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The first web2.0 spanish blog about Maritime Affairs. El primer blog web2.0 español sobre el sector marítimo.

NYK Cruises in fire response exercise

miércoles, enero 31, 2007
TOKYO 31 January – NYK Cruises, the wholly-owned cruise subsidiary of NYK Line, has carried out a severe accident response training exercise last week involving its Japan-flagged liner Asuka II. The 25 January exercise, carried out in co-operation with the Japan Coast Guard, involved a scenario in which a fire in passenger accommodation required a firefighting operation and the evacuation of casualties from the ship. In accordance with the company’s emergency response plans, a task force was immediately set up at the company’s head office in Tokyo and a simulated call-out request was made to the JCG. NYK said it was satisfied with its assessments of staff performance during the exercise, which included requiring decisions to be made on the destination of the vessel after the incident as well as press liaison carried out by senior executives. External consultants were appointed to provide their comments throughout the exercise. Japanese public attention was focused on cruise ship safety after the yard fire that severely damaged Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Nagasaki yard in 2002, although domestic cruise passenger numbers have grown considerably in subsequent years.


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Steep Princess fine for whale kill

 ANCHORAGE 30 January – Princess Cruises will pay $750,000 following the 2001 death of an endangered humpback whale in the vicinity of a Dawn Princess Alaskan cruise. According to court documents obtained by Fairplay, Princess agreed to pay the maximum fine of $200,000 plus a payment of $550,000 to the National Park Service Foundation and will serve a one-year probation. Princess does not specifically admit that it killed the pregnant humpback whose body was found in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park on 16 July 2001. However, it does admit that it is guilty of a Class A misdemeanour by violating federal regulations and failing to operate the Dawn Princess at a safe speed while knowingly in the presence of two humpback whales on 12 July 2001. The Dawn Princess was sailing at 14kt upon its departure from Glacier Bay when one eyewitness reported hearing a “resounding thud”. According to the statement of facts: “The vessel made no report of a possible collision and the captain did not preserve the recording of the bridge conduct on the vessel’s black box.” On 6 August 2001, Princess implemented a speed limit of 10kt for vessels transiting Alaska’s Icy Strait.

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MSC Napoli - salvage update

LYME BAY 30 January – Salvage work on the beached container ship MSC Napoli is progressing, with about 60% of the bunkers now safely pumped from the vessel and the first containers removed. The port side bunker tanks and first of the starboard tanks are now empty: 2,105 tonnes of the estimated 3,600 tonnes have been pumped into the chartered Forth Fisher. The latest reports suggest pumping might be completed by Friday. The number of boxes on board has been recalculated: Fairplay now understands there were 2,318 boxes on the MSC Napoli when it departed from Antwerp. Of these, 103 were lost overboard: 57 have been accounted for, 46 are still being searched for in the waters of the English Channel. Yesterday 15 containers were removed from the ship onto the waiting barge, and the hope is that at least 30 can be transferred each day, depending on the weather. Salvors suggest the operation will take about four weeks. Containers washed onto nearby Branscombe beach are being retrieved using a landing craft.


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Star Cruises' Libra briefly detained

MUMBAI 30 January – Star Cruises’ Super Star Libra was detained for one hour by port authorities in the Indian Lakshadweep islands today in relation to a Kerala court order. The detention was lifted when the ship’s captain provided a bank guarantee of Rs1M ($22,000). A company statement explained Star “has complied with the terms stated in the court order, and provided required bank guarantee so as to ensure no inconvenience of any kind to the passengers and crew members.” On 21 November, a 14-month-old child drowned when a transfer vessel taking her and her parents to Kadamat Island turned over. The operator had been sued for criminal negligence.


Cruise ship arrest after child drowns

martes, enero 30, 2007
 COCHIN 29 January – Kerala high court has ordered the "arrest" of cruise ship Super Star Libra for criminal negligence following the death of a 14-month old US citizen of Indian-origin, Neuna Shah. The toddler drowned off Kadamat Island near Lakshadweep on 21 November 2006, after a vessel carrying her and her parents from the cruise ship to the island capsized; the court acted on a criminal negligence petition filed by Shah's parents. The Libra departed from Mumbai yesterday evening heading for Lakshadweep with a team of lawyers on board headed by Seap Hong Wong, an official from Star Cruises India confirmed. The Shahs are also pursuing a $10M compensation suit against Star Cruises in a Malaysian court. At least 10 passengers, including her parents, were in the boat when it turned over. The incident brought into focus the safety measures provided by cruise companies. The Kerala court has directed the port officer of Lakshadweep administration to arrest and detain the vessel as and when it arrives in any of the ports under the control of the Lakshadweep administration and release it only on furnishing a bank guarantee of Rs1M ($22,000) by ship's master.

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Casino ship is good bet for Star

OSLO 29 January – Star Cruises is to convert Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Wind into a casino vessel for one-night trips out of Hong Kong after it has been phased out of service. The 50,760-gt, 1993-built vessel will be renamed SuperStar Aquarius and commence operations from Hong Kong on 22 June. A deck plan the ship posted on the Star Cruises’ website shows that most of the public rooms, except for dining areas, will be converted into casinos. The transfer of the ship from the NCL fleet is part of a a fleet renewal programme of NCL, whereby all its vessels with fewer than 2,000 berths will be transferred to Star Cruises. However, Star sold the 1988-built Norwegian Crown to Fred Olsen last year. Cruise operations targeting the Far Eastern source markets have had mixed fortunes recently. In the autumn, Star Cruises reported its operations in India had generated a loss, while earlier this month Carnival Corp's Costa Cruises said it would open bookings on Costa Allegra - which operates from China - also to passengers from outside the Far East. Observers believe this is because booking from the main market have not been adequate. Last year, Abou Merhi Cruises ceased operations after homeporting a vessel in Dubai and targetting the Middle Eastern and European markets, while another new company puled out of the Karachi-Dubai cruise sector after failing to attract enough passengers.



Cruise case brings call for onboard police

SYDNEY 29 January – An allegation of rape on board a cruise vessel has led to a call for such ships to carry police. According to The Australian newspaper, Mark Brimble, the former husband of the female passenger who died from an illegal drug overdose while on the P&O Cruises' vessel Pacific Star, called for the increase in onboard security after an investigation into the alleged incident was dropped for lack of evidence. The paper reported that a 16-year-old girl alleged she was raped after a fancy-dress party on Pacific Star last week, and was said to have been so distressed that three security guards had to prevent her from flinging herself overboard. The ship was apparently in waters off north eastern Australia at the time. The newspaper quoted Brimble as commenting that: "Incidents like this can and will happen on cruise liners ... International police should be stationed permanently on board, capable of investigating any matter." Brimble's former wife Dianne died from an overdose of "date rape" drug gamma hydroxybutyrate in September 2002 during a P&O cruise on the same vessel. The continuing inquest into her death has highlighted alleged problems with "out of control" partying and irresponsible behaviour on the part of certain passengers. The Brimble inquest will resume in Sydney on 5 February.



Ponomarev's death and Litvinenko

jueves, enero 25, 2007

The death of my friend Igor Ponomarev, Chairman of the MSC and tipped to be a future head of the IMO, had similarities to the murder by radiation poisoning of a former KGB agent, Alexander Litvinenko. Neil McAlister reports on allegations surfacing in Moscow.

THE German news magazine Focus has alleged that the day after IMO official Igor Ponomarev’s death on 30 October last year, he had planned to see the same contact that Alexander Litvinenko saw on 1 November, the day he was poisoned with polonium derived from uranium.

When Fairplay challenged Focus about its source, the magazine said its Moscow correspondent Boris Reitschuster claimed that the revelation that came from relatives of Igor Ponomarev.

Reitschuster reported relatives had claimed that Ponomarev, 41, suffered pangs of thirst before he died and had drunk three litres of water. Thirst is consistent with poisoning by radioactive thalium, the substance that was at first believed to have killed former Russian security agent Litvinenko.

The source of Focus’s claims remains Reitschuster’s closely guarded secret, but are thought to involve two very prominent civil rights leaders in Russia who might be related to Ponomarev, who was a former Russian ambassador to the International Maritime Organization. One of the two activists recently contributed news to Focus about the G8 summit.

