International Vessel Casualties & Pirates Database For Year 2001

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Vessel Loss Dispatches 2001

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Year 2001 -- The Cargo Letter

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Year 2001 Vessel Cassualties & Pirate Attacks

December 2001

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May God Bless Those At Sea Tonight. God's Speed & Following Seas!

Vessel Loss Dispatches For December 2001

SPECIAL NOTE: The reference to "<<webfeature" in our articles is a premimum service from The Cargo Letter which provides a hot link window to additional information for you on the subject under discussion. We try to bring you the WHOLE story. All Dates & Times Are Local To Incident Except Where Indicated. Posting Date Reflects Report To The Cargo Letter at LAX.

SPECIAL NOTE: U.S. Navy and related <<webfeature links will not work during the current crisis as a matter of security.


Unidentified timber-laden M/V sank on Dec. 28. Tanker M/T Damansara relayed distress call to maritime center in Port Klang when they spotted 3 survivors who had been adrift in Straits of Malacca for about 16 hours. Center then relayed message to marine police which sent its PC 16 patrol craft to scene. (Sat. Dec. 29 2001)

2,700-ton Panamanian cargo M/V Sophia II, being loaded with sunmeal (animal feed for Turkey), caught fire in Black Sea port of Constanta Dec. 29, leaving one Albanian crew with severe burns -- 11 rescued. Fire put out after 3 hours -- seriously damaged deck. (Sat. Dec. 29 2001)

Antiguan-registered cargo M/V Sloman Traveller, Felixstowe for Bremen, suffered cargo hold fire in North Sea off N. island of Vlieland -- Dutch coastguard ships & helicopters battled severe winds & waves of 7 meters to rescue crew. By 1846 GMT, all 16 crew taken off ship, said carrying dangerous chemical cargo. Coastguards said fire nearly under control -- looking at ways to tow vessel to port. (Fri. Dec. 28 2001)


24. Dec. 2001 at 0100 LT at Vung Tau anchorage, Vietnam. Pirates armed with big knives boarded tanker with a hook attached to a rope, stole ship's stores & escaped. (Fri. Dec. 28 2001)

22 Dec. 2001 at 2310 LT at Banjarmasin anchorage, South Borneo, Indonesia. Seven pirates in boat armed with knives attempted to board bulk carrier via anchor chain. Duty A/B noticed them & raised alarm. Crew mustered & pirates fled. Local police informed. (Fri. Dec. 28 2001)

22 Dec. 2001 at 1945 LT at position 21:52N - 088:04E, Rangatala crossing anchorage, Hugli river, India. Three pirates in motorboat attempted to board container ship. Alert anti-piracy crew saw them & raised alarm. Pirates fled. (Fri. Dec. 28 2001)

22 Dec 2001 at 1200 LT at position 004:41N - 118:54E, Alice channel, Indonesia. Green colored speedboat approached very closely to bulk carrier & ordered the master to stop his ship. Master did not comply & raised alarm. After 30 minutes speedboat fled. (Fri. Dec. 28 2001)

20 Dec. 2001 at 0345 LT at Lagos Roads, Nigeria. Six pirates in boat attempted to board container ship. Duty A/B noticed & raised alarm & activated fire hoses. Pirates fled. (Fri. Dec. 28 2001)

Back To Year 2001 Reports

Australian Antarctic supply ship M/V Polar Bird<<webfeature, stuck, with 65 crew, in ice for 11 days since sudden build up of ice trapped vessel in Prydz Bay, Dec. 16, 500 km from Mawson Station (live web cam), 5000 km SW of Hobart. More powerful Australian research icebreaker RSV Aurora Australis<<webfeature -- departed Casey station today to rescue. Aurora, currently 3 days ahead of regular schedule, will take 6 days to complete 1500 km journey W. along Antarctic coast, but rendezvous with Polar Bird will take at least a few days longer because of thickness of surrounding ice. Polar Bird<<webfeature, an ice-strengthened cargo ship chartered from Norwegian owners to resupply Australian ice stations, was landing supplies for Australian field camp on Amery Ice Shelf<<webfeature -- when it became trapped by heavy pack ice. Absent any indication of weather changes needed to break ice up, Aurora<<webfeature -- is directed to assist instead of returning directly to Hobart. Latest Details>> Antarctica Online <<webfeature. (Thurs. Dec. 27 2001)

St. Vincent flagged 18,000dwt M/V Sunvazs -- 5 chinese crew dead from suffocation on Christmas Day after inhaling toxic fumes while cleaning vessel tank at Malaysia's E. port of Kuantan -- had arrived in Kuantan empty after discharging fertilizers in Thailand. (Wed. Dec. 26 2001)

Unidentified M/V, Luanda for oil-rich enclave of Cabinda, near Angola's N. border with Congo Republic, lost power, began taking on water & sank -- 20 dead & 4 survivors. (Wed. Dec. 26 2001)

Japan's Coast Guard scrambled 10 patrol vessels & 9 aircraft to investigate another suspicious ship reported 12.5 miles off Cape Kyoga on Sea of Japan coast. Scare comes 3 days after suspected North Korean ship, outfitted as fishing trawler, was sunk after exchanging fire with Japanese ships after entering Japan's 200-nautical mile economic zone waters. (Tues. Dec. 25 2001)

Cypriot bulker M/V Christopher, with coal & 27 crew, last heard of N. of Azores islands in Atlantic -- owners raised alarm Dec. 22 when Christopher failed to answer radio calls after reporting vessel taking water. Portuguese navy searched in vain Dec. 23 in rough seas. French ship involved in hunt spotted patch of oil. Air & sea search suspended for night. Believed vessel sank. (Sun. Dec. 23 2001)

South Korean registered tug Boo Kwang sank Dec. 23, off Fukuoka Prefecture, SW Japan -- its 3 crew members rescued. Boo Kwang departed Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, on Dec. 21, bound for Pusan. (Sun. Dec. 23 2001)

Firefight >> 240 miles off Japanese island of Amami Oshima -- after trading machine gun fire with Japanese coast guard vessels & 2 Japanese Navy destroyers in 6-hour chase -- crew reportedly fired submachine guns & RPG rockets at Japanese vessels, hitting 2 sailors. Japanese vessels shot back, & vessel sank within minutes -- likely scuttled. Coast guard & defense officials said unidentified fishing boat might have been spying for North Korea, & some officials suggested the boat's 15 crew members may have killed themselves to avoid capture. Boat said "closely resembled" vessels believed by Japanese authorities to have conducted surveillance activities for North Korea in past. Independent military analyst Kensuke Ebata told NHK television vessel appeared to be equipped with satellite dish & surveillance gear. North Korean marking found on liferafts. Two bodies found. (Sat. Dec. 22 2001) UPDATE: High-quality North Korean cigarettes & confectionery package with Korean letters reading ''Korea'' and ''Pyongyang'' have been recovered from area where "unidentified" ship sank -- this is only one point of evidence thus far recovered to esablish vessel identity as North Korean. Are we now all OK that the vessel was North Korean? (Wed. Jan. 9 2002)

Waste carrier that collects spent nuclear fuel M/V Imandra in collision with mothballed Russian Northern Fleet submarine in Arctic Kola Bay. Rssia would not say what type of submarine or when the accident happened -- Russian T.V. says Dec. 13. Radiation experts rushed to scene, but inspection showed neither vessel leaked radiation. Russia has more than 180 decommissioned nuclear subs -- most of them afloat with nuclear fuel onboard, raising risk of nuclear accident. Some have languished dockside for 10-15 years, hulls rusting through. Officials said they lacked funds to build dismantling & storage facilities. (Fri. Dec. 21 2001)

Russia launched construction of its 1st newly designed warship --330 ft. corvette Stereguschyii (means "On Guard") can displace 2,200 tons and uses stealth technology -- since the Soviet collapse a decade ago, Russian Navy has struggled to find funds to maintain its ships & had to scale back plans to modernize the fleet. Estimated 70% of fleet needs overhauling, & the Navy cannot afford to send ships on long voyages. Decline underlined by Aug. 2000 explosion & sinking of nuclear submarine Kursk<<webfeature -- when the public learned that Navy got rid of rescue equipment to cut costs. (Fri. Dec. 21 2001)

ALERT >> St Vincent registered M/V Nisha, Mauritius for London with 26,000 tons of raw sugar, seizured by British anti-terrorist police off S. coast of England Dec. 21 in major security alert -- involving customs officers & Royal Navy, following intelligence that the ship could pose a serious threat. According to Scotland Yard, there is no specific evidence to suggest ship carrying anthrax, but is thought carrying terrorist material. Vessel had stopped in Durban for fuel -- due to arrive on Dec. 22 at British sugar company Tate & Lyle Plc's Newham refinery in east London, next to Thames Flood Barrier. Seizure sparked media speculation that London could be target of a Christmas attack. Officers said they could not take risk of the ship sailing up Thames river to heart of the British capital. Ship taken to mooring near Isle of Wight for thorough search. Boarded in Int'l waters by Special Boat Service (SBS) commandos in biological warfare gear from inflatable dinghies from Royal Navy frigate HMS Sutherland. Customs officers & anti-terrorist police also took part. (Fri. Dec. 21 2001) UPDATE >> Vessel cleared & released. (Mon. Dec. 24 2001)


17 Dec. 2001 at 0300 LT in position: 05:48.5N - 118:06.0E, Sandakan working anchorage, Malaysia. Pirate boarded a general cargo ship & broke open paint store. Ship's anti-piracy watch spotted & raised alarm. Pirate jumped overboard & escaped by boat. (Fri. Dec. 21 2001)

15 dec. 2001 at 2340 LT at position 19:47.5N - 92:00.0E, off Myanmar. Speedboat followed bulk carrier very closely. Painted grey, with number 421 at bow & resembled a naval gunboat. Master ordered on VHF to stop ship under threat of gunfire. Master did not comply. Speedboat banged ship's side & fired shot. Duty officer raised alarm, blew ship's whistle, switched on deck lights, activated fire hoses & took evasive manoeuvres. Speedboat retreated. (Fri. Dec. 21 2001)

15 Dec. 2001 at 0300 LT at Abidjan anchorage, Ivory Coast. Three pirates armed with knives boarded bulk carrier. Threatened watch keeper with knives, cut his overalls & gagged him. Tied him to flag post & started to remove stores. Another watch keeper saw pirates & raised alarm. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped with ship's stores & radio. (Fri. Dec. 21 2001)

15 Dec. 2001 at 0235 LT at position Racon Delta 01:03.0N - 103:39.1E, Philip channel, Indonesia. Fourteen pirates armed with rifles & long knives attempted to board container ship from dark yellow colored boat. Duty officer saw pirates & directed an aldis lamp at them -- pirates fled. (Fri. Dec. 21 2001)

14 Dec. 2001 at 0300 LT at Lagos anchorage, Nigeria. Six pirates in unlit boat attempted to board general cargo ship. Anti-piracy crew raised alarm & foiled the attempt. (Fri. Dec. 21 2001)

14 Dec. 2001 at 0315 LT at Chittagong, Bangladesh. Pirates armed with long knives boarded chemical tanker from 2 boats. Cut 3 mooring ropes & lowered them to boat. Anti piracy watch raised alarm & shore security personnel fired warning shots. Pirates fled. (Fri. Dec. 21 2001)

11 Dec. 2001 at 2310 LT at Laem Chabang anchorage, Thailand. Pirates attempted to board container ship. Alert anti piracy watch raised alarm & activated fire hoses. Pirates abandoned attempted boarding. (Fri. Dec. 21 2001)

Back To Year 2001 Reports

M/V Viking Isabella, with 632 souls & cargo, Stockholm for Turku, on Finland's SW coast, 100 miles W of Helsinki, ran aground in Baltic Sea during stormy weather 1:30 a.m. Dec. 20. Nearby ships unable to pull alongside Viking Isabella because of high winds & rough seas. Helicopters dispatched from Finland & Sweden. Ferry will be taken to nearest harbor in Aland Islands as soon as possible. (Wed. Dec. 19 2001)

"Australian" al-Qaeda fighter David Hicks, 26, now held on USS Peleliu<<webfeature in Indian Ocean, together with captured "American" al-Qaeda fighter John Walker. Hicks,from Adelaide, captured by Northern Alliance troops in Afghanistan last week, transferred to US Navy with at least 4 other prisoners. USS Peleliu<<webfeature. At sea aboard USS Peleliu<<webfeature. (Tues. Dec. 18 2001)

UK yacht S/V Camomile sank in storm off coast of Italy Dec. 17, after owners Jill & Robert Watson rescued by Italian lifeboat crew. When engine & steering failed in storm, radio broke & their distress flares had gone unnoticed -- Watsons used cell phone to call friends in County Durham, who contacted UK coast guards -- who scrambled Italian officials thousands of milea away! (Mon. Dec. 17 2001)

1,655-ton Barbados registered cargo M/V Dina, with 2,430 metric tons of Fluorospar -- a constituent of toothpaste -- & 35 tons of marine gas oil, sent out mayday & promptly abandoned ship to life rafts when vessel listed to port & partially submerged before sinking at 9:35 a.m. (0935 GMT) Dec. 16, 40 miles SW of coast of Pembrokeshire, South Wales. 2001 launch Royal Navy minehunter HMS Blythe<<webfeature, in area at time, went to rescue & picked up the 8 crew. (Mon. Dec. 17 2001)

M/V Rosebank, with1300 tons of fertilizer, Dundee for Channel Islands in the North Sea, caught fire near Farne Islands, off Northumberland. Blaze wrecked bridge & vessel adrift until tug arrived. Five crew rescued by helicopter after distress call picked up by Royal Navy fisheries protection Island Class vessel HMS Anglesey<<webfeature. Royal Navy Island Class<<webfeature. Island Class Patrol Vessel Specs.<<webfeature (Sat. Dec. 15 2001)

Hong Kong-owned & flagged 15832gt. bulk carrier M/V Nego Kim (call sign VRUK3) has left Australian port of Dampier<<webfeature, having collected its cargo of scrap metal -- now bound for Port Klang, Malaysia to discharge as planned. Ship will then head for repair yard to patch up damage caused by explosion in one of its ballast tanks which killed 8 crew. (Sat. Dec. 15 2001)

Historic Voyage >> Mexican flagged M/V Ikan Mazatlan loaded at Archer Daniels Midland port few miles up Mississippi River & brought to New Orleans on Dec. 13, sailing for 2 day voyage to Havana -- 1st commercial export of U.S. food to communist island nation since 1963. Anti-Castro group said shipment would be used as wedge to end embargo. Minutes later, Illinois Gov. George Ryan & other officials said they hoped shipment would lead to increased U.S.-Cuba trade. Under law passed last year by Congress, humanitarian shipments can be made to Cuba. Cuban government says the 24,000 metric tons of corn will be used to replenish reserves lost when Hurricane Michelle<<webfeature, struck Nov. 4, destroying crops & thousands of homes. Shipment of frozen chickens to Cuba expected to depart later this month. (Fri. Dec. 14 2001)

Sea Space Collision Avoidance >> Space shuttle U.S.S. Endeavour (OV-105)<<webfeature, will fire rockets early Dec. 15, delaying its 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) departure by an hour. Soviet rocket booster, launched in 1971, is headed for close call with Int'l Space Station -- NASA has ordered evasive maneuvers -- never before attempted by a spaceship. Soviet booster, upper stage of rocket that NASA could not identify, is to cross paths with station on Dec. 16, after Endeavour scheduled to leave. Endeavour will fire its rockets to boost space station out of harm's way. Thus, booster will miss 150-ton space station by 40 miles (64 km). Perhaps interesting twist that Soviet era rocket launched at a time when Russian & U.S. astronauts often seen pitted against one another in Cold War competition, but now live as partners on space station. Endeavour will have 2 Russians on crew when departing station, part of Russo-American expeditionary crew ending 4 month stay on orbiting outpost. Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Frank Culbertson handed over station helm & station's log to Russian cosmonaut Yuri Onufrienko, who will live aboard space outpost with U.S. flight engineers Daniel Bursch & Carl Walz until mid-May. (Fri. Dec.14 2001)

M/V without flag or name (suspect Turkey) sinking 100km W of Mediterranean resort city of Antalya. Police detained 129 illegal immigrants after ship they boarded in hopes of reaching Italy began sinking & anchored at Turkish port. Incident prevented possible disaster as authorities said ship had no chance of reaching Italy. (Fri. Dec.14 2001)


10 Dec. 2001 at 2110 LT in position 01:14.510N - 104:03.82E, Singapore straits. Pirates boarded bulk carrier underway. Alert crew raised alarm & switched on deck lights. Pirates escaped empty handed. (Fri. Dec.14 2001)

10 Dec. 2001 at 0855 LT at Kakinada anchorage, India. Pirates boarded chemical tanker & attempted to steal fire hoses. They accidentally set off fire alarm & escaped empty handed. Earlier at 0515 LT pirates boarded & stole mooring ropes from forecastle. On 9 Dec. 2001 at 1830 pirates attempted to board using ropes & hooks. Abandoned boarding when crew noticed their presence. (Fri. Dec.14 2001)

08 Dec. 2001 at 0315 LT at Libreville Roads, Gabon. Four pirates armed with guns boarded general cargo ship & fired upon bridge. Master raised alarm, fired signal rockets & sent a distress signal. Pirates stole cargo from containers & escaped. (Fri. Dec.14 2001)

07 Dec. 2001 from 0155 - 0220 LT at Vung Tau anchorage, Vietnam. Pirates boarded bulk carrier & stole ship's stores.

06 Dec. 2001 at the mouth of Amazon River, Brazil. Pirates armed with guns, shot & killed & crew of 119-foot yacht during robbery.

06 Dec. 2001 at 0455 LT at Guayaquil pilot station, Ecuador. Seven pirates armed with guns & knives boarded container ship steaming at full speed. Alarm raised & crew mustered on bridge. Pirates broke open containers, stole part of cargo & escaped in speedboat. (Fri. Dec.14 2001)

06 Dec. 2001 at 03.30 LT at Douala port, Cameroon. Four pirates armed with knives boarded general cargo ship & stole ship's stores. Alert crew raised alarm & pirates jumped into water & escaped. (Fri. Dec.14 2001)

06 Dec. 2001 at 0445 LT at Jakarta anchorage, Indonesia. Pirates boarded container ship & stole ship's stores. (Fri. Dec.14 2001)

06.12.2001 at 0300 LT at Chennai anchorage, India. Pirates armed with long knives boarded container ship from boat. Duty a/b spotted & raised alarm. Crew mustered & pirates fled empty handed. (Fri. Dec.14 2001)

05 Dec. 2001 between 0230 LT - 0300 LT at Jakarta anchorage, Indonesia. About 9 - 10 pirates armed with gun & long knives boarded bulk carrier & stole some ship's spares & equipment from engine room. (Fri. Dec.14 2001)

05.12.2001 at 1210 LT in port of Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia. Pirates armed with rifles boarded tanker broke into paint store. Held hostage a crewmember at gunpoint, stole ship's stores & escaped in a speedboat. (Fri. Dec.14 2001)

Warnings To Vessels >> Increasing number of attacks reported in the Malacca straits between coordinates 01 to 02N - 101 to 103E. Most risk prone area within 25 nm radius surrounding 02N - 102E, where same armed gang of pirates have repeatedly attacked ships. Ships advised to avoid anchoring along Indonesian coast of Malacca straits unless required for urgent operational reasons. Coast near Acheh particularly risky. Pirates recently boarded two vessels & kidnapped the crew for ransom. Ships advised to be extra cautious when transiting waters off Acheh. Ships calling at Indonesian ports of Belawan, Dumai, Merak, Samarinda & Tanjong Priok report numerous attacks whilst at berth & at anchor. Recently a number of ships have been hijacked in Indonesian waters. (Fri. Dec.14 2001)

Back To Year 2001 Reports

M/V Wanabakti sank Dec. 12 shortly after departure from Ampana port in Central Sulawesi, off Indonesia's Sulawesi island -- for remote Wakai & Malange islands,1,000 miles NE of Jakarta. Ferry overloaded with those heading home to celebrate end of Ramadan capsized. At least 14 drowned -- unknown number still missing. Search teams & fisherman rescued 135 passengers. (Thurs. Dec. 13 2001)

Three family members drowned while trapped in an elevator flooded by torrential storm -- after elevator lost power & got stuck in basement of apartment building in upscale northern suburb of Quito, Ecuador. Rainy season in Ecuador's Andes mountains runs from Nov. to April. This week brought heaviest rains of season so far in Quito, the capital. AP (Thurs. Dec. 13 2001)

U.S. Navy Sea Shadow<<webfeature, on San Diego Bay -- bow similar to nose of F-117 stealth fighter jet. Some of the airplane's designers also worked on the Lockheed Martin project. Once a well-kept secret, in 1980s Sea Shadow so secret that towed out to sea in dead of night, inside a protective barge. In 1994 vessel came to San Diego, where now operated by Lockheed Martin -- essentially ocean going research platform. When Sea Shadow goes to sea, it creates a stir among spectators. Can be confusing, like the time another ship radioed intentions to pass. Other vessel proposed a port to port passage, but couldn't tell which way Sea Shadow headed because it has a pointy end on both ends. Sea Shadow built in 1983, but took 10 years for existence to be revealed by U.S. Navy. In storage for years, until Lockheed Martin re-activated program at San Diego in 1999. SeaShadow technical & photo details<<webfeature. (Thurs. Dec. 13 2001)

USS Russell DDG 59<<webfeature, sped to scene for rescue crew of US$200M, 4-engine U.S. Air Force B-1 Lancer bomber crew<<webfeature, 60 miles N. of island of U.S. Naval Base Diego Garcia <<webfeature, where aircraft based -- crew ejected when all primary sytems failed-- aircraft involved in military campaign in Afghanistan - plane crashed in Indian Ocean Dec. 12 -- all 4 crew rescued. B-1B Lancer, long-range bomber can fly around-the-world missions. 1st built to carry nuclear bombs & now used to drop conventional bombs -- used in combat to support operations against Iraq in 1998 during Operation Desert Fox<<webfeature. Diego Garcia Base<<webfeature

Manufacturer: Boeing, formerly Rockwell Int'l

Engines: Four turbofans with afterburners

Length: 146 feet

Wingspan: 137 feet, with wings extended forward; 79 feet with wings swept back

Speed: More than 900 mph

Range: Intercontinental

Weapons: Up to 80 conventional bombs, 30 cluster bombs, 24 guided "smart" bombs

First Deployed: 1985

Crew: Four (aircraft commander, pilot, offensive weapons officer, defensive weapons officer)

Cost: US$200M

Inventory: 51 battle-ready bombers in Air Force, another 18 in Air National Guard (Wed. Dec. 12 2001)

36 ft. Crabber F/V Nesika found capsized in 10-foot seas off Oregon coast. Four crew missing. (Wed. Dec. 12 2001)

Two ships carrying iron ore sank in rough waters in Black Sea Dec. 10, & 4 crew missing from one ship. Turkish freighter M/V Kalkavan went down 1 mile from Turkish port city of Sinop -- 8 crew rescued by nearby vessel. No iron spill reported. Hours later, Cambodian-flagged M/V Lady Amar sank a few miles away. Russian ship rescued 14 of18 crew members. Rescue workers searching for 4 missing sailors. Lady Amar was Romania for Algeria. Kalkavan's route not immediately known. Other ships having troubles navigating rough waters in Black Sea & Aegean Sea. (Sun. Dec. 10 2001)

Maylasian tanker M/T Amal Belia, 200 miles SE of Bermuda radioed distress call for Philippine crew suffering from bleeding ulcer. U.S. paratroopers flown to tanker Dec. 7. from Patrick Air Force Base<<webfeature, near Cocoa Beach, Fla. They jumped into sea, inflated raft & boarded tanker -- U.S. Air Force Sgt. Doug Eccleston fell from inflatable raft as he & another U.S. airman being lowered from tanker -- Sgt. Eccleston couldn't be found -- body recovered Dec. 8. Wherever in the world -- Americans always help. (Sat. Dec, 8 2001)

New Zealand M/V Seamaster on 2 month environmental awareness expedition thousands of miles up Amazon River -- on way back to sea when attacked near Macapa<<webfeature, city of 220,000 on equator Dec. 5 -- last major stop on the Amazon River before it meets Atlantic Ocean -- murdered world renowned sportsman New Zealand yachtsman Sir Peter Blake<<webfeature. Hooded pirates caught Blake, 53, & crew by surprise, after return from dinner on land. The towering sailor, twice winner of prestigious America's Cup<<webfeature, fired rifle at pirates before being shot twice in the back. Murder of one of the most successful sailors in history by Amazon pirates known in the region as "River Rats" stunned world. Four Brazilians confessed Dec. 7 to attacking moored vessel at Amazon River outpost -- saying they fired shots that killed Blake in self-defense-- said they boarded Blake's Seamaster vessel late Dec. 5 night to loot, but said never intended to kill. Police found watches & about US$625, taken from Seamaster. Experts say piracy on Amazon River not common although Amazon, world's largest tropical forest, covering area bigger than Western Europe, is perfect cloak for drug & arms traffickers. Blake Expeditions<<webfeature -- for the full story.

Last log entry:

LOCATION: Rio Amazonas

STATUS: Still Motoring


AIRTEMP: 35deg C

WIND: 15 knot Easterly

SEASTATE: Moderate/lumpy

VISIBILITY: Moderate (Fri. Dec. 7 2001)

Crane barge floated away from moorings at 8 p.m. Dec. 2 night & in collision with Huey P. Long Bridge<<webfeature, over Mississippi River at New Orleans. No injuries & bridge not damaged. Barge originally moored at Avondale Shipyard<<webfeature, with 3 smaller barges connected. Morring lines broke & it floated 200-yards down river striking bridge -- crane struck underside of bridge. Crane barge removed after midnight, by pumping water into it, lowering it 4 feet into Mississippi River, thus lowering crane -- then pushed back to Avondale. (Sat. Dec, 8 2001)

United States Navy scouring world's oceans & ports for some 23 merchant ships identified by U.S. & Norwegian intelligence agencies as owned or controlled by al-Qaeda network, ABC's "World News Tonight" reported Dec. 6. The U.S. network said American authorities in Gulf had warned shipping companies that United States would use all military assets to search ships linked to Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda. Bulletin warned "any perceived hostility ... will result in the destruction of the commercial vehicle." -- US navy's elite commandos, the Seals, to be used in stop & search operation. Fears ships could carry weapons of mass destruction to U.S. ports & also could be used to help Bin Laden and his followers escape from pursuit. No comment on report available from U.S. military or intelligence officials. (Sat. Dec, 8 2001)

84 crew rescued from American oil rig Key Singapore<<webfeature, adrift in storm in the Mediterranean Sea 40km off Israel Dec. 4. U.S., Israeli, British & Cypriot helicopters ferried 84 (77 Egyptians, 4 British, 2 Americans & 1 Dane to frigate USS Ross<<webfeature -- took them to Israeli port of Haifa. Key Singapore, owned by Global Santa Fe Int'l Corp.<<webfeature, being towed to new drilling site Dec. 3 -- sent out distress message at 0810GMT Dec. 4, after towlines to tug-boats snapped in bad weather, with 8 meter (27 feet) high waves & strong winds -- that night, it began to list & break up -- sank. (Sat. Dec, 8 2001)


29 Nov. 2001 at 0345 LT in position 12:59N - 100:44.5E, Gulf of Thailand. While underway, red hulled wooden boat approached bulk carrier from stern. About 3-4 pirates holding long bamboo pole with hook at end attempted to board. Anti piracy watch raised alarm & prevented boarding. Similar unsuccessful attempt was made an hour later. (Fri. Dec. 7 2001)

28 Nov. 2001 at 0130 LT in position 06:00.5S - 106:54.4E, Jakarta anchorage, Indonesia. Ten pirates armed with long knives boarded chemical tanker from wooden boat. Anti piracy watch raised alarm & crew mustered. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped. (Fri. Dec. 7 2001)

Warnings To All Vessels >> Increasing number of attacks reported in Malacca straits between coordinates 01 to 02N - 101 to 103E. Most risk prone area within 25 nm radius surrounding 02N - 102E, where same armed gang of pirates seems to have repeatedly attacked ships. Ships advised to avoid anchoring along Indonesian coast of Malacca straits unless required for urgent operational reasons. Coast near Acheh particularly risky. Pirates recently boarded two vessels & kidnapped the crew for ransom. Ships advised to be extra cautious when transiting waters off Acheh. Ships calling at Indonesian ports of Belawan, Dumai, Merak, Samarinda & Tanjong Priok have reported numerous attacks at berth & at anchor. Recently a number of ships have been hijacked in Indonesian waters. Attacks reported at Chittagong, Mongla & Chennai while at anchor. Ships at ports in Bangladesh have been subjected to theft of zinc anodes welded to ship's sides & stern. Somalian waters continue a risk prone area for hijackings. Ships should keep at least 50 miles & if possible 100 miles from Somali coast. Use of radio communications including VHF in these waters should be kept to minimum.

Back To Year 2001 Reports

Russian Il-76 transporter down near city of Okhotsk in Khabarovsk region, shortly after Capt. told air traffic control making emergency landing due to on board fire. Plane disappeared from radar shortly afterward -- 18 people feared dead in Russia's Siberia region. Wreckage spotted. (Sat. Dec. 1 2001)

Vessel Loss Dispatches For November 2001

<<webfeature: Until further notice, all publicly accessible web sites of deployable U.S. Navy SURFLANT units have been taken off line for Force Protection & internal security review. Translation: we can no longer bring you web sites for American fighting vessels. We hope the removal is only temporary. The Cargo Letter.

U.S. Navy Seabee 133rd Construction Battalion<<webfeature, raised Flag of New York City<<webfeature, given by city firefighters over new U.S. base in Afghan desert Nov. 30 to honor victims of World Trade Center attack. Many of the reservists worked as Port Authority police & similar jobs -- helped in rescue efforts after suicide hijackers' Sept. 11 attacks on twin towers. They raised the flag -- orange, white & blue with the city seal in center -- just below U.S. flag on the same bamboo pole. The U.S. flag was raised by U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Ajmal Achekzai of Salt Lake City -- born in Kabul. Americans are all of us. (Fri. Nov. 30 2001)


26 NOv.2001 at 0415 UTC about 5.5 miles from mole signal station, Lagos, Nigeria. While at anchor, pirates armed with knives boarded general cargo ship at forecastle. Anti piracy watch spotted & they jumped overboard. (Fri. Nov. 30 2001)

26 Nov. 2001 at 0520 LT enroute to Vung Tau, Vietnam. While approaching pilot stn, pirate boarded general cargo ship. Alert crew spotted him --jumped overboard -- picked up by boat trailing behind ship. (Fri. Nov. 30 2001)

25 Nov. 2001 at 0530 LT in position 09:52N- 097:41E, Myanmar. Two fishing boats chased container ship underway from stern & fired gunshots at her. Ship increased speed -- crew mustered on deck. Boats gave up chase. (Fri. Nov. 30 2001)

25 Nov. 2001 at 0315 LT anchored off Kutubdia Island, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Twelve pirates armed with long knives boarded tanker from stern. Threatened duty A/B with knife & stole ship's stores. Alarm raised & crew mustered. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped in boat. (Fri. Nov. 30 2001)

25 Nov. 2001 at 0045 LT at Belawan anchorage, Indonesia. Six pirates from small boat tried to board bulk carrier via anchor chain. Anti piracy watch spotted, raised alarm, activated hand flares & alerted crew. Pirates abandoned attempt. (Fri. Nov. 30 2001)

23 Nov. 2001 at 0550 LT at Haldia port, India. Pirates armed with knives boarded tanker during discharging operations, cut off 4 mooring ropes & escaped with other ship's stores. (Fri. Nov. 30 2001)

22 Nov. 2001 at 2200-2400 LT, Sandakan anchorage, Sabah, Malaysia. Pirates boarded bulk carrier during heavy rain & stole ship's stores. (Fri. Nov. 30 2001)

22 Nov. 2001 at 1300 UTC in position 22:26.2N - 089:35.8E, Mongla anchorage, Bangladesh. Pirates armed with long knives boarded general cargo ship from stern. Alarm raised but pirates escaped taking with them ship's property. (Fri. Nov. 30 2001)

22 Nov. 2001 at 0520 LT in position 00:15S - 117:33.5E, Muara Berau anchorage, Samarinda, Indonesia. Three pirates boarded general cargo ship at forecastle from motorboat. Alert crew raised alarm. Pirates escaped with ship's stores. (Fri. Nov. 30 2001)

19 Nov. 2001 at 0545 LT in position 00:43.6N - 103:36.5E, Durian straits, Indonesia. While underway, 6 pirates armed with long knives boarded chemical tanker & entered the accommodation. Took hostage elec. Engr, chief mate & deck cadet. 3rd mate noticed pirates & alerted all crew. Pirates escaped taking with them crew's personal valuables & ship's equipment. (Fri. Nov. 30 2001)

Warnings To Vessels >> Increasing number of attacks reported in the Malacca straits. Ships advised to avoid anchoring along Indonesian coast of Malacca straits unless required for urgent operational reasons. Coast near ache particularly risky. Pirates recently boarded 2 vessels & kidnapped crew for ransom. Ships advised be extra cautious when transiting waters off ache. Ships calling at Indonesian ports of Belawan, Dumai, Merak, Samarinda & Tanjong Priok have reported numerous attacks at berth & at anchor. Recently number of ships have been hijacked in Indonesian waters. (Fri. Nov. 30 2001)

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Canada naval task group escorting American carrier battle groups conducting air war over Afghanistan consists of frigates, HMCS Halifax<<webfeature & HMCS Charlottetown<<webfeature; supply ship, HMCS Preserver<<webfeature; & destroyer HMCS Iroquois<<webfeature with more than 1,000 sailors. (Thurs. Nov. 29 2001)

Yusen Cruise Co. 28,717-ton cruise M/V Asuka, Kobe for Nagasaki with 605 passengers & crew, in collision Nov. 27 night with 700-ton cargo M/V Udo Maru, akai, Osaka Prefecture for Oita with 5 crew, 5 km SW of Kobe. Captains questioned on suspicion of endangering traffic through negligence. No reports of injuries or oil leaks. (Wed. Nov. 28 2001)

Tug Niau sank 5:30 a.m. LT -- Port of Honolulu -- ship now sitting bottom of harbor with 6,000 gallons diesel oil, 250 gallons lube oil & 80 gallons hydraulic oil. Teams using absorbant pads & containment booms to control fuel & oil that leaked. (Mon. Nov. 26 2001)

South Korean-registered cargo M/V Royal, taking water (likely sank) 30 NM off Okino-Tori-Shima off Japan's S. coast Nov. 25 afternoon. Sixteen crew abandoned in lifeboat -- await rescue on remote Japanese island of Okino-Tori-Shima in Pacific. Conditions stormy -- winds gusting to 60 km (40 miles) per hour -- 4 vessels in area -- expected to approach lifeboat 1st light Nov. 26. (Sun. Nov. 25 2001)

906-foot M/T Atigun Pass<<webfeature, Portland for breakers at Shanghai with 20,000 gallons of fuel, drifting in rough seas 60 miles off S. Washington coast Nov. 20 after breaking line to towing Chinese tug in storm. Worst case scenario was for vessel to ground on U.S. coast of Washington. Agent, Netherlands-based Smit Int'l, dispatched a crew of 6 by helicopter to grappel onto vessel in stormy seas Nov. 22 evening. Operation was complicated by swells of 18 feet &winds up to 25 mph. Ocean tug Barbara Foss<<webfeature, retrieved line Nov. 22 , but line seperated -- Nov. 25 again underway for Shanghai -- danger ended. Single-hull M/T Atigun Pass, condemned as unsafe by Oil Protection Act of 1990 -- docked in Portland's harbor since 1995. (Sun. Nov. 25 2001)

Giant oil drilling rig Byford Dolphin<<webfeature, slipped free from towing tug Nov. 22 -- adrift in Norwegian Sea on way to drill at a gas & condensate field. Seventeen of 71 crew aboard flown off by helicopter from landing pad on giant rig -- 54 now aboard -- no plans to lift others. Rig has engines to help control course but several vessels & helicopters standing by. (Sun. Nov. 25 2001)


17 Nov. 2001 at 0615 LT, Belawan port, Indonesia. While berthed, pirates boarded supply ship & entered cabin by breaking a porthole glass & stole crew's personal belongings & cash. Duty watchman saw pirates running away on quay. Local agents informed. (Sun. Nov. 25 2001)

15. Nov. 2001 between 1330-1430 LT, Pulau Laut anchorage, Indonesia. Pirates boarded ship from hawse pipe & stole life raft & ship's Stores. Theft took place during heavy rain. (Sun. Nov. 25 2001)

Advice to all ships >> Ships should keep at least 50 miles & if possible 100 miles from Somali coast. Use of radio communications including the VHF in these waters should be kept to a minimum. Extra caution advised at all ports in Indonesia, Gelasa Str, Bangka Str, Berhala Str, Sunda Str, Malacca Straits, Singapore Str, Phillip Channel, Vung Tau, Chittagong Roads, Mongla Anchorage, Chennai anchorage, Cochin anchorage, Kandla, Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, the Somali coast, Conakry, Nigerian ports & Rio Haina in the Dominican Republic. Ships advised to maintain anti-piracy watches & report all piratical attacks and suspicious movements of craft to the IMB Piracy Reporting Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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Racing S/V Amer Sports One, currently in 6th position in round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race<<webfeature, 1500 NM S.W. of Australia made distress call --to assist American crew member Keith Kilpatrick, 40 -- being treated with antibiotics & morphine -- on saline drip for stomach illness. Medications running out. Yacht out of range for airborne med evac, but Australian authorities looking at options. Yacht is 196 NM behind race leader S/V SEB, & nearest boat to her is S/V News Corp, 155 NM ahead. Australian Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Center alerted. S/V Amer Sports One is only vessel with medical doctor. NOTE: The Volvo Ocean Race<<webfeature, web site is covering story in real time. Visit site for both news & exciting footage. (Thurs. Nov. 22 2001)

99-meter container M/V Blissful Reefer sank after collision with Singaporean sand dredger 6 NM off Tanjung Punggai, 4.30pm Nov. 20 -- 32-crew able to save themselves, rescued by 40 workers aboard sand dredger which later sailed to Singapore for repairs. Origin of sunk vessel & cargo not determined. Blissful Reefer sunk in upright position -- mast only 6 meters below surface -- danger to navigation. Fear also floating reefer containers. (Wed. Nov. 21 2001)

M/T Stolt Rotterdam, with 1,800 tons of nitric acid, afi re Nov. 21 in congested stretch of Rhine. No injuriesin the blaze but police closed stretch of Europe's busiest waterway for 12 hours because of threat the acid might eat into hull of Stolt Rotterdam & sink it -- reopened at 1500 GMT. Freighter was unloading at Bayer AG's loading facility in Krefeld-Uerdingen, N. of Duesseldorf when leak allowed acid to escape & catch fire. Authorities downstream warned not to draw water from Rhine. (Wed. Nov. 21 2001)

Papua New Guinea M/V Hiwi, Sobulasi, Normanby Island for Alotau, rescued 2 Samoans adrift in Pacific Ocean for 132 days off a Milne Bay island Nov. 6. They told rescuers 2 older colleagues died of starvation 1 & 2 months apart during 4.5 months adrift in open seas. Survivor Mr. Sopi said 4 crew had been out fishing & caught too much fish in their 25-foot twin-hulled aluminium dinghy powered by two 50 horsepower outboard motors. Boat started taking water & they threw out some fish & unhitched motors to lighten dinghy -- left them vulnerable & at mercy of ocean currents that swept them to open seas. They lived on the fish & occasional coconut adrift at sea, rainwater & even salt water. Rescue ended almost 4000km adrift from W. Samoa to E. tip of Normanby Island, Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea.Truly amazing. From our corespondent Fred McCague. (Tues. Nov. 20 2001)

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an animal rights group known for its outrageous tactics has rethought how to get across its vegetarian message following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Instead of banners saying "Thanksgiving is Murder on Turkeys" hanging from overpasses, this year PETA is sending meatless, soy-based turkey substitutes & faux-beef roasts to Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71<<webfeature, now deployed in bombing campaign in Afghanistan. We hope the fish surrounding USS Theodore Roosevelt like tofu. (Tues. Nov. 20 2001)

Hong Kong registered M/V Nego Kim suffered an explosion & fire in No. 1 hold while anchored 10 NM off western Australia coast -- 3 crew dead & 4 missing. Nego Kim, owned by by Wallem Shipmanagement Ltd, was bound for port of Dampier. Hull not thought breached. Weather poor -- ship expected to be towed to Dampier Nov. 19. (Sun. Nov. 18 2001)

U.S. Sailors Missing >> U.S. Navy searching Nov. 18 for 2 U.S. sailors missing in the Persian Gulf after boarding rickety United Arab Emirates-flagged M/T Samra, deemed to be smuggling Iraqi oil, with 1700 MT of Iraqi oil, in the N. Gulf. Tanker sank at 4:45 a.m with U.S. personel aboard. Six U.S. sailors & 10 Iraqi crew rescued -- 1 Iraqi crew dead & 3 missing. U.S. sailors boarded tanker from destroyer USS Peterson, home port Norfolk, Va. Search conducted with help of helicopters from Peterson as well as USS Ingram, USS Leyte Gulf, & Australian frigate, HMAS Sydney <<webfeature. (Sun. Nov. 18 2001) UPDATE: Two U.S. sailors & 3 Iraqi crew presumed dead Nov. 20 as divers from the navy's auxiliary ship, USNS Catawba, recovered a body from the wreckage. (Tues. Nov. 20 2001)

Maltese-registered 182-meter cargo M/V Cello Di Genova freed from spit at mouth of Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Trying to avoid a fishboat when it ran aground. Tugs unable to free ship until early Nov. 17 at high tide. Hull apparently undamaged but navy divers will take closer look at Chemainus later today. (Sat. Nov. 17 2001)

Small boat Lun -- officially posted missing since Sept. 30 when electronic position indicating beacon activated 215 NM W. of Castletownbere, Co Cork, in storm force 10 conditions -- Lund now found floating upturned & empty off W. coast of Ireland -- confirmed craft of American retired cardiologist Dr. Nenad Belic, 62, who left Cape Cod, Massachusetts 6 months ago on attempted lone transatlantic voyage. Earlier extensive search of area by Irish & British coastguards, Irish Air Corps & RAF - as well as private aircraft engaged by Dr Belic's family - failed to find any trace of Lund. The search has sadly ended. (Fri. Nov. 16 2001)

Fibreglass sloop S/V Toolka-T hit partially submerged 500m towline connecting northbound tug Wainui & barge about 2km NE of Takatu Pt at Cape Rodney, E of Warkworth, New Zealand -- as result 1500-ton barge went over top of S/V Toolka-T, sinking it in minutes. New Zealand Navy divers from NZ Resolution found owners body -- annual trip a retirement dream 76-year-old Don Morton -- lying next to his yacht about 4.30 pm. (Fri. Nov. 16 2001)


11 Nov.2001 at 0606 LT in position 02:02N - 101:57E, Malacca straits. Tanker underway detected speedboat on radar at 3 miles range. Minutes later the look out noticed masked men with rifles & grapnel hooks inside boat & raised alarm. Pirates aborted attempted boarding. (Fri. Nov. 16 2001)

08 Nov. 2001 at 0450 LT at Belawan, Indonesia. Seven pirates armed with knives & iron bars boarded log carrier berthed alongside wharf No. 201. They took duty a/b hostage & broke open paint store. Duty officer raised alarm & pirates jumped overboard -- escaped in boat with ship's stores. (Fri. Nov. 16 2001)

06 Nov. 2001 at 0150 LT in position 06:46.5S - 039:21.2E, Dar Es Salaam anchorage, Tanzania. Six pirates in black wooden boat tried to board chemical tanker. Alert crew noticed boat & raised alarm. Crew mustered & boat drifted away. Port control informed. (Fri. Nov. 16 2001)

Advice To All Ships >> Extra caution advised at all ports in Indonesia, Gelasa Str, Bangka Str, Berhala Str, Sunda Str, Malacca Straits, Singapore Str, Phillip Channel, Vung Tau, Chittagong Roads, Mongla Anchorage, Chennai anchorage, Cochin anchorage, Kandla, Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, the Somali coast, Conakry, Nigerian ports and Rio Haina in the Dominican Republic. Ships advised to maintain anti-piracy watches & report all piratical attacks and suspicious movements of craft to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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503-foot gambling M/V Copa Casino halted & ship evacuated for an hour Nov.13 after kitchen fire sent smoke through portions of cruise ship. No injuries among gamblers & crew aboard vessel, docked in Gulfport, Miss. Authorities responding to 5 a.m. alarm arrived to find one side ship filled with smoke. (Thus. Nov. 15 2001)

Ocean ferry M/V Coho<<webfeature, Victoria, B.C. for Port Angeles, Washington, stopped & boared by U.S. Coast Guard Nov. 12 -- boarding party questioned male passengers travelling alone. After 20-minute delay in Strait of Juan de Fuca, Coho allowed to continue. Coast Guard said a routine "security assessment." (Tues. Nov. 13 2001)

Local German -- Frankfurter Allgemeine -- press reports & sources to The Cargo Letter -- elements of Federal German Navy will deploy off coast of Somalia next year as part of contribution to U.S.-led war against terrorism. Force expected at 1,800 personnel -- joint German-American task force to use port city of Berbera, in N. Somalia as support base. According to sources close to Ibrahim Egal, president of Int'ly unrecognized Republic of Somaliland, which borders Somalia to W., decision to deploy German Navy in region made some time ago. Zone to extend from Yemenite island of Socotra to Somalia's N.E. tip up to Saudi Red Sea port of Jidda. According to this information, German ships will operate from harbor while U.S. contingent will take over airport. Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said to have indicated recently German Navy would most certainly be based around the Horn of Africa. NOTE: No U.S. confirmation of this story. No corresponding AP or Reuters wire reports. Only our report here. The Cargo Letter believes that it's sources to this report are accurate and we stand by them. Time will tell if we were correct, even if there are no other major reports on this important subject. (Tues. Nov. 13 2001)

Terrible Odds Beaten >> Sailor assigned to the just returned Norfolk-based USS Enterprise among 260 people who died aboard American Airlines Flight 587 that crashed in New York City, Nov. 12 -- on his way to Dominican Republic to pick up his wife & 4 children when plane crashed. After 7 months at sea, 2 of which deployed on station in the war against terrorism -- the safety of home was elusive. (Tues. Nov. 13 2001)

Antigua & Barbuda registered 9,650 ton container M/V Melbridge Bilbao, Bilbao on N. Spanish coast for Rotterdam, aground on rocks off N.W. coast of France -- around island of Molene off Brittany coast. Nov. 12. Distress message at 0624 GMT as it ran on rocks. (Mon. Nov. 12 2001)

F/V Rainbow Warrior sank one minute after collision with mystery merchant ship off New South Wales N. coast, Australia at about 12.30am Nov. 11 -- 3 crew spent 5 hours in life raft in heavy rain before rescued. Weather in area described as very bad, with heavy rain & poor visibility. (Mon. Nov. 12 2001) UPDATE>> Federal police checking unidentified Singaporean-based bulk coal carrier off central Queensland coast in connection with sinking of F/V Rainbow Warrior. (Mon. Nov. 12 2001)

Organizing The Fight >> Indonesia & the Philippines Nov. 12 agreed to boost energy trade between their two countries & to establish joint naval patrols in pirate-infested waters that divide them. Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo met her Indonesian counterpart Megawati Sukarnoputri soon after arriving in Jakarta for official visit. (Mon. Nov. 12 2001)

Kenyan registered M/V Bihari & 30 sailors held captive by Somali gunmen for 3 months -- freed & docked in the Kenyan port of Mombasa. Vessel seized in N. Somali province of Puntland in July by militia group, a.k.a. pirates who accused them of "fishing illegally" in Somali waters & demanded a US$700,000 "fine". Italian owners insisted they had licence to fish. Not clear how (or how much) managed to secure the sailors' release. "Every minute we were cautioned that we risked being killed unless we complied with orders," Kenya's Sunday Nation quoted one of sailors. Further Details<<click here. (Sun. Nov. 11 2001)

Wrecked Russian nuclear submarine SSGN Kursk<<webfeature -- investigators examining wreck found ship's logs -- being dried out. Month after charred & mangled Kursk hoisted from Arctic seabed, investigators still cannot pinpoint cause of catastrophe but say new evidence shows crew struggled for life, donning oxygen masks & unrolling fire hoses to fight blaze that reached more than 14,000 degrees. Sub's hulk hoisted from Barents Sea floor Oct. 8 & brought to dry dock near Murmansk. Investigators pulled 56 bodies from vessel. Twelve others removed by divers last year. Investigators discovered more bodies in stern sections than expected, indicating some sailors from forward compartments managed to race backward in 2 minutes & 15 seconds -- separating 2 blasts that crippled & sank Kursk. Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov said 2nd explosion sent huge fireball through Kursk's hull, raising temperature inside to 14,432 degrees & pulverizing all crew in forward sections. "What happened inside these compartments was hell," Ustinov said. At least 23 sailors survived explosions, according to letters found, which described their agony in pitch-dark, near-freezing sections of stricken submarine. Track Our Coverage Back-- Step By Step<<click here. (Sat. Nov. 10 2001)

North Korean cargo 427-ton M/V Chong Lyu 2, with 1,500 secondhand bicycles & 140 used refrigerators, stranded with 15 crew for 30 days in waters off Yamaguchi Prefecture in W. Japan. Japan Coast Guard (JCG) authorities asked owner to seek help of salvage company, but owner said ship uninsured & that vessels from North Korea will conduct operations. Ship stranded in shallow waters Oct. 6 when it tried to avoid fishing ship while heading toward Port of Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi Prefecture from Port of Maizuru in Kyoto Prefecture, also W. Japan. Two North Korean ships rushed to rescue Oct. 9 -- could not get near stranded ship -- attempts to tow failed. Ship's propulsion machinery already eroded into hard clay soil -- ship needs to be dismantled & removed. 15 crew members remaining turn off lights during day to save electricity -- but no one is coming to save them. According to JCG, 12 foreign ships currently stranded off Hokkaido, Shizuoka, Nagasaki, Oita, Kagoshima & Okinawa prefectures -- impossible to contact owners. Oldest of the 12 is Panamanian ship left off Urasoe, Okinawa Prefecture, since 1986. Many cases in which owners of uninsured ships declare bankruptcy after such incidents in attempt to evade responsibility for stranded ships -- they often then start new companies. (Sat. Nov. 10 2001)


05 Nov. 2001 at 1055 LT at port Kismaayo, Somalia. On completion of cargo operations, general cargo ship cast off mooring ropes & preparing to sail. A group of pirates fired at the ship with machine guns. At least 20 shots hit superstructure & one bullet hit bridge window, narrowly missing master. Two windows on bridge, mess room & accommodation door were smashed. No injuries to crew. Incident reported to harbour master & firing stopped -- ship sailed. Earlier small wooden ship also hit with machine gun fire. (Fri. Nov. 9 2001)

05 Nov. 2001 at 0715 UTC in position 12:29N - 044:43E, 5 NM from Aden port, Yemen. Persons in boat attempted to board bulk carrier underway. Duty officer took evasive maneuvers & attempted boarding was aborted. (Fri. Nov. 9 2001)

04 Nov. 2001 at 2245 LT in position 06:01.7N - 003:31E, off Lagos, Nigeria. While drifting, persons in unlit small craft attempted boarding bulk carrier. Alert crew spotted craft & directed searchlights. As result craft left scene at 2300 hours. Earlier that day attack on another ship near same location as listed below. (Fri. Nov. 9 2001)

04 Nov. 2001 at 0410 LT in position 06:06N - 003:37E, 20 miles S. of fairway buoy, Lagos anchorage, Nigeria. While adrift off Lagos, 6 pirates boarded general cargo ship -- stole a life raft & ship's stores. (Fri. Nov. 9 2001)

03 Nov. 2001 at 0410 LT in position 01:49.7N - 102:31.5E, Malacca straits. Chemical tanker underway noticed fishing boat nearby. Minutes later boat switched off her lights & persons inside attempted to board tanker. Alert crew raised alarm & attempted boarding aborted. (Fri. Nov. 9 2001)

30 Oct. 2001 at point Pedro, Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Tamil Tiger rebels in 5 boats attacked a tanker with explosives. Awaiting further details.

