall
which damaged it and a ship inside.

Bender Shipbuilding and Repair appoints Greek agent

Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Co. Inc. has appointed T.J. Giavridis
Marine Services Co. Ltd. as its exclusive Greek agent.

Mitsubishi to build eight containerships for Evergreen

Evergreen Marine Corp. ordered eight 5,364-TEU capacity containerships
from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. on 31 March. It is believed they
cost U.S.$70 million each. When delivered in 1999, the ships will serve
on routes between Europe, the Far East and the western coast of the United

John Fredriksen orders four tankers

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. has received an order from John Fredriksen
for three 150,000-dwt tankers and a 308,000-dwt tanker, which was an option
acquired when two similar ships were ordered in February. In addition,
another two options for very large crude carriers have been bought. In
all, the six tankers will cost U.S.$400 million. The three V.L.C.C.s will
be delivered in August 1998, January 1999 and the first quarter of 1999.

Lukoil in three ship deal with MTW Schiffswerft

Lukoil Arctic Tanker has ordered three icebreaker tankers from MTW Schiffswerft
G.m.b.H. The COT 17,2 Arctic-type vessels of 15,580-dwt will be delivered
in 1999.

LIBRA receives funding to build new containerships

Linhas Brasileiras de Navegacao S.A. will build six containerships at
the Niteroi shipyard in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, now that it has secured
U.S.$380 million in financing from the Brazilian National Bank for Social
Development (BNDES). BNDES will provide 85 percent and LIBRA the rest.
U.S.$360 million will fund four 2,300-TEU capacity and two 1,700-TEU capacity
ships, with the first to be delivered 24 months after construction starts.
Vessels will be delivered every four months after. The other U.S.$20 million
will be spent to modernize and upgrade the yard.

Harris Pye Marine gets first ever subcontract from China for F.P.S.O.

Harris Pye Marine Ltd. said 11 April it was won the first ever subcontract
from China to work on the boilers of a tanker being converted to a floating
production, storage and offloading vessel. Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.
Ltd. at awarded a two million British pound/U.S.$3.27 million contract
to Harris Pye Marine for the work, which will be done at Shanhaiguan Shipyard
Co. Ltd. in China. Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. is having the Henrique Dias
converted to the Petrobras 33 by Hyundai Heavy Industries. Harris Pye Marine
will send more than 100 employees to China for four months of work, involving
refurbishment of gas turbines, boliers and generators.

First Olsen Tankers orders two ships

Two subsidiaries of First Olsen Tankers have ordered two 154,000-dwt
shallow-draft tankers for U.S.$64 million each. They will be built by Hyundai
Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. for delivery in 1999. Each will have two main
engines with two propellers and two high-lift rudders. The tankers will
have bow thrusters, but will be built to provide for additional bow thrusters
as well as stern thrusters. There are options for two more ships. They
will have a beam of 50 meters/164 feet and a draft of 16 meters/52 feet.

Halla building two tankers for Torm, two containerships for German buyer

Torm has ordered two 105,000-dwt tankers from Halla Engineering and
Heavy Industries Ltd. for U.S.$91 million. One was bought with Rederiaktiebolaget
Gotland. They will be delivered in the first half of 1999 and there is
an option for another. Each will have coated cargo tanks. Halla Engineering
and Heavy Industries has received an order from a German firm for two 3,500-TEU
capacity containerships. They will be delivered in the second half of 1998
and early 1999.

B. Skaugen in tanker order from Imabari

B. Skaugen Shipping has ordered a 107,000-dwt tanker from Imabari Zosen
K.K. The ship will be delivered in March and will be managed by Jahre-Skaugen-Wallem

Wah Kwong orders 172,000-dwt tanker from Hyundai

Wah Kwong Shipping Holdings Co. Ltd. has ordered a 172,000-dwt bulk
carrier from Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. for delivery in March 1999.
The U.S.$42 million vessel will be chartered for two years by Krupp Seeschiffahrt.

Precious Shipping orders two newbuildings

Precious Shipping Ltd. has placed an order for two 18,600-dwt vessels
from a South Korean shipyard. They will be deivered in June and September

Keppel receives two-vessel order from A.P. Moller

Keppel Marine Industries Ltd. has received a contract valued at more
than U.S.$60 million for two anchor handling and supply vessels, with two
options, for A.P. Moller. They will be the largest such vessels to have
been built in Singapore. Each will be 83 meters/270 feet with a draft of
7.5 meters/25 feet. Four medium-speed diesel engines will produce 18,000
brake horsepower for a continuous speed of 15 knots. Bollard pull will
be at least 200 tons. The first will be delivered in the second half of
1998 with the second in the first quarter of 1999. Both will work in the
North Atlantic.

