Oil Tankers Idle for Months off US, Puzzling Some
Late last November, the tanker Olympic Flag carrying 650,000 barrels of Angolan crude dropped anchor about 7 miles off the coast in Delaware Bay, a seemingly routine shipment destined for a nearby Philadelphia refinery. What happened next was anything but routine. Instead of discharging its cargo within days and heading off for the next port, the ship idled offshore for nearly 11 weeks, discharging the oil at an unaccountably slow rate, according to shipping sources as well as vessel tracking data on ThomsonReuters Eikon. That vessel finally set sail two weeks ago - but by then it had already been joined by five more idling tankers, an unusual and costly congregation that has puzzled experts and traders.
On the Water: Prime Career Opportunities for Women
Women make up only an estimated two percent of the global maritime industry. In the U.S., the statistics are a little better, with less than eight percent of ship and boat captain operator roles held by women.Still, for a female to have the opportunity to train up to ship captain is considered “unique.” However, as predictions are being made that there will be a shortage of more than 140,000 deck or ship officers worldwide by 2025 (BIMCO/ICS), we will see more accomplished women take the helm and lead the industry forward.
Hurricane Condition Whiskey for Port of Delaware Bay
The Captain of the Port (COTP), Delaware Bay, has set a modified Port Condition WHISKEY due to the anticipated arrival of a severe winter storm that will impact the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware area in the next 72 hours. The COTP has determined the ports of Philadelphia, Camden, and Wilmington and surrounding areas will likely experience high winds, increased seas, and excessive tide variations. Members of the port community should take adequate precautions and review the Severe Weather Contingency Plan.
This Week's Top Stories
The top stories this week covered everything from a DP system failure, a facelift for a WWII torpedo boat, and some mysterious tankers off the coast of Philadelphia. The tanker Olympic Flag was carrying 650,000 barrels of Angolan crude when it dropped anchor seven miles off the coast of Delaware Bay last November. It finally left two weeks ago, but not before being joined by five other tankers. Nobody seems to know why the tankers were idling offshore that long, although experts gave a few theories (spoiler alert: none of the theories involved aliens).
Mariners Transiting Delaware River Cautioned
The Captain of the Port (COTP) Delaware Bay is notifying mariners that Upper Delaware River lighted buoy 33 (LLNR 3875) and Upper Delaware River lighted buoy 36 (LLNR 3920) are in the center line of the channel. Buoy 33 is 550 yards north of the charted position and currently located in the center of Edgewater Channel. Buoy 36 is 150 yards north of charted position and currently located in the center of Edgewater Channel. Mariners are advised to exercise caution when transiting the area as these off station buoys could present a threat to navigation. Source: U.S.
Fisherman Medevaced off Cape May, NJ
The Coast Guard medevaced a fisherman 75 miles southeast of Cape May, New Jersey, Thursday. The 43-year-old man was fishing with three other people aboard the 80-foot fishing boat Starbrite when he started experiencing difficulty breathing and numbness of his extremities. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia received initial notification Thursday at approximately 8:30 a.m. A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, New Jersey, arrived on scene at approximately 11 a.m.
North American Ferries: Faster, Greener & Safer
Domestic ferries adjust their business models to met regulatory pressures and exceed environmental standards with an eye towards improved service. And, not a minute too soon. In North America, stalwarts in the ferry business continue to shorten journey times compared to surface alternatives, while at the same time, bring accessibility to barrier and coastal islands that would otherwise be impossible to reach. Established stakeholders continually fine-tune their operations in a…
Ice Condition 3 for Delaware Bay
The Captain of the Port (COTP), Delaware Bay is notifying mariners that Ice Condition 3 has been set for the Port which includes the Delaware Bay and River, the C&D Canal, Cape May Harbor and Canal, and the ICW. This means that weather conditions are favorable for the formation of ice in navigable waters, but navigation is not impacted by ice. When ice is present, but less than 2 inches, vessels must have a propulsion system with adequate horsepower, and be able to maneuver un-assisted through the ice without needing to stop, back off and ram the ice.
