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Monday, September 17, 2007

Monday Reading

With a substantial roundup of matters maritime, it's Fred Fry International: Maritime Monday 76 - with some interesting photos of collapsed shipping containers (shippers might want to check their insurance) which may be related to rapid loading.

We can call it "RLS" for "Rapid Loading Syndrome" and start collecting money on TV telethons..."Do you suffer from RLS? You might not even know it....Give generously..."

For his lucky 13th edition of Monday Maritime Matters, Xformed covers the namesake and the ships of the U.S. Navy with the name Conyngham.

And over at Brickmuppet, the Coastie does a tour of the last pre-dreadnought battleship -- the Japanese battlewagon Mikasa with many photos, including a gun mount in what appears to be a wardroom, sort of shades of the days of sail.

UPDATE: Latest ONI Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report (to 12 Sep 07) posted here. Highlights:
2. SOMALIA: Cargo Vessel reported suspicious approach 09 Sept 07, at 0850 UTC in
position 01:30.N-050:12.5E. The suspicious vessel was at a distance of 7.5NM, bearing 335
degrees, with a speed of about 12kts and a course of 170 degrees. Closest Point of Approach
(CPA) was 2.3NM. To increase CPA we altered course 40 degrees to starboard and maintained
075 degrees. Suddenly the suspicious craft altered its course to port side and tried to approach
closer. The crew was immediately alerted, speed increased and the course was adjusted to keep
the suspicious vessel at stern. After about one hour, the distance between the two vessels
increased to 7NM, and vessel resumed its voyage to destination. The suspicious craft was
descried as having a dark blue hull, white superstructure, about 50 meters in length, and the
shape and equipment as a big fishing vessel. On the starboard side, there was a small boat of
orange color, hanging outboard. ONI Comment: This observed behavior is also consistent with a
pelagic purse seine fishing vessel searching for a school of tuna (ONI, Operator).
***
5. SRI LANKA: Navy destroys three LTTE vessels in sea battle 10 Sept 07 beginning in the
morning through 11 Sept 07, 600NM northeast of Dondra Head. According to the Sri Lankan
Navy, they claim to have destroyed much of the LTTE’s arms smuggling network after sinking
three large ships. The vessels have been sunk in three different encounters since the initial battle
on Monday morning. The ships were said to have been transporting weapons to the LTTE
terrorists in the South East of Dondra Head Sea. According to the available information the
three ships were carrying heavy mortar guns, multi barrel rocket launchers, aircraft spare parts,
large stocks of ammunition, fuel etc. Each vessel that was sunk was said to have been carrying
12-15 LTTE cadres each (LM).
***
6. SRI LANKA: Yacht (FLYING GERMANIA II) reportedly attacked 18 Aug 07, at 0750
local time while underway in position 05:22.58N-78:9.75E, 78 miles southwest of the coast as of
12 Sept 07 reporting. The vessel reported being chased and attacked by a number of fishing
vessels while traveling from Maldives to Malaysia. The vessel managed to fend off the attackers
(www.bluewater.de).
***
1. INDONESIA: Tanker boarded, robber apprehended 09 Sept 07, at 0030 local time in
position 06:15.43S - 108:27.23E, Balongan anchorage. Two robbers boarded the vessel broke
into the store locker and stole ship’s property. They tried to lower the stolen items into a waiting
boat but could not do so as the boat had drifted away due to engine failure and the current. The
alert crew raised the alarm and two crewmembers confronted the robbers who jumped overboard.
However, they could not board their boat which was adrift. One robber hung to the ballast
overboard discharge on the starboard side and the other robber had drifted away due to current
and swell. All crew gathered on deck and rescued the other robber. The Indonesian Navy and
police were informed and were told about the adrift boat and the missing robber. The authorities
managed to tow the boat but could not find the missing robber. The authorities boarded the ship
for investigation and the master handed over the robber. There were no injuries to crew and
nothing was stolen (IMB).
***
10. SINGAPORE: Yacht (DILAN) reported suspicious approach 09 Sept 07, at 1145 local
time in position 01:54.1N-106:31.49E, 48NM southeast of Pulau Repong. The vessel reported
two speedboats carrying an unknown number of men onboard and that were believed to be
armed, were trailing the vessel at close proximity. Suspicious of their intention, the yacht
broadcasted the incident via their VHF radio. The master of a container ship, the (HUB
TRADER) received the report on his VHF radio and relayed the incident to the Singapore Port
Operations Control Centre (POCC). The POCC, upon receipt of the relay, informed the
Maritime Rescue and Coordination (MRCC) Jakarta about the incident and made navigational
broadcast of the incident on the NAVTEX and SAFETYNET system (ReCAAP ISC).
***
1....PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Vessel (NOSY) boarded, robbed, skipper missing per
reporting 11 Sept 07, in the evening, near Fergusson Island in Milne Bay Province. The captain
of the vessel is believed to have jumped overboard while the crew was hospitalized after pirates
boarded their boat and robbed. A Milne Bay provincial disaster officer said the crew sustained
injuries from sharp objects and were receiving medical treatment at the Alotau hospital. The
captain jumped overboard near Valeta point around 2300 local time and a search party was sent
out but have yet to locate him. The 28feet workboat, transporting passengers and cargo was
headed for Alotau after leaving Mabawoia station in the Esa’ala district. The boat was then
interecepted by pirates who were using a speedboat. The crew was able to bring the boat back to
Mabawaoia station after the confrontation and met with merchant vessel (POMIO QUEEN) that
took them to Alotau. An officer stated that piracy was a problem in Milne Bay waters but police
do not have the resources and funds to combat it. The officer also stated that this was the third
piracy incident this year (LM).
***

1. HAWAII SUPERFERRY PROTESTORS: Hawaii Superferry indefinitely canceled
future trips due to protests 10 Sept 07, Nawiliwili Harbor. The decision to cancel all future trips
to Kaua’i was made after Coast Guard officials informed the company that they could not
guarantee the Alakai’s safe passage into Nawililwilil Harbor. Hundreds of protestors kept the
350-foot catamaran out of the harbor for three hours, and it turned around and headed back to
Honolulu. The action came ahead of a crucial hearing before a Maui judge who will consider
what could be a suspension of the company’s Maui service until the state completes an
environmental assessment (LM).
.
2. GREENPEACE: Greenpeace has set up a blockade 14 Sept 07, Saguenay River, north of
Quebec City, Canada. A Greenpeace spokesman stated that SFK Pulp was targeted because it is
one of several companies linked to destruction of the boreal forest. According to the Greenpeace
spokesman, the pulp is destined for Europe to be turned into magazine paper sold to most
magazine publishing houses in Europe. The Greenpeace ship, the 50-metra (ARCTIC
SUNRISE) in on site, along with four Greenpeace Zodiacs. Two activists are in the water in life-
rafts sitting in front of the freighter (JAEGER ARROW) while other activists are attempting to
lock down the vessels mooring lines. Greenpeace claims the action will continue until SFK Pulp
makes an effort to change its practices. Saguenay police are on the scene but have not made any
arrests (REUTERS).

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