The Maritime Advocate-Issue 685



1. Pollution
2. DC Merwestone Case
3. First Ever UK-China Freight Train Departs
4. Mediation and Shipping
5. The Legal Imagination
6. People and Places

The Maritime Advocate–A Growing Concern

This publication, nicknamed “the Avo” passed a milestone this spring. It has passed the 21 000 subscriber mark, the highest total since its foundation in 2001. As a result of hand-ons and internal republications within firms, it is fair to assume a total readership of around 63 000 located in 120 countries. This gives the Avo a very wide footprint in the maritime world. If you have a message or product to promote or circulate, the Avo can promise to get the word out at affordable rates. Give us a try why don’t you?

1. Pollution

Pressman Rob Darroch sends this clipping all the way from Sydney asking whether it is truthful. We feel sure there is a Reader out there who can say:-

2. DC Merwestone Case

The latest edition of The Link, the JLT Specialty newsletter, narrates the case of the “fraudulent device” from a claims broker’s eye view, describing the hardship of a family run 10 ship company obliged to wait six years for a total loss to become payable after going all the way to the Supreme Court:-

Read the Judgment in full here:-

3. First Ever UK-China Freight Train Departs

It behooves your editor of this soft-on-futurists publication to include this piece which appears in the Lloyds Loading List announcing the departure of the first liner train from a state of the art container terminal in London to Western China. 17 days transit all in. What can possibly go wrong?

Here is the story by Will Waters:-

The first ever UK to China freight train departed on Monday 10 April from DP World London Gateway’s state-of-the-art rail terminal laden with containers full of UK goods including soft drinks, vitamins, pharmaceuticals and baby products.

This inaugural export train bound for China departed just under three months after the first ever import train from China arrived in the UK. DP World said the service formed part of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ programme, reviving the ancient Silk Road trading routes to the West.

The train will make the 12,000km journey in around 17 days from the east London port to Yiwu in Zhejiang province in eastern China. After passing through the channel tunnel into France and Belgium, the DB Cargo locomotive will call in Duisburg, Germany before InterRail pulls the cargo through Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan before the train crosses to Yiwu, China.

Container operator OneTwoThree Logistics is overseeing the transport and booking of cargo for the UK-China rail freight trains, in conjunction with Yiwu Timex Industrial Investment Co., which is running the service with China Railway Container.

Xubin Feng, chairman of Yiwu Timex Industrial Investment Co., said: “We are proud to be able to offer the first ever UK to China export train. Restoring the ancient Silk Road as a means by which China, North Europe and now the UK can exchange goods is an important and exciting initiative.

“This is the first export train and just the start of a regular direct service between the UK and China. We have great faith in the UK as an export nation and rail provides an excellent alternative for moving large volumes of goods over long distances faster.”

4. Mediation and Shipping

Singapore correspondent M.Jagannath of NAU has written this review of the uses of mediation in shipping and concludes it may have its moments. This faint praise is the latest in a series of fluent specialist essays:-

5. The Legal Imagination

This essay by Maksymilian Del Mar of the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London appears in the latest edition of the ideas e-zine Aeon:-

The legal world is wonderfully strange. Pull down a dusty volume of case law from a barrister’s bookshelf, and you’ll discover a parade of fantastical beings that could have been lifted from the pages of Jorge Luis Borges or Dr Seuss. In the law, constitutions behave like living trees, the island of Minorca is treated as a suburb of London, immobile houses suddenly zoom along beltways, Clapham omnibuses are packed with reasonable men, and spectral officious bystanders routinely spy on contractual negotiations. The legal realm is full of unlikely and improbable possibilities, as well as paths not taken, counterfactuals, mights, perhapses and maybes.

Read it here:-

6. People and Places

Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) Director General Rear Admiral Peter Brady has been appointed Jamaica’s Special Envoy to the IMO.


The Liberian Registry has appointed Eiji Okazaki as president of the Tokyo office operated by its US-based manager, the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR).

Mr Okazaki was formerly president and CEO of Japanese ship owner and ship manager IMECS Co Ltd, a subsidiary company of the Japanese major trading house, ITOCHU Corporation. He has nearly forty years’ experience of working at an executive level in the shipowning and ship sales and purchase sectors in Japan, Korea, and Europe. He replaces Takeshi Okamoto, who will return to ClassNK in June after more than five years at the Liberian Registry.

The Liberian Registry also announced that Yoshimi Uraguchi has joined LISCR from ClassNK, as technical manager of its Tokyo office. Mr Uraguchi has accumulated extensive experience of class and statutory surveys, condition and risk assessment programmes, and class maintenance surveys since joining the Japanese classification society in 2003.


The Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA) has appointed a new Head of Administration, Mrs. Fae Brennan; the Association acts as a forum for the global ports and terminals sector.


Brian Davies writes:-

I am running the London Marathon which takes place on Sunday, 23rd April. For many years I have thought about taking part but have never quite had the courage to commit. This year we celebrate the American Club’s centenary – as an employee of the Club’s Manager this is an occasion worthy of marking by my doing something different. The shipping industry is currently going through a period of unprecedented recession, due in part by the economic uncertainty that grips the world’s economies and also due to an over capacity of ships. The people who suffer most during a time of recession in the industry are those people on whom we all rely most– the humble seafarer. Founded over 200 years ago there is one charity that reaches out to this often forgotten group of professionals providing support and care in ports around the world – the Sailor’s Society. To celebrate the American Club’s centennial year and to mark the occasion by doing something worthwhile I am running the marathon to raise funds for this most worthy cause; one that I had cause to call upon during my years of service in the Merchant Navy prior to becoming a manager of the American Club.

To learn more about the Sailor’s Society and to follow my experience and, if so inclined, to make a donation please visit my Just Giving page:

From the Avo Archive

The website of this newsletter contains all the editorial material since the inception of the Maritime Advocate as a print based quarterly in 1997 under the founding aegis of John Guy, Chris Hewer and Manfred Arnold. Readers can go to the site and search the database on the home page in its entirety. If you are looking for an old case, an old controversy or you would just like to see how many times you and your firm have featured in our annals feel free to access the archive. It is like this e-zine, free to Readers and we always appreciate the support of advertisers and sponsors.

Searching for a light hearted reference to the London Marathon we could find only one in Issue 188 of January 18, 2005,at the end of a long list of jokiness,such lists being a favourite of former editor Chris Hewer. A serious question arises–should there be more jokes in the modern day Avo? Do tell.

Islands in the stream

PASSENGERS on board a luxury cruise liner setting off from the UK on a round-the-world tour last week found themselves stranded instead off the Isle of Wight for several days after the vessel suffered a serious mechanical breakdown. Your editor can think of no better place to be stranded. He has spent many happy holidays on the island, unlike his business partner, who has only visited the island once, when he swam ashore with his trousers in his mouth to get the ship’s milk in 1953, and who bombinates endlessly to this day about what a terrible place it is.

By basing your opinions on forty-year-old impressions gained during a one-off visit under water, it is possible to denigrate, or extol, half of all places in the world. It is also possible to stand the entire population of the world, shoulder to shoulder, on the Isle of Wight. Some cynics claim this is not true. They say that for every obese American and European person there are at least ten under-nourished adults in the world, so that one average adult can comfortably stand on a rectangle 500 cm wide by 400 cm deep, although he or she wouldn’t be able to show any emotion.

Then, armed with an Access database and using a theodolite at the apogee of the harvest moon, the cynics maintain that you would need 1,054,824,529 sq m to accommodate all the people in the world, even if you used the beaches at low tide and if somebody died suddenly of ague in the night.

The Isle of Wight is therefore too small. The cynics do concede, however, that it would be possible to fit the world’s population, including some three-legged people, into a combination of the Isle of Wight and the Isle of Man at low tide. But that it is too high a price to pay for having to visit that cold island in the Irish Sea. Your editor has been there. Once.

Lost ball

A MAN in England has written to Lincoln Cathedral asking if he can have his nephew’s ball back. The ball became lodged in an ornamental moulding above one of the cathedral’s porches roughly a hundred years ago. The cathedral has said it will think about giving the ball back in about ten years’ time, when it cleans the porch.

This seems reasonable compared to the attitude adopted by one of your editor’s former employers in a dispute over a lost football back in the sixties. Your editor was playing a scratch game of football with some colleagues in the offices of a leading marine broker, just prior to setting out for a real football match against Bowrings, when the centre-forward sent a delicious glancing header through the outstretched arms of Peter The Cat Foster and sailing through an open fifth-floor window, down into the well of the building. As luck would have it, the ball came to rest on a glass roof on the mezzanine floor, immediately outside the office window of one of the company’s directors.

The culprit was duly despatched to collect it. Screwing up his courage, he walked down to the mezzanine floor, smoothed down his hair, knocked, entered and said, “I’m sorry to bother you, sir. But could I just get our ball back?” The director looked at him with madness in his eyes and roared, “Get out, you stupid boy”.

The ball may still be there today, although the firm is not.

