World Maritime News - 18 Apr., 1997

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BUSINESS

Neptune Orient buying American President Lines for U.S.$825 million

In a deal announced 13 April, Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. will purchase APL Ltd., or American President Lines, for U.S.$825 million. APL will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of N.O.L., with the latter acquiring all 24.6 million outstanding shares at U.S.$33.50 each, which is taxable. Neptune Orient Line will finance the deal from cash flow and existing credit lines from 12 or 13 commercial banks. With combined revenues of more than U.S.$4 billion, the two firms hope to have cost savings of at least U.S.$130 million annually. The combined line will have 113 vessels and a 10 percent share of trans-Pacific container cargo. N.O.L. has 36 containerships of 83,700-TEU capacity, 30 tankers of 2,069,616-dwt and seven bulk carriers of 387,338-dwt. In addition, on order are 10 containerships for another 33,324 TEUs, two tankers totaling 214,000-dwt and two bulk carriers of 145,400-dwt. APL has 40 containerships of 84,200 TEUs. APL will keep its name as a brand and main its operations headquartered in Oakland, Calif., with existing management. N.O.L. has 4,800 employes and APL has 4,000. Ships currently registered in the United States will remain there to take advantage of subsidies and to be able to transport U.S. military cargo. The deal requires the approval of APL shareholders, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Maritime Administration, which will likely take four months. The Stock Exchange of Singapore has given N.O.L. a waiver from shareholder approval, as the deal is seen as part of the firm's core business strategy. Restructuring the businesses will take 18 to 24 months. It is hoped to complete the deal by the fall. J.P. Morgan and Co. Inc. represented American President Lines while Neptune Orient Lines worked with Goldman, Sachs and Co. It has also been learned this week that Hapag-Lloyd A.G. had been offered APL at a price of U.S.$600 million to U.S.$900 million. While Hapag-Lloyd is the only line to have officially acknowledged it, others, including Evergreen Marine Corp., Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd. and P&O Nedlloyd Container Line Ltd., also reportedly had investigated a deal with APL. Related to N.O.L. acquiring APL, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on 15 April accused two people of insider trading after suspicious options volume on the Pacific Stock Exchange in San Francisco. Ong Conggin Bobby, a Singaporean trader who is managing director Ong Toh Developments Pte. Ltd., and a person in Zurich, Switzerland, bought options 11 April in APL. The 1,690 options were 74 percent of the trading volume that day. The S.E.C. has obtained a temporary restraining order to freeze the assets of both persons. Ong reportedly had already ordered the sale of some options to secure a profit of almost U.S.$574,000. The person in Zurich, if the options would have been cashed, would have received U.S.$400,000. A preliminary hearing will be held 25 April.

Tyco International to buy AT&T's cable ships

In a deal disclosed 11 April, Tyco International Ltd. will buy AT&T Submarine Systems Inc. from AT&T Corp. for U.S.$850 million. Tyco International's Simplex Technologies manufactures underwater fiber optic cable. AT&T Submarine Systems has seven cable-laying ships, five of them with U.S.-registry employing more than 1,000 people and two registered elsewhere.

New Greek cruise operator to start

Attika Shipping Co. and Dolphin Hellas Shipping S.A. have formed a joint venture to operate cruise ships in the Aegean Sea. Golden Sun Cruises will be formed from the merger of the two companies. Operations will start in the first half of 1998, with three, four and seven-day cruises from Piraeus, Greece. The two lines will retain an identity in the merged firm.

Ropner Shipping Services sells DAC

Ropner Shipping Services Ltd. has sold engineering subsidiary DAC to U.S. interests for 3.086 million British pounds/U.S.$5 million. The money will reduce the firm's borrowing.

Canadian Coast Guard bills for salvaging the Irving Whale

The Canadian Coast Guard has billed J.D. Irving Ltd. Canadian$42.2 million/U.S.$30.1 million for the salvage of the Irving Whale, a 7,000-ton tank barge. The barge was raised from the Gulf of St. Lawrence at 0854 30 July. It sank in a storm 7 Sept., 1970, in 67 meters/220 feet of water, with 3,100 tons of bunker C oil and 6,800 liters/1,800 gallons or 7.2 tons of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). About 2,000 liters/520 gallons of oil spilled during salvage. It was planned to restore Irving Whale. The barge was finally raised due to the concerns of PCBs, and on 10 April, it was announced that 73 percent of the PCBs on board were lost between the sinking and the time the barge arrived at a shipyard after salvage. As for payment, J.D. Irving has said it has already paid by contributing to the Canadian Ship-Source Oil Pollution Fund. However, it was not created until three years after the Irving Whale sank. In addition, while the C$260 million/U.S.$186 million was to pay for petroleum spills inside Canadian territorial waters out to 22 kilometers/14 miles, the fund was expanded in 1977 to 320 kilometers/200 miles. The Irving Whale sank 37 kilometers/23 miles offshore. Under the Canadian Shipping Act, a tax of C$0.15 per ton on oil was collected for four years. Irving said last year that its contribution was worth C$41 million/U.S.$29 million.

Greenpeace members acquitted in blockade of Greek refinery

A court in Corinth, Greece, on 11 April acquitted 17 members of Greenpeace who blockaded the Motor Oil refinery at Agioi Theodoroi, Greece, in November. The group was protesting a crude oil spill from a tanker at the refinery in August. Lightning hit an offshore unloading facility, killing one person and causing a 300-ton spill. Motor Oil was fined 150 million Greek drachmas/U.S.$550,000. Eight Greek and nine foreign defendants were found not guilty of trespassing and obstructing the operations of a public service business. The British master of the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise was found guilty of disobeying Greek Coast Guard orders. David Enever received a suspended four-month prison sentence and was freed following an appeal.

U.S. Coast Guard to not adopt provision of O.P.A.

The U.S. Oil Pollution Act regulations on tank levels and pressure monitoring equipment for single-hull tankers will not be adopted by the U.S. Coast Guard unless acceptable technology is developed by 28 April, 1999.

Canada to lift restrictions on Newfoundland fishing

Canada announced 17 April it will partially lift a ban on fishing off Newfoundland, five years after it was imposed. As of 1 May, Canadian and some French vessels will be allowed to fish large areas just off southern Newfoundland. Lines and hooks will be allowed in the area, with large trawlers restricted to southern areas. A quota will be set at 18,000 tons of cod. The announcement has brought some criticism, as the area was closed to fishing in 1992 due to depleted cod stocks. The government said it would reimpose a full ban if the limits are not respected or if the stocks again become depleted. The opening comes after a fisheries council recommended in October that limited fishing restart.

DBR to concentrate on tanker shipping

Deutsche Binnenreederei (DBR) is forming an office in Hamburg, Germany, to control its tanker shipping business. The move to control 20 owned and 20 more operated vessels was made to intensify its liquid shipping activities.

New York law firms merging

Two maritime law firms in New York will merge by the end of the month. De Orchis and Partners and Walker and Corsa will form De Orchis, Walker and Corsa. It will have 13 attorneys in the United States and is planning offices in Connecticut and New Jersey.

Belgium awards pilotage contract in dredging operation to Dutch

Belgium has awarded a pilotage contract for a dredging operation on the coast to Dutch pilots. Reportedly, Belgian pilots were "too exacting" in their requirements. The dredging is part of work to install a gas pipeline between Belgium and the United Kingdom.

