World Maritime News - 3 April, 1998

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Steve Schultz

Apr 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/4/98

World Maritime News - 3 April, 1998

U.S. Harbor Maintenance Tax declared unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court on 31 March declared the U.S. Harbor
Maintenance Tax unconstitutional. The unanimous ruling strikes down a
federal regulation passed in 1986 that collects money on exports from any
U.S. port to fund maintenance of ports. A federal appeals court reached the
same decison last year.

The Supreme Court's decision, written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
said that the tax "does not qualify as a permissible user fee." The U.S.
Constitution bans taxes on exports but not user fees. Ginsburg wrote that
the tax "is not a fair approximation of services, facilities or benefits
furnished to the exporters." The decision also stated: "This does not mean
that exporters are exempt from any and all user fees designed to defray the
cost of harbor development and maintenance. It does mean, however, that
such a fee must fairly match the exporters' use of port services and

A tax of 0.125 percent is levied on the value of any cargoes handled
at U.S. ports. Importers pay the fee along with customs duties but
exporters and domestic shippers, who do not pay duties, paid the harbor tax
on a quarterly basis. The trust fund that accepts the tax has a surplus of
U.S.$1 billion.

The issue reached the Supreme Court in United States v. United States
Shoe Corp., No. 97-372. United States Shoe had challenged the tax by filing
a refund lawsuit in the U.S. Court of International Trade.

Panama passes maritime labor law

Panama has passed a new law requring that Panamanian-registry ships
comply with the Panamanian Maritime Labor Law. All crewmembers on such
ships, for example, must have a "certificate of competency" from Panama.
The new law will also regulate crewing agencies and will require that they
place a bond of U.S.$50,000 to U.S.$100,000. In addition, three maritime
labor contracts are recognized: indefinite period, definite period or
voyage. Owners and operators will be liable for insurance and minimum
overtime wages will be established. Two courts, one on either end of the
Panama Canal, will handle labor disputes.

Carnival to buy Cunard Line

Carnival Corp. announced 3 April it will purchase Cunard Line Ltd.
from Kvaerner A.S.A. for U.S.$500 million as part of a partnership.
Carnival will acquire a two-thirds interest while Norwegian investors led
by Christiania Markets of Christiania Bank and Kreditkasse will take the
rest. Carnival also said it expects that Seabourn Cruise Line, which it
owns with Norwegian businessman Atle Brynestad, will merge with Cunard Line
as the deal is completed. Cunard Line operates five passenger ships.

More on Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Showa Line deal

Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Showa Line announced on 27 March that they
will merge on 1 Oct. Showa Line, founded in 1964, has 92 vessels in the
tramp shipping industry. Most are bulk carriers and as a result, N.Y.K.
will now have 517 ships. N.Y.K. took over Showa Line's liner operations in
1988. At the end of March 1997, Showa Line had losses of 43.8 billion
Japanese yen/U.S.$324 million. Its consolidated shareholders' equity
dropped to 590 million yen/U.S.$4.37 million, nearly at the level where
liabilities exceed assets. Showa Line will ask for debt exemptions from
certain financial institutions to cut its debt in half and avoid a
bankruptcy position while the merger proceeds. It will cut its capital to
7.77 billion yen/U.S.$57.5 million.

Iran frees last Smit International employees

Iran has freed three employees of Smit International N.V. who had been
held since 8 Sept. The Banckert (382-gt vessel built in 1972, operated by
Van Den Akker B.V.), the Smit Cyclone (3,743-dwt vessel built in 1969,
operated by Smit International Singapore Pte. Ltd.) and a third chartered
vessel were arrested at Bandar Imam Khomeini. According to Iran, Smit
International was hired to salvage a Croatian-registry vessel that sank in
the Khur-Mussa Canal. On 19 Aug., Iran said the Banckert abandoned the
salvage and sailed elsewhere to salvage a U.S. helicopter. Iran, however,
said it had not given authorization for the movement. A complaint was then
filed with an Iranian court and an order was issued for the vessels to be
seized. The vessels and other crewmembers were later released.

Chevron and Texaco to merge bunker, lubricants businesses

Chevron Corp. and Texaco Inc. said 30 March they will form a joint
venture that will integrate their marine and industrial fuel business as
well as their marine lubricant operations. Texaco will have 69 percent and
Chevron the rest. The venture will have operations in about 450 ports in
more than 100 countries. They deal will be completed by the third quarter.

Intercargo, Roanoke Brokerage Services to form new insurer

Intercargo Corp. and Roanoke Brokerage Services will create a new
specialized marine insurance broker.

Gaz Atlantique buys tanker operator

Gaz Atlantique has bought tanker operator Fouquet-Sacop.

Nomadic Shipping buys out Penguin partners

Nomadic Shipping has bought out its two partners in the Penguin
refrigerated shipping pool.

Mediterranean Shipping buys K.N.S.L. stake

Mediterranean Shipping Co. S.A. has bought a stake in Kenya National
Shipping Line, reportedly totaling 40 percent. The stake is being held by
Mediterranean Shipping's Kenyan agency, Oceanfreight East Africa Ltd.
K.N.S.L. is a member of the East African Conference but does not currently
own or operate any vessels.

Philippine agency begins transferring crewing of ships

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has started the
transfer of about 50 vessels with crews from Crewlink to another agency in
Manila, the Philippines.

Suit by Holt Cargo Systems dismissed

U.S. District Court Judge Norma L. Shapiro dismissed a lawsuit by Holt
Cargo Systems Inc. on 23 March due to a lack of evidence, 39 months after
it was filed. The company said that three port authorities - the Delaware
River Port Authority, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority and the Port
of Philadelphia and Camden - had collaborated by sharing bidding
information so they could undercut rates and drive Holt Cargo Systems out
of business. The court ruled, though, that there was no evidence that the
company lost customers. An appeal will be filed.

MGH to handle N.Y.K. business

Nippon Yusen Kaisha has appointed MGH Ltd. as its agent in Latvia,
Lithuania and other countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union.

Mediterranean Shipping forms agency for China

Mediterranean Shipping Co. (Hong Kong) Ltd. has been formed to handle
the agency business of Mediterranean Shipping Co. S.A. in China.
Mediterranean Shipping owns 75 percent of the agency with Wallem holding
the rest.

BI Tugs ceases operations

BI Tugs Co., a three-tug firm based at Thamesport, England, has ceased
operations. BI Tugs was formed in July 1996 by Compania de Remolcadores
Ibiazabal S.A. and Alan C. Bennett & Sons Ltd. The fleet included a Voith
Schneider tractor tug and two conventional tugs. Two were registered in the
United Kingdom and all had British crews. The tugs will go to Spain. As a
result of the cessation of operations, 18 personnel will be dismissed.

Casino venture signed

Casino America Inc. said 2 April it has signed a letter of intent in
which it and Commodore Holdings Ltd. will form a joint venture to buy and
operate passenger vessels. In addition, Casino America will manage casino
operations aboard Commodore Holdings' two other ships. Casino America owns
and operates five vessels from at four locations.

