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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Houston Pilots News

Houston Pilots Accept 45 ft. Fresh Water Draft

Effective immediately, the Houston Pilots will accept vessels with drafts up to 45 ft. (13.7 m) in fresh water. In the wake of the crisis along the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Houston Pilots are foregoing a previously scheduled phased-in approach to larger vessels, as the maritime industry needs to divert many deep draft loaded vessels from ports affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Houston Pilots are comprised of 81 pilots; including two deputy pilots still in training.

Houston Pilots Association To Christen M/V Bayou City

The Houston Pilots Association will christen the pilot boat M/V Bayou City at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at the Port of Houston Authority's Sam Houston Pavilion located at 7300 Clinton Drive. and Commissioner Janiece Longoria; members of the Houston Pilots Association, elected officials, maritime industry officials and community leaders. "This will be a momentous occasion for the port and the entire Houston Ship Channel industry base," said Capt. Mike Morris, presiding officer of the pilots. The $6 million M/V Bayou City vessel measures 72 feet in length with a breadth of 43 feet. It has a depth of 16 feet, a draft ranging from 10 to 12 feet, and can travel at a top speed of 21 knots. with two 4,000-horsepower Caterpillar Series 3412 engines that have a fuel capacity of 7,500 gallons.

USCG Recognizes Houston Pilots

Photo: Houston Pilots

RADM David Callahan for the US Coast Guard (USCG) 8th District presented Meritorious Public Service Awards to two Houston Pilots - Captains Michael McGee and Michael Phiilips - for their bravery last September aboard the crippled and burning tanker AFRAMAX RIVER. The USCG ceremony highlighted the fifth annual meeting of the Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee, announced Captain Robert M. Shearon, presiding officer -- Houston Pilots. Captain McGee and Captain Phillips were dispatched September 6 to the M/T AFRAMAX RIVER at Houston Fuel Oil Berth 3.

Houston Pilots Train for Post-Panamax Vessels

Captain Arbogast, Houston Pilots, maneuvering a Z-Drive tug at MSRC (Photo: Pascal Rhéaume)

Members of the Houston Pilots recently participated in two custom-built simulation courses vital to their Pilotage duties in the Houston Ship Channel and the Port of Houston, the largest landlocked Port in America. Each course was two days long, and was provided by the Maritime Simulation Resource Center (MSRC), at their Quebec City, Canada-based facility. The Houston Pilots face a multitude of factors when piloting ships in their waterways, including weather and wind, particularly with large ships, a very small turning basin, as well as intricate 24/7 traffic management.

Houston Pilots Clarify Rules on Hulls

Effective July 1, any wide-body vessel entering the Houston Ship Channel with a beam of 120 ft. greater will be required to be double-hulled when sailing in darkness on the waterway and while in ballast. Three years ago when the Houston Pilots began sailing wide-body vessels at night, they required the vessels to be double-hulled. The industry requested and received a waiver for double-sided vessels with single bottoms. This waiver is scheduled to expire on July 1. The Houston Pilots, in collaboration with the oil tanker industry, agreed last year to allow larger vessels to begin transiting the Houston Ship Channel. The maximum allowable beam increased to 166 ft. (50.6 m) from 145 ft. (44.2 m) based on the industry's anticipation of larger vessels calling at Houston's port facilities.

Houston Pilots Christen M/V Bayou City

The Houston Pilots Association christened the pilot boat M/V Bayou City at the Port of Houston Authority's Sam Houston Pavilion last month. "The addition of the M/V Bayou City to our fleet will greatly enhance our organization's total commitment to safety on the Houston Ship Channel and excellence in service to the maritime shipping industry," said Capt. Mike Morris, presiding officer of the pilots. The $6 million M/V Bayou City vessel measures 72 ft. in length with a breadth of 43 feet. It has a depth of 16 ft., a draft ranging from 10 to 12 ft., and can travel at a top speed of 21 knots. It is equipped with two 4,000-hp Caterpillar Series 3412 engines that have a fuel capacity of 7,500 gallons. The M/V Bayou City will be the fourth working vessel in the Houston pilots' fleet.

