- Transport on Line - hiltunen.htm


Piracy decreased in first quarter, but more incidents likely unreported

The International Maritime Bureau's Regional Piracy Center announced
22 April that in the first quarter of this year, there were 34 acts of
piracy worldwide. This is down from 62 for the same period last year, but
the bureau said that attacks, especially in Asia, are often not reported
or are delayed. Updating information for last year, there were 224 incidents
in 1996 compared to 187 in 1995.

Leif Hoegh to transfer shipping to separate business

Leif Hoegh & Co. will transfer most of its shipping activities to
a new firm, Leif Hoegh & Co. Shipping, by the end of the month. Several
vessels will be refinanced at the same time. The new company will be able
to take advantage of a new Norwegian tax system, which exempts shipping
companies from paying income taxes on profits if they spend the money on
new ships or related equipment.

Nigerian oil exports hampered by separate strikes

Personnel at the Nigerian Department of Petroleum Resources began a
so-called "work-to-rule" action 20 April to secure back wages.
The Pengassan union began the action after an ultimatum to the government
on 18 April passed. Back salary and benefits for 3,000 people total 300
million Nigerian naira. Also, Royal Dutch Shell Group's Nigerian operations
stopped loading crude oil 22 April after personnel that dock and load tankers
at its Bonny facility went on strike. The group is employed by Ocean Inchcape
Ltd. and demanded a "pay-off" since the firm was sold to Tidewater
Inc. At 1200 23 April, operations resumed after the strike ended at 0730.

Malaysian training academy to be privatized

Akademi Laut Malaysia, the only Malaysian maritime training facility
of its type, will be privatized. Under an agreement with the Malaysian
Maritime Academy, the Malaysian Ministry of Transport and the Malaysian
Training and Education for Seamen Foundation, the A.L.M. will be operated
and managed by the M.M.A.

Ocean Chemical Carriers, two officers admit illegal dumping at sea

Ocean Chemical Carriers Inc. has said it illegally dumped bilge water
polluted with oil from a ship in the Atlanic Ocean in 1993, it was announced
22 April. Under the first prosecution of its type in the United States,
the firm admitted violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. On
30 March, 1993, the master of the Frances Hammer (U.S.-registry 207-meter/678-foot
tanker) ordered the chief mate to dump the bilge water. A steward videotaped
the incident for three minutes and turned it over to authorities. The Frances
Hammer was built in the early 1980s for Occidental Petroleum Corp. to carry
phosphoric acid from the United States to Russia, returning with liquid
anhydrous ammonia. Ocean Chemical Carriers operated the ship, and along
with the officers involved, pleaded guilty in Tampa, Fla. Under a plea
bargaining agreement that requires court approval, the company would be
fined U.S.$250,000 and publish a public apology in a Tampa newspaper and
a maritime-related publication. The master, Peter Thorpe, faces five years
in prison, a U.S.$250,000 fine and suspension of his license for two years.
Chief Mate James Gerhard could receive a U.S.$5,000 fine and lose his license
for a year.

O.C.I.M.F. revises form

The Oil Companies International Marine Forum said 23 April it will revise
its Ship Inspection Reports. Inspection rules and report formats will be
uniform by mid-May. The reports have two primary components, the VIQ inspection
and the VPQ particulars questionnaire. The VIQ, completed by an inspector,
will be electronically transmitted to the organization and the tanker operator.

U.S.F.M.C. fines cargo consolidator

Comm-Sino Ltd., a cargo consolidator based in Hong Kong, has been fined
U.S.$650,000 by the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission for violating shipping
regulations. The F.M.C. said Comm-Sino filed false descriptions of cargo
sent from Hong Kong to Florida from December 1995 to April 1996. Comm-Sino
said that the cargoes of footwear was furniture and kitchenware, which
has a lower rate.

Indian government forms committee on V.T.S. for the Gulf of Kutch

The Indian Ministry of Surface Transport's Director-General of Lighthouses
and Lightships has formed the Advisory Committee for Vessel Traffic Service
in the Gulf of Kutch. The committee will determine where radar stations
and V.T.S. centers should be built, draw up a master plan for doing so,
and evaluate and monitor the process.

Mitsui O.S.K. opens new tanker simulators in Japan

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. has developed a tanker simulator and installed
models at its training facility in Kobe, Japan. There are two simulators.
One operates on a personal computer system, while the other is a large,
"actual equipment" facility. The center cost 100 million Japanese
yen/U.S.$794,000 and will be marketed to other ship owners and operators
as well.