Sable project, fishing industry reach agreement

A deal has been reached between the Sable offshore petroleum project and the Canadian fishing industry for compensation for any damage drilling might cause. In a seven-point agreement announced 15 April, fisheries observers would be allowed on the rigs and courts would be avoided in legal disputes over equipment damage. The agreement was made by Sable Offshore Energy Project and a liaison committee chaired by Roger Stirling of the Seafood Producers Association of Nova Scotia.

Hong Kong marks money for accomodations at training center

The government of Hong Kong has said it will spend Hong Kong$10 million/U.S.$1.3 million to build accomodations at the Seamen's Training Center at Tai Lam Chung.

Report on Hong Kong crewmembers

The 1996 Manpower Survey Report on the Merchant Navy by the Merchant Navy Training Board of the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council states that last year, there were 1,178 officers and 513 from Hong Kong at sea.

Greek-registry ship pays Polish port for spill

The Thelisis (Greek-registry 9,450-gt ro/ro built in 1979, operated by D.N. Efthymiou) has paid a deposit to the Port of Szczecin, Poland, after a pollution incident. The master made the payment against costs of cleaning 300 liters/78 gallons of lubrication oil that was spilled from the ship when it arrived 15 March. Reportedly, the spill was due to negligence.

BIMCO office in Singapore

The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) has received approval from the Singaporean Trade Development Board to set up a representative office there.

ROUTES AND SERVICES

China and Taiwan approve firms for cross-strait shipping

Taiwan on 11 April approved weekly or twice-weekly services from China by one vessel each from Fujian Foreign Trade Center Shipping Co., Fujian Provincial Shipping Co., Fujian Xiamen Shipping Co. and Xiamen Ocean Shipping Co. Two of the ships are registered in Panama and two in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. On 16 April, Taiwan approved service by Fuzhou Mawei Shipping Co. On 17 April, China approved six lines for service from Taiwan. They are: Chien Hung Shipping Co., Chinese Maritime Transport Co., Nan Tai Line Ltd., Uniglory Marine Co., Wan Hai Lines Ltd. and Yangming Marine Transport Corp.

Simatech Shipping and Forwarding offering service from Dubai to Iraq

Simatech Shipping and Forwarding has begun a scheduled service to Iraq. The Perma Glory (3,340-dwt dry cargo ship built in 1977, operated by Euro Container Shipping P.L.C.) sailed from Port Rashid, United Arab Emirates, on 12 April with 2,500 tons of Malaysian vegetable oil for Umm Qasr, Iraq. Simatech Shipping and Forwarding is planning weekly calls from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, depending on turnaround times at Umm Qasr and inspections by the United Nations at sea. The firm is paying a 0.25 percent war zone insurance surcharge. It is the first container service to Iraq since just after the Iran-Iraq War began in 1981.

Great White Fleet leaving Central American Discussion Agreement

Great White Fleet Ltd. has announced it is leaving the Central American Discussion Agreement to focus on its customer needs. The firm did not see the conference as beneficial.

New Mediterranean container service

Turkon Line will start a new container service in the Mediterranean on 29 April. The Andon (4,963-dwt, 230-TEU containership built in 1994, operated by Yardimci Shipping Group) will load at the Haydarpasa Terminal in Istanbul, Turkey, while the Aron (4,855-dwt containership built in 1995, operated by Yardimci Shipping Group) loads at Genoa, Italy. Calls on the service include Istanbul; Izmir, Turkey; Genoa; Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain; and Piraeus, Greece. The service will be weekly. Yardimci Shipping Group is chartering the two ships to Turkon Line.

Mitsui O.S.K., P&O Nedlloyd combining Asia to west Africa service

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and P&O Nedlloyd Container Line Ltd. have announced they will combine their services from Asia to western Africa on 1 May. Offering a 10-day frequency, calls will be made at: Shanghai, China; Pusan, South Korea; Keelung, Taiwan; Hong Kong; Singapore; Luanda, Angola; Apapa, Nigeria; Cotonou, Benin; Lome, Togo; Tema, Ghana; and Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.

Maersk joining Good Hope Express

Maersk Line is joining the Good Hope Express service next month. A group of four lines at present, it has calls in the Far East, Japan, South Africa and the east coast of South America. It operates fixed-day, weekly sailings with 11 1,600-TEU capacity containerships. A roundtrip takes 84 days. At present, Maersk has a space-chartering agreement with Good Hope Express between Japan, the Far East and the east coast of South America. Maersk will contribute a ship to the service, which calls at Kobe, Nagoya and Yokohama in Japan; Keelung, Taiwan; Hong Kong; Singapore; Durban and Cape Town in South Africa; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay; Rio Grande, Paranagua, Santos and Rio De Janeiro in Brazil; Cape Town; Durban; Singapore; Hong Kong and Kobe.

P. & O. North Sea Ferries planning barge service

P. & O. North Sea Ferries has announced plans for a barge serice from the Beneluxhaven facility in the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to Born, the Netherlands. The firm is holding discussions with the Rotterdam Port Authority regarding necessary changes to the Rozenburg terminal and who will pay for improvements. A specialized container crane will be bought.

New venture to sail the Yangtze River

Kambara Kisen Co. and Michinoku Lease K.K. are planning to form a joint venture with a Chinese firm as early as the second half of 1998 to start a shipping service on the Yangtze River. The two have already begun designing a vessel for the route, which is likely to be a 3,000-ton containership. It will be designed to reach Chongquing.

Wilhelmsen Lines adding two new ports

Wilhelmsen Lines is adding Noumea, New Caledonia, and Papeete to its services. Noumea will be called first by the Takasago (Norwegian-registry 19,800-dwt ro/ro built in 1996, operated by Wilhelmsen Lines), which will load in northern Europe and the United Kingdom in late May.

B.C.L. to start new Germany to Latvia service

Baltic Container Line will start weekly liner services from Bremerhaven and Hamburg, Germany, to Riga, Latvia, at the end of the month.

Ahlers to expand as part of Ahlers-Hansa

Ahlers is expanding its service between Anterp, Belgium; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; and St. Petersburg, Russia, to ports in the area of Hamburg, Germany, and Dunkirk, France. In cooperation with Euro Hansa Lines, Ahlers-Hansa will make the changes by May.

Pan Ocean Shipping to start calling at Antwerp

Pan Ocean Shipping Co. will add a call at the Port of Antwerp, Belgium, on its service between the Baltic and the Far East. Calls will be made every two weeks. The local agent is ACSA 92 amd the first call will leave Antwerp on 20 May.

Blue Star Line to use new refrigerated container technology

Blue Star Line Ltd. is adopting a new integral refrigerated container monitoring system on its ships trading in Asia. It can monitor wide and narrow band data tranmissions simultaneously, allowing operation of refigerated containers of differing technologies. The CMS 2100/GRASP system was developed by Refrigerated Transport Electronics with Lyngso Marine A/S. Equipment will be installed on two ships in June and December. In addition, starting in June, Blue Star Line will retrofit 1,100 Carrier and Mitsubishi integral refrigerated containers with narrow band monitoring units. The work will be done in Australia.

