California News

01 Apr 2020

US Shipyards Forge Ahead Through COVID-19

The 56-foot icebreaking tugboat being built by Blount Boats for N.Y. Power Authority (NYPA). (Photo: Blount Boats)

As the novel coronavirus and its impacts continue to spread across America, U.S. shipbuilders, by and large, continue to build. While most yards have been deemed essential to marine transportation and/or national security and have been able to maintain operations, the situation at and around every shipyard is different, and there are several builders across the country that have had to temporarily suspend activity. In either scenario, it’s far from business as usual for America’s…

01 Apr 2020

Trump Urges Florida to Welcome Coronavirus-hit Cruise Ship

Zaandam (Photo: Holland America Line)

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged Florida officials to open an Atlantic Coast port to a Dutch cruise ship stuck at sea with a deadly coronavirus outbreak onboard, urging the governor to drop his opposition.Weighing in on the fate of Holland America Line‚Äôs MS Zaandam during a White House briefing, Trump said he would call Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has declared the vessel unwelcome to prevent its sick passengers from being ‚Äúdumped‚ÄĚ on his state.‚ÄúThey‚Äôre dying on the ship‚Ķ

31 Mar 2020

Oakland Dockworker Killed in Containership Fall

(File photo: Port of Oakland)

A longshore laborer at the Port of Oakland reportedly fell to his death from the deck of a containership at berth in the early hours on Tuesday.The International Longshore and Warehouse Union confirmed that the accident victim was one of its members. The port said the fatal accident was under investigation by local authorities.‚ÄúThis is a tragedy that strikes everyone very deeply,‚ÄĚ said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. ‚ÄúThe waterfront is a tightly knit community and if a member of that community succumbs‚Ķ

31 Mar 2020

Environmental DNA Emerging in the Ocean Science Community

A microfluidic sensor from Dalhousie (credit: Dartmouth Ocean Technologies Inc. and Sieben Laboratory Dalhousie University)

There is a new buzzword in the ocean science/sensing community. The word is eDNA, an abbreviation for environmental DNA. This refers to DNA that can be extracted from environmental samples without first isolating any target organisms. In the maritime community such samples are taken from water. All living organisms leave traces of DNA in their environments which is an indicator of their presence over time. This DNA is released into the environment through the biological process of living animals or by the decomposition of dead organisms.

30 Mar 2020

ABS Helps Ensure Readiness of US Hospital Ships

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua D. Sheppard/Released

ABS made a key contribution to the nation’s COVID-19 response effort, helping ensure the readiness of two ABS-classed U.S. Navy hospital ships.ABS surveyors on the U.S. East and West coast helped the USNS Mercy and the USNS Comfort sail to provide urgently needed hospital beds in New York and Los Angeles.USNS Mercy was in her home port in San Diego making preparations for a large shipyard repair package scheduled to begin in April. Her activation was advanced to support California’s request for the vessel to berth in Los Angeles.

27 Mar 2020

USNS Mercy Arrives in Los Angeles

USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrives in Los Angeles March 27. (U.S. Navy photo by David Mora Jr.)

U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived in Los Angeles, Friday to support the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts.While in Los Angeles, the ship will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals, and will provide a full spectrum of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults. This will allow local health professionals to focus on treating COVID-19 patients and for shore-based hospitals to use their Intensive Care Units and ventilators for those patients.Operated by Military Sealift Command…

27 Mar 2020

MBARI Works at Unlocking Ocean Biology

MBARI researchers head out into Monterey Bay to deploy a long-range autonomous underwater vehicle (LR-AUV), an underwater robot that is programmed at the surface and then travels underwater for hundreds of miles, measuring water chemistry and collecting water samples as it goes.  Credit: Brian Kieft (c) 2015 MBARI

Greater understanding of what goes on in the ocean is starting to become a reality ‚Äď thanks to growing use of unmanned surface and underwater vehicles and developments in biological sensing. Elaine Maslin takes a look at what a team at MBARI has been doing.Gathering biological data from the oceans remains a significant challenge for oceanographers. Now, an increasing range of unmanned vehicles that are able to work together is becoming available, as is an ability to collect biological data using them.It sounds straight forward‚Ķ

30 Mar 2020

AAM Takes Over Hydrogen Ferry New Build

(Photo: All American Marine)