Ponomarev’s contact man was Mario Scaramella, an Italian academic known in the maritime industry for his efforts to pinpoint the location of nuclear materials and waste.

Whatever the doubts about his academic qualifications and his links to the Italian and Russian secret services, Scaramella is respected by many for his knowledge of nuclear dumping.

Scaramella has attended many meetings of the London Convention, which concerns itself with the dumping at sea of land-originated wastes.
Deal with arms supplier

He reportedly told delegates to the convention on 30 October that he had signed a deal with a Russian state arms manufacturer as part of his probe into the illegal dumping of radioactive material. Was that the reason why Ponomarev had arranged to meet him?

But who would want to kill this hard-working, popular maritime diplomat? Ponomarev would have been interested in nuclear dumping issues; in 2005 the former naval architect was unanimously elected chairman of the Maritime Safety Committee and was tipped as a future head of the IMO.

Scaramella is no longer suspected by Scotland Yard of causing the death of Litvinenko. Instead the British police are to present a report to the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service about two Russian contacts who met Litvinenko on the day he fell ill: former KGB officer Andrei Lugovoi and retired military officer Dmitry Kovtun.

Scaramella himself wrote in an email to the dying Litvinenko that it was “an incredible coincidence” that he was scheduled to meet Ponomarev at the IMO just before their own meeting.

The Russian authorities declared that Ponomarov’s death on 30 October was due to a heart attack. But they rushed the IMO diplomat’s body back to Moscow without an autopsy being conducted in the UK. Reitschuster reports that no autopsy was conducted in Moscow either.

Delegates to the meetings of the London Convention took Scaramella and his detective work very seriously. Although the convention is not part of the IMO, the UN body regularly supplies secretarial services and the venue for its meetings.

Scaramella has since got into difficulties for his apparent efforts to find out more about Russian dumping. Rome prosecutors are understood to be investigating him on suspicion of violating state secrets and arms trafficking.

TIMELINE: Russian cloak and dagger

30.10.2006: Ponomarev collapses at home after a night at the opera and died. His body is rapidly returned to Moscow.

31.10.2006: Ponomarev was due to meet Mario Scaramella, according to Scaramella himself and Focus’s informants. The IMO denies any knowledge of the appointment.

1.11.2006: Alexander Litvinenko meets two Russian contacts – one a former KGB officer. He meets Scaramella at a sushi bar in Picadilly. The same day he is poisoned.

6.11.2006: Scaramella sends an email to Litvinenko recording that he had been scheduled to meet Ponomarev “at International Maritime Organization” on 30 October. The email is later forwarded to British Euro MP Gerard Batten.

23.11.2006: Litvinenko dies.

24.11.2006: A statement written by Litvinenko accuses President Putin of involvement with his death. Health experts say they now believe Litvinenko was poisoned by radioactive matter, believed to be polonium 210.

19.12.2006: The first of seven members of staff at the Sheraton Hotel, where one of the Russian contacts was known to have stayed, is found to be contaminated with polonium. A second Russian contact is being investigated by German police after traces of polonium are found at properties the contact had used in Hamburg.

7.1.2007: The German newsmagazine Focus publishes a report that Ponomarev died only two days before Litvinenko’s poisoning, and that the day following his death he had been due to meet Scaramella. It bases its report on statements by “relatives” of Igor Ponomarev and claims he had been suffering from extreme thirst just before his death.

8.1.2007: The Sun newspaper in Britain publishes an account similar to Focus, describing the informants as ‘pals’ of Litvinenko.

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MSC Napoli salvage progress

LYME BAY, UK 24 January – Salvors working on the MSC Napoli casualty began pumping oil from the ship's bunker tanks yesterday afternoon into the 5,000-dwt tanker Forth Fisher. The transfer of about 3,500 tonnes of fuel is expected to take 1-2 weeks, weather permitting. Some of the tanks are under water, and salvors will hot tap the oil in those tanks. Oil leakage, estimated at 60-200 tonnes, has only come from the flooded engine room. Meanwhile, the 135-m barge Bigfoot left Rotterdam today with arrival in Lyme Bay expected late on Friday or early on Saturday; the smaller barge from Rouen is expected at the site tonight. The barges will lift the ship's containers and shuttle them to a reception area on shore. 103 containers were lost overboard: 50 are being recovered from the beach, 20 have been located in the sea and a further 33 remain missing. The Napoli was carrying a total of 165 IMO containers: four were lost overboard. However, salvors say sea fastenings remain secure, and transfer of the boxes should begin at the weekend. After the hazardous boxes have been removed, salvors will then identify containers to be taken off to reduce stress on the hull. At that point a decision will be made as to refloating the ship. Weather conditions remain favourable with a northerly wind and calm sea state.

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Trasmed suspends Spain-UK service

BILBAO 24 January – Spanish ferry operator Acciona Trasmediterranea has suspended its service between Bilbao and Portsmouth, UK, until mid-April. The company said it had stopped operations but refused to confirm whether it had taken the decision because of a lack of customers and/or cargo during the winter months. "It is low season and we are taking advantage of this by putting the ship into drydock for annual maintenance," the spokesman said. The sudden suspension of the service comes eight months after it was launched. Acciona Trasmediterranea insisted the service will recommence in the second week of April.

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Smit begins salvage work on Napoli

martes, enero 23, 2007
 LYME BAY, UK 23 January – Netherlands-based Smit Salvage has started work to remove bunkers and containers from the stricken MSC Napoli. The company has signed a Lloyd's Open Form salvage agreement and SCOPIC has been invoked. The 5,000-dwt tanker Forth Fisher arrived this morning to take the 3,600 tonnes of bunker fuel pumped from the Napoli's tanks. Salvors now believe the oil will flow through the pipelines and pumping will begin today from the fuel tanks, which remain intact. Meanwhile the salvage work vessel Union Beaver is also at the scene to provide a base for salvage equipment and a diving team. A spokesman today confirmed that 103 containers are no longer on the Napoli, of which 76 have been recovered or located pending recovery. A total of 161 IMO containers are on board, but all are reported to be safe and secure. Work to remove the containers will focus on those in areas where the ship is showing most signs of stress. Two large barges are to be brought to the scene, a 135-m, two-crane barge from Rotterdam and a smaller vessel from Rouen. Boxes will be lifted from the Napoli onto the larger barge, then transferred to the smaller barge for shipment to an as-yet-undetermined shore location. Discharge is expected to begin at the weekend. The salvage team say the site is protected from the northerly winds by the nearby cliffs, and the forecast is for a favourable weather window for the short-term.


Star Cruises gambles on Macau

SINGAPORE 23 January – Star Cruises, Asia’s largest cruise operator, is to operate a casino in Macau in 2009. The casino will be operated through its subsidiary, New Orisol Investment, in which it has a 75% stake. The cruise ship operator will run the casino in a joint venture with Sociedade de Jogos (SJM), which holds gaming concessions from the Macau government. SJM will pay monthly fees to New Orisol for the casino and its provision of services. The casino is located at Resorts World at Macau, near Nam Van Lake in downtown Macau. Star Cruises, sold 255M subscription shares worth $84M each priced at $0.30 to a collection of private individuals and corporations. Profit Boom Investment, a company belonging to Hong Kong tycoon Stanley Ho bought 120M of the shares. The purchase gives him a 3.53% of the total issued share capital in Star Cruises, sources told Fairplay. Star Cruises also plans to raise another $98M from the sale of share options. The $641M casino project will be funded by a combination of debt, equity capital and bank borrowings. Genting International, the parent company of Star Cruises, recently won a hotly contested bid to build an integrated project that includes gaming in Singapore’s Sentosa Island. The news sent Star Cruises’ shares 48% higher to close at HK$3.74 after they had hit HK$4.16 during the day. The closing figure is well above the 52-week closing high of HK$2.53 of the stock.

