The Cargo Letter

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THE CARGO LETTER [346]
Air & Ocean Freight Forwarder - Customs Broker News
17 November 1999

Good Wednesday Morning from our Observation Deck...... overlooking the officially designated "Cargo City" area and....... Runway 25-Right, at Los Angeles International Airport, voted ``Best Cargo Airport in North America''. We's got more Pirate, Vessel Disaster & Air Loss news this month than you can handle. Where are the world navies? Where is CNN? The news is quite grim, but you'll never read about it in the daily newspapers. Don't miss Part 2 of today's edition. Also today, BREAKING NEWS as China wins the WTO bid and Danzas becomes the world's largest air cargo company. What a month!

Contribute your knowledge, stories & company information ........ by e-mail to The Cargo Letter. We strive to bring you useful information which is timely & topical. 

Michael S. McDaniel, Editor & Publisher, Countryman & McDaniel, forwarder/broker attorneys at LAX.

INDEX to The Cargo Letter:

OUR Top Story
   1. The Search For M/V Kobe Queen 1
      * US$100,000 Reward
OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News
   2. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs
   3. The Cargo Letter Financial Page
OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News
   4. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs
OUR "C" Section:  FF World Ocean News
   5. FF World Ocean Briefs
   6. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches
      * No. 1 Vessel Disaster Center
OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace
   7. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"
OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World
   8. The Other Sea - Space Disasters
   9. Combating Cargo Crime with Electronic Seals

OUR Top Story


1. The Search For M/V Kobe Queen 1 Continues

More to the story reported to you last month in The Cargo Letter [345], there is now a US$100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the Panamanian bulk carrier Kobe Queen I & the recovery of its cargo. The vessel has now been declared a criminal and is sought by world governments, including Her Majesty's Customs & Excise. The 1976-built 18,500 dwt vessel left Turkey in June for the Caribbean with a steel cargo worth US$5M. The ship left Dakar after a short stop on Aug. 3 and was then contacted & diverted by Odessa-based Babush Marine. Since then both Babush & the ship's master Yuri Levkovsky have refused to give details of the location or destination of the Kobe Queen I.

The well known U.S.-based insurance investigator & friend of The Cargo Letter, Capt. John Alder of New York has joined the Int'l hunt on behalf of certain cargo interests.

The vessel bunkered at St Vincent, Cape Verde, at the end of Aug. & again at Lagos over Oct. 18-19. The ship, which dodged an attempted arrest while in Lagos, left port with supplies & fuel for 6 weeks. Since leaving Lagos, the vessel has gone incommunicado. Communications from Babush Marine in Odessa have been sporadic &very unclear, & have now ceased again. Every effort has been made to spread the word on this matter, through Lloyd's agents, port authorities, law enforcement, steel brokers & breakerage agents. This type of criminal activity threatens every charterer, cargo broker, underwriter, forwarder & shipper.

The investigators are also looking for the ship's owner, a man by the name of Elias Kellis, who has gone to ground. The ship has a crew of more than 20 Ukrainians & was due for its annual survey by Germanischer Lloyd last month. Its P &I cover was withdrawn by the American Club during the summer. For full vessel identification details, see our top story in The Cargo Letter [345]. Earn a reward of US$100,000 ...... keep looking.


OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News


2. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs

3. The Cargo Letter Financial Page


OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News


4. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs

We Mourn The Loss .......... as EgyptAir Flight 990, which crashed on 31 Oct. in the icy North Atlantic off Nantucket, Massachusetts with 212 people on board, is the 4th air tragedy to occur in the area in nearly as many years. In July, a small plane piloted by John F. Kennedy, Jr., son of assassinated President John F. Kennedy, and carrying his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy & her sister, crashed in the sea near Martha's Vineyard, Mass., killing all on board. In Sept., 1998, Swissair Flight 111 crashed off Nova Scotia, killing 229 people. Two years earlier, TWA Flight 800 exploded after taking off from Kennedy Airport, New York. All 230 on board died.

But as we should not forget, The Cargo Letter presents a chronology of major air crashes since 1995. Our air cargo industry advances are not without cost:

Dec. 11, 1998 - Thai Airways Flight TG261 carrying 146 people crashed as it approached the airport in Surat Thani in southern Thailand at the end of a flight from Bangkok. A total of 101 people died.

Sept. 2, 1998 - A Swissair wide-bodied MD-11, en route from New York to Geneva, crashed off Nova Scotia as it prepared to make an emergency landing in Halifax. All 215 passengers and 14 crew were killed.

