USCG Watches Coke Ship Sink

By MarEx 2015-08-07 15:39:32

The U.S. Coast Guard arrested a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel carrying more 16,000 pounds of cocaine 200 miles off the coast of Mexico. Authorities estimate that the cocaine is worth about $181 million. The four suspected smugglers were arrested.

The seizure took place after a Navy aircraft spotted the vessel and alerted the Alameda-based Coast Guard Cutter Stratton. The semi-submersible vessel seizure is the largest of its type in the Coast Guard’s history.

While the cutter Stratton was towing the semi-submersible vessel, it began to take on water and started to sink. The USCG crew was able to recover about 12,000 pounds of the cocaine before it finally sank into more than 13,000 feet of ocean. The vessel is considered lost.

USCG officials say drug smuggling semi-submersible type vessels are generally low-tech submarines with only a cockpit and exhaust pipe for breathing. The USCG issued a statement saying its goal is to disrupt organized crime networks using these sorts of methods to smuggle drugs into the U.S.

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Crew Stranded in Spain

By MarEx 2015-08-07 15:32:07

The M/V Prosperity has been arrested by Spanish authorities at Algeciras Port. It is a Moldovan-flagged 8,865 dwt cargo ship with eight Bulgarian mariners. The crew has not been paid since boarding the ship two months ago.

The Bulgarians were hired by a Bulgarian-based shipping agency in Varna. The Prosperity was enroute to the Apennines.

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry has contacted the stranded mariners informing that food and water will be provided to them.

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France widens search for MH370 debris

Maritime patrols have increased their presence around the French island of La Réunion, where debris strongly suspected to have come from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was found last week.
In the wake of criticism that the island’s authorities were not doing enough to look for more floating
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Inspectors Watching Shell 24/7

By MarEx 2015-08-07 11:58:30

Shell has started its drilling operations in the Arctic and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is keeping very close tabs on their activities.

BSEE Inspectors arrived in the Chukchi Sea to ensure the oil major is in compliance with federal regulations and safety standards. The BSEE will oversee Shell’s drilling operations in perpetuity. Two inspectors are onsite at the drill sites. One is onboard the Polar Pioneer, a semi-submersible drilling unit, at Burger J. The other is with the Noble Discoverer, a drillship, at Burger V.

Shell’s Arctic drilling operations were approved on July 22, but they included restrictions. BSEE’s primary focus is that the two rigs do not drill simultaneously. While the requirement was not to have operations with 15 miles of each other due to walruses in the area. The Shell rigs are actually only nine miles thus the inspectors oversight

Additionally, Shell is not permitted to drill into oil-bearing zones until the capping stack is on-site and deployable within 24 hours. Delivery of Shell’s capping stack was delayed because of damage to the M/V Fennica on July 3. MarEx covered the accident in an article you can read here. The capping stack is currently in transit to Chukchi aboard the Fennica.

Shell will be permitted to submit an application to modify these restrictions upon receipt of its capping stack.

BSEE was established in 2011 to replace the Minerals Management Service (MMS) because of the lack of oversight prior to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

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Inspectors at Shell’s Arctic Drilling Sites

By MarEx 2015-08-07 11:58:30

Shell has started its drilling operations in the Arctic and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is keeping very close tabs on their activities.

BSEE Inspectors arrived in the Chukchi Sea to ensure the oil major is in compliance with federal regulations and safety standards. The BSEE will oversee Shell’s drilling operations in perpetuity. Two inspectors are onsite at the drill sites. One is onboard the Polar Pioneer, a semi-submersible drilling unit, at Burger J. The other is with the Noble Discoverer, a drillship, at Burger V.

Shell’s Arctic drilling operations were approved on July 22, but they included restrictions. BSEE’s primary focus is that the two rigs do not drill simultaneously. While the requirement was not to have operations with 15 miles of each other due to walruses in the area. The Shell rigs are actually only nine miles thus the inspectors oversight

Additionally, Shell is not permitted to drill into oil-bearing zones until the capping stack is on-site and deployable within 24 hours. Delivery of Shell’s capping stack was delayed because of damage to the M/V Fennica on July 3. MarEx covered the accident in an article you can read here. The capping stack is currently in transit to Chukchi aboard the Fennica.

Shell will be permitted to submit an application to modify these restrictions upon receipt of its capping stack.

BSEE was established in 2011 to replace the Minerals Management Service (MMS) because of the lack of oversight prior to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

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MAN power for Van Oord dredgers

Dutch dredging giant Van Oord has placed an order for complete MAN Diesel & Turbo propulsion packages for two 17,000 m³ trailing suction hopper dredgers (TSHDs).
Being built by Spanish yard Construcciones Navales del Norte in Bilbao, the comprehensive MAN packages consist of: 6L48/60CR engines;
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