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Oldest Coast Guard Vessel Decommissioned

The U.S. Coast Guard decommissioned its oldest vessel, retiring the cutter Storis with eight rings of a bell and the playing of taps in a gymnasium at the Kodiak Coast Guard Base. About 70 Storis crew members wearing dress blues stood at attention during the ceremony to retire the 64-year-old icebreaker. About 200 invited guests also attended. Storis crews have boarded 7,500 vessels, saved 250 lives, kept 25 vessels from sinking, assisted 100,000 people and traveled 1.5 million miles. The Storis has been patrolling Alaska waters since the late 1950s. Capt. James M. McCauley, commander of the Storis, thanked Kodiak for the town's hospitality as homeport. McCauley's last outing with Storis was a 54-day patrol in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. All 54 days were completed without a single day out of service. Hallmarks of the Storis career include sailing the North Atlantic during World War II, when the ship was the command center for a fleet that prevented Nazi Germany form establishing a foothold on Greenland. This was a critical part of the war effort, Brooks said, because weather stations in Greenland helped predict weather patterns in Europe. In the late 1940s, the ship supplied medical aid to Alaska villages while patrolling Southeast Alaska waters. In 1957, Storis sailed the Northwest Passage in a historic trip to survey a deep water route. The route was needed to help protect North America's Arctic Coast during the Cold War.

12 of 20 Cruise Ships Cited for Pullution

According to a report from the Anchorage Daily News, an analysis by state regulators shows that more than half of the cruise ships that discharged wastewater regularly into Alaska waters received citations. The analysis shows 45 tests on wastewater violated permit levels for pollutants. The most common violation was for ammonia, found in urine. (Source: Anchorage Daily News)

Greenpeace Boards Arctic Offshore Rig

Image: Royal Dutch Shell plc

 Six Greenpeace activists boarded a Shell oil drilling ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and vowed to stay there to protest the company's plans to drill above the Arctic Circle, the environmental organization said.   They boarded as the drill rig was transported across the Pacific Ocean toward Seattle, where it will be staged for drilling on Shell leases in Alaska waters.   Royal Dutch Shell confirmed that the protesters "illegally boarded the Polar Pioneer"

Crowley's DH Petroleum Barges Deployed to Western Alaska

Crowley Maritime Corp. is deploying two new double-hulled, combination deck cargo and tank barges this week in Western Alaska. The DBL 165-1 and DBL 165-2 barges left Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, Wash., earlier this month and made a brief stop in Seward for final outfitting of equipment - including hoses, lines, pumps and other gear - necessary for operating in Western Alaska. The barges are expected to load their first cargoes of petroleum products in Bristol Bay this week and will

Alaska Files Civil Suit Against Royal Caribbean

Alaska filed a civil suit on Aug. 13 against Royal Caribbean Cruises, accusing the company of dumping oil and other hazardous wastes into state waters after the firm pleaded guilty to federal criminal pollution charges. Royal Caribbean pleaded guilty last month and was fined $18 million for 21 felony counts of violating federal water pollution laws in areas ranging from the Caribbean to Alaska’s Inside Passage. Attorney General Bruce Botelho said the state filed a civil case in Superior

Coastal Transportation Pays $412,101 in Fines

Coastal Transportation, Inc., a Washington-based owner of cargo vessels, paid the State of Alaska $412,101 to resolve violations of Alaska oil pollution prevention laws. The payment was for the company¡¦s operation of vessels in Alaska waters without approved Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plans and the required proof of financial responsibility. The State became aware of the illegal operation when a Coastal Transportation vessel

Alaskan Ferry Sustains Damage

The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) is cooperating with U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Juneau to investigate and evaluate structural damage sustained to the ferry Fairweather Thursday (December 16) in Southeast Alaska waters. Fairweather sustained damage by waves during a regularly scheduled voyage from Haines to Juneau late Thursday afternoon. The vessel carried 101 passengers at the time, including the commanding officer of Marine Safety Office Juneau

NASSCO, BP Hold Naming Ceremony

Caroline Shorten Conn, spouse of Iain Conn, BP Group Executive Officer, smashes ceremonial bottle of champagne on the hull of the Alaskan Navigator, the third Alaska-Class double-hull oil tanker being built for BP Oil Shipping Company, USA. On Saturday, November 12, National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO., a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, joined BP p.l.c. in naming the Alaskan Navigator

Study Backs Up Cruise Industry’s Commitment to Environment

The results of two recent environmental studies regarding cruise ship wastewater discharge provide new and significant scientific insight into the low environmental impacts of cruise ship operations on the marine environment. Two independent yet interrelated studies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) provide a major step in understanding the environmental impact of cruise ships.