Ferguson Shipbuilders receives Stirling order

Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd. has won a 15 million British pound/U.S.$24.4
million contract from Stirling Shipmanagement Ltd. for a platform supply
vessel. The 3,000-gt, 4,500-dwt ship is the VS483 design by Vik & Sandvik.
It has an open deck area of 900 square meters/1,080 square yards and can
carry 2,700 tons of cargo. The vessel will be able to carry base and brine
oil, drill water, drilling mud, fresh water and fuel oil. It will be powered
by two 2,460 kW Wartsila engines for a service speed of 12 knots.

A&P will refit the Saga Rose

A&P Southampton Ltd. has received a contract from Saga Group to
refit the Saga Rose, a 25,147-gt passenger ship formerly named the Sagafjord.
Work began to refurbish public spaces and some other areas on 15 April.
Beginning in late October, and lasting eight weeks, 589 cabins will be

Van Diepen launches 2,100-capacity cattle carrier

Van Diepen has launched the cattle carrier Devon Express at Waterhuizen,
the Netherlands. The ship is 116 meters/381 feet long, has a 15.85-meter/52.00
foot beam and can carry 2,100 cattle.

Halter Marine Group launches two offshore supply vessels

Halter Marine Group Inc. launched two offshore supply vessels on 10
April. Moss Point Marine Inc. at Escatawpa, Miss., launched the Seacor
Vision, a 68.6-meter/225-foot anchor handling and supply vessel for Seacor
Marine Inc. The vessel has 12,280 brake horsepower. The same day, Halter-Pascagoula
at Pascagoula, Miss., launched the C-Champion for Alpha Marine Services.
The 67.1-meter/220-foot platform supply vessel has 3,420 brake horsepower.
Both will be delivered in June and cost a total of U.S.$28 million.

New Crowley tug launched

A 36.6-meter/120-foot tug for Crowley Maritime Corp. was launched 7
April at Long Beach, Calif. Intended for escort and harbor duties, it was
sponsored by Christine Crowley, wife of Tom Crowley Jr., the firm's chairman.

Bunga Kelana Satu delivered

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. delivered the Bunga Kelana Satu, the
first of a series of six tankers, to Malaysia International Shipping Corp.
on 31 March. The vessel, which coast 112.5 million Malaysian ringgit/U.S.$44.76
million, arrived at Shell Refining Co. Bhd. at Port Dickson, Malaysia,
on her maiden voyage 17 April. The ship loaded crude oil at Miri, Malaysia.
The Bunga Kelana Satu was built at Ulsan, South Korea.

Bow of the Disney Magic joined with stern in Italy

The bow of the Disney Magic, a passenger ship for Disney Cruise Line
being built by Fincanieri Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A., was launched
12 April. The section took eight months to build at Acona, Italy, and was
then towed using three barges to Margheta, Italy, where it was joined with
the stern. The tow took 42 hours. The Disney Magic will be completed by
March 1998.

Sembawang unit completes structure in record time

Sembawang Marine and Offshore Engineering set a record recently by completing
a 600-ton offshore living quarters for 70 people in four and a half months.
It normally takes eight to 10. The facility will be used by Vietsovpetro
at the White Tiger Field off Vung Tau, Vietnam. The turnkey contract was
worth more than U.S.$100 million.

C.M.A. to re-engine two ships

Compagnie Maritime d'Affretement has announced that a South Korean shipyard
will re-engine the Ville de Titana and the Ville de Tucana, two 2,142-TEU
capacity vessels built in 1972 for Seatrain Lines. The Bahamian-registry
ships each had a Pratt and Whitney gas turbine, which was replaced by diesels
in 1978. The work will cost U.S.$3 million. --


Syrian-registry ship held at Rotterdam for false crew certificates

None of the six crewmembers of the Samer N (Syrian-registry 3,640-dwt
dry cargo ship built in 1967, operated by General Trading and Shipping)
had legitamate certification during a port state control inspection at
Rotterdam, the Netherlands, last week. It had arrived from Fredrikshavn,
Denmark. Five crewmembers had certificates from a maritime academy in Lebanon
that does not exist and the master had a rating for second officer. Each
was fined 2,500 Dutch guilders/U.S.$1,300 and the ship has been detained
until a new crew arrives. Additional problems were also found aboard the

