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MaritimeDigital Archive Portal
Last updated: 17-Jul-2007


MaritimeDigital Archive News - 2006-09


Number of messages: 105 in the period 2006-09.

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsKuwait to Build New Crude Oil Tankers

The Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) plans to build four new crude oil tankers with a total capacity of 1.2 million tons, Kuwait News Agency (TUNA) reported on Wednesday. According to the report, each tanker will cost 120 million to 130 million U.S. dollars depending on technical specifications, while the previous cost was 100 million dollars per tanker. KOTC Chairman Abdullah al-Roumi attributed the higher prices to rising shipbuilding materials worldwide. KOTC will open a tender for the project in the next few months and shipmakers from the Far East are expected to submit their bids, said al-Roumi. As many old tankers were put out of service, KOTC has set up a plan to upgrade and enlarge its fleet. (Source: Xinhua)
• 2006-09-29 03:15:43 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsCoast Guard Issues Notice

The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it has drafted revised guidelines on medical and physical examinations for merchant mariner credentials. Comments on the draft guidelines should be submitted by November 27. 71 Fed. Reg. 56998 (Source: HK Law)
• 2006-09-29 03:14:51 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsNavy Awards General Dynamics $62m Contract Modification

The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a $61.5 million contract modification to provide lead yard services for Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD). Under the modification, Electric Boat will maintain and update design drawings and data, including technology insertions, for all Virginia-class submarines throughout their construction and post-shakedown availability periods. Work will be performed in Groton, Conn. (94 percent); Quonset, R.I. (5 percent); and Newport, R.I. (1 percent). Initially awarded in October 2005, the contract will be worth a total of $225 million when it is completed in September 2007. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-29 03:14:07 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsTOP Tankers Announces Sale of the M/T Taintless

TOP Tankers Inc announced the sale of Taintless, a 46,217 Dwt, double-hull Handymax tanker built in 1999. The sale will result in a book profit of approximately $4 million, which will be recognized in the 4th quarter of 2006. The vessel is expected to be delivered to its new owners within the next 60 days. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-29 03:13:26 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsFreighter runs aground off Stanley Park

The Maltese freighter that ran aground off Vancouver's Stanley Park Monday afternoon has been re-floated with the help of a team of tugboats. The Krateros, carrying a shipment of grain, was bound for sea when it experienced some kind of mechanical problem. After about two hours, high tide helped tug crews float the freighter, which has been re-anchored in the inner harbor. Marine traffic was tied up during the incident, but there were no injuries and no substantial damage to the vessel or environment. (Source: Ethan Baron, CanWest News Service at Canada.com)
• 2006-09-29 03:10:40 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsRadioactive materials detected at Yokosuka base

Trace amounts of radioactive materials were detected in seawater in Kanagawa Prefecture where a nuclear-powered US submarine was docked, but officials say there was no danger to people or the environment. It is the first time that radioactive materials have been detected where nuclear vessels have made port calls. The USS Honolulu attack submarine was docked at the Yokosuka Naval Base from September 7 to 14. The ministry is conducting follow-up tests on the seawater samples. US Navy officials were unavailable for comment. (Source: Reuters)
• 2006-09-29 03:09:49 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsEstonia impounds waste ship

ship whose toxic waste caused the deaths of eight people and illness in thousands more has been impounded in Estonia. Estonian authorities in the Baltic port of Paldiski said that a criminal investigation had been opened to explore the recent actions of the Probo Koala, a Panamanian-registered, Greek-owned oil tanker which discharged more than 500 tons of waste in the Ivorian capital of Abidjan in late August. The waste, suspected to be the residue from oil tanks that had been recently cleaned, killed a reported eight people, including four children in Abidjan. Mounting public anger over the dumping resulted in the resignation of the entire Ivory Coast government earlier this month. Most members were later reappointed, except for the ministers of transport and environment. (Source: ari Tanner, Associated Press at ABC News)
• 2006-09-29 03:08:51 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsRussian Carrier to Rejoin Navy by end of 2006

    According to reports, the Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia's only aircraft carrier, will join the Northern Fleet by the end of the year after modernization, the Navy's chief said Wednesday. The ship, also known as Project 1143.5 heavy aircraft carrier, was commissioned in the Russian Navy in 1991 and became fully operational in 1995. But it was plagued by technical problems, including faulty arrester gear, and was put into dock earlier this year for a technical overhaul.

The Navy commander said that several Su-33 Flanker-D fighters assigned to the aircraft carrier would return to the ship after a brief technical overhaul. The vessel is capable of carrying up to 26 fixed-wing fighters and 24 helicopters. Russia's military leadership is considering building several modern aircraft carriers after 2015. (Source: Novosti)

• 2006-09-28 03:50:15 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsHalifax Shipyard to Build Cruise Ships

The CBC has reported that Halifax Shipyard has signed contracts to build two luxury cruise ships for Pearl Seas Cruises, a Connecticut-based company. The value of the deal, signed Tuesday, was not made public. Pearl Seas president Charles Robertson said the company chose the Irving Shipbuilding Inc. operation because of the workers, facilities and geographic location. The vessels will carry between 165 to 210 passengers. The first one is expected to begin service in July 2008. (Source: CBC)
• 2006-09-28 03:49:15 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsWärtsilä Engines for Royal Caribbean

Wärtsilä Corporation won an order in August to power a new cruise ship contracted by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL) at Meyer Werft in Germany. With this order included Wärtsilä will now be powering the whole series of three new cruise ships contracted by RCL at Meyer Werft during 2006. The other two contracts were awarded to Wärtsilä in spring this year.

The ships will each be equipped with four Wärtsilä 46 engines with common-rail fuel injection. This system ensures that the engines have no visible smoke at any power level while also meeting international regulations for NOx emissions. In addition RCL has chosen eight Wärtsilä engines for retrofitting in eight existing cruise ships. This order was received in spring this year. The new engines will give RCL better fuel economy while meeting all environmental requirements for air emissions. So far in 2006 Wärtsilä Corporation has booked orders to supply a total of 20 engines for RCL cruise ships. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-27 03:25:40 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsCoast Guard, TSA to Conduct Joint Port Security Exercise

The Transportation Security Administration and the Coast Guard will facilitate a port security exercise on Thursday in Baltimore to evaluate preparedness, prevention and the ability to respond to and recover from a terrorist-related incident, and a press briefing will be held before the exercise begins. The Port Security Training Exercises Program (PortSTEP) is focused on building links within the Area Maritime Security (AMS) Committee. The committee assists the Captain of the Port in writing, reviewing and updating an AMS plan in addition to supporting other transportation entities that depend upon the port being secure. The exercise will involve the entire port community, including both public and governmental agencies and private industry. The partnership is intended to improve connectivity of various surface transportation modes and enhance current AMS plans. Scenarios range from how officials react to discovering a suspect cargo container to an explosion at a seaport rail yard. Communication and coordination abilities of the government and maritime industry will be tested at each of the 40 seaports scheduled to participate over the next three years.

"PortSTEP is designed to benefit maritime and surface transportation security communities throughout the U.S. via a suite of training exercises, evaluations and accompanying information technology products," said Noreen Brown, TSA's PortSTEP project officer. "This information will prove invaluable as we work to balance freedom of commerce and protection of our nation's transportation system." "Protecting this port is a team effort," said Coast Guard Captain Brian Kelley, the Federal Maritime Security Coordinator for the Port of Baltimore. "This exercise will test how well we are prepared to work together and will help us identify areas for improvement." "This exercise advances our ongoing effort of mobilizing public safety agencies and the private sector so we are ready to act," said Maryland Governor's Office of Homeland Security Director Dennis R. Schrader. "Protecting this port demands a team approach, and the best teams are ones that practice together." In addition to TSA and the Coast Guard, the Federal Highway Administration and the Maritime Administration are among participants in the PortSTEP exercise. TSA and the Coast Guard give grateful acknowledgement to the Maryland Port Administration for their logistical support of this exercise. (Source: www.marinlink.com)

• 2006-09-27 03:22:47 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsBath Iron Works Awarded $18m Contract for Farragut

The U.S. Navy awarded a $17.9m contract to Bath Iron Works, a subsidiary of General Dynamics to perform Post-Shakedown Availability (PSA) maintenance, repair and upgrade work for the Arleigh Burke-class Guided Missile Destroyer USS FARRAGUT (DDG 99).

Work on the ship is scheduled to begin in February 2007 and will be performed by a Bath Iron Works - Atlantic Dry Dock Corporation Team in Atlantic's facilities near the ship's home port of Mayport, Fla. Services to be provided include engineering and management services; labor and procurement of material for system upgrades and to correct government-responsible deficiencies; performance of specified PSA work items, including tests and post-repair sea trials; and additional tasking to complete emergent repairs. The PSA will be completed in June 2007. The U.S. Navy awarded a $17.9m contract to Bath Iron Works, a subsidiary of General Dynamics to perform Post-Shakedown Availability (PSA) maintenance, repair and upgrade work for the Arleigh Burke-class Guided Missile Destroyer USS FARRAGUT (DDG 99). Work on the ship is scheduled to begin in February 2007 and will be performed by a Bath Iron Works - Atlantic Dry Dock Corporation Team in Atlantic's facilities near the ship's home port of Mayport, Fla. Services to be provided include engineering and management services; labor and procurement of material for system upgrades and to correct government-responsible deficiencies; performance of specified PSA work items, including tests and post-repair sea trials; and additional tasking to complete emergent repairs. The PSA will be completed in June 2007. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-27 03:22:01 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsReport on Moquini tragedy released

Report on Moquini tragedy released: The yacht Moquini went missing a year ago while participating in the Durban to Mauritius race, and was later found floating with the hull up and the keel missing. None of the six crewmen were found, and were officially presumed dead. A report released by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) was leaked to the Sunday Tribune last week, which uncovered several irregularities, including the construction in the keel area of the yacht. Clearly, the loss of the keel had caused the yacht to capsize, but no specific cause for the loss could be identified. The report points to a chain of errors that might have contributed to the tragedy. These include sub-standard lamination of the hull near the keel, sub-standard securing of the keel, insufficient inspection of the hull and yacht before it raced, and sub-standard work in the area of the keel — where the wall thickness did not meet design specifications. Apparently, the worker who repaired the yacht before the race warned the owner and builder against sailing in those waters. (Source: Chiara Carter, IOL)
• 2006-09-27 03:21:14 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsMystery Surrounds Deaths of Coast Guard Divers

According to the AP, the Coast Guard has launched two investigations into the mysterious deaths of two crew members from Florida who died during a training dive 500 miles north of Alaska. The Coast Guard has also relieved the captain of the ship the divers were on, pulled all diving equipment off the ship and suspended all polar diving. But nothing has been said about what might have killed 31-year-old Lieutenant Jessica Hill and 22-year-old Boatswain's Mate Steven Duque on August 17th, or when the investigations will conclude.

The Healy was on a research mission backed by the National Science Foundation. On board were three dozen scientists collecting data that would help them map the ocean floor and study the Earth's crust to better understand earthquakes, tsunamis and plate tectonics. The divers slipped into a patch of open water near the Healy's bow. A team held ropes attached to the divers, lest they become disoriented under the ice. Several research scientists watched from the deck. (Source: AP)

• 2006-09-25 20:02:58 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsPort of NY/NJ to Get More Funding

Annual funding to protect the perimeters of New York's and New Jersey's ports will be boosted nearly fourfold, the Department of Homeland Security was to announce Monday. The increase, from $6.6 million to $25.7 million, follows a public outcry sparked in June, when the agency decided to slash New York City's share of terror grants for cities by 40 percent, or $83 million. The new money is meant to help ports guard against attacks by land or sea but is not designed to pay for cargo screening or container inspections. The change in funding was confirmed Sunday by Rep. Peter King, R-Long Island, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee. In justifying their decision to cut New York's share, federal authorities said their review process found no national monuments or icons in the city. When that finding was widely derided, authorities said landmarks including the Brooklyn Bridge were counted in other categories.

In response to the decision, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said: "We applaud today's decision by the federal government to provide more than $25 million to the Port of New York and New Jersey to enhance the security of the East Coast's busiest seaport. The Port Authority will receive $11.6 million of these funds, and it will be used to improve security monitoring and access systems at our ports. Since September 11, 2001, the Port Authority has invested more than $87 million of our own resources on port security, and nothing is more important to us than keeping this vital part of our economic supply chain safe and secure." (Source: AP)

• 2006-09-25 20:02:26 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsJapanese captain found guilty of intrusion and poaching

Russian patrol boat opened fire on a Japanese vessel in disputed waters last month, killing one fisherman. Noboru Sakashita, captain of the No. 31 Kisshin Maru, has been found guilty of intruding into Russian waters, and poaching. He has been fined nearly 500,000 rubles, and Russian authorities will confiscate the fishing vessel. Sakashita isn't expected to appeal the court's decision. He is expected to be released a few days after the fine is paid. (Source: Daisuke Nishimura, The Asahi Shimbun)
• 2006-09-25 20:01:06 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsUN considers a ban on bottom trawling by 2007

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says bottom trawling accounts for just 0.5 percent of global fish catches, but causes ecological destruction that is grossly disproportionate. Some 80 percent of what is dragged up from the sea is thrown away, and the practice is disastrous for many forms of deep sea marine life that grows slowly. UN experts will begin debating a possible complete ban on the practice this autumn. Palau, Japan, the United States, Norway and Australia have already banned the practice in their territorial waters. But bottom trawling still happens in the high seas, which aren't covered by national jurisdictions. The European Commission, which overseas fish catches in EU waters, implicitly admitted it would be hard to enforce a ban. (Source: Anne Chaon, AFP at Yahoo! News)
• 2006-09-25 20:00:09 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsHolland America accused of fraud

Seattle-based cruise-ship operator Holland America Line has been accused of defrauding passengers traveling on Alaska cruises through a series of allegedly deceptive actions in a proposed national class-action lawsuit. Among the charges are claims that the cruise line bilks passengers by levying what it claimed were government-imposed fines, and by accepting kick-backs by shore-excursion providers while hiding that arrangement from passengers. Filed in US District court in Seattle on behalf of the proposed class by attorney Steve Berman, the suit seeks to represent all passengers who were charged a so-called Jones Act Penalty for boarding the ship at a port not of the original departure point and who paid for excursions while a passenger. Holland America Line Inc. obeys Alaska's disclosure law, and is confident that the lawsuit will be dismissed. (Source: Elizabeth Bluemink, Anchorage Daily News)
• 2006-09-25 19:59:29 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsChina Maps out Goal for Shipbuilding

According to Xinhua, the latest official blueprint on the China's shipbuilding industry urges the country to crank up efforts over the next five to ten years in order to shoulder its way into the elite club of independent mainstream shipbuilders.

