Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


June 1, 2019

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making its way into vessel corrosion detection. A partnership between ABS, Google Cloud and Soft Serve has resulted in the successful completion of a pilot program using AI to detect levels of corrosion and coating breakdown on ships and offshore structures. Just another example of digital disruption in the shipping industry.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

In the Philippines, the Andrea Princess 2 cargo ship, carrying approximately 8,570 liters of fuel oil, suffered a fire, which, thankfully, the Philippine Coast Guard was able to help contain. All 20 crew were safely rescued. It was thought, after an initial investigation, that wood and paint stored near the cargo hold’s hydraulic hatch, was set ablaze due to crew welding on the hatch.

In another welding-related incident, this time, at an Indonesian Shipyard, two people suffered major burns and had to be treated at a nearby onshore hospital after the chemical tanker Success Energy XXXII was damaged by an explosion and fire while the vessel was undergoing repairs.

Yet another explosion took place on the bulk carrier Great Aspiration while the vessel was transiting the Celtic Sea off Cornwall, near Lizard Point. Three crew members suffered serious burn injuries and had to be medevaced by helicopter.

In the waters off Port de la Selva, Catalonia, a fire ripped through the fiberglass fishing trawler Barranco, killing one crewperson and injuring another four.

A tense time for three boaters who were out enjoying the waters in Clearwater Pass, Florida, when their 25-foot vessel capsized. Luckily, a good Samaritan called area Coast Guard, who quickly went into action, rescuing the three who donned lifejackets and stayed together until help arrived.

Piracy Pulse

In Colombia’s Buenaventura Channel, a large brazen group of would-be pirates tried to use a pilot ladder to get aboard a container ship that was being piloted at the time. The ship’s crew cut off the boarding attempt by mustering close to the ladder, sending the bandits packing.

Two would-be robbers were startled by a vessel’s alarm, when they were found lurking in the engine room of a berthed container ship at Jakarta Container Terminal in Indonesia. The hapless two made a quick get-away, without anything to show for their efforts.

At Lagos Anchorage in Nigeria, three bandits were able to get aboard an anchored tanker, intent on syphoning materials from the cargo tank through the hose they carried with them. But the alert crew intervened, and the two quickly jumped overboard and into their small nearby boat, then took off.

Unfortunately, for an anchored bulk carrier’s master and crew, ship’s stores were taken by robbers who stealthily got aboard the vessel at Callao Anchorage in Peru. The marauders were able to grab their prize and escape, unnoticed.

Odds and Ends

According to a WorkSafe BC report, a log boom boat operator working in a log storage pond in Okanagan Lake, died in 2017, as a result of two main causes, among other things going wrong. Apparently, there was an engine hatch that was not closed correctly, leading to the boat capsizing. While the crewman ensured he was using a Personal Flotation Device, it was found not suitable for his work, as it was unable to be automatically inflated, and had no inherent buoyancy.

Floor-to-ceiling windows will be a highlight of Celebrity Cruises’ new expedition vessel Celebrity Flora. The ship, expected to make her maiden voyage at the end of June 2019, will travel the Galapagos Islands, delighting its 100 passengers with all the visual treats of the area. As part of her luxury cruise sailings, Flora will also be taking part in the OceanScope program, using sophisticated onboard sensors to help map the area, and take sea-surface temperature measurements, among other data to help marine and weather research.

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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