Feb. 16, 1998 - A China Airlines Airbus crashed and disintegrated at Taipei's international airport killing 196 people on the aircraft & 7 on the ground. It was en route from Bali, Indonesia, and was carrying Taiwan's central bank governor Sheu Yuan-dong.

Feb. 2, 1998 - Cebu Pacific Air DC-9 crashed into a mountainside 40 miles (65 km) northeast of Cagayan de Oro airport, Philippines, killing all 104 on board. The crash was the worst in Philippines history.

Dec. 19, 1997 - All 104 people on board died when a Singapore SilkAir Boeing 737-300 airliner crashed near the Indonesian city of Palembangare.

Sept. 26, 1997 - An Indonesian Airbus A-300-B4 crashed in northern Sumatra, in a mountainous area about 30 miles (45 km) south of the city. All 222 passengers, 10 cabin crew and the pilot and co-pilot were killed in the crash, which was Indonesia's worst ever.

Aug. 6, 1997 - Korean Air Lines flight 801 carrying 254 people from Seoul crashed into a hilly area near Guam's airport. 26 people survived.

Nov. 23, 1996 - A total of 125 of the 175 passengers & crew died when a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767 crashed into the sea off the Comoros Islands. Fifty people survived.

Nov. 12, 1996 - 349 people died when a Saudi Arabian jumbo jet and a Kazakhstan cargo plane collided in mid-air over India in the worst mid-air collision.

Nov. 7, 1996 - A Nigerian Boeing 727 flying from Port Harcourt to Lagos, with 142 passengers and nine crew members, crashed with no survivors.

Aug. 29, 1996 - A Tupolev 154, chartered by the Russian mining company Trust Arktik Ugol and carrying 129 passengers & a crew of 12 to the remote Arctic island of Spitzbergen, crashed killing all aboard.

Jul. 17, 1996 - TWA Flight 800 exploded in a fireball over the Atlantic Ocean after taking off from Kennedy Airport, N.Y., en route for Paris. All 230 on board died.

May 10, 1996 - A ValuJet Airlines DC-9 jet with 110 people on board crashed in the swampy Everglades near Miami Int'l Airport. There were no survivors.

Feb. 29, 1996 - In the worst accident in Peru's history, a B-737 crashed in the Andes killing all 117 passengers & 6 crew members. The plane belonging to local Faucett airline, on a flight from Lima, slammed into a mountain as it prepared to land at the city of Arequipa, 600 miles south of Lima.

Feb. 6, 1996 - A Dominican Alas Nacionales B-757 carrying 189 people plunged into waters off the Dominican Republic, killing all on board.

Jan. 8, 1996 - At least 350 people died when a Russian-built Antonov-32 cargo plane crashed into a crowded market in the center of the Zaire capital, Kinshasa.

We mourn them all.

Written from wire stories, the Associated Press, Reuters, Hong Kong Shipping News Lloyds & other world sources.


OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News


5. FF World Ocean Briefs

Pirates Out of Control ......... as the Int'l Maritime Bureau (IMB) in London defines piracy as "the act of boarding any vessel with the intent to commit theft or other crime and with the capability to use force in the furtherance of the act.''

Piracy flourishes where it always has: in the Caribbean where Henry Morgan & Blackbeard once ruled the waves, off North Africa where corsairs once plundered the Barbary Coast, in the Far East where the pirate junks of the famed Chieftain Ching Yih were the scourge of the South China Sea, in the Malacca Straits where some 2,000 ships a day pass from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean.

In the first 9 months of this year, the IMB recorded 180 cases of piracy, ranging from petty theft of cash & parts to hijacked oil tankers. In 1998, it reported 202 cases. But, officials say, most high seas crimes never get reported. According to the IMB, a ship can be hijacked to order for US$300,000 in the Philippines and delivered in 3 days.

The latest in this high-stakes game of high-seas crimes is a phenomenon known as phantom ships. Hijacked by pirates, a ship is repainted, the crew dumped or killed, the cargo transferred or sold. The ship sails into a new port with a false name & false papers. To the legitimate seafaring world, it is a phantom. The case of M/V Anna Sierra is a good example. The Cyprus-registered general cargo ship left Bangkok for Manila on Sept. 12, 1995, carrying US$5M worth of sugar. Steaming through the Gulf of Thailand, it was hijacked by 30 masked men, who sped alongside in powerboats, clambered aboard and set the ship's 23 crewmen adrift on rafts. Rescued by fishermen, the crew alerted the piracy center, which immediately sent word to ports & offered a reward. Days later, the ship was located in the Chinese port of Beihai. It had been renamed "M/V Artic Sea" (misspelled by the pirates). But its original name was still faintly visible, revealing its true identity. Pressed by the IMB, Chinese officials boarded the ship and placed the crew under guard. Then began a 9 month war of words & paper to ascertain ownership. After endless wrangling, the authorities gave up. The pirates were sent home to Indonesia. The ship was abandoned by its owner and, to this day, sits rusting in a Chinese port. The losers: the companies that insured the ship & its cargo.

