Mississippi River News

15 Apr 2019

Towing Vessel Sinks in Louisiana

A sunken towing vessel has reportedly discharged oil and is blocking the channel in Pass a Loutre near Venice, La., the U.S. Coast Guard said on Monday.The Coast Guard said it is responding to the incident after having received a report around 2 a.m. Monday that the towing vessel Dejeanne Maria had struck a submerged object and began sinking while pushing two empty dry cargo barges downbound on the Mississippi River.The three people who were aboard the Dejeanne Maria at the time transferred to the towing vessel Supporter 1.The Dejeanne Maria is submerged with its port side above the water. There is a maximum potential of 7,000 gallons of oil on board with a reported 60 gallons having entered the water.Sector New Orleans incident management team mobilized to conduct a shoreline assessment.

29 Mar 2019

Port of New Orleans to buy New Gantry Cranes

Photo Credit/Port NOLA: Container vessel being worked by current gantry cranes at Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal site.

New Cranes Allow Port NOLA to Accommodate Larger Ships and Meet Growing Needs. The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) have voted to approve the purchase of two new 100-foot gauge container gantry cranes to be used at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. “These new cranes are vital to our success and growth here at Port NOLA,” said President and CEO Brandy D. Christian. “They will increase our efficiency so we can accommodate larger and wider ships…

28 Mar 2019

USCG: Have a Regime When the Current’s Abeam

File Image: CREDIT AWO

Ensure adequate maneuvering space!Recently there were three marine casualties that resulted in the sinking of towing vessels on the Lower Mississippi River. One of the casualties resulted in a fatality. These cases are all under investigation by the Coast Guard, but the preliminary fact finding indicates there are some similarities between the three incidents. In all three cases towing vessels became pinned against another object in an aspect that exposed the vessel broadside to very strong currents.

20 Mar 2019

USCG Closes Missouri River to Traffic

File image (AWO)

Safety Zone; Missouri River, Mile Markers 450–625, St. Joseph, MO to Omaha, NE.The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the navigable waters of the Missouri River from mile marker (MM) 450 to MM 625 between St. Joseph, MO and Omaha, NE. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of persons, vessels, and the marine environment on these navigable waters as a result of flooding on the river that has resulted in some reported levee failures and is threatening…

18 Mar 2019

USCG Closes Portion of Missouri River

The Coast Guard issued a waterway closure to all vessel traffic on the Missouri River from mile marker 450 near St. Joseph, Missouri, to mile marker 550 approximately 50 miles south of Omaha, Nebraska, due to high water levels and dangerous currents, Friday.The Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers are requesting all operators create as minimal wake as possible between mile marker 375 near Kansas City, Missouri, to mile marker 450 near St. Joseph, Missouri, on the Missouri River to minimize levee damage.Restrictions to operations will be lifted as soon as conditions improve.“The safety of the maritime public is the Coast Guard’s top priority,” said Lt.

15 Mar 2019

Kirby Closes Cenac Fleet Acquisition

File Image (CREDIT: Cenac)

Kirby Corporation announced the completion of the acquisition of the marine transportation fleet of Cenac Marine Services, LLC, an operator of tank barges and towboats participating in the inland tank barge transportation industry in the United States. The total value of the transaction was approximately $244 million and was financed with additional borrowings. Cenac’s fleet consists of 63 30,000-barrel inland tank barges with approximately 1.9 million barrels of capacity, 34 inland towboats, and 2 offshore tugboats.

14 Mar 2019

Towing Vessel Sinks Near Baton Rouge

A section of the the lower Mississippi River has been closed to vessel traffic after a towing vessel sank near Baton Rouge, La., Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.The Coast Guard said its watchstanders in New Orleans received a report at 11 a.m. that the towing vessel Michelle Anne sank at Baton Rouge General Anchorage near mile marker 226 on the Mississippi River.The four crewmembers aboard the Michelle Ann escaped and were rescued by a nearby tug. There were no reported injuries.The waterway is closed from mile marker 224.5 to mile marker 226.A Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge incident management team deployed to the scene to look for signs of pollution.