More on Neptune Shipping Line

More information has become available about Neptune Shipping Line, a new firm that will begin service next month linking Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. The line has been formed by former Sofrana Unilines personnel and will carry breakbulk and container cargoes. Neptune Shipping Line has bought two vessels, the Capitaine Wallis (French-registry, formerly the Denhier) and the Capitaine Fearn (French-registry 3,478-dwt dry cargo ship built in 1979), both 150-TEU capacity vessels than can carry 1,500 tons of breakbulk. One will call at Lautoka and Suva, from Auckland, and Tauranga, New Zealand, every 14 days. The other ship will sail between the Australian ports of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney and Lautoka and Suva, every 23 days. The line also owns the Capitaine Cook (French-registry 9,600-dwt dry cargo ship built in 1984), which will sail from Geelong, Australia, to Fiji and New Caledonia with grain and from Sydney to Norfolk Island with general cargo. Neptune Shipping Agency will have offices in Auckland, Suva and Sydney. Twenty-six staff and several crews are based at 12 locations in New Zealand, eight in Australia and six in Fiji.

CANALS, PORTS AND TERMINALS

Japan, United States agree on guidelines, sanctions delayed

On 11 April, Japan and the United States signed a "Memorandum of Consultations" on a dispute over access and services in Japanese ports. Japan confirmed that licenses meeting standards under the Port Transportation Business Law will be approved within four months from when they are received, as long as the submissions are by foreign carriers or subsidiares for general port licenses for itself. Those who receive licenses will not be required to join the Japan Harbor Transportation Association. U.S. businesses will provide Japanese dockworkers in labor unions with work at the prevailing wage and at present levels. The memorandum also notes that the United States called for complete deregulation no later than 31 Dec., 1998. As for the prior consultation system, both countries recognized an interim agreement by the Japan Foreign Steamship Association, the J.H.T.A., and Japan Shipowners' Port Council for reforming the system by 31 July. The United States called for eliminating all minor consultations with major items involving a process between stevedores and their employees, with no requirements for dealings with the J.H.T.A. Major matters were defined as those that have a substantial affect on dockworkers, such as relocations or large changes in personnel numbers. A transparent appeals system will be formed. As a result of the memorandum, the U.S. delegates asked the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission to delay or withdraw imposing sanctions on three Japanese lines on 14 April. As a result, the F.M.C. delayed U.S.$100,000 charges per vessel call at U.S. ports for the three until at least 4 Sept.

New wharf fees in Japan on 21 May

A new 12-hour wharf system will become effection at 19 ports in Japan on 21 May. At eight major ports, the charge will be 10.50 Japanese yen/U.S.$0.08 for the first 12 hours and 16.75 yen/U.S.$0.13 in the next 24 hours with 6.50 yen/U.S.$0.05 every 12 hours after. The eight are: Kawasaki, Kitakyushu, Kobe, Nagoya, Osaka, Shimonoseki, Tokyo and Yokohama. The other ports will have lower charges.

Sea-Land changing terminals in Baltimore

Sea-Land Service Inc. has announced it is leaving the Seagirt facility in Baltimore for the Dundalk Marine Terminal operated by Maersk Line and Universal Marine. In addition to consolidating all operations at one site, Sea-Land will offer twice a week rather than once a week sailings.

Police remove striking dockworkers from ships, workers at Santos strike

In a raid at 0400 15 April, Brazilian federal police removed about 26 striking dockworkers that had occupied two ships at the Companhia Siderurgica Paulista (COSIPA) terminal at Santos, Brazil. Workers had occupied the Marcos Dias (Brazilian-registry 45,334-dwt bulk carrier built in 1995, operated by Chaval Navegacao Ltda.) and the Vancouver (60,847-dwt bulk carrier built in 1977, operated by Target Marine S.A.) for 13 days. They were protesting COSIPA's decision to hire non-union workers. After learning of the action at COSIPA, dockworkers at the Port of Santos went on strike at 0700. Only three ships of 20 were worked on. On 18 April, Brazilian dockworkers called a 48-hour strike across the country.

Long Beach commission votes to cancel COSCO deal

The Long Beach Harbor Commission voted 14 April to cancel a deal to lease the former U.S. Naval Station Long Beach, Calif., to China Ocean Shipping Co. for use as a container terminal. The decision was made after a Judge Robert H. O'Brien of the California Superior Court ordered the commission to set aside the agreement while it reconsiders the plan. However, the commission did not delay the agreement while the review was in progress the first time. A court hearing will be held 13 May. The decision will likely delay rather than stop the agreement with COSCO.

Takoradi and Tema to upgraded over 15 years

The Ports of Takoradi and Tema in Ghana will be upgraded under a U.S.$365 million plan. Over 15 years, new container terminals will be built and Tema will be dredged from 9.6 meters/31 feet to 14 meters/46 feet. In addition, berths will be built for handling liquid and dry bulk cargoes, including liquified petroleum gas and cocoa.

New port planned in Bangladesh

A new port will be built in Bangladesh near the Karnaphuli Fertilizer Co.'s jetty, 13 kilometers/eight miles from the Port of Chittagong on the Bay of Bengal. The port will be able to accomodate ships with drafts of 10 meters/32 feet.

Lake Maracaibo pilots restrict operations

After three recent groundings by oil tankers, pilots in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, are refusing to handle ships with a draft of more than 11 meters/36 feet. The Maracaibo Port Authority has introduced maximum drafts for ships using the channel. They are 12 meters/38 feet at high tide, 11 meters/36 feet at mid tide and 10 meters/34 feet at low tide.

Hong Kong and Shenzhen may cooperate

The Port of Shenzhen, China, will increase cooperation with Hong Kong after 1 July under a plan outlined recently. If approved by both ports, the two would share information via computer networks and administration of cargoes and passengers and jointly work to improve facilities. Under a plan by the Investigation and Study Group on Shenzhen and Hong Kong Port Cooperation, the plan would be implemented over eight years in three stages.

New ro/ro terminal opens in Antwerp

Combined Terminal Operator has opened a new terminal at the Port of Antwerp, Belgium. The terminal covers 10 hectares/25 acres with a capacity of 400 trailers and 3,000 vehicles. Under a special agreement with dockworkers, crews of ro/ros will be allowed to perform 50 percent of cargo handling work. Tweleve ro/ros are scheduled to call at the terminal weekly.

Cargo handler stops operations at Hamburg

Kuhne and Nagel Group and Rob M. Sloman and Co. have withdrawn from cargo handling at the Port of Hamburg, Germany. Their shares of Sloman, Schoer and Co. have been bought by Steinweg-Handelsveem.

Plans for passenger facilities at Ensenada

E. Cruiseport Village S.A. de C.V. has received a concession to build two passenger docks at the Port of Ensenada, Mexico. It will also build a marina with commercial and residential development.

Toledo may end its role as a futures delivery site in 1999

The Chicago Board of Trade approved a proposal on 15 April to eliminate Toledo, Ohio, as one of three delivery locations for corn and soybeans futures contracts in 1999. Seven grain elevators operate in the area with more than 120 personnel with additional workers during the harvest. Instead of Toledo, grain elevators along the northern Illinois River would be used. If approved by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Toledo's grain shipments would be reduced by at least 25 million bushels annually. The commission has 180 days to make a decision.

More on Melbourne port dispute

Australian stevedore Patrick has filed lawsuits in the Victorian Supreme Court against Melbourne Port Corp. and the Victorian government for breaking committments to protect new investment by the firm in the port by not allowing a third container operator until throughput had reached two million TEUs. In February, Melbourne Port held talks with Victorian International Container Terminals, a joint venture of Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd. and COSCO Pacific, on a third operation. Patrick said that the port and government had made the committments in 1991 and 1992, when the four stevedores at the port were competing for the two present terminals. Patrick spent Australian$200 million/U.S.$156 million after it won a concession. Melbourne Port counters that the suit is based on a comment in a media article in 1991 made in regard to the practices of what was then the Port of Melbourne Authority.