Maritime organizations like the IMB & the Int'l Maritime Organization (a branch of the UN) are trying to change this, pressing governments & ship owners to work together to combat high seas crime. They've had some success, but Int'l cooperation has not been uniform. For example, the case of the Singapore freighter M/V Hye Mieko. In June 1995 it was hijacked off Cambodia by a ship resembling a Chinese customs launch and forced to sail more than 1,600 km through international waters to Shanwei, in south China. Although the ship's plight was broadcast worldwide, not a single vessel came to its rescue. On arrival in China, the ship was impounded. The owner, who had followed the ship's path from a small plane, was charged with intending to smuggle cigarettes. He was detained to cover the crime.

A very partial list of recent cases include:

Jan. 9, 1998: An oil tanker owned by Shell Int'l Trading was boarded by 4 armed pirates in Santos, Brazil. They shot 2 British crew members & threatened to blow up the ship.

Jan. 24, 1998: Pirates boarded a freighter docked in the Miami River at night. They pistol-whipped the crew & then jumped overboard to avoid capture by police.

March 3, 1998: An Australian yacht was sailing toward the island of Manus, in Papua New Guinea, when it was hailed by local women selling vegetables from a dugout canoe. As the yacht pulled alongside, 9 men armed with long knives & axes leaped from the canoe, overpowered the yacht's crew, stabbed the captain & stole goods worth thousands of dollars.

April 16, 1998: Twelve armed pirates hijacked a Malaysian tanker carrying a cargo of gas oil & kerosene from Singapore to Vietnam. They forced the crew to sail to Hainan Island in China, where they attempted to sell the cargo, before being intercepted by police.

March 17, 1999: Twenty pirates with face-masks & machine guns boarded a Panamanian cargo ship in Thailand. The crew was set adrift in inflatable rafts. They were picked up by fishermen. The ship turned up in southern China under another name.

March 28, 1999: Pirates armed with knives, machetes & machine guns boarded a Panamanian bulk carrier anchored in Sapele, Nigeria. They ordered the crew to the bridge, where they began firing their guns and smashing up equipment. Several crew members were injured.

April 9, 1999: Pirates sped alongside a Lithuanian refrigerator ship in Zaire, firing at it with machine guns. The pirates boarded and stole cash & valuables.

April, 1999: Pirates with long knives boarded an Irish chemical tanker off Lepar Island in Indonesia, taking 2 crew members hostage and stealing cash from the master's safe.

May 4, 1999: Gunmen boarded a Finnish yacht off the northeast coast of Somalia, took the crew hostage and demanded ransom.

May, 1999: Gunmen boarded a ferry packed with tourists off Mexico's Caribbean coast. They robbed passengers, threw 2 security guards overboard & destroyed the ferry's communication system before escaping in a speedboat.

June 8, 1999: Armed pirates in speedboats hijacked a Thai oil tanker off the east coast of Malaysia & set 16 crew members adrift.

June 24, 1999: Somali gunmen attacked & hijacked a German yacht en route from New Zealand to a tourist island in the Indian Ocean. They held crew members hostage and demand US$50,000 in ransom.

July 20, 1999: Twenty armed pirates boarded a Bahamas chemical tanker with a crew of 17 Russians off Lagos near the Pennington Oil Field. They beat the crew, took hostages & removed equipment from the ship.

Sept. 11, 1999: Armed pirates boarded a British yacht as it was sailing around the world. One of 5 crew members was shot & buried at sea the next day.

6. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches

We're back! "Cargo Damage Dispatches" was one of your most popular features. Indeed, the West Coast's ILWU has put up a special web site, just for our previous reports. We've now brought the feature back for you with what seems to be the No. 1 Internet center for vessel casualty information Please send us your information & photos of casualties in that most dangerous place ....... out there.

COMING SOON: Our The Cargo Letter database of vessel disasters on the Internet. A listing of all disasters since at least 1994.

