Saturday, December 31, 2005

Container Ship Stuck On Sand Bar Off Mexico's Northern Pacific Coast

A private U.S. company was working to rescue a container ship that has been hung up on a beach off Mexico's northern Pacific coast since Christmas Day, a Mexican port Captain confirmed.
The Panama drew onlookers to the beach off Ensenada when it ran aground.
The Antigua & Barbuda-registered barge, bearing the name APL Panama and originating in Oakland, was preparing to enter the Mexican port of Ensenada on Dec. 25 when it became stuck about 1.5 miles south of its destination, port Capt. Jose Luis Rios Hernandez told The Associated Press by telephone. Mexican officials hired a U.S company specializing in marine salvage operations to rescue the ship, but so far the company has had no luck, Hernandez said. The Captain added that he believed it might take as much as a month to free the ship's hull and propellers from the sand. The 850-foot-long ship was carrying about 35,000 tons of cargo, Rios said. Officials had not determined the cause of the mishap and the Captain of the ship had not yet given a statement, he said.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Explosives Cargo Missing

A consignment of over 100 tonnes of explosives on a merchant ship bound for Afghanistan has gone missing. The explosives were meant for use by Border Road Organization for road construction in Afghanistan and were being shipped on the MV Eugenia. On December 22, the MV Eugenia crew set sail from the Mumbai port. It was supposed to go to Iran before heading off to Jaranz in Afghanistan. But the ship has returned to Mumbai without the explosives. The Captain and five-member crew of the MV Eugenia have been detained in Mumbai and are being questioned by the police. The director of the shipping company Unimarine Limited Samsu Sheroff said the Captain had sent a message on December 23 saying one container of cargo had been lost as the ship hit choppy waters.
"When the ship was asked on December 24 to return to India, the Captain turned around to come to Mumbai and in the bargain other five containers on board were lost," he added. The explosives company, which shipped the consignment, says whatever happened is out of their hand. "Our responsibility ends once we hand over the cargo to the shipping agency. We have a letter from the shipping agency saying we have handed them the consignment. Now it's up to the government of India and the shipping company," said AN Gupta, MD Premier Explosives. But what makes it a hard story to accept is that explosives meant for other agencies remained unaffected.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Ship Captain Held Over Shanghaiing

Authorities on the Far East Russian island of Sakhalin have detained the captain of a Russian fishing vessel after searching the ship and finding 25 Ukrainians who were being used for slave labor, RIA-Novosti state news agency said.
The ship, the Pervorechensk, was searched by inspectors on December 17 and found to be carrying 25 tons of illegally fished crab along with 25 Ukrainian citizens who were listed as passengers on the ship's manifest, the agency said, quoting the regional prosecutor's office. The Ukrainians were tricked and forced to remain on the ship without a contract between February and August of this year, a spokeswoman for the Sakhalin regional prosecutor's office, Tatyana Kutuzova, was quoted as saying. "The labour of the foreign citizens was unpaid," Kutuzova said. "The Ukrainians were held by force for work at sea for more than half a year and deprived of food and water if they refused to work," she said. Under Russian law, the Ukrainians were classified as "slaves" between February and December 17 when the vessel was impounded, Kutuzova said.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Sailor Rescued From Sinking Boat

A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued a Sailor from his sinking boat in the Atlantic about 260 miles east of Jacksonville, officials said.
United States Coast Guard Jayhawk Helicopter
David Mast, 46, called for help after losing his main mast en route to the Bahamas, the Coast Guard said. His 44-foot sailing vessel began taking on water when its engines became disabled. A C-130 plane and a Jayhawk helicopter were dispatched after heavy seas prevented a nearby commercial vessel from reaching Mast's sailboat, officials said. The helicopter crew hoisted Mast to safety in 50-mph winds, officials said. Mast was in good condition and being treated at a Melbourne hospital, the Coast Guard said.

7 Navy Men Deserted From Danyawadi Naval Base In Arakan

7 Navy personnel deserted from Danyawadi naval base at Kyauk Pru, second largest city of Arakan, on 23 December with a cache of arms and ammunitions, said a town man yesterday.
”The news spreads in our town now as the army authority issued public notice to three townships namely Kyauk Pru, Rambree and Manaung regarding desertion of Navy men from Danyawadi naval base at Kyauk Pru,” he said. According to the public notice, 7 navy men fled with 7 automatic rifles and large amount of ammunitions by a motor boat on 23 December and the local people are requested to cooperate with Burmese army to capture them immediately. Now several army personnel from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 20 and 34 have been stationed at every major road out of the Island of Rambree since the Navy men deserted from naval base. According to the sources from travel agencies, a number of police teams are checking every bus, vehicles at Akyab(Sittwe) - Rangoon highway one after another, suspecting the deserters may flee by wearing local dresses. The Navy men deserted from Danyawadi naval base at Kyauk Pru at 11:00 p.m. on 23 December but the reason is still unknown, said the people.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Stowaways Rescued From Death On Container Ship

Ten Nigerian stowaways suffering from severe hypothermia were found on a container ship near Antwerp port. The stowaways were taken from the ship at the Kallo lock (Beveren-Waas) after their discovery by a tugboat crew and workers at the lock. Lightly dressed and suffering from severe hypothermia, the illegal immigrants had made the crossing from Lagos in Nigeria with barely any food and freshwater.
In the hours before their rescue, the stowaways had started drinking the salty Schelde River water just to survive. They were found in the ship's rudder room, barely protected from the December cold. "They were at the end of their strength and would not have made it to land," harbour pilot Frank De Cort said. The refugees were taken to the lock's medical post, where they said in broken English that two companions were missing. Some said they jumped overboard, whiled others said they were killed and then thrown overboard. Officially, they are listed as missing, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported. In further questioning, the illegal immigrants have claimed the captain of the vessel had allowed them on board. The captain has denied the allegations and is assisting investigations being carried out by the Dendermonde public prosecution office. A prosecution spokesman said the stowaways had quickly gone through their food and were drinking sea water to survive. However, there is talk that there was a latch that served as an opening into the rudder room and the prosecution office is investigating. The ship will remain for several days at the habour and the stowaways will probably be repatriated back to Nigeria. If the death of the two missing stowaway proves to a crime that occurred in Belgian waters, the prosecution office will conduct inquiries. The ship, Sint-Elmo, sails under the Maltese flag for the Naples-based shipping company Grimaldi. It set sail originated from Lagos in Nigeria and was en route to Livorno (Italy). Second-hand cars were to be loaded onto the ship at Antwerp. Most of the cars were destined for Africa. A second load of cars was also to be loaded onto the ship in Italy. The journey from Lagos to Antwerp takes nine days and the ship departed from Lagos on 9 December. Between 200 and 300 stowaways make it to Antwerp each year. They are mostly Africans and then predominantly Liberians and Nigerians. A captain who finds stowaways on board is bound by international law to supply them with basic care. Neither the Captain nor the Crew of a container ship Sint-Elmo were aware the stowaways were onboard, the Dendermonde public prosecution office said.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Navy Chaplain On Hunger Strike

It's almost Christmas, and US Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt is on a hunger strike that includes nightly prayers outside the White House. Lieutenant Klingenschmitt, an Evangelical Episcopal priest, says he won't eat until President Bush signs an executive order allowing military chaplains to pray according to their beliefs.
Lieutenant Klingenschmitt
Lieutenant Klingenschmitt, who began his fast on Tuesday, says Navy admirals have told him that he can't pray publicly in Jesus' name unless he's wearing civilian clothes. He's continuing to pray as the Bible says Jesus instructed, but not in uniform. More than 70 members of Congress and 170-thousand petitioners also are calling on President Bush to let chaplains pray according to their faith instead of being limited to generic invocations.