Galveston reduces cotton tariff

The Port of Galveston, Texas, has reduced the tariff rate on breakbulk cotton. Starting 7 April, it is U.S.$0.20 per bale instead of U.S.$0.40.

Chengang Wharf under construction

Construction has begun on a U.S.$24 million wharf the Dongshan area of Fujian Province, China. The 25,000-ton Chengan Wharf will be multipurpose, but is meant to primarily handle silica sand.

Communications upgrade at Milford Haven done

The Port of Milford Haven, England, has completed the replacement of its V.H.F. communications system for 38,000 British pounds/U.S.$61,000. It was built by Cyfas Restbury.

Helsingborg names agent

The Port of Helsingborg, Sweden, has appointed Eurolist as its British general agent.

Mexican ports, Novorossiysk affected by weather

The Mexican ports of Dos Bocas and Pajaritos closed late 12 April due to storms. Two ships were waiting to enter the former and eight were waiting to enter and eight more to leave at Pajaritos. Dos Bocas opened 0800 16 April. Cayo Arcas, Mexico, closed at 1920 12 April but reopened 14 April. The main oil berth at the Port of Novorossiysk, Russia, closed 0600 15 April due to high winds.

SHIPYARDS AND EQUIPMENT SUPPLIERS

Aker Maritime to buy Mantyluoto Works

Aker Maritime will buy Mantyluoto Works from Rauma Oy. The Pori, Finland, facility builds oil rigs and platforms.

Interpool unit to administer chassis fleet for the Grand Alliance

Interpool Inc. announced 14 April that its Trac Lease Inc. subsidiary had received a contract from the Grand Alliance's chassis pool to manage a fleet of 42,000 container chassis using Interpool's Poolstat system. Trac Lease will also administer more than 30 pool locations.

I.M.O. accepts Coulombi Egg as alternative

The International Maritime Organization has accepted the Coulombi Egg tanker design concept as an alternative to double-hull tankers required under MARPOL. The design was considered at a meeting London on 9 April after the matter was submitted by Sweden. The I.M.O. ruled that the tanker design fulfills the requirements of the Interim Guidelines for oil outflow calculations. The United States, however, reserved judgement and did not approve the design.

A.P. Moller buys stake in Baltija Shipyard

A.P. Moller has reportedly paid U.S.$6 million for a 43 percent stake in Baltija Shipyard at Klaipeda, Lithuania. The stake was bought by subsidiary Odense Staalskibsvaerft A/S.

New building facility at the Bohai Shipyard approved

The Chinese State Planning Commission has approved the construction of a shipbuilding facility for vessels of 100,000-dwt at the Bohai Shipyard at Huludao, China. It will cost almost 200 million Chinese yuan/U.S.$24 million and when completed at the end of 1998, it will be able to build 2.5 ships annually.

U.E.C.C. seeking damages from Welgelegen

United European Car Carriers is seeking damages from Welgelegen at Harlingen, the Netherlands. The firm ordered three 1,150-vehicle capacity vessels from the shipyard, with the first scheduled for delivery late last October. None have been completed, though the contract called for damages on a daily basis if they were late. The shipyard suffered a fire in its building hall which damaged it and a ship inside.

Bender Shipbuilding and Repair appoints Greek agent

Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Co. Inc. has appointed T.J. Giavridis Marine Services Co. Ltd. as its exclusive Greek agent.

Mitsubishi to build eight containerships for Evergreen

Evergreen Marine Corp. ordered eight 5,364-TEU capacity containerships from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. on 31 March. It is believed they cost U.S.$70 million each. When delivered in 1999, the ships will serve on routes between Europe, the Far East and the western coast of the United States.

John Fredriksen orders four tankers

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. has received an order from John Fredriksen for three 150,000-dwt tankers and a 308,000-dwt tanker, which was an option acquired when two similar ships were ordered in February. In addition, another two options for very large crude carriers have been bought. In all, the six tankers will cost U.S.$400 million. The three V.L.C.C.s will be delivered in August 1998, January 1999 and the first quarter of 1999.

Lukoil in three ship deal with MTW Schiffswerft

Lukoil Arctic Tanker has ordered three icebreaker tankers from MTW Schiffswerft G.m.b.H. The COT 17,2 Arctic-type vessels of 15,580-dwt will be delivered in 1999.

LIBRA receives funding to build new containerships

Linhas Brasileiras de Navegacao S.A. will build six containerships at the Niteroi shipyard in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, now that it has secured U.S.$380 million in financing from the Brazilian National Bank for Social Development (BNDES). BNDES will provide 85 percent and LIBRA the rest. U.S.$360 million will fund four 2,300-TEU capacity and two 1,700-TEU capacity ships, with the first to be delivered 24 months after construction starts. Vessels will be delivered every four months after. The other U.S.$20 million will be spent to modernize and upgrade the yard.

Harris Pye Marine gets first ever subcontract from China for F.P.S.O.

Harris Pye Marine Ltd. said 11 April it was won the first ever subcontract from China to work on the boilers of a tanker being converted to a floating production, storage and offloading vessel. Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. at awarded a two million British pound/U.S.$3.27 million contract to Harris Pye Marine for the work, which will be done at Shanhaiguan Shipyard Co. Ltd. in China. Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. is having the Henrique Dias converted to the Petrobras 33 by Hyundai Heavy Industries. Harris Pye Marine will send more than 100 employees to China for four months of work, involving refurbishment of gas turbines, boliers and generators.

First Olsen Tankers orders two ships

Two subsidiaries of First Olsen Tankers have ordered two 154,000-dwt shallow-draft tankers for U.S.$64 million each. They will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. for delivery in 1999. Each will have two main engines with two propellers and two high-lift rudders. The tankers will have bow thrusters, but will be built to provide for additional bow thrusters as well as stern thrusters. There are options for two more ships. They will have a beam of 50 meters/164 feet and a draft of 16 meters/52 feet.

Halla building two tankers for Torm, two containerships for German buyer

Torm has ordered two 105,000-dwt tankers from Halla Engineering and Heavy Industries Ltd. for U.S.$91 million. One was bought with Rederiaktiebolaget Gotland. They will be delivered in the first half of 1999 and there is an option for another. Each will have coated cargo tanks. Halla Engineering and Heavy Industries has received an order from a German firm for two 3,500-TEU capacity containerships. They will be delivered in the second half of 1998 and early 1999.

B. Skaugen in tanker order from Imabari

B. Skaugen Shipping has ordered a 107,000-dwt tanker from Imabari Zosen K.K. The ship will be delivered in March and will be managed by Jahre-Skaugen-Wallem A/S.

Wah Kwong orders 172,000-dwt tanker from Hyundai

Wah Kwong Shipping Holdings Co. Ltd. has ordered a 172,000-dwt bulk carrier from Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. for delivery in March 1999. The U.S.$42 million vessel will be chartered for two years by Krupp Seeschiffahrt.

Precious Shipping orders two newbuildings

Precious Shipping Ltd. has placed an order for two 18,600-dwt vessels from a South Korean shipyard. They will be deivered in June and September 1998.

Keppel receives two-vessel order from A.P. Moller

Keppel Marine Industries Ltd. has received a contract valued at more than U.S.$60 million for two anchor handling and supply vessels, with two options, for A.P. Moller. They will be the largest such vessels to have been built in Singapore. Each will be 83 meters/270 feet with a draft of 7.5 meters/25 feet. Four medium-speed diesel engines will produce 18,000 brake horsepower for a continuous speed of 15 knots. Bollard pull will be at least 200 tons. The first will be delivered in the second half of 1998 with the second in the first quarter of 1999. Both will work in the North Atlantic.

