Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


December 1, 2019

The International Maritime Organization has introduced a new software tool to help IMO Member States with electronic reporting procedures when ships arrive or depart ports. The IMO Compendium reference manual that helps orient users, is available online on the IMO website.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

A voyage along the Solent turned challenging after a 40-foot yacht lost its rudder. The incident happened near Cowes, and required the assistance of multiple agency vessels as well as two Red Line car ferries. The crew were safely evacuated when it was deemed the boat would sink, despite the pumping work of two crew from a Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeboat.

A container barge under tow, carrying rail cars and containers, went aground on BC’s Quadra Island. Damage to the Nana Provider’s hull was revealed when Coast Guard crews tried to refloat her. Meantime, the crew of the Polar King tug were not injured in the incident.

Thankfully there were no injuries or pollution to deal with after the Betty K VI cargo vessel went aground near Fishers Island in Miami, Florida. Reportedly, the ship had lost propulsion before the grounding. Eventually she was refloated and towed away for further inspection.

Piracy Pulse

In the Gulf of New Guinea, near São Tomé Island, a tanker underway was fired on by marauders following it in a skiff. The quick work of the Master and crew who took evasive action, including activating the fire pump and deploying parachute rockets, saw the would-be thieves reluctantly abort their mission.

Four bandits who got aboard an anchored tanker in Dumai Inner Anchorage, Indonesia, were soon sent on their way after a duty officer got word to the Master, who subsequently raised the alarm.

At Belawan Anchorage in Indonesia, the anchor chain of an anchored tanker was sought out as the means for one thief to get aboard. But the robber was stopped in mid-operation by an alert duty crew and quickly retreated to the get-away vessel that had two accomplices waiting.

Odds and Ends

An additional four Island Class ships are on the books for BC Ferries, to be built at Damen Shipyards. The goal for BC Ferries is to have the vessels run only on electricity when sufficient electric charging services can be provided. For now, the ferries will be powered by a hybrid, low-sulfur diesel fuel system. Delivery of the newbuilds are expected in 2020 and 2022.

Three new monster gantry cranes were recently installed at Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG’s Container Terminal Burchardkai located in Hamburg, Germany. ZPMC built the colossal structures, which are reportedly able to handle ships with 26 containers across. In just one move, the cranes can transfer two 40-foot or four 20-foot containers.

The SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal is in major upgrade mode, thanks to a $20 million grant provided by the USDOT to the Jacksonville Port Authority to increase its container-handling capabilities. This earmarked facility enhancement (part of a $238 million initiative) will see the rebuilding of more than 100 acres of the container terminal’s pavement, eventually allowing the terminal to process up to 425,000 TEU annually.

The Port of Houston is acquiring three new Neopanamax electrical cranes to the tune of $35 million in order to expand its capacity at its Bayport Container Terminal. The Port Commission has approved the action, and once officially commissioned, the 158-foot-high ship-to-shore cranes will be the highest at the Port.

Canada’s Port of Montreal has enjoyed another successful cruise season, with more than 17 cruise lines sending 24 cruise ships to the scenic St. Lawrence Seaway stop. Additionally, this past summer, the Port and Montreal Cruises hosted an event that celebrated the arrival of the 500,000th Holland America cruise passenger.

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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