While the casualties below are only a portion of ocean disasters for Oct./Nov. 1999, our ability to gather the info has significantly increased. McD

M/V Carissa Update ............ as attempts on the USA's Oregon coast to remove the beached stern section of the woodchip carrier have been abandoned until spring next year due to increasingly poor weather. Salvors have spent the last few weeks making strenuous efforts to haul the 120-ft hulk out of the sand but have had to concede defeat as winter weather sets in. The ship originally ran aground in Feb. and removing the wreck has already been a long-running & complicated operation. The bow section of the ship, towed into deep water, could only be sunk with the aid of a torpedo from U.S.S. Bremerton while the stern section has steadfastly resisted efforts to shift it out of the sand. Salvors had hoped to remove it before the weather deteriorated but will now have to sit it out until the spring. For the full & quite amazing account & photos of "The Ship That Would Not Die", visit our special "Gallery of Cargo Loss": http://www.cargolaw.com/gallery.html

The Turkish M/V KARAER III (1,595 gross) contacted the quay at La Nouvelle during stormy weather Nov 15. Sustained severe damage. (Wed. Nov. 17 1999)

The Bahamas LNG carrier M/T MATTHEW (88,971 gross) Arzew for Boston, had tailshaft problems & overheated bearing and sailed Boston, in tow, Nov 12, bound Newport News. (Mon. Nov. 15 1999)

The North Korean fish factory CHIL BO SAN (9,162 gross) grounded while fishing during a heavy storm in the Bering Sea, in lat 60 27N, long 169 30E, Nov 9. Sustained serious damages and flooding. Some crew taken off. Tug on scene, however, salvage hampered by bad weather. (Sat. Nov. 13 1999)

Brazilian rescue workers on 12 Nov. held out little hope of finding more survivors among dozens still feared missing from a wreck of the ferry M/V Captain Pinheiro on the Amazon River that killed at least 3 people. A woman & 2 children drowned and 55 others were rescued after the low-riding Captain Pinheiro ferry sank on the night of 10 Nov. after crashing into rocks in an archipelago near the riverside town of Coari. "The search is now more for bodies (than survivors)," said a journalist in the Amazon town of Coari, quoting river traffic officials. "They have found 55 survivors since the ferry capsized." While the vessel's official register lists only five people as missing, witnesses said up to 100 people may have been aboard the boat when it sank. Firefighters said as many as 50 people may have disappeared into the swirling waters of Latin America's longest river or been trapped in the boat. The Captain Pinheiro left Manaus, capital of Amazonas state heading for the town of Tefe with 51 people officially on board. It had traveled some 150 miles (240 km) upstream, picking up to as many as 30 passengers at farms and villages on the way, before sinking 9 miles (15 km) west of Coari. The boat plunged to a depth of 130 feet (40 meters). Witnesses said the ferry was so weighed down with grain and other merchandise that the turbine engines were submerged as it moved through the murky waters. When the boat hit the rocks it sank within 2 minutes. Transportation officials have often criticized the ferries on the rivers of the dense Amazon rain forest for taking on too much cargo to navigate safely through their strong currents. One of 3 lifeless bodies area fishermen pulled from the turbulent Amazon waters belonged to the 1-year-old granddaughter of the ship's owner & another to a 5-year-old boy from Brasilia who had been visiting his sick grandmother. (Fri. 12 Nov. 1999)

The St. Vincent & Grenadines oil/ore carrier M/V LASSIA (74,139 gross), Point Central for Taranto with iron ore, sustained structural breakage between Holds Nos. 3 & 4 during discharge at Taranto Nov 8. Vessel bent without breaking. Fore & aft now touching bottom. Crew ordered off. (Thurs. Nov. 11 l999)

The Turkish M/V ALICAN DEVAL (982 gross), Hopa for Samsun with ore, sank off Rize/Pazar, due to very strong winds, Nov 9. Seven crew dead. Five crew rescued. (Thurs. Nov. 11 1999)

The Cyprus M/V MIKA (1,895 gross), Riga for Bremerhaven with timber, contacted the German ro-ro M/V SCAN BOTHNIA (8,811 gross), Jakobstad for Emden with forest products, in the Kiel-Holtenau locks Nov 7. Mika sustained heavy damage forward. Scan Bothnia sustained damage to stern ramp & small hole above waterline. (Wed. Nov. 10 1999)

