News Archive - August 2007

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International maritime treaty bans toxic paint: A treaty banning the chemical tributyltin, known as TBT, is expected to be ratified within days. TBT is a cheap and effective barnacle and algae killer, but the chemical has been linked to adverse environmental and health effects. Although an Environmental Protection Agency official orchestrated the TBT treaty's drafting, and key US agencies have agreed on regulations to enforce it, the ban has yet to clear the White House Office of Management and Budget. A year after the TBT treaty is ratified, neither the ships of ratifying countries nor foreign vessels that enter their waters will be allowed to have TBT on their hulls unless a sealant has rendered it inert. Ships found in violation will be put on an international blacklist and barred by other ratifying countries. See "Ban near on toxic ship-paint additive," Frank Greve, McClatchy News Service at, 8/31/07.

Russia expects decision on its Artic bid in 3 years: In 2001, Russia stated it was entitled to more territory in the Arctic, claiming underwater ridges are a continuation if its shelf. The United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) demanded more evidence. So the country sent a research team with two mini-submarines to take rock samples from the seabed to corroborate the claims. Yury Kazmin, a Russian member of CLCS, said the data obtained by this summer's expedition was a tangible advance towards possession of the territory. Kazmin believes the Commission could decide on Russia's claim in three years. See "UN commission could decide on Russian Arctic bid in 3 years," RIA Novosti at, 8/31/07.

Exxon Valdez plaintiffs submit their own petition to the Supreme Court: Last week, Exxon Mobil Corp. filed a petition to the US Supreme Court asking that it overturn the $2.5 billion punitive fine assessed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for the Exxon Valdez oil spill. This week, plaintiffs in the case asked the Supreme Court to restore the $5 billion punitive fine against Exxon Mobil, which was imposed in 1994 by a federal district court jury sitting in Anchorage. The plaintiffs' petition argues that no Supreme Court review is needed, and that the case has already dragged on too long. The petition says that if the Supreme Court does take up the case, it should restore the original verdict. In a prepared statement, an Exxon Mobil spokesman said the company has already paid $3.5 billion in cleanup costs, compensation and settlements and does not deserve to be further punished for the spill. See "Exxon Valdez plaintiffs want $5 billion award restored," Yereth Rosen, Reuters at Yahoo! News, 8/31/07.

African migrants adrift for three days are rescued: Alex Berhanu, an Ethiopian economics lecturer living in London, received a desperate satellite phone call from his half brother on Tuesday. His half brother told him he was on board a boat somewhere off the Libyan coast, with close to 60 other people. Mr. Berhanu alerted the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, but at first no one could find the boat. Finally the Italian coastguards launched an aircraft which spotted four boats over 100 miles off Tripoli; all were believed to contain illegal immigrants. One was the boat which held Mr. Berhanu's half brother, the others had not sent distress calls. The 59 people were towed by an Italian craft to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa. It is understood the migrants were already in a weakened condition, having spent a week locked in a warehouse in Libya prior to setting sail. They had paid traffickers thousands of dollars to secure their flight from Ethiopia, but were robbed and set adrift with no food or water. See "59 adrift off Libya saved by call to UK," Steven Morris and Thair Shaikh, The Guardian, 8/30/07.

China's Navy is intruding on Taiwan: Taiwan Defense Minister Lee Tien-yu has confirmed local media reports claiming a Chinese fleet of some five vessels, mostly Luhu-class missile destroyers and distilling ships, had passed between Okinawa and Miyakojima islands before turning south and traveling along Taiwan's east coast and passing its southern tip on two occasions in the periods between April 28 and May 11, and May 18 and May 27. "Clearly, China seeks to test our reaction (to the intrusions)," Lee was quoted as saying. "But we monitored the fleet as needed." Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Taipei-based foreign military official familiar with the Chinese navy said Tuesday that such an intrusion by Chinese military vessels into Taiwanese and Japanese waters "happens regularly." See "China navy provoking Taiwan with warship intrusions," Associated Press at AOL News, 8/30/07.

Tankers are being turned into bulk carriers: Some shipyards, mainly in China, are turning single-hull crude carriers into ore carriers instead of refurbishing them as double-hull crude carriers. Part of the appeal is that dry cargo rates have climbed nearly 70% so far this year, spurred in large part by demand from China. In addition, it takes only about six months to complete a conversion, while it would take four years to five years for a new bulk carrier to be delivered if it were ordered today. Officials calculate it would cost up to $30 million to turn a crude carrier of about 260,000 deadweight tons into a bulker of about 230,000 deadweight tons, which is larger than the traditional bulk carrier. See "Demand from China spurs conversion of tankers into bulk carriers," Nao Nakanishi, Reuters at International Herald Tribune, 8/30/07.

Rescuers unable to find 'stranded' migrants: British coastguards who responded to an apparent cry for help from 59 people apparently adrift in an inflatable boat off the coast of Libya have been unable to find the vessel. An Ethiopian man in the UK, who said his brother-in-law was one of the passengers, alerted the coastguard, saying he had received a satellite phone call from someone aboard the raft. Officers rang the number of the satellite phone, and spoke to a person who appeared to be in distress on a boat, with other passengers. But when the closest ship reached the inflatable boat's last known position, there was no sign of it. A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman couldn't say if the call was a hoax, and added that the coastguard will always act on distress calls. See "Mystery over migrants at sea with British rescuers unable to find boatload of refugees," Daily Mail, 8/29/07.

Key to the Titanic: David Blair, the Titanic's original second officer, was seen using binoculars on the trip from Belfast's Harland & Wolff shipyard to the Hampshire port. But just before the ship left for its fateful voyage he was replaced, and he accidentally took the key to the lookouts' binocular store with him. Fred Fleet, one of the lookouts, told the probe into the sinking that if they'd had binoculars, they could have seen the iceberg in time to get out of the way. The key and a postcard written by Blair mentioning his disappointment about his new post will be auctioned off in September; they are expected to fetch £70,000. See "Key could have saved Titanic," John Coles, The Sun Online, 8/29/07.

