Marine Link
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Low Water News

Coast Guard Issues Mississippi River Safety Advisory

The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP), St. Louis, opened the Mississippi River to vessel traffic following the completion of dredging at mile marker 161.0, near the mouth of the Meramec River. The river had been closed to commercial vessel traffic since Dec. 14. However, low river levels have prompted the COTP St. Louis, and the COTP Paducah, Ky., to establish a joint Safety Advisory on the Upper Mississippi River between Cairo, Ill., (mile marker 0.0) and St. Louis (mile marker 184.0). Northbound tows entering the advisory area may not have more than 30 barges in their tow, of which only 15 may be loaded. Southbound tows are limited to no more than 20 barges. All barges within the advisory area may not draft more than 9 feet, except for those barges loaded prior to noon on Dec.

Bulk Transport Leadership: Merritt Lane

H. Merritt Lane, III, President and CEO of Canal Barge Company, Inc. in New Orleans, has served in that capacity since early 1994 and is a member of the Board of Directors.

Drought and ensuing low river levels continue to affect the inland industry. Low water between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois has threatened traffic on the Mississippi River since December. For months, dredging operations have slowed vessels at points along the river's course. Since December, a stretch at Thebes, Illinois, has been shut for much of each day as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers removes rock pinnacles. A panel of five executives weighed in on a host of topics regarding inland transportation as part of a round table discussion published in the February print edition of Marine News.

Low Water in Upper Mississippi River

The Coast Guard issued a safety advisory for the Upper Mississippi River, cautioning mariners of extreme low-water conditions. The low-water advisory is in effect between mile markers 109.9 (Chester, Ill.) and 185 (northern St. Louis). Heavy-draft vessels are advised to not transit the area, and all mariners are advised to use extra caution and be aware of shifting channels as buoys are adjusted for changing water levels and shoaling. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Cheyenne, a 75-foot river tender homeported here, got underway today in order to reposition buoys starting at mile maker 109.9 and moving north until November 11, 2006. The U.S.

Dredging 24/7 to Keep Mississippi Open

US Army Corps of Engineers battle extreme low-water conditions to keep the river' scommercial navigation moving. Five dredges are kept moving rapidly from one trouble spot to another to keep up with dynamic low water operational demands, the Corps is also working very closely with the navigation industry and the U.S. Coast Guard to communicate concerns, groundings and changing conditions to avoid accidents and river closures. Unless additional rainfall occurs, the latest long-range forecast calls for river conditions to continue to fall through the end of August with new low-water records possible at several key navigation points along the lower Mississippi between Cairo, Ill., and Baton Rouge.

Low Water Hampers River Traffic

Already low water on the Mississippi River around St. Louis was expected by this weekend to approach levels too shallow for barge transportation, and a damaged lock slowed river traffic near Davenport, Iowa, river officials said Thursday. The St. Louis gauge for the Mississippi was at 3.0 feet on Wednesday and was forecast to hit 0.0 feet by Saturday. River traffic can continue operation through St. Louis until the gauge hits -3.5 feet and the river channel is 9 feet deep, the shallowest depth at which barge traffic can pass. "Any time it gets below five feet on the St. Louis gauge, everybody starts to monitor that. And when it gets below zero the river industry will start forming a low action water group and you'll see restrictions on tows and other things…

American Waterways Operators Concerned at Low Water Levels

Low-water levels resulting from severe drought conditions in the US Midwest have potential for significant national economic consequences. The low-water levels resulting from severe drought conditions in the Midwest are a stark contrast to the historic flooding of 2011 but share the same potential for significant economic consequences, said Tom Allegretti, President & CEO of American Waterways Operators, a 350-member trade association representing the nation’s tugboat, towboat and barge industry. The implications of the drought conditions and low-water levels are a one-two punch for the economy, impacting both the agricultural community and one of the major modes of transporting agricultural and other essential products,” Allegretti said.

Mississippi Dredging To Continue In Low Water

Low water on the upper Mississippi River will continue to prompt dredging activities to promote safe navigation of barges and other vessels in coming months, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. The Corps, which operates locks and dams and oversees river conditions on U.S. interior waterways, said in a statement that it met with commercial shippers and U.S. Coast Guard officials on Thursday to discuss problems being caused by low water. Water levels are relatively low on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in part due to lack of snow cover last winter, which was the warmest recorded in 105 years. "The Corps is currently surveying potential low water trouble spots in need of dredging…

