June/July 2015

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Rehabilitation projects, growth outlook drive Seaway investment

Rehabilitation projects, growth outlook drive Seaway investment

A diverse, systemwide investment of nearly $7 billion in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway is reflective of a collective confidence in the future of the navigation system, stakeholders say.

MarAd: Shrinking US-flag fleet has subtracted 2,200 mariner jobs

MarAd: Shrinking US-flag fleet has subtracted 2,200 mariner jobs

The decline in Department of Defense (DoD) cargo being shipped to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan is rapidly shrinking the ranks of the U.S.-flag fleet in overseas trade, and is even putting pressure on the 60 ships of the Marine Security Program (MSP).

US proposes new set of safety rules for offshore drilling in Arctic

Proposed regulations by the Obama administration would set performance and safety standards for companies engaged in exploratory drilling in the U.S. Arctic Outer Continental Shelf.

IMO: New marine fuel sulfur target may go into effect 5 years earlier

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) may move up the global 0.5 percent sulfur limit’s start date to 2020, raising questions about fuel cost and supply.

Vessels can take a magic carpet ride to save fuel and cut emissions

Vessels can take a magic carpet ride to save fuel and cut emissions

In the ongoing quest to reduce fuel usage and carbon dioxide emissions, vessel designers are turning to a cushion of air to reduce hull drag.

Plimsolls awarded to legislative staffer, towing firm, immersion suit

The editors of Professional Mariner have presented the 2015 Plimsoll Awards for Outstanding Service to a former congressional staff member specializing in maritime affairs, to a towing operator that donated a simulator to an academy, and to a company that developed a more effective immersion suit.

US Coast Guard, TSAC urge action on overhead clearance casualties

US Coast Guard, TSAC urge action on overhead clearance casualties

Casualties involving cargoes striking overhead bridges or power lines are among the maritime industry’s most preventable, and the U.S. Coast Guard is taking steps to ensure that crews understand the simple steps needed to ensure safe transits.

Coastal pilots shepherd bulk carrier into tight harbor

Coastal pilots shepherd bulk carrier into tight harbor

Serving the 15,000 miles of convoluted coast in the 655 miles from Brotchie Ledge off Victoria, British Columbia, to Stewart, Alaska, in the north, the BC Coast Pilots have one of the largest territories in the world.

McAllister boosts size of new escort tug at Port Everglades

McAllister boosts size of new escort tug at Port Everglades

Glowing in biblical light, the tug Tate McAllister was transiting out of the Port Everglades entrance channel, bound for the sea buoy and the 758-foot CCNI Valparaiso, steaming inbound.

Columbia pilot intentionally grounds bulk carrier after engine failure

Columbia pilot intentionally grounds bulk carrier after engine failure

Capt. Bradley Warner was guiding the bulk carrier Miyama outbound on the Columbia River when the ship’s steering suddenly stopped responding.

Captain killed after entering cold water while tug sank near Long Island

Captain killed after entering cold water while tug sank near Long Island

The Coast Guard is investigating why a tugboat sank so rapidly in the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island that one of its crew did not have time to don an immersion suit and died.

Three hurt while trying to secure chemical drums in rough seas

Three crewmembers needed to be airlifted from a bulk carrier after two suffered chemical burns and a third suffered a knee injury during a cleaning operation in heavy weather.

NTSB: Autopilot confusion likely caused ITB to run into docked cutter

The integrated tug-barge (ITB) Krystal Sea/Cordova Provider was approaching port in Cordova, Alaska, in heavy fog when the captain realized there was a problem: The vessel was going too fast.

MTBE leaks into Texas channel after tanker, bulk carrier collide

MTBE leaks into Texas channel after tanker, bulk carrier collide

A hazardous chemical leaked from a tanker that collided with a bulk carrier in the Houston Ship Channel.

Boxship holed in collision with tanker in Houston Ship Channel

A containership ended up with a 100-square-foot hole in its hull after a collision with a chemical tanker in the Houston Ship Channel.

TSB: Confusion, system failures caused ship to ram Canadian frigate

Poor communication between the bridge and engineers was a root cause of a former offshore supply vessel’s propulsion loss that prompted it to strike a moored Canadian navy ship in 2013, investigators said.

Beacons, thermal imaging, AIS aid man-overboard location and retrieval

Beacons, thermal imaging, AIS aid man-overboard location and retrieval

It wasn’t long ago that “man overboard” meant lost at sea. Luck was your only friend if you hoped to be recovered before drowning or succumbing to hypothermia as your vessel circled back to look for you — if your fellow crewmembers even knew you were missing.

Miko Marine develops device to ease oil removal from wrecks

Miko Marine develops device to ease oil removal from wrecks

Since the 19th century, doomed ships have been taking at least part of their oily cargoes or the contents of their bunkers to the bottom, trapping large amounts of potentially valuable product and leaving a long-term pollution threat.

Be sure to keep up with changes to national endorsements

Tom, a deck hand/cook I sailed with on a tug years ago, called me awhile back out of the blue.