Saturday, June 27, 2009

Update on Oceanic Detention

After patching the hull of Oceanic with epoxy, the owners of the ship a/k/a The Peace Boat, have decided to have it drydocked at Bayonne (NJ) on Sunday to permanently patch the small hole. The Coast Guard has approved the movement.

The passengers will have to disembark and be put up at hotels in the New York area until the repairs are completed and the Coast Guard allows the ship to sail.

“The fact that the owners of the Oceanic are sending it to dry dock shows their commitment to repairing the vessel and ensuring its safety,” said Cmdr. Anthony Ceraolo, Coast Guard Sector New York.

The Coast Guard did not give an estimate when the ship would be allowed to sail.

Coverage of the original detention was in an earlier item here on Cruiseblogger.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Little Trouble for Oceanic

The US Coast Guard advises they detained SS Oceanic, which is currently operating as the Peace Boat, at New York on Thursday night.

The ship arrived at New York Thursday morning with 848 passengers aboard. The Coast Guard was performing a routine inspection when they discovered minor hull damage and several maintenance deficiencies.

A small hole was discovered, leaking approximately one gallon of water per hour into the vessel. Coast Guard inspectors also identified 16 discrepancies in the lifesaving, fire fighting, safety, and other maintenance categories. These also included a crack in the hull below the waterline on the port side of the vessel. The inspection began at approximately 9:00am and concluded about 11:30pm when the ship was declared detained.

According to the Coast Guard, Oceanic will have to remain in New York "until the master can provide a repair proposal and can make necessary repairs that directly impact the ships passengers and crew."

Oceanic will be familiar to many readers as a popular classic ship sailing for several lines over the years. It was delivered new to Home Lines in 1965. In 1985 it was purchased by Premier Cruises and sailed at StarShip Oceanic and Big Red Boat I. From 2000 to 2009 it sailed for Pullmantur under its original name, Oceanic. In March the ship was sold to a group which markets lengthy world cruises under the name of the Peace Boat.

Oceanic arrived New York Thursday morning from Iceland. It's next scheduled destination is Venezuela. Its schedule calls for a departure from New York at noon on Saturday, but it will not depart until it is given clearance by the Coast Guard.

Saturday update on the situation.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Armed and Dangerous

Pirates, look out! Republican Congressman Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey has introduced a bill in Congress that, if enacted, would give immunity to US merchant mariners who wound or kill a pirate in response to an attack.

The US Mariner and Vessel Protection Act would give the US Coast Guard the responsibility of certifying seamen's training and developing the specifics as to under exactly what conditions immunity would be granted. The bill also would direct the US to negotiate agreements with other countries which would grant immunity in their waters and be sure the US mariners are allowed into their ports with firearms aboard the ships.

The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Howard Coble of North Carolina, Don Young of Alaska and John Mica of Florida. Of course, the bill has a long way to go from introduction to passage and becoming law.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Celebrity Equinox Goes down the River

Meyer Werft took Celebrity Equinox down the Ems river Saturday from Papenburg (Germany) to the Dutch town of Eemshaven from which it will depart on its sea trials. In addition to the testing done at sea, there's still work to be done on the ship's interior prior to its delivery next month. As you'll see from the video below, the river transit is a slow methodical process (with the ship going backwards). Many times during the transit, there are just inches to spare on either side and under the ship.

We also have some photos of Celebrity Equinox on the river courtesy of a reader Rolf Declerck.