Kuwait frees 10 detained Filipino crewmembers

Ten Filipino crewmembers, five each from the Diamond and the Sea World,
returned to the Philippines on 9 April. The group was detained in Kuwait
late last year for attempting to smuggle oil from Iraq in violation of
a United Nations embargo. The ten were identifed as Edgardo Rivera, master
of the Diamond, and Bernardo Carpio, Eriberto Casa, Levy Grasparil and
Resebelito Profeta; and Conrado Geonanga, master of the Sea World, with
Vicente Damilan, Petronilo Guevarra, Rodrigo Margin and Ramoncito Teodosio.
Ten additional crewmembers remain in detentiona board the Diamond. They
are Crisanto Bagos, Lito Caballes, Carlito Cain, Romel Geonanga, Ricardo
Lindo, Crisenciano Montoya, Alfredo Pabalate, Ricardo Silan, Enrique Suha
and Arsenio Vargas Jr.

Man with history of heart problems taken off vessel by the U.S. Coast

A crewmember aboard the Lady Debra (27-meter/90-foot fishing vessel)
was hoisted aboard a U.S. Coast Guard HH-60J Jayhawk from Coast Guard Air
Station Elizabeth City, N.C., on 16 April. Walton Williams, 50, had chest
pains and has a history of heart problems. He was 32 kilometers/20 miles
east of Elizabeth City, N.C., along with his son, who contacted the Coast
Guard. Williams was taken to Albemarle General Hospital in Elizabeth City.
The Lady Debra was sailing fro Miami to Virginia.

U.S. Coast Guard airlifts fishing vessel crewmember

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod,
Mass., airlifted a 54-year-old man from the Enterprise (U.S.-registry 23-meter/76-foot
western rig trawler homeported at Point Judith, R.I.) at 0745 16 April.
Richard Winter was taken to a Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I.,
after a severe asthma attack aboard the vessel, 128 kilometers/80 miles
south of Point Judith. He ran out of medication about midnight.

Honduran-registry vessel towed U.S. facility for search

On 2 April, the U.S. Navy's Ticonderoga-class Guided-Missile Cruiser
U.S.S. Yorktown (CG 48), with a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment
aboard, spotted the Raaja (Honduran-registry 62.2-meter/204-foot vessel)
disabled and adrift, 37 kilometers/23 miles west of Grand Cayman Island,
the Bahamas. A consensual boarding found fresh paint and new welds throughout
the vessel. The Coast Guard's Reliance-class Medium-Endurance Cutter U.S.C.G.C.
Durable (WMEC 628) towed the Raaja to U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba, for a dockside boarding that began 9 April. Results are not yet known.

Mississippi River shipping affected by restrictions

Shipping on the Mississippi River north of Dresbach, Minn., has essentially
been halted due to flooding. The last tow that headed north of Dresbach
was 7 April. Lock and Dam 5A at Winona, Minn, is believed to have closed.
There are draft restrictions at the Southwest Pass of the river, including
daylight-only transit restrictions for southbound, deep-draft ships carrying
chemicals or compressed gases. Minimum power requirements for tows are
also in place.

French frigate arrives in Wellington amidst protests

Protesters gathered around the French Navy Floreal-class Surveillance
Frigate Nivose (F 732) as it docked in Wellington, New Zealand, on 14 April.
In 1995 and 1996, the ship patrolled Fangataufa Atoll and Mururoa Atoll,
where France conducted its last nulcear weapons testing. Four yachts, three
of which had been at protests in Mururoa, were waiting off the port when
the frigate arrived. At the dock, several protesters and police greeted
the ship from behind barricades. Based at New Caledonia, the Nivose was
invited to Wellington by New Zealand to coincide with a visit by the commander
of French military forces in the Pacific, Maj. Gen. Maurice Quadri.

Belgian students threaten action for delays crossing canal

Students in Zelzate, Belgium, have written a letter to authorities asking
that navigation on the Terneuzen/Ghent canal be suspended when they are
travelling to and from school. The students wrote that the opening of a
bridge over the canal has routinely delayed them. Should action not be
taken, the students have threatened to disrupt bridge operations.