First direct sailings between China and Taiwan in 48 years

The Sheng Da (St. Vincent and the Grenadines-registry 6,000-gt vessel)
arrived at the Port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, at 2200 19 April, from Xiamen,
China. It docked at Sea-Land Service Inc.'s Pier 118. The Sheng Da is the
first to ship to sail directly from China to Taiwan in 48 years. It entered
the port flying the flag of the Nationalist Republic of China (Taiwan),
which was apparently brought to the ship by a pilot vessel. The Sheng Da
carried containers for third countries, as the present agreement between
China and Taiwan does not allow cargo to enter Taiwanese customs. The second
ship to make the voyage was the Far East Glory (St. Vincent and the Grenadines-registry
vessel, owned by Fujian Foreign Trade Center Shipping Co.), which loaded
containers at Fuzhou, China. The ship arrived at Kaohsiung on 20 April,
but waited five hours, until after sunset, to enter the port. The agent
for the Far East Glory said that the ship waited for a South Korean-registry
containership to leave so it could dock. However, others have suggested
the ship waited until dusk so that it would not have to fly the flag of
the Nationalist Republic of China when entering the port. The Sheng Da
briefly flew the flag before nightfall, at which time it was taken down.
The flag of the host port is often struck at sunset. Early 25 April, the
Uni-Order (Panamanian-registry 27,065-dwt, 1,200-TEU containership built
in 1982, owned and operated by Uniglory Marine Corp.) arrived in Xiamen
from berth 116 in Kaohsiung. It carried 200 empty containers, and left
the Taiwanese port at 1540 24 April. Uniglory Marine will offer two sailings
a week between the two ports, on Mondays and Thursdays.

A.P.L. adding sailings to Central, South America

APL Ltd. announced 21 April that American President Lines will begin
a direct container service from the U.S. east coast to Panama, with connections
to Colombia, Costa Rica and Venezuela. Nine containerships will be used,
which already operate on a rotation between Asia, Panama and the U.S. east
coast for the Global Alliance. Calls will include: New York; Norfolk, Va.;
Charleston, S.C.; Colon, Panama; Cartagena, Colombia; Puerto Cabello, Venezuela;
and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. Transit time from Colon to New York is six
days, Cartagena to New York in eight days, Charleston to Colon in four
days and Charleston to Cartagena in six days. Ships calling at Colon will
use the Manzanillo International Terminal. Agencies involved in the new
service are: Frontier Agencia Maritima in Colombia, Representaciones Maritimas
in Costa Rica, Panama Agencies Co. Inc. in Panama and Corporacion Rincon
in Venezuela.

C.M.A. to join F.E.F.C.

Compagnie Maritime d'Affretement joined the Far Eastern Freight Conference
on 16 April.

O.O.C.L. to add one Australian, three New Zealand ports

Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd. has obtained a slot-chartering agreement
with Pacific International Lines to call at four ports. Every 10 days,
ships will call at the New Zealand ports of Lyttelton, Napier and Tauranga,
and the Australian port of Brisbane. The ships also call at Port Klang,
Malaysia, and Singapore.

Oram Shipping to start Singapore to Calcutta service

Oram Shipping Co. has announced it will set-up an office in Singapore
to serve a new container service from Singapore to Calcutta, India. The
service will begin 28 April with the Abuja (6,879-dwt, 502-TEU capacity
containership built in 1995) and the Acacia (8,853-dwt, 495-TEU containership
built in 1993).

Maersk adding East London

Maersk Line is adding a fixed-day, weekly call at East London on its
Europe to South Africa service. The first ship to call will leave Algeciras,
Spain, on 27 April. The rotation will be Durban, South Africa; East London;
Cape Town, South Africa; Walvis Bay, South Africa; and Algeciras.

New freight service from Norway to the Netherlands

Scandlines will start a new service from Kristiansand, Norway, to Eemshaven,
the Netherlands, with Norse Irish Ferries Ltd. next month. Three departures
will be offered from each port weekly, with the first leaving Kristiansand
at 2200 21 May. It will be operated as Nor Sea Link.

Transroll Navegacao adds third ship

Transroll Navegacao S.A. is adding a third ship to its Sea Bridge service,
which operates between Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

8900 Lines eliminating charge at Jeddah

The conference known as the 8900 Lines is eliminating a special surcharge
at the Port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The charge had been U.S.$150 per TEU
and U.S.$300 per FEU. The lines involved are DSR-Senator Lines, Maersk
Line, the National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia, P&O Nedlloyd Container
Line Ltd., Sea-Land Service Inc. and United Arab Shipping Co.

Solid Energy to begin coal barging from New Zealand to Australia

Solid Energy will start barging coal from Westport, New Zealand, to
Port Kembla, Australia in mid-June. The firm has signed a four-year contract
with Ocean Bulk Services. A newly purchased tug and the Ocean Bulk 1 (14,000-ton
capacity barge) are sailing from the United States and will arrive in mid-May.
The new service will have a roundtrip time of 18 to 20 days. Coal is currently
shipped from the Port of Lyttelton, but Solid Energy said the shipments
are no longer economical.


