May 2015

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The Gulf’s offshore hiring boom comes to an abrupt end

The Gulf’s offshore hiring boom comes to an abrupt end

As the slump in oil drilling activity deepens, the Gulf of Mexico offshore industry has ceased to be a strong job-growth market for professional mariners.

Courts throw the book at captains in deadly cruise, ferry casualties

Courts throw the book at captains in deadly cruise, ferry casualties

Recent lengthy prison sentences given out to captains found guilty for the deaths in major casualties raise the question of whether the master should be singled out for such draconian punishment, given the complexity of these disasters.

Harvey Gulf offshore supply vessel achieves LNG fuel milestones

Harvey Gulf offshore supply vessel achieves LNG fuel milestones

North America’s first LNG-fueled offshore vessel is on the job.

Coast Guard seeks to improve shore access for mariners at terminals

Since 9/11, seafarers often have found it difficult to leave vessels moored in the United States for shore leave.

NYC mayor proposes new five-borough ferry system in 2017-18

NYC mayor proposes new five-borough ferry system in 2017-18

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed new ferry service starting in 2017 that would eventually serve every borough.

For Seattle’s Fremont Tugboat, small has been beautiful for 100 years

For Seattle’s Fremont Tugboat, small has been beautiful for 100 years

At a time of the year when the sun usually abandons Seattle, the day shone bright, albeit with a November chill.

Demand never stops for NYC’s new sewage tankers

Demand never stops for NYC’s new sewage tankers

The Marine Section of New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) has added three significant vessels to its fleet in the past year.

New catamaran works on job that namesake started 140 years earlier

New catamaran works on job that namesake started 140 years earlier

Commissioned in 1874, the original 148-foot survey steamer/schooner George S. Blake is credited with the first oceanographic survey of the Gulf of Mexico among other accolades for innovation in hydrographic surveying history.

Tugboat sinks during sea trials off Hawaii; all 11 occupants rescued

Tugboat sinks during sea trials off Hawaii; all 11 occupants rescued

Barely 30 minutes into sea trials off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, the tugboat Nalani was showing signs of trouble.

MSC cargo ship runs aground on charted coral reef near Okinawa

MSC cargo ship runs aground on charted coral reef near Okinawa

A U.S. Military Sealift Command vessel carrying equipment and 131 people ran aground on a coral reef near Okinawa, Japan, and remained there for more than a week.

Alleging drunkenness, tug owner sues captain, mate after grounding

A tugboat company is suing its own captain and first mate for negligence, alleging that the captain knew the crewman was drunk when a company barge broke from its tow off the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

NTSB: Watertight doors were left open in Louisiana OSV sinking

A junior master’s inability to compensate for wind likely caused an offshore supply vessel to strike an oil platform off Louisiana two years ago, investigators determined.

TSB: Montreal collision was result of language problem, ignoring radar

TSB: Montreal collision was result of language problem, ignoring radar

A freighter and a tugboat collided in the St. Lawrence River in 2013 because of language barriers on the ship and both crews’ failure to use available navigation resources, investigators said.

Fire on dive vessel caused by chafed electrical cables, NTSB says

A deep-sea diving support vessel needed $9.8 million in repairs following a fire started by electrical cables as it sailed the Louisiana Gulf in 2013.

OSV holed after striking Gulf of Mexico oil platform in poor visibility

An offshore supply vessel heading back to port struck an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, breaching the OSV’s hull and causing the structure to collapse into the water.

TSB: Electrical arc, slow response led to ferry blackout, grounding

Maintenance deficiencies and lack of adequate emergency procedures led to a loss of electrical power and grounding of a ferry in Nova Scotia in 2013, investigators determined.

Coast Guard proposes new rule on cruise ship security

Coast Guard proposes new rule on cruise ship security

A proposed rule is underway attempting to improve safety and security for Americans on cruise ships.

STCW security endorsement deadline looms this summer

U.S. mariners subject to Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) rules have until July 1, 2015, to meet requirements for three levels of vessel security license endorsements.

At sea, stress management is now a critical part of the job

I was working on a crude oil tanker, running between Valdez, Alaska, and the West Coast.