February 2019

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Congress backs towing industry, passes new WRDA with no user fees

Congress backs towing industry, passes new WRDA with no user fees

Several Trump administration proposals opposed by inland towing interests were dropped from the waterway resources bill passed by Congress and signed by the president in late October, showing the strength that the industry has on Capitol Hill, according to towing organization leaders.

IMO rejects US-backed bid to delay stricter sulfur limit for fuel

IMO rejects US-backed bid to delay stricter sulfur limit for fuel

The 0.5 percent sulfur limit for marine fuel is on a clear course for implementation in 2020 after the International Maritime Organization (IMO) blocked a recent attempt to delay the measure.

GAO urges DOT to finish strategy as US-flag cargo fleet shrinks

GAO urges DOT to finish strategy as US-flag cargo fleet shrinks

Preparing the privately owned U.S.-flag cargo fleet to support long-term military operations could require 1,800 more licensed mariners and increased vessel subsidies, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Former SeaRiver CEO Jack Buono takes helm at Kings Point

Former SeaRiver CEO Jack Buono takes helm at Kings Point

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy alumnus Jack Buono has become the school’s 13th superintendent.

Eastern recovers from Hurricane Michael, resumes OPC work

Eastern recovers from Hurricane Michael, resumes OPC work

Staff is back at Eastern Shipbuilding Group after its yards in Panama City, Fla., were heavily damaged by Hurricane Michael.

Resolve deploys new system for one of hemisphere’s heaviest lifts

Resolve deploys new system for one of hemisphere’s heaviest lifts

Resolve Marine Group accomplished one of the heaviest lifts in the Americas when the company raised the sunken derrick barge DB1 in August from the Gulf of Mexico.

Safety questioned, Erie Canal’s teaching tug faces final chapter

Safety questioned, Erie Canal’s teaching tug faces final chapter

Several dozen fidgety school kids on a field trip stood on the canal bank next to a tugboat called Urger.

Looming sulfur cap raises concerns about expanded use of scrubbers

Looming sulfur cap raises concerns about expanded use of scrubbers

Starting in January 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will impose a 0.5 percent sulfur cap on marine fuel content, in what independent shipping analyst Ned Molloy called “the biggest change in what ships run on since they moved away from coal to oil.”

Scrubbers at a glance

Scrubbers at a glance

There are three basic designs for exhaust gas scrubbers: open loop, hybrid (caustic assisted), and closed loop.

Boston’s new fast ferries in step with the past and future

Boston’s new fast ferries in step with the past and future

Think Boston, think tradition. The naming of two new fast ferries, Champion and Glory, for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) complies with the city’s maritime history.

Maintenance, training gaps cited in fatal Florida casino boat fire

Maintenance, training gaps cited in fatal Florida casino boat fire

A failed raw-water pump likely caused a fatal 2018 fire aboard a Florida casino shuttle boat, according to federal investigators, who attributed the incident to maintenance and training shortcomings.

Crewman on Canadian freighter dies in fall at Eisenhower Lock

Crewman on Canadian freighter dies in fall at Eisenhower Lock

A Canadian mariner working on a bulk carrier died after falling into the St. Lawrence River just outside the Eisenhower Lock in upstate New York.

Mariner seriously injured when barge capsizes in New Bedford

A mariner suffered serious injuries when a barge struck him before capsizing near a terminal in New Bedford, Mass.

NTSB: Spraying lube oil caused fire on Lower Mississippi towboat

NTSB: Spraying lube oil caused fire on Lower Mississippi towboat

The towboat George King was upbound on the Lower Mississippi River pushing 30 empty barges when the captain noticed a flash from behind.

Stuck valve, poor communication cited in New Orleans bulker strike

Stuck valve, poor communication cited in New Orleans bulker strike

As far as the Mia S. captain and pilot knew, engineering crew had resolved the engine problems bedeviling their loaded bulk carrier sailing outbound on the Mississippi River near New Orleans.

Loaded ATB leaves channel, runs hard aground in Straits of Mackinac

Loaded ATB leaves channel, runs hard aground in Straits of Mackinac

An articulated tug-barge carrying stone and nearly 100,000 gallons of diesel ran hard aground in a narrow section of the Straits of Mackinac, but the ATB was able to float free less than a day later without being breached.

Casualty briefs

Casualty briefs

Modern navigation aids, IT guide Coast Guard’s new vision for maritime commerce

Modern navigation aids, IT guide Coast Guard’s new vision for maritime commerce

The U.S. Coast Guard recently released its Maritime Commerce Strategic Outlook, a long-term vision to support and grow the nation’s maritime trade, in particular by integrating modern and traditional navigation tools.

Anchored by deep-V, pilot boats ride wave of evolution

Anchored by deep-V, pilot boats ride wave of evolution

Pilot boats with sleek deep-V hulls have been the industry standard for nearly 40 years, the result of collaboration between two American shipbuilding icons.

‘Don’t let the bedbugs bite’ tall order on an unsanitary ship

After a long day of flying to Tampa, Fla., from Seattle, I paid the cab driver and grabbed my gear, having finally arrived at the shipyard where the 890-foot crude oil tanker to which the company had assigned me was finishing up a nearly two-month yard period.