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Top Ten MarEx E-News Articles in 2007: A Recap of the Past Twelve Months

Selected and ranked according to the total number “clicks” on each article, we’ve detailed below the top ten articles as presented by this newsletter during 2007. MarEx readers voted with their mouse and we’ve collated that data to give a short synopsis of each piece, and a clickable link for each article. Thanks for being a part of MarEx last year -- 2008 looks to be even more exciting as we get started. Read on for some nostalgia from an exciting year in maritime:

1. Shortsighted Proposal to Break Up the Coast Guard, if Implemented, Will Not Serve the Greater Good

This OPED piece addressed an informal proposal to split up the United States Coast Guard into two or more separately functioning bodies. Perhaps no article that we published online or in print last year evoked so much response. Click here to read the full article.

2. Profiles in Stupidity: Hawaii Superferry Idled by Courts

This article addressed the preliminary injunction which prevented the Hawaii Superferry from operating to Maui until the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) completed the Environmental Assessment (EA) mandated by the State Supreme Court. The ruling could have signaled the end of the road for the innovative, but embattled service. Eventually, a compromise (through a special legislative session) was reached through which the Superferry was allowed to operate during the period when the EA was being conducted. The disagreement spawned a full-blown soap opera that spanned the better part of two months. Click here to read the full article.

3. Evidence of Chinese Nuclear Sub Found

Blogger and analyst for the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Hans M. Kristensen recently discovered a photo of a second and possibly a third Jin-class nuclear-powered submarine at Bohai Shipyard in northeast China. He discovered the image using Google Earth, an online mapping service provided by Internet search engine giant Google, and posted his discovery on his blog on October 4. The FAS is a non-profit group founded by scientists of the Manhattan Project who "felt that scientists, engineers and other innovators had an ethical obligation to bring their knowledge and experience to bear on critical national decisions." Click here to read the full article.

4. Perfect Visibility: Marine Pilots Receive Renewed Scrutiny

The allision between the container ship Cosco Busan and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge sparked a full review of response procedures and a host of other marine-related errors. In this OPED piece, we asserted that the Cosco Busan allision will ultimately help to redefine the role of, and the liabilities facing, marine pilots in the United States today. Click here to read the full article.

5. Two Coasts -- Two Allisions

This article outlined two different marine casualties that occurred in U.S. waters, within days of one another; both allisions. In a span of four days, a tanker struck the Ambrose Light Station on the East Coast and a container ship struck the San Francisco Bay Bridge on the West Coast. The article was the fifth most opened article of nearly 800 news items presented online through our e-newsletter. Click here to read the full article.

6. MarEx Readers Respond to Editorial that Addresses the Proposed Dismantling of Coast Guard

In response to article number one in this series (“Shortsighted Proposal to Break Up Coast Guard, if Implemented, Will Not Serve the Greater Good”), MarEx readers sounded off in large numbers. We printed many of those letters and these responses drove even more e-traffic. You can read the full text of all of those letters, and what we had to say about them, by clicking here.

7. Danish and Panamanian Vessels Collide

This article outlined the collision of a Danish product tanker and a Panamanian cargo vessel just south of Europa Point, Gibraltar in August. The Master of one of the vessels was arrested by Royal Gibraltar Police. Click here to read the full article.

8. Columbia River Pilot's Widow Initiates Legal Action in Oregon

The accidental death of Columbia River Bar pilot Kevin Murray resulted in a federal lawsuit against the operators of a pilot boat and the ship from which the ill-fated pilot was attempting to disembark at the time of his death. Brought to United States District Court in December of last year, the suit alleged unseaworthiness, negligence, and also referenced Jones Act and Longshore Harbor Workers Act issues. Click here to read the full article.

9. MarEx Readers Continue to Provide Input on Proposed Dismantling of Coast Guard

Two weeks after a MarEx editorial (“Shortsighted Proposal to Break Up Coast Guard, if Implemented, Will Not Serve Greater Good”) addressed the (growing) possibility that coming legislation could alter the substance of the U.S. Coast Guard, what it does and possibly divert certain responsibilities to other agencies, MarEx readers chided our managing editor for his position on the subject while others defended the current makeup of this nation’s fifth uniformed branch. The mail continued to pour in from a wide range of viewpoints; all of them qualified to speak on the subject. You can reread their comments by clicking here.

10. Bulker Still Grounded on Nobbys Beach

Finally, the grounding of the 40,000-ton Pasha Bulker on June 8, at Nobbys Beach, Newcastle during high seas and gale force winds garnered a lot of MarEx reader attention. The coal ship was due to enter the Port of Newcastle on Tuesday, June 12, to load 58,000 tons of coal. Instead, 22 members of the crew had to be airlifted from the vessel on the afternoon of the grounding. Click here to read the full article.