December/January 2016

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Coast Guard survey: U.S. towing industry sees its fewest annual fatalities on the water

Coast Guard survey: U.S. towing industry sees its fewest annual fatalities on the water

U.S. Coast Guard safety statistics for the towing industry show a dramatic decrease in the number of crew deaths over a 20-year period.

Coast Guard issues clarification to marine casualty reporting rules

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a document that provides new guidance for reporting casualties.

Commercial maritime groups call for end to St. Clair River raft event

Commercial maritime groups call for end to St. Clair River raft event

In an unusually public and blunt campaign, Great Lakes shipowners have taken aim at a recreational event they say is dangerous and inhibits waterborne commerce at the height of their busiest season.

Alaska tour operator plans to order fully electric oceangoing boat

Alaska tour operator plans to order fully electric oceangoing boat

Working on behalf of an Alaska whale-watching tour operator, shipbuilders and technicians have designed the nation’s first all-electric seagoing passenger vessel.

Judges order $7 million payment in Louisiana tugboat charter dispute

A federal appeals court has ordered two inactive Louisiana maritime companies to pay more than $7 million to another company for breaching a vessel sales agreement.

Call for Samuel Plimsoll Award nominations

Call for Samuel Plimsoll Award nominations

Heritage Marine rejuvenates Gulf tugs for service at Great Lakes port

Heritage Marine rejuvenates Gulf tugs for service at Great Lakes port

When Michael Ojard founded Heritage Marine in the Great Lakes port of Duluth/Superior in 2007, his ancestral heritage furnished him with the name.

Experienced crews and nimble tugs move barges safely in British Columbia

Experienced crews and nimble tugs move barges safely in British Columbia

“When Seaspan designed these boats, they involved their senior skippers,” explained Capt. Gordon Lazarowich. “They got boats that are perfectly suited to their work.”

New Port Canaveral pilot boat designed for safety, comfort

New Port Canaveral pilot boat designed for safety, comfort

Capt. Mike Rigby, the senior boat captain and director of engineering for the Canaveral Pilots Association at Port Canaveral, Fla., worked with naval architect Bill Preston at Marine Design in Gulf Breeze, Fla., for a year to gain the pilots’ approval for the design of their new pilot boat, Timucua.

El Faro disappearance is the worst U.S.-flag disaster in 35 years

El Faro disappearance is the worst U.S.-flag disaster in 35 years

The roll-on/roll-off ship El Faro went missing and is presumed sunk in the western Atlantic Ocean near the Bahamas after encountering Hurricane Joaquin. Authorities found no survivors among the 33 people on board.

Mariner killed when towboat goes out of control, sinks in swift current

A mariner working on a Mississippi River towing vessel died when the boat capsized and sank near a St. Louis fleeting area in unusually high water.

Barge hits recreational vessel on Alabama lake, killing two boaters

Two passengers aboard a pontoon boat died after their stalled vessel was struck by a barge in northwest Alabama.

Towboat strikes St. Louis bridge scaffolding; worker falls to his death

Towboat strikes St. Louis bridge scaffolding; worker falls to his death

A man who was sandblasting the side of a historic Mississippi River bridge was killed when a towing vessel struck the scaffolding where he was working, the Coast Guard said.

North Carolina party boat loses steering, strikes pier; 15 injured

A passenger vessel packed with revelers ran into a fishing pier near Wilmington, N.C., and authorities say a steering malfunction was what caused the captain to lose control.

Boater killed in collision with Quebec ferry

A 23-year-old man died when the pleasure craft he was aboard struck a cable ferry in the middle of a Quebec river and he was catapulted overboard.

Investigators: Operators of both vessels in Gulf crash were distracted

Investigators: Operators of both vessels in Gulf crash were distracted

A 2014 collision between an offshore supply vessel (OSV) and a commercial fishing boat occurred because operators of both vessels didn’t keep proper lookouts, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said.

Interceptors deliver improvements to fuel efficiency

Interceptors deliver improvements to fuel efficiency

Vessels ranging from the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ships to ferries to pilot vessels to yachts are using interceptors for better performance.

Federal agencies provide funding for hydrogen-fueled Calif. fast ferry

Federal agencies provide funding for hydrogen-fueled Calif. fast ferry

Tom Escher wants to ride across San Francisco Bay on a quiet, fast boat with no emissions. And if the passengers get thirsty, they can drink the exhaust.

Flags of convenience are a disgrace to the maritime industry

I had completed the academic requirements for graduation from California Maritime Academy and passed my third mate’s exam, so all I had to do was make sure there were no library fines and wait a week until the official graduation ceremony.