Countryman & McDaniel -  The Logistics - Customs Broker Attorneys

International Trade Consultants

"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"  


"Singles Only"

Page Number 8

Year 2005

The Individual Moments of Transport Crisis

Which Don't Constitute A Full Page Feature

"Singles Only" Year 2005 - Our Feature Page - Page #8 - Our "Singles" Photo Features By Date

M/V Oltenita - Danube Disaster -- Oct. 2005

Seven Mile Bridge - The Keys - Oct. 2005

Ghost Ship - Destruction at Biloxi - Sept. 2005

M/V Transmodal - Fire At Sea - July 2005

M/T Kyokuyo Maru -Collision& Fire At Sea - July 2005

Horsing Around - July 2005

Iwo Jim Fire - July 2005

The Queen Checkmates - June 2005

Coat Tails of The Queen - June 2005

Tip of The Iceberg - June 2005

Uplift To Down - March 2005

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, M/V Milicoma - Mar. 2005

Bridge Vs. Bridge - Mar. 2005

Red Rudder Riders - Feb. 2005

USS San Francisco In The Mountains - Jan. 2005

Dr. Beach's Mystery Buoy - Jan. 2005

Drowned Fox - Jan. 2005

  REURN TO "Singles Only" MAIN INDEX

24 Hour Int'l Vessel Casualties & Pirates Database

The Photo Gallery of Cargo Loss - Photos & Lessons Learned

For All The Many Transport Disaster Photos We Receive Each Month,

Only A Few Picture Series Result In A The Cargo Letter Photo Feature Page.

For All The Rather Amazing Single Picture Contributions We Recieve --

-- Here Are Our Selected One Photo Wonders!

Countryman & McDaniel

 The Air & Ocean Logistics- Customs Broker Attorneys

International Trade Consultants

"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"

Countryman & McDaniel

Transport Single Photo Nightmares

Contributed By Our Readers* REURN TO "Singles Only" MAIN INDEX

M/V Oltenita - Danube Disaster -- Oct. 2005

M/V Oltenita along the Danube in better days

M/V Oltenita beached, burning & sunk in the mud

The Cargo Letter For Oct. 5 2005

300ft Romanian 4 deck Danube cruise M/V Oltenita, Romania for Austrian capital Vienna with 77 passenger from Belgium and Denmark & 42 crew, suffered fire & gutted after Capt. managed to maneuver her to a river bank -- where paniced tourists fled -- near Slovak capital Bratislava -- 1 body found in cabin - thought to be crew - 7 hours after blaze broke out in ship's kitchens at 3 p.m. (1300 GMT). (Your Editor cruised the Danube on a similar vessel, 120 days ago in the same position -- fire safety was paramount. Despite the tragedy, this ia a safe & 1st class way to travel. McD) (Mon. Oct. 3 2005) UPDATE>> M/V Oltenita was 40 years old & once was favorite riverboat of former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu<< Webfeature. (Mon. Oct. 3 2005pm)

Danuge cruising has improved greatly since the old M/V Oltenita was built in the 1950's.

Danube River Trips

Danube River Trips

Danube River Trips in Romania

Modern Danube River Vessels

Port of Oltenita

Seven Mile Bridge - The Keys -- Oct. 2005
U.S. Highway 1 in the Florida Keys is shut down Oct. 3, after a dramatic crash on the famous Seven Mile Bridge near Mile Marker 41 involving a gasoline tanker & an SUV. Gasoline tanker caught fire after colliding with the SUV just south of Marathon Key. The Florida Keys are closed off.

Tanker turned over, caught on fire. There are possibly several people dead in this accident," said Becky Harrin, of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. The Florida Keys depend on this single route on/off the string of islands for evacuation from huricanes. U.S. Coast Guard also responded to the scene.

