USCG responds to heavy fuel oil discharge

Source: USCG responds to heavy fuel oil discharge

APRIL 23, 2018 — The Coast Guard has been responding to a heavy fuel oil discharge near Norco, LA, today.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at approximately 1 a.m. of a heavy fuel oil discharge from the foreign flagged vessel Iver Exporter near mile marker 126 on the Lower Mississippi River.

According to the Equasis data base, Iver Exporter is a 45,683 dwt, Netherlands flagged, chemical/oil products tanker managed by Vroon subsidiary Iver Ships and delivered by South Korean shipbuilder Samho Heavy Industries in 2000

The source of the discharge is reported to be secured.

A reported 2,600 gallons of oil was discharged into the river.

There are no waterway closures or restrictions due to the incident.

The vessel is currently moored at the Shell Norco Manufacturing Complex.

OMI Environmental Solutions, an oil spill response organization, is on scene and responding to the spill.

At this time, there are no reports of wildlife impacts.

The Coast Guard is conducting an over flight to assess impacted areas.

There are no reports of injuries due to the incident.

“We are working with our federal, state and local partners and the responsible party to oversee the clean up of the discharged fuel to reduce the impacts on the environment,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jim Langford, the federal on scene coordinator representative at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Maersk Teams Up With Israeli Accelerator to Search For New Ideas

Source: Maersk Teams Up With Israeli Accelerator to Search For New Ideas

AP Moller Maersk has turned to a Tel Aviv start up accelerator in its drive to shake up maritime logistics.

The Danish conglomerate has been hitting the headlines recently with its announcements about taking more control of the complete container logistics chain. As part of this the company is looking for startup clusters to help, with its latest move to partner with theDOCK Innovation Hub based in Tel Aviv. TheDock is one of a growing number of start-up cluster accelerator helping entrepreneurs with innovative ideas push ahead with their plans.

“Digital innovation and partnering with software companies of all sizes including startups to accelerate our product roadmaps play key roles in delivering that ambition,” said Ibrahim Gokcen, Chief Digital Officer for A.P. Moller Maersk in a statement.

In the statement theDock, co created by Hannan Carmeli and Nir Gartzman, said they see innovation as a strategic necessity for any organization, particularly the maritime and logistics sectors.

“The logistics domain presents an ocean of opportunities for innovation following decades of conservative evolution,” the company wrote. “Today, executives in newly established roles of digital and innovation officers, promote “open innovation” as means of encouraging out-of-the-box thinking and breakthrough innovation. These activities typically include promoting specific maritime challenges through events such as meetups and hackathons as well as scouting for creative ideas.”

According to Maersk the company is looking for opportunities to co-create what it calls “the next Unicorn in logistics” within the areas of fighting food waste, enabling trade, securing supply chains and next generation logistics. It said it will be using theDock to help identify the right companies to work with in achieving those goals

For theDock, the attention of one of the largest logistics and ship owning companies is welcome.

“We are privileged to partner with a global shipping leader such as Maersk. We are determined to harness local talent and Israel’s creative technologies to benefit the overall maritime sector,” said Carmeli. “We have no doubt of the win-win prospects for both Maersk as well as Israeli entrepreneurs.”

Cavotec books more orders for e-ferry unmanned mooring systems

Source: Cavotec books more orders for e-ferry unmanned mooring systems

APRIL 20, 2018 — Lugano, Switzerland, headquartered Cavotec SA is set to revolutionize the operation of e-vessels by delivering and maintaining its automated, unmanned, mooring system MoorMaster for e-ferry terminals across Norway.

The orders are worth approximately EUR 9 million (about $11 million), of which EUR 4 million was booked in the fourth quarter of 2017.

On completion of these projects, Cavotec will have equipped more than 40 e-ferry terminals in Scandinavia with MoorMaster systems.

“These projects demonstrate the unrivalled suitability of MoorMaster for e-ferry applications, and the importance of the technology for this rapidly growing segment in Norway and beyond,” says Gustavo Miller, President Ports and Maritime Division at Cavotec.

MoorMaster is ideal for e-ferry applications because the units keep vessels in pre-programmed positions to maximize the amount of time available to charge ship battery units. The technology also reduces overall CAPEX for operators, and delivers substantial operational and safety benefits, says Sofus Gedde-Dahl, Sales Director E-Ferries at Cavotec.

With a stated aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 40 per cent, Norway has led the introduction of electrically powered and hybrid vessels. Cavotec has become a significant partner in this effort through its development of innovative automated charging interface and mooring technologies.