Evergreen Marine to open U.S.$200 million facility in Panama

Evergreen Marine Corp. has announced it will open a U.S.$200 million
terminal near Colon, Panama, in September. Port Coco Solo will cover 20
hectares/50 acres.

French ports blockaded by fishing vessels

Starting at 1500 22 April, French-registry fishing vessels blocked the
French ports of Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk to protest changes to the
mesh sizes of fishing nets, mandated by the European Union. P & O Ferries
Ltd., Seafrance and Stena Line diverted 15 ferries to the Port of Zeebrugge,
Belgium. SeaCat operations were halted, but Hoverspeed services were not
affected. On 23 April, the three ferry lines were granted an injunction
by a French court which ordered the blockade to be lifted. The blockade
ended 24 April after French Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Philippe
Vasseur said he would take up the matter with the union on 17 June. Under
regulations that will become effective in January, minimum mesh sizes for
fixed nets used for catching sole will be increased from 80 millimeters/3.2
inches to 120 millimeters/4.8 inches. The rules do not affect trawlers,
and those who staged the blockade said their catches will be cut in half.

Brazilian dockworkers return

Brazilian dockworkers ended a 48-hour strike on 18 April, after a partial
agreement was reached with Companhia Siderurgica Paulista (COSIPA) at Santos,
Brazil. Under the terms of the agreement, members of the dockworker's union
and COSIPA employees will alternate in working vessels at the facility.
However, the agreement ends 30 April. Talks between COSIPA and the National
Stevedore Federation resumed 22 April.

SHB workers return after brief strike

Employees of SHB, a labor firm, returned to work at the Port of Rotterdam,
the Netherlands, on 18 April, after a strike earlier in the week. The workers
returned without having resolved the issue, but their union, FNV, agreed
to continue discussions. SHB plans to cut 200 employees from its 975 in
July, and place another 375 workers on a three-day week. Last week, about
300 SHB employees began a strike and workers at other businesses took some
actions in support.

Venezuelan pilots withdraw strike threat

Following discussions with Venezuelan police on 21 April, pilots on
Lake Maracaibo withdrew a threat to strike. Pilots were prepared to take
the action after complaints about police brutality and the lack of maintenance
of the channel, where four tankers have run aground since February. A draft
restriction was imposed last week, and on 21 April, police assured the
pilots there would be better treatment. Reportedly, a radio operator on
a vessel than ran aground in the channel was beaten by police.

Kuwait National Petroleum planning new refinery, pier at al-Ahmadi

Kuwait National Petroleum Co. reportedly is planning to build a new
oil terminal at the al-Ahmadi refinery in Kuwait. Consultants will be hired
to begin studies for a facility. In addition, the company will build a
petroleum products loading pier to replace the southern pier at Ahmadi,
which was damaged during the Persian Gulf War. The new pier will be operating
by September 2002.

Port of Singapore Authority reorganizes

The Port of Singapore Authority said 21 April it had reorganized its
structure in anticipation of its privatization this year. As of 1 May,
the authority will include the Strategic Business Group and the Strategic
Development Group. The business group will include the Container Terminals
Division, the International Business Division and the Warehousing and Logistics
Division. The International Business Division will be divided into a Europe/Western
Asia unit and an Asia-Pacific unit. The Strategic Development Group will
comprise corporate services, engineering, finance, human resources, information
technology and property management.

Matson Navigation shifting terminals in Vancouver

Matson Navigation Co. will shift its terminal in Vancouver, Canada,
used by its weekly Pacific Coast service on the west coast of North America.
Starting in June, ships will call at the Fraser Surry Docks rather than
Terminal Systems Inc.'s Vanterm.

Asian Terminals receives new forklifts at Manila

Asian Terminals Inc., which operates the South Harbor at the Port of
Manila, the Philippines, has taken delivery of 24 new forklifts.

Dover closed after bomb threat

The Port of Dover, England, was briefly closed 21 April after a telephone
warning at 0720 of a bomb threat. The call used code words associated with
the Provisional Irish Republican Army, and said a bomb would explode at
0745 in the Eastern Docks. After a search did not find a bomb, the port
reopened at 0800.

Pajaritos open

The Port of Pajaritos, Mexico, reopened 0700 17 April.


ASMAR to work on HDW subs in Latin America

Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft G.m.b.H. as appointed ASMAR at Talcahuano,
Chile, as the exclusive shipyard to repair and upgrade attack submarines
it has built or designed that are in service in Latin America.

