April 2017

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Industry applauds WIIN, but funding hazy for waterways upgrades

Industry applauds WIIN, but funding hazy for waterways upgrades

Industry officials are pleased with the projects included in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act of 2016, which was passed by Congress in December and signed into law by former President Obama.

Mariners ‘stuck in the middle’ in Hudson River anchorage dispute

Last June, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a public call for comments on a proposal to designate new Hudson River anchorages for commercial vessels.

Processing delays lead to extension for MMC endorsements

Processing delays lead to extension for MMC endorsements

Strained by a backlog of Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) applications and a shortage of qualified processors, the National Maritime Center (NMC) has provided an extension for affected mariners as it works to implement solutions.

Coast Guard delays enforcement of STCW changes until July 1

The U.S. Coast Guard has extended the deadline for attaining the required credential to sail aboard vessels subject to the 2010 amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) from Jan. 1 to July 1, 2017.

Operators with Arctic dreams ramp up to comply with Polar Code

Operators with Arctic dreams ramp up to comply with Polar Code

With the International Maritime Organization’s Polar Code now in force, some vessel operators are seeking help to comply with the regulations before taking advantage of new sea routes.

San Diego shipyard goes solar to cut costs, carbon footprint

San Diego shipyard goes solar to cut costs, carbon footprint

For zero-emission, low-impact boatbuilder Marine Group Boat Works, installing a rooftop solar system on its massive fabrication building in San Diego was more than a matter of good business sense.

Foss Maritime hybrid finds new home where grain is king

Foss Maritime hybrid finds new home where grain is king

On a cool, gray November morning, the tugboat Carolyn Dorothy glided quietly into the Willamette River near Portland, Ore. Capt. Kevin Gabriel soon had the vessel up to 7 knots, yet the engines were conspicuously silent.

Why bridges get hit — a river pilot’s perspective

Why bridges get hit — a river pilot’s perspective

This year’s bridge-hitting season is coming up soon, and let’s hope it’s not like the last one.

New Bisso tug reaffirms 20-year commitment to z-drives

New Bisso tug reaffirms 20-year commitment to z-drives

Mr. Ruben, constructed at Main Iron Works, is the 10th tugboat that the Houma, La., yard has delivered to Bisso Towboat of New Orleans.

NTSB cites towboat captain’s cellphone use in $60 million accident

NTSB cites towboat captain’s cellphone use in $60 million accident

Federal investigators believe a towboat captain’s cellphone use was a key factor in chain of collisions last year on the Lower Mississippi River.

Engine room fire disables MarAd ship, causes $1 million in damage

Engine room fire disables MarAd ship, causes $1 million in damage

The U.S.-flagged cargo ship Alliance St. Louis lost propulsion and went adrift in the Gulf of Mexico after an electrical fire in the engine room.

Towline snags propeller, disabling Coast Guard cutter off Alaska

Towline snags propeller, disabling Coast Guard cutter off Alaska

A Coast Guard cutter became disabled in the Gulf of Alaska after a towline snagged its propeller while the ship was responding to a stranded fishing vessel.

Crew rescued after self-propelled barge grounds off Cape Breton

Crew rescued after self-propelled barge grounds off Cape Breton

A self-propelled bunker barge sailing from Montreal to Mexico ran aground off northeastern Nova Scotia after losing power in one of its engines, and its crew of six had to be rescued by a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter.

Overcrowded anchorage key factor in collision on swollen Mississippi

The pilot aboard the cargo ship Manizales had dropped anchor in the swollen Mississippi River and was about to step onto a waiting crew boat when he recognized a problem: The loaded vessel was moving with the current.

Casualty briefs

Ultrasonic antifouling grows as ‘green’ option for vessel owners

Ultrasonic antifouling grows as ‘green’ option for vessel owners

By using sound waves, ultrasonic antifouling can prevent the growth of algae, barnacles and slime on boat hulls and interiors, and can protect sea chests and box coolers as well.

Paint toxins spur use of ultrasound

Tributyltin, or TBT, is an organotin compound that has been used for 40 years as a biocide in antifouling paint.

New ferry takes the torch on historic Columbia River crossing

New ferry takes the torch on historic Columbia River crossing

​“The last of the dairy farms on the island shut down because it wasn’t worth sending a truck down to haul the milk,” said Capt. Ray Peek when asked about the economy on Puget Island, a flat piece of verdant meadows and sloughs in the Columbia River.

Cruise line’s Arctic gamble could leave mariners holding the bag

Last August, the 820-foot Bahamas-registered cruise ship Crystal Serenity began its trip through the Arctic’s famed Northwest Passage above the United States and Canada, the melting ice and continued warming temperatures freeing up open water for much of the voyage.