Professional Mariner - December 2017/January 2018 December 30, 2017 Professional Mariner Staff FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedin Metal Shark building pilot boats for Texas, Virgin IslandsThe new vessels feature the builder's 'pillarless glass' pilothouses Gulf ports dig out from shoaling, repair damage after twin hurricanesBack-to-back hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico in the late summer damaged vessels, tested contingency plans and caused extended port shutdowns.US issues three Jones Act waivers for storm reliefThe U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued three Jones Act waivers in September aimed at speeding the recovery following a string of powerful hurricanes. Collisions spur Navy to overhaul 7th Fleet training, turn on ships’ AISThe Navy announced in September that it will establish a new command to oversee training for the 7th Fleet.ABS: Nearly half of ballast water systems ‘inoperable’ or ‘problematic’In a recent survey of shipowners, nearly half said the ballast water management systems (BWMS) they had installed were not operating up to standards, a situation that more vessel operators may face in meeting U.S. Coast Guard regulations. IHS: Shipowners, refiners ‘vastly unprepared’ for low-sulfur deadlineThe refining and shipping industries are scrambling to adapt to the global low-sulfur bunker fuel deadline that is less than three years away. Prevention guide targets sex harassment in US Merchant MarineThe Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP), a nonprofit organization of maritime industry professionals, has published its first issue of Best Practices Guide on Prevention of Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Merchant Marine.Calling all nominees for Plimsoll AwardsDo you know an individual or organization that has made an important contribution to safety in the maritime industry? Professional Mariner invites you to nominate them for a Samuel Plimsoll Award. Operators face learning curve for looming Subchapter M deadlineWith Subchapter M now firmly in place, the clock is ticking for the deadline of July 20, 2018, when the U.S. regime for the inspection of towing vessels fully takes effect.Subchapter M at a glanceSubchapter M became law on June 20, 2016, creating a comprehensive towing vessel safety system that includes company compliance, vessel compliance, vessel standards and oversight. Idle BC crew boat finds new niche as commuter ferryTraveling the coasts of North America, it is not uncommon to see crew boats from the 1970s and ’80s tucked away in a backwater or corner of a port — the older ones built in steel with a pair of 12V-71 Jimmies, the newer ones in aluminum with a variety of four-cycle engines. Canadian ferries at a glanceStatistics on Canada's ferry transportation network, according to the 2015 report “Keeping Canada Moving” from the Canadian Ferry Operators Association. Rush deliveries job one for Columbia Bar newcomerOn a cold day in March, the pilot boat Astoria appeared as a streak of yellow, piercing a thick gray mist shrouding the mouth of the Columbia River. Coast Guard’s El Faro report cites captain’s errors, TOTE violationsThe U.S. Coast Guard’s report on the El Faro disaster identified key failings by Capt. Michael Davidson and ship operator TOTE Maritime, as well as shortcomings in the Coast Guard’s oversight of third-party inspections.Key recommendationsSafety and administrative recommendations in the U.S. Coast Guard’s report on the El Faro disaster. Tugs sink, drillship grounds as Hurricane Harvey slams TexasU.S. Coast Guard air crews rescued at least 27 mariners from vessels that grounded or sank near Port Aransas, Texas during Hurricane Harvey in late August. NTSB: Electrical issue likely cause of intense tugboat fire off FloridaThe fire that gutted the oceangoing tugboat Thomas Dann last year likely started near an engine room fuse box, federal investigators said in a recent report. TSB cites unattended controls, misaligned rudders in tug collisionTwo tugboats heading for home after a day in the log booms collided in the Northumberland Channel last year off Vancouver Island, British Columbia.Tour operator adds redundancy after boat loses power, drags anchorEven though all passengers were safely evacuated when a dinner cruise vessel lost power in high winds and nearly grounded in Halifax Harbor, the CEO of the tour company said a valuable lesson was learned in how to improve safety. Casualty briefsQuebec tug catches fire after mechanical problem Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is investigating a fire aboard a tugboat operating on the St. Lawrence River near Port Cartier, Quebec. The 99-foot Brochu sustained a mechanical failure followed by a fire… IMO’s mandates help methanol gain traction as marine fuelThere are a number of compelling reasons why methanol should be adopted for use as a marine fuel, according to its advocates.Far out to sea, holiday spirit brings together sailors of all stripesIt was a cold, snowy December night in Spokane, Wash., and I carried a plateful of holiday cookies and a huge glass of eggnog in preparation for the Christmas special on TV.