Professional Mariner - August 2013 August 1, 2013 Professional Mariner Staff FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedin In comments to Coast Guard, maritime groups urge caution on TWIC reader ruleBefore asking the industry to invest in Transportation Worker Identification Credential readers, the Department of Homeland Security should reassess the effectiveness of the entire program.Audit: Unclear if TWIC improves maritime securityThe centerpiece of the nation’s port security program does not increase security and the whole program should be reassessed, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The GAO conducted an audit of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card reader…Will your vessel need a TWIC electronic reader?A breakdown of the vessel categories in the U.S. Coast Guard’s proposed rule requiring TWIC electronic readersU.S. Coast Guard announces first wave of accepted ballast water treatment systemsThis past spring, the U.S. Coast Guard announced a list of ballast water treatment systems that may be used in U.S. waters for a period of five years. U.S. shipowners start shopping for ballast water treatment systemsFor years, commercial maritime fleet operators have known that stricter rules for ballast water discharges were on the horizon. In the spring of 2013, three regulatory milestones occurred that mean it’s now time for engineers to spring into action.U.S. preparing compliance system for the Maritime Labor Convention’s August deadlineAn international labor agreement creating standards for the working conditions of mariners goes into effect Aug. 20. Fifth-generation McAllister becomes top leader in family business, AWOThe first half of 2013 was eventful in the life of Brian Buckley McAllister. First it was announced that Buckley, the son of Capt. Brian McAllister and a fifth-generation member of the famous New York tugboat family, was promoted to president of McAllister Towing and Transportation Co., a position his father held since 1984. On the B.C. coast, regulations are catalyst for well-designed compact crew boatsThe greater part of the rugged inlets and islands that make up the British Columbia coast are accessible only by floatplane or boat. Most floatplanes take only three to five passengers and not a lot of freight. Heavy cargos are hauled on ramp barges or landing craft. When a larger crew or smaller freight needs to be transported, the role of the crew boat or water taxi has become paramount. Overtaking or crossing? Don’t assume what other ship will doThe overtaking situation is generally regarded as a type of vessel encounter presenting the least risk to the vessels involved. This is primarily due to the fact that, in contrast to crossing and head-on situations, overtaking often involves low relative speeds between the vessels, resulting in a more slowly developing situation that the mariner is better able to appreciate, analyze and react to. Weeks Marine suction dredge vital to restoring Louisiana’s coastlineOn a drizzly Gulf Coast morning in March, the Weeks Marine cutter suction dredge C.R. McCaskill was pumping a thick mud sludge of dredge spoil through a 30-inch diameter pipe at 400 psi on a six-mile journey into Louisiana’s marshland. It took the mud 25 minutes to reach its destination. Three men burned when flammable vapors ignite, barge explodesThree people suffered severe burns when an empty gasoline barge exploded and later sank near downtown Mobile, Ala. According to a preliminary U.S. Coast Guard investigation, gasoline vapors that accumulated on and around the barges during cleaning at the Oil…BC Ferries officer found guilty of criminal negligence in 2006 sinkingThe officer in charge of the bridge during Queen of the North’s fatal accident in 2006 has been convicted of criminal negligence. Two passengers were missing and presumed drowned after the BC Ferries vessel struck a rock and sank March… NTSB: Inadequate weather preparations, botched life raft launch led to Trinity II deathsThe Trinity II disaster that killed four people happened because of poor weather planning and mishandling of life rafts, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has ruled. The deaths occurred after the crew of the 94-foot jack-up lift boat abandoned…Probe: Tug sank in N.H. because of captains’ mistakes, boat designA sinking of a tugboat at a New Hampshire bridge was blamed, in part, on the failure of the crew to change the mooring arrangement when the tidal current reversed. While participating in a reconstruction project, Benjamin Bailey capsized on… Illinois River navigation halted after loose barges damage damSeven runaway barges struck a dam on the Illinois River, causing extensive damage to the gate system and disrupting navigation for almost a month. The accident at the Marseilles Dam happened April 18 during a heavy rain when the river…Smoky fire at battery switch damages tugboat at California pierAn electrical fire damaged part of an engine aboard a tugboat at a California dock. The fire broke out on Z-Five, a 95-foot tractor tugboat, at a Starlight Marine Services dock in Alameda, Calif., on March 20. The blaze started…Va. judge brings guilty verdict against tug captain who ran over skiffA Virginia tugboat captain was convicted of improper operation after his tow ran over a skiff, dumping its 77-year-old occupant into the Elizabeth River. William Spencer, 69, was ordered to pay a $200 fine for the misdemeanor, which had been…Tugboat sinks, drifts underwater while it’s still attached to barge until towline snapsA tugboat sank off the California coast and was suspended underwater while its deck barge drifted, until the towline eventually parted. Delta Captain, an 83-foot twin screw tugboat, sank in stormy conditions approximately 13 nm off Point Sur, Calif., on…Eleven barges sink after 114 break loose from Mo. fleeting areaMore than 100 barges broke away from a large fleeting area near downtown St. Louis, and 11 sank in the Mississippi River. At least four of the runaway barges struck a six-lane bridge carrying an interstate highway between Missouri and…Mississippi River closed after bridge strike breaks 30 barges looseThirty barges being pushed south on the Mississippi River broke free after the lead barge struck a concrete bridge support near Vicksburg, Miss. Capt. Buck Lay was guiding barges loaded with petroleum coke and grain downstream April 21 when the… O Pilot! Historical Sketches of the Coos Bay Bar PilotsO Pilot! Historical Sketches of the Coos Bay Bar Pilots By Capt. Steven E. Woods & Jeanne Woods Coos Historical Society, 2013 134 pages Alfred Lord Tennyson used the significance of a ship crossing the bar as a metaphor for… When your license is at stake, hiring a consultant can make a differenceRandy Cole, a captain on articulated tug barges, renewed his 200 ton master near coastal and 200 ton master of towing licenses in 2011. He did not do it alone.Shorter training programs at public colleges are viable alternativeBefore entering the industry, I looked at different ways to begin my career. Back then working my way up from the bottom, “coming up the hawsepipe,” or attending a four-year academy were essentially the only two choices available to me. I decided on the academy route after visiting a couple of those four-year public institutions.