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Cruise braces for new disability rules

WASHINGTON, 23 January – The US government yesterday officially staked out its position that passenger vessels – including foreign flag cruise ships – operating in domestic waters are subject to rules regarding accommodations for disabled persons. With a filing in the Federal Register, the Department of Transportation said it will soon propose a new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rule that will encompass passenger vessels and that “Issues concerning physical accessibility standards will be addressed at a later time, in conjunction with proposed passenger vessel accessibility guidelines drafted by the Access Board.” The filing cites the 2005 US Supreme Court case – Spector, et al versus Norwegian Cruise Lines – is stating that the DOT feels it has clear authority to issue ADA-based rules on foreign flag vessels, a position that has long been disputed by industry leaders. Contacted by Fairplay, Christine Fischer, spokesman for the Cruise Lines Industry Association, says the industry trade group is studying the filing and will offer comment after they have “digested it”. Holland & Knight maritime attorney Dennis Bryant told Fairplay that he doubts the cruise association will have major objections to the expected rulemaking as it has been very active in the Access Board’s deliberations. Following the board’s closed door meeting last month, Bryant suggests the proposed ADA rule will be released soon.

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Bulker aground off Cadiz

CADIZ 23 January – Spanish maritime authorities are attempting to extract 600 tonnes of bunker fuel from the Bahamas-flagged bulker Ocean Globe, which ran aground last night in the Bay of Cadiz, just outside the Cadiz Bay port, in Southwest Spain. Four tugs are in attendance, safeguarding the casualty and further anti-pollution equipment is being sent to Cadiz. Spanish maritime authorities will this afternoon attempt to refloat the ship, which is carrying 38,000 tonnes of coal. An initial attempt to refloat the vessel at 0600 failed. However Salvamiento Maritimo, Spain's maritime safety agency, said the Ocean Globe faces no risk of sinking as its hull is on the seabed at low tide. The Ocean Globe arrived in Spanish waters from Texas.

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South African Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) inaugurated

 17 January 2007

Search and rescue boost for Atlantic and Indian Oceans -
South African Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) inaugurated

Another gap in the effective search and rescue coverage along the coast
of Africa and out into the Indian and Atlantic Oceans has been filled
with the inauguration of a new Maritime Rescue Co ordination Centre
(MRCC) in Cape Town, South Africa.

The MRCC was commissioned, on 16 January 2007, by IMO Secretary-General
Efthimios E. Mitropoulos during an official visit to South Africa.

The commissioning of the Centre was preceded by the formal signing of a
Multilateral Agreement between the Governments of the Comoros,
Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa on the co-ordination of maritime
search and rescue services in areas adjacent to their coast.

Mr. Mitropoulos, who unveiled a plaque at the new MRCC alongside South
Africa's Transport Minister, Mr. Jeff Radebe, described the centre as
"a major step forward for this country and for this region, but also
for the maritime and shipping world as a whole and for the international
community of seafarers upon whom we all rely so much."

"Situated at the hub of one of the world's busiest trade routes, on
the southern tip of the great continent of Africa, this regional
Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre will plug one of the remaining gaps
in the global search and rescue network and help to put at rest the
minds of all those whose work takes them into its area of coverage,
whether they be deep sea mariners or the 27,000 or more South Africans
employed in the fishing industry," he said, adding that, despite its
benign name, the Cape of Good Hope frequently exposes seafarers to the
extremes of weather and sea conditions.

More than 4,000 ships in transit pass by the Cape of Good Hope every
year as they navigate South Africa's coastline of nearly 3000km.

The opening ceremony was also attended by Ms. Lindiwe Mabuza, Permanent
Representative of South Africa to IMO and High Commissioner for the
Republic of South Africa in London.

In addressing the staff of the Centre, Secretary-General Mitropoulos,
having congratulated them for the humanitarian task they were asked to
perform, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, gave them some
advice: "Never be complacent, never allow routine and boredom to
impair your actions and decisions, never underestimate the seriousness
of any distress incident you handle and never consider any incident to
be the same as others you dealt with in the past - because each has its
own peculiarities and special characteristics that demand special
attention. Remain focused and, every time you co-ordinate a SAR
operation, give your undivided attention to the task in hand. And never
forget that you represent the last hope of those seafarers for whom fate
has in store the bitter experience of a shipwreck. You will be the
first they will thank once rescued and safe on solid ground; and you
will have their eternal gratitude and that of their families."

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Fatigue problem avoidable, says DNV

Tuesday January 23 2007, From Lloyd's List

FATIGUE cracking of the type which caused the water ingress and subsequent abandonment of the MSC Napoli has been recognised as a problem of which operators of larger containerships need to be aware.

Long, narrow vessels such as containerships flex more than many types of ship in a seaway and care needs to be taken with the weight distribution in the cargo holds and tanks to minimise stresses.

They are also subject to torsional stresses in a quartering sea or with a swell on the bow that can contribute to fatigue stresses and even structural failure. Cracking in longitudinals, which have propagated to neighbouring structure and shell plates, have occurred to a number of large container vessels — not necessarily old ships.

Alerting owners to such problems, classification society Det Norske Veritas last October pointed out that side shell fatigue “had been of concern for some time”, with fatigue life on some designs found to be less than 10 years on some ships operating in particularly harsh conditions.

In its regular Container Ship Update, DNV, which happens to be the class society for the stricken British ship, suggests that regular visual inspection by ship staff, in areas where fatigue cracking is most likely, is a sensible precaution.

The society has developed a scheme, the Planned Inspection and Maintenance System, under which a ship-specific hull inspection manual would be produced for a containership, while ship’s staff would be trained to identify the first signs of fatigue cracking, along with a reporting system.

Using this system, a fatigue crack was discovered on a ship less than five years old. It is pointed out that such an inspection regime can be critical, as by the time a crack visibly manifests itself, some 90% of the fatigue life of the structure has elapsed.

Investigation into the causes of the incident are also expected to inquire whether the full sea speed grounding of the vessel on a coral reef in 2001 under its previous CMA CGM ownership might have some bearing on the subsequent structural problems.

The vessel, which was severely damaged in its forepart after being ashore on a pinnacle for nearly two months, was repaired in Vietnam and was bought by Zodiac soon after.



MSC Napoli bunker removal delayed

SIDMOUTH, UK 22 January – Salvors hoping to begin pumping oil from the stranded container ship MSC Napoli today have faced technical problems that have delayed operations until tomorrow. The ship was beached at the weekend in Lyme Bay, off the UK south coast, after cracks developed in its hull on Thursday during a voyage from Antwerp to Sines. Flooding of the engine room appears to be the cause of the sheen of oil spreading from the vessel, but the oil is breaking up and dissipating. A report issued early this morning by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said there was "increasing confidence" that no major bunker tanks have been breached. More than 150 containers have been lost overboard; of these, 63 have been identified and their positions plotted. The contents and stowage positions of almost all the remaining 2,100 containers of the cargo manifest have also been identified. MSC Napoli's stern is fast in the sand, but its bow has been stabilised by an anchor to prevent it moving in the tide. The ship has developed a 25 degree list in high water, reducing to 18 degree in low water. The 26 crew members were winched from their lifeboat by Royal Navy helicopters and taken to safety.



Inspectors on QE2 as norovirus hits

LOS ANGELES 22 January – Epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control are among the crew and passengers aboard the cruise ship Queen Elizabeth 2 as it arrives in San Pedro, California, today amid concern over a norovirus outbreak. So far, 16% of the ship's passengers have been affected. The CDC in Atlanta – which monitors cruise ship sanitation - says that by late last week, more than 260 of the ship’s 1,652 passengers and 26 of its thousand crew members had fallen ill during the vessel’s round-the-world cruise that began in Southampton on 2 January. The CDC team boarded the ship in Acapulco, its last call before LA, and conducted inspections and inquiries during the brief transit to the US. Spokesmen at Carnival-owned Cunard Line, the vessel’s operator, have told the media that sanitation procedures were immediately elevated following first signs of the outbreak, the first this year, and that reports of new cases are subsiding. Of those passengers and crew reporting symptoms of the illness, 14 were placed in isolation last week, the CDC says, adding that the first complaints of symptoms came within three days of the vessel’s departure as it was en route to New York on the cruise’s first leg.


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Salvors push for EU meeting

LONDON 22 January – Salvors are seeking a meeting with EU maritime affairs commissioner Joe Borg to push their case for new maritime emergency response measures. These proposals, as set out by the International Salvage Union, call for commercial arrangements between the European Maritime Safety Agency and salvors to run in parallel with steps already taken by EMSA to reinforce spill clean-up capability; a fund for environmental awards to reward salvors who, as a consequence of rendering salvage assistance to shipping casualties, prevent or minimise pollution in EU coastal zones; the use of this fund to compensate and reward coastal communities providing places of refuge for ship casualties; and the introduction of EU-wide responder immunity for salvors. The IMO’s Bunker Spills Convention excludes responder immunity, despite the fact that salvors have to confront the threat of environmental damage from bunkers in almost every salvage case, the ISU argues. The ISU is drafting guidelines for best practice regarding marine casualty management, which it hopes the EU will adopt, and is calling for salvage tugs to provide a guaranteed level of protection for all the EU coasts rather than relying on chance. Tug availability needs to be monitored, the organisation says, along with an inventory of tug and equipment.