Mississippi-like Low Water Levels Threaten Danube

Low water levels in Bulgarian sections of Europe's River Danube threaten navigation safety, ship commerce. Water levels continue to go down and threaten a full stop of any navigation, the Maritime Administration Executive Agency in Ruse warns. If this happens, it will be a repeat of last summer's conditions when huge losses were incurred by ship owners. In the area of the city of Ruse there is a forecast for an additional decrease of 12 cm in the course of the next few days. A sand shallow has formed at kilometer 562 close to Belene island, nearly blockading ships. Effective Saturday, ships with large loads were banned there. Recently…

Panama Canal Ends Depth Restrictions

Photo: Panama Canal Authority

Panama Canal Authority said it has lifted restrictions on the depth of ships passing through that had been imposed since April because of low water levels caused by severe drought, says a report in AP. On April 18, Panama Canal started imposing restrictions on the depth of ships passing through because of lower water levels caused by a severe drought. The measure trims ships' maximum allowed draft - the distance from the waterline to the bottom of the hull - by 5.9 inches (15 centimetres), from the usual 39.5 feet (12.04 metres) to 39 feet.

Mississippi River Commission Schedules Meeting For Friday

Dock, at mile 53 on the Houma Navigation Canal. communities along the Mississippi River. August 11 in St. Paul, Minn. directly address their views to members of the Commission. through Old River Lock to reach the Atchafalaya River. Waterway.

Bulk Transport Leadership: Terence Gomez

Terence Gomez has been a Senior Manager at AEP River Operations in Missouri since 1986.

Drought and ensuing low river levels continue to affect the inland industry. Low water between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois has threatened traffic on the Mississippi River since December. For months, dredging operations have slowed vessels at points along the river's course. Since December, a stretch at Thebes, Illinois, has been shut for much of each day as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers removes rock pinnacles. A panel of five executives weighed in on a host of topics regarding inland transportation as part of a round table discussion published in the February print edition of Marine News.

USCG Restricts Barge Tow Size In Mississippi

The U.S. Coast Guard further restricted the size of barge tows on the Mississippi River due to problems with low water levels that have caused several groundings in recent weeks, Reuters reported. It said, effective immediately, barge tows traveling from Cairo, Illinois, to St. Louis, Missouri, were limited to no more than 15 barges, loaded or unloaded, due to continued low water levels. Two weeks prior the Coast Guard established a 180-mile long safety zone on the Mississippi River between the two cities after several tows hit ground due to the very low water levels on the river in and near St. Louis. Those restrictions limited the draft of barges to nine feet and the size of north-bound tows to 30 barges with a maximum of 15 loaded. South-bound tows were limited to 20 barges total.

Grounded Bulker Refloated in Mozamique

Photo: KOTUG

KOTUG provided salvage assistance to refloat the bulk carrier MV Gladiatorship after she ran aground just before high water in Nacala, Mozamique.   The Bahamas flagged vessel was unable to refloat herself and at risk of being damaged by the drop between high and low water.   KOTUG employed two Rotortugs to pull her free of the beach and back into safe waters, thus refloating the MV Gladiatorship within two hours of running aground.   

Durbin: Demolition of Rock Pinnacles Could Begin Next Week

File: Inland pushboat and barges.

At the request of Midwest Senators, Army Corps fast tracked process to keep water and goods moving on the Mississippi River. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)  praised the news that a contract has been awarded for the demolition of rock pinnacles in the Mississippi River and the work could begin as early as next week. In a November 29 meeting with Durbin and five other Midwest Senators, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, agreed to expedite the demolition process in order to help navigation on the Mississippi River.

Great Lakes Crisis Continues: Dredging and Water Both Needed

Lake Michigan-Huron sets all-time record for lowest monthly water level. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District through its Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office reports a preliminary new record low water level for Lake Michigan-Huron for the second month in a row. The new record low of 175.57 meters or 576.02 feet is not only the lowest January monthly average water level ever recorded, but also the lowest monthly average ever recorded for any month over the official period of record for Great Lakes water levels, which extends back to 1918. The Corps issues water level forecasts for the Great Lakes in coordination with Environment Canada…

Barge Tows Delayed Near Hannibal, Mo.

Barge tows traveling on the upper Mississippi River faced lengthy delays on Wednesday near Hannibal, Mo., after traffic was stopped for two days to dredge several spots in the river, river officials said. The river was closed in several areas between Hannibal and Quincy, Ill., on Monday when several barges reported shallow water conditions. The Corps of Engineers used a mechanical crane to dredge the shallow areas and carve a new channel in the river to allow barges to safely travel. "There were about three locations down there that had run out of water, but things have gotten cleaned up since this morning. Traffic is moving again," said Bill Gretten of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island district.