SCI to charter ships for Indian commission

The Indian governmen has given permission to Shipping Corp. of India
Ltd. to charter tankers to carry crude oil for the Indian Oil Coordinating

Overseas Shipholding Group declares dividend

Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. declared a regular quarterly dividend
on 1 April of U.S.$0.15 per share on the common stock outstanding. It is
payable 28 May to stockholders of 12 May.

Teekay Shipping dividend

Teekay Shipping Corp. announced a cash dividend on 2 April for its
common stock of U.S.$0.215 per share. It is payable 30 April to
shareholders as of 17 April.

P&O Nedlloyd Container Line completes Blue Star Line deal

P&O Nedlloyd Container Line Ltd. has completed its acquisition of Blue
Star Line Ltd. and its subsidiaries for about U.S.$100 million. from Vestey
Group. The deal was announced 9 Feb. Blue Star Line had 11 containerships
built between 1972 and 1981 of 1,308 to 2,002 TEUs with a total capacity of
15,000 TEUs and 10,000 TEUs of containers. About 550 Blue Star Line
personnel will transfer to the new owner including some 400 shore-based and
150 sea-going employees. Job losses are expected. Blue Star Line was formed
in 1909 and handled 186,000 TEUs last year. It had annual revenues of
U.S.$300 million and assets of U.S.$100 million.

More on planned fines for dumping in the Baltic

Countries on the Baltic Sea agreed 26 March on measures to clean the
area's enviroment which include fees on vessels. Ships would pay the fee at
the first Baltic port of call. The measures must be approved by the
legislatures of Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania,
Poland, Russia and Sweden. As planned, vessels will be forced to discharge
sewage, fuel residue and other waste at the first Baltic port of call.
Fines for illegal dumping will range from U.S.$2,000 to U.S.$1 million.

Appeal in case of two Dutch bunker personnel withdrawn

An appeal against two personnel of Interbunkers B.V., which no longer
exists, was withdrawn in the Netherlands the morning of 2 April. On 13
March, the regional court in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, convicted Ronald
van der Linden and Nicky Meijer of violating Article 140, pertaining to
membership in a criminal organization. They were not found to have violated
Article 225, forgery. The prosecution made an appeal in an attempt to have
a higher court find them guilty of forgery. Van der Linden was sentenced to
either nine months in prison with three months suspended or 240 hours of
community service. Meijer received a sentenced of four months imprisonment
with two suspended or 100 hours community service. Both opted for community
service. Interbunkers ceased trading in May 1996. Van der Linden and Meijer
were charged after an investigation by the Rotterdam River Police into
bunker fraud in 1995.

U.S. maritime consultants merge

Ledbetter & Associates Inc. in Staten Island, New York, and
Mid-Atlantic Marine Surveyors Inc. in Baltimore have finalized their merger
as Maritime Alliance Group Inc. They will serve as maritime consultants
with a specialization in petroleum spills and related issues.

8900 Lines moves office

8900 Lines moves its office on 1 April to 201 Route 17 North,
Rutherford, N.J., 67070. The telephone number is 201-804-0886 and the
facsimile is 201-804-0066.


The M.H. Baker III, a 38,900-dwt bulk carrier affiliated with Canada
Steamship Lines Inc., was incorrectly identified in the last issue as the
Melvyn H. Baker III.


SARA in rate restoration

The South Asia Rate Agreement will raise its rates U.S.$100 per TEU on
1 June. The rate will apply to all westbound cargoes from China except
Guangdong and areas of southern Asia including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan
and Sri Lanka.

United Alliance details

The United Alliance of Cho Yang Shipping Co. Ltd., Hanjin, Senator
Line and United Arab Shipping Co. began operations on 30 March with 93
containerships totaling 302,000 TEUs of capacity. There are seven weekly
sailings in the Pacific, four weekly sailings between Asia and Europe and
two Atlantic and Mediterranean sailings each week. They are PS-PDM1 and PS
PDM2 (Europe-Asia-western United States), AWE (Asia-eastern United States),
AWE-PDM (Asia-western and eastern United States-Europe), CAX (China-western
United States), PNX1 and PNX2 (Asia-western United States), AMA (Eastern
United States-Mediterranean-Middle East-Asia), CEX (China-Europe), and AEC
(Asia-Middle East-Europe). Hanjin, which said 24 March it will end its
CSX-2 service between northern China and the western United States, will
continue to serve the ports on the route by feeders from Pusan, South
Korea, or through the United Alliance. The ports include Dalian, Qingdao
and Xingang in China. The six 2,661-TEU containerships of Senator Line that
were used on the service will be placed on the AMA service and five AMA
ships will replace four 2,700-TEU containerships on the CEX route.

T.S.A. to increase certain origin charges on 1 May

The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement will increase its local
origin charges on 1 May for eastbound containers. The Hong Kong rate will
be H.K.$75/U.S.$9.68 to H.K.$2,140/U.S.$276 per TEU and H.K.$2,855/U.S.$369
to H.K.$2,760/U.S.$356 per FEU. A rate of H.K.$3,690/U.S.$476 will apply
per refrigerated TEUs and FEUs. The container freight station receiving
charge in Hong Kong will increase H.K.$23/U.S.$2.96 per revenue ton for
less-than-containerload cargoes to H.K.$198/U.S.$25.56. The Guangdong,
China, origin receiving charge for containers will increase 91 Chinese
yuan/U.S.$11 and 116 yuan/U.S.$14 per TEU and FEU to 1,167 yuan/U.S.$141
and 2,227 yuan/U.S.$269. Refrigerated rates will increase 1,500
yuan/U.S.$181 per TEU and 2,850 yuan/U.S.$344 per FEU. Less-than
containerload cargoes will go up 17 yuan/U.S.$2 per revenue ton to 141

More on new T.S.A. surcharges

The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement has announced three temporary
surcharges. The group cited changes in eastbound container flows across the
Pacific Ocean, equipment imbalances, high costs for ships transiting the
Suez Canal and draft restrictions for ships sailing through the Panama
Canal. The first, a peak season surcharge, is for U.S.$50 per TEU and
applies to containers originating in Asia except Japan. It will be
effective from 1 June to 31 Oct. A temporary Panama Canal surcharge of
U.S.$35.50 per TEU will be effective from 1 May to 31 Oct. Finally, a Suez
Canal transit surcharge of U.S.$60 per TEU will start 1 May for cargo
originating in Asia including the Indian subcontinent.

General increase for South American conference

The Japan and Far East/Brazil and River Plate Shipping Trade
Discussion Forum will increase its rate U.S.$100 per TEU on 1 June.

Hanjin starts new Asia/western United States/Europe route

Hanjin has started its new service between Asia, Europe and the
western United States. The rotation is: Port Klang, Malaysia; Hong Kong;
Pusan, South Korea; Osaka and Tokyo in Japan; Long Beach and Oakland in
California; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Hong Kong; Singapore; Le Havre, France;
Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Hamburg, Germany; Felixstowe, England; Colombo,
Sri Lanka; and Port Klang. The round-trip takes 84 days.

