The Top 10 Maritime Stories for 2018
Choosing the ‘top stories of 2018’ was, this year, a difficult task. Many compelling story threads played out, dramatically impacting the North American waterfront, and in particular, the workboat sector – each in their own unique way. Read on to find out how and why.Autonomous Vessels: Ready or Not, Here They ComeFuturistic, remote-controlled autonomous marine vehicles aren’t coming. They are here. As the pace of change quickens, autonomous vessels are already providing service and value on the water.
Metal Shark Open for Business in Alabama
Metal Shark announced it has secured a contract to build three 120’ x 35’ river towboats for Florida Marine Transporters, Inc. (FMT), signalling the U.S. shipbuilder’s entry into the towboat market.The four-decked, welded-steel, USCG Subchapter “M”-compliant towboats were designed by John W. Gilbert Associates, Inc. and will be powered by twin Cat 3512C Tier 3 marine diesel engines rated at 1,911 HP each. Construction is underway at Metal Shark Alabama, with deliveries commencing in 2019.With the FMT contract…
Hurricane Michael Races Northeast, Leaving Devastation in Florida
Hurricane Michael, the third most powerful storm ever to strike the U.S. mainland, headed northeast on Thursday, weakened but still set to soak Georgia and the Carolinas after devastating the Florida Panhandle.By 6 AM on Thursday, heavy rain and wind had reached as far north as Charlotte, North Carolina and the Western North Carolina mountains. The center of the storm was located over Augusta, Georgia, moving north rapidly at more than 20 MPH in a north / northeast heading. Charlotte…
U.S. East Coast Ports Await Yet Another Storm
Hurricane Michael, now a Category 4 storm, will be the second hurricane in two months to significantly affect ports on the U.S. eastern seaboard. Eastern North Carolina in particular is only now recovering from Florence.The U.S. Coast Guard has set conditions X-Ray for ports in Georgia and South Carolina in preparation for Hurricane Michael. The storm is now expected to make landfall by Wednesday afternoon. While gale force winds are expected within the next 48 hours, these ports can remain open to commercial traffic.
NOAA's National Hurricane Center: Michael Expected to Become a Hurricane
The National Hurricane Center has announced a Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio. A Hurricane Watch is also in effect for the Alabama-Florida border to Suwannee River Florida.A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Suwannee River to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay and for the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama borderAt 700 AM CDT (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Michael was located near latitude 20.9 North, longitude 85.1 West. Michael is moving toward the north near 7 mph (11 km/h).
Tug and Barge Solutions Passes 100 Vessel Milestone with Helm CONNECT
Alabama-based Tug and Barge Solutions (TBS) announced that more than 100 vessels now use Ivy Marine's Towing Safety Management System and audit services, powered by Helm CONNECT software.Founded in 2012 by tug captain turned ISM/ISO auditor Pat Folan and towing vessel operators Steve Wilson and Patrick Boles, TBS has been helping towing vessel operators achieve compliance with the US Coast Guard (USCG), International Safety Management (ISM), Tanker Management and Self-Assessment…
Answering the Call for Environmental Answers
The Coast Guard has developed two separate mitigation system prototypes specifically designed for inland and offshore environments and tested them in the Kalamazoo River and Lake Huron.Whenever there is a need for oil, there will always be a risk of oil spills. This is no less true for bituminous sands, commonly known as oil sands or tar sands. Oil sands are mostly found in Alberta, Canada, and comprised of bitumen, sand, clay and water. They are typically viscous, with a texture similar to peanut butter.
Austal Awarded Two More Independence-variant LCS
The U.S. Navy awarded a contract modification to shipbuilder Austal USA to build two additional Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships, LCS 32 and 34, its 16th and 17th vessels in the class. The specific value of each contract is under the congressional cost cap of $584 million per ship.“To be awarded these contracts in such a highly competitive environment is a great honor,” said Austal USA president, Craig Perciavalle. “This is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our talented employees and dedicated supplier network…
U.S. Gulf Coast Ports Restricting Traffic Ahead of Storm Gordon
Vessel traffic along the U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday was under restrictions ahead of Tropical Storm Gordon, which is expected to make landfall as a category 1 hurricane near the Mississippi-Alabama border.Ports from New Orleans to Mobile, Alabama were closed to inbound traffic greater than 500 tons at 8 a.m. local time, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Alexandra Preston. The port of Pascagoula, Mississippi was closed to traffic by the U.S. Coast Guard, Harbor Master Cliff Porter said on Tuesday.Reporting by Jessic Resnick-Ault in New York and Erwin Seba in Houston
Storm Gordon Starts Kicking Up Waves on U.S. Gulf Coast
Waves began to batter parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday as the region felt the first hit of Tropical Storm Gordon, which is expected to become a hurricane before it comes ashore with high winds and heavy rain, forecasters said.The storm also caused a jump in global oil prices after the evacuation of two oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.Gordon was due to come ashore late on Tuesday near the border between Louisiana and Mississippi, and drop as much as 12 inches (30 cm) of rain in areas still recovering from last year's hurricanes…
Austal USA Delivers Third LCS of 2018
The future USS Charleston (LCS 18) delivered to today will be the 16th littoral combat ship (LCS) to enter the U.S. Navy fleet.The Independence-variant LCS is the ninth delivered by Austal USA, the American branch of Australian shipbuilder Austal, and the third LCS delivered by the Alabama shipyard this year.Five LCS remain under construction at Austal’s Alabama shipyard. Cincinnati (LCS 20) is preparing for sea trials. Assembly is underway on Kansas City (LCS 22) and Oakland (LCS 24) and modules for Mobile (LCS 26) and Savannah (LCS 28) are under construction.
