February 2018

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USMMA reaccredited after implementing sex misconduct reforms

USMMA reaccredited after implementing sex misconduct reforms

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) was granted full reaccreditation in November following warnings from academic overseers about sexual harassment and proper governance, and the suspension of the school’s Sea Year program for cadets.

New state law fuels dispute over proposed Hudson River anchorages

New state law fuels dispute over proposed Hudson River anchorages

The fight over establishing new barge anchorages on the Hudson River intensified in October, with New York enacting a law requiring state review and approval of any new mooring areas and shipping industry proponents questioning the need for the additional oversight.

In mixed ruling, judge upholds 2016 rate hike for Great Lakes pilots

The legal battle over 2016 Great Lakes pilotage fees will spill over into 2018 as a shipping industry coalition seeks remedies to a judge’s decision upholding the current rates.

Ferry operator sues pilots, city over fee increase in Portland Harbor

Ferry operator sues pilots, city over fee increase in Portland Harbor

The company that operates The Cat ferry between Portland, Maine, and Nova Scotia is suing to fight a pilotage fee increase it says will unfairly bump up its operating costs by nearly $100,000 a year.

Six new NYC ferries idled after inspectors find corrosion, leaks

Six new NYC ferries idled after inspectors find corrosion, leaks

Hornblower has removed six NYC Ferry vessels from service after U.S. Coast Guard inspectors found corrosion and leaks on at least three of the recently delivered boats and smaller leaks on two others.

Horizon files for bankruptcy protection after overruns on NYC ferries

Horizon files for bankruptcy protection after overruns on NYC ferries

Horizon Shipbuilding has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing cost overruns on ferries constructed for New York City and problems fulfilling a tugboat contract for McAllister Towing and Transportation.

Escort tugboats pull double duty opening the icy St. Lawrence

Escort tugboats pull double duty opening the icy St. Lawrence

It was March, the fourth month in a row that temperatures averaged below freezing in Quebec City.

From crook to claw, marine police keep pace in Massachusetts Bay

From crook to claw, marine police keep pace in Massachusetts Bay

From the forward passenger seat of the 50-foot Thomas Paine, Sgt. Eric Baldwin spotted a fishing boat more than a mile away in Massachusetts Bay.

Classic Lake Erie tug a colorful sum of its parts

Classic Lake Erie tug a colorful sum of its parts

It is impossible not to notice the handsome cherry-red fish tugs of Mike Scruton’s fleet lining the bank of Lynn River at Port Dover, Ontario, on Lake Erie’s north shore, especially the 45-foot Lef-Dover.

NTSB’s El Faro findings emphasize captain’s errors as risk increased

NTSB’s El Faro findings emphasize captain’s errors as risk increased

El Faro Capt. Michael Davidson should have done more to avoid Hurricane Joaquin, and after the ship lost propulsion he should have prepared crew sooner to abandon the crippled vessel, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined.

Probable cause of the El Faro sinking

El Faro: NTSB report at a glance

Explosion kills two crewmen on Bouchard oil barge off Texas

Explosion kills two crewmen on Bouchard oil barge off Texas

Two crewmen died after a loaded oil barge exploded in the Gulf of Mexico near Port Aransas, Texas.

Mate asleep at helm when ATB grounded off British Columbia

Mate asleep at helm when ATB grounded off British Columbia

The crewman steering a U.S.-flagged articulated tug-barge through British Columbia’s Inside Passage fell asleep sometime before the vessels ran aground near Bella Bella, resulting in a 29,000-gallon fuel and oil spill.

TSB: Poor risk assessment led to St. Lawrence River tug capsizing

TSB: Poor risk assessment led to St. Lawrence River tug capsizing

Lack of a documented process to assist masters in evaluating risk in operations, such as transiting a barge in current to a work quay, led to the capsizing of a tugboat in the St. Lawrence River near Montreal, Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) determined.

Coast Guard suspends captain’s license after close call with rowers

Coast Guard suspends captain’s license after close call with rowers

An Oregon excursion boat captain already on probation following a 2015 incident has again had his license suspended by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Casualty briefs

S-mode: Standardizing navigation electronics for safer seas

S-mode: Standardizing navigation electronics for safer seas

Before sunrise on Jan. 13, 2015, the 257-foot Connor Bordelon struck an unmanned drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico while returning to Port Fourchon, La.

VHF use under COLREGS: What you don’t know could hurt you

VHF use under COLREGS: What you don’t know could hurt you

You are on a vessel conducting an eastbound Atlantic crossing on a clear day with a razor-sharp horizon and the bluest of waters when you sight a meeting vessel on a reciprocal course with a small CPA (closest point of approach) five miles off.

Know before you go to stay out of trouble in foreign ports

It was a hot Gulf of Mexico day, and we were heading to Tampa, Fla., with a full load of gasoline.