August 2017

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Bill aims to take trust fund ‘off budget’ to boost harbor maintenance

Bill aims to take trust fund ‘off budget’ to boost harbor maintenance

New legislation proposed in Congress would eliminate the appropriations bottleneck affecting the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, taking it “off budget” to ensure the nation’s ports are properly maintained.

Navy delays frigate contract amid concerns about cost, capabilities

Navy delays frigate contract amid concerns about cost, capabilities

The U.S. Navy will delay awarding a design and construction contract for a new frigate by one year following a critical report by the Government Accountability Office.

US gas company hit with record Jones Act fine for using Chinese ship

US gas company hit with record Jones Act fine for using Chinese ship

After a six-year dispute, natural gas producer Furie Operating Alaska LLC agreed in late March to pay the U.S. government $10 million in the biggest Jones Act fine to date.

PSC ship detentions lowest in five years, but fire violations rise again

PSC ship detentions lowest in five years, but fire violations rise again

The U.S. Coast Guard detained fewer foreign-flagged ships for environmental and safety-related deficiencies in 2016, with the number falling from 202 in 2015 to 103 — a five-year low.

Transport Canada boosts BC tug inspections in wake of TSB criticism

Transport Canada boosts BC tug inspections in wake of TSB criticism

Criticism by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has helped prompt another federal agency, Transport Canada (TC), to step up inspections of tugboats and barges on the coast of British Columbia.

Tug captains fault training, asset shortage at expanded Panama Canal

Tug captains fault training, asset shortage at expanded Panama Canal

A year after the Panama Canal opened its new locks to accommodate larger ships, tugboat captains say canal officials still have not addressed many safety concerns, including a lack of training and a shortage of tugs that can handle the challenges of the expanded waterway.

NOAA steps up charting with digital upgrades, new services

NOAA steps up charting with digital upgrades, new services

In February, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Coast Survey released a draft version of its “National Charting Plan — A Strategy to Transform Nautical Charting.”

Technology in hand, model maker builds on history of craftsmanship

Technology in hand, model maker builds on history of craftsmanship

At Built To Scale (BTS), a handful of artisans fashion a myriad of tiny detailed parts into, among other things, vessel models.

High-powered pumper fills critical response gap in San Francisco

High-powered pumper fills critical response gap in San Francisco

On a heart-stopping clear day in March, San Francisco’s new fireboat, veiled in a gauzelike spray of water shooting from its six cannons in front of The Embarcadero, created an impressionistic rendering of the Bay Bridge.

NTSB cites inadequate manning, fatigue in fatal sinking of NY tug

NTSB cites inadequate manning, fatigue in fatal sinking of NY tug

Before dawn on a late winter morning, Specialist and two other tugboats approached the site of the new Tappan Zee Bridge with a massive crane barge in tow.

Bulker drifts into Mississippi River dock after breaking anchor chain

Bulker drifts into Mississippi River dock after breaking anchor chain

Crew aboard Star of Abu Dhabi dropped anchor at a Mississippi River anchorage on a clear spring evening following a long voyage from the Canary Islands.

Inadequate tow gear, poor risk assessment cited in BC barge groundings

Inadequate tow gear, poor risk assessment cited in BC barge groundings

Two barges went aground on Vancouver Island in high winds because inadequate towing equipment was used and the company had not developed documented operating procedures for its vessels, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said in a report released in May.

Helmsman’s steering error cited in Columbia River bulker grounding

Helmsman’s steering error cited in Columbia River bulker grounding

The bulk carrier Sparna was outbound on the Columbia River with a load of wheat when it left the navigation channel and struck a charted reef near Wauna, Ore., leaving large rocks lodged inside the hull.

Mate surrenders license after Intracoastal Waterway bridge strike

Mate surrenders license after Intracoastal Waterway bridge strike

Failure to account for bank effect likely caused a bridge strike last year in the Intracoastal Waterway off Chesapeake, Va., according to the National Transportation Safety Board, which also cited the mate’s lack of experience navigating through tight waterways.

Vicksburg bridge hit again during high water; 11 barges break free

A Vicksburg, Miss., railroad bridge that was struck by vessels five times in 10 days last year was hit again this spring during high water on the Mississippi River.

Casualty briefs

Casualty briefs

Ship operators balance cost, value of keeping crews plugged in

Ship operators balance cost, value of keeping crews plugged in

Crew connectivity for mariners, particularly on bluewater vessels, has emerged as an important issue in the “care and feeding” department.

Loophole allowing open lifeboats continues to put seafarers at risk