March 2013

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Report calls for more capable winches on Prince William Sound escort tugs

Report calls for more capable winches on Prince William Sound escort tugs

The winches used by tugs escorting oil tankers in Prince William Sound, Alaska, are not state of the art and should be replaced, according to a study written by the naval architect Robert Allan.

Rain lifts Mississippi water levels and hopes of averting a shutdown

Rain lifts Mississippi water levels and hopes of averting a shutdown

After the near shutdown of the Mississippi River in December 2012, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is predicting that the river will stay open through the middle of February.

California passes law designed to counter San Francisco bar pilot fatigue, impairment

California passes law designed to counter San Francisco bar pilot fatigue, impairment

A new California law mandates stricter safety regulations for pilots in San Francisco Bay, but the pilots say many of the changes were already in the works.

NOAA moves its officer candidate training to Coast Guard Academy

NOAA moves its officer candidate training to Coast Guard Academy

Officers aboard National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration vessels are somewhat of a hybrid. They are likely to be experts in fields like engineering, oceanography and fisheries science, but they also have to be able ship handlers and officers.

By keeping N.Y. real-estate wolves at bay, ‘Tugboat Alley’ stays a working waterfront

By keeping N.Y. real-estate wolves at bay, ‘Tugboat Alley’ stays a working waterfront

Tugboat Alley is home to many of the country’s major tug companies including McAllister, Moran, Penn Maritime (recently bought by Kirby Corp.), Reinauer, Bouchard.

Sause Bros. stays fit through close attention to the shape its vessels are in

Sause Bros. stays fit through close attention to the shape its vessels are in

Sause Bros. Inc., based in Coos Bay, Ore., with boats stationed in Hawaii, Los Angeles and Portland, continues to build a fleet based on the consideration of a wide range of performance factors.

T Squared Deployed: an advanced escort procedure

T Squared Deployed: an advanced escort procedure

The need to know how to effectively use tugs of various types to assist ships transiting a port at speed took on a greater urgency following several catastrophic tanker groundings involving large oil spills in the 1980s and 1990s.

Chouest boat boasts speed, passenger comfort and cargo capacity

Chouest boat boasts speed, passenger comfort and cargo capacity

Cutting the water like knives sweeping aft from the bow of Fast Hauler, the splash rails folded a V-shaped white blanket of foam over the still water of the Gulf of Mexico on a sea trial in November 2012.

Drilling unit being towed south breaks loose, grounds on Alaska island

Drilling unit being towed south breaks loose, grounds on Alaska island

A conical drilling unit being towed out of Alaska in near-hurricane conditions broke loose from tugboats and ran aground near Kodiak.

Tanker crashes into Baltimore coal dock, causing $22M in damage

Tanker crashes into Baltimore coal dock, causing $22M in damage

A tanker struck a coal-unloading pier in Baltimore, heavily damaging the facility and shutting it down for months. The ship was briefly arrested while the dock owner pursued a damage claim that grew to $22 million.

Bulk carrier strikes, destroys large section of trestle at B.C. coal terminal

Bulk carrier strikes, destroys large section of trestle at B.C. coal terminal

A 939-foot coal carrier missed a turn and slammed into a causeway at a British Columbia terminal, destroying 400 feet of the trestle and conveyor.

Patrol boat sinks in N.Y. bay after hatch cover was improperly opened to clear tangled line

Patrol boat sinks in N.Y. bay after hatch cover was improperly opened to clear tangled line

A port authority’s patrol boat sank in a New York bay after a police officer mistakenly opened an inspection hatch below the waterline.

Alaska tug, barge run aground after towline parts in heavy weather

Alaska tug, barge run aground after towline parts in heavy weather

A tugboat and barge ran aground in the Aleutian Islands after the towline snapped in high winds and seas.

Coast Guard notes ‘overconfidence bias’ of docking pilot before crash

The U.S. Coast Guard has focused on the behavior of a docking pilot in its probe of a 2011 collision between a containership and a tank barge near New Jersey’s Bergen Point.

Ex-WWII landing craft gets stuck in lake along Cumberland River

Ex-WWII landing craft gets stuck in lake along Cumberland River

A museum ship ran aground in Kentucky’s Lake Barkley during a driving rain.

Pilot error, hydrodynamics cited in ship collision in Texas channel

Pilot error, hydrodynamics cited in ship collision in Texas channel

A pilot’s failure to account for bank-effect forces likely caused a 2011 collision between a tanker and a containership in the Houston Ship Channel.

Crew flees just as tugboat capsizes, sinks at N.H. bridge project

A tugboat working on a bridge reconstruction project in Portsmouth, N.H., was caught in a strong current, capsized and sank. The two crewmembers escaped just in time.

Tender full of people gets stuck on rocks on way back to cruise ship

Almost 100 people needed evacuation when a cruise ship tender struck a rock ledge and ran aground near Bar Harbor, Maine.

Lubricant technology helps vessels operate cleanly and efficiently

Lubricant technology helps vessels operate cleanly and efficiently

Marine owners and operators need to seize every possible advantage nowadays in a regulatory environment that poses tougher restrictions on pollutants and an economy that demands reducing costs to stay competitive.

Document renewals: Stay alert to changes or pay the price

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