Bethlehem Steel, WHX end talks; BethShip could close in June

Bethlehem Steel Corp. has ended talks with WHX Corp. to sell its BethShip
Inc. shipyard at Sparrows Point, Md. A union representing employees at
the yard rejected a WHX contract offer. The yard will close in June unless
another interested party is found.

AK-WA fined U.S.$52,000 for pollution

AK-WA Co. in Tacoma, Wash., has been fined U.S.$52,000 by Washington
State for pollution of Commencement Bay. The Washington Department of Ecology
reportedly gave the shipyard opportunities to correct the problems. AK-WA
has 30 days to request the department to reconsider the fine, and can also
appeal to the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board. Grease, oil
and sandblasting grit collected at sites in the yard during storms, and
rainwater would flush the debris into the Hylebos Waterway. Testing earlier
this year showed that the runoff had seven times the amount of solids that
AK-WA was permitted to allow in runoff, with high concentrations of copper
and zinc.

Ermis Maritime to charter two V.L.C.C.s to Chevron

Ermis Maritime Corp. plans to built two very large crude carriers for
U.S.$170 million, which will be chartered to Chevron.

Halla receives orders for five 45,000-dwt tankers

Halla Engineering and Heavy Industries Co. disclosed 23 April it has
received orders for five tankers worth a total of U.S.$160 million. The
45,000-dwt ships were ordered by Eastern Symphony S.A. and Twin Castle
Shipping S.A. They will be delivered in the second half of 1998 and early
1999. Each will be 180 meters/591 feet long with a beam of 32.2 meters/106

Bona Shipholding in three-tanker order from Samsung

Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. has received a U.S.$130 million order
from Bona Shipholding for three Aframax tankers.

P & O Cruises orders sistership of Oriana

P & O Cruises Ltd. has ordered a 76,000-gt passenger ship from Meyer
Werft at Hamburg, Germany, for about 200 million British pounds/U.S.$343
million. For use in the United Kingdom market, it will be delivered in
spring 2000. The ship, similar to the line's Oriana, delivered in 1995,
will have a capacity of 1,800 passengers. Among the changes from the Oriana,
the new ship will have 414 cabins, or 45 percent of the total, with private
balconies and there will be a total of five decks of cabins. The ship will
also have a business center and a retractable dome over a pool at amidships.

German firm cancels five ship order with Hyundai

Norddeutsche Vermoegenslange G.m.b.H. & Co. has canceled an order
for five 4,500-TEU capacity containerships with Hyundai Heavy Industries
Co. Ltd. The ships were to have be chartered to the consortium of Cho Yang
Shipping Co. Ltd., DSR-Senator Lines and Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd.

Sea Containers orders vessel for Isle of Man service

Sea Containers Ltd. said 22 April it has ordered a vessel to be used
by its subsidiary Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. The ship will replace the
firm's two existing vessels, and will sail between Douglas, Isle of Man,
and Heysham, England. The new ship will be built by Van Der Giessen B.V.
at Rotterdam, the Neterlands, for delivery in July 1998 and will cost 24
million British pounds/U.S.$38.5 million. It will be 125 meters/410 feet
long with a 500-passenger capacity and 1,235 lane meters/4,052 lane feet
of space for vehicles. The ship will operate at 19 knots with two round
trips daily. Construction will be supervised by Hart, Fenton & Co.

Mitsubishi Oil in F.P.S.O. deal

Mitsubishi Oil Co. has awarded a contract to a joint Japanese-Swiss
venture to build and operate a floating production, storage and offloading
(F.P.S.O.) vessel at an oilfield off Vietnam.

Kvaerner Govan to built two supply vessels

Kvaerner Govan Ltd. has received an order worth 27 million British pounds/U.S.$44
million for two large offshore platform supply vessels. They will be delivered
in mid-1998.

Lyon Shipyard to work on U.S. Navy barge

Lyon Shipyard Inc. in Norfolk, Va., has received a U.S.$1.85 million
contract to refurbish a U.S. Navy berthing barge. The work will require
115 employees and will be finished by 23 Oct.

Dawn Princess delivered

On 19 April, Fincanieri Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. delivered the
Dawn Princess (5,710-dwt passenger ship) to Princess Cruises Inc.

Build Ship buys unfinished hull at Gdansk

Build Ship, a new firm backed by the bank Pe KaO, has bought the hull
of an unfinished vessel from Gdansk Stocznia S.A. It was ordered by EAC
as a B683 type geared bulk carrier, but work stopped in June when it was
60 percent complete. Build Ship will employ 800 former Gdansk shipyard
employees to finish it.

