June/July 2013

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Shell, Conoco postpone plans for offshore drilling in Arctic Alaska

Shell, Conoco postpone plans for offshore drilling in Arctic Alaska

Problems with two of its drilling vessels have led Royal Dutch Shell to delay offshore oil exploration in Alaska’s Arctic for 2013, while regulatory uncertainty has prompted rival ConocoPhillips to postpone its plans to drill there through 2014.

Turning waste heat into electricity saves fuel, reduces CO2 emissions

Turning waste heat into electricity saves fuel, reduces CO2 emissions

There are currently around 16,000 registered vessels sailing worldwide. This huge commercial shipping fleet accounts for between 4 to 5 percent of the world’s carbon emissions suspected of causing climate change, according to Sweden’s Opcon Energy Systems AB.

MarAd: U.S.-flag laker fleet on the road to recovery from recession, still faces obstacles

Despite low water and lack of dredging, the Great Lakes shipping industry is on the mend from record low traffic in 2009.

Engineers resurrect use of water-lubricated propeller shaft bearings on commercial ships

Engineers resurrect use of water-lubricated propeller shaft bearings on commercial ships

As environmental regulations tighten, water-lubricated propeller shaft bearings are becoming a popular alternative to oil-lubricated bearings for commercial vessels.

Plimsolls go to Coast Guard casualty office, longtime mariner trainer, safety advocate

The editors of Professional Mariner have presented this year’s Plimsoll Awards for Outstanding Service to the U.S. Coast Guard office whose mission is to help vessel operators avoid casualties, to a mariner trainer who pioneered the concept of bridge resource management and to an industry executive who has advocated measures to end sinkings resulting from cargo liquefaction.

After a ‘bitt’ of a rhubarb, TSAC accepts the idea of jargon consistency

After a ‘bitt’ of a rhubarb, TSAC accepts the idea of jargon consistency

A proposal to standardize towing lingo raised the temperature in the room at this year’s Towing Safety Advisory Committee meeting.

On ferry transporting school pupils, crew devoted to ‘safety on safety on safety’

On ferry transporting school pupils, crew devoted to ‘safety on safety on safety’

Running 14 miles from Cape Mudge on the southern tip of British Columbia’s Quadra Island to Chatham Point and the lower reaches of Johnstone Strait, Discovery Passage is known far and wide for the tidal bore at Seymour Narrows.

Louisiana lugger tug works the shallow-water bays and bayous

Louisiana lugger tug works the shallow-water bays and bayous

Capt. Kenneth Helmer and mate George Clement, the two-man crew on George C, a 68-foot-by-26-foot lugger tug moored at the Venice Marina, north of Head of Passes on the Mississippi River, were making ready to leave on a rig move in March.

Captain dies from burns after towboat grounds on La. pipeline

Captain dies from burns after towboat grounds on La. pipeline

A towboat captain was fatally injured when his vessel ran aground on a gas pipeline in Louisiana waters and burst into flames.

TSB: Fatigue, inexperience led to barge collision with B.C. rail bridge

TSB: Fatigue, inexperience led to barge collision with B.C. rail bridge

A fatigued master and a mate unfamiliar with transiting a difficult passage on the Fraser River were factors that led to the collision of a loaded gravel barge with a British Columbia rail bridge, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said.

Research vessel floods, sinks in Gulf of Mexico; crew escapes to lifeboats

U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crews rescued 12 people from lifeboats after their research vessel capsized and later sank in the Gulf of Mexico during rough weather.

TSB: Lack of emergency-steering training led to Quebec grounding

A bridge crew’s inadequate training on emergency procedures in the event of a helm failure led to the grounding of a bulk carrier in the St. Lawrence River in 2011, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said.

Severe injuries result from incident aboard tanker near San Diego; 2 men need medevac

Severe injuries result from incident aboard tanker near San Diego; 2 men need medevac

Two crewmen were airlifted off a tanker after being badly injured in an incident off the California coast.

Probe: Jammed steering linkage caused seaway lo-lo grounding

A heavy-payload carrier ran aground in the St. Lawrence River last year because part of a linkage mechanism detached and became wedged in a position that prevented the movement of the rudder, an investigator said.

Tankers collide near Texas after discussing a passing arrangement

Two large Houston-bound tankers carrying benzene and other petrochemicals collided in the Gulf of Mexico, apparently during a passing maneuver, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

TSB: B.C. ferry crashed after officers failed to test propeller

The bridge team’s lack of adherence to procedures and unfamiliarity with the operation of the propulsion system in an emergency led to a docking crash of a British Columbia ferry in 2011, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada has determined.

PSV runs aground along Texas island after losing propulsion power

PSV runs aground along Texas island after losing propulsion power

Rough seas complicated salvage of a platform supply vessel that lost power and ran aground near the Corpus Christi, Texas, harbor.

Adrift cruise ship aids tryout of satellite-based ship tracking

Government officials on both sides of the Atlantic became concerned in February when a cruise ship bound for the scrap heap from Newfoundland broke free of its towline and started drifting toward Europe.

BNWAS ensures that someone is at controls

BNWAS ensures that someone is at controls

Eleven years ago, a towboat captain was pushing two barges on the Arkansas River when he lost consciousness due to a heart-rhythm episode. Unbeknownst to his crew, the tow traveled along with the wheelhouse unattended for almost five minutes.

Investing in sensible shoes puts a mariner on solid footing

After paying my way through California Maritime Academy, I entered the industry as a deck hand for a large West Coast towing company. I was over $20,000 in debt and had no money for new work shoes.

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