13 Mar 2019

President's Request Cuts Funding for USACE

Mike Toohey  (Photo: WCI)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted to the Trump Administration’s release of an outline of its top-line FY20 budget numbers yesterday. Today, the Corps of Engineers released its account and project-specific funding levels. For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program, the FY20 budget proposes $4.827 billion, a 31% cut from the FY19 appropriated amount of $7.0 billion. Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) proposed funding in FY20 is $55.5 million, with a total of $111 million requested for the Lower Mon Project (Monongahela River, Pittsburgh), funding it to completion.

13 Mar 2019

Waterways Council Reacts to Budget Numbers

Donald J. Trump

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted to the Trump Administration’s release of an outline of its top-line FY20 budget numbers yesterday. Today, the Corps of Engineers released its account and project-specific funding levels.For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program, the FY20 budget proposes $4.827 billion, a 31% cut from the FY19 appropriated amount of $7.0 billion.Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) proposed funding in FY20 is $55.5 million, with a total of $111 million requested for the Lower Mon Project (Monongahela River, Pittsburgh), funding it to completion.

08 Mar 2019

Towboat Sinks in the Mississippi River

Five crewmembers have been rescued from a towing vessel that sank in the Mississippi River near Laplace, La., Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.At approximately 3 p.m Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report that the St. Rita, owned and operated by Marquette Transportation Company, sank on the right descending bank on the Mississippi River.The five crewmembers that were on board the vessel were rescued by nearby towing vessel, Rod C, and then transported to shore. No injuries were reported. There are no reported impacts to vessel traffic and the river remains open, the Coast Guard said.According to the Coast Guard, the St.

28 Feb 2019

U.S. Army Corps Selects 10 Beneficial Use Pilot Projects

River Raisin Dredging, Monroe, Michigan

At the end of December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) announced its selection of ten dredging projects that will form the core of a pilot program to advance the beneficial use of dredged material.The recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement culminated a program required by Congress, established within the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, specifically Section 1122. Congress directed that the ten pilot projects selected were required to present environmental…

27 Feb 2019

OP/ED: Structuring Infrastructure

Michael J. Toohey is President and CEO of the Waterways Council, Inc.

The Inland Waterways View.At the start of any new year, we are often asked what our challenges will be or what we are going to do differently in the year ahead. However, in 2019, just like each year since Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) was founded in 2003, we intend to stay the course to advocate for full and efficient funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue its Civil Works mission to construct and maintain navigation projects on the inland waterways.The Corps’…

17 Feb 2019

Suez Canal Extends Bulker Toll Discounts

Image: Suez Canal Authority (SCA)

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has extended discounts concerning dry bulk vessels operating between American and Asian ports after considering “new changes in the global shipping market and the world economy”."SCA pays more attention to its users best interest, and has recently taken steps towards being the safest, most secure, most reliable and most competitive compared to other routes," said a press release.It said that the rebate granted to (Laden/Ballast) Dry Bulk Vessels operating between Americas' ports and Asian ports…

05 Feb 2019

New Orleans Sets Cruise Passenger Record

Image: Port of New Orleans

A record number of cruise ship passengers traveled through the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) in 2018.The official tally - 1,182,111 - marked a 2.3 percent increase from 2017 and the fifth consecutive year of hitting the coveted 1 million passenger mark at the port's cruise terminal facilities.A 23 percent surge in guests taking Mississippi River cruises helped buoy the total, with new and larger ships set to sail from New Orleans both in the Caribbean and on the River in 2019.“Port NOLA’s success is due in large part to the hard work of the stevedores…

31 Jan 2019

OP/ED: Advancing the Passenger Vessel Industry:

Gus Gaspardo, President, Padelford Packet Boat Co.

A Strategic Look Forward.It is my honor to serve as PVA’s President. My company, Padelford Packet Boat Co., Saint Paul, MN, has proudly, and actively, been a member of this organization since its inception almost 50 years ago when it was previously known as the National Association of Passenger Vessel Operators (NAPVO).While PVA is rich in history, it by no means is stuck in old ways. PVA is always evolving to mirror the ever-advancing world of passenger vessel operations. As the voice of the passenger vessel industry…