Two ships from Gdynia begin sea trials

On 18 April, two ships built by Stocznia Gdynia S.A. began sea trials.
One of the two 2,000-TEU capacity containerships, the Westerems, was ordered
by Hans Petersen and Soehne G.m.b.H. and Co. KG and the other, Sea Parana,
was ordered by KG Projex Schiffahrts G.m.b.H. and Co. Both will be delivered
this week.

Rhapsody of the Seas returns to shipyard after motor overheats

The Rhapsody of the Seas (6,300-dwt passenger ship, operated by Royal
Carribean Cruises) returned to Chantiers de l'Atlantique at St. Nazaire,
France, on 22 April after the starboard electric propulsion motor was damaged.
The ship was about 40 kilometers/25 miles from St. Nazaire when the motor
overheated. The Rhapsody of the Seas was on its delivery voyage.

Szczecin christens the Helen Schulte

The Helen Schulte (Cypriot-registry 23,300-dwt B186 type containership,
operated by Berhard Schulte) was christened 18 April at Szczecin Stocznia
S.A. The ship was laid down 17 Dec. and launched 1 Feb.

Stena Carisma reaches 43 knots on trials

Stena Carisma, an HSS900 fast ferry built by Westamarin A/S for Stena
Lines, recently achieved 43 knots on sea trials in seas of three meters/10
feet. The vessel has two GT 35 gas turbines developing 17 mW, built by
ABB Stal Marine Equipment Inc. The only work required during trials was
the replacement of lubricating oil pipes on the gearbox, with one changed
after eight hours and one after 14 hours. -- 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


Chief mate of Russian-registry ship dies, master in critical condition

The chief mate of the Sormovskiy 58 (Russian-registry 2,484-gt, 3,734-dwt
bulk carrier built in 1979, owned by Amur River Shipping Co. and operated
by Volga-Don River Shipping Co.) died early 21 April as the ship was docked
at the Port of Sakaide, Japan. Sovetov Vasily, 47, died at a hospital in
Sakaide after going into a coma. The master of the ship, Yesayev Valeriy,
44, is in critical condition at the same hospital. An investigation is
underway. The Sormovskiy 58, with a crew of 19, docked in Sakaide the night
of 20 April after leaving Slavyanka, Russia, on 7 April.

Four crewmembers of the U.S.S. Grasp injured

Four crewmembers of the U.S. Navy's Safeguard-class Salvage Ship U.S.S.
Grasp (ARS 51) were injured 21 April in a mooring line accident. Helicopters
from U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., and Naval Air Station
Oceana, Va., took the four to a hospital. Two were treated and released
while the other two are hospitalized. The U.S.S. Grasp is off Cape Hatteras,
N.C., recovering an H-60 series helicopter that crashed recently.

Greek Coast Guard vessel stolen, found in Albania

A Greek Coast Guard vessel was stolen 20 April from the Port of Preveza,
Greece. It was later found in Albanian territorial waters by the Greek
Navy Esperos-class Torpedo Boat Tyfon (P 56) and a Coast Guard vessel.
As the two approached the stolen boat, they were fired on by hooded persons
with Kalashnikovs in an abandoned building which overlooked the area where
the vessel was anchored. Shortly after, a speedboat left Corfu, Greece,
to retrieve the stolen boat. Greek Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis
has suspended the Preveza harbormaster.

North Korean-registry vessel held in Japan for alleged drug smuggling

Japanese police have arrested two personnel of a trading firm in Osaka,
Japan, on suspicion of smuggling 70 kilograms/154 pounds of stimulant drugs
from North Korea to Japan. The two, the president of the trading company,
Li Sang Su, 45, and the vice president, Kim Chang Hong, 54, are both North
Korean citizens. Police are questioning the crew of the Ji Song No. 2 (North
Korean-registry 1,499-gt vessel), which allegedly carried the drugs in
12 cans of honey. Worth 10.9 billion Japanese yen, the drugs were found
at the Port of Hososhima, Japan, during unloading. The ship arrived 9 April
after leaving the Port of Nampo, North Korea, four days earlier. The Ji
Song No. 2 left Hosoahima on 10 April and is now at Shimonoseki, Japan.
It was to sail 18 April for Hakata, Japan, but has been detained.

Cocaine shipment found in cargo in Venezuela

The Venezuelan National Guard found 215 kilograms/473 pounds of cocaine
this week at La Guira, Venezuela. It was found in a shipment of aluminum
ingots being shipped to Rotterdam, the Netherlands. A customs agent, the
owner of the warehouse where the ingots were stored and a man claiming
to be the president of a firm that does not exist have been arrested.