The Belize-registered freighter M/V Semele (5,945 gross), Nikolaev for Algeria with steel sank at the mouth of the Bosporus Strait after colliding with M/V Sipka on 6 Nov. Passing ships rescued the 18 crew of the Semele, which went down shortly after colliding with another freighter, the Bulgarian-flagged M/V Sipka. The strait remained open after the accident, which left a large oil slick. The 6,000-ton Semele was enroute to Algeria with a load of steel from Nikolaev in Ukraine. The 16,000-ton Sipka was heading to Varna, Bulgaria. It was damaged but not in danger of sinking. The accident came as an Istanbul-based environmental group, the Nature Warriors, was staging a demonstration against tanker traffic in the Bosporus Strait. Some 440 million barrels of oil transit the Bosporus each year & nearly 3,500 ships pass through each month. Some 200 accidents over the last decade in the strait, which bisects the ancient metropolis, have caused oil spills & fires that sometimes shut down the strait. Shipka sustained damage & is anchored at Ahirkapi.(Sat. 6 Nov. 1999)

Liberian refrigerated M/V DOLE AMERICA (10,584 gt, built 1994), bound for Antwerp loaded with bananas, contacted Nab Tower Navigational Aid in Southampton Water and sustained water ingress. Vessel has damage to three starboard tanks forward, as well as flooding in engine-room. Salvage team on board. (Mon. Nov. 8 1999)

Devastating floods have killed 223 people across 6 coastal Provinces in Vietnam. The Air Force & Navy are helping to rescue stranded people and search for missing fishing vessels. One thousand people have been trapped in 3 trains for several days in Quang Binh Province. (Sat. Nov. 6 1999)

The Liberian M/V HOEGH DUKE (30,061 gross), Mumbai for Hampton Roads with rubber & plywood, had fire in Nos. 6 and 7 Holds off the coast of Hampton Roads Oct 31. Fire under control Nov 3 and vessel berthed Norfolk. Extent of damage not yet known. (Fri. Nov. 5 1999)

The Panama M/V SAN MARINO, ex NAN HUI, (4,852 gross), Solomon Islands for Shanghai with timber, reported stranded off Pu-Tai, Chia-Yi, Hsien, Taiwan, in about lat 23 23N, long 120 09E, Nov 2. Crew still on board, all safe. (Thurs. Nov. 4 1999)

The Netherlands Antilles semi-submersible heavy load carrier M/V MIGHTY SERVANT 2 (21,162 gross), Singapore for Cabinda, capsized in lat 00 48S, long 104 20E, Nov 2. The 1983-built ship, owned by Belgium-based offshore heavylifting group Dockwise, had a crew of 20 and was carrying an 8,790 ton offshore production module at the time of the accident, which reportedly occurred in calm seas. The ship is currently on its side in 35m of water, with 5m of its hull still above the surface. Divers searching the vessel discovered the bodies of 2 Dutch & 2 Filipino crewmen inside the vessel, and the search for a remaining man has entered its final stages inside the wreck. This was a very impressive, huge & famous vessel. (Wed. Nov. 3 1999)

Four hundred people had to evacuate the Greek ferry M/V Superfast III after a fire broke out in its garage deck which left 14 Kurdish stowaways dead. The ship had 307 passengers & 106 crew on board when the blaze started 15 miles into its voyage from the Greek port of Patras to Ancona in Italy. (Wed. Nov.3)

The Isle of Man M/V DONNINGTON (7,788 gross), Norway for Hunterston in ballast, had main engine shutdown due to smoke in engine-room in lat 58 41.7N, long 05 03.1W, Oct 31. One engine restarted. Taken in tow by tug/supply vessel Portosalvo bound Ullapool, where ETA Nov 1. (Tues. Nov. 2 1999)

The Cyprus container vessel M/V SIMA STAR (5,148 gross) had internal leakage from a ballast tank into cargo hold & listed in lat 26 52N, long 51 47E, Oct 31. Pumps delivered on board and situation under control. (Mon. Nov. 1 1999)

The St. Vincent & Grenadines M/V DUBAI OASIS (6,212 gross) reported a severe list in the Bay of Bengal, in lat 16 36N, long 87 36E, Oct 29. All crew abandoned ship and safely rescued. (Sat. Oct. 30 1999)

The Panama M/V ALONDRA RAINBOW (7,762 gross), Kuala Tanjung for Miike, Japan, with aluminum ingots, was taken by pirates on Oct 22. See our story above. The crew of 17 has been rescued, the vessel remains missing (Fri. Oct. 29 1999) US$100,000 REWARD - contact The Cargo Letter

M/V PIONER SEVERODVINSKA (5,370 gt, built 1975), Archangel for Honfleur with timber, grounded at the entrance to Honfleur fairway at 1100, Oct 22, due to steering problems. Vessel was refloated later same day with tug assistance and towed into Honfleur. (Monday Oct. 25 1999)

