Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


It’s probably no surprise that deepwater drilling expenditures are expected to be less than anticipated during the period 2016-2020, due to falling oil prices, according to Douglas-Westwood energy consultants. While current projects will likely continue, investment in new drilling initiatives is expected to drop by 35 percent over the next four years, in comparison with DW’s previous forecast issued in March of last year.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

Near Galveston, Texas, three fishermen working aboard the shrimp boat Jana Lynn had to be rescued by the US Coast Guard after their dewatering pumps lost power and the boat starting taking on water.

A serious leg injury required the captain of the tanker Almi Voyager to be medevaced by the US Coast Guard near Cape May on the US Eastern seaboard.

Two construction barges broke loose from the tug MH Scout’s towline during a high wind storm near Victoria, BC, eventually running aground off the Dallas Road area. One barge was able to be moved rather quickly on high tide, while the other remained in place for nearly three weeks while bad weather continued as teams from Transport Canada and barge owner Heavy Metal Marine worked on a salvage plan to remove it safely.

During a storm off Shimen, Taiwan, the TS Taipei boxship lost propulsion and ran aground, setting off an evacuation effort by the Taiwanese Coast Guard to safely airlift her crew of 21. The ship’s engine room flooded and a damaged fuel tank resulted in oil spilling into the sea. Unfortunately, later that day, when salvage teams were dispatched to assess the state of the oil spill, a helicopter pilot and rescue member were killed in a helicopter crash after safely delivering inspectors to the site.

In Malaysia at Sabah port, three men’s lives came to an abrupt end and three others were injured as they loaded barrels of rotten fish meant to be turned into fertilizer onto a fishing trawler. The six crew members inadvertently inhaled hydrogen sulfide when at least one of the barrels was reportedly opened.

Piracy Pulse

Off the Bayelsa Coast in Nigeria, a band of five armed pirates boarded an offshore tug that was underway, damaging the securing doors and then stealing personal crew items. In the chaos, the pirates also damaged the communication and navigation equipment before making their getaway. The beleaguered crew were able to sail into port after the lengthy ordeal.

A Duty Able Seaman was struck on the head after five bandits were able to board an anchored bulk carrier in the Jakarta Anchorage, Indonesia. The group also managed to take several items from the vessel’s engine room before quickly departing after the alarm was raised.

Ship stores were taken in India after yet another group of five robbers brandishing knives were able to get aboard and escape an anchored tanker off Kandla. The Officer of the Watch was able to raise the alarm and the crew mustered until the pirates exited the vessel.

Odds and Ends

A hefty $129,500 US fine was recently levied against China Navigation Co. Pte. Ltd., for ignoring fuel emission air quality regulations by using heavy diesel instead of low-sulfur fuel as stipulated by the California Air Resources Board. The judgement came following several infractions by the M/V Chenan’s crew, over a several-month period in 2012, when the ship transited coastal waters and entered and departed the Port of Los Angeles.

Surviving family members of the crew of the USS Conestoga finally have answers to the mystery of what happened to the 56 men who worked aboard the tug-turned-WWI-navy fighter. The vessel and her crew vanished without a trace on March 25, 1921 after leaving San Francisco bound for Tutuila, American Samoa. The ship was to make a stop at Pearl Harbor on her route, and for years, it was assumed she was lost near Hawaii. As it turns out, Conestoga didn’t get too far from port as she battled bad weather. She was found in NOAA’s Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary by a NOAA-led expedition.

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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