Coast Guard’s Largest Ice Breaker To Visit Juneau

The Coast Guard cutter Healy and crew is scheduled to stop in Juneau for a port call October 24-27. The ship departed Seattle June 13 to begin its Arctic cruise. The Healy crew circumnavigated the North American continent on its cruise. The crew and scientists on board conducted numerous science operations. Some of the science operations included studying the effects of the freshwater flux from the Arctic into the North-Atlantic

Alaska buys TransCanada AK LNG stake

Alaska LNG project. Photo by

 The State of Alaska has finalised a deal with TransCanada to buy out the pipeline company's share in the proposed Alaska liquefied natural gas export project for nearly US$65 million.   Alaska has completed the buyout of TransCanada’s interest in the Alaska LNG project

Cadmatic Used for Alaska Ferry Design

The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) has awarded the Alaska Class Ferry project to Vigor Alaska shipyard in Ketchikan, Alaska, where construction is currently underway. Providing production design for the ferry is Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering consultancy Glosten

Update: Statoil Follows Shell out of Alaska

Norwegian oil major Statoil said on Tuesday it will pull out of Alaska's Chukchi Sea, just weeks after Royal Dutch Shell abandoned the treacherous waters there after spending billions on oil exploration work.   The latest pullback comes as oil companies slash spending on expensive offshore

Norway's Statoil to Exit Alaska

Photo: Statoil

Norwegian oil major Statoil said on Tuesday it will pull out of Alaska as its exploration leases in the Chukchi Sea no longer looked competitive.   "Since 2008 we have worked to progress our options in Alaska. Solid work has been carried out

Crowley Appoints Tornga as VP - Stakeholder Relations

Crowley Veteran Craig Tornga

  Crowley Maritime Corporation announced today that company veteran Craig Tornga has assumed the role of vice president of stakeholder relations for Alaska, and will coordinate with all of Crowley's Alaska business units to leverage relevant company relationships

Crowley Approved to Import Canada-sourced LNG

Photo: Crowley

Crowley Maritime Corp. ’s petroleum distribution group has been granted approval by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Energy Board – Canada (NEB) to import Canadian-sourced liquefied natural gas (LNG) for supply

US Leads Arctic Search and Rescue Exercise

The United States Government, led by the United States Coast Guard, the Department of Defense (USNORTHCOM and Alaska Command), and the Department of State, held Arctic Zephyr, an international Arctic Search and Rescue table-top exercise, at the University of Alaska Anchorage from October 19-22

Is Oil Industry Backing Away From Offshore Arctic Drilling ?

Prirazlomnaya platform. Photo: Information Directorate, Gazprom

 The principal difficulty for Arctic offshore drilling right now, according to oil industry think tank, is economic.  The companies may be back for another try at Arctic offshore drilling, in U.S. waters or elsewhere, if economic conditions change, reports AP.  

Arctic Oil Drilling: Why Does U.S. End It?

Image: An oil drilling rig operated by Royal Dutch Shell ran aground on a pristine wildlife-rich island in Alaska in 2013. Credit: Panda.Org

The Obama administration has taken steps to keep drill rigs out of Alaska's northern ocean for a decade or more. The sudden of turnabouts is attributed to slowing down of economy. The U.S. Department of Interior announced that it is canceling two lease sales and will not extend current leases for

NOIA Response : Cancellation of Alaska OCS Lease Sales

Outer Continental Shelf Image courtesy NOIA

  National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement regarding the Interior Department’s decision to cancel two offshore Alaska lease sales and deny requests to extend current Alaska offshore leases:

U.S., Alaska End Exxon Valdez Legal Action

The Exxon Valdez remains in place in Prince Williams Sound, Alaska after running aground on Bligh Reef March 23, 1989, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil (USCG photo)

U.S. and Alaskan authorities have ended their efforts to seek additional damages from Exxon Mobil Corp over the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and the subsequent settlement, the Department of Justice said on Thursday. The department said in a statement that it is "bringing to a close the

Captain of Ill-fated El Faro was Known as Trusted Mariner

El Faro (File photo: TOTE)

The captain of the ill-fated cargo ship that sank in a hurricane off the Bahamas with no survivors last week was an experienced and highly trusted mariner who had spent a lifetime on the water, friends and colleagues said.   The captain of El Faro, Michael Davidson of Windham, Maine

House Bill Introduced to Block Arctic Drilling

Jared Huffman (Official photo)

Rep. Huffman introduces Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act; bill would prohibit oil and gas leasing in the Arctic Ocean   U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman (Dem.-Calif.) introduced a bill Monday called the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015

NOIA Commends Shell’s Efforts Offshore Alaska

Polar Pioneer rig operating into the floor of the Chukchi Sea

  National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement regarding Shell’s decision to halt exploration activities offshore Alaska:   “NOIA commends Shell’s efforts in the Chukchi Sea and recognizes the great expense

Shell Withdraws from Arctic Exploration

Fennica, an icebreaker vessel deployed by Shell in the Arctic (Photo: Arctia Shipping)

Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude in a move that will appease environmental campaigners and shareholders who said its project was too expensive and risky. Shell has spent about $7 billion on exploration in the waters off Alaska so far and

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