Key development targets enshrined in the National Medium-and Long-Term Plan of the Shipbuilding Industry include: ships to reach international levels of technological sophistication; annual output to hit 17 million deadweight tons (dwt); annual production capacity of medium- and low-speed ship diesel engines to reach 4.5million kw and 1,100 units respectively in order to meet domestic demand; more than 60 percent of ship equipment to be produced locally.

The industrial plan, published by CSTIND and the National Development and Reform Commission, China's industrial watchdog, on September 18, covers policy, targets, technology development, product development, production modernization, foreign cooperation and key projects. China is the world's third biggest shipbuilder in terms of output, after shipbuilding giants Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK). In 2005, Japan and ROK accounted for about 70 percent of the global shipbuilding market, while China sailed into third place with 18 percent.

In recent years, China has boosted shipbuilding output by more than 40 percent a year. In the period 2002-2005, China quadrupled capacity from 3.5 million to 12 million dwt. Growth The boom in China's shipbuilding industry reflects developments in the marine industry, industry officials said. China's growing need for foreign energy and mineral resources has spurred domestic shipping companies to expand their fleets. But exports are going well too. More than 70 percent of the ships produced in the country's 861 large shipbuilding enterprises are exported. China kept up the momentum in the first half of 2006. The 357,946 ships produced were valued at 3.4 billion U.S. dollars, up66.8 percent year on year. Top destination markets were Germany, Singapore, China's Hong Kong, the Marshall Islands Republic, Malta, Australia, Japan, Panama and the United Kingdom. Each of the nine markets was valued at more than 100 million dollars. Three types of exported ships each posted sales of more than 500 million dollars: 6,000-and-under TEU container ships (736 million dollars); bulk cargo carriers with a carrying capacity up to 150,000 tons (678 million dollars); and oil tankers up to 100,000 dwt (519 million dollars). State-owned shipbuilders accounted for 78.1 percent of export sales, Sino-foreign joint ventures 16.8 percent, and privately owned enterprises 5.1 percent.

In the first six months of the year, China's shipbuilders received new orders totaling 16.08 million dwt, up 113 percent over the same period of 2005. Backlog orders amounted to 50.92 million dwt, up 43 percent. Ships built totaled 5.28 million dwt, down 15 percent, said Yu Shichun, deputy director of China Association of National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI). China's dwt of ships built, new construction orders and backlog orders constituted respectively 15.3 percent, 27.1 percent and 20.3 percent of world market share, according to statistics with CANSI and the British Clarkson Research Services. In terms of backlog orders, Dalian Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co. and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Company ranked 5th and 10th in the world shipbuilding sector. Crude oil carriers constituted 50.4 percent of the new orders, and bulk carriers 23.2 percent, CANSI statistics show. New construction orders mostly involve large ships and batch-based construction.

In the first six months of the year, new orders awarded to China's shipbuilding industry involved 40 ships of 100,000 dwt and upward, and half of them were Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) exceeding 200,000 tons loads respectively, according to CANSI statistics. Challenges While orders streaming in from shipping companies worldwide are creating fantastic business opportunities, Chinese shipbuilders are also facing very real challenges. Overall, at least 60 percent of shipboard equipment is imported from overseas, creating a bottleneck for the shipbuilders. International ship prices have declined since the second half of 2005, with competition becoming more and more intense. Raw material costs, RMB appreciation and exchange rate fluctuations are all key factors for manufacturers to take into consideration.

Besides, the headlong rush to build shipyards may produce an overcapacity situation because China will soon have the capacity for 40 million dwt, or 80% of total global demand. Although China ranks third in terms of shipbuilding output, its productivity is only about one sixth that of ROK and Japan, making it unable to compete with them on high-value added products such as large liquefied gas and container carriers.   Prospects Despite the handicaps, officials are still optimistic about China's chance to become a great world shipbuilder. The Plan sets forth clear aims for the shipbuilding industry: improve the capacity to design ships and marine equipment, improve the infrastructure for building heavy ships, improve innovation capabilities.

To sharpen the competitive edge of its shipbuilding industry, China hopes to introduce foreign investment through equity-for-technology and market-for-technology deals. Under the Plan, foreign shipbuilders are allowed to reorganize, acquire or jointly fund shipbuilding enterprises, medium- and low-speed ship diesel engine manufacturing enterprises and crankshaft manufacturing enterprises in China, provided they hold no more than 49 percent of the shares. Sino-foreign joint ventures must set up a technical center to digest and absorb technologies transferred by foreign investors, said the Plan.

According to the Plan, the reorganization, merger and acquisition of domestic shipbuilding enterprises and medium- and low-speed ship diesel engine manufacturing enterprises by overseas enterprises, overseas-funded enterprises in China, and foreign-controlled joint ventures are treated as newly-created joint ventures. As for manufacturing the advanced products needed for ships, China will encourage both foreign investors and public investments. It says qualified localities have an opportunity to create ship product manufacturing parks and production bases.

China will encourage seven varieties of shipbuilding project in the future, said Zhang Xiangmu. They include: -1- Design and manufacturing of high-tech, high-function and special ships, and large ships with 100,000 dwt and above; -2- Manufacturing of passenger ship, ro-ro passenger ships, passenger-cargo ships and train ferries; -3- Manufacturing of LPG ships and LNG ships with a handling capacity of 5,000 cubic meters and above; -4- Manufacturing of container ships with a capacity of 3,000 TEUs and above; -5- Manufacturing of marine power systems, power plants, and special support machines; design and manufacturing of large deep-sea fishing boats, marine drill vessels, oil rigs, marine floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) structures and other offshore engineering equipment; -- Manufacturing of ship control and automation products, telecom and navigation equipment, instruments and meters and other marine equipment. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-25 11:49:27 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsUSCG Issues Broadwater LNG Waterways Suitability Report

The US Coast Guard announced that the assessment of safety and security issues for the Broadwater Energy liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility proposed for Long Island Sound has been completed. The 168-page Waterways Suitability Report (WSR) will be included in the draft environmental impact statement being prepared by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Broadwater Energy is proposing to build a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in Long Island Sound. The FSRU would measure approximately 1,215 feet in length, 200 feet in width, would rise 80 feet above the waterline to the deck, and would have a draft of approximately 40 feet. It would accommodate two or three LNG carriers per week with cargo capacities ranging from 125,000 to 250,000 cubic meters. The Coast Guard neither supports nor opposes the proposal, but does conclude that additional measures will be necessary to responsibly manage the safety and security risks associated with the proposed project. (Source: HK Law)
• 2006-09-25 11:42:49 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsNavy Battling Shipbuilding Cost Overruns, Delays

According to Reuters, U.S. Navy shipbuilding has long been plagued by billions of dollars of cost overruns and lengthy, schedule delays, but acquisition chief Delores Etter says she sees encouraging signs of progress. But the former Naval Academy electrical engineering professor said both the Navy and U.S. shipbuilders have begun making changes that should lead to improvements. She said Navy officials were working with U.S. lawmakers to move toward greater funding stability for shipbuilding. Frustrated by chronic cost overruns and keen to maintain well-paying jobs in their home districts, lawmakers have in the past tweaked Navy budget plans, adding ships, delaying ships and blocking plans to have just one shipyard build a ship.

Cost growth has around 27 percent for first-in-class ships, the Government Accountability Office said in a March report. Budget pressures are escalating throughout the Pentagon. Leaked planning documents for fiscal year 2008 indicate the Navy will spending on aviation to keep funding new ships. GAO has warned that Mullen's plan calls for shipbuilding funds to double by 2011, and stay at high levels for years to come, but such growth may not materialize, given competing demands, including funding the war in Iraq.

Since taking office in November 2005, Etter has gotten tough with companies reporting cost overruns, forcing Textron Inc.'s Bell Helicopter, for instance, to revamp its management processes to keep an $8 billion upgrade program.

She recently traveled to most U.S. military shipyards along with two House lawmakers, Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, and Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor of Mississippi, and said she was impressed with some changes under way. For instance, shipyards have begun focusing on how to more efficiently put the pieces of ships together, including a move to building mega-blocks inside buildings, safe from weather conditions that can slow down work outside. General Dynamics Corp.'s NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, had been visiting commercial shipyards in Asia and Europe to gather ideas for trimming cost here, Etter said. Northrop Grumman Corp. has also been making improvements to streamline production as it rebuilds Gulf Coast shipyards damaged by Hurricane Katrina last year.

Etter said moves to a more open architecture of missions systems -- the systems that control how the warship operates and fights -- would make it easier for competing companies to develop parts of the software and plug into the basic design. Those benefits would multiply when the same common software architecture could be used across classes of ships, Etter said, noting that systems developed for the new DD(X) destroyer could be used for the next ship, a cruiser, planned in that line. Etter lauded work by Lockheed Martin Corp. and General Dynamics on the Navy's new littoral combat ship (LCS) and said LCS would become an example of a new way of building ships more affordably and quickly. It takes two years to build an LCS, compared with seven years for an aircraft carrier and four for a destroyer. So far, she said, both LCS designs were on budget and on schedule. House and Senate negotiators last week agreed to provide $11b for Navy shipbuilding in fiscal year 2007, far more than the $8.7b the Navy had requested. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-25 11:42:13 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsNew evidence in the Bugaled Breizh sinking

down. The trawler and its five-man crew sank off Lizard point in southwest England in January, 2004. The sinking is known to have been caused by an underwater collision, but the exact trigger is unknown. French news magazine Le Point on Thursday revealed that lab tests found "unexplained" traces of titanium on the trawler's cables; the material is used in the paintwork of certain submarines. The Dutch defense ministry said it had not yet studied the Le Point allegations, but again denied that its submarine had been responsible for the tragedy. The New evidence suggests that the Dutch submarine Dolfijn may have pulled the French trawler Bugaled BreizhDolfijn is known to have been in the same zone at the time, but there are still several hypotheses to explain the sinking of the trawler. (Source: AFP at Yahoo! News)
• 2006-09-25 07:10:25 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsFerry crewman arrested in connection with Ouzo deaths

The second officer of the P&O ferry Pride of Bilbao has been arrested over the deaths of three sailors who drowned after their yacht Ouzo disappeared in the English Channel. No distress call had been made by the yacht, leading coast guard personnel to believe that it had been run down by a much larger vessel. The senior officer was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of causing manslaughter through gross negligence, after the ferry's voyage data recorder showed it was in the area when the yacht sank. The officer was legally in charge of the ferry at the time that the Ouzo was believed to have sunk, and was responsible for keeping watch for other vessels in the area. (Source: David Brown, Times Online)
• 2006-09-25 03:14:03 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsBV Yacht Rules Benefit New Designs

Bureau Veritas has joined forces with leading yacht designers and builders to completely re-engineer its Rules for Classification and Certification of Yachts. The new Rules, launched today, build on Bureau Veritas' extensive experience with high-technology vessels and materials to provide designers and builders with a safe, pragmatic, robust and rationale framework for yachts of all sizes. Etienne Thiberge, Head the hull department of the Marine Technical Division for Bureau Veritas, says, "The explosive growth in the mega yacht market poses enormous safety challenges. Setting up a safety framework for high tech pleasure vessels, especially those over 24m LOA but under 500 gt requires a careful balancing of technical freedom with pragmatic limits on safe outcomes. We have worked hard with experienced yards, surveyors, and operators of all types and sizes of yachts to get that pragmatic framework, and have combined it with our very detailed knowledge of the behaviour of modern materials such as composites to produce a set of Rules which will allow designers to let their imaginations free while keeping the crews and passengers safe and comfortable." The Bureau Veritas Yacht Rules cover all structural, electrical, stability and fire safety requirements for all sizes and types of pleasure vessel, and also contain cross references to Flag Sate and EU regulatory requirements. Sail or power, mono or multi-hull, commercial or not, these Rules will provide the requisite safety framework for the structure, stability, fire safety, power and electrical installation and mooring and anchoring outfit. Says Thiberge, "We have to take account of the way yachts are pushing the technical frontiers of shipping, and they way they are used, and realise that simply adapting rules for ordinary ships is rarely sufficient. A lot of the yachts being built and conceived today are breaking new technological frontiers. Also, when in use, the owners want comfort, which means, in safety terms, how do we allow for spaces with a lot of comfortable but combustible furnishings? These new Rules combine experience with technology and provide a safe but not restricted design platform." (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-21 02:07:16 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsQuintana Maritime Takes Delivery of Sixth Kamsarmax Vessel

Quintana Maritime Limited priced its two remaining Kamsarmaxes, Iron Brooke (ex Bulk 16) and Iron Manolis (ex Bulk 17), under its master time charter with Bunge S.A. at an average daily rate of $25,000 per day for 2007. These vessels, which Quintana has agreed to acquire from Metrobulk, are expected to be delivered to Quintana ex yard between March and May 2007. Having priced these two Kamsarmaxes, Quintana Maritime has fixed the rates for all seventeen vessels it has acquired or has agreed to acquire from Metrobulk. For 2007, seven Kamsarmaxes and two Panamaxes have been fixed at an average daily rate of $23,000, five Kamsarmaxes have been fixed at an average daily rate of $20,000 and two Kamsarmaxes have been fixed at an average daily rate of $25,000. An additional Panamax, Grain Harvester (ex Bulk 3), is already on time charter with Bunge through September 2009 at $20,000 per day and was delivered to Quintana earlier this month. The master charter agreement with Bunge S.A calls for annual renewals in early November every year, between floor and ceiling rates, and lasts through the end of 2010.