Advice To All Ships >> Extra caution is advised at all ports in Indonesia, Gelasa Str, Bangka Str, Berhala Str, Sunda Str, Malacca Straits, Singapore Str, Phillip Channel, Vung Tau, Chittagong Roads, Mongla Anchorage, Chennai anchorage, Cochin anchorage, Kandla, S. Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali coast, Conakry, Nigerian ports & Rio Haina in the Dominican Republic. Ships advised to maintain anti-piracy watches & report all piratical attacks and suspicious movements of craft to IMB Piracy Reporting Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Former Ukranian aircraft carrier Varyag once again attached to its 3 tugs on way to China -- at 3 miles per hour towards Suez Canal -- 4 of 7 crew lifted to safety during rescue operations on Nov. 4 now back on vessel. While crossing Aegean sea, towed by 3 tugs, vessel violently released from its rigging tackles due to very rough weather conditions prevailing in open sea area near island of Skyros. Varyag currently in tow of tug Sandy Cape & salvage tug Solano. Tug Nikolay Chiker will soon take over & will be leading tug. So far, quite an amazing journey after months of "steaming around" -- let's hope Varyag will behave. SEE Nov. 4. Update from our correspondent John Szalay (Fri. Nov. 9 2001)

Antiguan flagged 81-meter M/V Heinrich Behrmann owned by Heinrich Behrman of Germany, from Britain with chemicals, aground on a Belgian beach near the town of Blankenbergen after losing control of steering during storm approach -- on to Belgian port of Zeebrugge. Will attempt to tow off later today. (Fri. Nov. 9 2001) EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS >> A THE CARGO LETTER FEATURE ! << CLICK THERE

Russian-registered 738-ton freighter M/V Morskoy Goefizik, with with old tires for Russia, afire early Nov. 7 off town of Yoichi in Hokkaido -- slightly injured 4 crew including smoke inhalation. 38 crew rescued by Japan Coast Guard after managed to bring ship back to nearby port of Otaru, where fire extinguished. Emergency radio message received 2:40 a.m. at 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, Otaru. (Thurs. Nov. 8 2001)

U.S. FBI concluded today that raw intelligence behind last week's warning that terrorists might attack U.S. West Coast port bridges was not credible. Nonetheless, FBI wants law enforcement agencies to remain on high alert & guard against possible terrorist activities in U.S. & abroad. TRANSLATION: Sadly, the California Governor jumped the gun in calling all of us to action. Please call us again when it's time. SEE NOV. 3 (Thurs. Nov. 8 2001)

For the 1st time since WWII -- 1945 >> 3 Japanese warships ordered to raise anchor for Int'l high seas deployment Nov. 9 in support of Int'l war on terrorism &emdash; 5,200-ton destroyer Kurama, 4,550-ton Kirisame<<webfeature & 8,100-ton fleet support ship Haman &emdash; will leave Japanese base at Sasebo, 600 miles SW of Tokyo -- through the Strait of Malacca to join Int'l effort. Civilization welcomes help for all of us in the war against terrorism.(Thurs. Nov. 8 2001)

5,800-ton freighter M/V Ho Feng 8, Indonesia for Hong Kong with logs, sank in N. Philippine waters off N. Philippine province of Pangasinan, near coastal town of Dasol,195 km N.of Manila. -- no word on 19 Philippine crew, coast guard said Nov. 8. Name of ship not available. Result of Tropical Storm Lingling. (Thurs. Nov. 8 2001) UPDATE: 19 crew rescued by passing vessel on Nov. 11 night -- had jumped into lifeboat which drifted & were eventually rescued by bulk carrier M/V Yu Qi Hai (Sat. Nov. 10 2001).

U.S. Coast Guard Station Terminal Island -- Port of Los Angeles -- security penetration Nov. 3. while on high alert. Federal law enforcement sources & U.S. Coast Guard confirm former Verizon contrator using a Verizon I.D. gained access to base after passing through several levels of security -- then entered telephone switching station -- left with 17 line cards containing potentially sensitive information. Coast Guard Nov. 7 labeled this high level investigation -- suspect identifed & at large. Coast Guard Station Terminal Island located under Vincent Thomas Bridge, on alleged terrorist hit list. Base's phone system restored by late Nov. 3 -- FBI assisting military in investigation. From our correspondent Calico Jaqu. (Wed. Nov. 7 2001)

M/V Star Siranger, Sweden for U.S. with lumber & newsprint, suffered cargo fire 600 km off St. Johns, Halifax, Canada -- crew fought blaze -- sealed hold & steered for nearest port. Halifax firefighters went below decks Nov. 6 with sophisticated thermal sensing equipment to check temperature in hold. On Watch. (Wed. Nov. 7 2001)

U.S. Navy's US$60M effort to find remains of those killed when USS Greeneville (SSN-772)<<webfeature follow our coverage back, struck & sank Japanese training fishing vessel F/V Ehime Maru -- ended without recovery of 9th & final victim. Family of Takeshi Mizuguchi, 17-year-old Uwajima Fisheries High School student still unaccounted for, told of premonition that rescue effort going to end because they gave 24 pink roses to Navy officials to thank for their efforts. USS Greenville<<webfeature. The USS Greenville Incident -- in depth. (Wed. Nov. 7 2001)

Sailor fell from aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk<<webfeature, at 7:22 a.m. EST in Arabian Sea -- repeated helicopter searches & several dives found no sign. (Wed. Nov. 7 2001)

US$5B punitive damages award against Exxon Mobil Corp. in 1989 M/T Exxon Valdez<<webfeature -- oil spill award is excessive, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 7. Court ordered trial judge to determine lesser amount. Jury in Anchorage, Alaska, had ordered Exxon in 1994 to pay sum to commercial fisherman, Alaska natives, property owners & others harmed by nation's worst oil spill. Exxon, which later merged with Mobil, argued it should not have to pay any punitive damages -- said it learned its lesson & spent US$3B cleaning up Prince William Sound<<webfeature, & to settle federal & state lawsuits. High court said some damages were justified to punish company for harmful behavior, but that US$5B -- at the time, largest punitive damage award in history -- was excessive -- equal to a year's worth of Exxon's profits. (Wed. Nov. 7 2001)

Ghost Ship? >> 13-meter tug Nanaimo Flyer spotted early Nov. 5 morning near Drury Inlet, 30 km N. of Port McNeill<<webfeature, N. end of Vancouver Island, Victoria, BC. -- engines still running, barge still attached -- but no one aboard. No distress call transmitted -- vessel's safety equipment -- including life jackets -- still on board. Searchers still looking for 2 crew -- believed drowned after mysteriously going overboard. Coast Guard says whatever happened was extremely quick -- weather not seen a factor. Crew from Campbell River & Port Hardy<<webfeature. Is it just us, or are there too many recent rogue stories for comfort? (Tues. Nov. 6 2001)

Aging St. Vincent & the Grenadines refrigeration M/V Cooler Bay boarded by RCMP & Canada Customs after pulled into Halifax Nov. 5 -- 2 crew from Albania & Russia killed in pitching seas off Florida. Conflicting reports, but understood rogue wave tossed dead crew from perch on ship & smashed them on to deck -- another report said appeared men crushed under cargo as vessel lurched in rough seas. Anglican Rev. Brian Evans, met with crew. Evans, works with Mission to Seafarers -- said young crew dazed & unresponsive."The captain in shock. He looked sad & was just slumped in his chair." Weather believed behind accident whipped up by Hurricane Michelle -- ripped across Cuba late Nov. 5. (Tues. Nov. 6 2001)

Turkish-flagged M/V Brelner, with 800 illegal immigrants, towed to safety in gale-force winds & heavy rains by Greek coastguards after engine room fire & "professional" crew fled. Number of women & children being treated for minor injuries on Greek island of Zakynthos, in Ionian Sea. (Mon. Nov. 5 2001)

Half-built 1,020-foot rudderless & engineless Ukranian aircraft carrier Varyag, under tow for South China Sea to become a floating casino, adrift in high gales in Int'l waters near Aegean Sea island of Skyros early Nov. 4 after it broke lose from 6 tugs. All 7 crew rescued. Vessel had spent 16 months circling Black Sea, before Turkish authorities granted Chinese owners permission for to pass through Turkey's narrow Bosporus Strait on Nov. 1 -- fear had been that Varyag might break loose from its tugs! Fears well taken! SEE NOV. 1 (Sun. Nov. 4 2001)

Rogue "Coast Guard" Vessel >> Light gray 20-footer with "US COAST GUARD" on side & light bar atop cabin. Charleston area chemical plants warned to take extra precautions after boat masquerading as U.S. Coast Guard vessel spotted on Kanawha River. "They should do whatever necessary to protect facility if boat approaches at high speed," said Lt. Renee Kern, chief of port operations for Coast Guard's Huntington office. "We left the decision entirely up to them whether to move vessels in the way, or to shoot, or to use a crane, or whatever," Kern said. Coast Guard warned area's 5 largest chemical & energy plants on Oct. 5 that rogue spotted near Charleston. Of more than 30 chemicals with potential for mass destruction when in large containers, 28 manufactured in West Virginia. Phony Coast Guard boat spotted at least 4 times on Kanawha River from Oct. 5 to Oct. 20, moving at high speeds or "lurking around power plants & chemical facilities." State trooper saw the boat on trailer on Oct. 18 -- did not know then it was suspicious (dah!). Vessel matching description seen in late Sept. on Ohio River near Cincinnati. (Sat. Nov. 3 2001)

National Guardsmen with M-16s & Humvees patrol the Golden Gate & other California bridges -- traffic across spans lighter than usual as warning of terrorist attacks shifted U.S. anxiety from East Coast to the West. 4 bridges named: the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the Vincent Thomas Bridge at Port of Los Angeles & San Diego's Coronado Bridge. (Sat. Nov. 3 2001)


29 Oct. 2001 at 0403 UTC 5.5 NM from S. mole signal station, Lagos anchorage, Nigeria. Six pirates in small boats boarded general cargo ship. Anti piracy watch spotted & alerted crew. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped with ship's stores & safety equipment. (Fri. Nov. 2 2001)

28 Oct. 2001 at 1040 LT in position: 02:20N - 046:23E, Somalia. Two boats with pirates spotted about 3-4 miles from chemical tanker underway. When boats got closer, they saw alert crew on deck, turned around & fired 4 shots, which did not hit vessel. Vessel changed course & sailed further away from Somali coast. (Fri. Nov. 2 2001)

25 Oct. 2001 at 0500 LT in position: 06:04N - 126:12.4E, Philippines. Whilst navigating in busy fishing ground, duty officer on bulk carrier noticed movements at forecastle. When floodlights switched on, 2 pirates jumped in small boat & fled at high speed -- stole life raft. (Fri. Nov. 2 2001)

21 Oct. 2001 at 0430 LT at Belem, Brazil. Three pirates armed with knives boarded general cargo ship from small boat -- broke into storeroom & stole ship's stores. Duty watchmen challenged & they jumped overboard and escaped. (Fri. Nov. 2 2001)

Advice To All Ships >> Extra caution advised at all ports in Indonesia, Gelasa Str, Bangka Str, Berhala Str, Sunda Str, Malacca Straits, Singapore Str, Phillip Channel, Vung Tau, Chittagong Roads, Mongla Anchorage, Chennai anchorage, Cochin anchorage, Kandla, Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, the Somali coast, Conakry, Nigerian ports and Rio Haina in the Dominican Republic. Ships advised to maintain anti-piracy watches & report all piratical attacks and suspicious movements of craft to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Back To Year 2001 Reports

Ukranian 1,020-foot Varyag, bound for South China Sea on voyage of 2 months -- tugs hauled half-built aircraft carrier through Istanbul's narrow Bosporus strait Nov. 1, forcing Turkey to temporarily shut down world's busiest waterway. Traffic through Bosporus - sole passage between Black Sea & Mediterranean - resumed by mid-afternoon after Varyag completed 6 hour passage. Normal oil tanker would make trip in 1.5 hours. After clearing strait, Varyag headed across Marmara Sea toward Dardanelles strait, then to Aegean Sea. Total of 11 ships in convoy, including hospital ships, firefighters & rescue vessels. The 21-mile strait is world's most dangerous waterway, where some 200 accidents have occurred. Oil spills sometimes closed it for days. Russian-flagged tug at back of Varyag, acting as brake. 6 tugs towed engineless, rudderless Varyag through strait. "They'll never see anything like this again," said teacher as 100 primary school students watched excitedly from Kandilli harbor, strait's narrowest point. Varyag & skeleton crew had circled for 16 months in Black Sea waiting clearance from Turkey. Ukraine inherited flat top when Soviet Union fell in 1991, but couldn't afford to complete. Company in Macau, China, bought ship & plans to convert into floating leisure center. The Mysterious Sale of An Aircraft Carrier<<webfeature, Ukraine Flat Top<<webfeature. (Thurs. Nov. 1 2001)

Turkish cargo M/V Mehmet Haslaman, with 1400 tons bauxite & diesel -- Greek port of Itea for Istanbul -- sank 16 km N. off the eastern Greek island of Lesvos Nov. 1. Turkish coastguard Istanbul received distress call early morning & asked Greek coastguard for help -- Greek coastguard vessel picked up 10 member Turkish crew. (Thurs. Nov. 1 2001)

Vessel Loss Dispatches For October 2001


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34,859dwt Iranian-registered 197-meter freighter M/V Iran Sarbazl, in ballast, evacuated by Finnish coastguard off Finland's coast after vessel's engines failed in bad weather -- but 16 of 31 crew decided to remain on board. Vessel no longer drifting -- Capt. has situation under control. (Wed. Oct. 31 2001)

860-foot liquefied natural gas tanker M/T Matthew, loaded to capacity, escorted into Boston Harbor Oct. 30 by two dozen gunboats under cover of darkness, watched over by police divers, sharpshooters, bomb squads, & helicopters -- enough flashing police lights on shore to give harbor an almost festive look -- unprecedented level of security included halting flights at Logan Int'l Airport & stopping traffic on Tobin Bridge as ship passed below. Operation cost US$47,856 in police & fire overtime. (Wed. Oct. 31 2001)

Cargo M/V Ikan Tanda (1979)<<webfeature, scuttled 200 miles W. of Cape Town, sinking at 2000 LT Oct. 27. Followed declaration of by Owners Oct. 3 as a constructive total loss. Salvage tug Wolraad Woltemade<<webfeature remained on station overnight to monitor oil & debris. Salavge Hopes Had Been High Oct. 17<<webfeature. Current Feature<<webfeature. Last hatch cover finally sank Oct. 31 -- goodbye callsign 9VJX. (Wed. Oct. 31 2001)

Sri Lankan fuel ship M/T Silk Pride, with 660 tons of fuel for Jaffna, rammed by 5 suicide Tamil Tiger rebel explosive laden boats sparking fire & sinking vessel off port of Point Pedro -- on N. Jaffna peninsula -- 3 missing & 25 rescued by Sri Lankan Navy -- 10 rebels killed. Jaffna Peninsula reached only by sea or air since road connecting to mainland controlled by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam fighting for homeland for Sri Lanka's minority Tamils. OUR OCT. 27 REPORT OF EVENT<<webfeature (Tues. Oct. 30 2001)

M/V KM Sinar Bontang thought hijacked by 170 asylum seekers found on islet off E. island of Sumbawa, 750 miles E. of Jakarta. Indonesian Navy said vessel hijacked Oct. 24 in Flores Sea somewhere between Sulawesi island chain & Sumbawa. Still unclear how many crew fled vessel. Capt. remained on vessel & denied hijacking, even though crew member who fled & rescued by Indonesian Navy said it had been taken over by Iraqi asylum seekers. (Tues. Oct. 30 2001)

31,372 dwt Liberian-registered M/T Formosa One impounded after Sept. 7 collision in Vung Tau Bay 75 miles SE of Ho Chi Minh City resulted in spill of 700 to several thousand tons of diesel oil which washed up on tourist beaches & shrimp farms -- released by Vietnam court in S. Province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau after Taiwanese owners provided a financial guarantee to cover damages -- Taiwan's Formosa Plastics provided damage guarantee through Vietnam Bank for Foreign Trade. Petrolimex, Vietnamese owner of stationary 22,651 dwt. M/T Petrolimex 01, with which Formosa One collided, seeking US$2.38M for damage. OUR SEPT. 7 REPORT OF EVENT<<webfeature (Tues. Oct. 30 2001)

Panamanian-flagged 3,500gt M/T Sealion aground off Bubiyan island N. of Kuwait but no longer leaking crude oil into Gulf. Amounts leaked at beginning of incident were intentional to reduce shipment & move ship -- slick covering area 1 X 3 nautical miles (10 square kms) (Monday Oct. 29 2001)

Chinese M/V Tong Hui, Lushun in NE province of Liaoning for Longkou of Shandong province with 6 liquefied petroleum gas tanker trucks, exploded & sank at 10 p.m. Oct. 29 off China's E. port city of Longkou. 6 crew killed & 15 missing. Rescuers pulled 11 crew alive from the Tong Hui. (Sun. Oct. 29 2001)

Pakistan has arrested & turned over to U.S. authorities a Yemeni microbiology student wanted in connection with bombing of USS Cole, The Washington Post reported from Karachi that Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed, 27, is member of Al Qaeda, terrorist network run by Osama bin Laden. (Sun. Oct. 29 2001)

M/V KM Bontang hijacked by group of 170 Iraqi refugees -- possibly heading for Australia after some crew fled overboard, Indonesian Navy said Oct. 27. Navy found one crew floating in life-vest -- Capt. fled in small boat, but not found. Vessel left eastern Makassar city on Sulawesi on Oct. 24 & heading south. Hijacking marks latest twist in growing regional crisis over the thousands of Middle Eastern & Afghan asylum seekers who embark on treacherous sea journey to reach Australia from Indonesia each year. (Sat. Oct. 27 2001)

Bulgarian-flagged M/T Han Asparuh, from Russian oil port of Novorossiisk with crude, suffered explosion & fire near Russian Black Sea port -- 7 crew to hospital with burns & smoke inhalation. (Sat. Oct. 27 2001)

125-foot F/V Exito, fishing for Red King crab 100 miles N. of Cold Bay with 6 crew, struck by massive wave in the pre-dawn hours Oct. 24 sending Scott Powell overboard/missing -- injuring Dave Brunswick & Mike Keenan. Rogue wave was big enough to block out overhead deck lights. From our corespondent Fred McCague (Sat. Oct. 27 2001)


22 Oct. 2001 at 0205 UTC in position 06:15N - 003:22.4E, Lagos anchorage, Nigeria. Three pirates armed with knives in speedboat boarded bulk carrier -- stole ship's stores, crew's property, & vhf portable radio -- fled. No injuries to crew. (Fri. Oct. 26 2001)

21 Oct. 2001 at 0005 LT at Belawan anchorage, Indonesia. Seven pirates armed with knives boarded chemical tanker. 3 pirates stabbed duty A/B severely injuring him. Minutes later several other pirates boarded via anchor chain -- threatened a 2nd A/B & held hostage. Duty officer raised alarm & crew mustered on deck -- pirates jumped overboard & escaped taking 2 portable radios. At 0100 LT ship tried to contact Port Control but received no response. At 0110 LT ship contacted pilot station that alerted other ships in vicinity. (Fri. Oct. 26 2001)

19 Oct. 2001 at 0045 LT at anchorage 1, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Boat with 20 pirates approached tanker. Pirates armed with long knives boarded & attacked duty A/B. Crew raised alarm & pirates jumped to water. However, another group of pirates boarded at forecastle, stole mooring rope & escaped by their boat. (Fri. Oct. 26 2001)

18 Oct. 2001 at 1135 LT at Mongla anchorage, Bangladesh. Five pirates armed with long knives boarded bulk carrier via anchor chain & attacked watch keeper. When crew went forward, pirates jumped overboard & escaped in boat. Ship's stores stolen. Port control & coast guard informed. (Fri. Oct. 26 2001)

17 Oct. 2001 at 0130 UTC, Posn:00 18N 009 25E, Owendo, Gabon. Six pirates armed with guns boarded bulk carrier from forecastle & stole ship's equipment & stores. Crew tried to thwart robbery but could not succeed. (Fri. Oct. 26 2001)

13 Oct. 2001 at 0230 LT at Cartagena, Colombia. While underway, 8 pirates in motorboat attempted to board bulk carrier using their own ladder from starboard quarter. Alert crew raised alarm & boarding averted.

Back To Year 2001 Reports

Kenyan-registered M/V Bihari & 30 crew hijacked off NE coast of Somalia in late July still held to ransom by pirates in the coastal town of Eyl, 150 km SW of Garowe, capital of self-declared autonomous region of Puntlan. Ship's owners reportedly offering the hijackers US$400,000 for ship, crew & cargo of lobsters, fish & shark fins. Pirates refusing to accept less than US$600,000. (Fri. Oct. 26 2001)

Singapore flagged 147 meter container M/V Kota Singa, with 482 TEUs, aground at Bangladesh's main Chittagong port while moving to jetty from outer anchorage -- 20 crew & cargo safe. Expected ship refloated by Oct. 27. (Thurs. Oct. 25 2001)

225-meter, 63,450-ton Greek M/V Tetien Trader, with grain, Seattle Oct. 25 for Taiwan, hit by a rouge wave outside Juan de Fuca Strait -- flooded switchboard in engine room -- resulting problems with electrical system, communications & radar. Capt. used satellite phone to call Coast Guard in Tofino -- then escorted to Royal Roads anchorage under own power -- escorted by famous Seattle tug Arthur Foss, arriving just before 5:30 p.m. (Thurs. Oct. 25 2001)

Russian Federation's top prosecutor led investigators onto deck of nuclear submarine SSGN Kursk<<webfeature Oct. 24, hoping to find new clues to what caused vessel to explode last year. Crew on Giant-4, which lifted submarine from Barents Sea floor & towed it to floating dock in Roslyakovo, near Arctic port Murmansk, lowered wreaths into water to honor Kursk's 118 dead. Giant-4 then slowly headed away as Kursk was raised to point where conning tower, with shattered glass windows & red Russian eagle seal, could be seen above water. Kursk then fully out of water -- Prosecutor-General Vladimir Ustinov, top navy officials & team of 40 investigators observed moment of silence before stepping on deck. 1st on board was Lieutenant Gleb Liachin, son of Kursk's late captain Gennady Liachin. Track Our Coverage Back-- Step By Step<<click here. (Thurs. Oct. 24 2001)

Northrop Grumman Corp. suspended work on two 1,900-passenger cruise ships building for American Classic Voyages Inc.<<webfeature, which filed for bankruptcy last week. Northrop said 1,250 of 1,600 workers assigned to project at Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula affected, along with 500 employed by subcontractors. Northrop Grumman's Ingalls shipyard -- Div. of Los Angeles-based defense contractor, began work June 2000 on largest cruise ship ever built in U.S. - 1st such project in country in more than 40 years. Quite sad. (Thurs. Oct. 25 2001)

Possibility of so called "crop-duster attack" creates new mission for U.S. Coast Guard -- keeping an eye on skies & escorting vessels after "white powder" dropped on 2 vessels & Coast Guard station in Mississippi during past week. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture confirmed powder dropped was fertilizer. Spokesman for FBI said "Just Bumfuzzled" (see below) & trying to find the planes & pilots involved -- also to determine whether incidents are related or intended as hoax. We think so -- stories seem to be fertilizer -- jokesters should be given jail tour. (Wed. Oct. 24 2001)

U.S. Coast Guard Shore Side Detachment office at Natchez, Mississippi dusted with white granules sprayed from small plane -- 2nd such incident in state in 4 days. Latest incident Oct. 22 afternoon -- Coast Guard member standing outside being given antibiotics as precaution. Not sure if a crop duster. Crop dusters in region fertilizing fields with small white pellets this time of year, State Agricultural Aviation Board said. Meanwhile, authorities awaiting final test results for Mississippi River towboat & crew sprayed with unknown substance by crop duster Oct. 19 near Rosedale. Initial tests for chemical & biological agents negative -- 11 crew members & towboat released from quarantine late Oct. 21. "It was definitely a criminal act, whether a hazardous substance or not," said Bob O'Brien, commanding officer (rank not identified) Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office in Memphis, Tenn. "I talked to a couple of my friends who have flying services, & they're just bumfuzzled," said Jimmy Ervin, who owns a local flying service. "Just Bumfuzzled" is a local Mississippi investigative term meaining "we are carefully analyzing the available physical evidence, but have yet to determine an exact cause" -- also confirming Mr. Ervin as not being a member of the Taliban. >> We think it highly unlikely that these true events should be of concern, consdering the number of accidental fly overs by agriculture each year. - The Cargo Letter. (Reported by Associated Press Wire, Salon & others) (Tues. Oct. 23 2001)

45-foot tug J.W. Westcott II<<webfeature, an official U.S. Marine Post Office, that delivered mail & pilots to passing Great Lakes freighters capsized & sank in Detroit River early Oct. 23 -- 2 crew missing & 2 rescued. Accident occurred 7 a.m. as J.W. Westcott II taking pilots to Norwegian M/T Sidsel Knutsen, with gasoline. No immediate word how close tug had been to tanker -- continued on toward Sarnia, Ontario. . Water was choppy. Believed the only vessel in world with own zip code, 48222 -- operating around the clock & averaging 6,000 runs from April through mid-Dec. (Tues. Oct. 23 2001)

Wrecked Russian nuclear submarine SSGN Kursk<<webfeature towed in dock Oct. 21 at Arctic port of Roslyankovo near Murmansk, 14 months after sinking in Barents Sea. 6 tugs towed salvage barge Giant-4 with 18,000-ton hulk attached beneath -- across small bay to dry dock in N.W. Russia. Kursk, most modern nuclear submarine in Russian fleet, sank during naval exercise on Aug. 12th 2000 following 2 mysterious explosions, causing death of all 118 crew. Kursk raised Oct. 8th after 3 month operation -- cost US$65M. Since arriving Belokamennaya Bay outside Roslyankovo barge has 2 huge pontoons attached to raise 7 meters out of water. Track Our Coverage Back-- Step By Step<<click here. Proud Sailors - Home - At Last. (Mon. Oct. 22 2001)

Japan Coast Guard patrol ship Mizuho to Philippines Oct. 22 for joint exercise with Philippine Coast Guard cracking down on festering high-sea piracy in Southeast Asia. Mizuho, w/ 2 helicopters, stood from Nagoya for waters off Manila. (Mon. Oct. 22 2001)

Some 350 people from Indonesia in search of a new life drowned after their unidentified ship sank off Java within minutes after it started taking on water. 44 people who survived spent hours in sea before being rescued by local fishermen Oct. 20. Most on board were Iraqis, also Iranians, Afghans, Palestinians & Algerians. One survivor, an 8-year-old boy, lost 21 relatives. Destination unknown but thousands of illegal migrants leave S.E. Asia & Indonesia every year on boats trying to reach Australia. (Mon. Oct. 22 2001)

Fire during training exercise on mine countermeasures command & control ship USS Inchon MCS-12<<webfeature, with 675 crew, killed one sailor -- injured 7 others. Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronnie Joe Palm Jr. of Houston. Palm, 21, died. Inchon returned to Naval Station Ingleside, TX on Sept. 1 after 5 months at sea. Fire likely fueled by petroleum. (Sat. Oct. 20 2001)

M/S Patriot<<webfeature & S/S Independence<<webfeature (vessel Independence<<webfeature) have ended sailing cruise passengers around Hawaiian Islands. Hundreds of cruise ship workers are unemployed while hundreds of passengers are out of money & out of a cruise --American Classic Voyages<<webfeature, filed for bankruptcy Oct. 19. Vacationers thought they would start their cruise Oct. 20 -- found they would not be boarding & company not giving refunds. All passengers, including Mississippi River voyages --stuck & stranded. SEE OCT. 19. (Sat. Oct. 20 2001)

Bahamas-flagged tanker M/T Sailor suffered explosion & fire -- killed 5 -- while undergoing repairs at island of Salamis, 12 miles W. of Athens. Workers trapped inside after blast in hold & fire broke out. Cause not immediately known. 5 people - 3 maintenance company officials, ship's Capt. & marine inspector - arrested. (Sat. Oct. 20 2001)

Brazilian state Petrobras owned M/T Norma, with 22 million liters of naphtha in 5 compartments -- one punctured -- hit underwater rocks when port's pilot deviated from course after seeing another vessel crossing its path Oct. 18 -- spilling naphtha in Brazil's key Port of Paranagua<<webfeature -- remains closed. One diver died in operation to assess damage. Tanker no longer leaking -- stable --no risk of explosion from highly inflammable naphtha already spilled. Dutch shipping services group Smit Internationale NV , one of firms that helped lift Russian nuclear submarine Kursk from Arctic waters -- meeting with Petrobras to work out salvage plan after inspection. 8 divers fell ill while diving -- one dead. (Fri. Oct. 19 2001)

American Classic Voyages<<webfeature, which runs luxury riverboats like M/V Delta Queen<<webfeature & line of cruise ships serving East Coast & Hawaii filed for bankruptcy protection citing losses following the Sept. 11 attacks. (Fri. Oct. 19 2001)

730-foot Canada Steamship Lines freighter M/V Nanticoke, with 28,000 tons soybeans, turned sideways in strong current Oct. 17 on Maumee River -- as ship approached train bridge -- train passing -- ship had to wait for train to cross & bridge to swing out of way -- trouble developed because current moving faster than usual after heavy rain. GROUNDED. Black smoke poured out of ship's engines -- churned in muddy water Oct. 19 morning -- ground shook whenever ship & 5 tugs revved engines to dislodge Nanticoke. Tugs pulled in vain -- hoped removing some soybeans would reduce Nanticoke's weight enough to shove it back into shipping channel. So far. No go. (Fri. Oct. 19 2001)

U.S.125-foot crab F/V Exito (New Orleans built1956) in pre-dawn of Oct. 17 hit in Bering Sea by massive wave sending man overboard & injuring 3 others while fishing 100 miles N. of Cold Bay, near Kodiak, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard cutter USGC Midget<<webfeature received radio transmission at 5:46 a.m. stating Exito had taken large wave & man overboard. Exito operates out of Dutch Harbor -- owned by Q & S Enterprises Inc. of Seattle -- 36 year old man dead & 3 injured. From our corespondent Fred McCague (Fri. Oct. 19 2001)


11 Oct. 2001 at 0120 UTC off Cape Sierra Point, Sierra Leone River, Sierra Leone. Pirates armed with automatic weapons boarded tanker from motorboat. Pirate shot at crew with a Kalashnikov. Marine superintendent on board fired back several rounds at pirates from ship's pump action shotgun & drove them away. No crew injured. Incident reported to Falmouth coast guard in UK, who in turn alerted local authorities in Sierra Leone.

06 Oct. 2001, at 0001 LT, Mongla port, Bangladesh. Pirates boarded bulk carrier & stole zinc anodes attached to rudder & ship's stores from steering gear flat. Coast guard informed.

Advice To Ships >> Extra caution Advised at all ports in Indonesia, Gelasa Str, Bangka Str, Berhala Str, Sunda Str, Malacca Straits, Singapore Str, Phillip Channel, Vung Tau, Chittagong Roads, Mongla Anchorage, Chennai anchorage, Cochin anchorage, Kandla, Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, the Somali coast, Conakry, Nigerian ports & Rio Haina in Dominican Republic. Ships advised to maintain anti-piracy watches & report all piratical attacks and suspicious movements of craft to IMB Piracy Reporting Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Back To Year 2001 Reports

Russian passenger M/V Anichka -- laid up in Sligo<<webfeature, Ireland for 5 years suffered fire Oct. 14 -- top decks of vessel completely gutted. (Thurs. Oct. 18 2001)

Dramatic Salvage Success >> 16,916gwt Singapore registered 147 meter Pacific Carriers Ltd.<<webfeature, "Freedom Mark II"class (callsign 9VJX ) cargo M/V Ikan Tanda (1979)<<webfeature, Chile for Cape Town (crew change point) & Singapore with nitrates, which ran aground Sept. 5 near the Slangkop lighthouse<<webfeature, S. of Cape Town after after being battered by 10 meter swells -- WAS REFLOATED at 1 am LT 17th Oct. She has been towed to position 9 miles offshore -- by vessels - M/V Pentow Skua<<webfeature & salvage tug Wolraad Woltemade<<webfeature -- where marine surveyors will decide if safe to stand to Far East for scrapping. If not, scuttling here. Sad end for great "Freedom Mark II" class ship. Successful conclusion to operation's refloating phase marks end of 6 week effort -- oil aboard removed & 12,000 tons of cargo discharged, including potassium nitrate, potassium sulphate & potassium chloride. Oct. 16 removal of sea water taken on to stabilize during cargo discharge operation phase hampered by ship taking 25 degree list to starboard -- caused generators & hydraulic power packs to trip & interrupted deballasting. Despite this -- with aid of Wolraad Woltemade -- vessel moved 30 degrees to starboard on Oct. 16 afternoon's high tide & to distance of 40 meters further away from Scarborough beach. Once situation stabilized, deballasting continued throughout night -- refloated successfully on next high tide. Dramatic Photos & Full Story from Eugene L. Griessel<<webfeature. Our Original Story With Photos From Sept. 5 <<webfeature. BRAVO ZULU! (Wed. Oct. 17 2001)

Turkish-registered M/V Gulser Ana suffered overboard incident 0930 LT -- 3 sailors carrying out safety test on lifeboat when line snapped, plunging them 40 feet into water at Belfast Docks. Rescued by Harbor Pilot boat -- 1 suffered serious head injuries & other 2 thought to be being treated for hypothermia. 4th man to hospital suffering shock. (Wed. Oct. 17 2001)

M/V Tracer<<webfeature - hero ship we overlooked when reporting the M/V Modern Drive disaster to you! Sept. 2001. Please review the Captains Log. (Wed. Oct. 17 2001)

Piracy Alert >> New trend emerged among pirates along Malacca Strait to hijack ships & demand ransom, Int'l Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported Oct. 16. ''Fight against piracy threatened by new trend that has seen pirates demanding ransom for release of kidnapped crew members,'' the IMB said. According to IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based Piracy Reporting Center, within 60 days 2 similar cases reported near Aceh Province off N. Sumatra Island in Indonesia. Between June & August, Indonesian tanker M/T Tirta Niaga 4<<webfeature & Honduran-flagged M/V TB Ocean Silver<<webfeature hijacked & crews held hostage. Pirates demanded ransom from ship owners for releases. Master of Tirta Niaga & some crew of Ocean Silver still being held. IMB believed might be more cases gone unreported due to owners being threatened & warned not to report. Previously, hijack-for-ransom cases usually occurred in Somali waters. IMB suspects Free Aceh Movement<<webfeature (GAM) behind incidences based on public threat issued by GAM recently to disrupt shipping in Malacca Strait as part of fight for independent Aceh. (Tues. Oct. 16 2001)

Port Klang >> U.S. terrorist attacks & retaliation prompted American & European shipping lines calling at Malaysian ports to take extra security measures, including port police to patrol ships while handling cargo. Major lines, Maersk-Sealand & APL hired guards to inspect berthed vessels & be on alert against unauthorized persons coming near ships. Anyone wanting to board vessels, including ship agents, now required to give personal details to guard before allowed on board. Other persons boarding subjected to metal detector checks. (Mon. Oct. 15 2001)

Hulk of F/V Ehime Maru traversed 75% of 16 mile journey from 2,000 ft. deep waters today. Ehime Maru being moved to shallow site mile offshore so divers can search for bodies of 9 Japanese crew who went down with the fisheries training ship on Feb. 9. U.S. Navy & contract engineers, using heavy-duty ship M/V Rockwater 2, raised wreckage off sea floor early Oct. 12 to begin move. Wreckage, attached to giant lifting frame suspended beneath the oil-rigger, towed at speeds of less than 1 knot about 90 feet above ocean floor. SEE Oct. 12 (Sat. Oct. 13 2001)


07 Oct. 2001 at 0420 LT at Redeco jetty 1, Merak, Indonesia. While berthed, 4 pirates in a smal attempted to board a LPG carrier. They threw grappling hook on railing, which was attached to ladder. Duty A/B spotted boat, raised alarm & directed searchlight. Boat moved away. (Fri. Oct. 12 2001)

06 Oct. 2001 at 0200 UTC at Abidjan Roads, Ivory Coast. Boat with 4 pirates came alongside tanker at anchor. Two pirates with long knives boarded via anchor chain. Anti piracy watch spotted & raised alarm. Pirates stole ship's stores & escaped. (Fri. Oct. 12 2001)

05 Oct. 2001 at 0200 LT in position 24:31.5n - 119:08, Taiwan Strait. While underway, pirates in unlit speedboat tried to board container ship. Anti piracy watch raised alarm & attempt aborted. Four hours earlier -- another aborted attempt to board ship. (Fri. Oct. 12 2001)

04.10.2001 at 2300 LT at Douala, Cameroon. Pirates broke into storeroom near funnel while general cargo ship unloading cargo. Stole large quantity of safety equipment. Port authorities sent security personnel to investigate. (Fri. Oct. 12 2001)

Advice To All Ships >> Extra caution advised at all ports in Indonesia, Gelasa Str, Bangka Str, Berhala Str, Sunda Str, Malacca Straits, Singapore Str, Phillip Channel, Vung Tau, Chittagong Roads, Mongla Anchorage, Chennai anchorage, Cochin anchorage, Kandla, Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, the Somali coast, Conakry, Nigerian ports and Rio Haina in the Dominican Republic. Ships advised to maintain anti-piracy watches & report all piratical attacks & suspicious movements of craft to the IMB Piracy Reporting Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Back To Year 2001 Reports

One year ago today, 17 United States Navy sailors were killed when terrorist attacked the USS Cole. Please review our coverage of the terrorist attack. Never again. USS Cole official site & memorial dedicated today. (Fri. Oct. 12 2001)

U.S. Navy lifted 190-foot Japanese fishing vessel F/V Ehime Maru -- sunk by nuclear submarine USS Greeneville (SSN-772)<<webfeature follow our coverage back, on Feb. 9 during a rapid surfacing drill 8 months ago. Today began moving it to shallow water on Oct. 12. Once in shallower waters, Navy divers will enter wreck & remove bodies of 9 Japanese men & teens who went down with ship. Vessel in better shape than expected. Thus far, U.S. Navy has spent US$60M to recover bodies. USS Greenville<<webfeature. (Fri. Oct. 12 2001)

The USS Greenville Incident -- in depth.

M/V Giant-4 started attaching itself to floating anchors 500 yards off shore at Roslyakovo near Murmansk 5 p.m Oct. 10. It took about an hour to finish anchoring proces --now 2 or 3 days to prepare battered SSGN Kursk<<webfeature, for docking. Kursk's two 190-megawatt nuclear reactors a primary concern since the Aug. 12, 2000 explosion. Measurements conducted throughout lifting & towing have shown no trace of leaked radiation, the Russian Northern Fleet chief, Adm. Vyacheslav Popov, said. (Wed. Oct. 10 2001) UPDATE >> Preparations for docking began as scheduled Oct. 11 when Dutch & Russian experts started attaching 2 huge pontoons needed to hoist SSGN Kursk<<webfeature into dry dock at ship-repair plant in Roslyakovo, near Murmansk. Docking itself, previously set for Oct. 13 afternoon, was put off until unspecified day next week, said Northern Fleet spokesman Capt. Vladimir Navrotsky -- to ensure delicate, complex effort doesn't disturb vessel's nuclear reactors & powerful missiles. (Thurs. Oct. 11 2001)

Vietnam's border soldiers in chase & captured Cambodia pirates stalking Vietnamese fishing boats Oct. 6 near Phu Quoc islands off S. province of Kien Giang -- pirates caught with AK-47 rifles, & shotguns. Pirates dubbed themselves "Cambodian Marine Police" & used speedboats to take Vietnamese fishermen to Cambodian waters for ransom. Piracy a major concern in region, with dozens of cases of kidnapping every year near Phu Quoc islands in overlapping waters between Vietnam & Cambodia. (Thurs. Oct. 11 2001)

Car-passenger ferry M/V Amorella, Stockholm for Turku with 1,111 passengers, suffered fire on 2nd deck at 4:15 AM when automatic smoke alarms went off -- someone set fire to pile of sheets & rugs in corridor. Fire supressed by crew. No fatalities, but passenger suffered smoke inhalation & taken Turku by helicopter. Eight passengers to hospital for tests when ship docked. Graphic of vessel & fire<<webfeature (Thurs. Oct. 11 2001)

73-ton S. Korean F/V Taechang-ho attempting to smuggle Chinese migrants China for South Korea -- 26 suffocated inside large, unventilated fish tank. 60 migrants in all believed sailed from port of Ningbo, S. of Shanghai -- changed ships on Oct. 2 off Korean coast. Capt. & crew of Taechang-ho arrested for dumping corpses into sea. (Wed. Oct. 10 2001)

Destroyed Russian nuclear sub SSGN Kursk<<webfeature continues escorted by 14 naval vessels & one radiation monitoring ship. Iodine supplies on hand at destination for possible evacuation & nuclear contamination from 2 reactors aboard. Will make port tomorrow. This is historic. Track Our Coverage Back-- Step By Step<<click here. (Tues. Oct. 9 2001)

M/V Ash, with steel coils, in collision with Netherlands registered M/V Aquamarine, with vinegar, in English Channel 10 miles off Hastings, on SE coast of England. Ash sank. Five crew from Ash rescued from sea by Aquamarine. Ash's captain became trapped in cabin -- freed himself & picked up by coast guard helicopter.-- died later at Conquest Hospital in Hastings. 91 tons of oil spilled from the Ash. Aquamarine managed to sail to Swansea, Wales. (Tues. Oct. 9 2001)

120 ft. yacht M/V Wave Dancer capsized by Hurricane Iris with U.S. divers, killing 15 people with 5 others missing & feared dead -- 20 divers from Richmond, VA, & 8 crew aboard Wave Dancer when year's most powerful Atlantic storm hit S. Belize with 140 mph winds Oct. 8 night. Wave Dancer one of 2 120-foot yachts chartered by Richmond Dive Club<<webfeature, for weeklong trip in Belize. Wave Dancer lay on side in 12 ft. of water Oct. 9, just feet from shore. Night before, Iris' storm surge temporarily raised sea level by 13 to 18 ft., pulling vessels with it & flooding nearby land. We mourn the loss. (Tues. Oct. 9 2001)

Cruises Reroute >> Princess Cruises cancelled 71-day world tour which would have touched ports of Cochin, Mumbai, Oman & Egypt before reaching Athens -- sailing was scheduled for February 2002 -- 650 passengers reported to have booked. World's 3rd largest cruise company, P&O Princess Cruises re-routed its M/V Oriana to go from Africa straight to Mauritius, Singapore & further on, avoiding Indian Ocean. Royal Caribbean Int'l also changed itinerary for M/V Royal Journey which would have started from Athens, via the Suez Canal, touched Dubai, Mumbai, Cochin, & Singapore before reaching Australia. Royal Caribbean Int'l said, "we are advised not to take passenger ships through Indian Ocean & the E. of Mediterranean Sea, as this is a turbulent zone." (Tues. Oct. 9 2001)

Group of 200 mainly Iraqi refugees threw some of their children into the sea Oct. 7, having been refused entry to Australia -- still adrift 30 miles from Christmas Island off Australia's NW coast. Sabotaged their own vessel in fresh bid to force rescue by Australian Navy. HMAS Adelaide returned those in water to ship & escorted vessel into Int'l waters. (Tues. Oct. 9 2001)

HISTORIC RAISING >> Russian Nuclear Submarine SSGN Kursk<<webfeature, has been raised. Daring effort to raise Kursk from Barents Sea floor ended successfully Oct. 8 when Dutch consortium pulled her to a giant barge, more than a year Kursk was lost after 2 onboard explosions, killing all 118 aboard. Lifting began shortly before 4 a.m. Moscow time, & took the Dutch Mammoet-Smit Int'l Consortium 15 hours to complete. Kursk was lifted on steel cables lowered from M/V Giant 4 & put in clamps under barge, its protruding conning tower & stern planes tightly fitting into niches carved in barge. Vice Adm. Mikhail Motsak, Russian naval commander overseeing recovery operation, said Kursk should arrive in harbor town of Roslyakovo, near Murmansk, midday Oct. 10 provided weather stays calm -- allowing salvage team to take shortest route possible. Evacuation plan for the town is in place, in event of radiation leak. This is the 1st submarine to be raised from the bottom of the sea to be dismantled & the 1st submarine of this class to be dismantled. Track our extended coverage back through a series of reports -- step by step -- as it happened to our initial report of "SUB DOWN" on15 AUG. 2000. <<click here. (Mon. Oct. 8 2001)

Herbert S. Kirk, oldest surviving U.S. Navy pilot from World War I, has died of pneumonia at home in Bozeman, Mont. He was 106 & had marked that birthday the day before his death. But perhaps most remarkably, Kirk -- a strong athlete throughout his life -- was an active runner well past the age of 100. In 1999, he became the oldest man to complete the annual Montana's Governor's 5K race. He went Lehigh University, but when the United States entered World War I, Kirk & several of his classmates decided to enlist in Navy Flying Corps. Longing to become fighter pilots, Kirk & pals were part of the Navy's aerial role, flying reconnaissance & bombing missions in English Channel looking for German submarines. Times like these -- men like him. (Mon. Oct. 8 2001)

The U.S. Navy Oct. 5 succeeded in lifting & moving 499-ton F/V Ehime Maru, Japanese fisheries training ship that sank in Feb. off Hawaii after being hit by 6,080-ton USS Greeneville<<webfeature, paving the way for the vessel to be salvaged. Salvage vessel M/V Rockwater 2 began lifting ship's bow around noon & moved vessel within 3 hours to firm patch of seabed 34 meters away from where it had come to rest. Once U.S. Navy succeeds in bringing vessel to shallow waters, divers expected to retrieve remains of 9 people lost when the Ehime Maru was sunk. (Sun. Oct. 7 2001)

There have been many monitored & interesting movements of U.S. & British warships today -- but we will not report them. Gods Speed. (Sun. Oct. 7 2001)

The now famous American flag planted by New York firefighters in the ruins of the World Trade Center has now been hoisted from the main mast aboard the deployed aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71<<webfeature ("The Big SticK") somewhere in the Mediterranean. Gods Speed & Following Seas. (Fri. Oct. 5 2001)


3 Oct. 2001 at 2000 LT at Sebuku anchorage, Indonesia. Three pirates boarded general cargo ship loading cargo from barges. Stole life raft & escaped down &anchor chain -- crew suspected stevedore labor assisted pirates to gain access. (Fri. Oct. 5 2001)

3 Oct. 2001 at 0120 LT at Senakin anchorage, Kota Baru, Indonesia. Three pirates boarded bulk carrier & stole 2 life rafts. Alert crew raised alarm. Pirates escaped in speedboat. (Fri. Oct. 5 2001)

27 Sept. 2001 at 0730 LT in position: 20:25N - 071:21E, Gulf of Cambay, India. Twenty pirates in 6 fishing boats boarde general cargo ship under tow & stole ship's stores. This is 2nd ship attacked in this position within a week. (Fri. Oct. 5 2001)

26 Sept. 2001 at 0400 LT at Balikpapan anchorage, Indonesia. During transhipment operations watchman on VLCC spotted 2 pirates on forecastle removing ship's stores from forward locker. When pirates realized their presence discovered -- escaped down anchor chain. (Fri. Oct. 5 2001)

25 Sept. 2001 at 0300 LT at Deer Draft Southern Pier, Kakinada port, India. While berthed, duty A/B on chemical tanker spotted 2 pirates lowering ship's stores. Alarm raised & crew alerted. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped in motorboat. (Fri. Oct. 5 2001)

18.09.2001 at 2345 LT off Subi Besar, Indonesia Between 12 to 17 pirates armed with guns in speedboat boarded Malaysian-registered tug Mayang Sari towing a barge. Tied & blindfolded all 10 crewm & transferred them to their speedboat. Crew taken to mangrove swamp near Tg Berakit off Tg Ubin/Batam & held there until the night of 25 Sept. 2001. IMB sent out alert to all ports & authorities in the region and as a result the tug was located at Pulau Kembang. The barge is still missing. UPDATE >> Harbor Master's office at Banjarmasin, Indonesia has recovered hijacked Malaysian-registered tug Mayang Sari in dockyard -- scheduled to be sold. Pirates escaped. Tug was boarded by armed pirates off Pulau Subi Besar, S. of Natuna Island in South China Sea, Kota Kinabalu for Batam towing a barge on Sept 18. Indonesian crew of 10 held hostage until Sept 25 on pirate's vessel -- subsequently released in mangrove forest on Batam Island. Singapore-flagged barge Daiho 88 still missing. (Sun. Sept. 30 2001)

Advice To All Ships >> Extra caution is advised at all ports in Indonesia, Gelasa Str, Bangka Str, Berhala Str, Sunda Str, Malacca Straits, Singapore Str, Phillip Channel, Vung Tau, Chittagong Roads, Mongla Anchorage, Chennai anchorage, Cochin anchorage, Kandla, Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, the Somali coast, Conakry, Nigerian ports & Rio Haina in the Dominican Republic. Ships are advised to maintain anti-piracy watches and report all piratical attacks and suspicious movements of craft to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. .