US military will aid a museum: The Juliett 484 was a key part of the Russian Sub Museum until it sank in 30 feet of water two days after an April 17 storm. But it looks like the Rhode Island museum will get help from US Army and Navy divers, who will use the sub to train its salvage and dive teams in how to get a submarine afloat. About 30 divers will study, and eventually enter the submarine as part of salvage training operations. They will also attack cables to steady the sub for the winter. The dive team is expected to return to raise the sub next year. The British are also considering sending a dive team. The museum will still need to drain and restore the boat. See "Military will use a sunken sub to train divers," Daniel Barbarisi, The Providence Journal at Scripps Howard News Service, 8/29/07.

Japanese-built ship will fly the Red Ensign: Japanese and some other shipbuilders have kept from building ships for the UK Ship Register for some time, because the requirements were thought to be excessive, unnecessary and expensive. About ten years ago, policymakers in Britain realized if this trend continued, there would be no more ships left flying the Red Ensign, so they decided to bring the British rules in line with internationally recognized conventions. The changes made to British rules have in no way affected safety. Now there are more ships flying the Red Ensign, including a vessel just built by Namura Shipbuilding Co.'s Imari Shipyard in Saga Prefecture. It is believed that this is the first time in several decades that Japan has built a ship for the UK Ship Register. See "After long pause, Japan builds a ship to fly the U.K. flag," Associated Press at AOL News, 8/28/07.

Luxury residential cruise ship aims to be green: Starting in 2010, the luxury residential cruise ship The Orphalese will set sail. Orphalese Cruise Line aims to make this the most luxurious residential cruise ship in the world, as well as the most environmentally friendly. Some of the "green" initiatives include solar panels that will generate energy for the ship's exterior lighting, energy- and water-saving appliances will be used in the residences, and a satellite positioning system will guide the ship to prevent dropping anchor on precious sea beds and coral. See the press release "Luxury Residential Cruise Ship Sets New Standard in Environmental Initiatives," 8/28/07.

Ship repair yards in the US fight to get Navy work: Smaller US shipyards that depend on repair contracts from the US Navy are becoming more likely to file legal protests if they don't get the work. The disputes involve the Navy's new multi-ship, multi-option maintenance contracts, which can be worth hundreds of millions dollars and run for five years or more. Losing yards often team with the winner to do subcontracting work, which softens the blow. But those left with empty piers or dry docks take a financial hit. As a result, shipyards are hiring lawyers to scrutinize contract awards for potential flaws. The protests are expensive and risk alienating their largest customer, but they can prove worthwhile to the yards. Navy officials could not say last week whether the protests have delayed or driven up the costs of ship repair. See "Shipyards more likely to protest losing multiship contracts," Jon W. Glass, The Virginian-Pilot at, 8/28/07.

Standards to be developed for the Barents Sea: Det Norske Veritas (DNV) will lead a three-year project to coordinate industry standards for health, safety and the environment for the Barents Sea. The standards will apply to both sides of the Russian-Norwegian border. The objective is to ensure that current and future oil and gas activities and shipping movements in the Barents Sea are undertaken in accordance with standards that are appropriate for the extreme conditions that exist in the Arctic. The Snohvit field will soon become the first in the Barents Sea to produce oil, and more will follow on both the Norwegian and the Russian sides. See "Harmonising industry standards for the Barents Sea," Marine Norway, 8/27/07.

South Korea to build world's largest floating dock: South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, the world's third largest shipyard, plans to build the world's biggest floating dock by June 2009. The new dock, planned at 438 meters by 84 meters, will be able to produce six or seven container vessels per year. South Korea has gotten a record number of orders both last and this year because of strong demand for crude carriers and offshore exploration equipment. See "Daewoo plans world's biggest floating dock," AFP at Business Report, 8/27/07.

Invasive crab species found in Newfoundland: The European green crab has apparently been spotted in waters off southern Newfoundland. The green crab has already made its way to parts of the Maritimes and British Columbia, but this is the first time it has been detected in Newfoundland waters. The species is known for its appetite for mussels, clams, scallops and other crabs, which has the federal Fisheries Department worried. Native to the Atlantic coasts of Europe and northern Africa, the crab has no commercial value. See "Invasive green crab spotted N.L. waters," Tara Brautigam, CP at Canoe, 8/27/07.

Australia's fight against illegal fishing is working: "Operation Resolute" combines the resources of the Australian Defence Force, Customs and Quarantine and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority to fight against illegal fishing — and the program seems to be working. Since the operation began, there has been close to a 90% decline in sightings of illegal boats, and those boats that are spotted are more likely to be seized. 365 illegal fishing boats were caught last year, compared with 281 in 2005. Education programs in poor Indonesian fishing communities and better cooperation between Australia and Indonesia since the 2006 Lombok Treaty are also helping fight illegal fishing. See "Illegal fishing sunk by new rules," Mark Dodd, The Australian, 8/27/07.

Kobe shipyard crane collapse kills 3, injures 4: A large crane collapsed Saturday at a shipyard in Kobe Japan, killing three workers and injuring four others. The crane collapsed in the morning at Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corp.'s plant in Kobe. The crane's 100-foot-long arm collapsed during repair work; workers had raised the arm to change some parts when the arm suddenly collapsed. See "Report: Crane collapse at western Japan shipyard, killing 3," The Associated Press at AOL News, 8/25/07.

Thailand offers to patrol the Strait of Malacca: Thailand wants to join Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to patrol the Strait of Malacca. Thailand has long talked of joining the patrols; it already takes part in anti-piracy exercises with the other three countries. It is unclear how the three governments would receive the offer, as territorial matters have been brought up. The Strait of Malacca, which runs between Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, and past part of southern Thailand, is notorious for sea piracy. See "Thailand to join patrols of Malacca Strait to help boost maritime security," The Associated Press at The Star Online, 8/25/07.

Missing WWII sub found after 65 years: The remains of the submarine USS Grunion were found in the Bering Sea on Wednesday. A remotely operated vehicle took photographs and video footage of a black shape near Kiska Island, Alaska. Researchers are 95% certain that it is the Grunion. No identifying markings or lettering could be seen, however, the location and appearance of the vessel indicate it is the missing sub. The vessel lies 1,000 feet from the surface, and is more damaged than was expected. No human remains were found. A forensic engineer and other experts will use the footage to piece together the Grunion's final hours and figure out why it sank. See "Family Claims to Find Missing WWII Sub," Jeannette J. Lee, Associated Press at AOL News, 8/25/07.