New Mitsui O.S.K. Lines calls in Venezuela

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines is increasing the frequency of its service to
Venezuela. Weekly calls will be made to three ports: La Guaira, Puerto
Cabello and Puerto Sucre. The first vessel will call at Hong Kong on Friday
and Saturday; Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on Sunday; Pusan, South Korea, on
Wednesday; Kobe, Japan, on Thursday and Friday; Nagoya, Japan, on Friday
and Saturday; Tokyo on Saturday and Sunday; and Manzanillo, Panama, on
Tuesday and Wednesday. The second vessel calls at Manzanillo on Wednesday
and Thursday; Puerto Cabello on Saturday and Sunday; La Guaira on Sunday;
Puerto Sucre on Monday; Manaus, Brazil, on Monday and Tuesday; and Belem,
Brazil, on Friday to Tuesday. Two other vessels call at Manzanillo on
Wednesday and Thursday; Puerto Cabello on Saturday and Sunday; La Guaira on
Sunday; Puerto Sucre on Monday; Manaus on Monday and Tuesday; and Houston
on Friday and Saturday.

COSCO receives waiver from U.S.F.M.C.

China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co. has received a waiver from the U.S.
Federal Maritime Commission that will allow it to lower its rates for cargo
moving to and from the United States at 24 hours notice instead of 30 days.
The longer time is required under the U.S. Controlled Carrier Act, since
the U.S. government classifies COSCO as a state-operated business of China.
COSCO can only lower its rates to match competitors, not under-cut them. If
it does under-cut or use predatory pricing, the waiver will be revoked.

Hyundai Merchant Marine chartering slots on Mitsui O.S.K. Lines route

Hyundai Merchant Marine has arranged a slot-charter with Mitsui O.S.K.
Lines on an Asian container service. The deal will start with the sailing
of the NOL Diamond (Singaporean-registry 39,108-dwt, 2,518-dwt
containership built in 1979) from Tokyo on 6 April. The route also uses the
Alligator Miracle (Singaporean-registry, 29,581-dwt, 1,803-TEU
containership built in 1973, operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines) and the Monte
Rosa (44,229-dwt, 2,364-TEU containership built in 1977, operated by Mitsui
O.S.K. Lines). The rotation is Tokyo on Monday and Tuesday; Yokohama,
Japan, on Tuesday; Nagoya, Japan, on Wednesday; Kobe, Japan, on Thursday;
Hong Kong on Sunday and Monday; Singapore on Thursday and Friday; Port
Klang, Malaysia, on Friday and Saturday; Singapore on Sunday and Monday;
Hong Kong on Thursday; and Tokyo on Monday and Tuesday.

O.O.C.L. charters space on N.Y.K. routes

Orient Overseas Container Line started a new twice per week fixed-day
container service on 18 March through a slot-charter with Nippon Yusen
Kaisha. O.O.C.L. chartered space on the Clipper Service and the Phoenix
Service. The former has a rotation of Tokyo on Wednesday; Nagoya, Japan, on
Thursday; Yokohama, Japan, on Friday and Saturday; Laem Chabang, Thailand,
on Saturday; Bangkok, Thailand, on Saturday; and Tokyo on Wednesday. The
Pheonix route is: Osaka, Japan, on Wednesday; Kobe, Japan, on Thursday;
Laem Chabang on Sunday; Bangkok on Sunday; and Osaka on Wednesday.

APL confirms deal with Crowley American Transport

APL has confirmed it will start service beteween the eastern United
States and western South America in mid-May with Crowley American
Transport. Six ships will be used on a weekly fixed-day service and APL
will charter space. Calls will be made in Chile including Concepcion Bay,
Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and at the Manzanillo International Container
Terminal at Colon, Panama. Southbound, the sailings will start in
Philadelphia, followed by Charleston, S.C.; Jacksonville and Port
Everglades, Fla.; and then Cartagena, Colombia. Northbound, the last South
American call will be Colon, then Port Everglades and Philadelphia. Ships
will operate at 19 knots and cary 150 refrigerated containers.

SCL starts calls at Nacala

SCL started weekly calls at Nacala, Mozambique, on 30 March. The call
is made on a four-ship route from Durban, South Africa.

Evergreen Marine to shift Port Klang call

Evergreen Marine Corp. (Taiwan) Ltd. will call at Westport in Port
Klang, Malaysia, instead of Kelang Container Terminal Bhd.

Carina Overseas starts new service between China and Japan

Carina Overseas (Hong Kong) Co. has started a new container service
between China and Japan. The first sailing left Yokohama, Japan, on 18
March, for Shanghai, China. Containers for Chongqing, China will be
transshipped while cargo for and Chengdu, China, will travel by train.

More on new Evergreen Marine service

Evergreen Marine Corp. (Taiwan) Ltd. will start a weekly fixed-day
service in May with seven 1,100-TEU containerships. The rotation is: Port
of New York and New Jersey; Baltimore; Savannah, Ga.; Miami; Colon, Panama;
Puerto Cabello, Venezuela; Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Rio Grande and San
Francisco do Sul in Brazil; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Northbound ships
will sail directly from Rio de Janeiro to New York. Among the seven ships
are three 1,164-TEU A-class ships: the Ever Able (Panamanian-registry
15,605-dwt containership built in 1996), the Ever Ally (Panamanian-registry
15,605-dwt containership built in 1996) and the Ever Apex
(Panamanian-registry 15,605-dwt containership built in 1997). The rotation
is 49 days.

Direct Container Line offering export from Puerto Rico

Direct Container Line Inc. is offering exports from Puerto Rico with
Puerto Rico Freight as its agent.

SuperStar Express to operate in the English Channel for six months

P&O European Ferries Ltd. will introduce the SuperStar Express shortly
on its route between Cherbourg, France, and Portsmouth, England. The vessel
is being chartered from Star Cruise Sdn. Bhd. until October, reportedly for
about U.S.$24,000 daily, and will cover the route in two hours and 25
minutes. The 82-meter/269-foot vessel was built by Austal Ships Pty. Ltd.
last year in Australia and will operate three round trips per day. It can
carry 900 passengers and 175 vehicles up to 41 knots with a crew of 30.

P&O Stena Line to replace ferry

P&O Stena Line will put its Stena Cambria (12,700-gt, 1,829-dwt ferry
built in 1980) in service betwen Newhaven, England, and Dieppe, France,
instead of its Pride of Bruges (British-registry 13,000-gt, 2,352-dwt ferry
built in 1980).

New casino vessel to sail from Manhattan

SeaEscape Casino Cruises said 3 April it will start gambling cruises
from midtown Manhattan in New York. It has purchased the Discovery Dawn
(1,020-dwt, 128-meter/419-foot, 1,350-passenger ship built in 1968) from
Discovery Cruises Inc. It has been renamed the Island Dawn and will sail at
21 knots. SeaEscape Casino Cruises will operate under an agreement with
Hudson River Day Cruises. Sailings will leave twice each day from the World
Yacht Marina at West 41st Street.

Committee to study feasibility of refitting Canadian ferry

The Northumberland Ferry Committee in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, has
received Canadian$35,000/U.S.$25,000 to study the feasibility of refitting
an out-of-service ferry. A company based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, will
undertake the refit possibilities for the Abegweit (Canadian-registry
2,286-dwt, 123.06-meter/403.75-foot passenger and vehicle motor ferry built
in 1982). The ferry sailed between Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick, and
Borden, Prince Edward Island, before the Confederation Bridge was built. It
was withdrawn from service last summer and has been laid-up in Sydney, Nova
Scotia. It refitted, the ferry will serve as a back-up to the bridge if it
is closed in winter and will offer cruises in the summer. The study will
take two months.