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MSC Napoli may head for Lyme Bay

lunes, enero 22, 2007
SOUTHAMPTON 19 January – The cracked container ship MSC Napoli may be towed to Lyme Bay, off the UK’s south coast, and contracted salvor Smit International is understood to be mobilizing maritime salvage equipment from the Netherlands. The 4,700-teu Napoli is currently making its way up the English Channel under tow by the French tug Abeille Bourbon, with escort from the UK tug Anglian Princess. There are 2,394 containers on board, some carrying industrial and agricultural chemicals. Robin Middleton, the UK Secretary of State’s Representative for Salvage and Intervention said he has been working with the French government and salvors “to carry out a risk assessment of the various options available to us”. The most favourable option is to tow the vessel to a sheltered location where the salvage operation to remove the containers or make out temporary repairs can be carried out. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency Counter Pollution and Response branch will be working with the Salvage Consortium and other agencies to minimise any risk of pollution or damage to the environment.


Cruise vessel freed from Plate

BUENOS AIRES 19 January – Pullmantur’s 46,000-gt cruise ship Sky Wonder (until last year P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Sky) was refloated yesterday in a 20-hour operation in the River Plate. The vessel departed from Buenos Aires on Wednesday evening but was pushed out of the navigation channel by strong winds about 7km from the Argentine port. There were 570 crew and 1,612 mostly-Brazilian passengers on board. With the aid of three tugs and a favourable tide, the Wonder was freed at 1530 local time; after inspection, it continued its passage to Punta del Este, Uruguay. Argentine coastguards told Fairplay the grounded cruise ship did not obstruct the main channel – large container ships arrived at and departed from Buenos Aires unhindered. As Pacific Sky, the vessel ran aground south of Noumea in September 2005, lost cruises through gearbox failure in May 2005, suffered a blown boiler valve and engine breakdown in November 2004, and in March 2003 was found to have “very, very serious” corrosion that was so bad that some internal bulkheads had parted from the hull. Last year Pullmantur was taken over by Royal Caribbean Cruises.


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MSC crew rescued from holed boxship

jueves, enero 18, 2007

ENGLISH CHANNEL 18 January – All 26 crew of the container ship MSC Napoli have been picked up from their lifeboat by rescue helicopters today after they abandoned ship in the English Channel. The 4,700-teu vessel sustained damage to its hull from an unconfirmed cause this morning. The engine room was reported to have flooded and the ship began to list, prompting a distress call from a position in the French search and rescue area, 45n-miles off the Lizard peninsula in Southwest England. A French salvage team is now on board the Napoli and will try to attach a line to one of the emergency towage vessels at the scene. Fairplay understands that all containers on board remain safely secured. The 1991-built Napoli is registered in the UK; it is owned and managed by London-based Zodiac Maritime Agencies and operated by Mediterranean Shipping Co. It departed from Antwerp and was outbound for the Far East when it ran into severe gale force 9 winds and 8-9m swell. There is no indication of what caused the hole in the hull and no reports of injury to the seafarers.


Celebrity Legionnaires win slashed

NEW YORK 18 January – Royal Caribbean Cruises's $193M jury victory in the Legionnaires' lawsuit has been largely reversed. The long-running legal dispute stems from the 1994 outbreak of Legionnaires' disease aboard Celebrity Cruises' Horizon (now the Island Star), in which one passenger died and the cruise line suffered significant negative publicity. A defective filter in the hot-tub system was ultimately determined to be the cause, prompting Celebrity to sue manufacturer Essef, a company that was sold to Pentair in 1999. Last June, a jury awarded RCCL (through subsidiary Celebrity) a massive $193M award for lost profits, loss of business enterprise value and expenses. At the time, Pentair said it would appeal the decision; this week US magistrate Judge James Francis has ruled against Celebrity. According to a statement by Pentair, the judge dismissed the $135M claim for lost enterprise value and granted Essef the right for a new trial on the lost profits claims of $47.6M. The judge said that Essef would still be required to pay Celebrity $10.4M for out-of-pocket expenses.


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Combined safety, security centre opened

miércoles, enero 17, 2007
CUXHAVEN 16 January – The German government inaugurated a new central maritime safety and security centre, ‘GLZ See’, in Cuxhaven on the North Sea today. The new facility combines various agencies including the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies, the control centres of the waterways police and Customs department and shipping administration under one umbrella. They will be “working together much more closely than in the past”, German state secretary Jörg Hennerkes emphasised at the inauguration ceremony this morning. The ‘GLZ See’ acts as a co-ordination centre with all participating agencies maintaining their official independence. Although critics have pointed out that the new entity cannot match the capabilities of an integrated coastguard, Hennerkes defended the concept as “a reliable platform for crisis response”.



Officers killed as boxship hits ferry

martes, enero 16, 2007
MESSINA 16 January – Four officers on an Italian high-speed ferry were killed yesterday evening when the vessel was in collision with a container ship in the Strait of Messina between Sicily and the Italian mainland. Reports say at least 80 of the ferry's 130 passengers were injured when the bow of the Susan Borchard smashed into the bridge and mid-section. Many passengers panicked and jumped into the sea. The Segesta Jet is operated by the state rail company Rete Ferroviaria and was approaching Messina after a crossing from Villa San Giovanni (Calabria). It was carrying commuters and students. Although it remains unclear what caused the collision, observers appear to be in no doubt that the container ship hit the ferry; the captain of Messina port has been quoted as suggesting that a third vessel was close to the scene at the time. The dead are the Segesta Jet’s captain, 54-year-old Sebastiano Mafodda; engineer Marcello Sposito (41), and navigating officers Lauro Palmiro (50) and Domenico Zona (42). None of the Susan Borchard's crew was injured, and the ship is now in Messina. Reports say it will take much of the day to stabilise the casualty after water was pumped on board to extinguish the fire. Four investigations are now underway.

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Star's Indian venture struggling

MUMBAI 15 January – Star Cruises has posted a loss on its first Indian season and warns of an expected shortfall in its current season. The operator launched a series of cruises on the 42,000-gt, 1,800-berth Superstar Libra from Mumbai in September 2005. However, a combination of factors including heavy taxation and occupancy that averaged about 50% led to a loss for the period October 2005 to March 2006 of Rs750M ($17M). Star’s vice president sales and marketing Jean Teo has warned that the current season (October 2006-March 2007) will also show a deficit. The company has urged the Indian government to waive excise duty and some other taxes, as happened in Singapore, Star’s home port. To raise occupancy, Star is pulling the long trips to Lakshadweep and Goa and introducing short cruises that have proved popular among Indian tourists. The government has set up a powerful steering group led by shipping minister TR Baalu to draft a cruise policy to encourage foreign investment in the Indian cruise sector.

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P&O's Bilbao vessel charter extended

PORTSMOUTH 15 January – DP World's ferry subsidiary P&O Ferries has extended the charter of the 1986-built 37,583-gt Pride of Bilbao for a further three years from October 2007. The vessel has been on charter from owner Irish Continental Group since the mid-1990s for the Portsmouth-Bilbao run. The move scotches fears for the future of the service after longstanding rival Brittany Ferries (Plymouth-Santander) was joined by newcomer Acciona Trasmediterranea (also Portsmouth-Bilbao) on the UK-north Spain route. A P&O spokesman confirmed that in another charter arrangement the chartered fast ferry Express, which operates on P&O’s Irish Sea routes between Larne and Cairnryan/Troon, has been contracted for another five years from October 2007. The Express is owned by Buquebus.