FLOMEPARSA begins to sell fleet

Flota Mercante Paraguaya (FLOMEPARSA), the state-owned line of Paraguay,
has begun to sell its fleet to private owners. It has 16 river vessels
as well as tugs and barges. Lara has reportedly bought the Chaqueno, the
Olimpo and the Pirabebe, three 1,023-dwt dry cargo ships built in Spain
in the 1960s.

Precious Shipping to buy four ships by June

Precious Shipping Ltd. will receive four "new" vessels by
June. Two are from Dowa Line Panama Inc. and one each from Mariana Shipping
Co. and White Reefer Line.

Sulpicio acquires four second-hand vessels

Sulpicio Lines has bought four ships built in Japan, three passenger
and cargo vessels and one cargo ro/ro. A 4,836-dwt ro/ro has been renamed
the Slupicio Express Uno, and is capable of 16 knots with a 150-TEU capacity.
The ship began operations 25 March between Manila, General Santos and Davao
in the Philippines. The Princess of the World, a 3,676-dwt vessel, can
operate at 18 knots with 2,000 passengers. The vessel will sail between
Manila and Cagayan, Zamboanga and Cotabato in the Philippines starting
this month. The Princess of the Ocean (3,079-dwt) can carry 1,500 passengers
and 18 knots and will begin operations in May between Manila, Dumaguette,
Dipolog, Iligan and Ozamis in the Philippines. The Princess of the Carribean
(1,222-dwt vessel) can carry 1,222 passengers at 18 knots and will operate
between the Philippine ports of Manila, Masbate, Palommpon, Ormoc, Surigao
and Nasupit starting in June.

Nepline in three ship deal

Nepline Bhd. is buying three vessels for U.S.$12 million. Its fleet
will total 327,596 tons.

B.P. Shipping charterting two V.L.C.C.s from A.P. Moller

B.P. Shipping Ltd. has taken the Elisabeth Maersk and the Emma Maersk
on bareboat charter from A.P. Moller. The two 299,700-dwt double-hull tankers,
built in 1993, will be renamed. Their registries will be transferred from
Denmark to the Isle of Man when delivered in May.

British Royal Navy to sell the Peacock-class to the Philippines

With the closure of H.M.S. Tamar in Hong Kong on 11 April, the British
Royal Navy's last facility in the Far East, the United Kingdom has announced
that the Peacock-class Patrol Combatants based there will be sold to the
Philippine Navy. The three vessels will leave Hong Kong just before midnight
1 July, when Hong Kong is transferred to China. They will be sold to the
Philippines for 6.5 million British pounds/U.S.$10.5 million.

British Coast Guard extends tug contract

The British Coast Guard has renewed its stand-by contract with the Portosalvo
(Italian-registry 2,085-dwt tug built in 1982) with Cory Smit Wijsmuller.
The tug is based at Stornoway, Scotland.

Bulk carriers

The Promina (28,155-gt, 48,320-dwt ice-class motor bulk carrier built
in 1990 by Brodogradiliste at Split, Croatia) has reportedly been sold
to Southern Steamships (London) Ltd. for U.S.$18 million. It was operated
by Slobodna Plovidba and has four 25-ton cranes. The Early Bird (29,150-dwt
bulk carrier built in 1995) has been sold for U.S.$9.4 million. It was
operated by Jardine Shipping. The Lucky Grace (Singaporean-registry 27,300-dwt
bulk carrier built in 1995) has been reportedly gone to Mineral Shipping
(Pte.) Ltd. for U.S.$17.1 million. The ship was operated Hung Fu Shipping
(Singapore) Pte. Ltd. The Glory Cape (Panamanian-registry 68,634-dwt bulk
carrier built in 1987) has reportedly been sold to Greek buyers for U.S.$16
million. It was operated by First Line Corp. The Narwal (67,359-dwt bulk
carrier built in 1985) has reportedly been sold to clients of Mavarakis
for U.S.$12.6 million. The ship was operated by Calm Sea Service. Great
Eastern Shipping Co. has reportedly bought the Petropolis (Cypriot-registry
63,970-dwt strengthened motor bulk carrier built in 1978 by Hitachi Zosen
K.K.'s Innoshima Works, Japan; formerly the Temple Bay, the South Sky and
the English Wasa) for U.S.$7.25 million. The ship was operated by E.P.
Nomikos. The Hyundai No. 17 (Panamanian-registry 22,378-gt, 36,788-dwt
strengthened motor bulk carrier built in 1983 by Hyundai Heavy Industries
Co. Ltd. at Ulsan, South Korea, formerly the Asia No. 17) has reportedly
been sold to clients of Kaptonoglu for U.S.$9.4 million to U.S.$9.6 million.
The ship has four 25-ton cranes and was operated by Hyundai Merchant Marine
Co. Ltd. The Elli B (Greek-registry 61,632-dwt bulk carrier built in 1980)
has reportedly been sold to Greek interests for U.S.$8.4 million, while
Greek buyers also reportedly took the Pawnee (69,636-gt, 122,272-dwt motor
ore/bulk/oil carrier built in 1977 by Thyssen Nordseewerke A.G. at Emden,
Germany; formerly the Cayuga and the Suorva) for U.S.$5.4 million. The
former was operated by Bray Shipping Co. and the latter by Acomarit (U.K.)
Ltd. The Hudson Bay (54,309-dwt bulk carrier built in Romania in 1981)
has reportedly been sold for U.S.$5.75 million. The Calliope (11,896-gt,
18,764-dwt motor bulk carrier built in 1983 by Uwajima Zosensho K.K. at
Uwajima, Japan; formerly the Calliope Maru) has reportedly been sold to
a buyer in Hong Kong got U.S.$7.2 million. It has a 48-TEU capacity and
was operated by Tokumaru Kaiun Co. Ltd.