All American Marine, Inc. (AAM) won a contract by SWITCH Maritime (SW/TCH) to complete the aluminum construction and outfitting of a 70-foot 84-passenger zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered, electric drive ferry that will operate in the California Bay Area (referred to as the ‚ÄėWater-Go-Round‚Äô project).Prior to transfer to AAM, the project had begun at Bay Ship & Yacht shipyard in Alameda, Calif. where the aluminum hull and superstructure had been started. Bronson Lamb, AAM Marketing Manager‚Ķ

25 Mar 2020

EPA Tier 4: Difficult and Contentious, 12 Years and Counting

© JinnaritT / Adobe Stock

When it comes to complying with EPA’s Tier 4 emissions regulations, there’s no shortage of creativity emerging from America’s maritime engineering firms. Companies such as Hug Engineering are offering flexible, customized aftertreatment-based control systems that can assemble almost in modular like fashion. Other companies, such as ABB Group, offer battery-hybrid power sources to complement combustion power and avoid threshold diesel emissions. Engine manufacturers, such as Cummins…

25 Mar 2020

A Cruise Ship is Australia's Worst Coronavirus Cluster

© NAN / Adobe Stock

Greg Butler was rushed to hospital with COVID-19 within days of getting home to self-isolate after being allowed off the Ruby Princess cruise liner in Sydney, one of more than 130 passengers who tested positive in Australia‚Äôs worst coronavirus outbreak.One of them, a woman, died earlier this week.The 56-year-old Butler had been holidaying with his partner, Robin Russ, who remains in isolation.‚ÄúI tested negative and he tested positive,‚ÄĚ Russ said over the telephone from the apartment they moved to for quarantine.After disembarking at Sydney Harbour on March 19‚Ķ

20 Mar 2020

California Asks Trump to Deploy USNS Mecy to LA 'Immediately'

USNS Mercy (Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Kelsey L. Adams)

California‚Äôs governor on Thursday asked President Donald Trump to send a U.S. Navy hospital ship to the port of Los Angeles ‚Äúimmediately‚ÄĚ as the state braces for an expected surge in the number of coronavirus cases over the next eight weeks.Trump said earlier this week the Navy hospital ships Mercy and Comfort would be pressed into service, one on each coast, as healthcare systems become badly strained during the pandemic.But U.S. defense officials have said the ships were not yet ready to sail on the emergency mission‚Ķ

26 Mar 2020

Crowley Charters Newbuild Tug from Brusco

(Photo: Crowley)

Crowley Maritime Corp said Friday its marine services group has entered into a bareboat charter with Brusco Tug and Barge for an all new RApport-design tractor tug to serve Pacific Northwest and California ports, performing ship assist and harbor escort work.The vessel, which Crowley will rename Hercules after delivery next week, was designed by Robert Allan Ltd., and constructed by Diversified Marine in Portland, Ore., for Brusco. The 82-foot, 6,000-horsepower tug is powered by twin Caterpillar 3516E (2240kw@1,800rpm) U.S. EPA Tier IV-compliant engines.

19 Mar 2020

AAPA Elects Cordero as Board Chairman

Mario Cordero (Photo: AAPA)

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has elected Mario Cordero, executive director of California‚Äôs Port of Long Beach, to serve as the association‚Äôs next Chairman of the Board.Cordero will be installed as Chairman on the final day of AAPA‚Äôs 2020 Annual Convention, set for September 13-16, in Québec City, QC, Canada. He will assume the AAPA chairmanship from Gary G. Nelson, executive director of Washington State‚Äôs Port of Grays Harbor, who began his term on October 15‚Ķ

10 Mar 2020

Ship Hull Cleaning: Shipowners Should Be Proactive to Improve Hull Performance

Image courtesy Jotun

While owners have long recognized the link between clean hulls and lower fuel costs, lack of reliable data has slowed investments in optimizing hull performance. But with improved sensor technologies and data analysis tools, hull performance is getting a second look. Owners seeking to lower fuel costs and comply with pending regulations on emissions and invasive species often look to equipment manufacturers to meet their needs. From new efficient engine designs to alternative fuels, scrubbers to ballast water treatments systems, owners face some expensive decisions.