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Spill battle after bulker breaks up

lunes, enero 15, 2007
BERGEN 15 January – Norwegian authorities have spent the weekend fighting to control an oil spill from a Handysize bulker that ran aground and broke up on Friday. The 33,333-dwt Cyprus-registered Server was in ballast en route for Murmansk when it sailed close to Norway's west coast to enable a sick member of the crew to be taken off. In heavy weather the vessel ran aground and broke in two at about 2300. The 25 seafarers on board were rescued by tugs and helicopters. The vessel had 582 tonnes of bunker oil and 72 tonnes of diesel on board at the time of the incident, and it is estimated that about 270 tonnes of fuel have leaked into the sea. Norwegian broadcasting company NRK said a major operation is underway to combat the pollution. The bow section has now been towed to Hjeltefjorden. The Server is owned by Avena Shipping in Limassol, and is operated and managed by Dalnave Navigation in Athens, Greece. The ship’s captain has ruled out engine trouble, but declined to disclose details pending an inquiry.

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Richard Sadler steps up at LR

viernes, enero 12, 2007
LONDON 12 January – Richard Sadler, currently Director of Lloyd’s Register EMEA, has been appointed chief executive of the Lloyd’s Register Group. The appointment takes effect on 1 July, by which time Sadler will have full executive responsibility for the organisation. David Moorhouse will remain chairman of LR. Sadler has a degree in naval architecture and holds a post-graduate diploma of welding technology. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineers and a Member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. He joined LR in 1976, working in the marine, industrial and offshore sectors before moving on to a number of overseas postings. He held a number of managerial roles before becoming marine general manager of Lloyd’s Register’s London operations in 2000. After two years as director of ship asset management with the Royal Bank of Scotland, Sadler returned to head up LR’s EMEA division. Moorhouse welcomed Sadler’s “unique understanding of the technical, operational and commercial issues that the classification, management systems and asset risk management sectors face as a whole.”


Grimaldi makes mandatory offer for Finnlines

NAPLES 12 January – Naples, Italy-based ro-ro shipping group Grimaldi has launched a mandatory offer for Finnlines, the Finnish roro and port group, after its holding in the company exceeded 50%. Grimaldi will offer €17.00 ($22.10) in cash for each share in Finnlines in the offer, which it expects to launch on 22 January and is forecast to run for four weeks. A Finnlines statement said the directors would give their recommendation according to the Securities Market Act after the tender offer document has been released. A Grimaldi offer in the autumn was rejected, but the Italians acquired a further 1.5M shares on 29 December, giving them 20.4M Finnlines shares, representing a 50.1% stake

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Costa targets French cruisers

MARSEILLES 12 January – Costa Cruises, Carnival Corp's Italian brand, is to boost its presence in France and expects a 30% increase in the number of passengers carried this year to 150,000. "This will be a significant share of the French cruise market, which is estimated at about 250,000 passengers a year," a cruise analyst in Paris said. To show its commitment to the French market, the second largest for the company after Italy, Costa is to take the rare step of christening a new vessel, the 3,780-passenger Costa Serena, in Marseilles on 19 May. Costa intends to strengthen its presence at Marseilles during the year, expecting to place 30 calls representing about 90,000 passengers. The company strengthened its links with the port in 1996 when it began a series of frequent visits with its Costa Classica class. In total, Marseilles expects to handle more than 400,000 cruise passengers in 2007. The port's cruise growth was slowed by the bankruptcy of former client Festival Cruises, ROC and Renaissance Cruises but recovery is underway and Marseilles officials expect to handle 1M cruise passengers by 2010.


Singapore powers ahead

jueves, enero 11, 2007
SINGAPORE 11 January – Singapore’s maritime sector continued to power ahead with container volumes, bunker sales and the ship registry maintaining the momentum of recent years. PSA's terminals and Jurong port in the west of the island together handled 24.8M teu in 2006, nearly 7% more than in 2005, transport minister Raymond Lim disclosed yesterday. Separately PSA announced today that its Singapore terminals had handled 23.9M teu in 2006, a growth of 7.6% over the 2005 throughput. The numbers place Singapore well ahead of Hong Kong, stamping its status as the world’s biggest container port in terms of volumes handled. Fairplay understands that Hong Kong, which conceded top place to Singapore in 2005, handled 23.4M teu in 2006. Bunker sales rose by 11% to 28.4M tonnes while the ship registry grew 5.6% to 34.8Mgt. Citing Singapore’s progress as a base for shipping in Asia, Lim noted that the UNCTAD report for 2006 placed Singapore as the “10th most important maritime nation” in terms of vessel tonnage controlled. The government will continue to support shipping, the minister affirmed.

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Tokyo calls for Mogamigawa answers

TOYKO 11 January – The Japanese government has called for a full investigation into how a US nuclear-powered submarine managed to hit a VLCC on Monday night in the Strait of Hormuz. The ‘K’ Line tanker Mogamigawa sustained damage to a ballast tank about 70m from its stern, but there were no injuries to seafarers on either vessel. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki was quoted yesterday as saying that the cause of the collision was still under investigation and it was too early to place the blame. Shiozaki said Japan was informed that US Central Command was engaged in operations for maritime security in the area when the incident occurred and that the bow of the USS Newport News had been damaged. Divers inspected the tanker’s ballast tank No.5 while the ship was at Khor Fakkan yesterday and confirmed there was one dent 10m long x 3.5m wide with two holes, about 20cm x 10cm and 40cm x 20cm; another dent 4m long x 2m wide with three holes, about 10cm x 5cm, 10cm x 5cm and 20cm x 10cm; a third dent measuring 10m x 2m. The holes have been plugged and flooding of the ballast tank stopped. ClassNK has recommended that permanent repairs should be carried out by 9 February after cargo has been unloaded. Mogamigawa departed from Khor Fakkan last night and is expected to arrive in Singapore on 20 January. No repair yard has yet been selected.

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Aker sets up Asian foothold

OSLO 11 January – Aker Yards, Europe's largest shipbuilder, is to set up a joint venture shipyard in Vietnam to construct offshore vessels. Aker's partner, Singapore-based Amanda Group will take a 30% stake in the venture. The shipyard will be located in Vung Tau in the heart of Vietnam's growing offshore operations. “Aker Yards will invest $16M over a period of three years. The yard will deliver the first vessel in 2009, and in full operation will have an annual capacity of three or four vessels, dependent of vessel type and size,” the company said. Aker Yards currently has 17 shipyards, of which the Aker Yards Promar in Niteroi, Brazil, is the only one outside Europe. This yard builds offshore vessels for the Brazilian market. At the end of 3Q06, Aker Yards had 74 offshore and specialist vessels on order, with 13 new orders won at that quarter alone. However, the combined value of new orders in the quarter fell to NK1.5Bn ($245M) from NK4.7Bn in the same period in 2005. The company predicted a slight softening of the market for platform supply vessels due to a big orderbook, but forecast that the demand for other types of offshore vessels, such as anchor handlers, would continue strong.

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Russians stand firm on Druzhba

MOSCOW 10 January – Russian officials have told a delegation from Belarus there can be no resumption of crude oil shipments through the Druzhba pipeline unless the Minsk government withdraws its transit fee hike. Belarus had been charging a nominal transit fee to Russian pipeline operator Transneft until last week, when it raised the fee substantially. Minsk officials did this in retaliation for the Moscow decision to end the duty-free regime for oil crossing the border, and impose a $180.70 per tonne export duty on crude from Russian producers. The duty-free regime originated in 1995, when the export duty was to be charged at Belarus’s western border, and the proceeds divided between the Belarus and Russian government budgets, 15% to the former, 85% to the latter. In 2001, Belarus abandoned the scheme, Russian officials claim, adding that more than $3.5Bn in revenues have been foregone by the Russian treasury, amounting to a subsidy to Belarus refining and export of petroleum products. Of the 1.3M barrels a day of crude Transneft piped across Belarus, about 400,000 barrels went to the Belarus refineries, and almost 1M barrels went on to Germany, Poland and other central European destinations. Russian producers may divert about half of this to domestic Russian refineries, and route another 200,000 barrels for export through the Black Sea or Baltic, where unseasonably warm weather currently allows an increase in tanker loadings.


