Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Hanjin Ship Can't Dock Because It Has No Plan to Leave

Failed South Korean cargo line Hanjin Shipping found the money to unload a full container ship waiting outside a New York-area port. But before the vessel was allowed to dock, it faced another problem: a plan to get back out to sea. The predicament of the Hanjin Miami, one of 10 U.S.-bound ships stranded by the Hanjin bankruptcy, illustrates one way that disputes over ships, ocean containers and even truck trailers to haul the shipping boxes have stranded at sea some $14 billion of goods around the world. Since filing for court receivership on August 31, the world’s seventh-largest container carrier has caused chaos for many retailers at a time when they are getting goods for the holiday shopping season. The National Retail Federation on Tuesday urged U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to find a way to clear up the confusion. “The impact on small and medium-sized companies could be particularly devastating if this situation is not resolved in a timely manner,” the group said in a letter. Hanjin has the money to dock its Hanjin Miami, Federal Maritime Commissioner William Doyle, whose agency regulates international shipping, told an industry event on Friday. But the Miami has not been allowed in port because of a dispute about empty Hanjin shipping containers, which the Miami normally would load up as ballast to exit port. Without those empties, the ship “will not be able to depart the harbor because it would not have the air clearance to navigate under the Bayonne Bridge — even at a dead low tide,” said Doyle. Without a way to leave, the ship could tie up a berth.
“There are so many disputes right now attached to empty containers that the terminal is not going to load the empties back onto the ship,” Doyle said. By Tuesday evening, two sources familiar with negotiations said that the Miami had been scheduled to dock and that it would pick up empty containers to leave port. Shipping tracking site said it was due to arrive on Thursday and depart the next day. An attorney for Maher Terminal, which operates the marine terminal in Newark where the HanjinMiami is expected to dock, declined to comment. The Hanjin Miami is currently off the U.S. East Coast, about 300 miles (480 km) from New York, according to Reuters Eikon data. The Bayonne Bridge, which held the title of world’s longest arch bridge for 45 years after it opened in 1931, presents a unique challenge to Hanjin. But other ports also are struggling with questions of who pays for terminal charges and what to do with empty containers. The complexity increased on Monday after a South Korean judge toldHanjin to cancel its ship charter agreements and return empty vessels to their owners. In the wake of the decision A spokeswoman for Reederei and a U.S. lawyer for Hanjin did not respond to requests for comment. Port terminals, meanwhile, have stopped accepting returns of empty shipping containers because they doubt Hanjin will pay to store them. “The Hanjin boxes are radioactive. Nobody wants to take responsibility for them,” said Mark Hirzel, chairman of the Los Angeles Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association Inc.
As containers on chassis pile up in far-flung storage lots, it has created a shortage of the trailers used to transport containers on land. Darren Azman, an attorney for Bermuda-based Textainer Group Holdings Ltd said cargo owners and other Hanjin parties are working out an agreement that they hope will normalize the movement of shipping containers. But U.S. retailers and manufacturers who own the cargo are caught in the confusion. Alex Rasheed, president of Pacific Textile and Sourcing Inc, a Los Angeles-headquartered importer and wholesaler of apparel, is anxious to receive $300,000 worth of seasonal fall clothing in two containers on the Hanjin Jungil, which is waiting off the coast of Southern California. “We’re going to start feeling the pressure unless there is some kind of resolution,” Rasheed said. Hanjin‘s bankruptcy also has U.S. exporters that were relying on the company scrambling to find alternatives, including flying goods to foreign markets at a loss, said Hirzel. “I’ve even heard about air transport of agriculture exports,” Hirzel said. “Economically, it’s a guaranteed loser … The only reason you would do that is to meet an order to get a contract in the future.”

Italian Navy Ship Docks In Iran

Iranian media says an Italian navy ship has docked in the first official visit by a Western naval boat in years. The semi-official ISNA news agency on Saturday says the frigate Euro will visit other Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf.

Italian Frigate Euro F575

The visit comes two weeks after an Italian navy delegation visited the capital, Tehran. The Italian navy posted a picture on its Twitter account Saturday showing an Iranian girl handing flowers to an Italian officer in the southern port of Bandar Abbas. It says this is the first Italian military ship to visit Iran in 15 years. Iranian forces have had a series of tense encounters with U.S. naval vessels over the past year. Iran briefly detained 10 U.S. sailors in January after their boats drifted into Iranian waters.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

