Government & Military News

08 Apr 2020

Philippine Coast Guard's New Flagship Arrives in Manila

BRP Gabriela Silang (Photo: OCEA)

The Philippine Coast Guard's new offshore patrol vessel BRP Gabriela Silang arrived in Manila ready for service on Tuesday after several weeks of convoying and a first operational mission.Built by OCEA, the 84-meter type OCEA OPV 270 vessel left the French shipyard at the end of December with Philippine Coast Guard crew on board, for an arrival in the Philippines initially scheduled for January.The flagship of the Philippine Coast Guard fleet, shortly after leaving the French coast…

08 Apr 2020

French Aircraft Carrier Heads Home Due to Possible COVID-19 Cases

File photo: French Marine Nationale aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (F 91) transits the Red Sea, April 15, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Skyler Okerman)

France’s flagship aircraft carrier the Charles de Gaulle is returning to its home port early after about 40 crew members showed signs of COVID-19 symptoms, the armed forces ministry said on Wednesday.The personnel were under strict medical observation on board the nuclear-powered carrier, which had most recently been taking part in exercises with northern European navies in the Baltic Sea.“The first cases showed symptoms recently,” the ministry said in a statement. “There are no signs of aggravated cases among the patients.The aircraft carrier would dock in Toulon…

08 Apr 2020

Philly Shipyard Wins Contract to Build US Training Ships

(Image: MARAD)

Philly Shipyard has been awarded a contract to build up to five National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMV) that will enable at-sea training for America’s future mariners and support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in times of need.TOTE Services, selected in May 2019 by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) as the vessel construction manager for the NSMV program, placed an initial order with Philly Shipyard for the first two vessels for delivery in Spring and Winter 2023…

07 Apr 2020

Pentagon Chief Accepts Acting Navy Secretary's Resignation

File photo: Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly speaks at a Pentagon press briefing, Washington, D.C., April 2, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday that he had accepted Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly’s resignation.“This morning I accepted Secretary Modly’s resignation. He resigned on his own accord, putting the Navy and the Sailors above self so that the USS Theodore Roosevelt, and the Navy, as an institution, can move forward,” Esper said in a statement.Esper said that with President Donald Trump’s approval, Army Undersecretary Jim McPherson would take over as acting Navy Secretary.(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Eric Beech Editing by Chris Reese)

07 Apr 2020

Patients on US Hospital Ships Test Positive for COVID-19

Hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) at Pier 90 in New York. (U.S. Navy photo by Adelola Tinubu)

Some patients being treated for trauma aboard U.S. military hospital ships in New York and Los Angeles have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Pentagon said on Monday.“Have we had patients who ultimately were determined to have coronavirus on the hospital ships? Yes,” Brigadier General Paul Friedrichs, the joint staff surgeon, told a news conference.During the same news conference, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said that the hospital ship Comfort in New York would accept trauma patients irrespective of their coronavirus status.Hoffman added that the U.S.

07 Apr 2020

Trump Says May Jump Into Navy Furor After Captain Ridiculed in Speech

File photo: President Donald Trump speaks during an event at Joint Base Andrews, Md., December 20, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Spencer Slocum)

U.S. President Donald Trump said he may get involved in a deepening crisis in the Navy after its top civilian on Monday ridiculed a revered former commander whose letter pleading for help for his coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier was leaked to the public.In a surprise speech to crew members of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt that was meant to be a private address, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly defended his decision to relieve Captain Brett Crozier of his command…

06 Apr 2020

Acting Navy Head Blasts Fired USS Theodore Roosevelt Captain

File photo: Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly briefs the press about the Navy’s response to COVID-19, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., April 1, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

The acting head of the U.S. Navy, in a surprise speech to the crew of a coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier, castigated their former commander for writing a leaked letter that demanded the Navy take stronger action to halt the spread of the illness.Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly stood by his decision to relieve Captain Brett Crozier of his command in a speech to crew members of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt while it was docked in Guam early on Monday.“If he didn’t think that information was going to get out into the public in this information age that we live in…

06 Apr 2020

US Says No Requests Yet to Waive Jones Act to Help Oil Companies

(Photo: Crowley)

The U.S. government said on Monday it has not yet received requests to waive a 100-year-old law on shipping goods between domestic ports, despite some interested parties who say temporarily lifting the regulation would help energy companies hurt by the oil price plunge.Kelly Cahalan, a spokesperson at the U.S Customs and Border Protection agency of the Department of Homeland Security, said no requests to waive the Merchant Marine Act, better known as the Jones Act, have been received.U.S.

06 Apr 2020

Vietnam Protests Beijing's Sinking of South China Sea Boat

© worawut17 / Adobe Stock

Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the disputed South China Sea.The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, Vietnam's foreign ministry said in a statement posted on a government website on Saturday.All the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and were transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels operating nearb

06 Apr 2020

US Defense Chief Backs Navy Ouster Amid Report Captain has Coronavirus

File photo: Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper briefs the media about the department's COVID-19 response, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., March 17, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper defended the Navy’s controversial decision to remove the commander of a coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier, who was reported on Sunday to have tested positive for COVID-19 as the number of its sailors with the highly-contagious disease also grew.Captain Brett Crozier started showing symptoms of the virus before he was relieved of his command of the Theodore Roosevelt on Thursday and has tested positive, the New York Times said, citing two Naval…

06 Apr 2020

Malaysia Intercepts Boat Ferrying 202 Suspected Rohingya

© lesniewski / Adobe Stock

Malaysian authorities said on Sunday they had intercepted a boat ferrying a group of 202 people believed to be ethnic Rohingya.Malaysia, which does not recognize refugee status, is a favored destination for ethnic Rohingya fleeing a military-led crackdown in Myanmar and squalid conditions at refugee camps in Bangladesh.The boat was found adrift around one nautical mile from a luxury beachside resort on the holiday island of Langkawi, off the west coast of the Malaysian peninsula, the Malaysian maritime enforcement agency said in a statement.The group included 152 men, 45 women and 5 children.

06 Apr 2020

Containership Crewman Medevaced

A Coast Guard helicopter crew approaches the Yang Ming Unanimity containership to conduct a medevac near the San Francisco Bay in San Francisco, Calif., April 4, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

An injured crewmember aboard a Taiwanese flagged containership was medevaced approximately six miles from the San Francisco Bay, Friday evening, the U.S. Coast Guard said.San Francisco Vessel Traffic Service personnel contacted Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders, reporting a crewmember of the 1,092-foot containership Yang Ming Unanimity had fallen and struck his head on the ship’s radar mast creating a laceration on his forehead as the ship was making its way toward…

04 Apr 2020

HII Wins 1.5B Deal to Build 15th LPD for U.S. Navy

Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE: HII) said that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division has received a $1.5 billion fixed-price-incentive modification to a previously awarded contract for the procurement of the detail design and construction of amphibious transport dock LPD 31. The ship will be the 15th in the San Antonio class and the second Flight II LPD.Ingalls’ LPD Flight II program vendor base consists of more than 600 manufacturers and suppliers in 39 states, including 387 small businesses. More than 1,500 shipbuilders work on each LPD.

