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MV Tampa

MV Tampa at Papeete, French Polynesia
Name: 'Tampa
Barber Tampa
Owner: Wilhelmsen Lines Shipowning
Port of registry:  Norway
Builder: Hyundai Heavy Industries
Ulsan, South Korea
Yard number: 248
Completed: 1984
Identification: Call sign: LMWO3
IMO number: 8204951
MMSI no.: 257497000
Notes: [1]
General characteristics
Tonnage: 39,900 DWT
66,532 GT
Length: 262.3 m (861 ft)
Beam: 32.26 m (105.8 ft)
Draught: 9.78 m (32.1 ft)
Decks: 12
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Crew: 25
Notes: [2]

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 1
  • Cocaine smuggling bust 2
  • MythBusters test model 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7

Tampa affair

ABC news report of the Tampa affair and its political context, October 2001.

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 Special Air Service Regiment to board the ship. At the time of the incident, Tampa carried cargo worth A$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


  1. ^ (166504)"Tampa". Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Tampa"MV . Wilh. Wilhelmsen. 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  3. ^ Crewdson, Patrick (27 October 2006). one of two ships named in cocaine bust"Tampa". The Age. 

Further reading

  • Decision of Justice North, Federal Court of Australia 11 September 2001
  • Decision of Full Court overturning decision of Justice North, 18 September 2001
  • David Marr & Marian Wilkinson Dark Victory. ISBN 1-74114-447-7
  • Ian McPhedran "The Amazing SAS". ISBN 0-7322-7981-X
  • Reflections by Julian Burnside on Tampa with public comments published to coincide with 5-year anniversary of the event
  • Daniel Ross, Violent Democracy, ch. 5.

External links

  • NauruWire, an Australia based site Update on status of detainees. Accessed 25 June 2005.
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