MH370: Flaperon Identity Confirmed

By Wendy Laursen 2015-09-03 20:53:52

French investigators have confirmed that a wing part found on the remote Indian Ocean island of La Réunion was from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The news comes after a month of testing during which it was confirmed that one of the figures on the debris corresponded to the serial number of an MH370 flaperon.

The plight of MH370 is one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history. The plane vanished from radar screens shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014, bound for Beijing. Investigators believe the plane was flown thousands of miles off course before eventually crashing somewhere off Australia.

The search area was expanded in April beyond an original 60,000 square kilometer search area to enable up to 120,000 square kilometers to be searched if required. More than 50,000 square kilometers of the seafloor have been searched so far.


New Shield Reduces Container Ship Resistance

By MarEx 2015-09-03 20:10:12

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has started demonstration tests of a new windshield for container ships that has the potential to reduce wind resistance, save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions.

MOL jointly developed the device with MOL Techno-Trade, Ouchi Ocean Consultant, Akishima Laboratory (Mitsui Zosen) and the University of Tokyo.

The project was backed by the Joint R&D for Industry Program, in which ClassNK promotes wide-ranging R&D activities in cooperation with industry, government and academia.

The new windshield was installed on the bow of the MOL-operated container ship MOL Marvel, and a demonstration test of its effectiveness in reducing CO2 emissions is under way.

With today’s larger container ships, the height of the containers loaded on their decks has increased, subjecting the vessels to greater wind resistance. MOL recognized the need to address this issue in a cost-effective way.

Development of the new device began with an examination of the bow’s aerodynamic form through wind tunnel testing. This led to the adoption of a horseshoe-shaped design, which encloses the front line of the stacked containers to maximize the wind resistance-reducing effect while minimizing the weight of the main unit.

The new windshield has enough design strength to meet the ClassNK rules concerning wave impact pressure. In addition, by obliquely setting the containers placed along the sides of the vessel behind the windshield, the sides of the vessel will be more streamlined, further reducing wind resistance.

With those measures, MOL expects an annual average reduction of 2 percent in CO2 emissions, assuming the device is mounted on a 6,700 TEU containership plying the North Pacific Ocean route at speed of 17 knots. The new windshield is also expected to protect ships from green water on the bow deck when sailing in bad weather.


Container Ship Sinks, Two Missing

By MarEx 2015-09-03 19:58:26

Two crew members are missing after the Indonesian-flagged container ship M/V Meratus Banjar 2 sank in the Java Sea on September 2. Indonesian naval officials report that the vessel sank due to a leak in the engine room.

The container ship was transporting cargo to Makassar, South Sulawesi from Surabaya.

The Meratus Banjar 2, built in 1997, is a 7,761 dwt vessel owned by Indonesia’s Meratus Line.

According to media reports, the Meratus Line has sent the M/V Meratus Spirit 1 to search for the missing mariners.


U.S. Navy Commemorates End of WWII

By MarEx 2015-09-03 19:50:46

More than 400 service members, veterans, government employees, foreign leaders and civilians attended the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on September 2.

The ceremony was held on board the Battleship Missouri Memorial on historic Ford Island, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The surrender took place on the wooden decks of the battleship USS Missouri on September 2, 1945. Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, General Douglas MacArthur, Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and other world leaders signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender marking the end of the war.

Admiral Scott H. Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, served as a distinguished guest speaker during the ceremony and offered remarks to those in attendance.

“Spin the calendar ahead 70 years and we gather here only a ship’s length away from the USS Arizona, perhaps the most famous icon representing the beginning of the War in the Pacific for so many Americans,” said Swift. “Many Arizona sailors remain entombed within the ship they served, a reminder to all of us who serve our nation do so without regard for reward or destiny.”

Noting the transition from war to peace, Swift stressed the importance of commitment to U.S. allies, partners and friends and the importance of cooperation between all nations and strengthening these relationships.

Swift also expressed his gratitude to the veterans for their sacrifices, their strength and for the future they secured for the new generations.

“We remain indebted to these veterans whose service demonstrated the selfless actions of the “greatest generation”,” said Swift. “May those who lost their lives to bring us peace be honored here today and the future.”

During the keynote address, Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii commended the collaboration between the United States and Japan in their efforts to rebuild the world around them and improve mutual understanding and respect after the war.

More than 2,000 sailors and Marines attended the original surrender ceremony. Among them was Radioman Second Seaman Donald Fosburg. A former crew member of the Missouri, Fosburg celebrated his 89th birthday and was honored with the national ensign during the ceremony. He recalled what he felt returning to the ship more than seven decades later.

“It was a day you would never forget, we squeezed in every nook and cranny,” Fosburg said. “I stood here on the deck of this great ship and witnessed the signing of the formal surrender of the Japanese empire to the allied forces. What a great day that was.”

The ceremony concluded with a U.S. Navy ceremonial gun salute, Amazing Grace performed by Celtic Pipes and Drummers of Hawaii and echo taps played by the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band.

Adm. Scott Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, greets Donald Fosburg, a former Navy Radioman, during a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial. Fosburg, who celebrated his 89th birthday and was presented an ensign, witnessed Japan officially surrendered as the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed aboard the USS Missouri by Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and other world leaders on Sept, 2, 1945. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian Wilbur/Released)


Chinese Shipping Conglomerates to Merge

By MarEx 2015-09-03 19:33:32

China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES) and Sinotrans & CSC Group are set to merge as part of the Chinese government’s ongoing plan to consolidate its state-run shipping sector.

According to media reports, the merger was ordered by the Chinese government on September 2.

CMES is the shipping division of the China Merchants Group and Sinotrans was formed as a result of a 2009 merger between the China National Foreign Trade Commission and the Changjiang Shipping Co.

The two shipping companies began integrating their operations in August 2014 when they formed a $1.1 billion joint venture named China VLCC. CMES owns 51 percent of the venture and Sinotrans holds the remaining 49.

The CMES-Sinotran merger comes on the heels of a potential merger between shipping companies, China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) and China Shipping Group (CSG) announced last month.

COSCO and CSG rank as the world’s sixth and seventh largest carriers respectively by fleet size and would form the world’s fourth-largest container line. Both companies have suspended trading of their listed subsidiaries since August 10 pending a major announcement.

China hopes to curb losses due to overcapacity in the market by consolidating its state-owned assets.