03 Apr 2020

Navy Probe to Decide Future of Fired US Carrier Commander

Capt. Brett Crozier addresses the crew for the first time as commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) during a change of command ceremony in November 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Sean Lynch)

Even as he is hailed as a hero by his crew, the fired commander of a coronavirus-stricken U.S. aircraft carrier is being reassigned while investigators consider whether he should face disciplinary action, acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told Reuters on Friday.Captain Brett Crozier was relieved of his command of the Theodore Roosevelt on Thursday after a scathing letter in which he called on the Navy for stronger action to halt the spread of the virus aboard the nuclear…

03 Apr 2020

Dismissed US Carrier Captain Gets Hero's Ovation From Crew

Capt. Brett Crozier addresses crew during an all-hands call on the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) flight deck in November 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Nicholas Huynh)

The captain of a U.S. aircraft carrier relieved of his command after seeking stronger measures in response to a coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship was given a hero’s ovation by his crew when he left the vessel, video posted on Twitter showed.A brief clip showed Captain Brett Crozier walking down the gangplank of the Theodore Roosevelt as crew members repeatedly chanted “Captain Crozier, Captain Crozier!”Crozier turned to wave at the crew after he stepped ashore in Guam.The removal of Crozier, first reported by Reuters, was announced by acting U.S.

03 Apr 2020

Bollinger Delivers USCGC Harold Miller

(Photo: Bollinger)

Bollinger Shipyards on Thursday delivered the USCGC Harold Miller to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Fla. This is the 161st vessel Bollinger has delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard over a 35 year period and the 38th Fast Response Cutter delivered on the current program. The USCGC Harold Miller is the third of three FRCs to be home-ported in Galveston, Texas. “We are very proud to announce our latest FRC delivery, especially given the unprecedented times and challenges which we’re facing as a nation,” said Bollinger President & C.E.O. Ben Bordelon.

02 Apr 2020

Oil Posts Biggest One-day Gain After Trump Touts Saudi-Russia Deal

© Pavel Ignatov / Adobe Stock

Crude prices posted their biggest-one day gains on record on Thursday after President Donald Trump said he expects Russia and Saudi Arabia to announce a major oil production cut, and Saudi state media said the kingdom was calling an emergency meeting of producers to deal with the market turmoil.Trump said he had spoken to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and expects Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut oil output by as much as 10 million to 15 million barrels, as the two countries signaled willingness to make a deal.Trump did not specify barrels per day (bpd)…

02 Apr 2020

US Navy Relieves Commander of USS Theodore Roosevelt

Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) (U.S. Navy photo by Brandon Richardson)

The U.S. Navy on Thursday relieved the commander of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, who wrote a scathing letter that leaked to the public asking the Navy for stronger measures to control a coronavirus outbreak onboard the ship.The removal of Captain Brett Crozier from the command of the 5,000-person vessel, which was first reported by Reuters, was announced by acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who said the commander exercised poor judgment.Modly said the letter…

02 Apr 2020

IMO Urges Governments to Allow Crew Changes

© Igor Kardasov / Adobe Stock

United Nations shipping agency the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has echoed industry calls for governments to grant special travel exemptions to seafarers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.In a Circular Letter (link) issued on Monday, the IMO distributed a series of recommendations for governments and relevant national authorities, proposed by a broad cross-section of global industry associations representing the maritime transportation sector.The Circular Letter specifically calls on governments to designate professional seafarers and marine personnel…

01 Apr 2020

Greensea’s New Ship Hull Crawler Tech Launches with VideoRay Defender ROV

Image: Greensea

Greensea introduces a new hull crawler that easily attaches a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to a ship hull without magnetics, allowing the operator to “drive” the ROV and payloads over the hull. Initial hull crawlers are designed to work exclusively with the VideoRay Mission Specialist Defender ROV. The hull crawler represents a milestone in Greensea’s hull robotics program, which is advancing navigation and localization capabilities for a fully autonomous robotic hull inspection and proactive in-water cleaning solution. “VideoRay is a valued Greensea partner with a dynamic and powerful ROV.

01 Apr 2020

Cruise Passengers Await Florida Deal Allowing Them to Disembark

(Photo: Holland America Line)

The U.S. government and Florida were working on a plan on Wednesday to allow thousands of cruise ship passengers exposed to an onboard coronavirus outbreak to disembark, a day after President Donald Trump urged the governor to drop his opposition to their docking.Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said he was not opposed to them docking in his city. But he said a clear protocol was needed to protect residents of his South Florida city from infection.“There can be no missteps in this process…

01 Apr 2020

Australia Cruise Ship Evictions Tread Diplomacy Tightrope

© Tamme Wichmann / Adobe Stock

Australia is pushing foreign-flagged cruise ships to leave its territorial waters amid the coronavirus pandemic, walking a diplomatic tightrope as it also tries to bring home citizens trapped on ships abroad.Western Australia state Premier Mark McGowan on Wednesday called on the federal government to kick out the German-owned MV Artania after the crew was reported to have asked the Australian Border Force (ABF) for permission to stay until April 14.“If what’s required is to clean the ship as a condition of getting it underway, well then do that ...

01 Apr 2020

FMC Investigating COVID-19's Suply Chain Impacts

© Mihai Andritoiu / Adobe Stock

The Federal Maritime Commission issued an order authorizing Commissioner Rebecca Dye to identify operational solutions to cargo delivery system challenges related to Coronavirus-19.The Order notes that “Recent global events have only highlighted the economic urgency of responsive port and terminal operations to the effectiveness of the United States international freight delivery system. Given the Commission’s mandate to ensure an efficient and economic transportation system for ocean commerce…

31 Mar 2020

Navico Inks US Coast Guard Contract Through 2025

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Class Ryan Dickinson)

Navico announced it has signed a five-year agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to provide C-MAP cartography under the USCG’s Small Boat Product Line (SBPL). Navico was selected for a competitive award by the USCG for products that met all of their technical needs. Navico’s C-MAP will deliver cartography cards to 300 different stations across America, twice a year.The SBPL aligns all boat support resources under a single entity with authority and accountability for maintenance and logistics for all boats in the Coast Guard.