Ferguson Shipbuilders receives Stirling order

Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd. has won a 15 million British pound/U.S.$24.4 million contract from Stirling Shipmanagement Ltd. for a platform supply vessel. The 3,000-gt, 4,500-dwt ship is the VS483 design by Vik & Sandvik. It has an open deck area of 900 square meters/1,080 square yards and can carry 2,700 tons of cargo. The vessel will be able to carry base and brine oil, drill water, drilling mud, fresh water and fuel oil. It will be powered by two 2,460 kW Wartsila engines for a service speed of 12 knots.

A&P will refit the Saga Rose

A&P Southampton Ltd. has received a contract from Saga Group to refit the Saga Rose, a 25,147-gt passenger ship formerly named the Sagafjord. Work began to refurbish public spaces and some other areas on 15 April. Beginning in late October, and lasting eight weeks, 589 cabins will be redone.

Van Diepen launches 2,100-capacity cattle carrier

Van Diepen has launched the cattle carrier Devon Express at Waterhuizen, the Netherlands. The ship is 116 meters/381 feet long, has a 15.85-meter/52.00 foot beam and can carry 2,100 cattle.

Halter Marine Group launches two offshore supply vessels

Halter Marine Group Inc. launched two offshore supply vessels on 10 April. Moss Point Marine Inc. at Escatawpa, Miss., launched the Seacor Vision, a 68.6-meter/225-foot anchor handling and supply vessel for Seacor Marine Inc. The vessel has 12,280 brake horsepower. The same day, Halter-Pascagoula at Pascagoula, Miss., launched the C-Champion for Alpha Marine Services. The 67.1-meter/220-foot platform supply vessel has 3,420 brake horsepower. Both will be delivered in June and cost a total of U.S.$28 million.

New Crowley tug launched

A 36.6-meter/120-foot tug for Crowley Maritime Corp. was launched 7 April at Long Beach, Calif. Intended for escort and harbor duties, it was sponsored by Christine Crowley, wife of Tom Crowley Jr., the firm's chairman.

Bunga Kelana Satu delivered

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. delivered the Bunga Kelana Satu, the first of a series of six tankers, to Malaysia International Shipping Corp. on 31 March. The vessel, which coast 112.5 million Malaysian ringgit/U.S.$44.76 million, arrived at Shell Refining Co. Bhd. at Port Dickson, Malaysia, on her maiden voyage 17 April. The ship loaded crude oil at Miri, Malaysia. The Bunga Kelana Satu was built at Ulsan, South Korea.

Bow of the Disney Magic joined with stern in Italy

The bow of the Disney Magic, a passenger ship for Disney Cruise Line being built by Fincanieri Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A., was launched 12 April. The section took eight months to build at Acona, Italy, and was then towed using three barges to Margheta, Italy, where it was joined with the stern. The tow took 42 hours. The Disney Magic will be completed by March 1998.

Sembawang unit completes structure in record time

Sembawang Marine and Offshore Engineering set a record recently by completing a 600-ton offshore living quarters for 70 people in four and a half months. It normally takes eight to 10. The facility will be used by Vietsovpetro at the White Tiger Field off Vung Tau, Vietnam. The turnkey contract was worth more than U.S.$100 million.

C.M.A. to re-engine two ships

Compagnie Maritime d'Affretement has announced that a South Korean shipyard will re-engine the Ville de Titana and the Ville de Tucana, two 2,142-TEU capacity vessels built in 1972 for Seatrain Lines. The Bahamian-registry ships each had a Pratt and Whitney gas turbine, which was replaced by diesels in 1978. The work will cost U.S.$3 million. --

EVENTS, INCIDENTS AND OPERATIONS

Syrian-registry ship held at Rotterdam for false crew certificates

None of the six crewmembers of the Samer N (Syrian-registry 3,640-dwt dry cargo ship built in 1967, operated by General Trading and Shipping) had legitamate certification during a port state control inspection at Rotterdam, the Netherlands, last week. It had arrived from Fredrikshavn, Denmark. Five crewmembers had certificates from a maritime academy in Lebanon that does not exist and the master had a rating for second officer. Each was fined 2,500 Dutch guilders/U.S.$1,300 and the ship has been detained until a new crew arrives. Additional problems were also found aboard the ship.

Kuwait frees 10 detained Filipino crewmembers

Ten Filipino crewmembers, five each from the Diamond and the Sea World, returned to the Philippines on 9 April. The group was detained in Kuwait late last year for attempting to smuggle oil from Iraq in violation of a United Nations embargo. The ten were identifed as Edgardo Rivera, master of the Diamond, and Bernardo Carpio, Eriberto Casa, Levy Grasparil and Resebelito Profeta; and Conrado Geonanga, master of the Sea World, with Vicente Damilan, Petronilo Guevarra, Rodrigo Margin and Ramoncito Teodosio. Ten additional crewmembers remain in detentiona board the Diamond. They are Crisanto Bagos, Lito Caballes, Carlito Cain, Romel Geonanga, Ricardo Lindo, Crisenciano Montoya, Alfredo Pabalate, Ricardo Silan, Enrique Suha and Arsenio Vargas Jr.

Man with history of heart problems taken off vessel by the U.S. Coast Guard

A crewmember aboard the Lady Debra (27-meter/90-foot fishing vessel) was hoisted aboard a U.S. Coast Guard HH-60J Jayhawk from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., on 16 April. Walton Williams, 50, had chest pains and has a history of heart problems. He was 32 kilometers/20 miles east of Elizabeth City, N.C., along with his son, who contacted the Coast Guard. Williams was taken to Albemarle General Hospital in Elizabeth City. The Lady Debra was sailing fro Miami to Virginia.

U.S. Coast Guard airlifts fishing vessel crewmember

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., airlifted a 54-year-old man from the Enterprise (U.S.-registry 23-meter/76-foot western rig trawler homeported at Point Judith, R.I.) at 0745 16 April. Richard Winter was taken to a Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I., after a severe asthma attack aboard the vessel, 128 kilometers/80 miles south of Point Judith. He ran out of medication about midnight.

Honduran-registry vessel towed U.S. facility for search

On 2 April, the U.S. Navy's Ticonderoga-class Guided-Missile Cruiser U.S.S. Yorktown (CG 48), with a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment aboard, spotted the Raaja (Honduran-registry 62.2-meter/204-foot vessel) disabled and adrift, 37 kilometers/23 miles west of Grand Cayman Island, the Bahamas. A consensual boarding found fresh paint and new welds throughout the vessel. The Coast Guard's Reliance-class Medium-Endurance Cutter U.S.C.G.C. Durable (WMEC 628) towed the Raaja to U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for a dockside boarding that began 9 April. Results are not yet known.

Mississippi River shipping affected by restrictions

Shipping on the Mississippi River north of Dresbach, Minn., has essentially been halted due to flooding. The last tow that headed north of Dresbach was 7 April. Lock and Dam 5A at Winona, Minn, is believed to have closed. There are draft restrictions at the Southwest Pass of the river, including daylight-only transit restrictions for southbound, deep-draft ships carrying chemicals or compressed gases. Minimum power requirements for tows are also in place.