Cavotec systems have moored and charged the world’s first fully electric car ferry, the MF Ampere, since it entered service in 2015. Following the success of the MF Ampere application, Cavotec mooring and charging technologies have been introduced at a growing number of e-ferry berths in Norway, Finland, and Sweden.

To date, more than 260 MoorMaster units worldwide have performed some 330,000 moorings in applications worldwide.

“The rapid introduction of e-ferries in Norway has been the dominant driver for the wider adoption of MoorMaster in recent years, a development that we see being replicated in neighbouring markets such as Finland and Denmark,” says Gedde-Dahl.

Vopak to invest in new storage capacity at its Rotterdam terminal

Source: Vopak to invest in new storage capacity at its Rotterdam terminal

Vopak Rotterdam Botlek is investing in 63.000 cbm state-of-the-art stainless steel capacity (15 tanks) for the storage of Styrene and other hazardous chemicals.

 

Artist impression: Vopak

Styrene is a vital product used in manufacturing of a wide variety of consumer goods serving markets such as packaging, construction (for example isolation) and automotive.
The new infrastructure will be fully insulated to allow for product temperature control and is designed to prevent any emissions to the environment. The new storage capacity connects seaborne trade flows via barges, block-trains and trucks to the European hinterland.

River pilots eyeing more container ships, worrisome tariffs

Tariffs on imported steel products, a new container ship port north of Wilmington, and a significantly wider Panama Canal. All three could affect operations of the Pilots Association for the Bay and River Delaware, which has headquarters in Philadelphia and Lewes.

Often called river pilots, members of the association provide navigation services to all the shipping traffic on Delaware River and Bay. Their heritage goes back to the 1700s when Native American predecessors were employed by early European explorers to help captains navigate around shoals in the swift-currented waterways. Pilots, many of whom live in Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, board inbound ships from launches that carry them out into the ocean past the point at Cape Henlopen. Outbound, they board at ports in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Capt. Jon Kemmerly took over as president of the association in the past year. He said in 2017 the pilots were involved in more than 7,000 ship movements on the bay and river. “We boarded 2,400 ships at the capes – that adds up to 4,800 trips because they all come back again. And the rest involve moving ships between ports and from the lightering operation at Big Stone Beach.”

He said a proposal by Gulftainer USA to partner with Delaware for operation of the Port of Wilmington, and to build a new, automated, $410 million container-ship facility at the former DuPont Edgemoor chemical facility on the Delaware River north of Wilmington, would be good for the piloting business and good for Delaware. The Gulftainer Group, according to the company’s website, is the largest independent, privately owned port operator in the world. The company operates 15 ports across four continents, including North America.

When Gov. John Carney announced the Gulftainer proposal in late April, he said royalties from joining forces with the company for operation of the Port of Wilmington and the Edgemoor facility, which the state bought a few years back, would bring at least $13 million per year to state coffers and provide hundreds of jobs.

“There are a myriad of groups looking at river development,” said Kemmerly. “But this is the most promising since the new Paulsboro, New Jersey terminal came on line a couple of years ago. We work hand in hand with all these groups.”

Assembly must approve proposal

Delaware’s General Assembly and port operators must still approve the agreement with Gulftainer. “There’s some concern because the company is based in the United Arab Emirates,” said Kemmerly. But, he said, that’s further evidence of the increasingly global community we all live in. The pilots deal with ships, captains and crew members from all over the world. “That’s our lives every day out on the river.”

Kemmerly said container ship traffic, which Gulftainer says would increase significantly if its proposal is approved, represents an increasing percentage of ship traffic. “It’s the future on the river,” he said.

Kemmerly said there is an under-capacity situation up and down the East Coast. “The main macro trend I see is the need to get more facilities for containers. The biggest knock to the port of New York City is the congestion of the city. It’s tough to get containers out of New York. That’s a big selling point for the ports of Philly and New Jersey. We have an accessible rail and highway system with much less congestion. Gulftainer sees that opportunity here.”

More container ships may eventually drive the need for more pilots and associated employees but Kemmerly doesn’t see that happening right away. “Ships are getting larger but there’s still only one pilot per ship. The increased tonnage of cargo might at one time have meant 10 more smaller ships. But now that’s one more larger ship.”

As ships have grown, the pilots have actually reduced their numbers. “We have about 30 fewer pilots than we had in the ’60s and ’70s when our numbers were up in the 90s. We have some new pilots in the pipeline right now, but it takes 10 years for a pilot to go from apprentice to full license for all ships.”