Seaman Smitten With Schoolgirl Set To Abandon Ship

A fisheries high school technician who has been punished for sexually harassing a girl on a school training ship while it was sailing off Hawaii in June is poised to resign, school board officials said.
The Fukuoka Prefectural Board of Education suspended the 48-year-old technician at Fukuoka Prefectural Fisheries High School in Fukutsu from duty for two months effective on Thursday, and is set to accept his resignation. "I was in love with her. I'm sorry for her," the technician was quoted as telling board officials. Earlier this year the technician, whose name has not been disclosed, sent a letter to the girl who was then 17 years old, asking her to date him, board officials said. He grabbed her hand on the school's training boat on the evening of June 20 while it was sailing off Hawaii on a training cruise, the officials said. He attempted to kiss her, but she escaped.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Kenyan Sailor Killed As Ship Sinks Off Tanzania

A ship sank in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania killing one Kenyan Sailor but 18 others were rescued, according to a maritime official. Andrew Mwangura, the program coordinator of the Seafarers Association said the MV First Carrier, registered in the Caribbeanand based in Kenyan port city of Mombasa, was destined for Dar es Salaam from the Comoros islands when it went down. Mwangura said the deceased Mohamed Poda, 54 sank as the cargo vessel which had full and empty containers on board was bound for Tanzania. "The ship had 19 passengers including the deceased all Kenyans and Tanzanians. But the cause of the sinking is not known. The 18 other crew members are safe," said Mwangura by telephone. According to Mwangura, the vessel is a sister ship to MV Ramora Bay Acor and Benta Daniel, which sank off the coast of Mozambique in 1999. At least 68 seafarers have died in Indian Ocean shipping accidents for about two decades ago, said Mwangura. "Arrangements are being made to fly the body home. I have contacted the deceased family in Mombasa," he said without saying when the body is due home.

Cargo Ship Sinks Off China

A Chinese cargo ship sank in high winds off China’s north-eastern coast, and rescuers were searching today for 13 missing crew members. The ship sank yesterday evening while trying to anchor at the port of Longkou. The vessel was “tilted by a huge wave, spilling all of the 14 people onboard into the sea,” the report said. It said one person was rescued and emergency crews were still looking for the others. The report didn’t give the identities or nationalities of the crew members, but nearly all sailors on Chinese ships are from China’s mainland. The ship was bound from the port of Shantou, north-east of Hong Kong on China’s south-eastern coast, to Laizhou in the north-east with a cargo of 3,400 tonnes of clay.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Australia Rejects Call To Rrefuse Docking Rights To Japanese Ship

The Australian govenment has dismissed calls by environmental group, Greenpeace, to delay or halt a Japanese whaling ship that is due to dock in the island state of Tasmania over the weekend.
Japanese whaling ship, Nisshin-Maru
The Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin-Maru is heading for the Tasmanian capital, Hobart, with a crewman onboard suffering from appendicitis. Our reporter, Clinton Porteous, says Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell has granted the ship access to Australian ports so the man can receive emergency medical treatment. Greenpeace says after the man is admitted to hospital the government should delay the ship so it cannot return to the Southern Ocean and continue whaling. Senator Campbell has ruled that out. "I think any sort of activity or any sort of suggestion that ship will be interfered with in anyway when it gets to any Australian port would jeopardise that man's life," he said. Five Japanese ships are hunting whales off the coast of Antarctica.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Germany Releases Hijacker Who Killed Sailor In 1985

A Lebanese terrorist serving a life sentence for the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jetliner and killing of a Navy diver has been paroled after 19 years, a law enforcement official said.
Mohammed Ali Hamadi, seen in an undated photograph
Mohammed Ali Hamadi was released from prison and has left Germany, said Doris Moeller-Scheu, spokeswoman for the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office. She said she did not know his destination. Hamadi’s case came up for a court-mandated review, and he was released after an expert assessment and a hearing, she said. TWA flight 847 from Athens, Greece, to Rome was hijacked to Beirut, Lebanon, where the hijackers shot Navy Steelworker 2nd Class (DV) Robert Dean Stethem, 23, of Waldorf, Md., and dumped his body on the tarmac.
Steelworker 2nd Class (DV) Rogbert Dean Stethem was murdered by terrorist hijackers in Beirut.
German federal officials declined to comment extensively and said the case was a matter for state authorities. Justice Ministry spokeswoman Eva Schmierer said Germany did not have any request from the United States for Hamadi’s extradition. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Martin Jaeger, said there was no connection between Hamadi’s release and the recent freeing of former hostage Susanne Osthoff, a German woman released over the weekend after spending more than three weeks as a captive in Iraq. Stethem, 23, was beaten and shot on June 15, 1985, while the plane was in Beirut. He was the only casualty during the hijacking ordeal, in which 39 Americans were held hostage for 17 days. He received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart decorations, and a Navy guided missile destroyer is named in his honor.
Hamadi was arrested at the Frankfurt airport on Jan. 13, 1987, when customs officials discovered liquid explosives in his luggage. U.S. authorities had requested his extradition so he could stand trial in the United States, but the Germans, who have no death penalty, insisted on prosecuting Hamadi.

Ice Dams Cause Headaches

A cold start to December and more water than normal in the Mississippi River have resulted in the formation of an ice jam between the Coon Rapids dam and St. Anthony falls in Minnesota.
The ice began forming just below the Coon Rapids dam around December 5 when the colder than normal temps arrived in Minnesota. As the ice moved downstream it began accumulating around the 610 Bridge.
So far no property has been threatened, but some boat docks and lifts have been damaged or destroyed. Residents who live along the river are asked to monitor the river and ice conditions and alert local officials if the water begins to threaten property. DNR officials are advising everyone to stay off the Mississippi as the water and ice conditions will change rapidly when the weather warms up later this week.

Ship Burned In The Danube

Fire broke out on board of the tow ship “Polana”, sailing in the Danube river not far from the city of Ruse. The reason for the fire was a short circuit in the electric installation in the motor compartment.
The ship was towing barges with corn. The fire was extinguished late in the afternoon and there are no victims and injured. The situation remained very risky before the fire was put down because there was 40 tons of fuel on board of the ship. Romanian and Bulgarian firemen were participating in the operation. The fate of the ship now is in the hands of the Romanian authorities since the tow ship is on Romanian territory. There is no danger of ecological crisis in the region. The corn was also safe because the rescuers divided the towboat from the barges.

Shipwrecked Pair Survive 11 Days On Diet Of Willpower And Urine

An Australian Skipper and his New Zealander First Mate survived 11 days in a storm-battered life raft with no food or water - and were forced to drink their own urine - after their yacht sank off Vietnam. Mark Wesley Smith and Steven John Freeman recounted yesterday how they clung desperately to their life raft as storms flipped it over and over for days on end. They ate nothing for 11 days, licked rainwater off the raft and were forced to drink their urine.
They were finally rescued by Vietnamese fishermen. "We were left with just a paddle and a sponge," said Smith, 49, of Hobart. "We battled for our lives with almost nothing. It was just sheer willpower that kept us alive." "It's unreal. It's unbelievable," said Freeman, 30, of Nelson, New Zealand. "The Vietnamese have been so fantastic. They dragged us out of the water, and everyone has been unbelievably wonderful to us." Mr Smith and Mr Freeman spoke by telephone from Ly Son Island, off the central Vietnamese coast, where they are being treated after fishermen pulled them out of the water on Saturday about five kilometres offshore. The Captain and his Mate set off from Hong Kong on December 5 to deliver a 20-metre motor yacht to Australia for its owner. But within a day one of the yacht's engines failed and the seas started to get rough. Mr Smith said he had turned the yacht around about 200 kilometres off of Hong Kong to try to make it back to port. But a "monster wave" crashed over the bow and bashed a hole in the hull. "We sank in 60 seconds and the very next wave flipped the life raft just as we were zipping in," Mr Smith said. "It was unbelievable bad luck. All our flares, radio, water and food - just gone." The torrential rains of the storm allowed the men to at least drink fresh water, which they licked off the sides of the raft. After three days the rains stopped, leaving only winds that Mr Smith said never dropped below 35 knots. "Every day the raft was flipped and flipped again," Mr Smith said. "We did all the horrible stuff like drink our own stuff. But the nights were the worst." Both men's greatest fear, Mr Smith said, was that the other would be swept away. The same late-season tropical storms that tormented the pair - and have killed more than 40 people in floods in central Vietnam - have made it impossible so far to take them to the mainland. But Mr Smith and Mr Freeman say they are happy to wait, and happy just to be alive. They asked a reporter to contact their families to tell them they hoped to be home by Christmas. The first thing he wants to do in Australia "has a lot to do with food", Smith said. "A chocolate milkshake will do, just for starters."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Russia Voices Concerns Over North Korean Border Guards' Position