31 Mar 2020

'Sailors Do Not Need to Die,' Warns Captain of Coronavirus-hit US Aircraft Carrier

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in the Philippine Sea in February 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Sean Lynch)

The captain of the U.S. aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, in a blunt letter, has called on Navy leadership for stronger measures to save the lives of his sailors and stop the spread of the coronavirus aboard the huge ship.The four-page letter, the contents of which were confirmed by U.S. officials to Reuters on Tuesday, described a bleak situation on board the nuclear-powered carrier as more and more sailors test positive for the virus.The Navy puts the ship’s complement at 5…

31 Mar 2020

Greece to Sell Majority Stakes in Four Ports

© giannis / Adobe Stock

Greece plans to sell majority stakes in four ports as part of a privatization plan agreed with its lenders after the country exited the bailouts in 2018, a document of its privatization agency (HRADF) showed on Tuesday.HRADF will sell majority stakes in the share capital of Alexandroupolis, Igoumenitsa, Heraklion and Volos ports, the agency said in an invitation to hire financial advisers for the sales released on this website.China's COSCO has bought a 51% stake in Piraeus Port, the country's biggest, in 2016.

30 Mar 2020

Japanese Destroyer and Chinese Fishing Boat Collide

A Japanese destroyer and a Chinese fishing boat collided in the East China Sea on Monday night and no one was injured, Japan’s defense minister said, but China said a fisherman was hurt and suggested the Japanese vessel was to blame.The collision occurred about 650 km (400 miles) west of the Japanese island of Yakushima, Defence Minister Taro Kono said on Twitter on Tuesday.The crash opened a hole of more than a meter in length above the waterline of the destroyer, the Shimakaze, Kono said.“No personnel were injured and no one from the Chinese fishing boat was missing.

30 Mar 2020

Coast Guard Corrals Wayward Buoy in Long Island Sound

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oak (WLB-211) sits at anchor. The Newport, Rhode Island-based buoy tender maintains 144 Aids to Navigation (ATON) that guide mariners into some of the oldest and busiest ports in the U.S., including Boston, Massachusetts; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and Portland, Maine. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Emily E. Torsney)

Built to guide mariners through safe waters, the Valiant Rock Lighted Whistle Buoy 11 was dangerously adrift in the Long Island Sound.When ferry operators traveling between Orient Point and Fishers Island, New York, first reported the buoy off station on Jan. 17, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oak (WLB-211) was already underway but foul weather kept the cutter from removing it.This was the beginning of a two-week saga that would involve several Coast Guard units. Like the Loch Ness monster of the Long Island Sound, the 35-foot-tall green buoy was occasionally seen but hard to catch.

30 Mar 2020

USNS Comfort Docks in New York

The Capt. Brian A. McAllister leads the way for the USNS COMFORT into NY Harbor as she passes the Statue of Liberty on March 30, 2020. (Photo Credit: Max Guliani)

The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in New York Monday to support COVID-19 response efforts in the epicenter of America's coronavirus outbreak.The ship will serve as a referral hospital for non-coronavirus 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…

29 Mar 2020

USNS Comfort Departs for New York

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks at Naval Station Norfolk, March 28 during his visit to see off the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20). (U.S. Navy photo by Mike DiMestico)

U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departed Norfolk, Va. Saturday for New York City in support of the COVID-19 response efforts.The Military Sealift Command ship will serve as a referral hospital for patients not infected with COVID-19, providing a full spectrum of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults, while allowing shore-based civilian hospitals to focus on their medical care devoted to the treatment of COVID 19 patients."The entire Comfort team safely…

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

Dredgers Make Way for USNS Comfort in New York

USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) takes on fuel and supplies at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. in preparation to deploy to New York in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals. (U.S. Navy photo by Jim Kohler)

Dredgers are expediting operations in New York to make way for the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort, which will dock in the epicenter of America's COVID-19 outbreak to assist hospitals that become overrun by the pandemic.Dredging contractor Donjon Marine Co., Inc. was contacted last week and asked to begin dredging Manhattan Cruise Terminal’s Berth 4 in anticipation of the arrival of the ship, which under the order of President Trump will serve as a relief hospital facility for non-coronavirus patients needing hospital care.

27 Mar 2020

Containership Runs Aground Near New Orleans

© Peter Eagle / MarineTraffic.com

A 334-meter containership ran aground near mile marker 81 of the Mississippi River, Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.Coast Guard watchstanders in New Orleans received a call at 3:20 a.m. that the Liberian-flagged Belita had run aground near 12-mile point, at mile marker 81 of the Mississippi River.Sector New Orleans vessel traffic service has placed a one-way traffic restriction in the immediate vicinity of the grounded vessel.“Our top priority in this incident is the safe recovery of this vessel, while protecting the marine environment,” said Capt.

27 Mar 2020

VT Halter to Build Additional US Navy Barge

(Photo: VT Halter Marine)

VT Halter Marine said it has been awarded a contract option for the U.S. Navy’s fourth Auxiliary Personnel Lighter–Small (APL(S)) 67 Class berthing and messing barge. The contract award is $39,906,609 for a firm, fixed-price option for the detail design and construction of the vessel.The Pascagoula, Miss. shipbuilder has been up and running throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and is currently constructing the first three APLs. In September 2018, the company received the initial contract to design and build two units, with options for four additional units.

27 Mar 2020

'Significant' GPS Interference Incidents Reported

© Paul Evan Green / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) is advising vessel operators to exercise extra caution and safe navigation practices after multiple instances of significant GPS interference have been reported over the last year by vessels in port and underway in the eastern and central Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Port of Shanghai, China.The incidents have resulted in lost or inaccurate GPS signals affecting bridge navigation, GPS-based timing, and communications equipment…

26 Mar 2020

All Sailors on US Aircraft Carrier to be Tested for COVID-19

Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in the Philippine Sea on March 24, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Jomark A. Almazan)

All 5,000 personnel aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt will be tested for the coronavirus after the number of sailors on the ship who have tested positive for the virus increased, U.S. Navy officials said on Thursday.The move is the latest example of the coronavirus’s impact on the military.Acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told a Pentagon news conference that, while the carrier in the Pacific Ocean was capable of carrying out military operations, it would be pulling into Guam in the Pacific Ocean.In all…

26 Mar 2020

Turkey Holds First Tender Related to Istanbul Canal Project

© Andrey_Sarymsakov / Adobe Stock

Turkey held its first tender on Thursday to prepare to build a huge canal on the edge of Istanbul, a Transport Ministry spokesman said, signaling progress on the project despite widespread criticism over its cost and environmental impact.The tender was for the planning phase of reconstructing two historic bridges located in the area where the 45-km (28 mile) Kanal Istanbul, championed by President Tayyip Erdogan, is expected to run.The canal will connect the Black Sea north of Istanbul with the Marmara Sea to the south and is estimated to cost 75 billion lira ($11.6 billion).

