Mississippi River News

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.

19 Mar 2020

Barge Lines Boost Crew Safety as Virus Threatens Crucial Cargo

© Ronald / Adobe Stock

The world has radically changed since towboat captain Terry Hall boarded his vessel late last month in Wood River, Illinois, for his four-week shift hauling bargeloads of crude oil, chemicals, scrap metal and other goods up and down the Mississippi River.His employer, Canal Barge Co, has beefed up pre-board health screenings for all crew to include a temperature check and disclosures about recent travel and personal interactions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.Any disruption…

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…

12 Mar 2020

NOAA-Viking Public Private Partnership, a Win-win for Research

RENDERING OF NEW VIKING SHIP: This rendering shows what the new Viking expedition ships will look like, including the hangar for launching small vessels. Credit: Viking

There was important cruise news in January: Viking – a premier European ocean and river cruise company - will offer two new “destination-focused travel experiences,” starting in 2022. One set of cruises becomes Viking’s first foray in the inland North American market, in this case the Great Lakes. Another set of cruises will head to the Arctic and Antarctica. Viking is building two new vessels: the Viking Octantis and the Viking Polaris, under construction now in Norway, by Fincantieri’s VARD.In a press release Viking writes that it has created “the thinking person’s expedition.”  Indeed…

09 Mar 2020

Big Ship Ready Port Dredging Kicks off 2020

Photo: Weeks Marine

The end of the 2019 saw some unprecedented funding measure pass through Congress and signed into law by President Trump. The Gulf and East Coast have continued to receive significant funding to help deepen and widen navigational channels and gateways. One of the projects passed into law included the Gulf Coast Regional Demonstration Project. Some of the ports receiving funding and underway include Mobile, Baltimore, Houston, Port Everglades and Norfolk. All these projects funded by Congress draw a direct correlation to the expanded Panama Canal.

27 Feb 2020

ACL to Launch Riverboat Pair in 2021

(Image: American Cruise Lines)

American Cruise Lines announced that it will launch two additional modern riverboats for the 2021 season. Construction is already underway on the new riverboats and will ramp up as American Jazz, the Line’s third modern riverboat, is readied for its 2020 debut in New Orleans.The two riverboats coming next year will be sister ships to the American Harmony and American Jazz, but will feature new design elements that appeal to today’s discerning travelers. Further design enhancements…

27 Feb 2020

C&C Building Towboat Trio for Hines Furlong

(Image: CT Marine)

Hines Furlong Line currently has a trio of identical 6,000-horsepower towboats on order at C&C Marine and Repair in Belle Chasse, La.The timing is right to order the high-power newbuilds, said Kent Furlong, president and founder of Hines Furlong Line (HFL), citing the long-term implications of Subchapter M and the industry’s aging higher horsepower line haul fleet as key drivers behind the decision. “Many of the high-horsepower vessels in the HFL fleet are among the oldest,” he said.

24 Feb 2020

Insights: Jennifer Carpenter, AWO President & CEO

Jennifer Carpenter (Photo: AWO)

Jennifer A. Carpenter serves as President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association representing the inland and coastal tugboat, towboat and barge industry. Carpenter joined AWO in August 1990 and became President & CEO in January 2020. Before assuming her current position, she worked her way up the hawsepipe from Government Affairs Assistant to Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, holding a series of progressively responsible positions including Manager-Regulatory Issues…

18 Feb 2020

The Federal Government’s 2020 Inland Impact

© William J. Chizek / Adobe Stock

It is often difficult to push through the federal government morass to focus on the issues that actually matter to the inland operator. While 2020 inevitably will be a contentious year in American politics, it is critical to stay focused on the items that will have direct impact on the U.S. maritime industry. From a potential new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill to potential Jones Act challenges, 2020 will be an important year for inland operators to stay politically engaged.Work on WRDAJanuary marked the beginning of Congress’ work in earnest toward introducing a new WRDA bill.