The commander of Russia's border guards in the Far East of the country voiced his concerns Monday over North Korea's position in relation to a cargo ship detained in its waters in early December.
Speaking about the decision to detain the Terney, which the Russian captain says was given permission to seek shelter from a storm in North Korean waters, Lieutenant General Vladimir Lakizo said the move was bewildering and was also critical of North Korean efforts against criminal structures. "That North Korean border guards have repeatedly ignored [our] requests to detain ships poaching in Russian territorial waters that later fled to North Korean waters is even more perplexing," he said. "They have said every time that they don't have the people." The Terney was returning to the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok from the South Korean port of Busan when it encountered a heavy storm in the Sea of Japan. Trying to escape the storm, it neared the shores of North Korea on December 5 and was detained by North Korean border-guards. Russian diplomats have been seeking its release since then. Lakizo said the countries had signed an agreement on joint efforts against poaching and state border violations. "Only the Russian party complies with its provisions," he said. The general said Russian Pacific border guards had arrested 14 North Korean fishing boats this year. "Investigations took at most two days," he said, "after which the ships left Russian waters." Lakizo added that Russia had arrested a North Korean cargo ship June 7 with more than 20 metric tons of poached crabs after the ship violated the Russian border. The captain was given a suspended prison sentence of 18 months for poaching and smuggling.

Monday, December 19, 2005

New Super Ferries For Color Line

Aker Yards and Color Line have signed a firm contract for two superspeed passsenger ferries worth approx. EUR 250 million. The vessels are intended for the Denmark-Norway services.
Color Line Superspeed
The vessels to be delivered during 2007-2008 are intended for the Denmark-Norway services. The working title "Color Superspeed" indicates that the ferry is designed for a high service speed of 27 knots, according to the company. The ca. 211 m long and 26 m wide vessels will each have 2,000 lane metres of vehicle space and take 1,800 passengers. The vessels will be built in Finland, at Aker Yards, Rauma, and means 1,600 man years of work for the shipyard.

Search On For Man Missing From Shannon Cruise Boat

A search has been launched on the River Shannon at Rinnacurreen following reports that a 20-year-old man disappeared from a cruiser some time before 1am today.
Gardaí from Carrick-On-Shannon said they were called after a number of witnesses reported that they saw the man go into the water. Local civilian water units are assisting gardaí in the search which is concentrating in the Rinnacurreen area, about 1.5 kilometres from Carrick-On-Shannon.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Ship Spills Logs Into Sea Of Japan

A Cambodian-registered timber freighter spilled about 1,000 logs into the Sea of Japan early Saturday after it was whipped by strong winds and began to list, the Japan Coast Guard said. None of the 19 crewmen, all from Russia, was injured.
The Alteza departed from Vanino port in the Russian Far East on Dec. 8 bound for Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, with about 8,500 logs. The 1,798-ton ship spilled about 750 of the logs from its deck just before 6 a.m. and 250 more fell into the sea about one hour later, the coast guard said. The vessel was around 21 kilometers northeast of Cape Echizen in Fukui Prefecture when it spilled the logs, the coast guard said. The logs are around 4 meters long and 40 cm in diameter. The listing ship continued on and arrived in Tsuruga just before noon.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Towboat Hits Shrimp Boat

The U.S. Coast Guard searched for a deckhand off the Mississippi coast after a towboat hit a shrimping vessel, killing the wife of the captain and sending her husband to the hospital, authorities said. About 6:15 a.m., the crew of a 60-foot towing vessel reported to the Coast Guard that it had hit an anchored shrimp boat in Pass Marianne about 8 miles south of Bay St. Louis.
Three people were thrown overboard from the shrimp boa,t including the missing deckhand, Julious Cusitas, said Lt. Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesau, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard in New Orleans. All of the people on board of the shrimp boat live in Pensacola, Ben-Iesau said. The spokeswoman did not know from where the boat had launched. About 1 p.m., Lien Dinh was found dead about two miles from where the accident took place, Ben-Iesau said. Ben-Iesau said that at the time of the accident the woman was sleeping below deck. While his wife slept, Giau V. Dinh stood on deck, Ben-Iesau said. Giau Dinh was rescued by the crew of the towboat and taken by the Coast Guard to paramedics at Pass Christian Harbor, Ben-Iesau said. He was then taken to a local hospital. The shrimp boat, the Johnny T. Kiten, 60 to 75 feet long, had been anchored to allow the crew to rest, Ben-Iesau said. Ben-Iesau said that the shrimp boat ended up underneath the towboat, a 60-footer named the Skat. "I understand there is a pretty good debris field," the spokeswoman said. After the accident, a light sheen of oil or fuel was reported, but has since dissipated, Ben-Iesau said. The waterway remained open. A investigation was under way and several Coast Guard rescue crews, including a jet crew from Mobile, were working to locate the deckhand. Rescuers were scheduled to resume searching at first light today.

Friday, December 16, 2005

USS San Antonio Ready To Become Part Of Fleet

Amphibious Group Two welcomed it's newest ship into the fleet. Rear Admiral Garry Hall said he accepted USS San Antonio (LPD 17) into the amphibious group. and with a little more outfitting the amphibious transport dock will be ready to operate with the fleet.
USS San Antonio-LPD 17
News crews were brought aboard Wednesday at Naval Station Norfolk to tour the new ship. As first in it's class everything the best in the Navy. One highlight is the Ship Wide Area Network. The technology is like no other ship in that information can be accessed from anywhere on board. Chief Petty Officer Jonathan Seys said, "The ship is a network. It is interconnected. No matter where you are, you can access information. Information is key nowadays." The ship's Commanding Officer Captain Jonathan Padfield says San Antonio has "new ways to make water, shoot weapons, defend the ship, and get the amphibs on land. It truly is a revolutionary ship." The ship was plagued with problems during construction. An early inspection by the Navy Board of Inspectors found problems with wiring, corrosion, water tight integrity, among other things. The Commanding Officer says the problems have all been addressed. Addressing those problems was costly. The delays pushed the price tag up past one-and-a-quarter-billion-dollars. When the keel was laid in December 2000, delivery was supposed to be September 2003. The Commanding Officer says the problems found in the inspector's report delayed delivery 8 months. Other delays were caused by the fact everything is first of it's kind. "As the lead ship I think every ship will be built more efficiently from the lessons learned on San Antonio." San Antonio returns to Texas after the holidays. The Commissioning Ceremony is set for January 14th. The ship will then return to it's home port of Norfolk as USS San Antonio.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ship Distressed In Sea Of Japan Has 4,000 Tns Of Cargo