26 Mar 2020

Ferry Industry Seeks Financial Assistance Amid COVID-19

© luengo_ua / Adobe Stock

Ferry operators stuggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic will need government backing to help offset billions of dollars of unsustainable losses, Interferry says.The trade association is asking governments globally to include the ferry industry in their respective COVID-19 financial aid packages so that ferry operators can continue providing essential services, and to ensure that critical infrastructure and personnel are available once the global economy begins to recover.Specifically…

26 Mar 2020

EU to Launch New Libya Sea Patrols From April

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The European Union will launch a new Mediterranean naval and air mission in April to stop more arms reach warring factions in Libya, EU diplomats said on Thursday, with Greece agreeing to take in any migrants rescued at sea.The decision, which was delayed by divisions over migrants, followed warnings by EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell that the bloc risked becoming irrelevant if it could not act, potentially leaving Libya's fate to Turkey and Russia."Greece has allowed disembarkation (of rescued migrants) in its ports…

26 Mar 2020

​​​​SCHOTTEL to Equip US Navy Tugs

Photo: SCHOTTEL

SCHOTTEL said it has secured several orders to provide propulsion systems for U.S. Navy vessels. This additional order of five Workboat Docking vessels and two YTL tugs – all of which are to be built at the Modutech Marine Inc. yard in Tacoma, Wash. Construction of the lead tug is to commence in 2020.The main propulsion for each Workboat Docking vessel consists of a SCHOTTEL SRP 150 azimuthing unit with fixed pitch propellers with a diameter of 1.05 m and an input power of 335 kW. These are driven by diesel engines.

26 Mar 2020

More Bad News for Bulkers, as South African Ports Close for Mineral Exports

© banlai/AdobeStock

South Africa's main export terminals will be closed to mineral exports from midnight on Thursday when a nationwide 21-day lockdown over coronavirus begins, disrupting copper supply chains linking major producer Zambia to Asian consumers.Miners in the Zambian copper belt typically transport copper overland to South Africa's ports, where it is exported mainly to China, the world's biggest consumer of the metal."All bulk terminals (mineral mining commodities) will be closed," a note from Transnet Port Terminals read, according to a shipping agent.

25 Mar 2020

Worker at Bath Iron Works Test Positive for COVID-19

File photo. (U.S. Navy courtesy of General Dynamics)

A worker at the Bath Iron Works shipyard has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the comany said.The individual was last at work on March 13, and other employees who have been in close contact with the worker will self quarintine at home for 14 days.As a defense shipbuilder, Bath Iron Works has been designated “Critical Infrastructure Industry” and will remain operational by mandate of the President and U.S. Navy.The Bath, Maine shipyard said it is working directly with…

25 Mar 2020

Three Sailors on US Aircraft Carrier Have Coronavirus

Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) (U.S. Navy photo by Kaylianna Genier)

Three U.S. sailors on board the Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier in the Pacific tested positive for the coronavirus, U.S. Navy officials said on Tuesday, the first known cases of the virus on board a U.S. military ship at sea.Acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told a news conference that the three had been quarantined and were being flown off the ship. The ship has about 5,000 personnel on board.Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday said the ship was last in port in Vietnam about 15 days ago.

25 Mar 2020

Libya says Probe of Seized Tanker to Start After Quarantine

© jack ronalds/ MarineTraffic.com

Libya's internationally recognized government will start an investigation into a tanker over alleged sanctions-breaking after a period of quarantine ends in two weeks, the coast guard commander who seized the vessel said on Wednesday.The coast guard at Misrata seized the Gulf Petroleum 4 three days ago, Rida Issa said, after the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said the tanker had broken an arms embargo and other international agreements by offloading jet fuel in Benghazi.Benghazi…

25 Mar 2020

Cargo Shipping to Keep EU Antitrust Exemption until 2024

© Marcus Millo / Adobe Stock

Cargo shipping companies will be exempt from antitrust rules against anti-competitive agreements for a further four years until 2024 because this leads to lower prices and better consumer services, EU antitrust regulators said on Tuesday.First adopted in 2009 and extended for five years in 2014, the consortia block exemption regulation will be prolonged for four more years to April 2024, the European Commission said in a statement.It allows liner shipping operators with a combined market share below 30% to cooperate to provide joint liner shipping services…

24 Mar 2020

Containership Captain Medevaced in the Caribbean

© Gerold Taube / MarineTraffic.com

The U.S. Coast Guard medically evacuated the Captain of the 734-foot Singapore-flagged containership M/V Maersk Batam, approximately 100 nautical miles south of Puerto Rico, Monday night.The containership captain, a U.K. citizen, was experiencing life threatening symptoms of a possible stroke during the ship’s transit from St. Marta, Colombia to their next scheduled port call in Southhampton, England.Coast Guard Sector San Juan watchstanders received the medevac request at 9:55 a.m.

24 Mar 2020

Cargo Vessel Crewman Medevaced off US East Coast

(File photo: Ryan Dickinson, USCG)

The U.S. Coast Guard said it medevaced a 41-year-old man from the Teal Arrow, a 544-foot cargo vessel, approximately 50 miles southeast of Charleston, S.C., Tuesday.An Air Facility Charleston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew hoisted and transported the man to the Charleston Executive Airport where emergency medical services took him to the Medical University of South Carolina for further medical care.At approximately 4:44 p.m. Monday, Coast Guard Sector Charleston command center…

24 Mar 2020

31 Years Ago Today: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

© MelissaMN/AdobeStock

On March 24. 1989, the single-hull tanker Exxon Valdez was departing the Port of Valdez, Alaska with a full load of North Slope crude oil (approximately 1.26 million barrels) destined for Long Beach when it grounded on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound. The resulting oil spill (approximately 258,000 barrels), while not the largest in US history, was clearly the most important. It engendered much litigation. Public concern over the spill led directly to enactment of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90)…

23 Mar 2020

Dock Workers at Brazil's Santos Port Call off Strike Vote

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A union representing the on-demand dock workers has called off a vote that had been scheduled for Monday on whether to hold a strike at Latin America's largest port over concerns about risks from the coronavirus outbreak.In a statement on Sunday, the union - which said it represents about 5,000 people - said the cancellation of the vote was due to a request from government officials.

22 Mar 2020

Ocean Infinity’s Hunt for the Submarine San Juan

The San Juan, before she was lost. Source: Ocean Infinity

The search for the Argentinian submarine was like hunting for the proverbial needle in a hay stack, except that it was a piece of straw. Elaine Maslin reports. At 7.19am, local time, on November 15, 2017, the last message was received from the San Juan submarine. She belonged to the Argentinian navy and was on a routine mission from Ushuaia in the Patagonia region to Mar del Plata in Buenos Aires province when she lost contact with the military. Fifteen days later, neither the submarine nor any debris had been found and the crew of 44 sailors were presumed dead.