French frigate arrives in Wellington amidst protests

Protesters gathered around the French Navy Floreal-class Surveillance Frigate Nivose (F 732) as it docked in Wellington, New Zealand, on 14 April. In 1995 and 1996, the ship patrolled Fangataufa Atoll and Mururoa Atoll, where France conducted its last nulcear weapons testing. Four yachts, three of which had been at protests in Mururoa, were waiting off the port when the frigate arrived. At the dock, several protesters and police greeted the ship from behind barricades. Based at New Caledonia, the Nivose was invited to Wellington by New Zealand to coincide with a visit by the commander of French military forces in the Pacific, Maj. Gen. Maurice Quadri.

Belgian students threaten action for delays crossing canal

Students in Zelzate, Belgium, have written a letter to authorities asking that navigation on the Terneuzen/Ghent canal be suspended when they are travelling to and from school. The students wrote that the opening of a bridge over the canal has routinely delayed them. Should action not be taken, the students have threatened to disrupt bridge operations.

VESSEL TRANSFERS

FLOMEPARSA begins to sell fleet

Flota Mercante Paraguaya (FLOMEPARSA), the state-owned line of Paraguay, has begun to sell its fleet to private owners. It has 16 river vessels as well as tugs and barges. Lara has reportedly bought the Chaqueno, the Olimpo and the Pirabebe, three 1,023-dwt dry cargo ships built in Spain in the 1960s.

Precious Shipping to buy four ships by June

Precious Shipping Ltd. will receive four "new" vessels by June. Two are from Dowa Line Panama Inc. and one each from Mariana Shipping Co. and White Reefer Line.

Sulpicio acquires four second-hand vessels

Sulpicio Lines has bought four ships built in Japan, three passenger and cargo vessels and one cargo ro/ro. A 4,836-dwt ro/ro has been renamed the Slupicio Express Uno, and is capable of 16 knots with a 150-TEU capacity. The ship began operations 25 March between Manila, General Santos and Davao in the Philippines. The Princess of the World, a 3,676-dwt vessel, can operate at 18 knots with 2,000 passengers. The vessel will sail between Manila and Cagayan, Zamboanga and Cotabato in the Philippines starting this month. The Princess of the Ocean (3,079-dwt) can carry 1,500 passengers and 18 knots and will begin operations in May between Manila, Dumaguette, Dipolog, Iligan and Ozamis in the Philippines. The Princess of the Carribean (1,222-dwt vessel) can carry 1,222 passengers at 18 knots and will operate between the Philippine ports of Manila, Masbate, Palommpon, Ormoc, Surigao and Nasupit starting in June.

Nepline in three ship deal

Nepline Bhd. is buying three vessels for U.S.$12 million. Its fleet will total 327,596 tons.

B.P. Shipping charterting two V.L.C.C.s from A.P. Moller

B.P. Shipping Ltd. has taken the Elisabeth Maersk and the Emma Maersk on bareboat charter from A.P. Moller. The two 299,700-dwt double-hull tankers, built in 1993, will be renamed. Their registries will be transferred from Denmark to the Isle of Man when delivered in May.

British Royal Navy to sell the Peacock-class to the Philippines

With the closure of H.M.S. Tamar in Hong Kong on 11 April, the British Royal Navy's last facility in the Far East, the United Kingdom has announced that the Peacock-class Patrol Combatants based there will be sold to the Philippine Navy. The three vessels will leave Hong Kong just before midnight 1 July, when Hong Kong is transferred to China. They will be sold to the Philippines for 6.5 million British pounds/U.S.$10.5 million.

British Coast Guard extends tug contract

The British Coast Guard has renewed its stand-by contract with the Portosalvo (Italian-registry 2,085-dwt tug built in 1982) with Cory Smit Wijsmuller. The tug is based at Stornoway, Scotland.

Bulk carriers

The Promina (28,155-gt, 48,320-dwt ice-class motor bulk carrier built in 1990 by Brodogradiliste at Split, Croatia) has reportedly been sold to Southern Steamships (London) Ltd. for U.S.$18 million. It was operated by Slobodna Plovidba and has four 25-ton cranes. The Early Bird (29,150-dwt bulk carrier built in 1995) has been sold for U.S.$9.4 million. It was operated by Jardine Shipping. The Lucky Grace (Singaporean-registry 27,300-dwt bulk carrier built in 1995) has been reportedly gone to Mineral Shipping (Pte.) Ltd. for U.S.$17.1 million. The ship was operated Hung Fu Shipping (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. The Glory Cape (Panamanian-registry 68,634-dwt bulk carrier built in 1987) has reportedly been sold to Greek buyers for U.S.$16 million. It was operated by First Line Corp. The Narwal (67,359-dwt bulk carrier built in 1985) has reportedly been sold to clients of Mavarakis for U.S.$12.6 million. The ship was operated by Calm Sea Service. Great Eastern Shipping Co. has reportedly bought the Petropolis (Cypriot-registry 63,970-dwt strengthened motor bulk carrier built in 1978 by Hitachi Zosen K.K.'s Innoshima Works, Japan; formerly the Temple Bay, the South Sky and the English Wasa) for U.S.$7.25 million. The ship was operated by E.P. Nomikos. The Hyundai No. 17 (Panamanian-registry 22,378-gt, 36,788-dwt strengthened motor bulk carrier built in 1983 by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. at Ulsan, South Korea, formerly the Asia No. 17) has reportedly been sold to clients of Kaptonoglu for U.S.$9.4 million to U.S.$9.6 million. The ship has four 25-ton cranes and was operated by Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. Ltd. The Elli B (Greek-registry 61,632-dwt bulk carrier built in 1980) has reportedly been sold to Greek interests for U.S.$8.4 million, while Greek buyers also reportedly took the Pawnee (69,636-gt, 122,272-dwt motor ore/bulk/oil carrier built in 1977 by Thyssen Nordseewerke A.G. at Emden, Germany; formerly the Cayuga and the Suorva) for U.S.$5.4 million. The former was operated by Bray Shipping Co. and the latter by Acomarit (U.K.) Ltd. The Hudson Bay (54,309-dwt bulk carrier built in Romania in 1981) has reportedly been sold for U.S.$5.75 million. The Calliope (11,896-gt, 18,764-dwt motor bulk carrier built in 1983 by Uwajima Zosensho K.K. at Uwajima, Japan; formerly the Calliope Maru) has reportedly been sold to a buyer in Hong Kong got U.S.$7.2 million. It has a 48-TEU capacity and was operated by Tokumaru Kaiun Co. Ltd.