10 Mar 2020

Passengers Sue Over Coronavirus-hit Cruise Ship

(Photo: Port of Oakland)

A Florida couple who was aboard the coronavirus-hit Grand Princess ocean liner has sued the ship’s owner for more than $1 million, claiming the company put profits over safety and did not have proper screening protocols in place.Ronald and Eva Weissberger of Broward County, Florida sued Princess Cruise Lines Ltd, a unit of Carnival Corp, alleging the company caused them emotional distress and trauma as they fear they will develop the COVID-19, a flu-like disease caused by the…

10 Mar 2020

Grand Princess Docks in Oakland

(Photo: Port of Oakland)

Weary passengers aboard a cruise ship idled at sea for days by a coronavirus outbreak erupted in cheers on Monday as the vessel sailed into San Francisco Bay en route to the Port of Oakland and the next, unexpected phase of their voyage - two weeks of quarantine.The 2,400 passengers, who have been largely confined to their staterooms since Thursday, were to begin disembarking on Monday for transport to quarantine stations or hospitals, depending on whether they are well or need immediate medical attention.Except for those with acute illness…

09 Mar 2020

Grand Princess Passengers Bound for Coronavirus Quarantine

(Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

An ocean liner barred from returning to port in San Francisco due to a coronavirus outbreak on board will dock briefly at a nearby terminal in Oakland, where passengers will be unloaded and sent on to medical and quarantine sites elsewhere, officials said on Sunday.The cruise ship Grand Princess, whose guests have been largely confined to their staterooms since Thursday, is due to arrive at the Port of Oakland on Monday to begin immediately disgorging its 2,400 passengers, California Governor Gavin Newsom told a news conference.Nearly all 1…

06 Mar 2020

US Considers Discouraging Cruise Travel

© Studio Barcelona / Adobe Stock

The United States is considering ways to discourage U.S. travelers from taking cruises as part of a broader Trump administration effort to limit the spread of coronavirus, according to four officials familiar with the situation.The officials, who asked to remain anonymous, said no decision had been made. The discussions were taking place ahead of a meeting this weekend between Vice President Mike Pence, who is in charge of leading the U.S. response to the coronavirus, and the cruise industry.The administration could advise some or all U.S.

06 Mar 2020

Video: Coronavirus Test Kits Flown to Grand Princess

California National Guard's 129th Rescue Wing delivering Covid-19 test-kits to the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California. (Image: U.S. Air National Guard / Jimmy Ford)

Coronavirus test kits were delivered at sea on Thursday to an ocean liner barred from returning to port in San Francisco after at least 35 people developed flu-like symptoms aboard the vessel, which has been linked to two other confirmed cases of COVID-19.The diagnostic sampling kits were flown by helicopter to the cruise ship Grand Princess, which California Governor Gavin Newsom has said would be kept offshore until passengers and crew who have fallen ill can be tested for possible coronavirus infection.The delivery operation was organized by the U.S.

05 Mar 2020

Coronavirus Sinks Cruise Stocks

© NAN / Adobe Stock

Shares of U.S. cruise operators sunk on Thursday after the Grand Princess ocean liner, owned by Carnival Corp, was barred from returning to its home portof San Francisco on coronavirus fears after at least 20 people aboard fell ill.Shares of Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Cruises fell between 9% and 12% amid a broader sell-off in U.S. stock markets.Two passengers that were on a previous cruise on the ship had contracted the virus, one of whom died in died in California.In response…

05 Mar 2020

California Holds Cruise Ship Offshore for Coronavirus Screening

Grand Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

An ocean liner that previously carried two passengers who contracted the coronavirus was barred on Wednesday from returning to its home port of San Francisco from a voyage to Hawaii after at least 20 people aboard fell ill.California Governor Gavin Newsom said the cruise ship Grand Princess would remain at sea until passengers and crew complaining of symptoms that may be consistent with the coronavirus can be tested to determine whether they have it.Coronavirus testing kits will…

04 Mar 2020

Activists Protecting Rare Mexican Porpoise Come Under Attack

© David / Adobe Stock

A boat from a conservation group carrying Mexican government inspectors was attacked while monitoring a near-extinct porpoise species in a protected zone of Mexico’s Gulf of California, Mexico’s environmental prosecutor Profepa said.The attack occurred on Tuesday when a boat operated by conservation group Sea Shepherd encountered two small vessels engaged in illegal fishing in the area. Fishermen threw Molotov cocktails as part of the attack.In early February, Sea Shepherd reported…

03 Mar 2020

Foss Maritime Christens Tier 4 Tug

Jamie Ann (Photo: Foss Maritime)

Seattle-based Foss Maritime christened the new 90-ton tugboat Jamie Ann on February 29.The first of four new ASD-90 tugs under construction at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland, Wash., the newbuild will be followed by sister vessels Sarah Averick, Leisa Florence and Rachael Allen, all scheduled to be delivered this year for service within the Saltchuk Marine family of companies.Jamie Ann’s upgrades include two MTU Tier 4 engines producing 6,866 horsepower which meet the EPA’s highest standards.

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