August 2019

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VT Halter gets contract to build Coast Guard’s polar security cutter

VT Halter gets contract to build Coast Guard’s polar security cutter

Mississippi’s VT Halter Marine was awarded a contract in April to build a 460-foot polar security cutter, with options for two more, to upgrade the Coast Guard’s aging icebreaker fleet.

Trump pledges not to waive Jones Act for LNG shipments

Trump pledges not to waive Jones Act for LNG shipments

After an outcry from the maritime industry, President Trump pledged not to waive Jones Act requirements in order to boost domestic shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

More inspected vessels, new training underlie rise in deficiencies

More inspected vessels, new training underlie rise in deficiencies

The U.S. Coast Guard documented 25,324 vessel deficiencies in 2018, according to the service’s second Domestic Vessel Annual Report.

Houston wrestles with containership limits as traffic grows

Houston wrestles with containership limits as traffic grows

The Texas energy industry is sparring with other vessel operators over use of the Houston Ship Channel, which has seen an increase in containership traffic that can slow tanker transits in the busy waterway.

ICS warns FONAR isn’t ‘free pass’ to skirt new low-sulfur rule

ICS warns FONAR isn’t ‘free pass’ to skirt new low-sulfur rule

Questions about adequate supplies and quality of low-sulfur bunker fuel continue to loom as the maritime industry prepares for the transition to 0.5 percent fuel on Jan. 1, 2020.

One year after rollout, Subchapter M still a work needing progress

One year after rollout, Subchapter M still a work needing progress

As the latest deadline approached for the inspection of towing vessels under Subchapter M, industry members said the process was still rocky, with inconsistencies in the interpretation of the regulations, unpredictable wait times for the processing of applications, and questions about enforcement for those who didn’t meet the July 22 target date.

Sand-running tug and barge keep the concrete flowing in NYC

Sand-running tug and barge keep the concrete flowing in NYC

Without standard clean sand, you can’t create the universal building material, concrete. And with the scale of construction in any large city — any “concrete jungle” — the appetite for sand is immense.

Stalwart ferry right at home in shallows of Delaware Bay

Stalwart ferry right at home in shallows of Delaware Bay

Cape Henlopen, crisp white and dazzling under a deep-blue sky over Delaware Bay, made its slow approach to the breakwater at Cape May, N.J., the ferry’s captain mindful of the shallow harbor.

NTSB report on fatal barge blast faults Bouchard’s safety culture

NTSB report on fatal barge blast faults Bouchard’s safety culture

After loading crude oil on the Lower Mississippi River, the articulated tug-barge Buster Bouchard and B. No. 255 sailed for Corpus Christi, Texas. Oil leaked from a forward cargo tank for most of that voyage, allowing fuel and vapors to build up in the forepeak, according to federal investigators.

NTSB: Improper vetting, pilot’s inexperience led to fatal sinking

NTSB: Improper vetting, pilot’s inexperience led to fatal sinking

The towboat Natalie Jean and its empty barge struggled against a steady wind and the swollen Mississippi River when the pilot steered toward the main channel from the west bank.

Mate presumed dead after falling overboard in St. Lawrence River

Mate presumed dead after falling overboard in St. Lawrence River

The second officer of a Singapore-flagged containership is presumed dead after falling into the St. Lawrence River near Les Escoumins, Quebec.

NTSB cites failure to secure barge anchor for $105 million casualty

NTSB cites failure to secure barge anchor for $105 million casualty

The articulated tug-barge (ATB) tugboat Clyde S. VanEnkevort and barge Erie Trader were approaching port in Indiana Harbor, Ind., when a crewman heard something unusual: One of the barge’s anchors was submerged, and its chain was rubbing against the hull.

Barge nearly severed, spills gas stock in Houston channel collision

Barge nearly severed, spills gas stock in Houston channel collision

A tanker collided with a two-barge tow in the Houston Ship Channel, nearly severing one barge and causing the other to roll over and sink.

Casualty briefs

Casualty briefs

Going mobile: Apps making maritime life safer, more efficient, more connected

Going mobile: Apps making maritime life safer, more efficient, more connected

While there may have been some lag in the adoption of mobile devices in the maritime world, that’s changing these days with the rapid evolution of mobile apps in communication, navigation and beyond.

Maritime jobs on the line as autonomous ships gain steam

Maritime jobs on the line as autonomous ships gain steam

There’s a tidal wave of maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS) that is about to come crashing down on professional mariners in America and all over the world.

In age of seagoing specialists, plan now — later may be too late

It was Saturday, graduation day at California Maritime Academy (CMA), and a warm spring haze was just burning off the Carquinez Strait as we assembled for the ceremony.