June/July 2017

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Coast Guard supporters fight ‘nonsensical’ proposal to slash service’s funding

Coast Guard supporters fight ‘nonsensical’ proposal to slash service’s funding

President Trump surprised and dismayed supporters of the U.S. Coast Guard in late February by proposing a $1.3 billion cut in the service’s funding while recommending a 10 percent increase in defense spending.

Bill tries anew to require US-flag ships for some petroleum exports

With U.S. petroleum exports growing, a bipartisan bill introduced in Congress in late February would mandate that up to 30 percent of “strategic energy assets” be carried on U.S.-flagged ships.

Design studies launch acquisition process for new heavy icebreaker

Design studies launch acquisition process for new heavy icebreaker

The U.S. Coast Guard’s next heavy icebreaker should be capable of operating in polar waters, transiting the tropics in between and supporting a wide array of scientific and homeland security missions.

NTSB assesses industry’s close encounters with recreational boats

NTSB assesses industry’s close encounters with recreational boats

The increase in dangerous incidents between recreational and commercial vessels on U.S. waterways has resulted in new safety recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) based on an investigation into the scope of the problem.

Coast Guard, Carnegie Mellon using voice analysis to fight hoax callers

Coast Guard, Carnegie Mellon using voice analysis to fight hoax callers

Search and rescue (SAR) hoax callers cost U.S. law enforcement and security agencies more than $1 billion annually, sometimes claiming lives in the process.

Plimsolls go to Houston pilots, training provider, inspection innovators

Plimsolls go to Houston pilots, training provider, inspection innovators

Professional Mariner has presented the 2017 Samuel Plimsoll Awards for Outstanding Service to two marine pilots whose actions minimized the danger posed by an oil tanker ablaze in the Houston Ship Channel, and to a training provider that has implemented a collaborative simulation program to improve the navigation skills of mariners.

Industry officials apprehensive about cuts in Trump’s ‘skinny’ budget

Industry officials apprehensive about cuts in Trump’s ‘skinny’ budget

Maritime leaders are concerned about proposed cuts in President Donald Trump’s initial fiscal 2018 budget, fearing that programs essential to U.S. ports and the inland waterways system will be eliminated or severely cut back.

A fond look back, from below, at America’s premier ocean liner

A fond look back, from below, at America’s premier ocean liner

Robert Sturm, a 1956 U.S. Merchant Marine Academy graduate, spends every Thursday back on campus at Kings Point, N.Y.

Crescent tugs bulk up to handle new era of megaships

Crescent tugs bulk up to handle new era of megaships

Shortly after the Panama Canal expansion was completed in June 2016, new containerships carrying twice the cargo of Panamax vessels began arriving in the Port of Savannah, Ga.

NTSB cites cruise ship’s speed, approach angle in Baltimore crash

NTSB cites cruise ship’s speed, approach angle in Baltimore crash

The cruise ship Carnival Pride rammed a Baltimore Harbor pier because the staff captain allowed the vessel to approach too fast and at too steep an angle, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Crew rescued after ferry loses propulsion, drifts off Newfoundland

Crew rescued after ferry loses propulsion, drifts off Newfoundland

The Canadian Coast Guard rescued five crewmembers from a disabled ferry drifting off Newfoundland’s southern coast after the vessel possibly ran out of fuel.

Crew boat turns abruptly, runs hard aground on Louisiana jetty

Crew boat turns abruptly, runs hard aground on Louisiana jetty

A crew boat carrying seven people ran onto a jetty marking the Calcasieu Ship Channel in southwest Louisiana, breaching its hull in several places.

Crew airlifted after tugboat grounds on southeast Alaska reef

Crew airlifted after tugboat grounds on southeast Alaska reef

The Coast Guard rescued five people from an oceangoing tugboat after it grounded on a charted reef west of Wrangell, Alaska, and began taking on water.

Tug breaches, spills fuel after striking moored barge in Seattle

Tug breaches, spills fuel after striking moored barge in Seattle

The tugboat Island Wind struck a moored deck barge at a Seattle terminal, breaching the tug’s hull above the waterline and causing a diesel spill in the Duwamish Waterway.

Casualty briefs

Casualty briefs

Cyberthreats multiplying, but proper training can limit maritime risk

Cyberthreats multiplying, but proper training can limit maritime risk

As vessels become more crammed with electronics and dependent on sophisticated technology and connections, there are more ways for bad actors to inflict damage, with consequences that are not only economic but that impact operations and safety as well.

Cybercrime 101: Your ship probably has been hacked already

You have either been hacked ... or you just don’t know you have been hacked.

Hybrid-sail developers envision savings windfall for ocean shipping

Hybrid-sail developers envision savings windfall for ocean shipping

“It isn’t only about the cost and fuel savings,” explained Professor Yasuo Yoshimura, describing the work he is doing on alternative power systems for deep-sea ships.

When mariners set sail, workplace rights should not be left behind

I was the third mate on an 890-foot crude oil tanker berthed at Long Beach, Calif.