U.S.-Philippine Combat Drills Announced Under Critical Duterte

Philippine military officials on Thursday announced the first large-scale combat exercises between U.S. and Filipino forces under President Rodrigo Duterte, who has been critical of American security policies. Military officials said the annual maneuvers by about 1,400 U.S. military personnel and 500 Philippine marines will involve amphibious landing and live-fire exercises at a northern gunnery range from Oct 4 to 12. Describing himself as a socialist, Duterte has had an uneasy relationship with the U.S.
He has said he is charting a foreign policy not dependent on the U.S., a treaty ally, and has taken steps to revive ties with China, which had been strained under his predecessor over longstanding territorial conflicts. He repeated in a speech Thursday that he would not allow Filipino forces to conduct joint patrols with the U.S. military in the disputed South China Sea because that could spark an armed conflict in Philippine territory. He has also said he wants U.S. forces out of the country's south, where he said minority Muslims resent the presence of American troops. Still, Duterte has said he will not abrogate the mutual defense treaty with the U.S. and will maintain the long alliance with America.

Monday, September 19, 2016

At Least 13 Reported To Be Killed In Thailand Boat Accident

At least 13 people were killed Sunday when a double-decker passenger boat carrying more than 100 people capsized in a river north of Bangkok, Thai media reported. More than 30 people were hospitalized with injuries, but an unknown number were still missing after the accident, which occurred when the boat was involved in a collision Sunday afternoon while transporting passengers along the Chao Phraya river in Ayutthaya province, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Bangkok.
Thai rescue teams search for victims after a boat capsized at Chao Phraya River in Ayuthaya Province, Thailand, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016.
It was not immediately clear what the boat had collided with. TV Channel 7 and other media cited rescue workers as saying that 13 people were killed. Police Col. Surapong Thampitak told television broadcaster ThaiPBS that the passengers were Thai Muslims traveling to a religious ceremony. ThaiPBS quoted Harbor Department official Surasak Sansombat as saying that the boat's listed capacity was 50 passengers, and that it probably capsized from overloading and because there was a strong current in the river at the time. No foreigners were reported to be among the victims of the accident. Rescue efforts were continuing Sunday evening, but were being hampered by rain and darkness.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Two Dozen Crew Stranded On Hanjin Container Ship Off Victoria

Two dozen crewmen have been stuck for more than two weeks on the Hanjin Vienna, a huge container ship anchored on Constance Bank, south of Victoria, as service agencies in Victoria and Vancouver try to help them out. At the same time, another 24 crewmen are on board a sister ship, Hanjin Scarlet, detained off Prince Rupert since Wednesday. The Vienna was at Deltaport Terminal at Roberts Bank when it was detained on Sept. 1 as creditors seeking at least $3.6 million went to federal court against its owner, Hanjin Shipping, which is in receivership in South Korea. Hanjin Shipping sought court protection from its creditors in South Korea after the creditors rejected a restructuring plan and financiers wouldn’t provide additional credit. Before the Vienna left Roberts Bank, the chaplain for the Mission to Seafarers in Vancouver visited the ship to ensure that everyone was paid, which they had been, said Kathryn Murray, manager of the organization’s Vancouver office, on Friday. “He took them a bunch of bread, fresh vegetables and fruit. They were able to get fresh provisions brought in,” Murray said. From there, the 279-metre-long Vienna went to Constance Bank, where it has been parked ever since, moored outside of shipping lanes. “The captain says that their spirits are good. They have all been able to call home, so their families at least know what is going on,” Murray said. Crewmen were given a card that allows them to exchange a few messages with their families via the Internet, she said.
 The crew is international but Murray could not say what their nationalities are. Now that 16 days have passed, “They are probably starting to run out of fresh supplies,” she said. The Victoria Lighthouse Ministry to Seafarers, which works with the Mission, is watching over the Vienna’s crew, Murray said. Cecil Klue, of the Lighthouse Ministry, was reluctant to provide more information about its role, but in a text message said that two weeks at sea is “very little for a salted sailor.” In Prince Rupert, crewmen came ashore for a time and received phone cards from the Lighthouse Ministry, Murray said. The Salvation Army gave them a “large chunk of money so they were able to buy provisions,” she said. “It’s really a community of helpers. These guys, they are very vulnerable right now.” The Hanjin Scarlet off-loaded cargo at the Port of Prince Rupert’s Fairview Terminal Sept. 7 after terminal operator DP World and CN Rail struck a deal to move stranded cargo due to come off at the port.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Navy Wants to Unplug From Some Networks to Stay Ahead of Cyberattacks

