Monday, November 12, 2007

I feel another Lou Dobbs Rant coming on.

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

click to enlarge
A ship carrying cargo for the China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) hit one of the pylons of the San Francisco Bay Bridge this past weekend and spilled 58,000 gallons of oil into the sensitive Bay area.

Evidence that the Chinese don't have a clue about PR (public relations) is shown in their weak-assed press release.

As advised from the ship operator, the subject-mentioned vessel collided with a support tower of the fog-shrouded Bay Bridge of Oakland on Nov. 07th, 2007. COSCO takes this opportunity to emphasize that COSCO Container Line and any other COSCO subsidiary companies are not the Shipowner, Manager, Operator, bareboat charter and/or time Charterer etc. of the vessel "COSCO BUSAN".

Love the heart-felt apology for all the people in the Bay Area who are left holding the bag. Note that COSCO's name is part of the ship name. Why is their name on the boat? I wonder what was so important in those containers?

The ship is probably owned by owned by Regal Stone, Ltd. of China and was carrying cargo for COSCO. Hanjin shipping of South Korea seems to have no connection to the mishap other than having it's name on the side of the ship which could just be a failure to remove it before they sold the ship to Regal Stone.

It is often difficult trying to track down the actual owner of a ship.

An experienced San Francisco admiralty lawyer, who did not want to be named because he has many clients in the shipping world, said ships and their owners and operators sometimes cloak themselves with dizzying layers of paperwork "to avoid liability. If you can't find who owns it," it is more difficult to file a lawsuit.

Hanjin Shipping, which is chartering the Cosco Busan, said in an e-mail Wednesday that the vessel is owned by a company it identified variously as Synergy Maritime Ltd. or Synergy Marine Ltd., of Cyprus.

Raajeev Singh, technical manager for Synergy, said the ship was run by a ship management agency in Hong Kong, whose name he did not provide.

A woman who answered the phone at Synergy in Cyprus referred queries to Darrell Wilson, a spokesman for MTI Network in Stamford, Conn., which handles "crisis management" for the shipping industry.

Wilson said the ship is owned by Regal Stone Ltd. of Hong Kong, managed by Fleet Management Ltd. of Hong Kong, and its crew and technical support are provided by Synergy Management Services.

The guy actually piloting the ship was no winner either.

Capt. John Cota, the veteran master mariner who was piloting the container ship Cosco Busan when it hit the Bay Bridge on Wednesday, has been involved in a number of ship-handling incidents and was reprimanded last year for an error in judgment when he ran a ship aground, state regulatory documents show.

I just hope whatever was on that ship was damned important enough to damage the Bay for decades to come. With our luck, it was a boat load of Barbie heads coated with arsenic paint.