September 2016

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Sea Year suspended as MarAd, USMMA address sex harassment

Sea Year suspended as MarAd, USMMA address sex harassment

The federal Maritime Administration in June suspended the Sea Year program at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), throwing the curriculum for midshipmen into confusion and raising the ire of alumni.

Shippers sue Coast Guard over ‘runaway’ Great Lakes pilotage fees

Shippers sue Coast Guard over ‘runaway’ Great Lakes pilotage fees

Following more than a decade of what the American Great Lakes Ports Association calls “runaway costs,” a shipping coalition is suing the U.S. Coast Guard over increasing pilotage fees.

Coast Guard ruling extends uncertainty over treatment of ballast water

Coast Guard ruling extends uncertainty over treatment of ballast water

The latest U.S. Coast Guard decision on ballast water management systems (BWMS) leaves vessel owners in uncertain waters.

Great Lakes officials: Economy at risk without second Poe-sized lock

Great Lakes officials: Economy at risk without second Poe-sized lock

Officials throughout the Great Lakes are intensifying their call for the federal government to approve a second large lock at Sault Ste. Marie, citing potential economic devastation if the need goes unmet.

Quality control failures at Lockheed contributing to LCS delivery delays

Quality control failures at Lockheed contributing to LCS delivery delays

Two of three quality control failures in Lockheed Martin’s production of littoral combat ships have yet to be resolved, contributing to delivery delays in the $29 billion program.

Senate panel OKs funding for new Coast Guard icebreaker, three LCS

Senate panel OKs funding for new Coast Guard icebreaker, three LCS

Funding for the first new U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker in 27 years and three more littoral combat ships (LCS) are among recommendations from the Senate Appropriations Committee for fiscal year 2017.

Towing industry enters new inspection era under Subchapter M

Towing industry enters new inspection era under Subchapter M

After a 12-year process, Subchapter M, the federal regime for the inspection of the nation’s towing vessels, is now law.

Subchapter M at a glance

Subchapter M highlights the need to embrace innovative tech

Subchapter M has raised three distinct technology issues that we now wrestle with and will continue to grapple with over the next several years.

Crowley tugs keep pace at bustling LA/Long Beach

Crowley tugs keep pace at bustling LA/Long Beach

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach kept Crowley Maritime’s fleet of four tugs busy last spring, with each vessel conducting 110 to 120 ship moves per month.

Search for answers in El Faro disaster turns to VDR recovery

Search for answers in El Faro disaster turns to VDR recovery

His stricken ship battered by wind and waves, one can picture El Faro Capt. Michael Davidson struggling to manage an increasingly tense situation.

Bulker aground for a week after hitting charted Lake Superior reef

Bulker aground for a week after hitting charted Lake Superior reef

The 833-foot laker Roger Blough was downbound in Lake Superior when it struck a reef near Sault Ste. Marie.

‘Old school’ mate’s delay with autopilot cited in Gulf platform strike

‘Old school’ mate’s delay with autopilot cited in Gulf platform strike

Improper lookout and a crewman’s lack of fluency with the autopilot system were leading factors in an allision last year in the Gulf of Mexico that ignited an unmanned drilling platform, according to federal investigators.

Maryland excursion boat sinks after hitting object in prohibited area

Maryland excursion boat sinks after hitting object in prohibited area

A field trip on Chesapeake Bay came to a sudden stop after an excursion boat carrying 23 people struck a charted object and sank near Bloodsworth Island off Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Seven injured when tour boat crashes into San Diego pier

Seven injured when tour boat crashes into San Diego pier

An excursion boat returning to port after a harbor tour rammed a pier at San Diego’s Embarcadero, injuring seven of the 144 people aboard and damaging the vessel and structure.

Crew rescued after two tugs collide, one sinks near Vancouver Island

Two tugboats en route to Nanaimo, British Columbia, collided after the larger tug unexpectedly turned into the smaller vessel, which then capsized and sank.

Dual paddles keep British Columbia’s Native rollin’ on the river

Dual paddles keep British Columbia’s Native rollin’ on the river

At 1130, the paddle wheeler Native eased away from the dock with 66 guests and a crew of eight.

Winches, deck gear bulk up to handle new megaships

Winches, deck gear bulk up to handle new megaships

Winches and deck equipment have long been a conservative corner of the tugboat industry, but that’s changing as tugs become more powerful and lines get stronger to handle the ever-larger ships visiting American ports.

Working inland waters comes with payoff in good times or bad

My wife and I had been enjoying our vacation at Lake Chelan, Wash., on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains. On Saturday morning, as we were waiting to get a table for breakfast at the Apple Cup restaurant, I struck up a conversation with a young couple next to us.