Iceland stops whale hunt quotas: Last year Iceland ended a ban on commercial whaling, allowing up to 8 minke whales and 9 fin whales to be hunted. That quota period expires on August 21. Since demand for whale meat is quite low, Iceland's fisheries minister has announced the country will not issue new quotas unless market demand increases and it gets an export license from Japan. Negotiations for market access to Japan are ongoing, but health and quality testing have not been decided. Whalers are frustrated, and say they should be allowed to keep hunting to develop the market. See "Iceland stops whale-hunting quotas," Reuters at TVNZ, 8/25/07.

Pirates set Danica White and crew free: The cargo ship Danica White was hijacked on June 4, and its five Danish crew members were taken hostage by Somali pirates. Andrew Mwangura, head of the Seafarers' Assistance Programme based on Kenya's coast, announced Thursday that the pirates had released the ship, and that the crew members were in good health. Mwangura said the ship's owner paid the pirates a ransom of $1.5 million. See "Somali pirates free Danish ship," SAPA at News 24, 8/23/07.

Russia claims proof on ownership of the Arctic: Valery Kaminsky, director of the Russian Maritime Geological Research Institute, says research conducted by a survey team in the Arctic backs Russia's claim of ownership of the Arctic. Researchers used aircraft to survey nearly 400 miles of the Lomonosov Ridge at 35 different points. Then small submarines took physical samples of the sea bed. Kaminsky says their data shows that the Lomonosov mountain chain links Siberia to the Arctic. Under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention, this would give Russia claim to the area, and the oil reserves beneath it. Canada, Denmark, Norway and the US are all trying to claim territory in the Arctic. See "Scientist says tests back Russia Arctic claim," Conor Sweeney, Reuters at AOL News, 8/23/07.

British Columbia to get protection against oil dumping: Starting in the fall, Transport Canada will send its new Dash 8 to fly surveillance over British Columbia waters, and study satellite images supplied by the Canadian Space Agency's RADARSAT-1. The goal is to prevent ship operators from illegally dumping oily bilge waste into the ocean, rather than pay disposal fees in port. These new forms of surveillance, are already in use in Eastern Canada, should be able to detect ships dumping in remote areas under the cover of clouds, fog or darkness. It has been estimated that 300,000 seabirds die off southern Newfoundland every year because of chronic oil pollution from sources such as ships. See "Ottawa seeks to stop oil dumping, save seabirds," Carrie West, Globe and Mail, 8/23/07.

Walking along Britain's coast can be dangerous: Walking along beaches and cliffs has become the main cause of recreational deaths on the British coastline. Six people died while taking a walk between January and July this year. Five were killed swimming, and two diving. Tomb-stoning has led to five deaths in the first seven months of 2007. Proportionately, there are still fewer walkers dying than swimmers and divers because walking is much more popular. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has warned walkers on the coast to take a stick with them and to check weather forecasts, tides and the condition of coastal paths. See "Beware that brisk seaside stroll - it could just be the death of you," Dominic Kennedy, The Times Online, 8/23/07.

Exxon Mobil wants the Supreme Court to rule on the Valdez spill award: Exxon Mobil Corp. has made a final appeal for a review of a court decision regarding the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. The company has been battling the judgment for more than a decade, and has managed to get the original $5 billion in punitive damages awarded in 1994 reduced to $2.5 billion. But on Monday, it asked the US Supreme Court to review the 9th Circuit Court's ruling, citing several criticisms. For example, Exxon lawyers questioned whether it's legal for the 9th Circuit to impose punitive damages under maritime law against Exxon for the behavior of one of its captains if Exxon didn't have a direct role in the captain's behavior, and if the captain's behavior was contrary to company policy. Plaintiffs believe these issues have already been addressed in court. The Supreme Court has until the end of the year to respond to Exxon's petition. See "Exxon seeks Supreme Court review of oil-spill fine," The Associated Press, The Seattle Times, 8/22/07.

Drug smugglers use a submarine: A submarine carrying cocaine worth an estimated US $353 million was intercepted by the US Customs and Border Protection authority off the coast of Central America. The semi-submersible vessel, which is only partially visible from the surface, was spotted by a surveillance plane southwest of the Mexico-Guatemala border on Monday. The plane then guided a US Navy ship to the scene as the four suspected drug smugglers scuttled the vessel along with the bulk of its cargo, believed to be around five metric tons of cocaine. See "Feds Nab Suspected Cocaine Smugglers in Pacific," Jack Date and Theresa Cook, ABC News, 8/22/07.

Massachusetts' oil spill law must be obeyed: Massachusetts passed the Oil Spill Prevention Act in 2004, a year after a Bouchard Transportation Co. barge spilled 98,000 gallons of oil into Buzzards Bay after one of its tanks ruptured after hitting an underwater ledge. The state law required oil shippers to use a tug escort when passing through Buzzard's Bay. A federal judge ruled major portions of the state law unconstitutional in 2006, saying the state was encroaching on federal authority by making law in an area regulated by the Coast Guard. But a federal appeals court overturned the ruling in June and sent it back to US District Court for a new hearing on the evidence. The state, however, has decided that shippers in Buzzards Bay must obey the Act while the oil shipping industry fights the law in court. See "State says shippers must follow Oil Spill Prevention Act rules," The Associated Press at, 8/22/07.

Ship likely to break up off Gibraltar: A stricken freighter looks likely to break up off the coast of Gibraltar and efforts to rescue the vessel have been abandoned. The Panamanian ship New Flame is carrying scrap metal and is now half submerged after colliding with a tanker on August 12. The cargo is expected to sink, but authorities hope part of the ship, holding about 500 tons of fuel, will remain afloat; this would be towed to safety. See "'Ship is going to break in two'," News24, 8/22/07.

Diesel spill off Vancouver Island could threaten killer whale habitat: A barge loaded with logging equipment flipped Monday and dropped its load into the provincial ecological reserve at Robson Bight, spilling diesel fuel into an area frequented by a pod of about 200 killer whales. About 50 whales have already swum through the slick; the mammals visit the bight frequently to feed and rub their bellies. In addition to a fuel truck carrying diesel fuel, equipment such as a bulldozer, log loader, ambulance and trucks are now sitting on the ocean floor. The barge and equipment belongs to Ted LeRoy Trucking Ltd. of Chemainus, a contractor for TimberWest Forest Corp. Burrard Clean has been contracted to mop up the spill. See "Barge spills diesel fuel in killer whale sanctuary," Kelly Sinoski, The Vancouver Sun at, 8/21/07.

