Late Marine News

Table of Contents

Title Page
The Editor's Notebook
Marine News
Lay-up Listings
Great Lakes Crossword
Rowley Walter Murphy
Ship of the Month No.
Late Marine News
Table of Illustrations

In the week that has passed since we went to press with the rest of this issue, the story of the wayward salvage vessel ANSWER (or perhaps more correctly ATLANTEAN NO. 1) has continued to unfold on the icy Gulf of St. Lawrence. In our report elsewhere in this issue, we left ANSWER under the command of her former owner Brian Erb who still claims to be the ship's rightful owner despite a debtor's auction sale. At that time, ANSWER was being pursued, albeit somewhat lethargically, by the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker SIR JOHN A. MacDONALD. The ANSWER, beset by heavy ice, had safely reached the 12-mile limit and was supposedly safe from capture in international waters. The MacDONALD, however, chased ANSWER into international waters and on Sunday, March 2nd, four R.C.M.P. officers were airlifted from the icebreaker and "took control" of the runaway ship. She was turned around and headed back towards Sept Iles, Quebec, and the Coast Guard put aboard a supply of diesel fuel to make certain ANSWER did not run short before reaching port. The following day, Erb somehow got back in command and turned ANSWER once again towards the French colonial islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon where she would be safe from capture. On Tuesday, March 4th, the R.C.M.P. officers were taken off the vessel by helicopter and ANSWER was left free to proceed on her own course, following a track cut in the ice by two tugs towing a foreign vessel. The end was not far off, however, for on Wednesday, March 5th, more officers were dropped to the ship and the ANSWER placed in control of a Coast Guard crew. The ship was again put on a course to take her back to Sept Iles while Erb and his crew were flown to Gaspe, Quebec, en route to Quebec City where they will stand trial on various charges. It looks as though after almost two weeks ANSWER has finally reached the end of her escapade, an adventure reported daily on the front pages of newspapers across Canada.

At long last the news is starting to break on the disposal of the Kinsman fleet. Lake Log Chips reports that at the February 19th annual stockholders' meeting, George M. Steinbrenner announced that he would be stepping down shortly as chief executive officer of American Shipbuilding. At the same meeting, the firm's directors announced that they had received approval from the U.S. Justice Department to complete the sale of the subsidiary Kinsman Marine Transit Company to an as yet unidentified corporation with which is associated one Sheldon B. Guren, a friend of Steinbrenner. Funds for the purchase of the fleet have apparently been committed and the sale should be completed by April 1st. We do not know whether this deal involves the entire fleet or whether some arrangement may have been made to sell certain units to other operators as well, but it is understood that Henry G. Steinbrenner will stay on to operate the remains of the fleet for the new owners. Thus it appears that even though the official ownership of Kinsman will change, the influence of the Steinbrenner family will still be present.

(Ed. Note: We must apologize for the somewhat limited supply of marine news contained in this issue. Not only have things been relatively quiet on the shipping front, but they have also been quiet in our mailbox! Due to the latest round of labour unrest in our always-efficient post office (!) the majority of the city of Toronto has had to put up with either no mail at all or else very limited delivery for some two weeks and we have thus been prevented from hearing from a number of our correspondents.)



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