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Notice To Mariners >> "In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, ships have been directed by U.S. Coast Guard order to provide (more) advance notice, plus detailed information about crews, passengers & cargoes," -- U.S. Coast Guard. Most ships entering U.S. harbors will have to provide considerably longer prior notice -- 96 hours notice -- under new nationwide regulations. Requirement is extension of 24-hour notification rule long in place for ships entering U.S. ports. Arrival reports continue handled by Coast Guard at port in question. But starting Oct. 15, notifications will be made to new facility called National Vessel Movement Center. (Fri. Oct. 5 2001)

Kenyan-registered M/V Bihari & 17 Kenyan crew hijacked off the NE coast of Somalia in late July -- still being held in the coastal town of Eyl, 150 km SE of Garowe, capital of self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, NE Somalia. Captors are reportedly demanding US$700,000, while Somali representatives of owners offering US$500,000. Pirates also insisting on keeping cargo of lobsters, fish & shark fins -- said worth more than the ransom. (Fri. Oct. 5 2001)

Chinese tanker M/T Yunhong in collision with Greek-flagged container M/V Edinburgh & sank with 8,668 tons of oil off Xiamen in E. China Sept. 20. All 22 crew Chinese crew of Yunhong rescued. China succeeded in preventing ocean from severe pollution -- use of 14 pollution-preventing vessels & large amount of oil-absorbing materials. (Thurs Oct. 4 2001)

U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has set sail after more than 2 weeks in New York Harbor housing firefighters & rescue workers -- a floating hotel for rescue personnel working at the World Trade Center site. Comfort served 17,000 meals & washed 4,400 pounds of laundry for 2,250 guests -- but sadly the waves of injured she had hoped to receive, remain at the scene of the atrocity. Comfort is the Navy's largest hospital ship, with 12 operating rooms, radiological equipment, & 1,000 beds. (Wed. Oct. 3 2001)

German-owned, Antiguan registered chemical M/V AB Bilbao, Sweden for Spain with 3,300 tons ferrocilicone -- blast blew off hatch cover, off coast of Kent. Salvage experts attempting to make safe the potentially dangerous chemicals. Inspectors from Maritime & Coastguard Agency boarded vessel 2 miles off Margate, Kent, to assess if ship could be moved. Chemical gives off noxious fumes when in contact with water. Hull intact & crew not taken vessel. Explosion caused by water coming into contact with chemical. Gases including hydrogen, phosphine & arsine -- derivative of arsenic -- have started venting from cargo hold. Crew ordered to wear gas masks until ship towed to port -- may take several days. Fire-fighting tug half mile away. (Tues. Oct. 2 2001) UPDATE: Explosion ripped through the hold Oct. 3, but vessel still afloat & its 7 crew safe. (Wed. Oct. 3 2001)

Dr. Nenad Bilic, 62, of Chicago, retired cardiologist, set off in 21-foot boat from Cape Cod, Mass., on May 11, heading for Bantry Bay on SW coast of Irish Republic. Late Sept. 30 night, Bilic's emergency beacon activated, indication -- 230 miles W. of Ireland. Royal Air Force rescue helicopter & 2 Royal Air Force Nimrod search planes scrambled for the rower, but only found beacon. Effort called off at 4 p.m. after more than 1,000 square miles searched. (Tues. Oct. 2 2001)

Bulker M/V Szare Szergi, sailing W., S. of Kangaroo Island, Australia, moved toward Portland Oct. 2 -- 57-year-old Polish crew airlifted after sustaining serious injuries in accident. Maritime Rescue Coordination Center said something "large & heavy" fell & crushed him at about 6.30 Oct. 1. Rescued by air ambulance 17 NM off Portland. Severity of injuries unknown. (Mon. Oct. 1 2001)

Crew of 137-ton U.S. owned M/V Poseidon's Mistress, charter vessel specializing in scuba diving from Pacific, Mexican port of San Carlos, abandoned Sept. 30. Lifeboats in water with all 16 aboard before vessel went under. Twelve people drifted 60 NM for 21 hours before landing at Punta Hueso de Ballena, on the Sonora coast Oct. 1. Other 4, drifting -- located later by navy helicopter. Likely trouble when Hurricane Juliette hit Gulf of California. (Mon. Oct. 1 2001)

Vessel Loss Dispatches For September 2001

Harbor Master's office at Banjarmasin, Indonesia has recovered hijacked Malaysian-registered tug Mayang Sari in dockyard -- scheduled to be sold. Pirates escaped. Tug was boarded by armed pirates off Pulau Subi Besar, S. of Natuna Island in South China Sea, Kota Kinabalu for Batam towing a barge on Sept 18. Indonesian crew of 10 held hostage until Sept 25 on pirate's vessel -- subsequently released in mangrove forest on Batam Island. Singapore-flagged barge Daiho 88 still missing. (Sun. Sept. 30 2001)

Port of Miami >> Additional U.S. Coast Guard officers called to patrol & inspection of dock areas. All cruise ships escorted to sea by U.S. Coast Guard -- no other vessels allowed within 100 yards of cruise vessels. Boats coming to port face rigorous inspections, especially those carrying hazardous materials. (Fri. Sept. 28 2001)


24 Sept. 2001 at 1430 UTC in position 14:15N - 042:41E, Southern Red Sea. Five pirates with guns boarded container ship. Master sent radio messages for help which were monitored by ship in vicinity & relayed to IMB Piracy Reporting Center. IMB in turn passed messages to nearby authorities. Further details awaited. (Fri. Sept. 28 2001)

24 Sept. 2001 at 0150 LT at Lagos anchorage, Nigeria. Speedboat came alongside container ship waiting to berth & 3 pirates with guns & knives boarded ship. Duty watchman raised alarm & alerted crew. One pirate threatened watchman with gun. Pirates stole mooring ropes & escaped in their speedboat. (Fri. Sept. 28 2001)

19 Sept. 2001 at 0530 LT in position 20:32N - 071:21E, Gulf of Cambay, India. While underway, 8 fishing boats approached general cargo ship under tow. Fifteen pirates boarded & stole ship's stores. No injuries to crew. (Fri. Sept. 28 2001)

18 Sept. 2001 in position 09:11N - 014:32W, Conakry, Guinea. While underway, 2 fishing boats with 12 pirates in each attempted to board log carrier. Alert crew foiled the attempt. (Fri. Sept. 28 2001)

18 Sept. 2001 at 1140 LT at Bontang anchorage, Indonesia. While at anchor, 3 pirates attempted to board bulk carrier from forecastle. Alert crew spotted & foiled attempt. (Fri. Sept. 28 2001)

Advice to all Vessels: Extra caution is advised at all ports in Indonesia, Gelasa Str, Bangka Str, Berhala Str, Sunda Str, Malacca Straits, Singapore Str, Phillip Channel, Vung Tau, Chittagong Roads, Mongla Anchorage, Chennai anchorage, Cochin anchorage, Kandla, Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, the Somali coast, Conakry, Nigerian ports & Rio Haina in the Dominican Republic. Ships are advised to maintain anti-piracy watches & report all piratical attacks & suspicious movements of craft to IMB Piracy Reporting Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Fri. Sept. 28 2001)

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Port authorities in Tahitian capital Papeete seized 2 cruise ships operated by American cruise company Renaissance. Ships - Renaissance Three & Four - held in lieu of unpaid fuel bills amounting to US$1M. See Sept. 27 bankruptcy for Renaissance, below. (Fri. Sept. 28 2001)

Braziian Air Force C-130 Hercules with 9 crew crashed into mountains near Rio de Janeiro -- returning to Afonsos Air Force Base during rainy, foggy weather --slammed into Tiririca Mountains near town of Nitero -- 25 miles E. of Rio. Plane appeared to have struck large rock, sometimes called "False Sugarloaf" for its similarity to the famous Rio tourist attraction. (Fri. Sept. 28 2001)

Ukrainian-flagged M/V Galak (could be RO/RO "barge" reported below today ) caught fire & sank near entrance to Suez Canal -- 3 dead & 9 missing among 83 aboard while loading provisions at S. entrance to Port of Suez. Rescue services able to save 71 people -- most Sri Lankans trying to immigrate illegally to Europe. (Thurs. Sept. 27 2001)

Chinese freighter (could be M/T Yuantong No. 1 -- see Sept. 25) sank in rough seas -- ship's captain missing in Taiwan Strait near outlying island of Kinmen as Typhoon Lekima slowly zigzagged toward Taiwan Sept. 25. Heeding sea warnings, hundreds of fishermen tying down boats in Taiwanese harbors. (Thurs. Sept. 27 2001)

Renaissance Cruises has gone bust amidst mounting market rumors that other shipping firms will follow suit shortly. Renaissance Cruises has ceased all cruise operations. (Thurs. Sept. 27 2001)

Papua New Guinea police have issued warning to Port Moresby vessels following mass jail break on city's outskirts. Sixty-two prisoners escaped from Bomana Jail & none recaptured. Prisoners made escape in broad daylight using bolt cutters through perimeter fence. Bomana jail located just outside Port Moresby -- police warned escapees are dangerous criminals. (Thurs. Sept. 27 2001)

Ukrainian-registered Ro/Ro barge, in ballast, caught fire, exploded & sank while refueling from supply vessel outside Port Suez, Suez Canal. Was due to travel N. through canal from Red Sea to Mediterranean with 83 Sri Lankan crew. Six crew critically injured. (Wed. Sept. 26 2001)

Delta Queen Coastal Voyages' M/V Cape May Light arrived New York Harbor Sept. 25 morning. According to company -- 1st vessel to make a port call since Sept 11 -- docking at Chelsea Piers on Hudson River. God Bless America. (Tues. Sept. 25 2001)

Cambodian-registered M/T Yuantong No. 1, with 60 tons of oil, sank off China's NE port of Dalian in Yellow Sea, after collision with ferry M/V Guorun, with 241 passengers, 48 crew & 30 cars. Seven of freighter's 8 crew rescued. Guorun arrived safely in port. (Tues. Sept. 25 2001)

M/V New Amity in collision with barge closed Houston ship channel Sept. 23 at Barbour's Cut in La Porte (Houston), Texas -- servicing nation's 2nd largest port. Waterway reopened to traffic Sept. 24 -- 860 barrels of fuel oil leaked into the channel. About 18,000 feet of boom set up to contain oil & skimmers removing it. Containment & cleanup operations involved more than 70 people. (Mon. Sept. 24 2001)

Four Tamil Tiger rebel boats destroyed on Sept. 23 in fierce battle with a naval patrol off Sri Lanka's NE coast. Two unidentified merchant vessels in area when confrontation began 36 miles off rebel-held town of Mullaitivu, but not harmed. Rebel flotilla had 8 boats, half destroyed... naval patrol returned to base with no serious damage. Not known whether destroyed boats packed with explosives -- a trademark of the Sea Tigers, naval wing of rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Guerrillas gave warning of more attacks on shipping. (Sun. Spet. 23 2001)

With war becoming imminent, the ship-breaking business worldwide has come to standstill. London-based principal broking houses & their sub brokers in the Gulf & Asia Pacific region have not received any orders for ships going for demolition & "deliverable'' within the next 3 weeks. Most buyers have stayed away from the market. (Sat. Sept. 22 2001)


16 Sept. 2001 at 1825 UTC in position 07:53.4S - 091:00.3E, Indian Ocean. While underway, pirates in fishing boat attempted to board yacht S/V Saint Jude. Yacht established contact with Darwin radio -- fishing boat aborted attempt & moved away. (Fri. Sept. 21 2001)

14 Sept. 2001 at 2200 LT in position 09:11.3N - 014:31.3W, Conakry, Guinea. Pirates in 2 fast speedboats attempted to board bulk carrier from stern. Duty officer raised alarm, sounded whistle & ship's crew fired rocket flares at boat. Attempted boarding aborted. (Fri. Sept. 21 2001)

11 Sept. 2001 at 0115 LT at pilot station, Douala, Cameroon. While at anchor, duty a/b on general cargo ship noticed 3 pirates armed with long knives lowering mooring ropes into water. He challenged & pirates threatened him. Duty officer raised alarm. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped with the ropes. (Fri. Sept. 21 2001)

Advice To All Ships >> Extra caution advised at all ports in Indonesia, Gelasa Str, Bangka Str, Berhala Str, Sunda Str, Malacca Straits, Singapore Str, Phillip Channel, Vung Tau, Chittagong Roads, Mongla Anchorage, Chennai anchorage, Cochin anchorage, Kandla, Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, the Somali coast, Conakry, Nigerian ports & Rio Haina in the Dominican Republic. Ships are advised to maintain anti-piracy watches & report all piratical attacks and suspicious movements of craft to the IMB Piracy Reporting Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Back To Year 2001 Reports

Chinese M/T with 8,600 tons of diesel oil partially sank after collision with Greek container M/V off China's S. coastal city of Xiamen. Collision did not damage its oil tanks. Greek cargo carrier had safely anchored. Awaiting vessel identifications. (Thurs. Sept. 20 2001)

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Sept. 18 Japanese government to deploy Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels (1 of 4 Aegis Class destroyers & escorts) in Indian Ocean to gather intelligence concerning terrorist organizations in aid of U.S. forces launching military strikes in response to Sept. 11 terror attacks on U.S. soil. Welcome. Also today USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71<<webfeature ("The Big SticK") & Battle Group departs Norfolk (planned movement) to join 3 other U.S. Carrier Battle Groups at sea -- moving to undisclosed locations. Gods Speed. (Wed. Sept. 19 2001)

U.S. Navy vessel movements are multiple today. Not appropriate to report for postings on this site. God Bless America (Mon. Sept. 17 2001)

Lloyd's of London underwriters have increased war-risk insurance premiums for ships calling in Middle East & parts of Mediterranean. "We just received the list of affected countries five minutes ago," one ship manager in the N. of England told Reuters Sept. 17. Lloyd's declined comment on size of extra surcharge but another ship manager in Mediterranean said ship planning call at Haifa, Israel, last Sept. 14, had been asked to pay a one-time surcharge of US$110,000. Ship cancelled voyage as a result. This information on widely circulated public wires from Rueters & AP. We will not post closely held info. (Mon. Sept. 17 2001)

U.S. military has secured oil tankers -- M/T Sea Witch 1, for U.S. Military Sealift Command -- marine diesel from Kuwait to Diego Garcia & M/T Torm Anne to South Korea. This information on widely circulated public wires from Rueters & AP. We will not post closely held info. (Mon. Sept. 17 2001)

Royal Caribbean's M/V Voyager of the Seas (3,114 passenger capacity) boarded & detained by U.S. Coast Guard Sept. 16 on appraoch to Miami -- a 3 hour delay while Coast Guard swept the port after finding security breach in cruise line's terminal. More security breaches discovered in the company warehouse & terminal. (Sun. Sept. 16 2001)

More than 3,000 U.S. marines & sailors rehearsed helicopter & ship-to-shore landings off East Timor on Sept. 16. amid expectations of a revenge strike over terror attacks on New York & Washington. Taskforce from 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit & Amphibious Squadron One had been due to disembark troops for humanitarian work in Dili, the SW town of Suai & the Oecussi enclave in Indonesian West Timor. Instead, 3amphibious ships led by the 40,000-ton USS Peleliu<<webfeature [Vessel Home Page<<webfeture] stayed off N. coast of the capital practicing naval & air maneuvers with Harrier jets, helicopters & landing craft. (Sun. Sept. 16 2001)

UK support vessels HMS Diligence & HMS Sea Crusader with mine hunters HMS Cattistock<<webfeaature, HMS Quorn<<webfeature, HMS Walney & HMS Inverness passed through Egypt's Suez Canal heading S. on Sept. 15 to participate in what described as previously planned military exercises. Final destination not disclosed. (Sun. Sept. 16 2001)

Sri Lankan M/V The Pride of the South, with more than 1,200 government troops, surrounded by more than 20 Tamil Tiger guerrilla vessels, some packed with explosives, 26 miles off N. Port of Point Pedro. Fierce sea battle erupted. Air force & naval units have moved in 7 at least 2 rebel boats have been blown up in heavy fighting. (Sun. Sept. 16 2001) UPDATE: Attack repelled. Ten rebels killed, 47 soldiers wounded. (Sun. Sept. 16 2001)

Tug Brown Water V & four barges, with steel coils & phosphate, struck the 2.37-mile-long Queen Isabella Causeway -- only bridge leading to popular South Padre Island, Texas. -- dropping 2 adjacent 80-foot segments of the bridge. At least 4 people died after their vehicles plunged into water 85 feet below. Five vehicles located in 50-foot-deep water by early afternoon & divers took pictures of license plates for identification. (Sat. Sept. 15 2001) Photo below found by our correspondent Fred McCague

South Korean-registered 2,159-ton cargo M/V flooded & came to verge of capsizing Sept. 15 in the Sea of Enshu, 40km off Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan. All 14 crew evacuated on rafts. (Sat. Sept. 15 2001)

The U.S. Navy warship USS Cole DDG-67<<webfeature, crippled by bombing in Yemen that killed 17 sailors, relaunched into the water at a Northrop Grumman Corp. plant in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Aegis destroyer given a US$105.5M repair job completed on Sept. 4, by Northrop subsidiary Ingalls Shipbuilding. (Fri. Sept. 14 2001)

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. owned -- huge -- Panamanian-flagged 180,000gwt M/V Kamikawa Maru, with 150 tons of iron ore belonging to Sumitomo Minerals, for Tokyo, left port on the Guaiba island 100km W. of Rio de Janeiro. Seen floating upside-down by Brazilian maritime patrol aircraft. Vessels rescued 30 crew of Kamikawa Maru. Vessel sank after seawater flooded hold after hatch broke amid storm. Brazilian Air Force rescue mission arrived 4 hours after Kamikawa Maru went down. Her 7 officers, including master, remained aboard to keep vessel riding heavy seas that damaged her, now reported missing. South African tug John Ross dispatched. Monster vessel apparently damaged in area of her #3 hatch & began flooding. This is a major disaster. (Fri. Sept. 14 2001) UPDATE: Panamanian-flagged M/V Pole Star rescued 29-year-old Myanmar national, late Sept. 14 -- heading for Capetown in South Africa -- due Sept. 21. (Tues. Sept. 18 2001)


09 Sept. 2001 at 0510 LT at Douala port, Cameroon. While berthed discharging cargo stevedores went ashore. Almost immediately about 8-10 pirates armed with knives entered general cargo ship, threatened duty officer & 2 crew & robbed their wristwatches. Port control did not respond to master's call for help on vhf. (Fri. Sept. 14 2001)

08 Sept. 2001 at 0720 LT in position 12:48N - 043:15E, Bab-El-Mandeb, Gulf of Aden. While underway, several speed crafts with 5-8 persons in each attempted to board general cargo ship. Ship's crew alerted & mustered on deck. Some boats approached very close but did not board after observing alert crew on deck. (Fri. Sept. 14 2001)

08 Sept. 2001 at Jakarta anchorage, Indonesia. While at anchor, 4 pirates boarded general cargo ship & broke open store &stole ship's equipment. When challenged by crew, they assaulted one crew & escaped in their boat. (Fri. Sept. 14 2001)

05 Sept. 2001 at 0400 LT at Lagos Roads, Nigeria. Soon after dropping anchor, armed pirates boarded general cargo ship. Pirates stole crew's property & ship's stores. (Fri. Sept. 14 2001)

Back To Year 2001 Reports


The World Trade Center

Sept. 11 2001

Coverage of Transport Related Tenants At The Center


Industry Related News From 11 to 19 Sept. 2001


The Cargo Letter Special Coverage of This National Tragedy

Special Coverage<< Click Here

America Will Never Forget << Click Here

Unmanned MetLife Airship<<webfeature, broke 20-foot mooring mast Sept. 7 night & floated away from Kansas City Airport on 50 mph winds 75 miles during thunderstorm -- came to rest on top of truck on Minnis Burial Vault Co. property. No injured. FAA said blimp will automatically deflate if goes too far with no one at controls. Blimp returned to Kansas City Sept. 8. (Mon. Sept. 10 2001)

Menards Home Improvement Centers<<webfeature, of Wisconsin ordered Italian ceramic tiles -- but the 1 x 20' container brought two apparent stowaway --decomposed bodies -- they got into container voluntarily-- shipment left port of Livorno, Italy Aug. 10 -- transported through 3 Canadian cities & on to Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee & Minneapolis before arriving at Menards, Wisconsin. No way for people to exit container by themselves. We usually don't cover refugee stories unless there is a vessel story, but this sad tale was contributed by our Richard R. Bruce. This flood of humanity begs to fill our hearts because there is inhumanity "out there" -- Afghanistan, the Balkans, Sudan & more -- the solutions are at the sources -- not in more boats. (Mon. Sept. 10 2001)

Mark Ashton-Smith's kayak capsized in treacherous seas off Isle of Wight -- but Cambridge University lecturer with a PhD in psychology did not think to dial 999, the emergency police/fire number. Clinging to upturned kayak in 6ft waves, Dr Ashton-Smith telephoned his father 4,000 miles away in Dubai in search of rescuer. WHAT?! Coastguards, based less than a mile away, were alerted by his father. Coastguard watch manager said his team had been bewildered by the lecturer's action. After being rescued Dr Ashton-Smith, 33, who was on 1st day of 4 day solo circumnavigation of island, said: "I simply didn't think to dial 999." He had sounded his foghorn but passing vessels did not hear it. This guy is a foghorn. (Mon. Sept. 10 2001)

M/V Giovania Dmaio, United States for Brazil with coal, suffered container explosion -- Ukrainian crewman killed when thrown into the air & struck a metal wall. Arrived Barbados Sept. 7. (Sept. 10 2001)

Crew of Cambodian cargo M/V Lynn, Cypriot port of Limassol for Corinth, Greecewith with 650 tons of copper sheeting, abandoned ship -- listing in heavy seas Sept. 7. Cypriot coastguard picked up the 7 crew members from lifeboat 12 miles W. of Cyprus at 9 a.m. LT. Lynn sank several hours later. (Mon. Sept. 10 2001)

343-foot Honduran-flagged M/V Khalid 1, with 5,800 tons of smuggled Iraqi fuel oil, caught fire Sept. 8 at N. end of Persian Gulf, 54 miles W. of Iran & 76 miles from Kuwait -- threatened to capsize or sink. Crew adandoneed -- USS Nicholson DD-982 <<wefeature rescued all 16. Fire dying out Sept. 9. (Sun. Sept. 9 2001)

Australian Navy boarded Indonesian vessel carrying 237 more Asylum Seekers & placed them on HMAS Manoora LPA-52<<webfeature bound for Papua New Guinea with all the other Asylum Seekers. Earlier Reports of This Incident<<webfeature. (Sat. Sept. 8 2001)

119-meter Cambodian-flagged freezer M/V Avior, out of Vladivostok, Sea of Okhotsk for Pusan with fish, sent up distress signal Sept. 9 LT when water started pouring into engine room. Japanese patrol boats rescued 29 crew. (Sat. Sept. 8 2001) UPDATE: Avior sunk Sept. 9)

31,372 Liberian M/T Formosa 01, with 146,600 barrels of diesel oil, in collision with stationary 22,651 dwt. Vietnamese M/T Petrolimex 01 while entering an anchorage 1.9 miles off Vung Tau on Vietnam's S. coast early Sept. 7, causing spill of several thousand tons of diesel oil-- affected Vung Tau beach & hit shrimp farms along the coast. Environmental disaster?. (Sept. 8 2001)


02 Sept. 2001 at 0142 LT anchored 2 miles NW of Cochin port, India. Pirates in boats attempted to board tanker. Anti piracy watch on deck spotted & raised alarm. Perpetrators abandoned attempt. (Sat. Sept. 8 2001)

01 Sept. 2001 at 0300 LT in position 03:00S - 107:30E, Gelasa straits, Indonesia. While underway, two speedboats approached a LPG carrier from port quarter -- vessel altered course but the boat followed before abandoning chase due to rough seas. (Sat. Sept. 8 2001)

31 Aug. 2001 at 0915 LT in position 12:43N - 043:19E, 5 nm NW off Mayyum (Perim Island), Gulf of Aden. Pirates in 4 fast fibreglass boats tried to board general cargo ship. Ship raised alarm, zig zagged course, increased speed & mustered all crew on deck -- pirates aborted attempted boarding. (Sat. Sept. 8 2001)

30 Aug. 2001 at 0230 LT in position 01:24.2N - 104:39.8E, Singapore straits. While underway 8-10 pirates armed with knives boarded container ship & robbed officers & crew of personal belongings & cash US$10, 000. Master & chief engineer injured. (Sat. Sept. 8 2001)

29 Aug. 2001 at 2315 LT at berth no. 6/7, Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Pirates tried to board general cargo ship using a pole hooked to ship's railing. On seeing alert crew pirates jumped into the water & escaped. (Sat. Sept. 8 2001)

29 Aug. 2001 at 0430 LT at inner anchorage, Balikpapan port, Indonesia. While at anchor waiting for pilot, duty A/B on bulk carrier noticed 2 long boats near ship's side & 3 pirates at poop deck who had lowered mooring rope. Alert crew chased pirates who jumped overboard & escaped. (Sat. Sept. 8 2001)

28.08.2001 at 0328 UTC in position: 20:37N - 071:40E, India. Pirates from fishing boat boarded general cargo ship under tow. Pirates later left ship. Further details are awaited. Earlier on 26.08.2001 at 1400 UTC in position: 20:22N - 071:23E pirates in 2 fishing boats had boarded same ship & stole ship's stores. Tug towing ship raised alarm but failed to foil boarding. (Sat. Sept. 8 2001)

Back To Year 2001 Reports

Crew of Cambodian cargo M/V Lynn, Cypriot port of Limassol for Corinth, Greecewith with 650 tons of copper sheeting, abandoned ship -- listing in heavy seas -- forced to jump ship after engine room flooded. Sept. 7. Cypriot coastguard picked up the 7 crew members from lifeboat 12 miles W. of Cyprus at 9 a.m. LT. Lynn sank several hours later.

Big Day For Casualty Updates >> Structural repairs now complete at Mississippi drydock, where USS Cole is being rebuilt at an estimated cost of US$247M >> Russian divers have cut away bow of the Kursk in preparation for raising. >> 830-ton F/V Ehime Maru had been lifted 24 feet off ocean floor before steel strap split late Aug. Sept. 4, for 3rd time in 2 weeks. See our previous postings for details of these now well known stories. (Thurs. Sept. 6 2001)

F/V First Adventure caught fire & sank out of Galveston. U.S. Coast Guard helicopter on training flight rescued crew -- in stable condition at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston with severe burns and smoke inhalation. (Thurs. Sept. 6 2001)

16,916gwt Singapore registered 147 meter Pacific Carriers Ltd.<<webfeature, "Freedom Mark II"class (callsign 9VJX ) cargo M/V Ikan Tanda (1979)<<webfeature, Chile for Cape Town (crew change point) & Singapore with nitrates, ran aground near the Slangkop lighthouse<<webfeature, S. of Cape Town after after being battered by 10 meter swells, losing power & dragging anchor in winds gusting above 50 knots (100kmh). Anchor chain snapped shortly before 1 p.m. -- ship turned & ran towards sandstone reef about 100 meters from beach -- now lying on reef parallel to swells & being battered by huge seas. Engine failure said caused by small fire in engine room about 5.30am. Sept. 5. Helicopters lifted 23 crew to safety. FIRST PHOTOS <<special-webfeature, from Eugene Griessel in South Africa! (Wed. Sept. 5 2001)

Chinese long-liner F/V Chia Ying 6 smashed against outer breakwater of Cape Town's container terminal by storm. Helicopter rescued 27 crew -- taken to hospital. Vessel towed off breakwater & into dry dock after all crew rescued. (Wed. Sept. 5 2001)

BLOCKADE >> Australian warships & helicopters, will patrol corridor from Christmas Island<<webfeature, to Ashmore Reef to deter people smugglers -- supported by four P3C Orion<<webfeature, maritime patrol aircraft which began operating out of Learmonth on NW coast of W. Australia last night. Taskforce one of biggest assembled by Australia since Vietnam War, but powerless to stop vessels carrying boatpeople until they are 40km from coast. As transport HMAS Manoora LPA-52<<webfeature Sept. 3 night loaded boatpeople from freighter M/V Tamapa bound for Port Moresby<<webfeature, -- 3 missile-armed warships & tanker/supply ship sailed N. to deter flood of more boatpeople. Frigates HMAS Newcastle<<webfeature, HMAS Warramunga<<webfeature, & HMAS Arunta<<webfeature, & fleet oiler HMAS Westralia<<webfeature, patrol boats & the Orions, from Edinburgh RAAF Base<<webfeature, near Adelaide, will detect & intercept refugee vessels. (Tues Sept. 4 2001) FOR OUR CONTINUING COVERAGE>> see Sun. Sept. 2 just below.

Maltese freighter M/V Jovanna, Norfolk for Recife with 30,000 tons of fertilizer, ran aground late Aug. 30 as approached NE port of Recife, Brazil. Crew pumping water & had isolated fertilizer -- made with ammonium sulphate -- to stop spilling. (Sun. Sept. 2 2001)

Plight of M/V Tampa -- crisis "solved". Australian navy troop carrier HMAS Manoora LPA-52<<webfeature, has taken refugees aboard & will sail for Papua New Guinean capital Port Moresby via Royal Australian Navy<<webfeature (Sun. Sept. 2 2001) FOR OUR CONTINUING COVERAGE>> CLICK HERE.

Trouble For M/V Tampa In Her Earlier Life<< A Cargo Law Special Feature - Jan. 2000

Cargo M/V Ocean Silver passing Straits of Mallacca -- captured by Free Aceh Movement rebels<<webfeature, -- 6 crew taken hostage Aug. 26. Indonesian security forces Aug. 31 rescue attempt resulted in gunbattle with insurgents leaving 1 soldier & 3 rebels dead. Military failed to free hostage crew of Ocean Silver. Free Aceh Movement said Sept. 2 that all ships passing through straits between Sumatra Island & Malaysia must 1st get permission from insurgents. Free Aceh Movement<<webfeature, fighting since 1975 for independence for gas & oil rich region on N. tip of Sumatra, about 1,100 miles NW of Jakarta. (Sun. Sept. 2 2001)

Chinese cargo M/V Sulinli 18, Shanghai for shantou port, capsized in strong waves near Beiji Island off coast of S. Zhejiang at about 8:30 p.m. Aug. 30. Sailor washed to island & able to report to border police. Police soon mobilized 6 fishing boats -- 11 crew rescued. One crew lost -- 53 of 55 containers lost. (Sat. Sept. 1 2001)

Vessel Loss Dispatches For August 2001

Plight of M/V Tampa -- crisis solved. CLICK HERE. (Sun. Sept. 3 2001)

Charter F/V Gail Frances out of South Kingston, R.I., suffered engine fire 60 miles S. of Block Island Aug. 31 morning. Mayday sent -- received by prideof U.S. Coast Guard -- Tall Ship & training vessel -- the 295 ft. barque USCGC Eagle<<webfeature -- largest Tall Ship to fly the stars & stripes (ex-German S/V Horst Wessel) on cadet training mission 20 miles away -- on scene in 3 hours-- all 34 passengers rescued & will spend night on famous vessel. Crew of Gale Frances stayed with vessel, under tow by sister, F/V Admiral Frances. (Fri. Aug. 31 2001)


26 Aug. 2001 off Alicia, Zambonga, Mindanao, Philippines. Pirates armed with machine guns raked 6 fishermen with gunfire & left their bodies aboard 2 boats, which were stripped of their engines. Other local mariners bodies & called the police. (Fri. Aug. 30 2001)

26 Aug. 2001 at 1400 UTC in position: 20:22N - 071:23E, India. Pirates in 2 fishing boats boarded general cargo ship while under tow & stole ship's stores. Towing tug raised alarm but failed to foil boarding. (Fri. Aug. 31 2001)

23 Aug. 2001 at 0500 LT at port of Freetown, Sierra Leone. While at berth, pirates armed with knives boarded RO RO ship. Attacked duty A/B & threatened with knife. pirates broke into container & stole cargo -- transferred to waiting boat. Duty officer, while making routine check, saw pirates who then jumped over rail & escaped. Chief officer's request for assistance from port's security personnel ignored. (Fri. Aug. 30 2001)

20 Aug. 2001 at 0330 LT at port of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. While at anchorage, pirates boarded tanker. Threatened a crewmember & stole his walkie-talkie & wristwatch. Stole ship's stores & escaped. (Fri. Aug. 31 2001)

15 Aug. 2001 at 0110 LT at port of Rio Haina, Dominican Republic. Two teams of armed pirates boarded tanker from riverside using grapnel hooks. One team attacked at forecastle while the other at accommodation.The alarm raised & crew responded immediately & effectively. Pirates broke into a lifeboat & stole distress signals. Presence of prepared crewmade them flee. (Fri. Aug. 31 2001)

Back To Year 2001 Reports

For more than half a century, U.S. Navy said boiler to blame for explosion that sank USS Eagle PE-56 within sight of Maine coast, killing 49 sailors -- now Navy is rewriting Eagle's record to reflect what survivors said all along: torpedo from German submarine sank ship. New evidence presented to Navy Secretary Gordon England, who in June ruled the sinking due to enemy attack. Change means those who died or were seriously injured will get Purple Hearts. Eagle sank April 23, 1945 -- 2 weeks before Germany surrendered. The 200-foot sub chaser was off Portland, Maine, when blast broke it apart & sent water 300 feet into the air. (Wed. Aug. 29 2001)

More Trouble For USS Greenvile >>> Heavy weather as Pearl Harbor-based fast-attack submarine approached port at Saipan Aug. 28. New commander, Cmdr. David Bogdan, decided unsafe to enter port, but as vessel attempted to back out, hull scraped bottom. Greeneville proceeded Guam after accident -- divers spotted damage rudder, acoustic tiles along keel & to outboard motor fairing, piece of navigation equipment. U.S. Navy launched investigation because believed no reason for accident happening in 1st regular W. Pacific deployment since repairs following collision with 499gwt Japanese F/V Ehime Maru 9 miles off Oahu, Hawaii, on Feb. 9 -- 9 men & boys aboard killed. (correspondent Fred McCague) FOLLOW OUR REPORTS: MOST RECENT ON AUG. 3 <<webfeature (Wed. 29 Aug. 2001) UPDATE: Stern of the Japanese fisheries training ship lifted from Hawaii seabed Aug. 30 afternoon, U.S. Navy said. (Wed. Aug. 30 2001)

Panama-registered 3,731gwt palm oil M/T Silver Sea, Pasir Gudang for Port Klang & Greek registered cargo 49,976gwt oil M/T Paris II, Singapore for Fujairah in UAE, both in ballast, in collition in Strait of Malacca 6nm off Malaysia's Port Klang early Aug. 29, injuring 9 tanker crew. Injured taken to Klang hospital. Paris II sustained indentation starboard side between holds 2 & 5. (Tues. Aug. 28 2001)

PLIGHT of M/V TAMPA >>> UPDATE: Norwegian ship owners Wilh Wilhelmsen, said Aug. 28 giant container vessel Tampa did not have enough provisions, medical supplies or life rafts to make it to Indonesia. Tampa Capt. Arne Rinnan said tension rising among 434 asylum seekers aboard ship anchored in Int'l waters 30 miles off Australia's Christmas Island<<webfeature in Indian Ocean. SEE OUR AUG. 26 & 27 REPORT (Tues. Aug. 28 2001) UPDATE: Australian troops Aug. 28 landed on Christmas Island as expected humanitarian aid package. Estimated 35 troops & medical team, together with food & equipment -- inflatables & outboards, landed in 3 Australian army C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. Force level expected to reach 120 in days. (Tues. Aug. 28 2001) UPDATE: Some asylum seekers collapsed due to dehydration & fatigue -- one had broken leg. Australian Special Air Services (SAS) on Aug. 29 seized control. Prime Minister John Howard told parliament freighter Tampa breached Int'l law by ignoring Australia's refusal to grant right of entry. Howard said. "SAS personnel on vessel have put it to Capt. that appropriate thing would be to return to Int'l waters." (Wed. Aug. 29 2001 AM) UPDATE: SAS troops roared through surf off Christmas Island in high-speed boats after Tampa breached 12-mile Int'l limit -- the mostly Afghan asylum seekers ended hunger strike & receiving medical treatment. (Wed. Aug. 29 2001 Noon) UPDATE: New Zealand & tiny Pacific island of Nauru have agreed to take asylum seekers -- agreement breaks 6 day diplomatic deadlock between Australia, Norway & Indonesia. About 150 asylum seekers, most Afghanistani, would go to New Zealand & remainder to Nauru<<wefeature, a tiny island 4,500 miles E. of Christmas Islands. New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said those sent to her country & found genuine refugees would be allowed resettlement as part of annual refugee quota. Those going to Nauru & found genuine refugees would be resettled in3rd countries, including Australia. (Fri. Aug. 31 2001 PM) UPDATE: HMAS Manoora LPA-52<<webfeature along side & will receive refugees Sept. 3. From Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, they were to be flown to New Zealand or Nauru, where applications for political asylum to be processed. If they win asylum, refugees will be redirected to 3rd countries for resettlement - including Australia. (Sun. Sept. 2 2001)

Trouble For M/V Tampa In Her Earlier Life<< A Cargo Law Special Feature - Jan. 2000

Begining of M/V Tampa Coverage

San Diego-based amphibious assault ship USS Boxer, bound for Hawaii, then San Diego, after 6 month deployment in the Pacific & Arabian Gulf, received distress call 3 a.m. Aug. 26 from Taiwanese F/V Ji Moon Chun 21. Trawler didn't have life vests & some of the vessel's 8 crew didn't know how to swim. Boxer helicopter crews were sent ahead to assess situation -- determined that on-deck recovery too risky in heavy rain & rough seas -- dropped life raft. Boxer launched inflatable with rigid hull to accommodate rescue -- search-and-rescue swimmer (SAR) helped successful rescue. (Mon. Aug. 27 2001)

Japanese fisherman Mitsushige Takechi rescued "in fairly good condition" Aug. 27 -- his unidentified trawler went missing 33 days ago after engine failure. Missing since July 24, when he made distress call off coast of Nagasaki, 980km SW of Tokyo. Two days later, Coast Guard launched search -- called off after 2 days when search failed to locate. Takechi said he survived on fish he caught & small amount of water on vessel. WOW! (Mon. Aug. 27 2001)

Tall S/V Pride of Baltimore II, Cleveland for Detroit Yacht Club, ran aground in shallow water 150-200 yards from the Detroit Yacht Club, Aug. 26. Two tugs worked for 5 hours to free vessel. (Mon. Aug. 27 2001)

Norwegian-registered cargo M/V Tampa, Fremantle for Singapore, hijacked near Indonesia to Christmas Island by 369 men, 43 children & 26 women asylum seekers from several Islamic countries in sinking vessel. On Aug. 25, Tampa received "SOS" & altered course to rescue asylum seekers. Over past 11 days, more than 1,500 people, mainly from Afghanistan, Iraq & Iran, have arrived in Australia -- seeking asylum. Local media reported on Aug. 21, guards at Woomera in S. Australia on riot alert for 10 days. After rescue from leaking vessel -- 5 asylum seekers entered Tampa's bridge & forced change in course from Indonesia to Christmas Island -- 930 miles W. of Australia -- closer to Indonesia's Java island than to Australia. Refugees refused to go back to Indonesia -- threatening to jump overboard. The 434 asylum seekers -- most Afghani -- not armed & did not threaten crew of 27. "This would have turned into a very ugly situation if we had headed into Indonesian waters," Capt. Arne Rinnan said. Rinnan said situation settled down once he changed course & asylum seekers had breakfast of boiled eggs & bread. Men entering bridge said: "We have left everything behind. The situation is very bad. We do not want to go to Singapore or Indonesia. Remember, we have nothing to lose." No Entry >> "It (Tampa) does not have permission to enter Australian territorial waters & it will not be given permission to land in Australia," Australian Prime Minister John Howard told Aug. 27 news conference. Tough stance received bipartisan support from Australia's opposition Labor party. Australia battling growing numbers of Middle East asylum seekers who reach its vast & remote NW coast in rickety boats after paying smugglers in Indonesia. (Sun. Aug. 26 2001) UPDATE: Indonesia, nearest port of call, & Norway also refuse vessel. (Mon. Aug. 27 2001)

Trouble For M/V Tampa In Her Earlier Life<< A Cargo Law Special Feature - Jan. 2000

Explosion aboard Italian Grimaldi lines cargo M/V Setubal Express injured 7 (4 serious) workers of Malta Drydocks when workers using high gas pressure equipment in repair works on propellor. Most serious incident since Nov. 1994 -- 9 dockyard workers killed aboard the Libyan M/T Um El Farroud. (Sun. Aug. 26 2001)


20 Aug. 2001 at 0510 LT off Lagos, Nigeria. While drifting 20 nm from shore 6 pirates armed with long knives boarded bulk carrier. Master raised alarm & an attempt was made to scare pirates off. Pirates stole mooring ropes & escaped. No injuries to crew. Port control & ships in the vicinity informed. (Sat. Aug. 25 2001)

18 Aug. 2001 at 0200 LT in position 01:40N - 104:30E, near horsburgh light house, Singapore straits. While underway, 12 pirates armed with long knives boarded chemical tanker, held hostage the master & 5 crewmembers. Robbed crew's personal belongings, ship hand phone, camera & cash. Pirates fled in speedboat. No one injured onboard. (Sat. Aug. 25 2001)

17 Aug. 2001 at 0810 UTC in position 04:35N - 095:05E, Indonesia. While underway, 5 pirates in a small boat fired upon tanker & asked the master to stop the engine. Master increased speed. Pirates followed & then fled. (Sat. Aug. 25 2001)

16.08.2001 at 0200 LT at outer anchorage Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Twenty pirates in 2 boats boarded multi purpose ship even though anti-piracy measures were in place. Pirates left the ship in 20 minutes taking ship's stores. Reported to port authority who acknowledged the report but no action was taken. (Sat. Aug. 25 2001)

14.08.2001 near Santa Rosalita, Baja, Mexico. Pirates boarded a yacht and assaulted the skipper and robbed him of cash & valuables. The boat adrift for 2 days before running aground at an island near Santa Rosalita, Baja. Skipper seriously injured -- recovering in a hospital on shore. SEE OUR AUG. 19 REPORT. (Sat. Aug. 25 2001)

Back To Year 2001 Reports

Canadian Air Transat -- Airbus 330 -- Flight 236, with 291 passengers &13 crew, Toronto for Lisbon, powered by 2 Rolls-Royce engines told control tower 20 minutes before landing that it would have to put down in sea since losing fuel. Passengers realized about hour before landing that plane in trouble. Lost both engines at 35,000 feet -- then plane a glider. Flight crew bravely provided comforting messages on aircraft audio system -- but through tears. Chaos then properly managed. Heroic crew diverted & invented a landing at 5:46 a.m. at Lajes airport <<webfeature on Azores' Terceira Island -- as a giant glider-- a 1st pass "dead stick" landing saving all 291 souls abroad. Nine people treated for minor injuries. Some of airliner's tires ruptured during landing & undercarriage & damaged. The pilot of Flight 236 -- a stud by any measure -- as much we pay these guys -- it's not quite enough. This group of passengers survived by a thread. (Fri. Aug. 23 2001)

Nigerian Navy exploded 11 vessels worth US$3.6M in public display of punishment Aug. 23 after vessels seized from pirates terrorizing waterways of Niger Delta -- intended to send message to pirates who operate on Forcados River in Nigeria's southern Delta State, taking oil workers hostage & stealing property and oil. Warri Naval Base began exploding boats seized from pirates April 2000. Current demonstration -- 3rd of its kind at Warri base. The Port Harcourt Naval Base carried out similar exercise few months ago. Navy said noticeable decrease in pirate activity on waterways since demonstrations began. Last week Navy arrested 6 pirates including one man who claimed to be a pastor but armed with 2 assault rifles. (Thurs. Aug. 23 2001)

PAST DISASTER >>> A court ruled Aug. 22 that Japan central government must pay US$375,000 to 15 Koreans who survived explosion aboard Japanese M/V Ukishima Maru that killed hundreds of Korean forced laborers shortly after World War II. First court ruling involving disaster aboard Imperial Japanese Navy transport vessel, carrying 4,000 Koreans home when blast occurred on Aug. 24, 1945, in Maizuru port in Kyoto, killing at least 524 Koreans & 25 Japanese crew members. In awarding compensation, Presiding Judge at Kyoto District Court, said Japanese government neglected duties to safely transport Korean passengers aboard M/V Ukishima Maru, which sank following explosion. Ruling came in case filed 1992 by 80 Korean survivors, seeking US$25M in compensation & official apology from Japanese government. Court said could only confirm that 15 of Korean plaintiffs were aboard ship at time of disaster -- also turned down demand for apology, saying unclear what caused disaster. Plaintiffs have long accused Japanese crew of setting explosion to avoid riots by Koreans aboard vessel. Japan denied -- saying ship hit mine placed by U.S. forces. What Happened To Those Korean Workers?<<webfeature. Also See Attack on S/S Ukisishima Maruu<<webfeature by USS Sunfish SS-281<<webfeature on 4 April 1945. (Wed. Aug. 23 2001)

