August 2014

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Korea ferry disaster reveals problems with evacuation, duty

Korea ferry disaster reveals problems with evacuation, duty

The failure of captains to properly evacuate their ships, and crews that did not follow emergency procedures, contributed to the deaths of hundreds in two major passenger vessel casualties in the past two years.

Good Samaritans save lives of sinking tug’s crew near Long Island

Good Samaritans save lives of sinking tug’s crew near Long Island

With heavy fog, six-foot seas on the Atlantic Ocean off western Long Island and night approaching, the mayday call on Jan. 15 did not come at a good time.

IMO issues instructions for shipmasters to gather evidence of crimes

After five-year absence, a car ferry again links Maine and Nova Scotia

After five-year absence, a car ferry again links Maine and Nova Scotia

Built five years ago to ply the English Channel, Norman Leader never sailed due to a dispute between the buyer and builder over deadweight capacity. Now the ferry has a new name, Nova Star, and a new role: reviving service between Maine and Nova Scotia.

Navy creates hydrocarbon fuel from seawater

Navy creates hydrocarbon fuel from seawater

The U.S. Navy has developed a breakthrough process to convert seawater into hydrocarbon fuel, a process that could lead to fueling stations at sea in decades to come.

More towing operators are choosing z-drives for inland river work

More towing operators are choosing z-drives for inland river work

Although it’s one of the nation’s largest inland operators, American Commercial Lines (ACL) hadn’t ordered any new vessels since 1982.

New York harbor tanker never misses a fuel delivery

New York harbor tanker never misses a fuel delivery

Capt. Rich Naruszewicz, at the helm of Capt. Log, issues his radio sécurité call while crossing New York Harbor.

U.S. Coast Guard begins testing synthetic aids, virtual buoys

U.S. Coast Guard begins testing synthetic aids, virtual buoys

The U.S. Coast Guard has begun to test automatic identification system (AIS) aids to navigation, including virtual buoys, on the West Coast as the first step toward introducing them around the country.

Small Sounder-model fireboat boasts big water capacity, speed

Small Sounder-model fireboat boasts big water capacity, speed

It does not take long to realize that firefighter and boat operator Sean Kearns is an ardent enthusiast when it comes to the Clark County Fire Department’s spanking new fireboat, Mary Firstenburg.

Captain, crew face charges after Korean ferry disaster kills 290

Captain, crew face charges after Korean ferry disaster kills 290

More than 290 people were killed when a severely overloaded South Korean ferry sank in April. The captain and three officers were charged with murder.

Two deck hands die when cargo shifts, barge sinks at Arkansas pier

One deck hand was killed and another is presumed dead after a barge carrying steel coils sank while being unloaded at a terminal on the swollen Mississippi River.

Misunderstandings lead to collision and fuel spill in the ‘Texas City Y’

Misunderstandings lead to collision and fuel spill in the ‘Texas City Y’

“If you keep on coming, I’m going to get you,” a pilot aboard a bulk carrier radioed to a tugboat pushing oil barges through heavy fog in Galveston Bay.

Three people hospitalized after inhaling chemical aboard barge

Three Ingram Barge Co. employees were exposed to a hazardous chemical and hospitalized after cleaning a barge along the Ohio River near Catlettsburg, Ky.

NTSB: Confusion over engine mode caused New York City ferry crash

NTSB: Confusion over engine mode caused New York City ferry crash

A commuter ferry struck a New York City pier in January 2013 as a result of the captain losing control because he was unaware the propulsion system was in backup mode, the National Transportation Safety Board has determined.

Probe: Towboat fire spread because of inability to secure engine room

A fire aboard a Mississippi River towboat in 2012 spread rapidly and caused severe damage because the crew was unable to shut down ventilation and deploy suppression, according to an investigative report.

NTSB: Tanker was traveling too fast before striking Maryland pier

Federal investigators say a tanker that caused $2 million in damage to a pier in Baltimore Harbor was traveling too fast while attempting a sharp dogleg turn.

Helicopters evacuate crew from stranded bulk carrier near Canada

A grain carrier’s crew were evacuated by helicopter after the ship’s engine room flooded and the vessel drifted against a shoal in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Lines part, barges run aground in rough weather near Tampa Bay

Lines part, barges run aground in rough weather near Tampa Bay

A barge carrying construction equipment broke away from a pushboat during rough weather and grounded on a barrier island near Bradenton, Fla.

STCW mariners to receive mandatory leadership training

STCW mariners to receive mandatory leadership training

In a conference room surrounded by a half-dozen captains and mates, Capt. Scott Conway leads a discussion of leadership needs aboard their vessels — and what can go wrong when communication is poor.

Advice to new mariners: embrace job variety, training, networking

This time each year thousands of newly credentialed mariners enter our profession. If you are one of them, I welcome you to our industry and commend you on your choice of occupation.