He said the Panama Canal widening project completed a few years ago has increased the size of container and other ships.

The canal’s dimensions previously limited ships to 106 feet at their beam by 800 or so feet of length. The new Panama Canal accommodates ships with beams of 161 feet and lengths of 1,200 feet. “We had a ship leave this week, the Shuba B, that is 1,038 feet long with a beam of 158 feet. The larger container ships we’re seeing are a direct result of the canal widening.”

When a dredging project deepening the Delaware River and Bay’s channel system to 45 feet is completed in 2019, that will also add to the attractiveness of ports on the river.

Steel tariffs large concern

While those are good signs for business, Kemmerly said there is concern about the potential impact of the Trump administration’s tariffs on imported steel.

“We handle a lot of steel on ships. The tariffs could absolutely affect us because of less product coming in,” said Kemmerly. “The folks on the river who haul steel are actively involved in fighting the tariffs.”

Kemmerly said the pilots navigated at least 200 ships last year bringing imported steel into the country.

But the overarching concern for the pilots, in navigating the thousands of ships they do each year, Kemmerly said, is to do it safely for the environment, the ships and their crews. “We’re constantly aware of how many large ships we’re moving that close to the bottom and in close proximity to other ships. That’s our whole lives. That’s what we’ve trained for. With globalization and bigger ships, it’s an exciting time to be doing this job. I can’t imagine doing anything else. All I ever think about is that river.”

Source: River pilots eyeing more container ships, worrisome tariffs

China’s new aircraft carrier may start sea trials this week, source says

Source: China’s new aircraft carrier may start sea trials this week, source says

hina’s first domestically built aircraft carrier is expected to start sea trials imminently, a source close to the navy said, amid what analysts say is growing external pressure to push forward its development.

The Type 001A aircraft carrier’s maiden sea trial could take place this week, possibly coinciding with the PLA Navy’s 69th anniversary on Monday depending on weather and ocean conditions, according to the source.

The Liaoning Maritime Safety Administration announced on Friday that three areas in the northeastern Bohai and Yellow Sea would be cordoned off for military activities from April 20 to 28. The restricted areas are close to the shipyard in Liaoning province where the new carrier is being built.

A main engine run was conducted on Tuesday, indicating sea trials were about to start, said another source who witnessed the engine test.

US aircraft carrier sparks regional fears as it challenges China’s military might in South China Sea

The aircraft carrier is expected to enter service later this year, 12 months ahead of schedule, which one naval expert put down to a growing sense of urgency as rivalry between China and the United States intensifies.

Another military source told the South China Morning Post earlier that the trial would test the ship’s basic functions, including power, damage control and radar and communication systems, as well as checking for leakage.

China’s first home-grown aircraft carrier set to carry out maiden sea trial

But the carrier is not expected to sail far on its first voyage, the source said, and it may just stay within Bohai Bay.

Liu Zheng, chairman of Dalian Shipbuilding Industry, confirmed last month that the new aircraft carrier was ready to start sea trials.

The 70,000-tonne Type 001A was launched in April last year and is expected to join the navy as early as the end of this year, well before the original target of 2019.

The new warship is an upgrade to the Type 001 Liaoning, China’s only operational aircraft carrier, a retrofitted Soviet-era Admiral Kuznetsov-class multi-role vessel.

But the source close to the navy said it was far “too early to estimate” when the new ship would be combat-ready.

It took nearly six years for the Liaoning to become a fully combat-ready battleship after it joined the navy in 2012, mainly because it lacked adequately trained crew members and commanders.

The Liaoning conducted intensive ocean drills last week, similar to those carried out by the US Navy, after taking part in the PLA’s biggest-ever naval parade off the coast of Hainan Island in the South China Sea.

It also passed through waters south of Taiwan on its way to carry out the military exercises in the Western Pacific, the latest in a series of drills that self-ruled Taiwan has criticised as “intimidation”.

The Liaoning is mainly used as a training vessel, but the new Type 001A – which will be able to carry up to 35 aircraft and will weigh 70,000 tonnes when fully loaded – is expected to be combat-ready.

China’s claims in South China Sea ‘proposed by continuous boundary for the first time’

“There is growing external pressure for China to speed up the development of its aircraft carrier so that it is the main force of the navy, especially since the US has increased its deployment in Asia,” said Ni Lexiong, a naval expert at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law.

“But China is still 10 to 20 years behind the US in this competition.”