Another True Naval Disaster >>> New Zealand Navy Women's Rugby Team accused of turning up with big hangovers to play Waikato women's team -- lost 104 to ZERO & now face disciplinary inquires. Ngaruawahia liquor store owner Tom Hennessy said behaviour was bad enough for him to dial 111 (911) when they stopped by on Aug. 17 night. Hotel said drinking vodka w/ slices of orange before game next day -- set off smoke alarm & siren. Hotel Mgr. Missy Biddle said that while team had stayed out partying until 4 am they had not drunk liquor within grounds & were a "lovely bunch of girls & a joy to host". Team member said: "We were a woman's rugby team on a weekend away, for God's sake. We went down there to have fun, not to give grievous verbal abuse ...." Opposing side said, "We had expected them to be competitive, or at the very least disciplined, being that they were playing for the Navy. In hindsight, we might have actually been better off not playing them at all." Once again, did we mention the score was 104 to ZERO -- truly a vessel casualty! (Mon. Aug. 21 2001)

BAJA CALIFORNIA PIRATES >> S/V TLC drifted & finally crashed on rocks of uninhabited island early Aug. 12 morning after vicious pirate attack off Baja Peninsula<<webfeature. Retired Canadian sea Capt. Bob Medd, 53, left Sydney Harbor last Sept. for dream trip around world -- planned to be gone 10 years -- motoring up Baja Peninsula when young "fishermen" pulled alongside asking for water. When he went to galley for water, men followed, smashed his face then slashed his neck ear-to-ear with a bread knife. With engine still running & Medd bleeding & unconscious inside, vessel crashed on rocks. Medd regained consciousness in pool of blood & dragged himself to beach -- no idea why he couldn't hold his head up properly -- only knew he'd been smashed in the face. He lay there for 2 days until fishermen pick up. Mexican doctors said his heart stopped twice while treating -- stitched Medd's neck, packed a bag with syringes & antibiotics and sent him off ( ! ). Medd now resting in San Diego hospital -- pirates took everything except one pair of shorts -- but he held to life. Victoria, BC, Capital Coast Savings Credit Union Have Started a Trust Account -- we hope to have more word on YOUR ability to help shortly. (from sofsibc) These not the 1st Pirates in Baja<<webfeature.(Sun. Aug. 19 2001)

Storms on Barents Sea<<webfeature halted work by Int'l diving crew preparing sunken Kursk nuclear submarine to be raised next month. Waves reaching 13 feet & 36 mph winds reported. Kursk suffered explosions & sank during training exercises Aug. 12 last year, killing all 118 aboard. Divers drilling holes in Kursk's thick steel hull to attach steel cables to lift it -- also slicing off fore section which will be left on sea floor. FOLLOW OUR CONTINUING COVERAGE STARTING WITH MOST RECENT JULY 15 REPORT OF M/V MAYO (Sun. Aug. 19 2001)


13 Aug 2001 at 0030 LT at Tanjung Priok anchorage, Indonesia. While at anchor, 4 pirates boarded bulk carrier & stole large quantity of ship's stores. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped. (Fri. Aug. 17 2001)

11 Aug. 2001 at 1955 UTC in position 29:39N - 048:43.7E, Umm Qasr pilot station, Iraq. Several pirates boarded container vessel - broke in to forward locker, stole ship's stores & escaped. (Fri. Aug. 17 2001)

10 Aug. 2001 at 0622 LT in position 01:24N - 104:28E, Singapore straits. While underway, 6 pirates armed with long knives boarded bulk carrier, held hostage the 2nd & 3rd officers, engineer & duty seaman - robbed them of personal valuables. Master raised alarm & pirates escaped. No injuries to crew. (Fri. Aug. 17 2001)

10 Aug. 2001 at 0010lt in position:01:28N - 104:32E, Singapore straits. While underway, duty lookout observed small boat approaching container ship on port side. Capt. went to port side to check situation -- lookout flashed searchlight & found 4 pirates inside vessel. At same time another boat also with 4 more pirates approached from starboard quarter. Master raised alarm & switched on all deck lights. Unlit pirate boats reduced speed & moved away. (Fri. Aug. 17 2001)

09 Aug. 2001 at 0220 LT at Belawan anchorage, Indonesia. About 8-10 pirates armed with long knives boarded chemical tanker at anchorage & assaulted duty A/B & threatened him with knife. A/B informed duty officer who raised alarm & alerted all crew. Pirates broke open stores & threw a lot of paint tins into water. Crew mustered on deck -- pirates jumped overboard & fled in boat. (Fri. Aug. 17 2001)

07 Aug. 2001 at 0150 - 0230 LT at Tema anchorage, Ghana. While at anchor, duty oiler at forecastle deck attacked & threatened by pirates armed with guns & knives. His hands & legs were tied & he was laid face down on deck. Pirates stole personal belongings. When oiler did not respond to duty officer's call via radio, he instructed duty watch to go forward & check -- found oiler lying on deck & raised alarm -- pirates escaped with ship's stores. (Fri. Aug. 17 2001)

04.08.2001 at 0230 LT while anchored at Balikpapan inner roads, Indonesia. Armed pirates attempted to board general cargo vessel -- observed by ship's watchman & by hired police constables. Policemen fired warning shots to which pirates fired back twice as they fled. No injured. (Fri. Aug. 17 2001)

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Australian Navy frigate HMAS Melbourne<<webfeature rescued 19 people from unidenified sinking ferry in Solomon Islands. Guided missile frigate launched Seahawk helicopter to search for ferry's passengers off west Malaita Island. Aircrew caught sight of distress signal from survivors clinging to life raft & small aluminium boat. Survivors flown to Malaita. Seahawk crew returned, winched another 7 people aboard & guided local rescue vessel to remaining survivors. (Thurs. Aug. 16 2001)

New zeppelin in skies over Germany with passengers - 1st commercial zeppelin flights since Hindenburg disaster <<webfeature - could bring new life for spurned form of air transport. Zeppelin NT<<webfeature for ``New Technology'' & built by Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik in Friedrichshafen - filled with nonflammable helium instead of dangerous hydrogen. Zeppelin NT Bodensee - German name of Lake Constance - will carry 12 passengers & 2 crew on 1 hour cruise over lake on the Swiss border. Approval Aug. 14 from air authorities for commercial flights in 246-foot airships. Company says it has 3,500 bookings for this year & 500 for next year. Airships 2001<<webfeature (Thurs. Aug. 16 2001)

Guinean registered passenger M/V Vakapad, Queen Elizabeth II Quay for Conakry with 160 passengers, grounded on sand bank off man- of war Bay Aug. 9. Capt. lost control forcing drift uncontrollably into high sea. Sierra Leone Navy Personnel led by LCDR Francis M. Duwai & the Sierra Leone Boat Owners Association (SLBOA) arrived at scene, responding to distress call -- able to rescue all passengers -- official denied there were life jackets . M/V Vakapad later salvaged & towed to Government wharf. (Wed. Aug. 15 2001)

Suspected KIller Vessel Crew Arrested >> Newfoundland judge on Aug. 15 set bail of US$10,600 each for Capt. Vladimir Ivanov, & crew Dmitriy Bogdanov and Mikhail Gerasimenko of 541-foot Cypriot-flagged Russian M/T Virgo -- prime suspect in run down sinking Aug. 5 of 83-foot trawler F/V Starbound of Rockland, Maine --only survivor among 4 crew was vessel's skipper, Joseph Marcantonio of Gloucester, Mass. Arrests were requested by U.S. authorities, who filed criminal complaint. U.S. Coast Guard said each man charged with 1 count of involuntary manslaughter & misconduct. FOLLOW OUR REPORTS FROM LAST ON Aug. 6. (Wed. Aug. 15 2001)

  • TO REPEAT OUR ORIGINAL POSTING OF AUG. 12 >>> Sault Ste. Marie registered M/V Windoc, with grain, struck Allanburg Bridge & caught fire near Thorold, along Welland Canal Aug. 11. Windoc continued to drift north along canal before coming to stop 1km N. of accident scene. Allanburg Bridge is large artery into Niagara Falls -- will be be shut down for a few days-- canal traffic will be stopped or disrupted.. (Sun. Aug. 12 2001) THIS HAS BECOME A MAJOR STORY>> DETAILS AT M/V Windoc<<webfeature. UPDATE>>There were major delays, but canal is now open to traffic. (Tues. Aug. 14 2001)

Monument to 17 crew killed in terrorist bombing of USS Cole (DDG-67) will be dedicated at Norfolk Naval Station Oct. 12, exactly one year after attack -- featuring a 10-foot-tall monolith encircled by 17 granite slabs overlooking Willoughby Bay. Estimated US$130,000 to US$150,000 cost of memorial is paid by private donations from thousands of people & businesses nationwide who are dedicated to this cause. Cole being repaired in Pascagoula, Miss. & expected to return to Norfolk next spring. (Tues. Aug. 14 2001) OUR TRIBUTE TO THE USS Cole DISASTER << please visit.

Unidentifed passenger M/V, Muui Island for Incheon with 120 passengers, in collision with merchant vessel 1km off of Yeonan Pier in Incheon 5:05 p.m. Aug. 13. Reports 15 people mostly on passenger vessel injured. (Tues. Aug. 14 2001)

UK catamaran S/V Riverman started taking water 47 miles S. of Plymouth- inexperienced crew of 3 likely hit debris in the water, damaging stern. Rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose rescued the 28-year-old Plymouth man with broken leg. Mearchant M/V Staltdipper arrived to support sinking vessel. (Mon. Aug. 13 2001)

Emery Worldwide Grounded >> Federal Aviation Administration plans to take rare step of grounding Emery Worldwide Airlines because of numerous maintenance irregularities, Washington Post reports. FAA told cargo carrier to voluntarily ground its aircraft fleet by noon on Aug. 13 or it would withdraw certificate to operate planes. FAA officials quoted saying that agency found numerous maintenance discrepancies during 4 major inspections over last 18 months. Discrepancies included improper repairs, installation of unapproved parts & flying unairworthy aircraft, according to Post. Emery came under scrutiny after 2 crashes last year. New round of complaints about maintenance irregularities came from Emery's own pilots. Emery, a subsidiary of Palo Alto-based CNF Inc., is one of nation's major air freight carriers, but customers unlikely affected by shutdown -- company making arrangements with other carriers to keep cargo moving. CNF said considering offers for sale of Emery Worldwide Airlines. Under plan, buyer would assume existing lease obligations on DC-10s, Dc-8s & B-727s as alternative to recently announced plan to downsize aircraft fleet to 38 freighters from 54 a year ago. (Sun. Aug. 12 2001)

One Chinese crew drowned & 19 missing after 5 F/Vs sank in tropical storm Tiantu off S. province of Hainan. Rescuers pulled 53 people from sea & retrieved 1 body since the F/Vs capsized during severe tropical storm Tiantu on Aug. 10. Hainan's military deployed 2 helicopters & cargo aircraft in search, together with some 50 ships. Tropical storm Tiantu made landfall in Vietnam Aug. 11. (Sun. Aug. 12 2001)

Sault Ste. Marie registered M/V Windoc, with grain, struck Allanburg Bridge & caught fire near Thorold, along Welland Canal Aug. 11. Windoc continued to drift north along canal before coming to stop 1km N. of accident scene. Allanburg Bridge is large artery into Niagara Falls -- will be be shut down for a few days-- canal traffic will be stopped or disrupted.. (Sun. Aug. 12 2001)

American Airlines Flight 131, Heathrow for Kennedy Int'l Airport lost undeclared & tragic cargo as unidentified stowaway on Aug. 6 landed in parking lot outside Jordan Lobsters Farms<<webfeature restaurant, Island Park -- New York suburb in flight path of JFK. Body apparently fell from wheel well when landing gear lowered. Flight takes 6 hours; temperatures in unpressurized wheel well drops to -80 degrees Fahrenheit (-60 C). >>Background from our correspondent Fred McCague. (Fri. Aug. 10 2001)


03 Aug. 2001 at 0050 LT at Belawan port, Indonesia. While at anchor, 6 pirates boarded tanker, assaulted watchman & threatened with knife. Pirates tied him up, stole valuables & ship's stores from the forecastle locker. Alarm was raised -- pirates jumped overboard & picked up by their boat. All attempts to contact port control & coast guard failed. (Fri. Aug. 10 2001)

02 Aug. 2001 at 1200-1500 LT in position: 14:55N - 119:45E, Philippines. While underway, between hours 7-9am speed boats circled general cargo ship & ordered her to stop. Pirates threatened the crew with bombs. Master raised alarm, mustered crew on deck & primed high-pressure fire hoses. Result -- boats aborted their attempt & retreated. (Fri. Aug. 10 2001)

01 Aug. 2001 at 0030 LT in position: 22:12.4N - 091:41.3E at Chittagong, Bangladesh. While at anchor, 6 pirates in motorboat came alongside container ship from stern & attempted to board. Crew spotted -- directed searchlights & chased away. No boarding took place. (Fri. Aug. 10 2001)

Back To Year 2001 Reports

Expedition discovered final resting place of S/V Mary Celeste<<webfeature -- at heart of one of world's most puzzling & enduring mysteries. Group headed by author Clive Cussler & film producer John Davis said it discovered ghost ship's remains lying on Rochelais Reef, off Haiti. True story of missing crew may never be known. Ship found sailing off Azores in 1872 with no-one aboard -- Capt., his wife, 2 year-old daughter & crerw inexplicably missing. Wooden vessel now completely covered by coral. After her eerie abandonment, vessel sailed under different owners for 12 years, until her last Master loaded her with cargo of cheap rubber boots & cat food before deliberately sinking her. Mystery solved? -- SPECULATION<<webfeature. (Thurs. Aug. 9 2001)

KIller Vessel Found? >> U.S. Coast Guard investigators arrived in Newfoundland to determine whether detained 590-foot Cypriot-flagged Russian-owned M/T Virgo -- was responsible for deadly run down of 83-foot F/V Starbound of Rockland, Maine -- only skipper survived. SEE OUR AUG. 6 REPORT. Virgo, owned by Russian-based Primorsk Shipping Corp.<<webfeature, docked in St. John's. Canadian officials seized ship's log -- detained ship & crew. Canadian Press reported that inspectors examining Virgo found hull damage below waterline, consistent with collision. Virgo 1 of 4 ships bound for Canada that passed through area on night of collision that have been inspected; 3 others were cleared. Coast Guard has already investigated 12 ships along East Coast, & will investigate others, spokeswoman said. (Wed. Aug. 9 2001) UPDATE>> Atlantic-Mariner Inc., owner of F/V Starbound, filed US$1.5M suit Aug. 10 against the Primorsk Shipping Corp. (Fri. Aug. 10 2001)

Two large Maersk vessels adrift in Australian waters Aug. 8, with the larger being buffeted by treacherous conditions in Bass Strait --

44,000gwt container M/V Maersk Tacoma, with general container cargo, lost power in heavy seas -- drifting in Bass Strait in atrocious weather -- 30 km (19 miles) S.E. of Wilson's Promontory in Victoria state & drifting towards Kent group of islands in 55 knot winds and 3 to 4 meter sea -- tow vessel to reach ship later Aug. 9 (Tues. Aug. 8 2001)

3,560gwt bulk carrier M/V ANL Purpose, broke down on Aug 6, drifting 466 km N.E. of Queensland coastal city of Mackay. Tug expected rendezvous with ship at 6 p.m. (0800 GMT). (Tues. Aug. 8 2001)

Seattle-based F/V Windy Bay, with 35,000 gallons of diesel fuel, struck rock & sank Aug. 4 in N. Prince William Sound<<webfeature 40 miles S.W. of Port of Valdez<<wefeature, in 1,000 feet of water -- leaking diesel fuel -- caused biggest spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound since M/T Exxon Valdez<<webfeature. Spill tiny compared with the 11 million gallons of crude oil dumped by Exxon Valdez when it ran on reef outside Valdez in 1989, polluting miles of coastline. Five crew aboard Windy Bay rescued by other F/V. Diesel fuel leaking created a sheen covering 4 square miles -- cleanup crews recovered 9,700 gallons as of Aug. 6 morning. (Mon. Aug. 6 2001)

Somali warlord "General" Morgan captured S. Port of Kismayu<<webfeature Aug. 6 in fighting against rival militias Aug. 6 -- 17 killed. Residents said dead included fighters on both sides pitting gunmen loyal to Morgan against rivals of Juba Valley Alliance<<webfeature, a clan-based grouping that recently helped set up a new civil administration in the town of 50,000. Morgan launched a campaign 2 weeks ago to recapture Kismayu, 310 miles south of Mogadishu and the 3rd largest town on Horn of Africa, after being ousted by fighters loyal to alliance 2 years ago. Morgan? Wasn't that a pirate? name? (Mon. Aug. 6 2001)

83-foot trawler F/V Starbound of Rockland, Maine, in collision with unidentified "large vessel" & sank 130 miles off Cape Ann. sank early Aug. 5 in a fishing area known as Sewell Ridge. Coast Guard resumed a search Aug. 6 for 2 missing crew -- only survivor among 4 crew was vessel's skipper, Joseph Marcantonio of Gloucester, Mass. Crew of a nearby fishing boat found Marcantonio in life raft shortly after the sinking. Unidentified source saying Starbound was struck by freighter. (Mon. Aug. 6 2001)

12 Iraqi crew of Honduran-flagged M/T Georgios, with 2,083 tons of illegal Iraqi oil, abandoned & sank when ship was taking on water very fast, 60 miles east of Kuwait on Aug. 5. U.S.-led naval force rescued crew -- 2 crew taken to USS Enterprise (CVN 65)<<webfeature aircraft carrier for "pre-existing medical condition," -- remainder taken to destroyer, USS Stout (DDG 55)<<webfeature. Since beginning of 2001, the Maritime Interception Force has questioned 1,472 ships, boarded 748 & diverted 62 vessels in work to enforce sanctions. Force comprised of 12 nations, including U.S., Britain, Australia, Italy 7 Canada. (Mon. Aug. 6 2001)

Hydrofoil M/V Red Jet 2<<webfeture, with 120 passengers, in collision with 26ft yacht off Isle of Wight after lost power in one engine at 5.30pm -- vessel collided with a yacht moored at Cowes. Yacht suffered damage to mast -- no passengers injured. (Sun. Aug. 5 2001)

54 years after Independence, Indian Navy is replacing Britain's St George's Cross on its flag with India's national emblem. Change, which will come into effect August 15. The cross was a very colonial tradition still being followed. Every 10 years Navy wanted to change old guard was resistant saying the cross had inspired them for decades. Now all ships, submarines & naval aircraft will hoist new flags, without the St George's Cross. (Sun. Aug. 5 2001)

Fire aboard 200ft fish processing M/V Ocean Pride pumped out thick smoke -- forced officials to shut down Lake Washington Ship Canal<<webfeature for several hours Aug. 4. Six firefighters & 4 crew injured. Blaze largely contained. Damage estimated at US$1M. Canal closed because smoke reduced visibility -- prevented boats from reaching Lake Washington for events tied to Seafair<<webfeature, Seattle's midsummer maritime festival. Investigators not be able to board vessel until Aug. 5. (Sat. Aug. 4 2001)

Five Tanzanian policemen feared dead after patrol boat capsized Aug. 3 night during anti-smuggling patrol between Pemba, the smaller of the 2 main Zanzibar islands, & mainland port of Tanga. 6 of 11 crew rescued -- patrolling for people smuggling cloves from Pemba to nearby Kenya to avoid customs duties. Cloves form a mainstays of archipelago's economy. (Sat. Aug. 4 2001)


26 July 2001 at 2245 LT at Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. While at anchor, pirate armed with a knife boarded tanker from forecastle using grappling hook & lowered mooring rope in boat below. This spotted by duty officer who raised alarm. Pirate jumped overboard & escaped in boat. (Fri. Aug. 3 2001)

24 June 2001 at 1450 LT at Luanda, Punta Final (Ilha), Angola. While underway, speedboat with 3 pirates came alongside supply ship. Pirates boarded ship & assaulted watchman. When other crew went forward, pirates jumped overboard & were picked up by their speedboat -- made more attempts to board but failed due to crew alertness. (Fri. Aug. 3 2001)

24 July 2001 at 0115 LT at Tg. Priok, Jakarta, Indonesia. While at anchor, pirates armed with knives boarded bulk carrier, entered engine room & tied up duty watchman. Stole large amount of engine spares before escaping. (Fri. Aug. 3 2001)

19 July 2001 at 0230 LT at Panjang, Indonesia. While berthed, pirates armed with knives boarded bulk carrier, entered engine room & tied up duty motorman. Pirates stole generator spares. A crewmember spotted them lowering booty into boat & challenged them. Pirates brandished knife & threatened crewmember before jumping into boat & escaping. (Fri. Aug. 3 2001)

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4,382-ton automobile carrier M/V Nichi Nichi Maru & 749-ton tanker M/T Sahei Maru in collision in Pacific off Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture early Aug. 2. No injuries. Nichi Nichi Maru took on water, forcing it's 10 crew to board tanker. Coast Guard investigating. (Fri. Aug. 3 2001)

STUPID STOWAWAYS >> Two African teenage boys picked wrong ship when they stowed away aboard South African Navy's replenishment vessel SAS Outeniqua<<webfeature in South Africa's Durban Harbor -- they ended up going to Marion Island<<webfeature, one of the bleakest spots in the icy Southern Ocean. The two, aged 14 & 19, were discovered during early morning rounds. Believed to be from war-ravaged Burundi in central Africa. Boys thought slipped aboard from quayside train while South African Navy's replenishment vessel SAS Outeniqua docked for supplies. Vesselbound for Marion Island -- most remote & hostile points on earth, to collect 2 sick men from weather station there. SEE WED. AUG. 1 STORY -- SAS Outeniqua mercy dash to Marion Island<<webfeature. (Fri. Aug. 3 2001)

Two masts, taken from ill-fated Japanese fisheries training vessel M/V Ehime Maru hit & sunk by surfacing U.S. submarine USS Greeneville<<webfeature accident details on Feb. 9, removed early Aug. 2 by Navy-chartered salvage ship M/V Ocean Hercules & sent to local naval base. Center mast & forward mast removed from Ehime Maru as part of U.S. Navy's plan to raise ship & move to shallower waters to allow divers to search for 9 missing crew, believed entombed inside vessel. Center mast expected to be returned to Japan, used as a memorial. 3,390-ton M/V Ocean Hercules recovered masts -- began work July 14 -- has been clearing fishing nets & other obstacles 14km off Diamond Head, where ship now rests at 600m depth. Ocean Hercules, operates remotely controlled vehicle -- responsible for clearing Ehime Maru's decks to make way for later operation to lift Ehime Maru & move it to shallow shoal off Honolulu In'l airport. USS Greenville<<webfeature. (Thur. Aug. 2 2001)

South African Navy's icebreaker SAS Outeniqua<<webfeature on mercy dash to Marion Island<<webfeature with full military medical team to save lives of 2 weathermen stationed there. Details of mission sketchy & no official comment from either SA National Defence Force or Dept. of Environmental Affairs & Tourism. Sources suggest 1 man with bleeding ulcer & other suffering from heart condition. Replenishment & tactical support vessel -- SAS Outeniqua has fully equipped sickbay with operating theatre. Voyage to remote Southern Ocean island expected to take a week. Large icebreaker left Durban July 31 & expected to take 2 helicopters aboard off Port Elizabeth Aug. 1. Maritime sources suggested apparent secrecy surrounding ship's departure might indicate more serious situation on the island -- but military source denied any secrecy around mission. Marion Island Radio Call<<webfeature. Geographical Report on Marion Island<<webfeature -- or -- Marion Island<<webfeature. (Wed. Aug. 1 2001)

Kuwaiti liner M/V Express, with 99 Iranian passengers bound for Kuwait port sank July 31 noon in Arvand-Roud River in Khuzestan province bordering the Persian Gulf due to explosion in engine room. All passengers disembarked before before accompanying baggage sank. Following explosion, passengers transferred to unidentified oil tanker & brought to Abadan Port. Special representative of President Khatami in Abadan Port arrived on scene to look into cause. Meanwhile, Kuwait & U.S. forces on alert for terrorist attacks as Aug. 2 is 11th anniversary of 1990 Iraq invasion -- Iran also an enemy at the time. Connection with event today? We will see. (Wed. Aug. 1 2001)

66-foot U.S. ketch S/V Bonaire, Hawaii for Newport Beach, CA July 15, abandoned July 28, 800 miles from Hawaii after mast became dislodged. Crew were Orange Coast College sailing students & staff, returning school's US$500,000 ketch from Hawaii after it took part in transpacific race. No injuries. Crew now sailing toward Panama on 2 commercial rescue ships. Ketch expected to sink soon -- chartered by group of Newport Beach yachtsmen to sail in Transpacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Hawaii. College crew flown to islands to sail vessel back to home port, Newport Beach. Sailed out of Honolulu on July 15 -- on July 23, mast step, which supports base of 80-foot main mast at keel, collapsed, causing mast to drop a foot into & threatening to hole the hull. Westbound rescue ship passed in 2 days -- 6 members of the crew--5 students & 1st mate--transferred to unidentified Panama-bound German freighter. Capt. & other mate attempted to continue navigating Bonaire for 3 more days before they gave up & taken aboard unidentified Japanese automobile carrier. (Wed. Aug. 1 2001)

TYPHOON >> Many cargo flights out of Hong Kong on Aug.1 cancelled & marine terminals shut down as Typhoon Yutu brushed the territory. With Number Eight Storm Signal in effect & winds of up to 73 miles an hour (one level below threat of direct hit) port operations shut down in the morning. Typhoon eventually reached land at Guandong province, W. of Hong Kong. Expect vessel losses. Port of Hong Kong Live Cameras<<webfeature- interactive, with zoom

Central Admiralty

Causeway Bay Cam

Victoria Harbour

View All Our Live Cameras At TRANS CAMS CLICK HERE

(Wed. Aug. 1 2001)

Vessel Loss Dispatches For July 2001

Heavy Metal - lifting the un-liftable object - Disaster at Monrovia July 2001

Rail Mate -- an Egyptian rail loss - Tragedy At Ain Sokhna July 2001

Meals: Ready To Explode - Navy container barbecue at Guam! Great New Photos! June 2001

M/V Modern Drive - Incredible Story! Incredible Photos! May 2001

Unidentified German cargo M/V with 2,300 tons of soya beans in collision with Budapest's Chain Bridge 1st & drifted further down the Danube until stuck under pillar of 2nd bridge on July 31. Damage to bridges being assessed. 2nd bridge closed to traffic while vessel freed. 40-year-old Croatian Capt. G. Dragan, tested positive for alcohol after police used breathalyser. Criminal proceedings against Dragan initiated. Budapest's Chain bridge is city's 1st permanent bridge built in mid-19th century, suffered only minor damage. (Tues. July 31 2001)

130-foot ferry M/V Adirondack ran aground shortly after 9:30 p.m. July 26 on 10-mile run from Port Kent, N.Y., to Burlington, 3 miles from the Burlington -- 65 passengers & 6 crew on board. Pulled off Lake Champlain shoal July 27 morning, 13 hours after grounding. (Mon. July 30 2001)

Container M/V Spirit of Enterprise, bound for Lyttelton, grounded in mud for nearly 8 hours in Manukau Harbour, Auckland about 7 am July 28 after straying out of harbor's channel. By mid-morning, crew could do little but climb overboard & wade around in mud themselves while waiting for high tide later in afternoon. (Sun. July 29 2001)

150ft French trawler F/V St Pierre rammed pilot boat M/V Portrona in the Western Isles. Portrona, which guides vessels into Stornoway Harbor, had its mast & radar wrecked in July 28 incident. Maritime & Coastguard Agency to examine claims by Capt. of St Pierre that mechanical problem caused 150ft trawler to suddenly steam ahead instead of gliding to stern when departing the harbor. In Jan., St Pierre collided with oil tanker 18 miles off the Butt of Lewis, injuring 12 crew. (Sun. July 29 2001)

The P&O liner M/V Pacific Sky<<webfeature, scheduled to dock at 7am on July 28, finally made it back to Sydney July 29 night. Its 1473 passengers & 620 crew spent most of July 27 night huddled in cabins as wind & huge waves battered the 46,000-ton ship. Pacific Sky eventually docked at Cockle Bay Wharf 8 at 5:35pm, more than 34 hours late. During roughest weather July 27 night, 3 windows on promenade deck were smashed & 2 crew injured in other incidents. Capt. Phil Pickford said windows, at top of superstructure, cracked as result of ship "flexing under pressure from the water". (Sun. July 29 2001)

Glace Bay, N.S. F/V No Sweat caught fire & sank 275 kilometres off of Halifax on July 28 afternoon. Five crew in life raft rescued on after they were forced to abandon burning vessel before they could radio for help. Oil rig Galaxy II on the Sable offshore project sent supply ship for rescue after noticing dense smoke on the horizon. Very lucky sighting. (Sun. July 29 2001)

AMAZING COINCIDENCE? >> Passenger ship M/V Sun (ex- M/V Regent Sun<<webfeature) under tow from U.S. to breakers yards in India sunk 216km off Cape St Francis late July 25 night. Water depth in area approx. 4,700m. South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) earlier ordered the Hua An, which was towing the Sun around South African coast, to sail away from coast in southerly direction as Sun was taking on water & listing severely. Sun was carrying more than 420 tons of fuel oil. Loss of M/V Sun comes exacly 14 days after loss of her sister M/V Sea (Ex- M/V Regent Sea) in the same area under similar circumstances. Read Our July 13 Story<<webfeature. >>Historical background from our correspondent Fred McCague. (Sat. July 28 2001)

Coast Guard radio operators at U.S. Coast Guard Station Ketchikan overheard radio distress call from 32-foot vessel Dry Heat at 8:46 a.m. reporting that fire engulfed vessel near Streets Island, 10 miles W. of Ketchikan. Station Ketchikan rescue boat crew responded to the scene at 8:49 a.m. with firefighting equipment, but Good Samaritans aboard two vessels, the Show Girl & the Sheltered Seas from Sportsman's Cove Lodge arrived on scene 1st & rescued 9 uninjured boaters. >> From our correspondent Fred McCague. (Sat. July 28 2001)


Last Moments of the Dry Heat

At least twenty workers at Hudong Shipyard in Shanghai killed when a gantry crane collapsed on top of them July 23. Emergency services are trying to bring up to eleven further workers out of the wreckage, although their chances of survival are reported to be slim. No indication which berth is affected at the busy yard. (Sat. July 28 2001)

When tugboat Capt. Keith Elliot, 70, of Brusco Tug & Barge Co. at Longview, Washington, took a bathroom break about 4 a.m. on June 25 -- the gravel barge his tug was pushing drifted out of the shipping channel & into collision with pleasure boat moored at public pier on Government Island. A family of 5 was aboard the boat. The father, Michael Randolf of Battle Ground, was awake & checking on his children before the barge struck. He hustled his wife & 3 children onto the dock, & no one was injured. Vessel damaged but didn't take water. Elliot cited for failure to maintain a lookout & leaving the scene of a marine accident. A deckhand also aboard, but wasn't cited. U.S. Coast Guard investigating. (Sat. July 28 2001)

1970-built, 1,479 gt Philippine cargo M/V Dingalan Bay sank after collision with 11,007 dwt Singapore-flag container M/V Pacific Eagle. Dingalan Bay leaking fuel & Philippine Coast Guard had deployed a boom to contain the oil. Some 16 tons of bunkers though aboard. (Sat. July 28 2001)

129 ton Fairmile, a small wooden patrol & rescue motor launch about same size/vintage as World War II torpedo boat or motor gun boat -- 4 mates set out on a voyage down Australia's east coast, jumping into icy ocean as their ship sunk in rough seas. Water police frantically raced to stricken ex-navy Fairmile in 4-meter swells off Sydney overnight July 27. Crew scheduled a stop in Eden on the NSW south coast but ran into trouble when ship hit an unknown object near Maroubra shortly before midnight. She sank within minutes after striking what may have been a container or other debris. (Fri. July 27 2001)


24 July 2001 at 0115 LT at Tg. Priok, Djakarta, Indonesia. While at anchor, pirates armed with knives boarded bulk carrier, entered engine room & tied up duty watchman. Stole large amount of engine spares before escaping. (Fri. July 27 2001)

21 July 2001 at 2300 LT at outer anchorage, Vang Tau, Vietnam. Pirates in unlit boat boarded container ship & stole ship's stores. (Fri. July 27 20010

21 July 2001 at 1815 LT at Abidjan anchorage, Ivory Coast. Pirates armed with a long knife boarded chemical tanker from boat & threatened the watchman. Later 5 more pirates boarded, stole safety equipment & escaped. (Fri. July 27 2001)

19 July 2001 at 1930 UTC at Panjang port, Indonesia. Two pirates boarded bulk carrier from small boat. Entered engine room, threatened motorman on watch with knife, manhandled him & tied his hands. Deck watch noticed boat & raised alarm. Result -- pirates fled taking ship's stores.

Back To Year 2001 Reports

Commander, U.S. Coast Guard communications station on remote St. Paul Island in Bering Sea -- shot to death in 1st slaying on Coast Guard property in history. Chief Warrant Officer Timothy A. Harris, 33, found dead July 24 outside office. Carl W. Merculief Jr., 25, arrested & charged with murder. Motive for slaying not established. Merculief & 2nd man drove to base about 4 a.m. -- Merculief then went to home of estranged wife & threatened to kill her & 2nd man if they reported shooting. Hours later, they slipped away & notified police. -- "As a small, humanitarian service in the lifesaving business, we're grieving the tragic, violent loss of one of our team members," said Capt. Richard Houck, chief of staff of 17th Coast Guard District<<webfeature. Harris, a 17-year Coast Guard veteran, assigned commanding officer of station on July 3 -- transferred from New Orleans, where wife & 2 children still live. Navigation station on St. Paul Island staffed by 15 to 22 crew who keep radio signal operating 24 hours a day. Coast Guard members serve 1-year tours w/o their families because station does not have housing for relatives. St. Paul Island is 775 miles S.W. of Anchorage -- population of about 675, majority Aleut. Sad result for a guy whose job is just to protect us. (Wed. July 25 2001)

New Zealand family aboard 11.6 meter steel-hulled S/V Aimlis will spend night on remote reef awaiting rescue after Australian navy responded to their SOS call for help July 25. A couple & daughter, names yet to be released, stranded in yacht on Chesterfield Reef 800km off Queensland after running aground in high seas July 24 night. Australia's search & rescue organization, said 3 were currently safe but faced long wait for navy minehunter to reach outer reef in Coral Sea-- expected July 26 afternoon. (Wed. July 25 2001)

Scots Capt. Stuart Ross & crew of 10,000-ton reefer fruit transport M/V Canterbury Star plucked 7 people to safety from capsized yacht S/V Dazzler in night-time rescue in rough seas. The 4 men & 3 women - 6 English &1 Irish - kept alive in air pockets after twin-hulled catamaran Dazzler blasted upside down by fierce squall in Atlantic. One rescued sailors, 21-year-old Caroline Long, from Ireland, said: "All crew of the ship which rescued us are heroes. They deserve a medal." Stranded mariners triggered emergency position-indicating radio beacon & signal picked up via satellite at rescue center in Azores. Plane sent to investigate & the Canterbury Star was diverted to scene from position 70 miles away. Capt. Ross, speaking by mobile phone said: "It was dark, windy & raining when we got near yacht. ...Still no sign of life & we feared the worst. But we blew whistles & threw ropes over the yacht." It was 2 hours before all sailors, covered in oil & exhausted after 10-hour ordeal, were rescued. (Wed. July 25 2001)

Russian-registered container M/V Alexandra began sinking in Liberia's main port of Monrovia July 25 while unloading, threatening to obstruct operations. Alexandra listed & started sinking after some containers were taken off."The sooner the ship is removed from here, the better chance this will mean for other ships to dock. The longer it stays here, the more it will affect our economy. So we are doing everything at the moment to get this out," an official said. It was not clear what was in the containers or how many had been on board the ship, though 53 were bound for Liberia. Alexandra was ex-San Pedro, one of 2 major ports for exporting cocoa from neighboring Ivory Coast. (Wed. July 25 2001)

Sri Lankan rebels launched their boldest & most damaging actions July 24, decimating country's Int'l airport. Nine rebels stormed Bandaranaike Int'l Airport outside capital, Colombo -- using suicide bombers, mortars, guns & explosives, destroyed 8 military & 5 passenger aircraft -- killed 5 military personnel & injured 14 before being shot dead or blowing themselves up. Attack expected to further weaken government's resources, already battered from 18 years of civil war between the country's majority Sinhalese population & Tamil separatists. Tourism has continued in the country's S. & W. despite fighting in the N. & E.. -- today's attack on the airport where all Int'l tourists arrive sure to make visits even rarer. (Tues. July 24 2001)

Fuel oil seeped from sunken Japanese M/V Takeo Maru off Sakhalin Island in Russia's Far East, forming a slick half-a-mile-long and 165-feet-wide. Oil began seeping July 22 from the corroded fuel tanks of Takeo Maru, which sank in 1979 storm near the town of Shakhtyorsk. Emergency workers collecting oil, while divers attempt to stop up holes in tanks. Oil previously leaked from tanks, which hold 352 tons of fuel, on 3 occasions in 1999 & 2000. Last summer, divers welded metal sheets over tanks in attempt to counter corrosion. Officials worked out plan in 1999 to pump all fuel out of tanks but never carried out because Japanese ship owners did not provide money for job. (Tues. July 24 2001)

Australian F/V Harry and Wayne sunk but 6 people in inflatable life raft rescued early July 22 evening by Australian Coast Guard vessel after crew forced to abandon vessel. Crew, including a 12-year-old boy, from Grand Bank, Nfld., believed in good health -- transported to N. Sydney. Vessel started to take water 120 km off Sydney, N.S.. July 22 2001)


16 July 2001 at 1530 UTC at Chittagong Roads, Bangladesh. While at anchor, pirates boarded tanker from speedboat & stole mooring ropes. Coast guard informed. (Fri. July 20 2001)

14 July 2001 at 1800 LT in position 02:05.7N - 109:31E, 10 nm off Tg. Datu lighthouse, Indonesia. While underway, pirates from Indonesian fishing boat boarded general cargo ship & threatened to hijack her. Master paid cash to pirates & they left the ship at 2000 LT on 15 July 2001. The ship continued passage to Port Klang. (Fri. July 20 2001)

12. July 2001 at 1815 UTC in position 13:05.8N - 080:20.5E at Chennai anchorage, India. Five pirates in unlit green motorboat came alongside container ship. Three pirates armed with knives boarded during heavy rain. Vigilant anti-piracy watch spotted pirates & raised alarm. Pirates chased a crewmember with long knife before jumping overboard, taking ship's equipment. Port control informed & police boarded to investigate at 1850 UTC. Same ship boarded by pirates on 10 July 2001 as described below. (Fri. July 20 2001)

12 July 2001 at 2145 LT at Belawan anchorage, Indonesia. Six pirates armed with big knives tried to board chemical tanker via anchor chain. Anti piracy watch spotted & raised alarm. Intruders fled when crew threw hand flares at them. (Fri. July 20 2001)

10 July 2001 at 0700 UTC in position: 13:05.7N - 080:20.5E, at Chennai anchorage, India. Seven pirates in motorboat approached container ship. Four pirates boarded ship. Anti piracy watch raised alarm. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped. (Fri. July 20 2001)

07 July 2001 Tanjung Balai Karimun waters, Indonesia. While underway, pirates hijacked tanker & took hostage her 11 crew. On 12 July 2001 Indonesian authorities located tanker at Cirebon port in central java. All 11 crew safe onboard. Authorities investigating incident. (Fri. July 20 2001)

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Banff-registered 38 meter F/V Vertrauen (1975) sank after engine room began taking water 80 miles N.E. of Fraserburgh. Four crew rescued minutes before sinking in North Sea. Rescue vessel dispatched from Scott Guardian & crew taken on board. Crew transferred to RAF Sea King helicopter & taken to RAF Lossiemouth. (Thurs. July 19 2001)

Phoenix III, part of U.S. Navy-contracted M/V Ocean Hercules, is about 9 miles S.. of Waikiki. The remotely operated vehicle has surveyed sunken 190-foot, 830-ton F/V Ehime Maru & cut some wires from mast so it can be removed later. The remotely operated vehicle has been lowered 2,000 feet into Pacific as part of effort to recover bodies & other items from Japanese fishing vessel sunk by a U.S. Navy submarine USS Greeneville in Feb. 2001. 45 crew aboard Ocean Hercules are preparing Ehime Maru to be moved to shallower water. Japanese & U.S. Navy divers will attempt to locate bodies & belongings of 9 Japanese men & boys believed to be inside. See our USS Greeneville<<webfeature report of Feb. 2001. (Thurs. July 19 2001)

U.S. Coast Guard investigators July 18 located wreckage of F/V Artic Rose that sank in Bering Sea in April with 15 crew. Searchers for Arctic Rose got brief view of vessel before remotely operated vehicle transmitting pictures got tangled in wreckage -- cable controlling snapped & US$100,000 search vehicle lost under 450 feet of water. Reveiw our coverage of the Artice Rose loss<<wefeature. (Wed. July 18 2001)

In yacht regatta known as "Festival of Farr''.-- Asia Pajkovska was on 1 of 5 in all-woman crew on 66ft S/V AlphaGraphics, who was rescued after being thrown overboard on 3rd leg of "EDS Atlantic Challenge" from Portsmouth to Baltimore. Vessel under reduced sail & used engine to return to where Pajkovska was battling against seas whipped by storm force gales. Took 3 attempts & 20 minutes to circle yachtswoman before she grabbed line & hauled to safety. (Wed. July 18 2001)

Sri Lankan air force jets July 18 bombed flotilla of boats belonging to Tamil Tiger guerrillas off the island's N.E.coast. Air strikes were ordered after naval patrol stumbled on rebel supply convoy of 8 vessels. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have been fighting since 1983 for a separate state for minority Tamils in country's N. & E.. Rebels buy arms & ammunition on Int'l black market -- usually use small boats to smuggle supplies on to the island. (Wed. July 18 2001)

Philippine coastguard reports cargo M/V Pacific Eagle sunk after collision with M/V Dingalan Bay while docking at wharf in S. port of Davao. Pacific Eagle hit by the larger Singaporean vessel with mechanical problems. Vessel sank slowly after taking water through hole caused by collision. No casualties reported. (Tues. July 17 2001)

Malaysian Marine Police ordered another 10 patrol boats at a cost of US$26M to enhance its anti-pirate enforcement capability. The 25m fast craft are in final stages of construction & will deliver soon to supplement 20 jet-propelled fast strike craft acquired last year. Spokesman for Malaysian Marine Police said force planned to acquire further boats over next 2 years. (Tues. July 17 2001)

U.S. Coast Guard on scene of possible oil spill reported off coast of Miami Beach from M/V Argentinian Reefer. Officials say between 700 to 1,000 gallons of an unknown substance has leaked. Spill is 1.5 miles E. of Govenment Cut. Substance seen trailing vessel for about 10 miles. (Mon. July 16 2001)

Steam engine from USS Monitor<<webfeature, brought to surface by U.S. Navy divers July 16, 138 years after celebrated U.S. Civil War ironclad went down in storm. Crane aboard 300-foot oceangoing barge raised the 30-ton engine from Atlantic 16 miles off Hatteras Inlet. The Monitor, once described as resembling a "cheesebox on a raft," revolutionized naval warfare when it battled the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia<<webfeature to a draw in March 1862 at Hampton Roads. It was history's 1st clash of ironclads. (Mon. July 16 2001)

Norwegian diving support ship M/V Mayo poised to start risky operation to raise Russian nuclear sub Kursk, which sank in Barents Sea in August 2000. Mayo carrying Norwegian, Russian & British divers, will inspect wreck before starting to clear away silt from under vessel. At least 2 months expected to pass before lift of vessel. British divers expected to begin work on July 16 morning, on one of the most ambitious salvage missions ever attempted. It will take about 2 months before the submarine is ready for lifting. Submarine, which has nuclear reactors & unexploded torpedoes aboard, lies under 356 feet (100 meters) of water. Read KURSK RESCUE. (Sun. July 15 2001)

British divers expected to begin work on July 16 morning, on one of the most ambitious salvage missions ever attempted. It will take about two months before the submarine is ready for lifting. Submarine, which has nuclear reactors & unexploded torpedoes aboard, lies under 356 feet (100 metres) of water.

Greek owned, St Vincent-registered 20,850 dwt M/V Stefanis, from Maputo with sugar & 21 crew, in collidition with a Taiwanese M/V Taaing 6 --1,000 miles W. of Angola earlier. Neither vessel said in danger of sinking. (Sun. July 15 2001)

939-foot U.S. Military Sealift Command ammunition ship USNS SSG (Staff Sgt.) Edward A Carter, Jr. <<webfeture, launched March 2001 (T-AK 4544) with 2,800 tons of explosives caught fire July 14, 4 p.m. at Sunny Point Military Ocean Terminal<<webfeature, on Cape Fear River, NC. About 40 aboardwhen fire started in engine room -- one crew jumped overboard & missing -- one other killed in engine spaces--one more dies at hospital. Not clear how many crew accounted for. Vessel buring to 10 p.m. Ship loading ammunition from another ship when fire broke out. 2,300 20-foot containers of ammunition were on board. Whether any ammunition exploded not known. Half-mile area cleared around vessel. Sunny Point is a Dept. of Defense terminal equipped to handle ammunition, explosives & other dangerous cargo for shipment overseas -- only DOD terminal equipped to handle containerized ammunition. . (Sat. July 14 2001)

Who is Staff Sgt. Edward A. Carter, Jr.?<<webfeature. He fought the Japanese as a teenager in China, battled fascism in the Spanish Civil War & took up arms against the Nazis during World War II, all with great success. But one skirmish he couldn't win, at least in his own lifetime, was the fight he waged at home against ignorance, bigotry & McCarthyism. Edward A Carter, Jr. was a hero of the U.S. Military, who happened to be black. Just like the man -- USNS SSG Edward A Carter, Jr. did now blow up last night -- it got real hot -- but she continues to serve -- as befits this The Medal of Honor winner.

North Korean freighter 873gt M/V Myonggwang No. 3 capsized & sank 10 minutes after collision with 699-ton Japanese tanker M/T Koshumaru No. 11, with liquefied petroleum gas, July 14 morning off Wakayama prefecture (state). 16 members of Myonggwang's crew uninjured. (Sat. July 14 2001)

2,981gt Honduran M/V Acarreo 3, with 5,000 tons of magnesium ore, ran aground after collision at 2 a.m., with South Korean container 4,124gt M/V Bonny Star, 7 miles off Kujukuri, Chiba prefecture (state). Capt. is missing. (Sat. July 14 2001)

Hopes fading after 4 day search along E. Australia's coastline failed to find trace of 11.6 meter S/V Just Cruisin' -- missing more than a week. Wreckage found off Bribie Island<<webfeature, just off Brisbane today Police divers inspected -- found no bodies & no sign of dinghy, raising hopes that 4 crew abandoned sinking vessel in runabout. (Sat. July 14 2001)

Il-76 cargo jet on take off from Chkalovski military airport (20 miles outside Moscow) for Norilsk in N. Russia, crashed 500 meters from runway July 14. All 10 crew died -- some passengers may have been aboard. (Sat. July 14 2001)

North Korean cargo M/V Myonggwang-3, Shanghai for Yokohama with materials used to make soba (Japanese-style noodle) & 17 crew, capsized & sank after collision with Japanese liquefied petroleum gas tanker M/T Koshumaru No. 11 in Japanese coastal waters 10 km off of Shimotsucho in W. Japanese prefecture of Wakayama July 14 -- one crew missing. North Korean ships sometimes pass through these areas (waters near Wakayama) for trade-related purposes. Cause unknown. 16 of Myonggwang-3's 17 crew rescued by Koshumaru. Crew fear is may be returned to N. Korea. (Fri. July 13 2001)

Explosion occurred while Gulf offshore Marine 4 rig drilling in Gulf of Mexico 26 miles S. of Freeport, Texas. One crew missing. 38 crew members abandoned rig in 2 safety capsules & were picked up by other vessels in area. (Fri. July 13 2001)

Sad Fairwell To A Lady >> 23,000-ton cruise ship M/V Sea, built 1957 [ex-GRIPSHOLM (Swedish American on transatlantic service) & ex-REGENT SEA<<webfeature (Regency Cruises on Alaska & Caribbean service)], in tow for breakers yards in India sank off Eastern Cape coast July 11. She had been laid up in the Bahamas & Florida since collapse of Regency Cruises, 5 years ago. Sad loss of a great Lady. No loss of life. Tow tug on way to lend assistance. Vessel had been sold & was to be cut for scrap. Maritime Rescue Co-ordinating Center at Silvermine had received signals from tug's Capt. -- experiencing difficulties towing cruise ship in stormy weather. Tow rope snapped but somehow managed to re-attach. Then cruise ship listing at 40 degrees & then 60 degrees -- it was cut loose & sank. Midnight buffet was cancelled. >>Historical background from our correspondent Fred McCague. (Fri. July 13 2001)

M/V Sea, ex-GRIPSHOLM (Swedish American transatlantic service) and ex-REGENT SEA (Regency Cruises Alaska and Caribbean service) The ship was built in 1957. She had been laid up in the Bahamas & Florida since the collapse of Regency Cruises about 5 years ago.