18 Feb 2020

Robust Dredging on America’s Inland Waterways

(Photo: Inland Dredging Company)

Inland Dredging Company helps keep commerce flowing on America’s inland waterway system.Dyersburg, Tenn. based Inland Dredging Company completed dredging projects spanning eight states and across four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Districts. Beginning in July and finishing in December (2019), Inland Dredging crews dredged ports and harbors along the Mighty Mississippi River, Ouachita River, Red River, Black Warrior River, Atchafalaya River, Tennessee–Tombigbee Waterway, and the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway from Apalachicola to Morgan City.Richard Jackson…

14 Feb 2020

Tech File: Grain Monitoring System for Loaded Barges

© Merek / Adobe Stock

Purpose-built for storage challenges brought on by climate change and geopolitical tensions, TeleSense has introduced its cellular SensorSpear Monitors to protect post-harvest grain.TeleSense, a post-harvest grain monitoring innovator, recently introduced a Cellular SensorSpear intended to give grain managers and barge operators an easy and reliable way to accurately monitor stored grain, ensuring grain quality while reducing spoilage and safety concerns.Inserted into piles of stored grain…

12 Feb 2020

Barges Break Free on the Mississippi

The Coast Guard and local agencies responded to a multi-barge breakaway in the vicinity of mile markers 176 and 177 on the Upper Mississippi River Wednesday, February 12, 2020. Multiple towing vessels in the area worked together to account for and secure all the loose barges. (Photo: USCG)

The U.S. Coast Guard and local agencies responded to a multi-barge breakaway in the vicinity of mile markers 176 and 177 on the Upper Mississippi River, Wednesday.Watchstanders at Sector Upper Mississippi River received the report at 3 a.m. that there was a multi-barge breakaway from a fleeting area on the Upper Mississippi River.Multiple towing vessels in the area worked together to account for and secure all the loose barges.The Coast Guard initially closed the river for the safety of those on the waterway…

12 Feb 2020

Dredging at the Forefront of Corps' 2020 Work Plan

(Photo: Dredging Contractors of America)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' FY2020 Work Plan release on Monday places dredging at the forefront.“We welcome the FY 2020 Work Plan released by the Army Corps,” said William P. Doyle, CEO of the Dredging Contractors of America. “We’re ready – our dredging companies are hard at work on projects and continue to build new dredging ships for America’s ports, waterways and beaches.”The Work Plan is based on the FY2020 Energy and Water Development appropriations bills signed into law by President Trump in December 2019.In December 2019…

11 Feb 2020

WCI Applauds Corps’ FY20 Work Plan

(Photo: Lee Roberts / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) offered praise for Congress, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ for the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) work plan that lays out allocations for funds provided in the FY20 Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill toward the Corps’ civil works mission. The work plan was released late yesterday.Critical to the nation’s agricultural shippers and American family farmers, the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) (Upper Mississippi River – Illinois Waterway System: IL…

11 Feb 2020

Trump's FY21 Budget Request 'Inadequate' -WCI

© Warren Price / Adobe Stock

President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget request released on Monday is "astonishingly inadequate" says industry advocate Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI).The FY21 budget provides $0 for construction of ongoing priority navigation projects cost-shared through the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF); cuts funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Mission by 22% ($5.967 billion, a $1.7 billion decrease from the FY20 enacted level); and proposes $1.8 million in new user fees on commercial waterways operators.Last fiscal year (FY20)…

10 Feb 2020

$85M Okayed to Deepen Mississippi to 50Ft

Steve Scalise. Photo: House.gov

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 2020 Work Plan includes $85 million to deepen the Mississippi River to 50 feet.House Republican Whip Steve Scalise announced that the US Army Corps of Engineers 2020 Work Plan includes funding for infrastructure projects in Louisiana, including $85 million to deepen the Mississippi River to 50 feet.After years of hard work, I’m very glad that the Corps included over $160 million for critical infrastructure projects in Louisiana, including $85 million to deepen the lower Mississippi River to 50 feet.