For the Navy, the best defense against a high-tech enemy may be a low-tech strategy. After decades of building equipment, aircraft and ships designed to communicate with each other and back to shore, the Navy is now looking to "selectively disconnect" its systems to minimize vulnerability to cyberattacks, said Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, commander of the Naval Surface Warfare Center. "We're going back now and trying to selectively disconnect things and slow down some of these connections and only do it where we think it makes sense, where it's safe to do it," Selby told an audience at the AFCEA West conference in San Diego. "We've got to be more judicious with the things we connect to the internet or to shore, those kinds of vulnerabilities." Speaking to following his briefing, Selby acknowledged that reaching this network-optional goal was a multi-step endeavor and could take a long time. "[Naval Sea Systems Command] is in the process of finding out which systems should be disconnected and which systems should be hooked up, so that's kind of an ongoing process," he said.
Naval Surface Warfare Center Commander Rear Adm. Lorin Selby
This initiative, he said, was connected with CYBERSAFE, a new strategy introduced by the Navy last year to promote better cyber hygiene and minimize system vulnerabilities. The program is modeled after SUBSAFE, which was introduced after the sinking of the nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Thresher in 1963 to ensure subs had the best possible chance of resurfacing safely. Selby referred to comments by Vice Adm. Ted "Twig" Branch, the Navy's head of information warfare, who noted that it took 20 years to implement SUBSAFE successfully after the program was first launched. In the end, Selby envisions a system that will be able to disconnect and reconnect at a commander's discretion without affecting normal military duties. "Whether it's ships, submarines, aircraft, whatever it is -- there's a point where you say, you know what, I think I'm going into an unsafe environment, I'm going to disconnect. I want to be able to operate off the network for a while, do my job, whatever my job is, and then when I want to, when it's safer, I want to plug back in," Selby said. "So it's network optional warfare. Networked or not. And when I'm not, I've got enough organic systems on my ship or submarine that I can still fight the battle and do what I need to do."

Monday, August 31, 2015

Indonesian Navy Nab Malaysian Ship Hijacking Suspect

The Indonesian Navy has detained the suspected mastermind behind the hijacking of Malaysian oil tanker, MT Orkim Harmony. Local English newspaper, The Jakarta Post quoted Navy spokesman Col M. Zainudin as saying the Navy’s Western Fleet Quick Response (WFQR) IV team had nabbed the Indonesian suspect at an apartment in Grogol Petamburan, West Jakarta on Thursday. He said yesterday, the man was suspected of being the mastermind behind the hijacking of the Malaysian-flagged vessel. The suspect is currently in custody of the Navy Military Police in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta where he is being questioned.
Orkim Harmony
The 7,300 deadweight tonne Orkim Harmony was hijacked on June 11 about 30 nautical miles from the Malaysian port of Tanjung Sedili carrying about 50,000 barrels of RON95 fuel. The fuel on the ship was owned by Petronas and operated by Malaysia’s Orkim Ship Management. On board the vessel were a 22-man crew comprising 16 Malaysians, five Indonesians and a Myanmar national.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Navy's New Maritime Strategy Includes More Destroyers To Pacific

U.S. Navy leaders' plans to forward deploy two more destroyers to Japan and base another attack submarine in Guam appear to be part of a new maritime strategy expected to be released by the Navy next month. While most of the details of the new strategy for the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard will not yet be discussed by Navy officials, the effort does include a new examination of the sea-services' ability to forward deploy and project power in global hotspots such as the Pacific theater and Middle East. "The sea services have updated the maritime strategy in response to changes in the global security environment, new strategic guidance and a changed fiscal environment," said Lt. Timothy Hawkins, a Navy spokesman, told The new maritime strategy, called "A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower: Forward Engaged Ready," will provide a comprehensive overview and build upon Navy priorities such as the need for deterrence, Hawkins explained. "The principles of our maritime strategy largely remain the same from 2007. It continues to prioritize and value forward presence while emphasizing the continued need for the primary functions of a maritime service which are – deterrence, power projection, sea-control and maritime security," he said. While Navy officials did not specify whether the new strategy takes up the issue of the Pentagon's Pacific rebalance, officials told reporters that the document does address the challenges maritime forces face when it comes to accessing and operating in more "contested" environments. Regarding the Pacific rebalance, Hawkins did re-iterate that the Navy plans to base as much as 60-percent of its fleet in the Pacific region by 2020. Also, speaking Feb. 26 before the House Appropriations Committee – Defense subcommittee hearing on the Navy budget, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert made reference to the Navy's ongoing push to rebalance to the Pacific. Greenert said the Navy's force of attack submarines based in Guam will be increased this year. He also made reference to the fact that two additional destroyers will be forward deployed to Japan. By the end of this year, the number of attack submarines the Navy rotates through Guam will jump from three to four, service officials said. Also, the Navy's aegis-capable a guided missile cruiser, the USS Chancellorsville, will rotate through Japan by the end of 2015, service officials said.
USS Chancellorsville (CG-62)
At the moment, the Navy operates one carrier, seven destroyers, four mine-sweeping vessels, two cruisers and six amphibious ships from Japan, Hawkins said. In addition, the Navy has included the rotation of Littoral Combat Ships through Singapore, the deployment of the P-8 surveillance plane and a rotation of Marines through Australia as portions of the Pacific rebalance. "We have the USS Fort Worth Littoral Combat Ship on deployment over there out of Singapore. When she completes a 16-month deployment, the next ship that comes over will stay. Then another will join and then two more -- so we will have four Littoral Combat Ships by the end of 2017 in Singapore," Greenert told lawmakers. The Chief of Naval Operations also detailed plans to base the Navy's carrier-based variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C, in the Pacific region. "Our Joint Strike Fighter will deploy to the Western Pacific by the end of this decade. So you see the trend we are putting all the forces out there, either forward stationed or they will deploy there first," Greenert added. Naval threat assessments and technology development have also squarely been aimed at preparing the force to operate in the Pacific theater, Greenert explained to lawmakers. "We have benchmarked anti-air, anti-submarine, electronic attack and cyber all to how they would perform in the Western Pacific against potential adversaries out there," he said. Greenert also said U.S. relations with allies in the region remained strong, citing Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam. He also added that new partnership opportunities were emerging with India.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

