April 2020

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Jones Act ruling plagued by ‘potential loopholes,’ industry groups say

Jones Act ruling plagued by ‘potential loopholes,’ industry groups say

A recent Jones Act ruling by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) holds the promise of generating more work for U.S.-flagged vessels in Gulf of Mexico oil fields, but it also contains “potential loopholes” that could mitigate the gains, according to industry officials.

Financial problems at Bouchard strand crews along two coasts

Facing serious financial challenges, Bouchard Transportation Co. has been unable to pay berthing fees or salaries for some employees during an extended period over the winter.

Study finds depression, suicidal thoughts prevalent among seafarers

Study finds depression, suicidal thoughts prevalent among seafarers

While Yale University’s recent Seafarer Mental Health Study paints a sobering picture of life at sea, it also should serve as a catalyst for improvements, industry officials say.

Study details cost of shipboard accidents, urges better reporting

Study details cost of shipboard accidents, urges better reporting

Better reporting requirements for shipboard injuries and near-miss incidents are needed to improve safety for mariners, according to a recent report by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), The American Club and Lamar University.

Salvors push to dismantle Golden Ray before hurricane season

Salvors push to dismantle Golden Ray before hurricane season

The vehicle carrier Golden Ray, which capsized in September after leaving Georgia’s Port of Brunswick, remained submerged on its side in mid-February as salvors finalized plans to break it up for removal. 

Tows running Ohio River get big lift at new Olmsted Locks

Tows running Ohio River get big lift at new Olmsted Locks

As summer came to a close and high water finally receded on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, the fleets at Cairo, Ill., and Paducah, Ky., were busy making up tows following nearly nine months of disruptions.

New York tugboat family casts century-long line at sea

New York tugboat family casts century-long line at sea

After John McKay graduated from high school in 1917 and began looking for a job, one docked at his feet.

New Metal Shark duo speeds Lower Miss. pilot transfers

New Metal Shark duo speeds Lower Miss. pilot transfers

Belle Chasse Marine Transportation (BCMT) began operations in 1977 on the Mississippi River with one crew boat.

Three dead after collision sinks towboat on Lower Mississippi

Three dead after collision sinks towboat on Lower Mississippi

Three mariners are missing and presumed dead following a predawn collision between two towboats on the Lower Mississippi River near Luling, La.

NTSB: Mass. Bay sinkings stemmed from poor voyage planning

NTSB: Mass. Bay sinkings stemmed from poor voyage planning

Big Jake guided an eight-vessel flotilla of dredging equipment north in Massachusetts Bay as wind and wave conditions got steadily worse.

NTSB: Speed of heavy-lift ship led to impact with moored destroyer

NTSB: Speed of heavy-lift ship led to impact with moored destroyer

A heavy-lift ship carrying a massive dry dock was going too fast when it struck a warship under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Miss., federal investigators determined. 

Lobster boat holes tanker in open-sea collision off Martha’s Vineyard

Lobster boat holes tanker in open-sea collision off Martha’s Vineyard

A lobster boat and a loaded tanker collided in open water south of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., and the Coast Guard is trying to piece together what happened.

TSB faults BC Ferries’ crew practices in rescue boat accident

TSB faults BC Ferries’ crew practices in rescue boat accident

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has determined that informal crew practices and insufficient supervision were contributing factors in a training accident on a BC Ferries vessel.

Casualty briefs

Casualty briefs

New age of salvage puts premium on safeguarding environment

New age of salvage puts premium on safeguarding environment

The tools and techniques for salvaging ships improved dramatically in the 20th century with the advent of more powerful pumps, safer diving apparatus and a host of other advancements.

In a world of litigation, is zero fault possible in vessel collisions?

In a world of litigation, is zero fault possible in vessel collisions?

As an expert witness in vessel collision cases duly approved by a Superior Court (voir dire), it is my professional opinion that some other expert witnesses in these cases can be a bit overzealous at times.

Upgrading your license? Check the CFR to get what you’ve earned

I had been working as an ordinary seaman with a large West Coast towing company out of Long Beach, Calif., my first job after graduating from the California Maritime Academy.