Thursday, March 20, 2014


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United States Navy Photo ID 030629-N-4790M-001 Example of a typical tanker in the Middle Eastern trade

 We have been a bit remiss of late in not reporting or commenting on what would have been ordinarily a very big maritime story. As we so often mention we are an encyclopedic maritime information service not a news service per se. Our NEWS SECTION provides links to the major maritime news journals on line versions. We provide observations and commentary as a form of "infotainment in order to draw visitors who we hope become familiar with our site and come to appreciate the "special interest pages" for their research and reference value. The story of the Oil tanker taken captive and slipped from her moorings in Lybia did in fact draw a lot of professional journalists ink and column space. But other world events such as the invasion of the Ukraine, and the missing airliner tended to push the story from front page treatment. In case you missed it we found that the Reuters News Service just published a feature that will help you catch up with the story to date: To Read More Click on:  The Retaking of the MORNING GLORY 

UPDATE 3//24/2014: The U.S. Navy has delivered the tanker to the Libyan government. The international concern now is for the crew of the ship in Libyan hands. There is some evidence that the crew or at least some of the crew may have acted under duress from the few Libyan rebels also captured. They were armed and some of the crew claim that they were coerced to load the oil cargo at gun point. However, the ship manned by an international mix of crew once flew the North Korean flag, but North Korea has denied registration making the ship officially stateless. Under international law a stateless ship is presumed to be a pirate or slave trader and subject to arrest by any naval element of any navy of the world and trial by any concerned nation claiming jurisdiction. Many an innocent crewman in recent times, used to working under open registries where there is no real connection between the ship and the flag state, has been pulled involuntarily into illegal activities once signed aboard. In a world where ordinary transportation companies and pirates follow identical registry practices in pursuit of profit crews are subject to being pressed into nefarious services. 

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