US Icebreaker Polar Star Reaches Boat Trapped In Ice Near Antarctica

Rescuers on Friday reached an Australian fishing boat trapped in the ice near Antarctica with 26 people aboard, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement. The Coast Guard dispatched the icebreaker Polar Star on Tuesday to rescue the 207-foot Antarctic Chieftan, after the vessel damaged three of its four propeller blades and lost the ability to move in the thick ice, the Coast Guard said. Polar Star traveled more than 430 miles, encountering snowy conditions and large icebergs before reaching the vessel stuck about 900 miles northeast of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.
USCGC Polar Star
"It is with a great sense of pride that we are able to assist Antarctic Chieftain," Polar Star Commanding Officer Capt. Matthew Walker said in a statement. "Search and rescue has always been our core mission and Polar Star is demonstrating the Coast Guard's commitment to saving lives in all the world's oceans." The Polar Star will attempt to free the fishing boat from the ice. The New Zealand fishing boat Janas will then escort or tow the vessel to the nearest safe harbor, the Coast Guard said.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Fire Aboard Ship At New Zealand Port

Emergency services are responding to a ship fire at Port Taranaki. The fire is in a shipment of wheat on the Poavosa Wisdom, which arrived from Victoria today. Smoke can be seen coming from the bow of the ship.

Poavosa Wisdom
A fire engine is parked at the wharf with a ladder extended towards the bow. Five other ships are in port. New Plymouth fire brigades were alerted by port security about 1pm

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Volunteers Help Stranded Crew Of Ship Off UAE Coast

The nine Indians and two Pakistanis on board the Iron Monger 3 have been rationing food, water and fuel brought by volunteers and the Indian Consulate. The tanker was headed for a scrapyard in Asia but ran out of fuel and dropped anchor 10 nautical miles off the coast of Khorfakkan when the ship’s owner went bust. The Taipei Times reported Taiwan Maritime Transportation Co Ltd (TMT) has filed for bankruptcy with a total debt of more than $800 million. The captain of the vessel, Qazi Iqbal Sami, told 7DAYS: “We just want to see some land. The men are very distressed and want to go home.”
Iron Monger 3
However, neither the captain nor the crew can desert the vessel. Sami said: “We can’t leave even if we want to. By regulation, a ship cannot be left unmanned. We don’t have permits to leave unless a relief crew is sent in our place.” The ship is in UAE waters and supplies are being sent to Iron Monger 3 by the Mission to Seafarers in Dubai. The senior chaplain, Dr Paul Burt, said: “The situation needs to be resolved by arresting the vessel as the owners have filed for bankruptcy... but even in a best case scenario we are probably looking at another six months.”