As a result of these fixtures, Quintana has secured almost 89% of its expected net operating days for 2007 under charters with fixed rates. Quintana believes it currently enjoys the highest time charter coverage amongst its public peers. Stamatis Molaris, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quintana Maritime, commented, "We are very pleased to announce that we have by now priced under the master agreement with Bunge all seventeen vessels we have acquired or agreed to acquire from Metrobulk. We have concluded the pricing of these fixtures well ahead of the scheduled price negotiations with Bunge and prior to the delivery of most of these vessels to Quintana. Furthermore, as we have priced these fixtures in stages, we have been able to share into the market's continued upside. "Our fleet deployment strategy demonstrates the advantages of the unique structure of the Bunge master agreement, which enables us to enhance the stability and predictability of our earnings, while at the same time to share into the market's strength. This is within the context of our strategy of pursuing stable growth with consistent delivery of dividends to our shareholders."

In addition, Quintana took delivery of its sixth Kamsarmax bulk carrier, Ore Hansa, from Metrobulk. Ore Hansa has a carrying capacity of 82,224 deadweight tons (dwt) and was built in April 2006 at Tsuneishi, a Japanese shipyard. To date, Quintana Maritime has taken delivery of seven vessels out of the total of seventeen vessels it has agreed to acquire from Metrobulk. As previously announced, Ore Hansa, together with eight other vessels, is employed under a master time charter agreement with Bunge S.A. at an average daily rate of approximately $23,000 for 2007. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-21 02:06:00 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsFort Lauderdale Grounding Update

The U.S. Coast Guard said that more than 1,200 tons of the cargo of bauxite ore have been removed from the freighter grounded off Fort Lauderdale. Removal of an additional 800 tons is needed before efforts to refloat the ship can be undertaken. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-21 02:04:46 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsCountries seek to broaden cooperation to safeguard Malacca Strait

Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, which border the Malacca Strait, recently began coordinated maritime and air patrols to curb piracy and address concerns that international terrorists might someday target ships passing through it. As a result, only three sea robberies have occurred in the Malacca Strait in the first half of 2006, down from 18 cases for the whole of last year and 38 in 2004. These three countries want the other countries that use the Strait to help bear the cost of keeping it safe. Maritime officials from 31 nations gathered in Kuala Lumpur to determine ways to do this. A transit fee or other payment was not discussed specifically, but contributions could range from money to efforts such as the sharing of intelligence and equipment, technical cooperation, and personnel training. The three littoral states will outline a framework of cooperation with user states. (Source: Clarence Fernandez, Reuters at Environmental News Network)
• 2006-09-21 02:03:55 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsChina plans growth for shipbuilding industry

hina has been the world's third-biggest shipbuilder for the past 11 years. But the industry is plagued by problems, including outdated technology. Shipbuilding in China is largely assembly work, since only 40% of parts are produced domestically. The official five-year plan for the industry's development calls for Chinese firms to produce 60% of parts used by the shipbuilding industry. The plan will also encourage overseas investment in China's shipbuilding industry. The country will cap combined foreign stakes in companies at 49%, and it will require foreign-invested firms to set up technology centers. (Source: Reuters at The Standard)
• 2006-09-21 02:03:14 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsArmed escorts not recommended for fighting pirates

Efthimios Mitropoulos, secretary-general of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), believes that constant vigilance against pirate attacks remains necessary — despite the fact that the number of pirate attacks have dropped in recent months. Mitropoulos spoke from Malaysia, where 31 nations were planning ways to help offset the cost of ensuring safety, security and environmental protection in the Malacca Strait. But Mitropoulos and several maritime analysts have warned against having vessels arm themselves with weapons for defense. Many feel that the weapons could be a lure for pirates, hoping to seize the guns and use them for their own purposes. Others fear that having firearms on board would raise risks, since crewmen might accidentally kill others if they took excessive steps in defense. (Source: Reuters at Khaleej Times Online)
• 2006-09-21 02:02:42 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsNOAA Responding to International Oil Spills

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that its Office of Response and Restoration is working with the State Department and the Coast Guard to respond to recent oil spill emergencies in Lebanon and the Philippines. (Source: HK Law)
• 2006-09-20 04:07:44 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsPanama Canal – Locks Lane Outage

The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory reminding the marine community that, from September 19 through September 30, tow track rehabilitation work will be performed on the east lane at Gatun Locks. There will be a reduction in the number of available transit booking slots during this period. (Source: HK Law)
• 2006-09-20 04:07:05 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsFoster Miller Wins $1m Coast Guard Contract

Boston Business Journal has reported that Foster Miller, based in Waltham, Mass., will work with a Vermont firm on a so-called "boat trap" system. The company said in a release that the boat trap is a ballistic net that can be dropped from a helicopter to ensnare the propeller of the target boat. The system can be used when bullets and shells pose a threat to bystanders and noncombatants in crowded harbors, the company said. (Source: Boston Business Journal)
• 2006-09-20 04:06:25 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsResponse to Grounding of Clipper Lasco

The U. S. Coast Guard continues to coordinate the response to the grounding of the 645-ft. cargo ship Clipper Lasco just west of the designated anchorage area off Fort Lauderdale Beach, Fla. The vessel remains aground this evening as members of the unified command work to ensure that planned salvage operations do not cause further disruption to the ocean floor, are conducted as safely as possible, provide adequate resources for any contingencies that could arise and mitigate the risk of damaging the ship.

Divers from Resolve Marine Group, the salvor contracted by representatives for the Clipper Lasco, surveyed the ship's hull and the ocean bottom. The survey revealed that the vessel did impact the reef and some coral. The exact extent of the damage to coral will not be known until the vessel is refloated and a more comprehensive ocean-bottom survey is conducted.

A 500-yard safety zone is in effect around the Clipper Lasco in the interest of public safety. No vessel may enter the safety zone without prior approval by the U.S. Coast Guard. As a precaution, approximately 1,800 feet of 24-inch oil-containment boom have been deployed around the grounded vessel by SWS First Response, an oil spill response organization contracted by representatives of the Clipper Lasco. Additional spill response equipment, including more containment boom, vacuum trucks and skimmers, is being placed on standby or is being staged in key locations near environmentally sensitive areas identified in the Area Contingency Plan. The equipment is being staged as a precautionary measure to ensure a rapid response in the unlikely event of a fuel or oils spill from the vessel. SWS First Response also has two small boats on scene with three-person crews and another six people working on shore.

A marine inspector and pollution investigator, both from Coast Guard Sector Miami, remain aboard the grounded vessel to monitor conditions. Four members of the Coast Guard's Gulf Strike Team, headquartered in Mobile, Ala., arrived at the unified command this afternoon to assist in coordinating salvage operations. The Coast Guard Cutter Marlin is patrolling the area near the Clipper Lasco. The unified command, staffed by personnel from Coast Guard Sector Miami, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, American Bureau of Shipping classification society, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Dockendale Shipping Co. Ltd., London Offshore Consultants Inc., SWS First Response and Resolve Marine Group, is continuing to revise the salvage plan, which currently calls for the lightering of nearly 700 tons of cargo from the Clipper Lasco before attempting to re-float the vessel. The members of the unified command have determined that cargo lightering is the only method that will recover enough buoyancy to re-float the vessel. "The response to the grounding of the Clipper Lasco may not seem expedient, but we are following a deliberate planning process to ensure that all aspects of the salvage operation, including any contingencies, are adequately addressed and provide for the highest possible level of safety for response personnel, the environment and the vessel," said Capt. Karl Schultz, commander of Coast Guard Sector Miami. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-19 02:17:04 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsShips' Cleaning Left Toxic Materials

According to a Medaia News, Sheets of decayed metals, hull coatings and lead paint more than one-third of an inch thick peeled off two obsolete U.S. Maritime Administration ships when marine growth was scrubbed from their hulls at the Port of Richmond last month, according to a report prepared for the federal government. The toxic material was left in San Francisco Bay, much of it adhered to thick seaweed and barnacles that accumulated on the ships for more than 35 years as they were anchored in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet near Benicia. When the cleaning was done in early August, MarAd said only organic materials would be left in the water.

But the report prepared for the administration states, "marine growth across the flat bottom of the hull appeared to peel away in pieces up to several square feet at a time adhered to sections of corroded steel flakes. ... Corroded metal and old flakes ... appeared to maintain a consistent maximum thickness of approximately .375 (of an) inch. "These flakes seemed to be made up of tightly bound marine fouling over brittle advanced corrosion wastage and aged hull coating," states the report, prepared by employees of the company that did the work, Underwater Resources Inc. of San Francisco.

The Coast Guard also released photographs of the ships, showing the badly rusted hulls with paint chipping away in large sections and thick grasses visible below the waterline. The photos also show the large chips of decayed metals described in the report. Lead paint dissolving in the Bay represents the most immediate environmental threat, said a ship disposal expert and chemical engineer.

The Maritime Administration did not know about material entering the water until it received the contractor's report, its spokeswomen Shannon Russell said in an e-mail Thursday. She did not answer a question about who from the administration monitored the work or why it wasn't halted when it became obvious the metals were peeling from the ship.

An environmentalist familiar with the ships said MarAd lacks credibility when it comes to protecting local waters.

The work was done under a Coast Guard order issued in late June that requires ships leaving the administration's three reserve fleets to have their hulls cleaned of marine growth that could be transported to areas of the world where it is not native. The program is designed to slow the spread of invasive species.

Three World War II Victory ships were cleaned last month under the Coast Guard order — two in Richmond, one in Alameda — before being towed to Brownsville, Texas, to be cut up for scrap. Each ship was 439 ft. long with a beam of 63 ft. at its widest point. At Richmond, the materials were removed from 90 percent of the underwater portion of their hulls, the report states. There was no report immediately available on the work done in Alameda. Growth on the ships was so heavy that divers quickly wore down the nylon scrubbers they were using and had to order more, the report states. They also used hand scrapers to remove some of it, the document states.

Under the Coast Guard order, hand scrappers were to be used only on the ships' propellers because of concerns that hand scrapping would rip away hull materials.

Separate Maritime Administration ship condition reports prepared recently for the three Victory ships cleaned in Richmond and Alameda describe them as being badly corroded, their decks covered with paint chips and their holds filling with what was described as oily water. The Coast Guard approved all three for towing to Texas, although one of the them, the Barnard Victory, failed its initial inspection and needed additional work to make it safe for towing. (Source: Media News)

• 2006-09-19 02:16:06 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsMarAd Sponsors Biometrics Expo

The Maritime Administration is a sponsor of the 2006 Biometrics Technology Expo, which opens at the Baltimore Convention Center on Tuesday, September 19, 2006. The Expo brings together more than 100 leaders in biometrics, the science now increasingly used for personal identification and authentication. The two U.S. DOT agencies have been involved in government and industry discussions since 2001, since the transportation industries represent many of the most important end-users of this technology. The Expo runs September 19-21, and has attracted more than 1,500 biometric specialists. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-19 02:13:56 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsRussia may not be ready for growth in shipping

The international community is having a debate about Russia's lack of planning and preparedness to handle an expected surge in oil and gas shipping through the Russian Far North and Far East in the next decade. In response, scientists and government agencies outside Russia are stepping up their environmental impact assessments of oil and gas shipping in the Barents Sea. Neighboring governments are seeking closer cooperation with their Russian counterparts, and international oil companies are nudging Russia toward adopting international standards on oil spill response. Russia may have the potential to ship as much as 150 million tons of oil a year by 2010, but the country isn't prepared for large-scale shipping like that. Russia's export tankers are currently in good shape, but its inland fleet is aging. Its fishing trawlers and dry cargo vessels are often old and poorly maintained. Accidental spills from oil activities in Russia grew from 100 tons in 2002, to 737 tons in 2003. (Source: Sarah J. Wachter, International Herald Tribune)
• 2006-09-19 02:04:24 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsNavy Christens New Guided-Missile Destroyer

The latest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, Sampson (DDG 102), will be christened Sept. 16 during a ceremony at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine.

The ship is named in honor of Rear Adm. William Thomas Sampson (1840-1902), a naval hero in the Spanish-American War. After graduating first in his class at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1861, Sampson served in the Civil War, during which he survived a mine explosion in 1865. When the United States declared war against Spain following the sinking of the battleship Maine, Sampson assumed command of the U.S. North Atlantic Squadron with the rank of rear admiral. Sailing from Key West, Fla., in 1898, aboard USS New York (CA 2), his squadron established a blockade on the Spanish Fleet in the harbor of Santiago, Cuba. When the Spanish fleet attempted escape, it was completely destroyed by Sampson’s forces in a running sea battle that lasted five hours. The next day, Sampson sent the now famous message: “The Fleet under my command offers the nation as a Fourth of July present, the whole of Cervera's Fleet!”

Sampson retired as commandant of the Boston Navy Yard in 1902. Three previous ships have carried this name: Torpedo-boat destroyer 63, Somers-class destroyer 394 and Charles F. Adams-class guided-missile destroyer 10. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Clara Parsons, great granddaughter of Sampson, will serve as ship’s sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition, she will break the bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen the ship “Sampson.”

Designated DDG 102, Sampson is the 52nd of 62 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. This highly capable multimission ship can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the national military strategy. Sampson will be capable of fighting air, surface, and subsurface battles simultaneously. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century. Cmdr. Philip Roos, born in Leiderdorp, the Netherlands, will become the ship’s first commanding officer and lead the crew of approximately 292 men and women. The 9,200-ton Sampson is being built by Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics company, and is 509.5 ft. in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 32 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-18 02:21:43 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsInquiry Lists Factors Behind Sinking

The Manila Times reported that the Special Board of Marine Inquiry looking into the sinking of the tanker Solar 1 blamed the incident on overloading, bad weather and an incompetent ship captain. The findings of the board were released Thursday by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC). The DOTC said the Solar 1’s captain, Norberto Aguro, the ship’s owner Sunshine Maritime Corp. and Petron are to be held liable for the sinking of the tanker that has resulted in the country’s worst environmental disaster. The sunken Solar 1 released close to half a million gallons of oil into the waters of Guimaras Strait. The oil has contaminated coastline in Guimaras and idled fishing communities. The board said the ship suffered from a loss of reserve buoyancy because it was overloaded by approximately 150 tons, as determined from the ship’s load line, or the free space a vessel must maintain for safety. (Source: Manila Times)
• 2006-09-18 02:19:48 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsFormer Coast Guard Commandant Dies

The U.S. Coast Guard today announced the death of Adm. J. William Kime, 72, Coast Guard commandant from 1990 to 1994, who succumbed to cancer earlier this morning. "This is a very sad day for the Coast Guard," said Adm. Thad Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard. "The Coast Guard lost a close member of our family, and America has lost a great leader. In the wake of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Adm. Kime pioneered how the Coast Guard now prevents and responds to oil and hazardous chemical spills, significantly minimizing the environmental damage caused by such spills. His legacy can be seen today in how the Coast Guard responds to a broad range of threats and hazards to our maritime, homeland, and national security interests."