Kvichak Marine Delivers P/V Yellow Rose

Photo courtesy Kvichak Marine

Kvichak Marine Industries recently delivered P/V Yellow Rose, a 77.8 ft x 21.6 ft Pilot Boat for operation by the Houston Pilots on the Houston Ship Channel – the largest landlocked port in America. The vessel is designed to operate as a pilot launch transporting pilots to and from a shore side dock and the Houston Pilot’s SWATH, and to perform pilot transfers to commercial vessels. Designed by Camarc Design, UK, the all-aluminum vessel is powered by twin Tier II Cummins QSK-38 engines rated for 1,400 bhp each, which are coupled to ZF 4600 transmissions driving twin Hamilton 651 waterjets.

Houston Pilots, San Jacinto College Provide Bridge Simulator Training

A bridge simulator for mariner training

San Jacinto College will acquire three interactive bridge simulators for professional mariner training thanks to a collaborative agreement with the Houston Pilots. The simulators, valued at approximately $1.5 million, are room-sized replicas of ship control bridges, each with a 270-degree view and life-like graphics displayed on multiple 65-inch monitors. They will come complete with instructor stations, debrief classrooms and development stations. "Everyone benefits from these simulators and maritime training; in turn, making the ship channel safer for marine navigation," said Capt.

Houston Pilot Receives Prestigious Award

Honored for Leadership: Houston Pilot receives prestigious award at Maritime Luncheon. Captain Paul Brown of the Houston Pilots received the Paul Cuffee Leadership Award from Texas Southern University on July 1st, 2011 during its Summer Maritime Academy Session II Closing Ceremony Luncheon. The Paul Cuffee Leadership Award honors those who demonstrate not only extraordinary leadership skills, but those who are extremely dedicated by their selfless mentoring to fellow pilots. Brown was recognized along with John Etta with the Port of Houston Authority, Capt.

Houston Pilots Celebrate 90th Anniversary

aptain Stephen Conway and Mayor Wayne Riddle

The Houston Pilots celebrated their 90th anniversary by inviting community and political leaders, maritime partners and friends to their new facility on Friday, April 1st. Deer Park Mayor Wayne Riddle welcomed the pilots to the neighborhood with a key to the city and presided over the ribbon cutting. During the ceremony, Father Patout gave a blessing to the pilots and their new building, and the United States Coast Guard honored Houston Pilot Captain Bob Webbon with a safety accommodation.

Houston Pilots Propose 3.5% Rate Hike

The port commissioners, sitting as the Board of Pilot Commissioners for Harris County Ports, are considering a proposed 3.5% increase in pilotage rates for the Houston Pilots. Interested parties will make oral presentations at a public hearing on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 9 am. The public hearing will be held on the 4th Floor of the Port of Houston Authority Building, 111 East Loop North, Houston, Texas  77029. houstonpilotboard.com  

WGMA Urges Participation in Menhaden Survey

Photo courtesy Department of Marine Sciences

The West Gulf Maritime Association (WGMA) is urging its members with ships arriving at any port in the western US Gulf to participate in the Menhaden survey. The annual Menhaden spawn (typically April through October) has created challenges for ships transiting local waterways, namely a potentially dangerous loss of propulsion caused by engine overheating resulting from sea chest strainers being clogged by hundreds of these small fish. Numerous warnings have previously been broadcast…

AMS Safety Awards Recipients for 2013

American Maritime Safety, Inc. (AMS) announced that the Houston Pilots Association, Maersk Line, Limited, Un-Cruise Adventures and The Vane Brothers Company would be the recipients of the 2013 AMS Safety Awards. AMS is a nonprofit maritime trade association, which facilitates the maritime industry's compliance with international shipping protocols and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) regulations. The AMS consortium is comprised of more than 400 vessel owners and operators. It is the leading maritime industry association specializing in regulatory compliance in the United States. Every year, the AMS Safety Advisory Committee presents member companies with Safety Awards in recognition of their dedication to preserving the marine environment and promoting safe vessel navigation…

Fog Stops Houston Channel Shipping

Fog halted shipping on the Houston Ship Channel late on Jan. 10, but traffic was expected to resume Jan. 11 as temperatures rose and visibility was restored, the Houston Pilots Association said. The ship channel is a busy waterway lined with oil refineries and petrochemical plants that links the Port of Houston to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

HOGANSAC to Meet

Houston/Galveston Navigation Safety Advisory Committee (HOGANSAC) will hold its next public meetings on September 5, 2002 (working groups only) and September 19, 2002 (full committee), at the offices of the Houston Pilots Association in Houston, Texas. The notice appears in the July 25, 2002, Federal Register. Source: Marine Legal Update