Crews of several ships protest to secure back wages

The crews of four ships began a protest 22 April to secure back wages
owed by Euroeast Agencies N.V. and Martec S.A. The Polish crew of the Swiecie
(Liberian-registry 12,333-dwt dry cargo ship built in 1971, operated by
Euroeast Agencies) struck at the Port of Gdynia, Poland, while crews aboard
the Marian Buczek (Liberian-registry 12,129-dwt dry cargo ship built in
1974, operated by Martec), the Major Sucharski (Liberian-registry 12,120-dwt
dry cargo ship built in 1973, operated by Martec) and the Ursus (12,312-dwt
dry cargo ship built in 1972, operated by Euroeast Agencies) did the same
elsewhere. The four ships were sold by Polish Ocean Lines three years ago,
but in October, new crews were brought aboard. Wages for October and November
were paid in March, and no payments have been made since. The crew of the
Marian Buczek "arrested" the ship at the Port of Durban, South
Africa, and received a partial payment.

Mississippi River update

The U.S. Coast Guard and the barge industry will establish a joint operations
center in Baton Rouge, La., and add another assist tug at Port Allen, La.,
following recent flooding of the Mississippi River that caused several
casualties. As of 20 April, the area of the river from Vicksburg, Miss.,
to the U.S. territorial waters at the Southwest Pass were under several
navigation restrictions and were being patrolled by Operation Safe River.
The operation is a joint Coast Guard and industry effort. Also, tows of
more than 180 meters/600 feet are barred from entering or leaving lock

U.S. Coast Guard finds parole violator at sea

The U.S. Coast Guard took a man into custody at 1230 22 April for a
felony parole violation, 170 kilometers/106 miles southeast of Nantucket,
Mass. The Coast Guard's "Point"-class Patrol Boat U.S.C.G.C.
Point Wells (WPB 82343) stopped and boarded the Zibet (U.S.-registry 26-meter/85-foot
scallop vessel, homeported at New Bedford, Mass.), where the boarding team
found Gilberto Cabeceiras, a 43-year-old New Bedford man wanted by the
U.S. Marshal's Service. He was taken to Woods Hole, Mass., where he was
turned over the Marshal's Service at 1800. Cabeceiras was wanted on a parole
violation relating to a drug conviction.


Club Med I sold to Windstar Cruises

The Club Med I (Bahamian-registry 14,745-gt, 1,654-dwt passenger ship
built in 1989 by Societe Nouvelle des Ateliers et Chantiers at Le Havre,
France) has been sold by Services et Transports Cruise Lines to Windstar
Cruises for U.S$45 million. Windstar Cruises is a unit of Carnival Cruise
Lines Inc., owned by Carnival Corp. The ship will refurbished and renamed
after delivery in March 1998. While the ship can currently accomodate 386
passengers, one deck of cabins will be remodled to create 30 suites, for
a ship capacity of 312. The ship will sail in the Mediterranean from May
to October from Nice, France, and in the Carribean from November to March
from Barbados.

Three former Socanav tankers sold

Three former tankers of bankrupt Socanav Inc. were sold 7 April at a
marshal's sale in Montreal. The Le Chene No. 1 (Canadian-registry 7,800-dwt,
5,060-gt, 3,451-nt, 131.05-meter/429.95-foot motor tanker built in 1961
by Marine Industries Ltd. at Sorel, Canada, and lengthened in 1979) was
sold to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, which then sold it again
to Enerchem Transport Inc. The ship will retain Canadian-registry. The
L'Orme No. 1 (Canadian-registry 9,128-dwt, 5,391-gt, 3,221-nt, 122.13-meter/400.69-foot
motor tanker built in 1974 by Marine Industries at Sorel) was sold to Venezuelan
interests and left Montreal on 18 April for the Carribean. The ship has
been registered in Panama. The Le Saule No. 1 (Canadian-registry 7,175-dwt,
5,114-gt, 3,382-nt, 118.61-meter/389.14-foot motor tanker built in 1970
by Marine Industries at Sorel) was sold to the Canadian Imperial Bank of
Commerce which is offering it for sale. The W.M. Vacy Ash (Panamanian-registry
8,697-dwt, 5,134-gt, 3,265-nt, 121.92-meter/400.00-foot motor tanker built
in 1969 by Marine Industries at Sorel) remains under arrest at the Port
of Brest, France, and is for sale.

Ignazio Messina buys first containership

Ignazio Messina di Navigazione S.p.A. has bought its first containership
for U.S.$20 million. The European Senator (Cypriot-registry 31,584-dwt,
2,000-TEU capacity containership built in 1990) will be renamed the Jolly
Platino and was formerly operated by Peter Dohle. The ship will operate
between Genoa, Italy, the Middle East, India and Pakistan.