The latest US carrier – the USS Gerald R Ford – weighs roughly 100,000 tonnes and can hold more than 75 aircraft.

Innovation key to transforming sector

I

Source: Innovation key to transforming sector

WITH the government encouraging more companies to invest in innovation, drive productivity improvements and enhance the skills of the maritime workforce, technological advances play a crucial role in improving productivity.

Many steps are being taken to get the maritime sector to harness new technologies and innovations to its advantage. Leading the transformation process is the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), which is tasked with the mission to develop Singapore as a premier global hub port and international maritime centre.

“MPA, working hand in hand with the maritime industry, has collaborated in more than 100 industry R&D projects, involving nearly 300 researchers. This commitment has deepened our maritime innovation and R&D capabilities to support our port and international maritime cluster,” says Kenneth Lim, chief technology officer and director, research & technology and industry development, MPA.

Singapore is the world’s busiest transshipment hub and the second largest container port. The vibrant maritime cluster provides more than 170,000 jobs, contributes about 7 per cent of the GDP and comprises over 5,000 maritime companies.

“By building a maritime cluster centred on strong alignment of innovation and R&D efforts between the public and private sectors, our industry will become not only more productive, intelligent and secure but also more environmentally sustainable. As new technology evolves, it opens up new possibilities and forces us to constantly re-examine the status quo,” says Mr Lim.

This is aligned with the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM) that has earmarked innovation as one of the key pillars, alongside connectivity and talent. By working together to leverage trends of disruptive technologies to digitalise our maritime services and products, the industry can only be more robust and resilient, he adds.

“Looking ahead, with a strong foundation in maritime R&D, MPA has co-created with the maritime industry three masterplans – Industry Transformation Map, International Maritime Centre 2030 and Next Generation Port 2030 – to transform and position ourselves for the future,” says Mr Lim.

For instance the creation of the MPA Living Lab, a technology partnership platform, encourages collaboration within the ecosystem, promoting experimentation of new ideas and concepts while concurrently collectively reducing the risks involved.

Similarly, MPA is partnering with the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) to set up maritime research centres of excellence at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and National University of Singapore (NUS) to deepen Singapore’s maritime R&D capabilities and accelerate technology transfers to the industry. It is also partnering with the National University Entrepreneurship Centre to bring startup talents into the maritime industry.

“In the same vein, SMW supports this direction, as we bring the industry together and present opportunities for companies to strike partnerships, as well as facilitate knowledge exchange so that they stay abreast of the latest trends and be at the forefront of innovation,” says Mr Lim.

Singapore is growing diversity in its maritime services by catalysing the growth of non-traditional players. The International Maritime Centre (IMC) has grown to become home to over 5,000 establishments and offers a comprehensive range of maritime services. Growing the diversity of the services will increase Singapore’s attractiveness as a maritime hub.

“Apart from encouraging established companies to venture into new business activities, we will catalyse the growth of non-traditional players – especially those in the area of technology. For example, we have supported the growth of technology enterprises like Alpha Ori, Metcore, Gleematic and Brightree, and these non-traditional players bring with them emerging technologies such as AI, data analytics and IOT to support our maritime industry,” says Mr Lim.

Importantly, ship classification societies like DNVGL, Lloyd’s Register and ClassNK are supporting projects and research centres. They play a key and active role in driving applied research and technology development, initiating and promoting R&D projects here especially through the setup of their research centres and test centres in Singapore.

“The Singapore Maritime Data Hub (SG-MDH) is one new initiative that we look to work closely with classification societies. SG-MDH is a one-stop data repository that will not just enable the development and test-bedding of innovative digital apps and services, but also serve as a collaborative platform for technology companies, start-ups and maritime stakeholders to co-develop innovative data-driven maritime solutions,” says Mr Lim.

Similarly, Jurong Port and PSA are working on intelligent shipping systems to establish and maintain technical standards for the construction and operation of ships.

“Singapore is investing in new port capabilities that will capitalise on emerging technologies. Our port operators are exploring technologies such as data analytics and simulation, unmanned drones, smart wearables and automated quay cranes,” says Mr Lim.

The MPA-PSA Port Technology Research and Development Programme sees MPA and PSA stepping up on R&D and capability development in areas of digitalisation, connected community systems, automation and robotics.

Meanwhile, MPA renewed the MOU with Jurong Port on “Next Generation Multipurpose Port Programme” in 2017 to support efforts to digitalise multipurpose port operations. The three organisations – MPA, PSA and Jurong Port – have also set up their own respective Living Labs to offer technology developers and industry partners platforms to co-develop and pilot innovative solutions.