Great Lakes Water Level Is Low

Water levels in North America's Great Lakes, the world's largest fresh-water system, are below average for this time of year, and this will affect shipping, recreational boating and marina operators this summer, the Canadian government's environment department said. Environment Canada said water levels in lakes Huron, Erie, St. Clair and Michigan, which have dropped for the past four years due to warmer temperatures and increased evaporation, are all below average and lower than they were last summer. The average has been calculated annually since 1918. The ministry said lakes Michigan and Huron are at their lowest levels for this time of the year since 1965, and are currently 2.73 in. below chart datum -- the key reference level used on navigational charts.

Low Water hinders Rhine, Danube River Shipping

File Image: A typical Danube River pushboat and barge arrangement. (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) digitalstock)

Water levels on the Rhine and Danube in Germany remain low despite recent rain and freight vessels cannot sail fully loaded on the German sections of the rivers, traders said on Tuesday. The Rhine is too shallow for normal sailings south of Duisburg and Cologne to Switzerland, traders said. Weekend rain had helped raise both rivers but water levels remain well below minimum levels for full loadings. The rivers have been shallow since the first week of April. Shallow water means vessel operators impose surcharges on freight rates, increasing costs for cargo owners.

St. Lawrence Seaway Opens

The St. Lawrence Seaway has reopened with the first ship of the 2000 season passing through this week, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. said. "We're up and running," corporation spokeswoman Sylvie Moncion said. Low water levels in the Great Lakes Basin have shippers concerned about potential problems later that could force ships to lighten loads. "Even though there are low water levels on the Great Lakes this year, this will not likely affect Seaway commerce until late in the summer, if at all," said corporation president Guy Veronneau. The corporation said the 1999 navigation season was average. Overall cargo through the Montreal/Lake Ontario and Welland Canal sections reached 47,840 million metric tons or 3.2 million tons less than in 1998.

Barge Traffic Still Slow On Mississippi

Barge traffic on U.S. Midwest rivers continued slow as low water levels on the upper and lower Mississippi River and ice buildup on the Illinois River kept navigation treacherous, Reuters reported on Wednesday. "At the Memphis gauge, the water level is about three feet below the desired level," said Lt. Brian Meier, U.S. Coast Guard spokesman, Memphis office. "The forecast is for water levels to stay pretty steady for next couple days," he said. Low water levels and a barge grounding about 30 miles south of Memphis this week caused river officials to issue a travel advisory from Cairo, Illinois, to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Southbound tows were limited to 30 barges and northbound tows limited to 36 barges with a 10-foot draft or less. In the St.

Bulk Transport Leadership: Clark Todd

Clark A. Todd, President and COO of Blessey Marine Services, Inc. in New Orleans. Blessey owns and operates one of the youngest, multi-faceted inland tank barge and towing vessel fleets in the United States.

Drought and ensuing low river levels continue to affect the inland industry. Low water between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois has threatened traffic on the Mississippi River since December. For months, dredging operations have slowed vessels at points along the river's course. Since December, a stretch at Thebes, Illinois, has been shut for much of each day as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers removes rock pinnacles. A panel of five executives weighed in on a host of topics regarding inland transportation as part of a round table discussion published in the February print edition of Marine News.

Sandy Hook Pilots Warn of NY Channel Depth Restrictions

The Army Corps has informed the Pilots that maintenance dredging in the Arthur Kill has been only partially completed and that the previously shoaled areas in and adjacent to Port Socony and Port Reading Reaches have not yet been returned to full project depth. Based upon dredging completed thus far Sandy Hook Pilots are able to modify the restrictions on draft previously announced in September 2013. For vessels due to transit the waters from south of Motiva and/or Woodbridge Creek in the Arthur Kill to north of Tufts Point, or vice versa, the maximum draft will be 32' at low water and 36'6" at high water. Pilots advise that the Sandy Hook Channel Start-in and Sailing Guidelines should be used by reducing available draft by one(1') foot if transiting through that area.

USCG Investigates Towboat Groundings

The U.S. Coast Guard investigated three separate towboat-related groundings on the lower Mississippi River yesterday that prompted the closure of parts of the river. One of them occured near Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. The first occured about 180 miles south of Angola, Louisiana. At 6:30 a.m., another towboat ran aground about 15 miles north of Rosedale, Mississippi. The third accident happened about 3:15 p.m. when the 140-ft. towboat 'Captain Russell Simpson,' pushing 25 barges of dry cargo, ran aground about 40 miles south of Helena-West Helena, at mile-marker 626.1 The river was closed between mile-marker 623.1 and 628. No injuries or pollution were reported in the accidents. The Coast Guard said that investigators have not determined the cause of the accidents.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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