Hong Kong to detain non-I.S.M. compliant ships

Hong Kong will detain vessels that enter the port after 1 July if they
do not comply with the International Safety Management Code. They will only
be released if there are no other deficiencies and the registry state
confirms that action is being taken to get I.S.M. compliance. Non-compliant
vessels will not be allowed back into Hong Kong and the vessel's next port
of call will be informed.

Japan to open new D.G.P.S. stations

The Japanese Maritime Safety Agency will open 11 new differential
global positioning system stations this month.

St. Lawrence Seaway restricts transit due to outflows

The International Joint Commission of the St. Lawrence Seaway is
presently allowing a unusually high rate of outflow in the seaway which is
restricting vessel operations. Recent outflow at Massena, N.Y., was 10,830
cubic meters/361,000 cubic feet per second but the seaway was deigned for
9,300 cubic meters/310,000 cubic feet per second. The high outflow is part
of measures to prevent flooding that occurred in early February. Due to the
outflow, no vessels with hazardous cargoes are being allowed to transit the
system and each vessel is being checked to make sure it habs enough power.
The commission was to have reduced the outflow to 9,750 cubic
meters/325,000 cubic feet per second at midnight 31 March.

Recife stopped by strike

Employees at the Port of Recife, Brazil, went on strike on 30 March
and said they will not return to work until payments are made to other
workers who were recently dismissde.

Los Angeles signs several leases

Yusen Terminals Inc. has added 28 hectares/71 acres to its
68.4-hectare/171-acre facility at the Port of Los Angeles in a new lease.
Nippon Yusen Kaisha will also start using the Terminal Island Container
Transfer Facility. Yangming Marine Transport Corp. has taken 32 hectares/80
acres with a like amount on option and an on-dock rail yard will be built
by October 1999. Evergreen Marine Corp. (Taiwan) Ltd. has leased 59.6
hectares/149 acres and may increase its facility to 80 hectares/200 acres.
It will share the transfer facility as well. APL has added six hectares/15
acres to its 94 hectares/235 acres.

United Kingdom sells stake in Mersey Docks and Harbour

The British government has offered up to 12.4 million shares, or 14
percent, of Mersey Docks and Harbour Co. for as much as 70 million British
pounds/U.S.$116 million. ABN Amro Rothschild has advised the government and
the offering is being jointly managed by Charterhouse Tilney, Merrill Lynch
and SBC Warburg Dillon Read.

SPEEDPORT unveiled

ACTA Maritime Development Corp. unveiled its SPEEDPORT container
terminal design last week at the Connecticut Maritime Association's
Shipping '98 Export in Stamford, Conn. The design, developed with Seaworthy
Systems Inc., lacks conventional gantry cranes and container transfer
vehicles. Instead, there are elevated beams and surface rails that connect
different areas of the terminal. Using the beams and rails, vehicles take
containers directly from the ship to its transport out of the terminal. A
computerized system directs vehicle movement.

Montenegro to allow Bosnia-Herzegonvia access to port

Montenegro Minister for Shipping and Communications Jusuf Kalomperovic
told Bosnian Co-Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic on 31 March that Montenegro
will allow Bosnia-Herzegovina to use its Port of Bar.

Kochi to raise rates

The Port of Kochi, India, plans to increase its cargo handling rates
on 1 April. The rate increases will vary from 25 to 56 percent.

Cote d'Ivoire port gets loan for upgrade

The West African Development Bank has approved a loan of 3.57 billion
C.F.A. francs/U.S.$6 million to rehabilitate the Port of San Pedro, Cote

I.L.A. rejects offer by Massachusetts Port Authority

Four locals of the International Longshoreman's Association have
rejected a final contract offer from the Massachusetts Port Authority in
Boston by a 70-30 ratio. The contract was for five years and involved
changing job assignments and cutting 3 percent of personnel by attrition
over four years. The contract was part of plans to end container operations
at the Moran Terminal in Charlestown, which would only handle vehicles.
I.L.A. Local 1066, representing clerks, has filed a complaint with the U.S.
National Labor Relations Board for unfair employment practices by the

Mistley authority dismisses four workers

Mistley Quay & Forwarding in England has dismissed four employees. The
port handles about 250,000 tons annually with 250 vessel calls.

Namibia seeks Rotterdam's assistance

The Namibian government has approached the Port of Rotterdam, the
Netherlands, to assist it in expanding the Port of Walvis Bay.

PETROBRAS to start new bunkering service

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. will start a new Brazilian bunkering service
for ports east of Paranagua in the next few months. A barge will be
chartered and operated directly. It will offer fuel in Sao Francisco do Sul
becoming the first barge delivery service at that port. The
2,600-metric-ton barge will also call at Imbituba and Itajai and will offer
a back-up service at all ports from Paranagua to Rio Grande.

P&O Ports takes action to retain Dampier permit

P&O Ports has initiated legal action to retain its access permit for
the Port of Dampier, Australia.

New wharf opens in Myanmar

A new 198-meter/650-foot wharf has opened at Kyaukktan, Myanmar, to
handle cargo including edible oils. The wharf, on the Yangon River, was
built by Myanmar Integrated Port Ltd., a Singaporean-led venture that won
the contract in June on a build-operate-transfer basis.

American Oilfield Divers gets Houston contract

American Oilfield Divers Inc. (d/b/a Ceanic) has announced that its
General Contracting Division has received a U.S.$9 million contract from
the Port of Houston Authority to build a passenger ship berth at Terminal
No. 7. The 134-meter/440-foot by 21-meter/70-foot structure with 381
meters/1,250 feet of sheet pile bulkhead is on a 2.70-hectare/6.75-acre
site at the Barbours Cut Terminal. Work will start this month and take a

Tesoro Petroleum buys BHP Hawaii

Tesoro Petroleum Corp. has purchased BHP Hawaii (BHP Petroleum
Americas Refining Inc.) from Broken Hill Pty. Co. for U.S.$325 million. The
deal includes maritime facilities such as the single-point mooring for the
refinery at Campbell Industrial Park on Oahu. Tesoro Petroleum will pay
U.S.$275 million in cash and a U.S.$50 million promissory note. Broken Hill
bought the refineries from Pacific Resources Inc. in 1989 for U.S.$380

Bunkering to start at English port

Conoco Ltd. will start selling bunker fuel at Portland, England, in
late May. It will sell marine gasoil at seven berths. Portland Port Ltd.,
the port authority, will handle delivery arrangements and will make a
6,000-metric-ton tank available for Conoco.

U.S. Coast Guard closes Escanaba station

The U.S. Coast Guard closed its station in Escanaba, Mich., on 1
April. The first station in the area was built in 1867 to maintain the Sand
Point Lighthouse but a crib light installed in 1939.

Cape Breton Development closing piers

Cape Breton Development Corp. has decided not to sell any coal
internationally and will close down its coal piers at Sydney, Nova Scotia,
for at least two years, it was announced 1 April. It will concentrate on
supply Nova Scotia Power.

