Icebreaker released from SAR duties for stranded Russian Arctic cruise ship and Chinese icebreaker
The "Polar Star" was released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority from search and rescue duties Jan. 7, following the confirmation the Russian-Flagged "Akademik Shokalskiy" and Chinese-Flagged "Xue Long" were free from the Antarctic ice due to a favorable change in wind conditions. The Coast Guard Pacific Area command center received confirmation from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority at 2 p.m. Pacific Standard Time that both ships broke through the heavy ice, rendering assistance from the "Polar Star" no longer necessary. The "Polar Star" received the original request from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on Jan. 3, 2014, to assist the reportedly ice-bound ships in the Antarctic. The Russian and Chinese governments also requested assistance from the United States. After resupplying in Sydney, the cutter was en route to the stranded vessels Jan. 4. The "Polar Star" left its homeport of Seattle in December 2013 on one of its primary missions Operation Deep Freeze. The ship’s mission was to break a channel through the sea ice of McMurdo Sound to allow the resupply and refueling of the U.S. Antarctic Program’s McMurdo and Amundsen-Scott South Pole stations. The National Science Foundation manages all the scientific research and logistics of the U. S. Antarctic Program on the Antarctic continent and in the Southern Ocean. McMurdo Station is the logistics hub for the U.S. Antarctic Program research. The icebreaker has recently completed a three-year, $90 million overhaul, which will allow it to continue these important missions into the foreseeable future.
Report with photos:
The Sea Shepheard anti-whaling activists said they have zeroed in on a Japanese fleet and captured evidence that four whales have been slaughtered, alleging the ships were found inside a Southern Ocean sanctuary. The Sea Shepherd ship "Bob Barker" located all five Japanese vessels and was now in pursuit, forcing the harpooners to cut short their operation and retreat. The group released footage and photographs showing three minke whales dead on the deck of the "Nisshin Maru" and said a fourth, also believed to be a minke, was being slaughtered when Sea Shepherd's helicopter flew overhead. When the "Nisshin Maru" was first spotted from the air, Sea Shepherd Australia chairman Bob Brown said it was in Antarctica's Ross Dependency, within New Zealand's territorial waters and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, which he described as a gross breach of international law. New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully denied whaling was taking place within his country's maritime jurisdiction, saying the site was considered international waters, as he condemned the "pointless and offensive" practice. Japan's fisheries agency said it was not aware of the existence of a whaling sanctuary.
Palmali statement with regards to Libyan Navy attack on tanker Baku
Palmali’s head office in Istanbul sent to Maritime Bulletin company’s statement which was published in Malta Times:
The National Oil Corporation (NOC) of Libya said yesterday that the Libyan navy prevented the vessel from reaching the port of Es-Sider and that the vessel was in cooperation with an illegal group to load and smuggle crude oil.
“These statements are entirely unfounded,” shipowners Palmali Shipping Services of Istanbul said.
It said that the vessel - the MV Baku - was on a charter to load 80,000 tons of crude oil at a safe port in Libya for an Eastern Mediterranean European port.
On Friday, the charterer nominated Es-Sider as the loading port. On Saturday, the tanker received a message originally sent by NOC officer Abdulbaset O. Zarti declaring Es-Sider as one of three Libyan ports to be 'force majeure ports'. The message was later circulated to the market.
The company said that upon receipt of the message, it ordered the vessel not to proceed to Es-Sider and to remain in international waters.
“We contacted the charterers to inform them of this development and asked them to nominate an alternative loading port. We also informed the NOC that our vessel had been instructed not to proceed to Es-Sider and that she would wait in international waters for a fresh nomination from the charterers.”
But on Sunday afternoon, the ship was approached by a Libyan naval vessel and ordered to proceed to Misurata under threat of fire.
“We immediately contacted the NOC to confirm once more that our vessel had no intention to proceed to Es-Sider. There followed a tense four-hour stand-off during which time we were in constant contact with Mr Abdulbaset and Mr Benkoura (also from the NOC) whilst our vessel remained under the threatening scrutiny of the Libyan naval vessel which also prevented our vessel from heading towards Maltese waters.”
The company said the Libyan authorities requested a further written confirmation that the vessel would not proceed to Es-Sider and this was provided. NOC officers assuring the company that the vessel would be promptly permitted to sail to Malta.
However, not only was this promise not kept, “the Libyan naval vessel continued to circle our vessel threateningly and even fired two shots in an attempt to push our vessel in the direction of Misurata. At this point our vessel's master decided to sail towards Malta at full speed to avoid further illegal intimidation by the Libyan naval forces and a possible escalation.”
The company said these unfortunate incidents occurred in international waters with manifest and total disrespect by the Libyan authorities for the rule of international order.”
The FBI was investigating the mysterious death of a woman on the "Veendam" bound for San Diego after she fell overboard. Several San Diego passengers boarded the ship for a seven-day cruise to Mexico. Many wee still shocked one of the passengers on the cruise never made it back alive. Nearly 2,000 passengers and crewmembers were celebrating the New Year when the ship was stopping and turned around. Passengers heard a loud alarm and then saw a bright flare. Then the announcement 'Man overboard. Crew members, go to your stations,' and other announcements were heard. The captain asked everybody go to the cabins because they wanted to take a head count. Some boats were lowered nearly 300 miles southwest of San Diego after a passenger saw an 88-year-old Canadian woman go overboard. The Medical Examiner has ruled the death a suicide. The elderly woman climbed out on her balcony and appeared to lean over the rail to jump, but when she turned around to go back inside she slipped and fell. Rescuers pulled the woman from the water but it was too late. The passengers say the trip continued about two hours later. Holland America assisted the victim's family.
The "Xue Long" on Jan 7 pulled free of the ice and navigated into the open Waters. The wind was expected to help push away some of the heavy ice surrounding the ship,. In recent days, it had prepared for a breakout by warming up its engine and creating a channel about one kilometre long and described as an "ice-breaking runway".
The first Syrian chemical weapons scheduled for destruction were loaded onto the "Ark Futura" for removal from the country. The first batch of "priority chemical materials" were loaded onto the ship on Jan 7, 2014, in the port of Latakia, and escorted by Norwegian and Danish warships, left for international Waters. The chemical weapons will be destroyed aboard a specially-prepared vessel on the high seas. The American naval vessel, outfitted to neutralize the chemicals in the weapons, has been on standby in the Atlantic Ocean, awaiting the delivery. The transfer comes a week after the deadline for the first chemical materials to leave Syria, a delay the mission blamed on "the continuing volatility in all security conditions" and on "logistical challenges coupled with inclement weather."
A search was underway approximately 1,133 miles northeast of Hilo in the waters northeast of Hawaii for a missing cruise ship worker on Jan 7, 2014. The Coast Guard was actively searching for a 34-year-old employee of the "Grand Princess" who went overboard on a voyage between San Francisco and Hawaii. The crewmember was last seen at approximately 10:26 p.m. on Jan 6. The "Grand Princess" cruise ship and its sister ship, the "Star Princess", were aiding in the search. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center were notified at approximately 12 a.m. An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Cthe oast Guard Air Station Barber's Point was on Scene. As part of the AMVER program, the container ship "Horizon Reliance" also was assisting in the . Surveillance video showed a 35-year-old Filipino employee plunging off the vessel early in the morning. The man went overboard about halfway between San Francisco and Hilo, Hawaii. Cruise line officials believed the plunge was intentional. About 2,600 passengers and 1,1,00 crew members are aboard the "Grand Princess". The ship was on a 15-day, round-trip cruise.