Seven Mile Bridge Index




Virtual Tour

Enineering Data

Trail Finder

Where & What Is Key West?

eBay - Seven Mile Bridge

Ghost Ship - Destruction of Biloxi -- Sept. 2005

Ghost Ship

Hulk of the "Golden Hawk" at Biloxi - Aug. 29 2005

The "Golden Hawk" at Biloxi - in better days

In better days -- before Hurricane Katrina -- this was the Treasure Bay Casino & Hotel at Bilox, Mississippi.

The destruction was complete, but so is the determination to rebuild America's great Gulf Coast. Aargh!

Treasure Bay Casino & Hotel

Legend of The Golden Hawk

City of Biloxi

Biloxi Traffic Cameras (need to be replaced)

Gulf Coast

Gulf Coast Links

Hurricane Katrina Survivor Database

Hurricane Katrina Official City of New Orleans Site

Category 5 hurricane

Freight Detective Meteorologist

Hurricane City

Our Contributor: Libby Thompson, LAX

M/V Transmodal -- Fire At Sea-- July 2005

 The Cargo Letter For July 9 2005

5,400dwt Argentine flag roro / lolo M/V Transmodal, for Rio Grande, Brazil with 22 crew, suffered engine room explosion & fire which spread to deck out of control July 9 -- master Capt. Fernando Lorenzo issued distress call -- abandoned to lifeboats in stages as fire worsened -- Chief Engineer suffered 3rd degree burns & evacuated by Brazilian Navy helicopter -- at least 3 more injuries with burns & fracture. M/V MOL Strength master Capt. Pavrvinder Singh reports diverted 12 miles to pick up survivors. Condition of M/V Transmodal currently unknown. From our anonymous Correspondent. (Tues. July 12 2005) UPDATE>> Wreck of partially burnt out ro/lo M/V Transomdal which suffered fire on July 9, is currently under tow to Buenos Aires. (Wed. July 19 2005)

These photos taken for The Cargo Letter by our anonymous contributor on July 21 2005 at Buenos Aires

Contributor For This Feature:

Anonymous contributor who wish to remain anonymous
M/T Kyokuyo Maru -- Collision At Sea -- July 2005
The Cargo Letter For July 19 2005

697-ton M/T Kyokuyo Maru, for Matsuyama port in Ehime Prefecture with gasoline (benzol?, benzene?) -- in collision in dense fog with -- 499-ton cargo M/V Nikko Maru, for Chiba with 1,000kl of creosote oil -- off Cape Mikizaki, Mie prefecture, Japan July 15. M/T Kyokuyo Maru burst into flames --1 dead & 5 missing. M/V Nikko Maru had no casualties. (Fri. July 15 2005) UPDATE>> Capt. Mitoshi Yoshimoto, master of M/V Nikko Maru quoted: "When we steered to the right, the Kyokyuo Maru steered to the left. So we quickly steered left." Collision killed 2 crew of M/T Kyokuyo Maru , seriously injured another & left 4 missing. The 2nd engineer Hidetoshi Nakano, 39, died after being thrown into sea -- body of another crew found on beach 25km W. of collision site -- 5 crew on M/V Nikko Maru rescued unharmed by nearby ship. Update from our Sr. Correspondent Tim Schwabedissen (Tues. July 19 2005)

Horsing Around - July 2005
The Cargo Letter For July 12 2005

BP oil platform Thunder Horse, under construction in the Gulf of Mexico -- Largest In The World -- scheduled to go onstream at the end of 2005 -- sustained serious damage & now listing listing at an angle of 20-30 degrees 150 miles off New Orleans -- day after Hurricane Dennis hit Gulf of Mexico. Site will have eventual production capacity of 250,000 barrels per day & 5.7 mln cubic metres of natural gas. (Tues. July 12 2005)

UPDATE>> British Petroleum (BP) worked July 13 to right its huge US$1Bn petroleum platform found listing 20 degrees in deep-water -- Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Dennis. Cause has not been determined, said BP . On July 12, after power was restored & crews able to board the Thunder Horse platform, information from data recorders was sent to the shore for analysis.