Work starts on new office for Tampa

Ground was broken on 26 March for the new headquarters of the Tampa
Port Authority in Florida. The four-story structure will have 7,380 square
meters/82,000 square feet of space and will also house the University of
Southern Florida's International Business Center.

Dredging International gets work in Jebel Ali

Dredging International will perform maintenance dredging at Jebel Ali,
United Arab Emirates, marking its first Persian Gulf work in eight years.
The Vlaanderen XVIII (Belgian-registry 16,501-dwt,
11,300-cubic-meter/14,700-cubic-yard trailing suction hopper dredger built
in 1970, operated by Decloedt & Fils) will be used.

Houston dredging delayed

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has delayed dredging in Houston,
which was to start this month. The work was to widen and deepen the Houston
Ship Channel. However, funding questions regarding three contracts have
arisen. When completed, the depth of the channel will be 13.7 meters/45
feet instead of 12.2 meters/40 feet and the width 162 meters/530 feet
instead of 122 meters/400 feet. The work will cost U.S.$446 million over
six years.

Nhava Sheva appoints debt financer

Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal at Mumbai, India, has
appointed Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp. to arrange debt financing.

Port of New York and New Jersey announces results

The Port of New York and New Jersey handled 13.8 percent more
containers and 4.5 percent more general cargo last year than in 1996.
Containers increased from 1.52 million TEUs to 1.74 million, with exports
up 16 percent from 586,000 TEUs to 680,000 TEUs. Imports increased 12.4
percent from 939,000 TEUs to 1.1 million TEUs. Trade with Asia rose 8
percent, with increased of 40 percent with Indonesia, 30 percent with
Malaysia and 22 percent with China. Exports to China, Japan, South Korea
and Taiwan in total fell 7 percent while imports rose by the same number.
Trade with northern Europe as well as the Mediterranean was up 16.7 percent
while Latin American cargo was up 20.4 percent. Cargo for Canada increased
23 percent and for the U.S. Midwest, 13 percent.


PSA Corp., the port authority of Singapore, handled its 100 millionth
container on 24 March at the Keppel Terminal. PSA said it is the first port
in to reach that record. If lined end-to-end, 100 million containers would
circle the planet at least 15 times.


Aker units to merge

All Aker shipyards will be brought under a single entity, Aker Yards,
it was announced this week. Aker RGI owns Brattvag Skipsverft A/S, while
Aker RGI and Aker Maritime own 51 percent and 49 percent, respectively, of
MTW Schiffswerft GmbH. Aker RGI also has 67.5 percent of Langsten Slip &
Baabyggeri A/S while Aker Maritime has 60 percent of Aker Finnyards. The
first business to be brought under Aker Yards will be Langsten Slip &
Baabyggeri. Sigbjorn Askevoll and Oddvar Skjegstad, who control 32.5
percent of Langsten Slip & Baabygerri, will be bought out. The deal will
take place within three months.

HUD makes loan guarantee for Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo announced 31
March that U.S.$40.875 million in loan guarantees have been made to
Philadelphia to help the city establish Kvaerner Philadelphia Inc. at the
former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. The money from the Economic Development
Loan Guarantee Fund, also known as the Section 108 program, will aid in
financing construction of the facility. Kvaerner A.S.A. will spend U.S.$242
million over two years as well. Another U.S.$182 million is coming from a
capital budget grant from Pennsylvania and a U.S.$20 million loan from the
Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority. Another U.S.$187 million
will be made available for personnel training, funded through grants and
loans, including U.S.$50 million from the U.S. Department of Defense and an
anticipated U.S.$50 million from the U.S. Department of Labor. The money
will be distributed by Philadelphia Shipyard Development Corp. The Economic
Development Loan Guarantee reduces the interest rate that local governments
are charged on loans from commercial lenders. It is expected that more than
950 jobs will be created at the shipyard and another 600 during its
construction. A total of more than 8,000 new jobs ar expected over the next
five years. A final deal for construction of the yard was agreed to on 1
April. Construction will start in September.

American ECO makes offer for parent of Davie Industries...

American ECO has made an offer of Canadian$92.5 million/U.S.$65.2
million for Dominion Bridge Corp., which owns Davie Industries Inc. at
Levis, Quebec. Royal Millennia Group Ltd. has offered C$14 million/U.S.$10
million for Davie Industries.

...Lauzon Dry Docks divested to Davie Industries

The Champlain and Lorne dry docks at Levis, Quebec, were divested by
the Canadian government to Davie Industries Inc. on 31 March. Also known as
the Lauzon Dry Docks, the deal includes the 15 hectares/37 acres of land
and all facilities including buildings, turbines and turbo-generators. The
government will pay Canadian$20 million/U.S.$14 million for repair work to
the dry docks as well as projected net operating costs. In return, Davie
Industries must keep the dry docks operating for 10 years. The Lorne dry
dock was built between 1878 and September 1886 while the Champlain dry dock
was constructed from 1914 to 1918. They were leased on an as needed basis
by Davie Industries, which is the sole user and also owns the adjacent
land. The company also leases 5.1 hectares/12.5 acres at present. The Lorne
dry dock is in fairly good condition, according to the government, but is
often too small for many projects. While the Champlain dyry dock is twice
as large, it needs significant repairs. A total of C$12 million/U.S.$8.5
million would need to be invested for continued government operating, but
C$6.2 million/U.S.$4.4 million has been lost over the past seven years.

Taiwan to end subsidies to China Shipbuilding

The Taiwanese government has reportedly decided to end subsidies to
China Shipbuilding Corp. by the end of next year.

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding to cut 500 jobs

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. said 1 April it will cut
500 jobs by March 2001 through reductions in hiring. The shipyard has 5,100
employees presently. The company also said it will pay off 60 billion
Japanese yen/U.S.$444 million in debts by that time for a total debt
burden of 210 billion yen/U.S.$1.55 billion.

Malta Win Cargo Containers being liquidated

Malta Win Cargo Containers, the container manufacturer, is being
liquidated. It lost U.S.$7.3 million the last two years.

Additional information on Hitachi Zosen Singapore/Keppel Shipyard merger

Hitachi Zosen Singapore Pte. Ltd. will merge with Keppel Shipyard in a
deal worth about Singaporean$265 million/U.S.$1.63 million. The new firm
will control 44 percent of the total docking capacity in Singapore or about
1.3 million deadweight tons. Keppel Corp. will sell all its shares in
Keppel Shipyard to Hitachi Zosen Corp. and will retain its assets at the
Tuas facility. To pay for the shares, Hitachi Zosen will issue new common
shares of U.S.$0.20 a U.S.$0.59 per share for each unit of Keppel. As a
result, Keppel will have 56 percent and Hitachi Zosen 31 percent in the
enlarged share capital. Keppel will make an unconditional offer for the
remaing shares of Hitachi Zosen.

Tees Dockyard aiming for O.S.V. work

In order to help secure repair work on offshore support vessels, Tees
Dockyard Ltd. has built a pit in its No. 2 dry dock for working on
azimuthing propulsion units. It measures 8.6 meters/28 feet by 6.5
meters/21 meters by 2.5 meters/8.2 feet.