Motor ship Diana that sent distress signals from the Sea of Japan has about 4,000 tons of cargo aboard. The ship, which flies the Cambodian flag and has an 18-strong Russian crew, has scrap metal in the holds and timber on the deck.
The piles of timber have shifted and are partly hanging overboard, said Konstantin Sviridov, the chief of Maritime Salvage and Coordination Center in Vladivostok. The Diana called out of the port of Vanino in Khabarovsk territory Sunday and headed for Japan, but in the small hours of Wednesday it sent a distress signal and turned towards the major Russian commercial port of Nakhodka, not far from Vladivostok. Russian maritime authorities dispatched towboats Predanny and Lazurit from the port of Vladivostok to the distress area right after the SOS signal was received. Another Cambodian motor ship, the Jennifer Star, was cruising near the Diana at the time of reporting. Sviridov said it would take the Diana’s crew aboard if the situation became really critical. The Predanny and the Lazurit might reach the distressed ship by noon local time Wednesday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Congress Eyes Cruise Ship Dangers

Lawmakers are set this morning to investigate the potential dangers to vacationers cruising the high seas. Two congressional committees will hold a joint hearing focusing on cruise-ship disappearances and crimes. The hearing comes on the heels of another cruise-ship disappearance in recent months, this one aboard Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Sea, which returned to Florida on Sunday with one less passenger than when it departed.
George Smith and his new bride, Jennifer, were on a dream honeymoon cruise through the Mediterranean when he disappeared in July.
Canadian Jill Begora, 59, was last seen by her husband on Saturday morning as the ship approached the port of Nassau in the Bahamas. A search by a U.S. Coast Guard ship and the Bahamian Navy found no trace of her. "It's just too much to comprehend," said Thomas Begora, a relative. "I hope everything's all right, but you know how these things are some times." It is estimated that in the past two years, about a dozen people have disappeared while aboard cruise ships. "The bottom line is we are suspicious, candidly, that there's some huge problem in the cruise industry," said Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn. "We think that people are not aware of some of the challenges and some of the potential problems they encounter."
Jewel of the Sea
In another high-profile case, George Smith disappeared while on his honeymoon in the Mediterranean last July aboard a Royal Caribbean ship. His family is convinced that Smith was killed because witnesses heard screaming and there was blood on the ship's deck. Smith has not been found. Now his family is planning to sue Royal Caribbean, accusing the cruise line of hindering the investigation. "We can't hold a funeral, and, you know, as far as Royal Caribbean is concerned, they would merely have another drunk falling into the water, nothing we could do about it," said Bree Smith, George's sister. "That's not good enough and we're going to make changes so this does not happen to another family." Royal Caribbean says that it has cooperated fully with the FBI in the Smith case and that passenger safety is its priority. In the case of Begora, the company says the ship retraced its path the morning of the disappearance. Because Begora is Canadian and the incident happened in the Bahamas, the FBI is not involved. The congressional hearing will also touch on last month's pirate attack on a cruise ship off the coast of Somalia.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Deadly Wave Kills Sailor

A sailor died after a wave swept him off the deck of the Princess Catherine off Durban on Monday, NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said.
The ship was en route from Richard's Bay to Spain with a cargo of coal. The critically injured sailor was recovered from the sea and the NSRI coordinated a SAAF Oryx helicopter med-evac flight to the ship, about 30 nautical miles from Durban. However, the sailor had died by the time the helicopter reached the Princess Catherine, Lambinon said. The body was left aboard and it was up to the ship's owners to decide what to do next.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Frozen Body Found At Lake Michigan Shore Is That Of A Amateur Sailor

The frozen body recovered at the Lake Michigan shore just north of the McKinley Marina was identified as that of amateur Sailor Jeffrey D. Waldman, 56, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office said.
Jeff Waldman is shown with the sailboat he built, the Dandelion. The 56-year-old sailor fell overboard into Lake Michigan
Waldman was lost Nov. 5 when he fell from his homemade sailboat in rough waves on its maiden voyage. A man walking his dog Friday discovered the body, which was recovered by the Milwaukee Fire Department. Waldman, 56, of Glendale, disappeared in the lake after falling as he tried to untangle some rigging on the 50-foot sailboat he had built over about the past eight years. Rescue efforts had initially failed to find him.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Hijacked Ship Docks In Kenya

A ship held for two months by Somali militiamen docked on Saturday at Kenya's main port of Mombasa, a shipping agency official said.
The pirates fired a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) at the ship. This photo was taken by a passenger.
The MV Torgelow had sailed to Mombasa from Somalia's water, where it had been hijacked on October 7 on its way to deliver food products, cigarettes and other goods to businessmen in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, said Karim Kudrati, managing director at Motaku Shipping Agency. "We are very happy," said Kudrati, whose company manages the St Vincent-registered MV Torgelow. After being released last week, the ship docked at El Maan port near Mogadishu to deliver its cargo before sailing to Mombasa. Somalia has had no effective government since 1991, when warlords ousted a dictatorship and then turned on each other, carving the nation of 8.2 million into a patchwork of fiefdoms. Somalia has been struggling to re-establish a fully functioning government and end the reign of rival warlords. But the transitional government formed last year has been weakened by divisions that prevent it from operating in the capital, Mogadishu, and other parts of the country. Amid the anarchy, pirates for years have been attacking ships, mainly fishing vessels near its 3000-kilometre coastline. In the past year the attacks have increased, with pirates targeting ships carrying food aid, as well as at least one cruise ship. Somalia lies close to important shipping route connecting the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean, where valuable cargo and carriers must pass.

Navy's Last 2 Battleships May Become Museums

Capitol Hill lawmakers are considering whether to retire the Navy's last two battleships, the USS Iowa and the USS Wisconsin, and turn them into museums. Critics warn that the move could leave Marines vulnerable in future battles.
USS Iowa (BB 61)
The Navy expects that most such battles will be in or near coastal waters, and that it will need ships that can deliver huge amounts of gunfire to support land operations. Cruisers and destroyers serve that purpose now, and the Navy expects the new DD(X) destroyer to take over the job when it goes into service in 2014. But a small group of critics doubts the DD(X)'s capabilities and says the Navy can't afford to wait until the next decade. "At present the Navy's active fleet has no effective NSFS (naval fire support) capability," says a statement by the U.S. Naval Fire Support Association, a group that supports reactivating the two battleships. "The Navy's attempt to rectify this serious deficiency by developing long-range 5-inch and 6.1-inch 155 mm gun systems and medium-range missiles is not adequate." Currently, the Navy uses 5-inch guns on its destroyers and cruisers to support land operations. The battleship supporters say that only battleships can provide accurate and high-volume fire in all weather and conditions. Battleships ruled the seas in the first half of the 20th century until the Japanese sank five of them in the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Aircraft carriers then became predominant. The last two U.S. battleships have been decommissioned and reactivated several times in their 60-year history. They were last deactivated in 1991, but Congress ordered them back into reserve status five years later after determining that the Navy would have a gap in its ability to support Marine Corps land operations until early in the 21st century. From World War II until the 1991 Persian Gulf War, support for the Marines was provided mostly by the Iowa-class battleships' 16-inch guns, which can hurl a 2,000-pound projectile 24 nautical miles. The last Navy ship to fire its guns in support of U.S. troops ashore was the USS Wisconsin in 1991.
USS Wisconsin (BB 64)
A GAO report said the Iowa and Wisconsin together cost about $1.4 million a year to maintain. Members of Congress soon will decide whether to decommission the two battleships for good as they work out final decisions in the defense authorization and spending bills. The Iowa and the Wisconsin each are nearly three football fields long. The Iowa would become a floating museum in Stockton, Calif., and the Wisconsin would become a museum in Norfolk, Va. "The issue here is the need to press forward with a new ship and new technology to meet 21st-century threats," said Landon Hutchens, a spokesman for Naval Sea Systems Command. "The battleships performed marvelously in the 20th century, with 20th-century technology. DD(X) incorporates stealth technology, precision-guided long-range naval fire support, the capability to shoot down enemy aircraft before they can fire anti-ship missiles and high-tech command and control communications capabilities." The Navy originally planned to put 24 DD(X) destroyers into service but now says it needs eight to 12. The first two are expected to cost more than $3 billion each; later ones will cost $2.2 billion to $2.6 billion per ship. The Navy says the DD(X)'s 155 mm guns will be able to fire 10 precision-guided rounds a minute at ranges of up to 83 nautical miles. Last year, the Government Accountability Office estimated that it would cost $500 million and take 20 to 40 months to reactivate the battleships. The Naval Fire Support Association says that for the cost of one DD(X), the Navy can modernize the two battleships and add extended-range munitions and up-to-date guidance systems. Until last year, the Marines supported reactivating the ships. The Marine commandant, Gen. Michael W. Hagee, told Congress two years ago that an absence of adequate naval gunfire support placed his troops "at considerable risk," and several retired Marine generals have spoken in favor of the battleship plan. The Marines now say that bringing back the big battleships would be too expensive and the ships would require too many sailors to operate. Marine Corps spokeswoman Maj. Gabrielle Chapin said the Marines thought it was "no longer feasible nor economical" to keep the battleships in reserve status. She said the Marines now backed the Navy's research and development efforts into new extended-range munitions and its plan to commission the first DD(X) in 2014. William L. Stearman, the executive director of the Naval Fire Support Association, said battleship advocates supported the development of the DD(X), at least as a research and development program, but didn't think the DD(X) could provide Marines with the support that battleships could until future systems come on line. Retired Marine Corps Gen. John J. Sheehan said the battleship wasn't only a potent symbol of American power but also an asset that existed now, instead of one that might exist in the future. "You can argue that if the B-52 (bomber) continues to play a role in the U.S. war-fighting tool kit, then the same argument applies to the battleship, especially with a cruise-missile capability," Sheehan said.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Science Of Sea Monsters

