Professional Mariner - August 2013

Audit: Unclear if TWIC improves maritime security

The 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…

Fifth-generation McAllister becomes top leader in family business, AWO

The 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 boats

The 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 do

The 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 coastline

On 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 explodes

Three 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…

O Pilot! Historical Sketches of the Coos Bay Bar Pilots

O 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…

Shorter training programs at public colleges are viable alternative

Before 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.