Canary Islands see more migrant activity: It was a busy few days as African migrants tried to reach the Canary Islands by boat. Twelve died on one boat, with 28 rescued by a Spanish fishing vessel southeast of Fuerteventura on Sunday. Another 120 migrants arrived Monday at the port of Los Cristianos on the island of Tenerife on a tiny wooden fishing boat. Two were suffering from dehydration and hypothermia, but no one was reported dead. A Spanish maritime rescue boat pulled 28 migrants from another boat that was headed to the island of Gran Canaria. More than 31,200 immigrants arrived in the Canary Islands last year, more than tripling the previous annual record and overwhelming the island chain's authorities. But the arrival of migrants has declined this year due in part to increased patrols of the West African coast. See "12 African migrants die trying to reach Spain's Canary Islands," AFP at Yahoo! News, 8/20/07.

Royal Navy's newest ship is "unisex": British Navy chiefs predict that over the next ten years, up to half of crew members recruited could be female. Until now, the Royal Navy has had a difficult time accommodating women sailors. But the new HMS Daring, the first of the six Type 45 destroyers being built, caters to the rising numbers of women in the Navy. The ship has individual, lockable bathrooms where men or women can shower in private, and 48 single cabins, as well as a number of two-berth cabins for the 192 crew. Only three of the 60 crew recruited so far are women, but the new ship provides great flexibility with crewing arrangements. Commander Graham Beard, the Royal Navy's equality and diversity policy officer, added that "Modern ships are increasingly automated and you don't need as much brute strength to run them." See "Single cabins and private showers for women on Navy's new warship," Peter Almond, Daily Mail, 8/19/07.

US Navy pulls YouTube video about female servicemen: A video titled "Women of CVN76: 'That Don't Impress Me Much'" was posted May 23 on the YouTube web site. It was shot aboard the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan. Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Brown, a spokesman for the San Diego-based Naval Air Forces command, said the video "was a lighthearted and positive depiction of the service of women officers and sailors aboard aircraft carriers and in Navy squadrons." But the Navy pulled the video off the web site last week. It also included fleeting shots of the door to the ship's nuclear power plant and of a sailor dancing while wearing a full-body radiation suit. Under Pentagon rules, images of any part of a ship's nuclear plant cannot be shown to foreign nationals. While Brown denied anything in the video compromised operational security, there was a "lack of propriety" in a few scenes involving the use of safety equipment. See "'Propriety' of clip made aboard carrier questioned," Steve Liewer, Union-Tribune at, 8/18/07.

German sub sunk in 1918 in the Channel may surface: Germany's UB 33, which sank at least 13 craft during World War I, was itself sunk on April 11, 1918, in the Varne Sandbank in the straits of Dover. In recent months, the wreck has been disturbed by turbulence from larger boats traveling just above it. Currently, the wreck is lying just under 10 feet above the minimum clearance depth for this busy area of the Channel, known as the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme. The submarine still has six torpedoes on board, which makes it even more hazardous. But because it also contains the bodies of 28 crew members, moving it will prove a particularly delicate matter. Trinity House has temporarily stationed a vessel over the spot to warn ships of the danger below. See "Sunken German submarine poses threat to ships as it floats up from its watery grave," Christian Gysin and Alun Rees, Daily Mail, 8/17/07.

Port of Los Angeles cleans up waterfront property: Westway Terminals, located on waterfront property in the Port of Los Angeles, stores flammable liquids and chemicals, including rocket fuel and glycerol. The city and the company have been negotiating for five years to move the company, considered dangerous because of its proximity to nearby homes and cruise ship terminals. The port has threatened to condemn the property over various environmental and safety issues. But the Los Angeles City Council has approved a settlement this week to relocate the firm. Westway Terminals will vacate the waterfront property by 2008. In return, the port will pay the firm, and for cleanup costs to remove contaminated soil and storage tanks. See "L.A. pays $17M to relocate port firm," Kristopher Hanson, Press-Telegram, 8/17/07.

Manhole covers remain a problem: The fishing trawler Hope Bay capsized and sank in rough seas off Vancouver Island in February 2004, killing three crewmen. A leaky manhole cover has been implicated in the tragedy, but no new rules have been created yet, and no safety warnings have been issued in the interim. The Transportation Safety Board report on the accident criticizes Transport Canada for delaying a requirement that manhole covers be type-approved. The report states, "The board is concerned that the delay in issuing of the [standards] and the lack of a bulletin warning the industry of the safety deficiencies relating to manhole covers continue to put vessels and their crews at risk." The leaking manhole cover on Hope Bay allowed the vessel to take on water, and then a series of accidents, including a leaking immersion suit, soon doomed the crew. See "Transport Canada slammed in fatal trawler sinking," Cindy E. Harnett, Times Colonist at, 8/16/07.

Michigan law on ballast treatment is upheld: A federal court judge dismissed a lawsuit by nine shipping companies and associations that had hoped to overturn a Michigan law requiring oceangoing ships to sanitize their ballast water to prevent the introduction of invasive species. US District Judge John Feikens ruled Wednesday that Michigan's law is constitutional. Michigan was the first Great Lakes state to pass a law requiring shipping companies to treat ballast water. Several other states and Canadian entities are considering similar measures, but some were awaiting the outcome of the lawsuit in Michigan before taking action. The US Congress also is considering ballast water legislation, but that wouldn't take effect until 2012. Feikens' ruling means Michigan is free to act on its own. See "Judge dismisses shippers' suit against Michigan ballast law," John Flesher, The Associated Press at, 8/16/07.