Sea monsters are in the news and on television like never before. NBC has a hit show on Monday nights with "Surface," about a huge, terrifying aquatic creature, and sea monsters grace the cover of the December 2005 issue of National Geographic.
The Tasman Sea Monster
Scientists working in Patagonia, South America, recently found remains of a 13-foot beast with four-inch teeth. The creature, dubbed "Godzilla" by its discoverers, is a distant relative of today's crocodiles and lived about 135 million years ago. Since men took to sea, stories of fearsome leviathans have haunted those brave enough to venture beyond dry land. The Kraken, a huge many-tentacled beast, was said to attack sailors on the open ocean and drag them to their watery deaths. As fantastic as these monsters are, science has discovered a biological basis for some of these myths. Biologists have verified the existence of a true sea monster: the mysterious and elusive giant squid Architeuthis. Dead specimens periodically wash up on the world's beaches, most often in Newfoundland and New Zealand. The largest giant squid specimen, found in New Zealand, was estimated to be 65 feet long. On Sept. 30, 2004, Japanese zoologists Tsunemi Kubodera and Kyoichi Mori became the first to see and film a giant squid at depth [images were released this year]. The creature, about 26 feet long, was found at a depth of 2,953 feet (900 meters). The researchers, searching whale feeding areas in the North Pacific near the Ogasawara Islands, used bait and a remote camera to film the creature. Some suggest that huge, unidentified masses that occasionally wash up on beaches throughout the world are sea monsters. These finds, often called "globsters," are obviously flesh, yet have decayed so badly that they lack bones or distinguishing features. One classic globster washed ashore in 1896, when giant waves tossed a massive fleshy corpse on a beach at St. Augustine, Florida. The rubbery, six-foot-high blob was examined by a local naturalist, who initially speculated that it was likely from a giant octopus far larger than any previously seen. Many other such blobs have washed ashore, including one in Chile in July 2003 and another in Newfoundland in 2001. Controversy and mystery surrounded the creatures for decades, as definitive identifications eluded researchers. A team of biologists led by Sidney Pierce began looking into the mystery. As the team pointed out, "Wild claims, especially in the nonscientific literature, are regularly made that the blobs are the remains of sea monsters. For example, the Tasmanian West Coast Monster is still referred to as a monster, although an Australian scientific team…identified it as a whale. Other relics such as the St. Augustine (Florida) Sea Monster and the Bermuda Blob are still described by some as the remains of a gigantic octopus, even though A.E. Verrill—who named the St. Augustine specimen sight unseen—recanted his identification in favor of whale remains…and in spite of microscopic and biochemical analyses showing that they were nothing more than the collagenous matrix of whale blubber." In 2004, Pierce and his colleagues examined all available globster specimens using electron microscopes, and applied biochemical, molecular, and DNA analysis. The conclusion, published in Biological Bulletin: the samples matched exactly those of various species of great whales. The DNA and molecular structure were unmistakable, and "when the microscopic anatomy and biochemical composition of the Chilean and Nantucket Blobs are compared with those of the other remains, similarities are manifest. Thus, there is no doubt that they are all derived from the same type of organism." With the application of science, one of the world's great mysteries of the sea was finally explained. The many mentions of globsters in books on the "unexplained" and marine mysteries will have to be revised in the cold light of hard evidence and close scrutiny. So far, all the sea monsters science has found have either been extinct for millions of years or are known (but previously misidentified) creatures. Until hard evidence surfaces, truly unknown sea monsters will remain in the realm of fantasy and fiction.

Friday, December 09, 2005

What They Did With The Drunken Sailor

Proved to be a case of what do you do with a drunken sailor when police were called to investigate reports of a "body" in a dinghy in Cairns Inlet. Worried passers-by had called the police when they saw a man lying in a dinghy. It was tied to a wharf near the Cairns Yacht Club.
Police officers investigate what appears to be a body, which revives and takes off
Officers found the 45-year-old man was just sleeping it off after consuming a few too many drinks in the scorching sun. But the man didn't take too kindly to being woken. After ordering the police off his boat, he untied his dinghy, fired the motor and sped off across Trinity Inlet. However, police had the last laugh. After an hour-long chase he was intercepted and breath-tested and blew 0.17 – more than three times the legal limit. Cairns water police Sergeant Andrew Ibell said the man had given officers a mouthful before trying to escape. "He's done a runner. He tried to get away but his boat broke down," Sgt Ibell said. "Then he tried to row the boat – fairly unsuccessfully." Police enlisted the help of the Cairns Port Authority vessel to catch up with the drunken sailor. "He was in sight of police the whole time," Sgt Ibell said. "The state he was in, he shouldn't have been anywhere near a boat." The man was charged with operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol and will face court Today.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Russian Ship Detained Off North Korea

North Korean authorities have agreed to let Russian diplomats meet with the crew of a detained Russian ship only after it has been inspected and arrives at the nearest large port, Kimchaek, northeast of Pyongyang, a Russian diplomat said Thursday.
The Terney
Yevgeny Valkovich, Russia's consul general in the port city of Chongjin about 200km (124 miles) from Kimchaek, said that he, as a foreigner, would not be allowed onto the Terney ship because it was in a restricted zone. Valkovich said the Captain had not agreed to the demands of the North Korean authorities, but added that the ship's owner, the Ardis company, had not yet responded. Andey Makeyev, the head of the Ardis navigation department, said earlier that the captain had received official permission to enter North Korea's territorial waters. "The permission was entered in the ship's log," Makeyev said. The Terney was returning to the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok from the South Korean port of Busan when it encountered a heavy storm in the Sea of Japan on December 5. The Captain changed course toward the North Korean coast after receiving permission from the local authorities. Despite the current situation, Makeyev remained positive. "There is enough food, water and fuel on the ship, and the crew is well," he said. "We are in touch with them." He also said that Russian diplomats and the Union of Russian Ship Owners were working toward securing the ship's return to Vladivostok under the International Law of the Sea.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Anniversary Of Pearl Harbor Attack, 64 Years Ago

Survivors of Japan's attack on the U.S. military bases at Pearl Harbor 64 years ago were expected to join sailors, community leaders and guests today in observing the anniversary of the assault.
The ceremony will begin with a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m. (11:55 a.m. Twin Cities time) -- the time the attack began. A Navy ship will honor the battleship Arizona, which lies submerged with the bodies of hundreds of sailors entombed. The Hawaii Air National Guard will fly F-15s in formation over the harbor. The Dec. 7, 1941, attack lasted two hours, leaving 21 U.S. ships heavily damaged and 323 aircraft damaged or destroyed. It killed 2,390 people and wounded 1,178.