Thunder Horse, the largest platform in the Gulf of Mexico, is the center of the Thunder Horse Field, located 150 miles SE of New Orleans in about 6,000 feet of water. Until the accident, BP expected it to begin producing oil &emdash; as much as 240,000 barrels per day &emdash; in late 2005. Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. is a partner in the project. Oil production in the Gulf of Mexico totals about 1.5 million barrels per day currently.

Thunder Horse evacuated July 8 in anticipation of the hurricane. Listing platform 1st noticed Monday by a passing ship. After that, BP & U.S. Coast Guard set up response center in Morgan City, La., near the Louisiana coast. Ballast pumps aboard platform are operational -- additional pumps being brought in. Process of balancing platform using water as ballast similar to that used on ships. (Wed. July 13 2005)

Thunder Horse Location

UPDATE>> BP's massive floating oil & gas platform, Thunder Horse, appeared close to its normal upright position July 17, as recovery crews continued pumping out flooded support pylons. (Sun. July 17 2005)

Contributor For This Feature:

Libby Thompson - Los Angeles
Iwo Jima Fire - July 2005
The Cargo Letter For July 3 2005

Mysterious column of water vapor shot a kilometer (3,300 feet) into the sky from Pacific Ocean near Iwo Jima -- likely caused by underwater volcanic eruption -- ships should avoid area, Japanese officials said July 3. A Japan Coast Guard crew flew over area to try to determine what happened. Japan's Meteorological Agency said no danger of tsunami. Japanese troops stationed on Iwo Jima on July 2, reported seeing massive, cloudy column rise from sea 50km(30 miles) SE of the small island, said Maritime Self-Defense Forces. Iwo Jima is 1,120km (700 miles) SE of Tokyo. (Sun. July 3 2005) Japan Defense Force photo

Imagine your ship, over that area at the time! Geeez!

These Japan Defense Force photos show vapor billowing from rocks appearing above the sea near the area where a 1,000 meter high column of water vapor shot up in the Pacific Ocean, on July 3. The vapor was reported July 3, by Japanese troops stationed on the island, about 1,125km SE of Tokyo. There's an undersea volcano in the area known as Fukutokuoka-no-ba. It last erupted in 1986. Japan Coast Guard officials who flew over the area July 3 said the surface of the water appeared red, which could indicate underwater volcanic activity. Another survey found greyish mud rising from the the bottom.
The Queen Checkmates - June 2005
The Cargo Letter For June 30 2005

ALERT>> Newly reburbished 457ft. double-ended ocean 7,000-ton ferry M/V Queen of Oak Bay<< Webfeature, with 544 passengers &189 vehicles -- lost power while entering Port of Vancouver & making docking turn -- smashed into Sewell's Marina<< Webfeature, adjacent to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. M/V Queen of Oak Bay<< Webfeature, devistated Sewell's Marina, smashing into numerous yachts & destroying up to 30 vessels. No Injuries. From our Correspondent Robert McNamara -- who reported this loss to us about 10 minutes after accident & even before the U.S. TV networks went to "BREAKING NEWS" - BRAVO Robert! (Thurs. June 30 2005)

Captain Jarik Kosy of the B.C. ferry captain is being hailed as a hero for steering his huge vessel away from a terminal crowded with people when it lost power, potentially saving numerous lives. The Coast Guard's Terry Tebb agrees, believing many would have been killed if Kosy had not acted quickly. Kosy, born in Poland, has only been a captain in Vancouver for 2 years. Technicians have now reported that the ferry, 7,000-ton M/V Queen of Oak Bay, suffered an engine failure June 30, as it approached the terminal at Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. Capt. Kosy managed to steer ferry into the Sewell Marina, where it ran aground, crushing numerous pleasure boats -- and caused some of their owners to run for their lives. Despite carrying 544 passengers and 189 vehicles, no one on board the ferry was injured. Problems began when the ferry suddenly lost power. Capt. Kosy was still able to pilot the vessel because ferry's steering system uses a separate source of power from the engines.

