Professional Mariner - December 2016/January 2017 December 30, 2016 Professional Mariner Staff FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedin Master Marine delivers St. Matthias to MarquetteThe 78-foot z-drive towboat is the 11th from Master for the operator IMO ballast water pact ratified, but US adhering to stricter standardDespite the ratification of the International Maritime Organization’s Ballast Water Management Convention, operators of vessels in U.S. waters still face uncertainty due to a more stringent regime for approval of treatment equipment.Coast Guard halts public disclosure of MMC exam questionsThe U.S. Coast Guard is no longer publicly disclosing its Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) examination questions, a change instituted under the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 that some stakeholders say will reduce the number of credentials issued. Industry feedback leads to more exemptions for TWIC readersExemptions added to the U.S. Coast Guard’s final rule for Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card readers are a welcome reprieve, according to maritime industry leaders. Unions protest as Chouest gets Alaska tanker escort contractThe leaders of two maritime unions say that a 10-year contract to escort oil tankers in Alaska’s Prince William Sound was unfairly awarded to the Louisiana-based company Edison Chouest Offshore. Horizon, Metal Shark building new fleet of New York City ferriesHorizon Shipbuilding and Metal Shark have begun construction on a new fleet of high-speed ferries for Hornblower’s New York City commuter service. Calling all nominees for annual PlimsollsDo you know an individual or organization that has made an important contribution to safety in the maritime industry?Mariners step up gap training to meet new STCW deadlineMariners face another deadline to remain compliant with the updated Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). Stone-moving tugboat fleet leads New York canal renaissanceIn a matter of months, activity at the New York State Marine Highway Transportation Company (NYSMH) accelerated at what Rob Goldman, company president, described as a frenetic pace. Longtime interest in Gulf-built tug comes full circle for MohawkThe story of the tugboat Michael, acquired by Mohawk Northeast in 2015, began in Florida a decade earlier when the family-owned construction company decided to upgrade its fleet. More than 500 evacuated as cruise ship burns off Puerto RicoA cruise ship carrying cars, cargo and more than 500 people caught fire near San Juan, Puerto Rico, and continued to burn for almost four days.Bunker fuel ignites after tanker strikes mooring dolphins in HoustonAn oil tanker struck two mooring dolphins while leaving a dock in the Houston Ship Channel, puncturing one of the ship’s fuel tanks and igniting the fuel inside. High water too much for tugs, mooring setup in bulker breakawayAn insufficient number of tugboats and an inadequate mooring arrangement were leading factors in the 2015 breakaway of a bulk carrier on the rain-swollen Lower Mississippi River, National Transportation Safety Board investigators determined.Shell icebreaker Fennica struck uncharted reef, Coast Guard saysShortly after leaving Dutch Harbor, Alaska, in July 2015, crewmembers on the icebreaker Fennica heard a loud noise they initially thought was the anchor returning to its pocket. Investigators cite pilot’s failure to hold station in towboat collisionFederal investigators say a towboat pilot’s failure to hold position along the riverbank was a leading factor in a 2015 collision on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tenn.Casualty briefsEl Faro VDR yields audio,new clues about sinking National Transportation Safety Board technicians have recovered roughly 26 hours of audio and weather and navigational data from El Faro’s voyage data recorder, which was recovered Aug. 8 from a depth of… SCR vs. EGR: Operators edging into Tier 4 weigh technology optionsThe market for Tier 4 tugboats is off to a slow start, and the president of Honolulu towing company Young Brothers has a good idea why.Tier 4 at a glanceIn May 2004, as part of the Nonroad Diesel Tier 4 Rule, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized new requirements that decrease allowable levels of sulfur in marine diesel fuel by 99 percent. These fuel improvements, which began to take effect… British Columbia’s new cable ferry always on its moorings“This is not a regular ferry, this is not a regular ferry.” BC Ferries project manager Mark Nemeth repeated this mantra to himself in the early stages of building Baynes Sound Connector at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards.Giving thanks for resolve that has made the sea safer for allOne of my favorite holidays, at sea and ashore, has always been Thanksgiving.