Maritime news from the seven seas
The tightening of capital belts in the offshore oil exploration industry is being felt throughout the world’s oilrig fleet. Reportedly, rig rates may drop by nearly 15 percent in some industry segments, despite a small uptake in oil and gas expenditures forecasted for next year, with older rigs most likely being hit the hardest.
Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents
One person died and several were missing after a collision between Hua Yun 2, a chemical tanker, and the containership Sheng An Da 7, which resulted in the containership capsizing near the Pearl River Delta, China. Fire broke out aboard the Yakamoz-5 tanker at anchor near Istanbul, injuring one crewmember. Two tugs assisted with firefighting efforts.
Three people had to be rescued after the Belltech 5, a 36-foot landing craft, sank in the frigid Alaskan waters near Valdez Arm. People aboard the nearby Miss Jana and the Equinox fishing vessels helped in the rescue. In the Philippines, near Barangay Bitaogon, Surigao City, an engine breakdown aboard the speedboat Sea Hunt resulted in the subsequent rescue of six people.
The Canadian warship HMCS Protecteur sailing in the Hawaiian Islands encountered a devastating engine-room fire. The situation was complicated by the loss of a tow line between the stricken vessel and the tug USS Chosin, which rendered Protecteur adrift for several days before she was safely towed back to Pearl Harbor, assisted by another US navy tug.
Five crewmembers and the master of the cargo vessel M/V Sea Breeze were evacuated near Cornwall in the UK after the ship began taking on water at an alarming rate. The five had to be rescued by helicopter, while the master was taken aboard a British patrol vessel to oversee the attempted salvage operation.
On Mykonos Island in the Aegean Sea, the M/V Yusuf Cepnioglu, with a cargo of 204 containers and 14 crew aboard, ran aground. A newly built Indian Navy destroyer spelled the end of one officer’s life during sea trials due to an apparent gas leak caused by malfunctioning machinery. Two Mumbai Port Trust officials were injured in the incident.
A new proprietary design by Keppel will be featured in a $500 million ultra-high specification jackup rig being built for TS Offshore Ltd. KFELS N Plus jackup builds on the company’s existing KFELS N-Class design. The new rig will be able to drill down to 35,000 feet. Delivery is expected in the first quarter of 2017.
WesternGeo has introduced a new generation of seismic survey vessels that are set to enhance operational and environmental efficiency while optimizing streamer deployment. The recently christened 413-foot long Amazon Warrior, will be in service by the second quarter of 2014 and her sister ship is scheduled to be delivered in the last quarter of the year. The contemporary design reduces slamming with the vessel’s sleek, knife-shaped bow, which also aids in controlling streamers. The ships have capacity for 124 miles of streamers.
The first-ever LNG ferry is being built by Fassmer for German ferry operator AG Ems. While LNG will be the primary fuel used, the 80-foot vessel will also have the option of switching to run on traditional diesel fuels. Delivery is expected in 2015.
Wärtsilä has entered into a contact with Totem Ocean to provide main engines, generators, storage and fuel gas handling equipment for what is considered the largest LNG conversion in North America.
By the summer of 2014, the first LNG hybrid barge will take up residence at the Port of Hamburg, Germany. Zeppelin Power Systems is providing five generators, reportedly the first Caterpillar LNG marine-classed engines that will produce an estimated 7.5 MW with no sulphur oxide emissions. The partnership between AIDA Cruses and Becker Marine Systems will ring in a new era of external environmentally-friendly shore power that will be provided to cruise ships while docked at the port.
Shipwrecks of Old
Seven cannonballs as well as pieces of wood and metal from La Purisima Concepcion, a 1765 Spanish shipwreck, have been found in Argentina.
Recent winter storms in the Cornwall area of the UK have unearthed a 1917 First World War German shipwreck. The SV Carl was under tow to London by the Royal Navy at the time it met with disaster. Parts of its hull and masts can be seen lodged in the mud of Booby’s Bay.
An archaeological investigation is underway on what’s considered to be the Indian Ocean’s oldest shipwreck near Godavaya, a Sri Lankan fishing village. It’s estimated the wreck has been lying on the seabed for close to 2,000 years.
Odds and Ends
A $10 million initiative is underway to make the Port of Halifax the first Atlantic Canada port to offer shore power facilities to the cruise industry. It has been estimated that initially the move will effect at least a seven percent annual decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.
Canada’s largest gantry crane now has a home at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards. The huge 300-ton crane, once assembled, will be 80 meters high by 76 meters wide and is expected to be operational by this summer.
The first two months of 2014 have seen Korean shipbuilders jump ahead of their Chinese competitors by winning orders of 1.39 million compensated gross tons in February alone. One of the reasons cited for the increased building activity is the flourishing liquefied petroleum gas carrier demand, particularly from the United States, for which the Korean shipbuilders are more technically able to handle.
A lack of communication between both the master and the pilot of the bulk carrier Cape Apricot, led to an allision between the ship and a causeway and conveyor system at the Roberts Bank terminal in Vancouver, BC in December 2013. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s investigation also noted the lack of an in-depth safety management system with the British Columbia Coast Pilots, Ltd. which helped play a part in the inability of the two mariners to identify and mitigate the risk of the incident while enroute.
Kathy A. Smith enjoys writing for US and international fishing and maritime trade journals. She can be reached at email@example.com.