Registry changes

The Pommern (38,650-dwt containership built in 1996) has transferred
from the German to Liberian registry. It is owned and operated by Erste
Warnemunder Schiffahrts Gesellschaft, a venture of F. Laeisz Reederi G.m.b.H.
and Kvaerner Warnow-Werft G.m.b.H. It had been chartered to Sea-Land Service
Inc. as the Sea Excellence. Briese Schiffahrts G.m.b.H. and Co. KG has
reflagged the Dollart (3,560-dwt general cargo ship built in 1995) from
the German to Madeira registry. Flensburger Schiffsporten-Vereinigung has
transferred the registry of the Saturn (7,950-dwt containership built in
1980) from the Liberian to German registry so that it can be used in Spanish
cabotage. It is operated by Baltic Bereederung G.m.b.H. and Co. KG. Crowley
Maritime Corp. is transferring the registry of two ships from the United
States to the Marshall Islands. The Ambassador (11,340-dwt ro/ro built
in 1980) and the Senator (9,227-dwt ro/ro built in 1981) sail from the
U.S. east coast to Central America, and will now have European masters
and Filipino crews. Both are operated by Crowley Maritime.


Ocean Trader fire kills one person, one missing

The Ocean Trader (Singaporean-registry 15,162-gt, 27,340-dwt tanker
built in 1979, owned and operated by Ocean Tankers (Pte.) Ltd.) had a fire
1820 23 April at Berth 7 of Mobil Corp.'s terminal at Pulau Pesek near
Singapore. One person was killed, one is missing and two were injured.
The four are said to be Chinese citizens, with the ship's crew also including
citizens of Myanmar and Nigeria. The fire was reported to the Maritime
and Port of Singapore Authority by a a passing pilot, and five vessels
of the Port of Singapore Authority, Semco Salvage and Marine Pte. Ltd.
and Smit International fought the fire, extinguishing it by 1945. The fire
began as the Ocean Trader discharged condensate.

Fire aboard two ships moored near Greek shipyard kills one worker

Fires aboard two separate ships the morning of 22 April at a shipyard
near Perama, Greece, killed one person. During steel repairs on the Ionian
Bridge (Cypriot-registry 6,374-gt, 7,483-dwt ro/ro built in 1976, owned
and operated by Strintzis Lines S.A.) a fire began that killed an employee
of the yard, Dimitris Kyris, 40. The ship's crew of 21, all Greek citizens,
were not injured. The ship arrived at Perama on 10 Feb. and was to sail
to Australia. Another fire began aboard the Minoan Hill (Panamanian-registry
62,593-dwt bulk carrier built in 1973, operated by Tsatsakis Shipping)
moored at a quay at nearby Drapetsona, Greece, for repairs. Both fires
were brought under control.

One missing after Belize-registry tanker sinks off Venezuela

The Gulf Stream (Belize-registry 5,000-dwt tanker) sank 20 April, 37
kilometers/23 miles north of La Tortuga Island, Venezuela. The ship was
sailing from Havana to the Corpoven facility at Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela,
to load oil, when the ship's central cargo tank ruptured. Of the Cuban
crew, 25 boarded lifeboats and were rescued by a fishing vessel while one
crewmember is missing. Venezuela believes that faulty welding of two cargo
tanks caused the sinking. The vessel had been repaired recently in Havana.

Tanker sinks in Jakarta Bay

The Perwira (Indonesian-registry 746-gt, 512-dwt tanker built in 1972,
owned by Bumi Perkasa Bahtera Ltd. and operated by Salvindo Towage and
Salvage) sank 18 April at 06 degrees 04.42 minutes south, 106 degrees 54.12
minutes east. The location is in Jakarta Bay near Tanjung Priok, Indonesia.

Hakusan Maru, dredger, lost off Japan

The Hakusan Maru (Japanese-registry 2,187-gt trailing suction hopper
dredger) capsized and sank 18 April off Niigata, Japan.

Tug partially blocks Panama Canal

The San Pablo II (Panamanian-registry 322-gt tug), involved with dredging
in the Panama Canal, sank in the approaches to the east line of the Miraflores
Locks on 21 April. It is partially blocking the canal.

Tug sinks in river in Maryland

The tug Eastern Star capsized and sank 10 April near the entrance to
the Wicomico River in Maryland. Of the four aboard, three swam ashore and
one was rescued by a helicopter. The tug was towing an empty gravel barge
when it capsized rounding a bend. A sheen was seen on the water in the
area, formed by some of the 7,600 liters/2,000 gallons of diesel aboard
the Eastern Star. The barge, meanwhile, blocked the river.

Turkish-registry ship suffers fire in Red Sea

A Turkish-registry vessel burned for 12 hours in the Red Sea off Egypt
on 21 April, 163 kilometers/101 miles south of the Gulf of Suez. The ship
was carrying steel.

