Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


March 1, 2018

A new handbook was recently released by The Nautical Institute, entitled Launch and Recovery of Boats from Ships. According to reports, the book gives practical advice on the available equipment and best practices on how mariners can safely work with vital lifesaving appliances.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

Near Oahu, a crewman who was in the midst of a maintenance job on a fire extinguisher aboard the Barcelona Knutsen , had to be medevaced after he suffered facial injuries.

Barcelona, Spain’s port was the scene of two vessels colliding when the Fantastic ferry hit a docked Viking Star cruise vessel. The ferry, owned by Grandi Navi Veloci, apparently lost power. Thankfully no one was injured as a result.

A crewman aboard the 392-foot Emek-S near Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, suffered the loss of part of a finger on his left hand and had to be medevaced by Coast Guard helicopter.

Three people were killed instantly after an explosion occurred inside a tug vessel at dry dock in Kentucky, on the Tennessee River at Culvert City. Several other people were injured in the blast. At the time of writing, the cause of the incident was under investigation.

Piracy Pulse

Five knife-wielding bandits tried making the anchor chain their way of stealthily getting aboard an anchored bulk carrier in Puerto Jose Anchorage, Venezuela. But to no avail. The crew quickly sounded the alarm and the would-be robbers had to make a fast getaway.

In another five-person incident, near Port Dickson, Malaysia, five thieves donning masks, approached a bulk carrier underway with a long hook. But the marauders were thwarted by the crew who was armed with fire hoses.

And yet another five were involved in a would-be pirate heist that was foiled in Muara Berau Anchorage, Samarinda, Indonesia. Again, a group of five bandits made the anchor chain their entry point of choice for getting aboard an anchored bulk carrier. This time, the crew shouting at them was all that was needed to send the group packing.

Odds and Ends

The increasing size of Polar-Class cruise ships is a new trend. The Crystal Endeavor, planned for 2020, is apparently the largest of its kind to date. Under construction by MV Werften Shipyard, the elite vessel will have a length of 600 feet, and is expected to service the arctic and Antarctic regions, as well as the Northwest Passage. She may also provide excursions to a variety of shipwrecks, including Titanic.

The Port of Prince Rupert is enjoying its highest record of cargo volume to date. The Port handled 24.1 million tons of cargo in 2017, and the overall growth in volume over 2016 was up 26 percent. Economic stats provided by the Port reveal that annual trade shipping brings in approximately $35 billion, with at least $1 billion of that is brought to Northern BC.

A new, highly-anticipated research mission to the Titanic site to scan the wreck is being mounted by several experts this summer. Going down into the depths in a manned submersible, the group, who will depart from St. John’s Newfoundland for a six-week project, will use a specialized underwater laser scanner to capture images and create an updated 3-D model of the entire wreck site.

In Australia, the Adelaide Outer Harbor channel that supports Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal is set to be widened in the fall of 2018. Reportedly, the Port can handle only a small number of vessels that are 43 meters wide at present, preventing it from capitalizing on increased economic activity from container and cruise traffic. The 40-meter widening project will see the removal of 1.55 million cubic meters of material in preparation for accommodating more large-sized ships.

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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