Friday, March 08, 2013

'Every Man For Himself' As Ship Sank

Korean officers have been heavily criticised over the sinking of a fishing boat off the New Zealand coast which saw them leave their crew to fend for themselves. Coroner Richard McElrea reported today on the sinking of the 38-year-old Korean flagged trawler Oyang 70 which sank on August 18, 2010, 740 kilometres east of Otago. Six men were killed, including Korean skipper Hyoniki Shin, 41, who chose to go down with the ship. Three bodies were recovered, and two other crew are believed to have been trapped in the ship when it rolled over. Oyang 70, owned by Sajo Oyang Corporation of Korea was one of a fleet of foreign charter fishing vessels, under charter to Southern Storm Fishing (2007) Ltd of Christchurch. McElrea conducted public hearings in Wellington last April but the final report was delayed after the Korean company objected to its adverse findings. He said of the 51 people on board, the eight Koreans held positions of responsibility while Shin was described by witnesses as "an angry man", "very authoritarian" and "not collegiate". The ship sank due to "mismanagement by its master" who ordered that the crew continue to haul in a very large net of southern blue whiting despite the crew pleading with him to cut it free. "His attempt to haul a 120 tonne bag of fish on the trawl deck of a vessel with marginal stability set in place a catastrophic and sudden chain of events that he and his Korean command personnel were unable to counter," the report said. Shin failed to react in any professional manner. When it became clear the ship was sinking the Koreans did nothing to organise the evacuation of the Indonesian and Filipino crew. The deckhands initially had no life jackets while one witness said the Koreans all wore life jackets. An Indonesian crewman gave evidence that the "Chief Officer (with glasses) and other Koreans could all save themselves on one life raft which comprised of three engine people, factory supervisor, deck hand and one Chinese cook . . . amazed Korean deck boss not on deck or talked to deck staff". There was no evacuation plan in effect: "It was a matter of every man for himself". The order to abandon ship was given in Korean and many crew did not hear the alarms. The crew on the factory floor were "bizarrely left processing fish until they were in water of a metre's depth", the coroner said. Only the Koreans were trained in deploying life rafts but there was no evidence that they did and it was left to the crew "to do their best in the circumstances". Oyang 70 had left Port Chalmers on August 14 with almost empty fish holds with "marginal stability" the report said. Only one fuel tank was full creating a "free surface" effect in the other tanks which meant the ship's centre of gravity kept moving. A "prudent master" would have taken steps to prevent this. "The master, for commercial reasons, may well have chosen to sail with the vessel in a 'tender' state and with marginal stability." Oyang 70's watertight integrity was "fair to average" but it was operated "with routine violation of maritime rules and principles of good seamanship".
Oyang 70
The water-tight door to the engine room was permanently open - resulting in it flooding. "The vessel was not run in an orderly fashion and there was a poor safety culture," the report said. At 2.50am on the day of the sinking the big net came in and when the crew realised its size, the bosun asked the first officer to stop bringing it in. The first officer said the decision had to be made by the captain, and he went to wake him. "The master ordered the net to be hauled," the report said. It could not be fully retrieved because of its size and instead pulled the ship over. The coroner noted evidence from a helmsman that Shin "was more interested in catching fish than boat safety". Dumping fish would have had a "loss of face" and a financial cost, of about $13,000. The ship went into a list and water flooded in through a factory deck offal chutes that had been left open. After Shin failed to right the ship he gave a command in Korean to abandon ship at 4.30am. "The navigator last saw the master in the wheelhouse where he handed the master a life jacket which he refused to accept," the coroner said. "The master was sitting hugging a pole in the wheelhouse and crying after having drunk from a bottle." An Indonesian crewman gave a statement that they during the sinking there was "no alarm, no instructions, shows The coroner said it was admirable that the Indonesian and Filipino crew looked after each other. "There is no evidence of qualified personnel carrying out defined tasks in ensuring the orderly evacuation of crew," he said. The coroner said it was a miracle 45 people survived and hailed the rescue staged by the Nelson based Talley's ship Amaltal Atlantis. "All parties associated with the inquest acknowledged the rescue operation undertaken by the Amaltal Atlantis was of the highest order," he said. McElrea was dismissive of a Korean Maritime Safety Tribunal report into the sinking, saying: "No reliance is placed on this undated and unsigned document procured on plain paper without any official setting." McElrea ruled that the three crew whose bodies were found and were subject of the inquest, Yuniarto Heru, Samsuri and Taefur, had all drowned. In an annex the coroner noted that Southern Storm and Sajo Oyang had objected to the evidence taken from police records of interviews with survivors in Christchurch. "The information gathered from survivors has at times been contradictory and confusing, as indicated in the Findings," he said. "However by careful analysis of this evidence, it has been possible to draw some important conclusions." Footnote: Oyang 70's sinking prompted the University of Auckland Business School and Fairfax Media to investigate extensive abuse of foreign charter fishing boat low wage crews. Parliament is currently considering a bill to require all fishing boats to be New Zealand flagged – and thus fully under New Zealand law.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Russian Ship Capsizes In Sea Of Japan, 20 Crew Members Missing