21 Mar 2020

IMF: Global Impact of COVID-19 will be Severe, but Temporary

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As many markets struggle to find their footing in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a recent podcast with Martin Muhleisen, director of the IMF's Strategy, Policy, and Review department, helps to lend insight and perspective from the view of the International Monetary Fund.Muhleisen  said the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic will be “quite severe,” but temporary, saying that the overall good health of the world economy and high employment rates should help to provide buffers to blunt the impact“I would think that financial institutions more broadly are in a better shape than…

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’s governor on Thursday asked President Donald Trump to send a U.S. Navy hospital ship to the port of Los Angeles “immediately” 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…

20 Mar 2020

FMC Revokes PVO for French America Line

French America Line Prohibited from Offering, Advertising, or Conducting Passenger CruisesFrench America Line, a domestic passenger vessel operator (PVO), is prohibited from offering, advertising, or conducting cruises following revocation today of its Certificate of Financial Responsibility for Indemnification of Passengers for Nonperformance of Transportation (Certificate (Performance)) by the Federal Maritime Commission.In April 2019, the Commission’s Bureau of Certification and Licensing notified Great Northern & Southern Navigation Co., LLC, which does business as French America Line (FAL), that it intended to revoke the company’s Certificate (Performance). Companies must maintain a Certificate (Performance) to offer passenger services.

20 Mar 2020

Coast Guard Cadet Tests Positive for COVID-19

(File photo: Cory D. Payne, USCG)

A U.S. Coast Guard Academy Cadet has tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from a spring break trip to Europe.The cadet, a 20-year-old male, was in Spain along with six other cadets and a civilian friend when they were ordered to return to the U.S. based on the Presidential Proclamation suspending travel from Europe.Upon returning home to Florida, the cadet became symptomatic and sought treatment and screening and was confirmed as positive for the novel coronavirus based on test results received Thursday from a Florida Department of Health Facility.

20 Mar 2020

France Sends Warship to Evacuate Coronavirus Patients

 French helicopter carrier Tonnerre (© Marine nationale)

France will use a helicopter warship to transfer coronavirus patients in critical condition from Corsica to hospitals in the southeast of the country, its armed forces minister said on Friday.As of Thursday, there were 162 confirmed coronavirus cases on the Mediterranean island.

20 Mar 2020

U.S. Clean Energy Sector Seeks Subsidies to Keep Projects Moving

© Federico Rostagno

Wind and solar energy companies on Thursday called on Congress to pass tax incentives that would help the sector avoid project delays and keep financing flowing amid a pandemic that has choked off supply chains and slowed construction.In a letter to House and Senate leadership, seven clean energy trade groups asked lawmakers to extend deadlines that would allow their projects to qualify for generous wind and solar federal tax credits despite delays caused by the spread of the coronavirus across the globe.The American Wind Energy Association…

19 Mar 2020

US to Deploy Hospital Ships for Coronavirus Response

The USNS Mercy (Photo: Zach Kreitzer, U.S. Navy)

Two U.S. Navy hospital ships are being prepared to aid shoreside medical facilities that could become overrun by the coronavirus pandemic, the Pentagon's chief spokesman said.The USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy will be deployed "as needed to assist potentially overwhelmed counties with acute patient care" as part of the Defense Department's response to the pandemic, Jonathan Rath Hoffman, assistant to the defense secretary for public affairs, said during a news conference at the Pentagon on Wednesday.The Comfort is now in Norfolk…

19 Mar 2020

China Iron Ore Recoups Losses Amid Stimulus Hopes

© martinfredy/AdobeStock

 China's iron ore futures erased earlier losses to end flat on Thursday, regaining support as miner Vale SA said it may temporarily halt activities at its Malaysian distribution center as a safety measure against the coronavirus pandemic.Iron ore's most-traded contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange steadied at 678 yuan ($95.76) a tonne, after tumbling 5.8% earlier in the session.On the Singapore Exchange, the front-month iron ore contract trimmed losses to just 0.3% in afternoon trade from 4.1% earlier in the day.Iron ore supplier Vale said on Wednesday its Malaysian distribution center may

18 Mar 2020

COVID-19: South Africa Bans Cruise Ships

© michaeljung/AdobeStock

South Africa banned all passenger vessels from its ports on Wednesday due to the coronavirus outbreak, leaving tourists on a cruise ship docked in Cape Town in limbo following tests for possible COVID-19 cases on board.The MV AidAmira's more than 1,700 passengers and crew have been unable to leave the ship since Monday, after a crew member on a cargo ship who shared a plane with six passengers on the liner showed symptoms of the coronavirus.Port authorities quarantined the Italian-flagged AidAmira while the six passengers were tested for coronavirus.All those tests came back negative, South Af

18 Mar 2020

Combat Systems Installed on Indonesian Frigate

(Photo: Damen)

Combat systems were recently installed and tested aboard the second of the Indonesian Ministry of Defence’s SIGMA 10514 Perusak Kawal Rudal (PKR) guided missile frigates, the KRI Gusti Ngurah Rai (332).The PKR frigates are constructed via a modular process operating simultaneously at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) in the Netherlands and the PT PAL shipyard in Indonesia.This method, which allows the Damen Shipyards Group to build vessels anywhere in the world, enables…

18 Mar 2020

Opinion: Maritime Freedom & the Global Commons

Freedom of Navigation: The guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) escorts the merchant vessel Tomahawk through the Strait of Hormuz.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman/Released)

“Freedom” – the absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic governmentIt has been decades since international relations in the world order dictated true competition for sea control, sea lines of communication, access to world markets, and diplomatic partnerships. However, it is becoming increasingly alarming that nations such as Iran, China and Russia seek to accumulate/consolidate power and re-define international maritime norms, potentially at the peril of diplomatic…

18 Mar 2020

COVID-19: Maritime and Coastguard Agency Issues "Unprecedented Exemption" for Car Ferry

Photo: Red Funnel

MCA grants temporary ability for Red Funnel passengers to remain in vehicles on select crossingsRed Funnel worked with the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to identify exceptional solutions to support the government’s social distancing guidance in response to COVID-19 and respond to passengers’ requests to remain in vehicles during crossings.“We’d like to thank the MCA for working with us to identify solutions to allow our passengers this option during this exceptional time," said Fran Collins, CEO, Red Funnel.