06 Feb 2020

Eastern Launches Tug for Bisso Offshore

(Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. has launched the second of two 80’ 5,100 HP Z-Drive tugs for Bisso Offshore, LLC, a division of E.N. Bisso & Son, Inc. The A. Thomas Higgins, currently under construction at Eastern’s Allanton facility, was launched on January 31, 2020.The RAL RApport 2400 Z-Drive ship-handling tug design was provided by Robert Allan Ltd located in Vancouver, Canada. The C.D. White, the first vessel of the series, delivered in January of this year.Long-term customer E.N.

30 Jan 2020

Kirby to Acquire Savage Inland Marine Fleet

(Photo: Savage)

Houston-based Kirby Corporation said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Savage Inland Marine's towboat and tank barge fleet for approximately $278 million in cash and the assumption of leases.Kirby will acquire Savage's inland fleet consisting of 46 towboats and 90 tank barges with approximately 2.5 million barrels of capacity, primarily used for transporting petrochemicals, refined products and crude oil on the Mississippi River, its tributaries and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

10 Jan 2020

USACE Memphis District Dredging Wraps Up

The Inland Dredging Company’s cutterhead dredge Integrity, along with one of its small tugboats, works to dredge the Memphis Harbor/McKellar Lake, which was the last of 10 harbors dredged in the Memphis District during 2019. (Photo: USACE/Jessica Haas)

The Memphis District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has several missions associated with the Mississippi River. One of the most important is to keep the river channel at a depth that allows the river barge industry to dependably transport goods up and down the river.To deliver on this charge, the Memphis District awarded a contract/task order in the amount of $7,987,200 to the Inland Dredging Company in April of 2019. On Dec. 23, 2019, Inland Dredging Co. completed all work with a total of 1…

15 Jan 2020

The Mighty Mississippi: Taming the Bull

© Tiago Lopes Fernandez / Adobe Stock

The beneficial use of dredge material sets a record in FY 2019. And, we’re just getting started. Funding will be the key.In mid-November 2018, concerns began to rise about an unseasonably high river stages on the Upper Mississippi River Basin generated by significant precipitation events. As a navigation representative on the Lower Mississippi River, I have unfortunately learned that the river system is changing and that precipitation around the world has been increasing for decades.

06 Jan 2020

Manson Wins $8.4M Dredging Contract

Manson Construction Co., Seattle, Washington, was awarded an $8,396,000 firm-fixed-price contract for dredging of the Mississippi River. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work will be performed in Plaquemines, Louisiana, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 12, 2020. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance-Recovery Act and civil works funds in the amount of $8,396,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans, Louisiana, is the contracting activity (W912P8-20-C-0010).

27 Jan 2020

Three Missing After Tug Collision

The U.S. Coast Guard and local agencies are searching for three crew members missing following a collision between two towing vessels on the Mississippi River at mile marker 123, near Luling, La., Sunday.The Coast Guard said its watchstanders in New Orleans were alerted at 5:37 a.m. on Sunday that towing vessels RC Creppel and Cooperative Spirit had collided and that four members of the RC Creppel were missing.The Cooperative Spirit was reportedly transiting upbound on the river when it entered a barge fleeting area and allied with barges before colliding with the towing vessel RC Creppel, causing the RC Creppel to sink and barges to…

28 Jan 2020

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Three Missing Mariners

The search for three missing mariners was called off on Monday after two towing vessels collided on the Mississippi River at mile marker 123, near Luling, La., Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.Search crews scoured more than 835 nautical miles for approximately 67 hours but were unable to find the three missing mariners, the Coast Guard said.The towing vessel Cooperative Spirit was reportedly transiting upbound on the river when it entered a barge fleeting area and allied with barges before colliding with another towing vessel RC Creppel, causing the RC Creppel to sink and barges to breakaway. Four crew members were missing intially, but one was rescued by nearby vessel.The RC Creppel was pushing two barges carrying sulfuric acid.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News