Tuesday, 22 November 2011

10 Famous Shipwrecks in the World

Shipwrecks are important discoveries. Over countless centuries, there have been many ships that have fallen prey to accidents – natural as well as caused by human interference. In this article we take you through the pages of history to find some of precious maritime treasures that have been lying at the ocean’s floor.

Top 10 most famous shipwrecks in the world are mentioned below
The Titanic: The Titanic was the largest cruise ship of its time. The Titanic was built in Ireland at the Harland and Wolff shipyard. It was considered to be the most developed ship of that era. However, as history tells us, the Titanic unfortunately sank after colliding against an ice-berg in its maiden voyage on the 14th of April, 1912. Around 1, 517 people lost their lives in one of the biggest marine tragedies.

The process to carry out the discovery of the Titanic’ wreck was carried out in the year 1985. Quite a number of artefacts have been removed from the ship wreck and they are displayed in the National Maritime Museum, in England.

The Estonia: The Estonia ship casualty is one of the recent maritime incidents to have occurred. The Estonia, built in the German shipyard Meyer Werft, sank on the 28th September 1994 in the Baltic Sea. Over 800 people lost their lives in this horrifying incident, the causes of which were many and at the same time, controversial.

The most commonly known reason for the accident is said to be the rough weather conditions that the ship encountered. However, certain other sources disregarded this reason and stated that because of the ship’s military involvement, bombs were planted by rival countries to destroy the ship. The shipwreck site is protected heavily. People are disallowed to approach the site because of the danger that might be caused to the wreck. Illegal diving near the wreck site is heavily penalised and punished.
3251estonia3 300x196 10 Famous Shipwrecks in the World

The Vampire: The original name of this ship was HMS Wallace. It was a British naval ship that was given to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as a loan in the year 1933. Its name was changed to HMAS Vampire, that same year. The Vampire is a very well-known warship. It was destroyed in the year 1942 by Japanese aircrafts while it was trying to bring the aircraft HMS Hermes to safety from Trincomalee.

The Andrea Doria: The Andrea Doria was an Italian ship that sank after colliding against a Swedish ship MS Stockholm in the year 1956, while trying to reach the port of New York City. However, in spite of the severity of the incident, not many lives were lost because of timely communication by the ship’s authorities. Today, the shipwreck is a very famous site for divers. In fact, the Andrea Doria shipwreck site is known as the Mt. Everest of Scuba Diving.
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The Victory: HMS Victory was launched in the sea in the year 1737 and met with an accident in the English Channel in the year 1744. The ship disappeared from sight at Channel Islands and for over 250 years, there was no sight of any remains of the ship. The shipwreck was discovered in the year 2008 by the Odyssey Marine Expedition of the United States around 43 nautical miles from where it encountered the storm and disappeared from sight. Under marine laws, the shipwreck is said to be the property of the British Government.

The Carpathia: The Carpathia was the ship that came to Titanic’s rescue when the cruise ship met with its accident. But even the Carpathia met with an untimely accident when it was destroyed by German submarine in the year 1917 i.e. at the time of World War I. The Carpathia shipwreck was found in the year 1999 by a company known as Argosy International Ltd.

The Mary Rose: The Mary Rose was a warship in the navy of the Tudor King Henry VIII. The Mary Rose was destroyed while leading an action against a French ship in Solent, in the Isle of Wight. This shipwreck was salvaged in the year 1982 by the Mary Rose Trust and now the artefacts are displayed in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The artefacts that were discovered in the Mary Rose were quite unique and have provided a lot of knowledge to people regarding the equipments of naval warfare of that era

The Vasa: The Vasa was a Swedish war vessel that was built during the 17th century. The ship sank during its maiden voyage in the year 1628. There was an extensive salvage carried out for restoring the Vasa in the year 1961. Right now, the remains of the Vasa are stored at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm where it is the most important tourist attraction featuring around 25 million people.

The Rhone: The Rhone was a packet ship – packet ships were those ships that were used solely for the purpose of carrying post. This ship was lost in a hurricane, in the British Virgin Islands in the year 1867. Around 120 lives were reported to be lost in this mishap. At present, because of the way the shipwreck is positioned in the water, the Rhone is regarded to be the best diving destination in the Caribbean.