Coat Tails of The Queen - June 2005
The Cargo Letter For June 19 2005:

RMS Queen Elizabeth 2<< Webfeature, departed Norwegian Port of Ålesund this evening -- tug M/V Multimammut should have cast off -- but line still attached between tug & liner --as the QE2 moved out, line pulled tug very far over until her bridge nearly was awash. The line then came loose from the tug & she righted herself immediately. (Sun. June 19 2005)

Tip of The Iceberg -- June 2005
For a thousand years -- mariners have feared the iceberg -- and then -- 14 April 1912 -- when 1,517 people died in the disaster -- RMS Titanic
Here Is The Clear Vision of What You Have Never Seen Before
From a Rig Manager for Global Marine Drilling in St. Johns, Newfoundland. The procedure is to divert the path of these mighty objects away from the oil rig by towing the icebergs with tugs. In this particular case the water was calm, & the sun was almost directly overhead so that the rig diver was able to get into the water & for this amazing picture. Clear water huh? Experts estimated the iceberg weight at 300,000,000 tons. And now we also can better understand why RMS Titanic sank! Feature Date: June 11 2005. Contributor For This Feature: (name removed to avoid embarrassment)
For The First Time -- You Have How Now Seen Top To Bottom.

[..... or have you?]

June 17 2005 Update - After this photo was posted for 6 days, our reader Adrian Round pointed out the sad truth -- this photo is a hoax!
As we are now told, "Global Marine Drilling does do work in the ocean off Newfoundland; there are Rig Managers involved; and icebergs really are towed in the offshore industry - but this 'photo' is really a composite of 4 separate images, put together in 1999 by underwater photographer Ralph A. Clevenger. It's probably best known from its use on a motivational poster put out by Successories, a company that produces posters and other materials with inspirational mottoes for use in business settings. Icebergs off Newfoundland may weigh as much as several million tons, but not 300 million tons as stated (though they do occasionally reach that weight in other parts of the world)."

According to the website, underwater photographer Ralph Clevenger, who has written:

"I created the image as a way of illustrating the concept of what you get is not necessarily what you see. As a professional photographer I knew that I couldn't get an actual shot of an iceberg the way I envisioned it, so I created the final image by compositing several images I had taken. The two halves of the iceberg are 2 separate shots, one taken in Alaska and one taken in Antarctica (neither is underwater). The only underwater part is the background taken off the coast of California. The sky is the last component. It took a lot of research on lighting and scale to get the berg to look real."

 See the original "photo" at Successories

NOTE: Damn we've been hoaxed! This picture cam to us from a trusted source -- so we published it. While we had preferred a true photo -- the point here is to remind that in the "Internet Age" -- cross check everything. We plan to do just that. McD

Uplift To Down - March 2005

Liftboat M/V Lauren on station in Gulf of Mexico

Offshore Liftboats, provide self-propelled, self-elevating, deck barges (Liftboats or Jackups), working in Gulf of Mexico. Liftboats range in size (leg length) from class 105's to class 175's -- provide living quarters, hydraulic cranes & stable platforms to offshore oil and gas production platforms. Offshore Liftboats supports operations such as P&A (plug & abandon), maintenance & repair (work-over), structural construction and repairs, slick line, wire line, seismic, dive support, & salvage. Since Liftboats are self-propelled, they are mobile -- can work in shallow water -- transport supplies & materials (deck loads) up to 500,000 lbs. 
The Cargo Letter For March 25 2005:

U.S liftboat M/V Lauren, with 4 crew capsized & sank in 31ft. waters March 20, at South Timbalier Block 21, about 20 miles south of Fourchon, La. -- all rescued by crew of M/V International Leader & transported ashore without injuries. (Fri. Mar. 25 2005)  


Liftboat M/V Lauren
Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, M/V Milicoma - March 2005

Dramatic Survey Photo

The Cargo Letter For March 22 2005:

Barge Millicoma, in ballast, under tow by tug M/V Howard Olsen, aground near the mouth of the Columbia River -- on infamous Columbia River Bar -- in severe weather tow line broke March 19 night. M/V Millicoma drifted 3.5 miles to cove near North Head, Washington.

