Author: John Gormley

Offshore oil's port of choice

An aerial view of busy Port Fourchon. [photos courtesy Brian Gauvin] Ted Falgout calls Port Fourchon “the nest of the goose that is laying the golden egg.” You might suspect him of being biased, since he is, after all, the…

2008 Plimsolls are awarded to Rigdon, ASA and FLIR

  From left to right, John A. Witte Jr., president of the American Salvage Association; Lou Rota, FLIR vice president; John Gormley, editor of Professional Mariner. The editors of Professional Mariner have awarded the 2008 Samuel Plimsoll Award for outstanding…

Bridge over Intracoastal Waterway takes a hit, again

For the third time in as many months, a towboat and its tow have rammed the Louisa Bridge over the lower Atchafalaya River on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Louisiana. The bow of Kirby 31801 lies jammed under the Louisa…

Lint blamed for cruise ship fire

The fierce fire that crippled the Carnival Cruise Lines ship, Ecstasy, had an unlikely source, according to the National Transportation Safety Board: laundry lint. Smoke billows from Ecstasy as Coastal Key West pours water on the ship's stern. Tons of…

Ports mobilize for battle with terrorists

When a pilot climbs aboard a ship outside San Francisco Bay these days, he often brings along some companions: armed U.S. Coast Guard sea marshals. A heavily armed U.S. Coast Guard boat patrols New York Harbor. Following the attacks on…

Autopilot sends cruise ship passengers flying

The U.S. Coast Guard is evaluating the need for guidelines governing the use of autopilots following an incident aboard the cruise ship Norwegian Sky that sent passengers and objects flying. The 848-foot vessel was returning to Puget Sound from an…

Nordic Empress fire traced to three failed screws

The failure of three screws securing a fuel line led to an engine room fire that caused extensive damage to Nordic Empress, a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship, according to a U.S. Coast Guard report. Four bolts held the fuel…

Pilots prevail in Louisiana

Industry's push to rein in pilot costs in Louisiana has gone down to defeat. Heavy traffic, fast currents and restricted waters are nothing new for Louisiana pilots. A recent effort by a pilot users group failed to reform pilot regulations.…

Containership crashes into Norfolk pier

The 960-foot container ship, Katsuragi, crashed bow first into a pier at Norfolk International Terminals after the ship was unable to complete a turn in time. The bulbous bow of Katsuragi embedded itself under the wharf at a Norfolk terminal…

Explosion blows section of deck off oil barge

An explosion ripped a 20-by-25-foot piece of deck out of an oil barge on the lower Mississippi and sent it flying onto an adjoining barge. Left: The explosion ripped open the bow of MM-25. The barge, which was empty at…

Six fishermen die after collision with tow on Ohio River

Six recreational fishermen died after their 17-foot boat was struck by a towboat and its barges on the Ohio River, about 25 miles northeast of Louisville, Ky. The accident occurred in the early Sunday morning darkness on July 15, 2001.…

Inspections failed to identify problems in small ferry

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has concluded that federal inspectors failed to identify a host of serious problems which contributed to the sinking of True North II, a casualty that cost the lives of two seventh-graders returning from…

Bridge shears wheelhouse off bulker

As the bow of Windoc, a 730-foot-long Great Lakes bulker, began passing under a highway bridge over the Welland Canal, the three men in the wheelhouse came to a horrifying realization: the lift span was closing. The upper part of…

2003 Plimsoll Winners Announced

Professional Mariner has selected the Columbia River Bar Pilots and U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Domenic Calicchio as winners of the 2003 Samuel Plimsoll Awards for outstanding service in promoting safety in the maritime industry. Columbia River Bar Pilot Bill Worth…