Maritime Safety News Today – 31st January 2008

 collision, grounding, Sinking  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today – 31st January 2008
Jan 312008

Two Chinese cargo ships collide, at least 15 dead
Reuters – USA
Rescue operations are continuing and an investigation into the cause of the accident has begun, said the news agency. (Reporting by Kirby Chien)

At least 100 feared dead in Congo boat accident
Earthtimes – London,UK
It was unclear what caused the accident but a Congolese maritime official told the BBC all passengers were thought to be dead. 

Posted 01/30/08 at 09:57 AM
The Coast Guard responded to a cargo ship that ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay. The Mediterranean Shipping Company vessel Japan, a 796-ft. Panamanian flagged cargo ship, ran aground near Sandy Point Light approximately one mile north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge…

Council proposes Napoli inquiry
BBC News – UK
The grounding of the MSC Napoli in Lyme Bay is to be subject to a local inquiry held by Devon County Council. The MSC Napoli was beached in Lyme Bay last

Nov 232007

ship.jpgLooking for a really cool seafarer-related Christmas gift? Somerset Distillery’s Shipwreck Cider brandy sounds like just the thing not just because I spent enough years in Somerset to still have a faint Somerset twang but because it’s aged in barrels salvaged from the ill-fated MSC Napoli.

But there’s more, a series of twists have must have Compton McKenzie chortling in the hereafter.

When the Napoli grounded she was carrying empty wine barrels from France bound for vineyards in South Africa. Making wine barrels, coopering, is a job for experts and choosing the right wood is critical. As it happens these barrels were made from oak grown in the Alliers forest which was established 200 years ago by Napoleon Bonaparte to provide timber for ship-building.

A barrel made of Alliers oak will set you back about $600 to $800, so when Julian Temperley of Somerset Distillery saw a few floating ashore at Branscombe Bay on TV they got his attention.

As it happens, some containers floated ashore without the barrels being damaged by seawater because they were packed around with Zulu-language Bibles.

After ageing a 10-year old cider brandy in the barrels the company came up with Shipwreck cider brandy

You can read the rest of the story here.

I’m too far away from Somerset to tell you what it’s like but with a story stretching from Napoleon’s shipbuilders to 21st century containerships by way of Zulu Bibles the price tag of around $60 a half litre bottle is a snip.