September 2019

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Rule revisions give offshore drillers more leeway, upset green groups

Rule revisions give offshore drillers more leeway, upset green groups

In early May, the U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) announced in Port Fourchon, La., that drilling measures implemented after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill would be eased.

TOTE to oversee construction of new academy training ships

TOTE to oversee construction of new academy training ships

In May, the Maritime Administration (MarAd) awarded a $39.1 million contract to TOTE Services to oversee the construction of a new class of training ships for the nation’s maritime academies.

Canada to spend $15 billion on new ships, but Seaspan disappointed

Canada to spend $15 billion on new ships, but Seaspan disappointed

When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a $15.7 billion injection of funds into the country’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) in May, it brought a mix of jubilation and disappointment from shipyards across the country.

IMO moves ahead with stricter efficiency targets for new ships

International shipping will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from 2008 levels by 2050 under new measures adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Coast Guard issues new cyberattack warning as threat grows

Coast Guard issues new cyberattack warning as threat grows

In late May, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a marine safety bulletin warning that commercial vessels were being targeted by deceptive email messages and malicious software.

Happy at sea? Survey finds many aren’t, but some question results

Happy at sea? Survey finds many aren’t, but some question results

A recent annual survey that gauges how happy people are in their working life at sea is getting mixed reviews within the industry.

Learning curve steep for new stewards of New York’s canal system

Learning curve steep for new stewards of New York’s canal system

On the first day of 2017, everything seemed hunky-dory as the New York Power Authority (NYPA) assumed ownership of the New York State Canal Corp.

What went wrong: New Smithsonian series analyzes disasters at sea

What went wrong: New Smithsonian series analyzes disasters at sea

For 12 seasons, American viewers have been engrossed by the Smithsonian Channel’s “Air Disasters” series, which combines dramatizations of actual aircraft mishaps with accounts of how investigators ultimately determined what went wrong — and how to prevent similar accidents.

New Navy workboat stout, practical and ready for duty

New Navy workboat stout, practical and ready for duty

With sea trials completed, Brett Snow eased the first in a new series of U.S. Navy workboats into Ballard Locks on Seattle’s Lake Washington Ship Canal.

Breakaway on icy Ohio River leads to new safety recommendations

Breakaway on icy Ohio River leads to new safety recommendations

Twenty-seven barges broke free from a fleeting area near Pittsburgh, Pa., before dawn on Jan. 13, 2018, after a period of heavy rain unleashed a torrent of water and ice down the Ohio River.

Fatigue, failure to monitor helmsman cited in Houston allision

Fatigue, failure to monitor helmsman cited in Houston allision

The bulk carrier Yochow approached a dogleg turn in the Houston Ship Channel when the pilot ordered the rudder hard to starboard.

NTSB: Pilot fatigue led to $6 million Louisiana wharf strike

NTSB: Pilot fatigue led to $6 million Louisiana wharf strike

The plan for turning the loaded bulk carrier was relatively straightforward: With help from three assist tugboats and the fast Mississippi River current, Shandong Fu En would spin almost 180 degrees off the dock for an outbound transit.

Towboat’s ‘recurring’ rudder problem cited in New Orleans pier strike

Towboat’s ‘recurring’ rudder problem cited in New Orleans pier strike

The towboat Steve Richoux was downbound on the Lower Mississippi River with six barges when the pilot lost control near the Crescent City Connection bridges in New Orleans and the tow slammed into a warehouse filled with Mardi Gras costumes.

Navy replaces commander after ship hits moored bulker in Montreal

Navy replaces commander after ship hits moored bulker in Montreal

The U.S. Navy has replaced the commander of a new combat ship that struck a moored bulk carrier while getting underway in the St. Lawrence River in Montreal.

Crane atop barge clips power lines, causes outage in Virginia

Crane atop barge clips power lines, causes outage in Virginia

A construction crane mounted on a deck barge clipped overhead electrical lines while the vessel was underway in the Elizabeth River, closing the waterway and knocking out power to thousands of Virginia residents.

Casualty briefs

Regulators look to update, harmonize standards for survival gear

Regulators look to update, harmonize standards for survival gear

After decades of neglect and slow progress, mariners have grown more accustomed to donning survival gear — life jackets and immersion suits — or at least keeping the protection close at hand.

Survival suits at a glance

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) provides the following definitions for survival suits.

Court rules ‘game over’ for Jones Act seamen seeking punitive damages

Court rules ‘game over’ for Jones Act seamen seeking punitive damages

In a April 2019 article in Professional Mariner, we discussed the probabilities of the U.S. Supreme Court allowing a Jones Act seaman to seek punitive damages for personal injuries caused by an unseaworthy condition under the pending case of Dutra Group v. Batterton.

Vulnerable sea mammals deserve our respect and protection

It was the end of January, and I was the 4-8 watch officer on an oceanographic ship working near the Hawaiian islands of Kahoolawe and Maui.