The Sultana: One of the least recognised famous shipwrecks is the SS Sultana. The ship was used at the end of the American Civil War to transport the POWs from the Union army back home. The explosion of the ship’s boiler in the year 1865 led to the loss of around 1,800 innocent lives in the Mississippi River, near Memphis. The shipwreck was found in the year 1982 in a soybean field.

The above detailed shipwrecks talk about bravery and heroicness. Through the findings of these famous shipwrecks, the history connected with each and every ship wreck can be known and understood better.

What is the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch?

The Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch is an enormous collection of trash that is collected and deposited by ocean currents in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean. The trash mainly comprises of plastic debris and is not only huge but is also scattered along a wide expanse making it difficult to clear up the choked-up water space.
The Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch is a phenomenon that occurs due to ocean currents swirling in the North Pacific waters. These ocean currents called the sub-tropical gyre are perpetually present in the North Pacific Ocean waters and they are the main reason behind the accumulated waste. The gyre currents move in a clockwise direction and carry the trash and the waste along in their path from the land right in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean. The entire process of the gyre collecting and depositing trash happens in the East and the West part of the Pacific Ocean, thus making the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch a convergence of the East garbage patch and the West garbage patch in the North Pacific. The resulting accumulated and huge mass of waste floating in the North Pacific now has ended up as a pathway that comes in the way and which fishermen and ships are forced to avoid.
great pacific dump 300x172 What is the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch?
Effects of the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch
But while humans are successful in avoiding the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch, sea animals and creatures are unable to do so and inadvertently fall prey to the plastic piled up in the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch. And the debris not only includes plastic, but also toxic substances that are completely non-biodegradable and fishing nets that end up trapping mammals like whales and dolphins which pass through the water.
ocean trash 300x197 What is the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch?
The most unfortunate part however is that, the amount of waste and garbage that has piled over due to the gyre, is difficult to clean up. According to one researcher who has extensively covered the subject of the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch, the clean-up operation to clear the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch could end up making several nations bankrupt. The severity of the problem is quite evident from this statement and it is enough to make one wonder as to how to solve the problem.
The above statement is not an exaggeration. The Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch extends to several miles right in the deep sea and therefore the threat of destruction of marine life looms even larger. And in modern times, where the ecology is being troubled due to circumstances like global warming and oil spills, it becomes relevant that this unorthodox waste dump is cleared up as soon as possible.
How Can We Help?
And while it is agreed that it is quite impossible to clean-up the mess created by our oversight in the first place, it is not impossible to rectify the mistake. By using biodegradable items instead of the toxic and non-biodegradable ones, we will be able to minimise the effect of the gyre carrying and depositing the waste and thus adding to the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch. By making people aware of their mistakes regarding the use of plastics which can prove to be hazardous not just to sea creatures and mammals but also to the birds who get attracted to flashy colours and could thus lose their lives choking up on plastic, change can be brought about.
By making use of paper-bags and other alternatives that can successfully replace plastic bags, one can strive to achieve the purpose of tackling the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch. In view of taking care of the environment and its other creatures, it is crucial that we bring about a positive change in our lifestyle and that too as fast as possible.