Minesweepers, other military vessels & thousands of troops, including specialists in chemical, nuclear & biological warfare, will be part of the security used to protect world leaders at next week's Group of Eight summit in Genoa. A missile defense system was installed earlier this week. 2,700 army, navy & air force troops to be on duty during the summit, but none will be deployed against demonstrators, according to the Defense Ministry -- instead used for air & sea patrols, and surveillance work. (Fri. July 13 2001)


09 July 2001 at 0224 LT in position 06:18.5N - 003:19E, Lagos anchorage, Nigeria. Six pirates boarded container ship, tied up the duty A/B & stole ship's stores. (Fri. July 13 2001)

08 July 2001 at 0345 LT at Chennai anchorage, India. Anti piracy watch on container ship spotted pirates on main deck & raised alarm. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped. (Fri. July 13 2001)

06 July 2001 at 0345 LT at Lagos Roads, Nigeria. While anchored 4 miles from fairway buoy, pirates armed with long knives boarded bulk carrier from starboard quarter. When duty A/B challenged -- he was threatened with a knife, hit in the waist & his walkie-talkie and watch were stolen. Upon hearing alarm, pirates escaped in boat. Port control informed at 0600 LT but did not respond. (Fri. July 13 2001)

05 July 2001 at 0730 LT at Tg. Priok anchorage, Indonesia. Four pirates boarded bulk carrier but spotted by anti piracy watch. Alarm raised & pirates escaped. (Fri. July 13 2001)

03 July 2001 at 1940 LT in position 10:38.4N - 03:05W, Guinea Bissau. While underway, ten armed pirates boarded general cargo ship. Duty officer raised alarm & crew mustered on deck. Pirates escaped in their boat but kept trailing behind vessel for an hour. (Fri. July 13 2001)

03 July 2001 at 2000 UTC at Chittagong anchorage, Bangladesh. Pirates armed with long knives boarded container ship & stole ship's stores. (Fri. July 13 2001)

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Hong Kong-flagged Japanese Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. iron ore carrier M/V Dyna Gemini refloated July 11, 16 days after grounding on river sand bank W. of Rio de Janeiro. Dyna Gemini grounded June 25 shortly after it left the inland port Sepetiba, 100 km W. of Rio de Janeiro, with 151,000 tons of iron ore for France. Inquiry aims to explain why vessel strayed from 15-meter deep channel. Dyna Gemini will sail to France after cargo reloaded. (Wed. July 11 2001)

266-foot M/V Ocean Hercules of San Francisco will arrive Hawaii July 13 for recovery of 190-foot, 830gt Japanese F/V Ehime Maru sunk by U.S. submarine USS Greeneville 5 months ago. Bodies of 9 Japanese crew believed in fishing vessel, submerged at 2,000 ft., 9 miles S. of Waikiki. Ocean Hercules will prepare sunken vessel for M/V Rockwater 2, construction support ship that will attempt to move Ehime Maru to shallower water. Salvage experts esimate US$40M recovery operation will require cooperative sea conditions. U.S. Navy has never salvaged ship of this size. Rockwater 2 is in Philippines -- will arrive Hawaii early August. (Wed. July 11 2001)

Sumatra M/V Sungai Halimun, with 171 passengers & crew, hit ferry belonging to state-owned Pertamina oil company. Passenger ships collided on river in Indonesia's S. Sumatra province July 10, killing at least 13 -- 7 missing after accident on Musi River<<webfeature, near Palembang, 250 miles NW of Jakarta. (Tues. July 10 2001)

India coastguard & vessels from Calcutta Port Trust rescued 30 crew who abandoned Vietnamese cargo M/V Lucnam, with 13,200 tons of potash fertilizer, July 10 after it began sinking (now sunk) at Sandheads, mouth of Bay of Bengal, 145 miles S. of eastern city of Calcutta. Owned by state-run Vietnam Ocean Shipping Co. (Tues. July 10 2001)

Fire broke out in engine room of passenger ferry M/V Ruegen crossing Germany for Sweden, July 6, less than a week after similar blaze damaged sister ship M/V Sassnitz on Baltic Sea route (SEE OUR JULY 1 REPORT). Two people slightly injured. Blaze aboard Ruegen broke out June 30 afternoon as it neared Trelleborg, Sweden with 261 souls aboard. Flames extinguished & ship limped into port. (Mon. July 9 2001)

American pilot & 3 Japanese passengers of missing single engine private U.S. plane (mistakenly reported by Russia as a jet) rescued unharmed early July 9 by Russian freighter M/V Artist Roerich, in Sea of Okhotsk,100 km, E of Polonaisk, E. of Sakhalin -- after 16 hours in life raft. Helicopter chartered by Sakhalin government transported the 4 men from rescue vessel to to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Group took off from Hakodate airport in S. Hokkaido July 8, for Magadan in Russia's Far East. Russian Ministry of Civil Defense, "Emergencies & Cleanup Operations" quoted Capt. of freighter as saying the 4 were in lifeboat when found at around 3:35 a.m. July 9. Pilot is Mike Smith, former U.S. military pilot. 3 Japanese members of Aircraft Owners & Pilots Assn. Japan -- on their way to U.S. state of Idaho via Russia to return Pilatus PC-12 <<webfeature & Pilatus PC-12 <<webfeature, plane in which AOPA Japan members had completed an around-the-world trip between early June & July 8. Survival of this crew is a miracle! (Mon. July 9 2001)

India's only space port in S. India faces major forest fire --forced authorities to vacate & shift fuel & other explosive devices to safer places. Fire, still raging since July 6 evening near Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SHAR) at Sriharikota <<webfeature. 15 fire fighting crews battling 2.5 miles inside high-security space port complex. Fire due to "natural causes," caused minor damage to optic fibre & telephone cables. Expected to be doused this evening. (Mon. July 9 2001)

Princess Cruise Line's M/V Grand Princess destroyed swarm of killer bees discovered aboard at Port Everglades as vessel returned from Mexico. Bees detected on top deck by crew member who reported swarm to his department. (Sat. July 7 2001)

We Told You Container Losses Go Unreported >> Sandals & shoes are washing ashore on Kodiak Island -- off 'S-Class' 6,600 TEU super container vessel 91,560gt M/V Sovereign Maersk (1997) <<webfeature as it is now reported that some 20 containers fell into North Pacific on March 2, 2000. Latitude & longitude under study. Nike says one container held 26,016 sandals & shoes. No Boundaries brand name clogs also washed ashore with them -- white, Made In China, & seen at WalMart. (from our contributor, the ocean drift scientist Dr. Curt Ebbesmeyer) (Fri. July 6 2001)

Scare over purported attack by armed pirate group on Shell oil rig St Joseph, situated off Sabah about hour's boat ride from Kota Belud and close to Pulau Mantanani & Pulau Tiga -- forced some 100 workers to be evacuated ashore July 4 . All 3 wings of Malaysian armed forces on high alert, as well as police, whose units were sent to secure rig in South China Sea. Deployed from Labuan & other Sabah west coast barracks, security forces surrounded sea area around rig. Turned out -- may be only a scare, according to sources. (Fri. July 6 2001)


02. July 2001 at 0400 LT anchored 5 miles from breakwater, Lagos roads, Nigeria. Pirates armed with long knives boarded tanker from port quarter. A/b on anti piracy watch challenged. Pirates threatened him with knife, snatched his walkie-talkie, wristwatch 7 safety shoes. Pirates escaped by climbing down rope & then by speedboat. Port control informed. (Fri. July 6 2001)

02 July 2001 at 0100 LT in position 01:05N - 104:55E, Indonesia. While underway, 20 pirates armed with guns & long knives in speedboat attempted to board container ship from stern. Duty officer noticed pirates & raised the alarm and zigzagged the course. Pirates aborted attempted boarding. (Fri. July 6 2001)

01 July 2001 at 0125lt in position 01:03N - 104:57E, Indonesia. 6 pirates with long knives boarded bulk carrier. On noticing pirates ship raised alarm & mustered crew. Pirates escaped. No injuries & no loss of ship's property. (Fri. July 6 2001)

30 June 2001 at 0230 LT at Pulau Mapor Island, Indonesia. Pirates boarded oil tanker. On sighting pirates, general alarm sounded & crew mustered. Pirates escaped. Master alerted ships in the vicinity via vhf. (Fri. July 6 2001)

30 June 2001 at 0100 LT in position 0105N - 104.55E, Indonesia. About 20 pirates armed with heavy artillery & long knives in fast boat came astern & attempted to board container ship. Duty officer raised alarm, took evasive manoeuvres & directed searchlights. Pirates aborted attempted boarding. (Fri. July 6 2001)

29 June 2001 at 0445 LT in position 13.42.5N - 103:24.6E, Red Sea. Pirates in 2 very fast-unlit speedboats attempted to board general cargo ship. Alert crew directed searchlights & activated fire hoses. Boats followed for about 30 mins & moved away towards another southbound ship. (Fri. July 6 2001)

28 June 2001 in position 29:38.7N - 48:45.2E, umm Qasr, Iraq. Whilst at anchor pirates broke into forecastle store & stole fire-fighting equipment. (Fri. July 6 2001)

27 June 2001 at 0530 LT at Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Whilst alongside container berth no. 9, pirates disguised as dock labor, boarded container ship & stole ship's stores. When challenged by crew, they jumped overboard & escaped in a boat. Port authority informed. (Fri. July 6 2001)

27 June 2001 at 0500 LT at Belawan anchorage, Indonesia. Five pirates armed with a shotgun & knives boarded bulk carrier at forecastle & threatened watchman. When crew alerted pirates escaped with ship's stores & crew valuables. (Fri. July 6 2001)

27 June 2001 at 0445 LT in position 01:11.6N - 103:24.6E, Pulau Iyu Kecil, Malacca Straits. While underway, five masked pirates armed with long knives boarded bulk carrier & robbed master of US$4,000 & personal belongings. They escaped in boat & sped towards Brothers lighthouse, Indonesia. (Fri. July 6 2001)

25 June 2001 at 1800 LT in position 04:54.00N - 097:57.00E, Malacca straits. While at anchor carrying out engine repairs, pirates boarded tanker, abducted the master & 2nd officer and took them ashore. They demanded substantial ransom for the return of officers. Subsequent to negotiations, 2nd officer released. Master is still held captive. Vessel safely arrived Penang, Malaysia on 27 June 2001. (Fri. July 6 2001)

19 June 2001 in position off Iyu Kecil, Malacca straits. While underway, about 20 armed pirates boarded M/T SELAYANG en route from Port Dickson to Labuan, Malaysia. Pirates hijacked ship & tied up the crew. Nine of pirates disembarked from ship at Durian straits, Indonesia. Acting on intelligence reports provided by IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, Indonesian Navy detained ship on the 27 June 2001 near Samarinda & towed her to Balikpapan port, Indonesia. The 14 crew safe on board. The 10 pirates are held at the naval base for further investigations. Cargo of gas oil intact onboard. (Fri. July 6 2001)

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Russian Rescue vessel M/V Rudnitsky & anti-submarine destroyer have left Arctic of Port Severomorsk to begin effort to raise Russian nuclear submarine SSGN Kursk<<webfeature from bottom of Barents Sea -- should reach salvage site late July 5. Russian & Norwegian divers also heading to area from Scottish Port of Aberdeen. Operation to salvage Kursk to begin next week & conclude late Sept. SSGN Kursk<<webfeature sank Aug. 2000 after 2 onboard explosions, killing all 118 aboard. Time To Review Our Full Coverage of The Event <<This Is When Our Coverage Ended On 21 Aug. 2000 -- Scroll Down To The Beginning of The Disaster on Aug. 15 For Our Initial Report of >> SUB DOWN! --And Our Daily Updates Thereafter. Prepare for the next chapter of one of the great sea stories. Will the Kursk be raised? (Thurs. July 5 2001)

Our Tribute Pages To Crew of SSGN Kursk

SSGN Kursk -- the full story of her loss

Tribute To The Crew Of SSGN Kursk

Crew of The Kursk

Sinking of The SSGN Kursk

Kursk Relatives USA Relief Fund

Russian View: Loss of The Kursk

Russian Sub Disaster -- news stories

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Unbelievable But True Maritime Story >> Two Papua New Guinea fishermen bled to death after having their penises bitten off by pirahna-like river fish. Fish, zero in on urine streams in water -- struck obvious terror among villagers along the Sepik River, in NW Papua New Guinea. Authorities believe killer fish introduced member of South American pacu family & relative of piranha. In both fatalities, fish demonstrated trait of piranha by following trail of urine in water, swimming to source & then biting it off with razor-sharp teeth. Some believe killer may be food-source fish introduced from Brazil in 1994 by UN Food & Agricultural Organization & PNG National Fisheries Authority. Director of PNG Office of Environment & Conservation, Dr Wari Iamo, July 4 expressed "grave concern & dissatisfaction" at the way some government agencies & donor organisations had gone about importing exotic plant & animal species. Reported at Port Moresby, July 6, by The Age, an Australian publication. (from our contributor Fred McCague) (Thurs. July 5 2001)

18,500-ton M/V Mirande grounded on sandbank near Rye about 9.30pm June 28. No fuel spilt & no injuries. Master was said "drunk in his bunk" -- in no position to command when vessel ran aground in Port Phillip Bay, an Australian court was told July 4. When police later tried to interview Capt. Yvon Jean Robert Flambeaux -- the French national had blood alcohol concentration of 0.29%. Flambeaux, with 40 years' experience, pleaded guilty to charges including being master of a ship while under influence of an incapacitating amount of alcohol -- fined total A$4,000. Prosecutors told court that at midday of incident - while waiting to set sail from Geelong - witnesses saw intoxicated Flambeaux drinking whisky. with a colleague. When warned by Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Flambeaux had said: "I understand my obligations & I will stop drinking." But after vessel hit sandbank, Flambeaux - asleep in his cabin - was found in "a total state of intoxication" -- unable to stand, slurred speech & reeked of liquor. Yes, we know, had the vesel caught fire -- it would have been Mirande Flambeaux. (from our contributor Fred McCague) (Thurs. July 5 2001)

ALERT: Typhoon Utor >> 449 ships, including many from China, operating nearby sought safety in Taiwan harbors. Utor moving W NW at average speed of 33 km/hour expected to make landfall on China's SE coast by July 5 afternoon. (Thurs. July 5 2001 - LAX)

Italian Navy July 4 pulled some 600 would-be illegal immigrants from freighter M/V Ammoil adrift off Italy's S. coast. Eight passengers with dehydration. Italian navy frigate carrying rescued - most believed Iraqi & Turkish Kurds - bound for Crotone. Coast guard helicopters spotted ship, which ran out of fuel off Calabrian coast. Officials trying to determine nationality of Ammoil. (Wed. July 4 2001)

The Navy Is Home! >> Pieces of disassembled U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries II <<webfeature, plane arrived Hawaii July 3 -- 3 months after aircraft's collision with Chinese fighter jet sparked crisis in U.S.-China relations. Fuselage of EP-3E & equipment used to dismantle plane aboard an Antonov-124 cargo aircraft, which landed at Hickam Air Force Base at 6:09 p.m. - 12 hours after plane left S. China's Hainan island. Stop in Manila for refueling. Civilian technicians able to finish before 25-day target date of July 11 because of ideal weather conditions, lack of mechanical problems & Chinese cooperation. EP-3E to be transported on The 4th of July to Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Ga. Other parts flown to Kadena Air Base <<webfeature, on Japanese island of Okinawa where VQ-1 has facilities. (July 3 2001) Read full details of this incident <<special webfeature

Turkish cargo M/V Muzaffer Senkaya, with iron & 9 crew, sank in Greek waters, 25 NM W. of island of Lesvos, July 3. Vessel issued distress call after cargo shifted, causing crack in superstructure. Greek M/V Champion Zeus & Greek coast guard rescued crew. (Tues. 3 July 2001)

Rescue vessels responded to burning German-flagged ferry M/V Sassnitz crossing from Sweden to Germany with 237 passengers -- still in Swedish waters in Baltic Sea, Trelleborg for Sassnitz. Fire broke out July 1 evening. Multiple cargo vessels on scene. Ferry located between Trelleborg, city on S. tip of Sweden, & German island of Ruegen. Vessel, with capacity for 800 passengers & 100 cars, built in 1989 in Denmark. No injuries reported & cause of blaze not known. Under tow to Germany with passengers aboard. (Sun. July 1 2001)

Vessel Loss Dispatches For June 2001

Meals: Ready To Explode - Navy container barbecue at Guam! Great New Photos! June 2001

M/V Modern Drive - Incredible Story! Incredible Photos! May 2001

41 ft. patrol U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat 14 miles off Port Canaveral was escorting surfaced Royal Navy submarine H.M.S. Victorious to sea when it was diverted by report of a possible oil slick. As it circled behind sub to respond to the call, shortly after 2 p.m., its propeller caught in towed array -- was out 2,000 yards, as Coast Guard passed about 1,400 yards around sub. Coast Guard boat vessel disabled, but no injuries. Royal Navy hired a salvage boat to tow U.S. Coast Guard boat back to port. (Sat. June 30 2001)

British F/V Constant Faith, out of Peterhead, taking water 80 miles off NE coast of Scotland. Alarm raised at 0215 BST June 30. Fraserburgh-registered M/V Conquest came alongside -- 6 crew rescued. (Sat. June 30 2001)

French M/V Mirande, Geelong for Taiwan with grain, suffered steering failure June 28 night & ran aground in mud near Rye on Mornington Peninsula, on the bay S.of Melbourne. Efforts to refloat ship grounded in Port Phillip Bay proved unsuccessful. Paramedics flown to ship by police helicopter after ship's Captain fell & knocked himself out. Australia. Indeed, what next? (Fri. June 29 2001)

Panamanian-registered freighter M/V Nissei Maru, in ballast, in collision with Japanese 499-ton M/V Dai Hachi Sumitoku Maru, with cement, occurred off Shimoda, S. of Tokyo. Friday, 29 June, 2001, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK -- the ships collided in heavy fog off coast of Japan, leaving one crew dead & 2 missing. Thrown overboard when Japanese cargo vessel, capsized after collision. The two others rescued by Japanese Coastguard patrol boat from Shimoda Regional Coast Guard HQ. None of 10 Chinese crew on other vessel injured. Smaller cargo vessel quickly sank. (Fri. June 29 2001)


24 June 2001 at 1128 LT in position 31:13.3S - 030:09.3E, S. Edward port, South Africa.While underway, speedboat attempted to come alongside container ship. Crew mustered on deck & ship altered course to avoid. Pirates aborted attempted boarding. (Fri. June 29 2001)

23 June 2001 at 0435 LT at Conakry port, Guinea. While at anchor, pirates armed with guns & knives boarded tanker & assaulted 3 officers. Officers including Capt. received injuries. Pirates stole ship's stores, cash from ship's safe & crew's valuables before escaping. (Fri. June 29 2001)

23 June 2001 at 0730 LT at Chittagong outer roads, Bangladesh. While at anchor, 3 boats approached bulk carrier's stern. Pirates stole zinc anodes from rudderpost. Anti piracy watchman spotted & raised the alarm. Pirates fled. (Fri. June 29 2001)

23 June 2001 at 0745 LT at Chittagong outer roads, Bangladesh. While at anchor, boats approached bulk carrier & pirates stole zinc anodes from rudderpost. Spotted by anti piracy watch & alarm raised. Pirates fled. (Fri. June 29 2001)

20 June 2001 at 0400 LT at Sandakan port, Malaysia. While at anchor anti piracy watchstander spotted 5 pirates opening a container. When the watchstander challenged them, pirates escaped in small boat taking with them some cargo from container. (Fri. June 29 2001)

20 June 2001 at 0100 LT in position 06:02.6S - 106:54E, Tg. Priok anchorage, Indonesia. Pirates boarded container ship, entered the engine room & stole engine spares. (Fri. June 29 2001)

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Taiwanese F/V Qing-Qing Fa capsized, June 20 at 6 NM of Batanes island for still unknown reasons -- now feared all dead after a multinational rescue team failed to find any fishermen after 7 days of searching. Crew reportedly sent SOS -- received by Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Taipei Rescue Coordinating Center, and an In'l Rescue Center Okinawa. PCG sent aircraft to last known location of capsized vessel while a search & rescue (SAR) helicopter from Okinawa dispatched to area. PCG also requested crew of 3 Chinese fishing vessels in area to help in search. Vessel now presumed lost. (Wed. June 27 2001)

THE GREAT VICTORY >> For some years now, Capt P. Mukundan of the Int'l Maritime Bureau (IMB) has been begging (begging) our indusrty to adopt proper Anti-piracy procedures & practices. Few carriers have taken note. Now, however, a pirate hijacked ship was taken -- watched electronically by the Int'l Maritime Bureau -- and then Re-taken within 48 hours! >> This date in history -- June 27 2001 must be remembered as the day of the "Pearl Harbor For Pirates." Yes, a surprise attack for the Good Guys which may now pave the way for safe Int'l seas -- Thank You So Very Much Capt. Mukundan! (Wed. June 27 2001)

Read About Modern ANTI-PIRACY EFFORTS <<special webfeature - A special The Cargo Letter feature. Read also about IMB's satellite tracking system with which Capt P. Mukundan has changed the pirate tide >> Shiploc <<webfeature. [See Our Reports - Below For This Date.] (Wed. June 27 2001)

THIS IS THE MOMENT TO THANK CAPT. MUKUNDAN >> Indonesia Navy rescued all crew of hijacked Malaysian tanker M/T Selayang on E. coast of Kalimantan June 27, while Indonesian vessel M/T Tirta Niaga IV, attacked by pirates in the Straits of Malacca, found its way to Butterworth. Int'l Chamber of Commerce's Int'l Maritime Bureau (IMB) director Capt P. Mukundan said June 28 that M/T Selayang, which was hijacked 5 days ago, was intercepted by Indonesian Navy, following high-sea chase ended at 3.20pm (Malaysian time). Indonesian Navy vessels given aerial assistance by Indonesian Air Force following information provided by IMB's Piracy Reporting Center at Kuala Lumpur. Indonesian Navy also arrested undisclosed number of pirates who seized tanker, while M/T Selayang's Indonesian crew were reported unharmed. This result is all due to the work of Capt P. Mukundan & his belief in Shiploc <<webfeature (Wed. June 27 2001)

Indonesian Navy vessel KRI Tengku Umar saved 3 Myanmar crew & 10 Indonesian Navy personnel guarding them after their F/V, believed to be from Perak, attempted to ram the Navy vessel. Skipper of Malaysian fisher shot dead by KRI Tengku Umar in Indonesian territorial waters June 25. Fishing vessel later capsized while in tow to Belawan, Medan, provincial capital of North Sumatra. Bernama report quoted Wisma Putra spokesman confirming 3am LT shooting incident after Indonesian Navy contacted Wisma Putra through Malaysia's consulate in Pekan Baru. (Wed. June 27 2001)

NAVY Fights Back >> Indonesian Naval forces stormed Singaporean tanker M/T Selayang to arrest pirate gang that hijacked vessel last week. High seas chase ended at 15:20 LT on June 26 when Indonesian naval & air units closed on vessel -- reports London-based Int'l Maritime Bureau (IMB), which had been tracking ship from its Kuala Lumpur control center. Navy boarded tanker from sea, but unsure of status of 14 Indonesian crew. Other sources in operation said Indonesian Navy put out message saying: "crew safe," but still unclear whether this referred to original crew or a replacement crew that might have been put aboard by pirates. Tanker, now carrying false identification, being towed to Kalimantan port of Balik Papan. IMB's satellite tracking system, Shiploc <<webfeature had been installed -- thus -- "We knew the exact position of the ship throughout," said Capt. Mukundan of IMB. "Every time the ship changed course we knew about it. It had been stopped since 04:16 this morning (June 27) 7 we were concerned they were trying to offload the cargo." Indonesia is world's worst piracy black-spot, accounting for about 33% of 68 pirate attacks reported globally in 1st quarter of this year, according to IMB figures. Petroleum product tankers a key target with their valuable cargo of diesel & gasoline -- easily sold on black market. (Wed. 27 June 2001)

DO WE HAVE PIRATES ON THE RUN? - Read About Modern ANTI-PIRACY EFFORTS <<special webfeature - A special The Cargo Letter feature.

PIRATE ALERT >> Two tankers, one a Malaysian-registered vessel, bound from Malaysia recently hijacked by pirates in Int'l waters off the Indonesian coasts. While Malaysian-registered M/T Selayang was hijacked off E. coast of Borneo island on June 19, latest attack by pirates took place June 26 when Indonesian-registered M/T Tirta Niaga IV hijacked off N. Sumatran coast. Int'l Maritime Bureau learned of attack on M/T Selayang, which departed Port Dickson with 17 crew & a cargo of gas-oil for diesel engines, last week (SEE OUR JUNE 23 REPORT). Tirta Niaga, for India with palm oil & 20 crew, hijacked after it set sail from Butterworth. Capt. & crew held for ransom somewhere off north Sumatra. Shipping sources said ransom demand close to one billion Indonesian rupiah (US$87,750). 2nd officer released to report ransom demand. (Tues. June 26 2001)

Prime Minister of the UAE & Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum June 25 issued a Cabinet decision banning ships carrying flags of 10 countries from entering UAE ports or approaching the country's territorial waters as part of efforts to prevent maritime pollution -- these include Albania, Belize, Honduras, Georgia, Saint Vincent & Grenadines, Mauritius, Cambodia, Maldives, Comoro Islands & Bolivia. (Tues. June 26 2001)

Belize-registered freighter M/V Kuangyuan, with ore & 23 Chinese crew, sent Mayday June 23 that vessel listing & taking water in heavy rains 7 winds of 75 mph of Tropical Storm Chebi off coast of Tainan, southern Taiwan, before contact lost. On June 24, patrol boats recovered 3 bodies off Tainan -- 2 survivors also picked up. Vessel presumed lost. (Sun. June 24 2001)

Indian Navy missile boat, INS Nirghat, shot & sunk bow of VLCC M/T Heng Sen, drifting 60 NM (90 km) off Goa coast, at 10.30 a.m. on June 22. The 241,168 dwt Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), broke into 2 pieces on June 12 after it was rocked by 2 explosions. >> SEE Our Sun. June 17 & 21 Reports For Full Story. (Sun. June 24 2001)

Gang of armed pirates intercepted & took Labuan-bound tanker M/T Selayang, chartered by Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd, in Straits of Malacca after it left the oil company's refinery in Port Dickson on June 19 night. Crew hostage for ransom. Malaysian navy is seeking co-operation of Indonesian counterpart to apprehend. Vessel had been sailing further from Malaysian & Singaporean territorial waters into Indonesian waters. (Sat. June 23 2001)

5 crew rescued June 22 night after F/V Ocean Challenge began to take on water in the North Sea, 35 miles east of Peterhead, UK. Rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth and an RNLI lifeboat responded -- lowered 2 coastguard pumps. (Sat. June 23 2001)

ALERT >> Imminent threat from terrorists has all American forces in Persian Gulf on highest state of alert -- "Threat Condition Delta" . In response to threat, Marine Corps training exercise in Jordan cut short & U.S. Navy vessels ordered out of port in Bahrain, June 22. Contingent of 2,200 Camp Pendleton Marines cut short training in Jordan -- Marines of 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit <<webfeature were taken back aboard 3 vessels, led by amphibious assault USS Boxer (LHD-4) <<webfeature. Several U.S. Navy minesweepers also ordered out of port in Bahrain, HQ for U.S. 5th Fleet that patrols Persian Gulf area. A Navy Reserve unit based in Imperial Beach, CA activated & deployed to Bahrain last week (something was up) to provide additional port security -- unit being Inshore Boat Unit 13 >> [We show you Inshore Boat Unit 15 web page as an example of operations for this unit <<webfeature] << Inshore Boat Unit 13 operates 4 heavily armored patrol boats. (Fri. June 22 2001)

Capt. passenger yacht M/V Sophisticated Lady with 25 passengwers that ran aground on a Lake Michigan shoal June 20 night has been cited by the Coast Guard for negligent operation. Sophisticated Lady traveled on the wrong side of warning buoy & did not have the lake charts required "It's pretty dangerous not to have the charts," U.S. Coast Guard said. " Capt. was newly licensed. (Fri. June 22 2001)


18 June 2001 at 0200 LT in Position 01:10.5N - 101:42.5E, Malacca Straits. While underway persons in an unlit red boat approached a ship intending to board. Ship directed searchlights & boat retreated. (Fri. June 22 2001)

17 June 2001 at 2120 LT at Chittagong Anchorage, Bangladesh. Eight pirates armed with knives boarded tanker from poop deck. Duty A/B sighted pirates & crew mustered. Pirates jumped overboard taking mooring ropes. (Fri. June 22 2001)

17 June2001 at 0320 LT at Jetty 'A' Tripolyta, Anyer, Indonesia. Duty crew noticed 3 intruders in engine room. Crew mustered & intruders jumped in water & escaped. (Fri. June 22 2001)

16 June 2001 at 0445 LT at Butterworth, Penang Anchorage, Malaysia. Unlit boat came alongside of bulk carrier. One person tried to board via anchor chain -- aborted attempted boarding when anti piracy watch raised alarm. (Fri. June 22 2001)

14 June 2001 at 2320 LT at Chittagong Anchorage, Bangladesh. Pirates armed with knives boarded tanker. Duty watchstander was threatened with a knife -- raised alarm & crew mustered. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped with ship's equipment. (Fri. June 22 2001)

13 June 2001 at 0500 LT in position 01:27N - 106:16E, Pulau Pengibu, Indonesia. While underway, pirates boarded tanker & injured one crew. Tanker safely arrived in Singapore & injured crew taken ashore for treatment. (Fri. June 22 2001)

12.06.2001 at 0330 LT at outer roads, Chennai Anchorage, India. Six pirates armed with long knives boarded container ship from poop deck --threatened anti piracy watchstander. Stole ship's stores, jumped overboard & left in a boat. Police informed & boarded to investigate. (Fri. June 22 2001)

12 June 2001 at 0220 LT in position: 06:46.2S - 039:20.7E, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. While at anchor, 20 pirates armed with knives boarded bulk carrier & started lowering a mooring rope into waiting boat. Anti piracy watch spotted them & raised alarm. Crew went forward to challenge pirates & threatened with knives. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped with portion of mooring rope. (Fri. June 22 2001)

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Swedish-registered M/V Alnar Stockholm, with 150 Liberian passengers, reported in distress off the West African coast. Propeller believed fouled by fishing nets & vessel out of fuel & water. "Situation is desperate," said Eva Furberg, wife of the ship's master, Henning Kielberg. Alnar Stockholm, left Liberian capital of Monrovia on 1 June, for Ghana -- but entry refused. Last seen June 18 off Benin, where officials also denied permission to dock. Officials say plight is partly result of recent criticism of West African countries over labor-trafficking. Ms Furberg, speaking in Stockholm, said passengers had papers to enter Ghana but had been refused. (Fri. June 22 2001) UPDATE: Vessel allowed to dock in Nigeria, June 27.

The bow of sunken supertanker M/T Heng Sen [1977 Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC)] is drifting in NE direction -- floating hazard since ships sailing at night may collide with it. To prevent any mishap, Coast Guard ship CGS Varuna, Sri Lankan tug & a Dornier plane, are patrolling region. The bow currently floating on steel plates. >> SEE Our Sun. June 17 Report For Full Story. (Thurs. June 21 2001)

Navy & Coast Guard responded to assistance call by Chinese merchant M/V OSG Argosy, 550 km SE Visakhapatnam late June 19 evening. Incident of burn injuries to 3 crew reported to Maritime Operations Centre of Indian Navy. One serious with about 60% burns. Coast Guard contacted by Maritime Operation Centre for medical assistance. Coast Guard responded dispatching CGS Rama Devi with search & rescue medical. CGS Rama Devi provided assistance - vessel resumed voyage to Singapore after disembarking patients at Visakhapatnam. (Thurs. June 21 2001)

68-foot F/V Miss Shirley Faye declared total fire loss. U.S. Coast Guard plans to sink vessel. Coast Guard & Jacksonville Fire Rescue battled fire aboard runaway shrimp boat 5 miles from shore June 20. Once fire out, rescuers surprised vessel didn't burn to waterline. Generator in engine room apparently caught fire about 9 a.m. as vessel heading to Mayport. Traveling at 6 knots, throttle cable apparently melted & crew couldn't knock transmission out of gear. With a fire aboard & vessel unable to stop -- mayday call made. (Thurs. June 21 2001)

47 foot F/V Our Sarah Jayne (1973) capsized & sank after collision with 9,500 ton Greek cargo M/V Thelisis (1977), Valencia for Tilbury Dock with general cargo, 5.5 miles NW of Margate, UK. Crew from trawler managed to jump overboard at time of collision, just after 0130 hrs. LT --- as vessel was struck with such force that it was pushed under the water. Incident decribed as "extraordinary escape, & it was by good fortune that pilot vessel was nearby." Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) had become detached & floated free from trawler following accident. (Thurs. June 21 2001)

Explosion ripped empty Monrovia registered 300 gt M/T New Renown undergoing repairs at Malaysian Shipyard Engineering, Kuala Lumpur early June 20, killing 9 workers on board -- believed suffocated when the explosion occured at Quay 3 at 10.30am. Workers were about to finish laying new pipes & changing plates with some welding work being done in storage compartment measuring 12 by 12 meters -- scheduled to have been completed by today for vessel departure tomorrow. Some bodies burned beyond recognition. (Wed. June 20 2001)

M/V Konga (with 2,700 metric tons of steel scrap) in collision with M/V St Christophe (with 3,600 metric tons of scrap)both in Dover Strait, at 8.30 a.m. in SW shipping lane 10 miles S. of Hastings. Both with light damage. No casualties. Konga' proceeding to her original destination at Bayonne, France. St Christophe' making way for Seville, Spain. Weather on scene is SW winds force 2 with slight sea & no swell.(Wed. June 20 2001)

Unidentified Philippine "Tempel" in collision with another vessel before she capsized & sank June 19, off Tanjung Labian, 110 km from Sandakan. At least 4 drowned & 62 others rescued when the vessel with illegal immigrants from southern Philippines capsized. Bodies & rescued passengers taken to Lahad Datu at 3.30 pm. (Tues. June 19 2001)

Unidentified tugboat up in flames June 18 night at Port of Houston -- more than 30 fire units called to scene & 100 firefighters battled blaze. Someone using torch when sparks flew & caught wood on fire. Fire came up from 2nd deck to main deck. Tug with 30,000 gal. of diesel fuel, but explosion averted. Problems with too much water streamed aboard, but workers able to pump. (Tues. June 19 2001)

>>> SPECIAL PROGRAMING NOTICE: Due To Travel Schedule - Our Casualty Reports Were Stored From Tue. June 12 Until Sun. June 17. We Are Now Again LIVE! >>> CLICK HERE <<< To Start Reading What You Missed! It's Been A BIG week! McD


07 June 2001 at 0243 UTC in position 05:35.27N - 123:04.73E, Philippines. While underway, armed pirates in boat attempted to board general cargo ship. Craft for 30 minutes & seeing the alert crew abandoned attempted boarding. (Sun. June 17 2001)

06 June 2001 at Pussur River, Mongla, Bangladesh. In early hours pirates approached general cargo ship discharging cargo & stole 7 pieces of zinc anodes welded to the rudderpost. (Sun. June 17 2001)

04 June 2001 at 0100 LT in position: 06:45S - 039:20E, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Crew on a general cargo ship at anchor, noticed 2 boats near anchor chain. Each boat with 20 to 30 pirates & some were trying to climb up the chain. Alarm raised & crew mustered on forecastle. As a result the boats fled. (Sun. June 17 2001)

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Royal Caribbean's 11-year-old M/V Nordic Empress - due for New York was instead steaming to Bermuda after engine room fire June 15 night left it adrift for 7 hours. Blaze broke out shortly after 10 p.m.,140 miles NW of Bermuda, as ship, with 2,126 passengers & crew, beginning return to New York after 7 night cruise to Bermuda. Ruptured fuel line between the 3rd & 4th main propulsion engines was suspected cause of the blaze -- extinguished by ship's crew & sprinkler system. No injuries were reported. Powered by undamaged starboard main engine, reached Bermuda June 16. (Sun. June 17 2001)

115-ton Belize registered vessel M/T Samata 3 with 100 tons of oil burned & sank in area where ships anchor outside Singapore's port June 15 -- 2 crew hospitalized. Firefighters took just over one hour to bring blaze under control. Because sunken vessel in anchorage area -- no effect on other ships passing through. (Sun. June 17 2001)

Indonesian chemical tanker M/T Endah Lestari capsized June 13 in the Strait of Johor between Singapore & Malaysia, is leaking toxic chemicals into the sea. Endah Lestari is lying on its side in shallow water. The 13 crew rescued but the bulk of 630 ton cargo of phenol trapped in hold. Officials & fishermen say some leakage & dead fish littering the water. Ship pushed to side of channel to avoid blockage. Phenol, which breaks down in water over time, is corrosive chemical which can irritate the skin. Booms placed to prevent leaked diesel from spreading but phenol can not be contained and could threaten hundreds of fish farms along the coast. Salvage vessels were on way from Johor to pump out cargo. Singapore's Ministry of Environment advised public not to fish or swim. (Sun. June 17 2001)

Pirates wearing army fatiques & carrying M-16 rifles June 13 seized 4 fishing vessels & a pair of barges June 13 with between 16 & 20 crew off the Sabah port of Sandakan, on Borneo island in Malaysian waters. The pirates released 4 crew on June 16, but are still holding at least 8 others on Philippine islands. Malaysian Coastguard Commander says the 4 were released along with their vessel after marine police negotiated with pirate representatives. No ransom had been paid for their release, but that hijackers demanding payment for freedom of remaining 8 -10 hostages, all workers on the barges. (Sun. June 17 2001)

M/V Sayfia, Island of Madagascar -- Toamasina for Maroantsetra, roughly 190 miles to north sank June 11. Survivors spent up 2 nights in water after vessel went down, in 2nd sinking of craft carrying a soccer team from the Indian Ocean island since May. French navy patrol vessel La Boudeuse saved 21 survivors & 4 bodies June 13, after picking up 5 survivors when French ships joined the search June 12 -- 11 still missing. Survivors managed to don lifejackets as vessel sent distress signal before sinking, some drifting for dozens of miles before they were picked up. Sinking blamed on high winds common at this time of year. Not clear how many of 16 members of Le Racing Club d'Antongil regional league soccer club were rescued. Last month 25 people, including 18 players & officials from Madagascar's Transfoot soccer team, drowned when vessel sank while heading for picturesque island of Sainte-Marie, about 25 miles off mainland. (Sun. June 17 2001)

Singapore owned 25 year-old very large crude carrier (VLCC) M/T Heng San, Singapore for UAE in ballast to take on crude, exploded & sank in Arabian Sea 444 miles off Mangalore on India's western coast June 12, killing at least 3 crew -- 4 crew missing & 38 rescued by merchant ships. Master of Heng San waited a day before disclosing deaths. Lloyds initial report said explosion on the super tanker caused serious damage, blowing up one of cargo tanks & punching hole in deck. Tanker completely sank choppy seas, but no threat of pollution since the tanker in ballast. U.S. Coast Guard said Norwegians sent call for local assistance, alerting M/V Cloverly, which was 8 miles from scene. (Sun. June 17 2001)

Twelve divers rescued after dive M/V Our Unity took water north-east of the island of Lundy. Swansea Coastguard issued a Pan broadcast to area shipping for assistance after Our Utility sent distress signal. RAF rescue helicopter from Chivenor scrambled along with Appledore all-weather lifeboat &Lundy Coastguard Rescue Team. Dive vessels in area, M/V Compass Rose, M/V Neptune & M/V Jessica Hetty, helped rescue. RAF helicopter winched pump to Our Unity via Compass Rose. vessel was then escorted to harbor. (Sun. June 10 2001)

M/V Modern Drive - Incredible Story! Incredible Photos! (SEE MAY 30 2001)

What You Missed During Our June 12 Road Trip -- Now Scroll UP To The Present Reports.


01 June 2001 at 1920 LT at Belawan Port, Indonesia. While berthed, pirates broke in to the forecastle store of a product carrier, stole ship's stores & escaped. (Fri. June 8 2001)

31 May 2001 at 2000 LT at jetty no 5, Mongla, Bangladesh. Watchman on a cement carrier spotted 10 pirates armed with knives lowering a mooring rope into a small boat. He confronted them & was assaulted. Watchman returned to the accommodation & raised alarm. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped. Coast Guard informed. (Fri. June 8 2001)

31 May 2001 at 0400 LT at Chennai Port, India. Anti piracy watch on bulk carrier found a boat on starboard quarter. Also noticed 5 pirates armed with a long knife on the deck attempting to remove a mooring rope. Alarm raised -- all crew mustered on deck. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped in their unlit motorboat. (Fri. June 8 2001)

Back To Year 2001 Reports

ANT-PIRATE PATROLS >> Armed Japanese Coast Guard (JCG) vessels are to be sent to Singapore in July to take part in joint training exercises & anit-pirate patrols with SE Asian countries. JCG armed vessels capable of carrying up to 2 helicopters & will be sent to region 4 times a year. (Fri. June 8 2001)

DRAMATIC RESCUE >> One of Hollywood's most recognizable stars, "Wilson," the volleyball & co-star of "Cast Away," was rescued off the Los Angeles coastline -- wet, but safe June 7. Fans of the #1 film of the year, "Cast Away," remember "Wilson" as sidekick of Tom Hanks' character, Chuck Noland. While Hanks earned an Oscar nomination for his work, it was the previously unknown volleyball, "Wilson," who stole filmgoers' hearts & received an award of his own -- "Best Performance by an Inanimate Object in a Motion Picture" -- from Broadcast Film Critics Assn. "Wilson," -- last seen floating away during a pivotal scene in "Cast Away," was spotted several miles from L.A. coast by observant U.S. Coast Guard personnel June 7. U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Bill Callard dropped 35-feet from helicopter & swam out to retrieve the dazed volleyball. Though Wilson is recovering before returning to his acting career, his award-winning performance can be seen in Fox Home Entertainment's June 12 video & DVD debut of "Cast Away." Photo of daring rescue.<<webfeature. (Keep in mind that we are in L.A. & suckers for this kind of stuff - this is, after all - Hollywood!) (Thurs. June 7 2001)

At least 12 Romanian workers killed in explosion on empty 85,000-ton Maltese tanker M/T Anopolis undergoing repair work in Black Sea port of Constanta June 4. Rescuers now cutting into side of Anopolis to continue search for 4 workers who remain. Ten blackened corpses scattered by blast on the ship's deck are found. Welding work to replace corroded metal panels on side of vessel was current operation. Gases from crude oil residue inside tanker may have sparked explosion. (Tues. June 5 2001)

Pakistani F/V Al-Elahi (BFD-7934) with 14 crew for routine hunting trip on April 14 -- due to engine trouble, vessel drifting for 10 days in the Arabian Sea when spotted by Sri Lankan M/T Maerskvisual which rescued all the 14 for Karachi. (Tues June 5 2001)

47 persons missing/presumed dead after passenger M/V KM Restu Illahi sank in Indonesia's South Sulawesi province, 300 KM S. of Makassar, capital of the province May 30. Ship believed in collision with flotilla of logs following huge waves at Makassar Bay. Not widely reported until June 3. (Mon. June 4 2001)

Nestor Gilhang, 2nd mate of M/V Anna Catharina & native of Manila, died at Martinique May 31 while supervising loading of containers. As one of them started to fall toward him, Gilhang tried to move away, but his head hit an object & he fell overboard. (Mon. June 4 2001)

Explosion aboard M/V Real Progress undergoing repairs in Nigeria's main city killed between 5 & 10 people. Fire fighters battled for several hours to contain the gasoline-fed blaze June 1 at the Ijora fishing jetty in Lagos. (Sat. June 2 2001)

MAJOR LOSS >> Six Bangladesh Navy gunships in search operation in Sandwip Channel June 1 for 100 passengers missing in the Bay after trawler M/V Mahfuz bound for Sandwip from Sitakunda capsized in Sandwip channel near Fenirdwar. Two high speed naval craft & 4 additional diving teams also joined search operation. Overloaded trawler sank caught in whirlwind. (Sat. June 2 2001)

UPDATE >> Wreckage from Pete Goss's multi-million pound catamaran discovered off coast of Ireland. Last year Goss, from Torpoint & crew had to abandon S/V Team Philips in Atlantic after she developed problems during storm. The 120ft vessel had been on sea trials for round-the-world event called "The Race" which started at beginning of 2001. Despite extensive searches the £4.5 million catamaran could not be found. But, 6 months on, Irish coastguards said part of yacht now found NW of Mayo (not held) by a ship carrying out seismic surveys. SEE Our Dec. 10 200 Report (Fri. June 1 2001)


29 May 2001 at 0600 LT in position 06:01S - 106:53E, Tg. Priok anchorage, Indonesia. Anti piracy watch on general cargo ship spotted 3 pirates. General alarm was raised. The intruders jumped overboard and escaped. (Fri. June 1 2001)

27 May 2001 at 1705 LT at Vung Tau anchorage, Vietnam. Anti piracy watch on a tanker spotted pirates lowering mooring ropes into speedboat. Alarm raised & pirates escaped in boat. (Fri. June 1 2001)

26 May 2001 at 1625 LT in position 29:50N - 032:34E outer anchorage, Suez, Egypt. Anti piracy watch on container ship reported unauthorised person at the forward stores. 2nd pirate attempting to climb aboard from launch. Alarm raised & 2 more pirates found in accommodation, they threatened crew & escaped. (Fri. June 1 2001)

26.05.2001 at 0530 LT in position 06:02.8S-106:53.4E, Tg. Priok anchorage, Jakarta. Indonesia. Five pirates boarded RO RO vessel from stern. When challenged, one hit crewmember on head causing him to bleed. (Fri. June 1 2001)

23 May 2001 at 2030 LT in position 10:15.2N - 107:03.1E, Vung Tau, Vietnam. While at anchor, 4 pirates boarded general cargo ship at bow Using hooks & ropes. roke open forecastle store & stole ship stores. Chief mate who raised alarm & pirates jumped overboard& escaped in unlit motorboat. (Fri. June 1 2001)

23 May 2001 at 0345 LT at Belawan anchorage, Indonesia. While at anchor, 5 pirates boarded chemical tanker at forecastle. Duty A.B spotted them & alarm raised. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped taking with them breathing apparatus. (Fri. June 1 2001)

22 May 2001 at 0130 LT in position 06:15.54N - 03:17E, Lagos anchorage, Nigeria. 4 armed pirates boarded bulk carrier from stern & tried to break in to rope store. Anti-piracy watch on rounds spotted & alarm raised. Pirates jumped overboard into waiting boat & escaped. No injuries to crew. (Fri. June 1 2001)

22 May 2001 in position 01:28S - 116:48E at Lawi - Lawi anchorage, Balikpapan, Indonesia. Pirates boarded bulk carrier & stole & life raft & 3 mooring ropes. Port authorities informed. (Fri. June 1 2001)

22 May 2001 at Bandar Imam Khomeyni inner anchorage, Iran. Pirates boarded chemical tanker via hawse pipe -- stole ship's equipment & stores. (Fri. June 1 2001)

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Double C Shipping Co.'s 560 ft. M/V Leon (1979) in Houston Ship Channel in collision with 135-foot-tall Sidney Sherman Bridge 3:45 p.m. May 31, causing the Texas Dept. of Transportation to close down several lanes during rush hour. Vessels cargo booms struck bridge near same spot where another ship hit the bridge in Dec. US$500,000 in bridge damage. (Fri. June 1 2001)

Vessel Loss Dispatches For May 2001

M/V Modern Drive - Incredible Story! Incredible Photos! May 2001

Pakistan Coast Guard Annie Besant out of Mangalore Port May 26 rescued 8 crew from F/V Nagercoil -- had drifted for 8 days after vessel engine failure. Annie Besant found vessel drifting 10 NM off Kundapur coast & towed to Mangalore Port. Crew without food for more than 4 days. (Wed. May 30 2001)

UPDATE >> After nearly grounding, M/V Modern Drive was towed by tug Pentow Salvor to Algoa Bay for evaluation & then berthed at berth 100 in Port Elizabeth harbor. Cause of mishap appears to be improper lashing of vessel's own forklift & part of cargo. Fuel tanks of some cars were ruptured & the fuel subsequently ignited, sending clouds of smoke into engine room. Crew, thinking they had an engine room fire, evacuated the ER & triggered fire extinguishers, causing main engine to stop. Without power, she turned beam on to heavy seas, causing further cargo to break loose & shift. When taken in tow, she had a list of about 10 degrees. During tow, main engine was restarted & proceeded under her own power. Damge appears several holes in port side, caused by the forklift, about 20 - 30 cars with fire damage, & about 120 - 150 vehicles with impact/collision damage. It is expected that the cargo willall be discharged to quayside, damaged and scrap vehicles officially scrapped, &the remainder of cargo restowed after repairs to the vessel. Initial news reports had vessel with an engine room fire, but this subsequently disproved. SEE May 28 (Wed. May 30 2001)

M/V Modern Driver - Incredible Story! Incredible Photos!


