Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


The call has been sounded to increase mariner training levels across the globe. According to the latest BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report, by 2025 the shipping industry will require nearly 148,000 more seafarers. The main shortage areas include some officer categories in the LNG and LPG carrier sector as well as engineers who have management experience.

Deadly Disaster and Other Incidents

In southern England, RLN1 lifeboats and SAR helicopters were called to help evacuate 50 passengers aboard a ferry that was taking on water.

A worker who reportedly fell overboard from a Murray American Transportation barge was later found dead in the Monongahela River in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania by two fishermen, despite a formal search undertaken by authorities and marine rescue entities. The man, who apparently had more than 40 years’ experience as a boat engineer, was not wearing a lifejacket – it was found on the ship in his quarters.

The captain of a shrimp boat died after it collided with a tanker off the coast of Yeosu in South Korea.

Near Ningbo in China, 22 crewmembers had to be evacuated from the containership Safmarine Meru after a fire broke out following a collision with the Northern Jasper container vessel.

In Halong Bay, Vietnam, many of the 36 passengers of a wooden cruise ship had to jump into the water after the Aphrodite caught on fire and quickly sank. Thankfully only minor injuries were sustained by the fleeing tourists.

Piracy Pulse

In Indonesia near the Batu Ampar Anchorage, four robbers were able to climb aboard the stern of an anchored dredger and steal ship property before escaping without incident.

All crew were reported safe after a group of pirates wielding automatic weapons fired on a tanker ship that was underway off the Bayelsa Coast in Nigeria. While the alarm was raised, the crew took shelter in the citadel as the ship began evasive maneuvers. As it turned out, an onboard armed guard’s return fire sent the would-be robbers packing.

In another use of armed guards, in the Gulf of Aden, pirates aboard five skiffs who approached a containership underway were thwarted by the guards firing warning shots as the vessel increased speed. The helicopter of a Japanese warship nearby was also used to chase off the offending bandits.

Odds and Ends

As of this writing, Polaris, reportedly the world’s first LNG-powered icebreaker built for the Finnish Transport Agency at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, was in the midst of sea trials. Besides icebreaking duties, the new green vessel will be tasked with emergency towing and rescue and oil spill response operations.

Recently, AIDAprima, one of AIDA Cruises’ newest vessels, became the first cruise ship to be operated in port using LNG. The Port of Hamburg supplied AIDAprima with the green fuel from an LNG truck, and reportedly also supplied her sister ship AIDAsol with power from an LNG hybrid barge in the HafenCity area.

In another LNG first, the purported world’s first FLNG (floating liquefied natural gas) vessel PFLNG SATU owned by PETRONAS and built by Daewoo Shipbuilding’s Okpo Shipyard, recently completed its maiden voyage. The vessel will work in the remote gas fields in Malaysia and will perform production, refining, offloading and more.

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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