Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


Mega alliances are part of the reason the container shipping sector could see a rise in profitability in 2015 according to Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd. Slow steaming and the continuation of relatively low fuel costs could also provide smoother sailing for container shippers in the months ahead. The good news is tempered with the fact that the global fleet is predicted to grow to 7.2 percent over the forecasted 5.3 percent in market demand.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

One crewmember and two contractors died as a result of injuries sustained in an engine room fire on board the docked M.S. Insignia cruise ship in Port Castries, St. Lucia.

A five-ton buoy that fell approximately 70 feet onto a barge at the Pear Harbor Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility killed two civilian contractors who were working with two others on strengthening the mooring lines on a decommissioned amphibious ship.

An explosion on the LPG tanker D.L. Calla, enroute to Thailand from South Korea, killed two people and injured two others.

In Lake Huron, a crewmember on the bulk carrier M.V. Lubie died after falling overboard while the ship was headed to Windsor, Ontario from Marinette, Wisconsin.

Two crewmembers were killed when the general cargo vessels, Gokbel and Lady Aziza, collided in fog near the Marina di Ravenna port in Italy. The Gokbel subsequently sank.

Piracy Pulse

In the Red Sea, nine pirates aboard two skiffs tried to come alongside a tanker underway. Hand flares were fired by armed guards to ward off the troupe but they continued their mission as crew made their way into the citadel. As the pirates, brandishing weapons, got closer to boarding via their ladder, the guards had to fire two rounds of warning shots to finally send them packing.

A band of eight pirates attacked a product tanker underway in Indonesia, near Pulau Karimun Besar, and tied up the duty oiler in the engine room before escaping with engine spares. The crewman was thankfully able to get himself free to get help and raise the alarm.

Brazen pirates wielding knives were able to cut through the razor wire protecting a containership at anchor in the Philippines Manila South Harbour Quarantine Anchorage. The thieves made their clandestine getaway with a number of ship’s stores.

An early morning piracy attack near Singapore in the South China Sea, left one crewmember dead after the raiders boarded and robbed the crew of the bitumen tanker V.P. Asphalt 2.

Odds and Ends

A huge fine for price fixing drives home the fact that crime doesn’t pay. Japanese Corporation Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha is on the hook for US$59.4 million for trying to control the allocation of customers and rigging bids for ro/ro services for a period of 15 years.

On the hook for a messy clean up is the owner of an un-manned, moored tugboat that spilled 22 tons of fuel into the St. Lawrence River after sinking in the Trois-Rivières port. Apparently the owner had been repeatedly told about the hazardous condition of the vessel and failed to take action.

Third time not lucky. Late last year, the M/V Mansour M departed the Greek anchorage at Rhodes without adhering to Port State Control conditions. The Republic of Moldova-flagged ship was also banned in Greece in 2011 and Slovenia in 2013. The third refusal of access order from the Paris MoU is set for 24 months.

Kathy Smith writes for global maritime trade journals and provides marketing copy to maritime businesses worldwide. She can be reached at


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