Daewoo-Mangalia Heavy Industries gets 10-ship order

Daewoo-Mangalia Heavy Industries in Romania has received an order for
10 river/sea vessels worth more than U.S.$11 million.

Italian Navy orders submarines

The Italian Navy has formally ordered two attack submarines from
Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani SpA for 2.51 trillion Italian
lire/U.S.$1.38 billion. They will be delivered in five years and will be
built at Muggiano, Italy. The submarines are of the Klasse 212 design by
Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG and Thyysen Nordseewerke GmbH.

Dutch government to help fund two new ships by Damex

Under an agreement signed in Havana the night of 31 March, the
Netherlands will give Cuba a grant of U.S.$3.3 million for construction of
two vessels at a joint venture in Santiago de Cuba. The money will come
from ORET, the Dutch government's foreign development export financing
program. The grant will cover 45 percent of the two 1,450-dwt multipurpose
ships, which will have shallow drafts and ro/ro capability. The two will be
completed by 2000 for Navegacion Caribe. They will be built by Damex, a
venture of Acemex, a Liechtenstein-based firm controlled by Cuba, and
Damen, the Dutch shipbuilder. The rest of the U.S.$7.4 million cost will
come from a Cuban government cash investment of U.S.$718,000 and U.S.$3.3
million in supplier credit.

Bylock & Nordsjofrakt, Viking Supply Ships order vessels

Bylock & Nordsjofrakt and Viking Supply Ships have ordered three
icebreaker supply vessels from a shipyard in Poland for U.S.$109 million.

More on Wallenius Lines order with Daewoo

Wallenius Lines has ordeed a 22,800-dwt pure car and truck carrier
from Daewoo in South Korea. It will carry 5,850 cars or 3,000 cars and 475
trucks and will be delivered in 2000.

Japan Development Bank financing new tanker

The Japan Development Bank is financing a new 260,000-dwt
double-hulled tanker for a subsidiary of Navix. It will enter service in
September 2000 for Mitsubishi Oil Co. The ship will cost 9.5 billion
Japanese yen/U.S.$70 million and the bank will finance 60 percent at an
interest rate of 2.2 percent.

Unit of Italian shipbuilder gets orders for stabilizers

A unit of Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani SpA has received
several orders recently for retractable-fin stabilizaers for passenger
vessels. Meyer Werft has ordered units for two 75,000-gt, 6,500-dwt ships
for Star Cruise Sdn. Bhd. and a 76,000-gt ship being built for P&O Cruises
Ltd. for delivery in 2000. Star Cruise will take delivery of the SuperStar
Leo and the SuperStar Virgo in May and May 1999, respectively. Kvaerner
Masa-Yards Inc. has ordered a unit for a 28,000-gt vessel being built for
Hapag-Lloyd AG for delivery in August 1999 and for the Carnival Paradise, a
new 70,367-gt ship for Carnival Corp.

Clarification of new British/Irish vessel

The new vessel to service aids to navigation for the General
Lighthouse Authorities in Ireland and the United Kingdom will cost U.S.$26
million. Sixty-five percent will come from the British General Lighthouse
fund with the rest from the Irish government. The 80-meter/262-foot vessel
will be built by Damen in the Netherlands for delivery in late 1999. The
new ship will have a buoy working area aft and will be able to carry 18
buoys. A 20-ton crane will be fitted and the vessel will have dynamic
positioning capability for buoy handling in winds up to 30 knots. Other
capabilities include pollution response and search and rescue as well
helicopter recovery and refuelling equipment. It will be based at the
Commissioners of Irish Lights station at Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.

Knock Buie rechristened

The wife of Norway's ambassador to Singapore rechristened the Knock
Buie at Keppel Shipyard in Singapore on 26 March. The 141,000-dwt tanker,
built in 1975, is being converted for Fred Olsen Production and Nortrans
Offshore for use by Ranger Oil in a petroleum field off Angola. The vessel
is now the Petroleo Nautipa and will handle 30,000 barrels per day.

Afai Ships launches catamaran

Afai Ships Ltd. in Hong Kong has launched a high-speed catamaran for
service in Europe.

First of three ships for Tor Line launched

The first of three 8,700-dwt ro/ros for Tor Line has been launched at
Ancona Shipyard.

Kvaerner Masa-Yards announces new icebreaker design

Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc. has announced a new icebreaker design known
as the oblique icebreaker. The design lacks any parallel body to any part
of the hull and has hull sides of different lengths. It has an Azipod
propulsion system in each of three hull apexes. The vessel would be able to
use different angles of attack by varying the directional attitude and
clear ice in one pass. The width of the cleared area can be doubled.

Wilson Taylor and Co. announces further advances in de-scaling

Wilson Taylor and Co. , which has developed an electro-chemical
de-scaling technology for ballast tanks, has announced new advances.
Reportedly, the technology reduces de-scaling and steel preparation time by
a third compared to conventional methods. The Blastomatic system has
Current Distribution Points of titanium alloy encased in polyvinyl
chloride, which are distributed throughout a tank. The points are connected
by cables to a direct current power supply and the points are placed
adjacent to the steel to be de-scaled. The new advance involves an increase
in the power supply providing for more points. As a result, the company
said that on-third more steel can be treated or the time can be reduced
accordingly. The firm has also developed a treatment that is applied after
descaling that makes salt deposits inert and prevents them from hardening.


One killed, one injured by elevator on U.S.S. John F. Kennedy

One man was killed and another injured 31 March aboard the U.S. Navy's
Kitty Hawk-class Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. John F. Kennedy (CV 67) at U.S.
Naval Station Mayport, Fla. The two, employees of Earl Industries Inc.,
were working on one of the ship's four aircraft elevators when it began
lifting. They were in a basket attached to a small hydraulic lift and were
pinned between the elevator and the deck overhang. Dudley Wellington, 43,
of Jacksonville, Fla., was killed. The other man had a fractured ankle.

Search ended for man missing off Washington

A 43-year-old man from La Push, Wash., fell overboard from the
12-meter/39-foot fishing vessel Seeker at 0929 1 April, 18 kilometers/11
miles south of La Push and 13 kilometers/eight miles offshore. George
Schumack was hauling aboard crab pots when he fell overboard. His brother,
the other person aboard the vessel homeported at La Push, contacted the
U.S. Coast Guard, which searched for Schumack but was unable to locate him.
Three helicopters, two motor lifevoats and a cutter searched more than 37
hours combined. Four Quillayute fishing vessels also searched. He was not
wearing any floatation equipment. Conditions include 3.0 meter/10-foot to
3.7 meter/12-foot seas.

Bomb found in car about to drive onto ferry in Ireland

Irish police found an explosive device inside a BMW the morning of 3
April as it was about to drive onto a ferry at Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. The
ferry was to sail to Wales. Three men and two women were arrested.

Honduran-registry ship detained

Cyprus has detained a Honduran-registry ship whose officers had fake

Taiwan seizes container of ivory

Taiwanese customs personnel on 2 April found 185 uncarved elephant
tusks and carved ivory pieces worth U.S.$3.1 million in a container at
Keelung, Taiwan. The items were found in wooden cases though the manifest
lists teak beams from Nigeria. The container is apparently connected to
An-chung, a local importing business. Importing ivory is in violation of
Taiwan's endangered species protection laws.