A Russian fishing vessel has capsized in the Sea of Japan, and emergency officials say 20 Russian and Indonesian crew members are missing. The far eastern branch of Russia's emergency services says 10 crew members were found in a lifeboat and rescued by a passing freighter.
Shans -101 Capsized In The Sea of Japan
The emergency services say the fishing vessel Shans-101 failed to make contact at the scheduled time and the ship owner reported it missing on Sunday afternoon. A search was begun by air and sea, and late Sunday the vessel was found capsized off of Russia's Pacific coast. Shortly afterward, the freighter Anatoly Torchinov reported rescuing six Russian and four Indonesian sailors from the lifeboat. Emergency officials say 13 Russians and seven Indonesians are missing.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Israeli Satellites Spot Iranian Ship Being Stockpiled With Weapons For Gaza

Israeli spy satellites have reportedly spotted an Iranian ship being stockpiled with weapons that is suspected to be headed toward the volatile Gaza region. The shipment was prepared last week on the day that Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire, according to Haaretz, citing a report from the Sunday Times of London.
“We believe that Iranian warships anchored in Eritrea will accompany the weapons ship as soon as it enters the Red Sea,” an Israeli source told the newspaper. The shipment may have Fajr-5 rockets, the type that Hamas fired at Israel, and other missiles that could be positioned in Sudan. The ship is expected to travel through the Red Sea and alongside Sudan and Egypt, the newspaper said.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Antarctic Ship Free From Ice But Counting Cost

There may be cuts to the Australian Antarctic Division's summer program to make up for the cost of its supply ship being stuck in ice. The Aurora Australis was icebound for about three weeks near Casey Station, but broke free over night. The division's operations manager Robb Clifton says while it is not unusual for the ship to get stuck, it is an expensive event. Mr Clifton says it costs tens of thousands of dollars to run the supply ship every day.
"It certainly has an impact, we're working through that at the moment to see what our various options are for the rest of the season," he said. "There's no doubt it will have some impact so it's a case for us now, in some cases, switching over to plan B and getting on with the season." Mr Clifton says the ship should arrive in Hobart this week. "We're hoping that will be sometime on Friday or Saturday, it depends what the weather's like between where they are and Hobart." "At the moment they're going along really well but we do expect them to hit a bit of rougher weather on the way and that will slow them down a bit."

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Cmdr. Fired After Boozy Port Visit

The commander and top officers of a San Diego-based Navy frigate have been relieved of duty after a rowdy, booze-fueled port visit to Vladivostok, Russia. Cmdr. Joseph E. Darlak, skipper of the USS Vandegrift, was removed Friday by Capt. John L. Schultz after an investigation "due to loss of confidence after demonstrating poor leadership and failure to ensure the proper conduct of his wardroom officers" during the three-day September stop, the Navy said in a statement.
Executive officer Lt. Cmdr. Ivan A. Jimenez and the ship's chief engineer and operations officer were also relieved "for personal conduct involving use of alcohol and not adhering to established liberty policies," the statement said. The names of the two lower-ranked officers were not released because their positions are not considered public under Navy policy, and Navy officials did not give specifics on the misbehavior of any of the officers. In a post on the official Facebook page of the Navy's 7th Fleet, the commander celebrated the visit as it began on Sept. 20. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to visit Vladivostok and experience all the city has to offer," Darlak said in the post. "Our sailors are especially looking forward to making new friends."
The officers were relieved during a port visit in Guam, and they'll be temporarily reassigned in San Diego pending more possible administrative actions, the Navy Times reported. Darlak's ouster comes just over three months after he assumed command of the Vandegrift. He previously served as executive officer of the destroyer Stethem. Capt. H. Thomas Workman, a deputy commander from the ship's squadron, has taken over the Vandegrift until it returns to San Diego at the end of its seven-month deployment later this month, the statement said, and the Navy emphasizes that the ship remains fully ready for any mission.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

USNS Choctaw County Ready for Service

The USNS Choctaw County was seen up close Saturday at Austal USA in Mobile. The ship was christened inside the hangar, beneath the vessel. "I wont say this is the milestone I'll say its one of the many milestones that we have achieved and will continue to achieve," says Brian Leathers, Interim President at Austal. It's the second joint high speed vessel to come from Austal's Mobile shipyard. Secretary of the Navy, Ray Maybus, was the keynote speaker.
"It's going to be carrying marines and soldiers vast distances across the pacific, well every ocean that we've got," the Secretary said. The USNS Choctaw County is named after three places; Choctaw County in Oklahoma, Choctaw County in Mississippi and Choctaw County in Alabama. Typically a Navy christening has one sponsor, but this time around there were 29 sponsors who all graduated from Ackerman High School in Choctaw County, Mississippi. It's also the same school Secretary Mabus graduated from.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Navy Ship Aids Panamanian Vessel