Port of the Day: Port of Antwerp

The Antwerp Port is under the functioning command of the Antwerp Port Authority which also owns the port. The port is used for a multitude of purposes like storing, lading and unlading, re-packing and re-labelling of cargo. In terms of storing, the port has the capacitance to store both dry as well as liquid cargo, offering a storage capacity of over three million cubic metres for the latter.
pa1 Port of the Day: Port of Antwerp
The port also has refineries – five in totality – two of which are connected to the Rotterdam Port through a separate pipe linking, referred to as the RAPL (Rotterdam-Antwerp Pipeline). All in all, the five oil refineries offer a distilling capacitance exceeding 40 million tonnes.
Accessibility to the port is available through rail, road and even through flatboat mediums. In order to effectuate safety protocols, distinct security steps have been issued. These include scanning modems for the cargo entering the port and electronic identification cards for personnel incoming into the port. Apart from these, CCTV cameras are also equipped in the port.
The port is divided into two zones – left and right zone. The right zone consists of MSC terminal, Europa terminal and North Sea terminal along with the Berendrecht lock, Bonaparte dock, Amerika dock and Delwaide dock. The Berendrecht lock is regarded to be the world’s biggest lock with a length of 500 metres. The left zone consists of Kallo lock, Verrebroek dock, Vrasene dock and the Deurganck dock. A construction of a second lock has been commissioned by the government of Belgium in the left zone with an operational start-up deadline of 2013.
Further rail and road construction activities have been undertaken, with a completion deadline of 2013. Through this road linkage, a route to connect the right and the left zone of the port has been sought to be achieved.
pa2 Port of the Day: Port of Antwerp
Some Important Features of Antwerp Port:
  • The port has three floating cranes and over 30 dock-mounted cranes
  • The traffic at the port is controlled by harbourmaster, which looks after the berths and cargo transportation
  • The Port uses information system APICS2 for accurate data about various aspects of the port
  • The port has 1474 tanks with storage capacity of 3.6 million cubic meters of liquid bulk cargo
  • Antwerp port is leading breakbulk port of Europe and is the base of almost 200 forwarding companies
  • Antwerp port also provides services such as storage and logistics, pilotage, towage, mooring and unmooring services
The Antwerp Port is expected to achieve quite a few milestones in the coming couple of years. Considering the optimum utilisation of the port and the infrastructural facilities it offers, there cannot be any denying that the Antwerp Port is a singular and an unparalleled entity.

Video: Titanic is Back in 3D (Trailer)

One of the most beloved movies in the history of cinema, Titanic – the 1997 epic disaster movie is back again in 3D. The trailer of the 3D version of the movie was recently released. The movie has been directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron.
Titanic was the first movie to reach the billion dollar mark with worldwide gross of over US $1.8 billion and remained the highest grossing film of all time for 12 years (The record was broken by James Cameron’s own movie Aavtar).
titanic Video: Titanic is Back in 3D (Trailer)
Titanic bagged 14 Academy Award nominations, 11 Oscar wins including best picture and best director.
Watch the trailer of the movie Titanic 3D, which is definitely one of the most awaited movies of 2012.
Titanic bagged 14 Academy Award nominations, 11 Oscar wins including best picture and best director. Watch the trailer of the movie Titanic 3D, which is definitely one of the most awaited movies of 2012.

Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion (BLEVE)

What is Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion (BLEVE) on Gas Carrier Ships?

Just like Air Locks on Gas Carrier, a safety protection system between the deck (the hazardous zone) and the cargo compressor motor (gas free zone), the cargo tanks of gas carriers are also provided with various safety measures to prevent contact of cargo with the atmosphere and also to avoid cargo tanks from getting over pressurised.

Gas carrier’s cargo tanks are specially made of high strength and low thermal coefficient materials with insulation and safety systems. One of the essential safety measures in such cargo tanks is the pressure relief valve, which helps in avoiding over pressurisation of tanks and preventing rupture and damage of the same.
LNG vessel for add3 What is Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion (BLEVE) on Gas Carrier Ships?
In gas ships, it is not the liquid which generally catches fire but it’s the vapour of the liquid which is more dangerous when evaporates at very low temperature. This results in Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion (BLEVE).

What is Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion (BLEVE)?
BLEVE is a vapour explosion which may result from catastrophic failure of a tank structure, which was containing cargo liquid above the boiling point at nominal atmospheric pressure.
The cargo in the tanks of gas carrier is partially liquid and partially vapour in normal condition. However, when the tank structure collapses, the vapour tries to escape or leak through the opening, resulting in decrease in the pressure inside the tank. These drastic lowering of pressure inside the cargo tank results in rapid boiling of liquid and increase in vapour formation.
BLEVE What is Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion (BLEVE) on Gas Carrier Ships?
The pressure of the escaping vapour becomes very high and leads to a shock wave or explosion in presence of a fire source, completely destroying the tanks structure and surrounding areas.

Common Causes of BLEVE:
The most common reason which leads to BLEVE is fire near tanks containing gas cargo such as propane.  Because of the high temperature of the surrounding, the tank temperature starts to increase and the inside of the tanks gets over pressurised. The high pressure inside the tank will be generally released by the relief valve.
However, if the pressure builds up rapidly because of high temperature and high rate of heating in the surrounding, the tank will collapse at the weaker point, exposing pressurised and flammable vapour to the naked flame and leading to Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion.

