Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

By K 

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


Have questions about news, trends, basic industry terms, ‘how-it’s-done’ or something you’re observing in your own industry sector? Send them to and I’ll do my best to answer them, either by email or in one of my upcoming columns (where first name-only references will be used).

Container carrier CO2 emissions have been cut by roughly 29 percent over the past six years, and by more than eight percent over the period 2013-2014, according to Business for Social Responsibility’s Clean Cargo Working Group, a global non-profit carrier-shipper initiative. The reductions are due in part to a more efficient fleet, better data quality and global trade lane changes. The Group collects and analyzes data from approximately 3,000 container vessels on a per-container, per-kilometer basis.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

The lone survivor of the commercial fishing vessel Caledonian that capsized and sank off the western coast of Vancouver Island was picked up by rescuers in the wee hours in a life raft after worried owners reported a missing scheduled check-in the evening before. He was subsequently taken to a nearby cruise ship, then to a hospital in Victoria. His three crewmates unfortunately all perished despite their frantic efforts to right the ship, which began listing as they were hauling in a net.

In the Black Sea, the 177-meter El Condor Pass bulk carrier ran aground after reportedly making a turn sooner than she should have near Umuryeri Point on her way to the Port of Samsun. Apparently there was no pilot aboard when the incident happened.

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and caught fire caused injuries to two crew from the Ms. Kerci dive support vessel that was working near March Island, Louisiana.

Vacation time was interrupted for more than 3,300 passengers aboard the Carnival Liberty cruise ship after the vessel suffered an aft engine room fire while moored at the port of St. Thomas. The fire was quickly handled by Hi-Fog suppression and CO2 systems, and no one was injured.

A Seaspan barge top-heavy with several layers of wrecked cars toppled over, spilling many into Victoria, BC’s Gorge waterway. Luckily the crane operator escaped harm. Apparently the cars were drained of any kind of hydrocarbons before being crushed but a boom was set up around the perimeter just in case. Efforts to clean up the waterway have been going on for several years and this incident, no doubt, has left many wondering what the long-term effects will be on the environment and the cutthroat trout that inhabit the area.

Piracy Pulse

The siphoning of fuel seems to be one of the more recent prevalent pirate activities that have occurred in South East Asia as well as the South China Sea. In early August, the M/T Joaquim disappeared in Selangor waters in the Malacca Strait while raiders stole more than 3,000 tons of fuel from the Singapore-registered vessel, bringing the number of similar hijacking incidents in the region to four in just over a year and a half. In order to combat the alarming increase in piracy and armed robbery attacks in the Malacca Strait, a new Malaysian and Indonesian rapid deployment team has been formed in an attempt to prevent and stop these illegal activities

In Indonesia, a shameless lone robber boarded a containership sailing near Pulau Karimun Kecil and bound and gagged the duty engineer before stealing some of the ship’s stores and taking off.

Ship’s stores were also taken from an anchored bulk carrier near Vung Tau Anchorage in Vietnam by a band of robbers who were able to break into the paint locker and get away before being noticed.

Seven robbers brandishing knives were thwarted in their attempt to take control of a bulk carrier near Pulau Nipah, Indonesia. The fast action of the crew who transmitted an alert, while mustering on the bridge, helped dissuade the would-be thieves.

Odds and Ends

LNG is making its way into the hopper-dredger market. It was recently announced that Wärtsilä will provide dual-fuel engines for a new 104-meter-long Antigoon class dredger called Scheldt River, currently under construction for Belgium’s DEME Group.

A new type of research vessel may start plying the UK-North America crossing in 2020. Researchers at Plymouth University are in the design stages of developing an autonomous unmanned ship that will be powered by renewable energy technology and utilize advanced navigation software. The new vessel will carry out specific science experiments during its crossing, which is slated to occur on the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower pilgrimage that first landed on Cape Cod’s shores.

Recently, an intact wooden gun carriage from the 1665-sunk British warship The London was recovered near Essex, England. The ship exploded and sank, taking all 300 of her crew with her, but the reason for the explosion has not yet been identified. Previously, five cannon were recovered and are owned by a US private collector as well as the Royal Armories. Reportedly, each gun carriage was purpose-built for each specific gun, so it is hoped that this new discovery may lead to helping unravel the mystery of The London’s demise.

Canada’s Irving shipbuilding may have just celebrated the steel cutting of the first Canadian arctic Offshore Patrol ship, but the company is also facing charges related to an incident that happened in 2014 when a Shipyard worker was struck on the head by a wire rope loop when a ship’s cradle broke fee as the vessel was being launched. A Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act representative has alleged Irving did not ensure the safety of workers in the area or that the operator of the machine was properly trained.


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