A Virginia-based Navy ship came to the aid of a Panamanian-flagged vessel near Yemen after its crew had a cargo-handling accident. The Winston S. Churchill responded to a distress call Monday.
The Navy says one of the Panamanian ship's crew members was killed in the accident and another required advanced medical care.
USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81)
The Winston S. Churchill conducted a medical evaluation, transporting the injured crew member by helicopter to a medical facility in Oman for treatment. The Winston S. Churchill is a guided missile destroyer based at Norfolk Naval Station. It is conducting counter-terrorism and maritime security operations in the Middle East.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sailor Dies After Taking Ill On A Cargo Ship

A sailor who took ill on board a cargo ship on the high seas has died after the vessel diverted to Bermuda to get him hospital treatment. The 52-year-old, who has not been identified, was a crewman on board the 21,000 ton Panamanian-registered, Japanese-owned Star Lily, which left Houston, Texas, last week.
The man became ill on board and the ship headed for Bermuda on Friday. But he died shortly afterwards. The ship will continue to Bermuda to allow the remains of their shipmate to be repatriated. It is expected to arrive early tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Clean transatlantic tanker rates hit by ship glut

Transatlantic tanker rates for refined petroleum products on top export routes were mostly steady on Wednesday although a growing glut of vessels kept the transatlantic market under pressure. Rates for medium-range tankers for 37,000 tonne cargoes from Rotterdam to New York route moved to W90.00, or $816 a day when translated into average earnings on Wednesday, from W90.00 or $853 a day on Tuesday and W90.56 or $749 a day last Wednesday. On Monday average earnings hit a record low. "The recent lack of activity in the transatlantic MR market has seen tonnage on the Continent swell, increasing the pressure on rates," broker SSY said. In April last year, rates reached their highest since 2008 on a jump in U.S. gasoline demand, helping reduce the number of tankers available for hire. Since then, average earnings have remained volatile. "Earnings conditions for MRs have deteriorated markedly in the last few months," consultants MSI said.
"Any summer gasoline import spike from the U.S. has yet to materialise with overall U.S. gasoline imports remaining low." Analysts said reduced refinery capacity in the Atlantic Basin could boost long-haul demand for the wider products tanker sector in coming years, helped by the delivery of fewer tankers. Typical Long Range 2 or LR2, 75,000 tonne shipments on the Middle East Gulf to Japan route were steady on at 98.95 in the worldscale measure of freight rates, from W98.27 on Tuesday and W96.85 last Wednesday. Long Range 1 tankers, carrying 55,000 tonne loads from the Middle East Gulf to Japan, were at W120.38 on Wednesday, from W120.58 on Tuesday and W121.91 last Wednesday. "We have an active week behind us, with charterers involved in both LR1 and LR2 segments interested in east and west destinations," broker Fearnleys said on Wednesday. In the Mediterranean, 30,000 tonne shipments ex-Algeria to southern Europe were at W128.78 on Wednesday, versus W128.78 on Tuesday and W131.11 last Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

U.S. Seizes Cargo Ship Suspected Of Carrying Stowaways

U.S. authorities in Newark, New Jersey seized a cargo ship with goods from India and Egypt on Wednesday after hearing what sounded like people stowed away inside a container on the vessel, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The container was buried beneath others and had not been opened hours after the ship was stopped. The vessel, Villa D'Aquarius, was stopped at 3 a.m. EDT (0700 GMT) at a standard checkpoint for incoming ships, the Ambrose Anchorage below the Verrazano Bridge in New York Harbor, Coast Guard spokesman Charles Rowe said. "The boarding team went aboard for a routine inspection. They heard sounds that were consistent with people being inside a container," Rowe said. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as well as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, were notified.

Villa D'Aquarius
Federal authorities rushed to receive the ship at the Newark dock, Rowe said. As of about 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT), the container remained unopened beneath a stack of others in the hold of the ship about 30 feet down from the deck, he said. "First it will be determined whether it can be opened as is," said Rowe. "If that is not feasible, the containers above it will be shifted, it will be put on the pier and we will find out what is inside." The ship, which was flying a Cyprus flag, made two stops in India, a final stop in Egypt and then headed for Newark, ultimately bound for Norfolk, Virginia. The container in question was supposed to be carrying machine parts and was to be delivered to Norfolk, Rowe said. A gangplank was pulled up to the vessel and crew members were departing the ship as federal authorities took control, Rowe said.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Russian 'Syria Arms' Ship Docks At Novorossiysk

