May 2017

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US Customs proposes closing Jones Act equipment ‘loopholes’

US Customs proposes closing Jones Act equipment ‘loopholes’

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has proposed revising more than two dozen rulings that relate to equipment transport under the Jones Act.

Coast Guard plans to raise monetary thresholds for casualty reporting

The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing to raise the monetary thresholds for reporting property damage resulting from a marine casualty and serious marine incident (SMI), both to mitigate any undue liability vessel owners and operators face and to temper the resources expended by the service to investigate these incidents.

Autonomous ships carry unknown risks, opportunity for insurers

Autonomous ships carry unknown risks, opportunity for insurers

Advances in the development of autonomous vessels are leading marine insurers into uncharted waters with new risks for the sector but also potential benefits compared to insuring crewed vessels.

Union, Canada settle lawsuits over permits for foreign seafarers

A long-standing legal battle between the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIUC) and the federal government over foreign workers engaged in shipping in Canadian waters was settled on Feb. 15, mere days before a lengthy court case was due to start.

Study determines timely relief critical to reduce seafarer fatigue

Study determines timely relief critical to reduce seafarer fatigue

Failure to relieve crewmembers on time is one of the biggest contributors to fatigue and lack of motivation at sea, according to a study conducted by InterManager and seven academic partners.

US allows foreign ro-ro carriers to negotiate jointly for tug services

US allows foreign ro-ro carriers to negotiate jointly for tug services

A ruling by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) that allows a group of foreign roll-on/roll-off carriers to jointly negotiate and contract for U.S. tugboat services has alarmed the industry.

Harley Marine opens era of Tier 4 tractor tugs in United States

Harley Marine opens era of Tier 4 tractor tugs in United States

Harley Marine Services of Seattle has taken delivery of Earl W. Redd, the first U.S. tractor tug that meets EPA Tier 4 emissions limits and the first tugboat using a selective catalytic reduction system (SCR) to comply with the stricter federal standards.

McAllister tug shines during night moves in Baltimore Harbor

McAllister tug shines during night moves in Baltimore Harbor

From the wheelhouse of the single-screw Kaleen McAllister, Capt. Byshe Hicks watched as the giant con-ro got underway from a Baltimore Harbor terminal.

New Seacor FSV redefines comfort on the go

New Seacor FSV redefines comfort on the go

Seacor Marine’s sparkling new fast supply vessel, Liam J McCall, cut through the gloom of a dismal morning on the rising Atchafalaya River near Morgan City, La.

Final El Faro hearings focus on flooding that likely doomed ship

Final El Faro hearings focus on flooding that likely doomed ship

Seawater likely entered El Faro from multiple locations, according to a report presented during the third and final round of Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation hearings that also described a “plausible sequence” preceding the ship’s sinking.

NTSB cites ‘ill-advised’ downstreaming in fatal towboat sinking

NTSB cites ‘ill-advised’ downstreaming in fatal towboat sinking

The relief captain aboard Ricky J Leboeuf took the controls from the steersman as the towboat approached a San Jacinto River fleeting area.

Operator dies when boom boat sinks at British Columbia lumber mill

The captain of a small tugboat died when his vessel sank in a log booming ground near Kelowna, British Columbia.

Owner praises responders after tug grounds, spills fuel near Ketchikan

Owner praises responders after tug grounds, spills fuel near Ketchikan

An oceangoing tugboat towing a cargo barge ran aground on a charted shoal near Ketchikan, Alaska, while traveling along the Inside Passage.

Icebreaker tows cargo ship to safety after fire off Newfoundland

Icebreaker tows cargo ship to safety after fire off Newfoundland

A Canadian light icebreaker towed a cargo ship to safety after an engine room fire disabled it, leaving the vessel adrift in rough seas off Port aux Basques, Newfoundland.

Casualty briefs

Fatal accidents fuel scrutiny of lifeboat drills, systems

Fatal accidents fuel scrutiny of lifeboat drills, systems

The number of injuries and fatalities during lifeboat drills in recent years point to training and equipment shortcomings that have raised concerns across the maritime industry, undermining the confidence of seafarers whose lives and careers hang in the balance.

Lifeboat safety: The mariners’ view

In a study of the use of mandatory equipment aboard cargo ships, the London-based Seafarers International Research Centre found 55 percent of mariners would prefer a davit-launched closed lifeboat in an emergency.

De-mystifying the targeting process for Port State Control exams

De-mystifying the targeting process for Port State Control exams

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Port State Control (PSC) program is intended to ensure that foreign-flagged vessels operating in U.S. waters comply with applicable international conventions and U.S. regulations, with the ultimate goal of identifying and eliminating substandard ships from U.S. waters.

In electronic age, license consultant only way to go for credentials

It was a few minutes before they opened the doors of the U.S. Coast Guard Regional Exam Center (REC) at Seattle’s Pier 36, and I waited anxiously.