Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


LNG shipbuilding activities in China are expected to jump between now and 2020. In fact, the country is looking to obtain shipbuilding contracts over the next five to six years in this sector to the tune of about $10 billion, a move which, it is hoped, will help Chinese shipyards compete on a more even keel alongside their Japanese and South Korean counterparts.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

A 28-year-old man with heart problems had to be evacuated by a US Coast Guard helicopter from the Carnival Fantasy near Charleston, South Carolina.

The Federal Rideau, bound for Montreal, Quebec with a load of wheat, ran aground near the Detroit River in the Lake St. Clair shipping channel due to loss of steering control.

A blown gasket was responsible for sending four crew from the tug Trigger to the hospital after they were exposed to toxic anhydrous ammonia while refueling the Sombeke.

Damages totaling approximately $500,000 were tallied after a tugboat struck a Port Canaveral pier while carrying out dredging duties in order to widen and deepen the channel for larger marine vessels.

Near the west coast of Greenland, cruise passengers had their sightseeing holiday rudely interrupted and had to fly home after the Sea Adventurer broke down to due secondary engine problems.

A fishing vessel and the bulk carrier Jin Tai 66 both incurred extensive damage to their hulls after colliding in the Yellow Sea near Rongcheng in the People’s Republic of China.

Piracy Pulse

South of Angola, Ghana, 10 gun-wielding pirates took 21 crew hostage while the bunker they were aboard was in the midst of bunkering operations. The pirates hijacked the vessel, sailing it away and out of communication, later releasing it near Lagos with the crew unharmed after transferring a good deal of the cargo to pirate ships.

In Malaysia, near Johor, an anchored product tanker was boarded by 10 robbers with knives and guns who took cash and crew’s personal belongings before escaping. One crew member was injured in the neck by gun fire.

Another anchored tanker, this time in the Philippines, was boarded by four robbers who climbed the anchor chain and took off with some of the ship’s properties as the alarm sounded.

Offshore Onlookers

The purportedly first US wind farm is to be located off Nantucket Sound. Recently Cape Wind signed a contract with Weeks Marine and Manson Construction, a US joint venture partnership, to install 130 wind turbines. Weeks Marine will also provide the RD MacDonald as part of the wind vessel installation fleet, which is claimed as the first US-built offshore vessel of its kind.

What’s being called the world’s largest jack-up rig with a leg length of 678 feet has been delivered to Maersk Drilling by Keppel FELS a week ahead of schedule. It will be deployed in the North Sea for the next five years and will work up to depths of 492 feet.

Shipwrecks of Old

This summer a group of students in New Jersey’s Stockton College marine science program along with NOAA archaeologists and community divers, took part in a mapping project of the 1847-built Robert J. Walker iron-hulled steamship off the New Jersey coast. The vessel was a US Coast Survey (NOAA’s predecessor organization) ship that sank after a collision in high seas that claimed the lives of 21 of her crew in June 1860. In April, the wreck was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Mineral water, reportedly produced at Selters, encased in a corked-intact bottle has been found by Polish archaeologists on a Baltic Sea shipwreck in Gdańsk Bay. While the soda water from the area has been enjoyed since the Bronze Age, researchers believe the bottle, made from stoneware, is dated to somewhere between 1806 and 1830.

Odds and Ends

The touted world’s first hybrid diesel-LNG icebreaker is to be outfitted with machinery and technical spaces designed by Deltamarin Ltd. With accommodations for 24 crew and extra crew when emergency oil spill response measures are required, the vessel will be able to transit ice-packed areas of the Baltic Sea and confidently move through 1.6 meters thick ice. Delivery to the Finnish Transport Agency is expected in early 2016.

A ship’s master and second mate were convicted and fined under the Great Barrier Marine Park Act 1975 by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority when it was found that they did not plan sufficiently for their voyage from China to Abbot Point, in particular, in the Designated Shipping Area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Neither were they carrying the proper nautical charts and other relevant publications aboard the bulk carrier M/V Bulk Ingenuity per international shipping requirements.

Kathy A. Smith enjoys writing for US and international fishing and maritime trade journals. She can be reached at


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