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Original Owner of Blue Lady (SS Norway) to pay $13 million to explosion victims & $1 million as fine

A federal judge in Miami ruled on 21 May, 2008 that Norwegian Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Star Cruise Ltd must pay more than $13 million to the victims of a 2003 boiler explosion aboard SS Norway (SS Blue Lady), once the world's largest passenger vessel that killed eight workers and injured 10 others. The case was assigned to the Honorable Federico A. Moreno, United States District Court Judge.
Judge Federico Moreno also levied a $1 million fine against the Miami-based cruise line.
A follow-up hearing will be held in June, 2008 to consider additional restitution issues.

S S Norway (Blue Lady) is currently beached in Alang, Bhavnagar, India, where its main structure is still intact. The Supreme Court of India is still seized with the ship in question as it has admitted a clarification application in the aftermath of September 11, 2007 order.

Norwegian Cruise Line Limited (NCL) has been charged under federal shipping laws with grossly negligent operation of the SS Norway (Blue Lady)…

Website of MJ Akbar’s Magazine Covert Launched

A website for Covert, the fortnightly magazine from former Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle Editor-in-Chief MJ Akbar has been launched.

The 72 page magazine hit the stands on 7th May, 2008.

It features columnists like former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, former Rajya Sabha MP and columnist Kuldip Nayar, adman Suhel Seth, former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Joginder Singh and activist Teesta Setalvad.

Akbar is the founder of the Asian Age in 1994. He has also been the founding editor of The Telegraph and magazine Sunday.

His exit from the Asian Age was not pleasant.

Victims of SS Norway (Blue Lady) explosion awarded $13 million

Victims of Miami cruise ship explosion awarded $13 million

May 22, 2008

A federal judge in Miami ruled Wednesday that Norwegian Cruise Line must pay more than $13 million to the victims of a 2003 boiler explosion aboard one of its ships that killed eight workers and injured 10 others.

Judge Federico Moreno also levied a $1 million fine against the Miami-based cruise line.

A follow-up hearing will be held in June to consider additional restitution issues.

The ruling was handed down just four days before the explosion's fifth anniversary. One of four boilers exploded on the 1,035-foot ship SS Norway as it docked in the Port of Miami-Dade on May 25. Most of the dead and injured were Filipino workers. The explosion sent debris and a blast of steam through parts of the 43-year-old ship, once the world's largest passenger vessel. None of the passengers was injured.

All the dead suffered severe burns from the superheated steam and oil that burst from the ruptured boiler, the Miami-Dade Med…

EU Parliament Resolution on better ship dismantling

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MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the Green Paper on better ship dismantling

(2007/2279(INI))

The European Parliament,

– having regard to the communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, 'Green Paper on Better Ship Dismantling' (COM(2007)0269),

– having regard to Articles 2 and 6 of the EC Treaty, which lay down that environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the various sectors of Community policy in order to promote environmentally sustainable development of economic activity,

- having regard to the ILO's Guidelines for Asian countries and Turkey on Safety and Health in Shipbreaking , adopted in March 2004;

– having regard to Article 175 of the EC Treaty,

– having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 on shipments of waste(1) (hereinafter referred to as 'the Waste Sh…

Scrapping ships - is the EU dumping toxic waste?

Ship breaking in Alang, India. Workers face oil, asbestos and chemicals

Hundreds of rusting old ships registered in the European Union end up being dismantled on beaches on the Indian sub-continent - with Bangladesh being a key destination. There, workers brave oil, asbestos, chemicals and heavy metals as they dismantle the ships by hand. A report to be debated by MEPs Tuesday night in Strasbourg will call for EU-registered ships to be pre-cleaned of hazardous waste before they are sent to poorer countries. It also wants Europe's dismantling industry boosted.

The health impact felt by workers dismantling ships has been well documented with oil and chemicals seen as the most lethal threats. At Alang, India's largest dismantling site, one in six of the workers is suffering from asbestosis. The fatal accident rate is said to be six times higher than in the Indian mining industry.

More vessels due to be broken up by 2010

Worldwide about 200-600 ships are dismantled each year, a third…

USEPA files a case against PCBs & Asbestos laden SS Oceanic

The Environmental Protection Agency has filed a complaint against Cumberland, Md.-based Global Shipping LLC, saying the company intends to scrap the SS Oceanic, a 682-foot liner believed to be laden with PCBs and asbestos, at a port in Gujarat.

The complaint, recently filed in San Francisco and denied by the company, imposes a $32,500 fine per day on Global Shipping.

Built in 1951, the SS Oceanic is reportedly carrying 210 tons of PCBs and 250 tons of asbestos within its framework. PCBs and asbestos were routinely used in shipbuilding before the materials were globally banned in the late 1970s. The EPA defines PCBs as a known human carcinogen. Exposure to asbestos can lead to the fatal respiratory illness asbestosis.

