Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Shipping News Briefs

A woman was reported to have jumped from the Costa Mediterranea off Florida, apparently after an argu­ment with her boyfriend. Her family disbelieved his story, saying she was scared of heights and afraid of water. Passengers on the Princess of the Caribbean filed a class-action suit, claiming their Mediterranean voyage was spoiled by many toilets that never worked, a stench such that some slept on deck, and an explosion on the third day that caused the ship to list. Many passengers returned home with stom­ach aches, diarrhea, and headaches. At Durban, the 3,000-grt Madagascarwill be auctioned off. The beloved yacht like ex -Stella Maris II was arrested in 2005 after successive failures of two cruise companies, one of which was named Razzmatazz Ocean cruising.

The busy oil industry lacks ac­commodations spaces near offshore rigs and so the small, elderly (1967) Danish cruise ship Sikker Havn will go the Middle East to act as an offshore floating hotel. The Sky Wonder, a cruise ship with an unhappy past as the Pacific Sky, ran aground in strong winds in Turkey and most of its 1,000 passengers decided to go ashore. Several previous trips had been cancelled due to gearbox problems, the ship had to anchor in the Malacca Strait for several hours in 2006 due to mechanical problems, it ran aground in Argentina in January, and an Australian woman died on her in 2002, a death that triggered much discussion into what actually went on during its cruises.
The cruise industry spent $765 million in British Columbia last year and $1.1 billion in all of Canada. That works out to $237 per passenger and $55 per crewmember, at least in Vancouver.

The final report on the sinking of the Canadian ferry Queen of the North in March 2006 failed to reveal what happened during the sinking, merely stating, "Essentially, the system failed that night." Bridge management was in­adequate and there was no third qualified person present. The report also quietly noted that the male officer on duty and a female crewmember at the helm had recently broken up a relationship. The ferry failed to make a course change after exiting the Grenville Channel, sailed on for nearly 15 minutes before hitting Gil Island, and then drifted for 1 hour and 17 minutes before sinking. Two people died. And residents of the nearby Indian village of Hartley Bay have sued, claiming that the ferry company has left the sunken ship in its territory without their permission and traditional fishing grounds were polluted. Hartley Bay residents were the first to arrive at the scene.

Continued bad weather and hurri­cane force winds rolled the grounded Irish Sea ferry Riverdance farther on its side, to 110 degrees, and did so much damage that the 6,000-ton vessel was declared a total constructive loss and will be cut up in place, Until gone it will be a major attraction at the UK's favorite family resort, Blackpool. However, unrecognized by most spectators was the historical significance of timber ends sticking out ofthe beach a few hundred feet from the Riverdance. They were the remains ofthe 1798-built, 80-gun ship ofthe line HMS Foudroyant, once Admiral Horatio Nelson's flagship in the Mediterranean.