29 May 2001 at 0600 LT in position 06:01S - 106:53E, Tg. Priok anchorage, Indonesia. Anti piracy watch on a general cargo ship spotted 3 pirates onboard. General alarm was raised. The Intruders jumped overboard & escaped. (Tues. May 29 2001)

27 May 2001 at 1705 LT at Vung Tau anchorage, Vietnam. Anti piracy watch on tanker spotted two pirates lowering mooring ropes into a speedboat. Alarm was raised & pirates escaped in boat. (Tues. May 29 2001)

26 May 2001 at 1625 LT in position 29:50N - 032:34E outer anchorage, Suez, Egypt. Anti piracy watch on container ship reported an unauthorised person at the forward stores. A 2nd person was attempting to climb aboard from a launch. Alarm was raised & 2 more persons were found in the accommodation, they threatened the crew & escaped. (Tues. May 29 2001)

26 May 2001 at 0530 LT in position 06:02.8S-106:53.4E, Tg. Priok anchorage, Jakarta. Indonesia. Five pirates boarded a RO RO vessel from stern. When they were challenged, one of them hit crewmember on the head causing him to bleed. (Tues. May 29 2001)

23 May 2001 at 2030 LT in position 10:15.2N - 107:03.1E, Vung Tau, Vietnam. While at anchor, 4 pirates boarded a general cargo ship at the bow Using hooks on ropes. They broke open the forecastle store & stole ship stores. Chief mate raised the alarm & pirates jumped overboard and escaped in an unlit motorboat. (Tues. May 29 2001)

23 May 2001 at 0345 LT at Belawan anchorage, Indonesia. While at anchor, 5 pirates boarded chemical tanker at forecastle. Duty A.B spotted them and alarm was raised. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped taking with them a breathing apparatus. (Tues. May 29 2001)

22 May 2001 at 0130 LT in position 06:15.54N - 03:17E, Lagos anchorage, Nigeria. Four armed pirates boarded a bulk carrier from stern & tried to break in to the rope store. Anti-piracy watch on rounds spotted them & alarm was raised. Pirates jumped overboard into a waiting boat & escaped. No injuries to crew. (Tues. May 29 2001)

22 May 2001 in position 01:28S - 116:48E at Lawi - Lawi anchorage, Balikpapan, Indonesia. Pirates boarded a bulk carrier & stole life raft & 3mooring ropes. (Tues. May 29 2001)

22 May 2001 at Bandar Imam Khomeyni inner anchorage, Iran. Pirates boarded a chemical tanker via hawse pipe & stole ship's equipment & stores. (Tues. May 29 2001)

Back To Year 2001 Reports

United Airlines flight to Chicago from Germany diverted to Iceland May 28 after flight crew concerned over bomb message written in lipstick on bathrrom mirror. UAL Flight 945 from Frankfurt landed in Iceland 9:30 a.m. CDT so crew & local authorities could search B-747's cabin & cargo area. Hourlong search turned up nothing. No one arrested. More than 200 passengers spent night in Iceland & will return to Chicago May 29. (Mon. May 28 2001)

HELPFUL TOURIST >> Disaster averted May 27 when U.S. Coast Guard vessel USCGC Sherman (WHEC 720) <<webfeature, secured towline to Panama registered 33,000 gt car carrier M/V Modern Drive, Freemantle for Brazil with 2,000 Japanese & Korean vehicles. The stricken vessel was 3 NM off the East London & in danger of running aground near the East London harbor, South Africa. Modern Drive lost power after engine-room fire May 26. Sherman was bound for Cape Town for goodwill visit to the SA Navy & was nearest ship to the Modern Drive -- which will be towed to Port Elizabeth. (Mon. May 28 2001)

M/V Modern Drive - Incredible Story! Incredible Photos! May 2001

182 meter Bahamas-registered supertanker M/T Rowan in collision early May 28 with M/T Singapore Timur, 1,500 metric tons of bitumen in busy Straits of Malacca, 7.5 NM off Pulau Undan near Malacca. Singapore Timur crew abandoned sinking ship after sending SOS at 2.45am -- rescued Indonesian 12 crew, 2 hours later. Marine police detained M/T Rowan along with 34 crew. Singapore Timur leaked diesel, causing a 1 km wide oil slick. (Mon. May 28 2001)

U.S. Coast Guard ordered M/V Norway -- Norwegian Cruise Line's storied vessel -- to remain in port after inspectors discovered at least 105 fire safety violations, just hours before the 39-year-old liner was about to sail on 7 day Caribbean cruise with 2,032 passengers. Coast Guard official said they could not remember another recent time when agency had taken the extraordinary step of prohibiting a cruise ship from leaving port with passengers already on board. (Sun May 27 2001)

Alleged disappearance of 1,000 ton, Honduras registry M/T Meera now at end with ship reaching Dubai on May 23. Drama arose when vessel reported missing & 13 crew kidnapped. Master has been relieved. Obvioudly more to story. (Thurs. May 24 2001)

Four crew airlifted to safety after Buckie-registered, French built F/V Gem caught fire in engine room near the Butt of Lewis in UK. Stornoway Coastguard & Nimrod from RAF Kinloss responded. Crew launched lifeboat & airlifted by coastguard helicopter. (Thurs. May 24 2001)

UPDATE >> On May 24, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao told news conference that Beijing had accepted a U.S. proposal to dismantle U.S. Navy EP-3 intelligence plane & ship it home. He stressed, yet again, that there was no way China would allow spy plane to fly out. Read Full Story Details <<webfeature (Thurs. May 24 2001)

The 26 crew of Taiwan F/V Ying Jel that sank in Atlantic survived 7 days in shark infested seas survived on rainwater after rations ran out. Crew of 22 Chinese, 3 Filipinos & 1 Japanese, abandoned ship May 15 after explosion rocked machine room, said maritime police at Port Santos, where the crew brought on May 21. One sailor died during explosion. After drifting on an inflatable, crew picked up by Cypriot M/V Nordscout 1,800 miles E. of Brazilian island chain of Fernando de Noronha. At moment of rescue, sharks near the inflatable boat. WOW! (Wed. May 23)

Cape Mohican, MARAD SEABEE Barge RRF ship, hard aground off Pohang, ROK on 22 May. Last report 6 tugs in attendance. (from our reader Robert Desrosiers) (Tues. May 22 2001)

Flame-ravaged, but unidentified M/V, for Mobile, Ala. with Brazilian wood, continues to burn 20 miles E of Venice, Louisiana, in Gulf of Mexico. No reports of injuries among 12 crew or environmental damage. (Mon. May 21 2001)

U.S. Coast Guard recovered body May 20 inside 115 feet tug M/V Bay Titan that sank May 13 in Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Divers found body, believed that of Bay Titan's lone missing crewman, Steven Pollert, 46, of Suffolk, Va. Ship raised & refloated. Clogged route reopened to traffic May 19. SEE MAY 13 REPORT. (from our reader CalicoJaqu ) (Mon. May 21 2001)

Four drowned when yacht S/V Debonair in collision with M/V Bluebird in middle of night. Victims had been enjoying St Patrick's Festival fireworks display (postponed from March, due to Hoof & Mouth scare) from their pleasure boat in Dublin Port. Debonair sank immediately. Bluebird loaded with grain. (Mon. May 21 2001)

UPDATED FACTS >> 853 foot Norwegian Cruise Lines M/V Norwegian Sky <<webfeature (76,000 gt) returned from Alaska cruise to Seattle as scheduled early May 20 after a "jarring movement" near the mouth of Strait of Juan de Fuca shattered glass & plates & causing injuries. M/V Norwegian Sky Bridge Cam (dawn to dusk) <<webfeature.

"We had just finished lunch, & we heard a grinding noise & everything started tilting,'' said Judy Fields, 55, of La Grange, N.C.

"The ship sort of righted itself, then it happened again & everything fell off the table. It really felt like it was going to tip over," said Alice Crady, 71, of Tampa, Fla.

"The gift shop was destroyed," said another passenger. Ambulances met Norwegian Sky at Victoria, May 19 , 78 people injured, including some broken bones & at least 13 treated. Many left ship at Victoria. Latest word is autopilot malfunctioned. Other account is that vessel made "a quick course alteration," to avoid a fishing vessel, although passengers quote officers as mentioning "rudder problems." Vessel & 2,975 passengers at sea since May 13, Mother's Day. M/V Norwegian Sky Deck Plans <<webfeature. (Sun. May 20 2001)

Passengers shot or forced to jump into sea at gunpoint after unidentified cargo M/V they were traveling in developed engine problems May 18. At least 86 people reported killed -- 70 passengers survived, but 5 died of malnutrition after rescue. Vessel departed Bosaso port in NE region of Puntland for Yemen10 days ago with more than 150 aboard. Fishing boat later towed vessel from Gulf of Aden to Lasqory with survivors. Crew's whereabouts unknown. Hundreds of people trying to reach Yemen in sail-powered dhows or cargo vvessels in search of work since some Persian Gulf countries began banning livestock from Somalia followed outbreak of Rift Valley Fever <<webfeature, a mosquito-borne virus transmitted from livestock to humans. Puntland <<webfeature declared autonomy, July 1998, but is not internationally recognized. (Fri. May 18 2001)


14 May 2001 at 2100 LT at Chittagong Anchorage, Bangladesh. Pirate armed with a knife boarded general cargo ship at forecastle using hook & rope. When spotted by anti piracy watch, he jumped overboard & escaped in unlit motorboat, taking a mooring rope. (Fri. May 18 2001)

12 May 2001 at 0430 LT at Belawan Anchorage, Indonesia. Four armed pirates in speedboat boarded chemical tanker & held duty A/B at knifepoint. Stole ship's stores & escaped. (Fri. May 18 2001)

12 May 2001 at 0100 LT in position 06:07S - 125:28E, Indonesia. While underway, pirate in boat boarded bulk carrier from starboard quarter. Alert crew noticed & informed others. Pirate jumped overboard & escaped without stealing anything. (Fri. May 18 2001)

11 May 2001 at 0155 UTC in position 06:17.5N - 003:22.6E, Lagos Anchorage, Nigeria. Four pirates armed with long knives boarded bulk carrier & took one crew hostage. They threw him overboard, but fortunately he held onto railings. Alarm raised & pirates jumped overboard & escaped with ship's stores. Incident reported to Lagos port control who took no action (imagine that).. (Fri. May 18 2001)

9 May 2001 at 0345 LT at Penang Inner Anchorage, Malaysia. Five pirates armed with long knives & crowbars boarded container ship. Anti-piracy crew saw pirates & raised alarm. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped with stores. Incident reported to police. Further investigations revealed 9 containers seals broken & some contents stolen. (Fri. May 18 2001)

9 May 2001 at 0330 LT & 1030 LT in position 06:53.5S - 110:19.5E at Semarang Anchorage, Indonesia. Whilst loading, pirates boarded bulk carrier twice. They broke into mast house locker -- stole large quantity of ship's stores & equipment. (Fri. May 18 2001)

8 May 2001 about 0155 LT at Sugar Terminal, Recife, Brazil. Ten pirates armed with pistols & machine guns boarded bulk carrier & took duty crew as hostage. Other crew tied up, threatened & injured. Pirates broke into cabins, stole ship's cash, stores & crew's valuables before escaping. The 3rd officer managed to free himself -- raised alarm & sent distress message. Police responded. WOW! (Fri. May 18 2001)

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Bulk carrier M/V NIKOLAOS P. (20,280 gt, built 1984), Slite for Port Everglades with cement, ran agound in lat 54 28N, long 12 10E, at 0820, UTC, May 10. Three tugs unsuccessfully attempted to refloat her for days. Support vessel M/V Mette Miljo standing by. Refloated at 0107 May 15. (Wed. May 16 2001)

Reports slow to emerge, but 25 feared dead as Madagascar ferry M/V Samsonnette (1985 & riddled with rust), Soanierana-Ivongo (mainland) bound for 25 miles distant tourist island of Sainte-Marie, sank after struck by a rogue wave. with 41 aboard off E. coast of Madagascar May 10 -- including 18 players & officials from local soccer club. No distress call. Fourteen survivors picked up May 11, & 2 washed ashore alive "in critical condition" May 14 after nearly 4 days clinging to jerry cans & other flotsam in Indian Ocean. Six footballers & club officials among 16 survivors. Some survivors ashore on Sainte-Marie, premier tourist spot -- others carried by tides to mainland some 40 km (25 miles) north. (Tues. May 15 2001)

Container Loss >> M/V Ville De Orion has suffered 96 containers crashed at Port of Los Angeles. This event posted by The Cargo Letter to our Gallery of Transport Loss page, but not here by mistake. We apologize. Click Here <<webfeature. (Tues. May 15 2001)

Tourists Rescue >> Indian Coast Guard CGS Sangram (43), for Tokyo to participate in Japanese Coast Guard Review, May 13 rescued 2 Filipino crew adrift at sea for 5 days after 11-meter F/V Waden 1480 capsized in tropical storm Cimaron, 42 NM off Philippines. Waden 1480 also salvaged & taken aboard. The CGS Sangram (43) ...... (1997 & 2nd of the Samar Class <<webfeature) made Manila today. Bravo Indian Coast Guard! (Mon. May 14 2001)

Greek-flagged M/V Zini, Italian Port of Ancona for Greece with 30 passengers & lumber, in collision near Island of Kythira, about 200 km (124 miles) SW of Athens. late May 13, with Turkish vessel, 16 crew with iron. Greek &Turkish cargo confined to Port Ancona pending investigation. No injuries or serious damage. (Mon. May 14 2001)

U.S. Coast Guard crew has seized up to 13 tons of cocaine--perhaps largest maritime cocaine seizure in history -- on Belize registered F/V Svesdu Maru in E. Pacific, 600 NM SW of Acapulco. Vessel towed to San Diego with it's 10 crew, all from Russia & Ukraine. (Mon. May 14 2001)

115 feet tug M/V Bay Titan, guiding 380-foot barge laden with 800,000 gallons of liquid sugar, Brooklyn for Baltimore, capsized & sank in less than 2 minutes in Delaware River, May 11, at mouth of Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Five of 6 crew rescued -- Steven Pollert, 46, of Suffolk, Va., presumed lost. Cause unknown -- Bay Titan on her side at 47 feet. Vessel was heading N. & attempting to turn W. on the canal. During turn, barge may have become unstable, causing accident, according to U.S. Coast Guard. Crew had been in process of shortening cables connecting to barge -- shortening cables could have made tug harder to control, said Coast Guard. (from our reader CalicoJaqu who is a mariner in the area -- saying current & tides at this location swift & treacherous.) (Sun. May 13 2001)

Somalia Pro-government militia regained control of Mogadishu's abandoned seaport May 12 after 40 people, including 21 civilians, killed in a gun battle between forces loyal to a faction leader & gunmen normally in charge of the area. About 100 other people, including prominent commanders in pro-government forces, wounded in the 15-hour battle. No cruise ships are expected to berth -- any time soon. (Sun. May 13 2001)

Billiards >> 2,498gt Panamanian freighter M/V My Queen 71,877gt South Korean chemical M/T Samho Freedom in collision -- causing Korean ship to collide again with 499gt Japanese M/T Hosei Maru late May 11 in Kammon Strait, western Japan. No injuries. All vessels continued their routes. (Sat. May 12 2001)


05 May 2001 at 2315 LT in position: 16:02N - 113:42.7E, South China Sea. While underway, 5 speedboats surrounded bulk carrier & persons inside attempted to board her. Ship activated fire hoses, raised alarm & crew mustered. As a result boats aborted attempt. (Fri. May 11 2001)

27 April 2001 between 0200 - 0400 LT at Hongai Anchorage, Vietnam. While at anchor, several pirates boarded tanker using rope with hooks. Stole ship's stores & escaped. (Fri. May 11 2001)

27 April 2001 at 2115 LT in position 14:52N - 112:58E, South China Sea. While underway, pirates in speedboat tried to board bulk carrier but alert crew foiled attempt. (Fri. May 11 2001)

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Unidentified Italian freighter in collision with Danish tanker while turning around toward sea May 11, spilling 2 tons of heavy oil & another 6 tons of coconut oil into the Weser River. Tanker, with 100 tons of coconut oil, ripped open along the starboard side, spilling cargo into the river near Brake, 40 miles north of Bremen, Germany. (Fri. May 11 2001)

One crew missing/presumed dead after Shell Timur chartered M/T Miri Energy, refinery in Miri for Port Kuching with light fuel oil, in collision with fishing trawler off a river mouth near Borneo island. Eleven crew from fishing vessel rescued. Shell blamed collision on poor visibility due to bad weather. (Thurs. May 10 2001)

UPDATE >> Norwegian registered freighter M/V Lysfoss aground off W. of Scotland has increased list to 12-15 degrees, says Lloyds Shipping Intelligence Service. Salvage experts from Smit/Klyne at scene. Overnight assessment found extensive underwater bottom damage occurred during grounding -- suspected up to 9 tanks breached, 2 containing heavy fuel oil & a 3rd containing diesel. Cargo held in containers on deck & in hold said secure & intact. SEE Mon. May 7 2001. (Wed. May 9 2001)

Five crew thrown overboard but rescued after 498 gt freighter M/V Hotoku Maru collided with 749 gt chemical M/T Seto Maru & capsized early May 9 off Choshi, Chiba Prefecture, Japan -- 9 km off Cape Inubo at about 5:55 a.m. LT. Tanker rescued the 5 crew of Hotoku Maru --capsized freighter still afloat -- leaking oil. (Wed. May 9 2001)

Container M/V SAFMARINE COTONOU (21,054 gt, built 1986) had contact damage during berthing maneuvers at Abidjan port berth No.25 at about 1915, LT, May 8. A tear approximately 4 meters long in port side shell plating in way of No.2 & No.3 water ballast side tanks. Repairs required prior to sailing from Abidjan. Estimated duration of repairs is five days. (Wed. May 9 2001)

At least 14 crew saved from sinking F/V Martinho by 2 South African Navy vessels answering mayday 2 miles off Cape Point lighthouse May 8 night, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) in Simon's Town said. Capt. of Martinho, apparently registered in Hermanus, reported trawler taking water &sinking around 19.20pm LT. (Tues. May 8 2001)

950 foot U.S.-registered M/V Sealand Performance rescued 6 sailors from 44-foot U.S.-registered S/V Solitude, Bermuda for Stamford, CT, May 7 after her mast broke in high seas off Bermuda. Amid 25 kt. winds & 20 foot (7 meter) waves, crew planned to abandon catamaran. Sealand Performance picked up crew 160 miles NW of Bermuda & will dock this week in N. Carolina. (Mon. May 7 2001)

3,728gwt Swedish cargo M/V Lysfoss , Sweden for Belfast with 140 cubic tons of heavy diesel, 30 cubic tons of diesel & HAZ MAT, grounded on rocks at N. peninsula of Mull in Scotland just after 5.30am LT. Clyde coastguard rescued all 8 crew unhurt, have been transferred by lifeboat to the Scottish island. Hull badly damaged -- holed near engine room -- looks near collapse & diesel leaking. (Mon. May 7 2001)

Bulgarian 75,000 gwt oil M/T Mesta (1974), at anchor in ballast, exploded just outside Black Sea port of Constanta, May 7 after explosion, killing 2 of 34 crew. Six crew, including Capt. remain trapped on Mesta -- billowing smoke as blaze spread. Danger of another explosion great. Witnesses said column of dense brown smoke rising from tanker, bow pointing up out of water as 4 tugs with fire-fighting gear alongside. Mesta had been waiting to dock in Constanta for repairs. (Mon. May 7 2001)

Syrian registered M/V Wael 2, Cyprus for Libya with cement, began listing & sank late on May 6, 53 miles (85 km) off S.E. coast of Crete --issued distress call. Syrian crew of 8 -- abandoned ship -- rescued by Greek-registered M/V West Med. (Sun. May 6 2001)

Hijacking Was Not As It Appeared >> The Saudi daily al-Watan in its May 4 issue revealed new information about the question of hijacking the Syrian 750 gwt M/V Jaafar (Netherlands 1991) -- for example that it happened 5 months ago Dec. 23, 2000! Pirates made contacts with relatives of crew & asked, in beginning for a ransom of US$ 300,000 -- then retreated to US$ 10,000 -- but vessel owner Mahmoud Ali Ibrahim abandoned crew & ship and disappeared. Security authorities in Syria continue investigations for owner -- as he left the ship & its crew "facing hunger & even death." Ship now anchored a port near Somali coast. Fate of crew still unknown. Ship now found registered officially August 18, 1991, under name of M/V al-Asaad, &it mostly sails between Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti & Yemen. SEE Much Diferent Story From Fri. May 4 201 - Below (Sat. May 5 2001)

Japanese F/V Jitprathana 4 in collision with M/T Caspian Sea between Chang & Lin islands off Chon Buri, Thailand. Trawler cut in half & sank -- 2 missing. Tanker was Malaysia for a refinery in Laem Chabang -- accident caused a massive spill of part of the cargo of 540,000 gal. of crude oil -- blamed collision on poor visibility due to bad weather. (Sat. May 5 2001)


27 April 2001 between 0200 - 0400 LT at Hongai anchorage, Vietnam. While at anchor, pirates boarded tanker using rope with hooks. Stole ship's stores & escaped. (Fri. May 4 2001)

27 April 2001 at 2115 LT in position 14:52N - 112:58E, South China Sea. While underway, pirates in speedboat tried to board bulk carrier but alert crew foiled attempt. (Fri. May 4 2001)

24 April 2001 at 0145 LT outer roads, Tema port, Ghana. While at anchor, 2nd officer & crewmember on general cargo ship were assaulted by pirates whilst checking the anchor chain. Pirates held them hostage & 3 others stole large amount of ship's stores & crew's valuables. No injuries to crew. (Fri. May 4 2001)

22 April 2001 at 0405 LT at Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia. While at anchor 8 pirates armed with long knives boarded chemical tanker using ropes with hooks. Stole ship's stores & escaped. (Fri. May 4 2001)

20 April 2001 at 2200 LT at Rio Haina, Dominican Republic. While berthed, 4 pirates armed with long knives boarded tanker & tried to dismantle and remove the engine from a lifeboat. Incident spotted by anti piracy watch who raised alarm & mustered all crew. Pirates jumped overboard & swam toward jetty stealing safety equipment. Marine police on jetty arrested 1 pirate. (Fri. May 4 2001)

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Pirate Alert >> Syrian M/V Jaafar hijacked in Red Sea in Int'l waters adjoining Saudi Arabia & taken to Somalia. Contacts made between Syrian, Somali & Saudi officials to ensure return back of ship to the Saudi Port of Jazan during next 48 hrs. Directorate of the Syrian ports said to have received cable April 8 saying that "Jaafar" was "exposed to a hijacking" in Red Sea & was taken to S. Somalia by means of force & that the pirates asked Capt. for a ransom of US$300,000. Reports said ship was working between Saudi Arabia & Somalia, with all Syrian crew of 7. NOTE: A poor translation by the Syrian news bureau has made this story hard to follow. (Fri. May 4 2001)

Leander-class frigate HMNZS Canterbury entered New Zealand's Devonport Naval Base, May 4 around 10am LT & collided with moored Anzac frigate HMNZS Te Kaha. No damage. (Fri. May 4 2001)

Rwandan ferry M/V Musaka moored near Goma on Lake Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo capsized & sank when passengers rushed aboard, killing 4 people & leaving as many as 50 others trapped & feared dead. Musaka bound from former resort town of Goma, ruined by 2..5 years of civil war, S.W. for Bukavu. UPDATE >> May 4, Divers recovered 12 bodies -- but 100 now feared dead. (Thurs. May 2 2001)

Military helicopters flew mercy mission May 3 for injured South African sailor Johan van Zyl, 37, from Arabian registered M/T Mira Star, in Gulf of Madagascar 300 nautical miles N.E. of Durban, suffered severe spinal & facial injuries after fall more than 6m into hold while carrying out maintenance work. (Thurs. May 2 2001)

Bodies of crew of missing F/V Margaret J found May 2 on uninhabited Prime Seal Island in Furneaux group in eastern Bass Strait, Australia, still attached to life raft they launched over 3 weeks ago, April 9. Bodies of Ron Hill, 64, Kim Giles, 41, & Robert Kirkpatrick, 48 -- raise question of why search concentratated on vessel, not drifting life raft. Crew appears to have died in most horrendous circumstances at sea after Tasmanian officials called off search after 4 days -- as men were probably still alive in their life raft well to east of search area, drifting with wind, currents & tides towards other end of Bass Strait. Margaret J sank off Robbins Island, within hours of leaving Tasmanian port of Stanley, April 9. (Thurs. May 2 2001)

PIRACY UPDATE >> Pirate attacks on commercial vessels hit a 10-year high during 1st quarter 2001, with 68 attacks reported worldwide, according to the Kuala Lumpur piracy monitory center -IMB. Bangladesh had 8 incidents, India 5, Malaysia 4, and Nigeria & the Red Sea 3 each. However, Indonesia accounted for 23 incidents, & 9 more took place in the Strait of Malacca. The Cargo Letter (Wed. May 2 2001)

Capt. Tarquino Arevalo, 58 of M/T Jessica that ran aground & leaked 240,000 gallons of diesel fuel off Galapagos Islands -- sentenced May 2 to 90 days in jail & stripped of maritime license. Arevalo will serve sentence in naval prison at San Cristobal Island, where tanker Jessica sits 1,500 feet offshore. Vessel ran aground in Jan. & listed for 3 days before rough surf forced nearly all oil to leak into surrounding waters. Favorable winds & currents helped push most of slick into open sea, narrowly averting environmental catastrophe in ecologically fragile Galapagos Islands -- famous for unique animal species that helped inspire Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. SEE Jan. 19 >>webfeature. (Wed. May 2 2001)

U.S. civilian technicians spent 4 hours aboard U.S. Navy surveillance plane on China's Hainan island May 2 to begin assessing extent of damage. Technical experts from Lockheed Martin Corp., maker of EP-3E Aries II aircraft, allowed to board plane at about 2 p.m. LT. SEE NavyE3 >>webfeature. (Wed. May 2 2001)

Indonesia formally requested Philippines to extradite 7 pirates detained following hijacking of M/V Inabukwa, for prosecution in Indonesia. Philippines had intented to prosecute the all Indonesian crew & have been held by Philippine authorities since vessel recovered 25 March. Philippine Coast Guard officers still considering charges -- but group likely to be extradited. Report carried in Malaysian Shipping Times claims Indonesian government has instructed a top naval officer to step down over original hijacking of Inabukwa on 25 March. Shipping Tines also reports Indonesian Navy has intensified patrols in hot spots to avoid another incident. READ Our March 30 Report <<webfeature. (Tues. May 1 2001)

Reloading containers discharged from CMA CGM M/V Normandie begins May 1 in Singapore & expected to complete within a week. Boxes, which were still on board when Normandie was refloated on 22 April, will be carried by other CMA CGM vessels. Normandie will repair at Singapore & be back on schedule service before the end of July. SEE Wed. April 25 2001. (Tues. May 1 2001)

Vessel Loss Dispatches For April 2001

Two crew aboard 4,644 dwt, Singapore-registered bulk M/V Alama Mesra berthed in W. Australia port of Geraldton, 420 km (260 miles) north of Perth -- seriously injured by a small explosion in engine room ("flashback" in auxiliary boiler) just before midnight (1200 GMT) on April 29. No damage to Alama Mesra which loaded only 9,000 tons of wheat at Geraldton & will sail April 29 for Kwinana (near Perth) to finish loading before standing out for Malaysia. (Mon. April 30 2001)

M/V Ville De Orion - Bad L.A. Stack Disaster! -- exclusive photo feature -- from The Cargo Letter

Alert >>> Recent respose of U.S. Chinese Internet hackers to the U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries II <<webfeature, intelligence plane incident with China has turned into a "hacking war." Vigilinx intelligence sources indicate that Chinese hackers plan to launch cyber attacks from May 1 to May 7. The Chinese attack has been named "Laodong Jie Wuy Strike" (Labor Day Strike), in honor of Int'l Workers Day. Mainland China Web portals, including Beijing's official site, are spreading news about a "May Day war" planned by Chinese hackers on United States Web sites in response to online hacking apparently done by Americans. Another source called the conflict the "sixth online national defense war" to retaliate against alleged Web site attacks by Americans. The 1st cyber war was against Indonesia in 1997, the 2nd in May of 1999 following the Belgrade embassy bombing. The 3rd was in July of 1999 in response to Li Denghue of Taiwan's "2 states theory" proposing China & Taiwan as 2 separate states. The 4th was in Jan. of 2000, protesting Japan's refusal to apologize for the Nan Jing massacre during WWII. The 5th was for several incidents in Japan, protesting Japanese "Imperialism." Read full details <<webfeature (Fri. April 27 2001) UPDATE: U.S. Dept. of Defense & other transport oriented websites report web site tampering -- Chinese hackers suspected in at least several "attacks." (Mon. April 30 2001)

Cunard liner, RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, requested by United States Coast Guard April 25 to evacuate injured crew member of Spanish F/V Siempre Juan Luis -- suffering severe facial injuries. Despite being 150 miles away --QE2 closest vessel. Capt. Paul Wright immediately turned grand liner from her east-bound course for 5 hour sail to Siempre Juan Luis. Arrival early evening -- rescue boat launched from QE2 with 6 crew -- safely retrieved wounded man despite difficult seas & dangerous conditions. QE2 returned to base course --will arrive Ponta Delgada, Azores April 28 where man will be off-loaded for addit'l medical attention. (Fri. April 27 2001)


20 April 2001 at 1100 UTC in position 25:51N - 120:45E, Taiwan Straits. Three pirates in fast boat tried to board a bulk carrier from stern. Alert crew foiled attempt. (Fri. April 27 2001)

20 April 2001 at 0335 LT at Chennai Anchorage, India. Five pirates from unlit boat boarded container ship -- broke open fore peak store & stole ship's stores. Watch keepers on rounds spotted them & raised alarm. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped. (Fri. April 27 2001)

17 April 2001 in early hours at mooring buoy No.6, Mongla, Bangladesh. While bulk carrier discharging, pirates broke open manhole in vicinity of rudder from outside & entered steering gear room -- stole 7 mooring ropes, engine spares & stores. (Fri. April 27 2001)

16 April 2001 at 1935 LT in position 24:34N - 119:04E, East China Sea. General cargo ship noticed speed boat 4nm on port bow. The boat slowly increased speed, came alongside & threw a hook attached to rope on ship's railing. Ship increased speed & hooked rope broke. Thereafter speed boat abandoned attempt to board. (Fri. April 27 2001)

12 April 2001 at 0440 UTC in position 12:55N - 048:20E, Gulf of Aden. Three armed pirates in wooden boat approached yacht underway & ordered her to stop. When yacht increased speed, pirates shot at yacht with machine gun. Skipper's wife broadcast distress message on VHF Ch. 16 saying "may day - pirate attack, please help we have 2 children on board". Despite plea for help, a container ship half a mile away did not respond. Same container ship had 5 minutes earlier communicated with yacht. Finally, skipper yacht fired back with his gun -- pirate boat retreated. Another case of private gun owership savings lives. (Fri. April 27 2001)

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Over 200 armed men -- firing shots into the air -- April 26 seized a Panamanian cargo M/V Jubilee & took captive captain & a pilot in the Calcutta Port Trust, in West Bengal's South 24-Parganas district in east India. Men in 2 launches intercepted Jubilee, 23 crew with 4,482 tons of logs, Rangoon for Calcutta, & took captives after forcing it to drop anchor. Hijacked ship's weary captain, Htun Win of Myanmar, taken ashore by armed men, who set him free after an hour. Circumstances leading to his freedom not clear. Police now arrested 70 people involved in hijack and recovered some weapons & explosives. Reason? It appears they wished to be stevedores for the logs -- demanding jobs for unloading the vessel. Go figure. (Fri. April 27 2001)

Russian nuclear-powered Victor III Class Submarine towed to port this month after an apparently "minor accident" in the Barents Sea, where the Kursk sank last year with the loss of 118 lives. Submarine had been trailing "smoke or exhaust...It could, for instance, have been a problem with a diesel generator." said a spokesman. The Soviet Union continues to disolve -- we need to be concerned. (Wed. April 25 2001)

M/V Normandie Container Peril Update >>> The 55,446-ton CMA CGM container M/V Normandie, with general cargo, refloated after hitting reef in Singapore Straits awaiting clearance to dock in Singapore. Vessel moved to safer waters to survey damage & assess seaworthiness after bunker fuel pumped out by salvors. Report by Lloyds Casualty Reporting Service on April 24 that 1,150 of 1,950 containers removed by salvage company using floating cranes & barges before they were sent to Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia. Lloyds confirms Normandie hit reef with some considerable force, leaving front 3rd of vessel up on reef & out of the water, with 5 holds damaged. SEE Mon. April April 23 for details. (Wed. April 25 2001)

Police in east China' Wenzhou city detained cargo M/V Tongning 3 suspected of hit-and-run maritime accident, which caused M/V Sitong 888, with full load of 900 tons of ceramic tiles, to sink off Dapeng Gulf near Shenzhen 1:23 a.m. LT on April 18 -- 5 of 7 crew missing. Sitong 888 sank immediately, while Tongning 3 fled. Border police at Bacao port of Cangnan county spotted Tongning 3 anchored April 21 morning. Crew of Tongning 3 fled after vessel entered port -- also found obvious evidence of collision on bow. Log book shows departure ex Daganwei port of Dongguan city, Guangdong Province -- for Longgang port in Wenzhou city on April 16 -- passing area of Shenzhen on April 18. Tongning 3 ignored distress calls from Sitong 888 -- & headed north. Indeed, these guys are rightfully in a spot of trouble. (Tues. April 24 2001)

Dutch F/V Atlantic Princess fined £8,000 after steering vessel wrong way through world's busiest shipping lane. Channel Magistrates in Folkestone, Kent, heard how vessel narrowly missed a cross-channel ferry, a chemical tanker, a bulk carrier & general cargo vessel on journey. Vessel pleaded guilty to breaking collision regulations while steering in Dover Straits on Oct. 20 last year. (Mon. April 23 2001)

Container Peril >>> CMA CGM French container M/V Normandie aground & refloated after hitting reef in Int'l waters in Singapore Straits. Stricken vessel moved to safer waters to survey damage & assess seaworthiness but no risk of pollution as bunker fuel pumped out. A total of 1,150 containers of 1,950 removed by salvors using floating cranes & barges. Remains unclear what cargo ship was carrying. A 1st batch of containers sent to Port Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia, but ship may sail to CMA CGM regional hub Port Klang to unload remaining containers. Vessel hit reef with considerable force, leaving the front 3rd of vessel up on reef & out of the water. Five holds damaged on grounding. French owners discounted that vessel will be declared total constructive loss. Industry sources said unlikely the 1991-built vessel would be written off. (Mon. April 23 2001)

About 110 tons of oil have spilled in English Channel after F/V St Jacques II in collision with 32,000-ton Maltese tanker M/T Gudermes at the South Foreland, 1 mile north of Dover, in Kent. A 20ft by 6ft hole was ripped in the side of Gudermes, Dover for Africa, with 26,000 tons of oil & 26 crew. (Mon. April 23 2001)

Crew of Greek-registered freighter M/V Makedonia I, for Limassol, Cyprus with timber, were rescued by M/T Matilda in the eastern Aegean, 102 NM southeast island of Rhodes on April 23 after they were forced to abandon ship when it began listing in high winds. Makedonia I made distress call early April 23. (Mon. April 23 2001)

50,000-ton Indian-registered container M/V Devprayag <<webfeature- Devprayag named for rivers which form sacred Ganges -- aground off the coast of Victoria, Australia. Vessel arrived from USA, unloaded a cargo of phosphate & anchored offshore on April 21 night, waiting to load cargo of woodchip, when it drifted onto sandbank. Incident blamed on heavy storms. Australian Safety Authority spent April 22 trying to refloat vessel, but decided, because of vessel's weight & strong local currents, to send for heavy tugs from Melbourne. Some 40 crew stranded aboard. Vessel carrying 960 tons of fuel oil, but oil-spill equipment set up & no pollution reported. (Sun. April 22 2001)

NAVY ANTARTIC RESCUE CONTINUES >>> A rescue team in 2 eight-seat Twin Otter planes took off at 1st light April 21 from Punta Arenas, Chile's southernmost city 2,240 miles S. of the capital of Santiago, en route to a British base on Antarctica. The team has landed at Rothera base on Adelaide Island in Antarctica & plans to head to the South Pole April 22 in the face of high winds & near-total darkness on risky effort to evacuate ailing American doctor working at the end of the world. Ronald S. Shemenski, 59, is the only physician among 50 researchers working at the Amundsen Scott-South Pole station in Antarctica. He recently suffered a gall bladder attack & is diagnosed with the potentially life-threatening condition known as pancreatitis. On April 22, after changing landing gear to skis, one of the Twin Otter will begin a daring 10-hour flight to the ice-covered & wind-swept South Pole. The planes are outfitted with skis -- said only planes capable of reaching the Pole this time of year, when approach of winter heralds continual darkness & freezing temperatures of -103 degrees Fahrenheit. Larger cargo planes used to fly in heavier payloads risk developing problems with their hydraulic control systems in the deep subfreezing conditions. SEE April 13. (Sat. April 21 2001)


13 April 2001 at 1455 UTC in position 22:13.13N - 091:42.7E, Chittagong anchorage B, Bangladesh. Three pirates from an unlit wooden boat boarded a bulk carrier from stern & tried to steal ship's stores. Roving anti piracy watch raised the alarm. The pirates jumped overboard & escaped. (Fri. April 20 2001)

12 April 2001 at 0440 LT at Chennai anchorage, India. Six pirates in an unlit motorboat approached the bow of a container ship & tried throwing a hooked rope onto railing. Anti-piracy watch spotted the attempt & raised alarm and directed the searchlights at the boat. The boat retreated. (Fri. April 20 2001)

10 April 2001 at 1220 UTC in position 00:08.8S - 044:06.2E, 90 NM east of Kismayu, Somalia. While underway, armed pirates in 3 fishing boats opened fire & shot 4 times at a container ship -tried to board her. Boarding was averted. No injuries to crew. (Fri. April 20 2001)

07 April 2001 at 1400 LT in position 13:58N - 049:25E, off Yemen, Gulf of Aden. While underway, duty officer on container ship observed 14 pirate motorboats right ahead at a distance of 3 miles. The ship altered course to stbd to give way for the boats. When the boats were about 1.5 miles, duty officer observed the men in the boats with ropes & hooks ready to board the ship. Raised the alarm. Seeing the alert crew the boats retreated. An hour later, four boats came within 50 meters & made a second attempt to board. This was foiled by alert crew. (Fri. April 20 2001)

02 April 2001 to 05.04.2001, Gulf of Aden. While underway, pirates in a small boat followed a French yacht for 4 days & made 4 attempts to board between the coordinates lat 12:35 to 13:55N, long 47:47 to 52:12E. Boarding was averted with the help of a tanker & a cargo ship who were in the vicinity. (Fri. April 20 2001)

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A Russian plane opened fire April 19 on a South Korean trawler that tried to escape after it was caught fishing off Russia's Pacific coast. Russian coastguard discovered a total of 6 South Korean trawlers fishing in the Okhotsk sea, near the Kurile islands, & 3 of them sought to make a getaway instead of submitting to an inspection of their cargo. Coastguard vessels intercepted 2 of the trawlers without incident but a Russian plane was "forced" to open fire on the 3rd before it surrendered to inspection. (Fri. April 20 2001)

Container Snarl >>> Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) seized 317 containers with defective seals suspecting they contain contraband instead of legally imported goods. Containers will be rechecked after a high-level meeting on April 22 of all parties involved in export-import & container handling. CPA has invited Chittagong Chamber, BGMEA, shipping agents, feeder operators, C&F agents and master stevedores to the meeting to decide the fate of the containers. More than 10,000 TEUs of containers currently lying in the container yard. Port authority last week decided not to accept containers without survey following allegations that some quarters are replacing imported goods with contraband before the containers reach the port. (Fri. April 20 2001)

Sea Battle >>> Sri Lankan navy vessels & Tamil Tiger rebel craft clashed today in their 2nd sea battle this week. Fighting took place off the N.E. coast when a navy patrol came across a convoy of rebel boats just before dawn. Three rebel vessels destroyed & 3 others escaped. (Fri. April 20 2001)

Eleven crew members missing after Nanjing-registered M/V Sitong 888, Foshan for Jiangsu with ceramics, sank after colliding with an unidendified vessel off southeastern Shenzhen. Only 2 of 13 crew of Sitong 888 crew were rescued after collision in Daping Bay. Cause of the collision not known. Search for the missing crew continuing. (Thurs. April 19 2001)

Mayday message in UK received from F/V Walpaul shortly after 2230 BST on April 17, after colliding with F/V Azure Sea which it had been towing. Crew of each vessel remained aboard as towed to safety by lifeboats from Newcastle, Portaferry & Donaghadee. (Wed. April 18 2001)

One Russian & 2 Greek sailors killed in fire April 16 aboard South African-registered M/V Safmarine Galana berthed in eastern city of Durban. Fire appeared to have started in cabins on the lower deck, then spread to 2nd deck, where sailors died from smoke inhalation. (Tues. April 17 2001)

Sea Battle >>> Three Sri Lankan navy gunships damaged April 15 in battle with Tamil Tiger rebels, off the northern coast, in the middle of the night just 24 hours before government ceasefire was due to expire -- 3 rebels killed & 7 soldiers injured. One of damaged vessels towed to northern port of Kankesanthurai. Fighting erupted off the coast of Chalai when navy detected Tamil Tigers vessel flotilla. (Monday April 16 2001)

***NEW NAVY MUSEUM: The Battleship Wisconsin (BB-64), which saw action in World War II, Korea & the Persian Gulf, opened to the public April 16 2001 as a floating museum at Norfolk. Norfolk, home of the world's largest Navy base, was the Wisconsin's home port during much of the ship's service. The ship will remain in Norfolk for 5 years. The Navy then will either donate or sell the ship, probably to the city. April 16 was also the 57th Anniversary of the ship's commissioning for World War II service. The 887-foot Wisconsin was launched in 1943, 2 years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor -- one of 4 in the Iowa-class, the largest and last built by the Navy. Wisconsin supported landings at Iwo Jima in 1945 & also served in Korea & the Persian Gulf War -- firing Tomahawk missiles into Iraq. She was decommissioned in 1991. Wisconsin has classic teakwood decks & mounts nine 16-inch guns -- the most powerful ever mounted on a U.S. battleship -- accurate up to 23 miles. Wisconsin's interior, with its sensitive electronic systems installed during the 1980' refit, is off-limits & is being preserved with dehumidifiers in the event that the Wisconsin is recalled to active duty. She's ready! (The Cargo Letter April 16 2001)

>>webfeatures: BB-64 USS Wisconsin | USS Wisconsin Association | Dictionary of U.S. Fighting Ships For USS Wisconsin

Sea Fact >>> Sea piracy jumped 57% worldwide last year with Indonesian waters recording the highest number of attacks. (Source:IMB)

The 3,500-ton Iraqi M/T Zainab that sank off the coast of Jebel Ali, north of Dubai, on April 14 was smuggling Iraqi oil. Zainab was intercepted several days ago by the Multinational Interception Force that enforces sanctions against Iraq, an official at the Bahrain-based U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet said. The ship ran into trouble on its way to a holding area in Int'l waters for ships that smuggle Iraqi oil in violation of U.N. sanctions imposed on Baghdad after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. UAE officials said they would attempt salvage. Crew rescued. The ship was carrying around 1,300 tons of fuel oil & leaking. Officials had held emergency meeting on April 14 to discuss ways to soak up the oil slick. Iraq has increased the amount of oil it smuggles out of the country in recent years. In Feb., British official said Iraq had sold US$600M worth of smuggled oil in 2000. (Sun. April 15 2001)

U.S. Coast Guard seized Greek freighter M/V Agios Minas stranded off the Georgia coast since late Feb. 2001 with 9 crew, but U.S. Marshal Service took control of the ship on arrival at port. On April 10 the Coast Guard took control after the owners failed to make arrangements to move & refuel the vessel. New York shipyard, Eastern Technical Enterprises, agreed to take the ship to settle debts owed by former owners. It wired money for fuel 7 food and agreed to pay the crew when they got to New York. But soon after pilots guided Agios Minas back to port April 14 afternoon, U.S. Marshals boarded the, an action prompted by Gulf Marine of New Orleans, another creditor that wants the ship to settle debts with former owners. SEE APRIL 11 (Sat. April 14 2001)


05 April 2001 at 0130 LT in position: 01:36N - 102:49E, Malacca straits. While underway, 3 unlit boats were sighted ahead of a general cargo ship. One boat approached the ship & pirates attempted to board. This was prevented by crew. (Fri. April 13 2001)

04 April 2001 at 2045 LT at container terminal, Cochin port, India. Six pirates in a small wooden boat boarded a container ship. They opened one container & stole cargo. They jumped overboard & escaped when spotted by the crew. (Fri. April 13 2001)

02 April 2001 at 123O UTC in position: 06:52N - 050:01E, 40 nm off Somalia. About 14 pirates in two motorboats fired gunshots at a general cargo vessel & demanded her to stop. The vessel altered course 7 steered away from the coast. Pirates continued shooting for 10 minutes before aborting the attempt to board. (Fri. April 13 2001)

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NAVY ANTARTIC RESCUE >>> Dr. Ronald S. Shemenski, 59, only physician at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica, recently passed gallstone & has the potentially life-threatening condition known as pancreatitis. U.S. Navy preparing April 13 for daring mission to land ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules <<webfeature, from Office of Polar Programs <<webfeature, cargo plane at the bottom of the Earth to pick up the doctor. Temperatures remain far too low for rescue, but are expected to climb next week. If so, mission could go forward. This is 2nd time in recent years that the South Pole station's lone physician has developed serious illness. Oct. 1999, Dr. Jerri Nielsen successfully evacuated after breast tumor was diagnosed as cancerous. (Fri. April 13 2001)

UPDATES for the siezure of the U.S. Navy U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries II <<webfeature, are just below, by date -- CRISIS ENDS! CREW HOME ABOARD "SPRIIT OF BOB HOPE"! - Click Here. (Thurs. April 12 2001)

SEA CHASE >>> Australian SAS seizes Togo-flagged F/V South Tommy off South Africa, steaming back to Western Australia, after 2 week sea chase. South Tommy had more than 100 tons -- A$1 million worth -- of prized endangered Patagonian toothfish <<webfeature, on board, but without a licence. The government only gives 2 licences a year for a limited season to catch toothfish. The vessel was taken by 40 Australian SAS troops aboard South African naval vessels 540 km (340 miles) S. of Cape Town on April 12. Poachers pursued by Australian survey vessel after South Tommy was fishing in Australia's exclusive economic zone near McDonald & Heard Islands in Indian Ocean near Antarctica. Scientists predict if illegal fishing continues, Patagonian toothfish, also known as Chilean Sea Bass, Mero & Black Hake, will be commercially extinct within a couple of years. (Thurs. April 12 2001)

Rescue planes searching for 22,725-ton Korean-registered bulker M/V Honghae Sanyo (built 1976), Inchon for Ieshima Island in Hyogo Prefecture with 32,000 tons of sea sand, missing in heavy winds off SW Japan with 28 crew. Found oil slick & empty life rafts but no sign of life. Honghae Sanyo failed rendezvous point to pick up navigator April 10 evening near Hyogo 700 km (432 miles) SW of Tokyo, & reported missing hours later. Search by planes & patrol boats found empty lifeboat with the ship's name & 3 empty rubber boats drifting 50 km south of Cape Ashizuri on Japan's smallest main island of Shikoku. No distress signal. No sign of the ship's crew -- 22 from Myanmar & 6 from Korea. Search continuing. (Wed. April 11 2001)

