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"Full Speed Ahead!"


Is This Proof Of Aliens?

On The Scene At Zakinthos Island, Greece !

Feature Date: November 22, 2006

Event Date: October 3, 2002

Countryman & McDaniel

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

On The Scene -- Zakinthos Island, Greece !

 A 2006 Countryman & McDaniel

Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

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"Full Speed Ahead!"

On The Scene

Zakinthos Island, Greece

M/V Alva Star

The World's Most Embarrassing Grounding

A Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

The Date: October 3 2002

The Time: Early Moning

The Place: Zakinthos Island, Greece

M/V Alva StaraIn Better Days

Name: M/V Alva Star

Built -1994

ex-Names - M/V Norasia Star, M/V Norasia Malta, M/V MSC Jasmine

Type of Vessel -Container Carrier

Manager - Pacific Marine Services, Hong Kong/China

Flag -Panama

Displacement -38,395 tons

Dead Weight Tons - 41,570dwt.

Overall Length - 235.70 meters

Beam -32.31 meters

Capacity - 2,987 TEU

IMO Number- 8818180

Full Speed Ahead -- The Prolog To Disaster
Prolog -- In Oct. 2002 We Presented To You An Amazing Press Photo In "Singles Only" (above) -- M/V Alva Star Striking A Greek Isle -- Dead On.

Now We Have Obtained The Survey Photos From This Loss.

Regardless of Whether The Delay In Posting Is Four Years Or Four Days -- You Need To See This Event. McD

From The Cargo Letter - Tues. Oct. 15 2002
"Full Speed Ahead! >> 41,570dwt, 2,987 TEU container M/V Alva Star (ex- Norasia Star, ex- MSC Jasmine, ex- Norasia Malta), Haifa for Kepec, Croatia -- ran into a 100 meter high cliff at full cruising speed! The "short cut" was not optimal.

"In other words, M/V Alva Star rammed the Souh East corner of Zakinthos Island, Greece -- burying its bulbous bow in rocks & 25 meters of vessel on Oct. 3, 2002.

"The cause was reportedly human error. Oh, geeez, do you think? Perhaps the "ex's" of this vessel show some bad luck. A ship will rebel after so many names!

"Greek officials report an intention to install stop lights off their Islands.

"150 containers were lightered from the forward cargo bays to lighten the load. Then the 120 ton bollard pull tug M/V Matsas Star made a dramatic refloating Oct. 11, as the vessel was moved in heavy seas. This is believed 1st time in history that a U.S. salvage firm has performed salvage in Greek territorial waters by Titan Maritime<<webfeature. Tues. Oct. 15 2002 from The Cargo Letter

Orginal feature contributed by our reader Lisa S.

What Caused M/V Alva Star To Hit The Island of Zakinthos? The Position of Zakinthos Is Well Known.

Records Verify That Zakinthos Has Not Been Moved For Cleaning Since 1927.

 Radar: ra·dar

Pronunciation: 'rA-"där

Function: noun

"Etymology: radio detecting & ranging system from1941. A device or system consisting usually of a synchronized radio transmitter & receiver that emits radio waves and processes their reflections for display and is used especially for detecting and locating objects (as aircraft) or surface features (as of an island)."

Cargo Letter Conundrum: Could Radar Have Detected The Island of Zakinthos?

Important to ancient Greeks, Goths, Vandals & Arabs since 1500 BC -- The position of this 420sq. km Greek Island of Zakinthos with 35,000 population ceased to be a military secret some time before the bith of Hannibal.

We think it highly likely that this 30km long island might just possibly have been detected by the highly sensitive marvel of modern Radar aboard M/V Alva Star.

OK, So This Is The World's Most Embarrassing Grounding!

This Was, However, A Clean Hit

M/V Alva Star Penetrated The Island of Zakinthos To A Depth of 25 Meters.

Oil Prospecting Has Been Eliminated As Motive.

If M/V Alva Star Was Forcing A Short Cut For Her Voyage -- The Attempt Was Not Well Conceived.