Pearl Harbor Sailor Recalls "A Date Which Wll Live In Infamy"

Capt. Bill Carpenter (Ret.) remembers the details of Dec. 7, 1941 very clearly. Four decks below the USS Oklahoma near the engine room, Carpenter manned large 14-inch guns as a gunner's mate and young Ensign, newly graduated from the United States Naval Academy.
Along Battleship Row in Pearl Harbor, the USS Tennessee, trapped in its berth by the sinking USS West Virginia and USS Arizona, had to keep its propellors rotating to push away the oil fires spreading out from the destroyed vessels. This Wednesday marks the 64th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941 sneak attack on Hawaii.
At 7:55 a.m., Japanese aircraft began attacking the harbor. According to Carpenter, nine torpedoes were dropped on Oklahoma's port side, causing it to roll 135 degrees to the left. With the main deck submerged, the ship's severe rotation caused its mast to get stuck in the mud of the harbor, trapping hundreds in the belly of the ship. The gunner's spaces and engine room flooded. One would have to swim through the ship's dark passageways to find escape through a porthole. The water levels rose slowly in other parts of the ship where some of Carpenter's crewmates huddled in air pockets, rescued three days later after people heard them tapping on the hull. Thirty-two survived by cutting their way out. In a telephone interview from his home in Stafford, Va., where he now lives with his wife, Carpenter describes the day's events in expert detail like a man who lived through the "date which will live in infamy." He remembers the numbers, too: Four hundred five of his 1500-man crew dead. He says that he would never have survived that day, that he would have drowned in the gunner's spaces where he was assigned. If Carpenter hadn't broken the rules of the United States Navy, he would have been on the USS Oklahoma that morning and not in bed in a Honolulu bungalow with his new wife, the woman he said saved his life. It depends on how he tells it. Oklahoma's massive malfunctioning steam turbine and Carpenter's willingness for mischief could also be accredited as lifesavers. The story starts in Carpenter's hometown of Mooresville, Ind., also hometown to John Dillinger, a murdering bank robber, who ascended to hero status in the minds of Depression-era Americans. Carpenter says places such as the United States Military Academy at West Point and the Naval Academy offering a free education were the only options for many of his peers who would have no jobs after graduating high school and no means to pay for a college education. "We got there just the right time to get killed," Carpenter says, referring to the fact that his class--the class of 1940--was to lose the most Sailors in World War II. In fact, ten of his classmates were assigned with him in June 1940 to the USS Oklahoma. In mid-September of 1941, the inevitable happened. The two huge steel steam reciprocating engines--the engines that crewmembers were always saying would break something--crushed the Oklahoma's starboard shaft, and the crew headed to San Francisco for repairs. Back then, there was a strict rule that graduates of the Naval Academy had to wait two years after graduation to marry. Carpenter's girlfriend came from Indiana to meet him in San Francisco while he and his crewmember waited for the ship's new shaft. On the Saturday before the Oklahoma was to head back to Pearl Harbor, Carpenter and his fiancé snuck away to Reno, Nev., paid $2 for a marriage license and were married by Rev. Schmidt in the 15 minutes he had free between teaching Sunday school and holding service. Carpenter rented a place in Honolulu for $65 a month for his wife--at the time his ensign's salary was $125 a month--and was scheduled to report back to the Oklahoma at 10 a.m. December 7, 1941, just two hours after the first wave of Japanese aircraft entered Pearl Harbor."When the ship was sunk, I was in bed with my new bride," Carpenter recalls. After Pearl Harbor, in the spring of 1942, Carpenter was sent to Boston and immediately sent to the South Pacific where he spent the next three years around Tokyo Bay, and at the war's end transported all the surviving POWs, including Gregory "Pappy" Boynton, from Japan to America. "By attacking Pearl Harbor, the Japanese guaranteed they would lose the war," Carpenter said, recalling how Pearl Harbor changed everything. In high school, Carpenter remembers reading pamphlets arguing against America's involvement in the first World War. "Before that, two wide oceans on each side of the U.S. were enough [to protect us]." "The U.S. learned a lot in two minutes at Pearl Harbor, that you cannot go unprepared in today's world," he says. Carpenter says every once in a while he looks at his wife of sixty-four years and tells her that she is the reason he is alive. They laugh and make jokes about it, he says, but that's the truth. "That's my story of survival," Carpenter says. "That's the reason I am alive."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

K-Bay Shore Sailor Of The Year

At 8, a young Biloxi, Miss. native knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up. He couldn’t really place a finger on why, but he knew that military service was the place for him.
Petty Officer 1st Class Rodney Love, leading petty officer for the Air Traffic Control tower, Marine Corps Air Facility, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
Today, 23 years later, and 12 years of sea service behind him, Petty Officer 1st Class Rodney H. Love is not only living the life he always knew he wanted to live, he is doing it in such a way as to garner recognition for achievements in his field. Just recently, Love was selected as Shore Sailor of the Year for Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay. “I just always had a drive to join the military,” said Love. “I saw the military as a group of people who got to be a part of the shaping of history. I wanted to be one of those people. I wanted to be more than just the average Joe. When the Navy recruiter pitched his deal, I was sold before he started talking.” Love is the leading petty officer for the Air Traffic Control tower, Marine Corps Air Facility. Known around the shop as the “go-to-guy.” Love’s achievements won him the honor of being chosen as Sailor of the Quarter earlier in the year. “As I’ve come up through the ranks, I’ve learned to lead by example, and I always try to present myself in a professional way, while on and off duty,” said Love. “The military molds people in a certain way, and that is what I joined for — to be cast in that mold, and maybe one day to become the mold.” According to Love, his decision to join the military didn’t surprise his parents much, and both of Love’s parents were happy to see him take his life in a positive direction. Since joining the Navy, Love has served at sea and ashore, and though his career field has had him on shore duty, his true passion is the sea. “If all goes well, I hope to get stationed aboard ship in Japan,” said Love. “I hope to make my next rank soon, and hopefully get a chance to deploy to the Gulf.” In his free time, Love enjoys his hobby of photography and travels around the island taking a variety of landscape photographs. “I just got into photography a couple years ago, but I really enjoy being stationed in a place like Hawaii because it allows me to practice and enjoy my hobby.” In December, Love will go to Norfolk, Va., where he will vie for the title of West Coast Shore Sailor of the Year, competing against the Shore Sailor of the Year from a shore command in Washington State. If selected, Love will then move on to compete against Shore Sailors of the Year from around the fleet for the top slot as the Navy’s Shore Sailor of the Year 2005.

President Arroyo Appoints New Philippine Navy Commander

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines Inspector General Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga as the new flag-officer-in-command of the 22,000-strong Philippine Navy.
Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga
Mayuga is replacing Vice Admiral Ernesto de Leon who has filed a terminal leave effective Sunday. A navy spokesman said the navy officers actually anticipated the appointment of Mayuga who he described as an exemplary officer. Mayuga has in the past served as co-director of Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) military exercises that involve close to 5,000 Filipino and US troops annually. He also trained on Anti-submarine Warfare at the Fleet Combat Training Centers in Virgina Beach and San Diego, California in the 1980s.