U.S. Coast Guard will seize Greek freighter M/V Agios Minas stranded off the Georgia coast since late Feb. 2001 with 9 crew. Agios Minas has sat idle 13 km off the coast for 45 days. Ship doesn't have enough fuel to return to port & its owners have not responded to calls for help. Captain & 8 crew have refused to leave ship, fearing forfeit of wages. Coast Guard hoped to radio the crew April 10 night & persuade the sailors to leave with a rescue crew as early as April 11 morning. (Wed. April 11 2001)

Six crew rescued from 60-foot F/V Naomh Áine off Donegal April 6 morning after vessel began taking water 6 miles N. of Tory Island, Ireland. Alarm raised & Lough Swilly lifeboat launched at 6.20 a.m. Niamh Áine made way to Downing's Pier in Rosgoill where crew said unhurt. (Fri. April 6 2001)

Pakistan Coast Guard arrested 65 Indian fishermen & seized 11 vessels for allegedly fishing in Pakistani waters in the Arabian Sea, on April 4 at the shallow water near Badin-Thatta on Paksitan sea coast. Brought to Karachi & sent to local prison. Cases of violation of Pakistan's Foreigners Act & Fisheries Act were registered. Total number of Indian fishermen held in Pakistan jails went up to 285. Over 50 vessels are also in the custody. Arrests followed recent decision of the countries to release large number of fishermen held in both Indian & Pakistan jails. Following the understanding, India released 160 Pakistani fishermen, while Islamabad released 84 Indian fishermen. WOW! (Fri. April 6 2001)


30 March 2001 at 2339 LT in position: 02:47N - 101:00E, Malacca Straits. While underway, pirates in 2 speedboats attempted to board a bulk carrier. Alert crew prevented boarding. (Fri. April 6 2001)

29 March 2001 at 0300 LT in position: 05:16N - 115:15E, Labuan Anchorage, Malaysia. Pirates boarded a supply ship & stole lifeboat engine. (Fri. April 6 2001)

27 March 2001 at 0350 LT in position: 22:11.10N - 091:44.30E, Chittagong, Bangladesh. While at anchor, pirates boarded a container ship whilst others remained in their boat. The duty officer spotted them, raised the alarm & alerted the crew. Pirates jumped overboard and escaped in a small boat. (Fri. April 6 2001)

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U.S. Coast Guard has suspended search for the 14 crew of F/V Arctic Rose still missing in the Bering Sea after their ship disappeared April 2 morning. Coast Guard cutters, airplanes & a helicopter searched a 2,500-square-mile area for 3 days. Our prayers for the families. SEE FULL STORY BELOW. (Thurs. April 5 2001)

A spark from a paint gun on April 3 touched off a fire that damaged 910-foot World War II era aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-16) -- "The Blue Ghost", now a floating museum at Corpus Christi Bay. Blaze burned so hot that it warped metal plates as it raced through a section of the superstructure. Lexington, commissioned 1943, was struck twice during World War II, once by a Japanese torpedo & another by a kamikaze plane. Lexington remained on active duty until 1991 when decommissioned & turned over in 1992 to Corpus Christi. Used last year for filming of the yet-to-be released block buster movie "Pearl Harbor." Damage to Lexington's internal bridge area is extensive with buckled deck plates. The area was scheduled to open to the public in 5 days time after an extensive overhaul. SEE photo of the minor external damage <<webfeature. USS Lexington <<webfeature. History of USS Lexington <<webfeature. (contributions from our Fred McCague) (Wed. April 4 2001)

Libyan-registered freighter M/V Sabinez, with logs, Romania for Sudan, sank in the Black Sea, 2 KM (1.2 miles) off the coast of Kirklareli, NW Turkey. All 13 crew rescued. Vessel sank when cargo shifted. (Wed. April 4 2001)

Coast Guard search continuing for 92-foot F/V Arctic Rose, & 15 crew reportedly sunk about 200 miles NW of St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea early April 2 morning. Seattle-based 399-foot icebreaker USCGC Polar Star diverted from icebreaking duties in the northern Bering Sea. Cutter USCGC Boutwell, from Alameda, CA,is also on scene. 3 bodies, 1 life raft & 6 survival suits confirmed. See April 2 for full details. (contributions to us from Fred McCague, Marine Digest) (Mon. April 3 2001)

The 360 ft. Los Angeles-class submarine USS Greeneville left dry dock Pearl Harbor on April 3, for 1st time since it collided with & sank the 180-foot Japanese F/V Ehime Maru Feb. 9, with 9 of vessel's crew missing & presumed dead. Greeneville to be commanded by new skipper following over US$2M in repairs to rudder & rubber skin. Crew still includes XO Lt. Cmdr. Gerald Pfeifer & Lt. j.g. Michael Coen -- both still face possible courts-martial in connection with collision. (Tues. April 3 2001)

British M/V Bart 10 directed home from the Canadian port of Quebec City April 3 with cargo only partially unloaded due to fears of hoof-and-mouth disease. Bart 10 carrying military equipment for 5,000 British soldiers on training exercises at Suffield army base in the W. province of Alberta. Some equipment unloaded but food inspectors said the presence of mud on some military vehicles sufficient reason to fear contamination by hoof-and-mouth disease, which is causing devastation of livestock herds in Britain. The ship with crew of 25 stuck at Quebec City since Mar. 27. NOTE: "Foot-and-Mouth" is the proper American term. (Tues. April 3 2001)

The 92-foot F/V Arctic Rose with 15 crew disappeared in the Bering Sea early April 2. Two bodies were later spotted in the area, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Emergency Position Indication Radio Beacon (EPIRB) from Arctic Rose began signaling at 3:30 a.m. LT, about 200 miles NW of St. Paul Island. Coast Guard C-130 launched to search, arriving at 8:30 a.m. LT. Bodies, oily sheen, an empty life raft, survival suits & other debris sighted. 20- to 25-foot seas & 40 knot winds in the search area, about 775 miles SW of Anchorage. Not uncommon for fishing boats like Arctic Rose to work in rough seas. No distress signal before the locator beacon signaled. Sister ship F/V Alaskan Rose reported to Coast Guard Command Center at Juneau that they last spoke with Arctic Rose at about 10:30 p.m. LT. Coast Guard Cutter USCGC Boutwell <<webfeature, (WHEC-719), based in Alameda, CA. & the icebreaker USCGC Polar Star <<webfeature (WABG-10), home-ported in Seattle, en route; expected on station about 12 hours. Coast Guard Cutter USCGC Storis <<webfeature (WMEC-38) conducted routine law enforcement & safety boarding on Arctic Rose Feb. 25. Found no violations. Current on scene weather reported as 25 mile-an-hour winds & 6 to 8-foot seas. (contributions to us from Fred McCague, Marine Digest) (Mon. April 2 2001 - 10 p.m. LAX LT)

  • APRIL 11 UPDATE >>> They're free ! Crew, called the "detainees," are returned via Guam to Hawaii today aboard U.S. Air Force C-17 Golbemaster III <<webfeature, appropriately named "The Spirit of Bob Hope." Return of E-3 aircraft another question to be decided. Situation was in its 2nd week. Crew received E-mail from home on April 7. U.S. & China continued working on a joint letter designed to describe the incident in a manner acceptable to both sides -- this letter drating exercise is what ended the crisis. China had demanded apology -- but all experts agree that slow U.S. plane was not the cause of collison with jet fighter & no reason for apology. Chinese propaganda machine had rolled on - shades of the Cold War. U.S. officials 1st visited the 24 crew (including 3 women & 8 code breakers) at HOUR 60, about 9 a.m. LAX LT April 4 -- then other visits on April 6,7, 8 & 9 -- all in good health. U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries II <<webfeature, suffered major damage in the mishap, including loss of nose cowling, wing punctures, prop damage, 2 dead engines & flaps inop. Confirmed that Chinese authorities conducting intensive examination of aircraft. Standoff for release of plane & crew now ended at Hour 252. China says U.S. crew was in "protective custody." This dangerous game was more serious. Indeed -- just two weeks ago, a Chinese military band struck up as a U.S. guided missile cruiser paid a goodwill visit to Shanghai. Details of U.S. Apology - as best we can determine the official mood in Washington, D.C. [END OF SPECIAL REPORT.] SEE PREVIOUS UPDATE below. (LAX - 9 a.m. LT - Wed. April 11 2001)

FEATURE >>> Was the U.S. searching for some new type of Chinese military threat? Read the Asia Times story.

UPDATE >>> 60 hours after incident, U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii reports there has still been no contact from U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries II <<webfeature, crew. China's Foreign Ministry said earlier that ''proper arrangements'' had been made for the crew, but did not say where they were. Likely the EP-3 is currently being "inspected.". U.S. Embassy in Beijing says a group of U.S. diplomats has arrived in Hainan, but not allowed to visit crew. Present Bush says he is concerned over Chinese delay in proper response. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said late April 2 LAX LT, that Zhang Wannian, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, had given assurance during talks in Canberra that Beijing would now give immediate access to the crew. >>> BUT-- as U.S. diplomats waited to see the 24 crew members April 3, China said for the 1st time that it has the right to inspect the plane -- despite the U.S. claim that it is protected American territory. "Based on Chinese law, and In'tl practice, we have the right to conduct an investigation," said Zhu Bangzao, spokesman of China's Foreign Ministry. Appearing to mock the American claim that the plane is protected by Int'l law from outside observance without its permission -- Zhu smiled & told the reporters: "If this plane is sovereign American territory, how did it land in China?" These actions of a nation which seeks entry to the World Trade Organization are disappointing, but we remain dedicated to the brave men & women of the United States Navy. Int'l laws make very clear what is to happen under these circumstances --the People's Republic of China must allow this aircraft & crew the right of departure. (LAX - 9 a.m. LT - Tues. April 3 2001)

ALERT >>> At 9:15 a.m. Chinese time (0115 GMT) a U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries II <<webfeature, maritime patrol aircraft of the VQ-1 Squadron was in collision with a fighter aircraft of People's Republic of China . The incident caused sufficient damage for the U.S. plane to issue a 'mayday' signal & divert for an emergency landing at a military airfield at Lingshui on the southern end of Hainan. One of 2 Chinese F-8 <<webfeature, fighters on an interception mission crashed & it's pilot is reported missing. The U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii said the EP-3 landed on the island province of Hainan after it was intercepted by two Chinese fighters. There were no reports of injuries among the 24 U.S. crew aboard (22 Navy, 1 Marine & 1 Air Force). The plane is attached to the VQ-1 detachment at U.S. Naval Air Facility, Misawa <<webfeature, about 350 miles north of Tokyo, Japan. The plane was flying out of the Kadena U.S. Air Force Base on Okinawa. The EP-3E Aries II <<webfeature, an upgraded version of the Aries I using modified P-3C airframe. A provincial government official on the island of Hainan confirmed a U.S. plane had landed on the island, but declined to give further details. What's Next? Kadena Air Base <<webfeature. VQ-1 Fleet Air Recconnaissance Squadron One <<webfeature - The "World Watchers" of VQ-1 which provides electronic reconnaissance from the east coast of Africa to the west coast of the United States. (Alternate VQ-1 Squadron <<webfeature) (Sun. April 1 2001)

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Vessel Loss Dispatches For March 2001

Crewman with head injury airlifted from103-meter Russian F/V Marshal Vasilevskiy off remote island off Scotland. An RAF Nimrod & a rescue helicopter from Kinloss were scrambled 20 miles south of Rockall, west of the Outer Hebrides. (Sat. March 312001)

New Brunswick sealing F/V Lady Maggie 2 had hull punctured by ice in Gulf of St. Lawrence -- arrived safely in Newfoundland March 31. Fishing vessel from Lower Caraquet, N.B., struck ice while sealing in Gulf of St. Lawrence late March 29 afternoon. (Sat. March 31 2001)

South Korea's navy rescued all 17 sailors aboard 1,800-ton, Cambodia-registered M/V Sun Glory, Busan for Vladivostok, which sank near North Korean waters on Mar. 28. Sun Glory sent distress calls to a South Korean navy vessel early Mar. 28, saying it was sinking because of a mechanical failure off the east coast in Int'l waters 3.2 KM (2 miles) north of a sea border between the Koreas. The navy notified the North that it planned to send a marine police ship near its waters through the U.N. Command. North Korea gave no response. Three South Koreans & 14 Myanmar citizens aboard. (Sat. March 31)


26 March 2001 at 2240 LT in position :00:14N - 108:10E, Indonesia. While underway, pirates attempted to board a bulk carrier. Duty officer spotted the boat on radar & raised alarm -- result the attempted boarding was aborted. (Fri. Mar. 30 2001)

22 March 2001 at 0050 LT at Batangas anchorage, Philippines. Duty A/B on tanker spotted pirates onboard & raised alarm. When pirates realized their presence discovered they picked up life buoys & jumped overboard -- escaped in their speedboat. (Fri. Mar. 30 2001)

21 March 2001 at 0348 LT in position: 00:43N - 103: 37E, Durian Straits, Indonesia. While underway, duty A/B on container ship saw pirate on the captain's deck trying to enter the accommodation. He raised the alarm & announced on VHF Ch.16. Upon noticing crew alertness, pirates jumped overboard & escaped. (Fri. Mar. 30 2001)

20 March 2001 at 1950 UTC in position: 00:55N - 105:51E, Indonesia. While underway, pirates in a fishing boat attempted to board a container ship. Duty A/B noticed attempt & reported to bridge. Duty officer switched on all deck lights & flashed aldis lamp towards the boat. As result pirate boat fled. (Fri. Mar. 30 2001)

15 March 2001 at 1955 LT in position: 00:37.0S - 05:25.04E off Riau island, Indonesia. While underway, armed pirates hijacked M/V INABUKWA, a general cargo with tin ingots & concentrates valued at US$2.2M. Pirates tied up & blindfolded the 22 crewmembers & dropped them on Pulau Sayap, an uninhabited island in Riau waters. Local fishermen picked up crew on 17.03.2001 & took them to Riau Island landing them the next day. The IMB Piracy Reporting Center sent out an alert to authorities in the Region. Subsequently, on 25 March 2001, the Philippine coastguard detained ship. The hijackers had illegally changed her name to M/V CHUGSIN. See our earlier story on Mar. 26. (Fri. Mar. 30 2001)

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Massive oil slicks threaten Danish coast after Marshall Islands flagged, 30,000 ton M/T Baltic Carrier (built 2000), Estonia for Gothenburg, Sweden, collided with a freighter in the Baltic Sea, creating one of the biggest oil leaks ever to foul Danish waters. The Cypriot-flagged M/V Tern, Cuba for Latvia with sugar was also in colision at 2230 GMT on Mar. 28 some 14 NM north off Darsser Ort on the German coast. Tern had been anchored off the north German port of Rostock. The collision ripped a wide gash in the side of the double-hulled tanker, which was carrying nearly 9.7 million gallons of oil. Ships from Denmark, Germany & Sweden attempting to contain oil. Danish islands of Falster & Moen preparing. Stormy weather conditions off S.E. Denmark hampering operations. Both vessels afloat. More than 1,500 tons of heavy heating oil leaked thus far. One of larger slicks was about 500 feet long & 100 feet wide, while smaller ones were about 110 square feet. (Thurs. Mar. 29 2001)

The 31-year-old Polish ship cook of Norwegian cargo M/V Transfennia (San Juan, Puerto Rico for Halifax, Nova Scotia) is reported missing north of Bermuda Mar. 27. Last seen on board about 5:30 a.m. Mar. 27 & is believed to have gone overboard about 250 miles (400 km) north of Bermuda. Vessel reversed course & began search. U.S. Coast Guard assets, including C-130 on station. (Tues. Mar 27 2001)

RECOVERY >>> The Philippine coastguard has detained a ship suspected of being hijacked by pirates in Indonesian waters & repainted to make it look like another vessel. The ship was believed to be the 1,170-ton Indonesian M/V Inabukwa which Indonesian authorities reported to have been taken by armed pirates on March 15. The pirates later left MV Inabukwa's 22-man all-Indonesian crew on a deserted island off Indonesia called Pulau Sayap. On Mar. 25, the coastguard intercepted a ship marked "M/V Chugsin" off the northern Philippine province of Ilocos Sur and "discovered" that the marking 'M/V Chugsin' was marely painted over the welded name 'M/V Inabukwa', the latter painted black to match the color of the hull. Seven people aboard the ship failed to present "pertinent vessel documents" and have been detained. Inabukwa was bound for Singapore with tin ingots slag when it was hijacked in Indonesia,.The coastguard said it was seeking authority from the Indonesian embassy in Manila to open the vessel's cargo hold. SEE OUR REPORT OF Tues. Mar. 20 2001. (Mon. Mar. 26 2001)

VICTORY >>> The crew of Japanese cargo M/V Kitano battled fatigue & the elements for more than 18 hours before extinguishing a stubborn deck & container fire this afternoon. The lengthy battle left the 22 Filipino & Japanese sailors on the 288-meter Kitano near exhaustion. A harbor pilot boarded the vessel mid-afternoon & declared it safe to enter the harbor. >>> SEE our other updates, below. (Sat. Mar. 24 2001)

A flotilla of rescue boats rushed to the mouth of Halifax Harbor Mar. 23 night to assist Japanese container M/V Kitano, New York for Halifax, with 22 people on board fighting a dangerous chemical fire. Kitano was 27 km south of the city Mar. 22, when crew members spotted smoke coming from one of the containers lashed to its deck. The fire, involving highly combustible camphene wax, spread to 3 other containers as the dripping wax melted then re-ignited as it spread. Coast guard ships, military aircraft & 2 warships with firefighters aboard were dispatched. By 9 p.m., the ship was within sight of Chebucto Head but 5 meter seas, strong winds & freezing rain made the firefighting effort extremely difficult. Options such as dropping the burning containers off the ship were deemed too hazardous. A decision will be made today on how to get the firefighters aboard the vessel. >>> SEE Thus. Mar. 22 2001 (Sat. Mar. 24 2001)

The BP Amoco M/T British Valour, with 300,000 tons of crude oil, Norway for Freeport, Texas remains stranded off Bermuda after an engine room explosion Mar. 18. >>> SEE Mar. 19, below. UPDATE: Rescue tug delayed by weather -- expected on station late evening today. (Fri. Mar. 23 2001)


18 Mar. 2001 at 0300 LT in position: 04:49S - 011:39E (1.2 nm from Pointe-Noires), Congo. Two pirates, one armed with a knife, boarded a general cargo ship & lowered mooring ropes into the boat. When they were spotted by anti piracy watch, pirates jumped overboard & dropped the ropes into water. Port control was informed. A police boat arrived & retrieved the floating mooring ropes. (Fri. Mar. 23 2001)

17 Mar. 2001 at 0345 LT at Bontang anchorage, Indonesia. While at anchor, three pirates armed with long knives boarded a LPG carrier & stole mooring ropes along with other ship's stores. Master believes that pirates were monitoring local VHF channels & heard instructions given that the ship was to berth at 0700 that day. They would thus have been aware that moorings would be prepared prior to this. (Fri. Mar. 23 2001)

15 Mar. 2001 at 2200 LT at wharf 305, Tg. Priok, Indonesia. While berthed, pirates armed with knives & guns boarded a RO RO ship & stole cash and crew belongings. (Fri. Mar. 23 2001)

15.03.2001 at 1955 LT in position: 00:37.0S - 05:25.04E off Riau island, Indonesia. While underway, armed pirates boarded a general cargo ship & hijacked her. Soon after, pirates tied up & blindfolded the 22 crewmembers -- dropping them on Pulau Sayap, an uninhabited island in Riau waters. Local fishermen picked up the crew on 17.03.2001 and took them to Riau Island landing them at 0400 on 18.03.2001. The unidentified ship along with her cargo of tin plates plus concentrates & pepper worth US$2.1M are missing. (Fri. Mar. 23 2001)

15 Mar. 2001 at 0230 UTC at Semangka port, Indonesia. While at anchor, two pirates armed with long knives boarded a tanker. The alarm was raised and the pirates jumped overboard and fled. No loss of property or injuries to crew. (Fri. Mar. 23 2001)

14 Mar. 2001 at 0350 LT at Lagos anchorage, Nigeria. Three pirates armed with jungle bolos boarded a bulk carrier. The crew locked themselves in the accommodation, raised the alarm & informed port control. The pirates left after 15 minutes taking with them 3 mooring ropes. (Fri. Mar. 23 2001)

14 Mar. 2001 at 0001 LT in position: 00:58.5N - 105:11.6E, east of Pulau Bintan, Indonesia. Eight pirates armed with long knives & guns boarded a container ship from a speedboat. They robbed the ship's cash & left in their speedboat. No injuries to crew. (Fri. Mar. 23 2001)

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Deorbit of Russian Space Station Mir In South Pacific: It is reported that as many as 40 vessels were in the general splash area of several thousand square Sout Pacific miles. As of 2000 Los Angeles LT there have been no reports of either incident or damage. All but four of multiple tuna fishing vessels in the area had reported in as this morning & there are no reports of damage. (Fri. Mar. 23 2001)

The 22-member crew of 288-meter Japanese container M/V Kitano's crew, ex-New York, battled fire early Mar. 22 morning off Canada's east coast as rough sea conditions delayed assistance. Kitano notified Canadian Coast Guard one container was afire Mar. 22 at approximately 4:30 p.m. Halifax time (2030 GMT). Helicopter on scene shortly but harsh weather forced return. Fire reached 3 additional containers containing machinery but crew managed to extinguish 2 of them. 5-meter swells & 45-knot wind conditions eliminated chance of fire crews boarding vessel. Ship is anchored off Chebucto Head, 20 km (12.4 miles) south of Halifax, while 2 coastguard vessels stand by. Some of the containers on the vessel are believed to be holding camphene wax, a highly combustible substance which emits toxic odor when burned. No reports of injuries. (Thus. Mar. 22 2001)

Eight sailors rescued Mar. 21 morning after Cambodian cargo M/V Amber, with over 1, 700 tons of steel bars, sank at 25 degrees north latitude, 119 degrees &11 seconds east longitude near east China's Fujian Province. (Thus. Mar. 22 2001)

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers have sunk an Israeli-built Sri Lankan Navy gunboat, killing at least 11 sailors in the bloodiest sea battle during their 3 month-long unilateral truce. Three navy gun boats were involved (the others damaged) in a pre-dawn exchange of fire off the coast of Mullaitivu where the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels are known to have their strongest base. Three rebel craft were destroyed by the navy. The navy swung into action after detecting a flotilla of 8 rebel boats. Navy patrol craft were moving from the naval base at Trincomalee. (Wed. Mar. 21 2001)

March 20 BRAZIL OIL RIG UPDATE: The Petrobras, world's largest oil platform, sank in heavy seas today. SEE OR REPORT OF SUNDAY MARCH 18, below. (Tues. March 20 2001)

5,795 ton Maltese-registered tanker M/V Balu, Denmark for Spanish port of Huelva, with 8,000 tons of sulphuric acid, sank in 4,800 meters, in the Bay of Biscay on Mar. 20. The vessel went down at 10:26 a.m. (0926 GMT) on the edge of Int'l waters, some 120 NM (200 km) north of the Spanish coast 7 270 NM (480 km) off France. The 23 crew were picked up from life-rafts & all safe. Weather conditions said "severe" -- wind at 60 kph (40 mph) with waves four meters (13 ft) high. Third sizeable tanker to sink off the French coast in 15 months. (Tues. Mar. 20 2001)

PIRATE ATTACK>>> The Indonesian cargo M/V KM Inabukwa, with tin & pepper has gone missing after being hijacked on a voyage to Singapore. The Indonesian state shipping line PT Pelni says the vessel was hijacked Mar. 15 while sailing from Pangkalan Balam, on the island of Bangka. Crew of 23 is was overpowered by more than a dozen armed pirates who boarded the ship while at sea. Abandoned on a small uninhabited island, the crew were later discovered by local fisherman. Whereabouts of hijacked vessel & cargo is unknown. (Tues. Mar. 20 2001)

BP Amoco M/T British Valour, with 300,000 tons of crude oil, Norway for Freeport, Texas is stranded off Bermuda after an engine room explosion Mar. 18, but poses little threat to the environment or shipping. British Valour drifting slowly eastward away from land & major shipping lanes & little risk of landfall or collision. Explosion in the ship's crank case occurred 1900 LT (6:00 p.m. EST/2300 GMT) roughly 80 miles S.E. of the island & caused no injuries or pollution. Ship requested assistance from Delaware-based tugboat, expected to reach by Mar. 21 afternoon. (Mon. Mar. 19 2001) UPDATE: Rescue tug delayed by weather -- expected on station late evening today. (Fri. Mar. 23 2001)

***Coming Home ........ as the famous World War II aircraft carrier USS Midway (CVB- 41 ) will "home port" in downtown San Diego's bayfront in a major transformation of the so-called North Embarcadero area. The great Midway may arrive home as early as Oct. 2001 from Moth Ball Fleet anchorage at Bremmerton, WA. Official Midway Memorial page. USS Midway History page. USS Midway (The Cargo Letter, Mar. 19 2001)

Three crew plucked by an RAF helicopter team from liferafts after abandoning F/V Christine Neilson, 120 miles N.E. of the mouth of the River Tyne, in the North Sea. Rescuers were alerted after HM Coastguards in Falmouth, Cornwall, picked up distress signal from the sinking ship at 0440GMT on Mar. 18 (force 5 with a moderate sea state). The helicopter team was sent because no ship was close enough to assist the stricken vessel. (Sun. Mar. 18 2001)

World's largest offshore oil rig has reportedly stopped sinking 4 days after massive blasts rocked the structure that killed 10 people on Mar. 15. Brazilian owners of the US$700M rig, Petrobras, say the steeply listing 40-story platform is stable despite sinking more than 4 meters after the explosions threatened to send the rig to the ocean floor. Petrobras stepped up efforts this weekend to save the rig, flying in American and Dutch experts and 50-tons of European equipment to keep the deep-sea platform afloat and prevent an oil spill. See our March 15 report, below. (Sun. Mar. 18 2001) March 20 UPDATE: The Petrobras sank in heavy seas today. (Tues. March 20 2001)

Four dead & 8 missing after cargo M/V He Xinguo capsized & sank near Zhenhai of Ningbo Port City, east China's Zhejiang Province, early Thursday morning. He Xinguo violated regulations by carrying passengers & took risk by sailing ship against fresh gale winds from Jintang to Zhenhai around 6:30 Mar. 15 morning. When the ship reached the estuary of Yongjiang river, Ningbo, around 7:00 am, powerful waves caused ship to capsize & sink 5 minutes later. All 17 aboard thrown into the sea. (Sat. Mar. 17 2001)


12 Mar. 2001 at 0520 UTC at Jakarta anchorage, Indonesia. Three pirates armed with long knives boarded a vessel from a long blue color boat with canvas hood. Crew spotted intruders in the engine room and raised alarm. Pirates escaped with engine spares. (Fri. Mar. 16 2001)

10 Mar. 2001 at 1130 LT at Chittagong, Bangladesh. Pirates boarded a LPG carrier moored at ammonia berth and stole ship's stores. (Fri. Mar. 16 2001)

08 Mar. 2001 at 0445 LT in position: 01:05N - 105:13E, 35 n.m. east of Pulau Bintan, Indonesia. While underway, 8 pirates armed with long knives & guns boarded a LPG carrier. They broke open the door on captain's deck. They went to the bridge and took chief officer & duty A/B as hostage and brought them down to the captain's cabin and told the chief officer to call the captain. When the captain opened the door, they blindfolded all three & tied their hands & feet. They stole ship's cash & crew valuables. They then ransacked crews' cabins & stole cash & valuables. They jumped overboard & escaped in their speedboat at 0717 LT. (Fri. Mar. 16 2001)

7 Mar. 2001 at 0512 LT in position: 14:41N - 120:05E, Manila port, Philippines. While underway, pirates in a speedboat tried to board a container ship. The ship raised the alarm & contacted the coast guard. The speedboat retreated. At 0550 LT the same boat tried to attack again but alert crew repelled the boarding. (Fri. Mar. 16 2001)

6 Mar. 2001 Chittagong anchorage "C", Bangladesh. Following 3 attempts were made to board a container ship at outer anchorage. (Fri. Mar. 16 2001)

6 Mar. 2001 at 0300 LT. Eight pirates in a boat came alongside and tried to board. Alert crew repelled the attempted boarding. Duty officer called Chittagong port control, who responded three hours later at 0600 hours. (Fri. Mar. 16 2001)

5 Mar. 2001 at 0030 LT three pirates in the same boat had attempted to board the same ship. One of the pirates raised a revolver but did not fire a shot. Seeing the alert crew, the pirates left. The duty officer called Chittagong port control, who responded 4 hours later at 0500 hours. (Fri. Mar. 16 2001)

4 March 2001 at 2300 LT three pirates in the same boat had approached the same ship & tried to board her. Shore watchmen & crew repelled the attempted boarding. (Fri. Mar. 16 2001)

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The Syrian-registered 2,218 gt cargo M/V Qula Queen, Russia for Syria with timber, sank 60 miles off the port of Sinop on Turkey's northern Black Sea coast at 0400 GMT on Mar. 16 & 3 crew members are missing. Eight of 11 crew members were rescued & coastguards were searching for missing. (Fri. Mar. 16 2001)

Authorities at Europe's 2nd-largest seaport launched emergency procedures Mar. 16 after a container filled with flammable chemicals crashed onto another one in the hold of the Barbados-registered, Israeli container M/V City of Haifa at Antwerp. Both containers sprung leaks in the accident that occurred during the nigh in elaborate salvage operation began in the afternoon. Officials declared a 125-meter no-go zone around the ship as a floating crane was placed to lift the 2 containers from the hold. Tug boats with water canon lay nearby, ready to erect a curtain of water around the container ship to prevent a spreading of noxious fumes or flames. One of the containers carried ethylamine, a highly flammable chemical that can give of toxic vapors when burned. Authorities were concerned it could react with other chemicals on the ship, causing an explosion. (Fri. Mar. 16 2001)

U.S., French & Dutch rescue crews searched the northeastern Caribbean Mar. 16 after the Netherlands Antilles flagged, 40-foot motorized vessel Esperanza sank about 2 miles (3 km) west of St. Martin, the French half of the island shared with Dutch Sint Maarten. Survivors said as many as 40 other people had been aboard. At least 20 bodies were recovered, some from the submerged vessel & others after they washed ashore. Authorities in Santo Domingo said most of the passengers were from the Dominican Republic, but that Chinese and Haitian passengers were also aboard. (Fri. Mar. 16 2001)

Four people died & 8 are missing after an unidentified cargo ship capsized in a river in China's eastern province of Zhejiang. The ship was carrying passengers in breach of regulations & capsized in gale force winds. It sank within 5 minutes. (Thurs. Mar. 15 2001)

A Devon HM Coastguard who was bitten by a mystery spider hopes the Natural History museum might identify it. Andrew Burton was on duty at the East Prawle lookout station when he felt a tingling pain shooting up his arm. Mr Burton killed the spider before he was taken to hospital where nurses had to ring Guy's Hospital in London to ask for treatment advice. He described the offending creature as fat, about half an inch long & having a translucent, ruddy brown colour. One theory is that the spider may have been blown to Devon from its more exotic homeland on strong winds. Prawle Point is one of the most southerly parts of Britain & rare birds often turn up in the vicinity after gale conditions. (Thurs. Mar. 15 2001)

Two explosions rocked Brazil's largest mega offshore oil platform Petrobras, Mar. 15, starting a fire that killed at least 10 workers & forced the evacuation of about 150 others. Several after the blasts. The explosions & fire practically ruined the rig in the huge Roncador oil field in the Campos Basin, which accounts for more than 75& of the roughly 1.3 million barrels Brazil produces daily. The rig is about 75 miles off Brazil's coast. (Thurs. Mar. 15 2001)

The 2,550-ton Danish-registered M/T Sofie Theresa, with non-hazardous "slack wax", is anchored off the south coast after crew put out a fire which had torn through its engine room. The 13-man crew tackled the blaze 18 miles off Beachy Head at Eastbourne, East Sussex. "Slack wax", used in candles & cosmetics, was not affected by the fire. A commercial tug is responding for tow back to Rotterdam. Sister vessel M/Y EllenTheresa, was close by when the fire started & on station in case of evacuation. (Wed. Mar. 14 2001)

More than 400 people were taken off the cruise M/V Andaman Princess yesterday after the vessel began to list near Koh Phi Phi. Ship. Had begun to take water; seeping into the hull too fast for the ship's pumps to handle. Passengers were told to put on lifejackets as crew was preparing for evacuation. Rescue services were contacted as the ship set course for Phuket, but the vessels were too small. Liner limped into Phuket at 5.30 pm LT, more than 3 hours after it began to list. The 300 passengers & 100 crew transferred to M/V Bortine, a medium-sized vessel. (Wed. Mar. 14 2001)

1,999-ton cargo M/V Rokko 3, Port of Bizen - Okayama Prefecture for China in ballast, ran aground Mar. 13 midnight on rocky shoal off Imabari, Ehime Prefecture. No reports of injuries or oil spill. The 14 crew, all Philippine, rescued by Coast Guard 5 hours later. Ship aground on shoal situated about 100 meters from shore of an islet. At the time, the waters were calm & visibility good, but there was tidal current. (Wed. Mar. 14 2001)

MAJOR CONTAINER CARGO LOSS >>> Panamanian 787-foot (236-meter) container M/V Choyang Park ex-France for New York lost 81 containers at sea, the U.S. Coast Guard reports. Unclear where/when containers lost. Two of the ship's cargo bays collapsed during voyage, crushing contents inside bays. U.S. Coast Guard inspectors found blue jeans, light bulbs & car tires on deck after Choyang Park docked New York, Mar. 12. U.S. Coast Guard monitoring ship's cleanup effort w/ further inspections to determine seaworthiness. Additional information & photos are requested. (Wed. Mar. 14 2001)

Passenger ferries M/V Thassos 5 & M/V Papagiorgiou 5 collided in northern Aegean Sea, Mar. 13, injuring at least 3. One vessel heading from Kavala, 700 KM (435 miles) N.E. of Athens, to nearby island of Thassos when it struck an oncoming ship. Three Greek passengers were hospitalized, 2 w/ head injuries & the 3rd with an injured leg. Neither vessel suffered serious damage. Reason for collision not clear, but fog reported in area. Greek coastal shipping came under intense scrutiny when M/V Express Samina ferry sank near island of Paros on Sept. 26 after striking rocks. Eighty people died. (Wed. Mar. 14 2001)

One Stop Auto Parts >>> Thailand will step up security around its ports after pirates robbed an unidentified Mitsui container ship waiting to dock at the country's biggest port. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines complained to Thailand's port authority after pirates stole seats & radios from cars on one of its Europe-bound vessels. Mitsui estimated the damage, which happened while the ship waited to dock at Laem Chabang port in eastern Thailand, at close to US$229,300. Marine police say they have caught some members of the gang, but blame tight budgets & lack of cooperation between various government agencies for the authorities' failure to stop the thefts. It is the practice of lines not to identify specific vessels. We will inquire. (Tues. Mar. 13 2001)


5 Mar. 2001 at 0030 LT at Chittagong outer anchorage, Bangladesh. Three pirates in a boat attempted to board a container vessel. One of the pirates raised a revolver but did not fire a shot. Seeing the alert crew, the pirates left. The duty officer immediately called Chittagong port control who responded at 0500 hours. Earlier on 4.03.2001 at 2300 LT the same boat had approached the ship. However, the shore watchmen & ship's crew had repelled the attempted boarding. (Mon. Mar. 12 2001)

2 Mar. 2001 at 0245 LT at Lagos anchorage, 7nm off breakwater, Nigeria. Six pirates in a boat came alongside a LPG vessel. Three pirates armed with knives and machete boarded the ship. The duty watchman spotted the pirates & raised the alarm. The pirates managed to cut a mooring rope and lowered it into the boat. One of the pirates hit a crewmember. The pirates disembarked and escaped. (Mon. Mar. 12 2001)

27 Feb. 2001 at 2345 LT in position: 05:17.5N - 097:58.4E, off Ujung Peureulak, Indonesia. Pirates chased a tanker underway & attempted to board her. Duty officer raised alarm. The crew mustered & the ship altered course to prevent boarding. The boat aborted the chase after 20 Minutes. (Mon. Mar. 12 2001)

27 Feb. 2001 at 0130 LT in 03:20.0S - 105:34.0E, Indonesia. While underway, six pirates armed with long knives boarded a container ship. Alert crew raised alarm & pirates escaped in a small boat. (Mon. Mar. 12 2001)

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***Call To Halt "Sea Slaves" ........... as tens of thousands of sailors work in virtual slavery on merchant ships in the Asia-Pacific region and Japan should lead a drive to wipe out the abuses, the Int'l Commission on Shipping said on mar. 7. ICONS, an independent group set up to study shipping conditions, released a study claiming sailors work in slave-like conditions in up to 15% of the world's ships. The "Ships, Slaves & Competition" study says many ship workers endure minimal safety, long hours for little or no pay, are fed poorly and may be subject to rape & beatings. The report said crews told stories of sailors disappearing after complaining to officers and of being blacklisted if they sought union help to collect unpaid wages. ICONS chairman Peter Morris said during a year long investigation the commission received 125 written submissions and held public & private meetings with industry operators and governments. The commission said substandard working conditions flourished on some vessels because of secrecy on ownership that made regulation difficult. The slave practices were supported by cargo owners seeking lower freight rates at the expense of the majority of ship operators, who follow proper labor practices, Morris said. (The Cargo Letter, Mar. 12 2001)

The 300-ton Singapore-registered M/T Pristine, with 150 tons of carbon black fuel oil, sank after being ablaze for 9 hours in the busy shipping lane off Tanjung Piai in Pontian Mar. 8, 3 NM off Tanjung Piai, at 7am. Capt. & crew abandoned ship. Salvage company--Singapore-registered Semco-- will handle the wreckage. (Fri. Mar. 9 2001)

The M/V Pamela Dream, with lumber, sank about 28 miles east of Wuchiu Island, which is held by Taiwan, although it is just a few miles from the coast of Fujian province in China. on March 8, with 3 Russian crew dead & 4 missing. Government-owned Radio Hong Kong & Russia's ITAR-Tass news agency says 3 died when the vessel sank. ITAR-Tass said 4 other sailors had gone missing but some were rescued. A Hong Kong government spokeswoman confirmed that trouble was reported by Pamela Dream during the afternoon & another vessel bound for Hong Kong, M/V Prosperity No. 8, had rescued one seaman. Government-run Radio Hong Kong says a cruise ship bound for Hong Kong (M/V Aurora ?) was among the vessels rescuing the sailors. (Thurs. Mar. 8 2001) >>> SEE FOLLOWING POST (Fri. Mar 9 2001 -- Confirmed that vessel was M/V Pamela Dream)

At least 10 seamen were have been rescued after an unidentified Cambodian log carrier sank in the Taiwan Straits on March 8. Survivors are being transferred to Hong Kong in a number of vessels that took part in the rescue. Three were recued by passenger M/V Aurora, currently on her maiden voyage around the world. >>> Indeed, a rudder problem for M/V Aurora appears to have been caused by striking submerged debris from the sunken vessel -- which in turn slowed the cruise ship to the point where it was in a position to notice the floating survivors. Otherwise, M/V Aurora would have just steamed forward to Hong Kong without notice of the problem. Both God & the sea work in strange ways. It's unclear why the Cambodian vessel sank although some reports say a cargo of huge logs shifted & caused the ship to founder. It is currently unclear if this loss is the M/V Pamela Dream -- reported above. (Thurs. Mar. 8 2001) >>> SEE PREVIOUS POST

Rescuers recovered the bodies of 5 crew Mar. 6 in the icy waters off Britain's Western Isles after German-registered trawler F/V Hansa sank in high seas. One crew member remained unaccounted for. TRUE MIRACLE >>> One man was pulled alive from the sea around midday after 12 hours in the freezing water. Overnight, 9 other crew in a life raft suffering from hypothermia were airlifted to safety after a distress signal was detected late Mar. 5, HM Coastguard officials said. Aircraft from Britain, Ireland & Canada participated about 240 miles W. of the Scottish coast. Four ships -- 1 British & 3 Norwegian -- remain on station, searching the area for survivors. Hansa has sailed from the Spanish port of La Coruna. (Tues. Mar. 6 2001)

Japan's coast guard monitoring movements of 6,182-ton, Chinese-registered container M/V Chao Bai He, with 26 crew & unknown cargo in containers, currently in danger of running aground on island S.W. of Tokyo & were considering evacuating crew. Chao Bai He anchored near island of Niijima about 180 km (111 miles) S.W. of Tokyo after earlier reported as drifting with engine trouble. There is possibility it could run aground. (Mon. Mar. 5 2001)

United States M/V Nepenthe & Switzerland M/V Antares Royal, collided Mar. 2 while transiting the Panama Canal, damaging the ships but causing no injuries. The vessels were entering one of the chambers of the locks when turbulent waters caused the ships to crash into each other. The ships continued passing through the canal before stopping for repairs. The accident did not interrupt the canal's operations. (Mon. Mar. 5 2001)

Java Crisis >>> In Central Kalimantan province on island of Borneo, Indonesian navy ships Teluk Ende & Bukit Raya now evacuated about 7,000 refugees from recent ethnic slaughter. Vessels departed port town of Sampit on Indonesian half of Borneo island, where at least 20,000 people have been sheltering in camps after being driven from their homes by indigenous Dayak mobs. Most of the refugees are settlers or descendants of settlers from the island of Madura, just off the coast of Java. See our origninal story on this chaos where "headless bodies floated by" from Mar. 1.(Fri. Mar. 2 2001)


23 Feb. 2001 at 0347 UTC in position 13:47N - 048:12E, Gulf of Aden. A ship in the above area transmitted a May Day message that a boat were chasing her. Another ship intercepted this message and relayed to the IMB piracy-reporting center who in turn alerted the authorities in Djibouti. (Fri. Mar. 2 2001)

22 Feb. 2001 at 2320 LT in position 00:56.6N - 103:39.121E, southern end of Malacca straits. While underway, pirates boarded a tug & robbed the crew. No serious injuries to crew. (Fri. Mar. 2 2001)

22 Feb. 2001 at 1120 LT in position 13:29.8N - 043:01E, Gulf of Aden. While underway two high speedboats chased a bulk carrier & tried to board. The ship raised alarm & took evasive action. The boats aborted the attempt & headed towards another ship nearby. (Fri. Mar. 2 2001)

21 Feb. 2001 at 2130 LT in approximate position 00:58N - 103:41E, southern end of Malacca Straits. While underway, pirates boarded a tug & robbed the crew. No serious injuries to crew. (Fri. Mar. 2 2001)

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In a daring mid-sea rescue, pilots of an Indian Air Force MI-8 helicopter lifted to safety 4 crew of an unidentified sinking Indonesian M/V from the Andaman sea on Mar. 1. The rescue mission was launched on a distress SOS call from an American woman yachter who observed the vessel being in danger. The chopper successfully located the unidentified Indonesian vessel 100 kms south of the Car Nicobar Island, virtually sinking into the deep green waters, & in a swift action winched up 4 crew to safety in a dehydrated condition. (Wed. Mar. 1 2001)

Java Crisis >>> Headless bodies floated down river past Indonesian naval landing craft Teluk Ende at the port of Sampit as thousands of refugees fled a savage Dayak killing spree in Borneo on Mar. 1. About 3,000 refugees boarded Teluk Ende, many of whose houses lay empty & torched from 11 days of violence. At least 469 people have died, mostly Madurese immigrant settlers, at the hands of indigenous Dayak tribesmen since the violence began with a clash between Madurese & Dayaks. Special Indonesian naval marine troops & police at the evacuation point are taking no chances, conducting spot weapons checks on young males boarding Teluk Ende, amid unconfirmed rumors that that Madurese had killed more Dayaks overnight. Estimates of the number of refugees in Sampit range from 17,000 to 40,000, with more filtering out of the jungles hourly for transport to Surabaya & other ports in Java, from where they will return to their ancestral home, the arid island of Madura off the Java coast. As Teluk Ende prepared to sail, a 2nd ship, the Bukit Raya, with a capacity of 6,000, landed to evacuate the next shipload. Health workers said at least 6 refugees had died since the crisis began, & diarrhea was spreading, especially among children. (Wed. Mar. 1 2001)

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Vessel Loss Dispatches For February 2001

Maltese freighter M/V Kristal, India for Rotterdam with molasses & a crew of 35, broke in two and sank Feb. 27 off northwest Spain, leaving 3 sailors dead & 8 missing. Other crew were rescued by teams working from helicopters & ships, although 3 were hospitalized in serious condition in the city of La Coruna with hypothermia. Two crew were found dead in the water. (Wed. Feb. 28 2001)

>>>The Pakistan navy is planning to equip its submarines with nuclear missiles for "defense purposes", as reported Feb. 22, quoting a senior navy officer.