The Freja Svea (97,197-dwt tanker built in 1989) has been sold to Perbadanan
Nasional Shipping Line for U.S.$29.95 million. The ship was operated by
Freja Shipping Group A/S. The Canadian Liberty (Liberian-registry 87,542-dwt
tanker built in 1980) was bought by Tsakos for U.S.$12.5 million. It was
operated by Euronav (U.K.) Agencies Ltd. OMI Corp. has reportedly sold
the Alta (146,000-dwt single-hull tanker built in 1990) for around U.S.$40
million to Maritime Equity. The ship may have been chartered back for five
years, with a report of the ship operating at U.S.$22,000 the first year
and increasing after. The Rich Duchess (50,285-gt, 81,279-dwt motor tanker
built in 1986 by Kasado Dock Co. Ltd. at Kudamatsu, Japan) reportedly has
been sold to Greek interests in New York for U.S.$23.5 million. The ship
has double sides and coated cargo tanks with three cargo pumps for 7,500
tons per hour, as well as crude oil washing, an inert gas system and segregated
ballast tanks. It was operated by Skaugen Petrotrans Inc. Greek interests
have also reportedly paid U.S.$43.5 million for an aframax tanker being
built by Imabari Zosen K.K. in Japan for delivery in July. The Gocek (Turkish-registry
26,450-gt, 44,993-dwt motor products tanker built in 1982 by Warsila Oy
at Turku, Finland; formerly the Port Royal and the Parita) has reportedly
been sold to Anders Wilhelmsen and Co. A/S for U.S.$14.7 million. The ship
has four cargo pumps capable of 4,800 tons per hour as well as an inert
gas system and unmanned machinery space certification. It was operated
by Ganship International Ltd. The Lourdas (Panamanian-registry 122,062-gt,
238,760-dwt steam turbine tanker built in 1975 by Mitsui Shipbuilding and
Engineering Co. Ltd. at Ichihara, Japan; formerly the Bright Duke and the
World Duke) has been sold at auction in Singapore for U.S.$6 million to
the mortgagee bank, Den Norske Veritas. The ship is capable of crude oil
washing, has an inert gas system, segregated ballast tanks and four cargo
pumps for 14,000 tons per hour. It was operated by Golden Ocean Shipping
Co. S.A. The Anne-Laure (Liberian-registry 16,137-dwt 14,700-cubic meter/19,100
cubic yard liquified petroleum gas carrier built in 1990) has reportedly
been bought by Westfal-Larsen and Co. A/S for U.S.$34 million. The ship
was operated by Gazocean Armement. World-Wide has sold the World Castle
(29,864-gt, 48,532-dwt motor product tanker built in 1982 by Kanasahi Co.
Ltd. at Toyohashi, Japan; formerly the World Cosmos) for U.S.$16 million,
reportedly to Indian interests. It has four cargo pumps for 3,194 tons
per hour, crude oil washing capability, inert gas system and segregated
ballast tanks.