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Valerie, their children, and the entire Kime family during this very difficult time," Allen said. Kime was nominated to become the 19th commandant of the Coast Guard by President George Bush and, following Senate confirmation, he relieved Adm. Paul A Yost, Jr., on May 31, 1990. Kime will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-18 02:18:53 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsRoyal Caribbean to Expand Operations in Asia in 2007

Royal Caribbean International announces its return to Asia in December 2007. The Vision-class ship, featuring the line’s rock-climbing wall and indoor glass walls, will offer a series of cruises out of Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, visiting exotic ports of call in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

Rhapsody of the Seas will debut December 10, 2007, in Singapore offering a series of sailings that will call on Malaysia and Thailand. The ship’s Asia tour continues on from Hong Kong, where she will arrive in time for the Chinese New Year holiday season, offering a series of itineraries calling at ports in Taiwan, Japan, and Sanya, Hainan Island. Then moving to Shanghai, China, Rhapsody will call on ports in Japan and Korea. Additional details of Rhapsody’s itineraries will be available by mid-October 2006.

Rhapsody of the Seas, at 78,491 tons and with a total guest capacity of 2,435, will be one of the largest cruise ships to homeport in Asia. In addition to the rock-climbing wall, she features the awe-inspiring Centrum, an open atrium with a shopping arcade; an outdoor pool; six whirlpools; an indoor/outdoor pool in a Solarium with a retractable roof; themed bars and lounges; the Adventure Ocean Youth program; the Shipshape Day Spa and Fitness Center; the Casino Royale; multi-level dining rooms with floor to ceiling windows; and Windjammer Café. The ship also has one main conference center with four smaller meeting rooms. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-18 02:17:30 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsSuez Canal Reopens to Very Large Ships

The Suez Canal has reopened to very large vessels including supertankers after the authorities introduced special procedures in the deeper eastern channel, which is partially blocked by a sunken dredger. The authority had earlier turned away 10 large vessels because they were too big to go through the western channel activated since the dredger sank, said a Suez Canal Authority official. The dredger has not been removed but the eastern channel of the canal, which can take ships with a draft up to 62 feet, has been reopened to large vessels, he added.

The vessels will have to sail slowly and carry senior pilots from the authority. The site of the sunken dredger has been marked by signs to warn approaching ships. The western channel will remain open too until the eastern one resumes full operations, the official said. A British container ship named by the Suez Canal Authority as the Nedlloyd Tasman ran aground, stalling traffic through the canal for nearly six hours until tugs refloated the vessel. Three men drowned and one is still missing after the sinking of the dredger. Forty-one crew members were rescued.

The canal was briefly blocked on Tuesday after a cargo ship ran aground. (Source: Reuters)

• 2006-09-18 02:16:32 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsCoast Guard Responds to Grounding off Port Everglade

Coast Guard inspectors on board the Clipper Lasco have confirmed the 645-ft. cargo vessel has run aground just west of the designated anchorage area off Fort Lauderdale Beach, Fla. The Clipper Lasco is carrying more than 30,000 tons of bauxite and 323 metric tons of fuel.

Coast Guard inspection and investigation teams on board continue to gather information to determine the cause of the grounding. It has not been determined on what type of bottom (sand, coral, mud, rocks) the vessel grounded and the extent, if any, of environmental damage. The Coast Guard is in close communications with the vessel owners, state and local partners and technical experts, and is establishing a unified command to coordinate salvage efforts. Within the unified command will be representatives from the Coast Guard, the Clipper Lasco and experts in salvage operations and the marine environment. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-18 02:15:54 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsWeak rivets may have caused the Titanic to sink so quickly

New evidence suggests that weak rivets caused the RMS Titanic to sink so quickly that few passengers could be saved from its collision with an iceberg. Tim Foecke of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Jennifer Hooper McCarty, of Oregon Health and Science University, first developed the rivet theory after examining 48 popped rivets from the wreck. They found that the wrought iron contained 9% slag — a high enough concentration that could have weakened the metal. Dr. Foecke commissioned a blacksmith to make rivets to the same specifications; these were used to join steel plates such as those used in the Titanic. When stressed in the laboratory, the rivet heads broke at lower loads than expected. Even a few failures because of flawed metal would have been sufficient to "unzip" entire seams. If the rivets had held under higher loads, the Titanic might have sunk more slowly, and more people could have been saved. The findings are included in a National Geographic Channel investigation to be screened next week. (Source: Mark Henderson, The Times Online)
• 2006-09-18 02:12:53 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsUS, Chinese Navy Carry Out Joint Communication Drills

The visiting Chinese missile cruiser 113 (Qingdao) and U.S. missile cruiser 93 (Zhongyun) cooperated on a six-hour marine communication and mobile drill near Hawaii on September 10. This is the first time the U.S. and Chinese and navies have cooperated on such drills.

The drills were directed in turn by the U.S. and Chinese navy. They trialed several means of communication and organized their vessels into joint formations.

During the drills, the U.S. and Chinese navies each had two of their own observers on the other's ships to view and evaluate the giving of orders and drills.

The drills were held after the Chinese navy left Hawaii. The ships left Pearl Harbor for San Diego on the U.S. mainland at 10 a.m. on September 10. (Source: People's Daily Online)

• 2006-09-15 02:45:46 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsNOAA Issues New Coast Pilot for Alaska

In order to promote safe navigation and enhance marine conservation, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey and the National Marine Protected Areas Center have partnered to publish key information about the location, purpose, and permitted activities of existing marine managed areas off Alaska's southeastern coast in the United States Coast Pilot Volume 8. The U.S. Coast Pilot is used by the maritime industry, fishermen, the military, recreational boaters, and other coastal users of sensitive marine ecosystems.

The southeastern Alaska edition includes marine managed areas between Dixon Entrance and Cape Spencer. It is the first in a series of Coast Pilot publications being produced for all regions throughout the United States. The other eight books of the U.S. Coast Pilot series will be published over the next year, and contain similar information about marine managed areas. The maritime community relies heavily on the U.S.

Coast Pilot and NOAA navigational charts for information about coastal issues relating to safe navigation, access to marine facilities, and environmental regulations. The U.S. Coast Pilot has been in continuous print by the federal government since 1867. Ships of 1,600 or more gross tons, and large U.S. naval vessels, are required to carry both the U.S. Coast Pilot and the local NOAA charts that pertain to their area of transit. Many smaller vessels also carry both the U.S. Coast Pilot and local NOAA charts, although they are not required to do so.

The U.S. Coast Pilot is a series of nine regional books. Each U.S. Coast Pilot contains a variety of information important to navigators of coastal and intra-coastal waters, and the Great Lakes. Each book also contains supplemental information that is difficult to portray on a nautical chart. Examples of topics covered in each U.S. Coast Pilot include channel descriptions, anchorages, bridge and cable clearances, currents, tide and water levels, prominent features, pilotage, towage, weather, ice conditions, wharf descriptions, dangers, routes, traffic separation schemes, small-craft facilities, and federal regulations applicable to navigation. The marine managed areas project now ensures that key environmental features are described as well. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-15 02:45:11 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsPort of NY and NJ Sets Cargo Record

Fueled by a continuing increase in Asian trade, the Port of New York and New Jersey set a new cargo record during the first six months of 2006, surpassing 1.8m loaded 20-ft. equivalent units (TEUs) handled during the period for the first time. During the first half of 2006, the port’s overall loaded containerized cargo rose by 10.1 percent, exceeding projections of 7 percent growth. The increase was due primarily to Asian trade, which accounted for 48 percent of the port’s total trade in the period. Approximately 870,000 TEUs to and from Asia were handled in the port during the first half of the year. Overall, the Port of New York and New Jersey handled 1,803,526 loaded TEUs for the first six months of 2006, compared to 1,654,483 TEUs for the same period in 2005, according to the Port Import-Export Reporting System (PIERS). Imports for the period were up 11.7 percent - from 1,164,338 TEUs in 2005 to 1,291,042 TEUs in 2006. Exports rose by 6.5 percent - from 490,145 TEUs in 2005 to 512,484 TEUs in 2006. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-15 02:39:41 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsSubmarine Comes Together at Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman reached a construction milestone on August 31 when it completed the final hull welds of the Virginia-class submarine North Carolina (SSN 777). This accomplishment, known as “pressure hull complete,” signifies the hull sections being joined to form a single unit. It is the last major milestone before the ship’s christening next spring.

“This is a giant step on the path to deliver North Carolina,” said Becky Stewart, vice president of the submarine program for Northrop Grumman’s Newport News sector. “She’s starting to come together and look like a submarine now, which is a testament to our shipbuilders and their commitment to not only producing a high-quality product, but to their tireless efforts to improve processes and results along the way.” Northrop Grumman is building North Carolina, the fourth ship of the Virginia-class, using lessons learned from the previous three ships of the class. It is currently 76 percent complete and is on track to deliver in February 2008.

Many of the 1,000 Newport News employees building the Virginia-class submarines signed a special banner to mark the occasion. Northrop Grumman is teamed with General Dynamics Electric Boat to build the first 10 ships of the Virginia class. Current plans call for 30 Virginia-class submarines in the fleet. Designed to meet the Navy’s requirements in a post-Cold War security environment, the submarines use advanced technologies to increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth. The 377-ft. long submarines are capable of submerged speeds of more than 25 knots and can stay submerged for months at a time. The keel for North Carolina was laid on May 22, 2004. Upon delivery to the Navy in early 2008, it will be the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, providing undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-15 02:38:35 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsUSN Ships Available for Donation

The US Navy stated that the test craft ex-Sea Shadow and the Hughes Mining Barge, along with several other vessels, are available for as a static museum/memorial to qualified applicants. The Sea Shadow tested stealth technologies in the marine environment. (Source: HK Law)
• 2006-09-15 02:30:40 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsCars from Cougar Ace won't be sold as new

On July 23 the car carrier Cougar Ace was off Alaska's coast when it listed more than 60 degrees. It's since been stabilized and docked Tuesday in Portland, Oregon. Mazda Motor Co. will not sell the 4,700 cars on board as new. Each unit will be comprehensively inspected, and those beyond repair will be immediately scrapped. The rest will be sold as used cars with full new-car warranties. Each car from the ship will be identified as such. The Singapore government is investigating what made the ship list during the ballast change, which happened in international waters. (Source: Associated Press at MSNBC.com)
• 2006-09-15 02:26:10 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsManila wants to siphon oil from sunken tanker

The Philippines wants to drill through the hull of a sunken tanker and siphon off its cargo of industrial fuel to curtail pollution washing up on the central island of Guimaras. The government is awaiting a decision from the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) agency on whether it would fund efforts to recover the fuel. The IOPC is consulting with salvage contractors with expertise in the feasibility of pumping out oil from a tanker submerged so deep. The Solar 1 sank in rough seas on August 11, and leaked nearly 500,000 liters of bunker oil. The tanker still holds around 1.5 million liters of oil, and is lying upright under about 2,100 feet of water off Guimaras. (Source: Associated Press at Gulfnews.com)
• 2006-09-15 02:24:59 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsDiana Shipping Acquires New Vessel

Diana Shipping Inc. announced that it has agreed to purchase from an unaffiliated third party, a Capesize dry bulk carrier of approximately 175,000 dwt, currently under construction by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. for a price of $91 million. The vessel, to be named Sideris GS, is expected to be delivered to the Company by the sellers immediately upon completion of its construction in or about December 2006.

Upon delivery of this vessel, the Company's fleet will consist of thirteen Panamax dry bulk carriers and two Capesize dry bulk carriers. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-14 02:59:40 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsA.P.Møller-Mærsk to Order 25 ships in China

A.P.Møller-Mærsk is still prepared to invest in new ships from China and is going to order 25 ships in the course of one year, wrote the newspaper China Business News according to the news agency AFX.

An unnamed employee at A.P.Møller-Mærsk’s office in China has told the newspaper that the shipping line last week signed a deal to buy four container ships at the Dailan Shipbuilding Industry and 80 tons deadweight tug vessels at Quingdao Qianjin.

During the last 10 years A.P.Møller-Mærsk has bought 75 ships in China for about DKK 17.6 billion. According to AFX this makes the Danish shipping company the largest foreign buyer of ships from China. (Source: http://borsen.dk)

• 2006-09-14 02:39:06 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsRotor Tug 'RT Zoe'

Container vessels which call at the Port of Hamburg still get larger and larger. In response to that stronger tugboats are being required. As part of its fleet renewal programme harbour service provider Kotug put into service the tug newbuilding “RT Zoe” in the summer of 2006 at the Port of Hamburg.

A pulling force of 65 tons makes it to the strongest tugboat at the Port of Hamburg. It exceeds that of usual tugboats by approx. 15 tons.

“RT Zoe” is a rotor tug equipped with three propellers under the hull. Two of them are mounted amidships and one is mounted abaft. Each one may be turned independently by 360 degrees, which results in exceptional maneuver characteristics for the tugboat. E.g. the tugboat may be swung sideways and is able to assist.