Russian coast guards on Feb. 22 fired on & sank the Russian trawler F/V Albatros-101 while trying to flee from them for 23 hours off Russia's southern Kuril Islands. All 28 sailors were safely rescued. Two patrol ships & a plane chased the vessel, which refused the to answer the coast guards by radio. On Feb. 21, a plane pursuing fired 3 shots across the bow of another trawler, but the ship proceeded into Japanese territorial waters, where it surrendered to Japanese authorities. (Thurs. Feb. 22 2001)

An Israeli Air Force helicopter Feb. 21 night rescued entire crew of Ukrainian cargo M/V Vladimir Vinto, in ballast for Ashdod to load fruit, drifting in rough seas off Israeli Mediterranean port of Ashdod. All 12 crew winched into Sikorski CH-53 helicopter. Vladimir Vinto was later blown ashore on a beach, south of Ashdod. The rescue was carried out by an Isralaeli air force commando unit which specializes in rescuing AF pilots. (Thurs. Feb. 22 2001)

A crewman was killed & one went missing when a thus far unidentified cargo M/V exploded at sea near Shanghai, 0:45 LT, Feb. 20 morning. The blast occurred in the engine room of the 500-ton vessel, belonging to a shipping company in Fujian Province. There were 9 aboard at that time. The cause of the explosion is still being investigated. (Wed. Feb. 21 2001)

The Sri Lanka navy sank 2 Tamil rebel ships in pre-dawn skirmish on Feb. 21 in waters off country's northern Jaffna peninsula after running into a cargo convoy of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) near Jaffna's Point Pedro harbor. Two vessels blew up & sank when navy opened fire, an indication that they may have been transporting explosives. Two other rebel craft also badly damaged & may have sunk. The navy patrol returned to port without casualties or damage. (Wed. Feb. 21 2001)

The cruise ship M/V Mistral, with 530 crew & 1,130 passengers, operated by Greek line Festival Cruises, grounded on a sand bank at 3 a.m Feb. 20, 900 feet off the Caribbean island of Nevis. Passengers are spending Feb. 20 night on board, with hope rescue crews can free Mistral on Feb. 21. No injuries. (Tues. Feb. 20 2001)

Winds up to 55 km per hour the 475-ton ferry M/V Cherry Rose,with 180 passengers & crew, ran aground Feb. 17 while docking on the island of Leyte, some 600 km southeast of Manila. A 70-year-old woman fell overboard & drowned & 27 people were injured. (Tues. Feb. 20 2001)

One sailor missing following an explosion Feb. 16 morning aboard M/T Xiangchang Oil Tanker No. 007 docked on the Xiangjiang River near Changsha capital of central China's Hunan province. An electrical short circuit was the cause of the blast. Loaded with 495 tons of gasoline, the vessel was ready to raise anchor from an oil dock when the ship exploded. (Mon Feb. 19 2001)

***Evil Spirits ......... as 5 North Korean sailors died of alcohol poisoning Feb. 8, on board the North Korean cargo M/V Kangsong 3, sailing home from Singapore, but a Vietnam hospital said it had managed to save 3 of their colleagues. The ship made an emergency stop in southern Vietnam last week to seek treatment for the sick sailors. The sailors died after drinking an alcoholic spirit on board the ship. A doctor at Le Loi Hospital in Vietnam's southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau said three male sailors were brought in with headaches, stomach aches and digestive troubles. The North Korean vessel resumed its voyage at the weekend. (The Cargo Letter, Feb. 19 2001)

The 2,925 dwt West African archipelago of Sao Tome & Principe-flagged cargo M/V Robel, with scrap iron, sank after colliding with the 42,427 dwt Malaysia-flagged cargo M/V Bunga Melor Satu, with sugar, near the Sea of Marmara entrance to Turkey's Bosphoru straits on Feb. 18. Rescuers saved the 12 crew of the 375-foot Robel, and no injuries were reported. It was not immediately clear what caused the collision. More than 50,000 vessels pass through Istanbul every year. Sinkings, collisions & oil spills are frequent in the Bosphorus, a narrow, winding passage cutting through Turkey's largest city of some 12 million people. (Sun. Feb. 18 2001)

Sri Lanka has detained Italian-registered M/V Lloyd Tristino Creed, Jeddah for Singapore with 4000 containers, after it struck a container berth while berthing at the port's main Jaye container terminal at its main Colombo port & seriously damaged a gantry crane. The crane is beyond repair with total damage estimated at US$10M. (Sun. Feb. 18 2001)

The aging Syrian-owned, Cambodian-registered 90-foot freighter M/V East Sea ran aground early Feb. 17 in a sandbank about 20 yards from Boulouris Beach between Nice & the town of Saint-Raphael, near France's ritzy Riviera with more than 900 people, most of them Iraqi Kurds, in a scheme to smuggle immigrants into Western Europe. Vessel deliberately beached before dawn - the work of people smugglers. The captain fled, pointing the vessel toward land, screws turning, so that the ship could not drift away. The vessel filled up with sea water & sank off the craggy Boulouris beach after tugboats dragged it off the rocks. Authorities took 908 passengers ashore, including 3 infants born during the weeklong voyage. Many looked weak & gaunt, and 9 were hospitalized. Unclear how many passengers swam ashore. Passengers were forced to remain standing in the dark, crowded hold; as many as 1,500 people were on board & about 300 were children. So. France, particularly the posh Riviera, is not usually a stop-off point for Int'l smugglers. However, immigrants fleeing impoverished or troubled countries increasingly are paying for illegal passage aboard ships bound for Western Europe. (Sat. Feb. 17 2001)


6 Feb. 2001 at 2000 UTC in position 00:07.8N - 117:34.4E, Lhotuan pilot station, Indonesia. One pirate boarded a tanker while at anchor. His accomplice remained in a boat below. The pirate broke in to the store room but escaped empty handed when alert crew chased him. Bontang coast guard was informed via VHF but did not respond. (Fri. Feb. 16 2001)

6 Feb. 2001 at 0010 LT in position 05:05.8N - 097:53.0E, Ujung Peureulak, Malacca Straits. Ten armed pirates in a high speed boat attempted to board a bulk carrier while underway. The duty A/B noticed them & raised the alarm thus preventing boarding. The duty officer transmitted a safety message by VHF to ships in the vicinity. (Fri. Feb. 16 2001)

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The 2,000-ton Singapore fuel tanker M/T Kilgas Centurion, with 1,026 tons of liquid propane gas, 155 tons of diesel fuel & 46 tons of gas & oil. has run aground on a sandy beach just north of Yarmouth, off the coast of Norfolk in the UK. The 12-man crew of the 81-meter tanker remain aboard the ship, which ran into trouble on route from Teesport to the Thames. Presently grounded on a bank some 40 meters off the beach tide mark, and the next high water is expected at 14.42 with low water at about 08.30 hrs. (Fri. Feb. 16 2001)

The tanker M/T Steadfast partially sank in shallow waters Feb. 11 when battered by massive waves & winds off Tegal, some 250 km east of Jakarta. Emergency crews are trying to clean up an oil spill from a half-sunken tanker off the north coast of storm-battered Java. The ship is an old vessel which has been moored in Tegal for months & was going to be scrapped. It was operated by a Jakarta-based company identified as Madrui & registered under a flag of convienience. Roughly 40% of an estimated 800 tons of sump oil has leaked from the ship & reached the shore. However, emergency crews have managed to plug the leak & a clean-up operation is underway. (Fri. Feb. 16 2001)

Nine French fishermen have been airlifted to safety after fishing F/V Jacques Abry ran aground in the Western Isles. The ship was damaged when it struck the east coast of North Uist at 0330GMT on Feb. 13. A coastguard helicopter was scrambled & airlifted 5 of the crew to Benbecula as the vessel began taking in water. Efforts now being made to prevent diesel fuel spilling into the sea. Falmouth coastguard was alerted by the French Rescue Center ETEL of the 268-ton vessel's plight. Engineers working to remove 83,000 liters of red diesel fuel from the hold to prevent it spilling into the water. (Wed. Feb. 14 2001)

Singapore-registered oil tanker M/T Faith 4 , with 43,000 tons of fuel & diesel oil has run aground in the entrance to the French Channel port of Dunkirk. Faith 4 got stuck on a sandbar in the port's East entrance after it experienced rudder problems. The tanker had not issued an emergency call for help, and no pollution had yet escaped. The 27 crew members remain aboard the ship. Four port tugboats & one deep-sea tugboat are on scene. (Mon. Feb. 12 2001)

Indonesian Navy ship Teluk Ende, went to the rescue of the sinking passenger M/V Sentai-3 off Sulawesi island, with 123 souls, in the Indonesian archipelago. The Sentai-3 was en route from the Maluku islands bound for South Sulawesi when it encountered difficulties & sent out a distress signal. The Teluk Ende, with marines from Maluku to Java island, responded to the call and located the stricken passenger ship during the night. All passengers & crew were safely taken onboard the naval vessel. Sentai-3 was taken under tow. (Mon. Feb. 12 2001)

The 360 foot Los Angeles-class submarine USS Greenville<<webfeature, collided with & sank the 180-foot Japanese F/V Ehime Maru, from a vocational fisheries high school in S.W. Japan, 9 miles off Honolulu Harbor, Feb. 9, and 9 people are missing. Twenty-six survivors huddled in 3 life rafts & were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. USS Greeneville was on routine patrol south of Oahu when it surfaced about 1:45 p.m. & its stern collided with the fishing vessel. Public television NHK in Japan said there were 20 crew members, plus 2 teachers & 13 students aboard the fisher from the Uwajima Fisheries High School in the southwestern Japanese prefecture of Ehime. Greeneville, a Pearl Harbor-based nuclear-powered attack sub, remains on station to help search for survivors (Fri. Feb. 9 2001)

The cargo M/V Don Mejia III, with passengers, corn, rice, fuel & livestock, capsized & sank Feb. 9 while bound for Panama's remote province of Darien, killing 8 people. A sudden shift of cargo in the Don Mejia III appeared to have caused the vessel to capsize shortly after leaving a port near Panama City. (Fri. Feb. 9 2001)

Banff-registered F/V Polaris sank in the North Sea following a failed salvage operation 60 miles south east of Sumburgh. All 5 crew are safe on board another vessel. Aberdeen coastguards were alerted by the Polaris at 0420GMT on Feb. 9. (Fri. Feb. 9 2001)

The 360 ft. Cambodian M/V Med Glory was in collision with the 180 ft. Turkish M/V Akaylar-2, Feb. 8, approximately 11 miles from the entrance to the Bosphorus. Med Glory, with fertilizer from Russia for Iskenderun, subsequently began sinking, & all of her crew were evacuated. The Akaylar-2 in a stable condition. Attempt being made to move Med Glory to a safer position closer to shore. Accident attributed to adverse weather conditions - there was heavy fog. Turkey recently undertook a multi-million dollar investment program to track vessel movements in the straits with radar. (Fri. Feb. 9 2001)

Californian David Clark's bid to become the oldest person to sail solo around the world in a fully documented voyage ended Feb. 8 when his 42-foot steel-hulled yacht S/V Mollie Milar, started taking water & sank 2 days after leaving Cape Town. Clark survived. Clark left Cape Town on the final 7,000-mile leg of a solo around-the-world voyage that would have taken him back to port in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on May 17 -- his 77th birthday. (Fri. Feb. 9 2001)

From The Cargo Letter, Feb. 2001 --

***New Carissa Owners Blame Coast Guard ........ as owners of the freighter M/V New Carissa have sued the Coast Guard for US$96M, saying navigational charts omitted warnings about unsafe conditions in the waters where the ship went aground and broke apart. The New Carissa went aground in a storm on Feb. 4, 1999, on the north spit of Coos Bay. About 70,000 gallons of the fuel oil that powered its engines spilled into the ocean. The lawsuit seeks damages for the amount of the cost of the cleanup & salvage operations. The owners claim that charts provided by the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration didn't warn that the anchorage was unsafe during winter and failed to indicate that dredge spoils from the mouth of Coos Bay had been deposited there, making the water shallower.

Visit our exciting feature on the loss of M/V New Carissa -- with dramatic photos of U.S. Navy torpedo action ! -- CLICK HERE


3 Feb. 2001 at 0105 UTC in position 13:20.51N - 100:36.17E, Bangkok Bar anchorage, Thailand. Eight armed pirates in a small craft boarded a container ship. Three of them broke into a container using crowbars. Duty crew spotted them & raised the alarm. The pirates jumped overboard & fled. (Fri. Feb. 9 2001)

02 Feb. 2001 at 0535 LT in position: 01:21.2N - 103:16.8E, Malacca Straits. While underway, pirates attempted to board a tanker. Alert crew prevented boarding. (Fri. Feb. 9 2001)

02 Feb. 2001 at 0535 LT in position: 01:20.8N - 103:17.9E, Malacca Straits. While underway, pirates attempted to board a general cargo ship. Alert crew prevented boarding. (Fri. Feb. 9 2001)

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Salvors working in open seas have managed to safely discharge petrol cargo from damaged Cypriot tanker M/T Castor (18,565 gt) in the Mediterranean, averting the risk of an environmental disaster. The salvage operation on the Castor, which has been sailing off Malta with a 20 metre (60 foot) crack above one of its petrol tanks, was completed on Feb. 8. All 29,500 tons of unleaded gasoline were successfully discharged. The Greek-owned vessel had approached Spain, Morocco & Gibraltar in search of calm waters in which to discharge the cargo. It was turned away each time for fear that sparks from a salvage operation could trigger an explosion & environmental disaster. The only option being a discharge in open seas, salvors had gradually started removing the petrol cargo in Int'l waters off Spain, but that had to be aborted last week amid deteriorating weather conditions. The Castor was then towed further east in search of calmer waters & the discharge started on Feb. 7. CLICK HERE for our initial report on Jan. 3 2001. (Thurs. Feb. 8 2001)

Coastal guards have intensified their search off Egypt's northern coast for 10 missing crew, after F/V Prince Abdel Razik capsized Feb. 4, in huge waves of a storm in the Mediterranean, near Saloum on the border with Libya. One crew managed to swim about 2 km (1.2 miles) to shore after the vessel started to sink. Coastal guards using scuba divers continue searching for the remaining fishermen. (Thurs. Feb. 8 2001)

A Chinese cargo ship sank & 2 Chinese seaman are missing after a Libyan-registered ship collided with a cargo vessel at Shanghai Port, Feb. 6 morning. At 7:30 a.m., the Libyan-registered ship, anchored at the No. 8 berth area, began to get underway & accidentally clashed with the cargo ship nearby, which sank afterwards. Two sailors on the cargo vessel fell into the sea & could not be located. Vessel identifications pending. (Thurs. Feb. 8 2001)

The 2,850-ton Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) Harima & F/V Hiyoshi Maru, a 9.1-ton tuna fisher, collided south of Okinawa early Feb. 4 morning, 110 kilometers south of Okinawa's mainland, but no one was injured. The damage caused a hole measuring 50 cm in diameter on the bow of the fishing boat, but it was able to cruise on its own. The Harima, a vessel used to locate submarines, was sailing off Okinawa on a training mission while the Hiyoshi Maru was on its way to a fishing ground. (Mon. Feb. 5 2001)

An unidentified cargo vessel with 335 cars has sunk in the Sea of Japan, leaving an oil slick stretching more than 2 km. The Japan Coast Guard says all 8 crew were rescued unharmed. The 1,573 ton ship ran aground off Fukuoka city, about 850 km west of Tokyo. The crew evacuated to life rafts immediately, & were rescued by a patrol ship. The ship capsized shortly afterwards, causing oil to leak. (Mon. Feb. 5 2001)

The Indonesian M/V Ulo Putro, Port of Bastiong on Ternate Island for Galela on Halmahera Island with refugees, ran into bad weather & sank on Feb. 4 2001, off Jalolo in the Indonesian province of North Maluku. Of 80 people manifested, refugees who had fled Galela after clashes between Muslims & Christians, 11 are dead & 69 are missing. The North Maluku government says search and rescue operations are continuing, but bad weather is causing problems. The Meteorological Office is warning of rainstorms in the area & has advised ships not to put to sea. (Mon. Feb. 5 2001)

The Indonesian M/V Leo Star II capsized in huge waves, killing 11 people & leaving 11 others missing, Feb. 4 morning after leaving the North Maluku capital of Tenate bound north for Galela on the province's main island of Halmahera. The ship carried Muslim refugees off eastern Indonesia's Maluku islands, killing 11 people and leaving 11 others missing. The wooden vessel was believed to be carrying at least 80 people, with 58 being rescued. The refugees were among thousands who have fled their homes amid fighting between Muslims & Christian in Maluku islands, which lie about 1,440 miles N.E. of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta. In July, another ship packed with refugees, mostly Christians, sank in the region, but searchers failed to find any trace of the roughly 481 passengers. (Sun. Feb. 4 2001)


30 Jan. 2001 at 0436 LT in position 01:19N - 103:19E, Malacca straits. Pirates in a speedboat chased a container ship & attempted to board. Alert crew prevented boarding. (Sat. Feb. 3 2001)

27 Jan. 2001 at 0420 LT in position 03:47.12N - 098:41.98E, Pisai jetty, Belawan, Indonesia. Four pirates in a speedboat boarded a cement carrier and stole ship's stores. Pirates jumped overboard & escaped when noticed by the crew.

26 Jan. 2001 at 0400 LT in position 01:12N - 103:23E, Singapore straits. Ten pirates armed with knives boarded a dredger while transiting eastbound traffic separation lane. They demanded money and upon resistance slashed the master & two crew in abdomen & arms. Pirates escaped taking ship's equipment & valuables from the crew. One crew was seriously injured. The injured received treatment ashore & are back on the dredger. (Sat. Feb. 3 2001)

23 Jan. 2001 at 0210 LT in position: 01:15.9N - 103:24.1E, Indonesia. Five pirates boarded a container ship but alert crew raised alarm & the pirates fled. (Sat. Feb. 3 2001)

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Pirate Threat Grows .......... as attacks have reached an all-time high, with 72 people killed in 469 attacks last year, and the waterways of Indonesia remain the most dangerous, a maritime monitoring group reported on Jan. 31. The number of pirate attacks in 2000 rose 57% compared to 1999, with about one-third occurring in Indonesian waters, the Int'l Maritime Bureau said in its annual report. Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago with 13,000 islands, was also the country where pirate attacks were most violent, the report said. Pirates, many armed with knives, boarded 86 ships, hijacking two, & tried to attack 31 other vessels in Indonesian waters, the report said. "There are no signs the attacks will drop unless Indonesia takes serious steps to address the problem," the maritime bureau said in a statement. Piracy also increased in Bangladesh, India, Ecuador, the Straits of Malacca & the Red Sea, the report said. The United Nations is set to discuss piracy in May, the report said, and Japan's Coast Guard had expressed its readiness to spearhead a multinational anti-piracy effort. The Int'l Maritime Bureau is a London-based organization funded largely by ship owners & insurers.
Study Guide >> Read our recent presentation on Modern High Seas Piracy.

Vessel Loss Dispatches For January 2001

French trawler F/V St Pierre is limping to the port of Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides Jan. 30 after colliding with Liberian-registered tanker M/T Laura, in ballast, 80 miles (130 km) west of Scotland during the night. The St Pierre, damaged its bow in the collision & its 16 crew were expected to get medical exams. Two of the crew of St. Pierre, including the skipper, were slightly injured. The Laura damaged her side but was proceeding to its destination, believed to be Edinburgh. (Tues. Jan. 30 2001)

A helicopter rolled over onto its side after landing aboard USCGC Campbell, a 270-foot cutter from New Bedford, Mass., injuring 8 people. Campbell was conducting flight operations off Honduras with an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter when the accident occurred Jan. 30 evening. The helicopter was from the Coast Guard Air Station Houston. A large wave hit the ship just after the helicopter landed, causing the helicopter to tip & strike the flight deck with its rotor blades. (Tues. Jan. 30 2001)

Two foundering fishing vessels were rescued off opposite ends of Mass. Jan. 28 by U.S. Coast Guard. The most imperiled were 5 crew aboard New Bedford's F/V Lucky 80 NM south of Martha's Vineyard, which shortly after midnight began taking on water in its engine room & stalled near a major traffic lane for large ships. Coast Guard launched an HU-25 Falcon jet to assist the 210-foot cutter USCGC Reliance, which was patrolling near the Lucky. The fishing crew located the hole in their boat about 6:50 a.m. & patched the damage. But as they were limping home to New Bedford, the boat re-sprung its leak. The crew pushed on toward port aided by a pump the Coast Guard provided. At 1:45 a.m. Jan. 28, the 270-foot cutter USCGC Spencer took the 45-foot F/V Lady Shannon in tow after that F/V's screw broke down 80 NM southeast of Gloucester. (Tues. Jan. 30 2001)

The 88-meter (290-feet) Barbados-registered M/V Holly Trader, Tunisia for London with fertilizer, sank off the Portuguese coast Jan. 29 after taking on water in its engine room in heavy seas. Holly Trader's crew of 5 Ukrainians & one Russian was rescued by a merchant ship late Jan. 28 about 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Lisbon. Waves were up to 7 meters (23 feet) high at the time. (Tues. Jan. 30 2001)

Coastguards recovered 22 corpses off Ukraine on Jan. 28 after M/V Pamyat Mercuria (1,200 gwt), Istanbul for Yevpatoria port in Ukraine's Crimea sank on Jan. 27 evening. A life raft from Pamyat Mercuria had been found off Ukraine's coast in the Black Sea. Six people survived, including the captain. The ship had been ferrying 51 people, including crew. The ship was formerly used for surveying but had been converted into a ferry for traders shuttling between Istanbul & Crimea. The bodies werefound off the southernmost tip of Crimea. (Sun. Jan. 28 2001)

The Panamanian 663 ft. freighter M/V Friendly Ocean with 50,000 tons of potash, Ventspils, Latvia for China, ran aground in a narrow shipping area between the coast of Germany & Denmark Jan. 27, but has not posed an environmental danger. (Sat. Jan. 27 2001)

The Georgian registered cargo M/V Al Hufoof 1, UAE on Sept. 2 for Massawa, Eritrea, with a cargo 3,241 tons of wheat flour & sugar apparently stolen by its own crew after leaving Sharjah in Sept. -- has been recovered in Vietnam. The M/V Hong Heing, purported to be registered in Honduras, was boarded by the port authorities in Ho Chi Minh City last month following an alert from the Int'l Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Center in Kuala Lumpur. Confirmed that the vessel is the missing Al Hufoof 1. It has also been confirmed that the crew that brought the ship into Ho Chi Minh was the same as those onboard when it left Sharjah in Sept. The IMB warns all owners that they should conduct detailed background checks into the certification & history of crew members, particularly senior officers, before employing them. (Fri. Jan. 26 2001)

Study Guide >> Read our recent presentation on Modern High Seas Piracy.


20 Jan. 2001 at 0030 LT at Panjang anchorage, Indonesia. Three armed pirates seized the second officer & hit him on the head. The officer managed to contact the duty crew on his walkie-talkie. The alarm was raised and the pirates jumped overboard & escaped with ship's stores. (Fri. Jan. 26 2001)

18 Jan. 2001 at 2037 LT at Mongla river anchorage, Bangladesh. Two pirates armed with long knives boarded a LPG carrier. They attacked 4 shore watchmen & 2 seamen. The duty officer sounded the alarm & mustered the crew. The pirates jumped overboard & escaped in 2 boats. (Fri. Jan. 26 2001)

18 Jan. 2001 at 0300 LT at Balik Papan anchorage (inside river), Indonesia. Several pirates armed with crowbars tried to board a tanker from a small boat. Duty officer noticed them, raised the alarm & flashed search lights at the pirates. The pirates fled & escaped. (Fri. Jan. 26 2001)

17 Jan. 2001 at 0855 LT at Kakinada inner anchorage, India. Several fishing boats with armed pirates inside surrounded a tanker. One boat came close and a man boarded the ship. He stole ship's stores & jumped into the water. The incident was reported to the local authorities. (Fri. Jan. 26 2001)

17 Jan. 2001 during loading operations at Douala port, Cameroon. Three armed pirates boarded a bulk carrier from a boat. They threatened the duty officer with a long knife & stole ship's stores. Local police & the harbor master's office were informed but did not respond. (Fri. Jan. 26 2001)

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A sailor on British cargo M/V Amanda C, for Britain, died Jan. 25 morning after he fell overboard in the cold North Sea waters off Denmark's northwestern coast, the Danish navy said. The navy's rescue center responded to a 7 a.m. (0600 GMT) alert but the ship's crew had retrieved the man's body before the rescue helicopter arrived. The unidentified sailor died after spending up to 45 minutes in water that was 3 to 4 degrees Celsius (37 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit).. (Fri. Jan. 26 2001)

Greek, Panamax tanker M/T Neapolis spilled 5,000 gallons of oil into the Panama Canal, temporarily closing one of the locks & delaying traffic through the waterway. The leak was caused by previous damage; the ship never came in contact with the canal's walls. (Thurs. Jan. 25 2001)

Police were searching on Jan. 23 for 15 armed pirates who tried to hijack the Australian, Shell PNG charter tanker M/T Petro Navigator at Manus, 800 km (500 miles) north of Port Moresby. The pirates escaped in the tanker's tender after a struggle with the crew & police, who could not shoot for fear of igniting an explosion. The attempted hijack occurred while Petro Navigator was berthing at Lorengau, Manus Island Province. No one was seriously injured. Shell PNG and the ship's Sydney-based owner say they are reviewing security in PNG, where piracy is punishable by death. (Wed. Jan. 24 2001)

Study Guide >> Read our recent presentation on Modern High Seas Piracy.

The 100 ft. French tanker M/T ILES DU PONANT (227 gt, 1976 built), a small coaster, Saint-Nazaire for the Atlantic coastal island of Belle-Ile, capsized in high winds & came to rest about 500 yards from Le Croisic on a sandbar. Following the sound of a survivor banging on the wall, rescuers drilled a hole into the hull & freed one trapped crew member today. A captain, three sailors and a mechanic were still trapped inside. There is little hope of finding the 4 others. With the tide rising, the search was suspended for the night some 12 hours after it began. Massive damage prevented a full search. (Wed. Jan. 24 2001)

French M tanker ILES DU PONANT (227 gt, 1976 built), a small coaster operating between St.Nazaire and Belle Ile, five crew on board, capsized on Jan 24, near La Turballe in lat 47 20.20N long 02 30.46W.

A fleet of ships abandoned over the past 15 years in Rio's famous Guanabara Bay has turned the site into a floating cemetery that could begin leaking fuel. The 25 ships, all privately owned vessels once used to transport cargo, show signs of corrosion. Each of the ships is loaded with diesel & water to keep them from capsizing. No significant leaks have been detected but the risk of spills is high. (Wed. Jan. 24 2001)

Syrian M/V HAJ ABDOULLAH, YKGK (499 gt, built 1962), Beirut for Varna with 1,000 tons of soya, had engine blackout & grounded on the island of Mytilene, in lat 39 01N, long 26 09.5E, in the early hours of Jan 23. Vessel has sustained damage & remains aground at present. No injuries or pollution. (Tues Jan. 23 2001)

Turkish-flagged cargo ship M/V Kaptan Cavit (1,175 dwt) for Bulgaria with 1,100 tons of wheat, sank on Jan. 21 after colliding head-on in the Bosphorus straits with Turkish-flagged cargo M/V Nadya (914 dwt), with 480 tons of slag to the Turkish town of Izmit. The stricken Kaptan Cavit's seven member crew was rescued at the Black Sea end of the straits. Nadya has serious damage to its prow but did not appear to be in immediate danger of sinking. Collisions and shipwrecks are far too common in the Bosphorus, a narrow passage winding through Istanbul and on which commercial vessels are guaranteed free passage during peacetime under the 1936 Montreux Treaty. (Sun. Jan. 21 2001)

Thai Maritime Police have arrested 20 alleged pirates suspected of robbing & blowing up a Thai fishing boat. The suspects were apprehended Jan. 18 in the Andaman Sea off the Thai province of Ranong, 292 miles south of Bangkok, where they were hiding between two small islands close to Myanmar waters, said Maj. Suwat Sriklaw, a chief marine police investigator. Four of the arrested men were Thais, & the others were from Myanmar. The pirates, heavily armed, allegedly attacked the Thai fishing boat on Jan. 11 as it was returning with a full catch of fish from waters off Mergui in Myanmar, also known as Burma. They brought the boat back to Myanmar waters, transferred all its catch to their vessel & then blew it up by shooting its gas tank. (Sat. Jan. 20 2001)


13 Jan 2001 at 0245 LT at Jakarta anchorage, Indonesia. A pirate boarded a bulk carrier while at anchor & lowered a rope for his accomplices to climb aboard. Alert crew saw the pirate & raised the alarm. The pirate jumped overboard and escaped in a boat with 10 accomplices. (Fri. Jan. 19 2001)

12 Jan. 2001 at 2355 LT, 4.5 miles NW of fairway buoy, Cochin Roads, India. A pirate tried to board a tanker while at anchor via the anchor chain. Duty crew noticed him and raised the alarm. As a result the pirate fled in a boat, which had 10 accomplices. Sound familiar? (Fri. Jan. 19 2001)

10 Jan. 2001 at 0115 LT at Tema anchorage, Ghana. Two pirates boarded a bulk carrier via hawse pipe. Duty watchman spotted them & raised alarm. The pirates jumped overboard and escaped in a small canoe. (Fri. Jan. 19 2001)

09 Jan. 2001 at 1905 LT at Cochin anchorage, India. One pirate boarded a container vessel whilst at anchor. Crew on anti piracy watch confronted him. The pirate jumped overboard and escaped in an unlit boat waiting with nine accomplices. Where was the other guy, "Mr. 10"? (Fri. Jan. 19 2001)

09 Jan. 2001 at 0400 LT at Balik Papan port, Indonesia. A small boat approached the forecastle area of a berthed tanker. Alert crew spotted the boat and directed lights at her. The boat slowly moved away. However while this was taking place, pirates in a 2nd boat boarded the stern of the tanker and stole ship's stores & safety equipment. (Fri. Jan. 19 2001)

09 Jan. 2001 at 0200 LT in position:04:09N - 006:59.5E, Nigeria. Whilst at anchor pirates boarded a tanker via hawse pipe. Alert crew sounded the alarm & the pirate escaped. (Fri. Jan. 19 2001)

08 Jan. 2001 at 0400 LT at Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia. Pirates boarded a tanker while at anchor and stole ship's stores. On 09.1.2001 at 0100 while at berth 3 pirates boarded the same tanker and tried to steal ship's stores. Duty crew noticed them & raised the alarm. The pirates jumped overboard and escaped. (Fri. Jan. 19 2001)

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An electrical fire in the Gulf of Alaska about 100 miles south of Cordova cut power to Coast Guard cutter USCG Sedge, en route to Valdez, causing the crew to lose control of the ship in 25-foot seas. One guardsman suffered back and neck injuries from a fall in the ship's hold. The wind was blowing nearly 60 mph at the time of the mishap. Two Coast Guard vessels assisted in restoring power to the ship. The fire was confined to a switchboard. (Fri. Jan. 19 2001)

M/T Jessica, with 243,000 gallons of fuel, ran aground Jan. 16, on the easternmost island in the Galapagos group. Ecuador is asking U.S. help in cleaning up a diesel fuel spill in the ecologically fragile Galapagos Islands. The tanker began leaking diesel oil Jan. 19 into a bay on San Cristobal island teeming with unique marine species. The Galapagos archipelago, 600 miles west of the Ecuadorean mainland, is Ecuador's main tourist attraction famous for giant tortoises and uniquely evolved birds & plants. Its plants and animals, found nowhere else in the world, have characteristics that helped Charles Darwin develop his theory of evolution. Workers have removed 20,000 gallons of fuel from the ship. Authorities blamed navigational error. (Fri. Jan. 19 2001)

German container vessel M/V OOCL NEVA (6,326 gt, built 1995) sailed Mantyluoto 1345, Jan 17, for Hamburg with full cargo of containers, had serious engine failure in lat 61 10N, long 20 26E, at 1600 hrs. Tug PORIN KARHU proceeded from Mantyluoto to assist. Tug towed vessel to port of Rauma for repairs. Repairs expected to take 3 - 4 days. (Fri. Jan. 19 2001)

An undersea explorer team has discovered what is believed to be the wrecks of 2 pirate ships, including Capt. Kidd's S/V Adventure Galley, near an island off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The 2nd ship is believed to be Capt. Billy One-Hand's S/V Fiery Dragon. The ships were found in shallow water within 50 feet of each other in a sandy graveyard at Ile Ste. Marie, known in the 17th and 18th centuries as a haven for pirates. The team of explorers was from the Discovery Channel were led to the island by old English & French Admiralty charts, and have made 3 expeditions to the site. (Fri. Jan. 19 2001)

Dutch M/V MISSISSIPPIBORG (6,540 gt, built 2000), bound Brevik, was reported adrift in lat 57 47N, long 08 39E, Jan 18 following a fire in her engine room. Vessel awaiting arrival of a tug. (Fri. Jan. 19 2001)

The South Korean Navy rescued all 77 people aboard 396gt South Korean ferry M/V Democracy 2 that caught fire & sank off the northwestern coast. A fire started in the engine room early in the morning while it was carrying passengers between two islands off the western coast. Sixty-nine passengers & 8 crew were rescued by two patrol boats. (Thurs. Jan. 18 2001)

The Malaysian 593-foot M/V Alam Selaras, Vancouver for Japan with grain, pounded by strong winds & high seas, with 23 people aboard drifted in the North Pacific on Jan. 17 toward the Aleutian Islands. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Alex Haley on scene, attempting to set up a tow line. No power: no steering, no engine. The freighter's captain contacted Coast Guard on Jan. 13, saying his main engine had failed. Winds were blowing at 30 to 40 mph & seas were running 20 to 28 feet. The cutter will attempt tow. The two vessels are roughly 80 miles from the Aleutian Islands. (Wed. Jan. 17 2001)

Michael Hepner, 19, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a teen-ager who was arguing with his girlfriend climbed over the railing of cruise ship M/V Sensation, lost his grip & drowned. He was found floating unconscious 2 miles offshore early Jan. 14 by a U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopter. He was pronounced dead at a Tampa hospital. Carnival Cruise Line's Sensation was returning to port after a 7 day western Caribbean cruise. Hepner plunged from the ship's 4th-highest level. (Mon. Jan. 15 2001)

The tanker M/V P Harmony (9,800 DWT) exploded & sank off South Korea's southeastern port of Pusan, near Koje Island, on Jan. 15, killing 3 crew, injuring 7 & 6 missing. The ship was en route to the southwestern port of Yosu from Ulsan where it unloaded a 9,000-ton cargo of unleaded gasoline, Hwang said. There were no oil product cargoes at the time of the explosion. Only bunker-C and marine diesel used to fuel the tanker. (Mon. Jan. 15 2001)


08 Jan 2001 at 0500 LT in position: 00:51.7N - 105:06.94E, Indonesia. Fifteen pirates armed with pistols, long knives & other weapons boarded a chemical tanker. Pirates took control of the ship, hit crew & officers. Pirates stole ship's stores & valuables from the crew and left after 40 minutes. (Sat. Jan. 13 2001)

06 Jan 2001 at 0400 LT at Balik Papan, Indonesia. Pirates boarded a tanker. They jumped overboard seeing the alert crew on anti-piracy watch. More accomplices were seen in a boat close to the tanker. No injuries to the crew. (Sat. Jan. 13 2001)

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A 60-year-old British yachtsman was rescued today by the Cypriot bulker M/V Baynes about 200 miles north west of the Cape Verde Islands, off the West African coast. The yachtsman spent 3 day drifting on his 24 ft Trident Chinese rigged S/V Ozama after rudder problems. A battery-operated personal locator beacon ran out of power and the man was relying on a ship to pass within 50 miles of him to pick up Mayday signals being transmitted hourly from his radio or to see distress flares. He left Madeira on Christmas Day bound for St Lucia and planned to sail on to the US via the Virgin Islands before returning to the UK. The yacht is still adrift. (Sat. Jan. 13 2001)

Netherlands cement carrier M/V FRIMA STAR (1,094 gt, built 1978) had fire break out in her engine room, outside Lindesnes in the south of Norway. The crew extinguished the fire before it caused serious damage. FRIMA STAR sailed for repairs at Frederikstad Mek. (Sat. Jan. 13 2001)

Crippled Iranian bulk carrier M/V Iran Ghafari (25,000 gt) with coal was towed into Cape Town harbor on Jan. 11 morning after it broke down off the South African coast. The ship from Richard's Bay on the east coast for South America, broke down 500 NM northwest of Cape Town. Bolts on her prop-shaft sheered off & the engines had to be shut down. (Fri. Jan 12 2001)

Greek bulk carrier/container vessel M/V DORA (19,968 gt, built 1978), Venezuala for Russia fully laden with 25,200 tons of alumina grounded at Km 36.5, River Orinoco. The local salvage master arrived on scene with 2 tugs. Attempts to refloat were made at high water. According to the owners, no damage was sustained. The vessel was refloated. (Thurs. Jan. 11 2001)

Rescuers have reached F/V Golden Gain with 5 men on board which is taking on water off the east coast of Scotland. Coastguards say a winchman from an RAF helicopter has been lowered onto the affected vessel carrying a pump. M/V Resplendent is on it way to the scene to take the vessel under tow though a destination had not yet been decided on. Aberdeen Coastguard says the alarm was raised shortly before 7am after the vessel, from Fraserburgh, developed a leak while around 55 miles off the Aberdeenshire coast. (Wed. Jan. 11 2001)

Marine rescue workers airlifted 27 crew members to safety Jan. 9 after the Ukrainian timber carrier M/V Novocherkasska, Finland for Cyprus, ran into trouble 60 miles off Spain's northwestern coast with reported winds of 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour and waves of up to 4 meters (13 feet). Novocherkasska appealed for help from Vigo port shortly after midnight when its wood cargo shifted & caused the ship to list badly. Rescue units, using 2 helicopters & 3 support vessels, had to wait till daylight and for the storm to ease before they were able to evacuate the crew. (Wed. Jan. 10 2001)

Azores M/V ARIEACORES (300 gt, built 1965) ran aground on rocks off Ponta Delgada. Vessel still aground at the bottom of a cliff. Two crew dead, two rescued & 1 missing. (Tues. Jan. 9 2001)

Inco Ltd says an unidentified vessel carrying 2,200 tons of nickel in matte from Indonesian unit PT Inco, worth an estimated US$13M, sank off Japan Jan. 6 or 7.Inco, the western world's biggest nickel producer, said 80% of the nickel was bound for Inco TNC Ltd.'s refinery in Japan, & 205 destined for Sumitomo Metal Mining .It said the loss represents about 3.3% of PT Inco's annual production. UPDATE Jan 10,1900 PST: It is now confirmed that the vessel is Panamanian-registered freighter M/V White Koowa -- see Sun. Jan. 7. (Tues. Jan. 9 2001)

Indian M/V Jag Rekh, with grain, through the narrowest stretch of the Panama Canal accidentally tore its hull, began to flood & ran aground Jan. 7. No injuries were reported, and the accident did not interrupt the canal's traffic. Jag Rekh entered the canal on the Pacific side. Between Jan. & Sept. of last year, the canal registered 16 accidents. (Tues. Jan. 9 2001)

Five bodies have been recovered & at least 20 more people are feared drowned after armed robbers attacked a ferry (Kigoma, the main port on Lake Tanganyika, for nearby Ngambowas) carrying 50 passengers in Lake Tanganyika. Two passengers, including a 3-year-old girl, died instantly after being shot when six armed men attacked the ferry Jan 3.. The remaining victims are believed to have drowned after the attackers ordered male passengers to undress and jump into the lake, Africa's deepest fresh water body. The assailants raided the ferry using local fishing boats, & fled after robbing the passengers, leaving women & children adrift on the ferry. "The incident occurred in deep waters with heavy waves and we have lost hope of finding those missing alive," officials said from Kigoma region, about 660 miles northwest of Dar es Salaam. ``We are not sure of the exact number of the people missing.'' The incident is unprecedented in the lake, which also borders Burundi & Congo. (Mon. Jan. 8 2001)

At least 8 crew drowned in the (German) Panamanian-registered freighter M/V White Koowa (3,561 GT), with 2 Japanese & 12 Filipino crew, with 3,000 tons of nickel ore, after the vessel sank in the Pacific off Kochi, 625 km (390 miles) southwest of Tokyo on Jan. 7. The coastguard dispatched several patrol boats & aircraft to the scene on Jan. 8 & rescued 5 of the Filipino crew. Two other Filipino crew, the captain & chief engineer, both Japanese, were found unconscious. The ship left Indonesia on Dec. 26 & had been due to arrive at a southwestern Japanese port on Jan. 8. (Sun. Jan. 7 2001)

Four refugees fleeing the Democratic Republic of Congo war have been rescued, 8 miles southwest of Cape Point, by the South African yacht S/V Zuza after being abandoned at sea without food or water on Jan. 4 by the crew of a cargo vessel, Durban for Europe, on which they had stowed away 8 days ago while it was moored in the Congolese port of Matadi. The ship was destined for Europe via Durban. The cargo vessel's crew had threatened to kill them when they were discovered on Thursday. They were then given an inflatable life raft & set adrift. (Sun. Jan. 7 2001)

Swedish M/V TELLA (684 gt, built 1955) had engine breakdown, was disabled & drifiting in lat 28 41N, long 41 20W, on Jan 6. -- was taken in tow by barge carrier M/V Condock III for Ponta Delgada same day. (Sun. Jan. 7 2001)


30 Dec.2000 at 0050 LT in position 01:19N - 103:18E, Malacca straits. While underway 4 pirates armed with knives boarded a tanker, entered the bridge and robbed cash from the 3rd officer. When the alarm was raised the pirates jumped overboard & escaped. (Sun. Jan 7 2001)

29 Dec. 2000 at 2235 LT in position: 01:17.6N - 103:22.2E, Malacca straits. While underway persons in a boat attempted to board a container ship from the stbd quarter. Ship's anti piracy watch spotted them & prevented boarding. (Sun. Jan 7 2001)

29 Dec. 2000 at 2235 & 2353 LT in position: 01:18.6N - 104:16.3E, Singapore straits. Two attempts were made to board a bulk carrier while underway. Upon seeing alert crew, pirates aborted the attempts. (Sun. Jan 7 2001)

25 Dec. 2000 at 0345 LT at Balikbapan anchorage, Indonesia. Several pirates in two small boats attempted to board a tanker. The duty officer spotted them and raised alarm. The pirates did not succeed in boarding. (Sun. Jan 7 2001)

24 Dec. 2000 at 0210 LT at Kipevu oil terminal, Kenya. Two canoes with 6 pirates in each boarded a general cargo ship and stole ship's stores. Anti piracy crew spotted them and chased them away. (Sun. Jan 7 2001)

24 Dec. 2000 at 0130 LT at Chennai anchorage, India. Pirates boarded a bulk carrier but left when the duty officer spotted them & chased them away.

24 Dec. 2000 at 0130 LT in position: 01:18.2N - 103:21.4E, Indonesia. The duty officer on a container ship noticed eight pirates armed with long knives on board. He raised alarm and mustered all crew. The pirates jumped overboard & escaped. (Sun. Jan 7 2001)

24 Dec. 2000 at 0210 LT at Cigading, Indonesia. Seven pirates armed with long knives boarded a general cargo ship and tied the duty oiler in the engine room. Ship's stores were stolen. (Sun. Jan 7 2001)

24 Dec. 2000 at 0215 LT in position: 01:15.3N - 103:20.4E, Indonesia. Several pirates in attempted to board a general cargo ship. Alert crew illuminated the ship and raised alarm. The pirates aborted the attempted boarding. (Sun. Jan 7 2001)

22 Dec. 2000 at 0230 LT in position: 06:02.1S - 105:55.8E, Indonesia. Three pirates armed with long knives boarded a gas carrier from stern. Duty crew and shore guards spotted them. The pirates did not resist as the guards were armed with guns. The pirates were handed over to the local police for investigation. Two accomplices waiting in a boat below escaped. (Sun. Jan 7 2001)

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The coastguard is searching for the abandoned English-registered fishing trawler F/V Pembroke amid fears it could drift ashore and cause an obstruction to shipping lanes & pose a pollution threat. Pembroke's crew was airlifted to safety off the Cork coast earlier this week after the boat started taking in water. Last month an unmanned fishing boat arrived at Castletownbere, Co Cork. The British-registered Spanish F/V Zorro Zaurre drifted 140 miles to the south-west Irish coast before foundering on rocks yards from where its sister ship, Nuestra Señora de Gardotza, sank 10 years ago at Roancarrig lighthouse in Bantry Bay. (Fri. Jan. 5 2001)

The captain of the damaged Greek tanker M/T Castor, with 29,000 tons of gasoline, says his vessel is in danger of exploding, He has told the Spanish authorities he & crew would abandon ship if it was not allowed refuge immediately. Tanker experts are agreed that the rubbing of deck plates alongside a crack in the ship's deck could lead to a spark that would ignite the ship's cargo. "A statement was issued today from the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Madrid officially requesting the vessel to abandon its current position and remain at least 30 miles off the Spanish coast," said Athenian Sea Carriers. The Gibralter authorities on also officially denied the vessel entry into Gibraltar or its approaches. The ship was refused refuge on Thursday by the Moroccan port of Nador. The crack developed in heavy seas between Dec. 26 & 31 on a voyage from Constanza in Romania to Lagos. See Jan. 3, below. (Fri. Jan. 5 2001) UPDATE:  Madrid, Spain - The 28 crew members of the stricken Cypriot tanker have been moved to safety on board several nearby ships. (Sun. Jan 7 2001)

The M/V Nautika 64 with 150 tons of marble sank off the Italian coast about 64 km (40 miles) from the Adriatic port of Ancona when its cargo shifted. on Jan. 5, killing 3 crew & leaving another missing. Port authorities received a "May Day" call for help at 7:45 a.m. (0645 GMT) & sent boats and a helicopter to the ship, which was sailing under the Croatian flag. The May Day was sent by one of the crew who, after finding he couldn't send it from the ship, swam to an oil platform nearby. (Fri. Jan. 5 2001)

The Brazilian navy's crippled the Oberon-class Tonelero submarine, which sank at its mooring in Rio de Janeiro's scenic Guanabara Bay on Christmas Eve, was moved to a repair dock on Jan. 4 after being partially refloated. The British-built diesel-powered 2,410-ton S-21 Tonelero is Brazil's biggest & oldest sub, with 30 years in service. It had been undergoing repairs at the Arsenal base when it sank, apparently due to a valve malfunction. The navy lifted the sub by pumping water out through one of its hatches. The submarine's nose & part of its bridge emerged from the water on Jan. 3 after the vessel had spent 10 days at a depth of 30 feet (9 meters) below the surface. Bought in 1972, Tonelero can carry 22 torpedoes & a crew of 70. It has a life expectancy of between 30 & 40 years. (Thurs. Jan. 4 2001)

Fuel oil spilled into the sea off Muroto, Kochi Prefecture, from Panamanian-registered 2,611-ton M/T Southern Noble when crewmen failed to properly transfer oil from one tank to another inside ship, Japan Coast Guard said. While it is not yet known exactly how much oil from Southern Noble spilled into the sea some 13 km E NE of Cape Muroto, an oil slick of some 50 meters wide & 7 km long had formed. At present, three patrol boats are keeping an eye on the oil slick, but there is little likelihood of it reaching any coastal area, according to the officials.The tanker, with 14 crew, is Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture for Tianjin with about 3,200 tons of lubricants on board. (Thurs. Jan. 4 2001)

The damaged tanker M/T Castor, with 29,000 tons of gasoline is being held outside Moroccan waters, 40 miles offshore by the Coastguard.I The vessel had been instructed to head for the Moroccan port of Nador to seek refuge on New Year's Day. Damage developed during heavy weather between Dec. 26 and December 31 on a voyage from Constanza in Romania to Lagos. The company said a surveyor at the site had reported that the crack occurred along a transverse butt-weld next to number four hold. Lloyds agents quoted the Moroccan navy as saying that crack was 20 meters long, but that the tanker was not leaking cargo. All 26 Polish officers & crew remain on board. (Turs. Jan 3 2001)

Panamanian M/V STAR MARIA (1,537 gt, built 1974), Grimsby bound Turkey, was in contact with M/V UNDEN (2,577 gt, built 1984), Sweden bound Rochford, at 0034 UTC today. (Tues. Jan. 2 2001)

The Georgian-flagged cargo M/V Pati with general cargo & illegal immigrants broke apart in a storm just off Turkey's southern coast Jan. 1, with 8 people dead. & dozens more missing - locked in a cargo area that plunged to the sea bed. At least 83 people - 10 crew members & 73 passengers - were on board the Pati when it foundered early Jan. 1. After it broke in two, one half sank about 100 yards off the Mediterranean resort of Kemer, while the other half drifted toward the rocky shore. Thirty-two people were saved. Rescue operations were called off Jan. 1 afternoon due to strong winds & high seas. Divers & helicopters were due to join the search Dec. 2. Many of the illegal immigrants had been locked in the cargo area located in the sunken half of the ship. Horrible! (Tues. Jan. 2 2001)

UPDATE Wed. Jan 3 2001: 10 Indians, mostly hailing from Punjab, were among 33 survivors of the 2 day ship wreck tragedy off the Turkish coast as rescue guards virtually gave up hopes of finding any more survivors, sources. This means that there are about 50 dead. Pray.

>>> Second Taiwan Vessel Arrives: The Taiwan flagged M/V Tai Wu & an escort from outlying Taiwanese islands docked in ports in China on Jan. 2, making the 1st legal & direct crossing between the mainland & Taiwan territory in more than 50 years. Around 200 Chinese spectators, as well as police officers & local officials, were on hand to greet Tai Wu as it arrived just before noon in the port of Xiamen. Some passengers waved from the vessel, which carried 190 Taiwanese officials & community leaders from the island Kinmen. The arrival of the ships marks the opening of a direct route that many hope will lead to wider connections between Taiwan & China, which separated in a bloody civil war that ended in 1949. The M/V Tai Wu is named after the tallest mountain in Xiamen, PRC. (Tues. Jan. 2 2001)

>>> First Taiwan Vessel Fails: M/V Straits Peace, the 1st Taiwan vessel permitted to sail directly to rival China in more than 50 years was forced to turn back on New Years Day (Dec. 31 Los Angeles time), beset by heavy seas & mainland red tape. The vessel ferrying more than 50 tourism industry businesspeople from the Taiwan-held frontier island of Quemoy to the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen turned back after sailing for about 15 minutes, passengers said. "The waves are too big, we are on our way back. The boat is rocking stronger and stronger," said one of the passengers on the 20-ton vessel. Some of the passengers are reporters & the mainland will not agree to let them land," the passenger added. Some people on the vessel have been in contact with mainland officials via mobile phones. The vessel would have been the 1st to take advantage of the Taiwan cabinet's decision last month to permit direct travel between the heavily fortified frontier islands of Quemoy & Matsu. (Dec. 31 2000) (Jan. 1 2001 - Local Time)

IMB PIRATE Alert ___

The Int'l Maritime Bureau announced that ships plying the Straits of Malacca have been alerted to be vigilant following an upsurge in piracy. IMB's Piracy Reporting Center in Kuala Lumpur said pirate attacks have been recorded in the Malacca Straits between the co-ordinates 01 to 02N-101 to 103E. The most risky area is within 25nm radius surrounding 02N-102E, where pirates are active. The center said ships calling at Davao in the Philippines have also reported men firing rocket-propelled grenades at ships from banca (small canoe with outriggers). In the past 4 weeks, four ships have been attacked this way. Attacks against ships have been reported at Chittagong, Mongla and Chennai while they were at anchor. Ships calling at the Indonesian ports of Belawan, Dumai, Jakarta, Merak, Samarinda and Tanjong Priok have reported numerous pirate attacks whilst at berth & at anchor. The center said persons in small fast boats have been trying to board several ships off Bab Al Mandeb in the southern tip of the Red Sea, around 13N-43E. Masters said small boats wait at the northern end of traffic lane where ships slow down to make a turn. Somalian waters also continue to be a risk-prone area for hijackings. Ships should keep at least 50 miles and if possible 100 miles from the Somali coast. The center has advised that the use of radio communications including VHF transmissions in these waters should be kept to a minimum. (Jan 1 2000)
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INDEX To Maritime Casulaties Database:

Go To Where This Page Starts In Dec. 2000 -- Vessel Casualties Dec. 2000

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Explore Vessel Loss For The Year 2000

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


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