Houston Ship Channel Reopened – Again

Houston Ship Channel reopened Friday after shutdown due to fog   The Houston Ship Channel reopened to all inbound and outbound vessel traffic on Friday after shutting on Thursday afternoon due to heavy fog, according to the Houston Pilots.   The largest U.S. petrochemical port was partially shut from midday Monday to early Thursday after a collision between a tanker carrying a gasoline additive and a bulk ship carrying steel. Fog forced another shutdown hours later.     (Reporting By Kristen Hays; Editing by Alden Bentley)

Fog Closes Ship Channel

Fog closed the Houston Ship Channel on Monday morning, the Houston Pilots association said. Pilots stopped boarding ships at 8 a.m. CST (9 a.m. EST/ 1400 GMT), bringing traffic to a halt, and the fog had not dispersed some four hours later at midday, an official said. The closure of the channel had not yet resulted in a big backlog of ships waiting to enter or leave the channel, he said. The Houston Ship Channel is a busy 54-mile (90 km) waterway lined with oil refineries and petrochemical plants that links Houston to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. A U.S. Coast Guard official in New Orleans, another major Gulf Coast oil-refining and petrochemical center, said shipping in that area was not affected by fog on Monday.

Fog Closes Traffic On Houston Ship Channel

Thick fog halted all traffic on the Houston Ship Channel Wednesday, the Houston Pilots association said. Pilots who guide ships along the 54-mile channel stopped boarding vessels at 10:10 p.m. CST (11:10 p.m. EST) Tuesday evening. "Nothing has moved since then," an official with the pilots association said. The official said he did not know when the fog was expected to clear and shipping could resume. The ship channel is a busy waterway lined with oil refineries and petrochemical plants that links the Port of Houston to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. - (Reuters)

Summer Wind, Miss Susan Tow Collision Report

This is a synopsis from the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) report and does not include the Board’s rationale for the conclusions, probable cause, and safety recommendations. NTSB staff is currently making final revisions to the report from which the attached conclusions and safety recommendations have been extracted. The final report and pertinent safety recommendation letters will be distributed to recommendation recipients as soon as possible. to further review and editing. Houston Ship Channel, Lower Galveston Bay, Texas. The visibility was restricted at the time due to fog. The bulk carrier was inbound to Houston, traveling in a north direction. The tow was bound for Port Bolivar on the east side of the Houston Ship Channel, traveling in an east direction.

Houston Ship Channel Celebrates 100 years

A host of dignitaries gathered November 10 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Houston Ship Channel. During the ceremony, Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria lauded early leaders and their vision for the Port of Houston. Hundreds of guests, including elected officials, members of the International Longshoremen’s Association, Houston Pilots, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, current and former Port Commissioners, industry stakeholders and others, attended the event at Brady’s Landing, overlooking the Houston Ship Channel. The original dedication took place on Nov.

Oil Tankers Queueing in US Gulf Seen as New Symbol of Glut

A traffic jam of oil tankers has emerged along the U.S. Texas coast this month, a snarl that some traders see as the latest sign of an unyielding global supply glut. More than 50 commercial vessels were anchored outside ports in the Houston area at the end of last week, of which 41 were tankers, according to the Houston Pilots, an organization that assists in the navigation of larger vessels in and around port areas. Normally there are between 30 to 40 vessels anchored offshore, of which two-thirds are tankers, according to the pilots. Although the channel has been shut intermittently due to fog or flooding in recent weeks, pilots said those issues were not significant enough to create the backlog.

Poor Communication behind Houston Ship Collision

USCG photo

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the Miss Susan, a shallow draft towing vessel with two barges, and the Summer Wind, a deep draft bulk carrier, collided on March 22, 2014, because the towing vessel crossed the Houston Ship Channel, impeding the passage of the bulk carrier that was transiting inbound, which could only transit within the channel. The collision resulted in the release of 168,000 gallons of fuel into the Houston Ship Channel from the…

Lack of Communication Led to Houston Ship Collision -NTSB

The probable cause of the 2015 collision of the Conti Peridot and the Carla Maersk in the Houston Ship Channel was the inability of the pilot on the Conti Peridot to respond appropriately to hydrodynamic forces after meeting another vessel during restricted visibility, and his lack of communication with other vessels about this handling difficulty controlling his vessel, said the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) during a public meeting on Tuesday. Contributing to the circumstances that resulted in the collision was the inadequate bridge resource management between the master and the pilot on the Conti Peridot. The collision of the 623-foot long…

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