June/July 2019

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New funding puts Coast Guard on path to expand icebreaker fleet

New funding puts Coast Guard on path to expand icebreaker fleet

The U.S. Coast Guard will receive $675 million to fund construction of the nation’s first polar security cutter, or heavy icebreaker, an appropriation that proponents say is long overdue as the only operational ship of its type in the U.S. fleet continues to deteriorate.

Federal budget includes funds for new Mass. Maritime training ship

Federal budget includes funds for new Mass. Maritime training ship

For the second year in a row, the federal budget enacted by Congress included $300 million for the Maritime Administration (MarAd) to commission a new training vessel, this one to replace the aging T/S Kennedy at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Trump order aims to ease move from military to merchant marine

Trump order aims to ease move from military to merchant marine

Maritime industry leaders are pleased with an executive order signed in March by President Trump that is designed to make it easier for veterans to transition from the U.S. military to the merchant marine.

Record fine for illegal charters calls attention to nationwide problem

Record fine for illegal charters calls attention to nationwide problem

The U.S. Coast Guard hopes levying a record $80,000 fine against a Lake Michigan offender in February sends a strong message to anyone else illegally using recreational boats for commercial passenger service.

Canada considers stabilizers for cutters after reports of rolling

Canada considers stabilizers for cutters after reports of rolling

The Canadian Coast Guard is assessing whether stabilizers should be integrated into the service’s nine Hero-class midshore patrol vessels, constructed by Irving Shipbuilding from 2011 to 2014.

From barges to bovines, Foss tug crews keep pace in paradise

From barges to bovines, Foss tug crews keep pace in paradise

Matson’s Daniel K. Inouye was approaching a dogleg turn in Honolulu Harbor when Capt. Cameron Andrews swung the Foss tugboat Pi’ilani from the containership’s transom to the starboard quarter.

Lessons in LNG propulsion, niche markets move VT Halter forward

Lessons in LNG propulsion, niche markets move VT Halter forward

Building ships with liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion comes with numerous challenges. Bunkering them for the first time probably isn’t the first issue that comes to mind.

Bay Area’s hybrid newcomer red, white and ‘green’ all over

Bay Area’s hybrid newcomer red, white and ‘green’ all over

Bucking a brisk March wind, Enhydra, the hybrid-propelled pride of San Francisco’s Red and White Fleet, made for the Golden Gate Bridge.

Captain presumed dead after fleet boat sinks in Lower Mississippi

Captain presumed dead after fleet boat sinks in Lower Mississippi

The captain of a Mississippi River fleet boat is missing and presumed dead after the vessel capsized and sank near the Myrtle Grove fleeting area in Louisiana.

Mariner dies when dredge tender capsizes off Charleston

Mariner dies when dredge tender capsizes off Charleston

A mariner aboard a dredge tender died when the vessel capsized off the coast of Charleston, S.C., while under tow.

Inadequate maintenance, steel wastage cited in towboat sinking

Inadequate maintenance, steel wastage cited in towboat sinking

Federal investigators have determined a fleet boat that flooded and sank near Dyersburg, Tenn., lost “watertight integrity,” most likely from inadequate maintenance.

Oil spills from cargo ship’s fractured hull near New York Harbor

Oil spills from cargo ship’s fractured hull near New York Harbor

A German-flagged cargo ship leaked up to 100,000 gallons of heavy bunker fuel during a voyage up the East Coast, reportedly after a shipping container fell overboard and damaged the vessel’s hull.

NTSB: Crane barge improperly moored before canal breakaway

NTSB: Crane barge improperly moored before canal breakaway

An unmanned crane barge that broke free and struck high-voltage power lines over a Louisiana canal was not effectively moored, federal investigators have determined.

Damaged safety latch allows BC Ferries rescue boat to fall into sea

Damaged safety latch allows BC Ferries rescue boat to fall into sea

A rescue boat from BC Ferries’ Spirit of Vancouver Island slipped off a davit hook due to a damaged spring-loaded safety latch, causing an “uncontrolled fall” into the water more than 50 feet below, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said in an investigative report.

Casualty briefs

Casualty briefs

As autonomous ships make headway, questions loom about liability

As autonomous ships make headway, questions loom about liability

Popular culture has been inundated with stories about autonomous or semi-autonomous cars.

Ballast water next frontier for US environmental crime prosecutions

Ballast water next frontier for US environmental crime prosecutions

For the past 15 years or so, the United States has aggressively prosecuted foreign vessels, their owners and operators, and their crews for failing to comply with U.S. regulations for the control of oil discharges.

Time to make nation’s shipyards, merchant marine great again

For almost 50 years, beginning in the late 1930s, our government actually helped get U.S.-flag merchant ships built, utilizing the Construction Differential Subsidy (CDS) program.