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As another month comes to a close, Kemplon Engineering looks back at some of the most compelling headlines of the past 31 days, in this issue of the Monthly Maritime News Roundup:
Tragedy strikes EgyptAir, with the loss of MS804 and the 66 people onboard it, on a flight from Paris to Cairo. The vessel crashed into the Mediterranean, due to a currently undetermined cause. Speculation has it that the loss is linked to the plane’s recent history of technical issues, though these have not been verified by the company. Terrorism is also suspected, though no militant groups have stepped forward to claim responsibility. In the wake of the disaster, a host of maritime assets from various fronts have been deployed to recover bodies of the deceased and gather debris that could determine what had happened to the aircraft.
Authorities from France, Egypt and Greece are involved in searching and investigating, as well as marine search firms like ALSEAMAR. A number of commercial ships had diverted from their routes too, in order to participate in the search. Amongst the technology deployed to aid in search efforts are French naval survey vessel Laplace, equipment seeking black box signals, and an Egyptian robot submarine usually used in offshore oil rigs.
We at Kemplon Engineering sympathize with those who have lost loved ones in the flight, and hope for a productive search and investigation into the incident, to provide answers and prevent a similar tragedy in the future.
In other maritime search and recovery news, debris recovered in Mauritius and Mozambique are being examined in Australia for potential links to missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, which was lost amid mysterious circumstances in March, 2014. The legal drama around the Costa Concordia disaster continues to unfold, with a 16-year prison sentence for the captain of the cruise liner upheld by the Florence Court of Appeal. 32 people passed away after the ship, which had 4,200 people aboard at the time, capsized in 2012 following a route deviation. There may be a further appeal to a higher court. Fallout from the loss of another ill-fated vessel, cargo ship El Faro, also featured in the news this month. Two weeks of hearings this May yielded new information on the sinking, which occurred last year during a hurricane and led to 33 deaths, but there are still no definitive answers on the cause of the tragedy.
In related news, historical lost ships were discovered this month. In Boston’s Seaport District, a shipwreck dating from the mid-to-late 19th century was unearthed during construction activities. Construction made way for coordination between the building company, the city archaeologist and the Massachusetts Historical Commission on how to move forward with the historically significant find. An even older find was announced in Israel this month – a 1,600-year-old wreck of a merchant ship from the Roman era, yielding a precious and well-preserved haul of metal coins and statues.
May not only gave us a window to the maritime past, but also a vision of its near future. Industry powerhouse Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced plans for three new ships; Crystal Cruises is expanding by eight more ships – six for river cruising, a luxury yacht for Polar cruising, and a 1,000-guest vessel for the ocean. In shipping, conceptual designs for a zero-emissions cargo ship are being explored by The Fair Winds Trading Company; and in military news, sleek, ultra-modern destroyer USS Zumwalt was delivered to the U.S. Navy.
In international military news, China is once again at odds with its neighbors and their allies over maritime resources. On top of the ongoing saga of territorial water disputes and the involvement of the United States in freedom of navigation activities, Chinese fishermen were in hot water this May over alleged illegal activities in several foreign-owned economic zones. In Indonesia, a Chinese trawler was seized with its crewmembers. Indonesia is known for a tough stance on protecting its waters, having previously blown up 174 boats seized from foreigners allegedly involved in illegal fishing in their territory. In South Africa, another Chinese fishing vessel was seized and its crew detained on suspicion of fishing in the country’s exclusive economic zone. The Lu Huang Yuan Yu 186 was only one of nine Chinese fishing ships reportedly tracked by South African authorities over the course of a weekend. In the Philippines, 10 Chinese nationals were arrested for illegal fishing in Philippine waters on a vessel allegedly falsely flying a Philippine flag.
Finally, it must be noted that May marks an important day for us at Kemplon Engineering, as well as for our clients, industry, and country: Memorial Day, to honor our armed forces’ fallen. We thank them for their service, and are one with a grateful nation in remembering their sacrifice.
For more Monthly News and other topics of interest to the maritime industry community, check out Kemplon Engineering’s blog. We endeavor to keep it fresh and updated, as part of our commitment to meeting the needs and interests of our marine and industrial customers.
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For Further Reading
“Egypt Begins Subsea Search.” The Maritime Executive, 22 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
“EgyptAir flight 804: French navy ship joins search amid report of signal detected.” The guardian, 27 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
“Merchant Ships Join in Search for Missing Jet.” The Maritime Executive, 19 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
Mulholland, Rory. “EgyptAir MS804 crash: Plane ‘had been forced to make several emergency landings’ before disaster.” The Telegraph, 02 Jun 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
Noueihed, Lin and Tim Hepher. “France sends underwater probes to EgyptAir search zone.” Reuters, 26 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
“Three new pieces of debris found in Mauritius and Mozambique are likely to be from missing flight MH370 – with the items set to be taken to Australia for testing.” Mail Online, 26 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
“Costa Concordia disaster: Italian court upholds captain’s conviction.” Deutsche Welle, 31 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
“El Faro Hearing Wraps: New Details Emerge But Cause of Sinking Remains a Mystery.” gCaptain, 27 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
Historical Lost Ships
Annear, Steve. “Building crew in Seaport unearths shipwreck.” Boston Globe, 26 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
“Divers find ancient Roman cargo from 1,600-year-old shipwreck in Israel.” Reuters, 17 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
Maritime Industry Future
Atherton, Kelsey D. “ZUMWALT DESTROYER DELIVERED TO THE NAVY.” Popular Science, 21 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
Haun, Eric. “Design Concept: Zero Emissions Cargo Ship.” MarineLink.com, 23 may 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
“Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. to Build Three New Ships.” Cruise Critic, 25 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
Tunney, Donna. “Luxe Crystal Cruises orders a slew of new ships.” Examiner.com, 11 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
Karmini, Niniek. “Indonesian Navy Fires Shots, Seizes Chinese Fishing Boat.” ABC news, 30 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
“Philippine arrests 10 Chinese fishermen in latest sea spat.” Reuters, 27 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
“South Africa Detains Chinese Fishing Vessel.” The Maritime Executive, 16 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.
“Remarks by the President on Memorial Day, 2016.” WhiteHouse.gov, 30 May 2016. Web. 06 Jun 2016.