Royal Navy's new destroyer gets tested: The HMS Daring has finished its first month of sea trials, and its first test on the open sea. So far the tests focused mainly on getting the ship's propulsion systems up and running. The Daring is the first in a batch of six Type 45 destroyers ordered by Britain's Royal Navy. Built by BAE at their yards in Glasgow and Portsmouth, the new warships have nearly twice the range as the Type 42 destroyers they are to replace. Daring can go from zero to a top speed of 31 knots in a little over two minutes, and can come to a standstill from this high speed in five-and-a-half ship lengths. Advanced stealth technology means that when the 500-foot ship is picked up on radar, it appears as small as a fishing boat. The Daring is expected to be delivered in early 2009. See "Presenting the £1bn warship that can defend London single-handedly," Daily Mail, 8/16/07.

2004 Asian tsunami hit Canada: A new study suggests that the sea wave generated by an earthquake under the Indian Ocean in 2004 raced through two oceans and added considerable force to a storm pounding the eastern seaboard more than a day later. The storm and tsunami were each responsible for waves, which combined creating "strongly amplified waves" of more than a meter that hit the coast of Maine and Nova Scotia. The tsunami was felt on Canada's east and west coasts at almost the same time, 30 hours after the earthquake. The findings suggest the tsunami threat is more serious than previously believed in the Atlantic. See "Impact of tsunami reached Canada," Margaret Munro, CanWest News Service, Leader-Post at, 8/15/07.

Ship owners plan guilty plea in 2004 Alaska grounding and breakup: The freighter Selendang Ayu ran aground on December 8, 2004, and broke in two on the north side of Unalaska Island, 800 miles southwest of Anchorage. Court documents filed Tuesday indicate that IMC Shipping Co. Pte. Ltd. of Singapore will plead guilty to illegally discharging its cargo and to killing hundreds of seabirds. IMC will also pay a criminal penalty of $10 million, which includes funds for community service, risk assessment, and $1 million for the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. The company will serve three years' probation, which will include an audit of IMC's maintenance program. IMC has paid more than $100 million in cleanup costs. This plea agreement addresses the company's criminal culpability. The agreement does not limit IMC's civil liability, and state and federal trustees continue to assess natural resource damages from the spill. See "Guilty Plea Planned in Ship Breakup," Dan Joling, Associated Press at, 8/15/07.

North Sea oil rig catches fire: A fire broke out in the engine room of the semi-submersible Ocean Guardian, 120 miles northeast of Aberdeen in the North Sea. Two helicopters lifted a total of 32 non-essential workers off the rig, leaving 55 on board to help fight the fire. The fire is out now, and there were no injuries. Rig owner Diamond Offshore is now assessing what to do next. The Ocean Guardian was built by Scott Lithgow shipyard in Glasgow in 1985. See "North Sea Workers Airlifted From Rig in Blaze Drama," Donna Watson at The Daily Record, 8/15/07.

Blown ballast implicated in Pasha Bulker stranding: In late May the Port Waratah Coal Services, the authority that runs Newcastle's coal terminals, identified at least 50 vessels that were performing poorly, because of "long deballast periods and/or low gross load rates." A June 7 memo stated that none of those 50 ships would be allowed into port. The Pasha Bulker was one of those 50 ships, and on June 8, it ran aground. A lack of ballast water in the ship's hold at the time is one of the possible reasons suggested for its inability to balance properly, leading to the grounding. The issue of ballast will feature in two investigations into the incident, one by NSW Maritime, and the other by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. See "No-go order issued before ship's stranding," Andrew Clennell, The Sydney Morning Herald, 8/14/07.

Alaska oil sparks study of right whales: The Pacific right whale, which has been teetering on extinction for decades, has been showing up in surprising numbers near an area that the US government recently approved for oil and gas development. Lease sales in the southeastern Bering Sea are proposed for 2011. The Endangered Species Act requires that an assessment be made of how oil and gas development could affect the few whales left. Currently, not much is known about the travels of the Pacific right whale. Many hope that a four-year study will show they don't usually travel into the lease area. See "Oil interest drives search for rare right whales," Associated Press at, 8/14/07.

Canada could cut sonar in Pacific exercises to protect whales: Like the US Navy, Canada's Navy is weighing its need to train its personnel in sonar use, and its desire to keep from harming marine mammals. The recent ruling from a federal judge barring the US Navy from using high-powered sonar in exercises off Southern California has also colored Canada's thinking. But Canadian navy sonar is not as powerful as that used by US ships, and it already isn't used if marine mammals are known to be in the area. But Captain Jim Heath, Maritime Forces Pacific assistant chief of staff for operations, pointed out that the navy's primary role is defense. If there were an actual threat, he said, "we would have to do whatever we had to do to get the job done." See "Sonar exercises essential despite whale risks: navy," Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist at, 8/14/07.

Pirates attack and kidnap two crew: A Malaysian barge was carrying steel billets from Penang to Belawan in Indonesia on Monday when it was raided by armed pirates. Two Indonesian crew were kidnapped, but another six crew were unharmed. This is the third pirate attack in the Malacca Strait this year, but the first since July 2005 in which ship's crew were kidnapped. The strait is notorious for robberies and hijackings, but the number of attacks has fallen since Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, which share the waterway, launched coordinated maritime and air patrols in recent years to curb piracy. See "Pirates attack barge in Malacca Strait," Associated Press at Yahoo! News, 8/14/07.

A call for a ban on ocean freighters in the Great Lakes: Ocean freighters are often seen as an enemy in the Great Lakes, as they are the main source of invasive species in the fresh water system. Recent research — disputed by the shipping industry — suggests that the ships confer marginal financial advantages overall. For every $1 that ocean vessels save in transportation expenses for their customers, the region experiences losses that could be nearly $100 in dealing with invaders and the problems they cause, such as fishery collapses. Although halting ocean shipping once might have been viewed as an extreme step, it's an idea bolstered by research showing the move would protect the lakes from foreign pests at a relatively low cost. The shipping industry admits that cost-effective technologies for dealing with invasive species in ballast water don't yet exist. See "What travels to Canada in ocean freighters?," Martin Mittelstaedt, Globe and Mail, 8/13/07.

US federal and state governments argue about port security: The state of Florida and the federal government are still struggling over ID cards and background checks for port workers and visitors. Florida state law requires a certain level of background checks, and considers certain criminal offenses as disqualifying criteria. But federal policy exists only as a rule — considered less enforceable than law — and has a much different list of disqualifying criminal offenses. The two entities have struggled so long to try to align credential systems, that they have considered giving up on a resolution and issuing both state and federal credentials at the ports. Some of the differences have led Florida officials to claim their rules are stricter, but the federal government's Transportation Security Administration is adamant that one card, with uniform standards for all states, is needed. See "Port security remains unresolved in Florida," J. Taylor Rushing, The Florida Times-Union at, 8/13/07.