31 Jan 2019

Kirby Inland Marine to Acquire Cenac Fleet

Photo: Cenac Marine Services

Cenac Marine Services LLC has announced the signing of an agreement with Kirby Inland Marine, LP to acquire Cenac’s fleet.This relationship will continue to enhance Cenac’s marine construction operations, by focusing on its best in class shipyard at Main Iron Works while providing continued security for its loyal maritime employees., even amid continued sluggishness in the local oil and gas industry.Kirby Corporation transports bulk liquid products throughout the Mississippi River system…

31 Jan 2019

Kirby Announces 2018 Q4/FY18 Results, Deal to Buy Cenac's Marine Fleet

Kirby Corporation announced a net loss attributable to Kirby for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2018 of ($24.4) million, or ($0.41) per share, compared with earnings of $231.3 million, or $3.87 per share, for the 2017 fourth quarter. Excluding certain one-time charges, 2018 fourth quarter net earnings attributable to Kirby were $44.9 million, or $0.75 per share. Consolidated revenues for the 2018 fourth quarter were $721.5 million compared with $708.1 million reported for the 2017 fourth quarter.For the 2018 full year…

27 Jan 2019

Port NOLA Sets Container Record in 2018

 Pic: The Port of New Orleans

The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) moved more containers in 2018 than at any time in its history, totaling 591,253 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 12.3 percent compared to one year ago.The deep-draft multipurpose port at the center of the world's busiest port system -- Louisiana's Lower Mississippi River said in a press release that the record marks the fifth year in a row Port NOLA has surpassed the half million TEU-mark at its Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal, which…

23 Jan 2019

Inland River Cruising: 2019 Will Be Busy

The American Song (CREDIT: ACL)

One year ago, we reported on vacation river cruising, presenting an industry mostly on the optimistic side of growth and expansion for 2018. This year’s review is more geographically limited – to the Mississippi River, heartland cruises centered among New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis and St. Paul – but with links important for a lot of smaller cities in between.Big picture:This industry is strong, at least among its two major players: American Cruise Lines and the American Queen Steamboat Company. Both have extensive and varied schedules for 2019.

04 Jan 2019

Grounded Bulker Stops Vessel Traffic Near New Orleans

Vessel traffic in the Lower Mississippi River near New Orleans has come to a stop after a 837-foot bulk carrier ran aground close to mile marker 3.5 Friday morning.The navigation channel has been closed and more than 50 vessels are waiting in queue to transit in or out of the river, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, who added that the number of vessels is larger than normal due to dense fog in the area over the last few days.The Coast Guard said it received a report at 8:32 a.m. that the 837-foot Anglo Alexandria had run aground at mile marker 3.5. There are no current reports of injuries of pollution.The U.K. flagged bulker has activated its vessel response plan (VRP) and a tug is on-scene to assist, the Coast Guard said.The cause of the incident is under investigation.

03 Dec 2018

Moose to the Rescue

This West Coast boat builder stays busy creating high quality fireboats for a diverse set of demanding, multi-missioned first responders. For Moose customer satisfaction is the name of the game. This year, they’ve got that box checked.Vallejo,CA-based Moose Boats builds aluminum catamaran and monohull vessels designed to meet a variety of mission-specific applications for military, law enforcement, emergency response, firefighting and security patrol purposes. It’s been a busy year for Moose…

19 Nov 2018

Mat Boat Sources Sought Notice

Figure A: Mat Boat with Robotics System. (Image: Bristol Harbor Group)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Marine Design Center (MDC) will soon be releasing a sources sought notice for the construction of the Mat Boat, a 188 x 74 x 10-ftl. deck barge, for the Mat Sinking Unit (MSU) located on the Mississippi River. The barge is to be built to American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Rules for Service on Rivers and Intracoastal Waterways. The sources sought notice is only for the construction of the barge, shown in Figure B, and not for the final product which incorporates a government furnished robotics package shown in Figure A.

12 Nov 2018

Kirby to Acquire CGBM's Inland Tank Barge Fleet

Image Credit: CGBM

Kirby Corporation has announced the signing of an agreement to acquire substantially all of CGBM 100, LLC's inland marine tank barge fleet for an undisclosed amount.Under the terms of the agreement, Kirby will acquire 27 of CGBM's 10,000 barrel inland marine tank barges which have a total capacity of approximately 270,000 barrels. The closing of the acquisition is expected to occur in the 2018 fourth quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions.Kirby Corporation, based in Houston…

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