Professional Mariner - March 2021

Vane expands to Great Lakes with all-season asphalt trade

Air temperatures on a December day in Buffalo, N.Y., average about 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, with water temperatures around 40 and dropping, but the cargo on a newly arrived barge is maintained at 300 degrees. Snowflakes falling on…

Crew rescued, fuel escapes as tugboat sinks off Puerto Rico

Three mariners escaped from a 71-year-old tugboat before it sank near the port of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, on Christmas Eve. The 111-foot Proassist III started taking on water during the early evening on Dec. 24 while returning to Yabucoa. Crew…

Loss of towline shackle pin cited in sinking of tug in Pacific

Chamorro encountered 13-foot seas, heavy rain and 50-mph winds from a developing typhoon as it towed the unmanned tugboat Mangilao from Guam to the Philippines. While en route, the 1,700-hp oceangoing tug struggled to maintain speed in difficult conditions. …

NTSB: Strong following current contributed to Illinois bridge strike

Federal investigators determined that “higher-than-average current speed” was a contributing factor in a New Year’s Day bridge strike on the Des Plaines River southwest of Chicago. The 1,200-hp towboat William C. was downbound with six loaded barges when the pilot…

White, black or red, Coast Guard needs new hulls

From patrols in the tropics to icebreaking in polar waters to fixing channel markers in the heart of America, the U.S. Coast Guard has a vital job to do. To address its 11 statutory missions, the service needs reliable, capable…

Russia flexing its muscles, outflanking US as Arctic heats up

In 2020, temperatures in parts of the Arctic were an unbelievable 14 to 18 degrees above normal, with the region recording its second-highest yearly average since 1900. Readings were so extreme that a Siberian heat wave caused wildfires on the…