MV Tampa

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MV Tampa is a roll-on/roll-off container ship completed in 1984 by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. in South Korea for the Norway based firm, Wilhelmsen Lines Shipowning.


Tampa affair

In August 2001, under Captain Arne Rinnan, a diplomatic dispute brewed between Australia, Norway, and Indonesia after Tampa rescued 438 Afghans from a distressed fishing vessel in international waters. The Afghans wanted passage to nearby Christmas Island. The Australian government sought to prevent this by refusing Tampa entry into Australian waters, insisting on their disembarkment elsewhere, and deploying the SASR to board the ship. At the time of the incident, Tampa carried cargo worth AU$20 million, and 27 crew.

The crew of Tampa received the Nansen Refugee Award for 2002 from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for their efforts to follow international principles of saving people in distress at sea.

Cocaine smuggling bust

In October 2006, MV Tampa was one of two Wilhelmsen ships involved in a cocaine-smuggling operation intercepted by the New Zealand Customs Service and the Australian Federal Police. Twenty-seven kilograms of cocaine was allegedly attached to the side of the two cargo ships bound for Australia in purpose-built metal pods, although New Zealand authorities stated they did not believe the ship's crew or owners were involved.[3]

MythBusters test model

In the 2006 episode "Whirlpool/Snowplow" of the TV show MythBusters, a 1:550 scale model of MV Tampa was assembled, weighted with lead shot to simulate a full load of cargo, and used as a scale scientific test bed vehicle for determining whether ocean whirlpools are capable of sinking a large container ship.

See also

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