Archive for 01/17/2012

RT – 

The Russian tanker Renda is pumping fuel to the shortage-hit town of Nome in Alaska.

Without the emergency delivery across the ice-clad Sea of Barents, its 3,500 residents could face outages before the end of the long polar winter.

The vessel arrived on the Alaskan coast last week carrying some 4.9 million liters of diesel fuel and gasoline for Nome.

America’s only functioning icebreaker, Healy, cleared a path for the tanker. Currently both vessels are moored some 800 meters off-shore, while the fuel is being pumped via two hoses.

Nome started running short of fuel after the last pre-winter barge was stopped in November by a massive storm.

With the winter expected to be the coldest in a decade, the town would have run out by March or April, long before the sea’s return to navigable conditions. Renda, which normally supplies the cities of Chukotka and Kamchatka regions in northern Russia, was called as backup.

The tanker left Russia in December, picked up its cargo of diesel in South Korean Incheon, and then sailed to Alaska’s Dutch Harbor, where gasoline was loaded. It continued to its final destination with the help of the icebreaker.

The actual pumping could begin only after the ice disturbed by the ships froze again and the crew could safely stretch hoses across it.

Full story…


gCaptain –

The chief executive of Carnival Corp.’s (CCL) Costa Crociere SpA blamed the captain of the shipwrecked Concordia for grounding the vessel off the coast of Italy, saying the skipper had taken an unauthorized detour from the ship’s route.

On Monday Costa Crociere chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi told a press conference the captain, Francesco Schettino, steered the boat too close to the island of Gilgio, causing it to strike a rock formation that capsized the ship on Friday.

“I can’t deny there was human error,” Foschi said.

“We’re talking about an initiative that Commander Schettino took according to his own will and contrary to our rules of conduct.

Schettino, who has been detained by prosecutors who are investigating the cause of the shipwreck, has said the ship struck a rock that was unmarked on nautical maps.

Italian officials, however, say the boat hit a well-known group of rocks, adjacent to the island’s coastline. Schettino’s lawyer has not responded to phone calls or a written request for comment.

Foschi said the ship’s computerized navigation system should have immediately detected the route deviation and automatically sounded an alarm on the command bridge of the vessel.

Foschi did not say whether the alarm actually sounded, adding that it was difficult to evaluate what happened in the moments before and after the collision because the company did not have access to the ship’s black-box recorder, which has been seized by prosecutors investigating the case.

Full story…


Gavin Jones and Antonio Denti –

A stricken Italian cruise liner shifted on its rocky resting place as worsening weather disrupted an increasingly despairing hunt for survivors and authorities almost doubled their estimate of the number missing to 29 people.

As the Costa Concordia’s owners accused their captain of veering too close to shore in a bravura “salute” to residents of a Tuscan island, the giant ship slid a little on Monday, threatening to plunge 2,300 tonnes of fuel below the Mediterranean waters of the surrounding nature reserve.

The slippage forced rescuers to suspend efforts to find anyone still alive after three days in the capsized hull, resting on a jagged slope outside the picturesque harbour on the island of Giglio.

Six bodies have been found.

Most of the 4,200 passengers and crew survived, despite hours of chaos. Captain Francesco Schettino was arrested a day after the disaster accused of manslaughter and abandoning the ship before all of the people were evacuated.

Prosecutors say he also refused to go back on board when requested by the coastguard.

Schettino was due to appear before magistrates for questioning on Tuesday morning.

An Italian coastguard official told Reuters late on Monday that the number of people missing had been revised up to 29 – 25 passengers and four members of staff – from 16, showing how much uncertainty still surrounded the disaster.

Another maritime official said later that 10 Germans were thought to be among the missing passengers.

Full story… 

gCaptain –

The following is the latest update from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority regarding the MV Tycoon, the Panamanian-flagged general cargo vessel that broke in half after breaking free of its mooring last Tuesday and grounding on Christmas Island in Australia.

Beach cleanup continued over the weekend with the cleaning of oiled rocks.

A further two bulk bags of waste have been collected, taking the total to 51 for the response.

The National Response Team Wildlife Coordinator has undertaken a survey of the island and has commenced site inspections.

All potential areas of impact from oil have been inspected each day and no oil has been reported.

Areas of potential wildlife impact have also been inspected and no further reports of oiled wildlife have been made.

The baby red crabs continue to migrate inland from the sea. In total 10 people have been deployed from the National Response Team to the island.

The vessel’s condition has not changed in the past couple of days.

It is still sitting comfortably on the bottom and further significant structural damage has not been observed.

A small amount of residual oil is leaking from the ship.

Full story…