Monday, December 05, 2005

U.S. Navy To Expand Fleet With New Enemies In Mind

The Navy wants to increase its fleet to 313 ships by 2020, reversing years of decline in naval shipbuilding and adding dozens of warships designed to defeat emerging adversaries, senior Defense Department officials say. The plan by Adm. Michael G. Mullen, who took over as chief of naval operations last summer, envisions a major shipbuilding program that would increase the 281-ship fleet by 32 vessels and cost more than $13 billion a year, $3 billion more than the current shipbuilding budget, the officials said.
While increasing the fleet size is popular with influential members of Congress, the plan faces various obstacles, including questions about whether it is affordable in light of ballooning shipbuilding costs and whether the mix of vessels is suitable to deal with emerging threats, like China's expanding navy. "We are at a crisis in shipbuilding," a senior Navy official said. "If we don't start building this up next year and the next year and the next year, we won't have the force we need." The officials would not agree to be identified because the plan had not been made public or described to members of Congress. The Navy's fleet reached its cold war peak of 568 warships in 1987 and has been steadily shrinking since then. Admiral Mullen's proposal would reverse that, expanding the fleet to as many as 325 ships over the next decade, with new ships put into service before some older vessels are retired, and finally settling at 313 between 2015 and 2020. "The Navy appears to be grappling with the need to balance funding for supporting its role in the global war on terrorism against those for meeting a potential challenge from modernized Chinese maritime military forces," said Ronald O'Rourke, a naval analyst with the Congressional Research Service, an arm of the Library of Congress. The plan has not been formally adopted by the Bush administration, though officials said it had been examined by senior civilians in the Pentagon as part of a larger strategic review of all military programs. The proposal is not expected to change much, if at all, before the review is made public in February, the officials said. Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, which is home to major shipyards, endorsed the Navy proposal when told about it recently and called on President Bush to finance it in next year's budget. "Military requirements should drive the budget, not the other way around," Ms. Collins said. "I hope that the Navy's requirement for a fleet of 313 ships will be matched with adequate funding in the president's budget to achieve that goal over time." But Defense Department officials acknowledged that with financial pressures mounting and the overall Navy budget not likely to increase, their plans could come apart unless they could trim costs in other areas. The Navy is planning to squeeze money from personnel and other accounts, and ask shipyards to hold down costs, even if it means removing certain capabilities. Admiral Mullen is in some ways paying for the priorities of his predecessor, Adm. Vern Clark, who improved pay and benefits during his tenure as the service's senior officer but also agreed to trim the Navy's budget in an unusual sacrifice to help pay the Army's bills in Iraq. Now Admiral Mullen is seeking a fleet that will give the Navy a greater role in counterterrorism and humanitarian operations. The plan calls for building 55 small, fast vessels called littoral combat ships, which are being designed to allow the Navy to operate in shallow coastal areas where mines and terrorist bombings are a growing threat. Costing less than $300 million, the littoral combat ship is relatively inexpensive. Navy officials say they have scaled back their goals for a new destroyer, the DD(X), whose primary purpose would be to support major combat operations ashore.
DD(X) vessel
The Navy once wanted 23 to 30 DD(X) vessels, but Admiral Mullen has decided on only 7, the Navy official said. The reduction is due in part to the ship's spiraling cost, now estimated at $2 billion to $3 billion per ship.
The plan also calls for building 19 CG(X) vessels, a new cruiser designed for missile defense, but the first ship is not due to be completed until 2017, the Navy official said. The proposal would also reduce the fleet's more than 50 attack submarines to 48, the official said. Some Navy officials have called for keeping at least 55 of them. The choices have led some analysts to suggest that the Navy is de-emphasizing the threat from China, at least in the early stages of the shipbuilding plan. Beijing's investment in submarines, cruise missiles and other weapon systems is not expected to pose a major threat to American warships for at least a decade. That gives the Navy time, some analysts argue, to build capabilities that require less firepower and more mobility, a priority for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. The plan also calls for building 31 amphibious assault ships, which can be used to ferry marines ashore or support humanitarian operations. "This is not a fleet that is being oriented to the Chinese threat," said Loren Thompson, an analyst at the Lexington Institute, a policy research center in Arlington, Va. "It's being oriented around irregular warfare, stability operations and dealing with rogue states." But the Navy would keep 11 aircraft carriers, just one fewer than the dozen it has maintained since the end of the cold war. Retiring the 37-year-old John F. Kennedy could save $1.2 billion a year.

Sunken Ship Leaking Fuel Off Italian Coast

Italian environmental officials scrambled Sunday to contain leaking fuel from a cargo ship that hit rocks in a storm and sank off the northwestern coast.
The Georgia-registered bulk cement carrier Margaret dragged its anchor in high winds, hit a pier and sank in shallow water off the Bay of La Spezia. All 13 crewmembers were rescued safely, the BBC reported. Environment Minister Altero Matteoli ordered ships and helicopters to the scene to contain more than 3,000 gallons of fuel aboard the 2,700-ton ship. Bad weather was battering much of Italy Sunday, with heavy seas and snowfall that knocked out Milan's tram system. Widespread flooding was reported in Venice. Forecasters said the water level was expected to drop, but warned the weather would turn for the worse again Tuesday.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

90 North Korean Ships Granted Entry To Japan

Ninety North Korean vessels were granted certificates to enter Japanese ports in the eight months since a new law that bans entry of any ship without insurance took effect, according to Construction and Transport Ministry statistics.
The law on liability for oil pollution damage, which came into force on March 1, requires vessels of 100 tons or larger to be insured before docking in Japan. The law had been viewed as a de facto economic sanction, as it was believed that most North Korean vessels would not fulfill the law's requirements and therefore would be unable to dock in Japan. But some Liberal Democratic Party members and others recently said more North Korean vessels had insurance coverage than they had expected.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Navy Sinks Army 42 To 23

Adam Ballard ran for 192 yards and two touchdowns to lead Navy to a 42-to-23 victory over Army in the 106th meeting between the service academies.
The Bowl-bound Midshipmen piled up 490 yards on the ground, including 99 from quarterback Lamar Owens, who ran for three touchdowns. Reggie Campbell added a 54-yard T-D run for the winners. Army q-b Zac Dahman threw for three touchdowns.
Navy improves to 7-and-4 while Army, which entered the game in Philadelphia riding a four-game win streak, dips to 4-and-7. The Midshipmen have won four straight and six of the last seven games against the Black Knights to take a one-game lead in the overall series at 50-49-and-7. Navy also captured the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy outright for the third straight year and that's a first in school history. The coveted trophy is awarded annually to the winner of the football competition between the three major service academies. It was on the line for both teams for the first time in nine years after both posted wins over Air Force.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Army & Navy Continue Rivalry

Chet Gladchuk said the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy would be there for the taking by a confident Army team when it faces Navy on Saturday in Philadelphia. For about 48 hours, the Naval Academy's athletic director wasn't so sure.
The Commander In Chief's Trophy
The trophy, awarded each season to the winner of the football competition among the three major service academies, was stolen from the team's locker room Monday and recovered last night. It was found in a storage room inside Bancroft Hall, the campus dormitory at the Naval Academy. The trophy had been on display the past two years in Bancroft. It was moved to the locker room in Ricketts Hall at the request of the coaches, who wanted their players to see what they are competing for in their 106th meeting with Army. In place of the 170-pound trophy, officials found a note that read, "Before we win the football game on Saturday, we thought we would take the trophy. By the time you read this, it will be halfway to West Point." "If it was West Point, it probably took three or four of them to carry it," Navy coach Paul Johnson said jokingly. When asked how it was moved from Bancroft to Ricketts, Johnson replied, "I think one Marine took it in there."
This Saturday's Army-Navy game in Philadelphia is being billed by the host city as the "First to 50." Both teams have won 49 games during their 105 previous meetings. Seven games ended in ties. Forty-eight have been decided by a touchdown or less. Some observers say the rivalry is so even because the schools recruit the same types of players -- usually from the same pool. The series began in 1890 when a group of midshipmen issued a challenge to a group of cadets. Navy won the first game, 24-to-0, but Army retaliated the next year with a 32-to-16 victory.