The Torino (135,311-gt, 279,999-dwt steam turbine tanker built in 1975
by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in France; formerly the Happy Pilot and the
Opale), of 37,412-ldt, reportedly has been sold for scrap by Wilh. Wilhelmsen
A.S.A. for over U.S.$180 per ldt. The ship is in Singapore. The Forum Cape
(Cypriot-registry 62,770-gt, 116,181-dwt strengthened motor bulk carrier
built in 1973 by Mitsui Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. Ltd. at Tamano,
Japan; formerly the Kapetan Antonis III, the Chihirosan and the Chihirosan
Maru) of 19,500-ldt has reportedly been sold for U.S.$148 per ldt. The
ship is in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The Nessie (tanker built in 1972)
has reportedly be committed for scrapping in India at U.S.$175 to U.S.$176
per ldt. It was operated by J.P. Marit. Samartzis. The Baltic Trident (64,342-dwt
bulk carrier built in 1974) has reportedly be sold for scrapping in India
at U.S.$170 to U.S.$172 per ldt. The ship is 11,378-ldt and was operated
by Stanship Inc. The Rui Riang (tweendecker) has been sold for scrapping
in India at U.S.$181 per ldt. The Forest Way (39,296-gt, 42,050-dwt geared
motor bulk carrier built in 1977 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Co. Ltd.
at Hiroshima, Japan; formerly the Forest Wasa) has reportedly been sold
for scrapping in India for U.S.$179 per ldt. The ship is 13,178-ldt and
was operated by Nordic Oriental Shipmanagement Pte. Ltd.


Tanker breaks in half, sinks off Cuba; one dead and five missing

The Pampero (St. Vincent and the Grenadines-registry 6,294-gt, 9,100-dwt
tanker built in 1962, operated by Bravo Tankers) broke in half and sank
10 kilometers/six miles off Guanabo, Cuba, at 1420 14 April. The vessel
was sailing in ballast from Matanzas, Cuba, to the Nico Lopez oil refinery
in Havana. At least three explosions and a fire were reported before the
ship broke up. Eighteen of the crewmembers, some of them injured, were
rescued, one was killed and five, including three Romanian deck officers
and the Romanian master, are missing. The explosions were believed to have
been in a cargo tank. The Pampero had a special survey a few weeks ago.
The owner spent U.S.$500,000 in preparation on the ship and no problems
were found.

One dead and six wounded in Algerian explosion

An explosion aboard a trawler at Algiers, Algeria, on 16 April killed
one person and wounded six, one seriously. The explosion came from a propane

Hong Kong collision injures 27

The Hai Yang (100-dwt high-speed catamaran passenger ferry built in
1995, operated by COSCO Zhuhai) collided with a car ferry on 15 April off
northern Lantau Island, Hong Kong. At least 27 people were injured, with
passengers from the Hai Yang transferring to the other ferry. Three people
had serious injuries, including one woman whose leg was severed below the
knee. The Hai Yang carried 129 passengers and crew and was sailing to Zhuhai,
China. The same day, another ferry collided with a tug.

"Fish factory" suffers engine room fire

The Marbella (British-registry 2,880-gt stern-trawling "fish factory"
built in 1989, operated by Marr Vessel Management Ltd.) suffered an engine
room fire 12 April at 51 degrees 02 minutes north, 10 degrees 21 minutes
west. The location is south of Ireland and west of England. The fire began
after water from a seawater tank seeped into the ship's switchboard and
caused a short-circuit. The Marbella has 27 people aboard and is disabled
and adrift.

Collision in Gulf of Mexico causes chemical spill

The Formosa Six (Liberian-registry 36,191-dwt tanker built in 1995,
operated by Formosa Plastics), carrying ethylene dichloride, and the bulk
carrier Flora, which was empty, collided 0115 12 April in the Gulf of Mexico,
three kilometers/two miles south of the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi
River. Some of the tanker's cargo spilled, but evaporated quickly and broke
down in the atmosphere. Ethylene dichloride, a flammible liquid, is used
in the production of polyvinyl chloride and adhesives. The Formosa Six
was last reported stable at an anchorage.

Romanian-registry ship, tug ground at Novorossiysk

The Arad (Romanian-registry 12,215-gt, 14,956-dwt dry cargo ship built
in 1987, operated by A1 Team Shipping and Trading) ran aground at the outer
entrance to the Port of Novorossiysk, Russia, on 14 April. The ship is
carrying 12,970 tons of bagged rice and suffered engine problems. While
attempting to refloat the ship, the tug Orion also ran aground.