Apart from these, Tuas Port will harness data analytics to optimise operations such as just-in-time vessel arrivals, and the deployment of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in the Pasir Panjang Terminal, adds Mr Lim.

Autonomous ships ‘meet or exceed’ COLREGS when encountering manned vessels

Source: Autonomous ships ‘meet or exceed’ COLREGS when encountering manned vessels

Rolls-Royce reports that results from the £1.3 million MAXCMAS (MAchine eXecutable Collision regulations for Marine Autonomous Systems) research project have demonstrated that the operation of autonomous vessels can meet, if not exceed, current collision avoidance (COLREG) rules.

The research, by project partners Lloyd’s Register, Warsash Maritime Academy (WMA), Queen’s University Belfast and Atlas Elektronik (AEUK), found that use of newly developed algorithms allowed existing COLREGs to remain relevant in a crewless environment, and showed that Artificial Intelligence-based navigation systems were able to enact the rules to avoid collision effectively, even when approaching manned vessels which were interpreting the rules differently.

The project used WMA’s networked bridge simulators in testing the technologies, analysing reactions from the crew when faced with simulations of a range of real-world situations to subsequently hone the MAXCMAS algorithms.

“Through MAXCMAS, we have demonstrated autonomous collision avoidance that is indistinguishable from good seafarer behaviour and we’ve confirmed this by having WMA instructors assess MAXCMAS exactly as they would assess the human,” said Rolls-Royce future technologies group’s Eshan Rajabally, who led the project.

During the development project a commercial-specification bridge simulator was adapted for use as a testbed for autonomous navigation, and used to validate autonomous seafarer-like collision avoidance in likely real-world scenarios.

Various simulator-based scenarios were designed, with the algorithms installed in one of WMA’s conventional bridge simulators. This also included Atlas Elektronik’s ARCIMS mission manager ‘Autonomy Engine’, Queen’s University Belfast’s Collision Avoidance algorithms and a Rolls-Royce interface.

During sea trials aboard AEUK’s ARCIMS Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV), collision avoidance was successfully demonstrated in a real environment under true platform motion, sensor performance and environmental conditions.

“The trials showed that an unmanned vessel is capable of making a collision avoidance judgement call even when the give-way vessel isn’t taking appropriate action,” said Ralph Dodds, innovation & autonomous systems programme manager, AEUK.

“What MAXCMAS does is make the collision avoidance regulations applicable to the unmanned ship.”

Italy gets its ambitious small-scale LNG programme underway

Source: Italy gets its ambitious small-scale LNG programme underway

Ground has been broken on the project to build the HiGas small-scale LNG terminal at the Sardinian west coast port of Oristano. At the same time the Keppel Singmarine yard at Nantong in China has laid the keel of the 7,500 m3 Stolt-Nielsen LNG carrier that will service the depot.

The HiGas facility is one of 11 small-scale LNG receiving terminals that Italy plans to have in operation around its coasts by the early 2020s. All would provide LNG marine bunkering and road tanker loading services while six, including HiGas, would also regasify LNG on site and feed gas into local pipelines. To function as marine bunkering facilities, the terminals will be able to reload LNG bunker vessels (LNGBVs) as well as receive cargoes.

The country’s new commitment to LNG is being driven by, among other things, the European Union’s directive on alternative fuels and the upcoming introduction, on 1 January 2020, of IMO’s new global sulphur cap for marine fuels.

One notable, specific spur of Italy’s interest in small-scale LNG and LNG bunkering activities is the new generation of LNG-powered Mediterranean cruise vessels of 180,000 gt and above currently under construction. Such vessels are being provided with bunker tank capacities in the 3,000-3,500 m3 range.

Sardinia is an important focus for Italy’s small-scale LNG ambitions. Subject to successful final investment decisions, the Mediterranean’s largest island will play host to five of the anticipated 11 terminals. Three are planned for Oristano, one for Porto Torres in the north and one for Cagliari in the south.

The other six proposed small-scale terminals are at Genoa and Livorno, on the Tyrrhenian Sea, Naples, Gela in southern Sicily and Porto Marghera and Ravenna in the Adriatic. Besides HiGas, only Ravenna and a second Oristano project, tabled by Edison, have received the necessary authorisations. Genoa, Naples and Gela are still at the study stage while the others are at various points in the permitting process.

This news article will focus on the three small-scale terminals that have so far received clearance from the Italian authorities. LNG World Shipping will feature the outstanding eight terminals in a future bulletin.