5,000 gallons of diesel aboard. So far, none of the fuel has spilled -- Millicoma heavily damaged -- Mea Culpa! (Tues. Mar. 22 2005)

Editors Note: This is a bad thing. But if anyone can help -- it is the U.S. Coast Guard 17th District !

Barge Millicoma - Blowing Tanks**

The Cargo Letter For March 25 2005:

UPDATE>> WHO KNEW? -- badly grounded barge Millicoma was equipt with large air blowers that pump air into the barge's cargo compartments --activated at daybreak pumping air into the barge. Once freed from rocky cove the barge will be towed across the Columbia River to Astoria by M/V Salvage Chief. Three other vessels, the M/V Navajo, an ocean tug owned by Sause Bros, & 2 Foss Maritime tugs, M/V American & M/V Betsy L. are near M/V Salvage Chief to provide support. As bad as this was -- a miracle endng! (Fri. Mar. 25 2005)

Details of the Columbia River Bar

News Story

Contributors For This Feature:


John Taylor

* A very well placed industry source of this survey photo -- not a news photo. ** Second picture is new photo.

Bridge Vs. Bridge - March. 2005

M/V Karen Danielsen -- her entire command bridge, mast, radars & 2 cranes are missing!

You know, that "Bridge thingy" -- where the Captain & the helmsman stand to pilot the vessel - all gone.

A True Darwin Award

M/V Karen Danielsen -- Bridged --Leaving her entire Bridge behind.

Ten pounds of ship - under five pounds of bridge

The Cargo Letter For March 4 2005:

ALERT>> 3.120gt Bahamas M/V Karen Danielsen (built 1985) Svendborg for Finland -- in collision -- with Danish Great Belt-Bridge <<Webfeature, between Zeeland & Fuenen in the Baltic -- tore off ship's bridge & stuck fast under western part of the Belt bridge 1km off Danish town Nyborg. Fire broke out on board after collision -- 1 dead & 10 injured. Connection between Zealand & Fuenen consists of tunnels & bridges & artificial islands & has a length of 20km. It is 2nd largest building of this kind in Europe apart from Channel Tunnel between England & France. Traffic over bridge interrupted. "It is the most serious accident since the bridge opened in 1998, and one that shouldn't have happened, as the 3,500-ton coastal ship should not have passed under it," said spokesman for Danish Navy's operational command. From our Sr. Correspondant Tim Schwabedissen. (Fri. Mar. 4 2005)

The Salvage: Wijsmuller Salvage B.V. March 4 engaged in operations to clear container vessel M/V Karen Danielsen from her position underneath the Store Belt (Great Belt) bridge in Denmark. The vessel ended up stuck underneath the bridge in the early March 4 evening , knocking off the 2 cranes from the vessels' main deck as well as the complete bridge deck in the process, sparking off a fire as well. SvitzerWijsmuller fifi tug M/V EGIL proceeded at full speed -- arrived at 23.00 LT with SvitzerWijsmuller tug M/V SKULD coming in as back up in case of need. Salvage teams were put on standby but appeared not to be required since at about midnight the tugs M/V EGIL & M/V ETUS were able to move the vessel away from her difficult location underneath the bridge. The vessel was subsequently berthed in Lindholm Harbor (close to Nyborg) at 04.00 hours LT.

THe Cargo Letter UPDATE>> The helmsman of M/V Karen Danielsen which got stuck under the Danish Great Belt-Bridge <<Webfeature, in the Baltic was killed in the incident & drunk (huge surprise here). His body found in a cargo hold on March 4th after vessel brought to Lindholm. Helmsman alone on the bridge at time of collision. From our Sr. Correspondant Tim Schwabedissen. (Wed. Mar. 9 2005)

The Danish Great Belt-Bridge loomed low -- what was this guy thinking? Indeed, "thinking" switched off.