Tankers

The Freja Svea (97,197-dwt tanker built in 1989) has been sold to Perbadanan Nasional Shipping Line for U.S.$29.95 million. The ship was operated by Freja Shipping Group A/S. The Canadian Liberty (Liberian-registry 87,542-dwt tanker built in 1980) was bought by Tsakos for U.S.$12.5 million. It was operated by Euronav (U.K.) Agencies Ltd. OMI Corp. has reportedly sold the Alta (146,000-dwt single-hull tanker built in 1990) for around U.S.$40 million to Maritime Equity. The ship may have been chartered back for five years, with a report of the ship operating at U.S.$22,000 the first year and increasing after. The Rich Duchess (50,285-gt, 81,279-dwt motor tanker built in 1986 by Kasado Dock Co. Ltd. at Kudamatsu, Japan) reportedly has been sold to Greek interests in New York for U.S.$23.5 million. The ship has double sides and coated cargo tanks with three cargo pumps for 7,500 tons per hour, as well as crude oil washing, an inert gas system and segregated ballast tanks. It was operated by Skaugen Petrotrans Inc. Greek interests have also reportedly paid U.S.$43.5 million for an aframax tanker being built by Imabari Zosen K.K. in Japan for delivery in July. The Gocek (Turkish-registry 26,450-gt, 44,993-dwt motor products tanker built in 1982 by Warsila Oy at Turku, Finland; formerly the Port Royal and the Parita) has reportedly been sold to Anders Wilhelmsen and Co. A/S for U.S.$14.7 million. The ship has four cargo pumps capable of 4,800 tons per hour as well as an inert gas system and unmanned machinery space certification. It was operated by Ganship International Ltd. The Lourdas (Panamanian-registry 122,062-gt, 238,760-dwt steam turbine tanker built in 1975 by Mitsui Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. Ltd. at Ichihara, Japan; formerly the Bright Duke and the World Duke) has been sold at auction in Singapore for U.S.$6 million to the mortgagee bank, Den Norske Veritas. The ship is capable of crude oil washing, has an inert gas system, segregated ballast tanks and four cargo pumps for 14,000 tons per hour. It was operated by Golden Ocean Shipping Co. S.A. The Anne-Laure (Liberian-registry 16,137-dwt 14,700-cubic meter/19,100 cubic yard liquified petroleum gas carrier built in 1990) has reportedly been bought by Westfal-Larsen and Co. A/S for U.S.$34 million. The ship was operated by Gazocean Armement. World-Wide has sold the World Castle (29,864-gt, 48,532-dwt motor product tanker built in 1982 by Kanasahi Co. Ltd. at Toyohashi, Japan; formerly the World Cosmos) for U.S.$16 million, reportedly to Indian interests. It has four cargo pumps for 3,194 tons per hour, crude oil washing capability, inert gas system and segregated ballast tanks.

Demolition

The Torino (135,311-gt, 279,999-dwt steam turbine tanker built in 1975 by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in France; formerly the Happy Pilot and the Opale), of 37,412-ldt, reportedly has been sold for scrap by Wilh. Wilhelmsen A.S.A. for over U.S.$180 per ldt. The ship is in Singapore. The Forum Cape (Cypriot-registry 62,770-gt, 116,181-dwt strengthened motor bulk carrier built in 1973 by Mitsui Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. Ltd. at Tamano, Japan; formerly the Kapetan Antonis III, the Chihirosan and the Chihirosan Maru) of 19,500-ldt has reportedly been sold for U.S.$148 per ldt. The ship is in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The Nessie (tanker built in 1972) has reportedly be committed for scrapping in India at U.S.$175 to U.S.$176 per ldt. It was operated by J.P. Marit. Samartzis. The Baltic Trident (64,342-dwt bulk carrier built in 1974) has reportedly be sold for scrapping in India at U.S.$170 to U.S.$172 per ldt. The ship is 11,378-ldt and was operated by Stanship Inc. The Rui Riang (tweendecker) has been sold for scrapping in India at U.S.$181 per ldt. The Forest Way (39,296-gt, 42,050-dwt geared motor bulk carrier built in 1977 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. at Hiroshima, Japan; formerly the Forest Wasa) has reportedly been sold for scrapping in India for U.S.$179 per ldt. The ship is 13,178-ldt and was operated by Nordic Oriental Shipmanagement Pte. Ltd.

CASUALTIES

Tanker breaks in half, sinks off Cuba; one dead and five missing

The Pampero (St. Vincent and the Grenadines-registry 6,294-gt, 9,100-dwt tanker built in 1962, operated by Bravo Tankers) broke in half and sank 10 kilometers/six miles off Guanabo, Cuba, at 1420 14 April. The vessel was sailing in ballast from Matanzas, Cuba, to the Nico Lopez oil refinery in Havana. At least three explosions and a fire were reported before the ship broke up. Eighteen of the crewmembers, some of them injured, were rescued, one was killed and five, including three Romanian deck officers and the Romanian master, are missing. The explosions were believed to have been in a cargo tank. The Pampero had a special survey a few weeks ago. The owner spent U.S.$500,000 in preparation on the ship and no problems were found.

One dead and six wounded in Algerian explosion

An explosion aboard a trawler at Algiers, Algeria, on 16 April killed one person and wounded six, one seriously. The explosion came from a propane tank.

Hong Kong collision injures 27

The Hai Yang (100-dwt high-speed catamaran passenger ferry built in 1995, operated by COSCO Zhuhai) collided with a car ferry on 15 April off northern Lantau Island, Hong Kong. At least 27 people were injured, with passengers from the Hai Yang transferring to the other ferry. Three people had serious injuries, including one woman whose leg was severed below the knee. The Hai Yang carried 129 passengers and crew and was sailing to Zhuhai, China. The same day, another ferry collided with a tug.

"Fish factory" suffers engine room fire

The Marbella (British-registry 2,880-gt stern-trawling "fish factory" built in 1989, operated by Marr Vessel Management Ltd.) suffered an engine room fire 12 April at 51 degrees 02 minutes north, 10 degrees 21 minutes west. The location is south of Ireland and west of England. The fire began after water from a seawater tank seeped into the ship's switchboard and caused a short-circuit. The Marbella has 27 people aboard and is disabled and adrift.

Collision in Gulf of Mexico causes chemical spill

The Formosa Six (Liberian-registry 36,191-dwt tanker built in 1995, operated by Formosa Plastics), carrying ethylene dichloride, and the bulk carrier Flora, which was empty, collided 0115 12 April in the Gulf of Mexico, three kilometers/two miles south of the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River. Some of the tanker's cargo spilled, but evaporated quickly and broke down in the atmosphere. Ethylene dichloride, a flammible liquid, is used in the production of polyvinyl chloride and adhesives. The Formosa Six was last reported stable at an anchorage.

Romanian-registry ship, tug ground at Novorossiysk

The Arad (Romanian-registry 12,215-gt, 14,956-dwt dry cargo ship built in 1987, operated by A1 Team Shipping and Trading) ran aground at the outer entrance to the Port of Novorossiysk, Russia, on 14 April. The ship is carrying 12,970 tons of bagged rice and suffered engine problems. While attempting to refloat the ship, the tug Orion also ran aground.

Russian-registry ship uses Morse Code after disabled off the Netherlands

The Vera (Russian-registry 1,750-dwt dry cargo ship) was disabled recently when a bridge window broke during bad weather. Water that entered through the hole shut down electrical equipment on the bridge, and the ship drifted towards Terschelling Island, the Netherlands. The only communication equipment working was a 500 KHz broadcasting unit, which the crew used to send a CW (Morse Code) distress signal. A station in Ostend, Belgium, received the signal and the ship was assisted by tugs.

Containerships collide in Istanbul

The Pelfisher (Maltese-registry 4,345-gt, 6,107-dwt containership built in 1977, operated by Sarlis Container Services S.A.) collided with the Sun Pegasus (Romanian-registry 7,580-gt, 8,275-dwt containership built in 1989) while docking at Hayderpasa in Istanbul, Turkey, on 16 April.

Loaded oil tanker grounds in Lake Maracaibo channel

The Corelli (Maltese-registry 38,720-dwt tanker built in 1975, owned by Gemarfin S.A. and operated by Vecomar Shipping Management S.A.) ran aground 10 April in the outer navigation channel of Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, between buoys 21 and 23. The ship, carrying 33,000 tons of crude oil, was refloated at 1800 and continued its voyage for Petroleo de Venezuela S.A.'s Isla refinery on Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles. The ship, with a draft of 11.2 meters/36.6 feet, was undamaged when it ran aground on accumulated fine sand in 10 meters/34 feet of water, three hours after sailing.