Then Again, M/V Alva Star Did One Hell Of Great Parking Job.

Perfect Hit --She Missed The Cliffs -- Up On The Loose Rocks.

Nice Wege of M/V Alva Star Into "Rock Harbor."  

A Few Feet Either Way -- And M/V Alva Star Would Now Be A Shorter Vessel -- From Cliff Collision. 

Perhaps The World's Most Embarrassing Grounding -- Perfectly Executed Into The Only Sheltering Cove For Miles In Any Direction. 

Now It Is Understood Why The Wise Man Once Said:

"God Protects Drunks & Fools."

Tugs Begin To Remove M/V Alva Star From Her Greek "Berth."

The Master & Crew of M/V Alva Star Will Now Face One of Maritime History's Toughest Challenges -

What Should The M/V Alva Star Log Book Report For This Loss? What Should The Testimony Be?

What Could Possibly Save These Maritime Professional Careers -- For Hitting An Entire Island?

"Yuri, Do You See Those Dots Up There In The Sky?"

"No, I just See The Island We Hit. What Are You Talking About? We're In Big Trouble"

"OK, OK, OK, I Think This Will Work .......... We Will Tell The Owners This Was All Done By Aliens"

"Geez, These Humans Stole Both My Pants & My Seafarers International Union Card!"


Shippers Must Have Quality Marine Cargo Insurance ........ Because......... "Ship Happens! ©"

To Repeat -- No Matter How Careful You Are -- Or Who You Hire ....... "Ship Happens! ©"


"Ship Happens! ©"

The Dedication of This Feature Is Simple: To The Crew of M/V Alava Star and her families. No injuries in this amazing incident.

SPECIAL 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 brokerIt's dangerous out there.


The Scene
Zakinthos Island, Greece
Virtual Tour

SIU - Seafarers International Union

The Ship Managers

Pacific Marine Services, Hong Kong/China

The Salvors

Titan Maritime - Heoros of M/V APL Panama and so many others

Other Ocean Related Features From The Cargo Letter

The Cargo Letter Photo Gallery of Transport Loss - for all the air & ocean features including those below --

"Unstacked - Overboard With Dr. Beach" - Oct. 2004

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"Container Pool" - a mystery - May 2002

"Dropping In On The Trucker" -happened again - April 2002

"Meals: Ready To Explode" - Navy Barbecue at Guam June 2001

"M/V Ville D' Orion" - Bad L.A. Stack Disaster! April 2001 -- UPDATED - May 2002

"Pier Review" - Sept. 2001

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The Greatest Container Losses Of All Time - these are the grand fathers -

M/V OOCL America

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SPECIAL 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.
Thanks To Our Contributors For The
"Full Speed Ahead!" Feature

Our Contributors for this feature are:
John Krusenstiern

Lisa S.

Anonymous, but well connected photo contributor who wishes to be anonymous*

The Cargo Letter appreciates the continuing efforts of these valued contributors. Thanks Pals!

NOTE: Please Provide Us With Your Additional Information For This Loss.

EDITOR'S NOTE FOR SURVEYORS, ATTORNEYS & MARINE ADJUSTERS: The Internet edition effort of The Cargo Letter now celebrates it's 8th Year of Service -- making us quite senior in this segment of the industry. We once estimated container underway losses at about 1,500 per year. Lloyd's put that figure at about 10,000 earlier this year. Quite obviously, the reporting mechanism for these massive losses is not supported by the lines. News of these events is not posted to the maritime community. Our new project is to call upon you -- those handling the claims -- to let us know of each container loss at sea-- in confidentiality. Many of you survey on behalf of cargo interests with no need for confidentiality. Others work for the lines & need to be protected. As a respected Int'l publication, The Cargo Letter enjoys full press privileges & cannot be forced to disclose our sources of information. No successful attempt has ever been made. If a personal notation for your report is desired -- each contributor will be given a "hot link" to your company Website in each & every report. Please take moment & report your "overside" containers to us. If you do not wish attribution, your entry will be "anonymous." This will will benefit our industry -- for obvious reasons! McD

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

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