May 2016

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Cruise operator offers to fix up ‘Big U’ for ocean service

Cruise operator offers to fix up ‘Big U’ for ocean service

A cruise ship line may throw a life preserver to the iconic ocean liner SS United States to save it from the scrap yard.

Homeland Security finally approves Subchapter M towing inspections

Homeland Security finally approves Subchapter M towing inspections

Nearly five years after the initial version was made public, a U.S. regulatory regime for the inspection of towing vessels is close to becoming law.

Bows of Navy’s fast transports easily damaged, need reinforcement

Bows of Navy’s fast transports easily damaged, need reinforcement

Design changes approved by the U.S. Navy for its new high-speed transports left them vulnerable to wave slam, resulting in bow damage to four ships that cost more than $2 million to repair.

Coast Guard pushes plan to acquire two new heavy icebreakers

Coast Guard pushes plan to acquire two new heavy icebreakers

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced plans to acquire two new heavy icebreakers to provide year-round access in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

Maine-Nova Scotia ferry service in flux again, with another operator

Maine-Nova Scotia ferry service in flux again, with another operator

A new operator is taking over the route of the ferry Nova Star, which was seized by U.S. marshals in October for $3 million in unpaid bills following two disappointing seasons of operation between Maine and Nova Scotia.

BC company’s tugs, barges prove to be vital for remote coastal loggers

BC company’s tugs, barges prove to be vital for remote coastal loggers

The alarm on the travel lift sounded and the operator lowered the 70 tons of heavily built tugboat back into the water, adjusted the straps and tried again.

Pilots, passengers enjoy highly maneuverable launches at Vancouver

Pilots, passengers enjoy highly maneuverable launches at Vancouver

When the sun decides to shine in Vancouver, British Columbia, it shines bright.

El Faro had propulsion vulnerabilities, no onboard weather routing

El Faro had propulsion vulnerabilities, no onboard weather routing

Investigative hearings have revealed details about events leading up to the loss of El Faro, including the deteriorating condition of the ship’s boilers and the fact that no weather routing service was in use.

Authorities probe damage after tugboat runs into Louisiana pier

A tugboat struck and damaged a New Orleans pier on Christmas Eve, authorities said. The pier was still closed in March.

Tugs collide, one sinks during high-water conditions near Memphis

A tugboat sank after colliding with another tug near Memphis, Tenn., as the Mississippi River rose toward flood stage in December.

Oil spills into Mississippi River from barge that struck bridge pier

Oil spills into Mississippi River from barge that struck bridge pier

Up to 25,000 gallons of clarified slurry oil leaked into the Mississippi River after a barge struck a pier near Natchez, Miss.

NTSB: Army Corps left out critical details before tow struck its barges

As he approached Kempe Bend in the Lower Mississippi River, the mate conning the towboat Riley Elizabeth sought guidance for transiting the nearly 90-degree curve.

Crew rescued from superstructure of sinking tug near La. coastline

The crew of a Coast Guard cutter rescued two mariners from the superstructure of their capsized tugboat while both vessels were responding to a grounded trawler off Louisiana.

TSB: Sunken forestry barge had not been inspected by regulators

A lack of safety oversight contributed to the foundering and abandonment of a self-propelled barge in British Columbia last year, Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has determined.

Fire detection systems play vital role in safety of vessels and mariners

Fire detection systems play vital role in safety of vessels and mariners

No matter what size vessel you’re on, there are few things worse than a fire on board.

Crew ever alert as La. steamboat paddles its way across the Mississippi

Crew ever alert as La. steamboat paddles its way across the Mississippi

From the pilothouse of the steamer Natchez, a sternwheeler based in New Orleans, pilot Troy Delaney was looking straight ahead.

It’s time to reconsider the value of radar observer renewal

The red glow from the radar simulator console illuminated the darkness ethereally as I put down the grease pencil and clear plastic ruler at the end of the test for my original unlimited radar observer certificate.