Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Crap runs aground... huh, Krat that is

I am sure you have all seen the dramatic pictures of the Malta registered bulker, Krateros, whic ran aground just inside Vancouver's harbour, near the famed Lions Gate Bridge. The image from Vancouver Sun's Mark van Manen

shows that quite an unsual sight was experienced by the many onlookers from Stanley Park's seawall.

The paper reported that no pollution escaped but that the ship was aground for several hours before 5 tugs and the high tide could nudge her off the rocks. The ship is now sitting at anchor in English bay just outside the harbour.

The Krateros is a 1992 Japanese built ship under class by DNV. It is managed by Nikator Navigation of Piraeus Greece, it has a dead weight of 43,595 tons. According to Equasis and partners, the ships was inspected in Vancouver, under the Paris MOU and 6 new and outstanding deficiencies were reported on the 19 of september, almost 6 days before the grounding, although no detention was registered.

Read the Vancouver Sun story here. CKNW, the local radio news's report is below...

Freighter runs aground off Stanley Park
Sep, 25 2006 - 11:40 PM

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - The Maltese freighter that ran aground off Stanley Park around 5 o'clock Monday afternoon has been re-floated with the help of a team of tugboats.

The Krateros, carrying a shipment of grain, was bound for sea when it experienced some kind of mechanical problem. After about two hours, high tide helped tug crews float the freighter, which has been re-anchored in the inner harbour.

Captain Chris Badger speaks for the Vancouver Port Authority, "The Transportation Safety Board will go and do an investigation and find out what happened and obviously, out of that, make some recomendations for the future as well." Marine traffic was tied up during the incident.

Badger says there were no injuries and no substantial damage to the vessel.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Is Shipping a Man’s World?

I came across this while browsing the marine sites:

31 July 2006 -

The truth is that shipping was indeed once a man’s world, but as an industry it is no different from many others in this respect, and along with society itself, is becoming much more inclusive. And if gatherings of shipping people seem to remain overwhelmingly male, it is worth considering the age of those gathered. As age is reduced, the proportion of women who will be present in the workplace is increased. And in this, shipping is merely typical of any modern industry.
It is fair to note that women seafarers remain in a distinct minority, although here too numbers of women are increasing as they find the sea career and modern, sophisticated ships, interesting. The sea itself, travel and considerable responsibilities at a young age attract modern women, just as they do men, while the job is less physical and arguably cleaner than it was in an earlier age. Some women have advanced to senior ranks, although children and families tend to persuade them ashore, just like their male counterparts. It is significant to note than ferry companies are considered to be “family friendly”, and increasingly employ women, while deep sea operations naturally tend to be less attractive to women who have family responsibilities.
But it is in the shore side of shipping that women are increasingly making an impact, with any intelligently managed company unwilling to deny itself the benefits of recruiting from 50% of the population. In any forward-thinking company, policies of equal opportunities have long opened the doors to women, who see their career opportunities expanding throughout the industry. In this they are assisted by WISTA, (Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association) which is a useful networking organisation with branches in most international shipping centres.
If there is still a relatively small number of women in shipping compared to some industries, it is perhaps because shipping and indeed transport has not been sufficiently “sold” to girls as an attractive career option. Occupations tend to be branded as more suitable for one sex than the other, and maritime transport, traditionally run by men, has remained below the horizons of those who advise girls on their career options.
So it is worth considering how the industry can more effectively reach bright young women looking for a rewarding and interesting career, very different to those stereotypical women’s jobs. Shipping has a great deal going for it in terms of its growth potential. It is an essential, worthwhile industry, international in scope and nature, its professional qualifications multi-national, while it is a “people” industry, to which the qualities of women are admirably suited.

More senior women role models are however needed, throughout the industry, to demonstrate that there are no “glass ceilings” and make women think more about maritime industry opportunities, in the wonderful world of international shipping.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Rhapsody in C Minor (C for China)

Royal Caribbean to Expand Operations in Asia in 2007 Royal Caribbean International announces its return to Asia in December 2007. The Vision-class ship, featuring the line’s rock-climbing wall and indoor glass walls, will offer a series of cruises out of Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, visiting exotic ports of call in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

Rhapsody of the Seas will debut December 10, 2007, in Singapore offering a series of sailings that will call on Malaysia and Thailand. The ship’s Asia tour continues on from Hong Kong, where she will arrive in time for the Chinese New Year holiday season, offering a series of itineraries calling at ports in Taiwan, Japan, and Sanya, Hainan Island. Then moving to Shanghai, China, Rhapsody will call on ports in Japan and Korea. Additional details of Rhapsody’s itineraries will be available by mid-October 2006.

Rhapsody of the Seas, at 78,491 tons and with a total guest capacity of 2,435, will be one of the largest cruise ships to homeport in Asia. In addition to the rock-climbing wall, she features the awe-inspiring Centrum, an open atrium with a shopping arcade; an outdoor pool; six whirlpools; an indoor/outdoor pool in a Solarium with a retractable roof; themed bars and lounges; the Adventure Ocean Youth program; the Shipshape Day Spa and Fitness Center; the Casino Royale; multi-level dining rooms with floor to ceiling windows; and Windjammer Café. The ship also has one main conference center with four smaller meeting rooms. (Source: www.marinelink.com)

More news, this from Cruise Industry News....

