Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


May 1, 2018

A variety of stakeholders are being polled in a new initiative being undertaken by the Canadian Government. Transport Canada is reviewing the role ports across the country play in economic trade and development, and is asking for input from sectors such as industry, academia, associations, provincial governments, and Indigenous groups.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

Limited visibility in fog, and compromised situational awareness, led to a collision between a tug and barge and a small pleasure craft on the Columbia River near Willow Grove Park. The two people on the 20-foot vessel were reportedly unaware they had drifted into the main shipping lane, and consequently found themselves in cold water until a passerby who was fishing, helped take them to safety.

In Germany, two people were seriously hurt after two self-propelled barges transiting the Rhine, collided. The wheelhouse of the Ventura was completely destroyed by the Delos in the incident.

In Pakistan, two containerships crashed into each other, resulting in at least 20 containers falling into the water. The accident happened during mooring maneuvers when the Tolten was attempting to berth, and the port side of the ship ended up making contact with the already-moored Hamburg Bay.

An ice floe was responsible for a fishing vessel alliding with a bridge near Aalborg, Denmark. The crew of the Karen Margrethe were able to get off the vessel beforehand. The vessel’s mast broke in the incident but otherwise the ship sustained minor damage.

Six people were injured after a ferry ran aground in fog in South Korea. There were 163 people aboard at the time of the incident. The Pink Dolphin had to make a quick course change to avoid colliding with a fishing vessel during foggy conditions.

Engine failure was responsible for the grounding of the Harriett bulk carrier in Russia, near Arkhangelsk. As the coal-carrying vessel lost power, it drifted into shallow water but no one was injured as a result.

Piracy Pulse

In Nigeria, near Bonny Island, gun-wielding pirates got themselves aboard a product tanker that was in the vicinity of the Bonny Fairway Buoy. The crew quickly cordoned themselves off in the citadel, dissuading the would-be hostage takers from completing their task. After the bandits made their escape and the crew resumed their duties, it was found that some of the ship’s communication and navigation equipment had been damaged.

In the Philippines, off Sibago Island, bandits brandishing arms were treated to hot water baths as a deterrent for the thieving they attempted to do. One crewperson was injured in the chaos, when a brazen pirate fired on the vessel, but the marauders soon left empty-handed.

In another incident off Bonny Island, Nigeria, a group of eight pirates did their best to gain the upper hand in their mission to get aboard a tanker that was underway. But unbeknownst to them, there was a naval team onboard. That fact, and the Master’s strategic, evasive maneuvers lead to the bandits moving off with nothing to show for their efforts.

At Caofeidian Anchorage in China, ropes with hooks attached were the boarding method of choice for three robbers who decided to try to nab some loot off an anchored bulk carrier. But the alert crew had other ideas, and raised the alarm, scaring the thieves off.

Odds and Ends

Symphony of the Seas, built by Royal Caribbean International, is now the largest cruise ship afloat. The massive 1,188-foot vacation vessel can accommodate 6,800 passengers and 2,000 crew. Over 4,700 people helped build her during her three-year construction phase.

A new mammoth crane was recently installed at the Port of Savannah, Georgia. It’s capable of lifting containers 152 feet in the air above-dock, and reaching across a spread of 22 containers on container-carrying vessels. More mega-ship cranes will be delivered in the coming years as part of the Port’s cargo-handling expansion plans. The crane fleet is expected to top out at 36 by 2020.

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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