Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


May 1, 2017

A new online global digital map of ocean litter is now available thanks to the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). The AWI Litterbase reveals the scientific data, along with how it affects, for instance, fish and seabirds which may ingest litter, get trapped in it or colonize it.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

An injured crewmember with a severe head laceration had to be medevaced by helicopter from the Daio Papyrus cargo ship near Coos Bay, Oregon.

The Caledonian Sky cruise vessel damaged part of the Indonesian Raja Ampat coral reefs after running aground at low tide in an uncharted shoal. The area is known as one of the most popular diving sites and full of a plethora of marine biodiversity. A hefty fine is being considered to help with reestablishing parts of the reef that would, reportedly, take at least a decade to complete.

In Sumner Strait, Alaska, five crew were airlifted off a barge after the Ocean Eagle tug the barge was attached to, ran aground and began taking on water.

In another air lift rescue, this time in Texas, the chief engineer aboard the tanker Ingrid, had to be medevaced after he suffered a broken leg due to being struck by an anchor chain.

In Portland, Jamaica, an accident aboard the Germania Nova historic schooner replica, resulted in the death of an 18-year-old woman who was attempting to clean the mast, when she fell to the deck from 30 feet above.

Another young life was taken in Antwerp, Belgium, when a 19-year-old crewman fell into the hold of the containership MSC Damla after reportedly slipping off a set of narrow metal stairs.

Piracy Pulse

In Nigeria, a naval security team aboard a tanker helped thwart a pirate attack when they returned fire as the robbers gave the vessel chase.

In Indonesia, a lone robber tried to board an anchored product tanker, but the crew were able to raise the alarm and send the robber and three other bandits in the getaway boat packing. The four were subsequently picked up by Indonesian Marine Police who just happened to be patrolling nearby.

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In the Philippines, another lone robber drew his knife on the crew of an anchored tanker who noticed him on the forecastle. The alarm was raised and the thief fled, but not before taking some of the ship’s properties.

Odds and Ends

The Port of Prince Rupert is set to see a boon in cruise ship visits during 2017, smashing the previous record cruise season in 2011. Seabourn Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Lines have added this stop to their itineraries this year; Seabourn hasn’t been sailing to Alaska in more than a decade, and Norwegian hasn’t made Prince Rupert a destination since 2011. In all, 25 vessels from various cruise lines are expected to bring in more than 100 percent increase in traffic and tourism.

Crowley Maritime Corp. recently launched its new con/ro ship. The vessel is the first of its kind that will run on LNG, as part of the company’s commitment to bolstering its shipping services trade with Puerto Rico. The El Coquí has the capacity to transport approximately 400 cars, plus a mix of large vehicles and varying sizes of containers. The ship is one of two Commitment-class vessels constructed at VT Halter Marine.

The world’s largest container ship, the MOL Triumph, is 400 meters long, and has the capacity to carry 20,150 TEUs. It’s one of four planned by MOL of Japan. Samsung Heavy Industries is building it at its Geoje Shipyard, and recently held a naming ceremony in recognition of the mammoth vessel ahead of it embarking on its maiden voyage.

A possible hefty $250,000 fine and up to a five-year prison sentence has been determined by a US Court for the owner of the Native Sun fishing vessel for repeatedly dumping oily waste into the ocean surrounding Washington State’s coastline. In addition, the owner’s son is facing similar charges, including conspiracy, for aiding others to also rid the vessel of oily waste using unapproved equipment. Apparently, Native Sun has had a long history of mechanical problems, including major bilge leakage that also resulted in harmful pollutants entering the water.

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 maritimewriter@gmail.com

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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