18 Mar 2020

Indonesia Revokes Rule Requiring Domestic Ships for Some Exports

© Stephane Rochon / Adobe Stock

Indonesia's government will revoke rules requiring exporters of coal and palm oil to use domestic shipping companies for shipments, Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan told reporters on Wednesday.Indonesia, the world's biggest thermal coal exporter, issued regulations in 2018 requiring its coal and palm oil exporters to use domestic shipping companies, which were due to come into force this May.The government has since concluded that the rule would be disruptive for exports and President Joko Widodo has ordered it to be revoked…

18 Mar 2020

USCG Advises on Minimizing Novel Coronavirus at Sea

© Inna/AdobeStock

The Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy has published an update March 16, 2020 to MSIB: Novel Coronavirus – Update (Change 2)An outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) may affect mariners and maritime commerce. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their Interim Guidance for Ships on Managing Suspected Coronavirus Disease 2019 (see https://go.usa.gov/xdfyG) and Cruise Ship Travel (see https://go.usa.gov/xdfVP).Illness…

17 Mar 2020

Naval Shipyards Recruiting Robots

(U.S. Navy photo by Amanda R. Gray)

Inspecting fuel and ballast tanks. Sand-blasting old paint coatings and applying new ones. Removing corrosion on ships, submarines, aircraft and other vehicles.These are some of the unpleasant jobs in naval shipyards and maintenance facilities that could be made safer by pairing human workers with robots. Experts say this could improve the speed and efficiency with which the U.S. Navy sustains its assets—and expand the career paths of current workers (and create new jobs) by teaching them to operate…

17 Mar 2020

Future USS Delbert D. Black Completes Acceptance Trials

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Delbert Black (DDG 119) conducts the second builder's trials in the Gulf of Mexico in February. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of HII by Lance Davis)

The U.S. Navy's future guided-missile destroyer USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) completed acceptance trials on March 12, returning to Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), Ingalls Shipbuilding Division after spending two days at sea in the Gulf of Mexico.During acceptance trials, the ship's crew performed a series of demonstrations for review by the U.S. Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). These demonstrations are used to validate the quality of construction and compliance with Navy specifications and requirements prior to delivery of the ship to the U.S.

17 Mar 2020

EU Antitrust Regulators Suspend Fincantieri-Chantiers Probe

Photo courtesy of Fincantieri

European Union antitrust regulators have suspended their investigation into Fincantieri's bid for France's Chantiers de l'Atlantique while waiting for the Italian shipyard to provide requested data.The European Commission's website shows it halted the probe on March 13. Prior to that, it had been scheduled to rule on the case by April 17."This procedure in merger investigations is activated if the parties fail to provide, in a timely fashion, important information that the Commission has requested from them…

17 Mar 2020

USCG National Vessel Documentation Center Suspends Walk-In Service.

The National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) made this announcement regarding changes to its operations in light of the growing COVID-19 threat:The National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and, as the situation evolves, is prepared to adjust operations accordingly. During this time of heightened concern, and in response to recommendations from the CDC regarding precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the NVDC will be suspending walk-in customer service until further notice.Customers are reminded that there are several options available for submitting applications and amplifying documentation; via e-mail (.pdf filing), fax, and USPS.

16 Mar 2020

US Passenger Vessel Operators Seek Financial Assistance

© verve / Adobe Stock

U.S. passenger vessel operators suffering low ridership and large economic losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic are urging President Donald Trump to include the hard-hit sector in the administration's plans to provide economic assistance to American businesses that have experienced financial hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak.The Passenger Vessel Association (PVA), a trade group representing the domestic passenger vessel industry, shared a letter it sent to President Trump urging him to take immediate action to include U.S.

16 Mar 2020

Two Firms Vie for Submarine Batteries Contract

(Photo: Naval Group)

Contracts for the design of the Main Storage Batteries Stages 1 and 2 for the Attack Class submarines have been awarded. PMB Defence, based in Adelaide and Sunlight, based in Greece have been contracted to provide design, prototyping and qualification activities for the Main Storage Batteries. Both organizations will provide shipbuilder Naval Group with the data necessary to select one as the preferred MSB design for the Attack Class program in 2022.The Main Storage Batteries are responsible for supplying power to the propulsion system of the submarine and to other equipment on-board the ship.

16 Mar 2020

USCG Medevacs Injured Fisherman

The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced an injured fisherman Saturday from a boat 170 miles southwest of Kodiak Island, Alaska.A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak hoisted the 49-year-old man from the 58-foot fishing vessel Alaskan Dream at approximately 1:15 p.m. He was transported to Air Station Kodiak and placed in the care of awaiting local EMS.Watchstanders in the Coast Guard 17th District command center in Juneau received the initial call from the Alaskan Dream at about 9 a.m.…

16 Mar 2020

US Navy Sailor Tests Positive for Coronavirus

The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) (U.S. Navy photo by Jessica Ann Hattell)

A U.S. sailor aboard a warship ship tested positive for the coronavirus for the first time, the U.S. Navy said on Sunday, as it disclosed the case of a person assigned to an amphibious assault ship at port in San Diego.The Navy said the sailor was quarantined at home and that personnel who had been in close contact with the sailor have been notified and are in self-isolation at their homes."None of them is aboard the ship currently. U.S. Navy ships conduct routine, daily cleanliness procedures geared toward health…

16 Mar 2020

Mississippi River Closed After Bridge Allision

© Warren Underwood / MarineTraffic.com

The U.S. Coast Guard has closed the Mississippi River near Luling, La., between mile markers 115 and 122, after a towing vessel allided with the Hale Memorial Boggs Bridge, Sunday.Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at approximately 1:30 a.m. that the pusher tug Cooperative Spirit, pushing 29 grain barges downriver, allided with the bridge.No injuries, pollution or damage to the bridge was reported.Of the 29 barges, 26 have been recovered, two have sunk…

16 Mar 2020

Fed Funds Could Aid Battered Cruise Lines

© smallredgirl/AdobeStock

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday officials will have a better idea this week of the total cost of a coronavirus aid package, but predicted it will likely be "significant but not huge."Mnuchin told "Fox News Sunday" he also planned to talk to lawmakers about critical aid to airlines, as well as the hotel and cruise ship industries."It's hard to model some of these things because you don't know how many workers are going to be home. I want to be careful about throwing out numbers," he said.

13 Mar 2020

Trump Says Cruise Lines Suspend Departures for 30 Days

© Mariakray / Adobe Stock

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said that major cruise lines would suspend cruises for 30 days, following a series of industry announcements that came after repeated transmission of coronavirus among passengers at sea.“At my request, effective midnight tonight, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and MSC have all agreed to suspend outbound cruises for thirty days,” Trump said on Twitter.“It is a great and important industry – it will be kept that way!” he added.Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd said earlier on Friday it was suspending its cruises in the United States for 30 days…

13 Mar 2020

EU Expected to Veto Fincantieri's Chantiers Bid

Photo: Fincantieri

Italian shipyard Fincantieri has not offered any concessions to head off EU antitrust concerns about its planned bid for France's Chantiers de l'Atlantique, giving regulators no choice but to block the deal, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.A veto by European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager would deal a serious blow to Italy's bid to create a European industrial champion in shipbuilding to better compete with Asian rivals.Fincantieri declined to comment.