U.S. Coast Guard seizes scallops from vessel off Massachusetts

The U.S. Coast Guard seized the catch of the Contender (U.S.-registry
29-meter/96-foot fishing vessel homeported at New Bedford, Mass.) on 30
March after illegal equipment was found aboard, 96 kilometers/60 miles
southeast of Nantucket, Mass. A boarding team from the Coast Guard's
Bear-class Medium-Endurance Cutter U.S.C.G.C. Campbell (WMEC 909) found
illegal twine top repairs to its scallop dredges. The Contender was to be
turned over to the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service along with 2,250
kilograms/5,000 pounds of scallops worth U.S.$36,000. The vessel's owner
may be fined up to U.S.$100,000.

Round from 1917 found in scallop dredging off Virginia

The fishing vessel Capt. Wool found a 7.6-centimeter/three-inch
unexploded ammunition round off Virginia on 26 March while dredging for
scallops. The round, manufactured in 1917, was transferred to the U.S.
Coast Guard's "Point"-class Patrol Boat U.S.C.G.C. Point Warde (WPB 82368)
about 56 kilometers/35 miles west of Virginia Beach, Va., at 1030. A
12-meter/41-foot utility boat from Coast Guard Station Little Creek, Va.,
then took the round to a location 37 kilometers/23 miles east of Cape
Henry, Va., where it was detonated with by a Explosive Ordinance Disposal
unit from the U.S. Navy's Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia.

Two British firms to stop importing Canadian timber

Two British timber importers have said they will stop buying Canadian
rainforest hardwood following a protest last week. Four members of
Greenpeace tied themselves to two cranes aboard the Saga Wind (Hong
Kong-registry 47,053-dwt bulk carrier built in 1994, operated by Nippon
Yusen Kaisha) at Greenock, Scotland, on 26 March to protest Canadian
logging, particularly in British Columbia. Greenpeace said this is its
first action against a timber shipment to the United Kingdom.

Russia announces plans for new class of ballistic-missile submarines

Adm. Vladimir Kuroyedov, commander of the Russian Navy, said 31 March
that a new class of nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines will enter
production in the next decade. Construction of the Borei-class will take
five to seven years. A new ballistic missile is under development for the

Seal disease epidemic off New Jersey?

Seals off New Jersey have been dying in unusually high numbers,
according to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, N.J. A third
of the 31 seals brought to the facility this year have died, more than
double the usual mortality rate of 14 percent. A disease with respiratory
symptoms may be the cause, according to the center. All local species
(gray, harbor, harp and hooded) have been affected. The U.S. Armed Forces
Institute of Pathology, Cornell University and the University of
Pennsylvania are examining tissue samples.


MC Shipping buys five L.P.G. carriers

MC Shipping Inc. has purchased five liquefied petroleum gas carriers
from Vlasov Group for U.S.$35 million. MC Shipping issued U.S.$8 million in
new shares and funded the rest with a bond issue. Some two million shares
were issued for U.S.$3.35 each. Vlasov Group now has a 48 percent stake in
MC Shipping.

Costamare Shipping scraps four ships, buys two

Costamare Shipping Co. S.A. has sold four vessels and bought two more
in recent weeks. The OOCL Fame and the OOCL Frontier, two 3,140-TEU,
47,838-dwt turbine-powered containerships built in 1972, and the Nedlloyd
Korrigan, a 48,850-dwt containership built in 1973 but re-engined with
diesel engines in the early 1980s, have been sold for scrap. Also sold for
demolition was the MSC Brianna (34,734-dwt, 1,849-TEU containership built
in 1970). Costamare Shipping reportedly received U.S.$13 million for the
sales. The company has bought the California Saturn (3,152-TEU
containership built in 1988) from Nippon Yusen Kaisha and the Laust Maersk
(48,527-dwt, 3,624-TEU containership built in 1984) from Maersk Line.

Bylock & Nordsjofrakt buys ship

Bylock & Nordsjofrakt has bought the Stella Pacific (5,697-dwt
ice-strengthened dry cargo ship built in 1993) from Lido Rederei A/S.

Egon H. Harris acquires two ferries

Egon H. Harris has bought the ferries Priness Anne Marie and Princess

Ukraine reportedly confirms Varyag sale

The Ukrainian government has reportedly confirmed that it has sold the
Varyag to a tourism company in Macau for U.S.$20 million. The Varyag was
laid down 6 Dec., 1985, at what was then Nosenko Shipyard 444 in Nikolayev,
Ukraine, as the follow-on ship to the Soviet Navy's Aircraft Carrier
Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov. It was launched on 4 Dec., 1988,
but construction ended in 1992 when it was 70 percent complete. News
organizations in Macau have reported that the new owner is Agencia
Touristica e Diversos Chong Lot Ltd. The business was formed 11 Aug. by two
residents of China's Guangdong province and has a capitalization of
U.S.$125,000. Various reports have said the Varyag will become a hotel or
casino. On 1 April, Sankei Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper, quoted an
unidentified official of the U.S. Department of Defense as saying
department has determined the company has close ties to the Chinese
government and that the casino and hotel projects were "fronts."


Some 280 people missing in capsizing off Nigeria

A vessel carrying about 300 people capsized in rough seas off
southeastern Nigeria on 1 April while sailing to Gabon. Only 20 people are
confirmed to have survived and only a few bodies have been found. The
vessel capsized in the Bight of Bonny off the Nigerian state of Akwa Ibom.

Sinking off Yemen kills 180 people

A vessel carrying 182 passengers and six crewmembers from Somalia sank
in the Gulf of Aden off Yemen on 26 March, killing 180 people. Eight were
rescued by a nearby vessel. Heavy seas were reported in the area at the
time. The vessel left Bossaso, Somalia, 12 hours earlier. On 31 March, the
U.S. Military Sealift Command's Sirius-class Combat Stores Ship U.S.N.S.
Saturn (T-AFS 10) found 31 bodies floating about 64 kilometers/40 miles off
southern Yemen. On 4 March, another vessel sailing from Somalia sank,
killing 40 people.

Crew of Russian-registry fishing vessel rescued

The Kubanskiy Rybak (Russian-registry 635-gt motor stern trawler) has
run aground in a storm at Bear Island, Norway, at 74 degrees 29 minutes
north, 18 degrees 45 minutes east. The crew was rescued by helicopters but
the vessel has suffered flooding in its engine room and cargo holds.

Collision off Cuba spills crude oil

The El Bravo (St. Vincent and the Grenadines-registry 6,501-gt,
9,879-dwt tanker built in 1971, operated by Cie. Tunisenne de Navigation
S.A.) and the Shauadar (Panamanian-registry 14,375-gt, 25,253-dwt tanker
built in 1973, operated by Arminter S.A.M.) collided on 26 March in
Matanzas Bay, Cuba. The El Bravo's hull was holed and the ship spilled some
of its cargo of crude oil, which it loaded in Cuba. The Cuban government
has formed a special commission to investigate the collision.