Russian-registry ship uses Morse Code after disabled off the Netherlands

The Vera (Russian-registry 1,750-dwt dry cargo ship) was disabled recently
when a bridge window broke during bad weather. Water that entered through
the hole shut down electrical equipment on the bridge, and the ship drifted
towards Terschelling Island, the Netherlands. The only communication equipment
working was a 500 KHz broadcasting unit, which the crew used to send a
CW (Morse Code) distress signal. A station in Ostend, Belgium, received
the signal and the ship was assisted by tugs.

Containerships collide in Istanbul

The Pelfisher (Maltese-registry 4,345-gt, 6,107-dwt containership built
in 1977, operated by Sarlis Container Services S.A.) collided with the
Sun Pegasus (Romanian-registry 7,580-gt, 8,275-dwt containership built
in 1989) while docking at Hayderpasa in Istanbul, Turkey, on 16 April.

Loaded oil tanker grounds in Lake Maracaibo channel

The Corelli (Maltese-registry 38,720-dwt tanker built in 1975, owned
by Gemarfin S.A. and operated by Vecomar Shipping Management S.A.) ran
aground 10 April in the outer navigation channel of Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela,
between buoys 21 and 23. The ship, carrying 33,000 tons of crude oil, was
refloated at 1800 and continued its voyage for Petroleo de Venezuela S.A.'s
Isla refinery on Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles. The ship, with a
draft of 11.2 meters/36.6 feet, was undamaged when it ran aground on accumulated
fine sand in 10 meters/34 feet of water, three hours after sailing.

Ro/ro rams gantry crane in Sydney

The Toba (34,310-dwt ro/ro built in 1979, operated by Wilhelmsen Lines)
struck a Paceco container crane at the White Bay wharf in Sydney, Australia,
on 13 April. No one was injured, but the rail-mounted gantry collapsed
onto the wharf and was extensively damaged. It has been written off. The
Toba had minor damage.

Barge rams fleeting area near New Orleans

A barge that broke away from a tow collided with barges in a fleeting
area on the Mississippi River south of New Orleans early 15 April. A section
of the river was closed 90 minutes.

Algolake aground in the St. Mary's River

The Algolake (Canadian-registry 19,278-gt, 32,043-dwt, 16,621, 224-meter/736-foot
bulk carrier built in 1977 by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. at Collingwood,
Canada; owned and operated by Algoma Central Marine) ran aground the night
of 17 April approaching Algoma Steel while downbound in the St. Mary's
River with taconite. The ship is taking on water with damage to the No.
1 and 2 ballast tanks. Some of the cargo is being lightered to a barge
owned by Purvis Marine Ltd.

Svendborg runs aground at Goole

The Svendborg (Antigua and Barbuda-registry 2,730-gt, 2,930-dwt dry
cargo ship built in 1984, operated by Brise Schiffahrts G.m.b.H.) ran aground
at the approaches to the Port of Goole, England, on 16 April. The ship
was carrying lumber with a crew of seven.

Pan Dynamic fouls propeller in Alaska

The propeller of the Pan Dynamic (South Korean-registry 26,717-dwt bulk
carrier built in 1985, operated by Pan Ocean Shipping Co. Ltd.) fouled
its propeller on 2 April and was in danger of drifting aground in Kazakof
Bay, Alaska. The ship set both anchors and released its stern mooring lines,
but the lines wrapped around the propeller and shaft while still attached
to a stern mooring buoy. The tug Kodiak King and the U.S. Coast Guard's
Balsam-class Seagoing Buoy Tender U.S.C.G.C. Firebrush (WLB 393) assisted
the ship and escorted it out of the bay.

Russian-registry ship loses power at dock

The Sibirskiy (Russian-registry 3,743-gt vessel) lost power 14 April
in Miyako Bay, Japan. Lines fouled the ship's propellers as it unloaded
cargo in Miyako. The ship docked at the port 13 April.

Barge capsizing closes section of the Houston Ship Channel

Correcting previous information, a section of the Houston Ship Channel
from mile 52 to mile 56 closed to ships 10 April after a barge capsized
at 0950 near Texas City, Texas. The accident, in which the barge capsized
in the wake of an outbound ship, dumped two 9.8-meter/32-foot cylindrical
tanks carrying zinc bromide and four tanks carrying pellets. Brown Water
Marine, which owns the barge, has hired T&T Marine Ways Inc. to recover
the tanks. The barge has been towed into shallow waters of Dickinson Bay,
and by 11 April, three tanks were found. On 13 April, a U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers vessel found that the channel was clear and draft restrictions
were lifted but navigation was limited to one-way at a time. On 15 April,
deep-draft ships were instructed not to overtake other vessels in a 1,600-meter/5,400-foot
area near mile 54. One-way restrictions were lifted but are at the discretion
of pilots.