12 Mar 2020

UK Royal Navy Testing Unmanned Equipment

(Photo: UK Royal Navy)

Operational trials of unmanned equipment in Norway offered a glimpse of the UK Royal Navy's autonomous future. Royal Marines small boat specialists 47 Commando have been working alongside HMS Albion, the Royal Navy’s autonomous accelerator NavyX and the Office for the Chief Technology Officer to see how the kit can be put to use in real world situations.Exercise Autonomous Advance Force put unmanned boat Mast 13, heavy lift drone from Malloy, remotely-piloted air system Puma and…

12 Mar 2020

Euro Shipyard Deal Faces Regulatory Headwinds

© Grecaud Paul/Adobe Stock

Fincantieri risks an EU antitrust veto against its bid for Chantiers de l'Atlantique because of the difficulty of addressing regulators' concerns, people familiar with the matter said, in what would be a setback to Italy's industrial ambitions.Italy sees the deal by Europe's largest shipyard as an opportunity to create a European industrial champion in the shipbuilding industry to stave off competition from Asia and other regions.EU antitrust enforcers however are concerned that…

11 Mar 2020

Cargo Ship Captain Medevaced off Maryland

The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced the captain off of a cargo ship approximately 25 miles off the coast of Ocean City, Md., Tuesday.Crewmembers aboard the Panamanian flagged cargo ship Balsa 84, which was in route to the Delaware Bay area, contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay's command center at approximately 10:20 a.m. and notified them that the 61-year-old Filipino man was exhibiting symptoms of a possible heart attack and needed medical assistance.Watchstanders launched an aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Atlantic City to assist.Once on scene…

10 Mar 2020

Sunken Submarine USS Stickleback Found

(Image: Lost 52 Project)

A World War II era submarine sunk during a Cold War training exercise off the shores of Hawaii more than six decades ago has been discovered by a team of ocean explorers utilizing pioneering robotics and methods at the forefront of today's underwater technology.USS Stickleback (SS 415), lost in nearly 11,000 feet of water 62 years ago, was discovered by veteran ocean explorer and Tiburon Subsea CEO Tim Taylor and his "Lost 52 Project" team equipped with a combination of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV)…

10 Mar 2020

Ribcraft Wins $43m USN Contract

Image: Ribcraft

Ribcraft announced that the United States Navy (USN) has awarded a five-year indefinite quantity contract worth up to $43 million to build and deliver an estimated 48 of the 11-Meter Expeditionary Mine Counter Measure Boat. Ribcraft has also been providing the U.S. Navy with 7-Meter shipboard RIBs since 2014.The 11-Meter RIBs will serve to support explosive ordinance disposal mine counter measure platoons in both shallow and deep water operations. To achieve this, Ribcraft will build two configurations for mine counter measure operations…

10 Mar 2020

The National Freight Strategic Plan and the Inland Waterways

© Gerard Corprew / Adobe Stock

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act was enacted in December 2015. The FAST Act required the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop a National Freight Strategic Plan to address multimodal freight transportation. In the Federal Register of December 27, 2019, DOT requested information from the public, including industry trade groups, to aid development of the National Freight Strategic Plan.This article summarizes certain of the comments that were submitted by Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Inc. (IRPT) in response to DOT’s request.

09 Mar 2020

Venezuelan Detains More than 30 PDVSA Workers

© Henrique Cayolla / MarineTraffic.com

At least 38 workers from Venezuela's state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela’s, including the president of maritime subsidiary PDV Marina, were detained on accusations of trafficking fuel, Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said on Saturday, describing the accusations as "treason."The move comes just days after other state officials were detained and amid a shakeup at PDVSA after President Nicolas Maduro last month named a committee to restructure the OPEC nation’s oil industry, which is struggling under U.S.

09 Mar 2020

USS Hershel 'Woody' Williams Commissioned

The Military Sealift Command expeditionary sea base USNS Hershel 'Woody' Williams (ESB 4) at anchor in the Chesapeake Bay in September 2019 during mine countermeasure equipment testing. (U.S. Navy photo by Bill Mesta)

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Expeditionary Sea Base, USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), during a ceremony Saturday, March 7, in Norfolk, Va.USS Hershel “Woody” Williams is optimized to support a variety of maritime-based missions and designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support, and command and control assets. ESBs can be enhanced to meet special operations force missions through increased communications, aviation and unmanned aircraft system support.Built by General Dynamics NASSCO…

09 Mar 2020

US to Warn Shipping Industry Against Storing Iranian Oil

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration will soon issue an advisory warning ports, tankers and shipping industry players against storing Iranian oil in violation of U.S. sanctions, a State Department official said on Monday.David Peyman, the deputy assistant secretary of state for counter threat finance and sanctions, said the United States will also encourage ship captains and others to take photos of anyone conducting ship-to-ship transfers in case those transfers involve sanctioned oil.

09 Mar 2020

IMO Postpones Meetings Due to COVID-19

© ani_snimki / Adobe Stock

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has postponed a number of meetings following the global coronavirus outbreak.London-headquartered IMO said the move takes into account the decision of the UK on March 5 to move toward the "delay" phase of its coronavirus action plan: a guide to what you can expect across the UK, similar actions adopted by other UN agencies, and the increased difficulties for delegates from IMO Member States traveling from abroad to attend IMO meetings.Specifically…

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

Bath Iron Works Begins Building Next US Navy Destroyer

File photo: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), commissioned in 2017 (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works)

Shipbuilder Bath Iron Works (BIW) has officially started construction of the future USS Louis H. Wilson Jr. (DDG 126), the U.S. Navy announced. The new warship will be the first Arleigh Burke-class destroyer built in the Flight III configuration at BIW.The milestone was marked by a ceremony on Tuesday at General Dynamics BIW's structural fabrication facility in Brunswick, Maine.Flight III destroyers will have improved capability and capacity to perform Anti-Air Warfare and Ballistic Missile Defense in support of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense mission.

05 Mar 2020

Brazil Orders Four Naval Frigates

(File photo: Thyssenkrupp)

A consortium formed by Germany’s Thyssenkrupp AG and Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA signed a deal on Thursday to deliver four frigates to Brazil’s navy between 2025 and 2028, the companies said in a statement.The contract signed in Rio de Janeiro is part of Brazil’s drive to modernize its navy so it can patrol off-shore resources in the Atlantic, such as Brazil’s vast pre-salt oil reserves.The companies did not disclose the price tag. The Brazilian navy website said the four-ship program will cost about $2 billion.Last year…

04 Mar 2020

North Korea Caught Exporting Sand to China

© Yaniv / Adobe Stock

For several months last year, a steady stream of ships was observed dredging sand in a North Korean bay then transporting it to China, a Washington-based think-tank said on Wednesday.The extraction of sand from North Korea to China would violate a 2017 U.N. Security Council resolution that prohibits North Korea from “supplying, selling, or transferring sand”, the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS) said in a report.The group’s researchers tracked the dredging and transport of the sand through commercial satellite imagery and shipping databases.“Between March and August 2019…

04 Mar 2020

Fairbanks Morse Power for USS Cleveland (LCS 31)

Image courtesy Fairbanks Morse.