Red Rudder Riders - Feb. 2005


Two Rode The Atlantic On The Red Rudder

The Story"Senhores, Esta é para ninguem acreditar, ou seja, este navio de bandeira russa veio de Guiné, e ao chegar ao Rio vejam onde dois clandestinos foram condenados. Eles conseguiram vir na madre do leme pois o navio estava em lastro, mesmo assim foi impressionante e surpreendente para todo mundo, da tripulação às autoridades no Porto do Rio de Janeiro - nove dias /noites de travessia no Atlântico. Os rapazes estão sãos e salvos em tratamento médico já em hotel e nos procedimentos da Polícia Federal providenciando a expatriação. P & I está tratando de todo assunto."

We Unfortunately Don't Speak Portuguese -- but our poor translation of this 3 Feb. 2005 report from our valued contributor is that arrival of Russian flag M/V Guiné at Port of Rio De Janeiro -- was marked by the amazing discovery of young 2 stowaways who braved the Atlanic for over 9 days standing on the rudder in hope of reaching a new life in Argentina. Thank God the vessel was in ballast -- or this perch would have been just for fish! How did they do this?

"The youngsters are safe & sound in medical treatment already in hotel and the procedures of the Federal Policy providing the expatriation. P & I are dealing with all subject," says our source.

 Contributors To Our Feature:


* A very well placed industry source.

USS San Francisco In The Mountains - Jan. 2005

What Happens When You Hit AN Uncharted Mountain Underwater At 30 Knots & 525 ft? The Damage Is Staggering

But USS San Francisco Survived! This Mountain Was NOT On the Charts!

This Photo U.S. Declassified Jan. 28 2005.

That This Boat Ever Made It Back To Port Is A Tribute To Its Designers, Builders

& Especially To The Crew & Captain.

How Does America Keep Finding Men Like These?

From The Cargo Letter - Los Angeles class nuclear submarine<<Webfeature, USS San Francisco (SSN-71), with 137 crew (home port Guam) headed for a port visit in Brisbane, -- grounded Jan. 7 in Pacific, 560km S. of Guam --20 crew injured, 1 critical -- still out of helicopter range to allow evacuation of the sailor. USS San Francisco underway -- on the surface -- expected in port Jan. 10. Applications being taken for new commanding officer. (Sat. Jan. 8 2005) UPDATE>> Injured crewman has died. (Sun. Jan. 9 2005)

Comments From Readers On This Picture -- U.S. Declassified Jan. 28 2005 -- All Comments Also Jan.28 2005.

"Man oh man, have you seen this. I have to think that the Captain and the crew of this vessel did an incredible job."

"Holy crap!"

"Gonna need more nose work than Michael Jackson, but cost less"

"Their lives were saved also because of the measures the U.S. Navy took after the loss of USS Thresher & USS Scorpion."

"Obviously, the U.S Navy has got to investigate the Captain to ensure that he didn't screw up at all. Since the mountain is not on their charts, I think he'll probably be cleared if there is no way he could be blamed for this. If the Navy can find that he was in no way to blame for the sub hitting the mountain, the very fact that he got it back is a testament to his seamanship, and that of his crew. If he made no mistake in the accident, than getting it back to port was nothing short of heroic and he deserves a medal. A true testament to the crew, their Captian and the engineers that designed it. An incredible feat to keep it from sinking, let alone return to port."

"The crew complains about the drills, but when it hits the fan, knowing exactly what to do makes all the difference between life and death. Kudos to CDR Mooney & the crew."


Jan. 20 -- "Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, has directed that commanding officer of USS San Francisco (SSN 711), Cmdr. Kevin Mooney, be reassigned pending the results of an investigation into the sub's grounding during operations in the Western Pacific Ocean.