Royal Caribbean Buys Pullmantur

Royal Caribbean Cruises has agreed to purchase the Spanish cruise and tour operator Pullmantur for 430 million euros, plus the assumption of net debt of 270 million euros, for a total cost of approximately $896, based on current exchange rates. The deal is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter.

Pullmantur presently has five ships: The 2000-built, 684-passenger Blue Dream and the Blue Moon (formerly the R6 and R7); the 1981-built 1,000-passenger Holiday Dream (formerly the Superstar Aries and Europa); the 1965-built 1,000-passenger Oceanic (formerly the Starship Oceanic); and the 1984-built 1,200-passenger Sky Wonder (formerly the Pacific Sky, Sky Princess).

Royal Caribbean said the acquisition will further expand its operations in European and Latin American markets.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Back Injuries Caused By Boats-Study Finds

I laughed when I seen this.
$85,000 spent to confirm what people who go to sea already know!!
In this case it is the rigid hull inflatables.
But, when I was sailing, just about every engineer I knew had back, hip, and knee pain. How many of us have been thrown across a space in bad weather, when you are caught off balance in a bad roll or pitch?

Bouncing boats cause back pain studyBy DEAN BEEBY The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — An $85,000 study for the Canadian Coast Guard has confirmed what many sailors already know: bouncing around heavy seas in a Zodiac boat is hard on the back.
The study was ordered a year ago after a sailor on the West Coast won a workers’ compensation claim for hip problems he claimed were aggravated by the pounding of a Zodiac.
Medical experts at the compensation hearings were forced to support the claim by citing studies on injuries to Ukrainian farmers from tractors, since there was no research on boats.
But a study by Weir Canada Inc., delivered in July, has now demonstrated scientifically that Zodiacs can be like jackhammers in rough water.
The coast guard owns about 900 of the so-called rigid hull inflatable boats, known as RHIBs, often used for search-and-rescue.
Weir Canada measured the assault on the bodies of volunteers when one model — the Zodiac Hurricane 733 outboard — plowed through a range of sea states.
Up-and-down vibrations were the most intense on the 7.3-metre craft, compared with side-to-side. And the Zodiac’s standard seats actually amplified the effect, says the study, obtained under the Access to Information Act.
Researchers also determined that vibration levels were generally at or even higher than limits set under an international standard for the drivers of land vehicles, such as trucks.
"These results suggest the need for mitigation," the study concluded.
The coast guard already instructs its operators to stand up rather than sit when navigating at higher speeds in rough water, in order to minimize vibrations — a measure the study says is effective.
But the report also calls for more research into shock-absorbing seats, into soft deck material and into more realistic conditions rather than the tightly controlled experiments conducted by the researchers.
"People, following a long boat ride, they have back pain," coast guard official Yves Villemaire said at the time the study was ordered.
"And people are saying if we feel this bad, maybe there’s a longterm health effect."
The shock impact of RHIBs in high seas has been measured at up to 11 Gs, or 11 times the force of gravity.
The coast guard has not yet decided whether to carry out further research, but will consult with other countries that use RHIBs about establishing standards, a spokesman said.
"Our next step as the coast guard is to begin more extensive discussions with our colleagues in the same business, operating the same kind of boats, both here in North America and in other places, to look at whether or not new standards have to be developed," said Dave Faulkner, director general of integrated technical services.
Faulkner said that there have been no known injuries reported since the West Coast workers’ compensation case.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

What do You Do When The Ferry Breaks Down in the Maritimes?

Drink Beer, of course!!!

N.L. ferry back on trackTraffic backed up in North Sydney when MV Leif Ericson part failsBy JOCELYN BETHUNE
NORTH SYDNEY — A new engine part has been installed aboard the MV Leif Ericson, returning the ferry to its schedule.
"We have some backlog of commercial traffic but with the Ericson coming back on the schedule we’ll look after that quite quickly," Tara Laing, spokeswoman for Marine Atlantic, said Friday, hours before the vessel was expected to leave for Port aux Basques, N. L., for the first time since Wednesday.
The vessel was taken out of service when a turbocharger in one of the boat’s four engines failed just as the boat was leaving the North Sydney dock at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. Passengers and commercial traffic were taken aboard the MV Caribou for the trip across the Cabot Strait.
It was the second time in the past two months that a mechanical breakdown has caused delays for the ferry service. In early August, at the height of the tourist season, a turbo-thruster in one of the four engines on the Leif Ericson failed, stranding 1,300 passengers.
Mechanical breakdowns are not unusual, but "it would seem that we’ve had more this year," Ms. Laing said.
At the Marine Atlantic docks Thursday afternoon, a pickup truck hauling a large industrial trailer was first in line, ahead of about 30 tractor-trailers.
"There were eight cars ahead of us — they even took some from behind us," said Keith Teachout, a Michigan welder on his way to Newfoundland and Labrador for the first time to hunt moose with three of his buddies.
The four men arrived at the ferry dock at 1:30 a.m. Thursday after a 33-hour road trip and had expected to get aboard a ferry at 10 a.m.
They had nowhere to rest because the trailer they were hauling contained hunting gear and a refrigeration unit "for hauling our moose back," Mr. Teachout said.
But the men seemed content to enjoy the warm September day on the tailgate of their pickup truck with a few beers. Their hunting expedition will start today.
For Calvin Snow, a Newfoundland trucker carrying dried goods from New Brunswick, the delay meant extra time behind the wheel.
"I’ve been here since 12:30 last night — I’m going to have to drive all night to get to my appointments," Mr. Snow said.
( jbethune@herald.ca)