Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


November 1, 2015

New mega cruise ship building is riding a high wave. According to Clarksons Research analysts, the current order book is at 41 vessels. While North American and European passengers dominated the market last year, the Asian sector, which has only started to gain momentum, is expected to become a major player before too long - especially considering the fact that the number of mainland Chinese cruise passengers is soon to exceed one million.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

In the Netherlands, near the port of Zeebrugge, the LNG tanker Al-Oraiq collided with the Flinterstar, a Dutch cargo ship, resulting in the Flinterstar sinking. All crew of both ships were safe, though one person from Flinterstar had to be treated for hypothermia.

In Brazil, the M/V Haider livestock carrier with nearly 5,000 head of cattle capsized at dock, sending most of the animals to their deaths.

More than 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the ocean in Astoria, Oregon, after the bulk carrier Global Gold allided with a pier, resulting in a four-foot by eight inch-wide gash to its hull.

A fire in the engine room led to the Spanish fishing vessel Campolibre Alai taking on water in Somalia Basin in the Indian ocean. Thankfully, the crew were safely rescued.

A man working aboard a towing vessel near Grand Isle in the Gulf of Mexico had to be medevaced by the Coast Guard after he suffered injuries while working with a piece of equipment.

In Vancouver, BC, near the Centerm Terminal, the Ocean Gordon tug capsized while underway towing a gravel barge. Her two crew ended up in the water but were quickly rescued.

Piracy Pulse

In Indonesia, despite stealthily boarding a product tanker at anchor and tying up and gagging the vessel’s aft duty crew, four machete-carrying robbers took off with nothing to show for their efforts.

Near Lagos, Nigeria several criminals in a small boat, approached a product tanker at anchor and went aboard under the guise of being cargo inspectors. But the game was up when the captain quickly realized their falsified paperwork and got a navy security boat to take them away.

Ship’s properties were stolen off a containership berthed at the Vietnam International Container Terminal in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City Port by two robbers brandishing a long-bladed weapon who made their get-away by jumping overboard.

Four robbers who broke into the entrance of an engine room on a containership underway near Pulau Nipah, Indonesia, weren’t able to perform their task since the duty oiler made haste and informed the Master who raised the alarm.

Odds and Ends

In 2010, a horrible wind farm accident resulted in the death of one worker and serious injury to another. The two companies involved have been charged for failing to maintain adequate equipment safety check measures and properly planning a lift, after parts of a wind turbine blade fell, crashing into two workers. Fluor Ltd, principal contractor, and Siemens Windpower A/S were each ordered to pay hefty fines and costs associated with the tragedy.

Big Data has moved into the containership sector with the first-ever deployment of TRAXENS technology on CMA CGM’s 18,000 TEU vessel Bougainville. The so-called smart containers use built-in relay antennas to transmit the location, humidity, vibrations and customs clearance status, and can even remotely control the temperature of refrigerated containers.

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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