As of 2004 game:

  • Army: 49 wins

  • Navy: 49 wins

  • 7 ties

  • 105 total games played

  • 10 years in which game was not played

  • By year

  • 1890 Navy 24–0 at West Point, New York

  • 1891 Army 32–16 atAnnapolis, Maryland

  • 1892 Navy 12–4 at West Point

  • 1893 Navy 6–4 at Annapolis

  • 1894 No game

  • 1895 No game

  • 1896 No game

  • 1897 No game

  • 1898 No game

  • 1899 Army 17–5 at Franklin Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • 1900 Navy 11–7 at Franklin Field

  • 1901 Army 11–5 Franklin Field

  • 1902 Army 22–8 Franklin Field

  • 1903 Army 40–5 Franklin Field

  • 1904 Army 11–0 Franklin Field

  • 1905 Tie 6–6 at Princeton, New Jersey

  • 1906 Navy 10–0 Franklin Field

  • 1907 Navy 6–0 Franklin Field

  • 1908 Army 6–4 Franklin Field

  • 1909 No game

  • 1910 Navy 3–0 Franklin Field

  • 1911 Navy 3–0 Franklin Field

  • 1912 Navy 6–0 Franklin Field

  • 1913 Army 22–9 Polo Grounds, New York

  • 1914 Army 20–0 Franklin Field

  • 1915 Army 14–0 Polo Grounds

  • 1916 Army 15–7 Polo Grounds

  • 1917 No game

  • 1918 No game

  • 1919 Navy 6–0 Polo Grounds

  • 1920 Navy 7–0 Polo Grounds

  • 1921 Navy 7–0 Polo Grounds

  • 1922 Army 17–14 Franklin Field

  • 1923 Tie 0–0 Polo Grounds

  • 1924 Army 12–0 Municipal Stadium Baltimore, Maryland

  • 1925 Army 10–3 Polo Grounds

  • 1926 Tie 21–21 Soldier Field,Chicago, Illinois

  • 1927 Army 14–9 Polo Grounds

  • 1928 No game

  • 1929 No game

  • 1930 Army 6–0 Yankee Stadium, New York, New York

  • 1931 Army 17–7 Yankee Stadium

  • 1932 Army 20–0 Franklin Field

  • 1933 Army 12–7 Franklin Field

  • 1934 Navy 3–0 Franklin Field

  • 1935 Army 28–6 Franklin Field

  • 1936 Navy 7–0 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1937 Army 6–0 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1938 Army 14–7 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1939 Navy 10–0 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1940 Navy 14–0 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1941 Navy 14–6 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1942 Navy 14–0 Thompson Stadium

  • 1943 Navy 13–0 Michie Stadium at West Point, New York

  • 1944 Army 23–7 Municipal Stadium, Baltimore

  • 1945 Army 32–13 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1946 Army 21–18 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1947 Army 21–0 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1948 Tie 21–21 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1949 Army 38–0 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1950 Navy 14–2 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1951 Navy 42–7 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1952 Navy 7–0 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1953 Army 20–7 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1954 Navy 27–20 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1955 Army 14–6 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1956 Tie 7–7 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1957 Navy 14–0 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1958 Army 22–6 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1959 Navy 43–12 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1960 Navy 17–12 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1961 Navy 13–7 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1962 Navy 34–14 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1963 Navy 21–15 Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1964 Army 11–8 John F. Kennedy Stadium (formerly Municipal Stadium), Philadelphia

  • 1965 Tie 7–7 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1966 Army 20–7 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1967 Navy 19–14 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1968 Army 21–14 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1969 Army 27–0 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1970 Navy 11–7 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1971 Army 24–23 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1972 Army 23–15 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1973 Navy 51–0 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1974 Navy 19–0 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1975 Navy 30–6 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1976 Navy 38–10 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1977 Army 17–14 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1978 Navy 28–0 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1979 Navy 31–7 J.F.K. Stadium

  • 1980 Navy 33–6 Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia

  • 1981 Tie 3–3 Veterans Stadium

  • 1982 Navy 24–7 Veterans Stadium

  • 1983 Navy 42–13 Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California

  • 1984 Army 28–11 Veterans Stadium

  • 1985 Navy 17–7 Veterans Stadium

  • 1986 Army 27–7 Veterans Stadium

  • 1987 Army 17–3 Veterans Stadium

  • 1988 Army 20–15 Veterans Stadium

  • 1989 Navy 19–17 Giants Stadium, New Jersey

  • 1990 Army 30–20 Veterans Stadium

  • 1991 Navy 24–3 Veterans Stadium

  • 1992 Army 25–24 Veterans Stadium

  • 1993 Army 16–14 Giants Stadium

  • 1994 Army 22–20 Veterans Stadium

  • 1995 Army 14–13 Veterans Stadium

  • 1996 Army 28–24 Veterans Stadium

  • 1997 Navy 39–7 Giants Stadium

  • 1998 Army 34–30 Veterans Stadium

  • 1999 Navy 19–9 Veterans Stadium

  • 2000 Navy 30–28 PSINet Stadium, Baltimore

  • 2001 Army 26–17 Veterans Stadium

  • 2002 Navy 58–12 Giants Stadium

  • 2003 Navy 34–6 Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia

  • 2004 Navy 42–13 Lincoln Financial Field

  • Winners of the The Commander In Chief's Trophy

    The trophy has been awarded to Air Force 16 times, Navy 7 times, and Army 6 times. The competition has ended in a tie 4 times. The President of the United States has personally awarded the trophy on numerous occasions.

    • The 2005 season winner will be determined in the Army-Navy Game on December 3, as both Army and Navy each defeated Air Force this season, each by a score of 27-24.

    • The 2004 season winner was Navy, having beat Army 34-6 and Air Force 24-21 .

    • The 2003 season winner was Navy, having beat Air Force 24-21 and Army 42-13.

    • The 2002 season winner was Air Force, having beat Navy 48-7 and Army 49-30.

    • The 2001 season winner was Air Force, having beat Navy 24-18 and Army 34-24.

    • The 2000 season winner was Air Force, having beat Navy 27-13 and Army 41-27

    • The 1999 season winner was Air Force, having beat Navy 19-14 and Army 28-0

    • The 1998 season winner was Air Force, having beat Navy 49-7 and Army 35-7.

    • The 1997 season winner was Air Force, having beat Navy 10-7 and Army 24-0

    • The 1996 season winner was Army, having beat Air Force 23-7 and Navy 28-24.

    • The 1995 season winner was Air Force, having beat Navy 30-20 and Army 38-20.

    • The 1994 season winner was Air Force.

    • The 1993 season winner was Air Force.

    • The 1992 season winner was Air Force.

    • The 1991 season winner was Air Force.

    • The 1990 season winner was Air Force.

    • The 1989 season winner was Air Force.

    • The 1988 season winner was Army, having beat Air Force 28-15 and Navy 20-15.

    • The 1987 trophy was a shared award.

    • The 1986 season winner was Army, having beat Air Force 21-11 and Navy 27-7.

    • The 1985 season winner was Air Force.

    • The 1984 season winner was Army, having beat Air Force 24-12 and Navy 28-11.

    • The 1983 season winner was Air Force.

    • The 1982 season winner was Air Force.

    • The 1981 season winner was Navy.

    • The 1980 trophy was a shared award.

    • The 1979 season winner was Navy.

    • The 1978 season winner was Navy.

    • The 1977 season winner was Army, having beat Air Force 31-6 and Navy 17-14.

    • The 1976 trophy was a shared award.

    • The 1975 season winner was Navy.

    • The 1974 trophy was a shared award.

    • The 1973 season winner was Navy.

    • The 1972 season winner was Army, having beat Air Force 17-14 and Navy 23-15.

    • Air Force won 13 of the 14 seasons between 1989 and 2002. Navy won (or held after a tie) 8 of the 9 seasons between 1973 and 1981.

    blog counter