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Agents shocked by Paranagua praise

PARANAGUA 10 January – Ship agents in the southern Brazil port of Paranagua say they are “shocked” by news that government ministers view the port as a model for others to follow. A visit to the port by home office minister Dilma Rousseff and Paulo Bernardo from the planning ministry followed a series of investigations of the port authority and its president, Eduardo Requiao, by the federal accounting court (Tribunal de Contas de Uniao - TCU). These revealed that the port authority had failed, among other things, to carry out necessary dredging or provide for the export of genetically-modified soya. Instead of supporting these findings, Rousseff was quoted by Brazilian media and in port press releases as saying: “[The port authority] is a model of port management that can take as an example to follow,” adding that Paranagua is a paragon of “flexibility, modernity and efficiency” that “has undergone revolutionary change.” Paranagua port president Eduardo Requiao commented that the advances achieved by the port meant that Brazil could be offered “a new option in port management.” Agents contacted by Fairplay said they could not understand why the court’s thorough – and deeply critical – findings had been swept aside.


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Hormuz 'normal' after collision

BAHRAIN 10 January – Vessel movement through the strategic Strait of Hormuz has been reported as normal following Monday’s collision between a US nuclear submarine and ‘K’ Line VLCC Mogamigawa. According to an unnamed Omani government official, the collision occurred outside Omani waters and satellite images showed no signs of a spill. An official statement issued by the US Naval Central Command in Bahrain confirmed the collision and said the submarine’s nuclear propulsion plant was not damaged. “The USS Newport was under water when it hit the oil tanker. Apparently, there were no injuries,” said Lieutenant Denise Garcia, spokesman of the US Navy in Bahrain. The double-hull Mogamigawa arrived at Khor Fakkan at 1310 yesterday and inspection by a diver commenced two hours later. A 1m x 5m dent was found on the bottom of No 5 ballast tank, with a hole measuring 10cm x 35cm. There were additional scratches. Temporary repair work was made to stop sea water flowing into the ballast tank. Further inspection was carried out by a diver this morning and a repair plan was to be determined after this inspection.


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Chin to push Singapore's ambitions

SINGAPORE 10 January – Singapore Maritime Foundation, a private sector initiative to promote Singapore as an International Maritime Centre, has appointed trade and industry veteran David Chin as its new executive director. Chin, who replaces Teh Kong Leong, had retired recently as Director-General in the trade and industry ministry. “He [Chin] is the architect of the Approved International Shipping scheme and is eminently suitable to carry the IMC vision forward,” SMF chairman SS Teo told Fairplay. The scheme, which involves tax breaks over a specified time frame, has proved to be popular. Chin was also employed with shipyard group Keppel. Teo added Teh had resigned to pursue other interests. “We are parting ways,” Teh told without elaborating. Teh, 54, who had served in senior positions in Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority and shipping company NOL, joined SMF as executive director in January 2005. SMF is backed and partly funded by the Maritime and Port Authority, which has been designated as the “champion” agency to promote the government’s IMC objective.

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Aker re-engines links with Celebrity

PARIS 10 January – Aker Yards France is working hard to build its relationship with Celebrity Cruises and hopes the installation of Aker-built Wärtsilä Diesel engines in two of the four Millennium-class vessels will help. Aker took over Alstom-Chantiers de l’Atlantique last year at a time of tension between Alstom and Celebrity over problems with podded propulsion units. Now the French ship and engine builder is constructing diesel engines to be installed into Celebrity’s Millennium and Constellation at Sobrena ship repair yard in Brest, France, in April and May. The new engines will enable Celebrity to make considerable cost savings by burning fuel oil in port instead of expensive diesel oil. Four Millennium-class ships built by Alstom-Chantiers de l’Atlantique between 2000 and 2002 were powered by Co-Gaz Electric Stream engines, featuring General Electric gas turbines burning diesel oil. Aker is confident it will also win the contract to install diesel engines on the third and fourth ships in the series, the Summit and Infinity; Royal Caribbean’s Radiance-class ships – Brilliance of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas – are also to have a diesel engine installed.


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Trasmed cuts Cadiz-Canaries service

miércoles, enero 10, 2007
CADIZ 09 January – In a major shake up of its Canary Island services, Spanish ferry operator Acciona Trasmediterranea will this week move two of its largest ferries, the Superfast Andalucia and the Superfast Canarias, from Cadiz to the ports of Barcelona and Valencia. Cadiz is expected to lose up to 600 trucks a week currently using Trasmed's services to the Canary Islands. The move has sparked outrage from Cadiz's freight forwarder’s association, which claims it will lose up to three-quarters of its existing maritime trade and hundreds of jobs. Acciona Trasmediterranea’s decision to transfer the two ferries to ports closer to Spain’s major industrial and service production areas has not affected the position of the ferries Sorolla and Galicia, which will continue to serve the Canary Islands from Cadiz.

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New Barcelona chairman

 BARCELONA 09 January – Catalan socialist politician Jordi Valls i Riera has been appointed chairman of Barcelona Port Authority. His appointment follows the departure of his predecessor, Joaquim Coello, last month. Valls i Riera, a senior member of the Catalan Socialist party, PSC, ran the Catalan regional government's work and industry department last year. Prior to his stint in government office, he was mayor of Manresa, a town near Barcelona. According to the APB, Valls i Riera will continue the policies of Coello, who instigated the restructure of the road haulier system at Barcelona and called for Barcelona to be run like a private company with less central government interference. Valls i Riera became chairman of the port authority on 22 December, but he will officially take up his new executive position tomorrow.

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Fears over P&O’s Bilbao route

PORTSMOUTH 09 January – An announcement is expected next week regarding the future of P&O Ferries’ Portsmouth-Bilbao route against the background of growing fears that it might be axed. The vessel employed on the route, the Pride of Bilbao, is chartered from Irish Ferries’ parent, the Irish Continental Group, and the current charter period ends in October. Both parties are required to make clear their plans in terms of whether P&O wishes to continue the service or whether ICG is open to the ship continuing to be chartered out. There are reports that P&O is only breaking even or at best making a small profit on the route. If ICG does not want the ship back, the future could hinge on agreeing a charter rate that reflects the economic situation and the increased competition on the northern Spain-UK route from Acciona Trasmediterranea and Brittany Ferries. This will be the first ferry-related challenge for DP World, the new owner of P&O following their take over last year.

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Miguel Palomares: New Director of the IMO's Marine Environment Division

lunes, enero 08, 2007
Miguel Palomares and me
Mr. Miguel Palomares of Spain has stepped up to become Director of the Secretariat’s Marine Environment Division, at the UN's IMO,  following the retirement of Mr. Jean-Claude Sainlos.

Mr. Stefan Micallef of Malta becomes Deputy Director of that Division and Head of its Sub-Division for Pollution Response and Technical Co-operation Co-ordination.

Congratulations to Miguel and Stefan, and all the best for Jean-Claude. We'll all miss him.

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Enhanced focus on maritime security in IMO Secretariat

IMO Secretary-General, Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, has established a new sub-division within the IMO Secretariat’s Maritime Safety Division to reinforce the high priority given by the Organization to matters of maritime security.

The new sub-division will provide a stronger focus on security matters and will address the complimentary issue of facilitation of maritime traffic, under the leadership of Mr. Nicolaos Charalambous of Cyprus, who becomes Deputy Director.

Announcing the formation of the new sub-division, Mr. Mitropoulos said that it reflected the continuing need for the Organization, and the maritime world as a whole, to sustain efforts to enhance and improve levels of security in all aspects of ship and port operations, while at the same time facilitating the innocent movement of people and goods by ships.