Many hurt as vessels collide off Istanbul: A Turkish passenger ferry and a cargo ship collided off Turkey's biggest city Istanbul on Monday. Nearly 50 people were injured. Preliminary information indicates the passenger ferry was responsible for the accident. The Ukrainian cargo ship Semyon Rudhnev was anchored when the ferry ran into it. The ship's crew didn't suffer any injuries, and both ships suffered only minor damage. See "Nearly 50 hurt as ferry collide collides with ship off Turkey," AFP at Yahoo! News, 8/13/07.

Victims of Kursk submarine disaster remembered in Russia: Events commemorating the seventh anniversary of the Kursk nuclear submarine disaster were held in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and in the Northern, Black Sea, Baltic and Pacific fleets on Sunday. The Kursk sank in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000 after a torpedo detonated aboard the submarine. All 118 crew were killed in the disaster. Admiral Vladimir Masorin, the Russian Navy commander, says the Navy has improved safety and rescue techniques since the sinking of the boat. See "Russia commemorates crewmembers of sunken Kursk submarine," RIA Novosti, 8/12/07.

Denmark stakes a claim to the North Pole: Denmark has joined the international scramble for the Arctic with the scheduled launch of a scientific mission to try to prove its ownership of the North Pole. Forty scientists, traveling by icebreaker, will collect evidence to support a claim that a mountain range beneath the polar ice cap, the Lomonosov Ridge, is an extension of the Danish territory of Greenland. The launch will add to tensions in the region, after Russia provoked anger this month by planting a titanium flag on the seabed beneath the pole. Last week Canada announced two new military bases in its far north, and the US Coast Guard icebreaker Healy left for a scientific mission to the Arctic. Vast energy reserves beneath the floor of the Arctic Ocean have sparked renewed interest in the long-neglected polar territories. See "Denmark Maps Arctic Ridge in Claim Race," Doug Mellgren, Associated Press at ABC News, 8/10/07.

Ecotours to Guimaras: The oil tanker MT Solar I sank off Guimaras a year ago, causing the worst oil spill in Philippine's history. Many families have received payments from the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds, and funds were also released to scientists and universities for oil spill research. But life in the area is still not back to normal, as near-shore fishing has yet to recover, and villagers are still worried about getting sick from fish and shellfish. Green Forum Western Visayas, an environmental watch group, has teamed up with two fishing villages in Nueva Valencia to offer ecological tours. The tour helps villagers earn a little from cooking and renting out boats, but they also benefit from interacting with visitors. See "Helping Guimaras heal itself thru ecotourism," Philippine Daily Inquirer at Hoover's, 8/10/07.

India's naval projects are running late: India's project to construct an indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) is running behind schedule on "almost all fronts." Materials procurement has caused some delays, as has detailed design and pre-production work. The IAC is currently projected to be delivered in 2015 at the earliest. India's Navy is facing delays in other projects, as well. The induction of the decommissioned Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, rechristened INS Vikramaditya, will be at least two years late. See "After Gorshkov, another Navy project hit by delay," Rajat Pandit, TNN at The Times of India, 8/10/07.

Bow of the Napoli is on its way: The MSC Napoli, beached off Sidmouth since January, was split in two last month by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Ministry of Defence. Coastguards have now begun towing the bow section to Belfast's Harland and Wolff shipyard, where it will be broken up. The stern of the ship and the accommodation block remain grounded about one mile off east Devon, although contracts are under discussion for its removal. The salvage operation has cost more than £50 million. See "Napoli bow heading for scrapyard," BBC News, 8/9/07.

Arctic ice is shrinking: The melting rate of Arctic ice has already reached a record point this summer, a month before it typically peaks. Several different groups of scientists believe that it is almost certain that by September there will be more open water in the Arctic than has been seen for a very long time. The cause is probably a mix of natural fluctuations, like unusually sunny conditions in June and July, and long-term warming from heat-trapping greenhouse gases and sooty particles accumulating in the air. See "Floating Arctic ice shrinking at record rate," Andrew C. Revkin, International Herald Tribune, 8/9/07.

Three sailors arrested after 'goodwill' mission across the channel: Two Germans and a Frenchmen crossed the English Channel on a home-made raft. The trio, councillors in Folkestone's twin towns of Zweibrucken and Boulogne, intended the trip as a symbolic show of European solidarity, but they failed to notify the authorities on either side of the Channel of their plans. When they landed after nine hours in the world's busiest shipping lane, they were arrested, thrown into police cells and held for ten hours on suspicion of endangering life. Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency impounded the "unseaworthy" craft, gave the men breathalyzer tests, and seized beer and wine from them. They were released without charge. See "Goodwill voyage ends in arrest at Folkestone," David Byers, Times Online, 8/9/07.

US Coast Guard awards contracts for national security cutters: After a successful negotiation between the government and industry, the US Coast Guard has awarded Integrated Coast Guard Systems $337 million for construction of its third national security cutter, and $255 million for continuation of construction for the first two cutters. This consolidated contractual action is seen as a "significant milestone" for the Coast Guard, since the national security cutter is a crucial element of the service's Deepwater acquisition program. The largest cutters in the current fleet are 378 feet long, and nearing the end of their service lives at 35 years old. The new cutters are 418 feet long, and suited for conducting a range of missions. See the press release "Coast Guard Awards Contract for Third National Security Cutter" from the US Coast Guard, 8/8/07.

Congress has criticized the Deepwater program for cost increases, technical and design flaws, and the decision-making power allowed to the contractors, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. In a January report, the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general said the cutters had design flaws. According to a Washington Post article, some $70 million of the $255 earmarked for the continuation of construction of the first two cutters will go toward addressing these design flaws. The rest of the increase will help repair damages at Northrop's New Orleans shipyard caused by Hurricane Katrina, pay for delays caused by a Northrop strike last year, and adapt the vessels to the extra duties the Coast Guard took on after the September 11, 2001, attacks. See "Cost of Coast Guard's Deepwater Project Rises Again," Renae Merle, The Washington Post, 8/9/07.

