Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


A new guide is available for tanker operators to inform and prepare them for piracy attacks in Asia, in particular, oil cargo theft activities. Avoiding and deterring would-be thieves and kidnappers is the ultimate goal, and preventative measures such as anti-piracy drills top the list. The guide, put together by ReCAAP ISC and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) and the Information Fusion Centre (IFC), is being called a primer, while a more in-depth guide that addresses the activities and incidents unique to the region is expected to follow.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

A horrific accident occurred at Port Canaveral, Florida when a man attempting to transfer from a crew boat to a dredging barge slipped and fell into the water and had parts of his legs cut off by the boat’s spinning propellers. He lost one foot on one leg and his other leg was cut from the knee down in the accident. He was quickly rescued by crew and subsequently taken to hospital.

The Le Boreal cruise ship sailing in the Falkland Islands lost all power due to an engine room fire. But that’s not all. A gale that came up as the ship drifted sent her dangerously close to grounding on Cape Dolphin before British military forces saved the day. All 347 passengers and crew were safely evacuated first into lifeboats as ordered by the Master, then via a combination of helicopter and vessel rescue.

In Papenburg, Germany, a railway bridge that failed to open was damaged when the Emsmoon cargo vessel departing the port allided with it. The vessel, which suffered no damage, had to be towed back to the port by a tug. Thankfully no one was injured.

In a separate incident in Germany, fire broke out in several containers holding dangerous cargo aboard the MSC Katrina sailing in the Elbe estuary off the island of Heligoland. Two crewmen had to be medevaced by helicopter after they suffered injuries while trying to fight the fire. The fire was later completely distinguished with the help of tug crews that were dispatched to render assistance.

Piracy Pulse

In Haiti two robbers took off with ship’s mooring ropes – seems an unusual bounty – after boarding a cargo ship near the Port-au-Prince Anchorage and working fast with sharp knives before the crew could interrupt their mission.

In India, near the Kakinada Anchorage, three robbers had to leave their loot behind after attempting to remove stores from an anchored bulk carrier. The crew on duty rounds spotted them and subsequently the alarm was raised and crew mustered with no further incidents.

Neither was anything stolen in Indonesia near the Nipah Islands when another band of three robbers climbed aboard a barge under tow.

Odds and Ends

Plans are in the works for what’s being touted as the world’s greenest cruise ship that will apparently set sail in 2020. More than 30 scientists, engineers and other experts have worked on the Ecoship Project, which is run by Peace Boat, a peace and educational voyage NGO organization based in Japan. Ten retractable solar-panelled sails will dominate the features of the new ship as well as retractable wind generators. An estimated 5,000 people per year travel on the 55,000-ton ship, which will also be used for green marine technology and ocean research.

In another green first, ABB will be powering a high-tech hybrid ferry that is set to sail the Norwegian Fjords. ABB’s Onboard DC Grid system will be used to manage the integrated power system that includes a diesel engine, propeller and charging station. The sight-seeing vessel will be able to run on just battery power in parts of the fjords that are the most scenic for tourists, allowing for a near-silent view of nature from the ship.

The first of BC Ferries’ three new dual fuel (LNG/low sulfur diesel) Salish-class ships has been named. The ceremony took place at Remontowa Shipbuilding in Poland where the ships are being built. In late 2016, the newly-named Salish Orca will replace the Queen of Burnaby, a 50-year-old vessel that runs the route between Comox on Vancouver Island and Powell River on the mainland. The Salish Eagle and Salish Raven will be joining the fleet in 2017.

An Officer of the Watch under the influence of alcohol aboard the cargo vessel Lysblink Seaways was responsible for the grounding of the ship at full speed near the Kilchoan, Ardnamurchan peninsula in West Scotland. The vessel suffered further damage after spending two days on the rocks in bad weather. As a result, 25 tons of marine gas oil was spilled out of some of the fuel tanks and later, the ship was subsequently scrapped. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) also found that the alarm system for bridge navigational watch had been switched off and the radar watch alarm was reset by the officer several times in his incoherent state so other crew had no idea of his inability to perform his job. Safety and bridge resource management systems have been reviewed and stepped up by the owner.

Have questions?

Could be 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).


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