Barge, Tug Refloated near Absecon Inlet
The Coast Guard oversaw the refloating of a barge and tugboat Sunday near Absecon Inlet. The 77-foot Miss Katie experienced a loss of power Saturday and ran aground north of the Absecon Inlet, and the 135-foot barge drifted and ran aground on the south side of the north jetty. Personnel from Coast Guard Station Atlantic City arrived on scene Saturday, but due to weather conditions, salvage operations for the tug and barge were suspended. "Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay's Incident…
Aids to Navigation Receives Funding of $4.6 mil
The Mariners’ Advisory Committee for the Bay and River Delaware, the Pilots Association for the Bay and River Delaware, and the Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay applaud the inclusion of a $4.6 million request for aids to navigation, or ATONs, in President Obama’s FY17 U.S. Coast Guard budget justification. "Thanks to efforts last year by Sens. Cory Booker, Robert Casey, Christopher Coons, and Robert Menendez, the president's FY17 budget includes a proposal for an additional $4.6 million for U.S. Coast Guard to improve safety and navigation aids on the Delaware River," said Jonathan Kemmerley, chairman of the Mariners’ Advisory Committee. "I was encouraged to see the president's budget request include $4.6 million to be used for improving navigation on the Delaware River.
Bulk Carrier Runs Aground in Delaware River (Link to Video)
Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay is investigating a ship aground in the Delaware River near the Burlington Bristol Bridge, which connects Burlington, NJ and Bristol Township, PA. The Liberian-flagged 600-foot bulk carrier, Agia Irini, was headed southbound when it reportedly lost propulsion and ran aground at approximately 2 p.m. Philadelphia's ABC affiliate has video of the grounding. No injuries or pollution were reported following the incident. The crew of the 65-foot Coast Guard Cutter Cleat responded to the scene to investigate. The ship was refloated and is en route to safe anchorage for further Coast Guard investigation.
Oil Spill in Schuylkill River
The U.S. Coast Guard and partner agencies are responding Tuesday to an oil sheen in the Schuylkill River. The Coast Guard received a report of a sheen on the river between Market Street and South Street in Philadelphia Monday, but crews were not able to locate its origin. Agencies involved include Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay, Philadelphia Fire Department and Philadelphia Police Department.
Hurricane Seasonal Alert for Delaware Bay
The Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay, is setting Hurricane Seasonal Alert. Seasonal Alert is automatically set annually on June 1st and remains in effect through November 30th, unless otherwise dis-established. All vessels, facilities and marinas are asked to take adequate precautions and review the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay Port Hurricane Contingency Plan and their individual Heavy Weather Plans. For a copy of the latest Port Hurricane Contingency Plan, contact Sector Delaware Bay planning at 215-271-4908 or log onto the USCG's Homeport website at: homeport.uscg.mil. Facility managers and ship agents are requested to ensure…
UK Shipping Company Fined for Environmental Crimes
Norbulk Shipping UK Ltd, a company based in Glasgow, U.K., and operator of the reefer cargo ship M/V Murcia Carrier, pleaded guilty to failing to maintain an accurate oil record book in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and providing false statements to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) concerning the vessel’s garbage record book. The company was sentenced to pay a criminal penalty of $750,000 and placed on three years of probation by the Honorable Joseph H. Rodriguez, the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division and the U.S Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey announced today. “Our oceans are life giving and life sustaining resources that our country and our world depend upon,” said Assistant Attorney General John C.
Safety Zone at Delaware Bay
The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay is alerting mariners of a safety zone to mitigate the risks associated with the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden 2015 Parade of Sail. The safety zone is effective 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on June 25, 2015. A safety zone will also be enforced for the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden 2015 Fireworks, from 8:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. on June 27, 2015. The Captain of the Port representative will be on scene during these events and can be contacted on VHF channel 16.