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Beca del COIN en la Representación Permanente de España ante la OMI

El Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros Navales y Oceánicos convoca una beca para colaborar con la Representación Permanente de España ante la Organización Marítima Internacional :

El Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros Navales y Oceánicos convoca una beca para colaborar con la
representación permanente de España ante la Organización Marítima Internacional bajo las
siguientes premisas:
o Ingeniero Naval o Ingeniero Naval y Oceánico recién titulado con no más de tres años de
experiencia profesional.
o Alumno de ETSIN-UPM, EPS-UC o ETSINO-UPCt a falta de la presentación del
proyecto final de carrera o como máximo a falta de menos de 2 asignaturas para acabar
la carrera y estar en disposición de presentar el proyecto final de carrera
o Dominio del idioma inglés (se realizará prueba escrita y oral entre los días 31 de Enero y
1 de Febrero de 2007).
o Realizará una entrevista personal
o Duración de la beca: 12 meses
o Compromiso personal de cumplir este período en su totalidad
o El becario deberá estar colegiado, ser aspirante a colegiado o asociado estudiante
o Trabajo: Colaborador Técnico del Representante Permanente de España en la
Organización Marítima Internacional.
o Lugar de trabajo: Embajada Española en Londres.
o Dependencia orgánica: Oficina de Gestión del Colegio.
o Dependencia funcional: Grupo de trabajo del PAT-14 de la COIN-AINE
o Dotación: 1.600 euros/mes y hasta 3 viajes ida y vuelta al lugar de residencia.
o El becario no tendrá relaciones laborales con la Embajada de España en Londres.
o Incorporación: 12 de Febrero de 2007.
o Fecha de adjudicación, en su caso, de la beca: 2 Febrero 2007.
o Plataforma indiscutible de futura promoción en organismos internacionales.
o Formación en normativas de construcción naval, seguridad marítima y polución marítima.
o Buena formación para futuros inspectores de buques.
o Contacto con personalidades internacionales de primer nivel del campo naval.
o Participación en los comités de trabajo y subcomités de la OMI.
o Colaboración con personal de la Dirección General de la Marina Mercante.
o Colaboración con personal de astilleros y empresas españolas interesadas en OMI.
o Se dispondrá de un seguro durante la estancia.
o Oportunidad única para su carrera profesional.
o Conocimiento en profundidad de la Agencia especializada del sistema de Naciones
Unidas dedicada a asuntos marítimos.
o Oportunidad para dominar el inglés técnico-marítimo.
o Condiciones de trabajo flexibles en un entorno agradable.
o Cooperación con el personal de la Secretaría de la OMI.
o La dotación de la beca puede no cubrir la totalidad de gastos de alojamiento y
Los interesados deberán enviar la siguiente documentación al Servicio de Orientación
Profesional del Ingeniero Naval (S.O.P.I.N.) antes del 20 Enero del 2.007:
a) Fotocopia del Carnet de Identidad.
b) Certificado de estudios en el que consten necesariamente:
- El título y la especialidad del candidato.
- El Centro o los Centros donde se realizó la carera.
- La fecha de comienzo y de conclusión de los estudios.
- Las calificaciones obtenidas en todas y cada una de las asignaturas, con
indicación de la fecha de la convocatoria en la que se obtuvieron. Cuando en el
expediente figuren asignaturas convalidadas, se aportará documentación
aclaratoria de tal circunstancia, en la que figuren el Centro donde las cursó, las
calificaciones obtenidas y la fecha en que las aprobó.
c) Una exposición de los conocimientos informáticos que se posean (lenguajes,
programación, etc.) y forma en que se obtuvieron esos conocimientos.
d) El nivel de conocimientos de idiomas, indicando cuáles se hablan: muy bien,
bien, regular, se traducen: muy bien, bien, regular, y/o se leen: muy bien, bien,
e) Una relación de méritos académicos y de actividades desarrolladas, que sean
complementarios de los estudios que facultan a presentar la solicitud,
acompañada de las fotocopias de la documentación que los acredite.
Cuando se trate de cursos de especialización, máster, seminarios, etc…, se
indicará la denominación de los mismos, el Centro donde se realizaron y el
número de horas de que constaban.
En caso de publicaciones, deberá especificarse el título, personas que
colaboraron en cada una de ellas y el tipo de publicación.
Si se trata de prácticas relacionadas con la profesión antes de la obtención del
título se deberá indicar el nombre de la empresa donde se realizaron y el
período en que se desarrollaron.

Para cualquier aclaración podrán dirigirse a: D. Carlos Arias Rodrigo (shipcar@terra.es)

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Korean yards brace for slowdown

domingo, enero 07, 2007
SEOUL 03 January – South Korean shipbuilders including the world’s biggest builder, Hyundai Heavy Industries, are bracing for a slowdown in newbuilding orders this year. Massive orders secured in 2006 (about 20M CGT) could act as a break for orders in 2007, HHI chief executive KS Choi warned in his New Year speech. Choi also cited currency appreciation against the dollar, volatile steel and oil prices and a possible increase in labour costs as negative factors for the shipbuilding business. Samsung Heavy Industries CEO JW Kim agreed, expressing concern that the price of thick plate steel would be hiked. Daewoo Shipbuilding CEO ST Nam expects further erosion of the dollar and prices of raw materials to rise further. Yards are expected to enhance productivity and increase automation in areas such as welding, shipbuilding sources told Fairplay. Alternatives to oil such as bio-fuel could also be considered. Meanwhile, Hyundai affiliate Samho shipyard has targeted 45 newbuilding orders valued at $4.6Bn for 2007. The yard, which will soon begin to build ships “on-ground”, aims to deliver 28 ships valued at W2.6Trn ($2.8Bn) this year.


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Newcomer to head up UK's MCA

SOUTHAMPTON 03 January – The new chief executive of the UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency will be a newcomer to the maritime industry. Peter Cardy, a keen yachtsman who has spent the past five years as head of MacMillan Cancer Support, will take over in May when the acting CEO, John Astbury, steps down. Cardy was chosen in open competition by a selection panel that included former MCA chief executive Maurice Storey – who is the current president of the Chamber of Shipping – and Robert Devereux, director general road transport, aviation and shipping at the Department for Transport. In an initial statement, Cardy, who has spent most of his working life spearheading the work of volunteers, commented that he “looks forward to working with all the staff of the Agency, including the volunteers in the Coastguard Rescue Service, to protect the sea and all those who use it.”

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Warm welcome as HAL goes home

ROTTERDAM 05 January – Carnival Corp subsidiary Holland America Line is to reopen for business in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, 36 years after ending its trans-Atlantic operations. HAL’s new regional head office will be close to its old base at Wilhelminapier, near the city centre. The HAL Beheer branch office at Spijkenisse, which employs masters, officers and managers for the company, will be transferred to the head office; they will be joined by a marketing team. HAL allowed Rotterdam mayor Ivo Opstelten to break the news in his New Year speech; more details will emerge at a 28 February press briefing. Two years ago HAL chief executive Stein Kruse suggested the operator might boost its presence in Europe to attract more European passengers, and said Rotterdam was one of the locations being considered. Since then the Cruise Port Rotterdam marketing team, under MD Mai Elmar, have worked hard to persuade HAL to return home. Rotterdam’s cruise terminal was formerly HAL’s departure and arrivals hall for its trans-Atlantic sailings. Fittingly, the first HAL vessel to call at Rotterdam this year will be the 59,652-gt 1997-built, Rotterdam-registered Rotterdam on 23 June. The operator uses its Dutch heritage as a marketing tool, and will soon to able to add a Dutch regional office.

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Carnival orders yet again

MIAMI 03 January – Carnival Corp continues its bullish newbuilding pace, announcing a fresh order for a P&O post-Panamax at Fincantieri. The 116,000-gt, 3,076-passenger P&O newbuilding will be delivered in spring 2010 at a cost of €535M ($707M), with that ship taking the building slot previously allocated to a 130,000-gt newbuilding for Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL), which will now be delivered in spring 2011. Carnival chairman Micky Arison said the P&O-CCL switch was not related to a change in market conditions, but rather, due to contract timing. “It had been our intention all along to schedule delivery of the P&O ship for 2010 and the CCL vessel for 2011. However, because we completed the agreement for the CCL newbuilding first, we temporarily placed it in the first available slot pending finalisation of the P&O agreement.” The additional P&O newbuilding will bring that brand’s fleet to seven vessels, including five existing ships and the Ventura to be delivered in April 2008. Following today’s announcement, Carnival Corp now has 20 ships on order, 14 of which are being constructed by its favoured partner Fincantieri, which sealed contracts for eight new Carnival Corp vessels, valued at nearly €3.5Bn ($4.6Bn) during 2006.


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Star closes NCL financing

MIAMI 03 January – Star Cruises has infused $200M in new equity into subsidiary Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and secured a $610M credit facility for its North American brand. According to documents filed with US and Asian regulators, the credit facility refinances two existing loans secured by the Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Sun and is available in two tranches of $510M and $100M. The new credit facility was underwritten by DnB, Citibank, Commerzbank, KfW, Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale and Nordea Bank Norge. The new loan contains a specific obligation that the Lim family maintains 51% control of Star (it currently controls over 87%), mandating default in the event of a sale of a majority stake in the company. Separately, Star issued a prospectus last October stating that external financing had also been arranged for €1.33Bn ($1.8Bn) in payments for NCL’s first two ‘F3’ newbuildings to be delivered in 2009 and 2010 from Aker Yards France. That financing – through BNP Paribas, Caylon, HSBC France and Societe Generale – included a similar obligation mandating that the Lim family must maintain control over NCL.


