Anti government protests in order to scrap risky salvage plans announced
The Conservative activist Jang Ki-jung will lead anti-government protests if officials don’t scrap plans to recover the "Sewol" with taxpayers’ money. He said it would be an expensive precedent for future civilian ship disasters. Salvaging the corroded ferry from deep beneath a channel notorious for dangerous currents will be difficult, expensive and potentially risky. Experts say lifting the "Sewol" will prove much harder than previous efforts around the world to salvage giant ships, which sometimes ended up costing much more than originally estimated. There are questions about whether the South Korean government should be spending the estimated $91 million to $137 million needed to salvage the ferry, and there are worries about the decision to pull the ship up in one piece, rather than chopping it into sections.
Complicating decisions are the raw emotions surrounding the April 2014 sinking. Relatives of the victims hope that lifting the entire ship at once might reveal those bodies, along with new details about what happened. Slicing the ferry up would make salvage easier,but it could also damage any bodies still in the ship or allow them to be swept away. Some doubt that any bodies could still be in the vessel. Divers spent several months picking their way through the ship 44 meters below the sea surface. Two divers died during last year’s search efforts in the Maenggol Channel. The waterway is notorious for strong, fast currents that slice through narrow passages between small islands. According to Saenuri Party lawmaker Kim Jin-tae there shouldn’t be any other victims during a salvage job that’s going to be much more difficult than the search for victims was. Last weekend, violence erupted at a Seoul rally when enraged relatives and their supporters clashed with police. Dozens of people were injured and more than 70 police buses were destroyed.
A South Korean government task force recently outlined a possible scenario where divers would drill 93 holes in the side of the "Sewol". That will allow it to be tied to two huge naval cranes. The cranes would then lift the ship about 3 meters off the seafloor and move it up to a place where there is better visibility. It would then be placed on a submerged dock and floated to the surface later.
The ferry now lies with its left side buried up to 1.5 meters on the seafloor. The government plans to lift the ferry as it is, instead of first pulling it upright.
South Korean officials acknowledge that the more than 20-year-old ferry might be damaged or even broken into pieces during the salvage operation, which is expected to take 12 to 18 months. The direction of the channel’s tidal currents changes four times a day, along with various current speeds. That could complicate things for the two cranes, which must work together in precision to lift the ship.
Song Byeong-seon, an executive at the South Korean salvage firm Pacific Ocean Marine Industries Co., said the changing tidal currents would also give divers only a limited time to drill the 93 holes, especially considering the ship’s corrosion
Government officials said they will try to begin some tasks as early as September, such as removing the ship’s remaining oil and bringing in barges as work stations. They plan to stop work from November to February because of expected bad weather before resuming in the spring.
On Apr 22 the "Marathassa" finally left Vancouver bound for Iligan after having been allowed to return to normal operations and leave Canadian waters. Transport Canada inspectors were confident the the "Marathassa"’s deficiencies have been fixed and it meets regulations and was environmentally safe for travel. The grain-carrying ship on its maiden voyage leaked at least 2,700 litres of fuel into the city’s harbour on Apr 8, quickly spreading to popular beaches nearby. A thorough investigation of the fuel discharge continues and the ship’s operators could face fines or prosecution if they are found to have violated Canada’s shipping laws. Pollution recovery efforts were slowly winding down and the wildlife rehabilitation team was being demobilized. Canada’s laws ensured that polluters are held financially liable, and the operators of the "Marathassa" have agreed to pay for clean up and to appear in future legal proceedings that could lead to fines. Transport Canada conducted regular flyovers of the "Marathassa" as it departed Canadian waters.
APM Maasvlakte II Terminal Opened by Dutch King Willem-Alexander
APM Terminals Maasvlakte II held a ceremony to celebrate the opening of the world’s most automated container terminal. The event that was attended by Dutch King Willem-Alexander and 500 representatives of the port industry and governments from around the world. This is claimed to be the most technologically advanced and most durable container terminal in the world.
Built on land reclaimed from the North Sea – the port is described by APM Terminals as an engineering marvel that will set the pace for other ports worldwide in sustainability, higher productivity, safety and innovation. The total cost of the investment is said to be EUR 500 million.“With this terminal, a new chapter in the history of container terminals is written, as we demonstrate that safety, efficiency, sustainability, and world trade can go hand-in-hand,” said Kim Fejfer, CEO of APM Terminals. Construction began in May 2012, with the first commercial vessel call in December 2014. Successful systems testing and ramp-up have been completed to bring the first phase of APM Terminals Maasvlakte II into full operational status. The 86 hectare (212 acre) deep-water terminal features 1,000 meters of quay, on-dock rail, and eight fully-automated electric-powered Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes, with an annual throughput capacity of 2.7 million TEUs. Source : MarineLink
Precondition for lock entry at Brunsbüttel and Kiel Holtenau (Kiel Canal)
The Kiel Canal authorities have announced that due to limited lock capacity it will be mandatory to check efficiency of vessels' manoeuvrebility and astern operation before entering Kiel-Canal locks, either from Elbe River or Kiel-Fjord. The result of the manoeuvres must be reported by VHF (Kiel Channel 1 or Kiel-Channel 4) to the lockmaster. If manoeuvres are found to be unsatisfactory, entry to the locks may be refused. Reported by GAC