Friday, May 30, 2008

Maritime News

One of three mariners unfairly jailed in Greece after cocaine was found on the banana-carrying freighter Coral Sea "lost contact with reality" after bail was denied for the second time in the seven months since their arrest.

Ships are twice as likely as five years ago to be involved in a serious casualty, announced one classification society. Smaller crews and decreas­ing levels of experience and complex technical cures to those problems are the main causes.

Japanese whaling in the Antarctic was harassed by the Sea Shepherd, whose crew threw stink bombs on the factory ship Nisshin Maru and managed to hide a satellite device on a killer boat. Australia, which had the patrol vessel Oceanic Viking on scene, condemned these actions but warned Japan to take actions to prevent violence.

The container ship Maersk Santana had a machinery failure and ended up aground across the traffic lane at Hamburg. In Qatar, the rolro Grande Napoli grounded in shallow water out­side the Doha pilot station. In Dubai, the freighter Farsi went aground after an anchor chain broke. A coast guard tug also went aground during rescue attempts. While trying to deliver fuel at New Providence in the Bahamas, the Shell tanker Ficus struck a reef and stayed there for some time.

The Russian dry-cargo river-sea freighter Ataman went aground in the Aegean Sea although the weather was fine and the chief mate was the duty officer. While being towed to a repair yard because of a hole in its engine room, the coastal reefer Arlu ran aground near Makhachkala (a Russian port in the republic of Dages tan on the western shore ofthe Caspian Sea). The product tanker Breakthough ran aground at the famed Cocos (Keeling) Islands off Australia.

Three vessels more-or-less simul­taneously collided in Akashi Strait in Japan's Inland Sea. The oil tanker Golden Phoenix and the fishing ves­sel Eisei Maru 5 survived but the small Belize cargo ship Gold Leader sank, taking with it three of its crew of nine.
The beer-carrying Don Wilfredo capsized and sank off the coast of Philippine's Sorsogon province. The coast guard and navy rescued 17 of the crew of 19. However, 76,744 cases of beer were not rescued.
The freighter Rezzak sailed in bad weather from Russia's Novorossisk for Turkey's Bartin, a 24-hour voyage. It never arrived although a life raft, life jackets, and other oddments were found. There were subsequent suspicions of maritime fraud: the same manning agency handled the tug Jupiter 6, which also disappeared during a voy­age in 2005.
Northeast of Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians, fire swept the fish processor Pacific Glacier and most of its crew was evacuated while firefighting continued, eventually successfully.

Steering failure on the rolro Otani left her adrift on the Japan Sea and awaiting arrival of the salvage tug Slavyanka. Hurricane-force winds off Denmark caused the rolro Victoria VI to lose five trailers overboard and enough cargo shifted so that the vessel developed a list.
In Felixstowe, high winds caused the mooring lines holding the Chinese container-crane carrier Zhen Hua 23 to snap and the ship slid along the pier. The aftermost of seven cranes knocked over a shore-based container crane and that toppled the next crane. Luckily, a parked car stopped the rolling carnage but the car wasn't good for much any more.

Across the English Channel near Rotterdam, sistership Zhen Hua 10 carrying five towering container cranes ran aground at the Hoek van Holland when it anchored too close to shore in high winds and it took four powerful tugs to pull it free. A Dutch inspector said it was questionable whether the crane-carrier (a semi -submersible con­version of a tanker) had enough power in light of its "wind-sensitive" cranes. In Hamburg, a shore-based container crane knocked antennas and satellite domes off the container ship COSCO Ningbo and across the North Sea Southampton was still cleaning up from the dropping of gantry-crane parts onto a boxship about two months earlier.