The HiGas terminal, which is under construction in Oristano’s Santa Giusta industrial port zone, is poised to become the Mediterranean’s first small-scale marine LNG terminal. It will feature 9,000 m3 of LNG storage in six horizontal tanks of 1,500 m3 each. Stolt-Nielsen holds a 66.25% stake in the company while the remaining shares are split evenly between Gas & Heat (G&H) and CPL Concordia.

The 7,500 m3 small-scale LNG carrier that Stolt-Nielsen is providing for the project will also be able to serve as an LNGBV. The ship is due for delivery in Q2 2019 and the project partners intend to have the HiGas terminal in service by the second half of 2019.

Marine Engineering Services of Trieste, an affiliate of G&H, played a key role in the design of the Stolt-Nielsen ship. It is one of a pair of sister ships currently under construction for the owner at the Keppel Singmarine yard.

HiGas will be able to source LNG from sources in the western Mediterranean, including Italy’s La Spezia and FSRU Toscana import facilities and terminals in France, Spain and Algeria.

Edison, part of the EDF energy group, is behind the second Oristano terminal to be authorised. The facility will have seven horizontal tanks totaling 10,000 m3 in aggregate and a jetty able to accommodate LNGCs of up to 27,500 m3.

Edison is also involved with the Ravenna project, the third Italian small-scale LNG terminal to be approved. The company is working with Petrolifera Italo-Rumena to develop the scheme which calls for two 10,000 m3 atmospheric pressure LNG storage tanks and a jetty able to accommodate LNGCs of up to 27,500 m3. The partners plan to bring the first phase of the facility, with the initial 10,000 m3 tank, into operation in 2020.

Edison is the majority shareholder in Adriatic LNG, the gravity-based structure which serves as an LNG receiving terminal at its location off the coast of nearby Rovigo. Adriatic LNG is likely to be among the supply sources for Edison’s small-scale Ravenna and Oristano terminals.

Towards the end of 2017, Edison invited shipowners to bid on a 27,500 m3 LNG carrier newbuilding to meet the company’s LNG distribution needs.

The Most Advanced Nazi Submarine is Found in Denmark

Source: The Most Advanced Nazi Submarine is Found in Denmark

A rare submarine, allegedly used for a mysterious escape operation involving high-ranking Nazis, is discovered near Denmark.

The remains of a rare German submarine, far advanced for the maritime technology of its time, were found in the Skagerrak area near the Danish coast as a result of the work of the Jutland Naval War Museum to map, and eventually retrieve, debris sea in the North Sea, reports the TV2 news agency.

The German submarine U-3523 was sunk by a British bomber B-24 Liberator on May 6, 1945, the same day that the Allied Forces freed Denmark from Nazi German occupation. All 58 crew members died.

“This was a very special submarine, it was the most advanced submarine the Germans built during World War II,” said Gert Normann Andersen, the director of the Jutland Museum, “and he was very modern and far ahead of his time.

According to him, only two of those 118 submarines that were commissioned by the Nazi command came into service.

Currently, there is only one preserved specimen of this class of submarines, which is on display at the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven, Lower Saxony, which was one of the main German submarine bases during World War II and which continues to be one of the main commercial ports from the country.

According to Andersen, the submarine had already been used as a training vessel at Wilhelmshaven, another major Nazi naval base, but was believed to have also been used on a secret mission prevented by British bombing. The disappearance of U-3523 has been linked to rumours about some of the main Nazi characters trying to escape to South America with fortunes that consisted of gold and precious works of art. These rumours continue to circulate to this day for lack of conclusive evidence.

Although the U-3523 sheds some light on this riddle of the Nazi escape, the Naval War Museum has no plans to remove the submarine that currently rests safely at a depth of 123 meters.

 

The diesel-electric U-3523 was commissioned in November 1943, completed in December 1944 and entered service in January 1945. It had a top speed of 30 kilometres per hour and could operate with silent engines due to innovative techniques of engineering. With a crew of five officers and about 50 squares, it could travel up to 28,000 kilometres.

Produced prematurely and with significant defects, the series contained some revolutionary solutions, being the first submarine to operate mainly submerged. Despite never being used in actual combat due to failures, the submarine could spend several days submerged.

The Jutland Museum is in the process of conducting a sweeping sweep of the seabed in search of wrecks in the North Sea. So far, 450 debris has been found, including 12 submarines, three British and nine German.

Source: Sputnik News