Building bridges

BRIDGES continue to make the news. None have been stolen this week, to the best of your editor’s knowledge, but plans have been released to build a new bridge between China and Taiwan. The bridge, if built, would be one hundred miles long, or slightly longer if it is not built. It is unlikely to be finished in the lifetime of anybody old enough to read this newsletter. Wouldn’t it be easier to set up a shipping link, assuming the Chinese and Taiwanese really do want to start talking to each other?

Whatever happens, the bridge is unlikely to be stolen, since you would need a country as big as China in which to hide it. People who steal difficult-to-hide things have in any case switched their attentions to post boxes, four of which have disappeared from Shropshire in the past three weeks. Police are looking for a mail suspect.

Most Poignant Letter of the Week

WHILE I was driving in West London recently, my mobile phone rang. Mindful of the new law, I did not answer it, but pulled into a side road, parked, and returned the call. I then continued round the block and back on to my intended route, just clipping the end of the empty bus lane as I took the last left turn. A few days later I received a ?100 fine for driving in the bus lane.

(The Times, London)

Cat Headline of the Week

New York prosecutor sues cats (Fairplay Daily News)

Best Job Description of the Week

“First professionals” (Suggested by a bishop as an alternative to the offensive term ‘prostitutes’.)

Best Question-and-Answer Sessions of the Week

Q: What part of the body is said to be burnt when a person makes a bad investment?

A: Feet

Q: Which world-famous tea clipper do runners in the London Marathon pass by each year?

A: London Bridge

(BBC TV, The Weakest Link)

Call for Human Powered Submarines

Anshie Patel writes:-

The IMarEST has announced that the fourth European International Submarine Races will take place over a fortnight from 2-13 July 2018, with QinetiQ, a defence technology company, as the principal sponsor for the event.

The races are a unique sporting and engineering challenge which involve teams from universities across the world designing, building and racing human-powered submarines around a slalom course at QinetiQ’s Ocean Basin, one of the world’s largest indoor freshwater tanks in Gosport, UK.

The team from the University of Auckland, New Zealand won the 2016 races with their Taniwha 2 submarine. Professor William Megill, who is the race director and also a professor of bionics at Rhine Waal University, highlighted the strengths of the winning team and their submarine: “They proved that the combination of innovation and attention to detail make all the difference. Their craft was driven to impressive, near record-breaking speeds, by a robust biomimetic propulsion system and a novel fish-inspired hydrodynamically efficient tail which replaced the rudder usually found on submarines.”

Some of the university teams that have already expressed an interest in taking part in eISR 2018 include:
· University of Victoria (Canada)
· Rhine Waal University (Germany)
· University of Tehran (Iran)
· TU Delft (Netherlands)
· University of Auckland (New Zealand)
· University of Bath (UK)

You can find out more about the races at:-


Personal Ads which Appeared in Israeli Newspapers

According to Paul Dixon:-

Worried about in-law meddling? I’m an orphan. Write, POB 74

Yshiva bohur, Torah scholar, long beard, payos. Seeks same in woman. POB 345

Desperately seeking schmoozing! Retired senior citizen desires female companion 70+ for kvetching, kvelling, and krchtzing. Under 30 is OK. POB 64

Attractive Jewish woman, 35+ college graduate, seeks successful Jewish Prince Charming to get me out of my parents’ house. POB 45

Divorced Jewish man seeks partner to attend shul with, light Shabbos candles, celebrate holidays, build Sukkah together, attend brisses, bar mitzvahs. Religion not important. POB 658

Nice Jewish guy, 38. No skeletons, No baggage. No personality. POB 78

Female graduate student, studying kaballah, Zohar, exorcism of dybbuks, seeks mensch. No weirdos, please. POB 56

Staunch Jewish feminist, wears tzitzis, seeking male who will accept my independence, although you probably will not. Oh, just forget it. POB 435

Jewish businessman, 49, manufactures Sabbath candles, Chanukah candles, havdalah candles, Yahrzeit candles. Seeks non-smoker. POB 787

Israeli professor, 41, with 18 years of teaching in my behind. Looking for American-born woman who speaks English very good. POB 555

Couch potato latke, in search of the right applesauce. Let’s try it for eight days. Who knows? POB 43

80-year-old bubbie, no assets, seeks handsome, virile Jewish male under 35. object: matrimony. I can dream, can’t I? POB 545

I am a sensitive Jewish prince whom you can open your heart to. Share your innermost thoughts and deepest secrets. Confide in me. I’ll understand your insecurities. No fatties, please. POB 86

Jewish male, 34, very successful, smart, independent, self-made. Looking for girl whose father will hire me. POB 53