October/November 2016

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Canal expansion complete, East Coast welcomes ‘neo-Panamax’ ships

Canal expansion complete, East Coast welcomes ‘neo-Panamax’ ships

The “neo-Panamax” era officially began on June 26 when COSCO Shipping Panama passed through the Panama Canal’s new Agua Clara locks built to accommodate larger ships.

Cruise line drops bid to restore SS United States to ocean service

Cruise line drops bid to restore SS United States to ocean service

Technical difficulties and projected high costs have scuttled a plan to reconstruct the historic ocean liner SS United States and return it to sea as a luxury cruise ship.

Canada getting new navy supply vessel in containership conversion

Canada getting new navy supply vessel in containership conversion

One major Canadian shipbuilder has a contract to convert a containership into a support vessel for the Royal Canadian Navy and another major Canadian builder has offered plans to the federal government for its own ship conversion.

Life at sea vs. life in space: Which crews are more connected?

Life at sea vs. life in space: Which crews are more connected?

Mariners, especially those in bluewater service, may feel like they’re on a different planet when it comes to Internet access and communicating with families ashore.

Coast Guard releases new form for reporting marine casualties

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the U.S. Coast Guard has released a revised form for reporting a marine casualty, commercial diving casualty or a casualty related to activity on the outer continental shelf.

Firefighting deficiencies pace increase in foreign ship detentions

Firefighting deficiencies pace increase in foreign ship detentions

The U.S. Coast Guard recorded a 41 percent increase in the number of foreign-flagged vessels detained in 2015, the highest annual increase in 17 years, according to a recent report from Port State Control.

Steel, stone anchor promising future for Arkansas towboat operator

Steel, stone anchor promising future for Arkansas towboat operator

At mile marker 783 on the Arkansas bank of the Mississippi River, Mid-River Terminal has two deck barges, one with a crane aboard, the other providing moorage for two towboats: the 67-foot Joe Ellis, named for the father of the company’s owner and president, Rick Ellis, and the sparkling new 70-foot Dianna Lynn, named for the owner’s wife.

Subchapter M fire rules provide new protection for mariners

In the not-too-distant past, stepping aboard a tugboat may have meant going to work with little or no fire and safety training, little related equipment and having to learn by trial and error — and hopefully the kindness of an old salt or two.

Sabine Pilots bank on new boat’s deep-V hull design

Sabine Pilots bank on new boat’s deep-V hull design

The Sabine Pilots took delivery of the 53.5-foot Port Arthur, a Chesapeake-class aluminum pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding of Somerset, Mass., last spring.

Houston pilots dispute NTSB’s findings in ship channel collision

Houston pilots dispute NTSB’s findings in ship channel collision

On a foggy day in the Houston Ship Channel, the pilot aboard Conti Peridot made an urgent radio call to his counterpart on Carla Maersk.

Alaska tug crewman crushed between barges during line repair

A tugboat crewman died after getting caught between two barges in the Naknek River in southwest Alaska.

Six rescued after tugboat catches fire, burns off Florida coast

Six rescued after tugboat catches fire, burns off Florida coast

Six mariners escaped into a life raft and were later rescued by a good Samaritan after their tugboat caught fire and burned off the Florida coast.

Tanker breached, anchor line snags sailboats in NH grounding

Tanker breached, anchor line snags sailboats in NH grounding

A loaded tanker left the shipping channel and struck a ledge before running into three unmanned sailboats moored at a yacht club near Portsmouth, N.H.

NTSB: Captains failed to ‘properly determine risk’ of Gulf collision

Federal investigators cited the actions of both operators in a collision between a lift boat and crew boat in the Gulf of Mexico.

NTSB: Barges collided in area ‘not recommended’ for meetings

NTSB: Barges collided in area ‘not recommended’ for meetings

The towboat Capt. Shorty C was approaching the Intracoastal Waterway when the vessel began sheering toward an oncoming vessel.

Efficiency paper helps shipowners weigh costs, benefits of going ‘green’

Efficiency paper helps shipowners weigh costs, benefits of going ‘green’

As North America and Europe face more stringent pollution regulations and voluntary “green” programs in Long Beach, San Diego and other ports mature, commercial shipowners and operators are looking for innovative ways to improve their vessels’ energy efficiency.

Tight bridges, summer boaters keep Lakes pilots vigilant

Tight bridges, summer boaters keep Lakes pilots vigilant

“Sécurité, sécurité, sécurité, saltwater vessel Isolda to depart Andersons K in 20 minutes,” announced George Haynes, a pilot with the Lakes Pilots Association.

Mariners need time, proper facilities to maintain hygiene at sea

I was a young mate working on a crude oil tanker connected to the single-point mooring at Barbers Point, Hawaii.