Mediterranea suffers fire at Luanda

The Mediterranea (Cypriot-registry 17,200-gt, 15,969-dwt dry cargo ship
built in 1983, operated by Swiss Marine Inc.) had an engine room fire 16
April while docking at the Port of Luanda, Angola. The No. 2 generator
caught fire, and the fire spread to the No. 1 generator. The engine room
was floded with carbon dioxide to extinguish the fire.

Vittorio Veneto grounds off Albania

The Vittorio Veneto (C 550), an Italian Navy guided-missile cruiser,
ran aground in sand off Vlore, Albania, on 22 April. The ship is acting
as the command center for Operation Alba ("Sunrise"), a multinational
military force that is protecting aid and attempting to restore security
in Albania. The Vittorio Veneto, 460 meters/1,500 feet offshore, was not
damaged. It was refloated 23 April.

Velebit aground at Lake Maracaibo

The tanker Velebit ran aground in the Lake Maracaibo Channel in Venezuela
on 17 April after snagging fishing nets. The ship, carrying petrochemicals
from the Pequiven facility at El Tablazo, Venezuela, freed itself. It is
the fourth tanker to ground in the channel since February. Relatedly, five
employees of Institution Nacional de Canalizaciones, which oversees the
channel, have been asked to resign.

Norwegian-registry trawler suffers engine problems

The Havbris (Norwegian-registry 1,759-gt stern trawler) lost power 221
kilometers/138 miles northeast of Aberdeen, Scotland, on 21 April, at 58
degrees 22 minutes north, 00 degrees 52 minutes east. The Smit Singapore
(1,985-dwt offshore vessel built in 1984, operated by Wijsmuller) towed
the Havbris to sheletered waters where the crew made repairs and sailed
for Norway on 22 April.

Canadian Miner loses power in the Detroit River

The Canadian Miner (Canadian-registry 16,325-gt, 28,094-dwt, 13,307-nt,
223-meter/730-foot bulk carrier built in 1966 by Canadian Vickers Shipyards
Ltd. at Montreal; owned and operated by Upper Lakes Group Inc.) lost power
at 0618 23 April near Belle Isle in the Detroit River. The ship anchored
and was towed by two tugs to Windsor, Canada, where the crew made repairs.
After being cleared by the Canadian and U.S. Coast Guards, the ship sailed
at 2100.

Algolake refloated

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) has been refloated.
The ship ran aground the night of 17 April on Vidal Shoal approaching Algoma
Steel while downbound in the St. Marys River between Michigan and Ontario,
Canada. The ship took on water with damage to the No. 1 and 2 ballast tanks.
Some of the cargo of taconite was lightered to a barge owned by Purvis
Marine Ltd. Speculation is that the grounding was caused by a buoy anchor
that was pushed into the area by ice.

Superferry 7 fire invesigation suspended

An inquiry by the Philippine government into a fire that destroyed the
Superferry 7 (Philippine-registry 4,847-gt, 3,199-dwt ro/ro ferry built
in 1980, operated by Oshima Unyu and owned by WG & A Lines; formerly
the Mabuhay II) has been suspended. Two people, including an electrician,
were injured 26 March when the vessel had a fire in the North Harbor of
Manila, the Philippines. The ferry was preparing to sail to Cebu and Dumaguete
from Pier 4 and had arrived from Cagayan de Oro with 1,600 passengers.
As 572 passengers disembarked, there were two explosions aboard, followed
by a fire near crew cabins above the engine room. As the fire spread, the
ferry was towed away from the pier and partially sank. Damage was estimated
at 800 million Philippine pesos/U.S.$30.4 million. A preliminary investigation
concluded that "illegal electrical connections" in a crewmember's
cabin short-circuited, starting the fire. The crewmember said an electrical
extension cord connected several appliances to an overhead outlet. It probably
could not handle the load. Cabin 23 was assigned to contractual workers
doing repair work aboard. The formal probe into the fire was suspended
after Philippine Navy divers were unable to enter the vessel due to a large
oil spill, which reduced visbility to near zero. Relatedly, WG & A
Lines said that it received 410 million pesos/U.S.$15.77 million in fire
insurance from Insular General Insurance Co. The payment was one of the
largest Philippine shipping claims ever, and was also one of the fastest,
being completed within five working days of the fire. Collard and Partners
was involved in the claim.


Conner's yacht christened

The Toshiba, a 20-meter/65-foot yacht named for its sponsor, was christened
23 April at New England Boatworks in Portsmouth, R.I. The yacht, with a
large graphic of a computer keyboard on its white hull, was ordered by
Dennis Conner for a round-the-world race. Chris Dickson, of New Zealand,
has been hired by Conner as the yacht's skipper. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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-- 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