Reason for Failure of Tank Structure:
  • Improper maintenance of tanks
  • Corrosion of the tank structure
  • Relief valve of the tank is malfunction or stuck
  • Mechanical damage to the tank
  • Material failure
  • Tank structure severely exposed to flame or fire

Precautions to avoid BLEVE
  • Maintenance of the cargo tank  at regular interval
  • Relief valve to be functional at all time
  • The size of the relief valve to be fitted should be as per the International Gas code
  • Emergency preparedness of all ship staff
  • Always think of safety first

10 Largest Container Shipping Companies in the World

Container shipping is one of the most important and necessary means of cargo transportation through sea routes. In present times however, there does not exist any monopoly by any one of the container shipping companies leading to a complete lack of friction and tension in the international cargo shipping community.
1. NYK: An acronym for the Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, the NYK is one of the biggest cargo companies operating internationally.
nykleo 10 Largest Container Shipping Companies in the World
The company has been in operation since the 1870s, operating a passenger fleet-line before undergoing a transition into a core container shipping company towards the mid-20th century.
2. Evergreen Marine Corporation: A shipping conglomerate based in China, the Evergreen Marine Corporation was founded in 1968 by Dr. Yung-Fa Chang, a visionary in his own right.
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At present, the company has offices established all over the world and with a operational capacity of more than 160 container ships is regarded to be one the largest cargo shipping companies in the world.
3. CMA-CGM:  France’s leading container shipping company, CMA-CGM came into existence in the year 1978, as a result of series of mergers between previously established shipping corporations. Jacques Saade who is the head of the company was the instrumental force behind its coming into active operation.
cma24b 10 Largest Container Shipping Companies in the World
At present, the company has a fleet of over 350 ships operating in over 150 routes globally.
4. Maersk: A shipping corporation based in Denmark, Maersk Shipping Line is a branch of the AP Moller- Maersk company. Widely well-known for its fleet of container ships, the Maersk Line made its debut in the international container shipping arena in the year 1904.
maersk 10 Largest Container Shipping Companies in the World
At present, the company has a fleet of around 500 container ships with a capacity of around 19, 00,000 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units).
5. MSC: The Mediterranean Shipping Company, abbreviated to MSC is a Swiss international cargo company which was established in the year 1970.
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At present, with a vessel line-up of over 456 container ships, the conglomerate is rated to be one of the most extensive cargo companies in the world.
6. Hapag-Lloyd: The German based Hapag-Lloyd is one of the most renowned and well-featured companies in terms of international shipping companies. The company was established in the year 1970 as a result of a merger between the Hamburg-American Line and the North German company Lloyd.
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Today the shipping corporation has over 130 ships catering to about five million containers on a worldwide scale.
7. APL: An auxiliary company to the Singaporean Orient Shipping Lines, APL is an abbreviation for American President Lines. Founded in the year 1848, the shipping conglomerate just celebrated its 160th anniversary in the year 2008.
image mini 10 Largest Container Shipping Companies in the World
One of the most noteworthy achievements of the company is that it was the first company to successfully utilise extra-large (53 feet) containers on its vessels, accounting for shorter cargo transportation.
8. COSCO: The China Ocean Shipping Company or COSCO, as it is popularly known is one of the leading conglomerates in terms of container shipping companies.
Solasolvcoscooceania 10 Largest Container Shipping Companies in the World
At present the company’s operations are spread over 40 countries with a fleet of 150 container ships.
9. Hanjin: A South Korean conglomerate, Hanjin Shipping Company is one of the largest Asian cargo companies in the world. At present the company has a cargo operational capacity of over 1 billion tonnes on a yearly basis with around a fleet of about 60 ships.
Hanjin Container Ship 10 Largest Container Shipping Companies in the World
In the year 2003, Hanjin and COSCO formed a strategic alliance. The alliance has benefited both shipping conglomerates and powered them to an unequivocal position as Asia’s leading cargo shipping companies.
10. CSCL: CSCL is the abbreviation for the China Shipping Container Lines, a company based in Shanghai. Started in the year 1997, the company soon rose amongst its ranks and today has propelled not just itself but also the country to leading heights in the container shipping industry. The company finds its name in both the Hong Kong and Shanghai Stock Exchanges.
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Container shipping is a huge industry and these key players are aware of the minutest operational manoeuvrings necessary to power them to being the world leaders in the commercial enterprise, not just in their home countries but also at an international level.