Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


October 1, 2018

According to the IMO, next year’s World Maritime Day theme will be centered on Empowering Women in the Maritime Community in order to help raise gender equality awareness and shine a light on women in the industry who are making contributions in the global maritime sector.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

In the Philippines, an engine room fire quickly spread through the Lite Ferry ro/ro vessel near Taloot, Cebu. The local Coast Guard was dispatched to the scene to help extinguish the flames after the crew aboard were unable to. All 92 passengers and 29 crew had to be evacuated to a cargo vessel dispatched from Taloot.

Near Port Isabel Texas in the Gulf of Mexico a fire was also responsible for disabling the Master D fishing boat. There were three crewmen aboard at the time of the incident, and all were forced into a life boat. Subsequently, the local Coast Guard picked the three up and took them to safety.

On the Rhine River around Cologne, Germany, a passenger vessel ran aground, injuring several passengers, with some being taken to hospital. The 90-meter Rheinenergie did not suffer any damage and was returned to service the next day.

In Denmark, at Femø, a steering malfunction was responsible for the ferry Femøsund running aground on approach to the ferry terminal. None of the two crew and seven passengers aboard or any others at the time of the incident were injured, likely due to the fact that the Master changed course away from the terminal.

Another fire, this time in Greece, near Piraeus aboard the El Venizelos had some of the 875 passengers on the ro/ro passenger ferry in a panic. Apparently, the blaze started in one of the vehicles. Luckily, the onboard fire suppression system dealt with most of the fire. Passengers were evacuated after the ship returned to Piraeus and additional fire-fighting was carried out.

In an unusual and horrific accident at Ports of Auckland in New Zealand, one person succumbed to his injuries after the straddle carrier he operated overturned.

Piracy Pulse

In Ecuador, a container vessel underway was chased by three robbers in a small skiff. The bandits were armed with a handgun. One of them tried to board the larger ship but the quick action of the crew to continually sound the horn saw the menacing trio take off without incident.

The anchor chain was the boarding tool of choice for two would-be thieves who tried to get onto an anchored bulk carrier at Muara Berau Anchorage, Samarinda, Indonesia. But their attempt was in vain as the alerted crew called for the alarm to sound and the two had no choice but to give up their mission.

A sly group of 10 bandits got themselves aboard a barge under tow in the Singapore Straits. At first, it seemed their goal to steal was thwarted by a police boat dispatched to aid in dissuading them. However, the marauders made a quick escape from the barge, then later reboarded it after the police boat left, and carried out their object to make off with its cargo.

Odds and Ends

The newest energy-efficient passenger vessel for Viking Line is currently under construction. Similar to her sister ship, M/S Viking Grace, the new ship will also be LNG-fueled. Expected to be launched in 2021, she’ll have a 1A Super ice class rating and have capacity for 2,800 passengers.

Norsafe, the well-known Norwegian lifeboat building company was recently acquired by VIKING Life-Saving Equipment company. It’s expected that bringing the two long-time, family-owned entities together will build on each other’s industry-leading marine safety equipment, deep supply chain and customer relationships.

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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