The tugboat is powered by three main engines with altogether 5300 hp. For comparison, a barge tugboat is powered by approx. 300 hp and a usual tugboat for container vessels by around 3000 hp. It is 28,3 m long and 11,7 m wide. Its maximal draught is 5,9 m. Like its three sister ships which are stationed in Bremerhaven and Le Havre it has been built in Singapore. The equipment includes two cable winches and an extensive fire-extinguishing equipment.

For the time being “RT Zoe” remains a single item at the Port of Hamburg. Depending upon development however an employment of further rotor tugs of this generation is not impossible. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-14 02:37:57 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsAmerican Queen to Make Debut

Majestic America Line American Queen will debut on March 9, 2007
On March 9, 2007, the American Queen, will make its debut as the flagship vessel for Majestic America Line. In 2007 the American Queen will cruise the mighty Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, showcasing our nation's rich tapestry of breathtaking natural beauty, distinct regional cultures and vibrant history for an extraordinary American experience guests will treasure for years to come. Named the flagship not just for her size, but also her grace and casual elegance, the American Queen joins five other ships in the Majestic America Line fleet plying America's great rivers and coastal waterways in 2007 including the Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen, Queen of the West, Empress of the North and Executive Explorer. The American Queen features 46 specially designed journeys in 2007, exploring America's rivers, while calling on fascinating and historic ports along the way. Itineraries include the beloved and once again vibrant city of New Orleans, La. in the south to historic St. Paul, Minn., the boyhood home to American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, in the north. Aboard the American Queen, cruising the rivers provides a completely unique way to experience the heart and soul of America on the waterways that helped shape this great country with the flexibility to cruise from three to seven nights, in extraordinary places, at a wide variety of price points. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-14 02:36:18 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsUT Research Vessel Up for Sale

According to the Daily Texan, after 35 years of service, the research vessel, Longhorn, is being sold by UT's Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas. The Newspaper reported that Steven Lanoux, assistant director of operations at the institute, said the Longhorn is not worth the $1.5m renovation cost it would take to repair the vessel. The ship requires hull repairs, new engines and new scientific equipment, he said. Private research crews and other universities such as the A&M Research Institute, Tulane University and Duke University pay to use the ship, but their fees will not cover the expensive repairs, he said. The Longhorn's departure poses a challenge for many researchers at the Institute such as associate professor Tracy Villareal, who regularly uses the ship for his red-tide research. Red tide, a marine algae, can turn water a red or brown color. According to the Institute's Web site, Villareal has been conducting a multi-year survey of the Texas coast to understand and predict red-tide movement. Villareal said once he found out the Longhorn was being sold, he used the ship as much as possible with his remaining grant money. Other professors use the Longhorn for teaching purposes. Marine science professor Kenneth Dunton takes his summer undergraduate students into the Gulf for hands-on research. He said he believes there is no better way to teach, because nothing compares to firsthand experience.

Lanoux said the nearest other scientific research vessel is at the Louisiana Marine Consortium, a two-day sail from Port Aransas. Texas researchers are hoping the Texas A&M System will bring a research vessel to the Gulf. The system will compete to operate a new ship being built by the National Science Foundation, Lanoux said. (Source: Daily Texan)

• 2006-09-14 02:34:07 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsRuling Favors NCL

ccording to the AP, a federal judge has denied class-action status in a $100m negligence lawsuit filed by passengers aboard a cruise ship that was struck by a 70-ft. rogue wave in April 2005. The decision by U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga means that the lawsuit will not automatically cover the more than 2,000 passengers who were aboard the 965-ft. Norwegian Dawn when it encountered heavy seas off South Carolina. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded in December that the ship's captain and crew acted properly during the April 16, 2005 incident. The ship was heading from the Bahamas to New York. (Source: AP)
• 2006-09-14 02:32:40 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsU.S. Barge Inks First Deal

U.S. Barge LLC, a company co-owned by Oregon Iron Works, Inc. (OIW) and Vigor Industrial LLC, has signed a contract for its first order. The company has agreed to build and deliver multiple bluewater, or ocean-going, barges to Young Brothers, Ltd. in Hawaii, with the first barge to be delivered in late September of 2007. U.S. Barge will invest approximately $8m in new equipment on Swan Island and in Clackamas, OR in order to build barges and other watercraft. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-14 02:29:26 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsEgyptian dredger sinks in Suez canal

An Egyptian dredger sank in the Suez canal overnight, leaving two people dead and up to five others missing. Traffic was briefly interrupted both ways in the canal, which is a major international trading route, as the rescue operation was under way. The rest of the 50 people on board the Khattab were safely brought back to shore. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but a worker on the dredger said one of its pumps had exploded, causing the ship to sink within minutes. Egypt has been hit by a series of major transport disasters in recent months, mostly blamed on negligence and poor upkeep. Canal authorities are currently increasing its depth from 66 feet to 72 feet, so that larger vessels can go through. (Source: BBC News)

• 2006-09-14 02:21:58 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsGanger Rolf Orders Newbuildings

First Olsen Ltd., which is owned 50/50 by Bonheur ASA and Ganger Rolf ASA, is advising of a Letter of Intent for newbuilding contracts for two suezmax tankers to be built at Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy industries C. Ltd. in China. If concluded, delivery will be due in December 2009 and April 2010, respectively and the price is agreed at $73.7m per vessel. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-12 04:01:00 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive News9/11 Heroes: Corps of Engineers' Boat Crews

Immediately after the second tower of the World Trade Center collapsed Sept. 11, 2001, members of the Corps of Engineers' fleet were underway. Stationed along the Hudson River for a Coast Guard boat-safety class, the Corps’ boats from the Philadelphia and New York districts became taxis to safety for people trying to flee the scene. “Everyone volunteered to help. Without a second thought, they placed themselves on duty,” said Joe Meyers from the USACE’s New York district.

In all, they ferried 2,300 people off the island. “When we arrived, the people on the pier had a deep stare and were covered in dust. They were afraid to leave and afraid to stay,” said Tony Hans from the New York district. Three marinas were set up at Caven’s Point, N.J., to receive the passengers. Buses and trains awaited evacuees at the first marina. The second marina was for the injured, and the third marina was for the critically injured.

“On each return trip, the crews would bring back emergency personnel,” said Meyers. The assembled fleet consisted of these motor vessels: Hocking, Hatton, Hudson, Hayward, Gelberman, Driftmaster and New York Survey Boat #1. Motor Vessel Hayward assisted local fireboats and fire trucks by transporting fuel and water. “They were passing five-gallon cans by hand. There was no other way to access the site,” said Josh Daskalakis from the New York district.

Motor Vessel Hayward helped keep firefighters on the job by supplying them with more than 16,000 gallons of fuel and water, in addition to flashlights, batteries, protective gear, food, water, lanterns and shovels, according to Meyers. Motor Vessel Hocking became the command vessel the day of the attack. Within hours of the collapse, Hocking transported the North Atlantic Division Commander Brig. Gen. M. Stephen Rhoades to the site to assess the situation and offer Corps assistance.

After the initial transportation of citizens to Caven’s Point, more Corps vessels joined the response crew to assist with the ongoing mission of supporting the Corps, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and New York City’s transportation and supply needs. (Source: Army News Service By Justine Barati)

• 2006-09-12 04:00:20 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsSafeway Maritime Takes Delivery of Incat Ferry

Honduras-based operator Safeway Maritime Transportation Co., has just taken delivery of its first Incat Crowther catamaran ferry for operation on the north coast of Honduras between the main land city of La Ceiba and Isla de Roatán in the Caribbean Sea. The vessel is a 150.9 ft. (46m) high speed catamaran ferry capable of carrying 460 passengers at a speed of 36 knots. The main cabin contains seating for 237 passengers seated in rows. A simple kiosk area is located aft along with toilet facilities and a large luggage room. A centrally located boarding station provides quick access to all parts of the vessel allowing the vessel to load and unload efficiently. The mid deck first class cabin has seating for 60 passengers primarily seated in rows. This cabin also has its own kiosk and toilet facilities. In addition there is a small VIP cabin for 8 passengers with access from the wheelhouse. An outdoor seating area for 150 passengers is fitted aft of the mid deck cabin and protected from the elements by enclosed sides. The vessels interior has been especially developed to minimize the effects of the tropical environment the vessel operates in, by utilising hard moisture resistant surfaces.

The vessel is powered by four Cat 3512B main engines producing 1800 bhp each coupled to Hamilton HM651 waterjets. The vessel was built by Louisiana based shipbuilder Gulf Craft Inc. This is the third high speed vessel that has been built to an Incat Crowther design in the past 2 years and has now helped to establish a strong bond between the two organizations. Gulf Craft is now in the early stages of building another large high speed vessel for service in the Gulf of Mexico. Further details of this exciting new vessel will be released shortly.

Safeway Maritime Transportation Co. provides two round trips per day between the mainland and Isla de Roatán. The Incat Crowther design was developed with a combination of higher than normal freeboard and an interceptor based MDI ride control system to provide a very comfortable ride over the 1¼ hour journey. The Galaxy Wave represents the 233rd high speed catamaran designed by Incat Crowther and the 21st design in the 40m to 60m range. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-12 03:24:23 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsUSS Columbia Recognized for Last Deployment

USS Columbia (SSN 771) received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its last deployment, Sept. 5, just minutes before setting the maneuvering detail and departing for another.

Commander, Submarine Squadron 3, Capt. Joseph Tofalo, presented the Meritorious Unit Commendation to Columbia’s crew as they said their goodbyes to their loved ones at Pearl Harbor and prepared to leave for a surge deployment to the Western Pacific. In the award citation, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen praised Columbia for conducting an operation “of great importance to national security” and for providing “invaluable lessons for future operations and directly (enhancing) fleet, theater and national objectives.”

Cmdr. Gene Sievers, Columbia’s commanding officer, said his crew did an “extraordinary” job keeping the submarine in a ready status, despite returning from the deployment only six months ago. “Normally after you return, you stand down and move into maintenance period,” said Sievers. “But the crew has maintained the ship in top shape, immediately going through the certification process.” During that time, Columbia was called upon at the last minute to participate in RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) 2006 exercises, where his crew spent three weeks in July operating as part of the binational force with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. Sievers gave particular credit to the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for helping Columbia meet her deployment schedule. He said an emergent maintenance issue just one month before Columbia was due to deploy was fixed by Shipyard divers rather than by putting the submarine into dry dock. "They turned what otherwise would have been an emergent docking into a minor four-day pierside repair," he said. Columbia’s award comes on the heels of another significant recognition. Just two weeks ago, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander, Adm. Gary Roughead presented Columbia’s crew with the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy, presented annually to the most improved operational unit in the fleet.

Machinist's Mate 1st Class (SS/DS) Gawain Brown, an auxiliaryman from St. Louis, Mo., said he is looking forward to this deployment. “It’s a great feeling keeping family, friends and loved ones safe,” he said. Even family members sad to see their loved ones leave recognized that deployments are the most important part of their job.

“You never want to see them leave,” said Christina Schreiner, Columbia’s ombudsman. “But we know the importance of their job out there.” Commissioned Oct. 9, 1995, Columbia is the 60th submarine of the Los Angeles class. Columbia displaces more than 6,900 tons, is 360 feet long, and can reach speeds in excess of 25 knots and attain depths of more than 800 feet. Columbia's shorter surge deployment is a part of the Fleet Response Plan (FRP), a program developed to change the way ships deploy and to provide the United States with a greater range of naval options, adding the element of flexibility to naval efficiency. The idea behind FRP is to keep the Navy ready to surge and to vary the lengths of deployments, meaning the Navy will be more flexible, ready to deploy whenever, wherever. (Source: NavNews)

• 2006-09-12 03:23:07 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsShipyard Builds Container Vessel in 54 Days

According to reports, Shanghai Shipyard & Chengxi Shipyard Company Ltd built a 3,500 TEU container vessel in only 54 days, breaking China's record of 60 days for a mid-sized container vessel. The team has already signed orders till the end of 2009. The state-owned Shanghai Shipyard & Chengxi Shipyard Co. updated their traditional shipbuilding skills when they moved to Chongmong Island from Lujiazui area in Pudong. The original technique took more than 140 days to build a 3,500 TEU container vessel. (Source: Shanghai Daily News)
• 2006-09-12 02:47:06 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsMarAd Announces Vessel Sale and Tranfer

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has given approval to C.S. Global Sentinel, L.P., of Baltimore, MD, to transfer the industrial vessel Global Sentinel, Official No. 973792 to Marshall Island registry and flag, without change in the ownership of said vessel. The Global Sentinel now used as a cable vessel is 434 ft. in length and has a gross tonnage of 13,201.

The Maritime Administration (MarAd) has given approval to Polar Tankers, Inc., of Bartlesville, OK, to sell two tank vessels the Polar Alaska, Official No. 614544 and the Polar California, Official No. D623291to Aker Floating Production ASA, a Norwegian corporation, and the transfer of said vessel to Marshall Island registry and flag. Both 900-ft. tank vessels have a gross tonnage of 83675 each. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-12 02:18:09 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsWashington state ferry system worries about terror attacks

FBI and homeland security officials say no specific terrorist plots had been uncovered, but in the three years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the FBI reviewed 157 "suspicious incidents" involving the Washington state ferry system, which is the nation's largest. From spring 2004 to fall 2005, there were 247 suspicious incidents. The FBI thinks the increase is due to better reporting by ferry system personnel. Attacks on mass transit systems seem to be getting "popular" among terrorists, and intelligence suggests that the Washington state ferry system may be being monitored as a potential terrorist target. However, Ted Turner, a supervisory intelligence analyst at the FBI office in Seattle, said, "We have not, after four years, been able to link a suspicious incident to a plan or terrorist group." Officials know there's no way they can eliminate the risk of a terrorist attack on the ferries. (Source: Les Blumenthal, McClatchy Newspapers at The State.com)
• 2006-09-12 02:16:29 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsPort of Rotterdam Sees Good Results

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has achieved good financial results in the first six months of the year. An increase in throughput, rises in port dues and higher income from the lease of port sites have resulted in higher turnover. In addition, there were a number of one-off items of income, bringing the net result to $106.3m. The most important one-off item of income was generated by the release of a provision of $24.3m that was made in 2004 in connection with legal proceedings with Barclays arising from the RDM affair. The proposal is to pay out this amount, including interest and less the legal costs involved, as an extra dividend to the Municipality of Rotterdam. Since the Port Authority was privatized in 2004, it has had to raise funds itself on the capital market to finance investments in port infrastructure, including Maasvlakte 2. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-11 05:48:50 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsShip Grounds in St. Lawrence Seaway

The Motor Vessel Toro ran aground at Lighted Buoy 1 near Cornwall Island. The 585-ft., Greek registered vessel is laden with canola meal destined for Progresso, Mexico. There was a Canadian Pilot on board the Toro at the time of the grounding. There are no reports of injuries or pollution at this time. Responders were on scene at the vessel within a very short period of time. An initial dive survey has been completed to assess the damage to the vessel and provide the basic information necessary to develop a salvage plan to re-float the vessel. Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) (U.S.), the Saint Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) (Canada), Transport Canada and the ship's owners and insurers will meet to assess the situation and discuss possible salvage options.

