Alabama News

18 Apr 2019

AWO Elects Foss Maritime's Merritt as Chair

Scott Merritt, former Chief Operating Officer for Foss Maritime Company, LLC, was elected Chairman of AWO.

The members of the American Waterways Operators, the national tugboat, towboat and barge industry association, elected a new slate of leaders earlier this month during the association's annual Spring Convention held in Washington, D.C. Scott Merritt, former Chief Operating Officer for Foss Maritime Company, LLC, was elected Chairman. Arthur F. Mead, Vice President and General Counsel at Crowley Maritime Corporation, was elected Vice Chairman. Mr. Merritt succeeds outgoing Chairman Tom Marian…

16 Apr 2019

Metal Shark Wins Miami-Dade Fire Boat Contract

The Metal Shark “50 Defiant X” fireboat, a welded aluminum monohull vessel featuring a proven hull form and a specialized arrangement optimized for firefighting. CREDIT: Metal Shark

Shipbuilder Metal Shark has been selected to build the next generation of fire boats for the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department.Miami-Dade has selected the Metal Shark “50 Defiant X” fireboat, a welded aluminum monohull vessel featuring a proven hull form and a specialized arrangement optimized for firefighting. The new fire boats are being built at Metal Shark’s Jeanerette, Louisiana production facility and are intended to replace older fire boats currently operated by the Department.The 50’ x 15’ vessels will be powered by twin inboard diesel engines mated to water jet propulsion units…

16 Apr 2019

INSIGHTS: Metal Shark's Chris Allard

Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard

A naval architect and graduate of the Webb Institute, Co-Owner/CEO Chris Allard introduced the engineering-centric approach that has fueled Metal Shark’s growth; driving innovation and transforming the company from a regional builder to a globally recognized industry leader.A member of the ownership team since 2005, Mr. Allard has overseen the expansion of Metal Shark from several employees to over 350. Under Mr. Allard’s direction, Metal Shark has successfully captured over $500…

15 Mar 2019

Sub M is here, now what?

Captain Pat Folan outlines the way forward, especially for the smaller towboat firms. It’s not rocket science, but it does involve common sense. July 20, 2018 came and went, and we are all still here – mostly. The reality of Sub M has begun to sink in and for some it signals the end of a business and career. The AWO RCP members, oil movers and early adopters are going to make it. But for some of the ‘Mom & Pops,’ this is looking like a bridge too far.And some of this group are the ones that needed to be weeded out.

13 Mar 2019

Across the Big Pond: Metal Shark Expands Again

Managing Director Teuta Duletic (left) and Technical Manager Drazen Debelic at Metal Shark Croatia.

Metal Shark Expands Internationally with New Croatia Engineering Facility.Shipbuilder Metal Shark has established a foothold across the Atlantic with the opening of a dedicated European engineering office.Metal Shark’s first location outside of the United States, “Metal Shark Croatia” is a new engineering facility recently opened in the city of Rijeka on Croatia’s northern Adriatic coast.The facility currently employs nearly 20 naval architects, machinery systems engineers, and…

30 Jan 2019

Metal Shark Delivers New Patrol Boats in Aruba

A Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard AW139 helicopter flies above a Metal Shark 38 Defiant patrol boat following a commissioning ceremony in Aruba on January 23rd, 2019.

Four new high speed patrol boats manufactured by shipbuilder Metal Shark have entered service with the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) on the island of Aruba.The vessels were commissioned into service with a ceremony on January 23rd at DCCG’s Station Aruba in the district of Savaneta on Aruba’s southeast coast. Among those present were officials from the Aruban government, Dutch Ministry of Defense, DCCG, and Metal Shark, as well as local and regional media outlets.The new…

25 Jan 2019

Austal USA Awarded $16.3m in LCS Funds

Austal USA LLC, Mobile, Alabama, is awarded a $16,322,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee order against previously awarded contract N00024-11-C-2301 to provide engineering, management, and production services in support of prefabrication efforts, material procurement, and execution of work items for littoral combat ship USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) extended industrial post-delivery availability (EIPDA). The EIPDA is accomplished within a period of approximately 12 weeks between the time of ship custody transfer to the Navy and the shipbuilding and conversion, (Navy) obligation work limiting date. Efforts will include program management, advance planning, engineering, design, prefabrication, and material kitting. Work will be performed in Mobile, Alabama, and is expected to be complete by August 2019.

06 Dec 2018

The Top 10 Maritime Stories for 2018

The M/V Steve Golding transits  through the Olmsted Locks in late July. Called by some stakeholders, 'the Manhatten Project' of civil engineering, Olmsted is finally completed at an enormous cost. (CREDIT: USACE)

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.

22 Oct 2018

Metal Shark Open for Business in Alabama

(Photo: Metal Shark)

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…

11 Oct 2018

Hurricane Michael Races Northeast, Leaving Devastation in Florida

The latest storm track for Michael. (CREDIT NHC)

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…

10 Oct 2018

U.S. East Coast Ports Await Yet Another Storm

The latest storm path predictions (CREDIT: NHC)

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.

08 Oct 2018

NOAA's National Hurricane Center: Michael Expected to Become a Hurricane

Micheal's projected track line (CREDIT: NHC)

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).

05 Oct 2018

Tug and Barge Solutions Passes 100 Vessel Milestone with Helm CONNECT

Chrystie Benson, Helm Operations and Pat and Sandy Folan, Tug and Barge Solutions. Photo: Helm Operations Software Inc.

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…

20 Sep 2018

Answering the Call for Environmental Answers

The RDC project team poses on USCGC Hollyhock after completion of the offshore mitigation system prototype test.  From left to right, LT Charles Clark, Alexander Balsley, and Coast Guard Academy Cadet 2/c Valerie Hines.)

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.

19 Sep 2018

Austal Awarded Two More Independence-variant LCS

(U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Austal USA)

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…

04 Sep 2018

U.S. Gulf Coast Ports Restricting Traffic Ahead of Storm Gordon

Photo courtesy of Port Nola

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

04 Sep 2018

Storm Gordon Starts Kicking Up Waves on U.S. Gulf Coast

Photo: NOAA

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…

31 Aug 2018

Austal USA Delivers Third LCS of 2018

(Photo: Austal USA)

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.

26 Aug 2018

Georgia's New Inland Terminal Begins Business

Gov. Nathan Deal, center, cuts a ribbon during the Grand Opening of the Appalachian Regional Port near Chatsworth, Ga.  Photo: Georgia Ports Authority / Stephen B. Morton

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…

16 Aug 2018

Shipbuilding: “We had shipyard for dinner …”

Brothers and co-presidents Peter Duclos (left) and John Duclos flank sister Carol Hegarty, CFO. Photo: Greg Trauthwein

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…

02 Jul 2018

DCA's Doyle: President Trump Supports Strong Infrastructure Projects

William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director Dredging Contractors of America

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.

27 Jun 2018

TNPA Focuses on Ship Repair

Preston Khomo (Photo: TNPA)

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)…

11 Jun 2018

Metal Shark Acquires Horizon Shipbuilding Assets

A steel tug built by Horizon Shipbuilding on the 660-ton Travelift at Metal Shark’s newly-acquired Alabama Shipyard (Photo: Metal Shark)

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…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Apr 2019 - Navies of the World

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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