The "Texas Barge" collided with a barge after it was pushed by a strong current about a mile into the Intracoastal Waterway in the morning of Oct 1, 2014, at 12.46 a.m. The dredge was slated to work on the Bolivar ferry landing when it became unmoored. The two-man crew lowered a spud into the water to stop the vessel from drifting. The spud was bent by the abrupt stop. Traffic on the the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway was shut down for hours and caused a backup of towing vessels along the Bolivar Peninsula. The Houston Ship Channel remained open, but towing vessels could not travel the narrow channel. The shutdown affected about 13 tugs. The Houston Ship Channel and the Galveston Ship Channel were not closed, but the ICW was blocked from light 13 to light 28.
Report with photos:
Russia accused of violating international maritime laws
Russia has been accused by Lithuania of violating international maritime laws after seizing the "Juros Vilkas" with a crew of 30. The EU protested earlier over the incident on Sep 18, saying Russian border guards had conducted a "forced apprehension" of the vessel which was detained in Murmansk awaiting a court ruling. The "Juros Vilkas" has been in international waters when it was seized in the Barents Sea according to satellite data. The European Union called on Russia to respect its international obligations and to immediately release the vessel. Officials had raised the issue with the Russian ambassador to the bloc. A Russian court will decide on Oct 7 whether to release the vessel. The crew, which included Lithuanian and Russian nationals, had not been detained and was still on board.
Truck bought from scrap trader caused fire on Corona Seaways
The fire aboard the "Corona Seaways" on Dec 4, 2013, off Helsingborg was caused by the starter of a truck , the British Commission of Inquiry concluded its investigation of the accident. The truck had been purchased from a scrap trader in Jutland for transport to Lithuania. The truck had standing for a year so that a temporary battery was installed to get it aboard the ship.
The fire rescue service of northwest Skåne fought the fire for almost a whole day at the dock in the Skåne terminal in the port of Helsingborg. When the ship left the port of Fredericia in Jutland, everything looked to be an ordinary sailing to Klaipeda. But five hour into the trip there was fire alert. The crew fought the blaze for four hours before firefighters boarded the vessel in Helsingborg and were able to extinguish the fire. The ventilation slots that had to be fully closed before the internal fire suppression system was activated, were not fully sealed. This meant that it was not as effective as it otherwise would have been. In addition, the activation of the system was delayed for five minutes since a fitter was suspected to be inside the car deck. When he was located, the system was activated with good results. But the fire was not extinguished completely, so that the ship headed to Helsingborg where emergency services were ready to knock down the blaze.
As a result of the accident the owner introduced additional, more stringent rules than before about how used and not inspected cars have to be handled when they are loaded on board. For example all the cables from the batteries in the vehicles are unfixed before the trip starts.
On the whole, the British Commission of Inquiry concluded that the accident was handled in a professional manner and as good as possible, regarding both by the crew and the shore-based emergency services in Helsingborg.
The damage to the ship mainly hit the area above the fire. Some 15 square meters steel had to be replaced, other work included replacement steel structures and electrical wiring. Three vehicles and six trailers were also damaged in the fire.
Swedish report with photos and videos:
Kurdish attempts to sell oil are not going to get support from the Obama administration
For two months now, the United Kalavrvta tanker holding 1 million barrels of Kurdish crude has idled in international waters off the coast of Galveston, Texas, awaiting a District Court ruling on whether the oil will be allowed to be sold in the US.
But if the Kurdistan Regional Government is hoping that the Obama administration will soften its stance in opposition to Kurdish oil exports, that doesn’t appear likely, even as the US seeks to aid the Kurdish peshmerga in their fight against the Islamic jihadist group IS.
Former Obama administration officials and trade experts say the White House has little to gain from allowing the semiautonomous KRG to further assert its independence from Iraq via oil exports, which could destabilize the war-torn region as other sectarian groups might also seek to break away from their central governments.
“It would be dangerous and destabilizing for the KRG to flout the sovereignty of the Iraqi central government because of the precedent that would send for other provinces in Iraq and other ethnically autonomous movements in the region,” said David Goldwyn, formerly the US State Department’s top energy diplomat who now serves as a consultant on international trade issues. “From a diplomatic point of view, it’s not a close call.”
Officially, the US has said that it would prefer to see all sales of oil produced within Iraq’s borders go through the Iraqi central government’s marketing arm, SOMO. However, the Obama administration has stopped short of saying it would outright block any sales of Kurdish oil. www.seanews.com.t...
A fractured hull girder caused the break-up and sinking of container ship MOL Comfort in June 2013, an investigation has found.
Japanese classification society ClassNK, which classed the 8,110teu ship, released its final investigation report today.
The MOL Comfort split into two and sank in bad weather about 400 nautical miles off Oman on 17 June 2013, while sailing from Singapore to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The hull fracture originated from the buckling collapse of the bottom shell plates in a butt joint in the structure underneath the No. 6 cargo hold in the midship part, the investigation showed.
ClassNK said the Mitsui OSK Lines-owned ship's drawings and hull structure conformed to its requirements and the pre- and post-construction surveys were performed satisfactorily.
It said that cases where collapsed bottom shell plates caused fractured hull girders were unprecedented. The investigation was carried out on a number of large container ships and the margin against the expected loads was checked. More at www.ihsmaritime36...
South Korea’s largest bulk shipper Pan Ocean Co Ltd has been put up for auction, according to a sales notice on Wednesday, becoming the latest asset to be sold by a mid-tier conglomerate which collapsed after an ill-fated expansion drive.
The shipper is likely to sell for around 600 billion to 700 billion won ($570 million to $660 million), the Korea Economic Daily reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed people in the investment banking industry.
Pan Ocean, formerly STX Pan Ocean, was spun off from now-defunct shipbuilding conglomerate STX Group and entered court receivership in June last year.
STX Group is among a handful of conglomerates including Woongjin Group and Tong Yang Group that have been forced to sell assets and seek refuge from creditors after expansion moves turned sour in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
Other indebted family-run conglomerates such as Hyundai Group, Hanjin Group and Dongbu Group have been preemptively selling assets to improve balance sheets .
Pan Ocean reported operating profit of 115.3 billion won during the first half of this year, from a 93.8 billion won loss in the same period of 2013.