Cmdr. Kevin Mooney reassigned to Submarine Squadron 15, based in Guam, pending the results of investigation to determine the cause of grounding Jan. 8 that resulted in the death of one Sailor & injuries to 23 other members of the command."

UPDATE>> News Soucrce Review of Accident Cause:

Jan. 31 2005: The American nuclear submarine USS San Francisco hit an uncharted seamount on January 7th, killing one sailor and injuring sixty others, 23 of them so seriously they could not perform their duties. Facts about the incident were slow to emerge. It appears that the sub was traveling on a course she was ORDERED TO FOLLOW, at a depth of 500 feet and a speed of about 56 Km. an hour. This was the first time the navy had given the speed of a Los Angeles class sub as anything but "25+ knots" (45 kilometers an hour.) It has long been believed that these subs could make more than 55 kilometers an hour.

The visible damage to the sub indicated that the sonar dome at the front of the sub was partially collapsed, and, according to information released by the navy, some of the forward ballast tanks were damaged. The pressure hull was not compromised. The submarine immediately surfaced after the collision, which was apparently a glancing one, but it immediately slows the sub to about 7Km an hour. The crew had some trouble getting to the surface, because of the damaged forward ballast tanks (which hold water, that is rapidly pumped out, and replaced with air, to give the sub buoyancy and bring it to the surface.) The impact, of course, caught everyone unawares, which is why there were so many injuries. The sailor who died, had been thrown forward, hitting his head on a pipe. He died of that injury two days later.

The captain usually losses his command after accidents like this, although in this case, that might not happen. If the captain was following all procedures correctly, and there was no way the seamount could be detected, the incident might not destroy his career. There are many uncharted underwater features, especially 500 feet underwater. The technology does not yet exist to economically chart all of the ocean bottoms to that, and greater, depth. Most waters are charted sufficiently to protect surface ships. But there are only about two hundred subs that normally operate at the depth this accident took place. There may be a call for the navy to change its procedures, and have the sub use more active sonar devices when traveling in certain waters. But this will generate protests, because active sonar disturbs the fish. There are also technical issues regarding how effective such sonar would be in avoiding all types of underwater collisions. Moreover, in wartime, you avoid using sonar as a navigation aid, as it gives away your position. Actually, traveling at high speed gives away your position, because of the noise generated by the propulsion system and water rushing over the sub. In wartime, the sub might have been moving at 10-20 kilometers an hour, which would have caused less damage and fewer injuries.

If the Navy adheres to maritime tradition, that calls for the naming of previously unknown underwater features after the vessel that "discovered' them, even if by running into them, the uncharted seamount will now be known as the "San Francisco seamount".

Accidents like this are rare, but there will probably be a review of the charts, of underwater geography, that are used by American subs. This review process is standard whenever there is a major underwater earthquake or volcano eruption. For example, the Dec. 26, 2004 earthquake off Aceh is known to have seriously rearranged the ocean bottom in that area, and efforts are already underway to update charts. But now an effort will be made to try and determine where there may be other potential "San Francisco seamounts".

-- Good wishes for Cmdr. Kevin Mooney. Should the Board of Review confirm the facts above, we will expect a commendation for Cmdr. Kevin Mooney in his expert seamanship that saved USS San Francisco -- and word of his next command. The Cargo Letter

UPDATE>> Commander Kevin Mooney will be charged. U.S. Navy is planning to make temporary repairs to the bow of USS San Francisco so she has adequate structural integrity & proper buoyancy for transit under her own power to a shipyard, which is yet to be determined, with comprehensive repair capabilities. These temporary repairs will be engineered to ensure a successful transit. As part of having on-hand materials for potential use in these temporary repairs, a large steel dome about 20' high & 20' in diameter will be arriving on Guam in next few days. (Sat. Feb. 12 2005)

Contributors To Our Feature 

Hugo Garcia, Calabasas, Ca.

Sky King

"Our Doc" - the Anonymous hero

Robert L. Reeb, Esq. Marwedel, Minichello & Reeb, P.C. Chicago, Il. 60606 -- Chicago Maritime attorneys

Dr. Beach's Mystery Buoy - Jan. 2005

Dr. Beach Asks: What is This?