Fairbanks Morse received a purchase order from Lockheed Martin – the U.S. Navy’s prime contractor on Littoral Combat Ship’s (LCS) Freedom variant – to build and deliver the main propulsion diesel engines (MPDE's) for the 16th ship of the class, USS Cleveland (LCS-31).USS Cleveland (LCS 31) will receive a pair of 16-cylinder FM Colt-Pielstick PA6B Sequentially Turbo Charged (STC) diesel engines; together providing more than 12 MW of propulsion power. The USS Cleveland (LCS 31) will rely on the Fairbanks Morse engines for its low speed cruising and mid-range speed propulsion demands.

03 Mar 2020

Salvors Building Protection Barrier Around Golden Ray Wreck

A Weeks Marine crane prepares to drive a pile using a vibratory hammer on February 26, 2020, near St. Simons Island, Ga., as part of the construction of the environmental protection barrier (EPB) around the motor vessel Golden Ray. (Photo by Tyler Drapeau)

Salvors are continuing work to remove the wreck of a South Korean car carrier vessel that ran aground and overturned near Brunswick, Ga. in September 2019.Last week, unified command contractors started driving the first of 70-80 piles that will be used to hold an environmental protection barrier (EPB) in place around the MV Golden Ray wreck in St. Simons Sound, the unified command response team said in a statement.The pile-driving work is being performed by Weeks Marine during daylight hours only and is expected to last about a month, said the unified command for the St.

03 Mar 2020

USS Cooperstown Launched and Christened

The U.S. Navy launched its newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Cooperstown (LCS 23), on January 19 and then christened the new warship during a ceremony on February 29, in Marinette, Wis."The christening of the future USS Cooperstown marks an important step toward this great ship's entry into the fleet," said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. “The dedication and skilled work of everyone involved in the building of this ship has ensured that…

03 Mar 2020

USS San Antonio on Sea Trials After Extensive Maintenance

Amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) (U.S. Navy photo by Jason R. Zalasky)

San Antonio class amphibious transport dock USS San Antonio (LPD 17) began Sea Trials February 29 following a three-year Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) maintenance availability.During Sea Trials, the San Antonio will undergo multiple training scenarios for each department designed to evaluate the performance of the ship after an extensive maintenance period.The short underway will be the first time the San Antonio has been underway since February of 2017.Captain Brent C. Gaut…

03 Mar 2020

CCGS Edward Cornwallis Life Extension Contract Awarded

File photo: CCGS Edward Cornwallis (Photo: Ernesto Hernandez Fonte, U.S. Coast Guard)

Canada's government awarded a $12.1-million contract to East Coast repair yard Shelburne Ship Repair to perform vessel life extension work on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Edward Cornwallis.The 34-year-old light icebreaker CCGS Edward Cornwallis is a high-endurance multi-tasked vessel launched in 1986 and built by Marine Industries from Tracy, Quebec. The 83-meter-long vessel performs icebreaking and buoy tending operations and is homeported at the Canadian Coast Guard Base in Dartmouth…

03 Mar 2020

Sub M Progress – an Update

Credit: Paul C. Lamarre III

Subchapter M, the United States regulatory code dealing with towing vessels and requirements for towing vessel safety, has officially been in place since July 20, 2016, when the U.S. Coast Guard finalized Sub M rulemaking.Since the rules were finalized there have been a couple of important hammer dates. In spring and summer 2018 the first certificates of inspection (COI) were issued. COIs are central within the Sub M program. A vessel needs a COI to legally operate. (All vessels were required to comply with Sub M by July 20, 2018.

03 Mar 2020

The Maritime Industry and COVID-19

© Anton Petrus/AdobeStock

The COVID-19 epidemic, which was first called the novel Coronavirus and then the 2019-nCoV, is spreading fast around the world. It is more contagious than the 2002 SARS outbreak, its cousin, but not as lethal. Unfortunately, its impact on the maritime community seems to already be greater than that of SARS.Ships are being required to submit Maritime Declarations of Health prior to arrival. Ships that called in Chinese ports during the previous 14 days or have persons on board…

02 Mar 2020

US Offering $225 Mln for Ports Infrastructure

©  Felix Mizioznikov / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for $225 million in discretionary grant funding through the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP).“America’s ports are a critical part of the Nation’s multimodal transportation network and this Notice of Funding Opportunity provides guidance on how to apply for these grants,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.The Port Infrastructure Development Program supports U.S.

02 Mar 2020

Bawat’s Ballast Water System Wins USCG Type Approval

Image: Bawat

Denmark's Bawat reports it has received type approval from the U.S. Coast Guard for its ballast water management system (BWMS).The system is touted by Bawat as the only treatment system available that relies on heat pasteurization to kill off potentially dangerous aquatic organisms in ballast water.“We are extremely pleased to have been awarded Type Approval by the U.S. Coast Guard which has one of the toughest approval processes,” said Marcus Hummer, CEO, Bawat.The Bawat system…

02 Mar 2020

Tanker Owner to Stop Shipping Rosneft's Venezuelan Oil

© alexlmx / Adobe Stock

Mercantile & Maritime said on Monday it would terminate its shipments of Venezuelan oil for Rosneft after the United States imposed sanctions on the Russian oil firm's Swiss trading unit.Washington imposed sanctions in February on Rosneft's Geneva-based unit Rosneft Trading (RTSA), accusing it of providing a financial lifeline to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government.Last month when the sanctions were announced, the company issued a statement calling the actions  against Rosneft’s subsidiary RTSA and its Chairman "illegal…

28 Feb 2020

USS Tripoli Delivered

The U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) conducts builder's trials in the Gulf of Mexico in July 2019. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries by Derek Fountain)

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division delivered the newest America-class amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA 7) to the U.S. Navy on Friday. Tripoli will be commissioned later this year before sailing to its homeport of San Diego.Amphibious assault ships project power and maintain presence by serving as the cornerstone of the amphibious ready group or expeditionary strike group. These ships transport elements of the Marine expeditionary unit or Marine expeditionary brigade with a combination of aircraft and landing craft.

27 Feb 2020

Fincantieri Launches Corvette for Qatar

Image: Fincantieri

The technical launch of first Doha-class air defense corvette ordered by the Qatari Ministry of Defence within the national naval acquisition program, took place at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia).The corvette Al Zubarah is named after a ruined and ancient fort located on the north western coast of the Qatar peninsula in the Al Shamal municipality, about 105 km from the Qatari capital of Doha.The vessel, which will be delivered in 2021, is designed consistent with the RINAMIL rules…

27 Feb 2020

France and Italy Christen Naviris

Photo: Naval Group

The intergovernmental agreement signed between French and Italian States to establish Naviris, the joint-venture (JV) between the shipbuilders Naval Group and Fincantieri.This agreement makes the long term alliance launched by these two industrial Groups fully operational.The JV, owned equally by the two groups, will manage ambitious projects, including mid-term modernization of the Franco-Italian Horizon frigates, common R&D, export opportunities and the development of a European Patrol Corvette. “We welcome this intergovernmental agreement, which reinforces our joint-venture Naviris.

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