In Other News: Hoegh Osaka

A look at a current news item through the lens of different titles available on GVRL.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

I’ve been a ‘newsy’ person for as long as I can remember; the story is very important to me. When I choose the topic for this post, I try to choose something which is compelling, interesting, and perhaps something which you would not typically consider as a great jumping off point for a research project. As often as possible, I try to include something “big” from news outside of the US, as being aware of the world is always important. Looking through my previous posts, there are many tragedies, sporting events and issues caused by the weather. More times than not, it’s obvious what this post should be about. But today I’m going to put a pin in the biggest story happening in the world right now, and save it for next week as events are still, and rapidly, unfolding. Les Parisiens ont été dans mes pensées pendant des jours. Mai cette fin bientôt.

In far less serious events, let’s take a look at the Hoegh Osaka. It’s the nightmare of every car enthusiast around. A cargo ship, carrying more than $53M in cars — Jaguars, Land Rovers, MINIs among them — began to list (read: tip) after leaving Germany. The crew, who have all safely left the ship, decided beaching it on a sandbar was the best way to save the cargo. Salvagers are now estimating that more than 3000 tons of water from the hold. By comparison that’s six times the weight of the fuel on board.

The ship, still “severely listing” at more than a 50 degree angle, has been freed of its temporary dock and is being pulled by tug closer to shore. The state of the cargo remains to be see; few are hopeful.

Here are five titles that look at the Hoegh Osaka from different perspectives:

Blackwell’s Encyclopedia of Sociology, 1st Ed. Wiley-Blackwell, 2014

“Luxury is recession-proof,” or so the saying goes.And what is it with fast and fancy cars that brings so many so much joy? Whether its too much quantity or too much quality, over consumption is a widely studied phenomenon. How does this “more and better” philosophy affect choice, commerce, global markets and the economy as a whole? Explore hyper-consumerism and the idea of keeping up with the Joneses in this new title.

Gale Encyclopedia of Science, 5th Ed. Gale, 2014

While saving the cargo of the ship would be nice, another important aspect of righting the ship is ensuring the safety of the environment. There is a lot of gas and oil in and within that ship. In the couple of decades, the US has seen several large ecological oil events. This March will commemorate the 26th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. What constitutes a “bad spill”? How much hydrocarbon occurs naturally in the world’s waterways? Get a full view of the environmental concerns of oils spills and more in this new title.

 Encyclopedia of Transportation: Social Science and Policy, 1st Ed. Sage Publications, 2014

If not by boat, how? How, when and why materials are shipped around the world is the science of logistics. The balance of business to keep materials readily available at a “reasonable” price (a concept completely relative and dependent on the item being purchased) where the company continues to make money and the consumer feels they’ve been treated fairly is fundamental to the success of a production based business. Add in the layer of international commerce and the “Amazon effect” of extremely low tolerance for waiting for anything much less paying shipping costs. Take a deeper dive into the land of logistics and transportation in this new Sage title.

Gale Encyclopedia of American Law, 3rd Ed. Gale, 2011

Pirates would have you believe that anything in the ocean is up for grabs. But is it ever a game of “finders keepers”? If you’re confident the contents of a ship are ruined, do salvage laws change? What are the implications of where the disaster happened? Get a feel for the laws which govern accident and recovery in the United States with this title.

Encyclopedia of Marine Science, 1st Ed. Facts On File, 2010

Inevitably, there are risks with shipping items via ship. Though, by far, the oldest means of transport (save walking, naturally) is not fool-proof. When something goes awry, what does the process of righting it look like? Marine salvage involves both saving the cargo and the vessel, to the best of that ability. Dedicated marine engineers work with myriad of changing and often only mildly predictable obstacles. Learn more about the environment of the sea in this tested title.


photoAbout the Author

Michelle is an “anytime!” traveler and language enthusiast. She has degrees in talking from Central Michigan and Michigan State University. She is currently becoming a runner and used to play golf in high school.



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