I.O.P.C.F. sets limit on Nakhodka claims

The International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund said 14 April it will
maintain the level of provisional compensation to a maximum of 60 percent
of the amount claimed in the oil spill from 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.). The ship broke in half at 0250 2
Jan. in the Sea of Japan, about 130 kilometers/80.6 miles northeast of
the Oki Islands, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. Thirty-one of the 32 crew were
rescued and the master was killed. The Nakhodka was carrying 19,000 tons
of grade C heavy fuel, or 19 million liters/five million gallons or 133,000
barrels, from China to Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. The spill is believed
to have been five million liters/1.3 million gallons or 5,000 tons. Total
damage could total 20 billion Japanese yen. As of March 31, 2.6 billion
yen/U.S.$20 million had been claimed. The maximum amount of compensation
by the I.O.P.C.F. is 22.5 billion yen.

Report on fire aboard the Ambassador

An investigation into a fire aboard the Ambassador (Vanuatu-registry
37,263-dwt bulk carrier built in 1983, owned by ULS Marbulk Inc. and operated
by Barber) on 31 Dec., 1994, has concluded that visibility problems due
to mineral dust slowed efforts to combat the fire. The vessel was unloading
rock phosphate at the Port of Belledune, Canada, when a fire began on its
conveyor belt system. The vessel had considerable damage. Vanuatu hired
Brian Thorne, who had worked for the Canadian Transportation Safety Board
and had also been a chairman of the Marine Accident Investigators' International
Forum, to investigate. He concluded that the crew could not see the fire
as it started due to the heavy dust. The fire likely was caused by the
transfer belt burning after coming in contact with an overheated belt roller.
The crew, local firefighters and the company representatives were praised
for their efforts in poor weather. Thorne recommended that every section
of the tunnel and loop casing be cooled by a high-pressure waterjet, that
the crew be given high-visibility breating year, the ventilation system
must be improved and the chief and deputy chief of the emergency response
unit at Belledune should be trained in shipboard firefighting.


Largest yacht in the world to be built

Sultan Sir Muda Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzadin Waddaula, the Sultan of
Brunei, has reportedly ordered the largest yacht in the world from a shipyard
in Bremen, German. The yacht, which will cost 100 million German marks/U.S.$60
million, will be fitted with an interior from Hellerau in Dresden, Germany,
costing 15 million marks/U.S.$9 million. The largest yacht currently is
the Abdullah Asis, a 146-meter/480-foot vessel owned by King Fahd of Saudi

DDG 68, first Bath-built ship designed for mixed crews, to be commissioned

The U.S. Navy's Arleigh Burke-class Guided-Missile Destroyer U.S.S.
The Sullivans (DDG 68) will be commissioned at 1100 19 April at Stapleton
Pier on Staten Island in New York. DDG 68 is named for George, Francis,
Joseph, Madison and Albert Sullivan, five brothers from Waterloo, Iowa.
Known for having the motto "we stick together," the brothers
enlisted in the Navy on the condition that they serve on the same ship.
The Sullivans were assigned in February 1942 to the light cruiser U.S.S.
Juneau (CL 52). On 12 Nov., 1942, the ship fought during the Battle of
Guadalcanal, but early the next morning, the ship was hit by a torpedo
and sank. Most of the crew was killed, including the five Sullivan brothers.
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the U.S. Department of the
Navy to name its next ship in their honor. The U.S.S. The Sullivans (DD
537), a Fletcher-class destroyer, received nine battle stars in World War
II and two in the Korean Conflict. The ship is now a museum in Buffalo,
N.Y. DDG 68 was authorized in fiscal year 1992, ordered 8 April, 1992,
laid down at General Dynamics Corp.'s Marine Division/Bath Iron Works in
Bath, Maine, on 31 July, 1994, and was launched 12 Aug., 1995. DDG 68 is
the first ship built by Bath Iron Works that was designed to accomodate
male and female crewmembers. About 12 percent of the 341 crew are women.
Kelly Sullivan Loughren, granddaughter of Albert Sullivan, is the ship's
sponsor. Cmdr. Gerard D. Roncolato is the commanding officer. The ship
will be homeported at U.S. Naval Station Mayport, Fla.