The Croatian M/V BORAK (328 gt), Koromacna for Solin with 360 tons cement, sank between the Vela Sestrica & Mala Sestrica islets, SW of Zlarin Island near Sibenik, at 0530, Oct 21. Three crew rescued & 2 missing. (Sat. Oct. 23 1999)

The Cyprus M/V HENRY NAVIGATOR (11,033 gt), Bourgas for Cape Town was towed out of Cape Town Harbor on Oct 20 after experiencing ingress of water. Crew evacuated. Towline broke and vessel lying on side in lat 33 37.68S, long 17 53.78E. Vessel sank in deep water. (Fri. Oct. 22 1999)

Collision between m bulk carrier M/V Graceous (85,695 gt) & bulk/oil carrier M /V Lula I (62,031 gt) in the Traffic Separation Scheme, outside Singapore port limits, which caused damage to both vessels. (Wed. Oct. 20 1999)

Russian icebreaker M/V ADMIRAL MAKAROV (14,058 gt, built 1975), towing a dry dock to the Bahamas, had towline break on Oct 14 and the dry dock was adrift off eastern Canada in the Cabot Strait between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The dry dock, with 15 people on board, was adrift in heavy seas for 2 days before being taken back under tow by the Admiral Makarov on Oct 16. All 15 crew members were reported in good health. (Mon. Oct. 18 1999)

In a suspected act of sabotage, an oil tanker belonging to Myanmar exploded while at anchor near the country's tense border with Thailand on 16 Oct. Two crewmen on the oil tanker died & a cargo ship also was destroyed Thai police at the nearby port of Ranong, 290 miles southwest of Bangkok, arrested 3 Myanmar nationals 5 hours after the explosion. Police said the 3 were carrying dynamite and traveling in a boat in Thai waters. They were charged with illegally crossing the Thai border & possessing explosives. The incident comes at a time of bilateral tension: Myanmar's military regime has blamed Bangkok for allowing anti-Myanmar "terrorists" to operate from Thai territory. Officials from Myanmar, also known as Burma, were not available for comment on the explosion. (Sat. Oct. 16 1999)

The Panamanian motor ore carrier M/V Fu Kuo Hsin (4,556 gt) had an engine failure on October 9 when leaving Kaohsiung as Typhoon "Dan" approached Taiwan. The vessel dragged her anchor and began to drift. A tug secured a line on the vessel, however, she dragged her anchor & ran aground at Chichin, Kaohsiung. Port operating normally. (Fri. Oct. 15 1999)

The Italian ro-ro m ferry ARBOREA (11,324 gross), Civitavecchia for Olbia with passengers and vehicles, ran aground off Olbia port entrance in thick fog on Oct 26. Tug Impetuoso on scene. Vessel expected to refloat at high tide. Passengers remain on board. (Wed. Oct. 27 1999)

The Madeiran M/V TRANSMAR (2,820 gross), Raaha for Vejle with steel & timber, grounded at Nyckeln lightbuoy, north of Kalmar, Oct 25. Three ballast tanks leaking. Currently awaiting diver & tug. (Tues. October 26 1999)

The St. Vincent & Grenadines container vessel M/V DUBAI TRADER (9,764 gross), Mersin for Gioia Tauro, Italy, with containers, grounded off Crete, in lat 35 30.8N, long 26 16.6E, on Oct 27. Sustained cracks to hull & some fuel oil leakage. Tug Megas Alexandros proceeding. (Thurs. Oct. 28 1999)

M/V Courage, Lagos for Aveiro, due to bad weather and possible engine failure, ran aground on the S. Jacinto beach at Aveiro. Vessel did not enter the port before running aground. Her 18 crew were safely taken-off. Salvage of the vessel will be very difficult. (Fri., Oct. 22)

M/V Dorothy Jean, 72 gt (built 1977) (not Dorthy) was refloated later on Oct 13 & towed into Ketchikan. Vessel has completed temporary repairs & is currently en route to Seattle where she will undergo permanent repairs. (Fri., Oct. 22, 1999)

Passenger vessel M/V Galapagos Discovery continued to burn during the night & until 0900, today when she finally sank near Balboa. 90% of the ship's hull is now under water. At the present location the wreck does not represent a hazard to navigation but there is some concern that the pressures caused by tidal changes could cause her to shift towards the navigation channel. Tugs remain at the scene to ensure safe navigation in the area. No pollution has been reported so far and the wreck has been boomed to contain any possible leaks. The Discovey Class vessels have led the way to passenger comfort in cruises of discovery to isolated world areas. This is a great loss. (Fri., Oct. 22, 1999)