The cause of the incident is under investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada. The results will be made known upon conclusion of the investigation. Incidentally, local, state, and federal responders are currently holding an exercise in Alexandria Bay to test response procedures and equipment that would be needed for response to an oil spill. The U.S. Coast Guard, Canadian Coast Guard, SLSDC, SLSMC, State and local responders and Save the River have engaged in what has been a very successful exercise. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-11 05:46:33 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsCoast Guard Searching for Operator of Adrift Vessel

The Coast Guard, Baltimore City Marine Police, and the Maryland Natural Resources Police are currently searching the waters of the Patpasco River in the vicinity of the Ferry Bar Channel for signs of a person in the water, after a 30-foot vessel was found floating adrift with no one aboard. The tug boat Cape Romain, initially spotted the vessel this morning and notified the Coast Guard. An initial search of the vessel was conducted and Coast Guard personnel found personal items and fresh paint on the vessel windows. In addition, a small diesel flue leak was evident. A 41-foot utility boat from Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay towed the derelict vessel to the Fairfield Auto Terminal to free any potential hazard to navigation. The search is a precautionary measure, and local authorities are attempting to contact the last known owner of the vessel. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-11 05:43:02 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsExpedition to Explore Submerged Wreck of Airship

On September 17, 2006 researchers from NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary program and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute will embark on an expedition off the Big Sur coast to conduct an archaeological investigation at the submerged wreck site of the rigid airship USS Macon, the nation’s largest and last U.S. built rigid lighter-than-air craft. The 785-ft. USS Macon, an U.S. Navy "dirigible," and its four Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk aircraft were lost on February 12, 1935 during severe weather offshore of Point Sur, Calif., on a routine flight from the Channel Islands to its home base at Moffett airfield. The wreckage of the USS Macon provide an opportunity to study the relatively undisturbed archaeological remnants of a unique period of U.S. aviation history.

"A key mandate of the National Marine Sanctuary Program is to explore, characterize and protect submerged heritage resources and to share our discoveries with the public," said Robert Schwemmer, West Coast maritime heritage coordinator for the National Marine Sanctuary Program and co-principal investigator for the expedition. "The USS Macon is a top research and stewardship priority in the Monterey Bay Sanctuary and we encourage the public to join in on the adventure via the sanctuary's web portal."

During the five-day expedition, researchers working from MBARI's research vessel Western Flyer will deploy the remotely operated vehicle Tiburon and systematically record visual wreckage of the airship and aircraft through high-definition videotape and still imagery that will be used to create a photo-mosaic of the debris fields. A secondary objective of the mission is to identify and record in more detail specific features, including newly discovered artifacts, and assess their condition. The expedition will aid in the assessment of the USS Macon for eligibility to the National Register of Historic Places. "The deepwater wreck site of the USS Macon is a unique time capsule of a bygone era," said Chris Grech, MBARI deputy director for marine operations and co-principal investigator for the expedition. "Our advanced underwater technology in robotics, vessel design, cameras and computer imaging will allow us to better survey and document this nationally significant archeological site, as well as capture for historians and the public a permanent record in a high resolution photo-mosaic." Starting September 18, 2006, students and the general public can share the expedition's discoveries through Monterey Bay Sanctuary's web site at http://montereybay.noaa.gov/research/macon/feed.html. Daily logs, live videos of the expedition and archived video clips will be available on the sanctuary program's Web site through the OceansLive Web portal. A public lecture series on the USS Macon will also be launched this month, beginning with a presentation at the Monterey Maritime and History Museum. Free USS Macon memorabilia to commemorate the expedition will be available to those attending the lecture series. More information on lecture times and locations can be found on the Web site. The expedition is a collaborative venture involving NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program; NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration; Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute; the University of New Hampshire; the U.S. Navy; the State of California; the Monterey Maritime and History Museum and Moffett Field Historical Society and Museum. Noah Dougherty, an educator from Mission College Preparatory High School in San Luis Obispo, Calif., was selected as a NOAA "Teacher-at-Sea" and will participate in the expedition, assisting the crew and gathering information to create high school curriculum.

The expedition is designed to build upon information gathered by the U.S. Navy and MBARI who first recorded the aircraft's remains during expeditions in 1990/91. An initial survey was completed in May 2005 utilizing side-scan sonar deployed from the NOAA research vessel McArthur II. The phase I expedition, in partnership with NOAA, MBARI, U.S. Geological Survey and Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, identified what is believed to be undocumented wreckage that may have been missed during the 1990/1991 surveys and will be investigated during the September expedition.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary stretches along 276 miles of central California coast and encompasses more than 5,300 square miles of ocean area. Renowned for its scenic beauty and remarkable productivity, the sanctuary supports one of the world's most diverse marine ecosystems, including 33 species of marine mammals, 94 species of seabirds, 345 species of fishes and thousands of marine invertebrates and plants. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-11 05:42:13 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsHMS Clyde Named

HMS Clyde, the first ship to be built in Portsmouth Naval Base for nearly 40 years, was named in a night ceremony at VT Shipbuilding’s facilities. The Royal Navy’s new 80m. Offshore Patrol Vessel (Helicopter) was named by Mrs Lesley Dunt, wife of Vice Admiral Peter Dunt, Director of Defence Estates. The VIP event was attended by leading figures from the RN and defence industry, along with around 1,000 specially invited guests and VT employees. Dunt smashed the champagne bottle against the hull of the new ship, starting a laser light and firework show. HMS Clyde is the first ship constructed in the Base since 1967 when the Leander Class frigate HMS Andromeda was built. The catalyst for this renaissance in shipbuilding was the move in 2003 of VT Shipbuilding to £50 million state-of-the-art facilities which are among the most advanced in Europe. VT is building sections of the Royal Navy’s new Type 45 destroyer at Portsmouth but HMS Clyde is the first complete ship to emerge from the giant assembly halls at the site. The new OPV(H) will be the patrol ship for the Falkland Islands and will be officially accepted by the MOD next month before she is deployed to the South Atlantic next Spring – around the time of the 25th anniversary of the conflict. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-11 05:40:19 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsTwo Russians die in fire on nuclear submarine

Two Russian sailors were killed and another injured in a fire on a nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea. A ministry spokesman in Moscow said the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction and there was an automatic shutdown of the nuclear reactor; there was no threat of a radiation leak. The fire broke out Wednesday night on the St Daniel of Moscow, a Viktor class attack submarine, when it was anchored about 30 miles north of Murmansk. It was likely carrying torpedoes, but not nuclear weapons. The boat is being towed to the naval base at the port of Vedyayevo. (Source: CNN.com)
• 2006-09-11 02:04:27 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsThree accused of recklessness in Canadian ferry sinking

A lawsuit against B.C. Ferry Services Inc. has been amended to include the captain, fourth officer, and a deckhand of the Queen of the North. These three individuals are accused of negligence and recklessness that led to the sinking of the ferry. The suit does not allege what specifically happened to cause the accident. The suit alleges the three were negligent in several areas, and were reckless in two areas. The Marine Liability Act creates a presumption of negligence in the event of any ship sinking, and the ferry corporation has "admitted negligence." But a finding of recklessness would allow for greater claims. The couple behind the lawsuit lost all their belongings in the sinking. Their lawyers are attempting to certify this as a class-action suit to represent many of the 50 passengers on the ferry. (Source: Jeff Rud, Times Colonist at Canada.com)
• 2006-09-11 02:03:46 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsOil theft may have caused Solar 1 accident

An official from the Philippine coast guard reports that local tanker crews were notorious for pilfering oil. Speaking anonymously so as not to jeopardize ongoing investigations into the accident that led to the country's worst oil spill, he admitted that the crew of the Solar I may have been pilfering oil. According to underwater video of the sunken tanker taken by a Japanese salvage team, some of the cargo hatches of the ship were open. This suggests that the crew of the Solar 1 were in the process of transferring oil from its tanks to another vessel when the mishap occurred. (Source: Gilbert Felongco, Gulfnews)
• 2006-09-11 02:00:08 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsShipbuilders Struggle Over Steel

Shipbuilders and Japanese steelmakers are struggling to hammer out the differences on steel plate prices as the sellers insist on a 17 percent raise to $680 per metric ton. Korean shipbuilders including Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. are demanding a price cut from the current $580 to $480 per metric ton for the six months from October. "The talks (on price settlement) could go on until early October," said an official from the Korea Shipbuilders' Association. "Steel plate supply is falling short of the soaring demand for ships." Steelmakers are pushing to lift prices in the face of rising material costs. Prices of iron ore, the key material for steel, continued to climb 17 percent this year, after jumping 71.5 percent in 2005 as a result of oligopoly trading by global iron ore miners and burgeoning demand from China.
As for shipbuilders, sufficient procurement of steel plates is a must to satisfy orders in time. Steel plates account for up to 20 percent of total shipbuilding costs. Korean shipbuilders' price settlement with Japanese steelmakers, usually followed by similar deals with POSCO and smaller domestic companies, hit the peak of $680 per ton a year ago for orders received during the six months to March this year. Nearly 30 percent of the steel plates used by the world's three largest shipyards depend on imports from Japan. Hyundai Heavy, Samsung Heavy and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. estimate Japanese imports of 1 million tons, 500,000 tons and 150,000 tons, respectively, this year. Another 10 percent comes from China. Hyundai Steel Co. targets to reach an annual production capacity of 2 million tons by 2009. The national production volume is forecast to grow from the current 6 million tons to 10.6 million tons by 2009. Hyundai Heavy said it buys roughly 55 percent of its steel plates from domestic shipbuilders such as POSCO and Dongkuk. (Source: www.koreaherald.co.kr)

• 2006-09-07 03:55:39 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsMoose Delivers Fire/Rescue Boat

Moose Boats, an aluminum boat manufacturer, recently delivered a M2-35 fire/rescue boat to the Tiburon Fire Protection District of Tiburon, CA. The vessel is a 35.5-ft. all aluminum catamaran powered by twin Cummins 380 hp turbo diesels propelled by Hamilton HJ292 water jets. This boat can attain a top speed of over 35 knots and operates at a service speed of approximately 27 knots. The vessel is outfitted with fire-fighting and dewatering equipment as well as an 84 in. bench seat for patient care with extensive storage lockers for medical and fire-fighting supplies in the cabin. The M2-35 vessel is fully equipped to mitigate open water emergencies including: search and rescue, medical support and transportation, hazardous material incidents as well as fire suppression, dewatering and dive operations. In addition to fire-fighting, the vessel will support rescue operations and respond to emergencies on Angel Island. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-07 03:52:24 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsIndian court links ship breaking to asbestos illness

A committee appointed by India's Supreme Court has found that one in six workers at the Alang ship breaking yard showed signs of having been exposed to asbestos. Some 16% of workers were found to suffer from an early stage of asbestosis, an incurable disease caused by exposure to asbestos that destroys the lungs and eventually kills its victims. The workers examined in the study had been engaged in removing asbestos from ship linings at the Alang yard. The president of the Alang Ship Breaking Association insisted that workers are provided with safety equipment, and dismissed the report's findings. The dangers faced by the ship breaking industry were spotlighted in February when protests by environmental groups forced the French and Indian governments to call off plans for the decommissioned French aircraft carrier Clemenceau to be broken up at Alang. Currently, the Supreme Court is waiting for the committee report to decide the fate of a former French cruise ship, sold by its French owners in 1979 and now named the Blue Lady, which is docked at Alang and owned by Indian ship breakers. (Source: Associated Press at International Herald Tribune)
• 2006-09-07 03:51:28 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsChina Builds Shipyards to Drive Industry

CHINA will build three shipyards at Bohai Bay, the mouths of the Yangtze River and the Pearl River over the next five years, according to the national shipbuilding authority.

The country will enhance management in the shipbuilding industry from this year to 2010 by speeding up the construction of three major shipyards, and by enhancing the development of new ship types, establishing modern shipbuilding models and developing the building technology for ship accessories, according to China's medium and long-term shipping development plans.

It is time for China to further develop its shipbuilding industry, said an official from the Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense. China's shipbuilding industry is now at a critical stage where it can become even stronger, the official added.

However, China still needs to face a series of challenges, such as fierce competition, industry uncertainties, weak innovation abilities and less-developed accessory building technologies, the official said.

With the abundance of human resources, a long coastline and a strong demand from the domestic market, China is now the third largest shipbuilder in the world. Its proportion in the world's shipbuilding industry has surged from six percent in 2000 to 20 percent last year. (Source: www1.shanghaidaily.com)

• 2006-09-06 04:10:40 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsKorean Shipyards Face Challenge

Korean shipbuilders' earnings are forecast to improve through 2008 and beyond as the tight supply and demand balance allows them to pass on rising costs, said investment bank Lehman Brothers in a report. Lehman's expects earnings at the shipyards to report a 64 percent growth over the 2006-2008 period as revived interest in container ship investment amid continued demand for tankers and gas carriers is increasingly making global shipbuilding a seller's market. "At the same time, Korean shipyards are more keen on managing risk and costs by hedging their foreign exchange exposure and procuring lower-cost steel plates from China," the report said. It also noted that Korean shipyards' flexible vessel design capabilities are the key differentiating factor that positions them ahead of their Japanese and Chinese counterparts. Lehman's top picks were Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. among shipbuilders, and Samyoung M-Tek among vessel parts suppliers. Yet, it might not be all smooth sailing for Korea's shipyards after 2008 with Brazil, Russia, India and China rushing to build large shipyards to meet the growing demand for vessels to transport oil and raw materials, according to maritime information portal site Marine-net. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-06 04:09:31 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsNew Tugs Offer Cutting Edge Capability

The two innovative Carousel combi-tugs being built in Malaysia for Dutch salvage and towage company Multraship could revolutionize tug design, without the need for expensive technology, according to the Carousel system designer, Novatug.

