Page 6: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (December 2002)

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Editor's Note





This is not the way that I prefer to launch into our year-end Great Ships edition, but unfortunately, It has happened again. On my early a.m. drive to work on Wednesday,

November 20, the radio in my car was tuned to WBAB 102.3 FM, the "Roger & JP" show, which is a couple of stereotypical shock jocks better known for lockeroom humor than intelligent debate of world events. It was through this unlikely duo that I first learned that the 81,589-dwt tanker Prestige had finally sunk. The maritime industry had hit the mainstream again, and not in a positive light.

The disaster really hit the big time with the publication of the

November 25 edition of the the Wall Street Journal. A page 1 article entitled "Clash of Politics, Economics Sealed a Tanker's Fate" examines the Port of Safe Harbor rules, or lack thereof, and the likely effects it had in the loss of Prestige.

For those MR readers outside of the U.S., it is important to realize that, despite nearly 95,000 miles of coastline and navigable waterways, and despite its status as the worlds No. 1 trading nation, maritime industry awareness in the U.S. is generally confined to those living immediately on the coasts, rivers and lakes. Simply put, it is a subliminal part of the American psyche, until, of course, something goes wrong. But listening to the duo ramble on about the sight of seeing the huge ship break in half and sink, Roger or JP ... I have no idea which is which .. simply asked:

How does a ship break?

Despite the early hour and the absence of my first cup of coffee, my mind broke into "work mode" thinking of dozens of reasons as to why ship accidents and sinkings occur: Age,

Cumulative effects of the sea; Poor maintenance practices/corrosion; Politics; Bad navigation/decision making; Engineering miscalculations ... the list goes on.

Despite my initial reaction of "these guys have no clue about the marine business" and my self assurance that I could lead a reasonably lively debate on the matter, I found myself coming back to the same, simple question that the radio disc jockey posed:

How does a ship break?

Frankly, it is confounding. I am the first to defend the marine business as safe and effi- cient carriers of all types of cargo around the world. In the coming weeks, I will be deluged with myriad data and statistics regarding the incredibly high percentage of cargo that goes through, year in, year out, without incident. But, as in every walk of life, there are good own- ers and bad owners; safe operators and unsafe operators; reputable builders and scurrilous builders. But with the vast resources, spanning from the International Maritime Organization to the U.S. Coast Guard to the individual offices of every vessel owner, builder and naval archi- tect and marine engineer, loss due to structural failure is simply unacceptable. Delivering a cargo safely following a perilous 5,000 miles journey is deemed boring, un-newsworthy, by the general media. But, a ship breaking in half and sinking; spilled cargo; oiled critters of every genus pulled dead and alive from the sea is dramatic, heartwrenching and very newsworthy, the perfect cue for lawmakers — small and large — to stand on the nearest soapbox and demand change. Ironically, on November 19, a truck rolled off of a ferry and into Long Island Sound, resulting in loss of life and injury. Roger or JP (which one, I don't know) again asked "How does a truck roll off of a ferry?" I've taken that ferry, and I would also like to know.

How does a ship break?

If anyone knows, I in'"" —•• [email protected]

On the Cover

This month's cover features Tempera, the world's first

Double Acting Tanker, and a Great Ship of the Year, fea- tured on page 26. The vessel, built in Japan under license from Kvaerner Masa Yards, is unique in that it travels bow first in normal operating conditions, stern first in ice- breaking mode. The versatile Azipod solution makes the ship possible.

Also in this Issue 8 A loss of Prestige 10 Bender wins PSV contract 11 Wartsila, MHI team to build new engine. 12 Higher tanker rates justified 32 Univan container fleet expands by six 38 Buyer's Directory 40 Advertiser's Index 41 Classified Ads

Subscriptions: One full year (12 issues) $18.00 in U.S.; outside of U.S. $96.00 including postage and handling. For subscription information, con- tact: Dale Barnett, fax: (212) 254-6271; e-mail: [email protected]



No. 12 Vol. 64 118 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010 tel: (212) 477-6700; fax: (212) 254-6271

Founder: John J. O'Malley 1905 - 1980

Charles P. O'Malley 1928 - 2000

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