September 2014

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New federal waterways law boosts funding for nation’s locks, dams, overdue dredging

New federal waterways law boosts funding for nation’s locks, dams, overdue dredging

President Obama has signed the nation’s first waterways infrastructure bill in seven years, improving the outlook for navigation on the inland rivers, Great Lakes and coastal channels.

N.Y. man admits captaining Great Lakes vessels with fake license

A man who presented himself as a licensed ship captain to operate commercial vessels on Lake Ontario — a ruse uncovered only after he ran a tugboat aground — has been sentenced to seven years in prison for fraud.

U.S. Gulf shipyards, operators stand to gain business south of the border

U.S. Gulf shipyards, operators stand to gain business south of the border

U.S. maritime businesses anticipate more work in Mexico, but they face competition from other foreign enterprises.

‘Military to Maritime’ effort woos veterans to help fill job openings

‘Military to Maritime’ effort woos veterans to help fill job openings

With a shortage of qualified mariners due to the boom in U.S. energy production, the maritime industry is helping former military personnel transition to fill empty civilian sea billets.

ILO action strengthens legal protections for abandoned seafarers

An important gap in the Maritime Labor Convention has been filled, with an amendment to address the abandonment of seafarers and compensation for death or injury.

Coast Guard cutter design moves ahead after protests are denied

Design work on a new mid-sized cutter is underway in the wake of unsuccessful protests filed over $65.8 million in contract awards for the U.S. Coast Guard’s biggest acquisition ever.

Plans for fueling stations opening the door for arrival of LNG vessels

Plans for fueling stations opening the door for arrival of LNG vessels

Earlier this year, the world’s first liquefied natural gas-powered tugboat sailed from an Istanbul shipyard to a Statoil terminal near the Norway gas fields.

Kirby’s new ATBs provide efficient, reliable transport of coal to Florida

Kirby’s new ATBs provide efficient, reliable transport of coal to Florida

Kirby Corp. added to its fleet of articulated tug-barges (ATBs) last year when Signal International delivered the tugs Jason E. Duttinger and Captain Donald Lowe Sr., coupled with the barges Winna Wilson and Margo Dale, respectively, to the Houston-based company.

New rules require VDRs to collect more data, store it longer

New rules require VDRs to collect more data, store it longer

The number one question in any maritime accident is why did it happen.

New pilot boat provides safer transfers at Columbia River and bar

New pilot boat provides safer transfers at Columbia River and bar

It would be an understatement to say that Capt. John Ivanoff and deck engineer James Green really like their new pilot boat, the 63-foot Connor Foss, a Foss Maritime vessel that replaced the venerable 50-year-old Arrow No. 2 in Astoria, Ore., in 2012.

Coast Guard finds potential negligence in Alaska drill rig grounding

Coast Guard finds potential negligence in Alaska drill rig grounding

A conical drilling unit ran aground near an Alaska island in December 2012 due to “inadequate assessment and management of risks” for the tow in rough winter weather, the U.S. Coast Guard said in an investigative report.

Three boaters killed in collision with tow in waterway near Chicago

Three boaters were thrown from their recreational craft and died after a nighttime collision with a barge in the Cal-Sag Channel south of Chicago.

NTSB: Leak in steering gear caused flooding, loss of California tug

The sinking of a tugboat near the California coast in April 2013 was the result of a steering gear leak that caused uncontrolled flooding in the engine room, federal investigators said.

Captain, family’s company convicted in Chicago barge-blast fatality

Captain, family’s company convicted in Chicago barge-blast fatality

A towboat captain has been convicted of seaman’s manslaughter in the death of a deck hand in an explosion aboard a petroleum barge in Chicago in 2005.

Probe: Bosun died in fall from crane that he shouldn’t have used

A bulk carrier crewman working aloft using a cargo crane fell to his death at a St. Lawrence River anchorage when the crane block made contact with the underside of the boom head and the winch continued to pull, breaking the hoisting cable.

Officials: Tugboat in doomed ‘ghost ship’ tow was deficient

Officials: Tugboat in doomed ‘ghost ship’ tow was deficient

The tugboat Charlene Hunt had just reached open water southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland, with a massive cruise ship in tow. After a 50-degree course change, the tug was traveling straight into 35-knot winds and 15-foot seas.

N.Y. ferry runs aground while assessing safe water route to airport

U.S. Coast Guard investigators have concluded that operator error led to a ferry running aground south of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

E-pilot, know-how help 1,200-foot ship dock at Oakland

E-pilot, know-how help 1,200-foot ship dock at Oakland

The ports of North America have been scrambling to get larger container cranes and to dredge to greater depths to handle the huge new containerships that are coming.

Scale models demonstrate the need for automatic abort winches

Scale models demonstrate the need for automatic abort winches

In tanks at maritime trade shows from Hamburg to New Orleans, or the pilot training pond at Port Revel, France, or in a little lake at Central Park in Burnaby, British Columbia, the remarkable models of Ron Burchett do much more than entertain.

Greater workload means ships need to have more crew

My dad sailed on commercial vessels as an able seaman and boatswain in the 1950s and 1960s, including several T2 tankers.