Sunday, June 15, 2008
(My) Photo of the day, Or Bak skyene er himmelen alltid blå
Yes, it is another ship! Drawn to the water yet again, I got a new one for my collection.
This one is the MV Oceanic Viking, an armed patrol vessel of the Australian Customs Service. However, it is owned by a Norwegian shipping company and contracted to the Australian Customs Service through P & O Marine Services. A convoluted arrangement, to be sure.
It was originally built as an offshore supply vessel, then converted into a vessel used for laying optic fiber cables between Europe and North America, then in 2004 it was converted to an armed patrol vessel and chartered to the Australian Customs Service. With two deck-mounted machine guns, it became the first civilian ship in Australia to carry mounted weapons in peacetime. It is Australian flagged and operated by a civilian crew, carrying armed Customs officers.
It seems to get about, chasing illegal Indonesian fishing vessels off the Northern Territory and responding to distress signals as far away as the Kerguelen Islands (as close to the middle of nowhere as you might find). Most recently, it has been shadowing Japanese whaling vessels in the Southern Ocean. You might have seen it in the news.