A Russian warship which some media reports claimed was carrying arms destined for Syria has arrived at the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk on Friday, a spokesman said. The Nikolai Filchenkov, an amphibious ship, was en route from the Crimean port of Sevastopol, Black Sea Fleet spokesman Vyacheslav Trukhachev told RIA Novosti. "The military hardware, which the vessel delivered, will undergo planned repairs,"
Nikolai Filchenkov Amphibious Ship
Trukhachev said, adding that the ship will return to Sevastopol after it is unloaded next week. Western media reports last week asserted the Nikolai Filchenkov and another amphibious ship, the Caesar Kunikov, were heading to Syria, where Russia has its only naval base outside the former Soviet Union. The Russian military denied the reports. Pro-democracy protesters in Syria are fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a 15-month-old uprising which the UN says has claimed more than 12,000 lives.

Scores Still Missing After Asylum Ship Sinks Off Christmas Island

Australian authorities say around 90 asylum seekers are still missing in the Indian Ocean after a crowded refugee boat capsized between Indonesia and Australia’s Christmas Island. Around 110 people have been plucked alive from the waters. The vessel went down around 200 kilometres off Christmas Island.
Navy and merchant vessels are involved in the hunt for survivors backed by five aircraft. Refugees seeking asylum in Australia often do deals with smugglers in Indonesia before embarking on the dangerous journey in overcrowded boats. Four such vessels have gone down with fatal consequences since 2010.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Crews Assess Damage On Navy Ships That Collided

The U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Essex arrived to cheers in San Diego Bay on Thursday, 24 hours after it collided with a refueling tanker in the Pacific when the warship's steering apparently failed. Families of the ship's crew celebrated as the big ship pulled in. Andi Farquhr, wife of a 36-year-old sailor, said her husband called her from the ship and said something bad had happened. She said he told her there was a collision but gave no details. "I'm pretty sure it was scary," Farquhr said. The Wednesday morning accident between the Essex and the oiler USNS Yukon occurred about 120 miles off the coast of Southern California as the Essex was approaching the Yukon to be refueled, said Cmdr. Charlie Brown, a spokesman for the 3rd Fleet. There were no injuries or fuel spills, military officials said. Brown said the steering apparently stopped working on the 844-foot-long Essex, which was carrying 982 crew members on its way to San Diego for scheduled maintenance. It had spent the past 12 years based in Sasebo, Japan, as command ship for the Navy's Expeditionary Strike Group 7. The Essex was traveling with a new crew that came aboard for the trip to California. The ship recently underwent a crew swap with another amphibious assault ship, the Bonhomme Richard, as part of a standard procedure in the Navy to keep its ships operating. The Essex and Yukon were both able to continue toward San Diego despite the damage, which the Navy said did not compromise their fuel tanks or systems. The Yukon arrived at the Navy base in San Diego after 3 p.m. Wednesday with its crew of 82, including 78 civilian mariners and four military crew members. Brown said the damage was being assessed. He said he couldn't say how fast the ships were moving at the time of the crash because the Navy is still investigating the cause.

The accident occurred as the USS Essex was approaching the USNS Yukon to be refueled.
The standard speed for ships lining up to refuel at sea is about 13 knots, or 15 mph, Brown said. No lines or hoses had been connected because the two vessels were just approaching each other. The ships likely just bounced off each other, said maritime safety consultant James W. Allen. Even so, he said, with massive ships, it can be "a pretty hard bump that can bend metal" and cause dents. The Essex, known as the Iron Gator, resembles a small aircraft carrier, while the Yukon is 677 feet long. Navy ships routinely refuel at sea while under way. "They were probably so close there was no time to respond when the steering went out," said Allen, who served 30 years in the Coast Guard. Navy officials said it was the Essex's first collision. The ship, however, has had mechanical problems. The military publication Stars and Stripes reported in February that twice over a seven-month period, missions were scrapped because of mechanical or maintenance issues involving the 21-year-old flagship commissioned in San Diego. Navy spokesman Lt. Richard Drake at the time blamed it on wear and tear. 3rd Fleet officials said they could not comment on that since at the time the Essex was in the 7th Fleet in Japan. 7th Fleet officials could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday. The Yukon, which was launched in 1993, has been involved in at least two previous collisions, including on Feb. 27, 2000, when it collided with a 135-foot civilian cargo ship while trying to enter Dubai's Jebel Ali port in the United Arab Emirates. The Yukon sustained minor damage. Less than five months later, it was hit by the USS Denver during refueling off the coast of Hawaii. Both ships sustained heavy damage.

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