Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


March 1, 2019

Work is back underway on Titanic II after reportedly stalling due to financial disputes. The project, which began in 2012, is the brainchild of Clive Palmer, an Australian billionaire intent on recreating the splendor of the original famous ill-fated ocean liner. Deltamarin has been brought in to continue with the design of the huge vessel, contracted by Palmer’s shipping company called Blue Star Line.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

The master aboard the self-propelled tanker barge Maintal sustained injuries as a result of a collision with another self-propelled barge when both were transiting near Zons on Germany’s Rhine River. Both vessels sustained damage and approximately 2,000 liters of gas oil made its way into the water after one of the Maintal’s cargo tanks was breached.

In another incident in Germany with a self-propelled barge, an error in navigation resulted in the Walhalla running aground near Würzburg, after she passed under a bridge. The ship did not suffer any damage and no one was injured.

In Sardinia, Italy in the port of Olbia, two ro/ro passenger ferries collided due to strong winds. While the Cruise Olbia was departing with assistance from tugs, a sudden gust of wind sent her into the path of the Athara, resulting in Olbia hitting the bridge on the Athara’s port side. There were no injuries reported but both vessels sustained damage.

Weather conditions hampered moving the tanker Eastern Glory from where she was anchored near Barelang Root Island in Indonesia in order to make way for other vessels to anchor in the vicinity. Strong winds and currents forced the tug to drop the tow line during the repositioning of the vessel, resulting in her drifting and alliding with Batam City’s Barelang II Bridge.

Piracy Pulse

On the Ivory Coast at Abidjan anchorage, two bandits brandishing knives got themselves aboard a product tanker at anchor. The alert watch officer had the alarm raised but despite the Master using a searchlight to reveal the location of the robbers near the poop deck, they were still able to get away with ship’s stores.

In a pirate incident in Nigeria near Brass, a large band of would-be thieves chased a tanker underway and fired on the vessel. Thankfully the evasive maneuvers that were deployed sent the group packing. Meanwhile all aboard escaped harm.

A steel bar was the chosen method of threat when two marauders got aboard a bulk carrier at anchor at Caofeidian anchorage, China. The alert crew soon sent them on their way empty-handed after the alarm was raised.

Odds and Ends

Sea Hunter, a medium-displacement unmanned surface vessel built for the Office of Naval Research, is reportedly the first ship to navigate autonomously during a voyage to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii from San Diego, California. The vessel made the transit without a human on board other than spot checks done by personnel who boarded Sea Hunter via escort vessel to review that all systems were operating safely.

A new autonomous vessel is now plying the waters for the Royal Navy. The C-Enduro is a long-endurance autonomous vessel that has both hydrographic and countermeasures capabilities. L3 ASV developed the on-board system, which includes a range of high-tech provisions such as a wide variety of sensors, 10 high efficiency panels, and electric-start diesel generator, side scan sonar and more.

In an LNG first, the 15,000-TEU Sajir owned by Hapag-Lloyd, is reportedly going to be converted to using LNG for use alongside low-sulphur fuel oil and will be the largest ship of its kind to be converted to the cleaner burning fuel. The Huarun Dadong Dockyard in Shanghai will be performing the retrofit.

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).

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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