The Evolving ATB Jones Act Business Model
Today’s ATB play seemingly has legs for the long haul, as operators build and market needs fluctuate. The refined product trades are always in flux. Similarly, the supply patterns for products (and for chemicals derived from oil refining) are subject to constant change. At the same time, the distribution of refined petroleum products sees great benefit from the efficiency of Articulated Tug Barges (ATBs), which have the flexibility to adjust to dynamic supply programs between refineries and myriad distribution facilities dotting the coastline. It wasn’t always like that.
Chief Mate Sentenced for Environmental Crimes
Valerii Georgiev, a Russian citizen and former chief mate of the ocean cargo vessel M/V Murcia Carrier, was sentenced to a term of three months prison for failing to maintain an accurate oil record book in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), by the Honorable Joseph Rodriguez, the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division and the U.S Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey announced today. APPS requires vessels like the M/V Murcia Carrier to maintain a record known as an oil record book in which all transfers and disposals of oil-contaminated waste, including the discharge overboard of such waste, must be fully and accurately recorded.
Coast Guard Responds to Delaware River Grounding
The Coast Guard is overseeing salvage efforts Tuesday for a motor vessel aground on the Delaware River. The 328-foot Netherlands-flagged motor vessel, Bermuda Islander, lost power and propulsion Monday at approximately 9 p.m. before running aground near Salem, New Jersey. No injuries or pollution have been reported. There were 12 people aboard the ship when it ran aground. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia are maintaining an hourly communications schedule with the Delaware River Pilots regarding the ship’s status. Donjon Marine has been identified as the contracted salvage company. "Our goal is to get the vessel safely back underway while mitigating pollution…
Papal Visit to Impact Marine Transportation System
The Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay, is notifying mariners that vessel traffic transiting the Delaware River and Schuylkill River, in vicinity of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from September 25, 2015 to September 28, 2015 will likely experience delays. As a preventative measure, we ask maritime stakeholders in the region, ranging from large vessels to uninspected passenger vessels, to provide advanced notification and to engage with our Papal Visit Maritime Operations Center’s (MOC) and the Marine Transportation System Recovery Unit (MTSRU)…
Coast Guard Cutter Elm Heads to Baltimore for Overhaul
The 20-year-old U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Elm is scheduled to make its way to the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore this month for a planned major dry dock overhaul. The cutter’s departure from Atlantic Beach, N.C. will mark its last from its current homeport. After the overhaul work is completed, the Elm will report to a new homeport in Astoria, Oregon. Coast Guard Cutter Maple, which is presently undergoing a midlife overhaul of its own, will replace the Elm in Atlantic Beach this April.
US Places Speed Restrictions to Protect Whales
Vessel speed restrictions have been set in hopes of helping to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales by reducing the likelihood of collisions between ships and marine life, GAC reports. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Delaware Bay has advised mariners of the speed restrictions which are regulated by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Specifically for vessels entering the Delaware Bay, the restriction applies from November 1, 2015 through April 30, 2016 in the following location: within a 20-NM (37 km) radius (as measured seaward from COLREGS lines) of the center point of the entrance to the Delaware Bay (Ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington): 38 deg. 52'27.4″ N–075°01'32.1″ W.
Marcus Hook Range Rock Blasting
The Coast Guard will be enforcing a safety zone within the waters of the Delaware River, from Marcus Hood, Pennsylvania, north to Eddystone, Pennsylvania until March 15, 2016. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters in the Delaware River within 500 yards of vessels and machinery conducting rock blasting, dredging, and rock removal operations. This zone is intended to protect personnel, vessels and the marine environment in these navigable waters while operations are being conducted.
Odigitria Grounded in Delaware River
The Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier Odigitria grounded in Delaware river off Grows Terminal in Morrisiville, Pennsylvania. The ship was loaded with scrap, when due to human mistake of the duty officer grounded in a mud shallow. Crews were able to free the 622-foot vessel around 1pm, the U.S. Coast Guard saidofficials said, after nearly nine hours. The cargo ship was inspected by US Coast Guard, which estimated that the ship had no damages and can resume the voyage to Fairless Hills, USA. Lt. j.g.