September 2015

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Blount, R.I. Fast Ferry win offshore-wind maritime work

Blount, R.I. Fast Ferry win offshore-wind maritime work

In North America’s first maritime contracts for offshore wind service, Rhode Island Fast Ferry has clinched a long-term crew-transfer deal with Deepwater Wind, enabling it to commission the first U.S.-built offshore wind vessel.

Survey: Cruise ships have problems with fire doors, evacuation

Evacuation and rescue of passengers are among the leading problems on a U.S. Coast Guard list of the top 10 cruise ship deficiencies.

Shell to resume Arctic drilling after 3-year pause

Shell to resume Arctic drilling after 3-year pause

Defying protests and armed with approval from the U.S. government, Royal Dutch Shell has sent a pair of drillships to Alaska’s Chukchi Sea to resume oil exploration there for the first time since 2012.

Coast Guard safety alert emphasizes anchor safety, maintenance

The U.S. Coast Guard is urging vessel owners and managers to routinely check anchor equipment for signs of wear and corrosion and make sure vessel crews are trained to spot problems.

First inland vacuum-based mooring system installed on St. Lawrence Seaway locks

First inland vacuum-based mooring system installed on St. Lawrence Seaway locks

The installation of hands-free mooring systems at all 15 of the St. Lawrence Seaway’s locks will increase efficiency, speed transit times and attract a wider client base, according to seaway officials.

Harley’s new California escort tugs are ready for the biggest boxships

Harley’s new California escort tugs are ready for the biggest boxships

California’s San Pedro Bay ports are an ideal example of “super size me.”

McAllister’s new z-drive escort tugboat combines power, maneuverability

McAllister’s new z-drive escort tugboat combines power, maneuverability

Capt. Mike Schnepp, a docking pilot in the Port of New York and New Jersey, was aboard a new McAllister z-drive tug about to rendezvous with an arriving containership, when he explained the essence of his job: guiding ships safely around Bergen Point.

High-def live TV now available aboard ships on the oceans

High-def live TV now available aboard ships on the oceans

The recent boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao attracted millions of viewers around the world, including some who were watching from sea.

Tampa tug designed with wider beam to improve stability

Tampa tug designed with wider beam to improve stability

An azimuthing stern drive tug with 75 tons of bollard pull seems like a lot of muscle to assist in docking a tank barge, but the adage “no job is too small” often rules the day.

Canadian bulk carrier runs aground near Michigan shoreline

Canadian bulk carrier runs aground near Michigan shoreline

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating why a Canadian laker exited the navigation channel near the St. Marys River and ran aground.

Louisiana tankerman, 32, dies after falling from barge that was tied up at refinery

A tankerman died after a nighttime fall into the Mississippi River from a barge secured at an oil refinery’s docking area in southern Louisiana.

Crewmember lost when towboat sinks in Louisiana; 4 people survive

A mariner is presumed dead after responders concluded that he was likely trapped inside a towing vessel that capsized in the Mississippi River. Four other crewmembers escaped.

Runaway bulk carrier damages tanker, towboats, Louisiana dock

Runaway bulk carrier damages tanker, towboats, Louisiana dock

A bulk carrier broke free from its moorings, crossed the Mississippi River and struck a tanker and several towing vessels, resulting in damage to a dock.

Wooden landing craft floods, sinks by its bow in British Columbia

Seventeen people safely evacuated a wooden landing barge as it partially sank in British Columbia’s Strait of Georgia.

Tugboat crew abandons ship, swims to lighthouse while vessel sinks

A two-man crew abandoned a sinking tug and swam to safety at a British Columbia lighthouse.

Canadian crew swims to barge, disconnects bridle while tug sinks

Two crewmen swam to the safety of a barge when their tugboat sank off British Columbia.

Collision, spill again prompt NTSB to focus on Houston channel traffic

Collision, spill again prompt NTSB to focus on Houston channel traffic

Last year a towing vessel captain in the Houston Ship Channel tried to cross ahead of a bulk carrier, impeding its passage and causing a collision and an oil spill, a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation found.

Probe: Botched engine order led to ship damaging grain facility

A communication breakdown and confusion on the bridge — including the captain repeatedly yelling “Stop the engine!” on the phone, to no avail — led a bulk carrier to strike a grain elevator on the Houston Ship Channel, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined.

Rotating winch for ship-escort tugboats wins U.S. patent

Rotating winch for ship-escort tugboats wins U.S. patent

The developers of an escort-tug system in which the winch and staple rotate together have received a U.S. patent for their invention.

Alaska escort contract resurrects debate over winch safety

Alaska escort contract resurrects debate over winch safety

The renewal of the contract for tugboats and recovery barges in the escort and oil-recovery program in Alaska’s Prince William Sound is seen as a chance to bring in the best available technology for towing winches, a concern of a local citizens group.

IMO noise rules aren’t enough to protect mariners’ hearing

I had just finished a four-day temporary job as a deck hand on a combination towing vessel/landing craft, working for a large West Coast company out of Long Beach, Calif.