The tugs ordered in July this year from Malaysian shipbuilder Nautica Nova Shipbuilding & Engineering (NNSE) incorporate the unique Carousel towing system and will address directly the needs of big ships requiring escort facilities into harbours and rivers.

Rolf Kievits, general manager of Rotterdam-based Novatug, says, “The beauty of the Carousel construction is that the solution it offers is so logical, and relatively simple. Of course it requires engineering, design work and stress calculations to ensure that everything is fail-safe. But the Carousel construction is in fact nothing other than a very clever and logical mechanical system which makes use of basic laws of physics and requires no expensive technology.”

Comparing the time taken to build the Carousel tugs, as opposed to conventional tugs, Kievits says, “The Carousel system is an integral part of the design. There is no extra steelwork involved. The Carousel and winch, as elements of the towing equipment, will be built off-site and installed on the vessels at the yard. So there is no extra construction time involved.” In terms of cost, Kievits said, “It is not possible to equate safety with pure financial cost, but our aim is to design and build the safest tug afloat at an affordable price. Of course the great advantage of the Carousel system is that it incorporates just one winch, as opposed to the two which other, conventional vessels would need to carry out the same task. Carousel also incorporates a more cost-effective propulsion lay-out which will result in long-term economies of maintenance and fuel consumption.”

The Carousel design incorporates an integrated winch platform, together with appropriate finite element calculations to ensure that the entire structure is able to take its prescribed design load, fully independent of the ship, on the freely rotating Carousel and winch platform. The system for the tugs being built in Malaysia has been engineered to a 300-tonne design load. This includes the whole spectrum of horizontal and vertical loads the winch has to work with. For practical purposes, however, and to ensure safe operations when assisting other ships, the system as a whole is restricted to a 160-tonne working load.

In order to power the winch on a freely rotating Carousel, Novatug has designed a twin-diesel-engine power-pack to power the hydraulic system. Where maximum power is not required, this system can be operated at fifty per cent capacity by using only one of the two engines.

The winch has been specifically designed for harbour towage, escort work and coastal applications. It is a sate-of-the-art hydraulic winch, manufactured by Rapp Hydeema of Norway, with full active escort capabilities. Kievits explains, “We had to find the right balance between the winch dimensions and the rope capacity, where we opted to use 72 mm Dyneema line of 200 m length. In the event that the tugs were required to undertake deep-sea work, however, a winch with additional wire capacity could be fitted to the Multraship tugs.

“In terms of maintenance requirements, the usual manufacturer service intervals are recommended. For the Carousel, we recommend that the bearings are checked at regular service intervals, which will probably mean an annual inspection of the load-runners.” Kievits is excited about the marketing opportunities for the Carousel system. He says, “So far, we have fitted the system to a conventional tug which originally had a bollard pull of twenty tonnes, and we have the escort designs building in Malaysia for Multraship. I think it fair to say that these two examples will be at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of what we are able to offer owners and operators.” Although doubts have been expressed about the impact on crew safety of operating on board a vessel fitted with the Carousel system, Kievits says, “Given current restrictions on crew working on deck during manoeuvres, there is no real difference in this respect between a Carousel tug and a conventional tug.”

The first of the two eighty-ton static bollard pull Carousel Combi-Tugs is due for delivery at the end of 2007, and the second, about three months later. The vessels will be among the most robust harbour and escort tugs in the world. They will be highly stable both statically and dynamically, and will therefore be of particular significance for large vessels making approaches to rivers and harbours. They are also especially fuel-effective, producing potential savings in this regard of between thirty and fifty per cent. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-06 04:08:26 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsVT Halmatic Delivers Pilot Boat

Since its introduction to the VT Halmatic range in 1993 a considerable number of Nelson 42 Mk11s have been built as patrol boats. Operators of these boats include HM Customs and the Royal Gibraltar Police.

VT Halmatic has also moulded many motor yacht versions and two pilot boats, for Venice and La Rochelle, which were fitted-out by yards in Italy and France. Due to the continued success of the venerable Nelson 40 VT Halmatic has designed a pilot boat based on the Nelson 42 Mk 11 hull.

The customer for the first of class vessel are the Tenerife Pilots, who having admired a Nelson 42 patrol boat in service with Las Palmas Port Authority, chose the VT Halmatic Nelson 42 hull form over other options available from the VT Halmatic range.

Powered by twin 389hp MAN D2866LXE engines their new boat, which is named Abona P, features a resiliently-mounted wheelhouse offering very low noise levels & 72 db) at its 23 knot maximum speed.

The VT Halmatic Nelson 42 Mk11 hull offers the legendary head-sea keeping qualities of the 40. Its extra beam affords better handling down-sea and in quartering-seas and the additional volume allows for greatly improved wheelhouse and machinery spaces as well as significantly wider side decks and larger boarding areas. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-06 04:07:25 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsRussia Receives New Stealth Gunboat

Fresh from St. Petersburg's Almaz shipyard, the Astrakhan will be the first in the navy warship to have stealth capabilities and can be armed with various artillery systems previously used only on destroyers. Attending the ceremony, Navy Commander Vladimir Masorin said, "Our country is still capable of building combat ships without outside assistance and there is no doubt it will be in the future," according to a report on www.today.az.

Masorin said the Astrakhan would operate in the Caspian Flotilla. (Source: www.today.az)

• 2006-09-06 04:05:41 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsHistoric Ship to be Named in Portsmouth

HMS Clyde, the first ship to be built in Portsmouth Naval Base for nearly 40 years, will be named in a night ceremony at VT Shipbuilding’s facilities on Thursday, September 7.

The Royal Navy’s new 80m Offshore Patrol Vessel (Helicopter) will be named by Mrs Lesley Dunt, wife of Vice Admiral Peter Dunt, Director of Defense Estates.

When Mrs Dunt smashes the champagne bottle against the hull of the new ship, it will signal the start of a laser light and firework extravaganza that will fill the night air.

HMS Clyde is the first ship constructed in the Base since 1967 when the Leander Class frigate HMS Andromeda was built. The catalyst for this renaissance in shipbuilding was the move in 2003 of VT Shipbuilding to £50 million state-of-the-art facilities which are among the most advanced in Europe. VT is building sections of the Royal Navy’s new Type 45 destroyer at Portsmouth but HMS Clyde is the first complete ship to emerge from the giant assembly halls at the site.

The new OPV(H) will be the patrol ship for the Falkland Islands and will be officially accepted by the MOD next month before she is deployed to the South Atlantic next Spring – around the time of the 25th anniversary of the conflict.

VT Portsmouth Shipbuilding Facility Managing Director Francis Paonessa said: “This is a special moment for VT and Portsmouth. Our state-of-the-art facilities mean that the quality of the new build is among the best that we have produced in the long history of VT shipbuilding. HMS Clyde is a fitting ship to mark the return of shipbuilding to the Base and underlines Portsmouth’s important role in today’s Royal Navy.”

HMS Clyde’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Simon Hopper said, "She's absolutely outstanding. She is an impressive ship with modern capabilities. The current Castle Class ships have an air surveillance capability but HMS Clyde has a state of the art air surveillance radar and more extensive armaments."

"The ship's capability will allow her to contribute fully to the work of the RAF and Army when she is on station.” One of the unique features of the ship is that she is owned by VT Group and chartered to the Ministry of Defence for a period of five years. At the end of that period, the MoD can either extend the charter, return the ship or purchase her outright. The same principle is used for three similar River Class vessels already in service and built by VT. They are used for fishery protection work around the UK coast.

Working closely with the Defense Logistics Organization, VT is tasked with providing a full contractor maintenance service for HMS Clyde, allowing Lt Comm. Hopper, who lives in Southsea, and his crew the chance to concentrate on their operational role. He adds: "The support principle has already been tested with the SVHO and River Class ships but we are now taking this concept 8,000 miles away so it will be a totally new challenge. We will have a VT engineer embedded in the ship and he will be part of the ship's company."

Among the ship’s enhanced features compared to the River Class is a flight deck capable of accepting helicopters up to the size of the new Merlin aircraft. Other enhancements include increased accommodation to cater for an embarked force, a 30mm gun, higher levels of survivability and air surveillance radar. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-06 04:04:47 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsTugboat Celebrates 100

The tugboat Heinrich Ludwig was launched 100 years ago on September 4, 1906. Up to today, it is in daily use at the Port of Hamburg for Carl Robert Eckelmann AG. So, as far as known, it is the oldest tugboat still in service. In 1906 it has been built by the Hamburg based shipyard Janssen & Schmilinsky as a steely motor tugboat. In 1956, after 50 years in service its steam engine was replaced by a diesel engine. Since 1996 it is owned by Carl Robert Eckelmann AG, transport and logistics. This tugboat is a positive example for the durability of economic assets. The hull and many other items still are original. This applies as well to the oversized steering-wheel, which nowadays however serves as additional steering-wheel only. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-06 04:03:30 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsUS Coast Guard proposes Great Lakes training zones

The US Coast Guard wants to establish a total of 34 areas on the five Great Lakes where they can train using live ammunition. Officials say they need the shooting practice to prepare for maritime threats, including terrorism and drug-smuggling. The period for public comment on the plan was supposed to end on Thursday, but there has been so much criticism that the comment period has been extended until November. The Coast Guard may even hold public hearings. The zones are all about 5 miles offshore, and drills would only be conducted a few days every year. But critics say that commercial fishermen would have a hard time moving their nets for the drills, and recreational anglers and boaters could accidentally wander into the range. (Source: Associated Press at CANOE)
• 2006-09-06 03:44:49 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsPanama Canal upgrade isn't a sure thing

Panamanians will vote in October whether to modernize and expand the Panama Canal. Despite the fact that the 92-year-old canal is becoming a bottleneck in world trade routes, many Panamanians say they intend to vote against the expansion plan. No one is certain just how strong the opposition is, but it seems strong enough to have surprised the government. At issue is the pervasiveness of corruption in the country. The government has estimated the project will cost $5.2 billion, which is almost as large as the country's annual $6.5 billion budget. Razne Pette, a student leader who opposes the project, says "we know the politicians in this country, and we know they are drooling at the thought of such a big project." There are also other issues that the country could be spending money on, such as education and health care. (Source: Marc Lacey, The New York Times at The Seattle Times)
• 2006-09-06 03:43:31 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsEU has Polish data on shipyard subsidies

Poland missed an August 31 deadline to provide details of government subsidies for three of its shipyards, but sent the information to the European Commission by September 2. EU spokesman Jonathan Todd said the Commission would likely need several weeks to analyze the information. The EU is investigating whether government and local support given to restructure the three yards since 2002 break any EU rules. Under the rules, state subsidies should not be used to keep any company afloat artificially, but could be used to restructure a yard to survive better in a competitive market — without any subsidies in the future. The issue is highly charged because thousands of jobs could be lost if the yards were forced to close. (Source: Associated Press at International Herald Tribune)
• 2006-09-06 03:42:56 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsFerry Being Used for Research

According to reports, a ferry that travels several times daily between Woods Hole and Martha's Vineyard is now doubling as a research vessel that measures water quality and photographs plankton on its trips. Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution fitted the 235-ft. Katama with sensors that measure water temperature, salinity, oxygen, chlorophyll and water clarity, the Cape Cod Times reported. The sensors also photograph the plankton 30 times per second. The Nantucket Sound Ferry Scientific Environmental Monitoring System began in May. Scott Gallager, a biologist at Woods Hole, said the results will be studied over many years to better understand how water quality and ocean life change in Nantucket Sound, which hosts a diverse mix marine line. Gallager said ferries are perfect for the monitoring because they make several trips daily, year-round. Scientists are planning to mount similar sensors on another ferry, the Eagle, which travels between Hyannis and Nantucket. The sensors cost $18,000, can fit in a suitcase and are placed in a cavity in the ship's hull. They have no effect on the ship's operation. (Source: AP)
• 2006-09-04 05:22:40 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsDaewoo Shipbuilding Wins $1.27B Angola Order

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.won an order worth $1.27b to build an oil drilling and production platform for an Angolan unit of energy giant Chevron Corp. The platform, to be built at Okpo Bay of Geoje Island, about 406 km south of Seoul, will be installed in the Tombua-Landana offshore oil field off the coast of Angola, southwestern Africa, Antara reported. (Source: Antara)
• 2006-09-04 05:21:24 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsNorth Carolina Sub Pressure Hull Completed

The Virginia Class North Carolina (SSN 777) on August 31 saw the completion of its pressure hull. This marked the completion of final welds that join sections of the cigar-shaped hull into a single unit that protects the crew and equipment from sea pressure. General Dynamic’s Electric Boat (GDEB) and Northrop Grumman Newport News (NGNN) jointly build Virginia Class submarines. Each shipbuilder constructs sections of the ship, while final assembly, outfitting, test and delivery are alternated between them. GDEB has already delivered USS Virginia (SSN 774) under the co-production arrangement and will deliver Hawaii (SSN 776) this coming winter. NGNN delivered Texas in June 2006 and is scheduled to deliver North Carolina in the spring of 2008 when it will become the fourth submarine of the Virginia Class to join the fleet. The Navy has six other Virginia Class submarines under contract, and all are in various phases of construction. The Navy plans to build a total of 30 Virginia Class attack submarines to replace the aging Los Angeles Class submarines. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-04 05:20:44 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsNorthrop Grumman Wins $95.8M Navy Contract

