Professional Mariner - May 2013 May 1, 2013 Professional Mariner Staff FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedin British company proposes private ‘navy’ to convoy ships past pirate strongholdsShips traveling in convoy for enhanced security has proven a successful tactic in the past. Aker’s decision to build two tankers on spec turns into a winning betAker Philadelphia Shipyard’s decision to build two identical petroleum/chemical tankers without a buyer waiting in the wings appears to be a gamble that has paid off. Dredging becoming the primary concern for Great Lakes ship operatorsLow water levels and inadequate dredging are combining to create severe problems for vessel operators in the Great Lakes. Former mariner and cruise line executive named head of NTSB marine safety officeTracy Murrell was a newly minted third mate aboard a 700-foot tanker when she found herself in a front-row seat for a real-life lesson on marine safety off Miami. Vigor orders what will be the biggest floating dry dock in the U.S.Vigor Industrial has signed a contract with a Chinese shipyard to build what will be the largest floating dry dock in the United States.Regs on upgrading survival craft delayed for Coast Guard studyThe deadline for U.S.-flag vessels to upgrade their survival craft has been pushed back to allow time for a U.S. Coast Guard study of the issue.Coast Guard reviewing plan to ship fracking waste by bargeThe booming Marcellus shale gas play could mean additional barge traffic if the U.S. Coast Guard grants approval to move the drilling industry’s wastewater on the inland waterways. GreenHunter Water LLC, a wastewater hauling and disposal company headquartered in Grapevine,… A new bird heads north to Southeast Alaska for Olympic Tug & BargeIn late November 2012 the crew of Kestrel was preparing their brand new tug for its maiden voyage to Alaska. Working in shallow N.Y. creeks, towboat and barge find a nicheSunrise on a cold February morning found the towboat and barge surrounded by so little water that they hardly seemed afloat.PortVision announces grants to spur port and waterway safetyPortVision, a maritime software and communications company, has created a $500,000 grant initiative that it hopes will lead to safer, more secure waterways and more efficient ports. Infrared gear, oil collection system provide new tools for spill response boatsClean Gulf Associates, a New Orleans-based organization formed in 1972, is a nonprofit cooperative of 125 oil and gas companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico. Although it has redundant engine rooms, cruise ship lost almost all power due to fireAn engine-room fire caused a blackout aboard a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving 4,200 people adrift and suffering without power for lights, cooking or toilets for five days. Tow strikes Miss. bridge, spills oil; river closure delays 1,000 bargesTwo barges carrying crude oil on the Mississippi River struck a railroad bridge at Vicksburg, Miss., breaching a tank on one of the vessels and causing an oil spill that prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to close a 16-mile stretch of the waterway.Internal investigation: Failures of Coast Guard leadership contributed to fatal boat collisionA fatal accident involving a U.S. Coast Guard law-enforcement boat in San Diego was the result of reckless operation and a string of command failures, an internal investigation concluded.Witnesses: Fears about tall ship’s condition preceded Sandy voyageHMS Bounty had a rotted hull when its captain inexplicably set sail into the path of Hurricane Sandy and then waited too long to abandon ship before the vessel foundered, according to testimony at a federal hearing on the disaster. Tank barge’s hull breached, causing oil spill in N.Y. waterwayThe U.S. Coast Guard is investigating how the hull of a fuel barge was breached, spilling about 20,000 gallons of oil into the Kill Van Kull off Staten Island, N.Y.Abandoned ship under tow breaks free twice, drifts into AtlanticA derelict, unmanned cruise ship being towed from Newfoundland broke two towlines and drifted half way across the North Atlantic. Green ship design makes excellent environmental and economic senseToday’s maritime industry is entering the age of the green ship.To stay healthy, mariners need exercise, and a place to do itWhile attending California Maritime Academy, I spent part of each day exercising.