Four rescued from burning tug in British Columbia

A U.S. tug towing a 61-meter/200-foot barge loaded with building
materials caught fire at 2100 3 April, 11 kilometers/seven miles east of
Entrance Island, British Columbia. Four crewmembers were rescued by the
Canadian-registry tug Gulf Tow I after they boarded life rafts. The four
were hospitalized with smoke inhalation and another tug took the barge in

Vercat damages three vessels moored in Philippine port

Four vessels were heavily damaged late 30 March at Cebu, the
Philippines, in rough waters. The combination ship Vercat, owned by Escano
Lines, was being towed into the harbor when it collided with the ferry
Cherry Rose at Pier 4. A woman on the 500-passenger ferry was injured and
the Cherry Rose suffered a hole in its starboard side. The Cherry Rose was
to sail to Baybay on Leyte, the Philippines. The Vercat then hit two
Philippine Navy patrol vessels next to the ferry. Railings and gun mounts
were destroyed.

Allision heavily damages bridge in Arkansas

The Vance M. Thompson, pushing four grain barges, hit an abandoned
rail bridge and the Highway 70 bridge at DeValls Bluff, Ark., on 17 March,
at Mile Marker 121.7 of the White River. One barge was holed. The road
bridge was heavily damage and will be out of service at least 90 days.

Heleen C. loses power, hits pier

The Heleen C. (Barbados-registry 1,472-gt, 2,159-dwt motor bulk
carrier built in 1974, operated by Carisbrooke Shipping P.L.C.) had a main
engine failure on 28 March and hit the West Pier at Newport, Wales.

Guatemala collision damages vessel

On 23 March, the cutter Barracuda, being operated by a contractor
crew, collided with a vessel of the Guatemalan Navy near Puerta Quetzal,
Guatemala. The Barracuda had minor damage and continued to a Guatemalan

Tong Han Shai runs aground

The Tong Han Shai (Chinese-registry 20,582-gt, 34,991-dwt motor bulk
carrier built in 1983, operated by COSCO Bulk Carrier Co. Ltd. ) ran
aground 2 April on Hatter Barn Reef in Denmark at 55 degrees 54.10 minutes
north, 10 degrees 50.91 minutes east. It was reportedly sailing from
Ventspils, Latvia, with sulphate.

Dutch-registry tanker grounds

The Dutch Sailor (Dutch-registry 3,427-gt, 4,387-dwt chemical tanker
built in 1981, operated by Broere Shipping B.V.) ran aground on sand in
Belgium 2 April at 51 degrees 35 minutes north, 03 degrees 22.6 minutes
east. It was sailing to Antwerp, Belgium, with acetic acid and formic acid.

British-registry tug loses power

The Brittania Conquest (British-registry 422-gt "stand-by" tug built
in 1974, operated by Viking Standby Ltd.) lost power 2 April at 50 degrees
27 minutes north, 02 degrees 21 minutes west, off Bill of Portland,
England. It was later towed to Portland, England, by the motor tug
Sandsford Castle.


J.J., first Pacific gray whale raised by humans, released in San Diego

J.J., a 10-ton gray whale, was released 31 March off San Diego by the
U.S. Coast Guard's Balsam-class Seagoing Buoy Tender U.S.C.G.C. Conifer
(WLB 301). J.J. is the Pacific first gray whale raised by humans and
reportedly the largest animal ever released. Just after dawn, the whale was
lifted out of her holding pool at Sea World in San Diego and placed on a
9.8-meter/32-foot stretcher. After being loaded in a semi-trailer padded
with foam rubber, J.J. travelled 19 kilometers/12 miles in less than an
hour while being cooled by several attendants. J.J. was found in the surf
on 11 Jan., 1997, near Marina del Rey, Calif., after being abandoned when
only a few days old. The whale was unconscious, malnourished and
dehydrated. She measured 4.22 meters/13.8 feet and weighed 751.5
kilograms/1,670 pounds. Her umbilical cord was still attached. Sea World
spent U.S.$1 million to care for the whale and at the time of her release,
J.J. was 9.4 meters/31 feet long and weighed 8,550 kilograms/19,000 pounds.
J.J. was fitted with two satellite transmitters but both have been lost.

Mariner's Museum gets Mobil grant

Mobil Corp. has made a U.S.$100,000 grant to the Mariner's Museum as
part of the museum's U.S.$12 million capital endowment campaign. The money
is to be used for "Shipping and Trade in the 21st Century," which will open
in two years in the Commercial Shipping Gallery.

Leg 6 of Whitbread Round the World Race completed

Silk Cut arrived in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on 29 March to win Leg 6 of
the Whitbread Round the World Race. The leg started in San Sebastian,
Brazil. EF Language was second and Swedish Match finished third. EF
Language leads the race with 608 points, while Swedish Match is in second
at 473 points.

U.S.C.G.C. White Heath decommissioned

The U.S. Coast Guard's "White"-class Coasal Buoy Tender U.S.C.G.C.
White Heath (WLM 545) was decommissioned at 1330 31 March at the Coast
Guard's facility in the North End of Boston. The vessel was laid down 4
June, 1943, and launched 21 July, 1943, at Erie Concrete & Steel Supply Co.
in Erie, Pa. It was commissioned as the U.S. Navy self-propelled lighter YF
445 on 9 Aug., 1944, and was transferred to the Coast Guard on 9 Aug.,
1947. The U.S.C.G.C. White Heath worked from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, to Cape
Cod, Mass., and will now be transferred to Tunisia.

World Maritime News is distributed via the Internet every Friday. Due to
its distribution beyond the original format both in style and medium, it is
preferred that it be left intact or that "World Maritime News" and/or
"Steve Schultz (" be attached with excerpts, especially
those excerpts in which structure and tone are unchanged. Although every
effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information presented, I
do not assume any liability arising from its use.

This issue edited from information distributed by: Boston Globe; Daily
Times (Nigeria); Fairplay Publications Ltd.; Great Lakes Vessel Passage and
Joan Baldwin, Rene Beauchamp and Dave Wobser; Hong Kong Shipping Gazette;
LLP Ltd. including BunkerNews Daily and Lloyd's List; media releases; New
Light of Myanmar; news services including Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg
News, Bridge News, Business Wire, Canada Newswire, Canadian Press, Comtex,
Interfax, Kyodo News International, M2 Presswire, Nikkei English News/Nihon
Keizai Shimbun, PR Newswire, RFE/RL Newsline, Reuters, The Associated Press
and U.S. Newswire; radio services including CKNW (British Columbia);
Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. including Singapore Shipping Times; The
(Halifax, Nova Scotia) Daily News; The Journal of Commerce; The New York
Times; the U.S. Coast Guard; and Watertown (N.Y.) Times.

Special thanks this issue to Alan Moulton.

Questions, comments or problems? Want to submit information for inclusion
in the World Maritime News? Please send a message to (
Steve Schultz -

"When beholding the tranquil beauty and brilliancy of the ocean's skin, one
forgets the tiger heart that pants beneath it; and would not willingly
remember, that this velvet paw but conceals a remorseless fang" - Herman
Melville from "Moby-Dick; or, The White Whale," Chapter 114, Paragraph two

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