The Panamanian motor bulk carrier M/V SANAGA (14,929 gt), with 26 crew on board, reported in lat 27 34.3S, long 44 13.6E, about 700 miles ENE of Durban, at 1000, UTC, taking water in No.1 hold. Down by head 2.5 meters & at waterline level to Nos. 1 & 2 holds. Ingress to No.2 hold. Nos 1 & 2 decks awash. Heading 258 degs true. The crew were rescued by the container vessel M/ V Sagittarius Challenger. Sanga is adrift. (Tuesday Oct. 12 1999)

The Norwegian ro-ro ferry M/V TYSNES (534 gt) ran aground outside Valevaag, north of Haugesund about 0920, local time, Oct 13. Vessel's hull & propeller damaged. Vessel now at shipyard at Rubbestadneset, on Bomlo. (Thurs Oct. 14 1999)

The Egyptian tug/supply vessel M/V MARIDIVE XII (844 gt) sank in bad weather while en route from Port Said to Baltim on Oct 10. The master and 2 of his crew were killed. (Wed. Oct. 13 1999)

NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Sh ippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker. It's dangerous out there.


OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace


7. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"

U.S. Customs Automated Export Web Site ....... newAESDirect, was developed by the Census Bureau to remove any barriers to filing shippers export declarations electronically with the agency. The service is offered free to all filers.

The Journal of Commerce Group ........ the leading publisher in the international transportation and trade industries, has launched Tech Center, an online resource center for logistics & supply chain software.

Friobox Express ........the world's only flat packed temperature control unit with many features, including stable chilled & frozen temperatures for 96 hours.

Analysis of The Business Procedures of Chartering Broker

Resource Management Projects of The NSRP/MARITECH ASE Panels

World of Fruit ........ Internet perishable commodities trading & auction on line by one of Europe's largest wholesale supplier.

The Newest U.S. EPA Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) ........Chemical Inventory of more than 62,000 chemicals cross-referenced with SARA III RCRA reporting requirements is on CD-ROM.

Aerospace Engine Technology Applied To Marine Use ......... making it possible for vessels to travel much faster. To request case studies, make an e-mail request. shipping@merchantinter.net

Airliners.com ....... a fabulous new site.

Save The S.S. United States Foundation .......... a great site to help the great lady.

Chasing the Trail of the Global Criminal ........ as catching today's sophisticated white collar criminal is like peeling an onion, going through layers & layers of business entities, paper trails & false identities, ring by ring, coming ever closer to the core of the crime.

California Lighthouses

The Fitzgerald Remembrance Page.

Feruson Shipbuilding

Merchant Internet.com


OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World


8. Life On The Other Sea - Space Disasters

The following is a chronology of some key space incidents in an area that will become the most important sea to our children:

Jan. 1967 - Three U.S. astronauts, Virgil Grissom, Roger Chaffee and Edward White, die in a "flash fire'' aboard Apollo 1 during a simulated launch at Cape Canaveral.

April 1967 - Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Mikhailovich Komarov is 1st man to die in a space mission when a parachute on his spaceship failed on re-entry and the ship crashed to Earth.

July 1971 - Three Soviet cosmonauts die during re-entry after 24 days in an orbiting space laboratory, a record endurance flight at that time.

Mar. 18, 1980 - Fifty technicians die at Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome when a Vostok booster explodes while being fueled. The incident is reported only in 1989.

Jan. 28, 1986 - Seven U.S. astronauts including a school teacher die aboard the Challenger space shuttle 72 seconds after lift-off from Cape Canaveral.

Apr. 18, 1986 - A Titan missile believed to be carrying a military satellite explodes shortly after launch from the Vandenberg Air Force Base launch site in California.

May 3, 1986 - A Delta rocket carrying a $57 million weather satellite explodes shortly after lift-off from Cape Canaveral.

Feb. 22, 1990 - Western Europe's 36th Ariane rocket, carrying two Japanese satellites, explodes less than two minutes after lift-off from Kourou, French Guiana.

Sept. 7, 1990 - Part of a U.S. Titan rocket falls from a crane and explodes at Edwards Air Force Base, sending flames 150 feet into the air and killing at least one person.

June 18, 1991 - A 46-foot Prospector rocket carrying 10 science experiments for the U.S. space agency and several universities is destroyed after veering off course after launch from Cape Canaveral.