Northrop Grumman Corporation was awarded a $95.8m contract for the detail design of the U.S. Navy's 21st century DDG 1000 destroyer. The contract, to be performed by the company's Ship Systems sector, includes the detail design and the procurement of any vendor-furnished information that will be used in support of the design. The contract runs through September 2007; when fully funded, the contract will total more than $300m through 2013. The ship's mission is to provide affordable, credible, independent forward presence/deterrence and to operate as an integral part of naval, joint or combined maritime forces. DDG 1000 will provide advanced land attack capability in support of ground campaigns and will contribute naval, joint or combined battlespace dominance in littoral operations. Work will be performed at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems' Pascagoula and Gulfport facilities. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-04 05:17:09 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsChina's Shipbuilding Industry Sees Rapid Growth

China's shipbuilding industry continues to grow rapidly with shipbuilders getting new orders totaling 16.08 million deadweight tons in the first half of the year, a 113-percent rise over the same period last year, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The NDRC said shipbuilders hold total orders of 50.92 million deadweight tons in the first half of the year with an increase of 43 percent, accounting for 20 percent of the world's market share. The national Medium-and Long-Term Plan of the Shipbuilding Industry, which was approved in August by the State Council, the country's cabinet, said the industry should accelerate its restructuring and upgrading to become strong enough to drive the growth of related sectors. China's shipbuilding industry saw production reckoned by deadweight tonnage accounting for up to 17 percent of the world market in 2005. The plan stated that China needs to break the bottleneck of insufficient production capacity of auxiliary sectors and develop the ability to independently design high-technology ships and ocean engineering equipment. The plan said the production of the country's shipbuilding industry was expected to take more than 25 percent of the world market. (Source: Xinhua)
• 2006-09-04 05:16:01 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsGeneral Dynamics Wins $13.7M Contract

On August 31, General Dynamics Corp. announced that its subsidiary General Dynamic Boat has received a contract worth $13.7m from the U.S. Navy. As per the agreement, Electric Boat would provide design agent, planning yard, engineering and technical support for nuclear submarines and would provide design and installation activities for shore-support facilities. The company said that 94 percent of the work will be performed at Groton; 3 percent at Bangor, Wash.; and 3 percent at Kings Bay. (Source: www.tradingmarkets.com)
• 2006-09-04 05:15:27 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsWorlds Largest Containership Delivered

On September 1, Maersk Line took delivery of M/S Emma Maersk, built by Odense Steel Shipyard. The Emma Maersk is the first in a new series of PS-class vessels and is one of the most environmentally friendly container vessels ever built. The 397x56m Emma Maersk is able to carry 11,000 20-ft. containers (TEU). Other features include: High-scale automation and complete monitoring by advanced computer systems, enabling the vessel to be operated by a crew of just 13; Waste heat recovery system, reducing fuel consumption and emissions; Protected fuel tanks located in the center of the double hull; Reduced solvent content paint and environmentally friendly silicone; and antifouling paint below the waterline reducing water resistance, and cutting; fuel consumption by 1,200 tons per year; 1,000 40-ft. equivalent (FFE) refrigerated container capacity; and patented lashing system ensuring quick and safe lashing of deck containers. The Emma Maersk will enter worldwide service network on the AE1 (Europe - Far East) service. The vessel's first port of call will be Aarhus, Denmark, on September 7. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-04 05:12:49 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsCVN 78 Ship Specifications Signing Scheduled for Sept. 5

The Naval Sea Systems Command’s (NAVSEA) Ship Design, Integration and Engineering Directorate and the Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers (PEO Carriers) will commemorate the certification of CVN 78 ship specifications in a signing and awards ceremony to be held Sept. 5 in the NAVSEA Headquarters auditorium, Washington Navy Yard. Rear Adm. Charles H. Goddard, NAVSEA vice commander, will also present the Award of Merit for Group Achievement to the CVN 78 Design Team in recognition of this major milestone in the future aircraft design process. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-04 05:10:35 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsShip finds tanker responsible for Philippines oil spill

A Japanese survey ship has found a sunken tanker three weeks after it went down in rough seas, causing the Philippines' worst oil spill. The Japanese vessel Shinsei Maru found the wreck in deep water off Guimaras island after carrying out a sonar sweep of the area. A remote-controlled submersible will also be deployed to check on the condition of the tanker Solar 1, and to determine how it can be raised or if its cargo of nearly half a million gallons of oil can be siphoned off. Marine experts and biologists from Australia, the United States and France are in the area, alongside environmental groups. The coastguard said it expected the clean-up to take more than six months. (Source: AFP at Yahoo! News)
• 2006-09-03 18:38:03 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsExxon gets $92 million Valdez bill

US and Alaskan authorities on Thursday demanded $92.2 million from Exxon Mobil for environmental damages linked to the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident. The Alaska Department of Law and the US Department of Justice made the demand for environmental damage not covered in a 1991 $900 million settlement with Exxon. The 1991 settlement allowed the state and federal government to seek additional damages not foreseen at the time of the settlement. The agencies had until Friday to make their demand of Exxon Mobil, the successor company to Exxon. Alaska and federal officials said in May they would seek additional damages. Exxon Mobil in the past has said it does not believe there are lingering environmental damages not covered in the 1991 settlement, and is expected to contest the $92 million demand. (Source: Jeannette J. See, Associated Press at ABC News)
• 2006-09-03 18:37:14 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsCrystal Cruises' Symphony to Undergo $23m Dry Dock

Ultra-luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises is spending $23 million to enhance the award-winning Crystal Symphony in what will be the cruise line's largest-ever dry dock. In just two weeks, from October 31 through November 12, 2006, nearly 1,300 people will work around the clock on more than 150 separate projects to create what will essentially be a new ship, especially to those familiar with it. Emerging with a decidedly sophisticated and contemporary style, Crystal Symphony's comprehensive undertaking will transform all staterooms, a continuation of the ship's last dry dock in 2004 when all penthouses were refurbished; much of Tiffany Deck, the ship's main entertainment area, including a completely reconstructed social lounge, new casino and new nightclub; complete redesign of all boutiques, shops and cafe; as well as dozens of behind the scenes improvements. The construction project follows an earlier multi-million dollar renovation two years ago. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-01 02:48:01 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsCoast Guard Keeps Jacksonville Port Open

The Captain of the Port of Jacksonville has decided not to shut down commercial operations in the port due to the current anticipated track and strength of Tropical Storm Ernesto.

Jacksonville maritime agencies and industry partners made the decision not to close the port in an effort to minimize the economic impact on the port of Jacksonville following the latest weather reports. Commercial operations are still being minimized within the port, and any operations must be approved by the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard is still encouraging boaters to stay off the water and prepare for the storm. Boaters are reminded that search and rescue operations will be degraded due to the storm and minimized crews.

Coast Guard assets have been strategically placed and are poised to react as soon as the storm passes to ensure major waterways are navigable and safe to operate within. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-01 02:46:42 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsRoyal Caribbean to Purchase Pullmantur

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced its agreement to purchase Pullmantur S.A., a Madrid-based cruise and tour operator. Royal Caribbean expects the acquisition to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2006, subject to regulatory approvals.

Pullmantur, formed in 1971, is the largest cruise operator in Spain. It has two primary business interests: cruises and tour operations. Its cruise division consists of five ships operating in Europe and Latin America. Its tour operations sells travel packages to Spanish guests - including hotel and flights - primarily to Caribbean resorts, and sells travel packages to Europe aimed at Latin American customers. Pullmantur also has a small air business that operates three aircraft in support of its cruise and tour. Pullmantur has offices in Spain and Portugal, with approximately 2,600 employees, and will be Royal Caribbean's first wholly-owned European brand.

Royal Caribbean has signed an agreement with the shareholders of Pullmantur to buy all of the capital stock of the company for $550m, plus Pullmantur's net debt of approximately $345.7m. Royal Caribbean has obtained a committed bridge facility to support the purchase. As part of the transaction, Pullmantur will be withdrawing from all Cuba- related activities prior to closing. Royal Caribbean expects this acquisition to be neutral to marginally accretive to 2007 earnings per share and accretive thereafter. Regarding 2006 earnings, the company continues to expect full year Net Yields to increase in the range of 3% to 4% as compared to 2005, and earnings to be in the range of $2.90 to $3.00 per share, excluding any impact from Pullmantur. Additionally, the company now expects earnings for the third quarter of 2006 to be in the range of $1.55 to $1.60 per share, based on slightly stronger yield expectations of an increase of approximately 3 percent over the third quarter of 2005. The exact impact of Pullmantur on the company's fourth quarter earnings depends on the timing of the closing and finalization of acquisition adjustments. Since the fourth quarter is traditionally Pullmantur's weakest quarter, any impact is] likely to be negative. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-01 02:45:58 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive Newsaewoo Shipbuilding Gets Offshore Plant Order-2

Daewoo Shipbuilding received an offshore plant order, with the contract awarded on a turnkey basis, meaning Daewoo will not only build, but also operate the platform. With the new order, Daewoo Shipbuilding's offshore facility orders secured this year have reached $3.72b, exceeding its 2006 target of $3b. Its total new orders in 2006 amount to $9.26b so far. (Source: Easy Bourse Communiqus de presse)
• 2006-09-01 02:44:03 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsLuminosa Catamaran Launched

Incat Crowther and Richardson Devine Marine launched and trialed the 23m Catamaran Luminosa on Tasmania’s Derwent River in mid August. The vesel is set to join a fleet operated by Real Journeys, in New Zealand’s southern wilderness region. Luminosa will operate from Te Anau to the Glowworm Caves, a journey of approximately 25 minutes at 25 knots. The vessel features a main deck with 95 seats inside a spacious open plan cabin, incorporating a kiosk, as well as toilet facilities. There are two main boarding positions, port and starboard, at amidships. Passenger access around the vessel is very good with wide access doors to both the foredeck and aft deck. A sheltered stair case leads to the upper observation deck where passengers can gain all round visibility for photo opportunities. The vessel is powered by twin Caterpillar C18 diesel engines each producing 715hp at 2100rpm giving the vessel a top speed of 28 knots in the full load condition. This vessel is the 16th Incat Crowther vessel to be built by Richardson and Devine Marine and is the first vessel to be fully designed under the Incat Crowther banner following the successful merger of the two companies. Currently there are 10 vessels under construction around the world ranging in size from 22m to 52m in length. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-01 02:43:24 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsMAN Diesel Officially a European Company

The conversion of MAN B&W Diesel AG into a European Company (Societas Europaea, or SE for short) was concluded on August 31. At the same time the company will change its name into MAN Diesel SE, headquartered in Augsburg, Germany. By adopting SE status, the Executive Board intends to make the Diesel Engine Division of the MAN Group an even more international player showing a single face to the customer. In order to better organize the working of its committees, the Supervisory Board, which is made up of an international team headed by Håkan Samuelsson, has been reduced from 12 to 10 members, The Supervisory Board’s parity structure between the capital and the employee side will remain unchanged. Employee co-determination will be organised on a cross-border basis in future, too. At the end of April 2006, MAN Diesel was the first German company that, as part of the establishment of the SE, concluded an agreement with employee representatives from its European locations covering the formation of an SE works council. This committee is responsible for pan-European questions and its composition will also be international. The legal status of SE will also enable the MAN Diesel Group to integrate its European sites more strongly. This goal of stronger integration is also the reason behind the decision to rename the company. The focus in future will lie on “MAN,” and the name MAN Diesel will highlight the importance of Diesel Engines as one of MAN’s core areas of expertise. Products from the MAN Diesel Group will in future be offered under the following brand names: MAN Diesel- Four-stroke engines, turbochargers; MAN B&W- Two-stroke engines; and MAN Diesel PrimeServ- After-sales service. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

• 2006-09-01 02:42:33 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsShipowners Balk at Double-hull Tankers Cost

According to Inq7.net, Philippine’s shipowners are asking for more time to replace their single-hull tankers with double-hull vessels because the capital and maintenance costs for the hardier vessels are higher. Single hull tankers, which are being phased out around the world, have become the subject of revived scrutiny in the country following the August 11 sinking of the weather-beaten MT Solar I off Guimaras Island. The sunken vessel unleashed a massive oil spill. Stakeholders in the shipping industry wanted the ban on single-hull vessels implemented in 2015. While some expect the ban to be enforced as early as 2008, others believe that more time will be required since shipowners are finding the transition from single-hull to double-hull too costly. Double-hull ships are about twice as expensive as single-hulls and their maintenance and operation costs run five to 13 percent higher.(Source: inq7.net)
• 2006-09-01 02:38:27 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsRussia returns fishermen to Japan

Japanese patrol boat was sent Wednesday to retrieve two fisherman Russia has held since their boat was seized for alleged illegal fishing — an incident in which one crewman was killed. The two fishermen, Akiyoshi Kawamura and Haruki Kamiya, were handed over to Japanese authorities on a fisheries patrol boat later that day. The captain, Noboru Sakashita, 59, has reportedly assumed all blame for the boat's alleged violation of the Russian border. Sakashita will remain in Russian custody for now. The incident took place near the southernmost of the four disputed islands that are claimed by both Japan and Russia, called the southern Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan. Each country claims the fishing boat was in its own territorial waters at the time of the shooting. (Source: Carl Freire, Associated Press at Guardian Unlimited)
• 2006-09-01 02:37:01 • Category: 0

MaritimeDigital Archive NewsCanada's Davie shipyard to be auctioned off after all

After 90 days of negotiation and delays, most of which were blamed on the demands of the yard workers' unions, Teco Management AS has failed to close a deal to buy Canada's historic Davie shipyard. Teco's Canadian representatives still hope that they can work out a deal. However, Patrice Van Houtte, trustee of the bankrupt yard, said he has asked the company that set up the cancelled June auction to reschedule the event as quickly as possible. Van Houtte said the earliest date for an auction would be mid-October. It's expected to attract about 2,000 buyers to bid on 10 lots with more than 10,000 items, including complete assembly lines, machinery and marine memorabilia accumulated over the yard's 181-year history. (Source: CanWest News Service, Montreal Gazette at Canada.com)
• 2006-09-01 02:36:13 • Category: 0






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