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CURRENT ISSUE

ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

July 2, 2009

Oceanic cleared to depart New York

The Coast Guard has approved the departure of the cruise ship Oceanic from the port of New York after it was detained June 27, 2009 for a small crack in the hull and other safety discrepancies.

Built in 1965 by Cantieri Riuniti dell' Adriatico, Monfalcone, Italy, for Home Lines, Oceanic is now one of the oldest cruise ships in service. You can check its long history HERE. It is currently serving as "the Peace Boat" for the Japanese-based Peace Boat NGO.

A seven person examination team from Coast Guard Sector New York boarded the ship at 9 a.m. June 26, 2009 to conduct a routine safety inspection and found that the vessel had minor hull damage sustained prior to coming to New York Harbor. A small crack was discovered, leaking approximately one gallon of water per hour into the vessel.

Further investigation by the Coast Guard team identified 16 discrepancies including lifesaving, fire fighting, safety, and other maintenance deficiencies.

Underwater divers hired by the cruise ship company located the crack in the hull and applied epoxy to stop the leaking. The Oceanic was then dry-docked Sunday in Bayonne, New Jersey, to affect permanent repairs to the hull. Before transiting to dry dock, the passengers were taken off the ship and placed in hotels in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

With the passengers back on board, the Oceanic will now continue on its voyage to Venezuela.

Last year, the previous "Peace Boat," the Clipper Pacific, was delayed in Tampa, Florida, for several days after the Coast Guard found problems that required the vessel to be drydocked. Repairs to that ship included the replacement of a 5-foot by 6-foot section of the hull and additional repairs to thes hip's internal structure.


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