Georgia's New Inland Terminal Begins Business
Gov. Nathan Deal, state officials and more than 350 business and civic leaders were on hand today to officially open the Appalachian Regional Port (ARP) in Northwest Georgia.“The Appalachian Regional Port is a powerful new gateway to the Port of Savannah that extends the efficiencies of Georgia’s superior port operations to new markets,” Deal said. “It will also serve as an economic development magnet, drawing business and industry to the Southeast U.S.”Located in Murray County…
Shipbuilding: “We had shipyard for dinner …”
The Duclos family is iconic in boatbuilding circles, as the Somerset, Mass.-based Gladding-Hearn, Duclos Corporation, has built a strong heritage in the pilot boat and fast ferry sectors, and in total more than 425 vessels have been delivered since it was founded in 1955. Today a trio of second-generation siblings run the yard, brothers and co-presidents John and Peter Duclos with sister Carol Hegarty serving as CFO. Maritime Reporter & Engineering News visited the yard recently…
DCA's Doyle: President Trump Supports Strong Infrastructure Projects
In an address to Western Dredging Association (WEDA) stakeholders, William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director Dredging Contractors of America told his audience: It all starts with dredging. Good Morning, and thank you for inviting me here today to open-up the conference. This is my first time addressing the Western Dredging Association (WEDA), and I am honored to be here. It all starts with dredging, and President Donald J. Trump is backing it up with critical legislative measures. As I will address later in my remarks– the U.S.
TNPA Focuses on Ship Repair
Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) appointed Preston Khomo, previously Richards Bay Port Manager, as Executive Manager: Ship Repair, to manage and administer the organization’s ship repair resources nationally.Thamsanqa (Thami) Sithole has been appointed as the new Port Manager for Richards Bay. Both appointments are effective July 1.Khomo joined TNPA in 2004 as Head of Infrastructure Development: Port Operations and Consulting at Portcon (the then international arm of Transnet)…
Metal Shark Acquires Horizon Shipbuilding Assets
Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark said it has acquired the assets of Alabama-based Horizon Shipbuilding, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2017.Metal Shark will assume ownership of Horizon’s fully developed 35-acre shipbuilding facility in the Mobile Bay region, following a motion approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of Alabama on June 5, 2018.The Horizon facility, which features separate east and west yards both fronting a dredged deepwater inlet…
Master Marine Delivers Towboat to Waterfront Services
Alabama shipbuilder Master Marine has delivered Sam P. Hise, the third towboat in a series of four newbuilds for Illinois-based inland operator Waterfront Services Co.The 67’ x 28’ boat is set up with 10,400 gallons of fuel, 4,359 gallons of potable water and 9,500 gallons of ballast water along with providing a maximum 7’ 9” working draft.Each vessel will be powered by a pair of Laborde Products, Inc. S6R2-Y3MPTAW Mitsubishi 803 HP tier III diesel marine engines to be operated at 1,400 RPM coupled to Twin Disc MG 5321, 5:1 gears, E300 electronic controls with RW Fernstrum, Inc. keel coolers.
Barges Catch Fire in Alabama
The U.S. Coast Guard said it is working with local agencies to respond to a barge fire on the Mobile River near Mobile, Ala.Coast Guard Sector Mobile received a report from Mobile County Fire Department that a barge carrying scrap metal caught fire at mile marker three on the Mobile River at approximately 10 a.m. on Sunday.According to Mobile Fire-Rescue, two linked barges carrying demolished/crushed cars are ablaze.No crewmembers were reported to be aboard the barges when they went up in flames, and there have been no reports of injuries or pollution.The barges are aground on the riverbank.Mobile County Fire Department is on scene conducting…
US Navy to Christen Littoral Combat Ship Cincinnati
The Navy will christen its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, the future USS Cincinnati (LCS 20), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony May 5 in Mobile, Alabama. The principal speaker will be Cincinnati Councilmember David Mann, also a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio. Former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will serve as the ship's sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
Austal Acquires ElectraWatch
Shipbuilder Austal USA announced today it has acquired privately held ElectraWatch, Inc. in an all cash stock purchase. Headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., ElectraWatch develops and deploys portable probe devices that help maintain aluminum structures. According to Austal USA, the acquisition reinforces its position in aluminum ship manufacturing and sustainment and extends its ability to support the U.S. Navy fleet where nearly every ship includes aluminum structures. “The…
Austal Delivers LCS 16 to US Navy
Shipbuilder Austal has delivered its eighth Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) to the U.S. Navy.The future USS Tulsa (LCS 16) is the second Austal designed and built LCS delivered to the Navy this year and will be the 13th LCS to enter the fleet.Tulsa’s delivery precedes the future USS Manchester (LCS 14) commissioning, which will take place in New Hampshire at the end of May.Five LCS remain under construction at Austal’s Alabama shipyard. Charleston (LCS 18) is preparing for sea trials.
EPA Announces Funding to Reduce Diesel Emissions
Preference given to fleets in areas facing air quality challenges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of grant funding to modernize the nation’s diesel fleet by retrofitting or replacing vehicles with cleaner, more efficient diesel engines. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $40 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) grant funding to eligible applicants, subject to the availability of funds. “These grants will incentivize improvements to aging diesel fleets and improve air quality throughout the country…
New Ro/Ro Facility Coming to Alabama
Plans are in motion to develop a new vehicle processing roll-on/roll-off (RO/RO) facility at Alabama’s Port of Mobile in the U.S.Today in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Alabama State Port Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AutoMobile International Terminal, a joint venture of Terminal Zárate S.A. and SAAM Puertos S.A., to develop and operate the new $60 million facility, which is expected to be completed in 2019.The agreement marks a giant step forward in supporting automotive logistics in the Americas and abroad…