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Smiths get $1M RCCL payout

MIAMI 05 January – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL) has agreed to pay the estate of George Smith IV $1.05M in a settlement following his high-profile honeymoon disappearance from the Brilliance of the Seas in July 2005. According to the agreement publicly disclosed yesterday, RCCL will pay the estate $950,000 plus $100,000 to reimburse legal expenses. The Smith estate has hired renowned "OJ trial" forensic expert Dr Henry Lee to continue the search for answers, and RCCL has agreed to turn over additional information to the estate – including logs, security reports, records, tapes, witness statements, etc – “which would never have otherwise been obtained, even in the event of a lawsuit,” said Jennifer Hagel Smith, estate administrator and George’s wife. “Reaching a settlement in no way shuts down the investigation,” she affirmed. The Smith case was significant to the cruise industry overall because it created a media frenzy that gave consumers’ negative impressions of ship safety, while spurring Congressman Chris Shays to introduce the Cruise Line Accurate Safety Statistics Act in July 2006 (a bill that died at the committee level). In at least one way, the Smith controversy did change industry practice, as cruise lines have begun to issue press releases revealing when passengers fall overboard.

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2006 snags norovirus crown

MIAMI 02 January – More norovirus outbreaks struck North American cruise ships in 2006 than during any previous year, according to Centres for Disease Control (CDC) statistics. As the year closed, 37 outbreaks have been reported, with December cases logged aboard the Norwegian Wind, Regal Princess, Sun Princess, Zaandam and Freedom of the Seas (additional reports could be pending). Earlier years’ outbreak totals were: 19 (2005), 36 (the previous record, 2004), 27 (2003) and 21 (2002). When asked about norovirus’ impact during Carnival Corp’s 4Q06 conference call, chairman Micky Arison responded: “We haven’t seen it in booking patterns, but we know, anecdotally, that it must be a problem.” While outbreaks remained high despite sanitation efforts, Arison noted on the plus side that “the media has handled the issue far better, for the first time putting it in context – that this virus has spread widely throughout the country”. Arison said first-time cruisers are more likely to be nervous about the impact of norovirus. Together with other negatives that dissuade first-timers such as air-travel hassles, Arison suggested that norovirus fears could be playing a supporting role in current Caribbean short-cruise weakness, which is being primarily driven by macroeconomic factors.


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Shell, Gazprom in Sakhalin agreement

MOSCOW 02 January – Gazprom, Russia's largest company and the world's dominant gas exporter, has agreed with Royal Dutch Shell that the latter will invest an additional $3.6Bn of its own cash to bring the Sakhalin-2 LNG project on stream. Neither Shell, nor its operating company for the project, Sakhalin Energy Invest Co (SEIC), is commenting on the announcement, which has been leaked to the Russian press following Gazprom's negotiations with Shell to take the control shareholding in the project. Shell and its Japanese partners, Mitsui and Mitsubishi, are to accept $7.45Bn in compensation for the transfer of part of their shareholdings in SEIC to Gazprom. Gazprom told Fairplay the figure is correct, but added "it is too early to speak about the dates" when payment will be made. This is a hint that Gazprom is looking to apply its newly-acquired share of Sakhalin-2's oilfield revenues to meet part of its bill. A Russian government audit of SEIC's proposed capital expenditure on the project – reported to have reached between $19 and $22Bn, almost double the initial estimates – has also forced Shell and the Japanese into a corner on funding the project's completion.


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Indonesian tragedy: probe launched

JAKARTA 04 January – Indonesia has launched an investigation into last week's sinking of the ferry Senopati Nusantara. More than 400 of the almost 700 passengers and crew are still missing. Indonesian government sources told Fairplay that rescue work is continuing. News of the investigation comes as seasonal bad weather sweeps across the area, prompting the country's transport department to ban ro-ro vessels from setting out on routes linking Java Sea ports. The Senopati Nusantara was just one of five ferry and ro-ro vessel incidents reported over the past weekend; yesterday, a vessel carrying cattle from Kalimantan to Java had to offload livestock into the sea after that ship was hit by heavy weather, according to news agency Bernama. The seaworthiness of the Senopati Nusantara and the ship's safety equipment will be the focus of the investigation. The ferry was also carrying motorcycles, according to a spokesman at the rescue co-ordinating base in Semarang on the island of Java. The number of confirmed survivors is now 227, some of whom have been found clinging onto oil platforms; only seven passengers have been confirmed dead.



Indonesian tragedy: ferry seaworthy

JAKARTA 03 January – The Indonesian ferry Senopati Nusantara, which sank on the night of 28/29 December off Mandalika Island in the Java Sea, was seaworthy, transport minister Hatta Rajasa has confirmed. The vessel had the required safety equipment and completed a repair and maintenance programme last year. The Senopati Nusantara was built in Japan in 1990 and was able to carry 850 passengers. Although the ship’s manifest said there were about 700 passengers and crew on board, ships in Indonesia are widely believed to carry more passengers than certificates stipulate. There are still no firm figures of how many survived or lost their lives, but at least 200 have been rescued, and more than 400 remain unaccounted for. The ship was heading south from Kalimantan on the island of Borneo to Central Java when it was battered by 5-6m waves, forcing the captain to send out distress calls.


Indonesia ferry tragedy: 200 rescued

JAKARTA 02 January – Latest reports suggest that 200 passengers and crew of the Indonesian ferry Senopati Nusantara have been rescued after the vessel sank in heavy seas at about midnight on Friday 29/Saturday 30 December. The 2,718-gt ferry was heading south from Kalimantan on Borneo Island for the port of Semarang on the north coast of the island of Java. There were 628 passengers and 57 crew, according to the ship's manifest. Survivors said the vessel started to roll uncontrollably and capsized while those on board were trying to abandon ship. Indonesia's president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has urged rescuers to keep looking for survivors. A spokesman for Indonesia's eastern naval fleet said it has been difficult to compile figures because victims' bodies have been scattered over about 175km of coast. IMO Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos has expressed his condolences to the Indonesian transport minister, Hatta Rajasa, and to the Indonesian Ambassador in London. The UN agency is currently working on a technical co-operation project with Interferry to enhance the safety of non-Convention ferries, including domestic passenger ferries.


Grimaldi finally wins Finnlines

NAPLES 02 January – Grimadi, the Naples, Italy-based ro-ro and container vessel operator, become the majority shareholder in Finnlines plc at the end of December when it acquired 1.5M shares. The move gives Grimaldi 50.1% of the Finnish company, a stake that is divided among its subsidiaries: Grimaldi Compagnia di Navigazione (37.44%), Industria Armamento Meridionale (7.35%) and Atlantic Container Line (5.32%). “In accordance with Finnish law, we will now make an unconditional offer to buy the remaining the shares at €17 [per share] by 28 January,” Grimaldi said in a statement. The price is above the €95 per share initially offered when Grimaldi’s December takeover attempt failed to gain the majority of the company. As a consequence, the company will issue "compensation" of €1.05 to shareholders who had accepted that earlier offer.



Back again

 Dear readers:
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas vacation and I wish you all the very best of health and happiness for the new year 2007.

I want to thank you as well for the fine sailing the blog is having: readers from all over the world could pay testimony of it:

1. Spain 226 30.3 %
2. United Kingdom 125 16.8 %
3. United States 115 15.4 %
4. Netherlands, The 40 5.4 %
5. Germany 33 4.4 %
6. France 23 3.1 %
7. Philippines 17 2.3 %
8. Norway 13 1.7 %
9. Switzerland 11 1.5 %
10. Canada 11 1.5 %

I want to thank people, colleague and friends from Lloyd's Register, US Navy, USCG, IMO, DNV, GL, A.P. Moller-Mærsk, several universities, etc.

I wanted to apologize as well for this long pause during the last two weeks, but they were all along bank holidays in Spain.

I'll try to caught up ASAP with all the news arisen during the last days.

Best Regards,