Frequent readers of The Cargo Letter know that our pal Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer -- known to his pals as "Dr. Beach" -- is the world's leading scientist studying global open ocean drift patterns. Today, Dr. Beach needs your help to solve a mystery.

THE MYSTERY: This huge green navigation buoy just washed ashore near Cocoa Beach, Florida on Jan. 6 2005. Its origin has everyone baffled, including the U.S. Coast Guard. There are no identifying marks on the giant green machine. The buoy washed in late Jan. 2, between 24th Street South & Sunny Lane in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Buoys are used as navigation beacons, for weather data collection & climate research. They can break loose in severe weather, posing a danger to passing vessels. But Dr. Beach tells us that U.S. weather buoys are yellow, marked with numbers, and tracked by Global Positioning Systems. The GPS, by satellite, helps locate buoys when they go astray. The U.S. National Weather Service hasn't noticed any missing.

This isn't the first time a buoy has been found. A weather buoy broke loose 20 miles off Cape Canaveral during the recent hurricanes. Another weather buoy set about 120 miles off Canaveral was sent adrift during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

This may be a navigational-type buoy on Cocoa Beach. Recent winds & rough surf may have jarred the buoy loose, forecasters suspect. On Dec. 26, gusts created 10- to 15-foot swells. "That drove the seas up very high," said Randy Lascody, forecaster with the National Weather Service in Melbourne, Florida. "It's conceivable that could have pulled something in way out from the Atlantic." But yes, Dr. Beach has already checked with NASA -- which has operations in the Cocoa Beach area.

A passer-by reported the buoy to the U.S. Coast Guard late Jan. 2. They thought it was a boater in distress. U.S. Coast Guard officials in Mayport and Ponce De Leon Inlet will determine whether any navigation buoys are missing. A resident tied the buoy to a piling to keep it secure at the beach until U.S. Coast Guard officials decide what to do.

DR. BEACH REQUESTS YOUR HELP: So what is this BUOY? Given all the sea changes this year, your help for Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer may help in ways we can't expect. Send word to The Cargo Letter.

UPDATE>> Mystery Solved? What A Drift Story! The Following Is From Our Expert Reader:

"I believe the buoy in question may be French in origin. They are used around the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon off Newfoundland and this buoy may have drifted South on the Labrador current. They have gone adrift before but usually found closer to home. It may have also come up from the Caribbean during one of the hurricanes. Canadian buoys gone adrift have ended up on the baech in Spain." Jan. 7 2005
Captain Anthony Potts

Commanding Officer CCGS Edward Cornwallis

Commandant NGCC Edward Cornwallis

Drowned Fox - Jan. 2005
The Cargo Letter - 2,219-ton Latvian M/V Sea Fox, Riga for Liverpool with timber & 10 crew, caught in force nine gale Jan. 6 -- off Castlebay on the island of Barra under its own power listing 50 degrees to port -- SOS --ship's cargo shifted -- UK Barra lifeboat went to rescue. Clyde Coastguard reports no injuries. NOTE: This wa 2nd time M/V Sea Fox has required assistance in UK waters as vessel was brought to Falmouth under tow after losing power following engine room fire on 11 Jan. 2003. From our correspondant A. L. Griffiths (Thurs.. Jan. 6 2005)
Singles Only" MAIN INDEX


NOTE: The Cargo Letter wants you to know that by keeping the identity of our contributors 100% confidential, you are able to view our continuing series of "Cargo Disasters.". Our friends send us materials which benefit the industry. The materials are provided to our news publication with complete and enforceable confidentiality for the sender. In turn, we provide these materials to you.

NOTE: Please bring to our immediate attention any feature information which you believe may be incorrect.

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Los Angeles, California, 90045

(310) 342-6500 Voice

(310) 342-6505 Fax


to The Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel


to The Cargo Letter