Tilapia may help combat malaria: The fish species Nile tilapia has a taste for mosquitoes. For the first time, researchers from Kenya's International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology have published field data showing the fish can be used to control the spread of malaria. The tilapia have been introduced to several abandoned fish ponds in the west of the country, and numbers of the main malarial mosquitoes were reduced by more than 94%. While the fish can obviously only combat malaria in places with larger bodies of water, Nile tilapia can be a useful tool against the disease. See "Fish can fight malaria mosquitoes," BBC News, 8/8/07.

Freight costs keep growing: The Baltic Dry Index increased 103% in the past year. The sharp rise in shipping costs threatens to add to already rising prices for agriculture, base metals and ore commodities. As shipping trade routes expand, vessels are spending longer sailing from distant ports. This reduces the capacity available at any one time, and pressures prices. Severe port congestion is also adding to the strain; in some cases vessels wait weeks to load their cargo. And shipyards are currently focusing on building high margin vessels, such as LNG carriers, rather than taking orders for lower-margin dry-bulk vessels. All of these factors are contributing to rising prices in freight costs. See "Port jams adding to rising freight costs," Javier Blas, The Australian, 8/7/07.

Chinese seafood slips through FDA testing: The US Food and Drug Administration recently ordered that shipments of seafood from China be screened for banned drugs and chemicals. But according to an AP check conducted since last fall, one of every four shipments the AP reviewed got through without being tested. No illnesses have been reported, but the episode raises serious questions about the FDA's ability to police the safety of America's food imports. The agency has about 450 budgeted positions for screening about 20 million shipments annually of such things as fish, fruit and medical devices. At a congressional hearing last month, FDA employees doubted whether they have the resources to do the job. See "Million Pounds of Suspect Chinese Seafood Lands in U.S. Despite FDA Screening Order," Associated Press at, 8/7/07.

Equipment and systems are also a problem on US Coast Guard ships: The US Coast Guard on May 17 revoked its acceptance of eight 123-foot patrol boats built by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman due to hull buckling. But in a June 5 letter to Integrated Coast Guard Systems, a joint venture between Lockheed and Northrop, the service said its revocation was partly based on equipment and systems issues. Industry analysts believe this could be a warning sign to Lockheed, particularly, since that company is responsible for most of the equipment. The same equipment issues could arise on other ships being built as part of the Coast Guard's Deepwater acquisition program. See "Coast Guard refund request may signal wider problems," The Associated Press at The Clarion-Ledger, 8/7/07.

Captain of ship that hit an oil platform is in custody: The master of the cargo ship Jork has been remanded into custody after the vessel struck the unmanned Viking Echo platform on Saturday. Boston police arrested Captain Zbigniew Karkowski after he failed a breathalyzer test, charging him with being drunk in charge of a sea vessel. The Jork sank on Sunday morning following the collision. ConocoPhillips has shut down gas production from the platform, and started an assessment of its condition. Early indications suggest the platform may be significantly damaged. See "Master held after ship hits platform," Lloyd's List at Hoover's, 8/6/07.

Cargo vessel hits oil platform in the North Sea: The Jork, a general cargo vessel flying the Antigua & Barbuda flag, struck ConocoPhillips' unmanned platform Viking Echo on August 4. Only slight damage was done to the platform, but the Jork began listing heavily to 30 degrees, sending 6 crew into the sea. The Yarmouth Coastguard provided assistance, rescuing the crewmembers, and later the Master who had remained on board until the vessel listed further. Another rescue vessel is currently standing by the stricken vessel. See "Cargo Vessel Hits Unmanned North Sea Platform,", 8/6/07.

US sends icebreaker to the North Pole: The US icebreaker Healy left Seattle Monday for a research mission to the Arctic. News of the trip came as two Russian mini-submarines planted a flag on the seabed at the North Pole in a symbolic claim to the Arctic territory. Under international law, the five countries with territory inside the Arctic Circle are entitled to claim only a 200-mile economic zone around their coastlines. But as global warming makes the area more accessible, these countries are pushing harder to try to claim more territory. See " U.S. icebreaker to set off for N.Pole after Russian mission," RIA Novosti at, 8/6/07.

Judge blocks US Navy from using sonar tests: The US Navy has been barred from using high-power sonar in war games to be held off the coast of California because it is alleged to be harmful to whales and other marine life. US Federal District Court judge Florence-Marie Cooper issued an injunction against use of the sonar after rejecting a Navy request to dismiss the case against by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups. Environmentalists said although litigation brought over war games off the coast of Hawaii resulted in a settlement last year, the Navy had refused to take steps to mitigate the impact of the sonar during tests in Southern California waters. The Navy had argued that the tests were necessary to train personnel how to detect quiet submarines. See "Navy barred from using sonar in exercises off Southern California," Associated Press at, 8/6/07.

Ocean forecasting service gets funding: The University of Hawaii's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology is creating an ocean observing and forecasting system similar to a weather forecasting service. Various kinds of data will be gathered by a variety of sensors. But the data won't be targeted just to researchers. Instead, the information will also be available on a web site available to consumers, in terms they will be able to understand. See "UH mounts ocean-forecasting project," Helen Altonn, Star Bulletin, 8/6/07.

Bluefin tuna's migration is studied: Researchers from Dalhousie University tagged two bluefin tuna within minutes of each other off the coast of Ireland. They were later found on opposite sides of the Atlantic: one off the coast of Cuba, and the other in the Strait of Gibraltar. The researchers say the findings attest to the need for fish managers to have a global view of the creatures. Bluefin stocks on the North American side of the Atlantic are at about 10% of their historic levels. There is evidence bluefins from the endangered North American stock are crossing the Atlantic and being caught off Europe, where there are much higher quotas than in Canada or the US. This suggests that cutting back on the bluefin catch worldwide might help keep the species from becoming commercially extinct. See "Bluefin tuna are epic travellers but remain endangered," Margaret Munro, CanWest News Service, The Windsor Star at, 8/5/07.

