March 2014

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Newly designed immersion suit, aided by warm breath, can protect for 24 hours

Newly designed immersion suit, aided by warm breath, can protect for 24 hours

A newly developed immersion suit dramatically increases survival time by capturing the warm breath of the wearer and recirculating it.

Web-based AIS fails hack security test, but navigation not threatened

A report that the automatic identification system (AIS) for ships is vulnerable to security breaches exaggerates the danger to the industry and fails to take into account details of how the system operates, according to maritime industry analysts.

Maid of the Mist faces competition after Niagara Falls legal dispute

Maid of the Mist faces competition after Niagara Falls legal dispute

For more than 150 years, the iconic Maid of the Mist tour boats have ferried millions of awe-struck passengers on tours of Niagara Falls. In the 2014 season, Maid will have company

TSAC offers 100-plus tips for preventing falls overboard, saving lives

The Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) has issued a report containing more than 100 best practices to prevent falls overboard from boats and barges.

TSAC, industry allies provide input on minimum manning levels

TSAC, industry allies provide input on minimum manning levels

The Coast Guard’s proposed rule change to transition the marine towing industry from uninspected to inspected status is pregnant with unknowns. A major mystery is when the Coast Guard will birth 46 CFR Subchapter M.

Barge industry wants changes to proposed frack water regulations

Using barges to transport frack wastewater from the booming natural gas fields has moved a step closer with a proposal from the U.S. Coast Guard, but barge owners want changes concerning responsibility for “bad batches” of cargo.

After 65 years, growing Western Towboat fleet still moves gravel around Puget Sound

After 65 years, growing Western Towboat fleet still moves gravel around Puget Sound

Ric and Bob Shrewsbury’s dad started a tug company in 1948. “It was all general towing around Puget Sound,” Ric Shrewsbury explained recently.

Pushboat Fury adds to Harley Marine Gulf’s fleet

When Harley Marine Services acquired MGI of Houston in 2011, the Seattle-based company spawned its 10th subsidiary, Harley Marine Gulf, and established itself on all of the U.S. coasts and the country’s commercial inland river system.

Judge: NJ tugboat capstan fatality caused by company negligence

Judge: NJ tugboat capstan fatality caused by company negligence

A federal court has awarded a multimillion-dollar judgment to the family of a tugboat deck hand who was killed in a capstan-related accident on New Jersey’s Hackensack River in 2009.

Deck hand, 25, killed in apparent fall from tugboat in Florida yard

Tug crewman missing after falling from skiff during crew change

A tugboat crewman was missing and presumed dead after he fell from a skiff while en route to the boat near Anchorage, Alaska.

Collision with rake barge takes the life of Missouri johnboat operator

A 51-year-old man died after the johnboat he was driving collided with a tug and barge and rolled over in the Missouri River near St. Charles County, Mo.

Report: Deck hand was operating towboat when crane struck bridge

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating whether a towboat had no licensed captain aboard when a crane on one of the barges it pushed struck a Louisiana drawbridge.

Three injured in collision involving Maine water taxi, pleasure boat

Three injured in collision involving Maine water taxi, pleasure boat

A water taxi and a recreational boat collided on Maine’s Casco Bay, resulting in three injuries.

Ferry, berth damaged when high winds force vessel off course while departing island

A BC Ferries vessel was damaged when it struck a berth in high winds upon departure from a terminal at Mayne Island, British Columbia.

Texas boaters rescued from water after collision with tug or barges

Two people were rescued from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway after their 18-foot pleasure craft collided with a tugboat and capsized near Port O’Connor, Texas.

Probe: Wrong turn, lack of awareness were factors in ferry crash

Eight minutes into a journey between neighboring islands, the inexperienced second mate steering the Washington State Ferries vessel Hyak became concerned about a nearby motor yacht.

Young bulk carrier crewman hurt in fall from ship’s exhaust stack

Young bulk carrier crewman hurt in fall from ship’s exhaust stack

An Italian crewman on a U.S.-bound bulk carrier was seriously injured in a fall from the ship’s exhaust stack, leading to a U.S. Coast Guard medevac in heavy seas more than 100 miles off the coast of Alaska.

Safety management systems may transform towing industry

Safety management systems may transform towing industry

John Rutledge is the captain of Sun Coast, an 85-foot, 1,800-hp Dann Marine Towing tug that operates in the Baltimore area. A hawsepiper, the captain has seen a multitude of changes in his long career, but few as significant as the coming of vessel safety management systems.

New apps make the mariner’s work easier, smarter and safer

New apps make the mariner’s work easier, smarter and safer

Michael Matulewicz, a recently hired deck hand with Moran Towing in Philadelphia, never needs to wait too long in the sun or rain to board his tug on crew change days.

Maritime-themed movies, TV shows can inspire new seafarers

Pirates! German U-boats trying to torpedo the convoy! Passengers and crew held captive! The captain gets washed overboard in a typhoon! The hazards of being at sea on a commercial vessel, in peace and during war, have been the basis for some great movies and television series.