Aug. 2, 1993 - A Titan 4 rocket believed to be carrying an expensive military spy satellite explodes after lift-off from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Dec. 1, 1994 - Western Europe's 70th Ariane rocket crashes into the Atlantic with the $150 million PanAmsat-3 telecoms satellite after launch from Kourou, French Guiana.

Jan. 26, 1995 - The Chinese-designed Long March 2E rocket carrying a telecommunications satellite explodes after blast-off from Xichang in southwest Sichuan province.

Oct. 23, 1995 - An unmanned Conestoga rocket whose satellite contained 14 scientific experiments explodes 45 seconds after blast-off from a NASA facility in Virginia.

Feb. 15, 1996 - A rocket carrying an Intelsat 708 communications satellite explodes soon after take-off from China's launch site in Xichang.

May 20, 1996 - A Soyuz-U booster rocket carrying reconnaissance satellites explodes 49 seconds after lift-off from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome.

June 4, 1996 - Europe's Ariane-5 rocket explodes 40 seconds into its maiden flight after blasting off from the European Space Agency launch center in French Guiana.

June 20, 1996 - A Soyuz-U rocket carrying reconnaissance satellites explodes after lift-off at Plesetsk cosmodrome.

May 20, 1997 - A Russian Zenit-2 booster rocket carrying a Cosmos military satellite explodes 48 seconds after launch.

Aug. 12, 1998 - The U.S. Titan rocket program is put on hold when a Titan 4A explodes soon after lift off in one of history's most expensive space disasters. The cost of the rocket and its spy satellite cargo was put at more than $1 billion.

Aug. 27, 1998 - A Delta 3 rocket carrying a U.S. communications satellite bursts into a $225 million fireball, soon after blast-off from Cape Canaveral on its maiden flight.

Sept. 10, 1998 - A computer malfunction brings down a Ukrainian rocket carrying 12 commercial satellites, minutes after blast off from Baikonur.

Jul. 5, 1999 - A Russian Proton-K heavy booster rocket launched from Baikonur suffers a malfunction which detached the engine and parts of the booster, causing them to crash onto the steppe. A 200-kg (440 lb) chunk falls into the courtyard of a private house. Kazakhstan briefly closes Baikanur in a row with Russia over clean-up costs & rent for the base.

Oct. 28, 1999 - A Russian Proton rocket carrying a communications satellite crashes shortly after take-off from Baikonur.

9. Combating Cargo Crime with Electronic Seals

This article was excerpted & edited from NCSC’s Guidelines for Cargo Security & Loss Control. The article was contributed by Mark Hayward, president & founder of Encrypta Electronics UK.

Electronic seals were invented and developed in the UK in 1985 and have become the European industry standard for closed loop transportation. Generally electronic seals are permanent installations, bolted to the cargo doors of a truck or trailer. Battery operated, they do not rely on external power and can seal any cargo whether connected to a tractor unit or not. Battery power lasts for six to ten years depending on the usage and battery technology. Because these units are fixed to cargo doors they are reusable and as a result offer both increased security & more cost effective sealing than disposable sealing systems in closed loop distribution.

An electronic seal comprises a heavy duty housing which contains electronics, a battery, a seal number display, display button and a physical security cable which is passed through the cargo door handle, then trapped in the seal housing. All the electronics are potted in a resin which ensures they will withstand world weather conditions and abuse from drivers. When the cargo has been loaded and the cable trapped in the housing the electronics generate a random seal number. This number is displayed on the seal unit’s light emitting diode (LED) display by pressing a button, & encoded on the cargo manifest. To check on cargo integrity a press on the button should display the same seal number as that recorded on the manifest. If a totally different number is displayed, that means the original seal has been broken or violated. One of the major benefits of electronics over mechanical systems is that seal number generation and opening can be timed & stamped. In addition the electronics can have a built in audit trail memory of the last 50 events. This can be invaluable in identifying precisely when cargo theft took place, a great aid to the task of cargo recovery.

As with any sealing system, electronic seals are designed as tamper detection devices they are not entry prevention devices. Electronic seals are primarily used to deter and detect internal theft. However there are physical locks which also combine electronic seal technology so users can have both prevention and the built in audit trail facility that electronic seals offer. The benefits of these products is that all locks may be keyed alike, it is the seal number which detects opening by employees with keys. The lock will deter opportunist cargo theft while on the road.

Written from wire stories, the Associated Press, Reuters, Hong Kong Shipping News Lloyds & other world sources. [an error occurred while processing this directive]