Titanic watches: Some of the metal from the hull of the Titanic was salvaged by divers. This metal has been blended with modern shipbuilding steel at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, where the Titanic was built. This blend is being used to make the casing of fancy timepieces by Swiss jeweler Romain Jerome. Coal which was to have been burned in the Titanic's furnaces and which was also recovered from the seabed has been mixed with ceramics to create black dials for the watches. The watches have been criticized as being in bad taste by Titanic enthusiasts. The limited-edition watches range in price from about $9,000 to $150,000. See "Watches made from Titanic's hull go on on sale for £75,000," Steve Myall, Daily Mail, 8/4/07.

China bans Indonesian seafood: China has banned all Indonesian seafood imports after checks turned up toxins, dangerous chemicals and pathogens. Shipments received before Friday would be carefully inspected, while all those shipped after that date would be returned or destroyed. The announcement comes as a variety of Chinese products are under increased scrutiny and have in some cases been banned. Indonesia said it found that some Chinese cosmetics contained toxins, that medicines contained unauthorized chemicals, and that food supplements had some dangerous additives. The two sides will meet to discuss their deteriorating trade relations. See "China bans Indon seafood citing toxins," Associated Press at The Sydney Morning Herald, 8/4/07.

Protecting Australia's fisheries has pushed imports to record levels: Australia's Fisheries Minister Peter McGauran revealed this week that tests conducted by the country's quarantine watchdog had found banned antibiotics in one-third of the samples of prawns, fish, crabs and eels from China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. The federal Government has promised to strengthen the testing of imported produce, but it won't increase the actual amount of testing done on imported fish — just 5%. Instead, it will add more antibiotics to the list of substances that are tested. Australian fisheries are widely regarded as well managed, but this means that about 70% of the country's annual seafood consumption is imported. Marine biologist Walter Starck said Australians were being forced to consume lower quality seafood imports, even though some fish species are relatively abundant in the country's own fisheries. See "Fish bans raise poison risk," Selina Mitchell and Lauren Wilson, The Australian, 8/4/07.

China's growing economy is polluting the sea: China's booming economy is wreaking havoc on the nation's coastal waters, with sewers often spilling right into parts of the sea reserved for tourism or aqua-farming. This is the conclusion of a new survey of China's coastal environment over the first six months of the year, published by the State Oceanic Administration. According to the survey, 77 percent of 500 pollution outlets monitored by the administration discharge more pollutants than permitted, an 18 percent increase from the first half of 2006. However, the paper pointed out that this didn't pose a threat to "seafood security." See "Offshore water quality deteriorates," Sun Xiaohua, China Daily, 8/4/07.

Boat capsizes off Sierra Leone coast: At least 65 people are missing after a boat capsized off the northern coast of Sierra Leone on Thursday morning. Details are unclear, but about 85 people were on board when the accident happened. Accurate records are rarely kept, but the general consensus is that more people were on board than the boat was designed to carry. The vessel sailed north from Freetown, and overturned at the mouth of the Great Scarcies river. Two people have survived, and seven bodies have been recovered. See "'Scores drowned' on S Leone boat," BBC News, 8/3/07.

Homemade sub sets off alert in New York: A man inside a replica of a Revolutionary War submarine was arrested Friday after police found the vessel partly submerged in a security zone near the docked Queen Mary 2. The vessel and an inflatable boat were spotted by police near the luxury ocean liner docked at the cruise ship terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The vessel, known as a "turtle submarine," is a replica of a submarine used during the American Revolution. The US Coast Guard issued two citations to Philip Riley, 35, of Brooklyn, who was inside the vessel, as the sub wasn't safe. See "Replica of Revolutionary War "submarine" causes scare in NYC," Pat Milton, The Associated Press at The Seattle Times, 8/3/07.

Russia plants flag under North Pole: Russian explorers have planted their country's flag on the seabed about 2.5 miles below the North Pole to further Moscow's claims to the Arctic. The titanium flag was brought by explorers traveling in two mini-submarines, in what is believed to be the first expedition of its kind. Melting polar ice has led to competing claims over access to Arctic resources. Russia's claim to a vast swathe of territory in the Arctic, thought to contain oil, gas and mineral reserves, has been challenged by several other powers. Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay, dismissed the event as a publicity stunt, and the US State Department said the flag is not a legitimate claim to territory. The mini-submarines, Mir-1 and Mir-2, were brought to the North Pole by the two ships in the Russian expedition - a nuclear-powered ice-breaker and a research vessel. See "Russian mini-subs lay claim to Arctic wealth," Mail & Guardian Online, 8/3/07.

Woodside sweetens US gas project offer: In an effort to make its proposal for a liquefied natural gas project off the coast of Los Angeles more attractive, Australia's Woodside Petroleum has committed to using US-flagged regasification ships and American crews. This gives Woodside an advantage over rival companies, since US legislation gives such facilities priority consideration by federal regulators. The move has been welcomed by the Maritime Administration and American labor unions, but the project still needs approval from the Administration and California's governor. LNG is a sensitive and controversial issue in California, and BHP Billiton has already had a proposal rejected. See "Woodside sweetens LA LNG deal," AAP at The Australian, 8/2/07.

US cargo rules could disrupt trade: EU Taxation Commissioner Laszlo Kovacs said the proposed US rules that would see all cargo containers going to the US scanned would add costs to European exporters without making real improvements to homeland security. The Homeland Security bill requires radiation screening within five years of 100% of US-bound maritime cargo before loading at foreign ports. But this will require a major restructuring for European ports, and place a financial burden on EU business and European taxpayers. Kovacs warned that if EU traders suffer in comparison with their US counterparts, it might pave the way for an EU complaint with the World Trade Organization that the US has violated the international rules of free and fair trade. See "EU says concerned that U.S. cargo scanning would disrupt trade," Associated Press at International Herald Tribune, 8/2/07.

Russia delays India aircraft carrier: Russia's Sevmash shipyard was supposed to complete a contract to upgrade an aircraft carrier for India by 2008. The yard was supposed to re-equip the 1987 ship to combine the power of a missile cruiser and capabilities of an aircraft carrier. But the shipyard is at least three years behind schedule on the project. Interfax quoted the Sevmash source as saying miscalculating the amount of work needed to renovate the ship had led to problems. It seems more funds will be needed, as well. See "Russia delays India aircraft carrier by 3 yrs," Reuters at Khaleej Times Online, 8/1/07.

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