May 2018

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Trump’s new waterways plan ‘a big disconnect’ for towing industry

Trump’s new waterways plan ‘a big disconnect’ for towing industry

Towing industry officials are concerned that President Trump’s 2019 budget and waterways infrastructure proposal will fragment the national system, complicate capital funding and provide no clear method to accomplish one of the White House’s major goals: privatization of transportation infrastructure projects.

Kirby increases footprint, acquires Higman’s youthful inland fleet

Kirby increases footprint, acquires Higman’s youthful inland fleet

In early February, Kirby Corp. acquired Higman Marine Inc., an operator of inland tank barges and towboats, along with its affiliates.

Drug testing for US mariners now includes semi-synthetic opioids

Drug testing for US mariners now includes semi-synthetic opioids

A recent expansion of U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug screening guidelines applies to more than 225,000 mariners employed on oceangoing and inland vessels.

Increase in stern tube bearing failures leads to new EAL testing

Increase in stern tube bearing failures leads to new EAL testing

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in reports of stern tube bearing failures and a perception that environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) may be to blame.

California biofouling rules bring new scrutiny, extra documentation

California biofouling rules bring new scrutiny, extra documentation

Biofouling regulations stricter than U.S. standards took effect in California in January, affecting the thousands of vessels that call on the state’s ports each year and adding to the paperwork required by mariners.

Pacific Coast ATBs moving ahead amid questions, challenges

Pacific Coast ATBs moving ahead amid questions, challenges

Vessel operators on the West Coast of North America have been slower to adopt articulated tug-barge technology than East Coast companies, with many in the industry saying North Pacific seas are too rough for ATBs.

Ice-savvy tugboat crews keep cargo moving in Alaska

Ice-savvy tugboat crews keep cargo moving in Alaska

Capt. Mark Theriault throttled up on Stellar Wind’s twin Caterpillar engines but the tugboat stayed firmly in place, its rounded bow pressing against a terminal at the Port of Alaska near downtown Anchorage.

McAllister powerhouse makes a name for itself in Baltimore

McAllister powerhouse makes a name for itself in Baltimore

The tugboat Bridget McAllister, designed by Robert Allan Ltd. and built by Foss Maritime at its Rainier, Ore., shipyard in 2006, has had a short but eventful life.

Two crewmen presumed dead after towboat sinks in New Orleans

Two crewmen presumed dead after towboat sinks in New Orleans

Two crewmen were missing and presumed dead after their towboat capsized and sank in the swollen Mississippi River in New Orleans.

NTSB cites engine component failure in fiery Houston ship allision

NTSB cites engine component failure in fiery Houston ship allision

Investigators believe a “momentary abnormality” in a critical engine component caused a fiery 2016 tanker allision near Houston.

NTSB: Vehicle’s faulty solenoid likely caused fire on car carrier

NTSB: Vehicle’s faulty solenoid likely caused fire on car carrier

Investigators say an electrical fault in a vehicle likely started a fire aboard a U.S.-flagged car carrier in the English Channel, causing $700,000 in damage to the ship.

Explosion disables US-bound bulk carrier off coast of Oregon

Explosion disables US-bound bulk carrier off coast of Oregon

A Panama-flagged bulk carrier went adrift in the Pacific Ocean near Oregon after an explosion disabled its main engine.

Bridge tender’s distraction leads to delay, barge strike in Louisiana

Bridge tender’s distraction leads to delay, barge strike in Louisiana

Forty minutes before the towboat’s scheduled arrival, the pilot aboard Marguerite L. Terral arranged for the opening of an Atchafalaya River swing bridge.

Historic tugboat sinks off Maine coast during Coast Guard tow

Historic tugboat sinks off Maine coast during Coast Guard tow

Two tugboats collided off Maine during a fuel transfer, and one of them later sank while under tow by a U.S. Coast Guard cutter.

Casualty briefs

Casualty briefs

As LNG adoption inches ahead, fire safety measures multiply

As LNG adoption inches ahead, fire safety measures multiply

Given the tremendous pressures to meet environmental goals and take advantage of new fuel sources, it is no wonder that liquefied natural gas (LNG) is being given more and more credence as a source of maritime power.

Renew, renew, renew: Mandates trap mariners in credential maze

I was at our local library on a quiet Sunday afternoon, getting ready to check out some DVDs.