Ro/ro rams gantry crane in Sydney

The Toba (34,310-dwt ro/ro built in 1979, operated by Wilhelmsen Lines) struck a Paceco container crane at the White Bay wharf in Sydney, Australia, on 13 April. No one was injured, but the rail-mounted gantry collapsed onto the wharf and was extensively damaged. It has been written off. The Toba had minor damage.

Barge rams fleeting area near New Orleans

A barge that broke away from a tow collided with barges in a fleeting area on the Mississippi River south of New Orleans early 15 April. A section of the river was closed 90 minutes.

Algolake aground in the St. Mary's River

The Algolake (Canadian-registry 19,278-gt, 32,043-dwt, 16,621, 224-meter/736-foot bulk carrier built in 1977 by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. at Collingwood, Canada; owned and operated by Algoma Central Marine) ran aground the night of 17 April approaching Algoma Steel while downbound in the St. Mary's River with taconite. The ship is taking on water with damage to the No. 1 and 2 ballast tanks. Some of the cargo is being lightered to a barge owned by Purvis Marine Ltd.

Svendborg runs aground at Goole

The Svendborg (Antigua and Barbuda-registry 2,730-gt, 2,930-dwt dry cargo ship built in 1984, operated by Brise Schiffahrts G.m.b.H.) ran aground at the approaches to the Port of Goole, England, on 16 April. The ship was carrying lumber with a crew of seven.

Pan Dynamic fouls propeller in Alaska

The propeller of the Pan Dynamic (South Korean-registry 26,717-dwt bulk carrier built in 1985, operated by Pan Ocean Shipping Co. Ltd.) fouled its propeller on 2 April and was in danger of drifting aground in Kazakof Bay, Alaska. The ship set both anchors and released its stern mooring lines, but the lines wrapped around the propeller and shaft while still attached to a stern mooring buoy. The tug Kodiak King and the U.S. Coast Guard's Balsam-class Seagoing Buoy Tender U.S.C.G.C. Firebrush (WLB 393) assisted the ship and escorted it out of the bay.

Russian-registry ship loses power at dock

The Sibirskiy (Russian-registry 3,743-gt vessel) lost power 14 April in Miyako Bay, Japan. Lines fouled the ship's propellers as it unloaded cargo in Miyako. The ship docked at the port 13 April.

Barge capsizing closes section of the Houston Ship Channel

Correcting previous information, a section of the Houston Ship Channel from mile 52 to mile 56 closed to ships 10 April after a barge capsized at 0950 near Texas City, Texas. The accident, in which the barge capsized in the wake of an outbound ship, dumped two 9.8-meter/32-foot cylindrical tanks carrying zinc bromide and four tanks carrying pellets. Brown Water Marine, which owns the barge, has hired T&T Marine Ways Inc. to recover the tanks. The barge has been towed into shallow waters of Dickinson Bay, and by 11 April, three tanks were found. On 13 April, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers vessel found that the channel was clear and draft restrictions were lifted but navigation was limited to one-way at a time. On 15 April, deep-draft ships were instructed not to overtake other vessels in a 1,600-meter/5,400-foot area near mile 54. One-way restrictions were lifted but are at the discretion of pilots.

I.O.P.C.F. sets limit on Nakhodka claims

The International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund said 14 April it will maintain the level of provisional compensation to a maximum of 60 percent of the amount claimed in the oil spill from the Nakhodka (Russian-registry 13,157-gt, 20,471-dwt tanker built in 1970, operated by Primorsk Shipping Co. and owned by Prisco Traffic Ltd.). The ship broke in half at 0250 2 Jan. in the Sea of Japan, about 130 kilometers/80.6 miles northeast of the Oki Islands, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. Thirty-one of the 32 crew were rescued and the master was killed. The Nakhodka was carrying 19,000 tons of grade C heavy fuel, or 19 million liters/five million gallons or 133,000 barrels, from China to Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. The spill is believed to have been five million liters/1.3 million gallons or 5,000 tons. Total damage could total 20 billion Japanese yen. As of March 31, 2.6 billion yen/U.S.$20 million had been claimed. The maximum amount of compensation by the I.O.P.C.F. is 22.5 billion yen.

Report on fire aboard the Ambassador

An investigation into a fire aboard the Ambassador (Vanuatu-registry 37,263-dwt bulk carrier built in 1983, owned by ULS Marbulk Inc. and operated by Barber) on 31 Dec., 1994, has concluded that visibility problems due to mineral dust slowed efforts to combat the fire. The vessel was unloading rock phosphate at the Port of Belledune, Canada, when a fire began on its conveyor belt system. The vessel had considerable damage. Vanuatu hired Brian Thorne, who had worked for the Canadian Transportation Safety Board and had also been a chairman of the Marine Accident Investigators' International Forum, to investigate. He concluded that the crew could not see the fire as it started due to the heavy dust. The fire likely was caused by the transfer belt burning after coming in contact with an overheated belt roller. The crew, local firefighters and the company representatives were praised for their efforts in poor weather. Thorne recommended that every section of the tunnel and loop casing be cooled by a high-pressure waterjet, that the crew be given high-visibility breating year, the ventilation system must be improved and the chief and deputy chief of the emergency response unit at Belledune should be trained in shipboard firefighting.

(AT) LAST...BUT NOT LEAST...

Largest yacht in the world to be built

Sultan Sir Muda Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzadin Waddaula, the Sultan of Brunei, has reportedly ordered the largest yacht in the world from a shipyard in Bremen, German. The yacht, which will cost 100 million German marks/U.S.$60 million, will be fitted with an interior from Hellerau in Dresden, Germany, costing 15 million marks/U.S.$9 million. The largest yacht currently is the Abdullah Asis, a 146-meter/480-foot vessel owned by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

DDG 68, first Bath-built ship designed for mixed crews, to be commissioned

The U.S. Navy's Arleigh Burke-class Guided-Missile Destroyer U.S.S. The Sullivans (DDG 68) will be commissioned at 1100 19 April at Stapleton Pier on Staten Island in New York. DDG 68 is named for George, Francis, Joseph, Madison and Albert Sullivan, five brothers from Waterloo, Iowa. Known for having the motto "we stick together," the brothers enlisted in the Navy on the condition that they serve on the same ship. The Sullivans were assigned in February 1942 to the light cruiser U.S.S. Juneau (CL 52). On 12 Nov., 1942, the ship fought during the Battle of Guadalcanal, but early the next morning, the ship was hit by a torpedo and sank. Most of the crew was killed, including the five Sullivan brothers. U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the U.S. Department of the Navy to name its next ship in their honor. The U.S.S. The Sullivans (DD 537), a Fletcher-class destroyer, received nine battle stars in World War II and two in the Korean Conflict. The ship is now a museum in Buffalo, N.Y. DDG 68 was authorized in fiscal year 1992, ordered 8 April, 1992, laid down at General Dynamics Corp.'s Marine Division/Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, on 31 July, 1994, and was launched 12 Aug., 1995. DDG 68 is the first ship built by Bath Iron Works that was designed to accomodate male and female crewmembers. About 12 percent of the 341 crew are women. Kelly Sullivan Loughren, granddaughter of Albert Sullivan, is the ship's sponsor. Cmdr. Gerard D. Roncolato is the commanding officer. The ship will be homeported at U.S. Naval Station Mayport, Fla.

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