Friday, July 18, 2008

Maritime Mishaps

In the Antarctic, the master of the Sea Shepherd's environ­mental pirate ship Steve Irwin claimed he was shot at by Japanese whalers and produced a bullet he said had lodged in his bullet-proof vest, but Japan dismissed his claim as a lie. The alleged incident happened while the Irwin's crews was throwing stink bombs at the factory ship Nis­shin Maru and Japanese Coast Guard personnel threw back flash grenades. In the Arctic, two officers of the same group's Farley Mowat were arrested for taking the ship far too close to a sealing vessel. " we had a guy on the ice and she broke the ice up under his feet," claimed one sealer.

The Panama Canal Authority post­poned critical maintenance work on several locks when ships started pil­ing up. At one point, 110 vessels were awaiting passage, with waiting times running from five to eight days.
The offshore energy industry is feeling the pinch of too few skilled personnel but the next big problem may be rust, more than half the structures in the North Sea are in poor condition.

The French trawler Marie Louise Bart sank 41 miles from Guernsey in winds up to 110 km, its crew of five were saved by nearby vessels. The Chinese cargo ship New Hangzhou sank off East China, a passing fishing vessel plucked all 23 crewmembers from a liferaft. Off Alaska, rudder problems caused the 185 foot fishing vessel Alaskan Ranger to sink. Most of the crew of 47 was saved. It was the larg­est such rescue in the US Coast Guard memory. In Vietnam, a timber laden cargo ship managed to sink in the Dai Giang River all by itself and six of its crew of sixteen died. The tug Frigga was towing the crane barge Pontus, the dredge Elvira, and a barge off the Swedish east coast when strong winds capsized and sank the dredge and the crane barge. In East Java, thePerdana, carrying sand, cement, and forty people, capsized and five died.

The bulker Darya Bhakti bumped the container ship OOCL China off Shanghai, some damage to ships and containers. At Malta, Force 6 winds caused the cargo ship Akin to hit the Aggeklicki berthed at the fuel wharf. A South Korean tanker collided with a small boat off that country's south coast and 200 tons of diesel fuel spilled. A watchstander on the Japanese fishing vessel Kosho Maru No. 7 fell asleep and the craft ran into the side of the anchored Japanese Coast Guard vessel Was aka. The fishing vessel 801 Chang Nyeongand the 4,050-ton tanker Heung Yang collided off South Korea, caus­ing a 52,000-gallon spill of refined oil. The deep-sea tug Neftegaz 67 collided with the cargo ship Yao Mai near Hong Kong and sank, carrying with it most of its crew of 18. Rescuers saved eight and tried to drag the upside down tug into shallower waters for more rescue attempts. The pull failed because the tug's upper works were deep in the mud. At Rotterdam, the departing Beluga Innovation lost power, rammed the Vendette, and then ran its nose up on the shore.

On the Hooghly River, the smallish container ship CS Signe had steering problems, hit ajetty, and went aground, At the Brazilian port of Sal­vador, the MBTE-carrying tanker NCC Jupal ran into a pier and opened up its hull; some spill of engine oil. In eastern China, near Ninbo, the 1,400-dwt cargo ship Qinfeng 128 collided with a high concrete bridge under constructi on and one 3,000-ton span tumbled down onto the ship. Four went missing.
The container ship MSC Sabina ran aground in the St Lawrence River a hundred miles from Montreal and stayed there despite repeated pulls by up to five tugs plus waves created by a Canadian icebreaker steaming back and forth. Cargo will have to be moved to a sister ship before the next pull. Back in 2000, the MSC Sabrina ran into a Dutch fishing boat and then, 15 minutes later, hit a British freighter.) On the Basque coast of Spain, the cargo ship Maro went aground, its stern firmly amid rocks. High winds battered the UK and the 11,000-ton Astral began to drag its anchor. Tugs saved it but across the Channel in France, the 289-foot coaster Artemis did go aground on the Atlantic coast and next day people were walking around the stranded vessel. (It was pulled free by two large tugs.) The Sophia was similarly high and dry on a beach in Algeria.
The Tanzanian tanker Taurus, chartered by the Cormoran army as part of an offensive to recapture the archipelago's renegade island of An­jouan, caught fire and sank in the port of Grande Comore.

Three shipyard workers in the Philippines were pinned down by a crane when a shackle snapped and all three died. The night before Easter Sunday a seafarer fell off the Linda off Sweden and was not found. At Saldhana Bay in South Africa, the Panama arrived with two injured seamen. One died shortly after.