Environmental organizations fear the dismantling of such ships – which is done primarily in India, China and Bangladesh – expose workers to undue amounts of toxins, while simultaneously releasing the contaminants into nearby groundwater and soil.

Dr. Anil Sharma, founder and …

Le Clemenceau Precedent Gets recognised in Otapan case

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Environmental Victory for Proper Ship Scrapping!



Finally Decontaminated, the "Otapan" leaves Amsterdam for Turkey



Amsterdam, Netherlands, 16 May 2008. Environmentalists toasted a major victory today as the saga of the controversial ship Otapan finally appears to be coming to a happy ending as it sailed Thursday night cleaned and decontaminated from Amsterdam to the Turkish shipbreaking yards of Aliaga, Turkey near Izmir.

"While there was massive negligence on the part of the ship owners, and a lot of mistakes made by the Dutch government, the result is a precedent-setting success story, that demonstrates that pre-cleaning and compliance with international law and guidelines can be achieved now, today," said Erdem Vardar, Turkish campaigner for the NGO Platform on Shipbreaking(1).

Except for one aborted attempt to dock in Turkey in 2006, the old chemical tanker has spent most of its nine last years in the Netherlands(2) and was the subject of an intense tug-of-war m…

Le Clemenceau Precedent reestablished in Otapan case

Environmental Victory for Proper Ship Scrapping!

Finally Decontaminated, the "Otapan" leaves Amsterdam for Turkey

Amsterdam, Netherlands, 16 May 2008. Environmentalists toasted a major victory today as the saga of the controversial ship Otapan finally appears to be coming to a happy ending as it sailed Thursday night cleaned and decontaminated from Amsterdam to the Turkish shipbreaking yards of Aliaga, Turkey near Izmir.

"While there was massive negligence on the part of the ship owners, and a lot of mistakes made by the Dutch government, the result is a precedent-setting success story, that demonstrates that pre-cleaning and compliance with international law and guidelines can be achieved now, today," said Erdem Vardar, Turkish campaigner for the NGO Platform on Shipbreaking(1).

Except for one aborted attempt to dock in Turkey in 2006, the old chemical tanker has spent most of its nine last years in the Netherlands(2) and was the subject of an intense tug-of-war m…

Scrap deal for D-gang

Note:It occurs that instead of benefitting, the D gang would suffer losses because of the circular of the Union Ministry of Shipping that has banned old ships from enetering in Indian waters from May 15.

Author: J Dey Date: 06 May 2008

Dawood gang will benefit from Union government's ban on ships over 25-years-old



The Union government’s ban on 200 ships that are over 25 years old, could mean a windfall for the cash-starved ship breaking companies in the country — Dawood Ibrahim.

The Ministry of Shipping, in a circular dated April 24 (a copy of which is available with this newspaper) has banned these ships from plying in Indian waters from May 15. This will affect shipping companies, exporters, importers and agents.

On an average, a medium-sized vessel is valued at around Rs 100 crore in the international market.
Earlier, Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) Rakesh Maria confirmed that some businessmen and shipping agents close to Dawood were into ship breaking –— all working as fron…

A storm brews as toxin-laden liner heads for Alang shipyard

A storm brews as toxin-laden liner heads for Alang shipyard

Environmental activists say the entry of the ship, SS Oceanic, into Indian waters violates Supreme Court orders

New Delhi: India’s ship-breaking hub Alang is in the news again with environmental activists here likely to protest against the arrival of a toxin-laden ship after a Seattle-based group warned that this “fugitive of US laws” was headed towards the Gujarat port.

The group, Basel Action Network (BAN), looks at worldwide toxic trade and has said that the entry into Indian waters of the 682ft liner, SS Oceanic (previously known as the SS Independence), would violate the Supreme Court of India’s orders on ship breaking. The group has asked India to route the ship back to the US.

Owned by Maryland-based Global Shipping Llc. (GSL), the ship is said to be carrying 210 tonnes of toxic polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and an estimated 250 tonnes of asbestos.

“This ship is a fugitive of the environmental laws of the United States,…

Oceanic sighted near Dubai

SS Oceanic's tug Pacfic Hickory was reported on May 5, 2008 to be at 26° 36' 4.28'' N -- 56° 37' 53.72'' E, making 5.4 knots. It was towing the SS Oceanic and was there in the Gulf of Oman It is likely to be in Dubai for obvious reasons. Meanwhile intelligence officials are keeping strict vigil in Alang priority basis.

The ship under tow by the tug Pacific Hickory arrived in Singapore on April 10. There the tug refueled then reportedly picked up the tow again and headed out the same day at an expected 5 knots speed for Dubai. Strong rumors then suggested a few weeks later that it had already been beached at the yard of GMS (cashbuyer for ship) Anil Sharma's brother -- Komal Sharma. However after some time, this has not been confirmed and latest word is that it is NOT in Alang.

It was reported in the Cumberland Times-News that Mr. Anil Sharma was sending it to Singapore or Dubai and there was interest in the ship from a Greek buyer.

GMS and GSL lawye…